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Suikast (2e conversion)

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  • Suikast (2e conversion)

    One of my players has expressed interest in joining the Azerkatil Bloodline. It fits, strongly, with his character concept, and I wanted to help him on his way. Initially, I thought I'd do that by taking Bloodlines: The Devoted and using its Azerkatil conversion. Sadly, though, that fell through, as Devoted's form of Azerkatil was based on the Sorcerous Discipline of Kimiya...and Victor (the player's character) is a Sorcerous Eunuch (and his rejection of sorcery is fairly central to the character). So, Devoted's otherwise great conversion of the Dragonslayers wasn't going to work for me. So, I figured that I'd make one myself, instead.

    Anyway, this is my own conversion of the Dragonslayers' signature discipline, Suikast. It focuses somewhat more on the whole 'acid blood' part of the Dragonslayers, and tries to put their tracking mechanic and frenzy opposition (which I somewhat broadened) in the context of that. As such, the names of the original have nearly inverted, with "The Dragon's Own Fire" now being the first dot of the Discipline, and Will Against Wyrm as the last. I hope it's interesting enough to be useful for others.

    Suikast

    The Beast must consume. More than anything, it seeks to take prey and rend it down, take until nothing is left. So, too, must it stalk and find prey. It is dissatisfied with mere hunting: those that whet its apetite can never again be safe. Suikast expresses this desire for the hunt, allowing the Azerkatil to render down their victims to nothingness. At its base level, the Dragonslayers’ Discipline lets its user deal horrifying damage at a touch. As it progresses, it allows the Azerkatil to mark a target, rend down defenses to nothingness and - eventually - seek out and destroy their target completely.

    The Dragon’s Own Fire •

    The Dragonslayer burns with an inner fire: a potent acid that, released from her veins, it scours flesh and metal alike. By allowing minute amounts of her blood egress through her pores, the Azerkatil becomes horrifically acidic.

    Cost: None or 1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: None or Dexterity + Athletics + Suikast
    Action: Reflexive

    The Azerkatil’s acid seems through their pores. This acidic substance is mystically controlled by the Azerkatil and selective in its dissolving properties. The Dragonslayer can apply it to her Brawl attacks, but might just as easily smear it across a knife, where it causes no more than superficial damage even as it dissolves concrete, flesh and bone alike.

    Attacks enhanced by The Dragon’s Own Fire ignore armor (and equivalent protections such as Resilience) equal to the user’s rating in Suikast. Any dots of armor-piercing remaining after removing all armor instead upgrade one point of damage that the victim suffers by one level, from bashing to lethal or lethal to aggravated.

    Additionally, the Azerkatil may hurl their acid as though it was a 1L weapon with a Short Range of 10 yards. Doing so costs 1 Vitae the first time it is done during the scene.

    This acidic bite can be used to completely remove all evidence of living flesh. Without further enhancement (such as through Burn the Dragon’s Blood, below), completely dissolving a human corpse takes roughly an hour.

    At the end of the scene, the acid loses its mystical potence. As a side effect, this destroys all of the Azerkatil’s blood within the scene, rendering it useless for consumption or identification.

    Chase The Dragon’s Tail ••

    The Azerkatil were made to hunt the nightmare beast that haunted the Red Sultan’s imagination. Were they ever to face Dracula in truth, they would have to ensure that the Dragon did not escape. To this end, the Red Sultan imbued his Dragonslayers with the ability to track those they had marked.

    Cost: 1 Vitae
    Requirement: The Dragonslayer must have marked her target with her acidic blood in the past scene.
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: Instant
    Duration: One night

    The Azerkatil creates a mystical connection to her victim, which can be any person or object marked by her acid. This allows her to, for the night, know the exact direction and distance of her victim. All mundane attempts at stealth or disguise automatically fail to confound the Azerkatil, while magical attempts force a Clash of Wills.

    This power normally fades whenever the Azerkatil falls to daysleep or Torpor, though she may spend another Vitae to allow her to maintain the mystic link throughout their sleep and the following awakening. In such a way, some Elder Azerkatil are said to have hunted their prey throughout the centuries. Rumors that some of the Bloodline’s eldest once marked the Dragon himself in such a way are likely no more than that.

    Predator’s Serenity •••

    The Red Sultan knew that Dracula would try to use the tricks and powers of the mind to confound any who hunted him. The Dragon would spew his flames at a Kindred hunter and escape in the panic. To this end, he turned the Azerkatil’s burning blood inwards, allowing them to scour away both their own fears and doubts and all tricks their prey could bring to bear.

    Cost: 1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: None or Blood Potency + Suikast
    Action: Instant or Reflexive

    The Dragonslayer uses her acidic blood internally, turning it against a Condition she suffers as an instant action. If the Condition was applied through mundane means, this requires no roll. A supernatural Condition instead requires a Clash of Wills. If this Clash occurs within the same scene as the Condition was applied, do not grant the supernatural Condition any bonus for duration. Success removes the Condition without resolving it.

    Almost any Condition can be resolved, so long as it affects the Dragonslayer’s mind or emotions. It can remove the Guilty Condition as much as it can the Enthralled Condition. The only exceptions are Conditions inflicted inherently as a result of the Azerkatil’s own Beast such as Tempted, Jaded, and Wanton (if caused by a Detachment roll rather than the Predatory Aura).

    This Discipline can remove the effects of Disciplines that would otherwise prevent the Azerkatil from opposing them, such as the Mesmerized Condition inflicted by Dominate.

    Alternatively, Predator’s Serenity can be used reflexively to gain a bonus to any frenzy rolls caused by fear.

    Burn the Dragon’s Blood ••••

    The Red Sultan transmuted the Dragonslayers’ blood to hunt down Dracula. In turn, as the Azerkatil approaches mastery of Suikast, she herself learns how to transmute the blood of others - or to cause it to burst forth from them.

    Cost: 2 Vitae
    Dice Pool: Strength + Intimidation + Suikast vs. Stamina + Blood Potency
    Action: Instant and Contested

    Roll Results
    Dramatic Failure: The Dragonslayer momentarily weakens her immunity to her own acid, taken a point of lethal damage.
    Failure: The victim feels a momentary bite within his veins, but is otherwise unaffected.
    Success: The victim begins to burn from the inside out as his blood turns to acid. This damages them each turn on their initiative count. This deals only a single point of lethal damage, though it is upgraded as per The Dragon’s Own Fire.
    This damage recurs until either the victim or the Dragonslayer dies or the victim manages to escape the Azerkatil’s vicinity (using the chase mechanic if the Azerkatil is unwilling to let them go). Anyone killed by this power is dissolved completely, with no evidence save incidental damage to the area.
    Exceptional Success: The victim’s blood reacts violently, spouting acid from his veins. Everyone other than the Dragonslayer within five yards is immediately touched as though hit with a single point of acid damage from The Dragon’s Own Fire.

    Will Against Wyrm •••••

    At the apex of Suikast, the Azerkatil learn to focus their entire being on a single victim. By deciding a single victim must die, the Dragonslayer marks him indelibly with her acidic blood. At this point, the Azerkatil becomes the hunt incarnate, able to track the Dragon anywhere. Her acid gains horrific potence, the better to ensure that her victim never escapes her grasp, and extends its mystical alkahest to all things that might stand in her way.

    Cost: 1 Willpower
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: None, enhances Chase The Dragon’s Tail

    The Azerkatil can only mark a single victim with Will Against Wyrm. Once she has done so, her Suikast gains a deadly focus on the victim:
    • Her Chase The Dragon’s Tail never expires on its own.
    • The Dragon’s Own Fire now ignores all armor, and upgrades all damage she deals against the victim.
    • She may add her Blood Potency to her Suikast when rolling a Clash of Wills for Predator’s Serenity.
    • Burn The Dragon’s Blood has no cost when used on the victim.
    • No barrier can keep her from her chosen victim: All structures between her and her victim are treated as having Durability 0, dissolving like paper at her acidic touch. Similarly, she makes a Clash of Wills against any supernatural effect that would protect the victim or keep the Dragonslayer from reaching him. If she wins, the protection or barrier dissolves and ceases functioning. In addition to any other effects, this grants her Suikast dots in bonus dice on any chase roll.


    This power comes at a cost, however: She must chase the victim. At the end of any scene in which the Dragonslayer has not at least attempted to hunt her victim, she must make a roll to avoid falling into frenzy. If she fails, the frenzy continues for the rest of the night as she seeks out the victim. This counts as riding the wave for any effects that key off of that (such as the Scale of the Wyrm), as she becomes a deadly and focused predator.

    It is difficult but possible to end the effects of Will Against Wyrm early. This costs a Willpower Dot, as the hunt by which the Azerkatil has defined herself abruptly ceases to have meaning and takes a part of her with it.

  • #2
    I’d have to check but I don’t think there’s anything else that can reduce Resistance, I think you’ve made it too powerful even if it wasn’t the first dot. On a related note usually the first dot isn’t that powerful, maybe switch the first two round so the first dot is more passive before getting to the good stuff.

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    • #3
      Thank you for your feedback!

      Originally posted by Live Bait View Post
      I’d have to check but I don’t think there’s anything else that can reduce Resistance, I think you’ve made it too powerful even if it wasn’t the first dot.
      ​Hm. I think you're probably right regarding power. There's a few powers in the book that allow for armor piercing (Unnatural Aspect, Claws of the Unholy, even just using a rapier), but you're right that I don't really see anything that normally opposes Resilience. I just ran a few checks of Suikast vs. Resilience and Vigor, and it holds up a little too well: It's not quite as good as Vigor's active effect, but it's free, and unlike Vigor, it's not near the only thing the Discipline does.

      On a related note usually the first dot isn’t that powerful, maybe switch the first two round so the first dot is more passive before getting to the good stuff.
      This, on the other hand, I disagree with. The idea of a Discipline should be captured by its first dot, to whatever degree possible. Switching the dots explicitly runs against what Rose Bailey advised in Bloody Dots (She argued against 'playing keepaway with the main idea of a Discipline' and I tend to agree). Suikast, in this iteration, is very much the "your blood is acid" Discipline. Therefore, the first dot should make your blood be acid.

      For balancing the first dots, I'm thinking that I could gate part of the dot behind a Vitae cost: Perhaps have its ordinary effects function only on normal armor, and let a point of Vitae make the first dot function against supernatural powers as well. Perhaps have this shift a little to have 'damage upgrading' be removed in favor of 'oppose automatic downgrading', which generally better fits the goal of a Discipline anyway. It'd combine well with Vigor and can oppose Resilience without rendering it useless. Any other ideas are welcome, though.

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      • #4
        Supernatural damage isn’t downgraded so they would naturally do lethal damage but the only two disciplines that do lethal damage have it at the forth dot as a +2 weapon for a scene or the fifth dot also giving the Broken condition and possibly reducing Composure so I still feel it’s a bit on the strong side unless you intend for the acid to be mundane damage.
        What boon and bane are you going to give the bloodline?
        Also the ability to remove Conditions is incredibly powerful basically allowing an opt out from most attempts to use disciplines on the character and as written Amnesia, Intoxicated and Lethargic could all be removed.
        Last edited by Live Bait; 12-23-2020, 05:11 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mirthless View Post
          This, on the other hand, I disagree with. The idea of a Discipline should be captured by its first dot, to whatever degree possible. Switching the dots explicitly runs against what Rose Bailey advised in Bloody Dots (She argued against 'playing keepaway with the main idea of a Discipline' and I tend to agree). Suikast, in this iteration, is very much the "your blood is acid" Discipline. Therefore, the first dot should make your blood be acid.
          I absolutely agree with this.
          However, I also absolutely agree with not having the acid ignore Resilience. Suikast has no reason for being able to ignore Resilience because Resilience works by ignoring damage rather than preventing damage.
          I.e. Any damage the acid does will be inflicted on a vampire's body regardless of whether they use Resilience or not. Using Resilience only means you don't fill in health boxes you'd otherwise fill in. This is why Resilience is never treated as an armour rating (and thus not subject to armour penetration rules) despite being functionally similar to armour.
          Edit: When comparing the balance of Suikast vs Resilience with Vigor vs Resilience, remember that the Azerkatil would have access to both Disciplines and thus could easily stack Suikast and Vigor against Resilience.

          Also, for hurling acid you should take a look at the acid rules in Deviant. There are rules both for making attacks with acid and rules for how you take damage when being covered with acid. I think using that as a base for the first dot could make the first dot more enjoyable in use. But if you do use those rules, I'd definitely recommend having all ranged attacks cost Vitae (as well as having it be downgraded to bashing by Kindred) because they'd be much more potent.

          Predator's Serenity also has a few troubling aspects. I don't think it's too powerful in being able to remove any mundane Mental Conditions, but the cost for doing so is way too low. I think it should at least cost a Willpower point to activate, or taking unpreventable damage as the Azerkatil's acid blood literally scours away the Condition, or remove an Attribute dot similar to Nightmare 5. Having a more substantial cost also prevents spamming it against supernatural Conditions until you win the CoW.
          Almost forgot; Persistent Conditions should either have an increased cost on top of the regular cost, or not be targettable at all.

          Minor nitpicks: The dice pool for the Dragon's Own Fire should be penalised by Defense (and the ranged attack should mention requiring a roll). Predator's Serenity should not list the CoW dice pool as an activation dice pool, and it does not actually specify the bonus to Frenzy rolls.

          Originally posted by Live Bait View Post
          What boon and bane are you going to give the bloodline?
          Access to Suikast is already a boon. The Bane is probably whatever Bane they have in Bloodlines: The Devoted, unless that Bane interacts with that book's version of Suikast in a way that can't be replicated with this version of Suikast.
          Last edited by Tessie; 12-26-2020, 11:30 AM.


          Bloodline: The Stygians
          Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
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