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Author Topic: aMPC levels too low?  (Read 1033 times)

PsychedelicShroom

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aMPC levels too low?
« on: August 14, 2012, 09:31:00 AM »
aMPC's are important to the horror setting here, and I have seen some wonderfully done ones. Problem is, they are short lived. Another problem, I think they are too low a level, given the profusion of high levels that frequent the area of Vallaki, which sort of ties into the Diffusion thread, but I digress...

I've seen aMPC's take great efforts to convey that gothic horror atmosphere, and it almost works, until that high level wizard/cleric/sorc/paladin/or-what-have-you drops them in three seconds flat. I'd like to see a higher level applied to the aMPC's. They are only here for a short time and they need to be able to make EVERYONE afraid to go out in Old Noapte, regardless of their level. Their lives are short, let us make them FIERCE.

Comments?

Feronius

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Re: aMPC levels too low?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2012, 09:34:55 AM »
Agree, at least if your intention is to provide atmosphere and enhance the setting, rather than to use PvP mechanics. Although you could of course always hold back.
I believe it's already possible to request a higher level AMPC, but I think that's only done when you're planning to stalk higher level domains. (Which is pretty much hardly ever done due to a lack of victims?)
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tzaeru

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Re: aMPC levels too low?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2012, 09:42:15 AM »
They are only here for a short time and they need to be able to make EVERYONE afraid to go out in Old Noapte, regardless of their level.

Mmh, I'm not entirely sure if that was a good idea or accurate towards the setting. Vast majority of monsters that roam the night are not meant to be unsurmountable obstacles nor so high level that you'd have to be constantly on the wary of them above level 10 or so. When you create a monster that actively stalks the night and is able to take out level 15+ characters, two issues arise: For one, it's not exactly very accurate portrayal of the setting. For two, even aMPCs are supposed to be winnable by the foes they are made to hunt (that is, level 10s or so) and an aMPC that can beat a level 20 paladin is never going to be beaten by a group of level 10s.

Also, if players insist to lack of fear or atmosphere and insist on having their high level characters stroll around the Vallaki outskirts in hopes of stomping an aMPC, it's not going to be helped by enforcing higher level monsters upon them. It's only going to make it worse, since it signals them that this is where we can have challenge, and as such this is where we should be.
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EberronBruce

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Re: aMPC levels too low?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2012, 10:34:35 AM »
First off I think an AMPC has to have a target or target area, like the garda or Morninglords. They are supposed to enhance the environment, right?

Well, I see two issues. One being levels and the other being location.

I think level should be based off of a target or target area. For instance, if the AMPC target area is around Vallaki, CR shouldn't surpass 13 or 14. It is supposed to give players the opportunity to solve the AMPC particular case and solve the problem, whether it is slaying the AMPC or finding a cure or whatever. It is supposed to be about enhancing the environment for the other players. An AMPC is more of a service done for the players for the server instead of I'm a bad monster and I can pwn you. The yellow pop up text can really help add to the environment as well as getting DMs to help set scenes up but not having them to work on the monster part. Saves them some effort. AMPC should be looked at more as a general service to the community that provides for an atmosphere.

Another thing that needs to be said is about area. I am going to rant here. Why the hell does everything have to be in or near Vallaki? I mean if you are a merchant and you want to actually sell things, you have to be in the outskirts or else you just hold onto all that crap. If you are a crafter, you have to be near that area to get your resources except for ash wood. If you are a smith, you cannot get ores in the village unless you have a high search. If you want to gain RP xp you are almost forced to stay near the Vallaki or you are standing around twittering your thumbs with no one around. If that is not bad enough, if you want to buy barkskins at a reasonable price you have to constantly go back. Especially with the RP xp, is why you find a lot of high level players in the outskirts. If you don't go there you can burn whole days or weeks without getting any xp. It leads to Vallaki, particularly the outskirts, the most horrible area to put an AMPC at. Its a horrible area to induce the environment because it is all jumbled up with too many players with too wide range of levels. It is a place that has too many problems that cannot lead to a good environment. It is too much of a mecca or melting pot sort of say. 

Personally, I would like to see AMPCs used to lure people away from Vallaki and its surrounding areas. Why not have a vampire living the nightlife in Port Lucine? A mummy haunting Muhar, a ghoul taking people from their homes in Hazlan, a werewolf haunting Salvich woods. The list can go on. With such a big world with lots of variety, how come this isn't played? Particularly with AMPCs. They are short lived and can add flavor to those environments. Such as so, you wouldn't want a mummy haunting Muhar to be a CR 8. It would just get slapped down without creating an effect. Hence its level should be based off its target area, which would be Muhar in this particular case. Even if the players don't stay in that location, having a case or something for them to solve can help them keep coming back to the area.

DM Macabre

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Re: aMPC levels too low?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2012, 11:23:55 AM »
AMPCs are not meant to constantly troll the outskirts. They are an opportunity to those given to play a monstrous class for some time and the players who play them can show that they are also good in playing MPCs. The normal starting level for a AMPC is 7 and it is given all the boni enough for the low level area that the Barovia Vallaki area is meant to be. This area is mainly meant for lvl 2 - 7 guys and not for those 15+ guys that also never go out and explore the world around. The server is huge and there are honestly far more interesting areas to explore than to stick to the Western Outskirts constantly. But this is another point worth another thread.

About levels for AMPCs: you can expect to get a level 7 and up to 10 if you give good reasons for it. If you want to have even higher levels provide reasons for it in your application. Best is you always just write what level you would like to have as an AMPC and then we see if it fits. As a rule of thumb if you never played an AMPC before you might not expect to be elligible to have even higher levels. If you showed to play imersive AMPCs in the past you are elligible to get higher levels.

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DM Strigoi

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Re: aMPC levels too low?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2012, 12:06:55 PM »
i rarely went to the outskirts with my MPC. with my AMPC during one of the new player weeks, i did the same. you have to avoid crowds of players, because just like in real life, you get a crowd mentality which usually means someone is going to attack you. had it happen many times, id be Rping in front of a crowd, and someone attacks me, and everyone else follows suit.

plenty of areas that have traffic, just requires patience to wait for someone to come along. levels do play an important part. when you have the levels, people tend to be more cautious in their character roleplay, and less so when they know they can beat you (though that is much less now that levels are hidden :) ). that is just the ugly truth unfortunately. but when you find a player by themselves for example, they are usually more open to a horror scene and will give you the chance to play out your scene.

some areas i liked to use:

the morninglord Crypt
zeklos crypt
the road to krofburg
the vampire crypt
the underground area by the dwarves
the sewers (on occasion)

during the herb season, allot of people travel the road to gather herbs. so the svalich road from vallaki to the village becomes heavily used (even at night).


hope that info helps you some.
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Theley

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Re: aMPC levels too low?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2012, 02:01:15 PM »
AMPCs are not meant to constantly troll the outskirts.

Agreed but I haven't seen this be too much of a problem.  aMPC will go where the people are and typically they can be found in the player hub.  But to be more creative and you want to stir up RP maybe lay in wait on a well travelled path and pick your targets.  If a lone traveller is walking down the road with a glowing white sword, maybe give that one a pass.  :P

Also try setting up scenes with other people that want to experience what you as a MPC are offering.  That way you avoid anyone feeling picked or grieved or singled out. And I know its the setting and people should expect a certain amount of horror if your travelling at night but its happened before.

What was funny to me was being in the Temple with the doors closed at night and seeing some people start to buff up and run out without any sort of conversation, then later learn that a MPC was outside.  Not sure if there was an OOC tell going on but MPC's shouldn't be considered something we should go meet in battle.  Remember that they are a RP tool and are trying to fill a role on the server.


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dutchy

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Re: aMPC levels too low?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2012, 02:30:14 PM »
ampc lvl 10....i dont think that is to low for the outskirts or seroundings of vallaki.

mpc's now those guys i feel bad for, they lvl slowly and want to be around longer then an ampc period,  i think those below lvl 10 should lose less lvls when they change into an mpc.

then again thats a whole new discussion.

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LackofCertainty

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Re: aMPC levels too low?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2012, 02:44:03 PM »
I don't know if MPC levels being too low is an issue, or if the problem is just that people need to learn how to not ruin things for other people.

I've had a total of one encounter with an mpc since I started playing here again.  Let me set the stage.

We were a group of 4 people of varied levels poking around in the crypts under the morninglord temple.  We ran into a vampire, and (although I'd never met this monster before) a couple of the people in the group said that we should just play along with it, because we wouldn't be able to beat it.  This made for a very tense encounter, because everyone was just kinda smiling and nodding to the monster as it did what it pleaded.  My character particularly was put on the spot and asked to take off her armor and have a dance.  Obviously she was dragging her feet while looking to the others for help, but with the situation as it was they were just sort of watching it play out.

... Then a high level paladin ran into the room, asked what we were doing, and then challenged the vampire to a fight.   The vampire dominated a couple people to fight against the paladin, and the paladin beat all the dominated pc's and ran off the vampire by himself, while barely being scratched.  Fun.


Now, if I take the time to think about  it, maybe I am upset because my character was in the spotlight up till then.   Maybe the guy just stumbled onto the scene naturally and that's how it played out.  Maybe there was some pre-existing rp I don't know about that made the scene a lot more interesting.

Maybe.

To me, it just seemed like "What are you guy's doing, horror rp?  That's cool, but look how awesome my character is."   It took a really tense, interesting scene where the PC's were feeling helpless, and turned it into simple, completely one-sided combat encounter. :(


Now this is just one specific example, but it ties directly into what people are talking about here.  I perfectly understand keeping your high level character in Vallaki.  It is a hub, that's to be expected, but when you -know- that your character is high level for an area, you need to take a step back and let people have their moments.  The server does not revolve around your character.  Let the lowbies gets pwned by the monster a few times, and let them gather up a group and hunt it.  Don't solo an mpc or DM event just because you can.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2012, 02:46:35 PM by LackofCertainty »

Telkar

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Re: aMPC levels too low?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2012, 03:52:24 PM »
aMPC's are important to the horror setting here, and I have seen some wonderfully done ones. Problem is, they are short lived. Another problem, I think they are too low a level, given the profusion of high levels that frequent the area of Vallaki, which sort of ties into the Diffusion thread, but I digress...

I've seen aMPC's take great efforts to convey that gothic horror atmosphere, and it almost works, until that high level wizard/cleric/sorc/paladin/or-what-have-you drops them in three seconds flat. I'd like to see a higher level applied to the aMPC's. They are only here for a short time and they need to be able to make EVERYONE afraid to go out in Old Noapte, regardless of their level. Their lives are short, let us make them FIERCE.

Comments?

I don't think they're too low level. Just picking the wrong scenes (the outskirts is almost in all cases the wrong scene, but it can go well if done carefully).

But talking about short lived. I'm sure you're talking about them being only short lived because they die so fast. But about the month limit on them. I made a suggestion once about replacing the month limit to a "time spent playing the ampc" limit once, at least that would be nice for players who have proven themselves with the month limit one or two times. I like that better.

Sewerfish

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Re: aMPC levels too low?
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2012, 04:54:02 PM »
I made a suggestion once about replacing the month limit to a "time spent playing the ampc" limit once, at least that would be nice for players who have proven themselves with the month limit one or two times. I like that better.

This may encourage players to make aMPCs based in locations other than Vallaki. A mummy in Har Akir could then only show up when the Player knows someone is out there.