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  • The 1s subtracting successes thing was certainly on its way out. Trinity, Scion, Exalted, the nWoD/CofD, and Storypath have all stopped using it as well. I highly doubt any new edition of VtM was going to keep it after V20 keeping it as a legacy rule in a legacy edition.

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    • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

      Thanks for that, I don't disagree with your math but I do question your premise because you're latching onto some assumptions about consequence.

      I get what you're saying but Bestial Failures are not you immediately ripping the nearest person's throat out and killing them. It's you failing and doing something that is angry. I suggest you watch LA BY NIGHT or SEATTLE BY NIGHT for an illustration on how those go. Bestial failures usually consist of lashing out, revealing yourself, or doing something that just highlights your inhunanity. The new system requires you to feed regularly in the game but I think that is something that should always have been a part of the game as well.

      So, yes, Bestial Failures happen a lot but they're not that big of a deal.

      They're not frenzying.
      Totally opposite experience, yet again dismissed dispite piles of evidence and anecdote that it is a major, chronicle killing problem.

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      • Originally posted by Taggie View Post

        Totally opposite experience, yet again dismissed dispite piles of evidence and anecdote that it is a major, chronicle killing problem.
        Actually more a statement that I think he's going too hard on the consequences.

        Also, it's impossible to "dismiss" because it's all handled at the table.


        Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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        • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

          Actually more a statement that I think he's going too hard on the consequences.

          Also, it's impossible to "dismiss" because it's all handled at the table.
          Then your claims that 'hunger isn't as punishing as people think' isn't dismissal of the experience and mathematical demonstration that even 1 point ruins scenes? (the toreador having to get their date rape on for instance, or having to go murder some one stat, etc etc)

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          • Going by the rulebook.

            Messy critical can be:

            Gain one or more Stains.

            Breaching the Masquerade.

            Loses one dot from an Advantage.
            For example, you might have totaled your Bugatti (squandering Resources), crippled a Retainer, offended an Ally, or just lost Status in court following your outburst. Although the character still needs to spend time (in a later scene or in the background) to take action to repair the dot, the Storyteller can allow the loss to recover more quickly than other vanished dots.

            If none of the above conditions fit the narrative, such as on stealth or awareness tests, the messy critical turns into a simple mess, and the test fails as the Beast clouds the senses or otherwise makes a quiet solution unattainable.


            Bestial failure can be:

            Act out a compulsion.

            Lose a dot in an Advantage as on a messy critical.

            Suffer one or more points of Aggravated Health damage. This result works well for bestial failures on resistance rolls, as the character breaks out in bloody sweat from the stress.

            If no-one in the troupe can come up with a good idea, the Hunger increases by one. If this result would take their Hunger above 5, the character immediately rolls to resist hunger frenzy (p. 220) at Difficulty 4.

            As for compulsions which compulsion applies can be chosen by ST (does not need to be rolled), how it is acted out is chosen by player.
            And "Storytellers should feel free to create custom Compulsions based on their own notions of vampiric dysfunction or on the specific failure modes of their player character base."


            I think there is enough choice in there to not have to choose something that ruins a chronicle or a scene. Especially concerning bestial failures. Though it does seem a bit strange that messy crits can be more punishing than bestial failures, and I do not like the idea of turning crits into failures.
            There is nothing in there that forces a character to go kill someone, or do any specific action at all as the circumstance is still controlled by storyteller and player. Of course the storyteller can choose a compulsion that is inappropriate or hard to act out well, but that would not really be something I think you should blame the rules for.

            I definitley think there should be possibility to use options from bestial failure when getting a messy critical, but that would be house rules.

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            • Originally posted by Heliodromus View Post
              I definitley think there should be possibility to use options from bestial failure when getting a messy critical, but that would be house rules.
              That's something I do, I ran with the spirit of what Messy Crit is in the description, you succeed very well, but the beast 'helps'and I improvise from there. Some of the options they give you are frankly terrible, but the idea of the system at least is sound, I just have my own options! I also tend to use compulsions for Messy and Bestial, depending on circumstance.

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              • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                The 1s subtracting successes thing was certainly on its way out. Trinity, Scion, Exalted, the nWoD/CofD, and Storypath have all stopped using it as well. I highly doubt any new edition of VtM was going to keep it after V20 keeping it as a legacy rule in a legacy edition.
                Actually, I believe it could have been a good alternative as a part of the Hunger system.

                Like: for every every Hunger dice coming up as a 1, subtract one from the successes.

                I have no complete rules system in my mind, but I think it could be a good starting point to represent the distraction of hunger in another way than going straight for losing control over your character.

                Also, I absolutely think that the Hunger dice shouldn't be part of every roll. It should depend on the level of hunger. Low hunger affecting only high-tension situations, or combat and such, while high levels affecting social rolls too and such like that.


                All in all, I'd agree that V5 has many good ideas. That's why it's so frustrating to me how much the end product just doesn't sit well with me. I'd also agree that it got rushed out.


                If nothing worked, then let's think!

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                • Originally posted by PMárk View Post
                  Actually, I believe it could have been a good alternative as a part of the Hunger system.

                  Like: for every every Hunger dice coming up as a 1, subtract one from the successes.

                  I have no complete rules system in my mind, but I think it could be a good starting point to represent the distraction of hunger in another way than going straight for losing control over your character.
                  That's actually an interesting idea! I can definitely see potential for that to work, and it wouldn't taste so bitter to me as it incorporates it into a rationale.

                  Originally posted by PMárk View Post
                  Also, I absolutely think that the Hunger dice shouldn't be part of every roll. It should depend on the level of hunger. Low hunger affecting only high-tension situations, or combat and such, while high levels affecting social rolls too and such like that.
                  It's an interesting idea that I think would help give definition, it could be House Ruled in and given to a Storyteller as a case by case basis, though it would require a bit more Admin on the Storytellers part.

                  Originally posted by PMárk View Post
                  I'd also agree that it got rushed out.
                  100%

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                  • Originally posted by Heliodromus View Post
                    Gain one or more Stains.

                    Breaching the Masquerade.

                    Loses one dot from an Advantage
                    I think these three options are all more damning of the system than it might seem.

                    In practical terms we have:

                    1) Put a dot of Humanity at risk, or possibly worse depending on how many Stains you can take before Impaired sets in, and while not a certain loss, a potential permanent loss of a very XP expensive trait.

                    2) A result with no mechanical impact, but drastic narrative impact that could easily be fatal for your character (either hunters come after them, or the Prince does).

                    3) A mechanical slap on the wrist where you don't even risk permanent loss like having to making a Remorse check does, and minimal narrative consequences without the ST stretching things pretty far ("Oh, you lose a dot of Resources right when you needed cash for something important!" is not something you can do to most players and keep the game fun).

                    The fact that these are all present as equal options is horrible advice to the ST on how to use these consequences (like, these could easily have been key-worded with things like "minor, major, life-threatening," to help), and make player expectations that much more difficult do handle. Making risk fun in RPGs is more complicated than just adding risk to system. Having drastically uneven consequences for the same level of risk is a great way to turn a significant number of players off; or at least put massively unneeded pressure on the ST to balance this stuff out with little guidance.

                    While this point isn't directly in response to you Heliodromus, this is one of the big issues with AP videos like LA by Night: GMs that already have the skills to do this well drastically misrepresent the time it takes to develop the skills involved.

                    If none of the above conditions fit the narrative, such as on stealth or awareness tests, the messy critical turns into a simple mess, and the test fails as the Beast clouds the senses or otherwise makes a quiet solution unattainable.
                    And this is an exemplar of rushed gaming rules if there ever was one. Messy crits are supposed to be the Beast helping you succeed at the cost of doing things the Beast's way rather than a more calm and reasoned way. Unless nobody has a bright idea and then it just negates your success instead.

                    I think there is enough choice in there to not have to choose something that ruins a chronicle or a scene.
                    To get back to banging a drum I've been on since the alpha phase:

                    Hunger is too much like Ascension's Paradox mechanics. This is one of the places where that's very, very true. Paradox has this whole system of possible ways that your magic bending the universe finally has the universe snap back and cause you all sorts of trouble. And then recognizing quickly how game-breaking following the paradox rules directly is, immediately tosses in ST responsibility to alter the consequences that happen to avoid the rules being run as written blowing up the game (possibly literally in Mage).

                    Ascension being my favorite cWoD game, I can say that aspect of it is one of my least favorite. It is tedious, and a drain on my energy as a ST, to deal with cleaning up a mess the system generates, and then says it's my job to make it fun via my ST fiat powers instead of the game finding a more fun way to handle things.

                    Of course the storyteller can choose a compulsion that is inappropriate or hard to act out well, but that would not really be something I think you should blame the rules for.
                    Depends on the context. I'm comfortable putting some blame on V5 here, rather than just STs, because it's written in a way that makes it really easy to pick bad consequences for your game; esp. for new STs.

                    If a game puts newbie traps in, it's generally not cool to say, "well the newbie should have read the books better and realized it was a trap and avoided making those choices." Most people consider newbie traps things that are the text's fault and should be corrected.

                    But that also applies to GM-facing material. The text does have a responsibility to frame the GM's options in a way that's as easy to understand the impact of their choices as possible.

                    A solid bit of play-testing advice I heard once for this sort of thing: what would happen if the players got to choose instead of a chart or the GM? The point of running that test isn't that players should always be in the drivers seat, but to help either calibrate how rare/limited a result should be, or when one of the options might need to be tweaked because the players are either constantly picking it, or constantly avoiding it.

                    I do not think V5 passes this test with the options you cited.

                    Originally posted by PMárk View Post
                    Like: for every every Hunger dice coming up as a 1, subtract one from the successes.
                    Functional but.. kinda meh to me. I've played around a lot with trying to keep the "rolling lots of 1s is bad," thing. I have a few ideas that I think work, but in practice they seem too complex for people to really get excited about.

                    Also, I absolutely think that the Hunger dice shouldn't be part of every roll. It should depend on the level of hunger. Low hunger affecting only high-tension situations, or combat and such, while high levels affecting social rolls too and such like that.
                    If I were redoing V5 and so on, I'd work the Hunger dice into when you're actually exerting your vampire powers (Rousing or not): when you're surging, when your mundane rolls are benefiting from a Discipline, etc. The more you rely on your Beast, the more risks it comes out to join the party. I think, even as a baseline where it might get broader with more Hunger, it makes the risk more engaging because the players get more agency and there's a reward side the current rules lack.

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                    • Originally posted by Taggie View Post
                      Then your claims that 'hunger isn't as punishing as people think' isn't dismissal of the experience and mathematical demonstration that even 1 point ruins scenes? (the toreador having to get their date rape on for instance, or having to go murder some one stat, etc etc)
                      No, it's my saying it's wrong. Dismissing means I'm not paying attention. I think the worry is fine but I think that they misunderstand how Bestial Failures work.


                      Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                        If I were redoing V5 and so on, I'd work the Hunger dice into when you're actually exerting your vampire powers (Rousing or not): when you're surging, when your mundane rolls are benefiting from a Discipline, etc. The more you rely on your Beast, the more risks it comes out to join the party. I think, even as a baseline where it might get broader with more Hunger, it makes the risk more engaging because the players get more agency and there's a reward side the current rules lack.
                        That's quite an appealing concept, would you have the brackets for what Hunger affects increase with the level of hunger, for example only Vampiric rolls progressing to all combat rolls, progressing to social rolls, then any rolls. Something along those lines?

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                        • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                          Dismissing means I'm not paying attention.
                          Not, that's "ignoring."

                          Dismissing means you're not taking what's being said seriously in your responses.

                          "I see that math you posted, but it doesn't matter because you're wrong." Doesn't require you paying attention to the math posted or not, it's the response that makes it dismissive.

                          I think the worry is fine but I think that they misunderstand how Bestial Failures work.
                          And yet, the books are actually getting quoted by people that aren't you to back up that they understand how things work. You just assert that they way you want them to work is how they work.

                          Originally posted by Mithras304 View Post
                          That's quite an appealing concept, would you have the brackets for what Hunger affects increase with the level of hunger, for example only Vampiric rolls progressing to all combat rolls, progressing to social rolls, then any rolls. Something along those lines?
                          Honestly? I don't really feel the need to escalate out Hunger like that. I was playing off of PMark's idea.

                          My first instinct is to keep it too vampire fueled stuff.

                          If I felt an appeal to broadening it, I would rather do things like tie the Humanity and Impaired penalties to Hunger instead of the flat values as currently implemented.

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                          • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            Honestly? I don't really feel the need to escalate out Hunger like that. I was playing off of PMark's idea.

                            My first instinct is to keep it too vampire fueled stuff.

                            If I felt an appeal to broadening it, I would rather do things like tie the Humanity and Impaired penalties to Hunger instead of the flat values as currently implemented.
                            Yea I can see that. Though wouldn't it remove the possibility of botching from non-vampiric rolls? Then again I'm not sure I'm against that concept.

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                            • At the moment at least, humans, as they lack Hunger, have no increase failure, so I'm not super worried about it.

                              If I was going to go ever farther down the design hole..

                              While I personally would have used the Exalted/etc. dice mechanic (TN 7, 10s double) to keep the average of 0.5 successes per die rather than V5's pairing mechanic, I could see keeping the pairing with a different approach. Paired 10s and paired 1s generate non-success bonuses/complications rather than directly impacting pass/fail. So they would become "but" and "and" on top of "yes" or "no." I'd lean towards letting players choose to either cancel them, or take both, for normal ones, but any pairs involving Hunger dice can't be canceled as Messy/Bestial stuff kicks in.

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                              • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                                I think these three options are all more damning of the system than it might seem.

                                In practical terms we have:

                                snip

                                The fact that these are all present as equal options is horrible advice to the ST on how to use these consequences (like, these could easily have been key-worded with things like "minor, major, life-threatening," to help), and make player expectations that much more difficult do handle. Making risk fun in RPGs is more complicated than just adding risk to system. Having drastically uneven consequences for the same level of risk is a great way to turn a significant number of players off; or at least put massively unneeded pressure on the ST to balance this stuff out with little guidance.
                                I agree they are not equal and presenting them as if they are is bad. There should be more choices here as well.
                                I still think it should be easy enough to make a choice that is not scene/chronicle ruining and that was the point I was trying to make.


                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                And this is an exemplar of rushed gaming rules if there ever was one. Messy crits are supposed to be the Beast helping you succeed at the cost of doing things the Beast's way rather than a more calm and reasoned way. Unless nobody has a bright idea and then it just negates your success instead.
                                Agreed, this is bad.


                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                Depends on the context. I'm comfortable putting some blame on V5 here, rather than just STs, because it's written in a way that makes it really easy to pick bad consequences for your game; esp. for new STs.

                                If a game puts newbie traps in, it's generally not cool to say, "well the newbie should have read the books better and realized it was a trap and avoided making those choices." Most people consider newbie traps things that are the text's fault and should be corrected.

                                But that also applies to GM-facing material. The text does have a responsibility to frame the GM's options in a way that's as easy to understand the impact of their choices as possible.
                                To be honest I haven't really looked at this from a newbie perspective, but still for this the rules tell new players to use non-compulsion options. I think it maybe would have been better to write it the other way around, i.e. presenting the new player option first and telling experienced players that compulsions is another option.
                                But even so it is player choice of how to act out a compulsion, which of course does not mean derailing won't happen but it gives the player some control.
                                Going with increasing hunger above 5 to cause a hunger frenzy test is not really great advice for newbies though. This could of course derail things and could probably be considered a trap.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                A solid bit of play-testing advice I heard once for this sort of thing: what would happen if the players got to choose instead of a chart or the GM? The point of running that test isn't that players should always be in the drivers seat, but to help either calibrate how rare/limited a result should be, or when one of the options might need to be tweaked because the players are either constantly picking it, or constantly avoiding it.

                                I do not think V5 passes this test with the options you cited.
                                True (at least for this part of the rules), but I still think there is enough in there for options that avoid derailing the game.
                                Choices for messy criticals especially are not balanced or many enough, as mentioned earlier.



                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                If I were redoing V5 and so on, I'd work the Hunger dice into when you're actually exerting your vampire powers (Rousing or not): when you're surging, when your mundane rolls are benefiting from a Discipline, etc. The more you rely on your Beast, the more risks it comes out to join the party. I think, even as a baseline where it might get broader with more Hunger, it makes the risk more engaging because the players get more agency and there's a reward side the current rules lack.
                                A good idea. I think I still might keep Hunger dice in mundane rolls but avoiding big consequences from those. But as you say there should definitely be a risk/reward.



                                I don't really think the messy/bestial rules are good enough as they stand and will use houserules to adapt them my groups playstyle.
                                I do however still think it should be rather easy to avoid ruining scenes with them, especially at Hunger 1, and that was the point I was aiming for. It may not be great but its not a disaster either, I can build upon it and that is fine, it was some time ago that I played a system without houseruling some things anyway. Of course besides some recent time with V5 it was some time since I played at all.

                                Not sure if I am being clear, english is not my first language and even if I think I manage good enough mostly getting points across is not as easy in a non native language.

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