As part of the never ending attempts to work on the system the handbook has surfaced again (like jaws it never dies!!!!).
After chatting last week a simple question has arisen:
Should we keep the pre-8th system?
Now the question is simple but the impact is massive.
Amongst instantly available comments are:
Complexity of starting at 8th as a caster.
Dungeon levels, a new player on a 250 could be massively out of their depth.
What happens to ref points.
I could go on, and have about a dozen things on my list. So I'd love to hear comments from people (new and old) about this. Pro's and con's.
Please avoid repeating yourself or getting into debates on individual points. Clear and concise is good
This isn't going to be a quick answer, and I am sure this will generate lots of viable outcomes and relevant comments.
I think its;a good idea.
I'd cap the amount of MP related things and non standard rebirths etc on either all low level events (by adding in points modifiers again) or make some specifically standard only so new players don't feel that they missing something because they don't have the ability to do everything on a max 250!
Obviously the amount of information a new player will need will increase, I'm obviously in favour of making all of the books available online for free but if you don't want to do that certain excerpts do need to be available.
The pre 8th system is not representative of what the rest of the system is like so I have no issues with getting rid of it.
Would getting rid of it achieve very much? People who are experienced and dislike it either avoid it by using ref points or re-birthing old characters they have no intention of playing again.
It does allow a gentler introduction to the system for new people to try it out, the system is complicated enough without chucking people in a 8th.
Lastly if we are abolishing levels 1 to 8 what impact would it have on multi-classing and racing?
I'll answer saying none for multi-classing and racing, you'd still need to buy them. would only effect base classes.
Personally I would be in favour of scrapping the pre 8th system.
I feel that it is easier for newer players to learn the stats of a character from 8th than to have to have the very different stats of playing at 4th level, then 6th level, then 8th level. (over their first 3 adventures).
Just my 2p
Yes, please scrap.
To my fair eyes it is much simpler to give someone a set of clear stats and spells that then progress gradually than dumping people in the pre 8th system where things escalate and change rapidly over the course of a couple of adventures and they have to relearn. At least if you go straight in at 8th you can have a pre set set of info and stats people can be provided with to help them.
As to what to do with ref points, make a ref point table.
I think scrap it.
The difference between the levels is quite harsh and means that casters can't do anything on a pre-8th.
Imo it's just easier to go to a new player, "here's your stats" and after their first dungeon, they get to start choosing. You don't confuse them with what is essentially a very different feel game before 8th.
It may mean more new players asking for respends and it may mean more questions being asked on the boards but I don't think that's a bad thing necessarily.
The warriors should feel tougher, the casters actually have some power and the scouts will actually be able to do stuff.
Just like with pre-8ths now, we'll just ensure as a club that we're extra supportive to new players on a max 250.
The new players on super Saturday all started at 8th and it worked.
There are more max 250 dungeons so there are more chances for new players to be able to play.
Casters are easier to start at 8th in my opinion. You can explain the life cost for a wizard to a new player easier if they are 8th level. Any spell below 6th costs you 1 tblp. Choose some spells of that level and be low and get an idea of the verbals and you're good to go. If all refs give new players the ley way of fudge verbals, now it's available on tables, and they are sorted.
More power means it's more fun for new player casters.
At 8th the new player playing the warrior actually feels that bit tougher than their mate playing the scout. The scout actually has some scout skills to try out. Again I would say refs should let new player scouts try their skills on the first day, not write them on the character cards, then let them go home, read the scout book and choose for real.
As for ref points leave them being able to be used for level losses when making or being converted to more monster points. We get a lot for crewing as it is, I don't thinkwe need more. This is a club we all enjoy after all.
It is very different to the rest of the system. It doesnt really help new players to learn so get rid of it please.
starting at 4th was a good change, starting at 8th is better all reasons above I have agreed with so far... just easier for all concerned tbh.
Maybe have "straight 8th" dungeons as a new character starter dungeon where people can come and learn a new skill set if they want to ect? but then this could be over complicating it for now reason as refs can stat and make calls to allow for the new and inexperienced members of the party.
Agree with the comments so far and I suspect that it would also improve with being able to book onto a dungeon as well as there may be more avalable instead of having to wait a couple of weeks for a pre 8th to appear...
Having said that, I actually like the pre 8th dungeons as it gives me an opportunity to develop my character and build some back stories - but the merits of scrapping it far outweigh this and I am in agreement that it would make the game easier for new starters.
i don't think it will achieve much to scrap it but also think the game won't lose much.
with a marketing head on I'd still set up one dungeon a month on the calendar and label it new player session to try and continue the current great work that has been done on encouraging new players.
it doesn't really matter that it's just a normal max 250 as long as somebody new can see it and think it's a good chance to have a go.
I'm clearly going against the grain here, and can fully understand why longer standing players are comfortable with it disappearing.
However from a "returning newbie's" point of view, getting to grips with the new system is a lot, and I think the pre 8th dungeons allow "us" (and I'm clearly only speaking for those less knowledgeable) to learn character classes without completely ruining a dungeon for us or anyone else because the party were expecting you to do X as a Wizard for example and not do Y.
As it has been stated I think those who have the ref points/rebirths etc and want to avoid the pre 8th dungeons will do so, but what I think the pre-8th offers is the platform for experienced players and new comers to interact in an environment where the less experienced can get a bit of guidance.
Just food for thought.
Personally not likely to be effected, but nonetheless do think its a good idea to scrap pre 8th dungeons.
Maybe make it so that ref pts allow you to start at about 200 pts. And slow down the pts advancement between 8th and 200pts, so that it take 3 or 4 dungeons to get to 200 pts. And you cant use monster pts/items etc until after the 200pts threshold is reached. Maybe even allow experienced players to put 200 monster pts on in one go to skip those dungeons IF they want to.
Make those dungeons more aimed at people who want to learn their characters before being thrown in at the deep end. So that they still have a chance to learn at a slower pace, but they are learning the post 8th system from the go, without having to worry about how different 4th to 8th is.
Do not scrap
Starting at Pre 8th helps a lot of new players get use to some of the basics of the system - this is an introduction to Labyrinthe and helps new players -e specially new 'monsters'.
seasoned players like my self also use the system to re- familiarise ourselves to changes and get back into our stride.
Further it does help with getting use to re-births and how to 'play' them.
Being dumped into a system at 8th level - why not just say start all players with 5000 points. What is teh difference beteen 8th level and 8th level +5000 points - just abilities. So why not just say all players start at 8th + 5k or more...
I can tell you why - because alot of seasoned players wopuld then 'whinge' about new players not understanding the system, how abilities work, how such abilities interact, or that they never earned their points...
One has to start some where - so pre-8th always new people to get use to the system. How good would a new player be at playing an 8th level mage or priest. Since the player would have to learn all their verbals, understand the written language - How frustrating will older players not playing a mage find it if their mage had to decifier a scroll. If you alway new players who have no idea of the complex nature of Labyrinthe to start at a level which doesn't allow them time to learn and adapt, such a new player will likely leave and not return.
If older players don't wish new players into the club through this method - I question their real loyalty to the club. Labyrinthe thrives on its membership and players. New players do add new dynamics and exapnd the club. Let new players come and learn the system through going pre-8th and get a better understanding as they progress.
Further players also monster - how would a seasoned ref react to find that his monsters were all 'new' and had no experience what so ever. What quality of dungeon would that give the players?
If people don't wish to ref pre 8th dungeons, then don't ref them. If you don't want to play them - then don't play them. They are there as a learning tool for new players and new monsters.
I say keep the pre-8th system. It helps new players, new monsters and new refs and A-refs.
apologise for the spelling errors
I think there are two separate issues:
1 - how different the pre-8th system is to the rest.
2 - the speed of progession.
For #1 - I don't think it really adds anything. I think there should be some straight-8th events as the new low - which is 8th only, no monster points used etc. - perhaps which award a few less points than doing a 250 to ease progression. Ed made a very valid point about wizards/casting damage and so on as you level-up. It is easier just to explain how it works at 8th. Valid points were also made about a new player being out of their depth on a 250 at 8th - which I agree with.
For #2 - I think ease of char point/monster point availability (particularly from things like tombolas) has caused a lot of harm to the system at the lower / newer player end (at the mid-higher end it matters a lot less). Folks get out of their depth much more quickly than in the past and don't get to spend enough time in the max 250/500/750 part of the world - which is important in learning how the system works (as it is very complex to pick up). Perhaps the number of MP's you can put on to chars at the sub-1k part of the system should be hugely reduced, maybe to a maximum of 25 per day's play or something like that. This would give players a much longer period of time in the lower part of the system and likely lead to more of those events being scheduled also + more experienced players being in that part of the system for longer, which likely also helps newer players find their feet.
Agreed with the generally feeling above. There's a fine balance between introducing new players to a simplified system and dumbing so far down that's its almost unrecognisable at 8th.
However, from the number of the people I have spoken from other games, its the complexity of the system is the biggest thing that puts new players off.
Yes, we are a highly evolved system, we have a great set of rule books that explains all the standard abilities but consider this...
Some systems have up to 50 abilities in total. The warrior alone has 400+ standard abilities.
The solution - scrap pre 8th. Slow down the progression up to 500 points. Allow points to be added (from monster points/tombola) after this point.
Bump the tables up - so table one starts at 100 - so you have a least 2 games under your belt before you have to worry about spend.
To complicate things - YP are used to power game rather than add flavour but that's another topic altogether.
I like the pre 8th system and I like reffing it too. It's an easy way for new players to learn what is a mega complex system. I very much agree with Marcos - new players are put off by the system complexity.
Also, most of the pre 8ths seem to get nicely booked up so people evidently enjoy them.
They also must help generate funds for the club I would guess.
For me i would say get rid of it, primarily because when a new player comes to labyrinthe they get taught about levels, and their base stats for whatever class they are playing, with most refs vaguely mentioning points as 'something to think about later' Given the system is quite complex the amount of info just for pre 8th can be quite high. Then 2 dungeons later they reach 8th level and suddenly reach a completely different way of progressing a character. So although the total information load on day one is slightly less under the new system the amount they need to learn within their first few dungeons is much higher than just starting at 8th and teaching them about points straight away.
This is coming from a returning player that last played 20+ years ago, where it seemed a momentous achievement to get to 8th level! I was on my first new player pre-8th on Sunday.
Admittedly i had done a reasonable amount of reading on the forums before the day and had picked up alot of info. about the post 8th system (which i knew NOTHING about when i first played) but it doesnt seem too much of an ask to me to teach people the basic points information on day 1. I think there is less available to buy earlier on? Possibly there could be some concept of templates which suggest typical builds for the first 250/500 or whatever points?
If someone has already bought the books and wants to do the research then thats great, they can pick as normal, but it would make it alot easier for a new player that wanted a particular type of warrior that a template fits? I don't yet know enough about what abilities are available for what class to suggest some template but i'm sure someone with more knowledge could create a selection of 2 or 3 per class fairly easily?
I think i broadly support removing pre 8th.
But i do take the point made about having a place to learn for new players or people learning something new.
So how about scrap pre 8th System but introduce an 'Apprentice status':
Any new 8th level character can choose to be an "apprentice" when their card is first issued.
Apprentices can accumlate points upto a pre set threshold (perhaps 250 perhaps 500) but cannot spend points.
You could run apprentice dungeons which would be easier to stat as everyone will be striaght 8th(they may have points but they cant have spent them) and there would be an expectation there would a degree of learning going on for some party members.
Apprentice status could be removed by request at the end of any dungeon or upon reaching the saved points cap.
Rebirths etc could be banned from apprentice dungeons or some other restriction.
I would scrap it,
As per many others it seems to be unnecessary part of the system and adds a layer of complexity for new players in an already very complex system.
Some of my most enjoyable dungeons have been pre 8ths. I dont see any reason to get rid of it, the mechanics already exist to bypass it if needed.
Devils advocate - Regarding the "enjoyable dungeon" was that because of the simplicity of the system or the dungeon/ref?
(I agree that sometimes simplicity actually enhances the game - Roleplay > power gaming for me)
I wildly disagree. Labyrinthe has a unique feel to its events. Being able to experience that in a simplified version of the rules - pre 8th, or whatever alternative is put in place - enables people to not feel instantly overwhelmed while they learn what the system feels like. Dropping someone in at 8th, giving them locs and tblp, 15 spells to learn, reductive armour, percentiles, and a dozen effects is too much. I know we've all been doing it for years, or even decades, but the vast majority of LRPers havent. Give them a low-key environment to learn how the game feels is more important than dropping a vast amount of rules on people to learn.
It seems to me that there are two things at play here, the experience of existing players (many of whom have the ability to skip the pre 8th via ref points or rebirth/reincarnation) and the experience of new players (whether totally new, new but experienced LRPers or returning cavies).
Any change (and particularly some of the changes suggested after Lee's initial post) should be viewed in terms of how it affects the experience of each of those groups. I would also suggest that there should be no need for changes to anything in the recently published books as a result of this change (the player's handbook is a different matter).
All that said - personally I would start new characters at 8th level. I think that is likely to create a far better playing experience for existing cavies. I think the change in experience for new players is probably debatable. As a returning Laby player, I would have far preferred to start at 8th level - even though I had limited experience of playing post 8th previously. There are many classes that massively benefit from being 8th rather than 4th and that would have significantly enhanced my enjoyment of the game. I don't think there's too much gain for the club in worrying about people who don't like complex systems - those people are likely to drop out pretty quickly, as one of Laby's USPs is its complexity. Unless there's a secret gang of people who only play pre-8ths that I've never heard about!
As a result, I would do away with ref points and just use them as monster points instead. I would make monster points useable for offsetting level loss for makes. That's simpler for the desk and supports a level playing field. I would be surprised if anyone actually chooses to ref just for the ref points.
I would also write some basic IC-ish spell books for the elemental colours and certain miracles, bind them in cheap faux leather and make them available for new players only. Maybe chuck some monster points at one or more people who take on the burden of making some. They don't need to have everything in them, or look perfect - but something basic for a new player to effectively use as a crib sheet.
Make everyone's first 500pts a flexi spend. That will give new players (and anyone getting used to a new class) ample time to get used to a spend and consult with others rather than risk making major errors.
Have dungeons which are straight 8th only. Ban the use of items and other equipment on these. Allow people to play these with any character upto 500pts (ie in their Flexi period) - as long as they don't have any abilities on that dungeon. This would also allow more experienced players (eg with a random 200pt character) to play alongside newer players. That makes it easier to fill those dungeons.
Introduce an optional skype call with a new player to talk about their character, choose guilds, pre-write a battleboard (email to them) and talk through abilities (email a copy of the spell/prayer book you'll give them on the day).
Agreed with Martin on the flexi, no items, pre the 500 point. Lots of people are on same wave length on this.
However what I don't agree is that "one of Laby's USPs is its complexity"
Where is may be true, but with who? With the "more experienced" limited players? Surely we need to look at beyond our current player base in order to keep Laby alive.
Otherwise you just turn it into a rather elitist club that will not see out the next 10 years.
Just my thought
Not everyone has Ref-points. How about allowing people without them to use monster points to level up from 4th to 8th (not any of this silly 'must pay from 1st level even though we start at 4th' lark though). This would allow experienced players to avoid the low level dungeons if they want.
Would it be possible to make a rule that new characters and their cards could only be started one per day (if you want early points apps) or even on the day if no need for points apps?
I am for keeping the low level system but not making any major changes as it 'ain't broke'
So I'm a reasonably new player to labby.
I started on the spiter theme day and we started at strate 8th. It's was great everyone on the day had fun and many of us returned to cary on playing.
Imo I would say scrap the pre 8th stuff. Going starte 8th feels easyer to work out stats when explaing to new people I bring.
Every 250 iv played as had great reffs and monsters who help the new players out with rules and things.
Just my thorts as a new guy
I'm in favour of scrapping the pre-8th system. Can't really add anything that hasn't already been said. When I first started at Labyrinthe in 2015, I found it really odd that it had both a level system and a points system (Wow! 2000 past!? That's a lot of levels!) and literally had no concept of the points system. If it hadn't been that I wound up on Jules' campaign just by a sort of happy accident, I wouldn't have known what to book onto after the pre-8th.
From people from other systems or even people who haven't larped before, the jump from pre-8th to Max 250 is very unclear. You literally have to have someone tell you about it, have the confidence to ask about it or like me, just get lucky.
Scrap pre 8th, it really is out dated.
Could a basic player i.e. have a different character card (the same as the post 8th) but say yellow in colour, which gifts a little extra time, consideration and maybe some abilities.
!st idea is for a newbie priest, woud truly get heal dependent and the ref work it out for them so they cannot over cast.
The Idea is just for 1st characters and only stays yellow till 500 points
Maybe have pre-completed characters for new players? St Michael Priest , Human warrior, Elf wizard etc
I'm probably alone, or as close as makes no difference, in liking the pre-8th system. There are all sorts of nuances of stats which are missed at even 250pts.
I do think the terminology could be tidied up, as the difference between 1st to 8th level and points thresholds is certainly an unnecessary level of complexity for a new player, but then so would be expecting them to memorise twenty or thirty spell verbals* and mana costs (before you even get to casting damage).
I think simply making the pre-8th system optional would be fine and require no rewriting of any rules.
*esp when so few experienced players bother to use verbals correctly/at all
I like Jasper's idea of making the pre-eighth system optional my only fear is that optional means no one actually doing any dungeons.
That said I think I just saw Jasper volunteering to ref some pre-eighth dungeons.
I agree with Jasper as well. Why get rid of it when some newer players will struggle with all the abilities 8th level brings. There are (have been) theme type events where you can start at 8th if that is what you want and no harm in having more of them.
I do think it a good idea to give pre 8ths a level after each section and possibly a fresh battleboard after each section as well though.
Personally i like pre-8th.
I can try something out, decide if i like it or not with out having to go spend loads on kit.
It's useful for any sort of power user as well, they wont have a load of verbals dumped on them all at once, instead they get to use the same few low spells over and over allowing them to learn some core abilities that many players take for granter, this is great if you have difficulty with verbals, its why beyond my 1st character battlepriest i wont play any caster types except the neuronicist (yay no verbals!) i started.
"oh just write them in a book or on a scroll..." some one said in the past. Do you know how hard it is to read in the caves with bad eye sight whilst being attacked...
Another idea could be using pre-8th (which would then lose all sense of meaning because there wont be a 1-8 any more, which there kind of isnt now anyway as its 4-8) for half day events and tasters to get people hooked or trying different classes they don't know much about at all.
Pre-8th all day dungeons are a bit of a bore for those who cant fight and only have a very low number of power points for anything. By lunch time you've spent all your mana etc and for the rest of the event you're just dead weight to the party outside of being a meat shield, liability or roleplay opportunity. If you know about the system then you tend to save most of your points for the latter half of the day as usually some bosses or monsters can only be killed by "last hit XYZ".
I am in favour of keeping the pre 8th system, mostly as a learning curve for new players getting grips, however if a change is nesessary how about cleaning up the the low end of the system from 4-8th to 1-4th this would certainly make things a lot less confusing. for any mathimatical equations (such as skills and casting levels) increase these factors by 4. i think what confuses most new players most is the whole "but why do i start at 4th"
In a couple of days I'm going to shut the thread and try and collate the responses into something sensible.
If you still want to say anything please do it soon.
My random thoughts are as follows:
When getting to 8th could take a couple of months , back in the days of playing the old single lengths for a level, maybe level and a half if you were good from 1st to 6th then points to 7th and 8th for 10-15pts it was a long and slow process that eased you into the system.
This is no longer the case. Two dungeons can basically get you to 8th. So the main advantages of Pre-8th are now quickly lost.
I think we allow anyone who wants to start at 8th to do so without totally scrapping the pre 8th system
Leave it as an option for those new players who want to ease in to start at lower levels, a bit like the current choosing to start between 1st-4th.
For regular experienced players it serves little purpose to have to play the pre-8th when starting a ne character EXCEPT if playing to guide a bunch of new / less experienced players.
So, I reckon make it an optional thing, I can see it becoming a rare thing to play pre-8th but I don't think it needs to be scrapped completely when looking for new players.
I'd even go as far as to say put in an exemption that being ressed pre-8th doesn't cost vitae so you can learn the ropes without feeling disadvantaged from dying due to weaker stats.
I agree with Jasper, and I'd just point out that in an adventure with less stats and maths there is more time for roleplaying.
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