Author Topic: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions  (Read 1041 times)

CosmicRay

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AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« on: March 24, 2018, 10:23:04 AM »
Hello!

Off the back of my recent stint playing an AMPC, I have identified a number of areas where I feel small tweaks or additions to our current systems could enhance (A)MPC play.

The Locate Function
Currently the Locate function allows monsters to locate in very broad terms, where players are.
One of the challenges of playing a monster is finding people to menace. Knowing there are X many people in Vallaki is good, but the Vallaki zone encompasses a lot of areas. Finding people, even with Locate, can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

My suggestion would be to give more detail about player locations if the monster is within the same zone. So, if the monster is in Vallaki, @locate could break the Vallaki zone down into wards, outskirts, lakeshore, farmlands, etc etc. This would enable monsters to find players easier, reducing time wasted either waiting or wandering.

Set-dressing and props
The @mark function does not persist through area resets. This means that a monster cannot set up elaborate clues, descriptions or scenes too-far ahead of time, or with the intention of giving something players to find when they're not online. I suspect many of my lovingly-crafted clues were never seen.

Monsters could be given a way to set marks that do persist through area resets. Alternatively, monsters could have a way of setting a limited number of placables, such as blood or slime spatters in much the same way that the carpentry kit works. These would persist through area resets.

Minions
Monsters have the ability to control certain types of NPC based on their template. This is a great thing! .. As long as you can find the right type of monster to control.
Ghouls, Wights and the exotic lycanthropes have a disadvantage in this respect compared to the other templates.. because the monsters of their kind (ghouls and wights), don't appear in many dungeons, and those dungeons may be quite far from their place of activity.

In addition, monsters could have the ability to summon a low number minions to them, which could then be put under control (or just left to wreak havoc). I like the idea of a wererat being able to summon a carpet of rats, or a werewolf calling a pack of hungry wolves to their aid.



 

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2018, 10:32:56 AM »
Use @markpermanent instead when setting up grisly scenes, my dude. These will stay until the server as a whole resets.

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CosmicRay

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2018, 10:34:07 AM »
Use @markpermanent instead when setting up grisly scenes, my dude.

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2018, 05:15:57 PM »
AMPC's are becoming a tad, Not scary anymore.

AMPC gets created,
AMPC terrorizes for a few weeks,
AMPC kills a few mid Level Heros,
High level Hero kills AMPC, (usually via a Time stop)

It seems that gone are the days of werewolves and other lycanthropes because as great as they sound that magical name above the lycanthropes head seems to be the same name as that guy ive seen walking around. Not to mention one mistake and the fights over. I always liked the horror of knowing there's a werewolf in the town but who is it? That feeling of maybe you cant trust the person next to you.

Vampires at least get a few second chances with being able to Mist or Bat away.
The other undead KNOW they have a short life span. Save for a revenant.

Its become a norm now that if an AMPC attacks might as well just sit back and relax because that level 20 thats got nothing better to do will be here soon to take care of it. It stops people from forming groups to go after them when one person can take it down in seconds.

 - Making the AMPC's Stronger? Wont really help that just creates an un-winnable scenario for those around the mid levels.

 - Blocking off vallaki to those upper levels? Think of it like a PnP campaign, Ravenloft 5e campaign is restricted to levels 1-10 because anything more and the campaign is just a breeze and it would lose out on fun. Im not saying 10 should be the magic number but 15 sounds reasonable (for those as faction leaders), at that stage what does vallaki have to offer anyway?

- Closing level 20 PC's? Hitting that 20 after 6 months or so its a good idea to think about a fitting end to your PC or at least starting a new main and shelving that 20 for a bit. But if we had the level restricted area these higher levels coming down and insta-killing all the danger wouldnt be so much of an issuse so there wouldnt really be a need to closure the PC.

Just my thoughts on the matter  :D

Nemesis 24

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2018, 06:40:02 PM »
It was a level 12 or so that killed Pac Man.  Should level 12s be closed?


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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2018, 06:45:38 PM »
I can agree with the minions and location suggestions to an extent.

Possession of minions should strictly be for pack-oriented monsters like lycanthropes.

Locations should be for non-stealthy templates and there should be reasons to justify it, like a lycanthrope's nose.

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2018, 06:50:45 PM »
I find it a general consensus that level 20s are not to go and kill AMPCs. Problem solved. That's how things have been and it's generally worked so far. The AMPC was by no means killed by some high level beast who whisked away the ghoul easily. It was a fight. The real solution here, in my opinion, is a threatening wag of the finger from DMs to any level 20 that thinks of just stomping out a new AMPC before it can get its story going. It would be really easy for Strahd to decide he's tired of them.

I personally find AMPCs just fine the way they are, though if there were any suggestions I had to make, I'd have to say we definitely need more types of AMPCs. Different werebeasts, maybe things like banshees or orcs, something along those lines. Certainly some good ideas up top, though, I really like the minions idea most of all. A small army of zombies and skeletons to give the low levels a night time fright would be awesome.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 06:54:24 PM by Dale »

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2018, 07:53:46 PM »
Myself and several others play high levels in Vallaki while respecting the setting. When I'm there, I see my role is to be one that enhances the setting for lower levels. Offer them jobs, encourage them to go indoors if things get weird, talk and RP with them. But I'm also aware we're the minority, more often than not high levels are disruptive.

I'd also argue it's an attitude problem just as much as it's a level problem. I've seen lower levels get upset and rage at not being able to kill a monster. I've seen lower levels attack something with no RP, realize they couldn't kill it, and get upset or try to disengage the situation they started. You just don't notice it as much because they don't have the ability to be disruptive yet. Even if high levels were banished from Vallaki or force closed or whatever, the underlying problem would still be there. I think one of the biggest things we can do, collectively, is to address how we approach antagonists.



As for the original suggestions, a @props command might be cool to get some bits and pieces to help with scenes. Maybe bring up a window that'd let you choose what sort of thing you'd like spawned in your bag. Or even a monster tool that works like carpentry, but creates more monstrous themed props. I'd give suggestions but I'd have to go through the toolset.

The familiar thing could be interesting to end an encounter with. Have it be a 1/day ability.

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2018, 08:21:44 PM »
It was a level 12 or so that killed Pac Man.  Should level 12s be closed?

Paladin tho they are made for taking down undead

I find it a general consensus that level 20s are not to go and kill AMPCs. Problem solved. That's how things have been and it's generally worked so far. The AMPC was by no means killed by some high level beast who whisked away the ghoul easily. It was a fight. The real solution here, in my opinion, is a threatening wag of the finger from DMs to any level 20 that thinks of just stomping out a new AMPC before it can get its story going. It would be really easy for Strahd to decide he's tired of them.

I personally find AMPCs just fine the way they are, though if there were any suggestions I had to make, I'd have to say we definitely need more types of AMPCs. Different werebeasts, maybe things like banshees or orcs, something along those lines. Certainly some good ideas up top, though, I really like the minions idea most of all. A small army of zombies and skeletons to give the low levels a night time fright would be awesome.

+1 But also its not just about the AMPC's What about the Evil PC's the guys who build their cults and what have you.

Myself and several others play high levels in Vallaki while respecting the setting. When I'm there, I see my role is to be one that enhances the setting for lower levels. Offer them jobs, encourage them to go indoors if things get weird, talk and RP with them. But I'm also aware we're the minority, more often than not high levels are disruptive.

I'd also argue it's an attitude problem just as much as it's a level problem. I've seen lower levels get upset and rage at not being able to kill a monster. I've seen lower levels attack something with no RP, realize they couldn't kill it, and get upset or try to disengage the situation they started. You just don't notice it as much because they don't have the ability to be disruptive yet. Even if high levels were banished from Vallaki or force closed or whatever, the underlying problem would still be there. I think one of the biggest things we can do, collectively, is to address how we approach antagonists.



As for the original suggestions, a @props command might be cool to get some bits and pieces to help with scenes. Maybe bring up a window that'd let you choose what sort of thing you'd like spawned in your bag. Or even a monster tool that works like carpentry, but creates more monstrous themed props. I'd give suggestions but I'd have to go through the toolset.

The familiar thing could be interesting to end an encounter with. Have it be a 1/day ability.

Thats a fair point about the attitude towards antagonists and i do like the suggestion about the @props
« Last Edit: March 24, 2018, 08:27:02 PM by Darkside of Heaven »

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2018, 08:38:54 PM »
Quote
Paladin tho they are made for taking down undead

Incorrect.  It was a ranger cleric.

Quote
+1 But also its not just about the AMPC's What about the Evil PC's the guys who build their cults and what have you.

Also incorrect.  The Black Hand, Nerullites and others were and are thriving utterly, because they were left alone and allowed to do so.  There are others besides.  I would like to see an instance quoted in recent memory of an evil group that was stomped out and corpse hidden by level 20's without being fully established first.  Until then this sort of thing should not be passed around as fact when it is blatantly not true.

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2018, 10:51:54 PM »
Quote
Paladin tho they are made for taking down undead

Incorrect.  It was a ranger cleric.

Quote
+1 But also its not just about the AMPC's What about the Evil PC's the guys who build their cults and what have you.

Also incorrect.  The Black Hand, Nerullites and others were and are thriving utterly, because they were left alone and allowed to do so.  There are others besides.  I would like to see an instance quoted in recent memory of an evil group that was stomped out and corpse hidden by level 20's without being fully established first.  Until then this sort of thing should not be passed around as fact when it is blatantly not true.

I agree. I very much try to be a good sport and let the story play out, rather than go around looking to closure *anyone*. But eventually it offends me that I'm supposed to be penalized and not play my PC IC because she's just too strong. Isn't that somewhat the point of gaining levels?

(My PC isn't *that* strong anyway.)

I don't think there's that much stomping going on, and I know for certain that in my own case I don't look to obliterate MPCs as notches on my belt.

Can we not have a discussion simply about suggestions to improve a facet of the server in an entirely positive light without bringing in any negativity?

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PrimetheGrime

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2018, 12:25:29 AM »
Quote
Paladin tho they are made for taking down undead

Incorrect.  It was a ranger cleric.

Quote
+1 But also its not just about the AMPC's What about the Evil PC's the guys who build their cults and what have you.

Also incorrect.  The Black Hand, Nerullites and others were and are thriving utterly, because they were left alone and allowed to do so.  There are others besides.  I would like to see an instance quoted in recent memory of an evil group that was stomped out and corpse hidden by level 20's without being fully established first.  Until then this sort of thing should not be passed around as fact when it is blatantly not true.

I agree. I very much try to be a good sport and let the story play out, rather than go around looking to closure *anyone*. But eventually it offends me that I'm supposed to be penalized and not play my PC IC because she's just too strong. Isn't that somewhat the point of gaining levels?

(My PC isn't *that* strong anyway.)

I don't think there's that much stomping going on, and I know for certain that in my own case I don't look to obliterate MPCs as notches on my belt.

Can we not have a discussion simply about suggestions to improve a facet of the server in an entirely positive light without bringing in any negativity?

Well said. I agree with that as well. There's no need to punish the level 20's for getting to their level. They should in fact be praised for their hard work in getting to 20. It falls to higher level pc' to be respectful and responsible when it comes to AMPC's and MPC's and know when to aid and when to stay either out of it, or take on a more protective role. Noone likes seeing a cool Monster get slammed by high levels, and that as I said, falls to the players to be responsible.

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2018, 04:18:42 AM »
I feel like we have gotten a bit off the beaten path with those last few replies.

In any case, while we're on tweaking AMPCs, I believe a few templates could use work: specifically those of the lycanthropes. Their forms which, supposedly turn them better in every respect to their demihuman-selves, actually manage to make them worse. Can we just up the numbers a bit on what they gain across the board to compensate for what we lose from all the lost item slots?

Overall, I feel as if that is really the only place where the AMPC 'game' is lacking. Monstrous players, from experience, gain the tools and props to properly orchestrate scenes -- and just as with DMs, all they require is the attention and respect of the players they are creating an atmosphere for.
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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2018, 07:43:20 AM »
Myself and several others play high levels in Vallaki while respecting the setting. When I'm there, I see my role is to be one that enhances the setting for lower levels. Offer them jobs, encourage them to go indoors if things get weird, talk and RP with them. But I'm also aware we're the minority, more often than not high levels are disruptive.

I'm not sure that is the minority position Norture. I think it is the majority and there is the odd high level who is there clearing the crypts or trying to dominate the low levels around them.

Other than killing werewolf spans in the outskirts they generally are not doing much that negatively impacts the low levels.
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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2018, 03:49:14 PM »
I don't think the issue is punishing high levels. On one hand, having a ton of high levels in a low level zone isn't going to make life easy for AMPCs - etiquette or not, there is no hard rules stating that players of a certain level can't or even shouldn't touch AMPCs, and some PCs see it as an IC obligation to pursue and combat these monsters. But on the other hand, there are already mechanical "punishments" in place to discourage high levels being in low-level zones (that is, the RP exp penalty) and even if these penalties were harsher it probably wouldn't drive anybody away because a lot of plot happens in these low level areas. It's simply a fact of life: RP and plots will be more plentiful in areas accessible to more people by virtue of there being more people and more interactions.

I don't think high levels should be praised for reaching high levels, either. Level progression is one way the game may be played and it's the player's choice to sink the time into achieving a high level. And while this is certainly an accomplishment, this is an RP server - there's not really anything praiseworthy of levelling up because it's largely a personal endeavor and doesn't necessarily contribute to furthering the main purpose of the server, RP, in any way. You could easily hit 20 without even saying a single word in-game.

That said, I don't think high levels should be pressured to consider closing their characters. However personal it may be, there is a lot of time sunk into levelling and it would be unfair for them to be neglected or punished by the server or the community for choosing a different playstyle. Rather than punishing these players, I think a more appropriate solution would be to offer more plots and RP areas for high level characters. This would incentivize higher levels to move on to different areas because there would be something elsewhere that offers there what lower level zones do not.

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2018, 07:55:19 AM »
In my experience high levels in there lie level zones are a thorn in the side of AMPC/MPC. The ideal interaction with them is when they usher the low levels to safety it give fair warnings. The worst interaction I'd when they attack with no rp and no chance for your monster to escape. Id say that this is not always the case though.
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Iridni Ren

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2018, 05:56:40 PM »
The Locate Function
Currently the Locate function allows monsters to locate in very broad terms, where players are.
One of the challenges of playing a monster is finding people to menace. Knowing there are X many people in Vallaki is good, but the Vallaki zone encompasses a lot of areas. Finding people, even with Locate, can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

This is not likely a problem during normal times on the server because we have many fewer AMPCs, but one suggestion I have for the locate function is it not include AMPCs in the count or count them separately, if this is doable. I have a feeling that almost everyone is staying in Vallaki, except for the AMPCs , at night.

As a result it's very easy for AMPCs to wind up stalking one another in that effort to find someone alone :P

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2018, 07:56:19 PM »
So will EE give us the functionality to allow wererats to equip armor and weapons?
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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2018, 09:26:19 PM »
Unless someone makes armor-models specifically for wererats (since NWN-armor is just replacing parts of the model) and makes dynamic wererat models, I don't think thats an option. That being said, in any case, it'd need to be changed from a polymorph to a skin change with buffs or alternatively the polymorph changed to merge gear stats. (disclaimer, I have no idea if thats possible)

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2018, 10:14:07 PM »
The Locate Function
Currently the Locate function allows monsters to locate in very broad terms, where players are.
One of the challenges of playing a monster is finding people to menace. Knowing there are X many people in Vallaki is good, but the Vallaki zone encompasses a lot of areas. Finding people, even with Locate, can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

This is not likely a problem during normal times on the server because we have many fewer AMPCs, but one suggestion I have for the locate function is it not include AMPCs in the count or count them separately, if this is doable. I have a feeling that almost everyone is staying in Vallaki, except for the AMPCs , at night.

As a result it's very easy for AMPCs to wind up stalking one another in that effort to find someone alone :P

Good idea.

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2018, 12:09:15 PM »
The Locate Function
Currently the Locate function allows monsters to locate in very broad terms, where players are.
One of the challenges of playing a monster is finding people to menace. Knowing there are X many people in Vallaki is good, but the Vallaki zone encompasses a lot of areas. Finding people, even with Locate, can be like finding a needle in a haystack.

This is not likely a problem during normal times on the server because we have many fewer AMPCs, but one suggestion I have for the locate function is it not include AMPCs in the count or count them separately, if this is doable. I have a feeling that almost everyone is staying in Vallaki, except for the AMPCs , at night.

As a result it's very easy for AMPCs to wind up stalking one another in that effort to find someone alone :P

Good idea.

Actually, I don't agree with this. In theory, it's a good idea-- but being able to see where I am in the locate feature is really, really important. Because it helps me understand and learn the boundaries the general area it's talking about. For instance,

"Okay, Road to Zeidenburg starts in this area, and ends here."
Or
"This is where Vallaki Forest starts, and that's where general Vallaki ends."

You might think it's common sense, and that it's all in the name of the area anyway, but in my experience it's not so simple. It's helped me immensely in learning even how to use the locate tool effectively. Maybe there's a compromise in there somewhere?

« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 12:10:47 PM by TheGrinningHound »

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2018, 12:16:22 PM »
Hound,

I don't entirely understand what you're saying, but I also don't think this change would deprive you of what you need--at least not as I was envisioning it.

Something like this:

Vallaki: 40 PCs; 1 MPC

Sullen Woods: 1 MPC

Would that still provide you what you need?

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2018, 02:25:42 PM »
Yep! That would work perfectly.

Sorry, I read it as "not count the MPC's" and didn't read the part right after that said "Count them separately."

I'd be totally game for it as long as it's at least still counted, especially so if its separated

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2018, 05:24:14 PM »
It seems pretty obvious, it takes whatever is first in the map-title after the domain. Don't see exactly why you need yourself to be counted for that!

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Re: AMPC Tweaks / Suggestions
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2018, 11:05:10 PM »
Before I saved in an actual Safe Location, Enya's last location was accurate and reflected where I logged out. Now whenever the server resets, it shows her last location as the same as her last Safe Location. Perhaps this is to prevent regular PCs from logging in at dangerous locations, but for monstrous PCs it's kind of unfortunate because the location may not be at all safe for us.

Also, it puts me in a locked room. I've been making sure to buy a key before leaving each time, but I also fear that it could lead to being locked in the room with no way to escape should I forget or the server crash before I buy one. (Tested and not a problem.)

Anyway, perhaps monstrous PCs could be tweaked so that this overwrite of their last location with their last safe location didn't occur. (I'm assuming this isn't just a bug my AMPC is experiencing.)
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 10:41:56 AM by Iridni Ren »

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