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  • Alternate to beats?

    Love the 2E rules compared to 1E except for 1 thing...beats. I don't like the idea of micromanaging experience when I'm running a game, got too much to think of already. Is there an alternate system anyone uses for experience other than beats? Will there be another optional system in the 2E world of darkness book when it comes out?

  • #2
    There's group beats, which you could keep track of by putting pennies or counters in a jar or pile or something. Hit a beat, drop a penny in the jar and keep playing; end of session, distribute the pennies in the jar evenly among the players as beats. That works fine.

    If you find just the act of noticing and adjudicating beats bothersome? For the most part, you can just issue some number of beats, or one experience, or something per session, similarly to issuing experience points in first edition.

    What you want to consider when you do this, though, is how beats factor into certain situations as incentives, specifically those attached to dramatic failures and to Condition resolutions. Some Conditions are more carrot than stick, or even all carrot, like Spooked: their effect is to ask the player to come up with an unwise and risky action in tune with the genre, and lure them with a beat. You could keep these incentives by replacing them with Willpower rewards, which is the general suggestion for quickstarts and NPC resolutions, where beats are not appropriate. Or you could improvise more teeth for these Conditions, granting more situational dice bonuses or penalties as feels fit.

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    • #3
      I don't follow how Beats are micromanaging xp. You could just change the name "Beat" to "experience" and multiply the xp costs of everything by 5. It would then be functionally identical to 1e experience, except without exponentially scaling xp costs.


      Onyx Path Forum Moderator

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      • #4
        I beliebe they mean the fact that you handle Beats during the game acording to certain events as oposed of giving experiences at the end of the sesion. Some people may find that that breaks the flow of or slows down the game.


        I'm So Meta Even This Acronym

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        • #5
          Oh, ok. I see how that could be an issue. You could just award a set number of Beats or Experiences per session. Then have the things that normally grant Beats during play grant Willpower instead.


          Onyx Path Forum Moderator

          My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

          Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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          • #6
            Aren't you just "micromanaging" willpower instead then?

            Seriously though how are beats any different from the other potential rewards for doing stuff? Health, willpower, energy points, integrity analogue, It's just one extra thing to keep track of on the sheet. Why would that break the flow any more than everything else?

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            • #7
              I don't personally have an issue with beats, but I've known several people who do. One fought tooth and nail to try and get me to use a house rule that I've seen fairly often other places (though I don't think I've seen it here).

              The house rule I usually see is: 1 xp per session, and any beats earned are used for rerolls instead.

              Of course, then you're still "micromanaging" beats, but if you do the suggestion of just chucking a poker chip or whatever at players when they earn one, it's really not that bad.

              The player in my group that wanted this was also somewhat satisfied with group beats as a compromise, though I think his concern was more deviating power levels (the beat system can very easily allow a player to get way more than others).

              For me, personally? Before I switched to Group Beats (which seem to work wonderfully), I just did all the beats at the end and told my players that if they forgot something, that's on them. The Storyteller shouldn't be expected to remember everything about the players' sheets. I also leave them in charge of reminding me about their Masks/Dirges and Aspirations, though I suspect most people would disagree with that decision. With Group Beats, I just follow the "chuck it in a pile" method.
              Last edited by Maina; 06-21-2015, 06:52 PM.

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              • #8
                That's my problem. I simply won't catch or remember every time they should've gotten a beat. It would be easier just to reward experience at the end of the session based on their roleplaying, furthering of the story, etc. I guess I could use the 1e experience system and give beats out that way.

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                • #9
                  Two solutions. One? Stop trying to remember on your part, Spirit. Put that all on the players' heads. Trust me, if they want EXP, then they'll remember.

                  Two, don't say "Take a beat." Get some little poker chips, beads, anything physical to hand out during the game. Having something tangible in hand actually increases the excitement a lot. It also allows for more non-verbal communication at the table when they want a beat by pointing at it the beat tokens instead of interrupting play.


                  As for completely removing it? I'm not sure. Beats are pretty critical for the entire Condition system, and that's a cornerstone of how 2e plays.

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                  • #10
                    My players mostly keep track of their own beats. They can ask me if I think something is deserving of a beat, such as whether a given scene really furthered an Aspiration of theirs. They also keep track of their Mask/Dirge and ask me for confirmation when they think they should get Willpower. I don't have to micromanage anything.

                    I wouldn't want to micromanage those things. The players, on the other hand, enjoy taking those things into their own hands.

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                    • #11
                      I've never had trouble tracking Beats, but I use a lot of manipulatives during play. I've got bags full of those little glass bead things with the flat bottoms in lots of different colors (blue for Willpower, red for Vitae, black for Beats, etc.), stacks of Condition cards, and a few other odds and ends. So, when a character gains a Condition, I hand them a Condition card. When they resolve it, they hand the card back to me and I hand them a black bead. When a player rolls a failure, they can tell me if they want to make it a dramatic failure and I hand them a black bead. When a player feels they've fulfilled one of their Aspirations, they say so and I either agree and hand them a black bead or disagree and tell them what they need to do next to fulfill it. When a player frenzies, I hand them a black bead. Etc. Whenever a player accumulates five black beads, they hand them back to me and write their exp on their character sheet.


                      Onyx Path Forum Moderator

                      My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

                      Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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                      • #12
                        Yeah, that's the best way to do it in my opinion. I mean, experience and Beats are the rewards to players, they want them and will keep track of when they are suposed to be awarded one. I suggest using the Group Beats option, I have found that increases the cohesion of the group, players going out of their way to help one another fullfill Aspirations and so on. Makes it a lot easier to involve the rest of the group on the personal subplots of the other characters.


                        I'm So Meta Even This Acronym

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                        • #13
                          I normaly hink that a players hunt for "juice" or willpower is mostly a bit more micromanaging and even metagaming than beats, because players normally need mostly a quick fix of juice or wp - beats or xp are just the cherry atop the cupcake after the game. normally any xp-expenditure is regulated to the end of the session.
                          As written above by Charlaquin: quintuple the xp-cost of everything and beats are now simple xp points. there is no need for an xp-subsystem called beats.


                          Emigrated successfullly from the "old" to the "new" sandboxy World of Darkness. Mostly playing Requiem, Awakening and the Lost.
                          Likes cheesecake

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                          • #14
                            I love the new second edition rules as well. However I hate beats and I hate writing down aspirations. I feel the beats reward your character for failures and not for doing a good job. It is too easy to manipulate and make your character terrible in order to just gain beat after beat after beat for dramatic failures? Go off and do stupid things and make poor choices just to get that beat. Try to get as many conditions as I can just so I can resolve them for that beat. To me... and this might be Only me and I am ok with that... To me it just feels like it takes away from the roleplaying because now you are making out of character choices that influence your in character choices. I am no longer thinking "would my character honestly do that?" I am thinking "lets make it dramatic screw up so I can get that beat"

                            I have used them though. When I tried to do it, I felt i spent more time on handing them out and handing out cards or asking players "do you want a dramatic" and it took away from the game. When I handed it over to the players it did go a lot better. When I did a beat bowl with beads it went even more smoothly. Trial and error. I did have my players just tossing in beads and tell me on their own to make it a dramatic failure. which helped immensely with the flow of the game. However almost all of my players enjoy the strict role playing aspect a lot more than worry about beats. We do still play with conditions and whatnot for the roleplaying vs mechanical aspect. I usually give out 1-2 exp per game session based on things similar to beats. Were my players ready/on time/prepared? Did the Role play all their conditions? Did they make choices based on what their characters would do? Were the objectives resolved (group aspirations so to speak)? Did my players complete their personal goals (or aspirations) ?

                            When I do a beat bowl. it usually ends up being 1-2 exp anyway.

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                            • #15
                              Have you never heard of learning from your mistakes?

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