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The Icelus Foundation and Psychognosis

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  • The Icelus Foundation and Psychognosis

    So I was reading the Icelus bloodline and their whole scheme. I'm having trouble understanding the appeal, mechanically speaking.
    They have a merit that allow them to tap into the dreams of a subject to give them a boost in their discipline uses.

    The problem's I have with this are:
    - The victim must be willing
    - The willpower cost is huge
    - The benefits seems minor

    Point 1:
    Psychognosis only work on willing victims, wich per se is fine, but them, to have some easy access you need to use it on something that you already have like your Herd. Making it also needs a second merit for good use.

    Point 2:
    You need to spend 1WP to activate the hypnosis and 1 more for each technique, so, at least 2 WP to use the merit for a boost in a discipline. If you want to use all the benefits, this increases to 6 willpower points. You also needs to spend more willpower in certain levels to get some benefit, or vitae.

    Point 3:
    The benefits this merit gives to the disciplines are not as rewarding, some more questions on Auspex, or minus 1 to 3 dices to resist Dominate.

    Kindred normally don't dream. Having access to the dreams of the kine should give some way to get Willpower or other form of resource, that's the whole propaganda of the bloodline, they have discovered a way to tap into the infinite source of energy that is the dreams and use it for their own benefit. What do you guys think about the bloodline?


    Check my homebrews:
    Vampire Bloodlines: Abhartach, Kiasyd, Melissidae
    Ordo Dracul Coils: Primal Blood
    Mage Legacies: Infernal Ones, Daoine

  • #2
    The Willpower cost is up to six Willpower to give its bonuses to all the relevant uses for a night in a splat whose aura effect is optimized to give them exceptional successes and the Inspired Condition. Vampires get Willpower from being vampires. It would be one thing if the benefits only applied to the character you used the hypnotic state on, but "Spend Willpower for the effects you want to use and you get them against everything for the session" is not nothing.

    It's a Merit whose prerequisites include something characters get for free from membership in the bloodline's Mystery Cult. Breaking the limits of multiple once-per-night or once-per-scene effects is not nothing for that price, nor is ignoring multiple dots' worth of Resistance Traits, getting more answers to your basic Auspex questions for the night, and/or extending the memory-scanning power of a mind-reading Discipline to a real-time feed beyond your immediate presence are pretty swell bonuses to get for a maximum cost of five Experiences.

    As for willing victims, remember that this is a bloodline of vampire psychotherapists made up of Mekhet and Ventrue who run a cult. Functionally needing to be with a client to do the prep for using the Merit is not a huge restriction, given that — again — having any level of initiation in the Mystery Cult (much less Influence) gives you the relevant specialty and social sway with people if Vampire's wealth of "get free Merits equal to your Covenant Status" Merits wasn't doing its job.

    The bloodline has access to two clan-specific Disciplines and a particular concept. Its special trick built through the least expensive variety of Trait to purchase is allowed to be a little niche.


    Resident Lore-Hound
    Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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    • #3
      Just to be sure. If I use the 2dot technique Diagnostic Dreaming, and use Auspex 1(Beast’s Hackles), your normal success count as an exceptional success, so, you get the Inspired condition? You get Inspired from exceptional sucess on Discipline uses?


      Check my homebrews:
      Vampire Bloodlines: Abhartach, Kiasyd, Melissidae
      Ordo Dracul Coils: Primal Blood
      Mage Legacies: Infernal Ones, Daoine

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Horodrigo View Post
        Just to be sure. If I use the 2dot technique Diagnostic Dreaming, and use Auspex 1(Beast’s Hackles), your normal success count as an exceptional success, so, you get the Inspired condition? You get Inspired from exceptional sucess on Discipline uses?
        I am saying that the Predatory Aura applies Conditions that make exceptional success easier on certain types of rolls, is free to use on mortals, and can benefit from one of three different one-dot Merits that specialize its use.


        Resident Lore-Hound
        Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Horodrigo View Post
          So I was reading the Icelus bloodline and their whole scheme. I'm having trouble understanding the appeal, mechanically speaking.
          They have a merit that allow them to tap into the dreams of a subject to give them a boost in their discipline uses.

          The problem's I have with this are:
          - The victim must be willing
          - The willpower cost is huge
          - The benefits seems minor

          Point 1:
          Psychognosis only work on willing victims, wich per se is fine, but them, to have some easy access you need to use it on something that you already have like your Herd. Making it also needs a second merit for good use.

          Point 2:
          You need to spend 1WP to activate the hypnosis and 1 more for each technique, so, at least 2 WP to use the merit for a boost in a discipline. If you want to use all the benefits, this increases to 6 willpower points. You also needs to spend more willpower in certain levels to get some benefit, or vitae.

          Point 3:
          The benefits this merit gives to the disciplines are not as rewarding, some more questions on Auspex, or minus 1 to 3 dices to resist Dominate.

          Kindred normally don't dream. Having access to the dreams of the kine should give some way to get Willpower or other form of resource, that's the whole propaganda of the bloodline, they have discovered a way to tap into the infinite source of energy that is the dreams and use it for their own benefit. What do you guys think about the bloodline?
          Also, the book of Astral planes states that Vampires do dreams, nightmares ruled by the Beast or tragic lies reimagined by the Man

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          • #6
            So, slight clarification, because I realize now that I wrote it ambiguously: You only have to pay a maximum of 5 Willpower to access all levels of Psychognosis at once (barring an exceptional success). The first Willpower is spent into a technique, and then any subsequent expenditures are into "additional techniques". I see now that it's bit muddy (and in fact, the wording as-is was revised from my even more obtuse original phrasing), but word count is a harsh mistress, and sometimes you make cuts to explanatory prose that make sense to you, but not to readers.

            The other thing about the Willpower cost (that also maybe isn't obvious) is that you can mete it out when you need it. You have until your patient wakes up, so you're not obligated to spend them all at once. You choose the one you definitely need, and then you can go on a case by case basis.

            All that said, the one I'd probably be willing to houserule is Waking Prescience. The reason it costs Willpower to ask further questions is because, normally, Spirit's Touch is a one and done affair. You can't just keep poking an object until you know everything, and if you fail, you're out of luck (at least in a single scene). The Merit assures you always get at least one question, and if it's the wrong question, you can have a chance for a do-over. On the other hand, Willpower is a little scarce in Vampire. So, here's my suggestion: either use the system for additional questions from Diagnostic Dreaming, or allow players to roll and auto succeed at the same time on the Spirit's Touch. The latter is a pretty reasonable interpretation of the ability anyway, so treat that as "official" if you prefer it that way.
            Last edited by Yossarian; 01-26-2021, 08:32 PM.



            Social justice vampire/freelancer | He/Him

            Actual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
            Masquiem: Curses of Caine in Requiem 2nd
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