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  • Demonic pacts and Duration

    So, I'm gearing up to start a Demon game, and the question came up of how patch jobs work. And I realized I'm not entirely sure how the cover experiences gained from the Cover benefit in a pact interact with the Duration of the pact. If a Cover pact is signed with the duration of, say, a month, and two cover experiences are awarded, and the demon spends them together with another cover experience towards purchasing a low-level patch-job, what happens when the month is up? Are the cover experiences recalled, and what happens if they're spent in the interim, especially if, in this example, the trait purchased was only partially purchased with the spent experiences? That possibility seems like a little more bookkeeping than I'd prefer. Alternatively, are Cover pacts automatically Permanent pacts, and if so, do they have to be paid as such? Or do the cover experiences last beyond the duration of the pact?

  • #2
    Personally, I would rule that, regardless of how a character gets Cover Beats/Experiences, once awarded they are permanent. That's just how I'd do it, though, if you're looking for a page citation I don't know that there is one.


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    • #3
      I'm also a bit confused about the pact rules.

      - It is stated "When combining aspects, two lesser aspects combine into a medial, and two medial (or a lesser and a medial) become a greater aspect." However, in the examples the costs for the aspects are just added, which would be much easier.

      - If a pact favors the human, there are no additional costs for the demon. This means, a single pact could give a human extremely powerful bonusses (We are talking about +3 to all skills, for example). In contrast, a pact in favor of the demon is in fact a disadvantage for the demon, because of the higher cost. A demon could easily outweigh the additional cost by giving the human more bonusses, without any disadvantage for the demon. Is this really intended? Or did I misunderstand something?

      - Duration: Are pacts by default permanent, and can be made temporary? The text under "Duration" implies that. However, the text under the bullet "permanent" says that "most pacts for any kind of meaningful “patch jobs” are of permanent duration on the demon’s side", which implies that they require 3 points for the "permanent" duration. The example implies the same, since in both cases a duration aspect is added to the pact on the demon's side. For Ezra's pact: how long do the bonusses for Jessica last? Are they permanent or will they expire after a year? How long would they last without a duration aspect?
      Last edited by gflash; 11-15-2013, 04:22 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by gflash View Post
        I'm also a bit confused about the pact rules.

        - It is stated "When combining aspects, two lesser aspects combine into a medial, and two medial (or a lesser and a medial) become a greater aspect." However, in the examples the costs for the aspects are just added, which would be much easier.

        - If a pact favors the human, there are no additional costs for the demon. This means, a single pact could give a human extremely powerful bonusses (We are talking about +3 to all skills, for example). In contrast, a pact in favor of the demon is in fact a disadvantage for the demon, because of the higher cost. A demon could easily outweigh the additional cost by giving the human more bonusses, without any disadvantage for the demon. Is this really intended? Or did I misunderstand something?

        - Duration: Are pacts by default permanent, and can be made temporary? The text under "Duration" implies that. However, the text under the bullet "permanent" says that "most pacts for any kind of meaningful “patch jobs” are of permanent duration on the demon’s side", which implies that they require 3 points for the "permanent" duration. The example implies the same, since in both cases a duration aspect is added to the pact on the demon's side. For Ezra's pact: how long do the bonusses for Jessica last? Are they permanent or will they expire after a year? How long would they last without a duration aspect?
        I'd probably houserule that even imbalance in favor of the human costs extra, at least after a certain point - otherwise, the Demon can churn out ridiculously potent (for mere mortal) lackeys with huge cult followings pretty fast without much effort.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by gflash View Post
          - Duration: Are pacts by default permanent, and can be made temporary? The text under "Duration" implies that. However, the text under the bullet "permanent" says that "most pacts for any kind of meaningful “patch jobs” are of permanent duration on the demon’s side", which implies that they require 3 points for the "permanent" duration. The example implies the same, since in both cases a duration aspect is added to the pact on the demon's side. For Ezra's pact: how long do the bonusses for Jessica last? Are they permanent or will they expire after a year? How long would they last without a duration aspect?
          I am not a writer, but what I got here is that every pact has to have a duration; a day or week is free but anything beyond that boosts the Demon's total. The part that talks about how almost all pacts default to permanent is less about how it works mechanically and more noting that demons usually pay the price to make it permanent. And I can't imagine that the benefits would last longer than the pact.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kirby Jerusalem View Post
            I am not a writer, but what I got here is that every pact has to have a duration; a day or week is free but anything beyond that boosts the Demon's total. The part that talks about how almost all pacts default to permanent is less about how it works mechanically and more noting that demons usually pay the price to make it permanent. And I can't imagine that the benefits would last longer than the pact.
            I got that impression too.

            It also makes sense, if the demon's going to ask for a longer term, that they should be expected to sweeten the deal, I think. Even if what they're removing is seen by the target as doing them a favor, they're still asking (whatever actually enforces Pacts) to tweak the world for a longer term.

            I'd definitely still like some guidance on the questions in the OP. Also the effect of different pact lengths for the parties on the cost.

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            • #7
              Yeah... all of your cultists getting +3 to everything, above the skill caps, too? There really should be a mechanical incentive to balance the pacts.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kirby Jerusalem View Post
                I am not a writer, but what I got here is that every pact has to have a duration; a day or week is free but anything beyond that boosts the Demon's total.
                Initally, I got that impression, too. However, one of the example pacts has no duration given, and also no information about how long it lasts. Since the mentioned pact is about establishing a cult, a short duration would not make sense. That is what still confuses me.


                Yeah... all of your cultists getting +3 to everything, above the skill caps, too? There really should be a mechanical incentive to balance the pacts.
                I don't think all cultists get the pact benefits, only those who made a pact with the demon (so in most cases the cult leader(s)). But Since the demon can make as many pacts as he likes, he could generate an unstoppable army with superhuman skills...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gflash View Post
                  I don't think all cultists get the pact benefits, only those who made a pact with the demon (so in most cases the cult leader(s)). But Since the demon can make as many pacts as he likes, he could generate an unstoppable army with superhuman skills...
                  Assuming he wants to keep up with the paperwork. :P

                  But yeah, a one time cost with no increase for putting it way in favor of the human can making spamming super-cultists a significant issue.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kirby Jerusalem View Post
                    But yeah, a one time cost with no increase for putting it way in favor of the human can making spamming super-cultists a significant issue.
                    Although this could easily turn against the demon...

                    If I were a demon, I would try not to give my cultists too much power. However, if another random human has something I really want, i'd offer him whatever she wants, considering I probably will never see her again.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by strider1276 View Post
                      Personally, I would rule that, regardless of how a character gets Cover Beats/Experiences, once awarded they are permanent. That's just how I'd do it, though, if you're looking for a page citation I don't know that there is one.
                      I don't think we specifically mention this, but you're correct.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gflash View Post
                        I'm also a bit confused about the pact rules.

                        - It is stated "When combining aspects, two lesser aspects combine into a medial, and two medial (or a lesser and a medial) become a greater aspect." However, in the examples the costs for the aspects are just added, which would be much easier.

                        - If a pact favors the human, there are no additional costs for the demon. This means, a single pact could give a human extremely powerful bonusses (We are talking about +3 to all skills, for example). In contrast, a pact in favor of the demon is in fact a disadvantage for the demon, because of the higher cost. A demon could easily outweigh the additional cost by giving the human more bonusses, without any disadvantage for the demon. Is this really intended? Or did I misunderstand something?

                        - Duration: Are pacts by default permanent, and can be made temporary? The text under "Duration" implies that. However, the text under the bullet "permanent" says that "most pacts for any kind of meaningful “patch jobs” are of permanent duration on the demon’s side", which implies that they require 3 points for the "permanent" duration. The example implies the same, since in both cases a duration aspect is added to the pact on the demon's side. For Ezra's pact: how long do the bonusses for Jessica last? Are they permanent or will they expire after a year? How long would they last without a duration aspect?
                        1) I think you're right. That "combining aspects" line may have been something left over from the initial pact rules (which were more involved). We'll fix that.

                        2) Yes. Demons can grant mortals a great deal of power. Of course, as with any decision a demon makes that decision needs to carry the question, "Is this going to get me God-Machine'd?"

                        3) Pacts are usually permanent (and would carry the +3 on the demon's side to allow for that). If you don't put in a duration aspect, it lasts a day. I think we probably should have said that soul pacts are permanent, full-stop, unless the pact is destroyed before it's enacted (in which case the mortal suffers the loss of whatever he was given, and the demon is just out a Willpower dot).

                        Temporary pacts are tricky, I admit, because you get Experiences out of them. My inclination is that Experiences should be permanent, as Rose has said, but the text implies otherwise. We'll make sure this works and is clear before press-time.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks for the clarification.

                          3) Pacts are usually permanent (and would carry the +3 on the demon's side to allow for that). If you don't put in a duration aspect, it lasts a day. I think we probably should have said that soul pacts are permanent, full-stop, unless the pact is destroyed before it's enacted (in which case the mortal suffers the loss of whatever he was given, and the demon is just out a Willpower dot).
                          For the given example pact between Ezra and Jessica, this means that Jessica's benefits will also last for a year (or until the written pact itself gets destroyed)?

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                          • #14
                            Actually, while not strictly a duration question, this seems as good place as any to ask... if a demon makes a soul pact with someone and says "You've got a decade and then I'm coming for you," or putting some similar time frame on it, are they held to that? Can they come and collect (or trade the soul pact to another demon who then comes and collects) without having to wait the theoretical decade?

                            (Y'know, I could theoretically see a demon putting a 'minimum wait' timeframe on their end of a pact to reduce the 'value' of their side of it.)


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by blackhatmatt View Post

                              1) I think you're right. That "combining aspects" line may have been something left over from the initial pact rules (which were more involved). We'll fix that.

                              2) Yes. Demons can grant mortals a great deal of power. Of course, as with any decision a demon makes that decision needs to carry the question, "Is this going to get me God-Machine'd?"

                              3) Pacts are usually permanent (and would carry the +3 on the demon's side to allow for that). If you don't put in a duration aspect, it lasts a day. I think we probably should have said that soul pacts are permanent, full-stop, unless the pact is destroyed before it's enacted (in which case the mortal suffers the loss of whatever he was given, and the demon is just out a Willpower dot).

                              Temporary pacts are tricky, I admit, because you get Experiences out of them. My inclination is that Experiences should be permanent, as Rose has said, but the text implies otherwise. We'll make sure this works and is clear before press-time.
                              So can we conclude that the Pact's section is going to get some rewording and editing before the PDF is released to us? As I've been kinda interest to see what you guys are editing before we even get the "first edition" pdf. So far there's the editing out of the "God Machine kills baby's" paragraph an alteration to On the Mend and now a clarification and edit of the pact's section.

                              Anything else the devs have mentioned is going to be altered before the pdf comes out?

                              Combined with inevitable proof read by over a thousand people, the "corrected" or "second edition" PDF for this game might be the tightest Onyx Path has ever released.


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