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  • #16
    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
    It is underpowered, no doubts about that. In fact, I imagine that maybe Dementation wasn't meant just to be gimmicky or anything, but outright to nerf the Malkavian discipline spread.

    As a combination, Auspex + Obfuscate + Dominate are the most powerful In Clans around. They have huge synergy without overlap, are all extremely versatile and useful Disciplines, and the only thing that keeps the clan in check, mainly due to how they are perceived, is the clan weakness.

    But picture a vampire of any other clan with those In-Clans and tell me what you think of it.
    I heard from one of the grognards I run with the issue was it was devastating in larp.
    Last edited by Ragged Robin; 12-04-2021, 06:57 AM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Ragged Robin View Post
      I heard from one of the grognards I rub with the issue was it was devastating in larp.
      I only LARPed once and there was no Malk, so can't say. It was also a rules-lite LARP because it was a one-time thing in an event.

      So I have no idea how the rules for any Discipline differ there.


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      • #18
        I was in a LARP for years back in high school/college, and I ran Malks more than anything.

        Apparently my longest-lived one was considered terrifying (both OOC out of what they were capable of, and IC as a character), so there might be some merit to that.

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        • #19
          Dementation is the #1 reason to play a Malkavian!!! It's the saving grace of the clan and their compensation for having one of the worst clan curses. I don't see why anybody would wish to dispense with it; in fact, I prefer to ignore the Dominate Malkavians altogether, and have Dementation be the clan discipline throughout history. I chalk up the Dominate Malks to 1st edition weirdness, which White Wolf ultimately recognized and eliminated, making up the metaplot of the Great Prank to justify the shift. Why would anybody dispense with the "Your friends are salmon!" moment sort of awesomeness in Bloodlines, and make them some boring clan of mentally-stunted Ventrue? Dementation has huge potential for fun and huge potential for horror, so why would you want to get rid of it???

          Dementation abilities are very loosely defined in what they can do; this isn't an oversight, it means they can do A LOT. A smart and manipulative Malkavian can use it to replicate the effects of Dominate, Presence, or Chimerstry, without the constraints on some of those disciplines. Dominate can't get a person to walk off a building; Dementation can. Presence can't turn somebody into a sobbing, remorseful wreck; Dementation can. I mean, in the Lasombra Trilogy, a Malkavian uses it to paralyze her ductus with fear, and he submits to diablerie. In the Brujah Trilogy, the ultimate villain is stunned by a Dementation attack in the middle of her victory, allowing Bell to kill her. Under Dementation, vampires can spill any sort of secret. A 6th generation Malkavian helps drive Michael, the 4th generation Toreador ancient, batshit crazy. There are MANY great examples of what Malkavians can accomplish in the books, and they are well-written, and extremely powerful.

          The caveat for this discipline is that it's unpredictable, and based around the subject. Dominate and Presence allow for predictable and controllable effects, which are within the bounds of sanity. Dementation leads the subject outside the realm of sanity; the Malkavian picks up from there and can then guide and prod them where they want. Dementation powers are often triggered in conversation, and the Malkavian uses their understanding of the victim to advance whatever use they have in mind. Unlike for Dominate or Presence, this isn't straightforward. The Malkavian has to be very smart and insightful to properly use this discipline; having Mental traits as primary with high Manipulation and Empathy is key. There are so very many examples of how this is done in the setting, I don't understand why there's any confusion in how this works and what it can and cannot accomplish.

          From a setting balance issue, Dementation is why Malkavians are feared and given a wide berth, PERIOD. The corebooks even say, that experienced vampires fear this discipline more than Vicissitude. They are the ultimate mentalist clan; all their abilities are mental ones, and all are all geared for survival. They are as severely disadvantaged as the Nosferatu in many ways, and don't have the organizational ability of the Nosferatu or the support network of any other clan. Auspex helps them see danger coming, Obfuscate allows them to hide from danger, and Dementation is their ace in the hole, deterring people from messing with them in the first place. It's the bread and butter of their survival. Without Dementation, nobody would need the Malkavians; nobody would strive to have them on their side, or fear making them an enemy. Take away Dementation, and you're left with a clan that is exceeded in every way by the other clans. What can a Dominate Malkavian do that can't be done by a sane Ventrue or Tremere? What can a Presence Malkavian do that a sane Toreador or Brujah can't do?

          Malkavians are restrained from making full use of Dementation's potential partly from Humanity considerations; the worst uses of it will make Humanity drop like a rock. There are many Malkavians who fall to the Beast, and many others which are quickly put down. The other restraint, just touched on, is that Dementation wears off, and if used on other vampires, will invite severe retribution. The Malkavians sitting in the Inner Circle don't just casually throw this power around on their fellows.

          Malkavians are meant to be the x-factor in chronicles, and are easily the most roleplay-intensive clan. Every time Dementation is used, it should be something special and spectacular, which should be roleplayed with the storyteller guiding the NPC's responses.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Sultanabdal View Post
            I mean, in the Lasombra Trilogy, a Malkavian uses it to paralyze her ductus with fear, and he submits to diablerie.
            Why would anybody dispense with the "Your friends are salmon!" moment sort of awesomeness in Bloodlines, and make them some boring clan of mentally-stunted Ventrue?
            This is kind of the sticking point - that no, Dementation RAW can't do that. The rules do not support you doing these things. Which is why Dementation rewrites are being discussed. This is why my Dementation restructure (see second post in this thread) replaced Dem2 with Dreamstalker and Dem5 with Implant Opinion. Because RAW Dem2 gives random dicepool modifiers at random times spread out over months of time, and RAW Dem5 gives random disorders which could be crippling depression or a mortal fear of moldy tofu.

            You don't need to sell people on the idea of Madness Powers. Madness Powers are cool. Implementation is lacking.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
              You don't need to sell people on the idea of Madness Powers. Madness Powers are cool. Implementation is lacking.
              This, so much this.

              By the way, a Dominate Malk, with Auspex and Obfuscate to booth, can do everything Sultanabdal described with the same effort of studying the target first and being creative, better than RAW Dementation could even dream. RAW, not Novel Dementation, because Novel Dementation does whatever the author wants it to do.

              And on top of that, while I find Madness Powers as interesting a concept as everyone else, DementationRAW annoys me as a mental patient myself given how little understanding it shows of how we really are.


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              • #22
                Madness powers are interesting

                Dementation... is lacking.

                A smart and manipulative malk with Dominate can just do MORE. A Dementation Malk can threaten to make you crazy or... make you crazy... with a discipline that specifically does that. Which is kinda like having a sword and using it to cut people; It's not that interesting. That and Dem3 is a "DM, Help me" power which doesn't often go down well. A Dom Malk can Truly drive someone mad: Their wife doesn't remember them. Their recounts are very different from other people's retellings, they keep shouting at dogs on sight...

                Using Dementation to make someone mad is just lazy. And if you want to be lazy and take a more direct approach with madness. The Path of Pleasure, Path of Phobos, Path of the Defiler, path of the unspoken and even the more ordinary path of Corruption are all much better tools than Dementation at making people crazy.


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                • #23
                  I agree that while Dementation is really interesting in concept, it falls short in execution. It's utility is simply greatly lacking. Whenever I read the Dementation powers, all I'm left thinking is how I'd much rather have Dominate.

                  If you had no other option, sure, you could make Dementation work. But even without Dominate, you have two other Disciplines that give more utility for the investment.

                  A lot of it is that the powers are narrow and niche. More importantly, dependent on the Storyteller. With Dominate, you have fine control over what the target does and/or remembers. ST have some adjudication on this score, but they're largely encouraged to work within the bounds of the command. With such fine control, you can get extremely creative and clever with Dominate.

                  Dementation is more inexact and vague. This is by design, as it's all about the unpredictable nature of madness. So having a Discipline that even the user can't fully control is, at the very least, flavorful. It does what it sets out to do, at least as far as that goes. But in terms of its ability to foster creativity, there's very little to work with. The player has far less input, which doesn't reward cleverness. In many ways it fails to do the "Madness Discipline" justice, because you can't have moments of spontaneity, brilliance, or madcap fun. At least, none that is player-directed.

                  It's ALL up to the Storyteller. Which not only sucks the fun out of playing a Malkavian (or of playing any PC), it puts more work on the ST.


                  If I had to suggest fixes for Dementation, there are some ideas worth pursuing.

                  Hallucinations: Give the player the ability to choose what the target senses, and under what circumstances. This naturally overlaps a bit with Chimestry, but I'm not as bothered by redundancy as some other people. It's a different sort of false sensations, a "mental" illusion rather than a "physical one". Which has the benefit of being easier to alienate a person from others, because other people can't see what the target sees. It's also more in line with classic pop culture vampire depictions that VtM takes inspiration from. Example: the turning noodles into maggots thing from The Lost Boys. That's the kind of setup a Malkavian could actually USE to further their goals (or just to fuck with people).

                  Eyes of Chaos: This should probably either be an alternate Auspex power, or a Combination Power between Auspex and Dementation. As for its effects, it needs to be more defined as to what the Malkavian can learn. As it stands now, it's a request to the ST to drop hints, and a way to learn a character's Nature. Not much a player can work with. Plus, it tells Storytellers to coach all revelations in riddles, which is flavorful but puts extra work on the ST just to operate the Malkavian player's power. In truth, it's difficult to modify it without circling back around to being pure narrative, or making it a means of extracting exact information too easily.

                  (As an aside, one of the ideas I had for Malkavians a while back was that Malkavians should be able to ask random objects questions. Whether the object answered was up to the Storyteller. In practical terms, it would be an opportunity for the Malkavian to make Social rolls or gather information when "real" characters aren't present or couldn't possibly know the answer. It can lead to amusing situations, where the Malkavian is interrogating a mounted elk head or an anchor on the TV about plot relevant details, and trying to convince them to spill the beans. Both very funny, and an opportunity for the ST to roleplay characters that could never exist for real, but it's also a useful tool in the ST's toolbox. For the record, I wouldn't even make this sort of thing a power. It's just a facet of the Malkavian condition that they can attempt to talk to anything, and possibly expect an answer. It's on-brand for Clan Malkavian, and gives the ST the same tool as Eyes of Chaos, without needing the player to buy into it. If the player is going to be subject to the discretion of the ST, they shouldn't have to buy that with actual experience.)

                  Eroding Willpower: Maybe it's having gotten into Magic: The Gathering, or hearing about some mechanics in V5, but I like the idea of Malkavians being able to effectively do Willpower damage. Afflicting the target with hallucinations or bouts of depression/malaise, such that it becomes harder to muster up the mental energy needed to do things. (Doing Willpower damage isn't even unheard of in V20; Lore of the Clans has this kind of thing as an alternate Quietus power for Viziers). Alternatively, the Malkavian could have what amounts to an "attack power", where they deal mental/emotional damage (Bashing). With a fully filled health pool resulting in the person losing consciousness, or else becoming temporarily catatonic or paralyzed by mental trauma. It's a very "gamey" ability, but it would definitely give a player reason to pick Dementation over Dominate. (For good reason, this would probably be a 4 or 5 dot power). Or depleting their mental health could inflict them with a Derangement of the Malkavian's choice (or multiple ones, of the ST choice, giving the player the option of surrendering control in order to foster more madness). On the other hand, botching the power would cause the user to experience the Willpower loss/mental damage instead.


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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                    If I had to suggest fixes for Dementation, there are some ideas worth pursuing.
                    Those ideas are interesting, although for now they don't seem enough to make Dementation worth salvation. But they're sure neat.

                    Hallucinations using Chimerstry rules is a nice touch. While not simple per se, the rules are already there and they work well. And I don't think they create any redundancy because while similar in mechanics those powers will work under completely different contexts and fill distinct niches as the player is encouraged to create completely different kinds of illusions.

                    Althought not your intent, I think you actually hit the mark for Eyes of Chaos with your "ask furniture" idea. The power could specifically work by letting the player ask questions and have them answered by the background fixtures, with the power having clear definitions for what kind of answer you can get per success.

                    Instead of giving those as riddles, just let the player interpret how the character gets those answers. Some literally strike a conversation with the furniture or with people in the TV, others start to see delirious connections between things and events in the way the power currently describes. There's no riddle, because the power isn't an ability of the character to receive a riddle from the universe, it is their ability to see truths in random stimuli that their minds process through delirious logic.


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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by monteparnas View Post

                      By the way, a Dominate Malk, with Auspex and Obfuscate to booth, can do everything Sultanabdal described with the same effort of studying the target first and being creative, better than RAW Dementation could even dream. RAW, not Novel Dementation, because Novel Dementation does whatever the author wants it to do.
                      Obviously, the answer is to retool RAW Dementation to be Novel Dementation, rather than diss the concept. Dementation 4 and 5 as written provides all you need for 'Novel' Dementation; the trick is to bring in some of its effects as earlier powers in the progression. Dementation 3 could be retooled into one temporary derangement, for example, and Eyes of Chaos could be some sort of Discipline-independent Malkavian insight.

                      In taking away Dementation as a clan Discipline, let's first make a broad point. VtM is a tough setting that follows the inhuman power struggles of vampires to their utmost, logical conclusion. Every clan has some sort of edge that helps them deal with their situation, and be a Clan of thousands of members, rather than a handful eking out a living in basements.

                      First off, we have the clans with unique Disciplines:
                      - Tremere, Gangrel, Giovanni, Ravnos, Assamite, Followers of Set, Lasombra, Tzimisce.
                      Over and above the edges that they already possess, these clans have a unique power that they can use to defend themselves, or place at the disposal of other vampires to earn their keep.

                      Next, we have the humanity-oriented clans:
                      - Brujah, Toreador, Ventrue.
                      These clans only have the standard Disciplines, but do not suffer from a curse that alienates them from society, unlike most of the clans with unique Disciplines. Their pursuits are also not occult ones that ultimately alienate them from society in much the same way, like the Tremere or Giovanni. They are the three largest clans and focus on human causes and/or influencing mortal society for their survival, and use this influence to carve out a place for themselves. Although politically divided, they also have strong clan solidarity.

                      We then have a severely disadvantaged clan:
                      - Nosferatu.
                      The Nosferatu don't have some unique gift, and they are also under a severe curse that alienates them from society. They compensate by having the most tight-knit clan where members help instead of hinder each other, and they also peddle their information-gathering services to all others. Because of their disadvantages, although they survive, they do so in the worst possible domains that nobody else would want to claim.

                      Finally, we have:
                      - Malkavians.
                      The Malkavians have a terrible clan curse that not only alienates them from society, but also prevents them from cohering like any of the other clans. Although Malkavians often converge to unknowingly carry out the agendas of elders in a sort of hive-mind, on a nightly basis they are the most disunited and feeble clan.

                      Now, if you don't give the Malkavians some sort of very hard edge, as Dementation provides, they stop being a viable clan. They would be one of those rare and hated bloodlines, like the Nagaraja or Baali, that rank lower than Caitiff in other vampires' esteem, but without the rare Disciplines that those bloodlines have. With this in mind, if you're going to get rid of Dementation, you might as well get rid of the Malkavians for consistency's sake, or make them a rare bloodline.

                      Dominate can also drive people crazy. Well, duh. Any vampiric power can drive people crazy. Dementation can drive people crazy over the course of a single conversation, which is very much not the same thing.

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                      • #26
                        That's an.... interesting interpretation (IE I think you're almost entirely wrong)

                        Nosferatu and Dominate Malks are easily among the most successful vampire bloodlines, with well rounded and strong synergistic discipline spreads.


                        Driving people crazy isn't actually valuable. It's a scary threat, but so is -a whole host of other things vampires are capable of- . Crazy Paths like Pleasure, Phobos or Pain at least have practical usage beyond harming people.


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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                          Nosferatu and Dominate Malks are easily among the most successful vampire bloodlines, with well rounded and strong synergistic discipline spreads.

                          Driving people crazy isn't actually valuable. It's a scary threat, but so is -a whole host of other things vampires are capable of- . Crazy Paths like Pleasure, Phobos or Pain at least have practical usage beyond harming people.
                          This sort of thing happens when you see characters as character sheets with dots and Disciplines, and ignore the social interactions and dynamics that define the setting. Saying that the Nosferatu are successful requires a very important qualifier; the Malkavian interpretation is wrong, and what you point out as being superior to Dementation is infernalism. Yes, infernalism can do what Dementation does even better, but ...

                          The Nosferatu had a very hard time right up until the 19th century. Modern cities provided the sewer systems etc. that they so desperately needed, and modern communication and surveillance systems gave a great boost to their original clan focus. They have compensated for their defects by most thoroughly embracing the modern age. The way you call them a 'successful' bloodline, though, indicates that you do not appreciate them as fully-rounded characters. Skulking around sewers is nobody's idea of a successful unlife. There's power that comes from reading people's mail and listening to their conversations, but that's a lame way to spend your existence. The fact of the matter is, you're wading through shit and reading people's texts to survive, which the other clans don't have to do. You're a qualified success as long as you stay in the box that other Kindred have drawn for you; try stepping out of it to get some of what the Toreador or Ventrue have and you'll see what's what. I mean, there's an example in Clanbook: Nosferatu, revised, about the African Nosferatu being kings, and how the Western Nosferatu are pathetic slaves. Try reading that and see whether the Nosferatu are indeed successful. That's why they Embrace losers, voyeurs, the obsessive, and the antisocial, because those people will be happier with their lot as Nosferatu.

                          How are the Malkavians among the most successful bloodlines, and by what metric of success? They certainly aren't more successful than the Ventrue, Toreador, Brujah, Tremere, Assamites, Lasombra, Tzimisce, or Giovanni, by whatever metric you define. The Nosferatu upstage them too, so they're down there with the Gangrel and the Ravnos. I guess when there are only 13 clans, it's easier to be in the 'Top 10 Clans'. Is that what you're saying when you call them 'among the most successful bloodlines', that they're in the Top 10?

                          If you think that driving people crazy has no value, the problem is a failure of imagination. Another vampire contests you for your domain. You drive them crazy, they walk out into the sun. Yes, not a valuable skill at all.

                          Not everybody can appreciate what other clans have to offer. The clans were written in this diverse way to embrace different personalities and outlooks. I have never played a Follower of Set and would suck as one, but I have met people who would take to it as a fish would take to water. Some people would be great with Chimerstry, and some people would suck at it. Some people would be happy as Nosferatu, and some people wouldn't be. It's understandable if you don't appreciate what the clan has to offer and don't have the imagination to run with Dementation ... that's most clans in the setting, and there's nothing wrong with the mundanity of the Toreador or Ventrue. But that doesn't mean the clan is badly written or its Discipline is bad, since there are other people who could get very good mileage out of it.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Sultanabdal View Post
                            Obviously, the answer is to retool RAW Dementation to be Novel Dementation, rather than diss the concept.
                            Only if you assume that the best way to work the concept is to make a Discipline completely focused on it. This isn't a bad idea, but is hardly a given if other powers can do the job.

                            Yet, I don't think anyone here ever said they wouldn't ever even consider a new take on the idea. What we mostly concluded in the thread is that A) RAW Dementation doesn't work and B) Dominate does it well enough, so no one felt salvaging the Discipline was worth it.

                            If you disagree, feel free to try and present your actual results.

                            Originally posted by Sultanabdal View Post
                            Dementation 4 and 5 as written provides all you need for 'Novel' Dementation; the trick is to bring in some of its effects as earlier powers in the progression.
                            Also to make those two under some control of the character. Being able to make an entire room frenzy is neat, except by the risk of ending up the same yourself and not having really other options to direct this frenzy, so it seems more like Bad Presence Angry Edition. By the way, one possible aspect of insanity, but far from common.

                            Five Derangements of the ST's choice is scary but useless. Other than making someone's life miserable (which you have plenty of ways to do), you get zero benefit from this as you have no tool to direct or capitalize on it outside being smart, which you can be with other, more useful tools, and both the target or other people can also be, so you're hardly the only person around that can capitalize what you just did.

                            Originally posted by Sultanabdal View Post
                            In taking away Dementation as a clan Discipline, let's first make a broad point.
                            Even putting aside my general disagreement that In-Clans have such an impact on a clan success just by themselves, you completely ignores the value of the common disciplines as easy-access tools for those who have them as In-Clan, and Malkavians have just the most synergistic spreads out there.

                            Auspex gives them information and insight on many things happening, the nature of people and things, and so on.

                            Obfuscate gives them the ability to be anywhere unnoticed, to be anyone, and so to put those enhanced senses to work from inside places they're not supposed to be, be it due to security or privacy.

                            Dominate lets you alter memories, plant suggestions and program the target's behavior with precision.

                            That target you found out where it lives because you have Auspex, then entered there because you have Obfuscate and guaranteed no one would testify to your meddling because you have Dominate. Just to give an example of what a Dominate Malkavian can do by investing in their in-clans.

                            Nosferatu is an extremely successful clan despite being belittled by the others, that has always been their joke. And that's just their combined use of Obfuscate and Animalism. They have everyone's secrets and everyone's favors, no one likes to seriously cross them and everyone values their insight on things even when they loath being caught asking.

                            Malkavians aren't feared because they're dangerous. They're feared because they're mad. They get away with things with incredible ease because people don't want to know what deranged rationale guide their actions and think punishing them is usually more trouble than it's worth. And most of the time their actions are actually just as perfectly sane as everyone else's, so this actually plays a lot into giving them space to work.

                            Spreading this madness is scary but... is it really that useful? Compared to freaking Dominate? Sorry, I just can't agree with that.

                            Originally posted by Sultanabdal View Post
                            The Malkavians have a terrible clan curse that not only alienates them from society, but also prevents them from cohering like any of the other clans.
                            Here you get in the other aspect I said before, I'll try to elaborate more here.

                            Madness is not that much of a curse. Period. Most people with actual Mental Disorders are perfectly coherent, functional members of society that just learn to adapt to their specific conditions. Prejudice on those conditions is usually the biggest problem WE face. My "derangements" never stopped me from having a social life, playing and STing RPG for decades, working at a large bank and having a happy marriage. My life isn't completely "normal", but my ability to make it work isn't any lower than how "normal" people have it.

                            It does not mean that Disorders aren't issues, but they're not crippling issues (like how actually most disabilities aren't actually as "crippling" in that sense as most normies think). And the game isn't a lot different in that regard, because despite not being really that realistic, the Derangement rule hardly hinders the character's ability to function most of the time.

                            While I get that you love that BS ableist stereotype of a fishmalk Bloodlines calls the Malkavian protagonist, in that game I think you should take more cues from the Voerman Twins, a perfectly functional and important member of Kindred society that definitely isn't a Dementation user in any capacity and don't need to be, despite all her success.

                            Originally posted by Sultanabdal View Post
                            With this in mind, if you're going to get rid of Dementation, you might as well get rid of the Malkavians for consistency's sake, or make them a rare bloodline.
                            A harsh conclusion. It may be like that for you, but this thread pretty much has a lot of posters that see the clan as stronger with Dominate than Dementation, no one here considered the clan as weak or better written off because of Dementation being bad.

                            Originally posted by Sultanabdal View Post
                            Dominate can also drive people crazy. Well, duh. Any vampiric power can drive people crazy. Dementation can drive people crazy over the course of a single conversation, which is very much not the same thing.
                            Dominate can directly affect some of the key components of how a person perceives and interact with the world, and deplete their ability to corroborate their perceptions with others.

                            This is the core of what we could call "sanity", and Dominate can do that pretty much through the course of a single conversation. A single conversation and the victim remembers with fondness of a childhood friend they never had, or completely forgets where they work, or start to develop ticks and weird behaviors they can't understand, or better yet, all of those. And that's from the top of my head while I'm actually more worried about finishing here to see if my last Wonder Trade in Pokémon is done already.

                            If you really think Dominate isn't particularly good at driving people crazy, better to think it through and reread the Discipline.


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                            • #29
                              If you think that driving people crazy has no value, the problem is a failure of imagination. Another vampire contests you for your domain. You drive them crazy, they walk out into the sun. Yes, not a valuable skill at all.
                              There's no failure of imagination on my part. Driving another vampire crazy until they end themselves is... a bad strategy.
                              1- There's no garantee that you can actually get them to suicide
                              2- There's a pretty good chance they'll kill you before they off themselves.
                              3- there's a pretty good chance observers will still blame you and seek to punish you for maliciously using disciplines directly against another vampire.
                              4- Dementation isn't much better than other methods when it comes to making a rival vampire's unlife hellish. Targetting his friends,family, retainers, holdings, businesses and dare I say it... touchstones. Obfuscate, Dominate, Presence, Animalism, Potence, Thaumaturgy, Necromancy, resources and influences.... there are a lot of BETTER options.


                              Moving on:
                              Malkavians are literally everywhere in vampire society. Oh look at that businessman he must be a Ven... no, Malkavian. Oh look at the drifter I'll assume he's a Gan... no, Malkavian. Malks permeate vampire society completely. They're in every sect and the only tell, besides the poor mental health that many of them hide very well, is that they favour Intelligent childer (and are disproportionately favoured by unintelligent players). But despite their ability to spread out, they've also got a good shared bond from their affliction, which binds them together. Your average Malkavian is thus a jack of all trades with friends in high and low places that can move unseen throughout vampire society...

                              ...They're, per capita, the strongest fucking clan (I mean, physically they're a joke, but you know what I mean. You don't need Potence when you're invisible and have Bombs)

                              Nosferatu are the most Dangerous clan in the game. they just need heavy clothing and heavy makeup.
                              The Nosferatu aren't dependent on sewers, they're just convenient. Remember: the Nosferatu were one of the three clans found in the new world, they don't need sewers. But with sewers, I think it's worth mentioning that swiming through the most vile of places probably isn't that horrific for a vampire. It's not like they're going to get an infection or disease.


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                              • #30
                                There seems to be a general failure here to appreciate what an in-clan Discipline means, and how a Discipline gets to be in-clan, and what the in-clan Discipline implies for the clan's organization and mindset.

                                Yes, Dominate is a fantastic Discipline, it's great and super-useful, etc. etc. It bears reminding everybody here, Dominate is a common Discipline in the Camarilla. You can get it without having it as an in-clan Discipline, and if you last long enough, everybody does get it. Brujah ancillae have Dominate 3. Theo Bell has Dominate 3. Coterie-mates of Ventrue, examples abound, have Dominate 3. Tzimisce voivodes have Dominate 3. If you're in good standing, if you do favors for people or are friends with them for long enough, eventually you'll get Dominate 3. Malkavians benefit immensely from Dominate, yes, as everybody does. The question is ... does this justify Dominate being an in-clan Discipline?

                                Consider, that when everybody here is rhapsodizing about how wonderful Dominate is, they're talking about Dominate 3. What about Dominate 4, turning people into meat puppets without using the blood bond? What about Dominate 5, Possession. or beyond? What are the implications of having these powers?

                                When a clan has an in-clan Discipline, it means that the elders and Methuselahs of the clan went above and beyond in getting that Discipline. They didn't just max out the Discipline to their generational limit, they went beyond that and got all sorts of alternative powers, and made that Discipline a centerpiece of their existence. For Dominate, specifically, that means an obsession with power and organization, beyond the power-hunger that is typical even for a 'standard' vampire elder. That's why Ventrue and Lasombra have Dominate in-clan. That's why the Tremere have it, with their lockstep Pyramid mania. That's why Giovanni have it, with their obsession with directing their descendants and devoting their lives to the Cosa Nostra, La Famiglia thing they have going. Other clans find Dominate useful of course, and they even max it out sometimes, but do they really feel the urge to get all the alternative powers and then some? Do they feel uncomfortable because they don't have a power like Fealty or Loyalty, or because they can't have their ghouls carry their Dominate instructions?

                                Within this framework, how are the Malkavians justified in having Dominate as an in-clan Discipline? Are they more power-hungry or organized than the Brujah, who don't have Dominate in-clan? Are they more power- and domain-focused than the Tzimisce prisci and archbishops and voivodes, who don't have Dominate in-clan? Obviously, they are NOT justified in having this Discipline be in-clan. The Malkavian Madness Network already connects the Malkavians and Dementation allows them to direct their descendants; why do they need elder levels of Dominate? A Malkavian seer benefits immensely from elder levels of Auspex; Malkavians benefit immensely from elder levels of Obfuscate; but elder levels of Dominate? For the clan as written, would they forego getting another Auspex 6 power for a Dominate 6 power? Does a Malkavian feel uncomfortable because his ghouls can't carry his Dominate commands for him? Does a Malkavian feel insecure because promises that are made to him aren't secured by a specific Dominate power?

                                If you're going to cobble together in-clan Disciplines without rhyme or reason, based on how much which combination synergizes or something, that's what Caitiff are for. Disciplines aren't spells like Magic Missile or Chromatic Orb; they have serious psychological and social implications. If you aren't interested in exploring these aspects of the setting, that's fine, but that doesn't mean you should attack the logical consistencies that were built into VtM that set it apart from something like D&D with arbitrary spells and classes and whatever.

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