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Jynk
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Re: Problems of Setting

Tue 27 Dec 2016, 23:46

My work-in-progress formula was kid's age + body score. I think the Conditions are fine, too, and certainly work for the game's setup, but some fights just need that extra dynamic. Part of the fun in tabletop battles is getting to see how much damage your character can inflict on the bad guy or getting that "kill" shot in. For a Showdown, I would think something more than x number of successful rolls would be needed for that excitement of the battle, especially for a long-running campaign. That's the nice thing about this game; one can adjust and add things to suit their group's likes/dislikes.
"What matters most is how well you walk through the fire." - Charles Bukowski
 
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pelorus
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Re: Problems of Setting

Wed 28 Dec 2016, 00:52

I find the addition of hit points to be a bit crunchy for what is really a narrative game. But interested to see how it works. I have the feeling that when you add hit points, it becomes a lot more life and death. I can't think of many in-genre instances where they would make sense. Not in Stranger Things, not in ET, not in Stand By Me. Spirit seems more important than the possibility of death and if there is death, by jove make it poignant. 

Also...hit points then brings in the idea of healing. I don't mind a character volunteering that because last game they broke their arm, this game they're at -1 until they get the cast off. In the meantime, they want to do some Everyday stuff with the cute girl getting her to sign his cast. Or it's a great way to hide that Magentrine detector aerial. 
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Jynk
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Re: Problems of Setting

Wed 28 Dec 2016, 01:02

ET very much had a life or death situation. I don't know about you, but I remember them holding that kid in a make-shift medical facility and he was ill. Also, Stranger Things did get pretty life or death, too. Just because someone didn't die doesn't mean the danger wasn't real. Also, hit points doesn't always mean death. They could be a countdown to unconsciousness. Even in D&D and Pathfinder, 0 HP mean the character is unconscious until they reach the negative value of their constitution score. I don't think HP works for every situation, but certain situations like Showdowns might help to be able to tick off health and increase the excitement.
"What matters most is how well you walk through the fire." - Charles Bukowski
 
Jonas Ferry
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Re: Problems of Setting

Wed 28 Dec 2016, 01:11

So, we have Commodore 64 and VHS, but also gauss freighters and robots? How can we explain this gap in tech? Is it that only big corporations own the super-tech, while world keeps spinning at "normal" pace? Examples are given so that parents seem to work sometimes in those high-tech, but then when they come home, they switch on their analog vynil player?
Others have mentioned that the magnetrine effect is described a bit more in the art book, and the League has said they will include more information in the game. It's of course important to have some information in the game.

When I think about the mix of ordinary and high tech, I think of the Alien setting. You have spaceships, stasis chambers, and human-looking androids, but also green-on-black text monitors and gunpowder weapons. This creates a unique setting that gets the imagination going. In the Loop setting, it's like they discovered a new entry in the Civilization tech tree (I'm thinking of the video game) compared to us, but computers and home appliances are the same as our world.

I think it's safe to say that only (some) states and corporations have access to hover ships and androids, and they are not available to the public. But a commercialized line of androids could also be introduced into the game: the Christmas present every household need... until they start to malfunction. Of course only the kids notice.

Edit: An inspiration for the android scenario would be the Swedish TV series Äkta Människor: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_Humans
 
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pelorus
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Re: Problems of Setting

Wed 28 Dec 2016, 09:47

ET very much had a life or death situation. I don't know about you, but I remember them holding that kid in a make-shift medical facility and he was ill. Also, Stranger Things did get pretty life or death, too. Just because someone didn't die doesn't mean the danger wasn't real. Also, hit points doesn't always mean death. They could be a countdown to unconsciousness. Even in D&D and Pathfinder, 0 HP mean the character is unconscious until they reach the negative value of their constitution score. I don't think HP works for every situation, but certain situations like Showdowns might help to be able to tick off health and increase the excitement.
Maybe you saw a different version of ET, but it wasn't a function of combat that put Elliot in the medical facility. It was entirely narrative and the effects vanished as part of the story. Similarly, in Stranger Things, no-one got hurt. It just wasn't necessary. Or in Goonies or Stand By Me. People may get wrestled or bumped or punched but they get back up again. I watched EXPLORERS last night and we see Wolfgang humiliated and Ben punched multiple times. But it's not crunchy violence. They're kids. They wipe their bloodied nose and jump on their bikes.
Ignoring what *I* would do. OK?
What's your view on recovery of hit points? Is it the case that there's a pummelling damage (so we know Benji can take 10 punches from another kid before being laid out) and mortal damage (1 stab wound and everything goes pear shaped?)
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Jynk
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Re: Problems of Setting

Wed 28 Dec 2016, 13:12

ET very much had a life or death situation. I don't know about you, but I remember them holding that kid in a make-shift medical facility and he was ill. Also, Stranger Things did get pretty life or death, too. Just because someone didn't die doesn't mean the danger wasn't real. Also, hit points doesn't always mean death. They could be a countdown to unconsciousness. Even in D&D and Pathfinder, 0 HP mean the character is unconscious until they reach the negative value of their constitution score. I don't think HP works for every situation, but certain situations like Showdowns might help to be able to tick off health and increase the excitement.
Maybe you saw a different version of ET, but it wasn't a function of combat that put Elliot in the medical facility. It was entirely narrative and the effects vanished as part of the story. Similarly, in Stranger Things, no-one got hurt. It just wasn't necessary. Or in Goonies or Stand By Me. People may get wrestled or bumped or punched but they get back up again. I watched EXPLORERS last night and we see Wolfgang humiliated and Ben punched multiple times. But it's not crunchy violence. They're kids. They wipe their bloodied nose and jump on their bikes.
Ignoring what *I* would do. OK?
What's your view on recovery of hit points? Is it the case that there's a pummelling damage (so we know Benji can take 10 punches from another kid before being laid out) and mortal damage (1 stab wound and everything goes pear shaped?)
You never said combat had to be involved for it to be life or death. Elliot did have a life or death situation that did not involve combat. Also, I'm pretty sure Will Beyers (the kid that went to the Upside Down) was hurt and Eleven killed a guy. Let's not forget Barb. So, people did get hurt in ST, even if they weren't always the kids. Stand By Me didn't really have anyone being hurt (unless you count the dead kid), but it certainly had some life or death moments (what if Ace hadn't backed off and Gordy had pulled the trigger?), just none that would need to be counted down with health. However, if the train scene where a scenario in a Mystery and the rolls failed, then what? Gordy and Vern could easily have been killed. I'll also point out Jaws had a scene in which a kid was killed (he wasn't a main character, but still..), Pumpkinhead (which the whole plot is revenge for a dead kid), Halloween 3 (kids were shown as having died from the masks). Pet Sematary (dead kid starts the plot again), Sleepaway Camp (so many dead kids), not sure if The Outsiders counts since it was made in the 80s, but set in the 50s (two kids die in that, one is a main character), and Monster Squad (which we see three teenaged girls turned into vampires and then killed by another kid).
Point is, 80s movies did have kids get hurt and even killed in them, though it was rare. The real death tolls started for 16 and up (something to think about if the expansion introduces older kids) so having kids in Tales from the Loop get pummeled and tossed around is fine, but the book talks about them being able to kill things or even people in solving the Mysteries, so a health bar would be nice in that instance. If a Kid's health drops to zero, have them be unconscious. They still don't have to die. A Showdown that has a fight in it seems a bit lame when 3 successful rolls means you can kill the dinosaur that's been terrorizing the countryside when the battle could be a lot more epic with having to whittle down the creature's health. It could probably still be done with the Conditions, but having some sort of health bar (even if it's just to help the GM keep track) seems beneficial for the Showdowns. Something like.. so.. say that dinosaur needs 5 attacks to succeed against him to be killed or subdued, each attack attempt would need x number of 6s rolled to be a successful attack. Maybe so many failed attack attempts would let the creature get away, adding a new chapter to the Mystery.
For the kids.. Conditions work, but a fight can go south pretty quick in a showdown, I would think. Look how many of those 80s movies--Goonies, Stand By Me, Adventures in Babysitting--had the main characters get themselves into a situation that could have easily killed them. Goonies could have just been shot by the Fratellis, but no.. they had to draw it out with making the kids walk the plank and then Sloth and Chunk show up, doing their best Errol Flynn. Showdowns should be multi-layered to allow for that epic resolution of the Mystery. If Conditions are used like a health bar, then there should be some way for a kid to heal themselves or each other (maybe to a limited degree) so they aren't out for the fight. An example would be Andy being made to walk the plank. She's tied up and tossed in the water, which gives her a Condition. Brand jumps in after her because of his relationship to her and helps her, thus taking away her Condition. Had they gotten back on the ship before Sloth and Chunk showed up, they might have been able to fight with the Fratellis again. One might even consider Sloth and Chunk showing up to be helpful in healing any Conditions by inspiring the rest of the group.
Sorry if all that is all over the place. Finished a 10-hour work day before sitting back down with the forum again.
"What matters most is how well you walk through the fire." - Charles Bukowski
 
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pelorus
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Re: Problems of Setting

Wed 28 Dec 2016, 16:13

OK, I think we are arguing at cross purposes here. And yes I'm only labouring the point because it's a fun debate. 
  • At what point of ET would "hit points" have been useful in monitoring how Elliot was getting on?
  • If playing "Stranger Things", the existence of Will Beyers is effectively an NPC and what purpose would hit points have made? To drain them slowly and then tell the other players they were too slow and he died? 
  • And in Stand By Me, if the trigger had been pulled and maybe it made someone lose half their hit points, how would that have changed the story? Everyone runs away, maybe someone dies, maybe they give up about this quest and take Chris to hospital. If the train had run over them, they wouldn't hanging on with 1 hit point. They'd be dead. Very few people have contact with a train and it's just cuts and bruises.
  • In Goonies, the Realistic thing would have been for the Fratellis to just shoot the kids but it's a genre movie and the villains are camp so they were made to walk the plank (hardly fatal).
  • Others - I never said that kids or people don't die. But THE KIDS, the protagonists, don't. And delving into slasher fiction just to prove that kids die is pointless. Stick to adventure stories, not horror stories.  Stand By Me is a classic in this regard. The aim is to find a corpse. People die and sometimes that's the mystery. Barb's death showed her as an NPC rather than a protagonist as it was a senseless death that served only to provide a set piece for her discovery (and her friend seemed curiously unfazed).
I'm not saying don't do it. I'm keen to hear how it would work. Healing in realistic games is always challenging to discover (we are limping our way through a CoC adventure at the moment where anyone sensible would just go home and seek medical attention and give up). In all of these movies, it's almost inconceivable that they don't get hurt but then it's the genre. The grown up version is where someone gets shot and a few scenes later they limping on the damaged leg. 

Personally I'll treat taking any assault when BROKEN to be effective removal from play for that scene. It just fits the genre for me. I'm all about reducing complexity. 
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cwilsontrull
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Re: Problems of Setting

Thu 29 Dec 2016, 01:48

I firmly believe in killing your darlings. While the PCs will have to do something rather drastic to warrant shuffling off the mortal coil, I wont shy away from it either. 

Mostly Ill build the suspense by knocking off NPCs, but these kids will need some emotional scars to build character. 
 
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Jynk
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Re: Problems of Setting

Thu 29 Dec 2016, 10:37

pelorus, not all of those situations have to be resolved in combat, and again I already stated hit points do not fit every situation. Elliot's life or death Trouble could be resolved by X number of successful vs failed rolls, whereas having a fight between an NPC and a Kid that's a slugfest could benefit from a health bar for each one. As I said, these kids don't have to die, but if they're in situation where that's a possibility, why not keep it real? Also, I'd have the train scene be a roll of successful dice, too. Can't tick off HP on that. I brought up Will from ST because you mentioned that no kids were hurt in that and Barb (the only one of the group to die) was not a kid, but Will, though off camera, certainly was hurt and might even die in the next season, so if you're using that genre as a template, then the Kids in the Loop are still subject to being hurt and killed. Also, Nancy was the only person concerned about Barb. I will agree that the death was pointless and just used to show what happens to victims of the creature, but Barb's friend was anything but unphased and was the only person who was looking for her.
Also, it's not fair to shrug off horror movies of the 80s since so many of them dealt with kids, too. The Gate, Sleepaway Camp, It... all movies about kids (well, if you ignore It's scenes where the kids were grown) and with interesting plots that could be used for Loop campaigns.
I'm all about less complexity, too, but some things need a bit more to them than just a successful roll of the dice. I think the system in place works, but there needs to be something bigger for Showdowns. If not actual hit points, then some way to have a battle played out. Just allowing for 3 successes in a roll to win is kind of lame after all the build-up of the Mystery. The sample campaigns don't really go into detail about fight scenes, which it very much needs to. My thoughts on a Showdown would be.. say for instance, the Goshawk.. It's trying to hurt the kids, the kids are trying to subdue/kill it, and it's also trying to escape. It's the main boss of the Mystery, though, so there needs to be more to the encounter. I would put forth that there should be x number of successes needed each round of dice rolls and keep track of how many hit points the kids have taken off vs how many fails they have had to allow it to escape. Something along the lines of:
Goshawk has 5 hit points and a difficulty of 4. So the Kids would need 4 successes in a roll of the dice 5 times. However, a failed attack (where there were not enough successes in the roll) would give the Goshawk an escape point. Accumulating 5 escape points before the 5 hit points are gone would mean the creature flees. That is more or less what I had in mind for where hit points of some sort are useful, so that the Showdowns have some meaning to them after the buildup.
There might be some instances where the Kids would need hit points in the same manner.. such as in a fight against a bully. Whomever knocks out the other's hit point counter first with successful attacks wins the fight (because there are some things the GM should be rolling for, too). Or if the kid is doing something dangerous, but they have a skill in it, there could be a counter of unsuccessful attempts knocking off X number of tries before the Kid is hurt or has to take a Condition.
Having a D&D style HP system doesn't work for this game, but having a way to know how far one can push their Kid beyond just the Conditions is helpful for some instances of the story.
"What matters most is how well you walk through the fire." - Charles Bukowski
 
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pelorus
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Re: Problems of Setting

Thu 29 Dec 2016, 14:41

Difference of playing styles. I wouldn't have used a games mechanic to administer what happened to Elliot because it was narratively out of his control. 

Similarly in Stand By Me (or Midnight Special), if they had been hit by the train, the story would have gotten a lot darker and shorter - and it was covered by Move rolls anyway. 

Games are an abstraction and as a rule, I loathe them. My own games tend to have progressive debilitating conditions which at least attempts a little more realism than being a full health at 10% of hit points. But by all means, it's your game.

It's worth the debate. We enjoy debate, right?
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