Author Topic: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.  (Read 74535 times)

trinite

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Re: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.
« Reply #105 on: May 30, 2016, 01:46:08 AM »
Ok, we've got a bunch of people who played and ran the beta here. I asked this in the Kickstarter update it was in, but I'm curious as to your take on this.

Simply put, the Profit mechanic is very very nice, but it falls down for me in one particular place - combat damage location.

Damage itself, as whatever the Black is, is good. But location is problematic, simply because the distribution of successes will orient damage towards legs (because lower numbers on Red are more likely to be successes) when Takers attack, and when Takers fail to dodge (because, of course, it's more likely to be higher numbers on Red if you fail), the damage will be smaller and the locations will be higher.

What's your suggested mechanical fix to give a better distribution? Should damage location be rolled seperately after the combat roll?

Yes, this has been a very well-discussed issue through the beta. It came up in The Reformers campaign a lot. I think Caleb's planning on simply adjusting the hit location ranges, so it's something like only one number for each limb and head, and the rest torso. Personally, I think I would reroll for location instead. I think that's a very simple solution that doesn't slow the game down but adds a nice little moment of suspense.
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Adam_Autist

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Re: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.
« Reply #106 on: May 30, 2016, 08:13:27 AM »
Latest interview on Technical Difficulties podcast seems like Caleb is already redistributing the locations a bit. As has been mentioned.

I know some of the ORE games have a similar problem.

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Re: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.
« Reply #107 on: May 31, 2016, 02:14:13 AM »
I just had players roll damage separately and it worked fine.

RadioactiveBeer

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Re: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.
« Reply #108 on: May 31, 2016, 09:04:50 PM »
So, I mentioned this in another thread but I think an interesting inversion of the typical Red Markets dynamic would be to have a group of Recession-based "Takers" who make their money by scavenging from the consumerist culture that still exists in the Recession (last-gen electronics, medicine etc) and taking it out into the Loss to sell to nearby Enclaves at a sizeable mark-ups. (This is based on the real-life group of Polish students who would run West German electronics, which the West Germans had upgraded into obsolescence, and selling it in Communist - and thus tech-poor - Poland at a huge profit).

From a campaign structure, the idea changes enclave generation a bit because the enclaves you create are customers, rather than your home, and what's really important is how you get in and out of the Recession on the regular to make your business work. Maybe you're paying "tax" to your local Stewards to look the other way, maybe you're in good with the people-traffickers on the border. You also need to think about where you're getting your hands on things that the Recession doesn't mind losing - who hooks you up with surplus Barrett REC7's now that your local militia have equipped REC9's as standard? On the player level, you're richer but also more pampered, meaning your gear is nicer but you need to spend more on things like luxuries and amenities, your dependants have higher demands etc.

Of course, things get really interesting when you get found out and declared homo sacor for breaking quarantine (repeatedly, for fun and profit). Now your relationship with the enclaves who were your customers changes drastically. Now they have something you want - walls to get behind, food to eat. And your "choice of jobs" becomes "choice of enclaves you have to prove yourself to". And if you've stiffed them over in the past, those jobs are going to be pretty risky. And being used to a higher standard of life suddenly comes back to bite you in the ass.

Gorkamorka

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Re: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.
« Reply #109 on: June 02, 2016, 04:07:15 PM »
Why didn't any of the player is the Brutalists pull of a heist movie stile double cross and run with the money before it was split with the other takers.

There are actually a few times in this campaign where I have thought. Why did he not just cut and run.  Just take the loot and leave the rest of the party in trouble.

One example is the video images of DHQS atrocities in the recession.  It probably could have been all the retirement fund for IP ever needed if he just booked it. 

Another example was with the drug score. The Mauve, who got the money into his criptocurrency account could just have booked it before the party split the loot.

And now finally in this last Aberrant episode (Ep 9).   Kowloon missed a great opportunity there.  Could have retired.  All it would have taken was to let a few hundred people die.   Just have the aberrant eat the godly and then call the DHQS and collect his 100 bounty.  Wouldn’t even have had to tell the rest of the gang. GILF would have paid up anyway for the Brutalists finishing the job of emptying the retirement home.  Kowloon could have walked away clean. Clean as in “soaked in the blood of the insistent, but rich”

« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 04:15:37 PM by Gorkamorka »
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Re: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.
« Reply #110 on: June 02, 2016, 05:37:30 PM »
Sometimes it's constraints of the medium. Also because it's a beta and they needed the campaign to cover specific things?

Also sometimes as a player it's a polite thing to not do the dick move, I don't know. Outside of my experience. ☺

trinite

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Re: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.
« Reply #111 on: June 02, 2016, 06:17:23 PM »
Gorkamorka: I had that same thought about the drug score. I was a little unclear as to why they felt like they had to pay Sythenia the drug money. To keep her from getting mad at them? A 9mm to the skull would have solved that problem a lot more cheaply.

On the other hand, I was a little surprised by how hostile they were to the Ivory Plains folks in the Episode 9. Okay, so they've got a bunch of rich self-righteous jerks surrounded by impoverished masses...which makes them different from Le Corbusier how, exactly? Maybe in degree of success, I guess.
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Alethea

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Re: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.
« Reply #112 on: June 02, 2016, 06:30:50 PM »
Sometimes it just doesn't occur to the player to screw over their fellow players.

As to Synthenia, the money was to keep the price of the stability drugs down to affordable levels in their own enclave, thus keeping their home base from having instability problems.

As to the Ivory Plains folks, well I can only speak from my experiences, but as my levels of hostility seemed to match the Brutalists, maybe it'll be instructive. There is something incredibly of putting about the hypocrisy of rich self-righteous jerks who claim membership in Christianity (a religion which preaches compassion for the poor, humility, and doing good deeds) justifying their their distain for the poor through prosperity heresy and using folks being poor as evidence that they are insufficiently Christian to be worthy of assistance. In addition, there was a strong 'conform and accept our believes or you're not people' vibe I was getting from Ivory Plains. Well, maybe specifically Pastor Tomlinsinburg. Which for me as someone who does not naturally conform to mainline norms in a variety of areas is flat out terrifying. Or would be if I wasn't so used to it as a day-to-day reality. It's like Caleb's roofer analogy: at some point it just becomes your baseline.
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wilzuma

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Re: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.
« Reply #113 on: June 02, 2016, 08:00:22 PM »
This discussion is very fascinating. It could very well be used as a standard example of "murder hobos" and player logic. You guys are ONE HUNDRED PERCENT RIGHT! They should double cross eachother to get their bounty, but they don't. That seems... counter intuitive but it feels more real. People tend to be collectivist. They want the guy they are in the foxhole with to be not just a comrade, but someone they can trust. And they have to put that trust out there too, and show they can be trusted as well. This is how they are heroic.

I think the RPPR guys play it that way on purpose. Killing anyone innocent or not, bares repurcussions and responsibilities. They also are playing characters who want to still look themselves in the mirror each day. I think it's interesting, especially when you consider mauve's philosophy that we are already dead. Why didn't he just take the DHQS deal? or at least try to. He has respect for his comrades, but i like to think that he's a bit of a hypocrite. He proclaims we're all dead, but his reactions sometimes betray this notion. They feel more real to me. I don't think real people would try to double cross their crew most of the time.

Just my thoughts.

Also, I think it's interesting how Mauve and Kowloon, probably the most broken human beings in the group both commit acts of heroism, putting themselves in harms way ahead of someone else. Especially Mauve. Mauve did not have to be the one to lure the aberrant to the trap. That logically should have been Malleus. But he did it. He made a value judgement that he thought Malleus would die, so he took the heat for him. This is why i want to play this game. Sadly i'll probably be the one running it!
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Adam_Autist

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Re: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.
« Reply #114 on: June 02, 2016, 08:25:19 PM »
Just think we give David shit for dropping that kid.

I had some to say but the edits got eaten by my tablet.

What it boils down to is that old phrase "at what price victory". Caleb has talked about how you have to maintain what humanity you have out in the loss lest you become the bad guy from a zombie movie.

I'm reminded of the line im dungeon world about the lack of pvp. You might hate each other but you're goddamn professionals.

Also Wilzuma is spot on about murder hobo ism.

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Re: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.
« Reply #115 on: June 02, 2016, 08:51:36 PM »
It's possibly not as easy as it sounds. After all, each one has a goal that requires them not only just to think about themselves, but their dependents. It's one thing if you think you can screw over your coworkers with no repercussions, but the truth is SOMEONE would have been left standing who would have known that they just ratted out their partners. That sort of thing tends to backfire, as anyone who's worked in an office will tell you. Good luck getting anyone to help you with Mr. JOLS or getting your family across the border when it's public knowledge that you can't be trusted.

RadioactiveBeer

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Re: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.
« Reply #116 on: June 02, 2016, 09:06:33 PM »
A lot of the talk about betrayal hinges on the premise that it is "more logical" to not want to split the pot and keep it all for yourself. Now, we can debate the logic of that premise at length but a central problem of economics is that it's not completely logical, or rather it's an attempt to apply logical models to systems of behaviour that sometimes veer into irrational territory. Caleb has already mentioned this in discussions about things like the Tulip Craze, how an entire nation based ruined its own economy in the name of some pretty flowers with no use or intrinsic value.

Let's then move on to the "betray, run, keep all the loot for yourself" - that only holds up under some very specific, hopeful circumstances. First and foremost, you better be absolutely sure those other guys who worked for the money are dead, because they're going to want the profit of their labour and a few pounds of your flesh in interest if not. So, you know, headshots are handy. You also don't want to get a reputation as a betrayer - otherwise good luck getting work again, or finding other people willing to form a Taker crew with you - and in a setting with Ubiq and Lifelines, even one survivor of your last Taker party who can, say, post footage of you, say, shooting your friends and running with the loot, that just made the trek through the Loss to the Recession a bit longer and a bit harder. If your money isn't enough to buy your way out of the Loss, and your name is out there as "that murderer who murdered all those people (you know, his murder victims)", you're going to get treated like a Raider, not a Taker. Remember, being reliable is a positive quality, not a negative one, when it comes to negotiations on both sides - you want someone who you know will pay you and they want someone they know will get the job done.

Let's return to the fundamental problem here of "should people backstab each other in survival situations"? It's a fundamental tension within capitalist economies - you want to rip other people off for your own profit - and philosophy. This is literally just The Prisoner's Dilemma - in a situation where it is "logically sound" that to betray someone is more profitable than co-operating with them, no-one can be rationally expected to co-operate with anyone, ever. Ripping off everyone is not sustainable unless you have a monopoly on what you're using to rip people off.  And no-one wants to be ripped off themselves. This is where the social contract (for want of a better term) comes in. Namely, "I won't screw you if you won't screw me - or at least let's find sustainable ways of mutually screwing each other". And, of course, this is where literal contracts come in so that agreements are made, can't be changed and have some form of exchange. Look at The Reformers, how they early on fleshed out a social contract for how loot would be divided up between them. None of them have gone hungry over the course of the game so far, and even with the miscalculation of the last job's loot they were well in the black. If your group takes a different approach - say, "keep what you kill", your only profit being what you can physically take - and in the absence a formal legal system then yes, there's no reason why you shouldn't backstab the other Takers in that group. But there's also no reason why they shouldn't backstab you - so try and do it first. That's the thing about contracts - they provide you with protections and rights as well as the obligations and covenants, so they're very valuable.

And don't forget, no person is an island. You need other people. That means giving to them, but it also means receiving from them, which is an inherent part of the setting and the system - you provide to your Dependents and in return are healed of Stress. We're a social species, no one individual is capable of total self-sustainment and thus must (or should) act in a somewhat-social fashion in order to receive the benefits of participating in a wider society. I hate paying tax, but I love the NHS so I put up with a little garnish from my pay to know that if my liver decides to die I can get that sorted out. So, if a backstab is going to come it's probably going to be in a MR JOLS job - where the payoff may well be enough to offset the risk inherent in, you know, murdering all your friends and departing from civil society.

Just think we give David shit for dropping that kid.

You know what I realised listening to the recent Delta Green episodes? David killed a Dark Young.

A Dark YOUNG.

Even when he's killing monsters, he's killing children.

(Also, the criticism there wasn't that he killed the kid so much as that it was unnecessary because Ross had wrestled him and gotten control of the weapon, so Malleus wasn't in danger and they were literally right on the edge of escape when POP POP. But David being David, he's never going to admit to it. The Indigo Infanticide strikes again!)
« Last Edit: June 02, 2016, 09:11:18 PM by RadioactiveBeer »

trinite

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Re: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.
« Reply #117 on: June 02, 2016, 09:40:14 PM »
Sometimes it just doesn't occur to the player to screw over their fellow players.

As to Synthenia, the money was to keep the price of the stability drugs down to affordable levels in their own enclave, thus keeping their home base from having instability problems.

As to the Ivory Plains folks, well I can only speak from my experiences, but as my levels of hostility seemed to match the Brutalists, maybe it'll be instructive. There is something incredibly of putting about the hypocrisy of rich self-righteous jerks who claim membership in Christianity (a religion which preaches compassion for the poor, humility, and doing good deeds) justifying their their distain for the poor through prosperity heresy and using folks being poor as evidence that they are insufficiently Christian to be worthy of assistance. In addition, there was a strong 'conform and accept our believes or you're not people' vibe I was getting from Ivory Plains. Well, maybe specifically Pastor Tomlinsinburg. Which for me as someone who does not naturally conform to mainline norms in a variety of areas is flat out terrifying. Or would be if I wasn't so used to it as a day-to-day reality. It's like Caleb's roofer analogy: at some point it just becomes your baseline.

I think I understand that, and I think Caleb did a pretty great job of making Pastor Tomlinsenberg hateful. But it wasn't like they were just going to kill off the church folks. All those poor helpless people in the slums were going to die, too. Maybe they never got a chance to develop any empathy with those people, since they were only ever dealing directly with Tomlinsenberg and his cronies.

Which leads to a stray observation: a big part of the whole campaign's tension comes from how willing the Brutalists are to work for really horrible employers, and Caleb testing their limits on that. At least the Grimecloth farmers seem like fundamentally okay guys.
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RadioactiveBeer

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Re: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.
« Reply #118 on: June 02, 2016, 09:56:35 PM »
At least the Grimecloth farmers seem like fundamentally okay guys.

Aren't they the ones trying to introduce hardcore meth to the area? La Abattoir is strongly tied with MS13 (a hyper-violent gang) and so far have been just as dishonest in their negotiations as the DHQS - their negotiator didn't mention the Raiders specifically  to keep the job cheaper (according to Abuela) AND their "gift" was useless until they spent bounty on loading it up. Even Harding, toxic jackass that he was, gave them a working gun!

Yeah, so far the only ones we haven't discovered horrible things about are the Union (and they're just kind of sad and depressing between the lions and the sex dolls.) But give Caleb time, I'm sure they'll be, I don't know, building their economy around kicking puppies soon.

wilzuma

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Re: Redmarket. The ideas I get while listening to the actual plays.
« Reply #119 on: June 02, 2016, 10:27:56 PM »

Also Wilzuma is spot on about murder hobo ism.

oh the murder hobos. I have played with so many... pretending to be maniacal geniuses... but ultimately... it's just how harder they can hobo.
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