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Proportions of player-character activity

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  • Proportions of player-character activity

    What percentage of the game, on average, do you find yourself doing the following?

    (1)Interacting with touchstones.

    (2)Performing detective work.

    (3)Using social skills or mind-tricks to solve problems.


  • #2
    2 and 4 sadly.


    • #3
      My character in my current game (Revised/V20) is a Tremere cyber terrorist who had to fake his death. He's still salty about it.

      He's slowly becoming the Kindred sought after for securing areas for vampiric activity thanks to his ability to create security systems involving thermal cameras and as a result he does mostly detective work.

      And, thanks to taking almost no fighting skills, he solves problems by either Dominating his way out (with Path of Blood 3) or by siccing his Gangrel coterie mate on the problem, who is an MMA fighter with his own training facility, and is the Hound of the Sheriff.


      • #4
        It really depends on the group and the style of games they like.

        I have had games where the PCs did about 80% planning and theory crafting, to have the "action" portion run like clockwork. But I have also had games where the PCs didn't think any farther than "where is the next thing to punch".

        As a personal preference I enjoy the more methodical style of game play, it forces players to engage with varied mechanics and keeps combat a bit rarer which in turn gives it that "things just went sideways" feel to it, rather than a combat power fantasy.


        • #5
          I prefer to do detective style games with the characters. So I say 90% of the time.

          What in the name of Set is going on here?


          • #6
            2. 90%.
            3. 9%
            4. 1%
            1. 0%


            • #7
              I will reinterpret the four points of @CajuncKhan since I don't play V5.

              So point 1 "Touchstones" becomes Backgrounds (Allies, Contacts, Retainers, and certain NPCs personal to the PC who don't correspond to Backgrounds)
              And point 3 "social skills and mind-tricks" to be social interactions to learn about things or solve problems.
              Points 2 and 4 pretty much remain the same.

              1 - 20%
              2 - 15%
              3 - 40 %
              4 - 25%

              This is only a general amount when I ST. It probably reflects my ideal, as I think only some PCs reach this. Some PCs don't want to interact with their Background or back stories NPCs (point 1) so that would decline to 10%, but it would boost points 2 and 3 by 5% each.

              I make a conscious effort to reduce combat in VtM games. I prefer other means for the PCs to resolve issues.

              If you mean my own experiences as a PC, the numbers are very different. Which explain why I try to run my own chronicles differently as an ST. They would be.

              1 - 5%
              2 - 25%
              3 - 30%
              4 - 40%

              That's about it. I'd be very interested in hearing about from my own players what they think in the games I run. Am I correct in my assessment? Or do they think very differently?


              • #8
                I imagine that if I were playing V5, 95% of my playtime would be a desperate and futile attempt to plug, amend and cease the cascade of masquerade breaches and fuck-ups.
                But I'm playing V20, so I'm really only spending 60% of my time doing this. The other 40% of my time is spent on small yet multi-session fights I got dragged into.

                Really, it depends on my character, who i'm playing with, and the kind of chronicle we're in. Given leeway to do what I want, Typically, I try to spend more time maintaining backgrounds, relationships and solving solutions in "smart" ways. But occasionally I'll indulge in a dumb-fun character, a self-reliant character, or I'll have a bore of a ST who wants a game a special kind of way. I do like to think of myself as flexible and I'm happy to play all kinds of characters.

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


                • #9
                  Considering my style and those of my players, we would spend most of the time either with 3 or 1.

                  While I totally agree that the rules on Touchstones are too strict and don't really encourage using them, I don't need encouragement to enjoy spending 20% to 90% (depending on group and game) of the time dealing with backgrounds and relationships, including the purely personal ones like the Touchstone.

                  Other than that, outsmarting problems with skill or magic is more our style than straight out fighting (even in D&D, by the way), and detective work is generally more fun than combat, especially in WoD, but we do our share of everything.

                  She/her pronouns


                  • #10
                    My experiences as a pc:
                    1. 5% - I generally take few touchstones and none of my games have had the time to interact with those, as there generally are more pressing things to solve, like the next two points. I have however interact with other character's touchstone, and that was fun.
                    2. 60% - Easily the most common.
                    3. 25% - Pairs into the above, and most of my characters have Presence or Dominate, so using social skills and mind whammy is something I try to do a lot.
                    4 10% - Really rare, generally doing the above is preferable.


                    • #11
                      I'm usually the ST rather than a player so it varies a little.

                      When I'm playing I'd probably say:
                      1) Interacting with touchstones: 0-5%, most of the games I'm in are short one-shots that involve a lot of international travel, making it hard to spend a lot of time with touchstones. It doesn't help that the chronicles tend to be quite short, so there isn't really a lot of time for players to have long scenes by themselves.

                      2) Performing Detective Work: 50%, most of the games I get to play in I like running investigators of various stripes. It also tends to suit the shorter chronicles I usually play in as investigations are nice short plots for ST's to run.

                      3) Using social skills or mind-tricks to solve problems: 35%, tends to overlap with the detective work part. Most of my characters tend to use Social/Mental skills with some Dominate and suitable backgrounds to back it up.

                      4) Fighting: 10-15%, usually my characters aren't great fighters but they'll have a dot or two. Normally though their role in a fight has been to coordinate attacks and handle strategies, then stay out of the way.
                      When I ST I'd say:

                      1) Interacting with touchstones: 5-10%, I find that whilst touchstone scenes can be really emotive and very interesting they can be hard to justify in a lot of chronicles. Outside of really dramatic scenes with them (saving them from being kidnapped that sort of thing) I find it hard to run 1:1 minor scenes with them. If I've got four players and only 3hrs to run, it's not fair to spend 30mins on one player as they have a deep-conversation with their touchstone about the meaning of life.

                      2) Performing detective work: 45-50%, running detective work and discovering the truth of things tends to be the springboard for other actions in my chronicles. Discovering where an enemy keeps their haven, what their true ambitions are; what to get the Prince as a gift; where to find the ingredients for the ritual, etc.

                      3) Using social skills or mind-tricks to solve problems: 30-40%, I try and make sure the players can weave themselves into the social and political fabric of the city. Add in some interactions with various troublesome mortals and using disciplines and backgrounds centred on social skills and it makes for a fair chunk of the game.

                      4) Fighting: 5-10%, combat doesn't make-up too much of my game. Especially in V5 (the edition I tend to run) combat is hyper-lethal and can go south for characters really quickly with nothing but a few unlucky rolls. Add in that not all characters are really able to interact meaningfully with combat and I try and make sure that it's rare and meaningful when it does occur.

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