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  • Karos
    started a topic Generation/Blood Potency as an Advantage

    Generation/Blood Potency as an Advantage

    TL;DR - How would you look at implementing generation/blood potency as a background that can be bought during character creation in V5.

    In previous editions, particularly V20 generation was something you could take during character creation. This meant that player characters could have a generation ranging anywhere from 8th-16th generation using backgrounds and flaws. Amongst veteran players, generation as a background became infamous as the background taken by power-gamers, usually to the maximum 5-dots allowing for an 8th generation character.

    In no small part, the design and lore of the game incentivised this sort of min-maxing. Generation is a very powerful background to have and it can only be raised after character creation via diablerie, a heinous crime in most games. (Whereas other backgrounds can be built up with far fewer complications involved.)
    In V5 generation was somewhat uncoupled directly from direct mechanical power, with the mechanical weight instead being placed on blood potency (which is determined/restricted by generation.)

    However, there is no option for a character to purchase a different generation or blood potency as part of character creation. (The only option by RAW is to take the Blood Leech predator type.) ST's can allow older characters with more XP, lower generation, and higher blood potency but RAW there's no support for a mixed coterie with varying generations and blood potency.

    I've been trying to work out a way to add some of that variety back into the game, whilst also avoiding the issues seen in V20. So far I've had a few different design ideas.

    Humanity for Blood-Potency - At character creation players could lose one dot in humanity to gain one dot of blood potency, sacrificing a maximum of three dots. If this took their blood potency above the standard generational maximum, then they decreased the generation by the minimum amount necessary for the new blood potency.

    Advantage Dots/Flaws for Blood Potency

    As per the core rules, blood potency costs 10x the new rating in XP to increase. For the average player that means it will cost 20xp to increase their character's blood potency. (By course rules that's somewhere in the region of 20 sessions worth of XP.)

    However, looking at the Blood Leech predator-type we run into problems. Normally the rule for a predator type is that it provides up to 3 dots of advantages, and then 1 dot fewer in flaws. (E.g. 3-dots of advantages from a predator-type means 2-dots of flaws.) We can also work out the equivalent XP cost of the advantages provided by a predator-type, 5xp per dot of advantages.

    In addition to standard flaws though, predator-types can come with associated humanity losses instead. Using the Alleycat predator-type we can work out roughly what this loss is 'worth'. Alleycat provides 3-dots of advantages, meaning losing 1-dot of humanity is equivalent to 2-dots of flaws.

    If we then look at Blood Leech, that means to increase Blood-Potency by one, a character is taking the equivalent of 6-points of flaws. 2-dot prey exclusion, 2-dot dark secret/shunned, and the loss of a dot of humanity. Sticking to the maths listed above it means the character should be gaining the equivalent of 35xp's worth of advantages. (Number of flaws provided by a predator-type = number of advantages - 1; the value of an advantage provided by a predator-type is typically 5xp because it's purchasing merits/backgrounds not blood potency.)

    35xp is enough to take a character from 1-dot to 2-dots of Blood-Potency with 15xp to spare. Granted, the maths might not hold as well because Blood Leech only provides an increase in Blood-Potency instead of other backgrounds or merits.

    Advantage Dots for Blood-Potency - A character's 7-dots of starting advantages can be spent on background merits, the equivalent XP cost for which is 5xp. This would mean that a character could in theory exchange 4 of their starting advantage dots to go from 1-dot blood potency to 2-dot blood potency.

    Extra Flaws for Blood-Potency - A character could take extra flaws using a formula similar to the ones for predator types to cover an increase in blood potency, depending on the equivalent xp cost. E.g. going from 1-dot blood potency to 2-dot blood potency costs 20xp, so they could 3-dots of extra flaws. (Blood Potency increase costs 20xp, the equivalent of 4-dots of starting advantage dots; therefore they need 1 fewer dots of flaws.)

  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by Father Enoch View Post
    I fully admit to being biased towards Requiem, but if the systems in the Chronicles games weren't superior to the older games in at least some way, then why do devs keep slipping in bits and pieces of Chronicles of Darkness into the new editions of World of Darkness?
    In a void, Blood Potency is superior to Generation as a design choice for a TTRPG.

    But Generation has its own themes that are integral to Masquerade and a strong part of the way it plays out.

    All in all, they could have gone any direction and I don't think one or the other would be the best choice for V5.

    Sitting in the middle, though, that's jarring.

    Leave a comment:


  • Father Enoch
    replied
    But it's not one number anymore, it's two. Maybe not as complicated as I made it out to be, but it could still be simpler.

    Now, I have very little knowledge about it compared to most people here, but it seems like the whole point of the Withering was to do away with Generation. Even if I'm wrong and it was just so a 4th Generation Elder could be killed off with one shotgun blast, it still gave you a plausible (as much as anything in VtM could be) reason for ditching Generation and going straight to Blood Potency.

    I fully admit to being biased towards Requiem, but if the systems in the Chronicles games weren't superior to the older games in at least some way, then why do devs keep slipping in bits and pieces of Chronicles of Darkness into the new editions of World of Darkness?
    Last edited by Father Enoch; 07-20-2022, 12:12 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by SetiteFriend View Post
    I wouldn't call a number you write down on your sheet and that you can essentially forget about, complicated. The only remotely common effect is the "spend WP resist Dominate". It doesn't have any other effect that'll come up on a regular basis, in fact, it barely has any direct effect at all.

    It's incredibly simple.
    The problem isn't lack of simplicity, it just that it is obnoxious book keeping. If it has no further effect, why it must be tracked and, on top of it, have attached cost? What do you get from tracking two distinct "character level" rules simultaneously that don't really affect distinct properties of the character?

    I don't think it is horrible. But I do think it is pointless and could easily be better.

    Leave a comment:


  • SetiteFriend
    replied
    Originally posted by Father Enoch View Post
    Maybe long time players would have disliked the latter, but is having to track both your BP and Generation any better?
    I wouldn't call a number you write down on your sheet and that you can essentially forget about, complicated. The only remotely common effect is the "spend WP resist Dominate". It doesn't have any other effect that'll come up on a regular basis, in fact, it barely has any direct effect at all.

    It's incredibly simple.

    Leave a comment:


  • Father Enoch
    replied
    Until I saw a playthrough on Twitch, I thought Blood Potency replaced Generation completely. Doesn't make sense for me to try and do BOTH; seems it just makes it more complicated.

    V5 should have either stuck to Generation and left BP out, or scrapped Generation and use BP alone. They could have said the change to Blood Potency was a long-term side effect of the Withering. Say that the Withering had spread to seemingly everyone (emphasis on the word, seemingly) and that verifying the Generation of a Vampire you didn't know would be impossible. Then, after a short time of Vampires ostensibly being on a level playing field, it becomes apparent to whoever's studying it (Dr. Netchurch, for example, presuming he's still undead) that Blood Potency is increasing in Vampires. Like the Withering in reverse, except much more slowly and affects almost everyone (except Thin Bloods, who would be stuck at BP1, like Revenants in Requiem).

    Maybe long time players would have disliked the latter, but is having to track both your BP and Generation any better?

    Leave a comment:


  • CajunKhan
    replied
    I don't think it should be an Advantage. I do think it should be cheaper. 5 or even 4 times level is plenty. It's simply not worth 10 times level.

    Leave a comment:


  • tiltowait
    replied
    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
    Yes, but would you think more than an Advantage dot towards this Generation would be a fair price when you would still have to buy that extra BP with 20 XP? Look at what you got at character creation and the things you bought with Advantages, not to focus on what would you give up for a better starting Generation, but if this seems like an interesting choice or an easy one you would never make otherwise. Also think about the benefits you got from your Advantages and the time without much of a benefit from Generation until you bought that extra BP.
    For the particular character in question, I would have spent an advantage point on generation, no question.

    Leave a comment:


  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by Karos View Post
    I'm increasingly inclined to pick a generation and age bracket is the way forwards, then find some maths the roughly works to let players buy additional BP at character creation.
    One thing you can do is to calculate how much it costs to reach each BP level and then make other benefits or Advantage packets that cost roughly the same to give as option.

    At the end of the day, BP is worth too much in XP, so anything that uses only the starting points will cost too much. You can also simply handle initial XP with pre-defined options on what to expend them, like BP and Loresheets.

    Leave a comment:


  • Karos
    replied
    Originally posted by Erebus1 View Post
    I would disconnect Age and Generation, and I would probably just use the old Generation Charts.
    5 dots being Eighth Gen and leave Blood Potency at the Minimum for that Generation.

    Ignore the Generation/Age section at the end of character creation, or rather just use that for actual Age and have the starting gen be the highest of that grouping.

    This lets you be a newly created childe of a 7th Gen Vampire.
    On the surface that seems an okay fix, except you'd need to buy your way to 8th-9th generation (4-5 dots worth of starting advantages) before that would make your BP any different to someone who just stuck with the 13th you can start with. As monteparnas points out that brings over most of the issues with the older design intact.

    I'm increasingly inclined to pick a generation and age bracket is the way forwards, then find some maths the roughly works to let players buy additional BP at character creation.

    Leave a comment:


  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by Erebus1 View Post
    I would disconnect Age and Generation, and I would probably just use the old Generation Charts.
    5 dots being Eighth Gen and leave Blood Potency at the Minimum for that Generation.
    That would be too similar to just keeping the old rule with the old problems, which seems to be exactly what Karos and most or all others here want to avoid. While the immediate effect is reduced, it is still too big for anyone to not take Gen at 5 dots if they don't specifically want to avoid it.

    On age... I don't think anyone but a beginner would really take the chart to heart, it is just a general guideline, And for a beginner it is good that it is there, it gives an easy starting point to figure things out. They'll grow out of it on their own in no time, but better for having such a ground under their feet initially.

    Leave a comment:


  • Erebus1
    replied
    I would disconnect Age and Generation, and I would probably just use the old Generation Charts.
    5 dots being Eighth Gen and leave Blood Potency at the Minimum for that Generation.

    Ignore the Generation/Age section at the end of character creation, or rather just use that for actual Age and have the starting gen be the highest of that grouping.

    This lets you be a newly created childe of a 7th Gen Vampire.

    Leave a comment:


  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by tiltowait View Post
    I dunno, the Hecata I'm playing is BP 3. If she was one generation lower, I would happily take BP 4. Extra dice are a lot more valuable in V5 than they are in previous editions, and I happen to enjoy "hard mode".
    Yes, but would you think more than an Advantage dot towards this Generation would be a fair price when you would still have to buy that extra BP with 20 XP? Look at what you got at character creation and the things you bought with Advantages, not to focus on what would you give up for a better starting Generation, but if this seems like an interesting choice or an easy one you would never make otherwise. Also think about the benefits you got from your Advantages and the time without much of a benefit from Generation until you bought that extra BP.

    Leave a comment:


  • SetiteFriend
    replied
    Until BP 5, it affects hunger very little, unless you feed on animal/bagged blood.

    BP 4 is the a great spot to be in, substantial bonus, doesn't up your bane severity or give you higher resting hunger.
    Last edited by SetiteFriend; 05-09-2022, 01:42 PM. Reason: More thoughts

    Leave a comment:


  • tiltowait
    replied
    I dunno, the Hecata I'm playing is BP 3. If she was one generation lower, I would happily take BP 4. Extra dice are a lot more valuable in V5 than they are in previous editions, and I happen to enjoy "hard mode".

    Leave a comment:

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