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V5 Amalgams with Prerequisites Question

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  • V5 Amalgams with Prerequisites Question

    So I haven't seen any Amalgam's that also have a prerequisite power from the Amalgam's primary Discipline, but I am creating a number of home-brew powers for a game and a small number of the powers I've written are Amalgam's that I also keep feeling should probably have a prerequisite power.

    Since there's no V5 precedent for this, what are people's opinions on adding a prerequisite power to home-brew Amalgams when it seems highly appropriate?
    Last edited by Archasimos; 01-22-2020, 04:24 PM.

  • #2
    Generally speaking, prerequisite powers aren't just a matter of thematic appropriateness, but to ensure that you don't buy higher level powers that either wholly or partially matter by impacting a lower power in some fashion.

    I'd wager that the lack of Amalgams with prereqs are because they don't tend to be that sort of upgrade power (esp. since they should do so across the Disciplines required).

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    • #3
      I would be really leery of creating "power trees" instead of just letting people build a power set they want. The Hecata already do that with their Ceremonies, and it ain't great.

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      • #4
        All in all out the several dozen powers I've written, I've written a single Amalgam that I just kept feeling should also have a prerequisite. I'm not terribly worried about going down a power tree path. Also I tend to be rather flexible with my players.
        Last edited by Archasimos; 01-21-2020, 04:34 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Archasimos View Post
          So I haven't seen any Amalgam's that also have a prerequisite power from the Amalgam's primary Discipline, but I am creating a number of home-brew powers for a game and a small number of the powers I've written are Amalgam's that I also keep feeling should probably have a prerequisite power.

          Since there's no V5 precedent for this, what are people's opinions on adding a prerequisite power to home-brew Amalgams when it seems highly appropriate?
          Good news! Cults does this in several places!

          Bad news! The reaction from the community…generally has not been positive. The consensus seems to be that they work better without those strict prereqs, and in my game those prereqs are houseruled away.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Draconis View Post

            Good news! Cults does this in several places!

            Bad news! The reaction from the community…generally has not been positive. The consensus seems to be that they work better without those strict prereqs, and in my game those prereqs are houseruled away.

            Is the negative reaction because the prerequisites are too strict and the prerequisite power doesn't make much sense? I've been trying to avoid creating Amalgams that also have an additional prerequisite, but there are some cases where I simply felt it too appropriate.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Archasimos View Post
              Is the negative reaction because the prerequisites are too strict and the prerequisite power doesn't make much sense? I've been trying to avoid creating Amalgams that also have an additional prerequisite, but there are some cases where I simply felt it too appropriate.
              Mostly they put too many restrictions on player power choice for my liking. For example, if you want True Love's Face, you not only need three levels of Presence and three levels of Obfuscate, you also need to have picked specific powers at level three for both of those. My favorite thing about V5's disciplines is how much variety there is in how any individual vampire develops their powers, and locking the variety down with overly-specific prerequisites eats away at that.

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              • #8
                I like this idea. There are already prerequisites within certain disciplines - such as Vanish at level 4 of Obfuscate requiring Cloak of Shadows - that the idea extending beyond seems both consistent and fair. For instance, an amalgam of Presence 3 stipulating that the vampire take Entrancement rather than Dread Gaze is logical and shows how the powers are working together.

                While I see the argument that it restricts the power growth and flexibility on an individual vampire, the balance to the system as a whole is better served if someone, for instance, who never took an Obfuscate power that allowed them to move without being seen was suddenly able to vanish and in effect got two powers for the price of one.

                If I were attempting to bring Chimerstry into V5, I would likely make it a Presence/Animalism amalgam that required certain Animalism powers before unlocking the Chimerstry alternates to Presence.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by JRRParker View Post
                  While I see the argument that it restricts the power growth and flexibility on an individual vampire, the balance to the system as a whole is better served if someone, for instance, who never took an Obfuscate power that allowed them to move without being seen was suddenly able to vanish and in effect got two powers for the price of one.
                  I would say the "avoid two for the price of one" argument is reasonable, and is generally why the corebook includes prereqs: being able to vanish is useless unless you can already be invisible.

                  My issue is with things like True Love's Face, which requires not just Presence 3 and Obfuscate 3, but one specific level-three power for each. It just gets to be an enormous amount of restriction for a single power.

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                  • #10
                    I always thought of the pre-amalgam Combo disciplines (and thus Amalgams) as something akin to either blood magic (and the methods of creating that) or the inceptor power to make new disciplines that really old, really young and Caitiff vampires had. Basically you're creating a new/different/interesting implementation of an existing skill set, and there's going to be a need to practice to refine it (hence an experience cost.) It doesn't have to follow a strict hierarchy (each person could devise their own approach to achieving that particular combination) which apart from the XP costs would depend on a.) what the power is meant to achieve and what its root powers were, and b.) what the purpose/goal is for a given character build.

                    As I mentioned elsewhere I like Amalgam powers as one way to add versatility/power to older/more experienced/powerful vampires even with a 5 dot limit. Especially if they have the ability to learn one or more 'variations' of an ability at a given dot/level (an older vampire might have several level one Potence powers for example) With a potential for inceptor and/or amalgam they could have alot more interesting and different ways to utilize abilities that less experienced/powerful vampires might (and failing that you always have something akin to the Earthbound from Demon the Fallen to reflect their greater power/skill with Evocations compared to the Fallen.)

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