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Old December 1, 2012, 16:05   #21
buzzkill
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Actually this was very much true up until the 1.7 release. The first 2 levels are still trivial but things get really uncomfortable starting on D5+ now.
There's also the pacifist route. Since XP/level/HP (I'm not quite sure how to define character's advancement in Brogue) is no longer predicated on killing stuff, you can try to play without killing anything... if you want a challenge.

Although this is entertaining occasionally, I'm not sold on the whole NO XP thing.
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Old December 3, 2012, 14:09   #22
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Actually this was very much true up until the 1.7 release. The first 2 levels are still trivial but things get really uncomfortable starting on D5+ now.
Yup, as a newbie my shallowest death has been at DL5, my deepest at DL10. This game is no cakewalk, that's for sure. I like how situations escalate quickly, but not so quickly that you can't spend a few turns doing something risky to come out ahead.

Unfortunately, I think my childhood of JRPGs and D&D has rewired my brain to require the observation of some sort of regularly ascending number to enjoy an RPG. I played Brogue for a couple of hours on a long train ride last night, and I already feel burnt out on it. Every time I see a monster, I feel exasperated instead of excited because of the XP thing

It is a beautiful game, it's just not for me.

It might be neat to load up an older version of the game to see if I like that better!
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Old December 3, 2012, 15:12   #23
Mikko Lehtinen
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Originally Posted by debo View Post
Unfortunately, I think my childhood of JRPGs and D&D has rewired my brain to require the observation of some sort of regularly ascending number to enjoy an RPG. I played Brogue for a couple of hours on a long train ride last night, and I already feel burnt out on it. Every time I see a monster, I feel exasperated instead of excited because of the XP thing
The early D&D (or at least some of the early D&D versions) gave very little XP from killing monsters. Most of the XP came from finding gold. The designers wanted to promote problem-solving, not murder. In a way, Brogue is returning to these roots.
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Old December 3, 2012, 15:16   #24
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Every time I see a monster, I feel exasperated instead of excited because of the XP thing
In the development of Sil I thought about this quite a lot, and eventually decided on the current decay rate rather than, for example, just rewarding experience for the first kill of each type. In some ways the latter is more elegant, and I do like the idea of monsters as obstacles to avoid scumming and encourage problem solving, but I was aware that it could make large parts of the game feel pointless or discouraging. There are similar issues with the proportion of treasure found on the floor versus dropped by monsters.
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Old December 3, 2012, 15:57   #25
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Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen View Post
The early D&D (or at least some of the early D&D versions) gave very little XP from killing monsters. Most of the XP came from finding gold. The designers wanted to promote problem-solving, not murder. In a way, Brogue is returning to these roots.
Sorry my friend, I'm not that old (My first D&D experience was the Gold Box CRPGs, which did indeed reward a reasonable amount of experience and treasure for killing bad guys.)

@half: I'm selfishly glad you erred in this direction for Sil!
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Old December 3, 2012, 16:22   #26
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Unfortunately, I think my childhood of JRPGs and D&D has rewired my brain to require the observation of some sort of regularly ascending number to enjoy an RPG.
I hear you on this. The lack of skill development system to min/max can leave me unfulfilled and I sctatch that itch elsewhere.
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Old December 3, 2012, 19:29   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Lehtinen View Post
The early D&D (or at least some of the early D&D versions) gave very little XP from killing monsters. Most of the XP came from finding gold. The designers wanted to promote problem-solving, not murder. In a way, Brogue is returning to these roots.
That is truly ancient - I grew up on 1E AD&D and that was all about killing monsters for xp. You must be talking about the original Dave Arneson era D&D from the mid-1970s.

Interestingly enough TSR did publish a sci-fi RPG in the mid-1980s called Star Frontiers, which had the kind of xp system you describe - xp was awarded per gaming session, or per significant story milestone, whether you had killed anything or not - and it was handed out at the DM's discretion in tiny amounts - 1xp was plenty, 3xp was a fantastic evening. It was then spent either directly on improving (percentile) stats, or on buying skills (where level 1 of a skill cost 1xp, and IIRC the cost roughly doubled every level).

Unfortunately it never gained a foothold vs. Traveler and Space Master, and despite a complete reinvention it was axed before the decade was out.
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Old December 3, 2012, 20:12   #28
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That is truly ancient - I grew up on 1E AD&D and that was all about killing monsters for xp. You must be talking about the original Dave Arneson era D&D from the mid-1970s.
I started with the Red Box Basic D&D. In that game most of your XP comes from the loot you find. The Basic sets are actually newer than the 1E AD&D. They coexisted peacefully for a long while.

I personally think Moldvay's Basic D&D rules is the best version of D&D. The excellent retro-clone Labyrinth Lord is almost identical to Moldvay's.

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Interestingly enough TSR did publish a sci-fi RPG in the mid-1980s called Star Frontiers, which had the kind of xp system you describe
Basic D&D was all about collecting GOLD and gaining experience levels for it. And it makes a lot of gamistic sense for me. It was a very elegant reward system for the sort of dungeon adventuring D&D was designed for. Your adventuring party is neither heroes nor murderers, you're rogues!

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Unfortunately it never gained a foothold vs. Traveler and Space Master, and despite a complete reinvention it was axed before the decade was out.
Speaking of D&D-style scifi-games, you may want to check out my favorite tabletop RPG system at the moment: X-plorers! "What if the original D&D had been a science fiction game?" It's very retro, but it's also modern in its streamlined game mechanics.

The game is light-hearted, but the system may be used for serious, thought-provoking science fiction adventures, too.

It seems I only ever play these really simple roleplaying games nowadays (not too often). When I play roleplaying games face to face, I slightly prefer difficult ethical decisions to fun combat tactics.

Designing Halls of Mist mostly satisfies my itch for crunchy combat mechanics. For tabletop gaming, X-plorers is crunchy enough.

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Old December 3, 2012, 20:18   #29
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Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
Interestingly enough TSR did publish a sci-fi RPG in the mid-1980s called Star Frontiers, which had the kind of xp system you describe - xp was awarded per gaming session, or per significant story milestone, whether you had killed anything or not - and it was handed out at the DM's discretion in tiny amounts - 1xp was plenty, 3xp was a fantastic evening. It was then spent either directly on improving (percentile) stats, or on buying skills (where level 1 of a skill cost 1xp, and IIRC the cost roughly doubled every level).
This always struck me as the much more sensible way to play. Instead of trying to track experience values for the different enemies you kill / obstacles you surmount, the DM tracks your efforts as a team and basically decides when you level up for you. No more worrying about playing a character who can't directly contribute (e.g. a spellcaster specializing in buffs and debuffs, or a rogue specializing in locks and traps); as long as you're important to the team, you'll be kept around and be able to advance at the same pace as everyone else.
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Old December 3, 2012, 20:33   #30
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I remember playing a few games of Star Frontiers as a kid!

Regarding Brogue- I really like it. The terrain and atmospherics are really fun. I like that it is a quick game- not only in number of levels, but the general lack of scumming with the persistent levels, and UI tricks like auto-explore and auto-travel to stairs, etc.

I like the video playback- it's more than watching the game again, but since you can reveal the whole map and all items are identified, you can see the consequences of the choices you made and find rooms you didn't know were there.

I think the relatively small set of items works for a game this size. Same with monster variety- I think it's great that they are all relatively unique.

The hunger mechanic seems well balanced. Remarkably so, actually. I'm often worried about my hunger meter, but rarely actually starve.

I think the puzzle rooms are good variety even if they get somewhat predictable. I like that some are fairly dangerous, even though I often get greedy and die trying to get that key!

Love the allies- and the talent learning mechanic.

Things I don't like.
There's maybe too much variation game to game. Some games you get lucky and get multiple really powerful allies early on which get you pretty automatically to the mid-teens levels. Other times you get pretty screwed with items and end up outclassed pretty early.

I've decided I really don't like the ID minigame. To do it carefully requires more time than seems warranted given how everything else is geared towards quick play.

I also wish there was a little bit of scaling of items. I dislike finding 3 suits of plate armor or a bunch of heavy weapons in the first level or two, and knowing they won't be helpful for some time. It would be nice to have a somewhat more gradual increase.

A big UI complaint- needs better auto-inscription of items (e.g. uncursed, ID'ed as neutral, etc), also level on which you found it in case you want to replace something in a vault or figure out which potions were new to this level if looking for a puzzle solution.
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