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Community Input Needed: Lore Guide

THP_JessicaK
THP_JessicaK
We wanted to share the early draft of our Lore Guide. Right now we have the intro/preamble written up at
https://docs.google.com/document/d/14Ufb2-BUL1OVNiS64bZDVahpldnvFQektqQiheFLbX0/edit?usp=sharing

The introduction explains the following
What do Lores mechanically represent?
How are we converting over levels of Lore knowledge (from previous White Wolf materials and community creations) to the By Night Studios MET system
How do we plan to take into account the rarity of various lores across different venues?

As before, please share your feedback here or as a comment on the Google Doc. Thanks in advance!
Jessica Karels Developer, The Hidden Parlor Facebook|Twitter

Comments

  • Mr_Fish
    Mr_Fish
    Participant Ghoul
    Why not start with existing list such as http://www.livinginafantasy.com/rpgwod/vtm-lores.html
  • THP_JessicaK
    THP_JessicaK
    admin Ghoul
    Mr_Fish;67" said:
    We have a couple of lore docs that we will be drawing upon for what each lore level means for that Lore. Right now we are working on the preamble/rule mechanics to see if there's anything that needs to be tweaked there first :)
    Jessica Karels Developer, The Hidden Parlor Facebook|Twitter
  • FreeStateAnarch
    FreeStateAnarch
    Participant Ghoul
    Disagree that some characters would not freely give knowledge. But yes lets not just spew out everything about every super there is in WoD.
  • Necroscope
    Necroscope
    Participant Ghoul
    Let us break down the mechanics and difficulties with a few sample characters. We will have Bob the Brujah neonate. Bob is dumb like rocks. Bob has three mental traits. Bob's sire was not negligent, he taught him the basics before release so bob has lore two with specializations in his own clan and with the Camarilla bob is wits focused. The other example character will be the elder Nosferatu loremaster. The elder loremaster will be an Luminary Elder. He has thirteen mental traits, and six dots of lore. He does not have 15 mental because he is smart and wants 12 social to defend against other elder buttholes. He also has Loremaster, Library and Intelligence focus because lore is what he does.

    Under the rules we have been given we can examine these two characters. Bob has a total lore pool of 5 so with a check he can know the level one knowledges listed for Brujah or Camarilla. He doesn't actually have anything completely known without a check except that the rules have the "gimmes" fire, sunlight, basic operations of the cam the stuff listed, I do not need to list it again. To loosely translate to older mechanics these bits of information are basically the same as saying Kindred lore/Cam Lore/ Clan lore 2. That would be the basic knowledge's in most of the variants of Vampire I have seen. Basically there is no point to Bob buying lore at all in this system because he knows exactly the same amount of stuff with or without it. Buying his lore to five would be a bit better but he still does not have a 10 pool which is required to know anything without a check. If he buys his mental up as well he can get as high as 15 which starts having a very small amount of use as he has level one knowledge memorized and accesses some information which is not covered by the gimmes (lvl 3 stuff in his lore categories basically). Verdict: Basically a neonate must be fully invested in lore or they get more from the free knowledge than they can access making the skill nearly entirely useless for them.

    Under these presented rules let us look at the elder specced lore master guy. He has 13 mental traits + 6 lore skill + 3 (Int focus) + 3 Library haven bonus + 3 Loremaster merit. Pool total 28. This character has spent anywhere from 35+ (varies largely based on inital build, 35ish is optimal) experience points into just doing lore stuff and he fails to be able to access any level fives. He also does not know level three stuff by heart even in his specializations. Meaning he basically has access to a similar level of automatic knowledge as the 3 mental trait neonate brujah. Granted he will have a wider knowledge due to having far more specializations that he automatically knows the basic stuff about while the brujah only knows the basics about his clan, kindred and the cam however the importance of the things he knows without a check are quite minor. With a check he can make up to level four lore pool difficulties. This can give some quite juicy things if the pull is successful and so it does open up some use for the ability. This elder loremaster lore specced lore whore can not even test for level five knowledges in the fields she or he likely spent several centuries studying because of that one century in barcelona partying with the Followers. I knew I should have bought those damn mental traits instead of wanting at least one of my other powers (The ones that actually do something) to be useful against anyone other than a human.

    Sorry, tangent. Basically I am pretty much against the rules as written. I feel lore ranges from completely useless to just mostly useless depending how many points are wasted on it. That said the fix to this is pretty simple. Toss out the rules for automatic knowledge. This is basically giving all the accounting phase for free which seems to me to be counter productive. If your character has finished the accounting they should have the basic (lvl 2) lore ability. If they do not have basic lore ability they should be an unreleased childer who knows nothing and is under the care of their sire still.

    The fix is to simply add a bonus to the specializations and allow the lore skill to be used on items you are not actually specialized in. The exact amount of the bonus would depend on who exactly you want to be able to access the highest level knowledge. I would suggest a +3 bonus. This would be enough for our example Elder loremaster to access level five knowledge in his specializations. He would also have a very broad knowledge base of low level lores due to being able to make lore checks on non specialized things (albeit without the bonus) I would probably limit these checks only to level two or three lore items at most. You want the specializations to have some meaning still.

    I do realize this is quite similar to the rules in play in another club and to that I say those rules are working quite well. Round wheels roll better, even if the other tribe figured that out first. I don't begrudge them that as much as I begrudge pushing my cart with square wheels.

    tldr: I don't like it. It is completely useless unless super heavily specced and even then it is still nearly useless.

    Afterword: The skill lore is only useful in the first place with the best GMs. Most basically either ignore it completely because it will ruin their plot or use it for adventure hook but let it stay useless for resolution. YMMV some GM's will totally make me eat those words but the vast majority of GMs give you a whole lot of nothing for lore. Even the best do this at times I have seen it too many times to deny it. Combine this with massive investment requirement and difficulties that only the eldest of the eldest could possibly reach? I have a strong distaste for the lore as it is presented here. I mean a seventh gen would not be able to access level 5 lores. Some of the Inner Council are supposedly 6th gen. The Tremere Inner Council guy is probably a six gen. He was alive and maybe even part of the group that diablerized Salout. But even if he was there he does not know that shit happened unless he spent all his bonus traits in Mental and bought his lore up to six because he can not hit a lvl 5 lore check otherwise. :unamused:
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