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On 3/18/2019 at 5:07 PM, Corvantir said:

What I am trying to say is that Hero Points are not about preventing failure, this is not the point in my opinion. They are about having fun.

This seems to create a dichotomy between failure and fun. There are definitely times when failure is not fun, such as during a climax of a long conflict where the players are about to win and the dice crap out. That can really ruin things. But there are other times when failure can open doors to new and interesting problems for the players to solve, which can be a lot of fun. A couple years ago, I ran the Lawstaff quest for a Helerite. He did really well until he got into the Heroquest Challenge at the end. Then he ran into the worst run of concentrated bad luck I've ever seen in 40+ years of gaming: He rolled 4 fumbles and a failure in the 5 rounds of the Extended Contest. He burned through all his saved up hero points and got a Complete Defeat anyway. He had rather unwisely wagered his Water rune as the stakes in the Challenge, so he lost it completely. I felt kinda bad for him until I saw that he was excited to figure out a way to get his Water rune back and for the role-playing fun of how not having his Water rune would have affected him. Sadly that campaign folded soon thereafter so he never got to recover his Water rune (and I never had to figure out how he could do it). 

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1 hour ago, Bohemond said:

He rolled 4 fumbles and a failure in the 5 rounds of the Extended Contest

That's about the worst string of rolls I could imagine in HQG!

1 hour ago, Bohemond said:

He had rather unwisely wagered his Water rune as the stakes in the Challenge, so he lost it completely. I felt kinda bad for him until I saw that he was excited to figure out a way to get his Water rune back and for the role-playing fun of how not having his Water rune would have affected him.

Sounds like an Orlanth/Aroka quest was in order there.

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On 3/18/2019 at 6:07 PM, Corvantir said:

3 Hero Points for each session is enough and not too much in my opinion. Unspent points are lost.

Not overpowering.

On 3/18/2019 at 6:07 PM, Corvantir said:

What I am trying to say is that Hero Points are not about preventing failure, this is not the point in my opinion. They are about having fun.

But what to Hero Points do? They modify results to prevent failure. SO therefore failure isn't fun. While that certainly has some truth to it, not failing isn't fun either. 

 

On 3/18/2019 at 6:07 PM, Corvantir said:

When his character is in deep trouble, a player spends his Hero Points, whether they are separated from experience or not. What I don't like with the rules as they are written (Hero Points as experience) is that the Hero Point economy is somehow rewarding the lucky player and punishing the unlucky player.

it is luck or intelligent play? I've seen situation where players take insane risks because they had a pool of points to fall back on, and ended up buring through thier points faster than the ones who ducked behind cover and didn't have to use as many (or mny) points to save thier skins. 

On 3/18/2019 at 6:07 PM, Corvantir said:

Where we agree is that failure must be a possibility, if not there is no point in gaming. The players know they can fail, believe me. This is actually a matter of balance.

Game balance is a myth. All RPGs an inherently unbalanced in favor of the PCs, and "balancing" PCs against each other doesn't work because a great deal of what makes one PC better than the other is the actual abilities of the respective players

 

My caution here is that if the players get too much of what they want too frequently, they won't have fun either. 

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On 3/18/2019 at 6:07 PM, Corvantir said:

3 Hero Points for each session is enough and not too much in my opinion. Unspent points are lost.

Not overpowering.

On 3/18/2019 at 6:07 PM, Corvantir said:

What I am trying to say is that Hero Points are not about preventing failure, this is not the point in my opinion. They are about having fun.

But what to Hero Points do? They modify results to prevent failure. SO therefore failure isn't fun. While that certainly has some truth to it, not failing isn't fun either. 

 

On 3/18/2019 at 6:07 PM, Corvantir said:

When his character is in deep trouble, a player spends his Hero Points, whether they are separated from experience or not. What I don't like with the rules as they are written (Hero Points as experience) is that the Hero Point economy is somehow rewarding the lucky player and punishing the unlucky player.

it is luck or intelligent play? I've seen situation where players take insane risks because they had a pool of points to fall back on, and ended up buring through thier points faster than the ones who ducked behind cover and didn't have to use as many (or mny) points to save thier skins. 

On 3/18/2019 at 6:07 PM, Corvantir said:

Where we agree is that failure must be a possibility, if not there is no point in gaming. The players know they can fail, believe me. This is actually a matter of balance.

Game balance is a myth. All RPGs an inherently unbalanced in favor of the PCs, and "balancing" PCs against each other doesn't work because a great deal of what makes one PC better than the other is the actual abilities of the respective players

 

My caution here is that if the players get too much of what they want too frequently, they won't have fun either. 

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4 hours ago, Bohemond said:

 There are definitely times when failure is not fun, such as during a climax of a long conflict where the players are about to win and the dice crap out. That can really ruin things. out 

Yes it can, but there isn't much a GM should probably do about it. Without the fear that they can fail the climax becomes an anti-climax. To maintain the tension the players need that belief that they can potentially fail.  

A GM can fudge things, but that can be dangerous if not handled well. If the players figure out that the GM is going to fudge things in their favor then again the players will lose interesting the campaign. I've gamed in several such campaigns  (unfortunately) and the players tend to turn on each other as the other PCs are the only remaining challenge left. 

So a GM who eliminates failure for the big things had better do so in a way that he won't get caught by his players. 

Hero Points are nice in that they give the players a legitimate way to adjust things in their behalf for those big situations, but they only work effectively when the number are limited so that the players have to decide when to use them.

 

So much of running a game is about getting the players to buy into the apparent threat and danger of a situation. 

 

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Some people are dead against Hero Points, preferring to let the dice lie as they fall. However, we first used them in HeroQuest and then in RuneQuest and our Players really like them.

Hero Points are not about removing the sense of failure, but making the story interesting. If someone spends 4 Hero Points to achieve something, that is a measure of how difficult it was to achieve and how important it was to the PCs/Players. 

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2 hours ago, soltakss said:

Some people are dead against Hero Points, preferring to let the dice lie as they fall. However, we first used them in HeroQuest and then in RuneQuest and our Players really like them.

Hero Points are not about removing the sense of failure, but making the story interesting. If someone spends 4 Hero Points to achieve something, that is a measure of how difficult it was to achieve and how important it was to the PCs/Players. 

Certainly. I'm not against Hero Point by any means. I'm just concerned about removing their use for advancement and handing out some free to be used. I'm not saying changing the rules will do so, only that a GM should be careful about making things too easy for his layer. 

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  • 1 month later...

Interesting thread.  Going back to the OP, I’m now concerned I may be doing something wrong in my HQG game (context: my group has played exactly one HQG session so far, “The Missing” from Eleven Lights).  I would have thought that a PC min-maxing in Storm Bull rune magic would not be a problem from a balance perspective because contests in HQG don’t need to be combat.  But maybe I’m wrong.  Appreciate thoughts from the community.

Storm Bull magic (as I understand it) is about storm, battle, facing chaos, and rage/berserker.  Maybe a little fertility given the god’s mythological links with various goddesses.

But if the contest is healing the clan chieftain, the Urox’s W2 rune magic is no help - that’s not Storm Bull’s area.  If the chieftain is wounded, the character might use their Thane/Warrior keyword (still at the original 17 due to min-maxing, perhaps a bit higher from automatic catch-ups), since warriors know how to treat wounds.  If the chieftain is sick instead of wounded, the best the Urox could do is their Community rating (still at 13 because min-maxing), because all Sartarites know some folk cures.  Probably best to let the Chalana Arroy priestess character handle this one.

Similarly, if the climactic scene is a group extended contest “race against the clock” to find magical plants that will resolve tensions with the Aldryami, Storm Bull rune magic is no help.  Leave this one to the Barntar initiate, the Ernalda priestess, and the Odaylan hunter, because the Urox will be using their Community rating of 13 (thanes/warriors don’t know plants so the Occupation keyword would be at 11 due to Stretch.)

The Urox PC shouldn’t be punished however - the player intentionally designed a character who should be great at combat, so make sure to give him spotlight moments where he curb stomps every foe who comes around, even the Near Impossible ones.  Just don’t let him lead the climactic extended contest to negotiate the end to a blood feud, because he’ll be a disaster.

At least that’s how I’m thinking about it after one session of play.  Do I have it wrong?  Can people just min-max two runes (one to do the contest, one to augment) and it’s good for all challenges?

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20 hours ago, Nebuchadnezzar said:

Can people just min-max two runes (one to do the contest, one to augment) and it’s good for all challenges?

Not without hitting Nearly Impossible as the default resistance for many activities. It will not be good for all challenges.

20 hours ago, Nebuchadnezzar said:

Storm Bull magic (as I understand it) is about storm, battle, facing chaos, and rage/berserker.  Maybe a little fertility given the god’s mythological links with various goddesses.

Yes, that's their focus. Beast and Storm. A bull's fertility powers definitely fit.

But if someone is sick and needs healing, call the CA healer. (Of course the Storm Bull can intimidate the healer into helping. Or can be the one sent through the battle to bring the healer back. Etc.)

20 hours ago, Nebuchadnezzar said:

Just don’t let him lead the climactic extended contest to negotiate the end to a blood feud, because he’ll be a disaster.

Don't put that out of the question, though. He might Intimidate the rivals to accept a peace. Maybe refuses to aid either side against Chaos until they achieve peace. Maybe challenges all to a Drinking Bout - the loser has to accept peace. These might be Very High Difficulty - unusual but possible.

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2 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Don't put that out of the question, though. He might Intimidate the rivals to accept a peace. 

Thanks for your reply, it’s a great help!

I was thinking about your very example above as I was writing my original post.  Then I figured that the Empire has been trying to Intimidate the Orlanthi into peace for years, unsuccessfully - and they have the Crimson Bat.  Short-term, the Urox might land a truce.  Long-term the feud would continue, and both clans would probably want the Urox dead for threatening their Rings.

I could see Harrek the Berserk pulling it off by saying he’ll kill everyone in both clans if they don’t agree to peace (and it wouldn’t be a bluff!), but an Eleven Lights PC Uroxi Intimidating the Red Cow and Emerald Sword into ending a blood feud?  Feels (to me) like it doesn’t pass the credibility test.  Potentially he could augment someone else’s negotiating/persuasion abilities.

That said, I take the push that I should embrace player creativity and allow them to use their abilities in “stretchy” ways if they can articulate a good rationale and it provides for a good story.  I guess my view on the OP was that the Urox player (and his GM) seemed to be interpreting the Storm Bull runes as “Face Any Challenge” W2 and “Augment Any Contest” W2, and in my view that’s not what Air and Eternal Battle actually do - not in a Storm Bull context, and not in any context.

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22 hours ago, Nebuchadnezzar said:

I guess my view on the OP was that the Urox player (and his GM) seemed to be interpreting the Storm Bull runes as “Face Any Challenge” W2 and “Augment Any Contest” W2, and in my view that’s not what Air and Eternal Battle actually do - not in a Storm Bull context, and not in any context.

Yeah, you definitely don't want to be in that situation.  It's exactly like the "Tough" example in HQG. 

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