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V5 did the Lasombra right...and wrong

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  • Pleiades
    started a topic V5 did the Lasombra right...and wrong

    V5 did the Lasombra right...and wrong

    short version

    when it was revealed that for V5, Lasombra would get their clan weakness extended to a handicap related to technology use,
    I was one of those (maybe few) who welcomed the news

    for me, it improved the Lasombra as player characters, as it gave the lasombra a more obvious struggle that would be easier to engage with and translate into play than the absence of reflection

    unfortunately, it was short lived, as it turned out obtenebration was severely nerfed and crippled in v5,
    making the Lasombra relatively too weak in V5, and ruining them as both player characters and npcs


    long version

    if you're familiar with the sabbat in previous editions, you'd be familiar with the fact that the main antagonist of any Sabbat isn't the Camarilla or even the antideluvians but enemies closer to home,
    the Lasombra, Tzimisce, Black Hand, Inquisition etc

    and the Lasombra (sabbat or antitribu) were arguably the worst of them...

    ...and their design helped in that respect...

    they were overpowered in every way,
    they had a great/versatile discipline spread

    their clan weakness (no reflection) allowed them to recognize each other,
    made them immune to certain technological devices (cameras being the most common),
    combined with obtenebration, they were pretty good at maintaining their masquerade,
    and the sour feeling they got from the absence of their reflection helped in raising the young lasombra into more ruthless individuals, in a similar fashion to the Nosferatu ugly appearance

    they had a clan body to regulate their conflicts and diableries, keeping a fairly stable and strong clan

    the ritae always acted in their favour,
    the vinculum made sure that any hostile sentiment towards the clan (by the antitribu or otherwise) was shut down,
    the monomacy was rigged in favor of obtenebration users, which worked well in combination with potence, and they had dominate and exclusive access to abyss mysticism for the few cases where the first two failed

    the obtenebration nerf in v5 ruined it
    they're not as intimidating anymore

    ...but they sucked as player characters

    for the reasons above, the lasombra PCs were privileged in every way, in addition to having the easiest access to some of the best mentors

    their clan weakness wasn't enough to offset the balance, at least not to the same extent that other clan weakness like the Nosferatu weakness did,

    even if the absence of reflection would be a real struggle in real life, it didn't translate well in a PnP game,
    plus, there are ways to get around it (having someone draw your portrait)

    that's why, the technology handicap in V5 was good imo,
    but without obtenebration...it's just overkill
    Last edited by Pleiades; 05-30-2020, 11:14 AM.

  • Elphilm
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    New Lasombra Bane suggestions:

    4. Repulsed by Reflections: A Lasombra does not cast a reflection or create their own shadow. Any mirror, photograph, or video larger than a car rearview mirror or handheld one that should show their image but does not results in them having to make a self-control roll. They will also need to make one to allow themselves to be filmed or a photo taken. In short, they react to mirrors and recording devices like most vampires do fire.
    This is my favorite of the four because it keeps the essence of the weakness the Lasombra have had since 1992 but hits them with a hefty mechanical penalty they have always needed. Plus, it's entirely in keeping with how Dracula always reacts to mirrors in movies and TV. I like it very much.

    Leave a comment:


  • Alqamar Alaswad
    replied
    I'm getting so annoyed by the references to the 5-point-cap that I need to read them from my V5 corebook. Until them, I won't pay them any attention. No longer.

    On the other hand, thanks God and all the Forumites here for the latest ideas about the Lasombra. I need to read and reread the Chicago by Night section on them.

    Oh, and I also need school to finish. I'm a secondary school teacher and huge amounts of exams are stalking me...
    Last edited by Alqamar Alaswad; 06-09-2020, 02:36 AM. Reason: Making it clearer and easier to read.

    Leave a comment:


  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by Necroticbinder View Post
    I'm guessing these would be for V20 or earlier then especially with the self-control roll?
    Just substitute as appropriate for V5.

    Leave a comment:


  • Necroticbinder
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    New Lasombra Bane suggestions:

    1. Mirror Revulsion: A Lasombra cannot see their reflection in a mirror and if presented with their own lack of reflection, they are at a +2 difficulty to all actions until the mirror is done away with. Normal individuals can see the Lasombra's reflection.

    2. Silver Vulnerability: A silver lined mirror will not show a Lasombra's reflection and they suffer aggravated damage from silver injuries like a werewolf. Normal mirrors, photographs, and video will show them.

    3. Reflectionless: The Lasombra has no image in any reflective surface or photographs (but can be seen on videos or any moving footage). This would keep the essential spirit of the problem without making it too much of an advantage.

    4. Repulsed by Reflections: A Lasombra does not cast a reflection or create their own shadow. Any mirror, photograph, or video larger than a car rearview mirror or handheld one that should show their image but does not results in them having to make a self-control roll. They will also need to make one to allow themselves to be filmed or a photo taken. In short, they react to mirrors and recording devices like most vampires do fire.
    I'm guessing these would be for V20 or earlier then especially with the self-control roll?

    Leave a comment:


  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by MalkSam View Post
    If you knew a given vampire was a LaSombra and you thought an altercation would be likely, there's nothing much stopping you from carrying a silver knife or a mag of silver bullets. This is especially so because, unlike werewolves, other vampires aren't weak to silver and won't get penalised just for carrying them.

    Fire is common, yes, but weaponising it to actually deal significant damage to a vampire is difficult. The most common ways would be something like a molotov where you'd need to basically catch them with it, or Dragon's Breath shotgun shells which are much more limiting than silver bullets. Any bullet could theoretically be made from silver, while Dragon's Breath requires rather specific kinds of shotguns.
    True.

    Fair point. I think it works as a weakness but it is harsh.

    Leave a comment:


  • MalkSam
    replied
    If you knew a given vampire was a LaSombra and you thought an altercation would be likely, there's nothing much stopping you from carrying a silver knife or a mag of silver bullets. This is especially so because, unlike werewolves, other vampires aren't weak to silver and won't get penalised just for carrying them.

    Fire is common, yes, but weaponising it to actually deal significant damage to a vampire is difficult. The most common ways would be something like a molotov where you'd need to basically catch them with it, or Dragon's Breath shotgun shells which are much more limiting than silver bullets. Any bullet could theoretically be made from silver, while Dragon's Breath requires rather specific kinds of shotguns.

    Leave a comment:


  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Originally posted by MalkSam View Post

    This wold make combat LaSombras a little weak, I think. Silver is a hell of a bane, and one thing that really separates the banes of werewolves and vampires is that sunlight and fire are rather difficult to weaponise but silver isn't.

    According to CofD's Armory (I don't know how silver weapons are statted off the top of my head for WoD), they take a -1 penalty to damage and to durability as well if they're melee, but that is a small price to play for doing directly aggravated damage. Vampires wouldn't really have a hard time getting ahold of silver, either.
    I dunno, I doubt the vast majority of vampires are carrying around silver weapons. Let alone anyone else in the world but Pentex. Fire is also a helluva lot more common than silver.

    Leave a comment:


  • MalkSam
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    2. Silver Vulnerability: they suffer aggravated damage from silver injuries like a werewolf.
    This wold make combat LaSombras a little weak, I think. Silver is a hell of a bane, and one thing that really separates the banes of werewolves and vampires is that sunlight and fire are rather difficult to weaponise but silver isn't.

    According to CofD's Armory (I don't know how silver weapons are statted off the top of my head for WoD), they take a -1 penalty to damage and to durability as well if they're melee, but that is a small price to play for doing directly aggravated damage. Vampires wouldn't really have a hard time getting ahold of silver, either.

    Leave a comment:


  • CTPhipps
    replied
    New Lasombra Bane suggestions:

    1. Mirror Revulsion: A Lasombra cannot see their reflection in a mirror and if presented with their own lack of reflection, they are at a +2 difficulty to all actions until the mirror is done away with. Normal individuals can see the Lasombra's reflection.

    2. Silver Vulnerability: A silver lined mirror will not show a Lasombra's reflection and they suffer aggravated damage from silver injuries like a werewolf. Normal mirrors, photographs, and video will show them.

    3. Reflectionless: The Lasombra has no image in any reflective surface or photographs (but can be seen on videos or any moving footage). This would keep the essential spirit of the problem without making it too much of an advantage.

    4. Repulsed by Reflections: A Lasombra does not cast a reflection or create their own shadow. Any mirror, photograph, or video larger than a car rearview mirror or handheld one that should show their image but does not results in them having to make a self-control roll. They will also need to make one to allow themselves to be filmed or a photo taken. In short, they react to mirrors and recording devices like most vampires do fire.

    Leave a comment:


  • Chris24601
    replied
    Originally posted by Draconis View Post
    I always took that as a social restriction, not an intrinsic one, if that makes sense. In other words, the institution of the Tremere Pyramid insists that you learn three dots of one path before starting on another, but if you had extenuating circumstances that could potentially change.
    If it were a social restriction it wouldn’t apply to other practitioners of blood sorcery, but ot does.

    More likely it’s an enlightenment restriction akin to how in Mage you could only buy spheres up to level of your Arete score. In Thaumaturgical terms this translates to “You need to understand something at the three-dot level before your brain can start expanding your horizons to other paths and a 5-dot understanding to handle multiple paths at the same time.

    Leave a comment:


  • Draconis
    replied
    Originally posted by Koronus View Post
    Like Chris said, with the Only One Dot ceiling you can only get one path each for Necromancy and Thaumaturgy because former needs to have for second path first path on three and three+ paths need to have main path on 5 while Thaumaturgy requires the main path to be always one dot higher then the rest unless you reached five dots with it so a Gen 16 Vampire can have except first all Thaumaturgy paths on one dot, Gen 15 on 2 and Gen 14 on 3 while Gen 16 can not have a second Necromancy path too.
    I always took that as a social restriction, not an intrinsic one, if that makes sense. In other words, the institution of the Tremere Pyramid insists that you learn three dots of one path before starting on another, but if you had extenuating circumstances that could potentially change.

    Though it does raise the question of whether the Tremere will teach it to you in the first place.

    Leave a comment:


  • Koronus
    replied
    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
    Nah, you can do every paradigm you just described with regular 'blood sorcery'/ Necromancy. It's just a matter of style and beliefs. Check out Rites of the Blood.
    Like Chris said, with the Only One Dot ceiling you can only get one path each for Necromancy and Thaumaturgy because former needs to have for second path first path on three and three+ paths need to have main path on 5 while Thaumaturgy requires the main path to be always one dot higher then the rest unless you reached five dots with it so a Gen 16 Vampire can have except first all Thaumaturgy paths on one dot, Gen 15 on 2 and Gen 14 on 3 while Gen 16 can not have a second Necromancy path too.

    Leave a comment:


  • Draconis
    replied
    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
    Lasombra are actually my favourite characters with TF, bar the Baali. There's just something so wonderful about that juxtaposition and reconciliation.
    My favorite is still "True Faith: Setite Gnosticism". The true believers are my favorite type of Setite. (Though I suppose that's also getting off-topic for this thread.)

    Leave a comment:


  • Chris24601
    replied
    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
    Nah, you can do every paradigm you just described with regular 'blood sorcery'/ Necromancy. It's just a matter of style and beliefs. Check out Rites of the Blood.
    I have it, but in this case the specific wrinkle is “can you do most of the things attributed to that paradigm with only one dot in one thaumaturgic path?” Because that’s the limiter if you’re doing it as a Dhampir (half the fun of playing a Dhampir is working around your very hard limits and employing your advantages to best effect).

    That said, I’ve almost never done any Dhampir I’ve played as a straight-up Mage replacement. The main thing for me is not being a parasite, but still being able to play with my friends who prefer Vampire and do so without disrupting the theme and mood too much by bringing some intruding cosmology and enemy groups into the game.

    My current PC has the pale aura and unbondable merits and, with celerity and presence in addition to potence, is passing themselves off as orphaned Brujah fledgling who agreed to be blood bound in order to avoid being destroyed and has been working to secure “feeding rights” over a group of homeless in order to protect them from being fed on by vampires. Their long term goal is to find out which of the vampires in the city killed their parents and then ruin them.

    Leave a comment:

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