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Old 06-10-2019, 05:23 PM   #31
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: XP for Unbalanced Races

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
Who knows if it twas fair
It wasn't. It's just another version of D&D's "linear fighter, quadratic wizard" problem. You can't balance a system where one class winds up more powerful later at the cost of being weak early -- or in this case, more powerful early but being weak later. No matter what multipliers you use, there's always going to be only one point where the two power curves cross and give you balance. You can get complicated and make the areas between the two curves equal, and call that "fair". It would be, in a sense, over the whole game -- but it just means that players concerned about that kind of thing are going to be unhappy on both sides of the balance point. And even that assumes you know exactly how long the campaign is going to last. (Otherwise, the area on the far side of the balance point will wind up too small.)

Make the PC races balanced to start with, and keep them that way. Or, decide that that kind of power balance doesn't matter. Perhaps the only thing that matters to your group is equal spotlight time, or some other metric for fairness. Or perhaps your group even all feels that balance of any sort is unnecessary, as long as they're having fun.

(The "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" problem -- which the TV show could simply ignore, and which the RPG tried to address the second way, by having a meta hero point sort of currency with which to affect the game, even though the character "class" abilities weren't balanced.)
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:17 AM   #32
Tywyll
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Default Re: XP for Unbalanced Races

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
It wasn't. It's just another version of D&D's "linear fighter, quadratic wizard" problem. You can't balance a system where one class winds up more powerful later at the cost of being weak early -- or in this case, more powerful early but being weak later.
That's not true at all. It also is mixing up the lfqw problem with a general balance problem, which is something different. LFQW is expressly a problem with 3.X D&D. Earlier editions levied heavy difficulties on casters that though they got more and more raw power versus noncasters, their power never outstripped the non-caster's abilities to resist or mess with them the way the 3.X/PF did.

As for balancing them with different power levels...that's entirely dependent on player and campaigns as to whether that works out. If a wizard can take out an opponent (or group) with a single spell/roll but only do it once or twice while the fighter takes longer and takes more risk to accomplish the same thing...is that balanced? Its a pretty standard element of rpg design, both in D&D and TFT (sleep, freeze, etc).


Quote:
No matter what multipliers you use, there's always going to be only one point where the two power curves cross and give you balance. You can get complicated and make the areas between the two curves equal, and call that "fair". It would be, in a sense, over the whole game -- but it just means that players concerned about that kind of thing are going to be unhappy on both sides of the balance point. And even that assumes you know exactly how long the campaign is going to last. (Otherwise, the area on the far side of the balance point will wind up too small.)

Make the PC races balanced to start with, and keep them that way.
That leads to another 3.X and 4th edition issue of 'false balance' where you try to make everything exactly balanced power-wise, but that's an impossible task as the things you give will always be situational, so you can never make them equally balanced. TFT has this issue with pretending that all stats are equal when clearly they aren't.

Quote:


(The "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" problem -- which the TV show could simply ignore, and which the RPG tried to address the second way, by having a meta hero point sort of currency with which to affect the game, even though the character "class" abilities weren't balanced.)
I actually really liked how they handled that spotlight issue with the Hero Point mechanic.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:59 AM   #33
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: XP for Unbalanced Races

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
... Or, decide that that kind of power balance doesn't matter.
Yes!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Perhaps the only thing that matters to your group is equal spotlight time, or some other metric for fairness.
I'm glad I've not had players concerned with "spotlight time".
One point of fairness I do tend to include is just equal choices for players. If Bob and Sue join the campaign at the same time, they get a the same options of what sort of characters they want to start with. Different characters are never going to be "balanced" because it's an apples & orange & hobgoblin & ST +4 reptile man etc choice. Different characters are different in various incomparable ways, so it's up to them to choose from the available options what they want to play, and hopefully their first consideration (and source of enjoyment) is not just about power level.


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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Or perhaps your group even all feels that balance of any sort is unnecessary, as long as they're having fun.
Yes!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
As for balancing them with different power levels...that's entirely dependent on player and campaigns as to whether that works out. If a wizard can take out an opponent (or group) with a single spell/roll but only do it once or twice while the fighter takes longer and takes more risk to accomplish the same thing...is that balanced? Its a pretty standard element of rpg design, both in D&D and TFT (sleep, freeze, etc).
Exactly. Some players at first think TFT wizards are weak, fragile, underpowered, useless, anemic, etc. They probably haven't yet been taken out with a Thrown spell, or had their magic items destroyed by Lightning, or been wiped out by creations, etc etc etc. i.e. Most of what happens is down to the situation and apple vs. orange vs. naginata vs. Reverse Missiles choices players make.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
That leads to another 3.X and 4th edition issue of 'false balance' where you try to make everything exactly balanced power-wise, but that's an impossible task as the things you give will always be situational, so you can never make them equally balanced.
Exactly. Which is part of why I think it was a foolish sacrifice to a superficial incorrect notion of balance to nerf the descriptive ST levels of PC gargoyles and reptile men etc in Legacy Edition. Maybe it will reduce confusion for new players with naive notions of fairness, but at the cost of interesting differences between races that were not really out of balance before if you take into account human xenophobia, conspicuousness, body size, max IQ, the original doubled XP costs, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tywyll View Post
TFT has this issue with pretending that all stats are equal when clearly they aren't.
Yes, again they're different types of things, which have several different types of benefits, and can't be exactly balanced, even if one thought one wanted to.

Last edited by Skarg; 06-12-2019 at 12:02 PM.
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