Lancea et Sanctum Merits and Miracles Playtest [Vampire: The Requiem]

VampireTheRequiem2e-smallNow, presenting our final playtest blog for Secrets of the Covenants: the Lancea et Sanctum! Here’s an assortment of new Merits and Miracles for your characters.

When discussing this, please link to the original document, rather than reposting it. I sometimes make changes or clarifications in response to feedback.

Please note that we’re primarily interested in what happens when you put this to work at your table, so actual playtest feedback is much appreciated. Also, this hasn’t been edited, so we’re not looking for grammar/spelling corrections.

<Click here for the playtest materials>


23 responses to “Lancea et Sanctum Merits and Miracles Playtest [Vampire: The Requiem]”

  1. YOLF Avatar

    I opened the doc, and noticed Crusade. I then squeed and proceeded to read it. Aaaaand I don’t like it. At all. Mostly because the first dot is not a minor application of Blood Sorcery, or the Curse, or anything. It seems to literally just be “smack spells with your weapon or shield”.

    And I find that silly. Unbearably silly. I don’t think it should just logically work like that. Especially when you consider a lot of harmful spells, rituals, etc in the World Of Darkness have direct effects on the targets – in other words they’re not aimed balls or fire or anything.

    1. Thor Avatar

      I share this feeling really. While I certainly understand that the goal is to vamp up the Lance as it were with all the fun trappings of the mystical side of catholicism…This just does not sit well with me. The idea that weaponry skill will reduce their spell efficiency, while I understand in theory, does not hold up under scrutiny…

      In many ways this 1 dot merit is a lot more powerful than many of the high level sorcery themes! Not only does it have such a good benefit (I can think of ways to get a high weaponry easily)…it also doesn’t force the player to specialize against magic users at all. A high weaponry sword is a high weaponry sword and is always useful in combat.

      The idea is nifty but the implementation makes it very strong for a one dot.

      1. Fred Avatar

        Maybe make theban one a Req and use the idea that this is a minor blessing ( below needing a full ritual) on the weapon that makes it weilder harder to target with spells

      2. Andrew Thomas Avatar
        Andrew Thomas

        Should be Dots, not “score.”

    2. tau neutrino Avatar
      tau neutrino

      Agreed. For one Merit dot, a character can intercept spells with a mundane weapon or shield? Military training shouldn’t allow that. It doesn’t appear to require an action or expenditure and applies against “any incoming spells, rituals, or sorceries targeting her, including those from sources other than Kindred.” That’s a better defense than a weapon or shield allows against physical attacks. Not to mention extending it to others with a dodge action.

      Hammer against Witches has similar problems. Causing a dramatic failure plus additional damage? That’s better than most three dot Disciplines. Does this work against non-kindred powers too?

  2. YOLF Avatar

    Reading further, I have to say I really like the imagery and results of many of the new rituals. The divination and apparition or ‘divine manifestation’ ones in particular.

    But I REALLY question what you were thinking with the ratings attributed to a few of them. The Apple Of Eden and the Miracle Of The Dead Sun sick out (like sore thumbs) among these as two that seem to have their significance and power MASSIVELY underplayed by their rating.

  3. Illuminated Avatar

    I’m always glad to see updates for this book.

    Cool Stuff: I really like what we’ve seen so far. Especially Apocalypse, that’s a pretty cool Samson Option for the L+S. But that might just be because I love seeing Samson Options in stories. Same with some of the other ridiculous high-end stuff like blotting out the Sun. The anti-magic style is pretty interesting too. I’d be interested to see how that would work out in play.

    Criticisms: Marian Apparition using menstrual blood seems a bit weird. Period imagery seems more like a Crone thing. I could see something like “Blood of a Virgin” fitting, though.

    1. Warhol Avatar

      Seconding, I do so love seeing updates for this book. Catholic history is rife with menstrual superstition if you know where to look. I rather like the Marian power, as it could be used as an excellent hook in a Circle/Sanctum intellectual conflict.

    2. Fred Avatar

      I agree that Virgin Blood would make a far more appropriate reagent for the Marian spell. I’m also not a fan of the secondary effect. Besides the fact that they should do more to differentiate the blood sorceries, Cruac is the magic of the beast which is why Stryx use it. A miracle like this would make it antithetical to a a sorcery that eats away at your humanity.

      1. Sean Avatar

        I think the menstrual blood works, in an odd way. Depending on who you listen to, Mary was a virgin. And while virgin blood is certainly evocative of Mary, wouldn’t menstrual blood, blood from the womb, be more evocative of the woman who never knew a man, but gave birth to God? Just how I interpret it.

    3. Andrew Thomas Avatar
      Andrew Thomas

      Well, I could point out real-world Christian appropriation of Pagan metaphysics, but that’s not really necessary.

  4. Caleb Cushing Avatar

    Shield against Sorceries, how do I determine if it counts as a spell? does anything in Demon count?

    1. Andrew Thomas Avatar
      Andrew Thomas

      I’d say no to Embeds, Gadgets, or Form Abilities, yes to Exploits, or anything else that provokes a Compromise roll. Most Gifts shouldn’t be stopped this way either, nor Transmutations that target the Promethean invoking them, nor Geist powers that work similarly. Contracts and most offensive Mummy powers should be Shield-able, as should most obvious Supernatural powers, key word being “obvious.”

  5. stylanski Avatar

    I love every bit of this, as it screams crunch, lore, and depth.

    For the first time since reading and comparing Requiem and Masquerade, I can say that Requiem characters come with greater ease and vividness to mind than Masquerade ones.

    Love it, love it, love it!

  6. CJ D Avatar
    CJ D

    Will the book explain how the Dammitic Creed works? I’ve never really had a good idea of what Lance Theology Sans Jesus looks like.

  7. AegonTargaryen Avatar

    Love the new rituals ! So full of atmosphere. My interest in the Lancea et Sanctum has just grown immensely. Even a dark, dark heresy is included ! Please let the final versions stay as close to this as possible.

  8. Felipe Avatar

    I am hungry…

    1. Felipe Avatar

      Ops this was supposed to be in the Beast post, no idea how it got here.

  9. Sean Avatar

    Apocalypse feels more like a good ticking clock for a story, rather than a power I could see my characters using in a game. Knowing and threatening to use it? Sure. But I’m not sure why anybody would actually use a sorcery that amounts to nuking the Masquerade unless they were incredibly desperate, or about to die and were resolved to take down everybody with them.

    1. Andrew Thomas Avatar
      Andrew Thomas

      Yeah, sounds like an Elder Swear to me.

  10. GilboD Avatar

    Between this and the Ordo Dracul Merits, I’m getting a weird vibe that the Secrets of the Covenants is just power boosting Vampires in odd ways.

    I’m fine with Kindred interrupting sorcery or spells, or learning things from other Supernaturals like in the Ordo Merits, but it can be done more thematically and priced higher, given more limitations or both.

    Reference First Edition material, things like how blacking out the sun use to be a five dot ritual, or using Themes can conflict but not counter other Supernatural magic.

    Build on the foundation and make it simple and thematic. Blood and Smoke/Vampire 2ed was amazing for this, I want to see Secrets of the Covenants continue that tradition.

  11. Andrew Thomas Avatar
    Andrew Thomas

    More content for Exotheists, please. Their great for mixed-covenant settings, but kind of the black sheep in Sanctified-dominant stories.

  12. Sean Avatar

    I’m really loving the little 2-dot Merits that give characters an in to another covenant. They really emphasize that the Covenants can coexist, which is an improvement over the way 1st Ed. portrayed the Covenants as antagonistic. But they also give the opportunity for more gameplay depth. For example:

    A Gangrel neonate who joined the Circle of the Crone, and has taken to the philosophy of being the ultimate predator. But he’s interested in putting that philosophy into practice, so the “Kindred First” Firebrands like to invite him overt debate night, and the other Firebrands tolerate him because hey, the guys a damn good speaker.

    A Mekhet who is a Knight of the Invictus commissioned to do something about those owls. Her investigation led her to the Acolytes, who definitely gave her some insight into the Strix. But something about their philosophy clicked for her, and she has permission from the local Mother to come to rituals on the full moon.