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Clarifying Stigmata Merit from SotC

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  • Clarifying Stigmata Merit from SotC

    Can someone please explain exactly how the Stigmata Merit from Secrets of the Covenants actually works. Can the point of lethal damage be healed? Are the points of "special" vitae the ones the vampire looses at the start of each week, and when the Merit is activated via Willpower? Do these points of "special" vitae have to be used immediately. or can they be saved for later in the week? Can a vampire just leave the point of lethal unhealed to get extra Willpower in every scene for the entire week? That last bit seems kind of broken (not surprising really for something from SotC).

  • #2
    At a glance interpretation:
    1. Nothing says the point of lethal damage can't be healed, it's enough of a drawback on its own since it's in addition to the Vitae loss. Though if you heal the stigma wound, then you won't benefit from the minimum Willpower refresh at the start of a scene.
    2. The stigma doesn't bleed at the start of the week, it bleeds at a dramatically appropriate moment during the week. The blood which bleeds from the stigma is the blood with the special effects.
    3. I'd say they lose their mystic potency the same as any other Vitae after remaining out too long without being mystically invoked. If you need to deliver stigmatic blood to a recipient who isn't easily reached in the moment, you don't use your weekly stigma, you activate with Willpower when the vampire is around.
    4. Yes, but remember it's a minimum refresh equal to half your Stigmata Merit (so a single point at Stigmata ● to ●●, two points at Stigmata ●●● to ●●●●, and three points at Stigmata ●●●●●). If you begin a scene with that amount of Willpower or more stored, the refresh does nothing: if you have Stigmata ●●● and you start a scene with two Willpower left, you get nothing. If you have Stigmata ●●● and you start a scene with one Willpower left, you get back one Willpower, raising you up to two. So, if you make a habit of spending every point every chance you get, that's three Willpower every scene if you have the maximum Stigmata rating and always have an open wound big enough to lay up a mortal for a couple days.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Stupid Loserman View Post
      At a glance interpretation:
      3. I'd say they lose their mystic potency the same as any other Vitae after remaining out too long without being mystically invoked. If you need to deliver stigmatic blood to a recipient who isn't easily reached in the moment, you don't use your weekly stigma, you activate with Willpower when the vampire is around.
      So, how much Vitae can a vampire convert into "special" Vitae? His entire pool? As many points as he has dot in the Merit?

      Originally posted by Stupid Loserman View Post
      4. Yes, but remember it's a minimum refresh equal to half your Stigmata Merit (so a single point at Stigmata ● to ●●, two points at Stigmata ●●● to ●●●●, and three points at Stigmata ●●●●●). If you begin a scene with that amount of Willpower or more stored, the refresh does nothing: if you have Stigmata ●●● and you start a scene with two Willpower left, you get nothing. If you have Stigmata ●●● and you start a scene with one Willpower left, you get back one Willpower, raising you up to two. So, if you make a habit of spending every point every chance you get, that's three Willpower every scene if you have the maximum Stigmata rating and always have an open wound big enough to lay up a mortal for a couple days.
      If you have the ability to start every scene with 3 Willpower when would you ever not burn through the entire lot every scene. Also, it's only one point of lethal damage, not one point per dot in the Merit or one point per "special" Vitae gained. One point of lethal damage is not really a big deal, especially to a vampire. Even if it was a big deal, I'd say having a guaranteed 3 Willpower every scene is more than worth the damage. Willpower is supposed to be very powerful and very hard to come by, especially in a Vampire game, so giving what is essentially an unlimited supply of it just seems completely game breaking.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Shadowdragon View Post
        So, how much Vitae can a vampire convert into "special" Vitae? His entire pool? As many points as he has dot in the Merit?
        It converts at the moment you bleed it, so each point costs one Willpower and reduces your Vitae pool by one, and converting blood opens the lethal wound if it isn't already open. It ain't holy while it's still in your system. It's the bleeding that makes it holy.

        Originally posted by Shadowdragon View Post
        If you have the ability to start every scene with 3 Willpower when would you ever not burn through the entire lot every scene. Also, it's only one point of lethal damage, not one point per dot in the Merit or one point per "special" Vitae gained. One point of lethal damage is not really a big deal, especially to a vampire. Even if it was a big deal, I'd say having a guaranteed 3 Willpower every scene is more than worth the damage. Willpower is supposed to be very powerful and very hard to come by, especially in a Vampire game, so giving what is essentially an unlimited supply of it just seems completely game breaking.
        I'm not really invested in judging the Merit, I'm just giving it the requested reading and pointing out the edges. Though when I mentioned that lethal wound, I was thinking of the vampire's Masquerade, not their Health. Remember that's not just a point on the sheet, you've actually got a visible gash open in a prominent part of your body. Limits where you can freely go around while benefitting, anyway.

        I also forgot to mention the prerequisite: if you're throwing around multiple Willpower per scene from this Merit, you better keep your Humanity up. Three per scene is a big investment, because it only works while you stay at Humanity 8, whose sample detachment risks include "being rejected by a human" (and you're apparently bleeding from the head all the time) and "depriving another of consent with a Discipline."

        The rest is a valid judgment call on your point. I do usually prefer not to go for huge-benefit-huge-restriction levels of tradeoff balancing. Driving to extremes takes you to some weird places.
        Last edited by Stupid Loserman; 02-21-2021, 11:23 PM.

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