Rule overview and new player quiz

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Plot
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Rule overview and new player quiz

Post by Plot » Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:17 pm

In an effort to reduce pregame briefing for new players, a randomized quiz of the rulebook with a 90% (18/20) before the player proceeds into game.

Should it be mandatory or should Wastelands add the bonus of Karma as an incentive?

What about, if new characters began with only 20 Karma to start and passing the quiz gave them 20 bonus Karma, allowing them to start at 40 (unless human, humans have an edge, +2Karma)

This discussion closes at 1400 est Saturday January 23rd, 2016.

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Jay Belarpin
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Re: Rule overview and new player quiz

Post by Jay Belarpin » Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:24 pm

I'm mostly for this quiz, especially if it does keep people up on the rules, but what about it being something that we administer annually to maintain the bonus karma? Is it going to be multiple guess?
As all of this happened, Bill poured a drink.

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jazzman831
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Re: Rule overview and new player quiz

Post by jazzman831 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:41 pm

I'm really torn on this one.

The quiz in general
Wastelands does not have a complex system, but it's an intricate one. I think most players I've met want to know the rules because the game is more fun if everyone is honest (and because nerds are completionists and love intricate strategy discussions), but sometimes people miss something or maybe not everyone who plays is as invested in playing, and they come hoping they can just run around shooting people willy nilly.

That being said, one of the biggest reasons I came back to a second game at Wastelands (and am planning on going to as many as I can in the future) was how darned nice and helpful people were. My first game, players would spend their down time helping Tashia and I learn the minutia of the rules, or discussing character building strategy, or even general LARPing advice.

So, if everyone has the experience I had, there wouldn't be a need for a quiz because everyone would know the rules very quickly. But that doesn't mean I'm opposed to a quiz in general.

Mandatory or incentive
I think it should be both. If there is a quiz, there shouldn't be a way to get out of it, but if you pass, there should be some sort of reward. I think it should be a "try until you pass" sort of thing. You are allowed to play if you fail, but the GM explains the rules that you got wrong. I know for certain that if Tashia thought she had to pass a quiz before her first game, I would have had a really hard time getting her to go, even though she actually understood a lot of the rules.

New players only
While it's important for new players, I think everyone should have to pass on a periodic basis. Some people play in different systems that have slightly different rules, some people don't play often enough, some people might not have understood all the rules in the first place, and some people just plain forget. It wouldn't be fair to make new players take a quiz that a multi-year veteran couldn't pass.

Incentive
20 karma seems like too much to me, and the practicality of it will end up taking more time at check-in than just going over the rules (unless, of course, the player can't spend the karma right then).

My Proposal
If people generally think a quiz is a good thing, here's how I think it should go for new players:
  1. New players start with 40 karma. At check-in of their first game, new players must take a 10-question quiz covering basic concepts of the game. This quiz is the same for every player.
  2. If the player passes the quiz, they get 5 karma, to be added to the total received from this game. If they fail, the GM goes over the rules the player missed, and the player is allowed to play that game.
  3. The player must take the quiz at the beginning of every game until they pass, at which point they get 5 bonus karma added to their total for attending that game.
The system for veteran players would be slightly different:
  1. Veteran players must pass a quiz on the first game they play after the rule is implemented, then at the first game they attend each calendar year (but not more than once per 12 months). The veteran quiz is still composed of 10 questions, but the questions are random and can include more in-depth topics.
  2. The first time they pass, they get 5 karma added to their earnings from that game; after that they get 1 rad for passing. If they fail, the GM explains the rule to them.
  3. If they ever fail by missing more than 5 questions, their karma gain is temporarily halved, to be paid back in full at the next passed quiz.
For what it's worth, I asked Tashia about this (since she won't have time to participate in the forums). She said if there had been a quiz at the beginning with 20 karma on the line she would have been worried enough about the rules that she would have prioritized studying the rulebook over finishing her costume. She was less worried about my plan, but said that she would rather learn from other players like we did than have to spend time studying a rulebook.
-Jebediah the Proud

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Jay Belarpin
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Re: Rule overview and new player quiz

Post by Jay Belarpin » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:50 pm

^ I think that covered a lot of what I didn't get a chance to write. Especially the part of not alienating new players.

I love the idea of the new player quiz being more of a "Rules questionnaire" where we ensure new players understand the fundamentals of the rules.

My only change to his proposal would be making the veteran quiz more of something to aspire to. Make it it so you get some benefit for passing, you can only attempt every so often, and must attempt again after some time to maintain veteran status. Most importantly, make it so new players enjoy the same benefits for a short amount of time and don't feel cheated for being new players.

Thus my version of the veteran quiz would be something like:
1) At check-in a player may attempt the veteran player test, provided they do not have veteran status.
2) If the player passes they gain the veteran status for 12 calendar months (IE passing on Feb 1st 2016 lasts until Feb 28th 2017)
3) If the player fails they get nothing and may not attempt the veteran test again until the next event.
4) New players get all the benefits of veteran status until the end of their 3rd event.
As all of this happened, Bill poured a drink.

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Swordguy
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Re: Rule overview and new player quiz

Post by Swordguy » Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:46 am

Attaching a "new player quiz" (NPQ) as a mandatory condition of beginning to play the game is - unfortunately - a powerful disincentive to new players coming to play the game. Likewise, I don't think it's going to to produce a positive view of the game if we "hold hostage" a certain number of starting Karma.

That said, giving people bonus Karma for passing the quiz at a 90% or better is an excellent idea. I'd recommend a 10-karma reward, because that's enough to allow for the purchase of ALMOST any skill for pretty much any class, and the difference between a 40 Karma starting character and a 50 karma starting character isn't so different that we're severely skewing game balance. It's also a big enough chunk that people will actually be motivated to study for the quiz; I don't think a 5 karma reward hits that benchmark.

However, I'm 99% positive this isn't going to be something that hugely affects 1st time players. They're going to come in without having truly internalized much of the rulebook, learn about the quiz, and they'll be ready to take it by their *second* game. But the first game, I think, is going to continue to largely be a lost cause for players learning the rules.

I'd also put forth that the quiz be formatted as a 2-page test. The first page are general gameplay questions that everyone needs to know ("how long does bullet stun last", "how fast can a person wielding two boffers swing them", and, "the proper greeting for a cop on course is to point your gun at them, T/F"). Then have several versions of the second page that are class-specific. Someone playing a magician gets the page with questions like "how much mana do you get back via meditation", Adepts gets questions like "how do you symbolize Bullet Dodge", and Soldiers get questions like "why did you pick the tanking class in a game without tanking or a taunt mechanic". Not to put too fine a point on things, but I'm not entirely sure it's reasonable to ask new players coming in as an Agent to know how crafting or how mana expenditure/meditation works. It's outside the area they're clearly going to be interested in, and those are game mechanics that they're highly unlikely to use for some time.
Mission, Method, Morals...all negotiable.

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Ander
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Re: Rule overview and new player quiz

Post by Ander » Sun Jan 24, 2016 9:28 pm

To be fair not all of us wizards can remember how mana regenration works either, which is why one might, hypothetically, keep a giant stack of meditation foci at all times. :)

In all seriousness though I think the class specific questions are a good addition to this concept, but there should still be some expectation of at least passing familiarity with the other classes in case of npc'ing.

Plot
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Results

Post by Plot » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:36 pm

There will be an optional quiz for new (and old) players whom may take it once per event until they pass it and cannot gain any benefits of passing it more than once per calender year. Except that anyone passing with less than 100%, may continue to try until they earn the 100% and are awarded the remaining bonus Karma.

Said quiz will be 10-12 questions, mostly multiple choice or fill in. A score of 90% will net 3 bonus Karma, whereas 100% will garner 5 Karma.

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