Beast: The Advanced and Epic Merits

  • Hello, Thenomain as Coder here, with some questions for the lot of you, looking for constructive input.

    Someone asked me to look into CofD System'ing Beast: The Primoridal. Well, they introduce a new kind of merit: Advanced and Epic. 'Library (Advanced)', for example.

    I have a problem. My code system gives '(...)' a very specific meaning. Library can be taken multiple times, once per mental skill, so you can have 'Library (Science)' and 'Library (Occult)'. I can't do 'Library (Advanced)' without twisting the baseline code inside-out.

    "So Theno," says the straw-man you who I use as a sounding wall, "why not just make the merit 'Library Advanced'." Because, Mildly Constructive Soapbox Sock-Puppet, the system has no real way to know the difference between 'Library' and 'Library Advanced' unless you type out at least that last 'A'. e.g., 'stat/set Library A=2'.

    "That's not too bad", you say. Yes, I reply, but there's also Iron Skin (Advanced), and Fast Reflexes (Advanced) and both Direction Sense (Advanced) and Direction Sense (Epic).

    The same thing works in reverse. 'Epic Direction Sense' would need to be entered as at least 'Epic D' for the system to see it as unique.


  • Pitcrew

    Make it "Advanced (Library)", or "Advanced (MERIT OF CHOICE)"?

  • @Kanye-Qwest

    The code would see that as a merit called 'Advanced'. Other code, not to mention players, would have to do mental gymnastics to invert it back to what it really means. It breaks the language established by existing interface.

    edit: Several of these can be expanded onto the core merit. Direction Sense (•, •••, •••••), with the last two levels being beast-only, and then mark it as a 'style'. I don't know if Onyx Path has designs for Advanced/Epic, and I'd rather keep it as close to the source material as possible, because things like that happens, but they're not making it easy.

    Library (Advanced) doesn't work as an add-on style, for which I think 'Advanced Library' would be fine.

  • I bet an awful lot of people would want Epic D.

    I'd probably end up doing it with Epic/Advanced as the first word because it would make what you had to type more predictable, but anything with quite similar names makes you type up to where it's unique anyway in most systems. Alternatively, maybe you could just use <> instead of () for Epic and Advanced? So, Library <Epic>? Then if that can be further specialised you'd have Library <Epic> (Occult), I suppose. Or Library (Occult) <Epic>, maybe. Hm. I'd think you'd still have to type about the same amount, though, wouldn't you? I'm not sure how you have it implemented.

  • Pitcrew

    Yeah, I've got nothing except a super mature desire to get myself an Epic D merit.

  • "Library, Advanced (Type)" and "Direction Sense, Advanced" makes more sense to me. Can your code take commas? I think the comma is important, and other WoD merits have used commas before.

    I prefer "Merit, Advanced" or "Advanced Merit" because, while, yes, I need to type "Direction Sense A" to get to it, but it would maintain alphabetical order. That a list appears in alphabetical order on +sheet is more important to me than having to type a few extra letters when I need to set the merit.

    That said, I think adding "Merit, Advanced" makes more sense than making it a style, especially when you're considering tags and keeping a code accessible to all games (which might not include Beast).

  • @skew said:

    Can your code take commas?


    Not unless I go to an all-database (SQL) system, which you have no idea how much that would please me, but I'm more concerned about people being able to install my code.

    However, there is no difference between "Direction Sense Advanced" and "Direction Sense, Advanced". Both would require you to type out the entirety of 'Direction Sense' first. I suppose I could make a text search engine that wildcards each word, so 'Dir Se A' would work, but I'm already pushing the limits of @Chime's server adjustments as it is.

    That said, I think adding "Merit, Advanced" makes more sense than making it a style, especially when you're considering tags and keeping a code accessible to all games (which might not include Beast).

    Putting prerequisites per level of a Style is difficult but not impossible. It may not classify properly as a "Style", however. However however, I kind of snerk at the idea that Onyx Path has a clear classification for what makes a Style.

  • @Thenomain Then definitely do "Merit Advanced". Alphabetical!

  • This post is deleted!

  • @Misadventure said:

    Or color code those as Green, Purple, Orange.

    I hate you.

  • This post is deleted!

  • So I think this comes down to: "Advanced Direction Sense" or "Direction Sense Advanced"?

    The proponents for the latter have made the strongest case so far: "Library Advanced" is preferred to "Advanced Library" because your merits output on your sheet alphabetically, and I'd rather have "Library Advanced" show up in line with my other Library merit.

    Sure, I can write the chargen code to manually re-order, but it's also the closest to the way the book has it.

    I still think the book is wrong.

  • Pitcrew

    It also just makes more sense to modify/describe the merit by appending a word. Library advanced to me reads more as "you are super good at library", and Advanced Library reads more like "omg do you see that library? You will never be as cool as that library".

  • @Kanye-Qwest

    I don't know how you get to that. "Advanced Trig" is waaaaay more popular in a syllabus than "Trigonometry Advanced". It's a pedantic little distinction, but as someone pointed out to me, this is causing me some Coder Angst so getting it absolutely right the first time makes me inspect things beyond casual observation.

  • Pitcrew

    "Advanced Trigonometry" refers to a class, not a skill. My thought process still applies! Being in an advanced trig class or looking at advanced trig problems doesn't indicate your skill at trig, it indicates that trig has mad swagger.

  • @Kanye-Qwest said:

    "Advanced Trigonometry" refers to a class, not a skill.

    And 'Journeyman Blacksmith' does, so ptht on your logic.

    Anyway, I'm the one coding this and I remain unconvinced, so I'm going to ... well, do it that way, but I feel like it should be done better, could be done better, if only someone would do it better. Today, that person is not me; I bow to the book as written.

  • @Thenomain

    I want to make sure I understand.

    If you get Library (Advanced), does that apply to only one Mental Skill? E.g., Library (Advanced -- Occult) gives you a different bonus than Library (Occult)?

  • @Ganymede

    As written, you only need to get one Library to 3 to buy Library (Advanced), which is the older nWoD 'specialty areas', but using the new Conditions system.

    It is tied to that Library, tho, so if anything happens to that Library, you lose the Library Advanced. I'm not tracking that.

  • You could start using new fun special symbols like /& #£!. For instance Library(Occult/Advanced) or Library (Occult)/Advanced.

  • @Groth

    Sure, but the player still ends up typing more for what essentially looks like Onyx Path faffery. I am extremely underwhelmed by the book and how it tries to tie its concepts together, though I like the core conceits it's building on. I understand why people are summarizing this as "Superfriends: The RPG", and I don't see it as a good fit for a large Mu*. Ah well.

    Here's my final list of new (or non-core) merits from Beast: The Primordial Ooze:

    danger sense advanced
    direction sense advanced
    direction sense epic
    double jointed advanced
    eidetic memory advanced
    epic potential
    fame advanced
    fast reflexes advanced
    fist of nightmares
    giant advanced
    guilty pleasure (<pleasure>)
    hunger management
    iron skin advanced
    iron skin epic
    killer instinct
    killer instinct advanced
    library advanced (<safe place name>)
    relentless assault
    spoor - did not say it was Beast-only but it obviously is
    striking looks advanced (<striking looks adjective>)

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