Random GMC game brainstorming


  • Tutorialist

    @Arkandel said:

    As for 'you have to be this good to play <X>', that agrees with me even less. It's one of those solutions that do more damage than the problem they're trying to fix.

    Like. If I ever actually do open anything. It'll be a while. Next time I actively work on a game (of my own), I want to do a lot of world building, history, theme, and etc. And I'd want a really good "newbie guide". Two of the first mushes I ever played on had basically all of the rules available via +news, +help, and +explain or +info commands. Which. Frankly, is what I'd probably do.

    (I know that LAmush was full of crazy drama, but damn the amount of detail, work, and effort put into it was something I haven't seen on any game sense.)

    @Ganymede said:

    @Misadventure said:

    Let's brainstorm a setup for Mage!

    I vote a game that is Dangerous.

    I vote for no more than 1 5 in an Arcana per character.
    I vote for 2-3 4s in Arcana per character.

    I vote for a place with International travel.
    I vote for a place where something BIG has happened, and Mages are off balance.

    I vote for 1 alt per player, no exceptions.

    Like. Maybe. Probably. Depends on if it were only mage. Or if it had other spheres as well. If something like... Mage, Vampire, and Werewolf? I'd say 1-super, 1-mortal. Mage & Werewolf? 1 alt. I guess maybe my thoughts:

    • 1-2 spheres = 1 alt.
    • 3-4 spheres = 1-super, 2-mortal
    • 5-6 spheres = 2-super, 1-mortal
    • EVERYTHING = 2-super, 2-mortal (??)

    I don't think I would want everyone to be able to be in every sphere just by making alts.

    I vote for the implementation of a social influence system, which is so often overlooked.

    I kind of like the stuff @coin or @Eerie did for Eldritch's neighborhoods. I'd like implement something like that if I had my way. I'd also probably try to come up with some sort of social influence system. But I can't even think about what it would be atm. Something 'fun'.

    I vote for awarding XP for specific RP goals, achievements, or events only.

    What do you mean here? Like no +reccs? I'm good with no +reccs. (People can have badges instead.) But like you get a beat for finishing an aspiration. You can earn beats via actions in scenes. I'd very likely stick with giving beats out for plots run (note: staff would be able to take advantage of this as well).


  • Politics

    @Cobaltasaurus said:

    The proposal is for a Mage game, so I'm presuming it's Mage + Mortal (and by that, I also mean Mortal+). So, for that kind of game, 1 alt is just fine.

    On social influence, RfK's system is a good model. I would simplify it substantially, mind, but it has the effect of creating a mundane political mini-game that Supers and Mortals can play with in the background. It generates a surprising amount of RP.

    On the XP system proposed, RfK is again my model. There, you can claim beats for having a scene (1), meeting or working towards an aspiration (1), RPing a particular theme (1), attending an event (1), resolving a Condition (1), and other events. You can also give a Beat for good RP, which they call Squees. The amount of beats you can accumulate in a particular time frame for a particular type of claimed beat is capped. And you have to provide a brief justification for each claimed beat.

    This system is very labor-intensive for staff, who have to check each PC for claimed beats on a weekly basis. However, it has the side-benefit of providing a "player RP report" on a weekly basis, from which staff can figure out what's going on, who's doing what, and so on. The other side-benefit is that players can also keep track of what they've done, using the system to log their weekly activities.


  • Admin

    Just referencing some things in a semi-random order.

    • Only one character.

    This completely works for me - I'm an one-alt kinda guy - but I know there are people who like to mix it up. I'm not convinced people who don't play but merely 'rest' a character are that much of an overhead for staff, assuming of course they're not hogging sphere cap spots with their presence. There's one more exception but I'll cover it later in this post.

    • Only earning XP from 'doing stuff'.

    Again, the idea is fine but... not everyone has the same access to 'stuff'. I can usually wiggle myself into plots but I know and have spoken to people who haven't been able to do the same. So this might end up dividing the population into the haves and have-nots based on their OOC friends. Also how would that work out for Storytellers running those stories but not advancing themselves?

    • Status. Social influence.

    This is a sore point in most games I've seen - for starters because just what it means changes rapidly based on whether we're allowing PCs to rise in IC ranks. While my recommendation is not to (because OOC dramaz) it does create an issue when powerful go-getters with plenty of clout end up being lowly peons in the overall hierarchy, and it does take something away from certain spheres, such as Vampire (I don't know if we're only discussing a Mage game here or what) where rising is part of many concepts' thematic growth.

    Another issue is that sometimes even when it exists status does nothing except on paper. Sure, your character has City Status 3 but what does that actually do? I mean when you get Brawl 3 you punch harder, but what about influence? Staff is often way too busy (and, traditionally, far too worried about staying impartial) to let their NPCs pick sides in situations of character conflict so favors usually come down to imparting with some advice or information about metaplot - all things quite nice and fine, but more in the realm of merits like Contacts/Allies.

    So how do we make status both be actually functional and genuinely useful while remaining unique? It's supposed to be a major resource - how?

    Another issue is that sometimes PCs sit in rooms and accumulate XP. Yes, this is an argument in favor of @Ganymede's point (god I feel dirty now) because it's been seen far too often for someone to let weeks pass gathering auto-XP and spending it on twinking wildly with virtually no benefits compared to someone who risks their PC in plots and is out there doing stuff. This is important because we want people motivated to do these things any way we can - the game gain nothing from that vat-grown powerhouse. So if one of the ways to discourage one practice and incentivize the other is to let NPCs respond to it ('who the hell is Bob? I've never seen him before, why would I help him?') is status then we should design the game around that.

    Which takes me to my point in this post... if status is to do something the MU (including its metaplot) needs to take that into account on a fundamental level. If it's an afterthought it'll be irrelevant.


  • Coder

    @Ganymede said:

    The proposal is for a Mage game, so I'm presuming it's Mage + Mortal (and by that, I also mean Mortal+). So, for that kind of game, 1 alt is just fine.

    A Mage + Mortal game with one alt is a Mage - Mortal game with the odd exception. What is the benefit of restricting a single super sphere game to a single alt?

    This system is very labor-intensive for staff

    Not a positive.

    it has the side-benefit of providing a "player RP report" on a weekly basis

    I also can't see this as a positive either.

    On the XP system proposed, RfK is again my model. There, you can claim beats for having a scene (1), meeting or working towards an aspiration (1), RPing a particular theme (1), attending an event (1), resolving a Condition (1), and other events. You can also give a Beat for good RP, which they call Squees. The amount of beats you can accumulate in a particular time frame for a particular type of claimed beat is capped. And you have to provide a brief justification for each claimed beat.

    Or, flat-rate XP with the assumption that people are doing some occasional RP to warrant it and, if not, a very minimal pulse check. Also, on a game with multiple alts, now-a-days I lean toward only a single one of your characters getting this flat-rate. If you want to explore other character archetypes or blow off steam on your mortal or whatever, have at it, but pick one character to be your main and that one gets the XP benefits.


  • Pitcrew

    Status lets you cancel out other folks social merits and also increases the ever useless social rolls!.


  • Admin

    @Glitch said:

    Also, on a game with multiple alts, now-a-days I lean toward only a single one of your characters getting this flat-rate. If you want to explore other character archetypes or blow off steam on your mortal or whatever, have at it, but pick one character to be your main and that one gets the XP benefits.

    I like that idea.


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel said:

    @Glitch said:

    Also, on a game with multiple alts, now-a-days I lean toward only a single one of your characters getting this flat-rate. If you want to explore other character archetypes or blow off steam on your mortal or whatever, have at it, but pick one character to be your main and that one gets the XP benefits.

    I like that idea.

    The problem with this (and I like the idea, but this is my but) is that the amount of times when as character you made as a throwaway to just play to blow off steam becomes much more important, interesting, and dynamic than your "main alt" are not few by any means.


  • Admin

    So switch back when that's the case. Only one character receives the auto-XP, but it can be a different one (say, with a sanity clause of only switching once every <X> weeks).


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel said:

    So switch back when that's the case. Only one character receives the auto-XP, but it can be a different one (say, with a sanity clause of only switching once every <X> weeks).

    Sure, i suppose; so long as the switching is easy ons taff, code-wise (or maybe even have the time-limit be automatic and let players do it on their own).

    Though, if you're going to do that, why not have passive XP just be Player XP that the Player can spend on any alt, and be done with it?


  • Admin

    @Coin The problem would be in case the auto-XP rate diminished its returns over time (as does Eldritch, for instance).

    In that case it either wouldn't work at all, since you'd simply switch your 'active' alt to another once the curve dipped low enough, or the second/third alts would end up receiving considerably smaller returns compared to the first one.


  • Coder

    Yeah, there are a few possible solutions I can think of off the top of my head:

    • Allow relatively free switching (1/X weeks) between all alts
    • Allow a switch away from an alt, but it can't be main again
    • Allow a switch away from an alt, but lose the other character like a retirement

    I lean more toward the second one (with maybe a short cooldown period that allows you to change your mind). It keeps the decision substantial, maintains the "focus" on one character and lets you keep your old character.

    @Coin said:

    Though, if you're going to do that, why not have passive XP just be Player XP that the Player can spend on any alt, and be done with it?

    I generally lean toward the the character-based version to try and keep focus on a single character, but it could be done that way as well.


  • Admin

    Let's look at it from a different perspective.

    What is the purpose of auto-XP? What function does it serve in a MU*?


  • Pitcrew

    "Letting people buy stuff without having to RP". This is basically what auto-XP does. It lets them be able to accrue enough experience even if their actual activity doesn't match their stat purchases. No judgment value on my part, but that is what it does. At best we can say it encourages people to stick around even when they can only devote a very limited amount of time to the game.

    I lean towards Player XP because that way, @Glitch, people who want to focus ont he development of a single alt can, while people who want to spread it out can; it puts the choice squarely in the player's hands.


  • Coder

    The benefits as I see them:

    • It lessens the focus on gaining XP.
    • It removes a dependency on type and level of activity.
    • It makes the power-curve more shallow and gives a general power-level to the game.
    • It removes staff and player overhead involved in variable XP tracking and awarding.
    • It gives a reliable, known quantity of XP for expenditure.

    @Coin
    It does let people buy stuff without RP'ing, but it's still less work implementing a minimum activity expectation and enforcing it than it is doing all of the work involved in tracking, validating and awarding XP. Also, I don't mind the player XP idea and agree putting the choice in player hands is probably a good reason to do it.


  • Pitcrew

    @Glitch said:

    @Coin
    It does let people buy stuff without RP'ing, but it's still less work implementing a minimum activity expectation and enforcing it than it is doing all of the work involved in tracking, validating and awarding XP. Also, I don't mind the player XP idea and agree putting the choice in player hands is probably a good reason to do it.

    I did say "no judgement". :D


  • Coder

    @Coin
    Just because I never RP doesn't mean I don't want to buy stuff. :(


  • Admin

    @Coin said:

    "Letting people buy stuff without having to RP". This is basically what auto-XP does. It lets them be able to accrue enough experience even if their actual activity doesn't match their stat purchases. No judgment value on my part, but that is what it does. At best we can say it encourages people to stick around even when they can only devote a very limited amount of time to the game.

    Right. So my follow-up question is, why? Is it a gimme meant to encourage casual players to keep... not playing? As such, is it a more effective mechanism than (say) TR's where you were automatically caught up to a bracket <X> points away from the game's leaders?

    The reason I'm insisting on this point is that we are discussing status, and part of the point of status as an attribute is to specifically reward activity and even more so, meaningful involvement/IC achievement. It seems a bit counterintuitive then to, at the same time, let casual players fall back on one (typically less meaningful) ladder of improvement but keep up in another. More so because some spheres value status way less than others, so for instance an inactive Vampire is penalized a great deal more in such a system than an inactive Werewolf.

    It feels a bit arbitrary, you know? More like these notions have been inherited from game to game because that's the way it's always been rather than with a game purpose in mind.

    @Glitch said:

    • It lessens the focus on gaining XP.
    • It removes a dependency on type and level of activity.
    • It makes the power-curve more shallow and gives a general power-level to the game.
    • It removes staff and player overhead involved in variable XP tracking and awarding.
    • It gives a reliable, known quantity of XP for expenditure.

    Do we want to lessen the focus on gaining XP though? And if there are other methods of gaining XP (Aspirations, Beats, etc) then is it really relieving the overhead at all? I mean it's a flat number added on top, so what's the difference?

    I suppose there's a gain in being able to know in advance just how many weeks maximum it'll be before you can buy the next dot of whatever, so there's that.


  • Coder

    @Arkandel said:

    Do we want to lessen the focus on gaining XP though? And if there are other methods of gaining XP (Aspirations, Beats, etc) then is it really relieving the overhead at all? I mean it's a flat number added on top, so what's the difference?

    Perhaps I should've instead said lessen the focus on how to gain XP, rather than the actual gaining of it, though I think it'd end up being less of a concern if you always knew when, where and how much.

    I was also speaking generally, neither in the context of status nor of WoD. I'm only speaking in the context of XP in a MU'ing environment with the expectation that "always-available" is the norm. In the case of WoD, I probably wouldn't include beats and aspirations as a method for gaining XP and so yes, overhead would be reduced.


  • Admin

    @Glitch said:

    I was also speaking generally, neither in the context of status nor of WoD. I'm only speaking in the context of XP in a MU'ing environment with the expectation that "always-available" is the norm. In the case of WoD, I probably wouldn't include beats and aspirations as a method for gaining XP and so yes, overhead would be reduced.

    Okay, that makes more sense then. I guess it'd be harder though - since the thread mentions 'GMC' - without converting the system to an extent, since Conditions/Beats are an integral part of it.

    So in this case we'd have flat gains for everyone who's flagged as a 'main character' but no other XP incentives of any kind? So status would be more or less the only way a character achieving things would have something to show for them?


  • Coder

    Conditions, and the beats that arise from them, make more sense to be included when considering GMC, which I overlooked when I responded. In that context, I'd still like to slim-down on sources of XP and the tracking thereof (aspirations, perhaps). If those sources are included, then the non-primary character would still have a method to advance.