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  • #76
    Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
    I have to say it. If these rules were in 1E, I don't think I'd have bothered writing my own Compacts and Conspiracies.
    That is a very damning statement. I do find the majority of your arguments to be fairly strong and agreeable, especially with the feeling that the numbers were a little bit messy to deal with. However, I have the opposite sentiment to the rules as I feel that most of the flaws in the system might be ironed out with a better format (for easier comprehensive reading) and with more clarity (breathing anything is a +3 Permission but Breath of the Dragon seems to make it a +4 because it makes a Toxicity 4 cloud?).

    Actually, I think a step-by-step format (similar to Character Creation) might help clear up the rules. Like, start with what lets a Hunter have access to the Endowment (Prerequisites), explain how to perform the Endowment (Toll), describe what the Endowment does (Permissions & Bans), and define the limitations and side-effects of the Endowment (Limitations & Backlash). I know that when I gave Setto an attempt at a translation, I kept having to jump back and forth between tables to figure out what is allowed and where. It felt really disorganized and stressful.

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    • #77
      Originally posted by Reaper Verse View Post

      That is a very damning statement. I do find the majority of your arguments to be fairly strong and agreeable, especially with the feeling that the numbers were a little bit messy to deal with. However, I have the opposite sentiment to the rules as I feel that most of the flaws in the system might be ironed out with a better format (for easier comprehensive reading) and with more clarity (breathing anything is a +3 Permission but Breath of the Dragon seems to make it a +4 because it makes a Toxicity 4 cloud?).

      Actually, I think a step-by-step format (similar to Character Creation) might help clear up the rules. Like, start with what lets a Hunter have access to the Endowment (Prerequisites), explain how to perform the Endowment (Toll), describe what the Endowment does (Permissions & Bans), and define the limitations and side-effects of the Endowment (Limitations & Backlash). I know that when I gave Setto an attempt at a translation, I kept having to jump back and forth between tables to figure out what is allowed and where. It felt really disorganized and stressful.
      Agreed on both sentiments. I 100% feel more comfortable creating my own endowments with these rules than trying to ad-hoc balance them against the examples in 1e. That said, having an example of endowment creation that mirrored the example of character creation would be exceedingly helpful and was one of the first things that I thought of.


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      • #78
        Originally posted by Reaper Verse View Post
        That is a very damning statement. I do find the majority of your arguments to be fairly strong and agreeable, especially with the feeling that the numbers were a little bit messy to deal with. However, I have the opposite sentiment to the rules as I feel that most of the flaws in the system might be ironed out with a better format (for easier comprehensive reading) and with more clarity (breathing anything is a +3 Permission but Breath of the Dragon seems to make it a +4 because it makes a Toxicity 4 cloud?).
        Some of the flaws I hit are limits of the rules themselves and cannot be solved with just more clarity. The inability to have a Limiter that's personalised to the hunter like "when you're working to follow your oath", or the lack of support for a general effect that does a bit extra in certain situations "monsters cannot enter the affected church, but Vampires also take Damage for trying". And you cannot have an Endowment like the 1E Compact Endowments because they're all bonus and no downside. These are real flaws that need a more substantial fix than clarification.


        Having slept on it though, I also realised that a large part of the problem is that the numbers have to balance to zero. In the WoD's other flexible powers setups (Mage Arcana, Vampire's Blood Sorcery book, and all the fan stuff like Genius' Wonders) there's no need to balance*. Positive factors like additional area of effect have a cost; a dice penalty, more required successes, limitations give you a bonus. That makes a nice linear design. You choose the effect, then you work out what you need for the effect, then you work out the cost, then you're done.

        This Endowment system cannot have that nice neat linear system. If you get to the bottom and the value isn't zero you have to back and repeat a step looking for ways to balance the numbers. Redesigning the system to remove the need to balance things to zero, and instead modifying the Endowment based on the final Value would be a big step forward.



        * The only exception is 1E Changeling Pledges and Goblin Vows, which are mechanically much simpler than Endowments. And more importantly, for Pledges/Goblin Vows you design the cost and benefit separately which makes the system much simpler. You never need to go back and modify the effect you wanted to balance things, just pick a cost that matches whatever you came up with. With Endowments the two are tied together, so it would be really hard to balance a SX-11A that only affects Goetica.
        Last edited by The Kings Raven; 05-03-2017, 03:32 AM.


        “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
        My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
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        • #79
          Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
          Some of the flaws I hit are limits of the rules themselves and cannot be solved with just more clarity. The inability to have a Limiter that's personalised to the hunter like "when you're working to follow your oath", or the lack of support for a general effect that does a bit extra in certain situations "monsters cannot enter the affected church, but Vampires also take Damage for trying". And you cannot have an Endowment like the 1E Compact Endowments because they're all bonus and no downside. These are real flaws that need a more substantial fix than clarification.
          I would like to argue that you could also feasibly create an all-bonus/no-downside Endowment using the 2E system by simply not adding limiters or backlashes. You could make an Endowment where you can shove nails into your skin on order to boost your ability to speak and charm others (Status 2 for -2, Toll of -5 for health level [You shove a nail into your palm and begin to bleed profusely], in order to have the passive ability to spend Willpower [1+ Willpower is +5] to apply the Swooned Condition [+2]). 0 total cost for a power that has no downside aside from bloodloss. It's also pretty stupid powerful but that can be handled with Backlashes and Limiters if you so want. With the 1E Compact Endowments, I would say that, because their powers don't do anything that is visibly supernatural or goes beyond the limitations of humanity, their bonuses can be easily balanced out (I'm Doing Science, for example; Status 1 to have access, has a limiter of proper equipment, increases your ability to track or allows you to know specifically the supernatural creature or makes it easier to attack the monster; the effects I would say don't go above +3 cost total)

          For the general effect that does extra, I just break it down into two "if, then" arguments. If: target in area is "supernatural", Then: target cannot pass ward [a +2 Ban]. If: target is Vampiric, Then: target receives the "Burning" Tilt [+2, though I would argue that it should be a bit more for being pretty strong]. For the limiter of "working to follow your oath", I would say the "Specific Vigil Condition" Prerequisite should function as an Active Prerequisite where failing to adhere to the Specific Vigil Condition prevents you from using your Endowment.

          Having slept on it though, I also realised that a large part of the problem is that the numbers have to balance to zero. In the WoD's other flexible powers setups (Mage Arcana, Vampire's Blood Sorcery book, and all the fan stuff like Genius' Wonders) there's no need to balance*. Positive factors like additional area of effect have a cost; a dice penalty, more required successes, limitations give you a bonus. That makes a nice linear design. You choose the effect, then you work out what you need for the effect, then you work out the cost, then you're done.

          This Endowment system cannot have that nice neat linear system. If you get to the bottom and the value isn't zero you have to back and repeat a step looking for ways to balance the numbers. Redesigning the system to remove the need to balance things to zero, and instead modifying the Endowment based on the final Value would be a big step forward.
          I would like to argue that it would kinda go against the spirit of Hunter. All of the other splats are able to not focus on balance because of the nature of the splat. Vampires have mind control powers and unfathomable prowess in dexterity and physical strength but their "limiter" is the fact that they are horribly allergic to the sun, need blood on the regular (especially if they're burning through all their neat abilities), and have to play to the complex network of lies and betrayal that is Vampire Politics.

          Hunters, on the other hand, are mainly humans. They are hella squishy and tend to be limited in terms of their capabilities with few being able to go beyond the limits. However, Hunters have figured out how to exceed that and go head-to-head with the spookies and the scaries of the night. It just requires a bit of blood and sacrifice, quaffing bottles of poison, damning your soul to whatever resides in the Inferno, or some old-fashioned prayer. These powers might take their toll on the Hunter's body and may not be able to match up with a witch tossing out fireballs like it's Halloween, but it gives them a necessary edge. A grenade that releases a more-than-carcinogenic smoke that can forcibly materialize spirits or an extra spicy toxic cloud potion that can burn out an esophagus does the job well at making it so that Hunters are at a slight disadvantage but are willing to do whatever it takes to feel a little bit safer at night.


          I don't want to make this a constant back and forth but I honestly believe that the system can work as is. It's incredibly clunky and needs a good run-though and polish to be amazing, but it's infinitely better than 1E's creation rules and, I honestly feel, a step above the attempts to manifest a concrete idea from a vague cloud of concepts that I am almost always requires to work around when attempting to create a homebrew Conspiracy.

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          • #80
            Originally posted by Reaper Verse View Post
            I would like to argue that you could also feasibly create an all-bonus/no-downside Endowment using the 2E system by simply not adding limiters or backlashes. You could make an Endowment where you can shove nails into your skin on order to boost your ability to speak and charm others (Status 2 for -2, Toll of -5 for health level
            Ummmm. How is it "all-bonus/no-downside" if you're paying health levels?

            Originally posted by Reaper Verse View Post
            the effects I would say don't go above +3 cost total)
            If you look at The Mandate of Hell, an effect that provides a variable number of bonus dice is +5 and I'm Doing Science has two of them. It's at least +11

            Originally posted by Reaper Verse View Post
            For the general effect that does extra, I just break it down into two "if, then" arguments. If: target in area is "supernatural", Then: target cannot pass ward [a +2 Ban]. If: target is Vampiric, Then: target receives the "Burning" Tilt [+2, though I would argue that it should be a bit more for being pretty strong].
            But I didn't say you can't do it, I said it's not supported. Which is to say the system isn't designed to make this sort of thing easy. Every time you want to add a unique effect for a particular splat you need to add another effect and another -5 limiter (if not a vampire).

            Having one unique effect can be hard to balance because of that -5, having more than one unique effect would be incredibly unweildy to balance.

            Plus, if inflicting the Burning Tilt is +2, or even +4, the Vampire only Limit for the Burning Tilt is -5, so making your Endowment more powerful actually decreases the value and subsidises the other effects. I think we can trust players not to abuse this but it's clearly a bug in the rules.

            Originally posted by Reaper Verse View Post
            "limiter" is the fact that they are horribly allergic to the sun, need blood on the regular (especially if they're burning through all their neat abilities), and have to play to the complex network of lies and betrayal that is Vampire Politics.
            I disagree that this is a distinction between Hunters and other splats.

            Hunter's limiters are that they make enemies who're by definition stronger and more dangerous than themselves; and that they are members of a sinister conspiracy that most probably does not priorities their best interests and well being. If that limit doesn't strike you as harsh as being a vampire, I point out that Endowments aren't as strong as a Vampire's powers either. Besides, lots of 1E Endowments didn't have any drawbacks.


            More importantly. Even if it is thematic for Hunters to have more drawbacks in their powers than other splats, it doesn't change the fact that it's a frustrating and constraining system you use.

            An Endowment design system should start with the players declaring a concept and then make it easier for the player to construct mechanics for that concept. It should never reach a point where you've written up the mechanics, get to the bottom and realise you need to go back to the top and change you concept because it doesn't balance.

            A system where a positive Value at the end of the Endowment provides some sort of penalty (you need Value succesess for the Endowment to work) and a negative one provides some sort of penalty would still encourage players to design costs and drawbacks without being frustrating to use.
            Last edited by The Kings Raven; 05-03-2017, 05:48 AM.


            “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
            My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
            Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

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            • #81
              If they're conditions, doesn't that mean you can get situations where you expend xp on an endowment only to lose it forever because you resolved it (like Mandate of Hell appears to cause).


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              • #82
                Originally posted by milo v3 View Post
                If they're conditions, doesn't that mean you can get situations where you expend xp on an endowment only to lose it forever because you resolved it (like Mandate of Hell appears to cause).
                the way I understood it, Mandate of Hell starts when you pay the Toll, and is in effect until you resolve it- but you could activate it once more by paying the Toll, not that the Endowment itself is lost forever and ever.


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                • #83
                  That's how I've been reading it as well LostLight. Except for the part it last in till resolved, because it's a Transitory power it would last either a scene or an hour on its own.

                  Pretty much you resolve the effects power early for a greater effect.

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                  • #84
                    TKR, I would like to temporarily end this back and forth on the thread for now. Despite our arguments staying on topic and providing good commentary on the benefits and flaws of the system, we are two people with strong opinions and the argument will most-likely go cyclical. If you would like, I would be willing to continue this discussion through PMs.


                    Would "adoptable" Endowments be an interesting concept? With the prerequisite and source generally connecting an Endowment back to a Conspiracy, it might be feasible to have a standalone Endowment that only requires that the user knows of the Endowment and the source coming from something more abstract. Like a book that contains a list of rituals that can manipulate ephemeral beings or a recipe for incense sticks that suppresses magic because of the amount of rue (witchbane) or even an abandoned piece of Infrastructure that can instruct a local angel to behave in a certain manner. It could work as a story hook for smaller Cells that want to gain an advantage over the supernatural or for larger Compacts and Conspiracies to investigate and attempt to claim or recreate.

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                    • #85
                      Creating Endowments that are not tied to a Conspiracy via source or prerequisites is possible and viable by using a Concept for a dead Conspiracy. The Endowments are what remains behind from the group that no longer exists. Self-imposed limits would be necessary to avoid making Conspiracies redundant. A similar thing can happen with existing Conspiracies so they can share Endowments to outsiders and the same self-imposed limits needed for the same reason.

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                      • #86
                        Having trouble parsing why Permissions and Bans deserve their own jargon. Can't they just be Effects, together with the separately named actions?

                        What's the difference between Resolve and Resolution? Are they the same? If not, why use nearly identical terms?


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                        • #87
                          It's interesting to me that they hiked the cost up so much. I'd expected it to settle somewhere around 2-3 Experiences, but 4 is extremely high.

                          Then again, Hunters tend to rake in Experiences far faster than any other splat.

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
                            It's interesting to me that they hiked the cost up so much. I'd expected it to settle somewhere around 2-3 Experiences, but 4 is extremely high.

                            Then again, Hunters tend to rake in Experiences far faster than any other splat.

                            Really? why?

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                            • #89
                              Practical Experience is the most generous 1E secondary experience source.


                              “There are no rules. Only Principles and natural laws.” - Promethius
                              My Homebrew no longer fits in a signature, you can find an index of it here.
                              Full length fan-books I contributed too: Princess: the Hopeful, Leviathan: the Tempest, Dream Catchers

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by The Kings Raven View Post
                                Practical Experience is the most generous 1E secondary experience source.
                                This, it wasn't unusual in 1E for a single fairly standard encounter with the supernatural to dole out 10+ Practical Experience. In 1.5E (Mortal Remains) that still ends up being 2 Practical Experiences.

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