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Tales of the Arabian Nights» Forums » General

Subject: Difference between Story and Destiny points rss

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Frank Branham
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I was giving my old, battered, and heavily abused 24 year old copy a last outing a couple of weeks back.

I've always explained that Story Points are wild and extreme kinds of events--anything that makes a good story.

Destiny Points are for doing good, heroic, valiant deeds.

Sandi seemed to think that this was wrong, and that Destiny points are "serving the desires of Fate".

During the ensuing discussion (which also included some debate on whether Sulu was a Helmsman or more of a Navigator) we realized that not only did we have absolutely no idea what the two really mean, but that the rules never really explained the difference either.

Anyone have a good set of terms to explain the differences between the two?

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Sterling Babcock
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From what I gather, story points are just having something, anything happen to you so that you can tell people about it. We have found that it is pretty much monotonically increasing at a slow rate.

Destiny points are more variable, and can fluctuate both up and down. It would seem to relate to how well you are achieving your "destiny" of winning the game.

When we play I mostly say that SP increase slowly, while DP fluctuate more rapidly.
 
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I was wondering about this. In the new game you secretly decide on a Destiny and Story point combination to win - as long as they add up to 20 points. So you can decide that you will win on 1SP and 19DP if by some strange reason you wanted to.

Since you have very little control of the outcomes in the game though, why is this choice necessary, and how can you steer outcomes towards your particular choice of SP and DP? I can't see any reason to not just choose 10SP and 10DP as your winning combination.
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Sterling Babcock
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UniversalHead wrote:
I was wondering about this. In the new game you secretly decide on a Destiny and Story point combination to win - as long as they add up to 20 points. So you can decide that you will win on 1SP and 19DP if by some strange reason you wanted to.

Since you have very little control of the outcomes in the game though, why is this choice necessary, and how can you steer outcomes towards your particular choice of SP and DP? I can't see any reason to not just choose 10SP and 10DP as your winning combination.
Same as the old game.

Well, sometimes you can win a little faster with DP 12 and SP 8. Or perhaps vice versa.
 
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Rick McKown
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UniversalHead wrote:
I was wondering about this. In the new game you secretly decide on a Destiny and Story point combination to win - as long as they add up to 20 points. So you can decide that you will win on 1SP and 19DP if by some strange reason you wanted to.

Since you have very little control of the outcomes in the game though, why is this choice necessary, and how can you steer outcomes towards your particular choice of SP and DP? I can't see any reason to not just choose 10SP and 10DP as your winning combination.


In my family we've been playing the old version ever since it came out and because, as you note, a player really cannot DO much of anything to steer the outcome toward some number of SPs or DPs, from the beginning we just ignored the "secretly decide on a DP / SP combo to win" rule and simply had a house rule that the goal would be to achieve at least some agreed-upon fixed number (usually 20) of points in any combo, having attained which the player could head for Baghdad for the "win". If we had lots of time we'd even play until someone had gotten 20+ of each type of point. On a few occasions we even played until every player had 20+ of each type (which actually can create the potential for some nice cooperative player interaction to try to help "stalled" players get rid of nasty statuses, etc).

In my experience this really isn't a game about "winning" or "losing", but rather about "living" the stories, so nobody ever really cared about who "won"--achieving X number of points was really just a way to define a convenient end-point).
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Chris
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Solamar wrote:

When we play I mostly say that SP increase slowly, while DP fluctuate more rapidly.


We have found the same thing. SP tends to be less common but more more positive and destiny tends to change alot (either way) and be of lower values. That is unless you get crippled status.
 
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Chris
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Rick McKown wrote:

In my experience this really isn't a game about "winning" or "losing", but rather about "living" the stories, so nobody ever really cared about who "won"--achieving X number of points was really just a way to define a convenient end-point).


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Kevin Maroney
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fbranham wrote:
I've always explained that Story Points are wild and extreme kinds of events--anything that makes a good story.

Destiny Points are for doing good, heroic, valiant deeds.


Generally speaking, these definitions are correct. It's hard to get Destiny points for acting in a villainous or cowardly way, but you can get story points for just about anything interesting. Thus, if you decide you want to play a game as a scoundrel, you probably want to take a formula long in Story points and short in Destiny. If you want to be a do-er of daring deeds, go for a formula long in Destiny.

And yes, you can steer your fate somewhat--the results are not completely predictable, but if you play to emphasize your skills, statuses, and treasures, you'll generally reach your goals faster than if you play randomly, and definitely faster than if you play completely randomly. So, if you have the opportunity to Rob someone, you're a lot more likely to succeed if you have Stealth & Stealing, Beguiling, and Acting & Disguise than if you have Piety, Seamanship, and Scholarship.
 
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Jamey Philipp
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UniversalHead wrote:

Since you have very little control of the outcomes in the game though, why is this choice necessary, and how can you steer outcomes towards your particular choice of SP and DP? I can't see any reason to not just choose 10SP and 10DP as your winning combination.


This was clear to us after a few plays as well. Once we both had 20 of each and nether could win due to status condiitons. We just ened up calling it a night as we were just "using" up the encounters on a stalled out game. I don't see why one couldn't use a time limit as well with this game.


 
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James Palmer
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UniversalHead wrote:
Since you have very little control of the outcomes in the game though, why is this choice necessary, and how can you steer outcomes towards your particular choice of SP and DP? I can't see any reason to not just choose 10SP and 10DP as your winning combination.


My experience is that "smart" choices are more likely to give you destiny points, and "silly" choices are more likely to get you story points.

But you're right, overall there is little control. I think the main effect of having you choose is that you don't know whether your opponents are close to their goal or not.
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