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Should Potence, Celerity and Fortitude have sinergic effects?

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  • Should Potence, Celerity and Fortitude have sinergic effects?

    I was thinking about the "secondary" or collateral consequences of enanching strength, speed and durability through Disciplines.

    A vampire with Potence should get some kind of protection from his strength. If a car crashes on him, or is squeezed by a greath weight, he can push against the damaging force and reduce it. He can stiff his muscles and oppose to neck-snapping or joint breaking ( judo, ju-jitsu ecc. ). Since his legs are strong enough to allow to jump several meters high, fall damage should be reduced if he falls on his feet.

    A vampire with Celerity should do more damage when he hits something at full speed. After all, isn't strength = mass * acceleration? I don't know if that applies to all form of attacks ( biting probably no, hitting with a weapon mabye ) but if the vampire charge and throw himself against something ( shoulder, headbutt, flying knee, dropkick ), the blow should be commesurately stronger.
    I mean, a dropkick from a 60 kg vampire at 25 miles/hour is not the same as a drop kick from the same vampire at 100 miles / hours.

    A vampire with Fortitude should be, simply put, harder. Vampiric resilience isn't simply "ignoring organ damage", that is covered by the halved bashing damage. Fortitude allows to soak blades, spears, big stones and the like. So, I guess that a vampire with 3-4 dots in Fortitude should have a body hard as bronze or stone, while at Fortitude 5 or more it should be steel - like.
    So, when a vampire with such an hard body hits, he should do more damage than normal.

  • #2
    I've been tempted to dump the physical disciplines and simply make enhanced stats a side effect of blood potency. However, I haven't managed to make this work because I would need to redesign almost the entire system from nearly the ground up. I don't think making the physical disciplines have default synergies would work for the same reason: the game is already balanced around them not have such synergies, so you'd need to redesign the system nearly from the ground up.


    • #3
      Celerity is time magic. You're not actually giving yourself more velocity, you're... erhm.... hitting fast forward. This is why you don't start flying because of momentum every time you want to move fast using the power and stop.

      I think there's room for some combination of Fortitude and Potence insofar as when you crash into something. I don't think Potence is strength and I don't think Fortitude is toughness. I think both disciplines change the way forces interact with the vampire. Fortitude weakens hostile forces, Potence weakens the resistance of forces the vampire contends with, which is why it's so versatile and also why it more matches movie-magic strength rather than strength according to physics. EG if you want to kick through a brick wall, potence lets you do that without recoiing away like you would in reality. Potence might thus work defensively in breaking whatever hits you, but Fortitude would only grant minor advantages offensively.
      Last edited by MyWifeIsScary; 01-01-2022, 02:54 PM.

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      • #4
        Ultimately, from a mechanical perspective, the core physical Disciplines reflect the mechanical reality of the game abstracting physical condition the way it does. There's only so much you can really implement without changing the underlying abstraction. A simple example is in Requiem (either edition). Vigor (replacing Potence) makes you faster, not as fast as Celerity, but because the base rules calculate movement speeds on both Strength and Dexterity. Feats of Strength are boosted by both Vigor and Resilience (replacing Fortitude), since instead of a WP roll to push yourself beyond your normal Strength limits, it is a Strength + Stamina roll in that game instead. Having those synergies between the Disciplines works much more naturally when there's already synergies between the physical Attributes.

        Otherwise... it's magic. As MWiS notes, the Disciplines work the way they work because that's how the authors want vampire magic to work. Celerity ignores physics because VtM wants vampires with magical super-speed, not vampires that risk of hitting a wall at 200 mph. Fortitude doesn't alter your external physical look (at least not until you take certain Elder powers) because you're still a vampire that needs to be able to blend in with humans... which isn't possible if you look and feel to the touch like a walking statue.


        • #5
          Honestly, to think Celerity as time magic is a bit... too much , for me.
          I always tought that vampires with Celerity are simply very fast.

          When I think about Potence / Celerity / Fortitude, The Vampire Diaries comes to my mind. More or less.


          • #6
            Too much but... actually what the books say thanks to Temporis and the Trujah.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Solomon Draak View Post
              Honestly, to think Celerity as time magic is a bit... too much , for me.
              I always tought that vampires with Celerity are simply very fast.

              When I think about Potence / Celerity / Fortitude, The Vampire Diaries comes to my mind. More or less.

              The super speed from celerity is very Vampire Diaries like. Figuring the fastest human was just under 28 mph an elder Brujah or Assamite with a 7 celerity multiplying that by 8 really is a couple hundred mph. I wonder how many people really picture that kind of speed from a character. I suppose it's more common now that Anne Rice, Vampire Diaries, Discovery of Witches, Twilight all have vampire super speed on screen, but yeah, does not follow real world physics.


              • #8
                Some ideas are not bad though, use potency to reduce the impact of a crashing car (But still take some damage) is an interesting idea
                For the celerity, it give bonus dice to Dex, so at a high level you already have bonus damages for an attack roll. On the other hand as you can use it to get more action du to the litteral speed of the vampire (or as time magic) maybe you can use it to reduce the difficulty or give dices or additionnal success to defensive actions like dodging bullets or to run to cover.


                • #9
                  I think celerity is an issue because it's not internally consistent. (It's also one of the only powers that has gone through a redesign every edition because everyone knows it's a problem child)

                  If you can double your running speed or attack twice a turn, you have the speed to defeat everyone without celerity virtually unoposed. Atheletes would kill for a 5% boost to their abilities, a 100% increase in speed, never mind a 500% increase, is utterly terrifying. Celerity needs not only a gameplay nerf, but a fluff nerf.

                  Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
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                  • #10
                    You are correct, but there are players who are very protective of Celerity staying broken. I have run games where it is just extra Dexterity spend a blood for auto successes just like the other two (still very powerful due to the way combat works, I'd say it's still up there with Potence and fortitude in overall gameplay) but I have a couple old friends who would have hit the roof with that nerf. I think it's really the type of players at the table that will decide. For me I weeded out combat junkies who treat VTM like a D&D dungeon crawl, only happy with a session if there is a big combat. When I run a game with that change, I make the 3 physical disciplines only x4 to raise for everyone to convey how physically dominate vampires are.

                    It's funny, even after I read Interview with a vampire in the 80s I really didn't picture vampires zipping around super fast. At this point it's been adopted by so many vampire takes sometimes, I think it's natural for most players to think they should run and attack at superspeed. One thing I also did once was give all vampires Heightened Senses with the difficulty modified by alertness score since it wasn't part of Auspex due to it being so prevalent in modern vampire fiction as well, so I understand the urge to keep it as a speed multiplier and give it extra actions. I think that is why it was kept for edition after edition.

                    I should add there are plenty of non combat junkies that like superspeed celerity, just to be like a vampire from fiction they enjoy.
                    Last edited by Vamps Like Us; 01-03-2022, 04:08 PM.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Vamps Like Us View Post
                      It's funny, even after I read Interview with a vampire in the 80s I really didn't picture vampires zipping around super fast.
                      Vampires teleport. They did at least since Bram Stoker's Dracula. Do you want a teleport Discipline in the game?

                      Celerity has two purposes in the game. The first is to close the trio of "Physical Disciplines". But the second really is to cover the iconic ability of disappearing and then reappearing in unexpected places. From there, the rest is what the authors' logic conceived for it.

                      For the OP question, simply put there's many reasons to not have such effects added to the Physical Disciplines as they are. First, that would increase the complexity of the powers from both a use and design standpoint. But second, once you start to consider secondary consequences, this is a rabbit hole of problems and further considerations.

                      They are magic. They don't follow the laws of physics, otherwise they wouldn't work. One simple example of how applying physics complicate things is that if you could endure a car crash with Potence, the energy not transferred in the form of ruptures in your body would have to apply in some other fashion, and by the laws of momentum that would probably mean you bouncing around like a ball unless you either develops a lot more mass (which brings more complications) or hold onto something else, then that will take the brunt of the impact (which also brings more complications).

                      Whenever you chose to stop it will be equally arbitrary, so no realism is really gained.

                      Also, as MyWifeIsScary said, in the end it is magic. Like, for real. Celerity, Fortitude and Potence are still Disciplines. They are not, and aren't meant to be, physical improvements to your body. They are manifestations of the power of the blood, like every other Discipline. Your body is still measured exclusively through your Attributes. Even superhuman feats that characterize vampires are handled in the game by buffing your Attributes with Blood.

                      She/her pronouns


                      • #12
                        I would have nothing against a vampire being throwed away by a great impact although staying more or less intact.

                        In general, although this is an hyper-simplification, I would say that even low levels of Potence and Resilience makes a character impossible to best in a fair fight for someone who does not have similar powers.

                        If the odds are staked against the supernatural being, like at least 3-4 trainedhunters wrestling a Potence 1 ghoul, or even an half starved Neonate, I would use the normal rules.

                        But a vampire who has enough blood to buff his Strength and a couple dots of Potence, I would rule that he slings away people like nine-pins, no roll required.

                        A single dot in Fortitude AND Potence means, to me, being inamovible by things as punches, kicks, even a ( light ) stick or baseball bat.

                        - - -

                        Also, I would apply a similar reasoning to size. Ok, we can say that a Grizzly bear has a Strength of 5, or even 6, but I would not allow a common human - or a supernatural without Potence or something similar - to wrestle him.


                        • #13
                          That seems like it's overhyping one dot, and creates disparities in player perceptions that can diminish fun. "Potence and Fortitude 1 let me beat up a group of muggers without a roll, I feel awesome and powerful! Surely one trained hunter with rolls is going to be a cakewalk! Wait... how did I end up staked and captured!?!"

                          It also further drives violence and combat away from the most compelling nature of conflicts. Something that holds true from two animals fighting over some food, to nations fighting with armies, is that having the upper hand in a direct stand-up fight is a very bad indicator of what will happen in reality.

                          Since bears came up: Two bears looking for a meal come across a human that just killed a mountain goat. All three want to eat the goat. The human has a big ass gun which could kill a bear, but there's two bears, and bears are fast, and can easily kill a human. One of the bears is in prime shape, well fed, would easily beat the other bear in a stand up fight. The other bear is practically starving, even with all its size and power, that gun is a serious threat.

                          The starving bear probably gets the goat. Because the human and the other bear make the same calculus, "a goat to eat would be great, but I'm not ready to fight to the death, or even risk crippling injuries, over it. I don't need it that bad, there are plenty of goats." The starving bear has nothing to lose. Its' outcomes are, "dying fighting, dying starving, or get the goat."

                          One of the reasons not to just toss aside rolling even when one side has the math strongly in their favor, is the weaker side is fighting for a reason, or they'd simply have run away. Emotional stakes that reflect on the vampire and their choice to engage in the fight (and how that further reflects on their Humanity and Virtues) that they are going to win because they're a supernatural monster. There's even mechanical stakes involved. Just because the vampire would win 99.9% of the time, doesn't mean they walk away unscathed 99.9% of time. Like the stronger bear, taking a bunch of damage and healing it up, just to beat up a weak human or three, is it worth it? Even putting aside any emotional drivers, is it practically in their self-interest to take the risks of losing more blood then they might gain, or being noticed by a bystander, etc. Quickly finishing a fight in one attack is drastically different in potential consequences than needing five rounds to do it.

                          The whole point being interesting fights aren't about making sure everyone has some bar of mechanical significance. Interesting fights are about why the characters are getting into a fight, and how far they're willing to take the fight..


                          • #14
                            For the most I agree. But in your example, a vampire would be the well fed bear, a lone but trained and determined hunter could be the starving bear ( very weak and starving ), and the man with the gun could be an organized hunter cell.

                            But a common mortal?
                            He's the goat.


                            There are many factors who are already discarded when we talk about vampires vs mortals.

                            Most modern people aren't used to fight, suffer and bleed. Most people panic or give up.
                            Vampires are natural born killers. Their istinct scream "bite, attack, destroy". They don't freeze up due adrenaline, they can ignore "little things" like crams and strains that would cripple even a determined fighter.
                            They never tire.
                            This alone would be enough to stomp opposition 9 times out of them. They can go all out, maximum effort, as much as they want without ever pausing for taking a breath.
                            You can't strangle them, you can't cut their breath with a good hook to the liver, even escaping is a desperate ordeal because they can sprint, and sprint, and sprint endlessly.
                            Small knives and small handguns, that would be more than enough to kill or maim a human with a shot, are next to useless.
                            Beside that, even a single dot in Potence means that monster cracks bones with every blow. A dot in Fortitude make a human feel like he's hitting wood instead of flesh.

                            In short, they are predators, and mortals are their preys.

                            - - -

                            Now, about the overconfident vampire getting staked by a single trained hunter: assuming it's a mortal, not an imbued or similar fluff, it's an extremely unlikely outcome.
                            Hunters do not duel one-to-one with vampires ( at least, not those who survive their first match ). They use gun, traps, sunlight, fire, and the advantage of number.
                            A surprised hunter can't do much more than a reasonably skilled free fighter could agaist a vampire. Which is, not much.

                            But there is a thing I must say. Usually I play mortals, not vampires.

                            I like the "horror and fear" themes. Vampires should inspire fear, even in veteran hunters. An hunter taking down a single vampire in close fight at night should be an herculean feat, with the hunter barely walking away covered in wounds, not something a beginner could do.

                            The role of hunters is to plan, train, organize themselves, stalk their prey to their haven and attack while the sun is up.
                            Night and darkness should be feared, not braved.

                            This is the World of Darkness after all.
                            Last edited by Solomon Draak; 01-04-2022, 08:31 PM.


                            • #15
                              Honestly, it feels like there's a lot more, "how I want things to be," than how the game actually works in there. You're overstating a bunch of the realities of fights with vampires (vampires are, for example, still subject to getting stunned by taking too much damage, and they're not Terminators, as you only need to run until the sun comes up). The game doesn't actually give any sort of narrative born bonuses to the label "hunter" where hunters get some sort of inherent bonuses by virtue of that label. Hunter is just a label for something people do (as I tend to point out, there is a group of vampires that are also a group of hunters in the original Hunters Hunted). How good a hunter is, or someone that isn't a hunter is, in combat is up to their stats.