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  • 11twiggins
    started a topic Starting Willpower, Starting Gnosis, Starting Rage

    Starting Willpower, Starting Gnosis, Starting Rage

    WTA char-gen is a bit odd. Two 0 EXP characters can have very different numbers of dots on the sheet for instance.

    Willpower varies by Tribe. Gnosis varies by Breed. Rage varies by Auspice. Rage I absolutely get, it's a mixed blessing and it's very cheap to increase. You can easily boost your Rage from 1 to 3, or 5. And you might WANT a Rage of 1, that's its own benefit. Gnosis however is (as far as I can tell) 100% a good thing, perhaps with the exception of the narrative expectations of high Gnosis - if you have Gnosis 6 and insufficiently spiritual RP you might be policed, rightly or wrongly, by players. The division of 1 for Homid and 5 for Lupus feels extremely worrying since it leads to your homi-lupus, Ape McHumanson the Human Dude who behaves like a human, and rests in his homid form, and acts nothing like a wolf... but starts with Gnosis 5! Yes! And while it's annoying, you can see WHY someone would do it. The game has inadvertently incentivized it.

    Willpower is the one I really don't get - why not just have all PCs start at Willpower 5? Do tribes with lower starting Willpower get anything in return, all in all? I love W20 but I do wonder about the balance of char-gen, all in all.

    Naturally all of these ratings can be boosted with EXP and freebies, at varying costs, but it's still interesting. Just because you can go from Willpower 3 to Willpower X with a handful of Freebies doesn't mean that you should, or that you can afford it after buying the things essential to your backstory or concept.

  • Damian May
    replied
    Excellent thoughts on this Heavy Arms, I like the cut of your jib.

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
    Why would you limit it to extended actions?
    Because I'd want to put the focus on deeper social interactions (also why it focuses on specific emotional cues/attachments). There isn't tragedy in being penalized on trying to fast talk your way past a bouncer because your suspicious due to your Rage. There's just inconvenience. It's much more important to me that the system structures a Galliard that writes wonderful lyrics, but who's Rage means they can't be in a studio jamming with human musicians to make a full song in an organic creative atmosphere because their Rage always taints it. They have to deal with isolation and going solo, or filter their work through producers and record labels and watch their perfect ballad get remixed into a pop song for the next Spotify flavor of the month as the way most people will ever hear it. Penalizing a roll where they're busking on a corner doesn't help the themes. I'd rather them roll a wonderful Charisma + Performance as people are moved, drop some cash, and then shuffle along muttering about how talent is wasted on someone like that, than have the performance roll fail out right.

    There's also things like interacting with The Beast Within and seduction that I don't want to get too complicated with. Let The Beast Within cover immediate actions, and highlight seduction (at least aimed at humans) as superficial and coercive to avoid Curse penalties instead of being able honest and deep interactions. Again, let a Garou Lothario get laid with a human if they want to, because being stuck to a series of one night stands is a satisfactory application of the Curse as it means a deep partnership is out of reach and the Garou is settling for something temporary and fleeting.

    I might steal it.
    If you do, send me some feedback.

    Leave a comment:


  • heinrich
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    Normally I'd just get huffy, because this is a cop out and bad faith move. If you want to show the potential of Family Tragedy as a concept that's worth keeping, it's on you to propose text/rules changes that address all the problems it has. I'm not here to make your arguments for you when you've run out of ideas of how to defend your position.
    Nah, I'm genuinely interested what you (or anyone else for that matter) would like to see in a paragraph/description/rule on how garou fare with having a semblance of human life or a human life on the side.
    The 2nd Edition mechanic was replaced by revised Editions:
    "Garou call this phenomenon the Curse, for it makes normal relationships with humans or wolves all but impossible. Garou cannot usually maintain families among humans or wolves, as the Beast makes even their own Kin uncomfortable, albeit to a lesser degree."

    And "Cannot usually maintain" and "all but impossible" are less absolute then the Curse paragraph in 2nd Edition, sure, but they don't provide instruction or inspiration on how to handle such a situation. Possibly it never came up during game testing. Having characters which want to pursue a human life is certainly not uncommon, but I'd guess also not really the main focus of the game. If a character starts as a well-indoctrinated cliath, rather than having a prelude played though or starting as cub, then the need to maintain pre-change relationships possibly isn't even there.

    So, I'd really like to read several viewpoints on how to introduce the theme more prominently in the game or give STs an advice on how to proceed if a player aims the character into such a life.


    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    But since I already came up with a house rule system because my brain decided to obsess over it a bit:

    First, keep my idea from earlier around giving The Curse a stronger mechanical impact as formulated.
    You are referencing this, right?
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms
    The difference in Rage and WP increased the number of successes on extended actions that either rely on positive emotions between the Garou and the subject, or are meant to instill or increase positive feelings [...]
    Why would you limit it to extended actions?
    Any actions that are short term would therefore not be affected. I see that this makes sense to showcase the separation between Garou and humans/wolves (and kin to some degree) on a long term scale, though.



    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    Second, Family Tragedy becomes the following (this changes how Backgrounds are handled) -

    "During the downtime between stories, some characters might attempt to maintain a life among humans (or wolves). While the Curse doesn't stop the Garou from being near humans, it does make it ever increasingly difficult to be part of human society. Even low Rage Garou can more easily build up temporary Rage with the stresses of life among the masses and no acceptable release for their potent anger. This process is difficult and fraught with risk, but many Garou have reasons to attempt it. Mechanically, it is also necessary to cultivate and maintain Backgrounds that require being an active part of human society.

    Rather than doing lots of rolling between stories, the impact of the Curse during significant downtime is simplified to a single roll. Complete success indicates that the trails of everyday human life for the Garou have been empowering as bonds get tested and affirmed, the Garou's cleverness or intelligence recognized, or similar windfalls. Partial successes shows a Garou that is managing, but headed in a bad direction as their human side is maintained but damaged in reputation, or trust. Failure means the problems of human life have overwhelmed the Garou who faces long term social backlash; even if still not to the extent of outing themselves as a werewolf. A botch will likely lead to an immediate priority for the next story as a Garou attempting to be part of society has stumbled into a serious blunder such as Frenzying, Breaking the Veil, or gaining notice of agents of the Wyrm who will seek to corrupt (or worse) the Garou's human companions.
    I like the choice of words.

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    System: Make a Willpower roll with a default difficulty of 6. The ST can alter the difficulty but this cannot be modified below 3 or above 9 regardless of circumstances. The largest focus of difficulty modification should be on the relative risk of the kind of lifestyle the Garou is living, but high (6+) or low (1-3) Rage, Gifts, Merits and Flaws, Kinfolk help, and similar traits should aid or hinder the roll by being abstracted into difficulty modifiers. Complete success is achieve by rolling a number of successes equal to your character's permanent Rage or better. Gain one dot in an appropriate new Background to how you've described your character's life style, or one temporary Renown in an appropriate category after describing a notable way your character navigated human society. Excess successes can be used put the dot in an existing appropriate Background if equal to or greater than its current rating, or gain an additional temporary Renown for every two extra successes; these cannot be stacked but successes can be allocated to both if enough are rolled. For example, if you get three extra successes, you can raise an existing 1 dot Background to 2, and gain 1 additional temporary Renown. If the roll succeeds, but with less successes than the character's permanent Rage, it is considered a partial success. For every success short, the player chooses one dot of appropriate Backgrounds to reduce or a significant NPC relationship gone south that will negatively impact the new story. The player can also pick to have their actions to impact their standing in the Garou Nation, and suffer a Punishment Rite. Reduce the number of successes short by 2 times the level of the Rite.
    Interesting.

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    Outright failing the roll results in the same penalties as a partial success, as well as a major setback, but one that can be dealt with in time. The player can pick three dots worth of Backgrounds that they still have a rating in that is inaccessible until a success on this roll is used as if to raise that Background, but do not increase it, or a ruined relationship that will plague them across multiple stories until they manage to under take an endeavor with significant narrative costs (for example, disobeying an Elder's orders just to return the relationship to neutral) before it ends. Flaws such as Enemy or Hunted could be used as well to represent the consequences of pissing off the wrong people. A botch, as described, requires picking a life-threatening mistake or accident on top of the failure, that needs to be addressed immediately. Backgrounds or friendly NPCs lost in a botch (even if not killed) can never be recovered as they were; moving to a new location and restarting with a brand new iteration of the Background would be the bare minimum of undoing the damage."
    Also intriguing.

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    That? That rough draft is something I could see playing with.

    1) Roll to succeed! There is an objective and clear cut reward for engaging with this so the Curse comes in more naturally. Want Resources? Contacts? A Mentor outside of the Garou Nation? Well you need to succeed on this roll to get those things.

    2) Players know what they're getting into. Even low Rage PCs run the risks of failing, and having the Curse and the themes it is meant to enforce will matter.as players try to engage thanks to #1.

    3) A big focus on player's getting to pick their poison when things go bad. The ST has very few judgement calls to make, and can focus in on turning the players' choices into things that impact future scenes. This also reduces the feelings of lose of agency because the player gets choices. Anything they really don't want to give up on can easily remain untouched by the player selecting alternate setbacks.
    I like it. I might steal it

    I'd like to point out, that the move from abstract results of 'Family tragedy' to the explicit results for the character is something the player should still participate, but yeah, the way you represent it, especially with the choices translating into changes to Background stat changes, does convey the sense of keeping agency over the character much better.

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
    And this concept is an application of what the text about Downtime or general dice roll rules in the same rulebook says.
    The books say that you roll dice to decide the outcome of an action, not to inspire scenes, or provide a rough narrative framework the ST and players then fill in. There are other games that do work that way, but WtA isn't one of them.

    It's like making a homid in breed form loose Gnosis when carrying silver, because there is no exception for them in the paragraph that governs Gnosis loss (2nd page 198, revised page 189), yet it is explicitly written in the homid definition (2nd page 86, revised page 53).
    This are not equivalent at all.

    I was arguing, that the rules, either stat comparison or dice rolls, are tools for players and storytellers to determine the story progression in the world. They aren't meant to substitute as laws of physics within the game world.
    I don't see how trying to imply that unrolled stat comparisons are rare makes that point.

    I also don't see why that point is at all relevant. My argument is that Family Tragedy is a bad tool, not that it's a bad "law of physics" for the game world. If anything you're the one that's arguing for Family Tragedy because it's acting as a physics simulator in the form of mechanically enforcing The Curse in a fashion that's not otherwise simulated in the game; even if yes, you are in favor of it because you feel it also adds to the story progression of the world at the same time.

    In any case, it is a common trope fore werewolves and while it isn't technically possible within the game's rules on shapeshifting (unless you count partial transformation rules).
    So stop stretching and trying to make it matter. We're not talking about WtA as a generic pop-culture werewolf game. It's not something the rule or fiction support. Partial transformation is also a purposeful action, not something Garou do when they get mad. It's hard and and has a cost because it's them pushing their shapeshifting beyond it's normal function.

    Which again, leads me to the point, that the rules are tools for the ST/players, but not the governing laws of nature for the game world in general.
    Or that Family Tragedy is just poorly executed. Family Tragedy invoking systems that it doesn't actually use in a contradictory and incoherent fashion doesn't say anything about the nature of rules as tools. It just means it's a poorly written rule.

    If you want to tell a story/scene that is within the general mood of the game, it appears you aren't necessarily bound by the rules.
    The fact that the rules are explicitly non-exhaustive in what they cover, and thus we have general rules for using the mechanics for systems not covered, has nothing to do with the quality of the Family Tragedy rules as written.

    You're basically in the, "the Golden Rule is a rule in the game, so changing the Family Tragedy rules isn't a house rule, and thus Family Tragedy is fine," line of argumentation at this point.

    So, how would a good and complete description/rule on how to handle a normal human life, as a garou, look like in your opinion?
    Would if govern personal relationships as well as having a career in a workplace where contact with humans is inevitable and regular?
    Normally I'd just get huffy, because this is a cop out and bad faith move. If you want to show the potential of Family Tragedy as a concept that's worth keeping, it's on you to propose text/rules changes that address all the problems it has. I'm not here to make your arguments for you when you've run out of ideas of how to defend your position.

    But since I already came up with a house rule system because my brain decided to obsess over it a bit:

    First, keep my idea from earlier around giving The Curse a stronger mechanical impact as formulated.

    Second, Family Tragedy becomes the following (this changes how Backgrounds are handled) -

    "During the downtime between stories, some characters might attempt to maintain a life among humans (or wolves). While the Curse doesn't stop the Garou from being near humans, it does make it ever increasingly difficult to be part of human society. Even low Rage Garou can more easily build up temporary Rage with the stresses of life among the masses and no acceptable release for their potent anger. This process is difficult and fraught with risk, but many Garou have reasons to attempt it. Mechanically, it is also necessary to cultivate and maintain Backgrounds that require being an active part of human society.

    Rather than doing lots of rolling between stories, the impact of the Curse during significant downtime is simplified to a single roll. Complete success indicates that the trails of everyday human life for the Garou have been empowering as bonds get tested and affirmed, the Garou's cleverness or intelligence recognized, or similar windfalls. Partial successes shows a Garou that is managing, but headed in a bad direction as their human side is maintained but damaged in reputation, or trust. Failure means the problems of human life have overwhelmed the Garou who faces long term social backlash; even if still not to the extent of outing themselves as a werewolf. A botch will likely lead to an immediate priority for the next story as a Garou attempting to be part of society has stumbled into a serious blunder such as Frenzying, Breaking the Veil, or gaining notice of agents of the Wyrm who will seek to corrupt (or worse) the Garou's human companions.

    System: Make a Willpower roll with a default difficulty of 6. The ST can alter the difficulty but this cannot be modified below 3 or above 9 regardless of circumstances. The largest focus of difficulty modification should be on the relative risk of the kind of lifestyle the Garou is living, but high (6+) or low (1-3) Rage, Gifts, Merits and Flaws, Kinfolk help, and similar traits should aid or hinder the roll by being abstracted into difficulty modifiers. Complete success is achieve by rolling a number of successes equal to your character's permanent Rage or better. Gain one dot in an appropriate new Background to how you've described your character's life style, or one temporary Renown in an appropriate category after describing a notable way your character navigated human society. Excess successes can be used put the dot in an existing appropriate Background if equal to or greater than its current rating, or gain an additional temporary Renown for every two extra successes; these cannot be stacked but successes can be allocated to both if enough are rolled. For example, if you get three extra successes, you can raise an existing 1 dot Background to 2, and gain 1 additional temporary Renown. If the roll succeeds, but with less successes than the character's permanent Rage, it is considered a partial success. For every success short, the player chooses one dot of appropriate Backgrounds to reduce or a significant NPC relationship gone south that will negatively impact the new story. The player can also pick to have their actions to impact their standing in the Garou Nation, and suffer a Punishment Rite. Reduce the number of successes short by 2 times the level of the Rite.

    Outright failing the roll results in the same penalties as a partial success, as well as a major setback, but one that can be dealt with in time. The player can pick three dots worth of Backgrounds that they still have a rating in that is inaccessible until a success on this roll is used as if to raise that Background, but do not increase it, or a ruined relationship that will plague them across multiple stories until they manage to under take an endeavor with significant narrative costs (for example, disobeying an Elder's orders just to return the relationship to neutral) before it ends. Flaws such as Enemy or Hunted could be used as well to represent the consequences of pissing off the wrong people. A botch, as described, requires picking a life-threatening mistake or accident on top of the failure, that needs to be addressed immediately. Backgrounds or friendly NPCs lost in a botch (even if not killed) can never be recovered as they were; moving to a new location and restarting with a brand new iteration of the Background would be the bare minimum of undoing the damage."

    That? That rough draft is something I could see playing with.

    1) Roll to succeed! There is an objective and clear cut reward for engaging with this so the Curse comes in more naturally. Want Resources? Contacts? A Mentor outside of the Garou Nation? Well you need to succeed on this roll to get those things.

    2) Players know what they're getting into. Even low Rage PCs run the risks of failing, and having the Curse and the themes it is meant to enforce will matter.as players try to engage thanks to #1.

    3) A big focus on player's getting to pick their poison when things go bad. The ST has very few judgement calls to make, and can focus in on turning the players' choices into things that impact future scenes. This also reduces the feelings of lose of agency because the player gets choices. Anything they really don't want to give up on can easily remain untouched by the player selecting alternate setbacks.

    Leave a comment:


  • heinrich
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    That doesn't mean you aren't. Lots of people think they're doing this when the interpret the rules, even if their interpretation stretches beyond what the text said.

    You've discussed all sorts of things with how you'd run the rule that aren't in the text. Like the idea that Family Tragedy is supposed to inspire RP scenes instead of just "a bad thing happened between stories, detail it and move on," which is what a fail on the roll actually says to do.
    And this concept is an application of what the text about Downtime or general dice roll rules in the same rulebook says.

    It's like making a homid in breed form loose Gnosis when carrying silver, because there is no exception for them in the paragraph that governs Gnosis loss (2nd page 198, revised page 189), yet it is explicitly written in the homid definition (2nd page 86, revised page 53).

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    The binary results of Dice Poll vs. Difficulty to allow for an automatic success is a rule that lets you substitute these sorts of comparisons for almost any situation that can also be covered by a die roll.

    So, yeah, I don't really see where you're going with trying to argue this. The game uses dice. Yes it does. The game also uses direct stat comparisons. The frequency is meaningless to either of the points we're making.
    I was arguing, that the rules, either stat comparison or dice rolls, are tools for players and storytellers to determine the story progression in the world. They aren't meant to substitute as laws of physics within the game world.

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    Please show me one place in the games where this is described as happening.
    Well, both Evans and Albrechts transformation when facing the BSD in the 2nd Edition intro comic appear that way, but could also attributed to a shift into Glabro before Crinos. Then again, the BSD would appear no move no more than a few decimeters in the time Albrecht needs to change.W
    I might find the time to look for descriptions, that could be interpreted that way, within the novels. In any case, it is a common trope fore werewolves and while it isn't technically possible within the game's rules on shapeshifting (unless you count partial transformation rules).

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    This is not what the rules state. If you spend WP to avert a Frenzy, you avert it completely, you aren't forced into Crinos or Hispo (that is the player's choice at the moment of Frenzy).
    You are right.

    So, I don't have another explanation at the moment, for the mention of the Delirium within the 'Family Tragedy' paragraph, besides a frenzy, which would be more lethal then the wording there indicates. Which again, leads me to the point, that the rules are tools for the ST/players, but not the governing laws of nature for the game world in general.

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    Your point is the text says something as a generality, but then reverses itself and says it isn't actually an impossibility but just highly unlikely over time?
    It appears it does, doesn't it? Also underlining the fact, that there are rules for certain situations, that are meant to help govern them, but are limited in scope. If you want to tell a story/scene that is within the general mood of the game, it appears you aren't necessarily bound by the rules.

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    You're the one treating dumping Family Tragedy as basically the same as wanting to dump The Curse all-together; even though that's not a direct statement that's been made. I've even pointed towards ideas that would make Family Tragedy a better rule that would make more sense to have in the game. I'm not sure what you think that means, but I wouldn't do that if I didn't think the concept was completely meritless.
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    "You have to describe how your character completely fucked up their life now, because the system randomly decided they fucked it all up. You should feel lucky that you get to decide the details instead of being upset that it happened on a fluke roll in the first place." Who would actually feel better with that?
    So, how would a good and complete description/rule on how to handle a normal human life, as a garou, look like in your opinion?
    Would if govern personal relationships as well as having a career in a workplace where contact with humans is inevitable and regular?

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
    I don't think of it as house ruling, as in intentionally changing or creating a new rule for my game.
    That doesn't mean you aren't. Lots of people think they're doing this when the interpret the rules, even if their interpretation stretches beyond what the text said.

    You've discussed all sorts of things with how you'd run the rule that aren't in the text. Like the idea that Family Tragedy is supposed to inspire RP scenes instead of just "a bad thing happened between stories, detail it and move on," which is what a fail on the roll actually says to do.

    You are correct, that there are other comparisons of static traits with therefore binary results and that they are better in describing the outcome of the situation. Still, they are relatively few compared to situations that are governed by dice.
    The binary results of Dice Poll vs. Difficulty to allow for an automatic success is a rule that lets you substitute these sorts of comparisons for almost any situation that can also be covered by a die roll.

    So, yeah, I don't really see where you're going with trying to argue this. The game uses dice. Yes it does. The game also uses direct stat comparisons. The frequency is meaningless to either of the points we're making.

    Or, it plays with an trope of showing a partly transformed body when enraged.
    Please show me one place in the games where this is described as happening.

    However, the basic idea entertain is this. Garou enters frenzy and as per the frenzy rules shifts to Crinos (I guess most of the time) or Hispo. Then, at the very beginning of the Frenzy, it can be averted by spending a Willpower.
    This is not what the rules state. If you spend WP to avert a Frenzy, you avert it completely, you aren't forced into Crinos or Hispo (that is the player's choice at the moment of Frenzy).

    My point is. The bigger headlined paragraph states "it is impossible".
    Your point is the text says something as a generality, but then reverses itself and says it isn't actually an impossibility but just highly unlikely over time?

    ...but that is just finding flaws in the rules of a specific roll, when rolls are just meant to simulate the randomness in the game world and do so inadequately.
    My whole argument is that Family Tragedy is a bad rule that was removed for good reason. Pointing out the flaws in the rule are the evidence for that position. How else am I supposed to make a case for my thoughts on it?

    You're the one treating dumping Family Tragedy as basically the same as wanting to dump The Curse all-together; even though that's not a direct statement that's been made. I've even pointed towards ideas that would make Family Tragedy a better rule that would make more sense to have in the game. I'm not sure what you think that means, but I wouldn't do that if I didn't think the concept was completely meritless.

    The rule isn't meant to define how the world works.
    And? My point is that the book says both, "this is impossible," and, "this is actually completely possible even if the odds mean it will fail enough that it's risky to try." It doesn't matter if the rules are abstraction, narrative guidance, or simulation; the text is inconsistent.

    But, as I pointed out, the fallback is in the paragraph above and reads "families with humans are impossible."
    And the Bury the Wolf Gift exists and lets you completely ignore The Curse for the duration of its effect. So clearly the "impossibility" is overstated, yeah?

    Well it does. If your character dies, it makes a difference, if it was an heoric fight or a random bad luck streak on the dice.
    I don't see how. If your character's goals are completely ruined, it makes a difference if it was a deep and meaningful struggle that failed, or back luck on a single roll.

    Same goes for the loss of the human life one has build. If one makes the roll and it fails, the ST and the player can still define, what actually happened. And since the player hopefully knew the whole time this might happen, they can both find an emotionally rewarding narrative for the situation.
    There's no emotionally rewarding narrative that makes up for the emotionally distressing situation of a random roll completely fucking your character's story over. It's just adding insult to injury.

    "You have to describe how your character completely fucked up their life now, because the system randomly decided they fucked it all up. You should feel lucky that you get to decide the details instead of being upset that it happened on a fluke roll in the first place." Who would actually feel better with that?

    Leave a comment:


  • heinrich
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    Yes, but that's my point. Building it up to be non-lacking would do more to make The Curse matter to play more than Family Tragedy (as written, not as you would run it heavily house ruled) would.
    I don't think of it as house ruling, as in intentionally changing or creating a new rule for my game.

    Maybe it is because I'm not a native speaker, but "something has happened to ruin or hinder the character’s relationship with the people among whom he has been living." to me reads as if the the developers intend the ST/Players to fill the specifics as it suits them.

    Changing the difficulty or calling for more successes is explicitly within the things a ST should do, when feeling the need in a given situation. Granting bonus dice isn't though, so, yes, I'd house rule that this is a method of adjusting a roll.


    You are correct, that there are other comparisons of static traits with therefore binary results and that they are better in describing the outcome of the situation. Still, they are relatively few compared to situations that are governed by dice.

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    Which really makes no sense because that means the Garou either Frenzied (and probably did worse than ruing their trust with their family), or purposefully shifted to a Delirium inducing form in front of humans (both of which are significant Renown penalties).
    Or, it plays with an trope of showing a partly transformed body when enraged. Like one would see in several TV shows or films.
    WtA with it's rules on partly transformation and the fact that only a complete shift into Crinos does allow to cause Delirium makes such non-functional within the rules.

    However, the basic idea entertain is this. Garou enters frenzy and as per the frenzy rules shifts to Crinos (I guess most of the time) or Hispo. Then, at the very beginning of the Frenzy, it can be averted by spending a Willpower. A garou would probably muster their will to not rip apart their loved ones. Still, the shift in Crinos and therefore Delirium might already have happened....

    I think, this is most inline with what is possible and reasonable within the other rules affected.

    [QUOTE=Heavy Arms;n1473393]It impacts things like your ability to demand Fetishes that can alleviate The Curse, or the Gifts that let you just ignore it (because there are Gifts that will let you live circumvent it on some level).

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    The rules really don't back this up though. Not even Family Tragedy. [...]
    True. My point is. The bigger headlined paragraph states "it is impossible". Then the subheading 'Family Tragedy' gives a rule-set to simulate, why it is impossible, and sure, statistically a low rage garou would be able to keep the human life long enough for an entire life span, but that is just finding flaws in the rules of a specific roll, when rolls are just meant to simulate the randomness in the game world and do so inadequately.

    I mean, the rule is completely a tool to help the ST narrate the story, with STs. It doesn't state the roll has to be made for each week the character spends the majority time in his human life. It states "between stories", which in some chronicles I played could be years apart or months. And if you are a garou who is stumbling from one mission to the next is the human spouse at home, whom you never see, really a human life on the side to begin with?

    The rule isn't meant to define how the world works. It is not intended for the ST make the roll for NPCs. The roll is for PCs and if one doesn't want them, and ignores the paragraph, fine. But, as I pointed out, the fallback is in the paragraph above and reads "families with humans are impossible."


    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    That really doesn't change the logic of the advice at all.
    Well it does. If your character dies, it makes a difference, if it was an heoric fight or a random bad luck streak on the dice. Hell, with no soak against silver and no actions left an opponent can kill you instantly with a klaive.

    Same goes for the loss of the human life one has build. If one makes the roll and it fails, the ST and the player can still define, what actually happened. And since the player hopefully knew the whole time this might happen, they can both find an emotionally rewarding narrative for the situation.

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Originally posted by heinrich View Post
    Yeah, but I, personally, find this rule lacking.
    Yes, but that's my point. Building it up to be non-lacking would do more to make The Curse matter to play more than Family Tragedy (as written, not as you would run it heavily house ruled) would.

    For a game, mostly governed by dice rules, this is static trait comparison with a binary outcome.
    That's not really so unusual in the game. It's the lack of clear cut results in the outcome that's the problem. If your Rage > Gnosis (a static trait comparison) you can't tell pack from foes in a Frenzy (binary outcome). But it's an unambiguous outcome that's simple to implement: if one of you pack is the closest valid target you attack them during your Frenzy, when otherwise they would be safe.

    The Beast Within is another static trait comparison, though at least it's technically a variable outcome in that the difficulty modifier is scaled. But again, it works because you know what it does.

    The Curse's problem is how vague the impact of Rage > other people's Willpower is. If, for example, The difference in Rage and WP increased the number of successes on extended actions that either rely on positive emotions between the Garou and the subject, or are meant to instill or increase positive feelings, you have a more solid framework, and something Family Tragedy can actually work from as a bigger abstraction over time (since, you know, managing an emotionally healthy family would fall under this). You can move away from the need to force the PC to flip out on a random roll, and focus on how The Curse diminishes their ability to successfully manage family affairs. Family Tragedy can be a way to compress "your child is getting into fights at school, you need to meet with school administrators, work out a plan with your spouse, and try to have a heart to heart with your child," into one roll instead of dozens to get to the fall out of succeeding or failing to deal with this, with that success increase being something for the PCs to manage (it's based on their Rage after all) and it makes it easier to frame as rolling to succeed because, like Soak, you can easily end up needing to roll a bunch of successes to avoid trouble completely, and a partial success could still lead to a less troubled situation than a fail or botch without completely solving everything.

    This also makes it clearly why The Curse isolates the Garou more distinctly. Even if it doesn't live up to the idea that it's impossible for Garou to succeed (it's never actually been impossible), every extended long term interaction with humans is difficult because even if your human spouse has high WP, and your kids have high WP, your nosy neighbor might not, or their teacher, etc. etc. Humans are cooperative social creatures and The Curse would more functionally sabotage a Garou's efforts to be part of that (or a wolf pack for that matter). If getting a job is an extended action that requires 10 successes, but you need to roll 4 successes just to get 1 net success for the total, that means a lot of rolls, and lots of chances for a bad roll to screw it all up.

    ....also, the 'Family Tragedy' specifically mentions the Delirium as being partly responsible for the Tragedy that occurs,...
    Which really makes no sense because that means the Garou either Frenzied (and probably did worse than ruing their trust with their family), or purposefully shifted to a Delirium inducing form in front of humans (both of which are significant Renown penalties).

    Also, Rank does affect Frenzy Checks, but not the Curse.
    It impacts things like your ability to demand Fetishes that can alleviate The Curse, or the Gifts that let you just ignore it (because there are Gifts that will let you live circumvent it on some level).

    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.
    Or just having higher temporary Rage than permanent enough for The Curse to kick in. It makes sense in the idea that it's not really about your character's personality of behavior, but that the energy of Rage can't be bottled up enough that human's don't react to it on some level.

    Also, in 2nd Edition, where the 'Family Tragedy' is written, the Curse states families with humans are impossible, Period.
    The rules really don't back this up though. Not even Family Tragedy. At difficulty 3, once you hit 8+ WP dice, you're in the better than 99% odds of success realm Rolling once per story means there are very low odds of it setting off at this level. So it would no be particularly hard for lower Rage Garou to avoid it long enough that their life's story will end before it happens.

    But it ain't the only mechanic that works this way.
    Can you guess how I feel about those?

    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.
    That really doesn't change the logic of the advice at all.

    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.
    I mean, my decision is that I don't have to worry about it because I've never felt the need to go back to 2e's rules on the matter.

    My point though, is that the rule is heavily flawed, and just waxing on about an idealized not busted form of it doesn't really add much to the conversation.

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  • heinrich
    replied
    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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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    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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  • heinrich
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    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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  • Ana Mizuki
    replied
    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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  • heinrich
    replied
    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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