Quick Responses

Go to LARP for one night and everyone takes that day to blow up your email, replies, and facebook with comments and questions (and some really shitty or snarky remarks).

Here is a list of some quick replies to the most common questions:

1) The standing train of thought up until recently has been to remove Strain skills all together. Some feedback said they would like it just so that a particular Strain has the ability to learn something without a teacher (in particular giving the new take on teaching and learning). The notes that are in the Strain section right now are based mostly on what the Strains originally had, a note that it says "Self", and notations of where I think some changes should be. Without a doubt not a final thought process on it because until a few days ago, my initial design process was to remove Strain skills all together. While 10 years ago the idea of "YEAH! Mericans can shoot guns and punch!" the more modern idea is "Why the hell would an entire species have an innate ability to throw punches and shoot people?" What if that Merican grew up wanting to be a cook and do no harm? Then the entire mechanics design in Strain skills is wasted on them.

2) Going to get a bit snarky on this one since the questions and comments really haven't been that civil. First, Stability is being introduced as a means to replace the current (archaic and somewhat insensitive) derangement system. Its designed to give a means and mechanic for people who --don't want-- to just gain a derangement when they die to have a mechanical means to invest in their character to avoid it. The quirks design is intended to allow players further agency in regards to how they would react to a stressful situation instead of instantly going toward debilitating mental illness, and also allows individuals the ability to have a measurable threshold when they do rare things like "go into the fucking ego-dissolving state of death" or as well as give a more defined "success gauge" when it comes to individuals doing things like grave-robber procedures to procure infection back. Stability is not a "damage call" or "another number to track" but instead a replacement system for something that is...well... very ten years ago in design (when it was created and all that).

Second, if you are going to compare Stability to "sanity" from Call of Cthulhu, do yourself a favor and read how sanity works in the eldritch horror game world. Call of Cthulhu is a fantastic game, one worth playing, and Sanity functions completely differently than a expendable pool you use when you die.  Not to pick too many bones about it but survivors in the DR universe live in a place where cannibalism, reality shattering psionics, death, corpses, friendly sentient corpses, zombies, mutants, radiation, and dooooooom is all a part of life before you go for breakfast. What good would sanity checks be in DR? 

3) The reason for the increased price on Lores is due to the fact that Lores were originally designed to be story tools that Directors and Story Writers used as a key-skill to open up additional information, resources, and content. After reading plot kits from all the chapters for the past year or two, its not used anywhere near enough to make it worth buying that many lores. So the number of lores is going to be collapsed down and made into more broad areas of studies where each lore will be the equivalent of two to three of the current existing lores put together into a more general field of study. 

The reason for price increases on lists is that there was a massive XP differential between a small handful of lists (like Assassin) and the others. People took the cheapest lists that offered the "best" skills. The rework on costs allows for a balance on the skill growth trees. In addition, with the collapse of a number of skills together into a single skill, the experience point cost that would have went into multiple skills now falls into a single one. 

4) Blueprints - Yes, a good number of them will be removed from play or need an update. Currently there are about 1,050 that are in play and another 750 or so that were made and not released. We used to release about 50 new prints a year into play, and this giant flow of prints caused people to not only become burned out "trying to catch them all" but also became a waste of player/design time to release into the world when we had a pretty good idea that in a year or two many of the "tier two" prints would need to be scrapped for a rebalance anyway. Why flood more material into a game world when you are pretty sure that maybe 30 events later you are going to have to completely rework that print. 

Sorry. That's the reason why the Dock Yard Blueprint never re-entered play after once or twice. I knew that tinkering and engineering were going to need a rework with the stat system.

5) The chart is hard to read. I said it from the start of the blog update. It's a data dump that I use for cross referencing and making notes. If your comment is going to be "This is hard to read" when one of the few notes I put up front is "I know this is hard to read" that means that either you didn't read those sentences or just don't care. If I was looking to share a completed document, I would have just finished the book and said "here you go" instead of showing the design work that goes into this. 

6) "I don't like" and "It doesn't matter, they won't listen." 
 Ok. So, this will go into tomorrow's blog post about why these updates are going to stop for a bit, but I am going to give it a few seconds here. If opening the initial design and thought processes for something that is intended for 3 years from now, allowing people a greater understanding of the concepts behind the creation so the players can give more educated and constructive feedback, and providing a medium of direct engagement into design is something that causes you to just respond with negativity and squawk until angels come down from on high with notes that say "ok" ... then just go do something else during the development and discussion cycle. I know that is a bit blunt, but there is little to nothing more that can be done to provide a medium of engagement, transparency, involvement, and community development short of inviting the thousands of players over to my office to read over my shoulder.  This is a release for 3 years from now. I could have just written a new edition and released it or just left it as is. And no, you can't come over to my office and read over my shoulder.  Dat shit is creepy.