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Power Scaling in 5th Edition: Broken, or Not?

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  • Power Scaling in 5th Edition: Broken, or Not?

    Okay, I had my skepticism regarding the level of power that kindred had in 5th edition, after learning everything was being capped down to 5 dots. But then I started to watch this series

    Blood Lost, Season 2 Episode 14

    This series is supposed to be a Thin Blood chronicle, or at least have the characters start out as Thin Bloods, and potentially diablerize their way to full status later on. Anyways, the point is that by this episode in the series, this coterie of Thin Bloods (at least one of which was less than a couple months old when they found him) have managed to kill the Toreador Primogen, incapacitate the Ventrue Primogen, and even managed to kill a fucking WEREWOLF.

    They did all of this by means of straight up combat. Very little coordination or strategy went in to their preparation. They just walked in, traded a little banter, and then shit hit the fan.

    To make matters worse, one of their previous coterie members (who ended up becoming an NPC) was able to tear a second Werewolf apart with their bare hands in a one on one fight. And before you ask, the answer is "no," he did not diablerize himself into the Brujah or Gangrel clans... he diablerized himself into clan Tremere!


    This seems a little bit ridiculous to me. The idea that Thin Bloods are now powerful enough to throw down with opponents who prior to 5th edition would have absolutely decimated them within the first round of combat is something that I personally do not agree with. It really makes the concept of diablerizing yourself into a full vampire kind of a hard sell, if you're both capable of handling the situation, as well having lesser drawbacks that a full clan member would possess.

    If anybody cares to share more insight about the situation, please enlighten me!
    Last edited by Nyrufa; 06-11-2019, 03:12 AM.

  • #2
    Well now that they have striped the Tremere (and all blood sorcerers by the way, I wonder now how Al-Ashrad is gonna explain to his "children" that he no longer has control over storms and fire, because well... ...) of most of their thaumaturgy power without any explanation in plot, just like "puff all your paths are gone and even we don't know how to explain this", it wold seem as a fair enough compensation to give the Tremere some "ninja" powers like "tearing a werewolf apart with their bare hands" ROFL!

    Now that "you are what you eat" I guess these thin bloods have probably "eaten" some ninjas before confronting their enemies

    Sorry for the useless answer, but I couldn't resist the temptation to bash on v5. I hope you forgive me sir, but I have no idea of how to "explain this" or "enlighten you"...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
      This seems a little bit ridiculous to me. The idea that Thin Bloods are now powerful enough to throw down with opponents who prior to 5th edition would have absolutely decimated them within the first round of combat is something that I personally do not agree with. It really makes the concept of diablerizing yourself into a full vampire kind of a hard sell, if you're both capable of handling the situation, as well having lesser drawbacks that a full clan member would possess.

      If anybody cares to share more insight about the situation, please enlighten me!
      When I was 14 years old, my Neonates killed a bunch of Primogen and the Prince of Chicago as well.

      Because I was 14 and I was a crappy ST.

      I'm not putting down these guys and whatever works for them but I think if Neonates or Thin Bloods tear a bloody swath through the Elders and others then that's:

      1. How the campaign is set up--so they should be allowed to have fun.

      2. Someone is basically letting them do it.

      Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition is a game that now emphasizes the Elders are no longer the Boss fights that used to be the case in previous games. The return to emphasis on social interactions is meant to reflect that they no longer can just slaughter their way through coteries and laugh the entire time. The Anarchs can and will kill Elders that fall into their hands because they've removed their "well I'll just Celerity 5 those mooks." In my games, I justify it as a plot point that the Ancients are suffering The Withering if they refuse to join their compatriots in the Gehenna Wars.

      But it's essentially the same that combat is now far more lethal than it used to be.

      In my games, the Elders aren't ****ing stupid and DON'T ENGAGE a bunch of Neonates or Sabbat or assassins when they attack. When a bunch of Thin Blooded diablerists arrive, they send their bodyguards and minions around or dominate them into killing each other or CALL THE POLICE.

      (They can wipe their minds later)

      But this description also seems like it is missing something since THIN BLOODS DON'T HAVE DISCIPLINES ANYMORE.

      So, I'm curious how the hell they did any of this. Thin Bloods now only have Thin Blood Alchemy and that's one power that can replicate existing disciplines.

      They're far weaker than in Revised.


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

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      • #4
        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        So, I'm curious how the hell they did any of this. Thin Bloods now only have Thin Blood Alchemy and that's one power that can replicate existing disciplines.
        ... plus one or at most two levels of another discipline, depending on their last meal. And maybe one discipline via Discipline Affinity.

        As for the rest, yeah, that sounds like it didn't have too much to do with the rules. Taking down a werewolf alone is... unlikely, considering their discipline equivalents.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post



          Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition is a game that now emphasizes the Elders are no longer the Boss fights that used to be the case in previous games. The return to emphasis on social interactions is meant to reflect that they no longer can just slaughter their way through coteries and laugh the entire time. The Anarchs can and will kill Elders that fall into their hands because they've removed their "well I'll just Celerity 5 those mooks." In my games, I justify it as a plot point that the Ancients are suffering The Withering if they refuse to join their compatriots in the Gehenna Wars.


          But this description also seems like it is missing something since THIN BLOODS DON'T HAVE DISCIPLINES ANYMORE.

          So, I'm curious how the hell they did any of this. Thin Bloods now only have Thin Blood Alchemy and that's one power that can replicate existing disciplines.

          They're far weaker than in Revised.

          And that is a terrible, terrible decision for the entire plot of the series. No wonder the Antedeluvians are hiding out and waging a secret war on the other side of the world. If they're only slightly stronger than experienced fledglings now, then why are they even an issue at this point? Hell, it makes the Sabbat look damn near sensible; just head on over to the middle east, kick their asses with a war party, and ta-da: Gehenna averted!

          The way I saw it, the whole reason why vampires tried to outmaneuver each other socially, is because they realized their elders could crush them in a fair fight. They played the long game, because they didn't have any other options available to them. But now, it seems like the Sabbat and the Anarchs have a very real chance of victory. The Camarilla's authority is a total joke, and the Sheriff is no longer something that should be dreaded.

          "What's that, the Prince's entire court is gathering at Elysium tonight, and all the Primogen will be there? Awesome, I'll call up the Anarchs and we can wipe out their leadership in one fell swoop!"

          If you catch word that there's a Blood Hunt on you, just round up the rest of your coterie, find a defensible position to hide out in, and kick the shit out of any boot licking kindred that show up trying to collect on your head!

          There's a merit called Discipline Affinity, which allows the Thin Blood to possess and train 1 discipline. I think the merit can be bought multiple times, I'm not sure.

          They can also temporarily borrow disciplines by feeding on specific Blood Resonances. They keep these disciplines until they either feed on a different resonance, or reach 5 Hunger.

          Lastly, Thin Blood Alchemy can be used to replicate the effects of other disciplines as well. When it comes to Thin Bloods and their disciplines, it's now a plug and play kind of style. They can swap them out on the fly, with some proper hunting techniques.
          Last edited by Nyrufa; 06-11-2019, 09:05 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post


            And that is a terrible, terrible decision for the entire plot of the series. No wonder the Antedeluvians are hiding out and waging a secret war on the other side of the world. If they're only slightly stronger than experienced fledglings now, then why are they even an issue at this point? Hell, it makes the Sabbat look damn near sensible; just head on over to the middle east, kick their asses with a war party, and ta-da: Gehenna averted!.
            No it's not.

            The Antediluvians are still omnipotent. Who do you think is summoning all the Elders worldwide?

            Also, no, that's not how Thin Bloods and Disciplines work.


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

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
              Also, no, that's not how Thin Bloods and Disciplines work.
              Care to explain, then? Because that's how it seems to be working in Blood Lost.

              Thin Bloods appear to have gotten a monumental power boost with this new system. To the point where the idea that they were ever oppressed and downtrodden is absurd.

              The only advantage full bloods have over them at this point is that they have 3 disciplines, while Thin Bloods are limited to 1 or 2 at a time. Otherwise, Thin Bloods seem to be these kinds of "super vampires" with lesser weaknesses and Beast influence than true vampires.
              Last edited by Nyrufa; 06-11-2019, 10:18 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post

                Care to explain, then? Because that's how it seems to be working in Blood Lost.

                Thin Bloods appear to have gotten a monumental power boost with this new system. To the point where the idea that they were ever oppressed and downtrodden is absurd.

                The only advantage full bloods have over them at this point is that they have 3 disciplines, while Thin Bloods are limited to 1 or 2 at a time. Otherwise, Thin Bloods seem to be these kinds of "super vampires" with lesser weaknesses and Beast influence than true vampires.
                Thin Bloods are less powerful than they were in Revised.

                Significantly.

                So much so that our Thin Blood game actually got abandoned.

                Their primary advantages are the fact they don't need as much blood and their possible immunity to sunlight but the fact that they have no Generation and No potency means that they can't use Disciplines that require expenditure of blood to any signficiant degree. Also, definitely no one should allow them to take more than one Disicpline Afflnity.

                Oh and there's also the issue of not being able to strengthen themselves or heal worth a crap. Basically a Thin Blood who gets shot or punched is fucked.

                You also miss that Thin Bloods are limited to two disciplines FOR ALL TIME. Part of the issue here is that the system seems to be ignoring that Combo Disciplines are replacing the 5 stat limit. Instead of a 6th level of Dominate, a Ventrue may have a Presence 5/Dominate 5 Discipline that allows him to mesmerize an entire crowd into committing suicide.

                Which he can then take ANOTHER combo discipline of as many times as he can pay for it. Thin Bloods can't take Combo Disciplines at all.
                Last edited by CTPhipps; 06-11-2019, 10:27 AM.


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

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                  Thin Bloods are less powerful than they were in Revised.

                  Significantly.

                  So much so that our Thin Blood game actually got abandoned.

                  Their primary advantages are the fact they don't need as much blood and their possible immunity to sunlight but the fact that they have no Generation and No potency means that they can't use Disciplines that require expenditure of blood to any signficiant degree. Also, definitely no one should allow them to take more than one Disicpline Afflnity.

                  Oh and there's also the issue of not being able to strengthen themselves or heal worth a crap. Basically a Thin Blood who gets shot or punched is fucked.

                  You also miss that Thin Bloods are limited to two disciplines FOR ALL TIME. Part of the issue here is that the system seems to be ignoring that Combo Disciplines are replacing the 5 stat limit. Instead of a 6th level of Dominate, a Ventrue may have a Presence 5/Dominate 5 Discipline that allows him to mesmerize an entire crowd into committing suicide.

                  Which he can then take ANOTHER combo discipline of as many times as he can pay for it. Thin Bloods can't take Combo Disciplines at all.

                  If all that is true, I have to ask (politely) when was the last time you read your 5th edition book? Because this chronicle has been uploaded in 2019, meaning it's current year and probably up to date with its current system.

                  Unless GamingFTL has introduced a completely homebrewed overhaul to the mechanics, without telling the viewers ahead of time, your accounting of the situation contradicts the way they've been running things. Also, they don't seem to expend blood anymore, but rather they expend hunger. That means making a Rouse Check, to see if they get hungrier when using disciplines.

                  Not sure what you mean by Thin Bloods not having a Generation, either? Because the last time I checked, they were between 14th to 16th Generation in 5th edition.
                  Last edited by Nyrufa; 06-11-2019, 10:02 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I recommend for how and why vampire Elders play the game to play the video game Deus Ex or at least watch its cutscenes on Youtube. The original rather than Mankind Divided. The idea behind Elders is that they work within boxes and intermediaries because it protects their owners from potential danger.



                    The Elders play the Long Game because they are trying to hide from Mortals, their Enemies, and the Anarchs who want their Blood. They use chess pieces across a board to make sure that if they've done their work right then no one will ever suspect this was their plan all along. There's some exceptions to this like Jalan Ajav and Mithras (who is so powerful that it's not actually possible to measure his power) but this isn't because the Elders are weak. The powers for V5 are significantly more powerful than they were in V20. The Fortitude powers listed are insane to what they used to be. Also, the Combo Disciplines are now the things replacing the higher end powers.

                    It's just there's now a sharp divide between the, "Elders who can fought" and "elders who can't be." This means that, yes, Helena is now someone that the players could conceivably kill because she "only" has 5 Disciplines as her limit but it's now very possible she can use Combo Disciplines beyond anything the PCs could face. They have to be smart about it and yet they CAN eliminate her in ways they couldn't before.

                    The Anarchs have gone from being Sabbat Trash Mobs attacking with shotguns and swords to being people who will have to do an Oceans 11-esque plan to blow up her car without her suspecting. Basically, its demphasized the Boss Fight stiff for the social and that's a bit hard but now in V5 it's like this.

                    "You encounter Mithras, you die."

                    There's the Ancients who have been Beckoned who can't be fought and a handful of Meths who haven't who can (and may be weaker than they used to--but are still very strong). These guys aren't going to stay and fight you but have bodyguards or be behind the scenes.


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

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post


                      If all that is true, I have to ask (politely) when was the last time you read our 5th edition book? Because this chronicle has been uploaded in 2019, meaning it's current year and probably up to date with its current system.

                      Unless GamingFTL has introduced a completely homebrewed overhaul to the mechanics, without telling the viewers ahead of time, your accounting of the situation contradicts the way they've been running things. Also, they don't seem to expend blood anymore, but rather they expend hunger. That means making a Rouse Check, to see if they get hungrier when using disciplines.

                      Not sure what you mean by Thin Bloods not having a Generation, either? Because the last time I checked, they were between 14th to 16th Generation in 5th edition.
                      The short version is:

                      * I am very familiar with V5

                      * They're not doing it wrong because it's THEIR TABLE. If they're having fun, they're doing it right.

                      * You seem to be taking this as an exhaustive resource.

                      * And I mean that in the effect that Thin Bloods have a Generation so insignificant that it doesn't count as a real vampire to other undead.


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

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post


                        * You seem to be taking this as an exhaustive resource.
                        I don't really have much choice in that regard. I don't have V5, and the wikis I usually check have yet to update themselves with proper information regarding the new system. Even the preview on DriveThru isn't much help, because the bulk of it is some SI narrative, which cuts off before getting to the actual contents of the book properly.

                        Simply put, watching other people play the game is the closest I can get to learning how 5th edition works.
                        Last edited by Nyrufa; 06-11-2019, 10:50 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                          I don't really have much choice in that regard. I don't have V5, and the wikis I usually check have yet to update themselves with proper information regarding the new system. Even the preview on DriveThru isn't much help, because the bulk of it is some introductory text about the setting of the game, which cuts off before getting to the actual contents of the book properly.

                          Simply put, watching other people play the game is the closest I can get to learning how 5th edition works.
                          It's understandable, though I would recommend you purchase the game on PDF.

                          Jason Carl's LA by Night is a good source for how the game tends to be more commonly played. They attack a Thin Blood stronghold in the 3rd or 4th episode and, well, the Thin Bloods run away screaming or are killed horribly.


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

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                            It's understandable, though I would recommend you purchase the game on PDF.
                            That's why I'm trying to find out more information about it. I'm undecided about whether or not to buy 5th edition, and I'm seeing an awful lot of people openly mocking the game and berating the changes that were introduced in 5th edition. Heck, I've seen multiple saying something along the lines of "thank God I still have v20!"

                            In other words, most of the people I've seen who have looked into 5th edition have a lot of scorn directed towards it. And that has so far put me off to the idea of buying it without getting more information first.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post

                              That's why I'm trying to find out more information about it. I'm undecided about whether or not to buy 5th edition, and I'm seeing an awful lot of people openly mocking the game and berating the changes that were introduced in 5th edition. Heck, I've seen multiple saying something along the lines of "thank God I still have v20!"

                              In other words, most of the people I've seen who have looked into 5th edition have a lot of scorn directed towards it. And that has so far put me off to the idea of buying it without getting more information first.
                              It's an incredibly evocative game and I'm happy to discuss the changes with you if you desire but I have a definite bias as it a game I absolutely adore.


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

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