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  • How many disciplines should there be?

    Different books give us different ideas. From the 10 in V5 to the wild lists of prior editions with potentially an infinite amount of unique inceptor disciplines. How do you group/merge disciplines, or have you written a long list of strange powers for your thinbloods.

    My list

    Animalism
    Auspex (Some of Mytherceria is a variant one can learn by hunting changelings)
    Celerity
    Dominate
    Fortitude
    Obfuscate
    Potence
    Presence

    Thaumaturgy (Including most other types of sorcery. many inceptor disciplines are unknowingly thaumaturgy. Bardo is here)
    Protean (Serpentis, Thanatosis and Visceraticka are Variants, as are most inceptor disciplines. Protean doesn't have paths, vampires can learn abilities out of order so long as it's of appropriate level.)

    Chimestry
    Countermagic
    Dark Thaumaturgy (which is added upon standard thaumaturgy, up to the limit of generational maximums. So someone with 2 dots of Thaum and 1 dot of DT is a level 3 thaumaturge)
    Flight
    That singing one.
    Mortis (Just a better name for necromancy)
    Obtenebration
    Quietus
    Valeren (diamonion, Obeah)
    Vicissitude (Sanguinis is a path, also sanguinis can be used with anyone you share a bond with that also knows the discipline. Join us, Join us, Join us.)
    "Spirit mastery" (koldunic sorcery: ogham is rituals)

    Things I'm on the fence about: Dementation. As much as it's linked to Dominate, it's far too diffferent. As much as I like passion I think Dominate malks are better. It would make a great thaumaturgy path... but I don't think malks should be challenging the Tremere and learning magic is just a different vibe to ordinary disciplines, it's quite unfitting)
    Things that mostly probably shouldn't exist: Abombwe (fold into abyss mysticism?), Spiritus (Fold into Valeren/Diamonion or Thaumaturgy?) Temporis (Thaumaturgy throw in?)


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

  • #2
    I'm of the opinion that the different approaches to Blood Magic could be folded onto a single Discipline, perhaps having a sub-trait (like Paths and Rituals are) to determine what kind fo magic you're cappable of.

    I like the concept of learned magicians having studied magics from all over the world, but learning many Disciplines it's too cumbersome - to the point even ppl that are powerful enough to bypass the social/political barriers to do so, won't. This "policy" ends with some degree of overlap when players (and sometimes, authors) start making Paths/Rituals that resemble those of other Disciplines, whenever they think their wizard would look cool with those powers. I think it can get awkward

    Instead of making a "Path of Summoning Storms", and then another Path for the "Spirit mastery" Discipline so the shamans can do that too, just make one Path - the rest it's "how you do it" (taking a page from mage, it's Pardigm/Focus). Saves a lot of embarrasement for when you feel your wizards should be able to do stuff that's better covered by another Discipline, and could even reduce the number of Paths a little

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    • #3
      I'm fond of V5's 10 well defined disciplines, especially the changes to Chimermistry, Serpentis and Quietus. Personally, the few disciplines that don't work as amalgams aren't really worth being brought back, like Temporis.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SetiteFriend View Post
        I'm fond of V5's 10 well defined disciplines.
        I'm not allowed to make this a V5 bashing thread but V5's disciplines are not well defined they're loose collections of powers held together by theme. V1 Fortitude negates more and more damage, That's well defined. V5 fortitude is anything from "you have more health" to "you ignore one attack per turn" to "insults upset you less" which is... less cohesive. I'll grant that V5 does a relatively decent job with Presence, but Presence has always been the messy kid in vampire.

        ...and I really hate picking powers, at least how V5 does it.. V5 offers more choices, but as you can only have 5 powers in a discipline, every choice locks you off from another choice. That's very stressful. A linear 1-5 system with some powers having options to buy alternative powers you didn't get is elegant in it's simplicity; There's no overchoice, there's no locking yourself out of a power. When I buy a power in V20, I'm only sacrificing XP and delaying the acquisition of other options. When I buy a power in V5, I need to think deeply about the "build" that I want because there's a hard cap on what I can get.


        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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        • #5
          Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
          I'm not allowed to make this a V5 bashing thread but V5's disciplines are not well defined they're loose collections of powers held together by theme. V1 Fortitude negates more and more damage, That's well defined. V5 fortitude is anything from "you have more health" to "you ignore one attack per turn" to "insults upset you less" which is... less cohesive. I'll grant that V5 does a relatively decent job with Presence, but Presence has always been the messy kid in vampire.
          It's a disciple focused on resisting. It mostly adds old elder level powers as normal 1-5 powers, some of which focused on mind-stuff, so that even if your character always avoid combat, they get some use out of it. Or if they just don't focus to hard on it and keep it at one dot.

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          • #6
            Mostly use the ones from Revised, though I fiddle with them from time to time. Replacing Serpentis's level one power with Daimonion's Sense the Sin, for example, or just giving Gargoyles their own variation of Protean which alters the third through fifth level powers to allow them to merge with stone/concrete, grow wings, and turn to stone.


            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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            • #7
              Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
              I'm not allowed to make this a V5 bashing thread
              I'll try and avoid edition warring here too, but generally, I've got to say V5's 12 disciplines has proven more than sufficient for everything I've needed to run. I don't really see a need to further breakdown or separate powers under different discipline headings as V20 did.

              ‚Äč
              V5's disciplines are not well defined they're loose collections of powers held together by theme.
              I have to respectfully disagree, the theme and power types are cohesive and consistent. V5 disciplines combine the powers that can share fundamental mechanics, which can then be altered by flavour as needed. (E.g. Thaumaturgical Blood Sorcery vs Quietus Blood Sorcery doesn't really need fundamentally different mechanics, just differences in terms of description.)

              1) Animalism - Control animals and the nature of animals.
              2) Auspex - Augmenting senses including attuning them to 'magic', or giving you extra-sensory perception.
              3) Blood Sorcery - Vampiric magic (typically in the form of exerting 'control' over the blood), combining the schools of practice.
              4) Celerity - Speed and grace.
              5) Dominate - Direct mental control over others, including memories.
              6) Fortitude - Greater resistance to damage physical or mental.
              7) Obfuscate - Misdirecting senses to go unnoticed.
              8) Oblivion - Control/utilisation of the Abyss/Shadowlands and their manifestations in the skinlands.
              9) Potence - Greater strength channelled to various effects.
              10) Presence - Control over the emotions of others.
              11) Protean - Shape-changing and manipulating organic matter.
              12) Thin-Blood Alchemy - Altering the properties of Thin-Blood vitae with certain ingredients. (The only one that I'm shakey on really, still feels like they just wanted to give something cool to the Thin-Bloods. It could just as easily have been another type of Blood Sorcery, predominantly used by Thin-Bloods and requiring their vitae.)


              STV Author - Guide to the Sabbat
              Current Project(s): Tales from the Fronts - A Guide to the Gehenna War

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              • #8
                Well, since you asked...

                My answer is thirty. Thirty disciplines. But only a third of them see anything approaching common usage in a given chronicle (the original ten disciplines). Roughly another third of them are for groups that operate mostly outside of normal Kindred society (the independents and the Sabbat). The last third of them are so rare that they are, in practical terms, NPC powers only (bloodline and inceptor disciplines, and so on).

                In other words, pretty much 2nd Edition by the book. There are no surprises here:
                The Original Ten
                Animalism
                Auspex
                Celerity
                Dominate
                Fortitude
                Obfuscate
                Potence
                Presence
                Protean
                Thaumaturgy

                Independent Only
                Chimerstry
                Necromancy
                Quietus
                Serpentis

                Sabbat Only
                Dementation
                Obtenebration
                Vicissitude

                Odds and Ends
                Bardo
                Daimonion
                Dark Thaumaturgy
                Kineticism
                Melpominee
                Mytherceria
                Nihilistics
                Obeah
                Sanguinus
                Spiritus
                Temporis
                Thanatosis
                Visceratika

                I've never had a problem with 'discipline bloat', because it's so easy to say "This is a Camarilla chronicle, standard disciplines only, please." Or any variant thereof. When you have 'linear' packages of powers like the original disciplines, it's effortless to make a distinction between the powers you want to see in the game and the powers of Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Chronicle. At least for me, V5 style disciplines quickly lead to true discipline bloat, because every new power has to be shoved under one of the existing disciplines, and the GM has less control over what actually makes its way into the chronicle.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Karos View Post



                  1) Animalism - Control animals and the nature of animals.
                  one Level 1 power have nothing to do with animals. It was an merit in prior editions: reconize someone as a vampire.

                  10) Presence - Control over the emotions of others.
                  Lingering Kiss gives buffs/penalties to the victim that has nothing to do with emotions. For example, you can literally increase someone's physical attributes. You can also make a person immune to presence effects, which sets up a mystical effect rather than an emotional effect.

                  7) Obfuscate - Misdirecting senses to go unnoticed.
                  Obfuscate 5 in v5 can make you Mystique. Became someone have nothing to do with go unnoticed.

                  6) Fortitude - Greater resistance to damage physical or mental.
                  One of the new level 5 power give your bonus to general stats, can let you more quick, strong, etc.


                  2) Auspex - Augmenting senses including attuning them to 'magic', or giving you extra-sensory perception.
                  One of the powers let you see the future/time travel to past once.

                  8) Oblivion - Control/utilisation of the Abyss/Shadowlands and their manifestations in the skinlands.
                  One power let you change (protean?) your eyes to see ghosts (auspex?).




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                  • #10
                    A dozen. Call me a Noddist, but I prefer disciplines as applications of a nature that all kindred share. For example, I like Oblivion because there's an implication that it's based on a natural affinity that vampires have with destruction/anti-creation/nothingness/lower realms/MtAs entropy. If a bloodline or clan has the power to control something else, I expect an explanation about how they gained non-vampiric power, such as Lhiannan, Kiasyd or Ahrimanes, or that they aren't the same type of vampires, such as Wan Kuei. Even in the case of the former group, I find most older special disciplines a bit limited compared to common ones with alternative power choices.

                    I'd consider replacing thin-blood alchemy with something like Mysteries of the Dragon. I'd also consider introducing means of interacting with adjacent and higher spirits, just because it could bring interesting aspects of WoD into VtM. Neither would be based on a dedicated discipline or be as flexible vampiric manipulation over animals, people, ghosts etc. for the reason I described in my first paragraph; it could be rather using Sense the Unseen to identify things visiting the world or their influence, if extraordinary, and another means to communicating with them, such as Feral Whispers with animal spirits. From there, it's a matter of bargaining, occult savvy, educated guesswork and existing covenants. I'm tempted by Spiritus Sancti, one of VtR's weird bloodline disciplines, which uses frenzy to commune with the spiritual, sometimes believed to be the divine, but that's mostly based on rule of cool (i.e. my own whim) and how it conveniently fits the Church of Caine's teachings.

                    I add that there shouldn't be a limit on the number of discipline powers a character has; just charge xp for them.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Elphilm View Post
                      Well, since you asked...

                      My answer is thirty. Thirty disciplines. But only a third of them see anything approaching common usage in a given chronicle (the original ten disciplines). Roughly another third of them are for groups that operate mostly outside of normal Kindred society (the independents and the Sabbat). The last third of them are so rare that they are, in practical terms, NPC powers only (bloodline and inceptor disciplines, and so on).

                      In other words, pretty much 2nd Edition by the book. There are no surprises here:
                      The Original Ten
                      Animalism
                      Auspex
                      Celerity
                      Dominate
                      Fortitude
                      Obfuscate
                      Potence
                      Presence
                      Protean
                      Thaumaturgy

                      Independent Only
                      Chimerstry
                      Necromancy
                      Quietus
                      Serpentis

                      Sabbat Only
                      Dementation
                      Obtenebration
                      Vicissitude

                      Odds and Ends
                      Bardo
                      Daimonion
                      Dark Thaumaturgy
                      Kineticism
                      Melpominee
                      Mytherceria
                      Nihilistics
                      Obeah
                      Sanguinus
                      Spiritus
                      Temporis
                      Thanatosis
                      Visceratika

                      I've never had a problem with 'discipline bloat', because it's so easy to say "This is a Camarilla chronicle, standard disciplines only, please." Or any variant thereof. When you have 'linear' packages of powers like the original disciplines, it's effortless to make a distinction between the powers you want to see in the game and the powers of Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Chronicle. At least for me, V5 style disciplines quickly lead to true discipline bloat, because every new power has to be shoved under one of the existing disciplines, and the GM has less control over what actually makes its way into the chronicle.
                      Its discipline bloat because you have a ton of useless disciplines that either will never get used or do things other disciplines already do. Getting rid of snowflake disciplines also ties in into V5 trying to make almost all clans fit for any chronicle, instead of limiting them due to their special discipline or metaplot reason.

                      Originally posted by blailton View Post
                      one Level 1 power have nothing to do with animals. It was an merit in prior editions: reconize someone as a vampire.
                      Manipulation of the beast and animal instincts is in animalism's purview

                      Lingering Kiss gives buffs/penalties to the victim that has nothing to do with emotions. For example, you can literally increase someone's physical attributes. You can also make a person immune to presence effects, which sets up a mystical effect rather than an emotional effect.
                      It only boosts one social attribute. It was adjusted a couple times. And it no longer has (don't remember if it ever had) this immunity effect.

                      Obfuscate 5 in v5 can make you Mystique. Became someone have nothing to do with go unnoticed.
                      Obfuscate is more than just going unnoticed, its effectively sensory camouflage. At max level you can camouflage to look like someone else.

                      One of the new level 5 power give your bonus to general stats, can let you more quick, strong, etc.
                      One uses pain to draw more power from their blood, hence why the superhuman stats are limited by blood potency.

                      One of the powers let you see the future/time travel to past once.
                      Its magical scrying discipline. Allows you to hone your senses at early levels, to true scrying at later ones.

                      One power let you change (protean?) your eyes to see ghosts (auspex?).
                      You use the discipline that draws from the lands of the dead and beyond, to see the dead? Its not really out there.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by blailton View Post
                        one Level 1 power have nothing to do with animals. It was an merit in prior editions: reconize someone as a vampire.
                        A fair point, I will correct my definition, Beasts works better in place of animals, 'The ability to control beasts and beings possessed of a bestial nature'. (Bestial nature, meaning things with any bestial temperament/instincts akin to a beast, so Werewolves and Vampires.)

                        Lingering Kiss gives buffs/penalties to the victim that has nothing to do with emotions. For example, you can literally increase someone's physical attributes. You can also make a person immune to presence effects, which sets up a mystical effect rather than an emotional effect.
                        Which iteration are we talking about, the V5 Companion? I'll grant this one gets a bit iffy (even the designers are clearly unsure what to do with it). I think this still falls under emotional control, 'The victim gains a bonus equal to half the user's Presence (round up) to on Social Attribute of their choice'. To me this sounds like you impart a degree of your emotional manipulation to another, that's what's giving them the edge.

                        I will grant this is one of those weird doesn't really fit powers. Fundamentally I think it'd be best-off cut and replaced with something else, but the rest of the powers hold to the definition.

                        Obfuscate 5 in v5 can make you Mystique. Became someone have nothing to do with go unnoticed.
                        Personally, I would say that still falls under the idea of going 'unnoticed' your true self, isn't seen you present a falsehood. You are still fundamentally deceiving the other person's senses. Again I think the powers fit, but will grant I might need to refine my definition. Perhaps 'The ability to fool the senses/sensors?', this covers Silence of Death, Unseen Passage, Ghost in the Machine, and powers like Mask of a Thousand Faces, as well as Fata Morgana, etc.

                        One of the new level 5 power give your bonus to general stats, can let you more quick, strong, etc.
                        Prowess from Pain, is another odd one I will grant. I will note that it still fits in with the general 'Resistance to damage physical [...]' part of my definition as it does mean 'the vampire no longer suffers and dice penalties from Health damage sustained, such as physical Impairment'. The gaining additional dice aspect is weird. However, it is still reliant on you taking and surviving damage in order to grow stronger, which aligns with the 'Resistance to damage physical [...] element.

                        One of the powers let you see the future/time travel to past once.
                        That would fall under the area of 'extra-sensory perception'. You are gaining the ability to perceive something beyond your standard sense, i.e. the future or the past.

                        One power let you change (protean?) your eyes to see ghosts (auspex?).
                        The change (i.e. the eyes going black) is flavour text. But to my mind that, seeing in the dark, and perceiving ghosts still falls under the definition I provided. 'Control/utilisation' which as a byproduct turns the eyes black, 'of the Abyss/Shadowlands' understood to be the origin of or linked to darkness/shadow, 'and their manifestations in the skinlands' manifestations such as darkness, shadows, and ghosts.


                        I'll grant there are some very rare edge-case powers that one might call edge-cases, but they're the exception rather than the rule.

                        The improved definitions:
                        1) Animalism - The ability to control beasts and beings possessed of a bestial nature.
                        2) Auspex - Augmenting senses including attuning them to 'magic', or giving you extra-sensory perception.
                        3) Blood Sorcery - Vampiric magic (typically in the form of exerting 'control' over the blood), combining the schools of practice.
                        4) Celerity - Speed and grace.
                        5) Dominate - Direct mental control over others, including memories.
                        6) Fortitude - Greater resistance to damage physical or mental.
                        7) Obfuscate - The ability to fool or manipulate sensors/the senses.
                        8) Oblivion - Control/utilisation of the Abyss/Shadowlands and their manifestations in the Skinlands.
                        9) Potence - Greater strength channelled to various effects.
                        10) Presence - Control over the emotions of others.
                        11) Protean - Shape-changing and manipulating organic matter.
                        12) Thin-Blood Alchemy - Altering the properties of Thin-Blood vitae with certain ingredients. (The only one that I'm shakey on really, still feels like they just wanted to give something cool to the Thin-Bloods. It could just as easily have been another type of Blood Sorcery, predominantly used by Thin-Bloods and requiring their vitae.)
                        Last edited by Karos; 11-25-2021, 05:51 PM. Reason: Addendum.


                        STV Author - Guide to the Sabbat
                        Current Project(s): Tales from the Fronts - A Guide to the Gehenna War

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                        • #13
                          I like the original ten Disciplines of the seven Camarilla clans from the original corebooks. I use a combination of the original Dark Ages Mortis and Obtenbration as a replacement for those two in-clan disciplines. I made Quietus and Serpentis a form of Thaumaturgy. I don't use Chimestry or Viccistude at all. I gave Protean to the Tzimisce. I've never figured out how to use Ravnos so I'm still uncertain what to give them. I'd likely redo their entire Discipline line up. Those are everyone's in-clan Disciplines.

                          I divide the Paths of Thaumaturgy into various groups. Some Paths are popularly known (like Movement of Mind, Lure of Flames, or Weather Control) and can be learned by almost anyone provided they have enough Occult knowledge and can find a mentor. There are a lot of Paths that are Tremere only, and some Paths are only known to specific chantries or factions within the Tremere. A Tremere must play the political game to learn those. Then there are Paths only known to the Setites, Assamites, or the Tremere anti-tribu. Some Paths are known to other groups/orders/factions/secret societies not based on clan. Certain Paths are openly known among the Sabbat - they were gifts given to them by House Goratrix as proof of goodwill when they defected.

                          Then I have "secret" Disciplines only known to certain Kindred that are not "in-clan" for anyone. Necromancy and its Paths are those available to the Giovanni/Cappadocians/Samedi, certain members of the Sabbat on the Path of Death and the Soul, and a few other Kindred who study the dead and the netherworld. I allow the Cappadocians and their other lineages to purchase it for in-clan XP (just to be fair to players), but everyone else it would be out-of-clan. Bardo is a Discipline known only to the Children of Osiris (which is a sect and not a bloodline) and can only be purchased with out-of-clan XP. While Dominate is in-clan for Malkavians, some Sabbat Malkavians know Dementation (it is not the original Discipline for the Malkavians, but a secret mystery discovered by certain Sabbat Malkavians and is again out-of-clan). Dark Thaumaturgy obviously exists for Infernalist characters.

                          I only use Bloodlines sparingly, and never liked the idea that the interesting thing about them is their unique Discipline. If I include them in a chronicle, it's because they and the mystery about them are to play an important role in the chronicle. If so, I'll make a decision then as to whether they actually have a unique/signature Discipline. The Salubri definitely exist in my chronicles, so both Obeah and Valeren exist as creations of Saulot. (I'm on the fence whether they should be an actual Discipline, a Path of Thaumaturgy, or something different). Gargoyles exist, but are not Kindred but monstrous constructs of the Tremere with powers whose game mechanics are the same as Disciplines, but they aren't actually Disciplines. At some point, the ritual that created them stopped working. The Blood Brothers do exist as a creation of the Sabbat so Sanguinus exists (and is limited to them). But the ritual to create them often fails so their numbers are limited. I haven't introduced any other Bloodlines in my chronicles so I am keeping it open whether they exist or not.

                          I don't allow Inceptor Disciplines. Sorry Caitiffs and Thin-Bloods. Enjoy the suck.

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                          • #14
                            The only change I'm a little iffy on with the V5 disciplines is Oblivion. There's just such an obvious divide between the function of Obtenebration and Necromancy that it feels awkward to shove them both together. Personally I'd prefer to either keep them distinct. (One could maybe argue to shove the ceremonies in as a form of Blood Sorcery, but to me this would be a worse version of the Oblivion problem, I'd rather have Hecata with shadow tentacles than Hecata using Thaumaturgy after all.)

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                            • #15
                              I have run games with just a handful of clans, and greatly reduced Discipline lists, I find most of the latter Clans/Disciplines unneeded. I too like Salubri more and more, but it's mostly because I drop Valeren for Potence on the Warriors, and turn healing of wounds and madness into a couple combo powers of Auspex/Fortitude and Auspex/Presence. They add a D&D vibe, and I like the idea of a clan running around in pairs more often than not.

                              I think Auspex, Dominate, and Presence could get merged if you really wanted to slim down the list maybe Aus 1, Dom 2&3, Aus 4, then Pre 5 be the DAV level 6 passion. I think things like Necromancy/Obtenibration are places where 5th really slipped off the tracks trying to slim down the list.

                              ‚ÄčEdit: Ravian yeah, got a phone call while typing, completely agree Oblivion really falls short of making sense.
                              Last edited by Vamps Like Us; 11-25-2021, 10:56 PM.

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