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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 72 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Problems with advancement system  (Read 5973 times)
Ville
Member

Posts: 31


« on: February 27, 2003, 06:47:16 PM »

I know this has come up before but I still have some problems of character advancement system in TROS.

First, the burning of SA's to improve attributes or proficiencies. Some say that even if you burn all your passion or faith you can still roleplay it out and get those SA points back quickly. This is true but there is still a huge difference between 1 and 5 extra dice.

Secondly the advancement of proficiencies with SA's.
Why is the skill improvement so much different? Honestly, fighting of any kind is a skill. It can be improved by practice to a certain degree and after that it can be improved by doing it under pressure, like the threat of death after a failed parry.
So why the difference in the advancement Jake?
I undestand the whole "what is worth fighting for"-idea of the game so the tying of SA's to improvement of combat skills is okay to some degree but how come you decided to oprt for a different approach to "regular" skills?

Love the insight points idea though.

I have been tinkering with the idea of awarding insight points when players play according to their SA's. These points could be used like SA's to improve stats etc. (the total insight points would still be counted for that very unlikely situation of someone dying in TROS...)
The SA's would fluctuate depending on how  characters live and act.
This would still keep the SA's an important part of the game while getting rid of the things that I dislike in the improvement system?

On the other hand I could just hand out points for all the monsters killed and the gold they gather. :-O

Comments?
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Mordacc
Member

Posts: 43


« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2003, 07:38:13 PM »

Basically the way i view it is that SA points themselves are how much internal energy (or spirit) maybe related to that SA you can burn.  So, when you spend those SAs on proficiencies to improve your skill with a weapon, you are sacrificing time away from other things (like your religious duties, hunting someone, or halting your destiny of becoming king).  The way i see it is, you cant do everythign at once.
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The Riddle of Steel is that you are the weapon.  Swords, Magic, these are only tools.  Your most powerful weapon is the one between your ears.  When you embrace this, you will be invincible.
Bankuei
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2003, 09:58:07 PM »

I tend to think of SA's more like a "tension" meter, or a drama meter that reflects the up and down of tension in a story.  Typically there's a back and forth kind of deal that happens in most movies or tv shows, where the protagonist does well, gets his butt kicked, comes back, almost loses at the end, makes the big comeback, etc.  That's what I look at with the SAs being "spent".

Secondly, just as the combat system makes you have to make some serious tactical decisions, deciding when and how to use those SA's is also a big point.  Use them at the wrong time, and oops, you need those dice...One benefit though, is if they are low, usually you earn dice in the same field you would need them in, thereby allowing you to get back 2 or 3 pretty quickly. Of course, if you're in any situation where you really need those dice, you might want to start planning ahead before jumping into things("Sure, let's take on the castle!").

As far as the difference between proficiencies and skills, I can't really call it, except that the current division allows you to build up magic/combat without having to train for years on end or risk your neck in combat every step of the way.  The skills on the other hand, as players, we looked for every which way we could make a skill roll just to get the chance to up them.

These are my personal observations from play.  What problems exactly did the current SA system cause for you Ville?

Chris
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Callan S.
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Posts: 3588


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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2003, 04:58:31 PM »

Well, if weapon prof's were improved by fighting, then you'd people wanting to fight more than roleplay. The hack and slashers would be rewarded, as well as becoming even bigger hack and slashers.

When they're improved by SA, then people want to RP more. The roleplayers are rewarded.

The same question occured to me recenntly, but now I've answered myself. Things making sense is good, but that don't nessesarily (sp?) make a good game.
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Philosopher Gamer
<meaning></meaning>
Mokkurkalfe
Member

Posts: 340


« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2003, 06:12:03 AM »

I would like to point out that this isn't that much of a problem that I thought it would be. When the players want to spend their SA's they spend it on things they need. Usually, they know they need it because they have been using it a lot. So, voila, someone who does a lot of fighting will become a better fighter.
Even if the procedure isn't very logical, in the end, the results are mostly the same.
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Joakim (with a k!) Israelsson
Ville
Member

Posts: 31


« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2003, 11:21:26 AM »

Bankui the problem rose when one player wanted to spend his SA's from his passion towards his wife.
Then all the group noticed, that he would not receive any bonus dice if he had to defend her. (This naturally caused a huge laughter with a lot of jokes about love dying if a man is all the time out doing something to improve his skills with friends, like playing football or hacking off heads...)
It is a bit illogical in a game that otherwise handles SA's so beatifully.
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Valamir
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Posts: 5574


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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2003, 11:50:09 AM »

Its only illogical because you're looking for some in game cause and effect.  SAs are metagame.  They have ingame manifestations (in using and earning the dice) but spending them is metagame.  Period.

Its a tempo thing.  

So Robin Hood has just got done professing his undying devotion to Maid Marion and is flush with 5 dice of Passion (heh).  The Sheriff and his posse comes crashing in trying to sieze Marion and take her back to Prince John.  Ole Rob's player sez "hell no, I gotz me mad swordsman skillz wid my 5 dice" and slashes apart the Sheriff's men.

Later on Rob's planning for a big raid on Nottingham to rescue some merry men.  Part of the plan will require Rob shooting the hangman's noose just as the men are to be hung, so Rob figures he'd better brush up on his archery and goes into the woods for some target practice.  Rob's player takes a bunch of SA points and juices up Rob's Longbow proficiency, he spends his Passion: Marion down to 0.

Ok, so does this means Rob doesn't love Marion any more? No. (though that is what it would mean in Pendragon...but not in TROS).  Does it mean Marion is pissed that Rob's spending so much time shooting his bow with his merry men and not enough time wooing her?  No.  Does it mean when Rob gets home he's going to have trouble getting it up?  No.

It means that when Sir Guy Guisarme and his Norman knights come riding into camp that night to finish the job the Sheriff started, that Rob's mad skillz are gone.

Wait-a-minute...but WHY...why are they gone....

Because, now is the time in the story when Marion gets snatched away by Guy and locked away in a tower where Rob will have to rescue her.  Its a tempo thing.  When the SA was full...Marion was safe...Robin would have kicked Guy's ass.  SA is empty...Marion is in danger...Guy knocks Rob around, Guy takes Marion back to Nottingham for a wedding.  Rob now has to choose...rescue Marion before the wedding and leave the Merry Men to hang, or rescue the Merry Men and try not to think about Marion's wedding night.

But wait...there's more.  Because that whole cool little scene didn't come about by the GM prepping in advance that that was going to happen this session.  Oh no...SA's (as have been discussed many times) are player signals to the GM about what they want to DO in the game.  Ergo:

Player has SA Passion for Marion.
Translation: "I want my love interest for Marion to play a central role in this story".

Player has his SA maxed.
Translation: "come on GM, threaten Marion so I can demonstrate my protagonism by being more badass than Errol Flynn and Kevin Costner put together, and have a heinously large combat pool."

Player has his SA at 0:
Translation:  "Hey GM...my SA is at zeeeeero....Marion is vulnerable now...are you paying attention?  Helloooo....is this thing on?"

Its a tempo thing.
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Durgil
Member

Posts: 306


« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2003, 12:01:38 PM »

Wow, I think I finally understand what Ron Edwards said to me in another post about SA's being a metagame thing.  Thanks Valamir for turning that light on for me with the previous post.
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Tony Hamilton

Bankuei
Guest
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2003, 12:41:30 PM »

Hi Ville,

I can understand that if you're thinking of SA's as being"how much you care"then yeah, it wouldn't make sense.  I highly suggest taking a very close look at Ralph's(Valamir) post.

But, check this out:  

Your player(whom we'll call Hero for the moment) has 0 SA for his Wife.  Bad Guys come in, he goes to defend her.  Just by the act of defending her, he immediately gets 1 SA point.  If he's injured, and continues fighting, I'd give him another 1 or 2 depending on how badly injured he got.  If he manages to succeed, in spite of being on E, I'd give him another point.  In the midst of one scene, he can go from 0 to 3 or 4 points.  Even if he fails, he probably pulled up about 2 or 3 points.  Then he goes to rescue her/get revenge(if she got killed).  More points.

Aside from Luck, you're never completely ass-out in this game.  When you do stuff pertaining to the SA, it increases the SA.  It's a positive vicious circle that your players should be taking advantage of.

Read Ralph's post, and think of how the Hero usually gets his ass kicked in the beginning(time for revenge), middle(lost yer hand, Luke?), or near the end of the movie(come back time!), and think of SAs in those terms.

Chris
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Judd
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Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2003, 02:55:08 PM »

Quote from: Valamir
Its only illogical because you're looking for some in game cause and effect.  SAs are metagame.  They have ingame manifestations (in using and earning the dice) but spending them is metagame.  Period.

Its a tempo thing.  


This is a really brilliant way to describe it.  I got it but hadn't heard anyone verbalize it just right and it is nice to see it written so well.

Tempo, rock on.
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Jake Norwood
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2003, 03:12:12 PM »

Again...

SA's don't go away when spent--they become a permanent part of the improvement. If you want to see the actual cause-and-effect measurement look at your insight.

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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toli
Member

Posts: 313


« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2003, 04:22:30 PM »

Quote from: Jake Norwood
Again...

SA's don't go away when spent--they become a permanent part of the improvement. If you want to see the actual cause-and-effect measurement look at your insight.

Jake


They go away in the sense that you don't get +5 dice for a specific situation.  As you point out they then become applicable to all situations.  I try to think of it as your Passion for Lady Ailenor (or whoever) making you a better person overall.  If you don't use your SA's to become a better person, you stagnate-just as in life if you don't use your passion to achieve new goals, you get no where....

NT
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NT
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