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  • Path Connections

    Whew, this section of the core book is really confusing. It doesn't help that they aren't completely included on the character sheet or the character creation summary in the Story-Guide screen. Seems I'm not alone in my confusions:

    http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...tacts-the-same
    http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...s-and-contacts

    1) Was there ever any official clarification on all this?

    2) Would anything be terribly broken if I left most of this out and just handled connections informally with role-playing and common sense?

  • #2
    What part/which parts are you having trouble with?


    Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

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    • #3
      Well, that's just it: I'm not sure what I understand ... Let me give it a shot.

      OK, you have your three paths, origin, role, and society, each starting at one dot. For each you pick one community connection and one contact connection. You don't specify an access connection; that's just whatever makes sense for the path. Contact connections are rated in dots (as you raise your path ratings, you can put dots into connections: either raising an existing one or gaining a new one), and each dot in a contact connection give it a tag. Good so far? Honestly, even that was confusing: I had to hunt around various parts of the book just to piece all that together ...

      Now, using them is a bit trickier. It specifically talks about contact and access connections adding enhancements, but doesn't say anything about community. Do I assume that also adds enhancements? It's also vague about how all that actually plays out: I'd like to see some examples.

      Then there's this bit:

      "Initially, each connection has the same dot rating
      as the overall Path. Each time a character draws
      on one of his connections (through Access or a
      Contact), though, that connection’s rating decreases
      by 1. Each favor a character calls in makes the
      next favor a little more difficult to get. Each connection’s
      rating refreshes at the end of the Session."

      First of all, why isn't Community mentioned alongside Access and Contact? Is it different somehow?

      Also, do each of the connections individually decrease by 1 each use, or is it the path as a whole that decreases?

      Finally: why the heck isn't there space on the official character sheet for all these connections and ratings, not to mention path ratings?

      I think that's it for now.

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      • #4
        My understanding of connections is the following (not official, but maybe someone corrects me too).

        You have 3 aspects of your connections: Community, Access and Contact.

        Community grants minor stuff, maybe some help offscreen on something that is not crucial, maybe the chance to socialize in a party or even a character that may help you with some random information. It’s not a big deal, and doesn’t consume your connection uses of the session, it’s more like a background than a proper advantage.

        Access grants major stuff, maybe some equipment, maybe literally access to a facility, to some restricted information or something in this line. It consumes one of your connection uses for the session. The idea is, you roll to check how much your connection will help, and the successes will be an enhancement in some related actions.

        Contact is a person that will help you, doing some research, coming for your aid, fighting by your side or something in this direction. It consumes one of your connection uses for the session. The contact has tags that gives characteristics to them, One tag per dot in the connection, you can Distribute the tags to multiple contacts or have a contact with all your tags (or combine contacts with more tags and less tags), it’s up to you. The idea of the roll is basically the same, but instead of having something to help you will have someone to help you.

        You can use a connection once per dot per session to gain access or contact advantages, if you use all the uses, you can use it again, but will be limited, and if you use it once more you will lose the connection for as long you don’t pay back the effort.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by TheophilusCarter View Post
          Well, that's just it: I'm not sure what I understand ... Let me give it a shot.

          OK, you have your three paths, origin, role, and society, each starting at one dot. For each you pick one community connection and one contact connection. You don't specify an access connection; that's just whatever makes sense for the path. Contact connections are rated in dots (as you raise your path ratings, you can put dots into connections: either raising an existing one or gaining a new one), and each dot in a contact connection give it a tag. Good so far?
          Yes.

          Honestly, even that was confusing: I had to hunt around various parts of the book just to piece all that together ...
          This surprises me. What you have above, except for raising your path ratings, is just p.40. And raising paths is p.41.

          Now, using them is a bit trickier. It specifically talks about contact and access connections adding enhancements, but doesn't say anything about community. Do I assume that also adds enhancements? It's also vague about how all that actually plays out: I'd like to see some examples.[
          Okay. These do work a little differently. Keep in mind the philosophy of the core system - only roll dice when the outcome is in doubt and the drama matters. When I refer to rolling Path + Attribute below, this still applies. If you want to use your paths and it makes sense for it to work without the need for drama, forgo the dice roll, just subtract 1 from the dot rating and have it work.

          Community - you don’t gain Enhancement because they’re not adding to rolls. You use Community to find out information, see if anyone knows a guy, get a piece of equipment, etc. If the Community group could help you out with the thing you’re after, you roll Path + Attribute and if you succeed someone in the Community helps.

          Contacts - Are more specific and relate to your character’s rolls. You have a task or an upcoming roll in mind, and you think a Contact could help. You roll Path + Attribute and if successful, the contact helps out by giving you their Dot Rating + Tag to your roll. Obviously the rolls they’ll help with are usually the kinds of things you think about in advance, or plan. Few Contacts are going to be in a position to give you a few Enhancement during a firefight (but hey, maybe some can).

          Access - Also helps out your rolls by letting you use things that apply to your challenges. You roll Path + Attribute and successes = Enhancement to the next roll, if the access is relevant. If you’re a detective with access to police things, you can use these for labs, interrogation rooms, special equipment etc. You’re not likely to get access to an elite society opera performance so you can impress someone.

          As an example of these in action, let’s say your starting character has one dot in the Detective role path. He takes ‘Police Officers’ as his community, and defines his former captain with the ‘Influential’ tag as his Contact.

          He’s investigating a series of crimes and finds an apartment that he thinks belongs to his suspect, but it’s in a different name and the paper trail doesn’t lead to the person. The mayor’s office is applying pressure on your character to drop it as the suspect has connections in high places.

          The character wants a bit of a show to let his suspect know he’s closing in, maybe stress her into making a mistake. He calls on his Police Officer community and asks them to put some uniforms on the building. They’re reluctant because of the politics but he succeeds on his roll and they do it.

          Next, he calls on his contact, his former captain who’s still high in the ranks and has influence. He asks the captain to back his play to get the mayor’s office to give him time to do the work. This succeeds and the character uses the +2 Enhancement to his Persuasion + Composure roll to get the mayor’s office to back off.

          Finally, he calls on his Access to police forensics to have them let him run the partial prints he’s found in the apartment as a rush job. He rolls his Path + Presence and gets 3 successes. This adds +3 Enhancement to his Science + Intellect roll as he checks the databases.

          Then there's this bit:
          *snip*
          First of all, why isn't Community mentioned alongside Access and Contact? Is it different somehow?
          You can keep calling on your community, their help is a little more varied and subject to SG review. Your Contact and Access degrade over a session because they add to your dice pools.

          Also, do each of the connections individually decrease by 1 each use, or is it the path as a whole that decreases?
          Individually.

          Finally: why the heck isn't there space on the official character sheet for all these connections and ratings, not to mention path ratings?
          I’d guess because the people who design character sheets aren’t the people who write the game systems and the sheet designers don’t know what the most important aspects will be as they’re designing in parallel.


          Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TheophilusCarter View Post
            2) Would anything be terribly broken if I left most of this out and just handled connections informally with role-playing and common sense?
            If it’s all too much, I’d suggest just taking having the player define the Contact (and Tag) and exhaust the dots each time without rolling. Therefore, at 1 dot you get to do Community, Contact, or Access once per session (per Path). And if you do it you get random favor that the community could help with, something your Contact could help with (giving +2 Enhancement), or something your Access could help with (giving + dots Enhancement).

            Or to put it another way:

            Contact - Highest Enhancement, narrowest field of use.
            Access - Less Enhancement, broader field.
            Community - No Enhancement, broadest field (generally helping the narrative).

            How’s that work for you? Simpler?


            Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

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            • #7
              Thanks for the responses! I'm at work right now, but I'll digest this tonight and let you know if I have any follow-up questions. Thanks again!

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              • #8
                This has all been really helpful, thanks much. Now, to make a supplement to the character sheet to contain all this Connections information!

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