Stats, Advancement, why?

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Stats, Advancement, why?
« on: March 01, 2011, 07:44:41 AM »
These are two questions, I think. If they are so unrelated (there is not only one answer for both), then say so and I'll separate them.

Why do people need different chances to not loose control/ground/etc. while making certain Moves?

Why do you check stats and why do you get "better"? I mean better in gamist terms is just better. But here we can see them just not interesting when they wont't roll a 6-.

Re: Stats, Advancement, why?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2011, 09:22:28 AM »
I think the best way to find out the answers to these questions is to remove those elements from the game and see what you get.

Re: Stats, Advancement, why?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2011, 01:13:22 PM »
I don't really understand what you're asking with your first question.

On the second question, the late game of AW is different from the early game, kinda like the intent behind different tiers in D&D. When you have the expanded moves (which are awesome) the higher stats make it more likely that you'll roll a 12+. Also, once your character has advanced that far, you're either playing multiple characters or quickly getting to the point where you're going to advance your character right out of the game by choosing "retire to safety" (especially when you have few other available options left for spending advances). That's part of the natural cycle of character rotation in AW, where you either make a new character or play ends.

Plus, trust me, even characters with +3 in most stats can roll failures, especially if the other characters are interfering (which also happens often in the late game, in my experience).

Re: Stats, Advancement, why?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2011, 04:37:18 PM »
To tell you the truth, I was in a hurry when writing the OP. This is maybe the cause of the shortness and baffling, unexplained nature.


Shreyas:

Do you?
In practice, I have played that way some times and I will do so again. Probably in my case trying the basic game would be the way, but 6-7 sessions is a bit too much for me to spend with a playtesty feel.


Jonathan:

The first one: what is the goal of the PCs having different levels of the stats (so the existence of the stats, fundamentally)?

The other one: I don't know the early version of AW. How was that different? As for the new character -- improvement -> retirement cycle: this is not so important for me and probably this is the reason for I'm not being able to fully get the whole stuff behind or connected to this.

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Ariel

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Re: Stats, Advancement, why?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2011, 10:46:29 PM »
As far as the stats are concerned, its about Moves. It's easy to have a high weird (Vx wants players to open their brains) but hard to have a high cool. Thus, different high stats will influence the outcomes of the Moves and therefore the fiction.

Additionally, the serve a descriptive function - having high weird means you're a fucking creepy wierdo or something along those lines. A character cannot have a high weird and no be weird.

Re: Stats, Advancement, why?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2011, 07:49:17 AM »
6-7 sessions is a bit too much for me to spend with a playtesty feel.
There's your answer - if it worked properly it wouldn't feel like you are playtesting.

Re: Stats, Advancement, why?
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2011, 10:39:27 AM »
Hello.

The other one: I don't know the early version of AW. How was that different? As for the new character -- improvement -> retirement cycle: this is not so important for me and probably this is the reason for I'm not being able to fully get the whole stuff behind or connected to this.

This is probably your disconnect, right here. The "early game" doesn't mean an earlier version of AW. It means "how the game feels when you're just starting with new characters". The various advancements serve to change the feeling of the game as you play on, just like "leveling up" in D&D produces a certain type of story: one of the heroes outgrowing their current challenges and moving on to tackle bigger things.

I'd imagine that you could play AW without advancements and still enjoy yourself... but it might be difficult for the game not to stagnate or devolve into an aimless fight for survival. Still, I'm sure it would be doable.

Re: Stats, Advancement, why?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 11:23:12 AM »
Nathan:

I think the reason for I can't accept this perfectly is that I'm unable to act on two different things simultaneously. Being true to the feel/my assumptions of the character till then AND wanting to roll high. I could probably accept this for a game where the motivations of actions are not in the focus but AW seems so much more for me. ("I am harder than weird, so I do less weird stuff than hard stuff" is very limited in my opinion.)

I must agree with your second point to a certain degree. This descriptive (or so to say, prescriptive) function has meaning for me, but sadly not too much. The PCs can be casually compared in terms of Cool-ness, Hard-ness, etc., but this is not too much of a bonus. I mean, I can't see too much of a point of it.
I don't get the meaning of the scaling in absolute values. (Does Hard-1 mean I am puny and/or fragile? Is Weird-1 "normal"? Hot-1? Plane Jane or six-pack?)  This gets even stronger when I am curious about [Stat]+0 or the difference between two positive values or two negative ones. I can make a Driver with a strong body and Hard-2. Probably he/she was not enough agressive, so he became a bodybuilder to compensate.

The words are appealing, anyway. I guess glancing at your character sheet and seeing words like Cool, Hard, Hot, Sharp, Weird is a fascinating thing which can make your experience better, the game more focused and fun.

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Chroma

  • 259
Re: Stats, Advancement, why?
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2011, 01:07:04 PM »
I don't get the meaning of the scaling in absolute values. (Does Hard-1 mean I am puny and/or fragile? Is Weird-1 "normal"? Hot-1? Plane Jane or six-pack?)  This gets even stronger when I am curious about [Stat]+0 or the difference between two positive values or two negative ones. I can make a Driver with a strong body and Hard-2. Probably he/she was not enough agressive, so he became a bodybuilder to compensate.
I don't think there is any "absolute values" to the stats: they're all relative to the other player characters, as only player characters use stats or roll dice.  It's just "I'm as hard as Keeler" or "Spanner is even more weird than Bo!"

And look at the descriptions of the stats: high "Weird" doesn't just mean "freakish", it could also mean "extremely lucky"... their value and meaning comes from how you describe and play your character.

Being postive or negative doesn't mean anything other than allowing an elegant dice mechanic: it could be a range of +0 to +6 and still have the same effect.

"If you get shot enough times, your body will actually build up immunity to bullets. The real trick lies in surviving the first dozen or so..."
-- Pope Nag, RPG.net - UNKNOWN ARMIES

Re: Stats, Advancement, why?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2011, 04:09:53 PM »

I think it relates to a couple of the principles.

Stats are there to make the world feel real.  They are descriptors of the characters, give you a feel for what this character is like.

Advancement is there because there is no status quo in Apocalypse world.  Things are always changing, it could be stats it could be other things like a new character showing up. 

Re: Stats, Advancement, why?
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2011, 04:31:29 PM »
Being true to the feel/my assumptions of the character till then AND wanting to roll high.

I don't really follow here. My characters in the game always want to succeed at what they try to do, so I always want to roll high for them.

Or are you saying that you want to increase all the stats (and other advances etc) regardless of whether it makes sense for the character?

Re: Stats, Advancement, why?
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2011, 05:41:22 PM »
Shreyas:

True as hell, I guess. It's just my bad connotations of the word "testing". Like a good thing couldn't be tested. Or a test couldn't be interesting and fun. Hopefully, I'll get over these. I'm already a bit relieved for writing these down, so thank you.


Paul:

Sorry, I couldn't get the D&D thing before, but now I understand. My concern is that long-term cycle interferes with other things for me on the short term as well, and those are more important to me. Perhaps this is for not being able to choose and play games too much. So I never had the time to feel bored.


Mike:

First, a question: you are still in-character somehow, want to help your characters, or is that gambling (alea)? As for me, I am not playing her/him like a real person when I roll die.
I meant rolling high with dice and Stat added. I assumed, they (the characters) don't know the rules of the game. If they do, then your second question is not applicable, I think. (Of course they want to be better than everybody else.) Otherwise, my answer is "yes."

Re: Stats, Advancement, why?
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2011, 06:06:26 PM »
I meant rolling high with dice and Stat added. I assumed, they (the characters) don't know the rules of the game.

Well, obviously they don't know the rules. But they would normally know what they're good at.

E.g. my battlebabe with Cool +3 isn't scared of anything. So I end up doing a lot of acting under fire on the grounds he's gonna charge in and do what he wants regardless of the fact that there is an unknown number of savage cannibals between him and his objective.

So rolling the dice, as such, doesn't force me out of character at all.

Re: Stats, Advancement, why?
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2011, 06:21:58 PM »
These are two questions, I think. If they are so unrelated (there is not only one answer for both), then say so and I'll separate them.

Why do people need different chances to not loose control/ground/etc. while making certain Moves?

Why do you check stats and why do you get "better"? I mean better in gamist terms is just better. But here we can see them just not interesting when they wont't roll a 6-.

Why have a psychic maelstrom?

I think when you campaign, and this is a game supports campaigning, the general theme is one of rising stakes, rising challenge.  For balance, you want your characters to improve at the same rate the challenges do.

But yeah, it is strange when you are rolling against a fixed level of difficulty -- having not played the game, yet alone played a campaign, can someone say how that pays out?

Off the top of my head, improving the character by learning new moves seems a mechanically more sound way to go, and a lot more interesting as well.

Re: Stats, Advancement, why?
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2011, 07:12:48 PM »
But yeah, it is strange when you are rolling against a fixed level of difficulty -- having not played the game, yet alone played a campaign, can someone say how that pays out?


It's different.  Basically the players succeed more often, which reinforces the idea that they're more bad ass then they used to be.  It also enables them to take bigger risks and for the MC to put them in tighter situations.  In my experience, these escalating stakes tend to push toward a conclusion of their story.