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  • Claws of the Unholy drawback

    Hey, I was searching for the answer, but couldn't find it. I hope anybody didn't ask it already.
    How do you guys interpret the Claws of The Unholy Drawback?
    Drawback: You may only use Claws of the Unholy while in
    frenzy or riding the wave. Once purchased, this modification
    is not optional; the character manifests Claws of the Unholy
    any time she’s frenzied
    .
    1. Frenzy. You MUST spend Vitae to activate Claws of the Unholy, since it's "ANY time she's frenzied"
    2. Frenzy. Nothing happens, when you spend vitae on Unnatural Aspect you cannot activate any talons, fangs, claws which do bashing or lethal damage only the aggravated unholy version.

    The 1st interpretation seems to look good for most of the Gangrel since the Beast wants to kill anyway, but it looks kinda funny in Ordo Dracul, because experienced Dragons who Mastered all the Coils of the Wyrm are more stoic and could want to ride the wave to achieve different goals with frenzy.

    What do you think? I know that the ST can pick his or her version, but I like to keep the rules as written in terms of the game mechanics.
    Last edited by Edgar McAlister; 02-28-2017, 09:45 AM.

  • #2
    Every time they enter frenzy or ride the wave they have the claws that do aggravated damage appear. If someone wants to master the mystery of the wyrm and use frenzy for other benefits besides ripping people to shreds and not having an automatic visual indicator they are in frenzy then they should think twice about purchasing this merit.
    Last edited by tsusasi; 02-28-2017, 11:17 AM.

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    • #3
      Conversely, I always read it as the second one.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tsusasi View Post
        Every time they enter frenzy or ride the wave they have the claws that do aggravated damage appear. If someone wants to master the mystery of the wyrm and use frenzy for other benefits besides ripping people to shreds and not having an automatic visual indicator they are in frenzy then they should think twice about purchasing this merit.
        I agree that the first interpretation is correct. From an in character perspective it'd be unwise to relinquish control of a particular body transformation to the Beast and expect to reign it in without additional effort.

        Speaking of additional effort to overcome drawbacks, that's the Defiants' thing. It is very likely a Gangrel Dragon somewhere has a Devotion of an appropriate level of the Mystery of the Wyrm and Protean that allows getting around this drawback.


        “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
        "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

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        • #5
          It doesn't gel with the rest of the merit though. It says "When wielding claws borne of Unnatural Aspect while in frenzy, this Merit takes effect." If they popped out any time you frenzy, it would just say "when in frenzy".

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Elfive View Post
            It doesn't gel with the rest of the merit though. It says "When wielding claws borne of Unnatural Aspect while in frenzy, this Merit takes effect." If they popped out any time you frenzy, it would just say "when in frenzy".
            I see how you are reading it and understand your mistake. The reason it doesn't say "when in frenzy" even though that would save word count is that it's possible to attack without claws while in frenzy. If it merely said "when in frenzy" you could elbow and bite for Aggravated damage while in frenzy., thus the qualifiers.
            Last edited by Pale_Crusader; 02-28-2017, 12:34 PM.


            “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
            "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

            Comment


            • #7
              The merit DOES say that. It's expressly labeled as a drawback to the merit. If you aren't in frenzy, you can choose whether or not you manifest the claws capable of inflicting aggravated when you exhibit claws. If you enter frenzy, you don't get to choose. The claws (and attendant vitae expenditure) that do aggravated damage always appear. Whether or not you can retract them if you exercise a degree of control over frenzy or they have to remain visible is up to the ST.

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              • #8
                I'm not sure how a +0 aggravated modifier specifically to claws would allow for aggravated bites and elbow strikes.

                Also Unnatural Aspect costs 2 vitae to activate, not one. You need to have Predatory Aspect up to use it. Which raises questions about how this is supposed to work for blood potency one vampires, as well as for vampires who don't have enough vitae to spend.

                Also also this:

                Originally posted by tsusasi View Post
                If you aren't in frenzy, you can choose whether or not you manifest the claws capable of inflicting aggravated when you exhibit claws.
                Is just flat-out wrong. "You may only use Claws of the Unholy while in frenzy or riding the wave."
                Last edited by Elfive; 02-28-2017, 12:40 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Elfive View Post
                  I'm not sure how a +0 aggravated modifier specifically to claws would allow for aggravated bites and elbow strikes.

                  Also Unnatural Aspect costs 2 vitae to activate, not one. You need to have Predatory Aspect up to use it. Which raises questions about how this is supposed to work for blood potency one vampires, as well as for vampires who don't have enough vitae to spend.

                  Also also this:



                  Is just flat-out wrong. "You may only use Claws of the Unholy while in frenzy or riding the wave."
                  I no longer think you are mistaken. Obviously you are defending an incorrect reading of the rules on purpose. The mental backflip needed to in one post point out the 3rd sentence of the merit as too wordy to allow a natural reading as a descriptive line stating the merit's intent before the 4th sentence, and in your next post deny description is needed because the 4th sentence contains the whole of the mechanics.

                  Please feel free to houserule as you please, but the rules as written are very clear, and only an outlier situation brings any questions.

                  By the way, the question about lacking Vitae is good and would be up to storyteller discretion because it isn't covered. I do think a ruling that would be consistent with RAW would be sprouting aforementioned Unholy Claw as soon as the Vitae can be spent.
                  Last edited by Pale_Crusader; 02-28-2017, 01:15 PM.


                  “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
                  "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you have claws from Unnatural Aspect active when you frenzy, they become Claws of the Unholy. You have no say in the matter.

                    If you do not have Unnatural Aspect active when you frenzy, then you do not get Claws of the Unholy unless you use Unnatural Aspect to get claws; something a frenzying Gangrel may well do depending on the goal.

                    If your Unnatural Aspect is not claws, then you do not get Claws of the Unholy. People seem to forget that it has other options, and that you can change what option you have with some effort. Wings would be much better if you suspect you'll need to run like hell instead of fight your way out, frenzy or not.

                    Basically, you cannot use Barbed Hands (+grapple), Hooked Hands (tunneling; another power for escaping), or Horrid Talons(armor piercing) in frenzy anymore. All three of these turn into Claws of the Unholy while frenzying.

                    Though technically Horrid Talons can be fangs, so if you picked the fang option I'd still let you keep it in frenzy. CotU specifically refers to claws.

                    I don't think it forces you to use Unnatural Aspect. That doesn't follow the text very well, and it would be absolutely silly considering Unnatural Aspect doesn't always give you claws (and therefore doesn't always give you CotU).

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pale_Crusader View Post

                      I no longer think you are mistaken. Obviously you are defending an incorrect reading of the rules on purpose. The mental backflip needed to in one post point out the 3rd sentence of the merit as too wordy to allow a natural reading as a descriptive line stating the merit's intent before the 4th sentence, and in your next post deny description is needed because the 4th sentence contains the whole of the mechanics.
                      What on earth are you talking about? It's not a mental backflip at all. The line works perfectly well as-written because the preceding sentence already said that you needed claws active. My suggestion as to how the merit would read if it meant the interpretation you are proposing would obviously change the second line to something like "When in frenzy, the vampire manifests +0 aggravated claws."

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                      • #12
                        I never said it would grant aggravated damage to bites or elbow strikes. If a player of mine wanted to apply it to horns or tusks they have from their predatory aspect (because they ate a wild hog for instance) I'd permit it personally but the merit itself says claws.

                        I said the attendant vitae cost, not one vitae.

                        As for its usefulness to BP 1 characters, there's two routes,
                        1. BP 1 characters can't use it.
                        2. BP 1 characters can use it by spending the vitae over multiple turns and gain the benefit once it's paid for vitae wise.

                        The merit enhances a specific type of predatory aspect. (Claws) A character is capable of having more than one predatory aspect at a time. If they want the aggravated damage claws, they have to put themselves or be triggered into frenzy. But if they want the claws in order to do something else, (for instance climb over a 15 ft high wooden fence) they can still grow them without having to enter frenzy. They just won't get the claws that do aggravated damage.
                        Last edited by tsusasi; 02-28-2017, 01:27 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Maina You are reading it as a modification of an existing ability, not adding an ability. I would agree with that reading except for the last two sentences of the merit, which make it clear that while in frenzy the Unnatural Aspect is always claws, and always manifest. Does this imply the vampire could hypothetically have a non-frenzy Unnatural Aspect which they change out of when in frenzy? I'd say yes.


                          “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
                          "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tsusasi View Post
                            I never said it would grant aggravated damage to bites or elbow strikes
                            No, Pale_Crusader suggested that that would be the case if the line detailing when the merit activated didn't specify needing the claws active. Which I still don't understand.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pale_Crusader View Post
                              Maina You are reading it as a modification of an existing ability, not adding an ability.
                              We're reading it as a modification because that is literally what the merit calls itself in the very line you are referring to.

                              "
                              Once purchased, this modification is not optional; the character manifests Claws of the Unholy any time she’s frenzied."

                              And I stand by my assertion that this line does not mean what you think it does. It means that if the two prerequisites for use (being both in frenzy and having the claws active) are both present, then the vampire doesn't get a say in whether it activates.
                              Last edited by Elfive; 02-28-2017, 01:35 PM.

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