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  • #16
    Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
    Blood Magic has a kind of paradigm associated with it. You can't just click your fingers and expect the world to change, you need to Study and Practise. A Vampire can rise from the Embrace with Celerity 2 and Potence 1, ready to kick arse. The same is not true of Blood Magic, which is learnt through knowledge.
    A statement supported by all of nothing in the corebook. I can take Thaumaturgy as an additional in-clan discipline, I can take three to five dots of it on a fresh from embrace neonate, I can take it as a starting discipline for a Catiff. And gasp, I learn it exactly the same way I learn every other discipline! And I use it exactly the same way I use every other discipline too - in a three-second turn, without any words or gestures or anything. Such a different discipline indeed.

    But really, you are missing the point. I don't care what is the in-character justification behind Blood Magic. I'm saying again that there shouldn't be "Blood Magic" because it does not fit into the mechanical paradigm of VtM Disciplines. "All of the above" should not be a valid choice for your super power no matter what mumbo jumbo you spout to explain it.

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    • #17
      Thankfully the book encourages you to make your own 6+ powers or just choose one of those ;P

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      • #18
        Well, there is plenty of examples of broken superheroes who can do everything, but I am largely in agreement. I think that an adequate fix for the issues with Blood Magic would be to make in more like the Mythic Numina. If it was more like the Mythic Numina, I think that it would make Blood Magic a lot less abusive and make practitioners of Blood Magic more likely to explore non-combat Paths.

        I think an adequate solution would be the following. Each Path of Blood Magic requires a specific combination of Attributes and Abilities to practice (for example, Path of Blood would be Intelligence plus Occult while Path of Conjuration would be Dexterity plus Occult), meaning that you would need to diversify to be an effective practitioner. Spells take a minimum of one turn per level of effect to cast and may take longer depending on the nature of the Path, meaning that many of the most abusive uses of Blood Magic would have to be carefully planned out. Practitioners may hang spells for a +1 difficulty to every mental action per two spells hung (rounded up) and may fast cast spell by accepting a +1 difficulty for every turn of casting ignored, meaning that careful practitioners would have a spell or two hung just in case.

        With those changes, I think that the Blood Magic would be a lot less abusive and make practitioners of Blood Magic much more careful. Practitioners would still be feared, but they would probably depend on combat spells a lot less often. It would also make transitioning from Mythic Numina to Blood Magic relatively simple for Embraced Sorcerers.

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        • #19
          My personal take on Imprint is that its useful for covering any feats of strength that would otherwise be edge cases. Can I crush this giant thing with my bare hands? With Imprint you can. Can I force my fingers into this wall and climb it that way? With Imprint you can. Can I bend girders? Can I plow through this barricade? Can I drop through the sidewalk and into the sewer? With Imprint you can.

          Could you do all of these things with Potence normally? Possibly, but Imprint answers that question definitively.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
            Blood Magic has a kind of paradigm associated with it. You can't just click your fingers and expect the world to change, you need to Study and Practise. A Vampire can rise from the Embrace with Celerity 2 and Potence 1, ready to kick arse. The same is not true of Blood Magic, which is learnt through knowledge.
            ...

            Just look at the difference. Jane spends a point of blood, grows claws. Harry focuses on the power granted to him by his infernal Master, sacrifices a point of blood and green flames pour out of his mouth. Thaumaturgy can sometimes feel like "Spend Blood, Thing Happens", but this isn't the case as the powers rely on a paradigm of mathematics, hermetic forces, cultural symbolism... this is more obvious in Rituals, but still present in Paths.
            Pretend I'm a person picking up Vampire for the first time today, and I kind of like the idea of rolling up a Tremere focused on Movement of the Mind. I come into the game with Thaumaturgy 3, and I'm ready to play. I ask you this question: how do I use this Discipline? Like what do I do in this scene with a problem I'm trying to solve with telekinesis. What actions, words, thoughts, focus does my character engage in? What do outsiders see? What does it feel like to her?

            Bonus points if you can point to the write up in the book to support your answer.


            I seem to have acquired a site for running play by post games. This is unexpected and frightening and come watch either the glorious play or the magnificent train wreck:

            The Malkavian Madness Network

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
              A statement supported by all of nothing in the corebook. I can take Thaumaturgy as an additional in-clan discipline, I can take three to five dots of it on a fresh from embrace neonate, I can take it as a starting discipline for a Catiff. And gasp, I learn it exactly the same way I learn every other discipline! And I use it exactly the same way I use every other discipline too - in a three-second turn, without any words or gestures or anything. Such a different discipline indeed.

              But really, you are missing the point. I don't care what is the in-character justification behind Blood Magic. I'm saying again that there shouldn't be "Blood Magic" because it does not fit into the mechanical paradigm of VtM Disciplines. "All of the above" should not be a valid choice for your super power no matter what mumbo jumbo you spout to explain it.
              Read V20 Rites of Blood, if you will. I'm not going to copy and paste the entire introductory chapter for your convenience. I can tell you that you're wrong, based on the content of V20 Rites of Blood (literally the bible for blood magic in games played in V20, and yes, it does override the corebook), but you won't listen and you won't read the chapter and if you do you'll find some escape route from understanding it.

              Yes, you can take it as an additional "Discipline", it's called a Discipline because a side-bar saying "oh but not really a Discipline, that term is overly simplistic you see-" in the STUFFED Corebook would be silly. Blood Magic as a quasi-Discipline is a concept laid out in the book on blood magic, for a good reason. "Oh, but I can start with 5 dots?!"; your starting character may be a Neonate, they may be a prodigy of Thaumaturgy, but they did not randomly manifest Path of Blood 5, they learned it. Again, read Rites of Blood. Your Neonate with Thaumaturgy 5 is at least a few years past the embrace. The standard V20 game is Neonates, yes, but you're forgetting that that means you've passed being a Fledgeling. Furthermore the Tremere do 7 years of training and indoctrination... so if your character is a recently embraced Tremere running around like a proper Vampire, you haven't done your reading I'm afraid (that's in Lore of the Clans I believe, or are we ignoring all non-core book? I wonder...).

              And Thaumaturgy is not "all of the above". There is not a Path of Speaking To Animals. There is not a Path of Super Speed. There is not a Path of Invisibility. Thaumaturgy is a series of powers which would feel silly as Disciplines because we don't associate them with Vampires. Can a Vampire create fire? I mean... no? Now a WIZARD Vampire? They can make fire. There is a clear gap between Disciplines and Blood Magic, in themes and mechanics and purpose. Blood Magic is an amalgamation of powers which wouldn't really work as Disciplines. There are some abhorrences, such as the "Path of Shadow Manipulation", but none of these are powers which you can use in a V20 game really.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by BenjCano View Post

                Pretend I'm a person picking up Vampire for the first time today, and I kind of like the idea of rolling up a Tremere focused on Movement of the Mind. I come into the game with Thaumaturgy 3, and I'm ready to play. I ask you this question: how do I use this Discipline? Like what do I do in this scene with a problem I'm trying to solve with telekinesis. What actions, words, thoughts, focus does my character engage in? What do outsiders see? What does it feel like to her?

                Bonus points if you can point to the write up in the book to support your answer.
                OOC? You can say "I use Movement of the Mind 1 to grab the keys off the desk and pull them into my cell, when the guard is distracted by James screaming.". You aren't an expert on the Occult, you aren't a blood sorcerer, and you aren't required to KNOW the ins and outs of the magic. You can just say "I do X.". And that's okay! Much easier for starting players, certainly. However if you were really getting into it, you could do something along the lines of... "I focus on the Hermetic concept of moving objects. The distance between my hand and the key is a small one... 3 meters? Well my Will outweighs three measly meters of thin air. I focus, and I pull the keys towards me, straight into my hand. I visualise it, and I push that reality into the world."

                Now that's a really huge amount of internal RP for, well, using Movement of the Mind 1. BUT, it's very important that a Player do this with Rituals occasionally, or when talking to other Thaumaturges... if you want to get into this sort of thing.

                I mean I can have Manipulation 5 and Intimidation 5, I don't know how to sound like someone like that, I don't know how to describe it really beyond simple adjectives. I don't HAVE to know everything my character knows.

                Oh, and where am I getting this? Well Thaumaturgy is written up in the fluff as being descended from Hermetic Magick, and therefore it is obsessed with the concepts of Willworking, commanding the universe to obey you, and it does so using the concepts of forces being shaped by Willpower alone. To get super technical there is some mathematics, some occult symbolism (specific metals), phallic imagery (swords, staffs)... this is FAR more obvious in Rituals than in Path Powers I will grant. This information is gleaned from a bunch of ritual writeups, some Thaumaturgy writeups, and I'm not doing 2 hours of work to pick up all of those quotes.

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                • #23
                  Upon reflection, I've realised that you've both skimmed over huge portions of what I wrote (literally, the answers to your questions are in what I wrote), so it probably wasn't worth responding to. Ah well.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post

                    I like that idea. For example, Invisible Weapon could be an alternative to Obfuscate 3, Soul Mask and Mind Blank could be alternatives to Obfuscate 5... learning a power for a level you already have (so learning another level 5 power for Obfuscate for example) is only 3x the power's level. You could have a merit called Sanguine Flexibility where learning alternative powers for Disciplines you've mastered is 2x the level value.

                    This would FINALLY make Disciplines equal to Blood Magic. Toreador would have Toreador-only Presence powers which are rarely known outside the Clan, as would the Setites and the Ventrue and the Brujah. And those variants would change everything, as it would give versatility and inexpensive powers (remember that Paths of Blood Magic are 4x current level) to non-blood-mages.

                    It would also help people with pacifist concepts or high Humanity concepts avoid powers they can't use or would never use, giving them alternatives which can be a tad niche at times. A Dominate 4 power which is entirely focused on surgically removing the most traumatic and painful details of a subject's memory, under hypnotic suggestion. A Dominate 5 power where you don't have total control, you're piloting and the Mortal (or even Cainite) can take back control easily if they want to.

                    If this system is implemented it MUST NOT be applied to blood magic. There isn't an alternative power for Path of Blood 4, it's linear magic and you don't get surprise powers, you're already getting rituals and flexibility and cheapness.
                    I like the idea but x3 or x2 is to cheap, especially if you compare it to Blood Magic.

                    Let's take the example of a character focused on gathering information:
                    One focusing Auspex, let's say you want 2 lvl 2 power, it will cost you just (5+6/4xp) to learn a second one

                    Now let's see on Thaumaturgy
                    You start with Path of Blood 1, A taste of Blood can be interesting.
                    Then you want let's say Wooden Tongues from Elemental Mastery lvl 2, you need to up Path of Bloofd to level 3 (5+10xp), then learn Elemental 1 then 2 (7+4xp)


                    You do have a reduced cost & the addition of rituals (completely under ST control though), so I think level of additional power x4 would be good enough, it's the same price as Thaumaturgy without the hassle of having to learn a new disciplines from scratch.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post

                      OOC? You can say "I use Movement of the Mind 1 to grab the keys off the desk and pull them into my cell, when the guard is distracted by James screaming.". You aren't an expert on the Occult, you aren't a blood sorcerer, and you aren't required to KNOW the ins and outs of the magic. You can just say "I do X.". And that's okay! Much easier for starting players, certainly. However if you were really getting into it, you could do something along the lines of... "I focus on the Hermetic concept of moving objects. The distance between my hand and the key is a small one... 3 meters? Well my Will outweighs three measly meters of thin air. I focus, and I pull the keys towards me, straight into my hand. I visualise it, and I push that reality into the world."
                      That's not quite what I mean. In the scene where my newbie Thaumaturge uses MotM to grab the keys...what does she DO in the scene? Does he chant? Wave a wand? Squint at them with an intense look of concentration? Like what would someone looking at her see?
                      Last edited by BenjCano; 04-07-2017, 04:07 PM.


                      I seem to have acquired a site for running play by post games. This is unexpected and frightening and come watch either the glorious play or the magnificent train wreck:

                      The Malkavian Madness Network

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by 11twiggins
                        And Thaumaturgy is not "all of the above". There is not a Path of Speaking To Animals...
                        No, but there's a path of Speaking to Plants . Do you really think a Path of Speaking To Animals would be out of the scope of Thaum if Animalism didn't existed?

                        There is not a Path of Super Speed...
                        I grant you that most Paths aren't like Celerity/Potence/Fortitude in that they don't provide a single power that it's improved when you level up the Path. Still, at this point, most Disciplines aren't like that either.

                        One exeption it's Movement of the Mind

                        There is not a Path of Invisibility.
                        At this point you still aren't ready to admit that there could be a Path like that?

                        Thaumaturgy is a series of powers which would feel silly as Disciplines because we don't associate them with Vampires. Can a Vampire create fire? I mean... no? Now a WIZARD Vampire? They can make fire. There is a clear gap between Disciplines and Blood Magic, in themes and mechanics and purpose. Blood Magic is an amalgamation of powers which wouldn't really work as Disciplines.
                        Daimonion can create fire, and it's a Discipline. A certain high power of Vicissitude that you criticized can do the same.

                        Daimonion, Obtenebration, Serpentis, Chimestry...there's a load of "magical" Disciplines, that could easily be the inspiration of a Path if they didn't existed. There's not a big conceptual difference between Paths and Disciplines.

                        Of course, there are differences: Usually Paths are weaker (usually), and they never go past 5. There are at least a few rules that say that blood magic can't be learned without studying occult lore and stuff. That's it.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                          Oh, and where am I getting this? Well Thaumaturgy is written up in the fluff as being descended from Hermetic Magick, and therefore it is obsessed with the concepts of Willworking, commanding the universe to obey you, and it does so using the concepts of forces being shaped by Willpower alone. To get super technical there is some mathematics, some occult symbolism (specific metals), phallic imagery (swords, staffs)...
                          Fun story: Hermetic magic as described in Mage is actually about as similar to historic Hermeticism as Akashics are to eastern magic. "willworking" is not a thing. The base of hermetic magic were Alchemy (self-explanatory), Astrology (self-explanatory) and Theurgy (meditative and liturgical practices meant to bring a spiritually pure man closer to God and angels). The better known Enochian magic, created by Dee and Kelley and popularised by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Crowley was also largely about contacting angels. It had a lot of math (you use convoluted tables to calculate the name of the angel suited for a specific task), and the magician was using the names of God to command angel. Making the universe obey you would actually be considered blasphemous in most classical western magical systems, because most western magicians whose works survived were monks and christian theurgists.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Path of Invisibility

                            But there is a level 2 ritual "Donning the Mask of Shadows" which makes you invisible and contests Auspex 3.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                              Re: Path of Invisibility

                              But there is a level 2 ritual "Donning the Mask of Shadows" which makes you invisible and contests Auspex 3.
                              And you can't see the difference between a 10 minute ritual where you need to enchant a Mask and simply having Obfuscate? There are Rituals which attempt to capture the potency of Disciplines, yes, because Tremere are greedy power-hungry Bastards. Now if the ritual were "do this ritual, you have Obfuscate 2 now" that would be a load of bullshit, instead we have a ritual with ingredients, a time limit, limitations... I'm annoyed by the false equivalences between powers and rituals. There's a huge difference between "the power that does X" and "the ritual that does X".

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Aleph View Post

                                No, but there's a path of Speaking to Plants . Do you really think a Path of Speaking To Animals would be out of the scope of Thaum if Animalism didn't existed?



                                I grant you that most Paths aren't like Celerity/Potence/Fortitude in that they don't provide a single power that it's improved when you level up the Path. Still, at this point, most Disciplines aren't like that either.

                                One exeption it's Movement of the Mind



                                At this point you still aren't ready to admit that there could be a Path like that?



                                Daimonion can create fire, and it's a Discipline. A certain high power of Vicissitude that you criticized can do the same.

                                Daimonion, Obtenebration, Serpentis, Chimestry...there's a load of "magical" Disciplines, that could easily be the inspiration of a Path if they didn't existed. There's not a big conceptual difference between Paths and Disciplines.

                                Of course, there are differences: Usually Paths are weaker (usually), and they never go past 5. There are at least a few rules that say that blood magic can't be learned without studying occult lore and stuff. That's it.
                                Vampires in folklore talk to Animals a lot. It would be weird to make talking to animals "vampire wizadry".

                                The "Path of Invisibility"? It would never exist since it would be mechanically redundant.

                                Yes, Daimoinon leans on the mystical, as does Bardo. The system isn't 100% consistent. I will say that Daimoinon is most certainly a Discipline as it's secrets stolen by sorcerer kings from Demons in it's V20 writeup, and so it (like Obtenebration and Bardo) might seem a tad mystical but it's still inherent to the Blood; they aren't normal Disciplines, they're weird, but they kind of work as Disciplines so I'd leave them. Daimoinon can make fire, yes, but not all Disciplines are traditional Vampire powers from folklore, it's just a good rule of thumb (gotta go fast is Discipline, talking to ghosts is Magic, mind control is Discipline, summoning objects from thing air is Magic).

                                Should Daimoinon be the primary Path of so-called "Dark Thaumaturgy"? I could see that, certainly. But all but 2 of the powers feel like Dementation powers, and it feels borderline. Same with Bardo.

                                Serpentis is transformation powers with a snake theme. It's certainly a Discipline. Same with the others (admittedly to lesser degrees).

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