Friday, November 6, 2009

4e Player Vs. Player Concept

Something that I have been wanting to try for a while, to be able to pit my character ideas against someone else's.

Be they machines of destruction, some off the wall half-baked ideas, or an invincible tank.

But the problem with this is getting it to work... and not just have it be "Whoever dumps the most dailies first and hits wins." as Wyatt Salazar put it, but have it so that characters might have a chance against just about any other same level characters.

After a small discussion on twitter, it was theorized that 3 on 3 matches with one player per team would probably work out the best. The 3 character limit would force the player to pick their character's roles carefully.

I would have liked to have a 1 on 1 match, but maybe we can save that for later.

now, the next step is to find a means to do this online. There has been a lot of talk lately about RPGs on google wave. I have yet to try it but will soon. Suggestions also included fantasy grounds/skype or maptools/skype, (thanks to Gamerfiend)

After that I will figure out the maps and anything else that I can think of.

So, discussion time!
Leave a comment if you have an answer for
A) Is the 3 on 3 a good idea?
B) What would be the best way to attempt this online?
C) Should there be anything more complicated than a plain featureless map?
D) Do you want to try it?


Wyatt said...

a) Yes.

b) Maptools or Fantasy Grounds of Gametable or something of the sort.

c) I think having interesting terrain would add to the notion that whoever's the best tactician would win. Anyone can pick a build off the optimization boards and godstomp on a featureless plain. Taking advantage of terrain with powers, differing altitudes, traps and other difficulties would set the real tactical masters apart.

d) No. Like I said over twitter, the premise of PvP team battles, while a nice thought exercise, is pretty much the most boring sort of gaming I can imagine.

MacGuffin said...

ok, so I will have to find/create a map to use...

and I'm sorry to hear that you would find it boring, the whole reason I would want to try this would be to use the characters that I create but won't ever get into a regular game.

satyre said...

a) Yes.
b) MapTools is good.
c) Do a Roman-style gladiator arena; have obstacles; weapons, wild beasts on chains, traps. Make it fun.
d) PVP is OK for a one-shot but you don't want to make too often a habit of it. If you want to run with the gladiator concept you can have the players put together in teams to fight NPCs.

Philo Pharynx said...

A) I'd love it. I do a lot of play-by-post games and have done this in 3e, but would like to do it in 4e.

B) Play-by-post. I use Rondak's Portal., but there are plenty of other ways to do it.

C) Terrain would be good. I'd suggest making a few different maps with different feels and rolling randomly for each match to see what comes up. This keeps you from building to the map. i.e. making a bunch of ranged characters for a map with lots of rough terrain.

D) I'd definitely do it. I have lots of ideas and only play in 3 face to face 4e games. Plus it's a good way to try out ideas that might not work well in play.

I could see some interesting matches, like only one power source available for your team. Or only one role. Or even only one class. I know which class I'd choose.

The one-on-one game would be interesting at higher levels. I would probably keep it to the same role. It would be hard to balance a striker vs. a controller. This would also make terrain much more important.

A good house rule I'd have is no daily attack powers. Some daily powers give some powerful bonuses that last until the end of the encounter, and this would skew the game quite a bit. You would have one daily item power per tier and one action point.

Another variation would be to allow one daily attack power per tier below yours. A hero would have no dailys available. A paragon would be able to use one heroic level daily power. An epic character would have one paragon daily and one heroic daily. This can allow you the ability to build around a daily power.

I'd have to think about daily utility powers more and look at some examples (I'm goofing off at work right now). Off the top of my head they shouldn't be too unbalancing.

An interesting game would be a dungeon sub hunt. It would require a neutral GM. The players start at different areas in a dungeon level. They don't know where the enemy is. They need to explore (and potentially deal with the hazards of each room). Wehn they find the enemy, they need to kill them.