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Path of the Levinbolt Issues

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  • #16
    One all problem solving answer : House-ruling


    • #17
      I thought that it was intentionally written as a path has little practical use, in spite of the efforts of those who developed it. That's why Tremere are more likely to study Lure of Flames for brute destructive force.


      • #18
        Problem is Levinbolt as no use in anything : It's not a support path, it's not a utility path (or at least not good enough) and it's not a combat path.
        The only thing it could be is a Role-play path, but role-play should be supported with practicality : even for role play, i don't see a player wasting around 6 sessions worth of game without any investment in an actual useful skills. It will make their game less fun, and resent from the comrade, even the most understanding ones. . .


        • #19
          Originally posted by Spencer from The Hills View Post
          I thought that it was intentionally written as a path has little practical use, in spite of the efforts of those who developed it. That's why Tremere are more likely to study Lure of Flames for brute destructive force.
          Having played a Tremere whose primary path was LotF, it's ludicrously overrated. Good, sure, but not the end-all, be-all of destructive Thaumaturgy paths. Its ability to deal aggravated isn't even its primary strength; its ability to inflict Rotshreck is. And, even then, until level 3 or higher the Rotshreck difficulties aren't appreciably high, and Courage is a Virtue not usually neglected least of all for its impact on Willpower at character generation.

          The damage isn't great (maximum of three aggravated at level 5), the flames die down quickly unless they spread, and once released the flames are no longer in the Tremere's control without Extinguish, which only affects campfire-size flames and smaller. Moreover, once released the Tremere is subject to Rotshreck just like any other without ritual use. If a target has Fortitude, it's not until level 4 or higher that it becomes appreciably difficult to soak.

          It's a high-risk, blunt instrument. Levinbolt, on the other hand, is extremely precise and does a ton of damage for what it is.


          • #20
            It took me a little to find my copy of V20 Rites of the Blood, so hopefully I can give a better answer to the other questions.
            'Why not just use Machine Blitz for one and two?'
            Level One - Flicker is one and done, you use it and the device is out for ten minutes per success. Machine Blitz requires concentration on what you want to interfere with. I assume (though, the ritual is very vaguely written) you also can't maintain it on multiple devices at once. Something like Flicker might be more useful in such a situation where you need to do several things and/or disable several devices (like camera, security doors, etc).
            Level Two - Spark can do damage (if minor) and probably relatively subtle. And is also a more subtle deactivation than Flicker, though lacking the same range.

            "Can you use Spark or Illuminate with a weapon? Do these attacks require split actions?"
            It doesn't specify, but I think it'd be fair to say you could use certain weapons (an aluminum bat or certain swords) to channel the power.
            And yes, if you wanted to do it in a turn, it seems you'd have to split between activation and hitting. You could also assumedly charge up one turn and use it in subsequent turns. Or immediately apply it if you are already touching someone or they are touching you.

            "Isn't a crossbow better?"
            I can agree the range on Thor's Fury is a bit backwards for what it is (it says you can 'strike enemies from afar as though you were a god and I think Zeus could toss further than four yards). That said, I tried to note the general overall benefits of the power over a crossbow. (Always on you, can disable electrical devices, can generate light.) And yes, other abilities have overlap, but not entirely. Crossbows, I think, also require five turns to reload.

            Now, Lure of Flames would probably be superior if literally all you wanted was an effective combat path. But the two paths do different things. You can accidentally cause your allies to fear frenzy or light the building you are in on fire with Lure. Where Levinbolt can attack (to a lesser extent) as well as short out machines, provide light, and power some machines. Obviously your mileage may vary in the use, but I don't think it appropriate to compare apples to oranges here.

            And as Theodrim kind of noted, Lure of Flames can be a little boring at times. It is a combat path and basically just that. Having utility can be a lot more interesting/fun.


            • #21
              Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
              Spark can do damage (if minor) and probably relatively subtle.
              I wouldn't exactly call as much damage as a 9mm minor. It's enough to knock a mortal out of the fight, if not incapacitate or kill. Experienced players tend to lose sight of exactly how nasty even minor levels of lethal is against mortals, and underestimate the number of times vampires may come into conflict with mortals over the course of a chronicle...let's face it, fights against mortals are of the "random encounter" variety as opposed to "level boss", "dungeon boss", "mid boss", or "final boss" to use D&D/video game language.

              I mean, let's put this in perspective. If a Tremere has Levinbolt as a secondary path, their primary path has to be at least three. That means, if it's Path of Blood, they can lower their generation to 7th or 6th, blood buff Strength into the stratosphere, then be dealing brawling damage with that plus bonus lethal from Levinbolt. Or, if it's something like Hands of Destruction, they'll be dealing aggravated with brawling damage plus Levinbolt.

              Spark and Illuminate kind of specify their use with a weapon, by saying the power discharges on whatever the vampire contacts and tends to destroy or damage held objects, but I'll admit it's fuzzy and a ST may rule weapons that conduct electricity will deliver it on that basis. I've also played a Tremere with Levinbolt (the old, shitty, VtDA version no less), and considering the absolutely ridonculous amounts of damage that character could output on a single hit (once tagged an NPC for 16 aggravated plus another 8 lethal) I'd advise against it.

              Really, my only beef with Levinbolt's V20 iteration is OPP removed its one, best, utility on the presumptive notion the improved (but not really) damage would need a balancing aspect: its ability to power or charge electronic devices.
              Last edited by Theodrim; 05-22-2018, 02:01 AM.


              • #22
                Originally posted by Mist-Walker View Post

                Thor's Fury. The thrown lightning power. This power requires a Perception + Science roll, so let's already get out the way that you need to raise two non-combat stats, including an ability that almost never comes up as a rolled trait in games (Science). Now we have the range, which is and I quote:

                "...difficulty of 6 plus the range in yards/meters, maximum 4 yards/meters."

                So, let me get this straight. A crossbow at this range would be difficulty four and cost me no experience points to buy. But this power, which requires a blood point to use every single time and an investment of 31 experience points to even have, is difficulty 7 to use at the incredible distance of three feet? And it can never fire more than sixteen feet, assuming you want to try to hit at a whopping difficulty 10?

                We'll leave guns out of this example, since a vampire is going to half the damage for bashing. So we'll go with a relative mundane counterpart, the crossbow.

                Base Damage: 5
                Range: 20
                Difficulty 4-6
                Expends: Nothing
                Experience Cost: 0

                Thor's Fury:
                Base Damage: 0
                Range 4 (at best)
                Difficulty 7-10
                Expends: Blood
                Experience Cost: 31
                I was also looking at this path recently and though I don't mind the other issues, the range is ridiculous.

                I would home rule that as difficulty 6 up to 5 meters, the difficulty increasing by 1 for every additional 5 meters. So, 7 for 6-10, 8 for 11-15, 9 for 16-20, 10 for 21-25.

                That's still rather close range, but a lot more reasonable given the damage it can deal.