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Advice on gauging the Strengths and Weaknesses between Splats.

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  • #46
    Originally posted by TyrannicalRabbit View Post
    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)
    Gotta admit, I'm also confused on it. On the player front, effectively being a cosmic horror who doesn't care too much about the status quo if it gets in the way of their goals is a big part of the point and is one part of the reason why they have those powers, and on the overall setting, the presence of Arisen doing that just reinforces how far the elasticity of "just don't look too closely at it" goes. Valkyire may respond sharply to that one use of Feast of Ashes, but the average citizen, years after the fact , might mention that one time there was a crazy black out, and everyone else will mention the mundane elements of it and never mention how grandpa's shadow ate him and why that's the rest of them joined a cult that could still call on them.


    Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
    Feminine pronouns, please.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Yig1015w View Post
      All those examples sound like temporary things though.
      No. Even if you want it to be subtle, vampires can start at 8 +effects Physical Attributes (because those Disciplines have added benefits beyond adding to Strength) and a relatively easy time getting to 10 later without ever investing in Blood Potency, and those bonuses are permanent. The only drawback is that it costs some XP to get to 10. Mages can try permanent magic early on.

      Seriously, it is not about not being possible or simpler, but it simply isn't a huge advantage. It would make more sense to say that each supernatural have advantages and disadvantages on their particular way to achieve Attributes beyond 5 without investing in a Power Trait. But as a general rule everyone can do that and Deviant's advantage is only in the minutiae of the process.

      Originally posted by TyrannicalRabbit View Post
      I'm still slightly confused over the second listed weakness on the Mummy write up.
      I get it as a disadvantage for relative lack of option, you can't choose to be subtle even for strategic advantage. Any lack of usually available options is a disadvantage by itself, even if not your style.


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      • #48
        Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
        No. Even if you want it to be subtle, vampires can start at 8 +effects Physical Attributes (because those Disciplines have added benefits beyond adding to Strength) and a relatively easy time getting to 10 later without ever investing in Blood Potency, and those bonuses are permanent. The only drawback is that it costs some XP to get to 10. Mages can try permanent magic early on.

        Seriously, it is not about not being possible or simpler, but it simply isn't a huge advantage. It would make more sense to say that each supernatural have advantages and disadvantages on their particular way to achieve Attributes beyond 5 without investing in a Power Trait. But as a general rule everyone can do that and Deviant's advantage is only in the minutiae of the process.


        I get it as a disadvantage for relative lack of option, you can't choose to be subtle even for strategic advantage. Any lack of usually available options is a disadvantage by itself, even if not your style.
        Whilst somewhat true, it's on such tenuous grounds that it begs the question of why include it in this sort of format. Particularly when the stated part is at odds with the actual content of the game line in question.


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

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        • #49
          Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
          Gotta admit, I'm also confused on it. On the player front, effectively being a cosmic horror who doesn't care too much about the status quo if it gets in the way of their goals is a big part of the point and is one part of the reason why they have those powers, and on the overall setting, the presence of Arisen doing that just reinforces how far the elasticity of "just don't look too closely at it" goes. Valkyire may respond sharply to that one use of Feast of Ashes, but the average citizen, years after the fact , might mention that one time there was a crazy black out, and everyone else will mention the mundane elements of it and never mention how grandpa's shadow ate him and why that's the rest of them joined a cult that could still call on them.
          On the one hand, sure, the setting of Chronicles is one where people are willing to not acknowledge the scary thing in the hopes that that won't draw its attention.

          On the other hand, people tend to paper over blatant apocalyptic supernatural occurrences when they have an actual cover story to swallow, "destroy all copies of this information" is a high-level Shadow Rite the Iron Masters claim proprietary knowledge of, Incepts being "mountain-moving powers from when you could be a lot less subtle" is part of the reason angels don't use them without courting the Fall, Utterances are specifically dubious in how much the Arisen were supposed to have them, and not caring about the consequences and refusing to engage with your past actions generally makes the Arisen less personlike.

          Not for nothing does Mortal Remains characterize mummies as restrained in the use of their great powers, because (among other things) there are better uses to put your cult toward than covering up A Literal Actual Biblical Plague Event.

          (On a raw mechanical note, remember also that anything bigger than a Tier 1 Utterance costs two Pillar points — one of them from a specific Pillar — and the dicepool for recovering Pillars relies heavily on Tomb Geometry. Throwing around terrifying god-magic is costly even when it isn't a late-night news item.)

          Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
          No. Even if you want it to be subtle, vampires can start at 8 +effects Physical Attributes (because those Disciplines have added benefits beyond adding to Strength) and a relatively easy time getting to 10 later without ever investing in Blood Potency, and those bonuses are permanent. The only drawback is that it costs some XP to get to 10. Mages can try permanent magic early on.
          Again: Deviants can jump to superhuman ratings for a single purchase without needing a particularly high rating in the Attribute from the start.

          The weakest form of Superhuman Attribute sets your rating to 4 if a +1 wouldn't bring it above that, and half the Origins allow you to take that completely free. Anything higher than Magnitude 2 comes with a bonus ability on top of having beyond-genius levels of Intelligence or Dexterity to transcend an Olympic gymnast.

          This is a splat whose primary antagonist type is "normal people who want to use you" because its unifying thematic basis is "what if cracking open your soul gave you superpowers and broke your ability to have normal relationships?" This is where super-soldiers and vat-grown geniuses and designer babies live.

          The only cost is how fucked-up it makes you, and that's a widely variable style of drawback compared to:
          • Using this a lot basically sets a hard wall on your ability to relate to people as not-food and is basically just buying Attribute dots with a bonus effect.
          • There is basically no way you're using this in front of people without destabilizing your wolfman nature without a lot of luck and determination, because this is the form you take to kill things.
          • This costs magic-juice and makes the spell riskier even before you factor in the substantial penalty you're rolling at for each extra dot.
          • Making this persistent bonus bigger means putting effort into raising the stat that makes you blight the land and sow discord worse.
          • Literally wrestle another character for their stats/fall into a skin-splitting berserk state after you vocally call on all the hatred in the world.
          • Spend ghost-slime to morph your body to use your deathly patron's traits for one roll at a time.
          • Spend soul-bits to raise one of your stats (the bonus always assumes you're boosting from 5 at most and the bonus is smaller the longer you've been active)/have a high innate rating whose maintenance is dependent upon you staying powerful.
          • Straight-up turn into a hydraulic press-monster and likely attract divine attention for your trouble, or do it partway and need to break into an empty gas station to siphon god-sweat to cover the costs of turning it on and then off again.
          • Be in one of a specific handful of places, burn energy, and visibly replace yourself with a monster for probably a couple of turns, during which time people can get into the place where you can be harmed without social consequences.


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

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Satchel View Post
            Again: Deviants can jump to superhuman ratings for a single purchase without needing a particularly high rating in the Attribute from the start.
            And again I'm not saying it isn't particularly easy, I'm saying it isn't particularly relevant to point out in a short presentation of pros and cons.

            Short presentation is short, every splat have a lot of other nice advantages they didn't get to be presented or were mixed up in a simpler paragraph.


            #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
            #AutismPride
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            • #51
              Originally posted by TyrannicalRabbit View Post
              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)

              ... I am sorry, I am not sure I understand how that makes that weakness I listed confusing. Could you clarify please?

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Darinas View Post


                ... I am sorry, I am not sure I understand how that makes that weakness I listed confusing. Could you clarify please?
                It doesn't feel like it's something that needs much clarification. People have remarked for years that the splats of some lines have much looser notions of "Masquerade" than other lines and this includes Mummy. You are perhaps not aware of these discussions but it's also in the game material itself, being why the discussions exist in the first place. Noting it as a weakness in this kind of format implies it's a central aspect of a particular game line. In this case not only is it not, it's directly contradictory to said game line. If anything needs clarification it's the original statement that needs it.


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

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Darinas View Post


                  ... I am sorry, I am not sure I understand how that makes that weakness I listed confusing. Could you clarify please?
                  Specifically building from what Rabbit said, The "Masquerading breaking powers" is often actually a perk for the Arisen and their purposes. A Mummy has only so much time to act and has potent foes, so the employ of their largest powers becomes a boon in that it basically throws any given setting into chaos and gives almost everyone Bigger Fish To Fry, keeping them on the wrong foot while the Arisen and their cult probably has a more ready response to these miracles. When playing chess, the Arisen flip the board and choke out the other player while they're still figuring out what the hell just happened.

                  Also, because the cult is (probably) more ready to respond to an Arisen's powers, it also makes those big Masquerade breaking powers a boon for building the cult, because people are gonna attach quickly to anyone who is quickly responding to the crisis, and will be more open to trust the direction of such figures....and the Arisen's cult is definitely gonna be doing that.


                  Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                  The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                  Feminine pronouns, please.

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                  • #54
                    A fair point, and I will admit that this might be a personal feeling for me, because I honestly don't understand how the supernatural stays hidden if vampires are the only ones who care about the Masquerade. You'd think of Mummies were walking around abusing their biblical powers, humanity would have become aware of the supernatural a long time ago - even denial and superstitious fear can only work for so long when there are camera cellphones everywhere. My best explanation would be that Mummies either are rare, stick to places that are isolated from civilisations or know it's best to keep a low profile when in big cities.

                    I would still argue it's a weakness, though, based on the description of Sybaris in 2E; while it indeed helps forming cults, on the long term it causes people to intrude into your business, actively hinders you, and eventually being obssessed with causing your demise. I am pretty sure it would cause hunters to go after you too.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Darinas View Post
                      A fair point, and I will admit that this might be a personal feeling for me, because I honestly don't understand how the supernatural stays hidden if vampires are the only ones who care about the Masquerade. You'd think of Mummies were walking around abusing their biblical powers, humanity would have become aware of the supernatural a long time ago - even denial and superstitious fear can only work for so long when there are camera cellphones everywhere. My best explanation would be that Mummies either are rare, stick to places that are isolated from civilisations or know it's best to keep a low profile when in big cities.

                      I would still argue it's a weakness, though, based on the description of Sybaris in 2E; while it indeed helps forming cults, on the long term it causes people to intrude into your business, actively hinders you, and eventually being obssessed with causing your demise. I am pretty sure it would cause hunters to go after you too.
                      It's a litte bit of an unfair reading in a couple of ways, and it's important to balance your Watson(in universe perspective) with your Doyle(out of game perspective).

                      One the one hand, no, the Arisen don't particularly abuse their biblical powers-as Satchel noted, there are consequences for doing so and the Arisen aren't going to be rewarded for making a shit show with the Thing THey Weren't Supposed To Have. Their relative rarity and freedom of action in Neter-Khertet assists with some of the secrecy, but they are aware if they keep unleashing plague after disaster after imposbility, eventually that's going to come back on them-if not by the rest of the supernatural community, then most assuredly their Judge. And of course, dealing with those consequences is part of the fun-the Masquerade ala the Shadow Law isn't idly there ot be restrictive, it's supposed to be fun crossing the boundary and then trying to stuff the genie back in the bottle.

                      On the other hand though, Curse expects players who play Mummy and in particular buy Utterances with really big effects want to use them and are interested in the ramifications of their players-this isn't even unique, considering some of the city-wide powers available to the Uratha, the Lost, the Unchained, and the Begotten-and that the setting has room to accomodate that desire for use in gameplay without neccesarily ruining the setting. Helpign this matter is that the mundane actors don't neccesarily have much to connect a freak meteor swarm or ghost-anchoring earthquake to that one Middle Eastern man who's started being more active in his company's business unless the cult gets really overt in being connective tissue between the two(usually as a result of abusing those powers and having your cult appear too ready to deal with those issues), and even supernaturally aware actors who might take issue with it aren't going to have pinpoint accuracy in responding. Sybaris complicates things, but again, unless you're really pushing things too far, it's as much a boon as it is a risk. And again, with the Arisen not even being the only culprits in the affair, and a setting where everyone has at least one brush with the supernatural to try an drink away in their lifetime, the setting has some lattitude for that one time the Hurricane Was Bleeding or That Blackout What Had Shadows Rise Up to be quibbled over.

                      The big thing is that, in the model of Two Major Advantages and Two Major Weaknesses that can be used to help sell people on playing a game, I'm not sure the Masquerade Breaching Powers is a good one to list, because it comes across as saying "You have these really cool Big Bomb Powers, now don't use them" when there are other weaknesses that are much better for sounding like a story hook and problems you'd want to have fun engaging with.


                      Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                      The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                      Feminine pronouns, please.

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                      • #56
                        And of course, dealing with those consequences is part of the fun-the Masquerade ala the Shadow Law isn't idly there ot be restrictive, it's supposed to be fun crossing the boundary and then trying to stuff the genie back in the bottle.
                        That applies to all the weaknesses I listed. These are meant to give players challenge and part of the fun, as far as I am concerned. I was analyzing their strength and weaknesses mechanic-wise, not the quality of their respective games.

                        On the other hand though, Curse expects players who play Mummy and in particular buy Utterances with really big effects want to use them and are interested in the ramifications of their players-this isn't even unique, considering some of the city-wide powers available to the Uratha, the Lost, the Unchained, and the Begotten-and that the setting has room to accomodate that desire for use in gameplay without neccesarily ruining the setting.
                        The powers in these other splats either are only high-level powers (Uratha), can be freely use in some alternate world the splat has access to (Uratha, Changeling, Begotten), or are counterbalanced by also having a lot of smaller more discreet powers (Unchained). Moreover, most of these splats can usually afford to use their powers without revealing themselves to mortals; Beast's aura is invisible to mortal when they use their Atavisms, for example, and Uratha trigger Lunacy. Mummies reveal their Sahu no matter the power used if they chose to spend Pillars (though admittedly Affinities balance things a bit by using WP instead). So yeah, of course you can accomodate the setting, but the fact remains that compared to other splats, Mummies are somewhat less Masquerade-friendly.


                        Helpign this matter is that the mundane actors don't neccesarily have much to connect a freak meteor swarm or ghost-anchoring earthquake to that one Middle Eastern man who's started being more active in his company's business unless the cult gets really overt in being connective tissue between the two(usually as a result of abusing those powers and having your cult appear too ready to deal with those issues), and even supernaturally aware actors who might take issue with it aren't going to have pinpoint accuracy in responding.
                        I bring you back to my comment about using Pillars causing a Mummy to reveal their true form. People might make a connection if the guy was sporting an animal head at the time.

                        The big thing is that, in the model of Two Major Advantages and Two Major Weaknesses that can be used to help sell people on playing a game, I'm not sure the Masquerade Breaching Powers is a good one to list, because it comes across as saying "You have these really cool Big Bomb Powers, now don't use them" when there are other weaknesses that are much better for sounding like a story hook and problems you'd want to have fun engaging with.
                        Well, I am not trying to sell people on these games (though I do love them). I am trying to provide an analysis and my thought on them regarding their strength and weaknesses. Of course, if you can think of a better weakness to list for Mummies, please go ahead.

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                        • #57
                          I think as far as Second Edition Mummy goes, there's the option for letting consequences for given actions to only exist within the scope of a given Descent, and that the next time they get Called it could be to a different timeline.

                          Originally posted by Darinas View Post
                          The powers in these other splats either are only high-level powers (Uratha)
                          Well for Second Edition, werewolves don't quite do Gifts in terms of high or low level.

                          The reference to city wide powers makes me think of the Catastrophe Facet of the Gift of Elementals. You need at least one other Facet to make it work, but even a werewolf with the lowest Glory will be causing an effect with a two mile radius. The Strengthen Influence alone at that scale targeted at fire, earth, water or air can have pretty drastic effects.


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                          Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Darinas View Post
                            Mummies reveal their Sahu no matter the power used if they chose to spend Pillars (though admittedly Affinities balance things a bit by using WP instead)
                            There's literally an affinity that turns that off even with epic utterances as well as turning off the effect of physical contact as well as and utterances with subtle keyword (No Sybaris No Sahu revealed)

                            Furthermore, while it's true that yes the use of a pillar will reveal the Sahu it only for a number of turns equal to the Pillar’s rating meaning that unless everyone was having their eyes on the middle eastern man when he cast that utterance (Which of course depending on where he casts it as some utterances can last entire scenes like the meteorite or storm utterance) Not many people would realize the Arisen doing it unless said Arisen does it in front of a camera or decides to be bombastic about it and intone it (Which isn't really needed you don't need to speak during use of an utterance).

                            That's also not getting into other ways to avoid it beyond just an affinity or choosing to do it in some room and coming out ready to go Ashem for example have the power to just enter Neter-Khertet and hit people with utterances through there no Sahu no problem.

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                            • #59
                              Well for Second Edition, werewolves don't quite do Gifts in terms of high or low level.
                              Mhm... now that you mention it, yes, they dropped that in 2E. I usually know it, I don't know why I forgot. My bad, and thanks for reminding me.

                              There's literally an affinity that turns that off even with epic utterances as well as turning off the effect of physical contact as well as and utterances with subtle keyword (No Sybaris No Sahu revealed)
                              I do not consider a single power in the list that you actually have to buy (thus costing either XP or previous slots for the powers you actually want) enough to nullify a weakness. If I did, I would have to remove weakness to fire and sunlight for vampires, since the Ordo Dracul has Coils dedicated to reduce their effect.

                              Furthermore, while it's true that yes the use of a pillar will reveal the Sahu it only for a number of turns equal to the Pillar’s rating meaning that unless everyone was having their eyes on the middle eastern man when he cast that spell (Which of course depending on where he casts it as some utterances can last entire scenes like the meteorite or storm utterance) Not many people would realize the Arisen doing it unless said Arisen does it in front of a camera or decides to be bombastic about it.
                              All very circumstantial things. Again, the weakness is still there, even if it can be avoided, and they have to make effort to avoid suffering consequences. That's like saying being vulnerable to silver isn't really a weakness for werewolves because they can dodge the bullets.

                              Last edited by Darinas; 10-23-2021, 05:00 PM.

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                              • #60
                                Silver makes sense to mention in media derived from pop culture variations of the werewolf concept where a vulnerability to it remains as it's appropriate to mention as part of the setting.

                                As it relates to the Deathless of Mummy the Curse, the Masquerade aspect is not only not a central aspect of them but again, directly at odds with how the setting works. If that secrecy was more central to the line like say the spy games theme was to Demon it would make sense.


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

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