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A question regarding B&S and high level disciplines

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  • A question regarding B&S and high level disciplines

    With lower costs for high level disciplines, some players will throw themselves right at very high level abilities, sometimes within just a few sessions.

    I have a bit of a problem with characters who have maybe been vampires for a week having abilities like Possession. (I have less of a problem with physical abilities, but still)

    Should I maybe just get over it and stop thinking stuff like that is the purview of older vampires?

    Or maybe just appeal to the players to not frontload themselves like that?

    How does everyone else feel?

  • #2
    I feel that the lower level Discipline powers are very good, so the urge to diversify is there more than before, as the pay-off comes sooner. Usually the higher level Discipline powers are very powerful, but they mostly give you more power in a field you already control very well at 3 dots or so. Sure, Oubliette at 5 dots Obfuscate is amazing, but is Obfuscate 3/Auspex 2 not perhaps tastier? Animalism 5 looks good, but mayhap a level or 2 of Protean would get certain jobs done a lot better.
    Last edited by Unahim; 03-15-2014, 05:32 PM.

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    • #3
      Whatever works for the game. I would not recommend changing the cost of Disciplines. Instead simply set a guideline like "only 1 Discipline dot may be bought per Story concluded." Adjust as necessary for your game.

      I do think Unahim has a good point, though.


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      • #4
        To add another point to the conversation, some discipline powers (and some devotions too) are very expensive to use and have other limitations. Usually it is the powerful powers that have these problems. Unless you are already a powerful vampire, some powers will be difficult to use. For instance, obfuscate 5 requires 3 to 9 vitae and 1 willpower to use. It also has a duration of 1 week per blood potency. A low blood potency vampire will have difficulty using that power often (as it might deplete most of its vitae reserves), and with a low BP the vampire would need to refresh the power frequently.

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        • #5
          Personally I just tied all the disciplines to specific attributes and made it so you can't raise them past that. The three physical ones being the exception, those are in no way limited by any attribute.

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          • #6
            In my opinion earning a discipline should take time, effort and practice. I'd suggest my players point their characters in a different direction for now, explaining that they really haven't got enough knowledge of how the blood works to be able to do something of that skill yet.

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            • #7
              Remind them it's good to diversify.
              Part of the point is that they're not supposed to be the purview of elders anymore; players are supposed to be rewarded for diversifying but able to actually get those super-cool end-game powers (at end-game, mind you, with neat-o Devotions for even more funsies).

              Don't cap Disciplines based on a certain Attribute; all that's going to do is force an XP tax (which is awful). In turn, this means they will then have an Attribute at 5 (probably the one the Discipline-in-question rolls the most; probably unbalancing it even more). Disciplines cost less now for a reason; putting an arbitrary cap on them defeats that reason (and probably encourages crazy-bad min-maxing at character gen. Ew).

              DivineWrath has the right of it; the higher-end Disciplines can be rushed, sure, but how much millage are you going to get out of them, with costs like that?

              If you're worried, limiting them to one Discipline dot purchased per story completed is a good guide (especially if you put several months between stories in-game).
              Personally? We just talk it out before session. "What have you used a lot? What have you been practicing? Put your xp there. Remember it takes a long time to master Disciplines. How much focus have you been putting into it?"


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              • #8
                Exp put into raising those Disciplines is Exp away from elsewhere. The character may have mastered one area but will lack in others, it all tends to add up and balance itself out.

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                • #9
                  I think it's good, at the end of the day, to have all the shiny high-level Discipline effect within easier reach for the PCs. It's a bit of a waste if they're either the domain of NPCs or require the players to painstakingly save XP over many sessions.

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                  • #10
                    Vampires grow in capability at a variety of different rates. Blood Potency has a loose guideline for growth across years, and Disciplines don't have any at all. A vampire's variety of supernatural powers isn't keyed to her age.

                    What, then, is the edge elders have over the young? Resources. An elder is established. While not every one has a fortune to draw upon or hordes of mortal minions, every one has carved out a niche, and learned to protect that niche (or change it) across many years in a constantly changing world. Elders are presumed to have access to more social resources, like Retainer and, well, Resources, and they also have access to more metaphysical resources, like stored Vitae and Vitae-per-turn.

                    If you reduce everything to raw supernatural power, that would create a fairly static society of the dead. But that's reckoning without the experience system, which applies only to player characters. Unless you space your sessions at very wide intervals, they're going to increase in capabilities very fast, by design.

                    Player characters are inherently destabilizing elements in the setting. While they can choose to reify the establishment, they do so by increasing in power and influence themselves. And if they choose to tear it down, or to play kingmaker, they can (over time) do that much more effectively than Storyteller characters. In Requiem, player characters aren't eternally cowed by their elders and "betters." They're fully capable of surpassing and eclipsing them, if the players so choose.


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                    • #11
                      Resources 5 is both more powerful and more flexible than Vigor 5, really.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rose Bailey View Post
                        Vampires grow in capability at a variety of different rates. Blood Potency has a loose guideline for growth across years, and Disciplines don't have any at all. A vampire's variety of supernatural powers isn't keyed to her age.

                        What, then, is the edge elders have over the young? Resources. An elder is established. While not every one has a fortune to draw upon or hordes of mortal minions, every one has carved out a niche, and learned to protect that niche (or change it) across many years in a constantly changing world. Elders are presumed to have access to more social resources, like Retainer and, well, Resources, and they also have access to more metaphysical resources, like stored Vitae and Vitae-per-turn.

                        If you reduce everything to raw supernatural power, that would create a fairly static society of the dead. But that's reckoning without the experience system, which applies only to player characters. Unless you space your sessions at very wide intervals, they're going to increase in capabilities very fast, by design.

                        Player characters are inherently destabilizing elements in the setting. While they can choose to reify the establishment, they do so by increasing in power and influence themselves. And if they choose to tear it down, or to play kingmaker, they can (over time) do that much more effectively than Storyteller characters. In Requiem, player characters aren't eternally cowed by their elders and "betters." They're fully capable of surpassing and eclipsing them, if the players so choose.
                        Which is an interaction I love to see played out in-game. Nonetheless, I would like to see more elder-only benefits, the kind that makes the players watch in horror as the elder that was just diablerised struggles for control if just for a few turns -enough to make them count. What if that was the elder's plan all along? Has she found a way to keep her unholy powers while inside a mere "vessel"? If resources and networking are the tools of the trade for elders, how far can Conclaves go then?

                        Vampires are eternal creatures in a world of entropy. It hurts me in a special place when Tier 3 and 4 crossover games about Vampires means Kindred need to dwell in the lore and metaphysics of Hunter, Geist, Mage and Demon. B&S improved so many things, I hope you will excuse my itch for more.


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                        • #13
                          Elder-only benefits? Discipline levels 6 and up of course.

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                          • #14
                            And Attributes at 6+. And considerably higher Vitae capacity and Vitae per turn. By extension, they can pay for those crazy Devotions like Juggernaut's Gait and Force of Nature without having to spend several turns building up to it. Then there's Threnodies if you use them.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by stylanski View Post
                              Which is an interaction I love to see played out in-game. Nonetheless, I would like to see more elder-only benefits, the kind that makes the players watch in horror as the elder that was just diablerised struggles for control if just for a few turns -enough to make them count. What if that was the elder's plan all along? Has she found a way to keep her unholy powers while inside a mere "vessel"? If resources and networking are the tools of the trade for elders, how far can Conclaves go then?

                              Vampires are eternal creatures in a world of entropy. It hurts me in a special place when Tier 3 and 4 crossover games about Vampires means Kindred need to dwell in the lore and metaphysics of Hunter, Geist, Mage and Demon. B&S improved so many things, I hope you will excuse my itch for more.
                              I'm in the early stages of A Thousand Years of Night, which will add some cool stuff for elders. There may be new powers -- the Disciplines in Blood and Smoke were designed with add-ons in mind. I definitely intend to dig into dynastic politics, transcending history, and elder-as-conspiracy. If I have room, there might also be the cultivation of ghoul families.
                              Last edited by Rose Bailey; 03-17-2014, 04:43 PM.


                              Cavaliers of Mars Creator

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