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Prince meeting and Predatory Aura

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  • Prince meeting and Predatory Aura

    Hi all,

    I am new to 2nd ed VTR and I am looking at predatory aura.

    The example I am using is the first scene that will happen with my new group which is meeting the prince.

    So can it be used besides forcing someone to fight or run?

    Like I was intending to have them meet the prince and of course his beast dominates them, probably competitive, forcing them to kind of fear him or know he is boss. Am I getting this wrong?

    Like is it something that a kindred actually needs to activate? They can opt to not be seductive, monstrous or competitive? Or they choose one upon meeting (at least for the first time).

    I don't want the prince to competitive beast and make the players have to fight or run, just simply feel his aura of dominance. I guess I could just role play that but trying to stick to the book so there is no dramas with any book nazis.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Lashing Out is a very conscious action that even costs Willpower to use against other Kindred. It's usually reserved to moments when you want to put the other person in place. It'd be a pretty petty prince if he Lashes Out when introducing himself to new subjects.

    I'm guessing you're more familiar with first edition where the Predatory Taint always was invoked when first meeting new Kindred. That's not the case anymore.


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    • #3
      Like Tessie said, lashing out is something you have to choose to do. So if you want him to have an aura of dominance and superiority, just tell your players that and that is perfectly within the guidelines of the book.

      So yes, It is something you have to activate with willpower against Kindred, free for humans. It is not exactly something that is running all the time, but is always there. The auras they give out can be one of those things, but they dont have to force a power struggle by Lashing out.

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      • #4
        Also, keep in mind, the terms Fight and Flee are not meant literally in this instance. To choose the “Fight” option doesn’t mean you have to literally attack the other vampire, or just means that you are contesting their Predatory Aura challenge, thus initiating the Power Attribute + Blood Potency vs. Power Attribute + Blood Potency roll. The “Flight” option doesn’t mean you literally run away from them, it just means you are relenting to the Predatory Aura challenge, accepting the Condition without a contested roll, forgoing both the opportunity to inflict your Predatory Aura Condition on the challenger, and the risk of taking the additional -2 penalty to resist attempts to goad you into acting on the Condition that you would get from losing the challenge.

        So, in summary:
        - Lashing Out is always voluntary. Two vampires are never forced into a Predatory Aura contest against their will.
        - When someone Lashes Out at you, you have two options: Contest it with a roll (which is called “Fighting”), or just let it happen (which is called “Fleeing”)
        - If you contest it, you choose which aspect of the Beast to fight back with, and both characters make the appropriate Attribute + Blood Potency roll. The loser gains the appropriate Condition and the -2 penalty for losing the contest.
        - If you choose to let it happen, you take the Condition appropriate to the other character’s Beast automatically, but don’t take the -2 penalty.
        - In either case, no one is forced to physically attack or run away from anyone else as a direct result of the Predatory Aura. Though, that might be something you could more easily coerce someone into doing by more mundane means after successfully Lashing Out at them or successfully Fighting their attempt to Lash Out at you.
        Last edited by Charlaquin; 02-26-2018, 04:06 AM.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
          - If you contest it, you choose which aspect of the Beast to fight back with, and both characters make the appropriate Attribute + Blood Potency roll. The loser gains the appropriate Condition and the -2 penalty for losing the contest.
          - If you choose to let it happen, you take the Condition appropriate to the other character’s Beast automatically, but don’t take the -2 penalty.
          The other way around. If the opposition resists the winner gets a +2 bonus to all actions to act in the interest of their chosen aspect of the Beast. If they flee the agressor won't get the penalty.
          There is a -2 penalty involved in each of the three Conditions, but the Conditions are always applied to the loser so the only reason not to fight back is to save on WP.


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          Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tessie View Post

            The other way around. If the opposition resists the winner gets a +2 bonus to all actions to act in the interest of their chosen aspect of the Beast. If they flee the agressor won't get the penalty.
            There is a -2 penalty involved in each of the three Conditions, but the Conditions are always applied to the loser so the only reason not to fight back is to save on WP.
            For rules as written - the reason is also not giving your opponent +2 to hit you. Yes, a lash out is a swing of 4 dice if it was contested. And only 2 dice if you back out (due to only getting the penalty)


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Tessie View Post

              The other way around. If the opposition resists the winner gets a +2 bonus to all actions to act in the interest of their chosen aspect of the Beast. If they flee the agressor won't get the penalty.
              There is a -2 penalty involved in each of the three Conditions, but the Conditions are always applied to the loser so the only reason not to fight back is to save on WP.
              Oh that’s right, the winner gets the +2. I was away from book. But same basic idea.


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              • #8
                The Prince can rely on his "natural" aura of authority and power to cower neonates, if he had no skills other than relying on his vampiric abilities he shouldn't have been Prince in the first place, just describe that his Presence was overwhelming, make an Intimidation roll if necessary, doesn't always have to be a magic trick

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                • #9
                  Well to be Prince usually requires quite high, if not inhuman levels of social stats to keep everyone happy enough not to engage in a coup d'etat. Or be so physically overwhelming that no one stands a chance even if ganging up. Either way, the Prince don't have to show anything for a few new fledglings, he/she does not need to impress them or feel threatened by them so there should be no reason at all to use anything supernatural or antagonistic against them. An high enough Presence score and high socialize/persuasion/intimidation/etc. scores would be more then enough to get the players to feel his or hers authority. Also consider the standing of the Prince in the city, he adds his City Status to that roll, and I guess it's pretty hard to be Prince with less then a 4 in that.
                  Use good use of language, posture and body-language when playing the Prince and use descriptions that fit with the Prince theme and authority to make the players understand. Maybe put in a rumor about the prince that one of the NPCs can slip before, talking about how "awesome" the prince is in whatever way you want the Prince to be seen in.

                  Just high social dots and Status comes a long way, especially if the social dots are 5 or more. Watch a few movies about charismatic or manipulative people, YouTube clips about leaders, speeches and demagogues can help you with some inspirations.

                  Get an idea of why he/she is Prince in the first place and go from there.

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                  • #10
                    I like to imagine Lashing Out is a lot like grabbing somebody by the collar, then giving them a couple jumper punches. It's not subtle. In my mind, it's not like a Dragon Ball Z aura of might, either. It's a physical act. You're purposefully and aggressively getting in someone's face.

                    When somebody Lashes Out with the 'competitive beast', you're probably getting in someone's face, grabbing them by the collar - or telling them to 'shut the fuck up' and 'back down' or 'you're going to make them'. If you're using the 'monstrous beast', you're distending your fangs, hissing at them. You're telling them to 'fuck off' and trying to scare the shit out of them. If you're using the 'seductive beast', you're grabbing their crotch, licking their earlobe. You are purposefully escalating the situation and pressuring someone to your benefit.

                    I prefer it played out as an overt, aggressive action tempered by The Beast.

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                    • #11
                      One must be careful not to present their preference as RAW.

                      All it takes is a whisper or even just a "telling gaze" for Seductive Beast, for example.

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                      • #12
                        There is nothing seductive about getting assaulted. So.. I am going to go with Maina on this one. Care not to present preferences as RAW. It's good that you said that it is your preference to go with aggressive actions.

                        RAW:

                        To lash out, the vampire must take a simple action appropriate to the aspect of predator used.

                        A monstrous Beast growls, threatens, gnashes teeth, or calls to action.

                        A seductive Beast sidles up to the prey, whispers beautiful lies, or gives a telling gaze from across the crowd.

                        A competitive Beast draws a line in the sand, announces terms, or takes the role of mouse in a chase.

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                        • #13
                          As others mentioned, the Prince probably wouldn't Lash Out at the PCs just for the hell of it, they'd have to do something to provoke him into throwing his weight around, like smart-mouthing him and being blatantly disrespectful (and even then, it would depend on how much leeway you think this particular Prince would give to new vampires for that sort of thing, if he's tolerant of those still adapting to life as a Kindred or if he's a "nip it in the bud" kinda person). And even if the PCs provoke him, he probably has better tools at his disposal than Lashing Out to make them realize they just stepped in seriously deep shit and need to backpedal immediately if they don't want to sink in it. Depending on the Prince's Clan, judicious use of Dominate, Majesty, or Nightmare can make the newbie vamps soil their drawers, and he might need even need to resort to vampiric powers. If he's old enough he's got lots of skills and attributes, he could really, insanely, ridiculously well on checks to cut the PCs down to size with just some well-placed, well-considered verbal barbs. Or have one of his ghouls give a character a backhand that costs them a hefty amount of Vitae to heal, and realize that if the Prince's ghouls can hit like a semi truck, how badass the Prince himself must be.

                          I would imagine (and this is my own interpretation) that Lashing Out is a kind of crass thing to do in most Kindred societies, the mark of someone who never bothered to learn more refined methods of manipulating a situation to get what they want. It's a hammer, and most problems in the Danse Macabre are not nails. Of course, when you do run into a nail, Lashing Out makes a perfectly serviceable hammer.


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                          • #14
                            An minimum the Prince will have between Attribute Skill and Status a dice pool of 11 and could easily have 15 (20 if he uses Magisty) and with the Professional Training (CofD mortal core book) merit 9-again on 3 Skills with the option of making them rote actions. My advice would be to tell the players that he is clearly respected by the other vampires in the room and and carries himself with confidence, if they act up ask "are you sure?" Then hit them with a dice pool they can't hope to match (openly or behind the GM screen as you see fit) and let them make fools of themselves (and anyone who spoke well of them), mechanicly there are better conditions for the Prince to inflict than those given by lashing out.
                            Remember that it's probably better to let the players embrace themselves than grant the Prince cut scene immunity to player action, if he needs the story teller to keep him safe they won't respect him as much.

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