Willpower Rating (House Rule)

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Willpower Rating (House Rule)

Post  Malakiel on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:06 am

Willpower its a very controversial trait among World of Darkness games, each game has its own rules about willpower for example Vampire The Masquerade sets the average willpower from a Criminal Enforcer in 6 or an Arcanum Scholar in 7, Hunter The Reckoning stands for example than the average vampire has a Willpower rating of 15 as disciplines are fuelled with it, for Werewolf the rule changes again as usually happens with every single WoD Game.

Another important issue is the lack of coherence between disciplines and willpower, let's analyse Dominate as one of the difficult depend on willpower kind of discipline. The handbook stands that the average difficulty for actions is 6, in consequence from 5 or lower is considered easy actions and from seven or higher difficult actions, further more from the discipline perspective 6 is the average willpower, 5 or less the weak willed and 7 or higher the strong willed targets but this is not just inaccurate this represents a major incongruence for the game. From both Mathematical approach using statistical techniques for dice analysis and from the very construction of World of Darkness game system the average difficulty should be 5, not 6.

An intuitive approach to the complex math behind this issue would be this: for a d10 die the number 6 is the first number of the high half of it, which means that from 10 possible results, 5 of them (6, 7, 8, 9 & 10) are favourable at difficulty 6. This would be true if dice rolls were just that simple but 1s exists don't they? that means that each 1 a player throws have two effects, being a fail itself and cancelling another possible success, reducing the possibility from the intended 5/10 (50%) to a lower amount. In conclusion difficulty 6 is far from average and it’s actually difficulty to accomplish.

There’s a third very important issue about the Willpower rule as it is, the very plot of WoD games speak about how depraved and dominated is the human population, every game explains about how the humanity have succumb to ignorance and unaware of the real world around them, ignoring for the fear sake, the creatures and perils of the night, preferring to keep their small crystal bubble that separated them from the horrific world around them. This is reflected in the game as humanity in general is weak willed.

So, what average means? Isn’t it the most common event? What would be the average Willpower rating in humanity?

In congruence of the three prior statements the average human would be far from strong willed human, this is better shown in the Werewolf The Apocalypse handbook, referring to the Delirum chart of that handbook where clearly shows that half of the world population have willpower rating of 3 or less, and 63% has 4 or less, that means that the average human has willpower 3-4.

Looking at it from a different point of view willpower rating charts in all manuals have a description about how would a character be according to its willpower rating from Weak at rating 1, passing by Secure at willpower rating of 5 and Iron willed at 10. The problem of these descriptions is that are vague and bad to describe a character will so its more misleading than helpful.

This House rule is intended for two things, first to clarify that this is an improvement, a buff if I may for the players, since it’s more common for players to depend on their victims’ willpower for many actions and discipline than the opposite. Second that roleplaying a strong willed character, compared to the rest of humanity, is far cheaper, as it requires less point to get it.

In consequence, for the sake of good roleplaying and congruence of the world, most characters won’t have access to high willpower rating since are very uncommon, this means that no player character will be allow to have a willpower rating higher than 5, still its possible for that player to increase it during the game.


Last edited by Malakiel on Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:31 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Willpower Rating (House Rule)

Post  Malakiel on Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:08 am

The following is a description of willpower by rating, some examples of what kind of characters have it and it’s occurrence in world population:
RatingWorld population (%)DescriptionExample of Character Concept
110%Squidish, fearful and unsecured most of the time, its very difficult to make decisions or to take risks without assuring by external aproval.Paranoids, chronicly phobic and other wuss.
220%Looking for affirmation and self steem by the use of some external mean, as status, clothing, cars, violence or money.Most criminals, employees and sect followers.
318%Secured even by blantant opposition by the majority around, determined and secure of his actions most of the time.Leaders, criminal underboss, soldiers and policemen.
415%Immune to other's comments, secured even under peril to her live and determined even if it means to risk his own life on it.Veteran soldier, special forces agent, federal and CSI.
513%Stubborn and iron willed, determined all the times, secured of every action and valient enough to endure torture.Rambo and most movie's action heroes.

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