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Author Topic: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)  (Read 345034 times)

Kilojoule Proton

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Re: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)
« Reply #3255 on: January 12, 2018, 01:10:55 am »

I'm running a god game on Discord right now with about 10 players, and it's only been 4 days, but I'm already running into issues, probably mostly of system design. (I realize many of the players will probably see this, but I don't think anything's going to improve without an outside perspective)

My main questions so far are as follows:
  • What sorts of game decisions shouldn't I put up to a vote? I tend to prefer putting issues up for voting, but I understand this can lead to mob justice, and this isn't intended to be a game of Mafia :P
  • Right now, actions are parceled out once a turn, and negating an effect requires approximately double the actions used to cause the effect. Should I use a different ratio than 2:1? A different system?
  • How do I deal with player-player vendettas so they don't take up all of the unwilling target's time?
  • Is there a good way to balance freeform whole game-scale effects? I feel like they add a nice reward for those interested in writing them up and let players' actions have lasting consequences, but I'm not too good at actually assigning numbers to their costs and what not
  • Spoiler (select to show): [I've deliberately been avoiding putting in over-arching NPC antagonists to keep the focus on the players. Is this a good idea? I know Paranoia, for example, partially counteracts the vendettas by having bigger trouble to shoot.]
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IronyOwl

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Re: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)
« Reply #3256 on: January 12, 2018, 02:08:03 am »

    • What sorts of game decisions shouldn't I put up to a vote? I tend to prefer putting issues up for voting, but I understand this can lead to mob justice, and this isn't intended to be a game of Mafia :P
    What issues?

    • Right now, actions are parceled out once a turn, and negating an effect requires approximately double the actions used to cause the effect. Should I use a different ratio than 2:1? A different system?
    Generally speaking, straight negations suck. They're boring. Try to get more creative than a straight negation, and consider just disallowing things that have to be or necessitate negations from others.

    As an example, consider the following myths:
    Quote
    Grok was angry, so he instantly wiped out all of Mok's followers with hellfire. They're dead now.
    Quote
    Grok was angry, so he turned all of Mok's followers to stone. Mok oiled them up so they could move again, and they got to liking their new stony hides. They grew fat off all the oil, though. They're ogres now.
    Quote
    Grok was angry, so he began turning Mok's followers to stone. Mok heard of this and decided to play a trick on Grok, by carving stone statues of his followers and leaving them in his path. When Grok tried to turn these followers to stone, they came to life instead, and because they were born of stone to begin with could not be turned back. Grok was so mad when he figured out how he'd been tricked that he taught the stone-followers how to fight with their bare hands, which being born from stone were far harder than those of their fleshy companions. They even began worshiping Grok as thanks, and beating up Mok's other followers when they didn't get their way. Mok's followers have a weird stonepriest heretic caste thing now, it's pretty complicated.

    You notice how the first one sucks? Adding a resurrection war probably wouldn't help, because it's basically a negation. They were there, now they're dead, the world is less interesting.

    The second is arguably better, and also a lot more myth-like. If you turn somebody to stone and they come back, it's a negation again. A negation of a negation, so whether that's better or worse depends on whether the original condition or new condition were more interesting, but it's still the kind of turn/action you can skip over entirely because the net effect is nil. This one has permanent effects, but they're negotiable, which is arguably more interesting and definitely more myth-sounding.

    The third is a little rambling, but also reasonably interesting and meaningful while still being back-and-forth. There's no proper negation without some kind of side effect (stoneborn), and a lot of it isn't really a negation at all (well your new followers are my followers, and bully your nerds).

    My advice, generally speaking, would be to lean towards the latter methods. They come at the dual costs of potentially being less satisfying for victims (my perfect elves are gray-skinned now and there's no physical way to change them back) and requiring more creativity on you and your players' parts (how much fire is an okay amount of fire, how do I undo my people being seduced by trees), but in my opinion avoiding boring yes-no cycles is worth it.

    As an addendum, when following this advice or not: Consider adding stacking costs/difficulty/diminishing returns to modifying the same thing over and over again. Adding every blessing under the sun to your elves or yes-no cycling a city into and out of effective existence (but creatively!) can also be boring. Sometimes it's better to just call a thing done, or at least done for now.

    • How do I deal with player-player vendettas so they don't take up all of the unwilling target's time?
    Yeesh, no good answer for that one.

    If at all possible, just talk to the players in question, because this sounds like it might be a meta issue more than an in game issue.

    If you need a mechanical solution, consider adding some kind of diminishing returns to aggressing the same player over and over again. Maybe a ramping cost/difficulty to affect them, maybe ease of crafting player-specific defenses, but something to make the aggressor reconsider and/or be less than 100% efficient.

    • Is there a good way to balance freeform whole game-scale effects? I feel like they add a nice reward for those interested in writing them up and let players' actions have lasting consequences, but I'm not too good at actually assigning numbers to their costs and what not
    No. You can try by breaking them down into their component parts and asking what effects that chunk has, but gamewide freeform stuff is by its nature rather far-reaching and hard to quantify. The really obvious stuff like "I kill everything everywhere" is fairly easy to break down and price, but adding infinite knowledge obelisks everywhere or inventing star magic is fairly hard to compare to local actions, especially if players can come along and modify them further later on.

    • Spoiler (select to show): [I've deliberately been avoiding putting in over-arching NPC antagonists to keep the focus on the players. Is this a good idea? I know Paranoia, for example, partially counteracts the vendettas by having bigger trouble to shoot.]
    Can go either way. I'd probably go the Elder Scrolls route of having optional quest objectives- could be antagonists, opportunities, friendly NPCs, anything- to grab people's attention if they're bored or looking for an edge, but make it mild enough that they can keep doing their own thing with each other if they prefer.
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    Kilojoule Proton

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    Re: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)
    « Reply #3257 on: January 12, 2018, 03:19:10 am »

    Thanks for the response! It's certainly nice to have an outside perspective on the problems :)

    • What sorts of game decisions shouldn't I put up to a vote? I tend to prefer putting issues up for voting, but I understand this can lead to mob justice, and this isn't intended to be a game of Mafia :P
    What issues?
    Spoiler: Example 1 (click to show/hide)

    More abstract examples include game mechanics, but I think I've gotten better at choosing which ones to poll (e.g. setting tweaks) and which ones to fiat (e.g. the base mechanics).

    • Right now, actions are parceled out once a turn, and negating an effect requires approximately double the actions used to cause the effect. Should I use a different ratio than 2:1? A different system?
    Generally speaking, straight negations suck. They're boring. Try to get more creative than a straight negation, and consider just disallowing things that have to be or necessitate negations from others.

    --snip--
    This was one of the more straightorward patches, thanks

    • How do I deal with player-player vendettas so they don't take up all of the unwilling target's time?
    Yeesh, no good answer for that one.

    If at all possible, just talk to the players in question, because this sounds like it might be a meta issue more than an in game issue.--snip--
    I guess there's no escaping solving the OOC issues first after all. Thanks for the mechanical suggestions all the same; maybe they'll work as preventative measures?

    The next response definitely makes sense, although I'd hoped there would be a novel magic solution of some sort

    The last will be a bit tricky to integrate [now that most of the setting's details are somewhat concrete, but there are some nice player-made hooks, so] there may yet be a chance

    Thanks again for the thoughtful response :)
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    Supernerd

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    Re: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)
    « Reply #3258 on: February 02, 2018, 07:30:10 pm »

    I have come up with yet another game concept. What do you guys think about an RPG style game where instead of creating a new character... You submit a character that you used to play as in a different game that is no longer running, and explore a land made up of the shattered pieces of long dead forum games!
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    FallacyofUrist

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    Re: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)
    « Reply #3259 on: February 02, 2018, 08:14:44 pm »

    Neato.
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    GiglameshDespair

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    Re: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)
    « Reply #3260 on: February 03, 2018, 07:06:15 am »

    Have fun balancing it.
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    _DivideByZero_

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    Re: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)
    « Reply #3261 on: February 03, 2018, 07:14:51 pm »

    I have come up with yet another game concept. What do you guys think about an RPG style game where instead of creating a new character... You submit a character that you used to play as in a different game that is no longer running, and explore a land made up of the shattered pieces of long dead forum games!
    Have fun balancing it.

    If you use a mechanic that gives players some sort of finite resource that limits their power regardless of bonuses or stats, then perhaps you could have everyone getting along fine.
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    Re: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)
    « Reply #3262 on: February 03, 2018, 07:29:53 pm »

    I'm more concerned about the player's diligence in posting their actions. Nothing kills my games faster than a couple of players who fail to promptly post an action after every update. The idea with this is that it would permit me to do a background check of players to ensure that they have been active participants of a game they have played in the past.

    Compared to dealing with inactive players, balance is crazy easy.
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    RoseHeart

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    Re: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)
    « Reply #3263 on: February 03, 2018, 08:27:52 pm »

    Reminds me of Altered Carbon on Netflix.
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    Tyrant Leviathan

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    Re: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)
    « Reply #3264 on: February 20, 2018, 07:01:06 pm »

    Notice: Here is the final list of updated material considering running.

    Pangaea 2.0: This time the players (seven in all plus me the npc king) Rule council style of our tribe. And based on you the pcs and my npc wishes meet to decide what happens to the tribe.

    Edit: Wylding Quest:!Forgot this. A suggestion game adventure where you play as a lone wylding creature in the world of Pangaea.

    Aegis Project: Here good guys are weapon x draftees with implanted science super powers off to Mars to invade it. Due to a terraforming error that murdered the colonists.

    Ultimate Weapon: Weapon x as bad guys. Either on the run from them, escaping their base or bring agents for them.


    Monster Slaying Guild: Typical rpg in Fantasy setting with some technological innovation. There is a guild that protects the people from monsters. But, there is a dark conspiracy behind it. Thinking 3-5 players and I GM the rest.
    « Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 07:02:51 pm by Tyrant Leviathan »
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    Pavellius

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    Re: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)
    « Reply #3265 on: February 23, 2018, 12:10:27 pm »

    I'm thinking of running an Arms Race parody called Worms Race. Most of the mechanics would be the same, but in addition to designing worm-sized equipment, each side could mutate their troops. Of course, the results of mutations could be a little... unpredictable. Oil and ore would be replaced with organic and inorganic waste. Also, the various theatres would be represented by different soil layers.

    This game wouldn't be too balanced or realistic, but it would still have limits and design difficulty guidelines.

    Thoughts?
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    FallacyofUrist

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    Re: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)
    « Reply #3266 on: February 25, 2018, 01:22:53 pm »

    What we need... is an Arms Race subforum. Maybe.

    Sure, why not. We can do all sorts of Arms Races! Culinary Race! Pirate vs. Ninja Race! The possibilities are endless!
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    Culise

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    Re: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)
    « Reply #3267 on: February 25, 2018, 02:28:02 pm »

    Arms race, where the job of the players is to create the most and greatest limbs with which to wield weapons.  At some point, one side creates Shiva and becomes death, destroyer of worlds.
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    AoshimaMichio

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    Re: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)
    « Reply #3268 on: February 26, 2018, 11:22:56 am »

    Arms race, where the job of the players is to create the most and greatest limbs with which to wield weapons.  At some point, one side creates Shiva and becomes death, destroyer of worlds.

    Supersoldier race.
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    FallacyofUrist

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    Re: Gaming Block (Game Discussion Thread) (Totally Not Roller's Block)
    « Reply #3269 on: February 26, 2018, 12:47:47 pm »

    Eheheh...

    Mutant Race. In which people may actually do catgirls.
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