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  • Incentivizing being controlled

    Short n sweet. Player munchkin o sought out a toreador elder. He antagonized many people to show off his prowess and establish himself.
    Given the current chronicle status the elder needs another patsy, errr I mean champion. So she obliged the meeting and entranced him for a whopping 6 successes. He isn’t bondable so what other tricks can be used that the elder would do to keep him under her thumb?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Pnizzle View Post
    Short n sweet. Player munchkin o sought out a toreador elder. He antagonized many people to show off his prowess and establish himself.
    Given the current chronicle status the elder needs another patsy, errr I mean champion. So she obliged the meeting and entranced him for a whopping 6 successes. He isn’t bondable so what other tricks can be used that the elder would do to keep him under her thumb?
    I generally ask the players to roleplay out being controlled. It's surprising but the sheer most MESSED UP stuff that has ever happened to my PCs were created by their deranged little minds.

    Things the PCs came up with when asked by me to come up with 'Things Elders Dominate you to do

    * Killing their mortal family
    * Becoming Helene's blood sex slave
    * Becoming the blood bag of a perpetual fourteen year old girl
    * Murdering innocent people regularly and forgetting about it.
    * Embracing people, chaining them up, and delivering them as meals.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 10-08-2018, 06:24 PM.


    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pnizzle View Post
      Short n sweet. Player munchkin o sought out a toreador elder. He antagonized many people to show off his prowess and establish himself.
      Given the current chronicle status the elder needs another patsy, errr I mean champion. So she obliged the meeting and entranced him for a whopping 6 successes. He isn’t bondable so what other tricks can be used that the elder would do to keep him under her thumb?
      1) Blackmail.

      2) Threatening loved ones, or something else the PC values.

      3) Extracting a point of their Vitae, so they can threaten to sick a blood sorcerer on them from afar.

      4) Getting the PC hooked on a drug (mixed in blood) that is difficult to procure without the elder's resources.

      5) Dominating the PC into regularly reporting their activities, so the elder knows how to force the PC's hand.

      6) Promising to provide the PC resources, then threatening to take those resources away if the PC doesn't comply.


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      • #4
        How elder are they? Because letting the player do a bunch of things then finding out all their "plans" were setup by judicious use of Auspex, presence and hyper social skills.... that all is Keikaku

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        • #5
          There are some scenes in True Blood where characters start dreaming about vampires that have fed from them, constantly thinking about them, wondering where they'll turn up and what they think the vampire would want them to do.
          I'd suggest something like that; Dreaming about the person, describe a scene and point out aspects to Sir Munchkin that the elder would probably want to know about, it might make them happy which would make Munchkin happy.
          If you want to take autonomy away from them, describe them always ending up in areas they expect the Elder to be when they're wandering - like out for Hunting.

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          • #6
            In the second edition of Requiem they did something nice: interpreting conditions, including being dominated, is one of the key to gain experience points. Same for cultivating aspirations in the mortal and vampire world (which means, for the question of the post, that the vampire has better defined concerns and interests and things they care about that can be clearly be used against them). Defending one's ties to the mortal world (Touchstones) also yields XP (or rather 1/5 of an XP, called a beat), if I recall correctly. there's a few more ways to acquire beats. The point is that, in that system, PCs grow by their players making conscious decisions to put the PC in a dangerous or uncomfortable spot and they don't even need to wait for the ST to give them the XP at the end of the session for "interpreting the character well": they get the beat automatically (but still at the end of the session) if they do one of the things I mentioned and the few which I did not mention.

            This is VtM, of course, so XP work very differently, but it's something to think about. If players perceive that putting their characters on the line and stop running away from elder compulsion is what allows them to actually grow, their attitude might change, without having to look for alternative ways to compel them. There's just gonna be fewer characters with Iron Will and Willpower 10 around (unless they're thaumaturges, as they're justified). If you like the idea you might tweak the reward system to try it out. Note that in VtR2e you don't get 1 XP for resolving conditions like dominate, but only 1/5 of an XP, called a beat, but experience costs there are linear, not incremental. Your fifth dot in a stat costs the same XP as your first and costs are generally lower. Ex.: in-clan disciplines are at 3 or 4 XP per dot, out of clan are at 4 or 5. Multiply that per five to have an idea of how much effort a character needs to have enough beats to raise a trait.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pnizzle View Post
              Short n sweet. Player munchkin o sought out a toreador elder. He antagonized many people to show off his prowess and establish himself.
              Given the current chronicle status the elder needs another patsy, errr I mean champion. So she obliged the meeting and entranced him for a whopping 6 successes. He isn’t bondable so what other tricks can be used that the elder would do to keep him under her thumb?
              Given how you describe the mechanics, I assume this is in a V20 game, right?

              Five successes with the Presence 3 power of Entrancement would usually yield a year of willing servitude. So, this is an unusual situation because with 6 successes you are literally off the chart. For a quick and dirty ruling, I would set the resulting duration at a decade, which seems like a reasonable expansion of the successes chart.

              During that time, as is usual for Presence powers, the pc must spend a willpower every time resist serving their new master. This, however, has the drawback of lots of accounting, and the need for you to be constantly mindful of what the elder would want.

              A better solution might be to model the mechanics on the full blood-bond. There are many similarities between the two conditions, such as carrying emotional power, being resisted with willpower, and being more-or-less permanent without a period of separation from the object of affection. It's not a perfect match, but the mechanics are probably the easiest in the game. Frankly, the elder is likely to go ahead and blood bond the pc anyway. You might as well get it over with.

              However, the process of cold-turkeying from a domitor can take over a story if the servitude isn't meant to be a central plot. Do you really want one of your players refusing to go anywhere other vampires might be for fear of running into their master? Think of how that would impact your ability to present new plot hooks.

              So, if you don't want to use the Blood Bond mechanics, you could just have the pc constantly spending willpower to resist the urge to serve. However, for the pc, spending a point of willpower to resist really offers no resistance at all. It just forces the elder to ask multiple times to burn through the temporary willpower.

              The conversations would go like this:

              Master: Do this thing for me.
              PC: Hell, no. (spends a willpower)
              Master: Do this thing for me.
              PC: Heck, no. (spends a willpower)
              Master: Do this thing for me.
              PC: Nuh-uh. (spends a willpower)
              Master: Do this thing for me.
              PC: I said, "no". (spends a willpower)
              Master: Do this thing for me.
              PC: Umm, errr.... no. (spends a willpower)
              Master: Do this thing for me.
              PC: No, thank you, I'd rather not. (spends a willpower)
              Master: Do this thing for me.
              PC: Thanks for suggesting it, but may I not? (spends a willpower)
              Master: Do this thing for me.
              PC: Please, don't make me. (spends last willpower)
              Master: Do this thing for me.
              PC: Okay.
              If you seriously want to incentivize service, you need to use a carrot, not a stick. The least complicated way I can think of to model the pc's enforced loyalty is to change their Nature to Soldier, with the only acceptable orders coming from the elder. This has the advantage of merging seamlessly into your game and not requiring further maintenance of mechanics beyond what every pc needs to keep track of. It also has a rough equivalence to the canon solution of having the pc spend willpower every time they want to act independently, but with less book-keeping. (Also, fewer silly conversations with repeated requests.)

              You'll wind up with the pc actively seeking to serve the elder whenever they need to fill up on willpower.

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