Re: Re: Community Participation

From: Alex Ferguson <abf_at_...>
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2000 01:52:46 +0100 (BST)

Thom Baguley:
> I'm not sold on it myself. Just thinking aloud. I think the rule intent is
> to stress that unified community support is a good thing.

I think the rule intent was, "quick, let's publish this thing before there's a riot!" ;-) Logarithmic scales are, I admit, somewhat on the tricksy side, so a better rule isn't completely straightforward to devise, so I don't necessarily want to tar and feather anyone... But I think it's far from clear what it is the rule _intends_, simply from what it actually does. (Arguments about the American constitution spring to mind, again. Ireland doesn't seem to have this problem, doubtless because in the case of the authors of many Articles, one can just phone 'em up and ask...)

> Dissenters or
> participants with mixed reasons for participation will weaken it.

You say that as if in some way, lending 'total support' to a ritual might in some way be half-hearted participation, or 'silent dissent', just because some others are _even more_ intimately involved. OK, that's how things work in New Labour, I'm told, but I dispute any similarity of cases! If a ritual involving my entire clan, getting +20 for total support were in some way likely to be _impaired_ by the arrival of my 5 boon companions from parts far afield (clan egos are crushed, the ritual's choreography is thrown into turmoil...) I'd think I'd be able to work that out for myself, in terms of support being effectively lost. Being told mechanistically that combining extraordinary and total is _inherently_ worse than only having total seems to me to be daft in the extreme, and far more likely to be a product of flakey number-crunching than deep authorial intent. (I don't know who the author of said table if, or if they can be compelled to testify...)

> I don't
> think it is a big problem, because community support should probably be a
> narrative thing. Players should try and persuade the clan, and, if they
> think the clan support may be patchy they should probably go ahead with
> family and friends. If the clan does give support, the narrator should be
> the only person who knows for sure how many and at what level.

I think one would normally be able to tell, if one has much experience of such things. Not that players should be sitting with the book open at p 244, trying to min-max the bonus, I quite agree. I'm speaking as once and future (I assume, sooner or later...) Narrator, who doesn't want to have to try and perform running repairs on the ruleset, not as a Community-Crazed Player... I agree, it's not a _big_ problem for me as a narrator -- I just won't use that rule.

In fact, I may well not use that table. The accompanying text makes a big deal about extraordinary support, saying how great it is, and implying you need the extraordinary support of your clan to stand any chance of completing the LBQ. But inspection of the extraordinary and total column reveals that there's going to be at most a +3 margin, in such cases. Given that one can dredge up much bigger bonus for other places, I don't see that it reflects Gloranthan reality as such.

(I imagine the LBQ might finesse this as a special case: when you're Alone in Hell, if you _don't_ get a sufficient amount of extraordinary support, you fail -- end of story.)

> As such it
> isn't a badly broken rule, because players can't manipulate it directly.

Other than by shoving their families down wells? ;-)


Powered by hypermail