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    Hey,

    Thanks to all those who helped with my chronicle questions. I ran a successful one shot for 5 hours that was nothing but laughs, I have a PC question now.


    In VTM, are you able to make things like: tanks, thief's, rogues, paladin etc well the VTM equivalent?. one of my friends, the "eat the pope" guy (explained in other posts) he keeps throwing ideas out like: Blade Mistress, gothic hacker, Viking embraced centuries ago. Its only a matter of time before i get asked "can i make master chef or john wick or iron man" or some other type of character. Are there limits to what character themes can be used or made? at what point do you say "that character cant be made in this world, its not feasible with the world or character sheet"

    thanks for reading

  • #2
    Well, yes you can, just load up on stamina/fortitude for a tank or other appropriate stats. But, they should actually be creating a person they can role play. I make all my players come up with a concept and answer the 3 questions

    In life I was...
    My sire chose me because..
    I spend my nights doing ...

    They're supposed to do this before even looking at the character sheet and thinking about dots and stats. They can consider clan at the same time as concept, but I want them to make an actual personality, not just be a collection of stats.

    Instead of making say a "Tank" maybe they should look at something like ex-marine biker or thug turned bouncer, then answer the other questions.

    It is somewhat beneficial for players to be kind of on the same page over who is filling what role in a group when making their characters. If everyone's playing the same thing, they could get completely stuck when they hit something outside their area of expertise or just have unfriendly competition between them for the role. Labels, like tank, rogue etc, can help a bit, but it's important to stick to making a real character, not just filling in dots. You can always burn the players that overly specialize by throwing them into situations they just can't handle and hopoe they learn their lesson for future games. It doesn't have to be a lethal situation, just embarrass the hell out of them at Elysium, for example. Or have somebody foreclose on an a building important to them.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Toa_Kiril View Post
      Are there limits to what character themes can be used or made?
      Not really. But there do tend to be consequences and trade offs. A master chef, for example, may ultimately find the Fame background to be a double edged sword, hindering as much as it helps. (Skills of that nature may also begin to dull in time as one is no longer able to experience food the same way the living do.) A John Wick is going to have enemies or rivals who are as skilled as he is (if not more so because of centuries of experience). An IronMan is going to be limited by the more realistic levels of technology (which are still pretty out there in the real world, but not to the levels of flexible metal flying battle suits or the like). And so on.

      Generally speaking, Vampire has a specific genre - in the vein of Gothic and Noir - but one that has a certain level of flexibility in that it can easily be skewed toward Horror, Romance, Action, Mystery, Drama, Political Thriller, and the like with only a little effort and refocus on certain setting elements. The key is just the make sure everyone is on the same page when starting a new Chronicle and agreeing that their character concepts will try to fit in with that.


      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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      • #4
        Iron Man stuff is kinda in the Mage: The Ascension territory. I don't know about Kindred being able to make suit-systems of that calibre without Enlightenment/Arete.
        Last edited by Shakanaka; 11-06-2020, 09:20 PM.


        Jade Kingdom Warrior

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        • #5
          As ST you can deny any character concept you don't like. Especially if it conflicts with the mood/theme of the chronicle you're running. While the ST should always want to make the game fun for players, players also have a responsibility for their characters to fit with the ST's chronicle and the other PCs.

          The Storyteller System is not well suited to styles of play that is very based on mechanics like the optimal builds we find in D&D or online games. The game is not set up to need a tank, healer, rogue, wizard, etc. It is much more character based with the idea that characters want to navigate the vampire world because they're vampires and need to figure out how to survive/thrive in it. The mechanics are really there to help you quickly resolve conflicts and disputes during the game so you can move on to more role play. Players who want to build characters that break the system and allows them to overwhelm the opposition tend to be highly disruptive. To be honest, I have a lot of doubts about the long term viability of this player or your game if he continues to play in it. But who knows what will actually happen.

          Having said that, there is nothing inherently wrong about a vampire concept where the character has a high Melee ability and an interest, devotion, or obsession with fencing and swordplay. I could see interesting characters of the Malkavian, Toreador, or Ventrue clans doing that. Nor is it a problem to have Goth who is a computer hacker who was turned into a vampire. As an ST, I'd just want them to be more than that so they'd be interesting characters to roleplay with.

          I probably wouldn't allow a Viking embraced a thousand years ago. The game assumes a PC is newly made vampire of less than 50 years. Even saying the character was turned, torpored, and recently woke up could cause problems. I'd only allow it if the player agreed that the newly wakened PC has been educated/trained enough to get along in the modern era and behave appropriately - and the player better be an excellent role player who can sell the concept.

          You may want to control how ridiculous how many traits a character can have. Keep it under 3 or lower, or restrict to have only so many level 4 traits. That keeps things more realistic instead of having a PC constantly roll 9s or 10s as his dice pool. You want the PCs to be able to shine, but not dominate the setting. Otherwise things quickly becomes an arms race that only causes you to boost the NPCs stats up, and things keep getting ridiculous.

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          • #6
            Eh, a couple century-old or a thousand year old (and I wouldn't allow anything past exactly 1350+ years old since that would be well before the Viking age proper) could be doable as a Vampire PC character. They'd just be Elder or Methuselah-tier. Then again you'd have to let all the players have the chance to be Elders or Methuselahs too so everyone doesn't feel overshadowed; or you could do it where a few characters are the Elders and/or Meths, while another portion of players are their childe.


            Jade Kingdom Warrior

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            • #7
              I can't believe I forgot to add this to my last post, but also at least a paragraph about your character's life. They can fill in a lot more later, but at least having some sort of relatively believable backstory is important before you start thinking about stats. The details you picked prior to this should guide you when spending dots. Was your character in the military, OK they'd have a decent firearms and other combat abilities. Were you a lawyer or socialite or politician, OK high manipulation/charisma as well as subterfuge and maybe leadership for a politician, maybe investigation for a lawyer, etc. They should actually pick abilities and attributes centered around their background.

              I agree, playing a methuselah that's been active the whole time should be off limits, unless they'd been in torpor the majority of the time and inactive. Some of the editions had a flaw called anachronism, where you have difficulty understanding the modern world. If they don't want the flaw, they've been awake for a few years and adapted somewhat, but should still play as having that sort of out of date outlook and a more straight forward take what I want through brute force style and not seeing it when say a Ventrue ruins them financially or somebody screws with them in a way they wouldn't understand.

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              • #8
                DrHappyAngry the main issue with my circle of friends, is they are the only people i have to play this game with, and if i limit the range of themes they can have for their character they will get turned off really quickly.

                If i said to them "the characters you can make have to fit the theme of the chronicle. So if you all wanted to play a stealth game but one of you made a trigger happy character, that is the opposite of stealth"

                he will wonder why he should play a game where he doesn't have complete control of how he makes the character. "its not my character if it has to conform"

                in regards to "Concepts" what is given to me from them are very broad terms or very DnD relative keywords. words like: "merc" and "assassin". A lot of their character sheet look like Underworld characters and cliché move reference, like a Samurai with fangs.

                He has an issue with his characters having an "allegiance" to the factions, he keeps asking "can I have a vampire character who is not in league with any factions" like his gothic hacker character, he wanted her to be the Ventrue primogen. which he told me he added before the game

                again sorry for coming to this forum with annoying questions lol. VTM is the first table top game i am learning XD

                I really appreciate everyone's help

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Toa_Kiril View Post
                  DrHappyAngry the main issue with my circle of friends, is they are the only people i have to play this game with, and if i limit the range of themes they can have for their character they will get turned off really quickly.
                  Understandable. But at the same time, this is your game you're putting together, that you're putting the work into. While there is always room for compromise, they should still respect that. Do not be a tyrant. Do not be a pushover.

                  Sit them all down and tell them what you want out of this game and what you expect from them, then hear what they want to play. If some players want to partake in what you want but a few don't, then drop those players and play with the ones that do. If the majority want to be murder hobos while you want to run a detective game, it's time to switch games.

                  Also in this day and age you do have options beyond just your friends. There are plenty of websites for online games, whether they be voice chat or play-by-post. If you live in or near a city, there may be a Gaming/Hobbyist store within reach that offers tables for people to come together and play games. Again, the internet is your friend in that regard.

                  So there are options if things fall apart.

                  If i said to them "the characters you can make have to fit the theme of the chronicle. So if you all wanted to play a stealth game but one of you made a trigger happy character, that is the opposite of stealth"

                  he will wonder why he should play a game where he doesn't have complete control of how he makes the character. "its not my character if it has to conform"
                  Okay between this thread and your last one, I'm getting the distinct impression that this guy doesn't get VtM and doesn't want to. He just wants to be an action hero wading through enemies. While there is nothing wrong with that in and of itself but that's not what VtM is about. If you've explained that to him and he hasn't accepted that then it's time to seriously consider asking him to leave the game.

                  I know. It sucks when it happens, especially with friends but if you don't there's two things that are likely to happen, he's going to either get bored and unhappy with all the non-combat going or he's doing to pick fights with every NPC he can to get that action fix which will cause problems for everyone else and likely see the whole party getting in serious trouble.

                  in regards to "Concepts" what is given to me from them are very broad terms or very DnD relative keywords. words like: "merc" and "assassin". A lot of their character sheet look like Underworld characters and cliché move reference, like a Samurai with fangs.
                  That's not surprising for newcomers to VtM/WoD. When I first played VtM back in the early 2000s, none of my friends had any experience either beyond the VtM Redemption game. It was a hilariously cringy game with character much like you were describing. Hell if you ever look at some of the earliest books of VtM, they had some truly cringy characters and things.

                  But in time I learned VtM and what it really was about.

                  He has an issue with his characters having an "allegiance" to the factions, he keeps asking "can I have a vampire character who is not in league with any factions" like his gothic hacker character, he wanted her to be the Ventrue primogen. which he told me he added before the game
                  Okay he does not understand VtM if he's asking that his character to be a Primogen but also independent because Primogen in the modern nights is a Camarilla title. You cannot be a Primogen if you're not a member of the Camarilla.

                  Also I would NOT give the Primogen to a person that's new to VtM. Especially not to this player you've been talking about as that's more a game of intrigue and social combat that frankly this player does not sound like he wants to play. Primogen don't go off and fight things. They send the younger, dumber licks to do that for them.

                  again sorry for coming to this forum with annoying questions lol. VTM is the first table top game i am learning XD

                  I really appreciate everyone's help
                  Honestly at this point, I strongly urge you and your players to go to Youtube and watch some of the many VtM games played there to get a sense for what you're getting into as it seems like some of your group thinks this is going to be a dungeon crawl like D&D when VtM is a different beast altogether.


                  Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It's only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They've survived flood, famine and plague. They've survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They're indomitable. Indomitable.

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                  • #10
                    In terms of mechanics, I think the World of Darkness (not necessarily Vampire: the Masquerade) is capable of handling just about any character concept conceivable. And the flexibility of the classless system is one of the things I really like about the Storyteller system in general. As many have noted, it's just a question of distributing Attributes, Abilities, etc.

                    As others have already hit on, it sounds like you're having less of a mechanical problem and more of a thematic one. I don't think the problem is necessarily that Underworld-style action isn't appropriate for VtM in general; just because trenchcoats and katanas aren't for everyone doesn't mean it's an invalid play-style. But it is important that the expectations of the players and the Storyteller line up to some extent. It should be a matter of negotiation, back and forth, but there ultimately does need to be a consensus between the Storyteller and the players about what type of story is going to be told. As noted above, failing to do so is likely to lead to antagonism between the players and the Storyteller.

                    Apologies, but I have not been following your previous posts closely, so I do not recall the background of your story or the list of player characters involved. So far it seems like most of your issues are focused around one player; my first question would be, do you think that this player's approach to the game is compatible with the rest of your group, or incompatible?

                    If most of your players are okay with, or might even prefer, a more action-based hack'n'slash game, then you as the Storyteller might want to consider running a game that is suited more to the tastes of your group of players. You can't force a group of players to be involved in a story that doesn't interest them. Dark Ages might be a better setting for that kind of game, but a coterie of Archons or a pack of Sabbat crusaders are perfectly functional in the Final Nights.

                    Conversely, if most of your players want one kind of story, and this one player wants something incompatible, then that player is the one who probably ought to be compromising if they want to be part of the game. And I frankly agree that you should be telling your wannabe Autarkis Primogen that they need to learn what words mean before they can start tossing them around like that. That's not to say that independent but politically powerful Kindred don't exist, they do, but they are definitely the exception rather than the rule, and a player interested in pursuing that route should be expected to learn how to realistically fit it into the setting before demanding that they be allowed to play one.

                    On a final note, it has been mentioned that Elder or Methuselah-level games are possible, and I agree. But I would include the strong caveat that you should almost certainly not allow it at this time. If both you and your players are new to Vampire and the Storyteller system, you should really take the time to learn the system slowly before making your life ridiculously harder by giving your players access to grocery lists of Disciplines right out of the gate, possibly even including powers over 5 dots. And you frankly should not do it unless you are willing to use Rule Zero like a giant stick to beat your players back into line if necessary, because you are almost certainly going to have to deal with obscure rulings that might upset your players sometimes. Ultimately, your job is to keep the game running smoothly for everyone, and sometimes that will conflict with what individual players might think is "fun" or "cool."

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                    • #11
                      I agree with Kharnov with what he said referencing my previous statement- since their so new to VTM, don't let me be Elders or Methuselahs yet; I take back what I said earlier. They don't know the franchise whatsoever and will botch it and not understand the general modus operandi of Elder/Methuselah activities or niches. Let be a youngin' still so they learn the ropes for a short chronicle. After that's done and they still want to be Elder/Methuselahs, let them.


                      Jade Kingdom Warrior

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Toa_Kiril View Post
                        DrHappyAngry the main issue with my circle of friends, is they are the only people i have to play this game with, and if i limit the range of themes they can have for their character they will get turned off really quickly.

                        If i said to them "the characters you can make have to fit the theme of the chronicle. So if you all wanted to play a stealth game but one of you made a trigger happy character, that is the opposite of stealth"

                        he will wonder why he should play a game where he doesn't have complete control of how he makes the character. "its not my character if it has to conform"

                        in regards to "Concepts" what is given to me from them are very broad terms or very DnD relative keywords. words like: "merc" and "assassin". A lot of their character sheet look like Underworld characters and cliché move reference, like a Samurai with fangs.

                        He has an issue with his characters having an "allegiance" to the factions, he keeps asking "can I have a vampire character who is not in league with any factions" like his gothic hacker character, he wanted her to be the Ventrue primogen. which he told me he added before the game

                        again sorry for coming to this forum with annoying questions lol. VTM is the first table top game i am learning XD

                        I really appreciate everyone's help
                        Kharnov and AkatsukiLeader13 hit the nail on the head pretty well with regards to those questions. I recently just had to show a player the door for clashing with the rest of the group, monopolizing all the game time with arguing and doing stupid shit without considering the consequences and then bitching about them. If they don't want to play well with the story and the rest of group does, maybe they should come back for a more action type story later. Generally your first reaction shouldn't be to say no, you can't play that, but try to offer suggestions so that it could work. Sometimes it's just not an option and some people do not fit into all games well. Perhaps you can make a bargain with them to conform to the setting/group, they make a fitting character for this, but you'll run a more actiony game later where they can play something like what they're wanting now. Maybe a game where the players are working for an Alastor and can be loud problem solvers would be a future game that could work, but if the rest of the group wants the more stealth story, they can either conform or you can run it without them, because the rest of the players aren't going to have a good time if he continually is blowing their cover. Depending on the type of story you want to tell, maybe it could be tweaked, have some action scenes and some stealth scenes and whatever other types you need. Maybe you can throw in some side stuff for them to deal with. Still if they just clash too much with the group and they are willing to drag everyone else down to the point where others aren't having fun, it might just be worth considering not playing with them, at least for this story. It's also perfectly reasonable to put some restrictions on what people can play, even in D&D DMs disallow some class options, races and other things that they feel are unbalanced and don't fit the setting or story. A lot of great art is done with restrictions and sometimes restrictions can be freeing or inspiring.

                        BTW, one thing about playing a vampire that's been active for 1000 years. It'd be like somebody asking to play level 30 mage in D&D where everyone else is 1st level. It's not balanced and can break the story if you don't know how to deal with all the high level stuff. I mentioned you could have them be torporous for a lot of the time, so that's not saying no to them, but trying to work with what they want but maintain balance and not introduce game breaking powers.

                        Have they looked at the example concepts in the books? Maybe add some stuff to the list. Mercenary and assassin do work, but could use a little bit of elaboration and backstory. Why do do this? How did you get into it? What kind of assassin or merc are you? It might be a good idea to sit down with them and explain that they're playing a personality, not a bunch of stats to just destroy stuff. Also destroying shit is a great way to make enemies more powerful than you, so there's a bit of self preservation there not to go nuts.

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                        • #13
                          The thing is for me though is that WoD is less about balance and more about story. Having high level Disciplines isn't game-breaking, its part of the game. It would be interesting story additive to the chronicle to explore with a PC being a Methuselah waking after torpor and how the local city would react, especially the already structured Elders and the like in the local hierarchy. The thing is that WoD isn't like DnD where you grasp at straws and NPC stat blocks to make everything "balanced". With WoD being modeled after our own world but more darker, you can expect some scenarios to be unfair no matter what- that's one of the intrigues of the game. There are no "levels", no HP beyond 7 excluding some exceptions, combat is deadly no matter what and have a big impact to heal in regards to Aggravated damage, your actions aren't guaranteed to succeed and could be subject to failures or botches, etc. However being a Methuselah alone isn't the be-all or the end-all because you can still get overwhelmed or outmaneuvered by Elders younger than you who are more adjusted to the modern world (relatively) or be confronted by a rival Methuselah who has sensed you've awakened; that could be an explosive chronicle that could put the whole city in a big shadow war.

                          However again this is left best to experienced players who know the game well.


                          Jade Kingdom Warrior

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Shakanaka View Post
                            The thing is for me though is that WoD is less about balance and more about story. Having high level Disciplines isn't game-breaking, its part of the game. It would be interesting story additive to the chronicle to explore with a PC being a Methuselah waking after torpor and how the local city would react, especially the already structured Elders and the like in the local hierarchy. The thing is that WoD isn't like DnD where you grasp at straws and NPC stat blocks to make everything "balanced". With WoD being modeled after our own world but more darker, you can expect some scenarios to be unfair no matter what- that's one of the intrigues of the game. There are no "levels", no HP beyond 7 excluding some exceptions, combat is deadly no matter what and have a big impact to heal in regards to Aggravated damage, your actions aren't guaranteed to succeed and could be subject to failures or botches, etc. However being a Methuselah alone isn't the be-all or the end-all because you can still get overwhelmed or outmaneuvered by Elders younger than you who are more adjusted to the modern world (relatively) or be confronted by a rival Methuselah who has sensed you've awakened; that could be an explosive chronicle that could put the whole city in a big shadow war.

                            However again this is left best to experienced players who know the game well.
                            This is true up to a point. Vampire isn't fair and some disciplines are more powerful than others. That being said, if somebody's a thousand year old vampire and the rest are neonates, that would definitely create some feelings that the game is really weighted in the other players favor if the group's not right for it. What you say about making a story about a PC methuselah waking up could be interesting, but let's face it, from the way this player's been described, they're not up to playing a 1000 year old otherworldly being and just want to smash shit. My point about high level disciplines was about a chronicle centered around neonates and beginning players and storytellers. If you're just starting out as a storyteller, you've got enough on your hands without having to worry about a player blindsiding you with some uber power that might break the story you've written. It's a really good idea to keep that high level stuff out of the players hands until you and them have enough of a handle on things. Down the road if you want to explore an elders game, go for it, but start small or things can get away from you.

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                            • #15
                              -an old vampire isn't a problem if you go with -and they fucked up and went into a torpor that lasted all these years.
                              That said. most people exemplify dunning-krueger when it comes to history.

                              I would stress that there are disciplines like Dominate and Presence to players. These powers are really fun and help players understand they don't need to make combat munchkins.

                              Keep to the original camarilla clans. Avoid bloodlines like the plague.


                              Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
                              There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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