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Clarity Damage and Conditions: An Obscure Case of Situational Gameplay

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  • Clarity Damage and Conditions: An Obscure Case of Situational Gameplay

    It's actually a simple question with deep implications.

    With regards to the Clarity damage track, there are few bits of information that lead up to the question:

    * You gain a condition if you fill in one of the last three boxes.
    * Severe damage overwrites mild damage.
    * You gain the Comatose condition if you take damage when your damage track is already full.

    So, in the following situation:

    [X][X][/][/]

    A non-comatose Changeling gains 1 Severe Clarity Damage and their track becomes:

    [X][X][X][/]

    They certainly become comatose (and becomes comatose with persistence), but do they also gain a persistent condition from filling in one of the last three boxes?

    The text appears to give these two condition-granting, er, conditions as separate, and therefore this would be the case. Can anyone reveal information in the rules (or in an errata I've missed) that says otherwise?

    Thanks.
    - Thenomain


  • Thenomain
    replied
    Eh, I'll remove it, but the most important thing to me is that the mechanics are summarized correctly.

    I had someone ask me about the Comatose Condition whether or not it stopped physical damage as well. Context tells us that it's all about the clarity damage (tho if there's some other kind of psychological damage I'd probably call immunity to that as well).

    Writing summaries be hard, yo.

    Leave a comment:


  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Thenomain View Post
    Ah, I missed that because it's all the way over on p.98. I didn't see a reminder of it in the Clarity Damage. Derp. Edited for that as well. Added "ST may decide damage is severe" as a reminder of Rule Zero.

    Look good?
    I don't personally agree with putting a declarative shortcut to exceptional success in a quick-reference sheet about the normal functioning of the rules, but apart from that the other big thing is that Touchstones and Conditions alter Clarity damage rolls — pretty much the only things that modify Clarity attack rolls outside of the chart are special Merits, some seeming bonuses from certain Contracts, and the effects of the Hedge on breaking points caused by things that aren't part of the Hedge.

    Leave a comment:


  • Thenomain
    replied
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    A character's Seeming Curse gives them an additional breaking point
    Edited, thanks.

    if any successes come up on that roll, the character rolls Wyrd (modified by Conditions, Touchstones, etc)
    Ah, I missed that because it's all the way over on p.98. I didn't see a reminder of it in the Clarity Damage. Derp. Edited for that as well. Added "ST may decide damage is severe" as a reminder of Rule Zero.

    Look good?

    Leave a comment:


  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Thenomain View Post
    Did I miss anything?
    A character's Seeming Curse gives them an additional breaking point whose associated Clarity attack comes with a base dicepool equal to half their Wyrd, rounded up; if any successes come up on that roll, the character rolls Wyrd (modified by Conditions, Touchstones, etc) to determine the amount of damage as normal. It does not roll fewer dice on the damage step than the character's other breaking points.

    Leave a comment:


  • Thenomain
    replied
    Incidentally, here is my near-complete cheat-sheet on the Clarity system (not included are perception penalties or determining track length). Did I miss anything?

    Code:
    DETERMINING CLARITY BREAK:
    - Look at Breaking Points chart (p.106)
      A Changeling's Seeming curse uses half Wyrd, rounded up
    - Add and remove dice based on Changeling's personal attachment (pp.104-5)
    
    APPLYING DAMAGE:
    - If there are any successes, roll Wyrd and apply that much damage
      If the success was Extraordinary, apply damage as severe, else mild
    - Modify damage roll by attached Touchstones (p.98)
      0:  +2 Dice
      1:  -1 Die
      2+: -2 Dice
    - Severe damage overwrites mild damage
    - Damage to the last three boxes creates conditions
      One normal condition max for *any amount* of mild damage per attack
      One persistent condition max for *any amount* of severe damage per attack
    - Damage that fills the Clarity track causes the Comatose condition instead
      Normal if mild damage, Persistent if severe damage
    - Comatose Changelings cannot take damage
    
    HEALING DAMAGE:
    - Spend time with a Touchstone (attached or otherwise)
      Heal 1 severe or all mild damage
      Do not resolve any conditions
    - Resolve a Clarity condition
      Normal condition: Heal 1 point of any damage
      Persistent condition: Heal 2 points of any damage(s)
    Last edited by Thenomain; 08-13-2019, 07:48 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Thenomain
    replied
    Thank you times a million, Meghan.

    I have told anyone who is willing to listen that the new Clarity system lies at the center of bringing Changeling around to "a game of beautiful madness", and wanted to get it right.

    @unahim:
    You can only gain 1 Condition per attack, never more.
    And thanks for clarifying this, too. Diving into the Clarity mechanics have lead to some outright programmer-nerd levels of trying to double-check wording against other examples. People with a short Clarity track will start getting Conditions almost immediately if they start taking damage. It's not as likely—as they'd much more likely be low-Wyrd—but it does create a math-y situation that I was worried about understanding.

    Thanks to everyone for the conversation. Stay strange.

    Leave a comment:


  • Meghan Fitzgerald
    replied
    Originally posted by Thenomain View Post
    [X][X][ ][ ][ ] - No Conditions
    [X][X][/][ ][ ] - +1 Condition (Total: 1)
    [X][X][/][/][ ] - +1 Condition (Total: 2)
    [X][X][X][/][ ] - +1 Persistent Condition (Total: 3)
    [X][X][X][X][ ] - +1 Persistent Condition (Total: 4)
    [X][X][X][X][/] - Comatose Condition (Total: 5)

    My core question about situations like this is: I can see the description meaning something different; is this what was intended?
    Yes! This is how it would work (although as some others have pointed out, this is a pretty niche scenario that would rarely happen).

    The "next damage after the track is full" line is an artifact from previous edits that unfortunately no one caught in errata. Sorry! When you take damage in your rightmost Clarity box, you go Comatose. That's partially because we didn't want things to get too hectic with too many Conditions, and partially because it's just simpler. It's pretty uncommon to fill your track anyway unless you're high-Wyrd (or some other shenanigans are happening).

    This does mean that it's theoretically possible to be in the situation where you take 4 Clarity damage at once and go Comatose without any other Clarity Conditions to resolve to heal damage. In that case, you'd need someone to come rescue you as though it were Persistent--which is intentional, it's kind of like the Clarity version of Beaten Down. But if, at your table, you find that it's happening more often than you'd like or you don't want to do it that way for whatever reason, you could rule that resolving any Condition that could be a Clarity Condition (Confused, Shaken, etc.) even if you didn't get it through Clarity damage can resolve Comatose.

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  • Unahim
    replied
    Originally posted by Thenomain View Post
    [X][X][ ][ ][ ] - No Conditions
    [X][X][/][ ][ ] - +1 Condition (Total: 1)
    [X][X][/][/][ ] - +1 Condition (Total: 2)
    [X][X][X][/][ ] - +1 Persistent Condition (Total: 3)
    [X][X][X][X][ ] - +1 Persistent Condition (Total: 4)
    [X][X][X][X][/] - Comatose Condition (Total: 5)

    My core question about situations like this is: I can see the description meaning something different; is this what was intended?
    This seems exactly accurate. Do note that to get in this situation, you'd have to only take 1 damage at a time. If you are at:
    [X][X][ ][ ][ ] - No Conditions

    and then take 2 damage in one attack to arrive at:
    [X][X][/][/][ ]

    You still only get 1 Condition from that attack since it "marked damage in one of the three rightmost boxes". However, if you get to that point by taking 1 damage twice, it would be 2 Conditions. You can only gain 1 Condition per attack, never more.

    In other words, the scenario you describe would be incredibly rare, you would need to be taking clarity attacks over and over again, always only taking 1 damage per attack, and never resolving any condition or doing anything about it between all of those events.

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Thenomain View Post
    Okay, then let's keep on the inference: Why not the last two out of three, and the final box being reserved *for Comatose, period*? Instead the book says when the track is full, the *next* damage knocks you comatose, which doesn't require any inference. The inference is that this text is wrong—which I am, again, more than willing to accept but I still don't see the weight against this statement being notable enough to fold.

    Or in other words: By your reading, how can any Condition other than Comatose be caused by the last Clarity health box?
    Given the explicit options available for resolving Comatose from mild damage, it's entirely possible that Comatose comes in addition to whatever Condition you might get from marking your last Clarity box; difference in intensity notwithstanding, it seems unlikely that the intent was for an unlucky roll to require the character to realize they're dreaming when that's something the severe form characterizes as needing outside assistance.

    The Condition's cause is described as "Reaching Clarity 0," not "Clarity damage in your rightmost box," after all.

    And this is why I wonder if "you can get up to 5 conditions from Clarity damage in the worst-case scenario" was the intent. Illustrated:

    [X][X][ ][ ][ ] - No Conditions
    [X][X][/][ ][ ] - +1 Condition (Total: 1)
    [X][X][/][/][ ] - +1 Condition (Total: 2)
    [X][X][X][/][ ] - +1 Persistent Condition (Total: 3)
    [X][X][X][X][ ] - +1 Persistent Condition (Total: 4)
    [X][X][X][X][/] - Comatose Condition (Total: 5)

    My core question about situations like this is: I can see the description meaning something different; is this what was intended?
    The worst case scenario is that you never resolve as many Clarity Conditions as you accumulate and just keep picking up more as you heal the damage without treating the more lasting injuries; "two mild Clarity attacks followed by two severe Clarity attacks followed by a third of either type, with neither of the Conditions from the first two having resolved and none of the mild damage having healed beforehand" is not so much a worst-case scenario as a very specific scenario.

    Yes, the Clarity track starts out with a lower maximum than most other splats' equivalents unless you build the character very specifically, but most of the core seemings start with the option to add another box, and Icons exist for the specific purpose of not needing to spend Experiences raising the component Attributes of the track even as they generate more vectors for Clarity attacks in the first place, so a character in a position for this to happen to them is pretty much already in a bad place to begin with.

    But again, the nature of Clarity attacks seems pretty definitely such that if multiple things shake your surety in the way the world works before you can adjust, each one makes it demonstrably worse until you're overwhelmed. If you want a more concrete answer than that, the only other recourse is to ask the people who made the system personally, which I'm hesitant to do while the Companion and the rest of the supplements from the Kickstarter are still in the development process.

    Leave a comment:


  • Thenomain
    replied
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    The book doesn't state that Clarity 0 does anything else, is my point
    It doesn't have to do anything else. However:

    the maximum penalty to perception rolls comes from Clarity 1-2, not Clarity 0-2
    Well clearly something in the book is inconsistent. My reading of the rules is now down 1 reference to your 2.

    every other Condition listed in the Clarity Conditions setup is clear that it's caused by mild or severe Clarity damage in the last three boxes
    Okay, then let's keep on the inference: Why not the last two out of three, and the final box being reserved *for Comatose, period*? Instead the book says when the track is full, the *next* damage knocks you comatose, which doesn't require any inference. The inference is that this text is wrong—which I am, again, more than willing to accept but I still don't see the weight against this statement being notable enough to fold.

    Or in other words: By your reading, how can any Condition other than Comatose be caused by the last Clarity health box?

    They've put the same weight behind it as a key system as Cover, Satiety, Stability, Humanity, Harmony, Wisdom, Pilgrimage, and Synergy.
    Okay? We're aggressively agreeing on this point.

    "everyone else" also doesn't generally risk lowering their effective rating from something as simple as getting lost or realizing they were lied to or spending the day alone, but the greater commonality of mild Clarity attacks generates an extra layer of maintenance while severe damage fills the role most other splats accord to permanent loss of dots.
    And this is why I wonder if "you can get up to 5 conditions from Clarity damage in the worst-case scenario" was the intent. Illustrated:

    [X][X][ ][ ][ ] - No Conditions
    [X][X][/][ ][ ] - +1 Condition (Total: 1)
    [X][X][/][/][ ] - +1 Condition (Total: 2)
    [X][X][X][/][ ] - +1 Persistent Condition (Total: 3)
    [X][X][X][X][ ] - +1 Persistent Condition (Total: 4)
    [X][X][X][X][/] - Comatose Condition (Total: 5)

    My core question about situations like this is: I can see the description meaning something different; is this what was intended?
    Last edited by Thenomain; 07-10-2019, 05:21 PM.

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Thenomain View Post
    Conversely, the "Comatose Condition" (p.334) is the singular place I've found where it's stated that Comatose may be gained at Clarity 0. Where else does the book state Clarity 0 induces Comtaose?
    The book doesn't state that Clarity 0 does anything else, is my point — the maximum penalty to perception rolls comes from Clarity 1-2, not Clarity 0-2, every other Condition listed in the Clarity Conditions setup is clear that it's caused by mild or severe Clarity damage in the last three boxes, and even the most narratively onerous of the severe Conditions doesn't utterly rob you of your consciousness for its duration. Your character can be simultaneously Sleepwalking, Delusional, and subject to Fugue states and still have more deliberate impact on the waking world than they do when they're Comatose. There is no reason to assume the Condition is not the more correct source of the two.

    I admit this in the first post (c.f., Rule Zero), but I still hold out some hope that there is a True Answer, considering the weight OP has apparently put behind Clarity as a key system in this version of Changeling.
    They've put the same weight behind it as a key system as Cover, Satiety, Stability, Humanity, Harmony, Wisdom, Pilgrimage, and Synergy. Second Edition and the rest of Storytelling Revised have been pretty consistent about having the Integrity-equivalent for a splat work in a way that says things about the characters it's attached to or acts as a motivator for or against specific activities.

    (edit: Mind you, "everyone else" doesn't treat the Integrity Track like a health track and gain and lose points like a yo-yo in the hands of a trained professional.)
    Resolving Clarity Conditions is literally the only core means of healing Clarity damage that doesn't take at least one scene. Mild damage heals all at once from spending time with Touchstones, but mild damage also doesn't detach your Touchstones and the Conditions it can instill are comparatively minor, as mentioned above; "everyone else" also doesn't generally risk lowering their effective rating from something as simple as getting lost or realizing they were lied to or spending the day alone, but the greater commonality of mild Clarity attacks generates an extra layer of maintenance while severe damage fills the role most other splats accord to permanent loss of dots.

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  • Thenomain
    replied
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    Mundane characters can get both Broken and Fugue from Integrity breaking points under dire enough circumstances, and I see little reason for changelings to be exempt from the same outcome under analogous circumstances for Clarity.
    This resonates with me the most about this issue. "There's no reason Changelings get a break compared to everyone else". (edit: Mind you, "everyone else" doesn't treat the Integrity Track like a health track and gain and lose points like a yo-yo in the hands of a trained professional.)

    And as mentioned previously, while both are mentioned, the singular statement in the writeup is the only place that actually suggests a character is supposed to be able to remain active at Clarity 0
    Conversely, the "Comatose Condition" (p.334) is the singular place I've found where it's stated that Comatose may be gained at Clarity 0. Where else does the book state Clarity 0 induces Comtaose?

    And speaking as someone who's been in this fandom for nearly ten years
    (jokingly) Newbie.

    ...there are many cases where you just have to make an interpretation from context, find dev-and-writer intent where you can, and be consistent with your implementation within the same game
    I admit this in the first post (c.f., Rule Zero), but I still hold out some hope that there is a True Answer, considering the weight OP has apparently put behind Clarity as a key system in this version of Changeling.

    I'm such an optimist.

    Leave a comment:


  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Thenomain View Post
    Where we're reading it different is whether or not you gain a Clarity Condition from per damage source in the last three boxes (your reading), or if you gain one for any number of sources of any kind of damage in the last three boxes (mine).
    I am saying that, in the event that you don't resolve Clarity Conditions or heal Clarity damage, you can accumulate up to four Clarity Conditions — two from mild damage and two from severe — before you take Comatose, and getting to that point requires at least four separate Clarity attacks, because marking more than one of the last three boxes from one attack still only gives you one Condition.

    For simplicity's sake, take note that mild Clarity Conditions include the likes of Spooked, Shaken, and Dissociation — Conditions that are resolved purely by choosing to discharge them in appropriate circumstances and whose mechanical effects are "this Condition might resolve" — as well as Distracted, Withdrawn, and Confused — Conditions that are resolved by taking time out to regain your footing. Persistent Clarity Conditions are worse, but getting them is harder based on the simple fact that severe damage only happens on an exceptional success and having marked boxes of mild damage doesn't make severe damage accumulate faster.

    Mundane characters can get both Broken and Fugue from Integrity breaking points under dire enough circumstances, and I see little reason for changelings to be exempt from the same outcome under analogous circumstances for Clarity.

    We seem to be agreeing that once you get Comatose (from any source), then you cannot gain any more Clarity Damage, but disagreeing on when mandatory gaining of the Comatose Condition takes place. (You: When the track is filled. Me: When taking damage after the track is full. Both are stated in the book.)
    And as mentioned previously, while both are mentioned, the singular statement in the writeup is the only place that actually suggests a character is supposed to be able to remain active at Clarity 0; there's no analogous mechanic to Health's "Upgrading Damage" rules provided and the circumstance of rolling exactly as much damage as you have remaining Clarity boxes is specific enough that it's reasonable to assume, in light of all the other ways the mechanics don't provide guidance for continuing to play a conscious character at Clarity 0, that the Condition writeup is the more accurate of the two.

    And in case there's any question, Satchel, I'm not repeating myself nor repeating you in attempt to sound like I'm having an argument—I know where to go for an argument about this—but because I want to believe that somewhere in the text is a clearer answer.
    And speaking as someone who's been in this fandom for nearly ten years and attempting focused read-throughs of the lines for more than half that time, I must regretfully state that there are many cases where you just have to make an interpretation from context, find dev-and-writer intent where you can, and be consistent with your implementation within the same game or be prepared to handle the complications of updating your rulings as your understanding of the content evolves. The book is past the errata phase, so the printed wording is as clear as it's going to get.

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  • Thenomain
    replied
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    My reading is, quite unambiguously, "If a Clarity attack marks damage in one of your last three boxes, you take a Clarity Condition dependent upon the type of damage and the circumstances; if this reduces you to zero unmarked boxes, that Condition is Comatose."
    I don't disagree. Which is what's frustrating me about this; both seem valid.

    [T]here's not much call to assume that having one Clarity Condition of a given severity prevents you from getting others.
    Sorry, what I meant there is that (by my reading) you get one Clarity Condition from any amount of Moderate Clarity Damage in the last three boxes for a total of one of those. You can get another, Persistent Clarity Condition, from any amount of Severe Clarity Damage, for a total of one of those. And a third (Potentially Persistent Clarity Condition) for the Comatose Condition.

    Where we're reading it different is whether or not you gain a Clarity Condition from per damage source in the last three boxes (your reading), or if you gain one for any number of sources of any kind of damage in the last three boxes (mine).

    We seem to be agreeing that once you get Comatose (from any source), then you cannot gain any more Clarity Damage, but disagreeing on when mandatory gaining of the Comatose Condition takes place. (You: When the track is filled. Me: When taking damage after the track is full. Both are stated in the book.)

    --

    I used to play with people who would quite regularly talk about "rules as written", as a panacea of any rules-based discussion. This conversation reminds me how this isn't always useful.

    And in case there's any question, Satchel, I'm not repeating myself nor repeating you in attempt to sound like I'm having an argument—I know where to go for an argument about this—but because I want to believe that somewhere in the text is a clearer answer.

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