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  • Advanced Character Creation

    Are there any official rules or recommendations on creating more experienced player characters (Fostern, Adren, etc.)?

  • #2
    It's really just a starting xp recommendation, I don't know the page off hand but in w20 it lurks somewhere around the character creation chapter.

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    • #3
      i do believe i saw something in either the Revised Storyteller Companion or Revised Storyteller Handbook about diffrent starting stats for the various ranks.





      English is not my native language, so i apologize for errors in grammar or spelling.

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      • #4
        It does kind of depend on what power level you have in mind for each rank, a player can accumulate a lot of renown in a short space of time or very little or long periods. The intensity of the game can mean high ranked characters with very little xp to spend on improvements. I tend to either give more freebie points or extra dots in each category, 1-2 attributes, 6-10 abilities etc. The best way my group has found is for the ST to stat out a couple of sample characters of the rank the players will start at and work out how many freebies or xp points it will take to make said characters, this also helps the ST be more aware of what the characters can potentially handle.

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        • #5
          I couldn't find anything in the 20th Anniversary core, but I glanced around the Revised Storyteller Handbook and found these recommendations (the book notes that these would be 'impressive' veterans):

          Fostern

          Attributes: 9/6/4
          Abilities: 20/13/10
          Backgrounds: 10
          Gifts: 5 Level Ones, 3 Level Twos
          Freebies: 20

          Adren

          Attributes: 9/6/4 + 1
          Abilities: 22/15/12
          Backgrounds: 10
          Rage/Gnosis/Willpower: +1 [distribute among these traits]
          Gifts: 5 Level Ones, 5 Level Twos, 1 Level Three
          Freebies: 20

          Athro

          Attributes: 9/6/4 + 2
          Abilities: 24/17/14
          Backgrounds: 10
          Rage/Gnosis/Willpower: +2 [distribute among these traits]
          Gifts: 5 Level Ones, 5 Level Twos, 3 Level Three, 1 Level Four
          Freebies: 20

          Elder

          Attributes: 9/6/4 + 3
          Abilities: 26/19/16
          Backgrounds: 10
          Rage/Gnosis/Willpower: +3 [distribute among these traits]
          Gifts: 5 Level Ones, 5 Level Twos, 3 Level Three, 3 Level Fours, 1 Level 5 Five
          Freebies: 20
          Last edited by Cinnabar; 04-01-2016, 03:15 PM.

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          • #6
            There are some in W20 Rage Across the World, but they suggest adding on XP, which I personally don't find to be a great way for the WoD to do things (as opposed to the ChroD, which is built on having only XP and not freebies, extra dots in general, and XP)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
              There are some in W20 Rage Across the World, but they suggest adding on XP, which I personally don't find to be a great way for the WoD to do things (as opposed to the ChroD, which is built on having only XP and not freebies, extra dots in general, and XP)
              I know there is a lot of ranting against BP Vs. XP. But I've never had a problem with separating chargen from play, and munchkinism can always be stamped out, either by a conversation or stomping on someone who needs to loosen up.


              What doesn't kill you, makes you... stranger.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Cinnabar View Post
                Rage/Gnosis/Willpower: +1 [distribute among these traits]
                Am I crazy, or does this seem like a ridiculously small increase per rank? I don't see how people wouldn't just spend all their freebies on increasing Rage/Gnosis/Willpower...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SonOfGaia View Post

                  Am I crazy, or does this seem like a ridiculously small increase per rank? I don't see how people wouldn't just spend all their freebies on increasing Rage/Gnosis/Willpower...
                  It's ideally for npc generation not pc

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Asmodai View Post
                    I know there is a lot of ranting against BP Vs. XP. But I've never had a problem with separating chargen from play, and munchkinism can always be stamped out, either by a conversation or stomping on someone who needs to loosen up.
                    Not sure if it is munchkinism when in-game successes are a part of the payoff you get from playing. I mean, it's not Call of Cthullu or Paranoia, where it is game-immanent that you get fucked, regardless of what you do.

                    So, the obvious correlation is that good stats lead to in-game successes lead to fun while playing. If a player can use his starting points and spread them uneven, and buy all three attributes to 5 for up to 18XP less. That is about 4 to 5 game sessions worth of XP. And subjectively more fun the other guy has with his high stats. Sure, one can see the great story, having a good time and fun as payoffs from playing the game, but having a cool character just is part of the game, too...

                    My point is, it ain't just munchkinism, but player's who aren't munchkin-ish can subjectively feel that the game is running more in someoneelse's favour than one's own, and therefore grow frustrated. And the unbalance in the character creation figures into that, especially after 3 to 4 game sessions, when one player has bought two attribute dots, while the other is still saving for one.

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                    • #11
                      Yes but if you have to justify taking something that you need for your concept or switching your concept around to justify an absurd Attribute, the concept will win out. I practically never see Attributes at 5 in chargen, and all it took was to get people to consider the narrative ramifications on what they want to play.

                      And even then 15 XP is nothing in the large scale. In the White Wolf system that's peanuts.


                      What doesn't kill you, makes you... stranger.

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                      • #12
                        Is it?
                        One gets 2 to 4 XP usually per game session. Any I usually play not more than bi-monthly. That's about a year for 15XP. A year worth of playing that the other guy has more than I, simply by laying the in another way.

                        And what concept ramifications are we talking. If one chooses Strength 1, Dex 5 and Stamina 5 for his 7 points primary attribute column. After one game session one has the XP to buy 2/4/5. The player who started with 2/4/4 is 12XP shy of having the same stats. And some bull-shit explanation, why the garou started out with Strength 1 isn't the problem. Player's can find justification for anything they want. Strength 1, well I was in space for a while, poisoned by a muscle-eating fomori.toxin but now finally cured, subject of 'Whelp body'-gift and that's just from the top of my head.

                        Don't get me wrong. I envy you, if the player's you play with, don't act that way. But I run LARP with tabletop-conversion rules, and people compete naturally against each other, just as much as they play together. And that is why we changed character creation to an all XP system.

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                        • #13
                          @heinrich

                          You and the LARP thing always weirds me out, the experience is quite different from tabletop. Don't you make a point of training times, and play up the fact that the character with str 1 should be a cripple? The story about him raising it should actually eat up a number of sessions, and I would never allow someone to get beyond it just by spending XP.

                          Any excuse they come up with must be justified, and you are the person in charge of that. I am quite happy with the folks I play with, but I do feel that a part of our compact comes from their knowledge that if they make something at chargen which looks like a defining trait, I'm not letting it go. Neither should you, in a LARP or a tabletop.

                          Sidenote on the XP thing. I think you've heard that I usually run very long games, and that we get at least 3 sessions a month. I've seen characters with 200-300ish XP easy. Right now I run a "casual" Ahadi game with a very large cast of players (And characters, some of my players play 2-3 characters) - it used to be our main game, but due to RL it got demoted to occasional status and we usually play it for 2-3 hours on weekdays when we happen to have the time (we're actually playing in about an hour, am quite happy about that, even though i spent most of the day in meetings ). As a result we have "the old cast" which are mostly rank 4 and around 200-300 XP, and a number of younger Rank 1 and Rank 2 characters in the 10-50XP bracket. The game simultaneously takes place between two hubs, and the characters travel between the locations as it suits the plot

                          The one thing that's utterly clear from the game is that XP is not an issue, heck rank is not an issue. We have Rank 2 50ish XP characters keeping up with Rank 4 250ish XP characters, and they are more outclassed in the social arena due to the elders high renown then they they are in the practical issues they address in the game. It actually turns out great in practice as the role of the elders is played up and their experience gives them more options and highly specialised tricks, while the young ones are great in the sphere they specialised in. So if we can get a fun game where all the characters manage to shine, it's clearly less about the XP totals and more about the attitude - if some one needs to prove something with how big a stack of XP he has, his problems are probably quite a bit bigger then actually having fun in a game.


                          What doesn't kill you, makes you... stranger.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Asmodai View Post
                            @heinrich

                            You and the LARP thing always weirds me out, the experience is quite different from tabletop. Don't you make a point of training times, and play up the fact that the character with str 1 should be a cripple?
                            Or, you know, Lelouch, and people like Lelouch. Though, with Stamina 5, that's way more staying power than Lulu ever had, so I guess not quite..

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Asmodai View Post
                              You and the LARP thing always weirds me out, the experience is quite different from tabletop. Don't you make a point of training times, and play up the fact that the character with str 1 should be a cripple? The story about him raising it should actually eat up a number of sessions, and I would never allow someone to get beyond it just by spending XP.
                              WoD has no times given for learning stuff. There is a rule with the instruction skill and there is a rule of thumb for gifts.
                              In our LARP game, we forbid attributes at 1 and we enforce that a number of game sessions need to pass, before you may rise a stat. But in the tabletop rules, like I said, there aren't prominent or easy to find rules on learning or training. And, one would assume, that basically every thing the character does is training to raise his strength score to at least two again, so there is no real grounds to forbid it.

                              Originally posted by Asmodai View Post
                              Any excuse they come up with must be justified, and you are the person in charge of that. I am quite happy with the folks I play with, but I do feel that a part of our compact comes from their knowledge that if they make something at chargen which looks like a defining trait, I'm not letting it go. Neither should you, in a LARP or a tabletop.
                              Well, running the LARP for 15 years straight has given me the standing to enforce our alternate character creation system and we wrote our own rules that simply forbid such tweaks at character creation in the LARP.
                              But, depending on with whom I play tabletop, and if I'm ST or not, I still find that players here can get an advantage over other player's characters and that constitutes bad game design for me. It is moving the responsibility from the game designer to the ST (which WoD does a lot). So, if the resulting game is satisfactory depends a lot on the decisions made by the ST and other players.

                              In the end, it doesn't matter that much for most people. For I have seen Vampire Superheros and the people had fun playing that. Doesn't really matter that this isn't what I think the game is about.

                              Originally posted by Asmodai View Post
                              Sidenote on the XP thing. I think you've heard that I usually run very long games, and that we get at least 3 sessions a month. I've seen characters with 200-300ish XP easy. Right now I run a "casual" Ahadi game with a very large cast of players (And characters, some of my players play 2-3 characters) - it used to be our main game, but due to RL it got demoted to occasional status and we usually play it for 2-3 hours on weekdays when we happen to have the time (we're actually playing in about an hour, am quite happy about that, even though i spent most of the day in meetings ). As a result we have "the old cast" which are mostly rank 4 and around 200-300 XP, and a number of younger Rank 1 and Rank 2 characters in the 10-50XP bracket. The game simultaneously takes place between two hubs, and the characters travel between the locations as it suits the plot

                              The one thing that's utterly clear from the game is that XP is not an issue, heck rank is not an issue. We have Rank 2 50ish XP characters keeping up with Rank 4 250ish XP characters, and they are more outclassed in the social arena due to the elders high renown then they they are in the practical issues they address in the game. It actually turns out great in practice as the role of the elders is played up and their experience gives them more options and highly specialised tricks, while the young ones are great in the sphere they specialised in. So if we can get a fun game where all the characters manage to shine, it's clearly less about the XP totals and more about the attitude - if some one needs to prove something with how big a stack of XP he has, his problems are probably quite a bit bigger then actually having fun in a game.
                              Success within the game is usually, I'd assume, the main reason one has fun within the game. Successes come with decent dice pools and NPC reactions. Nobody usually states "my character is so badass, he has 40XP" but "I have Strength 5. I'll crush that guy" or "Bring it, my Stamina 5 will protect me" is something that comes up.

                              I personally am a friend of equal XP to all players. For one character to shine, the other players had to allow for their characters to stand back for a moment, and so any incredible feat one player pulls of is really a group effort. Based on this, every one should get the same in-game benefit from his XP. And a system where I can have a character with a specific combination of dots and reach it by Character Creation + XP and the amount of XP can vary greatly, than I regard the system as not satisfactory.
                              And the example in the post before was only for equal traits in the primary attribute column. One of my former Co-ST is a mathematician and calculated that differences at character creation can amount to differences of up to 200 XP to reach similar stats.

                              I mean, would you be okay with it, when you build a fighter with evenly good stats in the physical column and after you saved up 12 XP to raise another attribute to 3 another player who has gotten the same XP buys two attribute dots for the same amount, and has therefore one dot more than you. And that dot is the fifth in an attribute. My guess is, that you wouldn't like that very much either, but that you would want the ST to enforce that characters as such aren't build, by applying an attribute like 'cripple' to such a character or rule that such a trait can't be raised, despide having the XP, because of 'it would take more time'.... I find that this should not be the STs job.

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