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Merit: Bloodhound - is it worth it for my character?

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  • Merit: Bloodhound - is it worth it for my character?

    Character has Acute Senses (BP1 still), Trained Observer (3 dot version), and Auspex 2. Wits 3 and Composure 3. I am trying to make a really good investigator-type character.

    Help me out here please - So basically on VtR 2nd on page 90 they discuss the difference between tasting and smelling blood. So basically I can make a Wits + Composure check to smell blood and get that same information on the side panel "A Taste of Blood". That's what Bloodhound does?

    But Bloodhound doesn't increase my smell range, it is still ten yards or meters per dot of Blood Potency without rolling. Multiply this range by her Auspex dot. So for me it is 20 yards or meters?

    And I can smell the blood inside of someone or does their have to be an open wound? What does "blood source" mean for Bloodhound on page 110. What if I go to a busy area, within 20 yards I can detect every individual and roll to get that information or am I just taking a penalty to differentiate between smells?

    I am just having a hard time with understanding this merit. Any advice on this?












  • #2
    You use whatever measuring system is used at your table.

    And it’s up to the ST on whether or not blood source is ‘anything with blood’ versus an ‘open wound or collected or spilled sample’. Whether or not you can identify a specific individual in a crowd before or after sampling their blood is also up to the ST. Vampires can normally auto detect blood from open wounds if the blood is in range, or identify someone if they tasted their blood no roll required.
    I penalize rolls if the blood isn’t from an open source or is kept in a magically sealed or airtight container.

    My personal recommendation, if you want to make a good investigator character, would be to forego the Bloodhound merit unless your build is centered around only getting information from eating kindred vitae. Instead concentrate on the Investigate and Empathy skill and specialties such as tracking, forensic analysis, pattern recognition, kinesics, or paralanguage.
    Last edited by tsusasi; 12-06-2018, 07:56 PM.

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    • #3
      Of course the biggest benefit of Bloodhound, in my opinion, is the fact that smelling Kindred Vitae doesn't incur blood bonds or Vitae addiction, while tasting Kindred blood does.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ventrue Life View Post
        Of course the biggest benefit of Bloodhound, in my opinion, is the fact that smelling Kindred Vitae doesn't incur blood bonds or Vitae addiction, while tasting Kindred blood does.
        Exactly. You're able to find out about fellow vampires without incurring or risking blood bonds. That's the main benefit. Hell, say a vampire spikes a drink with their blood, you'd be able to detect that type of duplicity, too. It's not all-powerful, but it certainly has niche benefits when it comes to dealing with blood that you don't want in your mouth.

        Arguably, it also helps keep up the Masquerade. Say you're investigating a blood-splattered scene, and you're surrounded by fellow investigators and mortal witnesses, it's probably far more subtle to scent out a scene than it is to lick the carpet or stick a bloody finger in your mouth after poking a dead body.
        Last edited by Jack; 12-09-2018, 12:16 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jack View Post

          ...it's probably far more subtle to scent out a scene than it is to lick the carpet or stick a bloody finger in your mouth after poking a dead body.
          Oh great! How's my nosferatu supposed to be all creepy an shit now?

          /joke

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ventrue Life View Post
            Of course the biggest benefit of Bloodhound, in my opinion, is the fact that smelling Kindred Vitae doesn't incur blood bonds or Vitae addiction, while tasting Kindred blood does.
            I would check with the ST before assuming that since the merit doesn’t mention becoming immune to vinculum and there are examples of characters getting blood bonded without tasting vitae and a bloodline who’s shtick is that they can suck others into vinculums by converting their vitae into perfumes.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tsusasi View Post

              I would check with the ST before assuming that since the merit doesn’t mention becoming immune to vinculum and there are examples of characters getting blood bonded without tasting vitae and a bloodline who’s shtick is that they can suck others into vinculums by converting their vitae into perfumes.

              I said nothing about immunity to vinculums...
              Under normal circumstances, smelling Vitae does not incur Blood Bonds, only tasting it does. You have to imbibe the Vitae for the Blood Bond to come into play. Depending on the ST, this could happen when you taste Kindred blood to use your Kindred senses on it. The Bloodhound Merit works around that risk, by allowing you to use your Kindred senses on the blood through smelling it instead of imbibing it.
              Last edited by Ventrue Life; 12-18-2018, 06:52 PM.

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              • #8
                Edit: Whoops. Wrong thread.
                Last edited by Ventrue Life; 12-18-2018, 07:13 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ventrue Life View Post


                  I said nothing about immunity to vinculums...
                  Under normal circumstances, smelling Vitae does not incur Blood Bonds, only tasting it does. You have to imbibe the Vitae for the Blood Bond to come into play.



                  Depending on the ST, this could happen when you taste Kindred blood to use your Kindred senses on it. The Bloodhound Merit works around that risk, by allowing you to use your Kindred senses on the blood through smelling it instead of imbibing it.
                  In general practice, I agree because I only allow vinculums to be established via tasting vitae or injection save bloodline specific powers, various sorceries, and scales as outlined. Sniffing vitae may count as imbibing it. Dripping vitae into your eyes may count as imbibing it. Mainlining vitae with a syringe into one’s veins may count as imbibing it. As I said, check with the ST. The merit makes no mention of its beneficiary avoiding the risks of vinculum that come with exposure to vitae, merely that they can use scent in conjunction with taste for extracting erudite information about the blood’s owner.

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                  • #10
                    The book is quite clear. You need to imbibe at least one point of Vitae for the Vinculum to form. Smelling or even tasting Vitae (as long as it's just a taste and not enough to increase your Vitae pool) does not do it.
                    And it makes sense for it to require one Vitae and not just taste alone. Unlike Vitae addiction, the Vinculum is an active supernatural effect and I think you need to drink a meaningful amount for it to actually trigger.


                    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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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tsusasi View Post

                      In general practice, I agree because I only allow vinculums to be established via tasting vitae or injection save bloodline specific powers, various sorceries, and scales as outlined. Sniffing vitae may count as imbibing it. Dripping vitae into your eyes may count as imbibing it. Mainlining vitae with a syringe into one’s veins may count as imbibing it. As I said, check with the ST. The merit makes no mention of its beneficiary avoiding the risks of vinculum that come with exposure to vitae, merely that they can use scent in conjunction with taste for extracting erudite information about the blood’s owner.
                      None of those examples count as imbibing unless it gives you 1 point of Vitae, as Tessie pointed out.
                      Tasting Vitae might count as imbibing, but as a player I would insist on getting 1 point of Vitae if my ST would require me to spend Willpower and roll to resist a Vinculum, because the book says it requires 1 point of Vitae for the Vinculum to come into play, but smelling Vitae never counts as imbibing Vitae, unless stated otherwise.

                      Tessie is right, for the most part. The volume of the blood has no direct correlation to the amount of Vitae it contains to the best of my knowledge, especially when dealing with Kindred blood. One drop of Kindred blood might contain 1 Vitae, 5 Vitae or no Vitae at all. It probably depends on the vampire's Blood Potency. a BP5 vampire can spend 5 Vitae in 1 turn, and could therefor, in my opinion, create a single drop of blood in 1 turn containing all 5 Vitae.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ventrue Life View Post
                        Tessie is right, for the most part. The volume of the blood has no direct correlation to the amount of Vitae it contains to the best of my knowledge, especially when dealing with Kindred blood. One drop of Kindred blood might contain 1 Vitae, 5 Vitae or no Vitae at all. It probably depends on the vampire's Blood Potency. a BP5 vampire can spend 5 Vitae in 1 turn, and could therefor, in my opinion, create a single drop of blood in 1 turn containing all 5 Vitae.
                        There's no direct correlation, but it's weird to assume you can fit any number of Vitae in any amount of volume. I'd assume that even at BP 10 a Vitae would still take up a at least a centiliter. That's a crazy small amount as it is already as 75 cl (a max Vitae pool at BP 10) is ~15 % of the average blood volume in an adult.


                        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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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tessie View Post

                          There's no direct correlation, but it's weird to assume you can fit any number of Vitae in any amount of volume. I'd assume that even at BP 10 a Vitae would still take up a at least a centiliter. That's a crazy small amount as it is already as 75 cl (a max Vitae pool at BP 10) is ~15 % of the average blood volume in an adult.

                          Why? Vitae isn't anything substantial. It's a mystical property with no mass or volume. They might as well rename Vitae or Life because that's what the Latin word means, and that's exactly what Vitae is. To me, it's no different than "mana", or "aether", or "the force" (Star Wars) for that matter.

                          So why would you assume "life" must have a minimum volume or mass? After all, it's not like the vampire himself grows more bulky and bloated when he increases in Blood Potency and is able to store more Vitae. I see no problem with a BP10 vampire storing 15 Vitae in 1 single drop of his blood.
                          Last edited by Ventrue Life; 12-18-2018, 08:50 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ventrue Life View Post
                            So why would you assume "life" must have a minimum volume or mass? After all, it's not like the vampire himself grows more bulky and bloated when he increases in Blood Potency and is able to store more Vitae. I see no problem with a BP10 vampire storing 15 Vitae in 1 single drop of his blood.
                            The kind of symbolic shorthand ChroD works with tends to be fairly concrete; "a vampire at the height of its mystical potency applying as much power-in-the-blood as it is capable of channelling at once — an amount that is greater than the vast majority of vampires can even retain, never mind use in one go — looks different than it spending a smaller amount" is appropriate and within spec, particularly given that Vitae is stored in and primarily gained through the physical medium of blood, lacks explicit instances of "a disproportionately small amount of this physical substance can fill your reserves" like Geist has with Plasm gained from successful use of Pass On.

                            This is a game where most of the stuff you're going to be spending more than two or three points of Vitae on is a Big Bloody Ordeal as a matter of course; Crúac is the big one, but Animalism and Obfuscate both also provide instances of direct correlation between Vitae cost and blood volume.
                            Last edited by Satchel; 12-19-2018, 12:52 AM.


                            Resident Lore-Hound
                            Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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