Author Topic: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen  (Read 909 times)

The Good Doctor

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2017, 02:15:18 PM »
After a decade and a half, I have enough faith in the community to believe that mechanics aren't required to preserve the setting and our roleplay. Listen here, Spiderman.


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EO

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2017, 02:22:25 PM »
We won't rebalance the guard NPCs; they are at the power level we want them to be.

Yes, canon-wise, they are not meant to be that powerful but if we stuck with general Ravenloft setting rules, most PCs wouldn't be above level 6-7 and then guards would be properly balanced. We've chosen to diverge from that and that's one of the consequences.

You are free to continue this discussion but understand we won't alter the power level of guards.

The Good Doctor

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2017, 03:28:55 PM »
.
We won't rebalance the guard NPCs; they are at the power level we want them to be.

"Because we said so," while a definitive answer, doesn't really explain the reasoning behind the decision. I'd much rather have a DM decide to be a part of the conversation than to deliver an authoritarian answer. Don't get me wrong, a part of a DM's responsibility is to make rulings. With that being said, I'm hardly the only person who thinks that the current Guard level is ineffective/erroneous. Some people have spoken up about it, while others haven't. I know some people prefer  not to make waves, but I already have a reputation for it, so I don't mind.

What's troublesome to me is that those who are supporting the current level of said NPCs, including the administration  either have chosen not to address how the NPCs being Lvl 10 is a benefit to the server or what the intention actually is accomplishing. The only answer provided has been a very generalized statement about how it preserves the setting, but no actual explanation as to how.  One of the reasons I've always been a very outspoken critic of the administration on the forums is because there is s very strong disconnect between the administration and the community when it comes to communication. This is a very common occurrence with game developers. But it presents the administration as authoritarian, which I'd like to believe isn't the intention.

Myself, along with several others, have given examples of how the decision made is based on faulty reasoning. I don't assume that the DM team is perfect, and I don't assume that every decision they make is in the best interest of the community. When the community outnumbers the administration fifty to one, it's impossible for a small team to always make the best decision for everyone. I'm certain that it /tries/ to do the best it can. At the end of the day, I know we're all just here to play a game and do the best we can while still making it fun and when things get complicated, it's easier to simply say "no" than deal with it. I've always felt that the server is big enough that we don't need new content. I'd much rather see things continuously improved on that are already in game.

So, I digress. I am looking for more clarification from the DM Team. What ways would the server or setting be negatively impacted by reducing the level of NPC Vallaki Guards? Has there been a time where the Guards were lower level and the server was negatively impacted? What does having the NPC Vallaki Guard being level 10 add or reinforce to the setting that a level 5 NPC would not?
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TheGrinningHound

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2017, 06:47:55 PM »
Doc, it's not that we haven't been explaining it, it's that you're not accepting our explanation. It's not been a "Because we said so" argument.

It's just that you're dealing with more of an abstract argument, and making mountains out of mole hills with it. You're hoping for some lengthy explanation, but it's just not there.

The Guards are as powerful as they are, because their mechanical power is where it needs to be; and in being as powerful as they are, they help to reinforce a setting of dread. Antagonists need to have some meat on their bones to be proper antagonists. Not every antagonist, sure. Some could deliver conflict without lifting a finger. But are we really asking this out of our Vallaki Garda?

It seems to me that the staff, and indeed, many players prefer to have a guard NPC who is capable of implementing physical justice.

It might be that your view of the Vallaki Garda is that they should be weak. It might even be that that's an opinion educated by Ravenloft book lore. But as EO offered, again, there is a significant level creep in this community. The AMPC starting level even had to be adjusted for it, recently. The team can decide to not adjust anything at all relative to the average player level, and see the server become a laughably easy setting-- or they can adjust the general level of NPC's to be as relatively threatening to the playerbase as they would have been without general level creep.


I'm not saying anything new. None of this hasn't already been said in this thread. I'm just not sure that you're reading it-- and I'm not sure if you're accepting that at it's root, central level, this is a decision that the staff has to make based on opinions how to run to persistent world server. You could be as logical as you like, but it's still ultimately a matter of opinion at the end of the day. And it's been made pretty clear that the staff's opinion isn't swaying.


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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2017, 08:37:25 PM »
If I am honest, I don't see a problem with the guards. I don't find them "immersion breaking", I find them to be guards. Level 10 is the level you stop getting full RP XP in the outskirts, it's also achievable between a week and three months of gaming. It makes sense to me that this is their level. They also don't have access to what we do, like magic and decent gear.

I didn't study the setting. All I know from Ravenloft was learned on location, here, in the server. I think it would be jarring if the guards weren't level 10. I think that the level of guards in a given area should reflect the median average or targeted audience of the PC's in that area. How weird would it be if gards in Sithicus' town were only level 5? Weird, right?

I feel like they are just fine as they are.

booksarefun666

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2017, 09:35:43 PM »
Nobody else is dissenting in this thread besides you, Doctor.  It's honestly kind of weird to be asking to nerf the guards when they actually fit extremely well into their niche as is because it all checks itself out. If we had the bullying guard that was just too overbearing with their tactics, do you know what would happen to him? He'd disappear, hidden under a rock in Har'akir because enough people are sick of him/her.

It's a faction full of mundanes which cuts out the two most powerful classes in POTM: Cleric and wizard, which makes it hard for anyone in that guard be the unstoppable force or being that overbearing LG guy that patrols the outskirts 24/7 and buffs day in and day out. Even if one snuck in, it couldn't overtly come out in force with it's buffs.

They're a good counter-balance to us, although I'd love to hear reasons from other people why it needs nerfing since you mention you aren't the only one that feels this way.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 09:37:26 PM by booksarefun666 »
Your RVTraders™ account has been seized by the Vallaki Guard. What are you going to do about it?

Iridni Ren

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #31 on: August 05, 2017, 10:23:01 PM »
Umm.

(But I am desisting since EO has spoken, and I don't believe in bashing one's head against a wall.)

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Zwickelfaust

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2017, 07:49:15 AM »
I recommend rolling up a guard. You'll find that even with an army of red shirt guys with you, it's still often your Garda will feel powerless
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Iridni Ren

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #33 on: August 10, 2017, 08:45:17 AM »
I recommend rolling up a guard. You'll find that even with an army of red shirt guys with you, it's still often your Garda will feel powerless

Every PC in the setting often feels powerless--or at least should--particularly when low level and hanging around Vallaki.

Compare "an army of [10th level] red shirt guys" as a spawn versus what other newbies can summon.

The developers can insist on keeping the situation as is, and that's that, but please don't try to sell me on how rough garda life is :P

If I ever roll up a garda, I hope it will be to experience the challenges of playing the character--not because of belonging to a DM-supported faction, having an "entire village behind me," being able to issue public bounties on my enemies, forcing RP on others, and accessing the NPC cronies.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 09:50:27 AM by Iridni Ren »

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Zwickelfaust

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2017, 09:18:43 AM »
I didn't say it was rough being a guard.
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Iridni Ren

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #35 on: August 10, 2017, 09:50:44 AM »
Fair enough :)

I edited.

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Zwickelfaust

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #36 on: August 10, 2017, 09:59:55 AM »
Personally I like how powerless you feel as a Garda. To know that you're no match for most criminals, yet you still bark up the tree like you're a pitbull, even though you are a yappy puddle in armor.
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Iridni Ren

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #37 on: August 10, 2017, 10:08:55 AM »
I apologize if I continue to receive a mixed message here. It seems to me you are saying it's rough being a garda...but that's what you enjoy about it.

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Zwickelfaust

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #38 on: August 10, 2017, 02:03:02 PM »
That doesn't make it difficult, it makes it interesting. Most Garda are scared crapless to confront criminals, but the fun part is braving through it and the satisfaction of results. I've had many Garda over the years and it's rare that I even need to use the npc Garda.
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The Good Doctor

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #39 on: August 10, 2017, 02:18:44 PM »
I played a vallaki Guard. I didn't enjoy it based on them receiving ooc power that they shouldn't have and that the administration supports an inaccurate portrayal of the Guard that doesn't represent the setting. They'd rather have player policing.

Only saving grace for me was I had the benefit of being with a brand new group of recruits that were all excellent players that rejected the "standard" approach of the Guard.

Life as a Guard isn't rough. It's significantly less rough than playing any other character. You're not under powered. The high level guards give all of the recruits the high quality crafted gear in the game by the time they're level four, so long as they seem committed to the new character and won't just shelve them.

There is significantly LESS danger with Guards approaching others for conflict because 1)
The guards are full of bs 99% of the time when it comes to laying charges and use it as a bullying tactic, making up a new excuse as to why something is a crime.

Secondly, the moment they approach they blow their horn, a lot of the time before even rp is to be had.

Bravery isn't required. Nor do most guards possess it. They're not the heroes, they're the bad guys. The majority of the Guard PCs I've interacted  with go out of their way to create conflict, not keep the city safe.

I keep hearing that playing a Guard is difficult, or that it's a noble cause because they're so underpowered. I think that's a bunch of baloney.

Can this mindset be changed from within? I don't know. Maybe I'll try to instead of complaining about it.






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Deadbeat

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #40 on: August 10, 2017, 02:30:54 PM »
Exactly, the garda have it too easy.

For equality's sake, we need more outlanders to start dropping summoned Doom Knights on them.

Be the change you want to see people, magic missile a garda to death today.

Iridni Ren

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #41 on: August 10, 2017, 02:43:34 PM »
Quote
That doesn't make it difficult, it makes it interesting.

You need some actual nouns among all those ambiguous pronouns before I'm going to feel I understand you :P

Quote
Most Garda are scared crapless to confront criminals, but the fun part is braving through it and the satisfaction of results.

Well...firstly, you can speak to the mental state of only yourself (although I suppose you could ask to see the physical state of their trousers to help make that determination). I've interacted with garda many times, however, and I've never seen them at all scared to confront other PCs.

In fact, I have multiple times been in the Kinship Lodge with a single garda and at most one NPC henchperson. The Lodge is lockable, and the garda was severely outnumbered by high-level Kin. It has never stopped any of them from giving us what for, threatening us, etc., etc. To be sure, we are a good faction and thus very unlikely to murder a garda. So perhaps the fear you describe happens only when garda are not bullying goody-two-shoes, like my PC :P

In any case, the hypothetical mental state is irrelevant as it could be completely irrational. Garda might be scared to confront a normal spider. But if they always "brave it through" and "achieve satisfactory results"--that is the reality. If I say my cleric is afraid of mutilated corpses but somehow manages time and again to grit her teeth and deal with them, I wouldn't expect you to believe she needs a 10th level helper to do so.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 02:50:24 PM by Iridni Ren »

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Deadbeat

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #42 on: August 10, 2017, 02:51:08 PM »
Quote
That doesn't make it difficult, it makes it interesting.

You need some actual nouns among all those ambiguous pronouns before I'm going to feel I understand you :P

Quote
Most Garda are scared crapless to confront criminals, but the fun part is braving through it and the satisfaction of results.

Well...firstly, you can speak to the mental state of only yourself (although I suppose you could ask to see the physical state of their trousers to help make that determination). I've interacted with garda many times, however, and I've never seen them at all scared to confront other PCs.

In fact, I have multiple times been in the Kinship Lodge with a single garda and at most one NPC henchperson. The Lodge is lockable, and the garda was severely outnumbered by high-level Kin. It has never stopped any of them from giving us what for, threatening us, etc., etc. To be sure, we are a good faction and thus very unlikely to murder a garda. So perhaps the fear you describe happens only when garda are not bullying goody-two-shoes, like my PC :P

In any case, the hypothetical mental state is irrelevant as it could be completely irrational. Garda might be scared to confront a normal spider. But if they always "brave it through" and "achieve satisfactory results"--that is the reality. If I say my cleric is afraid of mutilated corpses but somehow manages time and again to grit her teeth and deal with them, I wouldn't expect you to believe she needs a 10th level helper to do so.

Not at all a condescending way to speak to someone.

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Re: NPC Vallaki Guardsmen
« Reply #43 on: August 10, 2017, 02:56:06 PM »
I think this thread has run its course for now.
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