Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Z2 on Mon May 27, 2013 6:46 pm

Your personal desires do not reflect on how the public at large responds to things...

And I'm really not sure how you are missing that Phil's/my method changes things LESS than an equal bonus to all skills... with the possible exception of the daily +5s, it's still primarily the presentation.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon May 27, 2013 6:56 pm

Z2 wrote:And I'm really not sure how you are missing that Phil's/my method changes things LESS than an equal bonus to all skills... with the possible exception of the daily +5s, it's still primarily the presentation.

Possibly because the passive bonus to all skills wouldn't change the current balance or character dynamics at all, it would simply be a change from DMs reducing DCs to players getting exactly equal skill bonuses to the DC reductions. Your ideas would change the spread of player skills from specialists to generalists considerably and make DM jobs harder because the same spread of DCs would no longer be applicable to give players appropriate challenges.

That's how your idea changes things more. Because it actually changes how things work.

There is no mechanical difference between...

1) Each level grants a character +2 to all skills. DCs stay the same.

and...

2) Each level reduces all DCs by 2. Player skill stays the same.


Does that make sense to you now as to why no balance/mechanical change would be less of a change than... An actual balance/mechanical change?



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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Z2 on Mon May 27, 2013 7:04 pm

I really don't appreciate your condescension, but I suppose while my version less changes things from a player perspective, it does indeed change things slightly more from a DM perspective. Mind you, if the justification for the DC reduction is characters improving in general, it still makes sense for the DM to just reduce the DC of things characters are masterful in more than others... And I, at least, will use this system so as to not have to have different DCs for an action depending on which character makes it for sensibilities sake. But yes, your explanation 'makes sense' from the perspective of me seeing your thought process.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon May 27, 2013 7:21 pm

Z2 wrote:I really don't appreciate your condescension, but I suppose while my version less changes things from a player perspective, it does indeed change things slightly more from a DM perspective.

When you begin questions saying something as condescending as...

Z2 wrote:"Your personal desires do not reflect on how the public at large responds to things..."

And...

Z2 wrote:And I'm really not sure how you are missing that Phil's/my method changes things LESS than an equal bonus to all skills

I think you might want to take a moment before complaining that explaining, "A mechanic that changes how things work is more complex than a mechanic that doesn't change how things work" is condescending. I was worried it might come off as a bit negative and I'm sorry that it did, but I was genuinely trying to answer your question. The fact that you missed this extremely significant difference was difficult to clarify without just... Bringing up what you missed.

Now I have an adventure to run, so I'll have to get offline for most of the rest of the day.


Fun Fact: Ever since your description of my players and designers as a 'cabal' - we've had fun referring to ourselves as one. We're working on designing some ceremonial rituals now. Anyone have a good idea for a name for the cabal or a good design for our robes? sunny

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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Z2 on Mon May 27, 2013 7:34 pm

It was mostly that last line of yours that gave me my inference, personally I didn't mean much by my first line: It's an easy mistake for some people to make that their opinions reflect those of a much larger group.

My vote for your 'cabal'? Name: The Lemantollies, or perhaps the Stonecutters if you like the Simpsons.


Last edited by Z2 on Tue May 28, 2013 2:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Hayatecooper on Mon May 27, 2013 8:13 pm

Z2 wrote: My vote for your 'cabal'? Red robes, with a black-on-white emblem.

http://derpy.me/hO7e5

I don't have words.... and yes I know exactly what you are implying with that.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Z2 on Mon May 27, 2013 8:18 pm

What? ...I'm not sure what your seeing there.

Edit: Oh dear, I think I see what you inferred: I just thought red was a particularly appropriate color; and then pulled a symbol pairing out of thin air... Maybe gold on a red background... some kind of plant thing? (I don't want to know what kind of symbol will be inferred this time if I don't specify.)


Last edited by Z2 on Mon May 27, 2013 8:32 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Hayatecooper on Mon May 27, 2013 8:25 pm

Of course you don't.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Paper Shadow on Mon May 27, 2013 8:37 pm

Care to explain this to the rest of us who is out of the loop?

As for the cabal, you should call yourselves the Worldsmiths, and your robes should incorporate dark teals (like this), in order to show the mixture between grass and water, perhaps with a subtle gold/yellow to represent the deserts...

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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  ZamuelNow on Mon May 27, 2013 9:52 pm

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:Yeah, DMs can use whatever homebrew tweaks they like.

I do find it interesting that there's two running reactions in this thread.


1) No, we don't want a flat skill bonus to everything as a way of making the current system more visible to players - because that would indeed be added complexity and people might make leveling-up mistakes. Let's keep things smooth.

2) A flat bonus? No, but let's toss on tons of extra stuff to keep track of as well. +2 to all skills here, extra training there, increase your stuff if you have jack of all trades here...


Since it's always easier to add some extra goodies to a core system than it is to strip them away for simplicity, we're probably going to stick with the current system.

Reactions are interesting since I'm getting the vibe that the forum has a lot of the same voices stating opinions and that the forum seems to have a lot less participation than in the previous year. A potential 3) that was mentioned but seemed to have less momentum was that the flat bonus is uninspiring and the actual strength seemed off but a scaling daily buff is more dynamic yet still simple.

Something I might suggest for whenever the GM Guide gets revised, add a section talking about various concepts for level progression and such. Essentially an official word of noting that unofficial options may be available.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Philadelphus on Tue May 28, 2013 5:54 am

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:The reason we considered adding the flat bonus that already happens onto the character sheet side was to see if we could make a strictly-better presentation of the mechanics we already have. Adding more power to the characters is a completely different topic.
I think I'm starting to see the wisdom in these words.

I'm afraid this post may get a little long, so let me sum it up by saying that in my opinion, the current level up process should not be changed.

Now allow me to explain why I feel that way. Going through this thread, it seems to be nearly universal opinion that simply gaining +2 to all Attributes upon each level up was rather dull and boring. I felt that way myself, and in a flash of inspiration posted a little alternative level-up table off the top of my head. Now, despite the fact that it objectively and numerically left players much weaker than the simple +2 to everything scenario (since we are assuming in both cases that DCs do not drop as players level up), people seemed to find it pretty interesting and likable, barring minor quibbles over details.

This suggests to me that player perception of increasing power – what Dan mentioned in the quote at the beginning – is weighted, or biased if you will, heavily towards player choice. Players value choice over simple numerical improvement, even if the improvement is quantitatively better. At least that's how I read the results of this impromptu experiment.

This further suggests to me that overall player power increase is best left in the background where it currently resides. It's an important part of the system, but it's one that most players apparently find boring, and don't care to have to keep track of themselves. Players prefer choice, which is probably a good part of the reason my Talent Specialization System is fairly popular, despite it not actually adding that much in terms of overall power.

So to summarize, I think that both a general overall increase in power and player-chosen increases in power are necessary parts of the level-up process, and the system as it is does a good job of keeping the more boring overall increase in the background where players don't have to worry about it, while allowing them to focus on the exciting decision-making aspect. As Dan said, it makes a great starting point to which individual GMs can add as they see fit. Because, while I think everyone likes some choice, there can come a point where the amount of choices becomes overwhelming. I imagine that this point is different for different people; people who have never played an RPG before versus those who have been playing different RPGs for ten years, for example.

Thus, I think that keeping the base level-up process simple is a good thing, because people can add whatever extra options they like on to it. The more complicated it becomes, the more it runs the risk of turning people off due to its complexity and the harder it is to keep track of. However, there's nothing stopping an individual GM in consultation with their players from adding complexity to it as they see fit, and I think that's also a good thing. So basically, leave the level-up system as it is; but feel free to come up with, share, and use your own add-ons. Because the more options there are out there, the more likely people are to find ones they like.

And hey, I was right...this post did get a little long. Smile

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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Z2 on Tue May 28, 2013 6:23 am

Phil, the chart you came up with is a good balance of mechanical benefit, while preserving choice. The daily +whatever is especially choice themed. I - and the players I DM for - DO like the quantifiable increase in player power... and on occasion find it maniacal laughter worthy. Don't come down on your own good idea because you have somehow gained the impression that what you are working towards is not a valid goal.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Tue May 28, 2013 7:20 am

I think your last post sums the issue up well Philadelphus.

Also Zamuel, one reason that there's mostly the same people posting on the forums with regard to this is possibly because a lot of people have taken to posting their responses and ideas about the system in various skype chats. As for the GM guide revamp - totally agree. We're going to make all GM materials, when we finally do, focused on embracing the flexibility of the system and giving GMs tools to modify and customize things however they want in the smoothest way possible.

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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Z2 on Tue May 28, 2013 7:39 am

Could you perhaps repost some snippets from these Skype conversations, so that suggestions actually appear where the playerbase at large actually CAN see them?
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  ZamuelNow on Tue May 28, 2013 11:49 am

Intriguingly, I was pretty sure that he meant more than just his own campaigns as far as Skype is concerned. Though I am curious about his players' thoughts.
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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  LoganAura on Tue May 28, 2013 12:33 pm

Z2 wrote:Could you perhaps repost some snippets from these Skype conversations, so that suggestions actually appear where the playerbase at large actually CAN see them?

Generally, if that sort of thing would happen, they'd need to be spoiler tagged and take a majority of a page, since even snippets of the convos are massive.

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Re: Should we have skill bonuses on Level Up? [Community Discussion]

Post  Philadelphus on Tue May 28, 2013 2:46 pm

Z2 wrote:Phil, the chart you came up with is a good balance of mechanical benefit, while preserving choice. The daily +whatever is especially choice themed. I - and the players I DM for - DO like the quantifiable increase in player power... and on occasion find it maniacal laughter worthy. Don't come down on your own good idea because you have somehow gained the impression that what you are working towards is not a valid goal.
Don't worry, I still think my idea is a lot of fun, and I'd be excited to play in a campaign that used it (or a slightly more polished version, anyway). I'm simply trying to say that I think it's good for the core – or 'vanilla' – level-up system to remain simple, because it gives us free reign to design our own add-on systems. Afterall, first-time players might get overwhelmed with an amount of choices that you or I wouldn't bat an eye at. Thus, if we can keep the base system simple for people to get into, we can have additional add-ons that make things as complex as more experienced players want. And if we're designing stuff like that, it frees the developers to work on other cool stuff (like more utility talents, which I would love to see Smile ).

Since it seems like there's a lot of interest out there for additional level-up goodies (myself included), I'll create a thread when I get back from work tonight where we discuss it and maybe come up with one or more balanced and fun optional add-ons to the level-up system. Very Happy

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