Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Humanity rolls. Am I too harsh to my players?

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

  • Humanity rolls. Am I too harsh to my players?

    Ok, so we had a few situations recently, which resulted in Humanity rolls.

    1) The coterie is looking for an abducted vampire, and run into a weird cult lead by a rogue ghoul. As they're sneaking towards their camp they make a lot of noise and then hear people approach, and hide. it's members of the cult looking for them, so they jump out and attack them. The Gangrel uses his claws to rip three of the five to shreds, while two of the others kill one each as well. I had them make Humanity rolls, but I think I gave them a +2 dice bonus on it, because they were fighting crazy murderous cultists. The one who didn't kill anyone (just wounded them) didn't have to roll.

    2) They're in an abandoned warehouse, the Giovanni is performing a Necromancy ritual on a ghost there, when the local gang notices them and challenges them what they're doing on their turf. The gangers draw their guns. The coterie attacks (I think, to be fair I'm not sure who started it, might have been the gangers after they refused to leave). The giovanni was very low on blood, frenzied at the smell of fresh blood and kills half of them himself during the course of the frenzy. He had to roll Humanity without a bonus this time. Justifying the beast is pretty hard was my reasoning.

    3) The Gangrel after the fight wants to tend to one of the surviving (barely, incapacitated by lethal damage) gangers and stabilize him, so he rolled a Medicine check... and botched it spectacularly. I ruled that he did something wrong and that actually caused the patient to die in his hands. He felt really shitty about that, so I said it fulfilled the "Accidental Violations" clause of Humanity 6 (which he had), so he had to make a check too, but I gave him a +4 bonus because his intentions were good. Gangrel failed the check though and was a bit miffed afterwards. (especially since at 1) he had botched his roll as well and actually lost Humanity and Conscience)

    Those checks have happened over the course of 15 sessions, so it's not like I have them roll all the time.

    I'm wondering though, were some of those too extreme? Or what do you guys think?

  • #2
    The rolls were right but I wouldn't be giving them bonuses for making them. Circumstances and intent are cared not for by the Beast.

    Comment


    • #3
      Honestly, I think you're generous by awarding bonus dice for the rolls. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, I might borrow that idea. But, insofar as harshness is concerned: Nope, I think you're being more than fair.


      This is what happens when an Abyssal Exalted ends up in H.o.L.
      (Also known as "Derpwraith" and "PretentiousFontsGuy
      ").

      Comment


      • #4
        I think you shouldn't have given them any bonuses for "ripping people to shred", even if they are crazy cultists.

        However, I don't think I would have rolled the failed medicine attempt. Accidental violation would be, for me, a Brujah driving too fast and hitting someone with his car: he didn't intend on killing anyone but is responsible, while the Gangrel character was actively trying to save this person.

        Comment


        • #5
          1+2 are fine. Scenario 3 is to harsh, and I agree with Kalendeer on this one. Accidental means behaviour where you ignore the risk of someone getting hurt, not by performing first aid and not being successful for it. If my players would play that right, I would handle it as a moment of truth and give the player exp cost reduction if he wanted to increase her humanity.
          But don't give bonus dice, the beast cares not for the pathetic excuses of the mind.

          Comment


          • #6
            The way I understand Humanity, it's not so much what the beast cares, but if the mind can make sense of it and justify it. And some situations are easier to justify than others. As in "I was attacked by crazy cultists, it was me or them. That's why I killed them, anyone would have done that, it wasn't because of the beast."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kalendeer View Post
              However, I don't think I would have rolled the failed medicine attempt. Accidental violation would be, for me, a Brujah driving too fast and hitting someone with his car: he didn't intend on killing anyone but is responsible, while the Gangrel character was actively trying to save this person.
              They were the one to bring the man on the verge of death, though. Saving him might have spared them a conscience roll, but since it died anyway the "accidental death" was for the original intent of beating him too hard. I would not have used bonuses in any of the cases, though: good intentions and thoughts like "this cultists are trash that deserves to die" are exactly what dehumanizes the vampire.

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree you should have made them rolled, but no bonuses to the conscious roles. BTW what were their humanity ratings? TBH I enjoy having players roll humanity rolls. To me they are scarier than combat.


                For different game play videos of White Wolf Games from my play group
                https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBU...IhwsM3kHK56SRA
                https://soundcloud.com/twin-cities-by-night
                If you want to find White Wolf game play media or subject matter media
                https://www.facebook.com/groups/862703457198327/

                Comment


                • #9
                  They've all been 6 or 7 at the beginning, the Gangrel is at 5 now.

                  And it wasn't just a failed medicine roll, it was a Botch.

                  The bonus was not for "They're trash and deserve to die" because yes that's bad. It was more for "They'd killed us otherwise, it was self-defense"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Quatar View Post
                    Ok, so we had a few situations recently, which resulted in Humanity rolls.

                    1) The coterie is looking for an abducted vampire, and run into a weird cult lead by a rogue ghoul. As they're sneaking towards their camp they make a lot of noise and then hear people approach, and hide. it's members of the cult looking for them, so they jump out and attack them. The Gangrel uses his claws to rip three of the five to shreds, while two of the others kill one each as well. I had them make Humanity rolls, but I think I gave them a +2 dice bonus on it, because they were fighting crazy murderous cultists. The one who didn't kill anyone (just wounded them) didn't have to roll.

                    2) They're in an abandoned warehouse, the Giovanni is performing a Necromancy ritual on a ghost there, when the local gang notices them and challenges them what they're doing on their turf. The gangers draw their guns. The coterie attacks (I think, to be fair I'm not sure who started it, might have been the gangers after they refused to leave). The giovanni was very low on blood, frenzied at the smell of fresh blood and kills half of them himself during the course of the frenzy. He had to roll Humanity without a bonus this time. Justifying the beast is pretty hard was my reasoning.

                    3) The Gangrel after the fight wants to tend to one of the surviving (barely, incapacitated by lethal damage) gangers and stabilize him, so he rolled a Medicine check... and botched it spectacularly. I ruled that he did something wrong and that actually caused the patient to die in his hands. He felt really shitty about that, so I said it fulfilled the "Accidental Violations" clause of Humanity 6 (which he had), so he had to make a check too, but I gave him a +4 bonus because his intentions were good. Gangrel failed the check though and was a bit miffed afterwards. (especially since at 1) he had botched his roll as well and actually lost Humanity and Conscience)

                    Those checks have happened over the course of 15 sessions, so it's not like I have them roll all the time.

                    I'm wondering though, were some of those too extreme? Or what do you guys think?

                    In the words of Smiling Jack:

                    "If some asshole levels a 12 gauge your way, you drain him, skin him and bash in his skull. Self preservation is a vital part of humanity after all, my favorite part, in fact!"

                    With the exception of the last one, it sounds like your players were responding in self defense, as opposed to cold blooded murder. So I'd have to say humanity checks weren't necessary, unless they had very high (like 7+) humanity at the time. Also, the lower your humanity drops, the more severe the action required to drop it further. Unless your players are going around raping, torturing, and mutilating people for the fun of it, they're going to reach a point where their humanity stabilizes itself. If I remember correctly, this is usually around level 4 or 5 before they need to do some really evil things to go lower.
                    Last edited by Nyrufa; 11-27-2017, 04:21 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Remember that with Humanity that a successful roll means the character feels Remorse and Guilt for what they did, a failure means they have Justified what they did to themselves and a little more Humanity slips away. This applies to most of the Conscience based Paths. If they are on a Conviction Path then a success means that the character is able to reconcile their actions with their Path (which is essentially a justification) and if they fail then they cannot reconcile what they have done and are fill with regret as the Beast digs its claws in that little bit deeper.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Moirdryd View Post
                        Remember that with Humanity that a successful roll means the character feels Remorse and Guilt for what they did, a failure means they have Justified what they did to themselves and a little more Humanity slips away.
                        I thought the same for a long time, even argued that in another post, so maybe it was that way in an old edition. But this is from the V20 book, page 310:
                        If the player makes the roll with even one success,
                        the character loses no Humanity — he feels enough
                        remorse or somehow manages to justify his transgression.
                        So justifying it (aka "it was self defense" or "I had no choice") can be a valid way to cope with it, and not lose humanity. Which actually makes some sense.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Remember, Humanity rolls serve the same function as a yellow or red card in football/soccer.

                          Maybe call for one if the players are doing something you'd rather they didn't, or go about it in a sloppy or gratuitously evil way. Otherwise, consider giving them rational in-game consequences. Humanity loss sucks, yeah, but triggering an on-going war with the cult, the gang, and the bereaved family of the guy who died on the table all at once really hurts... and builds plot.

                          Yes, yes, I totally get that loss of Humanity is a major theme of the game, but if the players devolve every time they kill a few cultists (really what table-top rpg game PC hasn't?), they may become combat and risk averse.

                          If the players had just refused to investigate the cult, politely apologized to the gang while exiting, and announced, "I call 911. I might not be as good a medic as I think."... their characters' Humanities would still be intact.

                          I am absolutely not saying to never call for a Humanity roll, but if you need to question yourself on whether it was appropriate or not, just save the rolls for when, "Umm, I think that might call for a roll..." changes to, "What? Is evil now just their go-to response for everything?" Humanity is about patterns of behavior, not necessarily a one-off, arguably grey zone slip. Especially failing a roll while trying to help someone.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                            In the words of Smiling Jack:
                            "If some asshole levels a 12 gauge your way, you drain him, skin him and bash in his skull. Self preservation is a vital part of humanity after all, my favorite part, in fact!"
                            With the exception of the last one, it sounds like your players were responding in self defense, as opposed to cold blooded murder. So I'd have to say humanity checks weren't necessary, unless they had very high (like 7+) humanity at the time. Also, the lower your humanity drops, the more severe the action required to drop it further. Unless your players are going around raping, torturing, and mutilating people for the fun of it, they're going to reach a point where their humanity stabilizes itself. If I remember correctly, this is usually around level 4 or 5 before they need to do some really evil things to go lower.
                            Self defence may mitigate it a little, but killing in self defence still tears up most people psychologically.
                            Smiling Jack is not a good reference for "Acting Human"

                            If the player makes the roll with even one success, the character loses no Humanity — he feels enough remorse or somehow manages to justify his transgression.

                            That's different to previous, justifying it was always a sure drop in the past because a more humane individual would feel bad even if there was nothing they could do.

                            3) This is a good situation, I don't know whether I would have made the Gangrel Roll or not. The player seemed to roleplay out the remorse for the character, so in some ways I'd rule it as an automatic success; but in general I'd still look at a malpractice death as a potential roll because it's something that can mess up surgeons if it happens to them.

                            Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                            Humanity is about patterns of behavior, not necessarily a one-off, arguably grey zone slip. Especially failing a roll while trying to help someone.
                            Humanity in general is about the trends of behaviour, but the Beast just takes one action to get a claw in.

                            I see the loss of Humanity and Conscience being a "fuck it, it doesn't matter, so I'm not going to bother helping them anymore
                            Last edited by Illithid; 11-27-2017, 09:16 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Illithid View Post
                              Self defence may mitigate it a little, but killing in self defence still tears up most people psychologically.
                              Smiling Jack is not a good reference for "Acting Human"

                              If the player makes the roll with even one success, the character loses no Humanity — he feels enough remorse or somehow manages to justify his transgression.

                              That's different to previous, justifying it was always a sure drop in the past because a more humane individual would feel bad even if there was nothing they could do.
                              I still think there's a point where it balances itself, otherwise there are a bunch of clans and bloodlines who's entire members should have descended into wassail centuries ago. Their nightly routines pretty much demand a constant stream of humanity checks if this is the approach we're going with.
                              Last edited by Nyrufa; 11-28-2017, 01:49 AM.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X