Providence

Providence is a LARP game using Trent Yacuk's Kingdom Come system. It is a game of Fallen Angels and their struggle to survive against the forces of Heaven and Hell and some things in between.

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    Rules changes - Warfare

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    cenobyte
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    Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by cenobyte on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 22:32

    This has been playtested in Edmonton, but it's not yet 'written in stone', as it were. Are you interested in playtesting it?

    Using all three Dynamic Stats / 3 to determine Warfare.

    New Preemiences:
    Fighter (Dynamic Body: 3) - +1 to your Warfare
    Warrior (Dynamic Body: 6) - +1 to your Warfare

    Remove:
    Strong Warfare, Tactical Warfare, Relentless Warfare

    Here is the explanation for why it's been suggested:
    Dynamic Body - is actually a poor way to represent combat. Any one
    dynamic stat is. Fighting is not just about the body but the mind and
    heart are involved as well. The Body is the dominate force behind that,
    however. This is well represented by having the Fighter and the Warrior
    Preemiences. Additionally, it's your Body Archetypes that end up
    determining your Wound levels. A player will still have to sink lots
    into their Body. Now, however, increasing their Mind or Soul will not
    penalize them on their 'race' to the highest Warfare.

    Better
    Averages - Orignally there was a small problem in that technically you
    could start with a 6 Warfare but Mind and Soul people can only start
    with a 5 in Mind or Soul. This is is due to how the Preemience
    Strong Warfare worked. It's a minor issue, but this fixes it. Now it's
    impossible to start with a 6 Warfare. You will have an average of 4 IF
    you buy up all your dynamic prowesses to their max and will be able to
    take the Fighter Preemience to bring yourself to a 5. Everybody starts
    on the same page.

    Cleaner
    - One thing that ended up happening is that it's a cleaner mechanic. [In a] combat HEAVY game it was causing no end of
    problems when players couldn't immediately identify their Warfare
    (Dynamic Body). A couple of players took the Dynamic Mind as their
    Warfare and then, since everybody was a Potent Human, they could use
    the Mastery Premience to counter the Dynamic Mind Preemience...etc,
    etc, etc. It displayed how much of a nightmare it is.

    This is
    simple. It works. You can easily figure out your Warfare and move on. Mastery will change as well so it doesn't cancel
    Fighter or Warrior.


    Last edited by cenobyte on Fri 15 Jan 2010 - 11:31; edited 1 time in total
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    Arc
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by Arc on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 22:49

    Why make the Pre-eminences Body specific if all three stats have an impact on combat?

    Although such a change would benefit my character greatly, I have no desire to change the way the system works for this game.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by cenobyte on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 22:51

    Johnathan wrote:Although such a change would benefit my character greatly, I have no desire to change the way the system works for this game.

    See, that's my problem. If we're playtesting, do we playtest *every* change? Do we just keep what's working for us, and then when the book comes out, deal with that then? Anyway, that's my question.

    Re: Preeminences - good question. Why not make them available from *any* Archetype?
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    Friedrich
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by Friedrich on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 23:15

    cenobyte wrote:See, that's my problem. If we're playtesting, do we playtest *every* change?

    Does Trent want us to play-test the changes? Seems to me that this is a question to ask the source. ::shrug::
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by cenobyte on Sun 3 Jan 2010 - 23:48

    I did ask. He's already playtested them with one group of people. I think they should be playtested with a completely *different* group of people.

    This is where I am unsure as to what level of playtesting Providence really is. Which is why I'm looking for input.

    If the majority of folks are happy using the rules we have until God knows when, we will. If you'd like to try out the rules that will most likely be appearing in the book, we can do that too.
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    Bal

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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by Bal on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 0:58

    I think for most minor changes, they should be incorporated fairly quickly in a playtesting game.

    For major changes though, I think the rate they should be integrated into a playtesting game is the same at which the game is rebooted, or at the very least characters are remade.

    Seems like a fair number of major changes are once again in the pipes. I don't really think those are good ideas to incorporate and still keep the game going without alteration.

    If we think of ourselves as primarily a playtest group, with the game's main purpose being testing rules and setting, and only secondarily as a chronicle in and of itself, I think it is desirable to have frequent reboots of the game, both setting and stats wise, trying different things and putting the different rules changes through their paces. It isn't as good for story and immersion, no, but it definitely makes for a better playtest experience.

    If we think of ourselves as primarily telling a story, and playtesting only secondarily, then we should avoid major rules changes. Incorporate major rules changes inbetween chronicles - when we shut one story down and start up another, create a new setting and everyone brings in new characters, that is when we bring in new rules. If that takes a couple of years, so be it. Next time a new chronicle starts, they can use the new rules and playtest them then.

    If we want to achieve a balance... Incorporate major new rules in bundles all at once, instead of piecemeal, and give folks an opportunity to recreate their characters whenever major rules changes are put in effect - redo their character generation and zeal spending. This creates an environment where sometimes character capabilities will massively change, maybe even personalities and main schticks, depending on which rules are changed. But a lot of that can be waved away simply by paying only loose attention to continuity, and otherwise telling folks "Don't worry about it". Story gets maintained, but new rules can still be tested.

    Anyway, as far as my opinion goes - I think playtesting rules changes like this, especially when they are somewhat tentative, should be done in short 3-6 month chronicles, and avoided in long chronicles like Providence appears to be. Once a new playtest rulebook is out and all the next batch of changes are in it, then it might be worthwhile to change, but you should probably allow character remakes if that occurs(or just do a chronicle reboot and start a new chronicle with the new rules).
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by cenobyte on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 1:12

    Excellent suggestion, Wade.

    So, then, do you (the ubiquitous plural 'you'..."vous", if you will,) find it *helpful* or *disenhelpficating* to hear about the suggested changes?

    I find it helpful, because I think input from players is important.
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    Friedrich
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by Friedrich on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 13:17

    cenobyte wrote:Excellent suggestion, Wade.

    So, then, do you (the ubiquitous plural 'you'..."vous", if you will,) find it *helpful* or *disenhelpficating* to hear about the suggested changes?

    I find it helpful, because I think input from players is important.

    It really depends on whether or not we are talking to hear the sound of our own voices.

    While I know that you are reading and considering what we are saying, even when you don't agree, you are not the one with creative control of the game. I don't know what your procedure is for passing things along; I don't know if Trent is reading the forums, if you pass all the rules threads along, or if you only pass along though things that reach a level where you are convinced that someone has a point worth passing along. I only want to hear about proposed changes if they are open to discussion and what we talk about is being heard without distortion by the one with creative control, i.e., Trent.

    I'm not going to stop discussing the things that currently are rules, because if I don't agree and I keep quiet then I will get irritable and resentful. I don't expect change based on what I say, but I do expect to be listened to, especially when discussing multiple interpretations of the rules we have all agreed to abide by -- just as I listen to what others are saying and am open to being convinced that I am wrong.
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by cenobyte on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 14:32

    First, I am keenly aware that I have no creative control over the rulebook. I *do* have creative control over some aspects of *our* game. I pass many of the rules threads along, particularly if a) "we" have all come to a conclusion that something isn't working (we may not have come to a conclusion on how to fix it), b) "we" have all come up with what we feel is something cool that should make it into the book.

    But what you say Alan, is what I'm struggling with. When you say you only want to hear about proposed changes if they are open to discussion, which may also mean you do not want to hear about proposed changes that are *not* open to discussion (that is, changes that are going to happen regardless of our input), I don't know which suggested rules changes we ought to be playtesting. F'rinstance, if these changes to Warfare are going to go through for sure, do you want to switch to them? If they're not yet finalised, but *could probably* go through, do you want to try them? If they're still just suggestions, do you want to try them?

    I don't know which rules you (vous) *want* to hear about and which ones you'll be upset if I don't mention, so I'm trying to mention the ones that seem to be most impactful.
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by Friedrich on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 15:53

    cenobyte wrote:But what you say Alan, is what I'm struggling with. When you say you only want to hear about proposed changes if they are open to discussion, which may also mean you do not want to hear about proposed changes that are *not* open to discussion (that is, changes that are going to happen regardless of our input), I don't know which suggested rules changes we ought to be playtesting. F'rinstance, if these changes to Warfare are going to go through for sure, do you want to switch to them? If they're not yet finalised, but *could probably* go through, do you want to try them? If they're still just suggestions, do you want to try them?

    Jill, I fully recognise that you are in a hard place and I think everyone sees that.

    I expect that many people disagree with what I'm about to say, but it is my opinion. :)

    If something is an idea that Trent is toying with and wants to see play-tested then I want to try it out to give him back the feedback he wants. If he wants it to be discussed to test player opinion, same thing.

    If proposed changes are going to happen, period, then I have no choice but to accept them as a good/evil of the system I have agreed to use.

    What I want is for everyone to be on the same page. The fewer changes that are made, the more comfortable we are with the rules we are using and the easier the game flows. So no, I don't want to see the changes that are guaranteed even if I am surprised when I buy the final book.
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by cenobyte on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 16:01

    Well it's not that I'm in a hard place; I want to know what the players want to do, and how far we consider ourselves playtesters.

    So the more people who can give me their input on this stuff, the better.

    Hell, it's *way* easier for me to not implement *ANY* of these changes.
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by Molior on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 18:08

    @ Jon: Physical ability, brains and heart may all have an effect on combat, but I think Body is clearly the most important. You can't train someone without excellent reflexes and strength to be a truly excellent warrior.


    I am curious as to exactly what Mastery would be under this change. And I'm not certain as to whether we should go forward with it or not - I think that while we may be playing with unfinished rules, Providence is very much a chronicle, and we've had our fair share of rules disruption already. Perhaps the easy road of not making any more changes until the book is out is also the correct one.
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by cenobyte on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 18:57

    Well, that would certainly make half of my job easier.

    But then we're not really playtesting.

    And yes, more or less, the reason for the Body Preeminences has primarily to do with your *physical ability* to fight well. Anyone can fight *smart*, but if they don't have the ability to hit hard or fast, it won't be of much use. Theory v. Practice and all that.
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    Bal

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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by Bal on Tue 5 Jan 2010 - 0:50

    Playtesting isn't always about using the most recent hot off the presses rules - I think sometimes a lot more can be learned from using a previous complete iteration of the rules, than an incomplete later iteration.

    I personally think, as far as that goes, we should pretty much stick to the BRB for our rulesets, unless it is about something with enough confusion that it'd need to be houseruled anyway(and in such cases, if a newer rule is available, implement it as a house rule - if not, house rule it, and suggest Trent make our house rule official). Next time a full, complete edition of the rules is out(either as another playtest version, or the published version), then we can look at changing, until then stay with the last stable version.

    The exception, of course, would be if Trent specifically asks us to playtest a new rule for him. In which case, yeah, this whole thing is a favour to him so of course we should comply. But I think that would probably be a rare case.

    On sort of a side topic - Trent really really needs to set up an open Kingdom Come forum he does read, or otherwise a place where all the players' feedback can be heard directly. I think that could potentially be much more useful to him than having the SGs he has running things filter stuff on up to him. After all, every player here is a) a potential future purchaser of the game and b) a potential future Storyguide themselves.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 5 Jan 2010 - 0:52

    Well, Trent is a member on this Forum, and for all I know, he *does* read the feedback. That being said, i will certainly suggest it to him.
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    Bal

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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by Bal on Tue 5 Jan 2010 - 1:35

    cenobyte wrote:Well, Trent is a member on this Forum, and for all I know, he *does* read the feedback. That being said, i will certainly suggest it to him.

    I think having a dedicated forum for the game itself would offer benefits above and beyond him listening in on the conversations about individual chronicles. If nothing else, it builds more recognition for the game, and starts to build a larger community. I know for myself when I am looking at buying new games, especially indie games, the question "Is this game well supported, with an active online community and real participation from the designers?" is certainly one that factors in.
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 5 Jan 2010 - 1:59

    Indeed.
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    Arc
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by Arc on Tue 5 Jan 2010 - 2:09

    Molior wrote:@ Jon: Physical ability, brains and heart may all have an effect on combat, but I think Body is clearly the most important. You can't train someone without excellent reflexes and strength to be a truly excellent warrior.

    The Pre-eminence marks an edge in combat. That edge could be advanced training, a spirit that has no fear and thus does and risks things unexpectedly, etc., etc. An edge in combat need not be physical to be capitalized on, especially in a world where a person's soul can overwhelm another's.
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 5 Jan 2010 - 2:10

    Oh, I also suspect there may be other Preeminences for combat, but i've heard nothing specific yet.
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by Molior on Wed 6 Jan 2010 - 23:53

    Jon, I still think that this method of Warfare determination makes the most sense. A 'spirit that knows no fear' is important, yes, but that is reflected by your Dynamic Soul. If you buy up that stat, your Warfare will increase. It just isn't as important as sheer combat training, which can only be learned if you are athletic enough to properly train for it.

    This may be a world where one person's soul can overwhelm another, but there's already something for that. It's called Nimbus. This isn't that - this is your ability to effectively strike another person in combat, and dodge such strikes to yourself.
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    Bal

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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by Bal on Thu 7 Jan 2010 - 3:44

    I don't particularly think Kingdom Come is trying to replicate anything real worldish - some game systems are more abstract, and others more try to mirror what would "actually" happen, and KC is definitely more towards the abstract/"game in and of itself" as opposed to simulationist end. So I wouldn't be worried about which way of calculating makes more "sense".

    It is good to note the implications in what this means for how the gameworld works though - and what this seems to mean is that generalists will probably be better fighters than specialists(having a more efficient points to Warfare build). This is pretty much directly the opposite of the previous way, where combat was dominated by the specialists(usually focusing on Body, obviously). It'll still be possible to plan everything in your build around being a combat goon and be better than someone less focused, but the gap will be a lot less I think. This isn't necessarily good or bad, but will definitely change what Kingdom Come looks like though.
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    Arc
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by Arc on Thu 7 Jan 2010 - 9:23

    I would like to point out that there are as many Soul and Mind techniques, if not more, that are used for combat advantages or to give combat disadvantages. If your parallel to Nimbus and just stats are the basis of your argument I think that you should keep this in mind. The discussion here isn't whether one stat has more effect on combat than any other, but of the possible ways a person can gain an advantage in combat already inherent in the system. Given that the other stats would play a role in the combat value you cannot, without strong reason, indicate that an inspiration to combat values must come from a physical archetype, especially given the role already played by certain Techniques and Pre-eminences already in the game.

    Trent clearly didn't care about physical archetypes when he had developed Unstoppable Combat and Tactical Combat. The role of physicality is clearly in his mind related to enduring injury and as a default value. I don't think the "you need to be super fit to be a good combatant" will work as strongly given all these other exceptions. It's a fair point Mark, but not one that I think is given the weight you would like, as noted for the reasons above.

    As for changes to the setting, I like the proposed change because every Fallen was supposed to be a worthy warrior in their previous lives and will all require that skill at some point in a chronicle because of the Last Crusade and for their history in the Divine-Infernal war. I've found it hard to reconcile the differences in ability in the old system based on what I've interpreted the setting wanted as a role for the Fallen. Not to say that they all have to be great warriors, but the curve given in the new system makes it more even in terms of everyone's ability to help in what is supposed to be a fairly strong element of the setting.

    All that said, I'm against instituting the rule in Providence due to the history already developed in the game, the feeling that these aren't the only changes to the combat system and importing piecemeal provides no benefit to playtesting unless it is also used with the rest of the changes that have happened.
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    Molior

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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by Molior on Fri 8 Jan 2010 - 17:48

    KC never seems to know what it wants to be, to me. And so, while I agree that it is somewhat abstract, I feel fully justified imposing real-world-esque logic on it, and am pleased when Trent seems to agree with me (as now). I would be most interested in knowing WHY Trent happens to agree with me in this case, though.

    I quite like the way this affects mean and median Warfare scores, absolutely. Much more clustering around 4, essentially no-one with lower than 2, and 6 is perhaps more of a big deal. And then there's the flavour argument - why would a former Angel forget everything s/he once knew of war?
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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by Eliel on Sun 10 Jan 2010 - 0:14

    Whether we stick to new rules or old rules, my primary request is that the rules be stated clearly and be available to all. If we are not going to use the BRB as is, I would request that either players be allowed to have an electronic copy of the rules or that players be given a single hard copy replacement for any pages of the BRB that need substituting. Having the setting material not available to players is frustrating but if we start having elements of the rules starting to not be available either makes the system virtually un-testable without the guide in the room.


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    Bal

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    Re: Rules changes - Warfare

    Post by Bal on Sun 10 Jan 2010 - 2:56

    Eliel wrote:Whether we stick to new rules or old rules, my primary request is that the rules be stated clearly and be available to all. If we are not going to use the BRB as is, I would request that either players be allowed to have an electronic copy of the rules or that players be given a single hard copy replacement for any pages of the BRB that need substituting. Having the setting material not available to players is frustrating but if we start having elements of the rules starting to not be available either makes the system virtually un-testable without the guide in the room.

    A fair point, especially because I think for LARP rules testing especially, one of the most important criteria you should be testing is "Can the players run the system easily without access to a Storyguide or other rules authority?" If the answer is no, the system is a failure. You can't test that if the players don't have ready access to the rules.

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