Point table chances

When I first launched this world it was not ready to be launched. But I had lost a big ambitious game because during the time I was homeless for a few months a few of the players just up and disappeared..(lights a candle for Vasa.)

So, I launched M’kal largely unready to make it up to the players I felt I had failed. The point system and point tables were born as a result of the need for help in building the world, and the desire to get players interacting with the website. I do have some players that would build the entire world from the ground up for me if I let them (Thank you Sarah and Tracey) but I wanted this to be a shared project everyone would take some pride in and love. I of course also knew it would meant some people would vomit up ideas that need to go in a HAZMAT bucket not a D&D world. Evil cults with fireball wands will take care of some of that no doubt.

The point system has gone through several iterations, and several changes. Some for the better, some for the worse. But currently there is a nagging problem I need to address with the tables, and that is what this post is about.

Some time ago it was suggested to me to begin adding items to the tables. On the grounds that it would make the tables more exciting and get people more interested. That has backfired. Sure, it has lured some more people in, but it’s also chased others away. Additionally the tables as of the past couple months have become all about farming items. I think it’s safe to say that about 200 items come off the table for every piece of lore that is written now. Sometimes it feels like players are just trying to scalp as many items as fast as they can to vomit it up on a vendor for cash. Other times it feels like players are just getting stuff they don’t want, don’t need, and can’t use just to deprive others of having something they could use and enjoy.

There is a small temptation to remove the items from the tables. But I realize that would just be malicious and vindictive. I could remove the allowance for players to manually choose an option. But that was originally added so players could choose to name 5 taverns instead of ending up with 2 inns, a myth, a landmark and a bard when they are not interested in geology or mythology. So I am just going to have to make the item choices less attractive. At the same time I am going to have to make the lore writing options more attractive.

In order to make item choices less attractive, if you manually choose an item from the reward table you will no longer get the bonus points from it. Previously if you chose #17 on the copper table to get a Adamantine buckler, you got the buckler and 1 silver. Or if you chose 20 to get the dart of caltrops you got the dark and 1d4+1 silver as well. No more. If you roll 20 you get the item and the silver bonus.

Additionally I am going to begin evaluating lore items and giving points based on quality and how well it ties into the location. I am not going to say how I am going to do this because I know a few people will just cheese it instead of writing what they actually want.

All of these changes will go into effect after this coming platinum day, so the next round of rolls.

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7 Responses to “Point table chances”

  1. Galgerahn says:

    I see. This is quite the nonanswer. I’m curious to see what you’ll do.

  2. Trixxie says:

    I personally think that the items make an unfair advantage towards lvl one characters. Let’s say you have two people starting a game lvl 1 and one has just joined the server and the other has had months of item rolls. I see an unbalance there. I think you should restrict the kinds of items on the point table.

  3. Sanctus says:

    I’ve never seen D&D on this server as a competition. So I’m confused about why we’re so concerned about fairness or advantage. People join unbalanced parties all the time here. Is there a race to see who gets to level 20 first? Or to get to a certain wealth level first? If there isn’t, then why the concern about fairness or advantage?

    I have two parties in my region. Both have characters who started out at roughly the same time. Both have players who joined later. One party has gotten further in levels. The other party has more wealth. Should they complain about the differences? I don’t think so. Both were pursuing entirely different goals and had entirely different sessions.

    The only reason why fairness would even matter a bit is if this were a PvP game. If my two parties were at war with each other, there might be a case for it. But I think it would be stupid to go that direction, because then the whole game would be geared toward trying to gain advantage (i.e., powergaming), and the role-play would suffer. Every player decision, if they were aware that they were in competition with one another, would be tainted by a calculated concern about whether it would help them “win” in the long run. In other words, it would feed metagaming more than anything I can imagine.

    D&D is by nature unfair (just look at the classes, and you’ll find there’s nothing at all fair about the game). It’s not about fairness, it’s about living a fantasy.

    I don’t think we want to encourage people to feel entitled to fairness. It will just lead to jealousy, keeping up with the Joneses, dissatisfaction, and complaints. And, like I said, metagaming.

  4. Sanctus says:

    In contrast, I think the ideal D&D game is about cooperation on a team. When you’ve got that dynamic going on, it doesn’t matter at all that the classes are unbalanced, nor that one person has this or that and someone else doesn’t.

  5. Tessa says:

    Rather than make the proposed bonus point process obscure like a black box, I would actually suggest it would waste your time less, and that of your contributors, if you shared feedback about written submissions. Perhaps you would get less that you find unusable, if people heard back from you when they write stuff, both about what worked and about what didn’t. Sure you can see that as people cheesing the process, but why not let people try to give you what you want, especially if for some of us it would just take a few words of praise or criticism to steer us in the desired direction?

    • Kaote says:

      You and I both know, that if I released my ‘grading system’ that there would be jerks that would no longer write organically or write to tell a story. Instead they would skew their writing to try to check as many boxes as possible to maximize their points to gain the most rewards.

      I would much rather deal with people whom are in the middle ground. Where they are taking the time to read the city and they write stuff to tie into the city while having fun with it writing what they want.

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