Resetting vs. refreshing Possibilities at the start of an act.

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dev/null
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Resetting vs. refreshing Possibilities at the start of an act.

Postby dev/null » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:24 pm

TorgHacker wrote:Sorry, yes. At one point it was refresh but now it's reset. So if you have more than 3 you go down to 3.


This makes me a little sad, seeing how it seems quite easy to burn through possibilities with abandon, and through playing cards and providing hurdles you end up with more than 3 quite easily, even without hoarding them.

I know during RPG day, we were spending possibilities like crazy and we still would find ourselves having 4-6 of them, spending them on nearly every other roll.

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Re: Preview #9 - The Drama, Destiny, and Cosm Decks

Postby Kuildeous » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:51 pm

dev/null wrote:I know during RPG day, we were spending possibilities like crazy and we still would find ourselves having 4-6 of them, spending them on nearly every other roll.


Storm Knights reducing their Possibilities down at the end of the act is the universe telling the GM to throw in a ravagon here and there.
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Re: Preview #9 - The Drama, Destiny, and Cosm Decks

Postby Gargoyle » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:49 am

Kuildeous wrote:
dev/null wrote:I know during RPG day, we were spending possibilities like crazy and we still would find ourselves having 4-6 of them, spending them on nearly every other roll.


Storm Knights reducing their Possibilities down at the end of the act is the universe telling the GM to throw in a ravagon here and there.


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dev/null
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Re: Preview #9 - The Drama, Destiny, and Cosm Decks

Postby dev/null » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:37 am

tl;dr - Don't make players feel punished for doing well.

Perhaps a soft cap should be imposed for the refresh/reset of possibilities. As it clearly seems possible to end up with more than three while using them quite regularly through the use of things like subplots and/or cosm cards, and the more players at the table, the fewer people who need to potentially spend possibilities. Also, just the idea that rolls may be decent enough to not need them as often.

Players don't know when Acts are going to change, either. It just seems like it will result in players feeling like they are having something they've earned taken away, as the only way to get more than you start with is to earn them. And this is being done, currently, with no explanation, other than on the forums currently as to discourage hoarding. Definitely not what you want to tell players when they are losing those possibilities, worse if they just got them in the conflict that ended the Act.

Has 1-2 possibilities going into encounter, plays Nemesis and gains three possibilities. Plays Trap! as combat is winding down, not realizing this is the end of the Act, so it happens fairly immediately. With having 2-3 possibilities spent over the course of the encounter, along with a hero and/or drama so maybe 5 spent possibilities during the encounter. This leaves the PC with 1-3 at this point. The Trap! happens, takes some wounds, which are soaked with a possibility (or possibility card), and now we've got a character with between 2-5 possibilities, without any hoarding at all. Having gone into a combat fairly low, and spending reasonably. This character is now potentially facing the loss of possibilities they just gained for what reason, other than to discourage hoarding? (Nevermind the situations for others at the table who may have not had to soak damage during the fight due to range, or flubbed rolls on attacks against them.)

That immediate 3 possibilities is going to put probably most of the table over the 3 max, and they will all lose. At the very least there should be a soft cap above 3 that you reset down to as a max. Or at the very least better reasons than preventing hoarding, which is already supposed to be resolved via breaking XP out from possibilities (and trust me, hoarding possibilities is already out the window). We've been playing something of a hybridized oTorg with new rules subbed in for all things we know about from the previews at a bare minimum. We routinely find ourselves at 0 possibilities, and then up again through destiny card subplots (or trading them in for singles and a new card), cosm cards, glories, etc.

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Re: Preview #9 - The Drama, Destiny, and Cosm Decks

Postby InertiaKitty » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:15 am

I may be wrong (feel free to correct me) but a good sign that an act is about to end is a Dramatic Scene. You see that coming, start burning what you've hoarded. (I also feel like Dramatic scenes are most likely to increase your rate of expenditure organically, anyway.)
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Re: Preview #9 - The Drama, Destiny, and Cosm Decks

Postby Hobbes » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:20 am

dev/null wrote: Plays Trap! as combat is winding down, not realizing this is the end of the Act, so it happens fairly immediately. With having 2-3 possibilities spent over the course of the encounter, along with a hero and/or drama so maybe 5 spent possibilities during the encounter. This leaves the PC with 1-3 at this point. The Trap! happens, takes some wounds, which are soaked with a possibility (or possibility card), and now we've got a character with between 2-5 possibilities, without any hoarding at all.


y'know what will solve that? A Ravagon. :D

In all seriousness I think most players in an ongoing game should get a sense of the GMs pacing pretty quickly and have a good idea as to when a Scene is winding down. If players are still hoarding possibilities, likely the GM is dragging out some Scenes too long or you've sprung one too many "Gotcha!" ambushes at the end of a Scene.

Plus if the PCs are always winning how are the Core Earthers ever going to get to use the Underdog Law thing they get this time around?

But multiple players constantly ending Scenes with more possibilities than they start with is a sign they are ready for more difficult challenges.

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Re: Preview #9 - The Drama, Destiny, and Cosm Decks

Postby carldot34 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:28 am

tl:dr I don't think iot will come up as an issue

I ran both demo games and the Free RPG scenario.

Remember the cap is after an Act not, a scene. During the games I ran, I never capped the players possibilities; the players ended the sessions with 5-7 possibilities during the demos. The games were all single acts so capping never came up then. I think the end of each act is marked by a kind of breathing space or cut scene and that makes it easier to say that adrenaline levels have dropped or whatever. During the FRPGD game, there were no cards in play but there were still enough to go around for the entire act.

Personally, I will apply the cap at the end of each session, starting the next session with everyone back at 3. My group, in other games, seldom get through more that one act per evening anyway. I work it that way in 2D20 Mutant Chronicles and Conan and it seems to work fine.

FWIW, I also make awarding possibilities, action points, or whatever more mechanistic than for good role-playing or a funny joke. That is likely to weight the game towards the role-players and away from the roll-players and I have both in my group. In eTorg, I intend to generally let the players use cards to gain possibilities rather than award them for style, as that just comes down to opinion and hand-waving and I prefer to avoid putting myself in that position if possible.

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Re: Preview #9 - The Drama, Destiny, and Cosm Decks

Postby dev/null » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:32 am

a) responding to "look at this example that involves zero hoarding" by saying "dump what you're hoarding" is kind of silly.

b) ravagons are not the answer to everything. they shouldn't be anyway.

c) It doesn't even need to be a constant thing, though. If we glory, and have one or two cosm cards played, that's 3-7 possibilities right there, just from those two things, never mind what you started with.

d) Sometimes rolls are really good/really bad, sometimes they seem to favor one side completely. But if, in the course of a single encounter that is ending the act, the players come out ahead in possibilities, even by 1-2, should they really have those immediately ripped from them?

Basically, all the shouting for ravagons to solve PCs having extra possibilities is a meaningless statement. Players are losing possibilities for no apparent reasons, in game. They earn them, and then they simply poof in the next few seconds/minutes. It's a mechanic for the sake of having a mechanic, and that bothers me, especially with how absolute and arbitrary it is.

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Re: Preview #9 - The Drama, Destiny, and Cosm Decks

Postby carldot34 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:40 am

dev/null

I think the constant references to Ravagons is a kind of running joke. I think it is anyway; I never took it as a realistic proposed solution.

What solution do you suggest?

My own house-rule is likely to be that I won't pull possibilities off people unless it is a) the end of the session for that week or b) there is a long pause in the story (plane drawing red line across map kind of cut scene).

The end of session house rule is so that I don't get players hoarding week on week until I'm facing a group with 20+ possibilities a piece. And I assure the forum, I DO have a player that would do that if he thought the rules allowed it.

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Re: Preview #9 - The Drama, Destiny, and Cosm Decks

Postby Gargoyle » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:53 am

dev/null wrote:tl;dr - Don't make players feel punished for doing well.

Perhaps a soft cap should be imposed for the refresh/reset of possibilities. As it clearly seems possible to end up with more than three while using them quite regularly through the use of things like subplots and/or cosm cards, and the more players at the table, the fewer people who need to potentially spend possibilities. Also, just the idea that rolls may be decent enough to not need them as often.

Players don't know when Acts are going to change, either. It just seems like it will result in players feeling like they are having something they've earned taken away, as the only way to get more than you start with is to earn them. And this is being done, currently, with no explanation, other than on the forums currently as to discourage hoarding. Definitely not what you want to tell players when they are losing those possibilities, worse if they just got them in the conflict that ended the Act.

As said above, usually the last scene is dramatic. But if you're having issues with players not realizing it's the last scene, you could just tell them at the beginning of the scene. It's not really any more meta than saying "this is a dramatic scene". Understanding that it's the last scene is more important in TorgE so it might be a good thing to start doing, just to remind them.

Has 1-2 possibilities going into encounter, plays Nemesis and gains three possibilities. Plays Trap! as combat is winding down, not realizing this is the end of the Act, so it happens fairly immediately. With having 2-3 possibilities spent over the course of the encounter, along with a hero and/or drama so maybe 5 spent possibilities during the encounter. This leaves the PC with 1-3 at this point. The Trap! happens, takes some wounds, which are soaked with a possibility (or possibility card), and now we've got a character with between 2-5 possibilities, without any hoarding at all. Having gone into a combat fairly low, and spending reasonably. This character is now potentially facing the loss of possibilities they just gained for what reason, other than to discourage hoarding? (Nevermind the situations for others at the table who may have not had to soak damage during the fight due to range, or flubbed rolls on attacks against them.)

But they did hoard the cosm cards. Or to be more accurate, they were too conservative. They could have spent them earlier and chose not to. Not knowing the end of the Act was nigh may have been the issue, but I've also seen it where they are just afraid to play the things. Regardless, they get a new cosm card at the beginning of the new act, so it's not a big mistake.

That immediate 3 possibilities is going to put probably most of the table over the 3 max, and they will all lose. At the very least there should be a soft cap above 3 that you reset down to as a max. Or at the very least better reasons than preventing hoarding, which is already supposed to be resolved via breaking XP out from possibilities (and trust me, hoarding possibilities is already out the window). We've been playing something of a hybridized oTorg with new rules subbed in for all things we know about from the previews at a bare minimum. We routinely find ourselves at 0 possibilities, and then up again through destiny card subplots (or trading them in for singles and a new card), cosm cards, glories, etc.


Have you been awarding new cosm cards at the beginning of the act? They get a lot of possibilities from them.

The FreeRPG day rules suggested awarding possibilities for good gaming overall, clever playing, or just being entertaining. If you're not doing that frequently it could be a reason too, not so much that you need to shower them with possibilities, a couple per act seems about right, but that it encourages them spend possibilities more fluidly.

Like the others, I was mentioning ravagons tongue in cheek. Those things are deadly.

I like the cap, it's way better than one or two players hording while everyone else does the heavy lifting, but if it's not working for you it's easy enough to tweak. I'd definitely increase it if your experience is showing that it's not working. I will if I notice that.
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