View Full Version : (NWoD) Supernatural Powers Design Question

2011-04-10, 01:27 PM
Hey, all:

Does anybody know anything about the design logic of NWoD supernatural powers?

In Vampire, Mage, and Werewolf many of the powers function as (Attribute + Skill + Supernatural Ability). In games like Promethean and Changeling it is often (Powersource + Attribute or Skill), with a few exceptions (mantle and the like).

Does anyone know why this is? It seems to me that supernatural powers are...supernatural by themselves. Giving them the extra big dice pool (Attribute + Skill + Supernatural Ability) seems a bit overkill, seeing as how many of these powers have severe consequences if you don't resist.

2011-04-10, 06:52 PM
Think of the power source or supernatural ability like an equipment bonus. A starting character with a rifle is rolling Attribute + Skill + 4 for his attacks. A supernatural attack with Attribute + Skill for damage would pretty much always do less damage than just using a gun. It doesn't seem right for the archmage's fireballs to do less damage than Bob the Mortal's rifle, does it?
Also, supernatural abilities are supposed to be awesome. If your vampiric mind-control is no more likely to work than just asking someone to do what you want, it's not very exciting to use.

Plus, wasting resources tends to be aggravating. If you spend a limited resource on something and are just as likely to fail as if you spent nothing, failure feels like a total waste instead of just bad luck. If using your supernatural powers doesn't work any more often than not using them, the balance of "Better if it does work" vs. "Wastes vitae if it fails, and I need vitae to live" will usually cause players to play it safe and avoid using their powers. And if you're not using your supernatural powers, why are you playing a game that revolves around having supernatural powers?

2011-04-10, 07:53 PM
I sort of had thought of them as equipment bonuses, until i realized that some supernaturals have the ability to add actual equipment bonuses to these rolls.

I bring this up because I am working on a mage game where all magic will be handled as spontaneous casting (without the mana cost). In this version, mages will be able to have dedicated magical tools to function as the third part of their rolls.

Rotes would simply be spells that grant you the 9 again benefit.

Would this be playable?

2011-04-10, 08:56 PM
If there's no mana cost, should be fine.