Revising Endowments [Hunter: The Vigil]

Open Development

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Fans who are already familiar with Hunter: The Vigil know that Endowments are special abilities given to hunters who are part of a conspiracy. In Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition, we have decided to rework Endowments to mesh better with 2E rules.

Today, I am linking to our first attempt to redesign Endowments. I want to stress that this draft, which is timestamped April 27, 2017, does not represent the final ruleset or a confirmed approach. I felt that this change was perfect to share via OpenDevelopment, and your feedback will make our design stronger. You can help by testing out the instructions to create an Endowment. What’s clear? What’s confusing? What’s extraneous or needs to be better defined? You can also help by playtesting the new Endowments to help us work out the bugs.

Link to Read Proposal for Endowment Redesign

To illustrate the rule changes, we have provided examples of how Endowments are built using the new system in our proposal. I am offering one such example below, to show you the current direction we’re taking. I would encourage you to read our proposal before commenting (as opposed to judging this new direction solely on my post); that will help us better weigh and sift through feedback so we can ensure that Endowments are exciting to use in 2nd Edition.

Please note: comments will only be monitored on the Onyx Path forums and in this post. We will be reviewing comments through Monday, May 8th.

Sample Endowment for Task Force: Valkyrie

The Lockdown Grenade applies the Materialized Condition to an area equal to a small room. This places the initial Value at 4. A Loadout of 2 keeps the Endowment’s Value at 4, accounting for the -2 Limiter that comes with Loadout. Lowering that Value takes several steps. First, Task Force Valkyrie Status •• is a Prerequisite — they don’t hand these out like candy! A -2 Backlash that a skilled user can avoid (with the appropriate Permission to that effect) comes out to -1. To take care of the final point of Value, the grenade cannot be used in the immediate presence of Locus, as they are far too spiritually turbulent to fully lock down. This brings the Value to 0, and the Endowment is ready to go.

SX-11A “Lockdown Grenade” (Keywords; Indefinite, Ward)

The SX-11A is a key piece of equipment for Task Force Valkyrie teams deployed against extra-or-pandimensional threats, such as post-deceased entities or non-material xenofauna. Much like a smoke grenade or a long-acting flashbang, it “solidifies” reality in its area of effect, forcing such entities to manifest in a material fashion, leaving them vulnerable to conventional weapons. As an explosive, the SX-11A is by necessity an expendable asset: teams that run dry are often at a disadvantage, so care is advised in deployment of this particular tactical option. Inhaling the effluent of the SX-11A is not recommended, as it has been known to cause headaches.

Effects
• Loadout: 2
• Action: 1 Loadout; apply the Materialized Condition to all beings in Twilight for one Scene.
• Lock It Down: Dexterity + Athletics; to deploy the grenade remotely by throwing it.
• Area: Single room.
• Resolve: Exchange this Endowment for another Advanced Armory Endowment.
• Permission: If the character remotely deploys the grenade with three or more successes, she does not suffer the Backlash.
• Refresh: One Chapter

Limiters
• Limit: If Loadout is 0, this Endowment cannot be used.
• Limit: If the area is a Locus, this Endowment cannot be used.

Backlash
• -2 to Mental actions while the Endowment is in effect.

Prerequisites
• Task Force Valkyrie Status ••

Resolution: Return to a TFV Armory.
Beat: Deploying a lockdown grenade actually makes the situation worse.

  17 comments for “Revising Endowments [Hunter: The Vigil]

  1. Robert D
    April 27, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    With Hunters being still fundamentally human, the idea of drawbacks to the use of their Endowments is thematically interesting: mortals reaching for means to face non-mortal threats. The trick would be to make sure the drawbacks don’t make using the Endowment so difficult or dangerous to use that the players never use them or find no enjoyment in using them in the game.

    There’s a lot of moving parts and tables, but they look really well thought out and giving examples of both equipment and innate endowments was a great way to show the variability of endowment creation.

    I’ll be pouring over this over the next few days to get a better understanding. Thanks for sharing this with all us fans!

  2. Inquisitor
    April 27, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    People that do Homeberew Conspiracies are probably grateful to you quite a lot for this one, I’d imagine.
    Personally I’m not sure what to think of it, on one hand I kinda’ liked the Endowments as Merits thing 1e did, for the flavour and all that, on the other, I can certainly appreciate the pros of a mechanical unification and changing them to be more of their own thing.

  3. April 27, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    > Beat: Deploying a lockdown grenade actually makes the situation worse.

    I’ve noticed all the beat’s currently are things I’d have questions on, like in this case, how would I as a GM decide if it made things worse? I mean presumably you are preventing a supernatural entity from fleeing, so it’s cornered and now it has no choice but to fight. In theory this is likely to cause characters to get harmed where they would have avoided further damage otherwise. So how would I distinguish this is the wrong move?

    in the Lucifuge ability, it says something about affiliated with hell… at this time I’m unsure how how I would know that too. I presume though their section will clarify “Hell affiliation”.

    • Diggs
      April 27, 2017 at 5:04 pm

      Some creatures in twilight are very powerful but lack the ability to manifest on their own and are limited in ability to affect beings not in twilight. Maybe the creature can only influence emotions or something like that. If the target could only go on a murderous rampage after the grenade goes off, somebody just made the situation worse.

  4. YOLF
    April 27, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Well, this is a interesting structure for Endowments. I can see this working out very well in particular for the groups that use physical resources and loadouts such as the Ascending Ones or Valkyrie.

    The costs seem well figured out, but in the current draft some points like duration might require ironing out. I’m not certain of the weight of the Duration and Type keywords, since they don’t mechanically affect Value and the descriptive pieces of the other components seem to make them at least a little redundant.

    A few pertinent details towards the consistency of the sample endowments:

    – Breath of the Dragon is classified as *Instant*, which might be misleading as the toxic cloud generated lasts a longer and unspecified time (I would assume a scene) and it is unclear if the roll to direct it takes a full action, as the Willpower-Action toll only applies to the effect of generating it.

    – Since Endowments are Condition-alikes, does resolution of Mandate of Hell imply the characters then loses it completely and is refunded the XP? Its separate listing of the condition to *Resolve* and the *Resolution* while they both seem to refer to the same thing is a little confusing.

    – Part addendum to the above: the Duration section seems to only attribute traditional Resolution to Indefinite endowments, but accordingly to how it functions, Mandate of Hell is Transient. In the same line, it seems unintuitive for all Valkyrie endowments to be Indefinite as explained per the Loadout sidebar. For the sake of clarity, Duration should reflect on the mechanics of the effects, since the authorization to use the relevant technology already seems represented by simply acquiring the Endowment.

    Another detail: although no example is coming to mind, there might be Endowments for which duration longer than a scene or hour is pertinent, and it seems coherent with the design paradigm that this would a factor that modifies Value, but in the draft is unaccounted for.

  5. Robert D
    April 27, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    In this post’s version of Endowments, are endowments not merits but rather Conditions Hunters can pay the Toll to place on themselves or others? If so, does that mean there is a limit to the number of Endowments a Hunter may possess, or is that tied to the number of Status dots a hunter possesses in the Endowment’s Conspiracy, instead of having, like Major Templates do, a Supernatural Strength trait of some kind (Blood Potency, etc.) to show the limits of their abilities?

    • April 27, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Please read the proposed rules in the link above. The majority of your questions can be answered after reading the Google doc. Thanks!

  6. Atavist
    April 27, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Neat! Looks real cool so far, I’ll try throwing it up in my games and commenting with anything of note.

  7. Zilaenor
    April 27, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    I’m always a fan of build-your-own stuff. This goes best when there are many examples and “formulas” as guidelines. For this, the Effects, Permissions, Bans, Limiters and Backlash could use more. Also, some explicit information about the limits – both story and mechanical – of the system helps avoid ridiculousness. I’m sure some power-gamers will come along and point out specific game-breaking possibilities, I’m not great at that.

    The Limitation values seem too good. “lacks approval from a proper authority” does not seem equivalent to the difference between a gesture and an “excessive sacrifice (death, etc.)”, but they’re both -4

  8. LostLight
    April 28, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Cross posting a first attempt at designing an Endowment using the proposed system:

    As an experiment in Endowment making, I’ve decided to make it simple and choose only the basic effect of the Endowment- that means that its Toll is 1 Willpower, giving it Value of -1. Giving it a Line of Sight Range, rising its Value to 3. Giving it a thematic Backlash and Limiter reduce it to 2. Giving it a 1 Conspiracy Status as Prerequisite finish the process, with a total Value of 0.

    Hellfire (Keyword; Scourge, Instant)

    The association between Hell and fire seems to be as old as time, since the days of ancient Egypt where Coffin Texts detail burning lakes of consuming flames. That fire flows in the Lucifuge’s veins together with their demonic blood, a birthright giving to them as Children of the 7th Generation. By understanding that inner fire, the hunter can manifest it as a weapon against her enemies, giving them a taste of the fate waiting for them after their death and finale damnation.

    Effects
    1 Willpower: throws a fireball on the target, dealing 1 lethal damage per

    • Burning the Wicked: [Occult+ Dexterity]- target’s Defense; to invoke hell’s fire without harming yourself and hit the target.

    Roll Results

    Success: the Lucifuge conjure the bolt of fire and successfully deals damage to it.

    Exceptional: the dealt damage is now aggravated even if the target isn’t normally venerable to fire.

    Failure: the hunter miss his target without harming anyone.

    Dramatic: the Lucifuge lose control over the demonic flames, and it turns upon her. She suffer from 3 points of lethal damage.

    Limiters

    • Limit: if the target was blessed by a priest or similar holy men in the last 6 hours, she is immune to the Endowment.

    Backlash
    The scent of brimstone and ash surrounds you for the rest of the Chapter, giving you -1 for Social actions.

    Prerequisites
    • Prerequisite: Lucifuge Status (o)

    Endowment Source: Descent from the Lucifuge.

    well, it did took me awhile in order to understand just how did the rules worked, and I’m still not 100% sure I did it didn’t make any mistake in the process- but I hope that once I’ll get used to the system, things would go much more fluidly.

  9. batro
    April 28, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Hello,

    Thanks for sharing !

    I don’t like this new version : it’s too much math and “build your own power” for me. I prefer the 1st edition Merits.

  10. LostLight
    April 28, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    something that came up while working on an Endowment conversion- which Keyword should represent an effect which works to remove a negative effect/heal? I assume that Superior may be able to represent “augmenting natural healing” while Scourge could work for “Scourging a negative Condition”, but it feels like there should be a new Keyword especially for such effects.

  11. SunlessNick
    April 28, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    At first I didn’t like it, but this was somewhat abated when I got to the examples.

    My lingering concern is that it makes Endowments too much “one system fits all” – I like how in the first edition they work in a variety of different ways, fitting their different origins and tones.

    But given how much is being packed in, I can understand how that might need to be sacrificed.

  12. DarkAtom
    April 29, 2017 at 2:48 am

    I feel the same way as Sunlessnick, the system becomes too generic for my liking.

    It limits the way an endowment would be expressed, to the determent of flavour, theme, and possibly mechanical variety.

  13. Will
    April 29, 2017 at 6:12 am

    I need another example or 5 to get this down. There are a LOT of words coming out and they’re all confusing me pretty badly. So like, a few more pricing examples would be necessary. Low power and high power.

  14. Adam
    April 30, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Since my homebrew has a lot of religious based players (an adaptation of True Faith from classic WoD + Benedictions) here is what we came up with:

    Intercession (Superior endowment, Indefinite)
    The Inquisitor petitions the Almighty for guidance and power to do His will. This prayer is a short benediction and can be tailored to different denominations or sects. Whatever the prayer type is, it is often short like the Lord’s Prayer or the High Priestly prayer to invoke favor.
    Effects
    Action: The Inquisitor prays and intercedes for a full turn petitioning The Lord for guidance. Each success adds to a pool of points to be spent reflexively on a roll giving it the 8-again quality. These rolls last until they are used or a full 24 hours has passed.

    Alternatively, he can spend a willpower while doing so to pour out his heart into a desperate prayer for intervention. Rather than 8-agains, the rolls receive the rote quality.

    Limiters: This prayer is only answered once per chapter or game day.
    Limiters: if the Inquisitor had recently fulfilled his vice, the action will automatically fail.

    • Intercessions: [Expression + Intelligence]. Depending on how faith based powers are worked (whether they receive their own trait like Beneditions in 1ed or not), the dice pool can vary. Does a prayer’s effectiveness depend on the user’s performance (as measured by intelligence and skill) or is it based on something like a faith trait separate from his skills.

    Roll Results
    Success: The prayers of the Inquisitor are heard and answered.
    Exceptional: The prayers of the Inquisitor are heard and answered. He receives an outpouring of God’s grace that affirms his cause. He regains a point of willpower.

    Failure: The Inquisitor is met with the silence in his heart. While not discouraged, the Inquisitor does receive any immediate answer to his prayers.
    Dramatic: The inquisitor is overcome with fear, doubt, and condemnation. Whatever the cause, he loses a point of willpower in addition to any he spent on the activation of the endowment.

    Value:
    Effects: 8-agains +1
    Effecs: rote quality + 5
    range: speaking +2
    Toll: full action -2
    Limiters
    uncommon – fulfilling vice -4
    once per chapter use – 5

    pre-requisite: having a character whose play is committed to a specific religion or tenant. Status in a conspiracy or compact might illustrate this.

  15. Adam
    April 30, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Intercession (Superior endowment, Indefinite)
    The Inquisitor petitions the Almighty for guidance and power to do His will. This prayer is a short benediction and can be tailored to different denominations or sects. Whatever the prayer type is, it is often short like the Lord’s Prayer or the High Priestly prayer to invoke favor.
    Effects
    Action: The Inquisitor prays and intercedes for a full turn petitioning The Lord for guidance. Each success adds to a pool of points to be spent reflexively on a roll giving it the 8-again quality. These rolls last until they are used or a full 24 hours has passed.

    Alternatively, he can spend a willpower while doing so to pour out his heart into a desperate prayer for intervention. Rather than 8-agains, the rolls receive the rote quality.

    Limiters: This prayer is only answered once per chapter or game day.
    Limiters: if the Inquisitor had recently fulfilled his vice, the action will automatically fail.

    • Intercessions: [Expression + Intelligence]. Depending on how faith based powers are worked (whether they receive their own trait like Beneditions in 1ed or not), the dice pool can vary. Does a prayer’s effectiveness depend on the user’s performance (as measured by intelligence and skill) or is it based on something like a faith trait separate from his skills.

    Roll Results
    Success: The prayers of the Inquisitor are heard and answered.
    Exceptional: The prayers of the inquisitor are heard and answered. He receives an outpouring of God’s grace that affirms his cause. He regains a point of willpower.

    Failure: The Inquisitor is met with the silence in his heart. While not discouraged, the Inquisitor does receive any immediate answer to his prayers.
    Dramatic: The inquisitor is overcome with fear, doubt, and condemnation. Whatever the cause, he loses a point of willpower in addition to any he spent on the activation of the endowment.

    Value:
    Effects: 8-agains +1
    Effects: rote quality + 5
    range: speaking +2
    Toll: full action -2
    or
    Toll: full action + willpower* -3
    Limiters:
    uncommon – fulfilling vice -4
    once per chapter use – 5

    prerequisite: having a character whose play is committed to a specific religion or tenant. Status in a conspiracy or compact might illustrate this.

    Endowment Source: questionable. depends on how game is setup.

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