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Musings of Improvement
[Camarilla] Chronicle Reset 
10th-Mar-2009 05:07 pm
Painted Redhead
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.
11th-Mar-2009 04:22 am (UTC)
I also would have preferred a hard reset. The whole thing with a soft reset and getting a bunch of xp based upon playtime smells of "Please don't be to mad at me!" I advocate hard rest. Rocks Fall, Fire from the skies, Cats and Dogs living together. It'll be great, trust me.

As for the new xp guidelines I am all for having less xp out of the gate, the bumps for certain MC levels being a particular offender here, but I'm not sure that this was the best way to go about it but I can live with it.
11th-Mar-2009 05:27 am (UTC)
The more that I think about it, the more I'm becoming very copacetic with the entire thing.
11th-Mar-2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
I like it just fine - because I wrote my characters without emphasis or leaning at all on UBER POWERZ. I prefer even to pass through a whole night without any challenges at all.

this reset will be very good to me.
11th-Mar-2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
The more I think about it, the more content I am. I'd still prefer a hard reset - we're at a place where no amount of shoehorning will get us in-line with canon, which has always been the great desire of WW. However this? This is okay.
11th-Mar-2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
While I would have preferred a Hard Reset... I must say that what they are proposing is making it very tempting to want to re-instate my membership and come play again. I've been eying Lost for a while now these new rules may tempt me back into Requiem.

I have to say, honestly, I'm glad they finally dealt with the XP issue. The power creep was what turned me off in the first place.

Hopefully this will help return the notion of playing one's character rather than playing one's sheet.
11th-Mar-2009 05:20 pm (UTC)
Realistically, the powergamers will always be powergamers, the roleplayers will always be roleplayers. The amount of XP that is on the sheet will only affect so much; a good min-maxer will still make an atrocious combat monster with less XP.

However, the extent of it has certainly been lessened, and I'm glad that all of the custom mechanics are being reviewed once again. For every nifty, well balanced custom mechanic, there are a dozen atrocities within requiem that need to be addressed.

I'd love to see you back in game - if this is a change that would entice you back, then this is all to the good.
11th-Mar-2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
I tried really hard to contain myself but...

One of us! One of us!
11th-Mar-2009 07:09 pm (UTC) - I'm pretty bummed about it.
Instead of starting a new book, it seems like we are just making a shitty sequel. It would be nice to see some new diversity and give the old players a reason to come back again (not that that'll ever happen).

11th-Mar-2009 08:17 pm (UTC) - Re: I'm pretty bummed about it.
I wouldn't necessarily look at it that way, so much as an opportunity to explore catastrophe. One way or another, I intend to make good story out of this.
11th-Mar-2009 10:06 pm (UTC)
soft reset is like soft core porn. Sure it looks pretty at first, but then your like why?
11th-Mar-2009 10:48 pm (UTC)
I tend to agree. Unfortunately, this is what we've got, so we might as well start looking for the silver linings. Currently, all of mine seem to primarily be that the players of characters I can't stand are either giving up their characters or leaving the cam. Also, MA needed a rewrite - she's gone in unexpected directions and her sheet was forced into reflecting that. The current rewrite that I'm looking at doesn't have all the tchochkes, but keeps the important stuff.
11th-Mar-2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
I think I may keeping Adriel and making a new Mehket Carthian. He loses a bunch of stuff, but really only needs naked girls to keep him happy.

Cody on the other hand was an exercise in what to do when you have too much time and xp on your hands and nothing to do but find new ways to cause chaos. The concept does not work stripped down to nothing but bare bones. He will have to go visit stonehenge or something and find a cure for this caine influenza thingy.

My silver lining is at least Dr W can be gratified to know that all his hard work in the hospital wards to come with a F-U-A virus finally paid off, pity the vaccine was a bust.
25th-Mar-2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
Bam! Well said!
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