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Anatomy of Failed Design: Vampire
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Ice9
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think that whether you're willing to sacrifice a party member is a big factor in how much running away is on the table.

Consider how the PCs know that they should run away at all - occasionally it may be because they recognize the monster before even fighting it and know they're outmatched, but more often it's because they're already fighting it and are getting their asses kicked. And that often manifests in a way that precludes the entire party escaping:
* Someone is down and bleeding out, and you'd have to go past the monster to reach him.
* The monster has someone in its grasp.
* The monster has mind controlled someone, stuck them in a block of ice, entangled them with vines, etc.

Sure, the others can run, but then that's Bob gone. In OD&D, PCs died commonly enough anyway that this was no big deal - after all, he probably would have died to a trap if not this, just roll up another and keep going. Also, while generally beneficial, I think the cushion between out of the fight and dead plays a factor too - if Bob get hits and goes straight to dead, you're not abandoning him if you run away.

That's a different matter than surrendering - but as I said, it's not entirely unexpected that people would hesitate in surrendering to horror-movie monsters; it doesn't seem like the kind of thing that would go well.


Last edited by Ice9 on Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mord
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Willingness to surrender is definitely affected by what the monster has started his intentions to be... If you're playing Evey Hammond and Imhotep the Khaibit Witch recognizes you as a latent Reborn and starts yelling about Anck-Su-Namun, you can feel OK with letting him capture you to save Brendan Fraser's life. The key here is to telegraph that the monster's motivations are more complicated than eating your eyeballs.

Similar situation with Mina Harker in the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula. The party knows Dracula wants Mina because he thinks she's his reincarnated wife, so they know he's not going to kill her outright.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

virgil wrote:

Bane materials get past force fields, tactical regeneration, intangibility, and toughness beyond just plain being bigger; what the fvck more do you want out of it?


This is pretty much my stance on it. The whole bit where a werewolves are super bad ass if given a chance to Hulk up but not so tough if you shoot their human form in the back with a silver slug is a feature, not a bug. I could see an argument for buffing the generic Fortitude bonus up a point, but I'd consider that in order to buff non-combat builds whose Fortitude powers function as a safety net, not because of anything to do with bane weapons.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ice9 wrote:
I think that whether you're willing to sacrifice a party member is a big factor in how much running away is on the table.

Consider how the PCs know that they should run away at all - occasionally it may be because they recognize the monster before even fighting it and know they're outmatched, but more often it's because they're already fighting it and are getting their asses kicked. And that often manifests in a way that precludes the entire party escaping:
* Someone is down and bleeding out, and you'd have to go past the monster to reach him.
* The monster has someone in its grasp.
* The monster has mind controlled someone, stuck them in a block of ice, entangled them with vines, etc.

Sure, the others can run, but then that's Bob gone. In OD&D, PCs died commonly enough anyway that this was no big deal - after all, he probably would have died to a trap if not this, just roll up another and keep going. Also, while generally beneficial, I think the cushion between out of the fight and dead plays a factor too - if Bob get hits and goes straight to dead, you're not abandoning him if you run away.

That's a different matter than surrendering - but as I said, it's not entirely unexpected that people would hesitate in surrendering to horror-movie monsters; it doesn't seem like the kind of thing that would go well.


One way to solve this is with a party escape power, that lets someone just get the whole group out of the battle.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

virgil wrote:
Prak wrote:
other than being called out in Slaying Monsters, there's no reason to assume they're treated as that, rather than like bonuses to Strength. Ditto Force Field.
But yeah, other than the rules as written, there's no reason to assume it would work. Rolling Eyes I feel the need to point out that it's called out in the rules that soak is a physical resistance test. Personally I think you're just being obtuse, but I can see the argument that you're continued confusion is a sign that clearer writing wouldn't hurt and should in fact be on the to-do list.


After Sundown, Slaying Monsters wrote:
You can hurt just about anything by just running it over with a car. However, supernatural creatures have supernatural defenses that make them incredibly tough. There are a couple of universal weapons that cut through crap like regeneration and magic force fields. They are effective based on the type of creature you are trying to kill. When used on the appropriate foe, these weapons inflict aggravated damage and negate soak bonuses from disciplines. Note that simply having a high Strength with the aid of a power like Giant Size would not constitute a soak bonus, but that a specific soak bonus (including bonus armor) such those provided by Force Field or the passive benefit of Fortitude is negated.

(emphasis mine)

After Sundown, Fortitude wrote:
Fortitude is the power to resist destruction. Some powers of Fortitude are continuously in operation, while others must be activated with power points. What makes Fortitude special is that it does not require the active choice to activate it. A character may activate their Fortitude powers passively while unconscious, or in some cases even while dead. A character with Fortitude is generally resilient even when their powers are not being activated, gaining a bonus on Physical Resistance Tests of +2 dice. If they have Advanced Fortitude this bonus increases to +4, and if they have Elder Fortitude it increases to +6.

(emphasis mine)

After Sundown, Force Field wrote:
Force Field: The character can project force some distance away from their person. This allows them to stop
bullets aimed at compatriots, strangle people from a distance, and even hover by "holding themselves up". Their Strength can be projected reflexively out to 3 meters from their person, and any attacks that target someone or something within or through that area may get blocked by the force field – meaning that they have to contend with being soaked by the character’s Strength before being resolved (yes, this means that the character can effectively use their Strength twice when soaking bullets fired at their own person). Their Strength can be used actively as a normal action on things within line of sight. Force Field can be disrupted as if it were a Sorcery with a power source identical to the character using it. The Force Field has an equivalent of 3 hits for this purpose.


Ok, so Slaying Monsters states that iron/wood/silver "negate soak bonuses from disciplines." It states that simply having a high strength is not a soak bonus. It's obvious that the bonus from just knowing Fortitude powers is intended to be handled this way, because it's called out, but in the Fortitude description, it's called a "bonus on Physical Resistance Tests." It's fairly obvious that Force Field is intended to be treated as armor, but it's described as just "projecting strength," and in fact specifically like applying strength twice to soak, so handling it like having a high strength is a reasonable ruling. It's clear that I/W/S is supposed to negate it, but it's not described such that it would if it weren't specifically called out.

We wouldn't let such a slip lie in a book put out by a big company, so it should be fixed so that (all of) the rules as written match the rules as intended.

Quote:
Quote:
And even then, I'm not sold because it's still a very small difference in a werewolf's soak roll.
To this, I must say, so what? If the werewolf is only a couple points better than a human, then they're not all that tough, which should mean the effort to use kryptonite should be unnecessary. I would certainly question a player digging for the family cutlery to melt down into daggers to fight someone no tougher than Vin Diesel.

I have a gun, in my room, you give me five seconds...

Bane materials get past force fields, tactical regeneration, intangibility, and toughness beyond just plain being bigger; what the fvck more do you want out of it?


Ok, here's a starting combat monster werewolf in an IMR game-

7 Str/3 Agi
3 Edge
+2 Str from knowing advanced Clout
+4 Str from activating Vigor
+4 Soak from having a advanced Fortitude power
+3 Str from War Form
+6 Str from Giant Size (personal learned power)
+1 Armor from Giant Size

That werewolf has a soak roll of 30. If someone uses silver on him, that soak roll is "only" 25. That werewolf hunter isn't even likely to survive if silver is the best they can come up with, let alone go back and tell people how silver kills werewolves, because it doesn't, it mildly annoys them.

Oh, and that combat monster werewolf isn't even a one-trick pony. He gets another 2 powers at chargen that I didn't pick because there were no other basic or advanced powers that increased soak. Whatever advanced fortitude power he takes doesn't matter, because he just needs "advanced fortitude." He could not choose one, and only be rolling 28 dice against non-silver.
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Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.


Last edited by Prak on Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:49 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Omegonthesane
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
Ok, here's a starting combat monster werewolf in an IMR game-

7 Str/3 Agi
3 Edge
+2 Str from knowing advanced Clout
+4 Str from activating Vigor
+4 Soak from having a advanced Fortitude power
+3 Str from War Form
+6 Str from Giant Size (personal learned power)
+1 Armor from Giant Size

That werewolf has a soak roll of 30. If someone uses silver on him, that soak roll is "only" 25. That werewolf hunter isn't even likely to survive if silver is the best they can come up with, let alone go back and tell people how silver kills werewolves, because it doesn't, it mildly annoys them.

Oh, and that combat monster werewolf isn't even a one-trick pony. He gets another 2 powers at chargen that I didn't pick because there were no other basic or advanced powers that increased soak. Whatever advanced fortitude power he takes doesn't matter, because he just needs "advanced fortitude." He could not choose one, and only be rolling 28 dice against non-silver.

Here is a starting mortal hunter from an Origin Story game, min-maxed to the nines in a similar fashion to your example werewolf, with a shotgun because I like shotguns too much based on earlier discussion about the relative ease of loading up either specialist shells or straight up combined Everything-Bane & Everything-Dispel shells.

Physical 6 (Agility 5, Strength 1)
-> Agility 5, Strength 3
Combat 6 [Specialisation: Shotguns]
Edge 3

Popping War Form AND Giant Size takes the werewolf's Complex Action. Since the Werewolf is considering ripping open the Hunter with its claws, absent some numbers convincing me that the aforementioned Werewolf can close the distance from Way Out to Adjacent in one round, engagement begins at Short range.

Hunter uses both of his Simple Actions to ventilate Werewolf with two Bane Shells. Shotguns become inaccurate outside Near, so the target number is 3 (instead of 2). Hunter's attack pool is 13 (5 Agi + 6 Com +2 Shotgun spec) so we expect 4 hits on each of those attacks, giving 1 overflow damage - each bane shell does 5 damage to the Werewolf before soak at this range.

...unfortunately we expect the fully operational werewolf to soak up to 8 silver damage, so that does nothing. Likewise in the second round, when the werewolf closes in to rip the hunter's face off and the hunter can only produce two more shots that do 7 damage before soak.

That's how the combat plays out in Deterministic Land where all dice roll expected results. I will get back to you with numbers from AnyDice but so far looks like you're basically right in saying that bane materials better not be your money shot.
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And if there are any weeds that grow better in barren soil than laziness and ignorance, I don't know what they are (and don't care enough to find out).
Kaelik wrote:
Because powerful men get away with terrible shit, and even the public domain ones get ignored, and then, when the floodgates open, it turns out there was a goddam flood behind it.
FrankTrollman wrote:
As far as death and human misery goes, Tobacco is basically World War II grinding on forever with no real sign of stopping in our life times. Death camps and nuclear bombs and stuff are certainly dramatic, but public health crises are always and forever bigger than wars on the global scale.


Zak S, Zak Smith, Dndwithpornstars, Zak Sabbath. He is a terrible person and a hack at writing and art. His cultural contributions are less than Justin Bieber's, and he's a shitmuffin. Go go gadget Googlebomb!
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Prak
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Also, don't forget that werewolves have Quickness as a default power and so get an extra initiative pass.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

You don't need to show me the numbers. I've seen the math before and even more hilariously you can build a similar Animate that stacks Strength out the wazoo and then combos that with Aura of Decay to tear wooden projectiles right out of the fucking air rather than be bothered with that shit.

But here's the thing; I don't actually see it as a problem that you need your own super powers--my preferred method is using Curse of Failure--or enough people that someone is likely to get lucky in order to defeat Hulked up werewolves. Also do please note that in a fight between two similarly amped up werewolves the one with a fucking bane weapon wins. It's almost like Frank was trying to deliver on WW:TA fluff instead of letting werewolves get punked by Cletus' family of yokels.


Prak wrote:
Also, don't forget that werewolves have Quickness as a default power and so get an extra initiative pass.


Only if you cut down on the number of points you're willing to spending on Vigor or if you were provoked into Frenzy before attacking. An extra initiative pass is a good trade for a couple of strength but all those powers do end up costing Power Points. Werewolves can blow their whole wad pretty easy in AS.
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Omegonthesane
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Which in this case happens after they've had two actions worth of shotgun, but it does mean I don't have to worry about the second round in which the hunter has target number 1 for their two attacks before their head is severed.

And yes, according to this here AnyDice program the werewolf has a slightly more than 80% chance of surviving each shot, including the chance of the hunter fucking it up.
According to this nearly identical one that chance drops to 56.6% if the engagement starts at Near. Those go up to about 91% and about 75% respectively if the hunter is for some reason not packing bane shells.

It is of course arguable that the real lesson here is "if you are hunting a werewolf, make sure you are catching it with its pants down and not the other way round". Since we are after all talking about the circumstance where the werewolf gets to resolve his Complex Action of shape changing into a Giant Size War Form before the first alpha strike is attempted. 80% chance to not care about each shot also stops looking so good against more than one Van Helsing with a shotgun. Three bane shotguns with 13 dice each, and you're down to a 27% chance of shrugging off the whole barrage.

Whipstitch wrote:
You don't need to show me the numbers. I've seen the math before and even more hilariously you can build a similar Animate that stacks Strength out the wazoo and then combos that with Aura of Decay to tear wooden projectiles right out of the fucking air rather than be bothered with that shit.

...Yeah that too, I was just eyeballing the results for normal humans who hunt monsters. If the numbers have been done in more coherent form than my calculations above I'd appreciate the link.

Quote:
It's almost like Frank was trying to deliver on WW:TA fluff instead of letting werewolves get punked by Cletus' family of yokels.

(Who presumably don't have 13 dice on their shotgun attacks or ready access to bane shells. Expendables hired by people who know what the hell they're doing should probably cause more inconvenience.)
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FrankTrollman wrote:
And if there are any weeds that grow better in barren soil than laziness and ignorance, I don't know what they are (and don't care enough to find out).
Kaelik wrote:
Because powerful men get away with terrible shit, and even the public domain ones get ignored, and then, when the floodgates open, it turns out there was a goddam flood behind it.
FrankTrollman wrote:
As far as death and human misery goes, Tobacco is basically World War II grinding on forever with no real sign of stopping in our life times. Death camps and nuclear bombs and stuff are certainly dramatic, but public health crises are always and forever bigger than wars on the global scale.


Zak S, Zak Smith, Dndwithpornstars, Zak Sabbath. He is a terrible person and a hack at writing and art. His cultural contributions are less than Justin Bieber's, and he's a shitmuffin. Go go gadget Googlebomb!


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Grek
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If you absolutely have to fight a hulked out werewolf, the correct tactic is to pour alcohol (from your canteen of alcohol that I told you to pack) onto them. That will turn them back into a human. At which point you blow them away with the shotgun, which they will soak with around 9 dice. You can also try injecting capsaicin (ideally 10+ doses) with a dart gun. Which isn't so much a an anti-werewolf tactic as "pepper spray is ludicrously deadly in After Sundown".
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Omegonthesane
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Grek wrote:
If you absolutely have to fight a hulked out werewolf, the correct tactic is to pour alcohol (from your canteen of alcohol that I told you to pack) onto them. That will turn them back into a human. At which point you blow them away with the shotgun, which they will soak with around 9 dice. You can also try injecting capsaicin (ideally 10+ doses) with a dart gun. Which isn't so much a an anti-werewolf tactic as "pepper spray is ludicrously deadly in After Sundown".

Presumably with your super-soaker or a thrown vodka balloon.

Which reminds me, I assume none of the soak boosters used by the above tankwolf would be affected by the salt in the bane shells, since I was rather assuming they were "enough salt, sand, seeds, silver, wood, and iron that fucking everything will be dispelled and then take agg".
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FrankTrollman wrote:
And if there are any weeds that grow better in barren soil than laziness and ignorance, I don't know what they are (and don't care enough to find out).
Kaelik wrote:
Because powerful men get away with terrible shit, and even the public domain ones get ignored, and then, when the floodgates open, it turns out there was a goddam flood behind it.
FrankTrollman wrote:
As far as death and human misery goes, Tobacco is basically World War II grinding on forever with no real sign of stopping in our life times. Death camps and nuclear bombs and stuff are certainly dramatic, but public health crises are always and forever bigger than wars on the global scale.


Zak S, Zak Smith, Dndwithpornstars, Zak Sabbath. He is a terrible person and a hack at writing and art. His cultural contributions are less than Justin Bieber's, and he's a shitmuffin. Go go gadget Googlebomb!
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Omegonthesane wrote:

...Yeah that too, I was just eyeballing the results for normal humans who hunt monsters. If the numbers have been done in more coherent form than my calculations above I'd appreciate the link.


I'm afraid it was just my own napkin math. CharOppers gonna CharOp.
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Grek
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Omegonthesane wrote:
Which reminds me, I assume none of the soak boosters used by the above tankwolf would be affected by the salt in the bane shells, since I was rather assuming they were "enough salt, sand, seeds, silver, wood, and iron that fucking everything will be dispelled and then take agg".
By RAW, firing to dispel magic is a different action than firing for effect. And trust me, you would much, much rather be trying to kill it than trying to debuff it.
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But more importantly if you elevate jerkishness into a principle, if you try to undermine the rules that keep niceness, community, and civilization going, the defenses against social cancer – then your movement will fracture, it will be hugely embarrassing, the atmosphere will become toxic, unpopular people will be thrown to the mob, everyone but the thickest-skinned will bow out, and the people you need to convince will view you with a mixture of terror and loathing.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

On "The PC's need to know they can run away from danger"

In a lot of kungfu stories the hero can sense the power emanating from a stronger opponent or recognize that the beggar's movements are incredibly skillful. This is a way for the hero (or the hero's friend) to know they need to high tail it out of there instead of taking a stand.




There's also 'sensing killing intent', where you get the feeling that you're in danger from a foe you can't see, or you know if you take a step forward you'll be cut down by someone you're negotiating with.



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Prak
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I saw the latest Underworld movie. It was fine. It also made me want a game that is specifically about vampires and werewolves fighting.

Obviously, AS is a decent base (though it needs some tinkering with the combat system). If you're reducing the supernatural overtypes to just two- Vampires and Lycanthropes, how many subtypes of each is too many? I'm thinking I want at least one kind of vampire for each major landmass, and as I'm researching, some of those kinds can crop up in different locations under different names (lamia, bruxa and guajona are pretty similar, for example, and hail, respectively, from Greece, Portugal, and Spain). But I'm looking at probably at least eight kinds of vamp (North, Central and South America; Africa; Europe; Asia; Australia; Fertile Crescent), and probably more like ten or so, so that the particularly large and diverse landmasses can get at least two myths represented.

Then for Lycanthropes, I'm probably going to do the regional animal split, and probably want roughly an equal number.

This puts me at 16-20, possibly more, clans of supernatural. AS1e has 18, plus 18 adversaries, plus 6 spawn, for 42. The speculative 2e of AS would have another 9 playable monsters for 51.

Does have fewer overtypes of monster make these kind of numbers better, or does the lower number of discrete overtypes make it harder to keep track of subtypes?
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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erik
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think it is harder to keep track of subtypes, but an ambitious setting could flesh things out for 10 and 10 of vamps and weres. The more you have, the less in depth you'll go into each subculture. So you just have to figure out where on the sliding scale you want to be.

Obviously it can also be done where you practically have the monster subtype of the week with various subtypes, and the sky's the limit.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So, crawling through The Vampire Book and some websites, here's what I've come up with-

EDIT-adding the power sets

Basic Vampiric Powers
  • Patience of the Mountains (B.Fort)
  • Revive the Flesh (B.Fort)
  • Gift of Health (B.Path of Blood)
  • Vigor (B.Clout)
  • Restoration (A.Fort)


    North America
  • Wendigo (ice powers, maybe incorporeality)
    • Howling Winds (B.Chasing the Storm)
    • Hide From Notice (B.Veil)
    • Hide in Plain Sight (A.Veil)

  • Taseek (based on "Mosquito Men" myths)
    • Clinging (B.Clout)
    • Body Colony (B.Song of Swarms)
    • Flight (A.Clout)

    Meso/South America
  • Cihuateteo (animal form, hypnosis/domination powers)
    • Mesmerism (B.Authority)
    • Beast Form (B.Call of the Wild)
    • Conditioning (A.Authority)

  • Asema (pyromancy, "ball of fire" form)
    • Quickness (B.Celerity)
    • Hand of Flame (B.Walk of Fire)
    • Quicken Sight (A.Celerity)

    Africa
  • Asanbosun (iron teeth and talons, strength powers)
    • Clinging (B.Clout)
    • Touch of Darkness (B.Lure of Destruction)
    • Giant Size (A.Clout)

  • Obayifo (vampirism at a distance, potion making)
    • Aura Perception (B.Discernment)
    • Cauldron of Blood (new B.Path of the Blood that allows potion making)
    • Theft of Vitae (A.Path of Blood)

    Middle East
  • Lilu (shapechangers)
    • Attract (B.Magnetism)
    • Beast Form (B.Call of the Wild)
    • Summons (A.Magnetism)

    Europe
  • Lamia (glamour, flight, high soak powers)
    • Attract (B.Magnetism)
    • Enchanted Slumber (B.Veil of Morpheus)
    • Flesh of Marble (A.Fortitude) or Flight (A.Clout)

  • Draugr (illusion, celerity. Kind of Toreador+Brujah)
    • Quickness (B.Celerity)
    • Mesmerism (B.Authority)
    • Phantasmagoria (A.Authority)

    Eastern Europe
  • Mora (change into mist or blood, giant form, distinguished by their scaly left hand)
    • Clinging (B.Clout)
    • Mist Form (B.Path of Blood)
    • Giant Form (A.Clout)

    China
  • Jiangshi (necromancy, something to evoke the "jumping")
    • Nimble Feet (B.Celerity)
    • Summon Spirit (B.Necromancy)
    • Reanimate (A.Necromancy)

    India
  • Vetala (incorporeality, necromancy)
    • Mask of a Thousand Faces (B.Veil)
    • Summon Spirit (B.Necromancy)
    • Empty Body (A.Fortitude)

    Australia
  • Yaramaur (spirit dealings, serpent stuff)
    • Clinging (B.Clout)
    • Touch of Darkness (B.Lure of Destruction)
    • Withering (A.Lure of Destruction)


Outside of Europe and Asia, "vampire" myths get weird
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.


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Prak
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ok, so I went through and assigned actual powers to the various sorts of vamps. There is definitely some room for combining sorts, like there's no particular reason for Asanbosun and Yaramaur to be two distinct "bloodlines," rather than a single bloodline found in two places (except for the thing where it might look like I'm saying African Blackulas and Australian Blackulas are totally the same thing...).

I dipped a toe into it already with Lamia getting a choice of advanced power, but what do people think of doing that more to enable more combining of sorts. Like, the thing that distinguishes Jiangshi from Vetala is that Jiangshi are fast and better necromancers, and Vetala are vampiric ghost necromancers that possess people
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Orion
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I have some comments and some ciriticsms for Frank's actual review of V:tM. I also have critiques of After Sundown. Both are quite lengthy. Should we split the AS-analysis into another thread?

Anyway, a few many things in after sundown bug the hell out of me.

Magic Dice Pools Have Mechanical, Thematic, and QoL problems.


Magic Always Works: When you throw spells at people, you roll (Stat + Skill) against (Stat + Edge). Although this does avoid giving one side more sources of dice than the other, it's still not remotely fair. Skills can and will be maxed out because PCs get absurd numbers of skill points. Edge starts at 3 and is extremely difficult to raise. Since the attacker also gets to roll their best stat against a resist stat the defender may or may not have invested in, the tables are seriously stacked.

A starting Nezumi rolls 12 dice to throw fools into Hell. A generic starting PC probably rolls 6 dice to resist. Elite enemies might roll 9. PC sorcerers can one-shot other PCs every time and boss monsters most of the time. (All this assumes that magic rolls cannot benefit from passive discipline skill bonuses or from specializations. I don't think it's explicitly stated that they don't.)


Strength Magic is Godly: Nezumi roll 12 dice to banish people to Hell, but Werewolves roll 27 dice to turn turn people in frogs. Or "merely" 18 dice if they need to stay human-shaped.


It's way too difficult to figure out what stats and skills you need: The intro to each discipline should tell you what stats and skills you need, but it doesn't, so you have to read the individual powers to find out. Also, although many disciplines offer a choice of 2 stats, they often cockblock you arbitrarily from certain powers if you choose the wrong one. Song of Silence is a Logic/Charisma discipline but you can't use Charisma for Death Note. Willpower Lure of Destruction builds can Wither people and open shadow gates but not stun people or zap ghosts. To build a character you have to cross-check not only disciplines but individual powers if you want to run everything off 2 stats and <5 skills. Which you do.

Every PC is House or Elvis: I like the idea of tying sorceries (and to a lesser extent universals) to skills. The idea that you need certain skills to correctly understand or apply a path of magic is cool, as is the idea that you pick up mundane skills as a by-product of your sorcerous training. I'm happy with the idea that you need a basic understanding of anatomy & physiology to do blood magic, that song mages are trained singers, and that spending enough time outdoors to learn the tongues of beasts incidentally leads you to become a fair survivalist. However, the power of your magic should not depend on your degree of expertise beyond some minimum requirement. I should not have to play an internationally renowned surgeon because I want my character to tear people's blood out by magic. Deciding to shred people with magic glass should not lead me to play an MIT professor.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A separate thread for AS AoF sounds good, there might be one floating around somewhere
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
A separate thread for AS AoF sounds good, there might be one floating around somewhere


That seems like a thing that would make more sense. For the first time in a long time I have some free time and also a keyboard and a word processor, so I can engage with this a bit more.

-Frank
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Wiseman
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I meant to ask this when the thread was in full swing, but forgot to. So here it is now.

In relation to how vampires and masquerades work, is there any reason they have to remain close to white wolf's version?

I was thinking about the manga Karin (called Chibi Vampire at least in the U.S.) and how their vampires work, and how a lot of thought seems to have gone into how they could support a masquerade.

First and foremost, vampires don't actually need to drain that much blood from a person. At most they'll be feeling a bit woozy and fatigued for while after. And it actually can come with some positive benefits, leading us into point two.

Vampires prefer to drink blood from people dominated by a specific emotion or trait and it drains them of this trait for a time. These are usually negative traits like jealousy, depression, deceitfulness, stress ect. Or sometimes they can be mixed, like pride (a woman who's abusive to her boyfriend is drained of pride, he still breaks up with her because she now becomes needy and clingy) or sometimes it really sucks for the victim, like draining love.

There are other specific abilities that help with maintaining a masquerade. Vampires can alter memories either by touch, or through the medium of nearby bats (they can also do this at a range in the anime) and can control and see and hear through bats. (I actually based my version of the vampire template in the monsters thread on some of their abilities.)

There are some things that I don't think would fit well but they're not essential. Vampire are born not turned, and they eat normal food and can walk around in daylight until they hit puberty (to help them learn to better live among humans).
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wiseman wrote:
In relation to how vampires and masquerades work, is there any reason they have to remain close to white wolf's version?


Well, as per "Our Vampires Are Different," all Vampires are different. That's well established. The White Wolf version is actually based on the core conceit that different vampires are not the same, so whatever. Every specific trait of vampires is up for negotiation. They could fucking sparkle if you want. They should not, but they could.

The core issue is that each vampire is going to need to be involved in some way with some number of humans for feeding purposes. If the number of involved people gets too large, the conspiracy of the masquerade becomes ridiculous. If the number of vampires is too low, the vampire society becomes pointless. If the number of involved humans per vampire falls too low, the feeding issue stops feeling like a meaningful drawback.

It is a narrow demographic needle to thread.

-Frank
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maglag
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

How about greater vampires needing exponentially more blood than lesser vampires? So you can have relatively large number of vampire mooks to fill vampire society without needing to drain that many humies but the seniors in charge do need a steady supply of fresh blood.
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Actually, our blood banking system is set up exactly the way you'd want it to be if you were a secret vampire conspiracy.
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Mask_De_H
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

maglag wrote:
How about greater vampires needing exponentially more blood than lesser vampires? So you can have relatively large number of vampire mooks to fill vampire society without needing to drain that many humies but the seniors in charge do need a steady supply of fresh blood.


Then you might as well do the nVamp feeding gimmick where older vamps need stronger blood or to drain beings of a lesser tier dry, lest you strain the Masquerade to breaking from all those exsanguinated motherfuckers.
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