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  • Solar Presence versus Dragon-Blooded Presence

    I've heard that the Solar Presence Charm set has more raw power but less actual effectiveness than Terrestrial Presence Charm set.

    How so?

    Does this seem like a real problem to you?

    Would you want to fix this by adding new Solar Presence Charms, or by tweaking or replacing existing Solar Presence Charms?


    Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

    My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

  • #2
    I have to say I’m not seeing it. Between Tiger’s Dread Symetry, Harmoneous Presence Meditation, Listener Swaying Argument, and the excellency you’re probably getting a 2m-4m full excellency every time you roll presence. With decent stats in those abilities that just lets you run roughshod all over everyone. DB presence has little tricks to like, double up on giving a persuade and I still action under very specific circumstances, but it can’t compete with throwing 25 dice all day long. Also it has some tricky stuff like mind wiping.

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    • #3
      Let's say I'm Lady Presence McCharisma, the smoothest-talking Solar about.
      I want to persuade a guy with a low Resolve (mortal or Exalt) to take a fairly significant action to help me. Should be easy, right?
      Well, what I want him to do is a bit risky, quite inconvenient, but it's not very likely he'll die. This requires a major intimacy.
      But what if he doesn't have an applicable Major intimacy?
      First, I have to give him an applicable minor intimacy. If I succeed, he can resist with 1 wp.
      Then I have to give him a second minor intimacy that supports the first one. If I succeed, he can resist with 1 wp.
      Then I have to reinforce the first intimacy, using a more significant argument or piece of evidence than the first time.
      Then I can finally roll to persuade him. He's got -2 Resolve from the Major Intimacy, so it shouldn't be hard. If he has two other intimacies (one at least Major strength) that oppose my persuasion attempt, he can make a Decision Point (ie spend 1wp).
      If I fail any of these, I'll need to change tack entirely, so it's a bit tricky to try again

      Getting lots of successes probably isn't an issue; I'm a Solar presence-monkey after all, his Resolve is rubbish. I've got a huge pool and an excellency.
      What I'd like is some way to not have to make 4 different rolls and giving him all these chances to resist with a WP.

      Let's have a look at the Presence tree. What will help me?
      Listener-Swaying Argument - No
      Harmonious Presence Meditation - No
      Excellent Friend Approach - No
      Tiger's Dread Symmetry - No
      Impassioned Discourse Technique - No
      Empowering Shout - No
      Majestic Radiant Presence - No
      Underling-Promoting Touch - No
      Threefold Magnetic Ardor - No
      Awakened Carnal Demiurge - No
      Enemy-Castigating Judgement - No
      Fulminating Word - Will make the final intimidation/persuasion cost 2 wp instead of 1! But costs 1wp. And he could just spend WP to not get the intimacy in the first place.
      Authority-Radiating Stance - No
      Terrifying Apparition of Glory - I can't use it unless my anima is at bonfire, and then the Wyld Hunt would know where I am.
      Blazing Glorious Icon - No
      Mind-Wiping Gaze - No
      Hypnotic Tongue Technique - Perfect! No problem! Sorted! As long as you're cool with hypnotising people.
      Worshipful Lackey Acquisition - No
      Prophet-Uplifting Prana - No
      Shedding Infinite Radiance - No
      Rose Lipped Seduction Style - No
      Crowned King of Eternity - No
      Favor-Conferring Prana - No
      Countenance of Vast Wrath - I can't use it unless my anima is iconic, and then the Wyld Hunt would know where I am.

      Solar Presence only has one charm that's useful for getting past the lack of intimacies, and that's Hypnotic Tongue. But you can't really use that when, say, trying to convince a Queen to help you in her court, because her guards will attack you.

      Essentially, Solar Presence charms do four main things well:
      Buff your friends
      Help you get lots of successes for cheap
      Help you intimidate people
      Help you seduce people

      None of those let you deal with the difficulty of persuading people to take significant actions when they don't already have a Major intimacy. And if they already did have a Major intimacy? There's a decent chance you wouldn't need to Persuade them anyway.


      My characters:
      Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
      Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
      Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
        throwing 25 dice all day long.
        lets you run roughshod all over everyone.
        The problem is, the first one does not necessarily lead to the second one.

        Our Zenith preacher regularly rolls 15+ successes.

        He's had so little success at getting people to do what he wants that he fell into suicidal depression.


        My characters:
        Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
        Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
        Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

        Comment


        • #5
          Okay, so Lady Presence McCharisma was taking ages to try and persuade the weak-willed King to ally with her nation.

          Now it's time for Cynis Silver Tongue to take her turn.

          How could she give him a major intimacy? Minor, 2nd minor, reinforce to Major?

          Nah, she just throws down Dragon Warlord's Convocation. She immediately rolls to give him a Major Intimacy of loyalty to her. He'd like to spend a WP... but he can only do that if he has two intimacies, one being Major, that oppose this. And then she can move on to Persuading him. Four rolls turned into two.

          (Alternatively, she could first roll to give him a Minor intimacy of loyalty to her. If it doesn't work, go to Dragon Warlord's Convocation. If it does, then Dragon Warlord's Convocation will give him a Defining Intimacy, and to resist with WP he'd need two intimacies that oppose it, one being Defining.)

          That is once/story... but Solars don't have anything like that.

          That's not the only charm that helps with Persuasion; there are charms that mean the target can count less intimacies when trying to find the two to apply to a Decision Point (really good), charms where the target counts as already having a supporting intimacy, etc.
          And they have a lot of good charms for Inspiring emotions and doing stuff with emotions.

          They're not as good at intimidation or seduction though. Or just getting loads of successes without spending many motes.
          (Of course, for DBs flaring during a conversation is less problematic than for a Solar, though still awkward.)

          If I was playing a Dragonblood in a Solar game, and looking for stuff I could do that they couldn't, I might well go for Presence.
          Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 02-11-2019, 02:41 PM.


          My characters:
          Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
          Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
          Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

          Comment


          • #6
            I could have sworn there were some Solar presence charms that effectively give the target the same intimacies you hold. But maybe they just give you more dice if that’s the case?


            ....

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            • #7
              Would it be best for a Solar to have some way to break through the normal social influence system's protections by playing to their strength of overwhelming force?

              Like, if you score enough threshold successes, you can achieve an effect like Warlord's Convocation... but you need to score enough threshold successes, so anyone strong enough to not get overwhelmed still has a defense against you.


              Formerly Inugami, formerly Tornado Wolf.

              My RWBY Blog on Tumblr: Semblances, Kingdoms, Grimm, and more!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                None of those let you deal with the difficulty of persuading people to take significant actions when they don't already have a Major intimacy.
                I think that Solar Presence is in a good position of having a lot of good glorious or fearsome god-king imagery to draw on to give it a lot to do, without being something that trivialises the agendas or personalities of other people.

                Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz
                And if they already did have a Major intimacy? There's a decent chance you wouldn't need to Persuade them anyway.
                I don't think that's really consistent with the intent of the social system, or necessarily tracks logically. A person having a Major Principle of opposition to the Realm doesn't automatically incline them towards doing so on your terms.


                I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                  Getting lots of successes probably isn't an issue; I'm a Solar presence-monkey after all, his Resolve is rubbish. I've got a huge pool and an excellency.
                  What I'd like is some way to not have to make 4 different rolls and giving him all these chances to resist with a WP.
                  Put another way, unless I'm misreading the situation as you describe, Solars are strong but depend a lot on ST discretion about whether X NPC would spend a WP or not, ranging from "Of course he would!" to "Why would he? What reason / feeling does he have that makes him?". And I guess they do not have anything in other Abilities to much help with this? (Consideration because Solars get a hell of a lot of Favoured Abilities, choice in their Caste Abilities and are parts of Circles).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                    (Of course, for DBs flaring during a conversation is less problematic than for a Solar, though still awkward.)
                    Wouldn't flaring in a conversation literally start harming those you're talking to and/or your surroundings? Even if the king/queen is up on a raised dais and you're down on the floor petitioning them, I doubt they'll appreciate you suddenly wrecking their throne room.


                    Check out my homebrew exalt: The Fabulists - Chosen of the Raksha here

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                    • #11
                      Also, the solar intimidation charms are like nukes, like Terrifying Apparition of Glory. You use them in combat, combat more or less ends (or the targets pay the not inconsiderate 1wp and 5 init cost, and the charm is useless), and that can take a whole lot of fun from combat players. Also, the charm recurs again, and again. My players that have the tacit understanding of not overusing it, but in my opinion it could be better designed.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh right, Warlord’s Convocation. I literally didn’t even re-read that one because I looked at the essence requirement and went “well that’s barely worth considering for a splat without Supernals.” I suppose in that one case the DBs are better, but it’s only once per story and leaves you with a possibly undesireable track back to you. The later is a minor downside, for sure.

                        I’m also not sure I’m understanding the social system properly. Doesn’t that description describe the absolute worst case scenario, where you don’t know any of your target’s intimacies, a few strong ones can directly oppose what you want, and they’re willing to enter decision points at the drop of a hat?

                        It was my impression that if you wanted, for instance, somebody to run off and join your army to fight the Realm, that first you acertain that they have a defining intimacy of “My family is everything.” And then you target that by saying “The Realm isn’t here today, it won’t be here tomorrow, but it’s coming, and when it does your family will be slaves forever. Come with me, and save them before they ever get hurt.” That way not only can they not bring their “My family is everything.” Intimacy to bear to defend, since you used it to attack, but they need two OTHER ones that are just as strong.

                        To persuade somebody to do something you don’t need an intimacy that absolutely fully supports it, there’d be almost no point to the social system if it did. You just can’t say something with no logical connection like “You love your family, I am hungry, therefore make me a sandwich.” Unless it’s a threat I guess.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oh, this is something I meant to bring up in another thread but just realized I forgot to ever do so

                          I find solar presence a bit odd specifically in comparison to the other social abilities. I would have thought presence is the upfront power ability, socialize handles guile, read intentions, and handles social stuff in the larger contexts of society, and then performance has the more weird affects like memory rewriting. But it seems like socialize has most of the good mechanical social influence affects in addition to it's intimacy stuff. Indecent proposal method sounds more presence to me, having the charisma and speaking skills to make bad ideas sound sensible, and given it doesn't really interact with specific contexts I don't see why it's socialize, and effective counter argument looks the same way. And all the socialize affects in miricales (save viper scenting method) look like they'd work better in presence too. ESPECIALLY soul testing method, reaching to someone based on personal magnetism from a shared experience is squarely presence, if socialize encompasses all affects that have to do with interpersonal relationships then that would be every social affect ever

                          This would be alright if presence had its own share of social tricks to match, but it doesn't. It has a select number of power boosters and then the majority of the rest are the buff charms that don't relate to actually influencing someone, and then small branches for seduction threaten specificay. To be frank it seems like the old devs got presence and socialize confused with charisma and manipulation, like presence is only ever allowed to be the most straight forward affects possible when it also applies to lying and deceit just as well

                          Though this might be because I'm a nut for social systems and powers in general, who knows.
                          Last edited by Lionmanguy; 02-11-2019, 05:05 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Well, that's the post I've had the most direct quotes from ever.
                            I'm glad I'm giving you guys something to debate. In the last week I feel like this forum has come alive again, which is great as Lunars is going to hit tomorrow.

                            Originally posted by BrilliantRain View Post
                            I could have sworn there were some Solar presence charms that effectively give the target the same intimacies you hold. But maybe they just give you more dice if that’s the case?
                            I think you're thinking of Impassioned Discourse technique. That cuts the cost of an excellency when you try and persuade someone to do something that you have a Principle in support of.

                            For example, if you try and convince someone to fight the Realm, and you have a Defining intimacy of "The Realm must be defeated", you get +1 success and +4 dice for only 3m.

                            (Obviously, like a lot of the Presence charms at the bottom of the tree, it claims it gives you extra dice. But it doesn't, it turns 2 dice into a success and then makes excellencies cheaper. Or... sometimes more expensive if you use it without thinking. This is something that took my players quite a while to get the hang of. I had to remind them a lot.)

                            Originally posted by Ghosthead
                            Put another way, unless I'm misreading the situation as you describe, Solars are strong but depend a lot on ST discretion about whether X NPC would spend a WP or not, ranging from "Of course he would!" to "Why would he? What reason / feeling does he have that makes him?".
                            Actually it wasn't, though that's a good point too.

                            Basically, there's two issues with Persuasion.
                            1) Your target needs to have an applicable intimacy.
                            2) They can spend WP to bounce it off (at various stages; the Persuasion is the hardest to spend WP).

                            Dragonblood have various charms that help with both 1) and 2).

                            Solars have nothing in Presence that helps with the 1). They have one charm that helps with 2), a bit, but it's expensive. (Fulminating Word costs you 1wp, and means your Persuasion attempt needs to be resisted with 2wp, rather than 1. But it doesn't stop them spending WP to not get an intimacy. So useful but expensive if you've solved Problem 1 and need to solve Problem 2)

                            Originally posted by Ghosthead
                            And I guess they do not have anything in other Abilities to much help with this?
                            Not the WP, no. But for 1, see my reply to Lionmanguy at the bottom of this post.

                            Originally posted by armyofwhispers
                            Even if the king/queen is up on a raised dais and you're down on the floor petitioning them, I doubt they'll appreciate you suddenly wrecking their throne room.
                            That's why I said it's still awkward. Less awkward than revealing you're an ancient body-stealing demon of course.

                            Originally posted by pcontop
                            (or the targets pay the not inconsiderate 1wp and 5 init cost, and the charm is useless)
                            I mean, while "useless", I think 7m, 1wp is worth it to burn off 1wp and 5 initiative from each of your foes. Or even one foe.

                            As I said, Solar Presence is quite good at intimidation (and seduction).
                            It's just not good at Persuasion (or Inspiration, I think. I'd need to check).

                            Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey
                            Oh right, Warlord’s Convocation. I literally didn’t even re-read that one because I looked at the essence requirement and went “well that’s barely worth considering for a splat without Supernals.”
                            With 25000 Dragonblood in the world, some of whom are hundreds of years, I'm sure there's more Dragonblood with Presence 5 and Essence 4+ than there are Solars with Presence 1+ and Essence 1+. Probably a fair few more.

                            I suppose in that one case the DBs are better, but it’s only once per story
                            It is.
                            But Solars can't even do that once a year.

                            I used Warlord's Convocation because it's their best Presence charm, but they have a number of other charms that a Solar who wants to make Persuasion attempts would find more useful than most of her own charms. I just don't have time to go through them.
                            (I may do it tomorrow evening or Wednesday morning if I have time.)

                            Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey
                            I’m also not sure I’m understanding the social system properly. Doesn’t that description describe the absolute worst case scenario, where you don’t know any of your target’s intimacies
                            Yes, but that's going to happen most of the time you're talking to people you don't know well.

                            Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey
                            a few strong ones can directly oppose what you want,
                            Well, again my example didn't say if they definitely did, just that they might.
                            It's harder if they do, because they can use a Decision Point.

                            If they have no opposing intimacies, that's easier, because they can't use a Decision Point. But you still need them to have a supporting intimacy, and if they don't, it's quite hard to give them one.

                            Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey
                            and they’re willing to enter decision points at the drop of a hat?
                            I used a Major decision for an example, because I think it might be a big enough ask that they'll want to spend 1wp to resist.
                            But they won't always. As I said, it's an option, not a certainty.
                            But if, say, you're trying to convince a Queen to ally her nation with yours, that seems like something she might rather spend a WP than do.

                            Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey
                            It was my impression that if you wanted, for instance, somebody to run off and join your army to fight the Realm, that first you acertain that they have a defining intimacy of “My family is everything.”
                            But how do you ascertain that?
                            (See my reply at the bottom here, to Lionmanguy)

                            And what if... well, you want them to do something, and they just don't have any Major or Defining intimacies that are applicable?
                            That's been an issue for our social characters a fair few times.

                            As you said, my example is... somewhat of a worst possible example.
                            But it's a situation that I've seen come up a lot of times.

                            Whereas your example, is the best possible example (you realise they have a Defining Intimacy that's useful). I've used that once.

                            Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey
                            To persuade somebody to do something you don’t need an intimacy that absolutely fully supports it, there’d be almost no point to the social system if it did.
                            Indeed, but that's not really what I'm saying.

                            Originally posted by Lionmanguy
                            But it seems like socialize has most of the good mechanical social influence affects in addition to it's intimacy stuff.
                            There are powerful social influence effects in Presence.
                            It's great at hypnotising, intimidation, and seduction. It's also good at getting past high Resolve without spending a ton of motes (which is very dull, but sometimes necessary).

                            What it's not good at is Persuasion (or Inspire).

                            It can get lots of successes.
                            But what it can't do is a)tell you what intimacies people have so you can key off them, and b)if they don't have useful intimacies make it easier for you to give people intimacies that you can then key off.

                            But there are effects for this; they're in Socialise. The very first charm of Socialise, for example, makes anyone with a positive intimacy to their culture have a temporary minor positive intimacy to you. And they can't spend WP to resist! That's incredibly useful! Once they've got a Minor Intimacy to you, you could use it for all kinds of shenanigans on their other intimacies.*
                            The second charm listed is a dice boost to Read Intentions, but if you repurchase it, it becomes a really good charm for learning your target's intimacies. Very important for social influence!

                            *This is pretty much the only Solar charm that does this. Dragonblood have a bunch.

                            And of course, Wise-Eyed Courtier Method will let you walk into a social group and immediately learn a ton of useful intimacies and emotions.

                            So, you see, Presence is bad at Persuasion. But it can be good, if you combine it with a bunch of Socialise charms.

                            But, unfortunately, the Zenith player in our game didn't realise that. He took a lot of Presence and Persuasion charms, and well... he's great at preaching to the converted. Literally. What he's not great at is convincing the people who don't much like us to get on better with us, which is what we desperately need.
                            Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 02-11-2019, 08:03 PM.


                            My characters:
                            Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                            Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
                            Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post

                              I think that Solar Presence is in a good position of having a lot of good glorious or fearsome god-king imagery to draw on to give it a lot to do, without being something that trivialises the agendas or personalities of other people.
                              I quoted this seperarely, because I think it's worth discussing in a different way to the stuff above.

                              Solars have nothing beyond more dice to help them with the fact that, if someone just doesn't care about helping the poor, you probably can't convince them to help the poor.

                              And... should they?

                              When our ST read the new social system, he was very happy. "A Solar can't just walk up to a stranger and convince them to join their army anymore! That's great! It's much more realistic."
                              And it is.

                              And I don't think (except for straight-up mind-control, like Hypnotic Tongue Technique) that a Solar should be able to, say, convince people to take Serious Tasks when they don't have a Major intimacy that supports it.

                              I mean, it doesn't really make sense for a Solar to just walk up to someone and be like "abandon your old life and become my follower!" and it work. Who'd do that?*

                              *I guess Jesus's disciples (he is an inspiration for Zeniths). But then they probably had Major Intimacies like "YHWH will send us a Messiah and we should follow him" or maybe "I want to give my life more meaning than being a fisherman". Not to mention "I'll do whatever it takes to drive out the Romans." Oh St Simon, you wacky terrorist, you.



                              At the beginning of this thread, Sunder asked if anyone had any ideas for how Solar Presence could be improved.

                              In terms of Persuasion, I wouldn't suggest things like "Make a Persuasion attempt without needing a supporting intimacy."

                              But instead, I'd suggest things like:
                              Make it harder for them to apply a Decision Point
                              Increase the cost of resisting a new intimacy or having an intimacy degraded.
                              Increase a Minor intimacy to Major without a second intimacy supporting it.
                              Instill a Major intimacy with a successful instill, rather than a Minor. (Should be expensive.)
                              Persuade them to do a Serious Task with a Minor intimacy, or a Life-Threatening Task with a Major Intimacy. (Should be expensive.)
                              Have your target count as having certain Minor Intimacies under certain circumstances (like Mastery of Small Manners. There's a fair few Dragonblood charms that do this.)

                              Some of these wouldn't be general, but be Solar themed. Ie you can't instill any Major Intimacy, but only Principles based on morality or honour. Or maybe there's a charm that means they can't apply negative Ties (of hatred, etc) to a Decision Point. Or you can persuade them to do a Serious Task with a Minor intimacy, but it has to be protecting people. Or you can reduce a Negative minor tie to nothing with no WP to resist, but only negative intimacies to you.
                              I'm sure people could think of some ideas.
                              Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 02-11-2019, 08:09 PM.


                              My characters:
                              Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                              Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng
                              Shadow of Kings, Twilight barbarian scholar, master of lost First Age crafting techniques. Has a lot of clones. Picture by Jen.

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