Beta questions

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Re: Beta questions
« Reply #30 on: February 13, 2012, 10:29:21 PM »
Yeah, but if folks are using inter party parley as an XP mine, then the GM should be all over that. Each move has to have some fictional context, to do it, do it right? So if one particular player (presumably the one with a high Cha) is constantly looking for ways to Parley with others so they can mark experience, it becomes a meta-gamey, counter intuitive to the interpersonal conflict and less immersed in the situation at hand.

Every source of XP is a potential XP mine. A game gives XP for the things it wants the players to do. If parley is an XP mine, then the game is telling me that's what I should be doing. Similarly, if alignment stuff is an XP mine, that's what the game wants me to do. The mechanical carrot is more powerful than a line of text that tells me how I should be playing.

Yes, it has to follow in the fiction, but that's where it becomes a situational maneuvering puzzle as Hans points out in this thread: Dungeon World XP and Situational Maneuvering.


This is inter-party conflict we are talking about here, and a very different game from the traditional D&D fare. So if it involves lots of blackmail, back-stabbery, politics, secrets and lies it may not have the same XP awards given for resolving bonds (in fact you may even create more!) or for traditional adventuring fare. Still DW, sure, but a darker, gritter, more personal dungeon world.

If I signed up for an apparently normal game of Dungeon World and got a game full of inter-party blackmail, back-stabbery, politics, secrets and lies, I would probably be pretty unhappy.

Re: Beta questions
« Reply #31 on: February 14, 2012, 12:24:48 AM »
If I signed up for an apparently normal game of Dungeon World and got a game full of inter-party blackmail, back-stabbery, politics, secrets and lies, I would probably be pretty unhappy.
Egg-zactly.

Yeah, fiction first and all that, but if the entire party can get more XP by staying in town and convincing each other to do things than by adventuring, that's a problem. Of course, there'd certainly be some real dickery at work there, and the GM always the option of bringing the danger to the PCs if they won't go out and find it themselves. But that kind of game seriously sounds a lot like the time I ran the Village of Hommlet using Smallville. The ol' ruined moathouse took a backseat to the PCs pushing each other this way and that. Which is fine for Smallville -- should've seen it coming, in retrospect -- but I really expect a different play experience from Dungeon World.

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noofy

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Re: Beta questions
« Reply #32 on: February 14, 2012, 03:50:14 AM »
I get where you chaps are coming from, I understand your concern, but even though the system is saying 'have an xp if you manage to leverage another character to do something that they don't want to do via a successful move roll', the system is also saying 'have an xp for resolving a bond, learning something new and important about the world, defeating a notable monster or enemy and looting a memorable treasure'.

Sage and Adam tell us what they hope we will get out of their game:
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Why play Dungeon World? First, to see the characters do amazing things... Second, to see them play off each other... Third, because the world still has so many places to explore.

The mechanical carrot has to be tied to the fiction, you can't get your cool advances without telling the story of how. If your group decides to chase a specific xp 'path' at the behest of the others then of course the fiction will reflect that. But its still a choice!

Although the game is set up to cater to a reasonable number of playstyles, whilst still maintaining a certain homage to its parents, DW is its own game, the game your group makes it out to be. So yeah, the rules may give you mechanical carrots to level up and get your cool powers, its up to you and your group on how to to tell the story of you getting there. If everyone consciously chases a broad mix of xp paths, the 'vanilla' DW story that emerges will be just as Sage and Adam promise.

Have a discussion at the start of the game, whether its a one shot or a campaign about what sort of game you would like to play? I've always found chargen has a strong influence on this direction based on the table conversation. The questions asked by the GM in particular and the resultant bonds, alignment choices and classes selected can definitely 'set the tone'.

But this can range from a party of do good paladin, cleric and ranger, to a thoroughly evil thief, wizard fighter combo (or anything inbetween). All with their own broad interpretive alignment and bond xp opportunities. I personally don't actively chase xp. I'd rather just tell a cool story, but that's just me :)

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sage

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Re: Beta questions
« Reply #33 on: February 14, 2012, 01:07:05 PM »
We'll certainly think about what Parley should grant (+1 forward when pursuing it is another option) but remember the fictional positioning here. You have to have leverage, it has to be something they aren't already doing. If the players are really caught up in this method of XP mention that they can get 3 XP per session for everyone by doing adventury stuff, as opposed to 3 Parley hits per player per session to get the same from Parley.

Have people been seeing a lot of Parley-for-XP? I haven't been seeing a lot of PC v. PC parley at all, personally, so I'm fine when the carrot and stick do come out.

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noclue

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Re: Beta questions
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2012, 01:14:37 PM »
I would chime in but Anarchangel and Mike are reading my mind. What I want from DW is for it to reward me with xp when I make moves that address the fiction the GM throws my way. It seems to be encouraging me to ignore the GM and focus primarily on roleplaying with the other PCs. Doesn't that make the adventure a distraction that interferes with advancement?

Hey, look at that. I did chime in :)
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

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sage

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Re: Beta questions
« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2012, 01:34:18 PM »
I don't think it's encouraging you to ignore the GM. Ignoring the GM is ignoring the world around you which lets them make hard moves, so you never want to do that.

You're on your way into a deserted temple and you hold a knife to your companion's throat to get leverage and you start telling them what to do. Sounds like a golden opportunity for those goblins to strike, as they take advantage of the discord.

I'm open to Parley doing something else, but I think the carrot and the stick both need to be there. XP is a wonderful carrot because it doesn't benefit the person offering it. +1 forward or similar would make a real problem: now you're better off going into a fight if you force the other party members into it (since you fight side by side with them).


Re: Beta questions
« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2012, 01:44:46 PM »
We'll certainly think about what Parley should grant (+1 forward when pursuing it is another option) but remember the fictional positioning here. You have to have leverage, it has to be something they aren't already doing. If the players are really caught up in this method of XP mention that they can get 3 XP per session for everyone by doing adventury stuff, as opposed to 3 Parley hits per player per session to get the same from Parley.

I really like Parley granting XP as a carrot to the player. At the moment I think the weighting is off: (0-3 for dungeon exploration, 0-1 for bonds, 0-infinity for alignment, 0-infinity for parley). I'm hopeful that the new alignments you guys are working on will all be pointed more concretely at action in the dungeon and not so much as cross purposes to each other as the previous versions. This last hope also applies to bonds.


Have people been seeing a lot of Parley-for-XP? I haven't been seeing a lot of PC v. PC parley at all, personally, so I'm fine when the carrot and stick do come out.

I haven't seen a lot of this either, but I've only played/run one game in which this was potentially a more lucrative source of XP (i.e. without stat/action highlighting) than actually doing stuff.


Heh, i just realised that this is a weak version of the prisoner's dilemma. If the party cooperates everyone gets 3+, if someone defects, the party might not get to 3 but the defectors might get a heap by being Parleyed into everything. Of course, if that's not fun for everyone, you might not want to play with that guy, but is this something you try to design out of the game?

Re: Beta questions
« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2012, 01:47:23 PM »
Just brainstorming but could parley let them write a bond about you instead of just giving you 1 xp?  I mean, they're definitely going to have some new feelings about you when you lean on them to do something all of the sudden.  That would make it harder to farm in the short run (you'd have to do something to address the bond) and the added bond to play would disincentive you from abusing the rule (lest you end up with a ton of bonds that you now have to keep track of).

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sage

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Re: Beta questions
« Reply #38 on: February 14, 2012, 01:50:01 PM »
I had thought about that too, Marshall, but my worry is that "having too many bonds to keep track of" isn't a very strong disinsentive. And having more bonds means more ability to help (and hinder) which I'm unsure about. I wonder if some people wouldn't see it as a way to buff each other?

Re: Beta questions
« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2012, 02:00:56 PM »
What about a hard limit on the number of bonds?  Too restrictive?  The number could increase with levels (e.g. +1 bond per level or max bonds increase when stats do)...

Re: Beta questions
« Reply #40 on: February 14, 2012, 02:01:09 PM »
I think the Parlay move should apply to NPCs or Monsters only. If players threaten or bribe one another, or whatever, it shouldn't involve a roll, let the players make their own decisions for their characters and move on.

Re: Beta questions
« Reply #41 on: February 14, 2012, 02:14:48 PM »
You're on your way into a deserted temple and you hold a knife to your companion's throat to get leverage and you start telling them what to do.

But why even go to the deserted temple? Let's just have this conversation in the safety of my home. And are knives really necessary? Look, all I'm suggesting is that if you cut me in on 20% of your mining concern, I can secure you a position of prominence in the Mercantile Guild. It's a win-win.

I realize that this is a ridiculous example (and involves a lot of player dickery, and a lax GM). There are no real stakes here, at least in adventure-gaming terms. But is there anything in there right now to prevent this?

I like marking XP for Parley. It's good motivation to go along with whatever the other guy wants you to do. There just need to be stakes. As long as the description for Parley includes something about that -- "Don't let them Parley with other players insincerely, or for stupid shit unrelated to the dangers at hand" -- I don't really see it being a problem. For me, anyway.

Re: Beta questions
« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2012, 02:30:00 PM »
But just like a Parley hit, the rules should incentivise what it wants you to do, not forbid you from doing things.

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noclue

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Re: Beta questions
« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2012, 04:11:36 PM »
Sage, I think that example kinda makes my point. Basically, the GM and the XP system are pulling different directions. It creates the dissonance behind Mike's post. I don't want the GM to be throwing distractions at me.

@Glitch, I think Parley is fine between PCs. I like it to be a move like Seduce or Manipulate is in AW.

But where Mike says there has to be stakes, I would paraphrase as there has to be risk.
James R.

    "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which can not fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
     --HERBERT SPENCER

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sage

  • 549
Re: Beta questions
« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2012, 04:41:03 PM »
I don't quite see the "pull." Take that same example and replace trying to get someone to do something with "a ritual to give everyone magical armor" and you have the same situation. There will always be things that the player characters would be doing if there wasn't impending danger.

This is, not coincidentally, the exact same rule as in AW. I've never felt it makes AW into a manipulate-fest, or makes the focus on deep character drama. In my AW experience it makes it so that, when interacting with a person, you can offer the carrot or the stick. It rewards interaction, which we want to reward, but you can't just interact indefinitely.

Not only because the world will come and get you, but because it'd be damn boring. If you sit down at the table and really want to just earn XP, take it. Level up your character. If you want to play a game about fantasy adventure, offering some XP as part of forceful interpersonal interactions is fine by me.

Still, it's worth looking at other ways to do this. I'm not set on XP, I just haven't thought of a better option.

Option: Add a Bond. This one is in some ways more powerful: you give them increased ability to help and hinder you, as well as the opportunity for XP down the line. It suffers a bit from the buff effect, where I might manipulate you because then I can give you a bond that makes my life easier. It does have a nice fictional flow, but Bonds would probably need to be capped, which then means that if someone's already at their cap it becomes a less enticing option.

Option: +1 forward. The epitomy of the manipulate-you-to-help-me problem. A smart party would have the Bard (or high Cha character) parley everyone as often as possible. Keep those +1s coming.

Option: Healing. It is a benefit mostly to the person getting parleyed, true, but it has no fictional flow at all.

Option: No carrot. This would require some rewrites. On a 7-9 they do it or defy danger, on a 10+ they also take -1 if they Defy Danger. It feels like it would lead to party dysfunction, since you can never Parley someone and offer them honey, only vinegar.

I'm still feeling like XP is the best option. Keep in mind too that they have to have leverage to do it, and opportunity. There isn't a case where we just sit around parleying. Given that,