• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[Hacking oWoD] Passive defence?

Yellow Signatory

Formerly 'Lord Stilt-Man'
Validated User
A friend is planning on running a game of Werewolf the Apocalypse & is disappointed with the combat system, he'd like it more "sleek & fast paced" & as I've played the most oWoD before he's asked me to help.

Sadly as I've explained to him I am completely useless at anything that involves numbers, but he insists he wants my input so I plan to cheat & ask for the wisdom of RPGnet.

So how would you go about working out a passive defence score for oWoD games?
How would the system for it work?

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

Snoof

Time-Travelling Layabout
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Ok, so in the oWoD, it's attack pool vs defence pool, with successes by the defender cancelling successes from the attacker, right?

There's two methods that will work for passive defence. One is to work out the expectation value for the defender's pool (how many successes they can expect based on their pool) and make that the number of successes the attacker needs to have. For example, if the defender has an average of three successes on their defence roll, then the attacker just needs to be three successes when attacking. If they roll zero, one, two or three successes, they miss. If they roll four or more successes, they hit. This is (very roughly) how Exalted did it, with the defender's rating being known as DV (defence value).

You can extrapolate further and work out what the expected success/die ratio of the attacker is. If the attacker gets, for example, approximately 1 success per 3 dice, then being required to roll N extra successes is equivalent to being penalized 3N dice, so the defence becomes a die pool penalty.

The main problem with these techniques is if you're using floating target numbers like the oWoD does, you need to recalculate these expectations all the time. My advice: Get rid of floating TNs, they're a pain in the neck the rest of the time too.
 

Coyote's Own

Former ACME QA Tester.
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Ok, so in the oWoD, it's attack pool vs defence pool, with successes by the defender cancelling successes from the attacker, right?

There's two methods that will work for passive defence. One is to work out the expectation value for the defender's pool (how many successes they can expect based on their pool) and make that the number of successes the attacker needs to have. For example, if the defender has an average of three successes on their defence roll, then the attacker just needs to be three successes when attacking. If they roll zero, one, two or three successes, they miss. If they roll four or more successes, they hit. This is (very roughly) how Exalted did it, with the defender's rating being known as DV (defence value).

You can extrapolate further and work out what the expected success/die ratio of the attacker is. If the attacker gets, for example, approximately 1 success per 3 dice, then being required to roll N extra successes is equivalent to being penalized 3N dice, so the defence becomes a die pool penalty.

The main problem with these techniques is if you're using floating target numbers like the oWoD does, you need to recalculate these expectations all the time. My advice: Get rid of floating TNs, they're a pain in the neck the rest of the time too.
There's not floating combat. Attack and defense roll are against a difficulty of 6. So I would say it close to Exalted 1succ/2 die. It doesn't provide double succeses for 0 as exlated does, but the TN is one lower.

This solution would very much heighten the whiff factor, and make defense much more powerful the default.

In Storytelling system you either split you dice pull to defense and attack or use desperate defense to defend against all attacks (loosing one dice for each after the first) but does nothing else during his turn

By this suggestion all each character would gain something close to the advantage of desperate defense without sacrificing any other actions.
 
Last edited:

Lord Crimson

Prophet of Darkness
Validated User
There's not floating combat. Attack and defense roll are against a difficulty of 6.
That's patently not true. I mean, I love oWoD, but even the simplest iterations as of Revised still had different Difficulties for a successful attack roll depending on the weapon.

That being said, I'd probably institute a "hard" Diff of 6 and go with a rule similar to Exalted/yours for a "DV" system if I wanted to cut down on dice rolls.

Every action one takes would drop DV by 1 (mostly just like Exalted).

Then you'd just need a rule for multiple action powers (Celerity, Spending Rage, whatever).

I'd go with: multiple action powers will reduce the DV by 1 for every action taken. But actions devoted to defense will boost DV by 2 (for a net result of +1).

So, a Garou burns 3 Rage for a total of 4 actions (1 normal + 3 extra). Those 4 actions will reduce his DVs (parry and dodge, of course) by 4 points. The Garou burns 3 of those actions on attacks, but spends his 4th action on Defense. So his net DV adjustment is -4 (4 total actions) + 2 (1 Defense Action) for a total penalty of only -2 to his final DV.

If he went full Defense the whole time, he'd actually boost his final DV by a net of 4. Which sort of makes sense. Shooting at a blur is really, really hard.

Ultimately, though, since there is no "Essence boost" to DV, no charms to re-boost/refresh DV, and since most PCs in oWoD don't have as many dice in a pool, you're going to see DVs topping out around 5 (and probably averaging around 3 for PCs and 1 or 2 for most NPCs) before Crinos form or spent blood (boosting Dex) kick in. So even a -2 to DV is going to be a lot more brutal than it is in Exalted.

As an unfortunate drawback, though, this whole approach will boost Dex even further into uber-stat territory and make dots in Dodge and high Rage and/or Celerity scores almost mandatory for survival... even for PCs that don't want to be "that character".
 
Last edited:

Wolfwood2

Registered User
Validated User
In Storytelling system you either split you dice pull to defense and attack or use desperate defense to defend against all attacks (loosing one dice for each after the first) but does nothing else during his turn

By this suggestion all each character would gain something close to the advantage of desperate defense without sacrificing any other actions.
Which should absolutely happen. Splitting your actions to defend was a shit game design idea. Defending yourself is the default; it's what everybody does in a fight. Forcing players to make some sort of guessing game about how often they will be attacked was stupid.

I would do it exactly like exalted. You have a passive defense against attacks based on your Dodge or Melee/Weapons skill, and then it drops by 1 for every time you get attacked in a round.
 

Wolfwood2

Registered User
Validated User
Then you'd just need a rule for multiple action powers (Celerity, Spending Rage, whatever).
Ban them. Ban splitting your die pool. Actions are the currency of combat, and everybody should get the same amount. If somebody has uberspeed or uberstrength then give them bonuses to dodge or attack.
 

dmakovec

Registered User
Validated User
Not having read the update document, is there a possibility of running Apocalypse with Forsaken rules? The Forsaken ruleset is pretty tight.
 

RedFox

Valerie Vixen
Validated User
You can do practically a straight conversion of Storyteller to Unisystem, as the scales and basic game structure are the same. Slap together a Garou Quality Angel-style and have it bolt on a Rage pool, use Essence in place of Gnosis, and you're pretty much good to go. Unisystem's combat system will smooth things out considerably.
 

Vargo Teras

Registered User
Validated User
Not having read the update document, is there a possibility of running Apocalypse with Forsaken rules? The Forsaken ruleset is pretty tight.
I'd suggest something along these lines. nWoD base rules are just so much smoother than oWoD; if you want the full Apocalypse spread of tribes, breed Gifts, and such, there may be some conversion work, but it'll be easier to add oWoD supernatural stuff to the nWoD core than to add nWoD rules into oWoD.
 

thadrine

Pooped today
Validated User
We actually use a hacked version of oWoD for our Vamp game, and it works really well.

Whatever you would normally roll for Defense (Dex+Dode, etc) divide by two and round down. Every time someone attempts to hit you it drops by one. Your DV reduces success, as long as you have one you hit.

We do the same for Stamina and Damage.

Your soak is Stamina + Armor + Fort /2 round down
Just Fort for Aggravated damage

Damage is (Strength + Weapon / 2 round up) + Potence
Guns do half their die total


Anything that changes the TN on the die, give bonus or penalty dice where appropriate.

There are a few things that seem to make it screwy, like some Thaumaturgy powers. Some of players complained at first that they only got half of their Fortitude dice.....they apparently did not understand how it worked to begin with.
 
Top Bottom