Slow-pace/Roleplaying M&M Rules (MMMerge/MM8/MM7/MM6)

The role-playing games (I-X) that started it all and the various spin-offs (including Dark Messiah).
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Kinox
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Slow-pace/Roleplaying M&M Rules (MMMerge/MM8/MM7/MM6)

Unread postby Kinox » 15 Jun 2022, 02:35

¡Welcome, Adventurer!

So, I've been gathering some inventive ideas and through a certain amount of experimentation, I believe some of the content on THIS particular proposition can be pretty interesting for the curious player that is looking for a different challenge and gaming experience on his/her/they favorite M&M game or mod. :up:

For the Rules I'm proposing, I've made a chart you may check below.
However, there are many important features that require listing, so…

¡Let's go!

THE ADVENTURER'S RULES
A Quest for a Skill. After Party Creation, the only way to make a Character learn a new Basic Level Skill, is by completing/delivering a Quest (any Quest) with that Character present on the Party. Although this even will not give any Skill immediately, it will grant the player a Quest Point, which is the "ticket" for (just) ONE Character of your choice on that successful Party to learn ONE new Skill (Basic Level) in the near future. Tip: sometimes, it might be worthy taking note of which Character has just got that Quest Point, or even how many Quest Points each Character has gained already.
Note: if you're playing with Recruits on your Party, often these will come with lots of already learned Skills and sometimes even beyond Basic Level, all of which may be annoying… So, in my case, I decided to use a "Quest Point DEBT" concept; meaning I kind of treat those Recruits as if they didn't learn yet certain Skills they already possess: they need to pay their debt first —by helping completing Quests— which is done gradually; only after their full debt is paid, and that they get 'positive' on their Quest Points, can they start to use the Learn (Basic) Skill mechanic inside buildings.
Nearly like a Peasant: Any Character that you begin to use in the game (ideally) should start having only 4 Skills available to them at Basic Level (analogue to Character Creation). Unfortunately, as discussed previously, this is not often plausible. But, the cool thing about this approach, is that even a powerful Character that you might Recruit, will have to limit itself at first, until it has fulfilled a certain number of Quests for your Party. For instance, if you get someone like Blazen Stormlance (the Level-50 Champion from MM8/Jadame), maybe you could begin relying only on punching/clubbing your foes for a little while without any Armor nor Shield, assuming you've got at your disposal only some of the most 'inherent' Skills or Basic Skills: Basic Perception (4), Basic Body Building (3), Basic Disarm Trap (2) and… difficult to avoid (because it's a too inherent Skill even for punching) GM Armsmaster (10); which makes up for 4 "starting" Skills for that highly sophisticated Recruited Character. This, of course, if we want to start humble. And note that, because of his Character Level (50), if we play within the chart (see chart), Blazen Stormlance would have the Level to possess up to 4 Skills at GM (but it doesn't mean he IS ALLOWED to use all of them at this early stage); so, what I'm doing is just trying to delay as much as possible his most powerful Skills, so that he doesn't completely unbalances the Parties.
Expert/Master/GM Training: (see chart).
Training Halls: once/month: The entire Party can only Train once/month (meaning 8 days, and that each Character on the Party is allowed to get but +1 single Level). There are surely more creative ways for this kind of rule… but I just feel like that "stacking Training Sessions" all in a sequence tend to ruin what I'm trying to achieve here.
Hirelings' Contracts and its Expiration Date: As long as your current Hirelings' total cost (sum of their Hiring Price) in Gold does not exceed your "Hirelings Tier" limitation (check chart), you are free to Hire and Dismiss any Hireling at any moment. HOWEVER, Before the end of each month (i.e., before Day 28 of the current month becomes Day 01 of the following month), you must imperatively Dismiss ALL Hirelings no matter what, as their contract has expired. This event is always on the end of a month, so be careful not to make "bad contracts".
• Characters are not allowed to wear (on their paper doll) Unidentified Equipment.
• Unidentified items (of whatever sort) can still be Sold normally.
Equipment Tier: (also, check the chart)
Cannot EQUIP gear on a Character that doesn't meet the Equipment Tier requirement.
Cannot BUY gear for Characters that doesn't meet the Equipment Tier requirement.
Cannot even KEEP found gear that doesn't meet the Equipment Tier requirement; meaning that every single piece of equipment found that are prohibited must be SOLD imperatively.
There are exceptions for this rule though: Herbs, Potions, Scrolls, Ore (¡the Ore itself! not their forged output), Relics & Artifacts and alike (check the chart for Relics and Artifacts, as they have their own unique Tier systems; you can store found or bought Relics/Artifacts, and you don't need to sell them; they simply cannot be used by your Characters until requirements are met).
Ore: You can collect and use them freely to forge whatever of the 3 categories (Weapon/Armor/Item) you please; HOWEVER, if the forging output is something higher than the Equipment Tier for all your Characters, you must imperatively Sell it. On the other hand, you ARE allowed to keep or store Ore for the future.
MM6/Enroth 'House' Hirelings: This rule is optional. "Fixed" Hirelings, which can always be found "at home" (usually a house), can only be Hired once/year. The main problem that arises is that it can be a bit difficult to keep a record on which Fixed Hireling has been Hired already on that same year… BUT: if you are playing MMMerge, remember you can use the MM8's Map feature to arbitrary mark something of relevance on the map, and even give it a name.
• MM6/Enroth NWC Dungeon in Dragonsand: Although this Dungeon Map Respawns very quickly (weekly, or even in 2 days, depending on the game/mod if I'm not wrong), it can only be used once/year. Doesn't mean it cannot be Visited more than once in a single year: it can; but any "productive" interaction there is forbidden beyond the frequency limit; in other words, you can literally SACK EVERYTHING and get your Day of the Gods Buff and all… but just once/year. "So, chooooose wisely." Tip: if the Map notes (MM8 feature) is available, you may use them to keep record.
MM7/Antagarich & MM8/Jadame Commerce: each of those cyclic trades can only be done once/year. Tip: if the Map notes (MM8 feature) is available, you may use them to keep record.
• Distribution of stats advantages is free between Characters (Wells/Fountains, Altars, Cauldrons, Genie Lamps, Horseshoes, Buoys, etc.);.
• It is possible I've forgotten about certain features…

Image

Finally, I hope you appretiate the ideas. Making game rules is nice, but writing clear rules can be quite difficult.
Feel free to comment, criticize and discuss.

lightbringer23
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Re: Slow-pace/Roleplaying M&M Rules (MMMerge/MM8/MM7/MM6)

Unread postby lightbringer23 » 15 Jun 2022, 04:29

Intriguing ideas. I made the MM7 Refilled for the Merge mod, which adds a bunch more higher level monsters to the MM7 maps -- and thus encourages much higher level play. It's intended to feel "balanced" having already completed the entirety of MM8. I'm playing through my own mod for the first time, and it's led to pretty much the polar opposite of your slow play rules.

Your tier system sounds a lot like the level restrictions put on items in many ARPGs, like the Diablo series. You found a powerful bow? Great, you have to be level 30 to use it, and you're only level 20. See you in 10 levels.

I think the conundrum with hiring higher level characters can be circumvented by only using player-created characters, that follow the rules. Blazen and Cauri are meant to be unbalancing -- let alone the dragons. Maybe you could allow hire-able NPCs who fit the rules, or who are X levels below the party. Basically, if you don't want Cauri to unbalance the party, because you hired the dragon and flew around to complete her quest at level 10 .... don't hire her.

Have you tried a playthrough with your rules? If so, how did the 1/month training limit work out? You already know those levels stack fast. With my mod, and Echo's MM8 modling, they really do. I finished MM8 at level 149, instead of ... 60ish, I think? Even in a more vanilla game, clearing a map and doing some quests on it could easily let you wind up with 2-5 levels per character.

What do you do to kill time while you're waiting for the next month to come up? If you go do more adventuring, you'll just add in more levels to the "training debt." Or do you just sleep for a month to meet the requirement, train, sleep for a month, train, etc. Of course, if you do that, you may as well just stack the levels. Except that sleeping for a month will make the maps refill faster .... giving more opportunities for those levels.

Thanks for giving us something new to check out! It's an interesting proposition that deserves to be fleshed out :D

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Kinox
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Re: Slow-pace/Roleplaying M&M Rules (MMMerge/MM8/MM7/MM6)

Unread postby Kinox » 15 Jun 2022, 08:39

Hello, and thanks for your specialized comment.
lightbringer23 wrote: 15 Jun 2022, 04:29 Intriguing ideas. I made the MM7 Refilled for the Merge mod, which adds a bunch more higher level monsters to the MM7 maps -- and thus encourages much higher level play. It's intended to feel "balanced" having already completed the entirety of MM8. I'm playing through my own mod for the first time, and it's led to pretty much the polar opposite of your slow play rules.
That's pretty cool; I should add this mod as a project for me to play but in the future —when I'm done with MMMerge (Base branch). ¿Isn't your mod one that adds extra abilities for Monsters besides more raw Stats? something that I guess might be in contrast with Bolster Monster feature in MMMerge, but that could work in a tuned combination.

¿Do you mean, by polar opposite, that your Party gets PRETTY POWERFUL very early but then the enemies are also so dam powerful that you have to rush to the ultimate Dungeon & Region Maps in order to rush for the best items and stuff, and then be able to confront the real threat?
lightbringer23 wrote: 15 Jun 2022, 04:29Your tier system sounds a lot like the level restrictions put on items in many ARPGs, like the Diablo series. You found a powerful bow? Great, you have to be level 30 to use it, and you're only level 20. See you in 10 levels.
This idea of level restriction for items in M&M I've picked from an inventive streamer (Banglebee) on Twitch. Although myself I've played a few MMMORPGs which have it, I often dislike the feature. However, for M&M it is kinda great, because when you have tons of the game world knowledge, it's just too hard NOT to cheese at early levels and totally break down the entire game in your favor.
lightbringer23 wrote: 15 Jun 2022, 04:29I think the conundrum with hiring higher level characters can be circumvented by only using player-created characters, that follow the rules. Blazen and Cauri are meant to be unbalancing -- let alone the dragons. Maybe you could allow hire-able NPCs who fit the rules, or who are X levels below the party. Basically, if you don't want Cauri to unbalance the party, because you hired the dragon and flew around to complete her quest at level 10 .... don't hire her.
Agreed. There are many ways to put it in a simpler way than I did propose. One may also only Recruit those when the Party reaches the same Level, or at least reaches for the Main Quest (especially in the case of MM8/Jadame) that is commonly defined by Character "Tier" Level —I like how they did it in MM8: 5, 15, 30, 50.
In my current gameplay, I'm not actually Recruiting higher level Characters; although I am Recruiting Level-1 Random Characters, and even those often come with more than just 4 Basic Skills, so I'm recurrently using the "Quest Point Debt" strategy on those simpler cases. But I also have experience on this method from Recruiting higher level characters from a previous gameplay; it is a bit messy, yes, but it kinda get the job done (in mitigating exaggerations). This is why I felt like it would be a good idea to share it; but you know, "Rules are forged so they can be broken."
lightbringer23 wrote: 15 Jun 2022, 04:29Have you tried a playthrough with your rules? If so, how did the 1/month training limit work out? You already know those levels stack fast. With my mod, and Echo's MM8 modling, they really do. I finished MM8 at level 149, instead of ... 60ish, I think? Even in a more vanilla game, clearing a map and doing some quests on it could easily let you wind up with 2-5 levels per character.
So, this is a nice question.
The direct answer is: "Yes, but not completely —as it is a WIP". While some rules have my complete approval because of current & past gameplay experiences, some other rules are more or less experimental. By analogy, I can tell I have tried mostly everything and hence the main proposal should work in a curious fashion. However, in practice, some specific rules may still require some tweaking in order to generate a better gameplay experience. In principle, every single rule is orbiting (or trying to orbit) the same desired effect: Slow-pace & Roleplaying.

That said, I can now bring some contextualization.
First, we should realize that, with the Hirelings limitation, Travel tends to take a bit longer (on this particular chart, I've made things just a bit more friendly, as limitations were harsher before. (This is in MMMerge) At Level-1, Hirelings limit capped at 100 gp; but that wasn't a total limit: it was a Gold cap value (100 gp) for each individual Hireling. Hence, I could Hire for example 4 Explorers (100 gp each) if I were lucky enough to find 4 of them, but I couldn't hire a single Navigator (200 gp) nor a single Tracker (200 gp), at least not until reaching Level-2 on my Characters (which tends to take many weeks in my case —even outside of the proposition, because of early World exploration). Anyways, the rule set provides a mean of delaying even the "upgrade" of the Travel potentialities; it is soft because it doesn't radically exclude Hirelings from the gameplay; but it tries to adjust a bit of its power.
Secondly, things really start to stick together, when you combine the Hireling limitations, with…
A frail low Level party that will remain that way for a longer gameplay time (and not just game Time), with…
A Point Quest limitation, so that you won't be able to "instant" learn every useful Basic Skill you actually need in order to play the game normally, with…
The fact that no matter how much you struggle with Quests and extra Bonus Skills (e.g., Horseshoes, Challenges), you won't be getting to Expert Level ANY of your Skills until you've reached a certain Level (which also depends on game Time). In this case, my chart proposes that the first Expert Skill is available to any Character that reaches (Character) Level-4. ¡¡But this would be around April!! Interestingly, what I've discovered is that, not having Expert Skills at early levels can be quite devious (but intriguing for my purpose); it may not be the worst thing in the world, but it is certainly worse than gear limitation). An expert/master/grandmaster can make great use of even the simplest tools, but when you are a "basician", the same simple tools tend to remain just what they are —in other words… "¡Puuure garbage!" Except… that's all you've got. Successively adding to that disaster…
If we take into account the Training limitation of once/month (remember the Slow-pace & Roleplay thematic approach), cheesing game Time in a 'non-heroic' way, such as spamming Sleep at Inns or spamming circular Travel, is a bit nonsensical for the proposition, as "The true Adventurous Spirit does not take vacations before the job is done." Maybe I should state it as a prohibition after all… But, hold on, ¿There could be exceptions, right? I just couldn't find any solution yet; so maybe that's one of the reasons I didn't want to specify anything about it when writing the rule set. In principle, Training once/month makes more sense if done on the second half of a month (but it cannot be obliged I guess), since starting on 01 January, it is expected that after the hard work is done, by the end of the month that month's single Training Session is taken; and so this will successively affect what happens on the next month and so forth. Anyways, this Training limitation might become, potentially, a consistent handicap for the whole game I guess, since the Adventurers, most inevitably, will have to find something useful to do in the World even when that might not be the most logical thing to do at the given moment. I'd see this in a "positive" way: Adrenaline Drug for Adventurers. Let's keep stacking the wickedness…
Add to all of the above, the Equipment Tier limitation; Yes. you'll be using the lowest quality gear ¡¡until you reach at least Level-5!! Suddenly, you are desperate to find any sort of "Enchanted Junk" (if you know what I mean); it is quite rare those enchantments are any good, but hey, that's all we've got for now……
If we combine ALL of these limitations, our Party progress will become seriously truncated and even uncomfortable in so many ways —because there are so many stacking constraints coming from everywhere and somehow frequently— that it should gradually develop into the spirit of the challenge itself, since many of its rules consist on a new layer of game constraints relative to Party and Character progresses as well as to game Time.

MORE DETAILS ON MY CURRENT GAME ON MY OWN RULE SET:
So, I'm still playing-through and have good expectations —so far, it seems to be funny in MMMerge, where I've started on Jadame; however, I'm doing something a bit more crazy which I didn't add here: I am playing with 15 main Characters (nearly 1 for each Class) and which I constantly remix when I swap Party after a while; so one can say I have 3 Parties; and all of those characters started at Level-1 (I had to use some cheating apps to assess my preferences and even so I needed some adaptation). BECAUSE I have to manage those 3 Parties on the same world, the EXP is distributed differently and it should take longer to gather lots of EXP; in spite of this, I still have a bunch of Levels to be trained for EVERYONE very early anyways. But with many parties, we occasionally have more Travel to do, and sometimes things can get a bit confusing.
Currently, I'm pretty much surviving on simple achievements around Jadame, and soon enough will find the time to reach Level-4 which will bring the 1º Expert Skill to everyone. Because I have so many Characters, I lack WAY more Basic Skills on most characters than what would happen if I had only 5 Characters on a single Party. (simply because the Quest Points need to be distributed among 15 and not 5 characters) ¡¡¡But this is fantastic!!! if you ask me. Most of my characters still don't have a melee Weapon Skill yet, a few even lack Bow Skill; the spellcasters barely have any Magic Skill. The Knight has just payed her "Quest Point debt" and now can finally wear… a lowest-tier Chain Armor that do not appear on the Armor Shops when you need it. I was just able to talk with Verdant, so this may boost some of my world travelling maybe? I doubt I'll be even able to complete her first Side Quest with all these underdogs. Can't count on Hiring a Gate Master which is about 10 Levels ahead (and forget about Water Magic Master). Maybe I will find some Town Portal Scrolls in the Shops by chance. If things go really bad (which I think won't), I might find myself in need to fight WHATEVER is still alive in the continent, in order to sustain the heroic flame. As you see, this is ultra-chaotic. :D
lightbringer23 wrote: 15 Jun 2022, 04:29What do you do to kill time while you're waiting for the next month to come up? If you go do more adventuring, you'll just add in more levels to the "training debt." Or do you just sleep for a month to meet the requirement, train, sleep for a month, train, etc. Of course, if you do that, you may as well just stack the levels. Except that sleeping for a month will make the maps refill faster .... giving more opportunities for those levels.
So, this is another pretty interesting question.

First, there are lots of Quests, including Side Quests, that start to become interesting, not only to spend game Time in, but also to procure those most valuable and impactful (especially on early game) Quest Points —which you can't get from Training. This should count as an extra motivation to help 'delaying' a Training Session on each month.

A priori, cheesing the game Time, in the case of saving-the-world Adventurers, doesn't seem like pretty much in alignement with the goals on my proposition. However, ¿Maybe there could be a few exceptions?

Anyways, I'll try to develop on the subject —"To be, or not to be."

Maybe, I did create this rule set according to my old experience with the M&M games. A pattern of somewhat rushing World exploration and trying to use game Time in efficient ways through good scheduling and smart paths; never in the sense of breaking any record of saving the world as soon as possible, but more in the sense that: "Hmm. I feel like I could complete this one more Quest even at this level… Let's give it a try!!". I don't remember exactly how (maybe with lots of Save/Load spamming), but in one of the most radical moves I've made in MM8, that same ol' pattern led me to finish the game I guess just at Level-20 or so (and you know who's got trauma of Plane of Earth). Eventually, I've managed to re-harmonize that pattern (and didn't mind finishing the regular extensive Trainings). But now you do know where I came from. "There should be enough Challenges in the World for all of you, Adventurers. Everywhere. Anytime."

But you're absolutely correct about the growing "training debt" that should happen through that rule set.
¿But why should we treat such overly "exceeding" EXP as something infinitely stronger than ourselves, that we cannot resist its Training Hall temptation?
This said, in order to make a differentiated challenge, sometimes we must put aside certain of our beliefs.
Especially, in this case of a challenge which in principle doesn't involve changes on the game mechanics, only on the game dynamics.
In those old games, there are lots of mechanics I wish could be changed easily… while most of this remain fairly inaccessible to the majority of the players, certain things can be shaped out magically, by a relatively simple gameplay proposition.
lightbringer23 wrote: 15 Jun 2022, 04:29Thanks for giving us something new to check out! It's an interesting proposition that deserves to be fleshed out :D
And thank you again for the feedback.
Time will tell how this thing develops.

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Re: Slow-pace/Roleplaying M&M Rules (MMMerge/MM8/MM7/MM6)

Unread postby lightbringer23 » 16 Jun 2022, 18:30

You might need to tweak your numbers a little as you experiment -- this is what playtesting is for, after all -- but it sounds like you've got a workable idea going. I see now that the "quest point" limit on E/M/GM training is one of the most potent factors of your system.

You're quite right that one of the most common issues in MM6-8 is knowing exactly where to go to beef up the fastest and cheese everything.

In MM6, I travel to Ironfist and get bows immediately, adventure until I have rank4 in air and water, then grab the hidden fly scroll next to the bank and hit up expert air, water, the obelisk, more horseshoes, good chests, and portal to the NWC dungeon and shrine of the gods. The early game struggle is now gone.

In MM7, I grab Erudine ores in Tatalia and Deyja while dodging enemies, then save scum the best non-artifact equipment. Rush the hunter promo for the ring, and make sure to get 5 Knight arena wins at super low level (before I even clear Castle Harmondale).

In MM8, I rush up to Garrote Gorge, grab the dragon, toss the flowers to both camps, train him to master dragon for flight, yoyo my way to rescuing Cauri, and now my Dark Elf gets GM Merchant. Oh, and the Cleric promo. And 2 artifacts from a tree and the back end of a fort.

With my mod, I also turned bolstering up to 105%. I even modded the artifacts to the power level seen in the MM7 Rev7 mod. Zeus plate gives 100ac. Basic artifact swords are 9d6+25. I cheesed everything, and the mod made it so that I was still challenged. My approach to the problem was to make the game keep up with me, even while I power surge.

It's good to see the other approach worked on, too.

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Re: Slow-pace/Roleplaying M&M Rules (MMMerge/MM8/MM7/MM6)

Unread postby Kinox » 18 Jun 2022, 10:38

Oh, yeah!

Those 3 games offer this creative "pathing" business, which is often pretty cool checking on different players.
Personally, I have a peculiar taste for 'foot walking' everywhere (because in MM7 and MM8 it wasn't THAT so immediate to get flying and teleporting around, right?
If originally I started doing this because I was just exploring the world out of curiosity, at a second stage it was for getting good skills, items, spells, bonuses and 'unlocking game features' faster as you've mentioned, and at third stage maybe, it became like a vicious habit of Region Map & Dungeon Map Visiting all around the world to setup Spawn Reset Times. Totally cheesing —and mostly useless thing to do if you ask me, but I still like the challenge anyways. Maybe the best aspect of doing this (besides the fact it may include what I've told about previous stages one and two), is that I've learned ways to cheese my way out of nearly any area you can imagine being Level-1, in order to reach nearly every plausible Dungeon Map in early game. I guess about 95% of the places which are open to the player to Visit at start can be done with no Fly, Jump, Water Walk, Invisibility but, of course, if you don't rely AT ALL on any Save/Load, then having those tools are kinda crucial to make sure death's hug not coming. In MM8 for example, The only place I do not take my chance anymore on foot are the 2 dungeons inside the Plane of Fire; without Fly (sometimes Invisibility and Jump helps also to get behind the castle from the northern cliff), and no Save/Load at Level-1 or so, it is mostly a dead sentence. In Murmurwoods, I know some special 'pathings' to run around where Cauri is in Murmurwoods, while also saving all the other 4 cursed people and, well, Visiting everything (I just don't try to reach the Obelisk or the southeast). In MM7, naturally, Tunnel's of Eofel is a dead sentence too and I do not take my chances anymore on extremly low levels, but it can be done (extremely cheesingly with Save/Load scum, better 1 Invisibility Scroll I guess and at least 1 Jump); the Superior Temple of Baa in Avlee is also a bit complicated to reach on foot to get in… but it is doable (moderate to high risk). In MM6 there are very nasty regions to pay Visit on their Dungeon Maps on foot, and some of them I won't take my chances anymore without a Fly thingy, but most of them are relatively doable; I'll mention the most dangerous regions for that matter, from the 'safer' to the deadliest: Sweet Water/Silver Cove/Dragonsand, Ermit's Isle/Kriegspire; (Note: Sweet Water's devil/alien dungeon is useless to Visit though, respawn time way too short, so I just go to the Region Map at least). If my memory is correct, that's about it for MM6. :D


Now, returning to Quest Points; from this point, I starte to clearly see some interesting improvements on the Quest Point system that could be made.

In order to include the learning of Expert/Master/GM Skills, I see 2 possibilities.
The simplest one is, like in my chart, there would a minimum Character Level requirement for it to start learning Expert/Master/GM Skills (for example, the possibility of learning Expert Level Skills could start at Character Level 4; from that point on, whenever that character obtains a new Quest Point, it can be spent either to learn another Basic Skill or to learn an Expert Skill from an already possessed Basic Skill.
The other possibility would be "cascading". Here goes just an example: the character would need to accumulate at least 8 Skills at Basic Level in order to be able to start learning any Expert Level Skills with Quest Points; a starting character already has 4 Basic Skills, so it just needs to obtain and use 4 Quest Points to unlock the new stage of learning. For Master Level Skills, the character would require at least 4 Skills at Expert Level. Finally, for GM Level SKills, the character would require at least 2 Skills at Master Level. These numbers could be more or less friendly.

Another thing that would be relevant, that I didn't do, is to make a small research to know exactly how many Quests there are on each game or mod, so that it becomes safe to avoid mistakes in the rules regarding Quest Points. Because Quests are limited on those games —but so are the number of Skills Training (Basic→Expert→Master→GM) a single character can have in total. But then, there are games where there are many characters involved, so this must be taken into account somehow.

To increase the Quest Points in the game (if necessary), I've though 2 new Awards: the 1st Victory on any Archomage Tavern gives +1 Quest Point to the Party; the Bounty Hunting system, each month if the Party is successful at hunting the creature and take the bounty from the establishment, this would also give +1 Quest Point.

Indeed, it's funny how two contrary approaches tend to work for this game in ways that are both, plausibly enjoyble. The 'positive' approach empowering the monsters, or the 'negative' approach hindering the adventurers.
It's likely I'm gonna keep improving the rule system. Cya around and thanks for the constructive discussion.

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Re: Slow-pace/Roleplaying M&M Rules (MMMerge/MM8/MM7/MM6)

Unread postby Echo » 13 Jul 2022, 12:31

While this is not exactly my cup of tea (especially the tiered items vs character levels - I always haaaated it in any game I played :D), I'll recommend you one rule to try that I found the most fun from rules I've seen people add to their challenges:

- Once you enter a dungeon, you can't leave until it's finished.

It's as simple as they get, but very effective in adding value to things like potions and even scrolls I have never used before. Also prevents entirely any sort of Lloyd's Beacon->Temple->LB cheesing lategame :) Highly recommended!

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Re: Slow-pace/Roleplaying M&M Rules (MMMerge/MM8/MM7/MM6)

Unread postby raekuul » 13 Jul 2022, 14:00

You call it "cheese" but I call it necessary - you can't rest inside the Hive (100% interruption rate) and even with M60 Meditation/Body Building you're going to need to fall back at some point, plus some Kreegan have the SP Drain effect on hit so magic-focused teams will need to regroup even more than usual. (In theory I would have no issues with "no Water abuse" for other dungeons since you have a nonzero chance of successfully resting, it's just Water Abuse lets us complete the game in a reasonable amount of real-life time)

With that said, if we adjust the Divine Cure/Divine Magic potions to be a 100% refill instead of +100, they'll be more helpful and would actually encourage brewing them (though this might go too far in the other direction), and "you can't leave until it's finished" can be enforced with "dungeons have a refill time of 0 days" which in theory will cause them to refill on map change (the Hive's 7-day refill rate was intended to prevent certain exploits, but the assumption seems to have been that Overland Travel Times would still be a factor which TP+LB say "no" to that). I'll look into doing the potion improvement - there's other projects that I'm involved with that would benefit from that anyway, so thank you for the idea - and now that I know how to work with MapStats from inside the lua scripts expect an "instant dungeon refill" script before too long.

On the subject of Lloyd's Beacon - ever used it to pincer a cluster of monsters? It's my go-to tactic for the Big Room Full Of Werewolves in the Lair of the Wolf - secondary elemental caster puts one beacon to each corner and you just keep bouncing back and forth until your secondary is out of mana. Combined with the occasional "Turn to Stone" or AoE spam it makes a huge difference.

On the subject of shutting out the MM6 NWC dungeon: if you're using MMExt, add to outb3.lua

Code: Select all

Game.MapEvtLines:RemoveEvent(92)
and that'll close the Dragonsand<->NWC connection from the Dragonsand side. Easier to refuse the temptation of the NWC dungeon if it's simply unavailable.

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Re: Slow-pace/Roleplaying M&M Rules (MMMerge/MM8/MM7/MM6)

Unread postby Kinox » 15 Jul 2022, 11:21

Echo wrote: 13 Jul 2022, 12:31 While this is not exactly my cup of tea (especially the tiered items vs character levels - I always haaaated it in any game I played :D), I'll recommend you one rule to try that I found the most fun from rules I've seen people add to their challenges:

- Once you enter a dungeon, you can't leave until it's finished.

It's as simple as they get, but very effective in adding value to things like potions and even scrolls I have never used before. Also prevents entirely any sort of Lloyd's Beacon->Temple->LB cheesing lategame :) Highly recommended!
Oh, I like that challenge idea… It reminds me somehow of a (not so) former playing habit of mine when I was going to Dungeon Maps: I was sort of unwilling to lose time by Sleeping or going back and forth to restore in towns or alike, therefore using up to the last of my resources along with the best of my wits (on the context of such a courageous perspective). This often has proven to be a funny experience regarding challenge —even though not the most optimal. In essence, I still reproduce this habit to some extend nowadays when I play, but maybe because I have too much game knowledge, it because somewhat unfair because I know sometimes with high precision which Dungeon Maps my Party at some point can take on single round without being wiped up. Additionally, it would help some players like me to use the Rest command: for Sleeping, because it would be the only way to restore fully on those circumstances.

So, this idea of 1-round Dungeon Map is quite a cool challenge; might be plausible to consider the player must be ready to face Death more than once. But then there is this problematic of game knowledge; like, if the player cannot exit a Dungeon Map once has decided to challenge it, then still the player may prepare in advance for each Dungeon Map; so like only tackling certain Dungeons Maps when they are about safe. And by being safer to that degree, they might not be that much of a challenge (as they would have been without the game knowledge). So, there are Dungeon Maps that would be just postponed for too late (even later than usual), because it might not worth it otherwise.

On certain cases (like mine), in order for that rule to make sense in the context of my challenge proposition, it would require an additional, complementary rule: to fix that problematic of excessive game knowledge. I've just thought about a plausible complementary rule (I know it's still not good enough, but it adds thrill): any time one is entering a Dungeon Map to engage it, throw a coin: 50% cannot Leave, 50% is free to play safe. Another extra complementary rule (that could substitute or be combined with that in some sense) could be: if previous Dungeon Map was constraint by the rule, then the next one won't be, and vice versa; it just toggles. The first of all Dungeon Maps faced in the gameplay would still have to be randomized by the coin preferably, to set the stage; but whenever Dying IN a Dungeon Map (in whatever condition of the coin it was), it resets the coin (must toss coin again like in the 1st time) for the next time a Dungeon Map is challenged (even if it's the same Dungeon Map). The cool thing about randomization is that it adds tons of thrill and chaos; but the good thing of having some certainty and order (like on that second complementary rule) is that you have a "regular backup" in order to plan you journey in the gameplay, so you kind of benefit from both Chaos and Order. I believe this rule triad would make your rule optimal and richer.

I believe there is also a bit of conflict in some cases, that might require a few exceptions to the rule maybe, or at least some more development: like, what about MM7/Antagarich especially: ¿Dungeon Maps you just want to cross like in a sthealthy fashion? ¿or steal some Quest Object on the most efficient way? Those particular anomalies sure pose some conflict on my perspective. There is also a playing style of roguishness in those games especially boosted from MM7 due to the Thief Class, some very specific Quests and Dungeon Maps (even the ones that don't give any EXP and Respawn on each Visit, in Celeste and The Pit btw), and also because of Invisibility Spell which was kept in MM8. Regarding a relatively decent use (and not abuse) of roguishness (it's also natural for thieves to get into dangerous circumstances, and, in case it doesn't work, just ¡run for their lives!), something additional should be thought in regard of the problematic on this whole paragraph only I believe. Game Design as we know requires this special kind of attention.

Thanks for the feedback.
Last edited by Kinox on 15 Jul 2022, 16:10, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Slow-pace/Roleplaying M&M Rules (MMMerge/MM8/MM7/MM6)

Unread postby Kinox » 15 Jul 2022, 11:45

raekuul wrote: 13 Jul 2022, 14:00On the subject of shutting out the MM6 NWC dungeon: if you're using MMExt, add to outb3.lua

Code: Select all

Game.MapEvtLines:RemoveEvent(92)
and that'll close the Dragonsand<->NWC connection from the Dragonsand side. Easier to refuse the temptation of the NWC dungeon if it's simply unavailable.
I understand the feeling of temptation on this case. This is perfectly comprehensible; even though it's relatively subjective. But, personally, I dislike the idea of shutting down the warp connection feature. But If I were to use something like MMExt to make changes to the World on that regard, it would be to adjust the Reset rate of NWC Dungeon… even though I understand that wouldn't be enough technically: because one would still be able to Visit the Dungeon Map anyways and use the infinite features like Empty Bottles, basic Potions and Gold; although it would help just a bit to not get confused when the Reset happens (because, you know, whenever your Party Visits a fresh Dungeon Map for the first time or after it Resetted, one Party member will speak; so you immediately know you're a new-comer at that place.

This is why I believe a rule set such as mine should be carefully thought, so that the rules are just on paper basically; you shouldn't have to make any sort of intervention/edition to the game in order to play by the rules. But I certainly appreciate the possibility of modding or micro-editing the game settings to get some stuff operate the way the player wants (and the demands are often very peculiar; so it's just fine if that's what 'triggers' you the immersion).

I do that a lot of micro-editing actually, but only relating to certain very specific Party management preferences (nothing relating to boosting powers, just adjustments such as Character Portraits changes, on certain cases even Classes changes too, or sometimes something crazy like lowering or taking off Characters' Levels/Stats/Skills/whatever, on starting after Creating a Party or when I get new Characters), I prefer not to change anything about the World because there would be so many things I would like to change there… besides fixing bugs. So I focus on Party management when necessary.

Also, thanks for the feedback.


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