Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  LoganAura on Wed May 08, 2013 2:57 pm

Villain songs, duets of rage, sad songs, happy songs. There's a lot of different songs that a character could sing that'd fit them in character :? But yeah, make it song OR dance.

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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  AProcrastinatingWriter on Wed May 08, 2013 3:10 pm

And sometimes characters just don't sing???
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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  LoganAura on Wed May 08, 2013 3:14 pm

Well, there's the 'don't sing' thing that you can do. Maybe there can be a classifier that 'a character can be involved in the music number without having to sing.'

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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  AProcrastinatingWriter on Wed May 08, 2013 4:34 pm

Buuut not every song in a musical involves every person, specifically not doing so by design. Even in the show we designed this game around, there are plenty of background ponies nearby who don't do anything when it comes time to sing. They're not supposed to play a part in the song and that's fine.

In addition, forcing a player or the DM to participate in the song if they don't want to goes against the crux of the system: the freedom of choice and charactertization. Imagine an assassin; the silent and stealthy type who, despite the antics of the party around him, has managed to remain "cool", as the player character has intended. The same PC voted against getting this specific boon but was outvoted by the other party members.

And now his character is forced to participate in something very silly and in-the-spotlight, in direct counter-characterization to what the player wants. Stay in the background, slowly shaking your head and softly sighing under your breath as you attach the explosives to their proper place? Nope, you gotta be a part of this. Rules say so. Suck it up, too freaking bad. It'll be funny, and that's all anyone cars about. Who cares about your character anyway?

If a person doesn't want to participate in an event despite the bonus, why on Earth make them do it anyway?

Here's another problem with all this: How the fricking frickity frick are you going to plan an entire spontaneous musical number in this game?

Let's, let's just start off by pretending, okay, we're obviously not gonna write our own music to do this; that would be incredibly exclusive to people who cannot read or write music. So we're using something like...I dunno, a just dance parody or something. Or even just Just Dance, because asking the players to get together as a group (in a mandatory sort of way) to write parody lyrics is a bit much out of an RPG, especially one purported to be designed for beginners.

So we're assuming we're just singing a random song here. Who sings what? Why? How long will the arguments over who does what and why last? Half an hour? An hour? And then the dancing: who goes where? When? What musical cues? What dance moves? Are Athletics checks involved? How about Persuasion? Why not? And how long will the argument over who goes where and does what last? An hour? Two hours? And how are the player going to feel after their arguments are over? I'd fell pretty freaking angry and drained, even if the arguments were not arguments but civil debates!

You can't just perform an entire spontaneous musical number. Humans don't work like that. If you're a freaking Whose Line is it Anyway? performer, you can come up with a song on the fly and do a bit of dancing as well, and even maybe work with the other three performers to make something vaguely resembling a four-part song, but you will never get everyone to instantly and intuitively agree on the choreography!

Choreographed musical numbers take time to plan. Days. Weeks, even. And that's weeks of constant work, not just sitting down an hour or two each day and saying "well, what about this" and then breaking off for the day. Even assuming the party is willing - and able - to put in that time, by the very nature of the game they probably will not know weeks in advance who they will be using this ability on, when, or why. Therefore, they'll have to start planning the instant they decide to use it.

And the game will come screeching to an.

Instant.

Stop.

For potentially weeks.

For a boon.

What's that? The players don't have to put in that much effort; it's not meant to be ultra-serious? Okay, but that's still gonna be between five and thirty-five minutes of song selection and between 3 and 5 minutes of making sure everypony sings that song good and proper; and by nature of choosing a preselected song as opposed to one of your own it's not going to advance the story in any way. It's gonna be, without the link to the infamous TV Tropes, a Big Lipped Alligator Moment that provides a +4 bonus and goes on for way too long.

Even from a pure mechanics standpoint, this boon is broken, and not in the fun way. It requires a minimum 13 second wait and a maximum three-week wait for a +4 bonus that affects players, NPCs, and enemies alike in an omnidrectional fashion, thus making it not only the only mechanic with a meta penalty in the time you will need to spend choosing a song, planning it, and waiting for it to finish, but one that provides a bonus to people besides your party and you don't get to choose which ones are affected.

The boon is, speaking purely in meta, on a fundamental level, a killer of any sort of spontaneity in a tabletop game, whether you do your planning in advance or you put the game on hold. It doesn't work. It never will unless someone like, I don't know, Xel or you, Logan, or someone else, I'm thinking or random people, is willing to write out a small assortment of songs with proper lyrics, musical rhythm and notation, give each of those songs a different bonus, say that when you select the boon you must select which players will sing what when the boon is activated, and forbid the players from choosing any other songs besides those given.

Seeing as how much effort that would be for such little payoff (either way), I'm pretty sure there's no way this Boon is ever going to work.
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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Wed May 08, 2013 4:53 pm

I do like the mechanical side of it though; a +4 Morale is nothing to sneeze at.

Try this:

Awesome Theme Song
A young musician (probably in the party) has written an inspiring theme song for the group! You gain the following group talent:

Opening Credits 1/Day
You play/perform your theme song. You and all allies within hearing distance gain a +4 morale bonus for the rest of the day.

See, this way not everyone has to actually take part... they just have to be there. Nor does it specify how it is performed; it could be a big old boom box for all I care.
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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  AProcrastinatingWriter on Wed May 08, 2013 4:57 pm

Eh, it still has the problem that it kinda brings the game to a halt.
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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  Quietkal on Wed May 08, 2013 6:45 pm

Procrastinating makes a good point, I didn't think about players not wanting to take part in a song.
How about, if the player controlling the character doesn't want said character to take part, then the character doesn't have to take part, unless the song is specifically about them not taking part of songs. Then it's thematically rude to not partake.
As for choreography, I figured it would just be thought up spontaneously and left mostly without detailed description.
My personal vision for these songs is something along the lines of how Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog operates. Actions still happen, just to an appropriate tune and words.
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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  AProcrastinatingWriter on Wed May 08, 2013 7:31 pm

But again, getting an appropriate tune and words will take time, thereby driving the game to a halt!
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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  LoganAura on Wed May 08, 2013 8:24 pm

Who's to say that you actually have to sing out of character? Like it's just flavorful. Like your characters doing the nasty.

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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  AProcrastinatingWriter on Wed May 08, 2013 9:20 pm

Then it could technically work...but it has the problem of a lack of flavor and bombasity.
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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  Philadelphus on Thu May 09, 2013 1:02 am

I admit I kind of gave a cursory glance at the potential boon in question, but I liked it. I figured it would something like "What's this? We need to [do something very difficult with little time to do it in, or something that we want to be powerful or moving] in order [prevent/cause] something [awful/wonderful] from happening? Quick, let's do it in a musical montage!"

Followed by anyone who wants to participate participating in pretty much whatever fashion then want to or feel is appropriate from "My character stands on the sidelines shaking his head at the folly of youth" to "my character happily joins in working in the background, joining in on the chorus" (whether or not an actual song sung by the players actually exists) to "I'm going to improvise an entire song on the spot and act it out in character at the same time!".

Much like most of the stuff in the system, I would assume it can be flavored and adapted to the needs and desires of the group doing it. Whether that's simply saying "Ok, we cause a big musical number to inspire all the NPCs helping us" and leaving it at that, or people spontaneously grabbing instruments and improvising something on the spot.

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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Thu May 09, 2013 11:21 am

Yeah, I mean you don't HAVE to state which song is done, and the DM can put a time limit on deciding the song that is sung.
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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  AProcrastinatingWriter on Thu May 09, 2013 1:44 pm

Probably want to make a note of that in the boon itself, then, so guys like me don't get upset over it.
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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  Fury of the Tempest on Thu May 09, 2013 1:49 pm

Upset is an understatement...
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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  RavenscroftRaven on Thu May 09, 2013 1:55 pm

I assume you also got furious over Art of the Dress, because clothiers and dressmakers are professionals that can take weeks to make an outfit, and even with a design can take more than a day, let alone amateurs, so using it to make a disguise on the spot can grind a game to a halt for weeks...? And let's not even get started with weather-crafting!
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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu May 09, 2013 2:02 pm

Now all I can think about is this.

This Boon in Action

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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  Paper Shadow on Thu May 09, 2013 2:09 pm

Well, I for one wouldn't complain if that happened...

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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu May 09, 2013 2:10 pm

Same. sunny

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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  AProcrastinatingWriter on Thu May 09, 2013 6:12 pm

RavenscroftRaven wrote:I assume you also got furious over Art of the Dress, because clothiers and dressmakers are professionals that can take weeks to make an outfit, and even with a design can take more than a day, let alone amateurs, so using it to make a disguise on the spot can grind a game to a halt for weeks...? And let's not even get started with weather-crafting!

AProcrastinatingWriter wrote:What's that? The players don't have to put in that much effort; it's not meant to be ultra-serious? Okay, but that's still gonna be between five and thirty-five minutes of song selection and between 3 and 5 minutes of making sure everypony sings that song good and proper; and by nature of choosing a preselected song as opposed to one of your own it's not going to advance the story in any way. It's gonna be, without the link to the infamous TV Tropes, a Big Lipped Alligator Moment that provides a +4 bonus and goes on for way too long.

I also would not object to such a series of events.

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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  Hayatecooper on Fri May 10, 2013 7:01 am

So by level 6 if the party takes both Team Awesome and Team Fantastic they can essentially 8/day I re-roll any nat 1's. (Yes I know Team Fantastic can be taken with any roll they dislike, but your going to save it for nat 1's)

Combine this with awesomeness, EOM(Giving people who didn't have awesomeness, access to it) not to mention the other racials that let you do the same thing and you can do at least 10/day. ....joy of freaken joys to the DMs.
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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri May 10, 2013 2:06 pm

Yep! That lucky DM wouldn't have to worry about players getting nat 1s on plot-crucial checks anymore. A good improviser can take advantage of such failures, but it's a lot easier to prepare if you don't have to worry about that.

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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  SparkImpulse on Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:42 pm

Hrhm. Lucky? I'm relying on the sanity checks ... half my planning is on how to humiliate and cripple my players in an its fine guys, really. sort of way.

Which just means they build for avoiding critical failures, but it also means the campaign will be just a little less ... interesting
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Re: Boons Revamp Beta is Live for Testing and Feedback

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:58 pm

Sounds like you're going for an interestingly non-standard campaign. In that case, I recommend just doing what I do. Chuck any rule, boon, destiny or utility talent that gets in the way of the type of game you want to run. We're providing a base system here, but you're the DM. Do with it what thou wilt. Cool 

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