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Suggestions for how to powergame and min/max V5. Yes, really.

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  • Suggestions for how to powergame and min/max V5. Yes, really.

    Maybe, you think min/maxers ruin the game by ignoring role-playing and dramatic possibilities. Maybe, you're impressed with their mastery of the rules. Maybe, you think they are just following one of many equally valid ways of playing the game. In any case, they do exist, and need to be discussed in the context of V5.

    With each new edition, the community of VtM players sifted through the rules to find loopholes, strategies, and inobvious rules synergies which could be exploited. Did we do it because we were an ST looking to nip min/maxing in the bud? ("You want to play a Nosferatu with Vicissitude? Ummm...") Did we do it because we wanted a character who really was the very, very best at what they do and wanted mechanics to reflect that? ("I'm a leader. I'll buy high social stats, high social skills, and, umm, Natural Leader, Enchanting Voice, and Presence.") Did we do it because we really were just trying to beat the system. ("No, I didn't buy any Retainers. Hey, you, cop on the beat, drink this cup of, umm, energy drink which tastes and looks suspiciously like blood. And here's some for you and you and you and...")

    Perhaps, most admirably, some of us simply wanted to put the system through its paces and learn where the loopholes were to close them. For those people, this topic can be a sort of "Defense of the Dark Arts" thread.

    I'm not here to ask whether min/maxing is good or bad. I just want to know what rules loopholes have been found in V5.

    Here's what I've got so far:
    (Those marked with a * are highly dependent on how the ST runs the chronicle. More *s mean even moreso.)

    Character Concept and Skills
    • As in past editions, animals nebulously hate vampires... unless you buy Animalism, or the much, much cheaper one dot of Animal Ken. Sure, you don't get a Famulus bringing you your newspaper and slippers, but if all you want is to walk down the street without random dogs turning to Cujo, this is how. (V5, p164)
    • Predator Types. Hmm... which one? They all have Advantages and Flaws attached to them. Oh, wait, except for Sandman. An extra dot of Resources is useful, and either Auspex or Obfuscate are solid disciplines. If in the layout phase they forgot to include flaws, well, that's makes this the PT of choice. (V5, p178)
    • Convictions sound like additional moral rules you need to follow, and they can be. Mechanically, though, what they do is allow you to ignore some stains if you committed the sin for your Conviction. It's like your dad being the judge. It won't get you out of everything, but it sure puts a thumb on the scale of justice. Choose carefully. "None may control me" allows you to attack anyone who would control you... which in WoD is everybody. "The guilty must be punished" similarly refers to nearly everyone. Get creative. "Acquire power" or "Convince others you're a monster" could be useful. Convictions are for rules-lawyers who would like to write the rules. ***
    • Touchstones don't have mechanics for how self-sufficient the TS needs to be. Which is riskier: a child who lives in gang territory, or the wife of a prominent politician? One could die tomorrow, the other likely has full-time security. Nothing says your TS can't be a recently retired SpecOps officer, or a beloved religious leader. **
    Required Flaws
    • Required Flaws 1, The Lovebirds: You and another player both take Long Bond (1) and Bond Junkie(1). Immediately enter a mutual bond with the other pc. Justifying backstory: we were newlyweds when embraced.
    • Required Flaws 2, the Alter Kocher: Methuselah's Thirst(1) for you, and have one or more other players play a Thin Blood or Tremere. No blood bonds for you, thank you. It would be polite to provide this coterie-mate with access to your large Herd. Also take Living in the Past (1), with a well-chosen Conviction. "Be polite", and "Maintain Modest Dress Codes" are especially playable.
    • Required Flaws, the Disposable: Stake Bait(2) is a weird one. It doesn't limit you in any way until it destroys you. Perfect for a short chronicle, or one with burner pcs and a high turn-over rate. Question for your ST: does a pc with Stakebait know it? If so, how? **
    Clandicapping:
    (In which I attempt to briefly handicap the clan choices for book-standard characters and assign them an American-style school grade for desirability. These evaluations would be different, of course, at higher levels of play.)

    Brujah: B Solid discipline spread. Moderate bane. Useful for working-joe vanilla vampires, and new players. Take Sandman for the disciplines. ***

    Gangrel: C Mixed bag. Disciplines are utter rubbish at low levels, so choose your Predator Type carefully. Upside is the Bane is nearly non-existent if no frenzies happen, or at low BPs. If they do, go to ground for one night, and/or ride the wave. *

    Malkavian: B- Disciplines are awesome, as always. Bane is not terrible for a specialist character. (ie a physical build who loses their mental attributes will still be fine.) Ask your ST about clan compulsions, though.

    Nosferatu: C- Potence and Obfuscate useful, Animalism less so. Bane is minor at low BPs for non-social concepts, though note there is no exception for Intimidation. *

    Toreador: A- Awesome disciplines. Bane not bad for either those who move in stylish circles (buy Luxury Haven!) or take disciplines with no roll. Note that Celerity has no activation rolls at level one, and Daunt's requirement that attackers succeed on a roll to attack is not hurt by the bane, since it's the attacker rolling, not the Toreador. Long live the Wareador! **

    Tremere: B+ Disciplines still quite good, even with Blood Sorcery changes. Disciplines likely to improve with new books expanding Thaum. power creep.

    Ventrue: A+ Disciplines okay, if a little redundant. Fortitude still the red-headed step-child of physical disciplines at low levels. I didn't think V5 could make the flaw less restrictive, but they did. Spend your BP in willpower to ignore your Bane. Oh, and added a magical Detect My Feeding Preference power. Take "my opponents and their agents" as feeding type, and Alleycat as Pred Type for the disciplines. If you leap on a random person, they become an opponent, plus now you can detect enemy agents in your organization. It's good to be the king.

    Caitiff: A Obviously, custom disciplines are nice. Note, they need not be trained by a teacher for new disciplines, Caitiff just need to taste the blood of someone who has the discipline. A small group of Caitiff could quickly have access to every discipline. You can't buy positive status during chagen, but note that all other Backgrounds are available to help you gain Status later. Also, bane does not scale with BP, making this ideal for an elder chronicle. Sweet, overall, for outsider and generalist concepts. Vanilla vampire heaven. *

    ThinBlood D Hard to grade this one, because it's such a wild-card. It's an intentionally weaker, more adaptable class. Might be workable with a high herd rating and time to prepare allowing access to most level one disciplines. If the ST makes you take this, best use is probably to start here, build up a powerbase, then diablerize a Ventrue or Tremere. Probably best to consider this one to still be in beta-testing until it gets some more material released on it.

    Next time... thin-blood merits and flaws. Then, maybe, disciplines and advantages.


    Jump in to add any rules exploits -or simply tips for character builds- you have found!

  • PazuzuAxelf
    replied
    How on earth are you not rating Animalism higher? Sense the Beast passively informing you of all hostile intent is absolutely amazing. Easily one of the best level 1 powers. Feral Whispers at level 2 is just as versatile as the combination of the first two dots in previous editions. Need spies? Got em. Non-technology based messaging? Got that too. It's such a powerful discipline with a creative player. Power gamers should be all over it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kammerer
    replied
    I'm gonna give a hard take, but the linked article is garbage. It's vastly overstating the "issue" of Wareador (despite correctly noting that any other clan with Celerity works just as well), but also gives this:
    Wareadors don’t fit into the World of Darkness for a different reason. Toreadors love art and the expression of their creativity. A Toreador who was a martial artist might be extremely good at the exhibition of the martial art that they study, but might not be good at applying it. A Toreador martial artist might use a flying round house kick, which is gorgeous in the dojo, but is almost useless in a real fight. Certainly, this Toreador martial artist wouldn’t have ever killed anyone. And the first time that this Toreador martial artist does kill someone, it would shake him to his core, making him question his values. How would he feel as he realizes that he’s killed someone, even in self defense? He’s a murderer. This is a much different character from the Wareador who slices through every problem with his twin katanas and diablerizes his way up the generation chart.
    A "Toreador" loves whatever they want to love. Every Toreador is fascinated by art, they get fuzzy-wuzzies from seeing art, but they don't have to be an artist. A mob collector who goes to an art gallery on Sundays to get off to Van Gogh is a perfectly fine Toreador. A McDonalds burger flipper with a gelbooru account is a perfectly fine Toreador. A papparazi is a perfectly fine Toreador.

    Clan is not a mold you stamp on the character. Yes, some traits will be similar among the clan members. There are probably a lot of Toreador artists precisely because Toreador are fascinated by art and thus are likely to have positive feelings towards an artist and want to embrace them. But there's probably quite a few Toreadors who've been embraced as a reward for a service, promoted ghouls, mass embrace survivors, etc.

    Leave a comment:


  • Aleph
    replied
    Originally posted by Nosimplehiway
    It took a few years in the 90's for players to grasp the sheer combat power available to a Wareador
    As a small digress, going outside V5 and into older editions for the Wareador: If your Toreador considers violence an art form, if you think combat it's beautiful...shouldn't that imply that seeing combat triggers your Toreador weakness forcing you to make a Willpower roll to keep battling instead of becoming immobilized with fascination at the technique showed by your enemies?.
    Last edited by Aleph; 07-26-2019, 08:50 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kammerer
    replied
    I think there are things to consider when it comes to merits:

    Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
    Baby Teeth: For animal blood drinkers or baggers, no problem. Otherwise, nope.
    This is mostly a roleplaying challenge. Baby Teeth makes it way harder to feed spontaneously. But you can likely figure out a feeding routine for how people let you drain them. 100% for Consensualists, and everyone with Presence or Dominate,

    Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
    Clan Curse: Take this one.
    Clan Curse is very good. The best by far is the Assamite clan curse because it will probably never come up.

    Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
    Mortal Frailty.
    IMHO, Mortal Frailty is fine. Just avoid combat.

    Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
    Vitae Dependency
    The cheese way with this is to take a High Clan loresheet (because you claim to be a Toreador or something) and take High Clan 2 for a sub-coterie of thin-blood underlings.

    Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
    Day Drinker.
    Day Drinker is really good, but is kind of a pain in the ass for your ST. Because when you have one Thin-Blood, Day Drinker means splitting the party. IMHO, both it and Golconda 5 should be a once-per-session ability.

    Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
    Discipline Affinity: Every TB should take this! Ask your ST if you can take it twice.
    I disagree. Disciplines are pricy for thin-bloods, and you could very well be spending this XP on being Mister Skill or being the world's smartest vampire. Or, you know, pumping all the XP into the star of the show - Thin-Blood Alchemy.

    Thin-Blood Alchemy
    IMHO, the reason to play a thin-blood. However, Thin-Blood Alchemy is really, really badly written. How long do the powers last? Is Athanor Corporis the best distillation method because it distills in three turns and everything else takes months? In what world is Calcinatio remotely plausible for a PC?

    Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
    Lifelike
    The main benefits of Lifelike are the ability to eat food and have sex and all that fun stuff. Lifelike + Day Drinker combo is amazing for a person, and more or less means you are a Human+. But it's not actually that great for a player character, so I think there are better things to do with your three merit slots.
    Generally, my Thin-Blood grocery list looks like this:
    Merits:
    • Thin-Blood Alchemist
    • Day Drinker
    • Lifelike (for roleplaying) or Catenating Blood (for power)
    Flaws:
    • Shunned by the Anarchs
    • Mortal Frailty (don't forget to put dots into medicine)
    • Clan Curse

    Leave a comment:


  • Kammerer
    replied
    Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
    [*]Social: the Camarilla has worked to mark all TBs with a brand. Supposedly, everyone... even Anarchs who ignore Camarilla law otherwise... treat the TBs who are marked like shit because of this. Why do the Anarchs, Autarkis, etc. all go along with this? Because the books says so, that's why. ***
    The obvious answer is that Anarchs are cut from the same cloth as the Camarilla, and have continued carrying the prejudices of the Camarilla. That's consistent with everything we know about Anarchs.

    Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
    All TBs always have the Blush of Life active. The precise effects of this depend on Humanity, but it makes bledning in with humans much, much easier. Which, no one in-universe seems to have noticed, because...
    I'm sure they have noticed, but so what? Vampires can already activate Blush of Life. Or send a ghoul to act on your behalf during the day. And ghouls have a benefit of not being involved in any doomsday prophecies.

    Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
    "Many Kindred view the thin-bloods as a threat to the Masquerade and will destroy them, if given the chance." Why? Because the book says so, that's why. *****
    Because your stereotypical thin-blood has been embraced by accident, has no sire taking care of them and is completely clueless. Like a Caitiff, but of even lower class.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nosimplehiway
    replied
    Correction: Clan flaws scale with Bane Severity, which is always 1 for Thin Bloods with the clan curse flaw, not Blood Potency directly.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nosimplehiway
    replied
    CookieSorcerer

    Thin Bloods are a big topic for min/maxing. Because they are, in large part, not the same thin-bloods that existed in V20&pre it can be hard to analyze. I think they are still sort of in the testing phase until WoD players and STs have time to play with them and find all the loopholes. (cf: It took a few years in the 90's for players to grasp the sheer combat power available to a Wareador. Once we did, a lot of sexy military veterans and cops started showing up in games.) Also, because of the vagueness and disorganization of V5 products, it is a little hard to nail down details. I expect once Onyx Path gets hold of the material, things will become clearer.

    That said, I'd be happy to take a crack at them. As always, this is just my own opinion, ymmv, ask your ST, etc. I'm certain others will jump in with opinions on them, as well. Anywhere you see the notation *****, it means check with your ST, because there is a vagueness in the rules that can be interpreted anywhere from over-powered to under-powered, depending on the ST.

    First, understand that TBs are barely vampires. No, wait, it's not that they are barely vampires, it's that they are a different and parallel species of vampire that somehow arise from the standard WoD vampires. More like they are super-revenants, I guess? So, I'll compare and contrast TBs and standard vamps, since if TBs are vastly better or worse than vampires just as base characters, it doesn't matter how good or bad the merits and flaws are.

    Note, that this only uses the V5 corebook. Also, note, I have not proofread or edited this post. It is pure stream of consciousness. Let's pretend there's a thing called "artisanally written".

    Differences from book standard non-TBs:
    1. Thin Blood do not age, get mortal diseases, and are unable to have babies.
    2. Social: the Camarilla has worked to mark all TBs with a brand. Supposedly, everyone... even Anarchs who ignore Camarilla law otherwise... treat the TBs who are marked like shit because of this. Why do the Anarchs, Autarkis, etc. all go along with this? Because the books says so, that's why. ***
    3. All TBs always have the Blush of Life active. The precise effects of this depend on Humanity, but it makes bledning in with humans much, much easier. Which, no one in-universe seems to have noticed, because...
    4. "Many Kindred view the thin-bloods as a threat to the Masquerade and will destroy them, if given the chance." Why? Because the book says so, that's why. *****
    5. TBs do not suffer from their ancestors' clan curse, or clan compulsion.
    6. Generation is essentially meaningless to TBs. All have Blood Potency 0. They are not able to create a blood bond, or embrace with any certainty. If they feed a ghoul, it only powers that ghoul for one night. Since they can't bond, this could lead to a ghoul holding a TB for their nightly fix.
    7. Staking them does not paralyze them. It just causes massive damage. Kind of like when... you know... a human gets stabbed through the heart with a stake.
    8. In addition fire that agg damages standard vamps, TBs also take agg damage from the stuff that causes agg damage to humans, like slashing and piercing weapons. Upside: once damaged, they heal like other vampires.
    9. Disciplines. They don't, usually, have any dots in disciplines. Instead, they gain a single dot and power (or, rarely, more) in a discipline from the resonance of their last meal, even if that blood wouldn't ordinarily have much resonance. They keep this power until Hunger reaches 5, or they feed again, at which point they gain a new power. V5 core is super-vague about how this power is selected. It is possible a TB going into Elysium could feed on the right vessel and get Presence, while one entering combat could feed for a physical discipline. In theory, this could work as "I have access to all one dot powers, if I plan my meals right". Downside, they will only ever have a single dot of a single discipline, because they can't increase it with xp. *****
    10. TBs never frenzy until provoked by a power of some sort that causes frenzy.
    11. Hunger works the same for TBs.
    12. TBs only take 1 level of superficial damage per turn from direct sunlight. TBs can block this with high SPF sunscreen, long sleeves, and floppy hats. (Seems dressing like a granma at a swimming pool is now goth.) Normal vamps suffer their Bane Severity in agg per turn.
    13. If a TB diablerizes a standard vamp, they increase their BP and gain the victim's clan. It is not explained how the clans react to this. ("Hi, Ventrue elders, I'm a new Ventrue." "None of us embraced you." "Right, I diablerized one of you." "Oh, okay. Welcome to the clan!")
    14. It is vaguely hinted at in V5 that there are ways to get back to being human, such as killing the sire. No mechanics, of course.
    15. It is unclear whether a TB takes a Predator Type, and, if so, how. Predator Types give a permanent dot in a discipline, which is contradictory. *****
    16. There is no Thin Blood specific Loresheet, which is a minor pitfall.

    So, how do TBs stack up against Standard Vamps? Well, there are several judgment calls involved, but over-all quite well. Especially, if the ST allows you to pick your power du jour from feeding, TBs are awesome. I would avoid dealing with standard vamps as much as possible, because most could curb stomp you. You can still keep something like a mortal life, though, maybe working at night or in a place that doesn't have lots of windows. Is immortality a good thing if you have to work as a subway toll booth attendant forever? YMMV.

    A few min/max tips that apply to all TBs.
    1. You can always stop being TB if one of your coterie can embrace someone and you diablerize them.
    2. Flipside, if you have someone who can't feed in humans anymore, let them feed on you.
    3. Be active mostly during the day, to avoid standard vampires. Choose a character concept that fits with covering up in the sun, like a woman who wears a hijab, or old person paranoid of skin cancer.
    4. Absolutely, take a Predator Type, if the ST allows it. I still like Sandman. It gives a permanent dot of Resources, and no flaws. Cleaver is an obvious choice for TBs, as well. Bagger is not bad. Avoid any that require lots of visibility, like Osiris or Scene Queen. *****
    5. Buy the Bloodhound merit! You can sense resonances, and choose your nightly power.
    6. Iron Gullet is also useful, since TBs often have to scrounge dinner.
    7. Caitiff can't buy Status at chagen, but I can't find anywhere that limits background purchases for TBs. Buy a dot each in Camarilla and Anarch Status. A Mawla or Contact in both sects might be helpful, too. Herd and Resources are always helpful. High Resources is invaluable to hiding among humans, as no day job is necessary.
    I can't find anywhere that disallows ***** Thin Bloods from taking Loresheets. Consider some of these:
    1. Circulatory System 1 makes finding specific resonances easier.
    2. Circulatory System 2 buffs TB alchemy. Also, useful for temporarily gaining an unusual one-night power.
    3. Carna 4 might allow a sort of blood bond. *****
    4. Convention of Thorns 2 lets you write minor laws, like, oh, say, "Thin Bloods are awesome." *****
    5. Sect War Survivor 2 gives three dots of Status or Mawla.
    6. Trinity 2 defuses violent actions against you by the local court.
    7. Voermann 1 makes feeding easy.
    8. Voermann 2 gives an entry into the prestation economy.
    9. Rudi 3 makes you sort of the local rep for the Gangrel. Odd, because there is no "Gangrel Only" tag on the Loresheet. *****
    10. See if a high-clan member of the coterie is interested in High Clan 3, to secure basic rights for TBs. Also, check with your ST. *****
    11. Fiorenza 1. Free servant/babysitter. Loresheet doesn't have a "Ventrue Only" tag. *****

    Even with all the flaws inherent to being TB, you still need to pick a flaw like any other SV.
    1. Any of the Bond flaws are good, if you can be bound to a coterie-mate.
    2. Stake Bait might be good, if you are not overly attached to your pc. You'll probably die if staked, anyway, even if you don't take this.
    3. No Haven might be a good choice. With resistance to sunlight, it's much easier to find shelter.
    4. Consider Dark Secret: Thin Blood. This makes it so that your character concept is "someone no one knows is thinblood". This gets you the social benefits of SVs, with the mechanical benefits of a TB. Sell it to your ST as adding drama to the chronicle. ****
    Now, onto the actual question... merits and flaws:
    • Baby Teeth: For animal blood drinkers or baggers, no problem. Otherwise, nope.
    • Bestial Temper: Not bad, unless you maintain a mortal life or like to walk in the sun. Puts you at book standard.
    • Branded by Camarilla/Shunned by the Anarchs/Anarch Comrades/Camarilla Contacts: Depends. If your ST runs the npcs as hating you anyway, take the flaws. if your ST runs npcs as judging you as an individual, take the merits. Otherwise, no. Ask the question during chagen, "If I don't take this, how will they treat me"? Decide from there. Also, if you have already decided to side with one sect or the other, then take them.
    • Clan Curse: Take this one. Ventrue is best choice, since you can ignore it by spending only 1 willpower, plus it grants a detection power. Tremere is second choice, since what are the odds you'll be in a position to bond another vampire anyway? Brujah is acceptable. Frenzies are bad, but a one die penalty to resist frenzy and taking Bestial Temper is basically one flaw, but you get credit for two. Gangrel, Malkavian, and Toreador are all scaled with Blood Potency, which is 1 for these purposes, so that's okay. Avoid Nosferatu, unless you want to hide your TB status. If you weren't planning to take Status anyway, ask your ST if Caitiff is an option.
    • Dead Flesh cancels one of the main benefits of being TB. So, a hard no. Well, maybe, if you take Clan Curse Nosferatu, and hide with them.
    • Mortal Frailty. No, except in a one-shot or if you are okay with dying a lot.
    • Vitae Dependency: Take it, if you have a coterie-mate who's a Tremere, or if you take unbondable.
    • Catenating Blood: Take it. The lack of blood bonds is the big downside of TBs.
    • Day Drinker. Take it if you want to hide as a mortal, or have a day job. Not if you are hiding as a standard vampire.
    • Discipline Affinity: Every TB should take this! Ask your ST if you can take it twice.
    • Lifelike: Okay for hiding among mortals; terrible for hiding among standard vampires. How often has your boss asked you to take an MRI to make sure you were alive, anyway?
    • Vampiric Resilience: Obligatory for any TB focused on combat, but I wouldn't take TB for that concept, anyway. Nice on the rare occasion you get staked. You already heal like a vampire, so maybe better to work on your blood supply to heal.
    Thin-Blood alchemy deserves its own section. It is too soon to tell. If your ST loves TBA, take it because they will allow all sorts of stuff just to try out the system. If, like me, they're wary of it since there hasn't been enough work done on the mechanics, don't take it. Also, note there is no clear ruling on whether you lose it by committing diablerie and ceasing to be a TB. All those points could just go away. Wait for more rules to come out in new books before taking it. In summary, everything about TBA is TBA.

    So, here's my summary:
    • Take ThinBlood if you are in a street-level chronicle where being a social outsider is true of all pcs, regardless of clan. Otherwise, probably not.
    • There are two basic paths: hiding among humans to avoid vampires, and hiding as a vampire among your betters. If you do the former, choose your concept carefully, take Catenating Blood to nail down one loyal human ally, and take human backgrounds like Resources. If the latter, take vampire society backgrounds (like Status and Mawla), consider a clan flaw, and look at how Loresheets can help you... especially the Voermanns.
    • Thin Bloods are not combat monsters against vampires, unless they attack during the day.
    • Attack during the day.
    • TBs are best suited to support roles, like a daytime gofer for a sect.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kammerer
    replied
    Originally posted by CookieSorcerer View Post
    Giovanni here resurrecting this thread. How would you rank thin blood merits and flaws, since they can't pick predator types?
    There's only one line in the book saying Thin-Bloods can't take predator type, and its validity is extremely questionable.

    Leave a comment:


  • CookieSorcerer
    replied
    Giovanni here resurrecting this thread. How would you rank thin blood merits and flaws, since they can't pick predator types?
    Last edited by CookieSorcerer; 07-24-2019, 01:07 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Monalfie
    replied
    Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
    Y tho? Predator Types are guidelines. These rolls are super arbitrary and you don't have to follow them at all. You can totally be an Osiris with no Fame who feeds via Charisma+Persuasion on her cultists (three times a week) and random people on the street (four times a week).
    Well, the book does suggest going off the typical roll can also lead to complications itself at the Storyteller's discretion. Obviously this will vary widely depending on the table.

    I also strongly disagree with your evaluation of Sandman. Just like in previous editions, the optimal build is maxing out freebies by taking as many flaws as possible. And in V5 you can't take flaws. You only get stuff from your PT - 1 free merit dot and up to two more merit dots in exchange for 2 flaws. And Sandman is the worst here. Sandman gets 1/0 instead of 3/2. That's a downside, not an upside.
    Well, you'd probably have to weigh the merits against the flaws here. But it is a fair point to make. Sandman does seem to get less for the lack of flaw.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kammerer
    replied
    Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
    On a personal note, whoever had the idea to split Predator Types and Predator Pools up between p175 and p307... I dislike you intensely right now. You have made it so I have to constantly flip back and forth to compare the PTs.
    Y tho? Predator Types are guidelines. These rolls are super arbitrary and you don't have to follow them at all. You can totally be an Osiris with no Fame who feeds via Charisma+Persuasion on her cultists (three times a week) and random people on the street (four times a week).

    I also strongly disagree with your evaluation of Sandman. Just like in previous editions, the optimal build is maxing out freebies by taking as many flaws as possible. And in V5 you can't take flaws. You only get stuff from your PT - 1 free merit dot and up to two more merit dots in exchange for 2 flaws. And Sandman is the worst here. Sandman gets 1/0 instead of 3/2. That's a downside, not an upside.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nosimplehiway
    replied
    Predator Types for Power Gamers

    Sandman: Just saying it again: yes, yes, and yes, please. Due to a presumed lay-out error, this is as all up-side. Skip the anaesthetics, and go straight for Obfuscate and Stealth for a thief build. Auspex is useful for almost any build. Resources +1 could use some more points spent on it. Money may not buy happiness, but poverty buys nothing at all. A+

    Cleaver: If you're an ST reading this thread as Defense Against the Dark Arts: Loophole Alert! The specialties are pools that tend to crop up a lot in VtM. Dominate makes for a great one-dot dip for a non-social clan. All that is fine, but the problem is the flaw and advantage. The description says other vampires are likely to kill the Cleaver's family for chuckles. If they do, this effectively removes the Dark Secret: Cleaver flaw, and the merit buy-back rules (V5, p180) means the player gets Herd or it's point equivalent back. Since the family is dead, this time around it won't be a Cleaver Herd. A

    Alleycat: Useful for reaching level 3 in Celerity or Potence. More usefully, allows a one dot dip to toughen a clan without combat disciplines, like Malks and Tremere. (A Malk with Lethal Body and an Intimidation specialty? Brrr.) Note, this PT is less situational than others, just requiring a human who strays from public areas. Only flaw is slightly lower Humanity. A-

    Osiris: The hunting roll can be Intimidation+Fame, making it the cheapest hunting roll, especially when you consider you're getting some free Fame from the PT. Variable specialties make it more customizable. Presence 1 is a nice one-dot dip for a non-social clan, like Gangrel or Nosferatu. Awe partially offsets their clan weaknesses, and Daunt is my new favorite toy. The customizability of the flaws is also nice. "Oh, no, somebody spilled seeds! How ever will I find a path to go around it?" B+

    Bagger: Larceny and Obfuscate makes this the thief class. Iron Gullet is a four dot merit for a reason, it's useful. "Enemy 1" just means there is a source of blood actively seeking you out. This could be weirdly useful. Or, just kill your enemy. (cf Cleaver loophole) B

    Siren: Persuasion or Subterfuge is useful to any vampire. Presence is a good choice for cross-training non-social clans. How Fortitude got here, I have no idea. Never mind, though, it's rubbish at low levels. Again, the Enemy flaw means your dinner is hunting for you. Feeding requires more prep than other PTs, including bathing, dressing, going to the rack, etc. B-

    Scene Queen: Why doesn't this give Presence? With it's Awe/Daunt choice it could work for any subculture. Dominate and Potence are an odd choice, but makes this useful to clans trying to cross-train. (Tremere with Potence, Nosferatu with Dominate, etc.) Avoid Prey Exclusion with it's added Tenet. (Does "I'm a punk, I feed from punks, and have to keep everyone else from feeding from anything but a punk" make any sense at all?) But, then again, if you take Disliked you are penalizing social rolls you just improved with the skill specialties. This muddled mess isn't worth a dot each in Fame and Contacts. C

    Blood Leech: A hard "no". It has the lowered Humanity of Alleycat, plus Dark Secret/Shunned and Prey Exclusion. The rest is comparable to Alleycat. Only useful if you're building to Protean 3 and don't want Farmer. Even then, a bad deal. Worst of all, there is no rolling allowed to hunt! "The Storyteller should not abstract something like this to a set of die rolls", says p370. Possibly not bad if there is a Tremere pc, or you were planning to take un-bondable anyway. D-

    Consensualist: Auspex 1 is a solid addition to any character. The specialty (victims) is super-broad. Unfortunately, turning "feeding on a non-consenting vessel, or allowing anyone else to do so" into a campaign Tenet for one pc is unacceptable. It makes that pc too hard to play, and could interfere with the story's narrative by constantly derailing the story for a scolding session. In the long run, this PT will give you a lower Humanity, not higher. F

    Farmer: The big question here is "what happens when you reach BP 3?" Assuming you keep the benefits, can buy off the flaw, and just get nostalgic for your younger nights when you pass the dog park, it's okay. If it means you need to spend 2 pts of Willpower to feed from humans for the rest of eternity... well, then this PT needs to go live on a farm upstate. C/F
    NB: On a personal note, whoever had the idea to split Predator Types and Predator Pools up between p175 and p307... I dislike you intensely right now. You have made it so I have to constantly flip back and forth to compare the PTs. If you trick-or-treated at my house I would give you circus peanuts and candy-corn.

    NB2: Fun fact: Blood Leech used to be called "Headhunter" at some point in development, and page 307 never got the memo.

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  • Monalfie
    replied
    Originally posted by Coridan View Post
    I think consensualist is supposed to encompass a lot more than just that one example of tricking them, and I think it means more not forcing yourself on them. The big difference is a Bagger can take old blood bags, the consensualist in the example is getting it fresh just via a syringe and then going behind a curtain lol
    My bigger issue is that the Consensualist should be about, you know, getting consent. If consent by deceit is fine, it kind of removes much of a distinction between it and other predator types, beyond the most naked use of brute force.

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  • Faerl
    replied
    Originally posted by Coridan View Post
    I think consensualist is supposed to encompass a lot more than just that one example of tricking them, and I think it means more not forcing yourself on them. The big difference is a Bagger can take old blood bags, the consensualist in the example is getting it fresh just via a syringe and then going behind a curtain lol

    If a Consensualist predator vampire take the Feeding Merit: Iron Gullet he will be able to feed from blood bag. By default, I conside that the blood from a blood bad has been given with free will so the Consensualist could feed from it.
    So feeding from a Bagger and Consensualist may in some case be similar, the big difference between then is their mentality and the way to play them.
    If a Consensualist and a Bagger are played in the same way, it would be sad.

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