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Thenomain



Posts : 48
Join date : 2010-07-19

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:46 am

To throw in my own $2 here,

scaryclown wrote:
Cobalt wrote:
As I have said several times there are no plans to actually do this.

Then why bring the subject up?

It's a straw poll. We're curious about what people think and how people would react. Would we like to make a change? A little, it's true. Are we going to? That's why we ask questions like this. We're bringing it up because we honestly want people's opinions and ideas.

Game design is difficult, and having other people remind us the extent of the changes (Harmony is used in 10 different things, Clarity being out of your control is cool) is a good thing, and we thank people for that kind of input.

To the people who are panicking about it, I'm sorry. If you have suggestions on how we can be more clear about it, please let me know and I'll pass it on to the rest of staff. Thanks.
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Crow



Posts : 13
Join date : 2011-04-07

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:38 am

Sounds to me like the general feeling of it is one of hesitation, at best. It's a mechanic that's too embedded into the system, even if it has its flaws. About the only thing that seems to be agreeable is changing the xp requirement of it, but even then, I'd be averse to just removing it entirely. I would be more for lowering the cost to new rating x 1, or sometihng like that, as it gets really expensive to try to maintain it at higher levels with it at x3, especially when you're only making 2xp per week, 5 at best if you run PRPs and stuff.
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Sammi



Posts : 23
Join date : 2011-01-27

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:35 am

Crow wrote:
About the only thing that seems to be agreeable is changing the xp requirement of it, but even then, I'd be averse to just removing it entirely.
What purpose does the XP cost for regaining lost Morality serve? In some tabletop games, it might be the only requirement in an environment that doesn't have the time to focus on each character's moral struggles as much as might be desirable, but on a MUSH, we have more opportunity for each character to focus on personal issues and can easily impose costs in other ways, such as requiring IC work towards regaining Morality and having it granted through the plot reward system (which happens at a rate of once per month). So why do you believe that it needs a cost in XP, specifically? Why don't other forms of cost satisfy what you believe regaining Morality should demand?
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Polly



Posts : 3
Join date : 2011-04-12

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:14 pm

Remember the fracas a few weeks back about dickwolves?

The whole gist of that joke was the silly faux heroic non-morality intrinsic to many games. Characters generally wear a white hat, and then do horrible things to cardboard badguys with little to no consequence. I remember playing a Euthanatos back in the day that was always getting shit from the whitehats for his shennanigans snuffing out little old ladies and handicapped people. Then one day the whitehats murdered a nephandi in his sleep, looted his place for interesting magic items and then burned his house down after taking his head as a trophy. Why did the white hats suddenly go savage...because the NPC was a bad guy and they were cleared hot to engage in Lord of the Flies savagery. The next day they went back to their smug sense of moral superiority with no dent to their inflated sense of Lawful Goodness.

The morality system is supposed to steer RP away from that. It is supposed to represent the psychic harm of doing what sometimes needs to be done. It's the price that darker, sinister characters pay to do the freeholds dirty work. It's the cost of duty when the hero's have to get blood on their hands. I actually like the intent behind the system and agree with Thomas on this one.

That said, does the system work? Is it bringing up questions of right and wrong in RP. Is it providing for interesting moral problems and character development? Or is it some numbers to dick dance around while the same old cliche shit goes down. If it's just a number to manage without really providing any incentive to examine your characters path then I say scrap it. If someone has a system that will force a certain depth into RP then I'm all for it.

I like the idea behind the morality stat...I'm kind of meh about it's execution. For a game that is supposed to be about darker shades of grey, they seem to have employed Saturday matinee serial ideas of right and wrong. On the other hand, if someone wants to play immoral, amoral or differently moral characters (which is what I personally prefer to do) they should also be prepared to play broken characters...because that's how immoral, amoral or differently moral people tend to turn out.




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Sammi



Posts : 23
Join date : 2011-01-27

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:27 pm

I think the system works fine for immoral and amoral characters. They can just settle at a lower Morality and have done with it. I think the Code from Hunter: The Vigil is the perfect solution for differently moral characters, which also turns out semi-broken characters but without dropping their Morality scores much (perfect for characters who don't mind derangements, but need high-Morality things like the ability to perform exorcisms), but that's not on the table here.

What I don't think the system works fine for is White Hat characters who slip up. I intend to get Carina up to Clarity 8 eventually. She's also Summer, so she's going to be in a bit of a delicate position. She's set up to fight without harming people, to use Wild 2 and 4 to hinder them through environmental penalties, Hours 2 and 3 to take away their weapons and Blood-Binding to strip their magic. But what if she slips up? What if someone provokes her into punching them, I fail the degeneration roll and she drops to Clarity 7? Charging XP to regain lost Clarity says, "Ooo, tough luck. Shouldn't have tried to be more moral than you could manage to keep up," and then I can't have Carina regain Clarity 8 for months, because 24 XP is hard to come by. It's almost enough to make me not even want to try to play a high-Clarity character. As it is, I'm just going to hold off until I'm absolutely sure that she can take someone out with no injury befalling her enemy. If she does slip up and drop back to Clarity 7, I don't know if I'll care enough to try to buy it back up, and I'm sure I'll be quite annoyed by the whole affair. If lost dots of Clarity could be regained in the same way they were lost (through RP), then rather than being incentive not to even try again, that slip-up would be fuel for a plot around Carina regaining her Clarity, which would be considerably more fun for me than the lack of fun I'd have waiting to get back the XP to regain Clarity.

Or say someone were to slap Carina with a derangement to teach her a lesson. Developing a derangement is a breaking point. Right now for Carina, it's a "succeed on two dice or lose 21 XP" button, that anyone with Moon 3, the Moonborn blessing or a Bugbear's mask (or anyone who's just really damn good at mind games) can press. Mr. Black is quite likely to give other people derangements given the opportunity, but I don't want to do it versus changeling players because it feels like a dick move OOCly as well as ICly.

Meanwhile, immoral and amoral characters can gain XP by selling their Morality at the beginning and then don't ever have to worry about buying it back up. So yes, I think the Morality system is very harsh at the high end. It does a very good job of making sure that being a White Hat at all is a losing proposition, especially when it comes to Clarity (werewolves have a fairly easy time at it as long as they do the right things, and mortals don't risk degenerating for things outside their control).
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Crow



Posts : 13
Join date : 2011-04-07

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:50 pm

Sammi wrote:
What purpose does the XP cost for regaining lost Morality serve? ... So why do you believe that it needs a cost in XP, specifically? Why don't other forms of cost satisfy what you believe regaining Morality should demand?

Personally? Everything that you just said in that quote, even the part that got skimmed over in the above for brevity, I could sit down and have a full-on discussion about. But I'll try to keep it on the short side. But for clarity, let me state, in no uncertain terms:

* I really, mightily, truly loathe the way that xp is handled here.

Now, that being said:

At least there's some reward for running PrP's now, but even then, those that work harder for things just sort of end up getting steamrolled over in the end. For something that was designed to be the ultimate epitome of fairness, I find the system to be highly unfair. It takes work and effort to add flavor and depth to a game. Some people work /way/ harder at that than others. They should be rewarded accordingly.

In regards to why I think there should be an xp cost for something like Clarity/Harmony/Morality? Because otherwise, you end up taking a level of fairness out of it. There are always going to be people who truly go out and try to live up to the ideal of their morality when they lose it, and then there are people that are going to sit around for a certain amount of time doing not a whole lot of anything when they lose it. At the end of this period, both of them have the opportunity to proposition staff for a gain in their <stat>. One of them has real justification, one of them really... doesn't.

But do you honestly expect the staff here to look over everyone's shoulder, trying to keep track of who's doing what, and who really feels bad for what they did? I don't.

I expect that in a game of this type there are going to be some that get things easier than others. But given that you can come out of chargen being /better/ at a character's concept than that character, who has been around forever, and the newer people are /easily/ going to be able to stomp those of us that just don't feel comfortable enough with the concept of a rebuild to actually do one, I think that having a cost for morality-upkeep makes for more of a diverse playing field, otherwise, with every catchup, you're going to have some sort of elder <character> influx come into town, and... ok, so maybe that's a little off topic. Back to the point.

Harmony is everything to my character. Srsly, it's like, my main stat. Believe me, if anyone stands to benefit from free <stat> foo, it'd be Crow. But honestly, it takes the fun out of it for me, knowing that even if I work hard for it, someone else can eventually just sit on their duff for a certain amount of time and have it just as easily. So, yes, since it's going to happen like that either way, I think that there should be some cost for it, but on a game this slow to progress in xp? It should be lowered, as it's one of the least stable stats you can have.

</rant>
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Thomas



Posts : 32
Join date : 2011-01-28

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:01 pm

The danger of 'slipping up' is pretty much the whole point of Clarity. And particularly so for /high/ Clarity. It forces the Changeling to remember that no matter how hard they work, no matter how rigorous they are about taking precautions, the world is ultimately out of their control, and their power is NEVER really theirs, and it always calls back to the cold pragmatism of their Keepers.

Honestly, a high Clarity Changeling shouldn't /be/ a front-line warrior. Anyone who tries that IC is going to end up in a world full of pain and frustration. And that's awesome; that's a great fatal flaw for a character - someone who really does know better and who can see just how crazy the idea of hunting other sapient beings like they were rabid animals /is/. But they just can't resist the siren song of violence and death, so they cobble together this shaky framework of magic and self-justification that allows them to indulge their monster while pretending that no one is going to get hurt. That's an /awesome/ character, but also an unsustainable one. And that's the system working as intended.

Most of the time high Clarity Lost should be the planners, teachers, and the evaluators, the ones who send people out to fight, because they can see /beyond/ the next kill, and the ones who point out that yeah, that could have gone better and maybe Fair Felicia shouldn't have stopped to sing to the flowers in the middle of the battle, because that wasn't particularly helpful. Even if, yes, it was a very pretty song. They're almost (or full blown) neurotic in their insistence on maintaining order, predictability, and sanity, while at the same time trying to live and prosper in a world where 'sanity' is a convenient lie we tell ourselves.

Ultimately, high Clarity is unsustainable. Every Lost, unless they devote most of their resources and lives (i.e. XP) to it, is going to lose Clarity and fall into a madness that seems easier and easier to justify with every blow against one's sanity. You should have to be forced to think if it's really worth it to buy your Clarity back up after it's been lost. You should be forced to realize that if you do, then you're not going to be as powerful as the people who embrace the madness of their natures, and that you're ultimately pursuing a pipe dream. Any gains you make can be taken away again in the space of one bad day that isn't even your fault.

Ideally, of course, high Clarity should also matter more than it does. But no one is actually required to interact with the human world in the game if they don't want to, or such interactions are handwaved off screen to such an extent that the low Clarity Lost never have to worry about being harassed by police or social workers, or holding down a job, or not coming back to themselves one morning to find that they're standing over a frightened human ranting about the bloody thorns tearing out their hearts. So there's not a lot of need that low Clarity characters have for seeking out the advice and help of higher Clarity characters to navigate the human world.
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Polly



Posts : 3
Join date : 2011-04-12

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:12 am

Two things about that Thomas.

1st. Clarity as written is very much focused on TT or close knit troupe RP. In a mu* we are all playing slightly or very different games from each other. If the RP that clarity is supposed to entail does not come up, then it's a pointless stat. If it just pops up from time to time because 'hey we have this rule we don't use often.' It's not really doing anything but sucking up XP

Secondly, I wonder about the logic of a morality system that makes it a better thing to be a manipulator sending others to do the dirty work in order to maintain a high morality score. Although that might not be what you are saying.
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Cobalt



Posts : 88
Join date : 2010-05-30

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:25 am

Crow wrote:
those of us that just don't feel comfortable enough with the concept of a rebuild to actually do one

That is, bluntly, your own handicap and not the games. We specifically put in rebuilds and that players get one after very XP catchup so that old players would be able to make sure they're not "completely stomped" by new players. If you are not taking advantage of it, it is your own failing and not a failing of the game.
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Alister



Posts : 33
Join date : 2011-01-27

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:38 am

Polly wrote:
Remember the fracas a few weeks back about dickwolves?

The whole gist of that joke was the silly faux heroic non-morality intrinsic to many games. Characters generally wear a white hat, and then do horrible things to cardboard badguys with little to no consequence. I remember playing a Euthanatos back in the day that was always getting shit from the whitehats for his shennanigans snuffing out little old ladies and handicapped people. Then one day the whitehats murdered a nephandi in his sleep, looted his place for interesting magic items and then burned his house down after taking his head as a trophy. Why did the white hats suddenly go savage...because the NPC was a bad guy and they were cleared hot to engage in Lord of the Flies savagery. The next day they went back to their smug sense of moral superiority with no dent to their inflated sense of Lawful Goodness.

The morality system is supposed to steer RP away from that. It is supposed to represent the psychic harm of doing what sometimes needs to be done. It's the price that darker, sinister characters pay to do the freeholds dirty work. It's the cost of duty when the hero's have to get blood on their hands. I actually like the intent behind the system and agree with Thomas on this one.

That said, does the system work? Is it bringing up questions of right and wrong in RP. Is it providing for interesting moral problems and character development? Or is it some numbers to dick dance around while the same old cliche shit goes down. If it's just a number to manage without really providing any incentive to examine your characters path then I say scrap it. If someone has a system that will force a certain depth into RP then I'm all for it.

I like the idea behind the morality stat...I'm kind of meh about it's execution. For a game that is supposed to be about darker shades of grey, they seem to have employed Saturday matinee serial ideas of right and wrong. On the other hand, if someone wants to play immoral, amoral or differently moral characters (which is what I personally prefer to do) they should also be prepared to play broken characters...because that's how immoral, amoral or differently moral people tend to turn out.





The morality system though on a MUD or MUSH type setting is hard to gauge though cause it is a storyteller tool to use to keep character's in line with their morality. On a MUD or MUSH we as the players have to dictate whether or not we are playing by our morality or clarity and i bet most people forget it even exists. There is no one really watching our roleplay to step in and say 'hey this may affect your morality do you still wanna do it' for the possible chance of degradation nor is someone watching us to see if we deserve to spend XP to raise it. I wonder for changelings how many requests their are out there to have a lower clarity jut to get the XP bonus and its never talked about again.
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Sammi



Posts : 23
Join date : 2011-01-27

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:49 pm

Crow wrote:
* I really, mightily, truly loathe the way that xp is handled here.
For the record, I agree completely.

Quote :
There are always going to be people who truly go out and try to live up to the ideal of their morality when they lose it, and then there are people that are going to sit around for a certain amount of time doing not a whole lot of anything when they lose it. At the end of this period, both of them have the opportunity to proposition staff for a gain in their <stat>. One of them has real justification, one of them really... doesn't.

But do you honestly expect the staff here to look over everyone's shoulder, trying to keep track of who's doing what, and who really feels bad for what they did? I don't.
Members of staff don't need to look over everyone's shoulders at all times, because people looking to regain Morality would submit logs and rationale. Morality regain as a plot reward would require stricter justification than it does now, along the lines of what you have to do to get a token or fetish. The biggest hole in your argument, though, is that Morality regain with an XP cost doesn't force people to RP well any more than Morality regain without an XP cost. All it does is encourage people to not try to regain Morality in the first place. Furthermore, with Morality as a stat that you spend XP for and otherwise requires pretty mild justification (no log, just a little blurb), people who want to sit on their asses and spend the XP find it a lot easier than it would be if Morality regains happened through the plot rewards system.

I have never argued for Morality to be free to regain. It should require work, but it should require RP work.

Quote :
But given that you can come out of chargen being /better/ at a character's concept than that character, who has been around forever, and the newer people are /easily/ going to be able to stomp those of us that just don't feel comfortable enough with the concept of a rebuild to actually do one, I think that having a cost for morality-upkeep makes for more of a diverse playing field, otherwise, with every catchup, you're going to have some sort of elder <character> influx come into town
The rebuild system ensures exactly the opposite of what you're worried about. New PCs come in at least 30 XP behind older PCs, and older PCs can be rebuilt for better optimization or to get rid of things they don't need any more.

Thomas wrote:
Ultimately, high Clarity is unsustainable. Every Lost, unless they devote most of their resources and lives (i.e. XP) to it, is going to lose Clarity and fall into a madness that seems easier and easier to justify with every blow against one's sanity. You should have to be forced to think if it's really worth it to buy your Clarity back up after it's been lost. You should be forced to realize that if you do, then you're not going to be as powerful as the people who embrace the madness of their natures, and that you're ultimately pursuing a pipe dream. Any gains you make can be taken away again in the space of one bad day that isn't even your fault.
This is a good statement of intent. I agree with it in many respects. For a tabletop game, it's fantastic. For a game in which XP comes as a result of activity, it's not bad. For Darkwater, with our XP system, I don't like it, and this is one reason why:
Quote :
Ideally, of course, high Clarity should also matter more than it does. But no one is actually required to interact with the human world in the game if they don't want to, or such interactions are handwaved off screen to such an extent that the low Clarity Lost never have to worry about being harassed by police or social workers, or holding down a job, or not coming back to themselves one morning to find that they're standing over a frightened human ranting about the bloody thorns tearing out their hearts. So there's not a lot of need that low Clarity characters have for seeking out the advice and help of higher Clarity characters to navigate the human world.

The other major reason why is Crow's stated reason for disliking our XP system. For comparison, at HM if you wanted to regain Morality and not have to grind all the way up to however much XP, you could get a plot, and your plot-runner could ask staff for you to get additional XP towards your Morality regain on top of the reward for participating in the plot. Working to regain your Morality would give you more XP than you might earn if you didn't have a reason to get out and RP so much and get someone to run a plot for you. Here, you might have a scene with a counselor PC, say in your job that you talked through your problems with so-and-so and get half off, but there's no significant amount of IC work that goes into regaining Morality, while there is a significant amount of OOC waiting as XP trickles in. That's not the cost I want to pay to regain Morality.
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Thenomain



Posts : 48
Join date : 2010-07-19

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:49 pm

Of the last, the same can be said of carrying battle-axes and compound bows, firing handguns in the docks, or riding hedge-beast mounts, or similar elements that can be conveniently ignored in RP because it's inconvenient. That it affects one system in a way that some people dislike ignores the ways that similar elements do just the same, except that it costs xp to recover from as a discouragement from changing one's ignore-the-inconvenient behavior.

I'll admit to some pessimism to think that removing that barrier for change will mean that people will change. If more people self-report the weapons violations I would happily be more optimistic about this, but in the meantime I don't find the argument compelling using strict-rp as a cure to the xp problems some people have with the game.
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Polly



Posts : 3
Join date : 2011-04-12

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:05 am

Theno hit what I was trying to get at right on the head.

I agree with Thomas as how the Morality system is SUPPOSED to work. But after hearing Sammi and Crow's arguments, I am forced to confront the fact that it's never going to be a consistent source of what the book intends for it. It's a number to be worked around.

At the very least I would like to keep the sort of plots that fuel movies featuring small children and WWE superstars away from my end of the sandbox...not that it's wrongfun...it's just not my bag. I really don't want to deal with a psychopathic ogre who manages to somehow hide his magic battleaxe while he works with developmentally disabled children on the days he's not crushing his enemies, seeing them driven before them, and hearing the lamentation of their women. I also don't want to be around for this guy lecturing me on the 'hobs are people too' when my low clarity character displays a lack of tolerance towards goblins.

Actually, no system has ever really stopped whack ass players from doing whack ass shit. I would tend towards keeping the peanut gallery happy in regards to XP spends and look towards long term playability.

If the current Clarity/Harmony setup provides too much opportunity to handicap a PC in an unfun way then redoo it. If it's just proviging an obstacle to optimizing numbers then leave it alone. Theno's statement makes me realize that numbers and RP are often not as deeply intertwined as I would like them to be.
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Crow



Posts : 13
Join date : 2011-04-07

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:11 am

Cobalt wrote:
Crow wrote:
those of us that just don't feel comfortable enough with the concept of a rebuild to actually do one

That is, bluntly, your own handicap and not the games. We specifically put in rebuilds and that players get one after very XP catchup so that old players would be able to make sure they're not "completely stomped" by new players. If you are not taking advantage of it, it is your own failing and not a failing of the game.

Alternatively, some of us think that having your character suddenly unlearn something and learn something /completely different/ because you can magically mash up your xp and put it into entirely new stuff is just wrong, in an RP setting where you should be playing a consistent character. I don't see that as a failing. I know that others agree with me.

I don't feel comfortable with rebuilds not because of some failing of mine to grasp the system. I'm not comfortable with it because I remain loyal to the way white wolf intended the game to be played. I'm a R.A.W. kind of guy. Everyone knows that.

So, if that's a failing, then I suppose I just fail.
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Cobalt



Posts : 88
Join date : 2010-05-30

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:08 am

If that is your attitude, than perhaps you are playing on the wrong game, Crow. If you don't like the fundamental building blocks of the game, why are you playing here? The way the XP system is done is one of the core ideals of the game- all players are equal, all characters are mostly equal. Everyone has the same opportunities. We put in rebuilds so that old players could fine-tune their concepts and keep up with new players who came in with more XP. It is not our fault that you refuse to take advantage of this tool.

You might be "remaining loyal to WW" but staff aren't, and probably never will be. Because the rules laid out in the white-wolf books are guidelines. World of Darkness is a Story system. Sometimes that means ignoring the suggestions in the book on how to do something for the better of the story and everyone else's enjoyment.

If that isn't something you can get behind, and enjoy, then Darkwater is never going to be the game for you.

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Crow



Posts : 13
Join date : 2011-04-07

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Thu Apr 14, 2011 2:47 am

Cobalt wrote:
The way the XP system is done is one of the core ideals of the game- all players are equal, all characters are mostly equal.

...

You might be "remaining loyal to WW" but staff aren't, and probably never will be. Because the rules laid out in the white-wolf books are guidelines. World of Darkness is a Story system. Sometimes that means ignoring the suggestions in the book on how to do something for the better of the story and everyone else's enjoyment.


Sure. Great concept. Huge, glaring problem. Werewolf is not a game where everyone is equal. You are /supposed/ to have elder characters, people who are stronger, better, etc. That's the whole concept of an alpha. Hell, that's the whole concept of /Harmony 8/. It's a part of the oath of the moon. The low honor the high, the high respect the low.

How are you supposed to do that with wholly equivalent blanket xp totals? And how is giving every single person the same amount of xp, no matter how long they've been here or what they do, a 'fair' system? The only thing that dumping a huge amount of xp on new players facilitates is minmaxxing (which is easier to do with a huge number of starting xp than it is with a higher per-week xp total), and giving everyone equal xp in werewolf only facilitates making sure that those who are built to be combat monsters are the ones who will boss everyone else around.

I play here because I like the players. Not because I like the system. I'm not entirely sure how we got into bitterness and snark, but I do think that the convoluted system here needs a bit of work. The story? Good. I like it. The players? Beautiful. The staff? I even like the staff here. But... The rules? Definately need some polishing, especially when you have discussions /like this one/ where staff is discussing 'fixing' something from the books that appears to now be broken based on something that was 'changed' or 'fixed' in the past.

Which... is a concept that we somehow got off of in the last few posts. But bringing it back to the alternate morality side of things, I go with my original standpoint.

Wanna reduce the cost of it based on the slow xp gains here? Cool. I'll live with that. Other than that, don't mess with it. You'll just break something.
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Thenomain



Posts : 48
Join date : 2010-07-19

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:47 am

Hey, keep it civil, folks. Opinions are welcome, but please accept the differing opinions of others.

(That seems usual for My Staff Voice, which it was.)
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Thenomain



Posts : 48
Join date : 2010-07-19

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:48 am

And now, as someone with opinions:

Crow wrote:
But... The rules? Definately need some polishing, especially when you have discussions /like this one/ where staff is discussing 'fixing' something from the books that appears to now be broken based on something that was 'changed' or 'fixed' in the past.

The act of putting a WoD game in a Mu* format is a major change to the system, one that changes decisions and approaches to further rules. The changes or fixes are inevitable, and not taken lightly even if put in without a complete and total understanding of the consequences, if such a thing even exists. I don't believe it does.

That's what's happening here, and that is all that is happening here.
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Sammi



Posts : 23
Join date : 2011-01-27

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:36 pm

Thenomain wrote:
Of the last, the same can be said of carrying battle-axes and compound bows, firing handguns in the docks, or riding hedge-beast mounts, or similar elements that can be conveniently ignored in RP because it's inconvenient. That it affects one system in a way that some people dislike ignores the ways that similar elements do just the same, except that it costs xp to recover from as a discouragement from changing one's ignore-the-inconvenient behavior.
If people are being dishonest and not reporting inconveniences such as gunfire in public places to staff, why do you think people are going to be honest and report a major inconvenience such as Morality loss? You worry that removing the XP cost on regaining Morality would enable these hypothetical people, but if there is dishonesty of this sort going on, I don't think these people would be taking Morality hits in the first place.

Crow wrote:
Alternatively, some of us think that having your character suddenly unlearn something and learn something /completely different/ because you can magically mash up your xp and put it into entirely new stuff is just wrong, in an RP setting where you should be playing a consistent character. I don't see that as a failing. I know that others agree with me.
The failing is that you fail to understand that the purpose of the rebuild system is not to suddenly rewrite your character from the ground up. The purpose of the rebuild system is so that a long-time wolf-blooded shaman, with six Merit dots and dozens of XP spent on mortal-only stuff, doesn't have to have her sheet erased just because she goes through a First Change; she can rebuild, get that XP back and save it for use on werewolf stuff later. It exists so that a character who buys into a large Hollow with his motley and then has his motley drop off the face of the Internet isn't stuck with a 20-XP drain on his sheet he's not using. It exists so that new players with barely passing familiarity with the system can create characters and know that, if the stats they picked don't work like they thought they did, they can go back and fix their mistakes. It exists so that older characters can consolidate and stay competitive with the newbies, and so that people creating new characters don't feel that they have to optimize everything immediately because it can always be made better later.

Sure, the rebuild system can be abused. So can any system. That's why you only get one plus one every six months and why they're all overseen by Puce.

Quote :
I don't feel comfortable with rebuilds not because of some failing of mine to grasp the system. I'm not comfortable with it because I remain loyal to the way white wolf intended the game to be played. I'm a R.A.W. kind of guy.
The MUSH format wasn't what was intended when the books were written. Purism to some extent is good because it counteracts the crazy wild idea-bombing of some people (*handraise*), but the medium itself demands certain adaptations.

Crow wrote:
Sure. Great concept. Huge, glaring problem. Werewolf is not a game where everyone is equal. You are /supposed/ to have elder characters, people who are stronger, better, etc.
The problem here is not a problem with Darkwater, or even a problem with MUSHes in general (though the medium, and arguably Darkwater in specific, exaggerate it in some ways). The problem is in scaling power by experience points and not age or plot. In an XP-for-activity system, you can have a werewolf who's been on-grid a year and had a First Change six months ago stomp a newly-created five-years-Changed wolf. The latter is not even somebody who wanted to play an elder, just a character with a decent amount of experience and his feet under him, and he's far beneath this rank newbie because she's been RPing pretty constantly for a year. The game (that is, the core Werewolf, in practice) turns the whole elders thing on its head when it gets to giving XP out to players, because newbies can and do become stronger than elders. This is a problem endemic to the whole system, to every numbers-based RPG. Don't go blaming Darkwater.

Quote :
How are you supposed to do that with wholly equivalent blanket xp totals?
The Alphas and elders spend more XP on being good wolves. Newer wolves spend more XP on social stuff, diversifying their Gifts and other things that don't contribute to being at the top of the pecking order. It works out.
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Thenomain



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Join date : 2010-07-19

PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:54 pm

Sammi wrote:
If people are being dishonest and not reporting inconveniences such as gunfire in public places to staff, why do you think people are going to be honest and report a major inconvenience such as Morality loss?

I don't expect people to be honest if they don't care to be. That doesn't mean that the only people with lowered Morality traits are the "honest ones", so I can't support the idea that this means the correct reaction is to reward these theoretical people. It's largely supposition, as I have admitted already, but I don't see anything more compelling that the opposite isn't likewise based in gut reaction.

There is nothing wrong with this, but it leads us back to reading these as opinions and not mandates of logic. It's pretty clear where the people who have posted stand at this point, but I hope further discussion leads us to more and different ideas.
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Lawless



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PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:33 pm

On the matter of rebuilds, ‘realism’ in an IC sense is something that really shouldn’t factor since you don’t normally(as you can in game terms and XP spends), learn and master a skill in a matter of months since you had some XP lying around and that skill would be useful. Rebuilds can be used quite easily within RP continuity with a little imagination. Though perhaps a bit easier with the Lost who have a far more loose magical air about them what with the Wyrd and contracts. But I’m sure a wolf can go through a spirit quest or some other manner of IC mumbo-jumbo to prompt a change of life in many ways to keep things in continuity and IC.

It’s all about creativity, after all.

To be honest, the morality system irks me a bit since it assigns absolutes to arbitrary things. Not just because, for a general example, killing someone is a varied thing depending on situation and circumstance but because different people react different ways to things. Though I suppose there can be a bit of GM fait in there. But overall it’s a bit clunky overall. That said, I’d prefer if RP work rather than XP spends were the primary factor in reversing losses in Clarity/Harmony/Morality, whichever. If only because it does what is good for the game. Generates more RP because of prior RP.

The requirement for good logs of recovery activities, as should be defined by staff in good detail to give players a guideline, keeps it from being ‘just sitting around doing nothing until it recovers’ and forces the person to actively seek improvement if they want to improve. And social/moral RP is always good for promoting character development, not just in the character having the issues, but for those who he invariably has to interact with to produce the RP, since it evolves their views of him/her and thus can effect how others they speak to view the individual.

Overall it’s perhaps the best idea when it comes to refining that aspect of the system. Dropping XP does provide a cost, but it does nothing to promote RP. And in a sense is ‘easier’ since you don’t have to seek people out for purposeful RP to resolve an issue and meet criteria per se.
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Thomas



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PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:18 pm


Not going to address rebuilds except to say that I'm not a big fan of them, or the XP parity, either, but they're an accepted part of the game culture and were built in from the beginning, so removing them would be disruptive for no good reason.

Narrowing back in on the idea of RP 'justification' for Clarity regains instead of XP, there are a number of practical problems:

1. The lack of IC therapists. If you're going to demand that people seek 'therapy', on-screen, then you need to define who can provide that, and make sure that there's at least one person who can cover every single possible timezone, and that those characters are making their services clear, and willing to provide them to everyone. You're also pretty much locking those characters into therapy RP, which is only so fun.

2. Inequality in log evaluation. Who is going to evaluate the therapy logs, and how are you going to decide what's 'good enough'? Because no matter what staff decides, the first time someone is turned down based on their log, there's going to be some serious attention dedicated to finding out why, if it had anything to do with who the player or the therapist was, etc.

3. Limited time. Most MU*ers, these days, have pretty limited time to actually be on the game and RPable. Unless you make the requirements so light that they might as well not exist, you're saying that you want these people to have to choose between their character becoming unplayable, or getting stuck in 'therapy' RP every single time they log in, if they want their Clarity back in a reasonable amount of time. There are a lot of players who will find this hideously boring, and I'm one of them.

4. Inequality to access. Not every character is going to have IC access to one of the therapists, even if they happen to be on the same timezone, and even if the therapist is wonderful and awesome. A Lost who is perfectly capable of quietly working on his or her own issues, but who is not inclined to bare their souls to someone who might stab them in the back in the next moment, would be permanently restricted from raising their Clarity. This is not particularly fun. Moreover, particularly for Clarity, it doesn't even make sense, since characters CAN raise Clarity by making life changes that reestablish the boundary between the real and the unreal, and seek out consistency, routine, and predictability...which, while great from a thematic level, would be a bore to RP out.

Ultimately, I'm still not even convinced that Clarity/Morality is broken, but if it is, then I really don't think this is the way to fix it. (Also consider that high Clarity has significant, in game bonuses, due to its use in Hedge navigation, kenning, and perception. This is precisely because it is difficult to maintain and raise.)
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Lawless



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PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:22 am

#1. Personally, I don’t think RPed out shrink sessions are the way to go. In part because they’re not fun for everyone. Some might like it, others would hate it. Thus the need for IC therapists is not so necessary. And when they might be wanted, Staff and muses could fill in with NPCs. The Blackbirds, for Lost, are the ones who tend to those who lose clarity. I haven’t read deeply into them, honestly, but how they deal with Lost who lose their focus is something to think about if the books don’t detail it.

#2. With any log based activity, it comes down to GM/Staff fait. That’s usually how it is. It’s already a factor because people need to give justifications for merit spends. So that air of subjective judgment is already present. With fair guidelines from staff, some of the concerns can be dealt with, I would assume. Not all because someone will always get upset over being denied what they seek.

#3. Making plans to meet with other players, staff or muses to RP out things is a common staple for the game as is. Limited time will always be a problem for those who have limited time. It’s hard to get past that in any fair way. Not to mention, I doubt ‘therapy time’ would be a time when one is utterly out of contact with every other player and completely locked out of RP. That would come of people who have complete mental breaks, I’d assume, which would see them held with or without the need to RP recovery. And the time it takes to recover is likely to be shorter than the time it takes to build up the XP needed to pay for a significant jump in clarity. Especially at higher levels of clarity. It can take months to get enough XP for a single point of clarity at higher levels.

#4. As noted before, there are ways to work around time zone issues. And as noted, I don’t think therapy RP is the way to go. Working out ones own issues is, I think, the best and most logical way to handle this. Which involves working it out with oneself and those who they are closest to.

The idea isn’t so bad. But the devil is in the details. That is where such a system would be make or break. And the guidelines need to be detailed and clear cut. That way people know what is expected of them and it makes approving things far easier and fairer.
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Thenomain



Posts : 48
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PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:17 am

In case anyone hasn't checked in with the system, the morality traits are restricted spends. You must +request them to be raised, so there is, in a sense, already an IC-related check/barrier to raising them. It's not simply +xp/spend. (Try it with +xp/check.)
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Lawless



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PostSubject: Re: Morality Alternative Ideas   Sat Apr 16, 2011 2:23 am

That's what I assumed. So you already need to justify it. This is just replacing the Xp requirement of it with a log requirement of some sort. Details to be worked out, of course. Which would make this a good time to think up some reasonable guidelines.
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