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Design: Frenzy frequency in VTR 1e vs. 2e

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  • Design: Frenzy frequency in VTR 1e vs. 2e

    ETA: NEVER MIND, I'm (mostly) wrong about this. Thanks Draconis !

    I'm still trying to adjust my expectations from VTR 1e to 2e, and frenzy seems to be a really big shift.

    In 1e, when a vampire receives particular stimuli related to rage, hunger, or fear, they might frenzy. To resist it, the vampire's player rolls (Resolve + Composure) adjusted by circumstantial modifiers, and tries to accumulate a specific number of successes on an extended roll where every roll must have at least one success. The first time in any of the extended rolls all the dice are 7 or less, you frenzy.

    In 2e, the stimuli seem a little more open ended, the goals of a frenzying vampire seem to be a bit more flexible, and there are different ways to stall or talk-down a vampire. But in terms of resisting, it's a single, one-time (Resolve + Composure) roll, again with some modifiers based on circumstance. In this single roll, you frenzy if all of the dice are 7 or less.

    Without diving into the math, frenzy is much more common in 1e, where you have to get anywhere between 2-10 successes to keep your cool. The fact that you have to roll multiple times means that each new roll is a chance to fail out and frenzy. (This is slightly offset because of the modifiers used in 2e, but trust me frenzies would be more common in 1e.)

    I'm in this weird spot of really liking VTR, but have never had a chance to play it, so I'm puzzled by the change. Is frenzy an un-fun play experience? Was it over-used? It seems to fit the classic Gothic literature of a character who periodically goes berserk due to terrible psychological pressures.
    Last edited by James_Nostack; 06-03-2019, 08:51 AM. Reason: wrongness

  • #2
    I think it's a bit weird to say that you've both never played, and that you know that Frenzy was much more common in 1e (it was, but not for the reasons you're talking about, the big problem was Predator's Taint).

    I mean, your analysis is overlooking some very key differences. In 2e you can't spend WP directly on Frenzy checks... which is a pretty big hit to your odds. As well a normal success hits you with the Tempted Condition which penalizes Frenzy checks until you get rid of it.

    It feels like you're overstating the impact of the change significantly.... I haven't noticed a major difference in frequency outside of dumping all the stupid PT frenzies; nothing to act like the changes make Frenzies never happen or something.

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    • #3
      In general, 2e's system is "swingier" (higher variance), but the probability of frenzying remains about the same: someone with Resolve 3 and Composure 3 has a 72% chance of resisting a 1e frenzy at threshold five ("loved one in danger"), and a 76% chance of resising a 2e frenzy at -2 ("hurt lover").

      I imagine the goal was mainly to cut down on the rolling, which is something CofD has been trying to do in general. Rolling five times for a single frenzy trigger can get annoying.

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      • #4
        Draconis when I saw that 72% I thought, "Oh man, he is totally wrong but now in order to score points on the internet I will have to do math. Ugh!" Except it turns out that you are (as you know) totally right and I have egg all over my face plus I had to do math. And as Heavy Arms points out, you can spend Willpower in 1e on the frenzy resistance rolls, which in theory makes the numbers more favorable. I feel foolish, but I thank you for correcting me! It's much appreciated and I've edited the OP to point out that I was wrong.

        I'm resisting a Math Frenzy of my own right now, because I suspect there are a lot of cases out there where the numbers don't line up so nicely. For example, a R+C = 5 vampire, who's hungry, looking at a bloody but superficial wound has (if I recall) at 33% chance of going into a feeding frenzy in 1e versus a 24% chance in 2e - which means that frenzy is 37.5% more likely in 1e in that specific case. Meanwhile if someone had killed the lover, in 1e it would be (whatever the odds are to get 10 successes without a single failed roll on 6 dice) to resist versus 61% in 2e. I'm tempted to write up a program to do this for me but Sloth is my Vice.

        Thanks, y'all.

        I imagine the goal was mainly to cut down on the rolling, which is something CofD has been trying to do in general. Rolling five times for a single frenzy trigger can get annoying.
        Yeah, I can see that.

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        • #5
          No worries! As it happens I'm working on some tweaks to Frenzy math for an STVault product, so I had a spreadsheet of Monte Carlo'd probabilities for all pools and threshold sizes on hand. The odds of resisting feel very low in 1e but are actually surprisingly high: pool of six needing ten successes is 55.15% successful.

          It's also worth noting that low-end pools are significantly more successful in 2e, because the odds of success never drop below 10% (a chance die). In 1e, they can go all the way down to effectively-zero.

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