Wednesday, February 8, 2012

NERO Question: Magic Items for Goblins?

One of the things the rules committee has been tossing around is the idea that players can purchase magic items for goblin points. Now, before you go to a gut reaction, here are some of the details/restrictions we're putting on them.

- The Price is Very High
We're looking in the range of 2000-3000 goblins for a full effect item. It's not intended to be the norm for players, but instead to be a supplement for players who donate a lot to chapters, particularly staff members who often don't get a chance to play and accumulate items.

Prices are based on formal levels minus the extend/render. This is done to encourage players who have donated a little to get a magic item that might not be a full 5-effect item without the overwhelming cost of getting it extended or rendered.

- Maximum of one Magic Item per Player Per Year
We don't want players to fill out their full 5 magic item suite with goblin points. It's intended to help players who donate time/money.

- Items Will be Printed by the Player's Home Chapter
In order to keep players from putting strain on OOC logistics or trying to work the system, the tags will be printed by home chapters and you cannot get a magic item with goblins from a different chapter.

We're also tossing around the idea of making the items spirit locked so that they can't be traded, but we're not sold on that yet.

What does everyone think? Do you think that this will be overpowered? Do you think this will make goblins more worthwhile?


  1. Mark Henry ~MariusFebruary 8, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    I think it is a great idea actually. It may even encourage people to staff or donate some crazy stuff.

    Personally with NPC'ing 1/2 the events scraping together enough components to do anything with is a nightmare.

    2 potential problems I see though:

    1. You have unskilled people begging to staff, so there feelings may be hurt when turned away.

    2. Let's say you make an awesome item, it has no story behind it. Could you include a short 1 paragrph story behind where you got it?

    i.e. While NPC'ing your character went to the Plane of Fire and stole said item from a powerful flame elemental.

  2. Bill, I think that this is a great idea. With the restrictions that you've mentioned, I can't think of an item that's so powerful that I'd be uncomfortable letting it into game. Is it allowing players to "buy" magic items? Yup. Am I totally OK with someone donating enough time or money to get a couple thousand goblins getting a "free" magic item? Again: yup.

    Mark, staffing is an "invitation-only" affair, is it not? Even with goblins offered, I don't know if there'd be a rush.

  3. I don't think they should be trade-able. The item should stay with the person that put the time and effort in to it.


  4. First, it doesn't matter what "cost" you put on them, they'll be more accessible to some players than others based on some chapters being more liberal with goblin points than others...

    Second, I think the idea of requiring Spirit Lock is a good one. Losing one available slot on the item is a small price to pay for getting to design an item like this, and it also prevents any means of those making it into the loose economy of the game.

    Finally, as a player I'd say it was probably worth it at that cost ONLY if it were an Unrestricted item and had no restrictions on what could be created as long as it were within the rules. And I would hope that this would not exclude formal scrolls (at that cost, I think even transform/summon scrolls should be fair game).

  5. Great feedback so far! Here are a few details:

    All items are unrestricted.

    Item cost is determined by the levels of formal in the casting, so the only restrictions are set by the formal rules.

    Formal scrolls are covered in a separate section of the new policy.

  6. Our current plan is that the item would be anything that can be created by the standard formal rules.

    We also plan on implementing several innovative new methods for any player to gain goblin points. That's one of the underlying flaws that we're trying to address - the inequality of distribution. The ultimate goal is to facilitate absolutely anyone who wants to donate, volunteer or otherwise contribute to Nero. This will primarily be done through the local chapters but there will be a few things on the national scale that members can do as well. Current examples that we're brainstorming are awarding goblin points for posting event journals, photos and video. Anyone can do it, and it adds great online content that people can browse between events. Ideally it would also create a tangible record of every event from multiple viewpoints.

    We also want to make volunteering/donating to be a much more interactive 2-way conversation between the players and staff. If a player wants to help their local chapter or National, they should be directly communicating with the staff rather than reading the goblin rewards like a menu and picking the most points for least effort. There's more than enough work to do between the local games and national staff, it's just a matter of matching our players' interests and talents with the jobs that need done.

  7. I think the 1/year restriction is unnecessary. If the cost is high, why not let someone who wants to buy more than one. If you drop 15 THOUSAND goblin on 5 five effect items... why not? Big deal. That's a lot of blankets you're not going to get.

    Transfer: Let them transfer the item. If they want to spirit lock it, they can put a spirit lock on it, but not allowing them to transfer the item makes it potentially less valuable. Unless you're talking about a five effect item that cannot be transferred in which case it's strictly better than the previous max of 4 effects + Spiritlock.

    "Home" Chapter: What if a player's "home" chapter is National? Or not really all that defined?

    Overall, buying items for goblin is a good idea. Magic items are great and cool and fun, but they're somewhat overvalued by most in terms of actual impact on the game so I think some of the restrictions are unnecessary.

  8. I disagree completely with this and I'm curious why it's not being discussed on the national forums, or even with the owners, if this is going into production. By Noah's post I'm assuming it's looking that way.

    Remember this?

    Not discussing things with your player-base tends to make things bad (even if they are good).

    Seriously people, communication. If I didn't happen to look here, I wouldn't have had a way to discuss this with you guys. I'm not trying to be difficult, I just want communication.

    Let me show you something:
    Goblin Point Home Chapter
    178506 Indiana
    120000 EPIC
    76521 EPIC
    50820 Atlanta
    49708 Grand Rapids

    According to Bill those are the top 5 people with goblins on the National database. Not even going on to the local level. Look how many the top person has. That person can NEVER ever spend all those goblins on build. If you open it up they can buy magic items and then give them out (if they aren't spirit locked).

    Now, I agree with some extent that things we should reward people by giving them more to choose from. We've started using NPC points ( which people can only get from NPCing. Any items that are redeemed comes out of the treasure for the next game. (hence why there we can implement a limit of maximum of two per game). Several other chapters were using the same premise for their games as well because it's not broken like goblin points and you can only get them from NPCing, which allows for your towns to get NPCs.

    Yes, I do realize the same could be said about NPC points and it comes down to there is no real way to police goblins.

    But if Magic Items don't come out of Treasure distro then it will get out of hand.

  9. Also, while we're at it, can we freaking remove pyramid casting from formal rituals to make it easier to actually make magic items instead of just giving them away. It's like, well no one can make this item ingame so I'll just use goblins to do it.

  10. I like the idea. I don't like the idea of spirit linking the items - restricting the number that each person can redeem per year is a better check. I also think the price should go up a bit - I'd expect a full effect magic item to cost 5-8k or so, not 2-3k. But that's my perspective coming from a chapter where I receive gobbos like candy for doing crazy things (like build a giant maze).

    While I prefer things like NPC points as incentive to get more people to NPC (heck, I did all last year), most people would be fine donating stuff without spending the whole weekend NPCing, and expanding what gobbos can be spent on is a great way to reward their donations.

  11. More good comments!


    Eric pretty much answered the reason why it's 1/year. There is too much potential for players with absurd goblins to cause a dramatic shift (although not that dramatic, since we still have a 5 effect limit).

    I'm somewhat in agreement with you on spirit lock. What I'm toying with is offering spirit lock for free but still having it take up a slot. That way players can either take it safe and have a spirit lock or go for the gusto (or just look to trade) a full 5 effect item. I have no intentions of giving out items better than are available in-game, so no, we won't have 5 effect + spirit lock.


    Take a deep breath man. Why is this not being talked about? Because we're not at that point yet. I personally trust my readers to give me feedback at this point. I expected some knee-jerk reactions to be like yours.

    Let me ask you this. Is a person who has attained 170k goblin point in donations/support for NERO not deserving of a magic item a year for the rest of their NERO career? It's not like they can drop 60 items into the game, since we have a 1 a year limit.

    There's a saying that goes with designing a game system around honesty. We have to design around players with the best intentions, but be prepared for the worst. We assume that the players on your list all earned those goblins, which translates to an amazing contribution and that the game is better having had those players. They win a magic item a year. Assuming that players are cheaters and got goblins illegally is not a way to design the system, because there are literally hundreds of easy ways to cheat at NERO. I'm not going to make the players who have been helping the game for 10 years suffer because someone thinks that goblins are useless now and that we should create a new system and police it.

    So simply, we assume you got your goblins legitimate. Thank you for your time. However, we do not want to destabilize the game, so you can only get one magic item a year. But we're not going to take that magic item away from another player (ie out of treasure distrobution). It has it's own limit.

    Finally, NPC points and fixing formal might be good ideas, but they're not part of the scope of this document, so we're not discussing it. There were three major goals for this effort.

    - Increase the value of Goblin Points
    - Reduce the number of production items players can bring into game from goblins, since it's pretty much made production skills obsolete
    - Implement a system of reward for interactions that basically weren't around when the last system were made

    We're not talking about how to get NPCs, because as far as this policy cares, we like people who support the game in all forms, not just by NPCing.

    There are a few chapters where goblin levels are elevated from either cross-chapter escalation or simply ignorance of what national thinks things are worse. Unfortunately, we can't really design a system around them, because then the people who have been busting their ass for years at chapters that give out the national value would never get anything.

    We definitely encourage chapters to give the nationally suggested goblin amounts, but apart from audits of ridiculous gains, chapters are going to do what they want. However, we're never going to give out an unlimited goblin point sink for that reason. Chapters with elevated goblin levels may find donations drop off after a period of time due to the fact that players have maxed out the effectiveness of goblins.

    And I definitely agree with you on NPC points. We want to encourage people who donate goods or have a crafting skill that can be used to improve the game as much as the warm bodies that make plotlines come to life. Having a system where NPC points are more valuable belittles the former.

  12. @Bill - Sort of another tangent, but based on the goals you mention, I'd love to see something along the lines of an Epic Death/Retirement option purchasable with goblin.

    Alliance NH put together an LCO Epic Death Policy along these lines (, and while I think it has some good ideas I think that for something on a national scale (and obviously, a different LARP system) it would need a lot of tweaking.

    It might also help (albeit minorly) the lack of character death in the game, too, if players could essentially buy something like this (or an Epic Retirement) and know that they could have a cool ending for their character rather than "Random Lame Death 0182".

    But that's just one example of where I think you could be looking with this. Would 500-1000 goblin for a custom mod encounter be worth it, and so forth.

  13. Just let me give you $50 for a +3 sword. That's what it's all coming down to anyways =P It's easier for me to make $50 than it is to come to a game and hope I win the sword on the draw or make it with components, and you can use the $50 for whatever you want to improve the chapter!

  14. Might need some tweaking on the exact price, but not a bad idea. And is, you know, actually happening in the sense that NERO sells items for money already. At least a +3 would be useful and may actually raise some money.

  15. @Anonymous

    Trying to find a solution to the question of death and character power increase is on the short list of things that need to be addressed, but we didn't want to integrate it into the policy. However, I will say that in that discussion, epic death packages came up.

    I don't necessarily disagree with the sentiment you have. Some people can bring excellent craft skills to the game. Some bring finely woven plotlines that keep players entertained. Some bring expendable income.

    However, there is a very fine line that is always walked once you open that door, and admittedly, we are treading that line in the goblin policy. You can't open up the system all the way. There still need to be limits. Buying items with cash or goblins should be supplemental means of getting those items, not the primary means.

  16. By the way, I say short list meaning the high priority items. We all know the list of things that should probably be fixed is very long.

  17. First let me say, was tired when read it first and missed the once a year restriction (a lot less angry about it). I still say it needs to come out of treasure distro or a special way of tracking it for chapter ownership.

    I still say this is a discussion that should be being held on the National forum or with the owners before your readers. While you may trust your reader's feedback, I believe that people that run the game for a business and the playerbase should be able to give feedback first.

    On purchasing the MIs for cash. Let me point out Dan Cromstock's argument for armor. Why should someone that has more OOG funds have more IG rewards? That was part of the reason for the armor rewrite (or at least that's what I was told). So the people that could afford the really nice looking armor didn't get any more points than other people that made it out of plastic or something similar.

    It's ok when Nero is the one making the money, but not ok when other people are doing it? It's a bit of a double standard.

    What it comes down to is there is no visibility into Nero National when things like this are thought of OR implemented.

  18. Interestingly, only players and chapters cannot sell items, what about other LLCs?

  19. Eric, why not start a thread on the national forums right now? It's not like this is a secret topic, it's on a blog that almost everyone in the world with a 'net connection could probably see.

    And I'm not saying this is why Bill did it, since I haven't asked him, but I can imagine wanting to put it here to get a nice active cross section of views vs. putting it on the National Forums which are, for the most part, an abandoned ghost town.

    Also, if it's just at the stage where they're bandying around the idea, putting it on the Forums may be giving it more strength/legitimacy than is currently warranted. If Bill wants to use the readership here as a sounding board before the rules committee makes a proposal elsewhere or makes a decision, then that seems pretty reasonable. Particularly since you do have the ability to put it on the forums yourself.

  20. @Eric
    Once something is on the national forums, it's real. And for the most part, comments there are dominated by a minority (surprise! It's a forum!) where as I've had better responses from comments on the blog, particularly where people can post anonymously.

    Your comparison between armor and MIs doesn't hold a lot of water. Armor is a problem because the people with money can perform better than the people without AND the logistics of the game are not benefited by that player's armor (aside from immersion).

    The money someone would pay for a magic item would go to the game for use as they see fit. That money go to improving the game for everyone else.

    And frankly, this whole "double standard" business about buying magic items is a bit melodramatic. NERO International owns the game and Joe can make whatever changes he wants. Chapters cannot. It's in the contract that chapters will abide by policy, and the policy says the chapters and players can't do it. If National decides to do it (as Joe appears to have done), then at least they can control the sale of items. This prevents situations where chapters could choose to sell items at lower prices to compete, print tags out of treasure distribution, and hold back putting magic items into game in order to sell those tags separately.

    Simply put, if we allowed players and chapters to sell items, a limit would effectively be impossible, making purchase the new primary means of obtaining magic items.

    Finally, this "visibility" into what national does is really a privilege, not a right. Part of the reason that NERO has stagnated as far as evolution is too many cooks in the kitchen. If we had to get approval for everything we propose throughout the development of a policy, we would never do anything.

    We are donating time to try and improve the system of a game that we love. The Rules committee easily has 60+ years of combined NERO membership, each one having spent a fair amount of time on staff in various chapters. We are volunteer staff. Getting the chapter owners involved at the level you want simply isn't efficient, and we're not going to do it for every policy, and even when we do, we're not going to do it in the early stages.

    Anyone who is caught purchasing items from any entity that isn't NERO International will be dealt with how the policy describes. The only way those LLCs can get those items are from players who went to games, chapters who run games, or national. Trying to buck the system in that way is a sure fire way to get banned from NERO.

    You are correct.

    Also, this is a discussion about goblin points for magic items. Any more comments regarding the buying/selling of magic items will be deleted.

  21. It seems a bit odd to add the restriction that the goblins must have come from the home chapter.

    I also think rewards-based MIs should not come out of distro, but rather that the rewards program should follow their own nationally prescribed distribution limit.

    A limit of 1 per player per year sounds fine to me. I would be fine with a limit of 2 per year, but not 3. I approve of being able to get a free spirit lock (keeping the item legal) as well.

    I have to disagree with Eric on every point above. Like Mickey said, this shouldn't be posted (in any sort of official manner) for discussion on the public National forums. I would expect too many knee-jerk reactions for it to be worth it. I also don't think that unfinished idea should be proposed to the owners. I feel like that can too easily generate negativity that then squashes creativity and progress. Yes, ideas should be proposed to owners before a decision is made as to whether they are implemented, but right now is clearly not the time for this policy.

    **Slight Tangent:**
    Honestly, many of the goblin rewards I have seen Nationals give out have been absolutely horrible. I was told that someone spent 20 hours on a national tutorial and received less than 100 goblins for her effort. I was told that National staff members receive 50 goblins per month. The advised National goblin reward for an ultralight long sword is 50 goblins per month (75 if it's one of your 5 HOT items). Considering that I've seen ultralights sell for $50 and PVC boffers for $15, these rewards just don't make sense.

    It's also worth noting that the national rewards proposed for packets (the most common donation at Indy) are 5 times as high as Indy's (AFAIK) higher-than-regional rewards for packets. 5 goblins per packet? Wow. We give 1 goblins per normally, 2 when we're low, and 4 when we're out. Does Nationals want crappy weapons donated? If you were going for maximum goblin potential, why would you make a boffer (30 - we give 80), shield (40 - we give 75-100), or $10 cake makeup (20, we give 100) when you could instead make 4-8 spell packets? Why would you donate a latex sword that cost you $50 for 50 goblins (we would give 250 to 500)?

    I could go on, but my point is simple. Nationals rewards are too low for many items, are inconsistent in general, and are as far as I can tell, not useful to acquire the donations a given chapter could actually use. Using the NERO Indiana rewards, I think it would be reasonable to reward someone with a magic item for donating 10 well-made shields and 10 well-made tabards, in colors that we need.

  22. @Corey

    You make some excellent points. The "Home Chapter" clause simply states that you get the item from a home chapter, not that it has to be spent with home chapter goblins. This removes the excessive checking that often can't be done on-site when an OOC player says "I'd also like to make my magic item."

    Essentially, the home chapter is responsible for handing those out and keeping track of who has got their item for the year (with possible fields added to the national database).

    We agree with values of the goblin points on the national chart, and that's part of policy we're working on. I just wanted to get a feel for the magic item thing, because it's the "big change" in the policy.

  23. That was supposed to be "We agree with you on the values of the goblin points on the national chart."

    I don't actually agree that you should get 40 goblins for 8 hours of work at a convention.

  24. Yeah, to clarify: We're working on overhauling the entire goblin point system, not just patching in 1 new thing to buy but keeping everything else the same. Some of this might not make as much sense until we release the completed proposal.

  25. Here's a slightly off question. And I swear I am not trying to be snarky. But it's an issue I've had for awhile now.

    Why are we suddenly so concerned about getting more magic items in the game? By this or by other ways.

    Have people finally realized it's nearly impossible to survive without magic items now? That everyone needs a magic aura'd sword to fight just the swarm of "immune to normal" monsters that wander through the tavern regularly? That PCs need dozen's of life spells to deal with the hundreds of "Arcane Death" and "Arcane Oblit" packets that get tossed in a weekend? That no one can or will use components for anything other than cantrips and transforms, and there's no other way to get MI's into game other than through plot?

    I hate to say this, but to me it feels like this flood of magic items, is meant to fix a "statting issue".

    Again. I don't mean that to be snarky. But its a real concern of mine.

  26. It reads to me that it's not about getting magic items into the game per se, it's about coming up with more useful ways to spend Goblin (thus making them have some more value) while also addressing some staffing circumstances where people work hard to run the game but can't really play much. Coupled with an understanding that some extra magic items in the game aren't really going to affect anything on a meaningful scale. "Flood" strikes me a pretty hyperbolic, particularly at 2-3k goblin per item plus 1 item per person per year PLUS an existing rule against transferring goblin to other players.

    I am not kidding when I say that even if 100 players did this every year, it wouldn't mess up the game. What it would do is cause, minimum, 200,000 goblin stamps to actually have some kind of reward value to entice people to do the things necessary to accumulate them. And I use the number 100 as a ridiculous outlier, I very much doubt it will be even close to that. Items are nice, but they're not as meaningful as a lot of people think they are when it comes to running fun events.

    I play a couple chapters these days and if every single player around me suddenly got one more magic item overnight it wouldn't appreciably affect the games.

  27. @Stephen

    I understand the concern you have. The formal magic system needs some real work. Also, the game is tough without magic items.

    But I assure you,magic items in the goblin policy is not a "fix." We wanted something people could spend a boat of goblins on, and everyone loves magic items. That's it.

  28. #Mickey
    Maybe flood's to strong a word. But it seems that the stars alined where several MI policies appeared at once. This policy. Buy them from national. Get them with points. However. I probably wouldn't have noticed if several policies hadn't popped up in the same general time frame.
    It's when multiple policies from different sources all try to fix the same issue, that I think a step should be taken back to look at the system as a whole.
    To clear though, I have no opinion on the goblins for magic item thing. Am not trying to smack it down or complain.

    I just worry about the fights where if you don't have a magic aura, you might as well go home. A "tough" game is fine. An "impossible" game is a problem.

  29. @Stephen

    While i can see how seeing two different ways to get MIs appearing in close proximity can look like that, I think there's a couple of factors that should hopefully help clarify things. At least as I see them, I'm not staff anymore.

    First, and generally something to always keep in mind, is that what national staff members do and what Joe randomly does on a whim one day are not always carefully choreographed synchronicities. Bill,Noah, Dan, etc work hard to try and come up with thoughtful and useful changes and adjustment. Joe... is more erratic.

    Second, both policies are about incentivizing something. Gaining goblin or handing over money. Magic items are in both policies because people fairly universally like having them so they make for a good incentive, theoretically.

    Third, your valuation of the impact of magic items may not be the same as the policy makers. So, obviously, you and I likely disagree on how much items matter and my hunch is that Bill/Noah/Dan/etc probably fall in the middle of the two of us, but lean more in my direction. So if I guessed, I would guess that to them, magic items are something people really want and will thus help anchor goblin point value, but letting them have them at 1/year won't really harm the game.

    As a note on the immune to normal fights; if you play somewhere where not having a magic sword means you don't get to participate and having fun, you're playing somewhere staffed by either deliberate assholes or, hopefully, people who just need someone to mentor them.

  30. @Stephen

    Mickey said it best. We had no idea Joe was selling items when we came up with the idea. In fact, he never told us. We had to find out when I sifted through 50 pages of wordart and found something fishy.

    I do find "you must be this tall" fights to be completely unnecessary. Do I think that plot teams will change the way they run plot, simply because everyone has one magic item? God, I hope not.

  31. I don't think this will make or break the game or fights on its own but I do fear sort of Tue opposite of Stephen.
    with 9th editions ability to swing down, the argument being people should not have to sit out of any fight because they only had a magic sword and an increased presence of magic items I fear NERO is moving towards an atmosphere where players have an expectation that they should be able to always affect everything in every instance, which I think will water down the game. I feel its beneficial to the community of the game if you can't always be the key player, and need other players with other abilities.
    we aren't there yet but are moving in that direction. Soon players just wont be happy if they can't solo every scenario. We hear it more and more these days.
    maybe its OK If a young adventurer can't hit the lich and the person with the magic sword has to find a normal one to fight the fae?

  32. The reason I don't like normal only to hit and fully support the ability to drop the "Magic" on your sword down to "Normal" is that normal only doesn't actually accomplish the goal that most people intend for it. "Magic to hit" does generally achieve the goal of preventing low level fighters from engaging a high level monster, but the same thing doesn't work in the other direction. If a wave of creatures come out that are immune to magic weapons, usually the opposite of that happens. Rather than the lower level PCs stepping up to fight, quite often they just turn over their normal weapons to the high level people. Part of the problem is that lower level PCs tend to be much more timid, while higher level PCs tend to want to jump into any fight they can. Game mechanics can't easily force high level players to step aside for the lowbies. Only a conscientious player community can do that, and if you manage to create such a community then forcing the split through game mechanics becomes unnecessary.

    Other than designating an encounter as low level, the only common use for "normal to hit" is as a (generally misguided) effort to increase the challenge level without simply adding more HP and damage output. Typically a group of mid-to-high level monsters will go out and be split up between "magic to hit" and "normal to hit." The problem with this is that without the ability to switch your damage call on the fly, the way to overcome the challenge is buy owning more sword prop, which is an out-of-game factor.

  33. This conversation about nero and its proposed future rules should not be discussed in public. Nowhere in any documents about being staff for NERO National office does it say to go to the public to discuss possible rules changes.

    There is a specific Rules forums on the NERO LARP site at that should be used.

    The idea that people on this blog site will give better feedback than people on the nerolarp forums is false.

    The idea that everyone who is a LARPer and on the NET is connected to this site is also a false statement.

    The NERO LARP forums are seemingly empty because the NERO LARP forums have been 'overrun' by a few people who are promoting thier own LARP website on the NEROLARP forums, who are repeatedly putting links to thier own website blog to get nero members away from the nerolarp forums. Offering discussion points about nero LARP on non-nero forums and promoting that to NERO Members seems like a way to get people off the nerolarp forums.

    NERO Owners and NERO Members give the feedback that NERO management wants to hear. The feedback should be given via the NERO LARP forums.

    NERO Policy is the same for every NERO Member. So it would seem logical that policy that benefits only Staff who are basically given what-ever number of goblin points an Owner or more likely, a Staff member of a Chapter, is not a policy that NERO National will put into place.

    As soon as a policy goes into effect that gives donators magic items for goblin points, every nero member will get a magic item as neighboring chapters compete for donations and goblin points awards skyrocket at each chapter - this has happenned before why will it not happen now?

    The cost to buy a magic item with goblin points actually has to be low enough for everyone to buy one, and the maximum needs to be high enough so that players do not need to find a magic item in game if they do not wnat to.

    Having 5 players with 10 columns of life spells show up at a game you are running absolutely causes the staff to run things differently. more monsters, bigger monsters, and more defensive skills, to name but a few of the ramifications of excessive magic items / additional skills.

    Having 25 players arrive with 4 effect per day life items each, or 4 effect imprison, or any portions thereof, will absolutely effect the way the scaling of the game.

  34. Normally, I would moderate a post like that out, since it only marginally touches on the content of the post. But you know what? I'll bite.

    The National Staff descriptions don't really mention much. It's a paragraph saying that I help with playtests, and no where does it mention NDAs or anything like that. I feel like general feedback on a new concept is a good idea, and that's what this post is about.

    The statements declared false aren't really worth arguing. This blog is a resource that contains a lot of general information, but primarily gives tips on game running, so it might be a more rules-oriented spot. Additionally, I can moderate these posts where as I can't on the national forums.

    The national forums are plagued by a lack of content and simply nothing to talk about. This blog posts daily, and as such we get plenty of feedback here. However, this really doesn't substitute the NERO forums. It's complimentary. Many posts on the forums were made regarding the blog. As for how much traffic I've got from the NERO forums, I do want to thank National for the 324 clicks through to this site over the almost 2 year life of this blog. Can anyone get the analytics on how many hits the national site has received from this URL?

    As to getting the feedback from NERO members, I can't verify, but I believe most, if not all, of the feedback here is from NERO players.

    Now, let's talk about the policy! Not every member will get a magic item, because some players simply don't donate. No problem. Chapters who compete for donations by offering sky rocketing rewards actually hurt themselves, as there is a maximum amount of goblins that can be spent in a year. If a chapter theoretically gave out 10000 goblins for a sword, they probably won't get many more donations out of that person for a while. And if players/chapters stop caring about the actual donations and just give away goblins, they would simply do the same with magic items if this playtest didn't exist. Cheaters are going to cheat no matter what.

    This policy is supposed to be a supplimental means to get magic items, not a primary means. That's why you can get one item a year, and that item has to conform to NERO's formal magic rules. You can absolutely play the game to it's fullest without donating, and you cannot achieve everything in the game simply by donating.

    And from our experience in this area (the midwest), the days of counting the number of life spells in town is over. 50 life spells doesn't really affect the game as much as it did in the past. Most encounters are scaled by the speed at which things happen, not by the amount of resources players have (unless it's a highly tuned sub-player mod). So these items simply allow players to play more instead of sitting around saying "I'm out of spells because of a mod I was on."

    Ultimately, I don't agree with your assessment that 100 more spells will drastically affect a game with 100 PCs, especially when many players are already maxed out on magic items.

  35. I'm 100% against MIs being sold for USD, as am I against GS for money. Why should those who have more money be rewarded more than those of us who scrap and save between events? The goblins for a MI is fine by me, but the restriction on blankets based on character level is bullcrap. It's already hard enough to get build/xp at that point in time, why make it twice as hard. The increase on cost for XP blankets is crap.

    Pretty much I'm against this new goblin stamp change.

  36. @Travis

    This post was simply about magic items for goblins and whether or not the proposed limitations are fine. It looks like that is not something you have a problem with.

    I understand the concern about goblin blankets, but the idea is to try and remove goblins from being the primary way to level up.

    As to the "cash for goblins" complaint, I'm going to stop you there. This money is directly donated to charity and does not go to national. Are you seriously going to tell me that a directive to help people who are less fortunate is not a worthy cause? Do you really think that your game experience is going to be hurt by the guy who gets his goblins from donating $50 to charity instead of making 100 packets?

  37. My apologies to everyone who gets these comments in their email, my reply is so long it needed to be broken up into sections but when I post the sections they keep swallowing the first part so I had to delete them and tried reposting.

  38. Travis: "The increase on cost for XP blankets is crap." That's super not-helpful. If you want your comments to be taken seriously, you need to refrain from a blanket statement calling our work crap. No reasoning is given, no explanation, and no suggestion for a better version. Just "this is crap." That's insulting.