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Quasi-Supernaturals and Oddball Coteries

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  • Quasi-Supernaturals and Oddball Coteries

    Anyone run games with mixed Coteries of not-quite-supernaturals? So a Kinfolk, two Hedge Mages (one mystical and one technological, or two very different mystical backgrounds), a Revenant, a Hunter etc? On one hand I can see it being a cool Buffey-esque story, with a group of very different people being forced together by circumstance, fighting for their survival against the societies they come from, slowly becoming friends... any idea how you would balance it? What the antagonists would be? The overarching themes?

  • #2
    I generally avoid using Revenants in mixed groups because they tend to be too powerful for minor supernatural games (I have similar issues with Dhampyr for mixed groups from KotE). If I use Revenants Sorcerers, I use the standard Sorcerer and standard Revenant creation rules, but I give the non-Revenant Sorcerers an extra 5 levels of Numina to balance things out with Revenant Sorcerers. If I use Dhampyr Sorcerers, I use the 'Equality for All' Sorcerer creation rules and the standard Dhampyr creation rules, but I give the non-Dhampyr Sorcerers an extra 6 levels of Numina and 10 extra freebie points to balance things out with Dhampyr Sorcerers. Hunters are actually balanced against standard Sorcerers in my experience, though Hunters are less flexible and more combat oriented than Sorcerers.

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    • #3
      How are hunters balanced? I'm confused? Are these Hunters with numina, or just ones who get extra points to put into abilities and attributes instead of Numina?

      Aya Tari

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      • #4
        Base Hunters are balanced with base Sorcerers in my experience (I have run a few mixed Hunter-Sorcerer groups). Hunters cannot have Numina from what I have seen, the Messengers do not chose anyone with that sort of conflict.

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        • #5
          I think the original poster is referring to small-h hunters (or witch-hunters as they sometimes used to be called from time to time) from books like The Hunter Hunted, The Inquisition, Project: Twilight and The Arcanum, rather than the ones from Hunter: The Reckoning. But I may be wrong.

          A long time ago, I was involved in a game centered around a private detective organization (something along the lines of the 80s TV show Moonlighting) that employed "twilight people" (the lesser supernaturals), with a psychic, a quasi-rogue member of the Obertus family, a Kinfolk shaman, and a construct/android built using the rules from Bygone Bestiary. It was fun. We largely ignored the top-tier supernatural issues of the main game lines in favor of mundane private detective work that would drift into horror in the vein of John Carpenter, Wes Craven, and H.P. Lovecraft, as well as conspiracy stuff.


          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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          • #6
            Sometimes cWoD works best when you avoid playing major supernatural characters. I have run plenty of chronicles with minor supernatural characters. I especially like running mixed groups of Sorcerers (Mythic, Psychic, and Technological).

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            • #7
              Had a played as part group based on a Herd one of my Vampire characters developed all based in Gary all where High schoolers at the start, we had a (Hunters Hunted) Thermatagust/Occultist (I'm so not a Goth, even though I dress like one, read the same books & like the same music), a Alchemist/Herbalist (fringe popular kid, too smart and sporty to be a "Plastic"), a Gypsy (attractive Freak), Just some Dude that hung out with them and hooked them up with Weed, ADHD meds, low impact mood stabilizers, Shrooms and Acid. the Occultist ended up a Humanities professor in Chicago, the Alchemist/Herbalist stayed in Gary and ended up working as a Compounding Pharmacist (was also a qualified Natropath). the Gypsy went on the road for a bit before coming back to run a curio shop and the Dude ended up a Cop after flunking out of Pre-Law, there where others that came in and out but they where the core group.

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              • #8
                I like running Sorcerer campaigns with mixtures of practitioners of Mythic Numina, Psychic Numina, and Technological Numina (especially when they are also mixtures of Kinain and Kinfolk).

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                • #9
                  I have friends who would be interested in a campaign like that.

                  What books & minor splats would be recommended/available for that kind of campaign?

                  What antagonists are they for minor splats / are interesting from major splats at that low power level / lore level?

                  Any interesting theme to suggest?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kendaan View Post
                    I have friends who would be interested in a campaign like that.

                    What books & minor splats would be recommended/available for that kind of campaign?

                    What antagonists are they for minor splats / are interesting from major splats at that low power level / lore level?

                    Any interesting theme to suggest?
                    1: Sorcerer Revised
                    2: Kinfolk; A Breed Apart
                    3: Ghoul; Fatal Addiction
                    4: Hunters Hunted ll

                    Antagonists? Law enforcement, other members of the same groups, the Technocracy (sweeping up minor Reality Deviants), Werewolves and Vampires (used carefully, and make sure to lampshade how powerful they are, demonstrate them murdering a human effortlessly for example).

                    Theme? Having a foot in both worlds. You have bills to pay, family to look after. The other theme is a Child in a dark room with a candle.

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                    • #11
                      Ascension's Right Hand, Hedge Wizard's Handbook, Mediums, Sorcerer: Revised, The Quick and the Dead, and The Spirit Ways are all good books for using Sorcerers (add Unsung Heroes for Kinfolk and Enchanted for Kinain). I generally use the standard Sorcerer rules from Sorcerer: Revised for Mystics (Mythic Numina), Psychics (Psychic Numina), and Scientists (Technological Numina). I give them an extra 14 freebie points for Supernatural Merits and Restricted Backgrounds to encourage my players to create Kinfolk or Kinain characters, though I allow players who wish to play 'mortal' Sorcerers to spend them on two extra levels of Numina (allowing them to purchase the fourth or the fifth level of a Numina if they wish). If they want, I even allow players to liquidate their five levels of Numina for thirty-five freebie points of Special Advantages from Ascension's Right Hand, allowing them to create 'generic' minor supernatural characters.

                      I find that Kindred tend to be adequate enemies. Corrupted Fera tend to be Big Bads though, in one exceptional case, a character dual-wielding two Uzi's with silver ammunition of full auto managed to take out an entire pack of BSD that she ambushed. Other enemies include Fomori (I particularly like Freakfeet because they come up through the toilets), Ghouls, and Infernal Sorcerers. The key thing to remember though is that mortal characters are fragile and can be killed quite easily when they have a bad day, so you have to be prepared to fudge the dice if you do not want them to die.
                      Last edited by Aya Tari; 02-23-2017, 07:53 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks!

                        A few more questions:

                        -Is it possible for some characters to not go toward hedge magic/numina without feeling weak/powerless? I'd like each minor splat to be different instead of everyone being sorcerers, but some with some different special tricks

                        -How do kinfolk fare? I don't have unsung heroes, but from what I saw in W20 it seems kinda underwhelming compared to the others (especially compared to equivalent like Kinains! who are absolutely awesome but I digress)

                        -Revenant or Dhampir? Have the Dhampir been reprinted since time of the Thin Blood?
                        -How does Thaumaturgy/Necromancy on a revenant fare against a Sorcerer? I was thinking maybe (after some games & if the players earned it) to give access to 8th generation blood so they could develop up to level 3 as well as some rituals & probably reduce the cost to develop disciplines (like level x 10 instead of 15)

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                        • #13
                          I will reply in order.

                          1. The Special Advantages in ARH can be quite powerful so, with thirty-five extra freebie points from trading in five levels of Numina, you can create minor superhumans. In one campaign, I had a PC with Dexterity 8, Athletics 5, Firearms 5, and Melee 5, Extra Speed 2, and she ended up being the beat stick of the group.

                          2. Kinfolk should really be represented with the the appropriate Merit (as should Kinain), rather than their own proprietary character creation rules. The characters end up stronger and more balanced.

                          3. Dhampie and Revenants are so rare and so alien that they are difficult to balance. If you want them though, just exchange 5 levels of Numina to have a character be Dhampir or Revenants, and give them two Discipline dots (Potence 1 plus another at 1).

                          4. Not well, Counterspells are highly effective against blood magic. Numina is just much more flexible and useful than Necromancy or Thaumaturgy at Ghoul costs and, in V20, you need 6th generation blood to get the 3rd level in Disciplines as Ghouls (V20, p. 499). In addition, Ghouls run out of blood pool too quickly to waste it on Necromancy or Thaumaturgy.

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                          • #14
                            Well I'm not planning to go on the 35 extra freebie, the player have never played wod, I'd rather start a lowis power campaign.

                            For Revenant I'd be using V20 Ghoul & Revenants, so they do start with 2 dots of disciplines, & there is a revised charts of what generation allows them to develop up to what level. Lvl3 is 8-7th generation which makes it more accessible.

                            Though the note on the bloodpool is a really good one!

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                            • #15
                              Personally I love the 'almost' types like Kinfolk, Hedge wizards, Revenants etc.So I'm all for a game with the second stringers. And thanks for letting me know there's a new kinfolk book.

                              Just went through my 'Battletech' phase and now in a WOD mood again.

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