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Fixing what I dislike about the Gangrel Clan Bane

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  • Fixing what I dislike about the Gangrel Clan Bane

    I recently determined exactly what I like, and don't like, about the different clan banes. I want a clan's bane to reinforce their stereotype when a clan member avoids that bane. I want vampires specifically to NOT have to actually suffer the penalties of their banes, and I want the actions they take in avoiding that bane to define them to a degree.

    Case in point: I like the Daeva flaw because it causes Daeva to be "promiscuous" with their Kiss. They can't maintain a herd at all (either you never drink twice so you don't suffer Dependency, or you drink exactly twice and then can't anymore without constant Humanity 3 breaking points for causing harm to your regnant), so, they become, metaphorically, whores. That's perfect. So, they can totally avoid the curse by fulfilling their stereotype.

    The Mekhet, too. They have a weird, unique bane. It's a quirk they have to avoid triggering, and avoid letting anyone else know about it so they can't use it against you. This makes Mekhet secretive and quirky. Boom, perfect.

    The Daeva, Mekhet, and Nosferatu flaw all work "correctly" in this regard. I have another thread about touchstones and a stop gap solution for Ventrue. So, that leaves Gangrel. The Gangrel flaw is just not to my preference. The Gangrel are supposed to be wild and bestial, but their flaw, the way you avoid it, is by doing exactly the opposite of that, by maintaining humanity, avoiding anger and anger inducing situations, being extremely polite and nice to everyone to avoid provocations, feeding carefully to keep from hunger, etc., etc. It's everything a Gangrel shouldn't be.

    So, how do we fix this? Well, I'm hoping for some help in that regard. Most suggestions I've seen on the forum for a Gangrel fix are to give them a penalty to resist frenzy, rather than their humanity as a cap, usually at the same rate vampires suffer social penalties from having low humanity. This is definitely better than the book's version, but it still doesn't address my specific problems. Can we do better?

    I was thinking I had to do something that penalized not acting bestial, so they chose to act that way to avoid it. Unfortunately, anything on that front I can think of is problematic. I don't want to penalize them for maintaining Humanity--I want high humanity to remain a pure positive. I considered somehow giving them the Tempted condition in situations that didn't necessarily call for a frenzy check (say, when they had to be excessively patient or something, I don't know), but then, I realized the only way to clear that was to frenzy, and frenzy is kind of a loss condition and isn't fun for all players, so, that's no good.

    I considered maybe playing with the three lashing out conditions. I already remove the month time limit on them, though removing that from just the Gangrel could also be in order, but, nothing I came up with on that front was satisfying, either, because, again, you basically clear those conditions by losing, by facing a breaking point, or for Bestial, hurting someone, which is probably going to be a breaking point anyway.

    I don't want to drive them to frenzy, exactly, but I want them to be aggressive, to prefer the outdoors, to stalk prey, act quickly, that kind of stuff. I don't know.

    Maybe something with willpower, where they can only spend it in certain ways or they have to spend it to do certain things (long term planning?).

    Does anyone have any other ideas? I would appreciate it.

    Let me give some quick parameters on the fix, though, so people don't get frustrated. If you don't know me from my other thread on touchstones, I don't like what we'll call, for lack of a better term, story-game mechanics. I remove or seriously downplay in my games touchstones, Mask/Dirge, aspirations, the way beats are handed out, and the door-based social system, so, please don't root the fix in those systems or make it another directly story altering system in and of itself.
    Last edited by The Storyteller; 03-18-2016, 11:32 PM. Reason: clarity

  • Morangias
    replied
    Forcing all characters not even into a clan stereotype, but the most exaggerated, extreme subset of it, is not how clan banes are supposed to work.

    Leave a comment:


  • Basilistik
    replied
    Hi storyteller, I too been thinking about how to improve the bane and here is my take:

    To my mind, Gangrel are supposed to be wild and free, like animals. One of the easiest way to distinguish animals from humans is the use of tools. Too me, this include indirect means of solving problems like social maneuvering, example:

    A gangrel is more likely to fight someone with his bare hands than with a knife or a gun. He is more likely too turn into an animal and ran than hijack a car. He is also less likely to turn for allies and contacts as a way to solve problems or find somebody. If he need somone found he'll track it himself, or use his pack of animals. He is more prone to have hunting grounds than a herd which he'll have to interract.

    So, here is my idea, taking a bit of inspiration from the carthin pull merit, we shuold limit the use of tools, in game terms this means equipment like weapons, vehicles, libraries, etc. Also, merits like allies, contacts, herd, resources and social maneuvering.

    If we tie this to humanity, its starts to look promising. Lets say a gangrel can only make use of this tools (equipment, merits, etc) a number of times per week equal to his humanity, with this restrictions he would start to act more wild and direct. Why waste your few social interactions on some nobody when you could just beat him up and make him tell you whay you want.

    Now, what happens if he exceeds this limit is of course a condition. Here we have more options, I like a blood potency penalty to resist frenzy for a number of nights equal to twice his blood potency, needing to spend a willpower and getting an additional -1 for each time he incurs in the restricted behavior.

    This model stills need work. I thought that evrry time the character attempts to use social maneuvering on an other this should count as an use for porpuses of the bane. But more precisely, it only counts the number of people to wich you attempt this. If your humanity is 6 you can social manuver six diferent people as much as you want. I know you are not a fan of social manuvering but you could find a way to make it work.

    The other equipment like weapons, cars, libraries, crowbars, etc, would need another time distinction like a night, scene or just like social m, every diferent tool count as one.


    Anyway, I believe this is a start, still needs calibration, need the opinion of others, I'd been told I'm a harsh storyteller. However I believe this is in line with our objectives. A gangrel will become an animal lest he turn into a monstrous beast.

    Thoughts?

    Leave a comment:


  • Morangias
    replied
    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    (...)

    The Gangrel flaw is just not to my preference. The Gangrel are supposed to be wild and bestial, but their flaw, the way you avoid it, is by doing exactly the opposite of that, by maintaining humanity, avoiding anger and anger inducing situations, being extremely polite and nice to everyone to avoid provocations, feeding carefully to keep from hunger, etc., etc. It's everything a Gangrel shouldn't be.
    No offense, but I think there are two things you've missed in your reasoning:

    1. Every clan bane is linked to Humanity in some way, and thus maintaining high Humanity is a way for everyone to avoid or mitigate their bane. The Gangrel aren't exceptional in this regard.

    2. Gangrel bane caps their frenzy dice pools, but not their Riding the Wave pools. Hence, the way to avoid the bane without taking the moral high road and maintaining high Humanity is to ride the wave as often as possible. Going this route, you end up with a character that frenzies more often than other vampires (because she rides the wave where other vamps would have just suppressed the frenzy) but with less random side effects (because she frenzies on her own terms), creating the impression the character is more in tune with her Beast. Isn't this exactly what you want out of clan banes - avoiding them by embodying them?

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  • Draugr
    replied
    Hy, storytellers!

    I've been reading your posts, and I think that finally found a houserule for the Gangrel's weakness good enough to my group.

    The Feral Curse

    "Gangrel Beasts boil close to the surface. A Gangrel can run with the devil inside her, but has difficulty fighting it. All her dice pools to resist frenzy related to hungry or thread are limited by her Humanity dots. This weakness does not affect dice pools to ride the wave, or frenzy estimulated by fire or sunlight. As well, the predator within calls for a prey, so, everytime when a Gangrel feed using the Kiss - instead of the Assault - she gains no nourishment from the first few vitae taken . This amount is equal to (10 – Humanity)."

    That's it. Now we have Gangrel characters encouraged to act like the predators they are. Or they will frighten their victims terribly, as Eli from "Let Me In/ Let The Right One In" (a true gangrel to me), or exhaust them almost completely seeking to satiate their hunger predator, as Lestat (Interview with the Vampire, the only book in which he does not look like a superhero, but a unforgettable degenerate character).

    Changing the topic a little, I think the Ventrue's weakness also has issues, looking soft compared to the anothers. so I developed some house rules ideas for them too. Soon as I can, I will post it here.

    After all, I must apologize for my bad bad english, cause I'm brazilian, and everything that I learned was on my own,

    Thanks for sharing ideas!

    Leave a comment:


  • Marcus
    replied
    Basically I agree with you. Mine was just an example of something I wouldn't roll if it isn't important for the game. But, yes, as said, in a general situation I agree with you

    Leave a comment:


  • ErikModi
    replied
    Originally posted by Marcus View Post

    The roll come up just in some situations. I mean: if you point a gun and ask for the wallet, ok, no roll is needed.
    Not necessarily. I remember hearing in line in passing (think it was from some Law and Order incarnation or other) where a known hold-up artist was explaining that he couldn't have shot the victim of the week, because he uses a hand cannon while the victim was shot with a 9mm. He explains that he uses a really big caliber gun because "some people are stupid enough to argue with a 9 mil." Even if you've got a gun, someone might be brave enough or stupid enough to not give in, or might have something in their wallet that they feel is worth dying for. Think back to Ghost, where Sam the Stock Broker was perfectly willing to hand over the cash in his wallet, but refused to hand over the wallet itself because it had sensitive information for his entire company's fortune in it (which is why he was being robbed in the first place.)

    The motivations of the NPC are just as important at the motivations of the PC. The NPC might be answering to someone even scarier. A guy with a loaded gun to your head can only kill you, a Nosferatu with Nightmare can make you live in an eternal hell, and a Ventrue with Dominate can make you murder your own family. They might be clinging to whatever code of honor or ethics they have that tell them not be a rat. They may just be a contrary asshole who gets more resolved to deny something the more someone else obviously wants it. Quite simply, there should be no such thing as a guaranteed success as soon as another character, Player or Non, gets involved. Every attempt to get someone else to do what you want should have a chance, no matter how slim, to fail. Stating that "under X circumstance, there is no logical way this cannot work" is a fallacy, because humans are fundamentally illogical. Even in real life, threats of violence and torture (or actual violence and torture) don't always yield the desired results. Human beings are complex animals, their reactions are not always predictable, and responses to stimuli can vary greatly even within the same individual.

    But this is getting increasingly off topic. I'd suggest, if we have more to say on the topic of Intimidation rolls and so forth, someone start a new thread to talk about it, because this has nothing to do with Gangrel Clan Weaknesses.

    Leave a comment:


  • ElvesofZion
    replied
    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    To you, sure, and that's fine, run it as you like. But to me, Intimidation is determining how you do, and then they react as they actually would.
    You don't ever 'do' Intimidate RAW, you do actions that use the Intimidate skill.

    So, the Intimidate example for an interegation is a contested action, meaning the target rolls as well. This represents their ability to not be intimidated, and overall how well the attempt works as intended by the player. Do you roll intimidation checks as non-contested, non-resisted since its just a measure of how intimidating the PC is without any reflection of the NPC involved?

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  • Marcus
    replied
    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    Strictly using the Doors system, you are correct. I don't use that. I find it silly that someone with a high resolve could "successfully" not believe your threat, even if you are totally serious about it, or that he might refuse to betray someone/something he doesn't care that much about. Those outcomes don't follow logically.

    If you offer a deal that the other guy would like, it is absurd to me that he'd refuse it just because you failed a roll. Or rather, it is absurd that you would need to roll. The guy would just agree.
    The roll come up just in some situations. I mean: if you point a gun and ask for the wallet, ok, no roll is needed. If you ask to betray your mother or your lover, I would go for the roll. Someone that can see the esitation in your eyes or the uncertainty in your voice could also try to disarm you or hold on on his position. If otherwise he sees in you madness and resolution could take your threats more seriously.
    The bonus given by the gun (maybe +3 on the roll) and a door away, is a good one to represent your rised dangerousness in my opinion.

    Leave a comment:


  • ErikModi
    replied
    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    No, I just don't think that calls for a roll at all. Slightly different. It's not an automatic success, it's no roll required.
    What's the difference?

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    Yes, but I don't think we picture those people at slick parties in ball rooms anymore, we more think of them drinking smoothies every morning made of $400 "moondust," at a ranch shooting caviar tins off a fence post, or maybe, at the fanciest, at a country club talking about how the poor should just get jobs running one of their daddy's oversea holdings if they need more money. They're the bad guys, but not because they earned it by being sharks, because they had it handed to them and they use what they have like clueless/selfish asshats.
    Depends on what aesthetics you prefer.

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    So, Minneapolis and St. Paul are very, ridiculously cold. As such, the city has very few homeless or street walking prostitutes. There are heated walkways most places and car services for drunks. The few people walking outside are going to be in heavy coats, scarves, and hats. All of this combines to make feeding a real issue. You can't be a lazy feeder and just grab a hobo or a drunk in a bar alley. You have to be very careful and stick to a plan, probably get a herd, etc. So, that's the premise that sets everything else up. Blood supply is way more important than in other cities.

    The Twin Cities area is heavily Nordic in heritage, and the Scandanavian immigrants shoved the local Amerindians out. In my version of the cities, this was paralleled by vampires. The old school Viking vampires that arrived shoved the native Ojibwe and Lakota vampires to the side and took over. The cult of Thor, which functions basically as a branch of the Circle of the Crone, have a great deal of influence because they hold of Horn of Thor (from the myth where Thor is tasked with draining a horn faster than his giant host, but it turns out to be secretly connected to the ocean). The Horn is used as part of a special ritual the cult has developed that causes it to overflow with blood.

    St. Paul and Minneapolis each have their own Princes and vie for the favor of the Cult in order to gain control of the Horn and easy access to blood and blessings for the year. Most vampires in the cities swear fealty to the Prince (or down the chain from him) and become part of an ongoing contest. The Cult created a shell corporation to represent this favor, and there are complex rules about how these shares are given out and acquired. Each year, whichever city has the most shares, gets the cult to move into their city and provide blessings and access to the Horn of Thor with its seemingly infinite blood. Over the course of each year, they run Viking raids on each other, which take many, many forms. You can count coup on/otherwise capture the other city's vampires to earn shares as weregild, or make contacts/allies/blackmail/etc., in the opposing city and then trade that influence for shares, win festival events, etc., etc. It's complicated, way too complicated to explain here in brief, but you get the gist.

    There is a strong tradition of German Lutherans in St. Paul as well, and so, their city is influenced as well by a group of Lancea Sanctum vampires. They are basically converted from the Cult of Thor. They take part in the Viking game but are secretly trying to undermine the Cult of Thor's influence and make everyone vie, instead, for their favor. Meanwhile, the Ojibwe and Lakota vampires never really went away, they just went underground. They kept up their medicine lodges, but did so in secret. Not being/refusing to be a part of the cult of Thor, they've found their own way to deal with the blood shortage. They've developed, essentially, coils of the dragon, and mimic the Ordo Dracul to a small degree. I even worked on a 2e conversion of the 1e Coil of Blood. It's been a while, though, I'd have to find my notes. They pretend to join in on the Viking stuff, but they really hate it, and want to ultimately tear it all down. But the Cult of Thor is their first target.

    In other words, two cities war with each other to gain the favor of a third party while each has a different corrupting influence from within trying to remove that third party entirely. I really like the idea, personally, but I never finished working it all out because the PCs ultimately chose to play in Vancouver instead (I pitched them half a dozen city concepts initially and let them choose).
    That sounds fascinating. Though, it really isn't THAT cold here most of the year. Late December through early February tend to be the worst, but even then, 0 degrees F with a -40 wind chill are rare, except in the harshest of winters. There's plenty of people about on the streets in the right areas, even at night (though the number is less than in the summer.) Still, sounds pretty awesome on the whole. And Lutherans are all over, not just St. Paul, and we have plenty of other Christian denominations as well. We're kind of at the north end of the Bible Belt, and while fairly liberal, it's not hard to find some real religious conservatives. On the whole, I love it.

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    I just don't think that requires parties...I think it can be done just fine in much smaller groups.
    Again, depends on the aesthetics, and how willing the higher ups are to meet with random newbies. If you're some two-days-dead, unknown vampire, it's not likely you'll get a chance to meet any of the movers and shakers of the city unless you can run into them at some kind of large social gathering. Which means, for new PCs, the only way they'll learn about the political situation is through second, third, or fourth-hand information. Which can certainly be an interesting way to play things, but drastically increases the amount of work the ST has to go through creating all the various "tiers" of go-betweens from the leadership on down. So I think most tend to make it easier on themselves and their players (remembering who all these people are is rough, and time spent taking notes on what was just said is time not listening to what is being said) by having fairly regular large social events where the brand new can rub elbows with the incomprehensibly old. Not that big social gatherings are the only thing vampires ever do, but that it's something that happens on a regular basis. Less frequent than feeding, more frequent than torpor.

    The Covenants themselves are basically excuses to socialize. The Invictus and Carthians likely have some kind of governmental meeting every night, whether this is a "closed session" where they decide things or an "open session" where anyone who wants can attend and air grievances depends on how many shits that particular incarnation gives about their people. The Lancea Sanctum should have "church services" at least once a week, with anyone and everyone allowed, if not encouraged, to attend. Likewise, the Circle would get together on about a weekly basis to practice their religion. The Ordo is likely to be the outlier here, as they're just as likely to endorse private research as they are mass brainstorming session and "scientific" conferences to discuss and evaluate new ideas. And of course, larger and more open meetings means more chances to recruit new members, perhaps even from other Covenants, strengthening that Covenant's position relative to the others. The "real" business may only get done behind closed doors, but everyone wants to see and be seen and at least pretend they get to participate.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Storyteller
    replied
    Originally posted by Marcus View Post
    If I'm not wrong, this is a tipical "forcing doors" maneuver. It should remove a door and give bonus dice to the intimidation roll for the gun. Not an automatic success cause someone with hig resolve and composure could don't belive your character will use it or he could simply not be willing to betray his lover (for instance) even if threatened with death (if the roll fail).
    Strictly using the Doors system, you are correct. I don't use that. I find it silly that someone with a high resolve could "successfully" not believe your threat, even if you are totally serious about it, or that he might refuse to betray someone/something he doesn't care that much about. Those outcomes don't follow logically.

    If you offer a deal that the other guy would like, it is absurd to me that he'd refuse it just because you failed a roll. Or rather, it is absurd that you would need to roll. The guy would just agree.

    Leave a comment:


  • Marcus
    replied
    Originally posted by ErikModi View Post

    But you also seem to be saying that a person with a gun to someone else's head and a clear willingness to use it automatically succeeds at Intimidate checks. That seems wrong to me, somehow. If that's not what you mean, then I apologize for continued derailment.
    If I'm not wrong, this is a tipical "forcing doors" maneuver. It should remove a door and give bonus dice to the intimidation roll for the gun. Not an automatic success cause someone with hig resolve and composure could don't belive your character will use it or he could simply not be willing to betray his lover (for instance) even if threatened with death (if the roll fail).

    Leave a comment:


  • The Storyteller
    replied
    Originally posted by ShadowKnight1224 View Post
    I'd like to chime in to point out that rolling Intimidation is not determining how intimidating you are. It's determining whether or not you succeed at intimidating someone.
    To you, sure, and that's fine, run it as you like. But to me, Intimidation is determining how you do, and then they react as they actually would.

    Originally posted by ErikModi View Post
    I always thought WoD (even as far back as VtM) was more story-focused than anything else. You could play it like D&D (kick down the door, kill the "monsters," take their stuff so you can kick in a bigger door and kill bigger monsters), but that wasn't the way it was designed to be played. Curious.
    Oh, I see. That's because the opposite of "story game" as I'm using it isn't "dungeon crawl" or "hack and slash." The difference is, for lack of the better term, simulation, I guess. My games are absolutely not kick in the door action games, no way.

    Originally posted by ErikModi View Post
    But you also seem to be saying that a person with a gun to someone else's head and a clear willingness to use it automatically succeeds at Intimidate checks. That seems wrong to me, somehow. If that's not what you mean, then I apologize for continued derailment.
    No, I just don't think that calls for a roll at all. Slightly different. It's not an automatic success, it's no roll required.

    Originally posted by ErikModi View Post
    So, are you saying that you can still fail at the goal you set for yourself with a roll even if you succeeded a lot?
    Yes, if you took an action that does not accomplish said goal.

    Originally posted by ErikModi View Post
    Well, I think the "rich people are bad guys" trope is still alive and well in the modern day, precisely because they're so out-of-touch with the experiences of most people, and are still doing everything they can to build on what they have at the expense of "the lower orders."
    Yes, but I don't think we picture those people at slick parties in ball rooms anymore, we more think of them drinking smoothies every morning made of $400 "moondust," at a ranch shooting caviar tins off a fence post, or maybe, at the fanciest, at a country club talking about how the poor should just get jobs running one of their daddy's oversea holdings if they need more money. They're the bad guys, but not because they earned it by being sharks, because they had it handed to them and they use what they have like clueless/selfish asshats.

    Originally posted by ErikModi View Post
    That sounds awesome, and I'd definitely like to hear more!
    So, Minneapolis and St. Paul are very, ridiculously cold. As such, the city has very few homeless or street walking prostitutes. There are heated walkways most places and car services for drunks. The few people walking outside are going to be in heavy coats, scarves, and hats. All of this combines to make feeding a real issue. You can't be a lazy feeder and just grab a hobo or a drunk in a bar alley. You have to be very careful and stick to a plan, probably get a herd, etc. So, that's the premise that sets everything else up. Blood supply is way more important than in other cities.

    The Twin Cities area is heavily Nordic in heritage, and the Scandanavian immigrants shoved the local Amerindians out. In my version of the cities, this was paralleled by vampires. The old school Viking vampires that arrived shoved the native Ojibwe and Lakota vampires to the side and took over. The cult of Thor, which functions basically as a branch of the Circle of the Crone, have a great deal of influence because they hold of Horn of Thor (from the myth where Thor is tasked with draining a horn faster than his giant host, but it turns out to be secretly connected to the ocean). The Horn is used as part of a special ritual the cult has developed that causes it to overflow with blood.

    St. Paul and Minneapolis each have their own Princes and vie for the favor of the Cult in order to gain control of the Horn and easy access to blood and blessings for the year. Most vampires in the cities swear fealty to the Prince (or down the chain from him) and become part of an ongoing contest. The Cult created a shell corporation to represent this favor, and there are complex rules about how these shares are given out and acquired. Each year, whichever city has the most shares, gets the cult to move into their city and provide blessings and access to the Horn of Thor with its seemingly infinite blood. Over the course of each year, they run Viking raids on each other, which take many, many forms. You can count coup on/otherwise capture the other city's vampires to earn shares as weregild, or make contacts/allies/blackmail/etc., in the opposing city and then trade that influence for shares, win festival events, etc., etc. It's complicated, way too complicated to explain here in brief, but you get the gist.

    There is a strong tradition of German Lutherans in St. Paul as well, and so, their city is influenced as well by a group of Lancea Sanctum vampires. They are basically converted from the Cult of Thor. They take part in the Viking game but are secretly trying to undermine the Cult of Thor's influence and make everyone vie, instead, for their favor. Meanwhile, the Ojibwe and Lakota vampires never really went away, they just went underground. They kept up their medicine lodges, but did so in secret. Not being/refusing to be a part of the cult of Thor, they've found their own way to deal with the blood shortage. They've developed, essentially, coils of the dragon, and mimic the Ordo Dracul to a small degree. I even worked on a 2e conversion of the 1e Coil of Blood. It's been a while, though, I'd have to find my notes. They pretend to join in on the Viking stuff, but they really hate it, and want to ultimately tear it all down. But the Cult of Thor is their first target.

    In other words, two cities war with each other to gain the favor of a third party while each has a different corrupting influence from within trying to remove that third party entirely. I really like the idea, personally, but I never finished working it all out because the PCs ultimately chose to play in Vancouver instead (I pitched them half a dozen city concepts initially and let them choose).

    Originally posted by ErikModi View Post
    So they gather together to they can talk to someone, anyone, with whom they have some vague shared (un)life experience.
    I just don't think that requires parties...I think it can be done just fine in much smaller groups.
    Last edited by The Storyteller; 03-27-2016, 02:08 AM. Reason: Extra information

    Leave a comment:


  • ErikModi
    replied
    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    Yeah, I guess I never saw WoD as a story game before, because it really wasn't, and it surprised me to find out that, "Oh, I guess it really is now." I'm fine with having the conversation a lot, though. It's interesting.
    I always thought WoD (even as far back as VtM) was more story-focused than anything else. You could play it like D&D (kick down the door, kill the "monsters," take their stuff so you can kick in a bigger door and kill bigger monsters), but that wasn't the way it was designed to be played. Curious.

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    I agree. But Intimidate, to me, is the skill that lets you appear scary, that lets you scare people without needing the means to back it up. I don't see it as mind control, though. Someone has the right to be scared of something without the other person being successful. In real life, if I was being held at gun point, I would be afraid of that guy with the gun. Period. I am. I don't care how shaky his hands are, how incoherent his threats are, he has a gun, and a gun could kill me. There is no circumstance where that guy asks me a question and I defy him. Zero.
    See, and I think there's way more to it than that. Intimidate is about manipulating someone to do what you want through fear. It's not just about being scary, it's about using that scariness to achieve a desired outcome. Failing the roll doesn't necessarily mean you failed to be scary, it means you failed to properly utilize that scariness to achieve your desired outcome.

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    I don't consider it an auto-success, I consider it a logical conclusion drawn by the victim. If you have a gun and they have reason to believe you will use it on them (especially if they just saw you do so), they have the right to preserve themselves without requiring that person to successfully be scary. Their actions were already scary. No need for any pretense.
    But you also seem to be saying that a person with a gun to someone else's head and a clear willingness to use it automatically succeeds at Intimidate checks. That seems wrong to me, somehow. If that's not what you mean, then I apologize for continued derailment.

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    If you know nothing about guns, because either you just ejected a perfectly good shell, or you were dumb enough not to have your shotgun ready to fire in the first place.
    Hehe, yeah, there is that. Still, even though I intellectually know that, I daresay that the sound of a racking shotgun is ingrained enough my hindbrain as a "bad sound" that it would probably make me a bit more scared. I think I even saw a show talking about police officers and firearms where a cop stated that racking a shotgun, loaded or not, is a great way to get a lot of perps to stop and throw their hands in the air. But, I'm just quoting the rule from the books (may have only been in 1E, not sure.) Hilariously, the Geist Cop in my game actually did that on an Intimidate check and failed.

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    I agree. But I would not consider that a function of failing an intimidate roll. Scaring someone too much means you super scary. That's the function of a super successful intimidate roll.
    So, are you saying that you can still fail at the goal you set for yourself with a roll even if you succeeded a lot?

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    Absolutely. I'm not talking about lacking politics and social stuff, I'm specifically referring to fancy parties. I feel like a lot of the trappings of vampire society that started with Masquerade way back in the early '90s is a product of, well, the '80s. That was the era when corporations and high society first became bad guys and media started showing us the slick black tie events these modern predators walked in. But, that stuff isn't really a thing anymore. The image is different. Rich people are less scary and more, I don't know, absurd. They're still the bad guys, but their spoiled, out of touch, and helpless when they can't throw money at the problem, since they were just given everything in life. They're not the monsters anymore, so, it doesn't feel as impactful to keep reiterating that scene in Vampire games. The vampires in power are going to be more than a hundred years old and the every day ones are going to be from the last 20 years mostly. You're lucky to even deal with a handful of vampires with that '80s mentality.
    Well, I think the "rich people are bad guys" trope is still alive and well in the modern day, precisely because they're so out-of-touch with the experiences of most people, and are still doing everything they can to build on what they have at the expense of "the lower orders." I don't want to get into a really loaded discussion here, so let's just say that there's a certain rich person prominently in the news right now who resembles this to a tee, and leave it at that.

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    So, my Vancouver is run by Jack Deighton, the actual real founder of Vancouver who, in my world, became a vampire. He and his Gangrel bloodline have an iron grip on the city. They have a few events, which feel like informal hang outs at a saloon where the Prince mostly just tells stories and everyone drinks (blood from drunk people), reflecting both the original culture of Mr. Deighton and the modern hipster culture. There are remnants of the covenants around, but they barely matter.
    Sounds cool.

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    My Twin Cities are run by, basically two groups of Viking vampires trying to win favor from the Crone's Cult of Thor. It's a lot more complicated and nuanced, I could tell you about it some time if you're interested, but it's still not fancy parties, it's old school mead hall shit.
    That sounds awesome, and I'd definitely like to hear more!

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    Bizarre, tangential question: where is your Gotham City? Is it anywhere near those twin cities? Do you act like it's just New York like most people do? Or do you put where the official DC continuity does, in New Jersey, where it's kind of an Atlantic City stand in?
    I put it in New Jersey, feeling that it felt right as a "dark counterpart to New York." I also borrowed a little more from the Batman continuity than a I probably should have (to the point where the Mage Consilium is run by Bruce Wayne, who is NOT Batman, but is a Mastigos with a Bat-flavored Nimbus, and most of the other Councilors are based on and named for Batman characters. The head of the Mysterium, for example, has the Shadow Name Aptenodytes.)

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    I actually meant 3rd edition in general, not 3.5 specifically. AD&D 2e was written basically giving the PCs very little information. Like, you didn't even know your saves. Those were in the DMG. 3rd edition was a radical swing in the opposite direction, giving players all the rules and designing everything so that players and GMs played with the exact same tools, attempting to prevent GMs from screwing the players and hoarding information, powers, etc. 3rd is still a good game, but all the places it falls down are where it was trying to protect players from their GMs instead of just trusting that that the GM would be playing in good faith. I just think the GM's job is to make sure the players are having a good time. GM vs. PCs is not a mindset I can get behind.
    I absolutely agree with you there. Unless you're playing a game where that is the point and part of the fun, and everyone's OK with it (Call of Cthulhu or Paranoia, or somesuch), the GM and players should be working together to create a story, not seeing if the GM can waste the PCs before the PCs can 2.5 Henderson the GM's plot.

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    So, ok, they're not all fancy parties, yeah? That makes more sense. But also, when you're trying to restrict their power, why invite everyone else anyway? Why have public parties all the time? What's the point? Businesses are run in the board room, not the charity gala. I feel like that concept in general is an artificial thing invented so that GMs can show off the super powerful political players to the PCs.

    Most business in my cities is conducted during small meetings or over the phone or something, not during grand affairs that every vampire goes to. Those basically never happen. Even Elysium is usually something many (maybe even most) vampires ignore or avoid. Grand affairs are obviously just an excuse for the ones in charge to throw their weight around and show everyone else their place, so, why would the ones under their thumb bother?
    It's less about getting business done (though that can certainly happen), but it's really the only place Kindred can meaningfully interact with each other. Humans are social creatures (for the most part), and we crave, even require, social interaction. Vampires may be living corpses, but they still have that fundamental need. So they gather together to they can talk to someone, anyone, with whom they have some vague shared (un)life experience. Of course, the fact that they're undead bloodsucking corpses with a demonic ragemonster inside them means that whenever more than one of them is in the same room, they start trying to dick each other over, but that's another matter.

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    See, that sounds right to me. Not a fancy party.
    True, but still a social event where the rules and protocols must be observed. In a situation like this, the Bane you were thinking of could be abused by jerkish STs (or even other players) by pointing out the rules and structures the Gangrel has to obey in this circumstance because that's the way it is. Or heck. . . my Crossover Chronicle started, after the individual character's Preludes, with the Geist being picked up by two Internal Affairs agents who were Carthian ghouls and driving to the Carthian meeting because they wanted to ask her some pointed questions about some vampires she'd helped kill during her Prelude. And in recompense for that, she had to help them out with another small matter. It was really just a way of me getting a Mage, a Vampire, and a Geist (and later, a Promethean) in the same room so I could start running a semi-coherent game, but a Gangrel player under similar circumstances would be rather disadvantaged.

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    That, though, sounds less like something a real vampire would actually want or do and more like something a crazy old guy guy who lived during "King and his Court" time would impose on people because nobody else could possible beat him in a test of power. In other words, for Masquerade, where those insane, un-topple-able power structures were obnoxious and stifling for players. They literally couldn't advance. Ever. Because they couldn't ever match that guy's generation or his thousand years of experience.
    Eh, like I said, I haven't put a lot of thought into it because my players never showed interest in working with the Invictus.

    Originally posted by The Storyteller View Post
    Yeah, how to mechanize that?

    I think, for me, this is going to run into issues. I suspect I call for many fewer rolls than others do, and when something does call for rolls, I probably use way more, because I resolve things by task, so each individual piece gets a roll, rather than resolving the conflict in one go. Number of rolls is also just so variable...it seems like it will either never happen or always happen, and it'll really just be the flavor text stuff making Gangrel feel like they ought to. I don't know, I'll consider it. I do like the direction, though, still, just having trouble with the execution.
    Yeah, I'm not really sure my own self how to work it mechanically just yet. If you think of something, let me know, and I'll do the same.
    Last edited by ErikModi; 03-26-2016, 09:41 PM.

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  • ShadowKnight1224
    replied
    I'd like to chime in to point out that rolling Intimidation is not determining how intimidating you are. It's determining whether or not you succeed at intimidating someone.

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