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Advice on gauging the Strengths and Weaknesses between Splats.

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  • Advice on gauging the Strengths and Weaknesses between Splats.

    Hello, basically what it says on the tin. Now I'm guessing this has been probably asked a couple times in regards to how splats compare to eachother for cross-overs and power-tiers and all that. Now what I'm asking is a bit different. While I am asking a bit on the comparisons between splats, what I'm more interested in is finding the niches that each splat excells at and what areas they do poorly on.

    I'm asking this in knowing that each splat is self-centered and thus don't balance well for each other, so I'm trying to figure out what each one is good at independently. Now while I say that I do know that many splats have overlap in abilties for them to fufil a whole mix of concepts so there's gonna be some generalization. But in terms of just mechanics what is the overall specialization for the splat in just messing and hacking into the core systems?

    Why I'm doing this is because I'm trying to world build an original city/country setting to set my games and I plan to have established bases for all the gameline splats to be noted down. So even if I run an independent game there could be some interactions between the lines. So i have just been reading up on all the 2e gamelines to write it up. So far I've read everything other than Beast for main 2e stuff and while 2e for Changlings, Sin-Eaters, Hunters, and Mummies aren't out yet I have read there 1e books years ago so I'm familiar. So I have a rough idea on where mostly everyone is good at like Vampires good with social, Werewolves Close-combat, Mage in being a Mage but overall I'm new to Storytelling and while I have read them I haven't actually experienced many of the splats in a game. So basically I'm just curious on hearing others thoughts on it from what they think and what they have played. Plus with Contagion coming out a crossover game is something that I would probably expierence sooner or later. Sorry if this came at a bother but I'm generally just curious.

  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Darinas View Post
    Sooooo, I know I said I wanted to move on from the whole argument that just happened, but I happen to have been reading the Mummy book since then, and a question came to me regarding that whole "lack of Agency" being a weakness for Mummies...

    ... How does that impact them mechanically?
    Fulfilling the "first purpose" that a mummy is Called to arise for has two main impacts:

    1. They immediately lose a dot of Sekhem and, explicitly at least in 1e, automatically succeed at every scheduled you-want-to-fail-these Descent roll until they die; that second part isn't textually present in 2e's writeup, but the same talk of an accelerated Descent is present in the writeup.
    2. If they die, the first Memory roll in the subsequent death cycle to find Anpu loses two dice (and failing that roll penalizes the proceeding Memory roll to return to life, which means you're more likely to lose more Sekhem coming back); mummies who've fulfilled their first purpose are also offered the option to enter henet as soon as they find Anpu, which rather directly locks them out of any further pursuit of Memory until the Trials of Duat.

    Also, following the commands of your Judge solely to retain Sekhem (the Judge who, remember, has a Doctrinal stake in the cult that raised you and might manifest if you or your cult violate that Doctrine) risks losing your Memory (however mildly) until you hit Memory 0, at which point you're running on autopilot until you're killed or Descend to Sekhem 0.

    The Arisen exist in a framework that does not especially want them to have self-knowledge and personal pursuits, and that framework only cares a little bit about the fact that the Arisen are ever-living undead Terminators who can figure out snatches of god-sorcery in their spare time.

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  • Darinas
    replied
    Sooooo, I know I said I wanted to move on from the whole argument that just happened, but I happen to have been reading the Mummy book since then, and a question came to me regarding that whole "lack of Agency" being a weakness for Mummies...

    ... How does that impact them mechanically?

    I mean, RP-wise, sure, this is a weakness. But as far as I saw, the mechanics behind Memory loss have only minimal impacts at best. The worst it does is shorten their time awake whenever they do stuff slightly too independantly from their Judge or directly against their Judges' will - which might not even be a problem is the Mummy is devoted to their Judge anyway. I don't know, compared to weaknesses such as vampires losing Vitae fast or Demons having to refrain from abusing their power to protect their Cover, that doesn't seem that big of a weakness. It's not like the player has no control over his character on occasion, a Mummy is still free to build their own cult or operate however they wish as long as they follow the mission they were assigned, and never suffer drawback.

    Point is, without getting aggressive again, I... kinda have to question how this qualifies as a mechanical weakness.
    Last edited by Darinas; 12-03-2021, 08:33 AM.

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  • Darinas
    replied
    But you seem to be getting way more heated than necessary in this, so what I will take from it all is far more the appreciation that others have provided concepts like Agency that are more in line with the actual game.
    I'm not getting heated, I'm just tired that this debate keeps going unnecessary long by having to repeat the same arguments over and over again and getting the same answers. Just didn't feel like we were going anywhere and got the impression we were running in circles.

    I have already apologized to Paradim and admitted that the lack of Agency problem was a better weakness to list. I would greatly appreciate if we could move on from this.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    EDIT:NVM, loading issues.
    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 10-26-2021, 05:22 PM.

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  • TyrannicalRabbit
    replied
    Originally posted by Darinas View Post

    You're missing my point. Of course the two don't quite exactly match in theme of fitting thematically, but this is irrelevant to my argument. What I mean by that is that just because you can work around the problem/weakness doesn't nullifies it; you still gotta do the conscious effort of being careful to not be too blatant with it, in that case.
    I think Paradigm put it well, it doesn't feel like a point on very good ground and actively at odds with the actual nature of the game itself. That it's somewhat there(it isn't some Scion like setting or the like) feels a lot like pendantry more than it feels like a significant weakness worth noting for someone who doesn't know the game.

    Originally posted by Darinas View Post
    I took the silver example because mechanically in the game, silver can be worked around with relative ease; people won't think about shooting you with silver unless they know/suspect you're a werewolf (not to mention this is only a issue with humans, who are otherwise weak against werewolves; spirits and idigam won't bring silver to a fight), so you won't have to deal with it unless you're blatant. Moreover, Werewolves can apply their Defense to Firearms, and because of their form bonus can easily get high Defense, so while silver bullets will hurt a lot if they hit, that requires hitting them first, which is easier said than done. So in practice, while silver most definitely is a weakness, you have many way to avoid it.
    This misses my point, it's a weakness that is present in the game that people can readily understand as part of it's internal werewolf myth even before they know a lot of details about the game.

    Originally posted by Darinas View Post
    That's similar with Mummies; yes, they can relatively easily avoid getting people to the second or third stage of Sybaris by avoiding too much direct contact with humans when they use their Utterances or spend Pillars and by not necessarily being too blatant. But that's still an issue they gotta work with and do a conscious effort to avoid. That's what I am arguing.

    Admittedly, yes, the masquerade or spy theme isn't as predominant in Mummy as it is in Demon or Vampire, but the fact remains that if you aren't careful with Sybaris and use your powers too openly without trying to cover your track, you will eventually get people fixated on disturbing your work. And in a game where you're literally on a timer, any inconvenience can matter.
    If your original post had focused more on the interesting minigame of Sybaris and it's facet as both tool and hindrance, I'd have bought that argument more. Or even had just focused on it solely. The way your post was worded does not particularly feel like that. But you seem to be getting way more heated than necessary in this(and you definitely were dropping it afterwards notwithstanding), so what I will take from it all is far more the appreciation that others have provided concepts like Agency that are more in line with the actual game.
    Last edited by TyrannicalRabbit; 12-04-2021, 12:54 PM.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by Darinas View Post

    ... He was?

    Scrolls back

    ... Damn it. He was. I don't know how I missed it, I must have been really tired.

    Paradim my sincerest apology. I was completely in the wrong.
    Been there. It's a lesson to learn.

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  • Darinas
    replied
    and that's because he was making a good suggestion about how to frame the weakness of the Arisen.
    ... He was?

    Scrolls back

    ... Damn it. He was. I don't know how I missed it, I must have been really tired.

    Paradim my sincerest apology. I was completely in the wrong in addition of being rude.
    Last edited by Darinas; 10-26-2021, 11:07 AM.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by Darinas View Post

    Like I said, you actually gave a suggestion for an alternative weakness to the one I proposed (lack of Agency), which was why I had already asked. I was annoyed at the fact what he was saying had already been said above (the whole "it doesn't fit the theme of the game" and "other games have that play a bigger role" things).

    Still apologizing for the tone, though. I was tired and irritated when I posted the previous one.
    I'm not sure I buy that as an excuse...or a reason, for that matter. Even if we disregard I hadn't even read your post (but I should I should mention I hadn't even read yours, yes, even in the context of Paradim's that I was responding to), the fact of the matter is that my post openly built on Paradim's, and that's because he was making a good suggestion about how to frame the weakness of the Arisen.

    I get being tired and irritated and making posts in bad taste in that state of mind....but Paradim was actively engaging with the problem and the question-they were contributing to the thread meaningfully and constructively. That needs credit way more than my post did.

    I'm gonna take this as an indicator that it's probably time for the conversation to take a rest while we all go talk about other things, get away a little bit, come back later with fresh eyes-or at the least, I'mma do that, I think it'd be good all around.

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  • Darinas
    replied
    Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
    ...I was agreeing with Paradim and building a little bit from what they said?
    Like I said, you actually gave a suggestion for an alternative weakness to the one I proposed (lack of Agency), which was why I had already asked. I was annoyed at the fact what he was saying had already been said above (the whole "it doesn't fit the theme of the game" and "other games have that play a bigger role" things).

    Still apologizing for the tone, though. I was tired and irritated when I posted the previous one.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by Darinas View Post
    See? Arcane gets it. Thank you, Arcane.
    ...I was agreeing with Paradim and building a little bit from what they said? I literally only added one thing?
    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 10-26-2021, 10:29 AM.

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  • Darinas
    replied
    Sorry. Got a bit too aggressive above. People complaining that my pick for Mummy weaknesses was getting a bit long with no one suggesting anything and that irritated me, but that was no justification for being rude.

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  • Paradim
    replied
    Originally posted by Darinas View Post
    If you really there are more appropriate weaknesses to lists, please just give your suggestions.
    Wow.

    Originally posted by Darinas View Post
    See? Arcane gets it. Thank you, Arcane.
    WOW.

    Alrighty then, I guess... That was informative.

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  • Darinas
    replied
    What confuses me about this position.... Is that a similar argument could be given for each and every splat. This doesn't seem unique to the Arisen, with stronger support for such themes found in other games. So it comes across to me as just not having something more appropriate to use?
    One: yes, other splats have similar problems, but it's a bigger issue for Arisen because their powers especially are destructive

    Two and more importantly: Your arguments have already been listed above for the most part, and I got it. If you really think there are more appropriate weaknesses to lists, please just give your suggestions.

    I would actually take this principle and expand it to the general point of the Struggle for Agency being the second main weakness of the Arisen. Between the catalyst of the First Purpose (Cult Summons, Judgment, Grave Robbing, Decree-Specific Summons), the Final Purpose (Judgment), and the fact the time you have to work with tends to slip away the more you assert yourself(the only real addition I have to what you suggested), an Arisen is often denied their freedom of self, which, even if you don't want to dwell on the big picture, existentialist affairs of that, means that there's a lot of time answers to problems and goals you need to deal with can end up locked behind the narrow spectrum of things you've got to focus on and do.
    See? Arcane gets it. Thank you, Arcane.

    Yeah, I'll admit I should have taken into account the fact Mummies have less Agency and risk accelerating their Descent when they act more following their free will. That does kinda fit better.

    I will point out that there's an angle only barely touched on by bringing up Sybaris, which is:

    The Arisen's primary brain-scrambling effect is mechanically closest to Disquiet, with all that that implies; the main insulating factors against this tiered Condition that gives you Beats when its subject starts making trouble for you are that cultists in good standing are immune to Sybaris, joining a mummy's cult immediately ends a bout of Sybaris, you have a cult to insulate and protect you from casual exposure, and any level of Sybaris below the last one comes with Social bonuses, none of which changes the fact that outsiders touching you, poking around in your tomb, or seeing you engage with the terrifying god-magic that animates you too much is going to start drawing down some serious (possessed-by-demons, magic-gone-sour, you've-made-a-dedicated-enemy serious) negative consequences.

    I'd say that, at least, merits inclusion on the list of Weaknesses Of The Arisen — it's not contagious and doesn't start out wholly negative like the Created's hateful magnetism does, but it is a mechanism that expressly paints a target on your back.
    Exactly. Glad someone sees my point.
    Last edited by Darinas; 10-26-2021, 10:16 AM.

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  • monteparnas
    replied
    I don't know Mummy enough, so I didn't had a strong opinion on the overtness of their powers. But now that you point it, yes, I do think that Agency covers a nice spot for the splat most iconic weakness overall.

    You have little agency and that's part of the proposed experience. So much of what to do with your time is already decided for you, this is a struggle you have to live with. You can go against it, but not without facing consequences, and in the end it limits even more the short time you have, that robs you of even more options for building your own place in the world.

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