If/how to impliment OOC points - Page 3

# Thread: If/how to impliment OOC points

1. That certainly is an elegant, simple solution, covaithe. I've been trying to think of ways to make DM points work, but there are some very good reasons not to even have such a system, as you point out.

2. Originally Posted by Graf
It's not based upon encounter xp. It's based upon encounters run.
So, if I get more points for more encounters, that means longer games are favored over shorter ones... increasing probability of someone dropping. Also, unless I missed something, it doesn't stop the multiple games problem (I complete more encounters in mass if I'm running more games at a time).
Originally Posted by Graf
Nobodys suggesting a "post frequency based system". (unless I missed it) ... maybe we can talk about what's being suggested?
I'm not pulling a strawman here; I'm heading off possible logical consequences of the discussion above (i.e., if gaps in posting is bad, then more posting good). Not attributing it to anyone.
Originally Posted by Graf
You've mentioned you're stuck with three games in LEB because people drop.

I think that's bad. I think it should be discouraged.
The judges of LEB let them start those games.... so I don't really see "judges can stop it" as being a significant barrier.
One was a (former) judge who had to drop out because his RL job essentially forced him to. The other two were separate relatively newish posters who had been around long enough as PCs but was their first time. My running the three of them is more of a function of there not be enough judges than the flakiness of the DMs (though that happens).
Originally Posted by Graf
It's great that you've come up with a very good, concrete proporsal for discussion....
And...
It's really complex. It involves math and a bunch of different variables.
Its more of a springboard than something final.
Originally Posted by Graf
Aside: Why the obsession with capping?
Holdover from the original LEW version: It is in place to avoid the "My new 1st PC is not 20th due to my horde of DM points" (which would take so long in RL that in practice its not going to happen).
Originally Posted by covaithe
In the A vs. B example, I'd like to point out that DM B will surely be having more fun than DM A, regardless of DM points gained.

Which is part of why I think the following proposal should be seriously considered as well as the others:

DM points proposal: None at all. You only get in-game rewards for in-game activity.
Very simple and ideal... ideally. PCs, however, outnumber DMs a lot, and an incentive to bring in DMs and (more importantly) keep them is needed. It is fun to run games, but a lot of work. Some tangible reward would be sort of *thanks* for doing the hardest job in gaming.

A slightly different (but as simple) approach would be:
- You run a game to completion, you get n DM points.
n could be fixed (e.g., always 1) or n could be very simple like # of players you ran (to account for the difficulty/amount of 'fun-units' you provided to players). Still would want to look at how they coudl be spent, but it doesn't get any simpler (aside from covaithe's suggestions).

I think covaithe's or the fixed number proposed above would be "best" in some sense. The above could still be gamed (more games or many players), but the ways are less so.

'Course, I'm not a facilitator.

3. Originally Posted by stonegod
... PCs, however, outnumber DMs a lot...
Yes, usually. In LEW, we have the rare situation at the moment where four games in a row have had trouble attracting enough players, and the last one is currently on hold because there are no players at all. The inn is completely empty at the moment. But that's at least partly the result of some unique circumstances that I won't go into here. (But if you have some free time and want to play 3.5 games, now is a good time to check out LEW.)

4. Originally Posted by stonegod
Now, I should be constructive as well as destructive in my thoughts, so here's something to bang around. In LEB/LEW, part of the PC XP is also time based: You gain the normal XP plus a 50 * ECL/RL month of the game to a cap of 400XP/month): This is to reward players for staying with a game and to make up for the general slow advancement rate of PBP [rewards from DM points in LEB are similarly capped to 8th ECL, so they must not have been capped in the LEW used upthread]. I'd suggest a system as follows:
- 1 DM point for successful conclusion of an adventure (flat)
- 1/2 DM point * avg. character level for the party at start of the game. Reward based upon difficulty of the adventure (and thus its potential design/running complexity).
- 1 DM point per RL month up to some fixed number of RL months. This measure could be tied to frequency or something as well. Reward for taking the time to do the job, but try to keep things from getting inflated.
One might put a maximum cap, perhaps per tier of the adventure? The numbers could be tweaked. In general, trying to come up with a time and complexity measure that isn't too complex or too exploitable (there will always be exploits---that's what judges are for to correct).

Thoughts?
Originally Posted by Graf
And...
It's really complex. It involves math and a bunch of different variables.

Aside: Why the obession with capping?
I actually see this as a fairly simple system, not complex at all. Judge would only have two variables to look up: starting/ending dates of the adventure (easily found), and the levels of the characters at the start of the adventure (also easily found). Averaging the levels of the PC's and cutting that in half isn't too dificult of math for most D&D players who are pros when it comes to getting their share of gold and XP out of a total I would think. And I don't mind putting some mid to high range cap on the number of months you could get DM points for. Maybe 1 year max?

Anyway, I'm in favor of having DM points because I agree that it's a nice incentive to DM a game instead of just playing. (Or I imagine that it would be nice as I'm still having issues getting awarded my DM points for my first LEW adventure. ) If there were no DM credits though, I'd probably still do it some. It's nice to have an incentive though.

I'm not in favor of other OOC points because I think players should just be awarded with fun, GP, and XP. I've seen DM's hand out a little extra XP for better roleplaying to some PC's in the group and didn't have a problem when some got more bonus XP than I did. So I think that will be taken care of in system already without adding another meta system to handle it.

5. So you're having issues getting awarded my DM points for [your] first LEW adventure. And yet you want to introduce a more complex system for L4W...?

Just saying....

The encounter = reward thing? Someone is already checking XP handouts (right?); it's virtually effortless for them to check OOC points at the same time.

Simple, easy judging should be a design goal (to my mind anyway).

The problem with caps, I think is that
1. They're another layer of complexity
2. They're an indirect and poorly targeted method of trying to do something really really simple*.
3. It's not going to even effect most people, and it's targeted at people who are doing a lot for the community.

*Lets be clear: what people really don't want is someone bringing in some super awesome PC Am I wrong?
I mean... nobody objects to someone who's doing a great job DMing (or whatever) having some sort of "magical points that reflect that".

You just don't want someone creating a 5th level character with a +7 weapon when everyone else is only 3rd level. Right?

So target that instead of trying to complexify the whole point award system in the hope that you'll manage to stave off some behavior just come out and cap the action you're worried about. Why not just say....

...you can only use OOC points to bring in a character who is 1 level lower than the highest level character in the setting and who has no more than 2 magic items (or whatever).
and/OR
...you can only spend x points a month on a character
and/OR
...once a character reaches a certain level (equal to the highest level character in the game)/gets a certain number of items/whatever they can't spend points on that character until they fall below that point.
If you only use indirect, complex and non-explicit methods to try to limit a behavior it seems natural to me that you can't predict the outcome...
(which is something that seems to bother coviathe a lot)

As an example I think it's reasonable to say: Until a character in L4W gets to second level no-one can spend OOC points on their characters.

6. Originally Posted by Graf
So you're having issues getting awarded my DM points for [your] first LEW adventure. And yet you want to introduce a more complex system for L4W...?
To be fair, I suggested the system, not Pheonix. In addition, Phoenix's problems with get his(?) points is a lack of active judge thing, not a flaw w/ the system.

As for caps: LEB caps the number of DM points that can be spent on a character that has the intent similar to what you describe above. That is all the system needs: Some way of keeping you from becoming uber-buff. Best use for me: Bump that character that is 300XP shy of a level up to the next level before starting an addy; not afford the +7 sword of winning the game.

Looks like we have at least three/four DM point systems here. Is is voting time, or do they need some hashing? Note, the issue of time XP for PCs has not yet been raised (I think it should be kept, btw).

7. I know i sound like a broken record....

But if you're having trouble getting enough judges because its a big time commitment... why not hand out some sort of OOC points for it?

I just don't get the resistance to the idea. When someone's tired and frustrated and it's late at night and they've just gotten an annoying email from someone and they're thinking of quitting something fairly silly like a note of appreciation or their collection of "virtually meaningless points" can seem important.

You want more judges, right?
If "love of the game" isn't doing it for extisting settings (and Eberron is like... the best setting ever...) why are we so sure that L4W is going to be different?

The time-for-xp thing....

I understand. I'm just confused about why we have to have a bunch of different systems...

If you give out 5 points to a DM for a month of running a game; instead of giving x number of xp on a different schedule, why not just give the player 2 points that can be spent on that character in the same way...?

One system: everybody gets something; DMs get a bit more...

Polling's good. I will reiterate my firm belief that polls should cover a broad range of options, including options that don't seem to be popular.

Since it's potentially quite complex maybe we should break it down into areas -- then do another poll on specific systems
(having run a few I can say that it can be quite tricky to make which-option-means-which-clear)

So a general conceptual point

The poll HAS to be public and multiple choice (public b/c of the error i mentioned that allows for double posting)

1 No points of any sort (covaithe-style)

Point awards
2 ... for DMing
3 ...for judging/assisting character approval *
4 ...for a campaign log (judged by judges to be complete and informative)
5 ...for doing other _____
6 ... for every x period of time that passes in a game a player gets points for that character (time for xp)

Points (if we have them) can be spent to
7 ... improve your character's level
8 ... buy magic items for your character
this is to help prevent the flood of genasi effect -- you can spend x points to get access to that race/class
10 .. allow for the creation and play of extra characters

Limits
11... Earning of points should be capped (no matter what you can only earn this much for your contributions)
12... Spending of points should be capped per character
13 ...additional limits should be imposed to ensure that characters are not significantly more powerful than average
limits to insure magic items and character levels do not outshine "normal" characters

We should have a separate system for
14 ... time for xp (conflicts with choice 6)

* = I'd really like to see a "two tier" approval process for character.
A. Volunteer checks sheet; helps get it formatted properly if necessary
B. Character judge looks at it
(so if a DM running a campaign for 1 month gets 5 points then a "character checking volunteer" might get 1 point for five character sheets they've checked...)

8. Personally, I'd like to see the independent parts of the proposal voted on separately, with a "no" option for each of them. E.g.:

DM points proposal:
• none at all
• 1 point per calendar month
• 1 point per xp-awarding encounter
• stonegod's proposal
• some other way

Judge points proposal:
• none at all
• 1 per 5 character sheets
• 1 per adventure judged
• both
• judges can award themselves points freely
• other

player points poll:
• none at all
• awarded at DM's discretion for successful participation in a complete adventure
• 1 for substantial contribution to the wiki, as determined by judges.
• something else

Proposal: Points can be spent to buy XP
• No
• yes, 1 point buys 50 xp per ECL, no cap
• yes, 1 point buys 50 xp per ECL, no more than 1/4 of a level per calendar month
• yes, some other scheme

Proposal: Points can be spent for money
• No
• Yes, 1 point buys 50 gp per ECL, no cap
• yes, 1 point buys 50 gp per ECL, no more than, say, 4 points spent per calendar month
• yes, some other scheme

Proposal: Points can be spent for magic items
• No
• yes, 1 point buys a magic item 3 levels below your ECL
• yes, 5 points buys a magic item 3 levels below you
• something else.

etc.

9. On one hand I like your poll and it would save time.

On the other it's close to 30 different specific items; and while you've done a yeoman's effort of getting everything in there's still a lot left.
Alll told it' would be a pretty complex poll

Just to point out something obvious: there is no formatting on polls, its just line after line after line of text. You can do stuff like

Player points.... do not exist
..... are given out for x
..... are given out for y
.....
DM points....
.....
.....
....

to try to break it up, but sometimes that threatens to make individual poll questions weird or confusing. (maybe it's just a problem I have with my brain not writing good questions)

And each point above is fairly complex... like someone could think that 50 xp is too much, or two little, or that it should be 10 characters per point, or that you should be able to spend on a character but the cap should be tiered based on whether it's a 1st level character or that the system should be time phased....

So one person will vote no but then post that they mean "no as written" and someone else will vote "yes but I want to change" and the third person will select another option.

I guess what I'm saying is that there are people who seem to idelogically opposed to certain things (player points) and interested in having a complex discussion about other stuff (DM points).
It's tricky to do both in one poll.

And if someone's against it all then I think having an "against it all" option is easy. It's a clear simple choice for that person to make instead of forcing them to wade through lots of different questions.

That's why I was leaning toward that would be better in two polls... an ideological sort of one that teases out what the community finds acceptable and then a specific sort of one to see how the idea gets implimented.

And they have repucussions too.... If there are lots of ways to get points then caps become more important, etc.

Having it over and done in one shot would be nice though....

Is there a limit to the number of poll questions we can have?
Would a 40 item poll be workable?

10. Actually, I was thinking of a series of separate polls in different threads. Or possibly not even polls; have you looked at how LEW does proposal voting? People talk it over until they're ready to vote, then just include a YES or NO in their post. That way, they can change their votes if further discussion changes their mind. The process continues until one of the pass or fail conditions is met, or people lose interest, if none of the end conditions is met.

With a single-digit number of judges and yes/no proposals, that works pretty well. If the question is open to everyone and the options are multiple, it might be uglier. But I really like the idea of being able to change your mind. It makes interpreting the results much easier.

But the method of voting isn't directly relevant; my main point is that I think they should all be voted on independently. How we accomplish that is less important.