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W20 Enhancing the Pack / Optimal initial char gen pack.

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  • W20 Enhancing the Pack / Optimal initial char gen pack.

    Greetings,

    Reviewing the list of Gifts/Rites/Backgrounds/Merits in Apocalypse, no many of them actually enhance the pack capabilities:
    • Pack tactics: Pack Tactics.
    • Battlefield control: Jam Weapon, Calm, Dazzle.
    • Post-battle care: Mothers Touch, Grandmothers Touch, Calm the Savage Beast, Lovers Touch.
    • Pack support: Pledge of the Battle Mate, Rite of the Loyal Pack, Natural Leader, Supporter.
    • Resources (preferably at 5 to buy stuff for the Pack), Totem.
    • Have a dedicated Fetish-crafter / Ritemaster.
    The more team-focused tribe is the Children of Gaia, with most of the support gifts, some of the best combat gifts (Jam Weapon, Resist Pain, Calm, Luna’s Armor, Dazzle), plus a creed that encourages cooperation.

    What is the optimal minimal starter pack? Something to face all challenges. I was thinking of these guys:

    Code:
    Breed: Metis
    Auspice: Ahroun
    Tribe: Children of Gaia
    Nature: Competitor
    Demeanor: Soldier
    Rank: 1
    Physical: Strength 5 (7/9/8/6) (Claws), Dexterity 5 (5/6/7/7) (Close Quarters Combat), Stamina 2 (4/5/5/4)
    Social: Charisma 4 (Imposing), Manipulation 1 (0/0/0/0), Appearance 1 (0/0/1/1)
    Mental: Perception 2, Intelligence 1, Wits 5 (Quick Thinking)
    Talents: Alertness 3, Athletics 3, Brawl 3, Intimidation 1, Primal-Urge 3
    Skills: Etiquette 1, Stealth 3, Survival 1
    Knowledges: Academics 1, Enigmas 3, Investigation 1, Law 1, Medicine 1, Occult 1, Rituals 1
    Backgrounds: Fetish 4 (Hunter’s Talons, Mirrorshades), Totem 2 (Hummingbird)
    Rage: 5
    Gnosis: 4
    Willpower: 10
    Glory: 2
    Honor: 1
    Wisdom: 0
    Metis deformity: Eyes of Darkness, Tough Hide
    Gifts: (1) Jam Weapon, Primal Anger, Razor Claws; (2) Spirit of the Fray
    Rites: None
    Merits: Concentration, Silver Tolerance, Untamable
    Flaws: Double Jeopardy, Foul Temper, Vengeful (Vampires)
    
    Breed: Homid
    Auspice: Ragabash
    Tribe: Glass Walkers
    Nature: Loner
    Demeanor: Perfectionist
    Rank: 1
    Physical: Strength 1 (3/5/4/2), Dexterity 5 (5/6/7/7) (Shooting), Stamina 2 (4/5/5/4)
    Social: Charisma 1, Manipulation 5 (3/0/0/0), Appearance 2 (1/0/2/2)
    Mental: Perception 1, Intelligence 4, Wits 5
    Talents: Alertness 1, Athletics 3, Primal-Urge 1
    Skills: Craft 3, Firearms 3, Stealth 3
    Knowledges: Academics 1, Computer 3, Investigation 3, Science 3, Technology 3
    Backgrounds: Resources 5, Totem 2 (Hummingbird)
    Rage: 1
    Gnosis: 6
    Willpower: 10
    Glory: 3
    Honor: 0
    Wisdom: 0
    Gifts: (1) Apecraft’s Blessings, Blur of the Milky Eye, Control Simple Machine
    Merits: Computer Aptitude, Concentration, Mechanical Aptitude
    Flaws: Enemy 5 (Vampire Elder), Vengeful (Vampires)
    
    Breed: Metis
    Auspice: Philodox
    Tribe: Uktena
    Nature: Judge
    Demeanor: Alpha
    Rank: 1
    Physical: Strength 1 (3/5/4/2), Dexterity 5 (5/6/7/7) (Dodging), Stamina 2 (4/5/5/4)
    Social: Charisma 5, Manipulation 1 (0/0/0/0), Appearance 2 (1/0/2/2)
    Mental: Perception 4, Intelligence 1, Wits 5 (Meditation)
    Talents: Alertness 3, Athletics 3, Primal-Urge 3
    Skills: Craft 3, Stealth 1, Survival 1
    Knowledges: Academics 3, Enigmas 3, Occult 3, Rituals 4, Technology 1
    Backgrounds: Rites 4, Totem 1 (Hummingbird)
    Rage: 3
    Gnosis: 10
    Willpower: 10 (Using a Medicine Bag talisman)
    Glory: 0
    Honor: 3
    Wisdom: 0
    Metis deformity: Nervous Transformation
    Gifts: (1) Scent of the True Form, Sense Wyrm, Spirit Speech
    Rites: Rite of Binding, Rite of Contrition, Rite of Talisman Dedication, Rite of the Questing Stone
    Flaws: Enemy 5 (Vampire Elder), Vengeful (Vampires)
    
    Breed: Metis
    Auspice: Philodox
    Tribe: Fianna
    Nature: Director
    Demeanor: Trickster
    Rank: 1
    Physical: Strength 1 (3/5/4/2), Dexterity 5 (5/6/7/7), Stamina 2 (4/5/5/4)
    Social: Charisma 4 (Commanding), Manipulation 1 (0/0/0/0), Appearance 5 (4/0/5/5) (Animal Magnetism)
    Mental: Perception 1, Intelligence 2, Wits 5
    Talents: Athletics 1, Empathy 3, Leadership 3, Streetwise 3, Subterfuge 3
    Skills: Drive 1, Etiquette 3, Firearms 1
    Knowledges: Academics 3, Investigation 3, Law 1, Occult 1, Technology 1
    Backgrounds: Allies 5, Contacts 5, Totem 1 (Hummingbird)
    Rage: 3
    Gnosis: 4
    Willpower: 10
    Glory: 0
    Honor: 3
    Wisdom: 0
    Metis deformity: Nervous Transformation
    Gifts: (1) Persuasion, Sense Wyrm, Two Tongues
    Rites: None
    Merits: Animal Magnetism, Natural Leader, Pitiable, Supporter
    Flaws: Enemy 5 (Vampire Elder), Vengeful (Vampires)
    The pack has absurd damage in melee, ranged damage, healing, detection abilities, crowd control, material and spiritual resources, social power, a common enemy (vampires), and good teamwork.
    Last edited by lbeaumanior; 04-01-2021, 11:04 PM.

  • #2
    Perhaps optimal also should include the setting itself, if so Uktena + Wendigo + Hummingbird totem make a very fitting team, specially when using non-fetish talismans and sept totems:

    Code:
    Breed: Metis
    Auspice: Ahroun
    Tribe: Wendigo
    Nature: Competitor
    Demeanor: Soldier
    Rank: 1
    Physical: Strength 5 (7/9/8/6) (Claws), Dexterity 5 (5/6/7/7) (Close Quarters Combat), Stamina 2 (4/5/5/4)
    Social: Charisma 4 (Imposing), Manipulation 1 (0/0/0/0), Appearance 1 (0/0/1/1)
    Mental: Perception 2, Intelligence 1, Wits 5 (Quick Thinking)
    Talents: Alertness 3, Athletics 3, Brawl 4 (Claws), Intimidation 1, Primal-Urge 3
    Skills: Etiquette 1, Stealth 3, Survival 1
    Knowledges: Academics 1, Enigmas 1, Investigation 1, Law 1, Medicine 1, Occult 1, Rituals 3
    Backgrounds: Rites 4, Totem 2 (Hummingbird)
    Rage: 5
    Gnosis: 3
    Willpower: 10
    Glory: 2
    Honor: 1
    Wisdom: 0
    Metis deformity: Eyes of Darkness, Tough Hide
    Gifts: (1) Primal Anger, Razor Claws, Resist Pain; (2) Spirit of the Fray
    Rites: Rite of Contrition, Rite of the Fetish
    Merits: Silver Tolerance, Untamable
    Flaws: Double Jeopardy, Foul Temper, Vengeful (Vampires)
    
    Breed: Metis
    Auspice: Theurge
    Tribe: Uktena
    Nature: Director
    Demeanor: Scientist
    Rank: 1
    Physical: Strength 1 (3/5/4/2), Dexterity 5 (5/6/7/7) (Dodging), Stamina 2 (4/5/5/4)
    Social: Charisma 1, Manipulation 2 (0/0/0/0), Appearance 5 (4/0/5/5) (Animal Magnetism)
    Mental: Perception 1, Intelligence 4 (Learning), Wits 5 (Meditation)
    Talents: Alertness 3, Athletics 1, Empathy 3, Subterfuge 3, Primal-Urge 3
    Skills: Craft 1, Stealth 1, Survival 3
    Knowledges: Enigmas 3, Occult 3, Rituals 3
    Backgrounds: Rites 3, Totem 4 (Hummingbird)
    Rage: 2
    Gnosis: 10
    Willpower: 10 (Using a Medicine Bag talisman)
    Glory: 0
    Honor: 0
    Wisdom: 3
    Metis deformity: Nervous Transformation
    Gifts: (1) Sense Magic, Sense Wyrm, Spirit Speech
    Rites: Rite of Binding, Rite of Talisman Dedication, Rite of the Questing Stone
    Flaws: Enemy 5 (Vampire Elder), Vengeful (Vampires)
    More limited that the previous option, but the pack still has a heavy hitter in CQC, capability to make fetishes fast, strong detection abilities, an objective (vampire destruction), and fluff based teamwork.

    For the Sept totem, Polar Bear seem the best although Uktena could be useful (and adequate lore-wise).
    Last edited by lbeaumanior; 04-01-2021, 11:11 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      During my games my friend shoved me that one of the most necessary things are: Sense Wyrm, Sense the True Form and Control Simple Devices. Also Rite of Spirit Binding, Rite of Talisman Dedication, Rite of the Questing Stone and Rite of Contrition. The most powerful character he ever created were Metis Theurge Bone Gnawer with lot of Allies and Contacts and a Ratkin Friend
      Gurahl, who could deal over 100 dices of damage with a single blow (purely theoretical)
      And, in case of pack Ragabash Fianna, Theurge Uktena, Philodox Silver Fang, Gaillard Shadow Lord and Ahroun Fenrir.

      My personal favourite examples of overpowered characters were:
      Homid Ragabash Stargazer, with Kailindo and telepathy after a visit in Flux realm
      Metis Theurge Uktena who was also a sorcerer
      Homid Theurge Fianna with a drop of Fae blood
      Lupus Philodox Silver Fangs with ties to Siberakh
      Homid Gaillard Shadow Lord who was the last one of Danislavs
      Homid Gaillard Silent Strider with a drop of Gypsy blood
      Homid Ahroun Wendigo with Spirit Parent.

      I also like my 2 characters which I was running during the Prelude:

      Homid (Tribe and Auspice were irrelevant). The most interesting fact was that he was raised by Kinfolks who taught him Rite of Contrition, Gathering of the Departed and some minor Rites masked as human prayers (you could sad some more that way according to the tribe of the Kinfolks)
      And Lupus Gaillard female which is the combination that allow that character to join most of the tribes. There are only two things that should be mentioned: very narrow range of Backgrounds (some are disallowed in certain tribes, of course the ST can decide otherwise) and Pure Breed should be 0 (that allows the character to join Glass Walkers and Bone Gnawers but eliminates Silver Fangs) or at least 3 (contrarywise).

      And the last one, a purely intellectual task: character who can become virtually anyone. Human, Kinfolk, with some Romanian blood (I know, I know, but still it was long time ago, I was younger and fascinated with all the ideas). As a human, he could also become a Sorcerer, Psychic or both. As a Kinfolk he could meet the Skindancers and become Garou. He could be Embraced, became a Wraith (for obvious reasons) or Kuei-Jin (I don't limit them only for Asian people). He could also become a Mage (after the science convention in Chicago in 1988, mentioned in Technomancer Toybox), become a pigment user (if you like Orpheus Group), a host for a Messenger (thus becoming Hunter), or being inhabited by Demon. Theoretically the Sacred Rebirth could be used to become other types of shapeshifters, but I'd rather not allow that (either because the way they breed, like Corax or Ratkin or because they are too few to get 5 skins easily, like Gurahl). I even should have necessary stats for that one somewhere. Not to mention he could also became a ghoul, fomori or be enchanted.


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

      Comment


      • #4
        Nail Eater thanks for the ideas, I had not considered those Gifts and Rites. Updated my posts with them, and got another idea for a minimalist team

        Code:
        Breed: Metis
        Auspice: Ahroun
        Tribe: Children of Gaia
        Nature: Competitor
        Demeanor: Soldier
        Rank: 1
        Physical: Strength 5 (7/9/8/6) (Claws), Dexterity 5 (5/6/7/7) (Close Quarters Combat), Stamina 2 (4/5/5/4)
        Social: Charisma 4 (Imposing), Manipulation 1 (0/0/0/0), Appearance 1 (0/0/1/1)
        Mental: Perception 2, Intelligence 1, Wits 5 (Quick Thinking)
        Talents: Alertness 3, Athletics 3, Brawl 3, Intimidation 1, Primal-Urge 3
        Skills: Etiquette 1, Stealth 3, Survival 1
        Knowledges: Academics 1, Enigmas 3, Investigation 1, Law 1, Medicine 1, Occult 1, Rituals 1
        Backgrounds: Fetish 4 (Hunter’s Talons, Mirrorshades), Totem 4 (Hummingbird)
        Rage: 5
        Gnosis: 3
        Willpower: 10
        Glory: 2
        Honor: 1
        Wisdom: 0
        Metis deformity: Eyes of Darkness, Tough Hide
        Gifts: (1) Jam Weapon, Primal Anger, Razor Claws; (2) Spirit of the Fray
        Rites: None
        Merits: Concentration, Silver Tolerance, Untamable
        Flaws: Double Jeopardy, Foul Temper, Vengeful (Vampires)
        
        Breed: Metis
        Auspice: Philodox
        Tribe: Glass Walkers
        Nature: Judge
        Demeanor: Alpha
        Rank: 1
        Physical: Strength 1 (3/5/4/2), Dexterity 5 (5/6/7/7) (Dodging), Stamina 2 (4/5/5/4)
        Social: Charisma 2, Manipulation 5 (Wise-sounding) (3/0/0/0), Appearance 1 (0/0/1/1)
        Mental: Perception 4, Intelligence 1, Wits 5 (Meditation)
        Talents: Alertness 3, Athletics 3, Primal-Urge 3
        Skills: Craft 3, Stealth 1, Survival 1
        Knowledges: Academics 3, Enigmas 3, Occult 3, Rituals 3, Technology 1
        Backgrounds: Rites 4, Totem 2 (Hummingbird)
        Rage: 3
        Gnosis: 10
        Willpower: 10
        Glory: 0
        Honor: 3
        Wisdom: 0
        Metis deformity: Nervous Transformation
        Gifts: (1) Control Simple Machine, Scent of the True Form, Sense Wyrm
        Rites: Rite of Binding, Rite of Contrition, Rite of Talisman Dedication, Rite of the Questing Stone
        Flaws: Enemy 5 (Vampire Elder), Vengeful (Vampires)
        Last edited by lbeaumanior; 04-02-2021, 01:04 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          lbeaumanior no problemo. Now I got time to look closer on your ideas. I saw you just love Metises. And frequently use the same stats: Strenght 1, Dexterity 5, Stamina 2. As I can agree that, in a fight, that characters can kick arses I also see this characters as generally unplayable. First of all, most Garou despise Metis. They will offend and provoke them. In an average pack, when Metis treated like that reacts with rage, the rest of the pack could stop him before he does anything stupid. You've got 4 characters for that task. In your pack you've got 3 potentially raging characters and only one Glass Walker to stop them. Impossible. And after that they could be easily accused of endangering the Caern. And there will be only one punishment: death. Second, most of the septs will try to eliminate that pack because first they are Metis are weak, and second if they advance in rank they will undermine that claim. So they will get the most dangerous missions and likely die. One fireteam with MP5s with silver bullets will assure that. Of course, if they have Control Simple Machines they could easily eject the magazines from those PMs. And that leaves only one bullet in a chamber. And remember, if your enemy knows your identity and is desperate enough he will hire a sniper who will shoot you down sitting 1 kilometer away. Believe me, you have no chance to spot him. Your only chance: a reflection of the sun on the sight . Because if he shoots your only hope is that the first bullet won't be deadly. Because this shot will hit you, no matter what we all can see in the movies.

          If you want to create a deadly fighter try Lupus Ahroun Stargazer (Rage, Gnosis and Willpower 5) and start with physicals 1/4/5. In Crinos that means Stamina 8 so generally a tank almost unkillable without magic or silver. Add easier partial transformation (to fight in crinos with the head of hispo, additional one die for biting), add huge (extra health level), double jointed (easier dodge) and ambidexterous if you like. As for gifts I would choose Leap of the Kangoroo (to jump back if your enemies surround you), Falling Touch (if you down your enemy he will become easier to kill) and sense Wyrm (obvious). Add Speed of Thought just in case of retreating. And if you add Kailindo you can kick arse.

          Of course if you want to create a truly dangerous character try Gaillard Shadow Lord with high social stats. To show you why: it was one of our experimental games. I told my players to create entire pack (one for each player, with main characters as PC) with only 2 conditions: no one in the pack should aspire to become a leader and that I would prefer no multitribal pack. We wanted to put some politics to the game. So they created Ahroun Silver Fang leading Icefist pack, Godi Get of Fenris, with pack of 2 Fianna and 2 Gets behind his back and Gaillard Shadow Lord, Alpha of Thundercrows pack, Shadow Lords only. There were also a multitribal pack called Children of Auroch, NPCs (in Europe multitribal packs are rare) and backup for the players if they need it. Now the serving: level 2 caern of healing controlled by Gets and Fianna near a city of Łódź (population 700000). Sept Leader is aging and propably will not leave a succesor. Children of Auroch and Wyrm Crushers (Fianna and Fenris) were locals, Fangs and Lords were guests and that goal was to take control over the sept after the death of the Sept Leader (maybe except Aurochs, as I said multitribal packs are treated with suspicion). Knowing that Lord is much more brighter than they are (and the player too) Fang and Get quickly formed an alliance. They were fighting for the sept for a few years until a Strider bring message about gathering of BSD. Before the packs rushed to kill them SL gave a great motivational speech about fighting the Wyrm, duties to Gaia etc. (player roleplayed this speech, about 5 minutes). After that most of sept members were ready to die for him. And than he said: "traditionally our war leaders were Ahrouns. And who will be a better leader than Ahroun Silver Fang?". And then everybody looked at him. SF knew that it's a trap but knew also that if he refuse he will be finished. So he looked at his army (almost 30 garou) and said "let's go". And then SL added that he will stay behind on less glorious but equally important duty helping guarding the caern. And then half of the army said "hooooollllldd" and also stayed behind. SF was a poor tactician and lost the battle. Get instead, knowing the words of Ahroun Get of Fenris William Bloodsong (Book of Auspices) decided that it is more important to survive and fight another day than die in battle. And he came back to the sept with news about defeat. And then SL started to ask if it isn't strange that only Get returned. Finaly Fenris said "enough" and challenged him for a duel. SL chose the terms: who will kill 5 leeches first is a winner. And Get went on a killing spree. And SL patiently waited. When Get returned with 5 heads SL admited that Fenris is a winner but also remind him that there is a pact of non agression between the sept and vampires. And Get broke the truce. Leeches will come looking for revenge so Fenris created a threat for the caern. And there can be only one sentence for that: death. SL, after eliminating competitors for the position of a sept leader, was the only choice after the current leader passed away. The same player, the same Shadow Lord, after falling into a trap, started to provoke leader of BSD so finally the Spiral challenged him for a duel (BSD or not, still a garou). As the challenged one SL chose the terms: if he win he will walk away unmolested. And he won. The same player, different character (Bone Gnawer). He challenged a Silver Fang Ahroun for a duel. They was fighting to the death. First round: Silver Fang activate Silver Claws Bone Gnawers reacts with Scent of a Sweet Honey. Second, third and a few more rounds: Bone Gnawer runs, Silver Fang chases. For each round he gets one point of Rage. After a few rounds he started to scratch himself (honey means insects) with his own Silver Claws. And the Rage (and pride) didn't allow him to think clearly. As you can easily guess Bone Gnawer won.

          As you can see it's not always about how hard you can hit. It's about how creative you are to make the enemy hurt himself.


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

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the critique, but I think you have the rule sets mixed, I stated that I am using W20 in the thread title:

            Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
            I saw you just love Metises. And frequently use the same stats: Strenght 1, Dexterity 5, Stamina 2..
            I favour Metis since they have no restrictions on Abilities or Backgrounds and higher Gnosis than Homids, plus the great Sense Wyrm gift (Primal Anger it is also good). Metis is superb for combat since Garou can shapeshift into their breed form in an instant, and a Metis' Breed Form is 9 foot tall and has spiky bits at the end. They can also regenerate in all forms.

            In WoD combat the ruling stat is Dexterity as it adds to initiative, dodges, blocks and attacks. This is also the reason for picking Hummingbird as the totem.

            Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
            One fireteam with MP5s with silver bullets will assure that. Of course, if they have Control Simple Machines they could easily eject the magazines from those PMs. And that leaves only one bullet in a chamber.
            Versus weapon-wielding enemies (both melee and ranged) there is also Jam Weapon on the Children of Gaia Ahroun.

            Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
            If you want to create a deadly fighter try Lupus Ahroun Stargazer (Rage, Gnosis and Willpower 5) and start with physicals 1/4/5. In Crinos that means Stamina 8 so generally a tank almost unkillable without magic or silver. Add easier partial transformation (to fight in crinos with the head of hispo, additional one die for biting), add huge (extra health level), double jointed (easier dodge) and ambidexterous if you like. As for gifts I would choose Leap of the Kangoroo (to jump back if your enemies surround you), Falling Touch (if you down your enemy he will become easier to kill) and sense Wyrm (obvious). Add Speed of Thought just in case of retreating. And if you add Kailindo you can kick arse.
            Willpower 5 has been clearly stated to be a typo, and to my knowledge Kalindo does not exist in W20 (please correct me if I am wrong).

            Werewolves shine at Brawl (Str 5 + Crinos Claws + Razor Claws + Hunter’s Talons offers at least 24 dice of damage to Wyrm creatures, and 12 versus everyone else, there are no quick tanking dice pools even close to those numbers except on high generation Vampires).

            WoD is a deadly system oriented toward offense (I invite you to do the math on a maximised tanker versus a regular hitter), tanking is a terrible idea compared to attacking quicker/more often/harder than the opponents, and as in real life, you don't win fights by being hit, i.e. being undamageable isn't useful if you can not harm your opponents.

            Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
            As you can see it's not always about how hard you can hit. It's about how creative you are to make the enemy hurt himself.
            Agreed, that's why added a Fianna socially strong. There are many potential improvements, but remember the aim, the minimum starting pack to face all comers efficiently. That's why I like the Uktena + Wendigo duo, or the Glass Walkers + Children of Gaia duo, not perfect but using your gift and rite suggestions, those two minimalist teams cover a lot of ground.
            Last edited by lbeaumanior; 04-05-2021, 11:37 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok, first of all I have to admit that I missed your statement about W20. I don't know that edition well so my knowledge basically comes from 1st, 2nd and revised editions.

              Still

              Metis have a hard life in the Garou society. A pack of Metis will live in hell. And the slightest provocation could lead to their end. As for Metis advantages you're right, but there are also some disadvantages. Ok, they regenerate in all forms, but if I remember well they also are more sensitive to silver than other breeds. As for Backgrounds 1st edition character creation is my favourite, with various Backgrounds AND Background points in different tribes. Where this typo (about WP5) was stated, cause I don't recall it. And I think 5 WP suits perfectly for Stargazers (but only them). I don't know it Kailindo exist in W20.

              I'm not very good at math. But my experience with previous editions showed me that being a tank could be very effective. As for real life I know that you don't win fights by taking hits. But my boxing coach always said that it is better to take ten hits and send one good than send ten but fall after first taken. In boxing you can loose on points by taking hits but still you will win the fight if you can KO your rival.

              As for simple but effective overpowered characters I can recall some of the gifts/merits combo that my friend once made (that guy who played mentioned SL):
              Ragabash Fianna - the luckiest guy on Earth. Negates at least two 1s on every roll and can reroll 3 times per story
              Gaillard Shadow Lord - most charismatic lad on Earth. Most of the times he got about 20 dices for every social roll and max difficulty 4.
              Ahroun Get of Fenris - tank/heavy hunter with silver and Wyrm emanation immunity and untamable.
              Unfortunately I can't recall Philodox (I believe it was a Perfect teacher, creating XPs perpetum mobile) and Theurge.


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

              Comment


              • #8
                Nail Eater thanks for your response, I will try my best to address your points:

                Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
                Ok, first of all I have to admit that I missed your statement about W20. I don't know that edition well so my knowledge basically comes from 1st, 2nd and revised editions.
                Think of W20 as mostly Revised plus.


                Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
                Metis have a hard life in the Garou society. A pack of Metis will live in hell. And the slightest provocation could lead to their end. As for Metis advantages you're right, but there are also some disadvantages. Ok, they regenerate in all forms, but if I remember well they also are more sensitive to silver than other breeds.
                All of this is true. But look at the main selected tribes: Children of Gaia and Glass Walkers, tribes with more Metis acceptance.

                Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
                As for Backgrounds 1st edition character creation is my favourite, with various Backgrounds AND Background points in different tribes. Where this typo (about WP5) was stated, cause I don't recall it. And I think 5 WP suits perfectly for Stargazers (but only them). I don't know it Kailindo exist in W20.
                W20 Stargazers are WP 4, while I can not find the quote for previous editions, it is widely known now.


                Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
                I'm not very good at math.
                Character optimization is not only math, but math is required to have solid arguments when numbers are involved.

                Please check a Binomial Probability Calculator, for calculating the chances of something happening. For example, if you have Dex 5 and Brawl 4, what is the probability of having a single success attacking? As regular difficulty is 6, it means you have 50% chance (you succeed on 6 or more):
                • Probability of success on a single trial: 0.5
                • Number of trials: 9
                • Number of successes: 1
                The last box in the calculator results gives you the chance to have at least the desired number of successes, in this case 99.8% chance of at least 1 success:


                Another example, you have now Dex 5 and Brawl 4 plus Razor Claws, so you succeed on a 5 or higher (6 out of the 10 possible values of a die, or 60%), and you want to know the chances of having 3 successes, then you plug the numbers:
                • Probability of success on a single trial: 0.6
                • Number of trials: 9
                • Number of successes: 3
                And get 97.4% chance for at least 3 hits:




                If you do similar calculations for tanking and damage, you realize that damage VASTLY outperforms tanking, your experience not withstanding, it is a bad, BAD idea to tank in the WoD, the system is heavily biased towards damage, therefore requiring going first and avoiding hits (that's what makes Hummingbird so strong: +2 Dex AND Spirit of the Fray).

                Tanking is viable (Max Stamina, plus dedicated body armor, plus Gifts like Luna's Armor), but it is not optimal, as there are cheaper and faster ways to increase damage than to increase soaking.


                Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
                But my experience with previous editions showed me that being a tank could be very effective. As for real life I know that you don't win fights by taking hits. But my boxing coach always said that it is better to take ten hits and send one good than send ten but fall after first taken. In boxing you can loose on points by taking hits but still you will win the fight if you can KO your rival.
                Your coach is not wrong, but it is better to not get hit in the first place, as the opponent could KO you with his first hit.

                Combat doctrines do not aim to resist damage, they emphasize on avoiding hits (in most scenarios by preemptively attacking), while maximizing damage inflicted without even fighting, if possible.

                You can not survive nuclear blasts, but you can blow-up/buy/force to close/sabotage the base that holds the missiles BEFORE they are launched.

                That was the Cold War in a nutshell: both sides had the power to annihilate the other, but could not do it before retaliation; after a point the USSR and USA were not worried on how to make more bombs, but on how to deliver the existing ones undetected faster.

                Put in boxing terms, I might not survive or even react before being hit by Mike Tyson in his prime, but I can befriend/bribe/shoot/stab him before a match starts.

                Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
                As for simple but effective overpowered characters I can recall some of the gifts/merits combo that my friend once made (that guy who played mentioned SL):
                Ragabash Fianna - the luckiest guy on Earth. Negates at least two 1s on every roll and can reroll 3 times per story
                Gaillard Shadow Lord - most charismatic lad on Earth. Most of the times he got about 20 dices for every social roll and max difficulty 4.
                Ahroun Get of Fenris - tank/heavy hunter with silver and Wyrm emanation immunity and untamable.
                Unfortunately I can't recall Philodox (I believe it was a Perfect teacher, creating XPs perpetum mobile) and Theurge.
                Love your combos, but please share the stats (Backgrounds, Gifts and Rite names) that make this possible for starting characters.

                Counter-intuitively Children of Gaia + Metis + Ahroun might make the best warriors given their starting Willpower/Rage/Gnosis, regeneration, capacity to change into Crinos instantly and Gift list:
                (1) Jam Weapon, Mother’s Touch, Primal Anger, Razor Claws, Resist Pain, Rhythm of War; (2) Burrow, Calm, Lunas Armor, Grandmother’s Touch, Spirit of the Fray, Unicorn’s Arsenal; (3) Combat Healing, Dazzle, Rage of the Underdog, Silver Claws, The Cleaving Hoof, Wind Claws; (4) Stoking Fury’s Furnace, Tenacious Fury; (5) Halo of the Sun, Kiss of Helios; (6) Unstoppable Warrior
                Last edited by lbeaumanior; 04-03-2021, 08:52 PM.

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                • #9
                  I found the reason of your thinking about tanking. I belive that in W20 Razor Claws lowers the difficulty of damage roll by one. In revised the difficulty is 6 and gift add one dice of damage. If I remember well (I don't have corebook right now) in older editions Razor Claws give 2 dices of damage bonus. So you have (for starting characters) max 12 dices of damage (dif 6) vs 8 dices of soaking (dif 6).

                  As for hitting and getting hit of course it's better to give than to get (love that Children of Gaia metaphore). But if I have to choose I'd rather take 10 hits of lower damage than 1 good hit. It gives me more time to retaliate.

                  As for combos they aren't mine. It was the creation of my friend (yes, that guy who played this SL) and I don't have a copy of his ideas. And unfortunately he died almost 14 years ago. I could try "reverse engineering" but it will take time with no guarantee of success.

                  EDIT: And now l started to think how to explain changing the number and effectiveness of gifts and to include that to my storyline. You f€"(÷d my mind.

                  EDIT II: OK, I think that I solved this problem.
                  Last edited by Nail Eater; 04-02-2021, 01:14 PM.


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                  Saint among the sinners
                  Pure among the dirt
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
                    I found the reason of your thinking about tanking. I belive that in W20 Razor Claws lowers the difficulty of damage roll by one. In revised the difficulty is 6 and gift add one dice of damage. If I remember well (I don't have corebook right now) in older editions Razor Claws give 2 dices of damage bonus. So you have (for starting characters) max 12 dices of damage (dif 6) vs 8 dices of soaking (dif 6).
                    In W20, Razor Claws lowers the to-hit difficulty by -1 AND adds 2 dice of damage, but no difference in Damage difficulties. I can do some calculations for optimal brawl, melee, and soak dice pools:


                    BRAWL (to hit)
                    • Dexterity 5.
                    • Brawl 5 (Claws specialty).
                    • +1 Dexterity Crinos Form.
                    • +2 Dexterity Favour of Fenris Fetish.
                    • -1 difficulty Razor Claws.
                    • -2 difficulty Battle Torc Fetish.
                    13 dice at difficulty 3. That is a 99% chance of at least 7 successes, not counting double successes from the specialty.

                    BRAWL (damage)
                    • Strength 5 (Claws specialty).
                    • +4 Strength Crinos Form.
                    • +2 Strength Favour of Fenris Fetish.
                    • + Any to hit spill over bonus.
                    • +1 Claw attack.
                    • +2 Razor Claws.
                    • +1 Fire Claws Fetish.
                    • +2 Soul of Lighting Fetish.
                    • +2 Kiss of Helios.
                    • +2 Halo of the Sun.
                    • + Automatic Strength successes The Cleaving Hoof.
                    • + Doubling Strength Might of Thor.
                    • + Doubling damage dice Coup de Grace.
                    • + Doubling damage dice vs Wyrm creatures with Hunter's Talons.
                    • + Ignore armor (mundane or magical) Wind Claws.
                    • + Cause unsoakable wounds to Fera Silver Claws.
                    Gives you 22 automatic successes, plus at least 20 dice of damage (40 vs Vampires, Fomori and such) that ignores armor, it is unsoakable by Fera, and that is not even counting double successes from the specialty. Of course that would require a lot of preparation and resources (Willpower, Gnosis, Rage, Fetishes).

                    A starting Get of Fenris character can get 16 damage dice per scene, with high chances to hit. It is also possible to have 14 (28 vs Wyrm-Creatures) dice per scene with good chances to hit. Both options can still make multiple attacks per round.


                    MELEE (to hit)
                    • Dexterity 5.
                    • Melee 5 (Dagger specialty).
                    • +1 Dexterity Crinos Form.
                    • +2 Dexterity Favour of Fenris Fetish.
                    • -2 difficulty Battle Torc Fetish.
                    13 dice at difficulty 4. That is a 99% chance of at least 5 successes, not counting double successes from the specialty.

                    MELEE (damage)
                    • Strength 5 (Dagger specialty).
                    • +4 Strength Crinos Form.
                    • +2 Strength Favour of Fenris Fetish.
                    • + Any to hit spill over bonus.
                    • + Doubling Strength Might of Thor.
                    • + Automatic Strength successes The Cleaving Hoof.
                    • + Doubling damage dice Coup de Grace.
                    • + Doubling the number of successes, before soak, Fang Dagger Fetish.
                    This gives about 22 automatic successes and any success is doubled. That would be 44 damage, guaranteed.

                    A starting character could have 9 dice of damage where any success is doubled (Strength 5, a Strength specialty on Daggers, and Fang Dagger).


                    SOAK
                    • Stamina 5 (Soak specialty, even though it is clearly stated as something discouraged).
                    • +3 Crinos Hispo.
                    • +1 Tough Hide Metis disfigurement.
                    • +5 Dedicated Riot Suit.
                    • +2 Body of Scars Fetish.
                    • +1x Activation Success on Troll Skin.
                    • +1x Activation Success on Luna’s Armor.
                    • + Tribe exclusive Fetishes (you should not have other tribe Fetishes, except for Uktena/Wendigo sharing):
                      • Doubling Soak Lion Skin (Black Furies).
                      • +2 Stamina Favour of Fenris (Get of Fenris).
                      • Doubling Soak vs. Spirits Spirit Skin (Get of Fenris/Uktena).
                      • 1x Activation Success Flint Arrow Shirt (Uktena).
                      • +1 Turtle's Necklace (Uktena/Wendigo).
                      • Half your Gnosis Wendigo Shield (Wendigo).
                    Assuming best stats, you get 14 Soak dice baseline in a turn, if you allow all tribe Fetishes (a big no from a role-play standpoint) and assume every roll is a success with while having Max stats, you get at most 116 Soak dice on a single turn, immediately going to 58 dice unless spending actions to activate Lion Skin.

                    A Black Fury starting character could get a maximum of 28 dice for a single turn, this at the cost of not using Rage for extra actions that turn, having a high penalty to Dexterity difficulties from a Riot Suit, doing nearly no damage in melee and/or unable to hit accurately.


                    Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
                    As for hitting and getting hit of course it's better to give than to get (love that Children of Gaia metaphore). But if I have to choose I'd rather take 10 hits of lower damage than 1 good hit. It gives me more time to retaliate.
                    Yes, but the point is that I am trying to make is that, given the deadly mechanics of WoD combat, it is far likelier that you will get hit VERY hard and often anyway, so your combat focus should be to move first (Spirit of the Fray), hit accurately (Max Dex + Max Brawl/Melee + lower difficulties to hit), and hit hard (Max Strength and damage bonuses).


                    Originally posted by Nail Eater View Post
                    As for combos they aren't mine. It was the creation of my friend (yes, that guy who played this SL) and I don't have a copy of his ideas. And unfortunately he died almost 14 years ago. I could try "reverse engineering" but it will take time with no guarantee of success.
                    Got it, thanks for the information, and the effort.
                    Last edited by lbeaumanior; 04-04-2021, 10:14 PM. Reason: Corrected and expanded the calculation.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lbeaumanior View Post

                      In W20, Razor Claws lowers the to-hit difficulty by -1 AND adds 2 dice of damage, but no difference in Damage difficulties.


                      A simple but deadly damage calculation in Melee:
                      • Strength 5.
                      • +4 Strength Crinos Form.
                      • +2 Strength Favour of Fenris Fetish.
                      • + Any to hit spill over bonus.
                      • + Doubling Strength Might of Thor.
                      • + Doubling damage dice Coup de Grace.
                      • + Doubling the number of successes, before soak, Fang Dagger Fetish.
                      This gives about 44 Dice of Damage, and any success is doubled. There is 99% chance of at least 15 successes, so that would be 30 damage, granted.
                      A starting character could have 18 dice of damage easily (Str 5 and Fang Dagger).


                      Just top of my head the potential bonuses you can have to Brawl damage:
                      • Strength 5.
                      • +4 Strength Crinos Form.
                      • +2 Strength Favour of Fenris Fetish.
                      • + Any to hit spill over bonus.
                      • +1 Claw attack.
                      • +2 Razor Claws.
                      • +1 Fire Claws Fetish.
                      • +2 Soul of Lighting Fetish.
                      • + Doubling Strength Might of Thor .
                      • + Doubling damage dice Coup de Grace.
                      • + Doubling damage dice vs Wyrm creatures with Hunter's Talons.
                      Gives you a potential 54 dice of damage (108 vs Vampires, Fomori and such). Of course that is a theoretical max, requiring a lot of preparation, resources (Willpower, Gnosis, Rage, Fetishes).

                      A respectable baseline 17 damage per scene is achievable by a starting Get of Fenris character, with high chances to hit. It is also possible to have, 15 baseline per scene and 30 vs Wyrm-Creatures with the same high chances to hit. Both options can still make multiple attacks per round.






                      To improve Soaking you would need:
                      • Stamina 5.
                      • +3 Crinos Hispo.
                      • +1 Tough Hide Metis disfigurement.
                      • +2 Body of Scar's Fetish.
                      • +5 Dedicated Riot Suit
                      • +1x Activation Success on Luna’s Armor.
                      • + Any single one of these (tribe exclusive Fetishes, you should not have all of them, except for Uktena/Wendigo sharing):
                        • Doubling Soak Lion Skin Fetish (Black Furies).
                        • +2 Stamina Favour of Fenris Fetish (Get of Fenris).
                        • Doubling Soak vs. Spirits Spirit Skin Fetish (Get of Fenris/Uktena).
                        • 1x Activation Success Flint Arrow Shirt Fetish (Uktena).
                        • Half your Gnosis Wendigo Shield Fetish (Wendigo).
                        • +1 Turtle's Necklace (Uktena/Wendigo).
                      Assuming best stats, you get 29 Soak dice baseline in a turn, if you allow all tribe Fetishes (a big no from role-play standpoint) and assume every roll is a success with Max stats, you get at most 98 Soak dice on a single turn, immediately going to 49 dice unless spending actions to activate Lion Skin.

                      A Black Fury starting character could get a maximum of 28 dice for a single turn, this at the cost of not using Rage for extra actions that turn, doing nearly no damage in melee and/or unable to hit accurately.
                      So I don't have to do this "engeneering". Basically you did it yourself, at least for combat oriented characters. If you do the same thing for p. ex. Social rolls you will get my friend's ideas. As for this Black Fury character you forgot that there's also dice splitting option. As it matters not if you get 1 or 10 succeses she could theoretically become almost as effective as this Get and still be a great tank. But I don't know if you would allow playing the characters like that. I certainly wouldn't. Or sooner or later send them for a mission they can't win simply by force. I run a story with a character like that once, based on Rage Across Russia. It was a Get of Fenris character with lot of combat skills and a Grand Klaive which, in addition to normal powers, could return to it's user after p. ex. throwing. He clashed with one of the Zmei prematurely and throw his sword into it. The dragon was seriously wounded and retaliate with a roar. Anyone within the range of this roar is affected by some form of bad luck (ST choice) unless making a saving throw for Empathy. Fenrir had 0 Empathy (cause what for), he failed this throw and lost his weapon (the dragon flew away with Klaive in his belly).
                      Last edited by Nail Eater; 04-02-2021, 03:42 PM.


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

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