[cWoD] Stamina doesn't do enough for human characters?

Shipyard Locked

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This is a classic World of Darkness question. Sorry if it's dumb, but do you feel the Stamina attribute doesn't contribute enough for human characters compared to several other attributes? I feel like I'm missing something obvious.
 

Edgewise

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Isn't that a common problem with Stamina/Constitution in a lot of games? They just contribute to HP and saving throws, or the equivalent. That's one reason that I usually fold it into other attributes in games that I design. Typically the durability to damage goes with Strength and the endurance and stamina go with Agility in my games. Even when it's an important traits, it's boring because it's usually the most passive attribute.
 

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Isn't that a common problem with Stamina/Constitution in a lot of games? They just contribute to HP and saving throws, or the equivalent.
See, that's the part that always makes me think I've missed something. Stamina doesn't contribute to health levels in cWoD, and for a mortal it only soaks bashing damage, so Stamina is worth even less than usual in this game if you're not a vamp or some other entity that can soak lethal with it.
 

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If I may offer a narrative explanation of why vanilla mortals are so squishy. It reinforces the themes of the fragility of life and the callous ease violence offers.
On the more gameplay level you would most likely only have the party start as mortals in the first act if the next two were going to be them playing as either wraiths or vampires. I think there was some sorta of buff in Hunter the Reckoning but I can't recall offhand.
 

Panzerkraken

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Hunter: The Reckoning said:
Optional Rule: Soaking Lethal Damage
Normal Humans - including hunters - in the World of Darkness cannot normally soak lethal damage. However, if you want your game to have a bold, heroic flavor, you can let hunter characters soak bashing and lethal damage. The mechanics are the same for both: roll Stamina, difficulty 6, to reduce damage successes achieved against your character. Perhaps the knife stabs your character in the arm instead of the chest, or those claws inflict a flesh wound instead of a disemboweling. The Storyteller decides if lethal damage can be soaked, depending on the theme and style of his chronicle.
I never played Hunter much at all, but is that the part you were thinking of?
 

Shipyard Locked

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I never played Hunter much at all, but is that the part you were thinking of?
That must be it, though I was expecting a more clever and subtle approach. I suppose I could just houserule something more low-key, like spending a Willpower point to allow a soak vs lethal, or a limited number of soaks vs lethal per campaign.
 

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Okay, apparently I lost my Hunter the Reckoning books but have somehow gained a Dark Ages Inquistor core book:hmmm:. Gave it a quick skim. One of the entry powers for Investitures, Transfiguration Of the Flesh seems to be the earliest combat buff for Knights of Acre. For the Zeal application...
"strengthens the inquisitor’s body. The player spends a Conviction point and rolls Stamina + Zeal (dif- culty 7). She may then add dice to the character’s Strength and/or Stamina ratings for the duration of a single combat. Each success gained on this roll translates to one die the player can add to either Attribute; for example, if the roll resulted in three successes, she might add two dice to the character’s Strength rating and one die to his Stamina rating for the remainder of the scene. This power may be used only once per scene."

the faith application has poison curing and the wisdom aspect

"By using the Wisdom aspect, the character may shut out the crippling effects of pain. The player rolls Stamina + Wisdom (dif culty 7), reduces the char- acter’s wound penalties by the number of successes rolled. For example, if the player scores two successes, her character suffers no wound penalties until he is Crippled (and even then, only suffers a –3 to dice pools, not –5). The effects of this temporary boost in endurance fade at the end of the scene."

Overall combat powers for mortal types in this book seem to be about preparedness and stealth rather then being combat sponges but this was the closet I could find.
 

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I always used it for any long term physical activity. Stamina plus athletics for long runs, stamina plus firearms to make a sniper shot after a long stakeout. Stamina plus Academics for cramming research. etc.
 

AsenRG

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I always used it for any long term physical activity. Stamina plus athletics for long runs, stamina plus firearms to make a sniper shot after a long stakeout. Stamina plus Academics for cramming research. etc.
This. Dexteriry is the best stat in WoD, always has been...but it doesn't help you outrun a dogged pursuer:wink:!
 

Shipyard Locked

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This. Dexteriry is the best stat in WoD, always has been...
Dexterity or its equivalent is the best stat in many, many games. If this is in fact a problem, we as a hobby seem to have a hard time solving it.

I'm generally in favor of just merging strength and stamina/constitution, especially in modern games.
 

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I can't remember if this was an actual rule or not, but I would also limit retries to a character's Stamina dots.

For me, the WTF stat in oWoD was "Appearance." I couldn't believe they brought it back in V20, and I'm so glad it's gone again in V5.
 

AsenRG

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Dexterity or its equivalent is the best stat in many, many games. If this is in fact a problem, we as a hobby seem to have a hard time solving it.

I'm generally in favor of just merging strength and stamina/constitution, especially in modern games.
Whether it's a problem depends on whom you ask. Do you care about the stats of equal price having different usefulness in some games:smile:?

I can't remember if this was an actual rule or not, but I would also limit retries to a character's Stamina dots.

For me, the WTF stat in oWoD was "Appearance." I couldn't believe they brought it back in V20, and I'm so glad it's gone again in V5.
What's the problem with Appearance?
 

Baeraad

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What's the problem with Appearance?
Well, when do you actually use it? How is being attractive functionally different from being charismatic? I personally try to use it for making an immediate first impression, with Charisma and Manipulation being used for when you actually have time to get a few words in, but it's kind of tricky to contrive of situations where that comes up.

For that matter, I find it very hard to work out how Manipulation is different from Charisma. If you can trick someone into thinking that you're likable, how is that actually any different from actually being likable?
 

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Well, when do you actually use it? How is being attractive functionally different from being charismatic? I personally try to use it for making an immediate first impression, with Charisma and Manipulation being used for when you actually have time to get a few words in, but it's kind of tricky to contrive of situations where that comes up.
I've stopped asking for rolls using Appearance and now I just use it to set the baseline for a social encounter. If you have high Appearance, NPCs who care about such things will immediately like you better, and depending on how you play your cards then subsequent Charisma/Manipulation rolls will be easier.

For that matter, I find it very hard to work out how Manipulation is different from Charisma. If you can trick someone into thinking that you're likable, how is that actually any different from actually being likable?
Yup, big problem, especially since many players quickly pick up on this fact and will make reasonable-sounding arguments for all their social rolls to use the one they are stronger in. Not a fan.

Whether it's a problem depends on whom you ask. Do you care about the stats of equal price having different usefulness in some games:smile:?
Yes? Not sure what you mean. Seems pretty obvious.
 

KrakaJak

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I personally try to use it for making an immediate first impression,
RAW, this is literally all that it's used for, first impressions.
Not super useful when my more important interactions are with everliving creatures I have know for lifetimes.

It's also suggested as total limit on your social dice pools when dealing with characters who "value appearance over everything."

Yup, big problem, especially since many players quickly pick up on this fact and will make reasonable-sounding arguments for all their social rolls to use the one they are stronger in. Not a fan.
See, I love this. I don't see this as an issue, as trying to convince someone through manipulation or making a charismatic appeal do a lot reveal the "character" of a character, so to speak. Especially if it's "reasonable-sounding," players trying to meta-game unreasonable rolls could be a problem though.

I just apply Chronicles of Darkness Power/Finesse/Resistance to differentiate traits in a column. Charisma = Social Power vs. Manipulation = Social Finesse (Composure = Social Resistance).
 

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Not super useful when my more important interactions are with everliving creatures I have know for lifetimes.
I run campaigns with a lot more mortals going in and out of them, so it works for me.

It's also suggested as total limit on your social dice pools when dealing with characters who "value appearance over everything."
That's probably a rule that shouldn't be deployed too often, but it's interesting.

I just apply Chronicles of Darkness Power/Finesse/Resistance to differentiate traits in a column.
Ugh, my constant dilemma, sticking with classic World of Darkness, which for all its flaws is rather straightforward, or diving into Chronicles of Darkness with its cleaned up basics but unnecessary fiddly bits bolted on.
 

AsenRG

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Well, when do you actually use it?
...when it would be relevant? Sorry, I'm not being evasive - I just can't think of a better answer:smile:!

How is being attractive functionally different from being charismatic?
"He naturally inspires confidence" vs "he seems likeable"? Seriously?
Let's put it this way: if you could roll for a task with one OR the other, I'd give you a choice...but the results would differ depending on what you used:wink:.
But other than that, think of them as characters instead of stats. You've got Captain Carrot vs The Snow Beauty. When would one or the other have a social advantage? That's the answer which attribute to use!

I personally try to use it for making an immediate first impression, with Charisma and Manipulation being used for when you actually have time to get a few words in, but it's kind of tricky to contrive of situations where that comes up.
I'd...run it differently.
(I mean, your way isn't wrong. I just wouldn't restrict Charisma to needing to speak. Manipulation, yes!)
A masked man slew the local Dragon-Blooded satrap for his corrupt deeds, disarmed, chased or knocked out the guards (and slew the corrupt among them), and removed his mask to give a kiss to the DB's young niece. Then he disappeared, never to be seen again...and of course that was a PC, dammit! My PCs have done such stuff long before I'd heard of Exalted!
What did the PC roll for the kiss?
Charisma? The niece felt inspired to follow your example (and possibly romantically attracted to a degree, but not madly so). A masked female warrior is slaying the corrupt ones now. Though they say she acts more with subterfuge, and displaying no aura. (She's a heroic mortal).
Appearance? The niece fell in love with you. Not just "ah, he's such a romantic figure", but the "he's the only one" kind. She manipulated her way into being bethrothed to another corrupt DB...and somehow, word of his evil deeds was leaked out.
Because she wanted to see you again.

I think you can see the different results at work. And it took me all of 15 seconds to come up with it (less than half for Charisma).

For that matter, I find it very hard to work out how Manipulation is different from Charisma. If you can trick someone into thinking that you're likable, how is that actually any different from actually being likable?
Now, that is actually harder for me, too:grin:!
But generally, if you're being honest and upright, you roll Charisma. If you're pretending to be, you roll Manipulation. And yes, that means that a paragon of virtue who suddenly makes a mistake and decides to hide it...might suddenly start sucking in his inspiring speeches.
Such is the price of remorse.

I'd admit that there are other possible answers to this one, though...

Yes? Not sure what you mean. Seems pretty obvious.
Yes, it's obvious...for you:{.
Some people don't think it matters, including some developers (cue the thread on TBP where fans were explaining to Ex3 devs that in every edition of Exalted so far, there's been a "right" and "wrong" way to buy up Attribute and Skill dots...and that buying them "wrong" sets you back hundreds of XP).
If yes, you should probably make split Dexterity until it's remotely similar to Strength. Or make Str and Con the same stat...but you'd have to come up with a way to make a quick fighter who can really take a beating, without also making him punch like a freight train. It's too iconic a figure in many genres:shade:.

If it doesn't matter, three stats are all you need. Possibly two.
 

Baeraad

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...when it would be relevant? Sorry, I'm not being evasive - I just can't think of a better answer:smile:!
Great. Awesome. When would it be relevant? :tongue:

"He naturally inspires confidence" vs "he seems likeable"? Seriously?
Yes, seriously! :tongue: For those to have any functional difference, we have to go into more intricate psychological factors than, quite frankly, I have the characterisation skills and insight into human nature to actually bestow upon my NPCs.

But other than that, think of them as characters instead of stats. You've got Captain Carrot vs The Snow Beauty. When would one or the other have a social advantage? That's the answer which attribute to use!
*shrugs* Carrot's Charisma applies to everyone. The Snow Beauty's Appearance applies to horny guys and no one else. That makes Appearance an inferior form of Charisma, just like Charisma is an inferior form of Manipulation.

Now, that is actually harder for me, too:grin:!
But generally, if you're being honest and upright, you roll Charisma. If you're pretending to be, you roll Manipulation. And yes, that means that a paragon of virtue who suddenly makes a mistake and decides to hide it...might suddenly start sucking in his inspiring speeches.
Such is the price of remorse.

I'd admit that there are other possible answers to this one, though...
Yeah, I still don't see it... Look, say I'm a supreme manipulative bastard who can take any position that happens to be convenient to me and make a compelling argument for it. Why am I unable to make one for my actual honest opinions? Can I sneak in just one tiny lie in my otherwise honest appeal and have my mojo work again?
 

AsenRG

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Great. Awesome. When would it be relevant? :tongue:
First things first...what is Appearance?
In other words: why do better-looking people generally get lighter sentences:smile:?
Answer yourself that and you have a start. Here's a short, non-exhaustive list.

When trying for good first impressions of a more romantic nature.
When trying to look good in a professional way.
When trying to grease the wheels of a social interaction to make it go easier.


Yes, seriously! :tongue: For those to have any functional difference, we have to go into more intricate psychological factors than, quite frankly, I have the characterisation skills and insight into human nature to actually bestow upon my NPCs.
Shrug.
I suspect you are selling yourself short on this one...maybe in order to make a point, or for any other reason. But then I might be wrong.
I don't think I can help you if you're right, though. The above process is just how I think about stuff, and I don't know how to teach you what is, in essence, a way of thinking...nor do I think you'd want to learn it:wink:.

*shrugs* Carrot's Charisma applies to everyone. The Snow Beauty's Appearance applies to horny guys and no one else. That makes Appearance an inferior form of Charisma, just like Charisma is an inferior form of Manipulation.
...not really.
OK, would it be easier if we were to rename the three Impressing People, Uplifting People To Do The Right Thing, and Dragging People Into Vice With You:grin:?

Yeah, I still don't see it... Look, say I'm a supreme manipulative bastard who can take any position that happens to be convenient to me and make a compelling argument for it.
Hey!
That's not "Supreme Manipulative Bastard", that's "AsenRG circa 9th grade" (when I argued about religion, defending the opposite position of the one I held...and won the damn argument:devil:)!

Why am I unable to make one for my actual honest opinions?
"Hmm...I'm actually honest. That feels...wrong, somehow!"

Can I sneak in just one tiny lie in my otherwise honest appeal and have my mojo work again?
Ask your GM:tongue:! If it was me, I'd say "only if it impacts the overall results to at least some degree". YMMV.
 

Baeraad

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First things first...what is Appearance?
In other words: why do better-looking people generally get lighter sentences:smile:?
Answer yourself that and you have a start. Here's a short, non-exhaustive list.

When trying for good first impressions of a more romantic nature.
When trying to look good in a professional way.
When trying to grease the wheels of a social interaction to make it go easier.
The first you could do as easily with charm. The second is true, but it takes a very specific sort of situation for only how good you look in a suit to be what really matters - most of the time, it's what you say that will actually affect negotiations. The third sounds less like something you'd roll for and more like a bonus to a different roll - which is in point of fact how Exalted 2E handled it, as I recall.

It's not that looks never play a part. It's that they almost never matter more than how good you are at talking. So if you're only making one roll, since you only get to use one Attribute it's going to be Charisma or Manipulation almost every single time.

Shrug.
I suspect you are selling yourself short on this one...maybe in order to make a point, or for any other reason. But then I might be wrong.
I don't think I can help you if you're right, though. The above process is just how I think about stuff, and I don't know how to teach you what is, in essence, a way of thinking...nor do I think you'd want to learn it:wink:.
I admit the possibility that this is my autistic blindness to emotional nuances speaking.

But I also can't help notice that neurotypicals tend to be awfully fond of claiming magical insights into human nature, and yet most of them seem to not have any better a track record at anticipating other people's emotional states than I do, so I remain skeptical. :tongue:

...not really.
OK, would it be easier if we were to rename the three Impressing People, Uplifting People To Do The Right Thing, and Dragging People Into Vice With You:grin:?
No, not really. The first one seems like it could do the work of both the other two well enough. And while you could imagine a rule system where you used one trait to convince people to be good and another trait to convince them to be bad, it does not seem like that's what the Storyteller system was going for.

"Hmm...I'm actually honest. That feels...wrong, somehow!"
Yes, thank you, Jonathan Swift. But if we assume that the character is in fact neither satirical caricature of a lawyer nor a cartoon villain? :tongue:

Ask your GM:tongue:! If it was me, I'd say "only if it impacts the overall results to at least some degree". YMMV.
Yeah, except I am asking as a GM, and complaining that I would have no answer to a player who asked why his character's clever rhetoric is powerless when being sincere.

Look, forget outright lying. What if the player says, "I make a calculated and measured argument for this thing I happen to actually believe"?
 

AsenRG

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The first you could do as easily with charm.
Arguably. I might allow it in some situations - when you're doing something memorable - but not in others.

The second is true, but it takes a very specific sort of situation for only how good you look in a suit to be what really matters - most of the time, it's what you say that will actually affect negotiations.
...where in hell did you take the "only" from? I'd say that negotiations shouldn't be resolved as a one-step roll, no matter whether you're using any kind of codified system.
Frex, there were rules for seduction in some edition* of V:tM where the process is divided in steps and appearance is an attribute used for some of the rolls, but not others. I think that negotiations deserve at least as much attention, no:tongue:?

*The one our ST was using in 2014 or 2015...no idea what it was, I just borrowed the book and made my PC:devil:!

The third sounds less like something you'd roll for and more like a bonus to a different roll - which is in point of fact how Exalted 2E handled it, as I recall.
A possible approach, yes:smile:.

It's not that looks never play a part. It's that they almost never matter more than how good you are at talking. So if you're only making one roll, since you only get to use one Attribute it's going to be Charisma or Manipulation almost every single time.
But why in Cain's shadow would you only make one roll:wink:?

I admit the possibility that this is my autistic blindness to emotional nuances speaking.
I can't speak about that, but I'd rather bet on us talking with different assumptions about the number of rolls in mind:grin:!

But I also can't help notice that neurotypicals tend to be awfully fond of claiming magical insights into human nature, and yet most of them seem to not have any better a track record at anticipating other people's emotional states than I do, so I remain skeptical. :tongue:
I don't think that having read books on the ways people interact count as "magical insight" (in our society).

No, not really. The first one seems like it could do the work of both the other two well enough. And while you could imagine a rule system where you used one trait to convince people to be good and another trait to convince them to be bad, it does not seem like that's what the Storyteller system was going for.
Fair enough. I was just trying for an analogy, here. Obviously it fell flat, so let's drop it?

Also, I notice you didn't comment on the example with rolling with different attributes. Didn't it help clarify anything?

Yes, thank you, Jonathan Swift. But if we assume that the character is in fact neither satirical caricature of a lawyer nor a cartoon villain? :tongue:
Then the character simply shouldn't be Manipulation 5 Charisma 1, but a more even spread...:grin: With a more even spread, you'd get more comparable results regardless of whether you're lying.
Consider it "stat tax", if you wish:grin:!

Yeah, except I am asking as a GM, and complaining that I would have no answer to a player who asked why his character's clever rhetoric is powerless when being sincere.
I guessed that much...
But wait, how is his clever rhetoric "powerless"? He gets to roll. If he is experiencing a sudden drop in the number of dice due to extreme differences between his stats - well...
"You're playing what you designed. If you decided to stat out a carricature of a lawyer, that's what you get to play. Who designed that character, me?"
Also, stats aren't a good representation of inborn abilities. The Str/Dex divide doesn't make all that much sense, either. Yet we do use them.
Frankly, it's much easier to treat stats as an effect-based mechanic. "If you want a result from this domain, roll with this stat. If it's much lower than your other stats, it's you who picked a character who's deficient in this area...now tell us, why is he deficient in this area? How does it impact him?"

Look, forget outright lying. What if the player says, "I make a calculated and measured argument for this thing I happen to actually believe"?
"Roll Cha+Presence"! Possibly adding "get a bonus die for the calculated part", assuming it fits the situation.
Or, alternatively, "roll Int+Presence". Because both Charisma and Manipulation aren't about being measured and calculating - they're about sweeping you emotionally. If the listeners aren't emotionally invested in this, Int might fit...but that's a rare thing!
So most likely, Cha+Presence it is.
 

Baeraad

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...where in hell did you take the "only" from?
From the fact that I don't want to be rolling dice all freaking day? :tongue: Especially I don't want to make a roll to see if I get a bonus on the roll to see if I get a bonus on the roll that actually matters. There may be people who are amused by endless dice-flinging, but they don't usually gravitate towards the Storyteller system, the main selling point of which is supposed to be that it's simple and non-fiddly.

I don't think that having read books on the ways people interact count as "magical insight" (in our society).
I'll grant you that thinking that you understand people because you've read books about them is not particularly neurotypical, either. :tongue: I still doubt the accuracy of it, though.

Also, I notice you didn't comment on the example with rolling with different attributes. Didn't it help clarify anything?
I might comment on it if you tell me where you made it? I can't find it anywhere.

The Str/Dex divide doesn't make all that much sense, either.
No, it makes perfect sense. What you mean is that it's not realistic. In real life, strong people are usually quick as well. But fiction is full of people who are only one or the other - it may not be how it really works, but it's easy to imagine a world where it worked that way without having it be silly. Whereas on the other hand, the only time you see people who are actively disadvantaged when they tell the truth is in parody.

I mean... please tell me you see how fundamentally stupid this is.
 

AsenRG

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From the fact that I don't want to be rolling dice all freaking day? :tongue:
Two rolls instead of one is "all freaking day"?
Not to me:smile:.

Especially I don't want to make a roll to see if I get a bonus on the roll to see if I get a bonus on the roll that actually matters. There may be people who are amused by endless dice-flinging, but they don't usually gravitate towards the Storyteller system, the main selling point of which is supposed to be that it's simple and non-fiddly.
"Supposed to" is a keyword here...but in practice, it often ain't that:wink:!

I'll grant you that thinking that you understand people because you've read books about them is not particularly neurotypical, either. :tongue: I still doubt the accuracy of it, though.
Well, I don't claim understanding the whole picture, either. I've worked out some rules that seem to be confirmed by my practice... that's enough to carry me through the day, and enough to make me a not-really-boring Referee.
In other words, the "magical insight" part doesn't apply to me. But whatever little insights I've got have helped me make sense of the Storyteller system.
Which is what we're discussing now, right?

I might comment on it if you tell me where you made it? I can't find it anywhere.
In this post:
Charisma Kiss vs Appearance Kiss... :tongue:
No, it makes perfect sense.
I'll concede, it does.
It makes about as much sense as having separate, unrelated Charisma and Manipulation...:devil:

What you mean is that it's not realistic. In real life, strong people are usually quick as well.
Not really. I know strong people who aren't quick, and vice-versa, IRL.
But they're still related. It's just that some people have other factors that contribute to them having marked differences.

But fiction is full of people who are only one or the other - it may not be how it really works, but it's easy to imagine a world where it worked that way without having it be silly. Whereas on the other hand, the only time you see people who are actively disadvantaged when they tell the truth is in parody.
So what you object to is the genre of the fiction we're going by:grin:? Because I'm sure I've read a non-parody of a great manipulator who had issues admitting he loved someone. But I can't remember the title.
Either way, I repeat: if a certain stat spread seems like a parody to your players, as a GM you should mandate that they avoid said stat spread, or don't complain when it comes up!
I mean, you can easily have spread your points 3/3 at the beginning. If you didn't, and you picked 1/5 Charisma/Manipulation...the consequences are on you.

I mean... please tell me you see how fundamentally stupid this is.
Sorry, but no?
I mean, the lack of connection between Charisma and Manipulation doesn't seem any more stupid to me than the lack of connection between Appearance and Manipulation, between Appearance and Charisma, between Strength and Appearance, between Strength and Dexterity, between Dexterity and Stamina, and so on!
 

Baeraad

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Two rolls instead of one is "all freaking day"?
Not to me:smile:.
It is to me, if I'm trying to get on with the damn scene and don't want to stop to count dice more than absolutely necessary.

I also don't make a Stamina roll to see if a character is winded enough to get a penalty on his Dexterity roll to jump out of a window, if you're wondering, and nor do I add a Strength roll to see how far he manages to leap. :tongue:

"Supposed to" is a keyword here...but in practice, it often ain't that:wink:!
Yes. That is a problem. At least the bean-counting hyper-realistic games wear their complexity on their sleeve and tell you precisely how you're supposed to use them. They don't start with, "oh, just pick an Attribute and an Ability and roll it, no sweat, it's the ROLEPLAYING that matters!" and then adds the fine print of, "but of course, a number of supposedly equally important stats will become next to meaningless if you don't turn the situations into finicky simulation engines with rules that you need to come up with yourself."

In this post:
Charisma Kiss vs Appearance Kiss... :tongue:
Oh, that part. Okay. To that I say that yes, you can contrive scenarios where it matters more how nice your cheekbones are than whether you actually have any people skills. I have never denied that. Those scenarios will, however, not emerge organically the way that "I want to talk this guy into doing this thing that I want" does. They will turn up more rarely, and will often feel forced when they do. This, too, is a problem.

So what you object to is the genre of the fiction we're going by:grin:? Because I'm sure I've read a non-parody of a great manipulator who had issues admitting he loved someone. But I can't remember the title.
I'm sure you have. I am also sure that once he got over that hangup, he was able to make sincere grand romantic gestures with the same skill as he had previously made insincere ones. There's a reason why Reformed Rakes are a staple of romance novels - the appeal is that they will sweep the heroine off her feet with all the skill of their previous conquests, only with her they'll actually mean it, so it's the best of both worlds. No one wants the Heathcliff clone to start stuttering like an idiot because he's actually saying what he's thinking for once. :tongue:

Either way, I repeat: if a certain stat spread seems like a parody to your players, as a GM you should mandate that they avoid said stat spread, or don't complain when it comes up!
I mean, you can easily have spread your points 3/3 at the beginning. If you didn't, and you picked 1/5 Charisma/Manipulation...the consequences are on you.
Yes, but they're stupid consequences. I would prefer it if the system did not force me to subject my players to stupid consequences that I had to justify by making a dumb joke a fact of the game world.

Seriously, do you honestly see V:tM - for one - as the sort of game where, "haha, he's such a liar that he gets tongue-tied whenever he tries to tell the truth about something!" is supposed to be part of the characterisation for a significant number of characters?
 

AsenRG

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It is to me, if I'm trying to get on with the damn scene and don't want to stop to count dice more than absolutely necessary.
Then you need something that's not VtM. Maybe BESM, or OVA...:smile:
Or, you know, you could give a bonus die or two for high enough Appearance. What would be "enough" would vary, of course - a chick trying to seduce a drunk guy might have a bonus for Appearance 2+, rolling to seduce the same guy when sober might give the same woman a (completely unreasonable given his appearance stat) bonus or penalty of her Appearance-3...:wink:

I also don't make a Stamina roll to see if a character is winded enough to get a penalty on his Dexterity roll to jump out of a window, if you're wondering, and nor do I add a Strength roll to see how far he manages to leap. :tongue:
Again, hard bonuses to the roll ARE an option.

Yes. That is a problem. At least the bean-counting hyper-realistic games wear their complexity on their sleeve and tell you precisely how you're supposed to use them. They don't start with, "oh, just pick an Attribute and an Ability and roll it, no sweat, it's the ROLEPLAYING that matters!" and then adds the fine print of, "but of course, a number of supposedly equally important stats will become next to meaningless if you don't turn the situations into finicky simulation engines with rules that you need to come up with yourself."
Yes, that's true.
I also never said Storytell(er/ing) was a well-designed game for simulating mundane characters.


Oh, that part. Okay. To that I say that yes, you can contrive scenarios where it matters more how nice your cheekbones are than whether you actually have any people skills. I have never denied that. Those scenarios will, however, not emerge organically the way that "I want to talk this guy into doing this thing that I want" does. They will turn up more rarely, and will often feel forced when they do. This, too, is a problem.
Why would they feel forced? I mean, I didn't come up with that example by thinking "hmm, what would satisfy the requirements of @Baeraad ?
I just thought "what would my PCs do that might depend on either Appearance or Charis...wait, I know!"

I'm sure you have. I am also sure that once he got over that hangup, he was able to make sincere grand romantic gestures with the same skill as he had previously made insincere ones.
Nope. The book ended in tragedy because of that.

There's a reason why Reformed Rakes are a staple of romance novels - the appeal is that they will sweep the heroine off her feet with all the skill of their previous conquests, only with her they'll actually mean it, so it's the best of both worlds. No one wants the Heathcliff clone to start stuttering like an idiot because he's actually saying what he's thinking for once. :tongue:
I'm not into romance novels, sorry. I've probably read less than 20*, but that's enough to tell you that you're omitting a significant requirement.
They're not just Reformed Rakes, they're Charming Rakes, Currently** Reformed:tongue:.
Well, to make a Charming Rake, you start by putting loads of points into Charisma and Manipulation. No romance heroine wants the less sympathetic characters of Gogol, Tolstoy, Balzac or Maupassant to try and seduce her, though. Even though many of them are excellent manipulators and some are not bad-looking, either.
Or at least, I've found no male protagonist in the novels I read that was even remotely like the aforementioned characters...the closest ones I found? They were relegated to the role of foils or villains that try to seduce the heroine, only for her love for the Charming Rake to take over (and the foils/villains to be brought low in a final confrontation, violent or otherwise:gunslinger:).


*And that because I once got sick while visiting friends in another city. The only books in their library that they agreed to give me were romances (presuming I wouldn't read them...they didn't realize what "voracious reader" actually means), some books by Eric van Lustbader, and some books by J.H. Chase.
We ended up remaining there a whole week during which I was reading. And my reading speed in Bulgarian is over 60 pages per hour...:grin:
So I actually got a good schooling in a genre I don't usually find time about (no, I don't find it "below me" or anything, I just don't really like it). It also allowed me to mock Ann Rice later by identifying tropes!
The reason I'm telling you all of this? I just remembered why I read romance novels, and found it an amusing story.

**You know, if they're PCs, adding "currently" is just mandatory:devil:!
Yes, but they're stupid consequences. I would prefer it if the system did not force me to subject my players to stupid consequences that I had to justify by making a dumb joke a fact of the game world.
IMO, that's because your players made a stupid joke of a character. Most PCs should actually have Charisma and Manipulation that are quite closer, probably within a single point of difference, unless they're somehow impaired in some situations.
You reap what you sow.

And you, @Baeraad are free to think of it as "stat tax". I certainly do, when I think about that system:grin:!

Seriously, do you honestly see V:tM - for one - as the sort of game where, "haha, he's such a liar that he gets tongue-tied whenever he tries to tell the truth about something!" is supposed to be part of the characterisation for a significant number of characters?
As stated above - then don't have your players to make many characters with much more Manipulation than Charisma, and don't make many NPCs like that. Boom, problem solved!
As far as I'm concerned, at least. You just sound like you're dissatisfied with the system.
Which I can totally understand...it's not a great system, IMO. But it's serviceable, as long as you don't sweat the details.
 
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