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(Help Wanted) Giving Requiem Second Edition a Second Chance

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  • (Help Wanted) Giving Requiem Second Edition a Second Chance

    Alright, when 2e came out, I dismissed it immediately for several reasons. Some of them were related to the fluff (The Strix, The God-Machine, the removal of Belial's Brood and the Fog of Ages) while others were mechanical in nature (Conditions, Tilts, Touchstones), but since nobody wants to play 1e anymore, I realize that if I still want to run or play Requiem, I may need to switch over to 2e. But the issue is making it palatable to me and my tastes, which are well-known and I'm going to do my best not to repeat them too much.

    For 1e, I would just stick to the setting of the original corebook and Rule Zero out the emotional deadness fluff and just not use the Humanity meter. The Strix did not exist in the early days of the gameline and neither did Clan Akhud while the Julii were implied to be an earlier name for the Ventrue rather than an entirely separate clan. The only mechanical change needed was to simply ignore Humanity and the rest were fluff changes.

    But for 2e, while I know can easily port back in Belial's Brood and the Fog of Ages as well as Rule Zero out the Strix and God-Machine without breaking the game, I am wondering how integral Touchstones, Conditions, and Tilts are to the game's mechanics. I haven't read 2e in a long time and I do not own the corebook at all, so are Touchstones and Conditions easy to hand wave like Humanity and Morality were in 1e? Or was I just overreacting to the sudden changes and maybe these changes aren't as big of a deal as I thought?

    Should I make the switch over to 2e? Or is it more effort than it's worth? I'm legitimately curious here, as I want to keep playing Vampire but the pool of Requiem 1e players is drying up fast and V5 is not looking good to me so far.
    Last edited by Camilla; 02-18-2018, 10:26 PM.

  • #2
    Tilts and Conditions are integral to the game now. Your discipline powers work by throwing on a foundational condition or tilt on a victim and higher level powers require that condition to be established prior to taking effect. Getting rid of the conditions is how you resist powers now. But technically you can just go back to rolling to activate the power and installing a resist check instead.
    If you are not using Humanity then you can easily ignore Touchstones. In fact, even if if you are using Humanity, you can still ignore touchstones. If someone plays a Ventrue you just dump a permanent -2 to detachment checks onto them or let them pick a bane, the same as the Mekhet get to do.

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    • #3
      Yeah, Conditions & Tilts are going to be the most hassle here. I mean, we can just replace them with dice penalties and forced actions that last until a certain amount of time has lapsed or something has been done... but then that’s how Conditions and Tilts mostly work in the first place, so nothing really changes with this particular approach.

      Belial’s Brood might not be so gone, with that Theban Sorcery ritual that invokes Belial. Strix can be played without, similar to how a Werewolf game need not include idigam, or a Promethean game Firestorms.

      Humanity is only restrictive if you play it as a restriction rather than a reflection, but as tsusasi said it won’t be too hard to excise it. But you’ll have to be thorough, since it’s just about everywhere (like Conditions & Tilits).


      MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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      • #4
        Mm... if you're dropping Humanity then you should have no issue dropping Touchstones (as the specific in-game term of "thing the character has an emotional connection to and that reminds them of mortal life", since the term is also used in a sense to describe Virtue/Vice analogues), since their mechanical purpose is mostly to bolster a character's ability to resist Humanity loss, with a secondary use as another source of Willpower. Their RP purpose is to give PCs something they can always come back to in the "mundane" world, and that the storyteller can "threaten" as a side-plot, but... nah, they're still easy to strip out or hand-wave if that's what you want to do, with the only drawback being that the PCs might find it a tad harder to acquire Willpower sometimes since they can't shore it up by hanging out with their vampire-oblivious college roomie once in a while and instead have to play up their Virtue/Vice analogues a bit more.

        Conditions and Tilts, for their part, are just formalized descriptions of effects... which personally makes me wonder why people don't like them, since they're basically just a way to write What Just Happened on a note-card for easy reference, but that's not really the point here. The point is however, that if you wanted to "remove" Conditions, you'd just spell out what those Conditions do in the powers themselves. And Tilts in particular are basically just a sub-category of Conditions, and they barely even feature in the core at all; there's about a quarter of a page in the combat section describing what attacking specific body parts does, and a total of four Tilts are described there as a part of that. You could literally just not call them Tilts at all and just use their mechanics, and that'd literally be it.

        As a quick example of what happens when you "remove" Conditions: instead of Dominate • "Mesmerize" applying the Mesmerized Condition on a success with everything that the Appendix's entry of that Condition says about it, you'd spell out in the Discipline's entry text something along the lines of "a successful use of this power means that the target has to obey a given, simple, spoken command that they're given so long as it's issued within the same scene; if they take any damage while affected, or experience a breaking point *** while doing what they were told to do, then the effect ends, and they have an easier time resisting further uses of the power for the rest of the scene".

        *** (which you're also dropping for mortals, I'm guessing, since breaking points are an Integrity-analogue thing that comes up at a few different points? So you'll want to figure out how you'd handle that particular nuance narratively...)

        As a quick aside? The God-Machine is not and has never been a part of VtR; you don't need to "Rule Zero" it out because it isn't there to begin with, outside a single paragraph suggesting that VII may be a God-Machine project (along with a half-dozen other suggestions that are given the exact same weight) and a couple off-hand mentions as examples of something the Mystery Cult Initiation Merit could be built around (which uses the exact same text in the ChroD Core, so it wasn't written specifically for VtR 2e).
        Last edited by Sconce; 02-18-2018, 11:11 PM.


        I've got a bit of a bad habit of extensively editing my posts after the fact. Please try and bear with me...
        In case you're comfortable being more friendly and casual about things, my name's Estella, or Es/Essie for short. She/Her or They/Them, please.

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        • #5
          Do you mind if i ask how do you deal with exp in your games?
          The most difficult thing to deal with in changing how conditions work is that they are weaved in the exp acquisition of the game.

          So do you give exp based on encounters or milestones?
          And do you give individual exp or group?


          For humanity ... that might be weird (and i've not given what i'm proposing here alot of thought so take it with a grain of salt) but you could just use it as a fixed point that players choose. The player decide how monstrous they want their character to be and just pick the humanity lvl that fits. No need to do derangement rolls or anything. If the player feels their character is becoming more (or less) monstrous, just change to the humanity lvl that fits no muss no fuss.


          Currently running: VtR - The most serene requiem of Venice
          Currently playing: Tomb of Annihilation (DnD5e) - Thulwir, Aasimar Circle of Dream Druid.

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          • #6
            What is it that you don't like about conditions and tilts? I remember not being sold on them when GMC came out and now I love them enough to port em into my Eberron campaigns.


            Freelancer - Dark Eras 2
            He/His Pronouns
            CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon (TBA) | Deviant (TBA) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf (WIP)

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            • #7
              I guess I sort of overreacted to Conditions and Tilts, as I did not fully understand them at the time and I felt like 2e was fixing something that was not broke.

              But if you strip out the Strix and VII (which I do anyway, even for 1e), then I guess 2e isn't so bad. I would definitely give it a second shot.

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              • #8
                Stripping out Humanity and Touchstones is going to complicate attempts to work the game-as-designed into something else; the sort of resource-management puzzle that makes up a decent chunk of the game's skeleton relies in part on the tension between needing Vitae to stay active and maintain resources, needing Willpower to conserve Vitae or feed below your standards, needing Touchstones to recover Willpower without directly complicating your nights, and needing Humanity to mitigate your banes and relate to humans outside the context of predation (which itself messes with your Vitae intake and expenditures).

                Originally posted by Sconce View Post
                Touchstones (as the specific in-game term of "thing the character has an emotional connection to and that reminds them of mortal life", since the term is also used in a sense to describe Virtue/Vice analogues)
                A minor correction: "Anchor" is the systems term for the primary active Willpower-recovery mechanics available to a character, of which Touchstones are one and Virtue/Vice analogues are another.


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

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Camilla View Post
                  I guess I sort of overreacted to Conditions and Tilts, as I did not fully understand them at the time and I felt like 2e was fixing something that was not broke.
                  Fair enough. I think that GMC wasn't really trying to fix anything, but create a scaffold from which a new mechanical structure could be built. And it worked gloriously.


                  Freelancer - Dark Eras 2
                  He/His Pronouns
                  CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon (TBA) | Deviant (TBA) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf (WIP)

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                  • #10
                    Yeah, I mainly stripped out Humanity from my games because of my dislike for personal horror as I prefer political intrigue and action horror, I never understood the appeal of personal horror. But to each their own.

                    That being said, I might check out the new Humanity system and see if it's less punitive/restrictive than the previous one before I chuck it out completely. Part of the reason why I axed Humanity from 1e was because it was fairly easy to ignore mechanically unless the ST was intending on calling for Humanity rolls. But if the new Humanity system is less about enforcing personal horror and more about maintaining your previous ties to the mortal world, then I can work with that.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Camilla View Post
                      I guess I sort of overreacted to Conditions and Tilts, as I did not fully understand them at the time and I felt like 2e was fixing something that was not broke.
                      Ahh, that's understandable. They can be a lot to take in at first, but they give structure to what was previously pretty floaty and harder to track. Now you can just jot down the exact effects on a note-card, hand it to a player or put it next to your notes for an NPC whenever it comes into play, and put it back when it's gone. Plus, the chance at experience from a lot of them provides players a little extra consolation for getting hit with a negative effect, or even outright incentive to play up the effect to help their character grow while still going with the story you want to tell.

                      And yeah, these days Humanity is more rooted in roughly tracking how well a character remembers how to be, well, human. Or at least, how well they remember how to pretend at it and relate to the herd when it's not mealtime. It does still have some personal horror elements to it though, primarily in how it affects most Banes that aren't fire; a higher-Humanity Gangrel has a higher cap on their pools to resist Frenzy than a lower-Humanity one does, for example, and a high Blood Potency Draugr will incinerate in the sun after a fraction of a second while a total neonate who hasn't even had to roll for possible Humanity loss yet will be okay-ish for an emergency sprint up the road (if extremely uncomfortable and in need of a hefty snack afterward).

                      Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                      A minor correction: "Anchor" is the systems term for the primary active Willpower-recovery mechanics available to a character, of which Touchstones are one and Virtue/Vice analogues are another.
                      Right, my mistake. I remembered they shared some language but got jumbled up on how.
                      Last edited by Sconce; 02-19-2018, 01:19 AM.


                      I've got a bit of a bad habit of extensively editing my posts after the fact. Please try and bear with me...
                      In case you're comfortable being more friendly and casual about things, my name's Estella, or Es/Essie for short. She/Her or They/Them, please.

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                      • #12
                        I would suggest that you consider not simply removing Humanity in 2e - it's tied into a lot of things - and consider that unlike VtM or VtR 1e, Humanity doesn't come with a list of sins. What triggers Humanity rolls in 2e is not how "good" or "bad" you're being, but how human you're being vs. how vampire you're being. The more energy a vampire puts into acting human, the more human they are (Banes - Clan, general, acquired - are all based on your Humanity rating). The more vampire they act, the more vampire they become.

                        Humanity comes with a bunch of examples, but they're just that. It's not hard to remove some of the more personal horror oriented ones, or shift things around and all that.

                        Touchstones are also pretty useful if you don't want too much hassle from Humanity. Having two or more attached Touchstones is the same as being able to spend a Willpower on Humanity rolls, but it's a constant bonus as long as you keep them attached. "My vampire has to have friends outside of vampire society to avoid degenerating into a horrible monster," is personal horror in intention, but not really something you have to engage with as a personal horror element. Just don't make maintaining Touchstones a source of horror. Touchstone can be boosted with Merits so they're competent and capable NPCs, not victims you constantly have to protect. Be loose about what Touchstones you can take; most young vampires might have Touchstones that are easy to endanger, but a building or an organization can be a Touchstone even if that's something usually reserve for older vampires.

                        Touchstones actually make it easier to use Humanity as-written without as much personal horror because the tone of the game leans so heavily on people engaging with Humanity and Touchstones in that fashion willingly. If you want to use them differently, it's really not hard to adjust what instigates a detachment check, and how the ST approaches interactions with Touchstones.

                        As an example, the first Blade movie works perfectly with 2e Humanity, and Touchstones, without even changing anything for Blade. Having Whistler around to keep him in check means that even as he does some morally questionable things, he never loses touch with his human side. If playing movie-Blade is not-personal-horror enough for you, you basically don't need to change anything. If it's still a bit to angsty, you can adjust the example detachment levels to fit what you want without changing the rules.

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                        • #13
                          Because our initial game setting was built in 1e, our game is somewhat hybridized. Our version of VII as the bogeyman wasn't replaced by Strix, for example. We don't really do much with Tilts and Conditions -- I've used conditions on occasions, but am more likely to play the concept rather than stick to the card. We only play about once a month, and frankly they aren't interested in a lot of the details of the system so I adjust to make it work.

                          You should probably have a sit-down with your prospective players and hash out what everyone likes and doesn't like about the 2e. Unless a player regularly factors Conditions into his strategy, you may be able to drop them, for example. If your players are fine with taking out parts of the system, then you're good. If they aren't, maybe they can demonstrate to you how to use those aspects in a less obtrusive way.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Camilla View Post
                            Should I make the switch over to 2e? Or is it more effort than it's worth? I'm legitimately curious here, as I want to keep playing Vampire but the pool of Requiem 1e players is drying up fast and V5 is not looking good to me so far.
                            Having browsed the replies you've had so far, I thought I'd offer some of my own views that could be helpful.

                            First, I agree Tilts and Conditions can be a new thing to get your head around. But WoD still keeps it all pretty simple. Tilts are basically "location calling" - giving a "To-Hit" penalty for an Extra damage effect (e.g.: harder to hit, but bigger payoff if successful). Creates some tactical choices (i.e.: you want your target to not run; so take out their leg instead of smashing the in the toso).

                            Conditions aren't too convoluted. Yes there are seven pages of them, but most of the effects will be generated by the players - or you will know in advance what you are going to do to them. Keep them on hand, but review them only as needed.

                            Humanity I feel is more "fun" in Requiem. Its effects of dropping can be more subtle - your characters may behave the same at Humanity 7 or Humanity 4, but internally they have become numb. Humans seem to be more 'food' then friend, pets than personal attachments, etc... which plays well to the Vampire mindset. It doesn't need to be horror. It can be simply a way of living. Humans need to eat, so they do (and don't think much of the chicken that died in the process of their McDonald burger). Vampires are simply one more step up the foodchain. Treat it as such and you'll find it not soo much "gore/ bestial" horror, but calm unnerving horror of desensitisation.

                            The mechanics for humanity (as mentioned) are also a bit more fun. While you may become less squeemish in doing things, you do suffer some punishments for it too. Thought these punishments aren't brutal - more pushes you to accept you did things, and have become more of a monster for it. It makes the deeds you did to cause you to become what you are more impactful. More memorable. It adds to the story of who you characters are, what they have done, and the results which led to what they became.

                            Touchstones help with humanity, and I find them great storytelling elements (that i feel my ST overlooks a bit). What happens when the psychologist you saw on a weekly basis to discuss your "predatory delusions" decides to transfer you to a different shrink because you've gotten too close for professional distance to apply? What happens when your human sibling is killed in a car accident - losing you the one person that you were worried to leave behind when you "died"? What happens when a rival Kindred threatens your human butler who raised you from birth, and kept serving you without being a ghoul, despite knowing full well what you were (that last one MAY have been influenced by a certain "bat-vigilante" comic book I heard about)? They add extra plot hook for stories to be based around - use them as fodder to give more story to your Requiem.

                            In addition to all this, I personally like the overall mechanical changes. The Daeva weakness feels more thematic and fun (you either have one night stands, or build a harem), the Mehket become quirkier (they still struggle with sun and fire, but also pick up some of the rarely vampire flaws - like running water, the sound of bells, etc...), and the Gangrel are more hot headed and aggressive.

                            Frenzy isn't JUST a punishment as you can now intentionally use it for extra effects. It pushes the predator aspect more.

                            I LOVE 2nd Ed protean. Gone are the default "aggrivated damage claws", and the animal forms are fun from the "you are what you eat" mechanic (instead of the default "bat - wolf" form). Similarly the Disciplines of Nightmare and Animaisim that exist to mitigate "blood potency hiracy frenzy" are replaced with more interesting effects. It feels they look over it all, got rid of the "place holder" abilities, and filled them in with more thoughtful and role-play encouraged elements.

                            In the end, its still requiem. You can ignore the Strix, make VII whatever you want it to be, make your games into "vampire Game of Thrones", etc... Its just a tool box template for you to use. In the end, the game is for you to have fun with. Enjoy it


                            Support new ideas. If you must criticize, always offer advice to the creator on how they could improve, or even suggest alternative solutions to fix a problem you can see. Dismissive comments should be equally dismissed as attempts to grab attention. Focus only on contributions that help you grow and develop, and ignore jealous efforts to stunt your creative sparks.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for the advice, I am definitely buying Vampire: The Requiem 2e the next time I get paid!

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