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Quintessence and starting players

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  • Quintessence and starting players

    So new to this one. Had the books forever but never played till now. Starting characters can get 4 quintessence for 1 freebie point. Is this worth while? I can easily make a character with like 13 quintessence but am I wasting my time if I don't manage some other aspect that I'm not paying attention to?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Pnizzle View Post
    So new to this one. Had the books forever but never played till now. Starting characters can get 4 quintessence for 1 freebie point. Is this worth while? I can easily make a character with like 13 quintessence but am I wasting my time if I don't manage some other aspect that I'm not paying attention to?
    Depends on what kind of character you're building.

    You start out with your Avatar rating of quintessence already, so if you don't have a dot of Prime, then that extra quintessence might be rather difficult to keep a hold off. That being said, if you are going to be a Prime user, and intend to make it your main sphere, the quintessence is going to be a rather important and often exhausted resource.

    It also depends on the setting. If you're going to be staying in one space, then you could invest in a node background and have a semi reliable source of quintessence to pool from, whereas if you'll be moving around a lot, it might be better to invest in a back wonder, and have yourself a perriapt. If you were going to be a member of a chantry, it could have a shop in it selling perriapts or loaning tass for favours. On the other hand, it might be the case that quintessence is quite scarce in your game, its scarcity might even be a plot point. So you would definitely need to speak with your ST about whether it's a useful idea or not.


    Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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    • #3
      K.
      I picked orphan nomad with avatar 5 and prime 2. So I think I don't need the extra quintessence with all of these factors in mind.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pnizzle View Post
        K.
        I picked orphan nomad with avatar 5 and prime 2. So I think I don't need the extra quintessence with all of these factors in mind.
        Honestly anything temporary is dubious at best. Buying Charms/Gadgets or Quintessence, when you're just going to use them up... probably not a good idea. Just buy Avatar, Node, points in Prime, that sort of thing.

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        • #5
          Temporary is the best when the game doesnt last long. In the case of quintessence, it is helpful if the short game is far aways of nodes like in deep space

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          • #6
            Yeah this won't be short. So I'll drop that plan.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post

              Honestly anything temporary is dubious at best. Buying Charms/Gadgets or Quintessence, when you're just going to use them up... probably not a good idea. Just buy Avatar, Node, points in Prime, that sort of thing.
              Agreed. Freebie points are worth a great deal, especially when even a single point could more profitably be invested in a load of other areas. Backgrounds, of course, are always good, and go for 1 point a dot. Buying even a single extra dot in Resources, Contacts, Arcane, Avatar, Node, Allies, Wonder, Cult, and even Retainers and Demesne can make the difference. It's especially helpful in the long term, since that purchase then doesn't need to be made later, leaving you open to buying other things.

              Given that raising Traits in Experience Points scales with the level of purchase being made, rather than being a flat purchase like it is with Freebie Points, even a purchase in a Background (assuming the Storyteller allows it) can become expensive at higher ranks.

              You could also use that 1 freebie point to buy a cheap Merit. If you aren't going to focus on the Mind Sphere, investing in an extra Language can be a solid purchase. Depending on the Language and how the Storyteller takes the plot, that ability to speak a different tongue could be important. You might want to buy a Language (or multiple Languages) anyway, if it fits the character; a character whose Focus comes from a part of the world they aren't native to will be well served learning that culture's native tongue, and certain scholarly groups (like the Order of Hermes) learn lots of languages as a matter of course. Languages might be especially important, Focus-wise, for characters who use Language as an Instrument, since those are usually old tongues, like Latin, Sanskrit, classical Chinese, old Germanic, etc.

              Other cheap merits include Acute Senses, Ambidextrous, Common Sense, Lightning Calculator, and Family Support. Many of these can be found in the Book of Secrets or older books.

              But if there's one thing that 1 freebie point would be well spent on, it's Willpower, which costs 1 freebie a dot, and is used for EVERYTHING. Mages already start with 5 dots in it, but you may find that such an amount is never enough. It makes you harder to shake or control, allows you to more easily overcome emotional hindrances (like great anger or fear), and gives you a greater pool of temporary Willpower points that can be spent to make rolls more successful. There are just too many reasons to buff the Trait. Makes a handful of Quintessence that is used and gone seem like chump change by comparison.
              Last edited by Bluecho; 05-18-2018, 06:39 PM.


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              • #8
                Bluecho entirely agreed. Mechanical Aptitude, Green Thumb and Computer Aptitude are great examples of really powerful investments, also. Difficulty Breaks are pretty common in Mage, but if you are using that Ability constantly then it's invaluable, and will save you Arete rolls. And since these traits arguably give -1 difficulty to Arete rolls (M20 goes back and forth on that issue) they can save Quintessence too.

                And Willpower is just so great. You will make less than 10 Arete rolls in a session, and there will usually be about 7 sleeps between sessions. You could simply spend Willpower each time you cast an important effect, and enjoy extra successes. Furthermore you have resistance to mind control, brainwashing, Dominate, that sort of thing.

                Avatar gives bonus Quintessence, fluff-based advantages, soak against Spirits...
                Last edited by 11twiggins; 05-18-2018, 06:58 PM.

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