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  • Questions on Nagaraja and Nikitu weaknesses.

    So Nagaraja has a rather long (and quite often off-topic) thread here: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...=1508036048098

    As thematic as it would be to necro the thread, I chose not to.

    Anyhow, in a modern game IF Nagaraja were allowed by an ST, why not allow them to consume RAW flesh from animals recently slaughtered, or living?
    - Its mostly a practicality thing, similar to say a morgue or crematorium. You don't want want any one player's clan weakness taking center stage all the time, I think having to devote some backgrounds and a little game time to maintaining a "herd" is sufficient.
    - Some games might be OK with Nagaraja, but not OK with Paths of Enlightenment. (All the Necro clans/bloodlines are.... problematic in some form, go figure).
    - Or would using the DA rules be better, since that at least.... allows you to roll willpower to not eat flesh.

    Second question: Nikitu, more of curiosity. What's stopping a Nikitu from just rebuying the lost Appearance dot with XP? I could see even Elders being able to maintain an Appeance of 2 or 3 if they wanted to.



  • #2
    1) No animal meat for Nagaraja. Their weakness is to be cannibals, eating human flesh. Not steak. It really isn't a weakness at all if they can just eat hamburger. Or even chow down on snake-feed like rats and mice you can buy weekly without anyone thinking anything odd is up.

    2) I would personally say that each lost Appearance dot is permanently removed, as in their cap is lowered forever. Once a Nicktuku hits Appearance 0, they can never raise Appearance again at all.


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

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    • #3
      Originally posted by uriel View Post
      Second question: Nikitu, more of curiosity. What's stopping a Nikitu from just rebuying the lost Appearance dot with XP? I could see even Elders being able to maintain an Appeance of 2 or 3 if they wanted to.
      Because that's XP you are not spending on other things, and XP doesn't come easily. A vain Niktuku will also be a weak Niktuku.

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      • #4
        http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...-nictuku/page3

        I give my feelings on the Nicktuku in comment #31.

        Oh, and, when you read my post there, realize that I was trying be as tactful as possible given how much I... dislike... the treatment of the Nicktuku in that book.

        If you don't feel like navigating away to read the post, here's the most germane part:

        And the loss of Appearance over time? Ah! This is why they embrace pretty people. For game balance. Just run the math. Create a Nicktuku with an App of 2 and physical stats of 3. Wait a century. Move a dot of App to Str. Spend XP to regain App. You just raised a stat from 3 to 4, for the cost of raising it from 1 to 2. Rinse and repeat. For an elder you will eventually be raising it from 8 to 9, for the cost of raising it from 1 to 2. I want a bloodline where the time frame is yearly! Cursed? Cursed with awesome, more like it!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by uriel View Post
          Anyhow, in a modern game IF Nagaraja were allowed by an ST, why not allow them to consume RAW flesh from animals recently slaughtered, or living?
          Well, the power is written per human flesh. Ultimately the ST may do as they wish. Personally, I'd think that it neuters the intent of the weakness to allow animals. Obviously there are a few writing issues with the power overall (as others have made threads on before). But opening it to work for animal flesh makes it entirely a non-issue. It'd be like allowing a Tzimisce to sleep with any dirt, as long as they are sleeping with dirt. Sure, it is still a weakness, but not really.

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          • #6
            As for the Nagaraja weakness (in V20), there are multiple problems with it.
            1. In V20, it says a human body has 10 "flesh points". Okay, but it says nothing else at all about whether animal flesh counts. I can say that a human has a blood pool of ten, without implying anything about animal blood pools. Now, I don't really have a preference between animals allowed or not, but it makes a vast difference in the nature of the bloodline, and it is left undefined for the ST to figure out.
            2. It also says that, "Unlike blood points, however, taking a “fleshpoint” from a vessel does one health level of unsoakable lethal damage to that vessel." Except that drinking a blood point already does do a point of lethal damage. This poor writing implies (and some rules lawyer player somewhere will argue) that therefore normal vampires when feeding don't do lethal damage, and, if they do, it is soakable.
            3. They lose a die from all physical dice pools for every night they don't eat flesh. With no minimum dice pool this can run into negative numbers. There is no stated exemption for torpor. They also need to eat enough flesh to catch up to what they missed to remove the penalty. (The Tzimisce, in contrast, bounce back after one night in their native soil and have a minimum pool of one.) RAW, if the Nagaraja enters torpor for a period of ten years, they will be quite weak when they awaken. They will have accrued a penalty to all physical dice pools of Negative 3600. Let's say standing up, walking across your tomb, and opening the door takes a Dex+Athletics roll, diff 1. Good luck making it with a dice pool of negative 3600. But, assuming you have an ally who can feed you, you'll be fine, right? Except they'll need to feed you 3600 flesh points (from 360 whole people!) to bring you back to normal!
            4. Read in a certain light, the flaw could also be read as "cursing" them with hyper-efficient feeding. The weakness takes flesh points and puts them in the blood pool as blood on a one-to-one ratio. RAW, a Nagaraja can, therefore, get twenty bloodpoints from a human, instead of the usual ten. If you interpret the vagueness about animals to allow animal flesh (a not otherwise unreasonable decision), and hand-wave the torpor issue, you get a vampire who just needs to swing by the grocery store every few nights and pick up some hamburger meat to fill their blood pool.
            Frankly, as in most things, the DAV20 version is much better written and thought out, leaving only small holes in the flaw. If a player in a modern game wanted to play a Nagaraja, I would require the use of the DAV20 version.

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            • #7
              The 'lose dice every night' rule is extremely restrictive. I would have the Nagaraja feed exclusively on human flesh, but not impose any dice penalties for not eating every day. Otherwise their unlives would be extremely limited, and they would be unable to travel or pick victims carefully, and they really wouldn't be able to survive.

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              • #8
                Actually had some questions of my own to add on, if it is fine within the scope of a Nagaraja thread instead of making a new one.

                - Would others consider cannibalism a sin in the context of this weakness? Potential killing aside, the act of consuming human flesh is necessary for a Nagaraja's survival. But I'm curious if people think it would equate to a sin against Humanity of some streak or not.
                - How does an unestablished Nagaraja get a stead supply of bodies? Theoretical situation, one does not have a morgue or other place with easy access to corpses. Is there only option to just kill people? Maybe I'm just not imaginative enough, but it seems an exceedingly hard weakness at times if one lacks the infrastructure.
                - Can one take the necessary flesh point while feeding through a bite? Rather, I'm aware it defines that a typical human has ten flesh points. Though, it doesn't really note the distribution. Whether one needs to actually eat 10% of their meat or the 'works just like blood points' means a strange conversion where a degree of size is mystical over purely physical. How many turns of biting are necessary?
                - Can Nagaraja teeth be fleshcrafted normally? The art and the appearance section note that Nagaraja have jagged teeth. But it doesn't list it under the weakness that I saw. So Iwasn't't sure if this was something that automatically reverted or not.
                - Does the Nagaraja weakness cause them to bottom out at 1 on all physical attributes, or do they start to hit zeroes and go into torpor?
                - Can Kindred flesh be substituted for Mortal flesh? It only mentions the terms human (in regards to how many flesh points they have) and that it must be 'relatively flesh' if not necessarily 'alive'. And that they can use ritually preserved corpses.
                Last edited by Monalfie; 10-17-2017, 12:10 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                  - Would others consider cannibalism a sin in the context of this weakness? Potential killing aside, the act of consuming human flesh is necessary for a Nagaraja's survival. But I'm curious if people think it would equate to a sin against Humanity of some streak or not.
                  The act of cannibalism itself is not a humanity sin, but the process of obtaining the bodies is almost certainly is. Murder at worst, theft at best. I can imagine fairly contrived situations in which Nagaraja gets a body without it being a sin, but those situations would be rather contrived.
                  Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                  - How does an unestablished Nagaraja get a stead supply of bodies? Theoretical situation, one does not have a morgue or other place with easy access to corpses. Is there only option to just kill people? Maybe I'm just not imaginative enough, but it seems an exceedingly hard weakness at times if one lacks the infrastructure.
                  Yeah, it's tough. Which is why Nagaraja are rare and generally not well liked when they travel.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                    Would others consider cannibalism a sin in the context of this weakness? Potential killing aside, the act of consuming human flesh is necessary for a Nagaraja's survival. But I'm curious if people think it would equate to a sin against Humanity of some streak or not.
                    Eating human meat isn't a Humanity Sin, but theft, murder, etc, can be depending on your level of Humanity.

                    Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                    How does an unestablished Nagaraja get a stead supply of bodies? Theoretical situation, one does not have a morgue or other place with easy access to corpses. Is there only option to just kill people? Maybe I'm just not imaginative enough, but it seems an exceedingly hard weakness at times if one lacks the infrastructure.
                    This is one reason the bloodline is small, and tends to Embrace people with connections to specific industries. Yes, the weakness is very challenging if you don't have the contacts and cash to obtain human remains, or medical waste. Nagaraja that are abandoned by their sire probably do have to kill to survive, and do so regularly. They don't last long.

                    Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                    Can one take the necessary flesh point while feeding through a bite? Rather, I'm aware it defines that a typical human has ten flesh points. Though, it doesn't really note the distribution. Whether one needs to actually eat 10% of their meat or the 'works just like blood points' means a strange conversion where a degree of size is mystical over purely physical. How many turns of biting are necessary?
                    For humans, the 10 points is approximately equal to 10 pints of blood, with is a very, very rough average for adults. So, 10 "flesh points" is likely the full fleshy mass of an adult human. So we're probably looking at about 10 pounds of flesh? Maybe more? It depends on how much of human body weight you define as "flesh". It is extremely unlikely that this amount of flesh could be obtained by "biting" people in combat. Nagaraja can feed on blood normally during battle, but can't just start eating their opponent for "flesh points".

                    Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                    Can Nagaraja teeth be fleshcrafted normally? The art and the appearance section note that Nagaraja have jagged teeth. But it doesn't list it under the weakness that I saw. So Iwasn't't sure if this was something that automatically reverted or not.
                    This always seemed stupid to me, since they can *also* feed on blood... I would drop it, but if you keep it, it should be a permanent feature.

                    Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                    Does the Nagaraja weakness cause them to bottom out at 1 on all physical attributes, or do they start to hit zeroes and go into torpor?
                    Going by V20, they don't lose points from Attribute, but rather "Physical dice pools". So any time they needed to roll a pool that includes a Physical Attribute, they'd roll 0 dice, meaning they couldn't perform any physical action. Basically, they'd be so starved they were too weak to move at all. This wouldn't automatically result in Torpor... immediately... but it would render them unable to feed on their own, and they'd soon starve into torpor from lack of blood.

                    Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                    Can Kindred flesh be substituted for Mortal flesh? It only mentions the terms human (in regards to how many flesh points they have) and that it must be 'relatively flesh' if not necessarily 'alive'. And that they can use ritually preserved corpses.
                    Yeah, probably. Most Weaknesses work fine with vampire blood instead of mortal blood, so they can probably eat vampire flesh. I'd even suggest that a vampire have "flesh points" equal to their blood pool maximum. Elders are tasty, even to cannibals.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                      - Would others consider cannibalism a sin in the context of this weakness? Potential killing aside, the act of consuming human flesh is necessary for a Nagaraja's survival. But I'm curious if people think it would equate to a sin against Humanity of some streak or not.
                      It seems that, for Nagaraja, the sin would lie in what is done to obtain the flesh, not the consumption itself. Other vampires regularly consume the blood of humans. This can be gathered either humanely or inhumanely, so the system doesn't seem to punish consuming part of a person, per se. In some ways, it could be compared to an organ transplant, since the Nagaraja needs it to survive.

                      Now, if the ST uses the common house-rule that includes "behaving in a manner that underscores how you're no longer human" as a sin, then, yes, it would be. Though, it should be pointed out that cannibalism is not actually "inhuman", in the sense that humans don't do it, since there are many, many documented reports of it during disaster, famine, and wartime. Dis-tasteful, certainly, but not something that would cause you to be defined as literally not human.

                      Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                      - How does an unestablished Nagaraja get a stead supply of bodies? Theoretical situation, one does not have a morgue or other place with easy access to corpses. Is there only option to just kill people? Maybe I'm just not imaginative enough, but it seems an exceedingly hard weakness at times if one lacks the infrastructure.
                      Well, the simplest option is to kill people, of course. Then again, that's true for standard vampires and blood. The Nagaraja don't need a whole body. Medical waste disposers are an option. Part of the problem with the weakness is that it doesn't provide good guidelines for what "flesh" is. Just muscle and some associated gristle and fat? Organs, like the tonsils are removed at a pretty high rate. Does diseased flesh work? Doctors don't usually remove body parts unless they are beyond salvaging. Could a Nagaraja survive on a diet of fat? Lots of people get liposuction.

                      It does occur to me that ghouls can, with some difficulty, regenerate limbs. The blood cost of doing so, and the possibility of failing the roll makes it a less than ideal option, but it's there.

                      In a similar vein, certain mages can regenerate flesh, much more dependably. The Nagaraja have historic ties to mages; could there be some sort of ecstatic cannibal cult in which worshipers willingly give their limbs, only to have them "miraculously" regenerate before their eyes?

                      The question of whether animal flesh will suffice, btw, is still hanging out there. Since standard vampires can drink non-human blood, and the weakness doesn't specifically say it must be human flesh, it could be argued that the easiest place to get a few pounds of "flesh" is the local butcher shop.

                      Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                      - Can one take the necessary flesh point while feeding through a bite? Rather, I'm aware it defines that a typical human has ten flesh points. Though, it doesn't really note the distribution. Whether one needs to actually eat 10% of their meat or the 'works just like blood points' means a strange conversion where a degree of size is mystical over purely physical. How many turns of biting are necessary?
                      It also doesn't explain how much can be safely taken. If you only need to take enough to cause a lethal wound, well, a normal human can heal a single lethal wound at the bruised health level in one day, and does not require medical treatment to do so. (V20, p 286) So, how small of a nibble is that? When I get a paper-cut, it can take a week until I can hand-squeeze lemons again without wincing.

                      Maybe one lethal wound level per day isn't so bad? A small nibble like that from one of several vessels, every few nights, should be sustainable, according to the rules, RAW.

                      That's, again, the problem with the Nagaraja. As with many minor bloodlines, the fluff does not match the mechanics, so confusion reigns.

                      Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                      - Can Nagaraja teeth be fleshcrafted normally? The art and the appearance section note that Nagaraja have jagged teeth. But it doesn't list it under the weakness that I saw. So Iwasn't't sure if this was something that automatically reverted or not.
                      This is a tough one. I, for one, would allow it. The teeth are not mentioned in the actual weakness section, so it is fair game. If Vicissitude can't change things mentioned in the Appearance part of the template, they couldn't make Toreador ugly or give a Ventrue a green mohawk. I know the intention is for the teeth to be closely tied to blood, RAI, but RAW, it's fair game for the fleshcrafters.

                      Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                      - Does the Nagaraja weakness cause them to bottom out at 1 on all physical attributes, or do they start to hit zeroes and go into torpor?
                      The weakness says it subtracts, and fails to mention a minimum. The other cumulative clan weakness penalty, the Tzimisce, specifically mentions a minimum, so that implies that if it bottomed out somewhere, they would have mentioned it. The writer didn't, so it doesn't. Really, that alone would be a debilitating clan weakness. If their only weakness were that any time they enter torpor, they die? It would be one of the worse flaws.

                      Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                      - Can Kindred flesh be substituted for Mortal flesh? It only mentions the terms human (in regards to how many flesh points they have) and that it must be 'relatively flesh' if not necessarily 'alive'. And that they can use ritually preserved corpses.
                      I am not sure if substituting vampire flesh for human would make their un-lives better or worse. Yes, vampires regenerate, but are not an easy food source. I am still wondering what happens when an elder Nagaraja gets methuselah's thirst. Do they no longer have a need for flesh? Do they need non-vampire flesh and vampire blood? Do they need vampire flesh and blood.

                      Again, it's not that I don't like the Nagaraja weakness. It's just that it is so vague that I don't know what the weakness is.

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                      • #12
                        Cool answers, thanks! Few followups.
                        Originally posted by Telgar View Post
                        For humans, the 10 points is approximately equal to 10 pints of blood, with is a very, very rough average for adults. So, 10 "flesh points" is likely the full fleshy mass of an adult human. So we're probably looking at about 10 pounds of flesh? Maybe more? It depends on how much of human body weight you define as "flesh". It is extremely unlikely that this amount of flesh could be obtained by "biting" people in combat. Nagaraja can feed on blood normally during battle, but can't just start eating their opponent for "flesh points".
                        How many bites do you think it would take to get a flesh point?

                        Going by V20, they don't lose points from Attribute, but rather "Physical dice pools". So any time they needed to roll a pool that includes a Physical Attribute, they'd roll 0 dice, meaning they couldn't perform any physical action. Basically, they'd be so starved they were too weak to move at all. This wouldn't automatically result in Torpor... immediately... but it would render them unable to feed on their own, and they'd soon starve into torpor from lack of blood.
                        Thanks! Clearly I misread it. Wouldn't this as much mean that they could still move, just failing at actions requiring dice rolls? Not to sound like a rules lawyer, but it seems odd that it is phrased off dice pools instead of attributes. And, if so, just means they are oddly bumbling instead of incapacitated?

                        Yeah, probably. Most Weaknesses work fine with vampire blood instead of mortal blood, so they can probably eat vampire flesh. I'd even suggest that a vampire have "flesh points" equal to their blood pool maximum. Elders are tasty, even to cannibals.
                        So theoretically one could just eat the flesh of an allied Kindred who could heal it?

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                        • #13
                          It would take dozens and dozens of bites to eat multiple pounds of flesh. It isn't something I'd even measure in "bites". How many "bites" does it take to eat 8-12 pounds of hamburger? It's just not a useful measurement for the situation. Nagaraja can't feed quickly on flesh.

                          As for the pool vs trait weakness, the pool weakness is actually more damaging, since a -5 pool penalty is going to wipe someone out faster than reducing all their Attributes to 0 one by one. If someone has 0 dice for a roll, they can't make it at all. And everything is a roll, but generally simple things like standing and walking are assumed successes. With 0 dice, though, they're not. So, no, someone reduced to 0 dice can't even stand up.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Telgar View Post
                            As for the pool vs trait weakness, the pool weakness is actually more damaging, since a -5 pool penalty is going to wipe someone out faster than reducing all their Attributes to 0 one by one. If someone has 0 dice for a roll, they can't make it at all. And everything is a roll, but generally simple things like standing and walking are assumed successes. With 0 dice, though, they're not. So, no, someone reduced to 0 dice can't even stand up.
                            Except if they spend Willpower.

                            Blood buffing is also an option, but depends on your ruling regarding the minimum.
                            (If they stop losing dice when they hit zero in all physical pools it is viable).


                            So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Telgar View Post
                              It would take dozens and dozens of bites to eat multiple pounds of flesh. It isn't something I'd even measure in "bites". How many "bites" does it take to eat 8-12 pounds of hamburger? It's just not a useful measurement for the situation. Nagaraja can't feed quickly on flesh.
                              I mean, the Nagaraja has to physically eat the flesh at some point. This is quantifiable information. Either way, it is rather besides the point, since you seem well on the idea that points equate to literal percentages of flesh.

                              As for the pool vs trait weakness, the pool weakness is actually more damaging, since a -5 pool penalty is going to wipe someone out faster than reducing all their Attributes to 0 one by one. If someone has 0 dice for a roll, they can't make it at all. And everything is a roll, but generally simple things like standing and walking are assumed successes. With 0 dice, though, they're not. So, no, someone reduced to 0 dice can't even stand up.
                              Seems kind of pedantic and incorrect.
                              You roll dice whenever the outcome of an action is in doubt or the Storyteller thinks there’s a chance your character might fail.
                              At the Storyteller’s discretion, a situation might not need a roll to proceed with a reasonable outcome.
                              Actions are anything that might produce an interesting outcome to the direction the story takes.
                              Most actions — cross-ing the street or loading a pistol, for instance — are easy enough to be considered automatically successful. However, if you’re trying to cross a four-lane highway full of speeding trucks, or trying to reload while you’re hanging from a fire escape by one hand, there’s a chance you might fail. So when there’s reasonable doubt whether an action will succeed or not, you may have to roll dice to determine the results
                              Automatic Feats - Automatic feats require the character to take an action, but don’t involve a dice pool roll under most circumstances. The following are common automatic feats. Storytellers may decide that other feats are automatic, at their discretion.
                              Under which movement is listed.
                              The book isn't presenting it how you present it. It isn't 'assume a successful dice roll', it is 'assume you succeed at what you're doing' in layman terms. Dice, and thus a dice pool, aren't quite relevant. Why would standing and walking "be in doubt" when no attributes are being reduced? Again, it sounds like they just become bumblingly inept over physically incapacitated. I guess if you think making someone rolling to walk normally if they have a low pool is interesting, that's your prerogative.

                              Nosimplehiway Thanks. Your answers were, as usual, quite helpful. I entirely forgot about a Ghouls ability to heal. I'm willing to assume no animals if only because that feels like the intent. I mean, on one hand, RAW, it doesn't specify human flesh. But RAW, animals aren't said to have flesh points either. In regards to Kindred flesh, it seemed like a desperate pair or allies might be willing to help one another out, assuming they had the blood to heal it out.

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