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Author Topic: Uncle Louis update (split)  (Read 2993 times)
stefoid
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« on: February 14, 2011, 07:54:40 PM »

Am updating Uncle Louis -- sent new version to the site.
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stefoid
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2011, 08:23:48 PM »

direct link    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B5W32IfgIIkrZTg3OTFlMjYtMDg3MC00YTdkLWFkNjYtNmRhZmFlMzI3YzE4&hl=en

(not sure how long it takes to update the official site)
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Baxil
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2011, 10:01:20 AM »

Steve,

The new version is a good step forward - glad to see that the rules about murdering the royal family have been clarified, and I think the new guidance about framing the roleplaying of influence scenes is useful.

One nitpick:  I think you want the DN general influence dice to round UP, not down.  Otherwise, for an odd number of players (but not for even), you might get 0 influence.

Questions:

What happens if the noble representing a player is killed?  The noble is replaced, but is the player out, or do they become the new card, or something else?

Does anything extraordinary happen if the noble representing a player successfully gets another player's influence token on it?  They're just treated as any other influenced noble, and can be used as pawns like normal, right?

The rules state you can use specific influence if your character is the target of an action.  Can you also use your specific influence tokens if your character is performing an action?  (Including but not limited to - if another player uses their influence marker on you in order to force you to murder someone.  That's an interesting bind ... do you spend to foil it and risk fallout and death, or do you spend to make it succeed and blow your cover?)

When you place an influence marker on a card, does it permanently come from your specific influence tokens, or do you grab one of the spares?

- Bax
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stefoid
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2011, 12:11:20 PM »

Hi.  Im just updating my link from this thread with typos for now, because the official site needs someone to respond to an email.  Dont want to pester the poor guy continually.

Rounded up definitely.

If a PC is killed, thats it -- they cant have a turn any more.  They can still play the part of the first default resistance player to the acting players left, when they are supposed to I guess. 

If a PC gets influence, I dont think it should be treated any differently.  They are more resistant to these things due to the option of using player specific tokens, however.

Specific tokens can only be used when your character is the target.   But when your character is the target they can be used for or against.

When you place a token on a card, use a spare. 
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stefoid
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2011, 03:19:24 PM »

Hmm, thought Id better update the influence section so that it is clear which tokens from which piles are used when.  Its important for balanced resistance.   

Performing an influence attempt:

Basically, you roll a D6 and add your modifiers against the targeted characters resistance, plus resistance added by other players.  If you equal or exceed , you are successful.
Note that at least one player, the player to the acting players left, MUST play resistance to the attempt by adding one initial influence token. 
The default resistance token used is a spare token – it doesn’t  come from that players own piles in-play.
Other players may optionally also add influence tokens from their general influence piles to the resistance to make the attempt harder. (or their specific influence pile if they are the target)

Possible modifiers:
•   Acting characters prestige
•   -2 if acting character not using their preferred resource (not counted for peons – already included by their prestige rank of ‘1’)
•   +1 per general influence markers added by acting player
•   +1 per specific influence markers you add, if the target character is owned by acting player
•   +2 if using target characters known weakness as leverage

Target resistance:
•   Target character’s prestige
•   +1 for default resistance token added by player to left
•   +2 if the target has the same resource that you are using against it.
•   +1 per general influence marker added to resist
•   +1 per specific character influence marker added to resist, if the target character is your own

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stefoid
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2011, 09:19:49 PM »

bah, 6 rounds isnt enough to do squat.  I am increasing the revolution limit to 15 turns.

A change I could make to a simple arbitrary limit is a 'revolution track' which is 8 rounds long.  every round, the revolution counter advances one position and it it reaches the end, 'viva la revolution'.

However, players can attempt to influence the king to do something OTHER than increase their own prestige or decrease a rivals -- they can try to convince Louis to do something useful about running the country.  If successful, the rev position goes backwards 2 places.
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Baxil
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2011, 10:58:09 AM »

A floating limit seems more strategic than an arbitrary limit to me.  Good idea.  That adds the complication of, who wastes a turn making sure that the game doesn't end in failure?

I would strongly recommend giving dead players a second chance.  Verisimilitude, blah blah, sure.  But I can't think of a single "die and you're out for the rest of the night" mechanic that has ever worked out well in practice.  Losing all of your influence tokens and restarting with a random, unclaimed noble at the bottom rank is more than sufficient penalty for death.

I'd also really urge you to consider allowing specific influence when your own noble is acting.  This creates a huge temptation to act openly (especially if this turn's general influence roll sucked) and, along with removing the one-life rule, should result in more players directly backstabbing each other and a much more risky, edgier game.  Is the ability to add an extra +3 to this roll really worth exposing yourself and losing all the nobles in your pocket?  Is it worth wasting a turn attacking a minor noble to target a player, rather than assassinating an heir?  It deepens the game.
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stefoid
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2011, 12:49:07 PM »

A floating limit seems more strategic than an arbitrary limit to me.  Good idea.  That adds the complication of, who wastes a turn making sure that the game doesn't end in failure?

I would strongly recommend giving dead players a second chance.  Verisimilitude, blah blah, sure.  But I can't think of a single "die and you're out for the rest of the night" mechanic that has ever worked out well in practice.  Losing all of your influence tokens and restarting with a random, unclaimed noble at the bottom rank is more than sufficient penalty for death.

I'd also really urge you to consider allowing specific influence when your own noble is acting.  This creates a huge temptation to act openly (especially if this turn's general influence roll sucked) and, along with removing the one-life rule, should result in more players directly backstabbing each other and a much more risky, edgier game.  Is the ability to add an extra +3 to this roll really worth exposing yourself and losing all the nobles in your pocket?  Is it worth wasting a turn attacking a minor noble to target a player, rather than assassinating an heir?  It deepens the game.

Thanks for those notes.  My gut feeling is that player assassination would be towards the end game, because its hard to do - the player has those specific tokens for defense, so it sucks out a lot of general tokens from the other players if they want to see it through.   They have to really mean it.

I reckon all your ideas are worth considering as options once playtesting starts, however. 
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stefoid
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2011, 03:14:40 PM »

A floating limit seems more strategic than an arbitrary limit to me.  Good idea.  That adds the complication of, who wastes a turn making sure that the game doesn't end in failure?

I would strongly recommend giving dead players a second chance.  Verisimilitude, blah blah, sure.  But I can't think of a single "die and you're out for the rest of the night" mechanic that has ever worked out well in practice.  Losing all of your influence tokens and restarting with a random, unclaimed noble at the bottom rank is more than sufficient penalty for death.

I'd also really urge you to consider allowing specific influence when your own noble is acting.  This creates a huge temptation to act openly (especially if this turn's general influence roll sucked) and, along with removing the one-life rule, should result in more players directly backstabbing each other and a much more risky, edgier game.  Is the ability to add an extra +3 to this roll really worth exposing yourself and losing all the nobles in your pocket?  Is it worth wasting a turn attacking a minor noble to target a player, rather than assassinating an heir?  It deepens the game.

Could make the revolution track specific.  Like each segment represents a real problem to be addressed - And its easier to address the problem with a character's resource, like some problems could be more easily dealt with using Martial, whereas some might require financial expertise -- then players would be forced to consider that perhaps influencing characters who might be good at defeating up and coming revolution events might be more of a priority than influencing characters that might benefit them personally. maybe.  I guess these are all tweaks compared to getting the narration of actual scenes done right.

My gut feeling is that I need to give the narration more structure, or at least examples of functional structures.   there are probably half a dozen different patterns of narration structure that emerge from the game mechanics - by structure I mean when to switch from influence by-play conflict to activity resolution, if it gets to that stage, etc...   The structure of the narrative needs to feed back into the conflict between for/against influence tokens and vice versa.  somehow.
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stefoid
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2011, 09:19:07 PM »

So Im thinking of ways to tie the for/against battle for conflict resolution back into the mechanics.

Consequences are a great way to ratchet up the tension.  At the moment, I have two types of consequences - those dealing with Martial influence attempts (acting character could be killed) and those dealing with influencing the King (acting character could take a prestige hit).   These are both types of backfires, and at the moment a backfire is a straight mechanical thing that only effects the acting character.

I think once I work out the half a dozen or so structural patterns to influence attempts, I can identify points where potential backfires will bring negative consequences on either the acting character Or the player character.  Like, the playing character trying to push an acting character too far could result in direct consequences for the playing character such as the acting character not only failing to take action, but breaking off ties with the player character (remove influence marker). 

At the moment  there is this back and forth between the acting player and the resistance offered by the other players. "I  try this", "well you meet with this resistance" and at that point the acting character can choose to roll an outcome or continue to play out the scene and thus give the other players a chance to introduce more complications/resistance and more potential consequences. 

So I think thats the missing ingredient as far as the the resistance play is concerned -- not just saying 'this or that' happens, but being able to link it to real mechanical consequences besides just a decreased chance of success by virtue of them adding +1 to the resistance.
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stefoid
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« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2011, 09:23:32 PM »

So one idea - naturally if someone is trying to influence you to do something and you are reluctant, you might try to seek assurance that having done the thing, that will be the end of it "just this one time baby..."  or  "you do this and I burn the negatives".

I think the option to increase the chance of success of an influence attempt by burning the influence token would be a good thing to add.

Would it be too geeky to have some kind of flowchart associated with influence attempts in the rules that shows the general structure and what are the possible mechanical effects of choosing different options at different times during the process?
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