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Old 05-30-2021, 11:38 PM   #21
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Default Re: [DF] A Portal Fantasy within a Dungeon Fantasy: Where's Alice?

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(...) I'm providing equal opportunity (...)
If your players had 250 CP (as Alice), they would have similar (not equal) opportunity. Otherwise, the stakes are not the same.

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(...) Super Luck isn't even an option at character generation or even obtainable through advancement (...)
That's the point Tymathee, thanks to GM fiat and discretional use of the modifier "your version" of luck provides better benefits to Alice and is cheaper. You don't need "Super Luck".

When a "lesser ability" surpasses a "greater ability" there's a cue to reconsider things.
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Old 05-31-2021, 01:17 AM   #22
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Default Re: [DF] A Portal Fantasy within a Dungeon Fantasy: Where's Alice?

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If your players had 250 CP (as Alice), they would have similar (not equal) opportunity. Otherwise, the stakes are not the same.



That's the point Tymathee, thanks to GM fiat and discretional use of the modifier "your version" of luck provides better benefits to Alice and is cheaper. You don't need "Super Luck".

When a "lesser ability" surpasses a "greater ability" there's a cue to reconsider things.
If the trajectory I have in mind gets them where I'd expect them to be at when they reach this stretch of the campaign, they ought to be within ~25 points of Alice. Her point total and stats are meant to reflect a plausible amount of competence that would allow a single member party to survive up to that point... whether or not that's actually possible if we let the dice fall where they may isn't my concern since she's being planted smack dab at the end of the Dungeonland module and just before the The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror module begins. I'm playing Alice as clever as she should be. In the palace where the trial takes place, Alice will be quick to recognize the odds are entirely against her if she sticks it out alone. The PCs are the only sane people in the room, so her choice is quite clear. From then on the PCs are essentially escorting her safely out of Dungeonland...

As written, Ridiculous Luck is more cost effective than Super Luck. Super Luck has a weird niche in what you can achieve with dictating dice rolls but Ridiculous Luck is effectively better for what it does at that point cost. The levels of Luck were undoubtedly intended to be unsubtle point crocks to encourage players to have convenient access to what are arguably ubiquitous traits; e.g. Combat Reflexes, High Pain Threshold, Fit... the point costs given are clearly rigged to be cheap for what they do.

If semantics matter, I could change (Game Time, +0%) to (Accessibility (GM Fiat Only), +0%) and it would have negligible difference. What they have in common is that GM Fiat dictates the balance, and usage is scaled to the level of Luck at the GM's discretion.

Last edited by Tymathee; 05-31-2021 at 01:21 AM. Reason: Clarity.
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Old 05-31-2021, 09:32 AM   #23
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Default Re: [DF] A Portal Fantasy within a Dungeon Fantasy: Where's Alice?

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If semantics matter, I could change (Game Time, +0%) to (Accessibility (GM Fiat Only), +0%) and it would have negligible difference. What they have in common is that GM Fiat dictates the balance, and usage is scaled to the level of Luck at the GM's discretion.
While I was having coffee this morning I thought I'd elaborate on this. "When the GM says it works" and "When the GM says it doesn't work" should come out to a net wash, or +0%. You can apply the same logic to Game Time modifier. It works when the GM says the required amount of time passes and doesn't if he says not enough time has passed yet.

I think the problem, Hide, is that you assume that GM Fiat is incapable of providing fair and ethical outcomes. If GM Fiat can't ever be trusted, we ought to come to the natural conclusion that no GM is fit for the role of GM. This kind of reasoning is self-defeating and part of why I just don't quite get where you're coming from with this.

Last edited by Tymathee; 05-31-2021 at 10:13 AM. Reason: Grammar.
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Old 05-31-2021, 04:46 PM   #24
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Default Re: [DF] A Portal Fantasy within a Dungeon Fantasy: Where's Alice?

Discussion up to this point has genuinely been helpful in putting things into better perspective. I've done a quick write up of the modifier I intend to replace the Game Time modifier I have on Alice's Ridiculous Luck.

Accessibility (GM Fiat Only), +0%
This modifier can be applied to traits that rely on real time. The trait with this modifier applied is allowed to be used at the GM’s discretion, at a frequency to taste but ideally scaled to the level of the trait. As a rule of thumb, uses should be no more or less than what you would have from the unmodified trait, or the trait modified with the Game Time modifier. This simply lets the GM permit the PC to use their trait without tying its usage with either “game time” or real time. Although it should be obvious without needed to be codified, the GM should implement the effects of this modifier in good taste.

How's this look? I hope it is clear in what its intended purpose is.
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Old 05-31-2021, 05:31 PM   #25
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Default Re: [DF] A Portal Fantasy within a Dungeon Fantasy: Where's Alice?

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Originally Posted by Tymathee View Post
While I was having coffee this morning I thought I'd elaborate on this. "When the GM says it works" and "When the GM says it doesn't work" should come out to a net wash, or +0%. You can apply the same logic to Game Time modifier. It works when the GM says the required amount of time passes and doesn't if he says not enough time has passed yet.

I think the problem, Hide, is that you assume that GM Fiat is incapable of providing fair and ethical outcomes. If GM Fiat can't ever be trusted, we ought to come to the natural conclusion that no GM is fit for the role of GM. This kind of reasoning is self-defeating and part of why I just don't quite get where you're coming from with this.
Sadly this "GM Fiat can't ever be trusted" goes back to too many stories of DMs getting into them vs players.

Doesn't help that Dungeonland and Through the Magic Mirror have every native an insane kill happy lunatic. I have no idea where that comes from as at best only the Queen of Hearts and Jabberwocky are out to kill and even the Queen is mitigated by the King.

Just because they are insane doesn't mean they are all effectively Joker Jr.
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Old 05-31-2021, 05:55 PM   #26
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Default Re: [DF] A Portal Fantasy within a Dungeon Fantasy: Where's Alice?

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Sadly this "GM Fiat can't ever be trusted" goes back to too many stories of DMs getting into them vs players.

Doesn't help that Dungeonland and Through the Magic Mirror have every native an insane kill happy lunatic. I have no idea where that comes from as at best only the Queen of Hearts and Jabberwocky are out to kill and even the Queen is mitigated by the King.

Just because they are insane doesn't mean they are all effectively Joker Jr.
It is sad. At some point as a player you have to be willing to believe that the GM has your best interests in mind within the scope of running a fair game.

Some of the inhabitants of these lands are somewhat saner than the rest... from the text of The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror on the encounter with T. Diumm and T. Deeous:

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Originally Posted by The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror
These identical twins are cunning despite their borderline intelligence. Being Lawful Neutral, they will adhere to the letter of any agreement they make, but they are not prone to being duped, as they have learned from experience—long, hard experience!
The Walrus and The Carpenter are sane enough to be reasoned with, but they're bent on duping the party of PCs into getting some pearls for them.

I do want to run the modules as Gygax intended, but I'm at least somewhat open to more social solutions if the PCs have enough ingenuity to deal with the wackos they're going to run into.

I've done some research on the Game Time modifier... with the numbers presented in the GURPS Power-Ups 4: Enhancements book, a character could have as much as roughly two uses of Ridiculous Luck per game time hour, which wasn't too far off from my guesstimate of what would be appropriate for DF. DF has a lot of what that supplement calls "slow time", so it may not be a stretch to just stick with the ratio I originally came up with. I actually like the Accessibility modifier I cooked up, but I shall consider my options.

Last edited by Tymathee; 05-31-2021 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 05-31-2021, 06:16 PM   #27
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Default Re: [DF] A Portal Fantasy within a Dungeon Fantasy: Where's Alice?

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While I was having coffee this morning I thought I'd elaborate on this. "When the GM says it works" and "When the GM says it doesn't work" should come out to a net wash, or +0%. (...)
That could work well for an NPC, but you have to disregard the CP budget (i.e. you have to drop the idea of measuring NPC with CP).

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(...) I think (...) you assume that GM Fiat is incapable of providing fair and ethical outcomes (...) this kind of reasoning is self-defeating and part of why I just don't quite get where you're coming from with this.
Rather than referring to ethics, I am talking about consistency and transparency.

I believe the less direct intervention you exert to adjust how rules as written work, the more certainty and freedom of choice for the players. Also, the less discretional your rules handling is, the less speculation/questions about your choices as GM.

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(...) I've done a quick write up of the modifier I intend to replace the Game Time modifier I have on Alice's Ridiculous Luck (...) How's this look? I hope it is clear in what its intended purpose is.
If another GM were to adopt your campaign, he would need to know that Alice's effective value is at least 310 CP and not 250 CP, but that given how things works within your setting you have dropped the (cosmic, wish-like) modifier on her “luck ability” from %100 to %0.

Until now, Luck as presented in Alice’s character sheet was not factoring the underlying (time-control) powers conferred to her by GM discretion, which virtually calls to reconsider the cost of her ability and the final cost of her character sheet.

This is important, because the GM and the Players must factor that player characters start with 62 CP (right?) and that they “cannot learn luck” in the future. This is an important entry-barrier that deprives them from acquiring other “non-learnable” abilities. On the other hand, the direct counter for luck, is luck. So, in the long run a character that reached the 250 CP value but did not take luck in the beginning would be at great disadvantage against the 250xN CP Alice when competing in the same fields.
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Old 05-31-2021, 06:24 PM   #28
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Default Re: [DF] A Portal Fantasy within a Dungeon Fantasy: Where's Alice?

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*snip*
Given the details provided in my previous post, we can drop 6 uses per game hour to 2 uses per game hour (so once per 30 in-game minutes) and still have the modifier qualify for +0% value according to the RAW. Since DF typically has a great deal of "slow time", this seems reasonable.

Also, she does not have "time control powers". My discretion over the passage of time will take both the PCs and NPCs into consideration with the fairness that is due to them.

Last edited by Tymathee; 05-31-2021 at 07:03 PM. Reason: Clarity.
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Old 06-01-2021, 01:56 AM   #29
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Default Re: [DF] A Portal Fantasy within a Dungeon Fantasy: Where's Alice?

Her point total is a red herring, so fixating on it has very quickly diminishing returns. I could've simply said she does what she does with a higher abstraction of stats for a simplified small stat block for a NPC but she's intended to adventure alongside the PCs for the latter half of my Dungeonland arc; a detailed sheet is of use in this case for an NPC of this importance. There's nothing more to it than that. I would advise anyone to not read too deeply between the lines about my preferences for notetaking (on that note, my Designer's Notes are just my thoughts in brief and not to be interpreted as completely comprehensive legalese for use in play... this seems weirdly specific to be mentioning but it appears to me it is necessary).

I honestly was going to write up more paragraphs to follow that but I do not think it is a good use of my time to write a fully-detailed essay on why there is an absence of issues with my methods of running her as an NPC. Quibbling over the ethical implementation of NPCs in this case is not productive.

Anyways, I would like to focus on other matters. I like her skill list as is... I think what's left is to just suss out out the niche-case but still important skills that she could have. I actually really like the idea of Traps (Detect Traps) as a legitimate specialty of the Traps skill.

I'll get around to her equipment load out eventually, it's just not a priority as of now. The Vorpal Blade needs to be written up in GURPS terms. I think the main concern there is stat'ing up those magical abilities it has as described in the module.
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Old 06-01-2021, 02:45 AM   #30
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Default Re: [DF] A Portal Fantasy within a Dungeon Fantasy: Where's Alice?

Regarding your “guesstimate”, per GURPS power ups 4 ridiculous luck gives you 6 lucky breaks an in-game day. Even if you multiply take alternative yield of ridiculous luck, under the “special case” clause, you acquire 2*6 = 12 luck breaks. With the 1:1 ratio, you roughly had 144 lucky breaks a day (6 calls per hour * 24 hours).

Alice's updated "luck" looks better now.

A lucky break every 30 in-game minutes is about 48 chances to call dice in a day. It is still high compared to the examples, but it is clearer and more transparent.

Regarding her skills:

Since Alice is a child or a teenager, I would change diplomacy for fast-talk.

Knife is fine, for her. I think the shortsword skill is out of character, it is out of her "original dimension" context; if you want her to use a sword, she could do knife -4 instead. Or if you REALLY want her to use a sword (Vorpal Blade), give her smallsword (you could say she took fencing lessons); the fencing bonus will be good for her.

Taking a bit from GURPS Action II, the traps skill lets you detect traps (doing Per-based Traps roll). That might keep it simpler for you and the players.
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