Author Topic: Karma Scaling Clarification  (Read 2680 times)

xunrel

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Karma Scaling Clarification
« on: (03:11:08/10-10-14) »
Hi all together!

I got the game around a month or so and playing it with 2 different groups and having a lot of fun with it although it is frustrating sometimes  :D

I got enough Karma to get my first upgrades and I thought a bit about the Karma reward scaling.
The mission cards clearly state that the reward will be scaled down by the total Karma you have in upgrades. But the rulebook states i.e. on page 19: Each runner gains the following Karma award
or penalty based on how much Karma they have.


So, which is it?

I assumed that it has to be the total of Karma you already gained, because you have the opportunity to get upgrades and make it easier for you.
If the scaling is used on the total Karma you used in upgrades what would prevent you to skip the first upgrades and play as long as you got 20 points of Karma to spend on?

Also another question arose within the BGG forum.
To state it shortly: "How is the game easier with a single 20 point upgrade vs two 5 point upgrades?"

Namikaze

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Re: Karma Scaling Clarification
« Reply #1 on: (12:44:18/10-10-14) »
We had this question earlier in a different thread.  We didn't get an official answer to it, but those of us that discussed the issue decided it was best to just apply the karma that was in use (as in, spent) toward the karma scaling.  The reasoning being that in-game experience doesn't make the game easier.  Even someone who's played Crossfire for a year wouldn't have an easier time of it than someone who was just starting out but had a firm grasp of the rules.  What makes the game easier is the karma you spend on your character.
Feel free to keep any karma you earned illicitly, it's on us.

Quote from: Stephen Covey
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

SevenSpirits

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Re: Karma Scaling Clarification
« Reply #2 on: (17:52:16/10-10-14) »
Sorry for the confusion, folks. The table column was mislabeled and it was intended to apply to earned karma not spent karma, but we were observing how people were playing it and discussing the possibility that it would play better the other way... but no, the correct way is to count earned karma. Feel free to keep any karma you earned illicitly, it's on us. We'll be adding it to the FAQ soon.

Namikaze

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Re: Karma Scaling Clarification
« Reply #3 on: (19:05:59/10-10-14) »
Feel free to keep any karma you earned illicitly, it's on us.

I'm totally stealing this for my signature line.  :P
Feel free to keep any karma you earned illicitly, it's on us.

Quote from: Stephen Covey
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

Jamelfr

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Re: Karma Scaling Clarification
« Reply #4 on: (21:03:32/10-10-14) »
Sorry for the confusion, folks. The table column was mislabeled and it was intended to apply to earned karma not spent karma, but we were observing how people were playing it and discussing the possibility that it would play better the other way... but no, the correct way is to count earned karma. Feel free to keep any karma you earned illicitly, it's on us. We'll be adding it to the FAQ soon.

I will respect the designers decisions. But I am just curious (and I wish to learn more about game design in general), what is your reasoning behind your decision? :)

SevenSpirits

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Re: Karma Scaling Clarification
« Reply #5 on: (21:28:28/10-10-14) »
Well, it's not exactly a novel idea - it's used in a lot of RPGs. Your character levels up and now you don't learn as much from the easy guys you were fighting before. You have more power and now you need to go take on tougher challenges. People like this setup because it's fun that your character progresses and slowly changes, and also fun that you continue to be appropriately challenged.

Now about the difference between basing it off of earned karma vs spent karma: If it's based off of earned karma, it works pretty much as described above, with one potentially adverse side effect on players: you are forced to make use of the extra power granted to you or the enemies will start to be too hard or give you too little karma. Of course, you can argue that having an incentive to make use of your new powers is a positive thing, too - it encourages you to try out new abilities.

If you base it off of spent karma on the other hand, there are a couple weird incentives. First, there is a general incentive to stop at a low total of spent karma for a long time, and just maintain a static character until you've reached the amount of karma you were shooting for. It's like if in a computer RPG you could just farm the tutorial enemies for 10 hours and then skip the end of the game - that's no fun, because it's supposed to be about the journey, not just about reaching the destination. In my view, your shadowrunner should get to experience a variety of circumstances and missions over the course of his or her career. Second, it creates some weird thresholds that you are encouraged to game. For example, look at some of the 10 karma and 15 karma stickers: they are actually fairly similar in power. But if you get penalized for spent karma, the 15 karma ones are WAY more debilitating to put on your character than the 10 karma ones.

Hope that explains it somewhat. :)

Jamelfr

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Re: Karma Scaling Clarification
« Reply #6 on: (23:40:03/10-10-14) »
Thank you really much for having taken the time to write this long and through explanation. This is appreciated.

I understand that in the RPG worlds, Karma/experience is used in the same way you've described. In a board game, I suppose some opposite arguments could be made to support Karma-spent opinion. But I can see that you designers had to make a decision and I will from now on follow your point of view. You do make some really good points : I do agree that a Karma-spent approach would greatly penalize more expensive upgrades and it does not seem fair or logical to the game system.

Well, you did convince me and I will try to use my karma in different ways from now on. :)

Namikaze

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Re: Karma Scaling Clarification
« Reply #7 on: (00:28:18/10-11-14) »
Excellent explanation, SevenSpirits.  You make a great case, and I am grateful for your explanation as well.
Feel free to keep any karma you earned illicitly, it's on us.

Quote from: Stephen Covey
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

xunrel

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Re: Karma Scaling Clarification
« Reply #8 on: (03:04:19/10-11-14) »
Thanks a lot for the clarification :)