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Most Badass Level One Power for a Ghoul?

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  • Most Badass Level One Power for a Ghoul?

    I'm putting together a short chronicle, probably no more than a half-dozen sessions, so there's room for experimentation. I plan to run a story where some random people wind up ghouled as an experiment. The domitors quickly teach them what's what, and are then destroyed. The pc ghouls are fully hopped up on vitae and have several options for how to get more. They have to decide what to do next. Do they thank their lucky stars they escaped back to their normal lives? Do they look for their next fix? Become vampire hunters? Rob a bank? Become rich and famous? I want to see where they go with it.

    There will be several npc ghouls along for the ride. I want them as redshirts to show how deadly the situation is, and as rivals or turncoats to the pcs if things turn out too well.

    The players are a mix of complete novices in the WoD who have played other ttrpgs, and moderately experienced WoD players, who mainly play Pathfinder. There are one or two who see min-maxing as an artform. I don't mind if things get kind of gonzo or player v player; the group likes both of those.

    I'm undecided between V20 and V5. I'd really like to introduce them to V5, but I'm concerned about the lack of material on ghouls. V20 Ghouls Fatal Addiction is sooo good, I hate to not use it.

    If V20, I will give them the automatic dot of Potence and one other discipline dot. If V5, same deal, with their choice of whether they want Lethal Body or Soaring Leap.

    My actual question?

    I plan to allow the players to pick any canon clan or bloodline as their deceased domitors, and therefore their second power. Some of the newer players will need some guidance, as I don't want them accidentally stumbling into V20 Fortitude 1 or Temporis 1.

    What is the most overpowered level-one powers out there for ghouls? I want the pcs to stand a shot as a group against a single low-level kindred, or at least feel like there is actual power to the blood. Also, something just flashy and fun for a ghoul to use would be nice. I will allow any of the various blood sorcery paths (and an associated level 1 ritual) as being intuitive, so feel free to go there. I am not against obscure supplements, just keep it canon. (No Kuei-Jin, though.) I don't want to get too deep into houserules or homebrew stuff, since it's a short chronicle, and those take time out of play.

    Thanks!

  • #2

    (Credit goes to FlorkOfCows)
    To give you an actual answer however:

    Spiritus 1 is a generic dice adder and thus excellent. However it does cost blood to use.
    Thaumturgy (Green Path) 1 is a strong investigation power. But again - costs blood.
    Dominate 1, Presence 1 and Daimoinon 1 are all strong social powers with different applications.
    Dementation 1 isn't a strong social power, but it has its uses.
    Serpentis 1 is strong and has a variety of uses in and out of combat.
    Animalism 1 is excellent. It alone is the basis for a number of superhero characters.
    Auspex 1 is kinda alright, but -1 difficulty is neither flashy nor cool.

    All in all, there's not much in the way of combat powers at level 1, but there are some really good utility powers. I'd recommend avoiding anything that uses blood, unless players have a staked vampire in the basement.
    In V5 the winners are:
    Dominate 1 (lots of applications)
    Oblivion 1 ("Shadow Cloak" is the best level 1 dice adder, "Eyes of Oblivion" lets you see ghosts)
    Most other powers are better than nothing, but they are neither flashy nor cool. No one is going to go wild over having a one extra die on perception checks that Auspex gives you.
    Last edited by Kammerer; 08-15-2019, 09:41 AM.

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    • #3
      In V5, I don't think it gets better than Dominate - Compel and Clouded Mind are just utterly awesome against mortals, especially because most of them won't get a roll to resist.

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      • #4
        Auspex 1 is great to have, but is more quality of life than utility.
        Presence 1 is the ultimate in quality of life powers, and is amazing in social contexts.
        Daimonion 1 and Mytheceria 1 are both sweet in social games.
        Dominate 1 is a creativity power, that gets better the more you play with it.
        Chimerstry 1 works in a similar vein, but costs a lot to use.
        Obtenebration gets better the more creative your players are. You can do SO MUCH with playing shadows.
        Viscissitude 1 has often been criticized for the level of utility and power it provides. A creative player can wreak havoc with this number...
        Necromancy 1 (Sepulchre Path) gives you access to ghosts. Just that is hella strong. Talk to them, make deals with them, become their chance to fix what they did wrong in life, and watch your ghost empire grow.
        Animalism 1 is similar, but for animals instead of Ghosts.

        There areA LOT of good level 1 disciplines. It all depends on what you wanna do...


        Furthermore, I believe Carthage should be destroyed.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
          I'm putting together a short chronicle, probably no more than a half-dozen sessions, so there's room for experimentation. I plan to run a story where some random people wind up ghouled as an experiment. The domitors quickly teach them what's what, and are then destroyed. The pc ghouls are fully hopped up on vitae and have several options for how to get more. They have to decide what to do next. Do they thank their lucky stars they escaped back to their normal lives? Do they look for their next fix? Become vampire hunters? Rob a bank? Become rich and famous? I want to see where they go with it.

          There will be several npc ghouls along for the ride. I want them as redshirts to show how deadly the situation is, and as rivals or turncoats to the pcs if things turn out too well.

          The players are a mix of complete novices in the WoD who have played other ttrpgs, and moderately experienced WoD players, who mainly play Pathfinder. There are one or two who see min-maxing as an artform. I don't mind if things get kind of gonzo or player v player; the group likes both of those.

          I'm undecided between V20 and V5. I'd really like to introduce them to V5, but I'm concerned about the lack of material on ghouls. V20 Ghouls Fatal Addiction is sooo good, I hate to not use it.

          If V20, I will give them the automatic dot of Potence and one other discipline dot. If V5, same deal, with their choice of whether they want Lethal Body or Soaring Leap.

          My actual question?

          I plan to allow the players to pick any canon clan or bloodline as their deceased domitors, and therefore their second power. Some of the newer players will need some guidance, as I don't want them accidentally stumbling into V20 Fortitude 1 or Temporis 1.

          What is the most overpowered level-one powers out there for ghouls? I want the pcs to stand a shot as a group against a single low-level kindred, or at least feel like there is actual power to the blood. Also, something just flashy and fun for a ghoul to use would be nice. I will allow any of the various blood sorcery paths (and an associated level 1 ritual) as being intuitive, so feel free to go there. I am not against obscure supplements, just keep it canon. (No Kuei-Jin, though.) I don't want to get too deep into houserules or homebrew stuff, since it's a short chronicle, and those take time out of play.

          Thanks!

          Dominate 1 (especially if you can speak a short sentence rather than a single word) is killer as a level 1 power, but my money is on Obtenebration 1 as the best level 1 power. The only downside is that it uses blood and ghouls don't have much to be burning through, right? Since Dominate 1 doesn't use blood, it is the winner for a ghoul. Just make sure you pick how Dominate works early on and stick with it. Some STs give it more flexibility than it already has RAW and I've heard stories about people getting away with all sorts of silly antics, like basically just telling people to die.

          If you're using V5 (or just yoinking the power from it and slapping it onto V20) combining "Weight of the Feather" with Potence 1's "Soaring Leap" can be all sorts of fun. First leap, then activate the other power mid-air to become a discount Jedi. V20, I'd say Animalism 1 is pretty sweet if one of the ghouls is an animal lover. Start barking orders to some pet dogs and they can have them accomplish a number of goals. Give them a pet bird too.

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          • #6
            Best powers for Ghouls/Revenants are those that cost no Blood to use.
            1. Daimoinon. Sense the Sin is just amazing, it is free to use and digs up all sorts of useful things to use in a social context.

            2. Animalism can be excellent for a creative player, both for information gathering and personal protection. When you befriend a few larger dogs for example they will come to your aid if your in need. Also never underestimate the distracting influence of even one bird doing attack dives let alone a full flock or murder.

            3. Dominate. Again it is free and even one word commands can make a huge difference in the right situation.

            4. Protean. Seeing in the dark is useful ability to have.

            5. Serpentis is powerful but somewhat situational and gains more utility when acting as part of a group.

            Special mention goes to Auspex 1 which I personally see as awesome, especially since it gains power along with the Discipline itself, even for a Ghoul/Revenant with only one dot in it. That -1 on perception difficulties can be a lifesaver, not to mention that 1 die you get to sense approaching danger can literally be a lifesaver.

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            • #7
              What is powerful/overpowered depends on what you want them to do in the chronicle.

              (V20)
              In Combat -
              If blood is not an issue, then Celerity is the most overpowered. +1 dice to Dex or 2 attacks a round.
              In General, and if blood is scarce, Fortitude is pretty good, it counters the potence in a one-on-one fight (Unless the Potence user spends their limited blood) and gives you protection against bullets (High risk for Ghouls) and anyone else trying to hurt you without potence.
              It'd also be pretty good in day to day life, no more scrapes, bruises and small inconveniences due to Supernatural Resilience.


              Out of Combat, so many of them are useful as far as a person getting a cool power goes
              Animalism - talk to/understand animals and give them basic orders. A perfect Vet/Animal Whisperer/spy
              Auspex - If the GM is overly generous with the Danger sense aspect of the power, it'd be useful, otherwise pretty underwhelming by itself.
              Chimerstry - Re reading it, could be surprisingly useful if you can regain the willpower at a reasonable rate. No other Ghoul will have more Auspex to be a threat, and most young Vampires won't either. It also doesn't use blood at all...
              Dementation - Great for causing chaos, but not controllable enough to be a big threat, definitely in the hands of ht GM.
              Dominate - in V20 they controlled the abuse factor, stopping people from going against their nature, there's no issue with Ghouls Dominating Ghouls or mortals, but won't be useful against Kindred.
              Obfuscate - V20's hide and seek champion, mortals will probably need to move after a while, but it'll fool anyone without Auspex for long enough to get away
              Obtenebration - Stuff the stealth bonus, for a blood point you drop the mortal target's Stamina by 1, possibly killing them.
              Presence - A certainty for any social character, though the blood cost sucks in this edition.
              Protean - Seeing in the dark? Situational
              Quetus - Zone of Silence, great for a sniper
              Serpentis - Great for a team up, they can't move as long as you look at them
              Viscisitude - While you can only change yourself, there is a lot of scope to change yourself to look like almost anyone, lots of versatility


              Necromancy & Thaumaturgy - Difficult, many of the level 1 powers are useful but underpowered compared to true disciplines And you'll never get another path because you can't raise your Primary high enough, BUT with access to rituals, they have a range of powers and tricks that gives a versatility most ghouls will never come near.

              I think the point lots of people are making is that most of them are good options for different situations.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Illithid View Post
                Viscisitude - While you can only change yourself, there is a lot of scope to change yourself to look like almost anyone, lots of versatility.
                Versatile and immensely useful, but expensive for a ghoul.

                Originally posted by Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition - Page 241
                "Malleable Visage - The player must spend a blood point for each body part to be changed, then roll Intelligence + Medicine (difficulty 6)."
                "Height, build, voice, facial features, and skin tone, among other things," is what the fluff describes, so I'm going to assume that the spirit of it is more than just individual body parts, but I can see an ST making it a hefty expense. Let's not forget that unless you take the merit "Promethean Clay" (which I don't even know if Ghouls can take) then you have to sculpt the changes by hand. Still, you can eventually make yourself look different. Height change, skin color, etc. Commit a crime and then never look like the same person again. Pretty good way to escape justice and avoid certain lower supernatural threats.

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                • #9
                  There's a scene in the almost-canon "A Dozen Black Roses" that has the protagonist use level 1 to change hair colour and length by running her fingers through her hair (While walking around a revolving door) coming out and not being recognized.

                  For a Blood point, things like that are good. Yes, big changes will need a lot of blood and that is an issue.

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                  • #10
                    Nancy A. Collins’ Sonya Blue vampire novels are a treasure and every Vampire player should read them.

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                    • #11
                      Walking around during the day


                      For different game play videos of White Wolf Games from my play group
                      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBU...IhwsM3kHK56SRA
                      https://soundcloud.com/twin-cities-by-night
                      If you want to find White Wolf game play media or subject matter media
                      https://www.facebook.com/groups/862703457198327/

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                      • #12
                        I think the healing.

                        Being able to soak bullets and then heal the wounds lends itself to a lot of badassery.

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