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  • Grod_the_giant
    started a topic What if... there were no Excellencies?

    What if... there were no Excellencies?

    It waters down the power and supremacy of Solars, sure... but I think it might be good for the game.

    Excellencies are not, ultimately, interesting abilities. They're number inflation, plain and simple. While it's certainly fun to roll 20 dice, the ability of Solars to drown foes in dice pools makes strains everything, starting with the benchmarks. 5 successes are enough to read a letter by feeling the imprint of the ink, or to swan-dive five hundred feet unharmed--what do 10 successes mean? Or 15? Any kind of opposition becomes basically meaningless--it doesn't matter what kind of cool powers a demon has, it'll just get blown away by bigger numbers.

    On the other hand, what happens if they're gone? Not more expensive, not turned into 2e style Charms to learn, just gone?
    • All emphasis gets placed on Charms, which are inherently more interesting than "1m per die." The difference between a skilled mortal swordsman and a Dawn isn't that the Solar has twice as many dice, it's that they've got magic tricks and powers.
    • Boring dice/success adding Charms like Excellent Strike or Impassioned Discourse Method become interesting again, as do dice tricks-- they're actually expanding your capabilities, not just serving as a marginally-better-in-some-situations Excellency.
    • Charms like Flawless Diagnostic Technique can feel pointless, because they're not letting you do anything you couldn't already with a sufficiently large die pool. Now they are.
    • Enemy design gets easier, because there's no longer a need to inflate dice pools to match the Solars-- we can focus on creating Charms with active effects, not just new variations of dice tricks so that the Dragonblooded scion has a faint prayer of landing a hit.
    • The difference between Celestial and Terrestrial Exalts becomes a question of Charm capabilities. Ie, "what kinds of cool stuff cane we do," rather than "who can roll more dice?"
    • Solars get weaker, encounter design gets easier, and there's more incentive to spread your Charms across multiple abilities.

  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...lencies-thread

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  • JohnDoe244
    replied
    Not to be a dick about this... But we're no longer discussing "what if there were no Excellencies".

    Why not write down an actual houserule about downtime and make a new thread so we can discuss it properly?

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
    Craft points are a different thing that the production rate of goods.
    How fast you can generate cxp directly impacts your production rate of objects that aren't minor projects, because you need to spend cxp to make rolls to produce. They're never rendered meaningless, Solars just generate them so fast that they stop acting as gates towards production rates.


    ...converting everything to use narrative time introduces a lot of complexity to try to keep the results of Craft and other sub-systems somewhat consistent with our expectations about reality.
    You've yet to established what this negative complexity would be. It's a very vague critique that's pretty much impossible to address.

    As well, you've yet to really make a case the tracking things with chronological time isn't already this case. Why do all mundane Superior projects 6 weeks of to get to rolling? How is it an appeal to verisimilitude for using chronological time to maintain a sense of expectation to reality when the system doesn't do that in the first place?

    It doesn't make a character with enough cxp months to make a pleasure yacht. It takes six weeks. It doesn't take them months to make a military trireme. It takes six weeks. It doesn't take them months to erect a castle. It takes them six weeks.

    Why does it take so much longer to hammer Orichalcum into the shape of a magic sword based on how much magical power it contains? A three dot daiklave and a five dot daiklave are the same basic mass, use the amount of material, and require the same effort to mold into shape. But it take a lot longer to do one than the other. Not because of realism, but to avoid flooding the game with 5 dot Artifacts (unless Solars are at it)

    The game isn't realistic, or trying to be..

    Further, it removes some of the ability of players to self-manage things, as they need to ask the Storyteller "how many scenes did that downtime count for?" or "How long of a downtime was that?" before they can make decisions instead of just informing the Storyteller "I'm starting work on an artifact" and marking how much time passes after that.
    It is functionally exactly the same. The ST declares an amount of time passes, the PCs note it and how much progress they can make.

    I did have a different thought, this time about the difficulty problem. People like how it does work well for mortals and want to keep that aspect, but it doesn't work for challenging the Exalted. Well, what if the difficulty scale was exponential? So, instead of Difficulty 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 it would be like 1, 2, 3, 5, 8.
    It depends how the base difficulty would interact with modifiers. If something is difficulty 3, and an effect increases the difficulty by 1, does it become 4, or does it go up one step to 5?

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  • Kyeudo
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    Given the Solar Craft Charms... this is already a problem with the RAW. See: Supreme Perfection of Craft.
    Craft points are a different thing that the production rate of goods. By the RAW, craft points can be rendered meaningless with an Intimacy of "I like Crafting", CNNT, and Sublime Transference during any period of downtime.

    I think I've addressed what I felt was off, though I'm not sure I appreciate the "unmentioned" part as I feel I did, even if they might have gotten lost in the length and breadth of this thread.
    That "A long downtime and the same amount of scenes as what a long downtime supposedly covers not being interchangeable" is one of those unmentioned assumptions. We often don't notice that we left out something that we think is obvious to everyone. Writing out my understanding lets you check to see if what you think you communicated matches what I think I received and find those assumptions you didn't think needed to be said.

    A Craft Supernal PC with Vice-Miracle Technique active can make a 3 dot Artifact every session.
    That's once per season, not once per session. Also, you have to have already made an artifact and currently be making another one.


    Now that you've detailed more about how you would go about reconfiguring all of the rules to use purely narrative time units, I think it goes too far. While I do think the idea of linking resources that could be stressed by chained action scenes to a narrative time scale would remove the incentive to rest for a few hours after every encounter with no time crunch, converting everything to use narrative time introduces a lot of complexity to try to keep the results of Craft and other sub-systems somewhat consistent with our expectations about reality. Further, it removes some of the ability of players to self-manage things, as they need to ask the Storyteller "how many scenes did that downtime count for?" or "How long of a downtime was that?" before they can make decisions instead of just informing the Storyteller "I'm starting work on an artifact" and marking how much time passes after that.


    I did have a different thought, this time about the difficulty problem. People like how it does work well for mortals and want to keep that aspect, but it doesn't work for challenging the Exalted. Well, what if the difficulty scale was exponential? So, instead of Difficulty 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 it would be like 1, 2, 3, 5, 8.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
    Your first proposal seemed to be putting downtime in terms of scenes, so that short, medium, and long downtimes would all be just "X number of scenes have passed since the last one". This isn't inherently bad, but scenes are very fluid units of time and they can be very short. You can cram a lot of scenes into a single day, so the duration of a "long downtime" in scenes is possible to pass very quickly in chronological time.
    Not just scenes. Longer downtimes would primarily key off of sessions and stories as well, as the are mechanics that reference those narrative units already; though perhaps session and references to it should be changed to something similar (ex:an Act is a series of scenes that encompass a significant portion of a Story. Normally handled in one session of game play, a particularly long session might be able to complete two Acts, or short sessions might spread an Act over two).

    So a medium downtime might have a suggested range of scenes so STs and players can know how many times they can do X during one, but it would also be important to a number of existing mechanics were something currently only goes off once per session. If you're playing in a game where diseases can actually matter to the PCs outside of letting them show off their super-resilience/healing skills, a medium downtime would mark a reset on symptoms inconveniencing a character. On top of any Charm with something on it like, "you can only use this once per session," now being available again.

    A longer downtime would get into story length resets. Speaking of crafting, there's a bonus cxp reward for each Craft you use during a story. It's frequently overlooked (at least IME) since Exalted can get cxp way faster, and because stories tend to go on longer IRL time than the designers seem to think they do in play. So a long downtime would key off story resets.

    Ultimately this never completely gets rid of your point that a lot of scenes can be stuffed into a single day of chronological time. I find that a tad hyperbolic, but a central premise of the house rule is to make the game operate more at the speed of plot than worry about chronological time. So if you really push narrative time that hard, sure, the results will get wonky. But as I pointed out, you get wonky results out of mixing narrative and chronological time anyway.

    You then suggest using a "long downtime" as the interval for a Crafting project. This is where things will start producing weird results. If a long downtime is just "X number of scenes have passed since the last one", then after a long downtime's worth of scenes have passed, the craft guy would seem to be justified in asking to perform a craft roll.
    While this would need to be addressed per subsystem rather than broadly in the definition of downtimes to work ideally, the number of scenes that a downtime mechanically represents is an arbitrary measure to adjudicate how often a character can benefit from scene-tagged mechanics during a downtime. They are not interchangeable by default. If a system says something requires a long downtime, the PCs have to wait for a long downtime to pass, not the same number of scenes to pass as a long downtime allows to occur within it.

    If you can do 15 scenes worth of scene-based actions during a long downtime, it doesn't mean that 15 scenes passing during active play counts towards a mechanic that requires a long downtime, unless a subsystem says so.

    Suppose the story then time skips to the summer of the next year, so a long downtime is declared and six months go by. The craft guy throws the same amount of magic at building another ship and finishes in a single roll, but now has produced in six months the same result as he managed to produce in a single day.
    Given the Solar Craft Charms... this is already a problem with the RAW. See: Supreme Perfection of Craft.

    Is this an accurate summation of the idea and its implications? Or did you have other, unmentioned assumptions?
    I think I've addressed what I felt was off, though I'm not sure I appreciate the "unmentioned" part as I feel I did, even if they might have gotten lost in the length and breadth of this thread.

    I was meaning more "There is a simpler way to handle the situation of training times that requires only a small to no change to the RAW in order to correct the problem". A complete overhaul of how time intervals are handled is overkill to deal with "the game is too fast paced to incorporate training times".
    If training times were the only issue, this would have merit. I actually don't like them at all and I don't use them at all with the RAW regardless of game pacing.

    A switch to more narrative times makes the whole concept more palatable to me as a concession towards verisimilitude, and has the broad appealing benefit of making training times more flexible for different paced games. It's a side benefit of a deeper mechanical change, not the point of making the change.

    Given the current RAW, all artifacts and other superior projects are out the window with only a week to work with, even with Charms.
    A Craft Supernal PC with Vice-Miracle Technique active can make a 3 dot Artifact every session.

    Hyperbole isn't necessarily a case of the excluded middle fallacy, merely an example.
    Admitting it's hyperbole is an acknowledgement enough for me.

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  • Kyeudo
    replied
    I've spent some time thinking about how to reply. I think I might not understand the manner in which you are proposing that things like crafting be tied into a formalized downtime, so before I argue against the idea too strongly I should make sure I understand correctly.

    Your first proposal seemed to be putting downtime in terms of scenes, so that short, medium, and long downtimes would all be just "X number of scenes have passed since the last one". This isn't inherently bad, but scenes are very fluid units of time and they can be very short. You can cram a lot of scenes into a single day, so the duration of a "long downtime" in scenes is possible to pass very quickly in chronological time.

    You then suggest using a "long downtime" as the interval for a Crafting project. This is where things will start producing weird results. If a long downtime is just "X number of scenes have passed since the last one", then after a long downtime's worth of scenes have passed, the craft guy would seem to be justified in asking to perform a craft roll. The craft guy is building a ship and we know how explosive Craft can get in terms of successes. Getting 30 extra successes on the roll isn't hard, so the Craft guy builds the ship in less than a single day, while also participating in the very fast paced action going on that has led to the high number of scenes in a single day.

    Suppose the story then time skips to the summer of the next year, so a long downtime is declared and six months go by. The craft guy throws the same amount of magic at building another ship and finishes in a single roll, but now has produced in six months the same result as he managed to produce in a single day.

    Is this an accurate summation of the idea and its implications? Or did you have other, unmentioned assumptions?

    "People dump the RAW because it doesn't work for the kind of game they're running, so there's no reason to house rule something in that would make the rules functional for the people ignoring the RAW," is an odd argument.
    I was meaning more "There is a simpler way to handle the situation of training times that requires only a small to no change to the RAW in order to correct the problem". A complete overhaul of how time intervals are handled is overkill to deal with "the game is too fast paced to incorporate training times".

    There's a fairly large excluded middle here given the current RAW.
    Given the current RAW, all artifacts and other superior projects are out the window with only a week to work with, even with Charms. If he knew that going into the game and still made a Craft-based character, he's signed up for a game where he will not be making wonders of artifice. He may be planning to use CNNT to be MacGuyver or have some other idea about how to make a Craft-based character work in a fast-paced game.

    Same with a Bureaucracy-based character. It's hard to enumerate the number of actions that he will be unable to accomplish, even with Charms, simply because those actions take longer than a week. Hyperbole isn't necessarily a case of the excluded middle fallacy, merely an example.

    As long as players knew about that constraint going in, they can choose how to adapt to the situation. If they weren't informed, made their characters, and then found out things were going to be too fast-paced for what they wanted to do, then they have a reason to be upset, but that reason is because of a lack of communication, not that the RAW don't let them make a daiklave in a day.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
    Verisimilitude.
    I'm not suggesting that the amount of time in-universe it takes to sail from the Blessed Isle to the Caul should change (not that it's a set specific amount of time anyway because that's not how sailing work), I'm suggesting how much the mechanics of the game change.

    "You set sail for the Caul, it takes about a month to get there." Happens just the same via the RAW or my suggestion. What changes is how this interacts with various mechanics. Thus it doesn't directly impact verisimilitude. Verisimilitude is actually easier in many cases, because most people are not nearly well educated enough in various topics to really have a good idea of how long various things should take (esp, to appropriately scale "as fast as humanly possible under ideal conditions vs. average vs. various suboptimal situations). Even more so when you remember that time passes under different definitions on Earth than in Creation, Creation follows different rules, and there's magic even mortals can obtain (how long does it realistically take to build a castle if your kingdom has five sorcerers that can summon demons and elementals to aid the effort?).

    Using distinct units of chronological time is actually a bigger risk to verisimilitude, because they're arbitrary assignments that may or may not match expectations. "Well, the rules say it takes three months." "But you can do it in a week, here's a YouTube video of someone doing it with era appropriate tools," is a failure of verisimilitude. "It takes a medium downtime." avoids that.

    There is an obvious example of this in 3e (and lots of games besides Exalted): narrative combat positioning. While not everyone likes it for their personal preferences, Ex3 completely drops measuring distances in combat by yards/meters, and just uses descriptive range bands. Fights didn't lose verisimilitude just because we replace "within 6 yards," with, "close."

    If I'm building a large ship, it should take the months of construction that I expect, not "until the end of the next downtime" which happens to cover a week between story events.
    That depends though.

    If Superior crafting projects take one long downtime per roll, a Supernal Craft Solar that's free to throw lots of powers at it finishing in a week? Sure, seems fine to me. A skilled mortal that's going to need four rolls is going to be closer to a full month + all the time between downtimes, and then feels more appropriately long (even if fast, it's Exalted, it's OK if thing are a bit exaggerated). You keep what's important, and cut the excess details that aren't actually important to the game.

    Think of it this way: Essence and Willpower are narrative resources, influencing how the story is told, and making them run on narrative time instead of chronological time means that heavy investment in one scene leaves one tapped out in the next. Other things, like harvests from farms, mining of raw materials, construction of buildings, forging of artifacts, and such are ways of gaining or losing logistical resources and so we expect those resources to all use the same time scales.
    Essence and Willpower are as much narrative resources as time is.

    And yes, I know the expectations that lead to the game being designed how it is. I'm challenging that being the right choice for the game. Just because people expect something doesn't mean a different way of doing it isn't a better idea and that people aren't going to come around to it. The idea that there's a functional separation of "narrative" and "logistical" resources for a RPG doesn't scan for me.

    A bomb detonation is a very different thing from the question of how long it takes to construct a fortress.
    In terms of playing the game, the difference is one sets a time-pressure on the characters, and the other as presented doesn't really matter how long it takes beside making sure it feels significant.

    Have you seen 1917?
    Yes, not at all what I was thinking about, because there's a completely different conversation about the use of "oner" shots.

    Bringing this too the conversation, it's worth considering how complicated making a movie like 1917 work is (and hence why it's rare in a different way: it's so hard to do). The oners in 1917 are immensely complicated cinematic achievements. They are visually stunning, and 1917 is great at making them emotionally impactful... but it's not actually relevant to the plot. 1917 pulled off the equivalent of the entire group of PCs pulling off undeniable level 3 stunts in the same scene. Awesome and fun? Yes. Did it inherently swing the course of the action of the game despite being incredibly memorable? Probably not.

    What makes 1917 great isn't that the multiple oners mean a 1:1 action to time ratio, but the visual spectacle of oners when they get pulled off. The same reason the oner hallway fight in Old Boy is considered one of the best fight scenes of all time. It's not realistic, it's not even that sensible, but the non-stop lack of cut aways drives the emotional core of the scene perfectly.

    And these are on-screen things! Not "downtime" things.

    How long does it take to build up a trade guild? Not usually part of a movie plot, pretty common in Exalted. How long does it take to forge a sword? Pretty common question in Exalted, rarely part of a movie.
    Why are exact times necessary though?

    You know that it shouldn't be available immediately - that would violate your sense of verisimilitude - and the player isn't trying to race a clock, usually, so what is being set by the construction time is "how much plot should happened between starting and finishing", but that amount of plot is itself based on how fast the events are taking place. If you put the forging interval for a daiklave as 14 scenes, expecting that to work out to two weeks because you average 1 scene per day, a particularly intense day could result in the daiklave being done before the end of the day instead.
    Well, that's the point of a gradient of downtimes. If a single day has 14 scenes, and all of them allow significant progress towards Artifact crafting in them... that seems really hard to justify existing... but the ST put that possibility in.

    Fast-paced games usually toss training times...
    "People dump the RAW because it doesn't work for the kind of game they're running, so there's no reason to house rule something in that would make the rules functional for the people ignoring the RAW," is an odd argument.

    Forging a 5 dot daiklave in that time span shouldn't be what the player is expecting, nor should putting together a Creation-spanning trade network be an expectation for the Bureaucracy-focused character.
    There's a fairly large excluded middle here given the current RAW.

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  • Kyeudo
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

    Why? I ask very seriously, why is it at all necessary to key anything off of strict chronological time units?
    Verisimilitude. If I'm building a large ship, it should take the months of construction that I expect, not "until the end of the next downtime" which happens to cover a week between story events.

    Think of it this way: Essence and Willpower are narrative resources, influencing how the story is told, and making them run on narrative time instead of chronological time means that heavy investment in one scene leaves one tapped out in the next. Other things, like harvests from farms, mining of raw materials, construction of buildings, forging of artifacts, and such are ways of gaining or losing logistical resources and so we expect those resources to all use the same time scales.

    Most media avoids this because it messes with plots and leads to silly cliches. The whole "the bomb will go off in X minutes," always leads to, "they disarm the bomb in the last few seconds," regardless of how much time has passed for the audience, and how long what the audience sees would "realistically" make sense. Even if chronological time is referenced, the actual story unfolds in narrative time: if the heroes get there while there's plenty of time to disarm the bomb, it removes tension, and if the bomb actually goes of X minutes in real time it puts a huge strain on the ability for anything interesting to be shown happening.
    Bringing up a narrative construct to try to demonstrate why everything should/could key off of narrative time isn't a very compelling argument. A bomb detonation is a very different thing from the question of how long it takes to construct a fortress.

    In the small sub-section of movies where the make the events of the film take exactly as long as the film itself, it rarely does anything positive. At best it's a neutral factor, and it's rarely done because it comes off as too gimmicky and impedes good storytelling.
    Have you seen 1917? No direct bearing on the discussion, just your comment reminds me of that movie and how we get to see all of the events from beginning to end, happening in almost real time.

    So, considering that 99% of the media we consume operates in purely narrative time - even with a thin patina of chronological time being referenced - why are RPGs any different?
    Back on topic, most movies and such rarely involve the kingdom-building aspects that Exalted does. How long does it take to build up a trade guild? Not usually part of a movie plot, pretty common in Exalted. How long does it take to forge a sword? Pretty common question in Exalted, rarely part of a movie.

    Further, those movies that do include such elements, such as in the third Lord of the Rings movie, are pre-plotted and so the timing is able to be fudged to fit in properly with the narrative being told. Unlike in the books, where Anduril is reforged before the companions leave Rivendell, they put the forging in the third movie so that the significance is fresh in the viewers' minds before Aragorn goes to claim the ghost army. In both the books and the movies, however, the forging is begun and finished long before Aragorn even considers going to claim the ghost army because the author/writers know the sword needs to be in play by then.

    However, when considering the case of a player forging a magical weapon, you as the Storyteller don't know what events that weapon will play a critical role in - the events haven't happened yet. You know that it shouldn't be available immediately - that would violate your sense of verisimilitude - and the player isn't trying to race a clock, usually, so what is being set by the construction time is "how much plot should happened between starting and finishing", but that amount of plot is itself based on how fast the events are taking place. If you put the forging interval for a daiklave as 14 scenes, expecting that to work out to two weeks because you average 1 scene per day, a particularly intense day could result in the daiklave being done before the end of the day instead. In effect, the less chronological time between scenes, the more scenes you would expect before completion and the more chronological time between scenes the fewer scenes you would expect before the daiklave is wielded in battle, which means that your expectations aren't actually being set by scenes and are instead set by chronological time.

    My proposal includes these very specifically not happening in chronological time. How long these take shifts to purely narrative time. It doesn't matter how many months it takes your character to craft a daiklave. It matters that the game creates a feeling that it took an appreciable amount of time to do it. This also helps make the game more scalable to different playstyles. If I'm running a very compressed game where lots of sessions translates into very little chronological time passing, with the RAW lots of stuff is just not going to happen. If you shift these things to narrative downtime, then you can scale the pace of projects and training times to the pace of the game instead of the pace of a clock.
    Fast-paced games usually toss training times - I've done it in most of my games - or else the stuff the players have been doing are the training for the traits they buy (they usually aren't buying Survival when they haven't been making plenty of Survival rolls).

    Being upfront is the usual and better way to address problems with "not enough time for that". If you are going to run a fast-paced game that will cram all of the planned events into a week and the players know this, the player who makes a Craft-focused character knows what he's getting into. Forging a 5 dot daiklave in that time span shouldn't be what the player is expecting, nor should putting together a Creation-spanning trade network be an expectation for the Bureaucracy-focused character.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
    When it comes to the idea of formalized downtime, there's only so many things that can key off of narrative time.
    Why? I ask very seriously, why is it at all necessary to key anything off of strict chronological time units?

    Most media avoids this because it messes with plots and leads to silly cliches. The whole "the bomb will go off in X minutes," always leads to, "they disarm the bomb in the last few seconds," regardless of how much time has passed for the audience, and how long what the audience sees would "realistically" make sense. Even if chronological time is referenced, the actual story unfolds in narrative time: if the heroes get there while there's plenty of time to disarm the bomb, it removes tension, and if the bomb actually goes of X minutes in real time it puts a huge strain on the ability for anything interesting to be shown happening.

    In the small sub-section of movies where the make the events of the film take exactly as long as the film itself, it rarely does anything positive. At best it's a neutral factor, and it's rarely done because it comes off as too gimmicky and impedes good storytelling.

    So, considering that 99% of the media we consume operates in purely narrative time - even with a thin patina of chronological time being referenced - why are RPGs any different?

    Crafting, travel, organizational efforts, and so on are still going to take place in terms of chronological time.
    My proposal includes these very specifically not happening in chronological time. How long these take shifts to purely narrative time. It doesn't matter how many months it takes your character to craft a daiklave. It matters that the game creates a feeling that it took an appreciable amount of time to do it. This also helps make the game more scalable to different playstyles. If I'm running a very compressed game where lots of sessions translates into very little chronological time passing, with the RAW lots of stuff is just not going to happen. If you shift these things to narrative downtime, then you can scale the pace of projects and training times to the pace of the game instead of the pace of a clock.

    And that's why more gradations are valuable.

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  • Kyeudo
    replied
    When it comes to the idea of formalized downtime, there's only so many things that can key off of narrative time. Crafting, travel, organizational efforts, and so on are still going to take place in terms of chronological time. The main thing to tie to narrative time is resource recovery, primarily Essence and Willpower. I could see a Short Downtime, for regaining 1 Willpower and all your Essence and a Long Downtime for regaining all Willpower, but beyond that, what benefit would make sense for further graduations of downtime?

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    My thought on that would be to include a more formal Downtime, and probably one that exists with levels of narrative length. A short Downtime would likely cover a simple break between scenes within a session, while medium and long Downtimes would cover things closer to weeks or months of low-key actions. You could then key them to on-screen units (like a short Downtime is mechanically the same as three Scenes for anything that would track over one) so there's a clear sense of how much characters can get done, or recover, during one.

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  • Kyeudo
    replied
    Thinking about the suggestion of tying more regen to narrative time instead of in-universe time, perhaps what we need to do is introduce another unit of narrative time, call it a chapter, after which you recover all of your motes and a point of Willpower. A chapter would be for when there's a significant break in the succession of scenes, like sleeping overnight or a week of downtime, but not necessarily a session break or the end of a story.

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  • DrLoveMonkey
    replied
    Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
    Is it really? Remember, you're only supposed to get 2 or 3 2-dot stunts during a session of play according to core, meaning you get +2 or +3 WP per session. Sleeping only restores 1 WP, and you've got at least 3 charms that have WP costs on them. So between those, using WP for a success and using WP to defend against social influence you're going to be pretty drained pretty quickly.
    Well, Revolving Bow Discipline and Perfect Shadow Stillness both refund their willpower cost if successful, so they're not really likely to be that expensive. It could definitely take a few scenes to run out of Willpower, and if there's any kind of travel time or break in the action for more than a day you'll be back to full. Or even a lull in the action where it's no so serious and you end up not spending that willpower faster than you get it back.

    And I know, just don't have breaks in the action then, not even for one day, but that doesn't always work well. When the PCs say they want to go somewhere that's a week travel away, they just get it all back during that jump.

    Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
    However, you can't use charms to boost your awareness while you're not awake
    Okay that's definitely how it's supposed to be then, but it's really weird to make that kind of exception. Like you can still raise your guile with magic if you don't know you're being observed, you can boost your Join Battle even if the person initiating it is completely hidden from you.

    The last of that means that assassins are probably not really an issue even without Surprise Anticipation Method. If that Lorelai does end up sneaking you, she's got an 8 die join battle to your 21+, it's probably going to result in you going first, and negating the surprise.

    Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
    Similar thing applies to magic locks here - who says you even get the roll to pick it without magic beyond an excellency?
    I actually think this might be a mis-reading on Lock-Opening Touch. It says "Alternately she may challenge a sorcerous lock with her picking tools, paying one mote to gain...." Imagine this "A Solar may successfully strike a mortal with a Decisive attack simply by paying five motes. Alternately, she may attack a magical foe with her weapon, paying one mote to double 9s on the attack."

    I think that rider is "If you're using this on a magical lock, you can't just pay 5m to open it, but you do get this bonus."

    Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
    Maybe we're just defining what a 'vulnerability' and 'limit' are differently
    Yeah that's what's happening. I'm not using vulnerability to describe things that they can't do, I'm using it to describe things that can be done to them that they don't really need to be concerned about. If you're in a social scene, you might not have what it takes to convince them of anything, for whatever reason, but you yourself are not going to be swayed.

    Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
    They should be amazing in combat because you invested a large portion of your starting resources into being good at combat. You also invested a decent chunk into being able to do things like spinning cartwheels along a tightrope in a hurricane (DEX 5, Ath 5, 2 athletics charms), so I'd hope you'd be able to do that too.
    Yes, true, but neither of those charms are Graceful Crane Stance, and the 2bp I stuck to get Athletics 5 wasn't really a big deal. Dex 5 Athletics 5 is impressive from the standpoint that they're max values in both, but it doesn't really represent an impressive percentage of my chargen points.

    Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
    Also, without going too far back into the HeavyArms discussion from earlier, you are not bathing in acid for any reasonable length of time. You can take a dip in acid, at best :P You are not able to hear all/see all - you're very difficult to sneak up on, but you're not hearing a conversation on the other side of a crowded market in Nexus no matter how many dice you throw at it (at least, without some other magic). Well, at least, as long as we're assuming that there's some bar of 'can even attempt the roll' before we start giving things difficulties.
    Yeah, which is a bit of a problem. Normally I would say reading ink by touch, leaping out of a speeding plane to fall hundreds of feet and surviving, and running for 72 hours straight with no rest would be impossible without charms. What's possible an even bigger issue is that taming a wyld-spawned man-eating carnivorous horse while in the midst of a raging forest fire is Difficulty 4, remove the fire and it's 3.

    I can get the kind of dice that easily make difficulty 3-4 with a very, very small investment, especially since the free excellency doubles it, and while NPCs can stunt, difficulties can't. There's also just a ton of stuff that's in that range. In the Lockpicking section it says "Most mundane locks are difficulty 1-2. Those found in powerful manses or First Age ruins might range as high as Difficulty 3 or 4."

    Okay, so powerful first age manses are protected by, at best, difficulty 4 locks. In the example of play in the corebook picking a lock during twilight in the midst of a storm with poor lighting and rumbling thunder masking the vital sound of tumblers turning, that's difficulty 2. The game is actually pretty good and consistent about this when new material comes out. Difficulty 2 things are really impressive, difficulty 3 things are truly amazing, and difficulty 5 things are simply impossible.

    Which actually works great for mortals, and it's decent for Dragonblooded who end up with fewer excellencies. A one of them who just invests 5 into dexterity and 3 into larceny can easily pick a lock in the dark during a raging thunderstorm, they even have a very good chance of picking a lock in the depths of a first age manse. Then you toss that excellency on it though and it becomes a joke to pick a First Age lock with a bit of broken horseshoe, and I don't even know where to go from there.

    You'd think the books would help here right? Like it'd make a passing remark like "Oh yeah, Solars pick First Age locks with a bit of broken dagger easily, now let us give you a dozen examples of the things that a Solar actually might care about, because that's difficult to imagine" but it doesn't. It just gives a million more examples of various difficulty 2-5 things to roll on, and it keeps treating the difficulty 5 things like they should be legitimately difficult, which they aren't remotely unless you have zero dots in the ability.

    Search "Difficulty 5" in the corebook, this is what you get:

    The examples with reading ink by fingertouch
    Curing a snake bite in the span of a single action without access to medicine
    Navigating through a hurricane at night on the ocean
    Navigating through a Wyld maze of mirrors
    Noticing by sight the exact effects of a sorcerous working on a region
    Stopping the bleeding from Alhat's endless bleeding charm.
    Taming a Tyrant Lizard


    The only workaround for this is to stack a ton of very difficult tasks in a really short timespan, and just ignore the tasks that aren't difficult, and the antagonists who aren't dangerous, which the books are full of. It's not exclusively full of useless antagonists, but good god there are SO MANY.


    So we can change that, and make taming a tyrant lizard or whatever Difficulty 10, but now Dragonblooded don't get to tame Tyrant Lizards, and if a mortal or DB who doesn't have the excellency only invests a few dots into something, they really aren't that epic. Maybe that's how it should be, but that's something you're going to have to deal with.

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  • Blackwell
    replied
    Originally posted by Cactuar View Post
    I agree with it being mean. However, if an ST never throws ambushes while you're asleep then what's the purpose of the secondary effect of Sensory Acuity? It creates a weird incentive, where an ST probably shouldn't do something until a player picks up the defense to shut that thing down (partially so they feel like the investment paid off). The second bit of Lock-Opening touch that mentions the unpickable lock does that, and so do a lot of the Awareness charms (e.g. one of the taste ones, which has an example where it lets you detect poison in wine by noticing how it dilutes the wine - that's something you could arguably do with a normal awareness roll)
    Sensory Acuity's secondary effect and Lock-Opening Touch's reference to unpickable locks are kind of like air-breathing mermaids but for the social contract. They're not things you would encounter unless you had the means to deal with them.

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