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Advice on gauging the Strengths and Weaknesses between Splats.

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Darinas View Post
    Final roster for the official splats:
    Let me know if you wish me to do fan-made splats as well^^ I only know 2 of them (Princess and Genius), but it could be fun!
    I do think these two are popular enough to be worth your input, you did a remarkable work considering the complexity of the task.


    #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
    #AutismPride
    She/her pronouns

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    • #32
      Alright, sorry for the delay. Since I was asked, I'm gonna give Genius and Princess a try. Warning, I am mostly familiar with Princess Dream, and I am including Genius 2E here. Here's Genius for now:


      Genius:
      Strengths:
      * Master-Crafters: If there's one thing Genius are good at, it's building things; they're basically similar to Mages in how versatile they are, but whereas Mages just cast spells with chosen effects, Genius basically create customized advanced equipments that lets them do the same; basically, they have an hyper-fleshed out version of other template's ability to craft magic item such as Token, Fetish, Memento, and so on. This has the added benefit of allowing them to build allies or provide their allies with that equipment as long as they aren't regular mortals. Whereas Mages struggle and usually have to get to a high level to create lasting defenses for their Sanctum or enchant a weapon, even a starting Genius can build a lab with supernatural tech defenses as long as he has the time and resources.
      * Tech Experts: I think this goes without saying given the concept, but no other splats can rival with Genius when it comes to Technology. Aside from their ability to enhance mental Attributes and to make Wonders, they all passively have the ability to enhance, power and dismantle pieces of technology by spending Mania - and that's mundane tech, not Wonders. Most splats do have at least one tech expert group, but for Geniuses, all of them are like this.
      Weaknesses:
      * Squishy Nerds: In addition of sharing the Mage's weakness of being as vulnerable as normal humans without their Wonders (to a worse level since unlike Mages they actually need to build wonders and don't even have Mage Armors), Geniuses have to be mental-oriented; theorically, it's possible to focus more on social or physical, but mental skills are crucial regardless of the kind of Genius you do, be it to add to your pool (1E) or to add Sparks (2E), so if you do not invest a reasonable number of dots in them, your Genius will find themselves very limited. This means you will usually have subpar stats in either Social or Physical at the beginning.
      * Need for materials and manpower: as pointed out by the book itself, Geniuses aren't wizard; while the things they built are truly impressive, they cannot conjure them out of thin air. Building Wonders require material and space to work, which mechanic-wise is represented by the Resource or Laboratory merit depending on the edition - but regardless of which one, they do need access to them in order to be able to build. More problematic, building Wonders is time-consuming, especially for large Wonders, so Geniuses will need a large number of Beholden or similar assistants to support them in order to reach their full potential - a genius with a small lab in a backyard alley with no assistant will problably only be able to build small gadgets, while one with a wide lab and an army of beholden could built space stations and an army.

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      • #33
        For geniuses I'd add the following strengths:
        • Raw power. Battle dirigibles, robot armies, city busters, experienced Genii are some of the most powerful out there.
        • Information gathering. Even at low levels Apokalypsi is an extremely flexible tool capable of building scanners for any kind of information before going wide at higher levels with wonders like radars. Add a little Epikrato and any mortal computer is an open book and just to top it off Genii are innately prone to eureka moments when investigating a mystery. Mages may be better at going deep into the details of a phenomina but a world wide network of information is within the capabilities of even a starting genius.
        • Flexibility. Mad scientists rival mages for Flexibility, with the right axioms they are capable of creating a tool for any task. The catch is that creating a tool takes time, and if caught flat footed a genius is at a far bigger disadvantage than a Mage.
        But I'd also add the following all important weakness:
        • Insanity. Geniuses have multiple mechanics that all boil down to them being as mad as a hatter. Persistent Catalyst Conditions create consistent problems for a mad scientist. Jabir means you will rant like a lunatic when the university questions your ideas, rather than present evidence in a calm and persuasive manner. The Magnum Opus means the average Genius is obsessed with nonsensical or outright evil goals like "cull humanity to prevent global warming", rather than more sensible goals like "invent a revolutionary clean energy source", they might resist the obsession but they'll have it. Sprinkle in some roleplaying and a genius' worst weakness is their own mind.


        “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
        My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
        Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

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        • #34
          Alright, sorry for the delay. Time to complete my list with the analysis for Princesses:

          Princesses:
          Strengths:
          * Superhuman pools: fitting for a splat meant to emulate Magical Girls and Superheroes, Nobles tend to be good at gathering absurdly high dice pools. Transformed dots grants them higher skills and Attributes to begin with, and both are cheaper to buy that regular ones, meaning they will start and quickly raise to have higher dice pools than most splats to begin with. Then you got Invocations, which also are cheap to buy (2-3 xp per dots), can grant up to a +5 bonus on Charm dicepools (which can includes things like attacks, Defense, Armor, or in Vocation skills if you buy the right Charms) and have relatively easy condition to fullfill in order to use them for free.In a lot of aspects, Nobles are good at doing everything a human can do on a superhuman level.
          * Social Paragon: Interestingly, Nobles tend to be good in social similar to vampires, but in a very different way; whereas vampires are more efficient as social predators, offensive and manipulating people into doing their bidding, Nobles tend to be good at forming bonds by helping people and inspiring them. Dream gives them the Sympathetic merit at reduced cost and allows them to grant the Inspired condition to people by doing heroic things. Both versions also give them many Charms focused on support or social boosts, with at least two Callings focused specifically on social interactions (Troubadours and Graces) who literally regain their fuel by helping people. Princesses are good at helping, making friends, and bringing the best out of people - a rare thing in the Chronicles of Darkness setting.
          Weaknesses:
          * Empathetically Vulnerable: A reverse of their status as social paragon, Princesses are also vulnerable on the social plan, because they genuinely care about the people they form connection with; losing a Circle member is a violent hit for a Princess, and Sensitivity makes them vulnerable to witnessing atrocities or betrayal - both things that are commonplace in the Chronicles of Darkness setting. A particularly sadistic ST (or particularly cruel opponents) can easily trigger Sensitivity repeatedly by cumulating horrible actions in front of a Princess, draining her Wisp and paralyzing her temporarily. Moreover, while Shadows usually are relatively easy to get rid of, they can become a serious problem if you let them piling up.
          * Human Form: Princesses have their full potential only in their Transformed state; though they can access their Practical Magic and (in Vocation) Practical Charm while mundane, they still are weaker, and since keeping your true identity hidden is a big part of the game, showing off too much power while mundane isn't recommanded. If a Princess is in a situation where she cannot afford to transform, she will be weaker and more vulnerable, especially if she relies too much on the Charms and Bonus dots from her Transformed state.

          This one was a bit of a challenge, since while I played both Dream and Vocation, I am much more familiar with the former than the latter. But I tried to involve both of them in my analysis.

          Now, as I said, Princess and Genius are the only fansplats I actually played, so I am afraid that unless things change and I end up playing Dragon, Leviathan, or other, I can't break down these.
          Last edited by Darinas; 09-22-2021, 09:48 AM.

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          • #35
            Just a tiny "Strength" of the mage (and maybe some other splats, not familiar with ALL of them). A wise's "moral stat" (wisdom) is in most cases inviolate from outside pressure to change it. A human can lose integrity by witnessing horrors, A demon can lose cover when people nose around a little too far, hell, a vampire can basically have a boomer moment by witnessing a culture that isn't "from their time" and lose humanity. While a mage (as long as he isn't being reckless/an asshole at least or the abyss isn't doing some weird stuff to the mage's pattern) is pretty much immune to exterior attempts to drop their wisdom.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Darinas View Post
              Another strength to note is that Princesses tend to be something of a united front, not counting Twilights. Being screwed over by in-fighting was part of their backstory. After the Release, the main PC courts basically got together and collectively said 'welp, we're not doing that again'. While they may have disagreements, you're not likely to get nakama vs nakama fights like with packs, backstabbing politics like vamps, or paranoia like lings. Even ideological opposites (the orderly Hearts vs the freedom-loving Spades) are more likely to try to find common ground or work something out than get into a physical fight with each other.

              A weakness is a lack of institutional influence. Princesses tend to blossom and die young, While there are adult Nobles, the fact most debutauntes are in high school or college when they blossom mean that while they have the means to rapidly rise in their field, most are at the ground level.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Tzauri View Post

                Another strength to note is that Princesses tend to be something of a united front, not counting Twilights. Being screwed over by in-fighting was part of their backstory. After the Release, the main PC courts basically got together and collectively said 'welp, we're not doing that again'. While they may have disagreements, you're not likely to get nakama vs nakama fights like with packs, backstabbing politics like vamps, or paranoia like lings. Even ideological opposites (the orderly Hearts vs the freedom-loving Spades) are more likely to try to find common ground or work something out than get into a physical fight with each other.

                A weakness is a lack of institutional influence. Princesses tend to blossom and die young, While there are adult Nobles, the fact most debutauntes are in high school or college when they blossom mean that while they have the means to rapidly rise in their field, most are at the ground level.
                Both very good points, but these are more lore-wise strength and weaknesses that do not really have any reflection in the mechanics. I was mostly focused on mechanics in my breakdown.

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                • #38
                  An important detail that was missed on the deviant overview is that they can get attributes at 6-10. Superhuman is a variation that allows any attribute to go above 5 or even allow a low attribute to shoot up to a high value. While it is limited and has weaknesses attached, they can do this from character creation which I think is entirely unique to them. Their skills may be capped at 5 as normal though... I have yet to read the entirety of the book.
                  Last edited by Yig1015w; 10-14-2021, 02:14 PM.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Yig1015w View Post
                    An important detail that was missed on the deviant overview is that they can get attributes at 6-10. Superhuman is a variation that allows any attribute to go above 5 or even allow a low attribute to shoot up to a high value. While it is limited and has weaknesses attached, they can do this from character creation which I think is entirely unique to them. Their skills may be capped at 5 as normal though... I have yet to read the entirety of the book.
                    Although any attribute is something interesting, with things like Vigor for Vampires, Form bonuses for Werewolves and Spell bonuses for Mages, I'm not sure if this is so unique as it seems at first.


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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                      Although any attribute is something interesting, with things like Vigor for Vampires, Form bonuses for Werewolves and Spell bonuses for Mages, I'm not sure if this is so unique as it seems at first.
                      Superhuman Attribute at Magnitude 3 or higher sets your Attribute to a minimum rating above the Baseline maximum if adding its Magnitude wouldn't already bring it to that point, regardless of your normal rating. The sickliest human in the world could get five extra points of Stamina with their Divergence along with the equivalent of Mage's Greater Utility Attainment for the Life Arcanum.

                      This costs as much Experience as a single Attribute dot and whatever Scar you entangled it with, and if the Scar gets more severe the bonus can get bigger. Other splats have to buy more dots or get lucky activating their powers.


                      Resident Lore-Hound
                      Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                        This costs as much Experience as a single Attribute dot and whatever Scar you entangled it with, and if the Scar gets more severe the bonus can get bigger. Other splats have to buy more dots or get lucky activating their powers.
                        Still it isn't that much of a separate pitch on their strengths. A Deviant built to have more attributes will have an easy time doing so, it is already a byproduct of them being versatile. Those other splats, though, will have the same benefit at a higher cost, but along their own strengths.

                        It isn't even really the cheapest, as Werewolf bonuses to other forms are innate to being of the splat, so it costs nada. It is limited? Yes, but then we'll be getting into details that make comparisons harder, not easier.


                        #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Yig1015w View Post
                          An important detail that was missed on the deviant overview is that they can get attributes at 6-10. Superhuman is a variation that allows any attribute to go above 5 or even allow a low attribute to shoot up to a high value. While it is limited and has weaknesses attached, they can do this from character creation which I think is entirely unique to them. Their skills may be capped at 5 as normal though... I have yet to read the entirety of the book.
                          I can indeed confirm as said by those above that it isn't actually unique to them; Werewolves have this for free as the bonus points from their forms (the +3 Strength bonus in Gauru form alone guarantee a strength above 5 as long as their base Strength is 3), Vampires can get the same results by putting a lot in Vigor, Life-oriented Mages have spells for that, and Demons can get this by getting the right traits in their Demonic Forms. And that's not even getting into Caul-oriented Sin-Eaters or Beasts, who can flat-out use the Attributes of Ephemeral beings (the former by borrowing their Geist's Attributes with the first dot of the Caul, the latter by merging with their Horror when they open a Primordial Pathway) for a while. Raising your stat above their max is actually surprisingly common.

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                          • #43
                            All those examples sound like temporary things though. The Deviants benefit feels like their potency system for stats. Which as far as I can tell they are the only ones who can just start with 10 in something without relying on a potency stat to do so. Which is a pretty awesome benefit.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Darinas View Post
                              I can indeed confirm as said by those above that it isn't actually unique to them; Werewolves have this for free as the bonus points from their forms (the +3 Strength bonus in Gauru form alone guarantee a strength above 5 as long as their base Strength is 3), Vampires can get the same results by putting a lot in Vigor, Life-oriented Mages have spells for that, and Demons can get this by getting the right traits in their Demonic Forms. And that's not even getting into Caul-oriented Sin-Eaters or Beasts, who can flat-out use the Attributes of Ephemeral beings (the former by borrowing their Geist's Attributes with the first dot of the Caul, the latter by merging with their Horror when they open a Primordial Pathway) for a while. Raising your stat above their max is actually surprisingly common.
                              Every other splat that can access superhuman Attributes before Supernatural Potency 6+ either has to buy up a power dot by dot, roll well, or engage a form that is obviously supernatural. A deviant can constantly have Strength 10 for four Experiences with nobody the wiser and the tradeoff can be as simple as "you can barely heal damage without long-term care" or "touching wood is ruinous to your health."


                              Resident Lore-Hound
                              Currently Consuming: Demon: the Descent 1e

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                              • #45
                                I'm still slightly confused over the second listed weakness on the Mummy write up. Mummy tends towards a much looser and cinematic attitude when it comes to swallowing up places with sandstorms or wrecking places with meteors, earthquakes, cursed eclipses or simply violently ending someone as you loudly declare in front of a crowd that the person is dying in the name of (insert elder god Judge name here)


                                Not returning to the forums, just stopping in for a moment.

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