Scythe – The Perfect Problem

Image result for scythe game

Once again I’m cutting it fine… two hours before bed.


LAST WEEK I looked at the interesting mechanics that would make Scythe perfect for a Megagame.  However there is one flaw that could put players off; they would rather play the Pilots other than the Workers.

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Scythe – The Perfect Answer

Image result for scythe game

So it’s Tuesday, one day before this has to go out.  Talk about cutting it fine.


And I think that there is something else I missed out in LAST WEEK’S POST that is key to why Scythe would be the perfect mega game conversion.

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Scythe – The Perfect Megagame

Image result for scythe game

I know this sounds weird; for starters Scythe is a board game not a Megagame.


However this is the perfect candidate for conversion into a Megagame and there is one reason for this; the relationship between the mechs and the workers.

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Project P – OR – The big questions

So last week I explained my process for designing the mechanics HERE but now we need to get into story.


And I’m using a very simple concept to do this… what story do I wish to let the players tell?

WARNING, this is very close to rail-roading so the next week will be the fine line and how to avoid crossing it.

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Project P – OR – how to put your idea through a shredder

When designing, you can safely assume that it will come out perfect…


Then be ready to throw it in a bin and NEVER ever play it.

OR you can take the idea and put it through a shredder… OK surely that the same thing right.

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The Jena Campaign (Part 2) -Structures and Chaos

There is no I in team; however there are issues with teams without a leader.  The structure of the Prussian Team may have had a king but during the battle the king just let his captains do their job effectively missing a leader for the full team.

For those that haven’t read part 1, please read it here.


I played the Jena Campaign as the French which was the most structured of the two teams to prepare for battle… the question is; what it is like for the other side.

This is actually a great exercise as I didn’t play the opposite side.  However, I can look at the French structure and guess what occurs on the other side.

DISCLAIMER: this exercise could result in a wrong answer and I may be wrong… if someone does challenge it then I will inform you.  Also some of the statements may be coming from the DoBO (Department of the B******* Obvious).

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The Jena Campaign (Part 1) – A Pivotal Point

Firstly two quick links to primers for megagames for non-megagamers as really they are better examples than anything I can explain:

Shut Up and Sit Down – Watch the Skies

Pennine Megagames


When writing something about mistakes, it is very difficult thing to avoid making someone feel bad.  Its also very difficult, at the same time, to avoid sounding like a big head when you or a member of your team does something that is a masterstroke (or even yourself).

I’m going to try to do this without doing either but advanced warning, this may not work.


Actually, I think that isn’t as difficult as you think… the pivotal moment I wish to talk about came about from three people talking together and the scenario had been set up so that it could happen.

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Megagame Designing – The Odds On and Off – Part 1

A Megagame may be about communication and conflict… however you can’t have Conflict without some way to resolve it (without resolving to actually killing each other).

Normally the result is a test with the result being enforced by the control team.

The majority of tests involve probability and as I’m currently looking at test mechanics, I’m looking at how probability can affect a Megagame and actually make it more interesting.

THE MATHS OF A MEGAGAME – PRELUDE


WARNING… MATHS AND VERY SMALL PERCENTAGES… WARNING.

Roll against “x”… 3 words that makes any RPG player go weak at the knees.  Fate decides whether or not you succeed or fail.

As I was designing for my Megagame, I needed a simple test that was easy to explain.

In the end I used a target system where the players roll a number of dice where for every die where they equal or beat the target value, they gain a success.

For one example:


 

When players take any form of life threatening risk they roll 3 six sided dice:

  • 2 or 3 Successes prevents any injury.
  • 1 Success prevents death but not injury.
  • 0 Successes results in the death of a hero.

Below is the table of targets (1 is a fail on all dice tests) for three dice and the probability it will occur.

 Successes (Left)

Target (Below)

0

Death

1

Injury

2+

OK

6+ 57.87% 34.72% 7.41%
5+ 29.63% 44.44% 25.93%
4+ 12.50% 37.50% 50.00%
3+ 3.70% 22.22% 74.07%
2+ 0.46% 6.94% 92.59%

So why am I mentioning this?  Well lets meet two people we will call the “Jammy Roller” and the “Cursed Roller”.

A single side of a die has a 16.67% chance of rolling; the Jammy Roller seems to roll 6’s 50%+ of the time and the Cursed Roller seems to roll 1’s 50%+ of the time.

A cold reality of probability is that it is a theory; if you roll a dice 6 times you expect to roll 1 through 6 once each.

The trouble is if you roll a 6 three times in a row… the probability of rolling 6 again is still 16.67%, it doesn’t decrease because you’ve rolled 6 before.  As such you can roll 6, 6 times out of 6, the probability of it happening being:

0.00214334705075445%

Rare but not impossible.


In context it’s possible for the factions in question to have two separate results; one factions keeping 100% of their starting units and one side being nearly wiped out.

This is actually a real design problem; how do you handle the reality of luck, when the Odds are On and Off?


Actually I’m not far away from the answer… because of the three words every RPG player are scared of…

… because we actually don’t hate them.

Every success and failure in theory should create a new challenge.  You succeed in discovering a trap… well done NOW get past it!  OR you trigger the same trap, now disarm it before it kills you!  Two different challenges based on the outcome of a single roll.


So back to the original issue of the test for this Megagame design.  What happens if the factions are controlled by Jammy Roller and Cursed Roller.

Jammy Roller gets more Recruits and they survive more quests and tasks so they will eventually reach the faction limits; however the GM* and his control team will spot the size of the faction and the antagonists will react and place more pressure on Jammy Roller because he can take it.

The challenge then becomes, how to manage the demands of everyone around you now they know you can take more of the load.

Cursed Roller will unfortunately gain fewer recruits and take more casualties.

The challenge then becomes rebuilding a faction destroyed which is a completely different challenge just created by a few failed rolls.


Even so, this doesn’t mean that you don’t prepare for them and be ready to take the sting off them… which because I’m well beyond 500 words will cover another time.