Merits that give more

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Cinn
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Merits that give more

Post by Cinn » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:51 am

There are some merits that give additional merit dots, meaning very cost-effective XP expenditure when raising them. Professional training and mystery cult initiation are the ones that instantly spring to mind, but I bet there's more out there in the books. Is there any thought as to how these will be handled in the setting design at all (character creation policies or in-game advancement, etc)?

I'm sort of assuming everyone will start out at the pinnacle of their profession because the professional training merit is just that good, but characters are limited to just one profession, right? Specifically, characters won't be able to purchase the professional merit multiple times?

Secondly, the mystery cult initiation merit is one that has huge potential for creating interesting and dynamic groupings in a game. However, without any guidelines or requirements, I can easily see 15-20 cults popping up with just a single character in each. Additionally, the higher tiers of membership provide some really worthwhile bonuses, but again, it would be strange if every character you ran into was the leader of a cult. Naturally, not everyone will be interested in this merit, but from my experience with 2.0 tabletop sessions, there will be players looking to get involved in cults. Again, I think it would be reasonable to limit people to one Mystery Cult Initiation merit per character, but I also feel like cults should either be pre-established, or require some sort of group effort to create.

How does everyone else feel about these things in a chat setting?
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Post by praetor » Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:46 am

Without cracking a book, does professional training have ANY prerequisites, say in the asset skills, before you can buy a higher level of it?

If it does (and it should); taking it multiple times wouldn't be an issue. The preprequs would halt your progression through the merit naturally.
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Mephi
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Post by Mephi » Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:55 am

Every vampire effectively has a cult of personality based around them - its called their herd (and there are a few merits for super herd-cults). Likewise, werewolves have their pack, which can function as a secluded cult as well. Operating a cult is a standard operating proceedure for mages attempting to help Awaken people, most famously there's the Cryptopoly and Labrynth, but all Orders dabble to an extent.

Cults are exceedingly common in the CofD. And, to be frank, even if everyone had a cult to themselves? Its exactly how things are working now with the Mystery Cult merit in vampire. Every vampire is specializing their own benefits with their private cult.


As for Professional Training? Well, most people generally can't really have multiple Professions. There's simply not enough hours in the day to have a full time profession as well as do all the supernatural stuff we have as plot. The book doesn't outright say you can't have multiple merits, but its exceedingly rare to have such a character.

And even then? The benefits are pretty specialized, and a lot of players don't really care about maxing out skills in a lot of areas, considering that magic powers, Styles or other merits tend to have a greater return in investment. As well, asuming everyone starts at Profession 5 is like assuming that everyone will start with Athletics 5 for the defense boost; not something I'd take for granted.

For instance, lets say I'm playing a vampire exotic dancer and a changeling healer. The vampire uses their profession (dancer) to secure money and blood, as well as a source of fulfilling their Mask for willpower - I don't particularly care about the extra Contacts or specialties related to performing. A boost to Athletics would be nice, since that's a fairly handy skill, but unnecessary in the long run in light of having Celerity and Vigor. Meanwhile, my supernatural healer will focus on actual healing magics, making Medicine slightly unnecessary for the most part as a skill. Empathy is a nice skill, but don't really want to specialize in that either. Having Contacts would be nice, but that's just the first dot, with the rest being rather unattractive.


And this doesn't touch on other merits outside the CofD core that are highly efficent. I see no reason to borrow trouble in this instance. If it becomes an issue, then we can address it, but I don't think that most players will really have an issue with things as they stand.
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Post by Wolfpact » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:48 pm

Mephi wrote:Every vampire effectively has a cult of personality based around them - its called their herd (and there are a few merits for super herd-cults). Likewise, werewolves have their pack, which can function as a secluded cult as well. Operating a cult is a standard operating proceedure for mages attempting to help Awaken people, most famously there's the Cryptopoly and Labrynth, but all Orders dabble to an extent.

Cults are exceedingly common in the CofD. And, to be frank, even if everyone had a cult to themselves? Its exactly how things are working now with the Mystery Cult merit in vampire. Every vampire is specializing their own benefits with their private cult.


As for Professional Training? Well, most people generally can't really have multiple Professions. There's simply not enough hours in the day to have a full time profession as well as do all the supernatural stuff we have as plot. The book doesn't outright say you can't have multiple merits, but its exceedingly rare to have such a character.

And even then? The benefits are pretty specialized, and a lot of players don't really care about maxing out skills in a lot of areas, considering that magic powers, Styles or other merits tend to have a greater return in investment. As well, asuming everyone starts at Profession 5 is like assuming that everyone will start with Athletics 5 for the defense boost; not something I'd take for granted.

For instance, lets say I'm playing a vampire exotic dancer and a changeling healer. The vampire uses their profession (dancer) to secure money and blood, as well as a source of fulfilling their Mask for willpower - I don't particularly care about the extra Contacts or specialties related to performing. A boost to Athletics would be nice, since that's a fairly handy skill, but unnecessary in the long run in light of having Celerity and Vigor. Meanwhile, my supernatural healer will focus on actual healing magics, making Medicine slightly unnecessary for the most part as a skill. Empathy is a nice skill, but don't really want to specialize in that either. Having Contacts would be nice, but that's just the first dot, with the rest being rather unattractive.


And this doesn't touch on other merits outside the CofD core that are highly efficent. I see no reason to borrow trouble in this instance. If it becomes an issue, then we can address it, but I don't think that most players will really have an issue with things as they stand.
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Post by Falco1029 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:38 pm

Professional training I don't think is an issue, because as mentioned, you get one profession, and it's easy enough to prevent you from starting with 5 dots in it without a very good reason ("Wait, why does your 20 year old character have 5 dots in profession (Doctor) again?").

Mystery Cult I think needs to be a somewhat restricted thing on the creation side. They should be setting elements, and they should be a combination of pre-made at the start of the game by STs, or created IC and only developable with X members already committed (exact number being up to STs, again).
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Post by A_newfie » Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:57 am

Falco1029 wrote:Professional training I don't think is an issue, because as mentioned, you get one profession, and it's easy enough to prevent you from starting with 5 dots in it without a very good reason ("Wait, why does your 20 year old character have 5 dots in profession (Doctor) again?").
This is wanton wicked. EVERYONE is a 20 year old with 5 in their profession!

As for the OP, there's very few situations when professional training isn't a handy choice (from a gaming perspective). Sure, you can nitpick out a certain set-up, claiming you don't have use for this and that, but in reality, you are paying 5 merit-points (one of the cheapest things in the game to increase) to get...

2 dots of contacts
9-again on all rolls with 3 skills of your choice
2 Specialties
1 skill dot and 1 beat every time you increase any of your 3 "core" skills
Rote-action with any of your 3 skills for one WP.

Now, if I were to buy all of these with just normal points (I can't buy rote-action but whatever!) it would cost 2 XP (Contacts) 2 XP (Specialties) 2 XP (skill dot). The 9-again quality can (among other ways) be gained with the Hobbyist-clique merit, but only for one skill at a time, and only if the clique of people offers help to you while performing it. But let's buy it anyway, once for each skill, for the sake of the example (2+2+2 XP).

So, if we want the PT effects we either pay 5 XP... Or we pay a whopping 12 XP, and then I still don't get the rote-action or the flexibility of 9-again or the beats whenever I increase one of my asset-skills. It is clearly a very, very powerful merit in comparison to other merits and to avoid it, from a gamey-perspective, is a very bad choice, and there's basically no character who doesn't have a reason to pick up a few points in it, considering it covers as wide array of "professions" such as Thug, Vagrant, Socialite and Hacker.

In comparison to the cult-merit, which actually requires rhyme and reason for you to pick it up, the professional training could (and should) be picked up by basically every single character on the chat.

Everyone can be good at their job, after all, and I would find it hard as a ST to say "No, you can't have professional training 4, you aren't good at your job!" unless there's some sort of check-list set up prior to the start of the chat for how to treat the merit.

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One way to mitigate this with a house-rule (if you want to, not saying you have to) would be to connect the status-merit to your professional training merit. IE: there's no way a rookie-nurse who got 1 in status medicine got 5 in professional training doctor. But then you encounter other problems, such as what the heck is a status 5 Vagrant?

Either way, it's a very powerful merit and leaving it leashes off is almost guaranteed to fill the chat with characters that all roll with at least 3-4 in it. I am not saying this is good or bad for the chat but I am saying that it might create a very streamlined way of creating characters, a sensation that if you don't pick the merit, you are essentially nerfing yourself because everyone else got it. It is, from a rolePLAYING perspective a very fun merit though, because it gives every character a chance to truly shine and stand out, with a few things that they are exceptionally good at.
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Cinn
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Post by Cinn » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:21 am

Only reason I asked about Professional Training is the current game allows (allowed?) mortals to pick it multiple times, which seems like it could be an issue with the 2.0 version of the merit.
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Post by Wolfpact » Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:58 pm

RAW = RAW.
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Post by praetor » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:54 pm

Wolfpact wrote:RAW = RAW.
Does this have an actual meaning?
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Post by BearShark » Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:53 pm

Cinn wrote:Only reason I asked about Professional Training is the current game allows (allowed?) mortals to pick it multiple times, which seems like it could be an issue with the 2.0 version of the merit.
The mortals of 4.0 were able to access the NWoD Hunter version of Professional Training, not CoD. Also, they had to get Professional Training 5 in their first one before they could pick a second one.
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Post by Wolfpact » Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:17 pm

praetor wrote:
Wolfpact wrote:RAW = RAW.
Does this have an actual meaning?
Yes. RUles as Written are the Rules as Written. Leave them be.
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Post by A_newfie » Sun Jul 10, 2016 1:21 pm

Wolfpact wrote:
praetor wrote:
Wolfpact wrote:RAW = RAW.
Does this have an actual meaning?
Yes. RUles as Written are the Rules as Written. Leave them be.
Strange thing to say considering we house-rule so much here already, imposing all kinds of character creation rules, system changes, adding and removing merits when the STs see fit.
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Mephi
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Post by Mephi » Sun Jul 10, 2016 2:13 pm

Not so much of a strange thing when the first iteration of WanWic with 2e rules is going to try to have as little house rules as possible. This is different than 1e, where we had over a decade of playing the same games and knew how to manipulate them.
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Post by Wolfpact » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:00 pm

Mephi wrote:Not so much of a strange thing when the first iteration of WanWic with 2e rules is going to try to have as little house rules as possible. This is different than 1e, where we had over a decade of playing the same games and knew how to manipulate them.
Exactly my point, this.
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Post by A_newfie » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:10 pm

Mephi wrote:Not so much of a strange thing when the first iteration of WanWic with 2e rules is going to try to have as little house rules as possible. This is different than 1e, where we had over a decade of playing the same games and knew how to manipulate them.
Dismissing concerns and discussions with the statement "It says so in the book so we shouldn't" brings nothing to the table though. Like I said, I'm not invested either way. But the input in the discussion was basically "No don't." without any argument to why.

I had forgotten the statement where they said they'd try to houserule as little as possible though so thank you for that :3
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