Destiny points preview

Talk about Green Ronin's A Song of Ice and Fire RPG, based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling fantasy series. Winter is here!

Postby Brudewollen » Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:22 pm

I really like this Destiny Point mechanic. I use this kind of rule in my own D&D game (I even happen to call them Destiny Points as well), though I never had a concept like Burning vs. Spending points. I just had the equivalent of Burning. In D&D terms they were about as powerful as a Wish in many ways, but much more limited (can't spend a Destiny Point to make a mountain of gold appear, but you can save your own life from certain death, rally a group of people to fight at your side in a battle, etc.).

This version feels a lot like how my own works story-wise, but the added minor uses of spending them is a very cool twist.
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Postby Aran MacFiona » Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:26 pm

Skyman, my point was precisely that for the use of destiny points there isn't an option better than another. The best option is the one the player choose when he/she feels it's the right time during the game for doing that. Destiny points is a tool for role-playing not a tool to optimize your character's action and dice rolls.
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Postby Zapp » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:26 am

I respectfully disagree. While you can and should afford yourself the luxury of not thinking about game balance, doing exactly that is why we pay game designers.

In this case, I am fully aware it is natural to want to present all the available choices to the player. But sometimes good design means hiding choices from the player.

And while I am not sure, I suspect this is one such case. One indicator this might be the case is that the three options are highly abstract (choosing one over the other doesn't make your action look or feel any different). And yet, they yield significantly varied outcomes. And finally, it is very much not apparent to the newcomer to SIFRP's flavor of the dice pool mechanic which one is the best to choose in each circumstance.

Think of it this way: what would be lost if these three choices were replaced with just one (either "add one die, the normal limit of seven doesn't apply" or the straight "add +2 to your result").

Perhaps the answer is... nothing much. Sure, in some circumstances the DP used becomes slightly more or less powerful than otherwise, but how is that bad?

Especially if it makes this part of the game that much easier for the player...

This is how a designer needs to think. Not a gamer.

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Postby Skyman » Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:14 pm

Well I'd avoid lumping all gamers together... sometimes the fun can actually be in making mechanical decisions.

But I do see your concern. Mechanical thinking shouldn't overtake rping.

I don't necessarily agree that there'd be no difference in the description of the action though. Let's say you're fighting someone in muddy ground which makes it hard to move. You could remove a penalty die, allowing your character to find some good footing and move lightly across the mud to strike. Or you could take a bonus die, meaning that your aim is so sure that you strike well despite being unbalanced by the mud.

So although I definitely understand if you eventually feel the rules are too crunch heavy, I don't have that impression at this stage. I'd wait to see more of the rules in context.
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