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Auspex 2: Is he a ghoul?

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  • Auspex 2: Is he a ghoul?

    Hello,

    Should Auspex 2 be able to reveal someone's ghoul status?

    Currently, my thinking is that no, unless it's an exceptional success.

    My reasoning is such: Question asks about supernatural creatures, the examples clearly point at major templates of a werewolf and a mage. Given how widespread supernatural powers (arguably, everyone can do supernatural shit), I figured there needs to be a definition.
    For me, that is Supernatural Creature - someone with a supernatural tolerance stat.


    Further information on how detectable this is, can be found in Taste of Blood. On a normal success it provides the same information as Auspex 2 example question on supernatural creatures (Is this person a supernatural creature, and if yes, and if you tasted it before, what type?). On an exceptional success, it can also reveal ghoul status. This to me, clearly shows that the information is much harder to get, so should either be under exceptional for Auspex 2 (extra details for question), or higher levels of Auspex.

    I'd like to rule it this way:
    Major Template/Supernatural Tolerance Trait - Revealed under Auspex 2 / Normal Taste of Blood
    Minor template - Revealed under Exceptional Auspex 2 / Exceptional Taste of Blood
    Human, not revealed, even if possessing supernatural merits.

    I'm looking for more opinions, and justifications for why the ruling should be a certain way.


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  • #2
    Ghouls have a BP of 0 which answers my question.


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    • #3
      The sample questions of Auspex 2 are just this: sample. I'd rather rule it yes. Auspex 2 reveals secrets and weakness. Being a Ghoul, drinking Vitate of vampire, is most of the time a very secret hence should be detectable by Auspex (at least for the duration of such condition).
      There is no reason to consider supernaturals only major splats. BP as others, is only a mechanic for the game to define the power of a specific supernatural being.
      Ghouls are capable to use disciplines as vampires do (although with some limitation) so I can't see how they cannot be considered as supernatural.
      Maybe you can describe them with a subtle smell of corrupted vitae instead of a more powerful sensation which would be provided by a vampire.

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      • #4
        As Marcus mentioned, the sample questions are just examples. Auspex 1-3 doesn't have any stated limitations on what you can ask; only what you can apply those powers on. Whatever limits you want to put on Auspex is going to be 100% ST fiat.
        It's honestly why I don't really like Auspex as written. My group ran the rules as written and when we started getting dots in Auspex it quickly escalated to the point where Auspex became the by far most used Discipline for two Gangrels and one Daeva. Only special Devotions and similar powers from other splats may counter Auspex in any meaningful way. In our next planned VtR game I've pushed for us to put down some hard limits before we even start to make it more manageable, despite planning a Mekhet character for that campaign.


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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tessie View Post
          As Marcus mentioned, the sample questions are just examples. Auspex 1-3 doesn't have any stated limitations on what you can ask; only what you can apply those powers on. Whatever limits you want to put on Auspex is going to be 100% ST fiat.
          It's honestly why I don't really like Auspex as written. My group ran the rules as written and when we started getting dots in Auspex it quickly escalated to the point where Auspex became the by far most used Discipline for two Gangrels and one Daeva. Only special Devotions and similar powers from other splats may counter Auspex in any meaningful way. In our next planned VtR game I've pushed for us to put down some hard limits before we even start to make it more manageable, despite planning a Mekhet character for that campaign.
          I agree. Auspex is a bit broken. It's a nice idea poorly designed.
          I would implement any kind of resisted if not contested rool at least. And the 4th power should be contested, maybe with the victim aware that his mind is being violated.

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          • #6
            4th dot is contested. But that's not really the problem, nor could contested/resisted rolls work as a solution for the three first dots because only one of them is against a target that can actually contest/resist.
            The main problem is that there's no limit on what you can ask and receive answers about. There's already a practical limit on how many pieces of information you can reveal, but there's no limit to how important information you can pull up with a single question, and each question makes it so much easier to figure out what question you should ask next to find the juicy info. I don't think resisted/contested rolls would do nearly enough because the Discipline user is always at an advantage when it comes to rolling, and as I said a single question could be all it takes to find someone's darkest secret or solve an entire mystery.
            Queue people who say knowing stuff is not enough to solve things: To you I say that the vast majority of whodunnit stories is about finding out the answer, with only the very last part being about acting on that information.


            Bloodline: The Stygians
            Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
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            • #7
              I think the balancing part of Auspex 1 and 2 is supposed to be the way the answers are communicated.

              Like, if you ask "Has this person committed any secret crimes?", you don't get "They broke into the Archbishop's occult library and stole valuable books". You get "The smell of dust and old paper accompanied by a surge of adrenaline." If you ask "Is this person a ghoul?" you don't get "Yes, they're a ghoul", you get "You taste the copper of blood in your mouth, cold but full of life."

              The problem with the Discipline is that's incredibly hard to balance. Go too far into impressions and metaphor and the power is useless. But if you're too direct, it makes the power way too powerful. Plus it is like time-consuming and a fair amount of work on the Storyteller's part to come up with good answers.

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              • #8
                Plus someone might not think of what they did as a crime. Plenty of people do things that would class as crimes if not for the government giving them permission or even ordering the act. If the bishop wants me to kill someone and keep quiet afterwards it it a crime to do the will of God? If so what else might qualify?

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                • #9
                  Agree with Live Bait.
                  I only judge valid what is really considered a secret from the victim perspective for Auspex 2 pusposes.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Live Bait View Post
                    Plus someone might not think of what they did as a crime. Plenty of people do things that would class as crimes if not for the government giving them permission or even ordering the act. If the bishop wants me to kill someone and keep quiet afterwards it it a crime to do the will of God? If so what else might qualify?
                    Originally posted by Marcus View Post
                    Agree with Live Bait.
                    I only judge valid what is really considered a secret from the victim perspective for Auspex 2 pusposes.
                    ​A murder done in secret is still a secret, and anyone who's remotely rational will still realise it's a crime even if they believe it's justified to commit it.

                    Besides, I don't think subjective perspectives (and failure to compensate for them when formulating questions) is nearly common enough to be considered a balancing factor.


                    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
                      To be ever so perfectly blunt, most gamelines have at least one power that can ask open ended questions, either about a target or about *literally anything*. Which tells me it's not a flaw in design, it's on purpose, that in CofD you can't simply design a plot that unravels around one or even a few questions being answered right, that's not what it's meant for.



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                      • #12
                        Wade and Falco have a good point to make. You really have to look at the monsters themselves, and the ST has to base their answers on creativity and internal balance. A mage and a vampire using their mystery solving powers should come to the same conclusion, but in a way that the PLAYERS feel highlights the monster they are playing and the feel of the moment. After all, it's less about solving the riddle than enjoying the riddle.

                        Should Auspex reveal a ghoul? Maybe not directly. Should auspex reveal that someone is tainted by vampire blood? Definitely, at least as easy as a mage would. Beasts and mages could solve that question with their innate powers, as might a relatively sane changeling who knows what Vitae is. I see no reason for a vampire to have a LOT of trouble figuring it out aside from the fact that a secret, unknown ghoul is more likely to be an interesting storyline to unravel for a vampire than it is for crossovers in which the revelation is less important.

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                        • #13
                          Honestly, I do not see why a vampire would even need Auspex to recognize a ghoul to begin with. You hear their heartbeat, but smell the tang of Vitae on their breath. A living person with Vitae? Has to be a ghoul or thrall. At most, a low Blood Potency Kindred might have to do a regular Perception roll, if the power of their Kindred Senses is weak.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by saibot View Post
                            Honestly, I do not see why a vampire would even need Auspex to recognize a ghoul to begin with. You hear their heartbeat, but smell the tang of Vitae on their breath. A living person with Vitae? Has to be a ghoul or thrall. At most, a low Blood Potency Kindred might have to do a regular Perception roll, if the power of their Kindred Senses is weak.

                            Why would you smell their vitae on their breath, assuming they washed their mouth/brushed their teeth since they drank blood last time?


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                            • #15
                              One wouldn't necessarily smell vitae on their breath per se. (They could inject it like heroin or vitae could be incorporated as a flavoring in a larger meal.) but kindred are hyper attuned to detect it. If vitae simply circulates through the bloodstream/nervous system/endocrine system etc. around and around ad infinitum in a ghoul until expended or sucked out via kindred feeding or ritual, it's technically possible for a kindred in close proximity to detect it in a ghoul via kindred senses.

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