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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:26 pm
  

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Dungeon Crawler

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This was just (re)posted on FB by the John Wick Presents page.

http://johnwickpresents.com/games/santa ... e-balance/

As a fan of Palladium, it made me think about the points made in relation to the Palladium system, and KS' stated resistance to game balance in his systems.

In many ways I see the Palladium system as not simply a "house ruled AD&D," but as an AD&D reworked by people who like to roleplay more than they like to "game." There's lots of rules, but they fulfill the purposes of conflict resolution in a story made as variable as possible. When I was a kid, Palladium was the first example I saw (and I still can't think of others off the top of my head), where not only the hero "classes" but everything from common peasants to Gods could be constructed in basically the same way. The implication was one could play anything.

The article linked above states: "Game balance isn’t about hit points or armor class or spells per day or any of that. Game balance is about helping the player tell his character’s story in such a way that he doesn’t eclipse the other characters."

One of the most common complaints I hear about the Palladium system is about the amount of time that it takes to build a character. I also find the amount of time daunting now that I'm older and have less time in general, but when I was a kid this was one of Palladium's greatest strengths. The skill selection system forces you to make a lot of marginal choices. In making those choices, many if not most of which have little effect of the "effectiveness" of the character, one is encouraged to create a full history for the character. Maybe you pick boxing for the stats, but what about the choice between auto repair or computer repair (for example)? Every available skill slot presents a choice that has to be resolved, and most are resolved through the concurrent creation of backstory.

Then there's the attribute system. The way it should be played is that one takes what rolls one makes. The rolls force choices regarding character creation. I rolled low on these, average on those, and high on the others; what am I? This was actually frustrating as a kid, because I wanted to make the cool dude I saw, or I had a preconception of a character, and I didn't want to be bothered or limited by attribute requirements and such. GURPS and later White Wolf were appealing because I could manipulate my attributes more easily based on the system, without houseruling. But generally, by rule, the Palladium system encourages actual character creation during character creation.

I'm not arguing that the Palladium rules aren't opaque, and I admit that "common sense" is less communal than one might hope at a game table. More modern narrative focused game systems achieve great things without the "clunkiness" of the old-school RPG style, and productively try to present themselves in such a way that the expectation is narrative not rules-lawyering and tactics.

But I have always felt that Palladium offers and encourages the kinds of narratives one sees in novels and movies (groups of diverse characters interacting). Most other games leave me feeling flat in their focus on evenly matched characters built around their abilities in combat scenarios. As the article says, the actual roleplaying aspects of those games are what the gaming group adds on top of what is provided in the rules.

I think Palladium games run a lot more smoothly when the GM and players expect to play a more narrative game, embrace the character creation rules as tools to help create characters with history, and the rest of the rules as available conflict resolution rolls, or rolls to mimic the limits and randomness of reality without relying on the whims of a willful GM. I think problems mostly occur when gaming groups try to play the D&D/mini oriented/"balanced for combat" style they may have grown used to from other games.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:14 pm
  

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I agree fully with this post with one caveat.
My players all start with the PCC/OCC they want to play and go from there, I'm not going to force a player to be something they don't want to be just because of a lousy dice roll. Ultimately these games are meant to be power fantasies. So a perfect Stat roll is not required, but a Bio or character history is.

I find mixing characters of varying power levels quite fun actually. Because it forces the stronger players to think about someone other than themselves (If superman can block every bullet and can't but hurt, but Lois dies because he's reckless, does he still "win"?).

I'm also building the campaign and the adventures around what the PCs have shown interest in and what their characters care about. We are rules lite and high on character role playing.

I find it frustrating when I see GMs with adversarial relationships with their PCs or are more interested in putting fine points on rules and determining exactly what can or cannot be done.

If a player can think of a compelling and creative plan or action, I usually let them do it. I'm more interested in hearing them explain some elaborate scheme or power combo than I am in watching them roll a D20 10 times with a minus this and such. (They still gotta roll, but it's my job to encourage them to try fantastical stuff).


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:50 pm
  

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Short answer: I don't buy in to "game balance'"

I started gaming with PB, so the idea of "game balance" never even became an issue in any game I ever played until I started playing D20/D&D 3E. Every other game I played was much more story driven with combat added. D20 turned games that I played in (and GM'ed) into slow combat simulations with some RP elements. I know that you CAN have great RPG with the D20 system, but the way the rules are constructed, it really does feel like the game is very heavily focused on combat.

After a decade of trying to make balanced games with PCs and level appropriate encounters...I just stopped bothering. Now, my games are about the characters only, and combat is only when the PCs choose or when they make a mistake.

-STS

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:04 am
  

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Hunterrose wrote:
I agree fully with this post with one caveat.

I'm also building the campaign and the adventures around what the PCs have shown interest in and what their characters care about. We are rules lite and high on character role playing.

I find it frustrating when I see GMs with adversarial relationships with their PCs or are more interested in putting fine points on rules and determining exactly what can or cannot be done.

If a player can think of a compelling and creative plan or action, I usually let them do it. I'm more interested in hearing them explain some elaborate scheme or power combo than I am in watching them roll a D20 10 times with a minus this and such. (They still gotta roll, but it's my job to encourage them to try fantastical stuff).


Without game balance it would be like playing a World of Darkness game where one character is a Mage and the others are other supernatural splats. Only the Mage matters, and the others are effectively useless.

So agree with you 100%, balance is essential so that everyone can contribute fully in a game, and have a good time. For me being a GM is not about trying to kill players off - again adversarial, but letting them interact and when they are about to do something really dumb give them fair warning and the option to extricate themselves without dying.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 5:21 pm
  

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"Game balance" means a wide variety of things, depending on who's using the term and in what context.
There's PC vs NPC balance that comes up in combat.
There's PC vs PC balance that comes up pretty much anywhere.
There's combat balance.
There's skills balance.
There's combat vs. skills balance.

As much as KS has protested that he doesn't care anything about Game Balance... he also takes various moves to try to maintain or create game balance.
So I'm not sure what he's talking about when he says the term.

In my view, Rifts was a pretty well-balanced game when it came out, because every type of character had different benefits and downsides that made them pretty awesome in some situations, and pretty useless in others, with it all averaging out pretty well when you look at the big picture.
A Hatchling Dragon from the RMB, for example:
-is MDC
-doesn't need to rely on armor
-doesn't need to rely on weapons/ammo
-can use magic
-doesn't age
-can shapeshift
-can teleport
And so forth.

BUT they got only a handful of skills, a very narrow set of possible skills to choose from, and were almost always High Priority Targets.

Compare that to a RMB Vagabond, who:
-Starts with no mega-damage armor.
-Cannot cast spells.
-Cannot use technowizardry items (the primary kind of magic item, back in the day) unless the Vagabond is psychic.
-Starts with more skills than the dragon will ever have, and gains even more skills as they level up.
-Can easily become proficient with energy weapons, which allows them to deal out more damage than a dragon using their natural attacks.
A fire dragon, for instance, could do 6d6 MD with his breath, which was respectable... but paled in comparison to a JA-11 unloading a clip for 3d6x10 MD at a much, much longer range.
-Can learn to pilot power armor, tanks, and other heavy combat vehicles.
-If they're human, they are NOT typically hunted by the CS, not even to the level that City Rats, Rogue Scholars, and other criminals tend to be hunted.

A RMB Vagabond and a RMB Dragon would actually make a very good team, with the Dragon handling most of the combat (especially at lower levels), and the Vagabond doing all the Skills work, and going places the Dragon couldn't go (like Chi-Town).

So from my view, it seems like KS and his crew put in a LOT of effort to balance the game initially, right down to how many skills/powers a class got, and what kind of gear they got and/or could use.

I mean, a Rifts setting without game balance would mean that you could have a Crazy Juicer Ley Line Walking Mind Melter Glitter Boy Pilot.
Or it would mean that Crazies/Juicers had no downside.
Instead, what we had was a game book in which it was pretty difficult to run a balanced adventure (i.e., a mix of stuff, not just all combat or all skills or all magic) with a team of 4-5 people, and to have any one character who was useless or obsolete.

Where game balance in Rifts started fading in my eye was when power creep started making older classes and races obsolete.
For example, they started having mega-damage humans in various ways, which provided the benefits of being a supernatural creature, without much in the way of downsides. CB1 was particularly bad about this, letting non-magical humans become mega-damage based on stuff as simple as "wrist hardening exercises" or "stretching" powers.
Another case that comes to mind is the Psi-Tech OCC, which outdoes the Operator OCC in their area of expertise, in every way.
Psi-Techs can literally do everything that Operators can do, only more, and better.
If you had a Psi-Tech in the game, and an Operator... well, you'd have to put in significant effort to make sure that the Psi-Tech didn't dominate the game, and that the Operator would have plenty to do.

Another thing that screwed up game balance in Rifts was that Palladium kept adding rules (often unannounced) that shifted the entire balance of things around.
In the RMB, a 1st level CS Grunt had 2 attacks to start, and a 1st level LLW had 2 attacks to start.
If they faced off, trading blows, the Grunt could shoot the LLW twice per melee, and the mage could cast two spells back at the Grunt in the same time.
Call Lightning was the damage spell of choice, and at first level it did 1d6 MD (same damage as a pistol, except you couldn't miss). At second level, it did 2d6, same as a single shot from a laser rifle. At 3rd level, it did 3d6, same as a high-end laser rifle. And so on.
So as long as the Grunt didn't rip off a clip or something, things were pretty fair. And if he DID rip off a clip, he'd spend all his attacks doing so, and then he'd have to spend more time to reload, so it could be a risky maneuver.
Oh, and the Grunt was reliant on ammo, whereas the Mage could replenish PPE without having to go back to town and spend thousands of credits, so that was pretty balanced there too.
(Yes, sure, our mages back then tended to use guns first and spells second, especially at low levels, so arguably they were at an advantage over Grunts who couldn't use spells at all... but the Grunts didn't have to pay for their ammo, weapons, or repairs as long as they were getting them from the CS, AND the CS Grunt wasn't a target for Dog Boys and Psi-Stalkers and such. SO again, it all balanced out pretty evenly.)

Then Palladium decided that everybody would get two extra attacks if they had HTH training, AND they decided that casting two spells per melee would eat up all of the mage's attacks no matter how many attacks he had, and that shifted balance.
Then a Grunt vs Mage combat would mean the Grunt had FOUR attacks on average to start, while the mage only got too spells.
So any mage who wanted to try to hold his own in combat was really pushed away from trying to rely on magic to get the job done, and pushed toward using weapons instead.
And if a mage summoned an animal? Their attacks weren't boosted, so suddenly their summoned animals were half as effective relative to the now 4 attacks most characters got.
Same with golems, mummies, and other creatures/constructs that had a set listed number of attacks; they all became effectively nerfed because most everybody else got the boost of 2 extra attacks.
So that shifted the game's balance in quite a few ways.

And the more books Palladium churned out, the less they cared about game balance.
Except for all the ways that they still care, whether or not it makes sense.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2020 4:07 pm
  

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This topic is always relavent even if this thread has been necro'd twice.

People are going take react negatively to articles like this, because it basically says, if you're not playing this way, you are doing it wrong. Of course that's going to get a bad reaction. If I was writting an article on GMing and RPGs the article would start with a question, "Did your players have fun this session?"

If the answer is "yes" nothing needs to change. Stop reading the article and go to writing more gaming material. If the answer is "No" then reading the article and thinking about GM techniques would be a good idea for the reader as a person who wants to improve their GMing.

Rant on relationship between GM and Players and group dynamics
Spoiler:
In my experience game balance depends more on:
1) the GM's methods and style
2) player to player dynamics of the group

As the OP mentioned
Quote:
The article linked (http://johnwickpresents.com/games/santa-vaca/ten-years-ago-santa-vaca-game-balance/) above states:
"Game balance isn’t about hit points or armor class or spells per day or any of that. Game balance is about helping the player tell his character’s story in such a way that he doesn’t eclipse the other characters."


You can GM "By-the-Book" relying on the game system to keep the game flowing and the players balanced and happy. Many GMs start out this way, leaning heavily on the books. GMs can also throw the some or most of the rulebook out the window. Several RPG books state not to let the rules interfere with having fun. This technique is key to "Storyteller" types. Most gaming sesions have a GM that spends time between "By-the-Book" and "Storyteller" mode. Even the staunchiest "By-the-Book" won't have your character roll to successfully brush their own teeth and even "Storyteller" GMs will have a player pick up some dice or check a rulebook once or twice.

Whether or not one type of GMing works or doesn't depends on your players and how they interact with you and the other players. Not being afraid to use stereotypes,
- Rules-Lawyers and the By-the-Book GM get along very well. A well-run session everyone should be aware of what is going on and when it is there turn to act and how to carry out actions.
- Storyteller GMs and Real-Roleplayer participants usually co-exist well. A well-run session is more like story-telling around a campfire. Here are what I consider great examples of this type of gaming
a) FATE CORE w/ Will Wheaton, Felicia Day, John Rogers, & Ryan Macklin ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOFXtAH ... I8yBuxZu5U )
b) DREAD w Will Wheaton, Laura Bailey, Molly Lewis, and Ivan Van Norman ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0loSZFsyoQ )


A some up of the article would be
Time in the spotlight should be prioritised over game balance
Detailed weapon lists are a bug, not a feature
The goal of a RPG is to advance story.

Bringing this back to the original post:

If you learn more toward a "By-the-Book" Gamemaster, and Palladium is your book, you should be able to balance your sessions around the player characters. Yes, many players drawn to this game system will tell you that combat-oriented characters are not all equal, and as far as stats on paper they are correct. It is up to the GM to challenge the party not just in combat, but other situations in which other characters and players have a turn in the spotlight.

If you lean more toward a Storyteller GM, half the time it won't matter what the character stats on a piece of paper are. Most of the game is controlled by Player-to-NPC interaction and Player-to-Player interaction. The fact that one character can pick up a army tank with one hand and another can't doesn't matter as much as the moral or social situations you set them up in and their responses as that character.


If both a GM and players are happy with a rules heavy combat session of Rifts/Palladium/BTSN/etc, nobody should be telling them to play differently. If the players are unhappy because sessions are not going well, then maybe articles offering advice like the one above can help.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:26 am
  

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foilfodder wrote:
"Did your players have fun this session?"

If the answer is "yes" nothing needs to change.


*mic drop*

-STS

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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:27 am
  

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When it comes to rules in a game I think the distinction between rules heavy and light are pretty meaningless. For me as a GM, and even more as a player, are reciprocity and consistency. Regardless of the rules what matters to me is if an NPC can do it so can my PC and if it is the rule today it will be the rule tomorrow.

When I was in college and my first few years after I played with lots of GMs that liked to change the rules are apply those rules differently between NPCs. To me these two concepts are the most important when I play and they seem to save me a lot of trouble when I GM.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:05 pm
  

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Comment: "Your Eloquence with a sledge hammer is a beautiful thing..." -Zer0 Kay
foilfodder wrote:
This topic is always relavent even if this thread has been necro'd twice.

People are going take react negatively to articles like this, because it basically says, if you're not playing this way, you are doing it wrong. Of course that's going to get a bad reaction. If I was writting an article on GMing and RPGs the article would start with a question, "Did your players have fun this session?"

If the answer is "yes" nothing needs to change. Stop reading the article and go to writing more gaming material. If the answer is "No" then reading the article and thinking about GM techniques would be a good idea for the reader as a person who wants to improve their GMing.


Sounds like you're saying that if you're not playing for fun, then you're doing it wrong.
:bandit:

Quote:
If both a GM and players are happy with a rules heavy combat session of Rifts/Palladium/BTSN/etc, nobody should be telling them to play differently. If the players are unhappy because sessions are not going well, then maybe articles offering advice like the one above can help.


I like that better; "happiness" is a better gauge than "fun."
But I'd take it one more step off to the side a bit, and go with "satisfaction."
Just to be pedantic.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:06 pm
  

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Over the decades, I've found two things to be of universal value in the playing of any RPG:
  1. the consistency of the application of the rules (whatever they may be)
  2. the players feeling as though they have input regarding those rules which might be in dispute
    • This is why we also have an Administrative forum where players and GMs alike can seek rules clarifications, make arguments regarding such, and propose changes to both canon and house rules.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 12:51 pm
  

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slade the sniper wrote:
Short answer: I don't buy in to "game balance'"

I started gaming with PB, so the idea of "game balance" never even became an issue in any game I ever played until I started playing D20/D&D 3E. Every other game I played was much more story driven with combat added. D20 turned games that I played in (and GM'ed) into slow combat simulations with some RP elements. I know that you CAN have great RPG with the D20 system, but the way the rules are constructed, it really does feel like the game is very heavily focused on combat.

After a decade of trying to make balanced games with PCs and level appropriate encounters...I just stopped bothering. Now, my games are about the characters only, and combat is only when the PCs choose or when they make a mistake.

-STS

Pfft Game Balance is the neutering of characters. It is the imbalance that makes everyone's characters special and unique if none can peform any better than any other than what is the point. That game should be named Blanco or Bland or Vanilla... no that has too much flavor. It would suck playing Star Wars and your smuggler was just as capable of wielding the force as your Jedi. The minute a Hatchling Dragon is balanced with a Rogue Scholar, I quit.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:36 pm
  

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
slade the sniper wrote:
Short answer: I don't buy in to "game balance'"

I started gaming with PB, so the idea of "game balance" never even became an issue in any game I ever played until I started playing D20/D&D 3E. Every other game I played was much more story driven with combat added. D20 turned games that I played in (and GM'ed) into slow combat simulations with some RP elements. I know that you CAN have great RPG with the D20 system, but the way the rules are constructed, it really does feel like the game is very heavily focused on combat.

After a decade of trying to make balanced games with PCs and level appropriate encounters...I just stopped bothering. Now, my games are about the characters only, and combat is only when the PCs choose or when they make a mistake.

-STS

Pfft Game Balance is the neutering of characters. It is the imbalance that makes everyone's characters special and unique if none can peform any better than any other than what is the point. That game should be named Blanco or Bland or Vanilla... no that has too much flavor. It would suck playing Star Wars and your smuggler was just as capable of wielding the force as your Jedi. The minute a Hatchling Dragon is balanced with a Rogue Scholar, I quit.

Agreed. I do believe that each player needs to have something that they can contribute to the group and that means planning the make up of the group is essential. This means that in your example the Smuggler should be a better pilot, or more contacts or something that lets them take center stage as often as the Jedi.

Balance does come down to the GM giving every player a chance to shine with there unique abilities and skills. Imposing a system where the vagabond and dragon are always equal will just be beyond boring.

I do think PB would benefit from a system similar to what we saw 2nd ed. Robotech with Special Aptitude bonuses added to games like Rifts but that is a minor thing.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:02 am
  

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I got started with AD&D 1st edition in its latter days... so having to deal with the whims of the game designer on "balance" wasn't fun. Then I went to Marvel which definitely puts setting over "balance", which is what I prefer. I've also played Talislanta, which is about the same... setting and role-play are the important aspects.
I generally insist on a fairly detailed back-ground, taking into account the youth of a beginning character; characters don't grow up in a vacuum. If it's a "middle-ages" setting and so on, I also take into account the fact that certain castes are going to have a hard time acquiring training in a lot of cultures for certain weapons.
I also take into account my players' life experiences. And while some people may gripe about this, I don't allow gender-bending because I have yet to meet a person who can really role-play the opposite gender well. In a group of mixed genders, guys miss-roleplaying gals generally causes some discomfort. If it's all guys, it still gets old when someone wants to have a scene of lesbian elven incest or some other tripe.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 12:18 pm
  

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Comment: "Your Eloquence with a sledge hammer is a beautiful thing..." -Zer0 Kay
Zer0 Kay wrote:
The minute a Hatchling Dragon is balanced with a Rogue Scholar, I quit.


Then you quit when the RMB came out.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:27 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
The minute a Hatchling Dragon is balanced with a Rogue Scholar, I quit.


Then you quit when the RMB came out.


I still don't consider that "balanced".

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:30 pm
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
slade the sniper wrote:
Short answer: I don't buy in to "game balance'"

I started gaming with PB, so the idea of "game balance" never even became an issue in any game I ever played until I started playing D20/D&D 3E. Every other game I played was much more story driven with combat added. D20 turned games that I played in (and GM'ed) into slow combat simulations with some RP elements. I know that you CAN have great RPG with the D20 system, but the way the rules are constructed, it really does feel like the game is very heavily focused on combat.

After a decade of trying to make balanced games with PCs and level appropriate encounters...I just stopped bothering. Now, my games are about the characters only, and combat is only when the PCs choose or when they make a mistake.

-STS

Pfft Game Balance is the neutering of characters. It is the imbalance that makes everyone's characters special and unique if none can peform any better than any other than what is the point. That game should be named Blanco or Bland or Vanilla... no that has too much flavor. It would suck playing Star Wars and your smuggler was just as capable of wielding the force as your Jedi. The minute a Hatchling Dragon is balanced with a Rogue Scholar, I quit.

Agreed. I do believe that each player needs to have something that they can contribute to the group and that means planning the make up of the group is essential. This means that in your example the Smuggler should be a better pilot, or more contacts or something that lets them take center stage as often as the Jedi.

Balance does come down to the GM giving every player a chance to shine with there unique abilities and skills. Imposing a system where the vagabond and dragon are always equal will just be beyond boring.

I do think PB would benefit from a system similar to what we saw 2nd ed. Robotech with Special Aptitude bonuses added to games like Rifts but that is a minor thing.


Which is different from balance where everyone has a fair chance to perform the same. That is bad.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:32 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
The minute a Hatchling Dragon is balanced with a Rogue Scholar, I quit.


Then you quit when the RMB came out.

Hatchling was not balanced to a rogue scholar in RMB, not even close. Yes they are vastly more powerful now then they were then but they were by no means balanced. I will give you that KS was more concerned with trying to balance the RCCs back then, things like the hatchling had to reach 3rd level to start casting magic comes to mind, but they were still massively more powerful than any other PC.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:28 pm
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
The minute a Hatchling Dragon is balanced with a Rogue Scholar, I quit.


Then you quit when the RMB came out.

Hatchling was not balanced to a rogue scholar in RMB, not even close.


Incorrect.

RMB Rogue Scholar:
-32 skills to start. 39 max, at 15th level.
-Pilot: Robots & Power Armor available
-Weapon Proficiencies unrestricted, so an NG-P7 (1d4x10 MD per shot) or a JA-11 (4d6 per shot, 6d6 per short burst, or 3d6x10 MD for a full mag burst) would be allowable and usable.
-Boxing allowed
-MDC armor, weapons, and vehicle allowed. Since "the vehicle can be any non-military type ground vehicle," they could start with a non-military robot vehicle (like the Behemoth Explorer) in addition to their EBA and energy weapon.
-Psionics allowed.
-Hunted by the Coalition.

RMB Dragion Hatchling:
-9 skills to start. 17 skills max, at 15th level.
-Pilot: Robots & Power Armor available (for some reason)
-NO Weapon Proficiencies. Can fire loaded weapons, but takes twice as long to reload, and always fires Wild.
-No boxing, wrestling, climbing, swimming, or any other physical skills.
-No starting equipment.
-Teleportation
-Spells (depending on breed)
-Psionics (depending on breed)
-Hunted by the Coalition, and often mages and supernatural creatures, AND dragons light up for anything that can detect the supernatural and/or magic/psionics.

That's pretty darned even.
Frankly, if at first level, before the dragon has a chance to get any gear? Depending on what the Scholar gears up with, he's got the combat advantage starting out the gate, because that dragon can do like 6d6 MD per attack with fire breath (IF a fire dragon), but that's less than a good gun, and significantly less than a vehicle-mounted rocket-launcher.
I mean, a good dragon player might get lucky, us all the right strategies, and win the fight depending on why and where it's taking place. But it'd be a FIGHT, even then.

But even out of his vehicle, if you put a Hatchling Dragon and a Rogue Scholar in a party together, they'll be a good match. The dragon has combat advantages, but when it comes to skills dragons... suck. Like really, really bad. Whereas Rogue Scholars are skill kings.
So unless every adventure is always the kinds of combat the dragon excels at, there will be plenty of times when the dragon has to sit back and twiddle his claws while the rogue scholar hacks a computer, or decrypts a cipher, or synthesizes an antidote to something, or picks a lock, or any number of the WIDE variety of adventuring that deals with skills more than brawn.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:29 pm
  

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
The minute a Hatchling Dragon is balanced with a Rogue Scholar, I quit.


Then you quit when the RMB came out.


I still don't consider that "balanced".


Then you're using the word wrong.
:p

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 5:35 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
The minute a Hatchling Dragon is balanced with a Rogue Scholar, I quit.


Then you quit when the RMB came out.

Hatchling was not balanced to a rogue scholar in RMB, not even close.


Incorrect.

RMB Rogue Scholar:
-32 skills to start. 39 max, at 15th level.
-Pilot: Robots & Power Armor available
-Weapon Proficiencies unrestricted, so an NG-P7 (1d4x10 MD per shot) or a JA-11 (4d6 per shot, 6d6 per short burst, or 3d6x10 MD for a full mag burst) would be allowable and usable.
-Boxing allowed
-MDC armor, weapons, and vehicle allowed. Since "the vehicle can be any non-military type ground vehicle," they could start with a non-military robot vehicle (like the Behemoth Explorer) in addition to their EBA and energy weapon.
-Psionics allowed.
-Hunted by the Coalition.

RMB Dragion Hatchling:
-9 skills to start. 17 skills max, at 15th level.
-Pilot: Robots & Power Armor available (for some reason)
-NO Weapon Proficiencies. Can fire loaded weapons, but takes twice as long to reload, and always fires Wild.
-No boxing, wrestling, climbing, swimming, or any other physical skills.
-No starting equipment.
-Teleportation
-Spells (depending on breed)
-Psionics (depending on breed)
-Hunted by the Coalition, and often mages and supernatural creatures, AND dragons light up for anything that can detect the supernatural and/or magic/psionics.

That's pretty darned even.
Frankly, if at first level, before the dragon has a chance to get any gear? Depending on what the Scholar gears up with, he's got the combat advantage starting out the gate, because that dragon can do like 6d6 MD per attack with fire breath (IF a fire dragon), but that's less than a good gun, and significantly less than a vehicle-mounted rocket-launcher.
I mean, a good dragon player might get lucky, us all the right strategies, and win the fight depending on why and where it's taking place. But it'd be a FIGHT, even then.

But even out of his vehicle, if you put a Hatchling Dragon and a Rogue Scholar in a party together, they'll be a good match. The dragon has combat advantages, but when it comes to skills dragons... suck. Like really, really bad. Whereas Rogue Scholars are skill kings.
So unless every adventure is always the kinds of combat the dragon excels at, there will be plenty of times when the dragon has to sit back and twiddle his claws while the rogue scholar hacks a computer, or decrypts a cipher, or synthesizes an antidote to something, or picks a lock, or any number of the WIDE variety of adventuring that deals with skills more than brawn.

I'm feeling like you left a few things out of the hatchling like
- MDC equal to heavy PA or light robot
- MDC hand to hand damage that was equal to a light mech at the time
- Vastly superior attributes
- far greater number and variety of psionics guaranteed not percentile chance
- Metamorphosis
- and all of this for the low low price of the slowest XP chart in the game

I do agree that they make a good match but truthfully I think that for almost any OCCs/RCCs of different categories. Dog Boys work great with Operators or Techno-Wizards.

As someone who went from GMing Robotech 1e to GMing Rifts with 5 humans and a Hatchling Dragon in it I can tell you the balance was NOT there. Again it is way tougher now but even back then it was not balanced in any meaningful way.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 4:53 pm
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
I'm feeling like you left a few things out of the hatchling like
- MDC equal to heavy PA or light robot
- MDC hand to hand damage that was equal to a light mech at the time
- Vastly superior attributes
- far greater number and variety of psionics guaranteed not percentile chance
- Metamorphosis
- and all of this for the low low price of the slowest XP chart in the game


Indeed. I figured we're all pretty familiar with that stuff.

Quote:
I do agree that they make a good match but truthfully I think that for almost any OCCs/RCCs of different categories. Dog Boys work great with Operators or Techno-Wizards.


Right. Because things were pretty well-balanced in the RMB.

Quote:
As someone who went from GMing Robotech 1e to GMing Rifts with 5 humans and a Hatchling Dragon in it I can tell you the balance was NOT there. Again it is way tougher now but even back then it was not balanced in any meaningful way.


Yet you agree that the classes make a good match, and that this is true of almost any OCCs/RCCs of different categories.
Which is balance.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:48 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
I'm feeling like you left a few things out of the hatchling like
- MDC equal to heavy PA or light robot
- MDC hand to hand damage that was equal to a light mech at the time
- Vastly superior attributes
- far greater number and variety of psionics guaranteed not percentile chance
- Metamorphosis
- and all of this for the low low price of the slowest XP chart in the game


Indeed. I figured we're all pretty familiar with that stuff.

We are all staggeringly familiar random psionic abilities and how aimed, burst , and wild shooting works as well but you still included it.

You left out key important details of the Hatchling RCC while including minutia about boxing skill so I thought it was important to add them.

You were also very misleading about psionics saying simply that it is allowed which is not true. In RMB you have to roll with most characters not getting them at all, some getting minor (which even the weakest dragon was going to have 3 to 5 times more powers and greater ISP and ME) or that if the scholar was lucky enough to roll major psionics and get a comparable number of powers to the weakest dragon he would loose half his OCC related skills.

Don't get me wrong there was some attempt to balance certain aspects of Rifts in RMB, the above example of skill loss for psionic power, but it was not balanced between a Rogue Scholar and a Dragon.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
Quote:
I do agree that they make a good match but truthfully I think that for almost any OCCs/RCCs of different categories. Dog Boys work great with Operators or Techno-Wizards.


Right. Because things were pretty well-balanced in the RMB.

No, I did not limit this to RMB as this is true across the Rifts titles. Truthfully it is more true now with RUE then it was with RMB

I could have easily said that a Temporal Warrior (WB 3) works great with a Psi-Mechanic (WB 12) or that a Sphinx Ley Line Walker (CB 1) works great with CAF Scientist (DB 2). It has nothing to do with nonexistent balance it is about complimentary abilities and skills.

We talked about this in another topic on Best Group Build but in essence there is no best build or balance. It is about complimentary skills and abilities to allow the party to survive.

Killer Cyborg wrote:
Quote:
As someone who went from GMing Robotech 1e to GMing Rifts with 5 humans and a Hatchling Dragon in it I can tell you the balance was NOT there. Again it is way tougher now but even back then it was not balanced in any meaningful way.


Yet you agree that the classes make a good match, and that this is true of almost any OCCs/RCCs of different categories.
Which is balance.

No that is not balance, it is only tangentially related to balance. See the OP for the definition of balance that we are working from.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:08 am
  

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Let’s try this another way, then.
In what way(s) Is the RMB not balanced under this definition:

“Game balance is about helping the player tell his character’s story in such a way that he doesn’t eclipse the other characters."

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:06 am
  

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I didn't expect that to be a conversation ender, but maybe it was.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 12:44 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Let’s try this another way, then.
In what way(s) Is the RMB not balanced under this definition:

“Game balance is about helping the player tell his character’s story in such a way that he doesn’t eclipse the other characters."


Is it? Then why is there an attempt to maintain a game balance between classes in a single player RPS game? Prior to video games the phrase was rarely heard. You never hear a chess player complain the queen is OP and needs to be nerfed for game balance. The one I've always hated is game balancing in FPS games where they'll nerf one gun because it is seen as OP. When what they should be doing is trying to be realistic. An round of Y calibur with X propellant should always cause Z damage and weapons with A number of twists in rifling over B length of barrel should always be accurate to C range and weapons that fire at M rate with with X propellant through B length barrel with N weight should deviate O amount but no in the sake of game balance two weapons using the same ammo will do different amounts of damage for a single round. THAT is game balancing where things are nerfed in order to make chances for different players "equal" but what it does is really unbalance the game toward a single tactic "keep moving". So many FPS hate the sniper even though they have sniper rifles in some cases to such an extent that some games implemented the kill cam to force snipers to move as if they were an infantryman.

So maybe in RPGs what we are really talking about is game equity rather than game balancing.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:50 pm
  

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Let’s try this another way, then.
In what way(s) Is the RMB not balanced under this definition:

“Game balance is about helping the player tell his character’s story in such a way that he doesn’t eclipse the other characters."


Is it?


It's the definition being used in this conversation, I've been told.
Do you see any way(s) that Rifts does NOT fit this definition of Balance?
Do Dragons necessarily eclipse Rogue Scholars when it comes to telling each character's story?

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 4:45 pm
  

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At this point, it seems like this has devolved into quibbling about the definition of the word "balance," and whether or not it is the right word to describe "helping the player tell his character’s story in such a way that he doesn’t eclipse the other characters."
Since the OP defined how the word was being applied, it seems an unnecessary argument.
So, based on the definition supplied in the OP, do you believe it applies to Palladium games or not? That is (or should be) the basis of this thread discussion.
For my part, I feel Narrative Balance is much more important than Mechanical Balance, which I believe is the point of the OP as summed up in the definition given for Balance.
Narrative Power is derived from the player/character's ability to meaningfully contribute to and affect the story.
If the game provides equal opportunity for all players/characters to contribute and affect the story, then it is Narratively Balanced.
Mechanical Power comes from the numerical values and the % likelihood of success when attempting to use dice or other mechanics to achieve a goal. If the game provides the same or similar chance of success for all players/characters with the die roll being the only real variable, then it is Mechanically Balanced.
Palladium has always favored Narrative Balance over Mechanical Balance. Other systems (like D&D) put a premium on Mechanical Balance.
This is why a Palladium game can feature a Titan Mercenary, a Godling with magic and psionics, and a Human Vagabond Cook and everyone can have a good time, but other games have tight restrictions on what is an appropriate PC race/class and what is NPC only.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:01 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Let’s try this another way, then.
In what way(s) Is the RMB not balanced under this definition:

“Game balance is about helping the player tell his character’s story in such a way that he doesn’t eclipse the other characters."


Is it?


It's the definition being used in this conversation, I've been told.
Do you see any way(s) that Rifts does NOT fit this definition of Balance?
Do Dragons necessarily eclipse Rogue Scholars when it comes to telling each character's story?


Well people should not use malleable definitions because that is when things go to heck. Instead of trying to change a definition they should use the proper term or come up with a new one. If I made an OP stating that Rhinorrhea means a person who plays a game just to hear themselves talk as opposed to a Munchkin, Power Player or Rules Lawyer would you argue for my case and the use of that word or correct me and tell me that it means being afflicted with a runny nose?

Besides No and Not really.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:11 pm
  

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Let’s try this another way, then.
In what way(s) Is the RMB not balanced under this definition:

“Game balance is about helping the player tell his character’s story in such a way that he doesn’t eclipse the other characters."


Is it?


It's the definition being used in this conversation, I've been told.
Do you see any way(s) that Rifts does NOT fit this definition of Balance?
Do Dragons necessarily eclipse Rogue Scholars when it comes to telling each character's story?


Well people should not use malleable definitions because that is when things go to heck. Instead of trying to change a definition they should use the proper term or come up with a new one. If I made an OP stating that Rhinorrhea means a person who plays a game just to hear themselves talk as opposed to a Munchkin, Power Player or Rules Lawyer would you argue for my case and the use of that word or correct me and tell me that it means being afflicted with a runny nose?

Besides No and Not really.


Okay... so you didn't even read the original post...?
:?

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 2:04 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Let’s try this another way, then.
In what way(s) Is the RMB not balanced under this definition:

“Game balance is about helping the player tell his character’s story in such a way that he doesn’t eclipse the other characters."


Is it?


It's the definition being used in this conversation, I've been told.
Do you see any way(s) that Rifts does NOT fit this definition of Balance?
Do Dragons necessarily eclipse Rogue Scholars when it comes to telling each character's story?


Well people should not use malleable definitions because that is when things go to heck. Instead of trying to change a definition they should use the proper term or come up with a new one. If I made an OP stating that Rhinorrhea means a person who plays a game just to hear themselves talk as opposed to a Munchkin, Power Player or Rules Lawyer would you argue for my case and the use of that word or correct me and tell me that it means being afflicted with a runny nose?

Besides No and Not really.


Okay... so you didn't even read the original post...?
:?



Yes I did. Yes I got that he was going off of
Jorick wrote:
The article linked above states: "Game balance isn’t about hit points or armor class or spells per day or any of that. Game balance is about helping the player tell his character’s story in such a way that he doesn’t eclipse the other characters."
I'm also working from "I can't access the article", but regardless they are attempting to redefine game balance and what I'm saying is they shouldn't. Instead of taking words that already mean something and trying to make them mean something else, they should come up with a new phrase like "game equity". I'm not going to pander to the post, or more specifically the article, and will instead continue to argue that he isn't talking about game balance and wonder why the heck everyone is just going "okey dokey... yup game balance." Then I will wonder what the heck they will call it when KS's successor will call it when they decide they need to go back and change equipment stats so that everyone has a chance to succeed which would disregard the choice of skills and class as unimportant placing individuality ancillary to solo playability. That has no place in RPGs unless we're practicing I9 sports' version of RPGs and everyone is getting a medal just for participating.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:28 pm
  

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:

Okay... so you didn't even read the original post...?
:?



Yes I did.


So you know that the context is a specific article that proposes this definition, and that we're supposed to discuss balance in the context of that article.
And you know that it's NOT just some random poster coming up with their own definition that makes no sense.

As for definitions, there is no one formal definition of "game balance."
It's not something that's settled.
People are still trying to come up with proper definitions, and this one makes as much sense as any other in the context of RPGs.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 4:44 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:

Okay... so you didn't even read the original post...?
:?



Yes I did.


So you know that the context is a specific article that proposes this definition, and that we're supposed to discuss balance in the context of that article.
And you know that it's NOT just some random poster coming up with their own definition that makes no sense.

As for definitions, there is no one formal definition of "game balance."
It's not something that's settled.
People are still trying to come up with proper definitions, and this one makes as much sense as any other in the context of RPGs.

Yes, yes, yes and yes. Just because someone else wrote an article on it doesn't mean I have to agree with the article. In the context of the article it is a bad idea to use phraseology for something that can easily be applied with original meaning from the original industry. Just because game balance sounds like it should be a good thing and is, most times, in videogames doesn't mean while applying it to other game formats that it should still be a good idea, especially when applying all the tools and methods of game balancing as used in one industry to another. So to say, game balance is good and Kevin is wrong about not ever wanting his system to be game balanced, is wrong. It is moving the goalpost as KS was defining GB as it was used for the VG industry which would be bad to apply to ANY RPG. So instead of taking phraseology that has meant one thing and many people have made statements based on that phraseology and will later be considered wrong if the new definition takes hold because most people for whatever reason can't understand that when you read stuff when it was written often has more important context than the words that are written around it. So instead it would be smarter to use phraseology that hasn't been used or more closely used.

According to these it seems like it is pretty settled.
https://www.techopedia.com/definition/2 ... me-balance
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_balance
https://www.gamedesigning.org/learn/balance/
https://learn.canvas.net/courses/3/page ... me-balance

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 10:43 pm
  

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:

Okay... so you didn't even read the original post...?
:?



Yes I did.


So you know that the context is a specific article that proposes this definition, and that we're supposed to discuss balance in the context of that article.
And you know that it's NOT just some random poster coming up with their own definition that makes no sense.

As for definitions, there is no one formal definition of "game balance."
It's not something that's settled.
People are still trying to come up with proper definitions, and this one makes as much sense as any other in the context of RPGs.

Yes, yes, yes and yes. Just because someone else wrote an article on it doesn't mean I have to agree with the article.


True.
But since the OP was asking about how the Palladium system stacks up under THAT definition, discussing other definitions is pretty off-topic.
Other than noting that you don't like that definition, there's nothing really more to say about that here.
You're always free to start your own thread that discusses your own ideas of what game balance might entail, but it doesn't seem to be the point of this particular conversation.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 5:00 am
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:

Okay... so you didn't even read the original post...?
:?



Yes I did.


So you know that the context is a specific article that proposes this definition, and that we're supposed to discuss balance in the context of that article.
And you know that it's NOT just some random poster coming up with their own definition that makes no sense.

As for definitions, there is no one formal definition of "game balance."
It's not something that's settled.
People are still trying to come up with proper definitions, and this one makes as much sense as any other in the context of RPGs.

Yes, yes, yes and yes. Just because someone else wrote an article on it doesn't mean I have to agree with the article.


True.
But since the OP was asking about how the Palladium system stacks up under THAT definition, discussing other definitions is pretty off-topic.
Other than noting that you don't like that definition, there's nothing really more to say about that here.
You're always free to start your own thread that discusses your own ideas of what game balance might entail, but it doesn't seem to be the point of this particular conversation.


But sure I can. I can say.

Even though I, and I feel many others would , refuse to redefine game balance in that way, by that definition almost every RPG ran by a good GM is balanced. A game is always going to have loopholes for a rules lawyer, power gamer, munchkin or twink to exploit, manipulate, argue or "cheat". Simply being an overbearing person with a meak GM would make any game unbalanced by those standards. What the article seems to be arguing is more play equity rather than game balance and again that equity is the GM's purview not the game publishers. The game developer would have to do something stupid like applying a talking stick and even then people will be talked over, out done because they aren't as good at developing their own story or because they're just slow. It is up to the GM to govern game flow and if the GM finds a talking stick or a timer helps with his group he will often find it doesn't help with new groups.

How is that for not being able to say something while saying I don't like the idea KC? Thanks for the civil discourse, have a great day. Oh, NOW I'm pretty sure I have nothing to say on the topic.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:31 pm
  

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There is so much baggage to unpack in a couple of those posts that I'll pretend that was a successful mic drop. Eesh.

I agree with what Killer Cyborg said about power creep altering mechanical imbalances. To return to the dragon example, hatchlings using the Dragons & Gods book rules for Rifts characters often have a bunch of skills, which eliminated one of the most straightforward ways to have a hatchling character's player not disrupt parity at the table. While it's possible to maintain narrative balance regardless of power level, having lots of little shifts can affect setting conceits and player expectations.

I enjoy when rpgs incentivize characters more reliant on narrative balance with separate mechanics. Mutants and Masterminds, for example, gives out Hero Points when a character's Complications affect play. These can be used for various effects like rerolls, minor scene edits, and power stunts. While some games like Univision directly state characters of different power levels have different access to these sort of points, other games would still requires a handshake agreement. It can serve as a useful way to keep everyone engaged when, to use a comic book example, Captain America's being inspiring and tenacious isn't depicted as some sort of leadership or luck power but is still as useful a contribution as Thor being able to shoot lighting and throw buildings. Savage Rifts did this a bit with the M.A.R.S. tables, and if there was ever to be a revamp of the Palladium System I'd want an option for something similar hardwired.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:20 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
Let’s try this another way, then.
In what way(s) Is the RMB not balanced under this definition:

“Game balance is about helping the player tell his character’s story in such a way that he doesn’t eclipse the other characters."

Killer Cyborg wrote:
I didn't expect that to be a conversation ender, but maybe it was.

Not really a conversation ender just further to add. Defining game balance this way just puts almost every rule under game balance which you can make a case for but in this context we are simply talking about a specific kind of game balance that really comes out of the video game style of balancing all characters so they are equal in all situations.

Zer0 Kay wrote:
Is it? Then why is there an attempt to maintain a game balance between classes in a single player RPS game? Prior to video games the phrase was rarely heard. [u]You never hear a chess player complain the queen is OP and needs to be nerfed for game balance[/u]. The one I've always hated is game balancing in FPS games where they'll nerf one gun because it is seen as OP. When what they should be doing is trying to be realistic. An round of Y calibur with X propellant should always cause Z damage and weapons with A number of twists in rifling over B length of barrel should always be accurate to C range and weapons that fire at M rate with with X propellant through B length barrel with N weight should deviate O amount but no in the sake of game balance two weapons using the same ammo will do different amounts of damage for a single round. THAT is game balancing where things are nerfed in order to make chances for different players "equal" but what it does is really unbalance the game toward a single tactic "keep moving". So many FPS hate the sniper even though they have sniper rifles in some cases to such an extent that some games implemented the kill cam to force snipers to move as if they were an infantryman.

So maybe in RPGs what we are really talking about is game equity rather than game balancing.

Oddly enough it was Queen Isabella complaining that the figure was too weak that created the rules change that OP the queen so the opposite really but your point does stand.

I also like your point about equity vs. balance but it feels like we are talking at cross purposes. It's almost like these terms are vague and poorly defined. I do like the concept of mechanical vs. narrative balance but again there is no real agreed upon definition we can still spend lots of time talking around each other.

Getting back to the OP I don't get the feeling that the article is so much trying to change the definition of game balance as it is arguing for a change in the mindset around the term. It took me a few months but I grew to love the imbalance in Rifts and when the Conversion book came out with all of those options I loved it even more.

There are some rules that attempts to balance certain items or weapons within the game but when you look at just the characters there is no mechanical balance between a Sphinx LLW and a human LLW. In the narrative however you can have plenty of situations where the human has the advantage but not because of an arbitrary penalty for the sphinx but just for what is happening in the story.

Curbludgeon wrote:
There is so much baggage to unpack in a couple of those posts that I'll pretend that was a successful mic drop. Eesh.

I agree with what Killer Cyborg said about power creep altering mechanical imbalances. To return to the dragon example, hatchlings using the Dragons & Gods book rules for Rifts characters often have a bunch of skills, which eliminated one of the most straightforward ways to have a hatchling character's player not disrupt parity at the table. While it's possible to maintain narrative balance regardless of power level, having lots of little shifts can affect setting conceits and player expectations.

I kind of agree with this but I think it is complicated especially in Rifts. Each setting is sort of it's own thing and it can be hard to balance both within and as part of the whole while still creating the setting you want. As a general rule though the power creep for weapons, vehicles, magic and yes OCCs is out of control.

Curbludgeon wrote:
I enjoy when rpgs incentivize characters more reliant on narrative balance with separate mechanics. Mutants and Masterminds, for example, gives out Hero Points when a character's Complications affect play. These can be used for various effects like rerolls, minor scene edits, and power stunts. While some games like Univision directly state characters of different power levels have different access to these sort of points, other games would still requires a handshake agreement. It can serve as a useful way to keep everyone engaged when, to use a comic book example, Captain America's being inspiring and tenacious isn't depicted as some sort of leadership or luck power but is still as useful a contribution as Thor being able to shoot lighting and throw buildings. Savage Rifts did this a bit with the M.A.R.S. tables, and if there was ever to be a revamp of the Palladium System I'd want an option for something similar hardwired.

I have lots of Savage Worlds books but I mainly just read the setting information so I haven't seen the MARS tables but I agree it would be cool to add a table like especially for characters that don't have specific OCC abilities or for races that are more mundane, like humans. I actually created a chart like this that combines psionics with the human ability table in the Rifts Line Star and the special abilities table in Robotech 2e. It really allows players to broaden their characters abilities or dive in and make the ultimate of whatever there character is. I haven't used it much though because not sure how to implement it but it's something I've been working on for years.

As for revamping the PB system I have piles of ideas, as I am certain everyone does, but I'm sure at least half the fans would hate them so...

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Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 6:24 pm
  

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Curbludgeon wrote:
There is so much baggage to unpack in a couple of those posts that I'll pretend that was a successful mic drop. Eesh.

I agree with what Killer Cyborg said about power creep altering mechanical imbalances. To return to the dragon example, hatchlings using the Dragons & Gods book rules for Rifts characters often have a bunch of skills, which eliminated one of the most straightforward ways to have a hatchling character's player not disrupt parity at the table. While it's possible to maintain narrative balance regardless of power level, having lots of little shifts can affect setting conceits and player expectations.

I enjoy when rpgs incentivize characters more reliant on narrative balance with separate mechanics. Mutants and Masterminds, for example, gives out Hero Points when a character's Complications affect play. These can be used for various effects like rerolls, minor scene edits, and power stunts. While some games like Univision directly state characters of different power levels have different access to these sort of points, other games would still requires a handshake agreement. It can serve as a useful way to keep everyone engaged when, to use a comic book example, Captain America's being inspiring and tenacious isn't depicted as some sort of leadership or luck power but is still as useful a contribution as Thor being able to shoot lighting and throw buildings. Savage Rifts did this a bit with the M.A.R.S. tables, and if there was ever to be a revamp of the Palladium System I'd want an option for something similar hardwired.


Having a feats and flaws selection has been discussed by others on the forums and I think that some people have even put their tables somewhere around here.

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