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Is Oblivion worthless?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Prometheas View Post


    ...What? What book is that from?
    DAV20. There was a tier of backers that allowed submission of a bespoke combo-discipline. It seems very likely that was one.

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    • #17
      Pretty much yeah, I removed that mechanic and re-seperated necromancy and Obtenebretion to balance out the buff. Its a silly discipline anyway as written in v5.

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      • #18
        Don't want to rain on the parade too much but as bad as Oblivion is, in V5, the general rule is that you're really better off investing in mundane skills and backgrounds rather than disciplines. There's a few gems you can try to nab at character creation but the abilities that are "good" mostly appear too late and require unreal investment for the short timeframe of most chronicles. Many abilities are extremely situational or can be done better with mundane tools.


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        • #19
          Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post

          Ehh, they're just disciplines and not much different from any other, just that they're creepier. I don't think players should have to make Degeneration checks for using those anymore than they should have to make checks for using Thaumaturgy or Chimerstry. I don't even think even Daimoinian or Dark Thaumaturgy required checks to see if you lose Humanity for using them. Should always come down to what you do with a Discipline that determines whether you make checks to lose Humanity (or gain Stains in 5th edition). Losing Humanity because you decided to make a room a little darker or peeked across the Shroud to see if there's a ghost around is not a good rule.
          Obtenebration powers tend to invoke primal fear in those who witness it and cause extremely slow and painful death in the form of suffocation. Necromancy is actually worse most of the time. Necromancy often does things like cause inherent suffering, enslaving of others, and death. Of all the main disciplines, these are the easiest to use recklessly, and even to the point of causing death and suffering. In fact, it is so easy, most users of these disciplines take on paths of enlightenment to avoid the hard moral questions.

          Now yes, I do still agree with you that it should depend on how they're used. However, these disciplines specifically are the most likely to be used in morally questionable ways.

          Also, Daimonian and Dark Thaumaturgy require degeneration as per an optional rule, but that's optional.


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          • #20
            Originally posted by Vilenecromancer View Post

            Obtenebration powers tend to invoke primal fear in those who witness it and cause extremely slow and painful death in the form of suffocation. Necromancy is actually worse most of the time. Necromancy often does things like cause inherent suffering, enslaving of others, and death. Of all the main disciplines, these are the easiest to use recklessly, and even to the point of causing death and suffering. In fact, it is so easy, most users of these disciplines take on paths of enlightenment to avoid the hard moral questions.

            Now yes, I do still agree with you that it should depend on how they're used. However, these disciplines specifically are the most likely to be used in morally questionable ways.

            Also, Daimonian and Dark Thaumaturgy require degeneration as per an optional rule, but that's optional.
            Wouldn't that then mean the action of causing suffering or killing would provoke a stain? As opposed to the power itself? What's the difference between defending yourself from a violent person and choking him out vs defending yourself from a violent person with some Obtenebration in the lungs?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Hades View Post

              Wouldn't that then mean the action of causing suffering or killing would provoke a stain? As opposed to the power itself? What's the difference between defending yourself from a violent person and choking him out vs defending yourself from a violent person with some Obtenebration in the lungs?
              It very much would IMO! Like I said in a pervious post, "I see what they were doing, but it is stupid."

              It's the weapon verse the wielder argument. Is the weapon itself inherently evil? No. The weapon could be used in defense of others. The main reason Oblivion likely gives a stain is the popular depiction of Necromancy.

              ​Necromancy is almost always seen as evil in popular media. This comes from years of several different cultures and beliefs dictating it as such. In Jewish and Christan belief, Necromancy is seen as a sorcery that involves you communing with demons. So, many writers of Necromancy in various games, movies, and stories in general tend to have some kind of corrupting element to it. In the case of V5, you're tapping into the very concept of Oblivion itself. A concept so inherently soul crushing that it eats away at one's sanity just by using it. After all, what does humanity fear more then the unknown and death?

              Still with Humanity costing as much as it does in V5, the risk is not worth the reward. The powers are on par with other discipline powers, which is the problem! Why risk your character, when it's no better than blood sorcery! Hell blood sorcery in V5 is objectively better than Oblivion at everything!!!!

              Sorry personal rant aside, I agree Oblivion is not a well-designed ability. I do like it, but I could spend all day poking holes at my favorite V5 discipline.
              Last edited by Vilenecromancer; 06-14-2022, 05:54 PM.


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              • #22
                Personal rants are Best rants. I agree with everything you said, Vilenecromancer . Im sure we could have quite the discussion on this.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Vilenecromancer View Post
                  In Jewish and Christan belief, Necromancy is seen as a sorcery that involves you communing with demons.
                  Um... no?

                  The Torah explicitly forbids using magic to communicate with the dead, and the most clear line about this also says Jews are forbidden from "sorcery" in terms of dealing with non-human spirits. Judaism literally says dealing with "demons" and speaking to the dead are two different forms of off-limits magic for Jews to practice. Please don't shove Medieval Christian theologians making stuff up on Jews.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                    Um... no?

                    The Torah explicitly forbids using magic to communicate with the dead, and the most clear line about this also says Jews are forbidden from "sorcery" in terms of dealing with non-human spirits. Judaism literally says dealing with "demons" and speaking to the dead are two different forms of off-limits magic for Jews to practice. Please don't shove Medieval Christian theologians making stuff up on Jews.
                    Oh boy.
                    Last edited by Hades; 06-14-2022, 03:10 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                      Um... no?

                      The Torah explicitly forbids using magic to communicate with the dead, and the most clear line about this also says Jews are forbidden from "sorcery" in terms of dealing with non-human spirits. Judaism literally says dealing with "demons" and speaking to the dead are two different forms of off-limits magic for Jews to practice. Please don't shove Medieval Christian theologians making stuff up on Jews.
                      Fair point. I'm sorry for not being specific and being culturally insensitive. My point is still the same, Necromancy being seen as wrong in some way, BUT you are right.


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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Hades View Post

                        Oh boy.
                        I understand my phrasing is a bit strong but... it's pretty well documented thanks to the Vatican liking to keep records.

                        To vastly oversimplify things: the Roman Catholic church decreed that actual necromancy wasn't real, and was a trick by Satan that fooled people into thinking they were speaking to the dead when they were actually speaking to demons, in order to reconcile a mistranslation that occurred when the Bible was translated through multiple languages (and the cultural influences of those languages with vastly different conceptualizations of evil spirits and the afterlife) and the belief that the translations approved by the Church were divinely inspired (aka shouldn't be called into question as possibly mistranslated). So when "you shouldn't practice sorcery, and you shouldn't practice necromancy," morphed in, "you shouldn't practice sorcery, which is necromancy," they had to invent a theological explanation of how talking to the dead was the same as consorting with evil spirits.

                        Which is then the basis for all of the "evil necromancer" tropes Vilenecromaner is talking about (and lots of other things like the panic over Ouija boards during the spiritualist revival because of fears that it would get people possessed by demons while they were trying to contact dead people).

                        Originally posted by Vilenecromancer View Post
                        My point is still the same, Necromancy being seen as wrong in some way
                        Thank you, and I didn't mean to call into question the general point of how necromancy changed in mainstream perception over time to what it means to people now.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                          I understand my phrasing is a bit strong but... it's pretty well documented thanks to the Vatican liking to keep records.

                          To vastly oversimplify things: the Roman Catholic church decreed that actual necromancy wasn't real, and was a trick by Satan that fooled people into thinking they were speaking to the dead when they were actually speaking to demons, in order to reconcile a mistranslation that occurred when the Bible was translated through multiple languages (and the cultural influences of those languages with vastly different conceptualizations of evil spirits and the afterlife) and the belief that the translations approved by the Church were divinely inspired (aka shouldn't be called into question as possibly mistranslated). So when "you shouldn't practice sorcery, and you shouldn't practice necromancy," morphed in, "you shouldn't practice sorcery, which is necromancy," they had to invent a theological explanation of how talking to the dead was the same as consorting with evil spirits.

                          Which is then the basis for all of the "evil necromancer" tropes Vilenecromaner is talking about (and lots of other things like the panic over Ouija boards during the spiritualist revival because of fears that it would get people possessed by demons while they were trying to contact dead people).
                          I mean, I'm not disagreeing with you. Pretty much every Pagan European culture had a pretty good understanding of differentiating non human spirits from dead humans become shades, and if when you die you either go to Heaven, Purgatory or Hell you by definition must adopt the position the Catholic church took. Medieval magical texts are rife with these kinds of ludicrous ideas brought over from the Church (and not just about necromancy).

                          An interesting side point, the people I know who actually practice necromancy in real life as an actual spiritual practice and not some new age BS are all quite the socially aggressive and domineering types (and they all seem to have careers in money, for whatever reason). I can understand how they'd get a bad rap and be considered evil, though I wouldn't personally call them so.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
                            It only costs Humanity, not Path Rating, so realistically all older Lasombra and Hecata should be on Paths, most likely Death and the Soul in the latter case. I don't think it's a problem that they made Oblivion cost Humanity, so much as that they have no PC method of adopting a Path of Enlightenment available. They basically made Oblivion a Path only power, then banished players from being on Paths.
                            I think this is stretching things as far as analyzing their intentions goes, precisely because they originally had no intention to even mention Paths ever again (lets face it, even the shitty depiction of Paths rules-wise in the Sabbat book was a compromise, not a plan). As far as the actual, official V5 rules go, your take doesn't exist and can't exist.

                            On the merit of doing it... I disagree that this is fine. It could be for many pre-V5 power lines, including Abyss Mysticism, but Oblivion isn't Abyss Mysticism. It is regular Obtenebration + Necromancy (any Path). It doesn't make any sense to be bound to Humanity loss when no other Discipline is (Necromancy? Dominate and Presence should be tied to Humanity loss more than it. Obtenebration is the power Peter Pan less uses as a jerk).

                            More than that, the game is still meant to support most groups using Humanity, and Oblivion is the Signature Discipline of a Main Clan. Making it prohibitive for regular play at a regular table is obnoxious design.

                            Originally posted by Vilenecromancer View Post
                            Now yes, I do still agree with you that it should depend on how they're used. However, these disciplines specifically are the most likely to be used in morally questionable ways.
                            The problem, outside how shitty the rule is from a design perspective as you perfectly elaborated upon, and that they don't need to be used like that just because they're good to use like that... is that even this tendency has a lot of caveats in the game.

                            While the Giovanni Necromancy is a lot like that, most other bloodlines that used it had far less "domineering" approaches. Cappadocians and Samedi focused on blurring the lines between corpses and living bodies, Lamia is "Alchemy of Depression", Nagaraja just pierces the Shroud or let the vampire do to ghosts what vampires do to everybody else. So the game actually has plenty of "that's not actually any more evil than any common Discipline or actually even less" Necromancy.

                            Obtenebration induces less fear than Presence 2 and is far less lethal than almost anything else in a game that has Path of Blood, Quietus, Dominate, Dementation, Animalism and Presence. All those Disciplines have at least one power that can be easily far more cruel by itself than anything Obtenebration can pull off. It is just that "Darkness Manipulation" seems more showy and they liked to play a lot the idea of those powers being drawn from the Abyss, not because the powers themselves were evil.

                            It was a play on the idea of the Lasombra being corrupted Catholics, and was better worked through Abyss Mysticism, that isn't regular Obtenebration. Both because it better represents dealings with the Abyss and because that leaves the main Discipline free for characters that won't explore this concept.


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                            • #29
                              If I were a Hecata I would get Shadow Play, Oblivion Sight, Resilience, Unswayable Mind, Fortress of the Inner Facade, Heightened Senses, and Sense the Unseen. — None of the other inclan disciplines are worth it. Out of clan you could get: Sense the Beast, Cloud Memory, Compel, etc.

                              But as another said V5 is best played ignoring disciplines and focusing on Skills and backgrounds. Hunger Checks are not worth it even without Stains.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
                                If you prefer, you can just pinch the V20DA approach to Necromancy, where there are sequelae for using those powers (V20DA Time of Secrets, p.53). You could adapt something similar for the Abyss Mysticism/Obtenebration powers, making them more Abyssal in nature. Some of the Abyssal monsters in that book would make really cool enemies to encounter if something goes horribly wrong.
                                In fact, rereading Players Guide to High Clans for DAV, there are already side effects listed for all the Abyssal Mysticism powers there. So there's already an alternative system that can be used instead of insta-stains.

                                I know the powers aren't identical, but you can use the DAV and V20DA side effects/sequelae as good consequences for Oblivion powers that go wrong (if you want that sort of thing).


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