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How do you handle Frenzy provocation/Rage rolls?

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  • How do you handle Frenzy provocation/Rage rolls?

    So this tangent came up on the Mage (here) forums and I figured it was better to move it here.
    The deeper discussion/debate of when Garou have to roll Rage (imo) starts on the next page (here), but I figured I would try and have the initial link where the disagreement first started.

    My main point for moving this here: I'm curious to see other WtA ST's thoughts on this. The intention here isn't to debate the initial poster if he/she doesn't want to. From my end, I want to see how other STs handle Rage/Frenzy in their games.

    My last post, before attempting to move the discussion here was:
    We are really off topic, but I don't think anyone is complaining just yet, so I'll continue.
    Originally posted by BenjCano View Post
    Given that Pentex is about as sophisticated as a Captain Planet villain,
    Okay. So serious question at this point, just so I know where I'm coming at the discussion from. Have you played much WtA? I genuinely don't understand this opinion of Pentex.

    Originally posted by BenjCano View Post
    I'm prepared to say that cigarette and tobacco companies, themselves not too different from Captain Planet villains in the real world, are a hundred times worse in the World of Darkness. That being said, it's established the the byproducts of fossil fuel burning are so full of Wyrm taint as to be frenzy worthy offenses. You're telling me that cigarette smoke, which is on par with if not far MORE toxic than fossil fuel byproducts, isn't equally if not MORE Wyrm-tainted? And that being exposed to it isn't going to get under a werewolf's skin even if it's in a passive way?
    That is 100% my opinion. Coming into contact with Wyrm taint doesn't provoke a Rage roll. Garou would be pretty terrible if it did. Your next point is a bit closer to being correct though (imo). Moving on.

    Originally posted by BenjCano View Post
    But if some b-hole at a bar BLOWS IT INTO MY FACE, I'm not going to Crinos flip out? Because I find that hard to believe. I can make a case to deliberately exposing a werewolf to cigarette smoke falls under the category of 'being taunted by the enemy.'
    Like I said, this is a better case to make. And it really depends on context. If in fact it is part of a deliberate taunt, the Garou might have to make a Rage roll. Assuming the Taunt (capital T for the Taunt action) was successful, I would have the Garou roll.

    Originally posted by BenjCano View Post
    I mean, LOOK at this guy:

    That picture is from the Rage card game, which has deliberate caricatures of enemies at times. That just represents generic corporate sleazebag. That's really neither here nor there though.

    Originally posted by BenjCano View Post
    I missed dinner last night and didn't get a chance to have breakfast this morning. I was by no means starving, but I was pretty hungry. ANd I was in a foul mood all morning, and snapped at someone who was taking too much time making my change when I went for coffee. I feel bad about it now, but you know what's significant about me? I don't turn into an 8 foot tall murder monster or a green juggernaut when I'm angry.
    Garou don't Frenzy when they're angry either. The provoking "strong emotion" example given is "Rage". In situations where you would feel rage, not anger, is when the Garou would be rolling for Frenzy. I think that's a significant difference.

    Originally posted by BenjCano View Post
    Hunger isn't the same as starvation. I can stand to miss a meal now and then. But low blood sugar can and does affect moods. I'd say that a missed meal or two around the full moon is a dangerous thing. So while YMMV, I'm not in agreement with you that only starvation counts as extreme hunger.
    So I do partially agree with you here. I didn't say you have to be literally starving to roll for Frenzy. But the "extreme hunger" to me means you are approaching that state.

    That being said, I do think that 2 or more factors (that might not require a roll on their own) combined will probably require a roll. So lets say a Garou missed a meal or 2 and is tired, and someone offhandedly mouths off to the Garou (not an actual taunt)...that Garou might very well be rolling Rage. But its a combination of several minor factors adding up to the Rage roll.

    Originally posted by BenjCano View Post
    Without going into a discussion of feminism at all, I'll just point out that one of the thirteen valid tribes at character creation is the Black Furies. And they might disagree with you about whether or not being catcalled is a frenzy-worth offense. And I'll let them disagree with you from across the city, thanks.
    So again, "anger" and "rage" are 2 different things. A catcalled Fury will almost certainly be angry, and thus address the situation (assuming they have the time to). Quite possibly violently. That doesn't mean that they are going to Frenzy and kill someone. It only takes a round or so delay to break the person's jaw. And doing so is probably quite soothing to their Rage.

    Originally posted by BenjCano View Post
    So the story is that a pregnant Kinfolk woman has gone missing. She was last seen in the Rack downtown, near a club where it is known that vampires hang out. The pack decide to investigate, go to the bar and ask around, and see if anyone has seen her. You're telling me we're not bringing the Ahroun if it's the full moon? Are we bringing him between gibbous and full? Is a 26% chance of Frenzy in response to the doorman's sufficient to take the risk? What about if it's between half and gibbous? Is a 16% chance of frenzy an acceptable risk? Or does the Ahroun not get to participate if we have to go into a densely populated area between the half and full moon?
    Since you set up this scenario, I'm going to address it from the perspective of a pack actually playing the game. It's a full moon and a kinfolk goes missing and the pack has to go deal with it. This isn't anywhere near the problem you set it up as.

    Solution 1: The Alpha tells the pack to burn off some Rage before going in. After all, it's temporary Rage that gets rolled for Frenzy, not permanent. The pack spends a couple of minutes burning off steam and feels much calmer now so they can head into the city and deal with the stressful situation with clear heads. That's one solution and probably the one I'd go with. And it leaves next to zero chance of Frenzy risk. If something does go down, well Garou can handle themselves without spending Rage. If they face a Supernatural threat, and their few Rage points don't cut it, they draw the fight outside and refill their Rage from looking to Luna. The Ahroun can go from 0 to 10 Rage without batting an eye. All other pack members will refill 4 Rage each for looking to the moon. That should be plenty to carry them through a fight.

    Solution 2: The pack splits up. The Ragabash (and maybe one other) heads in to scout (part of their job) while the rest of the pack hangs back, either in the material or in the Umbra. If they spy from the Umbra, most of the pack is together and should be able to clean out a few Banes if they come across them there. If the Ragabash gets into trouble, the pack can literally come out of nowhere to back them up. Any serious conflict will result in the pack spending Rage, and thus lowering their chance of losing control.

    Again, I don't see this as the problem you seem to. There are other solutions available based on the pack makeup/Gifts available. But these 2 will work mostly regardless of any other factors.




  • #2
    And since that post ended up slight long, I just want to reiterate: I'm not looking to start an argument whatsoever. I wonder how other WtA STs and players handle/view Rage rolls for Frenzy checks in their games (and I thought the topic better fit here).

    Some of the examples brought up above (and in the previous post or 2 in the initial thread) I think are good ones to start with. By all means, I'm curious to see other situations where STs have called for Frenzy checks that aren't necessarily covered by the books.

    Thoughts?


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    • #3
      For me, as I tend to play without dice at times, I have a mental count of ticks when to Frenzy. Tick 1 is mildly annoyed, which means grimacing. Tick 2 is snarling and fingers moving as 'feeling' the claws. Tick 3 is shouting, snapping and giving a threat. Tick 4 is frenzy.


      My gallery.

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      • #4
        Just a minor nitpick: You roll the higher of Temp. or Perm. Rage for Rage rolls (W20, p. 261, top of the second column before it gets into the types of Frenzies).

        In general though, I tend to follow your thinking regarding when to call for Frenzy checks. Frenzy checks should be matters of dramatic tension, not things that constantly derail the game with Frenzies every time a Garou is unhappy. It's also worth remembering that you can always spend WP to avoid the Frenzy. If there's good reason to hold back, Garou can hold back.

        And Solution #2 is an important deal. Taking an Ahroun out on a full moon when there's going to be a risk of high-stress situations is asking for a Frenzy risk. If you're not looking for a fight anyway, it's not really smart to do unless you absolutely have to. Send in your lower Rage characters (who are going to be the better ones for non-fighting stuff for the most part anyway) and let the different Auspices do their things.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post
          For me, as I tend to play without dice at times, I have a mental count of ticks when to Frenzy. Tick 1 is mildly annoyed, which means grimacing. Tick 2 is snarling and fingers moving as 'feeling' the claws. Tick 3 is shouting, snapping and giving a threat. Tick 4 is frenzy.
          Interesting system. So how would you handle some of the above situations?
          Blowing smoke in a Garou's face?
          Catcalling one on the street?
          Missing a meal?
          Would each of these count as a Tick or 2 individually? Or would you say any of these count as more or less?

          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
          Just a minor nitpick: You roll the higher of Temp. or Perm. Rage for Rage rolls (W20, p. 261, top of the second column before it gets into the types of Frenzies).
          Thanks. Is that new as of W20? It's easy to miss a singular line like that. Now I'm trying to figure out if it's always been that way and I just learned it wrong. Kind of how house rules go sometimes.

          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
          And Solution #2 is an important deal. Taking an Ahroun out on a full moon when there's going to be a risk of high-stress situations is asking for a Frenzy risk. If you're not looking for a fight anyway, it's not really smart to do unless you absolutely have to. Send in your lower Rage characters (who are going to be the better ones for non-fighting stuff for the most part anyway) and let the different Auspices do their things.
          I agree (obviously). Playing a pack should mean each person actually gets to do the things they're supposed to be good at. And again, (imo) Garou should be able to handle themselves without relying on Supernatural powers in general. Getting into a bar shouldn't be something they are incapable of doing without relying on magic powers.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by idpersona View Post
            Interesting system. So how would you handle some of the above situations?
            Blowing smoke in a Garou's face?
            Catcalling one on the street?
            Missing a meal?
            Would each of these count as a Tick or 2 individually? Or would you say any of these count as more or less?
            If the character's values are UTTERLY insulted, they count as 2 rather than one.

            For the situations, I'm using my own characters to give variety here;

            Smoke in the face- Servius feels their Rage perk up from the rude act. They bite it down, but the galliard's bright blue eyes shine in the dim bar's light enough to make the thug think twice about repeating what he did. (Tick 2)

            Catcalling- Teeth snap as Lamech stays close to his Sister. Smaller than her, and male, he knows it is her call if they should act. But the male Fury feels anger from such a rude performance. (Tick 1)

            Missing a meal- She had done wrong again, Fivesix guessed. The lights were off in the basement, and no one had brought food for her yet. Third day in a row, she guessed. She rubbed a deep gash on her arm, it had not yet healed. Maybe Master would let her bleed to death, denying her food. She whimpered, digging her claws against the metal door, once. Twice. The knot in her belly, her Rage, sprung up and she let out a harse scream-howl. (Tick 3)


            My gallery.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by idpersona View Post
              It only takes a round or so delay to break the person's jaw. And doing so is probably quite soothing to their Rage.
              This right here was what I was thinking the whole time I read this. That is, "It's not just an on-off thing, where you're either in control or your full-out in Frenzy." In terms of the emotional options when things aren't going well, there's being annoyed, upset, full on angry, etc. Rage is its own beast; the other emotions feed into it, but it's still its own thing.

              A Garou may actually have more options for blowing off steam than your typical human, in that if she really wants to, she -can- break that guy's jaw and likely get away with it (and/or away from it). Or the Garou can take it out in brawling with another Garou. Or they can go to a pub, have some drinks, and pick a local bar fight. They may feel it in the moment, but they might put themselves out there a whole lot more if they can easily heal the bruises and busted nose the second they're out of sight.

              The Garou can ask, or even demand, that the guy get that smoke out of his face. If he doesn't, what's to stop the Garou from just taking the cig and snuffing it? Is that guy going to stop him? Is his Willpower even high enough to directly face him after that kind of challenge? If so, what's to stop the Garou from taking it a step further to really drive home the point that they're not someone to mess with? In my opinion, there's needs to be more on the line to just instantly flip the table because some guy blew smoke in your face (even if he did that in response to you asking him to put it out).

              Personally, I don't like the idea of every cigarette/tobacco company being all wyrm-tainted. To me, there's much more nuance if only -some- of the "big bads" are really that bad. It makes your decision making process that much more important. "We want to fight the wyrm! Every tobacco company is of the wyrm, so let's start burning 'em all down!" I mean, if that's your thing, go for it. But I like the idea that there is collateral damage in WoD. I like the idea that, sometimes, you get it wrong, and you took out the wrong target. I like the idea that you have to identify your enemy first before just striking out at whatever moves. Wyrm-taint is common, sure, but I don't see it as being in everything that's bad for you. Otherwise, hell, everything is wyrm-tainted.

              So in that light, here's a scenario for you. The guy next to you just condescendingly told his girlfriend to buy him and this new gal he's talking to a couple drinks, and you notice said girlfriend has bruises around her wrist. The guy lights up a cigarette from some Brown & Williamson brand (because in WoD, they probably wouldn't have ultimately shut down after that little 60 Minutes issue), which is one of the wyrm-tainted tobacco companies, and he offers one to this new woman. You recognize her. Holy crap, you've seen her with some of the other Garou in the Caern you're visiting. She's one of their kin! You remind him that there's no smoking inside, as a means to break up wherever this is going. The guy lights up her cigarette, and then he turns to you, blows smoke in your face, and tells you to mind your own fucking business or he's gonna put the cigarette out on you. Is that worthy of a Rage roll? Maybe. Depends on the PC, too, I'd imagine.

              Similarly, if the Fury moves to break the jaw of the guy catcalling her, and it turns out there's more to him than meets the eye and he deftly dodges her and makes a snide, public remark toward her in the process, I can see that anger, surprise, and embarrassment being enough to potentially warrant a Rage roll. Again, probably depends on the PC.

              In general, I look at it this way: Are the circumstances (the action itself as well as any important context) enough to grant a temporary Rage point? If not, then I'm probably not going to ask for a Rage roll. If so, grab those dice. (That's just a general approach; it varies more than that, but it's my starting point).

              Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
              In general though, I tend to follow your thinking regarding when to call for Frenzy checks. Frenzy checks should be matters of dramatic tension, not things that constantly derail the game with Frenzies every time a Garou is unhappy. It's also worth remembering that you can always spend WP to avoid the Frenzy. If there's good reason to hold back, Garou can hold back.
              Agreed. Additionally, controlling one's Rage is something that Garou are expected to work on. The longer they've been around, the higher Rank they get, the more self-control they're supposed to have gained.

              (Edited to respond to that second quote there, 'cause Heavy Arms brought up an excellent point that I couldn't leave unaddressed.)
              Last edited by Wakuwa; 02-07-2017, 01:23 PM.

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              • #8
                I agree with Wakuwa that Rage isn't a Binary switch. Sometimes when a phone call pisses you off, you smash the phone. But you don't go furry and destroy your apartment.

                Also, the ST and the Players are trying to tell a story. Sometimes 'realism' takes a backseat to the needs of the story. Yes, the Black Fury might usually rage against some random dude treating her like a sex object instead of a person, but does having the Fury rip this guy apart serve the needs of the story? Maybe the guy is a Pentex agent trying to shut down the Black Fury, who is investigating them. Or maybe it's just some random idiot, who just happens to have information about the factory in town.



                Are you ready to rage? Discover if you are Brave Enough to fight for the soul of the world.

                The Werewolf: the Apocalypse Quest updates on Mondays. All are welcome to vote.

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                • #9
                  Personally I watch my players closely...when they start getting really frustrated/upset (whether they are IC or OOC discussing IC happenings with each other, then I call for a rage roll. I definitely am not going to railroad the game for every little thing that annoys them in game like that other dude was suggesting when he was arguing with idpersona.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WISDOMINCHAINS View Post
                    Personally I watch my players closely...when they start getting really frustrated/upset (whether they are IC or OOC discussing IC happenings with each other, then I call for a rage roll. I definitely am not going to railroad the game for every little thing that annoys them in game like that other dude was suggesting when he was arguing with idpersona.
                    I don't mind the quick sidetracks. These are the sort of examples I chalk up to being similar you your random encounters. Being catcalled on the street would be a quick Urban Encounter.

                    It adds a bit of RP depth to the character (in how they react to said harassment). Again, I expect most Garou (Furies especially) to either: A) ignore the person, if they have more pressing things to deal with, or B) Intimidate, or knock the guy's teeth in. It would be a quick 1 hit thing. And if for some reason it was going to escalate, there are packmates for a reason, and they would be expected to de-escalate the situation.

                    No reason to derail a story for this sort of thing.


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                    • #11
                      I agree with you. I like the flavor the random encounters have , but def. no need to turn everything into a massacre. Unless its a ratkin game then fuck it

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by idpersona View Post
                        Thanks. Is that new as of W20? It's easy to miss a singular line like that. Now I'm trying to figure out if it's always been that way and I just learned it wrong. Kind of how house rules go sometimes.
                        It was the rules in Revised at least, though Revised core was unclear and it was clarified in the Revised ST Handbook FAQ IIRC.

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                        • #13
                          This whole thread is basically just knocking down a hilarious strawman provided by Benj Cano, but that is the bread and butter of internet discussion.
                          I'll bite.

                          I feel like most of the reasons for why Garou are basically unplayable hair-trigger idiots could also be applied to Brujah... guess that clan is off the table as far as players are concerned, too.

                          Sure, sometimes some supernaturals lose control and there are mechanics to back that up. Problems happen when folks get carried away with regards to degree and frequency. There are certainly GMs who overdo it, and demand dice rolls for tame, everyday situations. It goes from 'this guy has a bad temper' or even 'this werewolf has a really bad temper' to 'this guy can't drive down the street without losing his mind and killing piles of bystanders.'

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            It was the rules in Revised at least, though Revised core was unclear and it was clarified in the Revised ST Handbook FAQ IIRC.
                            Thanks. I've been playing with using temporary Rage for Frenzy checks forever. Good to know.


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                            • #15
                              In my experience, the majority of PCs will walk around in Glabro form (the advantages outweigh the disadvantages) and will pick up the Fair Glabro Merit if they are social characters. The bonus Strength and Stamina, as well as the lethal and aggravated soak, make it harder for them to be physically hurt by mortals, which gets rid of a common frenzy trigger (and most people will not throw a punch at a 6'8" and 320 lbs weightlifter).

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