So as mentioned in a few threads, V5 is a distinct mechanical departure in many aspects. Also being a new edition it doesn’t have the back-catalogue of supplements that many players of older editions are used to.
As such, it’s no surprise that there’s plentiful demand for homebrew on the part of players and storytellers in order to provide all the options they’re interested in.
So my question is, what general guidelines and advice would you normally follow for homebrewing something for V5? How would you adapt something from V20? How would you go about creating something entirely new? Would you let your players try and homebrew things, or is it solely the purview of the ST?
Well first I’d become really familiar with the current rules, that way you can gauge weather something your going to homebrew is unbalancing or potentially unbalancing. A lot of homebrew materials when you look at them are incredibly unbalanced. Case in point you port over directly the Thaumaturgical Path of Weather Control level 5 as it is in V20 you get 10 Lethal Damage and Armor does not add to soak, There isn’t that I’ve seen so far anything that can compare to that in the new system damage wise except through maybe Exceptional Successes. Now you’ve just made it so Tremere and Banu Haqim (since both have access to Blood Sorcery) the Biggest Baddest in the game why would anyone play anything else you get two great mental disciplines and another that allows you to do way more damage than your average Brujah or Gangrel.
If you’d indulge me in another example Burning Wrath a Brujah staple if I was to home brew it I would not direct port it over (because it would be unbalancing). I’d port over the descriptor of the discipline but give it the mechanics of Feral Weapons and make it an Amalgam of say off the top of my head Potence and Presence (Your focusing your very presence to augment your strength with a burning determination) And make it something only Brujah tend to be able to comprehend how to do. This gives you Burning Wrath as an option for Brujah and makes it so it’s not unbalanced from other Disciplines.
Just a Thought on how I’d approach Homebrewing.
Generally speaking, I tend to follow a few simple rules for home-brewing in all game systems:
Is it really necessary?
Seems to be a simple answer, but really think about it. Is there an existing rule or power that basically does this already? If so, just use that. There’s no reason to make a Celerity power that does something that Protean can do just because you have a Brujah - an NPC can have Protean, and a player can just spend the 2 extra experience for an out of clan discipline power. You can even let the player buy it at clan cost as an apology for the power not technically existing. A lot of times we want something flavorful and unique, but the Story need isn’t really there. In these cases, it’s usually best just to adjust the narrative slightly to allow for existing rules and powers instead of creating your own.
If the need is there, though, move on to rule #2…
Is there something that already does the thing or something similar?
If yes, then use that as a base line. Flavor it to the effect you want, but keep the core mechanical rules the same. Kingofshadows provides a good example of this with the Burning Wrath example above. You may be tempted to increase damage, or lower difficulty, but I wouldn’t - those things are at that level for a reason - they were tested. You can always tweak it later if it seems off, and it’s always easier to ramp up than tone down, err on the side of lower power.
If no, then move on to the next rule.
You’re going to have to make it up, but you can weigh it next to existing rules.
If it is a combat effect, use existing examples to plot your course. Does it hit as hard as a heavy pistol? If so, then make the damage on the power +4, just like a heavy pistol. If not, how hard does it hit? Use the sample weapon ratings on page 304 of the core rulebook as a guide.
If it’s a narrative effect, like Sense the Unseen or Soaring Leap, then use the example of other sensory or movement powers to set the baseline for you, and remember to be a little frugal - it’s always easier to tell a player the power is capable of more than it is to have to tell the player that you’re giving their cool new thing a “nerf.”
After a few trial and error powers, you’ll find a rhythm and get better at it, but those guidelines should help you get most of the way.
I agree with the above, and add that for me, homebrewing it best when done collaboratively between players and ST. This can range from just ensuring the players are aware of the idea and accept it. To full on back and forth discussion to make things a reality.
The more they are a part of the process the more invested they become. Especially if it effects their character. That investment is key.
A player came to me when making a character for the current campaign with ideas for a “secret society” based around beliefs spawning from a Hebrew text called the Book of Jasher. We fleshed it out together. Came up with some ideas for what they believe. And I made it clear that what they believe and what is real could be very different. He accepted. But this also opened up a whole new avenue of ideas and such that I would have never had without the input. Actually made it easier for me to tie different aspects of the world I built together.
Also check this site to see if it has already been done. No since in re-inventing the wheel.
thank red for the link,im and old dm searching alot of thing for creating my own laval by night! so,that really helpful
If you like that also check out the WoD5 discord. A lot of great people helping each other out for V5.
It is a great community and many people homebrew on the server.
thank,alot will be checking that!