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Would you allow Dominate 5 to augment Auspex 4? [V20]

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  • Would you allow Dominate 5 to augment Auspex 4? [V20]

    Dominate 5 (Possession) comes in two parts:
    1. Charisma + Intimidation vs Willpower (both dif 7), successes strip WP points. (Also, would you ask for 1WP per roll, or 1WP for the extended roll?)
    2. Manipulation + Intimidation to skinride that juicebag.

    Auspex 4 (Telepathy) is a straight Intelligence + Subterfuge roll (difficulty subjects Current Willpower) to read their mind.

    In an interrogation setting, would you allow a stripping of Willpower with Dominate 5 to give a lower Telepathy difficulty?

  • #2
    Yes, 100%. Although I use the Dark Ages version in my games which doesn't require the player to spend WP.


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    • #3
      Or just use Dominate 3 to implant a false memory of the subject being an undercover agent who works for you, and they will tell you everything. Then they can "escape" and continue to provide intel.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Vilenecromancer View Post
        Yes, 100%. Although I use the Dark Ages version in my games which doesn't require the player to spend WP.
        I actually like no WP, it seems more fitting. I'm gonna use that!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Thoth View Post
          Or just use Dominate 3 to implant a false memory of the subject being an undercover agent who works for you, and they will tell you everything. Then they can "escape" and continue to provide intel.
          That would be quite a complex memory to implant and too unreliable in the end even if successful, not to say that it can backfire if the target still decides to keep their new allegiance and feed you false info.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
            That would be quite a complex memory to implant and too unreliable in the end even if successful, not to say that it can backfire if the target still decides to keep their new allegiance and feed you false info.
            As opposed to the issue that a security minded enemy will change their plans based on someone going missing depending on what they knew or had access to?

            If you play simple games, then yes kidnaping a random NPC and mind raping them for laughs is viable. If you play games where the NPCs are vaguely competent then the random kidnapping and brain scan will cause alarms. But so will the targeted disappearance of the NPC or their death. You occasionally have to figure out ways how to extract the information you want without causing more problems.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Thoth View Post
              If you play simple games, then yes kidnaping a random NPC and mind raping them for laughs is viable. If you play games where the NPCs are vaguely competent then the random kidnapping and brain scan will cause alarms. But so will the targeted disappearance of the NPC or their death. You occasionally have to figure out ways how to extract the information you want without causing more problems.
              It has nothing to do with simple games or playing for laughs. You'll have consequences one way or another and a smart enemy will be wary of any lost agent and assume the worst.

              What I said and stand for is that relying on memory alteration alone to literally transform your target in your agent is way out there to be used as a standard alternative to just read their mind, is complex, unreliable, would take way more time and far more information on the target already. It could be a good idea in a several contexts, but as standard procedure for the simple scenario presented in the OP it is just bad.

              By the way, using Telepathy to scrutinize the target's mind for some time would be a rather useful thing to do in preparation for turning the target into a double agent with Dominate.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                What I said and stand for is that relying on memory alteration alone to literally transform your target in your agent is way out there to be used as a standard alternative to just read their mind, is complex, unreliable, would take way more time and far more information on the target already. It could be a good idea in a several contexts, but as standard procedure for the simple scenario presented in the OP it is just bad.

                By the way, using Telepathy to scrutinize the target's mind for some time would be a rather useful thing to do in preparation for turning the target into a double agent with Dominate.
                The OP is suggesting an interrogation setting, which means that you have already abducted the subject, transported them to an appropriate place to do this, and you are paying attention to how much time you have to get them back in place or simply act on the extracted information before the subjects absence is noticed. Regardless you are working on a clock.

                As for how long it takes, messing with Possession takes more time mechanically, than the Forgetful Mind does. You have to strip willpower via a resisted action, rather than just doing a singular quick rewrite on the memories. In either case you will probably need to get about five successes. Though the difficulty difference can also factor in. Possession sets the difficulty at 7 while the Forgetful Mind sets the difficulty at the subjects willpower rating which in most cases is five or less for underlings.

                I am assuming that the Players are doing enough recon, be it standard, astral, telepathic, or whatever to figure out who would be the lowest willpower subject to target.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Thoth View Post
                  As for how long it takes, messing with Possession takes more time mechanically, than the Forgetful Mind does. You have to strip willpower via a resisted action, rather than just doing a singular quick rewrite on the memories. In either case you will probably need to get about five successes. Though the difficulty difference can also factor in. Possession sets the difficulty at 7 while the Forgetful Mind sets the difficulty at the subjects willpower rating which in most cases is five or less for underlings.
                  It doesn't take more time, it takes more rolls. Not the same thing in any way.

                  Forgetful mind is geared primarily towards memory removal. You can only add memories to the blanks you creates first. Second, you must do so verbally, taking as long as it takes to go through the entire exchange that'll rewrite the target's memories. Something major like a convincing memory of them becoming your loyal agent wouldn't be in any way, shape or form quicker than stripping Willpower away with a short sequence of instant actions.

                  You also need a certain amount of successes at once. Even 3 successes only let you make slight changes, hardly what it would take for such a feat, that would probably fall on 4 or 5 successes.

                  And finally, the roll has no bearing on how the subject responds to the false memory. The table only covers if the loss itself lasts one day or is "permanent", with the caveat that the description makes it clear that memories can come back at any point in the future, the vampire has no control over that beyond being extremely careful about what memory they impart.

                  Sure, the ST may be fine with the idea that you can reliably make someone into a double agent with a memory set with a quick chat, but that's not the particular power being more effective, this is the ST being lenient. Extremely lenient. Probably more than they should, as you're explicitly declaring that it would be effective enough to surpass a higher level power of a more specialized Discipline.

                  This isn't wrong if that's what works in your game, but as an objective truth based on RAW to answer the OP? No. Just no.


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                  • #10
                    monteparnas Perhaps you would like to think things through a bit before ranting?

                    Rolls are often used in sequence of time, hence why things like initiative exist, so no claiming that there is no connection is at best limited, and at worst needlessly pedantic. But to be fair I should spell it out for you, if a character has to make several rolls, everyone else gets to do stuff in the interim between rolls. Thus, time progresses between the rolls. Forgetful Mind is one roll, Possession is several, hence more time. Obviously if you are just sitting in a room with no one doing anything but the possession attempt, you can hand wave it, but that still only makes it on par with Forgetful Mind.

                    Assuming the target has a willpower of 5, all you need is five successes at difficultly 5 for Forgetful Mind. As opposed to getting five successes at difficulty 7 for Possession, on top of the resisted rolls mechanics. In the end you get the same result of the information you want, but mechanically no possession isn't better.

                    As for the subject rejecting a false memory or it coming back on its own, that isn't covered in the V20 mechanical section write up. Are you using a different edition or home brew? The closest you get is in the fluff section that vague suggestions don't hold up like detailed ones do. But once again how long does it have to hold up? Possession has a very limited operational window of however long the vampire can stay awake. Alternatively the Forgetful Mind lasts until the memory is actively uncovered and countered. Does this give you an eternal servitor, not without a lot of mental adjustment, but it isn't exactly a stretch to say that you will have an inside ally for a few days either.

                    As for a lower level power out doing a higher level power, by your thinking that would mean that every who uses Protean Claws is breaking the game since it is more efficient than turning into a wolf or bat at the next discipline level.

                    The way you argue about these sorts of things make it sound like who ever your ST is/was, they were traumatized early on by players who were smarter than them. As a result they very narrowly interpreted the rules to counter act creativity and non-standard approaches even if they were completely within the rules set.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hades View Post
                      Dominate 5 (Possession) comes in two parts:
                      1. Charisma + Intimidation vs Willpower (both dif 7), successes strip WP points. (Also, would you ask for 1WP per roll, or 1WP for the extended roll?)
                      2. Manipulation + Intimidation to skinride that juicebag.

                      Auspex 4 (Telepathy) is a straight Intelligence + Subterfuge roll (difficulty subjects Current Willpower) to read their mind.

                      In an interrogation setting, would you allow a stripping of Willpower with Dominate 5 to give a lower Telepathy difficulty?
                      Yes, it's basically an expected strategy if you have the disciplines. Similar to how Lasombra throw people to Oubliette to make them lose their Will and torture them.

                      I would also expect a custom combo discipline from my players if they like using it over and over. Something like Dominate 5/Auxpex 4 "Forceful/Dominating Telepathy". It adds more flavor and flexes their creativity while developing their character.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Thoth View Post

                        The way you argue about these sorts of things make it sound like who ever your ST is/was, they were traumatized early on by players who were smarter than them. As a result they very narrowly interpreted the rules to counter act creativity and non-standard approaches even if they were completely within the rules set.
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                        Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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