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Your advice for a new WtF 2e Storyteller

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  • #91
    Yeah; in combat, werewolves in particular have a lot of ways to squeeze out additional dice. the +Str from the forms, the 1/scene free Tilts from Urshul that can really muck a target up, ganging up to get the multiple attackers Defence penalty, Willpower, and all-out attacks, are all ways to crank out the offence.

    ​For example, a relatively basic starting werewolf with only a little effort spent on combat - let's say Strength 2, Brawl 1 - is looking at a base dice pool of 5 in Urshul, which goes up to 10 with a Willpower point and all-out attack to land a crippling Tilt on the victim. Gang up so that one or two other pack members have knocked off some of the target's Defence, and it may not even be necessary to go for the dice adders. Hit Gauru for even more Strength and the target doesn't get to add their Athletics (or other skill) to their basic Defence score. As soon as you move into an actual combat-specced character - let's say Str 3, Brawl 3 and a specialty, it gets trivial to reach for nearly 10 dice without any adders whatsoever, and that's not considering for ex. Gifts.

    ​Meanwhile, Rank 2 spirits are meaningful opponents, and Rank 3 you're starting to look at heavier-weight opponents. The Shadow is dangerous​, and if the pack are going after Rank 3 spirits early on without having combat-specialised pack members, they can expect to be challenged and have trouble getting past that sort of Defence - they'll need to play smart, gang up, etc etc. to deal with it.

    ​But a pack with even a moderate focus on combat abilities is probably going to find Def 5 or 6 a breeze.
    Last edited by Acrozatarim; 03-28-2018, 12:26 PM.


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    • #92
      Yeah. Need some Athletics, it's the all-purpose Defense Attribute. Except for some superpowers.

      There's a couple nice Gifts and tactics that help deal with this, though, like Crushing Blow, which lowers a target's Defense by the striker's Honor for them and packmates, or the Flanking Merit.

      In our last game while one werewolf dueled another, another ended up fighting a pair of wolf-blooded martial artists. They had really big Defense compared to the werewolf (I believe it was 6 to her 4) but Willpower, Tilts, getting rid of their weapons so they were only doing Bashing, and knocking them into wound penalties got rid of them pretty easily.

      But like Acrozatarim said, Rank 3 opponents are like an equivalent of special human or low-ranked supernatural. In D&D it might be like low level but classed ogre. Compared to Rank 2's classed orcs (easier to deal with en masse but still dangerous).
      Last edited by nofather; 03-28-2018, 12:29 PM.

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      • #93
        Okay, well it sounds like we are doing things mostly right. Most of the players speced for social, intrigue and magic, not combat. So I just need to get a handle on what an appropriate combat encounter for them is.

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        • #94
          I'm guessing because you mentioned the 'gang up' thing you know that whenever a character uses their Defense in a turn (like they're being attacked) their Defense is lowered by 1 the next time they're attacked in a turn. So depending on initiative the last werewolf will generally deal with a lower Defense. It also really makes groups dangerous, giving a benefit to even untrained combatants (and werewolves with powerful natural Lethal weapons and higher Strength really turn that slight benefit to a big one).

          I just mention it because it's something some people have missed before.
          Last edited by nofather; 03-28-2018, 02:22 PM.

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          • #95
            Originally posted by nofather View Post
            I'm guessing because you mentioned the 'gang up' thing you know that whenever a character uses their Defense in a turn (like they're being attacked) their Defense is lowered by 1 the next time they're attacked in a turn. So depending on initiative the last werewolf will generally deal with a lower Defense. It also really makes groups dangerous, giving a benefit to even untrained combatants (and werewolves with powerful natural Lethal weapons and higher Strength really turn that slight benefit to a big one).

            I just mention it because it's something some people have missed before.
            Yes, we we're aware of that rule, that was how they we're able to finally defeat their opponents by deciding to concentrate their attacks.

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            • #96
              Sounds like everything went as it should, then. Good for them.

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              • #97
                Now that i have about a half a dozen sessions under my belt I thought i would come back to this thread and put my own advice to new Storytellers in here.

                Out of the box Werewoles are already near indestructable. This is especially true if they still have essence or willpower left or still have the option to voluntarily go into War form. Because of that you dont have to worry much about TPKs and have a lot of leeway in designing antagonists. I fretted at first over designing a balanced encounter, still in D&D mode thinking, but found that encounters I thought might be too challanging weren't or the characters were able to easily bounce back from defeats.

                Wilpower is a very important resource early on. My players had trouble managing it at first. Then we realized that making sure your pack member's blood and bone synergized is pretty important. For example, if everyone takes Guru they are going to have a hard time getting back willpower but if for every Guru there is a Cub then wilpower will flow a lot better.

                The first two sessions my players had issues gaining beats. Second Edition places a lot of the responsibility for gaining XP on players actions. So you may need to emphasize to your players on how they can get beats. The easiest way to gain beats is through gaining and resolving conditions. The two easiest ways the players have to gain conditions is the Sacred Hunt and the less well known flairing renown. They should be doing these every session. Also every session, when possible, they should be taking a voluntary dramatic failure. This gives the player an immediate beat and since most dramatic failures also lead to gaining a condition they can potentilly gain 2 beats from a single dramatic failure. Also make sure at least one of their character`s asperations is something that can be easily accomplished each session, such as "start a fight" or negotiate with a spirit". If the players are doing these they should be getting about 5 beats a session.

                i have more i might post later.

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by Jeremysbrain View Post
                  The first two sessions my players had issues gaining beats. Second Edition places a lot of the responsibility for gaining XP on players actions. So you may need to emphasize to your players on how they can get beats. The easiest way to gain beats is through gaining and resolving conditions. The two easiest ways the players have to gain conditions is the Sacred Hunt and the less well known flairing renown. They should be doing these every session. Also every session, when possible, they should be taking a voluntary dramatic failure. This gives the player an immediate beat and since most dramatic failures also lead to gaining a condition they can potentilly gain 2 beats from a single dramatic failure. Also make sure at least one of their character`s asperations is something that can be easily accomplished each session, such as "start a fight" or negotiate with a spirit". If the players are doing these they should be getting about 5 beats a session.
                  Plus one for finishing the session.


                  Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                  Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post

                    Plus one for finishing the session.
                    Well, yes that is something that will occur regardless of what the players do. I was pointing out that these specific beats require player agency to be gained.

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