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Reworking Rage Use and Frenzy

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  • Reworking Rage Use and Frenzy

    Hello all,

    After reading the Vampire 4th edition rules, came in mind an idea how to make Rage more appealing and frenzy more dangerous, since there have been mentions that frenzy is not a serious or often danger in Werewolf 20 game sessions.
    So the idea is to reverse the Rage expediture, which means that instead of burning rage and remove them from the pool, to mark the Rage boxes you use every turn and keep them marked, the next turn you keep marking rage until you gather enough to roll for frenzy.

    This use will make Rage more powerful but more dangerous at the same time, why? Lets see an example.

    A Ragabash with Rage 1 finds himself in a dangerous situation and uses his Rage for 3 turns in order to finish fast with the issue, he can spend only 1 Rage per turn, so at the beginning of the third turn he will have 3 marked boxes and at the fourth turn he will have 4 Rage boxes marked, since Rage can go above permanent rating, but oops he has only Willpower of 3 so he rolls 4 dice at the proper moon phase (and crinos form) difficulty. Each success removes one temporary Rage from the boxes, so if the ragabash of the example brings 2 successes and will not enter frenzy, he will erase 2 boxes, if he gets 4 successes he will mark off all his temporary Rage and enter frenzy. If the Ragabash gets no successes his rage may go up to 5 the next time and frenzy will become more dangerous.

    When the werewolf enters frenzy if he has marked boxes, they remain marked and after the frenzy. Using Rage for gift activation marks boxes rather than erasing them.

    So what do you think ?

  • #2
    Or you could reinstitute portions of the first edition frenzy rules, where you only needed three successes to frenzy and getting fewer successes gave you Rage points back equal to the successes that you did roll. Combined with Revised and onward making it the greater of temporary or permanent Rage to roll for frenzy, you could have a cluster of stimuli at an unfortunate time drive someone completely berserk. Just opening up the circumstances that can lead to pushing temp over perm could also work, since at the moment, it doesn't actually go over unless the ST okays it. Possibly to avoid a pretty much certainty of characters frenzying whenever they see the moon the first time at night.

    However, as is, i'm not sure that I buy frenzy not being dangerous enough. Especially since if you roll too many successes, you cannot stop it and you have the possibility of doing worse things than just tearing someone apart or mauling them.

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    • #3
      Before you're every going to have good mechanics for entering Frenzy, you need fun mechanics for being in Frenzy. There's a lot of tricks in the game for avoiding Frenzy, because generally speaking, players don't want to enter Frenzy. There's no pay off to letting it happen for them. The most frequent Frenzies I see are ones after a roll to Remain Active, because that's basically the choice of Frenzy or character death; and players value their characters enough to take the Frenzy to keep them.

      Until you change that, changing how you enter Frenzy is either going to make the perception of Frenzy as a paper tiger worse, or make players enjoy the game less as Frenzies spend too much time playing the characters.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
        Before you're every going to have good mechanics for entering Frenzy, you need fun mechanics for being in Frenzy. There's a lot of tricks in the game for avoiding Frenzy, because generally speaking, players don't want to enter Frenzy. There's no pay off to letting it happen for them. The most frequent Frenzies I see are ones after a roll to Remain Active, because that's basically the choice of Frenzy or character death; and players value their characters enough to take the Frenzy to keep them.

        Until you change that, changing how you enter Frenzy is either going to make the perception of Frenzy as a paper tiger worse, or make players enjoy the game less as Frenzies spend too much time playing the characters.
        I will need to playtest that first and see how it goes.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
          Or you could reinstitute portions of the first edition frenzy rules, where you only needed three successes to frenzy and getting fewer successes gave you Rage points back equal to the successes that you did roll. Combined with Revised and onward making it the greater of temporary or permanent Rage to roll for frenzy, you could have a cluster of stimuli at an unfortunate time drive someone completely berserk. Just opening up the circumstances that can lead to pushing temp over perm could also work, since at the moment, it doesn't actually go over unless the ST okays it. Possibly to avoid a pretty much certainty of characters frenzying whenever they see the moon the first time at night.

          However, as is, i'm not sure that I buy frenzy not being dangerous enough. Especially since if you roll too many successes, you cannot stop it and you have the possibility of doing worse things than just tearing someone apart or mauling them.
          Yeah, I have considered about that possibility, because as it is the 3 out of 5 starting (and not only) auspicies are impossible to frenzy, and frenzy should be a considerable personal threat for every werewolf character and not only ahrouns and maybe galliards.

          And yes I need to find somehing about the moon issue, with the rules I am thinking it only aids frenzy and not Rage, and it should affect both.

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          • #6
            I think that I will keep the moon phase only as a dissadvantage and an easier way to frenzy. Rage with the current rules becomes stronger because you don't have to spend it, but decide how deep you want to dive depending on the Rage level a character has.
            Last edited by Story Letter; 08-09-2017, 12:27 PM.

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            • #7
              You are effectively talking about infinite extra actions though if you do not have a Rage score, which is problematic. In addition, I disagree that frenzied should be fun, as you have an equal chance of going berserk or running like a rabbit (this is also true during any event that triggers the First Change). There is nothing fun about losing control, so Garou should seek to avoid frenzy as much as possible if they have a choice.

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              • #8
                No infinite Rage actions.

                For example, Ragabashes and Theurges have only one Rage action per turn, Philodoxes and Galliards two and Ahroun 3. Every Rage use brings you closer to frenzy, in which starting werewolves, except from ahrouns, are almost immune. Only galliards come second to ahroun and only at gibbous and full moon times (iclunding being in crinos). Frenzy immunity to the 3 out of 5 character creation population is antithematic for the horror element of werewolf.

                I don't do it because I find frenzy fun, but because I want to make it dangerous for all auspicies, not only ahroun and galliards under circumstances, and make players taking seriously in consideration if and when they will use Rage, now even a ragabash may enter frenzy by rolling his temporary Rage but he doesn't become very powerful with two actions per turn if he wants to take the risk of losing control.

                Now gifts that manipulate and control Rage and frenzy are more important, like Metis Curse of Hatred because it increases your chance for frenzy while decreasing your willpower, but with the normal rules it was a gift no Metis player would ever bother to buy.

                Of course if you have a better proposal I am more than happy to hear about it.

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                • #9
                  In my games I have the players count 10s as two successes on Rage, Gnosis and Willpower rolls. Its simple, the players like it, and it hasn't caused any problems at our table. In fact, its lead to very good role-playing as the Ragabash frets about becoming the same type of raging monster as the one that ripped him a new one (the pack's Ahroun - in their first combat... ouch.)

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                  • #10
                    @Saur Ops Specialist
                    Do you know where may I find a copy of 1st edition Werewolf ?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ThomasM View Post
                      In my games I have the players count 10s as two successes on Rage, Gnosis and Willpower rolls. Its simple, the players like it, and it hasn't caused any problems at our table. In fact, its lead to very good role-playing as the Ragabash frets about becoming the same type of raging monster as the one that ripped him a new one (the pack's Ahroun - in their first combat... ouch.)

                      Maybe reroll 10's and count as 2 suxs as well? Would that be too mean ?

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                      • #12
                        Two successes per '10' on Rage rolls? Wow, that means that Thrall of the Wyrm must occur a whole lot more in your games...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Story Letter View Post
                          @Saur Ops Specialist
                          Do you know where may I find a copy of 1st edition Werewolf ?
                          Used book stores for older, somewhat beaten-up and worn copies, or Drivethru RPG for an easy to find pdf. Beware: early installment weirdness abounds, and Renown comes in huge numbers on par with D&D XP, and it's actually not all that different from later editions, so you won't be doing much with it if you're just trying to refurbish some of the earlier mechanics. One other notable thing, though, was that at least 1e realized that frenzies could be impactful enough without the forced symmetry of Triatic Wyrm associations and Thrall.

                          (Drivethru can also get you something that didn't exist beforehand - a hardcover version of the first edition core, as any that were actually printed in the old days would have been softcovers. It's on the WW part of DTRPG, though, rather than the Onyx Path section.)

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                          • #14
                            Aya Tari

                            When I say fun, I mean for the player, not the character.

                            Being in a tough fight where you barely survive with 6 Agg, and you're out of WP and Rage? That's fun, because it's exciting. But that's an utter shit situation for the character.

                            Things can be bad for your character, and still be fun for you. But it takes some work from the system to make rewarding.

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                            • #15
                              I am not sure that it is fun for me as a player to have a character on death's door without any options. In fact, it usually meant that my character would miss the next few game sessions when they were that bad off.

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