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Perception-based Gifts doubt

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  • Perception-based Gifts doubt

    Hi all,

    Couple doubts about Perception-based Gifts effects:

    - Does the usage of Gifts who decrease the difficulty of Perception rolls stack? For instance Heightened Senses (-3 dif) + Eye of the Falcon (-1 dif only for sight).

    - Does the usage of such Gifts decrease also the difficulty of other Perception-based Gift like Sense Wyrm, Scent of Sight and others?

    - Specific question that ties directly to a concern raised in my table last week: would Hightened Senses + Eye of the Falcon grant -4 difficulty to the roll of Weak Arm for our Silver Fang Philodox? Is it not too overpowered?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by metaldragon; 10-29-2018, 06:35 PM.

  • #2
    There's no official answer to this I'm aware of.

    Nothing states that Perception difficulty reductions can't stack, but you can't decrease the difficulty below 2 so there's a limit to how useful it is.

    You have to approach Perception activated Gifts on a case by case basis, as some are stated to be using a literal sense, and some are "senses" in a more metaphoric way.

    I don't see why you couldn't get -4 on Weak Arm as things are written. It's no exactly cheap (two Gnosis to activate HS and EofF), Weak Arm takes a turn to activate, and can only be used once per scene per target. It's potent, but it's not that great. If you have the time to observe everyone to activate the Gift on them? They're probably dead anyway.

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    • #3
      In my experience, once you allow benefits to stack, it quickly breaks the game mechanically unless the game design has taken that into effect and created a very tight system (and the Storyteller system of games certainly does not). My instinct is that I'd only allow the highest benefit to take effect. However, I don't know every single possible combination of Gifts with all their proposed benefits and costs so I can't say I might not allow that in some situations.

      Different STs may come to different decisions, but if I was running the chronicle, my first instinct would be to say that it does not stack.

      As for gifts and gift combinations that seem overpowered, it really depends on what is going on in the game, and I would come to a consensus with my player group as to how to handle it. Generally, I let anything happens once just to see how it goes, and if it turns out that it disrupts the game, the group figures out what to do going forward.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by metaldragon View Post

        - Specific question that ties directly to a concern raised in my table last week: would Hightened Senses + Eye of the Falcon grant -4 difficulty to the roll of Weak Arm for our Silver Fang Philodox? Is it not too overpowered?

        Thanks!
        Eye of the Falcon works only with Ranged attacks if I remember well.

        Another question is: do difficulty reductions in general, for normal skill checks also affect gift activations as well?

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        • #5
          AFAIK in the ST system the minimum difficulty is supposed to be 3, so even stacking you should not go below that number anyway.

          About difficulty reductions and gifts... well, I don't think so. Generally speaking it might make sense to apply a -2 diff to perception rolls even in gift activation rolls, but on the other hand it makes no sense to allow eye googles to affect the kind of spiritual manipulation that a Gift represents. Don't have RAWs on this tho.

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          • #6
            The difficulty range is 2 to 10, though STs are encouraged to keep it between 3 and 9.

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            • #7
              Maybe I should hav made a new thread for this but the gift Snarl of the Predator Rank 2 Fenrir has the same effect with Distractions Rank 2 Galliard Gift.

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              • #8
                They do... but different rolls and difficulties, which is hardly unique to those two Gifts. And isn't nearly as weird as the differences between things like Luna's Armor, Troll Skin, and Steel Fur all being slightly different.

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                • #9
                  Similarities between gifts are notorious, but in the end you're supposed to learn cross-tribe only rarely.

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                  • #10
                    It's just that I would prefer to keep effects unique for different gifts ...

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                    • #11
                      Not sure anyone is going to disagree with you there, but unless the Gifts are identical (save perhaps alternate names), they're treated as different Gifts.

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                      • #12
                        Game-wise, having different effects on different gift would be undeniably best (If you give me two similar Armour powers at level 2 it's like you're wasting room on the book for something more distinguished).

                        Similar gifts are usually better tailored for the specified clan: i.e., Attunement is both in Bone Gnawers' and Silent Striders' lists at level 4, but the Striders roll Survival instead of Streetwise and have more versatility. Troll Skin is really similar to Steel Fur but it not only they have some meaningful differences in the effects (the second one can't be used in furless forms), they are also taught by different spirits (requiring different chiminages and persuasion types) and are rolled on abilities friendlier for the respective tribes.

                        So, in the end the redundancy makes the gifts thematic. Also, if you're a ST like me and like making it hard to learn cross-tribe gift (my spirits are usually quite unreasonable in terms of requests for out of list gifts) then redundancy is not that bad.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Maris Streck View Post
                          Troll Skin is really similar to Steel Fur
                          Add Wyrm hide as well, only that in W20 they used th 1st edition version.

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                          • #14
                            Steel Fur is a perfect example of trying to make similar Gifts different going too far, since it is worse in almost every way than Troll Skin. The only thing Steel Fur has going for it is costing Willpower than Gnosis, and WP is usually easier to recover depending on your ST/time between scenes/chapters. Troll Skin isn't form limited, uses an Ability that's useful to all Garou (Primal Urge isn't particularly Get friendly, just more Get friendly than Science), the difficulty is 2 lower, and the social penalty is probably going to be less punishing (if you have an armor Gift on, not suffering a penalty to Intimidation is more likely to be useful than not having a penalty when dealing with Glass Walkers... you're probably not making many social rolls against Glass Walkers as one if you're prepped for a fight), and it doesn't have the Dexterity difficulty penalty.

                            I mean, really, the game should have long ago had a "universal" Gift List for common Gifts or common Gift effects, had it be x4, and then had a simple thing where the Ability used to activate universal Gifts can vary based on the spirit you seek it from. Cleaner, simpler, faster, easier to remember.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                              Steel Fur is a perfect example of trying to make similar Gifts different going too far, since it is worse in almost every way than Troll Skin. The only thing Steel Fur has going for it is costing Willpower than Gnosis, and WP is usually easier to recover depending on your ST/time between scenes/chapters.
                              The other big advantage of Willpower is that you can armor up and still spend rage in the same round, but even like this it makes you wonder what's the need of putting a dex penalty - the gift has enough drawbacks already.

                              I mean, really, the game should have long ago had a "universal" Gift List for common Gifts or common Gift effects, had it be x4, and then had a simple thing where the Ability used to activate universal Gifts can vary based on the spirit you seek it from. Cleaner, simpler, faster, easier to remember.
                              Could have worked, there's a similar system for the Gurahli in CB.

                              Primal Urge isn't particularly Get friendly, just more Get friendly than Science
                              Well... wolves will have it naturally high (walkers almost don't have that breed) and the GoF are followers of the Great Wolf, therefore inclined to emulate him; won't say it's primary but I'm fully expecting the average GoF to have Primal Urge at 3. Glass Walkers are less in touch with their inner wolf, less used to live in the wilds and more focused on skills and knowledges rather than talents, I'd say it's pretty common for them to have low (zero-two) PU values.

                              I mean, if I had to pick the most noncombat GoF-friendly ability I'd pick either Alertness or Primal-Urge but of course had they rolled Troll Skin on Athletics that would have been even friendlier. Still, since PU is used for shapeshifting I'd also say it's not the wrong stat to roll for a skin-hardening technique (and a similar argument might apply about Science for understanding chemical transformations)-

                              Add Wyrm hide as well, only that in W20 they used th 1st edition version.
                              Wyrm Hide has a little bit more reason to be, though: gaian garous can learn each other's gifts but BSDs can't pick from tribal lists. RAW there's only a very short list of (modified) Tribal gifts availlable to them from corrupt spirits, plus the Shadow Lords' ones for the followers of a specific totem.

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