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Advice on gauging the Strengths and Weaknesses between Splats.

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  • Darinas
    replied
    I know it's a bit late given the last post that was done here, but if I may give a quick summary of my analysis, as someone who has tried practically every official splat plus a few fan-made ones:

    Vampires:
    Strength:
    * Social experts and great manipulators; I know it was brought up above that only 3 of the Clan Disciplines actually deal with social things, but I feel Nightmare does as well (intimidation and tricking people through fear is an effective way to manipulate people, and can actually help a lot of you're smart in how you use it); blood bonds and predatory aura also both offers pretty neat advantages that all vampires have access to, both of which can make social rolls and Social Maneuver much easier.
    * Surprisingly good fighters: as mentionned in previous posts, vampires actually have a pretty decent fighting potential: the bonuses granted by the physical Disciplines are simple, but very effective, and even without said Disciplines, they downgrade to bashing most damages. Even their bite is surprisingly efficient - a vampire inflicts lethal damages when biting, and if he can maintain his prey long enough in a grapple, can inflict huge damages while refilling his Vitae bar. Well-built, a vampire is quite the killing machine.
    Weaknesses:
    * Crippling vulnerabilities: despite being otherwise remarkably resilient and good in a fight, vampires have two huge, easily accessible weaknesses; their vulnerability to sunlight makes it difficult for them to operate during daytime, and fire, compared to things like silver or cold iron, is relatively easy to get even for humans, to say nothing of all the splat who have integrated flamethrowers as a supernatural ability. Resilience can somewhat balance things out, but it's still troublesome - especially since unlike other splats vulnerable to fire, they got no resurrection to make up for it.
    * Quickly depleting fuel: again, already mentioned above, but Vitae tends to deplete faster than other splats' fuel; you lose 1 per day, you have to spend some in order to heal instead of healing passively, and most genuinely powerful effects in Disciplines cost Vitae. Moreover, the drawbacks for low Vitae are much worse - less than 5 Vitae makes you more likely to suffer Frenzy. Luckily, Vitae also is relatively easy to access as long as you got humans available to feed on.


    Werewolves:
    Strength:

    * Expert Brawlers: While we already pointed out how Vampires can actually rival with werewolves in combat if well-built, I feel it's good to point out Werewolves still are killing machines when it comes to brawl; they have access to five very versatile forms granting each a variety of powerful bonuses, a bite that deal lethal damages even to supernatural opponents, and while they lack natural armor, their healing factor lets them recover in a matter of hours from wounds that would cripple a human - or seconds if they use the Warform. And all of this is before applying the Gifts; even a weak werewolf will usually be more than capable of slaughtering the average opponent and come out with little more than scratches.
    * Really good at teamwork: fittingly for pack hunters, werewolves tend to be at their full potential when they work together; the various Auspice work great together, they have a surprising number of Gifts based on upgrading teamwork, and the benefits from forming a Totem are huge.
    Weakness:
    * Bad long range fighters: while damn good at hand to hand combat, werewolves have very little when it comes to long range attack; most of their forms either can't use firearms or do not have that high Dex bonus when using them, and they do not really have any Gifts focused on upgrading their use; the few Gifts that allows for long Range attacks are either not that strong or require high level to be truly efficient. Admittedly, they can dodge firearms and move fast, so it's not that big of a problem, but still, in situations where opponents are hard to reach in melee, that can be crippling.
    * Masquerade-unfriendly: werewolves need to shapeshift to show their true potential as fighters- and giant wolves do not really make for something that would go unnoticed; unlike vampires, who can more or less use their Disciplines in subtle ways while still looking humans. Lunacy somewhat diminishes that issue, but it's still present.

    Mages:
    Strength:

    * Incredibly versatile: fittingly, Mage are incredibly versatile in what they can do; even a starting mage will know dozens of spells, and regardless of the Path will have access to a variety of abilities, including causing damages, protecting himself, reading or analyzing things, and at least two Mage Armors. Moreover, spells have effects that can be customized using spell factors and reach, allowing very precise effects. A high levels, Mages are a nightmare for STs to handle - because they can get out of almost every situation if the player is creative enough.
    * Investigation and mental experts: Aside from the variety of analyzing spells they start out with, Mages can sense the supernatural with Mage Sight, analyze things down to the various concepts in them, and take time studying a Mystery. This make them very good at understanding things, recognizing the supernatural, and investigating.
    Weaknesses:
    * Squishy: While this can be compensated by using Mage Armors or protection spells, Mages are exactly as resilient as a normal human by default; they got no supernatural toughness like vampires, and while they can heal themselves, this is costy in Mana unless they are into Life Magic.If caught by surprise or unable to use Mage Armor, they're relatively easy to kill. They also have no passive hand-to-hand abilities, meaning that unless they boost themselves with spells (which unless they are from the Adamantine arrow need an instant action to use), they're only as powerful as a human in hand-to-hand combat.
    * Can't use magic in front of humans: most templates only have to worry about human witnesses in that they must cover up after it; but for mages, human presence means their powers either fall apart or go out of control. This makes it extra difficult for them to use their most overt powers and forces them to be more subtle..






    I'm planning to add the others later.
    Last edited by Darinas; 10-03-2021, 07:02 AM.

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  • Margul
    replied
    So what about demons and Changlings?
    Demons I know are mean to be the "spies" of CoD so they have some options depending on their construction but that tends to draw God Machine. They can Burn their Cover for a scene and that makes them temporarily one of the strongest PC's there is easily. But the cost is high and they then have to get the hell out of dodge.
    Not sure about changelings or mummies.

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  • Iceblade44
    replied
    Ah it's not much. I'm sure I'm forgetting something the Created has or doesn't when comparing to other splats.

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  • Primordial newcomer
    replied
    Thank you iceblade!

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  • Iceblade44
    replied
    Um let's see, from the top of my head from limited expierence, promethean kinda has at the same time a constrictive and yet not power set. on a Refinement you get your pick of powers for free as you go through roles but then lose it when you switch, thus you have to either calcify or create a Refinement Furnace athanor to keep the alembics you get along the way. A good thing about Alembics is that once you've paid the full price you can keep and spam those powers all scene so that's very helpful.

    Prometheans can take a whopping in a different way to a vampire. While vampires downgrade everything promethean can ignore them as they don't suffer wound penalties and through pyros can negate certain amounts of damage when it hits depending how much you spend. Prometheans can also spend pyros to give a dice to any attribute when compared to vampires 2 for only the physical ones. Plus every Promethean gets a free revive even if you get yourself killed.

    For disadvantages Wasteland puts a limit on how pyros you can spend without ruining the environment around you and thag becomes more likely as you get Azoth. Disquiet is always troublesome and obvious bad point unless you can weaponize it with disquietism.


    These are all the notes I have on the top of my head. I think prometheans can survive more then others in just enduring while being able to reliably spam alembics effects once they are charged. Though others probably have different thoughts on it

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  • Primordial newcomer
    replied
    So this thread is basically what splats have over others, both in advantage and disadvantage. Can i ask what the prometheans have over others and what they have not in their favor

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  • Margul
    replied
    Yeah but Paradox tends to not be a big deal until the mages Gnosis gets higher up.
    The weakness with Mages is their relative fragility and how much they depend on preparation. Making Mage armor a reflexive activation helps but human mages are still kinda squishy. Unless they are Life mages they spend a lot of mana to heal.
    Also their attack spells tend to not necessarily do more damage then say , a gun. Now they have a bag of tricks they can pull if they have a few rounds to prep them. But they are not the most combat oriented of splats. Just one of the most versatile.

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  • Ruger
    replied
    Another weakness of vampires is, well, their weaknesses. They are at a disadvantage during the day, since they have to roll against sleepyness to do anything (and can't spend willpower unless they get an exceptional success), and the sun wants them dead. If they are stronger, the sun wants them dead even more. A wooden stake can take them out in one hit, if it is good enough. There are ways to get around or limit all of them, but outside of a white-room fight "it isn't night time" is something that happens once a day. A wolf's weakness to silver only really comes up if the enemies are prepared to fight a wolf, since non-weaponized silver isn't great at taking care of them. You can make a wooden stake in a couple of seconds if a room has appropriate furniture. Likewise, the closest thing a Mage really has to a weakness is Paradox, which is fairly difficult to weaponize against them. A crowd of humans would have to be handy, and doesn't really do much for paradox unless they are rolling a bunch of dice to start with.

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    I've heard this a lot but can't find anywhere in the book that says so. Care to fill me in?
    For reference, with subsequent discussion.

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  • Sith_Happens
    replied
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    vampires don't naturally recover Willpower
    I've heard this a lot but can't find anywhere in the book that says so. Care to fill me in?

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  • Iceblade44
    replied
    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    I'd say that the rigidity of their powers are their greatest weakness. A Discipline does one thing and it does it really good, but it only does that thing. Each dot does have an additional effect (except for the physical Disciplines) but it's almost always a slight variation of the initial effect, and sometimes it only increases the effectiveness of previous dots. Then there's the physical Disciplines that literally only increases their various effects by one (if they can be increased numerically).
    Devotions do exist to alleviate that a bit, but they're still based on the Disciplines and are themselves generally even more limited in use.
    That said, the powers that even starting vampires gain (on top of already downgrading damage and being able to heal bashing and lethal with their fuel stat) can be extremely potent. For example, Dominate starts off with the mind control. Further dots increases complexity of orders, allows for embedding orders with activation triggers, and ends with the ability to possess someone.
    That makes sense, like you said Disciplines are all singular powers following a theme, and all additional dots are just advancements of that power. So that does limit them in terms of variety compared to Werewolf Facets and Promethean Alembics and limits them in terms of freeform abilties when compared to mages. If you want to get or create a new ability you would have to go Bloodlines. That said even if what they have is restricted I think how the get it isn't when compared to others, promethean mostly but werewolves a little as well.

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Iceblade44 View Post
    Also how good is Predatory aura for blunt social manipulation when that is taken into account? I have only played vamp as 1e so I find how aura works now to be interesting. How does that help them?
    A thing that bears note about Predatory Aura in comparison to Hunter's Aspect is that, while Werewolf's aura power has a flexible three-component dicepool by default, Vampire's lasts longer, has more options per character on paper, is based around a consistent stat with a higher ceiling, offers core Merits to specialize its use, and directly ties the easiest bonus to the roll to your ability to enforce your claim on your territory in cases where it's threatened.

    Those last two points, in turn, are significant because the Conditions Predatory Aura can apply have more of an impact on the Kindred that brought them forth than the Conditions of the Hunter's Aspect have on the Uratha that brought them forth — vampires don't naturally recover Willpower, so the lowered exceptional success threshold and scenelong bonus makes it easier for them to gain the Inspired Condition and recover their Willpower, which plays heavily into their ability to resist frenzy or engage in aura clashes with other vampires.

    Broadly speaking, the Predatory Aura as applied to mortals is an extension of the vampire's impact on their surroundings; lashing out at the kine is free and does for your psyche what feeding does for your safety margin, but it works best if you specialize and stick to your stomping grounds. The Ventrue are culturally primed to take the most advantage of this due to their thematic inclination toward the Competitive Beast and its impact on the Kindred Willpower economy, but any given vampire is generally encouraged to gear their use of the aura toward the option that suits their approach best; if you want characters to come to you or become more open to whatever you have to offer, the Wanton Condition makes that easier for you specifically to do, while the Bestial Condition's effect on combat and frenzy makes it fairly useful for vampires with territories that aren't as crowded or concerned with social graces.

    For contrast, the Hunter's Aspect Conditions are singular per character, use a contextually variable dicepool, and cost nothing to impose on anyone, but only last a scene without an exceptional success, are confined to one Condition at a time with a hard lockout on any prospective replacements, have rather more specific applications on the hunt, and don't really feed into Werewolf's resource economy as directly — they fill a similar metaphysical niche, but they serve a very different purpose in a very different game.
    Last edited by Satchel; 05-14-2018, 09:46 AM.

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  • Vent0
    replied
    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    The lack of powers against ephemeral entities were also mentioned as a drawback, but that's highly situational. Vampires aren't expected to deal with ephemerals more than regular humans. I think VtR is the only 2e core book that didn't even include rules for ephemeral entities. Besides, the only template that can gain access to every type of Twilight would be mages, and that's only if the ST allows them to access the angelic/GM type of Twilight.
    Situational as it may be, Vampires lack any faculty with it. Since we are comparing all splats beside each other, inability to access any bandwidth of Twilight is a downside (Mages can access most; Werewolves can access Spirit, and Ghost/Death with the right Facet; Changelings... depends on Kith and Contract, probably; etc.).

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  • Tessie
    replied
    I'd say that the rigidity of their powers are their greatest weakness. A Discipline does one thing and it does it really good, but it only does that thing. Each dot does have an additional effect (except for the physical Disciplines) but it's almost always a slight variation of the initial effect, and sometimes it only increases the effectiveness of previous dots. Then there's the physical Disciplines that literally only increases their various effects by one (if they can be increased numerically).
    Devotions do exist to alleviate that a bit, but they're still based on the Disciplines and are themselves generally even more limited in use.
    That said, the powers that even starting vampires gain (on top of already downgrading damage and being able to heal bashing and lethal with their fuel stat) can be extremely potent. For example, Dominate starts off with the mind control. Further dots increases complexity of orders, allows for embedding orders with activation triggers, and ends with the ability to possess someone.

    The lack of powers against ephemeral entities were also mentioned as a drawback, but that's highly situational. Vampires aren't expected to deal with ephemerals more than regular humans. I think VtR is the only 2e core book that didn't even include rules for ephemeral entities. Besides, the only template that can gain access to every type of Twilight would be mages, and that's only if the ST allows them to access the angelic/GM type of Twilight.

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  • Iceblade44
    replied
    Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
    As far as Vampires go, while they have "easy" access to their fuel, they can also blow through it quickly, it decreases over time, and they need it to exist. As far as their powers go, they don't have too many that affect the wider material world without going into Blood Sorcery or exotic Devotions (or maybe Bloodline Disciplines). They have very little inherent ability with any Ephemeral group as well.
    Ah true. The vampire equivalent for ephemeral are the strix and they don't follow their rules in the first place. Also just realized the easy refuel only applies for when blood potency is enough for humans, elder vampires wouldn't be able to refuel that quickly unless they are fighting supernatural and have that merit to feed off them, so they would be more inclined to save.
    Last edited by Iceblade44; 05-14-2018, 09:18 AM.

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