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Re: REKT: Little Questions Thread

#106
I see where you're coming from, but I don't entirely agree.

I see it less as 'learning potentially useful things' and more as 'learning identity defining things', as 'building a character' like levelling stats is also building a character.
As a player, I have an idea of what kind of character I want my character to become. I don't want whether or not I can actually let that happen to depend on one random roll, just like I don't want a roll of dice to determine whether or not I can level the stat I want to level after a mission. It's not because we use dice rolls that we have to use them for everything.
Say I want to make a diplomatic character and I do that by, say trying to learn Hiltorel, Hiltorel culture, and Hiltorel etiquette - and then you roll for it and I fail the first two and succeed the latter. And I can't learn them either the next 3 missions, by which time we're no longer dealing with Hiltorel and none of this is relevant anyway. That means, well, too bad, invent another character idea cause you can't become what you wanted to.
Which would, as I feel it, be equivalent to me saying "I want to level manoeuvrability and general knowledge by 1 each" and you rolling a dice and saying "nope, you're not levelling either of those, nor are you gonna be able to level them the next 4 missions".
(Obviously way less bad, but you get my point)

You can argue, well, wait till you have higher GK, but I don't really think that works, for 2 reasons:
a) Let's be honest, little people are going to level it past +1, and pretty much no one is gonna level it past +2. Which is 1/3 or 1/2 chance of success, respectively, which still is not a lot. (Still not consistent enough for building a character, I feel)
b) What's the fun in having to wait till you're level 8 or whatever to learn fun and defining things?
Imagine Dino (the character, not me, I seriously should have invented an actual name) hadn't gotten that one lucky GK roll in mission 1 and hadn't learned parkour - I dare say he would have been a noticeably less interesting or unique or fun to play character then. Not really less powerful, but less 'Dino'.

Which is why I don't really like the idea of a random dice roll you are more likely to fail than succeed to determine whether you can develop your character towards the view you have or not.
Of course, GK still needs to actually matter, but I think influencing how many things you can actually learn is enough for that. (And even then, I would dare to cap the minimum amount of things you can learn to your GK - having +1 GK and still having a 30 percent chance of learning nothing at all (assuming 3 tries, for 6 it would be 8.7 %) would kinda suck)
As well as influencing how much creds it would cost to learn it, if anything.

Being able to prioritize what you learn would be an acceptable compromise, I think (especially if at least your GK of successes would be guaranteed, maybe also if not).
I however do not see the point of having to wait d3 missions before trying again - neither the mechanical reason (if I really want to learn something, why not just let me try again after a mission?) nor the in universe reason (not succeeding at learning French between mission 1 and 2 does not magically block my brain from any attempts at learning French for between mission 2 and 3).


Just my (obviously biased ;) ) 2 cents - whether or not you take them into account is up to you and I won't hold it against you if you don't :)
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Re: REKT: Little Questions Thread

#107
I think there might be some possibility I'm misunderstanding you, so rather than address what it sounds like you said, I'm going to ask you to clarify first. You should be able to answer most of this with a "yes/no" - and the things that are "no", you can clarify them. :)
Dinosawer wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:37 am
I see it less as 'learning potentially useful things' and more as 'learning identity defining things', as 'building a character' like levelling stats is also building a character.
As a player, I have an idea of what kind of character I want my character to become. I don't want whether or not I can actually let that happen to depend on one random roll, just like I don't want a roll of dice to determine whether or not I can level the stat I want to level after a mission. It's not because we use dice rolls that we have to use them for everything.
So, here, you're saying that players always have an idea of where they should take their characters, and whether or not they can take their characters to those spots should depend not on dice, or bonuses/penalties, but whether the players themselves think it works? So, for instance, someone that decided they wanted to take their character in an uber-powerful direction where they ride their own self-built battlemech into battle and crush everything with swarms of rockets - that should be permitted, if the player thinks it sounds fun?
Dinosawer wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:37 am
Say I want to make a diplomatic character and I do that by, say trying to learn Hiltorel, Hiltorel culture, and Hiltorel etiquette - and then you roll for it and I fail the first two and succeed the latter. And I can't learn them either the next 3 missions, by which time we're no longer dealing with Hiltorel and none of this is relevant anyway. That means, well, too bad, invent another character idea cause you can't become what you wanted to.
To put this another way, are you saying that, if I give you a challenge, it should be all right for you to immediately nullify it with the use of general knowledge rather than roleplaying a creative way through it? I would personally be 100% fine with you doing it just because it sounds fun, but you do mention "none of this is relevant anyway". There would always be hiltorel around somewhere, so you could always talk to them, but what you seem to be saying is, you only want to do it if it gives you an immediate advantage in your dealings with them?
Dinosawer wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:37 am
Which would, as I feel it, be equivalent to me saying "I want to level manoeuvrability and general knowledge by 1 each" and you rolling a dice and saying "nope, you're not levelling either of those, nor are you gonna be able to level them the next 4 missions".
(Obviously way less bad, but you get my point)
I don't get your point, actually. It sounds like you're saying stats and skills = player-determined bonuses. Stats/skills are pre-balanced and very known quantities, both to other players and myself, whereas whatever you guys cook up is... well, an unknown, and not remotely balanced. For instance, it sounds like you're saying that leveling durability with +1 is equivalent to, say, the ability to dodge bullets - which is actually something one of you guys previously suggested to me as a GK skill. Is this accurate?
Dinosawer wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:37 am
You can argue, well, wait till you have higher GK, but I don't really think that works, for 2 reasons:
a) Let's be honest, little people are going to level it past +1, and pretty much no one is gonna level it past +2. Which is 1/3 or 1/2 chance of success, respectively, which still is not a lot. (Still not consistent enough for building a character, I feel)
b) What's the fun in having to wait till you're level 8 or whatever to learn fun and defining things?
Imagine Dino (the character, not me, I seriously should have invented an actual name) hadn't gotten that one lucky GK roll in mission 1 and hadn't learned parkour - I dare say he would have been a noticeably less interesting or unique or fun to play character then. Not really less powerful, but less 'Dino'.
I very briefly considered the whole "wait until you have higher GK" but discarded it almost immediately, favoring two missions OR a 1d3 die. 1d3 die gives a little more variability, but we could do a fixed two-missions if it seems to make more sense.

I would like to ask, though. Was the fun you had with Dino because of an arbitrary stat change, or was it because the way you played him was radically different afterwards?

Dinosawer wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:37 am
Which is why I don't really like the idea of a random dice roll you are more likely to fail than succeed to determine whether you can develop your character towards the view you have or not.
Of course, GK still needs to actually matter, but I think influencing how many things you can actually learn is enough for that. (And even then, I would dare to cap the minimum amount of things you can learn to your GK - having +1 GK and still having a 30 percent chance of learning nothing at all (assuming 3 tries, for 6 it would be 8.7 %) would kinda suck)
As well as influencing how much creds it would cost to learn it, if anything.
So you're saying, if someone has +1 GK and has three dice rolled for them, they can then choose "Ability to dodge bullets", "Full knowledge on the Quantums" and "SCAMPS' killswitch phrase" - and I'd have to give them one of those, no questions asked? And this makes more sense than a system that encourages them to ask for more realistic things, where I give bonuses to things that are well-balanced and make sense?
Dinosawer wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:37 am
Being able to prioritize what you learn would be an acceptable compromise, I think (especially if at least your GK of successes would be guaranteed, maybe also if not).
I however do not see the point of having to wait d3 missions before trying again - neither the mechanical reason (if I really want to learn something, why not just let me try again after a mission?) nor the in universe reason (not succeeding at learning French between mission 1 and 2 does not magically block my brain from any attempts at learning French for between mission 2 and 3).
The point is to encourage them to try something new rather than spam the same things repeatedly, and then be unhappy when they continue to fail. Do you know why we have multiroll rules? Pretty close to the exact same idea. :P
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Re: REKT: Little Questions Thread

#108
Talvieno wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:51 pm
I think there might be some possibility I'm misunderstanding you, so rather than address what it sounds like you said, I'm going to ask you to clarify first. You should be able to answer most of this with a "yes/no" - and the things that are "no", you can clarify them. :)
Yes, you are - very much so. I'm not even sure 'you' and 'the point I was trying to make' are even still in the same observable universe :ghost:

First off, and I'm gonna put this up front because it comes back a few times - at no point did I even imply the current rules for what you can learn with GK suddenly vanish.
Namely, I was assuming what you can learn is bound to the following restrictions:
A) It has to be something that you can reasonably know or learn or be able to do.
B) It has to be something you have to be able to find teaching or information about that allows you to learn it + that you could somewhat reasonable learn in the timeframe you have (with some handwaving)
C) It should be a tool in solving problems, not a solution for problems.
D) It should either give no roll bonuses, or if it does, they should be minor, conditional, and most importantly up to the GM. At no point does knowledge completely override your stats.

A few examples:
-"Ability to dodge bullets" - violates both A (physically impossible) and D)
-"Full knowledge on the Quantums" and "SCAMPS' killswitch phrase" - violates B), because there is nowhere you can obtain this information between missions, and probably also violates C)
-"The Hiltorese language" - this is fine, being able to communicate with someone is a first step towards diplomatic solutions, but does not magically make all Hiltorel your friends
-"The knowledge on how to build a mech from scratch" - violates B) as it would takes years and years of experience, and it also A) if you expect to be able to do it in the timeframe of a mission or magically conjure the materials to do so from your pockets
-"Knowing parkour" - ok, traversal skill in some cases and a minor boost to unarmed combat in some cases
-"Knowing kung fu" - ok, but if your unarmed combat stats are shit you're not going to be very good at it no matter what (though you'll look really cool while you miss your attacks, so that's something)
-"Know the layout of the enemy base for the next mission" - violates B) as they aren't gonna put it on the internet and C)
-"The secret to unaided flight" - violates A) because it's physically impossible

with that said
Talvieno wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:51 pm
So, here, you're saying that players always have an idea of where they should take their characters, and whether or not they can take their characters to those spots should depend not on dice, or bonuses/penalties, but whether the players themselves think it works?
Yes (except for the bonuses/penalties part, see above), in the same sense that we can decide to go for engineer/psionic/melee/ranged without having to roll a dice for it.
Talvieno wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:51 pm
So, for instance, someone that decided they wanted to take their character in an uber-powerful direction where they ride their own self-built battlemech into battle and crush everything with swarms of rockets - that should be permitted, if the player thinks it sounds fun?
No, because we have this thing called 'rules' and that violates several of them, such as 'you can't build an entire mech in 5 minutes' and 'you don't have the materials to build an entire mech' and 'even if you were able to buy a few dozen partkits, you can't transport more than a few of them either' and 'don't be a Triggerhappy'
Talvieno wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:51 pm
To put this another way, are you saying that, if I give you a challenge, it should be all right for you to immediately nullify it with the use of general knowledge rather than roleplaying a creative way through it?
No - see above - GK should be something we can use to gain tools, not solutions. For example, knowing Hiltorel language and culture is a tool. It allows you to RP and try to talk things out instead of always resorting to violence, but it does not magically make all Hiltorel like you, and you might still be shit at being charismatic.
Talvieno wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:51 pm
I would personally be 100% fine with you doing it just because it sounds fun, but you do mention "none of this is relevant anyway". There would always be hiltorel around somewhere, so you could always talk to them, but what you seem to be saying is, you only want to do it if it gives you an immediate advantage in your dealings with them?
No, see, my example was maybe not really realistic (I don't know how much species intermingle, for all I know we never see a Hiltorel after mission 1), but was I was getting at - if I want these things for RP reasons, I also want to be able to actually ever use them in RP, otherwise it's just a line on my character sheet. "Knowing Hiltorel because I want to talk to things before shooting them" does not make me diplomatic if I can never talk to someone in Hiltorel.
Talvieno wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:51 pm
Dinosawer wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:37 am
Which would, as I feel it, be equivalent to me saying "I want to level manoeuvrability and general knowledge by 1 each" and you rolling a dice and saying "nope, you're not levelling either of those, nor are you gonna be able to level them the next 4 missions".
(Obviously way less bad, but you get my point)
I don't get your point, actually. It sounds like you're saying stats and skills = player-determined bonuses. Stats/skills are pre-balanced and very known quantities, both to other players and myself, whereas whatever you guys cook up is... well, an unknown, and not remotely balanced. For instance, it sounds like you're saying that leveling durability with +1 is equivalent to, say, the ability to dodge bullets - which is actually something one of you guys previously suggested to me as a GK skill. Is this accurate?
No, see, again, above. Tools, not flat bonuses, and dodging bullets is ridiculous and if anyone suggested that it definitely wasn't me :P
What I meant is that, for the purpose of character development, and with the restrictions assumed above, learned things and stats and skills are equivalent - I don't mean in power. I mean in RP sense. I might want to develop my knowledge in a direction that makes me better at diplomacy, or whatever, just like I might want to be able to develop my stats/skills in a direction that makes me better at using PSI equipment. Not being able to do the former because of random dice rolls would feel equally bad as not being able to do the latter because of random dice rolls.
Talvieno wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:51 pm
I very briefly considered the whole "wait until you have higher GK" but discarded it almost immediately, favoring two missions OR a 1d3 die. 1d3 die gives a little more variability, but we could do a fixed two-missions if it seems to make more sense.

I would like to ask, though. Was the fun you had with Dino because of an arbitrary stat change, or was it because the way you played him was radically different afterwards?
Both. The sudden skill I received made me able to and encouraged me to play him in a certain way.
Talvieno wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:51 pm
So you're saying, if someone has +1 GK and has three dice rolled for them, they can then choose "Ability to dodge bullets", "Full knowledge on the Quantums" and "SCAMPS' killswitch phrase" - and I'd have to give them one of those, no questions asked?
No, because all of those violate the rules for GK and should not get a GK roll at all in the first place.
If however a player asks for things that are actually reasonable, like "knowledge about the history of Huhoba", "Hiltorel", and "Knowledge about commonly used AM", and they went out of their way to level what is for a lot of people a dump stat, then yes, I don't think it's a bad thing. Randomness can hurt, and while that is expected in RPG's, there will probably not be enough of these GK rolls during a campaign to 'even out' the randomness, unlike for attack rolls and the such.
Talvieno wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:51 pm
And this makes more sense than a system that encourages them to ask for more realistic things, where I give bonuses to things that are well-balanced and make sense?
See above, als, one does not exclude the other. I also was more thinking of "If you somehow fail all GK rolls, one of them becomes a 5 instead". You can then still add a minor difficulty or easiness bonus if you think something should be possible but hard to learn, or easy to learn.
(For example, I imagine you could make things easier if they are purely for RP and not useful, or make sense given the character background)
Talvieno wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:51 pm
The point is to encourage them to try something new rather than spam the same things repeatedly, and then be unhappy when they continue to fail. Do you know why we have multiroll rules? Pretty close to the exact same idea. :P
Why would they need to try something new? They're not more likely to succeed a GK roll for something new. Multiroll rules are needed because we can otherwise break the game by trying things an infinite amount of times in 1 turn until they succeed, but if GK rolls between missions are already capped to 3/6/whatever, there's no point in applying the same system.
I'm fairly sure I'd be more unhappy if I was unable to learn something I wanted to at all without having to wait, and having to try to learn something I wanted to know less (while being equally likely to fail at learning it), than having to try 3 times to do it.
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Re: REKT: Little Questions Thread

#109
Dinosawer wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:11 am
Yes, you are - very much so. I'm not even sure 'you' and 'the point I was trying to make' are even still in the same observable universe
I did spend a good deal of time reading through your post and trying to figure out exactly what you were saying. I'm not sure it's my fault if you weren't getting your point across well - and you seemed not to be, given that to almost everything I asked, you answered "no". I showed your post to a few other people and they thought you were saying what I thought you were saying as well. :) But let's move on.

To be clear: I don't think you're stupid. I am not Naed, after all. :ghost: You are an intelligent player and one of my most active (perhaps even the most active). You've played many hours of both this RPG and other tabletop RPGs as well. The mistakes you've made here are simply highlighting the difference between player knowledge and GM knowledge. It's an easy mistake to make because part of the GM's goal, most of the time, is to preserve "the magic" of the RPG - to keep the things that happen behind-the-scenes hidden. It's not unusual you would miss them. However, now that you brought it up here in front of "the table", it's a good time to clear the air and address it.

So, let's begin.

To open: General Knowledge is a story-oriented stat. Given your experience with Dino's parkour, I think you realize this. Keep that in mind; it will be relevant later.

Something you seem to be assuming is that all players will play as ethically as you do. In short, they will not. If video games were designed around that mindset they would be chock-full of bugs and glitches. "Nobody will try to run through that wall, so why should I bother giving it a collision box? I mean, the path's right there!" Players will always try to pick at and exploit things in any and every way they can find. It's one of the very, very first things you learn as a GM. Designers of these RPGs, while they may not fully balance them, tend to get rid of the biggest flaws, so that in most cases, if something goes awry, it's the fault of the GM. In my case, I am GM and designer, so I must think for both.

Another problem is that the players know I make the rules. Therefore, they are MUCH more likely to debate the rules with me than they would be with an ordinary GM. I used to spend an incredible amount of time debating rules with you guys (like I'm doing right now). Eventually I decided to begin rule-zeroing things - which, for some things, is a good decision - and a bad decision for others. Unfortunately that only works in a private setting, and not so much in front of the whole group - and you've brought this up in a public thread, so everyone needs to see my reasoning behind what I say as well.

Finally, the central "idea" behind what you're arguing for is that I offload core parts of storytelling from the GM to the players. This is a fundamentally bad idea. The players are in a roofless maze. They can see, sometimes, each other. They can't see what's around the corner. They can't see what's on the other side of the maze. Often, they even lose track of themselves. But the GM, looking down from above, can see everything. The GM's job is to ensure that the players enjoy finding their way out of the maze. It is to ensure none of the players get hopelessly left behind, and to ensure that, even if some of the players have a rough time every now and then, it turns out to be worth it in the end. I know, far better than any of you could by definition, exactly how things work in my universe - because it's my universe, after all, just as it is my story.

Dinosawer wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:11 am
A) It has to be something that you can reasonably know or learn or be able to do.
B) It has to be something you have to be able to find teaching or information about that allows you to learn it + that you could somewhat reasonable learn in the timeframe you have (with some handwaving)
C) It should be a tool in solving problems, not a solution for problems.
D) It should either give no roll bonuses, or if it does, they should be minor, conditional, and most importantly up to the GM. At no point does knowledge completely override your stats.
A), B), and C) are all very bad ideas. If you let the players see your reasoning AT ALL behind any one of these (Is it reasonable? Can you find the materials? Do you have the time? Is it a tool or a solution?) they will IMMEDIATELY begin to debate it. After all, they want that shiny new skill! If they have to debate it for an hour, it's worth it, because that means dozens of hours where they get to use it. I must avoid giving them the option to debate (as with the system I put forth earlier in the thread) or I'll set myself up for dozens of hours of debates where players insist fervently that their proposal makes sense. Two hours of debate with each of you is twenty hours of debating for me. As such, you guys can debate far longer than I can; eventually I will grow tired and say "fukc it" and either Rule Zero (which damages player morale noticeably and causes them to believe I'm a worse GM) OR let it happen, which, if it's worth my time to actually debate, means it is almost certainly gamebreaking.

And here's the core of the problem with debate: A player that debates a ruling with the GM is being a dick to every other player. Every hour that the disgruntled player spends trying to argue with the GM is an hour the GM is tied up and unable to provide a fun experience for anyone else. That means, while the debating player may spend only two hours of their time debating, and two hours of the GM's time debating, they are effectively wasting 2x9, or eighteen hours of the time of the other players, total - and it is indeed wasting, because none of the other players ever see a moment of payoff from it! In fact, if you have a system that encourages debate and every player debates with me for two hours, each player has spent two hours debating, and I have spent 20, and in total the time wasted between players totals 180 wasted game-hours.

Now, a few examples of ways I'd fully expect players to debate things:

A) "Of course it's a reasonable request. Tons of people know X!"
B) "What do you mean I can't find information about X? Don't we have a huge library at our fingertips?? Surely the Nemesis could store an entire encyclopedia of digital information!"
B) "What??? People have learned X in this timeframe before! I'll go get examples!"
C) "X isn't a solution to the problem! This problem is only a small part of the whole, so while it maybe solves this one little thing, it's not the whole issue by far!"

In short, any system that leaves reasoning of rules up to the players, or encourages debate, is too flawed to put into practice.

On a final, less important note: I strongly disagree with C) and D). I need the flexibility to be able to permit people to have solutions to minor problems if I see fit, or, if I see fit, grant people abilities that give roll bonuses in specific situations. I have a broader knowledge of what could be coming next than the players. I can adjust things to better fit the setting. Just because something doesn't work right now doesn't mean I won't let it work later on, and just because something does work right now doesn't mean it always will.

So, here, you're saying that players always have an idea of where they should take their characters, and whether or not they can take their characters to those spots should depend not on dice, or bonuses/penalties, but whether the players themselves think it works?
Yes (except for the bonuses/penalties part, see above), in the same sense that we can decide to go for engineer/psionic/melee/ranged without having to roll a dice for it.
Do you remember Hyperion's mass-changing bowling ball ship civilization? The one that he got bored of almost immediately, even though he thought it was a fun idea? Many players - especially new ones, but often veterans as well - don't understand what makes an RPG fun. They believe it's about the victory, or about being different, or about combat. What is actually fun is the journey and roleplaying, and triumph over odds, and a good story. If you notice, none of those things are things a player has any control over: that is entirely in the hands of the GM. (The players may be able to handle roleplaying on their own, yes, but it is the GM that gives them the opportunities to roleplay in the first place.)

In short, the players don't actually know whether something will work, or whether it will be fun. Only the GM can know those things. The players may guess at them, but they are merely guesses, and often wrong.

Dinosawer wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:11 am
No, because we have this thing called 'rules' and that violates several of them, such as 'you can't build an entire mech in 5 minutes' and 'you don't have the materials to build an entire mech' and 'even if you were able to buy a few dozen partkits, you can't transport more than a few of them either' and 'don't be a Triggerhappy'
Most of those "rules" aren't posted anywhere. They are "common sense" things, and if something is merely "common sense" it can and will be debated by a player.

Dinosawer wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:11 am
No - see above - GK should be something we can use to gain tools, not solutions. For example, knowing Hiltorel language and culture is a tool. It allows you to RP and try to talk things out instead of always resorting to violence, but it does not magically make all Hiltorel like you, and you might still be shit at being charismatic.
Is knowing the Hiltorel language really a tool, though? Let's say I have a plan for a fun, humorous intermission in an off-mission quest where there are a few hiltorel that don't speak "Galactic Standard" and only speak their language. My idea is to let the player characters "act out" what they're trying to get across, and then the hiltorel can interpret it. Then they can try to act out some things themselves. This could turn absolutely hilarious, could it not? It'd be a fun, memorable experience for the players: "Remember that time we found those hiltorel, when Bob got up on a box and started hooting and waving his arms?" "Yeah, that was hilarious! Lol, and remember - Gearhead tried to convince Saoirse to make out with him to help the hiltorels understand what they were talking about!" "Man, that was great!"

However, if I had such a thing planned, learning the hiltorel language is not a tool - it is a solution. The entire episode with the hiltorel turns into a mundane "Just point us in the right direction" and you rob that fun experience from every other player. It is gone, and if I really, really want or need that experience for the player group? Perhaps, let's say, it is necessary because it introduces an important concept that the rest of the story builds off? If that's the case, and I must have that experience for the players, my only option is to kill your character off, simply because you wanted to learn how to speak HIltorel.

This is a good example of something the GM knows that the players don't necessarily expect. A player may think they know what is a good idea, but they don't really. Tools may be solutions, and solutions may be tools. There is no fine line. It is a blur. They are almost one and the same. A tool to solve one problem is a solution to another problem.

Dinosawer wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:11 am
No, see, my example was maybe not really realistic (I don't know how much species intermingle, for all I know we never see a Hiltorel after mission 1), but was I was getting at - if I want these things for RP reasons, I also want to be able to actually ever use them in RP, otherwise it's just a line on my character sheet. "Knowing Hiltorel because I want to talk to things before shooting them" does not make me diplomatic if I can never talk to someone in Hiltorel.
(Emphasis mine) This is an excellent example of how players - including yourself - only see what is right in front of them and do not necessarily make the best decisions about what is fun. As a GM, with this in my hands, I have to make snap judgments about - Will this conflict with the story? Is it too overpowered? Will it harm the experiences of the other players? Will it actually be fun? Will they get enough use out of it? After years of making these snap judgments, a GM becomes very good at it - provided they're a good GM of course. It becomes simple. The players don't have this experience and they don't have any of this knowledge.

As to whether you will ever use it in RP... That brings something else to mind: previously, you mentioned, "Let's be honest. Nobody is going to get anything past +1 GK." Will they really not? If they honestly believe it wouldn't be worth it, they are being foolish. GK may be what you consider to be a dump stat, but it is also a stat (at least, right now) completely controlled by the GM. That means that it is as strong, or as weak, as the GM makes it. Personally, if you actually invested enough to get +2, or especially +3, or - by far - +4, then I would let you do insane things with your GK rolls. If you invested that far I would grant you abilities and skills beyond the reaches of any other player, because you actually sat there and invested all that time and effort into it when nobody else did. I would make it worth it to you.

Do you trust the GM so little that you would expect any fun experience to come completely from yourself? Do you really trust the GM so little that you would trust a group of "blind" players more than you would trust the storyteller? As I recall, your DnD GM gave your first game a very anticlimactic end with the "Big Boss" being defeated early by someone shining a candle on him and spoiling his invisibility. I'm not sure I would trust that GM with GK either, but that doesn't mean I'm that bad.

The hiltorel-charades example does a good job of showing that quite often, a GM's decisions are for your own good - even if you don't see why at the time.

No, see, again, above. Tools, not flat bonuses, and dodging bullets is ridiculous and if anyone suggested that it definitely wasn't me :P
It doesn't matter if it was you. What matters is that someone would suggest it. When you design rules for an RPG you must design them for the weakest links - a hypothetical individual who goes well out of their way to exploit and break every little thing - a hypothetical individual that doesn't understand how to have fun in an RPG. If you don't, things inevitably become boring and broken - not just for the player executing the exploits, but every player around them. The actions of one affects the whole.

Players are notoriously bad at seeing how their actions would affect others in the long-term, which is again an argument against giving the players more control over things that affect everyone in the long-term.

What I meant is that, for the purpose of character development, and with the restrictions assumed above, learned things and stats and skills are equivalent - I don't mean in power. I mean in RP sense. I might want to develop my knowledge in a direction that makes me better at diplomacy, or whatever, just like I might want to be able to develop my stats/skills in a direction that makes me better at using PSI equipment. Not being able to do the former because of random dice rolls would feel equally bad as not being able to do the latter because of random dice rolls.
But they are not equivalent, or even remotely so - especially not in terms of "RP sense" as you call it. I could for instance give myself both the ability to play a flute, and the ability to call down a bolt of lightning from heaven. I might say they have equal roleplay value - and it would be true! But only to me, because it is the player that defines how "good" things are in terms of roleplay value - it is highly up for debate, which means of course inevitably I will have to argue with the players (as I am even right now) over whether or not two things are "equal".

But it isn't just the roleplay sense of balance that matters. It's the roleplay sense, and the combat, and the gameplay, and the story, and the universe, and the backstory, and a hundred other tiny little things working together to make The Story. You cannot focus on simply one thing to the exclusion of others and say they are equal. It is like comparing the numbers 92 and 1203847 and saying they're equal, simply because the second digit in both numbers is "2".

And again, there is no guarantee that what you think is fun will ever actually get used enough to be fun. I can tweak the campaign, but I can't design a campaign around ten players' completely unrelated GK rolls. That would be ludicrous and impossible without the loss of my sanity. The game would spiral into chaos and meaninglessness. It would be like trying to make a story of random words.

Both. The sudden skill I received made me able to and encouraged me to play him in a certain way.
Good answer, with the exception of "made me able to" - you were mostly as able before, but you chose not to. The fun part was wholly in how you chose to play. Sitting behind cover and hoping you hit things is a surefire way to have as little fun as you would in traditional DnD HP-based combat. (Or, in REKT, even less!)

Dinosawer wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:11 am
See above, als, one does not exclude the other. I also was more thinking of "If you somehow fail all GK rolls, one of them becomes a 5 instead". You can then still add a minor difficulty or easiness bonus if you think something should be possible but hard to learn, or easy to learn.
(For example, I imagine you could make things easier if they are purely for RP and not useful, or make sense given the character background)
This in particular makes so little sense that, out of everything you've suggested thus far, I'm going to openly Rule Zero it right off the bat. This suggested system: "A guaranteed success" is a terrible idea. It begs for exploitation. All a player has to do is invent three things that they know I wouldn't agree with, and then, regardless of rolls, penalties, bonuses, any of that - I must give one to them. Even if it would damage the experience of every other player there. The player requesting it may not see this, of course - in fact, they probably don't, and when I either go against the rules to Rule Zero what it is, or things inevitably spiral into chaos and die later - I will be touted as a "Bad GM" and people will point their fingers at me, rather than the one that caused the problem in the first place.

YOU may not plan to do this, but that means nothing in this conversation, because the rules I design aren't just for you. They are for everyone.

As to the bonuses/penalties, I cannot add those in full view of the player because it opens up the option to debate them. "But player X got a Y bonus when he did Z, surely this is worth at least that much of a bonus!"

Dinosawer wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:11 am
Why would they need to try something new? They're not more likely to succeed a GK roll for something new. Multiroll rules are needed because we can otherwise break the game by trying things an infinite amount of times in 1 turn until they succeed, but if GK rolls between missions are already capped to 3/6/whatever, there's no point in applying the same system.
I'm fairly sure I'd be more unhappy if I was unable to learn something I wanted to at all without having to wait, and having to try to learn something I wanted to know less (while being equally likely to fail at learning it), than having to try 3 times to do it.
I'm not talking about your proposed system. I'm talking about mine, and the way things currently work: I have the ability to give bonuses and penalties, ranging from -4 to +4, on all GK rolls. This is imperative and of utmost importance because it is part of how I GM the game. If you take away my ability to GM the game, you might as well not have a GM at all, and as I think any player that has ever tried to host a game while they were playing it would know - it doesn't work. You need a GM that is unbiased between the players and can see the "bigger picture".

With the -4/+4 system - either system, be it in-mission or pre-mission, I can (without having to tell the players what I'm doing) give bonuses to GK rolls that I feel would be good to succeed - for any variety of reasons, ranging from "the player's been having a shit time lately" to "this sounds like it'd be fun" to "this will be important later on" - or deny them for reasons such as "this would harm the other players", "this would ruin something I'm planning later", or "this wouldn't actually be fun". With that system in mind, the "wait 2 missions" rule has an enormous advantage over your system, because in the intervening time I can subtly let the player see that the skill they wanted wouldn't be so fun after all, or let slip the knowledge that their skill wouldn't be used in the future anyway. Perhaps the skill isn't useful then and would feel wasted, and then they wouldn't think to use it later on when it would actually be useful - and I can give them that impression as well.

Without that, it is simply chaos with people trying the same things over and over again at the start of every mission - in either system. Without that two-mission gap, they'll have etched into their minds "I will try again when the mission is over". When they inevitably fail the roll a second time (with my system) they will probably become upset about it, because they will ask, "If you weren't going to give it to me, why didn't you just tell me? Now I wasted it!"



To summarize: The player may know what they think is fun for themselves, but that is all they know. The players cannot look into the future or around the corner, but the GM can. The handling of GK must be left to the GM because it heavily affects story and rules, which is the GM's territory by nature.
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Re: REKT: Little Questions Thread

#110
:think:
FTR, I wasn't blaming you for not understanding me, I know I'm not the best at explaining nebulous concepts, even when I know exactly how I feel them.
Anyway.
I might not intuitively agree with every detail, I do with most, and I trust you to know this better than I do and won't argue the point further. :)

I'll however point out a few fears/issues/... from the player side, and I'll leave it up to you wether or not they need addressing.
-the main thing I was trying to address - say, I pick 3 things to learn after this mission. Say, that I either picked stupid things you decide I should not be able to learn, or I have really shitty luck, and I fail all rolls, despite having decent gk. That would be a sucky feeling, I think. More so than missing a few weapon rolls, because we probably do more attacks in 1 mission than we get opportunities to learn in the entire campaign.
But maybe that's just my inner whiny player. Idunno.

-I didn't mean gk is a bad stat or one that should be dumped. I was just observing that most people dump it.

-GK, while fun, is incredibly hard to use.
I think this is, in large, due to the fact that's it's a skill entirely controlled by the gm as you say...but the players still have to control the intent of it completely.
Like, you say you'd give awesome skills to people with high gk - but that's not how it works. We have to ask for something specific, and we might get it, or not. We can't read your mind to know what kind of stuff we would and would not be able to get.
As well as, how are we supposed to be able to try to gain certain knowledge, when we as player are not aware that said knowledge is there to gain in the first place?
Just firing dozens of random ideas at you till one sticks is not exactly fun or usable.

-I thought I had another but I can't remember it. Maybe it'll come to me tomorrow...
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Re: REKT: Little Questions Thread

#111
Dinosawer wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:37 pm
:think:
FTR, I wasn't blaming you for not understanding me, I know I'm not the best at explaining nebulous concepts, even when I know exactly how I feel them.
Anyway.
I might not intuitively agree with every detail, I do with most, and I trust you to know this better than I do and won't argue the point further. :)

I'll however point out a few fears/issues/... from the player side, and I'll leave it up to you wether or not they need addressing.
-the main thing I was trying to address - say, I pick 3 things to learn after this mission. Say, that I either picked stupid things you decide I should not be able to learn, or I have really shitty luck, and I fail all rolls, despite having decent gk. That would be a sucky feeling, I think. More so than missing a few weapon rolls, because we probably do more attacks in 1 mission than we get opportunities to learn in the entire campaign.
But maybe that's just my inner whiny player. Idunno.
It is not! You are not at all being a "whiny player" if this was to happen - I would be being a bad GM. If something like this happened - if I didn't give enough bonuses so that something succeeded, it would be my fault (or a spectacularly, uncommonly bad die roll). If you chose stupid things, it is my responsibility as GM to come to you and say, "Hey. Let's talk about this! This stuff doesn't work. Let's talk, man-to-man, and come up with something that works for everyone." I seriously doubt anyone would choose THREE stupid things, but if they did, it's far easier to come to the player prior to the roll than it is to come after the roll - because prior to the roll, if I come to you then, it feels as though I'm on your side (and I am, of course!) After the roll is done, and it already looks like you've failed - I look like the bad guy, and settling it becomes more difficult.

All I really have to do is say "I'm not likely to grant this. Want to choose something else?" and voila, problem solved. :) And that's what I should do, and what I would do.
-I didn't mean gk is a bad stat or one that should be dumped. I was just observing that most people dump it.
That's fine, and I've noticed it. It's a repercussion from my early days of GMing. Things like this have far-reaching consequences. Early on I didn't understand how to properly deal with GK, and people still feel an intuitive "distance" from GK, even if it might be far better now, or I might be experienced enough to make it work.
-GK, while fun, is incredibly hard to use.
I think this is, in large, due to the fact that's it's a skill entirely controlled by the gm as you say...but the players still have to control the intent of it completely.
Like, you say you'd give awesome skills to people with high gk - but that's not how it works. We have to ask for something specific, and we might get it, or not. We can't read your mind to know what kind of stuff we would and would not be able to get.
As well as, how are we supposed to be able to try to gain certain knowledge, when we as player are not aware that said knowledge is there to gain in the first place?
Just firing dozens of random ideas at you till one sticks is not exactly fun or usable.

-I thought I had another but I can't remember it. Maybe it'll come to me tomorrow...
It is a hard skill to use, yes. It's an "advanced skill" - a skill that advanced players - players who have 5 to 10 years of experience, say - would find quite easy and intuitive, because they have the out-of-character experience, knowledge, and skills to use it. A new player who is just learning the ropes and still thinks that "fun" is defined by "damage per second" would not understand it, and might even find General Knowledge utterly pointless. :P

As to having to read my mind, if there was zero chance I'd give it to you - if it was something that simply wouldn't work at any point in the campaign, and I knew it - I would come to you and say so. That would help you learn, and it would help you have a better time... and I feel like helping the players have a good time is the job of a GM to begin with. :)

As to being "aware that said knowledge is there to gain" that comes down to creativity, really, which is another part of why it's an advanced skill.
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Re: REKT: Little Questions Thread

#112
Talvieno wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:47 pm
It is not! You are not at all being a "whiny player" if this was to happen - I would be being a bad GM. If something like this happened - if I didn't give enough bonuses so that something succeeded, it would be my fault (or a spectacularly, uncommonly bad die roll). If you chose stupid things, it is my responsibility as GM to come to you and say, "Hey. Let's talk about this! This stuff doesn't work. Let's talk, man-to-man, and come up with something that works for everyone." I seriously doubt anyone would choose THREE stupid things, but if they did, it's far easier to come to the player prior to the roll than it is to come after the roll - because prior to the roll, if I come to you then, it feels as though I'm on your side (and I am, of course!) After the roll is done, and it already looks like you've failed - I look like the bad guy, and settling it becomes more difficult.

All I really have to do is say "I'm not likely to grant this. Want to choose something else?" and voila, problem solved. :) And that's what I should do, and what I would do.
k, fair :D
Talvieno wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:47 pm
It is a hard skill to use, yes. It's an "advanced skill" - a skill that advanced players - players who have 5 to 10 years of experience, say - would find quite easy and intuitive, because they have the out-of-character experience, knowledge, and skills to use it. A new player who is just learning the ropes and still thinks that "fun" is defined by "damage per second" would not understand it, and might even find General Knowledge utterly pointless. :P

As to having to read my mind, if there was zero chance I'd give it to you - if it was something that simply wouldn't work at any point in the campaign, and I knew it - I would come to you and say so. That would help you learn, and it would help you have a better time... and I feel like helping the players have a good time is the job of a GM to begin with. :)

As to being "aware that said knowledge is there to gain" that comes down to creativity, really, which is another part of why it's an advanced skill.
I know you need to be creative to use it, but I think in some ways it starts to go from "being creative" to "being Tal". To give an example - the only character that I think really properly used GK was Clara (an NPC). For example, she used GK to know she could somehow rewire her hacking systems to use them instead of her fried ship computer.
How am I, as a player, supposed to even come up with something like that? While not coming up with something that wouldn't work?
I mean, yes, you can tell us "No that doesn't work" but then it becomes something like "Do I know X" "No" "Do I know Y" "No" "Do I know Z" "No" [20 tries later] "Do I know ZHWB?" "Yes"
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Re: REKT: Little Questions Thread

#113
Talvieno wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:47 pm
I seriously doubt anyone would choose THREE stupid things, but if they did, it's far easier to come to the player prior to the roll than it is to come after the roll - because prior to the roll, if I come to you then, it feels as though I'm on your side (and I am, of course!)
You're the GM. Of course you're not on the player's side. :mrgreen:
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Re: REKT: Little Questions Thread

#114
Dinosawer wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:26 am
I know you need to be creative to use it, but I think in some ways it starts to go from "being creative" to "being Tal". To give an example - the only character that I think really properly used GK was Clara (an NPC). For example, she used GK to know she could somehow rewire her hacking systems to use them instead of her fried ship computer.
How am I, as a player, supposed to even come up with something like that? While not coming up with something that wouldn't work?
I mean, yes, you can tell us "No that doesn't work" but then it becomes something like "Do I know X" "No" "Do I know Y" "No" "Do I know Z" "No" [20 tries later] "Do I know ZHWB?" "Yes"
It's a very complicated topic, yes. It's nothing to do with "understanding Tal", though. It's more "understanding GMs in general".

In brief, there are three types of GMs:
- Storyteller GMs: They have the story, and they tell it. If the players don't want to listen, they don't have to play. Players will have fun here as long as they don't try to test the "invisible walls" placed everywhere. A player with GK under a Storyteller GM has wasted their points and time.
- Storywatcher GMs: They have no story and things evolve chaotically around "is this going to be funny?" These tables have the most laughter, but the game/story is rarely deep or balanced. A player with GK under a Storywatcher GM will be significantly more powerful than their peers.
- Storywriter GMs: They adapt frequently and enjoy player creativity. They put thought into almost every aspect of the game and story, and things evolve based on player actions and the good of the story. A player with GK under a Storywriter GM needs a fair bit of skill in order to use it properly, but they'll have an advantage if they can.

I'm the third type, obviously. When you understand my motivations, you'll have a better "feel" for what I'd accept. It won't be perfect, but it will be quite good.


DigitalDuck wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:48 am
Talvieno wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:47 pm
I seriously doubt anyone would choose THREE stupid things, but if they did, it's far easier to come to the player prior to the roll than it is to come after the roll - because prior to the roll, if I come to you then, it feels as though I'm on your side (and I am, of course!)
You're the GM. Of course you're not on the player's side. :mrgreen:
:lol: That's a complicated topic. I would say I'm on the side of the players (I mean, I'm doing a game for you guys, aren't I?), but certainly not on the side of the characters. :D (Although there are some GMs that just want to make their players miserable because they get a kick out of it, I'm not one of them. I think.)
(Probably.)
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Re: REKT: Little Questions Thread

#119
Other question - the PSI helmet increases the amount of stuff you can carry - but does it also increase the amount of attacks you can make?
(The similar exoskeleton doesn't, but that one also increases your attack stat whereas the PSI helmet does not, so not sure. Though with the rules as written it technically should)
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Re: REKT: Little Questions Thread

#120
Punching/melee is defined as ene+man - int+man. That should be in the wiki somewhere.

PSI helmet: It's outdated since the changes. I don't see that it actually does anything that the PSI pack doesn't already do, other than exchange two weapons slots for a single helmet slot. I don't think it gives bonuses. It also doesn't look like it protects against vomit collecting in the helmet.
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