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  • Longest Character Creation process?

    So today I ran Werewolf 2nd edition for the first time, with very little experience of the prior version. Our character creation process took AGES, more than 2 hours if I would discount pauses for going off-topic and getting a lunch break. I opted to skip a few things (touchstones and rites, for example) just so we could finally get on with it and start playing. I suppose you could say it depends on how quick the players are in their decisions but I could not honestly blame them of being slow in this case.

    ​Is this a thing amongst you? Does werewolf have one of the longest character creations among CofD games?

    ​This is not a criticism of the game, far from it. We had a great time hunting and stomping Azlu in the dark forests of northern Sweden, and I am impressed by the breadth of fun options the game presents. I am just genuinely curious about your experiences.

  • #2
    Never had it take too long but our group came into it knowing about the game so we didn't have to look through the book to read about the tribes or auspices.

    Is it the figuring out of the totem? I'd imagine that to be the toughest part to get a group to agree upon. Perhaps making the human and wolf-blooded, if you weren't prepared for it and decided to get it all done right there.

    Generally I've found superhero RPGs to take the longest amount of time for character creation.

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    • #3
      First of all, I'm super happy you had such a great time! Sometimes you've got to take a step back and be happy for the amazing games you get to run.

      Second of all, I have traditionally made 'finding the Totem' the first story of every Werewolf game I've ever ran, so that the PCs get to traverse the Spirit World and lure their totem in-character instead of spending hours yelling about it OOC. But I can totally understand wanting to skip that part so you can get to more experienced stuff.

      I'm thinking about all of the different splats and I think that in terms of sheer 'stuff', Werewolf probably has the most to put down. Mage comes close.

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      • #4
        I don't know. Any time I intent to run a long term game, I dedicate the first session to OOC discussions and character creation. This gives me time to work with the players (since I'm frequently dealing with new players to the system and/or specific game line), and the players to work out characters that make sense together, and for Werewolf get the ball rolling for things like the Totem.

        So the idea of character creation taking 2 hours being slow... doesn't really strike me as slow because my STing style isn't about trying to get characters out in ~20 minutes and getting into play ASAP. I consider taking time with character creation vital towards getting a good game experience because it also counts as time I spend meshing my ideas for the setting/plots I want to do with the characters the players are making and what will be interesting for them.

        Werewolf is a bit slower because, as noted already, the "Pack" is something of an additional character the default game wants the players to make together. This can be very slow for first time players and/or players that haven't played a lot with each other.

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        • #5
          Not really that long. Werewolf is... different from other games, even if just from a mechanical perspective. Trying to read all the powers, figure out what works, how everythign interacts, what's best to take... that's a lot to take in if its your first time with the game.

          For someone like me, who's familiar with the game? I can write up a PC in less than five minutes. And most of that is flipping through the Gifts to pick which ones fit.

          Next time your group makes a wolf, it'll be faster. And the time after that as well will be faster as they familiarize themselves.
          Last edited by MCN; 02-22-2017, 07:42 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Aristarkos View Post
            ​Is this a thing amongst you? Does werewolf have one of the longest character creations among CofD games?
            Yes, with the exception of vampire the other big 2 chargens take a LOT of time if run as written.

            I think part of the problem is that characters out of chargen start with so much to decided that bog down chargen.

            Werewolves have to decide: Auspice, Tribe, then see the auspice ability and see if they like them or go back. Then blood & bone which is whole thing on their own to decide along with touchstone.

            After deciding for stats you got to see your renown, then you gotta pick your merits which might make you go back to renown or tribe because of the requirements of both and the gift which is a constant back and forth between reading the gifts and then go back to the renown or even auspice/tribe. Followed by deciding triggers.

            And finally totem, i just seen player get stuck on totems for 2+ hours of indecision.

            The other part of the problem is that basic chargen is so high in elements because the game assumes that both players and DMs read the manual which is rarely the case, most times DM read the manual and players just come and sit to play with a bare understanding of the setting/mechanics.

            So in the end i got stuck with players struggling, not in the good way, with character choices they dont have a firm mechanic understanding on how they work and then trust in PCs with a fake level of expertice. Meaning that their PC are expected to know more about the werewolf setting than their player do know. And with a fake level of attachment for certain stuff like touchstones which the player are forced to decide before the game starts something that should develop organically.

            I think they have being recycling vampire chargen since masquerade which works FOR vampire, because at the end of the day it was a simpler game. (pick clan, pick 3 powers, pick merits, mask and nature, background/merit, stats and off you go) but dont work with the rest of the games IMO.

            So i finally got sick of the chargen in this games and make them as: Pick auspice, stats, bone, merits and off you. You get the point of renown of your auspice and 1 lunar gift and thats it. And play the game as just recently changed character exploring the setting.

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            • #7
              Did you use proposed 'start' scenarios in Storytelling chapters in Werewolf 2E? I plan to start nearest chronicle with Funeral idea where players makes characters inside long scene of burial for common friend of them - I would hear opinions of people about how this comes as 'session 0' for players and creating Pack as extended entity,
              Last edited by wyrdhamster; 02-22-2017, 09:24 AM.


              Conquest of Paradise - Fan Dark Era about Portugal and Spain conquests in XVI century - Mage & Beast ( & Hunter )
              My Hubs - MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks
              MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                I don't know. Any time I intent to run a long term game, I dedicate the first session to OOC discussions and character creation. This gives me time to work with the players (since I'm frequently dealing with new players to the system and/or specific game line), and the players to work out characters that make sense together, and for Werewolf get the ball rolling for things like the Totem.
                So the idea of character creation taking 2 hours being slow... doesn't really strike me as slow because my STing style isn't about trying to get characters out in ~20 minutes and getting into play ASAP. I consider taking time with character creation vital towards getting a good game experience because it also counts as time I spend meshing my ideas for the setting/plots I want to do with the characters the players are making and what will be interesting for them.
                Werewolf is a bit slower because, as noted already, the "Pack" is something of an additional character the default game wants the players to make together. This can be very slow for first time players and/or players that haven't played a lot with each other.
                ​I know what you mean. This is something I do as well for long-term games. This wasn't meant as a long term game though, more as a short campaign of 3-4 sessions in order to test the game. Maybe the players will want more though, simply by the dint of the fact that creating characters took so long. It seems that werewolf one-shots simply aren't a thing!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                  Did you use proposed 'start' scenarios in Storytelling chapters in Werewolf 2E? I plan to start nearest chronicle with Funeral idea where players makes characters inside long scene of burial for common friend of them - I would hear opinions of people about how this comes as 'session 0' for players and creating Pack as extended entity,
                  ​I thought about doing that, but got into other ideas along the way. Basically the "start with a funeral" idea quickly morphed into "solve the murder" idea, starting with trying to break into the morgue to use an Itheaur Death Gift on the body.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    I don't know. Any time I intent to run a long term game, I dedicate the first session to OOC discussions and character creation. This gives me time to work with the players (since I'm frequently dealing with new players to the system and/or specific game line), and the players to work out characters that make sense together, and for Werewolf get the ball rolling for things like the Totem.

                    So the idea of character creation taking 2 hours being slow... doesn't really strike me as slow because my STing style isn't about trying to get characters out in ~20 minutes and getting into play ASAP. I consider taking time with character creation vital towards getting a good game experience because it also counts as time I spend meshing my ideas for the setting/plots I want to do with the characters the players are making and what will be interesting for them.

                    Werewolf is a bit slower because, as noted already, the "Pack" is something of an additional character the default game wants the players to make together. This can be very slow for first time players and/or players that haven't played a lot with each other.
                    I've never had the luxury of knowing if a game would last more than two sessions, so that sort of puts a wrench in dedicating a whole session to character creation.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Aristarkos View Post
                      ​I know what you mean. This is something I do as well for long-term games. This wasn't meant as a long term game though, more as a short campaign of 3-4 sessions in order to test the game. Maybe the players will want more though, simply by the dint of the fact that creating characters took so long. It seems that werewolf one-shots simply aren't a thing!​
                      If you're doing a one shot you can cut out the extraneous stuff like the extra pack, and since presumably the major plot pieces have been planned in advance you can give them a totem, or even PCs, or make a few and let them pick who they want to be. The Pack book contains a few sample totems you could choose from.

                      That's just standard fare for making one shots go faster. But the character creation system is bent towards longer play.

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                      • #12
                        Well.... ninjaed by nofather again!

                        But yeah, if you know you're doing a 3-4 session test, or a one-shot, or a 3-shot convention game, or whatever, the easiest thing is for the ST to either craft the game to avoid needing some of these things (like not having the PCs be in a pack to start and not worrying about building out the pack or Totem), or pre-craft these elements (all the PCs have been inducted into a larger established pack to start).

                        If I'm doing an intentionally small game, depending on the circumstances I'll make a bunch of pre-made characters, or "skeleton" sheets where some core creation stuff has been done and someone can come in and fill out the last few details. If a player wants to make their own PC, that's can be handled, but that's usually for people that know the game.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                          Did you use proposed 'start' scenarios in Storytelling chapters in Werewolf 2E? I plan to start nearest chronicle with Funeral idea where players makes characters inside long scene of burial for common friend of them - I would hear opinions of people about how this comes as 'session 0' for players and creating Pack as extended entity,
                          I consider it for a moment when i read the story telling section but my main issue with the Chargen remains, some things need to happen in game to have any weight to them. The totem the players get during play is always more personal that the one they decide by committee. Players tend to get blocked when deciding to create totems because its ban and nature could affect the whole campaign.

                          If your player are however, experience with the rules and setting however and definetly dont wanna play freshly new changed ones i recommend it to shake things a little. However i also recomend that once is done the importance of the deceased be reduced significantly because in the end the deceased wasnt a true character but a narrative tool.

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                          • #14
                            I was planning to run Funeral first and then to make proper Totem hunt. Making few NPC Pack members do not seen as this determining Totem - that Totem can rise later on or be 'unfolded' between first and second game session.
                            Last edited by wyrdhamster; 02-22-2017, 05:36 PM.


                            Conquest of Paradise - Fan Dark Era about Portugal and Spain conquests in XVI century - Mage & Beast ( & Hunter )
                            My Hubs - MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks
                            MtAw 2E - History of Awakened - (almost) canonical game timeline of events

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                              I was planning to run Funeral first and then to make proper Totem hunt. Making few NPC Pack members do not seen as this determining Totem - that Totem can rise later on or be 'unfolded' between first and second game session.

                              Sorry, you were asking about the funeral scenario that assumes player decide the totem before the funeral starts.

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