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changeling.jack
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Boss Types, Assemblies & Meta-gaming

Fri 13 Mar 2020, 22:55

Howdy, all. I'm currently preparing to run my first campaign of M:YZ. I've read about handling the Assembly as a meta-game event, but I have a feeling that my players will not be able to objectively remove themselves from their own or their character's stances on what should happen regarding the development of the Ark. In order to tie the Assembly directly to the Ark and the will of the Bosses, (and to do just an absurd amount of spreadsheet work for almost no reason), I came up with a system that others may find useful in their own games.

The first thing I did was make a chart of the two government and the two economy projects available to the People. Suffrage opposite Autocracy, and Collectivism opposite Free Enterprise. By RAW, Free Enterprise doesn't get along with Autocracy but we'll wave that for now. Chart these to opposite sides and top and bottom of a grid divided into 9 squares (like a D&D alignment grid). I then assigned one of each of the Boss types (M:YZ pp. 99–100), based on how I felt their priorities would place them (The Revolutionary in the corner of Suffrage and Collectivism, the Bureaucrat in the center, Kingpin in the corner of Autocracy and Free Enterprise, etc.). I have a chart but I'm not sure if I can share it with the Boss types descriptive text on it.

Then, I reduced the DEV bonuses of each project into 1 point for each +D6 bonus it would give upon completion. This is where I got deeply spreadsheety. Each Boss, based on position on the chart, is focused on 1 or 2 DEVs as determined by its association with the government and economy Projects. Each boss can be either supportive (×2), neutral (×0.5), or opposed (×-1) to Projects that are associated with their interests. For instance, the Revolutionary has a ×2 modifier to the Food Supply and Culture bonuses of a project, but a ×-1 penalty to both the Technology and Warfare bonuses. I multiplied each DEV bonus by each Boss's relevant modifiers. This gave me a table that lists how invested a Boss (and by proxy the mutants they command) would be in any available project. I pick the highest score (or break a tie) for each Boss and that is the project that they vote for at the Assembly.

If a Boss dies, there's no one to fill that Boss type and project votes will begin to veer away from that Boss's interests. Further, I may modify Boss's priorities based on goings-on in the Ark and how popular they are at the time. Plenty of room for fudging the numbers. I may end up further modifying their priorities based on each Boss's skill ranks in Command. Haven't fleshed out that detail yet.

To not have the math devolve into an unsustainable nightmare, I determined that the PCs would gain a special status among the People, as an away-team of sorts. Each PC gets to vote on an available project after all the Boss votes have been counted. This way they can swing the vote one way or the other without just cherry-picking every project they as players want the most.

TL;DR you can make the bosses and projects generate project priority at an assembly while still giving PCs enough influence to tip the favor in one or more directions and also I have a spreadsheeting problem.

I hope someone finds this helpful, or at least interesting.
 
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changeling.jack
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Re: Boss Types, Assemblies & Meta-gaming

Thu 30 Apr 2020, 21:28

Just in case anyone wants to use this, here is a link to a copy of the sheet as described. You'll need to make a copy if you want to edit it, and it's still kind of rough drafty.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing
 
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luk
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Re: Boss Types, Assemblies & Meta-gaming

Fri 01 May 2020, 17:31

Looks very interesting i will definitely use your tables.
I have a question, how do you choose what projects are voted so that players do not choose what they want?
And whether the points which the bosses get for the finished project are added to them somehow to determine how they become strong or only they count on what they want to vote for?
 
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changeling.jack
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Re: Boss Types, Assemblies & Meta-gaming

Fri 01 May 2020, 21:21

Looks very interesting i will definitely use your tables.
I have a question, how do you choose what projects are voted so that players do not choose what they want?
And whether the points which the bosses get for the finished project are added to them somehow to determine how they become strong or only they count on what they want to vote for?
I would just choose what seems most appropriate from each Boss's highest preference options and current events in the campaign. So, I'd filter FALSE values out of the "Meet" column of the Projects table, look at each Boss's highlighted preferences, and choose from those if they prefer more than one. Then the PCs would be told what each Boss is voting for, and get to cast their own votes to sway the available options. I may not allow PCs to vote for a project that hasn't been selected by a Boss, this way the DEVs can increase in ways that aren't immediately helpful to the PCs.

I am considering increasing the total number of Work Points required by the number of Bosses in the Ark (Number of PCs + number Bosses x Work Point multiplier). In this case, I would determine whether or not each of the Bosses would help work on a project even if they did not vote for it at the assembly. So each Boss who wants to can make a Command roll to make their gang do the work for them, and each PC can still make a skill check of the appropriate type in order to generate Work Points.

As for Bosses increasing in power through project completion, I have considered giving them a "sway" modifier to their Command skill roll based on the current DEVs (DEV divided by 10 rounded up, like Battle Rank). I'm still working on this idea, so I'm not sure how I would regulate which DEV each Boss would be allowed to use to modify their Command skill roll.

One thing to keep in mind is that if a Boss is killed or replaced, and a new Boss is chosen to fill the power vacuum, the PCs might lose influence in project selection at assembly. Also, Even if there is a Boss with the Kingpin type, the projects that boss votes for are not inherently bad for the PCs or the rest of the People of the Ark. Too much focus on one DEV, however, could lead to systemic problems in the Ark.
 
Puckohue
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Re: Boss Types, Assemblies & Meta-gaming

Mon 15 Feb 2021, 16:42

Thanks for this, great work. Have you developed this further?
 
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BlissRage
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Re: Boss Types, Assemblies & Meta-gaming

Wed 03 Mar 2021, 07:37

In my campaign, we have five bosses . . . one is a player. So we get lots of politics.

However, the projects are determined by the players period. They choose what they want to pursue and expend energy on.

Each time a new project is started though, each of the other four bosses has a disposition toward that project of negative, neutral, or positive (-1, 0, +1) . . . PCs can choose, when they are in the Ark, to visit one of the bosses and try to MANIPULATE or INTIMIDATE them. Each success on that roll bumps boss up (to a max of +3), and failures on pushed roll mean bosses attitude worsens.

It's very lightweight mechanic designed to encourage PCs to visit and have a moment with the other bosses to develop other story elements. it's been working amazingly well.

My personal experience is putting more burden on projects (i.e. players have to fight to even get the projects they want on the docket) saps too much player agency in such a deadly, gritty game. And besides, due to aforementioned politics and the odd raid by the Helldrivers . . .well . . . let's just say their temple already burned down, and one of the other bosses is ready to send assassins :-D

Such a great fun game that everyone can tweak easily and quickly if needed. Having the best campaign in any game I've played in over 30 years of RPG.
 
Puckohue
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Re: Boss Types, Assemblies & Meta-gaming

Wed 03 Mar 2021, 23:07

encourage PCs to visit and have a moment with the other bosses to develop other story elements
Thanks for the advice (and the Roll20 sector generator!). Do the attitude of the bosses have any mechanical effect on the arc development?
 
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BlissRage
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Re: Boss Types, Assemblies & Meta-gaming

Thu 04 Mar 2021, 00:02

The only effect so far is the modifier to the project rolls. So we total up every bosses' attitude after any interaction designed to change their atttibute.

So, let's say players are going for Zone Wrestling. Boss Krao doesn't like violence and has negative attitute (-1). Boss Berke can see the benefit of crowd entertainment and they would be some ways to make a profit off of it (+1), Boss Loud Sue also detests violence (-1), and finally Boss Skag loves the idea of mutants going at each other, preferably lots of blood (+1).

Given the bosses attitudes and starting in the Ark, the PCs decide to send two mutants each to talk to Boss Krao and Boss Loud Sue. They send mutant Smoke Raven as one of the two to talk to Loud Sue because it's established that she likes and respects Smoke Raven; and the two visiting Boss Krao will NOT bring along their stalker because she doesn't like zone exploration and dislikes their stalker.

Team A talks to Boss Krao with MANIPULATE that gets a success and she shifts to neutral (+0). The team that talks to Loud Sue doesn't get any successes so they push roll; on the push they get a success AND a failure. So Loud Sue shifts to neutral as well (+0) but has lost respect for Smoke Raven for endorsing this project. I ask the player how they see that playing out and based on their story we decide that Loud Sue will have a -1 modifier on any MANIPULATE rolls to modify project attitude in the future if Smoke Raven is part of the group trying to convince her about a project's worthiness (player tracks on their character sheet).

So, that means there is a grand total of Krao (+0), Berke (+1), Loud Sue (+0), and Skag (+1) = +2 on roll for the Zone Wrestling project that session.

Between sessions, or based on events in-game, the boss attitudes may shift but we keep it very obvious and light so it's not too tedious or time-consuming but makes the PCs feel like the other BOSSES are a little bit more than static entities.
 
Giorgiant
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Re: Boss Types, Assemblies & Meta-gaming

Thu 25 Mar 2021, 23:06

N/A
Last edited by Giorgiant on Thu 19 Aug 2021, 22:49, edited 1 time in total.
 
Akumakaji
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Re: Boss Types, Assemblies & Meta-gaming

Fri 30 Apr 2021, 11:39

I have thought about a system that ties the bosses into the whole assembly thing, too.
In my game, we have four bosses, and I assigned one ark stat to each boss, to show their main sphere of interest and influence.
We have James (agitator), who governs warfare and who is a bully and warmanger, but also tries to up the arks defenses, so that every one stays save.
Bebel (revolutionary)found a book about Marxism and now wants to free all the slaves, strengthen the workers and establish a sort of communism, where all produce gets fairly distributed. He governs foot supply.
Marlotte (bureaucrat), who governs cultur and is the Elders mouthpiece and tries to adhere to the old ways.
Fire-Eyes (cultist) is a technophile maniac, who got inflicted by heavy rot while outside the ark, and now he was crazy visions and tries to convince other mutants to embrace the rot and let it rot away the weakness inside of them. What could go wrong with that?
The players ark is on board of a stranded pleasure ship, and each boss has one major place as their turf, where they and their gang hang out. James and his Headbusters reside in the old restaurant. Bebels Red Army has taken over the old fitness room and added a few propaganda posters to the motivational ones there. Marlotte has taken camp with her gang, The Police, on the bridge, right next to the Elders residence, ie the captains quarters. And Fire-Eyes build a temple to the rot in the engine room, where the smallest, but also most barmy gang, The Enlightened, pray and do crazy stuff.

Here is how the meta game works: each boss proposes one project, that normally furthers their ark stat, and try to win the people over to help them with that. The players all represent one fifth of the people of the ark (I got 5 players) and decide which project to support, ie roll for. The higher the ark stat goes, the higher the influence of the corresponding boss, and of course, the bosses can try all kind of intimidation or bribes to get a player on their side. Bosses who dont get any support will advance their project by a single point each time, to represent their gangs effort.

I told my players that once a bosses reaches 30 in their stat, they will try to vie power and shape the politics and eventually the goernment of the ark for good and in their vavor, ie James will try to go for autocracy with him as supreme leader of the people, Bebel will establish collectivism, Marlotte will resurrect one wonder of the old age, suffrage, and Fire-Eyes in theory (unsurprising he is the least popular boss) would go for free enterprise, to further technological gains. I want to stick a singel advantage, or perk, to each of this forms of government: Autocracy will give a bonus battle die, collectivism will eliminate the need for daily food and drink as long as the players are in the ark (collective meals), but for the other two I am lost for ideas and anything you could come up would be welcome.

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