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Devotions, Physical Disciplines, and Praestantia

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  • Devotions, Physical Disciplines, and Praestantia

    So, now that we have access to Praestantia, how do we plan to introduce it into our campaigns? It's a physical Discipline, so it should be somewhat innate, but the fuel to do the funky stuff was due to memories swallowed through Diablerie.

    Also, re: Devotions. Where would Praestantia fit in? Vigor gives things more "oomph", Celerity gives it more reach (?), Resilience...makes it last longer(?), so what would Praestantia add?

  • #2
    I wouldn't make it innate, because it's a Clan's signature Discipline. Kind of like how Constance acts like a physical Discipline but isn't innate because it's unique to the Icarian Bloodline.

    As for Devotions that use it, I would say it makes things "more precise" if that makes sense. Or, looking at the 1e Devotions that involved Prestantia, it pretty much functioned like Vigor does in Devotions, but for Dexterity instead of Strength. It might be interesting to say Prestantia can replace Vigor in Devotion requirements if you have an appropriate Finesse Merit.

    Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.


    • #3
      Just because something is a physical discipline does not make it innate. Rather, Animalism and Obfuscate are now considered "innate" disciplines as well that anyone can learn without tasting blood or needing mentorship. Being physical does not make it anymore innate than any other power in the game.

      As for devotions? I'd do something along the lines of tapping into shared memories, and boosting non-combat skills.


      • #4
        I don't really have any ideas for Devotions for Praestantia, but I believe it might help people find a good niche for it if we look at what roles the other physical Disciplines got in 2E when it comes to Devotions.
        Vigor is often used for exerting extra force (in more than a physical regard) and projecting your powers onto others. Shatter the Shroud is an example of the former where you force Obfuscate and other hiding effects to end for everyone involved rather than just you. Chain of Command is an example of the latter since it lets you project the power of Dominate on a subject so that they may use it for them.
        Resilience is used for effects that either straight up protects (Juggernaut's Gait is a prime example) but sometimes also to suppress something. Reason's Salon suppresses the Predatory Aura while Enfeebling Aura can suppress the victim's Disciplines.
        Celerity is a bit more difficult for me to find common themes, other than just including speed. It works well with Auspex to increase perception and reaction with Quicken Sight and Preternatural Instinct.

        So I think that Charlaquin is on the right track with Praestantia being used for Finesse the same way Vigor can be associated with Power (and not just Strength). But I disagree about changing Vigor for Praestantia since Devotions using Vigor are almost all about force and projection rather than Praestantia's precision and finesse. If anything I think the primary effect of Preternatural Instinct from TYoN would work better with Praestantia than Celerity. Other than that I think there could be some cool Devotions with a high Praestantia prerequisite for utilizing the whole "I didn't actually do that" in non-combat situations. Perhaps something that would allow you to rollback a failed lie to give you another attempt to tell a better lie or tell the truth as you realize you won't be able to lie yourself out of the situation.

        Writer for Bloodlines: The Ageless on STV
        Some other stuff I've done: Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)


        • #5
          I think I'm a little out of the loop, there's an official 2e praestantia now? Where might I find this gem?


          • #6
            Originally posted by sidhe_blooded View Post
            I think I'm a little out of the loop, there's an official 2e praestantia now? Where might I find this gem?
            A Thousand Years of Night. Just came out. Also has the Pijavica Clan and the Julii.


            • #7
              While Praestantia is "physical" in that effectively takes the slot of Dex-booster, it's harder to leave as an innate discipline because of the memory/anticipation effects that are closely tied to the Akhud (or, their blood at least).

              Charlaquin is right on that the discipline's core theme is "finesse", extending it even to "I missed/anticipated missing, and so will do-over". If you want to play Marvel's Bullseye villain, this is the discipline for you!

              I find the methods that Praestantia uses to accomplish all this to be cludgey and inelegent, which makes the discipline feel like more of a grab-bag of abilities than I think it needs to be. For example, the first active effect emphasizes the speed used in accomplishing the effect, even to damaging improvised weapons (such as stakes I assume). Why is this not just a further preternatural sharpening of accuracy? Or unconscious anticipation of the opponent's defense and movements? Sure you're getting an effective double Discipline dots added to an attack (passive add to Dex + active add to weapon use), but why is weapon strain important?

              And then the second active effect is a super-fast tactical calculation that enable the Akhud to seemlessly pause, redirect thought and effort, and (hopefully) accomplish a more effective result. It's like having the supercomputer Center flashing analyses into your brain per The General series. That's... ok... especially if your blood is a soup of stolen lives, but it could be cleaner.

              So yeah? Disciplines with dirty themes like this make it more difficult to come up with devotions--which facet do you hang the devotion's focus off of?

              And using it? You're still stuck with a rare discipline hung on the specific back-story for its Bloodline. So, it could either show up with an Akhud (antagonist, protagonist--I'd run one like a Jedi, frankly), or if you're taking the generous path with bloodline powers the opportunity to learn it might come through vitae. As you like.



              • #8
                Celerity has a fair amount of finesse too. Defense boost, anyone? Initiative? Hair Trigger is Celerity based, and that boosted Dexterity.

                Personally, I would recommend doing something other than just "finesse vigor" to help it stand out as different. Otherwise, it'll be just a Mehket Assassin lite power.