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[V20] Presence 4: Summon

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  • [V20] Presence 4: Summon

    I am more familiar with a CoD and getting into V20, and I got some questions about Summon power from Presence:
    1. In Requiem you immediately aware of the fact that you were summoned and about the summoner. In V20 there is no way to notify a recipient about summoner identity? Or it is always a surprise party invite? And about "The subject of the Summons comes as fast as he is able, possibly without even knowing why." part - do you need to have a general awareness about disciplines to figure out you were targeted by one? Or some sort of roll?
    2. "He knows intuitively how to find his Summoner" - do you know a general direction? Direction and distance? Knowledge of summoner location like "221B Baker Street, London, Elysium", even if you never visited England? So do you have enough data to book a flight and take a cab or you can only wander in general direction with an option of inaccurate triangulation?
    3. How many successes do you need to make a vampire - a baseline vampire, not some always on the road Gangrel - to consider a trip out of the city in modern nights? In Victorian age?

    P.S. Bonus question - as Presence only influences emotions, it will always be just a desire to visit a certain location? And is I want to do some possession stile stuff - like blackouts, people find themselves waiting in the airport with a ticket to a place they never heard of and so on - I should go with the Dominate powers (like Far Mastery)? Or Dementation, if I wish to really mess somebody up?
    Last edited by Seregnore; 07-15-2019, 06:12 PM.

  • #2
    A lot of this is Storyteller discretion, and has had different interpretations based on particular word choice in a given edition. Requiem is much better with the Rules as Written.

    1. In most of the games I've been in you knew who was summoning you. That was the main defense against being summoned by a rival into a trap; "oh shit, I'm being summoned by X, better phone my friends". Other groups may read it differently. Regardless, the subject feels a supernatural compulsion. If they know about Disciplines or magic, they know something is being used on them. If they're familiar with Brujah/Toreador/Ventrue, they almost certainly know what is happening. A Wits + Awareness roll can always help.

    2. You know what you need to know. If you're being summoned outside of your city, you're going to know that right away and make all necessary plans for an impromptu trip. If the distance is not so extreme, you know the general direction, and have a vague feeling of distance like close or far. Therefore you know whether it's faster to take car/train vs walking, though some Storyteller's might say you walk in a haze regardless. You don't just get an address, but when you reach the address you know you're in the right place.

    3. If you go by V20 rules, I'd say three successes as that's when the target is no longer "thwarted by obstacles". Older editions were more hardcore, and required only a single success. Massive willpower burning is the only way to avoid the compulsion...

    Yes, Dominate is required for any control over the person's memories. Characters will remember that you used Presence on them, though Awe might be just subtle enough. Dementation does not give you much control over what the target experiences, but it's never good.


    Demon: The Fallen CoD/X20 Revamp
    Mage: The Ascension Arch-Spheres
    Mage: The Ascension CoD/X20 Revamp

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    • #3
      Originally posted by moogle001 View Post
      That was the main defense against being summoned by a rival into a trap; "oh shit, I'm being summoned by X, better phone my friends".
      Well, it seems to be not a very good trap - as far as I know, the summoner has now information about the target, and the target can just travel to summoner proximity, burn some willpower to wait until dawn and track down summoner's rest place.

      It helps if you know summoner's identity - a lot of times you can just be willing to talk to him. If you don't know is it is your sworn enemy or that helpful Ventrue guy who always has a job for you... It seems logical - Presence is the power of your personality, and it would be odd if it was depersonalized - but I decided to doublecheck.

      And one more question - do you need to reveal yourself on arrival? Or you can just visit the summoner unnoticed - maybe leave a note - and go?

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      • #4
        We have always play it that you are unaware of who has summoned you and if the roll is high enough you don't even realize you are being summoned. You just innately head in a certain direction. I do however allow players to make Awareness roles to realize that something is wrong and if they have enough successes then they find out who is summoning them.

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        • #5
          My two cents:

          Presence, in any shape or form, affects other people's perception of the Vampire. It manipulates feelings, not actions. Awe makes you impressive, Entrancement calls forth adoration, and so forth. Summon, in my mind, calls up feelings of longing and need. It's not so much that you get a mental phone call that says "come hither", but instead you feel a sudden, urgent need to meet that person again. For whatever reason, be it anger, lust or curiosity, you want to be where they are.

          With that in mind:

          1. I would say "absolutely" to the question of knowing who you're meeting. The summoner uses the impression she left on the target to summon them: the target is wracked with the need to be there.

          2. I would say you intuit it in steps. "I bet she's in London right now." "I think I remember Sherlock Holmes being her favorite book." "I'm pretty sure Baker Street is this way." Intuition and feelings guide you, not facts.


          Furthermore, I believe Carthage should be destroyed.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Seregnore View Post

            It helps if you know summoner's identity - a lot of times you can just be willing to talk to him. If you don't know is it is your sworn enemy or that helpful Ventrue guy who always has a job for you... It seems logical - Presence is the power of your personality, and it would be odd if it was depersonalized - but I decided to doublecheck.

            And one more question - do you need to reveal yourself on arrival? Or you can just visit the summoner unnoticed - maybe leave a note - and go?
            I would definitely say you need to appear before the summoner. No leaving a note. As for getting close but never making the appearance... it depends on how the Storyteller decides to structure a scene. If you're summoner at the beginning of the night, the ST might rule that anywhere between 2 and 6 scenes pass, and therefore up to 6 willpower. A pretty brutal cost.

            As for waiting until the vampire has to rest: it would be a foolish Kindred that uses Summon on a human who knows about vampires and therefore might do exactly that. The likelihood of a summoned vampire remaining awake, mobile, and dangerous during the day isn't that high.


            Demon: The Fallen CoD/X20 Revamp
            Mage: The Ascension Arch-Spheres
            Mage: The Ascension CoD/X20 Revamp

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            • #7
              1) This is nebulous and I could see arguments for it identifying the Summoner or not. I'd say if you want to split the difference then give the target a roll to identify the Summoner. The Auspex 4 power of Telepathy regarding projecting thoughts might be a suitable example of something similar to use as a baseline (Manipulation + Subterfuge vs Perception + Awareness to hide one's mental "voice")

              I would say if they have no knowledge of Disciplines they wouldn't get a roll to know what's been done to them, only that they have been compelled to go to the Summoner. If they have a frame of reference then I would say an Intelligence + Occult roll with a difficulty based on their experience, a vampire with Presence will probably have a better chance than one without to know what's happening. If the target has Summon as well, then I wouldn't even have them roll since they know the power intimately and can understand its effect to recognize it on themselves.

              2)
              Originally posted by pang4 View Post
              2. I would say you intuit it in steps. "I bet she's in London right now." "I think I remember Sherlock Holmes being her favorite book." "I'm pretty sure Baker Street is this way." Intuition and feelings guide you, not facts.
              I would say it's more accurate than that because it specifically states that it's tracking the Summoner. It wouldn't matter if the Summoner was on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic, the target would know how to find them. I've always considered it a mystical compulsion where the target knows where the Summoner is because of the metaphysical link that Presence is working off of, it's not logical but mystical. The closest visual way I imagine this is like a quest marker on the Summoner where there's a line with distance from them to the target. Since it mentions booking flights, there would have to be conveyance of distance but since it's an emotional draw it need not be logical.

              3) It would depend on what lies between the target and the Summoner. In the modern nights crossing through the forests of the northwest of the US might be seen as just as dangerous as crossing the forests of Germany in the medieval era. In the same fashion traveling on the roads around Rome might be as safe as driving down a highway to get to someone the a city over in the modern era. Ironically this would mean that Summoning might be more effective on the wealthy since they have an easier time getting around obstacles.

              I would say 3 successes covers everything except actual danger (which may vary depending on the target, a vampire with a bunch of Fortitude is going to see a few thugs with bats as much less of an obstacle than a thin scholar with little combat skill) with 4 and 5 increasing the pace and increasing the level of obstacles they'll go through, it only bars suicidal action not dangerous ones.

              Bonus) If you want possessions and blackouts then Dominate is the Discipline you're looking for. Far Mastery can get you distance, the same might be accomplished with Auspex 5 Psychic Projection (at ST Discretion) as well.

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