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I will GM for a party of players soon who are new to the system we are using, at least some will be new to tabletop RPGs (some had a bit of D&D experience), and I am inexperienced at GMing. Our chronicle is going to be combat-oriented, and even though I use plenty of statistical instruments to analyze what to allow to take at character generation and what not to allow, there is a chance that I will mess up and someone will be too strong or too weak. It is totally OK if my party will generally be overpowered or underpowered, but my fears are that players will differ in power a lot. This might bring the possibility of making some encounters too hard for some and too easy for others and reducing the opportunity to shine in battle for one of the extreme. I have GMed a bit previously, but for no more than one player at a time, so this wasn't an issue.

It is likely that I will make character sheets for my players myself, but I am not 100% sure yet.

What to do if I, during gameplay, figure out that my party is unbalanced?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess that you are referring to the players time to shine in battle? Or are you referring in terms of the challenge would be too high for some and too weak for others? Seems the same, but at their core they are different. \$\endgroup\$ – Chepelink Aug 20 '16 at 12:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think there's a "system agnostic" answer to game balance issues specifically, removing that tag. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Aug 20 '16 at 16:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/22173/… \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Aug 20 '16 at 16:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ Interpreting his first paragraph as "system agnostic" means you have a differing definition of it than I do, so I'm comfortable with my ruling on this. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Aug 20 '16 at 18:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Because I wanted system-agnostic and not mechanical D&D 3.5 answers. Ask one or the other. "Both" is just a mess. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Aug 21 '16 at 3:30
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Don’t worry about it. Vampire’s not balanced that way.

  1. I consider the differences between three characters who are combat specced differently fairly minor since the strategy of "pick one target and concentrate your attacks on them until they are rendered dead or incapacitated" moots many distinctions. That melee Brujah will have the advantage over a Gangrel when fighting a Gargoyle, for example, and the Assamite with LoF can invoke Rotschreck for extra oomph. Don't worry about DPS so much, and concentrate on making each one seem unique in style.

  2. Even in a combat-heavy game, clans that aren't heavily specced for combat have a number of "off switches" available at character creation. Dread Gaze and Unseen Presence will do a lot to get people who don't wish to put their characters at risk out of the line of fire, and those are two-dot discipline powers available commonly.

  3. If this is a Camarilla game, use the power of the Traditions to keep combat to "torpor" rather than "kill" stakes. (Stakes are good, too, as a matter of fact.)
  4. The four "quadrants" of a Vampire game are physical, political, magical, and moral. So long as a character can "play" in several of those arenas, sheer combat prowess isn't necessary.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Did I get it right that you are speaking about social characters? That's not the case, I know some ways to make a social Ventrue or Toreador able to also stand his ground in combat at least a bit. I am speaking of, for example, combat Gangrel overshadowing a melee Brujah, if I didn't think about the latter not being able to deal aggravated damage. Or them both being statistically stronger than a Tremere/Assamite Sorcerer with Lure Of Flames 3. What to do if I get such a party. Your advice is very useful, but it doesn't answer the question. Thanks anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – Baskakov_Dmitriy Aug 20 '16 at 14:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Baskakov_Dmitriy Fair enough. Purely combat focused games aren't my specialty, and I consider the differences between three characters who are combat specced differently fairly minor since the strategy of "pick one target and concentrate your attacks on them until they are rendered dead or incapacitated" mutes many distinctions. That melee Brujah will have the advantage over a Gangrel when fighting a Gargoyle, for example, and the Assamite with LoF can invoke Rotschreck for extra oomph. Don't worry about DPS so much, and concentrate on making each one seem unique in style. \$\endgroup\$ – Jadasc Aug 20 '16 at 14:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Add this to the answer please. Then the problem is solved. \$\endgroup\$ – Baskakov_Dmitriy Aug 20 '16 at 14:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ You could also not worry about it, even if the game were a combat focused game. The issues you mention are mainly psychological ones that some players sometimes have, which I find are best treated by experiencing games where they can see it's fun and possibly even more interesting to play games which are not trying to make things artificially "fair." \$\endgroup\$ – Dronz Aug 20 '16 at 15:38

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