player point economies

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cczernia
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player point economies

Post by cczernia » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:59 am

A lot of games have player points (aka drama points, bennies, genre points, hero points etc.) which give player some kind of edge. They usually include a reroll, add to the total, add extra dice, reduce damage define something in the game.

Players usually start with a certain amount and can get more throughout the game. The most typical way to get more is through good roleplaying usually determined by the GM.

GMs can also get player points for their NPCs. Sometimes the number is defined and sometimes it isn't.

What I'm looking for is a less subjective way of awarding playing points so it becomes an exchange between the GM and player. Each time the GM spends it point there might be a way the player will get it and vice versa.

I was wondering if anyone has tried anything like this or had any recommendations?
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Post by jimmy corrigan » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:36 am

you mean like in pta?

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Post by devlin1 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:51 am


[quote="jimmy corrigan"]you mean like in pta?[/quote]

Oh snap!



Before they did [i]Diaspora[/i], those [i]Diaspora [/i]guys came up with a [url=http://www.phreeow.net/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=Zero+Sum+Fate]"zero-sum FATE"[/url] that works the way Chris is describing.


[quote="those Diaspora guys"]The solution here is to use a zero-sum fate point system. This means that whenever a fate point is spent by someone, someone else gets it, so a fixed number of fate points are in play and that number never changes.[/quote]

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Post by mordraine » Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:53 am

Buh?! How the hell do you determine who gets the spent fate point?

Ideas I like -

a) if you roll max value on your die/dice (example - rolling 20 in a D20 system, or rolling max on both regular and wild dice in Savage Worlds)
b) giving yourself some sort of detrimental penalty on a roll (example - in Savage Worlds don't use the "wild die" on a roll, or in D20, minus level from roll, or in World of Darkness -2 dice from pool)
c) x number of successes/raises - (example - getting 3 successes in World of Darkness or getting 3 raises in Savage Worlds)
Hey man, I'm slinging volume and fat stacking benjies, you know what I mean? I can't be all about spelling and shit!

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Post by SpaceMonkey » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:23 pm

or just have one player slide out one if they think someone did something cool. You can't award yourself a point.
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Post by cczernia » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:38 pm


[quote="devlin1"]Oh snap!



Before they did [i]Diaspora[/i], those [i]Diaspora [/i]guys came up with a [url=http://www.phreeow.net/wiki/tiki-index.php?page=Zero+Sum+Fate]"zero-sum FATE"[/url] that works the way Chris is describing.[/quote]


That is exactly what I'm getting at. PTA and ZS-Fate are some good examples of player points going back and forth between players and GMs.

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Post by cczernia » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:50 pm

I also saw this one for Savage Worlds which I thought was kind of cool.

If a player runs out of bennies, he could take a nega-bennie--which immediately becomes a bennie for the GM.
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Post by devlin1 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:55 pm


[quote="dnd3eplayer"]or just have one player slide out one if they think someone did something cool. You can't award yourself a point.[/quote]

THAT'S NOT HOW FORCE POINTS WORK!!!

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Post by SpaceMonkey » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:06 pm


[quote="devlin1"]THAT'S NOT HOW FORCE POINTS WORK!!![/quote]

until the GM says they do. then they work exactly like that.

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Post by mordraine » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:56 pm


I'll ask again since everyone seems to be ignoring my post - In zero-sum fate, how do you determine who gets the spent fate point?


[quote]or just have one player slide out one if they think someone did something cool. You can't award yourself a point.[/quote]

That's subjective though. We're looking for non subjective ideas.

Hey man, I'm slinging volume and fat stacking benjies, you know what I mean? I can't be all about spelling and shit!

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Post by devlin1 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:22 pm


[quote="mordraine"]I'll ask again since everyone seems to be ignoring my post - In zero-sum fate, how do you determine who gets the spent fate point?[/quote]

Ugh. You make it so much harder to ignore you when you keep talking.


[quote="those Diaspora guys"]
* When a player invokes one of his own aspects, the fate point is paid to anyone (at the invoker's discretion) to whom the invoke is detrimental. The underlying assumption here is that if no one cares whether or not the roll succeeds (that is, it's not obvious that anyone should get the point) then the roll is by definition unnecessary and the action should automatically succeed (say yes or roll rule).





BJM: This means if someone is getting ganged up on he's going to get flooded with fate points. I think that's kind of cool.





* Follow the same rule as above when paying a fate point to invoke a stunt.

* Anyone can compel anyone elses aspects at any time and exchange points as though they were the GM. The effects of a compel must be normalised, however, as they are normally a highly discretionary effect, so see below.

* Any player can compel his own aspects for a normalised effect (see below), again paying or receiving from the player who is affected, though in this case advantageously.

* The effect of a compel is either loss of a single turn (if compelled before any dice hit the table) or -2 on a roll (if compelled after the dice hit the table). There must be a narrative associated with this effect if we're role-playing but that's less necessary if we're just tactically gaming. There should be a genuine story though even if it's not narrated.

* Players should be encouraged to haggle compels. Offering two fate if the opponent is not going for one is certainly reasonable. So is turning down two but offering to accept one. In a zero sum economy the players should be encouraged to treat fate points as their own resource with few rules for paying off other players. [/quote]

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Post by mordraine » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:47 pm

Sounds subjective. "At the invoker's discretion."

(Then there's that whole "any player can compel any other player's aspects" idea... I'd have to see these zero-sum rules in action. In theory, I'm not too thrilled by them, but I won't get into that here).
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Post by mordraine » Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:37 pm

In general, I'm not all that crazy about player resources that are shared around between all the players at the table.

But what about this idea - every time a player uses a resource point, it goes into a central pool. Those pool points can be retrieved by players at a later time, by some triggered event or rule in the mechanics (or if you wanna get all hippy about it, when someone subjectively thinks they should).
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Post by Dragonmaster Zoc » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:20 pm

I don't generally play the kinds of games that use those kinds of rules, but my limited experience covers two instances:

In D&D 4E, every player character starts each day with exactly one point and gains another point after every other encounter. It's kind of a major game mechanic, but it just screams BALANCED.

I was in a D&D 3.5 game where the players had free access to a pool containing one each of every die from d4 to d12. One or more dice could be added to any die roll, but using it would cause it to go to the GM's pool until such time as he used it by an NPC against the party.

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Post by devlin1 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:04 pm


[quote="Dragonmaster Zoc"]I was in a D&D 3.5 game where the players had free access to a pool containing one each of every die from d4 to d12. One or more dice could be added to any die roll, but using it would cause it to go to the GM's pool until such time as he used it by an NPC against the party.[/quote]
I like that. A game I can't talk about in public -- NDA! -- does something [i]sorta[/i] similar to that.



I can't believe none of us has mentioned DRYH.

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Post by jimmy corrigan » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:40 pm

and there's also dryh.

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Post by devlin1 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:15 pm


[quote="jimmy corrigan"]and there's also dryh.[/quote]

Very true! Good call.

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Post by Count Zero » Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:48 pm

This is something I have been tackling myself. For my superhero game I want to have characters of varied powerlevels. I was looking at Mortal Coil as one way to do that.

I was actually thinking of having an aspect-like system, where the players can freely activate them as they see fit. There are no points that have to be spent, they are just that edge the player has.

D&D 4th's system isn't bad either. You just earn one every scene. I want a way for players to earn more if they are doing well, but that once again falls back into the "GM whim" issue.

The other option is to have a zero-sum system like what you were talking about with SoTC, except you could have them be a collective pool that anyone can draw from. So you have 25, and when you want to make some sort of special roll, you can just take one. Once they are gone, they are gone. No replacements ever. Of course that drops back into the D&D 4th ed issue. Maybe, the system isn't refilled by the GM, but instead the players have actions they can take which will automatically place one back in the pool. So there are fixed triggers which cause more to go back into the system or award one to a player. It isn't dependent upon the GM, but the player reacting to events.
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