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Cloak of Night changes

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  • Cloak of Night changes

    Does anyone else have problems with this power. Its ability to allow the user to attack someone and have no one else notice. I think its the fact it has almost no cost and that , barring Auspex, it automatically works. There is no roll to resist, no roll perceive. Pick a target and kill it one on one, even if it is in the Princes Court. No one will even notice.

    Now this isn't just about balance (tho it does feel imbalanced). Its not really fun for players to just sit, watch and wait. Additionally its kinda strange to watch your friend be torn to shreds and be obviouse tot he attack.

    How have others dealt with this ability? I'm expecting a lot of people to tell me its fine, and that's ok, but that's not the answer i'm looking for. I feel I need to tweak it, but I don't want to break the spirit of the power so to speak.

  • #2
    On the one hand, it seems extremely powerful, yes. On the other hand, vampires have plenty of ways to kill people: with the third dot of Nightmare you can twist people's beliefs into anything you want, with the third dot of Vigor you can put basically anyone into Beaten Down with a single attack, with the third dot of Animalism you can have someone be torn to shreds with no evidence left behind, and so on. If the victim is a vampire, they can also end the Obfuscate effect by Lashing Out.

    If you really want to nerf it, give onlookers the Wits+Composure minus Obfuscate roll if they see the victim of an attack or some other incidental sign, like with the lower dots.


    • #3
      Appreciate the response Draconis.

      Most of those powers however either give resist or contested dice rolls. I mean Dominate can ruin someone's day but you can at least try and resist it. Additionally your party can try and save you from yourself. I my issue with Obfuscate is that it just automatically works and no one else can intervene or help. Its not fun roleplay to just watch.

      In saying all that you may have given me ana answer. I was not aware that lashing out with the beast could break/disrupt Obfuscate is that actually a thing?

      Your second suggestion may also be a way. I am not to concerned about mortals, its mostly vampire on vampire action. Its a more combata focused game (not stupidly so) so the idea of unavoidable death is less liked.

      I don't mean to overstate the situation, I am aware everyone has their own views on things and a problem for one is not for another, but its a problem for my table and so I appreciate those ideas thanks. I am very interested in how others have viewed this.


      • #4
        Yep, p138. If the vampire attacks someone, that person can perceive them; if that person then Lashes Out, they can cause every Obfuscate effect created by that vampire to break entirely.


        • #5
          I don’t really like Obfuscate for a variety of mechanical design and power differential reasons, but I use it as written and have fewer problems with it than the 1st edition version. I strongly suggest you go back and read the entry for Obfuscate. It is no longer the fire and forget “I Win” button against anyone without Auspex or a 24/7 animal companion that it was in 1st edition.

          FYI. Draconis’ suggestion is not a nerf, that’s how Obfuscate is supposed to work per the book.

          1. Obfuscate does not require Auspex to see through it. Obfuscate can be seen through with a successful, albeit penalized, Perception check. People who make Perception a trash skill for their character will have problems with a low level Obfuscate user but characters that take and use Perception boosting merits and specializations should not be consistently failing Perception checks to notice Obfuscate users. Especially when they do stupid shit thinking nobody will possibly see them and don’t bother with more than 1 rank in Stealth, Subterfuge and Larceny.
          2. Anyone who has Obfuscate used on them is immune to all other Obfuscate powers the attacker is using. This leads to #3.
          3. Lashing Out successfully (which requires you to successfully perceive, key word here, the target first) doesn’t just let the victim see through Obfuscate (they already can if they were successfully targeted with it), it breaks EVERY Obfuscate power the Obfuscate user is running at the time. That includes things like the Oubliette effect they may have placed on their haven a few nights ago. So, by RAW, Lashing Out is a potentially devastating counter you should think about in terms of applicability particularly since you were previously unaware that it broke Obfuscate. Granted, if it’s an assassination attempt being thwarted, fuck ‘em. But it may be a bit of an overkill response if the Obfuscate user was merely listening in on a private conversation and they knocked over a vase by accident.

          To use Cloak of Night, they would have to use Touch of Shadow first, which entails a successful attack roll (unless the target allows the contact) and a reflexive Larceny roll. Onlookers may get a penalized perception check. The victim, however, automatically sees through Obfuscate. They can attack if they like, or Lash Out. Instant action. Either the Obfuscate user defends against the Lash Out effect or they withdraw and auto lose. If the Obfuscate victim successfully Lashes Out, they break all Obfuscate effects. If not, they remain Obfuscated w/ relevant penalties to onlookers who are not the victim. Relevant Predatory Aura Conditions are also in effect depending on the winner.


          • #6
            Very helpful responses I am glad I posted. I have found part of my problem was that I was using Blood and Smoke 2013, it appears it was in VtR 2e 2014 that they added the Lash Out rules. I wasn't aware of that till Draconis was giving me page numbers for things simply not there. So that does make me happier

            Tsusasi, while Touch of Shadow can be used to pull a victim into the effect making them disappear to everyone, it does appear that simply with Cloak of Night on yourself you can attack, and while everyone was seeing it happen, they still wouldn't be able to perceive you, even as they watch their friends head bouncing off the hood of a car. Something that just bugged me.

            Now the rules of perception I read (perhaps wrongly) as applying to tracking. It involved a Wits+Composure - Obsfucate vs Stealth+something+Obs, rolling once per MINUTE needing to make the users roll. Are you suggesting to run it more like Face in the Crowd?


            • #7
              Cloak of Night is an extension of Face in the Crowd so that's what makes people think the Wits+Composure-Obfuscate roll still applies, but I'm not so sure since it's written in the Cloak of Night text that only the struck victim can percieve the vampire. Everyone else will still realise that something happened, and if they have Auspex they'd probably start using it that turn.

              For the tracking: It's once per turn, can be teamworked, and it's not contested. The vampire rolls Wits+Stealth+Obfuscate to set a target number for the extended action.
              Successfully tracking the vampire doesn't break Cloak of Night, though. It only allows the trackers to know where the cloaked vampire is (but for other vampires that should be enough to Lash Out).

              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)


              • #8
                while Touch of Shadow can be used to pull a victim into the effect making them disappear to everyone, it does appear that simply with Cloak of Night on yourself you can attack, and while everyone was seeing it happen, they still wouldn't be able to perceive you, even as they watch their friends head bouncing off the hood of a car. Something that just bugged me.

                Actually that’s a textbook example of an Obfuscate user being stupid. That would automatically warrant a Perception check with bonuses that may offset the Obfuscate penalty.
                If they wanted to pull that kind of attack off, they should use Face in the Crowd on themself, spend vitae to vanish, approach the prospective victim, make a touch attack (if it’s a surprise attack Obfuscate modifies the Perception check and if the target has Danger Sense, Trained Observer etc. they get their modifiers also) - if struck, the victim automatically sees the Obfuscate user. If successful, they use Touch of Shadow and spend another vitae to do a Reflexive Wits + Larceny roll. If THAT succeeds, everyone else who is not getting attacked gets a penalty to the Perception check. Those are the first three sentences of the Cloak of Night entry after the Action type classification line.

                The last few sentences in Cloak of Night have the tracking rules as rolls every turn, not one roll every minute. (Although if they’re trying to get on the trail of the Cloaked character several minutes after they left the area I’d go one roll a minute if at all.) Obfuscate user rolls Wits + Stealth + Obfuscate and successes are the tracking target. (This is where almost every Mekhet player I’ve played with bones themself because they think they only need Larceny to use Obfuscate effectively.) Wits + Resolve + BP - Obfuscate rating, the check is made every turn and teamwork can be applied. They get the total of their Wits + Resolve number of turns to accumulate the target number.

                Whether or not you want to turn tracking into a single turn potential detection roll, is up to you. I personally would not do that unless the victim of Obfuscate use are player characters and at least one of them present invested in boosting their Perception abilities. There is a line in the game between being fun for the Obfuscate user and being fun for those who don’t have Obfuscate.
                Last edited by tsusasi; 07-07-2019, 08:33 AM.


                • #9
                  Another point here:

                  Touch of Shadow has limits that further impede this. The subject of Touch of Shadows can make themselves visible to anyone they directly interact with. So an enemy vampire using Obfuscate to try to isolate one PC at a time has to keep their target from tapping their friends on the shoulder. Even if it doesn't reveal the enemy, it at least lets the group interact with the target PC who can direct them where to attack under the attacking blind rules and so on.

                  Nobody does this in Elysium because it's painfully easy for it to backfire. All the target needs to do is tap anyone and say, "I've been attacked by a concealed vampire!" assuming they don't know their attackers name, and every vampire that can Clash of Wills Obfuscate will immediately do so, and the Obfuscate assassin is going to get hunted down and killed.


                  • #10
                    Yeah, it's a stealth murder power that throws out any idea of combat fairness in favor of "that's what vampires could fucking do."

                    But it can be countered, as many people in this thread have explained.

                    Cavaliers of Mars Creator


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Rose Bailey View Post
                      Yeah, it's a stealth murder power that throws out any idea of combat fairness in favor of "that's what vampires could fucking do."

                      But it can be countered, as many people in this thread have explained.
                      And while it can complicate another Kindred's night somewhat, it *really* ruins a mortal's fun.

                      Like many powers, the first use case is for hunting.



                      • #12
                        Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't attacking someone with Obfuscate's 'Cloak of the Night' count as an surprise attack/ambush? If so, you get to roll a Wits + Composure (versus the vampire's Dexterity + Stealth + Obfuscate) to notice the ambush in time to react. if you succeed the roll, you get to apply your Defense like normal, and even react with reflexive actions (meaning you can interrupt the attack with Celerity as well). At least, that's how I've always ran it.


                        To quote two things from the book that led me to this conclusion:

                        Characters who don’t realize that they’re about to be on the
                        receiving end of bloody violence have a chance to notice the
                        ambush by rolling Wits + Composure, contested by the attacker’s
                        Dexterity + Stealth. Any character who fails the roll cannot take
                        an action in the first turn of combat, and can’t apply Defense for
                        that turn. Determine Initiative in the second turn as normal.
                        (found on page 176 of VtR 2e)

                        If the vampire attacks someone or cries out, Cloak of Night
                        continues to obscure him, adding Obfuscate to the surprise roll.
                        Only the struck victim can perceive the vampire.
                        (found under 'Cloak of Night' on page 138 of VtR 2e)
                        Last edited by Tomorrow's Nobody; 07-09-2019, 07:57 PM.


                        • #13
                          The OP may not have updated to the latest version from their DriveThru library, now that I think about it.

                          Cavaliers of Mars Creator