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I don't like that Conditioning is gone

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  • I don't like that Conditioning is gone

    Conditioning is a very appropriate power for Camarilla games about the horror of absolute order. It allows there to be Elder parties where basically all the human servants are lobotomized. You've got these butlers and maids with vacant eyes quietly filling wine glasses with their own blood as elders chat politely in their expensive clothing. Bonus points if the ST describes the party in terms that are elegant yet soulless, perhaps resembling a chessboard.

    It really feels like something is missing from that kind of Horror-Of-Absolute-Order game if elders can't perform that sort of psionic lobotomy.

  • #2
    there are so many horrific ways you can reduce ppl to mindless slaves why take the easy route by making it basic mind-control (but that might just be my inner tzimish talking)

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    • #3
      Definetly the Tzmisce.

      I liked Conditioning because, well, it ties stuff together. Dominate has such a wonderful,intuitive progression to it. Would be a shame if something happened to it.


      For ease of reference: "VTM" means every edition that isn't V5, because V5... it's a very different product, and I don't want to write "Pre-V5" because that's lame and I'm lazy.

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      • #4
        Is it gone or just not listed yet? The variety of powers has increased many times over.


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

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        • #5
          Completely agree.

          If only this was the sort of game where you could just make believe whatever you wanted... maybe you could just decide to bring it back.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Legendre View Post
            Completely agree.

            If only this was the sort of game where you could just make believe whatever you wanted... maybe you could just decide to bring it back.
            Well, if we're just imagining whatever we want now, why bother with buying the new books at all?

            Just because we aren't beholden to them, doesn't mean criticisms of a product are invalid.


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            • #7
              Personally, I'm a fan of Conditioning, but I don't think I'd make it its own power in V5. V5 discipline powers are generally either passive benefits that are always on, or take only an instant to activate. Conditioning happens over a long period of time and has no visible effects until several nights in.

              So instead of making it a power, I would make it a Project. Something like: anyone with Dominate can launch a long-term Project to break someone's will and turn them into a Conditioned thrall. Determine the difficulty by the target's willpower, and balance it so that against an average person it's near-impossible at Dominate 1, difficult at Dominate 3, and easy (you're almost certain to succeed, it just takes time) at Dominate 5.

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              • #8
                So, something like, "an extended roll requiring 30 divided by your Dominate rating successes"?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
                  Conditioning is a very appropriate power for Camarilla games about the horror of absolute order. It allows there to be Elder parties where basically all the human servants are lobotomized. You've got these butlers and maids with vacant eyes quietly filling wine glasses with their own blood as elders chat politely in their expensive clothing. Bonus points if the ST describes the party in terms that are elegant yet soulless, perhaps resembling a chessboard.

                  It really feels like something is missing from that kind of Horror-Of-Absolute-Order game if elders can't perform that sort of psionic lobotomy.
                  V5 has an open system for discipline powers. Just add the power to those avaiable to players at 4 dots, and done, conditioning is back!

                  That said it's more of an NPC kind of power than anything else, having a conditioned servant isn't that useful when you can have retainers doing the same things and showing more initiative. Yes, a conditioned servant is more resistant to dominate from other vampires, but is it worth 4 dots?

                  If you only need this as a storytelling device just describe scenes with it in effect without need to add a specific power for the effect, it's doubtful players will want it anyway.

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                  • #10
                    It's not exactly the same, but there is a new passive level 2 Dominate amalgam (requires Presence 1) power in Cults of the Blood Gods called Slavish Devotion, which increases the difficulty to Dominate a character already Dominated by a vampire with Slavish Devotion by two.


                    I’m a writer. A storyteller. They’re my passions. They’re what I do. The stories I tell, they are my mythologies. Like the Norse tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki, or the Celtic fables of Lugh or Cú Chulainn, I want them to be the kind that people retell. They are the legacies I wish to leave behind.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                      Well, if we're just imagining whatever we want now, why bother with buying the new books at all?

                      Just because we aren't beholden to them, doesn't mean criticisms of a product are invalid.
                      I'm not sure where "validity" enters into the discussion, nor can I for the life of me fathom why -- presuming that you are intending to use "invalid" as a loose, generic placeholder for "unwarranted" -- you would think that I would proffer suggestions on how to *fix* a problem if I didn't think it existed. For that was indeed what I was doing.

                      But in any case, your question is a good one. Why bother buying the new books? It is a question for which I have consistently failed to arrive at anything approaching a satisfactorily motivating answer.

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                      • #12
                        So, I'd really ask what it is about conditioning that you miss. As it stands, mortals don't get a roll unless they are prepared to resist dominate in the first place, which, since we are discussing level 4 powers, you could have rationalize and thus they'll not realize you've been dominating them and shouldn't be prepared unless it's a situation like a hunter or the like.

                        Is it the lack of eye contact? Because that exists in Irresistable voice and doesn't require an extended roll on a single target, admittedly with the restriction that it's your in person voice.

                        Is it the higher dominate difficulty? That exists under Slavish Devotion in cults of the blood gods as mentioned.

                        Or do you just want to mind whammy someone into being servile to your every word? While that feels more like a presence power (And there is ghouling, or the Presence power lingering kiss) you could also argue that being a function of something using the Project system.

                        The issue is conditioning doesn't really serve much of a purpose in the current system as most of it's utility can be made with existing powers.

                        As for the mindless servants style, that just feels like mesmerism or the flavor of repeated dominate being used on them. A power to get less effective retainers who mindlessly follow commands would well. Be a poorly made power for the vampire's growth and for putting in a book.
                        Last edited by Necroticbinder; 03-22-2020, 04:45 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Haquim View Post

                          V5 has an open system for discipline powers. Just add the power to those avaiable to players at 4 dots, and done, conditioning is back!
                          Which requires player/storyteller communication and a "Yes" from both sides. More to the point: Implanted directive is now level 3 along with rewriting memories, both of which are overwhelmingly more important than conditioning, so in reality you're not getting conditioning until level 5, where it'd need a buff to stand up to others. Because of the Dominate/Mesmorize nerfs of V5, "conditioning" does not become "utility", you can't get around it with other powers.

                          That said it's more of an NPC kind of power than anything else, having a conditioned servant isn't that useful when you can have retainers doing the same things and showing more initiative. Yes, a conditioned servant is more resistant to dominate from other vampires, but is it worth 4 dots?
                          Yes.
                          a lot of people also think v20 animalism is useless after the second dot. You just haven't put thought into how you can really use the power.


                          -Conditioning stops your people from doing very stupid things with "initiative". They follow your plans to the letter without distraction or deviation, Nobody wants to escape and tell the whole world and endanger the masquerade, or kill your favourite retainer out of jealousy. They have lost their selfish desires and only exist to serve you.
                          -Conditioning gives you masses of slaves with minimal maintainence and minimal risk to the masquerade, whilst bloodbonding and presence is blood-expensive and unpredictable. With Conditioning you can have Tens of unpaid servants with no masquerade risk, without it you'll struggle to gain more than single digits.
                          Last edited by MyWifeIsScary; 03-22-2020, 01:01 PM.


                          For ease of reference: "VTM" means every edition that isn't V5, because V5... it's a very different product, and I don't want to write "Pre-V5" because that's lame and I'm lazy.

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                          • #14
                            Yeah, being able to give mortals a psionic-lobotomy is a wonderful power that makes mortals behave the way mortals are supposed to behave. Conditioning makes the world a better place.
                            Last edited by CajunKhan; 03-22-2020, 03:52 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                              Which requires player/storyteller communication and a "Yes" from both sides. More to the point: Implanted directive is now level 3 along with rewriting memories, both of which are overwhelmingly more important than conditioning, so in reality you're not getting conditioning until level 5, where it'd need a buff to stand up to others. Because of the Dominate/Mesmorize nerfs of V5, "conditioning" does not become "utility", you can't get around it with other powers.
                              Does it? In your games maybe. As far as I'm concerned the ST might choose to introduce a power or forbid one in order to tell the story. If you are a ST a power like conditioning isn't really needed. You can assume vamps get the same efects with extensive use of dominate and presence onm their thralls without needing a specialized power for the effect. For players the power is actually less useful than most other dominate powers, something you can do better with dots in retainers instead.

                              Yes.
                              a lot of people also think v20 animalism is useless after the second dot. You just haven't put thought into how you can really use the power.
                              If a ST wants to tell a story about one or more retainers escaping their masters and threatening the masquerade he/she can do so, Conditioning being a power avaiable to players or not. In play a retainer basically does the same stuff a conditioned retainer does and is usually more effective, because Conditioning tends to make thralls follow orders and show no initiative at all. They might follow an order to the letter but they are not good at doing more complex stuff that needs quick thinking on their part. So no, 9 times out of 10 having dots in retainers is better than having a 4th level power like conditioning which was never particularly useful for players nor for STs (as said above a ST can duplicate the effects of Conditioning without any need of making the power avaiable).

                              -Conditioning stops your people from doing very stupid things with "initiative". They follow your plans to the letter without distraction or deviation, Nobody wants to escape and tell the whole world and endanger the masquerade, or kill your favourite retainer out of jealousy. They have lost their selfish desires and only exist to serve you.
                              -Conditioning gives you masses of slaves with minimal maintainence and minimal risk to the masquerade, whilst bloodbonding and presence is blood-expensive and unpredictable. With Conditioning you can have Tens of unpaid servants with no masquerade risk, without it you'll struggle to gain more than single digits.
                              They follow your orders and the more variables are introduced the less effective the power is. And no, Conditioning might be broken so the more the power is used to make huge numbers of thralls, the more likely it is some of those thralls will rebel. As for having "masses of slaves", it's not something particularly useful for players unless the ST is willing to allow a discipline power that needs months to years to work properly to take the place of backgrounds like resources without paying the related XP cost (and in my book that's an exploit I don't allow).

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