37 posts in this topic

38 minutes ago, Devotary of Spontaneity said:

If Lopen and/or Experience had survived, would the Skindancers have won as the only players left in the University? Or would they have had to slaughter the inhabitants of the crockery one by one while Burnt and I tried to blow up their lodgings? Especially if Naming allows for targeting inside the University it would still take a while for the Skindancers to actually get rid of all potential threats. Perhaps the Skindancers win if a cycle ends with no current threats?

Yeah, this is one of the things i mentioned in my post as well. As it stands, they have to kill everyone, so they have to double tap all the insane people if they don't have naming. They also have to deal with breakouts along the way.

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Hael made this suggestion in the dead doc. We expand the pre-game submissions so they’re more like an actual, real-life university application process (though to a significantly less intense degree). Instead of just allowing musical submissions to increase a player’s character’s musical ability, we allow essays/RP to make it more likely you start with EP in a field of your choice (or even a starting elevation in that field!) and art submissions that would give players a starting item. Players would only be able to do one of these submissions, but it increases the interaction with the ruleset and expands one of the things I love about running this game: the pre-game submissions. Additionally, this could give the GM’s a rough idea of how people are sort of planning on playing before the game even starts, so we can balance accordingly - if we know these 7 players are all wanting to go into Naming, having all 7 be Skindancers probably isn’t the best distribution. This makes it so everyone can go into what they want to go into - which is one of the best things about this game, I think - but still keeps teams well-balanced.

I'm not sure what I think about this. Or... I think starting with EP in a field of your choice sounds like a good idea, and gets the game going faster / allows us to do distribution. I'm not sure about a starting elevation, nor some people having EP and others not, because one of the things I really like about this game is that the whole idea is that everyone starts on basically equal footing and can go in whatever direction they want from there. 

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Code words: This would probably get a GM veto, but I'm curious if you'd be allowed to match multipart answers to code words. For example, making a huge list of every possible Skindancer team along with a codeword for each, and asking them to say the codeword that best matches their knowledge of the elim team. Ideally, that would force them to out the entire elim team. :P

Yeah that's 100% a no. :P 

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I'm curious about how you feel about how much the Masters ended up influencing the vote. A lot of times, it felt like it was very random, but that might be just player bias. Regarding tuition, I know you've mentioned that the 200 words thing ended up making posts unnatural. While I'm not sure how to fix this, I definitely agree that it was a thing that happened. BTW, you should totally make it a multiplier of a reading ease test result and a word count. Time to make people pull out the thesaurus! :P I'm also curious about how you felt about RP being worth 10x as much as game discussion. As a Cealdish Commoner, there were a lot of terms where I had to focus my time on RP rather than discussing the game, since I needed to reduce my tuition.

Mm. It was pretty random between who got what punishment - that's perhaps something to look into, I suppose. That said, generally when people piled on one person the reason they didn't get expelled wasn't the Masters' DP but instead that they were dead/insane/a Master already. So that should be fixed, at least. I'm not precisely sure about the balance between PC Masters' DP, NPC Masters' DP, and player votes. I think it's something we should leave for the present, but keep an eye on in the next iteration to see if that's right once the OoA is fixed. 

Yep. I don't know of a better system than 200 words that doesn't introduce bloat in other ways (any game related discussion = lots of short posts, total word count = incentive to be long winded + harder for the GMs, anything else introduces lots of GM bias), but I definitely disliked people saying 'well that's my 200 words, I'll be back to post the rest of my thoughts later' and similar. 

I definitely like RP being worth more than game discussion - it's one of the things that makes this game so RP-centric, which I love. That said, I wouldn't be opposed to doubling the worth of the game discussion, so it's only 5x as much, just to make that give you a little more. 

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I'd been thinking about this a bit during the game, and definitely agree with you that they're nigh-impossible. I love the idea about destroying the Arcane Fields, but it does feel like it's kind of railroading the Skindancers into those fields. I also feel like it could mess with students who just want to go into those fields because they sound fun, since you're essentially designating some fields as suspicious. 

This is true, but I think it should be fine - first, people want to go into those fields anyway and I doubt that Skindancers going in will stop them, which then gives Skindancers plenty of cover. Secondly, it isn't as much of a railroad if their other win condition is reasonably balanced enough to go for it. That said, if it proves to be problematic in a future run, I could see switching to needing to destroy 5 fields total of the Skindancers' choice. 

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With the first win con, i was thinking about what'd happen if the Skindancers managed to kick everyone out of the University. I feel like if the Skindancers were stuck with few offensive field abilities, they'd have a long road to success, and could even lose, which doesn't feel fair. They'd have to go and get rid of all the expelled students, which could be really difficult if those students had defensive items. They'd then have to go and target every single insane person, since they need them dead, not just insane. I'm curious about how balanced changing the win condition to dead/insane would be. It feels like it's a nicer parallel to the students, and stops the Skindancers from having to retarget everyone. If the Skindancers have managed to drive everyone else insane, I feel like they deserve the win at that point. Then again, this is counterbalanced by the Students not having many ways of getting rid of Skindancer masters.

Okay, one, while it's technically true that the Skindancers have to kill insane students, in practicality that isn't the case - the same way as 'kill all villagers' means 'kill enough villagers that they have no way to stop you from winning at that point'. We wouldn't extend the game once every Student was dead or insane. I think changing the win condition to reflect that would be fine, since it's essentially true in the first place. 

I think that at least for the moment, killing expelled players is still a requirement - they're helped there by the fact that sabotages on expelled players are automatically kills, which goes through protection a lot faster, especially with the changes to protection we made this game. (And we made a mistake too - Elandera's bodyguard cost 30 talents because of a mistake we made in telling her that, but should've cost 60. Grams were a little more common because of adding Rover, but even then one only got stocked every few turns.) With almost certainly being masters at that point, I don't think getting rid of the expelled players would be a problem, but it'd be enough of a challenge that they'd still have to go through with it. 

More generally, on their win conditions: I just don't know. I honestly have no idea if the kill-all-students win con is balanced or not. My worry is essentially that late game, the villagers are so OP that the Skindancers can't compete with their few remaining players - seriously, in the last couple of turns everyone was an El'the and there were several PC Masters. The power curve of the game is such that for most of the game it's fine, but I think that endgame is potentially too difficult for Skindancers at present - even without Araris, Burnt could make Bone-tar. We had at least two other El'the with at least one level in Artificery, which meant several Grams and Bloodless floating around. We didn't have any Sympathy El'the students, but if we had then Malfeasance protection would've been a pain to deal with. Etc. I also didn't particularly like how the elevations completely dried out at the end, so my tentative thought would be to have some system in which fields aren't guaranteed to have elevations so they're spread out over a longer period of time. 

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I'm kind of curious: how powerful is Naming on average? There are big flashy power displays, like Araris nuking everyone, but is it a linear scale? Naming seems like it's the most flexible field, so I'd be kind of surprised if it also gave that much power to people.

I think it was maybe a little more powerful than it should've been this game on average, but the main counteracting factor is the high IP risk more than anything else. You can do a lot, but the more you want to do the shorter your life out of the Crockery will be. :P I think in general where we need to be careful isn't just Wind - which was pretty well balanced - nor 4 names, where you can do ridiculous things because you're nearly guaranteed to go insane (and I'll note that what Araris wanted was a little more powerful than what we ended up deciding on, too - it originally only subverted Fae protection and also blocked Fae roleblocks). But there are times when things that people want out of 2 names are more suited to 3, I think, and we need to be careful that 2 names (which is only a +3 IP, so a 1/12 chance of going insane) isn't too powerful. 

 

1 hour ago, Straw said:

My thoughts on Linguistics:  I went 100% into Linguistics, because why not? :P I ended up finding Linguistics to be a fairly odd field, in terms of ability power. You get abilities randomly, so which abilities you get first matters a lot. So, here's my rating of Linguistics abilities:

  • Mysterious Bulletins: This ability felt fine to me. I never ended up using it, since I had nothing useful to say and I wanted to minimize Skindancer information, but it has nice synergy. Linguists could use the ability to send their findings about lies or PM spy results. It's also very nice flavor.
  • Hand Delivery: In my opinion, this is by far the weakest Linguistics ability. The only abilities that allow PM spying are Bribe the Messenger, which is another Linguistics Ability, and Wind. I doubt that people would use Wind to PM spy rather than using it to roleblock or attack someone, so that's also pretty unlikely. All in all, it just ends up being a pretty useless passive, since it probably only protects you from one ability, and that ability is from your own field.
  • Bribe the Messenger: While I never ended up having the opportunity to use this, it feels good to me. I doubt anyone would get that much info from PMs, but it's still a useful tool. I'd say it's far better than Mysterious Bulletins, but not as good as Linguistic Analysis.
  • Linguistic Analysis: This ability was nuts, and I could have done some seriously broken stuff if I had been allowed to get more than two uses out of it. By scanning players with reads, you can essentially get their alignment, and that's not even taking into account players doing "I am not a Skindancer" and stuff like that. Every time I was elevated in Linguistics, I was just praying for this ability. I'd be curious to hear any GM thoughts on how powerful they thought this was.

I think it'd be interesting to either have a set ability progression for Linguistics, to encourage people to stick with it and also make the power spikes less random or to change Linguistic Analysis and Hand Delivery to be more in line with the power level of the other abilities. I'd also be curious to hear what other Linguists thought about this field.

Hm. I wouldn't be opposed to having abilities in a specific order ala Alchemy or Artificery, though I do kind of like the randomness aspect - and having that scale would only make the power curve for late game even more pronounced. 

I'm really happy with how Linguistic Analysis happened this game, honestly. I'd note that the second time Bard was scanned as lying, it was only due to one singular lie (unfortunately :(), which wasn't his reads list - he just had to be very careful about phrasing. It's powerful, maybe too powerful, but I'm not sure how I'd change it unless we go with the being-an-El'the-ability notion. Similarly, I'd be open to suggestions on how to change Hand Delivery to make it better - I agree it's a little weak, but I don't know how I'd make it better. Also, honestly, part of the perk of getting elevated in Linguistics is that you get a second general action period to use on whatever you want, so I'm not too concerned. 

If we were to scale progression.... I'm not sure, but I think we might tie it to level rather than rank? Because I don't see a way to split up the abilities into levels, nor do I really want to. So for posterity (i.e. our future selves :P) I'd do:

Linguistics: 
First level - Hand delivery (it'd definitely have to be buffed in this case though)
Second level - Mysterious Bulletins
Third level - Bribe the Messenger
Master - Linguistic Analysis

Archives:
First level - Omen Recognition
Second level - School Records
Third level - Fae Lore
Master - Banned Books

R&L:
First level - Argumentum ad Nauseam
Second level - Proficient in Hyperbole
Third level - Persuasive Arguments
Master - Law of Contraposition

Anyway. Something to think on. 

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A guaranteed three turn roleblock bypassing nahlrout protection if the target goes into a rage helps make plum bobs less powerful, though that's meaningless for Masters. Being forced to submit all your questions at once somewhat helps weaken plum bobs. A modification where going into a rage isn't announced until after all questions are answered, but once the subject goes into a rage they're allowed to lie and/or refuse to answer questions is kind of a drastic fix. 

...I kind of like that drastic fix, actually. So you could be sure of the answer to the first question, but increasingly less sure of the truth of others. That... could work. 

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I think having The Windy Tower not being in the top two most expensive lodgings is a good way to reduce the power of Vintish nobles. Perhaps putting The Windy Tower up to 9 talents, then increasing The Golden Pony to 10 talents while upgrading its ability to subtracting a DP, or one vote if only one vote is cast? That second part might be difficult to do in a spreadsheet but -1 DP is only better than -1 vote if at least three votes are cast on someone.

Yeah, agreed that the Windy Tower shouldn't be in the top two. The spreadsheeting wouldn't be too awful on that, but my inclination is potentially to switch the Golden Pony and the Windy Tower but add another lodging on top (Hael suggested something very expensive which gives -1 IP, and I kind of like that). Either way, I think -2 votes could be reasonable for the Golden Pony. 

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If Lopen and/or Experience had survived, would the Skindancers have won as the only players left in the University? Or would they have had to slaughter the inhabitants of the crockery one by one while Burnt and I tried to blow up their lodgings? Especially if Naming allows for targeting inside the University it would still take a while for the Skindancers to actually get rid of all potential threats. Perhaps the Skindancers win if a cycle ends with no current threats?

As addressed above, they'd have to kill the expelled players but not the insane ones. 

Anyway - I think this game went really well! We got the rollover not including the writeup down to about 2 hours between the two of us, which is fantastic - there are still some things I'd like to do to the spreadsheet, and Hael and I are seriously considering just straight up coding it for next time, but this version was a massive improvement and we made far fewer mistakes all of which were pretty fixable. I'm very happy with how this game went, and I'm excited to run it again in a year or two! :P (low key want this to become an annual midsummer thing but also no)

 

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Wait, I just realized I was sabotaged... For some reason I thought I went insane from wind, which wasn't even possible... Was I just attacked as I claimed Namer? Namers are scary, though I felt pretty comfortable claiming it as I thought I wouldn't pose a big threat to people, obviously not being the Namer killing everyone. Lol

3 hours ago, little wilson said:

The Second of the Big Changes - A Semi-Proper University Application System
Hael made this suggestion in the dead doc. We expand the pre-game submissions so they’re more like an actual, real-life university application process (though to a significantly less intense degree). Instead of just allowing musical submissions to increase a player’s character’s musical ability, we allow essays/RP to make it more likely you start with EP in a field of your choice (or even a starting elevation in that field!) and art submissions that would give players a starting item. Players would only be able to do one of these submissions, but it increases the interaction with the ruleset and expands one of the things I love about running this game: the pre-game submissions. Additionally, this could give the GM’s a rough idea of how people are sort of planning on playing before the game even starts, so we can balance accordingly - if we know these 7 players are all wanting to go into Naming, having all 7 be Skindancers probably isn’t the best distribution. This makes it so everyone can go into what they want to go into - which is one of the best things about this game, I think - but still keeps teams well-balanced.

really like this idea. I always like rolling elim, but I was really scared of it this game as I didn't want to sacrifice my Naming for my team... Lol

Granted, after seeing this game, I'm not sure it would be a bad idea to throw multiple elims into Naming in the future... xD

Next time this is run, I'm going to try to convince my team to go half/half on Physicking and Naming... That sounds like a fun elim composition xD

1 hour ago, Straw said:

Out of interest, how many Cealdish Commoners and Edema Ruh gambled? Do you think that giving them better odds ended up being a good buff for them? Also, I'm curious as to how Cealdish Commoners ended up doing in general. I was either at the University or insane for the whole time, so I didn't really get to use any of their special stuff. Hearing more about any of social classes would be interesting, since I know you changed them a bit.

IIRC, all the Edema said they weren't planning on gambling in the Edema PM... 

3 hours ago, little wilson said:

Lodging
I really like the addition of The Windy Tower, but everyone and their dog used it. This is not surprising. However, it indicates that it should be more expensive. Possibly switch The Golden Pony and The Windy Tower so The Golden Pony drops to 6 talents and The Windy Tower jumps to 9? Would The Golden Pony be more attractive if it subtracted a full DP rather than just one vote?

I like the concept of the Windy Tower, but it is really powerful. Lol 
I think if the price on the Golden Pony was to drop, it would serve as a good "neutral" option as it also makes spreading votes less dangerous. Especially in the mid/late game this game, when a single person just threw a vote on someone else at random, it was a bit frustrating as a single person can get someone roleblocked or expelled. 

Even me when Devotary, myself, and someone else was up for the lynch and I went to spread votes out (I just realized I voted on 2 elims there :D ), I don't think I should have singlehandedly had the power to diminish the power of the lynch like that. 
Making it remove a full DP (assuming before Masters place DP) I think would be really good, as it means that people will at least have to get 2 people voting on someone to definitely get stuff to happen.

1 hour ago, Devotary of Spontaneity said:

A guaranteed three turn roleblock bypassing nahlrout protection if the target goes into a rage helps make plum bobs less powerful, though that's meaningless for Masters. Being forced to submit all your questions at once somewhat helps weaken plum bobs. A modification where going into a rage isn't announced until after all questions are answered, but once the subject goes into a rage they're allowed to lie and/or refuse to answer questions is kind of a drastic fix. 

really like that last idea, and would make having a plumb bob used on you super fun as you can potentially screw the user over once you're enraged... though if that was the case idk if people would go for plumb bobs as only the first question actually definitely gives you good info?

21 minutes ago, Elbereth said:

seriously, in the last couple of turns everyone was an El'the

Hmph. : P

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4 minutes ago, Furamirionind said:

IIRC, all the Edema said they weren't planning on gambling in the Edema PM... 

I ended up counting it and here were the stats:

  • Bard x1: Cealdish Commoner
  • Burnt x2: Cealdish Commoner
  • Coda x2: Vintish Nobleman
  • Devotary x1: Vintish Nobleman
  • Elandera x2: Aturan Nobleman
  • Hael x1: Edema Ruh
  • Lopen x2: Vintish Nobleman
  • Rover x2: Aturan Nobleman

Hael lied cuz he's an evil Skindancer. :P

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Wow, there was a lot to this game. It was a blast for a comeback to SE, though I think I'll be too busy to join the next game(s) without slipping into the same level of inactivity I was in this game. With being an elim and reading a doc that was *that* long and had additions every day, as well as not having many ideas for RP nor much experience with analysis, I wasn't very active in thread (as per usual, though I think I tried harder this game). Nor in PMs for that matter, lol. I was a bit salty at getting killed the turn after I became a Master, thus not being able to use those newfound powers, but it was funny and (obviously) a good thing for the village. And at the same time, in Mafia anything goes, and you can be killed or sabotaged at any moment.

The mechanics were all fun; Naming (as expected) was extremely popular, so I stayed clear of that to get as much elevation as I could, picking Alchemy at the beginning (but even more than that, with an elim team, planning for specific fields and abilities means going into just one field). I thought about some potential RP things I could do, like hinting I was going to Imre despite never going there, going insane as an Alchemist and blowing up several areas--Green Rover and I thought about distributing bone tars to all the Skindancers so we could blow everything up simultaneously, but that obviously didn't happen.

Thanks for the game!

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@Elbereth @little wilson and anyone else talking about the skindancer wincon problem. What if they don’t have to specifically sabotage the arcane fields and one other one, but any five fields they choose. Solves the problem of nine fields being too many fields to go into without forcing the elims to go into certain fields.

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I did suggest that, but you can be forgiven for not reading my monster of a post closely enough to notice. :P 

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This is true, but I think it should be fine - first, people want to go into those fields anyway and I doubt that Skindancers going in will stop them, which then gives Skindancers plenty of cover. Secondly, it isn't as much of a railroad if their other win condition is reasonably balanced enough to go for it. That said, if it proves to be problematic in a future run, I could see switching to needing to destroy 5 fields total of the Skindancers' choice. 

I like the flavor of destroying the Arcane fields more, but I agree that any 5 fields might be more feasible. 

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11 minutes ago, Elbereth said:

I did suggest that, but you can be forgiven for not reading my monster of a post closely enough to notice. :P 

I like the flavor of destroying the Arcane fields more, but I agree that any 5 fields might be more feasible. 

Ah yes, maybe that’s where I got the idea from in the first place. :P

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8 hours ago, little wilson said:

Fixing the second win con is easy - they don’t have to destroy all the fields. Only the arcane ones. I think I’d include Physicking in this, just to push it over half. Rather than destroying 9 fields, they only have to destroy 5. That’s far more reasonable. Still hard, but not completely impossible.

I'd maybe do Archives rather than Physicking - Skindancers would want to remove Fae Lore/Omen Recognition, plus Banned Books would presumably still allow students to learn skills from Sympathy, Archives, and Alchemy.

6 hours ago, Straw said:

Out of interest, how many Cealdish Commoners and Edema Ruh gambled? Do you think that giving them better odds ended up being a good buff for them? Also, I'm curious as to how Cealdish Commoners ended up doing in general. I was either at the University or insane for the whole time, so I didn't really get to use any of their special stuff. Hearing more about any of social classes would be interesting, since I know you changed them a bit.

I only gambled once (the 3 drabs left over after I purchased two nahlrout and paid for the attempt for Talent Pipes). If not for being a skindancer, I'd have spent probably a lot more time in the Imre, and would have gambled each time I think. I'd also have interacted with the contracts more as a result too.

7 hours ago, Straw said:

Linguistic Analysis: This ability was nuts, and I could have done some seriously broken stuff if I had been allowed to get more than two uses out of it. By scanning players with reads, you can essentially get their alignment, and that's not even taking into account players doing "I am not a Skindancer" and stuff like that. Every time I was elevated in Linguistics, I was just praying for this ability. I'd be curious to hear any GM thoughts on how powerful they thought this was.

Provided it's not taken to the extent of "I am not a Skindancer", I don't think it's a problem - it just means that the elims have to take more care with what they write. Even with a suspicion list, using phrases like "based on their posts, I would read them as village" would let you avoid being picked up as lying about reading a skindancer buddy as village. Or you just RP a blatant lier every turn.

6 hours ago, Devotary of Spontaneity said:

If Lopen and/or Experience had survived, would the Skindancers have won as the only players left in the University? Or would they have had to slaughter the inhabitants of the crockery one by one while Burnt and I tried to blow up their lodgings? Especially if Naming allows for targeting inside the University it would still take a while for the Skindancers to actually get rid of all potential threats. Perhaps the Skindancers win if a cycle ends with no current threats?

If it got to the point where no Student could target any skindancers, I think the GMs would potentially do things to speed up the game, such as roll in advance for any breakout attempts, while getting the Skindancers to put in the order of sabotages, and if the result is enough turns for them to master and destroy all fields, end the game, otherwise skip to the person breaking out, etc. I'd imagine you'd keep playing it out until all namers/alchemists were dead (provided the namers/alchemists alive seemed to be aware of how they could effect the skindancers).

5 hours ago, Elbereth said:

I'm not sure what I think about this. Or... I think starting with EP in a field of your choice sounds like a good idea, and gets the game going faster / allows us to do distribution. I'm not sure about a starting elevation, nor some people having EP and others not, because one of the things I really like about this game is that the whole idea is that everyone starts on basically equal footing and can go in whatever direction they want from there. 

I figured everyone could put in EP before the game starts, (unless choosing to start in the Imre?). But the thought with initial elevations (particularly if these elevations are not shared publicly) means that you'll have some players who'll reach max level sooner, making the elevations otherwise less contested, and also would allow you to potentially choose specific fields and specific abilities to be in the game - either to apply some sort of balance to the game, or to help encourage people to try things they otherwise wouldn't. If this was influenced by the 'application' process you still then gain the benefit of player choice. 

5 hours ago, Furamirionind said:

Wait, I just realized I was sabotaged... For some reason I thought I went insane from wind, which wasn't even possible... Was I just attacked as I claimed Namer? Namers are scary, though I felt pretty comfortable claiming it as I thought I wouldn't pose a big threat to people, obviously not being the Namer killing everyone. Lol

I'm assuming that the skindancers figured that Araris was likely using wind to protect themselves, or had picked up protection (given they were a noble), so as a namer you would be important to take out still anyway. I think Lopen was buying an assassin that would have targetted araris, so he'd have likely been attacked the following cycle as part of a double tap.

5 hours ago, Straw said:

Hael lied cuz he's an evil Skindancer. :P

Hey... I didn't lie, so much as never commented on my plans in the PM :P 

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7 hours ago, Elbereth said:

And we made a mistake too - Elandera's bodyguard cost 30 talents because of a mistake we made in telling her that, but should've cost 60.

I won't argue against the discount. Just chalk it up to Athdara's charm. :P At least it wasn't needed in the end, and having the extra talents (because affording a 60 talent bodyguard would have been basically impossible for me) wouldn't have made a big difference in my game play. Though the contract I threw up may have been for several more talents. 

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48 minutes ago, Elbereth said:

Yeah that's 100% a no. :P

ITT: El bullying me. :P

50 minutes ago, Elbereth said:

Mm. It was pretty random between who got what punishment - that's perhaps something to look into, I suppose. That said, generally when people piled on one person the reason they didn't get expelled wasn't the Masters' DP but instead that they were dead/insane/a Master already. So that should be fixed, at least. I'm not precisely sure about the balance between PC Masters' DP, NPC Masters' DP, and player votes. I think it's something we should leave for the present, but keep an eye on in the next iteration to see if that's right once the OoA is fixed. 

IMO, it'd be a bit better if the NPC Masters DP distribution was weighted proportionately. I'm not sure why they'd treat some student with one complaint the same way they'd treat someone with 20 complaints.

1 hour ago, Elbereth said:

Hm. I wouldn't be opposed to having abilities in a specific order ala Alchemy or Artificery, though I do kind of like the randomness aspect - and having that scale would only make the power curve for late game even more pronounced. 

I'm really happy with how Linguistic Analysis happened this game, honestly. I'd note that the second time Bard was scanned as lying, it was only due to one singular lie (unfortunately :(), which wasn't his reads list - he just had to be very careful about phrasing. It's powerful, maybe too powerful, but I'm not sure how I'd change it unless we go with the being-an-El'the-ability notion. Similarly, I'd be open to suggestions on how to change Hand Delivery to make it better - I agree it's a little weak, but I don't know how I'd make it better. Also, honestly, part of the perk of getting elevated in Linguistics is that you get a second general action period to use on whatever you want, so I'm not too concerned. 

I think that a consistent power curve is preferable to random power spikes.

Yeah, that makes sense. For Hand Delivery, it might be interesting if it didn't prevent from spying, but instead allowed you to open PMs with people that allowed them to respond, regardless of whether they're at the University or expelled. Ex: instead of making a PM called "LG65: T4M1: Burnt and Straw" you'd make one called "LG65: T4M1: Burnt and Straw (Hand Delivered)" or something. It might make more sense to have the GM make them in that case, and/or limit the number of them you could make.

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16 hours ago, little wilson said:

A part of me wonders if instead of downgrading all negative effects of all actions, maybe it should only downgrade the worst? @Young Bard - I think you’ll have the best insight into this: do you think that would nerf Sympathy too much and make it less appealing, or would it be okay?

Ah, right. I meant to write up a whole bit about Sympathy but forgot. But yeah, I basically agree. Strangely, in the way I was using it, the third level Malfeasance Protection ended up being stronger than the Master Level Malfeasance since I could protect myself and a fellow Skindancer simultaneously (though if I'd gotten to Master level while at the University, I'd probably have used it to draw kills and pass them on to someone else, which would have been as hilarious as it is broken, since literally only a multiple protection-overriding Naming attack could have stopped me. :P)

A Master Sympathist being able to kill whoever submits the sabotage is just a little bit strong as well - I can see it being a nightmare for the Skindancers, especially if the Master Sympathist had a trust read from the village and some form of protection, like we thought Araris did this game. (Third-level mommets roleblocking a Skindancer are fine, though, IMO.)

I'm trying to think of a cool alternative that keeps the 'wow' factor while also not being too broken, though. I remember there being a scene in NotW where Kvothe is in a Sympathy battle and nearly passes out from over-exerting himself - maybe that could be an excuse to do the same patch as Cheating with Death and say it is that strong, but can only be used every second turn, allowing people to stay at least a little vulnerable? I don't know.

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