Straw Poll: XP Spending in nWoD/CoD



  • @Thenomain Softcode command help files are going to be more legible than the hardcoded helpfiles by nature of sensible dividers, better wayfinding (the ToC and "see also"s), and the fact that they're talking about finished commands and not digital building blocks. As long as the documentation is clear and unambiguous and not too long, I'm going to let people make their own decisions about what to do. The stakes for a user mistake here are really low, so I can't see the argument for needing guard rails around an alternative way of putting in an instruction.

    By contrast, a situation where stakes are high enough to warrant guard rails would be a reset command in chargen. There, you could lose hours or days of work. In this scenario, the worst possible outcome is momentary distress for the user and an unintended XP spend.

    @Derp Yes, and for me, personally, it would be a more comfortable way to enter instructions for things like Mage spellcasting. A long formula string is less readable and writable for my brain than a REPL-like banter of prompt and response.



  • @Sammi said in Straw Poll: XP Spending in nWoD/CoD:

    The stakes for a user mistake here are really low, so I can't see the argument for needing guard rails around an alternative way of putting in a command.

    You and I have very different design goals when it comes to introducing players to a new system, then.

    the worst possible outcome is momentary distress for the user and an unintended XP spend

    When that distress removes the player from any chance of getting help via the in-game systems, then I consider that a severe design flaw.

    --

    @Derp said in Straw Poll: XP Spending in nWoD/CoD:

    @Thenomain said in Straw Poll: XP Spending in nWoD/CoD:

    You and I are few of the insane people who have read the enirety of the MUX help files.

    I read help.txt and wizhelp.txt. Does that count? :D

    I once printed them out and read it at work at a job where most of my job was waiting for something to happen.

    To be honest, though, I've been looking at @program for a variety of things. I think it could be very useful. It would take a while for people to adjust to, but for things like, say, Mage spellcasting, where a variety of factors have to be taken into account? It could be invaluable.

    Oh I'm not saying that @program doesn't have its place, but that it has higher design considerations since it's not a standard interface. And even if so, one game's program interface could be entirely different than another's, raising the initial learning curve.


  • Tutorialist

    @Thenomain said in Straw Poll: XP Spending in nWoD/CoD:

    I once printed them out and read it at work at a job where most of my job was waiting for something to happen.

    That's what I did too! When I was working help desk at the University computer labs. If you were there, you knew what you were doing, so there was no need to bother me.



  • @Derp

    Then yes, you are also insane. Gratz?



  • @Coin said in Straw Poll: XP Spending in nWoD/CoD:

    @Lithium said in Straw Poll: XP Spending in nWoD/CoD:

    for this kind of a situation, I'd actually do something like an XP bank. Where a person could bank xp into a spend. Take Arcane as the running example.

    +xp/spend Arcane=6 (to bank 6 xp into it)
    +axp/spend Arcane=8 (to bank 8 Arcane xp into it)

    Then when you hit the magic number needed for an increase, boom, done. You have new level of arcane.

    +axp would stand for alternate xp, so could be used for any splat that had something similar.

    I am hella in favor of this, to be honest. Especially if it also locked to a Wait Time, so if you paid for it in full before you could actually buy it, it would just say 'you have bought Gnosis 4. It will be available in a week' or whatever.

    I'm flagging @Lithium on this too, because people don't get flagged on every nested comment.

    The largest problem with that is the current command structure is this:

    xp/spend <trait>=<value>
    

    This sets <trait> to <value> using all Normal XP by default.

    I'd also want to let someone say, 'Take the rest of it with <type> xp', which would be the default. For (bad) instance:

    ...

    Wait, how about this?

    > xp/bank Arcane=6
    You have banked 6 Arcane XP into a future spend.
    > xp/cost Strength=2
    Raising Strength from 1 to 2 would cost 5 Normal XP. Your 6 Arcane XP (banked) would be returned.
    > xp/cost Gnosis=4
    Raising Gnosis from 3 to 4 would cost 5 Arcane XP (banked). Your 1 Arcane XP would be returned.
    > xp/bank
    You have banked 6 Arcane XP for your next spend.
    > xp/unbank
    Unbanking all XP. Your 6 Arcane XP has been returned.
    > xp/spend Gnosis=4
    You have purchased Gnosis to 4 for 5 XP.
    

    Whups! You spent 5 Normal XP because you unbanked the Arcane XP.

    Better? Worse? Generic thoughts from everyone about this?



  • @Thenomain
    What's wrong with

    xp/spend <trait>=<value>/<value>



  • @Rook said in Straw Poll: XP Spending in nWoD/CoD:

    @Thenomain
    What's wrong with

    xp/spend <trait>=<value>/<value>

    Ambiguous. Needs units.


  • Tutorialist

    @Thenomain said in Straw Poll: XP Spending in nWoD/CoD:

    @Coin said in Straw Poll: XP Spending in nWoD/CoD:

    @Lithium said in Straw Poll: XP Spending in nWoD/CoD:

    for this kind of a situation, I'd actually do something like an XP bank. Where a person could bank xp into a spend. Take Arcane as the running example.

    +xp/spend Arcane=6 (to bank 6 xp into it)
    +axp/spend Arcane=8 (to bank 8 Arcane xp into it)

    Then when you hit the magic number needed for an increase, boom, done. You have new level of arcane.

    +axp would stand for alternate xp, so could be used for any splat that had something similar.

    I am hella in favor of this, to be honest. Especially if it also locked to a Wait Time, so if you paid for it in full before you could actually buy it, it would just say 'you have bought Gnosis 4. It will be available in a week' or whatever.

    I'm flagging @Lithium on this too, because people don't get flagged on every nested comment.

    The largest problem with that is the current command structure is this:

    xp/spend <trait>=<value>
    

    This sets <trait> to <value> using all Normal XP by default.

    I'd also want to let someone say, 'Take the rest of it with <type> xp', which would be the default. For (bad) instance:

    ...

    Wait, how about this?

    > xp/bank Arcane=6
    You have banked 6 Arcane XP into a future spend.
    > xp/cost Strength=2
    Raising Strength from 1 to 2 would cost 5 Normal XP. Your 6 Arcane XP (banked) would be returned.
    > xp/cost Gnosis=4
    Raising Gnosis from 3 to 4 would cost 5 Arcane XP (banked). Your 1 Arcane XP would be returned.
    > xp/bank
    You have banked 6 Arcane XP for your next spend.
    > xp/unbank
    Unbanking all XP. Your 6 Arcane XP has been returned.
    > xp/spend Gnosis=4
    You have purchased Gnosis to 4 for 5 XP.
    

    Whups! You spent 5 Normal XP because you unbanked the Arcane XP.

    Better? Worse? Generic thoughts from everyone about this?

    In this example, though, how would you mix xp types for those that wish to allow such things?



  • @Derp said in Straw Poll: XP Spending in nWoD/CoD:

    In this example, though, how would you mix xp types for those that wish to allow such things?

    'xp/bank' is taking a flavor/type of XP to load into the spend-cannon. 'xp/spend' is firing that cannon for a particular trait/stat.

    Breaking it down a bit:

    > xp/bank <xp type>=<amt to bank>
    > xp/spend <stat to buy>=<value to set it to>
    

    "Arcane" is an XP Type. In WoD, there is nearly one per splat. Cover, Arcane, and Vitriol (for Promethean; don't get excited that there is a game about Internet Trolls) are three typical types.

    "Strength" and "Gnosis" are stats that are being raised.

    Sorry about the confusion, there.

    --

    edit: I realized just now that I may be confused about the question and can answer it a second way.

    In this example, though, how would you mix xp types for those that wish to allow such things?

    Let's say that there are three types of XP. Let's call them "Normal", "Arcane", and "Awesome".

    • Normal: Default XP, you never have to say this if you want it.
    • Arcane: XP for doing magical and arcane things.
    • Awesome: XP you gained for being awesome and you can spend on anything.

    So let's say you really want that super-power Gnosis raise, but you don't have enough XP for it unless you spend some Awesome for it. Gnosis costs 5 XP.

    > +xp/bank Arcane=2
    You have banked 2 Arcane XP for your next spend.
    > +xp/bank Awesome=1
    You have banked 1 Awesome XP and 2 Arcane XP for your next spend.
    > +xp/cost Gnosis=4
    Raising Gnosis from 3 to 4 would cost 5 XP: 1 Awesome XP (banked), 2 Arcane XP (banked), and 2 XP.
    

    Pausing here for a moment, notice that the system filled in the missing part with 'Normal XP'. This is because this certain coder is insane and believes that default means default. Besides, the whole point of the system working like this is so that people don't have to remember how much things cost.

    Because people get it wrong.

    All the time.

    Even staff.

    Hopefully between one of the two responses, it answers the question.

    --

    edit for the edit: Yes, I know that WoD/CoD does not have more than one special XP type, but a) once you start going with multiples it doesn't matter, and b) I don't trust either White Wolf or Onyx Path not to change this for fun.


  • Tutorialist

    @Thenomain

    Yes. And I dig it.

    Editing because you edited: I was actually thinking about the kinds of things that staff themselves would create. Things like the Tix system on Fate's Harvest. This could handle that nicely as well.



  • Now, for a question I inferred from @Lithium and @Coin: Why not just make each type of XP spend its own kind?

    Behold the issue:

    > bank arcane=3
    Banking 3 Arcane XP
    > spend gnosis=4
    I want to spend your Mana, which is a spendable stat! What are you doing trying to spend Gnosis!
    

    I would love to contextualize without the need for a prefix, but since this is all about the xp system, if I can keep it all within the 'xp/<switch>' family, I think it would be easier to learn and use.

    Mind you, 'xp' has some 6 switches already. I hope this doesn't make it worse.



  • More fussing.

    > xp/spend/arcane=3 gnosis
    Okay, I'll raise Gnosis by 1 point by spending 3 Arcane XP and 2 Normal XP.
    > xp/spend/arcane=2/awesome=1 gnosis
    Okay, I'll raise Gnosis by 1 point by spending 2 Arcane XP, 1 Awseoms XP, and 2 Normal XP.
    

  • Tutorialist

    @Thenomain said in Straw Poll: XP Spending in nWoD/CoD:

    More fussing.

    > xp/spend/arcane=3 gnosis
    Okay, I'll raise Gnosis by 1 point by spending 3 Arcane XP and 2 Normal XP.
    > xp/spend/arcane=2/awesome=1 gnosis
    Okay, I'll raise Gnosis by 1 point by spending 2 Arcane XP, 1 Awseoms XP, and 2 Normal XP.
    

    This could also work, but I would recommend a format like 'Gnosis to 3', 'Dex to 4'.



  • Seems like it wouldn't be hard to do a check to see if the thing being bought was a valid thing for the 'special' xp. For example:

    +xp/spend Gnosis

    This would then check the * for what it was, if it was Gnosis it would then default to using the banked Arcane XP, or whatever Arcane XP was available plus regular xp. If the wildcard was not Gnosis, Cover, or Vitriol then it would just use regular xp with regular xp spending. Simple if/then would cover that and I am unsure why it would require a mass amount of excess coding for that.

    I still like the banking xp idea though, wish I'd thought of it before that way you could see where your character is developing based on what you think the character should be increasing. It'd be even better (to me anyways) if the xp spends were /blind/. Then you'd just grow your character somewhat organically but I realize that a (probably) large segment of players who are used to sheet building wouldn't like this idea.



  • @Thenomain This may be a silly question, but could you not build an escape into the program? IE: using say ` , as in 'p wiz=Help, I'm lost! would actually page? Or is it impossible to have an escape there?



  • @Maira

    It's possible to have escapes, and that's how I'd do it, but I still feel funny about locking people into a system where they can be interacted with but not interact.


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