Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Revenant Mage and Ghoul Merit

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by Matt the Bruins fan View Post
    Revised era Mage overall looked like playing according to Jess Heinig's house rules for his own street level Hollow Ones/Orphans campaign to me, so it's not surprising that trying to pull in elements from another game line was regarded as BadWrongFun and punished severely regardless of how relatively little effect being allowed to do so would have on game balance.
    Imagine thinking theme and game design are separate things in a World of Darkness game.


    Writer, Game Designer, Pro since 99.

    Thoughts at mobunited.com

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Jihelu View Post
      Everytime I see a suggestion for 'Yeah they eventually lose their Magick' I immediately think 'Alright then I'm swapping it from Merit to Flaw'.
      Eh. I don't think it's that big a problem by itself - it depends on how you handle it. Even if the particular game spans centuries it's not insurmountable. Heck part of the appeal for that is I see certain parallels between the quest for ascension and VtM's 'Golconda' quest. A struggle between the awakened avatar and the vampiric curse seems like it could be approached in a lot of interesting ways.

      If the ST is so worried about abuse just don't use the rules from Vampire at all. They get what the Ghoul merit mentions in M20. One extra damage success on physical hits, and I think a dice of soak.
      Without using any other rules, that's it.
      Also the 'unaging' quality. It's basically the vampire version of the Fae Blood and kinfolk merits, plus certain other flaws already associated with drinking vampire blood. But I'd say sticking with just the Mage Rules (or Vampire rules if you're running a Vampire-centric game) rather than trying to link the two is also the LESS complex option, which I saw as the major issue with my ideas (its alot of book-keeping.) And as you note you can 'simulate' a ghoul/revenant by mage rules (or a mage by Vampire rules) without much effort. I also like Hunter's approach to mages, and you can easily adapt Sorcerer (like I said) in various ways as well (Even without Struggling Avatar. Sorcerer revised is kinda interesting in the permutations it offers.) Kindred of the East's dhampyr 'Joss' has certain parallels to coincidental magic as well and could work with adaptation. I think Werewolf might have too, but I was never that into Werewoofs.

      I'm going to compress the rest of your response to my ideas together to save space and note that, again, I expected most ideas to be a 'YMMV' situation. You're bound to get disagreement about whether something is overpowered or not for various reasons. There's just too many variables at play, and many of them involve the storyteller as the player(s). That's why I can understand in principle why such limits exist, but at the same time its a context-sensitive issue and gets dealt with case-by-case.

      Basically let the Storytellers and players decide what will or won't work for them. Don't try to shame them into not doing it. And Blood Treachery really just seems to run right into 'shaming'.


      What do you think about Half-Vampire mages? I've lumped them into the same group as Revenants seeing as they are pretty much the same except the Half-Vampire lacks a clan flaw.
      (Have one I'd like to play some time who's whole paradigm is just 'Mimicing my dads abilities')
      I don't really support the 'They can learn more than 1 dot in spheres' (Could Revenants go to 2 naturally?) unless you're using Vampire rules and probably the Struggling Awake Merit.
      Do you mean 'Dhampir' or are we talking Thin blooded? To me there's a certain crossover between Dhampir/Revenant/etc and Thin Bloods at that point.

      On the Dhampir/Revenant front, I think they should be allowed to go beyond one dot like Ghouls can, but having read some of the past debates on 'more powerful Revenant/Dhampir' I can see some of the objections given the thin blooded. I guess it depends on how you balance it, again. KOTE had Dhampyr being able to reach level 3-4 in disciplines due to age (and suffering penalties due to that age) so I think its possible to balance. I also know Danislav Revenants could get certain Garou gifts up to level 3 or 4 (wheras regular Kinfolk only learned one level IIRC - go figure) so level 3 or so seems a nice balance point for 'hybrid' characters whether its discipline, spheres, etc. I'd apply that to other things (Numina too, which IIRC Dhampir can learn) for similar reasons.

      Ultimately though it depends what you can work with other players and your storyteller, since they have to deal with the character in question. Level one powers might work fine for some people, and I can see some appeal in trying to make such limits work creatively. You might obtain power through breadth and diversity rather than depth (especially since Dhampir can still learn numina IIRC Time of Thin Blood. Or, more recently, become imbued due to BJD.)


      Originally posted by Dogstar View Post
      Personally I've never understood why there's such an extreme bias against ghoul mages, on a purely balance level those couple of dots in disciplines are pretty useless for all but the most minmaxed of characters.

      It seems to me that the real problem is that one of the writers/game designers has a problem with them and has abused their position to screw this option over.
      What's interesting is that I initially figured that the 'Blood Treachery' writer either had a bad experience with powergaming or had been inundated with complaints about such and then put in the warning. Sort of like how they have all those 'this is fiction, not real life' disclaimers. But then I've recently noticed the same 'warnings' in Kindred of the East (no hybrids unless a 'cinematic' game) and also Time of Thin Blood (No Awakend or kinfolk, even though you can have kinfolk mages, fae-blooded mages, and ghoul or revenant mages. And Dhampir ARE Revenants) and much the same reason as in Blood Treachery ('its overpowered and this isn't that kind of game.')

      This seems to be idea behindthe WoD and the Storyteller system - they're about thematic narative - ie storytelling - rather than the 'cinematic'. Some of the systems handle these warnings well (Dark ages: Mage comes to mind. They convey that idea whilst acknowledging the potentially elitist attitude behind this) whilst others... don't (Blood Treachery and its disdain for Revenant/Ghoul Mages, Time of Thin Blood, etc.) and they come off as being overly judgemental -if not shaming - about the value 'cinematic' games.

      And that's where the disconnect comes from with Blood Treachery, Time of Thin Blood, etc. The idea behind the warnings is sound, but the execution of that warning just undermines the idea completely because it comes across as 'elitist' and like they have no trust in the players to handle such delicate topics themselves.

      Originally posted by Possessed View Post
      Yeah the treatment of Ghoul/Revenant Mages has always been rather odd, considering the cost of Ghoul Merit itself and the fact that you cannuse low cost Merits to build a ”better” Ghoul Mage with all the same advantages and non of the downsides.
      Interesting idea. It does look like it seems to follow 'Dark Ages: Mage' rules rather than MTA rules. I was looking at that system as an alternative too, so its an interesting way to go about it. DA:M feels like its halfway between hedge magic and MTA's sphere-based True magick.

      The greatest advantages Ghoul Mages get?
      1) Slow (if Revenant) aging and fully stopped aging for salongin as you have a supply of Blood.

      Can be beaten by a 1 point Merit with no downsides.

      2) Access to Disciplines. Mostly 1st level only, physical only unless aside from Family Disciplines (Revenants) or Domitor Disciplines and higher only if Domitor is low generation. Aside from Blood bond as a disadvantage these Disciplines cost 20xp for the 1st level and 15xcurrent for the rest if allowed.

      Many 1st level Discipline effects can be either replicated by Coincidental Magick or low cost Merits. Non of the downsides.

      3) Finally one big advantage is that Magick that looks like traditional Vampire tricks is considered coincidental. This can be quite a big deal considering things associated with Vampires as it will allow some mind effects and even some transformation effects Etc.

      This is the major benefit that cannot really be replicated easily with other Merits but is it still worth the limitations to your Arete, Blood Bond and other disadvantages?
      So no Ghoul/Revenant Mages aren’t, atleast in my personal opinion, overpowered even without the limit to Arete. Blood Bond and the general Vampire connection is likely quite enough of a disadvantage to Balance it out. But if you wish to use the official Ghoul/Revenant rules the Black Hand book is the way to go.
      Again I think it depends on how you decide to write up the character, and what other players/Storytellers will be fine with. I agree that they're not any more inherently overpowered than any other character (including generic mage/Vampire/etc. builds) but you still have to treat it case-by-case.

      That's really why the topic interests me, because I find it interesting to puzzle over the concepts and see how they might work despite the fact some of the rulebooks have such a clear disdain for them.

      Comment


      • #18
        Half vampires meaning: Thin-Blood Vampire (Using 'Time of Thinblood book') who has had sex with a human person, and has given birth.

        The resulting child is a 'revenant ghoul'-type creature.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Mister_Dunpeal View Post
          Eh. I don't think it's that big a problem by itself - it depends on how you handle it. Even if the particular game spans centuries it's not insurmountable. Heck part of the appeal for that is I see certain parallels between the quest for ascension and VtM's 'Golconda' quest. A struggle between the awakened avatar and the vampiric curse seems like it could be approached in a lot of interesting ways.
          If being a Ghoul it's a "struggle". If it's something that has to be fought...that's a Flaw. Some Flaws grant you power, but it's always something you want to get rid off, something that causes or will cause more problems than it's worth. A "struggle between the awakened avatar and the vampiric curse" sounds a lot like that.

          That it can be interesting has nothing to do with it being a Merit or a Flaw. A Dark Fate can be approached in a lot of interesting ways and it's not a Merit...

          A Flaw has as much right to have appeal as a Merit. These exist to grant color to the character. Even more, I dare say, if a Flaw doesn't have appeal then taking it it's pure powergaming - if you don't want to roleplay the "struggle", then why do you take a Flaw?, most of the time it's to get the extra freebies
          Last edited by Aleph; 08-20-2019, 09:24 AM.

          Comment


          • #20
            One of my PCs is a Revenant and he doesn't know it. The only clues have been:

            - he heals pretty serious wounds very quickly, although both the character and the player have assumed this is a blessing of his Celtic moon goddess. His adoptive sister is a technocracy cyborg who can be hit by a frag grenade and shake it off like it was a hard punch to the gut (which is visibly knitting itself together if she did take damage), so his healing doesn't seem odd really.

            - he essentially just has Auspex 1 with the name filed off; the pretense is that it's a "gift from the moon's serene light", and despite having played VtM the player doesn't seem to have noticed.

            Here are my thoughts on Ghoul and Revenant Mages:

            - The merits are described as though they are flaws in some places. Keep in mind that this merit costs 6 or 7 points; it should be an overall benefit. Powerful merits often have downsides, and being a Ghoul has plenty. Your domitor has their own agenda, and is a modern-day slave-owner who you are likely in love with. To them, you are often disposable. Without blood you will face withdrawal problems. Your aura is tainted by death, and this messes with your Resonance. All of this is ENOUGH. Vitae shouldn't be an Arete-Be-Gone formula. Avatar and Arete are highly spiritually significant, and shouldn't be destroyed by Vitae. Tainted? Oh, absolutely. But for some, Ghouldom could be the path to further Seekings, assuming their paradigm is compatible. If your Paradigm were "All power comes from the blood" or "Mages draw power from monsters/spirits" then that would make perfect sense.

            - Blood Treachery should be ignored. If you don't ignore it, laugh at it. The writer is a bad ST. Happy to say that with confidence. They write as though players are the *enemy* of storytellers. "Here's what to do if any of your sneaky bastard players try to purchase a 6 point merit that you let them purchase... you FUCK THEM UP with this list of punishmen- I mean, drawbacks." If you don't want Ghouls, say no to Ghouls. If you let them be Ghouls, just follow the benefits and drawbacks written in the merit. Limiting their ability to do Seekings, eroding their Avatar, is ridiculous.

            - Disciplines are incredibly expensive for mortals, and far weaker than Magick by comparison (when cost, level limits and other issues are factored in), so if a PC wants to spend their EXP learning Quietus 1 or Fortitude 1 for example, more power to them. If you aren't using the VtM rules then just stick to the automatic success on physical damage benefit. Your game will NOT be ruined by a Hermetic Mage with Lure of Flames 1, trust me.

            So yeah, the tl;dr is to be supportive of your players. If you don't want something at your table, politely say no. If you let them do something, don't seek childish revenge over it. Being a Ghoul or Revenant can add a lot to a character in terms of drama and flavour and magickal identity, so I'd recommend it if the player seems like they're the right type to handle it.

            Comment


            • #21
              If any thaumaturgy path, fucking level 1, ruins your game in MAGE I will personally come to your house and let you kill me with your bare hands.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Jihelu View Post
                If any thaumaturgy path, fucking level 1, ruins your game in MAGE I will personally come to your house and let you kill me with your bare hands.
                Okay I gave this some thought and I could ALMOST see Mercury as an exception to this, since even in Mage paradox-free teleportation powered by Willpower is a big deal. BUT even then that's not a game-breaking deal (teleporting 10 feet is a very neat and powerful trick, but it isn't much use for transport), and Mercury is an ultra-rare path that you couldn't really justify a Ghoul learning. A far better example would be the Sorcery path, which is less expensive and doesn't remain limited in terms of level.

                Plus at the end of the day the ST is simply allowed to say "no, Mages can't choose to learn this static stuff under normal circumstances" or "it's possible, but it isn't happening to PCs at this table" or "JESUS CHRIST BUY A DOT OF ARETE IT PUTS YOU CLOSER TO OMNISCIENCE".
                Last edited by 11twiggins; 08-26-2019, 07:02 PM.

                Comment


                • #23
                  That teleporting requires 1 point of blood (Your max being like, 2 points unless you are a revenant) and using the sorcery path requires a point of willpower + some turns and shit.

                  I think its a valid price to pay for paradox free mini teleport.

                  Also: If you have the ghoul merit anyway you can teleport coincidentally using true magick as long as it 'fits the theme of vampires'. So you could disappear in a cloud of mist or some shit and teleport under/through doors.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Jihelu View Post
                    Also: If you have the ghoul merit anyway you can teleport coincidentally using true magick as long as it 'fits the theme of vampires'. So you could disappear in a cloud of mist or some shit and teleport under/through doors.
                    So kinfolk Mages doing "Gifts" and Werewolf stuff coincidentally, and Ghouls doing "Vampire" stuff coincidentally... I was under the impression that this was coincidental when they were surrounded by nightfolk. Is it just constant? Does it depend on the reality zone?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      My general rule of thumb is, if it isn't derived from Arete it doesn't cause Paradox. It can still cause issues (like breaking the Masquerade or the Veil) but you won't be doxed for using Protean 1 (for example).





                      English is not my native language, so i apologize for errors in grammar or spelling.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post

                        So kinfolk Mages doing "Gifts" and Werewolf stuff coincidentally, and Ghouls doing "Vampire" stuff coincidentally... I was under the impression that this was coincidental when they were surrounded by nightfolk. Is it just constant? Does it depend on the reality zone?
                        It was something that came out of the TBH book (OR the book that has the TBH in it and talks about ghoul mages) where it says any 'traditional (Key word I think, or something similar) vampire effects you do are coincidental'

                        Though it says traditional (OR the functional equivalent) so just because YOU KNOW that vampires can flesh mend, doesn't mean flesh mending becomes coincidental for you....you'd have to do something like turning into mist, etc.

                        It doesn't say you need vampires/other nightfolk surrounding you for this to take effect. So having the blood in you (IE: Ghoul) is enough.

                        Not sure if kinfolk mages get their stuff coincidental, as I don't think the text touches on it. I'd probably let it as it isn't too powerful.

                        I think the Nephalim merit in revised clarified you could do stuff related to your parent (Angel/Demon) and it was coincidental, but in M20 they threw it out/forgot about it.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Cadmiumcadamium View Post
                          My general rule of thumb is, if it isn't derived from Arete it doesn't cause Paradox. It can still cause issues (like breaking the Masquerade or the Veil) but you won't be doxed for using Protean 1 (for example).
                          Oh no we're talking about a Ghoul using Forces or Life to imitate Protean 1, and trying to make it coincidental by going "well, Vampires".

                          Naturally if a Mage is actually using a Gift, or a Discipline, or a Sorcery Path etc. then that never invokes Paradox, since it's part of static reality.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Jihelu View Post
                            Half vampires meaning: Thin-Blood Vampire (Using 'Time of Thinblood book') who has had sex with a human person, and has given birth.

                            The resulting child is a 'revenant ghoul'-type creature.

                            So then Dhampir. Well we have imbued Dhampir, and we know Revenant Mages were a thing in Blood Treachery and now in V20's black hand (I do like that application better as I said) so I see no reason why you couldn't have Dhampir-mages.

                            Interestingly enough TTB mentions under the character creation rules pertaining to 'magical' disicplines that the Vitae in Caitiff, Thin bloods and Dhampir make them especially suited for learning linear magic (and presumably psychic powers) as well as developing their own 'magical' disciplines. And they're also functionally the same as Revenants.

                            It's actually interesting they note all this (when at the same time discouraging 'crossover' characters on the basis of power, go figure) because it's a good stepping stone for creating a Dhampir-Mage.

                            They'd almost certainly be Orphans, or maybe taken in by the Hollow Ones. This is another great case for either a struggling avatar or 'sleepwalker' status, too. And if you use the V20 Black Hand approach to Revenant-Mages it dovetails nicely with the 'Dark Age: Mage' approach to magic as opposed to the more 'modern' sphere-based. 'Ancient' magic seems like something that would more easily develop from hedge magic than the later sphere based systems as well.

                            For a Revenant/Dhampir mage we could consider that the blood AND disciplines help as foci for the magic (something akin to rotes which are themselves close to linear magic.) A Dhampir-Mage (or Revenant Mage) could have potential to develop a more versatile sphere-based magic (and to move beyond rotes or more purely coincidental magic) but they might need a teacher willing to do that.

                            So progression might be: Linear magic (And disciplines) + Struggling awake merit from Sorcerer. This can progress to an 'awakened' Dhampir who uses Dark Ages:mage style magic (foundations and pillars) in accordance with V20 rules on Revenant-Mages) and with the appropriate merit for Revenant-Mages. They develop as Orphans otherwise (other tweaks like 'sleepwalker' optional, but I do think this fits with the Orphan mold too) until they acquire a teacher of sorts where they might progress to sphere type magic.

                            Even if one keeps it restricted more to discipline-based 'magic' you can adapt alchemy in various ideas (a great source might be borrowing the ideas of thin blooded alchemy from V5 for options, merge it with the hedge magic alchemy rules outlined in Sorcerer Revised and a number of others.) Anarchs also have their own sorcery (another place where a Dhampir might learn it) as well. Hedge magic might even represent a source of learning too (and of course some linear magic is surprisingly effective even if it lacks much of the versatility of true magick.)

                            I think its something that is still interesting to play around with mechanically (even the 'toxic effects of blood' from Blood Treachery) just because there are so many interesting ways you COULD play around with it. Like I took a peek at the Dead Magic rules for Liches and they had some really interesting ideas that differed in some ways from Blood Treachery (You can raise spheres as a Liche, but not Arete as I recall) - some of those rationales actually apply better to Ghouls than what Blood Treachery did, but it also got me thinking that there are other ways to interpret those rules relative to Revenants (and its not exactly like they were spelled out to begin with. Initially I assumed the effect was linear... but if it's NOT linear it could lead to very different effects that aren't quite so 'permanent') And if you decide to throw V20's black hand supplement into the mix (and there's no reason you have to take blood treachery exclusively over V20's black hand book) things get even more interesting.


                            Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                            If being a Ghoul it's a "struggle". If it's something that has to be fought...that's a Flaw. Some Flaws grant you power, but it's always something you want to get rid off, something that causes or will cause more problems than it's worth. A "struggle between the awakened avatar and the vampiric curse" sounds a lot like that.

                            That it can be interesting has nothing to do with it being a Merit or a Flaw. A Dark Fate can be approached in a lot of interesting ways and it's not a Merit...

                            A Flaw has as much right to have appeal as a Merit. These exist to grant color to the character. Even more, I dare say, if a Flaw doesn't have appeal then taking it it's pure powergaming - if you don't want to roleplay the "struggle", then why do you take a Flaw?, most of the time it's to get the extra freebies

                            I'm... not sure what your point is? You seem to be taking a highly 'mechanistic' approach to the concept, which isn't really relevant to what you quoted since that reply was an essentially 'non-mechanistic Storyteller can use it how they like' approach. If you're trying to say 'this is a difference of opinion agree to disagree' that's fine, since I don't see any way it can be proved one way or another but I feel that trying to fixate overly on the mechanics kinda misses the point. Especially when the original complaint was that the 'warnings' against Revenants were themselves needlessly mechanic-centric and undermined the narrative-driven rationale for making such a caution to begin with.

                            Basically there's no way mechanics can fundamentally overturn narrative under the guidance of a competent Storyteller and reasonable players, and thus even 'hybrid' concepts that some WW authors seemingly despised can be perfectly workable in a thematic frame despite their potential for abuse or more 'cinematic' play.

                            And if that wasn't enough for me, I actually think it's a good challenge to 'beat them at their own game' so to speak by working with the rules even if I don't agree how they were implemented or the mindset behind them. Its not like I'm FORCED to adhere to them.....


                            Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post

                            So kinfolk Mages doing "Gifts" and Werewolf stuff coincidentally, and Ghouls doing "Vampire" stuff coincidentally... I was under the impression that this was coincidental when they were surrounded by nightfolk. Is it just constant? Does it depend on the reality zone?
                            I think when it comes to 'consensus' and 'paradox' there is a certain amount of context. Consensus is basically 'what people believe is true'. It doesn't mean 'science and logic' necessarily. Consensus can also cover superstitions and personal beliefs in a 'local' sense if the belief is widespread enough.

                            Like if you have alot of religious belief of some kind strong in an area, and it could be explained away as 'a miracle' then it might be treated as coincidental. Similar to how linear magic because of how it works might be coincidental. Similarly the 'powers' of vampires, fae, or garou/kinfolk, etc. would be treated as 'coincidental' because they're akin to static magic and in many respects are informed by said beliefs. ( I also suspect this is why Vampires, werewolves, etc. are not considered 'bygones' compared to alot of other mythical creatures. Although by the End Times that may have changed, which could explain things like the Withering.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Liches can't raise their Arete anymore but they can raise their spheres to their current Arete. They also completely can not ascend.

                              The max sphere they need is also only a 4, so you can technically be a lich with 4 arete. However usually example characters have higher arete than spheres. So someone with a max 4 in a sphere might have 7 arete, so you could have a lich with 8 arete and 5 in all spheres.

                              Usually people become a Lich though because it takes a lot of effort/power to live forever in a way that doesn't suck, hence why they rely on a method that uses 4 in a sphere, but you can extend your life pretty long with just life.

                              Also it would be fun to think of the Withering in a Mage perspective of Vampires finally getting Paradox, god's curse on Caine has finally been so shadowed by man's power and consensus that they finally start to die.
                              (That's how I'm using it as an example, not that I think thats how it should be. Just a fun 'explanation' that people could use. Also one vampires wouldn't agree with. "What's Paradox? What's consensus? I don't care I'm dying!")

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post

                                Oh no we're talking about a Ghoul using Forces or Life to imitate Protean 1, and trying to make it coincidental by going "well, Vampires".

                                Naturally if a Mage is actually using a Gift, or a Discipline, or a Sorcery Path etc. then that never invokes Paradox, since it's part of static reality.

                                My apologies. But you can always flip my previous answer aroud. If it's derived from Arete, it can potentially cause Paradox.
                                IMO, you'll get bitchslapped by paradox if you use Magick to turn into a cloud of Mist, even if you're surrounded by Gangrel.





                                English is not my native language, so i apologize for errors in grammar or spelling.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X