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Average Sphere Dots for NPC Mages?

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  • Average Sphere Dots for NPC Mages?

    When I'm creating NPC Mages, as a rule of thumb, I'm currently assigning them a number of dots in their Spheres equal to their Arete rating x3-4.

    i.e.
    Arete 3 Mage has at least 9 dots and at most 12 dots in Spheres
    Arete 4 Mage has at least 12 dots and at most 16 dots in Spheres
    Arete 5 Mage has at least 15 dots and at most 20 dots in Spheres

    Obviously there are exceptions for outliers but is this a reasonable rule of thumb or is it too many/too few?

  • #2
    For what you need that NPC?

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    • #3
      Well there's all sorts of different NPC Mages needed - allies, contacts, enemies, and mentors from Background points. Antagonists to oppose the player characters, members of the characters' factions, etc, etc.

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      • #4
        I find what I use seems to be around the lower end of your spectrum.
        (Arete 3 Mage has around 9 dots; Arete 4 Mage has around 12 dots; Arete 5 Mage has around 15 dots)

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        • #5
          My NPC also get a variable amount of dots.
          If many spheres are at the limit, then they don't get many dots.
          If their knowledge is more diverse, then they get more dots.

          Kind of if they bought it with XP(but I spare myself the burden of calculation).

          Of course, this rule of thumb gets thrown out of the Tapestry if the story demands certain proficiencies.

          The # of dots are about this:
          Arete 1-2 mages get between 0 and 6 dots.
          Arete 3 mages get between 4 and 9
          Arete 4 mages get between 6 and 15
          Arete 5 mages get between 8 and 20

          Occasionally a NPC is outside of that range.
          An especially annoying apprentice (of an PC) with lots of Arete but only a tiny amount of dots in spheres.
          A Rincewind inspired NPC.
          An old mage who got too static to further advance Arete(or a ghoul or some other issue that makes seekings difficult) but used his Time to learn more spheres.
          Last edited by Nonsense; 03-07-2017, 04:48 AM. Reason: Expanding


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

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dogstar View Post
            When I'm creating NPC Mages, as a rule of thumb, I'm currently assigning them a number of dots in their Spheres equal to their Arete rating x3-4.

            i.e.
            Arete 3 Mage has at least 9 dots and at most 12 dots in Spheres
            Arete 4 Mage has at least 12 dots and at most 16 dots in Spheres
            Arete 5 Mage has at least 15 dots and at most 20 dots in Spheres

            Obviously there are exceptions for outliers but is this a reasonable rule of thumb or is it too many/too few?
            Two things.
            Arete 3 is something PCs are likely to start with and PCs get 6 dots and are the protagonists of the gane. So Arete 3 mage probably should have 6 dots at most.
            Going above that, the question is pretty meaningless. Arete and spheres are not tied together. Someone can be an Arete 5 mage and have 1 sphere dot or be an Arete 3 mage and have 27 sphere dots. It's like asking "how many dots of Melee should a 6th generation vampire have?"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
              Two things.
              Arete 3 is something PCs are likely to start with and PCs get 6 dots and are the protagonists of the gane. So Arete 3 mage probably should have 6 dots at most.
              Going above that, the question is pretty meaningless. Arete and spheres are not tied together. Someone can be an Arete 5 mage and have 1 sphere dot or be an Arete 3 mage and have 27 sphere dots. It's like asking "how many dots of Melee should a 6th generation vampire have?"
              Not all PC raise Arete as fast as possible. Some buy extra dots with freebies (up to 3 are possible).

              And the question originated from the fact that Arete and Spheres are not tied together.
              The example of the Vampire is besides the point.
              Melee is not an intrinsic property of Vampires, but Arete is an intrinsic property of Mages.


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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                Two things.
                Arete 3 is something PCs are likely to start with and PCs get 6 dots and are the protagonists of the gane. So Arete 3 mage probably should have 6 dots at most.
                Going above that, the question is pretty meaningless. Arete and spheres are not tied together. Someone can be an Arete 5 mage and have 1 sphere dot or be an Arete 3 mage and have 27 sphere dots. It's like asking "how many dots of Melee should a 6th generation vampire have?"
                Some of my players like starting the game with 7 dots in spheres.
                I think the question is really more of, "do you feel this is too many or too few?"... as in a survey of public opinion.

                It's a bit more like asking how many dots in disciplines would you think your typical vampire should have because of the amount of time they have been alive as suggested by their generation... for the purposes of having some sort of "normal" to work off.

                In the case of the games I've run, players tend to start with 6 to 7 dots in spheres at arete 3.
                They generally either get 1 to 2 more dots in spheres before going for arete 4 (7 to 9 dots at arete 3)
                or go straight to arete 4 wherein they raise a sphere to 4 and then try to have all their spheres at 3 or 4 (10 to 12 dots).
                When they hit Arete 5, they like to have 3 spheres at 5. (15 dots at arete 5).
                I've never gone much farther than that except the one game where a player got arete 7 while his spheres were 3, 3, & 5 while all the other players were arete 5 with more dots in spheres.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Spacecat View Post
                  It's a bit more like asking how many dots in disciplines would you think your typical vampire should have because of the amount of time they have been alive as suggested by their generation... for the purposes of having some sort of "normal" to work off.
                  Just as Arete and Spheres are unrelated, so are age, generation and disciplines. You can be a 0 years 4th gen or a 2000 years 13th gen and both of those could have any number of discipline dots. El Diablo Verde is a 5 years old 13th gen nosferatu with 18 discipline dots, 13 of them being out of clan.
                  I'm of the opinion that NPCs should not be GM penis extensions and should be roughly in line with what PCs can do. Which is roughly the opposite of what an average WW NPC is.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                    Just as Arete and Spheres are unrelated, so are age, generation and disciplines. You can be a 0 years 4th gen or a 2000 years 13th gen and both of those could have any number of discipline dots. El Diablo Verde is a 5 years old 13th gen nosferatu with 18 discipline dots, 13 of them being out of clan.
                    I'm of the opinion that NPCs should not be GM penis extensions and should be roughly in line with what PCs can do. Which is roughly the opposite of what an average WW NPC is.
                    Well, there's no actual correlation but there must be some sort of average among characters presented in the books that you can arrive at with simple math.

                    In the case of mage, I use player characters for my averages. If you feel that Vampire NPCs would skew the numbers for these sorts of averages, perhaps you could use a pool of Vampire PCs of the given generations instead.
                    Last edited by Spacecat; 03-10-2017, 05:26 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                      Just as Arete and Spheres are unrelated, so are age, generation and disciplines.
                      Except, of course, that it's perfectly normal to have a rule of thumb:

                      As a basic rule of thumb, “idle”
                      Kindred should have a number of Discipline
                      dots equal to the square root of her age.
                      From V20 p79.

                      and could you stop being so aggressively assertive please, it's a game not a religious codex, and you're some random dude on the internet not the pope.
                      Last edited by Dogstar; 03-10-2017, 10:05 AM.

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