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[V5] Reworking Messy Crits

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  • #31
    The solution is also not go with absolutely horrible outcomes for BF/MC. What are you all even doing for consequences? You get a messy critical in a charisma roll to get into the club and so you behead the bouncer in public?

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    • #32
      Originally posted by SetiteFriend View Post
      The solution is also not go with absolutely horrible outcomes for BF/MC. What are you all even doing for consequences? You get a messy critical in a charisma roll to get into the club and so you behead the bouncer in public?
      Book straight up gives insane consequences by RAW. Such as, doing such a monstrous action that give you a stain or cause a masquerade breech. With these examples, there's a good chance most STs are just...well, doing exactly that. Also, if the ST can't come up with a narrative consequence a messy, you just fail. So if even half of the new STs do it by the book, can you see why consequences would be so high?

      Edit: Also compulsions, as of the companion, are possible consequences for a messy, and was always a possibility with bestials. Not compulsions aren't too bad, until you realize doing anything that goes against your compulsion for the scene gives you a 2 or more dice penalty. This can add to the spiral of failure.
      Last edited by Vilenecromancer; 03-25-2022, 01:48 AM.


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      • #33
        Originally posted by Vilenecromancer View Post

        Book straight up gives insane consequences by RAW. Such as, doing such a monstrous action that give you a stain or cause a masquerade breech. With these examples, there's a good chance most STs are just...well, doing exactly that. Also, if the ST can't come up with a narrative consequence a messy, you just fail. So if even half of the new STs do it by the book, can you see why consequences would be so high?
        You found the right book and tore the rest of the bookcase down in your exultation

        You opened the door by pulling it off its hinges


        The vision is cut short by a glimpse of herself indulging her most bestial urges, and she receives one Stain.

        These are all examples given for non-combat Messy Criticals, which are all reasonable. And more importantly: "the Storyteller and the player work together to decide on the level of success and the level of mess". I've often given the ideas for my STs, and proceeded to roleplay them myself, which was really fun.

        And common sense should always apply when being an ST.

        Edit: Also compulsions, as of the companion, are possible consequences for a messy, and was always a possibility with bestials. Not compulsions aren't too bad, until you realize doing anything that goes against your compulsion for the scene gives you a 2 or more dice penalty. This can add to the spiral of failure.
        This goes into the other problem of too high difficulties (Which for some reason people think baseline is 3), plus you are supposed be penalized for not following it compulsion.

        And a lot of them aren't even too disruptive, depending on the scene, like taking a break from looking for someone in a nightclub to feed, turning a up until that point peaceful conflict violent to drive an unwanted party away et cetera, you can do a lot of things with them.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by SetiteFriend View Post

          You found the right book and tore the rest of the bookcase down in your exultation

          You opened the door by pulling it off its hinges


          The vision is cut short by a glimpse of herself indulging her most bestial urges, and she receives one Stain.

          These are all examples given for non-combat Messy Criticals, which are all reasonable. And more importantly: "the Storyteller and the player work together to decide on the level of success and the level of mess". I've often given the ideas for my STs, and proceeded to roleplay them myself, which was really fun.

          And common sense should always apply when being an ST.
          Yes cause causing a masquerade breech is a great consequence for getting a critical. Nothing like possible execution for just trying to take care of a bouncer only to snap his spin in an obviously bestial manner, on the same page.

          Still not over that simply failing the CRITICAL SUCCESS roll was ever an idea. Messy or otherwise.

          Originally posted by SetiteFriend View Post
          This goes into the other problem of too high difficulties (Which for some reason people think baseline is 3), plus you are supposed be penalized for not following it compulsion.

          And a lot of them aren't even too disruptive, depending on the scene, like taking a break from looking for someone in a nightclub to feed, turning a up until that point peaceful conflict violent to drive an unwanted party away et cetera, you can do a lot of things with them.
          The reason people think 3 is the baseline is simply the word moderate being used. Moderate literally means average in amount. So this would lead most to think, well if this is the average difficulty then it must be the baseline in most cases.


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          • #35
            Originally posted by SetiteFriend View Post

            You found the right book and tore the rest of the bookcase down in your exultation

            You opened the door by pulling it off its hinges


            The vision is cut short by a glimpse of herself indulging her most bestial urges, and she receives one Stain.

            These are all examples given for non-combat Messy Criticals, which are all reasonable. And more importantly: "the Storyteller and the player work together to decide on the level of success and the level of mess". I've often given the ideas for my STs, and proceeded to roleplay them myself, which was really fun.
            It's not necessarily the severity of the MC that's the problem. It's the fact that you roll well and get some sort of consequence for that, rather than being rewarded as in other systems where a critical success is always a good thing.

            Obviously, YMMV, but you can at least understand from a theoretical viewpoint why some people find it a bit unnatural/awkward/counterintuitive/intrusive/unfair? You don't have to agree with that position to see that.

            This goes into the other problem of too high difficulties (Which for some reason people think baseline is 3), plus you are supposed be penalized for not following it compulsion.

            And a lot of them aren't even too disruptive, depending on the scene, like taking a break from looking for someone in a nightclub to feed, turning a up until that point peaceful conflict violent to drive an unwanted party away et cetera, you can do a lot of things with them.
            I gave you a page reference for this already, but I am assuming good faith in this discussion, so I'll go into more detail for you.

            According to the CRB, p 119, Difficulty 3 is moderate. Let's Google this word to get the definition:

            moderate
            adjective
            /ˈmɒd(ə)rət/
            average in amount, intensity, quality, or degree.
            "we walked at a moderate pace"

            So yes, moderate means 'average', and the average Difficulty is therefore 3. Which means you need about 6 dice to succeed most of the time, given a 50% chance of success on any given die.

            Difficulty 2 is straightforward, which means:

            straightforward
            adjective
            /streɪtˈfɔːwəd/
            uncomplicated and easy to do or understand.
            "in a straightforward case no fees will be charged"

            So Difficulty 2 is therefore uncomplicated and 'easy'.

            Difficulty 1 is routine, which means:

            routine
            /ruːˈtiːn/
            noun
            a sequence of actions regularly followed.
            "I settled down into a routine of work and sleep"
            adjective
            performed as part of a regular procedure rather than for a special reason.
            "the Ministry insisted that this was just a routine annual drill"

            (I love the accidental Setite reference in that last one BTW.)

            Which means it's something everyday and practised. I.e., something you can do without much fuss. I'd consider that 'very easy' for the sake of argument (and since there's no lesser Difficulty).

            So I think we need to be clear that Difficulty 3 is, RAW, the average Difficulty for V5.


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            • #36
              I think everyone is getting a beat heated here and cariacturing the other posters' arguments. Please watch it.



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              • #37
                Nothing like possible execution for just trying to take care of a bouncer only to snap his spin in an obviously bestial manner, on the same page.
                Vilenecromancer That is for a combat test, the original test was to just kill the bouncer, but the messy critical made it obviously monstrous.

                You killed the bouncer, but you clearly snapped his spine or tore out his throat

                Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
                I gave you a page reference for this already, but I am assuming good faith in this discussion, so I'll go into more detail for you.
                I'm sorry, I hadn't thoroughly read your previous post so I missed it.

                The thing it, moderate or routine or whatever, the book never says it is a default roll. It explicitly says "Decide on a Difficulty according to the table below." Is the test closer to seducing someone in the mood or walking a tight-rope?

                Obviously, YMMV, but you can at least understand from a theoretical viewpoint why some people find it a bit unnatural/awkward/counterintuitive/intrusive/unfair? You don't have to agree with that position to see that.
                I have no problem with that, and find your idea interesting (even if it needs work).

                My problem is odd issues I never hear about outside these forums, or that have come-up in any of the V5 games I've played, being used to disparage V5, as if they were somehow the norm.

                This thread should probably go back to the main point though.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by SetiteFriend View Post

                  Vilenecromancer That is for a combat test, the original test was to just kill the bouncer, but the messy critical made it obviously monstrous.

                  You killed the bouncer, but you clearly snapped his spine or tore out his throat



                  I'm sorry, I hadn't thoroughly read your previous post so I missed it.

                  The thing it, moderate or routine or whatever, the book never says it is a default roll. It explicitly says "Decide on a Difficulty according to the table below." Is the test closer to seducing someone in the mood or walking a tight-rope?



                  I have no problem with that, and find your idea interesting (even if it needs work).

                  My problem is odd issues I never hear about outside these forums, or that have come-up in any of the V5 games I've played, being used to disparage V5, as if they were somehow the norm.

                  This thread should probably go back to the main point though.
                  All fair enough. And I think a part of the problem is that, historically, this forum has been the place where a lot of edition warring has occurred since the V5 playtests first landed, so there can be defensiveness for fans of V5 and for fans of V20, as the expectation is that any supportive or critical comments are a dig (or someone looking for a fight).

                  I agree that sometimes things can be exaggerated for the purposes of hating on V5, and this tends to cause an equal and opposite reaction. In my case some of the things that were problems on first read-through aren't problems now, and I've generally warmed quite a bit to V5.

                  I think, also, that some people feel that they can't discuss these matters constructively without being accused of being an irrational grognard. Some people will be whining purely for the hate, but I think some people are whining for legitimate reasons and just don't do it in the most diplomatic of ways (or the tone isn't as clear as it could be). So it gets tricky.

                  I tried to set up this thread in a way that would avoid the immediate defensiveness on either side, but I'll admit I sometimes have to type up a response and then let it sit awhile before I press post to make sure I'm getting it right (and still sometimes get it wrong and have to go back and edit it).

                  Anyway, I returned to the issue after watching this V5 review (admittedly of the alpha, where BFs and MCs were a bit different): https://youtu.be/iTULJDFoZ_Q

                  They did miss that you could spend WP to ignore Compulsions and they talk about how YMMV based on the ST and the group, but it was broadly unpopular with all of them. (Note that they did go on to do a short V5 Chronicle, with some house rules, and I haven't watched them all to say how they handled MCs in the end.)

                  I have seen others make that comment in more than just a white room scenario, too. Admittedly, though, there can be confirmation bias going on (we notice the things that align with our own beliefs more than the things that don't), and I'll accept I am subject to that as much as anyone else. So I may be just seeing these comments more than the ones that outweigh them.

                  Either way, though, I am generally a homebrewer at heart, so when I suggest tweaking a rule, I'm not saying everyone should play things that way -- I am just trying something new out to give some tools to people who want them (and I think that's fair even if that's only a minority of people).

                  For the record, I don't think Messy Crits are a problem for most players; I couldn't possibly have the numbers to assess that objectively. In our games, one person liked MCs (but really digs this style of play; he always engages in friendly PvP, RPs all his characters' flaws and loves to run and play in Alien games where we all die); one person absolutely hated them (but he also hated Warhammer 3e, which had some similar narrative elements; he also RPs flaws but is less interested in randomising that element; he doesn't like Alien for more than a one-shot because he finds it disempowering); and the other two (including me) liked them in theory but were lukewarm on how it played out (possibly because the response of the person who hated it impacted on the entire group's enjoyment).

                  Back to the suggested house rules at hand, then: is there any way I can make the balance of risk and reward feel tempting? I definitely want it to be a gamble, but one that will be hard to resist in dire circumstances. I think temptation and addiction are key themes I'd like to engender, but I want players to choose those things here, rather than always have it a result of the dice. (With BFs and Frenzy checks still a thing, I think you'd then have more tools in your toolbox.)

                  ETA: For Difficulty, I think we will just have to agree to disagree. I can't point to a clear ruling either way in V5, but the default for Blush of Life, Diablerie, and most Disciplines that require dice pools is Difficulty 3, with further complications pushing it up. Using search on my PDF, there are 33 references to Difficulty 3 in the CRB, and only 9 each to Difficulty 2 or 4.
                  Last edited by adambeyoncelowe; 03-27-2022, 07:09 AM.


                  Writer, publisher, performer
                  Mostly he/his, sometimes she/her IRL https://adam-lowe.com

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post

                    Back to the suggested house rules at hand, then: is there any way I can make the balance of risk and reward feel tempting? I definitely want it to be a gamble, but one that will be hard to resist in dire circumstances. I think temptation and addiction are key themes I'd like to engender, but I want players to choose those things here, rather than always have it a result of the dice. (With BFs and Frenzy checks still a thing, I think you'd then have more tools in your toolbox.)
                    Your rule feels great just reading it again. It's a temptation, but at a risk of revealing the beast. It's what v5 messy seems like it wants to do, but isn't as random.

                    I think some table play is in order to see how it'll play though.


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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Vilenecromancer View Post

                      Your rule feels great just reading it again. It's a temptation, but at a risk of revealing the beast. It's what v5 messy seems like it wants to do, but isn't as random.

                      I think some table play is in order to see how it'll play though.
                      Thank you. I will certainly be giving it a spin, and will report back. We don't have a game lined up for a while as I've had some family stuff crop up that was more important, but we are hoping to get together in a month or so.

                      If anyone does get to use this rule, let me know how it plays out. I may convince my husband to do a one-on-one session with me to test it out.
                      Last edited by adambeyoncelowe; 03-28-2022, 03:02 AM.


                      Writer, publisher, performer
                      Mostly he/his, sometimes she/her IRL https://adam-lowe.com

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