Gigs and how they work

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Gigs and how they work
« Reply #30 on: February 20, 2014, 05:22:29 PM »
For good game balance, the crew's cut should cost the operator 1-barter for every 2-4 profitable gigs, as judged by the MC.

-Vincent

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noclue

  • 609
Re: Gigs and how they work
« Reply #31 on: February 20, 2014, 08:20:50 PM »
Game balance? Is that a thing now?
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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As If

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Re: Gigs and how they work
« Reply #32 on: February 20, 2014, 09:53:41 PM »
@Radan - It seems to me you are looking for Gamist or Simulationist mechanics in a Narrativist game, where they really don't exist.  This is not to say that AW couldn't be augmented by additional tables, charts, rules, etc - many people do that - but it does mean the logic of the game is going to have to change if you do that, and the change can come from nowhere but the MC herself, because the rules don't even go there.  Basically, I think the difference between G/S games and N games is what's confusing you.  This is a much broader question than the mere valuation of gigs, so we must take a step back to see what the game is really telling the MC to do.

AW is not about (quasi-)realistically simulating an entire world-system, and it is DEFINITELY NOT about tabletop mechanics with the goal of making everyone's situation and challenges as "even" as possible.  AW is about generating a great STORY, just like a great movie.  Do you expect movie heroes to begin at level 1?  Does DIE HARD begin with its hero at level 1?  Of course not.  This is a movie about a hero who has already reached "kick-ass" levels, and we want to see him do his stuff.  Over the course of the STAR TREK series, did Mister Spock advance at exactly the same rate as Captain Kirk?  Did he get pay raises at the same rate?  Nobody cares.  That's not even a concern, as long as the stories are good.  See, in a game like this, "game balance" in the traditional sense (i.e., making sure it is equally costly/difficult for each character type to attain each goal) is ridiculous and actually UNrealistic.  Movies don't work like that, and life doesn't work like that.  Victor is not telling you a set value you must adhere to like a "Law".  Rather, he's simply reminding you that you should "tax" each character at a roughly reasonable rate FOR THAT CHARACTER, to give them reasons to keep moving.  These reasons (and their imaginary value in barters) will differ for every character (which is why they can't really be codified, except in general and descriptive ways).

That said, however, there is one aspect of "game balance" that's still important on the metagame level: It is important to make sure your players never feel like you're favoring someone by making his play "easy" compared to the others.  This is why we "tax" hardholders and crew owners, but not battlebabes.  The things these characters consider important can't even be rated on the same scales, and some of them may have no economic value at all (but great personal value).  Having big resources will bring bigger problems, require bigger costs, and will probably be harder to defend.  But exactly HOW is always up to gameplay itself.  For example: character A and character B may begin the game with wildly different levels of wealth, and this level of wealth will be considered relatively "normal" for them.  So a "threatening move" for character A (say a hardholder) might be "one of your power generators is about to explode" while an equally threatening move for character B (a poor kid wandering the wastes) might be "your knife blade has gone dull".  The relative economic costs of these problems are obviously quite different; however, they are equally bad TO THEIR INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS, because the difficulty of any problem is relative to whatever that character considers "normal".  So you can threaten a hardholder with mounting expenses, and you can threaten a poor wanderer with minor equipment damage.  Both threats are equally devastating to the player facing them.  Drama ensues.

Re: Gigs and how they work
« Reply #33 on: February 21, 2014, 03:30:02 PM »
Oh, but remember, this isn't a real rule!
The real rule is, make the apocalypse world seem real (&so on).

So, let's say you're an angel, you've got two guys Kreegle and Play-Station, and they help you sew people up, run errands, mix up drug cocktails, &etc.

So, you're just sittin' pretty with your hard-earned cash (or not), and Kreegle comes up to you.
"Hey doc, me and Play-Station were talkin' and since we've been doing all these errands and crap, we haven't done much real work. Payin' work. So, uh, mind throwing us some jingle to cover our heads & our bellies? You know we're worth it."... and, what do you do?

If they're doing work for you and not earning barter else-wise, best expect they'll look to you for it.

- Alex

Re: Gigs and how they work
« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2014, 05:46:16 AM »
Game balance? Is that a thing now?
It's always a thing.

AW is not about (quasi-)realistically simulating an entire world-system, and it is DEFINITELY NOT about tabletop mechanics with the goal of making everyone's situation and challenges as "even" as possible.
I disagree.

You are making the mistake of assuming that balance is always about mechanical parity. It isn't. Balance is about evening things that, in their current asymmetrical state, are potentially unenjoyable for the playgroup. Even if you take gamist and simulationist aspects out of consideration, a narrativist game is about portraying multiple protagonists in a fictional gameworld. Most importantly, it's about multiple protagonists sharing the spotlight while individually handling their own motivations and dilemmas.

Balance in this case is about giving each of those protagonists an equal impact on the fiction, and giving them equal capacity to handle their own dilemmas as they are presented by the character's archetype. So for example, the Skinner should have equal capacity for solving social quandries as the Gunlugger has capacity for handling pure conflict. And all of that should be equal to the Chopper's ability to handle and work with his gang, which should be equal to the Hardholder's ability to deal with his Hold's drama. If any given character seems incapable of handling the dilemmas that character was built to solve, then there is a "balance issue".

And let's not pretend that balance is not an important aspect of every game. Apocalypse World does a very good job of handling balance, and one of the game's key conceits is all about ensuring party balance. What other reason would there be for everyone to choose a different playbook if not to ensure that no one steps on each other's toes?

AW is about generating a great STORY, just like a great movie.  Do you expect movie heroes to begin at level 1?  Does DIE HARD begin with its hero at level 1?  Of course not.  This is a movie about a hero who has already reached "kick-ass" levels, and we want to see him do his stuff.  Over the course of the STAR TREK series, did Mister Spock advance at exactly the same rate as Captain Kirk?  Did he get pay raises at the same rate?  Nobody cares.  That's not even a concern, as long as the stories are good.
Whether they advance at the same rate is not relevant to the discussion. What is relevant is whether those characters get equal air time, and equal chance to shine. If you went to see Star Trek because you're a huge Spock fan, and he spent a collective total of 30 seconds on screen (during the secret ending), you would have gone home pissed. At the same time, if a player at the table gets no chance to be their character, to be kick ass or impressive, or to resolves their character's conflicts, they are not going to enjoy the game.

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As If

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Re: Gigs and how they work
« Reply #35 on: February 22, 2014, 09:15:26 AM »
We don't actually disagree, Decivre.  I was indeed talking about the mechanical definitions of game balance that Simulationist and Gamist approaches tend to abide by (i.e., affective parity), and you are of course correct in your observations about shared narrative influence.  Well said.  Alas, I fear we have strayed even further from Radan's OP.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2014, 09:27:29 AM by As If »

Re: Gigs and how they work
« Reply #36 on: February 22, 2014, 05:41:20 PM »
We don't actually disagree, Decivre.  I was indeed talking about the mechanical definitions of game balance that Simulationist and Gamist approaches tend to abide by (i.e., affective parity), and you are of course correct in your observations about shared narrative influence.  Well said.  Alas, I fear we have strayed even further from Radan's OP.
But to some extent, mechanical elements are part and parcel to narrative balance. For example, I have no doubt that the lack of situational modifiers in AW is intentional; most games that have them have serious balance issues with regards to using skills (if one skill incites more penalties than another skill in more situations, then it is not as effective). Furthermore, stat layouts in AW follow fairly specific guidelines that have been detailed on this forum. That wouldn't exist if mechanical balance weren't part of narrative balance.

But I agree, this digression is a bit much.

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Gigs and how they work
« Reply #37 on: February 23, 2014, 08:56:02 AM »
A better way to think of it would be that a game should be carefully and intentionally unbalanced.

Even Go, the most elegant game in the world, isn't balanced, or there would be no game.

-Vincent

Re: Gigs and how they work
« Reply #38 on: February 23, 2014, 07:54:50 PM »
I consider it a limitation of our language that the only key word we really have for discussing the complex interplay of game mechanics and how they should be tweaked to fit each other is "balance".

Re: Gigs and how they work
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2014, 06:44:35 AM »
The way I would play it is if the Operator wants another PC to be part of his crew then they negotiate out the cost in barter between them before the game starts. As a rough guide, every 2-3 jobs the PC performs for the Operator, he gets 1 barter. If he decides at some point, actually, I'm getting to much grief from this, I want more barter, then the players have to roleplay it out themselves to see if more barter is offered. The player always has the choice to leave the crew if he's not getting paid enough!

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Ebok

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Re: Gigs and how they work
« Reply #40 on: March 10, 2014, 02:54:52 AM »
Gigs are happening off-screen and damn near every class can get their own moonlighting. If you've got PCs in the Operators moonlighting gigs cool, handle that with an aid another for some small bonus barter now and then. I'd honestly not focus too much on the PCs all moonlighting together. They've got the on-screen time to show how well they do that and every class except operator has other means of getting barter.

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Radan

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Re: Gigs and how they work
« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2014, 05:38:02 AM »
Would not be great, having at least  an AVERAGE IN BARTERs made by the Operator and his crew WHICH ARE FOR THE 1 BARTER CUT?
Because for 2 to 4 GIGS it can be 2 to 12 (!) barters for 1 barter cut. Wildly wide! :(

My solution for now is based at the Maestro D: "Your regulars include these 5 NPCs (at least)" and the rule of 1 barter for 2 normal events or one ("1-barter will also cover your cast & crew’s cut of a spectacular event or two" - the "cast", which is new term, should be meant for a security person(s)l etc.). And the base barter rule - 1 barter for night in luxury and company ;).

TOGETHER it should mean: 5 NPC + 1 Maestro giving luxury and company for ONE night (i feel that as SPECTACULAR EVENT - 1 barter payment to the crew and cast), which are for 6 barters income. I assume, that for the "giving company" (and luxury) no more than 6 customers can be cared for by the above mentioned 6 persons. Also I assumed, than taking 1 barter from each customer should be for SPECTACULAR event (see above). Normally, MORE CUSTOMERS are allowed, but (much) LESS PAYMENT from each of them. Like someone just stops for some drinks and chat...

Therefore AN AVERAGE for now is 1 barter payment for each 6 barters income (full).


By that way, also the Angel can be asked for something after making that much income with help of the crew (although Angel has the crew for free literally by he rules!). Maybe because it is an honor to work with the Angel?;). The GANGs of the Hardholder and of the Chopper can also asking something by that "rule", not? By the book, it seems, that he gangs working for free (they taking their cuts by the work i think). The Chopper can even taking vales from his gang (by he move "Fucking thieves")! The gangs support themselves as it seems...



Do that sounds good as for BALANCE = FAIR PLAY?
, especially in consideration of the Operator as a MIDDLE MAN - more important, than seems. I am thinking about the Operator as about the one needed to got anything not normally available. Who other can support or even reSUPPLY "bustling market"? (Also the Maestro D seems as be able to run a marketplace, but still need someone for resupply etc.).
Preparing "RESOURCE RESUPPLY RUN - SETTING SCENARIOs"! - therefore QUESTIONS FOR BARTERs, GIGs etc.

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lumpley

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Re: Gigs and how they work
« Reply #42 on: April 26, 2014, 09:41:48 AM »
Radan, I removed your (slightly spammy) links to this post from the other threads.

As MC, you are of course within your rights to call for a 1-barter cut per 6-barter income, if that's what you choose to do.

-Vincent

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Radan

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Re: Gigs and how they work
« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2014, 11:00:30 AM »
Pardon, dear Vincent, for so spamming. I wanted other opinions - mostly YOURs :) to my "solution" for the GAME BALANCE. Because I counted it with the Maestro D in consideration and with rules for gig, BARTER etc. - therefore I was thinking about it as worthy comment-LINK in associated forums.

Did I reach the BALANCE - fair play? Because the 2 to 4 gigs (meaning 2 to 12 barters) is too wide for my (and I mean near for anyone) narrative consideration...
Preparing "RESOURCE RESUPPLY RUN - SETTING SCENARIOs"! - therefore QUESTIONS FOR BARTERs, GIGs etc.

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lumpley

  • 1293
Re: Gigs and how they work
« Reply #44 on: April 26, 2014, 01:34:49 PM »
It's a perfectly legal answer. Feel free to use it if you want to.

It's not "the balance," because the balance is the one in the rules: a 1-barter cut for maybe 2-4 gigs, depending.

If you personally want to play with a set ratio, choose one you like. 1 per 6 is as good as any.

-Vincent