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Alchemical Exalted - Charm Slots or Installation Costs

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Elfive View Post
    Did nobody opt to get a weaving engine for the protocol that lets you swap charms on the fly?
    Well, over the course of a year and a half campaign, I think only one person reached Essence 4. Keep in mind that again, in order for an Alchemical to raise Essence, the plot needs to take a multiple month long time out where nobody has anything better to do than sit in a sensory deprivation chamber for three months (though in the case of raising Essence above 3, I believe every Exalt type has the same issue unfortunately). The GM did specifically schedule a few of these so people could raise attributes and Essence, but they were rare and you needed to plan ahead for that sort of large xp purchase.

    He did end up with a weaving engine, and I think he did take the protocol, but that was probably at the very end of the campaign. And I don't think he met the minimum clarity requirement of 4 at default, so he was always trying to raise clarity and avoid mortal contact. It wasn't an ideal solution by any means.

    Originally posted by Elfive View Post
    Well, the good thing is that the devs haven't really started on 3e alchemicals yet, so if we flag this as an issue that needs fixing...
    Someone remind me to mention this again in 2031, the year Alchemicals 3E will probably start development.
    Last edited by HighPriest; 09-11-2017, 04:42 PM.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
      I think he means that if you have installation costs, you essentially have slots equal to whatever pool you pay costs out of.
      By that token, if you have slots, you essentially have installation costs equal to whatever pool you pay slots out of.


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      • #63
        Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
        Kindly explain, because this sounds like nonsense and I think your whole argument hinges on it.

        Errr, okay. Let me take another stab at that then.

        Charm slots are a limitation on how many charms are available to an Alchemical at any given time. Installation costs are drains on the mote pools to impose a limitation on how many charms to an Alchemical Exalt at any given time. You can introduce the concept of a limitation on the number of charms available to an Alchemical Exalt without introducing the concept of reducing available mote pools. You can't introduce the concept of draining mote pools to impose a limitation on the number of charms available to an Alchemical Exalt without first introducing the concept of the limit.

        The take away is that using installation costs is introduces two sources of complexity to the default playstyle, not one, and that necessitates removing a greater amount of complexity. The first source of complexity is that a character's mote pool now limits the number of charms they have available to them. The second source is that their mote pool is now reduced. That second source is important because devs have talked about charm balance not just taking into account the effect of the charm and the number of the motes for the charm cost, but also taking into account those motes as a percentage of the character's pool. If installation costs are involved, it basically means the player is going to be balancing the mote pool size against charm effects and activation costs themselves.



        Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
        By that token, if you have slots, you essentially have installation costs equal to whatever pool you pay slots out of.
        In previous implementations of Alchemicals, the design space for charm slots is created by separating the concept of increasing the number of charms you have purchased from the idea of how many charms you have available to use at any given times. The cost that other Exalts paid for new charms was then divided between purchasing the charm and purchasing the charm slot. So the pool you would be paying out of in that case is your XP. If you want all your charms available to you, then you just pay for the slot and the charm and you get to keep it with you at all times.

        I have seen other people suggest that you can tie the charm slots to the dots of Essence you have and treat it as static. In that case, the pool is independent of other pools of resources.

        In both these examples, implementing the limitation on the number of charms doesn't actually affect other resources and how they balance in the system.



        My Exalted Character Creation Tool may be downloaded here. The thread talking about the tool can be found here.
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        • #64
          Originally posted by Demac View Post


          Errr, okay. Let me take another stab at that then.

          Charm slots are a limitation on how many charms are available to an Alchemical at any given time. Installation costs are drains on the mote pools to impose a limitation on how many charms to an Alchemical Exalt at any given time. You can introduce the concept of a limitation on the number of charms available to an Alchemical Exalt without introducing the concept of reducing available mote pools. You can't introduce the concept of draining mote pools to impose a limitation on the number of charms available to an Alchemical Exalt without first introducing the concept of the limit.

          The take away is that using installation costs is introduces two sources of complexity to the default playstyle, not one, and that necessitates removing a greater amount of complexity. The first source of complexity is that a character's mote pool now limits the number of charms they have available to them. The second source is that their mote pool is now reduced. That second source is important because devs have talked about charm balance not just taking into account the effect of the charm and the number of the motes for the charm cost, but also taking into account those motes as a percentage of the character's pool. If installation costs are involved, it basically means the player is going to be balancing the mote pool size against charm effects and activation costs themselves.
          I think I'm with Sunder on this one. This doesn't actually make as much sense as I think you hope it does.

          there are attunement costs and charm slots. Attunement costs already exist in the setting. Charm slots only ever existed for Alchemicals. They're both methods of limiting the number of charms that an Alchemical has access to at any given time. They offer completely separate ways of limiting charms.

          Essence costs also limits available essence and provides a cost/benefit situation every time the character wants to change their loadout. However, this is also true of artifact attunement. Like, literally the exact same kind of tradeoff and already exists in the system

          Charm slots offers a more finite way of installing charms, though submodules blurred this line by improving your capabilities without requiring new charm slots.

          Unfortunately for your argument, charm slots does not exist in the base system and thus would actually be adding more complexity. Attunement costs already exist in the base system associated with artifacts. By your argument for complexity reduction you should be singing the praises of attunement costs.

          Originally posted by Demac View Post
          In previous implementations of Alchemicals, the design space for charm slots is created by separating the concept of increasing the number of charms you have purchased from the idea of how many charms you have available to use at any given times. The cost that other Exalts paid for new charms was then divided between purchasing the charm and purchasing the charm slot. So the pool you would be paying out of in that case is your XP. If you want all your charms available to you, then you just pay for the slot and the charm and you get to keep it with you at all times.

          I have seen other people suggest that you can tie the charm slots to the dots of Essence you have and treat it as static. In that case, the pool is independent of other pools of resources.

          In both these examples, implementing the limitation on the number of charms doesn't actually affect other resources and how they balance in the system.
          Except that limiting the charm slots to be linked with essence provides an inescapable hard cap on how many charms you can have installed at a given time. This would force people to either build up a ridiculous backlog of charms that they cannot use or to spend all their xp on abilities. Or spend months in downtime in the vats getting their attributes upgraded (I really hope they overhaul the training times for alchies). If alchemicals have any sort of splat xp which can't be spent on charms you'll end up with all your alchemicals maxed out with abilities and attributes.

          You'd end up with lots of alchemicals turning to weaving/ma/evocations just to have more charm options.

          Exalted characters are not so simple that you can add in a resource that governs how many charms they have access to and say that it somehow doesn't affect anything else about the character.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
            Has anyone considered just merging the two concepts? Instead of having Charm slots, have some limit called Capacity. Each Charm's installation cost comes out of your Capacity, not out of your Essence pools. Then you can have the flexibility of a points based system, avoid the Vancian traits of a slot based system, and avoid the trade-off of motes for Charms.
            This is how other splats already work, except instead of "Capacity" they just call it "experience points".

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            • #66
              Nah, I think they meant basically giving the character a bunch more charm slots, but making it so some (maybe most) charms take up more than one slot.

              Say you have capacity 10 (lowballing it for simplicity) you could install 3 capacity 3 charms and a capacity 1 charm, or 5 capacity 2 charms, or 3 capacity 1 charms, 2 capacity 2 charms and a capacity 3 charm. Essentially the commitment only model but you commit something other than essence.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                By that token, if you have slots, you essentially have installation costs equal to whatever pool you pay slots out of.
                That depends on what you conceptualize slots as. If you think of slots as a one-to-one correlation, where one slot can hold one Charm and one Charm can only take up one slot, as was the case for 2nd Edition Alchemicals, then that doesn't hold true.

                Originally posted by AtG View Post
                This is how other splats already work, except instead of "Capacity" they just call it "experience points".
                Your experience point budget contains all sorts of other things in it, though. Abilities, Attributes, Sorcery, Martial Arts, etc. Capacity would just be explicitly "how many Charms I want to be able to have at one time". Elfive does an excellent job of demonstrating how the general concept of Capacity would work.



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                • #68
                  I'm not sure how necessary that would be, mind you. Alchemicals have an unusually large peripheral essence pool, with the capacity to expand it further with charms. This is presumably to compensate for the fact that they were probably going to be using a decent chunk of their personal pool on commitment costs.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                    Nah, I think they meant basically giving the character a bunch more charm slots, but making it so some (maybe most) charms take up more than one slot.

                    Say you have capacity 10 (lowballing it for simplicity) you could install 3 capacity 3 charms and a capacity 1 charm, or 5 capacity 2 charms, or 3 capacity 1 charms, 2 capacity 2 charms and a capacity 3 charm. Essentially the commitment only model but you commit something other than essence.
                    Or you could keep everything simple and NOT introduce a new, not-Essence resource that only exists for the purposes of making things difficult.


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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                      Or you could keep everything simple and NOT introduce a new, not-Essence resource that only exists for the purposes of making things difficult.
                      This "capacity" is just renamed charmslots that are fixed in number and don't require committing personal essence. The name "charm slot" is probably fine either way, and the two salient points of the suggestion are "you can't buy more" and "you don't have to commit anything else" which can both be examined individually.


                      Honestly, personal essence commitment was sort of pointless all the times I played Alchemicals because I never ran up against it. My stealth suit included that charm that prevented motes from adding to anima display and Alchemicals don't generally care if they flare most of the time much like Terrestrials. The added xp cost of charmslots was the bigger limit and I tried to make sure I always had enough of them to totally install all the charms involved in a single "role"

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
                        I think I'm with Sunder on this one. This doesn't actually make as much sense as I think you hope it does.

                        there are attunement costs and charm slots. Attunement costs already exist in the setting. Charm slots only ever existed for Alchemicals. They're both methods of limiting the number of charms that an Alchemical has access to at any given time. They offer completely separate ways of limiting charms.


                        Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post


                        Essence costs also limits available essence and provides a cost/benefit situation every time the character wants to change their loadout. However, this is also true of artifact attunement. Like, literally the exact same kind of tradeoff and already exists in the system
                        Except that it’s not the exact same tradeoff. Essence committed to artifacts and charm activations can both be reflexively terminated and the essence respired. Installation costs can’t be uncommitted until the charms are uninstalled. If there’s an instance where a character’s attunement to his daiklave prevents him from activating his charm, then he lets the attunement lapse, respires the essence and the next turn/a few hours depending on if he’s in combat or not, he does the thing. An Alchemical doesn’t have the same luxury with the essence he commits towards charm installation. Those motes really are removed from your mote pool until you change your charm configuration. I think that’s enough of a difference to say it’s a new thing you’re adding to the system.

                        Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
                        Unfortunately for your argument, charm slots does not exist in the base system and thus would actually be adding more complexity. Attunement costs already exist in the base system associated with artifacts. By your argument for complexity reduction you should be singing the praises of attunement costs.

                        My argument is that neither exist in the base system, but imposing a limit that doesn’t affect anything besides the thing that it’s limiting is inherently less complex than trying to use a resource that’s already used by multiple other aspects of the system (i.e. personal motes), because anything the PC does affects the other ways that resource is used.

                        Originally posted by armyofwhispers View Post
                        Except that limiting the charm slots to be linked with essence provides an inescapable hard cap on how many charms you can have installed at a given time. This would force people to either build up a ridiculous backlog of charms that they cannot use or to spend all their xp on abilities. Or spend months in downtime in the vats getting their attributes upgraded (I really hope they overhaul the training times for alchies). If alchemicals have any sort of splat xp which can't be spent on charms you'll end up with all your alchemicals maxed out with abilities and attributes.

                        You'd end up with lots of alchemicals turning to weaving/ma/evocations just to have more charm options.

                        Exalted characters are not so simple that you can add in a resource that governs how many charms they have access to and say that it somehow doesn't affect anything else about the character.
                        Yeah, I’m not really a fan of the idea of creating a hard cap tied to Essence either. I want the system of discounted charm costs being offset by the cost by the price of a charm slot on a 1 to 1 basis because that leaves everything else about the system balance intact and effectively lets players ignore the Alchemical’s charm modularity if they want to ignore the XP discount.

                        All of that being said, even if I concede your point about not being able in the concept of charm slots won’t affect ANYTHING, my observation is that people are much more likely to house rule XP costs rather than mote pool size. That’s evidence in my mind that it’s still far less complicated to make adjustments to the XP system to properly incentivize purchasing things, than it is to add in variable mote pool sizes to the already delicate balance of charm effect and charm cost. If I’m being fair though, that could be observation bias.

                        As a side note, I don’t see why they wouldn’t change training times foe Alchemicals as they changed how it works for non-alchemical characters already.


                        My Exalted Character Creation Tool may be downloaded here. The thread talking about the tool can be found here.
                        I have a rewrite of the craft system which can be downloaded here.

                        I like the Mesoamerican look.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Sunder the Gold View Post
                          Or you could keep everything simple and NOT introduce a new, not-Essence resource that only exists for the purposes of making things difficult.
                          If we wanted to keep things simple, we'd throw out the idea of modular Charms completely. Actually, if we wanted to simplify things even further, we'd ditch dice and rules completely and just go to free-form roleplay. Making things difficult is what also creates the challenge inherent to the system and allows you the fun of conquering that challenge.



                          Masters of the Industrial Elements
                          Upon the Rock of Tradition: The Memorial Exalted
                          Ghosts: A Revision (2nd Edition)
                          The Underworld (3rd Edition)

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                            I'm not sure how necessary that would be, mind you. Alchemicals have an unusually large peripheral essence pool, with the capacity to expand it further with charms. This is presumably to compensate for the fact that they were probably going to be using a decent chunk of their personal pool on commitment costs.
                            This is from 2E based on 2E's balance requirements. I wouldn't bet on this at all at this point. If Alchemicals end up dropping attunement costs I would be greatly surprised if the large mote pool and mote expansion charms didn't also get the ax.

                            Then again I'd be quite surprised if they have mote pool expanders if they go with attunement costs either. The trouble with balancing an entire charmset around mote pool expansion is making it a necessity for that splat. They could do things like Harmony With Nature Approach and gain motes that only work for certain actions but I doubt we'd find permanent pool expansion anywhere.

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                            • #74
                              I want the system of discounted charm costs being offset by the cost by the price of a charm slot on a 1 to 1 basis because that leaves everything else about the system balance intact and effectively lets players ignore the Alchemical’s charm modularity if they want to ignore the XP discount.
                              I really don't want this. For the devs to make a modular Charm system for Alchemicals... and then allow you to completely ignore it by buying enough Charm slots that you never need to change... just seems completely ridiculous for me. Especially if it would be like you suggested that an Alchemical that ignores one of their core design concepts would be buying Charms at an equal rate to Solars, making the drawback of ignoring the system way, WAY too tiny.

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by Demac View Post
                                Except that it’s not the exact same tradeoff. Essence committed to artifacts and charm activations can both be reflexively terminated and the essence respired. Installation costs can’t be uncommitted until the charms are uninstalled. If there’s an instance where a character’s attunement to his daiklave prevents him from activating his charm, then he lets the attunement lapse, respires the essence and the next turn/a few hours depending on if he’s in combat or not, he does the thing. An Alchemical doesn’t have the same luxury with the essence he commits towards charm installation. Those motes really are removed from your mote pool until you change your charm configuration. I think that’s enough of a difference to say it’s a new thing you’re adding to the system.
                                That's a semantic argument. In play attunement cost to get a charm looks and feels exactly the same to the player as attunement costs to have a badass weapon with evocations. Arguing that you can recoup attunement costs from artifacts falls pretty flat when you're talking about actual gaming scenarios. When would you ever trade an artifact attunement for better mote access in actual play? Especially since you don't get those motes back immediately.

                                Originally posted by Demac View Post
                                My argument is that neither exist in the base system, but imposing a limit that doesn’t affect anything besides the thing that it’s limiting is inherently less complex than trying to use a resource that’s already used by multiple other aspects of the system (i.e. personal motes), because anything the PC does affects the other ways that resource is used.
                                Attunement costs still exist in the base system. They're already a thing. I'm seriously confused as to why you keep denying that it's the same thing as already exists. And adding charms to the list of things that need to come out of that pool isn't even a stretch. Consider indefinite duration charms. You commit essence and don't get to respire it until you end the charm. It's the same thing.

                                Consider if you will that the Alchemical charmset could contain more than it's share of permanent effects to balance the lack of spendable motes. This would actually significantly decrease the complexity of keeping track of several hundred potential charms.

                                Originally posted by Demac View Post
                                Yeah, I’m not really a fan of the idea of creating a hard cap tied to Essence either. I want the system of discounted charm costs being offset by the cost by the price of a charm slot on a 1 to 1 basis because that leaves everything else about the system balance intact and effectively lets players ignore the Alchemical’s charm modularity if they want to ignore the XP discount.

                                All of that being said, even if I concede your point about not being able in the concept of charm slots won’t affect ANYTHING, my observation is that people are much more likely to house rule XP costs rather than mote pool size. That’s evidence in my mind that it’s still far less complicated to make adjustments to the XP system to properly incentivize purchasing things, than it is to add in variable mote pool sizes to the already delicate balance of charm effect and charm cost. If I’m being fair though, that could be observation bias.
                                I'm not sure what you mean by people house ruling xp costs vs mote pools? Do you mean that if presented with attunement costs people would instead opt to create a new system based on xp costs? As far as I know this hasn't happened for any other form of commitment costs and I have no idea where you're getting this from.


                                Originally posted by Demac View Post
                                As a side note, I don’t see why they wouldn’t change training times foe Alchemicals as they changed how it works for non-alchemical characters already.
                                The trouble with training times for Alchemicals is that in 2E they were inextricably linked to their modularity and to the VATS system. If it becomes possible to effectively 'field-swap' charms (VAT Surrogate Reweaving Technique wasn't available until Essence 4), then it becomes possible to do training of other traits outside the vats as well. I wouldn't mind if they used the current training times for attributes(with a concession for caste/favored attributes of course), abilities etc but to get new charms they'd need a trip to the VATS. That is, new charms. I hope you can swap out charms you already own whenever you want. Perhaps you could reduce training times significantly if you have access to the VATS during the process, much like in 3E Solars can train much faster than the listed traits if they dedicate all their time to training.

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