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Party Politics >> A look at party sheets in the new edition of WFRP


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#1 ynnen

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 09:40 AM

The latest designer diary has now been posted, where I talk a bit more about the party sheets in WFRP.



#2 donbaloo

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 02:22 PM

 Still liking what I'm seeing so far.  The party sheet is a pretty slick idea for an RPG that is heavily focused on a disparate group of characters striving together against the odds.  I like the way this design is almost making the party into a metacharacter of sorts, offering a bit of focused theme to the narrative and tying that in mechanically.  Sounds very interesting.

I still love the sound of the party tension meter.  I just like the possibilities it introduces to the story and, once again, ties that back in mechanically.  It may not be for everyone, but I just really like the idea of having party cohesion being a part of the grim and gritty theme.  What I decidedly don't like is the constant reference to it as a GM's tool for reigning in behavioral problems.  I would never use it for that.  What I will use it for is helping to drive a good story with added drama and I would expect my group to collaboratively address the mechanic.  In other words, we would all decide together when tension was rising or dropping within the party.  I can foresee instances where we're all excited and wanting to drive the tension up to really ramp up the drama of particular scenes.  Having a mechanic in place to help represent that tension within the system is very exciting to me.



#3 Redcrow

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 05:13 PM

When I first heard about this party sheet I was very skeptical of how useful it would be and if it was something I would even use.  However, after reading this new Designer Diary and giving it some thought I'm starting to see some definite possibilities with it.  I do have a couple questions, though.

Are Fortune Points in WFRP 3e a collective pool of points that anyone in the group may draw from or are they still limited to individual characters as in WFRP 2e? or maybe both? 

I was hoping the Designer Diary might go into a little more detail on this

Also, how many different party sheets come with the Core Set? and are there plans to release new party sheets with future expansion products?



#4 Cynical Cat

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 05:29 PM

Are Fortune Points in WFRP 3e a collective pool of points that anyone in the group may draw from or are they still limited to individual characters as in WFRP 2e? or maybe both?

Both, I suspect.  Party points would represent the group's ability to work well together and bail their buddies out when things turn sour.



#5 Casamyr

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 08:10 PM

Redcrow said:

 

When I first heard about this party sheet I was very skeptical of how useful it would be and if it was something I would even use.  However, after reading this new Designer Diary and giving it some thought I'm starting to see some definite possibilities with it.  I do have a couple questions, though.

Are Fortune Points in WFRP 3e a collective pool of points that anyone in the group may draw from or are they still limited to individual characters as in WFRP 2e? or maybe both? 

I was hoping the Designer Diary might go into a little more detail on this

Also, how many different party sheets come with the Core Set? and are there plans to release new party sheets with future expansion products?

 

 

I'm guessing there's 2 seperate pools - players fortune and party fortune. My reasoning is that in the dev's post there is mention that when the party pool fills, (so there must be a limit as too how much fortune can be in there) all players regain one fortune point.

Then it becomes almost a push-your-luck mechanic - do you wait are refill your own personal fortune points, or in the thug party case, burn them all to get +s to your damage rolls for the next round. I'm also thinking that all party's will have something similar with fortune points.

My biggest peeve is the tension track - it almost seems to be used to force players to rp, even (and this is in the dev blog) use it to stop players from going in a long winded and eventually pointless discussion. Sure this can get annoying, but forcing people to come back to the party line through tension tokens is far to much gimmicky for me. A good GM'll throw up things that'll bring the conversation to an end or (as in my group) the others characters can be passed notres by the GM and get them to wander off - A passive awaremness is always good in locations such as this, as is a roll of the dice behind your screen, a shuffle of papers as if you're looking for something tends to get players focused just as quickly rather than a gimmick such as this. I hope there is more to it than I've seen.

 

 



#6 phobiandarkmoon

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 09:10 PM

Nothing worries players more than if they seem to be going off track and the GM is quietly smiling...



#7 ynnen

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:37 AM

One thing I failed to mention in the Designer Diary (which I will amend) is that other factors can influence party tension, as well. For example, an encounter with an especially fearsome creature could potentially increase party tension, or a horrible miscast by a Bright Wizard while he's in an extremely reckless stance. Likewise, spending a restful evening in a temple of Shallya could easily decrease tension. There are some other applications, as well, and creative GMs will find plenty of opportunities to integrate party tension in a way that feels appropriate for his group and play experience.



#8 phobiandarkmoon

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:45 AM

OK, that seems much more positive than a GM slapping tool.



#9 Redcrow

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 06:10 AM

phobiandarkmoon said:

OK, that seems much more positive than a GM slapping tool.

Some players just need a good slapping from time to time, but I think a heavy duty pipe-wrench is the best tool for that job. :D

 

Seriously though, one thing to remember is that this game is designed for new players as well as old.  So while an experienced GM might not use this tool to help keep players focused and functioning as a cohesive unit, an inexperienced GM might find it an invaluable tool for dealing with inter-party conflicts.  Having a system like this supported by the rules can also make things seem less obtuse and arbitrary than merely relying on GM fiat.

ynnen, thanks for expanding on the details for the Party Tension meter as that verifies some of what I had suspected.



#10 HedgeWizard

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 06:27 AM

ynnen said:

One thing I failed to mention in the Designer Diary (which I will amend) is that other factors can influence party tension, as well. For example, an encounter with an especially fearsome creature could potentially increase party tension, or a horrible miscast by a Bright Wizard while he's in an extremely reckless stance. Likewise, spending a restful evening in a temple of Shallya could easily decrease tension. There are some other applications, as well, and creative GMs will find plenty of opportunities to integrate party tension in a way that feels appropriate for his group and play experience.

 

Yes, yes and yes.  These are precisely what I envisioned when I started exploring the new mechanic. I think it will be a great addition, and I think folks are getting too caught up in the idea that it can be used to mediate player-to-player strife.  Some people seem to think it's a mandated mechanic, which is an  unfortunate and misguided interpretation.  Sure it *can* be used that way, but there are better, more engaging ways to use it too, and you can opt to not use it for any or all cases as you see fit. 



#11 Cynical Cat

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 08:17 AM

My players really like the idea of the party sheet, especially the tension tracker.  We've played together for a long time, but sometimes our playing and rpg styles clash.  We've had, on a few occasions, violent clashes within the game for entirely appropriate in character reasons.  We've also had moments where we operate like a well oiled machine and bail each other out of trouble.  A game mechanic that reflects our ability to work together (party tactics, group fate) and our ability to screw up (tension) was well received. 

As for reducing the tension meter, there's a few things that usual work.  A big win over a tough enemy and party bonding moments like drinking a tavern dry usually worked.  My group even coined the phrase (back when those Vegas adds were on tv) that "what happens in Middenheim stays in Middenheim."



#12 Casamyr

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 08:41 AM

ynnen said:

One thing I failed to mention in the Designer Diary (which I will amend) is that other factors can influence party tension, as well. For example, an encounter with an especially fearsome creature could potentially increase party tension, or a horrible miscast by a Bright Wizard while he's in an extremely reckless stance. Likewise, spending a restful evening in a temple of Shallya could easily decrease tension. There are some other applications, as well, and creative GMs will find plenty of opportunities to integrate party tension in a way that feels appropriate for his group and play experience.

That's a much more positive thing to hear and could be used well by a GM. I've actually been thinking alot about this, and this new addition does make it more than a froced thing. It could well be a good visual aid of what's going with the group (reminds me a bit of the MGS4 stress meter). I'm still on the fence about the new system though. 

 

 



#13 doc_cthulhu

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 12:21 AM

ynnen said:

a horrible miscast by a Bright Wizard 

There ARE wizards from other orders as well? Aren't there? I mean we just keep hearing about Brighties and to me it points towards "we dumped other wizards because they weren't as good in combat."...


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#14 Cynical Cat

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 05:42 AM

doc_cthulhu said:

ynnen said:

 

a horrible miscast by a Bright Wizard 

 

 

There ARE wizards from other orders as well? Aren't there? I mean we just keep hearing about Brighties and to me it points towards "we dumped other wizards because they weren't as good in combat."...

 

Bright Wizards are the only wizard they've mentioned specifically.  Now given that one of the books in the boxed set is given over entirely to arcane magic, I'm pretty sure that the rest are included.

As for Bright Wizards in combat (admission:  I'm a pyromaniac death mage and thus lean towards Amethyst and Bright magic), I ran a very long 2nd edition campaign with a Celestial and a Gold Wizard and they kicked much ass.






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