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  • Character Transitions

    One of the more interesting character transitions that can occur in cWoD is Sorcerer>Ghoul>Kindred. If we use the standard Sorcerer character creation from Sorcerer: Revised, Sorcerers begin with 5 levels of Numina and an average of 3 Rituals, plus whatever Countermagics, Formulas/Procedures, Numina, and/or Rituals they purchase with freebie points. When they become Ghoul in V20, they receive 1 level of Potence and 1 level in another Discipline (V20, p. 499). When they become Kindred, they gain an additional 3 levels of Disciplines (V20, p. 500), convert their Numina (level by level) into corresponding Disciplines, and convert other Sorcerer Traits (Backgrounds, Countermagics, Formulas/Procedures, Rituals, etc) into freebie points to purchase Kindred Traits. In essence, a character could be a Sorcerer on Monday evening, a Ghoul Sorcerer by Wednesday evening, and a rather powerful neonate Kindred by Friday evening (yes, I realize that the conversion time may be delayed, but you get the point).

    So, I was wondering if anyone actually played a game where the above potential transition has actually occurred? I have always left it as an option in my Sorcerer games (the Camarilla have agreements and understandings with the Sorcerer groups in my games), but no player group has ever bothered to make the transition. Did it happen in your campaigns and, if so, how did it work out?

  • #2
    Aya Tari We get it; you love Sorcerers. That's cool - I love Risen.

    But you're getting into Sam Haight levels of silliness here.

    Cheers!


    If you don't use an Oxford comma, I feel bad for you, son,
    'Cuz I got ninety-nine problems, but clarity ain't one.

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    • #3
      Using 2nd ed I had a Vampire who was fluffed out as Sorcerer turned Vampire (in fact just built as a vampire, the rest was just story) but he did Ghoul potential Gett, all recruited from Sorcerer backgrounds, they had a leg up on the Occult side of things but where lacking in other skills and took me some time to train them up in to capable Minions (at times I'd have bean better off with the fruit obsessed little yellow bastards than the ones I had), but after a few game years they where frightening even before the Embrace, but most of them where Mortals that had dropped Freebies on Sorcery and not actual "Sorcerer" characters.

      as a test make a Mortal character and drop some freebie points on Sorcery (don't forget to take the underlying skills) then take a fresh sheet copy the character across and give them the Ghoul Merit (and the appropriate mods) for free compare the two, in the grand scheme of things not that much of a power shift, then take a third sheet copy the character across again scratch out Ghoul and leave the Potance (and any other perks appropriate to your edition) add the Clan Blood Flaw, scratch out the Sorcery but convert the points spent in to XP. that's your Monday Mortal Friday Vamp, lots of potential not much power. then time skip give them their "Embrace Disciplines" and let them spend their XP they will have a slight edge due to the point of potance and odd disciplines they will have the chance to pick up but will be at a Stats and Skills disadvantage. unless you give them the extra stat & skill points during the time skip

      do the same with a Sorcerer character same outcome only with more XP to even the gap. If you give them the extra stat & skill points during the time skip them they become more formidable, perhaps on par with a Arcane inclined Ancilla.

      it's why the most powerful Ravanos where born to the Blood, the leading Setites and Balli where once Cultists, why the Fiends try to avoid embracing all but the most loyal Revenants and how the Giovanni so quickly rose to power.

      but unless you play through the character progression (and earn the XP the hard way) it's just all powergaming. otherwise just make them spend the Freebies on the Disciplines and explain it away with story.

      as a Storyteller if you want to have a Bad Ass with diverse powers build them up as once being a Sorcerer, the players will go mad wondering what powers they have, and likely spin their wheels researching the guy, until they think they have them figured out they will pray to Dog they dont find out the bad way.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by nothing View Post
        Aya Tari We get it; you love Sorcerers. That's cool - I love Risen.

        But you're getting into Sam Haight levels of silliness here.

        Cheers!
        It's pretty funny that a freshly embraced vampire could have 10 discipline dots, as goofy as it might be.

        Although that does bring up something I always thought was weird, why not ghoul all of your Childer before you embrace them? They won't become stage two blood bound in one night, and the first stage is automatic from the Embrace, so the only reason not to ghoul them is if you don't want them to pick up potence and a dot in something else for some reason.

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        • #5
          Yes, I have to agree. Even if they become blood bound to you before the Embrace though, who cares? They will be your responsibility for a few years after their Embrace under normal conditions (at least in the Camarilla) and a blood bond will allow you to keep them in line until they are trustworthy enough not the Masquerade.

          I can imagine that the majority of Kindred would love to find a Sorcerer and, over the course of a romantic decade or two, turn them into a loyal Ghoul and then into an attentive childer. There are worse things than having a competent Ghoul and then a competent childer. Of course, more powerful Kindred might take away your competent Ghoul and Embrace them as their attentive childer, meaning that Ghoul Sorcerers probably end up the property of elder Kindred.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Zanos View Post
            It's pretty funny that a freshly embraced vampire could have 10 discipline dots, as goofy as it might be.

            Although that does bring up something I always thought was weird, why not ghoul all of your Childer before you embrace them? They won't become stage two blood bound in one night, and the first stage is automatic from the Embrace, so the only reason not to ghoul them is if you don't want them to pick up potence and a dot in something else for some reason.
            Is that how ghouls work in play? The part on 499 seems about character creation. Hence why it says 'begin play'. That same section has you selecting attributes and the like. Is there more that says a ghoul outside character creation just gets those?

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            • #7
              Well, it says that Ghouls get those Disciplines automatically as part of the package (at least in the case of Potence).

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              • #8
                In the past, it's been made explicit that the automatic dot of Potence given to Ghouls is not "real" Potence, but rather a way of representing the supernatural strength boost that living creatures get from being hopped up on Vitae, similar to their ability to soak Lethal damage unaided.

                The template for Vampires (3 Disciplines) and Ghouls (Potence + 1) is not intended to represent the instant of transformation, but rather a significant time after that. Years.


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

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                • #9
                  v20 pg. 500 under the "I was embraced yesterday" header specifies that the three free dots vampires receive in their disciplines manifest almost immediately, and also specified that embraced ghouls retain a free dot in potence. It also says on 499 that "All ghouls begin play with one dot of Potence, which they learn instinctively and immediately. Each ghoul also has one dot in another Discipline, which should be chosen according to your character concept."

                  So no, it isn't fake potence, and no, those disciplines don't manifest after years as a ghoul/vampire. At least under v20.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Telgar View Post
                    In the past, it's been made explicit that the automatic dot of Potence given to Ghouls is not "real" Potence, but rather a way of representing the supernatural strength boost that living creatures get from being hopped up on Vitae, similar to their ability to soak Lethal damage unaided.

                    The template for Vampires (3 Disciplines) and Ghouls (Potence + 1) is not intended to represent the instant of transformation, but rather a significant time after that. Years.
                    I don't know about the "real" Potence explanation, but this is how I've always viewed it.

                    Originally posted by Zanos View Post
                    v20 pg. 500 under the "I was embraced yesterday" header specifies that the three free dots vampires receive in their disciplines manifest almost immediately, and also specified that embraced ghouls retain a free dot in potence. It also says on 499 that "All ghouls begin play with one dot of Potence, which they learn instinctively and immediately. Each ghoul also has one dot in another Discipline, which should be chosen according to your character concept."

                    So no, it isn't fake potence, and no, those disciplines don't manifest after years as a ghoul/vampire. At least under v20.
                    The books actually contradict themselves fairly often. I can look around later for quotes to the contrary.

                    And the idea of a Ghoul's Potence carrying over into embrace goes against pretty much every character creation ever given, since (almost) every Vampire should then start out with a free dot of Potence, because Sires would plan ahead 99% of the time (at the very least Giovanni and Assamites should according to their fluff). Also, giving the 3 dots of Disciplines in the first few nights would make the concept of character creation statting out decades old Vampires (the "normal" starting age of a character) in general kind of silly.

                    For the Ghoul character creation, I agree entirely with Telgar on that one. That's for Ghoul characters (PCs). Not a general rule for all Ghouls. Feeding a person a BP gives them the automatic level of Potence yes, but there is no reason they should reflexively learn another Discipline dot. That second dot comes with experience (lower case "e").


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                    • #11
                      I'd probably house rule it so you have to be a ghoul for a fair bit of time before you retain it on embrace. The idea of making sure to ghoul someone right before you embrace them to make sure they get an extra dot of potence seems weird/gamey. Not a concept I like.

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                      • #12
                        Lore contradicting mechanics isn't exactly new for v20, and I pointed out earlier in this thread that not making someone a Ghoul right before the embrace made hardly any sense if you had the slightest degree of forethought when creating a Childer. So yeah, pretty clear contradiction with how it's written to work and how you would expect Kindred to behave.

                        The most apparent contradiction is the "Former Ghoul" merit, which only allows you to spend starting discipline dots on potence...which isn't really how that should work either. Tremere/Toreador/Venture ghouls shouldn't be able to be embraced and have three dots in potence because they were ghouls. The other thing former ghoul apparently does is make you better at knowing stuff about Kindred then a 500 year old Kindred scholar who was never a ghoul.

                        Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                        I'd probably house rule it so you have to be a ghoul for a fair bit of time before you retain it on embrace. The idea of making sure to ghoul someone right before you embrace them to make sure they get an extra dot of potence seems weird/gamey. Not a concept I like.
                        You aren't wrong, but I like pointing out times where the mechanics and lore clearly weren't written with regards to one another.

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                        • #13
                          I'd think that it would be more than reasonable to require people being embraced from ghoulhood into vampirism to pay the cost of their retained 'free' ghoul disciplines.


                          When one is accustomed to privilege, equality seems like oppression.

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                          • #14
                            I think though this circle can be squared by imagining that there four types of beginning characters. The first type of beginning character is a normal mortal who was Embraced without becoming a Ghoul because circumstances prevented the ideal transition (the mortal was Embraced by accident or due to passion rather than by a deliberate and logical process). The second type is a Ghoul who is Embraced in the proper fashion (+1 Potency and +1 Clan Discipline). The third is Sorcerer who was Embraced without becoming a Ghoul (+5 Disciplines). The fourth is a Ghoul Sorcerer who is Embraced in a proper fashion (+1 Potence, +1 Clan Discipline, and +5 Disciplines). It us just up to the ST which type of beginning character they desire for their chronicles, but they are all technically valid beginning characters.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Zanos View Post
                              You aren't wrong, but I like pointing out times where the mechanics and lore clearly weren't written with regards to one another.
                              Sure. I rarely like to say 'bad writing', but I assume the intent here was so that people playing a ghoul weren't at a disadvantaged if embraced during play. But yeah, I think either having them pay, use their points for it, or lose it if they weren't a ghoul for X amount is more reasonable. Figuring out what that time should be is hard to say off-hand.

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