[+]Training and Reward, not Assumed Advancement

Thomas Shey

Legend
Two things:

1. Okay? You brought an issue of training in downtime, I pointed out one way to make it not an issue. 🤷‍♂️

2. If you have to research The Beast of Breglstergl to find her weakness, and then craft a weapon or other item that exploits that weakness, in order to even have a chance to survive the Beast, then you have to just stop and do it.

Sure. But that didn't really change my point; you'll notice none of that is training or downtime unrelated to the main task. Those are what I'm talking about that people will be impatient with as long as there's any serious time pressure.

If you need to get a full rest and get resources back or treat injuries that can only be done in an extended rest of multiple days in a Safe Haven, and the Troll King’s hunting lodge is nearby and the Troll King granted you a boon last adventure, using that boon to heal and recover and resupply is a lot better than just dying, and most groups are going to take the extended rest.

And, IME, any that have already gotten their own resources back are going to be impatient to move on once the minimum is done. Is my point that unclear?

If a group can’t stand that sort of decision, there are a hundred thousand other games we could play instead.

And my only point was that "downtime stuff" is usually including more than simply recovering resource when most people use it, and a lot of people will be impatient with that. That was my only point; making it attractive in some ways isn't good enough, if (in practice) it isn't mandatory. If you're dealing with nothing but people for whom that's not true, that's fine.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Sure. But that didn't really change my point; you'll notice none of that is training or downtime unrelated to the main task. Those are what I'm talking about that people will be impatient with as long as there's any serious time pressure.
What do you think other characters are doing while Grimwald the fir bolg Bridger is consulting with the Troll King’s hunt master?
They’re recovering, training so they can get new abilities, contacting their patron, refreshing thier ability to call upon contacts, etc, so that they are more effective when they leave the lodge.
This is from experience with several groups.
And, IME, any that have already gotten their own resources back are going to be impatient to move on once the minimum is done. Is my point that unclear?
Have you played any games with built in resting/downtime/prep phases built in?
And my only point was that "downtime stuff" is usually including more than simply recovering resource when most people use it, and a lot of people will be impatient with that. That was my only point; making it attractive in some ways isn't good enough, if (in practice) it isn't mandatory. If you're dealing with nothing but people for whom that's not true, that's fine.
People who can’t handle spending three days in Rivendell to learn about orcish troop movements and let Aragorn get his grandfathers magic sword reforged are just not super common. Most people are gonna go, yep okay and I’m gonna use those three days to gain these skill ranks and this trait finally, and I’m gonna craft some consumables, and I’m gonna do some short to medium term enchantments on our gear, and I’m going to contact my patron and see about getting us a guide when we get to the Lost Forest, and etc etc.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Have you played any games with built in resting/downtime/prep phases built in?

I believe I mentioned I ran RuneQuest for a number of years. You could argue about "built in", but it was impossible to learn new spells without downtime, and it wasn't exactly unattractive to train your attributes and skills.

But then, there was rarely strong time pressure, either, during times when training was available. It was done while waiting for a ship to come in, or in seasons where no one was going to be doing much else anyway.

But I've repeatedly seen people in games with strong time pressure squirm at taking time out, and I've heard of it even more. The fact it can be worked around doesn't change my basic point.

People who can’t handle spending three days in Rivendell to learn about orcish troop movements and let Aragorn get his grandfathers magic sword reforged are just not super common. Most people are gonna go, yep okay and I’m gonna use those three days to gain these skill ranks and this trait finally, and I’m gonna craft some consumables, and I’m gonna do some short to medium term enchantments on our gear, and I’m going to contact my patron and see about getting us a guide when we get to the Lost Forest, and etc etc.

Actually, all evidence I've had is that, unless it was abundantly clear those were not only beneficial, but necessary, they're quite common. I've heard people complain about players impatient to move on in game with downtime any number of times over the years.

Many people /= all people. It doesn't even necessarily indicated a vast majority. If you've got a group of six people, two who keep wanting to move on, that's a problem even if the other four are fine with it.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I believe I mentioned I ran RuneQuest for a number of years. You could argue about "built in", but it was impossible to learn new spells without downtime, and it wasn't exactly unattractive to train your attributes and skills.
And in TOR you’d have to use houserules to not have downtime. It’s literally one of the key phases of play.
But then, there was rarely strong time pressure, either, during times when training was available. It was done while waiting for a ship to come in, or in seasons where no one was going to be doing much else anyway.
Which can be done in any campaign. Even if the world is ending, if the enemy goes to ground and investigation and research will be required to find and confront them, you have downtime.

And IME the vast majority of campaigns of even games like D&D feature multiple arcs with slow beats in between.
But I've repeatedly seen people in games with strong time pressure squirm at taking time out, and I've heard of it even more. The fact it can be worked around doesn't change my basic point.
Great.
Actually, all evidence I've had is that, unless it was abundantly clear those were not only beneficial, but necessary, they're quite common. I've heard people complain about players impatient to move on in game with downtime any number of times over the years.
If you’ve heard 500 stories about it, over a few decades, that doesn't mean it’s actually common.
Many people /= all people.
Who said it did?
It doesn't even necessarily indicated a vast majority.
Okay?
If you've got a group of six people, two who keep wanting to move on, that's a problem even if the other four are fine with it.
And that group can either work it out without changing games, or change games, or shuffle the player group.

Literally what is your point? Are you trying to insist that it’s such a common issue that games with downtime advancement are bad or harder to design or what?
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Literally what is your point? Are you trying to insist that it’s such a common issue that games with downtime advancement are bad or harder to design or what?

I'm indicating if you get into one of those and also have time pressure, there's a pretty good chance you'll have problems, and since a lot of people in the fantasy genre run time-pressure quest situations, its not something you can just ignore as a potential issue.
 

pemerton

Legend
I'm indicating if you get into one of those and also have time pressure, there's a pretty good chance you'll have problems, and since a lot of people in the fantasy genre run time-pressure quest situations, its not something you can just ignore as a potential issue.
Play in Torchbearer (which is based on Mouse Guard) happens in phases: Adventure Phase, Camp Phase and Town Phase. Given that Camp Phase and Town Phase are necessary to recover conditions, and that Adventure Phase imposes conditions automatically (via the Grind), it follows that Torchbearer cannot be played without some degree of down time.

Entering Town Phase is also the only way to actually gain levels (based on the accumulated expenditure of "rewards"); is the only reliable way to recover gear, including light sources; and is the most straightforward way to replenish supplies of food and water.

So the design of Torchbearer does ignore your concern as a potential issue, and it does not adversely affect play at all.

I imagine The One Ring, at least at a sufficiently abstract and structural level of analysis, is similar.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I'm indicating if you get into one of those and also have time pressure, there's a pretty good chance you'll have problems, and since a lot of people in the fantasy genre run time-pressure quest situations, its not something you can just ignore as a potential issue.
But…you literally can. You just design the game to encourage and reward and guide towards structures of adventures (or equivalent, sequences of action and tension) that allow and require time spent doing things that aren’t action sequences, and require downtime between adventures/jobs for recovery and advancement, and structure the game into phases (even if only loosely) that assume one or more phase of downtime.

Which are all things that are desirable regardless.
Play in Torchbearer (which is based on Mouse Guard) happens in phases: Adventure Phase, Camp Phase and Town Phase. Given that Camp Phase and Town Phase are necessary to recover conditions, and that Adventure Phase imposes conditions automatically (via the Grind), it follows that Torchbearer cannot be played without some degree of down time.

Entering Town Phase is also the only way to actually gain levels (based on the accumulated expenditure of "rewards"); is the only reliable way to recover gear, including light sources; and is the most straightforward way to replenish supplies of food and water.

So the design of Torchbearer does ignore your concern as a potential issue, and it does not adversely affect play at all.

I imagine The One Ring, at least at a sufficiently abstract and structural level of analysis, is similar.
Yep, it is. And it has structures (at least 1e does) where you can stop in a safe place and do things that you need to do in order to succeed in the adventure.

Not only that, but travel cannot be handwaved or ignored, and preparation makes travel a lot less draining and dangerous, all of which just makes it extremely unlikely to player getting super impatient at spending a few days in Rivendell or Laketown or whatever.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Play in Torchbearer (which is based on Mouse Guard) happens in phases: Adventure Phase, Camp Phase and Town Phase. Given that Camp Phase and Town Phase are necessary to recover conditions, and that Adventure Phase imposes conditions automatically (via the Grind), it follows that Torchbearer cannot be played without some degree of down time.

Entering Town Phase is also the only way to actually gain levels (based on the accumulated expenditure of "rewards"); is the only reliable way to recover gear, including light sources; and is the most straightforward way to replenish supplies of food and water.

So the design of Torchbearer does ignore your concern as a potential issue, and it does not adversely affect play at all.

I imagine The One Ring, at least at a sufficiently abstract and structural level of analysis, is similar.

I'd suggest you're jumping to a conclusion that it never causes problems. The people I've encountered that had issues with downtime would not be any less likely to just because it was baked into the game; at best I'd suggest people using Torchbearer are being pre-selected for groups that do not have such players.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
But…you literally can. You just design the game to encourage and reward and guide towards structures of adventures (or equivalent, sequences of action and tension) that allow and require time spent doing things that aren’t action sequences, and require downtime between adventures/jobs for recovery and advancement, and structure the game into phases (even if only loosely) that assume one or more phase of downtime.

Look, the games I'm referring to pretty strongly encourage those and they still had those problems. I'm not hearing why the sort of game you're talking about is going to somehow not have the same kind of problems with the same kind of people. Having a game structured with that more strongly isn't going to suddenly make those people disappear or change their behavior. At most, its going to preselect away from such people when GMs choosing systems do so not to use those.

But the world is full of people who think, as you apparently do, that people will change their reactions just because the game really want them to, and I don't have any sign that's necessarily true. As I said, I've seen it and heard even more reports of it in games that pretty strongly incentivized downtime.
 

pemerton

Legend
I'd suggest you're jumping to a conclusion that it never causes problems. The people I've encountered that had issues with downtime would not be any less likely to just because it was baked into the game; at best I'd suggest people using Torchbearer are being pre-selected for groups that do not have such players.
Pictionary causes problems for players who hate drawing; except that, as a general rule, those people don't play Pictionary!

It's not a secret that Torchbearer works in phases. This is set out clearly in the books. Presumably someone who has issues with that will not play the game.

Likewise for @doctorbadwolf's game, I'd imagine.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top