Affinity Phrasing

I am trying to find a clear way to describe Affinities and such, and it is getting tricky. I did have an idea, however, and I want to run it past people.

Affinity with Art/Ability: Treat your experience point total in this Art/Ability as 50% higher (round up) when calculating your score in it.

Advantages: It is absolutely clear what it applies to.

It blocks the annoying loophole of someone using Affinity to double their xp in something by putting 1 xp in per season.

It is easy to implement in Excel.

Disadvantages: You would need to record your experience point total separately.

What do people think?

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It's a common house rule, and, as you say, easy to implement in Excel. Another advantage, for what you're looking at, is simplifying the Order of Virtue application.

What about just following the idea from Metacreator:

Record xp until (xp+50%) rounded up achieves the next level. Then record that level and start xp recording afresh.

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Actually, Metacreator does exactly what David Chart's phrasing does. If you check the points it makes, you'll see that it doesn't actually just cut it off at the new rank, but keeps calculating the entire total xp. I have compared it to the +50% in Excel, and it's identical. If it wasn't, there will be places where Metacreator would require 1 or more XP than the Excel calculation.

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This change makes it have the same effect as Puissant.

You read summae to score 16 (136), Initiate into Puissant (Art), and get score 19.
You read summae to score 16 (136), Initiate into Affinity with (Art), and you are within a rounding error of score 20. Barely better.

OTOH, Affinity can't read that summae past score 16 and need a bunch of tractatus to do as well as Puissant. Your change solves that.

I certainly didn't check it with excel. If it works like Metacreator, this is verrry good.

I just quickly looked at a Metacreator character sheet, which separately lists the accumulated xp not yet used for the next level.

The xp spent on an Art or Ability with Affinity to reach a given level can be anyway derived from that level: all you need to record are those not yet spent.

EDIT: To add/remove Affinities during character life you can specify, that the Affinity is used precisely on those xp spent to increase a score. If the Affinity exists then, those xp then count as 50% higher (round up). Other xp are not affected, because not spent: they are simply counted (as does Metacreator today).

I'd say having two extra xp threshold tables with aproprietly lowered values, one for arts and one for abilities, instead of multiplying xp, is better for book keeping. Shouldn't be too hard to implement in excel either. Easier to correct mistakes later for sure.

...but if volume is a concern feel free to disregard!

As has been pointed out on this forum previously, by @callen IIRC, this breaks down once you initiate an affinity, unless, of course, you want affinities to apply retrospectively as well. It also breaks down for child characters who gain an affinity after having earned their first xp.

Ergo, it is not absolutely clear what the proposed phrasing applies to. If affinities apply retrospectively, it has to be made explicit.

I do not consider it a disadvantage to have to record total xp. Nor would I consider it a disadvantage to have to record fractions.

What problem are you trying to fix with the original phrasing, @David_Chart ?


Here is the big thing I don't get in what you wrote: Why is a few extra 0.5 experience from putting 1 xp in for a season an "annoying loophole" when your proposed "advantage" adds even more bonus? If you find such exploits annoying, wouldn't you want to tone them down rather than shifting them and ramping them up? Right now the exploit is quite minimal, and as Affinity isn't one of the strongest Minor Virtues (solid, but far from strongest) it really doesn't unbalance anything.

What about things like Binding, where you have Affinity up to only a certain point? Those have to be totally rewritten.

Be aware that this makes Affinity retroactive as well as making it apply to losing experience. As for retroactive cases, it's even broader than loke mentioned. Yes, there are initiation and Virtues gained later due to childhood. There is also Hermetic teaching and apprenticeship, both of which can given Affinity after experience has been gained. Twilight can give you Affinity, too. And then there are things like lost experience being multiplied and knowledge being lost when Affinity is lost. If we know the math, we can do things like give characters nearly unlimited, very strong sources of experience. Not only are you increasing the "annoying loophole," but you've also just permitted massive new loopholes.

I highly recommend not changing the order of operations after so much has been written based on the original order of operations. Sure, it would make Excel easier. But my troupe had the proper implementation working fine in Excel like 15 years ago without that much more effort.


I always use this as a house rule anyways, and I think it makes more sense tha as written, especially where an affinity can be combined with something like secondary study to effectively double the bonus under the original definition.

As per loke and called, I don't mind the extra XP, as especially at higher levels it takes forever to get anywhere trying to exploit it.

I think this phrasing is clear. But so is adding 1.5 XP rounded up and better suited for the corner cases loke pointed out.

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I don't think that's what he's saying.

If you spend 1 xp for 6 (exposure) seasons:
-old rule gives you 12 xp,
-proposed one gives you 9 xp.
Moreover, you get 9 xp doing this during character creation.

No, if there's an issue here it's that Affinity becomes a complicated version of Puissant.

Except that now he's giving a bonus to things like Correspondence and lots that didn't get it before. With Correspondence you could nearly guarantee an extra 0.5 every season, and then you get lots more. This is what I was pointing out.

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Meh! I say, Meh!

I know it's a 100% bonus, but turning 1XP into 2XPs is still only 1 extra XP.
You paid a full Lesser Virtue for that.
It's not enough for me to get excited about.

That said, Metacreator's solution works pretty well, for my troupe at least.


This change would make Affinity a lot better than it currently is.

It would apply retroactively, which can be a big bonus if you gain Affinity late in a Saga. In some ways this would be a good thing, since it removes the pressure of getting Affinity as early as possible.

There are a number of virtues that give xp to some other Art or Ability than the one you are studying (e.g. Secondary Insight, Elemental Magic, Hermetic Sorcery, Elemental Affinity, and more). Currently these xp do not get multiplied by Affinity. With this change they would be.

Sure, this change would close the minor loophole of getting 2xp when you just assign 1xp from study, but on the other hand it opens many new ways of getting extra xp.

How do you deal with temporary Affinities or Affinities that are capped at a certain level and don't help afterward? I haven't heard of a solution for these outside of tracking things by hand and fixing its mistakes by hand. (This is, of course, totally separate from it mistakenly applying Affinity to a lot of things it shouldn't.)

I don't recall Affinities that are capped, could you provide an example, please?
With a page reference, preferably?
If you mean someone with an affinity studying from a source that includes a cap (eg a summa or a teacher), then obviously that cap is still in place.

Temporary Affinities are a much bigger problem, but I think I'd actually prefer if the extra XPs one would 'earn' while having e temporary affinity went away with that affinity. This could be debated though!

would you do the same with temporary book learner?

Binding gives them. RoP:tI p.117.

Not the way David suggested above, you wouldn't. Things blow up that way.

To be honest, temporary virtues have featured to little in our sagas that I haven't really had reason to go through all of the permutations.

I'll give it a look.
I've given it a look. That's a mess pretty much any way I turn it.

I'm gonna have to go back to my old - and probably unpopular - opinion:
The 4th edition move to have Arts based on XPs was a mistake.

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