OOC.   Posted by Director.Group: 0
Servius Caelinus Germanus
 player, 87 posts
 Haederas Sanguinis
 Semper Fideles
Fri 8 Sep 2017
at 19:16
Re: Moving along
Director:
I think in this case my preference (one I hope I can build into the game without alienating the average reader/player) is that players need to be articulate about outcome rather than method when mechanically describing their actions, and lave the method to the prose (you may have noticed that the system skews towards modelling well in PbP).

That said, Ylva raises an interesting point - there's already a succeed at cost mechanic that might better model this sort of outcome. That said, success at cost isn't a mechanic that currently applies to competitive tests.

So it becomes the strategic mini-game of nerfing your test to avoid potentially overwhelming another character in a competitive test, vs isolating that sort of thing to more marginal results.

Basically it comes down to the two kinds of tests you can perform in the game - rolling vs a static number you probably know in advance, and rolling against a variable one generated in response to (or anticipation of) your roll. The former most certainly cannot have this sort of detrimental success mechanic, the latter presents some options to a GM, but possibly the cost to the playing experience is too great.

Of course, the other mechanic that might be salient here (one I haven't even tried to force on you as yet) is that the second roll describes the outcome. The way I envisage a turn ideally working is that you get one post. If you expect to be attacked that turn, or you have been (to go to the usual combat example), you use one of your three actions to put up a number to defend yourself. The last person to roll dice gets to read the dice and describe how the test plays out.

So, for example, a bandit goes before Servius in turn order and attacks him providing a number in his post, Servius tries to block but rolls low, now it's up to Servius to describe what happens, choose any traits associated with the injury, take some narrative control.

If Servius goes before the bandit in the turn order and suspects he's going to be attacked then he'll generate a defence number then. He won't have an opportunity to after. If that number is intimidatingly high, the bandit might choose not to attack at all. If the bandit does go ahead with the attack and hits, then the bandit (via the GM) gets to describe what happens, choose injury traits and the like. Narrative control lies with the last to roll in competition.

The idea there is that it keeps the round in a one-post-per-player shape, encourages you to husband your actions carefully for a strategic element to mechanics, and gives players more encouragement to tell bits of the story a GM might in other systems. But that could also make detrimental levels of success more palatable by letting an uncertain player just act last, see the number they're dealing with, and if it goes wrong then decide how.

Sorry about the delay in responding to this, Director.  It isn't a lack of interest that drives me; simply a lack in time to given the thoughtful response that I would like.

Let me just say, that I think that I better understand your perspective on the matter now.

However, I would say that I am not sure that the mechanics that you are pushing fully work well with your intentions.  Partly, that is evoked by the mere fact that you need two reasonably disparate mechanics to handle the two (albeit) different situations.

I would say that if target numbers are actually targets, then the terms 'advantage' and 'disadvantage' are mislabeled.  Along with the fact that you may consider static bonuses/penalties for them instead of more dice.  Both of these are fairly minor tweaks.

More significant, I think are the issues with magnitude - since the bonus/penalty dice are of the same magnitude as the base randomness (they are both 1d6), there is some question about whether that is your intention.  It is made more stark buy using static numbers.  Do you really want +/-3 for each modifier?  That seems significant (if not generally larger than) any talent bonus.  And its even substantial to most skill bonuses (only in your 'specialties' - like melee combat for Servius) is a +/-3 modifier not quite as significant (though a '3' vs a '6' is still pretty significant).  Your contention is that a skill of 6 is significant and that a 3 is relatively competent.  Yet, one disadvantage can cancel out the average skilled person's ability?  Initially, it seems a touch harsh - though that may only be a knee-jerk reaction (I haven't done extensive tests).

Which brings me to the other issue I can see.  A players ability to 'dial in' on a TN is very limited as you only get pluses from your skills (one way modifier) and a set modifier from your talent.  Given the probability distribution on a 2d6 (or +1d6-1d6) roll, where only 16% of the time do you get the median result; it is incredibly difficult to land spot on.  Even if you allow a character to add only part of their bonus, the targeting game is still unlikely to yield the TN - which makes hitting the cost of failure (i.e. not getting the desired result) a question.  Even worse, having more skill doesn't ever mitigate this issue.  Sure, you have +10 possible with your given skill, but if you roll too high or too low, you will still have undesired results of some sort.  Seems a high cost.  And you will only hit your target at best, 16% of the time (when you roll doubles on +1d6-1d6, or a '7' on 2d6) - assuming you have 'gauged' your adds to make the TN right.  Most of the time (5 out of 6 - or worse) you will be off the TN.

Note with the standard 2d6 distribution, the likelihood of you rolling 6, 7 or 8 (i.e. a +1/0/-1) is still only 19 out of 36, only 53% or so.  Almost 1/2 the time you will rolling an Effect less than -1 or greater than +1.

This may be your intention, but I can say that players will likely find it more than a bit frustrating to be told that was the goal (hit this target - but you can only turn in one direction) of the mechanic.  If tuning the rolls is so essential, you'll likely need to pitch (and document) that (and any examples) a bit differently/more explicitly.  It is a different way of thinking (which is fairly modern, I suspect, I was just reading Dungeon World and though the mechanics are a bit different, they espouse something very similarly to the narrative/intention/resolution cycle).

Also, I am a bit worried about your idea that the last to act dictates the narrative.  I wonder if it places too much 'power' in final actor's hands.  This seems a more thematic element and hard to adjudicate.  It does help to streamline/mitigate any PbP posting cycle issues (and I am sure that we are all fully aware of such things being on RPoL).  Initiative in other d20 (and such crunchy) systems is always hard to manage in PbP, often it gets simplified to a single roll per party and then just alternating actions.  Or at best who acts before the collective enemy in a round and who acts after - but there, action economy is king.  So, acting first has advantages over acting last (which is not the case with this system).  This may simply be a retraining issue, though; where only education (like the 'intention-stating' system) can combat that.
Serevan Tarsus
 player, 88 posts
 Repentant apostate
Fri 8 Sep 2017
at 21:58
Re: Moving along
quote:
"Perhaps, Acolyte, with your more intimate knowledge of Irian anatomy..."


Don't you talk about my grandmother that way!
Servius Caelinus Germanus
 player, 88 posts
 Haederas Sanguinis
 Semper Fideles
Fri 8 Sep 2017
at 23:41
Re: Moving along
I'm just saying Serevan: if the shoe fits, wear it.
Director
 GM, 380 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Sat 9 Sep 2017
at 01:22
Re: Moving along
Also Ylva's ministrations seem to amount to poking her patient with four massive index fingers at once.

What I'm saying is her heart's in the right place, but his might not be if she continues as his primary carer :p

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:23, Sat 09 Sept 2017.

Director
 GM, 381 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Sat 9 Sep 2017
at 01:51
Re: Moving along
Some really interesting perspective here. First of all thank you for taking the time to actually read, and then consider in such detail, the idea as a whole. That's massively gratifying for me. Since you've been generous enough to wade into it with me I'll try to offer some response.

Servius Caelinus Germanus:
However, I would say that I am not sure that the mechanics that you are pushing fully work well with your intentions.  Partly, that is evoked by the mere fact that you need two reasonably disparate mechanics to handle the two (albeit) different situations.

I would say that if target numbers are actually targets, then the terms 'advantage' and 'disadvantage' are mislabeled.  Along with the fact that you may consider static bonuses/penalties for them instead of more dice.  Both of these are fairly minor tweaks.

More significant, I think are the issues with magnitude - since the bonus/penalty dice are of the same magnitude as the base randomness (they are both 1d6), there is some question about whether that is your intention.  It is made more stark buy using static numbers.  Do you really want +/-3 for each modifier?  That seems significant (if not generally larger than) any talent bonus.  And its even substantial to most skill bonuses (only in your 'specialties' - like melee combat for Servius) is a +/-3 modifier not quite as significant (though a '3' vs a '6' is still pretty significant).  Your contention is that a skill of 6 is significant and that a 3 is relatively competent.  Yet, one disadvantage can cancel out the average skilled person's ability?  Initially, it seems a touch harsh - though that may only be a knee-jerk reaction (I haven't done extensive tests).

Which brings me to the other issue I can see.  A players ability to 'dial in' on a TN is very limited as you only get pluses from your skills (one way modifier) and a set modifier from your talent.  Given the probability distribution on a 2d6 (or +1d6-1d6) roll, where only 16% of the time do you get the median result; it is incredibly difficult to land spot on.  Even if you allow a character to add only part of their bonus, the targeting game is still unlikely to yield the TN - which makes hitting the cost of failure (i.e. not getting the desired result) a question.  Even worse, having more skill doesn't ever mitigate this issue.  Sure, you have +10 possible with your given skill, but if you roll too high or too low, you will still have undesired results of some sort.  Seems a high cost.  And you will only hit your target at best, 16% of the time (when you roll doubles on +1d6-1d6, or a '7' on 2d6) - assuming you have 'gauged' your adds to make the TN right.  Most of the time (5 out of 6 - or worse) you will be off the TN.

Note with the standard 2d6 distribution, the likelihood of you rolling 6, 7 or 8 (i.e. a +1/0/-1) is still only 19 out of 36, only 53% or so.  Almost 1/2 the time you will rolling an Effect less than -1 or greater than +1.

This may be your intention, but I can say that players will likely find it more than a bit frustrating to be told that was the goal (hit this target - but you can only turn in one direction) of the mechanic.  If tuning the rolls is so essential, you'll likely need to pitch (and document) that (and any examples) a bit differently/more explicitly.  It is a different way of thinking (which is fairly modern, I suspect, I was just reading Dungeon World and though the mechanics are a bit different, they espouse something very similarly to the narrative/intention/resolution cycle).


So I'm thoroughly persuaded that an overshoot mechanic that offers sub-optimal results on a high random, especially with the scope of randomness implied by a test where dice map the bulk of the contributing numbers, is a bad approach. You're right, the ability to exactly hit the target is razor thin, and because the system encourages you to leverage advantage/disadvantage mechanics which only makes outcomes less reliable, that seems completely at odds with such precise targets.

I am entertaining an overhaul of some terminology at present, to clarify its role and draw attention to some points of difference to slight mechanical deviations without having to waffle about the ideas behind them.

I am, at present, happy with the advantage/disadvantage mechanics potentially outweighing the input of a character build. I think their weighting discourages the "I attack the monster" play that can get a bit static, and makes the game about taking more involved actions in the interests of generating these components, or set them up for the next turn.

It's entirely possible to make Advantage/Disadvantage static modifiers. I can only say that whether I find it more satisfying to roll a fistful of dice, or whether I like the idea of interpreting what the random elements say in narrative form, I'm drawn to their randomness on a completely gut level currently.

Servius Caelinus Germanus:
Also, I am a bit worried about your idea that the last to act dictates the narrative.  I wonder if it places too much 'power' in final actor's hands.  This seems a more thematic element and hard to adjudicate.  It does help to streamline/mitigate any PbP posting cycle issues (and I am sure that we are all fully aware of such things being on RPoL).  Initiative in other d20 (and such crunchy) systems is always hard to manage in PbP, often it gets simplified to a single roll per party and then just alternating actions.  Or at best who acts before the collective enemy in a round and who acts after - but there, action economy is king.  So, acting first has advantages over acting last (which is not the case with this system).  This may simply be a retraining issue, though; where only education (like the 'intention-stating' system) can combat that.

I'd like to think this one's a confronting change of philosophy more than, but I do think acting last is going to often be preferable. The game/strategic approach would be that the first person to act is playing with their hand visible to the table (in a manner of speaking) while the last can be highly reactive. However the last position will often end up being a clean-up spot, where you're devoting all of your actions in a turn to reacting to what has already happened.

In terms of narrative control, the scale of what you achieve is regimented, but the texture of it and the descriptors are folded into the post of the final player. It's a sacrifice of tactical play designed to enhance story flow, and to encourage players to step a little more on what would be a GM's assumed territory by extending their authorship to the outcomes of their actions where appropriate.

Because most combative encounters won't be protracted (because characters here can't soak the damage they can in an HP system) the usual Initiative minigame would becomes a harsher random element.

That said, it's not an utterly crucial component of making the system work, so I tend to save such confronting shifts in approach until I've gauged whether it will enhance the game or just impede it, and fly with the usual PbP system until then. So if you have any misgivings I won't be pushing for it.

This message was last edited by the GM at 01:52, Sat 09 Sept 2017.

Servius Caelinus Germanus
 player, 89 posts
 Haederas Sanguinis
 Semper Fideles
Sun 15 Oct 2017
at 01:55
Re: Moving along
Serevan Tarsus:
OOC:  ... I love that I can turn Servius' racist assumption into a mechanical bonus by invoking my Wayward Son trait.

Well, Servius has pretty intimate knowledge of most bipedal species that populate the Empire as well.  But generally, that comes from quick battlefield examinations and eviscerations.  So, while it could be helpful.  It might only be so a post-mortem sense, here.  So, at least, he isn't racist in that way ... :D

But generally, with the Romans and their citizenry/slavery class structure, it can be hard to justify such non-elitist ideals.  They truly believed in their "Some are more equal than others" quasi-egalitarian ideas; you had to get into the club first.  And military service was one of those ways...
Director
 GM, 382 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Thu 19 Oct 2017
at 05:11
Re: Moving along
I think it plays great! Haedrasia is absolutely meant to be a morally complex land, especially around the status of its subject peoples, and that's a directly relevant conversation to the plot here.
Director
 GM, 384 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Mon 30 Oct 2017
at 04:54
Re: Moving along
Prole in this case being the non-derogatory term for a member of the subject peoples of Haedrasia? Like it. The 1984 overtones are perfect. It is so canonized.
Director
 GM, 386 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Tue 26 Dec 2017
at 13:35
Re: Moving along
Well, I'm a day late, but I hope you all had a great Christmas and are enjoying a good break.
Ylva
 player, 185 posts
 Barbarus hic ego sum
 quia non intelligor illis
Tue 26 Dec 2017
at 13:59
Re: Moving along
Oh, definitely ^^

Hope you all had a Merry Xmas as well, and may you have a safe New Year. Because remember, it's really hard to type with injured fingers ;)
Servius Caelinus Germanus
 player, 92 posts
 Haederas Sanguinis
 Semper Fideles
Mon 1 Jan 2018
at 02:55
Re: Moving along
Oh, and Happy Holidays, everyone!  Best wishes from my family to you and yours.

Have a safe and fun New Year's Eve/New Year and I'm looking forward to RPing with everyone in the coming year (and beyond)!
Director
 GM, 387 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Mon 1 Jan 2018
at 03:41
Re: Moving along
And the same to you!

Servius Caelinus Germanus:
"We need to go." Servius noted simply, trying not to let the weariness creep into his voice, "And soon."


And shall I assume that is precisely what you do?
Serevan Tarsus
 player, 92 posts
 Repentant apostate
Mon 1 Jan 2018
at 04:18
Re: Moving along
Happy new year!

Serevan's ready to go, though obviously not in a talkative mood.
Director
 GM, 388 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Mon 1 Jan 2018
at 10:57
Re: Moving along
Okay, how about this. There are three more legs to the journey to Imali. How about we divide it up, first in first served, and each of you tells us a little bit of how it goes? Why not share something along the way? Or encounter something that resonates with you? Take the opportunity to give us a scene that tells us a little more about your respective characters, since you've been wearing them so long.\

Decide how cautiously or openly you travel, how hurriedly, whether you resupply, and with whom.

The legs are:
The cave to Avion, a stretch of dry farmland in a series of shallow valleys that guard against the dust storms form the desert in the north. A major trade route and a well kept road. (two days)
Avion to the River Hamainis' Source, crossing the Avion Bridge (something of a wonder in itself) out of town and along the fertile and sometimes boggy floodplains of the River Hamanis. Still a major tradeway, though more populous than road by the desert. (three days)
The River's Source to Imali, a much shorter leg where new hamlets and freeholds seem to be springing up by the day, and men toil to raise log frames for farmhouses, and weave bamboo fences, and clear bracken from the roadside. (one day)

Feel free to respond to someone else's post, I might interject with setting details, but make it your own. You'll reach Imali with no further event, so make your posts as long or short as you'd like. Questions re the setting so that you can better craft your backstory, you know where to find me.

Let's really get these characters in frame before we hit the next major plot development.



Sound doable/fun?

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:33, Tue 02 Jan 2018.

Serevan Tarsus
 player, 93 posts
 Repentant apostate
Mon 1 Jan 2018
at 19:29
Re: Moving along
What're the rules for recovering from statuses? The Damage section only mentions penalty reduction; the Traits section says nothing.

http://darkrealm.wikidot.com/chapter-6-damage#toc11
http://darkrealm.wikidot.com/chapter-3-traits#toc5
Director
 GM, 389 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Tue 2 Jan 2018
at 10:27
Re: Moving along
I'll address that in the rulebook next opportunity - definitely an oversight. The idea would be that a given status would include a quick description of its most common application, and a resolution - be that a time period, action or treatment.

Mechanically speaking, the incentive to hold onto it would be as a source of Hero Points. Would be nice to see it in play at least once before it resolves.
Director
 GM, 390 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Sat 24 Feb 2018
at 02:40
Re: Moving along
No one keen on the GM cameo approach?
Ylva
 player, 186 posts
 Barbarus hic ego sum
 quia non intelligor illis
Sat 24 Feb 2018
at 23:32
Re: Moving along
Director:
No one keen on the GM cameo approach?

Ehm....?
Director
 GM, 391 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Sun 25 Feb 2018
at 00:56
Re: Moving along
Director:
Okay, how about this. There are three more legs to the journey to Imali. How about we divide it up, first in first served, and each of you tells us a little bit of how it goes? Why not share something along the way? Or encounter something that resonates with you? Take the opportunity to give us a scene that tells us a little more about your respective characters, since you've been wearing them so long.

...

Let's really get these characters in frame before we hit the next major plot development.


This one.
Ylva
 player, 187 posts
 Barbarus hic ego sum
 quia non intelligor illis
Sun 25 Feb 2018
at 01:28
Re: Moving along
Ah, sorry.

I'll try to get something up tomorrow, it's kind of late atm.
Director
 GM, 392 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Sun 25 Feb 2018
at 05:58
Re: Moving along
Only if you're keen. Just trying something new.
Ylva
 player, 188 posts
 Barbarus hic ego sum
 quia non intelligor illis
Sun 25 Feb 2018
at 12:29
Re: Moving along
Director:
The cave to <a href="http://darkrealm.wikidot.com/avion">Avion</a></i>, a stretch of dry farmland in a series of shallow valleys that guard against the dust storms form the desert in the north. A major trade route and a well kept road. (two days)


Nah, it's fine. I'll take the first leg then.

Once out of the cave, Ylva rode a horse as best she could without any seeming concern over the previous night's discomfort, nor the brief fight within the cave. She lived by the day, favoring opportunity over longer term planning, but given that she had been born and raised a raider that was somewhat to be expected.

Given the events of that night however, she did make more of an effort to create a larger stockpile of food, which meant stopping a bit earlier on the evening to get her hunting done. Key was, she stressed, to make sure the group's supplies would last as long as possible, in order to be seen less resupplying them. Should any of the soldiers whose horses they had stolen be following their trail, the amount of supplies bought would throw off their pursuers' estimates of where they were likely to be heading, as the Irians' appearances had proven not all could hunt as well as she.

As for the journey itself, she would favor traveling by the main road, only grumbling softly at the discomfort of having to hide two thick arms behind her cloak every time she could see a trade wagon approach from the other side, though she gave their fellow travelers a polite nod as they passed in an attempt to show friendliness and unconcern, so they would not stand out in their memories any more than they already would. The land was rich here, though she was somewhat worried about the prospects of entering a 'deh-zert', a word which she, as someone hailing from the frozen Northlands, was wholly unfamiliar with.
Director
 GM, 393 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Mon 26 Feb 2018
at 03:22
Re: Moving along
You're free to put that into a post if you want. Take whatever liberties you fancy in terms of locations and NPCs to tell that story.

Or if you're pressed for time I'm happy to write it up :)
Ylva
 player, 189 posts
 Barbarus hic ego sum
 quia non intelligor illis
Mon 26 Feb 2018
at 11:44
Re: Moving along
Yeah, i posted it here in case Serevan, Solomon and Servius had any modifications they wanted to suggest.

But yeah, that's basically what Ylva would do (or try to do) throughout the journey. Likewise, having someone else describe the next leg would also be fair, and once all parts are completed it can be thrown into the RP thread in a big training montage with a sprinkling of NPCs added in for flavor.

That was my intent, anyway :)
Director
 GM, 394 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Mon 26 Feb 2018
at 12:14
Re: Moving along
Works for me.