You have been taken by the Mists

Author Topic: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions  (Read 1084 times)

PrimetheGrime

  • Theatre de la Cathedrale
  • Undead Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 324
Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« on: April 02, 2019, 11:05:27 PM »
Just throwing down some thoughts that I and some of the other players have been discussing in Discord. Feel free to do the same/ critique.

One of the ideas brought up was to have the ability to Label and describe a coffin similar to how you would label and describe a Sign. This would allow the AMPCs to have more roleplay potential with their coffins even while away from it and it would mark said coffin so that when players stumbled upon it, they would know that is a personal coffin of an AMPC and thus would be able to roleplay appropriately with it. an example being perhaps:

[A black Coffin made of Marble]
"The coffin appears weathered and worn, carrying various scratches on it's hard surface. Carved into the top of it is a crest featuring two crossed swords over a rose"

It would also be nice to see possible appearances for coffins as an aesthetic thing, though this is just a personal preference.

I'd love to hear other ideas of how we can make Vampire AMPCs better though

Iridni Ren

  • Priestess of Pelor
  • The Wayfarer Kinship
  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 3120
  • When all other lights go out
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2019, 11:58:43 PM »
Another suggestion was some kind f cool down when a vampire is forced to mist and returns to its coffin.

Nem said 1 real life hour of having to stay by the coffin and not being able to regen immediately.

Other players felt the vampire should not be able to move a coffin while in mist form.

And I suggested that during the cool down the vampire be represented by a corpse-like placeable within the coffin so that even if the player had to log, for the cool down the vampire could be staked/destroyed.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 12:07:45 AM by Iridni Ren »

My windows cracked, but they can be replaced.
Your arm will tire throwing stones my way.

PrimetheGrime

  • Theatre de la Cathedrale
  • Undead Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 324
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2019, 12:39:34 AM »
Another suggestion was some kind f cool down when a vampire is forced to mist and returns to its coffin.

Nem said 1 real life hour of having to stay by the coffin and not being able to regen immediately.

Other players felt the vampire should not be able to move a coffin while in mist form.

And I suggested that during the cool down the vampire be represented by a corpse-like placeable within the coffin so that even if the player had to log, for the cool down the vampire could be staked/destroyed.

I like both of those ideas actually. That way when the players find said corpse they can PM the AMPC and let them know so they can organise a scene and most importantly be there for their demise.

Nemesis 24

  • Society of the Erudite
  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 1008
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2019, 02:30:47 AM »
The suggestion I had is that a vampire reduced to zero hit points and forced into mist form, not only has to go to its coffin, but upon touching the coffin to reform back into corporeal form, the vampire is forced into a 'locked' state - in knockdown, out of stealth, unable to move or take action for a period of time equivalent to a 'unable to rest' state.  They have to remain by the coffin to indicate the time of regeneration - as is normal for the regeneration of a vampire in its coffin.  A good ten, fifteen, twenty minutes even would be enough time for players who killed the vampire and found its coffin to track it down and stake it there.  This 'may' give a vampire a little more pause, and it does give them a bit more hesitation in getting themselves into combat, and may even push for more story. 

Of course there's also the problem of PC's being trigger happy killseekers, so maybe instead of mechanics, a bit more clarification on what is IC acceptable about how soon a vampire can be active after reforming, and how long they should remain at their coffin to be tracked down instead of logging out afterwards after being reduced to mist form (real life circumstances not withstanding of course).  Honestly this solution, instead of a mechanical one, is probably far better.  It gives the vampire a chance to do more if they 'are' found rather than simply lay there as well.

Sidhel

  • Professional Packrat
  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 1160
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2019, 06:05:50 AM »
As an experienced vampire/ampc on both ends of the table, I feel the hopelessness and invulnerability of vampires is due to the limited nature of the server and some of the hidden flaws behind the coffin mechanics designed around a server that use to stay up for weeks at a time. Its created a cat & mouse mentality and because of how difficult it is for a vampire to truly die on PotM, I understand the player-side struggle to want to get involved with something that can only be 'beaten' if the vampire desires it.

  • Coffins only spawn when the vampire has logged in for the first time during a given reset cycle. This makes searching for them inconsistent, especially since they're undefined by owner. A coffin might be there one day but not the next time, so as a player, you assume it was moved.
  • With above in mind, this means much of the interaction with a vampires coffin is done while the vampire is offline. Nobody really wants to have their character 'perma'd' while they're not even playing. The server is -tiny,- in terms of available places where you can hide a coffin and still keep it a secret for more than a week.
  • Killing a vampire through there coffin is basically impossible; if the vampire plays a certain way. You have to mist the vampire, know that you force misted the vampire and it wasn't just a manual mist, know which/where their coffin is, beat their invulnerable perma-hasted mist to said coffin, and more than likely, be close enough behind said mist to detect them trying to escape and kill them again and burn their coffin.
  • The current availability of coffins to vampires is unlimited. I think this point in particular, has had a long-term two-sided problem of coffins being 'destroyed' frequently because of the limited nature of the server, and vampires having too much disconnection in their ability to acquire a new coffin so easily and just abandoning a coffin, if discovered by players.
  • HIPS Mist form being instant cast, instant stealth, perma-hasted that drops aggro due to it being a HIPS mechanic, and has faction-swapping attached to it as well.

My 'simple' recommendations would be:
- If a vampire is not bound to their coffin (They don't have one placed in game; whether carried or destroyed), they're not allowed to mist form. This would help both issues with coffin abandonment and coffin grab-and-ditch.
- Not being allowed to carry a coffin while in bat/mist form.
- Make mist/polymorphs form take a standard action, not instant cast.

Out of some of the recommendations already suggested, my thoughts:

Descriptions for coffins. Yes please. Amazing idea.

"Wait one hour if destroyed/corpse timer"; While I understand why this makes sense due to how vampires are in a pen and paper setting, I feel with the limited nature of the server, an hour is too long to ask anyone to 'sit there and die' , and ultimately, this sort of suggestion is going to make vampires play 'more' cautiously with manual misting and survive-ability, and avoid interactions with anyone they know to being able to kill them. An hour real time by the way, is enough time for a single player to check every single 'top ten' used coffin locations. If the server was bigger and had more 'secrets to discover', maybe. Also, an hour real time basically rules out more than ~80% of the areas coffins are allowed to be placed in, limiting where players have to look drastically.

With the above suggestions, I feel like the timers are overbearing and hinting to the frustrated extreme to how hard vampires are to kill. I think simply, having one 'in game' hour, (six minutes) of a vampire being locked in place next to his coffin, is enough of an impact to reduce the invulnerability perceived around vampires drastically. In addition to not allowing vampires to move their coffins around as bat/mist, this changes the game 'a lot' for a PC vampire.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 06:29:35 AM by Sidhel »
Isadora von Brussel - Deathsinger of Orcus (Deceased, Again)

SardineTheAncestor

  • Theatre de la Cathedrale
  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 150
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2019, 06:42:26 AM »
At least from my playtime's point of view, Sidhel covered it. I agree with everything on that post, I don't want to see timers either, they will make it even more based on rushing around (as players will know the exact time they have to get to the coffin and just sprint to it because it's guaranteed). I would like to run into vampires purely through the route of RP more often, and I have nothing but praise for the vampires on the server giving people chances to take in the atmosphere and respond to it. It's nice when they pull their punches to compensate how hard it would be to actually finish them off as it allows for more RP as personally affected rivals rise to the challenge from unexpected places.

My only gripes are with how impossible ending the threat they pose seems, nothing to do with the players or characters. Some of our characters have established a "no coffin, no fight" rule, and this leads to exciting chases and stealthy escapes too, which is fine. I appreciate that in the gothic horror theme you cannot always win, this is fine too. But sometimes it seems like constant warfare. This is good for exposure, letting more people get involved, and for that purpose, it is fine.

I think the changes Sidhel proposed, making the coffin movement take a bit more conscious logistics, will lead to more smart, meaningful engagements on both sides. I don't want any of the vampires right now to roll over dead with no one knowing a thing about their story and what fetters their character to vengeful vampirism, but I do want to see the pace of all this slow down a touch, from both sides. Less torch mobs spamming mass buffs, more chance stumble-upons which have always been the best in my experience. Standard action mist and polymorph seems fine too.
Esmeralda Selorn, rogue druidess from Deadwood
Shannon Linwood, heretic priestess of the Morninglord
Nikolaus Gavrilovic, farmer assassin from Novgorod

Iyer

  • Outlander
  • **
  • Posts: 95
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2019, 07:11:06 AM »
I don't know, I think that if you start giving vampires handicaps like this it will take away from the fun of having them around. They are SUPPOSED to be difficult to find, difficult to kill and they should rightly have advantages. If you slow their mist form, force immobility when misted, people won't be able to enjoy them as much because all you'll have to do is have some high level mist them once then follow them back to the coffin for an anticlimactic perm. Vamps shouldn't be nerfed.

EO

  • Assistant Head DM/Developer
  • Head DMs
  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 15295
  • The one and only, the one everyone wants to be!
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2019, 07:43:25 AM »
Their mist form isn't at the correct 3rd edition speed currently, so it's simply not faithful to the setting.

Indeed. And they canít also sneak through the tiniest cracks, float high above the air or much of what they can do in 3E.

There are no plans at current to review the vampire death system.

aprogressivist

  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 4720
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2019, 07:59:02 AM »
I don't know, I think that if you start giving vampires handicaps like this it will take away from the fun of having them around. They are SUPPOSED to be difficult to find, difficult to kill and they should rightly have advantages. If you slow their mist form, force immobility when misted, people won't be able to enjoy them as much because all you'll have to do is have some high level mist them once then follow them back to the coffin for an anticlimactic perm. Vamps shouldn't be nerfed.

The reverse side to this argument is that because vampires have an "I can't lose" button, that mechanic starts to over-shadow other considerations for playing AMPCs.

Are other AMPCs "not fun" because they don't have vampires' Mist Form? If you answer no then your position doesn't make sense; but if you answer yes, then it means you think fun for an AMPC is conditional on having an "I can't lose" button. I think that attitude brings its own problems when discussing AMPCs.

If you create a mechanic that lets characters easily escape from consequences, it will be a draw for players who aren't keen on accepting consequences. That should be discouraged, just as we discourage players when they use, for example, the easy availability of raise/healing from Lizuca to get healed after fights, then rush back into confrontations against NPCs/AMPCs. Just because it's mechanically possible, doesn't mean it's responsible play or RP.

At the end of the day, it's about accountability: consequences for actions. When players can't bring consequences to bear against an AMPC's actions, they become a passive audience as the AMPC tells their story. That scenario, where a vampire AMPC is effectively unkillable except on their own terms, and the other players are there as an audience to be spoon-fed plot, isn't fun and exciting, for most people; it's dull and prescriptive, for both sides.

Frankly I'd usually prefer to avoid playing vampires precisely because I fear falling into the trap of having an "I can't lose" button. Playing other AMPC races keeps you on your toes.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 08:01:38 AM by aprogressivist »
ďMoral 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.Ē
― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

Iyer

  • Outlander
  • **
  • Posts: 95
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2019, 08:37:10 AM »
It's a double edged sword really. All mpc races are fun regardless of power. I'm just saying, part of the fun of hunting a vampire is there hunt itself. They are supposed to be scary and hard to kill. In my opinion, I'd prefer vampire menaces to be dangerous and persistent, not permed by a high level two days into the story because the game mechanics hindered the vampire's escape

Iridni Ren

  • Priestess of Pelor
  • The Wayfarer Kinship
  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 3120
  • When all other lights go out
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2019, 09:16:54 AM »
As an experienced vampire/ampc on both ends of the table, I feel the hopelessness and invulnerability of vampires is due to the limited nature of the server and some of the hidden flaws behind the coffin mechanics designed around a server that use to stay up for weeks at a time. Its created a cat & mouse mentality and because of how difficult it is for a vampire to truly die on PotM, I understand the player-side struggle to want to get involved with something that can only be 'beaten' if the vampire desires it.

  • Coffins only spawn when the vampire has logged in for the first time during a given reset cycle. This makes searching for them inconsistent, especially since they're undefined by owner. A coffin might be there one day but not the next time, so as a player, you assume it was moved.
  • With above in mind, this means much of the interaction with a vampires coffin is done while the vampire is offline. Nobody really wants to have their character 'perma'd' while they're not even playing. The server is -tiny,- in terms of available places where you can hide a coffin and still keep it a secret for more than a week.
  • Killing a vampire through there coffin is basically impossible; if the vampire plays a certain way. You have to mist the vampire, know that you force misted the vampire and it wasn't just a manual mist, know which/where their coffin is, beat their invulnerable perma-hasted mist to said coffin, and more than likely, be close enough behind said mist to detect them trying to escape and kill them again and burn their coffin.
  • The current availability of coffins to vampires is unlimited. I think this point in particular, has had a long-term two-sided problem of coffins being 'destroyed' frequently because of the limited nature of the server, and vampires having too much disconnection in their ability to acquire a new coffin so easily and just abandoning a coffin, if discovered by players.
  • HIPS Mist form being instant cast, instant stealth, perma-hasted that drops aggro due to it being a HIPS mechanic, and has faction-swapping attached to it as well.

My 'simple' recommendations would be:
- If a vampire is not bound to their coffin (They don't have one placed in game; whether carried or destroyed), they're not allowed to mist form. This would help both issues with coffin abandonment and coffin grab-and-ditch.
- Not being allowed to carry a coffin while in bat/mist form.
- Make mist/polymorphs form take a standard action, not instant cast.

Out of some of the recommendations already suggested, my thoughts:

Descriptions for coffins. Yes please. Amazing idea.

"Wait one hour if destroyed/corpse timer"; While I understand why this makes sense due to how vampires are in a pen and paper setting, I feel with the limited nature of the server, an hour is too long to ask anyone to 'sit there and die' , and ultimately, this sort of suggestion is going to make vampires play 'more' cautiously with manual misting and survive-ability, and avoid interactions with anyone they know to being able to kill them. An hour real time by the way, is enough time for a single player to check every single 'top ten' used coffin locations. If the server was bigger and had more 'secrets to discover', maybe. Also, an hour real time basically rules out more than ~80% of the areas coffins are allowed to be placed in, limiting where players have to look drastically.

With the above suggestions, I feel like the timers are overbearing and hinting to the frustrated extreme to how hard vampires are to kill. I think simply, having one 'in game' hour, (six minutes) of a vampire being locked in place next to his coffin, is enough of an impact to reduce the invulnerability perceived around vampires drastically. In addition to not allowing vampires to move their coffins around as bat/mist, this changes the game 'a lot' for a PC vampire.

Great post. Very thoughtful, constructive, and with understanding of both sides of the argument.

The nice thing about any kind of timer is it's easily adjusted, up or down, if anything about it is out of balance.

I agree with a whole lot of what you say--some of it having observed myself and part of it because you have stated your case persuasively. I'm going to talk about only the points I have some disagreement with, however, rather than repeat those parts I support. I did quote you in your entirety :)

Quote
this sort of suggestion is going to make vampires play 'more' cautiously with manual misting and survive-ability, and avoid interactions with anyone they know to being able to kill them.

I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. Just as high-level PCs should not be zero-RP bulldozing AMPCs, AMPCs have some responsibility to show canniness and make encounters "special." A vampire cannot ignore the setting and the knowledge that the Western Outskirts is a place where adventurers from many realms are pulled in by the Mists. Some of these adventurers are highly motivated to destroy undead by their beliefs and have spent years now training to do just that. Even if the player of such a PC out of OOC courtesy holds back, the presence of the high level is going to embolden low levels to be more reckless and lessen any chance of true terror.

Also, I think (or at least hope) high levels would be less likely to one-shot vampires if they knew there was actual consequence to doing so. Currently, a sunburst can drive the vampire off, but doesn't mean much more than that, so a high level can feel as though it's a way of signaling, "Don't mess with me," rather than anything at all significant. Having AMPCs who "die" a lot and pop right back up doesn't add much to actual terror or cause anyone to feel guilty about a "red=dead" mentality (because it's only red is mildly inconvenienced).

As far as the small server size making hiding coffins difficult and finding them easy, I haven't found that to be true, but I've never experienced it from the vampire's side. From the WFK side of observing many vampire hunts, however, it currently is kind of pointless. No one really gets excited about finding one, and looking for them seems like something we ought to do ICly but is mostly unrewarding because of the mechanics.

Also, and not entirely related to your post, I am fine with the current mist form speed of vampires. I don't think, however, they should be able to carry anything like a coffin or body while in mist.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 09:18:54 AM by Iridni Ren »

My windows cracked, but they can be replaced.
Your arm will tire throwing stones my way.

PrimetheGrime

  • Theatre de la Cathedrale
  • Undead Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 324
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2019, 09:32:08 AM »
It's a double edged sword really. All mpc races are fun regardless of power. I'm just saying, part of the fun of hunting a vampire is there hunt itself. They are supposed to be scary and hard to kill. In my opinion, I'd prefer vampire menaces to be dangerous and persistent, not permed by a high level two days into the story because the game mechanics hindered the vampire's escape

They are scary and hard to kill regardless. They also have a quick and easy way to return to their coffin before anyone else. They can also immediately return from their misted state back into their vampire state with the click of a coffin. Their coffins can only be hunted when a) the ampc has logged in or b) before a reset. This was already mentioned, but it makes the hunt for the Vampires nigh impossible in most cases, especially if the coffins are routinely moved. The hunt is fun, but there needs to be an -end- to the hunt, otherwise there is no purpose behind it.  If a high level wants to perma a AMPC built for lower level rp, then they can do that with or without the proposed changes. All it takes is a good sunburst. But that leads to the question as to why a high level is attacking a lower levelled AMPC when they know it to be an easy kill, which leads to a different conversation entirely. If you think about it, they remain scary and hard to kill with the changes, because their only mechanical weakness is their coffin. I think the Vampire AMPCS will still be common thing with the proposed changes simply because the aspect of playing the Vampire remains; The horror and mystique of it.

Iridni Ren

  • Priestess of Pelor
  • The Wayfarer Kinship
  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 3120
  • When all other lights go out
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2019, 11:42:19 AM »
This is a discussion about AMPCs, but given that mechanical changes to vampires would affect vampiric MPCs as well, your views are IMO on topic :)

To me this discussion should be about improving the vampire--not just debuffing them. Certain aspects of the implementation lead to frustrating, repetitive gameplay, but if you see weaknesses so that the only thing you can rely on is your mist form to even the situation, then perhaps you can suggest ways of making playing a vampire more fun and rewarding?

Choosing to play an AMPC or MPC means that you accept your PC now has a limited lifespan and is more mortal than her foes. AMPCs, at least, are also explicitly played for the enjoyment of the other players.

Regarding numbers, AMPCs can also try to band together and place themselves in situations in which PCs are not as likely to overwhelm them. I don't fault any AMPC/MPC for refusing to engage masses of PCs. I wouldn't :)


Quote
But honestly, my main issue with this discussion is that it is totally missing the point of the MPC (may not apply to ampc). We are not here just to be hunted and killed by a bunch of actual immortals with sunbeam and server knowledge. We are here to create horror scenes and promote the story we bring.
Vashan, for example, has a massive story behind him. A story that was written be a dm and developed with many players over months. Almost every interaction with Vashan (his "attacks"), include direct or indirect invitations to that plot. And players who choose to interact with the story end up having a lot of fun.
However, some players have the "We no talk to vrolok, die so I can destroy you" (usually a high-level player approach)  mentality. It is their right, but it is absurd to ask me to play along with this.  I can't even begin counting the number of times I was ganked while typing by players who want their 5 minutes of glory. If any of these (countless) incidents ended my story, I would be very upset and probably never play an MPC again. not only this, but there are literally over a dozen players involved in Vashan's plot, and a meaningless closure will hurt mostly them.

This has more to do with player behavior and less to do with mechanics or rules. However, all player stories are presumed to be of equal value, and premature ganking can happen to any of us, despite the vision we have for how we would like things to go. Predetermined outcomes are a no-no.

Personally, I enjoy helping other PCs tell their stories because I believe many here are very creative and no one has a monopoly on good story-telling. Collaboration leads to much more mutual enjoyment than "look at me, look at me!" :P

But that comes about from experience, practice, and hard work.

My own stance here is not that vampires are over-powered, but that the current mist mechanics and coffin hiding have led to some pretty stale and static ways of PC interaction with this type of AMPC/MPC.

My windows cracked, but they can be replaced.
Your arm will tire throwing stones my way.

Iyer

  • Outlander
  • **
  • Posts: 95
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2019, 12:22:59 PM »
I feel like asking to nerf an mpc for the sake of making it easier to kill them seems a bit counter productive to the server. Yes, vampires have more power than other mpc races, but they are vampires, in Ravenloft. I think it's hard enough for mpcs to stay alive to help stories move forward before they get killed. Then again, I'm a fan of the classic villian escapes, like the "You may have bested me this time, but I'll be back! I'll get you next time!" As the monster runs away to lick his wounds to fight another day.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 02:09:31 PM by Iyer »

Hypatia

  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 154
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2019, 12:25:27 PM »
Well Iíve got to say, Iíve had 2 experiences with vampire PCs and both were chilling and amazing. In both cases the vamps were willing to RP their non-character-sheet weaknesses and allow Hypatia to utilize her non-character-sheet strengths. This tells me everything I need to know. These MPCs arenít going to spam and cheat to win, even if they had a mechanical ability to do so. Even if they can reform immediately and move their coffin, I really donít think they would. But I DO want them to have this power so they can avoid non-climactic and lame deaths. I highly suspect when the time is right and the RP leads to it; the coffins will be there and the vamps will be inside. I think this system is just fine! All the proposed changes are things Iíll bet they are willingly doing anyway.

Having been coffin hunting for some time now, Iíd really only would like to see that coffins remain after resets; though of course no staking while no one is home.

TedFromDebate

  • The Wayfarer Kinship
  • Outlander
  • **
  • Posts: 84
  • Oathbearer of Atlas
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2019, 01:37:08 PM »
I think the idea of a vampire as someone that has a plotline that needs to be fully explored (or near fully explored) and that the interaction of PC and MPC's to fully go through a plotline is a bad idea in a server where not everyone gets involved with a Vamp's story. Lucille, for example, has been out and about for a bit of a time and has recently come back, and, not knowing the plotlines, there is no reason for Lucille to not want to ruthlessly pursuit the vampires that have been harrassing Vallaki. Of course OOC I get the idea of letting things proceed to it's logical conclusion, it is hard when IC there should be no hesitation, especially for Pally's/Priests, to ruthlessly hunt the vrolock scum. Tho, I think that experienced players OOCly (I assume, unless you have people that IC know the coffin hotspots) go to the coffin hotspots, should really ease back and let the newbies/ less experienced take the wheel as to not have their OOC knowledge take over.

To bring it all together, I think that the idea of a plotline for vampires is a bit rough for me, since IC people don't have a reason to see it as anything but a threat that must be eliminated. While there is a lot of things that removing a threat can entail (For example, like finding their reason for vengance, and possibly trying to get them in a corner, which of course can mean following the plotline), It has to be acceptable at some point for a vampire to get killed prematurely.

Also it's kinda rough when there's like at least 4 vampires all around the Outskirts all harassing people, and while with 1-2 vampires I can roll with the idea of letting plotlines commence, when there is litterally constantly a threat it's hard to justify allowing 4 plotlines to all run through without one vampire getting a premature death without finishing the plotline, especially when the vampires are openly threatening people, and not just interacting with groups trying to in some way achieve their own objective in their plotline.

« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 01:48:14 PM by TedFromDebate »
Lucille Kelter - Oathbearer of Atlas
"Love not their struggle, but love their victory, and hate when they are defeated."

Iridni Ren

  • Priestess of Pelor
  • The Wayfarer Kinship
  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 3120
  • When all other lights go out
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2019, 02:01:41 PM »
If everyone enjoyed the vampires and thought the current situation was fine, then the discussion would not have come about. Repeating over and over again that some may be enjoying their interactions does not negate the dissatisfaction others have expressed. It just ignores and invalidates their views.

Quote
I haven't seen any suggestions that improve anything about vampires,

There was the suggestion about personalizing vampire coffins, but in any case, I invited you to make such suggestions. How about some?

You keep relying on your story, which makes me think you are taking this very personally. Any changes--if they come about--would be in the future and therefore almost certainly have no impact on your story or the plot.

You, yourself, wrote:

Quote
the only thing that sort of balance out the situation, is my mist form. 

If that is truly the only thing that works, then that indeed means interactions are going to be very repetitive--not only with your own MPC but with every vampire  AMPC/MPC. What about other AMPCs? What chance do they have?

The point is not to make vampires weaker. It is to make the template more interesting and less repetitive/tiresome. Please try to approach the topic from that view and not only from the story you want to tell with yours :)

My windows cracked, but they can be replaced.
Your arm will tire throwing stones my way.

Hypatia

  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 154
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2019, 02:05:36 PM »
I think having older characters "forget" about the common search spots for coffins is the ideal solution there.  Let noobs initiate search patterns, with perhaps some advice.  Much like we're supposed to "forget" where monsters spawn in because it ruins the atmosphere to say: "Lets avoid that stretch of road because ghosts will defiantly appear there" or "There can't be any of those monsters here, only these monsters are here."

So its okay to 100% pursue the vamps, because they are torturing and maiming our loved ones; but just don't seek to stake them with any previous knowledge I guess?

So, I don't know about everyone else, but ill perma-die if my remains aren't raised. So if someone wants Hypatia dead, they just have to destroy her remains. I absolutely will not respawn. So we're not "all" immortal here. Having that possibility makes it scarier to play.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 02:07:24 PM by Hypatia »

BlankStare

  • New to the Mists
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2019, 02:43:31 PM »
I think most of the concerns raised- on both sides- are valid, and have common solution- Courtesy.

We're all capable of doing no-fun cheesy things to each other. At some point we need to arrive at a place where we can trust each other enough not to go "full cheese" on each other- even if it means that some of us will lose encounters we could have won!

Current Vampire mechanics have a lot of cheese potential, yes, but I think most if not all of our current vampire PCs know better than to abuse them. Vampires in general shouldn't be moving their coffins every encounter, and shouldn't abuse Mist form as an in-combat HiPS Spam-Button.

On the flip-side; in just a little over two weeks of Vampire-ing, Zymun's been on the receiving end of more high-level cheese-tactics than I can even keep track of. IGMS spams from Invisibility while he was flapping around as a bat; numerous Sunbursts from stealth/invisibility (occasionally while exploring an area as mist and was simply able to be spotted by the PC); Time Stop; Quite a few non-combat RP scenes interrupted suddenly by different 17+ spellcasters storming an area with ninth level spells blazing. Almost always without a single emote or word of dialogue.

I'm not really complaining- but I was certainly grateful that the mechanics had made vampires so durable in those cases, or Zymun would have been effortlessly destroyed before I even really had a chance to figure out how to aMPC well!

Both aMPCs and PCs could afford to work a little more on interaction and story-building. Vampire's shouldn't expect to be able to flesh out and finish their whole plot-arc before being staked, surely, but PCs should also expect to put in at least a little interaction with an aMPC prior to destroying it. If there's some level of previous engagement and interaction, I don't get the impression that most vampires will have a problem "holding still" long enough to be staked, even without it being scripted.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 02:47:54 PM by BlankStare »
Current PCs: Aidan Rathcore, Zymun Odesseiron

immasturgeon

  • Dawnslayers
  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 178
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2019, 02:57:06 PM »
There is something to be said about having fun, and it is great that the new players are having fun. I would posit, however, that the newness of the server and experience are keys to that fun. The repetitive nature of the conflict wears that fun thin after a time.

Vamp attacks, coffin search, decoy coffins, coffin moving, self misting as soon as battle goes south, self misting many times even just to navigate the battle field, the inability to beat a vampire to his coffin if forced to mist, the amount of time they need to rest within coffin, coffin persistency issues, coffin identification issues, multiple vamps.

Vampires are for all intents and purposes unkillable in all but a scenario that is as likely to come about as winning the lottery. This means that recklessness has no consequences, poor play has no consequences. When there are no consequences stories cannot be influenced except if allowed by the AMPC player. This aspect makes it dissatisfying from the PC side.

Poor PC play is truly an issue, but even accounting for that vampires remain, in practice, immune to closure except at the desire if the AMPC player. That strikes me as too far out of balance.

Sidhel, who plays a vampire currently, is among the strongest critics of the template, as it seems to be played. This should strike as a huge red flag. One of the people who could benefit from the template is saying, "hey this stuff really isn't fair to the other side." The player has seen both sides of the conflict extensively.

BlankStare

  • New to the Mists
  • *
  • Posts: 6
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2019, 03:15:17 PM »
For what it's worth, and speaking as another vampire player myself, I would enjoy seeing more of the lore-based restrictions put on our vampires as well. Replacement coffins should be harder to acquire; and I always liked the "reach your coffin within two hours" restriction from Van Richten lore. That alone would make narrowing down coffin-hunts quite a bit easier; as the vampire PC is either going to stay close to it, or take it with them when they travel. Descriptions for coffins to help with "multi-pire confusion" and for atmosphere would be brilliant, as well.

That said, and as I tried to communicate above, any increased vulnerability given to vampires would need to be met with increased courtesy from those PCs who can, frankly, obliterate any aMPC they encounter with very little risk to themselves.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 03:17:19 PM by BlankStare »
Current PCs: Aidan Rathcore, Zymun Odesseiron

Quartermaster

  • New to the Mists
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2019, 04:31:00 PM »
I usually avoid the AMPC/MPC encounters as they tend to end in PVP. However as I read through these I can see that there could be a few ways to adjust the current system that would end a number of the "issues" brought up by both sides.

First, while I could be wrong, but aren't there a ton of areas that are usually only DM accessible for events? Places like slum house interiors, shop basements, inside trees with the doors in the woods and so forth. Why not give a key to one of these locations for the AMPC/MPC to use until their time as a monster is up? Then when that player feels the story is ready to end, they can then set their coffin in one of the "known" locations that vamps use. or go with # 3

Second, and with the first, I think that if a high level PC challenges said vampire, either alone or with a group, that Vampire should be able to carry off one of the fallen PC corpses to their hidden locked lair. I think that the high (level 10+) who comes to vamp hunt in the low-level zones should have some sort of real penalty for failure. The AMPC?Vamps certainly do if it goes wrong for them. While forced perming is certainly not acceptable a real time 6 month wait to be raised for failing in killing the vampire seems a easy solution. Of course not hunting the vampire ensures your PC wont be corpse hidden till the end of that vampires story.

Third,  I think a DM should be involved in the ending of any AMPC/MPC story. The template for the vampire does have advantages for story telling, DMs have far greater tools at their disposal. And with #1, the DM can remove the lock from the usually unreachable area the vampire is using.

Fourth, in the cave off of the third level of the Morninglord crypts there is a spot that starts a conversation with the PC about going underwater. If the PC passes a Con check, it transports them to another spot. I bring this up to ask why this type of placeable/conversation use be used to make mist transient tubes for the Vampires in mist form. There has to be some sort of variable set on the Vampire when they use mist form, this variable could be used to bring out the hidden placeable that is usable, and then to check when the placeable is used. Without the variable nothing would happen.

Fifth, I think that AMPC/MPC should get a greater detailed examine than PCs get. For instance PC's get that person appears strong, or talks clearly or what have you. The AMPC/MPC should get messages like, that person radiates maximum power. You get the feeling they can beat the stuffing out of you.. I think you get the point.

Sixth, and finally I think 4 Monster PCs at one time is plenty- and probably takes away from their individual stories. Perhaps in the future, a less is more sort of approach should be used when giving authorization to use the template.

Cheers!

Iridni Ren

  • Priestess of Pelor
  • The Wayfarer Kinship
  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 3120
  • When all other lights go out
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2019, 05:09:56 PM »
The AMPCs are a way of giving some DM-type tools to provide some of the same fun things DMs provide via player agency. If AMPCs wind up needing too much assistance from DMs, it lessens their usefulness.

I don't think there's any problem with having as many AMPCs as possible. It allows them to team up against the PCs and can greatly increase the level of terror. All players should always be thinking of how their stories can be more collaborative, rather than thinking involving other players "takes away" from their own story.

Quote
Fourth, in the cave off of the third level of the Morninglord crypts there is a spot that starts a conversation with the PC about going underwater. If the PC passes a Con check, it transports them to another spot. I bring this up to ask why this type of placeable/conversation use be used to make mist transient tubes for the Vampires in mist form. There has to be some sort of variable set on the Vampire when they use mist form, this variable could be used to bring out the hidden placeable that is usable, and then to check when the placeable is used. Without the variable nothing would happen.

I didn't understand what you were saying here. Can you clarify?

My windows cracked, but they can be replaced.
Your arm will tire throwing stones my way.

Quartermaster

  • New to the Mists
  • *
  • Posts: 38
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2019, 05:21:47 PM »
in the cave is a small invisible placeable that on click starts a conversation with the PC. the conversation has a few options, but one is "dive under the water and swim" (or something like that) when that choice is selected, a constitution check is made, and if passed the PC is ported to the other side of the same area at another invisible placeable. It appears it can be two way porting.

The same sort of system could be added for AMPC/ MPC mist form use.
various spots that would port the vampire to simulate the mist travel could be added. these spots could be made to only appear and work for the AMPC/MPC vampires. think of these spots like hidden trapdoors, that only work for vampires.

Also, while the AMPC?MPC design is to ease DM involvement overall, the end of the Story is worth DM involvement as said end can be too big for the template, and the PC's who are ending that AMPC/MPC story.

Hypatia

  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 154
Re: Vampire AMPC discussion+Suggestions
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2019, 05:35:36 PM »
I personally like knowing that the coffins are out there, and accessible by players with no DM necessary. Trying to triangulate the vampire's coffin by sightings has been a huge amount of fun, and going out searching has created great RP and drama. I guess if I ever reach the point where this gets old to me, I'll go stick around Port-a-Lucian or some other place and explore what that place has to offer as far as MPCs etc.

By the way; what does AMPC mean?
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 06:46:44 PM by Hypatia »