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  • #46
    If you want to make Tzim varied, go back to the Path rivalries of the DA:V setting, flavours of monster, be it the hellish knights of the Path of the Devil, the transcendental mystical weirdness of the Koldun practioners, the proto mad doctors of Metamorphisis the perfection of the Road of Sins corrupters . All had Vicisstiude, they used it in different ways, but body horror and transhumanism mixed together in a really fun and interesting way.

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    • #47
      Fewer disciplines with more powers is worse though, especially when many clans once thrived off their simplicity.

      I'm writing something up for the Storyteller's vault which includes a bit on fleshcrafting. Basically, the five V20 powers are mostly unchanged (Nothing is permanent if you don't take your time to craft the alterations, which reduces the problem vicissitude has had) but the fleshcrafter can use 'procedures' which are learnt like rituals, allowing them to accomplish weird and wonderful surgeries with vicissitude powers 1 through 5.
      I got a bit too ambitious with other stuff in the same book so it'll come out Never unless I free myself from distractions and responsibilities and go back and really make efforts for completion or exercise it from the rest of the content.But Vicissitude's a discipline about being a doctor and I feel it should strongly go in the direction that makes it a strange and terrifying medical power for the intellectual and depraved rather than a direction that makes it Protean B.


      V5 is not VTM

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      • #48
        Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
        I think all the unique disciplines that you were afraid of learning is apart of vampire. You don't want to learn Dementation because you think it'll make you mad, whilst obtenebration/diamonion will send you to hell, tzmisce will turn you into an alien, quietus/serpentis will make you a cultist, thaumaturgy will have your soul given to a devil...

        Fear.
        It's about fear.
        All of that mood and atmosphere was already divorced from game mechanics, so there's no reason GMs can't still have it. They can play up shadows acting with a mind of their own for PCs who use Oblivion. They can have NPCs spread rumors about how learning "those Protean powers" will make you an incubator for the Elest, or how Dementation-equivalent powers will drive you nuts, or how the Tremere will ask for your soul if you want to learn their diabolical magics.

        All of that is "just" flavor and dependent upon how the GM portrays the Discipline/Discipline powers. I don't find it a compelling justification for redundant game mechanics.

        Originally posted by Elphilm View Post
        If the designers were truly committed to pruning up the discipline list in their quest for purity, they should have started with Dominate and Presence, two types of psychic influence that have only the flimsiest flavor justification for being separate disciplines. The idea that controlling shadows and talking with the dead are clearly the one and the same discipline but the manipulation of other people's thoughts and the manipulation of other people's emotions are so far removed from one another that never the twain shall meet is laughable on its face.
        Conceptually, I think you can make a strong case that the Disciplines are pretty similar. I like them being separate, but outside of Masquerade/Requiem, most vampire media doesn't depict that meaningful a difference between mind control vs. emotional manipulation. Vampire glamor is vampire glamor.

        Gameplay-wise, I think it'd be a bad idea to merge the two. You have two clans with Oblivion and three clans with Protean (if that's what Vicissitude gets turned into). There are four clans with Presence and four with Dominate. That's seven clans with the same Discipline if you merge them together (the Ventrue already getting both). Keeping the Disciplines separate gives players greater diversity of choice and helps the clans feel mechanically and conceptually distinct from one another.


        Blood and Bourbon, my New Orleans-based Vampire chronicle.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by False Epiphany View Post
          Gameplay-wise, I think it'd be a bad idea to merge the two.
          Oh, I'm not in favor of combining well-defined and coherent disciplines in the first place -- classic Protean and Vicissitude are at least as distinct from one another as Dominate and Presence -- but the argument is there. My view is that signature disciplines were a non-problem that V5 seems hell-bent on solving for very little gain.

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          • #50
            I'm not sure if they were trying to fix a problem so much as create a simple system that could be used to create archetypes. The living statue version of vampires versus the easily damaged but berzerker ferocious vampires for certain Fortitude powers. Shapeshifters vs those vampires who jump off buildings and land on their feet for certain Protean powers. And so forth.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Elphilm View Post
              Oh, I'm not in favor of combining well-defined and coherent disciplines in the first place -- classic Protean and Vicissitude are at least as distinct from one another as Dominate and Presence -- but the argument is there. My view is that signature disciplines were a non-problem that V5 seems hell-bent on solving for very little gain.
              Honestly, it was one of the things I liked least about earlier editions. The core seven had to share most of their disciplines, but every clan and almost every bloodline after that had one special unique thing that nobody else had access to—and that thing usually ended up completely redefining the clan and turning them into a planet of hats (like Tzimisce with Vicissitude). Did we really need Mortis, Thanatosis, Nihilistics, and Necromancy to be completely separate and utterly unrelated? Did we really need a Discipline of Turning Into A Snake completely separate and unrelated to the Discipline of Turning Into Any Animal That Is Not A Snake? Did we really need to define the Old-World Dracula Clan around fleshfuckery so thoroughly that they eventually made a separate bloodline, identical except that they don't like using Vicissitude, to be the Actual Old-World Dracula Clan?

              Now, I could see other solutions to this problem: for example, do what Requiem does, give every clan one unique thing, and then try to make those things roughly equal in power and thematic design space. That's the approach that Bloodlines 2 is taking, it looks like, with only the Ventrue having Dominate, only the Torries having Celerity, and so on. But I'm glad V5 at least tried to fix this, even if some of their changes weren't particularly successful (such as Oblivion).

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Draconis View Post
                Honestly, it was one of the things I liked least about earlier editions. The core seven had to share most of their disciplines, but every clan and almost every bloodline after that had one special unique thing that nobody else had access to—and that thing usually ended up completely redefining the clan and turning them into a planet of hats (like Tzimisce with Vicissitude).
                See, I view this as a problem mostly solved later into the gameline. By revised, the only clans of the core seven without a signature discipline were Brujah, Nosferatu, Toreador and Ventrue, meaning of the thirteen clans, nine had their special something, and four were "basic". Rather than try to fix the other nine, the solution should have been (personal opinion only, obviously) to bring the last four to parity. Maybe give the Nossies special uses for Obfuscate 1-5 only they had. Toreadors doing the same with Presence, Ventrue with Dominate. Brujah, maybe they get some special tweak with Potence. If you don't want to write custom disciplines for each, give them dogs a bone some other way.

                Basically, diversity over homogeny. Rather than mashing toolsets together into a small set of multitools, give players more tools to play with and experiment with. Tone down the power of the bigger tools, but don't throw they out or make them into something they're not.

                Because the other issue still stands out in V5. Tremere might not be the only wizard vamps any more, but they're still primarily defined as wizard vamps. Animating shadows and animating corpses might be the same power, but the GioHeceta are still the necromancer clan and Lasombra are still the creepy shadow-using politicians clan. So on and so forth. The hats are still worn. The special trait is still special, still possessed by Clan SpecialTrait, still defining them. Vicissitude melting into Protean doesn't make the Gangrel suddenly not the animal-lover clan, and would only make the Tzimisce no longer the creepy flesh-twisting clan if they completely abandon flesh-twisting entirely. You might get the odd flesh-twisting Gangrel or animal-loving Tzimisce, but the clans are still identified by the discipline. Now it's just which path they go in that discipline.

                So I don't see the changes V5 did as an attempt to fix a problem that continues existing. I see it more as a power prune.

                By the time of V20, there were an unwieldy amount of disciplines, with each having between 5 and infinity powers. That's a whole hell of a lot for a storyteller to remember. I've been storytelling games for (oh god I'm old) over two and a half decades (so... old...), and I have used far too many Baali antagonists. I have a fairly good memory, but I'll be fucked if I could tell you what baseline Daimoinon does at 4-5. I vaguely remember the dice pools for 1-5 Vicissitude, which isn't too varied. I always need to look up what level Obfuscate does which, other than Mask. And that's without going into more rare disciplines from oddball bloodlines. And in every game system, with every new edition, there's a fight to trim and prune the power creep to make it more manageable. Sure, old spells and weapons and disciplines and rituals slowly get reintroduced, and invariably some specialties (disciplines for VtM) get over focused on and have twice as many special powers as any other specialty, but that's the inevitability of supplement grinds. Putting out a book without powers ensures fewer sales than a book with cool new powers.

                What I think V5 is trying to do by squishing powers together is to finally solve that problem. Sort of. At least the last half, if not as much the first.

                With a more limited number of possible disciplines, it's easier to keep all of them in check. Books of Voodoo Niftery just gave Tremere and Assamites twelve new tools in their toolchest? Make sure that the other nine disciplines get stuff in the following six releases to bring them to parity. It's just easier to keep things closer to parity between a dozen disciplines than three dozen. And made even easier when all dozen disciplines only go up to a small level of power. And since disciplines are kept to such small numbers, you can get by with releasing fewer new powers in each book, mitigating the overall creep of new powers being introduced.

                And in that regard, I have to credit V5 for a workable solution. I don't like the solution, I prefer having a space for my Kineticism 6+ homebrew, but it's a good one nonetheless and one I'm not actively against.

                Eh. Just my rambling thoughts on what power-squishing's trying to resolve.


                Writing up Clanbook: Aabbt

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Draconis View Post
                  Honestly, it was one of the things I liked least about earlier editions. The core seven had to share most of their disciplines, but every clan and almost every bloodline after that had one special unique thing that nobody else had access to—and that thing usually ended up completely redefining the clan and turning them into a planet of hats (like Tzimisce with Vicissitude). Did we really need Mortis, Thanatosis, Nihilistics, and Necromancy to be completely separate and utterly unrelated? Did we really need a Discipline of Turning Into A Snake completely separate and unrelated to the Discipline of Turning Into Any Animal That Is Not A Snake? Did we really need to define the Old-World Dracula Clan around fleshfuckery so thoroughly that they eventually made a separate bloodline, identical except that they don't like using Vicissitude, to be the Actual Old-World Dracula Clan?
                  I'm sympathetic to your argument, but my views on the early disciplines go somewhat against the grain of the consensus formed after Revised Edition's updates. Take the various "death-related" power sets, for example. Necromancy means divination via the dead, and that's exactly what you get with the linear 1st/2nd Edition discipline -- obtaining information out of the dead by summoning, controlling, and binding ghosts. Necromancy as a term for general "death magic" is a D&D-ism, and there's no reason why Vampire should be beholden to D&D tropes. From my point of view, Revised took a distinct and coherent discipline and turned it into bargain bin Thaumaturgy padded with useless stopgap powers such as "Make a corpse twitch once." I don't see the improvement.

                  Mortis can safely be ignored for the sake of this argument, since it was always meant to be a medieval precursor to modern Necromancy rather than contemporaneous with it. That leaves just Thanatosis and Nihilistics. Were two tiny bloodlines and their quirky little disciplines such a problem that Necromancy had to be redefined as generic death magic for all future editions of the game? I don't think so, but your mileage may vary.

                  As for the Tzimisce, they were not created to be the Old-World Dracula Clan -- they were created to be the Necroscope Clan. Flesh-fuckery is so essential to the Necroscope alien parasite things that I can't find it in me to shed a tear for the supposedly excessive importance of Vicissitude to the Tzimisce identity. The clan and the discipline were created together and one wouldn't exist without the other. Dracula, the Bram Stoker character, didn't need to be of any particular clan -- his classic powers were already spread among the ten core 1st Edition disciplines. You could just as easily build Dracula as a Gangrel, or Ventrue, or whatever. Ironically, presenting the Tzimisce as the Dracula Clan instead of the Vicissitude Clan is the redefinition, rather than the other way around.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Elphilm View Post
                    As for the Tzimisce, they were not created to be the Old-World Dracula Clan -- they were created to be the Necroscope Clan. Flesh-fuckery is so essential to the Necroscope alien parasite things that I can't find it in me to shed a tear for the supposedly excessive importance of Vicissitude to the Tzimisce identity.
                    I like Necroscope but maybe they SHOULD be the Dracula clan instead of the Necroscope clan.


                    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                      I like Necroscope but maybe they SHOULD be the Dracula clan instead of the Necroscope clan.
                      Tzimisce can't be THE Dracula clan. Because everyone else is already a Dracula clan. Ventrue are hypnotic aristocrats. Gangrel turn into bats and wolves. Brujah have the strength of ten men. Tremere summon storms. Ravnos have Romani servants.

                      And making a clan whose entire shtick is that they are old Romanian aristocrats is stupid because your PC is never going to be an old Romanian aristocrat.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Kammerer View Post

                        Tzimisce can't be THE Dracula clan. Because everyone else is already a Dracula clan. Ventrue are hypnotic aristocrats. Gangrel turn into bats and wolves. Brujah have the strength of ten men. Tremere summon storms. Ravnos have Romani servants.

                        And making a clan whose entire shtick is that they are old Romanian aristocrats is stupid because your PC is never going to be an old Romanian aristocrat.
                        I dunno, I wanted to play the weird creepy guy with his own castle.

                        And that the ones in America want to do that as much as possible.


                        Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                          I like Necroscope but maybe they SHOULD be the Dracula clan instead of the Necroscope clan.
                          They bring in both cosmic and body horror themes, as well as alien ways of thinking (or deeply screwy, depending). Bringing back some of the Dark Ages variety to them maybe a good call, but the core massively strange flesh crafters and body morphers themes and aesthetics are an iconic part of the setting.

                          Plus do we really need another clan of aristocrats with Dominate? Don't the Ventrue and Lasombra have that covered? (with the Lasombra formally adding cosmic horror shadows from the outer night)

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                          • #58
                            Yeah I like the Tzmisce as 'lords of the land' with a dream team of animalism, auspex and dominate (and a healthy side of dumplings) but they're not really occupying a spot that can't be filled by any other clan.

                            Vicissitude is really cool. The clan of terrifying and crazed medical practicioners, while you could hand that over to the Malkavians, isn't so covered.


                            V5 is not VTM

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Elphilm View Post


                              As for the Tzimisce, they were not created to be the Old-World Dracula Clan -- they were created to be the Necroscope Clan. Flesh-fuckery is so essential to the Necroscope alien parasite things that I can't find it in me to shed a tear for the supposedly excessive importance of Vicissitude to the Tzimisce identity. The clan and the discipline were created together and one wouldn't exist without the other. Dracula, the Bram Stoker character, didn't need to be of any particular clan -- his classic powers were already spread among the ten core 1st Edition disciplines. You could just as easily build Dracula as a Gangrel, or Ventrue, or whatever. Ironically, presenting the Tzimisce as the Dracula Clan instead of the Vicissitude Clan is the redefinition, rather than the other way around.
                              This^
                              The Tzims are the Necroscope Wamphyri. The Necroscope Wamphyri are also mostly Romanian Voivodes, so the Tzimisce are Romanian Voivodes as a side-effect. But Romanian Voivode isn't really their core. Their core is allowing you to play a Wamphyri or use the Wamphyri as villains in your campaign.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                                I like Necroscope but maybe they SHOULD be the Dracula clan instead of the Necroscope clan.
                                You might as well say that the Ventrue should be the Dracula Clan. Or the Gangrel should be the Dracula Clan. Or the Nosferatu should be the Anne Rice Clan. Or Brujah should be the Twilight Clan. And V5 should completely rewrite those other clans to be the new Archetype Clan, because the archetype they already embody isn't as cool to you as a different archetype.

                                Maybe a better solution is to make an actual Dracula clan, like OCTzim. Or a Twilight Clan. Or an Anne Rice Clan (that totally isn't the Toreadors). Then you can have your old archetypes as well as your new ones, all without coming across as disingenuous to previous source material.


                                Writing up Clanbook: Aabbt

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