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[V5] Amalgams and Advanced Disciplines

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  • [V5] Amalgams and Advanced Disciplines

    A place to discuss what sort of substitution can be made for +6 Disciplines, the role of Methuselah powers, and other story related mechanics.



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

  • #2
    What substitution can be realistically done? The 6+ discipline up to ten made sense before, but for whatever reason it was fudged completely. Maybe when your PC gets "older" you can get access to more better "powers/abilities" to replace your already full discipline dots with? Maybe an "evolution" system of some sort? Regardless removing 6+ Disciplines was a really bad botch.


    Jade Kingdom Warrior

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    • #3
      6+ was a bad system,
      the 6+ disciplines were too expensive for questionable usefulness/power/versatility,
      plus it didn't make sense for there to only be 5 or 6 disciplines at lvl 1-5, while 6+ had a alot of them, even if some of them would fit better in the 1-5 category

      I was thinking that rather than adding 6+ disciplines, the 1-5 disciplines would gain in potency as you lowered your generation becoming elder disciplines,

      for example,
      if you're high generation, dominate 2 requires eye contact,
      if you lower your generation to 7, your dominate 2 grows in potency and eye contact is no longer necessary, your voice or skin contact is enough (the equivalent of the dominate 6 power 'Command Obedience')

      you could also add the ability for high gens to use elders disciplines, but at a higher difficulty or higher blood cost (requiring more time or more blood expenditure, a bit like how it is for mages with arete 1)
      Last edited by Pleiades; 07-08-2020, 03:11 PM.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Shakanaka View Post
        What substitution can be realistically done? The 6+ discipline up to ten made sense before, but for whatever reason it was fudged completely. Maybe when your PC gets "older" you can get access to more better "powers/abilities" to replace your already full discipline dots with? Maybe an "evolution" system of some sort? Regardless removing 6+ Disciplines was a really bad botch.
        There's ways they could go around it.

        "Advanced Disicplines" are a cool house rule I've seen used and use myself. You'd make the Elder versions of Dominate, Presence, and so on with a requirement for the first 5 levels.

        That way the system doesn't break.


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

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        • #5
          Previous six+ powers will either be made into 4/5 level dot powers either directly or as high level amalgams. We've seen an example of this through Ancestral Dominion and Shatter in cults of the blood gods. Based on the Montano loresheet, Methuselah's and the like may be able to learn extra powers above the five that are allowed but the system doesn't really need special exclusive powers for them when amalgams serve that purpose plenty well. "Why can the elder Ventrue dominate an entire family line and I can't? Because he has amalgams that I don't." In this case that one might be an auspex + dominate amalgam and a high level one at that.

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          • #6
            The way I see it, the purpose of 6+ disciplines in earlier editions was to make Elders scarier, and the main problem with them was that they spent precious wordcount on things most players would never have the chance to use. How often do you play fourth-gen characters with access to nine-dot powers, after all? They were good inspiration for STs, but there's a reason Gehenna replaced all dot-ten powers with "Plot Device": if Arikel (or Helena for that matter) wants to make something happen with Presence, it generally happens, whether or not there's a printed power to do exactly that.

            V5's approach is instead to make Elders better at using their disciplines in general (Blood Potency buffs) in a way that takes less wordcount. That way every power printed can actually be relevant to players, while Elders still have the edge—pools get bigger, flat bonuses get more potent, and powers get less costly to use (in terms of blood). Meanwhile, the cooler six- and seven-dot powers have gotten moved down into the 1-5 range.

            So for the big huge plot-device ancients, I would run them the way I've always run them: Ur-Shulgi can break the Tremere blood curse without having a nine-dot Break Tremere Blood Curse power, just because they're a terrifyingly powerful fourth-gen blood-sorcerer and their powers are plot devices more than anything else. For the smaller ancients, like Villon and Hardestadt, I let them buy additional powers from the 1-5 levels if applicable. They still only have five dots of Presence or Fortitude or whatever (because their potent blood adds to Discipline dice pools already and a second bonus just gets ridiculous), but they can have whatever specialized amalgams they need.

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            • #7
              I think VtR took the right approach here:

              Disciplines are from 1-5.
              Devotions (aka Combo Disciplines, aka Amalgams) can include 1-3 Disciplines and don't mess with your core Discipline selection.
              Merits can adjust Disciplines, including having Blood Potency requirements.

              Nothing is out of reach of PCs (even if some is going to take a lot of XP to get), nothing besides Blood Potency goes over 5, lots of room to add custom powers to make characters (PCs and NPCs) a bit more unique, and the potential to give thousand of years old vampires some really scary powers.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                There's ways they could go around it.

                "Advanced Disicplines" are a cool house rule I've seen used and use myself. You'd make the Elder versions of Dominate, Presence, and so on with a requirement for the first 5 levels.

                That way the system doesn't break.
                Too late to that.. Helena & CIA sheets were already printed without those advanced gimmik.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by blailton View Post

                  Too late to that.. Helena & CIA sheets were already printed without those advanced gimmik.
                  Maybe they're suffering the Withering from resisting the Beckoning.


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

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                  • #10
                    http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...the-masquerade

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                      Maybe they're suffering the Withering from resisting the Beckoning.
                      You changed your mind about this topic?

                      In a previous post some months ago you replied to me that vampires that didn't resist beckoning don't need an explanation in the book for what they can and cannot do, that they can do anything they want and that players would not roll dice if they tried to kill such beings, in this caze they just needed to describe the plan and the ST would arbitrarily decide whether or not they could do it. you gave an example of the players using a truck full of something exploding to kill a Methuselah as a valid idea, in which there should be no dice roll, just the acceptance of st.

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                      • #12
                        I'll maintain the following:

                        The original discipline system was secretly genius. It was simple, intuitive, disciplines mostly came in a rational order, and it worked with metaphysics and magical theory. The player and the character needed to put little thought into what disciplines to get, they were just extensions of a character. It also had a big impact on the social dynamics of the game; Exceeding level 5 disciplines gave incentive to diablerise. Individual powers might've been bad, but the system was near perfect...

                        Combo disciplines, as written, weren't something I liked. Individual powers might've been great, but the system of combo disciplines needed work.

                        And now we've moved on to amalgams. How have they improved on the much flawed combo discipline system? They haven't, they're amplications of what I dislike about V5's overchoice system: not only are you trying to work out which of the specific powers you'll get at each level of the discipline, you'll also have to plan to around other disciplines to get the powers you want "So I got my Domainte to 3 and now I want to buy a 4th dot but I want this amalgam power so I'll have to wait on getting two more points of auspex before I improve dominate again...

                        Like, what? I don't think this is a good feature. The more I think about it, the worse it gets. Surely 6+ powers, of which you can buy different things at the same level if you wanted to, was a better, simpler, less nitty-gritty system. I don't understand a push for more amalgams.


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

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by blailton View Post

                          You changed your mind about this topic?
                          No, but it's a subject that clearly is bothering a lot of people. Even if I don't agree with it, I think it's important people have options.

                          In a previous post some months ago you replied to me that vampires that didn't resist beckoning don't need an explanation in the book for what they can and cannot do, that they can do anything they want and that players would not roll dice if they tried to kill such beings, in this caze they just needed to describe the plan and the ST would arbitrarily decide whether or not they could do it. you gave an example of the players using a truck full of something exploding to kill a Methuselah as a valid idea, in which there should be no dice roll, just the acceptance of st.
                          Honestly, I think that stating out beings like Helena and Mithras is a mistake. One of the smartest moves in gaming, I think, was when they did the LORD OF THE RINGS adaptation for Decipher and listed Sauron's stats as, "You lose."

                          I think that Methuselahs should be plot devices, basically.

                          However, if you are going to do an Advanced System, you shouldn't feel beholden to the stats already published and say, "Helena has no stats over 5 nor does Mithras when restored to full strength."

                          Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                          I'll maintain the following:

                          The original discipline system was secretly genius.
                          No it wasn't.

                          The powers listed were inconsistent, disorganized, and very much removed a lot of mystery from the Antediluvians. By statting them out, you made Methuselahs easy to kill and that removed a lot of the mystery from the game.

                          I also felt that Elders had very inconsistent levels of power between the editions.
                          Last edited by CTPhipps; 07-08-2020, 05:04 PM.


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

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                            The original discipline system was secretly genius. It was simple, intuitive, disciplines mostly came in a rational order, and it worked with metaphysics and magical theory. The player and the character needed to put little thought into what disciplines to get, they were just extensions of a character. It also had a big impact on the social dynamics of the game; Exceeding level 5 disciplines gave incentive to diablerise. Individual powers might've been bad, but the system was near perfect...
                            Right, but from what I've seen in other threads, your justification of the system is "G#d/Lilith/the Antediluvians imposed these mechanics and therefore they're perfect because they're divine". You could just as well claim that G#d created the V5 disciplines and therefore they're infallible too.

                            Why does it make sense that Lasombra can't see through shadows if they're higher than Gen 7? That should be a low-level, fundamental power, not something you need to be an Elder for. But it's stuck at level 6, because there was already a progression of powers for 1-5 and no room to add something new.

                            Or, why is the first step of Quietus "you make a magical sphere of silence", and the second step "you turn your blood into poison"? What's the connection between those?

                            Why does Animalism swing sharply back and forth between controlling animals and controlling the Beast? Why do you always have to switch from one to the other and then back again as you develop your powers, for no obvious reason?

                            Why do only four clans not have a special discipline all their own? What's different about those four clans?

                            (All mechanics taken from V20, because that's the corebook I have on hand at the moment.) I don't hate the 1-5 discipline system, but I think claiming it's "near perfect" is a serious overstatement.

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                            • #15
                              The system, not the specific powers within, was good. There are lots of little fine-tuning and I'll agree with you in that 8/9 powers could've been kept as myths and legends (The great madness of 1719 was theorized to be the work of a malkavian methuselah working with dementation of the ninth level... ) rather than something stated out like it was normal. But the 1-5 linear, 6+ whatever system itself was magnificent, both from a story and gameplay perspective, even if we'd all like to go over certain powers with a pen and certain disciplines (presence, looking at you) don't really have intuitive, logical progression of other disciplines.


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

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