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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 89 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Thinking about Metamorphosis  (Read 9642 times)
John Harper
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« on: April 17, 2006, 10:46:24 AM »

So, I'm thinking about Nine Worlds in preparation for starting a series this Sunday, and I think Metamorphosis is kind of a problem.

When I played 9W at Forge Midwest, Matt had a very sensible house rule: Metamorphosis can be used to move numbers around on one character sheet, but it can't transfer numbers between sheets. This prevents Metamorphosis from being the uber Urge, allowing you to "double dip" with your Points (lowering an enemy's trait and raising your trait at the same time, making it better than Chaos or Cosmos alone).

However, the new version of Metamorphosis is not terribly attractive. If I want to hurt an enemy, Chaos is better since it lowers their trait and doesn't shift any points into another trait. If I want to help someone (or myself), Cosmos is better since it raises traits without lowering others. Using Metamorphosis to raise or lower a trait is just not a very effective use of points.

So, too effective, or not effective enough. Hmmm. What to do?

Well, Metamorphosis is still useful as a Lock-mover. So that should stay as-is. I'm considering making Metamorphosis the only way to deal with a lock, and removing the option to use Chaos or Cosmos to destroy a lock. This gives Metamorphosis a special niche job.

Is that enough? I'm not sure. But I'm unhappy with Metamorphosis in its current state. Any ideas or comments are appreciated.
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Vaxalon
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2006, 11:14:16 AM »

We found metamorphosis useful, in that it can transfer all of an NPC's power into an urge, thereby forcing him to burn a muse in order to reset; then resolve the conflict, which resets the urge.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
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coffeestain
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« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2006, 11:15:56 AM »

I've just recently read the Nine Worlds rules and listened to the complete (or thus far complete) set of MP3 files for Matt's actual play, but the obvious example that strikes me is to simply halve the effects of Metamorphosis and call it a night.  Is there any reason that wouldn't work?

Regards,
Daniel
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2006, 12:09:35 PM »

I've just recently read the Nine Worlds rules and listened to the complete (or thus far complete) set of MP3 files for Matt's actual play, but the obvious example that strikes me is to simply halve the effects of Metamorphosis and call it a night.  Is there any reason that wouldn't work?

Regards,
Daniel

That would probably work. The only thing off-hand I can think of is handling Locks. If you go 2:1 for locks, then problems creep up because you're effectively destroying parts of the locks as you move them  around, which becomes a new, weird kind of uber-muse. (However, in my experience this doesn't happen often.)
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Matt Snyder
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2006, 12:34:02 PM »

...but the obvious example that strikes me is to simply halve the effects of Metamorphosis and call it a night.

Alternatively, you must use at least half of your Metamorphosis to move points between the traits of your opponent. The remainder you can use to move points among your own traits.

Paul
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2006, 09:39:02 PM »

If you have a valor or pride advantage, it can be hugely useful to concentrate your foe's Urges.

In the new form, Metamorphosis is subtle.  It has lots of different uses but none are quite as good as Chaos or Cosmos directly.  I like that a lot.

In practice, I almost always boost my Muses, though.

yrs--
--Ben
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John Harper
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2006, 10:34:13 AM »

If you have a valor or pride advantage, it can be hugely useful to concentrate your foe's Urges.

I don't get that. Shouldn't I just destroy his values with Chaos? Why concetrate his points when I can destroy them?
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2006, 11:00:06 AM »

If you have a valor or pride advantage, it can be hugely useful to concentrate your foe's Urges.

I don't get that. Shouldn't I just destroy his values with Chaos? Why concetrate his points when I can destroy them?

Couple reasons. First, you're right. All things being equal, this situation is usually better using chaos.

Things are frequently not equal, of course. For example, Metamorphosis has more flexibility. It's a "help & hurt" kind of Urge, whereas Chaos is strictly "HURT." Now, when you create your character (or as you increase your character's Urges) you might want that flexibility.

So, let's say you have an awesome Metamorphosis Urge and a mediocre or crummy Chaos Urge. You get in a nasty tussle with a titan. If you're going to win, it's likely you'll be using Metamorphosis. So, you earn a bunch of tricks and concentrate that Titan's scores into his, oh, Stasis Urge. Now, he has crummy power, crummy Chaos, etc. But, he has a spectacular Stasis Urge.

Neat. So, next phase you trump in and declare anything except Stasis (Diamonds). Now, the Titan is truly screwed (assuming he doesn't have a whole pile of Force of his own to counter your Trump bid).

Could you have done mostly the same thing using Chaos? Sure.

Would it be as flexible? (For example, you could use the Points to increase your own Hubris at the cost of your Stasis instead  -- Chaos can't do that).

And, best of all ...

Would it have the same narrative constrictions? No.

That last bit is, for me, the most fun part. What the heck is happening to this Titan that makes him the all-time king of Stasis, and how is that his downfall? Cool.
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Matt Snyder
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"The future ain't what it used to be."
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coffeestain
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2006, 11:02:38 AM »

By the same token, I'd really miss the narrative potential in being able to shift Urges and such between multiple characters.  That's way cool.

Regards,
Daniel
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John Harper
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2006, 01:02:23 PM »

I hear ya, Matt. Those are pretty good reasons. Numerically, Chaos and Cosmos remain superior in terms of helping or hurting, but Metamorphosis lets you do both in the same turn if you want to. That's cool.

Also, I just thought of this: Can you transfer points out of an Urge and into a (already existing) Stasis lock? Because if so, wow. That is a very nasty little Metamorphosis trick.
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2006, 01:42:16 PM »

I hear ya, Matt. Those are pretty good reasons. Numerically, Chaos and Cosmos remain superior in terms of helping or hurting, but Metamorphosis lets you do both in the same turn if you want to. That's cool.

Also, I just thought of this: Can you transfer points out of an Urge and into a (already existing) Stasis lock? Because if so, wow. That is a very nasty little Metamorphosis trick.

No, that goes against the way it works. Points for Locks always and ever are used for other locks or breaking locks, etc. They can't "cross over." It would be a nasty trick, you're right.

Of course, I can toe my own party line and say no, no, no. And then any one of you can play with your group and muck with "my" rules all you like!
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Matt Snyder
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"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Ben Lehman
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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2006, 07:55:47 PM »

Hey, Daniel -- One of the changes that I suggested that we didn't use was the allow metamorphosis to change the same value between characters.  So I can take Apollo's Power and add it to my Hubris, or his Cosmos and add it to my Cosmos, but I can't take his Cosmos and add it to my Metamorphosis or my Arete or whatever.

yrs--
--Ben
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Vaxalon
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2006, 11:46:13 AM »

Another possibility is to allow cross-character "thefts" at a 2-for-1 basis.
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"In our game the other night, Joshua's character came in as an improvised thing, but he was crap so he only contributed a d4!"
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Iskander
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Alexander Newman


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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2006, 11:01:08 AM »

I was wondering about this, since I'm planning to start a Nine Worlds story soon, and wondered if it might not be devious to restrict Metamorphosis to moving points between sides of the conflict. So one opponent could get stronger at another's expense, or a player could beef himself up by feeding on his allies' Urges and Virtues. It expands slightly on 'metamorphose on one sheet only', without having the double-whammy of "I win, you lose".
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2006, 12:06:24 PM »

Hello,

I remain a purist. To date, I have seen absolutely no actual-play problems arise from using Metamorphosis as written.

Understanding the rules includes these three things: what happens to the points, how using that Urge is constrained during narration, and recognizing how points are recovered.

If you have all three of those down, then most of the fears about Metamorphosis that I'm reading here vanish. I recommend really playing the game as written before "fixing" it.

Best, Ron
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