Monday, July 6, 2015

Success Quota Mechanic. Complexity in Major Tasks.

I'm moving to failure is OK mindset because of the influence of my work and studies. In GURPS this means the having roughly a success quota of 2 in 3-4 attempts. To put it as briefly as possible:

  • Workload tasks is in intervals of hours, for up to 4 attempts.  
  • Man-Day task is in intervals of Workloads, typically 4 attempts or 2 workloads per day with 3 workloads pushing the limit. Man-Day task is -1 to -2 penalty to the roll. 
  • Pushing the limit causes an immediate interval cost to rest right after on a success, and a failure causes two intervals of rest and doubles the cost. 
  • A Week-long task is in intervals of Days at, with 1 day of rest needed for every 3 days. -2 to -3 penalty to the roll. 
    • Teaching someone to Ride a Horse 
    • Writing a simple treatise or composition with a lot of thought. A speech, or a summarized report compressing several thousands of words of material.   
    • An Audit of a season's accounts for a Barronet.  
  • A Month-long task is an interval of Weeks, with 1 week of low activity for every 3 weeks of attempts. -3 to -4 penalty to the roll. 
    • Fortifying a Town or a Small Section of a City
    • A Diplomatic even of the Scale of Counties, Towns, or Petty Court. 
    • Training a Company or Small Battalion.
    • Intensive training of Basic Literacy.  
    • Writing a Small treaties of a few to a dozens thousands words. 
  • A Season-Long task, is an interval of Months with 1 month of low activity for every 3 months of attempts. -4 to -5 to the roll. 
    • Court Intrigue or Major Diplomatic Event in the Scale of Empire or Kingdoms
    • A Major Trial
    • Training a Battalion or Regiment, Gathering supplies to prepare for an Year long Campaign
    • Fortifying A City
    • Intensive Training someone Working Literacy.
    • A major or Important Treatise of about scores of thousands of words, if the material to draw from is on hand.
  • A Year-long task is an interval of Seasons with 1 season of low activity for every 3 seasons of attempts. -6 to -7 to the roll. 
    • Examples: One of the initial stages of Great Reforms of Great People of History.
      • A portion of Justinian's Hagia Sophia, Belisarius Campaigns, Tribonian's Corpus Juris Civilis, John the Capadocians Tax Reform. 
      • Alexious Re-invigoration of the Roman Empire, Currency Reform, 
      • Alfred the Great's Reforms
      • Charlemagne's Reforms
      • Augustus Ceasar's creation of the Roman Empire
      • Marians Miltiary Reforms
      • Emperor Maurius' Military Reforms. 
      • Tang Emperor's Military Reforms and Sections of the Great Canals. 

Why this changes?
  • From the Art of Teaching and Creative Thinkers Toolkit lectures particularly, Failure and Attempts are part of success. The mechanics inform and enhance the problem solving process by allowing PCs to make multiple attempts to simulate the attempts made and the many set backs that are part of Success. 
  • I find most gaming Systems that do not allow setbacks which is terrible. What I mean by terrible is it is sets mindset that may be hard to separate from realities of problem solving and creates the false narrative that heroes succeed on their first try. It is dramatic to fail. and failure can be fully explored as part of Role-playing. 
  • The BIGGER the project, the more complexity and distractions abound. From my many lectures, I haven't gone around to Understanding Complexity by Professor Scott E Page but they've talked alot about his work to point out that Bigger Projects are more Complex and many instances of failure and setbacks happen along the way.
  • Emphasis in Preparation and Planning. While the system implies the PC breaks up the project into many sub-tasks the way the Player can approach the problem is open ended. By thinking in this Frame work the system encourages the players think in how to set about Smaller Win-able tasks that build up to the much larger scale task. 
    • A Player with Skill-12 will try to work towards tasks at Workload level, avoiding taking on much bigger tasks on the Man-Day level. This encourages more planning when he is at a lower skill level. 
    • At a Higher skill level the Player can take on bigger tasks, and his appetite and ambition can be more grandiose. 
  • This is an important mindset when thinking about Major Tasks and how they can fit in the Narrative. I want these things in my games and if possible the game of other GM's. 
  • How I solve problems is how I game. The same tools I use in GMing or Role-Play is the same tools I use to frame problems. It needs an update, to something better.  

Disclaimer
  • People have different Burn Out Rates. Factoring Characters with shorter or longer rates before burn out, try using a "save" system for every attempt. Feel free to modify to account for different burn out rates. 
  • Cogntive Biases of Hyperbolic discounting or Degrees of Separation exerts a very strong influence on people like a frog being slow cooked. While one can make themselves feel urgency, communicating that urgency or setting that tone consistently is hard. Plus the complication of Burn out and Paranoia. Urgency with the Need to Rest is troublesome and worth throwing into a challenge. 
  • Emotional Intelligence. It was in professors Robert C. Solomons Passion Philosophy and Intelligence of Emotion that I was made aware I tend to know my emotion by its symptoms and not how I feel. Emotions are complicated and Burn-Out is hard to detect, but the cost of Burn-Out follows the Cure vs Prevention model. 
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