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Balancing Vampires vs. Werewolves in Combat

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  • Balancing Vampires vs. Werewolves in Combat

    So I'm looking over the combat rules for these two breeds of monsters, and it seems as if vampires are almost more resilient than werewolves in combat. My understanding is that vamps downgrade all lethal to bashing, and that werewolves heal a point of bashing a turn and a point of lethal every fifteen minutes. Since pretty much all damage that's not a punch or a kick in 2e is lethal, and since combat likely isn't going to drag out for fifteen minutes or more, it seems like vampires innately have more or less double the health pool that werewolves do.

    For those of you with practical experience in the game, has that effected your balance? Does the ability for werewolves to heal using essence, combined with their tendency to run in packs, and their exceedingly dangerous combat capabilities (along, presumably, with their larger health pools due to size) balance that out? It just seems a bit surprising to me that vampires appear to be sturdier creatures.

    That said, I haven't run any playtesting yet. I'd presume that werewolves are so damn dangerous that giving them more healing or damage mitigation might just turn them into instant kill adversaries.

  • #2
    Are you only considering werewolves in Hishu? Are you looking at the stripped down version of the monsters for Hunter or the actual splats? More info needed here.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
      Are you only considering werewolves in Hishu? Are you looking at the stripped down version of the monsters for Hunter or the actual splats? More info needed here.
      Since I'm going to be populating my setting with a pretty diverse set of monsters, I'll probably draw from the dread powers from the Hunter core and the additional materials from Spirit Slayers. I'm really just talking about a fight between a pair of classic, wolf-head, man-sized werewolves and a cell of hunters. I know that sort of white room scenario never happens, but it's a good control group for the sort of scenarios that do arise.

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      • #4
        Or to put it more plainly... A vampire can take about double the amount of shotgun blasts as a werewolf?

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        • #5
          It's more a question of curiosity than anything, though. I'm probably looking at putting my players in a situation like Straw Dogs or Green Room type scenario, where having a couple of vicious furry brothers with just a few extra points on their health track stalking them around a boarded up building makes the most sense.

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          • #6
            One thing I'm not sure is included in the hunter only versions is the massive boost to regeneration that the half-wolf warform of werewolves receives. When in this form, splat-werewolves regenerate all bashing & lethal damage at the start of every turn in 2E, making them more durable by default (though specialized vampires can surpass this durability).

            I'll have to take a closer look at the materials you're using and get back to you.

            Using the stats supplied by Hunter itself is absolutely the right call if these are intended to be beatable antagonists.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dxanders View Post
              So I'm looking over the combat rules for these two breeds of monsters, and it seems as if vampires are almost more resilient than werewolves in combat. My understanding is that vamps downgrade all lethal to bashing, and that werewolves heal a point of bashing a turn and a point of lethal every fifteen minutes. Since pretty much all damage that's not a punch or a kick in 2e is lethal, and since combat likely isn't going to drag out for fifteen minutes or more, it seems like vampires innately have more or less double the health pool that werewolves do.

              For those of you with practical experience in the game, has that effected your balance? Does the ability for werewolves to heal using essence, combined with their tendency to run in packs, and their exceedingly dangerous combat capabilities (along, presumably, with their larger health pools due to size) balance that out? It just seems a bit surprising to me that vampires appear to be sturdier creatures.

              That said, I haven't run any playtesting yet. I'd presume that werewolves are so damn dangerous that giving them more healing or damage mitigation might just turn them into instant kill adversaries.
              Couple of misconceptions here:

              1) The werewolves' Killing Form (Gauru) regenerates all bashing and all lethal damage it suffered in 1 turn (it also forces lesser enemies, IE most humans to down and dirty combat rules, that, coupled with Lunacy penalties likely spells death to unprepared Hunters.)

              2) The fangs of werewolves does lethal damage to kindred, regardless of their undead fortitude.

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              • #8
                First edition werewolves weren't too impressive.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by lnodiv View Post
                  One thing I'm not sure is included in the hunter only versions is the massive boost to regeneration that the half-wolf warform of werewolves receives. When in this form, splat-werewolves regenerate all bashing & lethal damage at the start of every turn in 2E, making them more durable by default (though specialized vampires can surpass this durability).

                  I'll have to take a closer look at the materials you're using and get back to you.

                  Using the stats supplied by Hunter itself is absolutely the right call if these are intended to be beatable antagonists.
                  Oh yikes. Yeah, I believe HtV rules state that werewolves heal lethal every 15 minutes. Those rules for regeneration make sense for the core WtF, but yeeeeeeah... that's excessive for a lower level Hunter game. Thanks for the input. No research necessary. I wasn't actually thinking about tinkering that much with the rules (at most, maybe having them heal a single point of lethal a turn at higher renown levels). I was just curious about whether anyone had used the Spirit Slayer rules in a 2E Hunter conversion, and how they felt about them.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Malus View Post

                    Couple of misconceptions here:

                    1) The werewolves' Killing Form (Gauru) regenerates all bashing and all lethal damage it suffered in 1 turn (it also forces lesser enemies, IE most humans to down and dirty combat rules, that, coupled with Lunacy penalties likely spells death to unprepared Hunters.)

                    2) The fangs of werewolves does lethal damage to kindred, regardless of their undead fortitude.
                    Gotcha. 2e werewolves sound pretty damn powerful, tbh.

                    But I was specifically speaking in the mod rules for Hunter, and not about werewolves fighting vampire in combat but instead about the durability of either when squared against hunters. Sorry for the confusion!

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                    • #11
                      Another thing is that it's only 1 bashing per turn and 1 lethal every 15 minutes for the weakest werewolves. As their primal urge rises, they heal more and more quickly, topping out at six bashing per turn, which can be turned into lethal healing for a point of essence. Although at that point their healing factor is probably the least of your problems.

                      Oh, also they can purchase natural armour for their non-human forms.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                        Another thing is that it's only 1 bashing per turn and 1 lethal every 15 minutes for the weakest werewolves. As their primal urge rises, they heal more and more quickly, topping out at six bashing per turn, which can be turned into lethal healing for a point of essence. Although at that point their healing factor is probably the least of your problems.

                        Oh, also they can purchase natural armour for their non-human forms.
                        Interesting. I'll have to look back over those rules again.

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                        • #13
                          The thing about werewolves in their big fuzzy form is that its a short duration ability designed specifically to make them temporarily the best at killing things. If they're going big and fuzzy for the purpose of killing something its very hard for that thing to not be killed. Excepting specialized circumstances a whole pack of werewolves versus a cell of hunters just isn't going to be a fight the latter can "win" in any respect other than to survive. Werewolves are just built that way.

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                          • #14
                            And then there's Kuruth. As risky as it is, you do spend about ten minutes + in a form capable of tanking an insane amount of damage. That's gonna help longevity if your opponent didn't pack any silver.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nofather View Post
                              First edition werewolves weren't too impressive.
                              I have to disagree with that sentiment... Werewolves in 1st Edition are pretty brutal... the upgrades they received in 2nd Edition make them absolutely bestial...


                              The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary. - James. D. Nicoll

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