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Author Topic: Death penalties  (Read 1179 times)

sharkinajar

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Re: Death penalties
« Reply #45 on: December 02, 2018, 05:47:00 am »

Solomon

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Re: Death penalties
« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2018, 06:14:05 am »
I see a lot of back and forth here but this is an issue that is being looked at from one angle and addressed by another. The DMs (seem, from what I can read) want death to be something to be feared ICly. Yet all offerings are mechanical, OOC repercussions. The consequences do not match the goal.

If you want things to be feared by the characters, the characters need to face the drawbacks. And, if the claim that level doesn't matter for roleplay is true? XP loss is entirely OOC and doesn't address any fear of death by a character. What I've seen on the server is two issues: The dead character is either easily brought back where they died or in a safe haven at a rez priest and the characters around the dead character do not seem to give a second thought about the death. The XP penalty, sure, is a concern to the players, but it's not addressed in conversation or in the rules, or anything at all about how the character themselves should perceive this XP loss or their time in the fugue.

As it currently stands, there is nothing that would affect the character beyond, at most, idly hanging out in the Fugue while they're told OOCly to wait around and they'll be rez'd if they have a group or they just pop up like nothing happened at a safe spot or right where they died. So the question is, how do you penalize the character? How do you influence the roleplay? Could you have a random chance of being mute for a time after coming back? Perhaps they're deafened? Maybe you're set to perma-hostile to all for a bit and occasionally frenzied. There needs to be something that will show to the player that their character has been affected by the death beyond the 'oops, I lost a level in fighter, guess I don't swing a sword as good as I used to.'

Grendel

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Re: Death penalties
« Reply #47 on: December 02, 2018, 06:22:01 am »
Being that I've been around and seen quite a few systems surrounding death and permadeath, I'd suggest a system that is an alternative to the current system; the penalties to XP loss to high level characters in conjunction with the inability to gain XP outside of DM events and limited availability quests makes it quite a heavy burden. The system that I would like to see also ties into the nature of seeing PCs dying and being revived with seemingly no long-standing consequence from an IC behaviour perspective; a lot of people that die and come back simply jump right back into the fight and ignore the fact that they came close to being dead, forever.

I would suggest replacing the loss of XP with a stat malus system that applies a hefty penalty to all stats which cannot be removed by any means for a pre-determined period, or perhaps a server reset. As an example, coming back from death as a Wizard with a malus of -6 or 8 to all stats means that the character in question is heavily influenced by their recent death and gives them a gentle nudge to step away from the harrowing ordeal of life and death combat whilst they recuperate.

During DM events DMs could always remove the malus in the event of an unintended death or an encounter they feel was overtuned for those present; for those that die and retain these stat maluses however it would represent an extreme difficulty for the character to overcome if they intended to keep fighting onwards. Replace a possibly long-term penalty to XP with a shorter term one that precludes continued combat; a mistake brought on by charging in wildly would result in a shorter term penalty to the ability to fight on. In addition there could be penalties to the witnesses of a dying character; an aoe check versus fear for a round in witnessing a valued comrade fall in the heat of battle or such.

I've seen other systems with far harsher penalties for death in the long and short term that, admittedly, bring great roleplay but also heavy hits to the players behind the characters. At the end of the day we are not only roleplaying but playing a game and mechanics becomes a part of that; players are less likely to enjoy their time if they lose days or even weeks of what they view as progress in their character to a spur of the moment mistake or happenstance.
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Walrus Warwagon

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Re: Death penalties
« Reply #48 on: December 02, 2018, 07:30:24 am »
I see a lot of back and forth here but this is an issue that is being looked at from one angle and addressed by another. The DMs (seem, from what I can read) want death to be something to be feared ICly. Yet all offerings are mechanical, OOC repercussions. The consequences do not match the goal.

So that was spinning in my head all this time! Exp loss have no connection at all to RP consequences. Either this, or level is important for RP. Indeed, players face not something interesting from the character development perspective, but just more of the grind.
But finding a good solution for such a problem is even more difficult. Grendel have some interesting suggestions in this direction.
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Eldwen

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Re: Death penalties
« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2018, 07:38:13 am »
Anything added on, in terms of stat malus, insanity checks, or other effects are still not going to really effect the character, ICly.

They'll come off as yet another annoyance to the player, so the intended effect won't have the result that's being looked for, and we're back at square one.

That's why I'm suggesting we change the terminology, and make it hard and fast that /death/ is permanent, but the usual effects of being down for an event, or messing up in a dungeon are /not/ death.

Grendel

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Re: Death penalties
« Reply #50 on: December 02, 2018, 07:47:36 am »
Changing the terminology will do nothing to address the issues with the system as it stands. Whether you die or come within a sliver of death doesn't change the fact that most characters bar the most mentally unstable will be shaken.

As to the stat malus; I said to replace the XP penalty with it, not add it ontop of it.
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SpiffyHas

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Re: Death penalties
« Reply #51 on: December 02, 2018, 09:10:17 am »
Part of the issue is that the server level range content is just so -broad- that it is impossible for lower level players to contribute on content meant for a higher level range, then DMs need to bar higher level range PCs on content meant for lowbies. So when you die at a high level, it makes you feel like you can contribute less to an event than you might otherwise could- especially when said events rely on Perma Death risk (which I absolutely adore, btw). Or there might be consequences to not being mechanically strong enough to survive an event. This leads to the formation cliques and groups of high level players who are reluctant to bring low levels on their shit. High level players ironically dislike death more and more sense the time put into leveling is not a gradient scale, it's an exponential curve of difficult and time investment.

They do not mind this so much with crafting since you don't look crafting skill, they do mind with XP, since XP can be lost.

The easiest (though not quickest) solution would be to narrow the server range to a small figure. I recommend either dropping the level range from 2-20 to 4-10, or 10-15. The difference between a level 15 PC and a level 10 PC is great enough that it feels like substantial progress towards empowering your PC, but not so wide that a level 10 PC cannot contribute on an event without dying in the mud instantly. Right now, the death penalty emphasizes luck and mechanical knowledge- not consequences to risk, as those who know what they are doing will survive as opposed to players who just prefer to RP and never really bothered to investigate the idiosyncratic stupidity of the game (I.E: Death Ward blocks water elemental drown.)

The answer really isn't removing death penalties- it's narrowing the level range, as it forms an exclusive range of 'low level pcs,' to 'high level pc quest groups.'

Surfing_Turnip

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Re: Death penalties
« Reply #52 on: December 02, 2018, 12:45:06 pm »
On the note of DMs asking for how to make death more frightening IC, and commenting that players take all discussion of it to OOC mechanics:

All of the server's death content is OOC mechanics. You have it take you to an OOC place that isn't supported by the lore. You have a church (that should be a court) resurrect the players, when that dogma shouldn't deal with the dead at all. The penalty for dying is to go through more OOC grinding mechanics for many hours to recover what you have lost.

If you want players to begin to associate death with IC reactions and IC fear, you have to take the steps to make it have a tangible IC impact. You need to cut off resurrections from the court of Amaunator. You need to introduce the church of Jergal, an equally large and important entity in Netherese society, and the associated difficulty of getting resurrections from this church. This doesn't mean bumping up gold and XP costs - dungeons and their associated resources are primarily OOC entertainment and as designers you have to treat any game play content linked to them as such, if you want to guide player impressions towards a role play or fantasy/wish fulfilment experience. You have to sever the connection between player's dying and thinking, "Damn, now I need to spend another week walking in circles around those two dungeons." and start making them think, "Oh my (proverbial) God what the flaming flips just happened."



Edited to add: In case I wasn't clear, I mean make it more immersive, and cut out the OOC mistakes or choices that pull you out of immersion and make you think of the OOC.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2018, 12:51:25 pm by Surfing_Turnip »

Surfing_Turnip

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Re: Death penalties
« Reply #53 on: December 02, 2018, 12:47:57 pm »
A double post to add, if you want me to take IC steps to set up a church of Jergal, send me a message my dudes and we can coordinate something.