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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    Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

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    Corral

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    Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Corral on Thu 10 Jun 2010 - 15:54

    I have some ideas for minor tweaks to the KC rules, that I'd like to hear whether other people agree or disagree and then if lots of people like any of the ideas, perhaps it can get passed on to Trent for consideration. I'm going to post each of them in a different topic so that discussions don't get confused.

    Suggestion: Successful investigate actions the same or previous month can give Aid-like bonuses to Hunt, Protect or similar actions.
    EDIT: New Suggestion: Add new "Prepare" action which can give Aid-like bonuses to a Hunt, Protect or similar action next month and next month only.
    (It would be double-cool if spies/thugs/etc could be used, but that's not really my thing here).
    /EDIT

    Goal: Encourages long-term actions, is more realistic.

    I've said this before, but never formally proposed it. From an in-character perspective, it makes sense that we would want to look into things before acting. So much so that regardless of how the rules work, we keep doing it. But mechanically, it doesn't actually help at all. I know that knowledge is temporal, but if we were to carefully investigate the location of a creature for a full month and then attack it the very next month, most of our knowledge should still be useful. And of course, if we had some people investigating at the same time a hunt was occurring, then it would be, too.

    Of course, two groups of people can't coordinate perfectly in a given month. And some information changes over time. But that's where the Aid comes in. If Jasmine is out hunting demons, and Carl wants to help by finding the demons, then shouldn't he increase her chance of success slightly? He might find them first, or find information that will lead to her finding them. At the same time, if Carl is trying to find the demons but he knew where they were last month (and nobody did anything that would cause them to move) then things might be a lot easier. At least, he would have a starting point.


    Last edited by Corral on Fri 11 Jun 2010 - 13:11; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Better way to incorporate what I really wanted / fixing bad typo)
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    Cole

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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Cole on Thu 10 Jun 2010 - 22:56

    First of all, you can get a bonus but writing a story of how you go about looking for the target of your hunt. That will give you extra marks -- which is an aid-like bonus. If someone wants to help by investigating the target of a hunt then there is no reason that said person can't perform an Aid: Hunt action with the write-up being how they search out the target. Then the marks generated go directly to the Hunt action.

    The only reason to take an Investigate action independent of a hunt action is if you want information that would not be revealed in the Hunt action or if you want an idea of its resources so that you know who to bring with you on your hunt. Other information, such as location, gets exposed with a successful hunt as you confront the target.

    For me, your suggestion, while understood, seems to add needless complication. I think that what you want can be done by providing a description of your action as you Aid others.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by cenobyte on Fri 11 Jun 2010 - 10:19

    I think the genesis of this question is that people who have quite a few Spies resources are *very good* at Investigate actions, but the success they achieve using their Resources is not applicable to Hunt actions (because each level of Spies provides 3 automatic, Risk-free Marks to Investigate actions, but not to Hunt actions).

    That being said, I'm inclined to agree with Alan on this one.
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    Corral

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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Corral on Fri 11 Jun 2010 - 10:42

    For me, the core of it is not the same-month, but actually the next-month. I'd be 100% OK with it only working as a preliminary planning sort of thing. And what I'm proposing is not 3 automatic marks, it's basically 1. I don't think it's that complicated, really, not more so than most of the rules in this game. Basically adding a "Prepare" action that allows the Spies resource and acts as an Aid for a single Hunt or Protect or whatever action in the next month (but becomes useless if it's not used immediately).

    Actually, even a Prepare action that doesn't allow spies would be nice. Aid, for one month previous, for when we haven't decided yet what we're doing but we know we're doing *something* and knowledge is the priority at the moment.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by cenobyte on Fri 11 Jun 2010 - 11:08

    That seems like an IC thing you could do with a writeup/Aid, though. I don't see why it has to be a separate rule or why what already exists wouldn't already cover it.
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    Corral

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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Corral on Fri 11 Jun 2010 - 11:09

    You would allow us to write an action to Aid somebody (possibly ourselves) on an action that hasn't occurred yet?
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by cenobyte on Fri 11 Jun 2010 - 11:13

    You can't Aid yourself.

    But yes, you can write an action that says "Aid Shamus in his dance lessons", for an action that Shamus has not submitted yet.
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    Corral

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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Corral on Fri 11 Jun 2010 - 12:11

    No, what I'm talking about is an action *next* month. Like I said, "Prepare". Like, there's a Shroud in town, but we're not sure if it's a Shroud. We've got some people looking into whether or not it really is one - that's an Investigate. But maybe we've got some other people who aren't so good at that, and want to instead set the groundwork for a Hunt if we find out that it really is an Angel or Devil. If the information we get says no hunt, or we don't have enough info yet to hunt, then the Prepare action was wasted. But if at next census we say, "Ok, we're going after it," then the people who did the prepare action can now say, "Great. Here's what we found out about where it is, how best to attack it, what its weaknesses are..." that sort of thing.

    Like I said, we keep doing this IC but there doesn't seem to be any actual advantage to it mechanically. I think it would be really cool if there was actually stuff you could do to prepare for things. You would probably need to specify, like "Prepare: Group Hunt against 'Shroud'" because clearly you can't then say, "No, honestly, I was preparing for Shamus' dance lessons."
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    Corral

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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Corral on Fri 11 Jun 2010 - 12:20

    OK, I've rewritten my original proposal above. This more closely follows what I'd really like to see:

    New Suggestion wrote:Add new "Prepare" action which can give Aid-like bonuses to a Hunt, Protect or similar action next month and next month only.
    ex)

    Shamus thinks he might want dance lessons, but he's not ready to take the leap yet. Corral is pretty confident that he's gonna go ahead with it whatever he says, so she performs a Prepare action to book a location and learn more about dancing so that she has more to teach him. She gets 7 marks on the action. If Shamus decides not to do any dancing next month, the preparation is lost and those marks go into the ether. If he goes ahead with it, he gets an extra 2 marks (via the Aid transformation) on his action.


    Last edited by Corral on Fri 11 Jun 2010 - 13:09; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Fixing a very confusing typo)
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    Cole

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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Cole on Fri 11 Jun 2010 - 12:40

    There is a preparatory downtime action in the game already. Contingency. With contingency you accumulate successes to reduce risk. Contingency can be carried over into the next month and if not used then requires upkeep to maintain to subsequent months. Because it reduces risk, with enough successes on it you may take other actions as risky in order to benefit from having scapegoats in place without fear of complication.

    If I get 8 successes on a Contingency action, that reduces the risk of *all* actions in the month it is used by three. That means that I can take any action with up to 3 RISKY Effort without worry. If I want to chance getting risk then I can take a 4+ Risky Effort action and I *might* get risk. Of course, resources can further reduce risk.

    There are ways to prepare for throwing caution to the wind when you need to do so.
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    Corral

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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Corral on Mon 14 Jun 2010 - 11:26

    Well, I didn't realize that Contingency could carry over and be used like that. It's not exactly what I was proposing, but very useful.

    I still kinda think Prepare would be nice, too, as it would have a very different flavour to it, but if there's already an action that gives Risk-free Effort in exactly the same way, then it's very likely that Trent already thought about this.
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    Eliel

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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Eliel on Mon 14 Jun 2010 - 23:30

    Another option is for the ST to allow Hunt (or any other action that normally can't be done as ongoing) as an ongoing action if there is an appropriate write-up. Month one, Start the ongoing hunt (prepare) but the roll doesn't happen yet. Month two put more marks towards it and then roll.
    BRB doesn't specifically allow for this, but it seems well within what the guide could allow.


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    Mihr

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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Mihr on Tue 15 Jun 2010 - 20:34

    This is a capability players want to have. As Corral pointed out, we keep trying to do it even though we can't. And it's probably useful to keep in mind that's going to apply outside this game, since we're supposed to be playtesting to some extent here.

    It's not because they're munchkins, not because they've got lots of spies and no resource with equivalent hunting bonus, but because it's what people would do when faced with the sorts of antagonists that have been popping up.

    The ability to prepare for when you have to throw caution to the wind is all well and good, but that's not really what we've been attempting. We've been attempting to gather information and prepare battle plans for cautious, calculated actions. I could see how you could justify contingency as doing that, but no one ever suggested it in the game, so that use of it isn't really clear.

    And a write up doesn't really fix it, it just sort of glosses over where things skip. You can include elements of last month's write up in this month's write up, sure. But we've still got an issue where multiple players insisted on wasting a month engaged in mechanically useless activities. The write up makes an excuse for it, but it doesn't change it or stop it from happening again.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 15 Jun 2010 - 20:39

    Paul, can you please give me an example of when a month's activities were wasted on 'mechanically useless activities'? I'm not sure what you mean.

    Mihr

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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Mihr on Tue 15 Jun 2010 - 21:15

    I can't remember the dates, but at least twice, three times I think, we knew there were demons or angels, or a devil, or something in the city, and we agreed at census to just run an investigate on whatever it was.

    Which yields no real benefit. We could have launched right into a hunt (eventually we hunted in each case), and it would have been exactly as effective as a hunt that wasn't preceded by any sort of investigation.

    But we still investigated anyway. Because it just feels like you should do that instead of launching straight into urban warefare with whoever the opponent might be. Realistically whatever you could learn about your enemies whereabouts and movements would confer at least some small advantage. So we try to get that information.

    But it's mechanically useless. Knowing where a group of demons live, what places they frequent outside their homes, when they come and go, etc serves no purpose aside from giving you justification to add some ninja-flavor to a write up about attacking them. And really you could have done that anyway.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 15 Jun 2010 - 21:21

    I don't think those investigations were useless. F'rinstance, you found out where the critter was hiding, or what it had been up to, or other information that might come in useful whether or not you decided to hunt. But I guess it depends on what you consider useful information. If I don't know what you're looking for, I won't be able to help you with it.

    It could just be that you're not interested in the flavour text; the narrative, and you just want the plot...the action. You're more a fan of Indiana Jones, in other words, than you are of Discworld. And that's fine. Not everybody is a big fan of flavour text, narrative, and rich stories. And I don't expect them to be. But trying to force a system (or a Storyguide, for that matter) to be something other than what it is is very frustrating.

    So even if we came up with another rule to cover what you think is a deficiency in the system (and which I think is something already covered by and included in the system), that won't address the core problem, if you're the sort of person who's not as interested in the narrative. I don't know if you're more of an action person or more of a story person, but saying that those investigations were useless is a bit harsh, in my opinion. Sure, the investigation might not have provided any Marks on the Hunt, but that doesn't mean it was useless.

    If those Investigations had been pitched as Aid actions, they *may have* provided Marks for the Hunt. And therefore wouldn't have been mechanically "useless".


    Last edited by cenobyte on Wed 16 Jun 2010 - 9:05; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added a bunch of stuff)
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    Shamus

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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Shamus on Tue 15 Jun 2010 - 22:42

    I think I might be able to lend an alternate explanation.

    "Investigate" is just that. To investigate. Investigating is to acquire information, track patterns, and the like.

    "Hunt" is, coincicentally, just that. A 'Hunt', however, *incorporates* an investigate by default because of the requirements of a hunt.

    If I investigate deer, then i am tracking their paths, movements, feeding grounds. But if I am hunting deer, then i am doing those same things with the intent to kill it and serve it for supper.

    Investigate is for gethering information.

    Hunt is to gather information to help your hunt, WHILE doing your hunt.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 15 Jun 2010 - 22:47

    Nice!
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    Corral

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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Corral on Tue 15 Jun 2010 - 23:19

    And based on what Shamus just said, why can't you split those two actions into two months if you wish?

    It's not just investigate and hunt, either. It's any action that you could do things in advance for, but those are good examples.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by cenobyte on Tue 15 Jun 2010 - 23:29

    If you'll refer to the BRB, the only actions that are listed as Short Term are: Aid, Patrol, Hide, Upkeep, and Protect. That means that for the other actions, you could split them into two, four, eight, or twelve months if you wished. This is all available in the Secular Actions section of the BRB, as Alan has pointed out.

    Hunt has *never* been listed as a short-term action in the BRB. Neither has Investigate.
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    Corral

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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Corral on Wed 16 Jun 2010 - 7:57

    ... And you could say that if you got your 2,5,8, etc marks you didn't want to do the test?
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by cenobyte on Wed 16 Jun 2010 - 8:55

    What? What are you talking about?

    The point of ongoing actions are twofold: 1) to be able to build your number of Marks to ensure an *easier* Opposed Roll; and 2) to get bits of information each month.

    Why would you do half of an action? That's like doing a Rehabilitate action, building a bunch of Marks, and then deciding not to do the Healing test. That makes no sense.
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    Corral

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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Corral on Wed 16 Jun 2010 - 9:07

    Well, for a Hunt, the reason would be that you don't want to confront the creature yet. You just want to be ready for when you can. For example, this Shroud. Or for anything that the Kings haven't given their leave to attack.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by cenobyte on Wed 16 Jun 2010 - 9:29

    So then you indicate that your Hunt is an ongoing action and that you're wanting to build progress on it. That's always been the case; you can just indicate that you're scoping it out and that this is a 'long-term hunt'.
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    Corral

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    Re: Suggestion: Prepare Action (Previously "Investigate as Bonus")

    Post by Corral on Wed 16 Jun 2010 - 10:43

    OK, that sounds good to me so far. Can you also do this pre-hunt on your own one month, and then use your earned marks to contribute to a Group Hunt later? ie, I start scoping out the Shroud and get 6 Marks on the Hunt, but I specify that I don't want to approach it yet. If next month I participate in a Group Hunt against the Shroud and get 5 marks, can I declare it ongoing from my previous hunt and then contribute 11 Marks?

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