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Fighting style merits

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  • Fighting style merits

    In converting over from 1e to 2e my group has stumbled across something of a controversy. I haven't been able to find a ruling on the pricing of style merits. Does each level count as it's own merit or is it like Status where each level purchased unlocks new abilities? The rules update is rather ambiguous on this matter and even with the linear rather than exponential price increases for each dot, the difference between a 5 dot merit and 5 merits with one at 1 dot, 1 at 2 dots, 1 at 3 dots etc is rather dramatic.

  • #2
    Style Merits cost the same as "scaled" Merits like Status.

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    • #3
      Except where otherwise noted Merits, like all other traits in GMC, have liner cost. To go from Allies 0 to Allies 5, for example, costs 5 exp or exactly five times the cost of raising Allies 0 to Allies 1. This brings us to the specialized wording of Style Merits which are called out as working differently then normal Merits.

      Originally posted by The God-Machine Chronicle, pg 158
      Merits marked as Style Merits allow access to specialized maneuvers. Each maneuver is a prerequisite for the next in its sequence. So if a Style Merit has a three-dot maneuver and a four-dot maneuver, you must purchase the three-dot version before accessing the four-dot.
      If I' buying up Professional Training I can purchase 1 to 5 dots in the Merit. The number of dots I purchase determine the bonuses I get from the Merit with each dot past the first giving all earlier bonuses and something more. It is not a Style Merit, just one of the normal kind.

      This implies that Style Merits work differently. Specifically the text describing how Style Merits work seems to imply that each maneuver is a separate Merit that happens to have the previous maneuver as a prerequisite. If each maneuver is a separate Merit then to get Close Quarters Combat 2, Hard Surfaces you'd first need to get Close Quarters Combat 1, Firing Lines. That would cost you 1 exp to purchase Firing Lines and 2 more to get Hard Surfaces for a total cost of 3 exp.

      This is, however, ridiculously expensive for higher levels of fighting styles.
      Last edited by helel; 01-25-2015, 04:57 AM.

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      • #4
        Except it has never, ever, worked that way. It's never called out as working that way. It's never said it works that way.

        Style Merits don't have a different cost.

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        • #5
          Given that the psychic power merits offer not inconsiderable power far more cheaply than tiered style merits I'm incined to believe that the style merits are meant to be like status or psychic powers.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
            Except it has never, ever, worked that way. It's never called out as working that way. It's never said it works that way.

            Style Merits don't have a different cost.
            No, that's exactly how it works. You have to buy them in sequence, as separate merits. It's pretty clear-cut, I think.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
              Except it has never, ever, worked that way. It's never called out as working that way. It's never said it works that way.

              Style Merits don't have a different cost.
              I included the relevant quote from the boos specifically because it is somewhat ambiguous. God-Machine Chronicle obviously calls Style Merits out as being different somehow. I see three interpretations of that paragraph.

              a) Style Merits are actually a collection of Merits that much be bought separately and each acting as prerequisite to the next.

              b) The bonuses of Style Merits only come when you get to that dot whereas normal Merits can grant their bonuses in any order. For example I need to get Close Quarters Combat 5 to use Turnabout but I can get Professional Training 1 and declare that I want the WP for Rote Action bonus.

              c) Style Merits can grant multiple bonuses while normal Merits only grant one. For example if I have Close Quarters Combat 5 I get 5 different maneuvers and can use any of them but if I get Professional Training 5 the ONLY bonus I get from the Merit is the ability to spend Willpower for the Rote Action bonus. I no longer get 9-again and lose all traits the Merit gave me at lower levels.

              Do you think b or c is the correct interpretation or is there some other meaning to that paragraph I’m missing?

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              • #8
                It seems like a weird and comparatively overpriced design decision to have to buy each manuever in a fighting style separately as you would for a single merit of the same rating. I don't personally see a particularly good argument to treat the purchase of Style Merits as being different from regular scaling merits.

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                • #9
                  I believe David Hill has clarified that the Page 158 paragraph is in error - legacy language from a prior draft or similar. Here's a relevant thread.


                  I attack people with giant insects both on and off the court.

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                  • #10
                    Thank you for that. Direct link to the post. So despite what the book says it looks like Style Merits are not supposed to have a different cost.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BigDamnHero View Post
                      No, that's exactly how it works. You have to buy them in sequence, as separate merits. It's pretty clear-cut, I think.
                      Except it isn't.

                      FS: Martial Arts is a 5 dot Merit, not a 1 dot Merit, a 2 dot Merit, a 3 dot Merit, a 4 dot Merit, and a 5 dot Merit. That's how it's listed.

                      There are fighting Merits that are stand alone that cost whatever they their value is (Cheap Shot is a 2 dot Merit that costs 2 XP, even though it has a prerequisite of Street Fighting 3)

                      Originally posted by helel View Post
                      Do you think b or c is the correct interpretation or is there some other meaning to that paragraph I’m missing?
                      D) Style Merits are a purely categorical description. Just like "Mental," "Social," "Physical," and "Fighting" have no actual default mechanical weight to them, "Style" is just a descriptive sorting label. It is very worth noting that the Style Merit section, despite being poorly worded, uses the word "maneuver" not "Merit" when discussing buying things in order. It allows for other systems (like splat bonuses giving price breaks to Merits) a category to apply to.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BigDamnHero View Post

                        No, that's exactly how it works. You have to buy them in sequence, as separate merits. It's pretty clear-cut, I think.
                        No. It just says that you cannot buy the fourth level without buying first the previous levels. It's just ONE Merit, which has to be bought sequentally. If you buy two levels of Street Fighting: Martial Arts, you cannot buy first and third level, you must buy first and second, but it's just one Merit.
                        Last edited by Uxas; 01-25-2015, 07:56 PM.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Uxas View Post
                          No. It just says that you cannot buy the fourth level without buying first the previous levels. It's just ONE Merit, which has to be bought sequentally. If you buy two levels of Street Fighting: Martial Arts, you cannot buy first and third level, you must buy first and second, but it's just one Merit.
                          So do you let your players pick and chose which advantage they want from each dot of Professional Training or Mystery Cult Initiation? After all, they aren't Style Merits. Can I get two dots of Professional Training and just get the 9-again and Willpower to Rote Action on Asset Skills?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by helel View Post

                            So do you let your players pick and chose which advantage they want from each dot of Professional Training or Mystery Cult Initiation? After all, they aren't Style Merits. Can I get two dots of Professional Training and just get the 9-again and Willpower to Rote Action on Asset Skills?
                            Is this a serious question? Because this doesn't look like a serious question in the context of this conversation where you literally linked directly to a post explaining the issue in the post you made in this thread immediately before this post that I'm quoting.

                            I ask if this is a serious question because it looks an awful lot like you're just acting in a miserable fashion for the sake of it.


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                            • #15
                              Yeah. It's legacy text from before we changed the experience system.

                              If you want 3 dots in a Style, spend 3 Experiences. If you want 5, spend 5. It only costs 5 Experiences to get the whole Style. Where Styles differ from other Merits is, there's a new effect at every level. Allies 5 is just Allies, but bigger than Allies 4. If Allies were a Style, Allies 5 would have five separate abilities tied to it.


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