Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Replacing Dominate 4 and Other Unused Powers

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

  • Replacing Dominate 4 and Other Unused Powers

    I've never had a single player, not in almost 15 years of VtM, that wanted to learn Dominate 4. A very few were interested in Dominate 5, but no one wanted to dump the XP to learn 4 just so they could get 5. At best, someone would burn through Freebies or Maturation Points to get past the speed-bump of Conditioning.

    To resolve this, I eventually wrote a replacement Dominate 4 power.

    Level 4 - Hypnotic Trance Put your target into a trance so they can't remember your commands or their Dominated actions.
    System: Spend a WP and roll Manipulation + Subterfuge (difficulty of the target's Willpower). If successful, the target falls into a trance that lasts for 1 minute per success. While they are in this trance, Dominate or other powers can be used on them. They wake from the trance after it ends with no memory of what happened while they were in it. If they are commanded to take an action by Dominate while in the trance, they will do so. If the action ends before the trance does, they have no memory of their actions.
    In a high-pressure situation such as combat, the trance lasts for 1 turn per success instead. Under any circumstances, the trance ends if the subject is physically harmed.

    So far, players have been interested in this ability and actually used it in game. It hasn't caused any problems.

    What powers have you replaced, or would like to replace in your games? Are there any other abilities that your players never want to take, or that you avoid yourself? What about ones that you buy anyone, but never end up using?


    I'm a professor! Why is no one listening to me?!

  • #2
    When I first read the title, I thought "hey now, wait a second, I love using Possession!!" And then I remembered that's Dominate 5. I had to think for a moment what Dominate 4 was. Cuz I've never used it after I got Presence 3 (it's been a very long-term game). So... Yeah. As for the suggested power, it seems like a very specialized version of Dominate 3: Forgetful Mind, but with enough uniqueness to stand on it's own. I like it. I like when replacing a power still builds off what came before, rather than just adding something "kewl".

    Animalism 3 & 5 are powers I usually avoid. I like 4: Subsuming the Spirit and have seen plenty of characters in my game, PC and NPC, make use of it, but not the other two. I've thus far been unable to suggest replacements, but I hope to someday think of a real good idea that fits the theme of "Animal-Controlling Powers".


    Writing up Clanbook: Aabbt

    Comment


    • #3
      That's... wierd to hear. Conditioning is generally one of my favourite powers.

      Super useful for setting up loyal domain security in the form of neighbourhood watches, you can start to fuck with other kindred who you have regular contact with by subtlety repeating affirmative or negative phrases and the added benefit of being able to dominate without even needing eye contact (at a -2 penalty) is rediculously good.

      Comment


      • #4
        Animalism 3+ are all highly specialized or have far to many drawbacks. And can be duplicated with higher stats or other better powers:
        • Animalism 3 is ursurped by Presence, Dominate and others
        • Animalism 4 is duplicated by Auspex, Obfuscate, Protean and a level 4 Thaumaturgy ritual and has large drawbacks
        • Animalism 5 is a great way to prevent gaining willpower
        Quite a few Necromancy paths are terrible at high levels and over all.
        • Sepulchre 4 seems to have no use, you can trap a ghost, so what? Level 3 does everything this does. Sepulchre 5 is duplicated by a ritual.
        • Bone Path is the worst discipline. All the levels are useless apart from the 5th which requires lots of investment so its only for long games and NPCs.
        • The Cenotaph Path's level 1 - 4 powers all seem to be level 1 or 2 powers, they could use buffing.
        • Path of Four Humors level 4 is a mishmash of several powers and ultimately is just a ritual.
        Presence's "Spend a willpower and roll willpower" kinda trivializes the 5th level and will only work against lesser NPCs.

        To be honest I don't know why flight is a discipline. Could this not be wrapped up as a part of the gargoyle weakness?

        Comment


        • #5
          Flight wasn't originally a Discipline. Each dot of Visceratika used to give you the functionality of corresponding dots in Flight in addition to the standard Visceratika powers. Vampire: The Dark Ages split Visceratika into Thaumaturgy rituals and a special Ability (not a Discipline) called Flight, to drive home the point of how primitive Gargoyles were in the Dark Ages setting. It wasn't until Revised Edition that Flight was presented as a full Discipline and Gargoyles were given 4 bloodline Disciplines to 'compensate' for the change (even though they now have to pay vastly more experience points to achieve the same functionality that they originally had). So, it's a bit of a mess.
          Last edited by Elphilm; 01-15-2017, 05:04 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            I do like the idea of integrating Flight with Visceratika for Gargoyles again. Non-Gargoyles could learn the active abilities of Visceratika, but they could not develop Flight, as they would lack the essential hybrid magical nature of the Gargoyle that allowed for Flight. The creation of Visceratilka as a Discipline (and the incorporation of Flight into Visceratika) by the Gargoyles could be seen as part of their evolution from Creation to Bloodline.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Cantankerous Bees View Post
              That's... wierd to hear. Conditioning is generally one of my favourite powers.

              Super useful for setting up loyal domain security in the form of neighbourhood watches, you can start to fuck with other kindred who you have regular contact with by subtlety repeating affirmative or negative phrases and the added benefit of being able to dominate without even needing eye contact (at a -2 penalty) is rediculously good.

              My thoughts as well. Pretty essential if you want to build up some level of Influence as well or infiltrate an organization.

              However, I will acknowledge that relatively few players want to do that kind of empire building, and only want something immediately useful in an encounter.

              Comment


              • #8
                Conditioning is the very definition of "boring but practical". It's an insanely useful and powerful discipline level, but it has one major caveat in that it rarely if ever comes up during play, and as such is oft-forgotten. About the best you're going to expect is an extended, or "montage", scene which incorporates the requisite dice-rolling but leaves the actual process of using the discipline to the background. It's an "I do this during downtime" thing, especially when the issue of fairness to other players comes into the question (that is to say, nobody wants to have a room of 2-5 other people sitting around bored as whale shit while one player RP's conditioning a victim).

                It's far from the only power in which this is an issue (Serpentis 5, Vicissitude 1-3, and nine for every ten Thaumaturgy rituals spring immediately to mind), but its benefits and utility are far less obvious and flashy even if under the right conditions (pun not intended) it can be vastly more powerful.

                The best remedy for this in my opinion is to find ways to remind players how nasty Conditioning can be, by having them run into conditioned ghouls, mortals, or even have rival vampires snipe their own allies, contacts, and sources of influence and resources via Conditioning and the blood bond.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sorry, what? Conditioning is probably the best Dominate power. It lets you turn anyone you can capture or just have an extended sit down with into an unquestioning mindless servant.

                  Your replacement power can have most of it's functionally replicated by using Dominate 3 to make people forget anyway.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Er, Conditioning takes one scene per roll, and requires 5-50 successes. It's certainly not something you can do during an "extended sit down". It's a great power for NPCs, a great power for games with downtime, and a great power for people that want to build up a group of minions. But that's awfully specific. It should be a combo power, or an Elder level ability. Not level 4 in a core Discipline. That's why it sees so little use that I ended up replacing it. I've never had a single player want to buy it.


                    I'm a professor! Why is no one listening to me?!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You can condition someone over multiple scenes. So you can have dinner with someone a few times and condition them, based on their willpower/nature and your own skill with dominate.

                      "Wanting to build up a group of minions" isn't awfully specific. Much of vampire involves building up boons or other connections to get people to do stuff you can't or don't want to do. Conditioning bypasses that, permanently.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I seriously can't remember the last time one of my players wanted to assemble a cadre of mind-wiped minions that they weren't planning on getting rid of by the end of whatever caper they were engaged in. Having played with dozens of people over the years, I'd say that "assemble brainwashed minions" is pretty niche, actually.

                        But I'm really not interested in arguing that Conditioning is great. In my 15 years of experience, it isn't great. My players aren't interested in it. End of story, because I'm not interested in teaching them that they're wrong about how they want to play the game.

                        So I'm still just interested in hearing what other people have replaced in their games, or what they'd like to replace.


                        I'm a professor! Why is no one listening to me?!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In that case, I generally change Thanatosis to do agg instead of lethal.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Telgar View Post
                            So I'm still just interested in hearing what other people have replaced in their games, or what they'd like to replace.
                            I've tried doing Possession to level 4 and replacing 5 with using commands without eye contact (I forgot the name of the power that did this).
                            That was a long time ago though, before V20 basically made eye contact automatic.
                            It worked out fine for our game. Dominate 1-3 is good enough that putting level 5 as a boost to them instead of being a completely separate power didn't bother anyone.


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I've never bought Conditioning and can't remember any players doing either (unless it was to get to lvl 5). Though my reason is that having conditioned servants is just impractical. They are mindless and can't (if i understand the power correctly) even take a piss or eat without their master telling them to do so. They aren't autonomous at all which is just impractical and a threat to the Masquerade.





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

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X