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 Post subject: Re: Spending PAs and Combat
PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:24 pm 
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higgins wrote:
If the whole group decides that a player should receive a reward for creating a "Wow!" moment, why not simply give him a PA point that he can allocate where he chooses? Or is there a particular reason why this wow factor should result in Drama-like benefits, not PA improvements?


PA/SA affects pacing of the game and character advancement. I want to reward all the things I've mentioned with Drama (playing Flaws/Instincts, good role-play, awesome narrative, etc), but I don't want those to affect advancement.

This comes, I think, from playing games like D&D, nWOD, and Cortex. In D&D everything was about leveling up. In nWOD my storyteller awarded the occasional bonus die for "stunts" (well-described actions, usually in combat). Staying in character was something that got rewarded with special XP that had limitations on its expenditure. In Cortex you could play almost an entire session just using Plot Points instead of rolling dice at all. I wanted TROS to be a happy medium, I guess.

Merging them to me seems a little too much like Cortex where they didn't really have any weight. I want my players to pet their Drama, value it, like Action Points in D&D, and not think they're going to necessary get one after every scene that involves their story.

Again, if the quorum here holds to merging the progression of SA with the scene-based Drama/Luck into something called PA, that's fine. I imagine we're all going to houserule in and out of the things we like and don't like.

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 Post subject: Re: Spending PAs and Combat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:40 am 
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Seanachai wrote:
Again, if the quorum here holds to merging the progression of SA with the scene-based Drama/Luck into something called PA, that's fine.


I lean towards keeping them separate. Follow the plot, develop your character. Make the game fun for everyone at the table, gain more capacity to influence the game environment.

I'm also concerned by the sheer amount of "Drama" resource that will be available at the gaming table. I prefer Luck over Drama for TRoS, largely because it makes it a more precious resource.

Finally, I'm not sure having plenty of resource available will encourage those players who generally don't use it to give up that reluctance. I can see some players being bemused by the idea that they would give up character development in order to influence a scene. So they might transfer a couple of points across into Drama as insurance but otherwise their PAs get used for developing the character.

But as I said at the start, I'm just leaning this way. If others feel strongly then so be it, happy to fall in line.

Regards,

Ian P.

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 Post subject: Re: Spending PAs and Combat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:09 am 
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Seanachai wrote:
To me limiting it to 1 Drama point per scene means:

1. No worries about hoarders dropping 20 Drama points at once.
2. Draws players attention to the division of story into scenes.
3. Encourages teamwork

Ah, I see. Personally, I have an issue of limiting Drama expenditure, at least limiting it so strictly.

You see, my agenda with Drama ist o get players to use it to influence the story, to be proactive in its expenditure, to make the story really their own by introducing story elements. I am afraid that if only 1 Drama per scene allowed, players would hang on to their Drama in case they need the 1 point they are allowed to spend to get their character out of a tight, maybe life-threatening spot. I am worried that such a strict limitation of Drama expenditure would result in less players using Drama les soften to actually influence the story.

Seanachai wrote:
If the players are going, "Wow! That was awesome!", the player is going to get a Drama point.

If the rules of EoS made it abundantly clear that this should be rare, a reward given out only now and then when somebody „wows“ the table, I cool with that.It maight even help to resolve this concern:
Ian.Plumb wrote:
Finally, I'm not sure having plenty of resource available will encourage those players who generally don't use it to give up that reluctance. I can see some players being bemused by the idea that they would give up character development in order to influence a scene.

Well, I can only say that you can’t force somebody to be proactive. You can institute mechanics allowing it, you can encourage it, but if somebody won’t do it, that’s that. Let’s just hope that EoS will attract players interested in actively shaping the story. I think we’re doing a lot to attract this type of player.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
I lean towards keeping them separate.

Even though not keeping them seperate does originate with me, I do also see merit in keeping them apart. This is something where I could really see myself going either way.

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 Post subject: Re: Spending PAs and Combat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:36 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
I'm also concerned by the sheer amount of "Drama" resource that will be available at the gaming table. I prefer Luck over Drama for TRoS, largely because it makes it a more precious resource.
Do you see it more precious because its lesser quantity, or because of its ability to overturn failures?

Ian.Plumb wrote:
I can see some players being bemused by the idea that they would give up character development in order to influence a scene. So they might transfer a couple of points across into Drama as insurance but otherwise their PAs get used for developing the character.
The needed conversion and extra mechanics aside, I can't see a difference in reintroducing Drama and simply giving a cap of 3 per scene in spending PAs.

- both have following the PAs as a main source of their increase
- both limit the number of PA points the character has at his disposal

plus sides:
- no conversion
- no extra mechanic
- never forgetting to convert
- never needed to explain the difference

minus sides:
- if player is awarded a point for good roleplay/ideas, he can spend it wherever he likes, instead of chucking into a the same category every time (is this really a minus? IMO it's a plus)
- makes the resource less precious (but that's IMO not an issue when converting from PAs is allowed)

Am I missing anything? :)

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 Post subject: Re: Spending PAs and Combat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:08 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
I'm also concerned by the sheer amount of "Drama" resource that will be available at the gaming table. I prefer Luck over Drama for TRoS, largely because it makes it a more precious resource.


higgins wrote:
Do you see it more precious because its lesser quantity, or because of its ability to overturn failures?


They go hand-in-hand -- the scarcer the resource, the more value, the more capability.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
I can see some players being bemused by the idea that they would give up character development in order to influence a scene. So they might transfer a couple of points across into Drama as insurance but otherwise their PAs get used for developing the character.


higgins wrote:
The needed conversion and extra mechanics aside, I can't see a difference in reintroducing Drama and simply giving a cap of 3 per scene in spending PAs.


Apologies, I wasn't referring to the mechanic so much as the use. In other words, I can see some players being bemused by the idea that they should, or would want, to restrict character advancement in order to influence the scene that is unfolding.

On the other hand, if they are earning a resource that can only be used for this purpose -- while earning another that is used for character advancement -- then perhaps they would be encouraged to give it a go.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Spending PAs and Combat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:07 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
I'm also concerned by the sheer amount of "Drama" resource that will be available at the gaming table. I prefer Luck over Drama for TRoS, largely because it makes it a more precious resource.
higgins wrote:
Do you see it more precious because its lesser quantity, or because of its ability to overturn failures?
Ian.Plumb wrote:
They go hand-in-hand -- the scarcer the resource, the more value, the more capability.
Hm, I don't think this is so clear cut... quantity and potency are totally different axes.

Let's take four different examples on these quantity/potency axes:
1) scarce resource that is less potent (can't turn failures to success) PAs with scene caps
2) scarce resource that is more potent (can turn failures to success) Luck
3) abundant resource that is less potent (can't turn failures to success) PAs with no scene caps
4) abundant resource that is more potent (can turn failures to success) Drama

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 Post subject: Re: Spending PAs and Combat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:48 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
You see, my agenda with Drama ist o get players to use it to influence the story, to be proactive in its expenditure, to make the story really their own by introducing story elements.


They do! That's what Spiritual Attributes are for! :-) Stories and scenes are going to be built around creating a conflict between two player values (Loyalty to my Lord; Protecting the Innocent). Players make choices that drive the story forward and that drives forward their character progression. It's what we all love about SAs.

Drama, on the other hand, is about tickling that part of us that love to have the limelight in a scene. Players who are really focused on good playing (including playing Flaws and Instincts, which I haven't heard anyone commented on yet) get a reward that lets them take the narrative for a moment. A player being given the narrative is by far the greatest reward in an RPG game. I LOVE it when my storyteller says, "Wow, Sean. You totally slaughtered that guy. Go ahead and describe how that happened" or when an NPC gets introduced that I know is connected to my backstory. All my friends turn their eyes over to me as the storyteller for just a moment or two.

That's what Drama is for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Spending PAs and Combat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:55 pm 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
I'm also concerned by the sheer amount of "Drama" resource that will be available at the gaming table. I prefer Luck over Drama for TRoS, largely because it makes it a more precious resource.


How much Drama do you expect to be at the table? From how I was running it, players never had more than 1 or 2 points at a time. Since they only got to spend 1 Drama per scene they usually kept it for the scenes that were more centered on them, so it was rarely the case that two players were using Drama at the same time. This did happen, though, in scenes just before steel was drawn. Players would spend Drama to describe a convenient place to hide, or an obstacle that they could use in combat (although I forgot to use Terrain Rolls around that most of the time - stupid me!), and the like.

This is what I was hoping for:

Player 1: ...OK. I use a Drama point.
Players 2-4: Awesome! *wait nervously to see what P1 decides*

What I don't want is...

Player 1: ...OK. I use another Drama point.
Players 2-4: Yeah, of course.

higgins wrote:
4) abundant resource that is more potent (can turn failures to success) Drama


I never used Drama to turn failures to successes, just botches to normal failures. Drama also granted 10-agains, which players loved to drop when all their SAs were firing and they were going for the bad guy. It was the ultimate reward for holding on to that Drama point throughout the session, or making sure to play their Flaw to the hilt before they knew a fight was coming. Meta-game, sure, but it was their character they were playing!

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 Post subject: Re: Spending PAs and Combat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:02 pm 
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Seanachai wrote:
Drama also granted 10-agains, which players loved to drop when all their SAs were firing and they were going for the bad guy.
This was the first Drama use I crossed out when seeing the list in Companion. A plain and boring game mechanical advantage. Where's the DRAMA in that?

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 Post subject: Re: Spending PAs and Combat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:39 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
You see, my agenda with Drama ist o get players to use it to influence the story, to be proactive in its expenditure, to make the story really their own by introducing story elements.
Seanachai wrote:
They do! That's what Spiritual Attributes are for! :-)

The way I see it, SAs/PAs merely tell the referee in more or less general terms what stories the player would like to experience – they give the player discretion what his stories will be about. Drama, on the other hand, allows him to directly influence aspects of the story.

“The countess kinda fancies my character.”

“One of the jailers turns out to be an old war buddy of my guy.”

“There is some construction work going on at the castle, and the scaffolding offers an great opportunity to sneak over the walls easily.”

You can’t do that with SAs, but that kind of stuff is what I want to see – players actually adding elements to the script on their own, making the story really a communal one. Rerolls, hair’s breadth rescues and second chances don’t interest me much, and I consider them a very lame way to use Drama. I would like to install as many mechanics as possible to get players to use Drama to change and add to the story, and I think that this cannot be achieved if they are explicitly or implicitly encouraged to hold on to Drama as a life-safer.

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 Post subject: Re: Spending PAs and Combat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:43 pm 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
I'm also concerned by the sheer amount of "Drama" resource that will be available at the gaming table. I prefer Luck over Drama for TRoS, largely because it makes it a more precious resource.


Seanachai wrote:
How much Drama do you expect to be at the table? From how I was running it, players never had more than 1 or 2 points at a time.


Luck (TRoS) = 5

Drama (Companion) = 10

EoS equivalent = up to 25 - no limit to the pool depending on the proposal, potential limit per scene if that proposal gets up.

Seanachai wrote:
Since they only got to spend 1 Drama per scene they usually kept it for the scenes that were more centered on them, so it was rarely the case that two players were using Drama at the same time. This did happen, though, in scenes just before steel was drawn. Players would spend Drama to describe a convenient place to hide, or an obstacle that they could use in combat (although I forgot to use Terrain Rolls around that most of the time - stupid me!), and the like.


We use Luck/Drama quite differently to your group. Drama is used by players to add complications to other players actions, rather than the referee being responsible for all the complications. We certainly use Luck/Drama for changing failures to Successes -- metagame tactical considerations are a primary use as it allows the player to direct the story in an unlikely (high TN) direction rather than fortune directing those unlikely turn of events. As well as the usual uses.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Spending PAs and Combat
PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:05 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
I would like to install as many mechanics as possible to get players to use Drama to change and add to the story, and I think that this cannot be achieved if they are explicitly or implicitly encouraged to hold on to Drama as a life-safer.


Now this makes sense to me. Your point is that since Drama can save them mechanically, they won't spend it narrative-ly. Using the EOS PAs means they have enough to do both. I get that. Does anyone have any ideas how we could address the concerns I brought up?

1. Encourage playing Flaws and Instincts to the hilt.
2. Encourage narrative flare.

I wouldn't want to give a PA for either of these since - as both Ian and I have mentioned - PAs are also tied into character advancement/story pacing.

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 Post subject: Re: Spending PAs and Combat
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:19 pm 
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Seanachai wrote:
I wouldn't want to give a PA for either of these since - as both Ian and I have mentioned - PAs are also tied into character advancement/story pacing.
As these "playing flaws" and other bonuses of the like come into question when the majority of the group feels that the player deserves an extra bonus for this... Can anyone explain to me why it is bad that the player can use this reward for the character advancement/story pacing?

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 Post subject: Re: Spending PAs and Combat
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:32 pm 
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higgins wrote:
Seanachai wrote:
I wouldn't want to give a PA for either of these since - as both Ian and I have mentioned - PAs are also tied into character advancement/story pacing.
As these "playing flaws" and other bonuses of the like come into question when the majority of the group feels that the player deserves an extra bonus for this... Can anyone explain to me why it is bad that the player can use this reward for the character advancement/story pacing?


I see what you're saying. If there was no (mechanical) benefit from playing a Flaw or allowing my Instinct to complicate things, I simply never would. If I had a Flaw that allowed me to "level" up my character faster, I would NEVER want to buy it off. Tying Flaw and Instinct to Drama, I thought, was a happy medium. I thought the nWOD mechanic of using Virtue-Vice for willpower points was a nice model.

Then again, maybe it's only me who plays with min-maxing meta-gamers. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Spending PAs and Combat
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:50 pm 
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Seanachai wrote:
I see what you're saying. If there was no (mechanical) benefit from playing a Flaw or allowing my Instinct to complicate things, I simply never would.
If you have no (mechanical) drawback from having a Flaw, I'd say you're doing it wrong. :)

Seanachai wrote:
I thought the nWOD mechanic of using Virtue-Vice for willpower points was a nice model.
I never used Virtue/Vice but rather allowed WP to restore when the character achieved something. Telling your rival off would restore a point, saving your loved one's life would restore it all.

Seanachai wrote:
If I had a Flaw that allowed me to "level" up my character faster, I would NEVER want to buy it off.
However, the Flaw mechanic was something I did embrace in nWoD. oWoD gave character creation points for taking flaws and that just blows -- take the flaw, boost other areas, forget the flaw. nWoD awarded an extra experience point when your Flaw complicated things in a major way. Removing its effects from character creation both gave the Flaw more a role-playing, rather than a technical aspect and also made sure that the player would think about how to "benefit" from it, giving him motivation to bring it into play.

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