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Author Topic: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.  (Read 7181 times)

Geiger

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Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« on: January 16, 2013, 05:42:38 AM »
Old, Initial Argument/Suggestion:

Spoiler: show
Hello there POTM folks readers, commenters, and lurkers all,

This is probably not at the top of everyone's minds. Some of us probably will hate the idea. But what I'm going to bring up here, is this:

What does faction gear do what it does and why are some factions decked out with crazy stuff?

I think one of the problems on this server with faction membership, is that there might be a motivation to have access to gear. Some factions have it better off than others in terms of what they have access to.. and in some cases it really doesn't make sense to me why some have 'uniforms'. One particular faction has an entire armory at its disposal and gear that blows the others out of the water. I think the stats that gear is given for a faction distracts from the true purpose of factions: roleplay. Some players seek these factions out and there gear from both in character and out of character perspectives. There isn't inherently anything wrong about wanting to base a particular character around a certain item or wanting to roleplay with a faction. But when one wants to be in a faction just for the gear... thats not too cool, I'd say. This does happen. Doesn't entirely mean its bad either.. it is smart, lol. You get free items that at 1337.

Now, I am not calling anyone out on this. I don't hate anyone in the Vardo. I don't dislike the person who made the Vardo gear. This isn't a jab at them.

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But that faction has some crazy stuff. They have entire sets of gear and items for nearly every single slot in ones inventory. It's also very premium stealth, rogue gear. It's known people will get hold of some very specific, Vardo only items just so they don't have put so many points into lock pick. They get a lock pick that gives a +3 bonus (two of them = +6). That might not seem much...

But then they have armor that gives them (they have everything from fullplate to cloth armor) + 1 AC pick pocket, open lock, search, spot (this stuff isn't relegated to rank, anyone can get it if they need it for their character - brutes get fullplate, rogues and wizards get the light stuff.)

They can also get access to gloves that add addition in pick pocket, open lock and something that escapes.

Add this to them also having access to boots with hide and move silently.

Then take into consideration that they have their own personal stores that infinitely sells -60 weight reduction magic bags, and a selection of items and scrolls at reduced costs that no one else has access to outside the faction.

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Now compare this to the other factions:

ML Faction gets + 1 armor - antagonize, influence and heal (they have armor of all types + cloth, it doesn't really matter what your rank is, you just get stuff)
+ a spear that has divine damage and + 1 enhancement bonus v undead

Ezrites get armor of every type (restricted to templars and anchorites)

Their bonuses are rounded and very useful as well, still not as amazing as the Vardo stuff.
+ 1 Armor
Discipline and Influence
Heal and concentration

Garda armor comparable stats as well, but they have a faction of tradition of giving armor types only at certain ranks. It's not that impressive either.

There are other factions I know to exist. But their is limited to one 'cool thing'. It's fitting with the group.

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Well, why do I bring all this up? I don't think it's really fair to the player base in general and it doesn't really encourage much faction play outside gear. Yes! There are people who actually join the factions to have fun and give to the narrative... but their gear doesn't really come out as attractive. Those factions usually have incredibly low player rates. Look at the Vardo (who does flux from time to time)... but they usually maintain a high number of people out there compared to other factions who might have two or three active members at best. They also get their own special merchants and get premium prices with their own "secret" merchants. They even have branches between the Port-au-Lucine and Barovia. They actually have -four- faction bases.


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Well, now, this isn't just me going "DEY GOT MOH THINGS DEN UDDERS, KILL DEM DEAD". That is not at all what I'm trying to point out. I'm pointing this out because I think factions need to be looked at and balanced out to "make sense" and to be a bit fairer.

Factions, I think, should try to stray from gear that people couldn't otherwise get on their own.. but it also should make sense.

Sure the Vardo are a merchant cartel/mob based around the recovery of a certain unnamed Lady's misplaced head.. but why should they get "phat" privileged no else does, with no evening edges? Their bonuses should be determined by what their membership gets its people via roleplay, not just "joining up, dawg".

Faction gear should be limited to one thing that might make them different, that gives a relatively soft bonus and kinda flavors what the faction is about.

Vardo should get a signet ring, or an amulet that can be shown to other members to represent their affiliation and rank. It goes up +1 for your rank. It goes up influence or antagonize.

Garda would get an item worn as an amulet that would be called: Rank Insignia, It gives them a bonus to influence and antagonize. +1 for each rank up on the scale, with recruits have a 0. The item could be applied to other generic paramilitary type factions as well like the Gundarakite rebels (and other garda forces/policemenwhatever in other places in barovia and the core. So it's generic and easily used for other stuff.

Ba'al Verzi get a ring that identifies them to other Verzi - it gets a +10 Antagonize bonus and once per day use of a poison. (Make this open to being used on food and water and its got some character/flavor) - Or just keep the 'custom dugger' set up they have.

Their faction gear should be made like gear that people can craft. So plates and metal armors are + 1 made of steel and have 80% weight reduction, leathers are comparable to boiled leathers. Sure you can get access to this for basically free (but it isn't different or better than anyone else's stuff that they can get.)

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Religious Factions:

They should just have a holy symbol item that takes up their amulet slot.

For Ezrites, its broken up into sects, and positions.

Layman get nothing.

Anchorites get a holy symbol dependent on sect:

Warden of:
1st = + 3 Influence bonus, alignment restriction LN
2nd = + 3 Heal Bonus, alignment restriction LG
3nd = + 3 Lore Bonus, alignment restriction TN
4th = + 3 discipline bonus, alignment restruction LE

Useable only by cleric

Each rank up, like toret, and such get a bonus point of influence added to the item.

A templar gets a signet ring, they mirror the above, except they get a +2 bonus only and are also restricted by alignment (basically see above, make it +2 according to their sect)
A templar commander gets a +3 influence added to their ring.

The stats here represent what each sect believes and puts up according to its moral ethos.

For the ML Church, it's a generic bronze disk. You get a straight up + 2 heal + 3 influence, and its limited to clerics of CG, CN, or NG alignment. A cleric of the ML must be chaotic good.
Layman/Light carriers get a signet with a +1 heal +2 influence and only usable by good or neutral


Essentially - could we have factions that do not so much get gear, but are based around their reputation and influence? This could be even expanded into a reputation system for factions - controlled by DMs via their perceived plots. - This could go so far as like say the vardo were mean to the wrong people they may get a permanent reputation point associated with the faction and its members so that they generalized by NPCs/faction. This could get to the point to where the faction is hostile to other factions.

This would be perfect for groups like the Gundarakite rebels, for people who openly associate with it and make themselves known.

food for thought, feel free to discuss and give constructive feedback. I'm not the greatest writer, sometimes I have trouble expressing all my ideas clearly. That also goes for stuff you don't understand. I will freely clarify for you what I mean with minsconception.


New Argument/Suggestion:

This is a post of mine later in the thread, that sums up my views so far. Feel free to continue the dialogue and try not to stray too much into bashing a faction for the sake of bashing it. Or bashing at all. Discuss it reasonably and think it out clearly. Be calm and willing to accept other opinions. There are different ideas of balance and problem solving. Try not to discuss things not specifically addressed within like the balance of enchanted goods. There are other threads for that. :) Overall, be excellent  to each other and develop great ideas. Hahah. :)

Quote
Rogues are not that gimped as people say. Gearwise their most important stuff is located outside factions. Hide and move silently stuff can be got everywhere. The Vardo do contain a boon however where no items for rogues actually exist. Lock picking and pick pocket. No where else can you get this bonus, nothing of even compare. A rogue should not have to join the Vardo to get that gear, to have that ability. But this isn't so much anyone's fault. Doesn't make Vardo cheesy or anything.

But this is why I argue that faction gear should be limited. There is nothing wrong for any faction to have a slight bonus. I understand the Vardo are structured around theft. I know how they are represented in the canon and I am aware that they have had a soft boom on our server that has given them a territorial expansion outside of the native Krezk. They aren't that big or powerful of an organization - especially in comparison to something like the Ezrite Church who receives a tithe (and this is just from tithes) of 10 copper, per annum, and have had this happen for over ninety years.

Though it is limited in some ways with the faction itself really being like 4, who work towards the same goal in different ways.

Or the Vallaki Garda who while being a feudal military-police of a Municipality and a regional militia for Barovia itself are so under equipped and are geared with stuff that makes steel crafted goods look like a +5 sword. I am sure the Ioneluses are going to have anyone outside of wartime conscripts equipped at least with steel tipped spears.

The gear and boons of factions should be about the same. I'm not saying they shouldn't have something that is key, or representative of their faction.

A sweet ass lock pick for the vardo.

A spear that aids the Morninglordians in battle against the dead.

A symbol or relic based around whatever sect of Ezra one comes from.

Free room and board, as well as training and "job opportunities" with advancement for some smelly Barovian peasant or foppish Dementlieuse Gendarme in the "police forces" around the world.

Stuff like that.

Gear and uniforms should be up to the players who run and police their factions outside of that, barring guidance from staff in times of silly-willy that I doubt would come up often, if at all. What a faction has should primarily be what the players put into it. I can see what players already can do - I have been and am involved in the community. I am part of factions. I have ran them before. But I really would rather see dynamics placed into what we put into a faction giving us our power and force.

I bring up other ideas too that could be interesting and not impossible to develop outside basic scripting. The ability to update our locks by paying into them, or upgrading npcs that show up in faction halls could be another interesting thing.

Increased garda patrols in areas where they should happen that keep the roads clear of bandits or monsters, extra fences for hot goods for Vardo, parishioners for Ezrites and Morninglordians, and so on and so forth. These would show up and go away with activity in a faction and their ability to 'pay for it'. This could also be influenced by DM plots.

But the goal is to make it so players rely on eachother, their work, and what they pay into it.

But that is me. That is what I think is cool.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2013, 09:22:07 AM by Geiger »

ManticoreRO

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 06:01:11 AM »
  I must dissagree with the alignment restrictions for the ezrites and ml factions. Why does a morninglordian need to be chaotic good? Or a 4th sect ezrite Lawful Evil? Alignments can be RPed in so many different ways. I have a LE lightcarrier. Does that mean that is she's LE she can't be a part of the faction?

  Anyway. I have no idea regarding the Vardo gear, but I think since they are one hell of a wealty mob family, the standard gear should reflect that. For what I know, they don't just recruit every rogue they see out there. Religious factions always had "uniforms". So I don't see the problem with this aswell.
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aprogressivist

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 06:04:17 AM »
Of other Factions, they tend to give either a ring or an amulet.
“Moral wounds have this peculiarity - they may be hidden, but they never close; always painful, always ready to bleed when touched, they remain fresh and open in the heart.”
― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

ManticoreRO

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 06:05:28 AM »
Of other Factions, they tend to give either a ring or an amulet.

I think the wayfarers do that... you would know :)
Elena Vasilovici - "Better die for something than live for naught"

Geiger

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 06:15:33 AM »
I can see what you're saying there with religion and alignment. But how it works in Ravenloft and many other DnD worlds is when you no longer uphold the core beliefs of your deity, you no longer receive their power.

This still happens in POTM, except under one circumstance. You have created a heresy you believe is right and in accordance to your delusion at the beck of the Dark Powers (or DMs here). Maybe an item that can represent actual heresies when they are being observed and roleplayed with.

The ML Church is also very disorganized so it could feasibly have people of.. less than actual fibre. So maybe something limits it to chaotic, and neutral as opposed to moral alignment.


The Ezrite Church is VERY ordered and it watches itself within an in character context, as well as amongst the players. A heresy has to prove itself true to the "Pope" of the Ezrite Church. Apostates and heretics.. are left out on a limb until accepted, ignored, or destroyed. What I propose isn't something soooo restrictive, but it is a guideline to both ensure a general adherence to what those factions are about, but also along the lines enough for people to "play ball".

It'd be easier for some factions, than others.

As to.. the Vardo being rich? Um.. well, so is the Ezrite Church, so is the Vallaki Garda. They could build palaces and pimp garages if they wanted to. They could supply their people just as well if not better.. and would probably want to!

The Vardo - also are limited to Krezk for the most part canonically.. but ours is slightly different has "branched out".

I still do not think they warrent that much gear compared to what other factions get.

@approg

Yeah. I left out the factions and subfactions that have reasonable items that make sense. (Also most of those have small, fairly inactive membership. You are active though and one or two others! :))
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 06:17:12 AM by Geiger »

DM Vinculum

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 06:17:34 AM »
While I appreciate and encourage discussion and feedback like this,

I think it's a very bad idea to start laying out the gear and faction base perks of this Server's supported factions if you don't want people to make faction decisions based on l33t gear.  :P I also don't think it's very good to "spill the beans" about areas and items that a player hasn't yet experienced through gameplay.

Having extensive faction experience, abuse of this gear and distribution of this gear isn't as wide spread of a problem as you believe. You need to remember that supported PC factions with access to bases and gear are, at the end of the day, monitored by DMs in conjunction with PC leadership.

The gear as it stands reflects the specific needs of the faction in question and is made to help them excel in meeting the canon expectations set for them within the confines of the NWN engine.

I will address specifically the Red Vardo Traders gear though since you brought it up. While there are a lot of gear options, A GREAT MAJORITY of it is DM controlled release wise. That is to say, it cannot be procured or acquired through shops of faction armories.

Certainly, with a faction that as been around as long as the RVT pieces have accumulated for some older players and I won't deny that faction items like anything else in game have been the subject of abuses over time. I want to say that the RVT in particular has really tightened the belt with recruitment standards, gear restrictions and gear issuing. At the end of the day there will always be a minority of players inside and outside of factions who will abuse items and perks for their benefit, RVT gear included I'm sure. I do not think it is good practice to punish the majority for the crimes of the minority though.

If we are going to discuss this further, my one request is that we avoid spilling the beans about the items and situations of some of our more secretive factions lore wise. I just don't think it's fair to the setting or the player-base.
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Geiger

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 06:21:29 AM »
Yeah, I'll clean that up a bit. But it is to make a point in regards to balance. It's not really fair. There have been factions just as active, just as massive, player and otherwise... but they don't get that sort of stuff.

« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 06:31:38 AM by Geiger »

DM Vinculum

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 06:28:57 AM »
It's important to remember that absolute mechanical equality between factions is not the aim or the focus. The focus is giving the faction the mechanical support it needs to properly RP it's place in the setting.

When the Ba'al Verzi are on par with the Vallaki Garda gear wise something isn't making sense anymore in the setting.

The gear supports and boosts the sort of skills that go with the RP required of the faction. A thieves guild or an assassins cabal should not be penalized because the skill sets required for RP'ing membership effectively have led to the creation of gear that has more of a practical use in certain dungeon or pvp situations compared to the Church of Ezra or the Cult of the Morninglord.



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Geiger

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 06:35:26 AM »
I took out major numbers. I still hold on the argument. I know you have been active with the faction and that is good.

But the core (haha, punny!) problem is factions really aren't equal in terms what they can, cannot have, can and cannot do. I really think that player membership should have some roll in how that is, some roll should be played by how that faction is portrayed via lore. With this system - not only does it remove a lot of unnecessary gear from the pallette, it makes it based more on what the faction is planning, plotting.. and less around their gear.

Like.. instead of the Vardo having premium merchants, why not just givem them a guy who buys goods marked 'stolen' to remove the stolen flag?

Why not have a reputation system that can have reprehensive/boon giving properties for any faction.

Essentially we get from a faction, or a group what we make of it. Not what phat lewtz they have.

I recognize factions have certain sticks, you know - when I think on it, yes, the Ba'al Verzi doesn't really need the great 'equalizer'. They are a guild of assassins, they do kind of need an edge. Plus the faction really is only one or two people.

But religious groups? The Vallaki Garda? The Vardo? The ML faction. These groups could all very well have dynamics that could fit to 1. How much the community cares to be apart/support them, 2. could effectively become "dead" or "weak" 3. Have systems in place to actually encourage intrigue/political development. Things that can be done dynamically.. so.. we don't need to have a server update to play out change persay, but a flipped lever.

Some factions would be immune, or barred from this because of canon importance/irrelevance. The society Erudite isn't going to openly be running a smuggling ring with their own fund.. thats up to its individuals. The Wayfarers aren't going to be funding an army.

But the Vallaki Garda could very feasibly build up their equipment quality, the Ezrite Churches and sects can (and have been waxing and waning in power.)

I also recognize I have a vision of what I see, the other people have a vision of what they see and there is what the staff does and has set for us.

I like this stuff, I like threads like this that encourage dialogue and I am learning from it too. :)
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 06:40:14 AM by Geiger »

aprogressivist

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2013, 06:42:31 AM »
I think the main "problem" is when you get multiple items that do the same thing or add to the same skills and can stack; the most egregious example being the Vardo's Open Lock items. It's how a +2 or +3 niche can be stacked into a +10 advantage. When a lot of Faction gear provides Deflection or Natural AC bonuses, the risk of "over-stacking" is naturally negated.

TBH, I never really use any of Ana's faction gear anyway (and she belongs to 3 factions); not that some of it isn't good, but there's better things in most of the loot tables for specific uses or objectives. Nor does my templar use his templar armour...
“Moral wounds have this peculiarity - they may be hidden, but they never close; always painful, always ready to bleed when touched, they remain fresh and open in the heart.”
― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

DM Vinculum

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2013, 06:49:09 AM »
I don't like the idea of hard-coding faction reputation systems or anything like that, because I think that a faction's presence and any server boons that receive should really come from their RP with the wider community. Having scripted systems that will grant or decrease a mechanical bonus over time would run the risk of leading to grinding or long spurts of inactivity followed by a feverish rush to maintain or restore a lost mechanical advantage.

Now, I haven't been on the server for years and years...I started around the beginning of 2009 on PotM. That being said, in my time I haven't really seen factions flooded with membership for the sake of acquiring gear. Now as a DM, I really don't see it at all. I'm sure it's happened though. What is required is less of a hardcoded system or nerfing, but just DMs and PC faction-leaders keeping an eye out.

Apro brings up the RVT Open Lock bonuses to that I can only offer the following responses:

1- It is in line with the canon representation of the RVT.

2- I don't think any RVT would REFUSE being hired as a lock-smith on adventures. This would actually be an awesome way to benefit from their abilities and RP in the process while staying true to the lore behind the faction.

3- In all honesty there are +X lockpick items available in the server, in addition to spells like knock and the skeleton key. While not as convenient, these exist as viable options to rival the Red Vardo lockpicking ability.

Remember, the Red Vardo are merchants, traders and "finders" Hire one as a "locksmith" on your next adventure, everybody wins!
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Geiger

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2013, 06:59:48 AM »
Yeah, armor and stuff like that is fine. The most someone could have is like a +3 bonus, or so from armor types if its just +1... which is fair. It's what everyone else can have. Skills stack.

You could have rep, you could even regionally base on city/geography.

You know we could even create gold sinks and a basis of economy if factions actually could pay in cash to temporarily boost their lock DCs, or add extra NPCs to guard their stuff.

Reputation would come along with how the faction is acting, it goes up or down based on what players do (or DMs).

One of the biggest and silliest things I hate is how often the Citadel is attacked or razed to the ground.. only to recover. What... what if it didn't because there were no longer players breathing life into it. What if the faction was limited to token patrols?

What if they were doing well for themselves and could buy into NPCs that patrol not just the city, but through the outskirts, through the forest path to show the cities force of authority or power.

Even if a faction "dies".. it could still be revived by a DM who want to push it along. Or players who feel inspired. By the efforts of others, and not just because.. "they have gear".


aprogressivist

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2013, 07:06:19 AM »
It'd actually be interesting to see more Faction armour to occupy the +2AC heavy armour niche. Steel armour covers +1, +3 is covered by enchanted, there's a gap between there.
“Moral wounds have this peculiarity - they may be hidden, but they never close; always painful, always ready to bleed when touched, they remain fresh and open in the heart.”
― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

Geiger

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2013, 07:30:47 AM »
I was thinking even more:

What if this expanded to player factions as well?

Nothing like player houses. Like you'd have to put in a application, pending DM approval. Your faction could then pay rent into a building that some other "canon" faction could otherwise pay into to own. You can then try and build yourself up just as the canon ones would.... or fail. Hahah.

woooah

If you feel like commenting on previous looks, go ahead, I dunno now. I think it could be cooler to just have dynamic factions, reputations and such. It'd actually allow for flow.. without getting to crazy, encourage players to take up the mantel of storytellers and faction leaders. They'll fall and rise.

I dunno. I'm insane, I guess.

Troukk

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2013, 07:40:37 AM »
Going back on topic, I actually approve that the Red Vardo get gear advantage. It makes sense from a roleplay standpoint. Their trader's front is supposed to be a dominating one, and their main muscle is supposed to be money. So having access to perks that allow them to control the flow of fang in the server is a good thing. If a player makes a greedy character and that character decides to join the Red Vardo just because of the item perks, it seems perfectly in line of what should be happening IC-wise.

I was thinking even more:

What if this expanded to player factions as well?

If your faction becomes noticable enough during a decent period of time, the DMs will eventually support you. That's the case of the faction my main character leads at the moment. We started out as a completely player run faction based in The Drain, and now we have most of the perks of a regular faction.

I don't think applications are the way to go. I see factions be born and die rather quickly. This could lead to 1 person factions with the leader hanging tight to it because he doesn't want to lose his safehouse/gear/perks. Just trust that our DM team will support you when/if your faction gets consolidated.
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Ercvadasz

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2013, 08:11:20 AM »
About the Vardo gear and items. Yeah they are a bit strong on this side. But yes as Trouk said it they are meant to have the money.
Also as I imagine they are quite hard at keeping folks with them. They are a merchant/crime/mob organisation as it was previously mentioned.
It is, and should be quite hard to leave this faction, alive at least, especailly if you learn about their "true" goals.
They also allow focus on ruthless efficiency, however they as I understand it demand absolute loyalty. Meaning: You are a faction member, you are on faction business, you wear their colours, unless it is asked of you not to wear. (Super secret missions and thelike.) If you are selling their wares, you do it in their colours, and not just in your regular outfit.
Allthough this is just my oppinion and imagination, and I may be mistaken.

I still remember the time, when i ran into some DM run big Vardo event years ago. And the reaction was, if i would stalk them, just kill my char:)

DM Vinculum:
Hire a Vardo? I think for most in game characers that is quite IC-ly a No answer. The Vardo allways had a reputation on the server, even when their reputation was quite fair or good. (This was like years ago.) Whoever spends a bit of time IC with his chars will hear whispers and other things about them whihch should make them reconsider, even to associate with them. (Allthough lately i have not seen that once a common approach that the Vardo were...boyqotted)
They trade in information, not just goods. And having them in your party, means revealing things about your character, even if it just your build, your strengths and weaknesses. They are also bounty hunters, assasins and what not. You do not give yourself out to someone who may once possibly turn against you!
So having Vardo in your party may and should have consequences at some time. Even if it was just one time in the far future.

Allthough again, this is just my oppinion and imagination, and I may be mistaken.

(Also i understand that this is an rp server, and prefers party play, but sometimes creating a party for the reason to create a party, can be quite immersion breaking too)

And to be fair, dunno really most of the Vardo items, and what they do, but i heard some rumours, and seen one or two ingame what they do.

I can get my open locks skill to +18 just with items, on one of my chars, without having ANY access to Vardo gear or item. (Not to mention dex bonus and skill points, and i do not even have access to knock scrolls. And for quite a lot of places that is usually enough. Allthough there are places where the DC is really off balance, but that is another matter.)

about Ezrite gear, i have no idea.
about Wayfarers, i heard it is not bad, and it would greatly help one of my chars. (But joining this faction would not make much sense IC.)

Some factions could use a bit of tuneing up on their item access that is true. I can tell about the morninglordian faction, since i was a member of that faction for nearly a year.
What i found allways a bit strange, is how so many of their items are scattered across the loot table, whereas the faction has access only to the armor(s) and the spear.
I understand it is the base and regular faction gear, but with character advancement, the helmet of dawn, the rosebead of dawn(sorry not sure about the name), the sun maces, or some other items like that could be handed out to characters. (I cannot tell if it is practice or not, since as a member of the faction, my two best items were the robe and a servants candle:) But it feels a bit still strange, how many of the morninglordian faction members have to grind, to find items of their faith.
(Light carriers usually are grinding for the shield of dawn, others for the rosebeads, etc.)



« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 08:26:15 AM by Ercvadasz »
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Geiger

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2013, 08:11:45 AM »
Red Vardo are actually via the canon are thugs and mercenaries that almost exclusively operate out of Krezk. They don't have a whole lot of influence out Barovia. They're mostly known for burglary and beat downs. Our server is slightly different in that they have an apparent expanded influence and seem to focus more on being 'merchants'. But I don't see how that justifies them having more gear than the Ezrite Church, and equally global and quite rich places. There are many canon and currently supported factions that are -made- of money, power, and influence.. yet for some reason are not comparable.

Back to the new topic.

With the player action idea, because they are player factions.. they're at a disadvantage. You would need an actual group of people, minimum of three. Three to five people is about all you need to maintain a faction. Anything beyond that is just awesome. It'd be a little pokey, make sure you're not insane. You just get access to a building, you don't get to pay into NPCs, you don't get fancy gear you can just update the locks. This is kinda like a proto faction where it can determine whether or not to go full blown later. It's so it just do a boom and bust.. and requires less DM attention for everything.

But yeah, I can also see stuff being bad because of apps. It's just an idea though. I think some of this stuff could be useful to factions in general, with very little change to what we currently have. I guess gear wouldn't matter if factions actually had an imprint, or influence of what goes down.

SwanSong

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2013, 08:21:48 AM »
We changed the joining procedure for the RVT as a result of both IC and OOC player attitudes, especially regarding the faction gear. It's now a month as an initiate with no access to RVT property (or forums) besides the Services and Port office to weed out players just in it for the loot from those more serious with their character goals. There was a little controversial decision where several largely inactive or unproductive characters got ousted but this is the nature of player factions. You get out what you put in.

As for the loot, it's really only very useful to a pure rogue and far better exists on the loot tables that I, if I was playing a rogue, would choose in favour of the faction gear as many members do. The only real benefit non-rogues would gain is if they invested in some rogue-type skills but as I say, a lot better loot is found out there. As a faction, we do discuss this sort of stuff on our own forums and the topic of several of the faction items being available only via the armoury (Which only the Captain and Advisor can access) as a reward for a member's outstanding work cropped up as sometimes one bad apple would purchase the stuff to pass on to OOC friends and promptly quit the faction once they got what they wanted out of it.

Geiger

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2013, 08:46:51 AM »
That's a good thing and good to hear.

Bardboy

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2013, 08:53:47 AM »
So, been with the faction myself for a couple months, I give you my  honest feed back on it.

Playing a Vardo has offered a lot of roleplay opportunity, to interact with people and events that have happened with different eyes than a non faction member.

We get free gear?   Free gear? No sir, we pay for it, save the uniform. Not only do we pay for it, we don't just flash a ticket and join the faction for the gear, we actually work at it and once you're in, you have to work your way up to remain within the faction. There's no free handouts.

Four faction base? Between the church of the Morninglord's in the outskirts, the refuge in the slums, the church in Barovia with dormitory. The church of Ezra, their dormitory, the church of Ezra in Dementlieu (That's three each if you're counting), the Vardo has the Port Store, the Vallaki Store and a HQ in Vallaki (still three), The Wound is a zone that belongs to the Vardo but is usable for anyone via roleplay. I lost count of how many theater this server has for the Theatre de la Cathedrale.

Every faction is well taken care of in their own ways, we don't have any free healing in any of our faction area like the churches, we were lucky that the devs had characters that were part of the faction and so our areas are well furnished and made to function. The roleplay involved in those areas is far more important than the fact that we have it, we could meet in Tigan's seedy bedrooms if we had nothing else.

As for the lockpicking items, I don't think any rogue on the server NEEDS lockpicking items to open any chests with the right amount of skill points. Also we'd have to turn them in if we ever left the fold. Personally I would love to see the uniform as having influence and perform but that's the bard in me! Fast talking is our principal asset while in uniform, no one goes adventuring in it.

>.< OP strikes me as slightly upset because we got things and he doesn't, an entire thread just because our outfit has lockpicking stats? Heaven's sakes, I got a locksmith belt, come find Rose, I'll sell it to you, cheap cheap.  8)


edited: my apology
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 09:19:39 AM by Bardboy »
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Geiger

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2013, 09:01:16 AM »
I'm... not upset, I just think it's unbalancing. Don't making this a personal thing, that is not the point of the thread and I am glad to see people actually piping up to the contrary. It's a forum for dialogue and discussion. Seriously, do not take it personal. I am willing to accept to know that, I, do not actually know anything. So calm down. :) It's not meant as a stab, I said that in the beginning, and I did it now.

Swansong is a model response - I'm glad to know you guys are trying to police the faction.

But there are ways to look at the problem too from some of the feedback. Seriously - it might be that we need more tough locks for people to pick in dungeons, rather than faction gear.

I'm trying to steer it from the beginning, to the idea of what we could do to enhance factions in general.

Zhernebog

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2013, 09:26:11 AM »
But there are ways to look at the problem too from some of the feedback. Seriously - it might be that we need more tough locks for people to pick in dungeons, rather than faction gear.

I'm trying to steer it from the beginning, to the idea of what we could do to enhance factions in general.
To give one faction items that others do not have equal access is pretty much the definition of unbalanced factions. Though one faction having access to better gear isn't exactly world breaking. If you manage to kill a vardo, I'm pretty sure you're welcome to loot the body and take the items right off them icly, albeit it's a jerk move.

Creating tougher locks might be more of an issue since that would favor higher levels moreso than just a low level with the correct gear. The lock numbers are already high enough that anyone who didn't gear correctly or cross class rogue skills has no chance of opening them. Not to mention raising the lock numbers seems to raise the bash numbers(correct me if I'm wrong), and when the bash numbers get to the 30's you're looking at the realm of impossibility for most characters considering the lack of strength boosting equipment. Even with thirty strength and a crowbar the best you can hope for is to hit 35, anything higher is a madman's dream.

Troukk

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2013, 09:38:19 AM »
To give one faction items that others do not have equal access is pretty much the definition of unbalanced factions.

Yeah it's unbalanced, but it makes sense and helps the setting. Canon factions don't have everything going for them. The fact that they are restricted by canon means that recruiting can be harder. Being my partner in crime, you know better than anybody how huge and awesome a faction can become when you are not restricted by canon and let your creativity run loose. However, canon factions are necessary to the server, and I personally tip my hat to the guys that play them, because they enhance the setting for us all. They deserve their perks.
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Zhernebog

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2013, 09:47:11 AM »
To give one faction items that others do not have equal access is pretty much the definition of unbalanced factions.

Yeah it's unbalanced, but it makes sense and helps the setting. Canon factions don't have everything going for them. The fact that they are restricted by canon means that recruiting can be harder. Being my partner in crime, you know better than anybody how huge and awesome a faction can become when you are not restricted by canon and let your creativity run loose. However, canon factions are necessary to the server, and I personally tip my hat to the guys that play them, because they enhance the setting for us all. They deserve their perks.
Oh I wasn't trying to complain, merely make a note that the old adage, "Life isn't fair" prevails. That being said directly under that sentence was an easy ic solution to make up for it, which is a much easier solution due to them being such a tiny faction with few allies.
I'd be tempted to argue that canon/not canon factions are roughly equivalent in stature and recruiting. It's the charisma icly/oocly of the recruiters and the fame/infamy that the faction accrues that lead to higher numbers. Vardos seem like they are rather selective, and for good reason, but that's mostly on them. We shouldn't lead a mentality of quality over quantity simply for the nature of poor/selective recruitment in terms of items.

Ercvadasz

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Re: Faction Gear, Faction Balance, and a few ideas.
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2013, 09:47:50 AM »
There exists an leather armour, on the loot table that has lockpicking skills (+2), and a various other skill boosts, while it has -4 con! So that lockpick armor is not that exceptional:) (Allthough mentioned example is seriously punishing on the -4 con:)

About Vardo players reply:
It is a nice touch! However i do hope that bad apples have to face appropriate consequences:) (Like Vardo hunting them down, and their friends who have obtained these items:)

About lock DC raising. I actually think most lock DC-s are quite allright. There are a few places that need adjustment, but most of the time they need their DC-s lowered.
(Example Ghakis: the DC-s there are nearer to 50 than to 40, and the loot there is garbage, since the place is meant for around level 8)
The thing with locks is, you either have the skills, or you are willing to sacrifice a lockpick. And these latter do cost a huge amount of money. (Over 1500 for 10 and 12 lockpicks.) And many a times your gain is less than the lockpick you have used up, and it is not that easy to find lockpick 10 and 12, which you usually value greatly, if you manage to aquire.

About enhanceing faction play, and their influence, well i think it is a player side and player attitude thingie.

A few folks cant even keep the simple rule of the outskirts temple, and break their rules the moment a faction member loggs off.
Openly trading, openly drinking, singing, dancing, playing an instrument you name it.
The temple does not ask THAT much of its guests, yet quite a number cannot keep that. (Trading can be performed in the temple, but at least try to hide that you are doing that, and not openly shout out what you are selling or wish to buy, and then perform the task, because this is a simple neglection of the present NPC-s.)
Basicly they are acting ICly a way that is not allowed, merely beause they know OOCly they will not have to deal with any consequences.

As long as such behaviour is widely accepted, tolerated, and sometimes by other players even encouraged, it will be not easy to enhance faction play, because such nuisances can greatly break the immersion.

but again this is just my way seeing it.

Also one thing about the ML faction:
I think not only ng and cg apply but LG as well.
I played a gundar morninglordian priest, who started as ng, but quite quickly became LG. Since he was an old gundar, he knew the difference between Gundars and Strahds rule, and he welcomed the latter more, and has kept all the rules applying to the gundars. (I think i even got into some RP conflict with some rebels. Secondly during my first 2 weeks of play i could not even spend the nights in the temple, because gundars were not allowed to stay anywhere in the Vallaki municipality as long as the curfew was active, at night. So my ML-er had to spend each night in the vistani camp, or in caves, that hopefully had no residents.)
It was quite frustrating most of the time, since it was a major hindrance, and disadvantage. Not being allowed to carry any decent weapon(not even the morningspear!), not really being able to dungeoneer even though i was a buffer/healer build. At start not even being present in the temple!
Yet at some times, these annoying things have led to quality rp, and since this server is an RP server, it should be our aim, to value this over dungeon runs and farmings.
And these few occurances were that actually made up for me accepting these huge disadvantages and hindrances. Consequences, rewards and punishments.
(the way i see it again.)
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