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Loot Is Broken

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I just ran up some hash-marked calculations on 17 plots I could recall sending out. By the current version I should have put out 443 coin, 101 levels of consumables, and two magic items worth 90 cp and 30 cp respectively.

 

This is not accounting for:

 

Bag of Tricks ( 6 plots that I have lead NPC run with minimal supervision )

4-5 Plots by Rick

4-5 Plots by Brian

4-5 Plots by Kevin

My end-of the weekend "Respawn till everyone is ready for bed Undead."

 

and 4 RP Plots

 

This sounding right? I think we need to consider that in order for coin to be of value the supply needs to be lower than this. It feels steep to me.

 

EDIT: If the pattern held I would likely need to poop out 1000 coin a shift plus 200 levels of consumables and likely one more mid-sized item.

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Rather than having to calculate every single dificulty variable on the fly (a task which would make me cringe every time i sent an encounter out if i sat on your side of the table), why not have a loot entry in the encounter codex description of each monster. Then it would be some simple addition work for larger than average groups and mixed-bag encounters.

 

Examples laugh.gif

Orc

Description: bla bla bla orcs do this and that and have these stats and travel in groups and know no fear

Grouping: 5-20 (or whatever)

Loot per orc: 1-3 coin each, no consumables

Magic loot chance: Very Rare (5%)

 

 

Orc Shaman

Description: ~~~ see orc plus other stuff white hair casts spells bla bla

Grouping: 1 for every 4~6 Orcs in a group

Loot per shaman: 2-6 coin, 0-2 minor consumables

Magic loot chance: Rare (10%)

 

 

Casvak

Description: bark bark

Grouping: usually 1-2

Loot per Casvak: none (if paired with other monsters, x2 multiplier for whole encounter)

Magic loot chance: none (if paired with other monsters, x2 multiplier)

 

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It says that now, more or less, and no one looks at it.

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Why does it make a Fatvack easy to kill? Dispel doesn't remove their extra stats from eating hearts.

 

Dispel + Curse + Slay = Dead Fatvak... 1...2...3, no reflects, no questions asked... = Easier

 

I also think Dan's argument is that if someone defeats a LvL 100 Bandit played by AJ, they should get more than someone who defeats a LvL 100 Bandit played by Guile... Less of the PC skill and more of the NPC resistance.

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It says that now, more or less, and no one looks at it.

 

Not true. It says a lot of untrue shit right now, and I look at it all the time, all night long, and have to ignore all the bad stuff. If it said all good stuff, and had additional useful stuff, I'd be a very happy camper. Please to not use the current and very inaccurate encounter codex as an example for anything or a predictor of future behavior.

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Dispel + Curse + Slay = Dead Fatvak... 1...2...3, no reflects, no questions asked... = Easier

 

I don't see how that's different from now it is now. Why do you need a Dispel on a Kazvak? They're not spellcasters. This line of questioning isn't helping or adding to the discussion, please drop it.

 

Not true. It says a lot of untrue shit right now, and I look at it all the time, all night long, and have to ignore all the bad stuff. If it said all good stuff, and had additional useful stuff, I'd be a very happy camper. Please to not use the current and very inaccurate encounter codex as an example for anything or a predictor of future behavior.

 

Sure does. Wanna re-write it?

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Either that or go the other way round - figure out how much loot has to be given out in a given encounter and then assemble monsters and tweak stats based on how much treasure they're guarding.

 

Lastly, don't stop sending cool loot out on non-combat encounters. It's a great way to round out the loot distribution and allow any PC who is willing to jump through the proper hoops to claim some kind of reward for doing so. Doesn't matter what level is on your character sheet if you engage an RP plot, so lowbies and highbies are on equal footing. What's the cooler story at Good Gollys, "I found this sword on a boggart." or "I got this sword for making out with this boggart.... dont ask."

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Sure does. Wanna re-write it?

 

No. I already have a job for this game. I want the people on Plot who have said for four years that they're gonna rewrite it to do what they said they would.

 

What I *will* do is work to create some sort of system to make sure that this combat-encounter-payout system will work from the Logistics side, with as much or little GM involvement in calculating The Lootz as that GM wishes.

 

In thinking about it, one reason I like this idea is that it erases the issue of GM style. Currently, on some shifts, we have GMs who send out 300 coin on 10 encounters, and on others we have GMs who send out 300 coin on 30 encounters, so some shifts *seem* to pay out more than others, though the bottom line is the same. If we have a per-combat-encounter system, then the issue of volume is less about the lootz and more about the pacing of the game. I think that's a smart shift for us to make.

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My thoughts.

 

Speed on calculating loot for plots could be done as the plot is written and submitted, this would save some time I think.

 

The "weaker stuff has less loot, stronger stuff has more loot" seems to be a self righting system. You will be worrying less about a group of vets rolling a small group of orcs if their loot is more pre-determined which in turn will allow lower level players to take the fight. Lower level players will be able to get a reliable payout for risking their limited consumables and necks on a encounter or plot that's out of there comfort zone. Multiple times I have went out with a handful of "pick up" group member's to fight a hard encounter, wasted tons of consumables and got around 10 coin.

 

 

 

1. NPCs vary wildly. Dan, Scott, and Dave as wraiths is considerably different from Amanda, Ann, and MK THREE UNNAMED NEW PLAYERS as wraiths.

1a. NPC tactics also vary wildly. I don't know if I think the reward needs to be greater, but I'm usually much happier if we chase down Tony Servello as a boggart than if we straight-up-fight someone else as a boggart.

 

 

Do you think it would be worth adding additional modifiers to the chart for groups of veteran players or new player heavy groups?

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No. I already have a job for this game. I want the people on Plot who have said for four years that they're gonna rewrite it to do what they said they would.

 

I'm forming a 3-person group with a writer, a Props person, and a Rules person. You are not on it. ;)

 

In thinking about it, one reason I like this idea is that it erases the issue of GM style. Currently, on some shifts, we have GMs who send out 300 coin on 10 encounters, and on others we have GMs who send out 300 coin on 30 encounters, so some shifts *seem* to pay out more than others, though the bottom line is the same. If we have a per-combat-encounter system, then the issue of volume is less about the lootz and more about the pacing of the game. I think that's a smart shift for us to make.

 

My thoughts as well, as I lay in bed trying to think how to mitigate that issue.

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Do you think it would be worth adding additional modifiers to the chart for groups of veteran players or new player heavy groups?

 

I could possibly see doing that. Something along the lines of: +1 for each superior fighter in the group. I'm afraid that will be too subjective though.

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Any need for not-combat loot calculations? I'm thinking things like traps used, locations to hike to, maybe a small overall loot multiplier for shitty weather conditions? Just throwing that out there.

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Any need for not-combat loot calculations? I'm thinking things like traps used, locations to hike to, maybe a small overall loot multiplier for shitty weather conditions? Just throwing that out there.

 

Two of those three things are already accounted for.

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I mentioned player abilities because Tony brought up dispel VS the fatvak for some reason. (For the record, Curse + one whack will do it, for any size kazvak)

 

I remember last year when I "playtested" bumping the coin-per-player by about double. I saw shifts struggling at the end of the shift to put out the rest of the coin, and they were pretty generous the whole shift. Lots of positive after-event posts then. It also is more fun when I can stock shift boxes with 5-6 magic items. It's much less fun when the GMs think it's a good idea to have the NPCs sell the loot to the players ><

 

This will still result in shifts with a ton of loot, and shifts with almost no loot. Again due to GM style, or NPCs or whatnot.

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And then when there are complaints about a shift, the GM will have a black-and-white chart that shows him how to fix it.

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I could possibly see doing that. Something along the lines of: +1 for each superior fighter in the group. I'm afraid that will be too subjective though.

 

I was thinking something along the lines of "Group is mostly vets" or "Group has handful of noobs" For example.

 

4 average npcs+Dan go out, I'd say that isn't worth a modifyer of any sorts

Dan,Dave,Scottie go out. Thats worth something.

 

Also I don't know of any gm that would think you three going out together on one encounter is not intense.

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I was thinking something along the lines of "Group is mostly vets" or "Group has handful of noobs" For example.

 

4 average npcs+Dan go out, I'd say that isn't worth a modifyer of any sorts

Dan,Dave,Scottie go out. Thats worth something.

 

Also I don't know of any gm that would think you three going out together on one encounter is not intense.

 

That's even more arbitrary than what I posted. I'll go with my version. ;)

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And this is where I get my ass chewed out. I LIKE the system being used now for two reasons.

First, what happens to the bandit leader (1 man, no great buffs) who is going to pick up a package at a drop spot when he gets ambushed by a group of pc's. Looting ten coin from the LEADER because he is one man doesn't seem quite fair to me.

Second, you can get a basic idea of what a group's loot is by looking at all of the above. If PCs know that a group has absolutely no chance of having good loot then what is the reason for fighting said group?

I also feel that, for the same reason, it turns Novitas into a video game. BATTLE SCENE Slay 4 bandits, loot 6 coin, Final Fantasy victory music plays*. Next time you see 4 bandits guess whats going to happen again...

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Is the right answer "X per 10 levels" or is the right answer something like

 

0 = NPC hits for 1-2

1 = NPC hits for 3-4

...

 

0 = NPC has 0-1 body

2 = NPC has 2-3 body

...

 

1 = NPC can cast level 1 spells

2 = NPC can cast level 2 spells

3 = NPC can cast level 3 spells

...

 

Might make things easier than calculating levels?

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And this is where I get my ass chewed out. I LIKE the system being used now for two reasons.

First, what happens to the bandit leader (1 man, no great buffs) who is going to pick up a package at a drop spot when he gets ambushed by a group of pc's. Looting ten coin from the LEADER because he is one man doesn't seem quite fair to me.

I think the answer here is that there's a discretionary pool for GMs to use when they want to do interesting non-combat stuff. They want to drop a treasure chest. There's an RP role. There's a gambler, a merchant, a courier, etc. That's always GM discretion as to how to use loot to make those RP plots appropriately interesting.

 

Second, you can get a basic idea of what a group's loot is by looking at all of the above. If PCs know that a group has absolutely no chance of having good loot then what is the reason for fighting said group?

I also feel that, for the same reason, it turns Novitas into a video game. BATTLE SCENE Slay 4 bandits, loot 6 coin, Final Fantasy victory music plays*. Next time you see 4 bandits guess whats going to happen again...

 

Why do we go kill bad stuff that's loot-lite?

Because we're all supposed to be doing this because it's a roleplaying game.

Because if it's a roleplaying game, orcs don't get to roam Pinedale and kill peasants while adventurers sit at the fire and say "not worth the money".

Because we aren't metagamers.

Because beating wimpy things with sticks is fun even if it only results in a few coin.

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Is the right answer "X per 10 levels" or is the right answer something like

 

0 = NPC hits for 1-2

1 = NPC hits for 3-4

...

 

0 = NPC has 0-1 body

2 = NPC has 2-3 body

...

 

1 = NPC can cast level 1 spells

2 = NPC can cast level 2 spells

3 = NPC can cast level 3 spells

...

 

Might make things easier than calculating levels?

 

 

That's more granular, and probably the right answer. Why don't you edit the initial post accordingly while I go procure and eat sushi?

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Second, you can get a basic idea of what a group's loot is by looking at all of the above. If PCs know that a group has absolutely no chance of having good loot then what is the reason for fighting said group?

I also feel that, for the same reason, it turns Novitas into a video game. BATTLE SCENE Slay 4 bandits, loot 6 coin, Final Fantasy victory music plays*. Next time you see 4 bandits guess whats going to happen again...

 

Well, it would be up to the GMs to change things up a bit.

 

There would need to be variety in the monsters to avoid this. Not every bandit is going to have the same stats. Not every group of Undead is going to have the same weapons, stats...etc..etc. It would be up to the GM to plan this sort of thing out before hand, and give direction. Lead NPCs would have to do their best to follow directions to a T. Any improvising would change the course, so we'd have to have exceptions.

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Just as a quick question: if and when this is implemented, could we actually have final fantasy style victory music play after and encounter? I'm sure everyone would have at least a little bit of an ego boost, then you wouldn't need to send out so much loot.

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If looting 10 coin from one guy doesn't seem right to you, then we definitely need some inflation.

 

In theory, when an NPC tries to hook your party out to the other side of the lake, the metagamer in your head will say "There's probably pretty good loot involved here!" instead of "Screw walkin, I got mah bench right here!" and you'll actually go, instead of ignoring the hook because you're lazy.

 

I'm a little concerned though. When a farmgirl runs to town to say "Trolls attacked mah farm down at the end of the pine trail!" and all the PCs start doing math in their head, is that good because it gets them to take the hook, or bad for so many other reasons I could list out?

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As others have said (Jenica), our characters should still want to help without hesitation because it's innocents being harmed by monsters. Whoever's crunching numbers BEFORE roleplaying needs to be junkpunched.

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