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  • #31
    Originally posted by blailton View Post
    Actually, they are only discouraged when inside Elysium.
    One word, Masquerade. Any use of obviously supernatural power in public view is discouraged. Heck if you can't cover it up, the Camarilla will kill outright. This is a trait given to kindred as a whole, but is even more plain to see in the Camarilla.

    Originally posted by blailton View Post
    Or maybe the Assamite
    Well actually yeah. Assamites are much better assassins, just look at their clan disciplines, and are just as tight knit. However, they're a much smaller clan. Nosferatu however are better at spying and infiltration, which is the actual goal of the average ninja back in the day. In fact, the use of Animalism at all is more associated with ninja then assassin. They both work in different ways.

    Originally posted by blailton View Post
    They are not underestimated, just frowned upon due to their bad smell and etc.
    Good point, but same result. You talk bad about the people that can make your whole city sick by poisoning the water supply, that's on you.

    Originally posted by blailton View Post
    Are you sure? I think it is indeed a big problem.

    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.
    Oh it is a deal, just not as big of a deal in most case. Again, most of the time, the footage will only be viewed if there was a big enough deal. That said, Nosferatu can get around this in MOST areas pretty easily by dressing up as the homeless. (that fact made me kinda sad actually...)


    Originally posted by blailton View Post
    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.
    V5 actually has a power that allows one to become a host to a large hive of insects which you control as your famuli. In previous editions you needed elder powers or merits to accomplish the same result, so you got me there in that case.

    Originally posted by blailton View Post
    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.
    Out of game, ravens specifically are incredibly intelligent. In all sense of the word, they are flying humans to make a long story short. We also now know that most animals are able to perform similar mental tasks as humans, but to what degree we are unsure.

    Unfortunately, this is the argument that makes countless people see animalism as completely useless. It's also a point where reality and in-game diverge...other than the fact we're playing as undead creatures that can use mind control...or the fact that werewolves can add and remove mass from their bodies without being set on fire every time...or anything mage...
    Last edited by Vilenecromancer; 05-14-2022, 04:24 PM.


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    • #32
      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
      I would allow Obfuscate to affect cameras.
      I would too, simply because vampires not showing up on cameras should be a thing, in this game, something that vampires in general can take advantage of situationally. Instead it's only a weakness, and only for one clan.

      On a semi-related note, I've always thought all vampires should be able to see in the dark. Vampires needing to spend one of their only five ever Protean dots just so they don't stumble blindly around bedrooms like Leslie Nelson Dracula in "Dracula, Dead and Loving It" is dumb as hell.

      Vampires really need a few more minor innate powers. Nothing huge, but a few more quality-of-life powers being innate would go a long way.

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      • #33
        As a side note, the most commonly used motion sensors are infrared sensors, which won't pick up anything as vamps don't emit heat.
        But ultrasonic, vibration or microwave sensors will pick you up. No vamp worth his blood would secure his haven with infrared sensors.

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        • #34
          Its probably worth noting that nosfertu clan culture is a reaction to their flaw. Their origional nature was 'hunter' clan according to noddist lore where the lineup makes more sense.
          Last edited by Ragged Robin; 05-18-2022, 02:57 PM.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Moriaki View Post
            As a side note, the most commonly used motion sensors are infrared sensors, which won't pick up anything as vamps don't emit heat.
            But ultrasonic, vibration or microwave sensors will pick you up. No vamp worth his blood would secure his haven with infrared sensors.
            Another fun fact, vampires in game do not leave behind dna evidence or fingerprints. This makes traditional forensics useless when hunting vampires.


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            • #36
              Nosferatu are the perfect Predators.


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              • #37
                Originally posted by Moriaki View Post
                As a side note, the most commonly used motion sensors are infrared sensors, which won't pick up anything as vamps don't emit heat.
                That should depend on their Humanity, or if they spent blood to appear alive. If they do, then they should be providing enough body heat to be picked up. If they look like a corpse though, then you'd be right.

                But that doesn't change your general point that infrared sensors shouldn't be trusted to detect vampires. Just an exception.

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                • #38
                  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.
                  Few disciplines will let you just bypass motion sensors, but then how many businesses that you know of have motion sensors fitted? The common measures are cameras and night-watchmen both of which can be overcome by a user of obfuscate.

                  Auspex will shut down anyone using obfuscate in their proximity.
                  This presumes that the Auspex user:
                  1) Is actively using their Auspex.
                  2) Can draw a direct line of sight to the Obfuscate user.
                  3) Beats the Obfuscate user in the contest to detect them.

                  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. Can animalism be useful when trailing individuals and listening in on mortals? Absolutely. Just don't expect the cat you took control of to get into the meeting the shareholders are about to have.
                  I think you forget just how many animals there are in a city, and a canny Kindred can find plenty of ways to get them into a building or close enough. (Rats in the walls, a bird on the windowsill, etc.) This all ignores how useful it is for subtly tracking people as they move around the city. Take a city like London, you try and get around without any pigeons seeing you. Are they all Nosferatu spies? No, but some of them might be, care to take the risk?

                  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.
                  There is more than one way to skin a cat, using social or human intelligence is great but it's not the be-all and end-all. Neither is the Nosferatu way of doing things.

                  Even their technological prowess is nothing compared to what the other clans can do.
                  Prior to the loss of shrecknet no clan had anything close to the Nosferatu, even now there are few clans that could claim the same level of expertise. In no small due to practicality. The Nosferatu find it hard to engage with people face-to-face, doing so online minimises the impact of their bane, so naturally, they're going to become adept at using it. Add in a clan culture that is mutually supportive and cooperative and those skills proliferate quickly.

                  Need a password? Read someones mind with auspex, or get them to tell it to you with presence and dominate.
                  Why would I need a password? I'll just exploit some weakness in your security system, trick you to access a fake portal, etc. Also if you use dominate and presence that can leave a target who remembers an encounter or evidence of you meeting with the target that compromises you.

                  (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.)
                  The path of Technomancy is a rare one within the Camarilla and the more traditional Tremere (several chantries banned it as I recall). The Camarilla's technology ban is only likely to make that worse and the Anarch Tremere are hardly the most studious bunch.

                  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.
                  Okay, you've now had to use a 5th dot power and multiple disciplines, whereas a fledgling Nos with 3-dots Obfuscate can do the same thing. Yes you've got it easier, but you've had to invest a lot more than they did.

                  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.
                  If you need a 5th-dot power to do what another Kindred can do with a 3-dot that makes me think they're the best suited, not the one that needs effective discipline mastery to compete.

                  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 also the clan who's got the closest knit clan relations likely to fund each other, not to mention an aptitude for hacking, online scamming, crypto-mining, etc.

                  There's more to the Nosferatu's reputation for spying than their disciplines. Their clan culture of information sharing and generally supporting each other where other clans compete amongst themselves; the need to work around their bane which encourages hiding and staying out of sight, as well as mastering digital tools; the longstanding reputation from the pre-digital age as premier spies, all contributes to their reputation.


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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by blailton View Post
                    No one is talking about v5 in the thread.
                    Take a Warning.


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                    • #40
                      I've wrote a lot, then one of my cats made me the favor of turning off the computer and I lost everything... How much I miss a save/autosave function here.

                      Originally posted by Karos View Post
                      Few disciplines will let you just bypass motion sensors, but then how many businesses that you know of have motion sensors fitted? The common measures are cameras and night-watchmen both of which can be overcome by a user of obfuscate.​
                      I work at one of the biggest banks in the continent, precisely at one of the very few sectors that deal with the security systems in a regular basis, and for several branches on top of that, around 40 of them. I can state as a fact that you're right.

                      Motion sensors are mainly used for two things: automated lights and doors (main use by far) and alarm systems. But the main security system is still watchmen and cameras, and reinforced programmed doors for valuables. What will happen if an alarm sets off is that both the watchmen will be on alert and remote surveillance will be called on the cameras. And here's the thing, animals sometimes activate the alarm, or they go off because of some other accident, so an alarm going off for no relevant or even identifiable reason, while not common, isn't strange.

                      Outside that, footage will rarely be reviewed. Several cameras working 24/7 and recording is a lot, but that just means that there's no way any business would have the personnel to watch that amount of footage for no reason, or even be able to keep the records for long. Four or more cameras working 24/7 is a lot of data even at low quality, and isn't a lot of cameras (we use far more even in a small branch). We use a very solid server to store it and yet we delete without review after a few months. Only if something happens that requires reviewing that'll happen, usually to settle down some customer's allegation or to confirm if some employee was doing something stupid.

                      So yes, an Obfuscate user may be perceived by motion sensors and later footage review. Yet if they're cautious enough, and it doesn't take much, the worst that will happen is that the live feed is watched, watchmen are called, everyone is fooled, and the footage will be deleted without ever being seen unless something is subtracted, and we're talking the Nos as spies, not robbers.

                      Even if the footage is reviewed later, though... so what? By the time it happens, the Nos came and left already. Dress like a homeless and most times you're caught the conclusion will be that some homeless sheltered in for the night and must be immediately searched and then offered a job as security staff. Not to say that alarm systems are only turned on when the building is empty, which overall means little to do there as a spy (there are things, but watching people gives more info).

                      Originally posted by Karos View Post
                      I think you forget just how many animals there are in a city, and a canny Kindred can find plenty of ways to get them into a building or close enough. (Rats in the walls, a bird on the windowsill, etc.) This all ignores how useful it is for subtly tracking people as they move around the city. Take a city like London, you try and get around without any pigeons seeing you. Are they all Nosferatu spies? No, but some of them might be, care to take the risk?​
                      The city has a huge wild ecology of its own even if insects and arachnids are taken out of the picture. Many animals roam it day and night, they're numerous and used to get out of sight by adaptation. They didn't evolved by human intervention, but did evolve to exist among us. Clean spaces are no exception, it is a big mistake to think only dirty places have rats and whatnot.

                      Only exceptionally delicate places are really cleaned to the point of excluding any animal whatsoever and kept at that, places like surgery rooms, some laboratories, or chip manufacturing rooms. Anything else will have a schedule and a threshold for when the presence of wild animals is a liability. A hospital will rarely see a rat, but it can happen once or twice a year and prompt immediate cleanse, but most other places will have some even if kept completely pristine. And that is IRL and in optimal circumstances.

                      Eliminating pests completely is exceedingly hard and expensive. It is also dangerous because, again, the city has a big ecology where the intervention also have repercussions. For example, excess pest control may drive pest predators out of their usual hunting grounds as the food becomes scarce for them, causing worse infestations. Once here in my city a lot of people started to disregard specialists to eliminate cockroaches, they were so successful that we face a two year long scorpions infestation on streets and buildings.

                      Now imagine this in the WoD, where true cleanliness is rarer, pests more common, and some of their predators have bigger fangs. Not to say that in some circumstances you can reasonably expect pets to show up, specially in a setting with less regard for the rules meant to control them. Or taking into consideration that spying isn't just for buildings.

                      Originally posted by Karos View Post
                      There is more than one way to skin a cat, using social or human intelligence is great but it's not the be-all and end-all. Neither is the Nosferatu way of doing things.​
                      While we're talking a lot about espionage, the Nos aren't mainly spies. They're mainly information brokers. That means that information has value to them in every form and they have the means to use it, something that has nothing to do with Disciplines.

                      The first thing that makes the Nos good at it are the already stated and repeated fact they have a good network, but that's not just because they have info from several places. It is because they have a lot of data on everyone and the means to gather this data and get the big picture behind it. No one enters the Prince's heaven without permission, even with Obfuscate. But wherever the Prince goes, there's a Nos. Whomever enters or leaves the heaven, a Nos can follow them. The outsider no one knows or saw their face? The Nos followed them, and when they left the city, they left for a place that also have a Nos. Nos Ghouls don't need Obfuscate to just keep eyes open and relay everything they learned during the day. The Nos collect info from newspapers, bartenders, YT videos, and they have the data to compare it to and draw relevant conclusions.

                      And finally, they trade in information, don't simply hoard it as eternal secrets. It is a product and service, by negotiating it they're acquiring new information. You seek a Nos, that's new data. You make questions, they're new data. They talk with you, and from the back and forth they get new data. Then whatever's the price they ask, it may freely include even more information. None of those info need to be ever used against you, or even be directly about you. They reveal data on circumstances, political movements, other people and places, more tidbits of information that means nothing for you, but gain value within the data trove of the Nosferatu.

                      Even without Schrecknet it is extremely powerful as far as information goes, although I particularly do not consider the end of Shrecknet in most of my games, and then the new developments in Data Analytics and Big Data can make the clan into an extreme powerhouse.

                      Originally posted by Karos View Post
                      Why would I need a password? I'll just exploit some weakness in your security system, trick you to access a fake portal, etc. Also if you use dominate and presence that can leave a target who remembers an encounter or evidence of you meeting with the target that compromises you.​
                      Undoubtedly. It is known that the weakest point in any data security system is the user, exploring it is going for the easy path that will be the first to be considered. The first methodology for getting passwords any hacker learns is "social engineering", which is a fancy word to say you con people into giving info or doing what they shouldn't with their own equipment. From minor Group Hijacks on Facebook to theft from bank accounts and even some high profile compromises in high-end US governmental networks, almost all hacking IRL involves a bit of old-fashioned con at some point without any need for mental Disciplines. And on most cases the techniques used are more effective than arranging a meet with the person to use some power on them, that's hugely ineffective.

                      A Dominate master can get passwords easily out of the hands of... the people they meet. A common hacker gets those passwords from people anywhere in the world and can target millions of targets simultaneously.

                      But high-end computer skills aren't as easy to substitute. What if you can get someone's passwords, do you know shit of how to use it? Or how to cover your passage so the compromise isn't noticed and fixed? Very few digital crimes come from simply having someone's password, once inside the system you won't necessarily be able to do much if you don't have the necessary mundane skills.

                      Originally posted by Karos View Post
                      There's more to the Nosferatu's reputation for spying than their disciplines. Their clan culture of information sharing and generally supporting each other where other clans compete amongst themselves; the need to work around their bane which encourages hiding and staying out of sight, as well as mastering digital tools; the longstanding reputation from the pre-digital age as premier spies, all contributes to their reputation.​
                      And again, the fact they're information brokers. The Tremere, Malkavian, Tzimisce and other Auspex users are also good at gathering info at a personal level, and any vampire can become exceedingly good at it at a personal level. But those other clans use those information in other ways that aren't as conducive of negotiation as the Nosferatu.

                      Most of them hoard secrets. They are power players on their own and have direct use to whatever they learn and no incentive to ever share with others. Even among themselves information sharing may not exist or be limited, as they're also rivals for internal resources. The secrets you know among the Tzimisce or Tremere is also a weapon against your rivals in your clan, to protect your standing or to compete for a better position. The Malkavians are disperse and unsure of the quality of the info they get from clan-mates. They're less in conflict with one another than most clans, but not organized enough to act as an institution.

                      So yeah. There are individuals better equipped to learn information. Who will sell you quality info, though?

                      Originally posted by Karos View Post
                      This presumes that the Auspex user:
                      1) Is actively using their Auspex.
                      2) Can draw a direct line of sight to the Obfuscate user.
                      3) Beats the Obfuscate user in the contest to detect them.

                      ...

                      The path of Technomancy is a rare one within the Camarilla and the more traditional Tremere (several chantries banned it as I recall). The Camarilla's technology ban is only likely to make that worse and the Anarch Tremere are hardly the most studious bunch.

                      ...

                      Okay, you've now had to use a 5th dot power and multiple disciplines, whereas a fledgling Nos with 3-dots Obfuscate can do the same thing. Yes you've got it easier, but you've had to invest a lot more than they did.

                      ...

                      If you need a 5th-dot power to do what another Kindred can do with a 3-dot that makes me think they're the best suited, not the one that needs effective discipline mastery to compete.​
                      I have to agree completely with Dogstar here. Unfortunately this post may have provoked some interesting responses, but the question isn't thoughtful. And I go beyond, because the question isn't thoughtful even in regards to pure mechanics or power-gaming.

                      The comparisons made are spurious, they are extremely circumstantial and used to derive generalized and absolute conclusions.

                      Yes, there are ways to counteract the Nosferatu Disciplines and keep your secrets. Obviously. There are ways to counteract any power set in the game. Indeed, as much as Auspex can be used to counter it, Auspex users can be countered by Obfuscate, so what?

                      Settings are built over the idea that the societies described are formed primarily by NPCs that don't have access to all the information and resources and building rules of PCs, usually most of them being bellow the standard established for PCs. VtM is no exception. But all the logistics and accessibility established in actual rules are ignored together with any reasonable assumption about NPCs to use each and every outlier as an argument regardless.


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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
                        And again, the fact they're information brokers. The Tremere, Malkavian, Tzimisce and other Auspex users are also good at gathering info at a personal level, and any vampire can become exceedingly good at it at a personal level. But those other clans use those information in other ways that aren't as conducive of negotiation as the Nosferatu.

                        Most of them hoard secrets. They are power players on their own and have direct use to whatever they learn and no incentive to ever share with others. Even among themselves information sharing may not exist or be limited, as they're also rivals for internal resources. The secrets you know among the Tzimisce or Tremere is also a weapon against your rivals in your clan, to protect your standing or to compete for a better position. The Malkavians are disperse and unsure of the quality of the info they get from clan-mates. They're less in conflict with one another than most clans, but not organized enough to act as an institution.

                        So yeah. There are individuals better equipped to learn information. Who will sell you quality info, though?
                        I think this is the crux of it, too. The information socialism is definitely important, but the Nossies have also just done a better job than the Giovanni or the Malks at cultivating a genuinely neutral-seeming and professional relationship with the other Clans. If you barter information with a Giovanni then you know you're furthering yucky Giovanni ambitions, and any conversation with a Malk is a struggle. Being like they are and living as they do, Nos just aren't viewed as having as much to gain by screwing everyone else over or making things difficult for you in the long run, which makes others more likely to approach and confide in and trade with them in good faith. Which means much better access to the really juicy, useful pieces of information that are actually worth selling to the next guy, that you'd otherwise have to spend forever fishing around after yourself.

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