Skills and Fluff in WoD

  • @faraday Yeah, I will agree that I think they're the first ones who said it up front -- or at least the first big name game. (Who knows what tiny games that came and went did while none of us ever noticed.)

    Did Ars Magica have it also? I know WW was working on that line at the same time. (Ars Magica had the most entertaining merit that I still want to steal. 'Dead'. As in, 'everyone thinks you're dead'. You can't get by on fame or your name or your great deeds because... everyone thinks you're dead, so you can't be that person, that person is dead. This would translate in very big and potentially amusing (and whoa tricksy, thx bureaucrazy!) ways in the modern day.)

    I don't necessarily think the game had to say it was OK for it to happen. I mean, I don't recall a single session of a game any of us ever played without something, somewhere, getting tweaked. Sometimes it was for humor, sometimes for narrative, sometimes for 'this just makes more sense', sometimes for 'this person is brand new so we'll tweak things a bit while they learn and they don't die on roll three after spending 4 hours learning what the game was and writing up their first character', and so on.

  • Coder

    @faraday said in Skills and Fluff in WoD:

    @thenomain I don't think we're disagreeing with the historical timeline

    And I wasn't saying that it wasn't a thing, but saying there was a historical timeline.

    I'm also talking on account of explicit game rules. Whatever groups did, the game was written as a complete thing far more often than not, even if people didn't take it that way.

    If you're not interested in this, fine, but please don't cast me as being antagonistic when I'm not.

  • @thenomain I don't think you're being antagonistic, fwiw.

    It's just that it doesn't seem like the idea of house rules/table rules/etc. came into being with WoD. They've always been a thing at the tables I've played, and it seems weird to me to think that's atypical, since I've never... not seen it.

    Ultimately, that's all Rule 0 is: 'house rule things as necessary'.

    I half recall things like 'optional rules' and such for AD&D 2nd (which is mostly what we played) in the source material, and that sort of thing being fairly common. (That stuff's all packed off in storage, so I can't really flip through to double check, and I may be mis-remembering.)

  • Coder


    I didn't say "house rules".

    I said "explicit rules".

    I disagree on your definition of Rule Zero, but this thread is already full of people nit-picking and going "well actually" at each other, so I'm out.

  • Coder

    @thenomain said in Skills and Fluff in WoD:

    And I wasn't saying that it wasn't a thing, but saying there was a historical timeline.

    I never said you were being antagonistic? You said "Rule Zero flipped the discussion." and I disagree. I think Rule Zero was just a game explicitly stating something that lots of people had already been doing. Stating that Storyteller was the first game to explicitly put it in the rules is factually accurate AFAIK. Suggesting it was a game-changer in some way seems like an overstatement IMHO. We can agree to disagree, as I have no hard evidence one way or the other.

  • Pitcrew

    wtf did i just read

    i can't leave you people alone for a few weeks

  • Politics

    @coin said in Skills and Fluff in WoD:

    i can't leave you people alone for a few weeks

    You really can't.

  • Pitcrew

    Here's the thing I've noticed about nWoD that a lot of people seem to forget - You can require a minimum number of successes, as an ST, for even a simple action. Yes, 1 is listed in the rules as a 'marginal' success, but as an ST you can determine that marginal is just not good enough and you need an average or better. Or you can rule that what the player is attempting is so complicated (and in too short a timeframe for an Extended roll to be applicable) that only an Exceptional would achieve it.
    It doesn't really help with the initial problem of skills vs. stats, since the WoD system is and always has been built on pools rather than actual skill levels. Other systems do this considerably better (such as those that limit the level of a skill by the skills governing attribute - which will never work in WoD because any skill can theoretically be rolled with any attribute). This system has always been more about the numbers being a guideline rather than a structure.

  • Pitcrew

    @killer-klown The problem doesn't actually exist in nWoD. They do not have the 1-dot, 2-dot descriptions for skill levels (I assume they got rid of them because of these arguments, but that's just a guess and I have nothing to support that).

    The only way that crops up in nWoD is when people drag the level descriptions from oWoD, but that can either be brushed off as a House Rule (being implemented by Storyteller/Staff) who want to keep them or as people simply being wrong and assuming they still exist.

  • Pitcrew

    Even in oWoD they were more examples than hard rules. I mean, I remember one level 4 or 5 stat that ripped off City on the Edge of Forever (Think it was Manipulation)
    "My friend... got his head caught in an automatic... rice picker. Luckily there was a skilled plastic surgeon near by..."

  • Pitcrew

    @killer-klown Well, that's the main reason for the thread. Some people wish to say that they are more 'hard rules' than 'examples' (to the point where a character might be assigned a penalty for attempting something purely based on their skill level)

  • I mostly remember once applying for a character on a WoD game (Denver I think?) who had a bachelors degree and ten years experience in something, I think the Finance secondary skill, but my application was rejected and I was told I could only have three points.

    Because four dots was a masters degree and my character did not ICly have one. So no four dots in Finance for you, you min maxer!

  • Pitcrew

    @jennkryst said in Skills and Fluff in WoD:

    Edit 2 - without going too POLITICSy, remember that Ben Carson - the man who thinks the Pyramids were grain silos -

    Hey give the guy a break that just means he played a lot of Civ 2
    (explaining the joke portion: In Civ 2 if you built the Great Pyramids wonder the game benefit was every town on that same continent was considered to have a granary for free.

  • Pitcrew

    My first example of GM Fiat came from before what I knew what the word fiat meant. It was in I think 4th grade we had just picked up the Basic Set of Dungeons and Dragons. (Old red Box set) In the first session one of the characters wanted to punch an NPC, no where in those rules is there any word about hand to hand combat so the GM at the time had to make something up.