Incentives



  • Okay..

    A friend and I have been discussing incentives. The said friend seems to think incentives are needed for a new game, and in general. I am of the opposite opinion. I don't think they are really overly needed. Maybe for races/families/whatever that have little to no people, to encourage people to them.

    HOWEVER I don't think they are needed for running plots, RPing, etc. It is one of the things I find that causes the landslide of excessive XP and what not. And the people 'trying to cheat the system' coughspidercough.


  • Pitcrew

    Can you clarify what you mean by incentives? Do you mean if I opened a MU tomorrow and I wanted to attract players I would have to do something like... Start as a noble! Start with medium range skills! Extra XP if you create! You get starting gold/currency of XXXXXX?



  • Yeah. Or 'If you run 1 event/prpr/whatever' you get 1 XP. THings like that. Or 'IF you make a wiki you get XP!' Whatever on things like that.

    Like I said.. for me I think incentives are good for things like 'Play a villian and get bonus X thing' or 'Join this family and get a bonus Y', etc. THings that don't get many people in them.


  • Pitcrew

    In my opinion there is a hunger in the text-based rpg community for quality games. I believe that if your theme is strong, your feature list is compelling, and you do not have a bad reputation as a staffer that you can obtain players.

    SOI 3.0 when it launched alpha had over 300 unique character apps. They had 0 incentive, it was just a bunch of RPI community players who were sick of the current choices and wanted a fresh game.

    LabMUD is the futuremud engines example game. It's not even released yet but I believe it has over 100 unique apps and is talked about on multiple forums.

    Perhaps incentivizing people is a MUSH/MUX cultural thing but from my experience over on MUDs. If you build it they will definitely come. That being said I do believe that you should incentivize things you want people to do through your game systems. If that means giving +1 XP for running an event or a plot, than yes they should be incentivized in some way. If you want people to be racist than they should have a tangible benefit for being racist if that fits into your game world.



  • Yes. For things not commonly found in games.. I'm all for incentives. Villains, doing things that would be considered minority, etc. Not so much just for running events or participating in plots.


  • Politics

    In my experiance most of the people who actually want to Storytell will do so anyway. Atleast for me.



  • It's the same for me. Most of the time the people who do it for incentives aren't really putting much effort in. I would rather see people who WANT to do STing and the likes over people who do it for extra points.


  • Pitcrew

    @Olsson said:

    In my experiance most of the people who actually want to Storytell will do so anyway. Atleast for me.

    This is a really good point. The trick is to find the good players who want to ST, but don't for whatever reason (lack of time, lack of prestige on the mu*, lack of skill) and both put structures into place to allow them to ST with less work and train them up so they become better STers.


  • Pitcrew

    We give a small XP bonus for players who run a plot. This is because running plots is difficult, requires a lot more work and time than regular RP, and have a significant benefit to the game. In my head I don't think of it as an incentive more as just a present for doing a nice thing for the game, but practically it's certainly an incentive.

    Most of my MU* career I haven't actually seen or done much in the way of incentives just because I've been on consent games without stats or XP to, like. Give bumps on. But the people I've staffed with and I have always tried to be really welcoming and supportive to player GMs and grateful for the plots they've run, which I know from experience goes a long way.



  • @Roz said:

    We give a small XP bonus for players who run a plot. This is because running plots is difficult, requires a lot more work and time than regular RP, and have a significant benefit to the game. In my head I don't think of it as an incentive more as just a present for doing a nice thing for the game, but practically it's certainly an incentive.

    This, right here.


  • Pitcrew

    Whatever behavior you reward, that is the behavior that you will get.

    People are reward focused. Incentives really should be present, and present in such a way as to encourage and support the OOC culture you want to foster on the game, essentially. If you don't care if people run stories themselves, don't reward them. My suggestion would be (and the system I'm going to be implementing for my game) is to keep most of the incentives people can earn to be something other than direct experience for their characters. Give them Monkey Points. You can spend 10 Monkey points for 1 XP, or you can use a single Monkey Point as a lot of systems use fate points.

    Temporary rewards, basically; they get to keep it until they use it, but once they use it it's gone and they're no more bloated than their compatriots. So they get something that is valuable, does give them advantage, but it's not add-a-dot-to-this-skill-forever, rather 'add a dot to this skill for this scene'. Cap how many can be used in any given situation, and go.


  • Admin

    For any game, but way more so for a new one, get plot ran. Encourage it any way you can, bribe people, twist their arm, blackmail them.

    The absence of things to do early on is the worse thing that can happen to a freshly launched MU because, at that point, players aren't attached to their characters and have placed no time investment in the game at large. Later on when they've cultivated some relationships and have on-grid antagonists and allies to milk for scenes it's somewhat smoother but at first? It's an essential lifeline to activity.

    Even 'running staff plot' isn't a better answer at that point because it's exactly when you'll be the most overworked. All those new PCs trying to squirm through CGen, questions needing answering, house rules needing writing, wiki needing updating - staff will have the least time in that time period than any other.

    So yeah.


  • Pitcrew

    I've been talking about this with friends a lot recently actually. Mostly concerning XP being tied to STing. Not everyone is good at STing, some people (like me) do it once in a blue moon. Other people do it a lot, I've seen folks run 4+ PRP's in a day for people. And that's commendable, however it feels wrong to me that because people run a lot of PRP's that their PC should then somehow be better than everyone else. In worst case It's a bonus character advancement based on them running 'gimme' plots for friends.

    Still, I think Active ST's should be encouraged, and there's not much else to give someone on a mu outside of XP. Which troubles me.


  • Admin

    The only type of Storytelling you don't want is the fake one. The non-plot things ("pizza party at my place!11!") made pretty much to squeeze XP out of the system.

    Anything else - stuff ran for friends, for coteries, for whatever - still scales better than anything else. There is nothing you want less for your game than players sitting bored.

    If you don't like the idea of handing out XP for balance purposes fine - come up with something else, such as social recognition or whatever else.



  • @Arkandel said:

    The only type of Storytelling you don't want is the fake one. The non-plot things ("pizza party at my place!11!") made pretty much to squeeze XP out of the system.

    Anything else - stuff ran for friends, for coteries, for whatever - still scales better than anything else. There is nothing you want less for your game than players sitting bored.

    If you don't like the idea of handing out XP for balance purposes fine - come up with something else, such as social recognition or whatever else.

    I like this, but I disagree on one point. 'Pizza party at my house' can just as easily be a good thing to have in your games. It gets players together, allows for character development to happen. Whole packs or cabals can be done around that. Same with beach parties, etc. So long as you can show that something relevant to the story happened, then I see no reason why not to allow something like this. Even at the table, not all scenes are action scenes, and those are awarded with a beat the same as any other. Not all plots need be action things, and not all of them need involve antagonists. Sometimes, creating those bonds is just as important.

    If me and Maryanne get together for our weekly friday chess match and discuss the larger metaphysical aspects of the universe, and help each other solve our problems that we're actively discussing there in a way that helps move the story forward, then I don't call that fake.

    So, you know. This is subjective. It won't get as many beats as the action packed thing where you whoop someone's ass, and so they'll grow slower, but they should still grow from this. Even Luke Skywalker had a few chats with Obi-Wan along the way.



  • I love that people will run plots. Without them, many games would have none or next to none. But I don't agree with 'my character should get better at the stuff they do because I as a player ran a scene for someone else'. That exact sort of thing is what killed staff ST's to begin with. Why would someone run a plot on their staffbit when they could get xp for running it from their character bit instead?


  • Admin

    @Derp said:

    I like this, but I disagree on one point. 'Pizza party at my house' can just as easily be a good thing to have in your games. It gets players together, allows for character development to happen.

    This touches on a strong, old peeve of mine - and it's been on MSB before so I won't spam much about it. I just hope in advance you pardon me if I sound grumpy about the idea. :)

    1. What you describe is a scene, not a plot. Characters getting together to talk and have a party is invaluable and the foundation stone of all RP. But it's not a PrP any more than meeting at my PC's backyard to discuss politics is a PrP.

    2. Not all PrPs need to be about 'action'. In ninety percent of my plots no one's punching anyone.

    Either way, what I was referring to before was what I encountered on TR with its ''tiered characters' where, as there was a minimum of plots they had to ST per month to keep their XP, some people threw bogus scenes just for that. Pizza parties were done for months by someone in the Mage sphere and it always grinded my gears.

    (Again, apologies for being grouchy about it. Snarl.)



  • @Arkandel

    Sure. I was a Tier there for a bit, I know the drill. Mage Tiers were weird, though, because it was fairly hard to herd people together into anything more meaningful than 'see who wins init first and blasts something to itty bitty bits'. When I did mine, I generally did them along the lines of 'Put out an advertisement for what a player is needing, and then run them from there.' This could be Awakenings, astral journeys, seance scenes. Stuff like that.

    And 'scenes' make up 'plots'. Plots can be just one scene. Or they can be many. Either way, WoD rewards sessions with beats, which can be less than one, one, or more than one scene. It's still fairly subjective.



  • I'm in the party that players shouldn't be able to advance their chars for doing things for others. It is mildly annoying because they are getting oodles of XP when it doesn't have to do with their char.


  • Pitcrew

    @icanbeyourmuse said:

    I'm in the party that players shouldn't be able to advance their chars for doing things for others. It is mildly annoying because they are getting oodles of XP when it doesn't have to do with their char.

    It's a fair perspective. How do you propose to encourage a game-culture of doing things for other people, if you're not interested in incentives?


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