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“Old Ways” isn’t a Hindrance

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  • “Old Ways” isn’t a Hindrance

    I’m very pleased to see that Pinnacle has decided to incentivize Shamans into following the Old Ways instead of penalizing those who don’t, but a free reroll on *all* Spirit checks barely qualifies as a Hindrance. I would almost argue that it’s an Edge.

    I would argue that better solution would be to restore Old Ways to the Minor/Major version, and then reward Shamans specifically who follow the Old Ways. Something as simple as 5 bonus Power Points that they lose access to it they break the Old Ways seems like a simple way to handle it.
    Last edited by ellipses; 06-30-2020, 10:46 PM. Reason: Edited to add proposed solution

  • #2
    Maybe add a -1 to spirit rolls while disfavored by the spirits?

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    • #3
      The Hindrance is that you can't use trains, guns, cast iron skillets, modern housing, steam boats, commercial sailing vessels, western saddles, etc.

      That's a huge drawback.
      A free Reroll on Spirit checks is a small compensation for "I live in the neolithic while my neighbors live in the industrial revolution".
      I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

      Comment


      • Wanderingmystic
        Wanderingmystic commented
        Editing a comment
        paladin2019 they have actually been able to trace fossil records of horses living in america back before Columbus.

      • ValhallaGH
        ValhallaGH commented
        Editing a comment
        paladin2019 In addition to the probability of horse-like creatures existing in North America before Europeans arrived, horses are animals. Nature spirits are fine with animal use. They dislike manufacturing and industrial processes.

        As to your dismissal of RP limitations, this is a role playing game. Role playing choices matter. At least, they should matter.

      • paladin2019
        paladin2019 commented
        Editing a comment
        Equine evolutionary ancestors developed on the American continents but either migrated en masse to Asian long before humans domesticated them or succumbed to climate change and the humans who migrated in. Modern, horses capable of bearing riders are a European import to the Americas.

    • #4
      The "old ways" works perfectly fine if your party spends most of the time out in the country. You can walk or ride horses, you can hunt, cook food, etc.. It breaks down when the party want to go into town. They can still go into a town but it will bother them and they wont want to spend hardly any time at all in one. Its also not that they cant use modern technology or equipment it just bothers them. If need be the will ride on a train but they wont be happy about it and afterwords will probably try to purify themselves so they feel at one with nature again.

      Personally I agree it is a little powerful for a minor hindrance since if you ignore it then the only penalty is that you don't get the bonuses. Personally I would give them a -1 to all spirit checks if they have broken their oath. This gives them a nice bonus foe following it and limiting their character while actually penalizing them if they break it.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by Wanderingmystic View Post
        Personally I agree it is a little powerful for a minor hindrance since if you ignore it then the only penalty is that you don't get the bonuses.
        The real danger of ignoring an RP penalty is that your Marshal will declare that you're "cured" and must spend your next Advance buying off the Hindrance.
        I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

        Comment


        • #6
          paladin2019 I guess it depends on how strictly you're going to interpret what constitutes as "using technology." I can't think of a reasonable interpretation of "using technology" that prevents an Old Ways follower from at least entering a building. Now, would they stay the night in the hotel, no probably not, but camping outside would be kosher, which would only result in some kind of penalty in the most extreme weather scenarios (though of course this leaves them vulnerable to other potential threats). You could still sit around the campfire with your posse, you just wouldn't share their can of beans.

          As for the rest, traveling is really the biggest issue here. Using a horse is obviously fine. A Native Warrior who's been riding bareback their entire life should not, IMO, get a circumstantial penalty to their Riding rolls. At worst, I may say that someone traveling on horse bareback has to make their Riding roll once per day instead of once per week.

          Obviously GMs should make sure to incorporate their players' Hindrances into their adventures, but if the GM is deliberately engineering scenarios where the posse is forced to travel long distances on "modern" conveyances with no reasonable alternative, I suspect that's going to lead to some hard feelings around the table. If the GM knows that the campaign is going to start in Salt Lake City/Junkyard, then the GM and the player need to get together beforehand and figure out what the heck the Old Ways follower is doing there in the first place.

          And all of this is besides my main point, which is that a free reroll on all Spirit checks is insanely powerful. If you were to hop over into the Homebrew section and post, "Hey, I designed a Novice level Edge with no requirements that gives you a free reroll on all Spirit checks," people would tell you that you've lost your mind. I'm no rules encyclopedia, but I can't think of a single Edge that grants a blanket free reroll on any Trait check that uses an Attribute.

          IMO, Old Ways is a role playing Hindrance, not a mechanical Hindrance, and should be treated as such. I believe AB: Shaman should interact with the Old Ways Hindrance differently to encourage them to take it, and I stand by my previous suggestion of bonus PP, but your non Arcane Native Warriors/Scouts/whatever shouldn't gain some kind of mechanical advantage for taking the Hindrance.
          Last edited by ellipses; 07-01-2020, 05:49 PM.

          Comment


          • paladin2019
            paladin2019 commented
            Editing a comment
            Saddles and stirrups are an incredible advantage to riding, specifically fighting from a mount. The fact the exemplar lifelong bareback rider can do what he does is because he has enough Skill to compensate for the penalties and still routinely make his rolls. Put him in a saddle and minimal time to acclimate and his capability increases just because of the saddle. So rather than give all saddle users a bonus, a comprehensive penalty is more in order. The specific tasks I see as appropriate include rolls against falling and Fighting rolls (you can't lance with a spear without stirrups, so you limits your striking options).

        • #7
          I haven't checked over the release version 1 yet, but it does seem powerful especially for a hindrance. Spirit checks are some resistance powers, tests verse intimidation and persuasion, fear checks and shaken recovery checks. wow

          if they disobey, there is they (shaman only) still suffering fatigue which is not just-1 to Spirit as suggested, but to all rolls and that much closer to Incapacitated. is that gone now?

          one problem i have with a player of an old ways shaman is that if we want to get on a train, he will not. so of course that leads to BA Baracus non-sense or he gets left behind. given he is a strong personality, the party feels bamboozled he resists.

          Comment


          • #8
            For Reference:
            OLD WAYS OATH (MINOR)
            Your hero has pledged to forego modern technology to honor the nature spirits. Those who remain true to their vows get a free reroll on any Spirit roll.
            If the mortal violates the agreement, however, the spirits withdraw this advantage for 24 hours. If the oath-taker uses an item powered by ghost rock—a noxious and cancerous substance to nature spirits—their support is withdrawn for a week.
            I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

            Comment


            • #9
              Let’s not forget that RPing hinderances is a player’s main source of bennies, so not playing into it weakens a player.
              that being said, i think a mechanical penalty should be added for breaking with the oath and it needs to be more than just not getting the benefit for a week. A hindrance with a fairly annoying requirement to follow (and a penalty for breaking) with a strong mechanical benefit for doing so seems equivalent to a minor rank.

              Comment


              • MadArchivist
                MadArchivist commented
                Editing a comment
                You do have a fair point on the religion aspects. I’m not 100% sure how to handle it, but some form of benefit from the hindrance is a good idea. Not having access to modern technology is a huge restriction and it only made sense to take it historically because Shamans had to abide by it no matter what and that resulted in most people not playing Shaman. Now Shaman is far more accessible, but the Old Ways don’t have that guaranteed take anymore, so there has to be another reason to take it.
                Also, my condolences on not having Heroic players, that hindrance is fun as hell to use both as a player and gm
                Last edited by MadArchivist; 07-01-2020, 11:09 PM.

              • ellipses
                ellipses commented
                Editing a comment
                But Shamans *didn’t* have to take the Old Ways hindrance before in previous editions of the game, which is one of the reasons it made no sense to add it in this edition.

                Personally, I think the reason Shamans were rare, at least in my experience, is because they’ve always been overly complicated (Guardian Spirits, various Ritual skills, needing X number of hours per day for Rituals, etc.) and also because it’s hard for a predominately white audience to role play a Native American of the Paiute tribe convincingly when they could just be a Christian Blessed from Wisconsin instead.

              • MadArchivist
                MadArchivist commented
                Editing a comment
                I didn’t realize that was a new thing. Wow, that was bad, i’m glad they changed it back.
                I can’t speak for others, all i know is that the Old Ways seems like a hefty hindrance that could theoretically be fun to RP. So i think having a strong benefit following the same logic as Grim Servant O’ Death would make it more feasible in a party that didn’t also have the hindrance.

            • #10
              "Old Ways" actually isn't a hindrance, because the penalty for not following the oath is lack of access to the unique benefit the hindrance gives you. You can completely ignore it and not be any worse off than if you hadn't taken a Hindrance at all. It's an Edge that says "As long as you maintain this conduct, you have access to this ability" but it costs -0.5 Edge picks to get it.

              The penalty for breaking the Oath needs to be worse than "you don't have access to this free reroll" for this to be a hindrance.

              Comment


              • ValhallaGH
                ValhallaGH commented
                Editing a comment
                As I mentioned earlier, ignore a Hindrance long enough and your GM will make you spend an Advance buying it off. Not to mention the lack of bennies.

              • IlzmerZolond
                IlzmerZolond commented
                Editing a comment
                Okay, the GM makes you spend an Advance on buying it off. It should have cost an Advance anyway because it is an Edge, so even if the GM does this and even if it costs a whole advance instead of half of one because it was a minor hindrance, it's still basically a half-cost Edge because you don't have to refund the half an advance you got for it being a minor hindrance. And you don't have to pay for it right away.

                But "never being impeded by it" isn't even the worst case! You can still be limited by the Hindrance when you want to earn bennies from it, there's just no penalty to not being hindered by it when you want the technology more than the benny. This hindrance doesn't limit you, it just presents you with a choice, and the options are all upside.
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