Some specific issues I am dealing with

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Some specific issues I am dealing with
« on: December 22, 2011, 06:54:30 PM »
Hey.  I've been working on, playing, and running my own version of 'dungeon world' (I'll change the name eventually, sorry about that) for a while.  I've run into a few problems, one with hit points (called Fight!), one with the nature of bonds, and one with alignments, and I'd like suggestions.

Fight! works pretty smoothly for most folks I've played with, but the rules I have for the recovery of Fight!, while they seem simple to me, need to be simpler or more intuitive.

Right now, the move is: if you meet the following conditions, you regain all your lost Fight!
> sufficient food and water
> medical attention, if you need it
> a relatively safe and comfortable place to rest
> about six to eight hours sleep
The complicated part is, for each condition not met, the amount you would regain is halved.  This is a bit of unwelcome math and is a bit clunky, I guess.

I really want to retain the in-fiction, meet-these-conditions quality; they've led to some fun play and tie back racial qualities and some other setting elements into the fiction pretty nicely.  I also want to retain proportionality with Fight! total if I can, since it maps to the idea of increased capacity at increased level, an important conceit for this genre.  Suggestions (and questions, of course) are super-welcome.

Bonds, the way I've written their expression and function, are very confusing (apparently).  In this game, a bond is defined by your relationship with another character, characterized by some need you have relating to them and the type of action that addresses that need.  Frex "I love Betty, I will do anything to protect her" is fine.

When the bond is relevant to a move by the possessor of the bond, the bond can be 'tapped' (in the sense of temporarily expended) to re-roll one of the 2d6 used in the move by the person tapping the bond.  The bond can be tapped by anyone involved, a very important quality.  The bond becomes untapped by that relationship being addressed in the fiction by the possessor of the bond.

It is a powerful trait, but even first-time players think it is one of the ways you get XP!  And they take a really long time to explain, and create at character generation.  I have decided to revert to the AW/Dungeon World style of writing out explicit bonds to choose from, and will need suggestions to fill out the lists.

Finally, Alignment is wonky.  I was using Good and Evil; you make the move, you get XP.  But there is no general approach or explicit benefit to the pseudo-alignment Neutral, and yet no significant potential negative consequence to allying to one of the alignments.  In the setting I have used for play(testing), there is also the Law-Chaos axis, and so I have ended up entirely with Lawful Good, Chaotic Good, Lawful Evil, and Chaotic Evil characters.  I am loathe to remove alignment as an option, it is evocative and extremely in-genre; I also do not want to incentivize either a 'do-whatever-I-want' or a 'move toward balance' interpretation of Neutrality or add big penalties to having a particular alignment.  Some feedback on a different implementation would be appreciated.

Re: Some specific issues I am dealing with
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2011, 01:50:06 PM »
These are a partial list of Bond choices I roughed up over the weekend; they need work!  But the basic structure is there - a need or want underlying a more specific expression appropriate to an adventuring companion.

Bonds
Choose one of the following, filling in another player character’s name:
> I admire ___; I must impress them with my prowess
> I have no respect for ___; I will ignore what they want
> I am friends with ___; I will come to their aid
> I am jealous of ___; I will undermine their efforts
> I need ___’s help; I am at my best when working with them
> I am afraid of ___; I must protect myself from them

If you are a fighter, you may choose one of these instead:
> I must protect ___ (why?)
> ___ needs to take bigger risks
If you are a thief, you may choose one of these instead:
>
>
If you are a priest, you may choose one of these instead:
> ___ must be led to the faith
>
If you are a wizard, you may choose one of these instead:
>
>
If you are a human, you may choose one of these instead:
>
>
If you are a dwarf, you may choose one of these instead:
>
>
If you are an elf, you may choose one of these instead:
>
>
If you are a halfling, you may choose one of these instead:
>
>

Re: Some specific issues I am dealing with
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2011, 01:22:23 AM »
Right now, the move is: if you meet the following conditions, you regain all your lost Fight!
> sufficient food and water
> medical attention, if you need it
> a relatively safe and comfortable place to rest
> about six to eight hours sleep
The complicated part is, for each condition not met, the amount you would regain is halved.  This is a bit of unwelcome math and is a bit clunky, I guess.

Don't know if this is helpful, but it seems like it wouldn't take a lot of room to just do the math for them right in the move write-up. Maybe something like this:

"If you meet all 4, regain all your lost Fight!. If you meet 3, regain half . If you meet 2, regain a quarter. If you meet 1, regain an eigth."

It would probably only be an extra line or two.

Unless you're also concerned about the math of figuring out what is an eight of your lost Fight!, etc.?

Re: Some specific issues I am dealing with
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2011, 03:09:56 PM »
You have the right of it.  It is not terribly hard, but it is a bit more complicated than everything else and ends up being a significant speed bump.

Re: Some specific issues I am dealing with
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2012, 08:30:14 AM »
Do you escalate your HP? http://apocalypse-world.com/forums/index.php?topic=661.0

If not you could just substitute some values: "Recover 8 if all are met, 4 if you meet three" and so on. If you escalate HP then yeah, I think you are stuck with the maths.

Keen to see more fantasy hacks going on. Is it ready to post?

Re: Some specific issues I am dealing with
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2012, 11:12:04 AM »
Hey, these are cool problems to have. I quite like the recovery move you wrote. :)

How about this -- just say that each condition you meet gives you 1/4 of your Fight! back (rounded down). The math is different from what you had before, but not all that different, and it means that getting some rest or medical attention all by itself is still worthwhile. It's also a lot easier to do on the fly.

Here's another suggestion: If the Fight! score is relatively static, that is, not shifting around a lot from conflict to conflict because of advantages and disadvantages and such, you could do the math for this move during character creation, while people's minds are fresh, with special boxes on the character sheet for noting down what 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8 of your Fight! scores are. Then when people do the move, they could just add that number to their Fight! according to the circumstances. When people level up or otherwise permanently increase their Fight!, then they could just adjust the fractions again. You that kind of once-per-level math in D&D all the time.

By the way, do you have other recovery mechanics in the game, such as healing spells? How do those work? If you want, you could consider making similar mechanics work in a similar way. So, for instance, with these increments already defined, an interesting healing spell could restore 1d4/8ths of a character's Fight! (that is, between 1/8 and 4/8), and so on, instead of just a number (such as 2d8 Fight! points). Or it could restore your Fight! up to 1/2, no more and no less, so that it would only be good for healing up people who are really badly hurt.

Certain kinds of damage could also subtract from Fight in these increments, especially in cases where doing regular number-based damage doesn't work. Remember how in D&D, a knife was only 1d4 damage, no matter whether you were using it in a battle or sneaking up on someone while they slept? A 12th level wizard simply could not be killed by a knife except by multiple stabs over a long period of time. With a system of fractional increments specified in advance, you could allow certain circumstances, such as surprise attacks, drowning, fatigue, and so on, to reduce your Fight! by fractions, with the reasoning that most people die at pretty much the same rate from a knife to the throat (e.g. -1d4/4ths of Fight!) or lungs full of water, (e.g. -1/8 the first few minutes under water, then -1/4 for the next few minutes, and so on) no matter how awesome they are.

Of course all of this might be totally way off your design goals, but you know, it's just fun to brainstorm with ya. Maybe there's a seed of a useful idea in there for someone somewhere out there.

Re: Some specific issues I am dealing with
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2012, 08:32:11 PM »
Here's the main document:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xMM-tdmrND1nPvjIwEbwuPgRHC5Qkxu4knYpC6vZDB8/edit?authkey=CNnlxbMB&hl=en_US&pli=1

There's another document that is more of a rough workspace, where I have noodled around with setting ideas.  It has a lot of information (even more poorly formatted...).  Yet another document is trying to expand on the main document with examples and clarifications.

To answer more directly, yes, wightbred, they do escalate; they are more explicitly a pacing mechanic than representative of health conditions (thus the naming 'Fight!' - how much fight you have left in you).

The Fight! regained is dependent on the amount lost, not the total, thus the complication that precludes the easy solution of regaining a proportion of the total.  Well, not necessarily, but I like the way it works!

There is a 'healing' move, called Prayers of Solace; the petitioner asks the god/gods/spirits what sacrifice or propitiation they want and if they meet this then the Prayer substitutes for one of the conditions (all, on a 10+).  There is an advanced move that actually heals people similarly.  As I mentioned above, there are other moves that interact with Fight! recovery (elves don't need to actually sleep, just rest; halflings can substitute sufficient quality and quantity of comestibles for any other condition).

The pacing aspect of Fight! loss and recovery is important to advancing the countdown clock equivalent.  They do not closely align with fictional harm and recovery, which are broadly covered under the Withstand basic move.