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What is this Spirit Manipulation V20 nerf people are talking about?

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  • What is this Spirit Manipulation V20 nerf people are talking about?

    I have heard a couple of times on this forum that Spirit Manipulation was nerfed in V20. I was going through the wiki and found something that was called Spirit Thaumathury, and later looked up the power in a book called The Succubus Club. Was this the pre-nerf Spirit Manipulation? Because if so, it doesent really feel like too much of a nerf seeing as how the only difference is that we lost the lvl 1 ability to temporarily curse an individual with bad luck. The lvl 5 powers are also both different, but coincidently both are also usless.

    Is Spirit Thaumathurgy the pre-nerf Spirit Manipulation, or am I wrong?



  • #2
    The real nerf in Spirit Manipulation between Revised and V20 came with the Level 4 power Entrap Ephemera, both of which allow you to create Fetishes.

    Revised lets you basically go Full D&D Magic Gear with it, allowing cloaks of invisibility, wands that throw fireballs, and pretty much whatever your hapless story teller can't outright deny.

    V20 turns Fetishes into a straight dice pool bonus for a specific skill based on the level of the Fetish, and limits the number you can have.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Hades View Post
      The real nerf in Spirit Manipulation between Revised and V20 came with the Level 4 power Entrap Ephemera, both of which allow you to create Fetishes.

      Revised lets you basically go Full D&D Magic Gear with it, allowing cloaks of invisibility, wands that throw fireballs, and pretty much whatever your hapless story teller can't outright deny.

      V20 turns Fetishes into a straight dice pool bonus for a specific skill based on the level of the Fetish, and limits the number you can have.

      Thanks, in all honesty I was under the impression that the revised Spirit Manipulation which allowed you to make D&D level of Fetishes was a V20 thing.

      I'm guessing people ignore the V20 version and instead use the revised version since it seems more fun?


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Hello View Post


        Thanks, in all honesty I was under the impression that the revised Spirit Manipulation which allowed you to make D&D level of Fetishes was a V20 thing.

        I'm guessing people ignore the V20 version and instead use the revised version since it seems more fun?
        That depends on how you define fun

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Microcuchon View Post

          That depends on how you define fun

          I enjoy weilding objects that do wacky stuff.


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          • #6
            A sword that gives up to +5 melee, a scalpel that gives + medicine, A pair of shoes that give +athletics, a Book that gives +occult...

            On the lower end of things, fetishes with abilities are much stronger than +1/2 die, but +4 or +5 die is a better deal than many 4th/5th level garou fetishes


            Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
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            • #7
              Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
              A sword that gives up to +5 melee, a scalpel that gives + medicine, A pair of shoes that give +athletics, a Book that gives +occult...

              On the lower end of things, fetishes with abilities are much stronger than +1/2 die, but +4 or +5 die is a better deal than many 4th/5th level garou fetishes
              Personally, I'll take a .44 magnum that shoots Aggravated bullets over a .44 magnum that gives +5 dice to a Dex+Firearms roll to deal Bashing against vamps, if the cost to activate is a Willpower roll at Difficulty 8. There are advantages both ways though, for sure.

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              • #8
                The real problem isn't Spirit Manipulation in any of those forms, it is the lack of good rules for equipment and any at all for magical equipment in Vampire, which makes this power really hard and weird to balance out anyway. It becomes basically the only consistent source of magical items in the game unless you import stuff from other splats with some regularity.


                #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
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                She/her pronouns

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hello View Post


                  Thanks, in all honesty I was under the impression that the revised Spirit Manipulation which allowed you to make D&D level of Fetishes was a V20 thing.

                  I'm guessing people ignore the V20 version and instead use the revised version since it seems more fun?

                  Yes, I completely ignore V20 "bonus" thing and instead use Fetishes from Mage and Werewolf as a basis. In any case, I most of the time storyteller crossovers, so the "generic" bonus to certain abilities isn't interesting in my games (and in my point of view aren't interesting in the least overall). In the end of the day, ST and players should talk about which one is more interesting for the story. My stories tend to be more epic and then again I rarely ST games in the modern setting, as I ST both Mage and Werewolf as well as vampires, I think it suits much better to use their fetishes as basis for what kind of item you can make. As a final note, I hate the very thought of anything "generic", so I think each fetish should be unique and that's also one of the main reasons why I ignore the suggestion from V20 version of Spirit Manipulation.

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                  • #10
                    Also, the version in The Succubus Club is very old, it was on the early stages of the game, many things have changed since then, I think the Revised version is the best one (a rare occurrence one might say lol).

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                    • #11
                      Revised also had the best system for resisting magic/magick, imho.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Matt the Bruins fan View Post
                        Revised also had the best system for resisting magic/magick, imho.
                        Which was what?


                        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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                        • #13
                          One thing I feel important to note is that the "fetishes" allowed in the earlier description of Spirit Manipulation probably are not truly "actual" fetishes as in Mage and Werewolf terms, but more like some sort of quasi-fetish. If you prefer, maybe "cursed fetishes" is better rather than "quasi-fetishes". The spirits in these quasi-fetishes seem to be much more active than their Garou counterparts, and a failure in the activation role (Willpower versus the fetish level +3 in Revised, or versus the spirit's Willpower in 1e/2e) let's the spirit goes free and fetish becomes useless.

                          As an ST, I wouldn't roleplay them as just a D&D style magic item. They'd be more like an intelligent cursed magic item trying to undermine the PC and escape every time they are used. I'd allow the player to make use of the Discipline and do stuff. Otherwise what is the point of having the power? But if they end up clearly abusing the power by amassing a hoard of D&D style magic items and becoming more powerful than they should compared to the other PCs and NPCs, I'd really start playing up the downsides of that.

                          Fetishes might stop working at critical junctures or require another activation roll. The spirits would begin to spend their Willpower in the rolls. Bad things would begin happening as the vampire's notoriety in the spirit world increase, causing other spirits to punish the vampire in an attempt to free the trapped spirits, or send word to spirit allies (like Lupines or wizards) for help. I even might just rule that after one day the fetish just doesn't work anymore as the spirit somehow left. Whatever would be needed to bring the game back into balance (hopefully with a good story and scenes around it).

                          Roleplaying games in general don't have "crafting" very well, as the rules for them are just a means to help PCs and GMs navigate the system, but don't operate in any real world of supply or demand, or written in a way that constrains their numbers to reflect their actual ubiquity or power in the setting. It's easily abused which is why so many online games put so much extra crap in their crafting systems to keep their numbers low otherwise it would break the game.

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