OOC Consultation.   Posted by DM.Group: 0
DM
 GM, 3090 posts
Tue 2 Jul 2019
at 06:21
Re: OOC Consultation
Work Pressure is easing up -  mainly because D-Day has passed, I handed my resignation in, and have been working a 4 day week recently (3 days for my employer and 1 day looking for new work, this Thursday is my final day). That means I have some time to get back to the rules discussions.  I think I have the Build Point and Merchant Rules sorted out now, and they are both linked from ...

http://rp.baileymail.net/doku....paign_systems2:start

Comments and thoughts welcome on both.

But now I can turn my attention back to Time and Kingdom Turns and Crafting.  Already I have spotted a  'make winter a kingdom round'  comment that I hadn't really considered properly.

Just a heads up - Time is a real problem in this game because I run more than 1 group.

All three groups left Tusk at about the same time - but all three groups have spent different amounts of time out adventuring - For one group, some travel elements have been hand-waved through and three or four days have passed in a single GM post.  Another group is currently in combat (and had been for a few GM posts) even though I use dangerous monsters that could kill a PC in a couple of rounds.  There are already days of difference between the two groups -  and I suspect it could get worse.

At various times in this AP there is the broad instruction to 'just let the years pass until ....'  But there are other times when I am supposed to conclude a three level adventure in a couple of weeks of game time.  And you guys are currently working across three different books of a six book AP series ...

Whatever solution I come up with, isn't going to be pretty, or universally loved  :)
Cass Mordane
 Player, 407 posts
 Bard, Sword Scion
 Sometime Diplomat
Tue 2 Jul 2019
at 07:35
Re: OOC Consultation
Maybe we can talk about a time travel spell. Tie things together nicely, add an epic spin on Kingmaker no one else has tried!
~ Percy Arndell
 NPC p, 416 posts
 Gentleman and Poet
 "Oh. Hello."
Fri 5 Jul 2019
at 06:19
Re: OOC Consultation
Yes, you're not running one game ... you're running three separate games, all intermeshed and, as you've noted, having to juggle disparate timelines as well.  The gods alone know how that'll work when/if any one of those parties splits up too, as parties as known to do.   So the workload is substantially more than if you were running three games in separate universes.  Yup, you must be mad ! <grrrins>

Which is my way of saying that if there are no good solutions, pick one that minimises or alleviates your GM workload - might as well make it easier on yourself.
DM
 GM, 3091 posts
Fri 5 Jul 2019
at 06:32
Re: OOC Consultation
In reply to ~ Percy Arndell (msg # 77):

With hindsight -  I think I should probably have hand-waved a year through at level 3 and every other level afterwards.  That would resolve the 'leave things for a few years'  issue.  :)

I might have a look at applying that retrospectively.
~ Percy Arndell
 NPC p, 417 posts
 Gentleman and Poet
 "Oh. Hello."
Fri 5 Jul 2019
at 08:32
Re: OOC Consultation
More thoughts on balancing timelines between groups ...

My preferred solution would be to simply balance the number of "encounters" for each group.  One group might meet an NPC on the road, fight some bandits and finally make their way to a simple shrine where matters are resolved.  Another group might be in that three level dungeon ... but just pick the key encounter areas and wave through the rest of it as "you wander darkened corridors, avoiding the creatures that lurk therein".   Nothing is ever wasted - there might be an interesting area that you can pull out and use elsewhere in a different context and as a standalone encounter for another time.
DM
 GM, 3092 posts
Fri 5 Jul 2019
at 09:45
Re: OOC Consultation
ATM, I am considering a couple of different models ...

  1. If I make the Kingdom rounds into Fuzzy Threads, we could do it all in the background -  after all the Kingdom Builders have Entourages and managers to run things on their behalf.

  2. Alternately, I could separate the three groups a bit more, run them on more independent time lines,  with separate levelling and  Kingdom Rounds.


Both have benefits and drawbacks.  Ironically, this might have been easier if I wasn't using  Group levelling, rather than Level by XP.  However, the thought of doing the XP admin for (approx) 15 characters  and overview XP for all the NPCs is depressing!
~ Percy Arndell
 NPC p, 418 posts
 Gentleman and Poet
 "Oh. Hello."
Fri 5 Jul 2019
at 12:22
Re: OOC Consultation
H'mm ... may or may not be a problem, depending on whether people are that fussed about levelling.  Is it important that all characters maintain absolute parity in levels (bearing in mind that those players who have been playing in the game longer probably have higher level characters than those who joined more recently) or are most/all happy to progress as their story unfolds ?  Personally I'm happy to play my character and don't worry so much what their current level is (though it's always nice to level up !).

I have enjoyed switching between different groups - making new friends, meeting old ones again, and that wouldn't work under the second model, whereas the first model has the drawback that those who want their character in the thick of town politics would miss out if that's delegated to their entourage.

As you said, no easy solutions.  <grins>

Now (thinking out loud) if we had three groups based loosely around three population centres (Tusk Town, Ringbridge and Olegs) then they could adventure and politic independently ... and whenever you choose to reorder groups then it's "six months later you find yourself in".  Those whose characters (not just their entourage) are invested in a particular place could be constants there, with the characters of those players who like me prefer to chop and change moving between places - hopefully allows for both approaches ?   Should allow for group levelling too, to keep the GM's lot easier.  :>
DM
 GM, 3096 posts
Sat 6 Jul 2019
at 19:43
Re: OOC Consultation
I have been thinking about a few issues I have with managing the game.  Things work as they are, but they aren’t as straight forward or as equitable as I would like them to be.  This is the first time I have run a multi-party game -  so I am learning as I go along.  And this game has lots of ways of making life complicated for me.

The character level spread between the parties, quite often means that I am working to integrate information from more than one source.  Today I used information from 4 of the 6 books in the Adventure Path – as well as other game specific sources.  That causes a bit of a timing issue for me.as events in the different books are supposed to move at different speeds. – and there are supposed to be gaps between the events.  I can wing that, compress gaps, fudge a few things -  but  only so far.  And it also makes it more difficult to manage the politics in the wider world.   (I understand that I might be the only one who is concerned about achieving a reasonable level of time and political continuity -  but, hey-ho, IMO it gives the world a better and more realistic feel)

To resolve this I intend to make time even more abstract, and go to a variant of a system that was widely used on NWN Servers.  Characters there measured their time and level in Seasons -  rather than anything else.  I am going to adapt this so that there is one adventuring turn, and one Kingdom/down-time turn per calendar year  (my interpretation of ‘season’).  By judicious use of Fuzzy Time threads for the kingdom side of the game, I can push things along as a sensible speed for the game world.  It might mean, in some cases, that a players from a group might have to run one of their entourage characters during a down-time RP session rather than their main character -  but at least they will be represented.

At the same time, I intend to change the way that I award experience points.  At the moment, I ‘award’ the right number of experience points to allow each character to go up a level at the end of each Adventuring Turn and nothing during the Kingdom Turn.  This means every one advances at the same speed, and there is no chance to catch up to the players who were here earlier.  Now I am going to start giving experience in a number of different blocks.
  • Adventure XP – Based on CR of Monsters / Traps / Situations etc.
  • Kingdom Round XP – which will be based around the BPs you generate / control.  That means it has some chance or remaining relevant at a number of different levels.
  • Down Time XP – which will reward people who use the down time system to craft or use their profession or perform skills.
  • Story Line XP – This, as always, is a bit arbitrary.  However, there could be two or three different award possibilities across an Adventure/Kingdom turn pair.
  • RP XP – If I particularly like a bit of RP -  I will hand out an XP award.  Amount (etc) is purely arbitrary.



You will have the opportunity to level up at the end of the Adventure Turn and at the end of  the Kingdom Turn -  so two opportunities per ‘year’.   This should give lower level characters an opportunity to catch up to the higher level characters - especially if you work all aspects of the game. :}

It has a second advantage for me, in that it gives me a nice system for managing XP awards for stay-at-home characters, Characters who don't post and NPCs.
Marik
 Player, 228 posts
Sat 6 Jul 2019
at 19:58
Re: OOC Consultation
Will this affect entourage advancement at all, or will they still just advance when the main PC advances?
DM
 GM, 3097 posts
Sat 6 Jul 2019
at 20:08
Re: OOC Consultation
Entourages stay the same  :)  I am not looking forward to calculating this for the PCs and main  NPCs ......  let alone any other characters
Adoven
 Player, 486 posts
 HP 34 AC 18 F+2 R+8 W+2
 Rogue / Bard
Sun 7 Jul 2019
at 03:51
Re: OOC Consultation
Sounds like you're setting yourself up with even more complications. But it does cut back on how often you will need to wrestle with them.
DM
 GM, 3098 posts
Sun 7 Jul 2019
at 05:54
Re: OOC Consultation
In reply to Adoven (msg # 85):

It may  not be as bad  as you think - or I first thought :)

Spreadsheets are my friend.  And I am going to work in big handfuls.  The only thing that really needs calculating is the  adventuring XP - and a practice run on your current Varnhold  section  only took about 15 minutes, once I had done the groundwork.    All the rest are either arbitrary values or easily calculated from information I work out already.

I'll tweak the Story Line awards to make sure that we get to a base position of one level advancement per 'season/year' - for the highest level members of each party.

Characters whose players post and take a fairly active part in the game -  will progress a level every 'season' as we have been doing so far.

Those who participate enthusiastically in the various aspects of the game, and/or travel with higher level characters will get more XP and should level slightly faster.

Those who finish up along for the ride (or with me running them)  will get Less XP,, won't advance quite so fast and will lose levels compared to their peers.  They will slip down the pecking order -  but still be playable if their player decides to act on their behalf.
Cass Mordane
 Player, 408 posts
 Bard, Sword Scion
 Sometime Diplomat
Sun 7 Jul 2019
at 06:01
Re: OOC Consultation
So long as you are having fun and not headaches with the game.

What type of additional RP are you interested in seeing outside of the adventures and the kingdom building meetings?
DM
 GM, 3100 posts
Sun 7 Jul 2019
at 06:34
Re: OOC Consultation
Cass Mordane:
What type of additional RP are you interested in seeing outside of the adventures and the kingdom building meetings?


All sorts :)  here are some examples -  but  it is certainly not an exhaustive list of character driven RP I have enjoyed in this game.
  • I liked Andalon's reaction  to being asked to donate to the Three Ladies School - It's a loan, I want it back next round -  was exactly right for a cleric of Abadar.
  • I enjoyed the conversations between Alisa, Dara and Domitius in the  Library of Iomedae.
  • I liked it when the bards took  the opportunity to perform on-stage at the Dragon's Den.  I would also enjoy watching Kendrick's comedy juggling act ...
  • Quinn / El and their adventuring relationship.  Mind you that was a really difficult one to pull off and circumstances got in the way of its development.
  • Going further back - I enjoyed the hesitant relationship between Aris'ta and Rook, and I enjoyed the more calculated relationship between Cyrus and Valoria.  Or Pipre's 'ownership' of the bathing pool at Olegs.
  • Marik and Mariam's relationship was starting to bear fruit - but unfortunately it looks like Mariam's player has left us  :(  Still, I am sure one of the other 'ladies' (or gentlemen) will soon spot his potential as a life partner ....


Anything that bring out your character's personality.  Posting partners are often a good way of doing that, although it doesn't have to be just one other character or  a  romantic relationship -  look at the way Wyn, Berta and Gedd banter ...
DM
 GM, 3103 posts
Sun 7 Jul 2019
at 15:04
Re: OOC Consultation
I have updated the first post of the House Rules thread with the rationale behind the time changes ...

link to a message in this game

... although I am still open to comments.
DM
 GM, 3104 posts
Mon 8 Jul 2019
at 08:46
Re: OOC Consultation
And I have just added the XP Award overview to the House Rules thread.
DM
 GM, 3270 posts
Fri 27 Dec 2019
at 10:26
Re: OOC Consultation
Things are moving on ...  Xmas is a marvellous time for finding time to sit down and concentrate.  Ironically, it looks like my Xmas break might well run until the 20 Jan - as I appear to be getting all those extra hours  back in one big lump!  Mind you the last week or two of January is going to be manic .....   I WILL get it to a nice steady three days per week .... one day .....

I have been working on the Wiki - and will keep working (on and off) for the next couple of weeks -  then I hope to start the next Campaign Round.

The current over view is that there will be once Fuzzy:Campaign Round per game year, that will see all the characters get one year older, and all the Entourage-Assistants level up (if they are eligible).

The various kingdom building bits will happen during the Campaign Round as well.  BPs will be allocated, and you will be allowed to spend then, or cash them in.  I have changed the BP vs GP section to say that you need to sell a building to convert your BPs  to cash.  You can either sell to other PCs or NPCs -  and I will be introducing a number of new NPCs in the next Campaign Round.  If you are thinking of buying in another areas (such as Jovvox, Mivon or Restov)  you might want to start investing in properties that you are prepared to sell now  :)  You can find the (slightly) modified rules at http://rp.baileymail.net/doku....ystems2:build_points

The down time rules are pretty much completed now as well at http://rp.baileymail.net/doku....n_systems2:down_time -  I have not yet considered the cost of poisons, in respect to the changes I have made in the effects of poison -  but it is still in mead as something to do.  Unfortunately that is an area that  I do not properly understand and it might take me a while to get my head around.

Buying and selling can happen through the new 'Guild Hall'  that Henry will build for the Midmarch chapter - although there will be a small fee for management services (writing contracts, agree terms, registering ownership etc)

The Kingdom Rules stay pretty much the same -  except that I want to present them differently in the new campaign page.  I certainly want to make them a bit easier to understand and break them down into easier to use sections.

It is all coming together on this wiki page ...   http://rp.baileymail.net/doku....paign_systems2:start

As always, I am happy to consider comments and thoughts.

This message was last edited by the GM at 10:44, Fri 27 Dec 2019.

DM
 GM, 3271 posts
Sat 28 Dec 2019
at 14:37
Re: OOC Consultation
And now an update for the Secondary Settlement rules.  They haven't really changed very much and this won't affect anything in place, and shouldn't really affect anything (that I know of) that is planned.

These rules never really got beyond an advanced draft stage -  and questions from Safiya, Marik and Adoven have had me thinking about them for a while.

  • I have restricted them to hexes with a Village, Town or City.  (in the past you could build them in patrolled wilderness hexes!)
  • I have removed the requirement for a defensive building and changed the benefits that some developments provide.
  • I have restricted them to being smaller than their Primary Settlement
    prices have come down (for some items)


http://rp.baileymail.net/doku....secondarysettlements

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:38, Sat 28 Dec 2019.

DM
 GM, 3278 posts
Tue 31 Dec 2019
at 22:13
Re: OOC Consultation
I have updated the Wilderness Stronghold rules.

Looking back on it, Under the old version of the rules it wasn't really possible to build a Wilderness Stronghold without external funding. Henry (as governor) has subsidised the developments in the Northern Narlemarch - but that isn't the point.

I have tweaked the rules to bring basic costs down, and then expanded the Secondary Settlements concept into a wilderness setting.  It is a touch more complicated -  but it can be used to build a Stronghold that can expand under its own steam  :)


http://rp.baileymail.net/doku....fensive_developments
DM
 GM, 3279 posts
Fri 3 Jan 2020
at 14:57
Re: OOC Consultation
And, I think, I have finished with the Stronghold rules now.

There have been some changes to the Rural rules -  partly due to some discussions with Marik and Safiya made a little while ago.  I have taken away the Rural Developments that gave Consumption benefits and replaced them with secondary developments, that make a lot more sense  :)

However, there have been a couple of minor changes to secondary developments, the main one restricted them to size 4, but they are much easier to build and establish.  Iron Keep operates as a village, so there are no problems there, although I may need to tweak a rule or two so that we can set up mining villages in the future.

I still need to tidy up Rewards, Titles and honours -  but they aren't liable to change very much, if at all.

http://rp.baileymail.net/doku....paign_systems2:start


Assuming no one spots anything horrendous in those rules -  I intend to start a Kingdom Round next week (I am on vacation the week after).  It is my intention to hold two campaign rounds per RL calendar year (each one representing a game year)  one around about Xmas  and one around about mid-summer.

However, there will be four Downtime rounds per RL year (each representing half a game year) -  Summer, winter, and the two equinoxes, so that you can spread your crafting / down time out a bit more. It also means I stand a chance of thinking about the costs of  poisons before the spring downtime.
Cass Mordane
 Player, 460 posts
 Bard, Sword Scion
 Sometime Diplomat
Sun 5 Jan 2020
at 02:21
Re: OOC Consultation
“You earn your Profession/Craft check result in silver pieces per day of dedicated work... "


How does this work for skills that are not directly listed as a profession or craft? The diplomacy skill for Cass as an example.
Adoven
 Player, 554 posts
 HP 34 AC 18 F+2 R+8 W+2
 Rogue / Bard
Sun 5 Jan 2020
at 08:56
Re: OOC Consultation
Will the changes to Strongholds alter the costs of Fortified Villas or other Hinterland structures?
DM
 GM, 3295 posts
Sun 5 Jan 2020
at 10:22
Re: OOC Consultation
Cass -  It doesn't  :)  There isn't any casual work for casual or Part-Time Diplomats :)

Adoven - Nope.  The only changes to Hinterland Structures (which could affect your longer term plans) is that I have limited them to  size 4 rather than size 6.
Adoven
 Player, 555 posts
 HP 34 AC 18 F+2 R+8 W+2
 Rogue / Bard
Sun 5 Jan 2020
at 17:46
Re: OOC Consultation
I see.
DM
 GM, 3304 posts
Sun 5 Jan 2020
at 17:57
Re: OOC Consultation
Yep.