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Um, Where's the Fetish Merit?

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  • Um, Where's the Fetish Merit?

    At the risk of sounding like an oblivious idiot, I've noticed recently that there isn't a Fetish Merit in 2e Forsaken. Goes to show you how often I take that Merit. So what's up? Is this intentional? Because if it is, that means the only way to get Fetishes is to either make them via the Rite or find them or take them from others. Why was Fetish removed as a Merit? Or am I overlooking something? Please explain this to me because I'm not fond of not having it as a Merit, as I feel this takes away a unique part of character creation. Albeit not a super important one in my opinion, but I like having options.

  • #2
    There is no Merit for it. If you have a fetish, you don't need a Merit for it, you get it through the story or backstory, find it during the game, lose it during the game, and so forth. You can have one from character creation, as written. Considering how talens are created, every player pack with Dedicated Locus should routinely have some available.

    One of the writers spoke about it thus, offering an option if you really need it to come in Merit form.

    Because if it is, that means the only way to get Fetishes is to either make them via the Rite or find them or take them from others.
    Just as an aside, even if you had a Merit, that's how you'd get the fetish.
    Last edited by nofather; 02-02-2017, 10:23 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by nofather View Post
      There is no Merit for it. If you have a fetish, you don't need a Merit for it, you get it through the story or backstory, find it during the game, lose it during the game, and so forth. You can have one from character creation, as written. Considering how talens are created, every player pack with Dedicated Locus should routinely have some available.

      One of the writers spoke about it thus, offering an option if you really need it to come in Merit form.



      Just as an aside, even if you had a Merit, that's how you'd get the fetish.
      Thank you for pointing that out to me. That does somewhat make more sense. Could you please point me to where it says in the core book about starting with a Fetish at character creation? I must have overlooked that.

      Also, I understand that even having the Merit I would still have to do the things I mentioned earlier, I'm only talking about character creation options. Sorry if I wasn't clear.
      Last edited by Rahuman101; 02-02-2017, 10:33 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Rahuman101 View Post
        Thank you for pointing that out to me. That does somewhat make more sense. Could you please point me to where it says in the core book about starting with a Fetish at character creation? I must have overlooked that.

        Also, I understand that even having the Merit I would still have to do the things I mentioned earlier, I'm only talking about character creation options. Sorry if I wasn't clear.
        I gotcha, that was my problem too. Fetishes not having Merit ratings, and just being equipment, mean you can start with them just like how your character starts with clothes and possibly a car or weapon. You'd need your Storyteller's okay but the game isn't attempting to be punishing about power. Enjoy the Experience, Don't Say No, and Celebrate the Awesome.
        Last edited by nofather; 02-02-2017, 11:24 PM.

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        • #5
          I really wish Mage had gone this route with Artifacts and Imbued Items too. Could have saved some wordcount if nothing else.


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          • #6
            Imbued Items certainly should have, considering how you can make them with an Attainment at some point and the Exp cost is going to get ridiculous. Artifacts are weird, they seem like they should be rare and costly to have, but there's got to be some sort of way to balance having what is effectively a 10 dot Merit beyond paying for it with Experiences. I'm reading this new system that ties things up with Reputation and Tiers but it doesn't exactly correspond well to the standard Power Traits.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by nofather View Post
              Imbued Items certainly should have, considering how you can make them with an Attainment at some point and the Exp cost is going to get ridiculous.
              The parallels between Imbued items and Fetishes are very significant, that is true.

              Originally posted by nofather View Post
              Artifacts are weird, they seem like they should be rare and costly to have, but there's got to be some sort of way to balance having what is effectively a 10 dot Merit beyond paying for it with Experiences.
              This is also true. If tied to systems perhaps re-purposing the Clue mechanics from CofD would work as good placeholders as to whether they've been able make progress toward discovering how to obtain the Artifact.

              Originally posted by nofather View Post
              I'm reading this new system that ties things up with Reputation and Tiers but it doesn't exactly correspond well to the standard Power Traits.
              I am interested in the system you mention, what is it and is there a way you could link or refer where to look for it? It especially sounds like something that'd go well with Sin Eaters and momentos/krewe politics.


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              • #8
                Grimoires are another one that can be made with a spell but still have a Merit for some reason.

                EDIT: Oh, and having a Soul Stone in your Demesne costs 3 Merit dots.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pale_Crusader View Post
                  I am interested in the system you mention, what is it and is there a way you could link or refer where to look for it? It especially sounds like something that'd go well with Sin Eaters and momentos/krewe politics.
                  Blades in the Dark. It's a heist game, and there's a large section on faction growth, where you build rep by doing jobs against other factions, taking their rep in doing so. Said rep can be used to take over claims, which is what made me think of artifacts. It's not strictly linear but there is a sort of 'tree' to claims available, like getting Lookouts before getting Informants. But it doesn't fit with Gnosis, because for every Indiana Jones out there thickening their magic as they go artifact hunting, there's another that's just sitting at home casting spells repeatedly on lumps of metal.

                  Second idea was going with the progress clocks, something else the book has. Basically, depending on the power or notoriety of the artifact, the more you use it or research it in public areas the more progress would be made on a 'The Secret Is Out!' progress clock that would then have some reaction to it. Maybe the Mysterium wants to study it, the Guardians think it needs to be destroyed, a pylon of Seers believe it needs to be offered to their tetrarch and so forth, and one that fits with the game. This way you'd have the free artifact, but it comes with an in-game price. But it seems more conflicty than Mage should.

                  Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                  Grimoires are another one that can be made with a spell but still have a Merit for some reason.

                  EDIT: Oh, and having a Soul Stone in your Demesne costs 3 Merit dots.
                  That too. I got the Grimoire of Grimoires and am about to introduce some of the books in it, but I imagine at some table there's some Storyteller introducing a 'free' grimoire that is part mystery only to have a player claim they want a grimoire that has all those spells they like to cast.

                  Seems easier there, to be honest, if the player wants it they should pay, if you're throwing it in the game have it for free. But still weird for the game.

                  And yeah, soul stones too.

                  It's really just about balancing out how stingy or generous you want to be with your players, and it's hard to balance, especially in a game where advancement can go dreadfully slow, or when the story hinges on the players being able to do certain things. Seems like the overall rule is something like, if they find it, its theirs, but if they want to develop it themselves, use the Merits. Which seems fair, but it's also stifling. Werewolf's very 'BAM!' up there with power scales, and the tides of fate can shift dramatically. An artifact like the Crimson Falx seems really powerful, chopping off an arm or leg with the first attack against an enemy. But realistically, you can kill a human in one blow. And everyone else you're going to be using it against is going to have methods to just regrow that limb, or just make another. So why not let them have it. Fetishes, and artifacts for that matter, are just stories and plothooks, it's not like you charge the players for those.
                  Last edited by nofather; 02-03-2017, 11:23 AM.

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                  • #10
                    I always thought that 'magic items' Merits are there to let PC buy them if they want more 'and friendly Curator give me this relic'. Generally, getting items off-screen and outside of characters own capabilities.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                      Grimoires are another one that can be made with a spell but still have a Merit for some reason.
                      There's an entire system based around being able to requisition stuff through the Availability mechanics, the spell alone does not give you the same breadth of options as the Merit does, and scribing a grimoire that will last or imbuing an item that won't weigh on your spell control indefinitely is an investment of resources that most mages aren't going to give up for free.

                      The "easy come, easy go" approach doesn't quite mesh with things with that sort of economic involvement, particularly given that the only consistent limited resource fetishes take to make is time.


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                      • #12
                        The new mage book is supposed to have that requisitioning stuff from Orders. Maybe it will help.

                        I think it's just. Setting a cost on these things, in Merits, gives them an inherent value, even if it's not entirely accurate. By letting one player have one 'for free' you are basically giving them a leg up, especially if said artifact or grimoire can't be shared among the group.

                        That and there's an old tradition in games of DM versus player. It needs to be shrugged off, but we're constantly regaled by worries from Storytellers about their players getting infinite beats or whatever.

                        Blades in the Dark had a system for that, incidentally. I've been wanting to bring it up somewhere. It has things similar to aspirations and 'supernatural' aspirations and conditions. If you do one, you get 1 Experience. If you do one multiple times, you get 2, that's it. It's an easy cap.

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                        • #13
                          The thing is, merit dots are a thing you can give players for free. With the sanctity of merits rule there's really no reason not to essentially use a merit dot economy to simulate the trade of goods and valuables. My house rule is to use merit dots to track the possession of objects like fetishes and talons. But YMMV.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                            I always thought that 'magic items' Merits are there to let PC buy them if they want more 'and friendly Curator give me this relic'. Generally, getting items off-screen and outside of characters own capabilities.
                            This was always my impression too.

                            Originally posted by Jacob View Post
                            The thing is, merit dots are a thing you can give players for free. With the sanctity of merits rule there's really no reason not to essentially use a merit dot economy to simulate the trade of goods and valuables. My house rule is to use merit dots to track the possession of objects like fetishes and talons. But YMMV.
                            That idea had never occurred to me, but it would be an excellent way to keep track of things.


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