Re: Community Support funkiness

From: Michael Schwartz <mschwartz_at_...>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2001 17:35:55 -0500

Bryan Thexton wrote:

>Taking action ahead of time to boost relationships,
>plus using things like leadership or orate to full
>effect could gain the heroes a slightly larger bonus,
>while neglecting this sort of thing and just taking
>it all for granted could easily result in a less than
>expected bonus.

Exactly my point. Thank you for recognizing and confirming my thought that a rules tweak of this nature would not only be useful, but is practically necessary. Too little has been made of the Relationship rules, thus far, and one of the ideas I have mulled over is writing up a more detailed guide for their use in HERO WARS.

Wulf Corbett wrote:

>That's more of a narrative description of exceptionally
>good or bad die rolls to use afterward, rather than a
>modifier to apply before the rolls.

I concur with your assessment... exactly my own thought on the matter.

Nick Brooke wrote:

>Michael Schwartz doesn't like my suggestions:
>Fair enough.

They were given in the proper spirit... they just failed to explain your position adequately and as such were of no use to me. Thanks for the insights, even if they were not clearer to me at first.

>You missed my point, clearly. I'm suggesting
>that you would expect to receive Extraordinary
>Support from Disciples

You missed *my* point, clearly, which was that the heroes cannot expect any level of support without the prerequisite Relationship scores to merit them. I concur that a hero's kaylings and religious leaders would give him or her Extraordinary Support in his or her quest, but only if the hero's piety and intentions warranted such support. Performing the "Lead Cross" heroquest will not automatically gain a Humakti hero the blessings of his or her cult, as an example, even if he or she were in good standing. The strife it would create might bring down the wrath of entire clans, tribes or confederations upon the cult.

>I intend the bonus to be bumped up or down based
>on your success in persuading them to support you.

I understand, but you don't give an example of the bonus received, only the total number of supporters. You failed to address this anywhere in your original reply. I see you do further along in this thread, thankfully, so perhaps what you suggest will make more sense.

>I'd like to come up with a single column that broad-
>ly duplicates the *results* of the present Community
>Support Table.

An admirable goal, and not without merit. I think it is pretty easy to develop... just use a power of two for the number of supporters, and assign X bonus at that level. If you look at the Extraordinary Support column on page 244 of HERO WARS, you will see the following:

     Numbers    Bonus
         1       + 1
         2       + 2
         4       + 4
         8       + 6
        16       + 8
        32       +10
        64       +12
       125       +14

Now look at the Total and Ordinary Support columns. The number before the slash for Total is one step lower than for Extraordinary, except for the 32000 entry; for Ordinary, it is three steps lower... in other words, exactly what you profess to desire from it! :)

>Many, many apologies if my post became useless to you
>without this additional work. Foolish of me to try to
>contribute on the fly.

Foolish of you to do all the thought-work *period* when the alleged flaw about which you are complaining is not within the existing rules.

>You've never had to throw your best friends down a well,

Meaning what... RUNEQUEST? While I loved it in its day, HARNMASTER did everything RUNEQUEST did sans the majority of the clunkiness. If you are not referring to RUNEQUEST, then you may want to explain your use of slang to those of us who are not British. :)

Benedict Adamson wrote:

>There are several indications that the ability
>rating scale is non-linear, tending towards a
>logarithmic function.

Very true. I was merely attempting, in my example, to create some numbers with which to work instead of just ignoring Nick's comments. When someone makes an effort to reply to something I post, I like to return the favor. I prefer the Community Support Table numbers because they *do* work, and are intuitive. I did not find Nick's mechanics comprehensible, due to the lack of numbers. His concepts and desires *were*, however, and I tried to address them by plugging in some fast-and-dirty numbers of my own which were *not* derived from the Community Support Table which was the subject of Nick's ire.

Apologies for contributing on the fly all around, I guess. :)

Nick Brooke again:

>I'm trying to scale things *up* so we can look
>at quests by Jar-Eel backed by religious support
>from the whole Lunar Empire, not just quests by
>the Aranwyth Tribe or the Greydog Clan. This is
>why I thought it worth noting that Disciples can
>fit into the paradigm.

No misunderstanding there, and I think you are spot on. Extending the Community Support Table beyond the 32K mark is not all that troublesome, though; the next tiers are 64K (+70), 125K (+80), 250K (+90), 500K (+100), 1M (+125), 2M (+150), 4M (+175), 8M (+200), and 16M (+250)... so you need a million people giving Extraordinary Support to offset the difficulty of making magic last a generation. Sounds about right, does it not?

>Or do you think Jar-Eel is *always* accompanied on
>HeroQuests by *every* Lunar Disciple who thinks she
>is a Good Thing?

Perhaps not accompanied, but certainly given Extraordinary Support. Jar-Eel also probably has Disciple (Red Goddess) 10W4 or so with which to gain their support, however.

>Good point on logarithms... you'd convert them into a
>bonus on an exponential/logarithmic (powers-of-two?)

Which is what the Extraordinary Support column of the Community Support Table already does as I mentioned earlier. I agree whole-heartedly, just do not see where your problem with the CST lies.

>I want a system robust enough to cope with this.

The system already does, if you will just take a closer look at it. Forget the table and just look at the numbers... you will find they work.

>There are three sets of terms: for levels of success,
>for levels of support, and for levels of initiation.
>I think the level of *support* is the ditchable one,
>as it adds extra complexity...

You completely missed my point here. The level of support is directly related to the level of success which a hero achieves in his or her test or contest to acquire community support... they are one and the same, really. The problem is thinking there are three terms when there are only two. As stated earlier, I do not think that there is automatic support given to a hero (unless his or her Relationship is three masteries or more above the difficulty accrued by the scope of the supporting body and the degree to which the hero's intent conforms to the desires of that body, at least). With that in mind, please re-examine my original post. You may find yourself less at odds with it.

Benedict Adamson again:

>The whole thing would be simpler if we could ditch the
>idea of mixed levels of support.

Was not mixed levels of support one of the criteria you expressed as being necessary to any revision or expansion of the Community Support rules?

>If we want to use the existing Community Support table
>we need some way of determining how many people provide
>what level of support.

Exactly what my original post does, although without too many hard numbers so it remains easy to use and adapt to varied numbers of supporters. And the existing Community Support Table is just fine as is... just use the numbers from the Extraordinary Support column and extend them as I mentioned earlier in this post for larger bodies of supporters.

>The mechanism should have someway of representing people
>putting more or less effort into supporting you, if only
>to assure that initiation HQs are sufficiently easy and
>Magic Sword (TM) HQs are more difficult.

Is that not what mixed levels of support already represent? Higher levels of support can be achieved when the aims of the hero are in accord with the desires of the community, as I said previously. Since the intent of an initiation is obviously to the benefit of the community, a hero would have to fumble a Relationship test or contest to *lose* Extraordinary Support. He or she would get merely Total Support instead... bummer.

Cultural heroes like Jar-Eel or Argrath can probably get Total Support for personal Maguffin Hunts, even with the loss of a bump-up due to the selfish intent, so great is their esteem. I can see it now: "I am in agony, my people.. lend me your aid in my heroquest to recover Boil-Lancer, that most ancient and holy implement by which I may pierce this offending buboe and, in so doing, end my pain. Gee, Jar-Eel... of course we'll help you!" :)

Michael Richard Schwartz | Language is my playground,
mschwartz_at_... | and words, its slides and
Ann Arbor, Michigan  USA | swingsets. -- yours truly

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