Majestic

Vampire: The Requiem

Time for another round of playtesting for Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicle, this summer’s big Vampire book. Tonight, we’re rounding out the Daeva Discipline spread by introducing Majesty. Majesty follows the pattern of many other Disciplines in that each power expands on others.

You’ll notice Conditions and Beats, two concepts being introduced in The God Machine Chronicle. Conditions are states that affect a character, with defined resolutions and the opportunity to earn Beats, which are part of the new Experience system.

Summoning has been moved out of the main ladder. It will reappear as a single-Discipline Devotion accessible for users of either Majesty or Dominate.

We’re excited to hear your feedback, but do keep in mind that we make changes mainly in response to playtest notes rather than hypothetical discussion.

Majesty

Majesty is the power to cloud people’s minds and make them want to do things for somebody they shouldn’t give two shits about. It puts them in emotional states that make them want to shower the vampire with attention and do things for her.

A vampire using Majesty doesn’t get the precise control of someone else’s actions that someone using Dominate does. Instead, she gets broader, more insidious benefits: things like affection and loyalty. Majesty victims want to help vampires.

Awe •

Awe magnifies the vampire’s presence in the eyes of others, making her seem cool, hot, and in general the kind of person with her very own spotlight.

Cost: None
Dice Pool:
Presence + Expression + Majesty
Action:
Instant
Duration: Scene

For the duration of the scene, or until the vampire chooses to end the effect, she gains the following benefits:

  • Her actions and appearance are cast in a more positive light. She could be covered in dirt, or have just visibly beaten another man bloody, yet still appears poised and approachable. She suffers no social penalties due to her actions or appearance, and can generally talk her way out of most offenses, even minor criminal ones.
  • She stands out in the eyes of others, clearly visible and audible in any crowd. She adds her successes to all mundane Presence rolls. A character paying attention to the vampire (and it’s hard not to) subtracts the vampire’s successes from any Wits + Composure roll used to perceive something other than the vampire.
  • She may, with a word or gesture, summon anyone in the room to her side. This isn’t a compulsion per se. The victim merely becomes aware that it’s okay to approach the vampire, and develops a desire to do just that.

Confidant ••

When the vampire speaks, she creates an air of trust and reliability.

Cost: None
Dice Pool:
Presence + Empathy + Majesty vs. Resolve + Blood Potency
Action:
Contested; resistance is reflexive

The vampire speaks or gestures to someone already affected by Awe, and brings them further into the fold. The victim gains the Charmed Condition.

Condition: Charmed
The vampire seems unnaturally trustworthy. Her lies become almost impenetrable, and her true intentions almost impossible to read.

The vampire who charmed the character adds their Awe successes to Manipulation rolls against the character. Attempts by the character to detect her lies are penalized by her Awe bonus. (This effect clashes with revealing magics, as per the Clash of Wills rules.)

Further, the character wants to do favors for the vampire. These are generally the sorts of favors he would do for a friend, such as lending car keys, giving her a place to crash, or revealing secrets he probably shouldn’t. As a general benchmark, the vampire can extract as many favors from the character as she rolled Awe successes.

The characters does not feel he has been tricked or ripped off until the Condition expires. If the vampire was careful, the character might never notice.

Resolution: The vampire attempts to seriously harm the character (or someone close to them), the character makes a significant sacrifice to their own well-being for the vampire, or a number of hours equal to the vampire’s Blood Potency pass.

Beat: When the character divulges a secret or gives a favor freely. [As with all experience gains, the character may only receive one Beat a scene.]

Green Eyes •••

The victim feels deep jealousy over the vampire’s attention and desperation for her favor.

Cost:
1 Vitae
Dice Pool:
None
Action:
None, enhances Confidant

Green Eyes takes the feelings instilled by Confidant and pulls them up to the next level, turning trust into obsession. The victim must currently be under the Charmed Condition towards the vampire. The vampire may spend a single point of Vitae to have one of the following effects on any number of Charmed victims in her presence:

  • Alter their emotional state. With a single word she can whip them into a rage, or instantly calm them from the edge of riot. Each emotional shift requires her to spend another Vitae.
  • Make a “request” which the Charmed immediately feel an obsessive need to accomplish. They can be coaxed into violent or sinful actions, though they are not willing to throw their lives away or suffer serious harm. If a degeneration roll is necessary, the roll is made only after the Charmed Condition has expired.

Loyalty ••••

The vampire becomes so important to the victim that acting against the vampire becomes traumatic.

Cost:2 Vitae
Dice Pool:
Manipulation + Empathy + Majesty vs. Resolve + Blood Potency
Action:
Contested; resistance is reflexive

The vampire selects one subject she has Charmed and magnifies that Condition to pure obsession. The victim gains the Enthralled Condition.

Condition: Enthralled
The victim becomes fanatically protective of the Vampire. The commitment to the vampire now extends to life-threatening actions, like jumping in front of guns, or crashing into a pursuer’s car.

The act of disobeying or displeasing the vampire isn’t just difficult, it’s a breaking point. The character must fail this Integrity or Humanity roll (usually taking a Condition) in order to disobey or displease the vampire. Alternatively the character can spend a point of Willpower to automatically fail the roll.

Resolution: The character is seriously harmed protecting the vampire, or the vampire’s Blood Potency in nights pass.

Beat: The character puts himself in harm’s way to protect the vampire.

Idol •••••

The vampire takes on the mantle of the king or the star, becoming so important in the eyes of others that they cannot possibly act against her.

Cost:
2 Vitae & 1 Willpower
Dice Pool:
None, enhances Awe
Action:
None
Duration:
Scene

Idol enhances the aura of superiority generated by Awe to near-divine levels.

  • Those in her presence must succeed at a reflexive Resolve + Blood Potency roll, penalized by the vampire’s Awe successes, in order to take any action that could harm or embarrass the Vampire.
  • Individuals who are under the Charmed Condition towards the vampire must succeed at the same roll, at the same difficulty. If they fail they temporarily acquire the Enthralled condition, although only for the remainder of the scene.
  • Those who are already Enthralled cannot take any action that could harm or embarrass the Vampire, they get no roll to resist.

  15 comments for “Majestic

  1. Ramza
    January 4, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Awesome I’m really liking it.

    The first thing to pop into my mind is that green eyes seems to step on the new fourth level animalism power. Its a lower level and lets you make a group of people pissed off which makes the animalism one seem kind of skimpy in comparison.

  2. Yiodan
    January 4, 2013 at 10:16 am

    I… Like!
    I’m surprised by the condition and beat mechanics, but Gods know many people tried to dodge playing being mind controlled or otherwise smithen supernaturally. Giving people incentive to go role play it all the way can only strengthen the intensity of these scenes.

  3. January 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Very awesome. I’m impressed by the direction this is taking. Can’t wait to get my hands on B&S.

  4. EG
    January 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    The Conditions are probably the best thing here. It’ll be nice to have something to note on a sheet (especially for those of us who might alter this to LARP) to denote the effects and to help them be enforced a bit better from a mechanical standpoint.

  5. Yossarian
    January 4, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    This is really cool. It’ll definitely get a test in my RfR game. One question: what is “Integrity”…?

  6. Cogitare
    January 5, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Will these Conditions be featured in other Disciplines as well? It seems like a nice concept but for it not to feel “thrown in” for the sake of Majesty I’d like to see something similar for conditions from eg. Animalism, Nightmare, Dominate and where applicable otherwise.

    • January 5, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Yes, other Disciplines will use Conditions. The Dominate trance, for example, will be a Condition, as will some features of Nightmare. Some other systems will use them, as well.

      • Cogitare
        January 5, 2013 at 4:05 pm

        Nice to hear and thanks for the reply!

  7. moogle001
    January 12, 2013 at 2:42 am

    A couple comments:

    * The third ability of Awe is potentially really powerful. “Develops a desire to do so”… can an elder resist? As a tool against mortals its awesome, but what are its limitations? Maybe successes should compare to Willpower or Resolve.

    * I feel like Confident should not require Awe. The latter is something one uses on a crowd—it draws attention. Confident would often be used on an individual while having a one-on-one conversation. You probably wouldn’t want to draw attention while manipulating an individual so!

    * Also the favor’s aspect of Confident makes it potentially really powerful as well, especially with no cost. Are any secrets off bounds to the Daeva? Maybe amend that to “small secrets”.

    * I feel like Green Eyes and Loyalty really encroach on Dominate and perhaps make it less impressive, but I don’t know what you have planned for it.

    * Really like the open-ended applications!!

  8. January 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks for the thoughts. If you’d like to see the working version of Dominate, it’s here:

    http://whitewolfblogs.com/blog/2012/11/27/my-slow-descent-into-animalism/

    • moogle001
      January 13, 2013 at 7:40 pm

      Ah, I see that Conditioning is no longer a part of Dominate, making room for the concept here. Really like the changes to Dominate; each level became a bit more useful, and this is the first time I can see real value in going back level 3.

  9. SynB
    January 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    I would really like to see White Wolf take the time to define better some of the effects produced with social rolls, powers, and ‘combat’. Awe says that you can instill a deep desire in someone to approach you with a single motion. Where’s the line drawn on that? Players will rarely choose to have their characters do something that they themselves don’t want to do. By leaving the social abilities so ambiguous and undefined, it leaves those playing social characters frustrated and sabotaged in their efforts since the decision on whether or not to ‘obey’ the social roll is left entirely on the other player. There’s no rule system for how to determine who can and cannot resist the social power and ability of any given character. Right now, I could have a Daeva use Awe on a group of mortals, beckon one to my side, only to have the player say that they don’t feel like it and will resist the summons without ever having to roll anything, or even spend a willpower point.

    If you really want to make things like Majesty better, build and define a concrete set of rules for social interactions and rolls. Leaving it up to player discretion is leaving this honor system abused, broken, and bleeding severely.

  10. Dunkelzahn
    July 5, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    I really feel the levels 2 to 4 look a bit too powerful. I can see so many ways of abusing of this power, with basically nobody being able to keep a secret anymore, and powerful Daevas ruling over a lot of humans or even vampires as long as they are nice with them. I read Confidant, and I think of a vampire saying “Ok now tell me everything you want to conceal”. That reminds me a little bit about Omniscience (Auspex level 8) in Masquerade, that was not really what storytellers liked to see players get.

Comments are closed.