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  • Razikale
    started a topic Your experienced characters

    Your experienced characters

    I've never had the chance to actually play Vampire (either game) even though I've read about them a lot, so I'm a bit curious what characters end up looking like after some play. Both in terms of character development and actual stats. Maybe a bit more the latter. Coming from D&D it's very easy to look ahead and see what a character might look like at X level. I'm very curious how it goes in Vampire.

    What does a neonate look like after a year (or several) of regular play?

    Have you played Elder characters? What kind, and how did you build them?

    What character did you enjoy playing the most?

  • Draconis
    replied
    I think it would be somewhere around 50 in 2e; it was originally a 1e game, which means the limit was somewhere in the hundreds (since 1e numbers were a whole lot higher).

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  • Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by Draconis View Post
    Very true! When I ST'd a higher-experience game at one point, I represented that with "reallocation": when you hit a certain threshold, you stop earning normal xp. Instead, you earn "reallocation xp" (with "reallocation beats" etc). Every point of "reallocation xp" you spend also removes one point of xp from somewhere else on your sheet.
    That's really interesting. What was the threshold?

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  • Draconis
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael View Post
    Well, there's a slight issue for NPCs that the system doesn't represent maintaining skills. Like, if you're prince for several decades, it'd be extremely easy to just fall back into using your authority to order others around, and as a result those finely honed empathy and socialise skills that got you there start to get less impressive.
    Very true! When I ST'd a higher-experience game at one point, I represented that with "reallocation": when you hit a certain threshold, you stop earning normal xp. Instead, you earn "reallocation xp" (with "reallocation beats" etc). Every point of "reallocation xp" you spend also removes one point of xp from somewhere else on your sheet.

    So you can't totally swap out your merits every night, and you learn new Merits/Skills/Disciplines as usual—but everything you learn represents something else forgotten or atrophied. Maybe your new dot in Computers comes at the expense of an old dot in Ride that you haven't used in a hundred years. Or you've spent so long learning that new tier of Coil of the Quintessence that your mastery of Resilience begins to atrophy.

    (Alternately, you might give a mixture of normal and reallocation xp, if you want Elders to keep growing albeit slower.)

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  • Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by Reslin View Post
    I believe Elders might be various experience levels. I can imagine some "Ancillae" having more power than the Elders. Generally I ignore the books suggestion for PC characters and either don't worry about "Actual" experience points for elders or give them "1 exp per year active." To me a Vampire is likely to grow in power based on what they've done and how active they are. So if a player outstrips the elders of the city in a short period of time it means their character has just achieved that much and simply had a lot of potential. However.. elders are usually in very hard to reach places given their long lives.
    Well, there's a slight issue for NPCs that the system doesn't represent maintaining skills. Like, if you're prince for several decades, it'd be extremely easy to just fall back into using your authority to order others around, and as a result those finely honed empathy and socialise skills that got you there start to get less impressive.

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  • Ventrue Life
    replied
    My players are close to getting to 50 experience per character. In real time we have been playing for about 1 year and 3 months now. The in-game time that has passed is... 6 months..

    Yeah, I probably need to dial back the amount of Beats I give my players, or have the in-game time go faster... We tend to roleplay a lot of details and missions that could be skipped over or handled with a down-and-dirty roll or something. Most tasks the players undertake are actually played out on screen. Hence the out-of-wack time/experience proportions I guess...

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  • Reslin
    replied
    Originally posted by RadioFreeDeath View Post
    So that comes out to about 3 xp + a year. That seems pretty reasonable. I have always been curious as to how different tables play. I wish I had time to play three times a week!
    Yeah, I miss it. We're down to once a week. But you know real life happens. Personally we're not worried about how fast characters advance. Like in a recent campaign we've had 10 sessions and are ignoring the beats for this one. So it's just been "1 exp at the end of each session." "2xp at the end of the chapter." and "4 exp at the end of each story." In game it's only been 3 weeks and the players have accumulated around 15 exp. Might seem fast but it's a fast moving campaign that involves the players being members of VII and in game it's a story about how VII has secretly been a masquerade in the masquerade that's been taking the fight to the strix and those that endanger the masquerade. A bunch of secret police fighting the good fight in the shadows while trying to hide what they're doing in Vampire Society. Each player has secretly "Infiltrated" a different covenant and swap secrets among each other. If this gets out they'll likely be executed as traitors and terrorists.

    We feel the nature of the danger and the amount of fights (and what they're fighting) justifies the fast paced experience and each night we have really dangerous stuff come up. A player has already died in the line of duty. (No upset happened there. Felt natural.) Each campaign is different of course but I'm about to introduce a time skip as well so..

    That being said, I wouldn't worry about how much in game time progresses in a campaign based on the experience points of the PC's given that the PC's are likely to be some of the most active vampires in the community. As long as the story is moving and there's drama everything's good. IMO everyone might feel differently.

    So yeah to stay on topic. I believe Elders might be various experience levels. I can imagine some "Ancillae" having more power than the Elders. Generally I ignore the books suggestion for PC characters and either don't worry about "Actual" experience points for elders or give them "1 exp per year active." To me a Vampire is likely to grow in power based on what they've done and how active they are. So if a player outstrips the elders of the city in a short period of time it means their character has just achieved that much and simply had a lot of potential. However.. elders are usually in very hard to reach places given their long lives.
    Last edited by Reslin; 03-25-2019, 05:03 PM.

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  • RadioFreeDeath
    replied
    So that comes out to about 3 xp + a year. That seems pretty reasonable. I have always been curious as to how different tables play. I wish I had time to play three times a week!

    Leave a comment:


  • Reslin
    replied
    Originally posted by RadioFreeDeath View Post


    Out of curiosity how much "in-game" time has this character been in?
    Oh boy fair question but very hard to answer. I was role-playing the character one to three times a week skipping a few here and there but for the most part it was consistent. Time spent playing could range anywhere between two hours and thirty minutes to five hours. If you add all of this together probably over several hundred hours because 15+ hours a month isn't unheard of. Lately I've been role-playing a lot less and that usually means once a week campaigns at 2-3 hours. Our group agonizes over this being "Slow." but it can't be helped given we have a group member who is overseas in the military at the moment.

    I am fortunate to have a circle of friends who all love to role-play and a wife who is deeply involved in it as well. We don't just do Chronicles of Darkness style roleplay either but anything from pathfinder, to scion, 3.5/Pathfinder mixed, and Starfinder. So we usually have games going all week and anytime we got some free time and no other responsibilities? Game time. A few of us LARP (I don't.) So to make the answer short.. character has spent an embarrassing amount of time in game but I wouldn't have it any other way. Hope that helps!

    If you mean by in-game time as in.. "Alive" as a Vampire rather than "Play Time." 76 years.

    A friend of mine is about to start a campaign that will start in the wild west and might press into modern day. Really excited for that one.
    Last edited by Reslin; 03-25-2019, 04:22 PM.

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  • RadioFreeDeath
    replied
    Originally posted by Reslin View Post



    Oh! Wanted to also state since it's in the spirit of the thread.. I agonized over the idea of going to blood potency 6 and only did so near the very end of the campaign because I managed to find a reliable way of feeding on kindred blood to avoid blood bonds and viniculum. It would have probably (in hindsight) been more beneficial to go coil of voivode for that but blood potency 6 is no joke in the maintenance department and I think in the long run provided more weaknesses than benefits. Our campaign didn't make it easy especially since the city we were in had a rule that drinking another vampire's blood was a punishable offense. (Not by death but was looked down upon) You were expected to go into torpor. So part of being comfortable surviving on Vampire blood had to be about avoiding getting caught doing it.

    Out of curiosity how much "in-game" time has this character been in?

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  • Reslin
    replied
    Originally posted by Wormwood View Post

    That's 50 dots of skills! Impressive.

    Its interesting that we use very different approaches- I specialize strongly, to reduce overlap within the coterie, whenever possible. Then again, I'd have to simulate what my Kindred would look like with another ~210 Co... at some Point, you will have to generalize.
    I just counted to be sure. I might have exaggerated how much I put into skills but it's definitely a whopping 27. So almost 30. 8 Extra dots in attributes. 27 extra dots in disciplines. Interesting that my discipline dots are equal to my skill dots. Oddly of my discipline dots only two dots are maxed. Obfuscate and Coil of the Wyrm. Coil of the Ascendent is his only other coil (at 4) with two more being at 4 and the rest at 3 or 2. Then there's 17 additional merit dots and some devotions/scales. Blood potency was raised to 6. No attribute is "naturally" (as in non-enhanced by resilience/vigor) above 5. I actually.. have no skills at 5 either. So close when I reached a cap I felt I just needed something else instead but yeah very generalist mindset. He was a ton of fun to play but has retired. 250 experience and multiple years is a long time for a character.

    Several others in our group also have similar characters but went about building their characters in radical different ways. Like the hound master with everything under the sun to aid him in tracking, very focused on animalism, K-9 fighting Merit, multiple devotions related to it, is fond of using Raise The Familiar and Undying Familiar, everything that aids in keeping him alive. Basically made his character as unkillable as possible who can find anything or anyone. His philosophy is the best way to survive the requiem is just.. making sure nothing could kill you. He surrounds himself with tough animal body guards and has the disciplines to escape or survive any kind of encounter. His character stubbornly was not a people person and when confronted about eventually having to make friends he opted out lol. Took a more "Let them come" approach and that they'd "Never find him." Used circle of the crone Cruac to protect his hideouts and himself.

    So basically I think there are as many high experience vampire variants as there are vampires. Anyone to make it this far or have been through this much will have their own methods on how to ensure to be safe but I agree that we have different philosophies it seems. I had a huge variety of discipline thread at 40 exp and my group at the time made fun of me for "lacking direction." but it worked itself out. Haha. My character never felt caught off guard. The running joke was when anything went sideways, "I have a plan." also oddly enough in my group I had the second highest humanity at 4. Our humanity levels were.. 5, 4, 3, 2.

    Oh! Wanted to also state since it's in the spirit of the thread.. I agonized over the idea of going to blood potency 6 and only did so near the very end of the campaign because I managed to find a reliable way of feeding on kindred blood to avoid blood bonds and viniculum. It would have probably (in hindsight) been more beneficial to go coil of voivode for that but blood potency 6 is no joke in the maintenance department and I think in the long run provided more weaknesses than benefits. Our campaign didn't make it easy especially since the city we were in had a rule that drinking another vampire's blood was a punishable offense. (Not by death but was looked down upon) You were expected to go into torpor. So part of being comfortable surviving on Vampire blood had to be about avoiding getting caught doing it.
    Last edited by Reslin; 03-23-2019, 08:51 PM.

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  • Wormwood
    replied
    Originally posted by Reslin View Post
    So I am new to these forums and this is my first post but I've been playing since Masquerade and that was until Requiem 1st edition came out (to which I loved) and once 2nd edition came out it got even better. I have a long term character that has accumulated over 250 experience that I've been playing since 2nd edition launched. To answer the question as to how to play an Elder (even though age wise he's an ancilae.) or how we build them.. he's not actually over specialized in any single area. Our campaigns are more about politics than they are about combat but espionage, assassination, aiming threats in the city at rivals to "accidentally" remove them are all common plays. I have over 100 experience in skills, a laundry list of merits, and even more experience in disciplines/attributes that allow easier access to social maneuvering, escape, and even combat. For me when I play or think of an Elder I think of one who can handle anything his enemies might throw at him.

    To me a high experienced Kindred should be able to navigate any arena and for me this is how I often view my Elders when I am a storyteller. They've been around the block and have played the game long enough they have a good idea of all the different angles they might be assaulted from. Anywhere from daytime ghoul raids, espionage, corporate sabotage, black mail, direct attacks, indirect attacks, and even being framed. So for me the characters are built accordingly. It's better to be a generalist than super specialized because it's the thing that you're bad at that gets you. Just my humble opinion of course. There's no wrong ways to play!
    That's 50 dots of skills! Impressive.

    Its interesting that we use very different approaches- I specialize strongly, to reduce overlap within the coterie, whenever possible. Then again, I'd have to simulate what my Kindred would look like with another ~210 Co... at some Point, you will have to generalize.

    Leave a comment:


  • Reslin
    replied
    So I am new to these forums and this is my first post but I've been playing since Masquerade and that was until Requiem 1st edition came out (to which I loved) and once 2nd edition came out it got even better. I have a long term character that has accumulated over 250 experience that I've been playing since 2nd edition launched. To answer the question as to how to play an Elder (even though age wise he's an ancilae.) or how we build them.. he's not actually over specialized in any single area. Our campaigns are more about politics than they are about combat but espionage, assassination, aiming threats in the city at rivals to "accidentally" remove them are all common plays. I have over 100 experience in skills, a laundry list of merits, and even more experience in disciplines/attributes that allow easier access to social maneuvering, escape, and even combat. For me when I play or think of an Elder I think of one who can handle anything his enemies might throw at him.

    To me a high experienced Kindred should be able to navigate any arena and for me this is how I often view my Elders when I am a storyteller. They've been around the block and have played the game long enough they have a good idea of all the different angles they might be assaulted from. Anywhere from daytime ghoul raids, espionage, corporate sabotage, black mail, direct attacks, indirect attacks, and even being framed. So for me the characters are built accordingly. It's better to be a generalist than super specialized because it's the thing that you're bad at that gets you. Just my humble opinion of course. There's no wrong ways to play!

    Leave a comment:


  • Razikale
    replied
    Originally posted by Wormwood View Post
    ...
    Thank you, that was a nice read!

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  • Wormwood
    replied
    Well, since you asked for sheets I could share the one active Kindred I play (slightly changed to account for the next batch of purchase). I don't know if you can consider him 'late game' but I did sink 40-ish xp into the character. Short overview: The character is part of a criminal coterie, originally mainly responsible for money laundering, book keeping, resources etc. Prefers to work indirectly through others or from behind a screen (could topple your corporation by changing a one into a zero ). He joined the Ordo because the idea of transcending the limitations of his state spoke to him in many ways (since becoming Kindred was something that to him was a sort of dark ascension, he considers it the logical evolution from human to kindred to reach something even more). He went into the Coils of the Voivode (which was something of a surprise at first), because it fulfills a desire of power over others. In combination with his Dominate, it helped interrogate and enslave more than one enemy.
    Current goals are creating a custom Scale to create a drug made from his Vitae to butt into the drug market (ideally, it'd also establish blood bonds, or at least take his Coil of the Voivode 1 into account) and set the stage to create an additional power base of addicts.
    Another goal is to experiment on the patients of the hospital at which his ghoul works, e.g. to test-run his drug by putting it into the blood bags. His Humanity is suprisingly high because I was really, really lucky on dicerolls.

    Name: Jonathan O'Connor
    Clan: Ventrue
    Covenant: Ordo Dracul
    Mask: Follower
    Dirge: Authoritarian
    Bloodline: none
    Concept: Ruthless Evil "Moriarty"-type Banker



    Intelligence: 4
    Wits: 2
    Resolve: 2

    Strength: 2
    Dexterity: 2
    Stamina: 2 (+1 Resilience)

    Presence: 3
    Manipulation: 3
    Composure: 2



    Academics: 4 (Accounting) [Asset]
    Computer: 3 (Databases, Hacking) [Asset]
    Crafts: 0
    Investigation: 0
    Medicine: 0
    Occult: 2
    Politics: 0
    Science: 2

    Athletics: 0
    Brawl: 0
    Drive: 0
    Firearms: 2
    Larceny: 1
    Stealth: 3
    Survival: 0
    Weaponry: 0

    Animal Ken: 0
    Empathy: 3 (Cold Reading) [Asset]
    Expression: 3 [Painting]
    Intimidation: 2 (Blackmail)
    Persuasion: 0
    Socialize: 2
    Streetwise: 1
    Subterfuge: 3



    Merits
    Professional Training (Corrupt Banker) [Asset Skills: Empathy, Computer, Academics] 4
    Contacts (IRS, FBI) 2
    Allies (Dirty Judges) 2
    Allies (Corrupt Cops) 3
    Allies (Reporters) 2
    Status (Bank) 3
    Haven Security (shared) 1
    Resources 5
    Retainer 4 (Ghoul Medical Worker)
    Ordo Status 1
    Honey Trap

    Disciplines Dominate 4
    Resilience 1

    Coil of the Voivode 3

    Scales
    Blood Cleansing Ritual

    Health: 8
    Willpower: 4

    Blood Potency: 1
    Humanity: 7


    Size: 5
    Speed: 9
    Defense: 2
    Armor: 0
    Initiative Modifier: 4

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