Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Easing players into Promethean

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Easing players into Promethean

    I love Promethean something fierce, but when it comes to getting my players to understand the system enough to want to play it, that is something else. They have played other NWoD games but Promethean makes them hesitate and they really balk at the rule systems. How can I introduce Promethean and their unique rules system slowly.

  • #2
    What are the specific aspects of the system that they seem to be having difficulty with?

    Comment


    • #3
      First, read Tragedy Without Angst from Strange Alchemies. It's worth the buy.

      Second, the easiest way to do it is to offer a test run. Give the game a run for one or two sessions. Most people, if they aren't stuck for a long haul, are more open to give anything a try.

      Then you tell a really good story, and you don't properly finish them, A Thousand And One Nights style.

      If the mechanics are really that big of a deal, it'll be readily apparent.But odds are, if they get hooked? THe game'll be good regardless.


      Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
      The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
      Feminine pronouns, please.

      Comment


      • #4
        That is a good read, I have all the books for Promethean. But that is really good advice, any idea of how I should do it?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by 3Comrades View Post
          That is a good read, I have all the books for Promethean. But that is really good advice, any idea of how I should do it?
          Tell us about your players.


          Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
          Feminine pronouns, please.

          Comment


          • #6
            They don't read rules, that is my job. It isn't uncommon for them to pick a game for them to ST and then have me run the rules and stats, I usually make a small write up to make things easy but when I did it for Promethean they felt it was too much.

            Player 1 is a vibrant player, she loves to play quirky characters the most. She often will develop them over time but she usually goes with an off the wall idea and then runs with it. She's in it for story and Drama, she loves bad things happening to her character, but she hates to fail. A slight preference to physical roles if only because she hates feeling like her character is weak.

            Player 2 plays to feel clever. He constantly tries to figure out the game beforehand, and likes to keep information to himself. He has one type of character, which is the naive/sweet cerebral/magically powerful character who hates the idea of using Brawn under any circumstance. 90% of his characters are female and socially inept, but very loyal. More than anything he wants to be different, and takes delight in beating systems/coming up with ideas that no one else may have thought up.

            Player 3 is very practically minded, her roots lie in Classic DnD. She likes the world of WoD but hates the dice mechanic. Her characters tend to take a practical approach even when she tries not to, and she hates nothing more than a story on rails. She comes at the game more like a problem solver. Characters have a problem and they should solve it. She has no preference to Physical/Mental/or Social roles, but approaches most things very logically.

            None of them like combat but for all different reasons. Player 1 wants drama and finds the combat a tad confusing and frustrating, while rarely being exciting. Player 2 likes a little but feels combat is for the Brutish characters, if magic is available though, he loves bashing people in with it, but will quickly grow bored with it. Player 3 feels she's failed if combat occurs, since she views combat as punishment for bad preperation. She loses interest in the game as a whole if she feels combats are completely unavoidable. It shouldn't be easy but as I said she likes to be rewarded for good prep, so she likes combat lethal and dangerous, but avoidable if planned well.

            Comment


            • #7
              I would recommend a short introductory game that slowly and gently breaks them into rules/systems they are unfamiliar with. It sounds as if your group is really into role-play and drama, which is fantastic (lucky you)! The story then, will be the most important aspect of the game, focus on problems for them to solve, and maybe every scene or two, try to work in one of the new mechanics. Perhaps a scene that displays the horror of Disquiet? A scene highlighting the pitfalls of Humanity? Just make it simple, apply it to what is happening in the scene, and it will feel smoothly integrated. They won't feel so overwhelmed.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hmm, you are right, I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of combat myself. My problem is player 1 gets annoyed if she doesn't understand the system, if it's not simple enough she sort of worries and sweats that the RP becomes like combat. Player 3 won't like the unpredictability of when game changing effects may happen.

                Player 2 won't be hard to convince, but the other two players and the nature of easing them in, is the hard part. They are used to Changeling and Werewolves and there we sometimes ignored whole systems because they weren't interesting to the players. So while stripping the dream powers of Changelings or rites from Werewolves takes a vital aspect away from it, they aren't actually needed in any way. Heck, just looking at the splat system and the way individual spells worked, we just made the Magic types dots and threw out the whole magic casting system because player 1 said there were too many rules and she didn't understand, Player 3 said it was inelegant and sloppy, and player 2 felt they made magic boring and less cool.

                I'm so used to shaving the systems enough to make them functional but simple, that other than player 3, WoD is their favorite RPG game. When we play with our other group though, we only can play narrative games despite both loving WoD, because one group likes the feel but hates the rules, while the other group loves the rules&feel but for different reasons.

                Can I gut the system while still making it mostly true to the game? I'm used to snipping and cutting and know they'd like the feel and play type, but not so sure how I can make the rules more simple.

                In short- I guess what I want is help making a similar home-brew system that's simpler and requires as few rules as possible.

                Comment


                • #9
                  First, use Down & Dirty Combat where you can, it'll make combat feel like less of a punishment or a grind. Keep things like Social Maneuvering opaque; don't let on that you're using the system, but keep to it and keep results visible.

                  Trimming the rules down: Promethean 1e sucks for its rules presentations. Don't waste time tracking Disquiet or Wastelands individually, just keep a background count of these, and let the players catch on when it starts to turn against them. That is, keep a single track for either (or both!), and alter NPC reactions and Tilts (if you use them) accordingly. Torment is the other bit: let the characters decide how Torment works for them, they'll have more fun and they'll like the mechanic they come up with (you could use Nimbus Tilts as an inspiration).

                  Turn Transmutations into a theme that they can play with, kinda like Arcana. You could look at the last preview post for ideas, too, but what I have in mind is that a PC gets dots in Transmutations, maybe a signature effect for each dot, and can attempt other appropriate effects at a reduced dice pool, like just Azoth, or a higher Pyros cost. Let them get more dice, but at a risk of Torment, or maybe even Firestorms.

                  Things like the Generative Act and the New Dawn are probably better left to narrative anyway, but I think they could survive everything else being built down without much alteration. Since the PCs ought to be working long-term towards those things, leaving them as-is might make other changes seem more dramatic and desirable.

                  Key to any changes you make should be the story you want to tell these players. They seem to want a strong RP experience with some but not a lot of combat, which is well within Promethean's wheelhouse. That's how you want your rules to rebalance.


                  LFP: Foreign Bodies (Deviant: the Renegades)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Verge View Post
                    First, use Down & Dirty Combat where you can, it'll make combat feel like less of a punishment or a grind. Keep things like Social Maneuvering opaque; don't let on that you're using the system, but keep to it and keep results visible.

                    Trimming the rules down: Promethean 1e sucks for its rules presentations. Don't waste time tracking Disquiet or Wastelands individually, just keep a background count of these, and let the players catch on when it starts to turn against them. That is, keep a single track for either (or both!), and alter NPC reactions and Tilts (if you use them) accordingly. Torment is the other bit: let the characters decide how Torment works for them, they'll have more fun and they'll like the mechanic they come up with (you could use Nimbus Tilts as an inspiration).

                    Turn Transmutations into a theme that they can play with, kinda like Arcana. You could look at the last preview post for ideas, too, but what I have in mind is that a PC gets dots in Transmutations, maybe a signature effect for each dot, and can attempt other appropriate effects at a reduced dice pool, like just Azoth, or a higher Pyros cost. Let them get more dice, but at a risk of Torment, or maybe even Firestorms.

                    Things like the Generative Act and the New Dawn are probably better left to narrative anyway, but I think they could survive everything else being built down without much alteration. Since the PCs ought to be working long-term towards those things, leaving them as-is might make other changes seem more dramatic and desirable.

                    Key to any changes you make should be the story you want to tell these players. They seem to want a strong RP experience with some but not a lot of combat, which is well within Promethean's wheelhouse. That's how you want your rules to rebalance.

                    Thank you so much that is exactly what I wanted, and the help I needed!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 3Comrades View Post


                      Thank you so much that is exactly what I wanted, and the help I needed!
                      Happy to help, and if you want to develop your system in the open here, or feel out ideas you think push or challenge "core" Promethean, you have a few diehards with strong feelings to keep you in check. 😉


                      LFP: Foreign Bodies (Deviant: the Renegades)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So I have been looking at it and these are the thoughts I've had so far, tell me what you guys think...

                        When it starts, I ask them to simply fill out the attributes and then pick an element and humor (skipping Ulgan since no one seems interested and they always seemed a stretch to fit into the alchemy system.). So a Air/Sanguine is a Galatean, but they won't be called that. This gets the players into the character creation immediately and I don't get so much confusion and frustration about how complicated the lineages are, this leaves room for the history too. Frankenstein's Monster was made by obsession and with electricity and thus Fire/Choleric, but Frankenstein's Bride would probably be Fire/Sanguine since he made her out of hope of Love rather than Ego.

                        Each element is the negative way you affect the environment, and the origin of their new Life and thus their natural capabilities aka: Their bestowments. It is the unatural part of the Promethean that must be balanced by the humours.
                        Air- Gain health when sleeping outside where a wind is present; gains the Unholy Dexterity. Spend too long in the same place and the air becomes foggy, becomes impossible to navigate and eventually smog that poisons the air. The people become sad and forgetful, as do you when you lose control.
                        Earth-Gain health when sleeping in the earth; gains Unholy Stamina. Spend too long in the same place and the earth loses moisture becoming sandy, losing all life and crumbling away. random sand pits appear and people become claustrophobic and fearful, as do you when you lose control.
                        Fire- Gain health when sleeping by a fire/electrical outlet/storm; gains Unholy Strength. Spend too long in the same place and thunderstorms will appear, becoming more and more violent. In some regions a volcano might wake up. People become obsessed and quick to anger, as do you when you lose control.
                        Water- Gain health when submerged in water; gains Revivification (except more on the idea of water being a purifier than tied to the Osiris). Spend too long in the same place and water stops coming, and water that does exist becomes fetid and wrong. People become fractured and unemotional, as do you when you lose control.


                        Each humour is the humanity behind their creation, the why they were made, and the understanding of humanity they are given with that.
                        Sanguine- You were created out of Love, perhaps to be a friend/lover/child. You understand People better than others and you start with 4 in Social Skills. You do not cause unease among humans as much, and people are less likely to turn against you. To gain this humour, you need to choose Courage when the odds are stacked against you and gain a bond with a human beyond the practical, suffering for it.
                        Choleric- You were created out of Ego; perhaps as an experiment/a tool of revenge/proof of their greatness. You understand your new body and it's capabilities better than most, and you start with 4 Physical skills. More rooted in the physical, your element does not have as wide an effect on the environment. To gain this humour you need to achieve something great, an uncommon achievement to be proud of and enact revenge on someone who has truly wronged you.
                        Melancholic- You were created out of Reason; whether you like it or not, you were created with a practical purpose. That purpose may have failed but the human intelligence did not. You understand human studies and reality better than your fellows and start with 4 mental skills. Your own introspection keeps the Divine Fire under control so actual Fire causes you much less harm. To gain this humour, you need to personally discover something your Promethean nature and experience true Grief.
                        Phlegmatic- You were created by Whim or your creator made you for someone else; You are not quite in line with your body, others around you, or the human mind, but you do have the limitless Potential of your creator. Instead of skills, gain your 7 merits with no thought to prerequisites. Due to your less passionate creation and peaceful humour it is harder to lose control over yourself. To gain this humour, you need to Create another Promethean and Peacefully solve a dangerous situation by being calm and caring.


                        Getting rid of disfigurements as they seem an extra deal that doesn't really do anything on its own. The game is about balancing your humour. No weird powers, but after each game, you gain a skill and your normal exp until you have the same amount of dots as in character creation, then just exp. When you gain every humour, you achieve the new Dawn and become human. No Milestones, but as you balance your humours being a Promethean becomes much easier.

                        I'll explain Torment is something you roll Res+ Com when you would otherwise reach a breaking point, attacked by someone with fire, or when a fellow brand member goes into torment. Those who are phlegmatic get a + 3 to such rolls.

                        Disquiet is what happens when people meet you and it slowly becomes worse, no roll. Those with Sanguine can roll their Presence + Manipulation(no vs) to prevent it, but once it starts, disquiet can't be halted.

                        Fire does aggravated except to Melancholics, they take two extra lethal instead.

                        Wasteland happens slowly the longer you are in a place, with multiple Prometheans it will advance slower(as the elements balance themselves out) but contain the effects of all prometheans involved. Cholerics don't add their effect when in a throng, but experience it outside one.

                        Skipping Azoth as the power stats are viewed as a chore and a bore by most of my players, and I agree. Pandorans are Prometheans created wrong, either too many humours/elements or only one, some were never finished, and some were created by a Promethean for the wrong reasons. Others say Phlegmatics are only saved this fate by chance, while most Phlegmatics argue that they were created with a peaceful heart by a great Creator whose Potential rubbed off on them, something denied to Pandorans.

                        What do you guys think?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The correspondence between Element and Humour to me is pretty ingrained, so I get confused when I read it, but that's not a reason to change it. I might suggest, rather than acquiring Humours to achieve the New Dawn, you gain Elements instead, then transmute them into Humours instead. Elements are inert, Humours are alive, and it's that difference that the Promethean seeks to achieve. Say your character begins as an Earth/Sanguine. To gain Phlegmatic, he needs to achieve some Water Milestone first, and then, he needs to achieve a Phlegmatic Milestone to transmute it. In doing so, he gains the ability to truly feel peace (but fleetingly, after all, acceptance isn't really part of the Promethean Condition). This brings the idea of Refinement back in, but not all the philosophical underpinnings.

                          Other than those nitpicks, I like what you got going on here.


                          LFP: Foreign Bodies (Deviant: the Renegades)

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X