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  • Leyoz
    started a topic Dominate 1

    Dominate 1

    Hi All,

    I am very new to this system so please forgive me.

    There has been a number of topics on Dominate but from everything I find I can't quite get my head around it, or perhaps I am reading/doing it wrong.

    Dominate level 1 seems very strong to me, for a level one discipline, as there is no restriction on danger or harm, except that damage breaks the effect. The dominate dice pool is much stronger than the resistance pool, even when using it on powerful vmapires or other supernaturals.

    For example, my neonate PC may use their action with dominate to an antagonist they are fighting with:

    "Kill your allies"

    "Stand perfectly still"

    and get an extremely useful and powerful effect in a combat situation. Much more so than other disciplines. Or am I doing something wrong? Such as letting eye contact be too easy?

  • Marcus
    replied
    Originally posted by Jack View Post
    You recalled right.

    Under Roll Results: "Once she has inflicted the Mesmerized Condition, the vampire can command the victim as an instant action. (p. 131)"




    I'm not as certain that higher cognition is retained, though - at least not at all times while subject to Mesmerized.

    The same description goes on to say: "When the vampire who inflicted this Condition gives you a command, you cannot resist. If it’s something that you wouldn’t normally do, you might look like you’ve been hypnotized or that you’re sleepwalking, but otherwise you look and act normally." It says that "you also can’t quite remember what happened while you were under the vampire’s spell." It states under Iron Edict "as with Mesmerize, the vampire’s control doesn’t extend to commands that rely on the victim’s interpretation. (p. 132)"


    I always played it your way that any breaking point will resolve the Mesmerized condition, but re-reading the condition it says to resolve the condition that you have to "Experience a breaking point as part of a vampire’s command. (p. 305)" With that re-read in mind, I don't think witnessing the supernatural or extreme violence would qualify unless it's a part of a vampire's command. For instance, I think a breaking point would happen if they were commanded to attack a loved one, or commanded to do something abhorrent that would cause a breaking point. Perhaps being commanded to witness or watch something horrifying would qualify, but it seems to me that a breaking point on its own isn't enough to break the condition.

    Thoughts?

    Personally, I would prefer to keep playing it that any breaking point does "shock someone awake".
    I agree that not all the breaking point are waking up the mesmerized. Jisy if they are happening to follow the command.
    I always ruled like that.
    On the other hand, if the command is: stay still. And during that you are witnessing amy breaking point like, seing supernaturals or so, then you'll resolve the condition as the command is avtually to stay still in front o f that breaking point too.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jack
    replied
    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    I might've recalled wrong about the order also taking an instant action, but it's explicit that you can't issue the order the same turn unless you roll an Exceptional Success.
    You recalled right.

    Under Roll Results: "Once she has inflicted the Mesmerized Condition, the vampire can command the victim as an instant action. (p. 131)"

    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    I take that description to apply to regular social situations, which makes it a relatively subtle change in behaviour for most. They don't seek out opportunities to interject themselves into discussion, but do respond when prompted.
    In combat I'd seek to portray it with a comparative degree of subtlety, meaning the character carries on doing what they did as well as reacting to what happens, but without attempting to draw any new attention and is more likely to retreat if the chance is given. They'd not actively try to find openings for retreat or peaceful surrender unless that was what they already wanted.
    Originally posted by Tessie View Post

    "You’re not obviously hypnotized — you’re a bit quiet and reserved compared to normal, but nothing out of the ordinary."
    - Mesmerized description

    You most certainly retain higher cognition. Being subject to Mesmerized is very subtle, to the point where most wouldn't even notice it (much less realise why) unless they're trained to.
    I'm not as certain that higher cognition is retained, though - at least not at all times while subject to Mesmerized.

    The same description goes on to say: "When the vampire who inflicted this Condition gives you a command, you cannot resist. If it’s something that you wouldn’t normally do, you might look like you’ve been hypnotized or that you’re sleepwalking, but otherwise you look and act normally." It says that "you also can’t quite remember what happened while you were under the vampire’s spell." It states under Iron Edict "as with Mesmerize, the vampire’s control doesn’t extend to commands that rely on the victim’s interpretation. (p. 132)"

    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    Also, Mesmerized resolves when taking damage, or when experiencing a breaking point. For mortal antagonists, this tends to involve basically anything supernatural (such as the Gangrel sprouting horrible claws or anyone getting shot with visible bullet holes but no bleeding) and for most people it also involves witnessing extreme violence. Attacking your friends will also be a breaking point for almost all humans. For vampires, impassioned violence is a Humanity 4 breaking point. If it's against close allies you could bump it down to Humanity 3. Anything involving violence against Touchstones is also generally a breaking point. Acting against a regnant in a blood bond is also a breaking point (always for mortals, at different Humanity levels for vampires depending on the strength of the bond).
    I always played it your way that any breaking point will resolve the Mesmerized condition, but re-reading the condition it says to resolve the condition that you have to "Experience a breaking point as part of a vampire’s command. (p. 305)" With that re-read in mind, I don't think witnessing the supernatural or extreme violence would qualify unless it's a part of a vampire's command. For instance, I think a breaking point would happen if they were commanded to attack a loved one, or commanded to do something abhorrent that would cause a breaking point. Perhaps being commanded to witness or watch something horrifying would qualify, but it seems to me that a breaking point on its own isn't enough to break the condition.

    Thoughts?

    Personally, I would prefer to keep playing it that any breaking point does "shock someone awake".

    Leave a comment:


  • DubiousRuffian
    replied
    Huh, I must have completely overlooked that. I'd just assumed you'd basically finish whatever it was you were doing, and then wait for instruction. Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • Tessie
    replied
    Originally posted by DubiousRuffian View Post
    I don't know that I'd have the character able to retreat/surrender. Like, maybe if they were already in the process of raising their hands, they'd finish the action, but I interpreted the mesmerized state as being a receptive hypnotic one where higher cognition is cut off.
    "You’re not obviously hypnotized — you’re a bit quiet and reserved compared to normal, but nothing out of the ordinary."
    - Mesmerized description

    You most certainly retain higher cognition. Being subject to Mesmerized is very subtle, to the point where most wouldn't even notice it (much less realise why) unless they're trained to.

    Leave a comment:


  • DubiousRuffian
    replied
    I don't know that I'd have the character able to retreat/surrender. Like, maybe if they were already in the process of raising their hands, they'd finish the action, but I interpreted the mesmerized state as being a receptive hypnotic one where higher cognition is cut off.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tessie
    replied
    Originally posted by Leyoz View Post
    Why does it take two turns to issue a command? Wouldn't a vampire be issuing a command as they make eye contact?
    I might've recalled wrong about the order also taking an instant action, but it's explicit that you can't issue the order the same turn unless you roll an Exceptional Success.

    Originally posted by Marcus View Post
    In addition to what correctly specified above, there are different opinions about whether a mesmerized subject (first turn) would still attack you or not as the book states victim become quite and reserved compared to normal, which is mostly in contrast with the idea of a fighting person.
    I personally tend to make the victim suddenly quite, stopping fighting if not to survive or find his way out.
    I take that description to apply to regular social situations, which makes it a relatively subtle change in behaviour for most. They don't seek out opportunities to interject themselves into discussion, but do respond when prompted.
    In combat I'd seek to portray it with a comparative degree of subtlety, meaning the character carries on doing what they did as well as reacting to what happens, but without attempting to draw any new attention and is more likely to retreat if the chance is given. They'd not actively try to find openings for retreat or peaceful surrender unless that was what they already wanted.

    Leave a comment:


  • Leyoz
    replied
    "Considering "the vampire can issue a command in the same action as mesmerizing a victim" is the Exceptional Success result for Mesmerize?"

    It might help if I actually read the rules properly, thanks! That makes it still super strong, but less game breaking.

    Leave a comment:


  • Marcus
    replied
    Originally posted by Leyoz View Post
    Why does it take two turns to issue a command? Wouldn't a vampire be issuing a command as they make eye contact?
    In addition to what correctly specified above, there are different opinions about whether a mesmerized subject (first turn) would still attack you or not as the book states victim become quite and reserved compared to normal, which is mostly in contrast with the idea of a fighting person.
    I personally tend to make the victim suddenly quite, stopping fighting if not to survive or find his way out.
    Last edited by Marcus; 01-10-2020, 05:58 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Leyoz View Post
    Why does it take two turns to issue a command? Wouldn't a vampire be issuing a command as they make eye contact?
    Considering "the vampire can issue a command in the same action as mesmerizing a victim" is the Exceptional Success result for Mesmerize? No. The Discipline normally has to land first — "a second" is a meaningful length of time.

    Leave a comment:


  • Leyoz
    replied
    Why does it take two turns to issue a command? Wouldn't a vampire be issuing a command as they make eye contact?

    Leave a comment:


  • Marcus
    replied
    I agree to what stated above about Breaking Point resolving the condition. I see it far more effective commanding someone to leave rather than fight alongside you.
    Non the less it's very circumstantial. Having even just one hit dealt from a Werewolf in Gauru to one of your opponent, could be very effective and probably won't even break the effect.
    Last edited by Marcus; 01-09-2020, 08:34 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tessie
    replied
    Mesmerize generally requires one action to apply and a different action to give a command. The victim should've had time to act once or twice before the command is given. Once the command is given, it only applies until they're damaged one time, and since you spent an action applying the Condition first they got a free shot at attacking you first. And even after the order has been given, the character can still choose to do stuff that isn't covered by the order. The guy who was told to attack their ally (should they not resolve the Condition by doing so) will likely put themselves in a defensible position so you can't attack him. The gal who was told to stand perfectly still might take that turn to activate a Discipline like Unnatural Aspect for those +2L AP2 claws that deal lethal to vampires (or just shoot at you if she has a ranged weapon).

    Also, Mesmerized resolves when taking damage, or when experiencing a breaking point. For mortal antagonists, this tends to involve basically anything supernatural (such as the Gangrel sprouting horrible claws or anyone getting shot with visible bullet holes but no bleeding) and for most people it also involves witnessing extreme violence. Attacking your friends will also be a breaking point for almost all humans. For vampires, impassioned violence is a Humanity 4 breaking point. If it's against close allies you could bump it down to Humanity 3. Anything involving violence against Touchstones is also generally a breaking point. Acting against a regnant in a blood bond is also a breaking point (always for mortals, at different Humanity levels for vampires depending on the strength of the bond).
    On top of that, Dominate and other mind control powers tend to outright fail if the victim is in Frenzy (and combat usually ends in Frenzy since taking damage is a trigger and you gain both bonuses to physical rolls and to your bite attack while in Frenzy). At most you can use Dominate to nudge someone in Frenzy towards a different target, provided there is another suitable target present. Emphasis on suitable, as allies should rarely count as suitable and you might not be able to redirect anyone who has the goal of subjugating a specific individual for personal reasons.

    It can be an extremely powerful effect in combat, but you generally never get more than one turn out of it so you better hope it's worth the time you spent on applying it in the first place.

    Leave a comment:

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