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House Rule: Balanced Starting Advantages

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  • Blue Fox
    Looks good, though I'd place a point to gnosis instead of WP to Red talon column. They are wholly born of wolves after and as such have little restraint when compared to average human but are also closer to their "inner cave wolf" than your average human.

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  • Heavy Arms
    started a topic House Rule: Balanced Starting Advantages

    House Rule: Balanced Starting Advantages

    I was asked to repost something I did on the old forums so here we go.

    The problem being addressed with the incredibly uneven levels of points you get by splat. A Ragabash Homid Glasswalker gets Rage 1/Gnosis 1/Willpower 3. An Ahroun Lupus Child of Gaia gets Rage 5, Gnosis 5, Willpower 4.

    For the Glasswalker to catch up, they'd need to spend 13 Freebies, or 36 XP.

    I really don't feel like doing the whole debate on the following points, but I feel strongly on two things:

    1) The splats are not "balanced" with these ratings. An Ahroun's high Rage has drawbacks, but there's a reason why Rage is worth freebies/XP; especially if you keep your Gnosis and Willpower high. A Lupus' Ability restrictions limit viable concepts, but they don't serve as an actual mechanical disadvantage for the 8 Freebies worth of Gnosis they get over Homids (which is more than enough to pick up some restricted Abilities if you wanted them). Who gets 4 Willpower instead of 3 is a bit haphazard and definitely doesn't conform to anything resembling a balancing act with Background Restrictions.

    2) Gnosis isn't really worth double the cost of Rage or Willpower. Gnosis is useful, but the increased cost just encourages people to grab as much of it as possible to start without an real added value. Rage is flat out more powerful but has more drawbacks. Willpower applies far more generally and too way more things - even Garou specific things - than Gnosis does. If you want to try the numbers I use but want to add some penalty to Gnosis to justify the decreased cost apply a "weirdness" factor like Rage. If permanent Gnosis > permanent Willpower, the Garou suffers a +1 diff. penalty for each dot of difference to social rolls (expect with spirits or other entities as ST call) for being a bit off as your character is so wrapped up in the Wyld and the spirit that even to other Garou they're kinda spacey. I wouldn't stack that with the equivalent Rage penalty, but it would certainly make "imbalanced" Garou ostracized plenty.

    So my solution was somewhat inspired by Orpheus where two of your splats both contribute to similar Advantages.

    First off, as implied by #2 above, Gnosis counts as having a value of 1. It's just way easier on the math and my feelings on its practical value.

    Second, I set the total value of Rage + Gnosis + Willpower to 9. This is roughly average when you look at the combinations in the RAW. 9 is also easy on the math again.

    From there I kept the splats linked. Auspice has to give at least 1 Rage, Breed at least one Gnosis, and Tribe at least 1 Willpower. This ensures you never have a character starting with a zero. Each splat choice's value is 3. So if your Auspice only provides 1 Rage, you'll get two dots elsewhere. I also kept to the canon "rankings" for Auspice and Breed.

    And here's what I came up with (with some updating/changes since W20 game out):

    Auspices -

    Ragabash - Rage +1, Gnosis +0, Willpower +2
    Theurge - Rage +1, Gnosis +2, Willpower +0
    Philodox - Rage +2, Gnosis +0, Willpower +1
    Galliard - Rage +2, Gnosis +1, Willpower +0
    Ahroun - Rage +3, Gnosis +0, Willpower +0

    Breed -

    Homid - Rage +0, Gnosis +1, Willpower +2
    Metis - Rage +1, Gnosis +2, Willpower +0
    Lupus - Rage +0, Gnosis +3, Willpower +0

    Tribe -

    Black Furies - Rage +1, Gnosis +1, Willpower +1
    Bonegnawers - Rage +1, Gnosis +0, Willpower +2
    Children of Gaia - Rage +0, Gnosis +1, Willpower +2
    Fiana - Rage +1, Gnosis +1, Willpower +1
    Get of Fenris - Rage +2, Gnosis +0, Willpower +1
    Glass Walkers - Rage +0, Gnosis +0, Willpower +3
    Red Talons - Rage +2, Gnosis +0, Willpower +1
    Shadow Lords - Rage +1, Gnosis +0, Willpower +2
    Silent Striders - Rage +1, Gnosis +1, Willpower +1
    Silver Fangs - Rage +1, Gnosis +0, Willpower +2
    Stargazers - Rage +0, Gnosis +1, Willpower +2
    Uketna - Rage +0, Gnosis +2, Willpower +1
    Wendigo - Rage +1, Gnosis +0, Willpower +2

    Bunyip - Rage +0, Gnosis +1, Willpower +2
    Croatoan - Rage +0, Gnosis +1, Willpower +2
    White Howlers - Rage +1, Gnosis +1, Willpower +1

    Black Spiral Dancers - Rage +2, Gnosis +0, Willpower +1

    I like to think that the logic behind each spread makes some sense. The Auspices and Breeds seemed obvious. The Tribes are a bit more hit and miss. Tribes that had high Willpower in their original spreads should all have +2 in this. Glasswalkers were obviously the big change, but I think it makes sense for the most human-involved Garou to have the biggest advantage for keeping themselves in-check; plus it highlights being disconnected from their spirit sides. I also tried to have some variety, but it's pretty clear certain combinations make sense for more Tribes than others.
    Last edited by Heavy Arms; 12-26-2013, 02:26 AM.