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The Nosferatu are pathetic spies

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  • #16
    Looking at it from a V5 perspective:

    Originally posted by Hello View Post
    The Nosferatu clan disciplines aren't going to be that useful for spying on anybody in the modern age. Obfuscate doesn't hide them from cameras or any other type of electronics. V5 does have a power that hides one from recording devices, but it wont hide one from motion sensors.
    Ghost in the Machine will hide you from any machine detection, there is no indication that motion sensors would work.

    Auspex will shut down anyone using obfuscate in their proximity.
    In V5, it is always a contested roll, plus not all Vampire with Auspex have Sense the Unseen to do it.

    Animalism isn't going to be that helpful either, unless your infiltrating some dirty apartment, its going to be next to useless if you're trying to infiltrate a somewhat clean area. Vampire aren't going to ignore the fly buzzing around or the stray cat that's lying down, they're going to know somethings up.
    You are highly overestimating how much vampires care about insects. Where do you get that once a vampire enters into a room, they immediately bust out their pest extermination gear?

    Larger animals have issues, but rats can get into the walls, ceiling panels and vents, where they won't be easily noticed. While birds can nest in the windows.

    Honestly for a clan that likes to think of themselves as spy masters, they don't really have the proper build for it. Literally any clan with at least auspex, dominate, or presence as one of their clan disciplines are going to have an easier time getting in formation. So that's like 9 clans better at doing the nosferatus job.
    Well, Dominate was nerfed to no longer being able to extract information in V5, so that's one less discipline. Other clans like the Ministry, Toreadors, Hecata and Tremere are all good spymasters as well. In general they don't dedicate themselves to it as much as the Nos though.

    Need a password? Read someones mind with auspex, or get them to tell it to you with presence and dominate. (Or use the third level power of Path of Technomancy, a thaumaturgy path that deals specifically with technology created by the tremere, to just bypass all this silly security nonsense.)
    Telepathy is a level 5 power, so its really not something easily available. Especially compared to Animalism 2 or 3. Path of Technomancy doesn't have any equivalent in this edition, dominate won't help, so that leaves Auspex and Presence. But without expertise, just a password might not get you far.

    Need to steal some keys/usb/mcguffin? Use dominate/presence and auspex 5 together to get the owner to drop it of at a safe location. Congratulations you didn't even need to leave your haven. If you don't have auspex 5, you can use dominate/presence by themselves to get whoever has the keys/usb/mcguffin.
    Again, high level powers being compared to do what animalism 2, 3 and 4 can do.

    The fifth power of protean is going to be extremely useful if you're planning on sneaking into buildings, and the first power of vicissitude is going to be extremely useful if you want to infiltrate society any level.
    Level 5 power for Obfuscate 2-3.

    You may not need any disciplines at all! You could just pay to get the information you want. Of course depending on the information you want, you may have to pay a lot. What kind of clan has a lot of money? The ones that have auspex, presence, and dominate as one of their clan disciplines, and also have a solid clan structure. That's 6 clans. Lassombra, Tremere, Venture, Toreador, Followers of set, and Giovanni.
    And who are they paying for secrets? Secrets don't tend to be sold at open markets.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by SetiteFriend View Post

      And who are they paying for secrets? Secrets don't tend to be sold at open markets.
      I was mostly referring to how a vampire with a lot of money could either bribe or hire investigators to gain information.

      Also a vampire that has something to hide will take drastic measures to make sure that secret is hidden. Kind of like how criminals will sweep for bugs.


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      • #18
        Again, people are focusing on disciplines when the Nosferatu's thing is being a spy organization disguised as a clan. Humans manage to do a lot of spying with no disciplines at all.

        The Nossies clanwide information socialism is incredibly potent. Individual members of other clans might make better spies, but no other clan lives to spy, and freely spreads that information around the clan. That Giovanni might make make better use of ghosts for information, but he's mostly hording it to advance his place in the family. He's also spending a lot of his time enjoying the wealth of his position, and likely just making information gathering a hobby. Nosferatu spy and then they spy and then they spy some more. The only time they're not spying, they're gossiping with their fellow spies, spreading the information clanwide.

        The sewers of the WOD are alive with the constant whispering of creatures who basically have nothing better to do with eternity than spying and telling each other juicey gossip.

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        • #19
          Obfuscate is good but auspex is broken in terms of information gathering

          The first two levels are OK but telepathy can make you detect any lie, spirit touch can make you uncover almost any crime in an instant and astral projection is the ultimate spy option. With auspex there are not secrets that cannot be unveiled. It would be better if auspex was something like
          • 1 Improved senses (Bonus to all rolls that involve dodging, aiming, detecting ambushes or picking up a detail).
          • 2 Aura perception (See the emotional status if someone is supernatural and things in the near umbra also pick up diablerie clues)
          • 3 Glosalia (You can comunciate mentally ignoring differences in languages)
          • 4A Mind Clash you can deal lethal damage with a class of wills but the enemy can also do the same against you if you lose the contest
          • 4B Bilocation: You can hit being in paralel planes of existence but they can also hit and interact with you
          • 5A Project senses (You can project your senses to see and hear what those who are blood bonded to you see, you can also see everything)
          • 5B Aura projection (You can make your soul leave your body and move around 50 meters of it, great for spiying and stuff but not broken as before)

          Elder levels should be things like you being able to send astral being that can manifest from the astral by breaking parts of your soul, being able to stay aware in the astral as a soul without distance limitations even in torpor, surviving as an astral soul if your body is destroyed etc..


          https://www.deviantart.com/cicerondixit/gallery

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Dogstar View Post
            I don't know why someone would play VtM when all they do is complain about every aspect of it.
            I like this poster's threads! They make me reexamine things that I've taken for granted, allowing me to look at them with new eyes.

            Anyhow, I submit for everyone's consideration that the Nosferatu were enthusiastic early adopters of modern espionage and electronic information warfare because, having existed as the ultimate outsiders since the dawn of history, the Nosferatu were the ones who didn't have a preexisting niche in undead society to otherwise occupy their time. The Nosferatu were the ones who were hungriest to finally have a role. The Nosferatu were the ones who already had the Warren clan structure, hiding together for survival, which lent itself to networking as easily as it did. The Nosferatu are amazing spies - not because of their supernatural talents, but because of their history and culture as a clan.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Reasor View Post

              I like this poster's threads! They make me reexamine things that I've taken for granted, allowing me to look at them with new eyes.

              Anyhow, I submit for everyone's consideration that the Nosferatu were enthusiastic early adopters of modern espionage and electronic information warfare because, having existed as the ultimate outsiders since the dawn of history, the Nosferatu were the ones who didn't have a preexisting niche in undead society to otherwise occupy their time. The Nosferatu were the ones who were hungriest to finally have a role. The Nosferatu were the ones who already had the Warren clan structure, hiding together for survival, which lent itself to networking as easily as it did. The Nosferatu are amazing spies - not because of their supernatural talents, but because of their history and culture as a clan.
              They were information brokers even in the dark ages. I think the design of the Nos has multiple levels to it. One is that they are a metaphor for gossiping peasants. They are the lowest of the low clans, a metaphor for the ignored maid and ignored housewife gossiping about the royalty. They are also a metaphor for the ninjas and such recruited from, and hiding among, the lowliest of servants. And yes, they are also simply people who have taken the roles of spies simply because the high clans won't tolerate them in any other context. The Toreadors can keep them out places of expensive beauty, but eventually the Toreador has to crawl into their filthy sewers and pay them a King's ransom for information.

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              • #22
                The best way to create a spy network is to commit to creating one. I remember when I LARPed that while everyone assumed/roleplayed that the Nosferatu were information specialists par excellance, that they actually weren't. They were just repeating what the books told them. None of the Nosferatu PCs were actually doing anything to earn that reputation. Then I happened to play a Nosferatu PC and because of some quirks of roleplay, a lot of players created Nosferatu PCs to roleplay with me. So I have some loyal buds. I decided then to try to actually make that spy network real. I asked the other Nosferatu PCs to record conversations that they heard and the traits that were thrown. We recreated other player's PC character sheets and compiled all the notes.

                The result, amazingly, was an incredible amount of information of the other PCs's character sheets and what was going on. We actually succeeded in having a successful spy network.

                Now, we had trouble making actual good use of it. But we did learn a lot.

                Now this lesson may not necessarily translate into real life. But simply making the decision to do this and compile everything together proved far more successful than any of us thought.

                So I think simply because this is supposed to be part of Nosferatu clan culture, and this isn't part of other clan's cultures, I do think the Nosferatu could have a decent spy network.

                Having said that, I think many of the OP's points are valid. But I do want to remind everyone that any vampire is NOT limited to their in clan Disciplines. They can learn out of clan Disciplines too. It's only a slightly higher XP cost. And while players min-max things, realistically in the setting characters don't get to choose their clans on the basis of what IC Disciplines they'd like. They are going to learn what they want. So there isn't any reason a Nosferatu can't learn Auspex, Dominate, or anything else if it prove useful to them.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Reasor View Post
                  Anyhow, I submit for everyone's consideration that the Nosferatu were enthusiastic early adopters of modern espionage and electronic information warfare because, having existed as the ultimate outsiders since the dawn of history, the Nosferatu were the ones who didn't have a preexisting niche in undead society to otherwise occupy their time. The Nosferatu were the ones who were hungriest to finally have a role. The Nosferatu were the ones who already had the Warren clan structure, hiding together for survival, which lent itself to networking as easily as it did. The Nosferatu are amazing spies - not because of their supernatural talents, but because of their history and culture as a clan.
                  Well said.

                  Originally posted by Reasor View Post
                  I like this poster's threads! They make me reexamine things that I've taken for granted, allowing me to look at them with new eyes.
                  I have to disagree with you here, I'm finding that the mechanistic examination of which Disciplines are 'best' are shallow and reminiscent of a minmaxing/powerplaying point of view in that they ignore the flavour to concentrate solely on the system. They can provoke some interesting and well thought out replies, like yours above, most of which deal with interpreting the flavour rather than the system, but I'm finding the original questions lacking in thoughtfulness.

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                  • #24
                    Get Gud.

                    At least before V5, Potence was a god-tier mobility discipline. Difficulty 10 climb? Spend a blood for a good number of automatic successes. Got caught in a trap? Hammer your way out through concrete walls and steel doors. Nowhere to hide and someone's going to enter the office? Spiderman yourself on the ceiling. Someone left a window open on the 9th floor? Consider it an easy entrance.

                    Obfuscate works on Tech, given a merit. Presumably, most nosferatu can train themselves against such tech. You should also consider that if a Nosferatu is unseen, they can do silly things like leap over the sensors or walk around airport security machines without anyone raising an eye.

                    Mask of a thousand faces is one of the best abilities in the game. Get caught? You were someone else. You can be someone's best friend, lover, business partner, worst enemy, rival... all at the same time without them knowing. It's difficult to guess how many backgrounds a Nosferatu is using because of this power, since you're tracking multiple personas.


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

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Vilenecromancer View Post

                      in fact in Camarilla society they're discouraged from public use.
                      Actually, they are only discouraged when inside Elysium.

                      If the ninja were vampire clan, it would be nos.
                      Or maybe the Assamite

                      They use any tool they can get, and are underestimated by everyone, while still being used by everyone.
                      They are not underestimated, just frowned upon due to their bad smell and etc.

                      Also, everyone overestimates the camera problem,
                      Are you sure? I think it is indeed a big problem.

                      Yes cameras are everywhere, but almost nobody is watching them 24/7.
                      In fact, it would be fine if someone is watching 24/7, as nosferatu do not appear in live footage. They only appear on video recordings.


                      Another thing, you all underestimate Animalism. Remember, animals are everywhere in a city. From ravens, rats, and flies; animals are great spies.
                      The book explicitly says that insects are too weak of beasts to be targets of animalism, at least in Revised. To control flies you have to buy the Baali almagam power.
                      Also, copy-paste my comment in another thread, at least in Revised, it explicity says that the animal is limited by its intelligence. Idk if a wild bird you summoned in the park can memorize the path the target toke to a location and after "report" said info to the vampire. Mainly bc it don't serves the animal interest in any way and neither is ingrained in it's instict. So, gain info with animal is not so easy.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Sergeant Brother View Post

                        “Tell me everything that you know!”

                        “I’ll never tal… Ow! Ow! OWWW! Ok, ok I’ll talk!”
                        At least in Revised, the torture/interrogation rules make this part of the game trivial. Potence is completely unnecessary.

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                        • #27
                          I would allow Obfuscate to affect cameras.


                          Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by SetiteFriend View Post
                            Looking at it from a V5 perspective:



                            Ghost in the Machine will hide you from any machine detection, there is no indication that motion sensors would work.



                            In V5, it is always a contested roll, plus not all Vampire with Auspex have Sense the Unseen to do it.



                            You are highly overestimating how much vampires care about insects. Where do you get that once a vampire enters into a room, they immediately bust out their pest extermination gear?

                            Larger animals have issues, but rats can get into the walls, ceiling panels and vents, where they won't be easily noticed. While birds can nest in the windows.



                            Well, Dominate was nerfed to no longer being able to extract information in V5, so that's one less discipline. Other clans like the Ministry, Toreadors, Hecata and Tremere are all good spymasters as well. In general they don't dedicate themselves to it as much as the Nos though.



                            Telepathy is a level 5 power, so its really not something easily available. Especially compared to Animalism 2 or 3. Path of Technomancy doesn't have any equivalent in this edition, dominate won't help, so that leaves Auspex and Presence. But without expertise, just a password might not get you far.



                            Again, high level powers being compared to do what animalism 2, 3 and 4 can do.



                            Level 5 power for Obfuscate 2-3.



                            And who are they paying for secrets? Secrets don't tend to be sold at open markets.
                            No one is talking about v5 in the thread.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by blailton View Post
                              Idk if a wild bird you summoned in the park can memorize the path the target toke to a location and after "report" said info to the vampire. Mainly bc it don't serves the animal interest in any way and neither is ingrained in it's instict. So, gain info with animal is not so easy.
                              You'd be suprised.

                              Rats and Corvids(crows/ravens) are some of the smartest animals on the planet.

                              Corvids without any training can Create tools to unlock complex puzzles in order to get to food, can communicate information with other corvids without direct visual s(meaning they essentially have a fully functional language), and are able to retain information on human-relevant time-scales. A properly trained Corvid could easily serve as a spy IRL, but the main issue there is actually training the bird to do what you want And finding some means of communication both of you can understand is a logistical Nightmare IRL. Animalism 1 side-steps that issue entirely.

                              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                              I would allow Obfuscate to affect cameras.
                              In this same vein of thinking. Obfuscate is weird.

                              It's described as an AOE "Don't look at me" type of mind control by the books, but it doesn't have any kind of range limit. A person with(mundane) super senses, that'd normally able to view the Nossy from across the city, would be just as effected by obfuscate as the pedestrians standing right next to them. This suggests that obfuscate doesn't effect people in range, it effects people that try to perceive the vampire with their normal senses.

                              If the above "senses" interpretation is true, then it'd be fair to say that anyone viewing pictures or camera footage of a vampire using Obfuscate should be hit with it just as strongly as if they were in the presence of the vampire themselves. The vampire would still be in the picture or video, but normal people wouldn't be able to See them in it because of obfuscate's hypnosis.

                              This makes Obfuscate still usefull in modern nights, but also means anyone with magical means of negating Obfuscate can still use Pictures and video to track them.
                              Last edited by Prometheas; 05-16-2022, 01:20 PM.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by blailton View Post
                                No one is talking about v5 in the thread.
                                Then why was it brought up in the OP? And the discussion was about the Nosferatu in general, not a specific edition.

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