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Walking Shadows: Classic Coils

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  • Walking Shadows: Classic Coils

    Long story short, the two vampires in my game, both Dragons, preferred the Old Coils, so here they are -- note that some of these things refer to the Banes system that I use for managing all manner of supernatural issues. They've a bit more bite than the usual Coils.

    The Coils of the Dragon
    The Coils of the Dragon stand as proof that the Order’s methods bring results. Coils, like Disciplines, are on a ladder from one to four dots. With each dot comes a potent and everlasting change to a vampire’s accursed state. Coils cost 4 XP per dot, and learning the Fourth Tier of a Coil requires that the Dragon possess an Oath and thus have access to certain restricted, esoteric writings.

    Coils of the Dragon, Modular Banes, and Mekhet and Nosferatu Clan Weaknesses (For those using the Banes system)
    Many of the Coils work by removing one or another of the vampire's Banes. Not every vampire has every Bane, however. When a Coil would remove a Bane that the vampire already lacks, that Coil instead removes whatever Banes that the vampire accepted in place of their previous Universal Bane. In other words if Frederick the Dragon replaced the Aura of Menace Bane with a Cold Iron Bane, then upon learning the first Coil of the Soul (which would normally remove the Aura of Menace), he instead loses the Cold Iron Bane.

    Similarly, the Mekhet and Nosferatu Clan Weaknesses aggravate the Sunlight and Aura of Menace Banes respectively. When one of those vampires learns a Coil that would remove their Clan Weakness-related Bane, they lose the Clan Weakness instead of the Bane. In other words, if a Nosferatu learns the first Coil of the Soul, they do not lose the Aura of Menace completely. Instead, they lose the Nosferatu Clan Weakness which makes their Aura of Menace worse, and now merely have the same sort of Aura that any non-Nosferatu vampire would have.

    The Coil of the Blood

    First Tier: Blood Seeps Slowly
    The Dragon’s undead body doesn’t demand as much Vitae to animate itself as do those of other, less enlightened Kindred. The player need spend only one Vitae for his character to wake for a number of nights equal to the vampire’s Resolve. So, a Kindred with a Resolve of 2 loses a Vitae every other night for rising.

    When rolling for starting Vitae, the vampire’s minimum Vitae is equal to Blood Potency+Resolve, instead of just Blood Potency.

    Second Tier: Blood of Beasts
    No matter what the vampire’s Blood Potency is, she can take sustenance from animals and humans.

    Third Tier: Perspicacious Blood
    The character gains three Vitae for every two Vitae she takes from a human, and receives double the Vitae consumed from living supernatural vessels. Perspicacious Blood cannot be used to gain extra Vitae from Kindred or Ghouls.

    When rolling for starting Vitae, multiply the result by 150% (rounded down, usual maximums apply) to represent that the vampire is a more efficient predator and thus has more vitae to spare.

    Fourth Tier: Immutable Blood
    The Kindred becomes immune to the effects of vinculums. She is no longer subject to a vinculum when drinking another vampire’s vitae, though her own blood still causes vinculums to form.

    The Coil of Banes

    First Tier: Shedding the Scales
    The Kindred loses one Personal Bane of their choice.

    Second Tier: Mortal Burns
    The Kindred loses the Fire Bane.

    Third Tier: The Embrace of Helios
    The Kindred loses the Sunlight Bane.

    Fourth Tier: The Breaking of Chains
    The Kindred loses their their Clan Weakness. In the case of Mekhet or Nosferatu who have already lost it through the relevant Coils, they instead lose the Sunlight or Aura of Menace Bane completely.

    The Coil of the Beast

    First Tier: Chastise the Beast
    The player spends a Willpower point for his character to resist a frenzy of any kind automatically. The player may choose to roll Resolve + Composure as usual for his character to resist frenzy, spending the Willpower only if the roll fails.

    Second Tier: Lure the Beast
    The Kindred is able to ‘Ride the Wave’ more effectively. Riding the Wave does not cost a Willpower point, and it requires a base of only three successes, not five. While Riding the Wave, the Kindred is able to tell friend from foe, prioritize targets, and may end the controlled Frenzy at any time.

    Third Tier: Infuriate the Beast
    The Kindred is able to derive greater power from his unleashed Beast. The Dragon counts his Blood Potency as 3 higher for all Frenzy-related effects (regardless of whether or not the character is Riding the Wave).

    Fourth Tier: Saddle the Beast
    The character can “ride the wave” for a number of turns per night equal to her Resolve dots without rolling to activate the frenzy. These turns may be consecutive, or they can be scattered intermittently throughout the night in any way the character likes. Turns spent in frenzy this way do not contribute to the cumulative -1 penalties on subsequent attempts to ride the wave during that same night.

    The Coil of Flesh

    First Tier: A Taste of Life
    The Dragon may eat mortal food without a Vitae cost, and does not vomit it up at the end of the scene but metabolizes it and dissolves it entirely into their body. The Dragon may thus be affected by drugs or medicines appropriately, and a Dragon who has had a full meal in the last eight hours gains a +2 bonus to Hunger Frenzy rolls.

    Second Tier: The Face of Man
    The character may activate the Blush of Life without a Vitae cost. Similarly, the character’s hair and nails can be made to grow each day, if the Kindred so chooses.

    Third Tier: The Bruise of Life
    The character’s flesh is able to heal bashing damage exactly as a mortal does: one point of bashing damage heals every 15 minutes. This quasi-natural healing cannot take place, however, if the character is currently has any Health box marked with an aggravated wound.

    Fourth Tier: The Denial of Morpheus
    The vampire is able to heal their wounds vastly more efficiently. When healing, 1 Vitae may heal 4 Bashing or 2 Lethal damage, while 1 Aggravated wound may be healed with just four hours and 3 Vitae.

    The Coil of the Soul

    First Tier: Enliven the Face
    The Kindred has retrained her body to mimic the nonverbal cues of being alive, and it responds almost naturally to the cues of others. The Kindred loses the Aura of Menace Bane, though she must still expend Vitae to activate the “Blush of Life.”

    Second Tier: Quiet the Soul
    The Dragon submerges his madness in the pure instincts of the Beast. The Dragon can spend a Willpower point to suppress one psychological Condition such as Madness, Broken, Obsession, Fugue, Amnesia, or Addicted for the rest of the scene (other Conditions may qualify, at the Storyteller's discretion). There is no limit to the number of such Conditions that a Dragon may suppress, provided that willpower is spent for each one.

    Third Tier: Mind of the Inscrutable Hydra
    The Dragon has mastered the art of splitting their consciousness, creating secondary thought processes designed to confound and deny those intent on controlling her mind. The vampire gains a permanent Mind Shield effect equal to their Composure.

    Fourth Tier: Focus of the Unblinking Serpent
    At this point, the Kindred has shed the limits of their intellect. When Blood Buffing, they may spend Vitae to increase instant Intelligence or Wits rolls as well as Strength, Dexterity, or Stamina rolls.
    Last edited by NeoTiamat; 01-24-2014, 03:31 PM.

    GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
    New System and Setting Material

  • #2
    I think most of these are fine. Some are quite powerful, yes (like the improved blood healing one is pretty amazing), but most are quite fine. Some things I remarked upon:

    Perspicacious Blood -> can lead to infinite vitae circles, which should not be possible

    The Coil of Banes feels very iffy to me. I like that the Dragons strengthen themselves against the great Banes, but haven't fully managed to shuffle them off yet. Being able to go "lose fire bane... done! Lose sunlight bane... done! Clan bane... done!" in one coil seems very, very bad to me. You should only be able to remove a great bane fully with extraordinary effort. I think B&S got it right, honestly.

    Coil of Banes 4, Coil of the Beast 1 and then coil of Blood 2 and you win at being a vampire, honestly. Walk outside, feed on animals like humans do, no banes to speak of, no risk of frenzy as long as you have willpower... Yeah, you pretty much win the game
    Last edited by Unahim; 01-24-2014, 12:48 PM.


    • #3
      Well, let me delve into this a bit more.

      Perspicacious Blood
      This is actually a direct port from, I want to say the VtR Corebook, and the Ordo Dracul book has a sidebar on it calling it a Hungarian Marriage and basically saying this is a Bad Idea and banned by the Covenant because the mutual vinculums that result are inherently unstable.

      My view is that while you can theoretically lead to infinite Vitae circles, you've got several pretty hefty hoops to jump through. First, you need to know the Coil of Blood 3, which isn't a low-ranking thing. Second, you need to find another vampire who knows the Coil of Blood 3 (these people do not grow on trees). Both of you need to be willing to break a quite severe Ordo Dracul law. You both need to be able to trust each other with mutual Vinculums (and what if one of you is secretly Vinculumed to someone else, and thus you can't enter into a mutual Vinculum? Well then the other guy is up the creek without a paddle). You both need to be able to deal with Blood Addiction, which is quite nasty.

      So basically, you get free Vitae! Hurrah! You are also now an addict stuck in a highly emotional conspiracy, hiding it from superiors who can and will legally Diablerize you if you're found out and who will be suspicious of two Coil of Blood savants who seem way too lovey-dovey with each other. As a GM, I'll gladly take the plot opportunities offered by that, because this is the sort of thing that can degenerate awfully fast.

      Still, if you really dislike it, saying "can't be used to create infinite loops" is a pretty easy tweak to make. "Can't make something from nothing."

      Coil of Banes
      Funnily enough, my players said this was the most boring and weakest Coil and show zero interest in it. Well. It has its genesis in the fact that in my game I have long toned down vampire weaknesses, because it's a Crossover game, and having to choose between telling the Werewolf and the Changeling "okay guys, you twiddle your thumbs till Larry wakes up, no, doesn't matter if the Plot has a time limit" or tell Larry the vampire "okay, you're out of the game for the next few scenes" isn't fun.

      The other factor is that with Modular Banes, making a more graduated alteration was just somewhat tricky mechanically. That said, you could go and have it be "You count your Humanity as being X higher for this Bane" (about a +3 or +4) or "You count your Humanity as being X higher for the purposes of all Banes" (a +1 or +2, and then just repeat this several times).

      Win at being a Vampire
      Well, to properly 'Win' you'd also need Soul 1 to dump Aura of Menace. You've also just got 8 Coils (or 7, going by your thing), which is 28-32 XP, and establishes you as an Illuminus, I think, and probably the Kogaion -- at which point having terrible and occult abilities is par for the course. The Archbishop can raise zombies and golems, the Hierophant can make your heart explode a mile away, the Invictus Prince has the Prime Minister on Speed Dial. So conceptually I don't see it as all that troubling.

      Or on the flip side... you don't have the usual weaknesses... but it's a heavy investment. The same investment in Vigor and Celerity lets your Daeva move at the speed of sound and throw cars. Or your Theban Sorcerer to have access to level 5 Miracles, and several of them at that. So that's sort of what I'm balancing against, mechanically speaking.
      Last edited by NeoTiamat; 01-24-2014, 01:25 PM.

      GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
      New System and Setting Material


      • #4
        Well, it "feels" more in reach than the usual perfect state of being (and I admit, it's not perfect yet) does for Vampires. Crossover balance is a good argument for toning some of these things up. I do have to wonder if removing the great banes doesn't sort of remove the uniqueness of vampires, though. It doesn't appeal to me, personally, but as always, YMMV.

        I believe I read somewhere that Hungarian marriage deals were purposefully eliminated in B&S, and I think it was a good decision. Mutual vinculums haven't been portrayed as really going kaboom all that much (and why would they? You're both obsessing over the other, I see less problems than normal vinculums or big circle vinculums in coteries) and solving the vitae problem in one move seems a bit too easy. 1 pair of vampires could keep an infinite number of other vampires fed, which is very weird even with the problem of vinculums.


        • #5
          Oho? Any chance you can dig up where you read on Hungarian Marriages? I'd be interested in seeing it.

          GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
          New System and Setting Material


          • #6
            I believe it was somewhere in one of the play test threads when it was brought up, as an explanation to why those coils (and similar powers) were no longer present. I'll try to find it, but I have little hope.


            • #7
              Originally posted by NeoTiamat View Post
              Perspicacious Blood
              This is actually a direct port from, I want to say the VtR Corebook, and the Ordo Dracul book has a sidebar on it calling it a Hungarian Marriage and basically saying this is a Bad Idea and banned by the Covenant because the mutual vinculums that result are inherently unstable.

              My view is that while you can theoretically lead to infinite Vitae circles, you've got several pretty hefty hoops to jump through. First, you need to know the Coil of Blood 3, which isn't a low-ranking thing.
              Correct. You can't abuse an ability you don't have.

              Originally posted by NeoTiamat View Post
              Perspicacious BloodSecond, you need to find another vampire who knows the Coil of Blood 3 (these people do not grow on trees).
              Incorrect. You can do it with a ghoul. You drain 2 health, gain 3 blood points, feed the ghoul 2 vitae, they heal the 2 health levels. Net result 1 blood point. Repeat until full.


              • #8
                ...Well then. I hadn't thought of that, and it does away with most of the barriers to entry that I saw. Alright, fixed it to include a flat "this doesn't work on Kindred or Ghouls" thing. Not the most elegant fix, alas, but it will have to do.

                GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
                New System and Setting Material


                • #9
                  I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but I'm kinda working on a Mystery of Blood. It became a separate thing in my Mystery of Civility thread. I'm revising the old coils, adding a few new ones, and doing other things to make it a full mystery.

                  You can find it here:

                  Anyways, something I didn't like about the old coils of blood was how the first coil was dependent on one's resolve stat. You spent a lot of time, trouble, and xp to buy the coil, but sometimes someone didn't have enough dots in resolve to get any benefits from it. You had to go spend yet more xp to get any mileage. Its why I remade that coil so its effects were improved by mystery dots instead of Resolve (I also pushed it to the second coil since it isn't worth while until you have 2 or more mystery dots).