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Void Points

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We have discussed this some on Discord, but I feel like void points are somewhat poorly thought out.  I can understand the whole "Regain a void points when something bad happens to you", but given, for example Bayushi Manipulator, which requires the user to spend a void point to activate their school ability, this feels more than a bit restrictive.

I feel like the difficulty of gaining them combined with the fact certain abilities require them will encourage players to actively cause their characters strife during a "good time" to have void later when they need it, and that sort of behavior is against the spirit of a narrative system.  Either there should be a way to regain void that doesn't involve doing bad stuff to yourself, or it needs to not be tied to abilities and is just a "This is important, give me a bonus" sort of thing.

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I dont really like this trend of modern narrative rpg were "something bad happening to your character is good!"

Void to me has much more to do about if you are centered and focused. Instead of karma or "use opportunity to check for supernatural!"

But i'm coming from 4th ed, so im obviously biased.

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It should be done like the Destiny Pool in Star Wars. A common pool off "Good" points for PC's to use. When they do the point is thrown into a pool of "Bad" points for the GM to use.

When something "bad" happens to a PC there's a basic effect, but the GM can choose to spend one of their points to make it worse.

Tge points can then also be spent by players or GM to do Narrative stuff or activate Techniques ect.

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1 minute ago, Richardbuxton said:

It should be done like the Destiny Pool in Star Wars. A common pool off "Good" points for PC's to use. When they do the point is thrown into a pool of "Bad" points for the GM to use.

When something "bad" happens to a PC there's a basic effect, but the GM can choose to spend one of their points to make it worse.

Tge points can then also be spent by players or GM to do Narrative stuff or activate Techniques ect.

 

I actually really like this idea...  BUT

"Void" being one of the titular 5 rings, it would be thematically odd to remove it from the realm of the individual character

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I agree with Void being restored through having to deal with your disadvantages, but getting Void back by being overcome by them doesn't seem right. By being able to push away something like paranoia or superstition (succeeding  despite the disadvantage) you should find calm and insight into your own flaws.  That should increase your Void points, not confirmation of your weakness.

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Same as above, I will be creating alternatives to gaining Void.

A Ritual Tea Ceremony and Meditation during Downtime.

As well as VPs gained when one finds harmoniousness with one's self through actions.

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I like that FFG is trying to incentivize disadvantages, but I feel getting void points from failing at them was an over-correction. It'll lead to circumstances where my min-maxers are encouraged to make characters that are softhearted killers, and one arm violinists.

I think disadvantages are perfectly incentivized without this additional void point. The ability to spend void points to use a disadvantage in a positive light I thought was really interesting. Sure that's car on my character's face makes it hard for him to be perceived courteously, but I can spend a void point two make that scar intimidate people instead.

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The void point system and how void points can be accumulated actually also has a bigger problem in the mechanical disconnect between what it intends to do and how often you mechanically need voidpoints for even basic stuff like your
school technique.
This need of some techniques and the ways how to get voidpoints leads to a playstyle I rather would not see in the finished game. First step is and choose the disadvanatage Gaijin Name, culture, appererance, (which effect have completly nothing to do with the described fluff).
Step 2: At the start of a game session each player uses gaijin name, culture or appearance commerce part. That triggers when you try to create an product that others desire to get a void point. You just need 1 point in commerce to actually do that and you never need even to have a reaslistic chance to 
complete the item.
Step 3: Repeat until you reach your void point maximum.

But to be fair this way of getting voidpoints is rather gamey and nothing I desire to need to use t get voidpoints when playing a voidpoint depandant character. Therefore my suggestion is either make voidpoints more readibly aviaable or change the void point activation prequsite to something different like times per school rank.

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On 10/9/2017 at 5:28 AM, Teveshszat said:

This need of some techniques and the ways how to get voidpoints leads to a playstyle I rather would not see in the finished game. First step is and choose the disadvanatage Gaijin Name, culture, appererance, (which effect have completly nothing to do with the described fluff).
Step 2: At the start of a game session each player uses gaijin name, culture or appearance commerce part. That triggers when you try to create an product that others desire to get a void point. You just need 1 point in commerce to actually do that and you never need even to have a reaslistic chance to 
complete the item.
Step 3: Repeat until you reach your void point maximum.

But you can't even attempt a roll unless success and failure have interesting consequences (see "When to Ask for a Check" on page 12). For this case, it seems reasonable that the GM would have you stake Glory upon starting a new business venture; thus, failing your Commerce (Fire) check puts your reputation at risk as word spreads of your embarrassing attempt at entrepreneurship.

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Void points are the one aspect of the beta I don't like. Just let them come from your void as in 4e. Start the day with max void rather than zero void. Then I wouldn't mind the gimmicky "you win by losing" void point regen mechanism. As is, void appears to be the weakest ring, and void points are highly unreliable.

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6 hours ago, Rawls said:

Void points are the one aspect of the beta I don't like. Just let them come from your void as in 4e. Start the day with max void rather than zero void. Then I wouldn't mind the gimmicky "you win by losing" void point regen mechanism. As is, void appears to be the weakest ring, and void points are highly unreliable.

To be fair if you do that you make the void ring to strong. Bc atm he allready is part of th upper limitation of your ring ranks (void +lowest ring). If you also him the void points and say you start with void point as high as you ring we get the same thing we had in 4th edition where the void ring became a xp tax for every player bc it was just to good to miss. So I rather would not ty the points to the riung again. what you can do is give players more convinient ways to get void points and change the schools that need void points to work so that they no longer do.

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On 10/7/2017 at 1:30 AM, WHW said:

An interesting fix idea: slap this on each Passion
"If the Strife reduction generated by this Passion manages to reduce your Strife to 0, you may once per session regain a Void Point"

This seems like good use of passions imo. And it makes strife a problem even in downtime scenes which reenforces the theme of "finding balance (or else)".

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On ‎07‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 5:31 AM, Manic Modron said:

I agree with Void being restored through having to deal with your disadvantages, but getting Void back by being overcome by them doesn't seem right. By being able to push away something like paranoia or superstition (succeeding  despite the disadvantage) you should find calm and insight into your own flaws.  That should increase your Void points, not confirmation of your weakness.

Agreed. I wouldn't mind if you got void points for confronting and still mastering your weaknesses.

Everyone does get one void point per session, and 1-2 players (depending on the discord roll) will get 2, but having a higher void ring doesn't actually help, because unless you start being stupid and/or ridiculously unlucky you're unlikely to accrue 3-4 void points.

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On 10/8/2017 at 8:18 PM, Drudenfusz said:

I think Giri and Ninjo should be divorced from Honour and Glory and instead reward Void points, thus one has a far better incentive to actually play samurai drama.

Kind of reminds me of The World of Darkness Vice and Virtue system. I dig that! 

 

 

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I like the idea of regaining Void by playing your disadvantages. It makes for fine atmosphere, and balances the issue of putting numbers on merits and flaws. Streamlining this makes it nicer: Heavy disadvantages will come in play more often, and that's its own reward. It's a fine way to avoid the old "I'm a hunted megalomaniac albino, therefore I'm stronger than everyone else at chargen" we all have known and hated since the early days of Vampire: the Masquerade. And actually roleplaying your flaws is very good in a game that focuses on people being actually flawed despite the perfection that is expected from them.

But yeah starting always at 1 Void point is terrible and may make every start of a session be an embarrassing moment of "everyone be bad at everything right this moment please!" just to have enough Void points to not feel naked.

The more I think about it, the more I want to set starting Void points for each session at half your Void Ring, rounded up. So anyone with 3 Void starts at 2 Void. That would also be a nice incentive to raise your Void Ring, which is pretty meh as a cap if you start each session at 1 and only regain them with playing up your disadvantages. I mean, really, you are pretty much bound to never have 4 Void points and wish you had a fifth one so you could stock up on just one more with an extra moment of weakness.

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Coming out of 4e, I definitely understand Void Point nervousness; they were so important. Hard to get by with out them. Basically just slowed down combat as wounds-soak. Not fun for me.

I'm not really concerned about Void points, because it looks like they'll be less important. But I don't know if that's true.

For anyone with play experience, did characters with few void points seem dysfunctional? 

 Plus, the "Gaining Void Points" section doesn't list all the ways to get them. I know of at least two more: 

  1. Inverting your advantage, as @WHW pointed out (ninja'd!)
  2. Clashes (when your target turns down your challenge)

What seems weird to me is that they're kinda hard to get and they're used extensively in kiho. But I don't know how that plays. Maybe monks should be better at getting them? But that could easily lead to OP monks.

On 10/6/2017 at 9:31 PM, Manic Modron said:

I agree with Void being restored through having to deal with your disadvantages, but getting Void back by being overcome by them doesn't seem right. By being able to push away something like paranoia or superstition (succeeding  despite the disadvantage) you should find calm and insight into your own flaws.  That should increase your Void points, not confirmation of your weakness.

Isn't this a win-more? Like the mechanic doesn't help you when you're losing--when you could really use a void point--and instead just confirms your success? Seems like if you're succeeding, no need for Void points. Plus, by getting them only when you fail, you're consistently/fairly compensated for your disadvantage when it's actually a problem, instead of by some arbitrary (i.e. wonky/bad) amount of XP at chargen that you'd earn in one or two sessions anyway. 

On 10/9/2017 at 3:28 AM, Teveshszat said:

Therefore my suggestion is either make voidpoints more readibly aviaable or change the void point activation prequsite to something different like times per school rank.

This is a really interesting approach! If you're trying to solve the 4e void-points-matter-too-much problem, you can make them harder to get, or you can make them harder to spend.  

Edited by sidescroller

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59 minutes ago, sidescroller said:

This is a really interesting approach! If you're trying to solve the 4e void-points-matter-too-much problem, you can make them harder to get, or you can make them harder to spend.  

The thing here is that I want voipoint to have an impact but prevent them from being mandatory for the character. Making school techniques activate only if you spend void points is making them mandatory for the character that
has the school.
Having the parry option tied to them creates the 4th ed dmg reduction problem and therefore makes them mandatory for every character that expects to fight at least once in a session.
Thats why I sguesst changing these things into different limitations.
 

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