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How do I explain sleeping methuselah powers in V5?

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  • How do I explain sleeping methuselah powers in V5?

    Published material from V5 makes it quite clear that elder powers (that is, level 6+ disciplines) isn't a thing anymore, since neither Helena nor any of the extremely ancient NPCs in London has Fallen has them. I don't mind this per se - I think 6+ scores on attributes and abilities did little for the game, and it might be better off without them.

    But my chronicle is set in Mexico City, where Nergal/Shaitan(Huitziolopochtli lies in torpor, and has, in old canon, been affecting the city with his tremendous methuselah powers. This causes some problems. After all, there are quite a few examples in pre-V5 lore where sleeping ancients affect things in tangible ways through their powers, The Sleeping Lord in Cairo by Night being another one that I can think of.

    How do we explain this phenomena in V5? Could it be a case of bizarre amalgam disciplines of such high level that almost no one can unlock them (Fortitude 5 + Auspex 5 and stuff like that), or is it some other form of power unique to ancient vampires in some other way? Or should methuselah simply not have such powers anymore in V5? If so, how do we reconcile it with previous canon?

    open to any thoughts, as I eventually need to handle this issue in my Mexico City chronicle!
    Last edited by Natsymir; 10-11-2020, 09:16 PM.

  • #2
    I'd probably make it into some kind of Presence+Auspex amalgam, if you want to have it done mechanically, or you can just say that's because they have such thick blood [so high blood potency] they can "re-roll" so many times, their Disciplines work through their sleep.


    Constantinople was not a mistake.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Natsymir View Post
      Published material from V5 makes it quite clear that elder powers (that is, level 6+ disciplines) isn't a thing anymore, since neither Helena nor any of the extremely ancient NPCs in London has Fallen has them. I don't mind this per se - I think 6+ scores on attributes and abilities did little for the game, and it might be better off without them.

      But my chronicle is set in Mexico City, where Nergal/Shaitan(Huitziolopochtli lies in torpor, and has, in old canon, been affecting the city with his tremendous methuselah powers. This causes some problems. After all, there are quite a few examples in pre-V5 lore where sleeping ancients affect things in tangible ways through their powers, The Sleeping Lord in Cairo by Night being another one that I can think of.

      How do we explain this phenomena in V5? Could it be a case of bizarre amalgam disciplines of such high level that almost no one can unlock them (Fortitude 5 + Auspex 5 and stuff like that), or is it some other form of power unique to ancient vampires in some other way? Or should methuselah simply not have such powers anymore in V5? If so, how do we reconcile it with previous canon?

      open to any thoughts, as I eventually need to handle this issue in my Mexico City chronicle!
      Combo Disciplines apparently is how this works.

      Just ignore the restriction against having more than one power to them.


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

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      • #4
        you could make Combo Disciplines,as CTPhipps said. but you could make them a little stronger,and make them only possible at a certain Blood Potency

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        • #5
          Honestly, it doesn't work. It's a plot hole. The game mechanics fail to model the realities of the setting. You can bring up a bunch of other iconic methuselah feats like Michael affecting all of Constantinople with his Presence that are simply too powerful for a 5-dot amalgam, however you slice it. I don't want a vampire with Auspex 5/Presence 5/Dominate 5 able to use Presence over an entire city.

          There's basically three things you can do.

          * Have methuselah-level powers simply not exist anymore.

          * Declare that sufficiently ancient methuselahs, the ones just a step short of an Antediluvian's age and power (e.g., Shaitan and ur-Shulgi), can simply do things that break the rules, no game mechanics involved.

          * Make 6+ Disciplines a thing again.

          I've never cared for "Devotions only possible at a certain Blood Potency," in either Masquerade or Requiem. They're 6+ Disciplines by another name. Just call a spade a spade.


          Blood and Bourbon, my New Orleans-based Vampire chronicle.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by False Epiphany View Post
            Honestly, it doesn't work. It's a plot hole. The game mechanics fail to model the realities of the setting. You can bring up a bunch of other iconic methuselah feats like Michael affecting all of Constantinople with his Presence that are simply too powerful for a 5-dot amalgam, however you slice it. I don't want a vampire with Auspex 5/Presence 5/Dominate 5 able to use Presence over an entire city.
            Technically, they'd have to buy a separate power that allowed them to do it and have the Blood Potency to use it like that. So you could have, "Dominate City" as a Auspex 5/Presence 5/Dominate 5 as a power but have the restricture of "Blood Potency 9."

            Which I think solves a lot of the problems right there.

            My answer for it in my game, which is an extension of V20 and Revised is to introduce the Withering.

            House Rule: The Withering

            Some unnatural force is sapping the strength of Elders and Methuselahs in the world. No matter how powerful they were before, any vampire who does not answer the call of the Beckoning is reduced to Level 5 Disciplines or below. They are also unable to possess Attributes or Skills over 5 points. A vampire that successfully does answer the Beckoning will be able to access their full Disciplines within the Middle East or whatever other location that they find themselves drawn to. If they are ever released from the mysterious source that pulls them, they will return with a full array of 6+ Disciplines or traits that they possessed before as well as possibly more. It is possible for Kindred to temporarily regain some of their +6 Disciplines by diablerizing other vampires with +1 point for Generations from Thin Blood to 8th generation and +1 additional point for every generation below 8th. These will last for a month until they begin fading again.


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

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            • #7
              Don't combo disciplines use up the highest discipline 'slot'? So you can't have multiples, and in taking the one you can have you block yourself from the 'nornal' level power from that discipline.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Taggie View Post
                Don't combo disciplines use up the highest discipline 'slot'? So you can't have multiples, and in taking the one you can have you block yourself from the 'nornal' level power from that discipline.
                Yeah, that's a silly rule on top of a silly rule.

                I love V5 but while I understand the desire to game balance, if you can afford the Discipline powers then you should be able to buy as many Combos and Powers as you want.

                What I want most from THE PLAYERS GUIDE is:

                * Elder Powers
                * Optional rules for multiple powers of the same levels
                * Clan Tzimisce
                * Remnant Sabbat (I don't expect to get this)


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

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by False Epiphany View Post
                  Honestly, it doesn't work. It's a plot hole. The game mechanics fail to model the realities of the setting. You can bring up a bunch of other iconic methuselah feats like Michael affecting all of Constantinople with his Presence that are simply too powerful for a 5-dot amalgam, however you slice it. I don't want a vampire with Auspex 5/Presence 5/Dominate 5 able to use Presence over an entire city.

                  There's basically three things you can do.

                  * Have methuselah-level powers simply not exist anymore.

                  * Declare that sufficiently ancient methuselahs, the ones just a step short of an Antediluvian's age and power (e.g., Shaitan and ur-Shulgi), can simply do things that break the rules, no game mechanics involved.

                  * Make 6+ Disciplines a thing again.

                  I've never cared for "Devotions only possible at a certain Blood Potency," in either Masquerade or Requiem. They're 6+ Disciplines by another name. Just call a spade a spade.
                  And who decides that high powered amalgams can’t be as powerful or more powerful than the old 6+ disciplines?

                  No one but the ST. You can in fact have amalgams duplicate all the old “elder powers” or you can have lvl 5 disciplines do so (although I don’t think you should).

                  It’s just a matter of understanding that mechanics may have changed but all that was possible before still is right now.

                  As others have said there’s a limit that needs to be removed abd that’s the amount of discipline powers one vampire can have (which I agree was a silly rule geared towards neonates but it is easily remedied I myself posted house rules to make elders as powerful as the story needs them to be).

                  Aside from that only tangible difference between V5 and older editions is the fact that THEORETICALLY a 13th gen vampire can access elder powers as they are not gated by generation anymore. Is that a bad thing? I’m not dure it is, è special lu considering how the old elder powers were mostly meant as ST tools for their NPCs, and were honestly an inchoerent mess with some lower generation powers being weaker/less useful than the higher gen ones

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                  • #10
                    Its unexplainable with V5 RAW. You have to merely resort to house-rules.


                    Jade Kingdom Warrior

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                    • #11
                      There's a Dominate Amalgam listed on the White Wolf Wiki that is a V5 version of the old level 9 Dominate power. Not to mention some of the old 6+ level powers got worked in to the main V5 book Disciplines. So all you need is a good house rule for older vampires not being capped at five powers per Discipline.

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                      • #12
                        Alas some players have this attitude regarding House Rules.



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

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Haquim View Post
                          And who decides that high powered amalgams can’t be as powerful or more powerful than the old 6+ disciplines?

                          No one but the ST. You can in fact have amalgams duplicate all the old “elder powers” or you can have lvl 5 disciplines do so (although I don’t think you should).
                          The ST can also say that level 4, level 3, or even level 1 amalgams are as powerful as 6+ Disciplines. Their game. That doesn't mean it's good mechanics design, as I consider it to remove the meaning behind the numbers. Michael's A Perfect World power is a whole 'nother league beyond what Presence 5 can do. So I don't want A Perfect World to be Presence 5. It is a superior power, ergo it should have a higher number.

                          Many of the published 6+ Disciplines were underpowered and shouldn't have been 6+ Disciplines. But there are plenty of godly methuselah feats, like Menele destroying Pompeii, or that Dominate power to compel all of your descendants everywhere across the world, which are way beyond what level 5 powers can do. So where does that leave designers?

                          1. "Make A Perfect World an Auspex 5/Dominate 5/Presence 5 amalgam." -> Problematic because a 13th-generation neonate could have that amalgam. Yes, GMs can just decide not to let 13th-generation neonates have those amalgams. That doesn't solve my problem. I don't want it to be theoretically possible under the rules and denied by GM fiat. I want it to be impossible under the rules, because I want the rules to model the realities of the setting.

                          2. "Make A Perfect World a Presence 5 amalgam with a Blood Potency 9 requirement." -> Just call a spade a spade. This makes it an elder Discipline in everything but name. Also, problematic because you could have a Gangrel methuselah with Presence 5 and Blood Potency 9 who could learn A Perfect World. I don't want that Gangrel methuselah with a "dip investment" in Presence able to perform the same Presence feats as Michael. I only want a vampire with Presence 9 able to perform the same Presence feats as Michael.

                          "Well just don't let the Gangrel methuselah have A Perfect World, problem solved." -> See answer to #1.

                          Aside from that only tangible difference between V5 and older editions is the fact that THEORETICALLY a 13th gen vampire can access elder powers as they are not gated by generation anymore. Is that a bad thing? I’m not dure it is, è special lu considering how the old elder powers were mostly meant as ST tools for their NPCs, and were honestly an inchoerent mess with some lower generation powers being weaker/less useful than the higher gen ones
                          I think it is. I don't want 13th-generation vampires able to enslave or destroy entire cities.

                          100% agreed though, many of the elder Disciplines we got were either badly designed or work better as 1-5 powers.
                          Last edited by False Epiphany; 10-23-2020, 01:30 AM.


                          Blood and Bourbon, my New Orleans-based Vampire chronicle.

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                          • #14
                            I disagree with that notion that the Elder disciplines were badly designed. They were extremely good, potent, and very fun to use if you had the gumption to actually get to that point or started your chronicle in earlier ages and worked up to the Final Nights era (of which your PCs would either be Elders or Methuselahs themselves depending on the specific time you started the chronicle). I still don't know why people even think these powers were only meant to be ST NPC powers... where do people get this idea? Tabletop isn't like video games where certain things are locked out for the sake of video-game balance or just being part of the story fiat... Tabletop is one of the most flexible game mediums with an open world as far as your imagination... Why is it of the belief that PCs can't obtain these powers whatsoever if they are the sufficient generation (whether through diablerie or simply being embraced to said theoretical generation) and built up the skill to get to that obtaination?

                            It completely breaks the setting nowadays where people evoke that 13 gens can now do Elder and Methuselah tier powers, complete sun-rocket dodo-flying nonsense. I truly wonder why this route was taken to do such deleterious nerfs and whatever this Amalgam system is. People continue to criticize oWoD mechanics.. but fail to realize the entire thing was near-perfect, with it only needing a few touch-ups here and there.
                            Last edited by Shakanaka; 10-14-2020, 10:54 AM.


                            Jade Kingdom Warrior

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Shakanaka View Post

                              It completely breaks the setting nowadays where people evoke that 13 gens can now do Elder and Methuselah tier powers, complete sun-rocket dodo-flying nonsense. I truly wonder why this route was taken to do such deleterious nerfs and whatever this Amalgam system is. People continue to criticize oWoD mechanics.. but fail to realize the entire thing was near-perfect, with it only needing a few touch-ups here and there.
                              I don't think they can. I think people have basically just ignored Blood Potency as a thing from centuries of experience as a way to make it so that its HARDER for Neonates not to be able to God Tier stuff if they have the right generation.


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

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