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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    oxinabox's Avatar

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    Default nWod experience reward for backstory.

    so i'm looking at offering an exp reward for a decent backstory.
    (I'm demanding atleast 2 pages typed...)
    maybe 3-5 points. (5 points is a hell of alot i know)
    something along the lines of:
    1 pt for explaination of skills . eg they wouldn't get this if they explained that they had 1 dot in larceny, from the basic skills they developed shoplifting as a teenager. if they had 3 dots in larceny and didin't have description of that being there fulltime occupation for the last 5 years etc i would simply take them aside and get them to rewrite there character.
    1 pt listing of family/friends dead/alive, addresses, reationship. description
    1 pt listing of contacts/resources in releation to the apropriate merits (wich i expecty most players to take) i want housing addresses/decription (ideally a map) for any propery the character owns/rents. i want major equiptement listed - such as powerful computer for fast hacking, portable survalance equiptment.
    Membership of ascosications that can be relied on to rent/borrow such equiptment or favours
    i want names, positions, etc for any contacts.
    2 pts Backstory i want a good story, i want their hopes, their fears, the worse thing that has happened to them, the best. i want a filled out character who the player (even if i don't) understands how would react to any situation.

    thoughts, suggestions?
    Last edited by oxinabox; 2009-12-21 at 11:46 PM.
    There is nothing on earth that we share; it is either Valjean or Javert!

    "A wizard can in fact be thought of the custodian to a familiar, a terrifying beast that charges its foes, slashing them to shreds while delivering their master's touch spells and bestowing upon their masters incredible bonuses to their hp or skill checks. A wizard is nearly powerless without one."

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: nWod experience reward for backstory.

    Quote Originally Posted by oxinabox View Post
    so i'm looking at offering an exp reward for a decent backstory.

    maybe 3-5 points. (5 points is a hell of alot i know)
    I'm all for good character backgrounds. Maybe I don't understand what you mean by "points", but in d&d 4.0, and in 3x, 5 points isn't worth anything really, if you consider that it takes a 1000 points to get to level 2, for instance.

    I gave my players 100 XP for filling out a subset of the questions I picked from this website:

    Last edited by DabblerWizard; 2009-12-21 at 10:07 PM.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: nWod experience reward for backstory.

    5 points isn't that much. It has to be enough to make them feel like they are getting something out of their homework (if they are the kind of players who don't do that for fun. some do.)

    As for suggestions, there are several good lists of character questions that help background development. Amber diceless had a nice one. I found this one in a 10 second google search. http://www.elfwood.com/farp/thewriti...rissychar.html . Find or create a nice list, then tell the players to answer half (or 10, or whatever. Not all. Not every player will have the answer to everything before game play) of the questions in the course of their background.

    Also, allow modifications after the first or second game. For me personally, lots of times I don't fully get the feel of a character until he has seen play, and then I want to edit my background to fit how I plan to RP him.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: nWod experience reward for backstory.

    Quote Originally Posted by DabblerWizard View Post
    Maybe I don't understand what you mean by "points", but in d&d 4.0, and in 3x, 5 points isn't worth anything really, if you consider that it takes a 1000 points to get to level 2, for instance.
    dnd really uses big numbers, for eveything.
    in nWod you get average of 3 exp per session.
    5 exp in nWod = 500+ in dnd.
    but nWod alsol has an expodential exp cost to increase anything

    thanks for the link. very useful.
    There is nothing on earth that we share; it is either Valjean or Javert!

    "A wizard can in fact be thought of the custodian to a familiar, a terrifying beast that charges its foes, slashing them to shreds while delivering their master's touch spells and bestowing upon their masters incredible bonuses to their hp or skill checks. A wizard is nearly powerless without one."

    Need to find a God? or Spell or Feat?

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: nWod experience reward for backstory.

    Now I can't remember a lot of nWoD, but I know that often in oWod creating a character backstory was a process that had to be gone through by the player and storyteller in unison.

    Such as by asking questions like the one in the link.

    Also: nice to see that the XP is neglible, it gives a bonus to people who make a detailed backstory but doesn't penalizes those who do not.

    Though you might be expecting a bit too much info for the contacts, but maybe that's just me.
    Last edited by Dixieboy; 2009-12-22 at 01:08 AM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: nWod experience reward for backstory.

    Though you might be expecting a bit too much info for the contacts, but maybe that's probably just me.
    editted for clarity:
    1 pt listing of contacts/resources in releation to the apropriate merits (wich i expecty most players to take) i want housing addresses/decription (ideally a map) for any propery the character owns/rents. i want major equiptement listed - such as powerful computer for fast hacking, portable survalance equiptment.
    Membership of ascosications that can be relied on to rent/borrow such equiptment or favours
    i want names, positions, etc for any contacts.
    with regard to the amount of xp;
    i don't expect all the players top fully get every dot.
    that is why backstory is worth 2. you canm get half marks for that one.
    the others it's a case of:
    a)you have plent of well written info. you get the XP.

    b) you have enough info that i judge you character to be playable. there is nothing contradictory in there. you may have some vagueness, such as listing you skill in firearms as being from army training, but not mentioning much about why you were in the arm, why you left. you don't get the XP.

    c)you have something wrong. eg 4 dots in science with a specialy in biology, as a 2nd year uni student. you don't get he XP and i'll ask you to revise your sheet/backstory.
    Last edited by oxinabox; 2009-12-22 at 12:01 AM.
    There is nothing on earth that we share; it is either Valjean or Javert!

    "A wizard can in fact be thought of the custodian to a familiar, a terrifying beast that charges its foes, slashing them to shreds while delivering their master's touch spells and bestowing upon their masters incredible bonuses to their hp or skill checks. A wizard is nearly powerless without one."

    Need to find a God? or Spell or Feat?

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: nWod experience reward for backstory.

    Posted by Dixieboy
    Now I can't remember a lot of nWoD, but I know that often in oWod creating a character backstory was a process that had to be gone through by the player and storyteller in unison.
    It's always a good idea to go through a players background just for that one player who wrote in his background how he is really Dracula's chile and was gifted with a magical, silver Katanna of Doom by his sire before being sent out into the world along with the promise that if he ever really gets in trouble Dracula and his horder of minions will turn up to save him
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: nWod experience reward for backstory.

    Quote Originally Posted by oxinabox View Post
    1 pt listing of family/friends dead/alive, addresses, reationship. description
    Don't know which WoD you are playing, but this could be a problem for a player who wants to play a vampire just out of torpor. Depending how long they've been torpored, they may not know anyone.

    You can argue 1 XP isn't a lot, but there are times where 1 extra XP can make a difference. (In a VtR game I'm playing, at the end of a recent session, I was 1 XP short of the amount needed for the next level of a Discipline. I got the XP in the next session, but there were times in that session I could have really used the abilities of that Discipline.)

    The other important thing is how much starting XP do they get? If you are giving them 50 XP (on top of character creation), 1 XP means a lot less than if you were just starting them with creation dots or creation dots +10XP.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: nWod experience reward for backstory.

    I find nWoD provides an unsatisfactory level of customization when it comes to a character's abilities, so I often provide far greater than 5 xp to start chronicles. What you may find would work well is providing as many as 10 or 15 experience points based on your criteria, but requiring them to spend it all before the game starts and only on mundane abilities, skills and merits, to represent aspects of that backstory.

    In nWoD, someone who is rich cannot have as many friends, or be as well connected as someone who is poor. Gorgeous people and giants cannot have a 'sixth sense' for the supernatural (and they make less money and have fewer friends too). I felt this needed to be addressed.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: nWod experience reward for backstory.

    I think you might be best off just assigning one bonus stat point to wherever it feels appropriate for the character. As in, read through the character, then tell the player, "Your backstory is really good, I'm thinking of giving your character an extra point in ___ or ___. Which do you think would be the best fit?" You can intentionally choose skills that are poorly represented for the character, or offer a speciality in a skill that doesn't have one yet.

    5 points doesn't seem like much. You get that in a session or two, at least by the standard rules. On the other hand, 35 points is a "seasoned character", and I doubt you want to give out anywhere near that much.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: nWod experience reward for backstory.

    [Edit: just to be sure, what does "nWoD" mean? I assumed that to be the standard World of Darkness...]


    I think this may be someway excessive...

    Quote Originally Posted by oxinabox View Post
    if they had 3 dots in larceny and didin't have description of that being there fulltime occupation for the last 5 years etc i would simply take them aside and get them to rewrite there character.
    And you would be wrong. A character can easily have 3 dots in Larceny and 3 dots in Computer and 4 dots in Firearms; reasoning that way (3 dots = full occupation for 5 years), that means he has spent more than the last 15 years just practicing these skills. That would be kinda weird.
    Also, some book (I think that's the WoD core rulebook, but that might also be Vampire, I don't remember now) specifically says that many dots might also mean you are gifted for that activity.
    Also, I know a guy who's still studying Physics (currently 2nd year of college), but I'm quite certain in WoD he'd have 4 dots in Science. He's more than a year ahead with his preparation and absolutely masters whatever he knows of, more than almost all teachers we have.


    Quote Originally Posted by oxinabox View Post
    1 pt listing of family/friends dead/alive, addresses, reationship. description
    That's quite a boring work to do in my opinion. It does make sense, but isn't enough to decide who are every character's most important friends/relatives, sketch his relation with them, and just focus on them if it will be useful sometimes later?
    Creating addresses and detailed description for people who will probably never matter in the game is just a long and boring thing...


    Quote Originally Posted by oxinabox View Post
    1 pt listing of contacts/resources in releation to the apropriate merits (wich i expecty most players to take) i want housing addresses/decription (ideally a map) for any propery the character owns/rents. i want major equiptement listed - such as powerful computer for fast hacking, portable survalance equiptment.
    While the list of the equipment is really important (and it's also important to decide how they obtained it - the character has an expensive car because he bought it (that would require at least Resources 3, probably 4), or did he steal it (and, at character creation, that would probably require good Larceny/Furtivity scores, or Allies, or very high Streetwise)?), I don't think creating a map for each building in the city is worth the time it takes...


    Quote Originally Posted by oxinabox View Post
    i want a filled out character who the player (even if i don't) understands how would react to any situation.
    Now, really, I don't know how I would react to many situations myself. An interesting character in WoD is about doubts and conflicts (though I played mostly Vampires, and that's even more true for vampires), which should develop mostly in game.

    The XP reward you are offering is balanced, but don't expect your player to like the game just as you like it, unless you know them all really well and you have played a WoD campaign before. I'm afraid your game sessions will involve a lot of talking and nearly no action, and don't get pissed if your players don't like it.
    I had a bad experience about this; after a year of gaming that started with us having to steal an item and ended with theological discussions ("I don't think you should be in the coterie any more, because your theological vision of pain is too different from ours" - a guy really told this to me!), we realized that playing the game that way sucked a lot and the coterie broke up.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kesnit View Post
    (In a VtR game I'm playing, at the end of a recent session, I was 1 XP short of the amount needed for the next level of a Discipline)
    Following the standard rules, you should wait the end of a story arc before using your XP. So you might have had to wait for a few months just for 1 point. WoD is terrible sometimes...
    Last edited by Pigkappa; 2009-12-22 at 07:31 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: nWod experience reward for backstory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pigkappa View Post
    [Edit: just to be sure, what does "nWoD" mean? I assumed that to be the standard World of Darkness...]
    "New" World of Darkness

    White Wolf has produced two "editions" of their World of Darkness setting. The first one was with books like Vampire: the Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, and so on. These books were all designed as individual, independant settings, and could be played out of a single book - there was no "general sourcebook".

    New World of Darkness is the "current" White Wolf setting, or at least current in the US. It's the one which has an actual "World of Darkness" sourcebook, along with additional sourcebooks like Vampire: the Requiem. If you have the WoD sourcebook, then you're working with nWoD.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pigkappa View Post
    Also, I know a guy who's still studying Physics (currently 2nd year of college), but I'm quite certain in WoD he'd have 4 dots in Science. He's more than a year ahead with his preparation and absolutely masters whatever he knows of, more than almost all teachers we have.
    I wouldn't call that 4 dots in Science. 4 dots should be someone mastered in their field, and probably working with theoretical science. As smart as your friend is, if he's still an undergrad and still learning, then he wouldn't have than much experience. Possibly 4 Intelligence and 2 Science to represent his ability to pick up new concepts quickly, but as you pointed out yourself, he is still in the process of picking up those new concepts.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: nWod experience reward for backstory.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pigkappa View Post

    And you would be wrong. A character can easily have 3 dots in Larceny and 3 dots in Computer and 4 dots in Firearms; reasoning that way (3 dots = full occupation for 5 years), that means he has spent more than the last 15 years just practicing these skills. That would be kinda weird.
    Also, some book specifically says that many dots might also mean you are gifted for that activity.
    My time to skill dots is a bit off that was just a rough example. 3 dot's means you can do it for a living.
    consider: a police officer, 5 year experience, worked his arse off hard.
    easily has 3 investigation, 3 firearms, 3 larceny .
    and from his hobby over the last 5 years, 3 computer.
    maybe i shouldn't say full time



    the naturally gifted point is valid (it is the core book i believe). but then that it's self would go ion the backstory - for some reason X has always had a Great telent for skill Y
    and if the player had that for more than a couple of skills then i would either say he doesn't get the pt for skills explanation. or suggest that maybe he hould have a higher attribute rather than a higher skill.





    1 pt listing of family/friends dead/alive, addresses, reationship. description
    Don't know which WoD you are playing, but this could be a problem for a player who wants to play a vampire just out of torpor. Depending how long they've been torpored, they may not know anyone.

    Also, I know a guy who's still studying Physics (currently 2nd year of college), but I'm quite certain in WoD he'd have 4 dots in Science. He's more than a year ahead with his preparation and absolutely masters whatever he knows of, more than almost all teachers we have.
    he has a explained backstory explaining it.
    I would throw back if someone thought that 4 dot's was Normal for 2nd year uni.
    4 dots really is much more closer to PhD though.
    very few nobal prize winners have more than 4 dots in science.
    people with 5 dots are mostly remembered for all time kinda people.
    Einstien, Maxwell, Newton.



    Following the standard rules, you should wait the end of a story arc before using your XP. So you might have had to wait for a few months just for 1 point. WoD is terrible sometimes...
    I play that as soon as you do something metirting the spending of exp. eg from weaponry, spend a week with 2 hour early morning sparing sessions. you can spend it.


    1 pt listing of family/friends dead/alive, addresses, reationship.
    description
    Don't know which WoD you are playing, but this could be a problem for a player who wants to play a vampire just out of torpor. Depending how long they've been torpored, they may not know anyone.
    I've never played vampire.
    I'm, doing Changling, the Lost.
    But for example one of my players who i have a discussed backstory with, is playing a knight from the crusaides, who spend the last couple of hundred years in Faery. He has lots of relitives, they're all hundreds of years dead. but he'll find them in the history books. he can read how they died shamed, cast out from noble society after his fetch showed gross breach of honour or cowardness (I'm working on this, it's not quiet right yet.)

    It starts with them just escaped Arcadia.
    }the important part witht he addresses is that it lets me know what area's the fetch might be found in.;
    a suburb is surfient i guess
    There is nothing on earth that we share; it is either Valjean or Javert!

    "A wizard can in fact be thought of the custodian to a familiar, a terrifying beast that charges its foes, slashing them to shreds while delivering their master's touch spells and bestowing upon their masters incredible bonuses to their hp or skill checks. A wizard is nearly powerless without one."

    Need to find a God? or Spell or Feat?

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