# Effects dependant upon quality value

I have a problem, perhaps someone can suggest a solution.

In City of Phire, I have an item which inflicts menace points upon the player when carried. They way I hope to do this is with a storylet that plays when they have >=1 of the item, with a branch that increases the menace. The problem is two-fold:

• I would like the menace increase to be greater in line with the number of items hold.[/li][li]I only want the storylet to kick in every so-often (say, every 10 actions).

Ideas?

I can’t think of any elegant solution, but mathematically…perhaps just make copies of the storylet for differing amounts of the item? So, if the player has 1 and no more than 1, they see a storylet that gives them one point of menace, if the player has 2 and no more than 2, they see a version that gives them two points, etc.

For your second problem…maybe add a quality every time the storylet triggers that decreases every action? When the quality is 0, the storylet triggers. Seems like a bit of a hassle, though.

Well, as far as I can tell, the distribution no longer seems to be depreciated so you may want to play around with that some for it only happening every so often. As for the multiplicity, I think you can follow your example on The Battle of Ketai and have different branches with a different number of the item as requirements, and all other branches hidden.

[color=#009900]I’d suggest you use a timing quality, but for the sake of parsimony (http://wiki.failbettergames.com/wiki:quality-parsimony) and richness, use it for multiple purposes - so when it reaches its peak, your menace card is one of several things that can turn up. This is a good way of adding rhythm to a game - ISTR we do it with Someone is Coming in FL, and with [REDACTED] in Silver Tree.
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[color=rgb(0, 153, 0)]Think about the range of menace effects you want. Do you really want the menace to increase by 1 for 1, 2 for 2, … 20 for 20? Do you need that level of granular simulation? Will the player feel they’re getting better value? Possibly the answer is ‘yes, cos there’s all this other stuff in my design’ :-), in which case, we might add dynamic effects at some point, but not yet. In this case, multiple branches would be impractical. But if you can get away with eg three branches for ‘a little’ ‘some’ ‘a lot’, then you can have just three branches, write different content and/or have other flavour effects at each, and the fundamental design point - having more of this stuff is bad - still comes across.[/color]
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[color=#009900](Distribution, btw, is still deprecated, and we’ll be removing it at some point.)[/color]
edited by Alexis Kennedy on 10/16/2012

Thanks for the responses, all. Quite helpful.

Regarding the timing quality, does that mean all of my actions will have to include that quality in their effects? … That’s going to get tedious.

Distribution is still depreciated? Huh, I wonder if it takes into account all the cards in a deck, not just ones for a certain quality. I played through again and noticed a difference with my opportunities on Monday. All my cards are essentially one deck though, just with limiting qualities. Interesting.

Back to topic, your welcome Lily and I think it is up to you what actions include the timing quality. You could give it it’s own arc so it is a standalone story or you could only have a few cards increase the quality. It really depends on how persistent you want the menace to be, as Alexis said. If you look at Someone is Coming or Counting the Days in FL, while not menaces necessarily, only increase occasionally and have certain effects depending on the amount you have.
edited by Kitsune on 10/16/2012

[color=#009900]Kitsune: ‘deprecated’ means it still works, but we recommend against it and we plan to remove it.[/color]
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[color=#009900]Lily: As Kitsune says, it doesn’t need to be (and shouldn’t be) every action. It’s hard to make specific suggestions without knowing what the fiction is, but the rhythm quality could increase only when relevant fiction-flavour cards are played, or at the top end of a Carousel pacing wheel, or on skill-increase branches, or story beats, or whenever.[/color]

Oh I see, there is literally one letter difference between that and what I was thinking.

The Counting the Days principle could be very neatly implemented here.

An alternative would be using opportunity cards with a ‘Menacing stuff’ quality check where ‘Success’ gives more cp’s of the menace, though that may not be what you were after?
(Especially as that would seem confusing to players)

A third way would be the items simply locking some of the vital storylines and getting rid of the item get you more menaces/item at higher quantities. (You don’t need one storylet for every quantity).
You don’t want your players to stop the game because of them being impossible to get rid of, though.

Thanks again for all the input and responses, guys and girls. As usual I was overcomplicating matters. A ‘Counting the Days’-like system does seem the way to go and that’s what I’ll try out.