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[V5] Reworking Messy Crits

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  • SetiteFriend
    replied
    Where in the book does it say 3 is the standard difficulty, as far as I know it never says any? Not using modifiers or automatic wins is a fault of the STs, not of the system itself.

    I never felt the need to optimize in V5, a pool of 3-4 often gets by most things, and if needed I can surge or willpower. Or Win at a Cost, another fun mechanic to use.

    On Messy Crits, they should never be too harsh, it is still a critical win after all. For example, you intimidate the mook but snarl at him, which might not have any consequences on its own, but might get noticed if it happens more times. Using compulsions is great too, especially the non-clan ones.

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  • Vilenecromancer
    replied
    Originally posted by SetiteFriend View Post
    How difficult are rolls in your games? I have been playing in multiple games and Bestial Failures have barely ever happened.

    In my experience, a lot of problems with V5's dice system boil down to not using Automatic Wins for things that you should.

    Also, you are supposed to spend willpower to reroll results if you don't want to deal with messy criticals or bestial failures.
    Very difficult actually considering it's the standard of 3. Most new STs don't do the automatic wins very often, and no one I know uses difficulty modifiers at ALL. Thess are the two things this particular edition was built around in order to reduce the risk of failure. The standard difficulty 3 only sees you have around a 50% chance of success with anything less than 6 dice! This means that if you do roll, it's most likely going to literally be a toss-up if you're going to succeed or not. Factor in hunger of anything more than 0, you have a literal game of Russian Roulet.

    The main reason I quit V5 was because I felt I had to optimize in order to succeed at anything in the game. Messy crits and bestial failures were extremely common because in order to succeed you had to blood surge, which has a 50% chance of increasing hunger. Willpower rarely helped since the willpower pool was so small, and the "better save it for later" mentality screwed us over. When we did spend WP to prevent messy crits, we'd more often than not get bestial failures.

    Difficulty is high in V5, even a difficulty of 3 is pretty big. This coupled with the fact most players I've known WANT to roll dice, you'll get a TON of messy crits and bestial failures. Like...a literal...ton.
    Last edited by Vilenecromancer; 03-23-2022, 03:02 PM. Reason: I'm just so tired of failing...so tired...

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  • SetiteFriend
    replied
    How difficult are rolls in your games? I have been playing in multiple games and Bestial Failures have barely ever happened.

    In my experience, a lot of problems with V5's dice system boil down to not using Automatic Wins for things that you should.

    Also, you are supposed to spend willpower to reroll results if you don't want to deal with messy criticals or bestial failures.

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  • Banu_Saulot
    replied
    Originally posted by Vilenecromancer View Post

    You know if you ever get a 1 on the hunger dice and fail the roll in any way, that it is considered a bestial failure? This means if the difficulty is 3 and you only get 2 successes, it's a bestial failure. Not only that, but you must not play a lot, cause they've happened multiple times in multiple games.
    Yeah I know, I got the page about it in my cheat sheet.
    And nah I'd advocate we play a lot. We've played every week for almost 3 years now, I'm as a Storyteller of V5 with a very competent group of players. Difficulty is usually 3 or 4 for things other than observation/analysis checks, or a contested role.
    So no, it just didn't happened as much. Maybe because the players really liked to blood surge, use willpower and were a bit reserved with doing things their characters weren't good at (and now they are pretty powerful, so plenty of dice and lots of Blood Potency bonus). So we get a ton of Messy Criticals, not so much Bestial Failures.

    So yeah, guess we would need more data on this if this was the point of discussion.
    But i'm here mostly to brainstorm messy crit ideas.

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  • Newb95
    replied
    Bestial failures happened with frustrating frequency in my games, even at hunger 1, the concept is interesting in theory but really starts to get old a the table.

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  • Vilenecromancer
    replied
    Originally posted by Banu_Saulot View Post
    I like the Messy Criticals, and Bestial Failures I think never ocurred (maybe once or twice in 3 years of playing V5).
    You know if you ever get a 1 on the hunger dice and fail the roll in any way, that it is considered a bestial failure? This means if the difficulty is 3 and you only get 2 successes, it's a bestial failure. Not only that, but you must not play a lot, cause they've happened multiple times in multiple games.

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  • Newb95
    replied
    If that is your idea than go for it, I personally barely use the blood surge with the current system and I would use it even less with your rules, it just ain't worth the trouble in my experience, especially when you are practically guaranteed to get a compulsion or go into a frenzy once you are skilled enough.

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  • adambeyoncelowe
    replied
    Well that's the whole point: changing it from just doing well on any old roll to rolling really high on a roll where you let the Beast out temporarily but are willing to take that risk. It's based on the model for Unleashing in Changeling 20, where you can go wild with your Arts at the risk of losing control. In my experience, people did use that option when they were in a tight spot, because the results were worth it.

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  • Newb95
    replied
    Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post

    Ah, I can see where we're getting our wires crossed. In my example above, you only gain a Compulsion if you roll more successes than your Composure; you don't Frenzy. Frenzy wasn't the core focus in that house rule, but I then asked what I could do about the risk of Frenzy and that's what you were responding to, whereas I thought you were still talking about gaining a Compulsion only.

    So, I absolutely could see a second threshold for Frenzy: if you roll more successes than Composure + Resolve, then you Frenzy. But if you only roll more successes than your Composure, you only gain a Compulsion. Then there are two thresholds.

    It would need playtesting. But I think more ways to enter Frenzy would be welcome.



    Yeah, I like the V20 and VTR2e rules that say 'this effect remains until it causes you to botch (or until you accept an auto-botch)'. I think that's in the Gangrel clan flaw? That could be interesting.

    Personally, we were at the end of the scene, I'd have the Compulsion roll over. One idea I'd had was that if you complete your Compulsion by the end of the scene, it resolves as usual; if you don't, you can either roll it over to the next scene or take a point of Willpower damage to end it.

    You are right, I thought that the frenzy and compulsion happened at the same time, my bad, still I think that the compulsion should still account for Composure+Resolve, both frenzy and compulsion should be rare for a vamp who can control himself and as I already wrote, having a particularly skilled vamp getting a compulsion or even a frenzy for literally being too good at something sounds silly to me.

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  • adambeyoncelowe
    replied
    Originally posted by Newb95 View Post


    The problem I see with the system is that, with a pool of 11 like in the Jim example, you are most likely going to surpass your composure anyway and that is with a vamp that doesn't have high base skills, another character with higher base stats is going to fly into a rage every time he tries to blood surge, that sounds silly and would ironically push players away from blood surge even more, I think that a better way to do it would be to treat the extra dices from the surge as hunger dices on top of the rest of the hunger and then only count the successes scored on those dices for the purpose of entering frenzy or not, like in the example you made Jim would roll his 11 dices 4 normal dices and 6 hunger ones (4 hunger+2 dices from blood surge) shall the the result on the 6 hunger dices surpass his composure+resolve (it should be both to account for crits on hunger dices) then he enters a frenzy or he takes aggravated willpower damage to resist it.
    Ah, I can see where we're getting our wires crossed. In my example above, you only gain a Compulsion if you roll more successes than your Composure; you don't Frenzy. Frenzy wasn't the core focus in that house rule, but I then asked what I could do about the risk of Frenzy and that's what you were responding to, whereas I thought you were still talking about gaining a Compulsion only.

    So, I absolutely could see a second threshold for Frenzy: if you roll more successes than Composure + Resolve, then you Frenzy. But if you only roll more successes than your Composure, you only gain a Compulsion. Then there are two thresholds.

    It would need playtesting. But I think more ways to enter Frenzy would be welcome.

    Originally posted by Banu_Saulot View Post
    I like the Messy Criticals, and Bestial Failures I think never ocurred (maybe once or twice in 3 years of playing V5). But I agree that it needs some work. I mean, letting Compulsions get in is awesome and practical, but it is sometimes someething that won't see the light of day, like being in the end of a scene, where there won't be any tests later on (or none of which it will come into play, cuz V5 isn't roll-heavy, which is good, but makes Compulsion a less punitive option, sometimes by a ton).

    Cuz you know, sometimes who cares for Masquerade when you're away from any humans and there ain't much in the way of leaving obvious marks that would later raise Masquerade-breaching eyebrows? And well, nobody likes to lose Background, ever, and games where there is frequent timeskip is kind useless to temporarily take a dot away, because there will be very little reason to not let it be recuperated in downtime. Stains are cool, only that are sometimes heavy-handed in some situations (and maybe wouldn't be if the book was a little more descriptive on it, except just giving the bare basics of it), and like, without a good context there is little way to make a Stain reasonable.

    I really think some way of temporary (like "till the next test or end of session") flaws would function well (which lost of Background and Compulsion kinda do already). Maybe some of these could go to a reserve of 'you f'd-up', like into creating an enemy, ruining the trust of your friends or lackeys, or some such. I don't know, I just wanted more options, cuz I enjoy what we have already, and don't need any dramatic change, but there have been plenty of situations when I couldn't see a clear option for the situation.
    Yeah, I like the V20 and VTR2e rules that say 'this effect remains until it causes you to botch (or until you accept an auto-botch)'. I think that's in the Gangrel clan flaw? That could be interesting.

    Personally, we were at the end of the scene, I'd have the Compulsion roll over. One idea I'd had was that if you complete your Compulsion by the end of the scene, it resolves as usual; if you don't, you can either roll it over to the next scene or take a point of Willpower damage to end it.

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  • Banu_Saulot
    replied
    I like the Messy Criticals, and Bestial Failures I think never ocurred (maybe once or twice in 3 years of playing V5). But I agree that it needs some work. I mean, letting Compulsions get in is awesome and practical, but it is sometimes someething that won't see the light of day, like being in the end of a scene, where there won't be any tests later on (or none of which it will come into play, cuz V5 isn't roll-heavy, which is good, but makes Compulsion a less punitive option, sometimes by a ton).

    Cuz you know, sometimes who cares for Masquerade when you're away from any humans and there ain't much in the way of leaving obvious marks that would later raise Masquerade-breaching eyebrows? And well, nobody likes to lose Background, ever, and games where there is frequent timeskip is kind useless to temporarily take a dot away, because there will be very little reason to not let it be recuperated in downtime. Stains are cool, only that are sometimes heavy-handed in some situations (and maybe wouldn't be if the book was a little more descriptive on it, except just giving the bare basics of it), and like, without a good context there is little way to make a Stain reasonable.

    I really think some way of temporary (like "till the next test or end of session") flaws would function well (which lost of Background and Compulsion kinda do already). Maybe some of these could go to a reserve of 'you f'd-up', like into creating an enemy, ruining the trust of your friends or lackeys, or some such. I don't know, I just wanted more options, cuz I enjoy what we have already, and don't need any dramatic change, but there have been plenty of situations when I couldn't see a clear option for the situation.

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  • Newb95
    replied
    Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post

    Remember that in my system you only gain the Compulsion if you roll more successes than your Composure. That already takes that trait into account. However, I suppose you could let the PCs take WP damage to ignore the Compulsion, and that would take into account high Resolve too (since WP starts at Composure+ Resolve). What I'd be wary of is removing any risk at all, though. You want that sweet spot of 'dangerous, but totally worth it'.

    The problem I see with the system is that, with a pool of 11 like in the Jim example, you are most likely going to surpass your composure anyway and that is with a vamp that doesn't have high base skills, another character with higher base stats is going to fly into a rage every time he tries to blood surge, that sounds silly and would ironically push players away from blood surge even more, I think that a better way to do it would be to treat the extra dices from the surge as hunger dices on top of the rest of the hunger and then only count the successes scored on those dices for the purpose of entering frenzy or not, like in the example you made Jim would roll his 11 dices 4 normal dices and 6 hunger ones (4 hunger+2 dices from blood surge) shall the the result on the 6 hunger dices surpass his composure+resolve (it should be both to account for crits on hunger dices) then he enters a frenzy or he takes aggravated willpower damage to resist it.

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  • CajunKhan
    replied
    I think rage gets overlooked a lot because players generally respond to situations that should anger their characters by becoming snarky rather than angry. And ST's rarely want to interrupt that with a frenzy roll, because the player is obviously having fun playing his/her character as being in a snark-off with the NPC.
    Last edited by CajunKhan; 03-22-2022, 01:50 PM.

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  • adambeyoncelowe
    replied
    Originally posted by Vilenecromancer View Post

    What's the difference to a neonate who doesn't know better? The beast has always screwed the kindred in various ways. Heck, by RAW in V20, an insult, as well as public humiliation, can call for a frenzy check. These are things common in vampire societies, especially the Camarilla. Heck the young might even use the "the beast made me do it" excuse, but the Camarilla will still prepare the axe as they repeat, "a beast I am..."

    The beast has always been a looming force, and bestial failures represent this perfectly. That said, I do think it takes away a lot of player agency, which isn't fun for anyone.
    Yeah, I think even V20 works better when you have some Frenzy checks in there. Rage is the most commonly overlooked trigger, in my experience, as people tend to remember fire, sunlight and blood pretty well.

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  • adambeyoncelowe
    replied
    Originally posted by Newb95 View Post


    Oh right, in that case I think its perfect, I like the idea of weaponizing a frenzy like this, the only thing I would add is the option for high composure and resolve vamps to avoid frenzying altogether, it would be voluntary and basically a way to show that vampires with cooler temperaments can effectively control their beast like the description for the composure attribute says, the way it would work is to basically have a composure+resolve roll with a penalty equal to hunger and with a difficulty equal to the successes rolled with the hunger dices, like in the Jim example you made, if out of his dice pool of 11 dices all of his hunger dices came as successes then he would make a composure+resolve check at minus 4 with targeted number of successes of 4 if he succed than he will skip the frenzy and the compulsion altogether if not then he gets the usual results, it can be very hard but can also give more uses to composure and resolve other than increased willpower.
    Remember that in my system you only gain the Compulsion if you roll more successes than your Composure. That already takes that trait into account. However, I suppose you could let the PCs take WP damage to ignore the Compulsion, and that would take into account high Resolve too (since WP starts at Composure+ Resolve). What I'd be wary of is removing any risk at all, though. You want that sweet spot of 'dangerous, but totally worth it'.

    Leave a comment:

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