This post was originally going to be about why a reset is necessary. My wish that the Camarilla would just suck it up and reset already was only partially granted: we’re getting a soft reset.
Let’s get some terminology out of the way before we continue.
In a roleplaying game (in this case, the chronicle of the Camarilla), people will get tired of the game they’re playing, things will stagnate, power levels will go haywire. When this happens, the powers that run the game will declare a reset.
When the rocks fall, Armageddon comes, Ragnarok is nigh, and everyone dies, this is a Hard Reset.
In this case, we’re starting over from scratch and everyone rolls up new characters.
Sometimes, you don’t want to nerf campaign continuity. Everyone still likes their characters, and there are only a few things wrong that can be solved by readdressing power levels. When this happens, you keep your character concept, but rewrite your character sheet. This is called a Soft Reset.
The Camarilla Chronicle has some pretty significant problems with it, especially for players who are just coming into the game. When we first started playing Requiem in Chronicle, we had two books: The World of Darkness core rules and the Requiem rules. A number of in-game organizations that were mentioned in the core rule books were created by the players… only to discover, as the books came out for those in-game organizations, that what the players created isn’t anything like what the successive books dictated – and those are just the differences in canon. The Camarilla also suffers from huge power gaps between members who’ve been in the organization longer and those who just joined… and really, the list goes on.
Because so many of the problems in the Chronicle stem from a rough chronicle start, it would seem reasonable that, after playing for 4.5-5 years, that maybe we should scrap it and start over, utilizing all of the books that are now available to us. I know a number of people (myself included) who have started thinking about what we would do in the event of a hard reset – I never lack for character concepts.
Unfortunately, the Camarilla (and by Camarilla, I mean the Master Storyteller, evidently at the behest of White Wolf) has decided that a soft reset is in order. The Reset Guidelines
and the Reset FAQ
don’t really go into why
a soft reset is being made rather than a hard one, except to imply that someone in White Wolf says so. That, more than anything, tells me that whoever actually
made the decision knows that it will be generally unpopular and is trying to avoid having to answer for it. It’s shoddy management at the best of times.
So, what does the new system mean for people who already have characters in play, and are looking at rewriting their character sheets? Let’s take a look at numbers.
Alrighty, now that the lightweights are gone, here are some numbers. I’ll assume that you probably have read the information on the MST’s website, but in case you haven’t, I’ll do a quick recap.
Old Character Creation: 30+(MC*20)+(40*MC3, MC6, MC9, MC12, MC14)=Starting XP
New Character Creation: MC*10= Starting XP
Rewrite: MC*10 + Months character has been in play*3=Starting XP
So, an MC8 player who has been playing steadily for two years under the old system has ~500 XP. An MC8 player who rewrites will rewrite their character sheet with ~150 XP. Big fucking difference.
An MC12 player with a chronicle length character has ~900 XP. He will be rewriting with ~270 XP.
On the other hand, an MC1 player just coming in will have 10 XP, flat.
Seeing a trend?
Monthly XP gain is being capped at 8XP/month – as opposed to the 10/month that had been going on. Not much of a change. Overcap XP is being severely limited – something that I have no objections to. From a pure math perspective, with the new character creation system, this means that newer/lower level players have more opportunity to catch up with the mid-levels through pure play – but not quickly.
The other side to this, of course, is that in the soft reset, we are also going to an 8 div 3 system. Currently we have a 10 div 5 system.
(A brief explanation is essentially this: A single success is a card pull plus your appropriate attributes, skills, wonky powers, modifiers. If the result is a ten, that's a single success.Successive successes are made on multiples of 5 - 15, 20, 25, 30… An 8 div 3 system means that a single success is an eight, with successive successes coming on 11, 14, 17, 20…)
So, we’re losing a lot of XP, and a lot of what our characters can do. We’re also able to do a lot more with less with a new draw system.
A lot of people are pretty upset about soft reset; a lot are saying that the new system renders their characters unplayable. We’ll see. There’s supposed to be some deus ex machina plot coming down the pipes to explain the sudden loss of power – of everything that is going on here, this is the part that I’m the most irked by, but I’m still hoping to be pleasantly surprised.
Over all, though? I wish that the decision was to reformat the drive and reload the OS, start fresh with the new material that has come out from the company, rather than just reboot the system - but if that wasn't an option, I'm glad we're doing something. The system has been broken for a long time, and if we can't set fire to it and start anew, we can at least test some other options in preparation for the new world order.