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 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 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.
Dice Pool: Presence + Expression + Majesty
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.
When the vampire speaks, she creates an air of trust and reliability.
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.
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.
The vampire becomes so important to the victim that acting against the vampire becomes traumatic.
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.
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.
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
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.