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A Pair of Primitive Disciplines: Apex and Wanderlust [PEACH]

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  • A Pair of Primitive Disciplines: Apex and Wanderlust [PEACH]

    Apex
    It is difficult to argue against the idea that humans are an apex predator; how much more so must a Vampire, who feeds off humans, be? The twist of the blood known as Apex has long since fallen out of "fashion" with the Kindred, to the point where it is barely known even by vampiric scholars; those who do know of it suppose that it might have gone extinct when some long-ago bloodline dried up.

    Apex speeds up the blood, sharpens senses, and makes the Beast whine; it is simple, brutal, and direct, much like the Beast that curls up inside a Vampire's chest.

    Cost: None or 1 Vitae
    Action: Permanent or Reflexive
    Duration: Permanent or One Turn
    Dice Pool: None

    Apex shares a structure with the so-called Physical Disciplines; as such, some suggest that it might have been the precursor of more familiar powers like Vigor or Resilience. It has a Passive power and an Active power; the Passive power applies at all times, while the Active power is a Reflexive action costing 1 Vitae.

    Passive: A Vampire adds their dots in Apex to their Blood Potency for the purposes of the Kindred Senses and when using it as a Resistance trait.
    Active: As a Reflexive action, a Vampire with Apex may spend 1 Vitae to Lash Out against a vampiric power; resolve the results as a Clash of Wills, with a Success indicating they have cowed the other Kindred's Beast. This use of Apex may only target Disciplines, Devotions, and Blood Sorcery.

    Wanderlust
    Back in those long-ago days when mankind was just a few tribes of hunter-gatherers, the few Kindred who existed at that point in time often had a long way to go before they could find their preferred dish. As such, the blood-borne trick of Wanderlust arose; while nearly useless to most Kindred of the modern day, who play at politics and rarely fear starvation, it was a "popular" Discipline for a long, long time.

    Wanderlust enhances and accentuates certain bestial instincts, letting them remind the Vampire as to the best ambush spots and the best hidey-holes to wait out the hated sun.

    Cost: None or 1 Vitae
    Action: Permanent or Reflexive
    Duration: Permanent or Varies
    Dice Pool: None

    Wanderlust is a simple and direct Discipline; therefore, it just has a Passive power and an Active power. The Passive power has no cost and applies at all times, while the Active Powers are all Reflexive actions that cost 1 Vitae.

    Passive: A Vampire adds their dots in Wanderlust to all Feeding rolls and Starting Vitae rolls made outside of their Feeding Grounds; in addition, they add their dots in Wanderlust to their Humanity for the purpose of how long Torpor lasts.
    Active: A Vampire may spend 1 Vitae as a Reflexive action to gain one of the following:
    • They may gain a number of Merit dots equal to their Wanderlust, which are split between Safe Place and Haven; this temporary Haven only lasts long ago for the Vampire to get a good day's sleep, and they may only have one at a given time.
    • They may subtract their Wanderlust from their Blood Potency for the purposes of feeding off a single character; this only lasts long enough for a single meal.


    OK, I got the urge to do these two after looking at the "Caveman" thread; here are unique, simple Disciplines that are pre-Civilized. Also, Wanderlust has the advantage of essentially being Nahdad: B&S edition.

    The above two Disciplines are "extinct" because in the first case, it just kind of fell out of fashion thanks to more generally useful powers like Majesty or Nightmare, and in the case of Wanderlust...

    Wanderlust is pretty weak when it comes to anyone who actually has an established territory; it's passive benefit turns into "your Torpor is shorter", and you only get the benefits of the second active benefit, which is kinda niche when you get down to it. But if you've been chased out of an inhabited area, and only have small animals to eat... It can be an unlifesaver.
    Last edited by amechra; 10-24-2014, 04:01 AM.


    I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

    So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

  • #2
    Great idea, I was actually playing around with Caveman vampires as well after reading through that thread.

    Are these disciplines still supposed to be on par with the other disciplines?

    Especially Apex' active effect is underwhelming... I think. As I'm not exactly sure if I understand the intended effect: you provoke a clash of wills roll to invoke a predatory aura? Is that right? But if it is a Clash of Wills roll, then what is the actual roll made up of? What does the target roll to defend? Furthermore, don't characters get Clash of Wills automatically when appropriate ?(say, when I'm obfuscated and you happen to turn on your auspex) So why would I want to spend blood to activate that?

    As to Apex' perisistent effect I think it would be appropriate thematically and probably not very broken if you would add the dots to more active BP effects too, say Lashing Out.

    As to Wanderlust I have two concerns:
    - there is no fluff justification atm for gaining access to the merits. they just seem to fall out of the sky, or rather, materialize out of the blood. Which reads slightly weird: I spend some blood, oh hey there's a shed I can sleep in.
    - second active power: does this allow elder kindred to feed on humans, animals even!? That is pretty powerfull. I mean, I like it, but I'm not sure whether it is too much.

    Comment


    • #3
      I guess that the Clashing of Wills would be between the power in question and Apex, but I still don't think it is very thematic. I'd rather have a power that fortifies me against or even totally blocks a power by Lashing Out (just like you can do against certain powers). Maybe with an active or passive bonus on Lashing Out.

      The problem I have with nullifying powers is, how does it work on physical Disciplines? Does it negate the passive effect for a scene?

      So for Apex I would recommend allowing Lashing Out against a power you can notice, thereby stopping the power. A bonus on Lashing Out could be an alternative active power, but having it as a passive would be to strong in my opinion.

      @Howalt: I think the justification for the merits is that Wanderlust enables the character to almost always find a place to hide. The merit is just a mechanic for that. So a shed does not materialize, but you happen to find a shed (or other location) that is safe, without a roll.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Penta View Post

        @Howalt: I think the justification for the merits is that Wanderlust enables the character to almost always find a place to hide. The merit is just a mechanic for that. So a shed does not materialize, but you happen to find a shed (or other location) that is safe, without a roll.
        Yeah, I get that - but it isn't perfectly obvious from the description. Which it should be, imho.

        Comment


        • #5
          It feels like Wanderlust steps on the toes of the Ordo Dracul a bit. It makes you able to feed from humans/animals longer, has effects on how long you torpor... all sorts of inherent changes that, up to now, have been exclusively the domain of the Ordo. Since this is a sort of "primitive past" idea, that might not concern you too much. I wouldn't introduce it into modern nights as it stands, though.

          I like Apex. Seems pretty powerful, though. Good for a vampire who already has a way to get what he wants, and then wants to take everyone else's away.

          Comment


          • #6
            I am not too well read on B&S so this may be a silly idea, but would it be too powerful for the active effect of Apex be to increase the user's BP for all purposes by their dots in Apex? Have it last for a fairly limited amount of time. It'd be an extremely unsubtle power, but it fits the idea of bringing forth the predator or beast inside. Could throw in some extra downsides on top of the usual ones for high BP.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think it'd be too powerful, yes. BP is already a prime combat stat for any character, on top of also helping clashes of will and a smattering of other stuff. It's one of the main things that sets older vampires apart from younger, and an important possible reward for diablerie; one should tread lightly before dealing with that. Apex has additional problems on top of that: a clash of will is discipline + bp. So for every point in this discipline, your dicepool would go up by two. You'd be able to contest any other neonate's discipline uses with three more dice than they've got to defend. You'd be a mobile discipline suppression device Your Lashing Out would likewise be 3 dice above otherwise evenly matched opponents, and even if you are the aggressor they'd need to pay a WP to even get to contest. On top of that, you can spend four times as much blood in a turn.

              It'd get out of hand
              Last edited by Unahim; 04-16-2014, 11:55 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                And that's exactly why I asked. I suspected it'd amount to too much. I do like the theme behind a predator's discipline, however.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hey guys! Guess who remembered this existed? That's right, I did.

                  I went ahead and clarified how Apex works; basically, you spend 1 Vitae and enter a Clash of Wills with another power, using [Power] + Blood Potency as your pool. This does mean that weaker Kindred can't use it as well; however, it can get pretty terrifying.


                  I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                  So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Random question: when do you think first Kindred actually popped up? Mine probably pre-civilization, but I don't think much older than Catalhoyuk or Erech, whichever city came first. Gangrel and maybe Nosferatu are for me pre-civilization one. Mekhet and Daeva came to be in early stages of civilization, and Ventrue are in my headcanon offshoot of Gangrel that gained enough prominence to become full Clan.
                    Last edited by Kat; 10-24-2014, 07:10 AM.


                    “I am absolute, I am perfect, I am supreme. I shall be eternal. My tragedy, is that there is no other fate for me. My powerlessness was that I couldn’t subjugate my journey to the gods, while dreaming of rebirth at the end of distant time, like other pharaohs.” Ramesses II, Fate/Prototype: Argent Fragments.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I actually have a mental "evolutionary tree" for Vampires, stemming from a hypothetical "Primogenitor Clan".

                      The Primogenitor Clan's in-clan Disciplines were Celerity, Resilience, and Vigor; their Clan Bane was ???.

                      Early on, the Clan split into many different "tributary clans" - two of these clans were... well, since they don't survive to modern nights, we can refer to them as Clan A (Obfuscate, Celerity, and Vigor; Bloodline Bane has them act as if their Humanity was 2 dots lower than it actually is for the purposes of Banes), and Clan B (Animalism, ???, and Resilience).

                      Clan A eventually split off into the Mekhet and the Nosferatu, while Clan B eventually emerged as the Gangrel, who eventually produced the Ventrue. This all happened a coupla thousand years ago (I would put the original "Clan" back sometime after the first cities, but not that long after.)

                      Fastforward a few thousand years, and the Daeva show up, as a throwback Clan.


                      Basically, I date and connect the Clans (as well as any fan-made Clans) by looking at their in-Clan Disciplines and comparing them with an "ideal" of 3 physical disciplines - it's fairly obvious that Mekhet/Nosferatu and Gangrel/Ventrue are easy connections to make.

                      If we were to expand this to the few fan-made/fan-translated Clans, I peg the Akhud as an earlier offshoot of Clan A (Vigor - Praestantia is an "easier" mutation than Auspex or Nughtmare), Alukah as another throwback Clan (Tenebrose, Vigor, and Resilience? Kinda archaic.), and Pijavica are an extreme mutation of the Gangrel (Ishrana is a mutation of Protean - Obfuscate replaces Resilience.)


                      I have decided, after some thought, that I don't really feel happy on these forums. I might decide to come back to post. Who knows - but right now, I'm gone.

                      So good bye, good luck, and have a nice day.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I go with idea that each Progenitor of a Clan (Except Ventrue who are off-shoots of Gangrel) was cursed by individual entity which wrath they incurred (or got "blessed" by one, Celestines think differently than mere mortals) or became a Progenitor due to occult means. So far, Gangrel were spawned by Gaia as one of experiments to make apex predator that would prey on humans so humans evolve their survival instincts, Daeva were cursed by an unnamed Celestine for their founder's twisted hedonism (acting on "logic" that being Undead would be punishment since it would bar him/her from certain pleasures restricted to mortals and curses would make his/her life more difficult) and for Mekhet it was their founder's failed bid for true immortality that transfigured him/her into Kindred through experiment gone wrong. No clue about Nosferatu yet.


                        “I am absolute, I am perfect, I am supreme. I shall be eternal. My tragedy, is that there is no other fate for me. My powerlessness was that I couldn’t subjugate my journey to the gods, while dreaming of rebirth at the end of distant time, like other pharaohs.” Ramesses II, Fate/Prototype: Argent Fragments.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Katsura View Post
                          Random question: when do you think first Kindred actually popped up? Mine probably pre-civilization, but I don't think much older than Catalhoyuk or Erech, whichever city came first. Gangrel and maybe Nosferatu are for me pre-civilization one. Mekhet and Daeva came to be in early stages of civilization, and Ventrue are in my headcanon offshoot of Gangrel that gained enough prominence to become full Clan.
                          Honestly? Vampires can work pretty well as long as communities, not exactly urban civilization or societies, exist. So lone monsters only occasionally embracing might have been around since the earliest paleolithic, in a hazy area that covers much of human and pre-human hominid prehistory, so to speak.

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                          • #14
                            In the context of my thing, humans first attracted attention of Gaia when one of them slew his brother with a sharpened stone. This was a trick she had not seen before, so her curiosity was piqued and her favorite children never ceased to amaze her.

                            No, the first murderer is not the first vampire, but as she found it necessary for forging humanity into even more evolved creatures as a whole she, as I mentioned before, created Kindred so humans can have competition so the danger posed by the supernatural culls the weak and strengthens the strong. Gangrel could appear as well in the dawn of mankind depending when she found it appropiate to create them from a mortal she found an appropiate vessel for her "blessing". Of course, the oldest Kindred had no inkling of what happened and s/he had to struggle with burdens of the curse while figuring out Disciplines instinctually, the struggle which only pleased Mother of Monsters.


                            “I am absolute, I am perfect, I am supreme. I shall be eternal. My tragedy, is that there is no other fate for me. My powerlessness was that I couldn’t subjugate my journey to the gods, while dreaming of rebirth at the end of distant time, like other pharaohs.” Ramesses II, Fate/Prototype: Argent Fragments.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Katsura View Post
                              In the context of my thing, humans first attracted attention of Gaia when one of them slew his brother with a sharpened stone. This was a trick she had not seen before, so her curiosity was piqued and her favorite children never ceased to amaze her.

                              No, the first murderer is not the first vampire, but as she found it necessary for forging humanity into even more evolved creatures as a whole she, as I mentioned before, created Kindred so humans can have competition so the danger posed by the supernatural culls the weak and strengthens the strong.
                              "The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the earth." indeed. Interest take for a game i'll say.

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