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  • Changing Kinfolk

    So, in a recent thread, there was a discussion about the changes we would want to see for W5e. I mentioned changes to the Kinfolk that I would like to see to make them the equivalent of the Kinain. I suggested allowing Kinfolk to develop Gnosis and Rank up to their Pure Breed Background as if they were Garou, to learn and use Gifts and Rites up to their Rank as if they were Garou, and to allow all Kinfolk, regardless of Breed of Fera or Tribe of Garou, to purchase Pure Breed Background without restriction during character creation (and to be able to improve it after character creation by increasing the connection to Gaia by spiritual exploration).

    I was wondering if you all would like to see those particular changes to Kinfolk? If so, how would it change your games? If not, is the status quo satisfactory or would you like to see other changes to Kinfolk?

  • #2
    You could just make them exactly like Werewolves but with no access to forms other than their Native form. It's a significant downside, but it would fundamentally shift their power levels.

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    • #3
      I generally find the status quo satisfactory; esp. with the additional material in W20 KABA. Maybe have the books finally be a bit unified/clear about kinfolk and Delirium/Rage.

      If I was going to change things, I'd do something much more similar to Forsaken 2e's Tell systems over having Kinfolk just get Fera powers. Tells are flexible enough to work with things like Purebreed for "better" ones, and to have ones that run in familial lines instead of them all being whatever that character wants. Since each Tell has a bonus and a drawback, they work fine as something either every Kin could have, or only some Kin have.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
        If I was going to change things, I'd do something much more similar to Forsaken 2e's Tell systems over having Kinfolk just get Fera powers. Tells are flexible enough to work with things like Purebreed for "better" ones, and to have ones that run in familial lines instead of them all being whatever that character wants. Since each Tell has a bonus and a drawback, they work fine as something either every Kin could have, or only some Kin have.
        Interesting; I am not familiar with Tells- are they more like Kinfolk specific Merits and Flaws?

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        • #5
          Tells are a package deal. Forsaken Wolf-blooded have Merits specific for them as well. In 2e they're actually presented more like Flaws with positive upsides.

          So, there's a Tell that makes you vulnerable to silver, but gives you increased healing rates. Another is that you have a permanent wound in the form of a bite scar that bleeds and makes you easy to track by smell, but your blood is useful for ritual use. Another is that causes you to speak in "tongues" under stress, but it is really the language of spirits and you can force yourself into it to speak that way on purpose.

          You could easily make more of them by having a linked Merit/Flaw, but they would be supernatural ones.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
            I generally find the status quo satisfactory; esp. with the additional material in W20 KABA. Maybe have the books finally be a bit unified/clear about kinfolk and Delirium/Rage.

            If I was going to change things, I'd do something much more similar to Forsaken 2e's Tell systems over having Kinfolk just get Fera powers. Tells are flexible enough to work with things like Purebreed for "better" ones, and to have ones that run in familial lines instead of them all being whatever that character wants. Since each Tell has a bonus and a drawback, they work fine as something either every Kin could have, or only some Kin have.
            The Wolf Blooded are my favorite part of Forsaken and I have been seriously considering bringing them over whole cloth to my Apocalypse games. At the very least I'd want to bring the Tells over.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
              You could just make them exactly like Werewolves but with no access to forms other than their Native form. It's a significant downside, but it would fundamentally shift their power levels.
              I'd throw in going to Crinos and the near-breed form, but cap Rage and Gnosis and halve the initial values by auspice and breed. They can at least outclass enemies punished with the Curse of the Wolf rite from Werewolf the Dark Ages, though silver does become a problem for them. Garou proper might also look down on them for not having the capacity to fully shift, and spirits might not come to them as often, creating a different sort of imbalance.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

                I'd throw in going to Crinos and the near-breed form, but cap Rage and Gnosis and halve the initial values by auspice and breed. They can at least outclass enemies punished with the Curse of the Wolf rite from Werewolf the Dark Ages, though silver does become a problem for them. Garou proper might also look down on them for not having the capacity to fully shift, and spirits might not come to them as often, creating a different sort of imbalance.
                Kinfolk with Crinos would be a bit too much for me. There are Homid players who don't use Lupus as is, and it would turn Kinfolk from "our beloved family, we must protect" to "they are missing two forms, they can fight beside us".

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                • #9
                  So I don't mind the idea of Kinfolk being able to take on a Glabro form, but I think anything more (Crinos) than that is a bit much. Maybe tie that in to Purebreed. Like when they shift, they can maintain Glabro for a number of rounds equal to their Purebreed, and grant them a number of Rage equal to successes as well. This would push the berserker image for Kinfolk, while keeping them squarely below Garou for combat skills while still having them be helpful.

                  I don't see any need to allow Kinfolk to gain Rank. I think Gnosis is fine as a Merit, though I'd lower the cost some if I'm going to be buffing Kinfolk with this premise anyways. The base premise of balancing Kinfolk against Kinain is kind of silly to me. Different games, different supporting cast. There is no reason for them to be compared.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post

                    Kinfolk with Crinos would be a bit too much for me. There are Homid players who don't use Lupus as is, and it would turn Kinfolk from "our beloved family, we must protect" to "they are missing two forms, they can fight beside us".
                    I think that the multiple forms should be restricted to the Fera, as well as Rage. Otherwise, you really do run into a question of why are the Fera necessary when the Kinfolk can transform. In addition, you get silliness from legions of Rat Kinfolk turning into their Crinos form.

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                    • #11
                      The "Tells" thing from Forsaken 2E does potentially allow access to one of the forms, but it's never the Crinos-equivalent.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                        I think that the multiple forms should be restricted to the Fera, as well as Rage. Otherwise, you really do run into a question of why are the Fera necessary when the Kinfolk can transform. In addition, you get silliness from legions of Rat Kinfolk turning into their Crinos form.
                        So Rage or forms are too much, but possible Rank 5 Gifts (for Pure Breed 5 Kinfolk) are fine? Mind you, I agree on Kinfolk not having any way to have a Crinos form, but I'm trying to understand your approach and which random things you deem too much for Kinfolk to have access to.


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                        • #13
                          Ananasi and Nuwisha do not have Rage, and Corax, Mokole, and Ratkin do not have innately more than three forms. Kinfolk are meant to support the Fera, not replace them on the battlefield or in the spirit world. I would say that Kinfolk should not have access to anything that gives them Fera Rage (or Blood Pool for Ananasi Kinfolk), Fera Regeneration, Fera Shapeshifting, Fera Soak, or Umbral Travel. I think that giving Kinfolk greater access to Gifts, Ranks, and Rites will allow them to do their support roles for the Fera better and will allow Fera to focus on the battlefield and the spirit world (and will give the Fera even more reason to be protective and respectful of their Kinfolk).

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                          • #14
                            So I was speaking specifically for Garou Kinfolk (and only Homid ones at that for the moment). Each Fera's kin would have to be handled separately system-wise. I don't think it's far fetched to see Garou kin as berserkers, with a couple of points of Rage and a Glabro. That obviously wouldn't fit for terribly many Fera (system-wise or thematically).

                            Again, I suppose I don't see why Gnosis and Rank are fine, but Rage is somehow out of bounds. I agree Regeneration and a full range of forms should certainly not be available for kin (to me its those 2 things along with Gnosis and Gifts that define the Fera). Soak doesn't bother me at all, since allowing kin to soak like Garou would be fine in my eyes. Their stats aren't going to be high enough for it to make a huge difference. And they would only really be soaking in the proposed Glabro form.
                            Umbral travel is a tricky thing. Personally, if kin are allowed to have Gnosis then Sidestepping should be fine. Gnosis has such limited uses outside of that big one. Granted, if you are handing Gifts to all kinfolk, I suppose they would might need that stat to power some of them.

                            And with your proposed system of basing everything off of Pure Breed, you are never going to see a kin written up with less than 4 or 5. That would make the Pure Breed background more broken than Generation is for Vampires.
                            I think it might be better to just have the traits (Rage and Gnosis) available and have Kinfolk purchase them with freebies if the player wants them. Charging 2 Freebies each seems reasonable, with an upper limit of 5.
                            That's a relatively simple fix that doesn't fundamentally change the setting too much. Kinfolk would still fit the support staff niche nicely without having them be on the same footing as Garou. And if more physically powerful kinfolk were wanted, then the Glabro form can be thrown in there.


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                            • #15
                              should the garou gain an eqilivent of enchantment too?


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