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Transplanting VtM5’s New “Hunger Mechanic” to VtR

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  • Transplanting VtM5’s New “Hunger Mechanic” to VtR

    So, as most of you probably know, the new VtM is in the works. Given my group started playing it from almost the beginning, I’ve years-since moved on from it - its metaplot, stale young-old/”good”-evil political dichotomy, and lack of personal horror.

    But one thing does interest me about it: its invention of the Hunger mechanic - wherein need for blood is represented not by a diminishing blood pool, but by an increasing (0-5) hunger mechanic. I think I might love the idea; but I am not at all fond of the Alpha-execution of it.

    On every roll, substitute normal dice for Hunger Dice. If any of them are 1’s you get a Compulsion. This to me has two problems:
    1. It's going to make characters want to avoid rolling. And some groups are going to have sessions, or play-styles, with a LOT of rolls.
    2. I hate the Compulsions. They're the worst examples of the old ”Toreador stares into space, amazed by beauty”. And that's without getting into the more objectionable aspects, raised on other forums.

    So I’m in a situation where I see the potential to change to a (perhaps) more interesting mechanic but, barring a major hack/rewrite, do not see it as currently usable.

    Do any of you have any thoughts on Hunger dice? Are any of you considering using/adapting it? How would you fix it?

  • #2
    I would do what Heavy Arms suggested over in the VtM sub-forum and instead base it on the Satiety system from Beast.


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    • #3
      I recommend having a look at Atrocity in The Danse Macabre. It's a Humanity replacement rather than a Vitae one, but the rules are quite similar to VtM5's hunger mechanics.

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      • #4
        I like the idea behind the Hunger mechanic, but I hate the execution in the Alpha. I agree that something closer to Beast's Satiety or Danse Macabre's Attrocity Dice would work better.

        Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.


        • #5
          *Writes down to re-look at Atrocity mechanics from Danse Macabre*

          I honestly just though of replacing the compulsions with Conditions that effectively invoke the themes of Hunger but aren't as punishing. Plus, that way everyone has a chance of getting beats whenever their hunger dice act up. And who doesn't like getting Beats?


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rose Bailey View Post
            I recommend having a look at Atrocity in The Danse Macabre. It's a Humanity replacement rather than a Vitae one, but the rules are quite similar to VtM5's hunger mechanics.
            Yeah. That's what I thought when I did read it: ATROCITY.

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            • #7
              The Dresden Files did hunger as a damage track, which I liked. We considered something a bit similar in 2e, making hunger part of the Health track with a special "H" mark. But that would have interfered with quick healing being one of vampires' advantages, so we didn't end up using it.

              The question I'd ask myself is "why do I want to do away with Vitae points?" And one possible answer is that a predictable resource doesn't capture the feeling of actual hunger, which can seem random in real life. That's where a dice-based solution starts to look good. Another is that you just want to relabel things -- it says something different if I'm measuring my character's "hunger" than if I'm measuring their "[weird Latin name] points."

              I think if I were going to reapproach it today, I'd look more at Beast, and have hunger interact with the way powers work rather than being tracked precisely. That would have some knock-on effects throughout the system -- for example, the various things that cost one Vitae just for the sake of making using them an active decision would have to be reconsidered.

              Cavaliers of Mars Creator
              Retired CofD Lead

              Check out my guides to Vampire and my indie games!


              • #8
                I think if "you can't precisely measure how hungry you are" is the only reason for replacing point-based Vitae with a hunger track, it'd be cleaner just to use manipulatives for Vitae and put them in a dice bag. You can feel the rough weight, but not count the exact number.

                Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.


                • #9
                  I'm not sure exactly what I'd do if I was trying to redo things from scratch.

                  One of the reasons I suggested looking at Satiety's rules is because BtP's hunger Conditions are already designed to bolt onto a fuel trait like the blood pool.

                  You need to come up with VtR appropriate Conditions of course, but you can just attach them to specific levels of blood pool fullness (maybe with a chart to deal with how blood pools grow with potency).

                  If you wanted to follow the BtP general model, the low blood Conditions could boost innate vampire powers like Lashing Out, senses, and physical intensity. Maybe put the physical Disciplines and Protean in there. And then boost the more 'cerebral' Disciplines for being full.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rose Bailey View Post
                    I recommend having a look at Atrocity in The Danse Macabre. It's a Humanity replacement rather than a Vitae one, but the rules are quite similar to VtM5's hunger mechanics.

                    Or you can look at my 2ed Translation. I can not attest as to how close to VtM5's Hunger Mechanics it is, but it is derived from Danse Macabre's Atrocity and Hell is Other People rules.

                    “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
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                    • #11
                      Nothing wrong with good ol' bloodpools, and for now the Hunger mechanic is terribly unpolished and dysfunctional.


                      • #12
                        Well, I do see the criticism of some of the fuel traits in the WoD/CofD being on the dull side. Vampires don't get hungry, they get empty with a few penalties that sort of get towards kinda representing being hungry, and they have no juice for activating things that cost vitae.

                        So the desire for being full or being hungry is something that could be improved upon with blood pools. It's just something that can be fixed without throwing out blood pools. It can also be done with other methods too.


                        • #13
                          I think just inverting the Vitae/blood pool into a hunger pool might make it a bit closer to the intended mood. Even if it works the same way (just take Hunger points instead of spending Vitae/blood points) you're going to talk about hunger rather than how much Vitae/blood you have left. You'd probably have to do a few changes other than that to get something that works with the intended theme, but I think that could be a good start. And probably what the people at WW did, but then they ended up with having to have different coloured dice and having to look up tables of compulsions for characters. And that it was checked at every single roll rather than at regular intervals (determined by hunger) or certain rolls such as using vampiric powers.

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                          • #14
                            If you do go with an increasing pool (and rolling dice with it) other mechanics to look at and consider are Shadows in Princess: the hopeful (need to roll more success to increase) and how vamprism works in The Elder Scrolls IV and V (when full, they are less vampy - weaker, but not as susceptible to banes).

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                            • #15
                              Hi folks,

                              first: Yes, take Hell is other people. I always play with it. It´s a fantastic ruleset and makes Vampire so much better, imho. Hell is other people actually made me play Vampire again. Just one thing: I would suggest giving a bane when you run to 10 Atrocity and a beat, not a permanent die. Runs way better this way, imho and with Hell is other people, the bane system from B&S doesn´t work well, anyway.

                              Considering the hunger mechanic: As I heard from it, I was excited. As I read it, I found it terrible, there are many arguments for this you can find on the forum, so I would like to skip my criticism.

                              Seems, that they were so focused on getting rid of the blood pool that they did a very convoluted mess. I thought a bit about it, cause I see a potential for something different: Not that you "realistically" simulate hunger, more that you give the player a nudge to behave alien, Vampire - like. So I wrote something down. Gave me following goals:

                              1) Blood pool can stay. V5 uses blood and then rolls, if you use blood. Complicated and not very helpful. So I keep the blood pool.
                              2) Less rolling for hunger. V5 will let you avoid rolls and the compulsion will happen all the time. That´s not fun.
                              3) Player agency. These rolls should be a nudge and an inspiration, not a "difficulty". They should make fun!
                              4) In my first draft, I made palyers get a lot of Conditions. That felt to mechanical, so I rewrote.

                              I don´t know yet if I will use it myself. Did it just for fun.

                              So, here´s what I came up with:

                              Ideas for a new hunger system: For two full bloodpoints under 10, get a hunger die (8,6,4,2,0). Roll hunger dice instead of normal dice in the first test in a given scene (only in the first, not in later tests). Count the 1s on the hunger dice. Look at the corresponding table row and choose an effect, either from Craving, Regret, Madness, Undead, Evil or Anger, take the one who corresponds best to the character and the circumstances in the scene. The effect fades when you feed or when the scene ends.

                              You can suppress the effect by spending on Willpower point.

                              You can voluntarily take an effect of a higher row (i.e. your roll 2x 1s on hunger dice and take Madness 4) to get a beat. You don´t have to play the effects out on the spot, they can rise and materialize slowly during a scene (i.e. Anger 3 can happen anytime during a scene). Generally, if you choose an effect but don´t manage or want to play out during the scene, you loose all Willpower points.

                              Craving Regret Madness
                              1 A feeling of hunger or appetite hits you, totally independent of the blood pool. No effect Memories of a past victim come uninvided. You feel bad. No effect. You have a split-second hallucination, i.e. a past victim standing next to the person you are talking to, a friend looks dead and bleeding. No effect.
                              2 The hunger puts you on the edge. You are feeling uneasy and subconsciously looking for prey. You walk around, getting into talk with strangers or follow them, search the area. If you don´t scan the area for prey or subconsciously searching them, you get -2 dice for social or mental tasks. Life nostalgia. You feel a sudden urge to do something that reminds you of the person you were when you were still alive. Call someone you knew in life. Zone out over a smell from childhood. Eat your favorite food and the throw up. Do something comforting and familiar to forget that you are a blood addicted monster. You misinterpret your desire to feed on someone for honest feelings. You gain the Condition Swooning.
                              3 You have a sudden appetite and urge to feed, the veins and the heartbeat of the humans around you distract you or you are feeling uneasy and subconsciously looking for prey. You gain the Condition Distracted. The character is hit by deep regret and haunted by memories. He gets the Condition Guilty. You suffer severe hallucinations, ghosts of your victims taunt you, you hear voices. You speak to yourself, maybe you are lost in memory for a moment. Others can make perception rolls against your composure to see, that there´s something wrong with you.
                              4 The hunger rises. You suffer an overwhelming urge to feed during this scene. You must have blood. You must taste it, drink it! At least 1 blood must be consumed. If impossible, feed from self, causing 1 Aggravated wound or loose all Willpower. You want to be alone in your suffering, you can´t stand others around you. You go away, seclude yourself and loose yourself in thoughts and regrets. Crave intimacy. You crave intimacy with a mortal, or a kindred if no mortals are in the scene. You want and need someone to whisper that it’s all gonna be fine, to feel the primal intimacy of the motions of mortal sex, someone to hold you tight. The intimacy can be one-sided. If you fail you must feed or loose all Willpowerpoints.
                              5 Frenzy. You cannot stand the hunger anymore. The Beast wants at much blood as it can get as fast as possible, bite and drink anyone out who is in your way. Take a beat. Make a suicide attempt and back out in the last minute or put yourself in danger. Step out into the sun, hold your hand into fire, provoke a Werwolf. A piece of your mind slips away and takes humanity with it. You get a bane or fall into torpor.Take a beat.
                              Undead Evil Anger
                              1 You miss your heartbeat and your breath. You feel cold and hollow. No effect. You have foul, cruel and destructive thoughts, that scare the hell out of you. No effect. You feel somewhat angry. On the world, the humans or yourself. No effect.
                              2 Fail at being human during this scene, with consequences. Your fangs suddenly come out. You grow temporarily cold and pale. You weep blood. You stop blinking. Your mask has fractures, you stop to pretend, you are the one, you are deep down below, you become your true self for a time. In this scene, you can only get Willpower back by fulfilling your Dirge. Acting according to your Mask lets you actually loose a Willpower point. You are on the edge and want to blow up steam. Everyone goes on your nerves, you hate everything. Gain the condition Tempted.
                              3 You can´t stand your undead state, you hate feeling dead. Activate blush of life and pretend you are human, do human things. Just for a little while. You want to play. Choose a prey, it can be someone you want to feed from, but this isn´t necessary. Take a mortal and play some cruel games with him, play with him like a cat plays with a mouse. Your rage canalizes in a sudden, short act of violence. Hurt someone physically, you hit someone or break his arm, you suddenly stab a letter opener through a hand, you hit someones head onto a table.
                              4 You are sick of pretending you are human, you are vampire, you are undead! Purposely break the masquerade in this scene, show supernatural powers in the public, tell someone that you are a vampire. Lash out. Hurt the person in the scene you like the most, socially, emotionally, or physically. Frenzy. You perceive a provocation and suddenly turn violent. Your beast doesn´t want to kill necessarily, you want to hurt, to dominate and to destroy.
                              5 You need to be dead for a while, life sickens you. You go away and fall into torpor. You do something horrible and unforgivable. I.e. betray your best friend, torture your love or your closest relative to death or commit Diablerie. Frenzy, Amok, you get into a violent rage and kill and destroy everything which made the mistake to be near you.
                              Last edited by Narr666; 07-11-2017, 06:41 AM.