Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Supporting NPC's gaining beats / XP?

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

  • #16
    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    None of the examples for Merits thst can be gained through play have been transitory resources.
    Making a special case for Merits not protected by Sanctity of Merits is saying that those Merits are transitory resources to the player. That's largely my issue with the concept when we already have a system in the game for handling those.

    I completely agree that situation should grant the cash equipment because what's gained isn't actually represented by Resources.
    What, precisely, is the difference between receiving a Cash equipment rated at 4, and a non-SoM protected Resources 4 that the ST removes from your sheet once you spend it?

    ..I prefer that over players either lacking Merits they definitely should have just because they don't want to spend the XP on them or being forced to spend XP on those Merits rather than on stuff they want to invest in.
    This attitude bugs me. If a ST really feels something should have a Merit requirement for the player to buy that at the moment the games don't have, house rule that in. If you're not going to require a Merit as a house rule, then it's up to the player to decide what Merits their character should or shouldn't have. If a player isn't investing in a Merit you think they should be investing in based on the events of the game (1) talk to them to see why because they just might have missed it, or they might not want to, and don't want you putting it on their sheets either, (2) think about how the game can go without a 'sensible' Merit selection because there's always a story hook there, and (3) giving them a Condition might be a better carrot and all that.

    The Ordo scientist who's mastered two Coils and developed five Scales might require more than the initial Status 1. Lacking Status in such a meritocratic Covenant would instead require effort to burn bridges, imo. (Somewhst extreme example, yes, but it makes my point.)
    An Ordo character that doesn't advance past Status 1 is fine. There's no requirement, there's no inherent NPC response. Figure out why they aren't advancing politically as their achievements might have allowed. Are they not sharing their research so they're not getting acknowledgement? Is someone snubbing them? Are they burning bridges? Rather than treating this as some problem that needs OOC solutions... treat it like the IC fodder it is.

    Comment


    • #17
      The thing is, in Ordo Dracul your accomplishments are directly tied to your rank. By not having Stats according to your rank you've got to burn important bridges, which is dangerously close to punishing the player if they're not interested in that type of conflict. Remember that both Coils and Scales already costs XP.
      Or what about City Status, if the painstakingly increased their influence through roleplaying, to the point of becoming the Prince through a combination of politics and actually being popular? Have they arbitrarily alienated anyone they haven't directly influenced just to balance out their low Status Merit?
      To me, the effort spent roleplaying is enough payment to gain such Merits, allowing the PCs to spend their XP on increasing things that require training or is gained during timeskips. Not applying Sanctity of Merits is mostly just to prevent gaming the system.

      You do you at your table, but I think our method works perfectly at ours.


      Bloodline: The Stygians
      Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
      Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

      Comment


      • #18
        It feels like you're operating on a more 1e take on the Ordo than the 2e books discuss. The 2e presentation of the Covenant, is if anything, the opposite: they prefer to not be burdened with political responsibilities when there's work they could be doing for their research. I see nothing in the 2e books - at all - that suggests you have to buy Ordo Dracul Status or be considered to have burnt bridges because you managed to master a Coil or develop some Scales.

        The 2e core book explicitly states that City Status does relate directly to any given position, and is a matter of how much respect you have. A low Status Prince is one that isn't well respected by the city, because apparently they were too busy getting themselves the throne than building relationships to govern from a place of being respected. If they've been so painstakingly working on getting to be Prince, they should be drowning in Beats to but City Status with from a slew of fulfilling Aspirations on the many steps to get there, all the struggles to do so and the Beats those generate, and all the Conditions they've benefited from/worked through for that pile of Beats. And even possibly shedding existing Merits for City Status if that's applicable.

        The idea that a player has spent the time to increase their influence through role-playing without generating enough Beats to buy more dots in appropriate Merits to represent that just does not compute. Why is the player not putting their Experiences towards such Merits if that's their goal? It's not like they're worthless XP taxes just to get a position. City Status 5 is a powerful thing for a politically ambitious vampire to have and not that expensive to get either.

        This is the same, and very tired, logic that doesn't make any sense: Why should players have to pay XP for anything if you can RP enough to get it without XP? Why can't I painstakingly role-play combat training for free dots in Attributes, combat Skills, and fighting Merits? It's not about training, because Merits like Status aren't an innate ability, obtaining and maintaining status is a learned aptitude that people develop over time. Nope it is, and always has been, about declaring certain characters focuses "true role-playing," because they get rewards with free stuff where other character focuses have to pay for everything with XP no matter how more RPing they do.

        If your table has fun with that, good for you. But don't pretend it's something it isn't.

        Comment


        • #19
          I'm not sure what you mean by 'pretending'. Using non-Sanctity Merit dots is supported by book specifically in some cases - I just use a box around the dot, instead of the half-dot process they recommend (its easier to see with the naked eye, and is easier to represent in basic fonts.) And they further have practical uses beyond that which have been helpful and fun at games I have both played in and run. I'm not adding a new system whole cloth, just expanding its application in ways that I feel like Devs have even talked about on these forums (though in fairness, that's an impression, I don't have direct links atm).

          But also in fairness, I don't think it's cool to assume Tessie or I are being disingenuous in talking about our tables. It's pretty clear Tessie and I both think Conditions, non-Sanctity Merits and Equipment all have overlapping but occasionally distinct uses. You seem to believe that characters should only gain a benefit of a Merit if they spend XP on it directly - And presumably through other Merits which grant these non-Sanctity dots, unless you've outlawed those as well.

          Divorcing Kindred status from XP is common enough in my experience that no few CharGen sessions specifically address the concept. (Can we buy Clan/Cov/City Status, or is it earned only rewarded through play, or can it be both?)

          I think we get it - you're annoyed by free Merits and don't think they should ever be used instead of Equipment or Conditions. While to the contrary, I'm find it useful for scenarios such as allowing a prisoner of the Carthian court to swear an Oath of the Model Prisoner, without needing to have three unspent XP when the deed is done.

          1) Sanctity Scenario: ST has you spend XP (or go into XP debt) for the Oath. After the Chapter you get out of prison, you argue for the right to cash out the Oath of the MP, getting your three XP back to spend elsewhere.

          2) Non-Sanctity Scenario: ST has you put boxes around the Oath of MP dots. When your imprisonment ends, you erase the Oath of MP.

          Option 2 is a shorthand I have found specifically useful. (Not trying to straw-man your arguments here, the above is just how I see it). Can you come up with a Condition which does something similar? Yes - but as I said in my original post, that ties it to the beat economy which isn't always what I want. Can you make up an equipment card to represent the Oath? Also yes. But I'm not seeing the advantage of doing so over scenario two above - beyond an adherence to your preferred internal consistency.

          There are cases like these where I support characters gaining mechanical advantages that are just better or more easily represented by merits not protected by Sanctity (Status, temp Oaths, Sites). Those cases haven't taken anything away from my Requiem experience. Writing down a non-Sanctity Resources dot for that stolen safe or writing down a Cash equipment card is literally the same amount of work for both me and the player.

          You have convinced me that ST-directed non-Sanctity Merits aren't a good fit for your playstyle. You've done nothing to convince me to ignore all the evidence of their usefulness and enjoyment at my tables, so I'm going to stick with it - and I don't think I should feel bad for that in any way whatsoever. Remember - I'm not trying to convince you to use these concepts if they don't work for your style, but I sure do feel like you are trying to convince me that I'm wrong or misguided for using them. So, honestly not sure where any middle ground is from here.

          Thanks for the discussion!
          Last edited by Holy; 05-12-2018, 11:07 AM.

          Comment


          • #20
            With no Covenant book for 2e (SotC notwithstanding as it's mostly fiction with a bunch of crunch at the end) it's easier to use the first edition book as long as it's not directly contradicted by the second edition. I think I've seen at least one dev recommending that approach.

            Honestly, if you can make a training session interesting enough to roleplay rather than a downtime activity, you might as well. The problem is that it's actually really boring most of the time, on top of rarely moving the central plot along.
            As for the theoretical Prince gaining more benefits than other PCs, you seem to forget that they too can work towards goals that they achieve. They have their own stories, and should be rewarded accordingly if they too achieve success in their fields. Sometimes they too can be represented by Merits (True Friend for those who focus on personal relationships, or Library (Occult) for the mystic who's amassed a collection of certain texts) while other times they get benefits not represented in character traits (which can then be Conditions or equipment, or even positions in the story with no direct mechanical benefit). If you run it like that the only PC who doesn't gain anything through roleplaying would be the one whose story is "I increase my stats". My character is the one with the least amount of Merits granted that way and due to my autism I'm by far the "worst roleplayer" in the sense you seem to mean, but I still like it this way because he's instead more involved in personal storylines and has fun opportunities (both just storywise, and mechanically) the other PCs don't have even though I've never paid much focus on political power or something like that. The only problem I see is if players tends to take up an uneven amount of space, but that's a problem with the group as a whole and already made worse through beats being gained primarily through player participation. (Aspirations and less rolls to get Conditions.)

            I get that you don't like that approach and that is still completely fine, but you don't have to be condescending. I also hate the "true roleplaying" mindset, but that's not what I've suggested. My initial suggestion was nothing more than "it's okay to grant Merits to PCs, but you shouldn't apply Sanctity of Merits due to the XP economy" followed by examples where (in my opinion, yours may very well differ) not granting that Merit would only make sense if you also introduce complications that either player or ST might not be interested of to play through.
            In hindsight I should've mentioned that you should first discuss with your group if they're interested in that kind of character progression.


            Bloodline: The Stygians
            Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
            Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

            Comment


            • #21
              [QUOTE=Heavy Arms;n1217927]It feels like you're operating on a more 1e take on the Ordo than the 2e books discuss. The 2e presentation of the Covenant, is if anything, the opposite: they prefer to not be burdened with political responsibilities when there's work they could be doing for their research. I see nothing in the 2e books - at all - that suggests you have to buy Ordo Dracul Status or be considered to have burnt bridges because you managed to master a Coil or develop some Scales.[/quote ]

              I'm not sure why you have that impression. The Ordo Dracul is literally the only covenant to provide a verbatim example of something that would warrant a status increase. Furthermore, they are also the only covenant to describe official covenant positions with outlined powers and responsibilities with status prerequisites and outline hard caps on your pseudoscientific advancement in their "proprietary abilities" based on covenant status. You can't learn mysteries outside of your declared one in excess of your status. So no, a Dragon with only 2 Coils and 5 Scales but one status doesn't make sense UNLESS they burned status and you are expressly ignoring both real and implied prerequisites.

              Comment


              • #22
                Why would a player ever buy an Oath if they can just get them for free via RP? Any player that does is wasting XP by this logic.

                This also leads to arbitrary decisions that can end up unfair to players and lead to (probably unintentional) favoritism. Even without favoritism, it can easily appear as such and breed resentment at a table when the Daeva character is getting free merits consistently while the Mekhet and Gangrel have to buy everything they need because physical/mental merits, for some arbitrary reason, don't qualify for being free the way social ones do.

                It messes with the balance of the game to hand out freebies. Players will stop paying for them if they feel it's a waste because they could get it for free. It's more fair to everyone involved to charge XP.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Making sure you don't favor one player over the rest is good ST advice, equally valid to giving out conditions, giving out equipment, giving out merits, giving out screen time. Games which are having favoritism issues should certainly be careful when handing out benefits of all kinds.

                  Your argument for free things making purchases 'a waste' also applies to equipment. If you can just get an equipment card for Cash (that you can spend for Availability), why would you ever buy Resources (a merit that lets you spend dots like Availability)? The latter would be a waste of XP by your posit.

                  In practical terms, getting the free benefit means it can be more painful, take more legwork, or take more story-time than nabbing it with XP. Or, in cases like Kindred status, the system is divorced from the XP mechanics entirely.

                  The same creative muscle you use as an ST to judge a player's story-justification when buying a merit during play, is the very same muscle you use making a call on when they qualify for a non-XP benefit. I honestly don't see the difference. And to your specific example, I think it's easy to understand that if the stereotypical Daeva can seduce a favor out of someone, then a stereotypical Gangrel can intimidate favors out of someone, and a stereotypical Mekhet can learn their secrets and blackmail a favor out of them. These are all options covered by Social Maneuvering pretty directly. The Daeva might have an easier time of it, but the Gangrel has an easier time surviving outside the city, and the Mekhet has an easier time investigating.

                  And whether you write down intimidating the worker to give you pass-codes to the factory floor as a line item in your notes, or whether you intimidate the worker into an Allies (Industry) favor you then expend to have them give you the pass codes to the factory floor - is semantic. As is whether you loot the factory and sell the goods for an equipment card of cash, or a for a dot of resources you can use later.

                  My players still buy merits all the time, and during our state of the game sit-downs have never brought up feeling like those XP spends were a waste. Trickier issues than that have come up during our six year run, so I have no reason to believe people are being shy.

                  Anyway - I'm not trying to trick anyone here, or demand that all games should give a path to free XP if I ever show up to your table. But I'm still convinced it's a legitimate tool to have in the toolbox.

                  I guess re: the OP -> Some people have issues against free merit bumps, so their answer to your question is no - the merit won't increase unless you spend XP. But you can possibly get equipment cards or conditions to parallel the merit's effects.

                  Me, I think if your ST gives you a free merit bump, it won't actually hurt anything (assuming you have a stable group.) Just don't expect sanctity of merits to apply if you lose the freebie later.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Maina View Post
                    Why would a player ever buy an Oath if they can just get them for free via RP? Any player that does is wasting XP by this logic.
                    Why does a player gain Oaths for free if they're the liege in the agreement? They grant both an advantage and a drawback, yet only one needs to buy it with XP. Not the best example. Not that I intended for Supernatural Merits anyway.

                    Originally posted by Maina View Post
                    This also leads to arbitrary decisions that can end up unfair to players and lead to (probably unintentional) favoritism.
                    That's something your group would need to discuss. That would be a problem without this little hack since CofD already grants more beats to whoever takes up more space in the group.

                    Originally posted by Maina View Post
                    Even without favoritism, it can easily appear as such and breed resentment at a table when the Daeva character is getting free merits consistently while the Mekhet and Gangrel have to buy everything they need because physical/mental merits, for some arbitrary reason, don't qualify for being free the way social ones do.
                    See my previous post. I'm playing the Gangrel in our group and I have absolutely no problem with this system. Can it be a flaw? Yes, that doesn't mean it can't work at all.

                    Originally posted by Maina View Post
                    It messes with the balance of the game to hand out freebies. Players will stop paying for them if they feel it's a waste because they could get it for free. It's more fair to everyone involved to charge XP.
                    If you can't handle it, then it would be more fair, but your absolutist statements were disproved before you even wrote them since people can already play it like that without it devolving into "I shouldn't have to pay for that". Just exercise common sense and common decency and you're golden. Besides, I've never said it should be a common occurrence. My 400 XP Gangrel has gained a few Status Merits and the first dot of Mystery Cult Initiation. The Daeva in the group probably has a few Status Merits at one dot higher (I can't remember absolutely everything that's happened since Blood & Smoke was released) but that character also has a higher political position.


                    Bloodline: The Stygians
                    Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                    Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I usually require BOTH in game reasons and XP to award merit points, otherwise i just go with equipment bonuses.I explain it like this: if you don't care about your merit you'll lose it without realizing:

                      If you don't take time to care about your deals, your business partners are going to drift away to more profitable encounters.
                      If you don't take time to administer the money you got, you'll end up spending them without realizing.
                      If you don't take time to enforce your authority in the city, people will start to second guess or even forget you.
                      If you don't take time to care about your close friendship they'll start doing their own things without you.

                      I think XP should represent "off screen" time you take to cultivate your merits, the same as someone who wants to increase their ability with swords trains or someone who wants to increase their scientific knowledge studies. If you want the merit point you have to spend the XP otherwise it's just an equipment bonus that is going to disappear very soon.

                      I don't think it makes much of a real difference whether to call it a "temporary merit" or "equipment bonus", i just noticed there is more satisfaction in a player point when he says "i have gained my 2 points in status" when they had to invest resources in it rather than me just handing them freely to the point they barely care about what their status is.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Holy View Post
                        I'm not sure what you mean by 'pretending'.
                        Asserting that handing our free Merits (regardless of SoM) isn't something that biases the game towards "one true way of RPing," is asserting that it is something that it isn't.

                        Using non-Sanctity Merit dots is supported by book specifically in some cases
                        And those cases are:

                        1) Bonuses from Merits that are covered by SoM rather than reinventing the wheel.
                        2) Bonuses from supernatural powers rather than reinventing the wheel; and generally Sanctity of Merits doesn't apply.

                        Or, in other words, this doesn't come "for free from roleplaying," but as a shorthand for effects that already exist.

                        ...Devs have even talked about on these forums (though in fairness, that's an impression, I don't have direct links atm).
                        The devs have also talked plenty about using the Conditions system in this space... so appeal to authority isn't really going to go anywhere.

                        There's also something very different when discussing something specific like Oaths which Invictus characters as expected to be in, but change frequently (but still handled by SoM), vs. general Merit considerations.

                        But also in fairness, I don't think it's cool to assume Tessie or I are being disingenuous in talking about our tables.
                        I don't think you are. I think you're being either (for whatever reasons) being unwilling to engage with some of the properties of your suggestions because they make your suggestions look bad.

                        You seem to believe that characters should only gain a benefit of a Merit if they spend XP on it directly...
                        No. I believe that character's shouldn't get Merits from role-playing alone. If a Merit/Power/etc. provides a different Merit as a function, I'm not against it on principle, though some instances of it are done poorly (Professional Training is a fine example, and it's bad for both giving excessive free stuff in multiple places as it has no drawback to account for it).

                        Divorcing Kindred status from XP is common enough in my experience that no few CharGen sessions specifically address the concept. (Can we buy Clan/Cov/City Status, or is it earned only rewarded through play, or can it be both?)
                        And IME it has always been an almost universally hated thing once the game gets started if people agree to do it, because everyone ends up realizing how biasing it is. I've seen this at my table, I've seen this at LARPs, I've seen this in odd alternate formats, I've seen this at conventions with multiple session games. The only group I've ever found that likes it are people that like being able to get up on other players (and most of them are open about it, so I'm not saying this as a diss on them, it's just a competitive streak some RPers have).

                        So, yeah, my anecdotes don't exactly make me sympathetic to, "well it's just you and your table."

                        While to the contrary, I'm find it useful for scenarios such as allowing a prisoner of the Carthian court to swear an Oath of the Model Prisoner, without needing to have three unspent XP when the deed is done.
                        Why would the Carthians want to encourage Invictus Oaths? It mean, an Invictus character that's operating in a Carthian dominated city that has Oath of the Model Prisoner and is a Notary, is going to love being able to use that against the Carthian leaders, but Carthians in a Carthian city aren't going to perpetuate Invictus Oaths.

                        The scenario just seems strange in the first place. It seems very weird that this Oath would come up unless the player already had it.

                        After the Chapter you get out of prison, you argue for the right to cash out the Oath of the MP,...
                        There is no argument. Invictus Oaths are always refundable under SoM after the Oath is over. The player gets to pick if they want to keep the Oath if they're expecting to need it again, or trade it in for something else (again, Invictus PCs need to have Oaths on a lot, so this helps enable flipping between them).

                        Also:

                        Option 3) You character can't just learn an Oath out of no where, and the Carthians aren't teaching you Invictus Oaths, so they figure out a different way to handle the scenario based on what else they can do.

                        Can you come up with a Condition which does something similar?
                        I wouldn't come up with Conditions to replicate Invictus Oaths because that's a dick move to Invictus players. I would certainly use Conditions and Aspirations to help a character trying to learn it get the XP for it, if that's where the story is going. You don't have to be a member of the Invictus to learn most of the Oaths, but without an Invictus Notary around they're useless anyway.

                        Yes - but as I said in my original post, that ties it to the beat economy which isn't always what I want.
                        Which is a sentiment that I don't really understand. Why shouldn't trying to learn an Oath get the Beat economy involved? It encourages players to buy things if playing the game to get those things also generates the OOC resource to obtain them. XP debt (or even needing to hand out Merits for whatever reasons) isn't really an issue if the process of obtaining something is tied into the Beat economy because the scenes to get it generate the Beats to buy it.

                        I'm not trying to convince you to use these concepts if they don't work for your style, but I sure do feel like you are trying to convince me that I'm wrong or misguided for using them.
                        You might not be trying to convince me personally, but your advocating for using a house rule in a thread, and I'm advocating against it. And every time this topic has been debated in the past 20 years (because it predates the CofD rather significantly and the CofD RAW were clearly written to get away from the obvious stupidity of how WoD Backgrounds work) and including this one, it turns into the same thing: "people that give out free Merits care about roleplaying more than other ways of handling it."

                        When people say, "you should just get Status from role-playing," there is an implicit statement that doing it differently is only done because other people don't like "real" role-playing.

                        Originally posted by Holy View Post
                        Making sure you don't favor one player over the rest is good ST advice, equally valid to giving out conditions, giving out equipment, giving out merits, giving out screen time. Games which are having favoritism issues should certainly be careful when handing out benefits of all kinds.
                        And free Merits make this worse.

                        Your argument for free things making purchases 'a waste' also applies to equipment. If you can just get an equipment card for Cash (that you can spend for Availability), why would you ever buy Resources (a merit that lets you spend dots like Availability)? The latter would be a waste of XP by your posit.
                        Equipment doesn't cost XP. There is no competitive issues of player resources on picking between equipment and something else.

                        Resources also maintains value over Cash equipment because Resources is endlessly renewable if not overtaxed, while Cash is always single use. A character that has Resources 3 has a steady supply of Availability 1, 2, and 3 purchases (at different rates), and can get Cash equipment outside of that. A character that just operates on getting Cash equipment has to both spend time getting Cash, as well as not having a steady flow from Resources. Therefore not a waste.

                        In practical terms, getting the free benefit means it can be more painful, take more legwork, or take more story-time than nabbing it with XP. Or, in cases like Kindred status, the system is divorced from the XP mechanics entirely.
                        The whole Beat economy is built on buying things with XP coming from the painful, legwork heavy, story-time using, efforts to build up to stuff. Beats come by going out and doing. This is the difference you're saying you don't see.

                        If you make it harder to get free stuff than it would take to save of the Beats from all that stuff to buy them... what's the point? Why should Status be divorced from XP? Status has direct mechanical benefits, it shouldn't be free.

                        And whether you write down intimidating the worker to give you pass-codes to the factory floor as a line item in your notes, or whether you intimidate the worker into an Allies (Industry) favor you then expend to have them give you the pass codes to the factory floor - is semantic.
                        Actually, there's a pretty big difference between using your social skills and getting the Informed Condition for your efforts, versus getting a temporary dot of Contacts that's not semantic. One gets you Beats, rewarding you for moving the story along and giving you more resources to increase your traits in that area if you want it to be permanent, and the other doesn't do that.

                        Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                        With no Covenant book for 2e (SotC notwithstanding as it's mostly fiction with a bunch of crunch at the end) it's easier to use the first edition book as long as it's not directly contradicted by the second edition.
                        Right, and 2e core and Thousand Nights both contradict the idea that Ordo members losing Status because they neglect/get away from Covenant politics is a big deal. It's actually stated as extremely common in Thousand Nights for elder members to have dropped Status because they feel they put in their time running the show when they were younger and don't want to be bothered any more.

                        The problem is that it's actually really boring most of the time, on top of rarely moving the central plot along.
                        So despite your later protest, you're saying that certain kinds of role-playing are lesser because you don't like them. Noted.

                        If you run it like that the only PC who doesn't gain anything through roleplaying would be the one whose story is "I increase my stats".
                        Noted x2.

                        ...due to my autism....
                        Please don't do this. We're not talking about how to run RPGs for a neuro-diverse crowd.

                        I'm by far the "worst roleplayer" in the sense you seem to mean,...
                        How can I seem to mean something I didn't say?

                        I get that you don't like that approach and that is still completely fine, but you don't have to be condescending.
                        I'm choosing to communicate in a fashion that I accept will be read as condescending, because I think it also communicates my frustration with how the "free Merit" crowd seems blind to how hollow things like, "have fun with your style!" sounds when promoting mechanics that promote, "if you were playing with us, you'd get less free stuff because you hate role-playing."

                        I also hate the "true roleplaying" mindset, but that's not what I've suggested.
                        See notes above. It's inherent is giving things out for free unevenly. You create "true role-playing" mindsets by what gets free stuff and what doesn't.

                        Originally posted by Tessie View Post
                        Why does a player gain Oaths for free if they're the liege in the agreement?
                        Because the Invictus is unfair like that. Also because Oaths would be worthless if both parties had to buy them to use them.

                        And most Merits do work like this. If I have Allies, they don't need to buy any Merits to get favors out of me. That's the nature of the relationship the Merit provides.

                        Yes, that doesn't mean it can't work at all.
                        "We can make it work," doesn't mean it's actually better than other options that can be made to work.

                        If you can't handle it,....
                        What was that about being condescending?

                        ...then it would be more fair, but your absolutist statements were disproved before you even wrote them since people can already play it like that without it devolving into "I shouldn't have to pay for that".
                        "My group agrees not to do the stupid thing our house rule allows," doesn't make it not stupid. And some of us have been doing this a lot time, with a lot of people, and have seen exactly what Mania and I are talking about first hand. Stop disparaging it as made up hypothetical stuff just because you haven't run into it.

                        Just exercise common sense and common decency and you're golden.
                        So... people that don't do it your way are just people that lack common sense and decency? We're too stupid and too uncouth to be real RPers. Gotcha.

                        (And if you feel like I'm twisting your words unfairly.... I am, but there's a point to it, which is mostly that I feel you're being very hypocritical in how you talk about this).

                        Originally posted by tsusasi View Post
                        I'm not sure why you have that impression.
                        VtR 2e Core and Thousand Nights mostly.

                        The Ordo Dracul is literally the only covenant to provide a verbatim example of something that would warrant a status increase.
                        That doesn't prove that Status works as asserted which is contradicted in how the Covenant is described. "You can gain Status by showing your superiors that you did a thing," doesn't prove that having done the thing means you have to use it to gain Status; especially since Covenant Status (unlike City Status) is directly tied to positions for all Covenants, and the Ordo is explicitly stated to have an attitude of rejection of positions of power both internally and externally.

                        Furthermore, they are also the only covenant to describe official covenant positions with outlined powers and responsibilities with status prerequisites...
                        Where is this in 2e?

                        ...and outline hard caps on your pseudoscientific advancement in their "proprietary abilities" based on covenant status.
                        Right, which follows the presented material that most of the leadership of the Covenant is actually the middle experienced members. The young ones haven't expanding themselves until Status to get access to stuff, the middle folks have and thus have the Status and positions that go with it, and then the elders drop their Status because they got what they wanted out of it and want to go back to do their own stuff.

                        So no, a Dragon with only 2 Coils and 5 Scales but one status doesn't make sense UNLESS they burned status and you are expressly ignoring both real and implied prerequisites.
                        There's a difference between, "dropped Status," and "burned bridges," which was what I was actually objecting to. The Ordo as presented in 2e, doesn't really have a problem with members dropping Status to the point of actively pissing off other members.


                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                          No. I believe that character's shouldn't get Merits from role-playing alone.
                          Got it.

                          And IME it has always been an almost universally hated thing once the game gets started if people agree to do it, because everyone ends up realizing how biasing it is.
                          We have different experiences. I respect your perspective, apologies I can't make the case for you to respect mine.

                          The scenario just seems strange in the first place. It seems very weird that this Oath would come up unless the player already had it.
                          Understood you have different experiences.

                          There is no argument.
                          Understood that you feel this way.

                          Why shouldn't trying to learn an Oath get the Beat economy involved?
                          Oaths can be used for story elements. I like that capability, and don't want to necessarily be limited by whether the player has the XP to buy the Oath at the time or not. Non-Sanctity merits fulfill that desire for me. Understood that it hasn't worked out in your experiences. It's worked out for mine, I'm being honest about that.

                          ... every time this topic has been debated in the past 20 years (because it predates the CofD rather significantly and the CofD RAW were clearly written to get away from the obvious stupidity of how WoD Backgrounds work) and including this one, it turns into the same thing: "people that give out free Merits care about roleplaying more than other ways of handling it."
                          That was never my argument, and I specifically used language that I respect and support other ways of doing it. I understand that you still see my methods as inferior.

                          When people say, "you should just get Status from role-playing," there is an implicit statement that doing it differently is only done because other people don't like "real" role-playing.
                          For the record - that was never stated and I would argue baggage, but I apologize that you took that as my implicit statement. It was neither my intention to express that implicitly, nor is it my actual position. I've never gamed with you as far as I know. So I don't believe that because people use or don't use specific tools that I find useful, means I think their tables are garbage or that they are playing wrong. I definitely feel I'm not getting the same respect in return, but trying to keep things civil.

                          The whole Beat economy is built on buying things with XP coming from the painful, legwork heavy, story-time using, efforts to build up to stuff. Beats come by going out and doing. This is the difference you're saying you don't see.
                          Because the non-Sanctity merits also come from the painful, legwork heavy, story-time using, efforts to build up to stuff. And I don't see a significant difference between writing down, "Elder Thomson owes me access to and use of their medical staff until further notice" and putting: "Staff (Medical): [O] - Deal with Elder Thomson" on my sheet. It's just the way you prefer to express it as shorthand for game events. I literally don't know what to say to the fact you've had a 100% negative experience of this concept. I choose to believe you aren't being hyperbolic, I just don't relate because it is completely different than my experiences.

                          If you make it harder to get free stuff than it would take to save of the Beats from all that stuff to buy them... what's the point?
                          In my experience of these playstyles, it's usually 'harder' (i.e. requires some focus of story or action or conflict) to get something without XP than it is for directly spending XP in terms of story-justification. This is also a very common difference between tables, how much IC justification do you need to buy something like Allies (Police) during play? Some tables require a lot, some tables require a little, some tables have said, "If you spend the XP, we'll come up with the justification after." TittoPaolo210 has what I would consider a more encompassing dual-requirement than I do, but I don't think there's a book passage which says that one way 'looks worse' than the other, or that one way isn't valid.

                          Actually, there's a pretty big difference between using your social skills and getting the Informed Condition for your efforts, versus getting a temporary dot of Contacts that's not semantic. One gets you Beats, rewarding you for moving the story along and giving you more resources to increase your traits in that area if you want it to be permanent, and the other doesn't do that.
                          Which for you seems to be evidence against this entire concept. But for me, this is a rehash of my statement that I don't always want the beat economy involved when I'm writing down a boon or a story element. And it just hasn't been the apocalypse for me that it has for you. The fact that Tessie has had similar positive experiences just bolsters my conviction.

                          You've got two posters directly speaking on how it's been useful / fun for their games. I think people should take that into account before they just assume that your position: "It's 100% a negative / biased / unbalancing thing" is the only and/or 'official' playstyle experience. I don't try to prove negatives.

                          If you literally don't see any validity to the points I'm making here, than I'm just going to conclude I'm in an internet fight on a slow news day and I appreciate the chance to see a different perspective.

                          To the OP - non-Sanctity status / sites / oaths or other free merits have worked for my games. Doesn't mean they'll automatically work for yours, but I completely disagree with the idea they inherently can't, and I'm not alone. Judge for yourself! Use what works, ditch what doesn't. I feel pretty strongly that's completely in the spirit of 2E.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            I'm 100% in the same corner as Heavy Arms here. I don't want to hand out free merits, even less so when they aren't protected by Sanctity of Merits. Instead I much rather hand out free experience when players reach certain milestones or they did something awesome to warrant it. Usually at the end of a story arc or after they solved a mystery case and made the elder Kindred happy, I'll give them 1 bonus experience (or however many I think makes sense, but usually just 1 unless I feel like doing a huge time-skip between the last story and the next one). It's up to the players then to decide if they want to put that 1 exp into a Status merit dot or something else entirely. Of course whatever merit they buy with it, will fall under Sanctity of Merits, no funny business, a free experience is a free experience, and a merit is a merit.

                            Edit: To clarify, if you wonder how the bonus experience translates to in-universe reasoning, I'd say that you could argue that the bonus experience relates to the players having done a good deed, and now the Kindred are gossiping about the players in a positive way, resulting in the players experiencing a bit of support from the All Night Society for a job well done, which then mechanically translates into me the GM giving a bonus experience to the players which they can then spend however they want. I also hand out bonus experience after time-skips, as I suggested above, to represent the activities the player character has been up to during that time-skip. Activities that do not need to be roleplayed (else there wouldn't be a time-skip), but are still things the player has done off-screen during that time-skip.
                            Last edited by Ventrue Life; 05-12-2018, 08:15 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Holy View Post
                              I respect your perspective, apologies I can't make the case for you to respect mine.
                              Where, exactly, have I disrespected yours?

                              Understood that you feel this way.
                              This is literally the rules, black and white, in the text.

                              "Typically, Oaths are temporary. Merit dots revert when the Oath ends; see The Sanctity of Merits on p. 109." This specific quote isn't a matter of experience, it's the RAW. Merit's spent on Oaths get refunded at the end of the Oath under SoM.

                              Oaths can be used for story elements.
                              Any Trait on the sheet can be used for story elements. Should they all be free?

                              I like that capability, and don't want to necessarily be limited by whether the player has the XP to buy the Oath at the time or not.
                              What, exactly, is the capability we're talking about? You keep asserting the idea that it's a capability... but in a fashion that's extremely vague. What capability is "story element" that's special here?

                              Why does the Beat economy make this capability go away?

                              I understand that you still see my methods as inferior.
                              I see the way you talk about your methods as being frustrating. I don't care if you and your group do whatever if that's how you all have fun. It doesn't impact my life.

                              What frustrates me is the continual, "Well it works for us," as a defense of an approach that has built in problems just because your group either doesn't care about those problems or works around them without acknowledging them; esp. when it comes to giving people advice on playing the game by applying house rules.

                              Because the non-Sanctity merits also come from the painful, legwork heavy, story-time using, efforts to build up to stuff.
                              So, why do player A and player B, who put in the same amount of work, both get Beats, but A gets lots of free Merits because they pursue things deemed worth of free Merits, and B gets no free Merits because they go after something else?

                              What happens when the ST decides they want a player to have a Merit that the player doesn't want, since the players don't get to pick which Merits are free and when they get them? If my character doesn't want City Status, why should I have to have it on my sheet and then have to deal with losing it in game?

                              And I don't see a significant difference between writing down, "Elder Thomson owes me access to and use of their medical staff until further notice" and putting: "Staff (Medical): [O] - Deal with Elder Thomson" on my sheet.
                              This is a strawman, because nobody is talking about this.

                              The difference would be something like having the Connected Condition (Medical Professionals) from your efforts with Elder Thomson with ability for using the Beat Condition/Resolution of it to build your character further by using that Connection to further the game, and having a temporary dot of Staff that poofs when the ST says so. And there is a clear difference in application there, because pulling story elements into the Beat economy is a good thing.

                              It's just the way you prefer to express it as shorthand for game events.
                              Well, no, because one is a note about events you've jotted down, and the other is a dot with actual set mechanical effects. The first doesn't say how useful that staff is, while the second does by having a rating in the Staff Merit.

                              In my experience of these playstyles, it's usually 'harder' (i.e. requires some focus of story or action or conflict) to get something without XP than it is for directly spending XP in terms of story-justification.
                              Which to me is an admission of the faults in the method - esp. as it removes one of the biggest stated appeals of doing so - since it means that you can't do things like swear Oaths you haven't bought because it would be suddenly convenient, you need even more work than it would take to just learn it regularly, adding nothing to the play experience.

                              "We give out free things so people get Oaths, or Status, or whatever organically as the story demands," is kinda silly when it's harder to get than just buying those things with XP naturally generated by the story thanks to the Beat system.

                              This is also a very common difference between tables, how much IC justification do you need to buy something like Allies (Police) during play?
                              Which has what to do with giving away free Merits? If anything free Merits make it work, because now there's two levels of justification a table needs to establish.

                              But for me, this is a rehash of my statement that I don't always want the beat economy involved when I'm writing down a boon or a story element.
                              Repeating, "I don't always want the beat economy involved," doesn't actually explain the statement.

                              I don't try to prove negatives.
                              Who asked you to?

                              You talk about not feeling like you're getting respected, but you're also reading a lot of things into my posts that I haven't said.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                                Where, exactly, have I disrespected yours?
                                Your disrespect comes through in your insistence to tell us something is universally a bad idea when we have firsthand experience that it's not.

                                The question is, what do you actually want when replying to us? To convince us to stop playing the way we like and have fun with? That would not be okay. Or is it to convince us that it doesn't work for everyone due to inherent flaws? I've already admitted to as much. Is it to convince us that one way is better than the other? I've never intended to argue that either way is better than the other. I think it varies between different groups. I did start by recommending this play style, but only to someone who already considered it. The truth is I'm down for playing either way.


                                Bloodline: The Stygians
                                Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                                Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X