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How does Presence resistance works ?

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  • How does Presence resistance works ?

    Hi,

    First of all, I want to say that English is not my mother tongue, French is. I have both the french hard cover of the book Vampire V20 and the english pdf version but, in both languages, I'm confused. I know it must be a common question but I wasn't able to find my answer using the search features of the forum .

    Here is the extract of the book :
    "Anyone can resist Presence for one scene by spending a Willpower point and succeeding on a Willpower roll (difficulty 8), but the affected individual must keep spending points until he is no longer in the presence of the vampire (or, in the case of Summon, until the effect wears off)."

    What does the last part of the sentence means ? "but the affected individual must keep spending points until he is no longer in the presence of the vampire"

    Like okay, we're in a scene and some Toreador use Entrancement on a PC.
    The PC spend a willpower point and resist the Entrancement thanks to a successful willpower roll.
    Does it last the whole scene even if the PC is still in the presence of the Toreador ? Does he has to use one willpower point regularly during the same scene, like per turn, while in presence of the Toreador ? Does the PC needs to use a willpower point per scene while with the Toreador ?
    What if the Toreador wants to retry Entrancement during the same scene it was resisted ? Is it automatically resisted ? What about other Presence power from the same Toreador ?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Last edited by GaryO; 09-13-2017, 07:21 AM.


    English is not my native language, please forgive my mistakes

  • #2
    Going by the text:
    -You spend a WP point and pass the roll
    -You're then immune for one scene
    -If the Presence vampire is still around after that scene, you have to spend another WP point (and probably roll again, the text isn't clear on this)

    And I'd assume that yes, it applies to all Presence powers of that vampire for that duration.

    Comment


    • #3
      Personally I think that Presence is garbage, mechanically speaking.

      - Presence 3; I successfully roll, you will now behave as though you adore me and trust me, and obey me, but without the messy stuff that would come from doing the same with Dominate.
      - Oh yeah? Well I spend 1 point of Willpower and succeed on a roll and now your entire Discipline is useless.
      - Oh Shit.

      Either outcome is horrible. Either the Presence user gets exactly what they want, RAW, using Presence 3, or the target shrugs it off completely. It feels like a poorly conceived system, mechanics-wise.

      If anyone wants a better system, use Dead Man's Party's optional Social systems. You have bonuses (I think they're called Favour) that can be temporary or long-term. If you're flavour of the month, that can mean -2 difficulty to social rolls with the relevant people. Succeeding on Appearance rolls can grant you Favour, making it something other than a dump stat mechanics-wise. Presence simply lets you imitate such bonuses and gain them more easily, with level 1 giving you more dice and level 3 letting you give yourself long-term favour with a specific person. Presence 2 and 4 remain unchanged, and Presence 5 is given a resistance (courage) roll. Worth noting that this is a mix of DMP's rules and my own house-rules ;-)

      Comment


      • #4
        It seems like there are two ways to read it
        1. The person needs to spend one willpower and succeed on a difficulty eight willpower roll. If they do, they are free for the scene and need to repeat the process if they remain in the other Cainite's presence for later scenes.
        2. The person needs to spend one willpower and succeed on a difficulty eight willpower roll. If they do, they are free for the moment, and must continue to spend/roll willpower until they are out of the other Cainite's presence.

        I'd argue one makes more sense because of how it phrases 'resist Presence for one scene'. But the 'keep spending points until he is no longer in the presence of the vampire' isn't the best phrasing. So, per below.
        Does it last the whole scene even if the PC is still in the presence of the Toreador?
        - I would say yes.
        Does he has to use one willpower point regularly during the same scene, like per turn, while in presence of the Toreador?
        - I would say no.
        Does the PC needs to use a willpower point per scene while with the Toreador?
        - I would say yes.
        What if the Toreador wants to retry Entrancement during the same scene it was resisted? Is it automatically resisted? What about other Presence power from the same Toreador?
        - This is kind of grey. RAW, I think you couldn't retry Presence in the same scene since it is laying out 'resist Presence for one scene'. Not individual powers, not one use, but Presence as that person uses it against the defender for that scene. I'd think further uses automatically fail. That said, I think it'd be reasonable if an ST would want to read it that they could retry, it depends on how often the ST scene switches, I suppose, to know how relevant it would be to them.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by GaryO View Post
          What does the last part of the sentence means ? "but the affected individual must keep spending points until he is no longer in the presence of the vampire"
          It doesn't really mean anything, since it's an artefact of poor editing. In Revised Edition, spending a Willpower and succeeding at the Difficulty 8 Willpower roll only gave you one turn of resistance. After you succeeded in your roll you had to keep spending Willpower every turn in order to continue resisting. When they wrote the V20 rules they largely just copy-pasted the Revised rules and then tweaked them a little. In the case of Presence they changed the duration from one turn to one scene, but neglected to change the line about how you had to keep spending Willpower. The intended meaning is that if you succeed in resisting, it doesn't carry over to the next scene unless you spend Willpower and roll again.

          Incidentally, i strongly dislike the change as it horribly nerfs Presence. Being able to negate the entire Discipline for one scene is pretty ridiculous. It would make more sense the resistance was per power. So if you succeeded in resisting the Brujah's Awe, but now she's Dread Gazing you, you're going to have to spend and roll again. Though frankly what they should have done was given each power an individual way to resist it. For example it's appropriate for Awe be resisted for a scene because that's how long it lasts, but against Dread Gaze that's too long since it's a turn-by-turn power, and if you're being Summoned one scene's worth of resistance isn't going to cut it because the power lasts all night. The whole thing is just a kludged up and lazy.
          Last edited by Lys; 09-14-2017, 02:11 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeah, I'd either make it like Dominate, where you have to spend as many willpower points as the vampire got successes. Or make it one oppossed roll, and the vampire gets the net successes, if any, and there is no resisting past that initial opposed roll.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lys View Post
              The whole thing is just a kludged up and lazy.
              Did you mean; Presence in 1st Edition and every Edition since? ;-)

              Comment


              • #8
                I think the question is not "How do I resist Presence?" but "Why would I resist Presence in the first place?". Let's say someone uses Presence 3 on me. Now I have the distinct feeling that he is my best friend. Why would I resist that? The discipline evokes a basically pleasant emotion. Even if I knew that this emotion is artificial (and most who fall under this Presence power don't really have a clue, I suppose), would I actively seek to end it? I find it hard to distinguish between player knowledge and character knowledge in this particular situation. Of course a player doesn't like to be controlled that way and would probably want to counteract. But a character on the other hand experiences the situation completely different.


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                • #9
                  The thing to remember with Presence is, the only time the power actually doesn't work (or stops working, in the event of an extended Dread Gaze or Summon attempt) is if the vampire fails or botches the activation roll. Even if you spend your Willpower and succeed the Willpower roll, it's still in effect; your character is just forcing themselves to overcome the emotional control. This is typified perfectly in the write-up for Majesty, "...the vampire still feels the crushing disapproval..." or whatever the fuck it says exactly.

                  If a character is Entranced, they're entranced for the entire duration, period. Strictly speaking, what a vampire does when they "resist" is make an attempt to act normally in spite of their feelings.

                  So, I've always played it the Willpower check proper is only made once; the first time the character tries to resist the Presence and act normally. Once they've succeeded, they can continue spending Willpower on a per-turn basis without having to roll every time -- but only if they succeeded the initial check.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Donovan Rivers View Post
                    I think the question is not "How do I resist Presence?" but "Why would I resist Presence in the first place?". Let's say someone uses Presence 3 on me. Now I have the distinct feeling that he is my best friend. Why would I resist that? The discipline evokes a basically pleasant emotion. Even if I knew that this emotion is artificial (and most who fall under this Presence power don't really have a clue, I suppose), would I actively seek to end it? I find it hard to distinguish between player knowledge and character knowledge in this particular situation. Of course a player doesn't like to be controlled that way and would probably want to counteract. But a character on the other hand experiences the situation completely different.
                    No, I think they were asking a very literal mechanics question...

                    That said, as to why one would. Pleasant emotions are not necessarily good. For many reasons, the most obvious being it puts you under the influence of another. As for noticing it, Summon and Dread Gaze would be somewhat easy to notice. And while one might argue that being hit with Entrancement might be tricky, using it more than once would make it more obvious.

                    Theodrim I disagree. The statement 'resist Presence' very much means to me it isn't working on them. I don't see where you get this idea that it keeps being in effect. The section about disapproval is about when someone succeeds a normal Courge roll against Majesty, not the Willpower roll against Presence. You're taking how one power works and for some reason trying to extrapolate it to a distinctly different willpower rolle. House rule as you will, but that's hardly RAW. I would typically always take resist to mean 'X power doesn't work on them' unless it explicitly says otherwise, like in the case of Majesty.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lys View Post
                      It doesn't really mean anything, since it's an artefact of poor editing. In Revised Edition, spending a Willpower and succeeding at the Difficulty 8 Willpower roll only gave you one turn of resistance. After you succeeded in your roll you had to keep spending Willpower every turn in order to continue resisting. When they wrote the V20 rules they largely just copy-pasted the Revised rules and then tweaked them a little. In the case of Presence they changed the duration from one turn to one scene, but neglected to change the line about how you had to keep spending Willpower. The intended meaning is that if you succeed in resisting, it doesn't carry over to the next scene unless you spend Willpower and roll again.
                      Actually, in the 2cnd Edition Revised, it is written:

                      pages 170-171
                      "Anyone can resist Presence for one turn by spending a Willpower point and succeeding on a Willpower roll (difficulty 8), but the effected individual must keep spending points until he can no longer see the vampire (or, in the case of Summon, until the effect wears off). The simplest way to deal with this is to turn around and stop looking. Those who don't understand that they're dealing with supernatural influences (as this is the case with most mortals) seldom think of this tactic, but it's a simple assumption for clever vampires. Vampires three or more generations lower than the wielder need only spend a single Willpower to ignore the Presence for an entire scene and need not roll Willpower to do so."

                      ---

                      So literally, when in V20 it is written as, "No longer in the presence of the vampire", V20 is telling you, until the affected player(s) is/are no longer near or around the vampire who used this discipline.

                      .

                      As to why someone would resist Presence in the first place; It is simple.

                      You may not be aware an unnatural effect has come over you, once the discipline takes its hold. However, it is not true that Presence is an automatic success. So, once an effect where a sudden change in your normal senses has been intruded upon; It is highly likely that most individuals, mortal & kind, would initially attempt to resist an awkward sudden change in their own behavior.

                      No one is generally aware they are going to experience a head rush when they standup, until after the sudden loss of sensation nearly makes them stumble over. And yet, virtually everyone pauses for that brief moment where they acknowledge something is off, before catching their balance. It's basically reflexive. A common instinct which tells you, something is not right.

                      Of course; should the targeted person fail their Willpower roll; In that case, the discipline takes its effect, and the individual under said influence rationalizes the occurrence as his or her own motivation.

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                      Last edited by Quiet Storm; 09-15-2017, 06:46 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I really think that there should be some kind of system for realizing that Presence has been used on you. Perception + Awareness, difficulty is 9. If you don't succeed in this roll then you can't say "but my character would KNOW something was wrong!" so really it's a buff more than anything else. Presence is subtle and you should be taken in by it unless you are lucky or very perceptive.

                        So Jack the Harpy uses Presence 3 on a PC, and gets 3 successes; for a week (I think?) he has -2 difficulty to all social rolls with the PC. Combined with his Status and the Appearance roll he aced when he introduced himself, he's got a huge dice pool bonus and a -3 difficulty reduction. He tries to pressure this PC into running an errand for him (along with the coterie) without a reward, framing it as "something everyone has to do when they start out".

                        Say this PC has Perception 5 and Awareness 4, they might realize that they're under some kind of control (likely Presence) and pretend to play along, keeping in mind that they can't trust this bully. Otherwise, they have to act as though they Really Like This Guy and play along with his successful social rolls, no complaining, no "but I would never do that". They are allowed to simply ignore his instructions and requests, but again that comes with heavy penalties. Keep in mind that social rolls have to remain within realistic bounds, as always.
                        Last edited by 11twiggins; 09-16-2017, 06:50 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Where there may be some logic in that, the problem I have is in assuming the mind is completely irrational. I tend to believe if being unnaturally influenced to do something, or feel something you otherwise would not, then you are just as likely to attempt resisting as you would, for example;

                          You and you're girlfriend/fiance/wife are out at the mall shopping, when the most attractive & physically perfect shaped female walks by. Your instinct tells you to look. Your rationality tells you, "You know better", so you force yourself not to gaze.

                          I don't think adding an additional roll to an already difficulty of 8 is necessary; even more so when we're talking an internal reflexive resiliency. Remember, the targeted player has to spend a temporary Willpower point to even try resisting. Attributing a secondary roll on top of that undermines the importance of Willpower. Because anything requiring a Willpower challenge toward the Presence targeted character, he or she will be down one on his or her dice roll until that character's Willpower is replenished.

                          However, if you are going to require a secondary mechanics roll. Difficulty of 9 is a bit demanding for a preliminary roll; Especially when the Discipline in question only requires a difficulty of 8 to resist its effects.

                          Remember --- Vampires are mysterious preternatural creatures irregardless of their supernatural powers --- Even still; sometimes their Disciplines simply do not work. It is, after all, a World of Darkness. Vampires are no more immune to failure as their prey might be to the effects of their capabilities.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Quiet Storm View Post
                            Where there may be some logic in that, the problem I have is in assuming the mind is completely irrational. I tend to believe if being unnaturally influenced to do something, or feel something you otherwise would not, then you are just as likely to attempt resisting as you would, for example;

                            You and you're girlfriend/fiance/wife are out at the mall shopping, when the most attractive & physically perfect shaped female walks by. Your instinct tells you to look. Your rationality tells you, "You know better", so you force yourself not to gaze.
                            Eh, I think this fails to hold up on two parts. The first being that some people won't resist the urge to gaze, they lack the proper judgment to do so, and will stare obliviously. Secondly, it also has the starting assumption that someone is doing something they shouldn't be doing. Whereas the person using Presence might be using it to have the person work towards something they might have already been somewhat inclined towards.

                            Conceptually, I think the idea of an awareness roll makes sense (I probably wouldn't put it at difficulty 9 - maybe more like 7). Though, I can just as much see going without it. Doesn't seem strictly necessary.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              To OP: It's one willpower per scene, not per turn or anything. So the presence user is still putting pressure on you either way.

                              Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                              Personally I think that Presence is garbage, mechanically speaking.

                              - Presence 3; I successfully roll, you will now behave as though you adore me and trust me, and obey me, but without the messy stuff that would come from doing the same with Dominate.
                              - Oh yeah? Well I spend 1 point of Willpower and succeed on a roll and now your entire Discipline is useless.
                              - Oh Shit.

                              Either outcome is horrible. Either the Presence user gets exactly what they want, RAW, using Presence 3, or the target shrugs it off completely. It feels like a poorly conceived system, mechanics-wise.

                              If anyone wants a better system, use Dead Man's Party's optional Social systems. You have bonuses (I think they're called Favour) that can be temporary or long-term. If you're flavour of the month, that can mean -2 difficulty to social rolls with the relevant people. Succeeding on Appearance rolls can grant you Favour, making it something other than a dump stat mechanics-wise. Presence simply lets you imitate such bonuses and gain them more easily, with level 1 giving you more dice and level 3 letting you give yourself long-term favour with a specific person. Presence 2 and 4 remain unchanged, and Presence 5 is given a resistance (courage) roll. Worth noting that this is a mix of DMP's rules and my own house-rules ;-)
                              I would just make it more like dominate. Difficulty is equal to target's willpower. Presence 1 and 4 are a big problem because they have no way of improving your resistance to them.

                              Originally posted by Donovan Rivers View Post
                              I think the question is not "How do I resist Presence?" but "Why would I resist Presence in the first place?". Let's say someone uses Presence 3 on me. Now I have the distinct feeling that he is my best friend. Why would I resist that? The discipline evokes a basically pleasant emotion. Even if I knew that this emotion is artificial (and most who fall under this Presence power don't really have a clue, I suppose), would I actively seek to end it? I find it hard to distinguish between player knowledge and character knowledge in this particular situation. Of course a player doesn't like to be controlled that way and would probably want to counteract. But a character on the other hand experiences the situation completely different.
                              Some vampires are not hedonists. I suspect they would resist this for the same reason that many vampires don't take part in blood bonds despite the positive feeling. The reason characters don't want to be controlled is the same reason players don't want to be controlled. There are actually some people who want to be controlled, but it's not fair to assume that. Many older vampires are paranoid enough to eschew lovers and even friends, so resisting overt emotional manipulation doesn't seem that far fetched. Rather, it seems normal to me.

                              I'd imagine the reason it takes both a willpower point and a willpower roll to shake off is because it is a "good" feeling though.

                              Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                              I really think that there should be some kind of system for realizing that Presence has been used on you. Perception + Awareness, difficulty is 9. If you don't succeed in this roll then you can't say "but my character would KNOW something was wrong!" so really it's a buff more than anything else. Presence is subtle and you should be taken in by it unless you are lucky or very perceptive.
                              Presence isn't as overt as dominate but it's not subtle. Presence 3 especially creates an immediate feeling of love and adoration for someone you had no particular feelings for before, or even hated. I'd probably notice that if I was aware that emotional manipulation was a thing, and Presence is a common discipline, and you can probably count the number of people you feel love and adoration for on one hand. I personally don't have very strong emotions in any direction, so I'd notice something felt weird almost immediately. Maybe some kind of self-control factor? In any case, definitely not a D9 roll.

                              You might be able to sneak it on a fledgling who didn't know presence existed, I guess.

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