Descent Reboot



  • Theno worked some miracles and got TDM to boot up. Still missing a few bits and baubles, but it's up and running at like 80% or so functionality. I've already started cleaning up and removing the mage and werewolf things (bbs, channels, etc). It'll be a little while before she's ready to be invaded and re-opened.

    We're planning to start as Vamp only. They're the sphere that really needs a functioning territory system, so figured it'd be easiest to start there and get a system up and running and playtested.

    I'm also going to rip the grid out and relocate. The main suggestion on the table right now is St. Louis. It offers a lot of different terrains types (woods, city, grassland, etc). It's also on the main land, so less trouble with being on an island with limited space. It also offers interesting features like underground nuclear waste disposal, and a huge underground fire. I can totally picture a Mad Prince holding court and sacrificing people to the burning pit.

    I'm open to suggestions, nothing is set in stone yet, except for the splat we're going to use as our starting point. I have a lot of work to do digging the place out of the dirt before I can build a new city.


  • Admin

    @Taika Alright, some of the standard questions then!

    Do you plan the game to be mostly cooperative or political?

    Are Praxis positions going to be occupied by PCs or NPCs?

    What do you plan to do about XP availability (i.e. is this a low/mid/high XP game)?

    You said you haven't decided yet on terrain but is this a modern day game?



  • @Arkandel -

    Q) Do you plan the game to be mostly cooperative or political?

    A) I prefer cooperative play, but vampire is pretty political by nature. My goal is OOCLy cooperative, while allowing a system guided (via a territory system) amount of IC politicking. This may be a pipe dream or impossible to balance, but I'm going to try!

    Q) Are Praxis positions going to be occupied by PCs or NPCs?

    A) Both. If we run with STL, there are several townships within the city that could allow for more than one Prince. I'm planning on NPC's in power until there's a playerbase that will handle/support PC's stepping up for a hand off (And hopefully from juicy plots surrounding those hand offs).

    Q) What do you plan to do about XP availability (i.e. is this a low/mid/high XP game)?

    A) The system is set up one beat per day, which is 1.4xp per week. So low/moderate for a 2.0 game. I have to get the helpfiles fixed before I can read what the policy for payouts on prps and staff plots were.

    Q) You said you haven't decided yet on terrain but is this a modern day game?

    A) Modern day post-apoc. With a lot of room for big, overarching stories, like 'Why did this thing happen?'. This should aid in keeping boring, human needs relevant for vampires - their food needs to eat, and have water, and shelter, etc. A little bit more care and nurture will need to go into having a steady blood supply.



  • I am a teeny bit sad every time I see the shortened title, and expect some disorienting dives into a zero-gee spaceship to do tasks.



  • @Taika

    How are you preparing for a Vampire game, set in a post-apocalyptic setting (where I am assuming violence is a more constant and reliable way to solve disputes and where there is a smaller presence of society and, therefore, societal punishment for it), to not devolve into a warzone, if you plan on OOCly cooperation?

    Are you sure multiple Princes is not going to dilute the title and the playerbase? Wouldn't the head of the Covenants (if those exist) fill these 'high authority' roles a bit better? Is there a reason to allow multiple Princes other than to let players feel good about the title?

    Is the XP capped? How do you plan on handling stagnation once 45+ dinosaurs (around 8 months, not accounting for Beats farmed through aspirations, plots and other means) have a stranglehold on the positions and are the law of the land?



  • Part of having multiple Princes is the idea that bored players turn on each other more than entertained ones do. Mostly, it's for building plots, stories, giving people one-offs of sniping Prince of Pooville's people instead of focusing that violent desire on other players. Again, it might be a pipe dream, and it will take some steady plot running on staff's end, or foisting plot lines off on volunteer st's. And if it falls through or fails, it isn't hard to run a bigger 'Everyone loses except this guy here' to take over and go back to a single Prince set up.

    I'm leaning towards having the competitive Princes all be NPC's. So one set of PC's for an ic powerbase, surrounded by NPC enemies, or allies. That'll save on the diluting, and still give the core of PC's that power and status that makes having a position important. And we can even have off-screen updates on which NPC is fighting which NPC.

    I don't recall if xp is capped or not - that is hidden in the helpfiles that are on the game, but interfered with by the hardcode helpfiles. If I can figure out turning off the hardcode helpfiles, the in-game ones should work again. I think. squints at it. I also don't really see 45xp as dinosaur levels for 2.0.

    100xp is getting up there. The main focus, iirc, was on st'ing and plotting to get the lion's share of xp. And no, I have no interest in not rewarding active st's for the huge amount of story and activity they add to a game. I think if someone wants to put hours (at least 2-3+ per scene, easily) into contributing to a game, they should get something for it.



  • @Taika Storytellers are the single most valuable resource a MU can have, so that they get something for their troubles makes sense. It is also not what I was talking about, though. When you add up those rewards, you start to look at characters who can maybe double their XP income in a week, and even if you don't think a 45XP character is a dinosaur (we can disagree on that) odds are they will have a lot MORE by the time the 8 month mark hits.

    When that happens, how do you plan on making new characters excited at all about engaging with a game if they cannot compete, at all, with the established characters? Is that by design? If so, then okay! If you don't want that to happen, you should plan accordingly!



  • Ah! I see what you mean. I'm hoping to be able to bring new players in and get them plotting and involved. If we have a bunch of plot-xp heavy folks, that means there's a lot of plots happening, in general. And I, personally, have no problem throwing newbies plot-bones or a 'welcome to the aboard, these are the people of import for your clan/covenant' to help get them tied in a little quicker.

    It also means, that to some extent, I think that if someone is just sitting on a title and not really making the effort to meet and greet, or are just holed up all the time, to pull the title. I don't think there should be a massive quota for folks with titles, but I do want to see some effort made to actually, you know... lead. (This could blow up in my face, because drama. But it is one of the biggest gripes I see about pc's with titles - that they just sit on it and don't do anything.)


  • Admin

    @Taika said in Descent Reboot:

    I'm hoping to be able to bring new players in and get them plotting and involved. If we have a bunch of plot-xp heavy folks, that means there's a lot of plots happening, in general. And I, personally, have no problem throwing newbies plot-bones or a 'welcome to the aboard, these are the people of import for your clan/covenant' to help get them tied in a little quicker.

    I really don't want to discourage you, please don't take this as criticism as it's not intended that way! But plot and plot-runners are a real chicken-and-egg situation; if you don't have regular PrPs and things happening your players move on, which means newcomers have nothing to do and leave as well, whereas if they all stayed a while some of those people would be running PrPs thus giving everyone else stuff to do.

    So if you want this to work out, while you're designing the rest of the game then don't hope for, plan on how you'll cater plot to your players. The first few weeks are critical - if you get good word of mouth and folks invite their friends you're in business.

    That's why I care about game populations. It's not that I think bigger games are better, it's that they increase the chances someone will be doing something, somewhere. And the effect of active STs scales up so damn well.



  • I should go dig through the code to find the helpfiles and try to read them.

    If I'm remembering right, that was part of the reason we made plot xp the bread and butter, and kept the daily xp down to .2/day. Yeah, you can still buy a merit/week, or a skill every 2, so there's some growth, -but- the people doing the 'work' in terms of running things, or participating will definitely have an edge.

    I like carrots a lot more than sticks.



  • Double post!

    It was easier to find than I thought, and a quick 'think' made it legible. This is what was in the news file:

    1 beat (.2 xp) will be awarded nightly. Automatically gained XP will be capped to 150. For perspective on how limiting this is: 52 weeks, or one year, is 72.8 xp. It would take 2 years of being approved to reach that cap.

    Players can earn +2 beats (.4 xp) per plot scene participated in. This can include large social scenes, or important, smaller, social scenes such as Clan meetings as well as more plot and combat oriented scenes.

    +1 beat (.2xp) is granted to ST's for running scenes as a show of appreciation for the hard work involved.

    +1 beat (.2xp) for running or being in a plot from the +plots roster.



  • To piggyback on @SunnyJ's comments about XP.

    Having seen this song and dance again and again, just some things I'd like to say.

    XP is not an easy thing to balance, by any means. I'm going to harp on it, but I don't mean to imply there are any 'easy' fixes.

    XP can be a massively daunting thing to the entire atmosphere of a game and I swear, it seems like for whatever reason people just don't understand this or possibly are just ignoring it.

    Let's assume your CG XP is set at 10xp, and your weekly XP gain is 1xp.

    That doesn't sound like a lot.

    The problem is, in 3 months, on a game that is openly competitive, you are already starting to inch towards the land of No Newbies Allowed. That's 12 xp, aka potentially an extra discipline at 4 dots over any newbies. Get to 6 months and that's 24xp, 8 discipline dots over newbies.

    If you started at 10xp, in 6 months of 1 auto xp per week that person might only be at 34xp, which doesn't seem like a lot, but in Chronicles of Darkness that person is already basically a god compared to anybody making a new character. And nobody is going to catch up to them for a very, very long time.

    One of the problems here is a rather significant portion of people are going to be aware they have a 30xp lead on other people and abuse that fact. Mister Gangrel Biker Bro who CGd into as much of a killing machine as possible, then added nothing but dots of celerity/vigor/resilience to his sheet with his 30xp is basically going to already be a god, and he knows it, and will walk all over anybody who didn't app in on opening day.

    Now, moving on from that, but still somewhat related to my last point.

    How does "post-apoc" work, exactly? Is everybody making Mad Max vampires?

    Like...I hear "post-apoc vampire!" and I just assume everybody is going to be a Bruja Biker Bro who has claws of the unholy and pisses on anybody who doesn't roll over for them, since post-apoc doesn't exactly strike me as the sort where brainy or social Kindred are going to have much of a place.

    (For the record, I like Gangrel, I am just completely out of patience for that particular bloodline and trope.)


  • Coder

    150 XP is a metric ton of xp in nWoD (at least in 2e). I would probably suggest capping it much lower than that. Even with a paltry 50 XP it's possible with certain builds to get into the high teens for defenses and low to mid 20's for offense. That's without the plethora of questionable if not outright broken merits that exist in vampire.



  • @Lithium said in Descent Reboot:

    Even with a paltry 50 XP it's possible with certain builds to get into the high teens for defenses and low to mid 20's for offense. That's without the plethora of questionable if not outright broken merits that exist in vampire.

    100% this.

    A "warrior" vamp with 50xp already has all 3 physical disciplines at 5 on top of just CGing with 5 in the appropriate skill and any merits needed.



  • To get away from the XP talk for a moment. Do you have plans for Bloodlines? Do you have writeups for them? Or not going to allow them?



  • @Tempest said in Descent Reboot:

    To get away from the XP talk for a moment. Do you have plans for Bloodlines? Do you have writeups for them? Or not going to allow them?

    I think the idea is that they're not going to be allowed, as they've only officially released 3 of them. Basically, trying to do them would mean mostly taking from other people (Reno/RFK, etc.) or putting in much more work to try to do what will amount to coming to the same conclusions that those other people did, but trying to do it differently.

    One thought is to have Bloodlines be represented by the Mystery Cult Initiation merit, though. Let people pitch them in that light, using those rules.


  • Politics

    @ShelBeast said in Descent Reboot:

    One thought is to have Bloodlines be represented by the Mystery Cult Initiation merit, though. Let people pitch them in that light, using those rules.

    I'm sorry, but Bloodlines aren't Mystery Cults, and were never calculated to be.

    There is plenty of online conversion that has already occurred. Blackwall (sp?) and I went through all of the available Bloodlines, winnowed them down to workable ones, and then pitched a bunch for RfK 2.0. I worked on some with skew, and some made it to Reno.

    Bloodlines were an important thematic element for Vampire 1E PCs, for the most part. You should give serious thought to presenting them on the Descent, because it will help you stand out from other games (aside from setting).



  • Me, right now, rebuilding a grid.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytWz0qVvBZ0

    40 rooms down for the base grid. (20 spots, +20 neighborhood rooms).



  • @Ganymede said in Descent Reboot:

    @ShelBeast said in Descent Reboot:

    One thought is to have Bloodlines be represented by the Mystery Cult Initiation merit, though. Let people pitch them in that light, using those rules.

    I'm sorry, but Bloodlines aren't Mystery Cults, and were never calculated to be.
    There is plenty of online conversion that has already occurred. Blackwall (sp?) and I went through all of the available Bloodlines, winnowed them down to workable ones, and then pitched a bunch for RfK 2.0. I worked on some with skew, and some made it to Reno.
    Bloodlines were an important thematic element for Vampire 1E PCs, for the most part. You should give serious thought to presenting them on the Descent, because it will help you stand out from other games (aside from setting).

    Bloodlines were an important thematic element of 1st edition. They are not so much that in 2nd, as evidenced by the lack of support for them. You are right in that they were never calculated to be Mystery Cults. Absolutely. But so far, there is no consistent calculation for what they're meant to be at all in 2nd edition. I'm also not certain how adding them would make the game stand out from others. Others already use them. This seems counter to standing out and making Descent more like Reno, for example. Not that it's a bad thing. It's just not "standing out". Meanwhile, not including them means that we're not using other people's work without their express permission to do so, and keeps us from potentially having to go back and redo them if OP ever decides to actually give us some love for vampire, rather than the crap they've been putting out once every hundred years.

    I just figured Mystery Cults would be a neat way to throw a bone to those who want them, without having to break systems or HR the crap out of things. Honestly, the less HR'ing we have to do, the better.


  • Politics

    @ShelBeast said in Descent Reboot:

    I just figured Mystery Cults would be a neat way to throw a bone to those who want them, without having to break systems or HR the crap out of things. Honestly, the less HR'ing we have to do, the better.

    But the work has already been done for you, mostly. As I said, some of us have been trying to translate the Bloodlines to 2E.

    Some of the Bloodlines would be great for the Descent, like the Dragolescu. If I recall, the Descent had the spirit world bleeding into the real world, which was a totally awesome idea (and one of the reasons why I made a Werewolf there).

    If you want help on this end, hit me up. I'm in.

    (I used to play 'Wolf' there.)


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