Ideas for improving long term interest...


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Post Sat Aug 25, 2007 8:42 pm

I think you have a pretty good grasp of what I was thinking on the variable rewards. And yeah, I didn't mean just combat, it'd be either one or a couple random actions that would generate the item/power/etc. Also, these would be tied to the person, thus eliminating the funnel to the top issue (ie stealing the item wouldn't give you the ability to use it).

As for leveling and new players not being able to help due to level 0 (or low level), that's more myth than reality. It's been well tested that 3 new players can defeat even the toughest master warrior. Leveling up, while making one feel better isn't really all that important even at low levels. That being said, if you are effective even at level 0, then why worry about if beyond that is slowed slightly? It's all just how you use the skills you have. Having more isn't that important in this game. Was anyone really that useless their first event? And would not having master skills the second event really hinder them that much? I, for example, use my mid level skills far more than my master ones.

Basically, I would like to hear some examples of how slowing down (in the manner I gave) would really hinder someone's effectiveness. So far, all I've read is I'm against it because "I could be as effective as anyone after only a couple events." Fact is, though you may have not realized it at the time, you were effective your first event. The only ones might be hindered are healers since they'd only be able to heal 1 person at a time for 2 events instead of 1. Otherwise, rogues and empaths deal the same damage over time, warriors can still be meat shields. Sages might be slightly hindered as well, but I admit I don't really pay attention to their skill set.
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Post Sat Aug 25, 2007 10:11 pm

Oddity

Was anyone really that useless their first event?


Well.. I was only really useful because I kept the firest going... But then again, that's what I'm really there for anyways. The game stuff is really secondary to me. I'm there to be useful to the players.

But I'm the oddity, of course. :D
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Post Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:08 am

I woudn't argue that a person is useless at zero level, but there's no doubt that the versatility and survivability of a character increases significantly between levels 1 and 20.

I think the heart of the issue may lie in perception. The system may show that a character at level zero and a character at level 20 are not all that different, but it certainly feels that way to the players. More importantly, I think the psychological effect of being inferior is also playing a part in this.

People come to LARPs for a number of reasons, but feeling inferior usually isn't one of them. I think some people are hesitant to prolong the leveling process because they don't like perpetually being on the short end of the stick. It also occurs to me that perhaps some of the motivation for an expanding high-level rewards would be so that some people can feel superior. I'm sure the desire to have more mechanical options for a character is one part, and the desire for tangible development is another, but one-upsmanship could be a factor as well.

As someone who has a high-level character, I'd love some more bells and whistles. A few more neat tricks up my sleeve or something unique to high level characters would be just fine, but I wouldn't want it to come at the expense of an important draw to the game (the fast advancement).

Perhaps there's a way to move quickly to the plateau that we have now, but still put a few things out there for higher level folks to shoot for? I know some of this was being discussed among the GM's after last event, so I'll leave it to them to suggest any specific mechanics.
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Post Sun Aug 26, 2007 10:50 am

as a new player I just wanted to jump in and add my two cents here.
On character advancement, I have to say the way it works now is great for newbies like me. It also makes sense with story line. My first character Ren, was supposed to be a famously great archer, just like I'm sure other characters were supposed to be great swordsman when they show up. But then even though they may be grisled veterans, they swing 1 with no frills. Which is fine, because you know that this isn't going to last long. Next event you'll be really good at one thing, and your character will be able to compete with the big boys, and be the character you first imagined within a few events. I like the idea of the relearning a new skill set with keeping the character and any one skill. I also think expanding the use of hidden paths and diciplines might help, I know when I found out they were out there I got excited.
ok, sorry about the rambling style of my message, but it's way too early to be coherant.
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Post Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:34 pm

For the record, in case I was unclear Eric, I don't think slowing down would hinder someone's effectiveness per se, other than perhaps psychologically. However, I don't think the slower system you propose FIXES anything. It merely slows down the problem. That's where I step in and say, my players generally like the fast advancement and so if we are not fixing anything by it, the change becomes superfluous. That was my only point.

We had a couple character advancement ideas floating around where, again stealing from video games, when you reach a certain level you would "unlock" new skills. These skills would either replace existing skills that you have or would be learnable with points just as it is now.

The other idea was similar to Art's suggestion about hero points. First, you would get fewer of them. Second, you would regain them each event. And third, as you progress in levels, your hero points would be more versatile, meaning they could do more and more things. There were a couple tangents off of each of those ideas, but that is the gist of a couple of things we are talking about/playing with.

I think this is a good discussion to have. I like a lot of the ideas that were thrown out. Please continue to discuss these and new ideas that you might have.
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Post Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:18 am

Mike, since my point hasn't been clear either, my slower leveling is in no way intended to fix any problems we currently have (beyond the simple fact that players tend to over look skills, which is minor at best). It is in fact there to prevent a later problem from arising. Say ten years down the road, and the carrying of skills is in effect, someone has been creating the ultimate pvp character. In the slower form, it would take them longer to achieve their maximum potential, thus allowing them to die easier for an extended duration.

Perhaps, a compromise of sorts, if the carry over was implemented. If you die or start a new character you gain levels in one manner, but if you retire/unlearn, you gain them in a different one?

As for the unlocking, eh. It forces the creation of new skills which require more balancing which gets more and more cumbersome the more you add. I do like the idea, just not the amount of work it generates for both players and GMs. I had thought of it too, but ultimately went with the retirement/unlearning, as it merely allows for combos we already know about. I could see adding in disciplines and paths that are only allowed after retirement, which while close to the same, could be added over time in slower fashion. Adding one here and there would be far easier than enough to satisfy many at once.

On the retirement/unlearning, I'm starting to lean towards the unlearning idea, as it prevents the "it wasn't me, therefore you can't kill me" deal. Though, I could see it the other way too, as you want to start semi-fresh. Maybe an option here too, though this would be GM dependant on if you could choose one or both.
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Post Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:18 am

I actually like the idea of Hidden displines and path skills that you could learn.

These would be no more powerful than the regular skills, BUT would be different.


What about Racial and Path hidden dsiplines, that you could be allowed to respec to get.

For example a sixty level elf could be gieven access to


Elf Boom tosser:

or what ever.

it would still be blanced, it would still follow the rules, but give you something to work towards.
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Post Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:52 am

cole45 wrote:I actually like the idea of Hidden displines and path skills that you could learn.
For example a sixty level elf could be gieven access to
Elf Boom tosser:


Or something specific to a combination of things that the pc has chosen like (I'm making this up, so if it actually is a hidden dicipline everybody pretend they didn't see it) for someone who is a Rogue Bureaucrat would get on obtaining level sixty
Forgery: Can spend one hour to forge a document based on a handwriting sample, or ten minutes to just make a document impossible to tell he or she wrote it.
You know? Stuff like that, it will in no way unbalance the game, but it will be useful for someone who already has picked a cool character combination.
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Post Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:37 pm

When you are talking about adding more "skills" then you need to start listing new skills and see what you can come up with. Problem I run into is I cannot come up with many while retaining FH rules. For example we will never have "invisability" skills nor will we ever have "speed of blade" skills. Oh and we don't want to add a damage call.

I love this topic though.
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Post Mon Aug 27, 2007 2:21 pm

I'm all for unlocking new skills when a character reaches a certain level. I mean I've had a blast as Kidwynn. Then again I've also gone from a full out craftsman to well a full out warrior due to things that happend during the game for role playing purposes. To me that added more depth to the character that I don't honestly get bored playing her.

I'd like to see more items drop or at least contacts or something in place for the higher up characters (a reputation) of sorts that they can go to for assistance/information/etc. I know that for me who plays a pirate...the more information one can obtain the better.

Slowing down the leveling is a bad idea since that is one of the appealing factors of FH. Unlike CARPS, one can totally get into the frey of things within a few events. At CARPS leveling feels like forever...trust me I know from first hand experience.
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Post Mon Aug 27, 2007 2:33 pm

What about skills or abilities that cost levels to use as well as roleplaying through an NPC in order to access those abilities or unlock that potential? Just throwing out an idea here, but what if the cost of some kind of alternative advancement cost levels. It's a sacrifice that PCs have to make (They may be sacrificing hero points or additional life points from leveling up, and the time spent on trying to access these "powers" or abilities will definitely take it's toll on a character from an allegiance point of view, as it should). Also, low-level characters probably wouldn't have access to these feats because they wouldn't have the levels to sacrifice. These wouldn't be abilities that could be instantly gained, they would have to be worked for over the course of several events. Perhaps the PC would even have to declare (At the beginning or end of the event) that they were working on this ability. It defines a more specific ability and focus, rather than the general growth that occurs now on leveling up at higher levels. Powerful abilities (Along the lines of master path/discipline abilities) would require a MASSIVE level advancement, but perhaps these abilities could be allowed without requiring the one before it (or have different pre-requisites...I like the idea of racial paragon abilities, I could easily see what the abilities could be for guthrie, elves and aviana just thinking at this moment). I just want to see something that requires an equal amount (If not more) of roleplaying to mechanics.

Maybe make them work like feats from D20. I have no problem with these abilities being similar to the ones that already exist, but they give players somewhere else to go once they start leveling up. It has a cost and it opens up the possibility of skills to different lifestyles than what is normally accessible.

Here's an example:

Buel the Archer has been privileged throughout his adventuring career, but he feels he should learn to be more self-reliant and survive in the wilds (More of a ranger). He becomes slightly more reclusive and finds a hermit from whom he learns Wildnerness Survival over the course of several months. It will take him an investment of 12 levels (Three events) to learn Wilderness Survival.

That still seems like a slightly low cost and it would have to be tweaked, but you see how it could work? Feel free to throw out problems with this idea, I'm working on a modified set of the FH LARP rules for online play in a different continuity.

If you really wanted to get crazy, you could allow PCs to teach these skills to other PCs over a period of time, but require that they also make a level investment to teach the skill. This would keep players from frivolously "giving away" abilities, but really up the roleplaying and character interaction.

The only real issue I see with it now is how it would effect existing high-level characters, since I really think you would have to declare use of the levels while you were gaining them (And interacting with the necessary characters) for the system to make sense.
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Post Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:06 pm

A few general things that were actually discussed this weekend.

Change hero points to affect skills that take longer than 1 minute in a similiar manner. For instance, skills that take longer than a minute you can cut in half, multiple points would cut it in half again down to a minute. The change came from uber arcane spells being cast instantly, which I agree is ridiculous. But the current rules really only help warriors and rogues kill stuff quicker or give the other support characters a minor combat buff. For instance Quen would probably NEVER use a hero point unless something overran the Inn. But give him the chance to make something really quickly. The tie in here is that support characters have even LESS reason to keep playing than warriors currently do.

I don't know how the hero points are handed out, but it seems they end up going to the characters that do insane battle oriented things. This is a self feeding system, they get more heero points so they can do more combat oriented stuff which in turn gives them hero points. There is a serious focus on combat oriented characters, which is fine but peole like Eilonwy should have the chance to get hero points too, without the support characters the warriors would be standing around saying "I don't know, I just beat the crap out of stuff and hope I don't die"

The term "soft cap" infers that it's not really a cap. While you can definitely gain another basic level discipline skill over about 3 or 4 years, thats pertty much a cap with a mini cookie thrown in for very long term customers.


I wholeheartedly disagree with whoever said that most characters don't last 4 years. I think every character that got played in the first year, and the player stayed around was around for atleast 4 years before they died and some still haven't died. The only players I know for a certain were around in the second season all have players that are still alive or atleast lasted 4 years. It's actually out of the norm that once a character has been around for about 2 years they perm. Granted, quite a few of those characters that are still in the game from the first couple years still have rings of protection, which makes a HUGE difference in survivability. If Doug and Brad would have wanted to play them I'm positive that their characters would be back as well. Sorry Aaron, but quite a few people were glad to see Arthos go. :lol:

I like the basic idea of spending levels for higher skill advancement, however it creates a wierd OOG thing where your events don't match your levels, and why go through all the extra balancing and such, just give 1 pt a level after 20 instead of every 2. I see why quick advancement is important, the new players feeling more effective quicker makes alot of sense. I just don't see why the complete stop of advancement is as important, and not everyone wants to kill off their character or just stop playing them and put them on the shelf to start all over again and be in the same place a year later.
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Post Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:28 pm

Atrum Draconus wrote:I like the basic idea of spending levels for higher skill advancement, however it creates a wierd OOG thing where your events don't match your levels, and why go through all the extra balancing and such, just give 1 pt a level after 20 instead of every 2.


Well, the only real counterpoint I have to this is that people play multiple characters and manage to keep those levels separate. Of course, this system would only work if we kept levels belonging to a character and not to a player. Also, I'd like to see the level-buy skills somewhat different from the point-buy ones, albeit using mechanically existing rules...the wilderness survival skill might not have been the BEST example. If you are just giving characters more points per levels, they aren't actually making any kind of sacrifice in lieu of normal advancement and you run into that "power-level" problem that is inherent in games without any kind of soft-cap. If people have to choose between working towards an alternate advancement skill or their overall allegiance effectiveness (and level-up Hero points/life-points, etc), then there is something of a balance. No one can be awesome at everything at once. :)

I agree that hero points should be more evenly distributed between combat and non-combat actions and that there should be more uses for them. I like the above ideas especially.
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Post Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:34 am

I agree with Temple, about the hero points. While they are good, they could be better. I like the idea of a disposable cookie that can be awarded on a whim, I really would like to see non-combat oriented characters get a good reason to use them.

as for non combat chars not getting, them, I also agree. It is very disapointing to see the warriors with 4 or five, and the healers/support staff with just their lone level driven one. we all know that the warrior would be paste with out that healer behind them.
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Post Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:41 am

I agree as well.. I would love to be in a big cave battle, leading up to a big puzzle.. and the 2-3 sages you might be lucky enough to get through all the combat to the puzzle walk up to it and go "heroic Sage hint".. strangely enough i was just looking into this the other day...

gives the support characters their chance to shine in the spotlight.. instead of having all the warriors get beat to heck all the time ..probably getting hero points for saving all the sages.. just so the sages can figure out the puzzle that saves everyone there.. (obviously I am not trying to say this happens all the time)..

But when I say something like that I am surprised to hear how many people say.. " well it is the Sages job to figure out the puzzle, why is that Heroic??".. But is it not the Warriors job to take punishment and protect the Sage.. why would that be Heroic?

Just some thoughts I have been mulling around.. I would like to see Healers have the ability to throw out Heroic heals too.. FYI.hehe
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