Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad  (Read 25324 times)

noclue

  • Outhouse Attendant
  • *
  • Posts: 66
    • View Profile
Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad
« on: December 21, 2010, 02:50:53 AM »
6 new players? Yikes! That's tough.

Lots of fixes available to improve things though. Many that you mentioned in the ep.

1. Spend an hour or so discussing and rewriting beliefs. Make them actionable.
2. Pick something important in the setting and have each player write one belief about that.
3. When the GM calls for a Test, he should declare what the failure condition will be before the roll is made. If he can't come up with a good one that leads to interesting complications, then don't ask for a test. Failure should not be a problem if it leads to more story. Roadblocks are bleh.
4. Just stick to versus tests for now. Ignore the complex stuff for a bit.

#3 is key. It's a good way to fix the "You don't convince him. Maybe you can try something else later" stuff.

Also, come to the BW forums. There is help available. And it's free.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2010, 02:55:10 AM by noclue »

paul.

  • Toilet Ghoul
  • *****
  • Posts: 508
    • View Profile
Re: Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2010, 03:51:06 AM »
I was going to mention your #3, because I remember thinking a couple times that might help this particular situation. But the thing is, you don't have to play that way, we generally don't play that way, and I'm pretty sure the Adventure Burner addresses this as an optional thing.

If you notice, this was removed from Burning Empires (I'm pretty sure) and Mouse Guard, particularly MG, as failure generating twists comes into even sharper focus. And I think that's the true spirit of BW more than the "protect you from the big bad game master" subtext of that particular rule.

Because here's the thing: are you going to argue over the "If you fail..." declaration? I have to think that if you, as a player, would complain about a consequence prior to the roll, you're probably not going to keep your mouth shut if you don't like the consequence afterward. The GM has to come up with a fair and fitting (and hopefully interesting) complication regardless. I think announcing consequences prior to the roll is an artifact of teaching people how to GM Burning Wheel, not something that actually changes your game.

Other than simply getting you into the habit of plotting complications, there is one good reason for the Prior Consequences rule: it gives the players a chance to avoid the ideas of a crap GM. If you don't like what the GM has planned for you, you can step away from the roll. If this is a distinct problem, I can prove on a pocket calculator that there's going to be a meltdown in your campaign right about the time that BITs show up.

On the other hand, I have a very distinct reason for why the Prior Consequences rule sucks: it hampers drama. Allowing players to succeed, but with unintended repercussions, is one of the more fun ways to handle failure. If, before the roll, you know you're going to succeed no matter what, it deflates the power of uncertainty and can affect how people spend artha. There's a great little roller-coaster in the moment of narration when you hear that you got what you wanted, followed by how things also went badly. In games I run and play in, this is frequently a source of oohs, aahs, and laughter.

There's also the issue of revelatory failure. If you attempt to burn down the cult's temple, but you fail, the result could be complex: you only burn part of it - however, later that day, when you run into your brother, he has minor burns and is suffering from smoke inhalation (had the fire been worse, he might have just run instead of trying to put it out). That's an interesting result of failure, but how do include that in your "If you fail..." phrase?

It's worth mentioning that "failure means complication" is a partnership. If the players don't frame their actions with an intention, are playing with a reactive attitude, mostly waiting to be told what to roll, and have incomprehensible beliefs, that doesn't give the GM enough material for providing interesting failures.

Meg

  • Undead Outhouse Attendant
  • **
  • Posts: 108
    • View Profile
    • http://www.brilliantgameologists.com
Re: Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2010, 03:23:58 PM »
6 new players? Yikes! That's tough.

Lots of fixes available to improve things though. Many that you mentioned in the ep.

1. Spend an hour or so discussing and rewriting beliefs. Make them actionable.
2. Pick something important in the setting and have each player write one belief about that.
3. When the GM calls for a Test, he should declare what the failure condition will be before the roll is made. If he can't come up with a good one that leads to interesting complications, then don't ask for a test. Failure should not be a problem if it leads to more story. Roadblocks are bleh.
4. Just stick to versus tests for now. Ignore the complex stuff for a bit.

#3 is key. It's a good way to fix the "You don't convince him. Maybe you can try something else later" stuff.

Also, come to the BW forums. There is help available. And it's free.

Couple of points:

We are not all new players- 3 of us have played BW before- myself and zeke, several times.

We've done #1 a few times.  It hasn't helped yet.

I HATED #2.  We started with that- we all made a belief based on the world we came up with.  I would definitely recommend not doing that again.  It was far too far reaching, all of us- too long term.  Maybe have 3 long term beliefs that don't really change on top of the 3 you are actively working for or something, but as is, it didn't work.

#3 hm.  I don't know if that's really the issue.  The issue is that we are trying to move the story, plan what we want to do and we fail EVERY time.  Even with failure being interesting, it being constant is a total drain.

#4 for the most part we are.  It's still taking too long.

Yeah, if I think there is anything worthwhile in this game (I haven't made my mind up yet), I'll put in energy at the BW forums.
Come into the light at BrilliantGameologists.com

Meg

  • Undead Outhouse Attendant
  • **
  • Posts: 108
    • View Profile
    • http://www.brilliantgameologists.com
Re: Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2010, 03:34:06 PM »
Here's my real issue.

I don't really like Burning Wheel very much.

Yes, this game experience isn't ideal.  Sure, I haven't given it a ton of time, but I have given it a lot-- read the character burner front to back.  Read the majority of the actual game book.  Played about 4 one-shots and 2 campaigns with different GMs.  And I still don't like it.

Seriously, how much do I have to give to this game?

It really comes down that I don't think it's a very good game.

I think it's like War and Peace or The New York Times.  It's overly complicated and just not very much fun, but because of the sophistication, everyone thinks they are supposed to like it.

Blasphemy!

Come into the light at BrilliantGameologists.com

paul.

  • Toilet Ghoul
  • *****
  • Posts: 508
    • View Profile
Re: Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2010, 04:43:31 PM »
I think it's like War and Peace or The New York Times.  It's overly complicated and just not very much fun

This doesn't make any sense to me. BITs, six base stats, four or five easily-derived stats, resources and circles. Skills work pretty simply. It's the subsystems that are complex, and they're optional. Use up to page 74 in the core rules and then tack on Circles. That alone can be the extent of BW for your group forever and be perfectly satisfying. Play is pretty damn similar to Mouse Guard that way. If you simply don't care for it, I can't argue, but I'd be amazed for you to tell me that doing things that way is overly complex.

So it seems like you're making your judgment based on poor assumptions, particularly the assumption that you can wade into the full game so soon. You spoke candidly about having crumby Beliefs. If you're still at the stage where you can't consistently make good Beliefs, that's the first sign that you aren't prepared for most of the Rim of the Wheel. And I don't mean that in some elitist way. More like you can't get there from here. That doesn't mean that one day it's going to click and you'll love it. On the contrary, you might dislike it more. But it seems like you're going about it in a way that sets you up for disappointment.

...because of the sophistication, everyone thinks they are supposed to like it.

If you know people who are pretending to like it in order to appear sophisticated or meet expectations, that's a bummer. My experience is only my own, but most people I know who like BW didn't come to their conclusions based on expectations of others. Rather than accepting that other people actually like it for legitimate reasons, you assume that "everyone" feels the same way you do, but won't admit it. I don't understand where this comes from.

Anyway, if you don't enjoy it, that sucks, but is your taste. However, I strongly encourage you to take a different approach before coming to conclusions.

WarrenLocke

  • IT Playtesters
  • Poltergeist
  • *
  • Posts: 337
    • View Profile
Re: Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2010, 06:03:02 PM »
At the very least, the game experiences with too large a group in far, far too short a time per session with characters burned on a different scale than most obstacles you're facing makes the experience you're having right now unreflective of the game, in my opinion.  Every thing external to the system itself that could possibly work against it being enjoyable seems to be present here, leading to bad play.

My experience doesn't support the proposal that BW is a badly designed game - rather, situationally it's a bad game to play with six players for 1-2 hours per session.
Regulate.

Burning March Wiki: Wiki for our weekly Burning Wheel by Skype game

Luke

  • Administrator
  • Thunderbox Revenant
  • *****
  • Posts: 2539
    • View Profile
    • http://www.podgecast.com
Re: Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2010, 06:23:46 PM »
Don't get so frustrated about not liking Burning Wheel, Meg. If it's not your thing, it's not your thing. The reason there are so many games out there is because there are so many tastes.  You've certainly given it a fair shake.

Can't agree with the lashing out about it being a poorly designed game or overly-complicated. As I've stated, I'm in the camp that it's one of the best designed games out there. There are lots of moving parts and fiddly bits but they all work in a rhythm that keeps driving the game back to its core goals.

It's just a game, after all, though. When Josh finishes his run with it go play something you love.
"Everything I do is the attitude of an award winner because I've won an award.." - Ron Swanson

noclue

  • Outhouse Attendant
  • *
  • Posts: 66
    • View Profile
Re: Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2010, 07:34:05 PM »
Yes, if it's not your thing, then it's just not your thing. And that's totally cool.

Two things though that can kill a burning wheel game immediately are beliefs that aren't singing for the GM and player, and calling for rolls when the GM doesn't have a good failure condition in mind.

So, we play with the idea that if the GM isn't clear how they're going to challenge a belief and the player isn't clear how their going to use the belief to drive play, the belief has to be reworked until we all know what to do with it. That way the GM always knows how to hit a PC and the player always knows what they're doing when the spotlight shines on them. Also, setting one belief that can be resolved in a session, one that can be resolved in the near term, and one long term, philosophical belief, can help with pacing.

With regard to failure, I can't recommend strongly enough that the GM try explicitly stating failure conditions before the roll. We've found it very useful to give the GM a second if he needs it to come up with "If you fail this roll, then...happens." The way that tends to work is that failure becomes a fork, rather than a roadblock. So, do you convince the dude about X? "If you fail this roll, you convince the dude just fine, but one of his henchmen carries the message of his betrayal to their lord." So, now that one scene about convincing the dude leads to other scenes, all of which are ideally about your belief, and so yield fate points for driving the play forward.

Anyway, my two cents from lots of BW play. If it doesn't work, it's easy to stop doing it.


noclue

  • Outhouse Attendant
  • *
  • Posts: 66
    • View Profile
Re: Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2010, 12:46:22 AM »
I was going to mention your #3, because I remember thinking a couple times that might help this particular situation. But the thing is, you don't have to play that way, we generally don't play that way, and I'm pretty sure the Adventure Burner addresses this as an optional thing.
Yup, it's totally an optional thing in Adventure Burner. I think it's a great option, especially if your game is experiencing instances of "You fail. I guess you don't do the thing you were trying to do." We came to this realization through trial and error. When our GM started focusing on this technique our game sessions became consistently better and things really started cooking, and when things got spotty it was usually because he'd skipped it and just called for a roll. Explicit failure conditions allow the GM to communicate to the player how this roll is about their belief, even if they didn't know it (or about another PC's belief). Anyway, It's an easy thing to test and pretty painless to change back if it doesn't work.

Quote
If you notice, this was removed from Burning Empires (I'm pretty sure) and Mouse Guard, particularly MG, as failure generating twists comes into even sharper focus.
I haven't played BE, but you're right that explicit failure conditions don't work well in MG. That game has a different, though similar mechanic, where every failure leads to a Twist or success with a Condition. So, the GM goes through a process before calling for a test. However, the "no weasels" rule in MG doesn't allow for backing out of a test once you've learned the Ob. In BW, once you've heard the failure conditions and the ob, you can decide if it's worth the risk, or if you need to spend Artha (especially this) or get help, or take a different approach. If you don't know the failure conditions, it's harder to judge these things.

Quote
I think announcing consequences prior to the roll is an artifact of teaching people how to GM Burning Wheel, not something that actually changes your game.
I'll guess we disagree here. It changed our game fundamentally.

Quote
Other than simply getting you into the habit of plotting complications, there is one good reason for the Prior Consequences rule: it gives the players a chance to avoid the ideas of a crap GM. If you don't like what the GM has planned for you, you can step away from the roll.
It won't fix a crappy GM. I think we agree here. What it does do is allow the group to focus on rolls and how they're about beliefs, instincts and traits. How they tie into the Artha currency cycle. And how one PC's roll may compliment or conflict with another's BITs. Taking a moment to get those things in line can make a moment extremely dramatic.

Quote
On the other hand, I have a very distinct reason for why the Prior Consequences rule sucks: it hampers drama. Allowing players to succeed, but with unintended repercussions, is one of the more fun ways to handle failure. If, before the roll, you know you're going to succeed no matter what, it deflates the power of uncertainty and can affect how people spend artha.
I'll just say that it has heightened the drama in our game with a laser like focus that I have rarely experienced. Knowing that if you fail the roll, it's going to have some nasty repercussion has made rolling those dice all the more powerful and dramatic for us. If I'm climbing a wall, and the GM brings in a failure condition along the lines of "This isn't about whether or not you climb the wall. This is about whether or not climbing the wall causes X to happen that threatens to topple everything you've been working on (just an example), you can bet I'm now 100% engaged in this climbing. I'm weighing the risk-reward. I'm reaching for Persona so I don't get fucked. I'm calling in all the help I can from friends, looking for advantage dice, FoRKing in relevant skills. This thing just became massively interesting to all of us.

Quote
There's also the issue of revelatory failure. If you attempt to burn down the cult's temple, but you fail, the result could be complex: you only burn part of it - however, later that day, when you run into your brother, he has minor burns and is suffering from smoke inhalation (had the fire been worse, he might have just run instead of trying to put it out). That's an interesting result of failure, but how do include that in your "If you fail..." phrase?
Just like you did there. "If you fail this roll, you only partially burn the building and your brother foolishly thinks he can put it out. When you see him next, he's suffering from smoke inhalation that almost killed him and his lover blames you for it." The GM can put what they know at the time. It still leaves room for revelation later if something strikes the GM's fancy. They have the power to introduce new plot twists without failures. So, later on maybe you learn that the lover has hired a thug to break your leg. Or maybe she rats you out to the cult and now they're hunting you.

Quote
It's worth mentioning that "failure means complication" is a partnership. If the players don't frame their actions with an intention, are playing with a reactive attitude, mostly waiting to be told what to roll, and have incomprehensible beliefs, that doesn't give the GM enough material for providing interesting failures.
Amen. That's definitely true. But the GM shouldn't let them roll until he gets their intention nailed down tight. And he shouldn't let beliefs stand that he finds incomprehensible.

Also, I hope you don't mind discussing this. I love burning wheel talk, but realize I can come off a bit strident if someone isn't into it.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 12:52:12 AM by noclue »

Mikel

  • Friendly Ghost
  • ***
  • Posts: 226
    • View Profile
Re: Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2010, 08:06:11 AM »
If you want to have a good fantasy game for 6 players, I recommend Ars Magica.  Because you end up using 1 Mage, 1-3 companions, and a bunch of grogs, everyone gets major spotlight time and the grogs in particular tend to be a ton of fun to play.  It's a good game for larger groups because it easily leads to the kinds of stories where all the characters have a lot to do.

robosnake

  • Outhouse Attendant
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
    • http://doughagler.blogspot.com
Re: Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2010, 09:38:56 PM »
I just listened to the episode, and I was going to actually say something similar.

I really have to ask whether Burning Wheel is a good game, or whether the game books are well-written but it is an over-hyped game.

I remember a Podge Cast episode long ago when you guys were discussing KtNG, and said something like 'now that we're 12 or 13 sessions in, we're finally starting to get the hang of Burning Wheel'.  I remember thinking WTF.  That's around, what, 40 hours of play?  To just start getting the hang of the game?

At a certain point, BW begins to seem like a Rube-Goldberg machine.  I say this as someone who really enjoyed reading the game books, and has run the game more than once.  I've seen new players totally paralyzed by the system and experienced gamers, having read the books, with no idea of how to actually run the game. 

Maybe BW is kind of like old-school D&D - what it has is a strong culture around it, and a lot of enthusiastic players who delve into it, and learn it's baroque intricacies. 

I think that it is a game designed to be complex, and then to be it's own tutorial.

I also think that at the time, BW was an amazing game, deserving of the 'new hotness' shine it had among indy games.  To me, though, it's easy to see how Mouse Guard took Burning Wheel and fixed it.  It took a Rube-Goldberg machine and replaced it with something that does it's job without so much wasted movement.

At this point, from my own experience, I have to take it on faith that somehow, other people out there get this game to work for them the way they want.  It just feels like you need a degree in Burning Wheel to do so, and I'm not sure demanding that is something I associate with a good game.  Certainly, neither elegant nor efficient.

Here's my real issue.

I don't really like Burning Wheel very much.

Yes, this game experience isn't ideal.  Sure, I haven't given it a ton of time, but I have given it a lot-- read the character burner front to back.  Read the majority of the actual game book.  Played about 4 one-shots and 2 campaigns with different GMs.  And I still don't like it.

Seriously, how much do I have to give to this game?

It really comes down that I don't think it's a very good game.

I think it's like War and Peace or The New York Times.  It's overly complicated and just not very much fun, but because of the sophistication, everyone thinks they are supposed to like it.

Blasphemy!


doughagler.blogspot.com

paul.

  • Toilet Ghoul
  • *****
  • Posts: 508
    • View Profile
Re: Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2010, 10:46:52 PM »
I just listened to the episode, and I was going to actually say something similar.

I really have to ask whether Burning Wheel is a good game, or whether the game books are well-written but it is an over-hyped game.

Honestly, for every hype-up I see of Burning Wheel, I see two hype-downs. And it's sad to admit, but I do my share of lurking around large rpg blogs and forums, so, while my sample isn't perfect, it's probably pretty good. There are people who are ardent about rule-changes on the first read-through before they've even played it just like there are people whose minds are blown in the same time-frame. But there are also people who have mastered it and have problems with what it does for their group, just like there are people who have mastered it and it continues to take them to new heights.

Simply because it's such a deep system, you're going to get a full range of these responses - something that is very uncommon with rpg's in general, good or bad. Which is where I think the perceived hype comes from: people talk about it a lot even if they don't play it or enjoy it (usually for reasons different from why people do the same with, say, 4e).

As to whether or not it's a good game, it depends entirely on the experience you seek and/or expect. I have no question in my mind that it produces the experience for which it is designed. If that experience is not to your taste or you're expecting something else, then your mileage may vary.

I remember a Podge Cast episode long ago when you guys were discussing KtNG, and said something like 'now that we're 12 or 13 sessions in, we're finally starting to get the hang of Burning Wheel'.  I remember thinking WTF.  That's around, what, 40 hours of play?  To just start getting the hang of the game?

For us, it was definitely an issue of experiencing the artha cycle. It's not something for which you can easily prepare people. Once we felt the rhythm of the game, we started to understand what we weren't doing well - such as writing Beliefs. Nobody experienced taught us the game, we just jumped right in. So, we got it and enjoyed it, but it didn't truly sing until later. In my experience, most games never sing at all.

At a certain point, BW begins to seem like a Rube-Goldberg machine.  I say this as someone who really enjoyed reading the game books, and has run the game more than once.  I've seen new players totally paralyzed by the system and experienced gamers, having read the books, with no idea of how to actually run the game.  

Maybe BW is kind of like old-school D&D - what it has is a strong culture around it, and a lot of enthusiastic players who delve into it, and learn it's baroque intricacies.  

I think that it is a game designed to be complex, and then to be it's own tutorial.

I also think that at the time, BW was an amazing game, deserving of the 'new hotness' shine it had among indy games.  To me, though, it's easy to see how Mouse Guard took Burning Wheel and fixed it.  It took a Rube-Goldberg machine and replaced it with something that does it's job without so much wasted movement.

At this point, from my own experience, I have to take it on faith that somehow, other people out there get this game to work for them the way they want.  It just feels like you need a degree in Burning Wheel to do so, and I'm not sure demanding that is something I associate with a good game.  Certainly, neither elegant nor efficient.

I agree that MG definitely streamlines BW in a lot of right ways, but it's ultimately designed for a different feel, as well.

What I don't agree with is the Rube-Goldberg analysis. The basic game can be awfully different from what a lot of people are used to playing, so that's an obvious resistance to the criticism that experienced gamers don't quickly grasp it. In fact, I think most experienced gamers approach new games like they can master them without having played at all. There's an arrogance that one can hold the whole machine in his head. And that's the mistake that people make - they treat it like it's just D&D with a different advancement system and arguing. I'm not saying you or anyone else here is doing that, but I've read a wealth of criticisms of BW and most are from this approach. And if the criticism, over and over, is that it's overly complex and that you need a degree to play, it's not unreasonable for me to think you're trying to choke down more of it at once than you should or than the book recommends.

Have you ever played a fighting video game? Or chess? The basic moves in every situation are finite. You can play almost immediately. It's only when you attempt complex things that the game becomes complex. Ultimately, the core game is pretty damn simple. It just has more stuff that you can choose to play with or without. The things these additional levels rely on is the core game, not linked strangely to each other - which is what I'd say is a requirement for the Rube-Goldberg criticism.

In a lot of ways, I'd say that old D&D is the opposite of BW. OD&D has no engaging system to speak of, no intricacies, no constraints. It also has tons of arbitrary rules. One ability is percentage, while another is a 1 or a 2 on a d6? Zero consistency. For every fiddly bit in BW, there's a lot of consistency and basically every rule is aimed towards the heart of the game.

That's not to say the game doesn't have imperfections. I just find that the criticisms laid out here mostly boil down to, "I don't have fun when I'm playing it." Which is valid to the moon and back, but there's nothing to discuss. It's the attempts to vaguely explain why that fun isn't happening that I usually find to be flimsy. People tend to pick explanations that sound correct more often than ones that truly are correct.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2010, 10:49:53 PM by rumrokh »

okeefe

  • Outhouse Attendant
  • *
  • Posts: 97
  • Dapper Metroid
    • View Profile
Re: Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2010, 09:16:41 PM »
Gray stats, seriously?  Reburn characters with all black.

Kaiyotea

  • Outhouse Attendant
  • *
  • Posts: 44
    • View Profile
Re: Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2010, 07:51:50 AM »
Take this opinion for what itís worth (that of some guy on the internet who listens to the Podgecast) but based on my listening the problems seem to be coming a combination of factors:

1)   The game sessions are short (2 hours give or take)
2)   The group has 6 players and the group philosophy holds that each player get the spotlight in every session (so thatís about 20 min. per player)
3)   The players are playing 3 life path characters

The three are combining to keep the players in a self-perpetuating cycle of failure.  Playing Burning Wheel with 3 LP characters is a perfectly valid choice but with that choice comes the unspoken assumption that with low Stats and Skill exponents characters are going to have the opportunity for a normal amount of tests under which  the skills will advance quickly.

The first two factors are such that each character only gets a very small number of tests per session and with skill exponents at only 1 or 2 those few skill tests will often be failures and with so few tests the skills will not advance, keeping the failure rate high.  

Look at the BW game that Luke is running as another example.  They are also playing 3 LP characters but their games are about 2-3x longer (correct me if Iím wrong) and they have half the number of players (Iím rounding down from 3.5) so their characters get 4 to 6 times the amount of Ďspotlight time' per session.

The first two factors are external and will not change.  So my advice would be to focus on the third one that you can change.  I say sit down and re-burn all of your characters as 4 possibly even 5 Life Path characters.  If characters are going to get only a few rolls per session then they should be reasonably competent at those few they do get.  3 LP characters can be fine but it doesnít seem like itís a good fit for these circumstances of your game.

Alternatively, if everyone is completely set on 3 LP characters I think that you should at least go to the GM and ask to re-burn your character and bump up your stat levels instead of going gray in a stat.  From a statistical POV it doesnít make sense to go gray at only 3 LP.  The gray dice will get a success on a 3+ instead of a 4+  (an increase 0f 16.5% per die) but if your dice pool is only 3-4 dice then thatís only ~50-65% chance of one additional success per roll.   But if you were to bump the stat up by say two?  Thatís (statistically, sort of) a 100% chance of an additional success (2 dice at 50% chance each)



WarrenLocke

  • IT Playtesters
  • Poltergeist
  • *
  • Posts: 337
    • View Profile
Re: Episode 119: Meg's recap of her BW game made me sad
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2010, 12:23:27 PM »
But if you were to bump the stat up by say two?  Thatís (statistically, sort of) a 100% chance of an additional success (2 dice at 50% chance each)

Some solid comments, but I'm too much of a math pedant to let this go... I apologize in advance.

Two dice with 50% chance of success doesn't equal 100% in any way of looking at it, it is in fact a 75% chance of an additional success; it also gives you a 25% chance at two additional successes.  Which is still a lot better than what grey shifting gives you at three lifepaths, so the underlying assertion remains sound.
Regulate.

Burning March Wiki: Wiki for our weekly Burning Wheel by Skype game