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  • These new Lasombras

    I saw something on Facebook about these new Lasombras and I agree with that poster:

    Making the Lasombra bane have a Bane Severity +2 to use any modern technology will ruin the play for many concepts of playing a Lasombra. This will be the only clan who is forced to put dots in technology and maybe drive just to being able to exist. They will not be able to use smartphones modern radions, mp3s, TVs DVDs Videos or cameras. This was prbably the worst thing i have seen in this book.

    Most appartment houses/blocks in Scandinavia has a electronic lock to get into the building before you can go up to your appartment. And you will have to wait for a happy neighbour to go out because you cannot get back home and you better have a ghoul who will stay by the door so that you wont be exposed to the morning sun as we do not have milk men and most post is delivered around lunch.

    You must really have wanted that Lasombras would be forced to be anachronistic and use cellphoes from the 80's (if the game master is kind) and most modern TVS and other equipment that uses remote controls will be impossible to use, which is quite bad write up in my opinion. This to me is to ruin my favourite clan. But you dont want the lasombra to have a fighting chance so I understand.

    Then they are wandering masquerade breakers and cant move in cities like London, Stockholm, or use any modern subway system without buying at least obfuscate 3, which will be approximately 36-42 game sessions. So that they can enjoy Ghost in the Machine and Unseen Presence.

    The Lasombras who come to Chicago has already broken the masquerade by travelling from one airport to another, with that security o modern airports they have already been outed, not to mention all traffic cameras or security cameras i neighbourhoods, atm machines (forget that they wont be able to use them, or a standard credit card - ,aybe they will walk around with loot bags with gold coins).

    No, this supplement really ruined this clan and that was sad.

    Mind that I love Oblivion (best discipline this far - so alien and fun) and the story with the Lasombras, its just that it will not be practical to play them.


    But this might want me to remove myself from the kickstarter
















  • #2
    Technology? Isn't that what Ghouls are for?


    "The only consistent wisdom is in knowing you know nothing" ~ Socrates

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    • #3
      In all seriousness, it only relates to the use of communication in general so a phone won't by default stop working, but they may have problems with their voice glitching or something. My question would be whether this affects internet activity or only video/audio. If it's only video/audio then that's not so bad and is in line with the not appearing on cameras aspect, but if it's typing as well, something I'm disinclined to believe, then that creates a greater problem. I do think it's worth finding out though


      "The only consistent wisdom is in knowing you know nothing" ~ Socrates

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      • #4
        Without resorting to the ole "house rule it" I would think its less of an obstacle to the Lasombra than you surmise. The advent of the Second Inquisition has led the Camarilla to become less dependent on technology, not more dependent. Chances are, if they're traveling, they might even resort to car or ship travel rather than plane travel because of the intense surveillance of airports. If they do use a phone, and somebody records it, they'll likely have a difficult time identifying the caller if the bane causes distortion; that could be an advantage. In the case of locks, those locks might malfunction allowing the Lasombra easy access. In terms of story, it's a fair argument that Camarilla opposed to the Lasombra might use their weakness as a reason why the Camarilla might deny entry; time has passed them by, they're not meant to survive in the modern nights.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Imthestein View Post
          In all seriousness, it only relates to the use of communication in general so a phone won't by default stop working, but they may have problems with their voice glitching or something. My question would be whether this affects internet activity or only video/audio. If it's only video/audio then that's not so bad and is in line with the not appearing on cameras aspect, but if it's typing as well, something I'm disinclined to believe, then that creates a greater problem. I do think it's worth finding out though
          It's somewhat... ambiguous.
          The first paragraph of the Bane says that all technology "relying on touch or other form of direct interaction tends to glitch or simply act unresponsive", the second gives only a roll (Technology vs 2+Bane Strength) when it comes to communication technology. And to be quite honest: Ugh. The fact that PCs can always stay in contact with one another is one of the very best parts of modern settings.

          That, however, isn't all, because the Magisters are apparently too special to have just one Bane.
          - Lasombra must roll Technology vs 2+Bane Strength for every use of communication technology, including simple phone calls.
          - Lasombra can instantly be discovered to be vampires by anyone who looks at them via mirror or recording, if that person knows what they're looking for, apparently without a roll
          - Lasombra make checks to evade electronic vampire detection devices at +Bane Strength difficulty

          And then comes the final part, the Compulsion: The next time any of your actions fail, take a -2 dice penalty on all actions until you can attempt the action again and succeed. No other time limit, just trying again and succeeding counts. The Compulsion doesn't say how similar the actions need to be either - if you failed to seduce mortal A, do you have to try again with them or would seducing mortal B suffice to end the Compulsion?
          (Also note that there are actually very few Compulsions that can only be ended by a successful die roll - most end either with the scene, like a Toreador's Obsession, or by a player's action, like a Brujah's Rebellion.)

          All in all, I think these drawbacks are rather on the heavy side. As it stands right now, I'm somewhat glad Lasombra were relegated to another supplement outside the Core - this is stuff beginners will not have fun with. It feels more on a difficulty level of for example the Lamia or Nagaraja bloodlines.

          Originally posted by Ruthven View Post
          If they do use a phone, and somebody records it, they'll likely have a difficult time identifying the caller if the bane causes distortion; that could be an advantage. In the case of locks, those locks might malfunction allowing the Lasombra easy access.
          Nope - the bane explicitly does not provide protection against being identified (which would be actually cool).

          In terms of story, it's a fair argument that Camarilla opposed to the Lasombra might use their weakness as a reason why the Camarilla might deny entry; time has passed them by, they're not meant to survive in the modern nights.
          A possibility of course, but they're meant to be playable.
          On the other hand side, if the Bane did provide a modicum of protection against electronic surveillance, rather than exposing the vampires to it, it would explain far better why the Lasombra are actually accepted in the Camarilla after having been one of the two heads of the Sabbat for centuries.
          Last edited by Cifer; 11-27-2018, 08:48 PM.

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          • #6
            never mind
            Last edited by Redwulfe; 11-27-2018, 09:13 PM. Reason: Decided it wasn't worth arguing again.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Redwulfe View Post
              never mind
              For what it's worth I agreed with what you initially wrote.


              "The only consistent wisdom is in knowing you know nothing" ~ Socrates

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              • #8
                Cifer, the text states: "Note that this will not hide the identity of the vampire with any certainty," That doesn't preclude protecting the identity in some instances, just going by the plain meaning of the text. There's no guarantee it will work, but it doesn't 100% exclude it.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cifer View Post
                  That, however, isn't all, because the Magisters are apparently too special to have just one Bane.
                  This is exactly my thoughts. All that's frustrating, because other Clan Banes are quite even. There's no more automatically Masquerade-breaking Nosferatus (without the Mask of Thousand Faces, and baneless with it) or ultimately beast-like Gangrels, nor baneless Toreadors, but everyone take his share of the Damned equally. That's not the case with poor Lasomras, tho.

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                  • #10
                    I'm taking your feedback on board, don't worry. I will say though, that reverting back to "invisibility in mirrors and recording devices" is too much of a boon to be a bane. And yes, the Technology roll penalty is specifically for communications. The Lasombra just don't quite exist as far as cameras are concerned (they're fuzzy, blurred. or flickering) or phones are concerned (they're a hiss, crackle, or buzz on the other end). This is more atmospheric, and as the SI are monitoring calls in these nights, only a stupid Lasombra would be reliant on a mobile phone.


                    Matthew Dawkins
                    In-House Developer for Onyx Path Publishing


                    Website: https://www.matthewdawkins.com
                    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/matthewdawkins

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                    • #11
                      See, i don't see it as nearly as bad as the original poster, it's basically a logical extension of the Weakness they've always had - the lack of Reflection and that also transferring to cameras. if anything, i see it as less of an issue and Masquerade breach.


                      The difference is that now, the reflection isn't totally missing (which frankly would be easy to notice to ANY mortal, and would certainly allow them to *'instantly recognize them for what they are, provided they know what they’re looking for'*, exactly like the new bane, but frankly even more easily!). Now the reflection is distorted or somewhat obscured - frankly a passing glance would easily miss that level of detail whereas the reflection gone entirely is far easier to notice.

                      This is similar to CCTV footage - this is often taken at a distance, is Low Resolution, in Black and White and pretty difficult to make out features and the like at the best of times - have you seen crime footage on TV? Plus, this all indicates that someone is actively watching the footage and concentrating, rather than it being on in the background, just one monitor amongst many, or just passively being recorded should it need to be reviewed at a later date. Of course this would be noticeable in an Airport or similar when you're going through a scanner and the person watching the camera results is also watching you at the same time, however i'd suggest that you not showing up AT ALL, is far more noticeable than it just being glitchy and weird - tech goes on the Fitz all the time - remember it does also say 'provided they know what they’re looking for'. Plus, they have tech in those locations that pick up Vampires regardless of any clan Bane - i'd say this is the least of their worries and might even assist them in evading that tech!

                      As for the tech in general:
                      *'modern technology relying on touch or other form of direct interaction tends to glitch or simple act unresponsive to Magisters,use of modern communication technology, including making a simple phone call, requires a Technology test at Difficulty 2 + Bane Severity as microphones have similar problems with the voice of a Lasombra as cameras with their image.'*

                      To me this clearly reads as Modern Smart phones and the like - they rely on touch screens as well as using cameras (remember touch screens don't work for your average vamp without Blush of Life active anyway). I don't see this covering things like keyboards or things that just rely on electricity such as the above mentioned door keypads (although it would still cover a camera on a door - but so did the old Weakness, to a far worse degree!) I wouldn't allow a phone that uses facial recognition to work well, if at all! as for the voice, we've all had bad phone calls where the other side just doesn't work well - The Lasombra have this exact problem, just very often! it doesn't mean they can't use the devices, just that in certain instances it can be really difficult and Awkward. The other thing to do is not demand rolls for simple things that don't affect the game - i only make people roll for things when it's dramatically important and them succeeding or failing will impact the story - i would always say that if a Lasombra in the Coterie needed to phone another member to arrange where to meet that it would just work (probably joke about Robot voice and people mishearing them, but not to the detriment of the actual message), but the moment the Lasombra needs to phone their touchstone to tell them to get out of the house as a Sabbat Death squad is coming for them - you bet they;re rolling for that!

                      To those of you that haven't read the exact content in the Kickstarter (Why not? less than 2 days to go! get in there ), it isn't nearly as bad as indicated above, i think it's perfectly fine. i say that as a veteran fan of the Lasombra, having played my first one in the 2nd Ed Players guide to the Sabbat. it's a slightly watered down version of what was already there that allows it get worse as the Blood potency increases (just like every other clan bane), it's expanded to cover other, logical things that indicate how tech has moved on in the 20 odd years since they debuted, just like in Dark ages it was just reflections, then modern settings introduced Cameras in addition to that.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Gentleman Gamer View Post
                        I'm taking your feedback on board, don't worry. I will say though, that reverting back to "invisibility in mirrors and recording devices" is too much of a boon to be a bane. And yes, the Technology roll penalty is specifically for communications. The Lasombra just don't quite exist as far as cameras are concerned (they're fuzzy, blurred. or flickering) or phones are concerned (they're a hiss, crackle, or buzz on the other end). This is more atmospheric, and as the SI are monitoring calls in these nights, only a stupid Lasombra would be reliant on a mobile phone.

                        It is just sad that the Lasombras get 3 weaknesses where all the other clans get only one.
                        1) They can be outed without even a roll from people who knows what Lasobras are.
                        2) The 2+Bane Severity on all communications technology
                        3) They have to constantly check for surveillance equipment with a Bane severity difficulty

                        Also

                        Their bane is probably the harshest, No other clan has a bane that last more than a scene so If I fail to do something and I only have 2 dice at the action, I will forever be cursed with -2 dice till I get enough xp to buy a dot/speciality in said skill and try to succeed with only 1 die.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Gentleman Gamer View Post
                          I'm taking your feedback on board, don't worry. I will say though, that reverting back to "invisibility in mirrors and recording devices" is too much of a boon to be a bane. And yes, the Technology roll penalty is specifically for communications. The Lasombra just don't quite exist as far as cameras are concerned (they're fuzzy, blurred. or flickering) or phones are concerned (they're a hiss, crackle, or buzz on the other end). This is more atmospheric, and as the SI are monitoring calls in these nights, only a stupid Lasombra would be reliant on a mobile phone.
                          I love the write up of the Lasombra and that you try to change their old weakness into something new, I just think that it is too harsh compared to other clans.The Oblivion discipline is lightyears better than obtenebration and It will be exiting to see more of your writing, Mathew. I like all other things you have written and I love your youtube clips to catch the souls of the various clans. So I am not a naysayer or just throwing out critique at you.

                          But please edit the Bane/compulsion a tad.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Little_Miss_ Serneholt View Post
                            Their bane is probably the harshest, No other clan has a bane that last more than a scene so If I fail to do something and I only have 2 dice at the action, I will forever be cursed with -2 dice till I get enough xp to buy a dot/speciality in said skill and try to succeed with only 1 die.
                            This seems to be referring to their compulsion and not their Bane. Remember you only Get a compulsion on a bestial failure and it is not always the clan compulsion that you get it could be hunger or dominance and so on.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Gentleman Gamer View Post
                              I'm taking your feedback on board, don't worry. I will say though, that reverting back to "invisibility in mirrors and recording devices" is too much of a boon to be a bane. And yes, the Technology roll penalty is specifically for communications. The Lasombra just don't quite exist as far as cameras are concerned (they're fuzzy, blurred. or flickering) or phones are concerned (they're a hiss, crackle, or buzz on the other end). This is more atmospheric, and as the SI are monitoring calls in these nights, only a stupid Lasombra would be reliant on a mobile phone.
                              Complete invisibility is of course laughable considering the current metaplot. That said, it might be interesting to say that while the Lasombra are unmistakably vampires to every recording device, the distortion does make them unidentifiable (considering how bad modern facial recognition still is, something that twists the image so massively that it can be recognized by everyone is certainly enough to screw with systems). Add a few dots of Potence and some Athletics and new Lasombra could find a position as free-running couriers for technophobic elders, securing their spots in the Camarilla despite centuries of enmity.
                              ... now I've got to figure out how to put a good "Mirror's Edge" pun in there.

                              Originally posted by Redwulfe View Post
                              This seems to be referring to their compulsion and not their Bane. Remember you only Get a compulsion on a bestial failure and it is not always the clan compulsion that you get it could be hunger or dominance and so on.
                              True, but "the chances of you getting screwed so heavily were actually pretty low" is... not a great thing to say when it happens. In particular, imagine what happens when a Lasombra with a Bane Strength of 2 and active Compulsion tries to use their phone. Difficulty 4 tech roll. Say the Magister is reasonably tech-savvy and has 5 dice. They fail, so any renewed attempts are now at 3 dice, plus all other rolls are at -2.

                              (In addition, the rules actually say that you should usually only be able to repeat a roll if you somehow manage to improve your circumstances by e.g. getting better tools or raising your skill, rather than just by saying "I try again".)
                              Last edited by Cifer; 11-28-2018, 12:17 PM.

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