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What is with the significant "nerf" to Arcanoi in Wraith-20?

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  • What is with the significant "nerf" to Arcanoi in Wraith-20?

    While the book itself is impressive, the systems content unfortunately leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. I'm a little disappointed at the needless self-nerfing, as my fears have been confirmed after I had a chance to review my buddy's pdf. To clarify, over the past decade and a half in various conversations with the community, I got the perception that there was a vocal minority that somehow decided certain arcanoi were too powerful at level 5. This was really quite arbitrary and not in-line when you compare the iconic level 5 abilities of various other powers in the greater World of Darkness.

    Here are some examples of these changes in Wraith 20:


    a) Obliviate now requires you to touch the target, and can be soaked with the appropriate "art", and grants 3 angst minimum (if not 4 depending on how you read it). Really? Nothing in Spook's book indicates touching anything - and not to mention you will never really touch any important target... let alone touch it multiple times. So much for this being scary.
    b) Tempus Fugit now affects only a 10-yard area (for both speeding up and slowing down), you can no longer "carry it" with you. You are also only limited to 1 extra action c) and successful use only provides this bonus for 1-turn per success. This pretty much was nerfed in every possible mechanical manner. Less Actions. Less Duration. Forced area of affect so it's hard to pick out who it affects and who it does not. Wow.
    d) Aggravated damage can only be soaked by armour/arts (yes I know the player base was split on this - but the official errata for second edition wasn't).
    e) There are several other downgrades that I'm sure you'll all notice to various level 5 and level 4 Arcanoi (take look at Masquers, Monitors, heck even Chanteurs)

    With some pretty impressive level 5 traits available across WoD - its disheartening to see this trend. The arbitrary weakening iconic powers makes me happy I did not contribute to the product. I was really looking forward to some system clarifications for Arcanoi - not this random nerfing with no logical premise (other than perhaps, wraiths should be weaker? Because you definitely can't draw reasons to reduce level 5 Arcanoi effectiveness when compared to mage, werewolf, vampire, demon, changeling or anything else I can think of to be honest).

    Have you folks noticed this? Thoughts?
    Last edited by Nerhesi; 02-20-2018, 05:37 PM.

  • DeadMan
    replied
    the Wraith books are full of things that players can't do, in the Great War book, they have some of the Death Lords running around the Shadowlands but none of them have fetters, i know that they could have just been using Life Web, but that is a big drain on resources after a while, as for Gorool i remember that he was an old Malfean but in 2nd Ed, they tried to make him a Nephwrack, similar to Cold Heart, Charon in the Great war is a playable NPC, and it is said that he can do just about anything that is needed, as he was just kind of walking around the Shaowlands, checking on his people.

    as for 6+ level Arcanos effects check out this
    http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...wraith-options

    Leave a comment:


  • Matt the Bruins fan
    replied
    I seem to recall Gorool initially being described as the biggest, most powerful of the Malfeans. But I believe that was retconned away as the Neverborn gained prominence and got exported as the Big Bads behind the Big Bads of other WW games.

    Leave a comment:


  • Prometheas
    replied
    Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
    You’re assuming Charon overpowered Garool through super mighty combat powers, and not because of his connection to that voice coming from inside Garool’s maw. Much more interesting if he exploited a secret weakness tied to his own Shadow but requiring Self Sacrifice than he rolled a huge bunch of dice because of his special combat moves.
    Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
    See, THIS I find a lot more interesting of an idea.

    Not to mention the above I find to be a more consistent characterization of Charon versus just "Charon hit Gorool really really hard with Siklos".
    Okay, but what "Secret Weakness" is that? Why would a malphean that has presumably been eating souls it's entire existence have a large and glaring weakness that only becomes conveniently evident Now. Has this happened to other Neverborn or Onceborn? Why does Charon know about this "Weakness"?

    I honestly don't really get this. It's effectively substituting "special Combat moves" for "special Plot moves".

    I'm starting to think our disagreement comes from one side not being as interested in combat as the other.

    Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
    I thought they confirmed Garool was not Charon’s Shadow, but had eatten and was possibly being directed by it?
    It was. I don't remember if Gorool was a onceborn or a neverborn though.

    Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
    Y'all act as if the fluff not lining up 100% with the mechanics is something new to WoD. xD
    No, but that doesn't mean I have to like it when it happens.

    Leave a comment:


  • glamourweaver
    replied
    I thought they confirmed Garool was not Charon’s Shadow, but had eatten and was possibly being directed by it?

    Leave a comment:


  • tasti man LH
    replied
    Originally posted by Prometheas View Post
    I wouldn't say that arcanoi beyond 1-5 are necessary, but I don't think a lot of feats in wraith history are as possible as they are with the new arcanoi system. If Malfeans don't use the same stats as wraith, how was Charon able to 1 vs 1 Gorool. Even if Charon didn't Win in your campaign, it was at least a pretty close fight in the way wraith described it.
    Originally posted by Shakanaka
    Also lets just consider the fact that Charon's manifested Shadow was Gorool... You see how strong it was? How large and all-encompassing it seemed to be, towering over many structures in Stygia right? Now just think how strong Charon is if his materialized Shadow is that... Lets also note that supposedly from Hierarchy propaganda that Charon is the oldest Western dead (the oldest dead in the East serves as a minor sergeant for the Jade Emperor in Tiu Yu, don't know about Africa though) in existence. There is no WAY he doesn't have somesort of 6+ Arcanoi, considering he's basically been an active supernatural than most Kindred Methuselahs and even some Antediluvians (if they even exist that is).. Best believe that even the Deathlords and especially the Lady of Fate have some tricks up their sleeve too.
    Y'all act as if the fluff not lining up 100% with the mechanics is something new to WoD. xD

    Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
    You’re assuming Charon overpowered Garool through super mighty combat powers, and not because of his connection to that voice coming from inside Garool’s maw. Much more interesting if he exploited a secret weakness tied to his own Shadow but requiring Self Sacrifice than he rolled a huge bunch of dice because of his special combat moves.
    See, THIS I find a lot more interesting of an idea.

    Not to mention the above I find to be a more consistent characterization of Charon versus just "Charon hit Gorool really really hard with Siklos".

    Originally posted by Shakanaka View Post
    Actually with Dark Reflection: Spectres, you can eventually work your up to become a Onceborn (Edit: a type of Malfean). That's why I made the distinction.. Onceborn isn't the same caste as a Malfean- who has been in that "state" primordially. Onceborns are extremely powerful since for the simple fact they have been able to cunningly or luckily stave off Oblivion, while still being able to garner enough influence from it to be ascended into quasi-demigodhood.
    ...and we're talking Spectres now, which aren't exactly the first pick for most players at tables.

    Either way I usually just homebrew Arcanoi above 6+ anyway.
    Which even then, it's hardly a betrayal to the material because Wraith never had rating +6 Arcanoi.

    V20 had it because the gameline the previous editions of Vampire had already established that Disciplines at +6 ratings existed. Wraith didn't. Which is hardly exclusive to Wr20 anyways: C20 didn't introduce Arts or Realms that go to +6 rating because they never existed in Changeling.

    Conversely, M20 did not bring forward Archspheres...and IIRC, it's because Brucato has a very public distaste for them.

    Leave a comment:


  • Shakanaka
    replied
    Actually with Dark Reflection: Spectres, you can eventually work your up to become a Onceborn (Edit: a type of Malfean). That's why I made the distinction.. Onceborn isn't the same caste as a Malfean- who has been in that "state" primordially. Onceborns are extremely powerful since for the simple fact they have been able to cunningly or luckily stave off Oblivion, while still being able to garner enough influence from it to be ascended into quasi-demigodhood. SPOILER BELOW:


    Also lets just consider the fact that Charon's manifested Shadow was Gorool... You see how strong it was? How large and all-encompassing it seemed to be, towering over many structures in Stygia right? Now just think how strong Charon is if his materialized Shadow is that... Lets also note that supposedly from Hierarchy propaganda that Charon is the oldest Western dead (the oldest dead in the East serves as a minor sergeant for the Jade Emperor in Tiu Yu, don't know about Africa though) in existence. There is no WAY he doesn't have somesort of 6+ Arcanoi, considering he's basically been an active supernatural than most Kindred Methuselahs and even some Antediluvians (if they even exist that is).. Best believe that even the Deathlords and especially the Lady of Fate have some tricks up their sleeve too.

    Either way I usually just homebrew Arcanoi above 6+ anyway. The Storyteller System inherently meant to be simple enough where you can fiddle it around to your absolute. That's the biggest mistake people have about oWoD- that unlike CofD that its "Splatlocked" or not malleable enough because of the metaplot. Metaplot is always just a good guideline of frame of where you want to take the story. You can run it how ever you like lol. W20 is still a good resource, just ignore the Arcanoi you don't like and leave the 2nd edition Arcanoi if you want too.
    Last edited by Shakanaka; 01-13-2020, 06:42 AM.

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  • glamourweaver
    replied
    Originally posted by Prometheas View Post




    I wouldn't say that arcanoi beyond 1-5 are necessary, but I don't think a lot of feats in wraith history are as possible as they are with the new arcanoi system. If Malfeans don't use the same stats as wraith, how was Charon able to 1 vs 1 Gorool. Even if Charon didn't Win in your campaign, it was at least a pretty close fight in the way wraith described it.

    I also don't think unique artifacts are the best way to go about either. If you start handing NPC or players artifacts that are vastly stronger than what normally possible with arcanoi and artifacts statted in the books, then you run into the same VTM problem of rail-roading/handing your players Deus ex Machinas to move the plot along.

    A competent enough ST can get around that, but it's more of a complication than a benefit of the system.
    You’re assuming Charon overpowered Garool through super mighty combat powers, and not because of his connection to that voice coming from inside Garool’s maw. Much more interesting if he exploited a secret weakness tied to his own Shadow but requiring Self Sacrifice than he rolled a huge bunch of dice because of his special combat moves.

    Leave a comment:


  • Prometheas
    replied
    Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post

    Well I'll be honest: in the stuff I read about Charon, he never came across as "godlike"...well, not in the same way that guys like Caine or Porthos are.

    I never got the impression that godlike feats was a thing he did. More like he just happened to be the most influential and wisest of all the Stygian wraiths. There wasn't anything he could do to stop any of the GMs.

    With the most godlike thing he did was 1v1-ing Gorool...which IIRC, in-canon it's in doubt if he actually even properly fought him.

    If anything to me that makes Charon the most appealing out of the legendary NPCs of the WoD gamelines. That he's the most human.

    Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
    Yeah Charon and the Jade Emperor are both awe inspiring for their accomplishments, and thanks to their positions of power they wield amazing Artifacts and Relics (most notably in the Emperor’s case, the Immortal Guard), and possess unique Arcanoi Arts via millennia of learning and study. I can’t think of any feat that requires power beyond what 1-5 Arcanoi are capable of though.

    Malfeans are something else entirely and aren’t using player character rules. I’m open to seeing their powers statted for not purposes, but it’s not relevant to the issue of player character Arcanoi.


    The idea that Wraith is HURT by not having VtM’s “your pcs are nothing compared to the awe inspiring power of npcs who can obliterate your with a thought” problem is really ridiculous.
    I wouldn't say that arcanoi beyond 1-5 are necessary, but I don't think a lot of feats in wraith history are as possible as they are with the new arcanoi system. If Malfeans don't use the same stats as wraith, how was Charon able to 1 vs 1 Gorool. Even if Charon didn't Win in your campaign, it was at least a pretty close fight in the way wraith described it.

    I also don't think unique artifacts are the best way to go about either. If you start handing NPC or players artifacts that are vastly stronger than what normally possible with arcanoi and artifacts statted in the books, then you run into the same VTM problem of rail-roading/handing your players Deus ex Machinas to move the plot along.

    A competent enough ST can get around that, but it's more of a complication than a benefit of the system.

    Leave a comment:


  • glamourweaver
    replied
    Yeah Charon and the Jade Emperor are both awe inspiring for their accomplishments, and thanks to their positions of power they wield amazing Artifacts and Relics (most notably in the Emperor’s case, the Immortal Guard), and possess unique Arcanoi Arts via millennia of learning and study. I can’t think of any feat that requires power beyond what 1-5 Arcanoi are capable of though.

    Malfeans are something else entirely and aren’t using player character rules. I’m open to seeing their powers statted for npc purposes, but it’s not relevant to the issue of player character Arcanoi.


    The idea that Wraith is HURT by not having VtM’s “your pcs are nothing compared to the awe inspiring power of npcs who can obliterate your with a thought” problem is really ridiculous.
    Last edited by glamourweaver; 01-13-2020, 01:13 AM.

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  • Callishka
    replied
    Originally posted by Shakanaka View Post
    Looks like the new writers who developed W20 didn't understand the game that well. Also he said that Ghosts shouldn't be powerful "godlike" figures... Guess he never heard of Coldheart, the Onceborn, Charon, the Jade Emperor, etc.
    The topic of arcanoi brings out such dismissive attitudes towards Wraith 20. We got someone above saying they're happy they didn't spend money on it due to the arcanoi, and now this. All are entitled to their opinions, of course, but, jeez. This seems like such a non-issue, to me

    Edit: looking back over my post, it doesn't move the conversation forward, which is my usual standard for internet conversation. Apologies. I spoke the truth, but I don't think it's a useful comment. That said, deleting it is also not a good move, so, here is my gaffe on display.
    Last edited by Callishka; 01-12-2020, 10:14 AM.

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  • tasti man LH
    replied
    Originally posted by Shakanaka View Post
    so he said that Ghosts shouldn't be powerful "godlike" figures... Guess he never heard of Coldheart, the Onceborn, Charon, the Jade Emperor, etc.
    Well I'll be honest: in the stuff I read about Charon, he never came across as "godlike"...well, not in the same way that guys like Caine or Porthos are.

    I never got the impression that godlike feats was a thing he did. More like he just happened to be the most influential and wisest of all the Stygian wraiths. There wasn't anything he could do to stop any of the GMs.

    With the most godlike thing he did was 1v1-ing Gorool...which IIRC, in-canon it's in doubt if he actually even properly fought him.

    If anything to me that makes Charon the most appealing out of the legendary NPCs of the WoD gamelines. That he's the most human.

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  • Shakanaka
    replied
    My take is if they were going to make a nerf for the Arcanoi, they should've revealed the Arcanoi abilities above 5 up to 10 like usual. It seems strange they would nerf the abilities without atleast doing that. Pretty big missed opportunity if you asked me, but Wraith was always the least loved of the oWoD splatline sadly.

    EDIT: I agree with Prometheas aswell. Read all the old Guildbooks and the other supplement books for Wraith. They were never supposed to be weak and Wraith obviously isn't supposed to be the "average" Ghost story. If WoD went by the "averages" of what supernaturals were supposed to be, there would be no Warrior Gaia-fearing Werewolves, Vampires absolutely would have nothing to do with Caine, and there also wouldn't be any Technocracy for the Mage line too. Looks like the new writers who developed W20 didn't understand the game that well. Also he said that Ghosts shouldn't be powerful "godlike" figures... Guess he never heard of Coldheart, the Onceborn, Charon, the Jade Emperor, etc.
    Last edited by Shakanaka; 01-11-2020, 07:03 PM.

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  • glamourweaver
    replied
    Originally posted by Prometheas View Post

    We'll just have to agree to disagree then. I prefer having high power arcanoi to be a thing and think the rebalancing of W20 went too far in the other direction. I also don't find it consistent with how the setting was established in previous editions and that erks me.

    If you disagree, then we probably have a fundamental disagreement in gaming philosophy. My opinion is that pre-W20 wraith supported Both our philosophies though.



    Personally, I Hate n/a rated stats. As a storyteller I prefer coming up with inventive ways to use established abilities as opposed to making up my own. I also don't like when there's a gap between the rules the ST uses and that the Player uses.

    So, for the same reason I prefer 2Ed VTM defined Level 10 Disciplines over later editions "Plot Device" powers, I don't like the idea of deathlords having undefined n/a abilities. This has always been a problem for me in WOD games, but I find W20 makes this worse.

    That problem boils down to “they haven’t statted the Deathlords”, not anything having to do with “nerfing” Arcanos, or ratings over 6 being a thing that should exist.

    I certainly agree that big NPCs that PCs should be able to shank should have stats.
    Last edited by glamourweaver; 01-10-2020, 09:32 PM.

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  • Prometheas
    replied
    Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
    All those things you listed do not require high-powered Arcanoi.

    You can achieve any of those things by cultivating influence, gaining/increasing Backgrounds, raising an army, crafting Artifacts or raising character's Attributes and Abilities the normal way.

    It's kind of hard to feel like an empowered badass if there's a voice in the back of your head telling you that you're destined to fail or that this will not last.

    Unless if you remove the Shadow and, well, lose Wraith's main hook over the other WoD gamelines.
    We'll just have to agree to disagree then. I prefer having high power arcanoi to be a thing and think the rebalancing of W20 went too far in the other direction. I also don't find it consistent with how the setting was established in previous editions and that erks me.

    If you disagree, then we probably have a fundamental disagreement in gaming philosophy. My opinion is that pre-W20 wraith supported Both our philosophies though.

    Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
    Yeah, Wraith has literally never been about playing an “empowered badass”. I like kewl powerz as much as the next guy, but interesting is way more important than raw force, and between the addition of Initiate Arts, balancing the different Arcanoi WITH EACH OTHER (not with characters in other games who don’t even exist on the same level of reality as Wraiths), and really neat powers like Haunter spatial labyrinths, W20 has some of the most interesting takes on Arcanoi in the game’s history.

    If the Deathlords have greater raw power than other Wraiths (as opposed to some unique 5 dot Arts, which they certainly have) it’s not higher level Arcanoi - it’s n/a rated Artifacts (the masks). They’re not Antedeluvians. It’s a political office, not a state of godhood.
    Personally, I Hate n/a rated stats. As a storyteller I prefer coming up with inventive ways to use established abilities as opposed to making up my own. I also don't like when there's a gap between the rules the ST uses and that the Player uses.

    So, for the same reason I prefer 2Ed VTM defined Level 10 Disciplines over later editions "Plot Device" powers, I don't like the idea of deathlords having undefined n/a abilities. This has always been a problem for me in WOD games, but I find W20 makes this worse.

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