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TOPIC: It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus

It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 9 months ago #445

Matthew Hayward wrote:

edwin wrote:

Harlax wrote: Considering that 3rd level can be reached in one year of play, it’s hardly elite.


Does the ticket signup or followup email indicate that someone who is 3rd level can trump you for a character class?

It does come across as elitest.


I agree it should go - but come on.

Every EO who has a game with asymmetrical roles needs a procedure for deciding who gets what when everyone can’t agree - this doesn’t have to be (and practically never is) described in the event catalogue.

No one should show up to an event at gencon of this sort assuming they will get to play a certain faction / class / role.


The only event I have played that I have haerd that has ever has an issue with people picking characters is TD.

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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 9 months ago #446

edwin wrote:

Matthew Hayward wrote:

edwin wrote:

Harlax wrote: Considering that 3rd level can be reached in one year of play, it’s hardly elite.


Does the ticket signup or followup email indicate that someone who is 3rd level can trump you for a character class?

It does come across as elitest.


I agree it should go - but come on.

Every EO who has a game with asymmetrical roles needs a procedure for deciding who gets what when everyone can’t agree - this doesn’t have to be (and practically never is) described in the event catalogue.

No one should show up to an event at gencon of this sort assuming they will get to play a certain faction / class / role.


The only event I have played that I have haerd that has ever has an issue with people picking characters is TD.


If you're talking RPGs, I'd agree. D&D, Pathfinder, etc don't care if you have a table full of Bards.

On the other hand, I've seen more people upset at not getting to play their favorite character in a friendly game of Zombicide where we all knew each other than I ever have seen in TD games.

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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 9 months ago #447

Fiddy wrote:

edwin wrote:

Matthew Hayward wrote:

edwin wrote:

Harlax wrote: Considering that 3rd level can be reached in one year of play, it’s hardly elite.


Does the ticket signup or followup email indicate that someone who is 3rd level can trump you for a character class?

It does come across as elitest.


I agree it should go - but come on.

Every EO who has a game with asymmetrical roles needs a procedure for deciding who gets what when everyone can’t agree - this doesn’t have to be (and practically never is) described in the event catalogue.

No one should show up to an event at gencon of this sort assuming they will get to play a certain faction / class / role.


The only event I have played that I have haerd that has ever has an issue with people picking characters is TD.


If you're talking RPGs, I'd agree. D&D, Pathfinder, etc don't care if you have a table full of Bards.

On the other hand, I've seen more people upset at not getting to play their favorite character in a friendly game of Zombicide where we all knew each other than I ever have seen in TD games.


Unless the pregenerated characters handed out are bards, it is usually a mix pregenerated characters to choose from. 6 players 6 characters. Always works out.

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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 9 months ago #448

edwin wrote:

Fiddy wrote:

edwin wrote:

Matthew Hayward wrote:

edwin wrote:

Harlax wrote: Considering that 3rd level can be reached in one year of play, it’s hardly elite.


Does the ticket signup or followup email indicate that someone who is 3rd level can trump you for a character class?

It does come across as elitest.


I agree it should go - but come on.

Every EO who has a game with asymmetrical roles needs a procedure for deciding who gets what when everyone can’t agree - this doesn’t have to be (and practically never is) described in the event catalogue.

No one should show up to an event at gencon of this sort assuming they will get to play a certain faction / class / role.


The only event I have played that I have haerd that has ever has an issue with people picking characters is TD.


If you're talking RPGs, I'd agree. D&D, Pathfinder, etc don't care if you have a table full of Bards.

On the other hand, I've seen more people upset at not getting to play their favorite character in a friendly game of Zombicide where we all knew each other than I ever have seen in TD games.


Unless the pregenerated characters handed out are bards, it is usually a mix pregenerated characters to choose from. 6 players 6 characters. Always works out.


Hmm... I wasn't thinking pre-gens. Since I usually only see those at events that assume 0 experience with the system and are being run as a one-shot. Many times in such a case I'd guess there's less concern around who plays what, since there is no lasting impact other than the enjoyment of that one session.

Games I've seen where there is an ongoing campaign may start you with a pre-gen (to save character creation time), but then usually you tailor it over the years and don't just run with a base pre-gen every time. And it is very possible to sit down with other characters that started off the same pre-gen as yours.

Effectively, TD has given us pre-gens. We get some of the tailoring (our tokens), but still have the limitation found on most one-shots have of only allowing one of each pre-gen at the table.

I still think the right answer is to figure out how to allow multiples of each class on the run. I think it is a red herring to concern ourselves too much with "but wait, ten Clerics are too powerful" because that says to me that maybe the Cleric class itself might be too powerful*, or "what if noone takes a healer" because that is a situation you can already (mostly) get into if noone takes Druid and Cleric. I think most of the other concerns that have been brought up can be addressed.

If we don't want to invest the time to remove the "two people want the same class" problem entirely, then I'm on board with taking the simplest solution. Make sure the current rules are posted in the coaching rooms. It seems like this is an infrequent issue that could mostly be resolved by ensuring people know what to expect.


* Yes, of course I'm joking about Cleric being too powerful. No one thinks that.

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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 9 months ago #449

Harlax wrote: Considering that 3rd level can be reached in one year of play, it’s hardly elite.

In fact, it’s becoming meaningless. That a better reason to ditch it than invoking some nebulous “spirit of GenCon.”


Well, it's still elitist compared to a first time player, of whom there must be many each year. It's basically saying everyone who's not a first time player gets to pick before brand new players. I think giving an advantage on a die roll says the same thing. I just don't think that's the welcoming message we want to extend to new players that are forming their first impressions of True Dungeon.

I'd like everyone in the coaching room to have an equal shot at character classes, regardless of what level you are, how much you spent on tokens, forum activity, etc.

I think, at the start of the coaching period, everyone should mutually work out what classes to play, with equally weighted die rolls being the tie breaking mechanism.

People arriving after the start time, after character selection has happened, would pick from what's left. Of course, other players are free to swap classes with the newly arrived players if they want (in the spirit of cooperation and teamwork)

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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 9 months ago #450

Mike Steele wrote:

Harlax wrote: Considering that 3rd level can be reached in one year of play, it’s hardly elite.

In fact, it’s becoming meaningless. That a better reason to ditch it than invoking some nebulous “spirit of GenCon.”


Well, it's still elitist compared to a first time player, of whom there must be many each year. It's basically saying everyone who's not a first time player gets to pick before brand new players. I think giving an advantage on a die roll says the same thing. I just don't think that's the welcoming message we want to extend to new players that are forming their first impressions of True Dungeon.

I'd like everyone in the coaching room to have an equal shot at character classes, regardless of what level you are, how much you spent on tokens, forum activity, etc.

I think, at the start of the coaching period, everyone should mutually work out what classes to play, with equally weighted die rolls being the tie breaking mechanism.

People arriving after the start time, after character selection has happened, would pick from what's left. Of course, other players are free to swap classes with the newly arrived players if they want (in the spirit of cooperation and teamwork)


Sigh. How many times do I need to say I’m in favor of eliminating the 3rd level bonus?

If we start debating “elitism” there are bigger fish to fry than the 3rd level bonus.
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Let them trap us. We have our swords. - Elric of Melnibone.

You try to get them to play the game, but all they want to do is play the rules. - Ardak Kumerian

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend - Faramir

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Last edit: by Harlax.

It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 9 months ago #451

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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 9 months ago #452

I'm in favor of eliminating the 3rd level bonus. I don't personally see how it helps anything. I'm strongly opposed to keeping it and putting up posters advertising it.

I'm against any sort of card that grants a one time rank pull per con, or a runestone approach that limits at a lifetime level. Having these actually promotes using the 3rd level bonus and we may see an increase in problems rather than a decrease. As someone else mentioned, anything with limitations on it promotes usage. Also, you could still have 2 people come in with the card or runestone.

Being a long term full time coach, I'd say that I see maybe 3-5 per con where I overhear any conflict at all and 0-1 where it goes beyond a simple request if someone would be willing to play a different class. At 2019 GenCon, I heard of one instance that escalated, but I did not have any in any of my coached runs. I did have a couple people that were obviously disappointed, but didn't make an issue and one even used the app to build their new class.

Most people work it out themselves. Almost anything we set up is going to leave somebody disappointed, unless we drop class restrictions and go with the colors idea.

There are a few issues with the colors idea.
- Unless we go 100% to colors, Combat DMs are going to be slower switching methods (they will lose being in a groove). Time is the largest enemy in the dungeon, so this isn't good.
- If we go 100% to colors, all of the party cards would have to be color printed
- Character generators that provide a party card would require a major restructure to support the change
- Instead of having 2 pucks for only 2 classes, you'd have to stock 2 pucks for each colors (an increase of 10 pucks per board)

I'm in the camp of keeping it simple (like a roll off, with no modifiers) and being posted. And the caveat that once a class is recorded by the coach, no changes can be made that would affect the party card.

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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 9 months ago #453

Amorgen Burke wrote: I'm in favor of eliminating the 3rd level bonus. I don't personally see how it helps anything. I'm strongly opposed to keeping it and putting up posters advertising it.

I'm against any sort of card that grants a one time rank pull per con, or a runestone approach that limits at a lifetime level. Having these actually promotes using the 3rd level bonus and we may see an increase in problems rather than a decrease. As someone else mentioned, anything with limitations on it promotes usage. Also, you could still have 2 people come in with the card or runestone.

Being a long term full time coach, I'd say that I see maybe 3-5 per con where I overhear any conflict at all and 0-1 where it goes beyond a simple request if someone would be willing to play a different class. At 2019 GenCon, I heard of one instance that escalated, but I did not have any in any of my coached runs. I did have a couple people that were obviously disappointed, but didn't make an issue and one even used the app to build their new class.

Most people work it out themselves. Almost anything we set up is going to leave somebody disappointed, unless we drop class restrictions and go with the colors idea.

There are a few issues with the colors idea.
- Unless we go 100% to colors, Combat DMs are going to be slower switching methods (they will lose being in a groove). Time is the largest enemy in the dungeon, so this isn't good.
- If we go 100% to colors, all of the party cards would have to be color printed
- Character generators that provide a party card would require a major restructure to support the change
- Instead of having 2 pucks for only 2 classes, you'd have to stock 2 pucks for each colors (an increase of 10 pucks per board)

I'm in the camp of keeping it simple (like a roll off, with no modifiers) and being posted. And the caveat that once a class is recorded by the coach, no changes can be made that would affect the party card.


I'm onboard with about everything you're saying. One small change, going to all colors would require 8 more pucks instead of 10.

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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 9 months ago #454

Actually it would only require 6 more sliders. Today we have 14 sliders (12 classes with two having 2x pucks). If we stuck with a party size of 10 then we'd only need 20 sliders to handle a worst case scenario of a whole party of monks and rangers.

I agree that matching colors to party members is a bad solution. First of all some people are color blind. Secondly the lighting is rough so even if you aren't color blind it could be tough (and slow) to match colors.

If we wanted to support any arbitrary mix of character classes, as I hope I can convince Eric to try out in Grind one day, I think using numbered pucks is the best option.
  • Each player receives a #1 through #10, based on their position on the party card
  • Each player uses a puck (or pucks) that matches their number
  • If necessary each player receives a small circle sticker with #1 through #10 on it to put on their character card

So the party card would have the first row "#1 Rogue", then "#2 Barbarian", etc. This allows the DM to know the classes involved. When doing combat, however, finding a specific numbered row out of 10 rows in numerical order will be quicker than what the DMs do today, in my opinion (matching by class).

Because of the sticker on the character card, the DM can still look at a player and see both their class and their number at a glance. If we stick with 2-sided character cards then the sticker could also be a way to mark which side is active (I heard they were writing it on the party cards at GenCon). The sticker would go on the Lv4 or Lv5 side based on what the player had unlocked.

So the new requirements would be: slight change in party card design, a sheet of stickers numbered 1-10 for each party (should be relatively inexpensive in bulk), and unfortunately brand new sliders with numbers 1-10 on them instead of the character classes. That's the expensive part most likely.

One additional challenge will be the inability to have the base/default stats on the party card like we have them today for the coach. Perhaps the coach could have a reference sheet (perhaps stuck to the clipboard?) to assist with filling out the stats. I haven't tried it to see how much it would impact my coaching speed though. There are probably better ideas.

Of course the big challenge is game balance and rules interactions. I do think this is solvable though, and I think there is a lot to gain both in player satisfaction and opening up more creativity in party creation, gameplay, etc.
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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 9 months ago #455

It's a big paradigm change and would require a lot to be worked out, but I like the idea of having everyone have a choice between all the classes. It's just like many roleplaying games I've been in, sometimes we go with unbalanced parties.

I would suggest in such a situation that tokens be removed from treasure boxes, otherwise there might be a stampede of rogues to get to the boxes first.

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It's time to eliminate the 3rd level player bonus 4 years 9 months ago #456

I initially was going to go with party size of 10, but given that we have runs with 11 and even 12 on a rare occasion, I went with what would be 24 total pucks (or 10 more than the current). If we did not provide more than 20, we would not be able to support these rare 11 or 12 people runs.

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