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 Attributes, Abilities, Feats

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Childe of Malkav
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PostSubject: Attributes, Abilities, Feats   Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:35 am

In the "Seduction..." thread we had quite a few messages stating that one or the other attribute/ability is especially usefull or useless because it influences more important feats than the others...

So I tried to make a new, hopefully more balanced, table and throw it to the wolves. (Feel free to tear it apart)

Feat Attribute Ability
Brawl Wits 1) unarmed
melee Strength melee
Ranged Perception firearms
Defense Wits dodge
Lockpicking Dexsecurity
Sneaking Dex stealth
Hacking Int 2) computer
Inspection Perception Investigation
Research Int scholarship
Haggle Manipulationfinance
Intimidate 3) Charisma intimidation
Persuasion 3) Manipulation Subterfuge
Seduction 3) Charisma Appearance 4)
Soak (Bashing) Strength Stamina 5)

1) I'm not really sure about this. It mainly serves to get the Attributes distributed and to remove the close link betweeen the two close combat feats.

2) Here I'd prefer Wits as in the original game. I think computer serves for the technical skills necessary, and cracking password requires intuition.

3) This part was not easy. I tried to get it at least a bit logical, and on the other hand i wanted to have 2 feats per Attribute, 1 per Ability wherever possible.

4) Used like this, Appearance should cost only 3xp per level. I think that can be done and accepted because getting this stat up involves mainly a change in clothing style, haicut...

5) Now Stamina seems even less useful. We could compensate byone of the following choices:
- reducing Stamina cost
- adding half the Stamina to lethal soak
- using Dtamina to increase the time till the next BloodLoss occures (Perhaps instead of -1 blood every 5 minutes, use 4'15+Stam, resulting in a loss of blood every 4'30 to 5'30 depending on your stat)
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Celsius
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PostSubject: Re: Attributes, Abilities, Feats   Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:06 am

Not quite as easy to balance the conversation skills, eh?

Well, your proposition looks quite nice, though I suppose having one stat raise two giving points to two conversation skills isn't such a grand idea, as I did before. Well, I'll try to think up something for it.
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PostSubject: Re: Attributes, Abilities, Feats   Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:11 pm

Feat Attribute Ability
Brawl Wits 1) unarmed
melee Strength melee
Ranged Perception firearms
Defense Wits dodge
Lockpicking Dexsecurity
Sneaking Dex stealth
Hacking Int 2) computer
Inspection Perception Investigation
Research Int scholarship
Haggle Manipulationfinance
Intimidate 3) Charisma intimidation
Persuasion 3) Manipulation Subterfuge
Seduction 3) Charisma Appearance 4)
Soak (Bashing) Strength Stamina 5)

First off I love the table you made, very easy to read and understand, nice work!

Now I'm going to tear it apart, lol.

1. Balancing all of these is very tough because you have to have 1s across the board for stating feats. You start out with a 1 in every Attribute and 0 in every Ability, so you have to assign 1 of each to any given Feat otherwise you could start with 0s for some Feats and 2s for others.

Case in point look at how you setup Seduction, you assigned 2 Attributes giving each player a starting Seduction Feat of 2. You assigned 2 Abilities to the Haggle feat starting Haggle at 0. You see the problem there within?

2. This proposed chart would screw up other things majorily especially Disciplines that alter stats. Let's take Auspex for instance, which is a pure mental utilitarian Discipline. You get a +4 to Wits for Level 5 Auspex, giving you a +4 to Brawl? Level 5 Blood Buff grants you +5 to Strength and Stamina giving you a +10 to Bashing Soak? OMG Blood Buff is the ultimate discipline...

See how these things screw up the balance of the game?

3. I don't like the idea of some Attributes costing this amount and other Attributes costing another. It's confusing and frustrating for the player, me included. I like to know the expensive shit is at the top and the cheaper stuff is at the bottom and be done with it. I tend to buy Abilities first because their cheaper and don't start investing in Attributes until later. Again this would only frustrate me as a player.


Now one thing I got out of your proposal that I did like however was the idea of Stamina effecting how quickly you loose blood. That idea in itself has my attention. I will talk to Burgermeister01 to see what he thinks and if he can program a python code to do something for it. I think Stamina is a bit of an overpriced Attribute because it only supports Bashing soak, having it slow down Bloodloss would increase its usefullness 10 fold.
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Childe of Malkav
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PostSubject: Re: Attributes, Abilities, Feats   Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:28 pm

Thanks for at least keeping me partly alife Smile so I can defend myself.

I have tried to bind every Attribute to 2 feats, and every Ability to one. Since the game has 14 feats (if you disregard lethal and aggravated soak), 9 Attributes, and 12 Abilities, that is not possible. So I had to break that general rule at one point or the other.

1 Manipulation is an Attribute. The way i did this table, nothing starts at 0.

2 O.K. I didn't pay that much attention on disciplines when i made up the table. And at that time i didn't know what you had planned for BloodBuff.

3 The way I see it, it's not more confusing than one Ability (scholarship) affecting two feats and all the others only one.
I tend to rise the Attributes first, because I get more for my money.

Changing rules for an existing game is not easy, you tend to overlook things.

For the bloodtimer i also thought about extending the time a bit, if the character owns items of bloodmagic like the Bloodstar.
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PostSubject: Re: Attributes, Abilities, Feats   Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:14 pm

OK, here is my table:

FeatAttributeAbility
MeleeStrengthMelee
UnarmedWitsBrawl
RangedPerceptionFirearms
DefenseDexterityDodge
LockpickingIntelligenceSecurity
SneakingAppearanceStealth
HackingWitsComputer
InspectionPerceptionInvestigation
ResearchIntelligenceScholarship
HaggleCharismaFinance
IntimidateCharismaIntimidate
PersuasionManipulateInvestigation
SeductionAppearanceSubterfuge

Stamina would add to bash soaking feat and reduce the blood craving.

The only discipline that would need adjusting, in my opinion, would be protean. I would leave level 1 at +1 wits (heat vision allows you to more accurately target internal organs, nerve clusters, and, once you get your claws, arteries), but change level 4 to give an additional +3 (+4 total) to wits, as well as +1 to dexterity.

All armors would have their penalties changed from dexterity to appearance.

Dexterity, manipulation, and strength only affect one feat each, but they are probably the most powerful feats in the game. You also receive a double bonus to defense from dexterity when blocking.

Investigation affects two feats, but one of them – inspection – is virtually worthless.

I can post the rest of my thinking later tonight.
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PostSubject: Re: Attributes, Abilities, Feats   Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:30 pm

My apologies, your right no Feats start at 0, but 2 feats do start at 2. The last two in your column would have a starting feat of 2. I will look further at this tonight, wife is home... lol
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PostSubject: Re: Attributes, Abilities, Feats   Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:32 pm

I try to avoid talking about "realism" in such contexts, but... How on earth (WoD) can sneaking be affected by how handsome your features are considered?
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PostSubject: Re: Attributes, Abilities, Feats   Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:19 pm

Khannis wrote:
I try to avoid talking about "realism" in such contexts, but... How on earth (WoD) can sneaking be affected by how handsome your features are considered?

Your mistake is thinking that "appearance" refers to how handsome a person is. Such things cannot be numerically measured – they are purely in the eye of the beholder. It would impossible to have a stat that determined how handsome a person is in some generic sense.

In an urban setting, stealth is not a matter of tip-toeing and clinging to the shadows. More often than not, it's about looking the part. A person with a high appearance is familiar with the physical cues that our culture relies on. He knows how to stand out, obviously. In a club or a street corner he is impeccably dressed and polished, standing with his chest high and gleam in his eyes that makes him impossible to ignore. But just as importantly, he knows how to blend in and disappear. He can stroll through the pentagon like he's the secretary of defense, and he wouldn't even draw a glance. He can walk through the halls of an empty business building in the middle of the night, and even the security guards would assume he's just some desk jockey working late. If he wanted to, he could brush right past you and he would be so nondescript you wouldn't remember a thing about him, if you remembered him at all. As long as nobody looks too closely, he might as well be invisible. When he wants to be.

Armor gives a penalty to appearance checks because it is pretty hard to blend in or be seductive when you're wearing body armor.

Nosferatu have a penalty to appearance because they stand out. If a guard ever saw a nosferatu in a building at night, he would just start shooting. There's no mistaking that rotting corpse for an employee. Nos can easily make up for this penalty through obfuscate.
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PostSubject: Re: Attributes, Abilities, Feats   Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:25 pm

I think the game itself thought the way I proposed, though I find your way much more logical, thanks for the response and explanation.

That aside, I fully endorse your table, as of now Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Attributes, Abilities, Feats   Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:31 pm

Khannis wrote:
I think the game itself thought the way I proposed, though I find your way much more logical, thanks for the response and explanation.

The game does think that way, but that was frankly bad design on the part of White Wolf.

Note that they changed it for New World of Darkness. There is no appearance stat anymore.
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PostSubject: Re: Attributes, Abilities, Feats   Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:48 pm

lofgren wrote:

In an urban setting, stealth is not a matter of tip-toeing and clinging to the shadows. More often than not, it's about looking the part. A person with a high appearance is familiar with the physical cues that our culture relies on. He knows how to stand out, obviously. In a club or a street corner he is impeccably dressed and polished, standing with his chest high and gleam in his eyes that makes him impossible to ignore. But just as importantly, he knows how to blend in and disappear. He can stroll through the pentagon like he's the secretary of defense, and he wouldn't even draw a glance. He can walk through the halls of an empty business building in the middle of the night, and even the security guards would assume he's just some desk jockey working late. If he wanted to, he could brush right past you and he would be so nondescript you wouldn't remember a thing about him, if you remembered him at all. As long as nobody looks too closely, he might as well be invisible. When he wants to be.

You need to write books man... study


I do like this proposal but not in the spirit of Camarilla Edition. My wife and I watched a movie tonight so I had 2 hours to think about it and I think I am going to keep things the same. I am considering the "Dexterity" swap for "Appearance" however in regards to armor.
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PostSubject: Re: Attributes, Abilities, Feats   Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:08 am

Zer0Morph wrote:
You need to write books man... study

Wow, thanks.

Quote :
I do like this proposal but not in the spirit of Camarilla Edition. My wife and I watched a movie tonight so I had 2 hours to think about it and I think I am going to keep things the same. I am considering the "Dexterity" swap for "Appearance" however in regards to armor.

I can totally appreciate that.

However, if you swap dexterity and appearance in regards to armor, it seems like it makes the armor penalty trivial. Seduction is a totally non-combat skill. If you're enamored of the idea, I suggest both dexterity and appearance penalties. Most people won't even notice, and all you have to do if you are using seduction a lot is swap out your armor. Meaningless from a balance standpoint, but good for RP I think.

I have gone ahead and made these changes myself. If anybody is interested in the necessary files for the 1.1 edition, let me know.

Here is my thinking with regard to each feat:

Unarmed: There is no doubt that strength is useful to unarmed combat. More useful, however, is proper training, including knowing how and where to hit, and having the presence of mind to use that training. "Keeping your wits about you," so to speak. Tagging a nerve cluster, slipping through an open flank, or noting a weakened knee from an old injury can allow a weaker challenger to take down a much stronger opponent with relative ease.

Protean grants +4 (total) to wits and +1 to dexterity at level 4, making it basically the same as the current +4 to strength and +1 to wits.

Melee: No change here. This is one of the most important feats of the game. There isn't a single clan, except gangrel, who will not eventually be involved in melee combat with a weapon. Strength is still desirable even if this is the only feat it improves.

Ranged: No change.

Defense: All the smarts in the world won't help you if you can't get out of the way of an attack. Normally I see the value of making defense based on wits for a game in a modern setting. You can't dodge bullets, and you're a lot more likely to avoid damage if you can figure out where the next punch is going to come from before it's thrown. Vampires, however, can dodge bullets, and they spend a lot of the game putting themselves in the way of punches. Defense is also one of the most important feats of the game, so dexterity is still desirable even if it only contributes to this one feat.

Lockpicking: In the modern world, bypassing security measures isn't about wiggling your fingers just right. It's about an exhaustive knowledge of locks and security systems and the proper tools for getting through them.

Sneak: In an urban setting, stealth is not a matter of tip-toeing and clinging to the shadows. More often than not, it's about looking the part. A person with a high appearance is familiar with the physical cues that our culture relies on. He knows how to stand out, obviously, but just as importantly, he knows how to blend in and disappear. He can stroll through the pentagon like he's the secretary of defense, and he wouldn't even draw a glance. He can walk through the halls of an empty business building in the middle of the night, and even the security guards would assume he's just some desk jockey working late. If he wanted to, he could brush right past you and he would be so nondescript you wouldn't remember a thing about him, if you remembered him at all. As long as nobody looks too closely, he might as well be invisible. When he wants to be. Of course, it's harder to blend in when you're covered head to toe in body armor.

Hacking: No change. Hacking is about intuiting passwords and security loopholes, and having the presence of mind to exploit them.

Inspection: No change.

Research: No change.

Haggle: All of the financial wizardry in the world won't help you if you don't have the authority, the presence, the confidence, the je ne sais quoi to make people respect you. Charisma is the ability that allows you to order an egg white omelet in a greasy spoon, and the waiters fall all over themselves to accommodate you. It's what allows you to demand an exorbitant discount on a perfectly good bottle of scotch because the label is peeling. It's what turns that finance knowledge into cheaper prices at the counter.

Intimidate: Charisma is also the difference between telling somebody you're going to beat them to death with their own shoe and getting immediate compliance, or just giggles.

Persuasion: Persuasion isn't about winning debates. It's about figuring out what a person wants and making them feel like they're going to get it if they help you. That means asking the right questions and deducing the secret longing in the answers, and then turning that longing to your advantage.

Seduction: No change, except you'll have some trouble getting the young lady to follow you to a dark corner if you're dressed for combat.
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PostSubject: Re: Attributes, Abilities, Feats   Thu Nov 12, 2009 3:48 pm

Sounds good. I was thinking much on the same line when I first suggested switching unarmed from strength to wits and intimidation to charisma.

And I really like the idea of making seduction more difficult when you are wearing armor. When I play the game I allways tend to switch back to the light cloting when my character is just strolling down the streets or hitting the clubs and no fight is imminent.

Good that you can carry 4 sets of clothes 7 guns and a few other destructive items arond without even the need for a small bag lol!
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