Author Topic: Improving spying in the game.  (Read 1637 times)

Dresan

  • Posts: 1687
Improving spying in the game.
« on: September 18, 2021, 08:31:01 PM »
I've been thinking for a long time that perhaps contact shouldn't be changed in itself but should be made less safe without invoking mindbenders.

A good solution would be that all races develop the ability(skill) to listen to way messages being sent by someone in the room. And to further that a touched subclass (that all races can pick) that has a buffed ability to hear way message being sent only from several room distances but not much else in the way of full mindbender.

The contact skill would still be important for simple non-important conversation. I predict meeting in apartments or other secret location, to whisper plans and checking the ground for tracks or using people to send messages would become more common place. Again these people would not be able to read your mind or thoughts, or  evenhear what people are sending to you, they would  only 'hear' what you send out if they are within a few rooms of you. These would be skills everyone has similar to barrier, some people just have it better then others, but no way makes you a mindbender, talking too much about how good your abilities to hear other people way message could get you killed by those that want to promote their privacy.

In addition to this sleight of hand has an easier time opening packs then opening doors. I think this should be changed, and doors should be much much easier then opening packs or cloaks that people have on.

By implementing these ideas:
1. Face to face meetings are promoted
2. Mundane spying becomes a more viable means of learning information
3. It reduces OOC unfairness in the game.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2021, 08:39:02 PM by Dresan »
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Brytta Léofa

  • Posts: 1121
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2021, 12:07:25 AM »
At first I was like :P but then I was like :-\...I'm intrigued.

If psionicists are able to overhear Way messages (I've never played one and that's not in the helpfile, but it would be super logical), this would be a big nerf to them, not because they lose the uniqueness of the ability but because nobody would treat the Way as private anymore.

However I'm not sure that nerfing psionicists would be bad for the game today, or even have a huge impact.
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MeTekillot

  • Posts: 10723
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2021, 01:02:06 AM »
This is a good idea.
Cons: Someone's gonna fill animal holes, likely day 1.

Pariah

  • Posts: 311
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2021, 01:35:13 AM »
Never played one either but this would be too much of an invasion into psionicists wheelhouse.

Seeing as there is probably one or two max alive at a time due to them being special apps like sorcerer I would say it might not be immediately noticeable but sorta shitty for them.

In my opinion if this happened people would just using the way out in the open and retreat to their apartments or walk down a random street than take the chance that random grebber in the bar could overhear their way.

I’m anti anything that causes people to spend more time sitting in their apartments. The only reason I ever even use an apartment is temporary storage.  If we had storage lockers in game I’d never even step foot in an apartment.

Narf

  • Posts: 1175
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2021, 02:43:40 AM »
Strongly in favor of  more  psionics in the game.

Add psionic abilities to everyone? Great! Maybe even give a little class differentiation to the new abilities (Criminals are better spies maybe?)

Add a touched psionic subclass? Long overdue.

Patuk

  • Posts: 4360
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2021, 03:23:39 AM »
Half the game's sponsored leaders seem allergic to ever going outside as-is. I don't know if encouraging that is a good idea.
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Jihelu

  • Posts: 3174
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2021, 04:06:19 AM »
I wish we had Dark Sun Psionics (Certain city states teach them, appropriate alternative to magic because it no kill people, etc)

Barring that: I wish we had a 'lesser' psionics that each person had. A la wild talent. Your average citizen probably doesn't have it, every player does because special (Or maybe it's like 30% of people have it)

Contact becomes a subclass guarantee or you have a slim chance of getting it, meaning not everyone has a fucking telephone in their head.

Congrats: Now there are very few people who can use their brain telephone, we have more interesting powers going along, and your fighter can see ethereal.

wizturbo

  • Posts: 2574
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2021, 06:49:24 AM »
I've been thinking for a long time that perhaps contact shouldn't be changed in itself but should be made less safe without invoking mindbenders.

A good solution would be that all races develop the ability(skill) to listen to way messages being sent by someone in the room. And to further that a touched subclass (that all races can pick) that has a buffed ability to hear way message being sent only from several room distances but not much else in the way of full mindbender.


I like the direction of this suggest, but not the specific solution of making it a "touched" class.  My suggestion is a bit more bold...  Make this a feature of spice.

Either attach psionic enhancements to existing spices, or create a new one that does this.  It will instantly become a highly valued resource, and has all sorts of interesting complexity to it as it's illegal in some places, has addiction and side effects, and built in ways of identifying whose engaged in its use.  Also has some pretty cool implications for House Kurac, although it doesn't necessarily have to be something they immediately have control of if it's a new spice.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2021, 06:55:49 AM by wizturbo »

Pariah

  • Posts: 311
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2021, 07:54:17 AM »
I've been thinking for a long time that perhaps contact shouldn't be changed in itself but should be made less safe without invoking mindbenders.

A good solution would be that all races develop the ability(skill) to listen to way messages being sent by someone in the room. And to further that a touched subclass (that all races can pick) that has a buffed ability to hear way message being sent only from several room distances but not much else in the way of full mindbender.


I like the direction of this suggest, but not the specific solution of making it a "touched" class.  My suggestion is a bit more bold...  Make this a feature of spice.

Either attach psionic enhancements to existing spices, or create a new one that does this.  It will instantly become a highly valued resource, and has all sorts of interesting complexity to it as it's illegal in some places, has addiction and side effects, and built in ways of identifying whose engaged in its use.  Also has some pretty cool implications for House Kurac, although it doesn't necessarily have to be something they immediately have control of if it's a new spice.
I still don’t wanna take away the psionicists stuff.  But this would at least make sense as to why Spice is outlawed in Allanak.

I never really oocly got why Tek one day was just like, no spice! In the history.

Dresan

  • Posts: 1687
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2021, 08:42:54 AM »
This idea is not taking away from anything.  :)

All classes have the contact and barrier, this is just giving everyone a skill to listen to contact message at varying degrees. Full mindbenders will be fine, very much in the same way they were fine when everyone got the barrier skill. Their abilities and theme cause the downfall of Tuluk as a viable place to play at one point. Don't worry they'll be fine.

Contact in its current form is very much needed in the game, but it shouldn't be the go to way to communicate if it can be avoid. The game code and gameworld needs to reflect that better. The fact that people in the room or someone in your clan compound can hear your way conversation will force people to change their behavior. This will open up further game play for spying, sharing and selling of information which is very much needed in this game too. Equally as important is it needs to be done in a way that promotes mundanes, for example contact and barrier are skills all mundanes get, not to mention magickal spying is too good already and we don't need to encourage more of it.

I kind like making it a feature of spice, but then it would make sense for it to be banned everywhere. Also it might not have the intended impact. After all, I've been asking for years for the duration of spice to be extended based on the spice quality.   
« Last Edit: September 19, 2021, 09:12:15 AM by Dresan »
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triste

  • Posts: 1352
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2021, 11:41:13 AM »
More psionics and more uses for spice sounds fine and dandy to me. So that spice isn't illegalized more places as a side effect, and so that taverns do not become depopulated as a result, maybe make it a social / coded taboo to smoke spice in non spice smoking parts of the tavern (people can still walk in high to other sections but it would be considered tacky to chainsmoke in a non spice den part of the bar). It sounds silly but if it is a coded feature of taverns it might even make taverns more popular.

I won't be totally bummed if this spice psionics idea goes nowhere, but I think I have heard a few variations of this over the years and I am with it. I'd make the possible success rate very low (at most 1/10) because catching even one way message could have extremely zesty consequences.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2021, 11:42:52 AM by triste »
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wizturbo

  • Posts: 2574
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2021, 03:46:40 PM »
Tying psionics to spice for non-mindbenders would makes it more accessible to anyone, much like how sorcery could be if it was actually something you could truly learn in-game.  But this way it comes with an in-game economy around it, with people needing to gather the spice, refine and transport it, sell it, police it...etc.  It becomes an advantage with an ecosystem around it, instead of yet another thing locked behind character creation and Karma.

Obeliskocism

  • Posts: 480
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2021, 04:17:41 PM »
My concern here is with the current stigma against full psionicists and how that seems incompatible with the implementation of these changes on a gamewide level.
Given current attitudes towards psionicism, and assuming we wouldn't retcon decades of game lore and culture, I imagine a lot of carnage and disruption if this were to be implemented.  People would be turning loved ones and roommates into the local Templarate left and right at the first signs of some abilities 'beyond the norm'.  People would self-exile or commit suicide if they believed they were turning into one of the Known's foulest abominations.  How would people know they are still a normal person who just gained one extra ability vs. someone who took their first step down the road towards fully manifesting into a monster?  A whole generation of existing PCs would almost need to be sacrificed to make the cultural shift feasible.

If we added a couple more psionic abilities to 'normies', but full psionicism remains one of the worst crimes in the civilization, how would people not be suspecting that their acquaintance with mild mind reading abilities was a full psion?   If the abilities were conferred temporarily via spice use, I'd still think people would be suspicious that a full mindbender was using the spice as an excuse to try to blend in. 

Maybe cranking the paranoia and distrust of your fellow Zalanthan up to 11 wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.  If spice were the vehicle for this, would full mindbenders get super bonuses if they used the psispice?

I think this is just too disruptive to the existing culture to roll out on a mass scale.  Maybe a 'touched' subguild that retains all the stigma and anathematic consequences of a full psion could work, but these characters would be living in hiding or openly villaining or at the very least be aware of the fact that they are abnormal freaks the rest of the world would dismember upon discovery of their 'abilities'. 
Making mind reading abilities acceptable to the general populace seems a bridge too far.  Just my two cents.


« Last Edit: September 19, 2021, 04:20:24 PM by Obeliskocism »

Jihelu

  • Posts: 3174
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2021, 04:19:56 PM »
Yes.
Lets get rid of the anti-psionicist shit.

Pariah

  • Posts: 311
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2021, 04:42:13 PM »
I have always wondered why it was a KILL IT immediately.  If I was someone in charge and found out my friend could do sorcery or psionics I would probably be like, this is an awesome tool!

But the game lore is like no kill it!

Almost forces them to be loners out there in the wild.

Veselka

  • Posts: 1547
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2021, 05:54:28 PM »
In Dark Sun, 'Wild Psionic' powers are ubiquitous but more or less mundane. Things like 'Know what direction True North is at all times' or 'Where the nearest water source is' or 'float some shit with your mind'.

Mindbenders, on the other hand, have MANY abilities and most of them can FUCK with you. Read your mind. Compel you to do things. And so on.

I think by psionic powers being more ubiquitous and random, it actually makes Mindbenders all the scarier in that they really truly could be anyone.
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Pariah

  • Posts: 311
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2021, 06:05:31 PM »
I think the problem with wild psionics is that most of the psionic abilities are probably OP as fuck.  So they would most likely have to invent new, tamer versions for it, coding something new and then introduce the chance and how you could branch it.

Probably a shitload of work.

Night Queen

  • Posts: 70
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2021, 08:01:24 PM »
+ Remove all psionic abilities other than contact, barrier, or expel

++ Remove all other magic spying abiilities

+ Make conducting all RP from the Way not cost/time effective, much more drain the more ways you do, keep it more for organising meetups and times instead of entire discussions

++ Remove all guards-that-somehow-recognise-every-house-member-in-the-known, make people carry keys or some other proof to show to guards (maybe use some historic examples and have fun with this), remove all worn key objects or turn them into proper containers with keys inside (it's silly and an abuse of MUD mechanics, realistically the key is still hanging off something on the worn thing)

+ Force contact to require a message for first send

++ Expel does extra damage if it's on the first message (for unwanted people abusing the system and less as an argument-ender) and makes unable to contact anyone else for 10 mins to stop 'checking' a bunch of people in a chain

++ Have it a publicised rule that it's punishable for contacting guessed keywords to find characters that your character hasn't actually seen, so it's not just a newbie trap and everyone knows it's bad, and more experienced people can't claim they didn't know

+ Remove worn items from contact messages, and any messages about being hidden, change to always say Someone

++ Make an actual rule against people metagaming the identities of someone who is covered head to toe with nothing that their character would recognize

+++ For people that share IC information OOC and for sponsored, high karma, or staff roles, punish more the higher up on the scale it goes and have this clear and open in the rules so it's public that stuff is being done for deterrence, and encourage staff to make alts available OOC for people to contact as if they were normal players and see who leaks stuff

+ Undo the recent scan boosts to classes, should be a specialised thing and not a casual thing that more combat orientated classes can do as a bonus

+ Make helpfiles / IC rumours about templar abilities, so it's not just a big box of whirring FOIC knives that no one wants to be around - remove any "I point, you die" abilities from both them and sorcerers since the power differential is so large, and there's also so many NPCs and PCs already that it seems like barely anyone is wanting to have characters play against those odds
« Last Edit: September 19, 2021, 08:36:17 PM by Night Queen »

Dresan

  • Posts: 1687
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2021, 09:58:30 PM »
stuff

At a glance some of these asks require their own post perferably with some context as to why.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2021, 10:14:04 PM by Dresan »
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betweenford

  • Posts: 251
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2021, 09:31:18 AM »
In Dark Sun, 'Wild Psionic' powers are ubiquitous but more or less mundane. Things like 'Know what direction True North is at all times' or 'Where the nearest water source is' or 'float some shit with your mind'.

Mindbenders, on the other hand, have MANY abilities and most of them can FUCK with you. Read your mind. Compel you to do things. And so on.

I think by psionic powers being more ubiquitous and random, it actually makes Mindbenders all the scarier in that they really truly could be anyone.
What's cool about the Dark Sun example is that although some wild talents were situational and psionics as a whole werent illegal, alot of actions available to telepaths were illegal in nearly every city state unless you were a templar or whatever..... Mostly because they could fry ppl's minds, mass dominate whole crowds, compel people... Read and fabricate memories...

Psionically turning yourself 2d or turning your arm into a metal sword was not illegal. ......


Gimme wild talent infravision pls.

Night Queen

  • Posts: 70
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2021, 11:22:33 AM »
I was probably a bit blunt out of frustration, I think somewhere in the design things went to go wrong:
Quote
https://www.armageddon.org/help/view/Zalanthas
Also unlike many other worlds, Zalanthas is a magick-poor world
Adding infallible NPC protections and incredible magic powers to PCs meant that it became so impractical for people to be around any length of time that it instead became an arms race to *replace* spying with instead more magic/psychic silliness.

To follow the subject, Improving spying in the game... Those suggestions are what would make things better and more interesting, not more of the same silly stuff, really. There's too many blockades and too much magic - instead of encouraging drama, it stifles and strangles having the sword of damocles of INSANE MAGIC EVERYWHERE to the point where people playing classes that would otherwise do this stuff know it's pointless suicide.

Those changes I suggested are what is probably needed to actually achieve what the topic name says. It'd be great to see that kind of RP, but as is there's no cat and mouse games as you might expect from a more gritty politics RP, it's all just about magic because of the absolutely skewed, outclassed, level of power.

Jihelu

  • Posts: 3174
Re: Improving spying in the game.
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2021, 12:14:02 PM »
In Dark Sun, 'Wild Psionic' powers are ubiquitous but more or less mundane. Things like 'Know what direction True North is at all times' or 'Where the nearest water source is' or 'float some shit with your mind'.

Mindbenders, on the other hand, have MANY abilities and most of them can FUCK with you. Read your mind. Compel you to do things. And so on.

I think by psionic powers being more ubiquitous and random, it actually makes Mindbenders all the scarier in that they really truly could be anyone.
What's cool about the Dark Sun example is that although some wild talents were situational and psionics as a whole werent illegal, alot of actions available to telepaths were illegal in nearly every city state unless you were a templar or whatever..... Mostly because they could fry ppl's minds, mass dominate whole crowds, compel people... Read and fabricate memories...

Psionically turning yourself 2d or turning your arm into a metal sword was not illegal. ......


Gimme wild talent infravision pls.
That's how it is with a lot of settings.
It's illegal in Faerun waterdeep to cast spells on people for basically any reason without consent. Mind control? Your ass is getting a spanking. It's not like people in dark sun are flying around in the city with psionics and marching a legion of slaves down the street (That's what the templars do)