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How do you manage Order Status requisition?

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  • How do you manage Order Status requisition?

    Dear friends, I'm an Old World of Darkness player of Mage the Ascension and with my group we are starting a story in this new setting and rule system.

    I'm playing an Obrimos psychologist with focus in social skills and Hopeful virtue.
    His Shadow Name is by coincidence the same of the name of an ancient Guardian of the Veil hero of the past and, for this reason, some of the order believes he's a reincarnation of him and that he can help them in their goals. BTW, my character is really loyal to the order and will do anything to improve their "usually bad reputation", trying to inspire others behaving with virtue and helping their diplomatic relations with other orders.


    Because of my background, I put 5 dots in Order Status (GotV) but reading that merit and its redesign in Signs of Sorcery I'm puzzled by its unbalanced power.
    1) Is seems you can use it at level five to get a level 3 PERMANENT merit from the list.
    2) The merit is usable each chapter (SoS pag.95), which means each game session. So it is virtually possible to get fifteen dots in only five sessions which is the triple of dots invested in it.
    3) I know that "what the order gives, the order can take back" but if a character is fully loyal he/she should not lose their favor unless doing something stupid.

    I understand that Resources 5 in comparison is similar, and can stack a lot of high item bonus each session but I feel that it is too much. Maybe both of them are too strong as game sessions go on.

    What do you think?
    Maybe limit the permanent requisitions to once per story?

    Thanks for your insight

  • #2
    I don't really know how to balance requisitioning for high Resources/Status ratings, but I do want to point out that five dots of Status is typically reserved to the top brass within an organisation, or at least someone with enough authority that the vast majority of the organisation will listen to them even if their rank doesn't technically reflect that. Your character might be held in high regards due to circumstances you've described, but is it to the point where the majority of the local GotV considers him (formally or informally) their superior? If not, then fewer Order Status dots might make more sense and save you the headache of rebalancing the requisitions system.

    Merits are really cheap compared to everything else so it's extra important for the players to consider "does this make sense for my character to have?" and not just buy it because you have enough XP. This also applies to other traits, but generally it does makes sense to increase them gradually over time.
    Maybe that's already your attitude, but I think it's worth stating for those who are new to nWoD/CofD games.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by LorenzoC View Post
      Because of my background, I put 5 dots in Order Status (GotV) but reading that merit and its redesign in Signs of Sorcery I'm puzzled by its unbalanced power.
      1) Is seems you can use it at level five to get a level 3 PERMANENT merit from the list.
      2) The merit is usable each chapter (SoS pag.95), which means each game session. So it is virtually possible to get fifteen dots in only five sessions which is the triple of dots invested in it.
      What do you want the character to have such high status for? What would you want to otherwise do with it if not command the resources of the Order?

      Besides that, what's the context for these requisitions? Magical items capable of casting one Disciple level spell each across the Story? Useful, but not overwhelmingly so. An abundance of Alternate Identities? I wouldn't think about it in the abstract, but about what the uses are actually intended to accomplish.

      Besides, if XP isn't spent on them, there's no Sanctity of Merits; no reimbursement if they're lost, stolen, destroyed.

      Originally posted by LorenzoC
      I understand that Resources 5 in comparison is similar, and can stack a lot of high item bonus each session but I feel that it is too much. Maybe both of them are too strong as game sessions go on.
      Resources 5 constitutes being immensely rich. I think what it can accomplish is fairly consistent.

      EDIT: Note also that Signs of Sorcery states that requisitions of any type incur questions from the Order unless Social Manoeuvring is employed. The query of why somebody is picking up lots of Identities or constantly seeking Safe Places or building an arsenal of magic items is going to occur in character as well. They probably can't withhold things even if they don't like the answers, but it should be a source of tension in the plot unless the character's conduct is totally above board.
      Last edited by Isator Levi; 10-11-2021, 12:08 PM.


      I have approximate knowledge of many things.
      Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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      • #4
        At Order Status 5, a character is basically the leader of the Order in that Consilium. They should be able to requisition as many Order resources as they need so long as they're not blatantly abusing their position or inconveniencing the other Order members. The soft limit is that the rest of the Order is going to want an account of what the character is doing with those resources. Hoarding Hallows and Artifacts is unlikely to end well politically.


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        • #5
          For a little context, Status 5 is kinda in the same league as making your character the Primus of a Tradition in Ascension.


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          • #6
            Well it's not strictly necessary to tie Status to authority, as it can instead denote a lot of respect and prestige not necessarily in the form of a title. It can be a kind of Dumbledore to the Ministry of Magic kind of situation; not actually running the thing, but could have the position if he wanted it, and gets highly thought of and asked for advice besides.

            I'd also consider how various Order books depict the concept of Famulus and Magister as distinct from the formal hierarchies. The latter in particular (and in my mind from how it's presented in my most recently acquired Guardians of the Veil book); you need high status to be a Magister, but that's a title that rather denotes not having managerial authority, as one's attentions become more devoted to extended study and contemplation of the deeper mysteries (in which case one might still expect to be able to requisition a lot on the basis of the Caucus assuming that such acquisitions are integral to some significant esoteric inquiry).

            That being said, there are additional qualifiers for Order requisition that Signs of Sorcery mentions that have not been accounted for.

            For a start, you need to purchase dots of the Order Archive Merit to specifically define what assets the local Caucus has on hand to even requisition (beyond their particular specialties, like Alternate Identity for the Guardians). Things outside of that range have their Availability rating go up by one, so even the most respected Guardian won't be able to permanently requisition any item above two dots on the per-chapter/no-strings-attached basis if it's not set up as part of their dedicated resources, which can only consist of a number of categories going up to five (and that needs to match the particular character of the Caucus's reach).

            Across the course of an entire story, the character will only be able to make five requisitions, of any level, before further ones will require services in exchange.

            In the case of magical items, Availability can also increase depending on the specificity of what the character asks for, or ways that it might be rare or valued. For instance, while an item imbued with the power to control minds is not a very high dot Merit, I think it would be reasonable to assume that the possible applications of such a power would mean that many Caucuses would not hand them out like candy. This is also a case where the value systems of the Order in question might come in. We're talking about the Guardians of the Veil here, they of the "use magic ethically, sparingly, and discretely" school; I think it's reasonable to present them as making access to a fair number of items a bit more restricted.

            Hmm, I was going to make a reference to the description of waiting lists, but looking more closely that seems to be more a matter of making an item more available waits for one to three chapters after making the request, rather than a matter of something within one's authority to requisition not being immediately available. Still, that can probably be helpful if any of the above qualifiers end up increasing something beyond the capacity of Status 5 to requisition permanently.

            EDIT: As far as a general critique of Order Status as a Merit that allows access to other Merits goes, I have a couple of thoughts on that.

            One is that it's not exactly the only Merit that nests other Merits in it a bit. I think this can be chalked up a bit to the system having a fair number of Merits and not quite the greatest range of resource to access them, so it can be reasonable to have something like Status to let players dip their toes in with a few caveats and conditions, and while the Merit otherwise does not do as much on its own compared to something with a more dedicated dot level.

            The other is that it's still a form of Status Merit; you may or may not have a formal leadership position, but your price in addition to character creation points for that level of access to Order requisitions is regularly performing actions on behalf of the Order consistent with the highest levels of that respect. You have a lot of latitude to acquire resources, but perhaps some constraints as to how they are applied across the story. Not necessarily an issue for a player who intended to dedicate the character to that kind of conduct anyway, but enthusiastic payment is still payment.
            Last edited by Isator Levi; 10-11-2021, 08:11 PM.


            I have approximate knowledge of many things.
            Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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            • #7
              Thank you all for your replies.
              As I suspected the Permanent Requisition may lead to obscure rule path and it would be wise not to abuse that. Nonetheless, a merit at 5 must have an important weight in game since that is the price to buy a Gnosis dot that will come in play at hundreds of applications...

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              • #8
                One thing I'd say is that I think your choice of why the character would have such high Status early on is perfectly cromulent, but should be the kind of thing that makes their life interesting. That there are a lot of mages watching closely, and maybe with some preconceptions about how the mage should be acting.


                I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                Write up as I play Xenoblade Chronicles.

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