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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 68 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Technique Discussions  (Read 2231 times)
Jason Lee
Member

Posts: 729


« on: September 10, 2005, 10:41:27 AM »

I've seen it come up a couple times now that people are having trouble finding design tools - talk about specific Techniques.  I know such discussions are all over this place.  It's just hidden in a lot of threads.  Perhaps we could get together some snippets from threads or links to threads that analyze specific Techniques?  Like...

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By me, cut from:  [D20 Arcana Evolved] The reward/hero point discussion
Using a karma resource as a rewards system

I've fiddled around in play with a number of different methods of using tokens (hero points) as a rewards system.  Thus far I've discovered:

The resource (tokens) should be attainable fairly often.  If you only receive new tokens every few sessions then your rewards system isn't really touching play.  This leads to the necessity of balancing their effectiveness down, which has the advantage of the more pack-rat type of player being more likely to use the resource.  However, in doing so the relative worth of each instance of reward also drops (people aren't as happy when they get a token).  I'm currently experimenting with a dual resource system to solve this - common "little" tokens and rare "big" tokens.

The acquisition of the resource should have a clear tie to events in play and mechanics.  For example, handing out tokens for cool actions will work provided you can put "cool" in context of play, like cool equals swashbuckling genre actions, or cool equals dramatic failure.  Basically, the rewards system need to be clear about what a player needs to do to be rewarded, or the cycle won't work.  Also, the advantage spending the resource provides should be clear mechanically, so the player can get a sense of the worth of the resource.

The resource should not be increased except through the behavior that is meant to be rewarded.  So, replenishing tokens at the beginning of a session (or whenever) is working against using the resource as a rewards system.  That's a fine thing to do, but it makes the resource a karma resolution system and not a rewards system, because it shifts expectations from needing to work for the resource to needing to ration it between refills.

Without an upper limit on the amount of the resource that can be attained the rewards cycle will lose value, because some players will feel the need to store them up for winter.  Thus, they will not be being rewarded, as they will not be gaining from the resource.  Contrarily, placing a limit on the amount that can be attained can cause a drop off in the behavior you seek to reward when the player reaches the limit.  However, I find that an upper limit encourages use of the resource, because once a player reaches the limit he feels more comfortable spending it if he is the squirrel type, and hence he'll start to feel the effects of the rewards cycle.  So this is very tricky.

Some of these pro/con situations can be "solved" by making the resource a necessity for play - making it so that without the resource the character will have trouble succeeding.  This is not a solution.  It turns the positive reinforcement that a rewards cycle is striving for into negative reinforcement for actions that aren't sanctioned.  Thus, the rewards cycle will not be fun, it will be a chore.

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Walt Freitag, Linear Die Roll Modifiers Are Broken (long and math-full)

Mike Holmes, Mike's Standard Rant #3: Combat Systems

Mike Holmes, Mike's Standard Rant #4: Stat/Skill systems

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Perhaps if we can get enough threads/posts together we can organize them into a kind of Technique analysis library?
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- Cruciel
M. J. Young
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Posts: 2198


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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2005, 11:09:43 AM »

My Applied Theory in the Articles section is an attempt to provide some techniques, or at least some guidance in connection with techniques. Is that the sort of thing you mean?

--M. J. Young
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Jason Lee
Member

Posts: 729


« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2005, 11:18:46 PM »

My Applied Theory in the Articles section is an attempt to provide some techniques, or at least some guidance in connection with techniques. Is that the sort of thing you mean?

Yeah, thank you for the addition.
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- Cruciel
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