Quest as a series of encoutners

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Quest as a series of encoutners

Postby hamster_mk_4 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:43 am

Edit:
I have codified my quest proposal and a list of encounters and loot in this Google document.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YG7 ... sp=sharing

I was thinking about a discussion Scoot, Rose and I had last night about making Amtgard more like a video game. There are many types of video game and so far we have been playing like a competitive multiplayer game. It makes sense since we are all people and want to win. However the vast gap in skill and equipment between the regulars and newbie walk-on's probably makes this less fun for them than it is for us.

So I propose we run a quest like a single player/multi player co-op video game or D&D session. We select 4 players to be the PC's and the rest of us be NPC's except for one player who is narrating/DM'ing the quest. The PC's pick a class and start at level 1 with shorts. They are given an encounter against NPC monsters (which they should win). After the encounter they get a level and some new equipment that they get to use next encounter. Player lives/wounds/equipment get reset between encounters. If there is a total party kill they have to redo the encounter but may hire an NPC to their side as a mercenary. If an experienced player is fighting against a newbie PC the experienced player is encouraged to go easy on the newbie.

The 4 PC's should get swapped out for NPC's after a few encounters so that as many people as possible get to play as a PC. The purpose of this is to give newbies a chance to experience higher level play and feel like a big damn hero.

I realize this is getting into more LARPing territory, but my goal here is to make more of an IRL Diablo game where we have a fast iteration of kill, loot, level, repeat.
Last edited by hamster_mk_4 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quest as a series of encoutners

Postby Scorch Flamedancer » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:34 pm

Honestly, the LARP and looting with monsters and NPC's is kinda what we're going for already. At this point, we're trying to refine the system so people can't break the game, and let people feel like they've earned what they earn on all sides, for vets and noobs. I think we'll definitely use those scenarios, those sound awesome. If you have any other thoughts or ideas, let us know! This is something for everyone to have fun, and we're open to suggestions and critique.
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Re: Quest as a series of encoutners

Postby hamster_mk_4 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:59 pm

Scoot and Rose told me you were trying to move the park in this direction. My problem with the current games the PC's don't end up feeling special since there are so many of them compared to monsters. BTW I love being the monster because I get to be the Overpowered one. Any way this got me thinking, hence the big long post. I have decided to write it down in a more formalized manner here:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YG7 ... sp=sharing

The document is public and you are welcome to add to it.

The main thing I would like to change is have a small group of PC's run a quick scenario against many under powered NPC's so that the PC's are the powerful ones and the NPC's are the mooks.
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Re: Quest as a series of encoutners

Postby Scorch Flamedancer » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:24 pm

The only hesitation I have with completely sticking to your idea, is that if we nerf park vets so the noobs have a good time, the vets aren't necessarily enjoying getting their ass beat by newer players. Especially people like Scruffy or Rangor, they may hold back a little, but the fun of the first quest day was that it was balanced simply because there were more PC's then monsters by.... a lot, and with the skill vs numbers dichotomy,we achieved balance and a fun game for everyone involved.
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Re: Quest as a series of encoutners

Postby hamster_mk_4 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:20 pm

I figure the park vets beating up on new people is what Ditching is for. With the current high power monster vs low power massed players only the park vets are going to stand a chance of killing the monster. The rest of the players have to be given busy work or just die a lot. Besides there is nothing stopping us putting one park vet in with the PC's. The NPC's just need to be told to not roll the low skilled PC's. The faster the PC's blow through the quest the faster the NPC's can swap into the PC roll.

This started as a random idea I had this morning, and I don't want to run it until we have had some time to discuss it in person.
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Re: Quest as a series of encoutners

Postby Grimbold » Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:02 pm

Not trolling, but getting better as a fighter is how you beat the monster. If a first level could do it all the time, it wouldn't be worth doing.
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Re: Quest as a series of encoutners

Postby hamster_mk_4 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 1:18 pm

I have updated the Google document with more encounters and loot descriptions. I will bring a print out to the park for further discussion.

Getting better as a fighter takes time and effort. I am trying to make something that will convince new players that this whole Amtgard thing is worth that time and effort. Sort of like the first level in Assassin's Creed where they give you all the assassin kit and make you fight off a Templar attack only to take it all away at the end of the level and force you to earn it all over again over the course of the real game.

This may be a really bad idea, we will know after play testing.
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Re: Quest as a series of encoutners

Postby hamster_mk_4 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:58 am

I will be going to A&S night at the Brown's to work on a "formal tunic". I also would like to discuss the items I need to execute this quest tomorrow. Primarily cones/boundary markers, tokens for the assassin variant, and Sickie notes for the wall siege. I hope to see some of you there.
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Re: Quest as a series of encoutners

Postby Scorch Flamedancer » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:31 pm

It'll be good to have you there 8D And coincidentally, tonight at A&S is our quest meeting lol
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Re: Quest as a series of encoutners

Postby Randy » Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:48 pm

Just wanted to say I enjoyed the mini-quests into one larger quest. Some things I think that would make it a little more effective would be to keep the potions but remove the leveling. Maybe allow the players to play any class/level they would like and make the monsters equal to the task, to provide a challenge. I think that would make it much more entertaining. Having a spellcaster in the campfire quest would have dramatically changed the scenario.

I really like the idea of players vs. monsters and then providing the option to switch out and rerun the scenario.

Thanks to all who planned and participated.
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Re: Quest as a series of encoutners

Postby hamster_mk_4 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:40 am

Thanks for your input Randy. I am not sure how class abilities will effect the game or what needs to be done to the monster side to account for that. Some scenarios would be absolutely broken if the PCs had teleport, fly, or sanctuary.

There is a lot of balancing to make each of these scenarios challenging for both sides. The zombie and bridge encounters we ran before the troll one were far less successful. In both cases the NPC's could swarm the pc's so even though the PC's had an superior equipment they still were fighting at 2 to 1. If I run those again I will break the NPCs up into zones such that it is impossible for them for form an effective fighting line with the entire NPC team.
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Re: Quest as a series of encoutners

Postby LucasTheLost » Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:25 am

Monsters are (or were) immune to sanctuary. I don't know the new rules well enough to be sure one way or the other.
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Re: Quest as a series of encoutners

Postby hamster_mk_4 » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:36 pm

Forgive me but I need to rant:

We play tested the Greater Demon encounter last week at the park and I leaned an important lesson: Don't let walk on kids play as NPC's. The NPC's of these encounter based games are more vital to the success of the game than the PC's. The PC's have a particular task and win condition that they must accomplish creatively. This creativity allows the the PC's to do what they want to do to work towards the goal. The NPC's on the other hand have to have the self discipline to stick to the script and allow the PC's to have the experience the GM wants to create. Walk on kids that don't take their hits and are too busy doing their own thing can not be trusted in such a roll.

Ideally I would like to play test these encounters as park vet vs park vet because I get the feeling the park vets would be able to better grasp the meta strategy, find weaknesses in the mechanics, and provide more consistent results in the often chaotic fighting. If new players must be included to make the numbers I would prefer them to be on the PC team at least for the first few encounters so they can see how the NPC's are supposed to act in a given scenario.

For those of you who were not at the park the Demon Summoning encounter went like this:
Rules: One NPC is designated the demon the rest are cultists. The Demon had to make a kill once every 20 seconds or it will vanish from the mortal plane and the PC's will win. There is no other way of harming the demon as it is invulnerable to physical and magical attacks. If the demon kills a cultist that counts as kill just as much as if he kills a PC. NPC's win if all the PC's are killed. PC's win if the demon's countdown expires. Limited play area prevents the PC's from running away until the demon runs out of cultists. Demon is prohibited from running to prevent the Demon from charging the PC's and tanking shots until the PC's are dead.

How it failed:
Most of the Park vets were on the PC side and wanted to use their class abilities. We had a bunch of walk on kids that fleshed out the cultist side with a park vet taking the roll of the demon. The cultists didn't want to sacrifice themselves to the demon and the demon didn't want to take an unwilling sacrifice. The game timed out because the NPC's either didn't understand the win conditions or were too selfish to act for the benefit of the team.

Also the PC's used teleport/shadow step abilities broke the intended game play mechanism of having the demon/cultists corner the PC's.

How I plan on altering the game if we were to play it next time:
Demon can see through teleport and shadow step (cultists still do not).
Teams will consist of even number of players.
The DM will stand in one spot and act as a bunch of cultist summoning circle. The GM will tick of the number of lives
If a cultist dies they can respawn by returning to the DM and becoming a new cultist from the summoning circle. (The GM will deduct from the number of inactive cultists in the summoning circle).
The Demon can hit the GM to sacrifice an inactive cultist from the summoning circle.
If the PC's get to the GM they can butcher inactive cultists by hitting the GM (lightly)
PC's will also win if the demon can't make enough kills to become permanently anchored to the mortal plane. Assuming all the cultists sacrifice themselves to the demon after the PC's are dealt with.

We also ran the troll encounter and I noticed the trolls were having greater success by just staying away from the PC's fire pit. I think I will add a time limit to the trolls so if victory is not reached by a certain point the PC's win. Hopefully this will encourage the trolls to play more offensively.

So far the Troll encounter seems to be the most successful of the bunch.
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Re: Quest as a series of encoutners

Postby Randy » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:25 pm

I would suggest to you that your NPC's shouldn't be trying to "win" anything. The games are designed to challenge the players, create an environment that will allow them to use their abilities and requires them to work as a team. The NPC's should be playing to foster that environment and nothing more. Once winning/losing starts to take place, the game takes a detrimental turn. Atleast in my experience.
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Re: Quest as a series of encoutners

Postby Scorch Flamedancer » Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:35 am

The problem with the game had nothing to do with the setup, but the person who was playing the head demon. They weren't engaging (either players, or cultists) so all the players had to do with go insubstantial and run out the clock to win.

The only thing I would have changed (besides not having that person play the demon) is allowing the cultists to respawn after a 20-30 count, besides that the game was excellent. It was the player in question that was an issue, not the game.
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