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  #46  
Old 05-26-2018, 04:12 PM
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It would be interesting to code a DM grading tool right into the player posts, so that all a judge has to do is click rating bubbles without tracking a large formatted table.
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Last edited by Gaijin; 05-26-2018 at 04:12 PM.
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  #47  
Old 05-26-2018, 05:49 PM
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I found the judging to be transparent. I personally did not agree on some, but most of them, which is a pretty good indication that it worked for me.

Especially the daily feedback and reading the mini-posts-of-the-day was a highlight for me during this Outplay.
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  #48  
Old 05-26-2018, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoozombie View Post
There seems to be too much focus on TP's here. It seems that that the basic ideal of Out Play (found here) https://www.rpgcrossing.com/showthre...38#post7558738 has been put on the back burner. If there is some way to just skip the TP's I believe player focus will go back to the player's skills and role play. There would also be less emphasis on the 'me' factor and more on group corporation.

The labyrinth ideal was great but the TP not so much. I spent too much time focused on that. How ever when I actually got to role play with another player that wasn't too concerned about collecting TP's and we began to problem solve and come up plans on what to do next, it was a lot of fun. And that's what I signed up for.
Two points on this:

1) This year was intended to be something different. The core model was found to be lacking and steps are being taken to improve it, which I think is a good thing.

2) A good half of Ulf's TP came from judge awards (despite not winning any popularity contests), which to me means there's definitely a good balance between in-game rewards through completing the challenges and the external interpretation of how the character is being played with regards to consistency, strength of interactions, etc.

As a proof of concept I think this year went very well. It could have easily devolved into a trainwreck, and I think with refinement there's a lot of potential.
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  #49  
Old 05-28-2018, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaijin View Post
Could do a post critique rubric.
We are not going back to that. That's how we did it previously. Despite spending nearly three hours every day on this, I think it was actually much less total time than previous years where every character was being judged on a rubric like we've done in the past. We've tried secret judging, we've tried public judging. But this spot-judging we did this year, while not perfect, was I think the best thing we've tried yet.
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  #50  
Old 05-29-2018, 03:41 AM
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While we wait expectantly for the judges I'll expand a little bit on what I expressed earlier, with a concrete example.

Vallesh's Hunger made an amazing wish with the genie that made his whole character make deep sense and show great depth. The gameplay was brilliant. However the result for Vallesh, despite being a front runner, was to lose 3 TP to make the wish and then lose all of his Warlock levels. This does not seem just. The format in itself made character development of any sort a very big challenge as there was scarce opportunity to do so, particularly as soon as a character found themselves alone. The fact that Vallesh was able to develop the central motivation of his character to this degree should have been met with a similarly high reward.

Herein lies my main point about the treasure rewards needing to be tied more tightly to the game play that is going on and less on roll play/blind luck. How might this like in practice:

The four initial gates could have different challenges but each gate could potentially distribute the same amount of Treasures ie. no gate is luckier than the other, only the type of challenge varies. The value of the treasure aquired scales to the quality of the play both clever ideas, and convincing, entertaining and roleplay.

- What might that look like mechanically:
- lower DCs required for success on rolls
- Basic Action (mechanically correct) required to aquire treasure: 1 TP
- Clever out of the box thinking: +1TP worth
- Moves the action forward and makes opportunities for other players: +1 TP worth
- Well written, engaging post: +1TP worth
- Consistent and interesting character RP: +1TP worth
- Exceptional roleplay/character development: +1 TP worth

What might happen if the basic action to acquire treasure lacks these afore mentioned desirable charactersitics? Well, in general, the player's character could die and thus be eliminated from the competition.

What might this look like mechanically:
- Skill DCs required could be higher and failing them could lead to harm eg. traps or aggro monsters. In the example of the Trickster's gate with all the chests it might have been a trapped chest or a mimic gobbling someone up.
- Treasure aquired is of the basic 1 TP variety only.
- Negative, hazardous, or harmful effects in a room centre on this character until eliminated (or character development is provoked and the desirable aspects begin to emerge and threat begins to lessen).

The Rooms/Areas that lead off from the starting areas (Lets call them Zone 2) could then have new challenges of various types as there were this year, but the opportunities for TP found in each of those rooms would be comparable from gate to gate. Eg. Two rooms lead off the Tricksters Gate, Disco Inferno (Zone 2a) and the Dead Lord (Zone 2b). The same amount of maximum base treasure could be aquired from these two rooms as from the two rooms that lead off the Warriors Gate (Zone 2b and Zone 2c), so inherently there is no advantage to beginning at either the Tricksters Gate or the Warriors Gate, the challenges are different but not better. This may have been the case actually for all I know. I did think that the 'If you start at the warriors gate your next two choices require either a social challenge or a magical challenge' was a great idea to get PCs out of their comfort zone.

If there was to be a variation in difficulties between Zone 2a and Zone 2b and thus a difference in potential rewards (higher for more difficult zone and lower for less difficult zone) then this should also be true for zone 2c and 2d (which may have been the case, I'm just developing the idea with no knowledge of behind the curtain stuff). Perhaps there could be clues/information provided to players in Zone 1 that made going for the easier or harder challenge a conscious decision rather than one that was entirely random.

In terms of co-operation and opportunities for character development it might be interesting to look at something like the 'Vault of the Dracolich' module for inspiration. This module is designed for a large number of players and provides an over arching purpose that unites rather than divides players eg. the various groups each need to do their part to get to the final encounter and together wipe out an insurmountable challenge that all players are required to even have a chance of achieving this. (The overarching purpose could even be a seed provided to players before character creation) Also the appearance of the dracolich's apparition for one or two rounds when certain things happen also provides a very nice model for the aggro/threat that I put forward for what might happen if a player was not up to the desired standard of play.

The workload for Admin RonarsCorruption has been obviously huge. It was very brave to take on the whole thing alone. Perhaps, to lessen the workload - if enough suitable volunteers could be found ofc - perhaps each DM could run a group (dependant on the format of the scenario) ie. a Trickster's Gate DM, a Diplomat's Gate DM, a Warriors Gate DM etc.

In any case, thank you to all those involved, for your time and your effort. I can imagine that it was a titanic task, so genuinely: thank you.
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  #51  
Old 06-04-2018, 03:57 PM
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Thanks to all GMs and Judges for a good time.

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  #52  
Old 06-06-2018, 08:09 PM
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(Update)

Added feedback to my original post:

Anti-Magic Field and Natural Flight are a potent combination that could easily bypass many obstacles without trouble for very cheap.
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  #53  
Old 06-11-2018, 11:40 AM
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Sorry for the late post on this. I wanted to sit on it until after I got back from vacation to see whether I still thought it was worth saying two weeks after the contest.

Communication
Not that I think anyone cares whether I participate, but I wanted to ragequit that first weekend when 5e got an update and Pathfinder didn't. The situation was resolved fairly in the end, but in the moment, I don't think any players knew that there was going to be a winner in each system, and it took until the next weekend for someone to say "only Pathfinder gets an update because only 5e got an update last weekend." I appreciate all the time the volunteers put in, but talk to us when things like this happen. Put up an explanation: "Only 5e got an update this weekend because I ran out of time. There will be one winner from each bracket in the end, so 5e getting an extra post doesn't affect Pathfinder's chances, and if I have time to update next weekend, Pathfinder will be the priority."

Along similar notes, if there is an Outplay next year, can we all just agree to take weekends off? The maybe-there'll-be-a-post-maybe-there-won't stuff is unreasonable, especially for those of us who want to participate but can't afford to have internet access at home. I have to spend an hour driving to make a game post on a weekend.

I loved the player voting on best app and best week's posting, but I wish I had known about them in advance. That said, and at the risk of sounding like the "where's my stapler" guy from Office Space, there was going to be voting on the week's best posts for weeks two and three, too. What happened to that? If they were killed because of how few people voted in week one, why not use treasure points to reward the people who do vote or penalize the people who don't?


Doors
If it takes a minute to go through a door into the next room, it shouldn't also be a part of the action economy from a player's one round's worth of doing stuff per post. I felt like I was forced to waste two whole days at the end spewing transdimensional verbal diarrhea just to say, "Tully goes through the next door." Let us try as much as we can squeeze out of a round's worth of actions in a room, and if nothing in the room stops us, let us also leave right away. I'd have checked the dead lord's room for a secret door too, if I hadn't had to waste a move action walking to the door and a swift action opening it. I'm aware those are the Pathfinder action economy rules, but I feel like moving from one room to the next, which, again, already costs a minute of time, could have been an exception for the scenario we were in. I have no problem with going through a door ending a turn, it just shouldn't have to be a turn.


Treasure Points
There has already been much discussion on this, and I don't have an ironclad solution, but I do think that anything more than four points per a room per player is way too much.

That said, I also think room TP totals should be flexible depending on how many players are in the room. If a room is designated as worth 4TP, and one player solves it, give that player 4TP. If two players solve that same room together, give each player 4TP. This will prevent a situation with two people forced to split a haul consisting of one seven-point item and five one-point items. Maybe the Dead Lord's set-up was designed to force players to roleplay with/against each other, but you're almost forcing PVP with that (not gonna lie, I considered it in spite of the rule against it, and it would have been in character for Tully), and now we have to spend valuable game time negotiating or making opposed skill checks instead of moving on.

A final thought on TPs: I like what Vex said here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vex View Post
TPsI'll have to reserve judgement until the very end and until we've seen every room. But I had the feeling making 1 TP per day on average was pretty decent, until i looked over to the Pathfinder threads, where people get a lot of treasure for very few rolls. Clever and well-earned, of course, but I feel the TP rewards for rooms should be readjusted for next year to avoid such massive leaps and bounds.

Idea: If the basic premise is to have 2 TP for a standard success, 3 TP for a well-planned and executed success and 4 TP for an amazing success, this makes for a smoother progression than 1 to 12.

Miscellany
One of the judges posted that they were done giving daily awards a day or two before the threads were locked on Monday the 25th. I tried to write the best possible last post I could, and if everyone just hated my last post that's too bad for me, but reading that from a judge before the contest officially closed made me feel like I was wasting my time writing anything at all.

I'd like to propose a teleporter option. Every contestant gets some sort of single-use, item-slot-less trinket with a warning like, "If you don't think you can handle any of the room choices before you, use this and it will take you to another part of the Labyrinth." Using it ends a player's turn for the day just as moving to the next room would. Room to be determined randomly. Example: There are 25 rooms. If I'm in room 21 with doors to 20 and 22, have the GM secretly roll a d22 (for 25 total rooms minus the one I'm in and the ones I have a door to). On a 1-19 I go to that room. On a 20, 21, or 22, I go to rooms 23, 24, or 25 respectively.

The Exit was a really cruel, but extremely clever trick. Kudos for that one.
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Last edited by Ytterbium; 06-11-2018 at 11:57 AM.
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