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Which is more useful, Dominate or Presence?

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  • Which is more useful, Dominate or Presence?

    You can answer for V20 or V5, whichever you like better.

    Do you think guys do better with Dominate and girls with Presence, or is that just a myth?


    The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

  • #2
    In V20, Dominate is straight-up better at low levels, and often at high levels too.

    In V5, they're about the same. Neither is better or worse, just different styles.

    I wouldn't attach either of them to a specific gender.

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    • #3
      I'd say Presence is more useful because of its subtlety.

      However, my perspective is most likely shaped by the fact that I have very rarely personally seen Dominate used by players, cause most of the people I've played with started out in LARP groups where Dominate was favoured by the types of people who were intentionally out to take away everyone's character freedom and spend the entire game turning every PC in sight into slaves, and so we tend to avoid using it. And as such Presence just seems to be used for effect way more often and therefore come off as more useful.

      The "Dominate is for guys, Presence is for girls" line of thought strikes me as something espoused by folks who have some very narrow views on the types of concepts people should play depending on their gender (ie. "if you're a female player you should be rolling up a Toreador who wants to have the sex with everyone").

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      • #4
        V20/Revised its Presence.

        You can resist dominate of 75% vampires in the world buying 5 points of Gen at chargen.

        You can pick the 3 points merit iron will and all you have to do is spend 1 point of willpower to clean your mind from all commands.

        You can pick the Nature Autocrat and this will override possible attempts to command you, since orders of domination dont work if it contradict your nature.

        You/the NPC can say out loudly:"I think if I do this, my unlife will be in danger, so I will not to do" and everything is sorted out.

        In v5 dominate is way superior to presence.

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        • #5
          Both are incredibly useful, which is why Ventrue are #MasterRace

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          • #6
            Another thing to consider is the dice pool : dominate always use manipulation, and then intimidation, leadership and subterfuge (iirc), which are all useful skills that you want to have. Presence, on the other hand, use a bunch of different dice pools for its powers : charisma and empathy, but also useless stuff like performance and appearance, where you will likely be low, so in general, you might get more dice to use in dominate than in presence. Difficulties may also be lower, depending on who you use them on, since it's almost always the willpower that is targeted. Finally, all presence powers can be resisted with willpower.

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            • #7
              Presence is a vaguely written power and it depends on your storyteller. It's a little better in DA. As for dominate, I know at least two storytellers who hate it and haven't adhered to rules as written.
              But dominate's a much better power.

              Dominate is pretty top heavy. 4/5 aren't weak, but all the best powers are 1/2/3. Dominate is something you can get creative with and it doesn't cost blood. I really enjoy dominate.
              Presence on the otherhand is pretty spread out when it comes to power and it depends on your storyteller. You can use it on animals (and spirits) too. 3,4 and 5 are rediculously wonderful powers, though 1 and 2 aren't as versatile as dominate. Because of that, if I had to take one out of clan and one in, Dominate, being more useful early on, would be the out of clan.


              Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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              • #8
                Thank you guys. This was very helpful.

                I definitely agree with you about the gender issue.


                The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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                • #9
                  I personally prefer Presence, but that's more because of my personality than my gender.


                  The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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                  • #10
                    I hadn't even beard of the Gender split before, can't say I agree.

                    In terms of which is better I would say it depends on the situation and what you want to achieve. I always think of Dominate as the Hammer, Presence as the Scalpel. Presence is very good at subtle manipulation but generally takes time to get the desired result. Dominate gets immediate results but can be hard to conceal depending on the power used, you can cover traces with forgetful mind but there's always the chance the inconsistencies might get revealed. Also prolonged and repeated Dominate can be detrimental to a psyche, depending how you want to play it.

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                    • #11
                      Also with Presence you can make them want to do it rather than forcing obedience. Again it depends on the situation.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                        Do you think guys do better with Dominate and girls with Presence, or is that just a myth?
                        This is the first time I hear about this.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mithras304 View Post
                          I always think of Dominate as the Hammer, Presence as the Scalpel. Presence is very good at subtle manipulation but generally takes time to get the desired result. Dominate gets immediate results but can be hard to conceal depending on the power used, you can cover traces with forgetful mind but there's always the chance the inconsistencies might get revealed. Also prolonged and repeated Dominate can be detrimental to a psyche, depending how you want to play it.
                          I disagree.

                          If you dominate along the lines of what someone would do anyway, it's a scalpel. People don't feel a force forcing them to do something, they just find themselves doing it. You can also insert a false thought to really, really, fuck with someone on a level that's more akin to a poison than a sledgehammer. "that's right, I'm an alien, and we're watching you' . The only power that's absolutely a sledgehammer is 4. 4 is a rocket-maul.
                          Every presence power except the first is jaringly obvious and harmful.


                          Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post

                            I disagree.

                            If you dominate along the lines of what someone would do anyway, it's a scalpel. People don't feel a force forcing them to do something, they just find themselves doing it. You can also insert a false thought to really, really, fuck with someone on a level that's more akin to a poison than a sledgehammer. "that's right, I'm an alien, and we're watching you' . The only power that's absolutely a sledgehammer is 4. 4 is a rocket-maul.
                            Every presence power except the first is jaringly obvious and harmful.
                            I dont see any command in this alien thing, and the book says silly commands or commands in the wrong moment will not work v20.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post

                              I disagree.
                              My perspective is it's the other way round. Presence is the sledgehammer, dominate is the scalpel. What a lot of folks miss especially in V20, is dominate can be employed in extremely subtle and nuanced ways. Bare minimum, a player can slip Dominate commands into a conversation, speech, or even small talk without anyone -- the target or bystanders -- being the wiser. It's one thing to walk up to some schmuck, look them dead in the eyes absent any other context, and just blurt out the command; another entirely to perform some small talk or introduce oneself, warm the other person up and wait for eye contact to become natural, then pop them with the command and work it into speech in a way that blends seamlessly. Or, even in a way that makes the other person rationalize their compliance away, think it's coincidence, or even that the Dominate-user persuaded the person to comply normally.

                              I've used Dominate on PC's in circumstances where the player didn't even realize they'd been Dominated, and even complied with the command of their own volition so the point of supernatural compulsion never even came up. As an ST and as a player. Helps that I carefully cultivate a "habit" of fiddling with my dice during game and throwing non-rolls, so players never know when I'm actually rolling for something and when I'm not, and work out hand signals with ST's and fellow players to not tip anyone at the table off to what I'm doing.

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