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Possible issues with stances


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#1 ChaosChild

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 09:59 AM

The number of reckless and conservative stance pieces that make up your stance meter are determined by your career, which means that all characters with the same starting career have the same sort of outlook/attitude to begin with.

Now I can see a couple of issues with this. First, some players may well want to play a cautious thief (for example) but are stuck with a stance meter that's 3/4 reckless. It seems to me that the stance meter is dictating a particular playing style to a certain extent.

Secondly, some careers will have very different personalities depending on the exact build. Priests for instance, I'd expect a priest of Ulric to be considerably more reckless than a priestess of Shallya. Or a bright or amber wizard compared to a jade wizard as another example. Is this going to be taken into account on the starting stance meters?

Obviously, how you choose to interpret your character is completely up to you. But are your actions going to work anywhere near as well if you keep to a cautious stance when your career is geared towards a primarily reckless outlook? Are you just going to be limiting your in-game options by choosing to roleplay outside the box?

Any thoughts?



#2 Casamyr

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 10:31 AM

ChaosChild said:

 

The number of reckless and conservative stance pieces that make up your stance meter are determined by your career, which means that all characters with the same starting career have the same sort of outlook/attitude to begin with.

Now I can see a couple of issues with this. First, some players may well want to play a cautious thief (for example) but are stuck with a stance meter that's 3/4 reckless. It seems to me that the stance meter is dictating a particular playing style to a certain extent.

Secondly, some careers will have very different personalities depending on the exact build. Priests for instance, I'd expect a priest of Ulric to be considerably more reckless than a priestess of Shallya. Or a bright or amber wizard compared to a jade wizard as another example. Is this going to be taken into account on the starting stance meters?

Obviously, how you choose to interpret your character is completely up to you. But are your actions going to work anywhere near as well if you keep to a cautious stance when your career is geared towards a primarily reckless outlook? Are you just going to be limiting your in-game options by choosing to roleplay outside the box?

Any thoughts?

 

 

What I don't like about the stance meter is that it seems to 'force' you to rp a certain way (this is quickly becoming my biggest issue with the whole system). All Bright Wizards are going to be reckless, all thieves are reckless, all Priestess of Shallya are conservative with very little chance to play the other way. Granted we haven't seen other careers which could balance this out.

I loved playing a Bright Wizard in 2e. It was push your luck with the number of d10s you rolled when casting spells. If you are always reckless, or tend to be more reckless, there is little scope to pull back and be careful. I'm not saying that you can't be conservative, you will have a green token on your stance meter, but it is 'balanced' by the 3 red or vice versa) which means that you are expected to play a certain way.

The stance meter will stop players creating a character with his/her own flaws and style of play, but rather how you are expected to play based on your tension meter and party sheet. Why can you not have a conservative Bright Wizard. My wizard became very conservative through an insanity where he had to roll under his will to cast spells and the more dice he rolled, the greater the chance of failure. It was fun rping that.

There doesn't seem to be an option for that in this system. Maybe insanities will remove reckless tokens and add conservative tokens to the stance  meter? I don't know though.



#3 Cynical Cat

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 10:45 AM

A few points

 

1) It looks like the stance meter will evolve with careers/advances taken.  So what you start with is just that, what you start with.

2) Conservative thief is relative.  All theft is taking a considerable risk, especially given the brutality of the law.    A thief career should shade into reckless far more than a law abiding one and it does. 

3) How far to play down the conservative/reckless road is still under your control.

 



#4 Necrozius

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 10:57 AM

The stance meter will stop players creating a character with his/her own flaws and style of play, but rather how you are expected to play based on your tension meter and party sheet.

That's a bit of a bold assumption.

Do we know for SURE how the stance meters will affect your roleplaying? They appear to be controlled BY the player, to grant additional options when the characters perform actions.



#5 macd21

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 11:55 AM

Whether your character chooses to be conservative or reckless is up to the player. What the stance track determines is the potential benefit the character can draw upon from choosing one option or the other. You will not always want to be reckless, even if you are GRRR. If you find yourself taking the conservative stance a lot you'll probably want to buy some more G - but that doesn't mean you'll always be throwing in three red dice in the meantime. Being reckless is risky. But having the option to add three red dice just means that when the **** hits the fan, your character has what it takes to survive. Someone like a thief or a trollslayer wouldn't have survived long enough to join an adventuring group if that wasn't the case.



#6 Jericho

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 12:00 PM

The stance meter can easily be houseruled to reflect the player's view of his character.

And you can even goes further, have different stance bars for combat, social interaction, and physical activities (like scale sheer surfaces, swimming and such). 


———
The time of change has come!

#7 Foolishboy

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 12:01 PM

As I understand it (and I maybe totally wrong here) there are three types of dice Conservative, Standard and Reckless. Normally you roll say four Standard dice but your stance meter thing lets you change out some of the dice. How many and what you change them to depends on your stance meter. So a character with 1 Conservative dice and 3 Reckless dice who wants to act at max Recklessness rolls 1 Standard and 3 Reckless dice but if he wants to act carefully he rolls 3 Standard Dice and 1 Conservative dice. I must admit that a free choice of how many dice to change and which way you change would probably be better than having your options dictated by career. Depending on how this works in the game I may well houserule this.

 

Note: I'm not sure I have understood how this mechanic works correctly.



#8 jadrax

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 12:06 PM

Foolishboy said:

Note: I'm not sure I have understood how this mechanic works correctly.

I don't think we really know how it works correctly yet. We need to see how it ties in with the 'advances' numbers listed and see examples for how non combat skills work before we going to really get to how it really works out.



#9 donbaloo

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 01:40 PM

 Right, its hard to say just yet exactly how its going to work and how your Reckless track may or may not evolve.

From what we've seen thus far, it appears that every career has at least a modest Recklessness spectrum, so if you want to play a cautious Troll Slayer, you always have that green cautious spot to rely upon.

And I agree with the direction that macd21 is going with the topic, and I'll take it just a bit further.  I don't have a problem at all with the setting/system placing some limitations on careers' Reckless track.  That makes perfect sense.  Some careers are simply riskier.  You would expect to find certain types of folks within those careers, whether their attitude and risk aversion led them there or they wound up there and had to assume the necessary level of risk aversion (or dependence) to survive in the career.  This makes sense.  And you're provided a spectrum within which to choose your actions and roleplay, but the career has its logical limits.

We accept and expect setting limitations on all sorts of things, from the way magic works to racial behaviors.  Why should this be any different?  It simply serves to reinforce the expectations of the setting.



#10 McClaud

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:37 PM

Since your stance merely affects what special abilities your character may want to engage in, I look at it this way:

1. Using the theif example, any time I want to leave the shadows and backstab someone, that is a fairly reckless behavior for a thief. Of course, that's when moving my stance towards the red will come in handy. It allows me to perform that activity - I'm psyching myself up to leap out and stab someone in the back. When I go back to sneaking around in the shadows and merely blending in, I cool my heels and become conservative in my actions again. Of course, actions that require me to do something that creates a LOT of risk means I've got to get active.

2. I think the main problem people have with this stance mechanic is the word used to describe the green and red ends of your stances. Conservative and reckless are somewhat misnomers from how this is being described to me. I'd describe red as "adrenaline" and green as "calm" more. You really get going as a Bright Mage the more active you get - i.e. the more worked up you are. Of course you can cool it and stay in the default or calm mode as a Bright Wizard, but your abilites are less powerful when your blood isn't pumping. Same for warriors or Troll Slayers. Archers and surgeons operate better when they are calm, and less effective when they are operating too quickly.

I think if FFG actually changed the terminology for the stance meter, it would work better in a gamer's mind. RPG players are often literal when looking at definitions for mechanics.

 

 



#11 Ravenheart87

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 05:42 PM

McClaud said:

I think if FFG actually changed the terminology for the stance meter, it would work better in a gamer's mind. RPG players are often literal when looking at definitions for mechanics.

 

Yes, and seeing an unusual or new word or element makes some of them think it has something to do with computer games, MMOs, boardgames and cardgames, and they begin to cry about the ruiniing of "their" game and death of rpgs... :)



#12 Belzad

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 01:44 AM

I personally think the stance meter is an interesting idea, and may actually allow for more roleplaying rather than less. A player may be in a stance and try to do something that is difficult in that stance because they need to for whatever reason, now there is a mechanic that allows a player see that this will be more difficult than the standard rpg mechanic I have X in a skill and can do it at any time. They can now "feel" the moment the character is in, and better understand the risks of their decisions.

Talking about the upcoming edition shows that you are interested, and care about it, but at the moment there is not enough information to draw any conclusions. Still the what if or the how does questions are interesting, just don't convince yourself one way or the other.



#13 alp

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 04:10 AM

My take on this is simple.

Firstly some careers require a more reckless streek so you would require a more aggressive stance, and conversely some careers are more stealthy.

I cannot see anything wrong in disjointing the whole stance attitude from the career selection - i.e. whilst formulating your character concept decide what sort of nature your character has.  This could be a weighted decision of selecting a combination of six coloured stance 'tokens' with a minimum of one in each of green and red deriving your characters nature - like the alignment in the palladium games systems.

The Career cards would, therefore, show a representation of a typical thief, slayer, thug, coachman .... ad infinitum.

Whilst generating characters in ANY system we all formulate an idea or character concept of who they are, defining this by attribute stats and atttitude.  As a house rule, making your stance token selection optional, is an easy step in evolving your character concept.

This is just how I see applying the stance system - with the obvious repercussion and roleplay options .... just another way to make your character unique.

Please note that this is all based on a huge assumption of the rule mechanics - FFG may have already included a similar facility to this.

Of all the pro's and con's raised this seems to be the easiest to solve with a houserule ....

Are you born a firey redhead?

Are you forced onto the streets at an early age and develope a sense of self preservation?

etc

Just my thoughts! 



#14 marklawford

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 05:46 AM

My assumption, and that's all it is, is that you will decide how far along the spectrum you want to go. You may be restricted in when you can take a step to the left or right, perhaps once per turn, but I reckon you, the player, will decide where you are.

And the further one way or the other you are, the more of a given die type you add to your roll.

So I don't think the mechanic forces you into playing your character in a certain way, it just represents the degree of caution or risk you're putting into resolution. And if you choose, then you're choosing from a character-centric perspective. The game mechanics just allow that choice to influence task resolution and outcome.

It's an interesting idea.



#15 Mordenthral

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 07:14 AM

It's a mechanic that works itself into task resolution, it doesn't dictate your personality or mannerisms.

You could have a braggadocio who talks a lot of smack, but he goes green when doing something because he knows how important it is to succeed.

The stance meter is not meant to literally tie your roleplaying to whether you're being the definition of 'reckless' or 'cautious'.



#16 kristof65

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 07:48 PM

marklawford said:

So I don't think the mechanic forces you into playing your character in a certain way, it just represents the degree of caution or risk you're putting into resolution. And if you choose, then you're choosing from a character-centric perspective. The game mechanics just allow that choice to influence task resolution and outcome.

It's an interesting idea.

Agreed - But while I don't think it will force you to play your PC a certain way, it does put a somewhat arbitrary limit on how conservative or reckless a PC can be - if you only have one G or one R, then you can only be that reckless or conservative, and no more.   I'm not sure that is a good thing or a bad thing yet.



#17 marklawford

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Posted 03 September 2009 - 07:53 PM

kristof65 said:

marklawford said:

So I don't think the mechanic forces you into playing your character in a certain way, it just represents the degree of caution or risk you're putting into resolution. And if you choose, then you're choosing from a character-centric perspective. The game mechanics just allow that choice to influence task resolution and outcome.

 

It's an interesting idea.

 

 

Agreed - But while I don't think it will force you to play your PC a certain way, it does put a somewhat arbitrary limit on how conservative or reckless a PC can be - if you only have one G or one R, then you can only be that reckless or conservative, and no more.   I'm not sure that is a good thing or a bad thing yet.

 

But the flip side to that is that it is the same as for ability use; you start off with only a small score and work your way up. The Cautious/Reckless thing (as far as I see it) works the same. Your character could be 100% reckless, but that means something different at the start of your campaign to what it means at the end.

That spectrum looks as though it's designed to grow throughout a character's career, and that's not so different from a bunch of other character variables.



#18 mac40k

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 06:33 AM

My question is how will movement along the stance meter work? Will a player be able to move willy-nilly between any two points on their characters meter or is it one space per turn? There's a big difference between the player being able to choose any point along his spectrum of choices each turn and having to travel the spectrum. If it is one space per turn, it means it might take you a few rounds to work yourself up to 3 reckless if you started an encounter in a conservative stance. Similarly, once you'd worked yourself up to that level, it would take the same amount of time to "cool down" if you wanted to revert to a conservative stance.

I can see pros and cons to either. On the one hand, allowing free selection gives the player more control (just bounded by the ends of the spectrum for his particular stance meter). On the other hand, traveling forces a player to deal with the consequences of their previous actions. If you were all out 3 reckless the previous turn, you can't immediately adopt a conservative stance, but can only decide to become a little less reckless. So using our Thief character as an example, it's quite a bit different if he's moving while hiding in shadows in a conservative stance to ensure he stays well hidden and suddenly decides to go for the totally reckless backstab (jumping from one end of his spectrum to the other on the stance meter), vs. having to gradually take a more reckless stance each turn.  In the second case, the player would have to time his character's physical movement with his stance meter movement, each round getting more reckless as he approached, possibly foiling his attempts to sneak up on the opponent.  On the other hand, it's more "realistic" to assume that after making a wild furious attack the Thief might have a harder time immediately trying to hide again.

Also, at this point we don't know anything about what other factors influence a character's stance although we know there will be some. Is this GM fiat? For example if the character's are negotiating with an NPC and the party's best negotiator is taking a conservative approach, the green dice give him a slightly better chance to succeed, but potentially cause a delay. In this case the GM may decide that the negotiation took longer than expected and what that means to the party as a result. Contrast that with the GM saying, "you're pressed for time and thus forced to be a little more reckless than you'd like. Shift right on your stance meter." Now the GM is influencing the outcome by increasing the odds that the character will not succeed or potentially have a negative effect, offset by the potential to be more wildly successful, rather than just reacting to the outcome of the dice roll.



#19 sudden real

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 08:02 AM

I think it's said in the seminar that you can move one space per turn, but I'm not 100% sure (been a bit too long since I've seen the video :P).






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