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 Passive L1 Disciplines

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Aeroldoth
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PostSubject: Passive L1 Disciplines   Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:17 pm

I've had an idea for some time and thought I'd share it here, about making the L1 powers for all disciplines provide passive instead of active benefits.

When I first played vanilla ages ago, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the discipline powers I had.  I think each of my disciplines had a separate power, so I had 15 abilities to choose from.  Add in weapons and blood packs and whatnot, and there weren't enough hotkeys for everything.  This meant I had to access things through the mousewheel, which kind of slipped on my mouse, meaning long story short, EVERY combat had me scrambling for 5-10 seconds to try to find and activate whatever power I wanted at the moment.  That really irked me.  Ever since I've wished there were less abilities I had to cycle through, making it easier to find what I wanted.

I also had a problem with the game intro.  I know nothing about WOD, nothing about the lore, but what Jack tells you in the tutorial conflicts with the reality of your char.  Jack asks if you've even had a drink yet, and tells you the sabbat make shock troops without even telling them they're vamps.  All this makes it clear that you're not supposed to know what you are OR what powers you have; you don't have some innate knowledge of your abilities.  If that's the case, how then do you know about your L1 powers, as well as the L2 power you start with?

I believe it was Camarilla Edition that removed the 3x blood from rats benefit that Nos have, and made it the L1 power for Animalism.  This meant that the benefit went to whoever had that discipline, Nos and Gangrel, a step I strongly support.  VTMB presented the clans like races, where you got certain modifiers just for being clan ______.  That seems wrong to me.  If there's any kind of "race" amongst vamps, I would think it be between occidental and oriental vamps, for example.  The only difference between "cainites" should be which disciplines they have, and the attendant benefits that go with each discipline.  Passive benefits should be attached to each discipline, not to a clan.

By making the L1 power of each discipline a passive one, you accomplish several things.  You remove the idea that each clan is a race with unique benefits.  You reduce the total number of powers you have to deal with (blood heal and blood buff only added to that).  And you make the intro more logical and gamelore consistent.  If each L1 power is passive, then only your L2 power is active, and THAT at least could be explained by Jack's helping you learn about yourself.  It makes much more sense to have three passive benefits, and one active one that Jack helped you learn about during the tutorial, than the fact that you come out of the court with no knowledge that you're even a vampire yet somehow have access to four powers (L1, L1, L1, L2).

These are some off-my-head ideas of what the passive benefits could be:



Animalism = 3x blood from animals (rats)

Auspex = +1 mental stats, see invis, personal range auras always on

Celerity = +1 speed?

Dementation = dialogue options

Dominate = dialogue options

Fortitude = +1 soak

Obfuscate = +2 stealth

Potence = +1 combat scores?

Presence = +1 social stats.  Maybe +2?

Protean = unarmed causes aggravated damage?  Night vision you can turn on/off?

Thaumaturgy = -1 blood cost for powers?  



Blood buff = half damage from bullets (what you already start with)

Blood heal = mild regen (the regen you already have)



Doimoinon = 3x blood from those suffering greatly (bums), half damage from fire?

Obeah = all trauma damage received (aggravated, fire) treated as normal damage, for faster healing?

Quietus = 2x melee/unarmed damage attacking from behind / unawares.

Serpentis = dialogue options

Thanatosis = +1 blood every time you kill?



Just wanted to throw the idea out there and see what others thought.
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Eliza
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PostSubject: Re: Passive L1 Disciplines   Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:36 am

Aeroldoth wrote:
I know nothing about WOD

Sorry for being a bit snippy here, but this is the problem. Camarilla Edition and TFN both aim to get closer to the source material, which is Vampire: The Masquerade, a pen-and-paper roleplaying game set in the World of Darkness, while balancing the different clans in Bloodlines. While your idea might make sense gameplay-wise, it would throw the lore completely under the bus, and for most people on this forum, lore comes before gameplay (with compromises reached when the game restricts what you can implement).
I don't have the energy right now to point you to directions to get familiar with the VtM lore, but maybe Claudia can help you with that. If nothing else, I recommend getting hold of a VtM source book somehow (V20 is a good idea if you can find it) and reading through that so you become a bit more familiar with the lore behind Bloodlines ... because a lot of the points you raise can be explained by going "but it's like this in the lore".

Edited to add: Oh, I completely forgot, welcome to the forums!

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Zer0Morph
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PostSubject: Re: Passive L1 Disciplines   Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:06 pm

Aeroldoth wrote:
When I first played vanilla ages ago, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the discipline powers I had. I think each of my disciplines had a separate power, so I had 15 abilities to choose from. Add in weapons and blood packs and whatnot, and there weren't enough hotkeys for everything. This meant I had to access things through the mousewheel, which kind of slipped on my mouse, meaning long story short, EVERY combat had me scrambling for 5-10 seconds to try to find and activate whatever power I wanted at the moment. That really irked me. Ever since I've wished there were less abilities I had to cycle through, making it easier to find what I wanted.

I agree with you on this point, Aeroldoth, which is why I extended the lifetime of the disciplines, to the point that at higher levels like 4 and 5 some of the disciplines last 3-5 minutes per activation. I too hated having to constantly cycle through disciplines that were only active for a few seconds.

Aeroldoth wrote:
I believe it was Camarilla Edition that removed the 3x blood from rats benefit that Nos have, and made it the L1 power for Animalism. This meant that the benefit went to whoever had that discipline, Nos and Gangrel, a step I strongly support. VTMB presented the clans like races, where you got certain modifiers just for being clan ______. That seems wrong to me. If there's any kind of "race" amongst vamps, I would think it be between occidental and oriental vamps, for example. The only difference between "cainites" should be which disciplines they have, and the attendant benefits that go with each discipline. Passive benefits should be attached to each discipline, not to a clan.

I think this is the part of your post that Eliza is referring too on the subject of lore. Each clan has a weakness and strength according to their blood. A kindred's blood determines these strengths and weaknesses along with their preset disciplines which defines these groups into clans. So removing clan traits would be 100% against VTM lore.

Also, as Eliza said, welcome to the site and I look forward to more posts from you. Smile
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Aeroldoth
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PostSubject: Re: Passive L1 Disciplines   Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:06 pm

Eliza wrote:
Camarilla Edition and TFN both aim to get closer to the source material

Well, I guess that's it then. I browsed the forum a bit, but didn't realize TFN was about moving the game in a lore direction, which I know nothing about.

Have fun guys!
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PostSubject: Re: Passive L1 Disciplines   Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:37 pm

The irony with moving TFN in a lore direction is how you still play as a Baali/Salubri/<insert here>i neonate running around to edge out a living in downtown LA What a Face
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MxM
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PostSubject: Re: Passive L1 Disciplines   Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:50 pm

Karavolos wrote:
The irony with moving TFN in a lore direction is how you still play as a Baali/Salubri/<insert here>i neonate running around to edge out a living in downtown LA What a Face
The Baali receive the book and the quest at the start of the game to masquerade as a Tremere, and it's pretty lore wise, Assamite and Setites are more or less accepted by the Camarilla recently, Ishtarri and Osebo pass for Ventrue and Brujah quite easily, and nobody cares about Samedi as long as they are out of sight. The more problematic are Salubri
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PostSubject: Re: Passive L1 Disciplines   Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:17 pm

It's more of a factor that they're there at all. Claudia can probably write a new paper due on how improbable the whole ordeal is.
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MxM
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PostSubject: Re: Passive L1 Disciplines   Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:24 pm

Karavolos wrote:
It's more of a factor that they're there at all. Claudia can probably write a new paper due on how improbable the whole ordeal is.
Yes I read something about it in another topic.
IIRC the Laibon bloodlines shouldn't be a problem and after the schism so should be an Assamite Vizier, as most of them became Camarilla, for the other bloodlines I don't know
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Eliza
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PostSubject: Re: Passive L1 Disciplines   Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:03 pm

The problem with bloodlines (as opposed to clans) is that they're supposedly exceedingly rare in modern times and especially so in the Final Nights, so Karavolos is right that it is extremely unlikely for the ordinary Kindred to even have heard the names of one of these bloodlines, let alone met one. Actually being one? So rare that even the White Wolf books encourage storytellers to disallow them on the basis that it's just not plausible for a player to be Embraced by one of these guys. (Nevermind the fact that if they're so rare, there shouldn't be so many of these damn special bloodlines in the first place, but that's White Wolf for you.)

I think we can apply the Final Nights/Gehenna logic in this case because Los Angeles, the city VtMB and consequently TFN is set in, is such a nexus of activity and upheaval right now that it would actually make sense for some rare bloodlines to end up there. Lots of potential to make profit and carve out a domain for oneself, regardless of sect affiliation, because LA was pretty much a No Man's Land before the Camarilla showed up again, and at the start of the game it's a city that could possibly go in every direction imaginable, since both major sects, the Anarchs, the Independents (Giovanni anybody?), and even the Kuei-Jin are struggling to gain control of it. If that does not present the perfect opportunity to slink in and establish yourself, I don't know what does.

And remember, the player character is not the Kindred of that rare bloodline who would have chosen to set up shop there, they're merely the unfortunate Childe of that person and don't necessarily have any idea what their Sire was doing there in the first place. It's a convenient turn of events that allows us to pretty much ignore the fact that the player is part of a special and rare bloodline because, if you disregard the mechanical aspect of it (bloodline weaknesses and disciplines and all that jazz), they're not much different to your run-of-the-mill Camarilla fledgling. And why would they be? They know jack shit about what they've become, let alone Kindred politics, and nobody ever confirms their bloodline, so for all intents and purposes, they might as well be part of the usual Camarilla clans.

At least, that's the best I can explain it away without writing that paper MxM hinted at. study
TL;DR: It's mostly a gameplay/mechanical difference, not one that necessarily influences the narrative, so eh, who cares. Plausible deniability for everyone!

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PostSubject: Re: Passive L1 Disciplines   Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:08 pm

Also, while the player can choose from 7 bloodlines there is always only one vampire with a rare bloodline walking around Santa Monica. Wink
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malak
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PostSubject: Re: Passive L1 Disciplines   Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:43 pm

Eliza wrote:

And remember, the player character is not the Kindred of that rare bloodline who would have chosen to set up shop there, they're merely the unfortunate Childe of that person and don't necessarily have any idea what their Sire was doing there in the first place. It's a convenient turn of events that allows us to pretty much ignore the fact that the player is part of a special and rare bloodline because, if you disregard the mechanical aspect of it (bloodline weaknesses and disciplines and all that jazz), they're not much different to your run-of-the-mill Camarilla fledgling. And why would they be? They know jack shit about what they've become, let alone Kindred politics, and nobody ever confirms their bloodline, so for all intents and purposes, they might as well be part of the usual Camarilla clans.

Granted, this is one of the in-lore explanations for the creation of the Caitiff, and remains the one 'clan' I have yet to see made playable in VtM:B.

On that note, any odd combination of disciplines (ignoring the bloodline specific ones) would be accepted by most ancillae and some elders (possibly most) as the fledgling simply being one of the clanless, especially once you consider that the fledgling and sire were caught immediately after the embrace.
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