Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Sell me on (non-Obliv) Necromancy?

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

  • Sell me on (non-Obliv) Necromancy?

    I look around and see the general consensus around the Necromancy discipline is that it's good - so good that most people are trying to pick it up even without a justifiable reason to have access to it.

    ​Maybe I'm missing something, but I just don't see it. What makes paths like Sepulcher or Ash so good? How is using Bone not the biggest masquerade nightmare ever?
    (Mostly speaking about traditional Necromancy - I can see Mortis, or Mortis-based Necro paths, being more useful in general, but if you want to keep the flavor of them, they'll be pretty rare since Giovanni who actually know them will be few and far between, and none-too-likely to teach them.)

  • #2
    The upside of Necromancy is that Camarilla has zero Necromancy-capable clans. If Bob Giovanni wants to use ghosts to acomplish something in the Camarilla's territory, then there's sweet fuck all that can be done to stop him. Hell, since ghosts mostly operate in the Underworld there isn't even much in the way of detecting them. As such, Bob can spy on everyone and use his invisible minions to cause all sorts of havoc. The big downside is that the Sepulchre Path is awful and using it before you learn Sepulchre 5 is a great way to get rekt by an angry ghost you can't hit. Heavens forbid you botch and summon a spectre - these bastards get elder vampire level stats and will wipe the floor with you whether you know Sepulchre 5 or not.

    Paths of Ash and Cenotaph are trash and you are never going to take them. The only viable use I see is for a vampire NPC ally in a Wraith game. Similarly, Bone is kind of a pain in the ass and you are better off just learning Dominate or getting Resources 5 and mind controlling/hiring thugs to fight for you. The most likely use for Bone is to add spookiness to villain's mansion - kind of how zombies were used in Giovanni's mansion in Bloodlines.

    Comment


    • #3
      In defense of Zombie minions, they cannot be Dominated or Presence'd, as they have no mind or emotions to speak of. Hell, I'd argue that Obfuscate wouldn't work on Zombies either, since there is no mind to cloud. Then there's the psychological factor of fighting the walking dead, especially if they're a former friend or loved one.

      The downside is that they're dumb as posts, as well as potential Masquerade -breaches.


      Malkavian Madness Forum - Your pbp fix. Be it nWoD, cWoD, CoC, D&D or something else entirely, come over here and get your game on

      Comment


      • #4
        Unlike Akhu, Dur-An-Ki, Koldunic Sorcery, etc, there is practically no way for PCs to learn Western Necromancy without being Giovanni, and they aren't sharing. In my games, the Giovanni hunted down rogue Giovanni and any Kindred they taught Western Necromancy, up until they reach 2009, when the Camarilla declared war on them for causing the 2009 Depression (the Millner's defected, ratted on the Giovanni and, in exchange for being allowed to commit diablerie on any Giovanni the Camarilla caught, joined the Camarilla). Even after the annihilation of ninety percent of the Giovanni though, the Millner's are not sharing the secrets of Western Necromancy with their allies. The strength of the Giovanni (and the Millners after them) comes from a near monopoly over Western Necromancy.

        The Tremere have a similar monopoly over Thaumaturgy in my games, which is why non-Tremere never have Thaumaturgy in my games. They have Akhu, Dur-An-Ki, Koldunic Sorcery, etc. If non-Tremere manage to learn Thaumaturgy, the teacher and student are destroyed by the Tremere Clan, usually through diablerie. The strength of the Tremper comes from their monopoly over Thaumaturgy (though not a monopoly over blood sorcery).
        Last edited by Aya Tari; 02-13-2017, 08:48 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
          The Tremere have a similar monopoly over Thaumaturgy in my games, which is why non-Tremere never have Thaumaturgy in my games. They have Akhu, Dur-An-Ki, Koldunic Sorcery, etc. ... The strength of the Tremper comes from their monopoly over Thaumaturgy (though not a monopoly over blood sorcery).
          But Thaumaturgy, Akhu and Assamite Sorcery (Tome of Secrets doesn't call it Dur-An-Ki anymore) are basically the same. Assamite Sorcerers and Setite Sorcerers can match the Tremere power for power and they've apparently been doing it for tens of thousands of years before Tremere was even born.

          Comment


          • #6
            To me I still feel necromancy feels half done. Even with them adding the 2 new paths from the tome of secrets (I beleive the path of skulls is mortis). Id love to see some more of the African and Indian forms of necromancy. Or something similar to ancestor summoning.

            From what I've seen and played nightcry is an awesome ability especially when used with other disiplines

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
              But Thaumaturgy, Akhu and Assamite Sorcery (Tome of Secrets doesn't call it Dur-An-Ki anymore) are basically the same. Assamite Sorcerers and Setite Sorcerers can match the Tremere power for power and they've apparently been doing it for tens of thousands of years before Tremere was even born.
              In Revised, Setite Sorcery was not the same thing as Thaumaturgy. Setite Sorcery did not use a Willpower roll and instead used a (Attribute plus Ability) combination. It also required the use of a special prop, a mummified corpse, for their magic. I do agree though that Assamite Sorcery was mechanically similar to Thaumaturgy, but it was not the game mechanics that mattered to the Tremere, it was the magical secrets associated with the practice of Thaumaturgy that make it superior to the other forms of blood sorcery.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                Paths of Ash and Cenotaph are trash and you are never going to take them. The only viable use I see is for a vampire NPC ally in a Wraith game. Similarly, Bone is kind of a pain in the ass and you are better off just learning Dominate or getting Resources 5 and mind controlling/hiring thugs to fight for you. The most likely use for Bone is to add spookiness to villain's mansion - kind of how zombies were used in Giovanni's mansion in Bloodlines.
                Ash Path at higher levels is incredible. You can sneak into just about anywhere via the underworld, and if you have wraith friends, they get a lowered shroud.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by KRB View Post

                  Ash Path at higher levels is incredible. You can sneak into just about anywhere via the underworld, and if you have wraith friends, they get a lowered shroud.
                  Considering that the opportunity cost is buying lower levels of Ash Path instead of some better discipline - this is a hard sell.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The main thing that necromancy is horrible at is reliably summoning ghosts, otherwise its rarity and versatility make it great for the creative player/ST.

                    ​You might be confused by the above statement, but look at it like this:

                    ​1. When a character dies they may or may not become a ghost, mechanically you need a willpower rating of 5 or higher to do so. Most of the human population doesn't have that much WP. Thus Necromancy is kind of useless for finding out information.

                    ​2. Even if you have the prerequisite Willpower score, not everyone becomes a ghost.

                    3. In the random event a ghost is created, they can be destroyed in the Shadowlands by other ghosts, environmental dangers, etc. regardless of Fetters. So even after you have found a ghost that you can work with, the power can still fail.

                    ​The result is that it Necromancy is less mechanics driven and more plot point driven. If something like Protean worked the same way, you could spend a third of your blood pool to shift into animal or mist form, only to be informed by the ST that it doesn't work, probably for plot reasons. Oh and if you mess up the roll, you get attacked by random enemies you can only fight if you spend more BP and WP.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                      The upside of Necromancy is that Camarilla has zero Necromancy-capable clans. If Bob Giovanni wants to use ghosts to acomplish something in the Camarilla's territory, then there's sweet fuck all that can be done to stop him. Hell, since ghosts mostly operate in the Underworld there isn't even much in the way of detecting them. As such, Bob can spy on everyone and use his invisible minions to cause all sorts of havoc. The big downside is that the Sepulchre Path is awful and using it before you learn Sepulchre 5 is a great way to get rekt by an angry ghost you can't hit. Heavens forbid you botch and summon a spectre - these bastards get elder vampire level stats and will wipe the floor with you whether you know Sepulchre 5 or not.
                      Not exactly. The Tremere particularly have various rituals that will function against Necromancy. Mirror of Second Sight will allow them to see ghosts(and basically anything else, good ritual is good), Chime of Unseen Spirits will alert that there's something in the area, and I believe there's ward/warding circle against ghosts. Also, there's a "secret" society among the Tremere that cultivates necromancy. The Nagaraja are also independent, and while normally hated in Camarilla cities due to the whole eating people, the Cam will make concessions to work with them if they're being pressured by the Giovanni.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Necromancy really isn't well-written at all. Raising zombies (which are terrible at everything) is a huge Masquerade breach, as mentioned. Levels 4 and 5 of Bone Path are so niche and specific that they're basically useless in most games. Ash Path only helps if your ST is already interested in including the Shadowlands, which many are not. Sepulcher is totally reliant upon how the ST runs wraiths, and it makes you incredibly vulnerable because until level 5 of Sepulcher, you're defenseless against the creatures you summon. Bad idea.

                        There ARE other Paths of Necromancy that are incredibly useful and well-written. Haunting, Corpse in the Monster, Grave's Decay and Four Humors are great. They're useful in a wide variety of situations, and mostly no more dangerous to the Masquerade than any other Discipline. They don't require the ST to introduce another type of supernatural as a regular game component, or make you subject to horrific death upon botching. Vitreous is pretty sweet, too.

                        Buuuut, because of how WW writes things, those useful, well-written powers are considered "NPC-only" and Necromancy itself never got the expansion and detail that every other form of blood magic did. So, you're told that all Necromancers learn Sepulcher, and given a shotgun and a blindfold to have fun with. Maybe later you can learn to travel to another reality full of monsters that hate you, or animate almost-useless zombies to get an angry mob at your door.

                        Personally, I'd much rather see Necromancers with Vitreous, Haunting, Corpse, Decay and Humors than Ash, Bone and Sepulcher. Cenotaph is so incredibly worthless it doesn't even deserve to be published.


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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                          Considering that the opportunity cost is buying lower levels of Ash Path instead of some better discipline - this is a hard sell.
                          Seeing across the Shroud, into the Underworld, and speaking to serious Wraiths, is a big deal. Not all Ghosts spend time on our side of the Shroud, and if you only use Sepulchre you will be limited to those who spend most of their time on our side.

                          Now, imagine if your Elysium is a ruined Theater, with broken staircases. Ash Path, you can run effortlessly upstairs while everyone stares in disbelief, you can climb onto the Ghost of a boat in the sea while your foes splash around in the water, you can jump between ghostly branches in a deforested area.

                          Lowering the Shroud is VERY powerful, as is raising it. In DAV20, for every 2 successes you get on that roll, your difficulty to use other Necro powers drops by 1.

                          And you can't see the value of stepping into the underworld? Literally crossing the Gauntlet, something most Vampires can never do? Walking through the land of the dead? Effortlessly walking deep into Sabbat/Camarilla territory, and stepping out in a safe spot on the other side, ready to set up a small resistance? AND ready to flee at the drop of a hat, since you can leave an Ex Nihilo prepared at your haven for your quick getaway.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            All that also opens you up to all the demented dangers of travelling the Underworld. It IS full of monsters and angry Wraiths, after all.


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

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post

                              Seeing across the Shroud, into the Underworld, and speaking to serious Wraiths, is a big deal. Not all Ghosts spend time on our side of the Shroud, and if you only use Sepulchre you will be limited to those who spend most of their time on our side.

                              Now, imagine if your Elysium is a ruined Theater, with broken staircases. Ash Path, you can run effortlessly upstairs while everyone stares in disbelief, you can climb onto the Ghost of a boat in the sea while your foes splash around in the water, you can jump between ghostly branches in a deforested area.

                              Lowering the Shroud is VERY powerful, as is raising it. In DAV20, for every 2 successes you get on that roll, your difficulty to use other Necro powers drops by 1.

                              And you can't see the value of stepping into the underworld? Literally crossing the Gauntlet, something most Vampires can never do? Walking through the land of the dead? Effortlessly walking deep into Sabbat/Camarilla territory, and stepping out in a safe spot on the other side, ready to set up a small resistance? AND ready to flee at the drop of a hat, since you can leave an Ex Nihilo prepared at your haven for your quick getaway.
                              Did you even see what I wrote? I wrote that Ash 4 being good is marred by the need to buy Ash 1-3. We don't live in the world of infinite XP. Every dot of Ash is a dot of another discipline you didn't buy. Like Vitreous Path or Dominate. And Ash 5 is hit doubly by this. "lower difficulty of your other Necro powers" is not great when your other necro powers are Ash 1-4.
                              Finally, you are way overselling Ash 4. Obtenebration 6 lets you teleport too. Thaumaturgy lets you teleport. There's probably some Celerity power that does something similar. And come on, "effortlessly walking deep into X territory"? What, are vampires keeping cities under martial law now? All airports on lockdown, spies everywhere 24/7? Considering the traffic major cities see, I'm pretty sure you can just drive a car into New York and that would be your "infiltration".

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X