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TOPIC: Contemplating Gregor's Tome

Contemplating Gregor's Tome 1 year 6 months ago #85

Harlax wrote:

Mike Steele wrote:

Boilerplate wrote:

Mike Steele wrote:

Raven wrote:

Matt Goodman wrote: I find it interesting your signature line, Raven:

"THERE WILL NEVER BE A TOKEN EQUAL TO A GOOD BRAIN!"- Smakdown

Isn't an auto-succeed token trying to do this?


LOL
A bit out of context, but touché!

Boilerplate wrote: Thanks for teasing out the Tome conversation, Raven. I agree that much of the discussion gets lost in the big design threads.


Thank you for your insightful response, Boilerplate!
I don't know if I have time to respond to all of it, but there's a few I'd like to address:

First, the human element is one of the things I love most about this game, and I think that we should be very slow to minimize it. Taking the memorization challenge out of casting is like taking sliding out of physical combat


While I agree that the human element is a fantastic part of TD, I disagree with the analogy.

The memorization challenge is a cool gimmick to make players feel like wizards, but all it really does is add a couple(-ish) points of damage to a total (where combat can add enough to 1-shot a monster). If we wanted to emphasize the human element, we'd make ranged fighters throw darts/beanbags, and make the Paladin physically Lay on Hands for a full minute to do his healing, and get the Barbarian to Scream and pound her chest as she goes into Rage.

In fact, we could require the Bard to sing, and the DM could adjust the party's inspiration totals up or down depending on how good his performance was.

But we don't. We sacrifice those aspects to make the game run more smoothly for everyone else.

So while I think there's something to be said for keeping the challenge intact to provide flavour and fun, I think there's a lot more to be said for listening to the people who say they don't find it fun.

Third, skill tests are one of the few areas in the game where you can get a better result regardless of the tokens in your kit. In that sense, they democratize the game a bit. I love the notion that someone with a very basic token set can potentially earn a tiny bonus that has nothing to do with spendy tokens. Allowing an auto pass token allows the big token spenders to neutralize that tiny advantage with cash. Fuels the “pay to play” critique of TD.


I understand the notion behind this... but disagree with the net result.

You're saying that "big spenders" could neutralize a newbies advantage by spending cash on an auto succeed token which gives them 2-ish extra points. Well, that's *exactly* what the revised option is offering: Spend cash to get a token which gives you +2 to your spells.

So while it feels like an auto-pass would be cheating, what's really coming across to me is that it's okay to cheat as long as you're doing even more damage than a newbie could do.

Fourth, I love that casters currently have to struggle with the decision about whether to take time for the skill test or forego it in hopes of allowing the party to get in more rounds. It is a VERY interesting decision for casters, and removing it from the game with an auto pass on every spell would remove some excellent tension and depth from the caster classes.


True. I totally agree here.
And yet, the Libram Of Looting got rid of the "VERY interesting decision" about taking Loot or Clue.

I choose not to run with that token because I like making that decision, but I am okay with others who prefer not to penalize their parties for personal gain (the way some some Wizards feel they penalize their parties by taking too much time on the challenges.)


Raven, I think you made a key point about some players not enjoying the skills test. I think it's enough of a deterrent to keep some people from playing the classes at all (I've seen it happen). To me that's reason enough to put auto succeed back in.


I do not enjoy sliding, and sliding deters me from playing a physical combat class. But I wouldn’t even dream of asking for a token that would allow me to skip sliding every turn so that I could feel more comfortable trying out fighter et al. Like I said above, I think such a token would cause a riot. On second thought, maybe we should create a token that allows sliders to roll a d20 instead of sliding (and maybe do average damage on the wheel)...

If players don’t enjoy the memorization tests, then they can simply choose not to take them and their spells will still be plenty effective. Not so with sliding; there is no option to skip and do 3 less damage. To me, that already makes the casting classes more “approachable” than the physical combat classes.


I don't see sliding and memorization tests as similar at all, personally. I've never seen anyone skip a combat class due to sliding, in my experience those are seen as the "easier" classes due to the lack of memorization required.


Yet it is possible, even with a ludicrous bonus, to totally miss when sliding. Your Wizard's Magic Missile always hits.


Except in the wide variety of situations when it doesn’t, which seem to crop up about one room in five.

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Last edit: by Matthew Hayward.

Contemplating Gregor's Tome 1 year 6 months ago #86

Boilerplate wrote: I think I am fine with making the test easier a few times per game. I’d just rather not eliminate it entirely.


I’m a long time cleric, and the skill check is what originally drew me to that class. I love it and it wouldn’t be as fun to play cleric without the skills.

That being said, some others’ experiences are clearly different, and I think that the discussions on this thread at least show that there is interest in a skill bypass type of mechanic.

I think that regardless of what happens with Gregor’s Tome, it might be useful in the future to consider a consumable skill bypass token. After all, Pixie Dust is a consumable token that gives +3 damage to a spell. High level players who are worried about time efficiency could use them to speed up their combat. Players who are anxious about skill checks can skip the checks for a lot less investment than a UR. And players who enjoy the checks can give them to other party members or trade them for more useful tokens,

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Contemplating Gregor's Tome 1 year 6 months ago #87

Matthew Hayward wrote:

Phrash wrote: I do not like the auto-succeed concept when arguing for "saving time". Taking too long to do skill checks is systematic issue of the game that should not be solved or addressed by having players pay extra money to circumvent it.


That's an interesting perspective.

From my vantage point, the problem isn't that the skill checks take too long, it's that they take too long for the benefit at higher difficulty levels.

At Normal with no URs I'd be taking the time to do the skill checks because the odds that +3 damage saves us a whole round of combat are better than the odds that doing the checks costs us a whole round.

If you want to see skill checks used at each difficulty you need to either make them much faster, e.g.:
- 10 Slides needs to take the same amount of time as
- A bard, a druid, a cleric, two wizard checks and 5 slides

Or scale up - at Hardcore, Nightmare, and Epic the spell bonus should be roughly the same precentage of a monster's max HP as 3 is on Normal.

I really like these ideas and much prefer this line of thinking. I would very much like to see adjustments to the skill checks to either

-make them much faster, which would make an auto-succeed token much less desirable

I am not sure we are there yet, but I am imagining a technology solution like a tablet with randomized multiple choice questions for "which leaf is this?" or "Show me the Abyss (touch screen)". Class symbols would light up green or red and the DM would glance over to see if you got the bonus.

*Edit: Actually, I am really starting to like this idea as an android App that could be thrown onto a tablet.

OR

-Scale the bonus of the skill test with the level of difficulty which would make the auto-succeed token much more powerful.

For example, passing a skill test on:
  • Normal would add 3 to the damage or healing of a spell.
  • Hardcore would add 5 to the damage or healing of a spell.
  • Nightmare would add 7 to the damage or healing of a spell.
  • Epic would add ? to the damage or healing of a spell. I have never played Epic.

I feel like auto-succeeding tokens could restrict game design improvements in the future.
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Last edit: by Philip Goodman.

Contemplating Gregor's Tome 1 year 6 months ago #88

Dave wrote:

Boilerplate wrote: I think I am fine with making the test easier a few times per game. I’d just rather not eliminate it entirely.


I’m a long time cleric, and the skill check is what originally drew me to that class. I love it and it wouldn’t be as fun to play cleric without the skills.

That being said, some others’ experiences are clearly different, and I think that the discussions on this thread at least show that there is interest in a skill bypass type of mechanic.

I think that regardless of what happens with Gregor’s Tome, it might be useful in the future to consider a consumable skill bypass token. After all, Pixie Dust is a consumable token that gives +3 damage to a spell. High level players who are worried about time efficiency could use them to speed up their combat. Players who are anxious about skill checks can skip the checks for a lot less investment than a UR. And players who enjoy the checks can give them to other party members or trade them for more useful tokens,


Assuming Jeff ends up leaving the skill-check bypass off of Gregors, is a skill-check bypass Runestone a decent solution?

Not advocating either way.
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Contemplating Gregor's Tome 1 year 6 months ago #89

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Contemplating Gregor's Tome 1 year 6 months ago #90

Mike Steele wrote: We could just make Gregor's Tome a +10 Focus Token.

I am suspecting some sarcasm here. ;-)

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Contemplating Gregor's Tome 1 year 6 months ago #91

Wade Schwendemann wrote: I think the point is that is isnt a big deal now, that it limits future design space if we want change what the check is worth in the future. That may never happen, but limiting ourselves isnt a sound strategy.


If need be, could we errata the token to something like "May forfeit skill check to gain +3 damage/heal to spell"?

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Contemplating Gregor's Tome 1 year 6 months ago #92

MasterED wrote:

Mike Steele wrote: We could just make Gregor's Tome a +10 Focus Token.

I am suspecting some sarcasm here. ;-)

Ed


Maybe give it some sort of penalty for using it, like taking damage? ;)

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Last edit: by Mike Steele.

Contemplating Gregor's Tome 1 year 6 months ago #93

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MasterED wrote:

Mike Steele wrote: We could just make Gregor's Tome a +10 Focus Token.

I am suspecting some sarcasm here. ;-)

Ed


As I think about it I'm surprised were getting any focus tokens on a year where healing is getting nurfed hard.
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Contemplating Gregor's Tome 1 year 6 months ago #94

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Mike Steele wrote:

MasterED wrote:

Mike Steele wrote: We could just make Gregor's Tome a +10 Focus Token.

I am suspecting some sarcasm here. ;-)

Ed


Maybe give it some sort of penalty for using it, like taking damage? ;)


So, not scarcasm so much as a way to work MEC into the discussion? ;)
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Contemplating Gregor's Tome 1 year 6 months ago #95

Harlax wrote:

Mike Steele wrote:

MasterED wrote:

Mike Steele wrote: We could just make Gregor's Tome a +10 Focus Token.

I am suspecting some sarcasm here. ;-)

Ed


Maybe give it some sort of penalty for using it, like taking damage? ;)


So, not scarcasm so much as a way to work MEC into the discussion? ;)


Maybe just limit it to damage spells. ;)

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Contemplating Gregor's Tome 1 year 6 months ago #96

Mike Steele wrote:

Harlax wrote:

Mike Steele wrote:

MasterED wrote:

Mike Steele wrote: We could just make Gregor's Tome a +10 Focus Token.

I am suspecting some sarcasm here. ;-)

Ed


Maybe give it some sort of penalty for using it, like taking damage? ;)


So, not scarcasm so much as a way to work MEC into the discussion? ;)


Maybe just limit it to damage spells. ;)


And while we're at it, can we make it Wizard only? Druids are getting their legendary this year, that's enough.....

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