Monday, November 9, 2020

Some rules & rulings from yesterday

A few things came up last session:

- One player asked if there was, essentially, a "blog knowledge" skill - not his exact words, but I think the aim was the ability to roll against it to look up stuff on the blog in play. Or have me relate information from it. I said no out of hand. So a roll (takes time) to let someone slow things down while they look things up?

Oh sure, you might say, I'd only look things up while other people are doing things. But if so and your discovery would change their minds, then their time was wasted. And if they slow down, inevitably, to wait and see what you "recall," the game slows down. Plus the game then because an exhaustive search of my blog. It's not player skill and knowledge in a tense dungeon setting, it's search skill in a more casual computer-assisted dungeon-based process of treasure aquisition. No thanks!

- Lens question - can you buy them piecemeal? I've answered this many times, but here it is again - you can buy stat increases and apply them retroactively to a lens's cost. If your knight picks up +1 IQ, you can later buy a template that requires +1 IQ for 20 points less. The rest of it must be purchased together. Yes, it's just easier to do it all at once.

- Can you hold off on spending points to sit just below a "loot threshold" for as long as possible? Sure. Go ahead. Be a weaker delver, longer, instead of a better, stronger delver faster and use your enhanced abilities to try for larger loot. I think it's a poor decision long-term but you can do it. Anything that tires to maximize XP per session now over long-term risk-taking for more loot is probably not a good strategy. Or a fun one. "I can get 4 xp for loot each session for less loot found" vs. "I can get potentially 5 xp per session with more loot if I explore more and loot more." Which one is a better one to spend an actual real-life day that you can't get back?

- And a non-ruling. Durak, the Lord of Spite. The PCs might go after him, so if you want to read up on him. His first encounter was before they knew his name, when he was just the blue ogre in Session 23. That was before they found out he was a demon lord. Since then, he's come up a lot. The PCs are stocking up on spell stones and potions, and readying all of their items for an attempt on the demon lord. Sir Bunny has been summoned (his player has a lot of booked-up Sundays, so we'll see) and the Dryst Call has gone out. They want to take him out so he's unable to bother them for 666 days so they can explore in and around his "apartment," and try to open the doors near him. Last time they took a shot at him they used a Wish to escape, but this time it'll be do-or-die!


  1. '"I can get 4 xp for loot each session for less loot found" vs. "I can get potentially 5 xp per session with more loot if I explore more and loot more." Which one is a better one to spend an actual real-life day that you can't get back?"

    I think what's going on here is your Players see the first happening all the time already, where the second happens rarely. IE, they're already getting 'low' loot amounts regularly. So if they can maximize some exp gains for a few sessions by holding back... well? And in some cases they're already having to stockpile exp for several sessions (big one time purchases versus incremental skill bumps), this only delays that a little more.

    I don't know what your exp thresholds are* so this could be one of those "it's really not worth it" scenarios, or it could be a natural expression of gaming the thresholds.

    * I don't think you've posted them, or at least I couldn't find them in a 5 minutes search and gave up having failed my Hidden Lore (Felltower Blog) skill roll...

    1. I have some blog-post-length thoughts on that self-fulfilling prophecy, as I see it.

      The loot threshold are linked here:
      My DF Campaign

    2. Okay, so it's 50 point exp jumps, yeah, that's not that bad...

      The only explanation I can see is either they're about to cross a threshold (249/250, 299/300, 349/350, etc) and they're expecting to save up for something big anyway or they really do believe that not putting those points to use now //will// result in a bigger boost later.

      Take Galen and Gerald. Let's pretend (for theory-wonking sake) they're the ones holding back:

      They both hit a threshold in the last 10 sessions. They are both at fairly 'comfortable' spots, Galen moreso than Gerald, but whateves - like Gerald could always use more spells and more/stronger Undead allies, but Galen can probably take -15 to his Bow skill with ease and clearly has solid back-up melee and is decently 'rounded' into his role.

      But let's weigh what "holding back brings".

      For Galen, he's hit the threshold where he jumps from 1K$ per delve to 3K$. And I've seen several games where people have given up hitting threshold to help other hit theirs. Galen giving up his threshold alone means he covers the entire team if they're below 399 points. Like, if the difference is "Galen hits threshold and no one else does" he can sacrifice his threshold and //everyone else// will hit it.

      And if he holds back for a while, well... he's hitting it too. He does this enough and everyone gets to "his weight class" and they can delve deeper.

      Now take Gerald. Unless he's holding back to buy himself something really nice for Christmas, he's wasting his time. From my reading (I could be off) the loot they've been getting should be enough to to get Gerald to his threshold. But, if I'm wrong (there have been some famously low loot sessions), it's still a pretty big jump from 200$ to 400$. If holding back for 10 sessions gets him 10 more exp... I still think he's in the wrong slot to bother with it, but he (for theory sake) has his reasons.

      The good places to "bank exp" for threshold reasons:

      399 and every threshold above. Each step is brutal curve to the threshold. I mean at some point unless the whole team is in your weight class you need to retire until they reach you... but by then you've leveled up another paper man to that point too.

      This has been good. I've been toying with using a "loot=exp" system... but this digging into it shows me it's not going to give me the results I want. I want guys eager to go on missions, but Loot For Exp means eventually the risk/time investment doesn't match the reduced rewards (unless my group is constantly lucky or I push rewards, which is not going to happen).

      Also, I'm not likely to have a rotating pool of Characters. The PCs need to be ready to bring it every session and not be holding themselves back to game the reward system.

      Of course there is a way to shift the Loot For Exp to stop this problem. Base the thresholds on earned, not spent exp. Which is a fundamental shift in the logic for it, and I do see why you did it the way you did.

    3. Mostly I don't mind if they save up points, and choose to do so just below a threshold. I think it's just, as I said above, a poor decision long-term. What concerns me more is the feeling that you shouldn't go forward if there is anything "easier" to do first, and any hope of reward for doing the "easier" thing.


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