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Question about "Meditative mind merit"

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  • Question about "Meditative mind merit"

    A character wants to take that merit with 2 dots.

    The first dot is fairly simple to understand... but the second dots... is to one of my player subject to interpretation. Because of that, they both started to argue.

    So guys, what is your view on this ? The second dot gives you the additional ability to steel yourself vs anything that would shake your fondation during the day following your meditation. In rule term, its gives you a bonus of +3 dice on any resolves + composure rolls. The question is... would this bonus be for EVERY rolls, on for only ONE signle roll during the day ?

  • #2
    Breaking Points.

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    • #3
      Probably just the first Resolve + Composure roll for the day. Otherwise it'd have two significant effects (both increased bonus and duration) at a very low dot rating.


      Bloodline: The Stygians
      Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
      Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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      • #4
        As written it is phrased such that it's a +3 to Resolve + Composure rolls for the rest of the day after a successful meditation. Which is... dumb. The phrase after the mechanical bit doesn't really make it sound like it is supposed to be a one off effect.

        The wording is not very up to interpretation to me, it's just that the wording produces dumb results. But the rules are never perfect, so house rule it and resolve the debate. "Yes, A is right that it says +3 to all X rolls for a day, but that's not how I'd like the game to go, so we'll institute change..." and then decide how you'd like to constrain the Merit.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
          The wording is not very up to interpretation to me, it's just that the wording produces dumb results. But the rules are never perfect, so house rule it and resolve the debate.
          I don't think I've ever seen a more concise description of how I view the vast majority of the rules debates that happen here.

          That said, I honestly think this particular merit is fine if it applies to all of them for the rest of the day. I'm all for giving people more of a reason to invest in Merits vs supernatural powers. If it's just Blue Book, I could maybe see the issue.

          Maybe.

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          • #6
            I think plenty of rules debates occur because there's actual room for interpretation; especially when the description and the mechanics aren't in sync. It just isn't the case here in any way I can read it.

            In this case, I have issue with the Merit because it takes meditation from a +1 to the first breaking point check that day, to a +3 to all Composure + Resolve checks for a day. If it was just breaking points, or just an expansion of the bonus from breaking points to all rolls, it wouldn't be such a big deal.

            But as it stands now, it's like like taking Area of Expertise and Interdisciplinary Specialty for pistols, and the combination give you an extra +1 die, and now applies to all ranged attacks even if you're not using pistols. It a huge increase in what the base line can do.

            I've also never really run into problems with people wanting Merits... Merits are some of the most cost effective things in the games.

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            • #7
              Worth noting: Resolve + Composure rolls are more than just breaking point rolls (particularly in blueblook games like the ones the Merit is presented for), meditation isn't a "free" action (even with the four-dot version of the Merit, you're spending about the equivalent of a scene to center yourself for the day, which is time spent not doing something else), and it's simple enough to interpret the Merit as cashing out its extra bonus upon use.

              In its initial context, the Merit is there most directly as an aid for mortal characters who interact with supernatural powers (their own or those of ephemeral beings) and/or struggle with mental anomalies like the Fugue Condition. Werewolves don't have to spend Experience to change their Harmony rating and their engagement in the act of hunting is explicitly compared to mundane humans' use of meditation, so there's ample room to declare that meditation doesn't help mitigate breaking points for Harmony provided that you're consistent about it.


              Resident Sanguinary Analyst
              Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                Resolve + Composure rolls are more than just breaking point rolls (particularly in blueblook games like the ones the Merit is presented for),
                This would be the big reason why a +3 to all such rolls for a day is a pretty significant boost for the second bonus in a scaled Merit (it's not even a two dot stand alone Merit, it's the second dot of one Merit with two other effects).

                meditation isn't a "free" action (even with the four-dot version of the Merit, you're spending about the equivalent of a scene to center yourself for the day, which is time spent not doing something else),
                How many games keep such a constant and controlled grip on 'real time' such that characters can't spend a bit of time at the start of the day meditating? It's easily a downtime action, that's not hard to hit normally, with the full Meditative Mind making it painfully easy to hit in one roll, and you can tack on Good Time Management to cut that down to fifteen minutes. It might not be a "free" action, but it certainly isn't a costly one either.

                [qote]and it's simple enough to interpret the Merit as cashing out its extra bonus upon use.[/quote]

                No, it isn't. There is no simple reading of the text for this to be the case. It's easy to house rule this to be the case, but claiming it's the RAW, or even the RAI, just doesn't fly.

                Werewolves don't have to spend Experience to change their Harmony rating and their engagement in the act of hunting is explicitly compared to mundane humans' use of meditation, so there's ample room to declare that meditation doesn't help mitigate breaking points for Harmony provided that you're consistent about it.
                OK, but why can't a Merit that lets you meditate for a +3 to any Resolve + Composure rolls apply to Harmony Breaking points, as well as things like resisting Kuruth Triggers? Even if Uratha can't get a +1 for breaking points because you decide to rule that meditation doesn't work for them at as a counter to Harmony changes (something I find questionable as a decision), Meditative Mind's second dot doesn't care what the Resolve + Composure roll is.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                  This would be the big reason why a +3 to all such rolls for a day is a pretty significant boost for the second bonus in a scaled Merit (it's not even a two dot stand alone Merit, it's the second dot of one Merit with two other effects).
                  Cursed is standing right there giving a constant +2 to roughly the same rolls along with its other bonuses for the same cost on the scale.

                  Also, the Merit outright begins by describing its effect as making the character's meditation "far more fulfilling," which seems entirely in line with that kind of boost. As has been brought up in previous discussions on Harmony, frequency of rolls is still going to lead to a character failing eventually, regardless of what the dice modifiers are.

                  How many games keep such a constant and controlled grip on 'real time' such that characters can't spend a bit of time at the start of the day meditating?
                  Enough that the book makes a point to specify that you don't roll when there's no stakes. Calling on your Contacts being a viable downtime activity doesn't mean it doesn't take time and rolls to do, either.

                  It's easily a downtime action, that's not hard to hit normally, with the full Meditative Mind making it painfully easy to hit in one roll, and you can tack on Good Time Management to cut that down to fifteen minutes. It might not be a "free" action, but it certainly isn't a costly one either.
                  It's a thing that you have to make part of a routine to benefit from and that says things about the character. It doesn't have to hit some arbitrary metric of "cost" to accomplish that.

                  No, it isn't. There is no simple reading of the text for this to be the case. It's easy to house rule this to be the case, but claiming it's the RAW, or even the RAI, just doesn't fly.
                  The verb I used was not "read" and if I have to use a specific phrase to indicate that I am talking in terms of "do what works for your table" when I say that it's simple to run a mechanic a certain way in order for you to understand that that's the framework I'm addressing then I'm not terribly enthusiastic about continuing this conversation.

                  OK, but why can't a Merit that lets you meditate for a +3 to any Resolve + Composure rolls apply to Harmony Breaking points, as well as things like resisting Kuruth Triggers? Even if Uratha can't get a +1 for breaking points because you decide to rule that meditation doesn't work for them at as a counter to Harmony changes (something I find questionable as a decision), Meditative Mind's second dot doesn't care what the Resolve + Composure roll is.
                  The books are not written in technical language and the Merit and mechanic under discussion are not reproduced in the Werewolf corebook. This is an issue that arises from an individual table's decision to combine separable resources and therefore requires adjudication by that table, which is the context in which I offered my perspective in a post that did not quote another post as a person who normally quotes a post if I am responding to it and even remotely a response in turn.

                  Weathering scorn is not what I'm here for.
                  Last edited by Satchel; 03-09-2018, 09:49 PM.


                  Resident Sanguinary Analyst
                  Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                    Cursed is standing right there giving a constant +2 to roughly the same rolls along with its other bonuses for the same cost on the scale.
                    Cursed kills your character, the +2 is to admittedly vague rolls to resist "fear and self-doubt" which is still more constrained than, "any" roll, is a stand alone Merit, and it's only other benefit is a Beat for taking enough lethal damage to be in your last three boxes (which is already a Beat point as it is so you're getting two Beats instead of one, rather than a whole new avenue for Beats).

                    Not really making a case for Meditative Mind 2 as written to be in-line with other Merits.

                    Also, the Merit outright begins by describing its effect as making the character's meditation "far more fulfilling," which seems entirely in line with that kind of boost.
                    If Meditative Mind 2 increased the bonus from meditating from +1 to +3, or increased the bonus from first breaking point roll to all breaking point rolls for the day, wouldn't both be in line with the description? Would you be arguing that it would be unappealing?

                    Enough that the book makes a point to specify that you don't roll when there's no stakes.
                    That's... not really making the case that meditation rolls being an extended action with an interval of 30 minutes is a significant narrative cost that justifies a the bonus Meditative Mind 2 provides.

                    My father has meditated for two hours a day (two one hour sessions) for over 30 years, even while raising children, working on his PhD, and working full time; and frankly I'm pretty sure meditating was essential for him to stay sane during all that. If someone wants to do that, it's something they can work in to their lives. Rolls? Sure. Time? Sure. But without some serious narrative stress, that time is there for most characters most days. So yes, it has to be routine... but why is someone buying a meditation boosting Merit if they aren't going to be making a character that does this as routine?

                    The verb I used was not "read" and if I have to use a specific phrase to indicate that I am talking in terms of "do what works for your table" when I say that it's simple to run a mechanic a certain way in order for you to understand that that's the framework I'm addressing then I'm not terribly enthusiastic about continuing this conversation.
                    Really?

                    "Read" and "interpret" are synonyms, or at least closely related concepts. "Interpret" and, "do what works for your table," are not. Stop adding personal agitation by inferring and implicating language that wasn't there on either of our parts.

                    The books are not written in technical language...
                    Which is why I addressed a lack of text around the language of the second dot to indicate that there is another viable interpretation than "+3 to any Resolve + Composure rolls for the rest of the day." It's not technical language, but it's still the language that's there.

                    Weathering scorn is not what I'm here for.
                    None was sent your way, so perhaps a bit more charity in your reading?

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