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Paths and the Sabbat in 5e

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  • Paths and the Sabbat in 5e

    So, I just read the new Humanity system, and I think it's enough to dissuade me from 5e.

    Mainly because I don't see how Paths of Enlightenment, let alone the entire Sabbat, is going to work under this system.

    Then again, the Camarilla also seems a little problematic. Now, telling someone to maintain their humanity, while also keeping their nature secret from humans, is even more of a catch-22 than it used to be.

    What I like even less is how now, it looks like every single elder has to be Barnabas Collins. And that takes a whole lot of luck when you can never get a fourth touchstone (You keep saying that word. I don't think it means what you think it means.), and if you even want to maintain three, they have to die peacefully and have successors. Now, to be fair, the alpha document doesn't seem to have the experience rules. I could stomach what I'm seeing a little better if one could gain more touchstones through experience over time.

    I like the idea of an elder who counts as touchstones every single person descended from some once-significant line of nobility. But that also seems like it wouldn't work under this system, because touchstones are actually liabilities -- you would have to have humanity in the hundreds to accept the risk from any of your hundreds of touchstones being damaged.

    So no, come to think of it, I guess the real goal is just to abandon touchstones as gently as possible, while raising Humanity by abstaining from human blood. Once your last touchstone is gone, you're in the clear as long as you keep your heinous acts short of "painting the walls with blood and offal". Which I like even less.

    And if this does mean Paths of Enlightenment are no longer part of the setting, I really don't like that. I respect Requiem for trying that. That's part of what made Requiem its own thing. But Paths were always an important part of Masquerade's world. I also think they're important thematically, because choosing Humanity isn't as meaningful a choice if it's a choice between that and being a wight.

    I also dislike clan compulsions. They seem like a bloated version of Nature and Demeanor (which I never liked). Hollow role playing cues with few mechanical effects, except the ST can give you points for following a cue. It's what I call a "Whose Line is it Anyway?" mechanic, which is a habit I keep hoping White Wolf will break someday, and they never do.

    So no, from what I'm seeing so far, I think I'll pass on this and stick with V20.
    Last edited by Mr. Sluagh; 05-04-2018, 07:32 PM.

  • #2
    Tell you what. They're still working on writing the Sabbat. How about you wait for the book to be done,then if you don't want to buy it,you ask someone if the forums if it's good and if it is then you buy it?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post
      Tell you what. They're still working on writing the Sabbat. How about you wait for the book to be done,then if you don't want to buy it,you ask someone if the forums if it's good and if it is then you buy it?
      Yeah, that's the plan. Just speaking my mind about what I can see so far. Otherwise, why is it there?
      Last edited by Mr. Sluagh; 05-04-2018, 07:32 PM.

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      • #4
        Yeah, I didn't like the Humanity version in the Alpha, for similar reasons (and some more) and the whole Touchstones thingy as the baseline. Touchstones is a good concept, for a background or merit, not for defining Humanity.

        I'll wait for the final version of the Humanity system, until I decide. I sincerely hope it was just an idea they've toyed with, like 3 attributes, or that it got reimagined seriously since the Alpha.


        If nothing worked, then let's think!

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        • #5
          I agree on not being too happy about the possibility of removing the Paths of Enlightenment from the game. I don't care so much about the mechanics behind its functionality, as I do about what kind of impact it has on the role playing side of things.

          It's kind of hard to make a believable antagonist faction if you force them to adhere to Humanity. Because at that point, you just have to sit back and let the enemy destroy itself.

          Belial's Brood managed to compensate for this by having some kind of outside force be the source behind their continued survival, but it was still very disappointing that the only options were pretending to be a good person, or descend into mindless brutality.
          Last edited by Nyrufa; 05-04-2018, 08:12 PM.

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          • #6
            I am not sure that Humanity from the Alpha has much to do with Humanity from V5 itself. The touchstones served a very specific purpose in the adventure (mainly forcing you to deal with the issue of the adventure). I agree that the mechanics as written show touchstones to be one huge weakness. As opposed to Requiem, where a touchstone also serves positive effects. I'll reserve judgement until I see V5 in all its glory. Even though, I think I am going to like it a lot.

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            • #7
              The humanity had, if I remember correctly, some explicite statement that it was a work in progress.Beyond even being in an alpha playtest.
              Though given the setup I would imagine that it might be possible to shift touchstones from humans to either objects or imperative acts of actions/morality concepts.

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              • #8
                I think that touchstones work in a certain kind of game.
                But if I wanted to play that kind of game, I'd have moved to Requiem already.

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                • #9
                  Keep in mind, I'm all for relationship systems. I'd love to see Vampire take a page out of Monster Hearts and other indie games in that way somehow. What I see in the alpha just looks like an overall bad relationship system that's particularly I'll-suited to V:tM

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                  • #10
                    Rules need not be in world simulation. That is to say V5 could be a game built to play and only to play Neonate cam and Anarchs. Then they make a different game from the ground up "Vampire: the sabbat" for playing the sabbat. Rather than trying to kludge humanity rules into Path rules. You build a game around paths. Also at the start the sabbat AREN'T the antagonist faction.. they are the "Extinct faction"

                    The Metaplot is Cam vs Anarch vs Technocracy... I mean "Second Inquistion totally not sponsored by the Technocracy"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lian View Post
                      Rules need not be in world simulation. That is to say V5 could be a game built to play and only to play Neonate cam and Anarchs. Then they make a different game from the ground up "Vampire: the sabbat" for playing the sabbat. Rather than trying to kludge humanity rules into Path rules. You build a game around paths. Also at the start the sabbat AREN'T the antagonist faction.. they are the "Extinct faction"

                      The Metaplot is Cam vs Anarch vs Technocracy... I mean "Second Inquistion totally not sponsored by the Technocracy"
                      That is still changing things dramatically from previous iterations. I expect a game that has rules that can be brought across easily to include Sabbat. Not another game system that handles Sabbat.

                      Otherwise we'll have cross over issues like trying to put Werewolves and Vampire in the same game when Sabbat and Camarilla cross..

                      If it were possible, I'd expect that V5 be cross compatible with all planned expansions (Werewolf5, Wraith5, Mage5 etc) since they are rebuilding it so dramatically anyway.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Illithid View Post

                        That is still changing things dramatically from previous iterations. I expect a game that has rules that can be brought across easily to include Sabbat. Not another game system that handles Sabbat.

                        Otherwise we'll have cross over issues like trying to put Werewolves and Vampire in the same game when Sabbat and Camarilla cross..
                        Not really. COD has shown you can build from the ground up different games with crossover compatability. You just don't you know have powers that interact with stats people don't have.

                        The issue with werewolves are powers that interact with Humanity and or virtues(vampire side) and powers that interact with Rage and Gnosis. The sabbat can easily have the core of its feeding/morality system built around paths rather than running on the same engine as Humanity/feeding that cam/anarchs use. Compatable games with strong focus on theirown thing is an option and the WOD is a very segrigated system. A mages and werewolves might exist in your city but damn if they going to Elysium or joining Sabbat packs.


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                        • #13
                          But Touchstones also don't fit well with the Camarilla. It makes sense that some Camarilla would maintain ties to humans they were close to in life. It doesn't make sense that the Camarilla would espouse the Masquerade, and also the Path of Humanity, if the latter meant maintaining ties to humans. A sect dedicated to preserving the Masquerade at all costs would want to discourage members from associating with people from their old lives.

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                          • #14
                            I Personally don't think touchstones work with the previous thought of Humanity; as long as your touchstones are intact, (Almost) anything else is acceptable
                            Killing to feed? Fine as long as you check on your 90y/o daughter in a nursing home, make sure she's taken care of.

                            Someone threatens to evict your family touchstone which will mean they have to move to another state? Blackmail the developers, murder the new buyers. Just don't do anything that the old humanity system would have on rating 1, maybe 2. And don't embrace.

                            This isn't Humanity, this is letting Vampires become monsters, and being ok with it as long as they have some connection with their previous life.
                            Someone who isolates themselves from temptation, moves to the wilderness and only subsists on livestock blood from slaughterhouses? Never harms anyone because they keep away from people and the temptation?
                            -Old system - Humanity 9-10. New system? Have no touchstones, so Humanity 1 probably. except that means that if they ever roll for frenzy, they will automatically fail because they need to roll UNDER a 1. And that frenzy will probably end up violently breaching the remaining things that could drop Humanity - creating a bloodbath

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                            • #15
                              The system in the playtest had it that you could still either ask for rolls for inhumane acts or straight up deduct humanity if someone is going to outright murder people for personal gain.

                              In regards of the dice pool system, it is very likely that you have to roll under or above a variable number.
                              Like, if they do that they would need dice with a different design than the current one.

                              As for the Sabbat, I would say they are more the "left to be the horror from the dark [for now]"-faction.
                              If they were extinct the upcoming third sourcebook would likely not be about them... ^^;

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