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hybridfive

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About hybridfive

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  1. Demand for modules

    A couple of my friends have been discussing this. Why doesn't White Wolf have modular, prepublished campaign stories? Generally speaking, I think it would be a good idea within the new setting. It's a good business model, because it promotes repeat business. It also promotes the game in ways that LARP and other organizational activities never would, by creating ties in campaigns without overburdening the STs. Given the development of the game, it fits. White Wolf is moving away from the model of global scale, particularly with the lack of metaplot in the new games. They've opened up a lot of mobility there, but for some reason they're not moving in that direction. The one theory our group has come up with that may have hindered this development was player demand. It's possible that the gamers who play White Wolf don't want canned stories. That's certainly the reason why there are setting books instead of Monster Manuals. But how far does that concept extend? So I'll ask the forum, would you play modules if White Wolf published them?
  2. Giving life to NPCs

    IMO the place where STs go wrong time and time again is by not differentiating their NPCs motivations. People who have the same goals, want the same things, and feel the same way about the world around them are similar. Aesthetic changes to NPCs' traits, tribes, and even renown do not affect this simple fact. People with the same motivations are the same. To me, this is particularly irritating when bad STs throw a group of Bale Hounds at me immediately after throwing a group of Pure at me, or vice versa. If the bad guys' MO is to let spirits run wild, abuse loci, and kill Forsaken, all without regard to their own continued existance, it doesn't matter what they call themselves. They are the same. They could even be immoral, low Harmony Forsaken, and they'd still be the same. It's much more interesting if the different NPCs have different goals. That's part of what makes the written werewolf NPCs so good. It's particularly evident with the beta pack within WoD: Chicago. That book is well worth the read. With all that said, you're almost better off writing down an NPC's goals instead of his states. Prioritize them. Know what he'd do if faced with a choice. Know who he'd kill first in a fight, and why that person is more important than the others. Know which areas he patrols most frequently and why he patrols them. That style of information will make a character infinitely more interesting than dots on a sheet.
  3. Eagle River, Alaska

    I never understood why people think that it's somehow better to determine the best combatant using different forms. Your skill at fighting is determined by how often and how hard you hit, not what you use to make that hit. That, plus a standard deviation of 1, representing the possible loss of a skill specialty. Fighting with claws is like me says "I fight better because I have a knife, and you have a baseball bat." It's a simple process: shut up, do the bashing damage, crown a winner, regenerate, and walk away. But then, I'm part of the only pack I know that pick its leader through a discussion about who was best suited for the role.
  4. Werewolves vs. Mortal Gangs

    War Against the Pure also has some tips about War Against... something else. So there are some suggestions. Suffice to say, I don't get how you're running the chronicle, from these limited examples. If it had been me, I would have operated under the following principles A) Mob rules against Lunacy are VERY disfavorable. Highest willpower in the group is likely above average, and then the crowd usually reacts with anger rather than fear. You usually can't kill an entire gang. There's almost never a time when all the members would be in one place at once, because the social entity is by its nature decentralized. The higherups know not to associate with many people, to protect themselves from investigation. So, IMO, what you are representing is not a gang in the sense of "organized crime" such as the Bloods or the Crips. What you have is a gang in the sense of "thugs." If you want tips on how to deal with organized crime, watch The Shield on FX. The early seasons of the show give you examples of how gang hierarchy serves as an interesting counterpoint to werewolf hierarchy. You're looking for episodes with Plutario, not Antwan Mitchell. But for point of fact, the first reference mentioned in War Against the Pure.
  5. Spoilers for War against the Pure

    A target's defense bonus is lessened by multiple attackers. It is not a penalty or bonus in and of itself. Thus, you can never generate a negative number from this. Even WITHOUT the merit, you can never gain a bonus from having more attackers than the target has defense rating. If 3 werewolves attack a target with defense 3, the first one swings at -3, the second at -2, the third at -1. If 3 werewolves, each with this ability to count as multiple attackers for the purposes of defense, attack the same target, the first one swings at -3, the second at -1, the third at (+-)0. If 3 werewolves attack a target with defense 1, regardless of the merit, the first swings at -1, then the second and third at (+-) 0. That's it. It's that simple.
  6. A Battle Against the Pure!

    Something about the way you described the way the Predator Kings treated the humans reminded me of Proof of Life. If you haven't seen it, the basic synopsis is that Russell Crowe is a hostage negotiator, and David Morse is the hostage. Morse is abducted by smugglers to be ransomed later, and is kept in a mountaintop camp, where the smugglers grow their drugs, and store their arms and hostages. I can see this being a good motivator for the Pure pack. The detail might help make it a little more real. It will also give you options. These Pure could actually be well funded, which might surprise your players if they were expecting hermits or hicks. It also gives you the opportunity to provide your players with tangible rewards, should you so choose. If you want to f*** with your players heads a little, insert into the middle of the Predator King pack one lone Ivory Claw, dressed in casual businesswear. Then, when the fighting starts, have the Ivory Claw take out an automatic weapon and spray everyone in combat. Or grenades,if you really want to go over the top. Because we all know that the guys wearing suits where most people wouldn't are completely psychotic. Edit: Somehow when I read the first post I missed the words "less combat-centric." Oops. Anyway, I think you could work the spirits surrounding a drug/arms smuggling operation to elongate the buildup. Let the Irraka find the drug field. Then start messing with the Cahalith's dreams, making them narcotic (used here as an adjective not a noun) in nature. Maybe a greed spirit steals some tools from the Ithaeur. That's a solid enough foundation to build on.
  7. Political Parallelism

    A friend of mine and I were having a conversation I thought was interesting enough to take to the message boards. The issue is by no means resolved, but here's the summary so far. Being that we're both Forsaken packmates in an online environment, my friend and I have seen our fair share of STs. Turnover online is such that STs tend to burn out after six to eight months, so we've seen about 4 rotations by now. Initially, the comments were about how common it is for new STs to use Pure antagonists solely to beat people up. The scenes are something of a testing ground for how players will react to physical challenges, so they're alright, just not original. The premise we came up with is that Pure vs Forsaken seems to be common because a lot more people are embracing Us vs Them mechanics nowdays. You see a lot of evidence in the way storytellers design their venues. There are a lot of pretty standard concept chat games out there, for example where the Prince has a harsh and almost irrational hatred towards another covenant (Invictus vs Carthian, Sanctified vs Ordo/Crone). In fact, that's the whole reason that Ordo Dracul and Circle of the Crone commonly get lumped together in the same sentence, because people want to simplify the opposition. You have to assume that the above premise is true to get the rest of the discussion. I'm sure it's not always like that in home games. It's simply the mindset I see when talking to a lot of online players, and in that circle it's almost selfevident. The thing my friend and I were exploring is why this assumed truth is true. I personally think it's a reflection of the times we live in. The world around us seems prone to cutting down factions into stereotypes. Even if you don't reside in any of the countries currently at war, you see the side effects in the news. Grouping opposition into standardized categories is why a fair portion of the world is now at war. These attitudes spill over into the games in order to maintain realism. It's quite ironic when you think about the way the system was designed, on a timeline. oWoD had a lot of Us vs. Them structure, in what was a very pluralistic and politically correct time in history. nWoD tried to move to a pluralistic structure by using the new five by five splat combinations, but the times shifted towards Us vs. Them attitudes. Those are my personal experiences and thoughts on the subject. I personally wish storytellers online would use a more cinematic style of villian, with depth and substance, but so far I've only seen it twice.
  8. Hello all, -Zero- Author's letter First off, before I get to it, I'd like to apologize to the SnE werewolf community. I realize that my departure was somewhat sudden, and in all likelyhood I'm going to end up disappearing again after this thread dies out. That's just the reality of it. My hope is that despite my presence or lack of presence here, people will take what they've read and utilize it, making everyone a better player. -One- Gift tree corrolation to personality I've had the recent pleasure of playing the one combination that I've never seen played by anyone else, that of the Irraka Storm Lord. It's brought me a lot of insights into the systematic construction of the Storm Lord tribe, from a developer's standpoint, and has pointed out to me a lot of the fundamental biases people have when playing the Storm Lords. The character in question has a very prominent habit of using Sand in the Eyes on anyone when they first meet him, unless things turn out very positive. After a couple scenes, one of the other players commented, "You're just going to keep making first impressions until you make a good one, aren't you?" I replied yes, I would. That conversation was part of what spawned this piece. I think all good players are aware of it on a subconscious level, but the relationship between the Storm Lords and their two non-specialty gift lists has always been the key to understanding the tribe for me. It bears examination. The developers made a conscious effort to say "Out of all the tribes, the Storm Lord is the most likely to fake his own death. He has a natural bias towards it. At the same time, the Storm Lord is the most likely to tell someone else what to do, for the same reason." With those two gift tree filled to level three and the appropriate pools to support it, a Storm Lord could -meet you at a bar -find out your personal secrets -tell you to take them back to your house -while at the same time telling up to three of your friends to go home because you'll 'be alright' -find out all the secrets about your house -leave without you remembering what they look like Why is all this important? Because the developers of the game understand that the more situations a person can handle, the better a leader they become. Think about what I'm saying. How many times in your life, at work, at school, at the polls, on a team, in a group, or in normal day to day situations does one person say about another, "I like this about him, I just wish he wasn't that," substituting 'this' and 'that' for whatever is most relevant to his position. The more you total up the things you like about a person, the more you like them in general. The more things you dislike, the less you like them. Everyone has their own internal way of keeping score. In a very strict sense, this is what makes Storm Lords ideal leaders, and it's written precisely like this in the book: they show their strengths and hide their weaknesses. It's their ban. They MUST hide their weaknesses. I almost think that the tribal ban should have been rewritten to make it that explicit and simple for all the people who don't get it. Hide your weakness. The gift tree are explicitly designed to aid this process. The idea should be readily apparent: Dominance helps show strength, Evasion helps hide weakness. -Two- Leadership All of this should have been self-explanitory. I think most people on this site are competent enough to get what I've said already. None of it should seem like a huge revelation. The huge revelation, I think, comes from the fact that you have to know what makes a good leader, on a theoretical level at least, before you can play the tribe well. That's how the tribe gets a bad rap: when people don't execute the character concept they've put forward, it reflects not only on their personal skill but also on their chosen concept. Like opinions of people, the opinions on concepts build up reputations, and it takes a lot more to break down the accumulation than it does to build it up. On a personal note, I will admit to having contributed to the buildup against Storm Lords for a while. I think a lot of people struggle when it comes to knowing how to lead. It's a tricky situation, because it's both exceptional and rare. Not many people get a chance to experience it. I also think that chance is diminished by the tendency gamers have against sports, since many of these opportunities come from being picked first at dodgeball (or whatever) instead of last. But now that I've brought up painful childhood memories, let's examine them. When the children were picking teams in sports, they'd generally tend to order their picks by -overall skill in the game -friendship -team chemistry -sociability -who 'sucked' the least Some of these items overlap as they progress, until you get down to the bottom, where the last item is pretty much a catch-all explanation of the previous four. You can all remember how the first person picked was either the captain's best friend or the best player, then that person told the captain who they'd recommend, then the advice would continue until the team is near completed and forced to pick people they were required to pick but didn't want. From this process I want to extrapolate the attributes that a leader needs. -Skill -Charisma -Decisiveness -Logic, or the ability to prioritize and make the decisions in progressive order -Conviction, to stick with those decisions once made -Adaptability and Compromise, to find options and solutions to bad decisions The last thing wouldn't come from when the teams were drafted, but rather later in the game when the captain tries to trade for the new player who arrives late, or to trade AWAY the problem player who's bitter and resentful. -Three- How this helps Storm Lords have nothing to fall back on if their leadership abilities fail them besides Weather. Everything else can be found in a better capacity somewhere else. So if you don't want to play a rainman or weathergirl, you'd better take the following advice to heart. -As stated before, leadership takes some level of charisma. I understand that this is hard for some gamers, but you have to at least understand how to talk to SOME people, even if you don't have to know how to talk to all of them. There's nothing sadder in WtF than a Storm Lord who alienates everyone around him. Trust me, I've seen it. Watch what you say around people, actually take them into consideration before you talk, and you'll be fine. -Balance the twin priorities of playing up your skill and hiding your weakness. It's a circus act. You may have to pass on opportunities to expose your skill if they also expose your weakness. However, failing to act when the time is right hides both weakness and skill. It takes both patience and decisiveness to wait for the right time to act, and then act. -The above also includes balancing your gift lists and their usage. Rely too heavily on Dominance, and you're better off switching to a Ventrue vampire. Too much Evasion, and you're better off with an Obfuscate-r. Use both, and you'll get people to do exactly what you want without pissing them off in the process. -Emulate leaders. I realize that we're not superstar politicians, because they don't have the time for gaming. So roleplay. Play a Storm Lord version of JFK, LBJ, or any other president who's name you want to abbreviate. Look to your local community leaders for inspiration outside of politics; your pastors and priests; your deans; your captains; even your head soccer mom. There are a lot of concepts out there for Lords besides captains of industry (Rachel Snow) and bad-ass alphas /alpha wannabes (Cateria Kensas). It actually doesn't take a lot of thought to play them. It only takes the right preparation. Thanks for reading Hybridfive
  9. "Do I have To?"

    I find this statement extremely offensive: We're trying to help you based on an opening statement that consisted of two sentences, both questions. Of course we don't know what the situation is. We've only been given inklings as to the true situation, and are trying to help you based off of that. You asked for ideas. We presented them. Some of them were "Here's how I can see a Skinchanger in a werewolf pack" and some of them were "Here's how to get around it." If you're not welcome to all the possible answers to a question, don't ask it.
  10. "Do I have To?"

    If it's wasn't clear before, I'm pretty firmly in agreement with DBC on this subject. I also think the premise is a little silly. If this player really is your best player, he should have no problem powering _down_ to be different, rather than powering _up_. My constructive recommendation: let/make him play a mortal, in some variation.
  11. "Do I have To?"

    Yay! Common sense!
  12. Azlu vs. Beshilu

    Werewolves. They killed my father. Prepare to die.
  13. Verney

    Is it just me, or is the entire situation of the fiction invalidated by everything written under the heading of Measure? I forget which page it's on, but the index makes it pretty clear. Verney should have been able to use either one of those rules. The Prometheans can naturally see the Disfigurements of other Prometheans, and also the humor / 'flavor' of their Azothic radiance. Considering the way the story is structured, as a 'dialogue' (in the same way Daniel Quinn's Ishmael is a 'dialogue'), that's doubly disappointing.
  14. Off Topic Thread

    I can not abide by a monster story where the protagonist is named Killy. And yes, I did give it a chance.
  15. What do you want?

    O RLY?
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