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  • #31
    Well, either they want to find out, that stuff like that happens or they should not have aimed to have a normal human life.

    If you don't want you character to go mad, don't play Cthullu. If you don't want to be a mutant, communist member of a secret society, then don't play Paranoia.

    If you want a play a character who has a second life with spouse and kids, well, possibly you can make it work in Shadowrun.


    I mean, ST and troupe can decide to just rid their game of the Curse, sure, but it ain't WtA anymore. WtA adjacent maybe...
    And that is my point. I see the rule as a means to level out the impact of the Curse in the came. A guideline for the ST to run the Curse element, as intended.

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    • #32
      I think it's an all or nothing issue. Imagine if VTM said that some Vampires of lower humanity can be harmed by sunlight. No specified amount, just that they can do, and then some references to a Humanity 1 Vampire dying on a cloudy day with limited sun. In that case people would be confused, reasonably, on the matter of to what degree Vampires are night-people in this setting or game. It feels like if Rage and The Curse were presented 100% matter of fact, this is how it works, GM can use their caveat if they feel like it but here's how it works by default with no major grey areas, then it would be clearer.

      As it stands a WTA player can imagine a Garou having a regular wife and kids, because the books are leaving enough ambiguity there. Meanwhile a VTM player can't imagine their Vampire wandering around with a day job, they know the limitations and what's going on, with defined exceptions.

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      • #33
        Sure, the Curse and it's effects are for the most part pretty vague. Sure, there is a list on how much percent of the population has what level of willpower (but no indication, if youths have lower willpower on average or if there are other tendencies at work). Then if the Rage of a character is higher, some Curse effect is triggered. That can range from some level or fear to absolute panic. The level of awareness a person needs to have about the presence of the garou is not defined, neither the range of the Curse.
        Shouldn't any infant have a Willpower so low, that the Curse is triggered every scene? If so, wouldn't each baby born to a Garou die of panic? I mean, sure, the Curse is lower in Kinfolk, but not absent, right?
        Even as a toddler or at elementary school age a kid might not be able to have a relationship with a garou, unless it's a ragabash?


        Besides of this, there are scenes of garou entering a bar or walking down sideways in NYC on a busy day. Why don't the humans flee in panic, jump in a comedic way out of the closed bar window? Such an action is very well within the scope of what the Curse allows. But it isn't something the works well for a story. Dealing with people who draw attention because they act in uncharacteristic ways due to the Curse just don't bring that much of a benefit to the story, they even derail stories... That, imo, is the reason, why the Curse is often ignored. Because this approach is hard to enforce as an ST, hinders the plot, is opening any scene involving humans to situations that border on slapstick comedy actions and that is just not fitting for the WoD and WtA plots for the most part.

        Therefore, I'd shift the focus of Curse related events from short term to long term as a matter of principle...

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        • #34
          I had a far longer answer to those before, then my computer went down and I lost everything, since this forum doesn't save drafts. I'll get to it again now, probably shorter.

          Originally posted by heinrich View Post
          Well, in regards to
          1 - Yet the game doesn't give a Get character an extra Allies dot as a starting point. Instead it gives you advice on how to build a proper member of the tribe, advice you can follow or not, since there are always exceptions. Stargazers with more WP make sense, but giving the advice to invest more Freebies in WP covers this.

          2 - Also they might not. A starting point at +1 WP doesn't indicate possibilities, it states universal facts. So no Stargazer can have less than 4 WP even if their upbringing was completely cut off from the Garou, much less the Tribe, and they ended up in the Tribe mostly because of family ties. This is a valid starting character by the lore, regardless of frequency in the tribe, but can't be created with WP 3.

          3 - But the game mechanics do not prohibit it. You can and should freely spend that 1 measly Freebie in raising WP to 4. The problem exists precisely because this WP has direct mechanical benefits that other tribes simply don't have, and to achieve a goal that can be easily achieved through the normal means.

          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
          I would alternatively argue that higher Willpower Cubs are draw to/capable of enduring the stresses of initiation into Tribes in a fashion the statistically skews the average WP of Cliaths higher.
          The question isn't if education, culture or other aspects of the tribes have a statistical impact, it is if this impact should be translated in a universal rule for the whole tribe, and then if this rule should be the RAW we have.

          Especially because in-character it isn't a matter of appeal, tribes aren't clubs. Even for those more open a majority of members are there because they're either related by blood or were found by the tribe. Circumstances, more than choice, define a Garou's tribe in the setting.

          On the same vein, while not easy, the test for Cliath isn't meant to be an extreme high bar for entry. It is a tribal initiation, not a test for entry in Harvard, you can't rule out a number of not-so-pristine cubs being able to get there. And the CoG seems particularly prone to be easy to accept new Cliaths as they're written, although I think they should instead have roles for rejected cubs and Ronin to fulfill in the Caern, like kinfolk do, and have a higher bar for entry.

          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
          This approach is good enough for both VtM (the minimum WP rating requirement to join a Path is explained as needing that much mental fortitude to make it through the process and dedicate to an inhuman mindset), and Mage, where the default base WP is rather high by WoD standards due to the mindset necessary for mages to do magic based in Willworking at a competent enough level to be released from their apprenticeships.
          Tribes aren't Paths, they're the basic social structure of the Garou instead of exclusive and dedicated religions/philosophies. While they have those things, they don't expect universal adherence in the same sense.

          Mages have the same starting WP regardless of background, it's the same across Traditions, Conventions, Crafts and for Orphans, so it clearly isn't a matter of education. It seems instead to be a result of the Awakening itself, either a requirement for it or a result of it after the fact. One way or another, it doesn't differentiates Traditions by starting WP.

          But again, I'm not against the idea that education may affect WP, it may well be the justification for the WP rating of a character. I'm against the idea that this relationship is predictable enough to afford a higher starting point for some tribes and not others.

          And here the game is pretty much the opposite on other lines. Vampire has starting WP based on another, completely personal, trait. Mage has the same starting point for everyone. Changeling derives it from a Z-Splat that denotes your "emotional age", not your upbringing.

          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
          This is something that I would argue against a lot. Default PCs are Cliaths, not Cubs.
          It certainly should be like that, but it isn't, not universally. The game always had a number of characters whose time between First Change and becoming Cliath was relatively short and seemingly had little impact on them (outside the whole finding out you're a werewolf thing, of course).

          Those characters aren't rare and the concept is readily available for PCs. While they shouldn't be a majority, they are definitely there in numbers. So the game as stands must have rules that cover this perspective.

          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
          I think there's a difference between defending having variations between the Tribes, and defending the specific implementation in the RAW.
          My argument was primarily against RAW, so I say that I would make everyone equal on initial WP in contrast to RAW, not necessarily against other suggested rule. It seems a simpler solution and good enough for me for now.

          That said, I don't think that making everyone equal in WP is boring. They are a lot better differentiated by everything else on them and no other Splat needs starting WP to differentiate culture-related Z-Splats. Starting WP isn't a strong identity factor across the tribes, it is just a curio of four tribes, and only a number that can be acquired with Freebies anyway. I don't think I ever even had a player that started the game with just 4 WP.

          As a rule of thumb, my current design philosophy is to skew numerical differences as distinctions between Splats whenever possible. I prefer to have non-numerical factors, like the Gift lists already do, for example. If they have to be applied, I prefer to be sure that they are as equally distributed as possible.

          Following the example above, the same Freebie to buy the extra WP could be given to the Get as a free Allies dot representing their close ties to the tribes' extended families, and so on until every tribe has a benefit equivalent to a Freebie. That would be a better way to convey their distinctions and justify four of them having higher starting WP.

          But as it is now, it is just a legacy rule. Those tribes have more WP just because the authors were testing new ways to define starting WP in place of the unused Virtues, and they never revised the idea.

          Originally posted by heinrich View Post
          Well, either they want to find out, that stuff like that happens or they should not have aimed to have a normal human life.
          That's a rather shitty approach to this.

          While the Curse is a theme of the game, it is also left open for the players to explore and try to deal with. It is something you're expected to deal with, not something to simply block you from action in a certain circumstance as the sun does to Vampires.

          I think that saying to the players that having normal lives is completely impossible for Garou in your games and trying will result in disaster is a completely valid approach. But letting them try to then throw at them scenes where their agency as players is completely taken off to ensure tragedy happens is simply not fun. It isn't screwing with the characters, which is always valid, but screwing with the players, which isn't.

          A player gets invested in the character and the story they're trying to tell with this character. Then you bulldoze this story with BS they have no agency over just to teach them that the Curse is serious? If you want to have an interesting exploration of the Curse, you must make it be something the players meaningfully interact with and have some agency over how they react and/or prepare to it. They need to know the stakes, their options, reasonable goals, and have a chance at succeeding at those goals. Otherwise you're just bullying them for your own satisfaction.


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          • #35
            Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
            I had a far longer answer to those before, then my computer went down and I lost everything, since this forum doesn't save drafts.
            Happens to he too. It's really annoying.

            Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
            1 - Yet the game doesn't give a Get character an extra Allies dot as a starting point. Instead it gives you advice on how to build a proper member of the tribe, advice you can follow or not, since there are always exceptions. Stargazers with more WP make sense, but giving the advice to invest more Freebies in WP covers this.

            2 - Also they might not. A starting point at +1 WP doesn't indicate possibilities, it states universal facts. So no Stargazer can have less than 4 WP even if their upbringing was completely cut off from the Garou, much less the Tribe, and they ended up in the Tribe mostly because of family ties. This is a valid starting character by the lore, regardless of frequency in the tribe, but can't be created with WP 3.

            3 - But the game mechanics do not prohibit it. You can and should freely spend that 1 measly Freebie in raising WP to 4. The problem exists precisely because this WP has direct mechanical benefits that other tribes simply don't have, and to achieve a goal that can be easily achieved through the normal means.
            All true. And the design ideas for character creation are somewhat lacking in the WoD.
            I mean, compared to, let's say, The Dark Eye. There you get three decisions (species, circumstances you grew up under and job you learned). Each comes with stats you have to get (sometimes with choices), and stats suggested you get during the spending phase of the character creation.
            So, characters are usually equipped with stats to fill their role in the game. However, the game doesn't really create equal characters during creation. Spending points on Intuition and Smarts (not sure, if these are the proper English translations) generates more Experience to spend on the rest of character creation, so characters with higher stats Constitution and Strength lack in this additional points.
            But how effective a given character with the game is, is highly depending on the style of play, so equality on stats really isn't an indicator for balanced characters in this game.

            Still, the idea to have templates for certain situations in the backstory and how they affect the character are a nice approach. The WoD on the other hand encourages to play preludes.

            Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
            The question isn't if education, culture or other aspects of the tribes have a statistical impact, it is if this impact should be translated in a universal rule for the whole tribe, and then if this rule should be the RAW we have.

            Especially because in-character it isn't a matter of appeal, tribes aren't clubs. Even for those more open a majority of members are there because they're either related by blood or were found by the tribe. Circumstances, more than choice, define a Garou's tribe in the setting.

            On the same vein, while not easy, the test for Cliath isn't meant to be an extreme high bar for entry. It is a tribal initiation, not a test for entry in Harvard, you can't rule out a number of not-so-pristine cubs being able to get there. And the CoG seems particularly prone to be easy to accept new Cliaths as they're written, although I think they should instead have roles for rejected cubs and Ronin to fulfill in the Caern, like kinfolk do, and have a higher bar for entry.
            Well, I don't see it quite so.

            I think there is a certain amount of education and expectations to be met for the Rite of Passage. But, sure, there are those who get in who aren't the typical members of the tribal archetype, sure.

            In any case, comparison with Mage or Vampire are IMO not helpful, since the designers were different people with different ideas.
            Mages and Vampires only select one characteristic, Tradition and Clan respectively. These only affect Spheres, for or disciplines. Same with CtD and WtO. Only WtA has Gnosis, Rage and Willpower and three characteristics in Breed, Tribe and Auspice. Once the idea was made, to have the latter affect the starting values of the first, tribes were tied to WP. To give them all the same value, wouldn't make sense, then...

            Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
            That's a rather shitty approach to this.

            [...]

            I think that saying to the players that having normal lives is completely impossible for Garou in your games and trying will result in disaster is a completely valid approach. But letting them try to then throw at them scenes where their agency as players is completely taken off to ensure tragedy happens is simply not fun. It isn't screwing with the characters, which is always valid, but screwing with the players, which isn't.
            But, that is what I'm talking about. You seem to believe I would not inform the players of the game mechanic. But that is not the case. Players obviously should know, that a rule/mechanic exists. But they don't need to know beforehand, that I rolled a less than favourable outcome for their character during my prep for that specific game session.

            If they start to have their character aim at a human life, I will make sure, that NPCs tell the characters that they are headed for trouble. Then, neither the players have any reason to feel like they were lead into a trap by the ST nor can the characters claim they didn't know. I might, if I suspect the players aren't familiar with the Setting or the Curse, additionally explain that mechanics are involved.

            Garou might not be nice people to each other, but the "Family Tragedy" rules aren't just messing with character, but also with the whole pack/sept. Especially if the Veil gets threatened. So, it totally makes sense, for each Elder/Galliard, like I said, to warn any character attempting to have a normal human life. Doesn't mean, that garou won't still try, fall in love, hope they are the exception or what ever. But, like I said, if players let their characters do that, they obviously want to play with that risk.

            Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
            A player gets invested in the character and the story they're trying to tell with this character. Then you bulldoze this story with BS they have no agency over just to teach them that the Curse is serious? If you want to have an interesting exploration of the Curse, you must make it be something the players meaningfully interact with and have some agency over how they react and/or prepare to it. They need to know the stakes, their options, reasonable goals, and have a chance at succeeding at those goals. Otherwise you're just bullying them for your own satisfaction.
            Again, I didn't advocate to dictate any BS that has happened and then move on with a scene two weeks later. I stated, that the roll by the ST should be an indicator when to trigger a scene bringing the character into conflict with the Curse, and how severe it should be.
            Last edited by heinrich; 01-23-2022, 08:53 AM.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by heinrich View Post
              I think there is a certain amount of education and expectations to be met for the Rite of Passage.
              It certainly does. My point is just that the bar for entry isn't high enough to make outliers being rare.

              Keeping with the formal education comparison, it is more like being able to complete High School than being able to enter a prestigious University.

              Your tribe certainly has its own culture, and to pass the Rite you must at least have a thorough familiarity with it. The process does includes education on practices, religion, philosophy, etc.

              But just as in a High School, the demands for comprehension and belief in the party line are limited for practical reasons. So much so that the end result is a starting character with all the particulars we know they can have.

              ​This is specially true for the comparison with Paths Heavy Arms proposed. The requirements for acceptance simply aren't on the same level, regardless of similarities.

              Originally posted by heinrich View Post
              Only WtA has Gnosis, Rage and Willpower and three characteristics in Breed, Tribe and Auspice. Once the idea was made, to have the latter affect the starting values of the first, tribes were tied to WP. To give them all the same value, wouldn't make sense, then...
              That's what I call a legacy mechanic.

              I don't see why it wouldn't make sense, the three numbers should be either balanced or untied from those choices, because those choices already have a more relevant impact in the form of the Gifts you have access to.

              We could have something else creating a distinction between choices, but starting stats is one of the worse choices possible imo.

              Originally posted by heinrich View Post
              But, that is what I'm talking about. You seem to believe I would not inform the players of the game mechanic.
              The post about making the roll in secret gave this impression, but the greater problem isn't that.

              ​As Heavy Arms said the problem is a downtime rule for a game without downtime system. And I'm talking about the rule in question as written, not on using it as a starting point for something different.

              Basically, it's a rule that creates complications without any player input. There's nothing the player can do to try influence the outcome of the roll, the likelihood of complications or they intensity, or anything else. You roll the dice and the player must deal with a mess the character had a role in initiating but the player had none.

              It is not that similar rules can't exist, but they should exist in the context of a sufficiently developed downtime system to address player input and reward adequate compromises instead of only rewarding the single big compromise of not trying at all.

              You can, as the ST, address this with some fiat in between the lines, but that's a substandard solution at best for the mechanic.


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              • #37
                Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                As Heavy Arms said the problem is a downtime rule for a game without downtime system. And I'm talking about the rule in question as written, not on using it as a starting point for something different.

                Basically, it's a rule that creates complications without any player input. There's nothing the player can do to try influence the outcome of the roll, the likelihood of complications or they intensity, or anything else. You roll the dice and the player must deal with a mess the character had a role in initiating but the player had none.

                It is not that similar rules can't exist, but they should exist in the context of a sufficiently developed downtime system to address player input and reward adequate compromises instead of only rewarding the single big compromise of not trying at all.

                You can, as the ST, address this with some fiat in between the lines, but that's a substandard solution at best for the mechanic.
                You are right, in regards that the 2nd Edition really didn't address downtime in more context that this:
                --- page 71 ---
                Downtime: The time spent between scenes when no roleplaying is done and turns are no t used. Actions might be taken, and the Storyteller might give some descriptions, but generally time passes quickly.
                --- Page 66 ---
                Chapter - One independent part of a story, almost always played in one game session. It is made up of a number of scenes connected by periods of downtime.
                Story - A complete tale, with an introduction, buildup and climax, that often takes several chapters to complete.
                --- Page 206 ---
                Time in the story not spent in a scene is called downtime. This can be when characters conduct extensive research, travel, or can simply be a period during which not every moment need be roleplayed. Downtime is a break from the intensity of the scene. Though downtime should not be overused (generally it's relatively boring), you shouldn't avoid it altogether. Use downtime to organize players, direct the story more precisely, and progress the plot more quickly.
                The story can turn into a scene at almost any time. Often it does so quite naturally, without anyone realizing it has happened. For instance, while you and the players discuss how the characters intend to make a journey to Chicago, you may begin to describe what they see along the way. You have gone from downtime to a scene. When you begin roleplaying an old man who walks up to them and asks for change, you have completely immersed them in the scene. By simply roleplaying without warning, you jump-start the players into their roles, instantly beginning a scene.
                And the last entry is, where I think the "Family Tragedy" rule is situated. RAW, it states the ST can trigger the roll "between stories", making it a downtime action, by virtue of the last chapter of one stories leading to the first of the next story, therefore is time between chapters. But, as the Downtime description goes, it is intended, that the ST describes and this leads into a scene organically. Therefore I find the whole "the player is presented with the outcome and can't react and didn't trigger the event by something with a scene and that is not good"-argument a bit lacking. I see, where it comes from, but, if the character really maintains a normal human live, than this is usually a lot of boring stuff. And while the rules stat, downtime is boring and should not be overused, I'd argue playing through family breakfast, job, lunch with co-workers, more job, picking up kid and go to soccer practice, fetch groceries, dinner, bed time story, cuddling with spouse, sleep, repeat is boring, and to do that for one to three characters per day between stories is simply not interesting, although it is roleplay. Checking if something Curse-relatied happen and go on from there therefore makes sense...

                So, it's either Family Tragedy, or not being allowed to maintain human life because it simply is a waste of time to role-play it out, or ignore the Curse in the falimy life completely.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                  Also they might not. A starting point at +1 WP doesn't indicate possibilities, it states universal facts. So no Stargazer can have less than 4 WP even if their upbringing was completely cut off from the Garou, much less the Tribe, and they ended up in the Tribe mostly because of family ties. This is a valid starting character by the lore, regardless of frequency in the tribe, but can't be created with WP 3.
                  They can't be created with WP 2 in any Tribe. Why is that?

                  There comes a point where "abstraction = universal facts" doesn't work in a game design discussion.

                  On the same vein, while not easy, the test for Cliath isn't meant to be an extreme high bar for entry.
                  WP 4 isn't exactly a high bar for entry. The Star Gazers at least are one of the smallest Tribes because of it. The Bone Gnawers and Children of Gaia are two of the largest Tribes, but also two with very high attrition rates because a lot of their Cubs do fail their first initiation or two (Bone Gnawer books even make it clear that the lower WP members of the Tribe exist, but aren't player material because they're the hidden masses of Gnawers that are basically kept around to avoid them being Ronin or lost to the Wyrm, and nobody expects them to do anything but help their local Gnawers survive from day to day).

                  Tribes aren't Paths, they're the basic social structure of the Garou instead of exclusive and dedicated religions/philosophies. While they have those things, they don't expect universal adherence in the same sense.
                  Yes, Tribes are closer to DA Roads than modern night Paths, but the idea that some require a higher mental fortitude to live up to remains a justifiable rationale for differences in starting WP.

                  It seems instead to be a result of the Awakening itself, either a requirement for it or a result of it after the fact.
                  As I pointed out, it isn't a factor of the Awakening itself (as books have published younger mage stats, and they don't have WP 5). Whether formal or informal, WP 5 is the minimum bar for a mage to have enough control over their will to be seen as starting level PC material, and the reflection of that in-setting.

                  I'm against the idea that this relationship is predictable enough to afford a higher starting point for some tribes and not others.
                  Ultimately though, your argument comes down to personal preference, and an attempt to conflate the imbalance of the RAW with the issue of variation in starting WP presented.

                  And here the game is pretty much the opposite on other lines. Vampire has starting WP based on another, completely personal, trait. Mage has the same starting point for everyone. Changeling derives it from a Z-Splat that denotes your "emotional age", not your upbringing.
                  You say this like anything can be considered a "standard" here (sticking to games with hardcover cover books, supplements, and no including different time period cores as different games):

                  Virtue based (3): Vampire the Masquerade, Kindred of the East, Demon the Fallen
                  Splat based (3): Werewolf the Apocalypse, Changeling the Dreaming, Orpheus
                  Flat value (4): Mage the Ascension, Wraith the Oblivion, Mummy the Resurrection, Hunter the Imbued

                  Of the three general approaches to Willpower assignment in the games, this is about as evenly spread as possible. Each style exists in the early games, and the later games. Trying to dilute one approach with CofD inspired axis splats is rather spurious.

                  And since we're talking about 20-30 year old game designs here, of course it's all legacy mechanics. Mage's flat 5 is as much a legacy as WtA's Tribe based assignment.

                  It certainly should be like that, but it isn't, not universally. The game always had a number of characters whose time between First Change and becoming Cliath was relatively short and seemingly had little impact on them (outside the whole finding out you're a werewolf thing, of course).
                  You're using ambiguity extremely unevenly to the point of it feeling bad faith. When ambiguity helps your argument, you point to it as proof. When it hurts your argument, you dismiss it. It's not helpful to debating this out.

                  So the game as stands must have rules that cover this perspective.
                  A flat 3 WP char-gen wouldn't accomplish this either.

                  My argument was primarily against RAW, so I say that I would make everyone equal on initial WP in contrast to RAW, not necessarily against other suggested rule. It seems a simpler solution and good enough for me for now.
                  Fixing WP is the easiest in a vacuum like this, yes, but as all three Advantages suffer the same inconsistency, fixing all three in one go is even better. And it's not exactly hard to come up with simple solutions that address the value part of the equation.

                  That said, I don't think that making everyone equal in WP is boring.
                  I was responding to you saying Gnosis and Willpower, with only Rage as a variable trait at start.

                  A player gets invested in the character and the story they're trying to tell with this character. Then you bulldoze this story with BS they have no agency over just to teach them that the Curse is serious? If you want to have an interesting exploration of the Curse, you must make it be something the players meaningfully interact with and have some agency over how they react and/or prepare to it. They need to know the stakes, their options, reasonable goals, and have a chance at succeeding at those goals. Otherwise you're just bullying them for your own satisfaction.
                  This, unsurprisingly, is exactly why Family Tragedy got axed. It isn't just a rule people argued about. It's a rule the game removed.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                    So, it's either Family Tragedy, or not being allowed to maintain human life because it simply is a waste of time to role-play it out, or ignore the Curse in the falimy life completely.
                    Based on that I think you really didn't got what the problem and possible solutions are.

                    The problem: if I want, as a player, to explore the theme of my character trying to keep a normal life, and you as ST say it'll be through the Family Tragedy RAW, I'll politely decline. This rule means that instead of exploring this theme through my roleplay and decisions, it will work through the dice fucking with me once in a while without any meaningful input from me, so it is the dice playing my character instead of me, and then I'm thrown in random BS scenes to try and fix things. This SUCKS as a gaming experience, so I prefer to never use it.

                    Which means I, as a player, prefer to never explore that theme, live with the frustration of not doing something I want to, and the Curse could just a easily not even exist as a theme because I don't want to deal with it at all. The theme is hurt, my experience is hurt, the rule itself will never be used except by people that don't know what they're getting into.

                    Of course, there will the odd player that actually enjoys this for one reason or another, but statistically they're an almost unheard of minority. In practice for most players the rule only serves to offer you an interesting idea and then shit on it.

                    Now, to the alternative isn't interpreting scene after scene of common, boring stuff to see if something interesting happens, obviously. There are other ways to deal with it. As is now, the game already goes through the rules-light but laborious route of letting the other rules and the fluff inspire players and STs, so a scene revolving around the Curse happens when they feel like it. Surprisingly, this works better, despite also not being an adequate solution.

                    You could have a better rule, for example, adding ways for the player to affect the roll. What strategies do they use to avoid problems? How frequently are they exposed to frustration in their mundane lives? What exits they have for those situations, and how frequently are they really available? Make the player describe in loose terms what are their standard routines and default responses to common situations, and let it affect the number of dice, difficulty and table of outcomes for the roll.

                    Is it a lot of work? Yes, as it is making a rule. But not as hard as it seems after you research other games for inspiration. Once done, though, it just adds a setup that consists precisely in receiving the input from the player, the whole thing lacking in the RAW, which will make the rule more interesting and the theme more engaging. And this is just a very shallow example of how the problem could have been treated without reducing it to just cut the whole thing or use a shitty rule.


                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    They can't be created with WP 2 in any Tribe. Why is that?

                    There comes a point where "abstraction = universal facts" doesn't work in a game design discussion.
                    Both true statements, yet my problem is with what we effectively have here. For all purposes 3 is a baseline and we can't have a legal Werewolf character with less than that, but I'm pointing that there are members of those four tribes within this baseline and they should be playable, as there's no reason to not. Or there should be balance, I already stated that this wouldn't be my preferred approach, yet I would completely accept.

                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    WP 4 isn't exactly a high bar for entry.
                    It definitely is, despite how easy it is from a mechanical standpoint.

                    Or, put another way, it isn't low enough that a character with 3 managing to get lucky with it is completely credible, and shouldn't work so much below standards to not be there as a PC.

                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    Yes, Tribes are closer to DA Roads than modern night Paths, but the idea that some require a higher mental fortitude to live up to remains a justifiable rationale for differences in starting WP.
                    It does, my argument wasn't at any point that it doesn't. I more than once recognized that it works to explain a character with high WP by itself. But it isn't strong enough to demand such a ruling, so while your approach (that I know of and find reasonable, mind you) is a sensible one, using flat starting WP and just suggesting buying WP for those Tribes is just as much.

                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    Whether formal or informal, WP 5 is the minimum bar for a mage to have enough control over their will to be seen as starting level PC material, and the reflection of that in-setting.
                    That is what I said. The starting WP may be a direct cause, or an indirect consequence for the Awakening.

                    And that's the whole point: Mage does not address WP as deriving from education, it regards WP as a universal expectation among established Awakened. It makes no difference if you had thorough studies under Hermetic tutelage or just thinks Star Wars makes so much sense that the Force actually works.

                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    Ultimately though, your argument comes down to personal preference, and an attempt to conflate the imbalance of the RAW with the issue of variation in starting WP presented.
                    Yes to the first, no to the second. Reread what I wrote, I said more than once that my opinion on differing WP is a distinct matter from my opinion on the RAW, and they only converge in the fact that the former would inform my approach to solve the later (or the opposite of that, I always get confused with this "former/later" phrasing).

                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    You say this like anything can be considered a "standard" here (sticking to games with hardcover cover books, supplements, and no including different time period cores as different games):
                    You were the one to imply that the game consistently treated WP as deriving from education, and my point was that Werewolf was the only one that could be described by that, and it is true.

                    Virtue-Based WP derives it from what roughly comes down to personality traits. While your education may undoubtedly influence your Virtues, it is far from a direct equivalence and the game does not make assumptions on this regard, much less turn such assumptions to rules.

                    Orpheus actually follow this exact same principle, no matter the difference in mechanics. Nature and Shade aren't cultural definitions, they're personality traits and personal attitude.

                    Flat value systems make no assumption at all about the source of Willpower, focusing on its role for PCs. Whatever the reason for the characters to have such a rating and if NPCs can have lower ratings, either the vicissitudes of life as that splat guarantee that every PC is at least at that baseline, or it is just a game convention and roll with it.

                    Changeling does something similar to Orpheus, except the Splats used can be more specifically described as "emotional age". Every Changeling is expected to go from Childling to Wilder to Grump, and it affects WP and Glamour (originally also Banality), although once game starts it matters little as the starting point is merely considered a result of living that much (or little) as a Changeling.

                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    And since we're talking about 20-30 year old game designs here, of course it's all legacy mechanics. Mage's flat 5 is as much a legacy as WtA's Tribe based assignment.
                    Never said it wasn't, it's just that the other approaches are less problematic.

                    I dare say that the first three lines influenced the decisions on how to handle WP in later games, but indeed, like most rules in WoD, starting WP is basically legacy because they only dared to finally tinker deeply with the system in V5, which is one of the merits of the edition. Regardless of this entire discussion, Revised should have been a far more thorough revision of rules than it went to be.

                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    You're using ambiguity extremely unevenly to the point of it feeling bad faith. When ambiguity helps your argument, you point to it as proof. When it hurts your argument, you dismiss it. It's not helpful to debating this out.
                    I sincerely didn't understood this, so I'm asking for a more thorough explanation here. It certainly wasn't born out of bad faith.

                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    A flat 3 WP char-gen wouldn't accomplish this either.
                    No, but it would reduce the problem while keeping the character playable.

                    I do have some thoughts about the possibility of reducing it to flat 1 and giving another way to increase it, either more Freebies or a system similar to the Virtue-based one, but I'm worried about how feasible such a character would be.

                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    Fixing WP is the easiest in a vacuum like this, yes, but as all three Advantages suffer the same inconsistency, fixing all three in one go is even better.
                    And you know my approach to Breed in this regard, which you helped me a lot to create despite preferring yours. I did exactly that to Gnosis and my final goal is to fix Rage in the same way. I'd prefer Auspice to affect what you can do with Rage, for example, instead of affecting how much of it you have, even to avoid the current situation where in theory every Werewolf suffers from the Curse and has more seething rage than any human will ever have, yet in practice a Frenzy is impossible under normal circumstances for three out of five Auspices.

                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    I was responding to you saying Gnosis and Willpower, with only Rage as a variable trait at start.
                    My idea to an adequate fix is to give something interesting in substitution to the varying values, like I did for the Breeds in another thread. It is indeed easier to fix Willpower in a vacuum without becoming boring, but here I was discussing WP specifically.


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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                      The problem: if I want, as a player, to explore the theme of my character trying to keep a normal life, and you as ST say it'll be through the Family Tragedy RAW, I'll politely decline. This rule means that instead of exploring this theme through my roleplay and decisions, it will work through the dice fucking with me once in a while without any meaningful input from me, so it is the dice playing my character instead of me, and then I'm thrown in random BS scenes to try and fix things. This SUCKS as a gaming experience, so I prefer to never use it.
                      I see what you mean and have some thoughts about it.

                      For one thing, it comes down to the style of play. I have had games that had lots of role-playing, few rolls, especially in non-combat scenes. Sometimes the ST judged the dice pools to just waive rolls.
                      Then there were games, when there was roleplaying and stating of intention, the ST used this to modify the roll, like difficulty, dice pool or success threshold. Still the dice were determining the outcome.
                      Even other games were basically roll after roll, after roll. Much like d20 combat. The result of the roll determining what to roleplay. And that is a valid approach, too. The dice determine what to play, and you go with it. You have less control over your character, but more circumstances you still have to fill with context, like describing how your character fails an acrobatics roll in a way that does justice to the scene.

                      You say, that you expect a single dice roll fucking with your characters life without input by you, and that you expect that situation to suck. Well, that's life, I could answer.
                      If your pack is in a high speed car chase on a curvy mountain road and the player who's character is in the driver's seat botches on Dex+Drive you also have no input. You could say, it was your input that your character got into the car and I would say, it was your input that your character wanted to have a normal human life on the side.
                      Having to deal with situations that are beyond our scope of control is a normal thing of life.

                      I don't know how much your games are usually dominated by dice rolls. For me it usually goes like this: you state that your character is taking an action and you roll to see if you succeed it. If the action is longterm, it is an extended action and you accumulate successes. The 'Familiy Tragedy' is just the same. The action is "maintaining normal human life", successes don't really accumulate since one is enough for another (vaguely defined) period of time, while failure and botch mean that you failed the action. 'Family Tragedy' isn't a random "roll 2d10" and consult table like situation. It's not a random encounter in a D&D overland travel. Also, it is your character's Willpower versus your character's own Rage (I think Heavy Arms corrected me about that earlier). So, how is this different from a "roll Stamina to soak" or die roll?
                      As I see it, the main difference is how the roll is presented - as a roll to see if your character fails, rather than a roll to see if your character is successful in maintaining the normal human life. So, there is a bad connotation to it.

                      Secondly, I think I read that you would prefer to roleplay any situation that is dangerous to your character's normal human life. I don't feel that would be a good thing for myself. It is quite personal to, for example, have a conversation of a PC with the NPC spouse. Not every ST would be comfortable to play that with any player and it is a hard scene to pull of adequately. It doesn't matter if the topic is the spouse's fear of loosing the PC once the next sept mission against the Wyrm starts or if it is annoyance about leaving used plates in the sink when the dishwasher is a feet away. Both can bring to the surface underlying issues in the relationship. There doesn't need to be a frenzy or death. I mean humans have relationship problems, too. Even without Rage the trust the relationship is based on can erode, or be lost in an instant if an event triggers that.
                      But is that an issue one wants to have in a scene? I would not. There also were only a few STs with whom I would be comfortable to get into such personal play.

                      Doesn't mean that I wouldn't want my character at some point change from funny, quirky youngster to a cynical, seasoned adult who tried to have a shot at happiness and failed (like everyone warned him). There is no need to roleplay the scene that ended it all (or parts of it, like I said, the RAW states "ruin or hinder", not advocating a total loss in any case). ST and Player can very well discuss it on the Downtime-layer of the game (still granting the player input, since it is a dialogue or even something the other players can give input too), without going into the scene in a more direct scene-based-roleplaying-style.
                      Still, the new aspects to the character are something the player brings into the character play.

                      Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                      Which means I, as a player, prefer to never explore that theme, live with the frustration of not doing something I want to, and the Curse could just a easily not even exist as a theme because I don't want to deal with it at all. The theme is hurt, my experience is hurt, the rule itself will never be used except by people that don't know what they're getting into.
                      You could, if you ever create a veteran character, very well deal with the theme as something that happened to the character very much on your terms.
                      The theme of having had a normal human life and lost it still is a valid theme. As I read it, you are mainly opposed to the idea that it happens to your character without your input an not as part of an organically grown scene.
                      In post-God-Machine-Chronicles there is a place on the character sheet for long-term ambitions the player has for the characters. Iirc, "have all friends and family killed" is an example on a long-term ambition a player might have, but a character obviously doesn't. And I see maintaining a normal human life as sort of something like that - asking for this theme in the game.And since the outcome is kind of predetermined and the character has motivation to not let it happen, it makes a bad scene for scene-based-role-playing.

                      Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                      You could have a better rule, for example, adding ways for the player to affect the roll. What strategies do they use to avoid problems? How frequently are they exposed to frustration in their mundane lives? What exits they have for those situations, and how frequently are they really available? Make the player describe in loose terms what are their standard routines and default responses to common situations, and let it affect the number of dice, difficulty and table of outcomes for the roll.
                      Sure, and I expect that to happen. I mean, it would be part of the player maintaining a normal human life to communicate it to the ST and describe it. I mean, how else would the ST know how to adjust the roll, if he feels he should due to circumstances.

                      Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                      Is it a lot of work? Yes, as it is making a rule. But not as hard as it seems after you research other games for inspiration. Once done, though, it just adds a setup that consists precisely in receiving the input from the player, the whole thing lacking in the RAW, which will make the rule more interesting and the theme more engaging. And this is just a very shallow example of how the problem could have been treated without reducing it to just cut the whole thing or use a shitty rule.
                      So, part of the problem is, that the RAW doesn't explicitly state that the roll should be adjusted as deemed appropriate by the ST to match the in-game circumstances more closely?
                      Well, I think that is in the ST's job description (nah... it is with the explanation of difficulty on page 67, and doesn't explicitly state the ST should overrule written difficulties, but I think we can agree on the matter, that it is the ST's purview to modify difficulties to accommodate for conditions in a given situation.)

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                      • #41
                        Okay, I do not believe in 'One size fits all' solutions. However, I can see where Family Tragedy can be used well.

                        Let us say that you have a group of players who REALLY do not want to engage with the garou society beyond the bare minimum. They mostly want to focus on their human jobs and human/kinfolk mates. This might be more of an online game issue, but I've seen this pop-up.

                        In short, they are taking their human lives for granted. They all coast by their low Rage, so they think they cannot frenzy.

                        Cue a warning from the ST about their behaviour. They refuse. The ST rolls and one player loses their human job and has to rely on the sept.

                        While I'm in favour of carrots over sticks, in terms of players like this the stick is needed.



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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                          Both true statements, yet my problem is with what we effectively have here. For all purposes 3 is a baseline and we can't have a legal Werewolf character with less than that, but I'm pointing that there are members of those four tribes within this baseline and they should be playable, as there's no reason to not.
                          If you're confused by why your arguments about this come off as bad faith, this is a great example. "It's wrong to arbitrarily say that a Child of Gaia can't start with Willpower 3, but it's fine to arbitrarily say that a Get of Fenris can't start with Willpower 2," isn't a solid position, and you seem to know that, but your argument largely falls about without it, and similarly flawed ones.

                          It definitely is,....
                          Based on what? You offer no evidence or argumentation to back this up. It is literally the smallest difference allowed in the abstraction of the system: 1 dot.

                          Or, put another way, it isn't low enough that a character with 3 managing to get lucky with it is completely credible, and shouldn't work so much below standards to not be there as a PC.
                          This sentence has no functional meaning when parsed out, and even trying to give it a fair reading comes right back to the "what about a WP 2?" character that you continue to skip over in your desire to treat abstractions as universal truths when it suits you, but to treat abstractions as abstractions when it's more useful.

                          It does, my argument wasn't at any point that it doesn't.
                          You need to completely restate your argument then, because as far I as can tell your argument is explicitly that it isn't.

                          Functionally what is the difference between, "Star Gazers start with WP 4," and, "Star Gazers have to start with WP 4 even if they have to spend freebies to get there," when it comes to valid character concepts? At least in Virtue-based WP assignments like VtM and KotE, there's a meaningful choice for characters that have to start at WP 5 between increasing the Virtue WP comes from, or increasing WP directly, leading to options that could justify not just having a flat 5 WP start.

                          "Suggesting" that they take more WP at start doesn't do anything to demonstrate the character of the Tribe in what a normal PC Cliath looks like stat-wise.

                          The starting WP may be a direct cause, or an indirect consequence for the Awakening.
                          That's stretching the word "indirect" past functional use. A mage can Awaken and never reach WP 5. That mage is just not considered starting level mage material unless you're playing a child mage or apprentice mage game (which is a niche thing within the game). It's not a function of Awakening, it's a function of mage society and what's considering a strong enough mental state to handle magic responsibly. Less than WP 5 mages are seen as too weak willed to handle the strains of mage society and are regulated to socially inferior positions until they "grow up." if they ever do.

                          Mage does not address WP as deriving from education, it regards WP as a universal expectation among established Awakened.
                          It literally does in Initiates of the Arts; though as I argued initially it's a mix of natural aptitude and education, and the mixture tends to drive young mages in different directions. It just points out that not all forms of education take the same paths to get to a given point; esp, self-guided education instead of formal education (aka Orphans vs. Tradition/Craft/Technocracy mages).

                          It makes no difference if you had thorough studies under Hermetic tutelage or just thinks Star Wars makes so much sense that the Force actually works.
                          It makes no difference mechanically, because you either approach require getting to WP as part of the process (not the only part of the process mind you, learning your Spheres is part of your education too). Of course the perennial "SW paradigm" thing is not actually a valid mage character, it's a forum tool to illustrate how such pop-culture mages fail to be so simple as they learn (aka receive education) about the difference between believing you can do something and being able to actually do it; something all mages end up learning pretty early on.

                          Yes to the first, no to the second.
                          And yet, the second is still what you're doing even if you don't mean to. You, essentially, staked the claim that disagreeing with you one whether variable WP assignment (not spending freebies to get variation) at start is good design and should be kept, if fixed, is the same as defending the RAW. I can find no other consistent way to interpret your words.

                          You were the one to imply that the game consistently treated WP as deriving from education, and my point was that Werewolf was the only one that could be described by that, and it is true.
                          Yes, are 100% correct in taking down the 100% fabricated strawman of what I actually said. Congrats.

                          Never said it wasn't, it's just that the other approaches are less problematic.
                          This is bullshit. Either legacy is bad, or it isn't. You used legacy to imply WtA's methods were wrong, and if you accept they're all legacy than they're all wrong; or that legacy was a bad way to justify your complaint.

                          Again, if you're confused by my feelings of bad faith in this topic on your behalf, it's this: "Calling WtA's method legacy is indisputable proof that it is bad, and in fact the worst, but when forced to acknowledge this are all legacy, legacy doesn't prove that they rest are bad and the worst too, because I need to be right."

                          ...because they only dared to finally tinker deeply with the system in V5, which is one of the merits of the edition. Regardless of this entire discussion, Revised should have been a far more thorough revision of rules than it went to be.
                          The V5 mechanics are almost 18 year old legacy mechanics from the CofD. They literally just copied something from the first CofD book back when it was still called The World of Darkness.

                          And the nWoD/CofD were the more thorough revision of the rules that Revised wasn't because bad mechanics were too hard to get rid of without messing with the legacy setting that was already in place.

                          No, but it would reduce the problem while keeping the character playable.
                          The problem isn't actually so bad it stops people from playing the game in the first place.

                          My idea to an adequate fix is to give something interesting in substitution to the varying values, like I did for the Breeds in another thread. It is indeed easier to fix Willpower in a vacuum without becoming boring, but here I was discussing WP specifically.
                          That doesn't change the fact that you posted having everyone start with flat Gnosis and Willpower, and I responded to that. Not, "a completely reworked system." Again, if you want to know why I'm not happy with your content on this? What's wrong with just saying, "yeah, that's a valid reaction, I should have said...." instead of all of this goal post shifting?

                          Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                          For one thing, it comes down to the style of play.
                          I think it's fair to say it has a lot more to do with player psychology as observed over the last 50 years of RPGs. Players, as humans, are emotional actors, not rational actors, and what creates the feelings of agency and control over PCs, vs. what diminishes it, is not solved by appeals like "Family Tragedy and soak rolls are basically the same thing." While that's functionally true, the framing of those rules in the games matters a great deal to player emotive responses.

                          Even other games were basically roll after roll, after roll. Much like d20 combat. The result of the roll determining what to roleplay. And that is a valid approach, too. The dice determine what to play, and you go with it.
                          Even in d20 player decisions on character intentions drive rolling. The dice to play you character for you even if you roll a lot, or the rolls have strong consequences on your character's reactions.

                          Well, that's life, I could answer.
                          And you would rightfully be refuted with, "And this is a game, not life."

                          If your pack is in a high speed car chase on a curvy mountain road and the player who's character is in the driver's seat botches on Dex+Drive you also have no input.
                          Again, you're ignoring the psychological aspect of this. Individual feelings of player agency are increased if all the players have agency, even if it means situations where one player's agency dictates things that would diminish feelings of agency if the GM had done it. Players view the group as a unit, and a botch by a player's roll is filtered through human social constructs, not just the logical thinking that these two situations should be functionally equivalent.

                          The 'Familiy Tragedy' is just the same. The action is "maintaining normal human life", successes don't really accumulate since one is enough for another (vaguely defined) period of time, while failure and botch mean that you failed the action.
                          The fact that "success" on the roll just means, "do what I was already doing," is basically the reason it's not good. If successes mattered, and banked successes could be used to offset failures and botches, people might not like the system for the bookkeeping, but the sense of agency wouldn't be the main sticking point. Of course, it would also make the system meaningless for most characters because WP vs Rage is already something players are incentivized to have good ratings for more successes than not. If you could bank successes against future failures, the odds of ever dealing with a fail or botch diminish to the realms of absurdity.

                          Doesn't mean that I wouldn't want my character at some point change from funny, quirky youngster to a cynical, seasoned adult who tried to have a shot at happiness and failed (like everyone warned him). There is no need to roleplay the scene that ended it all (or parts of it, like I said, the RAW states "ruin or hinder", not advocating a total loss in any case).
                          There's no need to roll this out either. You can just declare it if you don't want to role-play it out, and get to RPing out the consequences. Then players that don't want to have to cede it to a roll don't have to, and you would still get what you wanted.

                          In post-God-Machine-Chronicles there is a place on the character sheet for long-term ambitions the player has for the characters.
                          So... there are better systems than Family Tragedy for these things? Pretty sure that's what me an monteparnas are saying on this tangent.

                          Iirc, "have all friends and family killed" is an example on a long-term ambition a player might have,...
                          Uh... the samples are not that extreme at all. "Fail to reconcile with my spouse," is an (paraphrased) example long-term Aspiration.

                          Though something of note there, is the state of disharmony in the marriage is already present to spurn that into being an Aspiration in the first place. Becoming estranged would be a separate Aspiration to resolve first Obviously the scope and tone of a game could change what's appropriate, but the CofD avoids overly drastic Aspirations to (1) make sure they're relevant to the story in scope and (2) don't lose the tone of the game by overdoing the stakes.

                          And since the outcome is kind of predetermined and the character has motivation to not let it happen, it makes a bad scene for scene-based-role-playing.
                          Aspirations are not predetermined and can be failed. They are goals the player has for their character; they may or may not come to pass. That's why there's rules for changing them if story events make them impossible, and why you get new ones if you succeed/fail to actualize them. They are good for scene-based RP, because they tell the ST what kind of scenes to make.

                          So, part of the problem is, that the RAW doesn't explicitly state that the roll should be adjusted as deemed appropriate by the ST to match the in-game circumstances more closely?
                          Also, a WP vs. Rage roll is extremely hard to adjust since the advice on those adjustments is extremely hard to translate into what the roll represents with the traits it uses. How does working a 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off, job where you only see your family during the half moon to new moon, to half moon, part of the lunar cycle impact the roll? In the normal rules, we have guides like the chance of Frenzying being much lower during that period, but what is that on a Family Tragedy roll.

                          Does it increase your WP dice? Based on what? Does it lower the diff? What if you're already at the lowest diff via low base Rage? Etc.

                          Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post
                          While I'm in favour of carrots over sticks, in terms of players like this the stick is needed.
                          Huh? The situation you've posed is not a rules issue. The group and the ST have completely different desires for the game, and need to work that out. No mechanic is going to bridge that. It's certainly not the time to beat your players with sticks.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            I think it's fair to say it has a lot more to do with player psychology as observed over the last 50 years of RPGs. Players, as humans, are emotional actors, not rational actors, and what creates the feelings of agency and control over PCs, vs. what diminishes it, is not solved by appeals like "Family Tragedy and soak rolls are basically the same thing." While that's functionally true, the framing of those rules in the games matters a great deal to player emotive responses.
                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            Again, you're ignoring the psychological aspect of this. Individual feelings of player agency are increased if all the players have agency, even if it means situations where one player's agency dictates things that would diminish feelings of agency if the GM had done it. Players view the group as a unit, and a botch by a player's roll is filtered through human social constructs, not just the logical thinking that these two situations should be functionally equivalent.
                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            The fact that "success" on the roll just means, "do what I was already doing," is basically the reason it's not good. If successes mattered, and banked successes could be used to offset failures and botches, people might not like the system for the bookkeeping, but the sense of agency wouldn't be the main sticking point. Of course, it would also make the system meaningless for most characters because WP vs Rage is already something players are incentivized to have good ratings for more successes than not. If you could bank successes against future failures, the odds of ever dealing with a fail or botch diminish to the realms of absurdity.
                            I don't disagree.
                            As I said I can see the problems (including the feelings) involved with the mechanic as it is presented. Yet, I entertain the basic idea to have a mechanic govern the Curse, in addition to ST discretion. Re-framing the roll from "roll to see if you fail" to "roll to see if you succeed" (in having/maintaining a normal life) could be one approach.

                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            And you would rightfully be refuted with, "And this is a game, not life."
                            Well, then it come down to what kind of game you want to play. If it is totally okay that your characters life is randomly threatened by Wyrm creatures, because they are protagonists of their stories, but their private life is never in danger, then that is okay. It is leaving out a source of tragedy and an aspect of what the cost for the powers a werewolf has is. I find that less appealing, but I know players who would be totally fine with that.

                            Then again, I love fleshing out my character personal life as well, and when a character of mine is going out to find a mate, for example, then only kinfolk are considered. Is that fair towards all the lovely humans out there? Maybe not on first glance, but in the long term.

                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            There's no need to roll this out either. You can just declare it if you don't want to role-play it out, and get to RPing out the consequences. Then players that don't want to have to cede it to a roll don't have to, and you would still get what you wanted.
                            True, one can just decide or negotiate with the ST to get the consequences. Still, you can also decide to make the precise moment when to make the change a matter of some randomness.

                            I said, that's life. You say, it's a game. I counter, "Shit happens" is a valid theme in a game, since it mimics real life to some regard.

                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            Also, a WP vs. Rage roll is extremely hard to adjust since the advice on those adjustments is extremely hard to translate into what the roll represents with the traits it uses. How does working a 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off, job where you only see your family during the half moon to new moon, to half moon, part of the lunar cycle impact the roll? In the normal rules, we have guides like the chance of Frenzying being much lower during that period, but what is that on a Family Tragedy roll.

                            Does it increase your WP dice? Based on what? Does it lower the diff? What if you're already at the lowest diff via low base Rage? Etc.
                            You could reduce difficulty for not being there over the weeks that are around the full moon.

                            If you already are on the lowest diff, then you have to accept, that there remains a rest of risk. Still, the ST can adjust the how the roll result translates into in-game circumstances. And, just like using a mirror surface prevents botches on stepping sideways in revised, the ST can rule that such precautions automatically turn botches to failures.

                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            Huh? The situation you've posed is not a rules issue. The group and the ST have completely different desires for the game, and need to work that out. No mechanic is going to bridge that. It's certainly not the time to beat your players with sticks.
                            I agree. There is a great need for players and ST to be on the same page on what the game should be about and how to deliver it....
                            That's why I stated earlier that I wouldn't use "Family Tragedy" without telling the players. I'd make sure they understand that this mechanic exists and would make sure their characters are warned by NPCs. Doesn't mean, that I would tell them, when a Story transition happens (although that might be clear from the context of the story) and how their individual 'Family Tragedy' rolls turned out. So, I can set up any scenes relevant to that at a point that fits within my planing of the story and it comes somewhat unexpected for player and character alike.

                            I can still see that players would want to have their character have normal lives with non-kinfolk NPCs and stuff like this and if that was the case we would have to discuss that. Possibly WtA like I intend to run the game isn't the game for them, then. Which is totally fine, too.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by heinrich View Post
                              Yet, I entertain the basic idea to have a mechanic govern the Curse, in addition to ST discretion.
                              There is a mechanic: If your Rage is higher than someone's Willpower it causes problems with social interactions. This mechanic it too bare bones, but it should be the underlying logic of anything built off of it to maintain consistency. That's a more specific problem with Family Tragedy: it operates on completely different logic than The Curse normally does. One of the most tragic parts of The Curse, is that the only way to avoid it completely is to stay at Rage 1 (which is only an option for Ragabash). Otherwise it will come up sometime, or you will be dedicating magic resources (like Fetishes or Gifts) to hide it (though the fact that those options do exist is an entirely different issue for how much of a problem The Curse really is supposed to be; it heavily implies it's a problem for Cubs and Cliaths and most experienced members of the Garou Nation will get around it easily if they want to).

                              You can have Willpower 10, but Rage 5 is going to be a problem with trying to interact with human society according to how The Curse is written. Family Tragedy doesn't follow that logic (10 dice at diff 5 is not a big risk of getting zero successes that reflexes how hard it is to walk around the average human population with how many are going to have 1-4 WP. The Curse is written to operate in such a way where no amount of self control matters. The Rage will leak out and scare people around you if it gets strong enough.

                              Even if you don't have a problem with the concept of "roll in downtime to see if you manage your life," there's still plenty of ways in with Family Tragedy, as written, is a bad rule to give The Curse more impact on the game.

                              Re-framing the roll from "roll to see if you fail" to "roll to see if you succeed" (in having/maintaining a normal life) could be one approach.
                              The problem is that unless success does something in the eyes of players (and "you get to keep doing what you're doing isn't success doing something to most players") no framing of it will really work. As it's structured, it can't help but be roll to see if you fail, because failing/botching is the only thing that changes based on your roll. You have to give successes impact if you want to reframe it as a roll to succeed.

                              To give a different example: A PC is walking down the sidewalk, and it called to roll Dex + Athletics. On a success, and it doesn't matter how many they get, they keep walking along. On a fail, they trip and fall, take 2B that can be soaked, and in the process something important to them falls out of their hands. On a botch, they take 2B unsoakable for every 1 rolled, and the object is permanently destroyed instead of just dropped.

                              You can try as hard as you want to frame it as something other than, "roll to see if you fail," but it'll be seen as roll to see if you fail because failing/botching is all that matters because it's all that changes anything. If successes is maintaining the game state as it was before the roll, it can't be the focus of why you're rolling.

                              If it is totally okay that your characters life is randomly threatened by Wyrm creatures,...
                              WtA doesn't have a random encounter system. It's not game where you are randomly threatened by the Wyrm. It's a game where the ST structures conflict with Wyrm creatures for the players. If you want random encounters... it's something you have to add to the game, not just a playstyle issue.

                              It is leaving out a source of tragedy and an aspect of what the cost for the powers a werewolf has is. I find that less appealing, but I know players who would be totally fine with that.
                              I'm really not sure why you think that people that find the Family Tragedy rule to be bad, to be the same as people that doesn't want to have this tragedy come up in their games.

                              I counter, "Shit happens" is a valid theme in a game, since it mimics real life to some regard.
                              Want me to quote WtA disagreeing with this sentiment? Because I can. There's a whole ST advice section in Revised around character death as it can happen from bad rolls, and what to do about it. "Shit happens," is not what the game advises as what to say to players that aren't happy about how the scene turned out.

                              You could reduce difficulty for not being there over the weeks that are around the full moon.
                              By how much? How do you use the examples in the books for things that should reduce difficulty to guide the actual rules call of, "this should be easier, so how much easier should it be?"

                              Of course you can reduce the difficulty as the ST, but nothing in the game really functions as a guide to what's a +1 difficulty approach to this, o a -3 difficulty approach to this. The examples in the books are focused on things that people have a much more intuitive approximate grasp on.

                              If you already are on the lowest diff, then you have to accept, that there remains a rest of risk.
                              Why? Can't I get bonus dice or successes to reduce the risk further?

                              My point here is not to have you repeat the vague methods by which you can modify roll difficulty in the game. The point is that there's not obvious guide to doing so for this specific roll because WP vs. Rage is such an outlier (and relies on what trait that represents a completely fictional concept).

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                There is a mechanic: If your Rage is higher than someone's Willpower it causes problems with social interactions. This mechanic it too bare bones, but it should be the underlying logic of anything built off of it to maintain consistency.
                                Yeah, but I, personally, find this rule lacking.

                                For a game, mostly governed by dice rules, this is static trait comparison with a binary outcome.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                That's a more specific problem with Family Tragedy: it operates on completely different logic than The Curse normally does.
                                Well, yeah, to illustrate the point, that there is no single numerical value determining the Curse problematic absolutely, also, the 'Family Tragedy' specifically mentions the Delirium as being partly responsible for the Tragedy that occurs, and humans would need much higher Willpower values to get less affected by the Delirium/the Veil than normally. Meaning, the Veil leaves them with some recollection of the events that cause a rift in the relationship.

                                Also, Rank does affect Frenzy Checks, but not the Curse. Raising Rage with XP might mean that from one instant to another your family avoids you. Does that make sense? Only if you attribute an in character change to the stat increase. Still, it is binary and not something you would ever have a chance to reconcile (unless you have a other character with a psychotherapy trait, tending to the human and that is a justification to raise the willpower of the human to be at least on par with the new Rage score again).

                                No, the Curse rule is quick and therefore totally fine for random encounters during a scene. It doesn't really fit well for more complex circumstances.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                One of the most tragic parts of The Curse, is that the only way to avoid it completely is to stay at Rage 1 (which is only an option for Ragabash).
                                Or find another way to permanently loose Rage. Not sure, but the rules for old age from Player's Guide 1st or 2nd edition might help. can't look them up right now. But, sure, the WoD doesn't have rules for lowering traits, unless there the lower trait has a significant advantage.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                Otherwise it will come up sometime, or you will be dedicating magic resources (like Fetishes or Gifts) to hide it (though the fact that those options do exist is an entirely different issue for how much of a problem The Curse really is supposed to be; it heavily implies it's a problem for Cubs and Cliaths and most experienced members of the Garou Nation will get around it easily if they want to).
                                Depending on how rare fetishes are supposed to be in your game, and tribal disposition towards fetishes.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                You can have Willpower 10, but Rage 5 is going to be a problem with trying to interact with human society according to how The Curse is written. Family Tragedy doesn't follow that logic (10 dice at diff 5 is not a big risk of getting zero successes that reflexes how hard it is to walk around the average human population with how many are going to have 1-4 WP. The Curse is written to operate in such a way where no amount of self control matters. The Rage will leak out and scare people around you if it gets strong enough.

                                Even if you don't have a problem with the concept of "roll in downtime to see if you manage your life," there's still plenty of ways in with Family Tragedy, as written, is a bad rule to give The Curse more impact on the game.
                                Sure, you are right. But the 'Family Tragedy' isn't meant to illustrate how you fare with random members of the population but people you have pre-existing relationships with.
                                Also, in 2nd Edition, where the 'Family Tragedy' is written, the Curse states families with humans are impossible, Period. It is revised Edition, that for the first time states, that the Curse is lesser with kinfolk, yet not completely gone.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                The problem is that unless success does something in the eyes of players (and "you get to keep doing what you're doing isn't success doing something to most players") no framing of it will really work. As it's structured, it can't help but be roll to see if you fail, because failing/botching is the only thing that changes based on your roll. You have to give successes impact if you want to reframe it as a roll to succeed.

                                To give a different example: A PC is walking down the sidewalk, and it called to roll Dex + Athletics. On a success, and it doesn't matter how many they get, they keep walking along. On a fail, they trip and fall, take 2B that can be soaked, and in the process something important to them falls out of their hands. On a botch, they take 2B unsoakable for every 1 rolled, and the object is permanently destroyed instead of just dropped.

                                You can try as hard as you want to frame it as something other than, "roll to see if you fail," but it'll be seen as roll to see if you fail because failing/botching is all that matters because it's all that changes anything. If successes is maintaining the game state as it was before the roll, it can't be the focus of why you're rolling.
                                True. But it ain't the only mechanic that works this way. Tracking has rolls to see if you are able to still follow the track or fail.

                                And, if you continue to do something, most garou fail, it is possibly worth a roll to see if you manage it.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                WtA doesn't have a random encounter system. It's not game where you are randomly threatened by the Wyrm. It's a game where the ST structures conflict with Wyrm creatures for the players. If you want random encounters... it's something you have to add to the game, not just a playstyle issue.
                                Yeah, I should have written regularly instead of randomly.

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                Want me to quote WtA disagreeing with this sentiment? Because I can. There's a whole ST advice section in Revised around character death as it can happen from bad rolls, and what to do about it. "Shit happens," is not what the game advises as what to say to players that aren't happy about how the scene turned out.
                                And that is good advice. But, that is about a scene. The 'Family Tragedy' is not a scene. It is the indicator for outcome. It is up to the ST and the player to either turn it into a scene that plays out, or define what happened "off camera". It should be something the troupe can agree on.



                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                By how much? How do you use the examples in the books for things that should reduce difficulty to guide the actual rules call of, "this should be easier, so how much easier should it be?"

                                Of course you can reduce the difficulty as the ST, but nothing in the game really functions as a guide to what's a +1 difficulty approach to this, o a -3 difficulty approach to this. The examples in the books are focused on things that people have a much more intuitive approximate grasp on.
                                That is true. I would go by 1 or 2, depending on my evaluation if the steps taken and the personalities of the characters involved.

                                I mean, how does one judge "Garou cannot usually maintain families among humans or wolves, as the Beast makes even their own Kin uncomfortable, albeit to a lesser degree." in the general Curse rules (of revised).

                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                Why? Can't I get bonus dice or successes to reduce the risk further?

                                My point here is not to have you repeat the vague methods by which you can modify roll difficulty in the game. The point is that there's not obvious guide to doing so for this specific roll because WP vs. Rage is such an outlier (and relies on what trait that represents a completely fictional concept).
                                True, but we all play the game and have come up with ways how to makes sense of those concepts in our games. So, this will govern your decision.

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