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[V5 - Official Ruling Request] - Selecting Powers - Can discipline levels essentially be skipped if leveling several levels in one go?

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  • [V5 - Official Ruling Request] - Selecting Powers - Can discipline levels essentially be skipped if leveling several levels in one go?

    Hello everyone.

    I'm curious if it's possible to get a definitive ruling on a matter, which I personally find to pretty clear and well defined in the core rulebook. Though it seems there are some who believe that it can be correctly understood differently, because the rules lack an example defining that specific "issue", where I on the other hand think such an example is completely unnecessary because the rules are worded in such a way that it isn't needed.

    It's basically with regards to selecting powers, as I understand it, whenever a dot is gained a power is selected for the level or one from one of levels below it.
    Some believe it can be understood this way, that whenever several discipline levels is acquired in one go, they can be spent on higher levels than where they were acquired
    ..mechanically speaking, that one can leave a discipline level blank and keep the level point(s) for higher levels, though it has to be spent immediately after leveling.

    To give an example of this:
    One levels Obfuscate from level 2 to 5 in one go, gaining 3 dots to spend freely;
    gaining a dot a level 3, level 4 and level 5, below is how it was decided to place the dots.

    Obfuscate:
    Level 1: Cloak of Shadows
    Level 2: Unseen Passage
    Level 3: Mask of a Thousand Faces
    Level 4: Empty
    Level 5: Cloak of the Gathering
    Level 5: Imposter's Disuise

    I don't believe this is correct, it's either outright wrong or the very least a house-rule if anything.

    The way I understand the rules, whenever one is leveling up something, it's done sequentially, even if one is doing it one go for practical reasons, it would still be handled sequentially.

    An official ruling for this would be great or one such already exists, please do share the link to the official ruling on it.
    Also feel free to share your thoughts on the matter.

    Thank you,

    // Inc.
    Last edited by Incarnate; 01-22-2022, 09:20 PM.

  • Incarnate
    replied
    I really have no issue with the ST wanting to run it like that, what I have a problem with, is that he insists on it being a valid interpretation of the rules, when it in fact is not.
    Basically, every bit of the rules that actually pertains to it, is being disregarded because it doesn't fit what he wants to achieve with it. Not only that, even things that should make one thinking that there is something wrong with his interpretation, is also being disregarded.

    I have no issues with people making and using house rules, but I have an issue with when the rules are changed and it's insisted on that it's a valid interpretation of the rules when it clearly isn't, unwilling to acknowledge that the rules are being changed to fit the interpretation and that actually is house-ruling/homebrewing - Which is what is happening here.

    I have enough confirmation to know, that his interpretation is incorrect.

    Leave a comment:


  • SetiteFriend
    replied
    There is nothing wrong with house-rules, however, insisting that this is a possible interpretation of the rules is essentially a house-rule but with none of the responsibility of making one.

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Eh... you can drop a group because they all love a house rule that you hate without them being cheaters. Them insisting it's not a house-rule is a nice indicator you're a bad fit for them, but if the ST and players all agree on how the rules should be run, it's not cheating.

    Leave a comment:


  • breggie
    replied
    Originally posted by Dogstar View Post

    Cheaters gonna cheat.

    Which is what this is, it's not a loose interpretation or shenanigans, it's flat out cheating. Personally I'd drop this group and find one without cheaters in it because once a cheater gets away with one thing there's always another thing they want, then another, and another, and on and on.

    Remember that there are some people, fortunately very few, who play RPGs in bad faith - they're not here to participate in a group game for the most fun, they're here to win at whatever twisted mental games they can get away with
    This. ^^^

    Leave a comment:


  • Dogstar
    replied
    Originally posted by Incarnate View Post
    I'm unfortunately not the ST in this case, it's the ST who's been told by one of his players from another group, that the rules can be interpreted this way - which I just was told.
    To me this I quite obvious what this player is pushing some rule interpretation shenanigans.
    Cheaters gonna cheat.

    Which is what this is, it's not a loose interpretation or shenanigans, it's flat out cheating. Personally I'd drop this group and find one without cheaters in it because once a cheater gets away with one thing there's always another thing they want, then another, and another, and on and on.

    Remember that there are some people, fortunately very few, who play RPGs in bad faith - they're not here to participate in a group game for the most fun, they're here to win at whatever twisted mental games they can get away with

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Incarnate

    Just to point out something not directly related to the rules here: Onyx Path don't set the official rules for V5, they do licensed V5 supplements for Paradox/Renegade to increase the material for the line while the main developers focus on core material. If you want a real official ruling, you're going to have to find the V5 development team online (probably through Paradox's forums or Discord, but I haven't kept up on where they're active).

    Leave a comment:


  • SetiteFriend
    replied
    Originally posted by Incarnate View Post

    With regards to intention, this is what the ST is basically saying:
    I must agree that a ST who can't grasp the intention behind a rule sounds "not fun", to say the least. Especially since this just encourages hoarding XP, in order to get the most value out of a discipline.

    Multiple Level 5 powers should be reserved for incredibly powerful Kindred (the ones you generally aren't playing) like Methuselahs and the like.

    Leave a comment:


  • adambeyoncelowe
    replied
    The thing is, people don't usually write rules based around players trying to game the system.

    That said, the wording on XP costs makes it clear one dot is bought before the next. On p.151, it states that you can't skip dots and must buy one at a time. This is the rules as written.

    The RAI is pretty clear, too, even if we are only making an educated guess: 'You need to *first* buy the third dot...*then* buy four dots' obviously means this is supposed to be a sequence ('first' this, 'then' this).

    The example given is of wanting to go from two dots to four, so is directly relevant here. Neither is it an exception for Composure alone, as it's right below the XP table and so applies to all XP expenditure.

    We may not have Word of God here, but we have to assume good faith, and therefore that the writers know what words mean and what the placement of those words in a particular order means. This is their job.

    If it weren't a sequence, then the writers could have chosen to say something like, 'If you want to go from two dots to four, you need to buy the third dot and the fourth dot at the same time'. They didn't, though.

    The text on acquiring Disciplines (p.244) backs this up. It refers to 'Every time a character gains a dot...they choose one power.' Note that it's 'gains a dot' not 'gains dots' and 'chooses one power' not 'chooses powers'.

    The example given for Fortitude immediately below this is even clearer: the example PC has gained two dots at the same time (at chargen), but she still *chooses the levels separately and sequentially for each dot*. So she can pick any level one power for her first dot, and any level one or two power for her second dot. She can't choose two level two dots, or it would say that.

    ETA: Also, your ST sounds...'not fun' (which is me being polite).
    Last edited by adambeyoncelowe; 01-24-2022, 01:59 PM.

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  • Incarnate
    replied
    Originally posted by SetiteFriend View Post
    That is certainly homebrew, and even if the text isn't 100% clear, the intention behind it is.
    With regards to intention, this is what the ST is basically saying:
    How can you know what the intention is? Only the developer knows the intention.
    With regards to being a 100% clear on on the matter:
    I personally find the text to be quite definitive and clear on the matter.
    Where would you say it isn't 100%? With regards to leveling traits (in this case disciplines) and selecting powers.
    It specifically states, that you select a power whenever a dot is gained, and you gain a dot when you level a trait, so obviously you would have to select a power when you level a discipline.
    When you level a trait you have to do it sequentially, it even states you cannot skip a level, so how exactly is that not a 100% clear and definitive on the matter? This combined with that above,
    means it you cannot skip a level, nor can you carry over the selection of a power to a later level, because you have to level the discipline sequentially and you have to select it when the dot is gained.

    I completely agree, it's 100% homebrew.


    Leave a comment:


  • SetiteFriend
    replied
    That is certainly homebrew, and even if the text isn't 100% clear, the intention behind it is.

    Leave a comment:


  • Incarnate
    replied
    Originally posted by breggie View Post
    If you’re the storyteller then you can just say no. Your interpretation of the rules is the only one that matters in the end. A good ST considers a player’s ideas, but in the end all xp expenditures must be approved by the ST and if it were me I would (probably) never allow a player to level the same power or ability by more than one dot at a time which would make the whole argument moot.
    I'm unfortunately not the ST in this case, it's the ST who's been told by one of his players from another group, that the rules can be interpreted this way - which I just was told.
    To me this I quite obvious what this player is pushing some rule interpretation shenanigans.
    I've even pointed to pg. 151 and 244 in the core rulebook which specifically state how it's supposed to be handled - the ST believes that rules can be interpreted it differently, I don't know how, because the rules as I read them are quite clear and definitive on the matter.

    Apparently, here is how they believe it can be done:
    So this how my player says he sees it working
    At level 3 you can decide if you want to get two level 5 powers
    In order to do you must stay at level 3 then save xp to go from 3-5
    (in clan discipline that's a total of 45xp)
    Then pay any the cost of level 4-5
    (an additional 25xp)
    So for a total of 70xp in one spending that's how he says it can be done
    That I just quoted, correct me if I'm wrong, but that is homebrew!
    First off, it's not possible to get two level 5 powers, no matter how you want to try, you'd be stopped by having level the disciplines sequentially.
    Also, the rules state that you have to select a power whenever a dot is gained, so you cannot carry over a dot to a higher level.
    ..and yet we see the above attempt at circumventing the rules.

    Leave a comment:


  • breggie
    replied
    If you’re the storyteller then you can just say no. Your interpretation of the rules is the only one that matters in the end. A good ST considers a player’s ideas, but in the end all xp expenditures must be approved by the ST and if it were me I would (probably) never allow a player to level the same power or ability by more than one dot at a time which would make the whole argument moot.

    Leave a comment:


  • Incarnate
    replied
    Originally posted by SetiteFriend View Post

    This would probably be the closest: "You cannot skip ahead and buy four dots of Composure (••••) for 20 points if you currently only have two dots of Composure (••). You need to first buy the third dot of Composure (•••) for 15 experience points, then buy four dots of Composure (••••) for 20." Page 151

    Yes, as the rate you gain XP already limits it, unless one has been saving XP or you have been giving out more XP than standard.
    Thank you, that actually states you cannot skip ahead with regards to leveling traits, and that you have to level them sequentially.
    Still, an official ruling could still be useful, as I'm sure the above may not be enough for some.

    Leave a comment:


  • SetiteFriend
    replied
    Originally posted by Incarnate View Post
    What would help here, is if there is a rule on how leveling works, a description about how leveling up is done sequentially - is there such a rule in the game?
    This would probably be the closest: "You cannot skip ahead and buy four dots of Composure (••••) for 20 points if you currently only have two dots of Composure (••). You need to first buy the third dot of Composure (•••) for 15 experience points, then buy four dots of Composure (••••) for 20." Page 151

    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
    Did V5 drop the -you probably shouldn't get more than a single dot of something per story- ruling?

    Disciplines especially. They're something you get over years of accumulation.
    Yes, as the rate you gain XP already limits it, unless one has been saving XP or you have been giving out more XP than standard.

    Leave a comment:

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