Author Topic: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?  (Read 20316 times)

Offline Unbeliever

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2016, 08:36:09 PM »
There's a lot of them.  Although a bunch of game systems probably have them, especially old and hoary ones. 

I'll just pick a couple. 

Hyper Rocket Tag.  The White Wolf systems tend not to have much of a saving throw/AC mechanic.  Or, it's sporadic.  So, you'll have situations where with a fairly modest investment on offense, you can be guaranteed to have a potent effect over the target. 

I think this is particularly egregious with non-damaging powers, which tend to give you mind control  or something like that over the target.  And, it's not like these are high level powers.  There are a number of rank 1-3 powers (they tend to go from 1-5) that have this effect.  Picking one or two of these are a great way to crack out a character with almost no effort. 

Action Economy Abuse Abounds: partly related to the above, there are a bunch of important ways to get extra actions or deny targets actions.  I think Celerity is actually one of the less powerful ones, mostly b/c people kept on freaking out about it and trying to tweak it (seriously, there are like 5 versions of the damn thing).  As a combat tactic, this can be particularly potent b/c unless someone takes an action to dodge or parry, they are basically a sitting duck.

Equipment is Startlingly Potent:  another example of the fact that White Wolf authors have some form of brain damage (sorry Justin, but you know it's true ...).  In a game filled with hip cool mystic and supernatural entities, there is all sorts of bullshit "mundane" equipment that's really effective.  The nWoD is particularly awful in this regard -- like seriously, I want to keep track of my tennis shoes, really ...  In short, there's this very effective way of getting stacking or force multiplying firepower by picking the right pieces of equipment, rendering the people who spend character points on things into chumps. 


Don't get me wrong.  In part due to this thread, and due to Lib himself, I've been thinking about WW a lot.  And, there are a lot of WW games I would jump at the chance to play.  But, the games don't help you very much.  Indeed, they seem to go out of their way to be difficult.  Hence the impulse to take what's good and leave the rest behind, Egg Shen style.

Offline Argent Fatalis

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2016, 08:55:37 PM »
I am glad to know that Celerity seemed to be as powerful as I imagined when I read it for all the reasons similar effects are in Third or other editions, along with the fact that mind-altering or outright dominating abilities being plentiful or not too difficult to acquire. I mean, both Rage and Blood can grant extra actions too, but a whole Discipline devoted to that was pretty exceptional just at cursory glance.

I did not immediately realize however, just how bad the results of a 1 could be as your dice pool would grow. That seems entirely unintended and the odds of horribly failing things just way more common than they should be. It sounds like you would have at least one horrible botch per scene where something likely trivial just fails spectacularly without any logical reason.

Going on to mundane gear, what in particular is so absurd?

I appreciate the insight and explanations so far, and for reference I am mostly talking about the old World of Darkness, as I have not read any "new" material on it.

Offline Unbeliever

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #42 on: June 10, 2016, 04:14:53 PM »
Going on to mundane gear, what in particular is so absurd?
I'd have to think about it and do some dumpster diving for gear that I don't have the time for.  But, suffice to say that you could dumpster dive for awesome, typically mundane gear.  I'm not talking about getting a Vorpal Sword by taking the right background (although you could do that, too, especially if you were smart ...).  I mean just things you could buy. 

And, two reasons why this ended up being egregious and problematic, in my estimation (though I don't think I'm being idiosyncratic here).  The first was how much it devalued the dots on your character sheet.  I could spend a big chunk of points on badass claws that do aggravated damage.  Or, for a trivial cost, you can get bullets that do the same.  Awesome magic senses?  As good or inferior to modern espionage equipment.  That might be true in some sense, but the game is called Vampire:  the Masquerade, not CTU:  the Bauering.  Second, there was nothing that stopped you from both spending the points to be a badass and getting the gear.  There's no reason why the Fortitude-enhanced tank vampire couldn't also invest in whatever fancy pants armor existed, too.

If anything, this got considerably worse in nWoD.  An extra dot in Athletics or something is a substantial investment.  Or, you could just wear sneakers.  Actual example from the Core Rulebook.

All of which points to a fundamental issue with the games.  One that might be due to their age?  I don't know.  The game lines are almost uniformly evocative, rich in tone and interesting lore.  Yet, that is usually paired with a lot of very nitpicky rules rabbit holes you can dive down.  This can sometimes be fun to optimize, although it's a little bit without challenge.  But, what I'm driving at is that it often gets in the way of what makes the games great.

Offline Argent Fatalis

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2016, 08:08:31 PM »
I never expected to read such a thing as absurd as sneakers being a means to improve what amounts to a skill.

Any other unique quirks of the system or lore?

Offline Raineh Daze

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #44 on: June 14, 2016, 08:37:48 PM »
I never expected to read such a thing as absurd as sneakers being a means to improve what amounts to a skill.

Any other unique quirks of the system or lore?

If you read the rules properly, to be generally proficient in conversation, you need all three attributes, four different abilities, and even more because the disciplines etc. are inconsistent to hell and back.

Or just work out exactly one conversational approach you can take and stick with it come hell or high water.

Even building to be good at one thing can get very MAD.

Offline Amechra

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #45 on: June 14, 2016, 10:15:24 PM »
I never expected to read such a thing as absurd as sneakers being a means to improve what amounts to a skill.

Any other unique quirks of the system or lore?

If you read the rules properly, to be generally proficient in conversation, you need all three attributes, four different abilities, and even more because the disciplines etc. are inconsistent to hell and back.

Or just work out exactly one conversational approach you can take and stick with it come hell or high water.

Even building to be good at one thing can get very MAD.

That's a fool's errand! Everyone knows you just pump the stuff you need to use The Lure of Flames Thaumaturgy path, and rule through terror!

(That you are in no way, shape, or form immune to.)
"There is happiness for those who accept their fate, there is glory for those that defy it."

"Now that everyone's so happy, this is probably a good time to tell you I ate your parents."

Offline Amechra

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #46 on: June 14, 2016, 10:46:31 PM »
New post, because this is something hilarious I just found in the corebook for Chronicles of Darkness, the "new" edition of nWoD.

It has a system for tricking out vehicles - a pretty simple one, too - the maximum possible number of modifications is 30+applicable specialities, assuming you find an old supernatural being that has nothing better to do than practice motorcycle repair.

More importantly, horses are listed as a type of vehicle. My next character is taking Automotive Genius and a Craft speciality in "Horses". Hell, a lot of the driving style merits are hilarious when applied to horses.
"There is happiness for those who accept their fate, there is glory for those that defy it."

"Now that everyone's so happy, this is probably a good time to tell you I ate your parents."

Offline bhu

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #47 on: June 14, 2016, 10:47:43 PM »
I never expected to read such a thing as absurd as sneakers being a means to improve what amounts to a skill.

Any other unique quirks of the system or lore?

If you read the rules properly, to be generally proficient in conversation, you need all three attributes, four different abilities, and even more because the disciplines etc. are inconsistent to hell and back.

Or just work out exactly one conversational approach you can take and stick with it come hell or high water.

Even building to be good at one thing can get very MAD.

"Give me what I want and I'll go away."

Offline Raineh Daze

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #48 on: June 14, 2016, 10:53:56 PM »
I never expected to read such a thing as absurd as sneakers being a means to improve what amounts to a skill.

Any other unique quirks of the system or lore?

If you read the rules properly, to be generally proficient in conversation, you need all three attributes, four different abilities, and even more because the disciplines etc. are inconsistent to hell and back.

Or just work out exactly one conversational approach you can take and stick with it come hell or high water.

Even building to be good at one thing can get very MAD.

"Give me what I want and I'll go away."

And then you have to make a seduction roll.

Offline bhu

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #49 on: June 15, 2016, 01:15:47 AM »
http://stephenking.wikia.com/wiki/Storm_of_the_Century

I meant that in less of a seductive and more intimidative means.

Offline Raineh Daze

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #50 on: June 15, 2016, 07:52:20 AM »
http://stephenking.wikia.com/wiki/Storm_of_the_Century

I meant that in less of a seductive and more intimidative means.

And you still have to make a seduction roll because they're taking it entirely the wrong way? :P

Offline magic9mushroom

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #51 on: April 28, 2023, 05:41:04 AM »
Some 1e MtAw questions:

- Is there anywhere that they actually said what degree of Wisdom sin it is to summon a Gulmoth? I know the Summoners book calls it an act of "direst hubris", but it never actually gives a number and it specifically notes that sacrificing humans to pay a summoned Gulmoth is Wisdom 1 which kinda implies summoning one without human sacrifice is not quite as bad (and, of course, if summoning a Gulmoth is Wisdom 1, then it doesn't make sense for non-Mad frequent Gulmoth summoners to exist).

- Did they ever clarify Phantasmal Weapon's limits? (i.e. can you make a gun or suit of armour that has +30 equipment bonus, or is it limited to whatever a nonmagical item of those dimensions gets?)

- Was there any kind of definitive word one way or another on whether non-Banishers can use the spells in Banishers? Some of them are hilariously OP, and one of them was called out elsewhere in the text as something normal mages can't do.

- Is it just me, or are Mastigos a bit too good? Mind can do a very-large number of things quite well - buffs (Euphoria, Supreme Augmentation and Skill Mastery are all crazily good), attacks (Psychic Assault/Sword are covert making them spammable, and Assault's also three-dot so you can do an extended sympathetic cast pre-archmastery which only Celestial Fire shares, plus straight-up combat mind control - I know Mental Shield is a thing, but that's also Mind and only Prime can substitute), and minionmancy (Goetic Evocation - yes, it's a Wisdom ding, but only one worse than spirit summoning - as well as just mind-controlling people to help you) - and Space is obviously great as a conjunctional but also has the kinda-WTF Apportation and Ban (and in all cases you again kind of need either Space or Prime yourself to not get hardstopped, with even Prime having trouble against some of Apportation's more serious abuses like bombing and item theft).

I never expected to read such a thing as absurd as sneakers being a means to improve what amounts to a skill.

Any other unique quirks of the system or lore?

It doesn't improve all aspects of the skill. It gives you a +1 in a foot chase or when shadowing someone. Makes sense to me; running shoes are better at running and at avoiding making noise than dress shoes or sandals. Sure, most people will get the bonus most of the time, but that's not really a big deal.

I think the main thing complained about in 1e nWoD (and don't correct me on that name; it was renamed after the start of 2e) is rocket tag, particularly via Fighting Styles. Fighting Styles are Merits (basically nWoD's version of D&D feats; to give a comparison, it's 2/6/12/20/30 XP to buy a Merit rated 1/2/3/4/5, while increasing an attribute by 1 is 5x(new rating) and increasing a skill by 1 is 3x(new rating)), which represent specific training with a weapon (to continue the analogy, fighter feats). Most of the abilities from Fighting Styles are pretty balanced, but a few of them let you attack multiple times per turn (nWoD's combat turns are 3 seconds, and you normally only get one attack). The ones that let you attack twice and make you lose your Defence (in D&D terms, Dex to AC, except it's a bigger deal), those are pretty reasonable. The ones that let you attack twice and don't make you lose your Defence are smelly. The ones that let you attack (N-1) times per turn where N is one of your attributes (max for mortals is 5, max for supernaturals is typically somewhat over 10), those are pure rocket tag - if someone gets it off you're reasonably likely to be dropped in one round (the worst, by far, being Fighting Style: Combat Marksmanship 5 - guns ignore Defence, can ignore a lot of armour, and are ranged, so a legal mortal starting character can often drop the actual maxed-out mortal durability against guns in one turn; when you get into supernatural boosts on each side, you're talking about "when this goes off, instant TPK" because the ludicrous amounts of shots don't even all have to be at the same target).

I'm not especially familiar with 2e CoD, mostly because a lot of the mechanics changes are stupid; from what I understand they fixed the XP-versus-starting-stat-cost issue the wrong way (should have aligned starting stat costs to XP rather than XP to starting stat costs), they let skill specialties stack (specialties are cheaper than more points in the skill, but this means you just pick one method to use the skill and then take a billion specialties that all apply to that method instead of buying more points - Firearms 1 (Assault Rifles, Autofire, Laser Sight) and then just use autofire from an assault rifle with a laser sight, much cheaper than Firearms 4 or even Firearms 3 (Assault Rifles)), and XP for stunting (different strokes, yes, but I'd wind up strangling the GM after about three or four sessions of this because my idea of "cool" is very different to most).

EDIT: Okay, the most literal reading of Skill Mastery isn't as crazy as I thought; if total dots granted by the spell are limited to Mind dots (as opposed to dots-per-skill being limited to Mind dots) then you can't just go full crazy with extended-cast the way I thought you could.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2023, 04:34:00 AM by magic9mushroom »

Offline magic9mushroom

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #52 on: May 08, 2023, 04:43:38 AM »
The "Lines of Power" adventure for MtAw 1e lists a character as having "Flaw: Sociopath". Does anyone know what sourcebook this is from? I haven't found anything either in the sourcebooks I have or by Googling (the latter being badly poisoned with oWoD results).

Offline Nanashi

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #53 on: July 22, 2023, 04:08:16 PM »
This flaw, while nasty for only 2 points, seems to have an included bonus of boosting things you cast on yourself.
Quote from: Magic Susceptibility
You are susceptible to the magical rituals of the Tremere, as well as to spells of mages of other creeds and orders. The difficulty to cast a spell upon you is two less, and all spells cast have twice normal effect on you.

Any thaumaturgy abilities that this would apply to particularly well?

Also looked into the Street Fighter RPG (It's a Storyteller system based game!) for a lark. I noticed that the power Wall is the sole Focus based attack in the system without a Chi cost, and it seems pretty decent even if it wasn't free (same range, damage and no worse speed than a standard fireball, exchanges making a wall for the often hazadrous fire of a fireball). The sole cost is that, like any other Elemental maneuver, you need points in the Elemental(ist) background to pick it, but this costs a mere two dots, and being an elementalist gives you minor penalty to "air-based attacks" (not even aerials. I think it's just air elementalist abilities, Sonic Boom, and a handful of electric attacks at most generous). Since Focus based attacks use intelligence and wits instead of strength and dexterity, and the game still uses the engine's primary/second/tertiary attribute groups (so assigning physical to tertiary is possible), I wonder how viable playing a mage would be in a system that was never intended for it (Tessa is apparently the best non-boss character in SvC Chaos, but everything in that is broken).

Also appears to be implied you can go all Aang and take the elementalist background multiple times for each element (it's never explicit for or against, but the line "[Elementals] also tend to specialize in only one element" seems to clearly imply it's possible) but this doesn't seem particularly great past two elements (and even then, only if you really want a particular exclusive) since each element really only has ~3 exclusive abilities with the other five being identical or near identical between the other three elements. Fire is even worse here, since several styles gain access to fire based stuff anyways.

Also got to love that Cammy has a 6 in appearance (Chun-Li only has a 5).
« Last Edit: July 22, 2023, 04:16:31 PM by Nanashi »

Offline Skyrock

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #54 on: July 23, 2023, 03:13:04 PM »
Also looked into the Street Fighter RPG (It's a Storyteller system based game!) for a lark. I noticed that the power Wall is the sole Focus based attack in the system without a Chi cost, and it seems pretty decent even if it wasn't free (same range, damage and no worse speed than a standard fireball, exchanges making a wall for the often hazadrous fire of a fireball).
You also have Extendible Limbs. Attacking at range without needing to spend Chi or WP is useful for a zoner like most Kabbaddi fighters turn out.

There are a few more Focus maneuvers that don't cost Chi/WP like Sakki and Musical Accompaniment, but those are not attacks: https://web.archive.org/web/20040315045748fw_/http://mu.ranter.net/rpg/focus.html

Offline Nanashi

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Re: Can we get a World/Chronicles of Darkness Thread up in here?
« Reply #55 on: July 24, 2023, 12:37:43 PM »
I don't read  Extendible Limbs as an attack on its own, just a passive that's listed under Focus. You're still using the Basic Maneuvers, they're just boosted in range for having the Extendible Limbs passive.