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The Eyes Of God. One Of The Most Powerful Combinations In Vampire: The Masquerade.

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  • The Eyes Of God. One Of The Most Powerful Combinations In Vampire: The Masquerade.

    So I've been rereading through some Vampire content recently, and I noticed a very powerful combination that I felt like sharing. Rules as written this is possible at character creation, either via a Setite or Catiff.
    There's 2 elements to this combination:
    Akhu Path of Duat 5: Consignment To Duat.
    and
    Koldunic Sorcery Way of Sorrows 1: The Frustrations of Nestrecha
    The 5th dot of the Path of Duat says that you send the victim's entire consciousness to Duat, they must spend a willpower to stay alive, or remain active. If they do not spend this willpower point they die (if mortal), or immediately fall into torpor (if vampire).
    The 1st dot of Way of Sorrows prevents the spending of willpower for any purpose for one turn per success on the activation roll.
    This combination can instantly kill (or force into torpor) any character.
    With 3 dots in disciplines (put into Akhu) and another 21 freebee points spent on the remaining 2 dots of Akhu and a dot of Koldunic Sorcery, this is possible by RAW at character creation.
    The best part? It scales extremely well. With Akhu you can learn Path of the Focused Mind, which at the 4th level, will allow you to do this in 1 turn. And with Koldunic Sorcery you can learn Way of Spirit to see everything (at the 5th dot) in a 5 mile radius. This very much can allow you to one-shot any character within a 5 mile radius of you, in one turn, without them being able to retaliate.

    I'm not sure how well Akhu's Divine Hand power would work with this, but perhaps it may be even better than Way of Spirit for doing this combination at range. I've aptly named this combination "The Eyes Of God" as you can quite literally smite someone at incredible ranges, with guaranteed success as long as you can see them. (And it would also fit the theme that Setite's have of drawing on their God's power to enable the power.)

    Anyways, tell me what you think. Would Divine Hand work better? Is there anything I've overlooked? And do you have any cool combinations you feel like sharing? Let me know!

  • #2
    That could be a very powerful combination, if it were possible. While Anhu and other 'regular' forms of blood sorcery have similar paths, and therefore one could find similar techniques between variant forms, Koldunic sorcery is an entirely different matter. I am not sure one could learn both types. I think the two are so different, as well as so separate, no vampire would be taught both. A Serpent of the Light might know Akhu and find a Tzimisce tutor, but that would be stretching coincidence. Like I said, I'm not sure the two can be combined, at least I don't know if the rules say they can.


    THWarted

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Toby Weingarten View Post
      That could be a very powerful combination, if it were possible. While Anhu and other 'regular' forms of blood sorcery have similar paths, and therefore one could find similar techniques between variant forms, Koldunic sorcery is an entirely different matter. I am not sure one could learn both types. I think the two are so different, as well as so separate, no vampire would be taught both. A Serpent of the Light might know Akhu and find a Tzimisce tutor, but that would be stretching coincidence. Like I said, I'm not sure the two can be combined, at least I don't know if the rules say they can.
      Serpents also don't really have the faith required for Akhu, which is all about ancient Egyptian religion--something the Serpents rejected when they left their Setite siblings.

      They're more likely to learn Wanga, which is more Caribbean-based.

      Koldunism, meanwhile, seems to have a connection to Kupala via the land of Eastern Europe. I'm not sure a Wangateur could pull that off, or would want to. And a Setite would be even less likely to do so.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post

        Serpents also don't really have the faith required for Akhu, which is all about ancient Egyptian religion--something the Serpents rejected when they left their Setite siblings.

        They're more likely to learn Wanga, which is more Caribbean-based.

        Koldunism, meanwhile, seems to have a connection to Kupala via the land of Eastern Europe. I'm not sure a Wangateur could pull that off, or would want to. And a Setite would be even less likely to do so.
        Which is why, in games I run, I just have a single all-encompassing "Blood Sorcery" discipline, and sorcery's disparate forms -- Thaumaturgy, Dur-an-Ki, Necromancy, Akhu, Wanga, etc. -- are, to borrow an MtAs term, that character's "paradigm", which in turn dictates which paths and rituals the character can learn. The +1 "disbelief" penalty to difficulty rolls stems from Roads/Paths or natures that conflict with the chosen form of blood sorcery.

        So, while a Tremere may be able to crack the code and learn Sepulchre Path due to Necromancy's highly codified and formulaic nature being largely compatible with Hermetic sorcery, or a Giovanni might be able to adapt Path of Duat to Necromancy due to their understanding of the Shadowlands and the barrier between life and death, it's unlikely a Tremere would ever be able to spit-and-duct-tape Path of Duat into Thaumaturgy.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Theodrim View Post
          Which is why, in games I run, I just have a single all-encompassing "Blood Sorcery" discipline, and sorcery's disparate forms -- Thaumaturgy, Dur-an-Ki, Necromancy, Akhu, Wanga, etc. -- are, to borrow an MtAs term, that character's "paradigm", which in turn dictates which paths and rituals the character can learn. The +1 "disbelief" penalty to difficulty rolls stems from Roads/Paths or natures that conflict with the chosen form of blood sorcery.

          So, while a Tremere may be able to crack the code and learn Sepulchre Path due to Necromancy's highly codified and formulaic nature being largely compatible with Hermetic sorcery, or a Giovanni might be able to adapt Path of Duat to Necromancy due to their understanding of the Shadowlands and the barrier between life and death, it's unlikely a Tremere would ever be able to spit-and-duct-tape Path of Duat into Thaumaturgy.
          That's fair. It's a good way to divvy up the powers without having to replicate things across Paths/rituals.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post

            That's fair. It's a good way to divvy up the powers without having to replicate things across Paths/rituals.
            Plus, it gives you some really fun wiggle room to play with disciplines as concept and theme, and neat implications.

            Case in point, in my TC game I wrote it into the master blue book that, among others, Vykos was one of the inceptors of new-form Koldunism. He has Thaumaturgy, but with the binding of Kupala, the Final Deaths of many old-form Koldun, and the Dracon's knowledge within him, he was able to adapt Hermetic practices and kludge together this new hybridized, bastard form of blood sorcery that other Tzimisce might be able to learn...even if they're blissfully unaware of its origins, or simply refuse to think too hard about it. Thus, new-form Koldunism practitioners may find themselves able to not just learn Ways, but other elementally-focused Thaumaturgical paths -- Levinbolt, Conjuring, Elemental Mastery, et cetera.

            The other form of blood sorcery I've played with extensively, is Abyss Mysticism. That, I'm actually treating as an "upgrade" to Obtenebration, in which Obtenebration is resolved as the primary path, and secondary paths/rituals being learned accordingly. That, lies somewhere thematically between Dark Thaumaturgy and Necromancy, where paths like Corruption, Phobos, and the like -- and Shadowlands-and-wraith-oriented Necromantic paths, like Sepulchre -- can be learned. I house ruled this up to essentially make Oblivion, before Oblivion was published or even announced (my players never let me forget it, either). One thing I'm particularly proud of, is I'm resolving Shadowstep (the elder-level power) as Path of Praapti instead, making it accessible to Lasombra higher than 7th generation, so long as they actually are abyss mystics.

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            • #7
              I agree with you guys for the most part. But is it possible that a Setite elder with centuries of experience who’s already mastered the Path of Duat might hear rumors of a Tzimisce in a far off land who could teach them the one secret path that could close the loophole in their favorite power?

              Or the ST could just decide the two paths are so different that their effects can’t be combined.

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              • #8
                Tbh I’m not an expert on rules, but under RAW that level 5 power doesn’t sound that tough if all you have to do to avoid having your consciousness sent to Duat is spend a Willpower point.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Amethyst View Post
                  I agree with you guys for the most part. But is it possible that a Setite elder with centuries of experience who’s already mastered the Path of Duat might hear rumors of a Tzimisce in a far off land who could teach them the one secret path that could close the loophole in their favorite power?

                  Or the ST could just decide the two paths are so different that their effects can’t be combined.
                  I dunno. I'd still say no. RAW, you can't just learn one of these proprietary forms of Blood Magic entirely divorced from its paradigm. These are entire mindsets and systems of worship--even moreso than vanilla Thaumaturgy. If you don't have the conviction to back the magic system you're using, it doesn't work.

                  A better option is to make an alternative Path in the vampire's own blood magic paradigm which just emulates the alien Path. It would be different, and would follow rules for creating new Paths or rituals, but that's the ST's call.
                  Last edited by adambeyoncelowe; 08-21-2021, 10:06 AM.

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                  • #10
                    You can't really "one-shot" someone with this. You likely need two turns to pull this off, since splitting die for thaumaturgy (especially something level 5) is real difficult. (i'm aware Ahku has some different rules in revised, but it's probably still hard as hell)

                    RAW, you can't start with three dots of Akhu. Nobody has Akhu as an in-clan discipline (WoE can fuck off) and Caitiff, well... you can do it as a Caitiff, but then you've got more social issues than standard. The Settites could potentially raise a thaumaturge to 5 to a person who also has koldunic sorcery, but how likely is that? You don't even have a dot of Serpentis and yet you're showing up the real bloodline with thaumaturgical talent? How loyal are you to this cult, Caitiff? You could contrive a story justification for this, but it really would be contrived. There are certainly more likely OP combinations to choose from (Obtenebration 5 + the ability to feed through tentacles)


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post

                      I dunno. I'd still say no. RAW, you can't just learn one of these proprietary forms of Blood Magic entirely divorced from its paradigm. These are entire mindsets and systems of worship--even moreso than vanilla Thaumaturgy. If you don't have the conviction to back the magic system you're using, it doesn't work.

                      A better option is to make an alternative Path in the vampire's own blood magic paradigm which just emulates the alien Path. It would be different, and would follow rules for creating new Paths or rituals, but that's the ST's call.
                      That sounds like a good idea.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post

                        I dunno. I'd still say no. RAW, you can't just learn one of these proprietary forms of Blood Magic entirely divorced from its paradigm. These are entire mindsets and systems of worship--even moreso than vanilla Thaumaturgy. If you don't have the conviction to back the magic system you're using, it doesn't work.
                        The Hermetic paradigm is all encompassing, therefore, Tremere can learn everything...

                        (This is more true than not. The Tremere>other vampire mages in skills)


                        Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
                        There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                          The Hermetic paradigm is all encompassing, therefore, Tremere can learn everything...

                          (This is more true than not. The Tremere>other vampire mages in skills)
                          I still wouldn't let Tremere learn Koldunism. But I might let them mimic Koldunic Ways. I think Tremere versatility is due to how they can import things into their own hermetic model, but I don't think the hermetic model lets them learn Koldunism or Akhu, per se.

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                          • #14
                            Akhu? Absolutely. They have learned much. For the most part, the rest is not worth their time, a well-kept secret, or goes against the ethical pretense the Tremere put up. The largest exception I think is the beer ritual. The Tremere could really use that one.
                            Koldunism? It's not thaumaturgy. You're apparently controlling spirits to achieve all effects. There's even a few passive abilities in there; thaumaturges don't have passives.
                            Last edited by MyWifeIsScary; 08-23-2021, 03:26 AM.


                            Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
                            There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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                            • #15
                              Can you do this? Yes.
                              Can you make a backstory justifying this? Yes.

                              But look at this the other way. You've now put all your eggs into one basket, and the name of that basket is "kill people real good". For a much lesser investment, you can be a master marksman and headshot with the anti-tank rounds any uppity elder who dares to show his face outside the haven. Or be an optimized Lasombra tentacle beast.

                              It's a gimmick. A powerful specialized gimmick. For which I personally would not build a character - the investment is too high.
                              And don't forget that you are now stuck with Willpower 5, no merits, base stats. You can pull off assassinations, but you'd get punked in combat where the opponent can retaliate.
                              Last edited by Kammerer; 08-23-2021, 05:12 AM.

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