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LeperColony

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  1. This has left me wondering if I don't test often enough for low TNs. Climbing the proverbial TN 5 fence, for instance. I generally would only flip for something I considered so simple if the stakes were high or the situation intense (like during combat). But what's simple or even automatic for some AVs is a real struggle for others, and in TtB you do often see groups with a wide range of scores. Obviously I wouldn't want to bog my game down with constantly flipping for technically uncertain but relatively simple tasks, but just looking at the implications of flipping or not can be interesting. For clarity and sake of argument, I'm defining these simple tasks as having a TN of 5, being non-trivial in that I'm not testing something whose outcome is irrelevant, but with very low stakes, such that failure doesn't incur serious harm (more like some kind of minor delay or inconvenience). There used to be a "take 10" rule, but that was errata'ed out. So we can no longer assume a simple task, like climbing a low fence, is automatic RAW. When hand waving away these tasks, low AV benefits because even though I mentally regard a TN 5 as trivial, it can include a significant risk of failure all the way up to about AV 1 or 2. At the same time, high AV is "penalized" because it is treated in the same manner as low AV, even though it represents a higher investment in the Fated's resources to have acquired the better value. But is the solution really to flip for more things that I just allowed to pass on the wave? I'm not sure. What I more meant here was that is removing a mid card from the high AV deck good or bad from the low AV perspective? For instance, if a 7 beats the low's RJ, then a 13 would have too. But removing a 13 from the high deck is obviously good from the low AV perspective, because removing any card that would automatically defeat the low AV is beneficial to future flips, just like removing any low card from the low AV is beneficial to future flips. But do mid-range cards "matter," or is it kind of like the quick-and-dirty card counting trick for Blackjack, where you track low and high, but ignore mid? I've also heard similar sentiments, but never really felt the math supported it. However, I don't really think they are comparable situations at all, even though the numbers are very similar (because the systems are similar). Malifaux is a competitive game where you're trying to beat another player by making a team from a list of options. So when someone says something like an "AV of 4 is not worth taking," they're doing so within a fixed universe of known AV values and relative to other options. In other words, "why take the AV 4 for X SS when I can take the AV 6 for X+Y?" But also, all models in Malifaux are created to be of use in a competitive setting, and they can have a singular focus which a low AV might significantly undermine. For instance, if Rotten Belles had a Ca of 4 for their lure, and that was the point of the model, it very well could make sense to say you wouldn't want them because the return on SS investment isn't going to be worth it compared to other options. TtB Fated creation can't really be compared to Malifaux crew hiring.
  2. From a mathematical standpoint, that's certainly true. But I more meant that we've both been talking as though the whole deck is going to be available to an individual player, but that's not true. And there are situations like combat, that involve a lot of flips, but the Fated may have very different capabilities depending on their individual characters. I personally don't run fixed TN (which isn't to say there are no fixed TN checks in my games, more on that below), but I've played in Fixed TN games, particularly at conventions or the like, and I've seen the "why bother" sense when people figure out they're flipping against a TN they aren't going to overcome (even if they actually can). I've seen it come up most in the "boss fight" stage of the scenario, where the non-combat characters with their respectable 2 AV are rendered mostly as spectators for all the impact they have on things. Which can happen in opposed flips too, but unless the AV difference is truly oppressive, it isn't as easy to get locked out. Or to feel locked out. That's another thing about uncertainty. There's actual uncertainty, where success or failure is not pre-ordained. But there's also subjective uncertainty, where the player's grasp of the math involved is insufficient to provide knowledge of whether or not the action is pre-ordained. Given the discussion in this thread, I think it's pretty clear both are better preserved in opposed flips. I've seen players keep track of used cards before. I even once played in a con game where some guy checked off cards as they got spent. Maybe that's against the "spirit" of TtB, but it seems pretty smart in a fixed TN game (or really any game with cards). Are TN 5 flips actually done? Genuine question. In my own games, I do use some fixed TN flips, for things like climbing a wall, and I'm not likely to ask for a flip with such a low TN. But rather, in most cases I'd just assume success if the task is that simple. Maybe that's unfair. Someone with a bad AV can actually struggle against a 5. If you've got a -2, that's a 7 they need. So perhaps part of my belief that low cards aren't useful in fixed TNs is due to sorts of things I flip for as opposed to just hand wave. It's probably even more complicated than that, because removing the 7 changes the odds on future flips too. Is removing a mid-range card from the higher AV deck (whether two decks or one are used) good or bad for the lower AV?
  3. The interesting thing about cards is that since most people will have interacted with them, we all have a "feel" for how they operate. And that feeling may actually be largely accurate, even if it is beyond our ability to mathematically determine with precision. But casinos prove that the margin between our general understanding and their actual operation has significant differences, even if that understanding is, for most purposes, fairly good. Or anyone else succeeding. That's the thing. TtB is not Malifaux, it's not you versus someone else. All the Fated use the deck, and so in actuality, you're not guaranteed to ever succeed. The lower your AV, the more vulnerable you are to card loss, which includes cards lost to the pulls of your compatriots. It's not a contradictory statement, but rather they are two different concerns that each implicate the other. Given the realities of the mechanics, there are only so many options to try to resolve the difficulties presented by each. I feel opposed flips do a better job of alleviating the problems than fixed TNs. Again, at the mid-range I agree it has a more linear rate of value. But as I said, I'm not sure that means it has a more linear rate as a whole because I don't know (and you haven't shown either) if the flattening out to 0% or 100% preserves the rate of value, decreases it, or if it somehow increases it (not sure how that could be, but who knows). Fixed TNs are almost certainly more susceptible to deck changes because the subset of qualifying cards is fixed. But also, most Fated are going to be "competing" (for lack of a better word) for the same cards. In a fixed TN system, very low cards (let's say less than 4), are going to be of very limited value to anyone. Ideally, you'd like each Fated to flip exactly what they need and no more (which, again, is an oversimplification because margins can matter), so that successes occur but lower AVs still retain their best chances. But that's not how cards work. In an opposed flip situation, there are just as many 1-3 cards as there are 11-13, and so even the low cards are going to see real utility. Even if you go back to when this subject came up last time on the forums, I think around late 2017, everyone agreed that fixed TNs work reasonably well when you need mid-range flips and everyone has similar AVs. I'm actually not sure this is true. Or rather, it seems like a complicated prospect to figure out. In a fixed TN system, AVs significance vis-a-vis the flipped card are going to fluctuate based on the AV in question. Low AVs matter less, higher AVs matter more. The thing is, it's possible to construct scenarios so that Fixed and Opposed have the same percent chance of success. And yet the opposed flips still have a wider range of possible successful outcomes, meaning they won't get blocked out through card loss as easily. Earlier in the thread, I mentioned this in reference to another topic on the forum re: retainers. In another thread, a @oadrian is asking if retainers are balanced because they can get up to a 14 (or more) without too much difficulty. Now let me ask you. Which scenario would you rather have as the AV 2 player? Flipping against a static 14 (or higher, depending), or flipping against someone with a AV of 9 or 10. I'm just eyeballing it here, so I could be wrong, but I believe these are roughly similar in percentage. But there's a wider range of scenarios in the flip. Again, this goes to resilience from card loss. Interestingly, the twist hand wasn't even part of my considerations until this discussion. But the fact that they retain more utility in opposed flips is another reason for me to dislike fixed TNs. Though, I should say that even if a card is worthless from a success/failure standpoint, it can still be of value to shrink margins or to discard for other effects. So a truly worthless twist hand is probably not a meaningful concept. But it's still fair to say that twist hands are more useful in opposed flips. I should also say it's been great talking to you about this. While I believe the things opposed flips addresses are real concerns, I know it's entirely possible to care more about speed and simplicity, or to just dislike modifications (because some people do just dislike changing systems), and to not think things like certainty, deck degradation, twist hand utility and AV value loss to worthless or automatic scenarios matter as much.
  4. It's another metric in comparing the value a player gets from one AV compared to another. The fact that it doesn't work in all situations doesn't make it worthless, just limited. Because the fact that the deck has memory is very significant. Cards aren't just flat paper dice. They behave differently, and people understand those differences in different ways and to varying extents. Frankly, I don't know how anyone who advocates for any system based on cards can't, whether fixed or opposed, can't think deck memory is an important concept. Since you don't think AVs being rendered worthless is a problem, it's not a surprise that you don't see why I'm concerned about lower AVs degrading through card loss and control hand irrelevance. But I consider worthless AVs and pre-ordained results as a major issue. Again, this may simply be a philosophical difference. People who are fine with more being consigned to automatic results, whether success or failure, are obviously not going to see the point in modifications meant to avoid them. You also know that after X successes, there's only failures (or vice versa). As troublesome as that is to me from a theoretical mathematical proposition, it also makes balancing varying AVs difficult. A TN that challenges AV 6 might, perhaps, be one where they're expected to succeed about half the time. Which is probably around TN 12/13, meaning they need to flip a 6, 7, or 8 depending on ties. But that same TN 12/13 to an AV 2 is going to take a 10, 11 or 12, depending again on ties. Whereas in an opposed flip, if we say AV 6 vs AV 6 is roughly even, that's still a more manageable proposition for the AV 2, even if the odds of success are similar, because it is much harder for AV 2 to get card locked out against the opposed flip versus the fixed. The fewer cards you have available, the more vulnerable you are. A 13 is just as likely to be the top card as the bottom card, but when you encounter it is significant. You apparently don't mind pre-ordained results, and that's fine. I do think certainty is a negative impact on the game. I wouldn't want to be in a group where people do something that's supposed to be risky because they are guaranteed success, just like I don't want empty tests to reset the deck or a death spiral of certain failure. I don't want low AVs to be spectators or high AVs to wonder why they bothered to have a better rating. I don't want all balance to be based on everyone having the same AVs, or a very small range, like you tend to see with pre-cons. So while you are correct to say that similar effects are possible in opposed flips, they are greatly reduced, especially with two decks. Guaranteed failure reduces the value of an AV to nothing (although that's admittedly an oversimplification because margins of success do matter), which is a pretty severe change in relative value. While at lower TNs, low AVs offer a lot of effectiveness compared to higher AVs. Do those circumstances negate the reliability in the mid-range? I'll admit at the start I felt they definitely did. Now I'm not as sure, but I'm not at all convinced that the mid-range reliability does make the relative value more consistent than the high/low valuation situation. Maybe you might be able to provide a mathematical breakdown for it? It seems pretty complicated and as we've taken deeper and deeper dives in the numbers, I wouldn't be surprised if it became a matter of preference. While it does ignore probability in terms of comparing with the flip cards, it probably is possible to calculate how likely a twist card is to be useful if you know the range of TNs you might reliably encounter. And I think players do make those kinds of calculations, even if they're on a subconscious level. At this point I think we've mostly sketched out the proposition, and the question becomes whether or not you think certain things are problems or irrelevant or maybe even beneficial.
  5. I'm going to assume your numbers are correct, because they've been generally reliable (except for the ratios) and also because I'm too lazy to calculate them myself! It is interesting that the rate changes at a constant amount, though I suppose not to be surprised given that, excepting the jokers, each value is equally likely (though each range is not). I do admit that your table shows that opposed flips do not maintain a flat consistent AV value, though they do provide for a more consistent AV increase that fixed TN because opposed flips require much higher numbers before they become worthless. Therefore, I amend my argument from providing an unqualified consistent to a more consistent value. Also, because opposed flips are based on a range, they are more resilient to card loss. That is, they will become worthless under more rare circumstances. For what it's worth, these figures also make me realize that previously I had assumed the AV in question wins ties when doing calculations earlier. Again, this is not accurate because fixed TNs become worthless faster than opposed flips, and also because lower AVs overperform against higher AVs at low TNs. All you consider, and all you've ever considered, is the rate of change. And you just sort of handwave off the ends where values become certain. Remember, AV 2 vs AV 6 is the same 4 point range as AV -2 vs AV 2. In an opposed flip situation, all value differences behave in the same manner. But in fixed TN, AVs become worthless and are susceptible to card loss at significantly different rates. We need only look at the potential utility of the control hand to see conceptually how AV increases in a fixed TN system can be valueless in a way that isn't true in opposed flips. Low value twist cards hold very little value to low AVs in a fixed TN system, because they will never be sufficient to succeed. But low value twist cards in an opposed flip system retain more value because they are only worthless if their value is less than (or equal to, depending on ties) the margin of difference. Finally, consider this from a gameplay standpoint. As the deck shrinks, especially as it gets really small (say, less than 10 cards) and the players have a good sense of what remains, you can end up with the absurd situation where they take actions they know will fail just to refresh the deck. Through the Breach has been written as a story-driven game, but it has an underlying mechanical system that leads to very "gamey" decisions. Oh, I know I can't fail? I'll do it. Oh, I know I can't succeed? I won't do it. Oh, I know the deck only has bad cards? Let's do garbage actions to refresh the deck. Part of this is simply a side-effect of using cards. But wouldn't you prefer a system that minimized those situations?
  6. Except you didn't. The improvement remains a flat edge of 4 cards, or 7.5%. I think this is an issue with us measuring different metrics, though it's hard for me to say for sure because this thread is pretty involved and I'm not 100% sure I can be certain what I'm replying to anymore. I'm not sure I said the improvement is not linear, because in either case it's always improving the cards that succeed for you by 4 (or 1 in the RJ case). But I certainly may have, this thread is now long and confusing. My point is that each AV you hold in advantage over someone else in opposed flips is a flat ~ 7.5% edge until you get to very high numbers. So the relative value of the AV holds steady. But low AV manages to perform against high AVs on low TNs at a comparatively good rate, but then low AVs lose much or all value at high TNs relative to high AVs. And also low AVs are susceptible to card loss at a higher rate. And they also lose value from their control hands at a higher rate. Also, out for the weekend, so any replies will likely have to wait for Monday, but I don't want you to think I'm not responding anymore. Few things on the internet more annoying than putting thought into a reply and having it unacknowledged. I should also say I don't care which system other people use. But that doesn't mean they are the same. I've identified actual differences. You can disagree about whether they are improvements or not, but they are differences.
  7. Sorry for double posting, I forgot to include this originally and can't figure out how to add a "quote selection" to the edit. That's why it's not the ratio of AVs in a vacuum, but set against their odds of success at different TNs. This is another metric in measuring relative value, but not the only one. Obviously, when looking at negative or zeros, it produces an odd results. Though I am not sure that the ratio of 2:-2 is 1. I believe it's a meaningless value (and a quick Google search couldn't find a value). Also, something that only just occurred to me, but opposed flips also extends the utility of the control hand. Consider, if you have AV 2 against TN 10, any 7 or less is worthless pre-flip (not counting that you might want to get within 5 for DF/WP, etc and assuming AV wins ties). But against an opposed flip with AV 6, only cards less than 3 are worthless pre-flip (again, assuming low AV wins ties). And the same 4 that was worthless in my hand against TN 10 can allow me to potentially beat AV 6. To be honest, even if the only benefit to opposed flipping were adding uncertainty, which it isn't, it would still be worth it. Although, as I type this, I realize that if it resolves certainty, it must necessarily resolve worthlessness, because if a value can lead to success, it isn't worthless. And if it either can't lead to success or it automatically leads to success, then it is certain. I should also like to say, I lay no claim to being a math wizard. This thread is probably about the limit of my abilities, which were only involuntarily acquired from Gen Eds. I went to law school specifically to avoid math! Too bad I got into gaming...
  8. This is true, but first of all, you can't discount the two jokers because they do impact the variance of the distribution of values. And also, the fact that you have an equal chance of flipping 1-13 is only true at the beginning, with a fresh deck. As the deck degrades, low AVs are disproportionately impacted in that they become worthless at lower TNs. Being rendered worthless at TN 20 is not really a meaningful concept in the game under the vast majority of situations. AV 2 is worthless at 17. 0 is rendered worthless at TN 15. AV -1, 14, AV -2 13. Except I showed it doesn't with the chart. Of course, part of this does depend on what you mean by extremes. It is in the mid-range that fixed TN performs best. At lower TNs, low AVs have a much higher relative value than high AVs, and at high TNs that changes. Now, to be sure, if you don't think relative value is an important concept, then the fact that low AV overperforms at low TNs doesn't matter. This is because as a ratio, a higher number divides into the total chances and results in a lesser apparent improvement. But this is a statistical artifice. For each point of improvement, it blocks out a set of four cards from the range at which you can win, which is a fixed rate of advancement. In other words, as the difference in values increases, the percent of total value each AV is responsible for decreases. But until you reach a 14 point difference in AV, each point of AV increases the range. Because you are most likely to flip the same value, that means that each point of AV you have in excess of your opponent removes four cards from the available total number they need to match you. Hence the 7.5% straight advantage per point (in a fresh deck). This is a simple, consistent metric between two AV values that simply does not change until you get to the transition from 13-14 point difference. And at a 13 or 14 point AV difference, really, what's the point? The reason this is not the same at fixed TN is because against low TNs, low AVs can provide a high reliability of success, and at high TNs can be rendered worthless. Part of the issue we're seeing is that there are many different metrics by which we can ascribe value to the mechanics. That's why I've clearly labeled what it is I think is valuable, and why opposed flipping supports those valuations. You've yet to indicate any sense of what value you think fixed TNs have. I'm not saying there aren't any, in fact there are (simplicity and speed namely). But if you don't identify what you think is valuable, it's hard to determine which figures support those claims. Again, this is another statistical artifice we see because the variance is not even. Not all results are equally likely because there are only 2 jokers, 1 BJ (0) and 1 RJ (14). When looked at as a range of cards, the advantage is a flat. The relative value between 6 and 2 is always going to be the 16 cards (or 20 if ties go to high) between them. The reason this is not true of fixed TN is because low AVs peter out and become worthless. In another thread, a @oadrian is asking if retainers are balanced because they can get up to a 15 or 16 without too much difficulty. Now let me ask you. Which scenario would you rather have as the AV 2 player? Flipping against a static 15 or 16, or flipping against someone with a AV of 9 (just using the rank + flip, and since the value of a flip is ~ 6.1 in a fresh deck, we get 15 as an average). I think we both know the answer. I'd say the majority of games have systems where the increase is consistent, though you are right that many do have non-linear costs. As far as diminishing returns, as I've said, in the majority of cases that's going to be a cost-side analysis, not a diminishing return in your odds of success. Part of the consistency is whether you see it as about whether the increase in your success rate is going to be constant, or whether each value increases your success by a constant number. In other words, in D20, the roll is D20 + skill and you're trying to hit a TN. So each point of skill is a 5% increase in success. That's a constant increase in the success rate. But if you go from 9 to 10, that one point is not likely to increase the number of successes you have by 5%, because there will be plenty of instances where the additional value didn't matter.
  9. That's partially because it is much more complicated. Opponents total AV 2 (%) AV 6 (%) Difference success % % per AV 2 / 6 5 83 100 17 42.5 / 16.7 6 76 100 34 38 / 16.7 7 69 98 29 34.5 / 16.3 8 61 91 30 31.5 / 18.2 9 54 83 29 27 / 13.8 10 46 76 30 23 / 12.7 11 39 69 30 19.5 / 11.5 12 31 61 30 15.5 / 10.1 13 24 54 30 12 / 9 14 17 46 29 8.5 / 7.7 15 9 39 30 4.5 / 6.5 16 2 31 29 1 / 5.1 17 0 24 24 0 / 4 18 0 17 17 0 / 2.8 As we can see, in a fixed TN system, each point of AV "buys" an uneven amount of success, thus establishing a different relative value in the worth of each point of AV. However, when we do opposed flips, we don't see this effect because the TN is not fixed, but rather is a floating number based on two randomly determined values. We can say AV 6 wins ~80 of the time over AV 2 because each point of AV is ~7.5 in value. However, the actual range of cards that will get AV 2 over AV 6 is not known before the flip (before the action is taken), so there is no persistent difference in relative value in a fresh deck. We can only say the following for sure: AV 2 cannot win if it does not flip above 4 or 5, depending on if it is a situation where it wins ties. AV 6 cannot lose if it flips above 10 or 11, depending on it is a situation where it wins ties. Every other situation in between is a different calculation, with the only constant being the 4 point advantage AV 6 gets. That's why when you perform opposed flips, each point of AV holds the same relative value. Now, a difference in relative value does exist in opposed flips any time one side simply cannot win against the other. But we see those points only where there are no cards such that the lower AV cannot defeat the higher AV. For instance, if there only remained with the deck cards within a 3 point range (1-3, 4-7, 5-8, etc), then AV 2 could never defeat AV 6, and therefore AV 6's edge is not 7.5% per point, but rather AV 6 has a 100% edge or, in other words, AV 2 becomes worthless. Those numbers assume AV 2 wins on ties. If it loses on ties, then AV 2 automatically loses if the deck only consists of cards within a 4 point range. But already you can see that the calculation required is much more difficult (which helps preserve uncertainty) and also that the circumstances at which lower AV becomes worthless are much more rare. Consider this. AV 2 becomes worthless at 17. It becomes worthless at 16 if the RJ is gone. It becomes worthless at 15 if the RJ and all kings are gone. Do you know what has to happen for AV 2 to be worthless in opposed flips? AV 2 is worthless against AV 17. 17!!! Who has an AV of 17? I've asked this before but received no answer. Do you believe that making AV worthless is a good thing? Because I don't. And I think a system where "why bother" comes up is something to be avoided where possible. I've never understood this argument. The emphasis of the background is going to have more to be based on the dynamics of the group, not the mechanics of the system. The Fatemaster can be antagonistic in attitude whatever resolution system you use, even something as random as the number of times a black cat walks by. I provide control hands to important, named NPCs in a similar manner as the Fated. Ordinary NPCs or flips against "the world" aren't subject to a Fatemaster control hand. This relies very much on the definition of worthless. I define worthless as any value that has no impact on the outcome, such that there would be no point in even attempting the action. In other words, with a fresh deck, we know if we have AV 2, it is worthless against TN 17. We also know, if we have AV 2, that we are worthless against TN 16 once the red joker is gone, worthless against 15 once kings and RJ go, etc. This is the death spiral low AVs face because they are much more vulnerable to card loss. As I explained above, this dynamic is much harder to achieve in opposed flips because in order for any lower AV to be worthless against a higher AV, the deck must be entirely composed of cards that have a range lower than (or equal to, again depending on who wins ties in the flip in question) the difference in AVs. And this range becomes even more difficult to achieve if multiple decks are used, as I do. Also, keep in mind in TtB, it is entirely possible for Fated to have 0 or even negative AVs. Which means they encounter all the issues AV 2 does, at much lower TNs. But from the standpoint of game design, it shouldn't be silly because AV is not free. Players have to pay to have AV values, in the choices they make during character creation and in advancement (or degradation, if it so happens that they go "backward"). When a player is allocating values, either during generation or advancement, or they are assessing their chances mid-game while facing modifiers, they are entitled to a reasonable reliance that the value of each point of AV is constant. If I put everything in character creation to get an AV of 6, I've made a decision based on success chance as a ratio of AV. In my experience, many players care about being good at what their character is supposed to be about. And being good is a relative metric. It's not just the chance to succeed versus the game, but the sense that I am better at my specific emphasis than someone who hasn't dedicated the same resources. But in a fixed TN system, the relative value of AV points is not fixed. Of course, they are not truly fixed in any system because the deck of cards are not dice. They have memory, and so the remaining cards do influence the relative values even in opposed flips. But the math is much more complicated, especially with multiple decks, and it requires either a very low number of cards, very wide differences in AV, or very strange circumstances to get pre-ordained results.
  10. Yeah, static TNs do not make them weaker. If they have a high TN it not only makes them strong against effective opposition, but it makes low AV values almost, or even actually, worthless. But then again, this is an issue with the entire fixed TN system.
  11. Is the Fire Golem the same sculpt from the Backdraft encounter?
  12. The same reason Malifaux does? Suits allow for another level of granularity. Cards are thematic. You can store cards in a twist hand to cheat fate. That cards have memory is an important part of the system, but you have to understand the implications of it. Flipping cards is fun, and as the Fate Master I like doing it. You're talking like opposed flips are somehow antithetical to the game, when they are the resolution system from the game that spawned TtB and they were an optional rule in the 1st ed Fatemaster's Almanac. Random elements nobody has control over is actually not true, because you do have control (also, I'm not introducing it, I'm expanding it. There's already a random element, the Fated's flip). You can cheat fate. What I'm actually accomplishing, but what you entirely fail to appreciate, is the following: 1) Eliminating (or at least vastly reducing) the loss of relative value between different AVs. 2) Vastly reducing the situations where an AV is worthless. 3) Vastly reducing the situations where an action is known to be automatically successful before taking it. Also, I have no clue why you think "half the time make it pointless for the player to cheat fate." Any time your twist card + AV will exceed the opposing value, whether it's a fixed TN or a flip + value, it will be worth it to do it. There's no math behind your statement, which is really what it comes down to. I have a solution that preserves narrative uncertainty, the relative value of AVs and the ability to cheat. Which I've demonstrated in black and white. You have "I don't like it." Which, to be sure, is perfectly fine. Everyone should use the system that works for them. I'm just explaining why mine works for me, and the objective problems it resolves. Again, I'm really confused why you think cheating fate doesn't work when both sides flip. I know you play Malifaux, and it works there. Why would I? I enjoy the Malifaux system. And that's what I'm using. It's an optional rule in the Fate Master's Almanac. It was literally included in the design, and it is literally the base starting point for the entire system that existed before TtB. I really don't understand why this concept offends you so much, but it always has. If you don't mind the mathematical peculiarities of fixed TNs, and you don't care that players can know that an uncertain action is impossible or automatic, then yeah, you should be happy with the existing base rules. But if you do mind wild fluctuations in the relative values of AV and you do think uncertainty is a narrative advantage, then maybe one solution is opposed flipping.
  13. So I've only just realized that we may be perceiving the process of the flip differently, and though the process has no impact on the math, it does impact the decision making. I see the flips as happening simultaneously, whereas I'm guessing you see them as the Fatemaster flips to obtain a value, which the Fated then tries to match. In my own games, I use my own Fatemaster deck, so the flips are much closer to Malifaux. As I said, the difference is not really mathematical, but if the flip value is not known before the Fated's flip, then all the uncertainty advantages I've pointed out hold. But if not, then they don't. Though, even if the Fatemaster flips first, it does still widen the performance range for models, particularly in situations like combat, where you are flipping often. It also makes it so that impossible or automatic events are much less likely (it's too complicated to say impossible). And, perhaps more importantly, it makes it so that players knowing events are automatic or impossible is much less likely. Snipping your wonderful table just for readability, but I think it turned out really well (no sarcasm)! And the numbers are the same as what I get, and they do a great job of showing what I'm saying. Namely: 1) Despite the fact that a range of ~30% is maintained over most values, as I've stated low AV over-performs at low TNs and under-performs at high TNs. 2) The 30% difference is only one metric. The other is the success chance as a ratio of the AV value. Each AV point has a "cost," but the value a Fated gets for the investment changes in a non-linear fashion under Fixed TN, but not opposed flipping. AV 6 will succeed only 1/3rd more often than AV 2 at TN 10, despite being 3x the value. But AV 6 will succeed 16x more often than AV 2 at TN 16, despite only being 3x the value. If each point were worth a linear increase, we wouldn't see these swings. At this point I should say that fixed TNs do work mathematically (though they still have all the certainty issues) reasonably well at mid-ranges, and the biggest differences come at the margins. However, as more and more of the deck is used up, more things become marginal for lower AVs. I think it would be far too complicated to show the degradations, but the fact that low AVs are particularly vulnerable underlines the fact that each point of AV does not hold the same relative value. It also underlines a critical difference between TtB and other fixed TN games that use dice, because cards are not the same as dice, and that's something a lot of fixed TN supporters fail to appreciate. It actually doesn't matter if they use the same deck or not (and in fact, in my TtB campaign I don't). Or, to be more accurate, it matters in subtle and complicated ways we can essentially handwave away. Each high card that is gone from the low AV deck extends the range at which low AV loses value relative to high AV. Now, losing low cards is advantageous for both high and low AVs. Though obvious, this isn't irrelevant because as the deck thins, it changes the odds in strange ways. For instance, imagine by some kind of fluke only 8+ cards remain in the deck. That gives us 25 cards. AV 2 automatically succeeds against anything 10 or less, but AV 6 auto succeeds against anything 14(!) or less. Against TN 12, AV 2 is 17/25 or ~68%. AV 6 is 100%. Against TN 15, AV 2 is 5/25, or ~ 20%. AV 6 is 21/25, or ~84% The end result is we're seeing the relative value of the AVs change, and the fact is the relative values of the AV will be in continuous flux depending on the remaining cards. Though this is also arguably true in opposed flips, the math on it is far more complicated to the point where even astute players aren't going to be able to figure it out (unless we're talking Rain Man). You're almost certainly right that one flip is unlikely to bring down the Neverborn conspiracy. But the fact remains that fixed TN systems allow for situations where the Fated can know, with absolute certainty, that an action is automatic (or impossible), and those scenarios are far less likely in opposed flips (particularly with different decks). And while you're right there are Malifaux situations where players know they are overwhelmingly likely to succeed, the uncertainty element is important. Especially as stakes increase. The thing is, we want a system where players can reliably assess their chances. Knowing they have a high or low likelihood to succeed should (and usually does) inform their choices. But we (or at least I) don't want actions to be automatic or impossible purely by mechanics, and I also want AVs to function at a reliable, constant rate rather than be subject to the relative value indifference I've demonstrated.
  14. I'd never be one to claim mathematical perfection, so if you think the math is wrong, perhaps it would be helpful if you demonstrated your own scenario with figures. Except it's not the same relative difference. AV 6 will almost always have an expected advantage over AV 2 of ~ 82% in opposed flips. The only exception is discussed below. But as I've demonstrated, the relative value of AV 6 vs AV 2 is different in different situations. This is actually the next point in my favor. Cards have memory, dice don't. In a fixed TN system, low AVs are particularly vulnerable to having their relative value degraded by card loss. AV 2 vs High TNs TN 16, 1 card TN 15, 5 cards TN 14, 9 cards Once the red joker is gone, TN 16 is impossible. Once the red joker or any king is gone, AV 2 loses 20% of its success range versus TN 15. Once the red joker or any king or queen is gone, AV 2 loses ~ 11% of its success range against TN 14, etc. But AV 6 in these same situations is much less vulnerable. One card gone at TN 16 is only a 6% reduction (1/17), at TN 15 it's 5% (1/21) at 14 it's 4% (1/25) etc. Now, you may say that AV 6 encounters the same high degradation eventually, and that's true, but you have to go up to TN 20. And at TN 20, any AV less than 6 is useless. From a basic mechanical standpoint, do you believe that AVs should ever be worthless? Because I don't. As cards are expended from the deck, lower AVs become increasingly consigned to a death spiral of failure. In opposed flips, with a fresh deck, it takes an AV difference of 14 before a low AV becomes worthless. And as cards are removed, low AVs retain their value because the loss of a single card (except the jokers) impacts both sides equally (the math for this is actually really complicated, which in fact preserves the uncertainty because even astute players will have difficulty keeping track and calculating it). Automatic things you don't test for tend to be either necessary for narrative purposes or trivial. If they are trivial, you often don't even test, so it doesn't matter. And if it's automatic for narrative purposes, then no test should be needed. That's not the same as knowing for a fact you can mathematically accomplish something that is supposed to be uncertain. Again, this is a consequence of cards having memory. If you know you need a TN, and you know for a fact you can hit it (or you know for a fact that you can't), then the action is automatic (or impossible) purely as a mechanical consequence, not a narrative one. You've chosen to identify only trivial or narrative actions, and ridden right past my actual example. And this is an issue opposed flips virtually eliminates (unless AV differences are absurdly stark), because even if the odds are greatly in favor of one side or the other, the random value adds uncertainty.
  15. It's possible I wasn't clear enough, but what I am referencing is the difference in AV values relative to each other under fixed TN vs. opposed flips. The AV 6 vs 2 figures were for fixed TN (I've gone back and colored them yellow for clarity in my original post), and my argument is that fixed TN values are not linearly reliable in value. Hence the fact that the red joker makes the "odds change not look so linear" underlines my point. In a fixed TN system, each point of AV advantage is not a flat 7.5% because the TN is a known quantity, and you are simply calculating the math of the number of cards for each AV to hit each TN. This means at low TNs, low AVs will overperform vs high AVs (again, overperform is a metric measuring the relative value of each point of AV), and at high TNs, low AVs become virutally (or actually) worthless, whereas high AVs maintain considerable value. This dynamic, where the value of each individual point of AV fluctuates based on the AV total, simply does not exist in opposed flips. It's also not accurate to say that each AV in the 6 vs 2 does provide the same relative advantage: To hit TN 10, AV 6 has (in a fresh deck) 41 cards. 41/54 = ~ 76% To hit TN 10, AV 2 has (again, fresh deck) 25 cards. 25/54 =46% Each relative point thus provides the higher value ~ 7.5% relative advantage. So AV 6 has a ~30% edge for a 300% value. To hit TN 16, AV 6 has 17 cards. 17/54 = ~ 31% To hit TN 16, AV 2 has 1 card. 1/54 = ~ 2% Each relative point thus provides the higher value ~ 7.3%. So AV 6 has a ~28% edge for a 300% value. Looks similar. Except when you then look at the success chances. AV 6 will succeed only 1/3rd more often than AV 2 at TN 10, despite being 3x the value. But AV 6 will succeed 16x more often than AV 2 at TN 16, despite only being 3x the value. And because the TN is fixed, these numbers will never change. To put it another way, to hit TN 17: AV 2: 0% AV 6: 24% We have an AV value difference of 4. But we have a vast difference in the value of each point of AV. This is why, under a fixed TN system, each point of AV does not operate in a strictly linear fashion, despite providing roughly the same 7.5%. Remember, in a fixed TN system, we are counting the number of remaining cards that gets us to a known number. In opposed flips, we are taking a known value, adding a random value, and contrasting it with another known + random value. Additionally, fixed TN has the added downside of making actions either impossible or automatic, neither of which are desirable from either a mechanical or narrative standpoint. The reason why AV values are a flat 7.5% advantage in opposed flips is because the value of each side's flip is not a known quantity, but lies within a range. AV 6 has a 4 point advantage over AV 2, so it wins about 82% of the time. But AV 2 is never irrelevant, and the relative value of each point for both sides is the same 7.5%. If AV 2 were to go up to 3, then defeat is only ~75% likely and so on. It's true you don't know the value of your control hand, but I count that as an advantage. I see either automatic success or automatic failure as downsides of the fixed TN system, not upsides. If you know you can expose Lucius and the entire Neverborn conspiracy if you can draw a 13, and you have a 13 in your hand, just go expose him. That's not what I want from a game, personally.
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