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[V20 Dark Ages] Generation Background at 6+

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  • [V20 Dark Ages] Generation Background at 6+

    In V20 Dark Ages, during character creation, if you take 5 levels of the Generation Background you start at Generation 7. Since this means that your cap on a Background is now 6, shouldn't you be able to put a freebie point in the Generation Background raising it to level 6 granting Generation 6, and then since your cap is 1 higher, put another point in it becoming Generation 5, and so on until you are Generation 3?

    Obviously no Storyteller would allow someone to play an Antediluvian because of some freebie points, but mechanically shouldn't this work?
    Last edited by Custos Tenebrarum; 10-09-2020, 07:48 PM.

  • #2
    I think you can raise backgrounds to 6 only after the game start.

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    • #3
      For neonates it's completely reasonable to cap backgrounds at 5, mostly just due to the time they have to accrue them. In the case of generation you can say it's purely for balance reasons and that's perfectly fair. For abilities, attributes and disciplines above 5 you can invoke the rules requiring them to pick a reasonable derangement for each trait over 5. Like if they take presence/dominate 6, they might unconsciously use it just while talking to people. This would piss off other vampires, especially in Elysium areas, so congratulations you've made some enemies who will screw your stuff. Maybe they have contacts or allies that could make a legal claim on their holdings or domain or lock them out of feeding territory. Take a dex/celerity of 6 and you unconsciously move too fast and are a walking masquerade violation. Too much strength and you crush hands when you shake them. Make sure to force a derangement that actually impacts them. But it's perfectly reasonable to invoke a gen cap of 5 background points for balance and you can also just say there aren't that many vampires of that gen embracing anymore. They don't want to create vampires that close to their own gen since they could become a potential rival in 100 or more years. You're dealing with immortal monsters playing a long game and after awhile older vampires are less likely to embrace just because it could lead to a potential rival, even if it takes hundreds of years for them to reach the level where they could challence them.

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      • #4
        No

        Your cap on backgrounds are not limited by generation. Imagine you're trying to get allies and they turn around and say 'we can't be friends, you already have five such allies, and I cannot be the 6th with your paltry blood..."

        The 5 dot limit is just a convenience for character generation. The Ventrue had a merit in revised which let them take 6 dots of something (Gen excluded, you'd probably want resources) at character generation.. Also exponentially increasing backgrounds (resources, the power of allies) get a bit weird at high levels and you don't want most neonates deciding on 'do i take 5 dots or 6' because that's just a distraction and...

        Honestly I don't think players should start with more than 3 dots in a lot of backgrounds; It encourages background diversity, I want em to work for better backgrounds (also as a storyteller it's easier to remember things when they pop up in game rather than when they're all thrust upon me at character gen) The only times where players should start with 4/5 or something is when they've got skills that mean they should get such things rather easily the first downtime we have (Intellegence+Finance pool is 8? Yeah you can have more resources) or when their character struggle is built around something (rich inherritance, must defend)



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

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        • #5
          Oh, not too mention a neonate with super low gen has a giant target sign on their head for diablerie. How many kindred would love to take a whack at a 6th gen neonate and try to blow town afterwards? The medieval era is still a time when you could run into a new town with a different name and get away with it after laying low for a year for the diablerie lines in the aura to die down. Imagine having every Ancillae in town after your neonate character's blood.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
            No

            Your cap on backgrounds are not limited by generation. Imagine you're trying to get allies and they turn around and say 'we can't be friends, you already have five such allies, and I cannot be the 6th with your paltry blood..."
            By RAW - yes, they absolutely are. But it's a dumb rule I personally ignore.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by DrHappyAngry View Post
              Oh, not too mention a neonate with super low gen has a giant target sign on their head for diablerie. How many kindred would love to take a whack at a 6th gen neonate and try to blow town afterwards? The medieval era is still a time when you could run into a new town with a different name and get away with it after laying low for a year for the diablerie lines in the aura to die down. Imagine having every Ancillae in town after your neonate character's blood.

              The medieval period was extremely mistrustful of strangers showing up in other people's towns and villages. With the low population counts you could also kinda 'know' the faces of people in your town even if you don't know them personally. Letters of recomendation and stuff like that were rather important for merchants and such and I imagine the same for vampire princes. (Alternately, I also imagine princes would send letters to their neighbours with very good drawings of Diablerists and other high-criminals)


              But yeah I consider having more than 3 dots of generation an automatic -people want to eat you- if they know about it.


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

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post


                The medieval period was extremely mistrustful of strangers showing up in other people's towns and villages. With the low population counts you could also kinda 'know' the faces of people in your town even if you don't know them personally. Letters of recomendation and stuff like that were rather important for merchants and such and I imagine the same for vampire princes. (Alternately, I also imagine princes would send letters to their neighbours with very good drawings of Diablerists and other high-criminals)


                But yeah I consider having more than 3 dots of generation an automatic -people want to eat you- if they know about it.
                That's true in smaller towns, but cities and even larger towns were places people could disappear. A lot of peasants got their freedom by running away to a city and laying low for a year. The cities along the Mediterranean had a constant flow of people coming and going and even places on the water like London had the same thing to a degree. Some vampires could also be hostile to other domains and less communicative with them. Fleeing to the domain of a rival of the prince or just far enough way that word of your ill deeds is less likely to reach could work too. A small town with no other vampires in it would be a great place to lay low for long enough for the diablerie lines to subside, especially if you've got social disciplines to get past the locals mistrust. Don't get me wrong, just going over to the next town to try and hide would probably get you nailed, but fleeing across the country is a viable strategy.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DrHappyAngry View Post
                  For abilities, attributes and disciplines above 5 you can invoke the rules requiring them to pick a reasonable derangement for each trait over 5.
                  I can't find any rules which state that. Which book is that in?

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                  • #10
                    My personal take is that any Generation above 5 would be considered Elder Generation (from the Elysium book's elder character rules) and cost 4 freebie points per dot. And, for obvious reasons, you can't be lower than 4th generation.


                    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Custos Tenebrarum View Post
                      In V20 Dark Ages, during character creation, if you take 5 levels of the Generation Background you start at Generation 7. Since this means that your cap on a Background is now 6, shouldn't you be able to put a freebie point in the Generation Background raising it to level 6 granting Generation 6, and then since your cap is 1 higher, put another point in it becoming Generation 5, and so on until you are Generation 3?

                      Obviously no Storyteller would allow someone to play an Antediluvian because of some freebie points, but mechanically shouldn't this work?
                      Ignoring various house rules and judgements people make, to actually answer your question with reference to rules-as-written, I'll start with Dark Age: Vampire (Revised): no. The Generation chart on page 164 specifically references:

                      Trait Maximum: The maximum number of dots a vampire of this generation can have in any one attribute or ability.
                      As you can see, this says nothing of Backgrounds. As the Backgrounds themselves only list five dots, whereas some things such as Disciplines explicitly list six dots, it is reasonable to assume that there is no such thing as a six-dot Background in DA:V and even if there was, Generation has no impact on being able to take a sixth dot. Also, even if there was such a thing, there are no rules for it as written, so it all comes down to Storyteller fiat. The reason I reference DA:V first is to give some context to what I'll say next.

                      With reference to Vampire: Dark Ages 20th Anniversary Edition: probably not - either a player can take a sixth dot in Generation which does nothing and therefore can't get below Generation 7, or they can't take a sixth dot. This Generation chart on page 341 says:

                      Max Traits: This is a character's limit for Attributes, Abilities, Backgrounds, and Disciplines.
                      Strictly speaking, rules-as-written, yes, a character can do as you say and get their Background limit up to six with Generation 5, which now allows them to get Generation 6. However, if we're being really a true rules lawyer to get something past mechanically, there are no actual rules for Backgrounds above five dots, so one could argue that this sixth dot does nothing. (Obviously, the Generation table implicitly tells you what you can do with a sixth dot of Generation, but it's not actually in the rules for the Generation Background, if we're being picky).

                      That said, as no Background has rules for six dots, yet the rules explicitly say you can have six dots, one has to decide that either the Generation table is wrong and no-one can have more than five dots or that one should house-rule the sixth dot. It's a bit of an oversight, sadly.

                      That said, my argument, again trying to stick to rules-as-written would be a combo of: there are no rules for Generation 6, therefore in keeping with the fact that everything else has rules for it and the previous edition doesn't include Backgrounds above six dots as a benefit of Generation, a player can't take it. Or, just lean in more to Storyteller fiat, from p. 153:

                      The Storyteller may wish to limit the Backgrounds available to your characters in order to better tell the story.
                      Problem solved, player limited to Generation 5 / 7th Generation.

                      A final note I'd give, to stick with the theme of personal thoughts on the topic, I'd remember that there's no reason that a starting character in Dark Ages, just like in normal V20, has to be a neonate - they could be an older vampire and not such a target of diablerie.

                      Alternatively, they could take lots of dots in Mentor to represent the fact that yes, they're new, but they also have a true elder (if not ancient) watching over them. Not only would their sire be very displeased if something were to happen to them, but as they're likely their sire's emissary, a crime against the childe is itself against the sire, and one should behave accordingly towards them.
                      Last edited by Desparen; 10-11-2020, 04:17 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Custos Tenebrarum View Post

                        I can't find any rules which state that. Which book is that in?
                        IIRC it was Elysium.

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