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Farming beats through Conditions

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  • Farming beats through Conditions

    While playing some Requiem today we got into discussion about Beat farming.

    So, achieving an Exceptional Success can give you a Condition, usually Inspired. Since Inspired makes it easier for you to score an Exceptional Success, does that mean the Condition can self-perpetuate by granting you the Condition for rolling 3 successes, and thus allow you to farm a Beat each Scene? Also, since that Condition gives you Willpower, you will likely be able to spend a Willpower to gain more successes and have a high chance of regaining the Condition.

    Also, the Merit Distinguished Palette gives you an Exceptional Success on 1 success, which when comboed with Bloodhound means you can nick people to smell their blood and get Inspired easily.

    I get it that Beat farming is almost encouraged (as per Mage's "As Beat Goes On" panel), but this almost sounds like an exploit. With merits like Inspiring or Sympathetic, those seem a bit more of a thematic way of gaining Conditions and thus Beats, while Distinguished Palette almost feels cheap.

    So how should one handle such a system? Only give out a condition on 5 successes flat rather than 1 success Exceptional Success?

  • #2
    If you think Distinguished Palette is too powerful, just limit it to three successes or disallow it.
    If you think Inspired makes earning Beats too easy, don't hand it out as often. Choose or create some other Conditions that can work in the same contexts.


    Bloodline: The Stygians
    Ordo Dracul Mystery: Coil of Smoke

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    • #3
      Achieving an Exceptional Success can give you a Condition, usually something that's pertinent to the roll or situation. Inspired is generally obtained with artistic or creative work, like Expression, Crafts and things like that. Don't give out Inspired for combat. You should probably create Conditions on the fly that are relevant to the situation, story or character. Conditions usually give a +2 or -2, a 9 or 8 Again, or some kind of advantage or disadvantage not necessarily numerical.

      I solved the beat farming with an houserule of mine, along with personalized conditions: Instead of giving out Steadfast or Inspired, or even giving out a Con.dition, award a Beat and give a better result if applicable; or apply a Condition to another character that's involved in the action (even enemy NPCs). You might use this to create a Personal Tilt, an Environmental Tilt (if applicable), or a "Situation Tilt". This way you can give the player advantages that feel rewarding while not giving out Condition-generating loops.
      Only give out Inspired for events that won't break the game overall (usually, arts and crafts won't, that's why it's easy to give them out, or even Larceny, as they generally don't come up as often) or very specific actions or purposes.
      You can a void loops by not giving out ways to make exceptional success easier (bonus dice are fine though), or awarding a Beat for an ingame advantage of some kind.

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      • #4
        Generally, my favored methods to handle this (especially if you're not using Group Beats):

        1) Only one Beat per scene for resolving a Condition, resolving more regains 1 WP instead. This generally avoids Condition farming because there's little incentive to go out of your way to stack on a bunch of Conditions (this is inspired by the GMC RU where the first iteration of the Beat rules only allowed one Beat for resolution per scene, but I modified it to have some reason to resolve more).

        2) Take the decision for Condition assignment on an Exceptional Success away from the player and make it a negotiation. This gives the ST grounds to avoid farming by having exceptional successes generate Conditions in other characters more than players just giving themselves Inspired all the time.

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        • #5
          All the advices go the way of the dodo when something like a merit gives a Persistent version of Inspired concerned with several different endeavours, while having also having another condition that persistently gives you beats for exceptional successes (A Song in Your Heart merit and the Siskur Dah condition.)

          Indeed looks like the games are geared explicitly towards "beat farming".

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Malus View Post
            All the advices go the way of the dodo when something like a merit gives a Persistent version of Inspired concerned with several different endeavours, while having also having another condition that persistently gives you beats for exceptional successes (A Song in Your Heart merit and the Siskur Dah condition.)

            Indeed looks like the games are geared explicitly towards "beat farming".
            I think quoting mage on this topic answers the primary concern:

            Originally posted by MtA p. 126
            The Beat Goes On…
            At this point, you may be wondering what’s stopping you from loading up on Condition-causing spells in a relatively safe environment, resolving them all, and earning Beats by the bucketload? The honest answer is “nothing, mages do it all the time.” Mastigos force their apprentices to face terrifying fears in order to better themselves. Thyrsus challenge their own bodies with horrible diseases. The only limits are the rule that a character may only earn one Beat per scene from resolving Conditions, and the limits of her own Wisdom (see p. 87). Remember, though, that letting a Condition-causing spell’s Duration expire doesn’t resolve the Condition.
            In fact, I am surprised no one else brought this up. Of course that implies negative Conditions, but considering it is one beat per scene are we looking at a max of 1 or 2 XP per chapter from Conditions even if they max out their rate of acquisition.

            Also this explains why Sires might be so rough with their Childer, they live in a world where adversity makes you better and more capable.
            Last edited by Pale_Crusader; 08-11-2017, 02:27 PM.


            “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
            "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

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            • #7
              Someone did bring it up.

              But Werewolf does hammer it in that the way werewolves become 'more werewolf' is by fulfilling the sacred hunt, which is the place they get most of their Beats.

              Just a few things to add, though.

              1. Gaining a lot of beats is not a bad thing. In previous editions, it was practically unheard of for people to get really high stats. Usually if it happened, it required years and years of play, or a huge boost, such as starting with hundreds of Experience. But even then, with scaling, one could never see the high end of power, thus cutting off a whole realm of 'end game' content. If you're interested in getting there, you see the way to do it, through Lashing Out, Sacred Hunt, or other options, and can make sure the characters get to the point they're needed for your end game stories.

              2. Some players may not be as savvy as others. If one player is getting several beats more than everyone else, every session, and the others are oblivious to Conditions or just not motivated, you may think of shifting to group Beats. It's suggested as an option, but the books seem to come from an point of view where everyone is working on the same page, taking advantage of the same opportunities. If they aren't, no problem giving a leg-up to some.

              3. Storytellers should read the books they use. We've probably had a dozen posters come with simple problems about the game going completely out of control that were solved by pointing out that something is limited to once per scene or session or chapter, or how this effect only happened when someone was at really low Harmony. If there's a problem with understanding something, there's usually a lot of posters here, and on other boards, that can help out.

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              • #8
                To be a bit fair towards point 3: The CofD 2e books have not been consistent in including the "1 Beat per Condition resolution per scene" rule. Sometimes it's there. Sometimes it's not (more frequently not so far). There seems to have been a shift in the developer attitude towards the default acceptance of Condition Beat farming between the GMC RU and CofD 2e core. Mage 2e is really the only one to really push back towards where the GMC RU was (and thus where Demon is by default); but Mages are by far the best and laying down as many Conditions as they want; where everyone else usually has to use a set of fairly specific mechanics to regularly hit themselves with positive Conditions that can be farmed in a way that would feel distracting (like, I wouldn't consider the Siskar-Dur Condition a farming problem, because a hunt could take a scene, or multiple scenes, to resolve just for that one Beat; it can't be spammed like Inspired allows).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                  To be a bit fair towards point 3: The CofD 2e books have not been consistent in including the "1 Beat per Condition resolution per scene" rule. Sometimes it's there. Sometimes it's not (more frequently not so far). There seems to have been a shift in the developer attitude towards the default acceptance of Condition Beat farming between the GMC RU and CofD 2e core. Mage 2e is really the only one to really push back towards where the GMC RU was (and thus where Demon is by default); but Mages are by far the best and laying down as many Conditions as they want; where everyone else usually has to use a set of fairly specific mechanics to regularly hit themselves with positive Conditions that can be farmed in a way that would feel distracting (like, I wouldn't consider the Siskar-Dur Condition a farming problem, because a hunt could take a scene, or multiple scenes, to resolve just for that one Beat; it can't be spammed like Inspired allows).
                  Siskur Dah provides a beat with each exceptional success on pursuit of said hunt.

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                  • #10
                    Yeah, though Heavy Arms is right that all the books don't explain everything, they still go a long way towards helping you understand how things work.

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                    • #11
                      Siskur-Dah does have plenty of potential Beats - it's a Persistent Condition and has those Beats as well - it doesn't inherently loop like Inspired can be allowed to do. None of the Tribe bonuses make Exceptional Successes directly easier.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                        Siskur-Dah does have plenty of potential Beats - it's a Persistent Condition and has those Beats as well - it doesn't inherently loop like Inspired can be allowed to do. None of the Tribe bonuses make Exceptional Successes directly easier.
                        A Song in Your Heart does provides a persistent Inspired condition tied to the Hunt.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Malus View Post

                          A Song in Your Heart does provides a persistent Inspired condition tied to the Hunt.
                          It gives you a variant of the Inspiring Merit that lets people who listen to you tell a story, sing a song, et cetera get a Persistent form of Inspired relevant to the story in question, which is not quite the same thing as having Inspired [The Hunt] at all times, particularly given that the only specific change it makes to the Condition is that you can earn multiple Beats from it — presumably resolving it for its benefit still ends the Condition.


                          Resident Sanguinary Analyst
                          Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                            It gives you a variant of the Inspiring Merit that lets people who listen to you tell a story, sing a song, et cetera get a Persistent form of Inspired relevant to the story in question, which is not quite the same thing as having Inspired [The Hunt] at all times, particularly given that the only specific change it makes to the Condition is that you can earn multiple Beats from it — presumably resolving it for its benefit still ends the Condition.
                            If your inspiring story doesn't pertains to the current hunt; you're doing it wrong.

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                            • #15
                              You'd want to get some Favored Forms up to 3 dots, at least, giving you two skills for each. And Honed Senses, which has a nice synergy with overall shapeshifting. The former giving you an Exceptional Success at 3 Successes for Perception rolls, the latter giving you up to an extra +4 to Perception dicepools. Impossible Spoor gives you 2 Successes on a success, and I'd probably not have it let you flip into an Exceptional Success but others might.

                              They already get a different Condition for Exceptional Successes on straight tracking, but one could see why a pack who hunts a scattered group would probably become more powerful, though not necessarily more versatile.

                              An alternative is lodges, which are great for Beats for werewolves, but not a subject of the thread.
                              Last edited by nofather; 08-12-2017, 02:27 AM.

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