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  • Feeding in Classic Vampire versus V5

    Feeding is one of the elements of V:TM that was massively overhauled. This is something that is rarely discussed because so many other more controversial elements usually take center stage but I think this is a basic element that needs more attention. So, this is a thread to discuss which type of feeding and how it affects a vampire's night to night unliving is preferable. Also, what were good up and downs for both.

    The changes for the way feeding is conducted:

    * The Hunger Dice makes it much-much harder to "pack" your Blood Pool so that the Hunger never goes away. You are always hungry unless you've killed someone so that the Beast is a constant concern for Hunger frenzies. Classic, however, make it so running out of blood is the much much larger danger.

    * Blood Potency and Generation versus Generation alone.

    * Generation has a FAR vaster affect on the ability for someone to "ethically" feed with Blood Packs and Animal Blood being something that only the Highest Generation Kindred can feed on. This is, of course, a huge change from classic where only the Methuselah's Thirst made it IMPOSSIBLE to feed on animal blood or "cold blood."

    * Resonance obviously exists in V5 and is related to your ability to gain Disciplines. Blood is just blood in Classic.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-13-2022, 08:57 PM.


    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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  • #2
    The hunger dice is a nice concept, helps with reducing bookkeeping and is very thematic, too bad that the way they are implemented leaves a lot to be desired, doesn't matter how you want to put it, punishing players for rolling too well is stupid, at least allow to spend willpower to avoid the effects of a chaotic success or whatever the hell they called it.

    Regarding the feeding limitations, that is one of the things I hate the most, using bloodbags and animal blood has always been a thing and this change only limits players options even more, resonance likewise is an unnecessary addon that almost nobody will use since it takes a lot of timing and preparation to get the right "flavour".

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    • #3
      The switch to hunger is mostly just a step sideways. Hunger dice are a mechanic for a game where you have very few rolls, but every single roll could have massive consequences. I don't think it really gels with V5's other rules, but I like it in theory and especially like that you're always a little bit hungry unless you've gorged yourself. Classic and Requiem probably should have had some kind of mechanic for keeping yourself from being too full but hunger dice needed another revision or three. There's other ways you could do it, like diminishing returns on blood or targets, but such things might require too much bookkeeping.

      As to Blood Potency, urgh. Admittedly most of my issues are due to not thinking it fits thematically, but it's feeding restrictions scale way too rapidly. Requiem BP doesn't hinder animal blood consumption at level 2, and has the vitae gain from blood bags gradually decrease. Plus the need to kill to get hunger below 2 really reduces the practicalities of playing low gen kindred.

      Resonance is a 'how much does this rule actually get used' thing. Like maybe there's tables who make extensive use of such rules, they're not the kind I've tended to play at.


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      If I suggestion I make contradicts in-setting metaphysics please ignore me, I probably brought in scientific ideas.

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      • #4
        I've thought on it a lot over the last four years, but I think Blood Potency just doesn't work in VTM. It's a neat idea to let PCs have a "level" that increases, like Arete or Dharma, but realistically, it only becomes relevant in games spanning decades or centuries.

        When it does become relevant, the need to balance the advantages it offers against banes and the like makes PCs unplayable at a certain level.

        Plus, if you just allow vampires to spend as much vitae as they want on a single active Discipline use per turn, then the other limitations on vitae don't matter as much.

        Predator Types are a good idea as an optional thing. I don't think they're essential, but they make a nice replacement for freebie points to round out a character a little.

        Resonance as a fluff thing would be fine. I might let it give a minor bonus in extreme cases, but certainly no more than a couple of dice -- and that only if you drink all the target's blood, killing them. However, I think vampires being able to detect different flavours of blood from scent alone would make a good addition to a vampire's core abilities, and adds to the beastliness. (I would also add night sight and VTR2e's Kindred Senses.)

        I quite like MET's optional feeding rules, which use cards with different victims on. You can use that system quite well in any vampire game. Simply arrange all the victims into groups, which becoming hunting locations, and anyone who wants to feed in a given location can choose a card from that location. The victim may just have a flavour, or they may give a small bonus, and the card can also list any complications, items the target holds, and so on.

        In most cases, I would make hunting an interlude or montage. But occasionally it needs to take the focus.

        Hunger is a neat idea, but the execution isn't quite how I'd do it. Hunger as a *bonus* on certain rolls makes sense. You could use it to replace dice only where you are trying to concentrate despite gnawing hunger or if you are at risk of frenzy.

        Finally, I think the last part of the puzzle is the Beast itself. If everyone had a Beast Nature, you could rule that certain conditions make it ascendant, making your Human Nature dormant. At that point, the only way to regain Willpower would be via playing your Beast Nature, and your Human Nature would only reassert itself when your blood pool is completely filled again.


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        • #5
          Its a difference of game experience for me I think the hunger system when combined other mechanics simulates childer/ mid neonate life very well: you're twitchy and don't have a great handle on your thirst. In contrast the blood pool combined with raw power of a non v5 vampire simulates mid neonate+, you have a good grasp on your beast but frenzies are more destructive in the same sense a rabid rottweiler is worse than a chiwawa.

          Couple of minor points

          -generation pre 5 can be frustrating to play with and was pretty messy In terms of disciplines.

          -the v5 hunger system feels incomplete somehow as though it needed more time in development.

          -resonance is pointless filer

          -despite v5s best efforts you will get bored with feeding eventually.
          Last edited by Ragged Robin; 11-15-2022, 01:33 AM.

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          • #6
            Hunger in V5 simply isn't versatile enough for what I want to do with vampires, and it feels completely at odds with the core ideas of Vampire the Masquerade. It's great for pre-20th century horror one-shots where you've suddenly turned, but the horror gets stale and even contemptible after long enough; the system is not suited for vampires who aren't fledglings, and more importantly for modern nights it's just far too problematic to reasonably posit the idea that a semi-competent vampire conspiracy upholds some kind of masquerade with any measure of success when they're getting messy criticals all the time and can't do anything other than avoid doing things to mitigate that. "A Beast I am Lest the Beast I Become" simply doesn't work for V5 because the Beast is always there and controlling it is futile. People are quick to desensitize themselves to the horror when not only "the beast made me do it" is a real thing but they couldn't have reasonably stopped the beast from making them do it. In prior editions, you could lose control and frenzy, but you could do a lot to minimize the chance of that happening and thus you were responsible for your frenzies. You aren't responsible for your messy crits. The only option to not-have messy crits is unreasonable. The best way to play being not-to-do-anything-that-requires-a-roll is shit, quite frankly.


            Pre 5 feeding was
            better for the setting because the masquerade was more sustainable.
            Better for smart/strategic players because you've got a measurable resource.
            Better for players who've put more than an hour into the game, because they're more than likely sick and tired of beastials.

            If you want to talk Generation and Blood Potency, that's an even bigger blunder on the part of V5.
            V5's way of doing Generation is in my opinion, moralistic bullshit, and does an absolute disservice to the political cynicism that makes up and inspire VTM's political reality. Generation is a bad trade in V5: You may gain a quick boost in discipline dots, you may gain some extra dice to healing and disciplines, but you're abso-fucking-lutely shooting yourself in the foot by limiting your ability to satiate your hunger. In V5, you have the choice to become a low gen, but it's clearly the choice that will being your character to ruin in morallity, quality of unlife, and I'd argue it even becomes mechanically disadvantageous. Is it really much of a moral quandry when it's nearly objectively wrong to diablerize? No.
            Meanwhile, In VTM, you diablerize because there's a glass ceiling and the only way to break it is cannibalistic murder. There are risks, but the only consequence of getting lower gen is being targeted for it, which thematically works wonders. There's a long way to the top if you want to try getting there, and who's to say who's right? Maybe you're being selfish, maybe you'd do more good with that power than the elder you ate (or at least you'll do less bad things, right?).

            Other sideeffects of V5's potency:
            1: Your party is going to be wildly imbalanced by diableries given how much XP you can get from one.
            2: you know for a fact that Methuselah's thirst is not only real but certain, whereas in prior editions it was a distant possibility with little supporting evidence that had people on edge and may have been an issue for a few isolated vampires but for the most part was probably just fearmongering rumours.


            By almost every metric the games before V5 did hunger significantly better.


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            • #7
              Blood potency increases being a mixed blessing at best is not a bug, it's a feature. The dirty little secret of this edition is that you aren't intended to play a vampire, not really. You're intended to play someone with little or no blood potency, but also low bane rating and high humanity, who fights the REAL vampires: the creatures with high power, but also high bane-rating and low humanity. You're supposed to loathe the REAL vampires, and kill them using the subtle advantages of high humanity and low bane-ratings. It's a vampire-hunter game where you are akin to the half turned types like Mina in Dracula and Michael in the Lost Boys.

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              • #8
                I think the most interesting thing about the changes to feeding for V5 is the fact that it strongly incentivizes the desire to play a High Generation vampire. From a storytelling standpoint, this has some ups and downs.

                1. It's a good thing because in "Classic" V:TM, having a High Generation was somehting that virtually everyone avoided like the plague. This actually incentivizes players to try to play 11th, 12th, and 13th generation characters in a way that was never the case before. If you want to be a animal blood drinking "good" vampire, you have to be one of the weaker bloods.

                2. To further go with 1#, this is something that was actually meant to be the case in 1st Edition that most of the modern vampires were meant to be Thin Bloods and Caitiff and weaker generations. It was the Time of Thin Blood after all. This helps contradict the immense POWER CREEP that was a constant and neverending threat in Classic V:TM.

                3. It creates some distinct playstyle differences from the "Potent" blood generations and the "Weak" blood with the former being more inclined to be homicidal alien blooded vampires and the latter being more inclined to be friendly neighborhood ones in a way that isn't necessarily wrong from a lore standpoint.

                4. The fact you can more or less choose your own generation also affects things as it shows what sort of vampire playstyle you have as both have their ups and downs.

                But this gets to the negative:

                1. SHOULD there be an incentive to play as a high generation "stuffed in a locker" vampire? The thing about being High Generation in previous editions is it SUCKS. You band together in coteries because 4-5 vampires hanging out is less likely to get their ass kicked than one going alone.

                2. Diablerie is nerfed. Say what you will about cannibalism but the reasons for doing it in previous edition made sense. Whether your ST did the popular house rule of adding a point of Discipline for each kill or not, the rise on a generation was always a good thing. The social consequences might suck but only if you were caught and not if they had a blood hunt on them.

                Combined with all the new Diablerie rules, it seems a lot more hit and miss.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CajunKhan View Post
                  Blood potency increases being a mixed blessing at best is not a bug, it's a feature. The dirty little secret of this edition is that you aren't intended to play a vampire, not really. You're intended to play someone with little or no blood potency, but also low bane rating and high humanity, who fights the REAL vampires: the creatures with high power, but also high bane-rating and low humanity. You're supposed to loathe the REAL vampires, and kill them using the subtle advantages of high humanity and low bane-ratings. It's a vampire-hunter game where you are akin to the half turned types like Mina in Dracula and Michael in the Lost Boys.
                  Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                  I think the most interesting thing about the changes to feeding for V5 is the fact that it strongly incentivizes the desire to play a High Generation vampire. From a storytelling standpoint, this has some ups and downs.
                  Ultimately I think it boils down to ambition and how you see vampires. In V20, you're most likely a high functioning sociopath encouraged to take risks and murder your way to the top in a gross parody of real world elites. Whether you do so stably or not both serve the cause of satire. In V5 you're a mentally ill minority persecuted from every angle and overcome with guilt, though it's a bit easier to get into politic, it's as CajunKhan says: playing a vampire like a vampire in V5 is a mistake, you're playing a human with issues, and you should be fighting the REAL vampires. The satirical elements are pretty dead in V5. The pre-5 approach is broad and widely applicable and you'll never get bored of it. V5 on the otherhand is overly narrow in scope. I'm (probably) neurotypical, and I find the plight of V5 vampires more difficult to relate too, it feels like it was built for a very narrow and specific audience.



                  1. It's a good thing because in "Classic" V:TM, having a High Generation was somehting that virtually everyone avoided like the plague. This actually incentivizes players to try to play 11th, 12th, and 13th generation characters in a way that was never the case before. If you want to be a animal blood drinking "good" vampire, you have to be one of the weaker bloods.
                  I would argue that some people are attracted to underdogs and would be very happy to start off at a disadvantage. Making them equal or giving them specialness in ThBlAlc... well, you can't be that special underdog anymore (I'd also argue that players flocking to start at 8th gen without consequence is a flaw of prior editions but one that could be remedied)

                  2. To further go with 1#, this is something that was actually meant to be the case in 1st Edition that most of the modern vampires were meant to be Thin Bloods and Caitiff and weaker generations. It was the Time of Thin Blood after all. This helps contradict the immense POWER CREEP that was a constant and neverending threat in Classic V:TM.
                  What powercreep? All I see is well intended design.

                  3. It creates some distinct playstyle differences from the "Potent" blood generations and the "Weak" blood with the former being more inclined to be homicidal alien blooded vampires and the latter being more inclined to be friendly neighborhood ones in a way that isn't necessarily wrong from a lore standpoint.
                  Is this a complaint? It doesn't seem like a complaint. I would argue that lower-gen players being more murderous is more because they wanted an optimized murder character first and picked more gen dots rather than resource dots to support that. Playing a low gen character and then realizing you're really good at murdering happens occasionally but let's not kid ourselves. A similar argument could be made for Tremere and Thaumaturgy: really attractive to powergamers and murderhobos but not inherently problematic.




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                  • #10
                    One of the core reasons why I didn't like V5 alongside Blood Potency when I first played even though I thought they sounded cool and innovative at first. My opinion didn't change so far and in fact gotten worse.

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                    • #11
                      Honestly if the Devs want to outright state in the books that the PCs are supposed to be high generation I don't have an issue with that. I'd like to have the extra BP/turn come a bit earlier, but that would require a rework of how Generation is bought.

                      Honestly just abandoning BP and using the chart as a 'how low gen are you' deal probably works fine for the generations PCs are meant to have. It also helps to serve to keep the really low generation kindred out of the direct game, which really was the intention early on. The low gens spend their time in torpor and work via proxies, with the PC's visible enemies being the mid-gens who operate mostly as before.

                      Of course this works even better if you rework hunger dice. Probably by having them add to your dice pool during stressful situations and frenzy, while vampires are better able to contain their Beast the majority of the time. Maybe give each character a couple of Beast Triggers, possibly including a Clan one, that cause them to lash out. With enough refinement I think even 4th gen PCs might be playable, even if they have to deal with the difficulty of slaking hunger (which players will still want to do, to throw around more blood buffing and Disciplines).

                      Of course at that point you're getting back to the rigid age and generation based structures V5 has intentionally moved away from. Going back to them isn't a bad thing, and would help make the Camarilla more engaging villains, but it's not the current direction of the game.


                      Blue is sarcasm.

                      If I suggestion I make contradicts in-setting metaphysics please ignore me, I probably brought in scientific ideas.

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                      • #12
                        My problem with some changes is that they feel really jarring. This was not a thing last edition, but I'm expected to just accept it is now just like that? I'm not going to. I don't dislike V5's mechanics or the atmosphere they create, but it doesn't feel like a natural continuation of VtM because that's definitely not how my characters worked before.

                        For the mechanics themselves:

                        I actually sometimes prefer the hunger dice to regular frenzy mechanics, though not clarifying that you don't apply them to every single roll came a bit late so many people still think that's how they work.

                        Hunger itself is something I'm currently playing around with for V20 purposes. But I have issues with it.

                        One, it's way too random. Blood pool makes way more sense to me.

                        Killing to get rid of hunger is a very harsh addition to just suddenly throw in now. Feeding restrictions as well. My low gen vampires now need to be roleplayed differently all of a sudden. A compromise I'd maybe go for is to have blood pool and hunger. The blood pool fills and hunger goes down when you feed on any kind of blood, but feeding restrictions dictate what you must feed from to completely shake those last dots of hunger. "Lesser" blood has diminishing returns according to the strength of one's beast/the potency of one's blood. The lower the generation, the more potent the blood, the stronger the curse and the beast, the more it demands the hunt. At the thinnest of blood one can be satiated just by blood components that got separated after a blood donation. Stronger blood needs whole blood. More potent than that and it must come directly from the veins of a living being (animals are still fine), and further potency demands blood taken from a living human. The lowest generations are rumored to have a thirst so terrible it can only be sated by vitae and death.

                        Don't like the idea of blood potency. Fits the themes of Requiem, doesn't work for my view of Masquerade's themes. I'd tie potency directly to generation. It dilutes every time you embrace (ie, the childe is a generation higher than the sire) and it's not going up without diablerie. End of.

                        Resonance is interesting but too much fuss to bother with mechanically. I'm still not sure if it actually says the only way to increase discipline dots is through resonance or if I'm somehow misreading it and it just gives you a boost, but if I'm reading correctly then that's a horrible idea.
                        Last edited by Rhywbeth; 11-20-2022, 11:37 AM.

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                        • #13
                          My problem with V5 is that it reads like someone's 'clever' set of house rules for a vampire campaign, while there are some brilliant seeming ideas in there, they never seem to have been thought through all the way, because, during the course of the campaign that never becomes a problem. However, when those house rules are then applied to all manner of different campaigns, they turn out to be rather poorly implemented.

                          In comparison with the V20 ruleset V5 comes off poorly because V20 has been written to be played in multiple different ways, whereas V5 seems to have gone back to the 90s with its attitude to 'wrongfun'.

                          While I don't play much D&D one of the things they get right is that they playtest extensively, so that the rules apply well in all manner of game styles. V5 feels like it was knocked out by copying someone's campaign notes and calling it a day.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                            Feeding is one of the elements of V:TM that was massively overhauled. This is something that is rarely discussed because so many other more controversial elements usually take center stage but I think this is a basic element that needs more attention. So, this is a thread to discuss which type of feeding and how it affects a vampire's night to night unliving is preferable. Also, what were good up and downs for both.

                            * Resonance obviously exists in V5 and is related to your ability to gain Disciplines. Blood is just blood in Classic.
                            I do recall that in various V:tM books there are hints, implications, descriptions, and tales about various properties of Vitae. There are also tales, descriptions, and even some rules in regard to blood of various Nightfolk (Mages, Garou, and possibly other types of Supernatural Persons). I think in some books there should be at some information and descriptions in regard to uses and benfits of blood taken from mortals. Possibly the more overall books like Guides, Companions, overall WoD setting books, and maybe also of course some City by Night books as well, have this kind of descriptions or at least some implications and hints. Thus I think that V5's Feeding Resonance rules are actually not a completely new element introduced to the setting.

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                            • #15
                              I am surprise that all of you think the resonance thing as an Afterthought, personally I hate it with all my being and I went back and forth multiple time with my players about how to limit abuse. My player would totally go out of their way to hunt specific human to gain specific bonus which are in my opinion way too strong. Like eating a homeless person and getting a ghost point in obfuscate I get the theme and reason but I truly hate it.

                              I understand this is a game and its magic, but I feel there has to be a sort of line of logic here. So going back from earlier edition it was hinted at that drinking blood from homeless people and the sick and malnourish was not as sustaining for vampire than other healthier human. Also animal blood was even worse. In revised hinting that even drinking a cow wouldn't be enough to fill you up (less than 10 points worth of blood). In revised it was hinted at that drinking werewolf blood could potentially give a powerful temporary bonus and have to roll frenzy. It was also the case about Elder Blood and even I can't recall where but Elder Blood in a blood bag preserve was like some powerful stuff. In the source material, If I recall properly there was also some possibility of gaining something from drinking Changeling blood. We also know that drinking Vampire blood also heals people sustain their age(for human) and gives them potence (or Sometimes Celerity or Fortitude).

                              Ironically Diablerie has been nerf as well. The person being drain can make a roll and if they succeed the diablerist gains nothing.

                              I feel there has to be a proportianal risk & reward here. Animal 1, Human 2 vampire 3 Elder Vampire 4 in scale of giving power by drinking blood.

                              I was thinking maybe when drinking you are considered under the effect of blood surge for the remaining of the scene. My players and I were also considering a possible bonus that can only be gain once or twice per session that if a human is healthy that he might give 1 or 2 free xp point that can only be spent in a skill or attribute that is related to the strongest of the victim (for example if the victim strongest dice pool is mental/knowlegde base then the XP can only be use to increase Mental atttributes or Skills. Like they are absorbing a bit of the essence of that mortal. WE are testing it. Also I plan to change the rule for Diablerie, I think the reward or not strong enough. Also the diablerist should be tainted for ever not just a few month or years. Maybe there could be a ritual to hide or at a higher level remove that color from your aura permanently.

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