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Starting Arete and Freebie points.

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  • Starting Arete and Freebie points.

    So, on page 253 of Ascension 20, it states that you can use four freebie points to buy a point of Arete, and that there is a max total of 3. Does that mean you can spend eight points, so that your final total is 3, or that you can buy it up to three times for 12 points, giving you an Arete score of 4?

  • #2
    It means your max Arete at character generation is 3, so you could spend 8 points.

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    • #3
      Hmmm, I thought it meant you could improve it by 3.

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      • #4
        No, the max Arete score out of character generation is 3. Always been that way. That's what the 'Total' on Page 253 means, so 8 freebies spent for an increase from 1 to 3.
        For reference, also see Page 257, the little 'Arete' paragraph which explicitely mentions it again:

        A beginning mage gets one free
        dot in Arete. Additional dots must be purchased with freebie
        points. Note that additional dots are rather expensive, so a high
        Arete Trait limits your other options. During character creation,
        you’re limited to a maximum Arete of 3.
        And of course post-chargen you require seekings to increase it past that. The broad mass of (NPC) mages out there is at around Arete 2-3.
        Last edited by Ambrosia; 05-19-2019, 10:59 AM.


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        • #5
          You might find this somewhat useful; personally I think that all PCs should start on the same Arete score. 4 freebies for a dot of Arete is such an incredible deal, and that means that someone with Arete 1 vs someone with Arete 3, just out of character generation, is in a completely different world. Our Arete 1 guy has 4 more dots in Abilities, for example.

          My solution is to say that all PCs should start with the same Arete, a rating that works for them and for the ST. In my current game the PCs were all meant to be very recently awakened, so Arete 1 worked for us. In a game with experienced Mage PCs I would set 3 as the standard, and if a PC wanted to have 1 or 2 that would essentially be them taking a "flaw" and getting 4 or 8 extra freebies by reducing their Arete. These are all just my personal preferences though.

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          • #6
            A little OT but it's always bothered me that Bonus Point cost and Experience cost are in accord for everything except Arete. XP cost for Spheres and Arete are both x8, and yet Sphere dots are 7 Bonus Points while Arete is 4. It creates an incentive for every single player to spend 8 of their Bonus Points on Arete, because they won't get that deal again. My houserule is everyone starts with 2 Arete rather than 1, and if they want to raise it to 3 they have to spend 7 Bonus Points.
            Last edited by Faradn; 05-21-2019, 10:50 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Faradn View Post
              A little OT but it's always bothered me that Bonus Point cost and Experience cost are in accord for everything except Arete. XP cost for Spheres and Arete are both x8, and yet Sphere dots are 7 Bonus Points while Arete is 4. It creates an incentive for every single player to spend 8 of their Bonus Points on Arete, because they won't get that deal again. My houserule is everyone starts with 2 Arete rather than 1, and if they want to raise it to 3 they have to spend 7 Bonus Points.
              This seems appropriate. I feel like it's part of the system so that people who like playing a powerful character can more easily generate one. M20 really rails against min-maxing in the way it presents Abilities and Attributes of all kinds as being an essential core of a Practice. So M20 is encouraging a table where you don't just have Art 1 and Arete 5 and create enormous forest fires with your crude drawings.

              But M20 *keeps* ridiculously underpriced Arete in character gen for some reason, which feels like an oversight.

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