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Balance And Gifts

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  • Balance And Gifts

    As a foreword, I have never played WTA, but I have read most of the Changing Breeds book and I know a decent bit of the Fera lore (my only impression of Garou thus far is "gullible angry genocidal bastards", but I'm sure there's more to it than that.).

    Anyways, I'm very much interested in the roles each group was given. I love that the Corax aren't meant to be Fighters, I love that the Ananasi want to restore the Triat to balance, I love that the Ratfolk cull mankind... but the Gifts... the Gifts just ruin everything sometimes.

    Take the Corax. They make a point of not being warriors, they're vulnerable to Bashing damage and they tend to run and play safe and fight smart, acting as spies and messengers and calling for backup. Now, look at just two of their gifts.

    With a level 2 gift, you can spend a point of Gnosis and make your wings do Aggravated damage for a scene. With a level 3 gift, you can fire one of your wings like a dart (in either winged form) to do Dexterity + 3 base damage dice pool, rolling to hit at difficulty 5. Now, lets say your Raven is Dexterity 5, in Raven form they have Dexterity 9, so they roll their Dexterity + Melee (Melee? Why do Werewolf mechanics use Melee and Brawl for ranged attacks? Isn't Athletics for throwing stuff? Ah well...), which could be 12 dice quite easily, against a difficulty of 5. Extra successes stack onto damage, and you're rolling a minimum of 12 dice of aggravated damage (probably closer to 15), from 50 feet away, totally silently, while in the form of a Raven (not typically seen as a Murder-er)... and if you're ambushing (not difficulty to be quite honest) then your target won't even have reason to dodge, and the roll to hit them will probably be difficulty 3 or 4 (don't know the Werewolf rules on stationary targets, in VTM a target who isn't moving at all is difficulty 3 to hit I believe).

    Keeping this in mind, along with their sharp senses and rapid movement through the sky... how does anyone/thing oppose them? Now I get that Garou bring "good at combat" to whole new levels, and that a point of Rage can save you from a OHK, but even keeping all of that in mind, these are flying escape-artists with superior senses who will never really be caught by anything... now as I say I'm not a Werewolf player, so I'm sure people who play Beast Court or general Fera games will know of other examples of this kind of... 'overlap in expertise' going too far.

    If I've made any technical or general mistakes, I'd like to be educated, since I think I'm going to get into WTA.
    Last edited by 11twiggins; 02-05-2017, 05:12 PM.

  • #2
    Guns and the fact that Garou in Crinos can throw large rocks very, very far. And Garou have such sharp senses that they can hear large ravens flying (Kindred without Auspex will be a lot of trouble though).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
      Guns and the fact that Garou in Crinos can throw large rocks very, very far. And Garou have such sharp senses that they can hear large ravens flying (Kindred without Auspex will be a lot of trouble though).
      I guess those make sense on some level, but...

      Big Rock: Depending on setting, a large rock flying up in the air is a big no-no for the Veil. Furthermore, the wereraven is at -1 difficulty to all Athletics rolls and will always have decent Flight and incredible Dexterity, so dodging a Big Rock isn't going to be the hardest thing to do.

      Gun: Okay, you've got me there... if they get a dodge attempt it's difficulty 8, and the roll to hit them isn't going to be easy since a Raven is a small moving target... but a single rifle blast could probably kill them, yeah. I'm guessing the Corax don't regenerate? And can they do the Rage save thing?

      Hearing Large Birds: So... here's the thing. I'm David the Silver Fang. I hear a bird flapping about, I don't think "assassin" or even "Corax", I think "oh, a big birb". Now once a feather has pierced your neck and almost killed you, and feathers are raining down from the sky lacerating the flesh of your pack, "big birb" becomes "some raven punk who is about to become a smear on the forest floor". At that point sensing them becomes important.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
        Take the Corax. They make a point of not being warriors, they're vulnerable to Bashing damage and they tend to run and play safe and fight smart, acting as spies and messengers and calling for backup. Now, look at just two of their gifts.

        With a level 2 gift, you can spend a point of Gnosis and make your wings do Aggravated damage for a scene. With a level 3 gift, you can fire one of your wings like a dart (in either winged form) to do Dexterity + 3 base damage dice pool, rolling to hit at difficulty 5. Now, lets say your Raven is Dexterity 5, in Raven form they have Dexterity 9, so they roll their Dexterity + Melee (Melee? Why do Werewolf mechanics use Melee and Brawl for ranged attacks? Isn't Athletics for throwing stuff? Ah well...), which could be 12 dice quite easily, against a difficulty of 5. Extra successes stack onto damage, and you're rolling a minimum of 12 dice of aggravated damage (probably closer to 15), from 50 feet away, totally silently, while in the form of a Raven (not typically seen as a Murder-er)... and if you're ambushing (not difficulty to be quite honest) then your target won't even have reason to dodge, and the roll to hit them will probably be difficulty 3 or 4 (don't know the Werewolf rules on stationary targets, in VTM a target who isn't moving at all is difficulty 3 to hit I believe).
        Okay, so I will start by saying you are already starting with an above average dice pool. So let's sat you have a Dex 3 Corax (probably closer to average). That will be 4 Dex in either other form (they only get +1 Dex now in both Crinos and Corvid). Oh, also you are stacking 2 Gifts specifically to attack. You can do the same with any Fera and get (generally) better results. But I digress....back on topic. So you have a 4 Dex Corax using Hummingbird Dart (a Rank 3 Gift, so those are already kind of powerful). I agree it should be Athletics, or maybe even Flight (if they still get that) to attack. Using Brawl for the moment though. I will assume Brawl 3, for a slightly combat oriented Corax. So that's 7 Dice to attack at Dif 5 (I agree this is low too). On average you should get 3.3 successes. With 1 to hit, that will add 2 dice of damage. Base damage is 7 (Dex +3). So you are rolling 9 Dice of damage (dif 6 standard). That's 3.5 average levels of damage.

        For using 2 Gifts (Rank 2 and Rank 3) and costing a Gnosis and a Rage (so separate turns) this isn't all that impressive in context.

        Now using your numbers: Dex 5 goes to Dex 6 in another form. Let's say 4 Melee. So you roll 10 dice to hit (dif 5). That's 5 average successes to hit. Base damage 9 (Dex 6+3) plus 5 successes to hit. Your min/maxed combat Corax gets to roll 14 dice of damage (dif 6) for an average of 6 levels of Agg. Now that is actually kind of impressive. But you've geared the character specifically for this. Any of the Fera can do similar if they're set up that way. Some Rank 3's will go way higher for much less work. Might of Thor comes to mind.

        tl;dr: yes, you can get Corax to do decent damage. But because it's not their job it takes more setup and more min/maxing on the part of the player.

        Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
        Keeping this in mind, along with their sharp senses and rapid movement through the sky... how does anyone/thing oppose them? Now I get that Garou bring "good at combat" to whole new levels, and that a point of Rage can save you from a OHK, but even keeping all of that in mind, these are flying escape-artists with superior senses who will never really be caught by anything... now as I say I'm not a Werewolf player, so I'm sure people who play Beast Court or general Fera games will know of other examples of this kind of... 'overlap in expertise' going too far.

        If I've made any technical or general mistakes, I'd like to be educated, since I think I'm going to get into WTA.
        A Rank 1 Corax with a gun works out better with less setup and resource cost than the example above. Something to keep in mind.



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        • #5
          Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
          Big Rock: Depending on setting, a large rock flying up in the air is a big no-no for the Veil. Furthermore, the wereraven is at -1 difficulty to all Athletics rolls and will always have decent Flight and incredible Dexterity, so dodging a Big Rock isn't going to be the hardest thing to do.
          A bow and arrow is more likely than a big rock. But even a normal(ish) sized rock may be enough to knock a Corax out of the air.

          Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
          Gun: Okay, you've got me there... if they get a dodge attempt it's difficulty 8, and the roll to hit them isn't going to be easy since a Raven is a small moving target... but a single rifle blast could probably kill them, yeah. I'm guessing the Corax don't regenerate? And can they do the Rage save thing?
          They do regenerate and they do get a Rage roll to recover.

          Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
          Hearing Large Birds: So... here's the thing. I'm David the Silver Fang. I hear a bird flapping about, I don't think "assassin" or even "Corax", I think "oh, a big birb". Now once a feather has pierced your neck and almost killed you, and feathers are raining down from the sky lacerating the flesh of your pack, "big birb" becomes "some raven punk who is about to become a smear on the forest floor". At that point sensing them becomes important.
          This sets up a white room scenario which doesn't go well in general to explain how something would actually go down. The Garou is likely to survive the attack, and then work on tracking the attacker down. Corax in general have no reason to start this kind of conflict.

          And "feathers are raining down" is an over exaggeration imo. The Corax might attack 2 or 3 times before retreating due to Rage depletion. They tend to have much less Rage in general than Garou. And are more likely to be working alone. Especially in an assault on Garou. Again, there is little reason for it.

          But yes. Corax who specialize in combat can get decently good at it.




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          • #6
            Wait I'm confused... If I have Dexterity 5, doesn't the Raven form push Dexterity up to 9? It's +4 right? Or do those bonuses cap at 6?

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            • #7
              idpersona Thanks, that puts a lot of it in perspective. I guess a good summary might be "any breed can be great in combat if you build them that way, however the average builds vary".

              Oh and the Wing thing costs 1 Rage per scene, as does the Aggravated thing. Thus for a whole scene you're just fine.
              Last edited by 11twiggins; 02-05-2017, 06:11 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                Wait I'm confused... If I have Dexterity 5, doesn't the Raven form push Dexterity up to 9? It's +4 right? Or do those bonuses cap at 6?
                No, Raven gives only +1 Dexterity (CB20, p. 99).

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                • #9
                  Aya Tari got the response to the first post.
                  Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                  idpersona Thanks, that puts a lot of it in perspective. I guess a good summary might be "any breed can be great in combat if you build them that way, however the average builds vary".

                  Oh and the Wing thing costs 1 Rage per scene, as does the Aggravated thing. Thus for a whole scene you're just fine.
                  Oh I know it lasts a scene. Razorfeathers (the one that makes the attack Agg) costs a Gnosis, and Hummingbird Dart costs a Rage. So that's 2 separate turns of prep before starting in on combat. And Corax start with only 1 Rage so that character will have to have put a bunch of points into Rage to get decent levels so they can really excel at combat. Mostly, it's just that Corax don't start predisposed be being combat monsters. And if the victims manage to flee, then the scene is over and the Corax has to start over.

                  And I completely agree with your assessment. Any of the Fera can be great at combat. Corax just tend to take more work than most to get there.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by idpersona View Post
                    Aya Tari got the response to the first post.

                    Any of the Fera can be great at combat.
                    Ohhh, is it possible to have examples for the least combat focused like Nuwisha & Kitsune? (out of pure curiosity)

                    The Corax was kinda obvious, they only have 3 gifts that are combat oriented.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post

                      No, Raven gives only +1 Dexterity (CB20, p. 99).
                      Ahah, I was looking at the Perception boost.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kendaan View Post

                        Ohhh, is it possible to have examples for the least combat focused like Nuwisha & Kitsune? (out of pure curiosity)

                        The Corax was kinda obvious, they only have 3 gifts that are combat oriented.
                        Kitsune, just take the Magic merit and build a combat-focused Sorcerer using the Sorcerer Revised rules ;-)

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                        • #13
                          Nuwisha are actually great assassins, nearly as good as the Ratkin, because they get +3 Dexterity. Yes, they lack Rage, but they have no banes, so they soak everything (plus it encourages them to keep their distance).

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                          • #14
                            Fair enough with Nuwisha, that's actually quite common sense ha ha

                            Though for Kitsune, that strategy requires a 7pt merit, and divert experience from gift/other stuff to sorcery, seems quite expansive! (unless the ST makes the rank progression really slow)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kendaan View Post
                              Ohhh, is it possible to have examples for the least combat focused like Nuwisha & Kitsune? (out of pure curiosity)
                              haha. Was already working on it and posting.
                              The Kitsune example follows below, but the Nuwisha can be similar (slightly higher Str, same Dex bonuses), but won't do so many levels of damage, since it won't get doubled (I would drop the Fang Dagger), but can attack from the Umbra (level 3 Fetish, Coyote's Fang) so a lot of WoD creatures would be completely defenseless. Skipping the long math, it works out to 5-6 levels of Agg per hit (so once a round since Nuwisha don't get Rage) that can't possibly be dodged unless the target can see into the Umbra. This again, is for a Rank 1 character.
                              Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                              "any breed can be great in combat if you build them that way, however the average builds vary".
                              Really quick example: First Rank character built for Melee. Kitsune tend to be some of the least combat oriented Fera,so I'll use them.
                              Homid Str 3, Dex 5, Melee 4 (not terribly difficult for starting points)
                              Starting Gifts: Moon Dance (invisible as long as moonlight doesn't touch the Kitsune) and Sense Hostility (which will tell the Kitsune if they've been seen).
                              Their Breedbook mentioned that they can learn to fight with dagger in their mouths in Juko (Hispo equivalent) form so I'm going to go with that. Equipped with a Fang Dagger (level 3 Fetish).

                              So this should amount to Dex 8 in Juko + 4 Melee Dice. At dif 4 (Knife) that will be an average of 7 successes to hit (without factoring in any surprise modifiers or likely specialties). Str +1 damage (4 dice) + 7 at dif 6 is 5 average levels of damage. Activate the Fang Dagger and you are looking at 10 levels of Agg (on average) from a Rank 1 Kitsune.

                              This is obviously a min/maxed example, but I thought it would be useful for comparison to the Corax build above. And again, this is 2 Ranks lower than your proposed Corax "warrior".

                              I can build a comparable Get (Rank 3) that should (again, on average) do well over 18 levels of Agg per hit. It would only be for a round or 2, but that should be all you need for most things.
                              Last edited by idpersona; 02-05-2017, 06:56 PM.


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