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  • diminishing return on age

    Surely there is a limit on the power that age brings with it. I don't believe that vampires will, indefinitely, get more powerful as they grow older (does it really matter if you are a 3000 year old 4th gen vampire or a 4000 year old 4th gen vampire?) At some point they will reach their max potential and every year after that, shouldn't make them noticeable more powerful. At what age do you guys think a vampire will reach the saturaited point?

    And does generation matter? Will a lower gen vampire reach his max potential faster? Or does generation only effect the height of a vampire's power and not the speed they will reach it?

  • #2
    I feel strongly that the formative years of vampire's existence are the most important. of his unlife (bar his mortal days). When you're a neonate, you're learning, you're getting the skills you need. But once you've found your happy place, and there's no drive to improve your normal hunting skills nor are there elders telling you to go on a dangerous mission that'll test your skills, you will stagnate. You're likely to increase your knowledges and somewhat improve your disciplines, but your talents and skills aren't going to improve unless you push for improvement. Maybe you could recapture the fast-improvement of your early nights by mixing things up (Say, stop acting as a Casanova and start going sandman or alleycat) but that's dangerous and you probably have rivals that would delight in you going off on a little adventure like that.

    I also recall something: The earlier years in your life mean more, because they constituted a higher precentage of your life at the time you went through with them: When you're four, you'll be four for 25% of your life up till you're five (The effect is more pronounced because you don't remember much of being two). When you turn 50, that year will be about 2% of your life....

    This is kinda what I think of when I hear "Vampires are static"; They're static because their mortal days will eventually mean more than decades of unlife.


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

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    • #3
      If you talk about the power of the blood or your curse:
      - mechanically there is a limit to blood potence at your generation
      - in my headcanon you will always get more powerful but it becomes less and less meaningful.

      As for the psychological aspect:
      - we really have no idea how that works for people 200+ or vampires
      - you might become static as described by MyWifeisScary
      - You might forget your older memories of only/mostly remember your last X years
      - You might go into torpor and get a reset
      - You might degenerate and become less intelligent/mature/empathetic over time

      Pick your poison. I use all of these depending on the story I want to tell.

      You could go with characters that continue to grow and somehow become better or stay fresh. I tend to avoid these or turn it dark by the reaction of others - envy, suspicion, fear.
      Last edited by mfalkenb; 07-24-2020, 12:14 PM.

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      • #4
        blackshade Well technically you are right. There is a point where getting older brings nothing anymore because you can not learn anymore anything. Though this point is so high that I think the only vampire who could reached it would be Caine. Though what you and MyWifeIsScary mean is, that when you get older you will get no longer really learn. Though this is more closer to MWIS at a certain age they feel no longer a need to learn and improve and less of you stop getting more experience because of age.

        Mechanically you still get between 3 EXP per decade to 1 EXP per year and one dot of disciple per decade despite doing nothing. Though this is only for those that continue to lay on their glories and not for active ones like Mithras. This is one of the reason why the god of war whas so dangerous. He whas one of those that as long they where active continued to improve so even the ancilae or even elder could not really hope to overcome him with time because his mountain of experience whas still growing.
        For normal vampires you have the suggested point, where you can as Neonate PC overpower them with just being unnatural active and so reach their power and majurity despite being still so young because it seems to be the case for any elder, to just lay back and let your subjects do the risking of their unlife which makes them grow stagnent and let their power be overcome some new cainites. That is one of the reasons why most elders and princes let you go on suicide missions if you are to active because they knew you could outtrain them.


        As I am from Austria I need to clarify two things.
        First my native language is german and so please point out if the english I write is broken so I can improve.
        Second I do not own VTMV nor any line after M20 because it is not out there and I wait for the translation.

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        • #5
          In the old Elysium book they had some mechanics for this, both with an age background and increasing XP costs for new traits over time.

          The first dot of age gave you 30 extra freebie points, but the 5th dot only gave you 10 more points than the 4th dot.

          The more points or equivalent to the points in age you had, the XP multipliers to buy traits went up.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mfalkenb View Post
            - you might become static as described by MyWifeisScary
            .
            I want to highlight that I really mean this from a socially practical point of view. I don't think elders and ancients become physically and mentally unfit with learning new things (I loath the suggestion) it's just that there's no need for them to learn new things. Evolution in nature isn't about animals getting better for the sake of getting better, it's about being good enough to be considered successful. Once you're good enough, nature doesn't improve you.

            (I've been watching some gun videos lately, so the analogy might not be for everyone) Imagine you want to shoot things. Some people buy a gun, they go to a range, they stand still and they shoot at targets over and over again. They learn to reload fairly well and aim the gun well, and that's good enough for them. You can happily do just that for your entire lifetime and die with two dots of firearms. Or you can drill fastdraws, learn to shoot on the move, fire shots are rediculous ranges, engage different targets under a timer... and gain 4 dots of firearms in a potentially a matter of months.

            The thing is, do you actually need to push yourself to be happy? That latter option is expensive and difficult, and do you really need to John Wick your way through enemies when you can just hire people for that? Are you even going to encounter a situation like that? If the most you're going to do with a gun is intimidate someone without a gun, wouldn't you be better off spending time on your finances or managing your holdings or having what you consider fun? There are only so many hours in the night, and you've earned the right to laze around and let the neonates struggle with that kind of thing...

            And, if you were an ancient, what's the point in developing superhuman skills? Let's say you do end up getting 4 dots in firearms; With your generation you might be capable of getting 7 dots of firearms, but is there really a point to that? I think there's a good reason why you get a speciality at 4 dots, but don't get anything special at 5: perfection is diminishing returns. Four dots is 6xp, five dots is 8xp, six dots is 10xp; You might as well learn a new discipline. Not to mention the time. Even if you can get 7 dots of anything, what's your motivation? And if you get 7 dots of something, why improve on something else when your 7 dots of whatever can easily be the hammer that makes everything else a nail? Why learn to fight when you're the most likeable guy ever and can talk your way out of anything with the no-Discipline power of 14 dice? Why gain inhuman social powers when your finance skill gives you the Midas touch?

            You become static because you become comfortable, not because some writer thought it sounded cool to say 'Vampires are static' as if the preservative effect in their blood gives them a learning disability.


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

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            • #7
              Now, in regards to generation giving you power faster.

              There's no mechanics in the game which give low gens an easier time learning. (That I'm aware of). Generation, at least in all the editions bar one, is almost entirely about raising the threshold of a vampire's abilities and giving them a greater blood pool. You are unchaining yourself from the mundane shackles of the world and reaching the starting point of a divine emanation with each generation you lose.
              That said, Being able to spend a lot of blood in one turn and having plenty of reserves gives you the appearance of being very powerful, even if you don't have that many disciplines. A 13th gen with 4 strength and 3 potence is outmatched for strength within a turn by a 6th gen with 4 strength and 0 potence (The 13th gen's ultimate strength will be higher should he also bloodbuff) Furthermore generation has a good deal of effect on Presence, Dominate, Quietus, a lot of transformation powers... It's impresive to be able to change form in one turn when others take three.

              I did, however, read that having an amazing teacher who teaches whole heartedly can give you a massive boost, and Elder blood in the first two editions gave you temporary disciplines which might cut down on teaching time. So low gen neonates may have a huge advantage here.


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

              Comment


              • #8
                You are talking about the difference between real life and the game mechanics.

                In the game, trait level 5 is supposed to mean highest human potential and extensive training that only a small fraction of humanity achieves. Yet if any game lasts long enough, PC gets enough experience and levels up their character to that. It is particularly noticeable in LARP and Online games where you can gain a lot of XP quickly, and STs really don't bother to control XP expenditure. So any long term players have 5s all over their character sheet. And once you have a few PCs with that, then not only will all the other players do the same, the STs begin to give NPCs the same stats just to provide a challenge. And in many table tops, it is the same thing. In actuality, most of these characters should probably hit a ceiling of level 3 traits with maybe a level 4 somewhere.

                Compared to mortals, vampires aren't limited by biology. We can assume that vampire vitae in general allows people to easily overcome the original limitations of their body/genetics, and it has its own natural limits. At the same time, raising your abilities past a certain point requires intense self-discipline and dedicated training regimen. Most vampires won't do that for the same reason most humans don't.

                Then there is the matter of XP points. In a game like vampire, you show up for a game session, and you get more XP. So show up enough, and you have a ton of XP to spend. I saw this a lot in LARP. Many players would do almost nothing every game session, but they showed up because they needed the XP to get to the point where they felt comfortable actually doing something in game (and thus potentially coming into conflict with another player). In real life, simply showing up doesn't grant you additional experience that improves your understanding or builds mastery. In real life, many people essentially stop learning, or learn at a greatly slower pace. In real life, they raise a bunch of Abilities to 2, and have a few 3s by the time they retire. They never achieve a 4, much less a 5. It is a very small subset that ever achieves 4s and 5s (though given the size of human population, there are a lot of people like that).

                So the same rules should apply to vampires. Let's assume that very old vampires are the more rare types that do possess natural gifts and self-discipline, and thus are more likely to develop multiple strong skills. I would still expect very few of them to have skills past level 4. Maybe only one or two at levels 6 or 7, assuming they can do that. And only a few more at 5.

                I would say most vampires stagnate at some point when they become elders, perhaps around 200-400 years of age.

                Now in practice, this is not how the game is played. NPCs with multiple levels of 4 and 5 are routine, and if you have elder or older NPCs, they are going to have high stats in everything. Because they're not there to be a real simulation, but to challenge a bunch of players who probably have inflated stats anyway.

                An element in the game is that vampires voluntarily enter torpor, and yet they are able to learn things while in it. It is like a chrysalis they emerge from and are more powerful. Maybe their vitae is doing the equivalent of fermenting and becoming "more potent" that boosts many stats. That is one out of it. In that case, who knows what the limits are because improved functioning is a product of the blood. In that case, you never stagnate.
                Last edited by Black Fox; 07-27-2020, 04:31 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                  You are talking about the difference between real life and the game mechanics.


                  An element in the game is that vampires voluntarily enter torpor, and yet they are able to learn things while in it. It is like a chrysalis they emerge from and are more powerful. Maybe their vitae is doing the equivalent of fermenting and becoming "more potent" that boosts many stats. That is one out of it. In that case, who knows what the limits are because improved functioning is a product of the blood. In that case, you never stagnate.
                  Where does it say this? First I've heard of it.


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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                    Where does it say this? First I've heard of it.
                    I can't quote you directly, but I distinctly remember many references to old vampires entering torpor and coming out with additional powers. It may not be in the rules themselves, as opposed to the setting/character portions.

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                    • #11
                      considering elders can still use disciplines such as presence and auspex (like Helena and Shaitan did) while in torpor,
                      it makes sense for them to evolve while in torpor, at least the stats related to the powers they're using

                      those things date back to 2nd ed though, not sure about revised+


                      -

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                      • #12
                        VDA20 said that during downtine vampires should get per decade 1-3 points experience depending on how fast the ST likes it.


                        As I am from Austria I need to clarify two things.
                        First my native language is german and so please point out if the english I write is broken so I can improve.
                        Second I do not own VTMV nor any line after M20 because it is not out there and I wait for the translation.

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                        • #13
                          During torpor you would lose your blood potency and become weaker in a way at least in V5.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mfalkenb View Post
                            During torpor you would lose your blood potency and become weaker in a way at least in V5.
                            Well this is an actual edition retcon because they want the game to be more Requiem like where it is like this.
                            Until V20 it whas from restriction that the sky is the limit.


                            As I am from Austria I need to clarify two things.
                            First my native language is german and so please point out if the english I write is broken so I can improve.
                            Second I do not own VTMV nor any line after M20 because it is not out there and I wait for the translation.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Koronus View Post
                              VDA20 said that during downtine vampires should get per decade 1-3 points experience depending on how fast the ST likes it.
                              Is someone able to quote the Page on DAV20 containing this information? I would be really interested into Reading the rule but i am not able to find it

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