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The Pot

Page history last edited by Java 5 years, 10 months ago

The Pot is what is won after a turn or a whole game.

Comments (7)

Osuji said

at 7:14 am on Nov 9, 2015

An interesting question.

Let's suppose that the pot has the meaning suggested. This automatically raises questions like:
If you own a Pai Sho set, does that mean a complete set of tiles for 4 people? Or do you only own tiles enough for one person to play?
What would that mean for Pai Sho dens Do you have to buy a set of tiles in order to play? And do you keep the tiles you win? or do you turn them in to the den for their value?
What are the tiles worth? Wouldn't winning your opponents tiles make learning to play rather expensive?

Lets now imagine you are designing a game and presenting the rules in English.
If you chose to use the word Pot with reference to something being won in a game involving gambling, what do you suppose your English speaking audience would think you meant?
I'm inclined to think that a card game would come to mind and a reference to a pooled sum of money obtained from all the participants would be the likely expectation of your audience. But don't take my work for it. Do a google search for a definition. See what it says. I haven't tried it so who knows?

Now lets suppose that you don't mean your readers to confuse your use of "The Pot" with the sort used in card games or other types of gambling. Wouldn't you want to take a little time and write a few words that explain exactly what you mean and how it is different?

Put simply if the game designer explain what they mean it is either because they believe it obvious and doesn't need explanation or they made a huge mistake by not explaining. Since there is no detailed distinction being explained we should probably expect that the most common usage of "the pot" in a game context is the one being implied. Because the alternative is that the game rules are hugely flawed

Java said

at 10:58 am on Nov 9, 2015

Your right, but let's use two games for comparison, poker to represent a pai sho den, and marbles to represent playing with a friend.
When you play marbles do you always play for keeps? No. It's an option but not required.
I would tend to think that each player (at least on Zukos ship) has there own set, because Iroh stopped the entire hunt to replace the White Lotus and the only other way it makes sense that he would do that is if it was a communal set, and there is only one piece in the entire game. Given Iroh wanted to find a merchant who sold the piece on it's own, this supports my theory of losing pieces as you play, and his inability to find one shows how little people value it.

Now nothing says you can't play for money, it makes sense, but then how do you do it? No rules I've ever seen place it as a game of chance, they're all strategy, leaving it to be bets on who wins overall, not the greatest system. Imagine betting on who would win a Monopoly game before you started. A lot less fun than betting on a dice roll.

As for Pia sho dens/gambling halls, when you play poker at a casino you play with chips representing money. Why couldn't captured Pia sho pieces be treated the same way? (This example doesn't make much sense and is the weakest of the three)

(F.Y.I. I'd note that any restaurant that I've been to that had a board game in it had most of the pieces stolen/missing)

But as for your whole "game instructions" simile, I like it, but the rules have almost never been explained or shown, and never in full. If you do come up with a chance based version please tell me, I'd love to hear it. Overall you make a good point; this page about the pot isn't complete, and doesn't make much sense in certain situations. I'd love to hear you're ideas about it though.

Osuji said

at 1:07 pm on Nov 9, 2015

While I don't play marbles for keeps or otherwise, it is fair to say that most games are not always played for keeps, including poker, chess, etc. It doesn't seem like a convincing argument to me.

As for game ownership... you overlook a third possibly. That most people don't own a game of their own or if they do they don't carry one around everywhere they go. If in fact everyone had a game of their own they would constantly need to be ready to buy more tiles because every game could potentially leave you with too few tiles to play. On the other hand if you were an exceptional player you would probably have lots of extra tiles as the result of your victories, and if in the case of Iroh everyone had their own set he would only need to buy a set from one of the crew.

The monopoly analogy would be to just use real money and throw the dice as usual.

The reason for not using tiles as chips is of course that it would mean you need a lot more tiles on hand so you can use them as chips instead of taking them out of the set before you start to play.

Conflating Pai Sho dens with restaurants is like conflating a coffee house with a chess club. A chess club is going to have a bone box where the extra pieces are kept from incomplete sets, plus a lot of complete sets as well.

Why are all variations mostly about strategy? Setting aside the fact that there is a lot of strategy in poker and similar card games it comes down to two things. Strategy gamers don't generally like games of chance so they resist development of Pai Sho as a game of chance. And gambling has a negative connotation so creating a game of chance may seem distasteful in the context of a kids show.

The difference between the two sites is LG is actually focused and play testing. And PSP is whatever anybody thinks of. LG has structure PSP = wild west of half formed variations. But both are quiet at the moment

Osuji said

at 1:13 pm on Nov 9, 2015

Oh and funny you should ask. There is a gambling based version on LG that is ready for play testing.

Java said

at 1:39 pm on Nov 9, 2015

This whole thing is starting to confuse me, ok:
You're right about ownership.
I don't understand what you mean with the monopoly analogy, do you mean that it's like playing monopoly but betting on each role of the dice?
You're right about the tiles and chips.
Iroh meets Fung in a cantina(bar) were they play Pai Sho, do you suggest that Fung brought the board and set it up in the restaurant rather then they used one already there?
You're points about strategy and chance are correct, but Pai Sho is as much a game of chance as it is a strategy, (A:LOK) so while I believe all the variants have merit and are good, I've yet to find one that contains any real element of chance other than what tiles you get.
I also struggle to see how Bolin expected much chance in his game with Asami because all the tiles had already been played
Thanks for the clarification of LG and PSP. Does LG have more than one set of rules?

Osuji said

at 2:40 pm on Nov 9, 2015

Monopoly: My point was you wouldn't need to gamble on every throw because by using real money instead of monopoly money you get the same effect without the need to change or add special mechanics.

Restaurants vs Pai Sho dens: Any location (including restaurants) that specializes in offering a specific game, chess, go, poker, darts, mahjong, etc will automatically provide for the loss of pieces. This should not be confused with a restaurant that happens to have an old scrabble game lying about that has lost half the tiles, and which as a result nobody plays.

ATLA vs LOK: LOK is a total recon of Pai Sho as seen in ATLA. As such it is in direct contradiction to much of the ATLA cannon. LG has therefore decided not to try and incorporate LOK Pai Sho content into it's rule systems. Since over all much of the cannon is either sloppily drawn or in direct conflict with itself. We have taken an approach that relies on source materials from similar games and which can be construed to mirror at least some of the cannon. It is our judgement that no rules can be deduced from cannon alone.

LG generally maintains one current version, and in the case of major changes, a development version which eventually will replace the current version. (If approved). That is the current case. There is a main version and a development version under discussion that attempts to provide for gambling mechanics.

We also have online game boards on a third party site so members can interact in real time without the cumbersome notation needed in a chat session alone. This also helps with play testing and hidden information.

Cyril said

at 2:56 pm on Nov 9, 2015

I appreciate the recruitment work you're doing here! I will be dealing with our newest members access request shortly.

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