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Powerful Methuselah or Antedilluvian Imposing his will on Camarilla?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
    You may consider preparation instead of cost, making the process of enact such a power complex and time and resource-consuming.

    For example, it may demand a Koldun to craft four idols from the earth of the area to be affected, drench them on your blood for a full moon and put then on each cardinal vertex of the area. Now you have a power with a cost that can't be taken lightly or enacted on the fly, without the need for too steep costs on the character sheet.
    That sounds really cool! I sometimes wish every "high level power" had Willpower in its costs, as that is usually means the character is somehow "spent" after doing something that requires his utter concentration and power.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post

      I don't think the cost needs to be so high as to demand the spending of a permanent point of a trait, but at the very least it's a good idea to limit the frequency that "all-powerful" beings use their most destructive powers. It avoids situations like a mighty koldun destroying an entire town with the fury of the elements and waking up the next day as if nothing happened and ready to strike again, for instance lol

      Although now, after writing that,, to be honest, I think it might be a good idea to give a permanent cost to things like Hermetic's Ball of Abyssal Flame or Koldun's Jaws of the Dracon, as I think such powers should never be used "lightly".
      Well, Gurps is entirely built on character points; most "common adventurers" begin with 200 points, but monsters, super-humans and supernatural beings can be built with a lot more. The True Fae of old could have 2000 or more points.

      There are OPTIONAL rules for spending Char Points to "buy success" - 2 points change critical failure to normal failure, 1 pt to failure to 0 margin success and 2 pts to success for critical success. So, 5 pts change critical failure to critical success.

      On top of that, you can use char points to buy "serendipituous coincidences"; for example, with 1 point you could say "I hide behind the desk", if the ST didnt say anything about a desk in the room before; while a BELIEVABLE but INCREDIBLE coincidence would cost 3 points - like saying "I open the desk's door to grab the hidden gun inside".

      It can also be used for "one use only" powers. So, while my Fae do have permanent "Cantrips" and other powers, sometimes they want a little bit more "mojo". And that's when they spend themselves.

      It can be done on similar grounds for D10 too. Char Points can be sacrificed from spent points, or reducing traits to "un-buy" the points. For example, Attribute costs "Current lvl x 4". So, if you have for example Strenght 4, from 3 to 4 it costs 12 points, so you could "spend yourself", reducing your Strenght from 4 to 3 and liberating 12 char points to spend on your wicked plans.

      I really like this - not for players who are power-hungry maniacs of course, but I like the idea of this concept, self destructive beings capable of wielding great powers - for a while. And while they exist, they burn like a bright star, up to the point of consuming themselves.

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
        That sounds really cool! I sometimes wish every "high level power" had Willpower in its costs, as that is usually means the character is somehow "spent" after doing something that requires his utter concentration and power.
        If you like the concept I presented, I think the best WoD mechanic to adapt for it would be Changeling Bunks. You can adapt the bonus to Difficulty into something else, like Power Level, so, lets say, a -1 becomes instead the requisite "Bunk" for levels 1 and 2 powers, while a -5 is instead the requisite for levels 9 and 10.

        Personally I find Changeling's guidelines for Bunks simple to understand and implement and exceedingly useful for the purpose of letting ritual performance be simultaneously versatile and balanced for the game, better than similar guidelines in Mage while avoiding making too strict and numerous descriptions for each power in the way Blood Magic rituals currently work.

        Originally posted by Kakost View Post
        I really like this - not for players who are power-hungry maniacs of course, but I like the idea of this concept, self destructive beings capable of wielding great powers - for a while. And while they exist, they burn like a bright star, up to the point of consuming themselves.
        Personally I think M&M 2nd Edition + Ultimate Power does GURPS' work better and in a simpler way. I've played and GM'd GURPS too and while versatile, and its core rules are simple, really using it to its full power is excessively complex and rigid. M&M achieves mostly the same goals with far simpler and more elegant base rules, far easier to apply. Not 3rd edition, though, its Base Ability system is a load of crap that undoes most of the versatility 2nd edition had.

        An it has this same option built in, but in more ways, as you have Action Points to achieve the same if you don't want to burn Character Points, yet you can apply the same "self-burning" theme in lots of ways.


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        • #64
          It can be done on similar grounds for D10 too. Char Points can be sacrificed from spent points, or reducing traits to "un-buy" the points. For example, Attribute costs "Current lvl x 4". So, if you have for example Strenght 4, from 3 to 4 it costs 12 points, so you could "spend yourself", reducing your Strenght from 4 to 3 and liberating 12 char points to spend on your wicked plans.
          I have to say that I qite like the idea, but as you mentioned, players are probably not going to like it. In any case, I can use it for my most powerful NPCs when they perform "mythological feats of power". Just need to figure out a way to adapt it systematically, so to speak.

          If you like the concept I presented, I think the best WoD mechanic to adapt for it would be Changeling Bunks. You can adapt the bonus to Difficulty into something else, like Power Level, so, lets say, a -1 becomes instead the requisite "Bunk" for levels 1 and 2 powers, while a -5 is instead the requisite for levels 9 and 10.
          I like the idea of bunks too, just feel that unfortunately they're often very focused on the modern setting (e.g. "Skydiving without a parachute"), as if I remember correctly, there isn't a similar thing in Dark Ages Fae, although it's been a long time since I read that one.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
            I like the idea of bunks too, just feel that unfortunately they're often very focused on the modern setting (e.g. "Skydiving without a parachute"), as if I remember correctly, there isn't a similar thing in Dark Ages Fae, although it's been a long time since I read that one.
            The general guidelines are more important than the examples. Break it into a set of quick questions and use them to determine the value of the Bunk:
            • How much risk? If performing the Bunk itself carries significant risk, like serious injury, it is a little stronger. If it has significant death risk, it is a lot stronger;
            • How much Time Consuming? Requiring a lot of time to perform before completion is a little stronger, and increases if it requires the setup of a demanding routine like repeating procedures every day for days at the same hour;
            • How much investment? If the character has to dedicate a meaningful amount of personal resources or relevant belongings, it is stronger. I'd say something that makes a benefit temporarily unavailable or reduced is a little better, if the loss is permanent it is a lot stronger;
            • How much is it dramatically appropriate? That's a good one because you can read it however you want to set the theme and mood of the game. If it strongly reinforces them in the context of the scene and pleases you, it is as stronger as you deems fit;
            • How much does it makes the game enjoyable? Same as above, but for other players. If everyone's clearly enjoying the scene and the description of the Bunk, making it work is probably a good idea.
            • How much does it counts for real? If anything here will just fill downtime description instead of actually impacting the game, you can and should freely reduce or outright ignore any benefit of that aspect, at your discretion. Either because it is chaotic, depends on Meaning, or is so rigidly complex that each time little nuances alter the outcome, "magic" of any sort isn't uniform.
            Get that and think of the "littles" and "lots" as dials: their precise effects depend on what you want to take out of it and shape the scene accordingly. If you want a rule of thumb, just making a "bunk" is a "Rank 1", each "little" is a +1 and each "lot" is a +2, then check each of the first three questions.


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            • #66
              Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
              The general guidelines are more important than the examples. Break it into a set of quick questions and use them to determine the value of the Bunk:
              • How much risk? If performing the Bunk itself carries significant risk, like serious injury, it is a little stronger. If it has significant death risk, it is a lot stronger;
              • How much Time Consuming? Requiring a lot of time to perform before completion is a little stronger, and increases if it requires the setup of a demanding routine like repeating procedures every day for days at the same hour;
              • How much investment? If the character has to dedicate a meaningful amount of personal resources or relevant belongings, it is stronger. I'd say something that makes a benefit temporarily unavailable or reduced is a little better, if the loss is permanent it is a lot stronger;
              • How much is it dramatically appropriate? That's a good one because you can read it however you want to set the theme and mood of the game. If it strongly reinforces them in the context of the scene and pleases you, it is as stronger as you deems fit;
              • How much does it makes the game enjoyable? Same as above, but for other players. If everyone's clearly enjoying the scene and the description of the Bunk, making it work is probably a good idea.
              • How much does it counts for real? If anything here will just fill downtime description instead of actually impacting the game, you can and should freely reduce or outright ignore any benefit of that aspect, at your discretion. Either because it is chaotic, depends on Meaning, or is so rigidly complex that each time little nuances alter the outcome, "magic" of any sort isn't uniform.
              Get that and think of the "littles" and "lots" as dials: their precise effects depend on what you want to take out of it and shape the scene accordingly. If you want a rule of thumb, just making a "bunk" is a "Rank 1", each "little" is a +1 and each "lot" is a +2, then check each of the first three questions.

              Yes, these guidelines are indeed very interesting, probably even more so than the ones usually provided in Mage books. In any case, these are things we should actually always keep in mind, still I'd think I would prefer the idea of consuming one's own power or as Kakost beautifully put it, "burn like bright starts, consuming themselves".

              Another thing I think is that we lack any "personified power" on the same level of a Mithras, Goratrix, Artemis Orthia, Helena or Menele in the Inner Council and it makes it hard to believe they could really enforce their authority over cainites of this caliber. Even Karsh obeying the Inner Council is only believably if you adopt the thought that the true Hardestadt is still around and not "the younger".
              Last edited by Herr Meister; 06-15-2022, 10:36 PM.

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              • #67
                Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                Personally I think M&M 2nd Edition + Ultimate Power does GURPS' work better and in a simpler way. I've played and GM'd GURPS too and while versatile, and its core rules are simple, really using it to its full power is excessively complex and rigid. M&M achieves mostly the same goals with far simpler and more elegant base rules, far easier to apply. Not 3rd edition, though, its Base Ability system is a load of crap that undoes most of the versatility 2nd edition had.

                An it has this same option built in, but in more ways, as you have Action Points to achieve the same if you don't want to burn Character Points, yet you can apply the same "self-burning" theme in lots of ways.
                I dont know what this M&M is, althought it sure seems interesring. For Gurps there are rules for "player guidance" that allows using char points, but there are also rules that allow do that without spending permanent points, or rather "spending" a pool of points, but those are renewable (so you dont really spend yourself).

                Those are all optional rules anyway, I just mentioned it because it's interesting for a few concepts. Obviously players will NEVER spend their precious points, but it can still serve for NPCs, at least conceptually, to go down in a "blaze of glory".

                What is this M&M you were talking about? I'll give it a look

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post


                  Yes, these guidelines are indeed very interesting, probably even more so than the ones usually provided in Mage books. In any case, these are things we should actually always keep in mind, still I'd think I would prefer the idea of consuming one's own power or as Kakost beautifully put it, "burn like bright starts, consuming themselves".

                  Another thing I think is that we lack any "personified power" on the same level of a Mithras or Helena and Menele in the Inner Council and it makes it hard to believe they could really enforce their authority over cainites of this caliber.
                  Well, a few suggestions I could give in THAT specific sense, could be:

                  - First: once you start spending yourself, it's a one way road. You can reduce ANY trait at will in order to collect the XP to "fuel" your powers - but you will NEVER be able to use XP EVER again to grow that trait.
                  * From this, anyone that decides to go this route have 2 options: either keep consuming that single trait, because it will never grow back again, all the way up to the max possible (so, all the way up to reduce it to zero in case of Skills, Disciplines, Spheres, Arcanoi etc, or at most 1 for attributes), but still being able to improve all other traits, or reduce just a little from several traits, maybe just a single dot, but in that case becoming "locked" on several traits.

                  The other thing to notice is how will this have diminishing returns - if you reduce strenght from 5 to 4, that frees 16 XP (from 4 to 5 is 4x4). But, from 4 to 3 it's only gonna be 12 XP.
                  This means that, the more you spend yourself, the more of your own you'd have to burn to achieve the same results. That way, you'd truly burn like a bright star, consuming your own life force with more and more intensity.

                  Now, ideas on how to use it:
                  - Automatic successes, that's an obvious one. Each 1 XP buys 1 success.

                  But it needs not be just that. It can also be:
                  - One use powers: could you REALLY use some Life 4 or 5, but your Life is only 2, or you dont even have it? NO PROBLEM! Just buy it for this one time only... For a price... Could you really use that Dominate 6 but you dont even have the discipline? That's okay!

                  Now, this is just a matter of fine tuning the costs, this would actually require some tests, but perhaps 1 XP per necessary traits could be a good initial value. That includes secondary traits required for the use of that power. For example: if you're a gen 11 vamp and you want to make a 1 use of Dominate 6 without any dot in the Discipline, you would first need to be gen 7 - there is, you would need 4 reductions in your generation. Summed up with the 6 dots on Dominate, that would give a total of 10 XP required for a 11 gen vamp with no dots on Dominate to use it for a single time at lvl 6. After using it one time, those points are gone.

                  With rules like this, you could have for example some crazy monster hunters blessed by the heavens, but who can only fight for as long as their "celestial mojo" is there.

                  If you know the character Spawn from comics, he initially was like that too, Spawn had a limited amount of Ectoplasmic energy, which he could use to be basically a demi-god... However, if he ever went out of "juicy", he would die. At least at the beggining, before he ended up defeating the Devil Malebolgia and... a ton of other stuff happened.

                  Anyway, it is an interesting concept for some cases.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Kakost View Post
                    What is this M&M you were talking about? I'll give it a look
                    Is a game called Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition, plus its supplement Ultimate Power. It has many others, but with core plus UP you basically have the full tool-set, anything else will just give youtips and suggestions on how to use it and examples of builds with this tool-set.

                    The game was obviously born as a Supers game, but by necessity it tried to be as versatile a toolbox as possible for powers. The 2nd Edition came at the time of the OGL d20 boom of the 2000's, and freeing the developers from building the basic system gave them a lot of time and space in the book to build on other aspects of the game.

                    Finally, this specific supplement came as a kind of Unearthed Arcana for the edition, deeply exploring the mechanics of character creation and how to tweak them, and applying several concepts took from computer logic to expand possibilities. The end result is ime the most perfect balance between a robust, comprehensive and broadly applicable RPG system to design any character and simplicity to have all its power available without need for either too many books or many complex calculations.

                    Again, I know GURPS have both simplicity and versatility, but not quite at the same time. M&M will also get more complex as you dive in, but it will have a far better pay-off in the versatility:complexity ratio, and with less books.


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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Kakost View Post

                      Well, a few suggestions I could give in THAT specific sense, could be:

                      - First: once you start spending yourself, it's a one way road. You can reduce ANY trait at will in order to collect the XP to "fuel" your powers - but you will NEVER be able to use XP EVER again to grow that trait.
                      * From this, anyone that decides to go this route have 2 options: either keep consuming that single trait, because it will never grow back again, all the way up to the max possible (so, all the way up to reduce it to zero in case of Skills, Disciplines, Spheres, Arcanoi etc, or at most 1 for attributes), but still being able to improve all other traits, or reduce just a little from several traits, maybe just a single dot, but in that case becoming "locked" on several traits.

                      The other thing to notice is how will this have diminishing returns - if you reduce strenght from 5 to 4, that frees 16 XP (from 4 to 5 is 4x4). But, from 4 to 3 it's only gonna be 12 XP.
                      This means that, the more you spend yourself, the more of your own you'd have to burn to achieve the same results. That way, you'd truly burn like a bright star, consuming your own life force with more and more intensity.

                      Now, ideas on how to use it:
                      - Automatic successes, that's an obvious one. Each 1 XP buys 1 success.

                      But it needs not be just that. It can also be:
                      - One use powers: could you REALLY use some Life 4 or 5, but your Life is only 2, or you dont even have it? NO PROBLEM! Just buy it for this one time only... For a price... Could you really use that Dominate 6 but you dont even have the discipline? That's okay!

                      Now, this is just a matter of fine tuning the costs, this would actually require some tests, but perhaps 1 XP per necessary traits could be a good initial value. That includes secondary traits required for the use of that power. For example: if you're a gen 11 vamp and you want to make a 1 use of Dominate 6 without any dot in the Discipline, you would first need to be gen 7 - there is, you would need 4 reductions in your generation. Summed up with the 6 dots on Dominate, that would give a total of 10 XP required for a 11 gen vamp with no dots on Dominate to use it for a single time at lvl 6. After using it one time, those points are gone.

                      With rules like this, you could have for example some crazy monster hunters blessed by the heavens, but who can only fight for as long as their "celestial mojo" is there.

                      If you know the character Spawn from comics, he initially was like that too, Spawn had a limited amount of Ectoplasmic energy, which he could use to be basically a demi-god... However, if he ever went out of "juicy", he would die. At least at the beggining, before he ended up defeating the Devil Malebolgia and... a ton of other stuff happened.

                      Anyway, it is an interesting concept for some cases.

                      That sounds interesting, although I want to use it sparingly, just when really powerful characters evoke some very "awesome power".

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                        Is a game called https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/19910/Mutants--Masterminds-Second-Edition"]Mutants & Masterminds 2nd Edition[/URL], plus its supplement https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/20696/Ultimate-Power?src=also_purchased"]Ultimate Power[/URL]. It has many others, but with core plus UP you basically have the full tool-set, anything else will just give youtips and suggestions on how to use it and examples of builds with this tool-set.

                        The game was obviously born as a Supers game, but by necessity it tried to be as versatile a toolbox as possible for powers. The 2nd Edition came at the time of the OGL d20 boom of the 2000's, and freeing the developers from building the basic system gave them a lot of time and space in the book to build on other aspects of the game.

                        Finally, this specific supplement came as a kind of Unearthed Arcana for the edition, deeply exploring the mechanics of character creation and how to tweak them, and applying several concepts took from computer logic to expand possibilities. The end result is ime the most perfect balance between a robust, comprehensive and broadly applicable RPG system to design any character and simplicity to have all its power available without need for either too many books or many complex calculations.

                        Again, I know GURPS have both simplicity and versatility, but not quite at the same time. M&M will also get more complex as you dive in, but it will have a far better pay-off in the versatility:complexity ratio, and with less books.
                        I see thanks a lot, I'll give it a try

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                        • #72
                          [QUOTE=Kakost;n1483896]

                          Goratrix is a good example. His a relatively young vampire. Why would Goratrix have level 9 disciplines but not Etrius, who have the same power level?

                          That does not bother me at all. Are we are equally athletic, charming, knowledgeable in all fields? No we are not and maybe charcters of the same generation and different ages would have their own strengths & weaknesses

                          And what about far older 4th generations? Like Lazarus for instance? And many many others?

                          Lazarus much like Dracon, Montano, Cybil, and many others were not stated. Though we can safely assume that they have max dots in at least two or three disciplines, attributes and skills.

                          From the top of my head (it has been many years since I played Vampire, so please forgive, many of the names no longer are in my memory), but from what I can remember Kemintiri also had lvl 9 disciplines, and she wasnt even the oldest 4th generation Setite, much less the oldest 4th generation overall. And many many others.

                          From what I remember of her. Kemintiri is still an ancient who is quite potent to begin with and would have max triats in some areas

                          As for DC and Marvel and D&D worlds, the presence of this beings do cause a MASSIVE impact in the world at large - to the point of sometimes having entire universes "erased" in those stories.

                          I have not followed Marvel & DC for quite some time due to all the meaningless reboots and I'm also acknowledging that I have changed and they have not really.



                          What in the name of Set is going on here?

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Lysander View Post
                            That does not bother me at all. Are we are equally athletic, charming, knowledgeable in all fields? No we are not and maybe charcters of the same generation and different ages would have their own strengths & weaknesses
                            While I agree that they don't need to have both a level 9 Discipline, as they may have focused on different things, Goratrix and Etrius aren't of same Gen and different ages. They're roughly the same age and have always been, as they're exactly the same age as vampires. They're Tremere's top students in life and undeath, and bitter rivals, this pair would definitely make sense to have similar stats, or at least XP values.

                            Originally posted by Lysander View Post
                            From what I remember of her. Kemintiri is still an ancient who is quite potent to begin with and would have max triats in some areas
                            She's not the oldest 4th gen, but certainly figures among them. She's maybe the oldest to actually come to be in recorder history instead of outright pre-history.

                            Originally posted by Lysander View Post
                            As for DC and Marvel and D&D worlds, the presence of this beings do cause a MASSIVE impact in the world at large - to the point of sometimes having entire universes "erased" in those stories.
                            I think the whole comparison is meaningless. The point in discussion depends on the premises of the setting, and here WoD has the complication of a premise of "being like our world", all the time. Most comics have a somewhat similar premise, but they have far less attachment to it on the long run. D&D uses fantasy worlds.

                            This WoD premise is tricky and requires a lot of handwave, but I do think the MAD policy, plus focus on goals rather than on blowing things up for the giggles, is generally enough to hold it together in the face of super-powered NPCs better than most other handwaves we have to come up with in the game.

                            Even the eventual NPC who wouldn't care, like a Nephandus, can still be held in place either by the intervention of others, or by their own understanding that going bananas won't really cause the lasting damage they want after someone comes to clean their shit afterwards. So even if you're a Nephandus Archmaster you won't squander your hard earned powers with a "blaze of glory" that won't even be remembered after a week or two (Rest in Pieces, Czar Vargo).


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                            • #74
                              Like I said. I don’t follow DC or Marvel comics anymore due to the fact I have grown up and they haven’t really. So I read more Manga and more adult oriented Image, Boom or Dynmaite studios. The only thing I can say about that is that the handbooks were funny. When every character was depicted as more potent then what was said.


                              What in the name of Set is going on here?

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                              • #75
                                That does not bother me at all. Are we are equally athletic, charming, knowledgeable in all fields? No we are not and maybe charcters of the same generation and different ages would have their own strengths & weaknesses
                                I couldn't agree more. Characters are different and should be portrayed as such. Goratrix is a genius, so it makes a lot of sense to have him developing his powers at a much faster pace than others, besides, he has probably diablerized many cainites and many people tend to forget that diablerie gives A LOT of power. By the way, he already has officially Thaumaturgy 9 in his 1242 character sheet, which I think is quite fair.

                                People tend to forget or don't like to think that we have many variables in real life, things like talent, luck (or destiny, whatever you want to call it) that makes all the difference. As geopolitics is my field specialty, I'd use the USA as a good example for some of these situations, like the Tremere winning war on various fronts, etc. Who would've thought a nation so young would become the most powerful country in the world in such a short timeframe? Imagine the possibilities the USA had, it's easy to think of so many possible terrible outcomes for them, but they were "lucky", had their advantages and through a combination of factors became the most powerful nation in the world in less than 200 years of history. It's not really a hard exercise for the mind to imagine that the Tremere were both lucky and seized the opportunities they had, etc.

                                I sincerely have a hard time understanding these folks who think time is the only relevant measure of power for a cainite. It isn't and never was. This premise is one of the most important pillars of what cainites and canite society works upon, the fact that you can steal power by consuming the soul of an ancient is one of the most important and relevant aspects of a vampire game. And here I'm not even taking into account what I said before about individual talents, sheer giftedness, etc. Even if you think every vampire is the same, i.e. if you think every cainite is created through the same tabula rasa concept, etc., the very existence of diablerie utterly destroy this notion that vampire power is only measured by age...


                                I think the whole comparison is meaningless. The point in discussion depends on the premises of the setting, and here WoD has the complication of a premise of "being like our world", all the time. Most comics have a somewhat similar premise, but they have far less attachment to it on the long run. D&D uses fantasy worlds.
                                I completely agree with that, this whole comparisson is pointless at this point of the discussion.

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