Monday, April 27, 2020

XP loss Rate, Training and Conditioning, Overcoming Weaknesses

If one believes all skills need maintenance, then XP has a shelf life.
That over time our ability to get XP will be hampered by age, obligations, and changes in its costs and circumstance. If one believes that in a GAME or SYSTEM people can only keep what they use (in abilities) then there is a cost to maintain XP or it can be modeled that we lose XP over time.

To know the XP Loss Rate then I have to consider what would be the XP Gain Rate.

Game mechanics influenced by recent studies into Mindfulness, and how it is reinforced lessons in Khaneman's Thinking Fast and Slow, and Dan Ariely's Series about Behavioral Science and Economics. Plus that I'm an Anki User and long time blogger and how in practice this is how I've come to view the world.

Work Rule of Thumb (Not D&D but I will use it as Benchmarks).
In my line of work, I have qualitative measures of what 1 year to 10 years of work experience means. Typically there is a "WALL" when people hit 10 years where it becomes the same thing. Where they either choose to escalate and advance, like taking on management responsibilities, or they are stuck there or even degrade. Around this time people who started working in their 20s start asking some scarry questions about their life choices.

So what if XP is forgotten over time. I'm using years since its easier to model it this way than months. I'm imagining characters in a Lost Mine of Phandelver (LMOP).

XP is gone in 2 yearsMAX TOTAL
Year 1Year 2Year 3

not enough for level 6. At certain ages what was Last year is really emotional distance to an event. the way a strong emotional event feels just like yesterday always, while last week's trivial events can't be remembered or a lifetime ago. By year 3 LMOP is getting old. 

While Fast when you look at it in a Real-World XP and Forgetting Curve, this actually models the mindsets of D&D adventurers. 2 years in the same place is "Long" for an adventurer.

XP expires 3 years
Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5MAX XP

Not enough for level 6. The character starts feeling they are running in place by year 4, probably doubting themselves. The XP loss is doable. Being level 5 in LMOP may mean other Threats in the Area and the Level of the NPCs doesn't present a challenge.

  • What if PCs need NPCs to train them? What if XP is training based and Adventures are Economic or Material Rewards? 
  • If PCs train then the amount of KNOWLEDGE and XP in the Area determines the XP they advance in Training. A City with many similar professionals holding a larger body of knowledge has more advancement opportunities than a small town or fortified village. 

XP expires in 4 yearsTOTAL
Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5Year 6Year 7
Able to Reaches Level 6 in Year 4 BUT, realizes they are not growing by the year 5. Its probably they are not doing the same thing from year 2 to year 4, but they can be noticed that their lives are not as threatened.

  • How about experienced Adventurers who retired? They probably level down or spend 50% of their time on Skill Maintenance? If you "retired" with an economic safety net (money) so that the character doesn't need to work 80 hour weeks then they can probably be performing maintenance.  

LevelXPProf BonusXP for Next Level

Mental Model - Time and Conditioning.

Christian Camerons "The last Greek" came out in Audiobook and I'm reminded about how much Conditioning and Training is more about Time and Conditioning instead of Gender Talents.
The age old debate about "Men" being physically superior was brought up in the book. In light of the recent (early this year) Online argument around Andrew Klaven comes to mind - and the crucial elements are:

  1. definitions of Scope of Combat. Weapon Combat, Wrestling, Long marches, operations, etc... does physical strength matter? 
  2. How does equipment, tactics, and medium of warfare change the importance of Gender traits. 
I realize for those who Train - TRAINING matters. of course without Training pure physical superiority matters. So already you can see a difference in Definitions and Assumptions that will cause an argument. I won't go into Andrew Klaven's off-handed comment but go into - Time and Conditioning and how it makes a big difference. 

What if - I take someone from the Adult Self-Reliant Population. Let's say that's 20% of the population, as the rest are Children and Infirmed Adults (including the Elderly). If I get 5% and convert their Economic Support activities into Purely Training and Conditioning? 

Its not quite Kumail Nanjiani physical transformation or anyone who's done any physical transformation. Drills and Feedback of Simulations and Exercises rewire everything. Even for those of us who'se best years are behind us, we know what 2 weeks will do to us when we can push our Cardio a lot harder without worrying about the Kids and spouses and getting rest and feedback will do to our bodies and mind. 

Its not even just rewarding to the Trainee - its rewarding to the Trainer as his knowledge of his expertise is Tested with every new Trainee and their unique circumstances and mindset. Making a principle work with the Different Mental models every Student has and different physical characteristic combinations of different students produce knowledge. 

Give them 2 weeks per increment of review of the Qualitative Changes and its remarkable. If they were in their teens of 15, 20s, 30s, or even 40s and 50s it would be an interesting transformation. 

The changes people undergo in Conditions and Training - the Qualitative Changes of starting from Zero.  Add to that the Escalating Challenging Environment and Peers who draw and contribute to your group's Body of Knowledge in Years. What you have are both Physical and Mental artifacts that make anyone's humble median abilities exceptional.  

How people Overcome their weaknesses and build Strategies that manage weaknesses is remarkable. My first experience of this is learning the difference of RANGED combat of Airsoft and FPS vs melee combat. That how I move and my combat awareness is a subtle but huge statistical change of my survivability per game. Physically I'm pretty much the same, but how I move - peeking out, hug the profile, as well as Infer from Indirect movement of my surroundings is such a fundamental change when I first hunkered down and don't know what's happening.  The reason people dont get killed so easily in Fire-arms warfare is that 

layer one - they dont get hit, 
layer two - they can't be found, 
layer three - if they are found they are displaced
layer four - every movement they take seizes or takes ground from the adversary, limiting the adversaries time to eliminate you
Layer five - we deny the adversary the advantage or their strengths. 

At this Fourth Layer or 5th Layer- where we're taking strategic advantages from each other the battle is fought. Where you win even before you fired your shot. This is how people OVERCOME weaknesses and make counter-strategies. I'm surprised people think in Direct Combat when life and so much of combat is the more complicated part of the position and gaining the advantage. When they go directly to the assumptions of Head-to-Head combat - its embedded sense of privilege where the Battle Field is always where "I have the advantage". My mental paradigm of combat conditions will never be my adversary's, and thinking up options in my battlefield of choice is wasted effort - as to the main problem of choosing the battlefield.  

from XP loss rate to reflect Skill Maintenance > XP Loss Rate > training and Conditioning > how people spend their time with Training and Conditioning to develop many other strategies to overcome their weaknesses. And how Unpredictable and Unique and interesting these strategies can be.  

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