Discord excerpts – a conversation on the power level of extra turns (filtered)

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

Assume that all RPGs are turn-based (if you’re into card games, imagine one of those, should be the same thing). Turns govern the availability of the game’s fundamental resources – whether that’s amount of mana available, access to your character’s actions, etc. This is not a question, this is a statement, and one that I wish to not discuss further outside of the following question: If I conjecture that taking an extra turn is fundamentally the most powerful thing you can do in a turn-based game, can you think of an example of something “better”? Expanding on that, can you think of a broader and more fundamental way to describe these games than “turn-based” (“role-playing” doesn’t count, it’s about a totally different aspect of the game)?(In games where resources are gained as the turn cycles progress, the “fast mana” effects are better than taking a turn in the early stages of that cycle. In RPG terms – if you gain access to increasingly more abilities each round, an ability that says “you can use two extra abilities this turn” will be better than taking an extra turn early on).

UK_IN_US (Spinward Crossing):

Preventing opponents from taking theirs might arguably be stronger

UK_IN_US (Spinward Crossing):

but only arguably21:54

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

I think I will treat taking an extra turn and preventing the opponent from taking a turn as equally powerful things for the time being, not prepared to explore the subtle differences between the two at the moment.

DayDreamer:

Uh, it really depends on circumstance. Extra turns are powerful because they do a lot: they increase your rate of resource generation and expenditure, they allow for combos that aren’t otherwise possible and deprive your opponent of ability to interrupt said combos, etc. But they aren’t facially the most powerful thing. Mechanics that literally win the game for you are clearly stronger, followed by mechanics that destroy your opponent’s ability to win

d20n20

1

DayDreamer:

Extra turns are powerful because of their versatility: no deck (in a CCG) or character (in a TTRPG) doesn’t want the ability to take extra turns

DayDreamer:

but specialist mechanics are often as much if not moreso useful in a deck/character designed to take advantage of them

DayDreamer:

e.g. land generation in MTG in a deck whose win condition is “get X land” is really powerful

DayDreamer:

or tripping in 3.5/PF is generally kind of good, but extraordinarily good when placed in the hands of a character who has all of the trip feats

Anonymous1

Undoing an enemy’s turn while getting your own action in maybe?

Anonymous1:

Other than broken shit that lets you straight up win at the press of a button

brownorama (#lonesome-world):

This also depends on whether “game’s fundamental resources” are limited or unlimited. If I can spend more resources on my turn without having to take another one, that might be considered more powerful. Alternatively, going FIRST might be considered more powerful when resources are limited because then you have access to more of them.

Occo [Artifact]:

Which is often why card games prevent the first player from drawing a card.

Occo [Artifact]:

It makes a big difference to be on the play, and if your aim is to beat your opponent before they can beat you, going first is smart.[

Teslobo:

@UK_IN_US (Spinward Crossing) taking an extra turn is basically denying everyone else 1 turn

Teslobo:

so I wouldn’t call it stronger than that

[

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

Well, we have at least one answer right on the money here, about “win the game” effects. The reason I omitted it from the original proposal was to see if people come up with it without me saying so, and more importantly if they come up with something else, being aware of this (or not) on their own.[

Luthier_Marke:

is changing the order of turns equal to negating turns?

Teslobo:

I guess if “win the game” in an RPG just refers to one combat encounter it could follow that a more powerful effect is “win all games”

Adanton:

Only just catching up on the original preposition. That question looks so contextless it’s difficult to answer. Any number of things could be more powerful than gaining an extra turn. Stealing resources, forcing an opponent to do a specific action on their turn, adding consequences onto specific actions, there’s a lot of possibilities.

d20n20

1

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

I suppose in an RPG sense the “win the game” thing would be something along the lines of “end whatever’s going on in your favour”? Many more moving parts there, especially if you veer outside of combat.

Teslobo:

mhm

Teslobo:

Even moreso if you waive your turn-based stipulation

Anonymous1:

Also caveat: extra turns are indeed very powerful but hinge on your being able to do something useful on it so I think there are more factors at play. Or something I unno.

d20n20

1

Teslobo:

they do but generally speaking you can just multiply whatever you did last turn

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

This is a very useful caveat.

Teslobo:

and if the thing you did is in limited supply or otherwise stops you doing it twice, that’s just balancing the raw power of having an extra turn

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

What Adanton is saying is definitely true, but on a raw power level scale taking an extra turn is more powerful either way.

Adanton:

Only depends on context. you gain X resources a turn, the opponent needs X resources to do the action they want, and the opponent has 2X resources, then stealing X+1 is arguably more powerful.

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

These effects don’t operate on the same axis. If you can do that, taking an extra turn is still better because it’s an effect – something you can still do in either of the two turns, potentially even twice.

Teslobo:

Why can’t I use my extra turn to do that

Adanton:

I’m assuming we’re comparing them in a mutually exclusive manner

Adanton:

Otherwise the best option is always “opponent never has a turn”

Teslobo:

we’re talking about pure mechanics with no contextual stipulation

Teslobo:

And I think “win this game and every game hence” is the best you’ll get

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

Hey… “every game hence”. I really like that stipulation.

Luthier_Marke:

is changing the order of turns equal to negating turns?

Teslobo:

I’d say changing turn order is less than just stopping a turn from happening

Teslobo:

delaying agency versus removing it

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

I’m not sure. I think it might be, if you change orders so that after your turn, yours comes again before the opponent’s.

tS_pX:

You could describe turn based games as using “discrete decision phases” but I think that’s just the same thing

Teslobo:

Isn’t that just a fancy way of saying extra turn tho heg

Adanton:

Again, context. Is it 1 v 1? If so it wouldn’t change much

Luthier_Marke:

because, it could mean maximizng chances for both sides

Adanton:

Its like playing a reverse card in two player uno

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

Well yes, but in the context of changing turn orders that’s a special case of changing them one of many possible ways.

Adanton:

Without a ruleset being worked with this is hard to answer. If I play an action to change turn order there needs to be rules to say I can’t change it to “me, me, me again, me…”

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

That’s the point though.

InkSpecter:

Being able to alter or stop an opponents turn, or being able to control an opponent’s turn. Just think, blue in MTG XD control and stall are valid play styles that don’t get a lot of love!

TacoSundae:

things might be situationally more powerful. Like if it’s a scenario of a team of players vs one big enemy, the ability to deny that enemy’s turn would be more powerful than getting an extra turn because it effectively gives everyone on your side an extra turn.2:38

Luthier_Marke:

if we talk about operational complexity you either graph it as how many turns there are? times, how often do they come? Or, how many turns there are? times, what can you do in them?

Luthier_Marke:

and both of those graphs really work with +-1s most of the time

Luthier_Marke:

its not really exponential in most gameplay loops

Adanton:

I thought the original question was about AN extra turn. Not infinite extra turns

Adanton:

Controlling what an opponent does on their turn?

VinnyBoy (Bloody-Hell):

mmm…

UK_IN_US (Spinward Crossing):

Broadly, limiting choices for opponents

Luthier_Marke:

restarting the turn order maybe?

VinnyBoy (Bloody-Hell):

this reminds me of a discussion I saw about starcraft

VinnyBoy (Bloody-Hell):

whats better between +1 weapon damage or two marines?

UK_IN_US (Spinward Crossing):

2 marines, more tactical flexibility

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

Depends what the +1 damage is on. It’s not a universal thing in Starcraft. 2 marines are better than one marine with +1 damage upgrade.

VinnyBoy (Bloody-Hell):

what is more relevant is how xcom does turns

UK_IN_US (Spinward Crossing):

Suppression mechanics

VinnyBoy (Bloody-Hell):

because yes, its all about denying turns and gaining extra actions for bullshit reasons

UK_IN_US (Spinward Crossing):

Or also soft-limiting actions

tS_pX:

Well, generally speaking if everything takes place during a turn, getting an extra one will strictly be better

d20n20

2

Luthier_Marke:

what about factoring in long term strategy ?

tS_pX:

In something like mtg if you’re built entirely around reacting with instants, an extra turn is way less useful and is basically +1 land +1 draw

Luthier_Marke:

if you could use this current turn to benefit from your opponent’s in the near future ?

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

So far nobody has come up with a more all-encompassing term for such a game than “turn-based”, which means that outside of “win the game” effects, taking an extra turn is abusing the most fundamental rule of the game, which makes it of highest power level.

Anonymous1:

On an aside this is why flat action denial isn’t fun to play against

Adanton:

@Hegemon (#chimborazo) I gave an answer. Controlling the opponents turn.

InkSpecter:

Board wipe xD just… Board wipes can not be a thing

InkSpecter:

I already said that adanton

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

@Adanton I’m still thinking on that, but you might be right.

tS_pX:

I mean, the fact that the game style is named as such tells you that turns are the most important thing :stuck_out_tongue:

☝

1

InkSpecter:

Controlling opponents works fine. I’ve got a few abilities that do this in my current game. Even against other players it’s more funny than annoying. It sucks losing a turn but with control an action still has to be made and assuming a player is not able to make an action that’s essentially suicide, than their plot is only slowed

Anonymous1:

Controlling an opponent is very strong and very not fun imo

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

Whether controlling an opponent during their turn is more powerful than denying their turn altogether or taking an extra one yourself will depend on certain context within the game that I’m not sure I’m ready to explore today.

Luthier_Marke:

@Hegemon (#chimborazo) what about adding neutral turns? as in, turns where both sides are under conditions

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

Define under conditions?

VinnyBoy (Bloody-Hell):

everyone get a turn in a round

Luthier_Marke:

like, not attacking or talking

Luthier_Marke:

just, empty space that breaks up their strategies

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

You can still be under a condition. If everybody is, then that empty space might as well not exist. Also you can’t have turns not belonging to a specific character in a turn-based game. It’s part of the whole premise. This is your only way to define who the active character is.

Luthier_Marke:

it could represent other things

Luthier_Marke:

like the environment

Luthier_Marke:

that empty space could also be a part of the game loop and have actions that only take effect during or after those empty spaces

tS_pX:

You could have a “turn” for time, I suppose. I’ve seen a game where grenades rolled initiative when thrown and blew up at that initiative, similar concept

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

But that would be definitively less powerful than an extra turn.

tS_pX:

But that may as well not be a turn and just be “the start of the round”

Luthier_Marke:

Im not sure…lets say someone throws a granade, and the game says that the granade will explode in X turns from the current turn, adding one more to the list of turns. if by chance, someone managed to throw 10 granades in a single turn, it would add 10 turns to the list, with all the granades exploding one after another, possibly messing with other similar empty-space-based actions

InkSpecter:

I think a better idea for a Nuetral turn would be environmental shifts like in Planeshift. This happens in video games more. ‘whether occurs’ so such and such happens. It affects your turn choices a lot.

InkSpecter:

*weather

Luthier_Marke:

I think thats more like the world having turns than the actors

InkSpecter:

That’s more like simultaneous resolution in actual play than turn base then

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

Don’t forget Hegemon’s 0th law of tabletop: Simultaneous resolution is impossible in any game with meaningful mechanics. (still working on that phrasing)

tS_pX:

It does function more like the stack in mtg, yeah, but we’ve talked about that before.

InkSpecter:

That’s true tbh. Except on rare occasion of like suiciding characters someone’s hit has to have more gravity

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

It wouldn’t be a rule to govern all other rules if it weren’t true :smile:

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

The whole game would be one round

👌

1

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

It’s a cute idea, but my gut is that it doesn’t work and I’ll see of I can figure out why

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

Gaining an additional resource every turn eventually becomes more powerful than an extra turn. Let’s say you get 1 attack and 1 movement per turn. Would you rather than 1 more turn after this turn or 1 more attack action every turn for the rest of combat?

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

I would take the extra attack in almost every case

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

The same is true for the opponent. Taking an extra turn allows you to beat them in that race, so it’s still better.

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

Only if the combat ends in two turns. What if it’s a 4 turn combat?

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

I can now also edit the original caveat after thinking more about it: In games where resources are gained as the turn cycles progress, the “fast mana” effects are better than taking a turn in the early stages of that cycle. In RPG terms – if you gain access to increasingly more abilities each round, an ability that says “you can use two extra abilities this turn” will be better than taking an extra turn early on). This is true so long as the cost of fast mana effect is less than the cost of an extra turn effect.

chimaeraUndying:

I’d argue for turns over resources here if the resource is something intrinsic and limited with to turns, like being able to move or attack, which seems to be what you’re talking about

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

@TimeSprinkler(CardPG) The things you’re talking about are not mutually exclusive in the case of increasing number of attacks each turn.

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

Yeah I know, I’m just using a binary choice to compare extra turns to something better. On turn 1, I can do. 1 extra turn, or 1 extra attack every turn.

chimaeraUndying:

What Hegemon’s saying is that your example, at least, doesn’t really work because it’s not a functional binary choice

chimaeraUndying:

since A contains B

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

A few times in magic games I’ve taken an extra turn and it was essentially, draw one card, because I had a dead board state and was fishing for something to save me

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

chimaera is right

chimaeraUndying:

re: Magic, it’s also “untap everything you control”, which seems pretty relevant to at least fishing for outs

chimaeraUndying:

sometimes the only thing you need from an extra turn is a combat step, too

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

Also, yea, that can happen in Magic when your deck plays an extra turn card but does nothing proactive. But that’s a byproduct of other things, and in the case you’re talking about 7 mana is a lot… and you’re still better off than if you hadn’t cast that card.

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

Dead board state meant my board had nothing but Mana and I had no cards in hand. In that case there are plenty of things I would have wanted more than an extra turn

chimaeraUndying:

Objectively, yeah, but not necessarily relatively — there might be a better time to get that extra turn

chimaeraUndying:

it’s the sort of thing that has so many spinning gears that it’s probably not worth analyzing in a vacuum imo

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

With an extra turn card you get double the options, since when you have the mana to do so there is no opportunity cost to casting it.

chimaeraUndying:

I’d consider “not being able to cast it at a potentially better juncture in the future” an opportunity cost I guess, but I might be abusing the term

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

No you’re right, but… there is almost always the counterbalance (rip) of “damn I really need another card so I better draw 1 for seven mana).

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

I guess I don’t understand why my example doesn’t work. Hege stated that in a turn based system a turn contains all the resources so any effect would be contained in a turn. More Mana, that is contained in a turn, high chance at a skill check, contained in a turn. So everything that could be granted to a player is contained within a turn

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

Because your example can be reframed as “take an extra turn” or “take an extra turn every turn that’s not an extra turn” for the purposes of attacking. Which is a non-choice. Either that or I didn’t get what you said.

6 February 2019

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

The extra attack was an easy example. But if we use magic, an enchantment that allows you to draw two cards a turn instead of one could be stronger than an extra turn and most certainly would be aftter enough turns pass

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

There is a creature that says whenever you draw a card, draw two more. That creature is stronger than taking an extra turn

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

No it’s not? You can still cast that creature when you’ve taken a turn. The two aren’t mutually exclusive in any way.

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

I guess I assume that all player start with a turn and the option is take an additional turn

chimaeraUndying:

You’re also now comparing apples and more-focused-but-better prepackaged apple slices

chimaeraUndying:

since your original comparison was “take an extra turn or make an extra attack”, right?

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

Magic specifically is a great example, because we know how powerful each of those things is in that game. One of the two cards is in what’s called “the power nine”, and the other isn’t (and it’s not even close).

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

Yeah cause that was the easiest to understand. What if the benefit was regain all your life at the start of each turn. If your health was sufficiently high enough, that would also trump an extra turn

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

The point is that persistent effects can be stronger than an extra turn given the time

chimaeraUndying:

If that’s not something you can do during a given turn, then sure, you could make a value comparison

☝

1

chimaeraUndying:

If you’re given the options “take an extra turn” or “do one thing that happens during your turn again” then the former’s massively better

chimaeraUndying:

see in Magic, extra turn effects versus second battle phase effects

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

It’s an investment in the future turns it can beat the value of a single turn now

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

Value and power level are different things.

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

You can still make a value comparison if it is something you can do in a turn. A turn’s value is comprised of the resources it grants. It is essentially just a gain these resources., magic is easy to look at. Everything has a Mana cost. You can choose to play a 7 cost card that destroys all creatures and draws you are card for each, or you could take an extra turn.

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

So when comparing 1 extra turn, you say what does it get me, 1 attack, 1 movement, 1 bonus action. What is the value of that? What is higher value?

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

You’re setting up an example of infinite value, so the appropriate take an extra turn equivalent would be a creature that says “After your End step, take an extra turn after this one”. Can you see now how that’s better than gaining infinite life or drawing lots of cards perpetually

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

This is quite literally the most powerful thing you can do – locking the opponent out of the game entirely, unless they already have set up a way to kill you without it being even their turn.

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

Now, if somebody can find something better than that to do – please, I really want someone to break my theory.

chimaeraUndying:

Outside of straight “you win” effects I can’t think of any offhand

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

Of course it’s better, it’s not 1 turn, it’s infinite turns, but then you’re not asking if something is better than infinite turns. you are asking if something is better than 1 extra turn

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

I meant as a type of effect.

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

As a game mechanic, if all of them can be applied equally.

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

I guess I misunderstood the question. If you were asking what is stronger than holding all the decisions and resources in a game while your opponent has none, then I don’t really have input other than “I can’t lose”

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

Mmmh that’s a pretty good one!

TimeSprinkler(CardPG):

I can’t lose, being the mechanic rather than a statement toward the conversation

[

tS_pX:

Oh, there’s an mtg card, lich something, that makes it so you can’t lose while you have any permanents anywhere, I think

tS_pX:

Which is of course… fairly strong

Hegemon (#chimborazo):

I’m a bit surprised I didn’t think of “can’t lose” effects as immediately following “I win” effects since I literally pioneered white decks sideboarding Worship and have had it in my 75 for 4 years now.

Epsilon Rose (Stuff of Legends):

Any action which increases the value of your current turn to be worth more than two turns or which increases all future turns value so that the extra value adds up to more than a turn by the end of the encounter will be more valuable than taking an extra turn. Similarly, decreasing an opponent’s turn value bellow a certain threshold is also more valuable than a second one of your turns.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *