Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Buying backgrounds

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Buying backgrounds

    The character progress section in the core book has a sidebar about buying background dots at current rate * 3 exp. Assuming you allow players to purchase backgrounds with exp, what is the cost of the first dot?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Remulader View Post
    The character progress section in the core book has a sidebar about buying background dots at current rate * 3 exp. Assuming you allow players to purchase backgrounds with exp, what is the cost of the first dot?
    Call me old fashioned, but I think Backgrounds should be roleplayed first, leveled up second. It really make no sense at all to allow a player to "buy" a 1 point Node background, a 1 point Legend background, or a 1 dot Past Life background, for example.

    Similarly, it makes no sense for you to be able to level up backgrounds like Mentor, Resources, Arcane, Allies, Dream, etc...
    I'd say for my players to update their backgrounds like this, they'd need to find a node, or make their current node more powerful, earn those extra resources (either legitimately or not), gain allies, go on spirit quests for the Dream.

    For things like Avatar, make them go on a mini-seeking. For things like Past Life, let it be as a result of a soul searching spirit quest. For Mentor, have them do stuff which would make their mentor rise in significance.

    If you have to attach Exp points to it, then do so in addition to these roleplay bits, not as a replacement.


    Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running UPDATE Chapter 22: The Morning After

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with Saikou. Backgrounds are something you earn through roleplay, not bought with EXP. Indeed, I wouldn't attach an EXP cost to raising Backgrounds, because they can fluctuate up or down at the drop of a hat, because of events in the Chronicle. If a Storyteller decides that, because of a character's actions, they've lost a dot in Resources or Status, it wouldn't be fair for that to have also basically eaten some of the EXP they've gained.

      As for how to raise them, I have some thoughts on Arcane. You're basically trying to make yourself metaphysically obscure, which could take any number of forms, depending on your Focus.

      For instance, if your character believes in the power of True Names, the quest to raise her Arcane may involve striking hers from the record to as great a degree as possible. It could involve hacking databases and erasing or modifying personal information, deleting social media profiles, canceling credit cards made in her (true) name, breaking into records offices (local and national) to retrieve physical copies of birth certificates etc., tracking down all extent copies of any school yearbooks she appears in, and even killing or memory wiping anyone who knew her birth name. Any one of those tasks could increase Arcane or contribute to an increase, until she's scoured the globe for the last vestiges of her True Name on record and expunged them. When she's accomplished that, she'll have Arcane 5, known (barely) by only pseudonyms and fake identities.

      Another Mage might take a more spiritual tact, traveling to the Umbra and bargaining with spirits of Forgetfulness and Secrecy. A Greco-Roman Verbana or Euthanatos of the Pomegranite Deme might descend into the Greek Underworld, in order to obtain water from the River Lethe, and create an elixir from it. A Magus following Ancient Egypt might travel to the Astral Umbra, in order to convince Thoth to erase him from the Book of Life.

      Technomancers would take different roads to enhance their Cloaking. An NWO agent might train himself in how to dress, speak, and act in a manner that leaves no impression on people. An Etherite or Iteration X member might install devices in their bodies that disrupt neural patterns and electronic surveillance. And a Virtual Adept might attach a boatload of wires to herself and hack her "metadata", lowering "stats" that dictate how easily she avoids detection.


      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the great responses. These are wonderful insights, but my question is totally unanswered. Assuming you allow a person to purchase a dot of backgrounds with exp, for whatever the reason, what is the cost of the first dot?

        The equation of current * 3 means the first dot when purchasing would cost 0 exp. This is averted for attributes by you must start with 1 in the attribute. For new abilities, the cost is 3 before switching to the normal formula. Same things with spheres. Only backgrounds is unanswered.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Remulader View Post
          Thanks for the great responses. These are wonderful insights, but my question is totally unanswered. Assuming you allow a person to purchase a dot of backgrounds with exp, for whatever the reason, what is the cost of the first dot?

          The equation of current * 3 means the first dot when purchasing would cost 0 exp. This is averted for attributes by you must start with 1 in the attribute. For new abilities, the cost is 3 before switching to the normal formula. Same things with spheres. Only backgrounds is unanswered.
          That's not what "current level" means. It's refering to the new level you want.

          A 3rd point in Strength would cost 3*4 which is 12
          A 3rd point of Stealth would cost 3*2 which is 6
          A 3rd point in Forces would cose 3*7 which is 21

          By this silly system of upgrading Backgrounds with exp, a 3rd point would be 3*3 which is 9

          So the first point would most likely be 1*3 which is 3.

          But seriously consider the implications of allowing your players to buy backgrounds like this.


          Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running UPDATE Chapter 22: The Morning After

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Saikou View Post

            That's not what "current level" means. It's refering to the new level you want.
            I'm totally blown away by that. Do you have anything to back that up? Is there some example in the book I'm missing? If that were the case, they would surely write "new rating" instead?

            If that is right, my question is answered!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Remulader View Post

              I'm totally blown away by that. Do you have anything to back that up? Is there some example in the book I'm missing? If that were the case, they would surely write "new rating" instead?

              If that is right, my question is answered!
              It's clarified it in Revised, stating this was always the intention, and even changes it to "new rating" to make the point even clearer.
              I have no idea why Brucatto reverted to 2nd ed's terminology.

              But think about it. 1st level sphere costs 10, why would the 2nd level cost 8?
              Last edited by Saikou; 02-06-2017, 12:11 AM.


              Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running UPDATE Chapter 22: The Morning After

              Comment


              • #8
                Technically, it was "clarified" for VtM Revised, and in WtA Revised it was explicitly said that "current" means "current level you have."

                The attitude of the 20th teams has been towards the more intuitive "current level you have" model. The "new" phrasing in Mage Rev. was not continued even in the other Rev. era core books. M20 probably went back to current because every WoD core book besides Mage Rev used current; regardless of whether you used the VtM Revised clarification, or not (esp. with the disagreement of the developers even then).

                Of course the "current is what you are currently buying" or "new" method is generally easier.

                ----------------

                Ultimately... there is no current answer to how much a new Background costs. The best reading of the text is that since raising Backgrounds with XP is optional, the first dot isn't something you use your XP on; as has been mentioned.

                Otherwise.. you pick what you want.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the information!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Saikou View Post
                    But think about it. 1st level sphere costs 10, why would the 2nd level cost 8?
                    That's easy. It's harder to completely get into a new field, than to do the first round of polishing of that initial knowledge you then have.


                    > Classic WoD Dice Probability Chart
                    > Classic WoD Dice Statistics Calculator
                    > Classic WoD Alternative Armor System
                    > Classic WoD Alternative Damage Roll System

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ambrosia View Post

                      That's easy. It's harder to completely get into a new field, than to do the first round of polishing of that initial knowledge you then have.
                      That is what I had heard was the reason.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ultimately, I actually like the "new" version better.

                        First you can dump the "first dot" cost thing, because there's no need for it.

                        Second, the "first round of polishing" thing really isn't something that makes sense to me. There's an emotional resonance to how we experience learning, that doesn't necessarily translate into a less subjective study of the amount of effort to increase your knowledge of a subject. How many people, looking back in hindsight, go, "Man, highschool was way harder than college, but about the same as grad school."

                        But I'm used to the "current" model enough that I don't mind it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                          Second, the "first round of polishing" thing really isn't something that makes sense to me. There's an emotional resonance to how we experience learning, that doesn't necessarily translate into a less subjective study of the amount of effort to increase your knowledge of a subject. How many people, looking back in hindsight, go, "Man, highschool was way harder than college, but about the same as grad school.".
                          I don't think that's a real good analogy, comparing it to general levels of schools.
                          I think it's way more accurate to make a comparison to a specific field of study; For example, IMO, programming or 3d modeling.

                          I've helped people get into those things, and the barrier to actually make them *understand* the very *concepts* initially took more effort than to move them from 101 to 201 afterwards, once they actually understood those basics. Your mileage may vary, but I've experienced this initial higher hurdle from a teaching standpoint multiple times


                          > Classic WoD Dice Probability Chart
                          > Classic WoD Dice Statistics Calculator
                          > Classic WoD Alternative Armor System
                          > Classic WoD Alternative Damage Roll System

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've only ever done the "new" modle.
                            The whole thing about 2nd sphere easier than 1st sphere is nonsense to me. If anything it means people have more incentive to get lots of different spheres at character creation since it come out as cheaper exp wise than those who focus.

                            You can justify this all you want, it still punishes players who prefer a focused character over a general one with steeper costs.

                            Also, I'd say the "current" model makes stats way too easy to level up

                            Getting arête 5 from 3 only requires 56 exp in current, if a standard game averages about 3 points per session, you'd achieve this in about 19 sessions, less if awarded exp for finishing stories or completing arcs. While the new model requires 72 exp, which would take about 24 if pursued doggedly.

                            It might seem like a small difference, but a huge amount can happen in 5 sessions which would cause prioritisation of other stats, especially as other stats were just as pricy. Arête 5 is when Mages approach mastery, it should not be an easy thing for the players to achieve, and I think having it that much easier to get cheapens it's value.

                            This could be because I've only really got into WoD in a post Revised setting, but masters were supposed to be these almost legendary characters, highly revered individules that could do amazing things, but where few and far between.

                            You might see a number of them running chantrys or at the head of the traditions, or even contributing to local legend within their own community, but being a master was not meant to be something all Mages were capable off. I imagine most being around Arête 3 and 4.

                            Yes the Seekings can be a good rate limiting step, but I think having that extra cost helps elevate Arête 5 into a more distant realm of "maybe some day" while still being achievable for those who really really want it to the exclusion of all else.

                            Well, that's my justification for it anyway.
                            Last edited by Saikou; 02-06-2017, 05:46 AM.


                            Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running UPDATE Chapter 22: The Morning After

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Saikou just Arete 5 doesn't make a Master.
                              There could possibly be Arete 8 Initiates...
                              Ranks are determined by the sphere dots.
                              So Mastery is way above 100 XP.


                              So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X