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13 Licks: Tricks of the Damned (VtM Disciplines in VtR)

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  • 13 Licks: Tricks of the Damned (VtM Disciplines in VtR)

    Better late than never, that's what I always say...

    Below, you'll find a link to my long promised take on converting the unique Vampire: The Masquerade (V20) disciplines into Vampire: The Requiem, Second Edition. For those of you who aren't sure what this is all about, the link in my signature should clear things up.

    For the moment, I'm releasing this raw, without a big editorial pass. It's all a bit ugly and half baked, and it lacks any pretty formatting. I've written up some commentary explaining my translation choices (as well as, like, my translation philosophy), but I don't have access to that file at the moment. I'll also have specific questions for you all in terms of what's working and what's not.

    In short, I've tried to keep this as simple as possible. For instance, you'll notice that some of my choices amount to "use Requiem Discipline, page XX" or, in the case of Chimerstry, a page reference followed by a cost and/or a dice pool. Some powers involve more complete write-ups, but I've tried to keep those quick and to the point. The most extensive change is to Necromancy, but more on that later.

    You'll need the Chronicles of Darkness Rulebook to get the most out of this, or the God-Machine Chronicle rules update if you don't have access to the former.

    Edit (12/17/2015): Obtenebration and formatting are done; commentary to follow.

    Enjoy!

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_E...ew?usp=sharing
    Last edited by Yossarian; 12-17-2015, 05:11 AM.



    Sam Young | Vampires ruin everything freelancer

    VtR: Curses of Caine in Blood and SmokeTricks of the DamnedBtP: Secrets of VancouverCofD: The CabinActual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
    I podcast: The Breakup, a podcast about destroying the things you love

  • #2
    As promised, some commentary:

    Translator’s Notes

    Translation is tricky. The balance between an accurate translation (the power does what it always did) and an authentic translation (the essence of the power is evoked within the new system) is endlessly nebulous. The Vampire Translation Guide actually does accuracy really well, but the powers there don’t really jive in Second Edition. For that reason, I went for authenticity – these powers are remade in the Second Edition Requiem context, but with the goal of catching the feel of Vampire: The Masquerade.

    In some cases, this was easier said than done. For example, I dislike “killing you” powers, and there are a lot of those hidden in the VtM Disciplines. I don’t mean that I don’t like powers that help vampires kill things. I mean I don’t like redundancy with powers that already do that. Call it the Fire Axe Test: if you can accomplish the same thing with Vigor and a fire ax, then it doesn’t need to be its own power. I’m being facetious, but generally the physical Disciplines cover a lot of ground; anything fancier is usually just descriptive.

    Chimerstry

    This one was surprisingly easy. It’s been mentioned that Chimerstry was sort of a model for how the new Disciplines were structured, and sure enough, that held true. What I’ve done isn’t all that different from what’s in the Vampire Translation Guide, but I’ve altered activation costs and what not.

    Dementation

    I went back and forth on this, but using Nightmare won out for a few reasons. Primarily, I don’t like Dementation mechanically. It’s never done quite what I want it to do, and I always thought the oracular elements fit better in Auspex (Clanbook: Malkavian (Revised) split the difference in that regard, for what it’s worth). That, and Nightmare has always been a kind of a reimagining of Dementation, and the Second Edition version hits that a bit more on the nose.

    Obtenebration

    This was tricky. I almost said “just use Khaibit Obteneberation”, but I couldn’t figure out how to tier it properly, and Khaibit Obtenebration has a spirit slaying aspect that doesn’t fit the Lasombra. Instead, I’ve taken V20 Obtenebration and mixed and matched with the Khaibit, keeping it as a tiered “shadow power”, but adding some needed utility.

    I cut Black Metamorphosis because it doesn’t pass the Fire Axe Test.

    Quietus

    Quietus is the definition of a “killing you” power, but it gets a pass for three reasons. One, Assamites are vampire-hunting vampires; their signature power should let them do that. Two, poison is a neat addition to the vampire archetype, at least to me — the vampire as infection; the blood of the vampire as (literally) corrosive. And three, I tried to add some non-combat utility. Poisoning your target’s herd seems like something an Assamite should be able to do, for example.

    Silence of Death got cut because it doesn’t fit with Requiem’s Discipline aesthetic, that of a foundational power that’s built on with each subsequent dot. Also, as far as I can tell, you can do effectively the same thing with Obfuscate. I like what was done with Silence of Death in V20 Dark Ages, but I don’t think it’s necessary to port it into Requiem.

    If I were porting the Assamites as a Requiem style Bloodline, I’d probably give them Vigor instead of their own Discipline, and split each Quietus power into a Devotion.

    Serpentis

    I thought a lot about this, but in the end, the thoughts always ended with “Protean does this better.” Tongue of the Asp and Skin of the Adder are easy to build with Predatory Aspect or Unnatural Aspect. Some of the more peculiar features of Serpentis are better represented with blood sorcery and Devotions, so I’ve included two examples.

    Thaumaturgy

    Aside from the task of converting every Path and Ritual in V20 being rather daunting, the system for Ritual Disciplines used in Requiem is really good, and it felt like a misstep to try to fit Masquerade’s in. As noted, Blood Sorcery is an excellent supplement, and makes for a far superior translation guide (the Creation Theme covers almost all of Path of Conjuration, for example). It’s a little tricky, but converting V20 blood magic into the Blood Sorcery paradigm is very straight forward once you get the hang of it.

    Also, the Path conversions in the Vampire Translation Guide work just fine under the new system, mostly out of the box. If you prefer Path based magic, use the systems there.

    Vicissitude

    For the most part, my thinking was the same as with Serpentis. Fleshcraft, Bonecraft, Horrid Form, and Blood Form are effectively covered by Protean mechanically, if not aesthetically. Some of the versatility of shapeshifting is lost because of the hard limit on modifications and animal forms, but I’m willing to sacrifice that for the sake of expedience. I also think Malleable Visage restores some of that flexibility. I included Malleable Visage on the Discipline chain, replacing Unmarked Grave, but if you’d rather just use Protean out of the box, it works fine as a Protean 2 Devotion (1 Experience sounds right).

    All that being said, Protean lacks the ability to transform victims, and that’s a big part of the Tzimisce archetype. Because I didn’t want to screw around trying to patch that into Protean, a Devotion was the way to go. The biggest change is that the vampire has to feed the victim blood to start sculpting his flesh. Partially, I did this because Tzimisce don’t particularly need more ways to hurt people in combat, and partially because I think it’s in keeping with the idea that Fiend blood mutates and corrupts others. It also means the subject risks a blood bond, but that fits if you’re Sabbat, or you’re making a szlachta. You also have the option of using Sanguine Miasma to force blood into a victim if you want to have combat Vicissitude.
    Last edited by Yossarian; 12-23-2015, 06:24 PM.



    Sam Young | Vampires ruin everything freelancer

    VtR: Curses of Caine in Blood and SmokeTricks of the DamnedBtP: Secrets of VancouverCofD: The CabinActual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
    I podcast: The Breakup, a podcast about destroying the things you love

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Yossarian View Post
      In some cases, this was easier said than done. For example, I dislike “killing you” powers, and there are a lot of those hidden in the VtM Disciplines. I don’t mean that I don’t like powers that help vampires kill things. I mean I don’t like redundancy with powers that already do that. Call it the Fire Axe Test: if you can accomplish the same thing with Vigor and a fire ax, then it doesn’t need to be its own power. I’m being facetious, but generally the physical Disciplines cover a lot of ground; anything fancier is usually just descriptive.
      Actually I'm one of the few who actually likes combative or "killing you" disciplines since of my biggest criticisms with Requiem's disciplines is that they're not combat sufficient and making your character weaker compared to Masquerade's Vampires so no need to water them down.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Veindark View Post

        Actually I'm one of the few who actually likes combative or "killing you" disciplines since of my biggest criticisms with Requiem's disciplines is that they're not combat sufficient and making your character weaker compared to Masquerade's Vampires so no need to water them down.
        You mileage may vary, of course. And I have no problem with combat utility, which I think many of the Second Edition powers have, especially Animalism, Nightmare and, of course, Protean (the physical disciplines are much better now, too). But I do dislike it when the mechanic is just "have some attack dice...with a twist!" That's not even a bad thing if it's not the only effect, but many of the old disciplines have powers that are pretty much exclusively useful in a combat situation. Like, the thing where you turn into a weird shadow tentacle monster. That's not a bad ability, but you have to wait till Obtenebration 6 before you can step through shadows? That feels infinitely more elemental and thematic, at least to me, but it's out of reach to most player characters, in favour of a kinda weird power that pretty much is only good for killing people.

        That isn't a criticism so much as a matter of taste; classic Obtenebration works fine for plenty of gamers. But I have a different design interest, at least in this context.



        Sam Young | Vampires ruin everything freelancer

        VtR: Curses of Caine in Blood and SmokeTricks of the DamnedBtP: Secrets of VancouverCofD: The CabinActual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
        I podcast: The Breakup, a podcast about destroying the things you love

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Yossarian View Post

          You mileage may vary, of course. And I have no problem with combat utility, which I think many of the Second Edition powers have, especially Animalism, Nightmare and, of course, Protean (the physical disciplines are much better now, too). But I do dislike it when the mechanic is just "have some attack dice...with a twist!" That's not even a bad thing if it's not the only effect, but many of the old disciplines have powers that are pretty much exclusively useful in a combat situation. Like, the thing where you turn into a weird shadow tentacle monster. That's not a bad ability, but you have to wait till Obtenebration 6 before you can step through shadows? That feels infinitely more elemental and thematic, at least to me, but it's out of reach to most player characters, in favour of a kinda weird power that pretty much is only good for killing people.

          That isn't a criticism so much as a matter of taste; classic Obtenebration works fine for plenty of gamers. But I have a different design interest, at least in this context.
          The reason it's only good for killing people because it's designed as a weapon and I feel weaponized disciplines should also exist in Requiem as well especially for Obtenebration. Of course though the shadow tentacle monster was originally designed to be a "One Winged Angel" ability back when the Lasombra were originally designed to be Sabbat antagonists (just like Tzimisce's Zulu form) but I think it should be still useful for PCs though especially if they want that "Vampire Lord from Skyrim" form in form or another.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Veindark View Post

            The reason it's only good for killing people because it's designed as a weapon and I feel weaponized disciplines should also exist in Requiem as well especially for Obtenebration. Of course though the shadow tentacle monster was originally designed to be a "One Winged Angel" ability back when the Lasombra were originally designed to be Sabbat antagonists (just like Tzimisce's Zulu form) but I think it should be still useful for PCs though especially if they want that "Vampire Lord from Skyrim" form in form or another.
            Yeah, a lot of my issue with the old disciplines being overly focused on combat stems from the fact that they were originally designed as antagonist powers, and that they never got much of an overhaul when Sabbat characters became more viable for players.

            I think the (official) Requiem version of Obtenebration is pretty weaponized, though:

            http://theonyxpath.com/the-shadow-and-the-asp/

            But, unlike classic Obtenebration, there's also utility beyond that, even if the focus of the power is on combat. To put it another way, I think a combat power should add something new -- with the Khaibit, it's being able to attack ephemeral beings, not just fleshy stuff. And I do think there are a lot of ways to use the default Requiem disciplines in combat (besides the physicals)...Animalism is pretty savage, and Requiem 2e Protean is (in my opinion) straight up better than classic Protean.

            But I feel like we're going to have to agree to disagree here?



            Sam Young | Vampires ruin everything freelancer

            VtR: Curses of Caine in Blood and SmokeTricks of the DamnedBtP: Secrets of VancouverCofD: The CabinActual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
            I podcast: The Breakup, a podcast about destroying the things you love

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Yossarian View Post

              Yeah, a lot of my issue with the old disciplines being overly focused on combat stems from the fact that they were originally designed as antagonist powers, and that they never got much of an overhaul when Sabbat characters became more viable for players.

              I think the (official) Requiem version of Obtenebration is pretty weaponized, though:.
              One thing I noticed about the Requiem version of Obenebration that it not only lacks shadow tentacles (which are the main reason why I'm attracted towards the discipline) but also lacks Black Metamorphosis as well.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Veindark View Post

                The reason it's only good for killing people because it's designed as a weapon and I feel weaponized disciplines should also exist in Requiem as well especially for Obtenebration. Of course though the shadow tentacle monster was originally designed to be a "One Winged Angel" ability back when the Lasombra were originally designed to be Sabbat antagonists (just like Tzimisce's Zulu form) but I think it should be still useful for PCs though especially if they want that "Vampire Lord from Skyrim" form in form or another.
                There was never a point when the Lasombra were presented "to be Sabbat antagonists" and the first version of Obtenebration 4 let you summon "nightshades" - "murky and indistinct shadowy images." Obtenebration 5 was the ability to turn into a shadow, not into a war form. The first appearance of the Lasombra and Obtenebration is in the Player's Guide to the Sabbat. The Sabbat books (Player's Guide, Storyteller's Handbook) did not present Lasombra or Tzimisce as strictly antagonists to be used as such in Camarilla or Anarch chronicles. They were presented explicitly as player character material in a Sabbat game. The first appearance of Black Metamorphosis is in 1997's Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition, which presented all clans as playable options.

                Probably not the best place to hash this out, but seriously, there was never a point when we had Lasombra (or Tzimisce) described in both setting material and rules as only for NPCs.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Veindark View Post

                  One thing I noticed about the Requiem version of Obenebration that it not only lacks shadow tentacles (which are the main reason why I'm attracted towards the discipline) but also lacks Black Metamorphosis as well.
                  Like I said, your mileage may vary.

                  Originally posted by Resplendent Fire View Post

                  Probably not the best place to hash this out, but seriously, there was never a point when we had Lasombra (or Tzimisce) described in both setting material and rules as only for NPCs.
                  I always thought they were more intended more as antagonists, so that's really interesting to hear (I was always more into Revised). I don't know if that makes me think better or worse of the way those powers were designed...






                  Sam Young | Vampires ruin everything freelancer

                  VtR: Curses of Caine in Blood and SmokeTricks of the DamnedBtP: Secrets of VancouverCofD: The CabinActual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
                  I podcast: The Breakup, a podcast about destroying the things you love

                  Comment

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