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Which disciplines would you not invest any exp in?

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  • Hello
    started a topic Which disciplines would you not invest any exp in?

    Which disciplines would you not invest any exp in?

    Its no secret that a good amount of disciplines within the game stop being useful after a certain point. From what I have heard there are some disciplines that are so useless that it makes no sense even buying them. Animalism is perhaps the first discipline that comes to mind when thinking about this topic. Others may bring up that there are far better alternatives such as dominate or auspex, that don't require you to shell out exp on a very situational power.

    Which disciplines would you say is perhaps so useless, weak, or even situational, that there's no point in investing any exp into it when there are much better options available to you? What would these better options be?
    Last edited by Hello; 05-07-2022, 06:45 PM.

  • SetiteFriend
    replied
    I think all disciplines are useful in V5 and there isn't a single one I wouldn't spend XP in at all, barring specific powers.

    But for the sake of discussion, my least favorite is Blood Sorcery. Unless I'm playing a Tremere or Banu Haqim, learning the powers is going to be hard since you need a teacher or something to study to learn those, then even more scrounging for rituals.

    Potence is a bit lackluster for combat against kindred at the start, compared to Feral Weapons at least, but it allows you to fight with less worry about the Masquerade, plus Soaring Leap and Uncanny Grip provide mobility, good for Nosferatu or more sneaky types. However, Brutal Feed makes the entire discipline worth it for me, allows you to immediately kill any mortal you get your fangs on, and makes combat feeding against vampire way more viable.

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  • Reasor
    replied
    Originally posted by Trassel View Post
    Quietus. I like the idea behind it, to manipulate blood, and the second level is really potent, but requires a character being “built around” it to make it really potent, which is poor design. It generally costs a lot of blood to be a worse Potence.
    I've had a problem with Quietus since I first saw it in Second Edition, for what I think is the intention of its design more than the execution.

    The Banu Haqim's clan power set is: sneak in undetected, poison the target, and escape. That and an addiction to murdering other vampires were all there was to the clan when they were first introduced.

    Someone has done a lot of heroic work in the years since then, retconning them as being meant to have been the judges of the damned and humanity's protectors, and adding some color to the concept by adding the Vizier and Sorcerer castes and putting those factions' leaders front and center in recent years, but that core concept of "let's make racist tropes about the Middle East and terrorism into a specific kind of vampire" doesn't go away.

    I've never used them in a chronicle. Never will.

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  • Trassel
    replied
    Revised (and v20?)
    I never quite liked Animalism. It is not a powerless discipline and like many others can be used potently, but it felt like a lackluster and watered down Presence or Dominate.
    I never liked Protean. In some settings, earth meld is fantastic, but for seeing in the dark Auspex brings more, for aggravated damage, there is fangs which do not break the masquerade. Shapeshifting is unique, but once again comes with it own limits. Becoming mist feels like the weakest of the various “disperse into nothing” disciplines.
    Fortitude is a passive discipline. It only functions when you fail. If that is to avoid a hit, exposing yourself in a situation where sunlight comes in or something else. It is not bad at what it does, but Potence and with v20 Celerity has a lot of utility, which Fortitude does not. I would advocate that Auspex is a better defensive discipline, and it has a lot of utility as well.
    Quietus. I like the idea behind it, to manipulate blood, and the second level is really potent, but requires a character being “built around” it to make it really potent, which is poor design. It generally costs a lot of blood to be a worse Potence.
    Some disciplines varies on the game. Dementation tends to ruin game. Chimestry is either really powerful or very expensive on willpower. Bloodline powers are generally quite much a miss.

    V5
    Ironically, Potence. While it is not as masquerade breaking as Protean, and arguably better against mortals on higher levels, it simply cannot match the sheer potency that is non-halved damage. It does get a pay off at 5th level, but you still basically need two rounds to be able to do what protean can do in one, with a level 2 power.
    If Potence added the discipline bonus to any strength roll, which I do not think it does (please correct me!), the discipline would become better with blood potency.
    Celerity. The basic powers are good, but then they quickly drop in usability. While you will be able to get a hit in with the 5th power, it takes one of your three turns you can use a discipline, and provably needs another power active to make a difference.
    Oblivion is fairly lackluster, and the danger of stains keeps its usage down.
    Blood Magic will probably just become better once some diversity is added to it, so it has some nice and varied utility not found in other disciplines.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dogstar
    replied
    Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
    This, I think, is where having multiple possible Discipline powers per level would be a useful design dynamic. That way, you could choose which direction you wanted to go. With the option of buying the other one later. V5, obviously, doesn't do this well, since you have limits to the number of powers per Discipline you can learn, period. But something like in V20, where they just gave you alternate options.
    V20 does have combination disciplines, there are quite a few examples in the Lore of the Clans book, so it would be quite reasonable to homebrew an Animalism/Dominate (or Presence?) combo that lets you direct swarms of creatures

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  • Bluecho
    replied
    Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post

    I dislike Animalism because it doesn't give me what I want from Animalism, which is an ever increasing control over the swarm. It has only two powers designed to give me a bit of control over the swarm, but those are only the first two, and they are balanced around being level 1 and 2 powers, so they are weak. I think I'd like Animalism a lot better if they made the first two powers into the last two powers, and boosted them in potency to a level appropriate for level 4 and 5 powers. In fact, I know I would, because they sort of did that in V5, creating a level 5 option that is exactly what I always wanted from Animalism from day one.

    I want to be able to grin toothily from ear to ear, point a taloned finger at my foe, and have a swarm of bats fly past me and skin him alive. If Animalism doesn't give me that, then I really don't care how much utility it has, because it's not doing its fundamental job.
    I can't really argue with that.

    While I do think things like being able to manipulate the Beast itself is an underrated capability - allowing one to make a victim more docile for feeding, or temporarily get rid of one's own - the absence of the ability to summon a swarm of beasts to fight for you is a major drawback. At beast, you can gain the loyalty of a bunch of creatures at once, which is time-consuming.

    This, I think, is where having multiple possible Discipline powers per level would be a useful design dynamic. That way, you could choose which direction you wanted to go. With the option of buying the other one later. V5, obviously, doesn't do this well, since you have limits to the number of powers per Discipline you can learn, period. But something like in V20, where they just gave you alternate options.

    In fact, a lot of the old Disciplines could have done with that. Like Vicissitude could have a "tech tree split" between manual alteration, and more rapid but limited transformation powers (like sprouting a "natural" weapon from your body, or growing organic armor). So you can decide if you want to focus more (initially) on being a fleshcrafter, or on a set list of bio-weaponry you can manifest as needed. (You could also fold the "walk on walls" effect into Vicissitude, probably as a level 1 alternative to changing your face, if you want to have the full Dracula).

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  • blailton
    replied
    Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post

    I dislike Animalism because it doesn't give me what I want from Animalism, which is an ever increasing control over the swarm. It has only two powers designed to give me a bit of control over the swarm, but those are only the first two, and they are balanced around being level 1 and 2 powers, so they are weak. I think I'd like Animalism a lot better if they made the first two powers into the last two powers, and boosted them in potency to a level appropriate for level 4 and 5 powers. In fact, I know I would, because they sort of did that in V5, creating a level 5 option that is exactly what I always wanted from Animalism from day one.

    I want to be able to grin toothily from ear to ear, point a taloned finger at my foe, and have a swarm of bats fly past me and skin him alive. If Animalism doesn't give me that, then I really don't care how much utility it has, because it's not doing its fundamental job.
    I feel this way about Daimonion. So many filler powers before you can, you know, summon demons.

    Leave a comment:


  • CajunKhan
    replied
    Originally posted by Bluecho View Post

    On the subject of Animalism, I don't agree with the idea of dismissing its usefulness because other Disciplines do SOME of what Animalism does, arguably better. Animalism has its own mechanical goals, and it accomplishes them admirably.
    I dislike Animalism because it doesn't give me what I want from Animalism, which is an ever increasing control over the swarm. It has only two powers designed to give me a bit of control over the swarm, but those are only the first two, and they are balanced around being level 1 and 2 powers, so they are weak. I think I'd like Animalism a lot better if they made the first two powers into the last two powers, and boosted them in potency to a level appropriate for level 4 and 5 powers. In fact, I know I would, because they sort of did that in V5, creating a level 5 option that is exactly what I always wanted from Animalism from day one.

    I want to be able to grin toothily from ear to ear, point a taloned finger at my foe, and have a swarm of bats fly past me and skin him alive. If Animalism doesn't give me that, then I really don't care how much utility it has, because it's not doing its fundamental job.

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  • Thoth
    replied
    Originally posted by Dogstar View Post

    Mage (20th ed) has a simple optional rule to cover this - you need a suitable skill equal to your sphere rating to create complicated things. i.e. you have to know how to do it. It doesn't really matter which skill as otherwise players are forced into spending points on obscure knowledges which ends up being a 'tax' on certain effects. So for creating firearms/bullets/ etc you would only need Firearms 3 (remember that WoD skills are wide not narrow), but equally Crafts 3, Science 3, or even Technology 3 could substitute.

    As the sorcery path is very similar then a similar restriction could be applied without screwing over an inventive player.
    It's always a weird balancing act, for example Drive 1 means you can use an automatic transmission, Drive 2 means you can use Manual transmission. No part of Drive means you know how to do vehicle maintenance, let alone modifications. Given the number of IRL people who have a habit of running out of gas or don't know how to change a tire, this more or less confirms the notion.

    So I would suggest a slight variation, any skill at level 1 is essentially book learning rather than practical experience. So I would say Firearms 1 to know what you are trying to make, then a higher crafting score based on the technical aspects of the item.

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  • Dogstar
    replied
    Originally posted by Thoth View Post
    As for the bullet vs. RPG concept, firearms would not cover it. Having the relevant Gun Smithing & related Craft scores would though. Though you have to be a bit careful with this sort of restriction based thinking because it is very easy to wind up restricting something as simplistic as creating ice to chemists or engineers.
    Mage (20th ed) has a simple optional rule to cover this - you need a suitable skill equal to your sphere rating to create complicated things. i.e. you have to know how to do it. It doesn't really matter which skill as otherwise players are forced into spending points on obscure knowledges which ends up being a 'tax' on certain effects. So for creating firearms/bullets/ etc you would only need Firearms 3 (remember that WoD skills are wide not narrow), but equally Crafts 3, Science 3, or even Technology 3 could substitute.

    As the sorcery path is very similar then a similar restriction could be applied without screwing over an inventive player.

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  • Bluecho
    replied
    I disagree on the idea that Bardo is a bad Discipline.

    It's a very strong Discipline, for the kind of playstyle you want out of a Children of Osiris character. Namely "maintain high Humanity" (aka "VtM Hard Mode").

    If your goal is to avoid degenerating, AND avoid situations where degeneration are a possibility, Bardo is very useful. It is fit for purpose.


    On the subject of Animalism, I don't agree with the idea of dismissing its usefulness because other Disciplines do SOME of what Animalism does, arguably better. Animalism has its own mechanical goals, and it accomplishes them admirably.

    (Perhaps it's just me, but I don't see Redundancy as a "problem".)

    Moreover, one must consider not only strict XP costs, but the costs in acquisition. If we're judging wholly on a White Room character creation scenario, where only Caitiff with no in-Clan Disciplines are considered, then sure. Dominate is going to be more useful than Animalism. But if your character ALREADY has Animalism in-Clan, but not Dominate, you're not making an optimization error by focusing on the Discipline you get "for free" just by being part of that Clan or Bloodline. A Gangrel or Nosferatu player isn't being dumb for not speed-running to Dominate. Especially if they end up in heavy debt to other characters, and/or tricked into a Blood Bond, in the process.

    Sometimes, the most effective use of a PC's time and XP is to focus on honing their native powers first. There is nothing inherently unvirtuous about the Path of Least Resistance.

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  • Thoth
    replied
    Originally posted by Prometheas View Post
    Oof, Most of my players tend to be more generalist "how would you stat an average couch potato" blank slates with specialist knowledge in things like "New York city", "Celebrities", etc.

    Though, that might also have to do with the fact they don't tend to have IRL technical knowledge unless they looked something up on wikipedia.
    Trying to ST for a bunch of people with specialist knowledge is a challenging but potentially rewarding experience. Or the less polite way of saying it is about a 7 out of 10 on the ST trauma scale. They don't do anything wrong per se, they just require you to be able to deal with their field of expertise on the fly.

    One group had the following:
    1. World traveler, she had lived in several countries, spoke a half dozen languages fluently and many more functionally. She was a walking encyclopedia of cultural and societal information. She was also one of those people who could socialize and fit in at any society level, be street or black tie dinner.
    2. Librarian, when he wasn't working, he was reading, bottomless pit of trivia, also was able to role play a Malkavian with 10 different personalities, and kept all of them as separate character sheets and pull it off seamlessly.
    3. Computer Security guy, not much in the way of social life, but was an IRL Macgyver when it came to building stuff or computer related fields.
    4. Business guy, IRL experience with international business, property ownership, and antiques.

    All of them had IRL experience with multiple martial arts styles, fire arms, melee weapons, and a degree of street smarts. The group would routinely switch languages mid sentence only to have some one else respond in yet another language. Half the time if there was a debate on how something functioned in game, one of them would be able to pull out the real thing and demonstrate it.

    Trying to deal with that as the base line meant you have to be very creative and purchase your preferred brand of headache medicine in bulk.

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  • MyWifeIsScary
    replied
    Originally posted by blailton View Post

    Are you 100% sure its optional? Daimonion 6 is very clear it give you demons feature each time you buy the 6th dot again.
    I think there's room to negotiate. IIRC (it's been a while) The Chained beast thing gave you no side effect beyond stopping your path/road, which may incidentally give you the appearance of humanity 0? It's not really clear, but there's no certainty of a visibile demonic side effect there (unless of course the chains were literal, I might've missed that). The other examples given were physical augments (wings/muscles/fireproof) which... yeah. I think they're a little silly. But, presumably, one could ask for a social augment and any kind of negative appearance trait wouldn't make sense because, y'know, it's there to help you socially not screw you. If you look at older infernalism actually, the sideeffects usually only acompany really strong powers, while weaker powers can be "tax free"
    IDK, while DAV20 has my favourite interpretation of Diamonion, it's by no means perfect.

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  • tiltowait
    replied
    Originally posted by Prometheas View Post
    V20/V20 dark ages. Specifically the "Lore of the Clans" supplement for V20, the ritual is called "Light within Shadow". The Lasombra gains the ability to perceive darkness and light in reverse(darker areas are bright and brighter areas are dark) and their eyes turn black and spooky while using their reverse-sight.

    If they botch the ritual, they get stuck in Spooky-eye-mode permanently.
    Unless there's something saying otherwise, you can just use Willpower on the roll. As a result, it's hard to imagine any PC ever failing V20 Abyss Mysticism rituals, let alone botching them.

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  • Prometheas
    replied
    Originally posted by blailton View Post
    Are you 100% sure its optional? Daimonion 6 is very clear it give you demons feature each time you buy the 6th dot again.
    Whoops, thought you were talking about the humanity degeneration and storyteller-imposed negative features thing. My mistake.

    Granted, a player should be allowed to Choose what demonic abilities they get from the power, they spent the XP after all. I don't foresee a player being happy with an ST that had them spend a tone of xp for an ability that the same ST then used to turn around and destroy their character concept. That sounds like a great way to lose the trust of your players.

    Originally posted by blailton View Post
    What edition? The only I read says your eyes start becoming black and it get worse each time you use the a Obt. ritual.
    V20/V20 dark ages. Specifically the "Lore of the Clans" supplement for V20, the ritual is called "Light within Shadow". The Lasombra gains the ability to perceive darkness and light in reverse(darker areas are bright and brighter areas are dark) and their eyes turn black and spooky while using their reverse-sight.

    If they botch the ritual, they get stuck in Spooky-eye-mode permanently.

    Originally posted by blailton View Post
    I know. What I mean it's a discipline dot you have to think twice before buy. If you use "gonna catch them all!" mentality and blindy buy all the disciplines dots you can get in a bad place.
    I mean, I don't really come across situations where a player can afford to buy multiple level 6 disciplines. I see your point though, disciplines really shouldn't have Trap options like that(especially since turning your blood into a weapon seems more like a quietus thing than a vicissitude thing)

    Originally posted by blailton View Post
    I dont know what edition. But eeh. I stand corrected.
    V20.

    Originally posted by blailton View Post
    I did not said anything about Daimoinon Humanity Degeneration test, though.

    About Dark Thaumathurgy, only the Chains of Pleasure is any good.
    Eh, the Exclusives from dark thaum were never impressive. The main draw of Dark Thaumaturgy in most editions is the ability to buy the normal thaum paths on the cheap as far as XP is concerned(as far as the character's souls is concerned however...).

    Blood magic in general is actually pretty underpowered for the price unless you have it In-clan like the tremere.

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