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  • The Half Damned!?

    I am curious how this book handles the half vampires - both mechanically and the fluff?


    "No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream." - Shirley Jackson

  • #2
    The mechanics are a lot of fun and pretty unique. The fluff was seemingly written by old world of darkness writers who don't understand Vampire the Requiem 2e thematics. At least in my opinion.



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    • #3
      The first chapter is also full of some internal contradictions and undeveloped ideas. Some of it is really neat, but it is just so.. chaotic. It suffers from a lack of unified vision, IMO. The second and third chapters are a bit better, but there are still some issues in them.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by falco1029 View Post
        The mechanics are a lot of fun and pretty unique. The fluff was seemingly written by old world of darkness writers who don't understand Vampire the Requiem 2e thematics. At least in my opinion.
        Can you go into more detail? Like do they get access to disciplines, resists and weaknesses did they inherit? Etc

        The best iteration I have seen in dealing with them was the book from KoE.


        "No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream." - Shirley Jackson

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        • #5
          Alrighty, so the Half-Damned book focuses on three types of kindred associated creature: Dhamphir, Ghouls, and Revenants. I'm a fan of a lot of the mechanics, but the fluff is something to be desired in my opinion.

          Dhamphir are the product of a kindred and a human having a child, and the dhamphir carries a small bit of their kindred parent's curse due to their impossible nature. Dhamphir don't get disciplines, but they do get Malisons and Twists. Twists are more instinctual powers they can activate, they're generally nowhere near as powerful as Disciplines, and each Twist has to fall under one of the Themes of the Dhamphir's parent clan; the book helpfully provides all of the themes for each main player clan. Malisons are more sorcerous in nature, and they provide more overtly supernatural effects at the cost of the dhamphir dealing a certain amount of lethal to themselves (as described under each malison). Dhamphir that are associated with the Circle of the Crone can help, and eventualy learn, Cruac while replacing all instances of Humanity with Integrity and all vitae usage with health levels marked with lethal damage; this is a three or five dot merit.

          A lot of the dhampir fluff is kind of awkwardly edited in some places, and the book for the most part treats the kindred parent as likely being a monster (obviously). The book does briefly mention that some kindred do try to be good parents, but that's kind of hard when you're an undead bloodsucker of the night. The book also mentions that some dhamphir create pseudo-coils like the ordo dracul, but that was only briefly mentioned and not covered mechanically.

          Ghouls are the product of a kindred imbuing immortality and power into a human via blood. The ghoul gets a bit of immortality at the cost of needing to spend one vitae per month to maintain it in most cases (looking at you Ordo and that one scale). Ghouls can buy dots of their regent's in-clan disciplines at in-clan prices (including disciplines, surprisingly), and out of clan disciplines at out of clan prices. Ghouls can't spill blood for discipline usage, but may buy those levels on the way to getting higher levels; this makes them very poor with Cruac, but very scary if they can get their hands on Theban Sorcery. Ghouls can't learn coils due to the fact that they aren't kindred. The book provides some new merits that your ghoul can take in regards to vampire life, and they're mostly solid.

          The ghoul fluff is more put together than the dhamphir section, but it really hammers in home that vampires are monsters and their abusive habits towards ghouls. Oddly enough, only the Invictus was really called out on it in a sidebar, and a fair number of the invictus stuff made them weirdly and overtly evil. Not that they weren't evil before, but in the revenant section it mentions some invictus keeping stables of half-mad revenants and that just seems like a terrible idea for a covenant all about keeping the masquerade secret as their one actual job.

          And that brings us to Revenants, one of my favorite fluff wise. Revenants generally are more of a closer community due to the fact that they're more cursed than the kindred are with less benefits. Revenants lose all vitae when they rise at night, they hold less vitae, they can never go above bp 1, and they don't really have in-clan disciplines. That said, Revenants do have a few advantages over the kindred. Due to the curse being less entrenched, some Revenants can freely walk those moments between dusk and dawn, and they even managed to create a discipline to help support their feeding issues; chary is actually Revenants only, so full blown kindred can't develop it (though their is mention of a dead Siberian clan with a similar discipline to Chary). Revenants also can't develop coils and in the core book they couldn't develop blood sorcery, but half damned does have rituals for their personal use. So I think that was retconned.

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          • #6
            Sounds very interesting. It sounds likes a bummer that some of the fluff was awkward.

            What would some examples be of twists and malisons?


            "No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream." - Shirley Jackson

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            • #7
              Revenants are the only reason to buy Half-Damned tbh. I've never liked dhampir in any edition, and the contradictory mess of fluff in 2e didn't change my mind on that. And the ghouls chapter just doesn't fit with the themes of CofD.

              That said, revenants are great. Best change in the lore from 1e to 2e. If you haven't heard of them, sometimes when someone tainted by vampire blood dies of other causes, their corpse can rise up a few nights later with an insatiable hunger. They're very weak vampires with a debilitating curse: they lose all Vitae when they sleep for the day. So they're very, very hungry. Think Caitiffs from OWoD, except actually tragic rather than "lol I have the three strongest disciplines and no weakness".

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Draconis View Post
                Revenants are the only reason to buy Half-Damned tbh. I've never liked dhampir in any edition, and the contradictory mess of fluff in 2e didn't change my mind on that. And the ghouls chapter just doesn't fit with the themes of CofD.

                That said, revenants are great. Best change in the lore from 1e to 2e. If you haven't heard of them, sometimes when someone tainted by vampire blood dies of other causes, their corpse can rise up a few nights later with an insatiable hunger. They're very weak vampires with a debilitating curse: they lose all Vitae when they sleep for the day. So they're very, very hungry. Think Caitiffs from OWoD, except actually tragic rather than "lol I have the three strongest disciplines and no weakness".
                Ah. Ok. The Revanents seem really rad.

                Bummer of the Dhampir though


                "No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream." - Shirley Jackson

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                • #9
                  The Dhampir can be fun if you just rely on the mechanics and fix the fluff up yourself. Make them a unique, individual thing that there's not some "Expectation" behind for various groups.



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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by falco1029 View Post
                    The Dhampir can be fun if you just rely on the mechanics and fix the fluff up yourself. Make them a unique, individual thing that there's not some "Expectation" behind for various groups.
                    That is cool.

                    I am curious how much work it would take to bring them in line with their KoE iteration?


                    "No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream." - Shirley Jackson

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Shenron View Post

                      That is cool.

                      I am curious how much work it would take to bring them in line with their KoE iteration?
                      Mechanically, they're entirely different. They don't use disciplines of any sort (past very rarely getting cruac). You could give Dhampir a flair akin to KoE by doing different Themes and maybe giving them a unique style of malison, though, as a likely more appropriate option.



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                      • #12
                        Dhampirs are fine but you will need to read the rules 4 or 5 times before running them. Convincing a ST to let me combine Dhampir and the Physic Vampires from Hurt Locker is on my todo list.
                        Things dhampirs can do include:
                        Learning about vampires by drinking their blood.
                        Going into your dreams to remove a condition.
                        Becoming their shadow and going off without their body.
                        Regaining Willpower because something bad happened to them.
                        Bending fate to their will.

                        Just keep in mind that they can get through a lot of Willpower and some of their abilities require inflicting lethal damage on themselves.

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                        • #13
                          A lot of Dhampire rules look hard to use.


                          Hows a Dhampir Child who wants to dominate his s chool go about doing so?


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by falco1029 View Post

                            Mechanically, they're entirely different. They don't use disciplines of any sort (past very rarely getting cruac). You could give Dhampir a flair akin to KoE by doing different Themes and maybe giving them a unique style of malison, though, as a likely more appropriate option.
                            The differences in mechanics are something I figured. Especially because the Dhampir in V:tR have their own set of abilities apart from the disciplines. This was probably done to distance them from Ghouls I would assume. Them having disciplines never really bothered me.

                            I think it was the fluff and some of their oddities in their KoE iteration that first really made me like them in the WOD setting. In KoE they were still stuck in the middle of the two worlds but most vampires treated the ones that chose to interact with their vamperic parent became indie ambassadors and that has become their role in kindred society (which I think this is just an amazing idea). There was even a merit to gain status. Some of their oddities was that they had a limited blood pool but did not have fangs (I think fangs was a merit) and they regained blood be eating raw meat. They had corresponding abilities like could spend blood to heal and things like that. They are also immune to blood bonds. Their discipline choices were limited and had caps. I am drawing a blank on how their half undead bodies handled damage per vampire flavor.

                            Originally posted by Live Bait View Post
                            Dhampirs are fine but you will need to read the rules 4 or 5 times before running them. Convincing a ST to let me combine Dhampir and the Physic Vampires from Hurt Locker is on my todo list.
                            Things dhampirs can do include:
                            Learning about vampires by drinking their blood.
                            Going into your dreams to remove a condition.
                            Becoming their shadow and going off without their body.
                            Regaining Willpower because something bad happened to them.
                            Bending fate to their will.

                            Just keep in mind that they can get through a lot of Willpower and some of their abilities require inflicting lethal damage on themselves.
                            Why are the mechanics so complicated?

                            That sounds like a cool list of abilities but seems handicapped due to the cost.


                            "No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream." - Shirley Jackson

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                            • #15
                              Their not complicated but getting your mind around how some of their abilities interact with their Themes might take a few readings. They all get Omen Sensitivity and a hyped up version of Unseen Sense as standard so they have a very good understanding of what’s happening but they’re the only vampire related supernatural that can’t heal up fast. I recommend giving them a read if you can.

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