Spell packets, game stops, and the like


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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:11 pm

I know next to nothing about business and what can and can't be written off, but after helping to run the Winterhaven event...it's expensive. Now, I'll consider the fact that this is especially so, when you are starting from the ground up and have to get props. But I just want to defend here by saying that there are a lot of out-of-pocket costs in running an event. If someone buisness-minded is able to step in and help defer these costs for the FH staff, then that's awesome, but I guess it struck a nerve when people starting throwing accusations out about "where the money is going."

As far as the extra rented space, it doesn't really matter at this point, because of the new location for most of next season, but I feel it is justified for the mundane's safety and comfort, as well as ours. The biker rally left an extra complication in the weekend, because we were stuck picking up their trash. I noticed that last game there were a LOT of mundanes wandering around/utilizing space that was rented. I worry about this not only for immersion (I have a pretty good suspension of disbelief, so most of these things don't bother me), but for safety. If some mundane is sneaking around (because they are 'watching' or whatever) and gets beaned by a weapon or a spell packet, or gets startled and falls off a hill or whatever, we're the ones that could be in trouble, even if they weren't supposed to be there to begin with. At several past events (And this one) there were kids in the 5-9 range running around without parental supervision. Last game on Saturday, there were also a pair of teenagers out on one of the picnic tables behind the cave pavillion, where I know there were a lot of NPC's phys-reps. Now, I try not to leave too many things out in the open, but I'm a pretty territorial person and the idea of leaving things out where anyone out of game can pick them up is troublesome. Does renting more space stop theft? Maybe not, but not seeing people wandering around by our equipment (Or being justified to ask them what they are doing snooping around) does my mind better.

Also, as far as raising costs (into the more normal $50 and up range) might help to defer some of these costs and I'm not saying the game isn't worth it. But I would never be able to talk people into coming to something that costs $50 a game, and it would personally be very difficult for me to manage at this point.
Mike: For the majority of you, choosing to use a packet instead of a weapon is a hindrance because your aims suck.

Travis: Crap he is on to me.
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 7:42 pm

I wasn't around for the biker rally event, so I can see why the cost is varying so much from what we've been paying. I also thought that by "in the black" Chris meant that you were losing money (ie: were several hundred in the hole after this last event) rather than almost having enough to rent the next event without using any OOP. Hopefully the new location Final Haven is utilizing will help keep your costs a bit lower. As for a reward system, I feel that if those who think that it is unfair should have to cough up the time to make packets, etc, free of charge.

I personally have no problem with someone donating to the game and getting some kind of reward for it. It makes the game better for everyone, not just them.
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Post Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:47 pm

lol in the black mens you made money

In the red means you lost money

In the green means nothing, except in the black should be called in the green
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:18 am

Ug wrote:As for a reward system, I feel that if those who think that it is unfair should have to cough up the time to make packets, etc, free of charge.


How does a PC making packets for NPCs for free constitute a reward? Reward for NPCs maybe.
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:35 am

He's saying that people who think it's unfair to reward the pc's for their work shoulod have to put in the time themselves. I agree.

People who work extra hard should be rewarded. People who don't are not punished. They too could work hard.

At WH, we actually do have a reward system in place, and several PC's have reaped it's benifits. It's not rigidly defined, but it's there.
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:51 am

Rewards for work are different than IG rewards for donating $$, I wholehertedly disagree with giving out character points for $$ but I wholeheartedly agree with a reward system for work for NPC camp to help the game.
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:56 am

I wouldn't want straight money. I'd want work. Packets made, weapons fixed, weapons made, etc. time > $

EDIT:
We would not sell any IG things for cash. CP,items,evebn plots. Never. We can, and did reward people for making us hand fulls of weapons.
Last edited by cole45 on Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:58 am

We never have nor ever will ask for cash donations
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:37 pm

Excellent, 'cause I'm broke. 8) I would gladly put some time in though (especially more artwork). As for reward, not really worried about it. If it makes it easier for NPC's, they're less stressed and have more time, which makes the game run smoother and in turn makes it better for PC's as well. Reward enough.
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Post Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:24 pm

Midnight wrote:
Ug wrote:As for a reward system, I feel that if those who think that it is unfair should have to cough up the time to make packets, etc, free of charge.


How does a PC making packets for NPCs for free constitute a reward? Reward for NPCs maybe.


What Sen said:

cole45 wrote:He's saying that people who think it's unfair to reward the pc's for their work shoulod have to put in the time themselves. I agree.
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Post Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:22 am

My $0.02...

1) I think the game stops for spell effects are good. It makes people halt and gage exactly where they are in the area of effect, and fully understand what the hell just happened to them. So you don't have problems where people aren't effected who should be. We even had some people question with the game stop, so I'd hate to try it without (Unless Todd finds a better way.). It just keeps things running properly, and I think players can usually keep the feel of a scene when something like that happens. In the keep battle I was literally seeing the special effects of what was going on with the spells as they were cast almost like the calm before the explosions, and the NPC reactions made it perfect. Every 'uhgugh *thudthudthudthudthud*' I heard gave me goosebumps.

2) Spell packets.. OOG yes. The GMs need more, and I am happy so many people want to help them out with that. I think the biggest issue I had was that it flip flopped from one battle to the next. I mean I was trying to get them back to the people up top as fast as I could, but they kept making me move or disrupting me. I mean we had to rely on the npc archers to restock us in the keep and I was just trying to return the favor.

3) The WH reward system is really just a showing of gratitude for going an extra mile for us. We do not nor ever will take cash, or make someone more powerful than the rules would normally allow. And it could take many forms. might be an item... might be a hero point... might be a personalized plot where the character dies horribly in pain... while on fire... in the Pit of Creation. BTW, thanks to Katie and Brad for hosting our website. ::Wink, thumbs up::
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Post Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:26 am

After reading Matt's response and then going back through them, I realized there might be confusion about what we are talking about because many responded the same way. We are not trying to get rid of game stops. We all agree that they are necessary to explain what is going on. WHat we are wondering about is if seven consecutive game stops are necessary or could there be a way to cast all of the spells ready during one game stop. It sounds like most people do not have a problem with this either.
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Post Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:43 am

I would be happy if we could get it down from 7 to 4. They will never be illiminated, but if we can reduce them by even one, it help to preserve the scene.

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Post Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:22 pm

My thoughts on the game stops for spells:

Rather than calling them over and over how about a simple statement before the battle to the scene narrator of what spells are being cast. This will of course require those npcing to understand a spell is.

When a particular spell goes off the caster blows a whistle or something and this lets the npcs know to take the damage. As for where or who takes it that can be explained by spell.

Please note there really are just the three big ones.

First River of Stone

We are preparing river of stone in the keep to go out the door when the door falls in. The NPC's are beating their way in. The caster finishes the spell, puts their hands above their head to indicate they are for the duration of the spell oog. (This is only the time it takes them to move forward and show where the spell hits and come back). They can make it clear that something nasty just happened by blowing a whistle. There is no dodging the spell (unless you have a skill). NPC can keep going keep fighting, but the Caster runs by them OOG and taps you with a weapon to let you know you just got hit by the spell. Instead of repeatedly blowing a whistle they could simply blow it once to draw attention, then they could even scream "river of stone 10" over and over as they move through the NPCS. Zero game stop required.

Issue 1:

I see the issues once again of people moving after the spell finished, or stepping aside to avoid being in the effected area. Well too bad no arguments allowed. If the caster says they hit you, you're hit. Get over it. I mean no arguing, zero. No game stopping. Just take the damage and then die or keep going if you still have soak left. We leave it to the caster to look to see who is in their spell area when they finish, and they let those affected know. They move by with their hands above their head with say a staff (which btw would be about the same length as their arms are spread) in their hands saying the call and hitting people. A simple nod by the NPC could indicate that they acknowledge the hit. (Please note I use this in the form of pc casting on npcs. As we all experienced this goes both ways.)

Issue 2:
The caster will be in the way OOG. Well that's just crap. First, it is a freaking wall of ROCK, those tend to get in your way, especially when they are MOVING. Second, people who die while NPCing move thru the ranks of combat oog all the time! Just move out of the way and keep going. Problem solved.

Issue 3:

NPC's wont hear us over the battle and wont take the damage unless there is a game stop... That's where the very loud recess type whistle comes in. And while I cannot speak for every single mage in the game I know most of you can scream while you’re oog and moving through npcs.

Issue 4:

The caster will be oog for the time it takes them to go out and hit people, and that's not fair, we should have the chance to hit them with a arrow or something. To bad so sad. If you want to reduce / eliminate games stops there is a price to pay. Else it simply sucks to be an arcane because you can NEVER work with another Arcane. Heck you can change the spell description to read something like "after releasing the spell a large mystical mound of rocks encompasses the caster making them invincible" during this time the cast will go oog and move thru the battle field blowing a whistle with their hands up to indicate the spell effect going off.

Fire storm: spell seems to me to work as is. Simply blow a whistle or something to let people know it went off, Scream out the damage and the word all, presto No game stop required. Keep doing what ever you were doing.

The key here would be to let people know when they hear a whistle they are probably being hit with something.

The Ice Storm or what ever it is called spell book packed:

This could have been handled better at the event by the PC’s. Mike was there and knew we were casting, we should have taken the time to detail the plan to him and come to an agreement, that while the spells would really be lagged in game, oog we needed them to go off at one time to keep game going smoothly. We could have then let him know that basically we’d call one stop, cast, and then he could have simply reduced the numbers accordingly. I mean, 12 vorpal at one time kills most things. Assume the only limit is the strength of the throwing arm of the casters. I know if we could get 150-200 people to march in formation I could personally throw two packets that would encompass most of them if not all using myself as the third point, or at least a large chunk. That’s why we Americans stopped marching into battle in formation a few hundred years ago, only then it was cannons not spells, but basically it had the same effect. 12 canons go off at once and rip 80% of the company to shreds vs. 10% if we are spaced out… hmm.

This one needs more work and all the rules stuff I’ve been doing today has made my head hurt. I’ll think on it more, perhaps another will have an idea before then.
I will say that forcing casters to go off at the same time does not seem like a good solution to me. This seems to me to be the best way to handle things, with less games stops but still being effective as an arcane.
-Eli (Full Elvish: Elaith Vonaduran Craulnober)

There once was a man named Eli,
A man who claimed he could not die.
But one thing makes him wail:
That's when there is no ALE!
Thus his tale: with no beer, he will cry.

(The dark haired, green eyed mage child has faded into the past leaving behind one not quite an adult, but clearly no longer a child. The warrior-mage mixture that he has become can only be described as a survivor. )
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