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Prepaying Vitae to have powers ready

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  • Prepaying Vitae to have powers ready

    After looking everywhere trying to understand how to properly pay for powers that require more Vitae than you can spend in a single turn, I arrived at the following:
    "Part of activation cost in Vitae for a power can come from Vitae spent previously in the same scene that wasn't used to power anything else, at least one Vitae must be spent in the turn the power is used."

    If anyone has some rule or know what is the intended way for how this work by the developer, I would love to hear.

    These are my arguments:
    To support that I use two ruling from the book:
    - Some powers that require more Vitae that can be spent in a single turn still happen as an Instant Action (there is no halfway Protean 5 smoke form, you either do it or do not), so for sure previous spending is a needed.
    - The devotions Juggernaut's Gait and Hint of Fear both mentioned being "prepared" in advance. Juggernaut's Gait goes in detail how that is done.

    So based on that I would say that a vampire can spend Vitae previously and have it in reserve to activate some power when he so desires. Now, since most uses of everything in the book are restricted to the same scene, I would say that is also applicable here.

    One point follows: after I have Juggernaut's Gait prepared, can I still heal damage after that? Or I cannot use Vitae until I use Juggernaut's Gait? I would say that you can use Vitae, you are a Vampire, not a D&D wizard with a prepared spell... Another way to look at it is a vampire with blood potency 2, he spends 2 Vitae wanting to power Protean 5, but in the following turn he takes a damage, so he decides to heal the damage reflexively and THEN using the final Vitae to change into smoke. I don't see why this couldn't be done.

    Now the only point of contention is: the previous spent Vitae must have its usage specified in advance? Meaning, do I have to say "I'm spending one Vitae to Powe Protean 5 soon" or can I just spent a Vitae and say what is it for later? I would say no. Since Vitae is a mystic currency, you can decide what you use it for after you "cash it all out", if you cannot use it you lose it. Saying that some Vitae is attached to some power feels very much like the previous point about D&D wizards. Since the books recommends using chips for tracking Vitae, it is just a matter of putting a stack of chips in from of the player for the Vitae he already "prepaid" in the scene.

  • #2
    Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is that if a power requires you to spend more of a supernatural fuel resource than your per-turn limit, you spend multiple turns doing so, and if you stop doing so before the power is activated then it's lost. (Deviant instead has the cost only apply once the power is successful, but the resources being played with in that game have higher stakes and no per-turn limit.) There is, meanwhile, no precedent in any of the lines for spending fuel and having it not be committed to the thing you were spending it on.


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    Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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    • #3
      When you divide Vitae spending over two or more turns, you actually spend it during those turns. You can't just spend it on nothing and decide retroactively what it was spent on during subsequent turns.

      How it works is that you can partially pay for the cost of a Discipline or Devotion during any number of turns. These turns all have to be subsequent; you can't just take a pause because that would cancel the activation of the power, and the spent Vitae is wasted. During the turn where you spend the last Vitae required in the cost, you also need to use whatever action is needed to activate the power, or all that Vitae is wasted.
      For example, if a BP3 Gangrel is in a flaming building and can't get out in one turn, he may spend one Vitae on Resilience to mitigate some of the damage, and then his remaining two Vitae on Juggernaut's Gait, while spending his action to run as fast as possible. (Or he could've started spending two Vitae on JG and then one on Resilience; the order of spending doesn't matter.) The next turn the Gangrel spends all three Vitae on Juggernaut's Gait and activates it to become immune to all damage during that turn (and since Juggernaut's Gait is reflexive, he can still take another instant run action).


      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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      • #4
        Tessie, but see, you touched two of the points that I talked about. You said that he can spend for Juggernaut's Gait and meanwhile also spend on Resilience. So the spending wasn't continuous.

        Also, in Juggernaut's Gait it is said that it can be left prepared and activated when needed reflexively spending one Vitae. So at least here (Hint of Fear also has the "prepared phrasing") it seems that the Vitae spending doesn't have to be in sequential turns and can be "on hold".

        What I tried to do was generalize it so that it is clear how it works since there is no rule saying how it works (there isn't even a rule saying that a BP 1 Gangrel can activate Protean 3 that costs 2 Vitae by spreading the cost in two turns). I don't really think that characters would starting spending Vitae just to have it ready without a plan, because he will probably lose that. There aren't many powers that uses more than one Vitae, even less so that makes sense to be used sequentially.

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        • #5
          It wasn't continuous on a single power, but it was over sequential turns which is what the rule says.

          The text in Juggernaut's Gait is not a separate ruling. It's just a clarification and a tip because most characters never reach the point where they could spend enough Vitae in a single turn to pay for it. Note that nowhere does it say you're allowed to take a pause in the spending. It just clarifies that you may hold the last Vitae during the last turn until you know you want to spend it.
          Example: BP3 Gangrel is staring at the nozzle of a flamethrower. Fortunately the enemy has already acted that turn, so he spends three Vitae on Juggernaut's Gait that turn. The next turn he'll spend the final two Vitae if the enemy fires at him when the enemy fires, but can decide not to and let the activation fizzle if the enemy does something else or is distracted by the Gangrel's ally or something.

          To be fair, I can't find the rule about spreading costs out in the Vampire core book, but it's identical across all games that use this style of fuel traits. See Mage and Changeling if you have one of those books.


          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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          • #6
            I assume well the talking part of spend order isn't important the action would be. So for example the BP 3 Gangrel player says I charge JG with two points of Vitae and also spend another point to pop resilience but the action in the game world would be instead he spends one point on resilience and then the last two to start charging JG. Now for the prepared phrasing you would first need to prepare JG by spending the 5 points of vitae and then you can keep it in your back pocket and use other powers. But if you start charging it and don't finish ot interrupt it by say using another devotion that cost 2-3 points of vitae that turn then you would lose the charging of JG.

            edit: guess I was wrong and that you would still need to keep charging it but can hold off finishing it by the comment above mine.

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            • #7
              It could be that I'm mistaken. I just have the Chronicles of Darkness and the Vampire the Requiem books.
              I agree that it makes sense to have the Vitae spent be towards a specific power, I generalize it is a build up in power over several turns just because, that feels more mystical and the idea that you can pay for some power but have nothing in return until the power is fully paid sounds awkward (I'm will change into smoke, just a few more turns, any time now). But I concede that the intent wasn't that.

              Regarding the "prepared" power, I feel like JG would be a huge waste to anyone that can't invoke it at once. It is an expansive power (one of the most expansive in the book), that if cannot be left prepared until a turn that is needed, would have to time just right to be involved 5 turns in advance (at BP1). What if there was no need for it this turn? The Vampire just burned half their Vitae for nothing. Therefore I see no reason to prevent a power to be charged just in the back of the head of the vampire to be activated when the time comes...

              I thought of Vitae spending to activate a power, as you and others said as fuel or currency, and elevated that analogy to the simplest terms. So if I can save it over time to pay for something that costs more than I can produce in a single turn, that amount of fuel is available (until the end of the scene) the same way a currency would be.

              I will try to get a hold of Mage since I plan on playing it in the future, but I'm was quite lost without a rule for it in Requiem.

              EDIT: I asked a friend that has mage and it seems that only Pattern Restoration costs more than one Mana and it specifically mentions that being interrupted stops the action. Everything else seems to cost just one Mana per "activation" (like Physical Intensity or most other powers). I'm not sure Mana is analogous to Vitae.
              Last edited by luizborges; 11-05-2020, 06:39 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by luizborges View Post
                Regarding the "prepared" power, I feel like JG would be a huge waste to anyone that can't invoke it at once. It is an expansive power (one of the most expansive in the book), that if cannot be left prepared until a turn that is needed, would have to time just right to be involved 5 turns in advance (at BP1). What if there was no need for it this turn? The Vampire just burned half their Vitae for nothing.
                Yeah. Vampires are typically risk-averse for a reason and this Devotion calls itself out as rare and used by elders for a reason.

                EDIT: I asked a friend that has mage and it seems that only Pattern Restoration costs more than one Mana and it specifically mentions that being interrupted stops the action. Everything else seems to cost just one Mana per "activation" (like Physical Intensity or most other powers). I'm not sure Mana is analogous to Vitae.
                Mana reduces Paradox risk dice at a one-for-one rate and Paradox risk gets bigger as you raise Gnosis.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Satchel View Post
                  Mana reduces Paradox risk dice at a one-for-one rate and Paradox risk gets bigger as you raise Gnosis.
                  But this is also limited by Gnosis. I fell that this is analogous to Physical Intensity, where you don't spend additional Vitae on the same activation, you activate it multiple times, therefore it is limited by your Blood Potency. So, the Paradox is also activation based.

                  EDIT: Forget what I said above, someone already corrected me that it just increase the casting time if you want to mitigate more paradox that your gnosis.

                  EDIT2: My friend pointed this to me, which shows that Mana is diferent that Vitae (which is spent reflexively and don't affect your actions):
                  Mages taking multiple turns to cast a spell (usually because they are utilizing Yantras or spending more Mana than their Gnosis allows) still apply Defense against attacks but may not make combat actions unless another rule such as the Adamant Hand Merit allows it.
                  Last edited by luizborges; 11-05-2020, 02:29 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by luizborges View Post
                    EDIT2: My friend pointed this to me, which shows that Mana is diferent that Vitae (which is spent reflexively and don't affect your actions):
                    Mages taking multiple turns to cast a spell (usually because they are utilizing Yantras or spending more Mana than their Gnosis allows) still apply Defense against attacks but may not make combat actions unless another rule such as the Adamant Hand Merit allows it.
                    That's a function of spellcasting, not Mana expenditure. The implication about having to start casting an instant action spell (even if you don't incorporate any Yantras during that time) in order to spend Mana on Paradox mitigation is countered both by the text that is specifically about spending Mana to mitigate Paradox ("though she can spend the Mana over multiple turns prior to casting the spell.") as well as the general rule for Mana expenditure ("Mages attempting a feat that requires Mana above their Gnosis-derived spending limits may take as many Turns as needed before the action to spend the required Mana. If they are interrupted or change their minds part-way through, Mana spent is still lost."). Bolded the last part because that's relevant to other points of this discussion.


                    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
                      Sure, and I partly agree that spending Vitae without a predefined usage is a bit of stretch, but here I'm just trying to make things simple. I asked on the Mage discord group if a Mage can delay the release of the spell after all the Mana cost and everything else is paid for. Just one person replied but he said "I guess, so long as he keeps the concentration" and I agree. Now this is the difference between vampiric powers and spellcasting, the first doesn't require concentration, you just spend the vitae meanwhile you can do anything else, while the second demands concentration. This goes in line with my argument that a vampire can have a power paid for and delay it's activation until it is really needed.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by luizborges View Post
                        Sure, and I partly agree that spending Vitae without a predefined usage is a bit of stretch, but here I'm just trying to make things simple. I asked on the Mage discord group if a Mage can delay the release of the spell after all the Mana cost and everything else is paid for. Just one person replied but he said "I guess, so long as he keeps the concentration" and I agree. Now this is the difference between vampiric powers and spellcasting, the first doesn't require concentration, you just spend the vitae meanwhile you can do anything else, while the second demands concentration. This goes in line with my argument that a vampire can have a power paid for and delay it's activation until it is really needed.
                        Here's the problem: Again, we have no precedent for blank-check pre-spending your fuel, and the nearest thing we do have is Promethean's model for Alembics, which is "spend 1-3 Pyros on this Alembic to gain access to its powers for the scene."

                        A mage loading the requisite Mana for a safer casting can't take combat actions, but that's because every step of instant casting besides using the first Yantra is an instant action. You can still kick on your Mage Armor Attainment or activate Mage Sight and not break focus on constructing the Imago that brings a spell into existence, you just have to commit that continuous effort until it's ready, which is how every other splat works.

                        Your answer from the Mage Discord is referencing a thing that isn't part of spellcasting except as a Yantra, and one that tends to be used to extend the duration of a spell at that — if you're not going to cast the spell, you don't cast the spell, and if you want to pre-cast and have it go off later then there are specific means of doing that. You might as well try and save the calories you'd spend on lifting a heavy object by flexing your muscles five minutes prior.


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                        Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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