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[Essay] Top Ten Tips to running Thin-Bloods in V5

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Draconis View Post

    Agreed with this part. I played as a thinblood once who had a chance to diablerize and become fullblooded…and refused, because being a thinblood (with Alchemy and in-clan Presence and the ability to walk in the sun) was better than being a fullblooded vampire.
    I oddly enough had a vampire make a deal with a demon to become a Thin Blood. He wanted the immortality but he hated the Beast because he killed his own family with his first frenzy.


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

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    • #32
      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

      I oddly enough had a vampire make a deal with a demon to become a Thin Blood. He wanted the immortality but he hated the Beast because he killed his own family with his first frenzy.

      Glorious... the way to Hell is paved with good intentions. A truly touching and interesting story; do you mind if I borrow it for my games?


      "No, no, don't look any further, my profile is actually more handsome than me"

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Alqamar Alaswad View Post


        Glorious... the way to Hell is paved with good intentions. A truly touching and interesting story; do you mind if I borrow it for my games?
        Sure, go ahead.

        For me, Thin Bloods open up a lot of interesting opportunities even if they are (and especially if they are) Ghouls+.


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

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Draconis View Post

          But…V5 blood sorcery generally does the same thing as previous editions' blood sorcery. And the Hermetic paradigm that the vast majority of Tremere use is exactly the same. Is there something about Hermetic philosophy that says magic powers have to come in strict one-to-five progressions and be activated in six seconds each?
          A few criticism's are gnostic too.

          1-H As Above, So b=Below is no longer practiced. The microcosm of vampires no longer represents the macrocosm of everything else. Common disciplines are no longer extensions of human abilities (Increased strength, increased command, Increased perception, increased deception) but rather they're a collection of highly specific, cool powers (Super Jump or Lethal punch? Blink to enemy or blink up wall?). You no longer have the same abilities as your sire. In gnostic thought; perhaps vampires are emanations... getting more eartthly and earthly with each generation but bound to return to a higher level...
          2-G/H you aren't unlocking potential, you're "developing new powers", which doesn't really mesh with the whole 'we're developing our souls to reach our original potential/return to the divine understanding". Instead it's more like you're getting powers the way a comic book character would.
          3- The diverse will working of sorcery has been reduced to blood-themed magic for vampires. If the embrace was the 'alchemy' of hermeticism, does it now proclude that other part of magic, the theurgy of hermeticism? We can have humans who learn to control lightning, but vampires can't do it any longer because it's 'Un-Dracula'?

          The beliefs of these systems relfected in the system of mechanics.

          But like, did you want to posit that V5's discipline/Magic system seems more 'real' than older editions? Did you seriously want to do that? Sure, the Tremere may still be 'Hermetic' but that just means they wear robes, draw circles, and get awfuly smug about things. Their belief system no longer lines up at all with the mechanics, and the same is true for the setites. Thin blood alchemsts have the veneer of a paradigm, but they don't actually have a paradigm besides "A mage or anyone with a dot of occult would find this absurd"

          I highly recomend you check out Gnostic and Hermetic theory (wikipedia will suffice) and consider how they apply to WoD. It'd be far better than my inarticulate ramblings.
          Last edited by MyWifeIsScary; 06-26-2020, 04:52 AM.


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

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          • #35
            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

            Because Tremere can all do it with Rituals now.
            They can not. Maybe in a future book, but at the moment - no.

            Originally posted by Draconis View Post

            Agreed with this part. I played as a thinblood once who had a chance to diablerize and become fullblooded…and refused, because being a thinblood (with Alchemy and in-clan Presence and no frenzy and the ability to walk in the sun) was better than being a fullblooded vampire.
            That is a problem for me. They are supposed to be screwd, but they have it great (excluding the fact that people hate you for the moment).


            They lack lineage, are hated by everyone, lack the vampiric flaw and have a great versatile new discipline. They are the new powerhouse waiting to take over.
            Have they just recreated the Tremere?

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            • #36
              Originally posted by mfalkenb View Post

              They can not. Maybe in a future book, but at the moment - no.
              Have you read Cults of the Blood Gods? Lure of Flames is done with rituals there.




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

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              • #37
                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                Have you read Cults of the Blood Gods? Lure of Flames is done with rituals there.

                The original power cited was movement of the mind, if I am not mistaken.

                I have not read Cults of the Blood Gods yet. I hope it is available for general purchase soon. I have read that Lure of Flames/Creatio Ignis is included.
                Hopefully they did not screw that up - restricting it to close combat, tying it to some weird skill or religion.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by mfalkenb View Post
                  The original power cited was movement of the mind, if I am not mistaken.

                  I have not read Cults of the Blood Gods yet. I hope it is available for general purchase soon. I have read that Lure of Flames/Creatio Ignis is included.
                  Hopefully they did not screw that up - restricting it to close combat, tying it to some weird skill or religion.
                  Just saying that Paths have been converted into rituals.

                  It seems that most Blood Cults know a Path of Blood Sorcery they can teach if you join it. Not that they only know it.


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

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                  • #39
                    I hope to be pleasantly surprised when it comes to Blood magic. I very much enjoy the material otherwise.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                      Just saying that Paths have been converted into rituals.
                      That's very unfortunate. Very disappointing. A sad time for all who liked magic.


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

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Draconis View Post

                        Agreed with this part. I played as a thinblood once who had a chance to diablerize and become fullblooded…and refused, because being a thinblood (with Alchemy and in-clan Presence and no frenzy and the ability to walk in the sun) was better than being a fullblooded vampire.
                        Am I just reading it wrong? How did you have in-clan Presence as a Thin-Blood? The Merit Discipline Affinity gives you a dot in a discipline and the ability to buy more at Out of Clan costs. Additionally, you would lack Blood Surge, no discipline reroll options or addition dice on disciplines.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by SarcasticJazzHands View Post
                          Am I just reading it wrong? How did you have in-clan Presence as a Thin-Blood? The Merit Discipline Affinity gives you a dot in a discipline and the ability to buy more at Out of Clan costs. Additionally, you would lack Blood Surge, no discipline reroll options or addition dice on disciplines.
                          You're right, I misspoke there. It was indeed at out-of-clan experience costs. (This game was a while back.)

                          In this case, the ST said I could blood surge for one die, because otherwise my Hunger was never increasing which meant I never had to feed (unless I did a ton of Alchemy—the one rouse check per night just wasn't a significant enough increase). Allowing the blood surge seemed like a better solution than getting rid of blood-drinking. And while I couldn't reroll disciplines or get bonus dice, those things don't really help your average BP1 neonate either (iirc, no dot-one powers require a rouse check outside of Sorcery and Oblivion).

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                            That's very unfortunate. Very disappointing. A sad time for all who liked magic.
                            I've got to agree whole heartedly with this. Blood magic has always been a mix of force of will and rituals. The force of will piece has just been made too narrow with all the spontaneity taken out with switching paths into rituals. It seems really improbable the Tremere could have survived if all their abilities required loads of prep work and nothing but a few powers from the path of blood/quietus could be done on the fly. Hell it'd make more sense for some of the path of blood abilities to be ritualized than lure of flames and movement of the mind.

                            Most of the style stuff came into the game with supplements, so hopefully they have some books on blood magic that bring in some different paradigms. There's been a little bit of hinting at this with House Carna being mentioned as bringing in some other types of magic like neo-paganism that were shunned by the mainline clan.

                            Not to derail the thread, but you also seem to love Gnosticism a lot. Ever read Valis by Phillip K Dick?

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                              A few criticism's are gnostic too.

                              1-H As Above, So b=Below is no longer practiced. The microcosm of vampires no longer represents the macrocosm of everything else. Common disciplines are no longer extensions of human abilities (Increased strength, increased command, Increased perception, increased deception) but rather they're a collection of highly specific, cool powers (Super Jump or Lethal punch? Blink to enemy or blink up wall?). You no longer have the same abilities as your sire. In gnostic thought; perhaps vampires are emanations... getting more eartthly and earthly with each generation but bound to return to a higher level...
                              2-G/H you aren't unlocking potential, you're "developing new powers", which doesn't really mesh with the whole 'we're developing our souls to reach our original potential/return to the divine understanding". Instead it's more like you're getting powers the way a comic book character would.
                              3- The diverse will working of sorcery has been reduced to blood-themed magic for vampires. If the embrace was the 'alchemy' of hermeticism, does it now proclude that other part of magic, the theurgy of hermeticism? We can have humans who learn to control lightning, but vampires can't do it any longer because it's 'Un-Dracula'?

                              The beliefs of these systems relfected in the system of mechanics.
                              I just don't see how "you unlock a specific power at each discipline dot up to 5, then get free-form powers" is required for a game to have Hermeticism in it. Mage: the Ascension doesn't have that game mechanic and Hermeticism is one of the most prominent and well-supported paradigms.

                              Vampires haven't always had the same disciplines as their Sires, mechanically; Alice the Malkavian could put all her dots into Obfuscate, and her childe Bob could put all his dots into Dominate. Alice might not even have Dominate in-clan. (Depending on edition, at least—I think V20 unified the two types of Malks, right? It's been a while.) Bob's childe might be a Caitiff who specializes in Animalism instead.

                              Now, the idea of disciplines being straight extensions of human abilities (the way pre-V5 Potence, Celerity, and Fortitude at least were; Rose Bailey calls these "booster disciplines" as opposed to "ladder disciplines" in her discussion of Requiem development) is an interesting one. But that's not how most disciplines were in earlier editions, either. For example, what human ability does "impose a sphere of magical silence" enhance? And how does that lead directly into "turn your blood into poison"?

                              And for your last point…Dracula could call down lightning in Stoker's version. And presumably the Tremere (and the legendary Tzimisce Kolduns, and Banu Haqim sorcerers who are interested in magic for some reason) can too. Just because it doesn't appear in the corebook's list of example rituals doesn't mean it's not possible.

                              Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                              But like, did you want to posit that V5's discipline/Magic system seems more 'real' than older editions? Did you seriously want to do that? Sure, the Tremere may still be 'Hermetic' but that just means they wear robes, draw circles, and get awfuly smug about things. Their belief system no longer lines up at all with the mechanics, and the same is true for the setites. Thin blood alchemsts have the veneer of a paradigm, but they don't actually have a paradigm besides "A mage or anyone with a dot of occult would find this absurd"

                              I highly recomend you check out Gnostic and Hermetic theory (wikipedia will suffice) and consider how they apply to WoD. It'd be far better than my inarticulate ramblings.
                              Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of V5's vision of sorcery. And don't get me started on the manuscript preview of necromancy. (Though it would be unfair to rant about that one, since it's not even published yet and it's likely to change before official publication. Ask me later once Cults comes out.) I just don't think your criticisms are very fair—characters can have a Hermetic (or Gnostic or any other) worldview and paradigm, regardless of how exactly players roll the dice.

                              On that topic, though, I think my favorite mechanics for vampiric blood sorcery are from the ST Vault product Blood Sorcery: Rites of Damnation, for Requiem. It brings sorcery a bit closer to the versatile magic of Mages, while not making it strictly better than disciplines (since doing a working requires a lot of research and preparation time, which Dominate and Protean don't). And while that book doesn't focus on a Hermetic or Gnostic paradigm, it's versatile enough to be adapted with a bit of work on the ST or player's part.

                              As for the thin-blood alchemy "paradigm"…yeah. You're not wrong there. I really wish it had been explored more, because as-is the book talks about the aesthetics but not about how it works. The best I can come up with based on the corebook is sort-of-Platonism-ish: they're using some property of their weak vitae to bring their ingredients closer to their ideal Forms, then drawing on properties of those Forms to make effects happen. But if someone better-versed in real-world magical traditions than me were to write an ST Vault book explaining their paradigm and the theory behind it, I'd pay good money for that.

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                              • #45
                                I have not. I just was looking at Tremere/settites/Order of hermes/Blood magic trillogy, and lots of cool things were alluded too, so I followed up and looked at their philosophies to understand them a bit better, and thought they were quite profound. They were clearly quite the inspiration for the OG WoD writers. Hermeticism just works and clearly inspired the cosmology and how magic works whilst gnosticism is it's edgy gothic-punk brother.

                                Now I can rollplay having a few dots of occult too when it comes to magic. I don't have to be all "this is profound evil arcane secret occult knowledge I can't explain". I can also play a Settite and sell drugs to children with a straight face and conviction.


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

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