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Hovel and Effective Azoth

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  • Hovel and Effective Azoth

    Quick question about the Hovel merit. It says:

    For each dot of Hovel, you may choose to reduce your character’s effective Azoth when she leaves the Hovel. This reduces the taint of Disquiet and the Wasteland in her wake.
    The use of "effective Azoth" and the specific mention of mitigating Disquiet/Wasteland makes me wonder: when you store Azoth, does it reduce your actual Azoth trait (affecting things like Pyros per turn and various dicepools and power effects), or do you keep the positive effects of high Azoth and only reduce it for Disquiet and Wasteland purposes?


    2E Legacy Updates
    Brotherhood of the Demon Wind
    Choir of Hashmallim (plus extra Summoning content)
    Storm Keepers

  • #2
    My reading is the former: you can choose to temporarily reduce both the benefits and drawbacks of high Azoth. Azoth in Promethean 2e seems to have moved further into the same camp as Blood Potency, as a Potency trait that is very much a double-edged sword to manage. (That's a change which is fine by me, and feels like it adds slightly to the need for the Pilgrimage. The "power" you give up to attain the New Dawn is naturally intertwined with the instability you shed.)

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    • #3
      Azoth was always a double-edged sword. It was used for Disquiet rolls and awakening Pandorans already in 1e, and I'm sure there were a few more bits that I just don't feel like confirming right now. 1e also provided a means to reduce it, but I think Hovel is meant to replace Going to the Wastes, which was problematic for anything but a single-player game.


      LFP: American Carnage (Werewolf: the Forsaken)

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      • #4
        I don't think it reduces Azoth for the purposes of Supernatural Resistance, Pyros storage and useage, or rolling for Transmutations, otherwise it would be redundant with the inherent ability Dampening the Fire. More importantly, if you elect to store Azoth it can be lost when the vessel it's stored in can be destroyed.

        So, yeah, I think it only reduces for Disquiet, Wasteland, and possibly Azothic Radiance.

        Edit: As a side note, I just realized that with a combination of a 5 dot Hovel and full dots in Benign Festering, an Azoth 10 Promethean would still only produce Wastelands like an Azoth 2 Promethean. That's probably about as good as they're going to get it.
        Last edited by Arcanist; 08-31-2016, 01:22 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Arcanist View Post
          I don't think it reduces Azoth for the purposes of Supernatural Resistance, Pyros storage and useage, or rolling for Transmutations, otherwise it would be redundant with the inherent ability Dampening the Fire.
          Hmm. Reading dampening the fire again, it has fewer drawbacks than I remembered it having, so you have a point.

          To be fair, dampening the fire requires a minimum 24-hour duration, which Hovel doesn't. But that's not a huge counterweight when a lot of the benefit of using it is longer term than a day. Maybe Hovel is for extremely high-Azoth Prometheans, the ones with very short festering intervals? But it doesn't scan that way.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Arcanist View Post
            I don't think it reduces Azoth for the purposes of Supernatural Resistance, Pyros storage and useage, or rolling for Transmutations, otherwise it would be redundant with the inherent ability Dampening the Fire. More importantly, if you elect to store Azoth it can be lost when the vessel it's stored in can be destroyed.
            Where do you get that reading? Redundancy does happen in games, and Hovel even refers to Dampening, however imprecisely. I'm not saying you're wrong, I just don't see the leap.


            LFP: American Carnage (Werewolf: the Forsaken)

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            • #7
              The exact text of the Merit is: Hovel (• to •••••)
              Prerequisites: Promethean, Safe Place
              Effect: Your character has infused a safe place with a bit of her Azoth, forging it as a Hovel. While inside her Hovel, time passed does not count toward creating or Festering a Wasteland (see p. 174). Additionally, she may “store” a bit of her Azoth within the Hovel, dampening her Divine Fire and muting some of its effects on the world. She stores it in a jar, a sculpture, or anything appropriate to her Lineage. The storage place must contain the Lineage’s affinity element. For each dot of Hovel, you may choose to reduce your character’s effective Azoth when she leaves the Hovel. This reduces the taint of Disquiet and the Wasteland in her wake.
              Drawback: If your character stores her Azoth within her Hovel and it is destroyed, the Azoth is lost. The points return in accordance with the Sanctity of Merits rule.

              (Emphasis mine) The Hovel explicitly mentions effective Azoth, not actual Azoth, in the context of reducing the influence of Disquiet and Wastelands. The text for Dampening the Fire doesn't use the term 'effective Azoth' but instead mentions lowering the Promethean's Azoth directly, and specifically mentions that it impacts all dice pools that involve Azoth. I'll copy the text below for clarity:

              Dampening the Fire: A Promethean can intentionally repress her Azothic radiance. This could be used to stay out of Pandoran attention or away from the eyes of other Prometheans. Choose a lower level of Azoth; the Promethean’s Azoth score falls to that level for at least 24 hours. During this time, all Azoth-related effects are dampened, including dice pools using the trait and Azoth’s use as a Supernatural Tolerance trait. As well, levy a –3 penalty to any efforts to identify her by her Azoth. The dampening lasts at least 24 hours, but can be raised back to its normal level at any time afterward.

              (Emphasis mine) This calls out that the Promethean is temporarily lowering their Azoth for at least 24-hours, but unlike Hovel, it specifically mentions influencing dice pools. The way I see it, a Hovel is investing a bit of a Promethean's Azoth into an object to dampen their inner fire, but they aren't actively weakening, but instead dividing it, sort of like a Mage's soul stone. The Azoth stored in the Hovel is still sympathetically connected to the Promethean, so they can still draw on it, but it is being shielded inside an object that resonates with their Humour that can contain some of the Radiance that spills off it. Dampening the Fire, on the other hand, is actively smothering the Azothic flame.

              If using Hovel is putting part of a campfire into a lantern to make the campfire smaller (while simultaneously feeding both flames) and then putting the lantern somewhere else where it can't be seen, then Dampening the Fire is actively stamping on the campfire in an effort to do the same thing- make the fire less visible.

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