Author Topic: Abilities past 5  (Read 1089 times)

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Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Abilities past 5
« on: March 16, 2016, 10:28:32 am »
on page 173 of Laws of the Wyld, where it tells you how to spend xp it says:

"New Ability Trait One Experience per Ability for the first five levels in an Ability and two Experience per level thereafter."

we are supposed to be able to buy more dots.  6, 7 etc.  Because we do not add the abilities to attributes when checking ties, this just means more retests.  The ability to basically... say "nope i am BETTER then that" to a random chop failing, more times then 5 per day.

I think we should go with the book and just be able to do this thing, rather then not just because people don't always remember we are able to do this.

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Offline Travis West

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2016, 01:50:19 am »
I like abilities at +5 for Elders only, since it is also a reflection of your standing in the world.
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Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2016, 10:52:16 am »
why?  me being good at archery more then 5 times in a day is not really an Elder feature...  rank is a spirit thing, so it makes sense that spirits that teach gifts care.  but abilitiesis me practicing daily
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Offline Travis West

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2016, 11:49:47 am »
Having 5 dots in an ability represent you being at the very pinnacle of human performance.  Six represents Truly Legendary abilities, far exceeding that of any mere mortal. 

A Werewolf, possessing such LEGENDARY AMAZING ABILITY would be so renowned as to be considered an Elder and ascendant expert in that ability among the tribe and possibly the Nation as a whole.

Jimmy the Cliath having Stealth x6 and still being a Cliath instead of a world-infamous assassin makes no sense.
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Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2016, 12:17:11 pm »
yeah but htey dont limit abilities.  at double xp i can buy 7 and 8 as well, not just 6.  unlike rank it doesnt need to represent legendary.
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Offline Travis West

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2016, 02:32:47 pm »
BUT EVERYONE'S SHEETS WILL GET MESSY.  THE SPACING WILL DEGRADE. IT WILL BE A TABBED NIGHTMARE.  FORGIVE HER GRAPEVINE, SHE KNOWS NOT WHAT SHE DOES!
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Offline Kiara

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2016, 05:20:13 pm »
I wouldnt want to see a ton of over 5 abilities in any game as it feels like a superheroes game. I think it is cool for someone who is above average at doing a thing and spends years at 5 dots to expect to be able to buy the 6th but only with a ton of focus.

 As for the book not preventing this I would strongly suspect there was initially no realistic thought about the game going as long as it obviously has and they didn't think that would be a thing. In my opinion in general such things are entirely ST discretion. We are supposed to be epic people within the world we exist and above average (i support many NPC packs in septs as a theory as well Im weird) so I dont see why we wouldnt have a lot of those people.

Offline Conor (Former ST)

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2016, 11:05:34 am »
As for the book not preventing this I would strongly suspect there was initially no realistic thought about the game going as long as it obviously has and they didn't think that would be a thing.

There's some text in Dark Epics that suggests that MET was originally designed for PCs to accumulate as much as 30 experience points over their lifetime.

Offline Matt (HST)

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2016, 10:29:30 am »
There's some stuff to unpack for this one, and it's probably the issue that I am most ambivalent on of all our possible house rules.

- First, what does having a 5 really mean? In the books it seems to indicate that such a person is world-class, a true master, etc. In practice in the Org, it just seems to mean you've been around a while. Pretty much every Garou seems to collect some selection from among Brawl, Dodge, Melee, Survival, and/or Martial Arts at 5 by the time they're Adren or so. Maybe this makes sense, Garou being Gaia's super-powered warriors and death winnowing out people who aren't really awesome. But, when everyone's really awesome...no one is.

- I did a quick survey of currently active RAtC characters. We have 10 characters currently with at least one 5 on their sheet, with ranks from Fostern to Athro and spent XP totals from just over 100 to just shy of 700 (mean: 331, median: 309, stdev: 167). The number of 5's ranged from 1 to 14. The mean was 5.5, the median was 5, and the standard deviation was 4.09. I don't really have an agenda with this info, it's just something I want to put out there as to the prevalence of 5's and whether we feel they are more prevalent than we'd like from a genre perspective, or not prevalent enough, or what. There does seem to be quite a lot of individual variation, which with a sample size as small as 10 is not surprising.

- This discussion is linked to the discussion about adding abilities to contests. If we pass that rule, 5's and 6's become more valuable. That will probably affect how we feel about how many 6's or 7's or 8's we feel comfortable about people having, or what they have to do in order to get skills at that level.

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Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2016, 10:41:50 am »
oh yes.  fi we pass that other rule, it is more precious to have a 7.  personally i would rather have a 7 then add abilities. 
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Offline Marc (Admin)

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2016, 12:33:58 pm »
I am of the opinion that the degradation of the value of 5's in the Org is the real problem, that opening the floodgates beyond 5 will be a Pandora's Box, and that for all of this, it is simply a bandage on the underlying issue of people constantly NEEDING to be THE Best At The Thing (Erm.. "BETTER Than THE Best At The Thing?")

Lets say we start allowing 6's.  How long is it before inflation drives the value of 6's down to the former value of 5's?  Then 7's?  8's?  9's?  Where does it stop?

How does all of this affect those who pace themselves according to the general notion that 5 is already "world-class?"  Should people just accept that there's something called "Extra World Class?"  What about the "Super Deluxe Extra World Class" that comes after that?

In a game system like this, obviously everyone wants to achieve the most that they can achieve, but we're already way out of balance in that respect.  I just don't think it is valid to simply keep upping the ante on what's considered a world-class level, simply because folks just have to keep getting that extra trait up on others around them with similar ability. It's a never-ending arms race.  I can't help but picture the two kids arguing back and forth: "I'm better than you times a hundred!"..."I'm better than you times a million!"..."I'm better than you times INFINITY!"  When you add new levels for the few, you simultaneously lower the scale for everyone else.  Are the people who were world-class no longer world-class by virtue of the introduction of a new standard of world-class?

Not to mention how this will (or in most cases won't) be accepted at other games - if people consider inter-org play and travelling to still be a thing.

The only cases where I see Abilities above 5 as valid are cases where an extra trait comes from something like a Totem, and when the Totem goes away, so does the trait.

TL;DR: Allow adding of Abilities to contests, sure, but keep Abilities capped at 5 for sanity reasons, please.  Also, it makes a mess of the sheets, like Tom said. :)
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Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2016, 12:52:49 pm »
i am not sure messing up pretty sheets is reason enough to discard something as per book.

especially in favor of something that is completely made up and not in the book. 


right now we are basically saying "you got a 5 sure but you are only good in the first fight"  since by the second one you are out of retests.  its not a matter of comparing who has a 5 and who a 6, it is a question of having more retests, at a higher cost, as the rules are designed to do.
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Offline Damien Eneas

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2016, 01:02:35 pm »
This feels less like a debate about ability levels and more like commentary on the disconnect between MET abilities and Tabletop abilities.  A die that is rolled every time the ability is used in Tabletop is inherently different from a retest that can be used once per session.

I wonder if the better solution might not be to refresh all retests per scene (or refresh a smaller number like say 3).  This would give more retests based on proficiency without upping the numbers.

Meditation is the only ability off the top of my head that gets really strange if this suggestion was used.
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Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2016, 01:04:57 pm »
not sure why it is related to TT dice at all though?  its the MET book that says you can have abilities past 5 easily
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Offline Lars Nielsen

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2016, 01:12:29 pm »
not sure why it is related to TT dice at all though?  its the MET book that says you can have abilities past 5 easily

And it's the TT book that defines 5 as being world-class.

Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2016, 01:13:15 pm »
sure, but we are not playign using TT rules so... why do we care about that definition?  in TT i can also start with WP 9 :P
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Offline Conor (Former ST)

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2016, 06:02:58 pm »
I'm pretty sure that the original text about abilities over 5 was from Laws of the Night, where there was also some other text that specified that better-than-8th-generation vampires could have abilities of 6+.  (And also Backgrounds and Influences?  I think?)

I agree with Marc's comment about arms races.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I've got the XP to burn, and as Alexander I'd love to raise all my combat retests from 5 to 10, or whatever, but I'm not convinced the game would benefit from raising the cap.

So in tabletop White Wolf, it's pretty easy to be a superhero who bullets bounce off of.  Invest enough in your soak pool, and you can become more or less immune to small arms fire for a scene, and you can spend a hundred rounds trading swings with stuff, and so long as it doesn't do agg, you'll heal whatever damage manages to get through your soak.  (Alternatively, you'll take one here and there and find a way to heal that mid-fight too.)

In MET this is much harder.  Taking a lot of actions costs you traits and retests and wears you down.  This means that all contests are heavily weighted in favor of whoever brought more characters, and makes it harder for the lots-of-XP-sheets to overshadow newer characters for an entire game's worth of play.  And in a larp with a lot of players, I think this is good.  It means that there's a mechanic that subtly encourages the spreading-around of screen time and who gets to have awesome moments where their character succeeds at such.

As it is, the 5-cap rule *already* lets people build PCs that have more retests than they can use in one session, even a session of heavy combat.

Also, yeah, this pretty much just is about combat, because almost never is there anything but combat that burns through 5+ levels of any one ability in a single game session.  I mean it can happen *sometimes*, especially if you're engaging in a mass-social-challenge of "my story was awesome" at a moot, that's a good way to burn through 5x Performance in one round.  But generally this is about combat.

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Offline Marc (Admin)

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2016, 06:16:40 pm »
Can anyone speak for how this is currently handled (or not) in any other games?

The actual write-up in LotW seems even more restrictive than what's out there in reality today, indicating that "experts" and "masters" should be even more rare, going on to list a five trait scale of generic competency.

Quote from: Laws of the Wild, pg. 78
A character with multiple levels in a given Ability is certainly more experienced and proficient than an individual with just one Trait. Most characters will fall into one of three levels of Ability; greater amounts are very rare, limited to elders and ancestors. The total level of Ability in a given field corresponds roughly to the character’s professional capabilities. Competent (Able to earn a living) Professional (Licensed, capable of supervision) Journeyman (Bachelor’s degree or instructor) Expert (Master’s degree or researcher) Master (Doctorate or true innovator)
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Offline Nike 'Slays the Patriarchy' Strilakos

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Re: Abilities past 5
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2016, 10:00:34 pm »
LotW says  you can buy above 5 at 2xp per dot  *shrug*
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