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Ideas for a thematic Gangrel BP scaling Merit/Bane

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  • Ideas for a thematic Gangrel BP scaling Merit/Bane

    [Edit: Somehow, I forgot actually ask a question. So I've added that. Also edited for length/relevance.]

    Hi Everyone. I'm putting the final touches on a VTR game that I am STing and wanted some advice on a homebrew bane/merit for one of my PCs. Any/all thoughts, comments, advice, disagreement, etc are appreciated. Sorry for the wall of text. Also, sorry for the formatting -- it's my first post.

    My goal with this is to provide a thematic clan-specific merit/bane that has the potential to be used by the players as an extra tool but also a means of screwing them over. I don't want it to take away player agency -- instead I want to give them (and my NPCs) a cool toy that will lead to some interesting drama.
    EXAMPLE: For the Daeva, I am thinking that if you spend more than one scene in the same area as a human, the greater a chance of their becoming obsessed with you. If she's in a crowd of people, it's at ST/player discretion who becomes obsessed. So if the Daeva PC is trying to lay low in a bar for a few scenes. I roll BP-1. On a 10, a human will take an uncomfortable interest in the PC. On an exceptional success, that same someone becomes a creepy stalker. 10-again applies. So the PC trying to lay low while waiting for a contact to arrive? Now the unscrupulous cop in the corner whose wife just left him has decided you are the woman he's waited his whole life for.
    I need help coming up with an idea for my Gangrel PC. I see the Gangrel as representing the vampire archetype of someone who is stripped of humanity yet gains power. Someone who leaves society and when the winter comes they are stripped of any civilization within and they become wild primeval monsters. It seems that their theme is something like the compromising of morality/principles/humanity in exchange for power. In the Gangrel bane, you see this presented in the fact that Gangrel lose the ability to resist frenzy as they lose humanity, yet their ability to ride the wave is left unhidered. In fact, they may get an automatic advantage for riding the wave because one of their clan attributes is Composure. They are penalized for attempting to remain "rightous" and are constantly tempted to "compromise" with extra power and the promise that "it won't be that bad, you'll still be in control".

    I really like the Hunger Dice and Atrocity Dice mechanics from V5/Danse Macabre, and I like the idea of the Red Surrender, but feel like it's too crunchy.

    So, with this in mind, here are the ideas I've come up with.:
    1. You can add any (BP - 1) atrocity/hunger to any dice pool for clan-stereotypical action.
    2. You are able to gain up to (BP-1) willpower per scene in exchange for that same number of atrocity/hunger die replacing regular die in some relevant roll (up to ST/player discretion).
    3. Per session/night, for one scene, you are able to gain up to (BP - 1) temporary dots in any skill or in-clan discipline. All rolls in this scene have that same number of atrocity/hunger die added to their dice pools. After this scene, future dice pools will be replaced with atrocity/hunger die until (something interesting happens). For vampires who would end up with more than 5 dots in a discipline, they they gain access to devotions (maybe even make up a devotion on the spot).

    In #1 the players are encouraged to act bestially, which will then affect them long term -- but I feel like this is kind of boring and railroads the players. #2 represents using the beast as being pleasurable and fun by using willpower -- but I am worried it might not be useful enough to actually get any use. #3 takes the first option and opens it up to all skills and in-clan disciplines because we always hear about how the Gangrel are some of the most sagacious kindred, gaining wisdom by communing with their beast, but we never see why/how that plays out. So I represent that connection with the beast with insight into any skill and the spontaneous manifestation of in-clan disciplines. But I am worried that it is too overpowered.

    What would you suggest? Or change?

    Feel free to skip the next two paragraphs -- everything in brackets is just added context.
    [Context: Because of the high mortality rate in my city, there won't be much of a chance to see much vampire-specific strangeness (not many NPCs have very high BP, very few have learned high level Disciplines, everyone tends to die before their humanity drops too far, and nobody's blood has diverged very far). So I want to give my PCs some toys to play with. Sort of a... "Cursed with Awesome" clan-specific trait that will scale with BP.

    On Atrocity/hunger die: whenever you take on atrocity/hunger die, they either are added to a dice pool, or replace some number of die in that dice pool. When an atrocity/hunger die contribute to a success, your intentions are subverted by the beast (if you aim to be empathetic, you are coercive; if you aim at veiled threats, they are blatant or cross some personal moral line). On a success with only atrocity/hunger dice you accomplish your goal, but with horrible consequences (you aim to intimidate, and you torture; you try to beat the guy up, and you murder; you chase someone and you break the masqurade). Take the number of atrocity/hunger dice in play as a detachment penalty.]

    Last edited by DubiousRuffian; 09-11-2018, 11:53 PM.