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How do you express Elder Traits/Disciplines in V5?

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  • How do you express Elder Traits/Disciplines in V5?

    AFAIK there is no 6+ traits in V5 now and many people have scoffed at this. So how will you express them of older editions in V5?

    My brief thoughts:
    1. Traits: Just like what they had done (Blood Potency, etc.) and Werewolf, raise some new traits and you can add them in your dice pool. Ancestor, Past Life, Renown and so on

    2. Disciplines:
    All level 5-9 disciplines of older editions are folded into the single level 5 and appropriate combo ones, but they are still required something effective (Generation or whatever) to learn, exp you spend depends on the strength, for example (I haven't converted the system):
    ••••• • Earth Control
    Generation (or others) Required: 6
    Experience Points Required: as the V5 rules say
    Of course for me I will modify overpowerful disciplines, making them more reasonable

    Tip:
    1. I will also fold all forms of blood magic(Dur-An-Ki, Koldun, Thaumaturgy, etc.) into the single Blood Sorcery and just leave some options to different ones, making they have more differences in culture or region rather than actual changes
    2. To some Clan or Bloodline Disciplines, I will refine them, making they have more differences in style rather than actual change. For example, I give make Tzimisce Protean, not Vissicitude, but this kind of Protean will appear more "flesh" and "horrible"

  • #2
    I am still running a V20 game that is part city building and history building to bridge to a V5 game, but here is what I've been mulling over.

    Disciplines: Since the discipline dots are often used in the activation of the powers, I see no reason not to allow this rating to go above 5. Also, many level 6 disciplines have already been retooled to be level 5s now. I think the approach that I will use is that you purchase the Dot rating in a discipline, but can choose the powers up to the dot level you have purchased. Your second dot of a discipline would allow for one level 2 power or two more level 1 powers to the acquired. For elders, this means that their 6th dot can purchase another level 5 and a level 1, or three new level 2s, etc. This will allow for elders to have a width breadth of knowledge of their chosen disciplines, as well as giving them advantage in contested rolls. One of the members of our play group plans to do write ups of new/variant level 6 powers, converting from V20, and depending on how those come out I might use them as well.

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    • #3
      I will not adapt those powers because in v5 the idea is to play as neonate struggling to survive. Would be to much pain to homebrew things. Maybe steal the things you like in the v5 lore and use v20 mechanics?

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      • #4
        For homebrew, the easiest way to do it without breaking the core system is to build more level 6+ powers as Level 4/5 powers, and use Generation to add how many powers someone can buy. For instance, do it how the LARP and tabletop versions do Generation and Elder junk:
        * 8th Gen allows you to buy an additional power of any level, paying appropriate XP costs, in all Disciplines you can learn. 7th makes it 2, 6th makes it 3, 5th makes it 4 and 4th makes it 5, and 4th makes it 6. So janky Methuselahs at 4th Gen have 10 powers in each Discipline at that point, and can buy the homebrewed Level 4 and 5 old elder stuff to fill those last 5 dots worth, depending on how they want to spend their XP. Go for breadth, not height..

        With the basic system, adding dots above 5 adds dice in most instances, which will skew things crazy with the basic way Discipline Power Bonus from Blood Potency works. I posted numbers in another thread with a 7th Gen elder with allowed 7s in stuff trivially getting dice pools into the unbeatable high 20s by default and low-to-mid 30s with trivial effort of surging.

        Even without that, elders are powerful in this system by dint of how much they heal, how much they surge, Rouse rerolls and how much they get bonus dice for DPB from their Blood Potency. You can trivially have the mid teens to low 20s with the right setup and use of Blood Surge.
        Last edited by elmerg; 07-09-2020, 05:57 PM.

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        • #5
          But above all I don’t disagree that authorities limit all traits up to 5 dots. Advanced powers, especially when the levels are many, are very difficult to write, please see 6+ powers in old editions

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          • #6
            I'm a completionist. There is so much of Cainite history that cannot adapt systematically to V5 (yet) and therefore I'd rather wait until they adapt elders or simply wait 'til V6. I have zero trouble to keep rpging revised/V20 systems.

            - Saga

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Saga View Post
              I'm a completionist. There is so much of Cainite history that cannot adapt systematically to V5 (yet) and therefore I'd rather wait until they adapt elders or simply wait 'til V6. I have zero trouble to keep rpging revised/V20 systems.

              - Saga
              I'm curious, what do you believe cannot adapt? Because as it stands, elder rules are in the game. They likely aren't going to get anything special again nor has the lore really relied on the previous 6+ powers.

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              • #8
                To be honest, there are few iconic powers of vampires from folklore and popular culture that can't already be depicted via the existing V5 Disciplines, amalgams, Blood Sorcery rituals, and judicious creativity with loresheets. I don't think 6+ dot disciplines are needed.

                Likewise, the bonus dice to attributes using Blood Surge and discipline rolls in general thanks to Blood Potency largely make up for the lack of 6+ dot Attributes and Skills. Those advantages make elders suitably fearsome compared to neonate characters. I think the system only really fails when you want to depict the vast scope abilities of the antediluvians, and they were relegated to plot device powers in the previous edition.

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                • #9
                  SarcasticJazzHands You actually can't just convert a chronicle to V5. Well, like, you can, but players are going to be thinking of stuff like 'that thing I used to be able to do, I can't do it anymore' and they're gonna be sad about it. Suddenly their disciplines are very different (nearly unrecognizable in some cases), their fighting strategies have been upended, the armour they used to wear is useless, their willpower reserve is gone and the points they've put into generation mean a lot less. If you want to take it really far their ghouls have become hopeless...

                  (I'll throw it out there; If you wanted to convert a V5 chronicle to V20, you'd have a better time of it; much less to houserule)

                  As blailton said, you can take the V5 metaplot you like and it works well with the V20 system, you could take in some things like resonances and houserule in some hunger dice if you wanted,


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

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                    SarcasticJazzHands You actually can't just convert a chronicle to V5. Well, like, you can, but players are going to be thinking of stuff like 'that thing I used to be able to do, I can't do it anymore' and they're gonna be sad about it.
                    Actually, I should speak as a player, that this is something I have done several times already and it's quite fun. Explaining the changes in-universe is a source of WONDERFUL adventure hooks.

                    Also, you can just sit down and say, "Okay, everyone, this is the way it's always been. Take note and memorize the changes."

                    So far, everyone has had an ABSOLUTE BLAST and loved it.

                    I'm happy to share how I incorporated the changes of V5 in-universe.
                    Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-10-2020, 06:18 PM.


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

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                    • #11
                      Elders in V5 are scary because of their blood potency, not the discipline powers themselves. The level-5 discipline powers are nothing to sneeze at, but it's really the fact that elders can use several of them, probably know unexpected amalgam powers because of the number of different disciplines they know, can use many powers at little risk of hunger, can straight-up add a bunch of dice to their already-large discipline pools, and can surge for a bunch more dice if they don't already have to rouse for the discipline power. Sure, maybe you can resist, but they can drown you in successes, often without breaking a sweat.

                      But despite that, they're not unbeatable, and that's the key. They don't have automatic "I win" powers. But going up against them directly is probably not a great idea. So the intended dynamic of the young fearing the old, but the old also fearing the young, is represented pretty well.

                      So I'd not worry about converting elders in the particulars of their disciplines. The important thing is noting which disciplines they've mastered, and which ones they've branched out into, and especially paying attention to what their blood potency should be for their generation+age. The specific powers you reimagine within the current system.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Necroticbinder View Post
                        I'm curious, what do you believe cannot adapt? Because as it stands, elder rules are in the game. They likely aren't going to get anything special again nor has the lore really relied on the previous 6+ powers.
                        For starters, Mithras (full strength) in the Fall of London does not feel like he was in previous editions. Someone who could command his entire bloodline but with a thought (Dominate 9 from all editions) or withstand a brawl with Horus for an entire night (London by Night).

                        No amount of Oblivion (or an amalgam of it) can represent how Montano physically entered the Abyss and got out through any shadow in the entire world (Lasombra trilogy).

                        I don't see how any amount of Blood Sorcery can reflect the might of ur-Shulgi or al-Ashrad since they were both different employments of sorcery to begin with.

                        The Dracon going dragon form against Triglav after the embrace and torpor of Gesu (Libellus Sanguinis I + Clanbook Tzimisce revised) is something that might not probably be reflected with Protean 5 (or whatever Vicissitude will become in V5) + Blood Sorcery 5

                        Michael's Dreamworld is the most adaptable since it could be considered to be Auspex 5+Dominate 5+Presence 5, yet that means that any neonate who happen to have those levels (unlikely, but possible) could hypothetically do it.

                        I won't criticize all the blood magic since V5 is still young and I'm sure something will be upcoming on that, but the task to generalize:

                        Blood Sorcery to
                        - Thaumaturgy
                        - Dur An Ki
                        - Akhu
                        - Sadhana
                        - Nahuallotl

                        and Oblivion to
                        - Obtenebration
                        - Necromancy
                        - Wanga

                        is something that might need to be further explained into how can one possibly employ something that it couldn't do before. I personally hope the game the best, but I rather wait until I'm assured that some adaptations I worked for years in my chronicles might actually make a better sense that they do now.

                        When Gehenna came out, the book considered Ventrue Antediluvian to be slain right after the Second City, which raised more flame than questions since the writers answers were "errr.... he is beyond life and death" which didn't made sense at all. An "oops, we forgot about Mithras, Alexander and many more embrace dates" would have been better instead of justifying with a lame improvised plot device (that is still being sustained!). Since this things happened before, I rather wait and see that V5 is above such carelessness.

                        -Saga
                        Last edited by Saga; 07-11-2020, 04:46 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Saga View Post

                          For starters, Mithras (full strength) in the Fall of London does not feel like he was in previous editions. Someone who could command his entire bloodline but with a thought (Dominate 9 from all editions) or withstand a brawl with Horus for an entire night (London by Night).

                          No amount of Oblivion (or an amalgam of it) can represent how Montano physically entered the Abyss and got out through any shadow in the entire world (Lasombra trilogy).

                          I don't see how any amount of Blood Sorcery can reflect the might of ur-Shulgi or al-Ashrad since they were both different employments of sorcery to begin with.

                          The Dracon going dragon form against Triglav after the embrace and torpor of Gesu (Libellus Sanguinis I + Clanbook Tzimisce revised) is something that might not probably be reflected with Protean 5 (or whatever Vicissitude will become in V5) + Blood Sorcery 5

                          Michael's Dreamworld is the most adaptable since it could be considered to be Auspex 5+Dominate 5+Presence 5, yet that means that any neonate who happen to have those levels (unlikely, but possible) could hypothetically do it.

                          I won't criticize all the blood magic since V5 is still young and I'm sure something will be upcoming on that, but the task to generalize:

                          Blood Sorcery to
                          - Thaumaturgy
                          - Dur An Ki
                          - Akhu
                          - Sadhana
                          - Nahuallotl

                          and Oblivion to
                          - Obtenebration
                          - Necromancy
                          - Wanga

                          is something that might need to be further explained into how can one possibly employ something that it couldn't do before. I personally hope the game the best, but I rather wait until I'm assured that some adaptations I worked for years in my chronicles might actually make a better sense that they do now.

                          When Gehenna came out, the book considered Ventrue Antediluvian to be slain right after the Second City, which raised more flame than questions since the writers answers were "errr.... he is beyond life and death" which didn't made sense at all. An "oops, we forgot about Mithras, Alexander and many more embrace dates" would have been better instead of justifying with a lame improvised plot device (that is still being sustained!). Since this things happened before, I rather wait and see that V5 is above such carelessness.

                          -Saga
                          So. Plot devices, which are absolutely irrelevant to the game mechanics and can be represented as just that. But. Mithras can still command his entire blood line with a thought. For example: Ancestral Dominion is a Dominate 4, Blood Sorcery 3 amalgam that let's you dominate a descendant at any distance. It does admittedly not work if the vampire's defense pool goes above 10 but, Mithras might have a more powerful version of something like that. (That power is literally from the cult of Mithras) Mithras also at full strength would have BP 9 or 10. This means that even if he had a stamina of 1, he'd still have a health pool of 9. He could activate toughness for almost free, he can sling around Defy bane again, for almost free as well as Flesh of Marble. If he activated all of those powers, he'd have spent on average a whole 1 hunger.

                          The Montano thing would be fitting for a ceremony given that Shadow Step is literally already a power, and so a Ceremony that extends it from "Line of Sight" to "Anywhere in the world" would fit within the power level and scope of the game.

                          Ur-Shulgi and Al-Ashrad were... plot devices that weren't really represented in game anyways. In game terms, they'd have a minimum BP of 5 but more than likely have much more. Still, that BP of 5 means they get a minimum of 3 dice on every discipline, and can add three more at a whim. If they were max power, that goes up to 5 for the minimum and 5 for a surge. That means that they could have a pool of 20 with the barest of effort. Which in this system is pretty highly overkill

                          Again, a plot point for the dragon thing. But something that would be doable as a max level power and or loresheet.

                          Yes, a neonate can do these things. IF they know that it exists, IF they cultivate their blood that way, and IF they were to grow in that way.

                          At the least, Thaumaturgy has always been represented as being able to do everything that everyone else can do. It's literally noted as being a highly flexible paradigm.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Necroticbinder View Post
                            So. Plot devices, which are absolutely irrelevant to the game mechanics and can be represented as just that. But. Mithras can still command his entire blood line with a thought. For example: Ancestral Dominion is a Dominate 4, Blood Sorcery 3 amalgam that let's you dominate a descendant at any distance. It does admittedly not work if the vampire's defense pool goes above 10 but, Mithras might have a more powerful version of something like that. (That power is literally from the cult of Mithras) Mithras also at full strength would have BP 9 or 10. This means that even if he had a stamina of 1, he'd still have a health pool of 9. He could activate toughness for almost free, he can sling around Defy bane again, for almost free as well as Flesh of Marble. If he activated all of those powers, he'd have spent on average a whole 1 hunger.

                            The Montano thing would be fitting for a ceremony given that Shadow Step is literally already a power, and so a Ceremony that extends it from "Line of Sight" to "Anywhere in the world" would fit within the power level and scope of the game.

                            Ur-Shulgi and Al-Ashrad were... plot devices that weren't really represented in game anyways. In game terms, they'd have a minimum BP of 5 but more than likely have much more. Still, that BP of 5 means they get a minimum of 3 dice on every discipline, and can add three more at a whim. If they were max power, that goes up to 5 for the minimum and 5 for a surge. That means that they could have a pool of 20 with the barest of effort. Which in this system is pretty highly overkill

                            Again, a plot point for the dragon thing. But something that would be doable as a max level power and or loresheet.

                            Yes, a neonate can do these things. IF they know that it exists, IF they cultivate their blood that way, and IF they were to grow in that way.

                            At the least, Thaumaturgy has always been represented as being able to do everything that everyone else can do. It's literally noted as being a highly flexible paradigm.
                            It doesn't compare to what Mihtras could do in VtM.

                            In v5, an amalgam occupies a slot, that is, Mithras will have to sacrifice the power 4, Rationalize, to obtain that amalgam. An order given to 01 (one) descendant that would not be subtle, a victim would know that he/she was being dominated, restrict to a single victim, can last at most one turn or one scene... In addition to being able to simply fail against dicepool 10.

                            In vtm, an command "to work for the success of the Malkavian clan" to the descendants is possible, including this example described in the described power. In v5, no.

                            But why am I saying this, if we already know that vampires got weaker in v5?

                            Because some fundamentals VtM things like making yourself Kupala, transforming into a Dragon, creating vozdh to get loose in New York, creating Gargoyles, were all part of the scenario and something that players can learn to do because the system was fear enough to apply the same rules to NPCs and PCs. Ring bells to NPCs in v5 whom don't have to follow Chronicle Tenants and even can be without Touchstones, like Talley. Fuck you, PCs! XD

                            If my pj survived the chronicle contained in House Tremere having the opportunity to be initiated in the art of creating gargoyles, unlucky me, as it will not be viable in v5.

                            From what you're describing to me, I either make this power disapear or handwave it as plot device. As an ST I would care less but as a player neither is satisfactory. The Elder can do it, because it's a plot device, but I can't and never will, no matter how much XP I have? Sir, this sucks. It seems that only ST can have fun in V5.

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                            • #15
                              Here's a suggestion I posted a while ago:

                              http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...lae-and-elders

                              The problem for elders in V5 is not the lack of 6+ disciplines but the fact that for the moment the basic rules of character creation do not support them having POTENTIALLY more disciplines than a 13th gen fledgling. The moment you allow elders to have more than 5 powers for each discipline they posses they regain their advantage and amalgam disciplines duplicating old 6+ powers and creating new ones allow to make their arsenal more varied and effective.

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