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  • Quick question about willpower

    hello there!
    i remember reading somewhere that willpower is a trait capped at 10, but i don't remember where. However, in the Dark Eras (p. 175) there is a character that has Willpower 13, then i was wondering if i was wrong (there is no such a thing as willpower cap at 10) or if this is a mistake. I want to know which one is true and, if a willpower cap really exists, where it is written.
    could anyone help me find out?


    "Swing on the spiral of our divinity and still be a human"

  • #2
    In the lexicon in the Chronicles of Darkness book it says Willpower is capped at 10.
    In Shunned by the Moon (for Werewolf) there's a Gift (or Merit, can't remember) that uncaps Willpower.
    Ephemeral entities (and others that use those rules) universally have their Willpower capped at 10.

    As far as I know, these are the only mentions of capped Willpower in the entirety of the revised Storytelling System (aka Second Edition). I suspect it's near universal to play with Willpower uncapped since the cap isn't actually stated in an actual rule for playable characters, and is only implied in texts you wouldn't assume people to read (i.e. a lexicon and a supplement for antagonists).

    Quick edit: My group is aware of all these instances but choose to play without the cap because we think it's much more fun to give players more resources to their disposal.
    Last edited by Tessie; 12-24-2021, 10:50 AM.


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    • #3
      1e didn't have the cap (leading to some old questions for the original developers around this very topic as characters could raise their Resolve and Composure over 5, and IIRC the general response was that wasn't the intent, but the devs didn't really see a problem with it (unlike the WoD, Willpower greater than 10 doesn't break a bunch of systems).

      In 2e, they did say the cap was purposeful. However as Tessie noted, it's not stated in many places. And all of the reasons it isn't a big problem for the 1e rules remain for the 2e ones.

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      • #4
        Unless Geist Second Edition has something to say about these Ghost Trees that I don't know about, the Willpower trait of Brodir the Wronged seems incorrect even within its own write-up. With Resistance 7 and Finesse 3, Willpower shouldn't be higher than 10 even without the cap.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Isator Levi View Post
          Unless Geist Second Edition has something to say about these Ghost Trees that I don't know about, the Willpower trait of Brodir the Wronged seems incorrect even within its own write-up. With Resistance 7 and Finesse 3, Willpower shouldn't be higher than 10 even without the cap.
          I find I'm more open to storyteller characters breaking from the forms given context of usually being either antagonists or plot points, and I also find it fitting that an entity who belongs to the place of broken things breaking even more has a broken consideration of mechanics.

          Or I would, if I could find it, but Brodir doesn't come up and Wronged leads to a lot of generic uses. Do you a) know for sure this is second edition and not, like the Geist 1.1 Update, and b) have a citation if you do?
          Last edited by ArcaneArts; 12-29-2021, 02:24 AM.


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          • #6
            Brodir, the Wronged is from a GtSE era in Dark Eras. Dark Eras predates GtSE second edition so it's a first edition ghost (also evident from having Morality and no Manifestations). In first edition, ghosts had Willpower = Power + Resistance (which makes more sense than Finesse + Resistance, imo) which is 6+7=13.

            As for breaking the form for antagonists, second edition advices NPCs to have a reduced amount of Willpower points to spend since they don't have to manage it the same way as PCs do. I suppose the cap for 10 WP for ephemeral entities is there precisely to make sure they don't have WP points enough to be able to spend one on each roll they take in every scene they're in.


            Bloodline: The Stygians
            Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
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            • #7
              Thank you for you answers!
              After some consideration, my group and i decided to play without the cap because there are a lot of angels in the CofD that also break the limit, and i agree with Tessie that is better for the players to have more resources.

              I read again the CofD and found six characters (all angels) with Willpower beyond 10: The Architect (p. 253) with WP 12; Black Nathaniel (p.254) with 23; Mirror Vulture (p.260) with 11; Mr. Nose (p. 261) with 17; Rasha (p.263) with 28; and Serotonin (p.263) with 21.

              In the game systems chapter, on p. 127, is stated that willpower for ephemeral creatures "Willpower: Entities have Willpower dots equal to Resistance + Finesse, with a maximum of 10 dots for entities with the Ranks presented in this book. In addition to the Willpower-gaining methods described above, all ephemeral beings regain 1 spent Willpower per day."

              Sorry for nitpicking, but i want to share my findings about the topic for the sake of discussion.

              EDIT: maybe the angels are an exception to the wp cap? idk, it seems consistent to me
              Last edited by Redzone; 12-29-2021, 11:25 AM.


              "Swing on the spiral of our divinity and still be a human"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Redzone View Post

                EDIT: maybe the angels are an exception to the wp cap? idk, it seems consistent to me
                It's most likely just different writers writing different things. Sometimes the left hand doesn't know what the right hand's doing, and RPG rules can get super granular when lots of cooks are stirring the pot.



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                • #9
                  For PCs it would make sense IMHO to tie the willpower cap to the trait limit: for e.g. at blood potency 6 you get max 11 WP, and so on.

                  For NPCs, it doesn't make much sense to keep track of huge amounts of willpower anyway. For ST characters willpower management is best handled in terms of willpower per scene or even per turn, which is what Horrors and Brief nightmares do.
                  Granted, Horrors use WP to fuel dread powers instead of Essence, so they get to store and spend more than ephemeral entities. But I believe the same principle should apply

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                  • #10
                    The cap was supposed to be on anything that used game mechanics (so godlike things could theoretically exceed it, but, say, a vampire elder with blood potency 7 Resolve 6 and composure 7 would still only have 10 willpower) but *so* many writers forgot about it and *so* many freelance developers didn't spot it that it's shot through with holes at this point.


                    Dave Brookshaw

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