A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Lil' help please (WoD)

    Hey,

    So, yeah. I'm a long-time D&D player and recently, I stumbled upon the World of Darkness handbook and burned through every word in a single day. I have to say that I love how the system looks, especially how it lends itself to genuine horror and mystery gameplay.

    Now, I've managed to get a group together to run a mortal game. However, while just reading the book gave me a bunch of story ideas, I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to balance encounters, both between humans and other humans and between humans and monsters. So far, the only solution I've come up with is to allow NPCs a number of build point proportional to their threat level. So, a lowly thug would have 1/2 of standard PC buildpoints while a trained mob hitman would have the same number as PCs do. But, having no experience with the system, I'm not sure if this will work. Furthermore, handling balance between humans and monsters like vampires baffles me.

    So, if anyone could give me advice, that'd be very appreciated. Also, any general advice on running games is welcome. Thanks in advance.

    P.S: If this is a D&D-only forum, I'll be happy to ask somewhere else. I've just been lurking here for a while and it seemed as good a place to ask advice as any.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    Is this new world of darkness, or old world of darkness?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    The Rose Dragon's Avatar

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    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    Old World of Darkness does not have a core rulebook like New World of Darkness, so I assume New.
    I use black for sarcasm.


    Call me Rose, or The Rose Dragon. Rose Dragon is someone else entirely.

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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    New World of Darkness, I think. The one that came out in 2004, anyway.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    First. You can ask abot any RPG here.
    Second. NWOD or OWOD?
    Assuming NWOD since its the only one I know. If using Old WOD just ignore what I'm saying. Combat is lethal so a lucky enemy can easily kill a PC. Remember this. Also the example combatants in the back of the book use a buttload more exp to create than a normal character would have (I think somewhere along the realm of an elder vampires suggested EXP is given to the example SWAT member.) Also Cats. They kill. Seriously. The basic cat is too strong. There are also some minor errata available from their website you might wanna look into. Especially if anyone wants to know languages. The point based system is hard to balance since I can create a character with 1000 points who has zero combat ability if I so chose. So your best bet is really just to err on the side of caution until you have a better grasp of your players capabilities.

    Now hopefully you are using NWOD and I didn't just waste eveyones time.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    Okay, thanks. It is indeed New WoD. Those sample caharacter did seem oddly strong.

    Also, that is one awesome erratta.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    I've only tried nWoD once, but I'm going to echo the lethality of it for most characters.

    If you're planning to run a mortal game, tell your players beforehand that engaging in a stand-up fight means that somebody righteously screwed up somewhere. You have a finite number of hit boxes and even a knife held by a random hobo can totally mess you up.

    Balancing bog-standard humans against supernatural creatures is very difficult, especially if the humans don't have very specialized knowledge about the weaknesses of the supernatural creatures. There's a reason that Van Helsing used to stab up his foes during the daytime whenever he could pull it off.

    If anything, I would suggest running each encounter as a puzzle, with varying degrees of a "right way" to go about doing it.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    The system also heavily supports the players coming up with on the fly manuevers that aren't coverend in the rules and so you might want to get used to coming up with dice pools and ad hoc bonuses/penalties on the fly. If you want to increase survivability of the players you could encourage one of them to get 3-4 dots of resources so they can outfit the party with concealed flak jackets but that might look a little odd. Vampires are harder to kill than mortals (unless you use fire) and a little stronger but not horrendesly so (until they get higher level disciplines), werewolves are amazingly strong even at low and a single one could easily take out an otherwise competent party, mages can break the game easily....

    No experience with Changelings or Proteans. Sin-Eaters are kinda on the vampire level of power I think. Yeah you should encourage your players to avoid combat at all costs. Also don't optimize your monsters/NPC for combat. It is amazingly easy to make a character at lvl able to kill one or two targets per turn with an almost zero chance of failure.

    The best advice I can give is to learn to be flexible both in rules and plot and to be careful with encounters until you know your players and their characters well.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    I wouldn't say nWOD is hyper lethal.

    I don't think the group i played with ever died... granted we where playing combat heavy characters.
    But even the two non combat characters where able to assist in combat.
    Though we where all vet's of oWOD. So that may have helped.


    Alot of player deaths i see is a gms lack of mastery of the system. Blancing in the D&d term is alot different in WOD.

    If you have the time before you guys start your games. I would grab a good friend of yours or one of the more power gamy players. and have him make two characters... a supper combat heavy one and one that isn't combat heavy and run him through a few firefights... just to get a handle on the rules... you will understand more that way.

    Alot of balance issues come up when Players think that there playing dnd and just try to kick down the door.
    When the end comes i shall remember you.

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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    Quote Originally Posted by subject42 View Post
    If you're planning to run a mortal game, tell your players beforehand that engaging in a stand-up fight means that somebody righteously screwed up somewhere. You have a finite number of hit boxes and even a knife held by a random hobo can totally mess you up.
    Okay. Yeah, I generally like running very open games, where I lay out the setting and the clues and let the players decide what to do with them. I think I'll suggest to one player that it'd be a good idea to take the ''common sense'' merit. That way, they hopefully won't run off and get killed right off the bat.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    Quote Originally Posted by RagnaroksChosen View Post
    I wouldn't say nWOD is hyper lethal.

    I don't think the group i played with ever died... granted we where playing combat heavy characters.
    But even the two non combat characters where able to assist in combat.
    Though we where all vet's of oWOD. So that may have helped.


    Alot of player deaths i see is a gms lack of mastery of the system. Blancing in the D&d term is alot different in WOD.
    Depends I think. I can make a standard starting character that gets to roll 30+ dice of damage per turn by dual wielding axes. Plus they get 9 and 0 re-rolled. All you need is 5 dots in weaponry, specialize in axes, 3 dots in dex for dual wielding merit, put str at 3 then become a vamp to make it 4, and max out two-weapon fighting. You get 14 dice on your primary and 13 on your secondary I believe. Then you can either get 3 dots of vigor for another 6 dice on each or 3 dots of celerity to be able to run 100ft per turn.

    That kills just about anything in one turn. Heck even not really optimizing can give you a rifle (5dmg) high dex (say 4) high firearms (5 since skills are cheaper) and rifle specialization (1). That gives you 15 dice. 5 of which on average will be successes. Without any armor on that can kill some characters in one hit. With a 200ft short range they are not gonna be able to get close enough to you or far enough away to escape.

    The point is that in NWOD if you want to make someone dead it is easy to do it. Very easy. Not every fight will result in death but it can quite easily.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    Quote Originally Posted by Xenogears View Post
    Many, many terrifying, axe-related things
    ... I think I'm gonna have to have a little talk with my players.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    Quote Originally Posted by Xenogears View Post
    Depends I think. I can make a standard starting character that gets to roll 30+ dice of damage per turn by dual wielding axes. Plus they get 9 and 0 re-rolled. All you need is 5 dots in weaponry, specialize in axes, 3 dots in dex for dual wielding merit, put str at 3 then become a vamp to make it 4, and max out two-weapon fighting. You get 14 dice on your primary and 13 on your secondary I believe. Then you can either get 3 dots of vigor for another 6 dice on each or 3 dots of celerity to be able to run 100ft per turn.

    That kills just about anything in one turn. Heck even not really optimizing can give you a rifle (5dmg) high dex (say 4) high firearms (5 since skills are cheaper) and rifle specialization (1). That gives you 15 dice. 5 of which on average will be successes. Without any armor on that can kill some characters in one hit. With a 200ft short range they are not gonna be able to get close enough to you or far enough away to escape.

    The point is that in NWOD if you want to make someone dead it is easy to do it. Very easy. Not every fight will result in death but it can quite easily.
    I belive, you can't go above 3 dots for starting characters... now its been a while since i've read nWOD... we ususaly play oWOD.

    Then again sometimes i loose track of whats raw and whats been house ruled, as we do play with a decent amount of house rules.

    I've only played mortal once and it didn't feel very leathal...
    we where playing with 3 dots being max on skills and attributes though.

    now don't get me wrong if you power game it you can get some stupid stuff going on... in both old and new... A lot of the balance of WOD is in the gm saying NO that doesn't interact like that and or saying that it doesn't make sense for there story. RAW at least in oWOD was very hard to follow.

    EDIT: Never mind with your vamp example your vulnerable during the day and fire will bring you down quick... so yes you could be a butcher and have insane axe wielding skills and slaughter mortals like there is no tomorrow.
    though i don't have any books on me atm, i know there are counters for stuff like that not only in vampire but in the other books as well.

    and yes your riflemen has about 15 dice to hit with, but using the same points you just did you can have a doge about that high as well.
    Last edited by RagnaroksChosen; 2010-01-04 at 01:45 PM.
    When the end comes i shall remember you.

    I sorry i fail Englimish...(appologise for Spelling/Grammer Errors) Please don't correct my spelling or grammer eaither.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    Quote Originally Posted by RagnaroksChosen View Post
    I belive, you can't go above 3 dots for starting characters... now its been a while since i've read nWOD... we ususaly play oWOD.

    Then again sometimes i loose track of whats raw and whats been house ruled, as we do play with a decent amount of house rules.

    I've only played mortal once and it didn't feel very leathal...
    we where playing with 3 dots being max on skills and attributes though.
    Oh I agree it's not something to do. I was making the character because I liked the Image and only at the end realized I din't have enough dice to actually attack...

    Also that 3 thing is a houserule. Normal rule is to pick your primary, secondary, and tertiary abilities. Say I pick Physical as primary. 5 points to spend on that and each start at one as free. So I put one in STA to get average health then two each in STR and DEX. Vamp gets me one more point depending on type determines stat select one for +STR. Only rule regarding max limits is that the 5th dot costs double at character creation. So most of the time you want to stop at 4 since a four and a three are better than a 5 and a 1. Skills you can get enough points that if you want to be hyper focused a five is sometimes acceptable...

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    Quote Originally Posted by Xenogears View Post
    Oh I agree it's not something to do. I was making the character because I liked the Image and only at the end realized I din't have enough dice to actually attack...

    Also that 3 thing is a houserule. Normal rule is to pick your primary, secondary, and tertiary abilities. Say I pick Physical as primary. 5 points to spend on that and each start at one as free. So I put one in STA to get average health then two each in STR and DEX. Vamp gets me one more point depending on type determines stat select one for +STR. Only rule regarding max limits is that the 5th dot costs double at character creation. So most of the time you want to stop at 4 since a four and a three are better than a 5 and a 1. Skills you can get enough points that if you want to be hyper focused a five is sometimes acceptable...
    hmm...
    I wasn't including the bonus from vamp...
    i know about the primary secoundary and third thing...
    i was talking about max starting dots in any particular skill. (I was wrong about the attributes thing)
    thats before adding any thing do to supernatural abilities.
    which i wasn't taking into effect as OP said he was playing a mortal game.
    Last edited by RagnaroksChosen; 2010-01-04 at 01:51 PM.
    When the end comes i shall remember you.

    I sorry i fail Englimish...(appologise for Spelling/Grammer Errors) Please don't correct my spelling or grammer eaither.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    Quote Originally Posted by RagnaroksChosen View Post
    hmm...
    I wasn't including the bonus from vamp...
    i know about the primary secoundary and third thing...
    i was talking about max starting dots in any particular skill. (I was wrong about the attributes thing)
    thats before adding any thing do to supernatural abilities.
    which i wasn't taking into effect as OP said he was playing a mortal game.
    yeah but i listed vamp in my example since you can only do it with a supernatural thing that gives + to either STR or DEX. I was just putting all that info in just to be sure you hadn't altered it with more houserules but no there is no max starting.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    First, note that while you can create a psycho axe murderer, and create one very well, combat isn't intended to be everything in WoD. If your player runs around town killing everyone with axes, then the police are likely to get involved. Or a SWAT team, if he's really successful. Large numbers of people with guns can take down just about anything that isn't supernatural.

    Also, my advice for WoD is: take a look at your PCs, and judge challanges based on them. WoD doesn't grant experience for killing X number of orcs; it grants experience for getting through the story. Thus, as long as the orcs were a challange - or at least appropriate - then they're worth the exp. And they don't necessarily need to be challanging in combat either - a corrupt politician or possessing spirit would be just as much of a challange, and one that an axe won't fix.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Lil' help please (WoD)

    Yeah the axe thing was just supposed to demonstrate how lethal combat gets if you try to really optomize a character for it. After making it I realized it would never see play. That said.

    The suggested way of playing does not have combat so important but if everyone wants combat there is nothing to say you can't play a slightly modified dungeon crawl in NWOD. Just have the players hunting down groups of vampires/werewolves/ghosts/demons/monsters. So although the system is built with combat not being as much the focus it can still be played as a primarily combat oriented game. Expect more deaths though.

    *Note* I am not saying either style is better. Simply that both are possible should the group decide they prefer one over the other or a mix.

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