My slow descent into Animalism

Hey, everyone. If you were in the US, I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. If you were in the northeast US, I hope you had manageable storms. If you were elsewhere in the world, as most of you were, I hope everything has been cozy and un-dramatic.

We’re still hard at work on the 2013 Vampire schedule. The anthology continues to come along, with most of the drafts being in and the process of selecting classic fiction underway. The blue book counterpart, The God-Machine Chronicle Anthology just came out. I can only hope the cover of ours is as excellent.

We’ve also been developing the exciting new Discipline rules that’ll debut in The Strix Chronicle or Sexmurder or Year Red or whatever you want to call it. This book will present a kickass upgrade to the core rules and a deep, broad setting to immerse your players in.

Which brings us to more open playtesting. This week, we’re debuting the first drafts of the remaining Ventrue Disciplines: Animalism and Dominate. One of our goals is to make powers within a Discipline more interconnected and organic. We’re very eager to hear how they work in your games.

Animalism

  • Feral Whispers 
    You can communicate with and control animals, individually or in groups.
    • Dice Pool: Manipulation + Animal Ken + Animalism – highest Composure in group
      Cost: None
      Action: Instant
    • You can communicate with an animal about anything within its usual range of perception. For purposes of fiction, we assume that animals have good memories of the present night.
    • You can command an animal to do something. This thing must fall within the animal’s normal cognitive abilities.
    • Used on an Animalism 2 familiar, this power is not resisted.
    • Normally, no command may last longer than a night. However, see Animalism 3 for exceptions.
  • Raise the Familiar 
    You raise a beast from the dead as a servant.
    • Dice Pool: None
      Cost: 1 Vitae
      Action: Instant
    • Requirement: Feed 1 Vitae to the corpse. This Vitae is included in the cost.
    • The animal rises for [Blood Potency * animal’s Stamina] nights.
    • Feral Whispers may be used on the animal from any range, and is not resisted by the animal’s Composure.
    • This effect may be renewed by feeding the undead animal more Vitae.
    • (This is less cost-efficient in the long term than ghouling an animal, but is cheaper in the short term, and allows a greater degree of control.)
  • Summon the Hunt 
    You summon predators and scavengers from the surrounding area.
    • Dice Pool: Presence + Animal Ken + Animalism
      Cost: 2 Vitae
      Action: Instant
    • Requirement: Spill 1 Vitae upon the ground. This Vitae is included in the cost.
    • You imbue the Vitae with a command, following the rules for Feral Whispers.
    • All animals of the type within [successes] blocks (city) or [successes * 100] yards (country) respond to the call. Yes, this can mean a lot of rats.
    • Summoned animals are compelled to taste the spilled Vitae, at which point they are infected with the command. The command lasts [successes] nights.
  • Feral Infection 
    By pushing your predatory aura outwards, you inflict the ravings of the Beast on others.
    • Dice Pool: Presence + Intimidation + Animalism
      Cost: 2 Vitae
      Action: Instant
    • You specify a direction for the mob to go in or something to attack. (Only victims who can see the target are affected.)
    • Predators and scavengers who can smell you cannot resist, and suffer anger frenzy.
    • Mortals or supernatural beings who can smell the target suffer anger frenzy if their Resolve + Composure is lower than [successes]. (This does not apply to blood sensed with Kindred Senses.)
      • Those in some stage of Vinculum to you, or who are in physical contact with your Vitae (for example, if they’re splattered or marked by it) count their Composure as three dots lower.
      • A mortal or supernatural being may spend one Willpower point to resist your order. However, that character still enters frenzy.
  • Lord of the Land 
    You mark your territory in a ring of blood, claiming the land as your own and holding power over all who enter.
    • Dice Pool: Presence + Survival + Animalism
      Cost: Variable (1 to 3 Vitae)
      Action: Instant
    • Requirements:The territory must be uninhabited by other supernatural entities. You cannot claim a building already infested by another coterie, nor can you take a forest championed by a pack of werewolves or a mansion haunted by a furious ghost. Current residents must be driven away, at least for long enough for you to make it your own.Second, the you must walk the border of the territory and mark it with Vitae. How you go about this is up to you. You could walk a stately pace, dripping blood from open wounds on both hands. You could run wild about the land, smearing streaks of blood, spit and feces on tree and stone. What matters is that you personally walk the border.
    • The cost of this process is determined by the size of the territory, one Vitae for small spaces like a single home. Two for larger areas like warehouses or about a city block. Three for huge areas like castles and public parks. Theoretically, it would be possible to spend more Vitae to cover a larger area, but doing so in a single night would be impractical, and is left to Storyteller discretion.
    • Once marked, the territory has the following qualities:Wild beasts and animals will not willingly enter the territory, and will fight to escape if forced inside. Mortals and other supernatural beings may enter with a successful Composure + Blood Potency or equivalent roll. However, unless they scored an Exceptional Success, they take a -3 penalty to all actions while inside. Kindred also suffer an additional -2 penalty to rolls to resist frenzy while within, and anger frenzies are typically redirected into fear frenzies that encourage the vampire to leave the territory. People and animals you invite (using Feral Whispers or Summon the Hunt in the case of animals) need not roll and suffer no penalties.
    • So long as you are within the territory you also gain the following bonuses:
      • You can feel the presence of any entity that crosses the border, and knows immediately the general location and Blood Potency of invaders. (This only applies to Blood Potency, not other supernatural equivalents. We recommend the Storyteller communicate this information in general terms.) You maintain a constant general knowledge of the location of all creatures within his domain. [Dev note: supernatural stealth and hiding powers can contest this. And, uh, “creatures” probably doesn’t apply to bacteria and stuff. We need to find a better way to phrase that.]
      • Feral Whispers duration becomes indefinite for creatures within the territory. Moreover, you may perceive through the senses of all familiars within the territory, and use Feral Whispers through them to direct the actions of other animals.
      • All animals, as well as any creature in frenzy (or a similar state) while within the territory may not attack you, nor may they spend Willpower to resist compulsions issued via Feral Infection.
      • The territory remains empowered for [successes] weeks, and even then it will only end when you exit its border. Therefore if the you are in torpor your territory could remain protected until you wake and exit, or are destroyed. (Of course, most benefits can’t be used while you slumber.)

Dominate

  • Mesmerize 
    You meet the victim’s eye, lulling them into a trance.
    • Cost: None
      Dice Pool: Intelligence + Expression + Dominate vs Target’s Resolve + Power Stat
      Action: Contested, resistance is Reflexive
    • The victim becomes muted and repressed, as if hypnotized or sleepwalking. In this state the subject is extremely vulnerable to suggestion and manipulation.
    • You may do either of the following at a rate of one per action:
      • Issue a brief command, no more than two or three words. This command must be a single, discrete action, with no room for creativity or interpretation. (“Drop that gun”, “Repeat after me…”, and “Follow me” work. “Submit” and “Do my bidding” are too subjective.)
      • Alter one memory of the current scene. (“I was never here”, “You hurt this man.”)
    • The victim remains in the trance until they leave your presence, the scene ends, or something shakes them out of it. Actions that would endanger the target’s life or force a degeneration roll usually shake them free, as does taking damage. Sufficiently traumatic stimuli may also suffice, at the Storyteller’s discretion. Used in combat, which is generally both dangerous and traumatic, Mesmerize almost always fails. Afterwards, the victim wakes with almost no memory of what took place while they were mesmerized. Attempts to Mesmerize a character who has already resisted or broken free within the scene are made at a -2 penalty, cumulative with each previous failed attempt.
  • Iron Edict 
    Your Mesmerism becomes stronger and more insidious.
    • Cost: 1 Vitae
      Dice Pool: None (enhances Mesmerize)
      Action: None (enhances Mesmerize)
    • Iron Edict can be evoked whenever you issue a command via Mesmerize. This costs 1 Vitae, unless the victim is currently in any stage of Vinculum with you, and enhances the command in the following ways:
      • Commands issued may be much longer, two or three sentences as opposed to a few words, and can include a successive series of actions to perform.
      • Commands last one full night, and may persist outside your immediate presence.
      • It becomes much harder to break the victim from their trance. Only extreme trauma, such as receiving their Stamina in damage or being knocked unconscious will suffice to break them free. Similarly, actions which would cause the target to make a degeneration roll do not automatically fail. Instead the target makes the degeneration roll. Failure means they carry through with the action, though do not actually lose Humanity or the equivalent. Success breaks them of the compulsion. (This occurs at the moment of the act, not when the order is given)
    • Issuing commands with this power takes time, about two turns per sentence,  and requires the victim already be Mesmerized for that duration. Victims carry out commands the moment they are issued, and continue to follow the order until the task it done or the time limit has expired. As with Mesmerize they emerge from the trance with no clear memory of their actions.
  • Entombed Command 
    You hide a command in your prey’s subconscious.
    • Cost: None
      Dice Pool:  Intelligence + Subterfuge + Dominate – victim’s Resolve
      Action: None (activated in conjunction with other Dominate powers)
    • Entombed Command is activated in conjunction with other Dominate powers. Doing so hides the effects within the subject’s subconscious, dormant until certain trigger conditions are met. You may add up to [successes] triggers, events or stimuli that will cause the compulsion to emerge. For example, when the victim hears the word “turtledove”, when the clock strikes midnight, when the victim sees his brother, etc.
    • Powers are modified in the following ways:
      • Mesmerize: The subject immediately enters a trance when the conditions are met, if the Vampire is not physically present the trance only lasts for about two to three turns.
      • Iron Edict: When the trigger is met the subject immediately falls into a trance and follows the subconscious order. The trance endures until the task is complete or a scene has passed, at which point is falls dormant once again.
      • The Lying Mind: The trigger functions as an on-off switch for memory alterations. Different triggers can serve different functions. One could cause false memories to emerge, while another hides them again.
    • Suggestions can lie dormant for up to [successes] weeks, or [successes] months if the target is in any stage of Vinculum towards you. During this time the effects of the power will reemerge as many times as the trigger conditions are met. Adding the Conditioning feature to a power is reflexive, but delivering the conditions takes time, about two turns per sentence. As with Command this requires the target be Mesmerized while the conditions are described. If they are distracted part way through the conditioning will not take.
  • The Lying Mind 
    You can make more drastic alterations to a victim’s memories.
    • Cost: 2 Vitae
      Dice Pool: None (enhances Mesmerize)
      Action: None (enhances Mesmerize)
    • The Lying Mind can be applied whenever you attempt to alter a Mesmerized victim’s memories. To do so, the victim must first be marked with a small amount of Vitae, included in the cost. This Vitae must either be consumed or dripped onto the forehead. Doing so allows you to make much more drastic changes to the subject’s memories, extending back well before the current scene. You may:
      • Affect memories from any point in the subject’s life.
      • Create new memories or add new elements to existing ones.
      • Erase an existing memories or alter their context, substituting events, people, and locations.
    • Modifications should be able to be summed up in about three or four sentences, though multiple invocations of this power may be user to create more elaborate alterations. Inflicting these changes requires a long period of uninterrupted interaction with the Mesmerized target (at least a full minute, preferably much more), during which time you explain the alterations in detail. The rewrites should focus on the factual, not the perceived. You can dictate what the character experienced, but not what they thought or felt about it. Should the victim be exposed to very compelling evidence of the falsification (family picture, video of the event), they may roll [Resolve + Blood Potency or equivalent]. If they score more successes than the original activation roll, the alterations are undone and their original memories return. Otherwise this power lasts indefinitely.
  • Possession 
    You extend your mind fully into that of another, supplanting their will and taking complete control of their body.
    • Cost: 1 Vitae and 1 Willpower
      Dice Pool: Intelligence + Intimidation + Dominate – victim’s Resolve
      Action: Contested and Reflexive, resistance is reflexive
    • Requirement: The victim must be Mesmerized.
    • You use the victim’s physical Skills and Attributes, but maintain your own social and mental Skills and Attributes. Likewise, physical Merits are maintained while mental ones are suppressed.
    • While in a mortal body, you may remain awake all day for the cost of 1 Willpower, spent at dawn.
    • You may maintain control for [successes] nights.
    • You may not use Disciplines or rituals through the victim, nor may you access supernatural powers that they possess, but you are otherwise in total control of their actions.
    • Degeneration rolls do not risk freeing the target. However, should the Vampire deliberately attempt to commit suicide in the body, the victim gets a second Resolve + Blood Potency or equivalent roll to end possession.
    • Possession overrules all existing compulsions or commands the subject is experiencing, ending them immediately. Conditioned commands can still be re-triggered once the possession ends, and persistent alterations (like those from The Lying Mind) also endure.

  34 comments for “My slow descent into Animalism

  1. Eric
    November 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    This all sounds pretty awesome!

    For Possession can you posses other kindred or supernatural creatures?

    • Eric
      November 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm

      Also for the Lying mind what effect does consuming vitae have on the target? Does it count for a vinculum and/or vitae addiction? Can people become addicted to vitae if they are unaware that they are consuming it in general?

      For raise the familiar what effect does being undead have on the animal? Are they affected by the sun or immune to wound penalties or the same as a living animal? Can they also be ghouled?

      Good stuff

      • LOOK
        November 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm

        Possession should work a-okay on other Supernaturals. But you can’t use their inherent activated powers.

        As for Vitae…good point. Must go tinker…

  2. Charles Wright
    November 27, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    These are simply fantastic. You’ve actually made me want to use the Animalism Discipline.

    • SPC T
      November 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Yes! I agree, finally after 20 years I don’t have to wrestle with my inner self to want Animalism on my sheet!

  3. PrimalFlame aka @White_Wolf_Fan
    November 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Like @Charles Wright said, I think that’s the first time I want to create a character with Animalism. Dominate also looks better.

  4. November 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Animalism looks awesome and is dripping in mood and roleplaying possibilities. Dominate is still constricted with a lot of restrictions and minutae. Ether way keep up the good work. Strix/SexMurder/RedA.D. is shaping up to be the definite Requiem iteration. :)

    • LOOK
      November 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm

      That’s one of the sad necessities of mind control powers. Anything that can rip control from the player’s hands needs to be policed a little more strictly.

      • November 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm

        Don’t know about that… Maybe if it Dominate effects could reverberate somewhat between the one who dominates and the one who is dominated. I remember vaguely that Burning Empires had some cool rules about “mind control” that minimized that “player agency policing” that you mentioned.

  5. Jadasc
    November 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Does Raise The Familiar work on the prepared or taxidermied dead?

    • November 27, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      The final text will probably say that the body has to be in a condition capable of locomotion. No taxidermy, no dinosaur bones. However, that’s a restriction I could easily see relaxing in an individual game.

      • LOOK
        November 27, 2012 at 7:53 pm

        Or maybe a Protean based devotion…

  6. November 27, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    The more I read of these reworked disciplines, the more I think…

    I don’t want this book.

    I NEED IT.

    Now these… Really feel like Ventrue Disciplines. And Animalism still feels very Gangrel-like, so that’s a plus.

    I am EXCITED.

  7. Kamikazegerbil
    November 27, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    This is brilliant. Always wanted an animalism focused character and this has just amped up that desire.

    Animalism seems slightly blood magic-ish here but in a very cool, thematic way.

  8. Scutarii
    November 28, 2012 at 6:14 am

    Animalism looks exceedingly cool. A bit wordy perhaps but very god.

    The only issue I have with it is the problem that always arises from using animal minions: Keeping them relevant as a threat.

    If I am at the head of a pack of 5 massive dogs, slavering mouths, bloodshot eyes, barely contained frenzy held in check only by my iron will and I corner my foe they should find those dogs a threat. They have to be able to hit and deal some kind of meaningful damage, retain hold if they bite down etc.

    Essentially if I focus in my animal minions as a weapon then people should actually be scared of them in a fight. Resilience, Celerity, Vigour etc. should not make Vampires essentialy immune to them.

    Disciplines that only affect mortals meaningfully are pretty dull for higher level games as most of the important people you interact with at that level are Vampires themselves.

  9. PrimalFlame aka @White_Wolf_Fan
    November 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I’m not a crunch guy, but if you may I’ll offer my two cents . I start from the assumption that the reworked Disciplines enable the emergence of atmosphere, and allow for proper Gothic themes and aesthetics. Great job, Russell (is Rosem your pen name?).

    “Feral Whispers •
    You can communicate with and control animals, individually or in groups.”

    Nothing wrong with this one, I guess, since Feral Whispers is supposed to allow the character to communicate fully with a target animal. Communicate with a group of animals comes a plus.

    I hope the developer and writers keep the bonus for predatory animals, and they also coudl add a dice bonus for nocturnal animals, like owls, rats, cats, bats and the like.

    “Raise the Familiar ••
    You raise a beast from the dead as a servant.”

    Well, I like the whole familiar idea, specially when I think about a Ventrue lord surrounded by hellhounds, but I still don’t know if it should be part of Animalism. How about a merit with Animalism as its prerequisite?

    Also, what are the familiar advantages, when compared to a animal ghoul?

    “Summon the Hunt •••
    You summon predators and scavengers from the surrounding area.”

    How about making it a passive/automatic effect of Animalism, or maybe create a merit or Devotion that makes it a passive effect?

    “Feral Infection ••••
    By pushing your predatory aura outwards, you inflict the ravings of the Beast on others.”

    Really liked the fact its possible to make mortals and animals frenzy!

    “Lord of the Land •••••
    You mark your territory in a ring of blood, claiming the land as your own and holding power over all who enter.”

    It looks like some sort of blood sorcery, but makes perfect sense for Gangrel (claiming territory, like wolves) and Ventrue (lords over men and beasts).

    How about making Summon the Hunt (like Feral Whispers) duration also indefinite, within the territory?

    “Mesmerize •
    You meet the victim’s eye, lulling them into a trance.”

    Level •• now is level •. I like that, as I always disliked the Command (level •) “one word command”. Great the new level • allows the character the alter memory. Talking about atmosphere, it’s like saying the Ventrue’s mere presence forces the victim into submission (and maybe the writers could emphasize that).

    “Iron Edict ••
    Your Mesmerism becomes stronger and more insidious.”

    How about making memory altering easier, at this level, like altering two memories?

    “Entombed Command •••
    You hide a command in your prey’s subconscious.”

    Great, nothing I can add.

    “The Lying Mind ••••
    You can make more drastic alterations to a victim’s memories.”

    It follows the development guideline of building upon previous levels, and that’s great. But how about Level • simple memory alteration? How about saying the Ventrue, from Level • to ••• can alter a single additional memory from the scene, until the master the technique, with Level ••••?

    “Possession •••••
    You extend your mind fully into that of another, supplanting their will and taking complete control of their body.”

    Ok, the victim must be mesmerized, and mesmerize’s effect is on until the scene ends or the Ventrue leaves his/her presence. So, if my character needs to possess someone during day hours (and can’t waste the whole night in his victim’s presence), does it still mean he has to stay with the target until the sun goes up?

  10. Vecna
    November 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    My immediate thoughts on reading these are:
    * Animalism – the lower dots make a lot more sense, and work well together.
    * Dominate – the same as Animalism for the lower dots.

    That’s where it starts to get sticky though. I read Lord of the Land, and my first thought was “Well, that basically steals a bloodline’s unique discipline, turns it into one power, and makes it available to everyone”. Which is something I think is a bad precedent and devalues the work characters may have put in to be part of the bloodline (for mechanical or fluff reasons).

    Dominate – I am not convinced that being able to Possess other supernaturals is a good idea. It’s something that you can’t do with the current write-up and I think that is for the best. I don’t have any specific reasons for thinking that, it just *feels* wrong.

    Thank you for working on these though. :)

    V.

  11. November 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Glad you’re digging them, everyone.

    PrimalFlame:

    “rosem” is short for my first name and middle name. It’s the equivalent of the “russellem” alias I used to use. I actually don’t like it quite as well, but WordPress needed me to call myself something. :)

    Vecna:

    “Dominate – I am not convinced that being able to Possess other supernaturals is a good idea. It’s something that you can’t do with the current write-up and I think that is for the best. I don’t have any specific reasons for thinking that, it just *feels* wrong.”

    I have mixed feelings about this. I don’t like the idea that “supernatural” is something uniform in the World of Darkness… that vampire and mage are like bigger versions of Ventrue and Mekhet. For mechanical purposes, yes, they are, but the idea that that’s true in the setting really bothers me.

    As a result, I don’t like giving supernaturals-as-a-class uniform immunities, just ’cause they’re all kinda magic.

    But I did say mixed feelings. The current compromise is that you can possess anybody but you don’t get to use their powers. It’s a practical solution, but I’m not sure I like how it feels.

    “That’s where it starts to get sticky though. I read Lord of the Land, and my first thought was ‘Well, that basically steals a bloodline’s unique discipline, turns it into one power, and makes it available to everyone’. Which is something I think is a bad precedent and devalues the work characters may have put in to be part of the bloodline (for mechanical or fluff reasons).”

    The core powers are being designed to be mechanically and conceptually complete without any supplements. So we’re not saying that a power can’t be core just because a variation’s been previously published.

    Bloodline Disciplines are going to suffer some indirect effects as a result of the updates. Among other things, the balancing guidelines for Disciplines are different now — the old standard* was that one dot effects were only barely supernatural. That’s out the window, so stuff like the old Obtenebration 1 isn’t really up to snuff anymore.

    Similarly, a lot of stuff was put into bloodlines at various times because it seemed like something vampires should be able to do, but wasn’t part of the core. With the opportunity to revisit the core game, and no guarantee we’ll ever do a bloodline book again, we can’t really look at that stuff as the unique property of those bloodlines. The best stuff needs to be in the main book.

    * Which was, admittedly, not always adhered to.

    • Vecna
      November 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      Thanks for the reply. :)

      I see the point with the Lord of the Land/bloodline cross over. I’ve also just spent two hours reading through the threads on the forum on this, and I’m gradually coming to agree with those who can’t see quite where it fits into the Animalism theme.

      To borrow from Blood Sorcery for a moment, Lord of the Land feels like an expression of the “Territory” theme that the Casald, the Malocusians, and the Annunaku tap into. While the rest of the discipline (as presented here) feels like use of the “Animal” theme or something. I saw a few discussions/suggestions which topped out at mass frenzy powers, or four affecting animals/mortals and five affecting kindred. Was there a particular reason why that sort of branch was dropped?

      Don’t get me wrong, by the way, I love the power Lord of the Land, I’m just not sure that Animalism is where it fits. Mind you, I’m not sure where else it fits without it being a separate discipline – although there are fear elements there that Nightmare could capitalise on or the “knowing someone is there” feels like the re-spec’d Auspex (which is a discipline change I love).

      Hope that make some sense and is of use. :P

      V.

  12. DaemonChrno
    November 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    For Dominate, well, I really like the new powers. The trance mecanism is really good and I can sense the general feeling of the Discipline tree.

    For Animalism, I’ve a few questions. For the power “Raise the Familiar”, what’s the change of stats you must apply for the zombified thing ? Is a zombified pet something you can recognize with just a glance ?

  13. Yiodan
    December 2, 2012 at 11:47 am

    First of all, thank you for the nice preview. It’s always a pleasure to be a part of this process and be able to give our thoughts.

    I will not comment on most of this because it’s all been said before and I respect the fact that this is something you have all worked on for a long time. So, I will only stick to my one major point. “Necromancy in Animalism?” May be I missed an expansion that explains the link, I honestly have not followed the NWOD much, but i’m surprised to see this here. It feels more akin to actual “Magic” than a “discipline”. May be it’s due to my CWOD roots. Sure, from the perspective that the core is being revisited and disciplines must be standalone, it makes sense. But that’s a purely out of context / out of character perspective. How does a character or an ST make sense of it, thought? Considering people will have bought the other expansion and will need to try to make it all fit, and considering the RP perspective of some characters with a high ratings of occult, the question of “What’s this doing there” is going to be brought up. I think the power is cool, and it’s not my place to argue, so, all I’ll say is this: Can you please help us STs by explaining how this fits in the power’s description? Thank you.

    Otherwise, I must say I’m really digging the bullet points format. It’s clearer and allows for less confusion.

    Thank you.

  14. December 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Vecna:

    “Don’t get me wrong, by the way, I love the power Lord of the Land, I’m just not sure that Animalism is where it fits. ”

    It’s basically a “Beast’s Lair” power, which might honestly be a better name. The Beast marks its own place, and other creatures don’t want to be there.

    Yiodan:

    “May be I missed an expansion that explains the link, I honestly have not followed the NWOD much, but i’m surprised to see this here.”

    Disciplines, in general, have been treated as more like forms of witchcraft in Requiem than in Masquerade. But what’s going on here is a bit more elementary.

    It’s part of the same theme as frenzy and Feral Infection — the idea that the Beast wants out. The Beast is the destructive part of the vampire. Maybe it’s an external “bad soul” given at the Embrace, or maybe it’s the sum total of the trauma and moral decay that comes with being a vampire. Either way, though, it wants to express itself, to touch others.

    DaemonChrno:

    “For Animalism, I’ve a few questions. For the power ‘Raise the Familiar’, what’s the change of stats you must apply for the zombified thing?”

    Currently, no stat adjustment. Here’s the problem: there are no good official baselines for animal stats, and no room for them in this book. So it’s hard to come up with a baseline that will fit STs ad hoc judgments.

    Maybe another mechanical solution, such as allowing them to spend their fed Vitae as Willpower?

    “Is a zombified pet something you can recognize with just a glance?”

    Depends on the state of the animal when the vampire made it a familiar.

  15. December 2, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    In general, while, I know folks will use whatever language they feel most comfortable with when discussing a power, don’t think of a “familiar” as a “zombie,” any more than you’d think of a vampire or ghoul that way.

  16. Vladthebad
    December 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I very much like the reworking of dominate in that it more directly resembles hypnotism, with each level allowing more complex manipulations. I have often wanted Dominate • to encompass a single action rather than a one word command as it has in the past. Great work over all.

    One thing though that concerns me, or really, has always been a concern with Dominate is the “eye-contact” part. In my experience storytellers who don’t want to lose control of an NPC often pivot around the eye-contact clause to weasel out of it. Rather than adjudicating who can see who’s eyes it would be better if the victim could spend a Willpower point to allow them to make a resistance roll. That would give a ST an out with a good roll (or a fudged one), or allow a PC to burn willpower to get off a needed action.

    With Animalism I am seeing a lot of things I like, but some parts of it seem like over-reaching. The ••••• power has a LOT going on. From spying through animals to making the land repel enemies. Its cool, but it might be too much.

    •••• and ••• are very similar. I love the use of a vitae “bait” in •••. I wonder if instead of just fear and anger animalism could impart other instinctive responses, such as hunger or submission.

  17. Yiodan
    December 2, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Many thanks for the answer Rosem. :) It makes quite a bit more sense seen in that light. Great. Got no more to say. :)

  18. Ken
    December 3, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Quite interested to see what you will do with nightmare after seeing these. (In my 6 years of playing I have never seen anyone besides me use it on anyone else, and yeah its very gimped.)

    My largest concern would be with altering other characters memories as it is worded above. For people that min/max it would be nearly impossible to start retrieving your old memories ( 2 stat resistance vs 3 stat power). There comes a point (and can happen quite quickly) where your character if the victim of this, ceases to be your character and ends up being more of an NPC. Even on a single use, “You joined the Circle of the Crone, not the Lancea Sanctum.” could destroy the playability of your character immediately.

    Anyways, thats my concern with it. I just feel like perhaps the required resistance sucesses could become easier over time. (Perhaps the activation roll loses 1 sucess per month to a minimum of 1.) Or even each time you have cause to resist the memories they degrade. *shrug*, hope to hear your thoughts!

    Ken

  19. The MG
    December 3, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Animalism 2 is officially the best power in Vampire now.

  20. Murder of Crows
    December 7, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Is there a reason why the old level 5 power was removed? I always thought having the power to send someone into a frenzy or keep him out of it was pretty cool.

    • Yiodan
      December 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      Well, I guess it just didn’t quite fit the new “themes” of animalism. Pushing to frenzy, may be, and it’s kinda still there in the form of “Feral Infection”. But to help against frenzy wouldn’t fit as much as before. Furthermore, the new themes of Animalism practically screams the need for the new powers described above, they all fit toegether, so I guess they had to make space for them.

      FYI, that’s just my take on it. I don’t work for Onyx Path and I do not know their official reasons.

    • Griautis
      December 13, 2012 at 7:33 am

      Well it’s not a problem, they said that all the powers are staying, but they are being moved to devotions/merits or otherwise. So you’ll be able to get that effect :)

  21. moogle001
    January 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    As I much as I love the idea behind Animalism 2, one has to ask how often a PC finds encounters or has quick access to a dead animal? What would be the point of killing an animal in order to restore it, as opposed to using the other Animalism powers to command it? Personally, I think it would benefit from ways to enhance living animals to make them more useful to the vampire.

  22. Magnus
    March 5, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Just qurious, can dominate be used on youself? can you alter your own memmories as a part of some elaborate scheme?

    • March 5, 2013 at 6:57 pm

      Storyteller call. I’d say probably not.

  23. Magnus
    March 5, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    I can see the reasoning behind that, yet the memmory gambit is quite a classic, and seems to fit the ventrue perfectly. It’s bugged me in every edition of vampire, and i’d like to see it stated clearly, if possible. I can totally see some ventrue having a plan which he can only enact if he can convice enemies with auspex that he isn’t lying, or that require him to act in certain ways he wouldn’t if he had access to his full knowledge or memmories.

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