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W20 Flaws (limits and recommendations)

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  • W20 Flaws (limits and recommendations)

    For M20 the sourcebook Book of Secrets mentions the possibility of raising the limit on flaws from 7 to 13; is there any equivalent limit change for W20?

    And what are the recommendations to deal with merits/flaws cancelling each other? Or flaws that are complementary? Like having a Metis with Tough Hide (Appearance frozen at 1) and taking the Monstrous flaw (Appearance frozen at 0).
    Last edited by lbeaumanior; 02-20-2021, 07:25 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by lbeaumanior View Post
    For M20 the sourcebook Book of Secrets mentions the possibility of raising the limit on flaws from 7 to 13; is there any equivalent limit change for W20?

    And what are the recommendations to deal with merits/flaws cancelling each other? Or flaws that are complementary? Like having a Metis with Tough Hide (Appearance frozen at 1) and taking the Monstrous flaw (Appearance frozen at 0).
    First of all, you are the storyteller. If you like the idea the character having flaws for 50 freebies that's your prerogative.. Of the second question I wouldn't reccomend it. It's obviously a way to get some freebies for free. I would allow both merits only if you get points for one of them (propably the one who gives you more points, to be fair). On the other hand still you are the ST.


    Warrior of the Rainbow
    Saint among the sinners
    Pure among the dirt
    Loser among winners

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    • #3
      The cap of 7 on Flaws is a recommendation by the game. While W20 doesn't offer any alternatives, nothing stops you from setting the number where you want.

      By "cancelling each other" do you mean in effect or cost?

      And the only controls over overlapping Flaws/other mechanics is the ST. A lot of Flaws will say you can't take them if you have some other trait, but all Flaws are meant to be subject to ST approval as many simply aren't appropriate to every game.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
        By "cancelling each other" do you mean in effect or cost?
        Effect, since cost it is expected.

        I was thinking of Monstrous vs Tough Hide, because those are the ones that pop in my mind, but besides ST fiat (which I am aware is above all rules), I was looking for a more concrete rule describing redundancy of flaws.
        Last edited by lbeaumanior; 02-20-2021, 10:18 PM.

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        • #5
          If someone's taking a Merit and a Flaw that directly negate each other, what's the point? Just nope to that.

          And there's very little concrete rules on these things, because they're considered optional rules in the first place.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lbeaumanior View Post

            I was thinking of Monstrous vs Tough Hide, because those are the ones that pop in my mind, but besides ST fiat (which I am aware is above all rules), I was looking for a more concrete rule describing redundancy of flaws.
            The only one which IMHO applies is the Golden Rule


            Warrior of the Rainbow
            Saint among the sinners
            Pure among the dirt
            Loser among winners

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            • #7
              i've always read it as

              -You can take 7 points from flaws, you can take as many flaws as you like, but you're only getting 7 points for them max.

              So feel free to make an armless, legless, shapeless, blind ugly-thing cursed directly by God.


              Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
              There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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              • #8
                Letting players take more Flaws than 7 points worth, even if they only get 7 points, isn't really how it's written, but it's a pretty decent house rule with some of the bigger Flaws out there. I wouldn't advise letting a player go overboard with it though.

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                • #9
                  On the other hand, some disabilities that are not at all life-destroying cannot be depicted with only 7 pts worth of flaws. So making that a hard limit either punishes character concepts with realistic disabilities, or flat-out bans them. "Your character who is like you can't exist/can't be a hero in our game" is a horrible message to send to disabled people. It pissed me off when Exalted said that the gods never choose disabled people because cripples are worthless, and it doesn't make me happy that something similar is enforced in Werewolf. I'm talking about things like realistic PTSD, not a werewolf with no limbs. Just trying to stat out myself, I need 9 points of flaws to accurately depict my disability.

                  The alternative message ("You can't play a character who is similar to yourself who you can identify with, because you only want to do it to min/max more points/get attention/ruin the game with your shitty worthless PC.") is an equally horrible thing to tell disabled players.

                  But you shouldn't let players take two flaws that do almost the same thing, and get points for both. If your mule has Tough Hide, and also takes Monstrous, I might allow the PC to gain 1 point from Monstrous because it reduces Appearance from 1 to 0. I would not let them get the full 3 pts there.
                  Last edited by Erinys; 02-24-2021, 06:46 PM.


                  She/Her. I am very literal-minded and write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                  My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
                  Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
                    First of all, you are the storyteller.
                    On the other hand it is a good idea to ask others for their experience in such matters....

                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    Letting players take more Flaws than 7 points worth, even if they only get 7 points, isn't really how it's written, but it's a pretty decent house rule with some of the bigger Flaws out there. I wouldn't advise letting a player go overboard with it though.
                    "Is written" is key in this statement. Because it is what "was written".

                    "Player's Guide to Garou" page 158 clearly states that revised Edition players were free to choose Flaws, but should not get more than 7 freebies from them.
                    So, W20 changed this, without giving a reason. My guess is, the section was rewritten and the change was made unintentionally, or at least without broader discussion within the design team.

                    Of course you are right, one should not let players go overboard with choosing Flaws.
                    In our LARP game the rule is as follows:
                    - You may get up to 7 freebies from flaws, but may choose as many flaws as you like.
                    - of those 7, only up to 3 may come from 1pt flaws, additional 1pt flaws don't grant freebies.
                    - of those 7, only up to 4 may come from 2pt flaws, additional 2pt flaws don't grant freebies.

                    Thus, we don't prohibit people selecting ridiculous Intolerances or weak Phobias, if they really wanted to.
                    Strangely, nobody wants to have 7 Intolerances, if they don't add up to Immunity to Wyrm Emanations.
                    Last edited by heinrich; 02-24-2021, 08:15 PM.

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                    • #11
                      What counts as "overboard"? Is giving a PC the same disability I have "overboard"? Is a PC with realistic PTSD "overboard"?

                      Why is there an assumption that if a character has a heavy load of flaws, it is automatically because the player is a min-maxer/attention-wh**re/crappy player?
                      Last edited by Erinys; 02-24-2021, 08:17 PM.


                      She/Her. I am very literal-minded and write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                      My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
                      Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Erinys View Post
                        What counts as "overboard"? Is giving a PC the same disability I have "overboard"? Is a PC with realistic PTSD "overboard"?
                        Well, that depends many factors. In my opinion. Starting with the question, what you and your co-players and the ST are comfortable dealing with in the context of the game - or what you, as a group, are able to compromise on.

                        Then, as the word 'disability' means - unable to do something. If the Flaw(s) would make the way of play the ST and the players expect impossible, it can hinder the joy that the participants are supposed to get from playing.

                        An example: In a game I ST'ed a guest player build a character with an high rage score (which was mathematically possible, additional rage doesn't cost much freebies) and Flaws to lower the difficulty of frenzy checks. The player's character then was repeatedly frustrated and the player asked if he could roll frenzy checks. Most of the time, I got why his character was angered by stuff the other character did or said, so it didn't make sense to say "no" in my mind. But Frenzies, combat, healing and that in every other scene was constantly disrupting the game flow and eating away the game time. Today, 10 years later, I see that that while the character build was completely within what character creation allows, it was still disruptive to the game.

                        Originally posted by Erinys View Post
                        Why is there an assumption that if a character has a heavy load of flaws, it is automatically because the player is a min-maxer/attention-wh**re/crappy player?
                        Because, as the rulebook says (Player's Guide to Garou page 18):
                        Some Storytellers feel that players choose Flaws they believe will not often come into play simply as a means to gain a few more points to max out their characters. Unfortunately, they’re often right.

                        For me, personally, the assumption is based on experience. Rarely I have met a player who wanted a lot of flaws (or Battles Scars for that matter) because he wanted to play a "fucked up" character. Meaning the player wanted to portray the physical, emotional and mental decline of the character within only a handful of game sessions.

                        If you have a combination of flaws or need to come up with your own, talk them through with your ST and possibly the other players and find a solution everyone agrees on. It wouldn't be much fun if you build a character and put much thought into and the other players realise after two or three games that the character shifts the game in a way they don't want to play.
                        Last edited by heinrich; 02-24-2021, 08:51 PM.

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                        • #13
                          I agree that all players need to discuss their characters with the ST and each other to make them compatible as a group and with the game. Of course, this is not remotely unique to disabled characters. There are endless ways to make PCs who aren't compatible without ever touching a single flaw, and endless ways to take a pack of compatible pregens and turn them into PVP freaks who kill and sabotage their own packmates for "XP".

                          However, the word "disabled" is very misleading. A real-life human with a disability is not a worthless sack of meat incapable of doing anything whatsoever, nor do we lack for compensating advantages that non-disabled people generally can't comprehend (and thus, dismiss as nonexistent). We are absolutely not in some pre-ordained "physical, emotional and mental decline" in which we are more and more worthless and subhuman with every passing year, and I can't imagine where you even got such a twisted BS notion. Your understanding of what disability is actually like is drastically out of touch with the reality and you come across as quite contemptuous and prejudiced. Please, stop describing disabled people as "fucked up" and worthless. Do you realize that you're talking to a disabled human being and calling me these names? If you won't address other human beings with a minimum of respect and decency, maybe you shouldn't comment on this topic.

                          If the flaws give back freebie points, which are used to develop another aspect of the character, there's nothing inherently unbalanced about the fact the character is disabled. Denying them freebie points, forcing them to play an unbalanced PC far below the power level of the other PCs, is the surest way to make that character a useless drag in the game. And to rob the player of all enjoyment. I've been that player (tricked, actually, into playing the pregen with all dumpstats and no useful abilities) and it is truly awful.

                          The question is whether the nature of their particular disability interferes with the intended game play. A quadriplegic lawyer or mage is a lot more functional than a quadriplegic werewolf or wereraven. A Garou who frenzies constantly is going to be a problem unless it's hack-and-slash. A Garou with PTSD or a missing limb is not a disruption if the ST and player are both competent and honest.
                          Last edited by Erinys; 02-24-2021, 09:29 PM.


                          She/Her. I am very literal-minded and write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                          My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
                          Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Erinys View Post
                            Please, stop describing disabled people as "fucked up" and worthless. Do you realize that you're talking to a disabled human being and calling me these names?
                            I took away from you post above that you have some disability. But please, don't think that I am talking about you, or any person with a disability regardless of severity, when I describe what play experience a player in the LARP chronicle I run sought.

                            Originally posted by Erinys View Post
                            If the flaws give back freebie points, which are used to develop another aspect of the character, there's nothing inherently unbalanced about the fact the character is disabled. Denying them freebie points, forcing them to play an unbalanced PC far below the power level of the other PCs, is the surest way to make that character a useless drag in the game.
                            True. And I get that you, honestly, want to fit into the rules a real life disability. So, first of all, I suspect the system isn't really build for that. Especially, when it comes to synergies. A character can cope with being deaf, for example, but being also blind would probably be a combination of flaws that should grant more freebies than linear addition.

                            I don't know why there is the 7pt Flaw limit in place. I mean, if there was a mathematical reason, why it is 7pt and not 10pt or 5pt. If your troupe deems a character with 10pt. still playable and is comfortable with this in the game, then there really isn't a reason not to do it.

                            I think the Player's Guide to Garou's subtext is, that the 7pt. limit is to prevent abuse, and this wouldn't be the case if you build a character to fit real world disabilities into the game mechanics.
                            On the other hand, the limit might also be to enforce a other aspect of the game. Occasionally the books tell us, Merits/Flaws are meant to make a character a well rounded, they are not meant to be the primary defining characteristics of a character. This design guideline might have been a factor in limiting the Flaws, and therefore the Merits.

                            Originally posted by Erinys View Post
                            And to rob the player of all enjoyment. I've been that player (tricked, actually, into playing the pregen with all dumpstats and no useful abilities) and it is truly awful.
                            I'm sorry you experienced this.

                            Originally posted by Erinys View Post
                            The question is whether the nature of their particular disability interferes with the intended game play. A quadriplegic lawyer or mage is a lot more functional than a quadriplegic werewolf or wereraven. A Garou who frenzies constantly is going to be a problem unless it's hack-and-slash. A Garou with PTSD or a missing limb is not a disruption if the ST and player are both competent and honest.
                            True. Although I can imagine, as an ST one would have to have at least some theoretical knowledge on PTSD to do the situation justice.
                            Last edited by heinrich; 02-24-2021, 10:00 PM.

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