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Banes that are worth it

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  • Banes that are worth it

    I am getting back into Vampire after years of Mage-centric play. I'm curious as to other players experience with taking banes. In the last game I played I had problems keeping my humanity up. Part of the problem, in retrospect, is that I took banes to inure myself against breaking points that weren't as common an issue as I expected (the first bane I took was against feeding from the unwilling or willing, as I was trying to play a very high humanity vampire. I didn't stay at Humanity 9 long, and never made it back to that level, so that bane was of no use for most of play. But the -1 penalty in detachment rolls really hurt). I made a similar mistake later, and in what seemed no time at all, I was a 10 year old Vampire with a humanity of 3. Bad luck played a part, but the bane decisions didn't help. Can anyone give me examples of humanity sins against which they have taken banes that were worth the penalty in detachment rolls?

  • #2
    I don’t care for banes personally. They aren’t a real drawback because they can be countered with the touchstone merit, but if you want to get maximum utility from taking banes, Part 1. You choose a detachment check you’re likely going to be making fairly often. Manslaughter is a common choice but certain clan or covenant combinations like Ordo Dracul researcher would make torture or premeditated murder better choices. If you’re going to covenant hop for benefit farming and intend to keep Humanity at 5+ (Because you need it to cast the highest level Theban rituals) then that may be something to consider baning out.
    Part 2. Pick a bane that’s not likely to come into play regularly or can be subverted or ignored based off your power repertoire + touchstones + meditation rolls to boost detachment rolls (note: this is optional). If you buy Resilience, banes that deal bashing damage are good choices. Coils that boost your effective Humanity rating should also be considered.
    Part 3. Obviously consult your ST for approval before assuming anything regarding How bane mechanics interact with powers.

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    • #3
      A lot is going to depend on your character. If you have a huge, prolific family, perhaps with ancient ties to vampires, the death of a mortal family member might be a good one. If you are an orphan who never loved anyone and was never loved and lived an existence without having any relevant relationships with anyone, it's not going to come into play.

      That said, one of the killings is probably a good bet. Impassioned if your character is prone to frenzy and impulse, or premeditation if they're prone to lethal action.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tsusasi View Post
        I don’t care for banes personally. They aren’t a real drawback because they can be countered with the touchstone merit, but if you want to get maximum utility from taking banes, Part 1. You choose a detachment check you’re likely going to be making fairly often. Manslaughter is a common choice but certain clan or covenant combinations like Ordo Dracul researcher would make torture or premeditated murder better choices. If you’re going to covenant hop for benefit farming and intend to keep Humanity at 5+ (Because you need it to cast the highest level Theban rituals) then that may be something to consider baning out.
        Part 2. Pick a bane that’s not likely to come into play regularly or can be subverted or ignored based off your power repertoire + touchstones + meditation rolls to boost detachment rolls (note: this is optional). If you buy Resilience, banes that deal bashing damage are good choices. Coils that boost your effective Humanity rating should also be considered.
        Part 3. Obviously consult your ST for approval before assuming anything regarding How bane mechanics interact with powers.
        Has anyone asked why you are playing this particular game yet?


        Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
        The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
        Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.
        Currently Working On: Memento Mori(GtSE)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tsusasi View Post
          They aren’t a real drawback because they can be countered with the touchstone merit
          Unless you treat having multiple attached Touchstones as the default, in which case Banes becomes a huge drawback (on top of already being drawbacks).

          Personally I'd recommend not taking any Banes in most cases. You either want maximised dice pools for detachment checks or minimised amount of detachment checks, and it's only when you plan on sitting on a specific Humanity rating and there's only a few breaking points that you regularly encounter that it's possible to minimise your detachment checks. Diablerists specifically don't want to take any Banes since diablerie can't be protected against by Banes (as per the FAQ), and taking Banes as a diablerist makes your detachment check dice pool for diablerie rapidly approach chance die.
          As for what Banes to take, it depends on how potent the Bane is, and how often it might trigger. But whatever you do, avoid Rat King/Queen and Crossroads. The former leads to automatic failure on a multitude of rolls and is always active unless you pay WP, and the latter will absolutely cripple any low Humanity and/or non-starting character whenever it triggers. Grave Soil is also one to avoid since it will either never trigger (in which case it's a freebie and not fitting for the game) or it will be worse than Crossroads.


          Bloodline: The Stygians
          Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
          Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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          • #6
            Thanks for all the responses. We may try to house rule banes a bit. I love the basic idea, but especially after some of these responses I feel that they are not quite worth the cost, especially since I do not like to play with multiple touchstones. Maybe just eliminate the penalty to detachment rolls. The bane is a liability in itself so I do not see that the firther penalty is really appropriate considering how easily vampires can lose humanity under the best circumstances.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Newes View Post
              The bane is a liability in itself so I do not see that the firther penalty is really appropriate considering how easily vampires can lose humanity under the best circumstances.
              The point of a bane is to make it easier for a vampire to stabilize their Humanity at the cost of becoming more alien and therefore more easily alienated. They do not function as a replacement for work that goes into maintaining high Humanity, which is part of the reason most vampires even out in the 3-5 range.


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

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                Has anyone asked why you are playing this particular game yet?
                You know better Arc, giving you a warning, please don't do this again. Thanks.


                Onyx Path Forum Administrator
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Darksider View Post

                  You know better Arc, giving you a warning, please don't do this again. Thanks.
                  Duly noted. Thanks.


                  Sean K.I.W./Kelly R.A. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Sean, Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                  The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                  Male/neutral pronouns accepted, female pronouns enjoyed.
                  Currently Working On: Memento Mori(GtSE)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Newes View Post
                    Thanks for all the responses. We may try to house rule banes a bit. I love the basic idea, but especially after some of these responses I feel that they are not quite worth the cost, especially since I do not like to play with multiple touchstones. Maybe just eliminate the penalty to detachment rolls. The bane is a liability in itself so I do not see that the firther penalty is really appropriate considering how easily vampires can lose humanity under the best circumstances.
                    I've been using a group bane system that widens what you can take, so you're not so focused on one specific sin. You take a group, and any sin covered under that group you can ignore detachment. I've found it makes choices a little more worth it, and has expanded what types of banes people take. That said, the pain of the (-1) is real, and I can sympathize with just eliminating it, though I wouldn't personally make that choice.

                    Here's the alternate bane rules if curious:

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