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[V5] Playing without coterie

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  • [V5] Playing without coterie


    Although the rules are not bad when it comes to coteries, I don't like the idea that they are practically mandatory in the game, as I think they limit the kinds of stories that can be told, as the game predicts that the characters will be a group. united with a common territory and mission.

    My question is, would removing the mechanical part of the coterie disrupt the equilibrium of the system? Does anyone already play without using this system? If so, how has the experience been?

    My main fear is that the coterie system gives additional background points and also defines the character's territory, which would have to be done otherwise.

  • #2
    5E does presume that your character is part of a Coterie, for sure. It shouldn't be too hard to tweak it for solo play, though. The main part of the Coterie selection process is choosing the type of Coterie - the sort of theme the play will have, so to speak. So if I were to GM a game for a single player, I would let him play sort of a one-man Coterie. There's really no reason why the Primogen council wouldn't create a one man Vehme, or why a single vampire wouldn't form a Blood Cult on her own, after all.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Lubricus View Post
      5E does presume that your character is part of a Coterie, for sure. It shouldn't be too hard to tweak it for solo play, though. The main part of the Coterie selection process is choosing the type of Coterie - the sort of theme the play will have, so to speak. So if I were to GM a game for a single player, I would let him play sort of a one-man Coterie. There's really no reason why the Primogen council wouldn't create a one man Vehme, or why a single vampire wouldn't form a Blood Cult on her own, after all.
      The idea is not to be a solo game, but to have several characters, but without them being part of a coterie and have shared territory and goals.

      I want to play like in the old days, where, although there was the idea of ​​coterie, it was not mandatory nor linked to the mechanics.
      Last edited by Mark Logan; 08-08-2019, 07:53 AM.

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      • #4
        Ah, right, sorry! I guess I shouldn't be so quick to answer... :P

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        • #5
          Well, I would still houserule that each character is their own Coterie, with all the benefits gained at creation. Though you might want to reduce some of the Background benefits a bit.

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          • #6
            I don't see any issue with playing V5 without including the coterie rules.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Frontline989 View Post
              I don't see any issue with playing V5 without including the coterie rules.
              The main problem I see is the issue of territory.

              Unless I get it wrong, now vampires can only hunt within their domain and there is a whole point-building system in these areas (chasse, portillon and lien), plus extra background points.

              Hunting outside this domain, except with special permission, is considered poaching, which is a serious crime.

              What I want is to run a chronicle in which the characters are only situationally associated (as in the old editions), but without harming the characters mechanically.

              My question is if I remove the mechanical part of the coterie, it could greatly interfere or even break the rest of the system.

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              • #8
                As far as I know, poaching is hunting into someone else's domain, not just outside yours. Like everyone able to hunt in the Rack. Domain with chasse, portillon... would be useful to avoid other kindred hunting on it. If no one claims that part of the city, they would be free to help themselves. And they better be sure to hunt in unclaimed territory.

                I don't see not using coterie rules breaking the system. Also, since on new supplements new coteries are created, you can use them to create your unipersonal "coteries", although I guess those would be poor ones. Have in mind that by choosing Vanguard, Vehme or Blood cult you are not buying automatically all the backgrounds. Each player gets 1 or 2 points and they use those points to buy the backgrounds. At least as I understood it, coterie types are more guidelines on how to build them than given assets.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Strangelove View Post
                  As far as I know, poaching is hunting into someone else's domain, not just outside yours. Like everyone able to hunt in the Rack. Domain with chasse, portillon... would be useful to avoid other kindred hunting on it. If no one claims that part of the city, they would be free to help themselves. And they better be sure to hunt in unclaimed territory.
                  I am relying on the part of "Coteries Without Domains", page 196 of V5 book, which says:

                  "A coterie without a Domain either poaches its dinner (at grave risk from the angry holder of the domain they enter to do so) or holds a letter of passage from their own Prince or another high official. If the local authorities recognize such credentials, they generally grant the coterie a temporary right to hunt somewhere.
                  If I understand that part well, the new edition considers that a domain-free coterie would have to apply for a temporary permit to hunt elsewhere until a territory is defined for them. That is, limiting legal hunting to their domain.

                  The old editions predicted only that the vampire had hunting exclusivity in his domain, but it seems that the new edition decided to change this logic.

                  Of course I may disregard this guideline, but my fear is that it will disrupt the rest of the system and its equilibrium, as the game seems to have been thought to work in a more restrictive way.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mark Logan View Post
                    I want to play like in the old days, where, although there was the idea of ​​coterie, it was not mandatory nor linked to the mechanics.
                    Well, V20 already had rules for coterie's Domain and shared backgrounds. I believe Dark Ages Revised had too. So, I assume you're talking really old days of 2nd Ed. or VtM Core Revised.

                    Originally posted by Mark Logan View Post
                    The main problem I see is the issue of territory.
                    Unless I get it wrong, now vampires can only hunt within their domain and there is a whole point-building system in these areas (chasse, portillon and lien), plus extra background points.
                    Hunting outside this domain, except with special permission, is considered poaching, which is a serious crime.
                    What I want is to run a chronicle in which the characters are only situationally associated (as in the old editions), but without harming the characters mechanically.
                    My question is if I remove the mechanical part of the coterie, it could greatly interfere or even break the rest of the system.
                    Don't let those guidelines limit the way you want to play. In the section about City and Domains, the Corebook discusses how different Princes and Barons assign territories and hunting grounds differently in each city. Your city doesn't need to have a strict rule about hunting. In fact, many cities probably have "free hunting grounds" for every vampire or "Clan domains" where you can safely hunt, if needed. It all depends on what fits better for your Chronicle, I guess.

                    I don't see how removing the Coterie rules would break the system at all. If you want to play with individual domains, just assign each player, let's say, 2 dots to spend on Domain. It will be a shitty one, but establishing your domain solo-style is much harder than sharing resources anyway.

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                    • #11
                      You could easily play without having a coterie. We have done this in previous editions before. I don't think that I would give out the bonus dots that you get for playing a coterie though since they are a bonus for playing in a group.

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                      • #12
                        Since so many people seem to be making the same mistake, I feel I should clarify one important detail. (Also, I made the exact same mistake as well until I happened to re-read that section of the book yesterday.)

                        Coterie Types don't give you any bonus points of any kind.

                        The stuff listed in each Coterie Type's description aren't freebies, they're costs that the group must collectively pay from their Coterie Pool (usually 1 point per player) in order to qualify as that type of Coterie. The key sentence is in the second to last paragraph before the list of Coterie Types begins on P.197.

                        For easy reference (emphasis, mine):
                        If your coterie matches a given
                        type, subtract the listed costs from
                        the coterie pool
                        . If your pool isn’t
                        large enough to pay for that coterie
                        type, start collecting dot contributions
                        from the characters.
                        So when it comes to removing Coteries from the game, from this standpoint it makes no difference at all. As for the issue of Domain, I would do as someone upthread has already suggested and give each player a few extra points to spend specifically on Domain (maybe 2 per player). They could spend their usual Advantage points to increase their Domain further if they want, or also take Domain Flaws to get extra points that way. As someone else upthread has already pointed out, holding a Domain on your own would be a lot more difficult, so it would make sense for those loner Domains to either be smaller, or in less desirable locations, or less well protected, or generally more problem-ridden.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Voice View Post
                          Since so many people seem to be making the same mistake, I feel I should clarify one important detail. (Also, I made the exact same mistake as well until I happened to re-read that section of the book yesterday.)
                          The bonus dots I refer to are the ones you get to make the Coterie.

                          Page 165 core book.
                          The coterie pool begins with one free dot per player character. (The Storyteller may allow player groups with three or fewer players to begin with a coterie pool of two free dots per character.) Players may also contribute their own characters’ Advantage dots to the coterie pool.
                          So basically what I was saying is remove those bonus dots that you would get to create the coterie and don't by the Coterie Backgrounds sets and you can play the game without a Coterie pretty easily.
                          Last edited by Redwulfe; 08-12-2019, 07:39 PM.

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