Meta Level.   Posted by Vizva.Group: 0
Vizva
 GM, 74 posts
 Universal
Tue 29 Nov 2016
at 04:48
Re: Meta Level
The three canon factions do indeed exist. I;m going to rule they're effectively non-competitive for this experiment.

Thanks for everyone's input so far.

I've now got enough to get us started. :)
Vizva
 GM, 81 posts
 Universal
Thu 1 Dec 2016
at 02:35
Re: Meta Level
Okay ... an issues has presented itself! lol

On the up side, the experiment is working ;)

The issue is: 2,1,1 factions are too weak, and could take 8 to 16 turns to improve attribute scores.



I propose these options:

a) "bump up" the factions to "minor" size (as per SWN definitions), to 4,3,1 - which gives you 2 starting assets; 1 in primary attribute, and 1 in another attribute.

b) "bump up" the factions to "major" size (as per SWN definitions), to 6,5,3 - which gives you 4 starting assets; 2 in primary, and 2 in other attributes.

c) player suggested options??? Please share any ideas you may have.

Each option is likely to significantly change the feel of the gameplay...

Consider the table open for discussion!
Leon Harvath
 player, 24 posts
Thu 1 Dec 2016
at 04:58
Re: Meta Level
I would go to minor. Major might make us skip over the part of the game where we're just starting out.
Ito Daisuke
 player, 24 posts
Thu 1 Dec 2016
at 19:29
Re: Meta Level
Minor seems the best fit to me, as well.
Mistress Vianna
 player, 20 posts
Thu 1 Dec 2016
at 23:33
Re: Meta Level
Likewise - or we could rapid-fire a few rounds of development.
Vizva
 GM, 83 posts
 Universal
Fri 2 Dec 2016
at 02:55
Re: Meta Level
Okay.

Looks like upgrading everyone to a Minor faction is the majority feeling.

Head over to your faction meta thread and update your:

- attributes
- starting assets
- goal (if you want)

Just pop a quick note in that thread to let me know when you've done this.

Cheers!
Mistress Vianna
 player, 23 posts
Sat 3 Dec 2016
at 08:42
Re: Meta Level
This is a ‘patched transcript’ of a couple of PMs I sent to the GM, outlining a difficulty I saw. Can you guys think of a solution? I don’t mind revealing my first move: our factions are working together to begin with, and we’re all part of the game experiment, right? :)

You know, raising us all to Level 4 isn't going to solve this problem. If anything, it could make it worse.

For the Maidens, their preferred goal will still be Peaceable Kingdom (most of the others involve attacking someone, which is against our principles, or spending money we don't have).

Peaceable Kingdom earns 1XP per 4 turns.

At L2, we needed 4XP to grow from L2 to L3, taking 4x4=16 turns.

At L4, we will need 9XP to grow from L4 to L5, taking 4x9=36 turns...

Admittedly, we will be earning 3FC per turn instead of 1FC per turn, so some of the money-spending ways of earning XP may become open to us, but it strikes me that there are very few non-aggressive ways to advance in the rules as written.

However, the rules are deliberately open for the GM to add more Goals to the list, to fit in with his game. We may be able to get SWNF working for us just by designing some new Goals that are tailored to the game we want to play, rather than taking them straight from the book. Something that allows peaceful expansion without taking so long, giving us more scope for play without friction.

We could even simply houserule Peaceable Kingdom to take only two turns, or even one. That would speed the game up with minimal disruption.

Alternatively, if SWNF isn’t working for us, we could look at other rule sets, such as An Echo Resounding, to use as our basis. It’s all a valid experiment.


SWN Factions was never designed for use as a multi-player game, it was just something to help the GM keep track of off-screen events. I don't think we can expect it to work for our purposes without quite a bit of tweaking.
Leon Harvath
 player, 26 posts
Sat 3 Dec 2016
at 23:40
Re: Meta Level
Peaceful expansion certainly doesn't seem all that doable in the rules. There's little that you can do that doesn't involve attacking someone. We could add more goals that focus on peaceful expansion, or more assets focused in that area.
Vizva
 GM, 85 posts
 Universal
Sat 3 Dec 2016
at 23:47
Re: Meta Level
Sounds like a tweakin is in order.

Let's hear suggestions for new goals & assets...I'm preparing for job interview this week, so spare ime is scarce...
Leon Harvath
 player, 27 posts
Sun 4 Dec 2016
at 00:22
Re: Meta Level
The only idea I have for a new asset right now is a peaceful protest. Most likely a Cunning asset. Maybe it does Cunning damage to a target by raising civil opposition to it? I dunno. My mind is elsewhere right now. Lol.
Ito Daisuke
 player, 25 posts
Sun 4 Dec 2016
at 01:45
Re: Meta Level
Why is peaceful expansion necessary? I think the Factions system implies some kind of conflict. Even if that conflict is Wealth-related, it's still depicted as combat in the rules even if it's something as perfectly "peaceful" as taking over an opponent's mining site (read: destroying their Harvester asset with a Wealth attack).

I say we keep the goals by the book, but to make up for an unsatisfactory rate of expansion, we tie Faction XP rewards to PC progress somehow? Like every time a PC completes his or her goal in a scene, some amount of XP goes to the Faction? It would be a good way to reflect the PC's individual influence and effort, and makes better sense that rewards like FacCreds.
Mistress Vianna
 player, 24 posts
Sun 4 Dec 2016
at 08:51
Re: Meta Level
A peaceful expansion probably isn't necessary for a shady cyberware corporation, but the rest of us are two religions and an academic think tank. We need a realistic method of growth that doesn't force us to destroy somebody else's livelihood, so that we can live in peace and harmony and stay within our organization's character.

But at the same time, we don't want to be disadvantaged by the rules to the point of only being able to gain 1XP every 4 turns just because we're a peaceful organization.

The rules were evidently devised with war and espionage in mind, but I think with the organizations we've chosen, we need to have more peaceful options on offer.

I'll have a think about some more goals, but for starters:

Land Reclamation/Development - the faction uses technology or manpower to improve the yield of its land assets. Wealth?

Recruitment Drive - the faction takes steps to recruit more adherents to its cause. Cunning?

Charitable Cause - the faction publicizes a local charitable cause (itself or another organization) in order to gain popular support. Wealth?

Co-operative Venture - two factions each share an XP gain by working together on a joint venture. Neither may attack the other for 4 turns. Cunning?

Still thinking about how to use Force assets for Peaceful Goals.

I like the concept of the Peaceful Protest, it would make a good inclusion, but it's still an attack on another faction.
Harry Shih
 player, 17 posts
Sun 4 Dec 2016
at 15:52
Re: Meta Level
Some sort of peaceful expansion is also necessary to prevent it from becoming a zero sum game.  If your win comes at someone else's loss, as a whole you can never expand beyond the sum of all of your resources.

Improvements in the market conditions (i.e. a better "overall economy" or an increase in demand), access to natural and human resources, and innovations in technology are all means by which organizations can get "more powerful" that aren't really well-represented in the tit-for-tat conflict rules.

The low yield of XP for relatively high-impact actions (expand to a new planet, get 1 XP!) also inhibits growth.

The SWN rules seem to reflect organizations that are relatively static, that grow and expand slowly, until they come into conflict with each other.

I'm not averse to conflict as a driving mechanism.  Conflict is interesting, and creates interesting narratives.  But the incremental nature of conflict goals compared to the paradigm-changing (and extremely long-term) nature of non-conflict goals makes it difficult to achieve them.

The fact that, RAW, you can only pursue one goal at a time also stings.  If you aim for a long-term goal, you essentially lock yourself out of advancement until you achieve it, unless you piss away a turn's worth of resources to make a grab at something.
Harry Shih
 player, 18 posts
Sun 4 Dec 2016
at 16:06
Re: Meta Level
Just had a thought.

This could be a real opportunity for those cards we were so shifty about earlier.  Cards could represent the shifting conditions of the world, presenting random opportunities to different organizations with different strengths.  If cards presented obstacles and opportunities that provided XP, they could dynamically create cooperation and competition, as organizations collude or compete to seize those opportunities.
Harry Shih
 player, 19 posts
Sun 4 Dec 2016
at 16:14
Re: Meta Level
This could also provide an interesting balance vehicle for the one-shot assets that had originally been conceived in the deck.  If you have some sort of limited action economy, you have to choose between assets that give you bonuses and accomplishments that will earn you XP.  But some accomplishments may be difficult, which will allow assets to help...

Just spitballing here.
Leon Harvath
 player, 28 posts
Sun 4 Dec 2016
at 20:50
Re: Meta Level
I like your ideas, Harry.

Peaceful expansion should always be an option. Coca-Cola didn't become the giant corporate empire it is today by shooting its competitors in the head all the time. Same with the Mafia. Whether it be through the placement of sleeper agents in positions of power/usefulness, or through other means, we should have a way to expand peacefully.

If we do re-introduce the idea of the cards, we need to decide on what exactly they will do, and how we can balance it with the assets in the rules. If the cards are too powerful, the assets will seem worthless. Conversely, if the cards are underpowered, drawing a card will seem like a waste of time.
Vizva
 GM, 86 posts
 Universal
Sat 10 Dec 2016
at 02:10
Re: Meta Level
RL is intense here. Moving my family to new house; job interviews, birthdays & xmas... Realistically not available until the new year.

Godspeed & may the force be with yall.
Leon Harvath
 player, 29 posts
Sat 10 Dec 2016
at 05:22
Re: Meta Level
No worries. I'll still be here. Good luck with life.
Vizva
 GM, 87 posts
 Universal
Sun 15 Jan 2017
at 02:34
Re: Meta Level
Hello team.

I'm afraid I've lost the motivation to see this experiment through any further.

I apologise for pulling the plug.

I'd be happy to transfer ownership of this game to someone else, if anyone wanted to step up. Just let me know.
Leon Harvath
 player, 30 posts
Sun 15 Jan 2017
at 05:20
Re: Meta Level
Thanks for running this. It was fun while it lasted.
Vizva
 GM, 88 posts
 Universal
Sun 15 Jan 2017
at 06:41
Re: Meta Level
No worries.

As a consolation prize... I'm considering running a regular SWN campaign; much easier to just get stuck in to :)

Interest check?

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:58, Sun 15 Jan 2017.

Leon Harvath
 player, 31 posts
Sun 15 Jan 2017
at 06:52
Re: Meta Level
If you're running a regular SWN game, I'll play.
Mistress Vianna
 player, 25 posts
Sun 15 Jan 2017
at 07:51
Re: Meta Level
Thanks for the heads-up, and for the game. Too many GMs just vanish. Never understood it myself, it can't be good for future recruitment.

I'm pretty much up to my neck in games at present, with another dose of RL on the horizon, so I'll pass for now. Maybe catch you in another game sometime.

Cheers guys. :)
Harry Shih
 player, 20 posts
Sun 15 Jan 2017
at 08:02
Re: Meta Level
I might be interested in a SWN game.  I am still finding my feet on RPOL.
Vizva
 GM, 91 posts
 Universal
Mon 7 Jan 2019
at 22:37
Re: Meta Level
Hello hello.

What I quickly realised, with the SWN Factions Experiment, is that Kevin Crawford's factions system wasn't really designed to be wielded by players. Whilst possible, it's not necessarily any fun... seemingly especially over forum play.

If there were a system designed for players, that was simple enough to learn (maybe OSR-esque), and was easy enough to pick up & run with... then this original concept, of player-operated factions, might be workable.

This week I found Legacy 2e.

It's based on the Apocalypse World system, which is unique in itself, but not overly crunchy. I'm just starting to digest the PDF, a couple of pages in.

My first impression is that the underlying system, if you rip the setting out of it, is really quite workable, and has the potential to work in RPOL forum-style. It would probably need some tweaking to work like the SWN sandbox flavour. Or maybe there's already a published supplement for Legacy 2e that provides a more setting-agnostic, setting-less, & sandboxy framework?

There's the Generation Ship setting... but I think most interesting is the Worldfall setting, which focuses on growing a colony on a new planet...

Anyway - thought it was worth mentioning to this old group, in case it was still of interest to ye.

I'd consider running Legacy, one of the aforementioned settings, as an experiment, to look at the mechanics... if there was interest? Or maybe someone else here would be interested in running it?

---

Meanwhile, I'm also breathing life into a standard SWN:R game just here: link to another game if anyone is interested...