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Adjusting Dementation (particularly Eyes of Chaos)

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  • Adjusting Dementation (particularly Eyes of Chaos)

    Eyes of Chaos both struck me as a very Malkavian power - almost the expression of the 'twisted seer' archetype as a discipline power - but at the same time entirely out of step with the rest of the Dementation discipline. Pretty much all the other powers (apart from those affecting the Madness Network) are intended to affect other people, generally by bringing unwelcome extra stimuli into their mental landscape, or (for the more advanced powers) hooking into the Malkavian Madness Network. As such, Eyes of Chaos doesn't really fit - it's the only power that focuses on the Discipline user, for one thing.

    As such, would it be better expressed as an Auspex/Dementation combi power, rather than something for Dementation alone? I was thinking something along the lines of Auspex 3/Dementation 2, a combination of The Haunting's "Fleeting Glimpses" and Spirit Touch's perception of things around the user. But mechanically this seems a little high for what was originally a level 3 power. Making it an Auspex 1/Dementation 2, as any Auspex rating can bring prophetic visions. What do people think, and what should its XP cost be?

    And as such, this would leave a gap in the baseline Dementation line-up. One thing that I've seen done in a game with Dementation, but isn't strictly part of the discipline - suggesting an impression to the user, which then becomes a compulsion. It's effectively making the victim incredibly susceptible to auto-suggestion. Mechanically, it would be something like:

    Compulsion
    The Makavian suggests (through voice, gesture or otherwise) to the target that something is amiss ("Your shoes are untied", "There's a bug on your shoulder" etc). The player spends a blood point and rolls Manipulation + Subterfuge (difficulty of his victim's Perception + Self-Control). If successful, the target believes the suggestion, contrary to all evidence, and acts accordingly (stopping to tie a shoelace or falling over it, trying to brush the bug off/becoming petrified of the supposed spider that's there etc) for a duration determined by the number of successes:

    1 success - 1 round
    2 successes - 1 scene
    3 successes - 1 hour
    4 successes - until sunrise
    5 successes - a week

    Does this make for a decent substitution? And is Eyes of Chaos better/worse/whatever as a combi-discipline?



    A Not-Quite-Newb's Read-Through of Ex3 - my thoughts, notes and trials and tribulations with the Exalted 3rd edition rules.
    Ex3 Reference Materials - currently includes an ST screen, common actions sheet, weapons reference sheet, character creation summary and mortal QCs reference sheet.

  • #2
    "A centpede just crawled into your ear. Can't you feel it scraping it's little wiggling legs around?

    I like it.

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    • #3
      Eyes of Chaos is the only worthwhile Dementation power. There rest is just a crappy Dominate.

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      • #4
        @ Mahasamatman
        No it isn't. You can't Dominate someone into believing or seeing things that just don't exist. "You're covered with spiders", "your dead grandma wants to eat you", "you're afflicted with schizophrenia" or "frenzy now!" aren't available commands.

        Xerxes, what you really did here is level 4 Nightmare power from Blood & Smoke/Vampire the Requiem Second Edition. It's good and in the feel of Dementation but I would change the mechanics. Perception + Self-Control is kind of rules I never liked in White Wolf games. Werewolves do not have Self-Control, mages too. Either change it to Perception+3 or just Willpower rating as a difficulty. I also believe that Manipulation+Expression could be better, as Malkavian is trying to be very specific and he wants to be clearly understood.

        Combination should be something around Auspex 2/3 + Dementation 2/3. 1 Willpower point per scene, rolled everytime when Malkavian will change target of Eyes of Chaos.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mictlantecuhtli View Post
          @ Mahasamatman
          No it isn't. You can't Dominate someone into believing or seeing things that just don't exist. "You're covered with spiders", "your dead grandma wants to eat you", "you're afflicted with schizophrenia" or "frenzy now!" aren't available commands.
          You can't do this with Dementation either. Dementation 4 can provoke frenzy or rotschrek, but you don't get to choose which and you have to make a saving throw as well. Dementation 5 gives random derangements. Dementation 2 does absolutely nothing but give the GM some spooky roleplaying prompts. It's sad, but Dementation has never been as cool as it was in VtM: Bloodlines.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
            And as such, this would leave a gap in the baseline Dementation line-up. One thing that I've seen done in a game with Dementation, but isn't strictly part of the discipline - suggesting an impression to the user, which then becomes a compulsion. It's effectively making the victim incredibly susceptible to auto-suggestion. Mechanically, it would be something like:

            Compulsion
            The Makavian suggests (through voice, gesture or otherwise) to the target that something is amiss ("Your shoes are untied", "There's a bug on your shoulder" etc).
            How are those maggots, Michael? Maggots, you're eating maggots.

            Last edited by BenjCano; 01-19-2016, 12:07 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

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mahasamatman View Post
              Eyes of Chaos is the only worthwhile Dementation power. There rest is just a crappy Dominate.
              Agreed on the first part. On the latter...it's worse, it's a crappy way to the Chaotic Stupid that you'd only use if you are a Fishmalk or almost.

              (Again, I kind of hate the idea that, since you are crazy, you must love to spread chaos, even worse if you think it would enlighten people...).


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              • #8
                Ok, featherstone & Mahasamatman, should dementation exist? If so, what should it be?


                A Not-Quite-Newb's Read-Through of Ex3 - my thoughts, notes and trials and tribulations with the Exalted 3rd edition rules.
                Ex3 Reference Materials - currently includes an ST screen, common actions sheet, weapons reference sheet, character creation summary and mortal QCs reference sheet.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                  Ok, featherstone & Mahasamatman, should dementation exist? If so, what should it be?
                  Honestly? No. Malkavians should not exist. People just don't roleplay insanity very well, so the absolute majority of Malkavian characters are some variation of Fishmalk, from Joker-esque "I stab people in the face because it's funny" to "There isn't a ghouled duck on my head". And despite the fact that Fishmalks have been a known problem since Clinton's administration, the published materials keep portraying them as babbling psychos with pants on their heads. Malkavians are actively detrimental to the game if you try to use unique features and quirks of the clan.
                  And Dementation isn't helping. How's anyone supposed to portray five derangements, when people can't portray one properly? And then there's the whole "Malkavians are seers" idea, which had no mechanical backup outside of Eyes of Madness.

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                  • #10
                    Never really liked Malkavians myself but i know people who love them and can portray them in a mature manner.

                    That said i like Dementation.

                    If you took away Eyes of Chaos and use it as a Combo i would either move lvl 4 down to 3 and 5 down to 4 (making Ligering Malice lvl 5) or add a perception power to lvl 1 and raise lvl 1 and 2 one lvl. Something like Daimonion 1, Sense the Sin, where the Malkavian can sense if the target has any previous Derangements, Phobias or other Mental Flaws that can be used with later powers.

                    So either have it like this:

                    1 - Passion
                    2 - The Haunting
                    3 - Voice of Madness
                    4 - Total Insanity
                    5 - Lingering Malise

                    or like this

                    1 - [Perception Power, lets call it Sense Madness for now]
                    2 - Passion
                    3 - The Haunting
                    4 - Voice of Madness
                    5 - Total Insanity

                    Though IMO i would swap Ligering Madness for Total Insanity anyway since the idea of 5 Derangements at once seems really wierd to me.





                    English is not my native language, so i apologize for errors in grammar or spelling.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mahasamatman View Post
                      Honestly? No. Malkavians should not exist. People just don't roleplay insanity very well, so the absolute majority of Malkavian characters are some variation of Fishmalk, from Joker-esque "I stab people in the face because it's funny" to "There isn't a ghouled duck on my head". And despite the fact that Fishmalks have been a known problem since Clinton's administration, the published materials keep portraying them as babbling psychos with pants on their heads. Malkavians are actively detrimental to the game if you try to use unique features and quirks of the clan.
                      And Dementation isn't helping. How's anyone supposed to portray five derangements, when people can't portray one properly? And then there's the whole "Malkavians are seers" idea, which had no mechanical backup outside of Eyes of Madness.


                      Personally I don't mind Malkavians, if not fishy and for heaven's sake, not axe cray cray cray because that's not better!. I don't have a solution for Dementation; I tend to prefer Dominate Malkavians, and play them as actual people with a mental disorder, that are more likely to struggle and try to keep some control, rather than, lulz, spreading madness because fuck yeah! Recently I am playing a Malkavian for whom Dementation is more appropriate - she's the Mad Oracle archetype, with some rather sad connotation, and quirks that stem more from her education than from her blood or madness. What I find is that I am only using Dementation for Eyes of Chaos (again Mad Oracle thing), because all the other powers have little point other than trolling. Ok, maybe the "calming" version of Dem 1 could have a point, but other than that, almost any power makes more sense than freaking out people with no real control over it. Having said this, I don't have a rewrite at hand; I may think about it perhaps.


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                      • #12
                        I use Dominate Malks in my games, but I did re-write Dementation for exactly the reasons that Mahasamatman mentions: people can't roleplay Derangements well, and handing out five random Derangements for up to a year is basically murdering a character. There's no way anyone can roleplay through that. So, that needed to go. Eyes of Chaos should be either a straight-up Auspex power, or an Auspex-Dementation combo. With two powers removed, and the pants-on-head sillyness removed, and the giving out of Derangements removed.. Dementation needed some help. So I fixed it.

                        Dementation should be about unleashing the horrors of the inner mind, destroying self-control and setting free dark impulses. LINK to my version.


                        I'm a professor! Why is no one listening to me?!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                          Eyes of Chaos both struck me as a very Malkavian power - almost the expression of the 'twisted seer' archetype as a discipline power - but at the same time entirely out of step with the rest of the Dementation discipline. Pretty much all the other powers (apart from those affecting the Madness Network) are intended to affect other people, generally by bringing unwelcome extra stimuli into their mental landscape, or (for the more advanced powers) hooking into the Malkavian Madness Network. As such, Eyes of Chaos doesn't really fit - it's the only power that focuses on the Discipline user, for one thing.
                          If you're going to use it at all, I'd recommend using the version in DA:V20, which puts the roleplaying onus on the player and allows for efficient communication between player and GM.


                          Neall Raemonn Price
                          Beleaguered Scion Developer

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Xerxes View Post
                            should dementation exist? If so, what should it be?
                            You can always use Nightmare from Requiem 2nd. Of course it's more oriented on fear, but it'll be little effort to rework it into more insanity creating Discipline. Minor illusions, projecting compulsions and insane beliefs already are within purview of Nigthmare. But only if you feel that Dementation as written is broken and need some love. It seems I never played it as written (so choosing between rage frenzy or fear frenzy for 4 and player selecting derangements on 5 was ok in our group), but who cares if Discipline is working and the game rages on? We never noticed such problems because we do not allow ourselves to be bogged down with minutiae.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mictlantecuhtli View Post
                              We never noticed such problems because we do not allow ourselves to be bogged down with minutiae.
                              This doesn't mean the problems don't exist. Not everyone plays in your group. Not every GM is going to houserule Dementation to make it better.

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