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Stacking "Exceptional Success on 3 Successes"

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  • Stacking "Exceptional Success on 3 Successes"

    Hey all, I've been wondering about the possibility of stacking exceptional success (ES) threshold reductions. If two (or more) effects are in action that reduce the ES threshold to 3 successes instead of 5, are there official rules on how to handle that? If not, how do you work the situation in your games?

    A few examples of ES threshold reductions:
    Any Changeling 2E Kith Blessing
    The Inspired Condition
    The Greyhound Merit
    The Investigative Aide Merit
    The Werewolf Favoured Form Style

    In an applied situation, what would happen if, for instance, a Changeling character with a Kith blessing that improved their chase ES threshold also had the Inspired Condition for an Athletics roll (not sure if this can happen RAW but humour me for a moment) or the Greyhound Merit? Or perhaps all three?


    Consumer of lore, myth, history, tales and songs. Pronoun ambiguous Constantly Out in the Grapes™

  • #2
    If there was a Kith Blessing and Merit overlap I would use Sanctity of Merits to refund the redundant merit.

    For the Condition, I'd let them resolve the consition for a Beat, but I probably wouldn't attach any additional effects, especially if the condition is broader than whatever else is giving the reduced EA threshold.


    proin's Legacy hub

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    • #3
      Nothing extra happens. It doesn't reduce the number of successes needed by X (which could then theoretically stack). It changes a 5 to a 3. Changing it to a 3 three times just gets you a 3.

      I think proindrakenzoi has the right advice on what to do if there's a stacking situation.

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      • #4
        I greatly appreciate the answers from both of you, so thank you proindrakenzol and Heavy Arms. Unfortunately, due to personal preference, I'm not really satisfied here, so I'll try to reframe the question around my preferences.

        Because I don't like the idea that it would make certain merits/condition uses effectively null and prompt a refund or recycle, and I like the idea of them stacking in some way, has anyone given (or, hypothetically, would anyone give) a different bonus or advantage for having multiple? For instance, taking the Kith + Greyhound example, could the ES threshold be reduced to 2? Or would you give them 9-again for the roll? Or some other advantage?

        I'm not the biggest fan of reducing the threshold further, but it seems to be the most direct answer if the two advantages are allowed to operate at the same time.


        Consumer of lore, myth, history, tales and songs. Pronoun ambiguous Constantly Out in the Grapes™

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        • #5
          Reducing is a bad idea in general. It makes the problem worse as Inspired is a common reward for ES in the first place. It would let people stack over and over.

          Avoidance seems the best solution. If you have a Kith that does X, don't by a Merit that only does X too. Take a different Condition (or Inspired for something else) rather than replicate a bonus you already have, etc.

          While I understand it might not be satisfying, it's not like this is ever going to be forced on a player by the system. The system really isn't designed for increasing (if less than the sum of the parts) returns like this; eventually it caps you before you're getting an ES on every roll all the time.

          The best bonus I can think of here though if you really want something? If you'd have multiple ES for 3 successes apply to a roll, you can apply the Steadfast bonus for free as well.

          Rather than increasing your maximum, it covers your minimum instead.

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          • #6
            Some powers and abilities increase the threshold to 7, in case of multiple instance of a threshold reduction you could rule that the character is immune to that kind of effects

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            • #7
              Oh? That's the first I've heard of increased ES thresholds. Could you provide any examples?


              Bloodline: The Stygians
              Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
              Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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              • #8
                The Changeling Contract "Changing Fortunes" can raise an ES threshold when used. That's the only thing I could think of that raises the threshold


                Consumer of lore, myth, history, tales and songs. Pronoun ambiguous Constantly Out in the Grapes™

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                  Oh? That's the first I've heard of increased ES thresholds. Could you provide any examples?
                  The beast nightmare "Everything you Do Is Worthless" for example

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                  • #10
                    If you do want to stack them I would recommend going to exceptional at 2; making an ES 1/3rd easier to achieve is a similar ratio to making it 2/5ths easier. If you drop it all the way to 1 the second instance is increasing your odds significantly more than the first did.

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                    • #11
                      If it bothers you give them 8 again. Has this actually come up in game? If so what happened?

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