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Starting Funds

Discussion in 'Setting Discussion' started by Wes, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. Wes

    Wes Founder & Admin
    Staff FM of Yamatai Game Master

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    Should we continue to give 3000 KS or the equivalent to new characters? It seems to be a point of confusion with first time players.

    My proposal: Eliminate the starting funds and replace it with a statement saying characters can start with a small number of inexpensive personal items. The character mods would determine if the personal items were reasonable. Lack of funds would be a motivator for characters to enlist.

    As a side note, Star Army could also use more things to spend money on. Compounding this is that fact that currently the big military forces pretty much cover all the characters' needs.
     
  2. Aendri

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    I'd just change the phrasing. Make it a signing bonus that's part of the military contracts, not a character creation thing. That's both realistic, and gives the players the freedom to use the money, since a lot of players don't know they might want something when they make the character.
     
  3. Wes

    Wes Founder & Admin
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    That's actually how we do it already. This topic comes up because I just responded to a PM from a new player who was asking whether or not the sign-on bonus was separate from the starting funds.

    The issue is that new players see they have money and they get distracted looking for inventory items when, in reality, there is no need for a character to show up with anything when joining the Star Army of Yamatai or the NSMC. The standard issue and shipboard supplies will keep our characters' needs covered.
     
  4. Doshii Jun

    Doshii Jun Perpetual player
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    Is there a history of players being confused about starting funds? I've never had anyone mention any confusion about it, and I've approved a lot of characters.
     
  5. Kai

    Kai Well-Known Member

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    The only thing I've noticed about starting funds is that most people don't actually use them. Usually I only see veterans making a second or third character using these funds.

    I think we should encourage new players to Use these funds for things- Perhaps a guide to items that new characters can easily acquire, stuff under 3,000 KS/6,000DA that's readily available, as well as some more luxurious items in the price range.
     
  6. Sigma

    Sigma Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I remember when I made my first couple characters, I was wondering what exactly I could use the money for since I couldn't find any neat, easy to find price list of starter items. Rather than getting rid of it, I would suggest making a wiki page of starter items (with appropriate links) and their prices. That would solve the issue better than taking away the starting funds.
     
  7. Nashoba

    Nashoba SARPaholic & Admin
    Staff Site Supporter FM of Yamatai FM of the Poku (HSC) FM of Neshaten Game Master

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    When I created my first character I asked what I could buy with it. I would say at most a simple addition to the CCG that states, Your character will receive the equipment they need from the service. You may purchase personal items with your salary.
     
  8. Aendri

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    And just to clarify, I know that's what the starting funds are. But nowhere in the creation process is that clarified, so it feels more like the money you get to outfit a character in D&D than it ever did a "signing bonus" style payment. I think it's a matter of clarifying what it is, and how it can be used, and doing it all as part of the CCG, rather than only discussing it at all on pages that the new players might never see. After all, one of the first tips we tend to give new players is that they don't have to read everything, because it's a bit overwhelming.
     
  9. Wes

    Wes Founder & Admin
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    I've updated the Nekovalkyrja character creation guide with a clarification.

    I'm also updated the Yamataian one.

    Until we come up with an easy storefront of some sort, I'm going to encourage players to ignore the starting funds during character creation.
     
  10. Sigma

    Sigma Well-Known Member

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    Or you could just give them examples of stuff they could afford and might find useful? If you're gonna be communicating with them to begin with, why not go the extra step?

    Otherwise, when we do get the storefront up, then they could complain about how they were never told that they could get starter equipment in addition to the standard issue.
     
  11. AWanderingMage

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    well its been awhile since i last built my character but i remember the desire to customize him with different style of weapons and personal nick knacks that i used my sign on bonus for. I knew i could use it for such things so i don't believe it is so much as there is confusion as there isn't a lot of knowledge as to what can be purchased as was already said.

    So yeah a list of examples or ideas people can spend their bonus on would be helpful to the new players, a good example i can give is the custom knife i had made for my Lolion when i made him. only cost me 250KS but added a good flavor text to my character sheet for sure.
     
  12. Doshii Jun

    Doshii Jun Perpetual player
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    De-emphasizing starting funds at character creation is OK, and follows what we've done with de-emphasizing character inventory.
     
  13. Sigma

    Sigma Well-Known Member

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    For SAOY characters, yes. Cos you're emphasizing cookie-cutter, simple starting characters.

    SMDIoN characters do not, and should not, have their inventories or starting funds de-emphasized since that can form part of their character. Taking away something like starting funds that the player can use to customize his or her character is not my style and I'm wholly against it. One limits the creativity with which any character can have with this strategy. Dumbing down the character creation is hardly an answer to the recruitment problem.
     
  14. Wes

    Wes Founder & Admin
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    Character has always been and always will be about who you are, not what you have. In the real military, everyone has and uses mostly the same things and the Star Army runs along those lines. There are plenty of chance to buy things once a character is in the roleplay. The important thing is to actually get them into the roleplay.

    Star Army is not like D&D where the characters have to choose the items they will depend on at the start of the game. Besides character-development items like family photos, etc, almost everything we could sell them is redundant because SARP armies provide very well for characters. I looked at the idea of making a "new player storefront" but there wasn't much of a need at all. For independent characters, however, choosing starting gear could be a major thing and something fun. For them, I suggest we link the public goods page.
     
  15. Doshii Jun

    Doshii Jun Perpetual player
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    "De-emphasizing" doesn't mean eliminating. Starting funds remain, and Nepleslian military characters can spend as they like. Yamatai and Nepleslia are different after all.

    But it's not something that's going to stop approval — that's what I'm talking about here. I won't look at a player and say, "Hey, you've got 6,000 DA to spend; do so or I won't approve your military character." I will, however, say, "Hey, you've got this money to spend. You don't have to spend it right now; browse the wiki for a while to figure out stuff you might want."

    Or, as Wes seems to worry about, "Hey, new player, don't worry about your starting money right now if you don't want to. Just focus on character creation; you can buy things later."
     
  16. Sigma

    Sigma Well-Known Member

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    Really? Then pray tell the point of the SCSC and the Reds sales thread. Pray tell why they exist if no one, besides independents, needs to buy anything.

    NSMC characters are well-known for buying or acquiring things to supplement their own gear. Laura, Bernhard, Sawyer, Rita, Lisa to name a few. Laura Romero is well-known for having the largest porn stash in the fleet. Rita bought her iconic giant chainsword.

    It is part of the Nepleslian culture to use more than just standard issue. The Star Army has no such tradition because squad leaders seem to have the habit of dictating load outs to their subordinates. If squad leaders choose player load outs, then there's no point in acquiring different equipment because your squad leader has final say. I saw it on the Aeon, the Hokorimasu and now TFL. I'm not saying its a bad thing but I'm saying that your faction is pre-disposed towards not needing or wanting to supplement their gear.

    Saito Takamori has a Nepleslian bulldog mass driver but has no opportunity to use it. Honda Makoto has a Nepleslian AMP and a Lo-Car but nothing in the plot lets him use this stuff. On the other hand, I've used Laura building blocks and porn to showcase her immaturity. Phaedra Volkov has used her own personal weapons in the hostage rescue JP we ran. A new player storefront may not be helpful to the Yamataian characters but Nepleslians who want more guns, more power and more explody? It's rather necessary for them to know what they can buy.
     
  17. Wes

    Wes Founder & Admin
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    Currently the Nepleslian/IDSOL CCG doesn't even mention starting items.

    If you want new players to go shopping during character creation, you should at least address the inventory/finance section of their bio.
     
  18. Doshii Jun

    Doshii Jun Perpetual player
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    Like Wes says: If you want it to be a requirement for Nepleslia, it needs to be stated somewhere so char mods can enforce that.
     
  19. Sigma

    Sigma Well-Known Member

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    So its my fault when the Nep CCG doesn't meet my own ideas and has nothing on finances because we usually communicate this stuff through PM? Well bugger this, I'm out.
     
  20. Doshii Jun

    Doshii Jun Perpetual player
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    It's not your fault, Sigma — it just means that if this is something you want changed as a GM, then it needs to get changed, y'know?
     

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