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Calm Heart with Instinct

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  • Calm Heart with Instinct

    Does the Merit "Calm Heart" word if you follow a Path that has Instinct instead of Self Control, since then you are technically not resisting a frenzy?

    Are there any other options that help you to "ride a wave of frenzy"?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Aahz View Post
    Does the Merit "Calm Heart" word if you follow a Path that has Instinct instead of Self Control, since then you are technically not resisting a frenzy?

    Are there any other options that help you to "ride a wave of frenzy"?
    As an ST, simply let someone invest 3 points in a "Bridled Beast" merit which represents a more easily directed Beast, giving you extra die to Instinct rolls. Someone could also spend 6 EXP on this (2x cost of merit). If someone has Calm Heart, I would get rid of it when they take up Instinct and refund give them 6 EXP for losing the benefit of the Merit.
    Last edited by 11twiggins; 03-11-2018, 03:00 PM.

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    • #3
      I'll answer a question with a question: why do Brujah still have increased difficulty to Frenzy checks if they're on Instinct paths? Same concept at play, which is why (in addition to mechanical balance) Brujah can't take the Calm Heart merit. Frenzy is what happens when a vampire is confronted with a stressor that can cause them to lose their temper. If the vampire loses their temper (i.e. fails the Frenzy check), the Beast seizes the opportunity and takes control.

      The scenario is the same whether a vampire is on Self-Control or Instinct, because riding the wave is still an -- albeit different -- act of controlling the Beast. The vampire on Instinct directs the Beast's actions whilst frenzied, as opposed to denying it any control at all. And, even a vampire on Instinct cannot control the Beast if they've lost their temper (as indicated by failure on the Frenzy check).

      What Calm Heart means, is vampires are less sensitive to the stressors which invoke frenzy in the first place. They're less likely to lose their temper, and control, because they're less sensitive to those stressors. Ergo, a vampire on Instinct would be perfectly capable of having the merit.

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      • #4
        No need to guess or house rule.

        Originally posted by V20 page 315
        "In all other ways, unless otherwise specified, in-human Paths and Virtues are used like their human counterparts. So, if a roll calls for the player to use Perception + Self-Control, and the character has Instinct, roll Perception + Instinct. Mechanically the Virtues often fulfill the same purpose, even if some of the application differs."
        &
        "Any time the player wishes the character to consciously take an action (known as “riding the wave”), she must roll Instinct against the difficulty to avoid the frenzy. Frenzies affect the character normally (including ignoring wound penalties, etc.), though she may sometimes exert a bit of control while so enraged."
        Last edited by Beckett; 03-13-2018, 02:55 PM.

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        • #5
          Brujah are at +2 difficulty on Instinct rolls because their Beast is harder to direct and control, as it is filled with Troile's rage.

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          • #6
            Brujah are at +2 difficulty on Instinct rolls because their clan weakness is an increased difficulty of Frenzy checks, not specifically Self-Control checks.

            Weaknesses: The same passions that inspire Brujah to greatness or depravity, left unchecked, can send them into incandescent rages: The difficulties of rolls to resist or guide frenzy (p. 298) are two higher than normal. Additionally, a Brujah may never spend Willpower to avoid frenzy, though he may spend a point of Willpower to end a frenzy that has already begun.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Beckett View Post
              No need to guess or house rule.
              Actually, by RAW Calm Heart does not work with Instinct. Calm Heart specifically says "difficulties to resist Frenzy". Characters with Instinct don't resist Frenzy, they have a completely separate ability to guide Frenzy (as mentioned in the Brujah weakness).
              Though VtM is viciously resistant against using anything remotely resembling technical terms, so you can argue that those are the same.

              I should also mention that there's a merit called "Philosophical Humanist" in Road of Humanity book. It costs 3 points, reduces difficulty to resist Frenzy and Red Fear by 1, and is thus vastly superior to Calm Heart in every way.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                I should also mention that there's a merit called "Philosophical Humanist" in Road of Humanity book. It costs 3 points, reduces difficulty to resist Frenzy and Red Fear by 1, and is thus vastly superior to Calm Heart in every way.
                Reducing the difficulty by 1, compared to increasing your dice pool by 2... well it's not 100% clear which is better universally. It depends on your Self-Control trait.

                If you have S-C at 1, Calm Heart increases your odds of overcoming frenzy by 23%, while PH only increases your odds by 10%.

                At S-C 5, CH gives a 6% boost and PH gives a 6% boost. CH also gave a higher number of average successes.

                These were all calculated using Difficulty 6 rolls. It is plausible that PH might be superior at higher difficulties, and the added benefit for Courage rolls is neat.

                It's worth remembering that RAW, you need 5 successes (extended roll) to completely throw off Frenzy. That means extra dice >>> lower difficulty in most situations.

                (Source: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...jHI/edit#gid=0 credit to Ambrosia)

                Reducing difficulty is amazing if you have quite a few dice or are facing difficulty 9 rolls.
                Last edited by 11twiggins; 03-16-2018, 04:54 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                  Actually, by RAW Calm Heart does not work with Instinct. Calm Heart specifically says "difficulties to resist Frenzy". Characters with Instinct don't resist Frenzy, they have a completely separate ability to guide Frenzy (as mentioned in the Brujah weakness).
                  Please reread the quote above about Instinct.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Beckett View Post

                    Please reread the quote above about Instinct.
                    I have. I don't think it means what you think it means. Resisting Frenzy is a circumstance where Instinct is specifically called out as being different from Self-Control, in that people with Instinct can't resist Frenzy.

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                    • #11
                      It is fulfilling the same purposs with a different application. If Calm Heart said something like "for Self-Control, (but not Instinct) rolls", I would agree.

                      The entire point is that Conscience/Conviction and Self-Control/Instinct are different, but work much the same.
                      Last edited by Beckett; 03-18-2018, 04:18 AM.

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