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Why learn Fingers on a Dead Pulse?

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  • Why learn Fingers on a Dead Pulse?

    So as I'm getting back into the game, players are taking all sorts of powers - one of them wants to grab Codependency Scale, while only having a single point of the Coil in question, which is fine by the rules. however, what's the point to get the 5th dot of the Coil when Codependency Scale grants you it's benefits anyway? Why pay 3 xp and then 1 xp for the scale, when you can just get a 2xp scale and have all the same benefits?

    And one can point at the fact that the coil costs - but paying the price once a year is not _that_ hard.
    Last edited by Griautis; 02-12-2018, 08:01 PM.


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  • #2
    "Make at least five ghouls, bury them alive at point throughout within the city, then evenly distribute your entire Vitae pool over their resting places" is a big involved ritual that having the Scale alone gates the Coil's effect behind. That amount of murder and bloodshed is a complication that simply knowing the Coil doesn't have to work around.

    Cold of the Grave has a similar relation to Smother: "give the benefits of the prerequisite Coil to everyone in your domain with a big expensive annual ritual" is good to have as a bargaining chip, but on the personal advancement/survival scale, a single always-available effect has a lot to recommend it.


    Resident Sanguinary Analyst
    Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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    • #3
      Yeah keep in mind that making ghouls is an investment of vitae (hunting time) and willpower. Willpower that for vampires is not a straightforward thing to replenish. The Scale costs 5 of each, therefore. Plus, while crushing the will of your ghouls such that they submit to being buried alive is not particularly hard, there is the potential for resistance (you are killing them, after all), AND you'll need to do the burying quickly in order to avoid having one die and muck it all up for you! (Maybe. GM call if they have to be still alive while you distribute the vitae).

      And then there's the additional vitae needed to distribute the entire pool over their resting places. That means risking frenzy, which at least is going to tick you toward it at a later point.

      All this makes you super vulnerable to your enemies, who presumably have done their homework and will realize 1. what you are up to and 2. that it needs to be done at a certain time, implying they are prepared if they choose to take action against you.

      And then there are breaking point checks. Probably 5 of them.

      So, the Scale sounds like a great substitute until you begin thinking like a cautious vampire, at which point investing the XP to advance a Coil that gives you greater Ordo status anyway makes perfect sense. If you explain the calculus to your player, I suspect they'll see the opportunities for critical mischief by the Storyteller, clearly.

      --Khanwulf

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      • #4
        It's a yearly thing. 5 vitae/5 wp a year is not a lot. As well as getting 5 ghouls a year (after all, if you get someone at the start of the year, you spend the WP there and then, and have a servant for a year, who is not really a blood cost either, since he produces more blood himself than you need to maintain him. Similarly, as the time is about to come - you have ample ghouls to feed on.).

        So the real issue/cost here is the fact that you're killing all of them, which is 1 bane to take? If you want to include torture, but that is fairly popular among Ordo Dracul players I've encountered.

        And while this seems a low benefit if you're just asving 1XP, one might easily not go into Quinessence at all. A follower of the Wyrm might as well think "I'll get some good land protection/benefits, for 2 XP and a yearly ritual"



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        • #5
          Originally posted by Griautis View Post
          It's a yearly thing.
          It's a yearly thing where you bury five or more people alive throughout the neighborhood, spill all your blood over their graves, and extend the ability to glean a resident's dirty laundry to every vampire in the city of which you are a notable resident of over a century. There's a lot of reasons to put in the effort to get it as an always-on effect if you're invested in the domain to that extent.

          5 vitae/5 wp a year is not a lot. As well as getting 5 ghouls a year (after all, if you get someone at the start of the year, you spend the WP there and then, and have a servant for a year, who is not really a blood cost either, since he produces more blood himself than you need to maintain him. Similarly, as the time is about to come - you have ample ghouls to feed on.).

          So the real issue/cost here is the fact that you're killing all of them, which is 1 bane to take? If you want to include torture, but that is fairly popular among Ordo Dracul players I've encountered.

          And while this seems a low benefit if you're just asving 1XP, one might easily not go into Quinessence at all. A follower of the Wyrm might as well think "I'll get some good land protection/benefits, for 2 XP and a yearly ritual"
          Are you expecting this to be a mechanical complication? Because I feel like you're understating the narrative processes involved in "kill multiple servants and bury them in bloody sepulchers once a year" in a game where one of the predominant factions has preferential access to a Merit literally called "Where the Bodies Are Buried."


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          Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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          • #6
            I think it also merits mentioning that this is exactly the kind of situation that will likely result in Revenants. Or Ghosts. Or both. Ghouls have Vitae in them by definition, and you a spreading more over them as they die. Seems like ideal conditions for a Revenant to rise. And the character is doing this 5 times. A year.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
              I think it also merits mentioning that this is exactly the kind of situation that will likely result in Revenants. Or Ghosts. Or both. Ghouls have Vitae in them by definition, and you a spreading more over them as they die. Seems like ideal conditions for a Revenant to rise. And the character is doing this 5 times. A year.
              Ok, this bit here convinces me. I didn't consider revenants. Thank you all


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                I think it also merits mentioning that this is exactly the kind of situation that will likely result in Revenants. Or Ghosts. Or both. Ghouls have Vitae in them by definition, and you a spreading more over them as they die. Seems like ideal conditions for a Revenant to rise. And the character is doing this 5 times. A year.
                This feels especially apropos for a Scale of a Coil that shares its affinity with the prerequisite Coil for Mass Embrace.


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                Currently Consuming: Changeling: the Lost 1e

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                • #9
                  And what happens if someone comes along after the Dragon finishes exsanguinating himself, and digs up the ghoul either before it asphyxiates or afterwards, for embrace? Your ritual does what?

                  And the point is not "5 BP and 5 WP once per year" but "5 BP and 5 WP (plus extra spent coercing ghouls into shape) + full vitae pool" all within a short period of time... one night, probably. You're now down 5 WP while you go find a vice or virtue to callously indulge in, and the assumption is that you can maintain operational secrecy and/or have no enemies in the city after a century? No one who'd like to blackmail or exert leverage on you?

                  In Vampire?

                  It's like most cool rituals: great and all, but handled with care. Again: the cost to complete the Coil is not high for the lowered risks.

                  --Khanwulf

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                    And what happens if someone comes along after the Dragon finishes exsanguinating himself, and digs up the ghoul either before it asphyxiates or afterwards, for embrace? Your ritual does what?

                    And the point is not "5 BP and 5 WP once per year" but "5 BP and 5 WP (plus extra spent coercing ghouls into shape) + full vitae pool" all within a short period of time... one night, probably. You're now down 5 WP while you go find a vice or virtue to callously indulge in, and the assumption is that you can maintain operational secrecy and/or have no enemies in the city after a century? No one who'd like to blackmail or exert leverage on you?

                    In Vampire?

                    It's like most cool rituals: great and all, but handled with care. Again: the cost to complete the Coil is not high for the lowered risks.

                    --Khanwulf

                    the WP can be spent over the course of a year, so that part of the cost is rather irrelevant in the big scheme of things. Starting off full is not that hard either (you have the ghouls you're planning to kill).

                    I now see that this is much more complex, than I first gave it credit. However, you are making it look much more complicated than it really is.

                    The hard bit is killing the ghouls and humanity, keeping it a secret, finishing your vitae (which again, is not that hard, if you're killing 5, you might as well have one more waiting at the last spot to feed you) and handling revenants afterwards.


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                    • #11
                      It's as complicated as you the GM/ST decide to make it, and a great impetus to drive the story.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Griautis View Post
                        the WP can be spent over the course of a year, so that part of the cost is rather irrelevant in the big scheme of things. Starting off full is not that hard either (you have the ghouls you're planning to kill).

                        I now see that this is much more complex, than I first gave it credit. However, you are making it look much more complicated than it really is.
                        You're right: I was conflating the time-periods. You could prep the ghouls far in advance and that greatly simplifies the WP expenditure.

                        Basically the point is that the ritual takes work, invokes risk, and most vamps who find the whole thing useful will want to grow out of that risk. It's as complicated as you can imagine their opposition to be.

                        --Khanwulf

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