Guilds and Roleplaying and Mechanics, Oh My

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Guilds and Roleplaying and Mechanics, Oh My

Postby Rakon » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:09 am

Last night I asked about the mercenary guild on the Questions channel, and I wanted to expand the topic somewhat in a non-in-game-spammy way. I want the GMs, especially Jirato, to know where I'm at.

My primary focus is roleplaying. When I created Rakon I had a general idea of what he's like; what he might or might not do in certain situations for varying reasons. Rakon does stuff for Rakon's benefit. While that in and of itself doesn't make him a mercenary, he's definitely the sort who'd fit the merc description as it is on the wiki: "The Mercenaries of the Western Coalition are a group of 'free men' who claim no alliance to religious ties or other affiliations. They believe in elitism in combat and in good pay." Rakon also enjoys good food, but that can be had for enough money. He wouldn't fit into a guild that had strict rules for behaviour or edicts on where/when a merc can ply his trade. He's kind of a loose cannon who doesn't like being told what to do (unless there's a clear and worthwhile reward for what he sees as mindlessly following orders).

I've played on games, both live tabletop games and online MUDs, where if you didn't select your skills/proficiencies/guild very carefully you wound up at a disadvantage later on. Said games were typically at least somewhat munchkinny/min-maxy and while I do enjoy a small amount of that, opting out of a guild that seems to fit my character's personality and outlook because of a game mechanic makes me sad too. In the early days of D&D, the classes were defined in broad swathes: a fighter could be a knight in shining armour, a swashbuckler, or an archer. It all depended on how you played, and what equipment you used. As character customisation became increasingly more complex, the practical upshot was that a player had to work harder to play what they really wanted within the scope of the rules of the game. Maybe there are six different archer templates, but none of them suits what you want to play.

Which brings me back to CLOK. The Mercenaries guild seems to be what I'm looking for with Rakon, but I do want him to be able to enjoy the benefits other members enjoy without changing how he fights. I was cautioned that once I choose a guild it's forever (getting kicked out notwithstanding), but there don't seem to be any others that suit Rakon. The Brotherhood of the Fist is probably next closest, but while Rakon's supposed to be good with his fists, he favours short blades as weapons. He does fit the description of a 'street fighter' or 'ruffian', though. He's more a city-type, though he's learning to survive in the wilderness, mostly so he can be self-sufficient and not have to rely on others too much. I even looked at the Utasa, but I think they're too gaea-concerned for him. Rakon doesn't make any particular effort to 'walk softly on the land', but neither does he go out of his way to cut or burn down entire forests. What would be the point of that, he wonders.

Maybe it is a little munchkinny of me to be concerned with the lack of dagger skill bonuses in the Mercenary ability set. But this is a MUD, and as important as RP is, I'd be foolish to ignore the mechanics. If I have Rakon join the mercenaries, I can certainly still train his dagger skill, etc. And I'm very likely to have him join the mercs anyway, because it suits his character and there are no drawbacks for him in his fighting style (mercs don't have penalties to dagger, dodging, or two-weapon fighting skills). While there are abilities I wouldn't pursue (e.g. hafted specialisation), their existence doesn't make the guild utterly unsuitable. The addition of dagger specialisation, modeled after the other specialisations, wouldn't go amiss, however. :)

I think I've prattled on long enough. Thanks for reading!

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Re: Guilds and Roleplaying and Mechanics, Oh My

Postby Lysse » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:17 am

This was actually a very interesting read. I think for Rakon, if you wanted to get some more bang for your buck, maybe have him pick up a short sword to use with a dagger? Or maybe a rapier? A lighter, faster sword would allow for him to have a similar fighting style from an IC point of view, while allowing you the benefit of the Sword Specialization ability. Just some food for thought!
“There is always a choice."
"You mean I could choose certain death?"
"A choice nevertheless, or perhaps an alternative. You see I believe in freedom. Not many people do, although they will of course protest otherwise. And no practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based.”

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Re: Guilds and Roleplaying and Mechanics, Oh My

Postby Rakon » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:31 am

Lysse wrote:This was actually a very interesting read. I think for Rakon, if you wanted to get some more bang for your buck, maybe have him pick up a short sword to use with a dagger? Or maybe a rapier? A lighter, faster sword would allow for him to have a similar fighting style from an IC point of view, while allowing you the benefit of the Sword Specialization ability. Just some food for thought!

Could be something to talk about IC!

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Re: Guilds and Roleplaying and Mechanics, Oh My

Postby merin » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:38 am

the Utasa are primarily about the resen. The udemi are the ones that care about those silly trees. :p

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Re: Guilds and Roleplaying and Mechanics, Oh My

Postby Lysse » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:40 am

Rakon wrote:
Lysse wrote:This was actually a very interesting read. I think for Rakon, if you wanted to get some more bang for your buck, maybe have him pick up a short sword to use with a dagger? Or maybe a rapier? A lighter, faster sword would allow for him to have a similar fighting style from an IC point of view, while allowing you the benefit of the Sword Specialization ability. Just some food for thought!

Could be something to talk about IC!


Well, it could be yes. But, chances are my character wouldn't be giving yours pointers on how to fight, haha. I just thought I'd offer up an alternative.
“There is always a choice."
"You mean I could choose certain death?"
"A choice nevertheless, or perhaps an alternative. You see I believe in freedom. Not many people do, although they will of course protest otherwise. And no practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based.”

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Re: Guilds and Roleplaying and Mechanics, Oh My

Postby Rakon » Wed Jan 21, 2015 10:45 am

Lysse wrote:Well, it could be yes. But, chances are my character wouldn't be giving yours pointers on how to fight, haha. I just thought I'd offer up an alternative.

Heh, maybe not, but somebody might chat about it IC. :) And it is an alternative worth pondering.

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Re: Guilds and Roleplaying and Mechanics, Oh My

Postby Rias » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:02 am

I would say join an organization that has the best feel for your character concept. We're working on what we call "ability genericization" in which most mundane/nonmagical skills will be generalized and available to anyone who wishes to learn them, regardless of organizational affiliation. There will still be prerequisites for some (skill prerequisites and/or ability prerequisites), and there will certainly be a cap on how many abilities can be learned at once. This would allow, for instance, Rakon to be his idealized vision of a dagger-wielding mercenary, despite being affiliated with the Coalition Mercenaries who currently seem to have an emphasis on heavy armor and big weapons due to the abilities they offer.

From his guild affiliation with the Coalition Mercenaries he would get:
- A much steadier job flow that would befit mercenaries ("guild tasks")
- Access to any special facilities the Coalition might provide, such as discounted living space or storage, possible some specialized gear, etc.
- The reputation that comes along with it. If people know Rakon is a Coalition Mercenary, they'll know they can come to him with job offers fitting for a mercenary.

From general abilities he could pick and choose from a large variety of what he wanted. Just as an example, he might pick up:
- Dirtkick (a dirty trick allowing him to more easily escape a losing fight)
- Dagger Specialization (not implemented yet, but each weapon type will likely have a specialization ability with, at the least, roll bonuses)
- Trip (or maybe Tackle)
- Groinkick
- Kidneyshot
- Eyegouge
- Dirty Fighting Tactic (In this tactic, you'll occasionally perform one of the previous three Dirty Tricks on standard attacks)
- Lightfoot (when at extremely light or no encumbrance levels, bonuses to climb, dodge, stealth movement)
- Tumble (essentially an extra dodge chance)
- Feint (throw foes off-balance for easy follow-up attacks)
- Preemptive Reflex (if not in roundtime and someone tries to engage you with a hostile action, you have a chance to attack or hit them with a maneuever preemptively)

And bam. He's this sort of quick, dirty fighting, dagger-wielding mercenary. A lot of those abilities are currently exclusive to Thieves, but why shouldn't a mercenary be able to be a quick light-on-his-feet dirty fighter? They don't all need to tromp around in heavy armor and swing huge weapons. Once abilities are generalized, anyone can take them, and mix and match to fit their desired style. (Note that some of those abilities don't currently exist yet, like Lightfoot and Preemptive Reflex.)

All right, but let's say Rakon also wants to be able to track down his targets more easily to make his mercenary work more efficient. So in addition, he picks up:
- Wilderness Survival (able to use fireboards/spindles, some crude first aid with natural materials, and a prereq to a lot of wilderness-based abilities)
- Trailblazing (travel more quickly in some wilderness terrains and prereq to Tracking)
- Tracking (Now he can better track down his targets by literally following their footsteps)

Sweet. Now he's a mercenary that has a tendency to track down any targets who manage to escape. Nobody's safe from this guy anymore!

Anyway. The whole ability genericization thing may be a little ways off yet, but it's something to look forward to for people who don't necessarily want to stick to some rigid skill/ability mold that some guilds seem to present. Guilds were originally intended to be supplementary to an already-robust core character, and provide opportunities for increased RP, character development, and some facility bonuses for those who fit the guild. In other words, you'd join a guild because your character fit for that guild, rather than joining the guild just to get their abilities even though you don't care much about what the guild represents/idealizes/promotes. If no existing organizations seem to fit your character, no big deal. Don't join any! With ability genericization, people can still get a huge variety of abilities available to anyone (provided they meet any skill/ability prereqs - you'll need to work your way up to some).

Note: In the case of channeling ("magic"), guilds will still be the only way to pick that up (with basic sorcery being a possible exception - a specialized guild would still be required for specialized sorcery spells however).
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Re: Guilds and Roleplaying and Mechanics, Oh My

Postby Rakon » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:18 am

Most, most excellent. I love everything in this post. This post wins the Internet. :D Seriously, the idea of customising a character in this way is exactly what I want. I'm still a newbie, still learning the basics, so I have time to develop Rakon both RP-wise and skills-wise while you guys work on the nuts and bolts. Thanks for your awesome reply!

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Re: Guilds and Roleplaying and Mechanics, Oh My

Postby Avedri » Wed Jan 21, 2015 11:21 am

Rias wrote:And bam. He's this sort of quick, dirty fighting, dagger-wielding mercenary. A lot of those abilities are currently exclusive to Thieves, but why shouldn't a mercenary be able to be a quick light-on-his-feet dirty fighter? They don't all need to tromp around in heavy armor and swing huge weapons. Once abilities are generalized, anyone can take them, and mix and match to fit their desired style. (Note that some of those abilities don't currently exist yet, like Lightfoot and Preemptive Reflex.)


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Re: Guilds and Roleplaying and Mechanics, Oh My

Postby Kunren » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:13 pm

I would like this idea very much. On the other hand, magic using guilds should probably get some penalties with general skills though. If not, you could think "oh I can have all the abilities I want any who. Should I join the guild with or without magic?" Yeah.. I know that this SHOULDNT happen, but for those less caring about rp it definitely would.
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Re: Guilds and Roleplaying and Mechanics, Oh My

Postby Sevoi » Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:35 pm

I really like the idea of ability customization, I'm definitely in favor of guilds being more about a 'cause' than the abilities they offer, whenever possible.

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Re: Guilds and Roleplaying and Mechanics, Oh My

Postby Dorn » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:09 am

As someone who never guilded I'm really very curious to see how generalized abilities pan out.
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Re: Guilds and Roleplaying and Mechanics, Oh My

Postby Barius » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:35 am

And as someone who guilded before far more interesting options showed up for the taking, I'm also very much curious as to how this system will pan out.

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