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Anyone think Rage is a bit too powerful?

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  • Anyone think Rage is a bit too powerful?

    I have been off these forums for a while so I'm sorry if this was brought up before but I'm just curious what others thought. In our games we've had Rage has proven to be an almost too powerful of a stat with the ease of replenishment and abilities it confers. We've had to house rule a few aspects of it such as raising the xp costs and a few other things to keep it from causing too many problems.

  • #2
    Remember Rage is very much a mixed blessing, what with Frenzy and the curse.


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    • #3
      That's the whole point of Rage.

      Uber Powerful, cheap, easily obtained, "Addictive". You want the player to get it, sooner or later they will frenzy when that guy bump into him in a crowded sidewalk or the Curse will take over, then they'll try, but fail, in keeping it in check.

      ultimately it's trying to balance the pros and cons of this amazingly powerful, yet extremely dangerous and devastating power.


      Project consolidation:
      Rough Draft: Dhole Shifters, Ottawa By Night, Tribebook Bunyip, Garou Variant
      In redaction: Lasombra Bloodline

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      • #4
        I still feel the pros out weigh the cons too much. I've never Frenzied in Werewolf (though it's only a matter of time) and that's including asking to make frenzy rolls because I feel like the situation calls on one even if the ST hasn't called for one. Frankly the negative aspects of Rage have been at worst a somewhat annoying feature than an actual detriment while the positives give such a great amount of power. Even the few times that Rage has caused actual problems in campaigns it still doesn't seem much of a risk. And if you ever try to do a crossover campaign it's just straight up OP

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        • #5
          Originally posted by stanlemon View Post
          I still feel the pros out weigh the cons too much.
          You do have to pay to increase it (even if some auspices start out with lots more), so it should feel like an advantage.

          I've never Frenzied in Werewolf (though it's only a matter of time) and that's including asking to make frenzy rolls because I feel like the situation calls on one even if the ST hasn't called for one. Frankly the negative aspects of Rage have been at worst a somewhat annoying feature than an actual detriment while the positives give such a great amount of power. Even the few times that Rage has caused actual problems in campaigns it still doesn't seem much of a risk. And if you ever try to do a crossover campaign it's just straight up OP
          If the ST doesn't bring up the bad sides, that's not really the fault of the game. Rage should be rolled to threaten a frenzy at some point; it's the nature of the trait, and normal humans and wolves should be avoiding the characters, at least in some noticeable fraction of the populace. What's the downside to having Celerity 5? Nothing. What's the downside to having Rage 10? 995 out of a 1000 people you meet will actively avoid you and your pack, you're probably not able to hold a meaningful conversation or you spent a bunch of points to buy up Willpower so you could, you probably don't remember what happens when you frenzy unless, again, you spent even more points to buy up Gnosis to 10, and there's a far from insignificant chance that you'll go Thrall of the Wyrm regularly (though that was kind of a latercomer edition to the game introduced in 2nd edition; while having an irresistible frenzy is a reasonable thing, the way it's approached beyond that kind of erases ambiguity and goes way too over the top on portions of "horror" that are often just excuses to work on others' nerves out of character).

          Crossover campaigns are, by their nature, prone to falling apart. The "rules" for these have always been one game telling the others to go fuck themselves, starting with the immensely pro-vampire take that you can find starting in The Chaos Factor and virtually unchanged in successive Vampire materials since, with its "level of power = level of Discipline" shit. There's not really a solution to this, as the majority of time in which WoD games have existed has been a time of designing crossover to fail.
          Last edited by Saur Ops Specialist; 05-26-2018, 06:15 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

            You do have to pay to increase it (even if some auspices start out with lots more), so it should feel like an advantage.



            If the ST doesn't bring up the bad sides, that's not really the fault of the game. Rage should be rolled to threaten a frenzy at some point; it's the nature of the trait, and normal humans and wolves should be avoiding the characters, at least in some noticeable fraction of the populace. What's the downside to having Celerity 5? Nothing. What's the downside to having Rage 10? 995 out of a 1000 people you meet will actively avoid you and your pack, you're probably not able to hold a meaningful conversation or you spent a bunch of points to buy up Willpower so you could, you probably don't remember what happens when you frenzy unless, again, you spent even more points to buy up Gnosis to 10, and there's a far from insignificant chance that you'll go Thrall of the Wyrm regularly (though that was kind of a latercomer edition to the game introduced in 2nd edition; while having an irresistible frenzy is a reasonable thing, the way it's approached beyond that kind of erases ambiguity and goes way too over the top on portions of "horror" that are often just excuses to work on others' nerves out of character).
            First off my ST does bring up the downsides, he just doesn't go draconian on them requiring a Rage roll for every minor thing preferring to require it when it make sense to the story and character. Even then you still need 4 successes to Frenzy which is far from impossible but not always going to happen either. Second, those downsides you mentioned are not hard to overcome as Rage and Willpower are dirt cheap to raise so it isn't hard to balance them out.

            EDIT: At bare minimum Rage should cost as much to raise as Gnosis

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            • #7
              Originally posted by stanlemon View Post

              First off my ST does bring up the downsides, he just doesn't go draconian on them requiring a Rage roll for every minor thing preferring to require it when it make sense to the story and character.
              Most games of Werewolf tend to provide no shortage of reasonable character motivations to frenzy. Especially if Rage points are easy to recover, too; a lot of the ways that you recover them also provoke Rage rolls.

              Even then you still need 4 successes to Frenzy which is far from impossible but not always going to happen either. Second, those downsides you mentioned are not hard to overcome as Rage and Willpower are dirt cheap to raise so it isn't hard to balance them out.
              But is it easy to balance out for what makes sense for your character, if you're extra-concerned about the same thing for frenzy provocation?

              EDIT: At bare minimum Rage should cost as much to raise as Gnosis
              No, because The Curse is still a thing even if you buy up your Willpower. At Rage 10, five people out of a thousand are theoretically cool with walking on the same side of the street as you... except that, accounting for who actually ends up with high Willpower, that means that the few humans you can comfortably socialize with are likely to be the most feared folk from out of The Hunter's Hunted. If you bought up your Willpower to 10 (which is a greater investment than buying Rage to 10 if you're a Galliard or Ahroun), you can also invest in social traits to try and make friends with the potential keepers among them, the key word being try. Far more likely, you will just dig a deeper hole, since most of their allies will be quite frightened of you.

              And you'll still need to buy up Gnosis to 10 or you'll black out during a frenzy, which is not within the grasp of most starting characters; even a Lupus Ahroun CoG would require 21 freebies points to accomplish this, which means nearly maxing out on Flaws and not having any Abilities at 4 or higher or any lupus-restricted Abilities at all.

              There are kinks to work out, but it's not going to be a matter of making Rage equal Gnosis in cost. Clearer guidelines are necessary, and those would probably require the addition of something like the Intimacy system from Exalted third edition.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

                Most games of Werewolf tend to provide no shortage of reasonable character motivations to frenzy. Especially if Rage points are easy to recover, too; a lot of the ways that you recover them also provoke Rage rolls.
                There are always reasons yes, and if you go strictly by what the books says that increases the reasons to insane amounts. The Garou wouldn't be able to function if you followed the text of the book without storyteller judgement "oh you got punched in the face, roll for frenzy" "oh you got insulted in public, roll for frenzy" those are a bit extreme to call rolls for and the Garou nation would tear itself apart.

                But is it easy to balance out for what makes sense for your character, if you're extra-concerned about the same thing for frenzy provocation?



                No, because The Curse is still a thing even if you buy up your Willpower. At Rage 10, five people out of a thousand are theoretically cool with walking on the same side of the street as you... except that, accounting for who actually ends up with high Willpower, that means that the few humans you can comfortably socialize with are likely to be the most feared folk from out of The Hunter's Hunted. If you bought up your Willpower to 10 (which is a greater investment than buying Rage to 10 if you're a Galliard or Ahroun), you can also invest in social traits to try and make friends with the potential keepers among them, the key word being try. Far more likely, you will just dig a deeper hole, since most of their allies will be quite frightened of you.

                And you'll still need to buy up Gnosis to 10 or you'll black out during a frenzy, which is not within the grasp of most starting characters; even a Lupus Ahroun CoG would require 21 freebies points to accomplish this, which means nearly maxing out on Flaws and not having any Abilities at 4 or higher or any lupus-restricted Abilities at all.
                First off you are assuming that the immediate reaction is to go to Rage 10 which makes your argument problematic as you go straight to the extreme. Even simple early game stuff shows how stupidly broken Rage can be. Let's use an example of a Philodox starting character and combat has started and even is in Homid form. First turn spend 1 point of Rage to instantly change then they will be able to attack with with the boosted stats, then soak anything they take with the boosted stats. Next turn spend another rage point to basically have double their dice pool for two attacks then each one gets the full damage dice if they hit or alternatively use one of those extra actions to defend with full dice while also attacking with full dice. Now this does change if their opponent outnumbers them enough or they are facing another Garou which has its own problems. If they face another Garou, whoever has the more Rage will most likely win unless someone has bad luck with their dice rolls. All that at a simple 3 Rage which makes Frenzy almost impossible short of special situations that a ST comes up with and makes the Curse pretty easily manageable.

                There are kinks to work out, but it's not going to be a matter of making Rage equal Gnosis in cost. Clearer guidelines are necessary, and those would probably require the addition of something like the Intimacy system from Exalted third edition.
                It would very much be at least partly a matter of increasing xp costs. Let's use your Celerity argument earlier. to go from 1 to 2 costs 5 xp whereas to use my hypothetical Philodox from earlier to go from 3 to 4 only costs 3 xp.

                And to bring back the Curse factor you brought up, not all ST even bother much with focusing on player/human reactions which would basically make the Curse a non-issue. I prefer having those interactions in games but plenty of people don't and just want to focus on a story of combat or exploration or something else so in those games then Rage's cheapness makes it very powerful.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by stanlemon View Post

                  There are always reasons yes, and if you go strictly by what the books says that increases the reasons to insane amounts. The Garou wouldn't be able to function if you followed the text of the book without storyteller judgement "oh you got punched in the face, roll for frenzy" "oh you got insulted in public, roll for frenzy" those are a bit extreme to call rolls for and the Garou nation would tear itself apart.



                  First off you are assuming that the immediate reaction is to go to Rage 10 which makes your argument problematic as you go straight to the extreme. Even simple early game stuff shows how stupidly broken Rage can be. Let's use an example of a Philodox starting character and combat has started and even is in Homid form. First turn spend 1 point of Rage to instantly change then they will be able to attack with with the boosted stats, then soak anything they take with the boosted stats. Next turn spend another rage point to basically have double their dice pool for two attacks then each one gets the full damage dice if they hit or alternatively use one of those extra actions to defend with full dice while also attacking with full dice. Now this does change if their opponent outnumbers them enough or they are facing another Garou which has its own problems. If they face another Garou, whoever has the more Rage will most likely win unless someone has bad luck with their dice rolls. All that at a simple 3 Rage which makes Frenzy almost impossible short of special situations that a ST comes up with and makes the Curse pretty easily manageable.



                  It would very much be at least partly a matter of increasing xp costs. Let's use your Celerity argument earlier. to go from 1 to 2 costs 5 xp whereas to use my hypothetical Philodox from earlier to go from 3 to 4 only costs 3 xp.

                  And to bring back the Curse factor you brought up, not all ST even bother much with focusing on player/human reactions which would basically make the Curse a non-issue. I prefer having those interactions in games but plenty of people don't and just want to focus on a story of combat or exploration or something else so in those games then Rage's cheapness makes it very powerful.


                  was just wondering... can a garou safely enter a Karate or fencing tournament?

                  or in a dark ages game, be knighted?

                  (remember "The unanswered blow" )


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by stanlemon View Post
                    . And if you ever try to do a crossover campaign it's just straight up OP
                    And if you try to play a Ghoul in the same campaign as a True Hand 500 yearold elder for some reason its not balanced either? Supernatural beings are not meant to be equals.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by stanlemon View Post

                      There are always reasons yes, and if you go strictly by what the books says that increases the reasons to insane amounts. The Garou wouldn't be able to function if you followed the text of the book without storyteller judgement "oh you got punched in the face, roll for frenzy" "oh you got insulted in public, roll for frenzy" those are a bit extreme to call rolls for and the Garou nation would tear itself apart.
                      There's also a middle ground there that you can dial back to, but in the end, the Garou were never presented as being particularly functional in everyday life. That's usually why they have Kinfolk to step in and handle things for them, and the Garou Nation isn't exactly functional, either, since it's often promoting actions that shoot it in the foot in the long term. Consider how they sing the praises of ancestors who fought in the War of Rage, and how bringing up how this is not a desirable state of events for reconciling with Fera with draw blank looks, at best. They maintain enough cohesion via keeping their Rage typically mid-level and cultivating a strict code of conduct to avoid outright killing each other (usually), but it's a far cry from a totally unified front.

                      First off you are assuming that the immediate reaction is to go to Rage 10 which makes your argument problematic as you go straight to the extreme. Even simple early game stuff shows how stupidly broken Rage can be. Let's use an example of a Philodox starting character and combat has started and even is in Homid form. First turn spend 1 point of Rage to instantly change then they will be able to attack with with the boosted stats, then soak anything they take with the boosted stats. Next turn spend another rage point to basically have double their dice pool for two attacks then each one gets the full damage dice if they hit or alternatively use one of those extra actions to defend with full dice while also attacking with full dice. Now this does change if their opponent outnumbers them enough or they are facing another Garou which has its own problems. If they face another Garou, whoever has the more Rage will most likely win unless someone has bad luck with their dice rolls. All that at a simple 3 Rage which makes Frenzy almost impossible short of special situations that a ST comes up with and makes the Curse pretty easily manageable.
                      Yeah, if you keep Rage in mid-ranges, it's usually way more manageable and allows you to tear enemies to pieces. Not that this helps the cause of the Garou; most fights you'll get into tend to do very little to aid driving back the ills of the world, after all.

                      It would very much be at least partly a matter of increasing xp costs. Let's use your Celerity argument earlier. to go from 1 to 2 costs 5 xp whereas to use my hypothetical Philodox from earlier to go from 3 to 4 only costs 3 xp.
                      And Celerity 1 has no drawbacks of any kind (it even passively adds to Dexterity pools when you aren't spending blood to get extra actions), whereas Rage 3-4 will see you made if people push just a bit - waving silver in your face, pressing your buttons, etc. Temporary Rage can go over permanent, at which point the higher temporary rating is what you use to roll for frenzies. It only takes knowing what a Garou values to do this, which, again, is where a system like the Ties and Principles from EX3 would come in handy, along with Guile and Resolve; a creature such as a werewolf wearing their heart on their sleeve is dangerous.

                      And to bring back the Curse factor you brought up, not all ST even bother much with focusing on player/human reactions which would basically make the Curse a non-issue. I prefer having those interactions in games but plenty of people don't and just want to focus on a story of combat or exploration or something else so in those games then Rage's cheapness makes it very powerful.
                      Again, if the ST doesn't bother, and further doesn't replace it with another drawback, this isn't the game's fault. It let you know that it was only balanced via drawbacks from the get-go. In the end, it's also noted as being a deadly advantage, though, so that it lives up to its hype is hitting the target dead center. On the flip side, you can also end up blowing it all in two turns and not having its benefits for a while, but still suffering its drawbacks due to a high permanent rating.

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                      • #12
                        I just don't think being powerful in combat matters that much. I have played a Sabbat city Gangrel that was only about 20 years dead and that thing was borderline unstoppable with Protean, Celerity and Obfuscate... but the character still suffered devastating personal tragedy.

                        Being really killy, especially in WtA, doesn't break the game. The WoD is meant to function a bit more like the real world than, say, D&D is. Sometimes the challenge isn't always to avoid losing all your HP before the other creature looses theirs. The game isn't a dungeon crawl, and even if combat is plentiful, there are often challenges that cannot be overcome with claws and super speed.

                        Besides, Garou are meant to be the top dog within the setting; how are you supposed to save Gaia if every newly whelped vampire and ghoul is a fight for your life? The power of the Garou is a feature, not a bug.

                        I am curious if this thread is framed in the context of a player or storyteller, because I feel like most of these 'problems' are mitigated by good storytelling.

                        Edit: also, white room tests of character capabilities are silly, because I don't care how capable a Rage 3 Phildox is at character creation... the game isn't a staged white room fight. Assuming that you absolutely must put your Garou players under threat, you can exhaust them with a few waves of expendable fodder. If you burn your Rage beating your first opponent easily, you are going to suffer if there is another mockery lurking in the wings... possibly with a series of nasty powers that can rival the Garou.

                        I don't understand what is so hard about challenging werewolf PCs, in or out of combat.
                        Last edited by The Laughing Stranger; 05-27-2018, 06:15 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
                          Besides, Garou are meant to be the top dog
                          Garou: *Rolls Rage*

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by stanlemon View Post
                            There are always reasons yes, and if you go strictly by what the books says that increases the reasons to insane amounts. The Garou wouldn't be able to function if you followed the text of the book without storyteller judgement "oh you got punched in the face, roll for frenzy" "oh you got insulted in public, roll for frenzy" those are a bit extreme to call rolls for and the Garou nation would tear itself apart.
                            Right here is the answer to why you need to ask if Rage is overpowered. Garou are socially dysfunctional, the Garou nation is tearing itself apart. For whatever reason, your Storyteller has decided to play down the thousands of little insults in everyday interactions that make high-Rage Garou lose their shit and slaughter everyone. Your Storyteller has decided to remove the ever-present downside of Rage, which of course makes the leftover upside overpowered. That you’re advocating these removals because they make sense to you is fine, but again, it’s why you’re coming here to ask if Rage is overpowered.


                            Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bunyip View Post

                              Right here is the answer to why you need to ask if Rage is overpowered. Garou are socially dysfunctional, the Garou nation is tearing itself apart. For whatever reason, your Storyteller has decided to play down the thousands of little insults in everyday interactions that make high-Rage Garou lose their shit and slaughter everyone. Your Storyteller has decided to remove the ever-present downside of Rage, which of course makes the leftover upside overpowered. That you’re advocating these removals because they make sense to you is fine, but again, it’s why you’re coming here to ask if Rage is overpowered.
                              We still have the downsides as I have mentioned before. We do play those out but we also keep the setting at a level that makes some sense. The point is that the Garou Nation could not function as presented if you play Rage as written.

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