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Most Broken Discipline

What do you think is the most broken discipline? (TT Rules)  

62 members have voted

  1. 1. What do you think is the most broken discipline? (TT Rules)

    • Animalism
      5
    • Auspex
      2
    • Celerity
      8
    • Dominate
      8
    • Majesty
      10
    • Obfuscate
      3
    • Nightmare
      14
    • Protean
      5
    • Resilience
      5
    • Vigor
      2


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Curator

I agree with this, because this is something all Storytellers need to understand: No supernatural power is entirely broken unless you can't get a good story from it.

Y'see, the question with any Discipline, Gift, Arcanum, Transmutation or Contract, at least as regards how the Storyteller sees it, is not so much "What does my character get out of it?" or "I don't want this to happen to my character," as "What stories can I generate from this?"

With, say, the Kallisti's Perfidy Discipline, the answer is all too easy: that Discipline path is tailor - made for splitting up groups amid much acrimony and hatred. If a Storyteller wants to test the strength of a group's emotional bonds, all he has to do is to throw in a Kallisti and let her Perfidy Discipline powers wreck the group. They might see the Prince's machinations to try and split the group through the usual means - bribery and threats - but not this Daeva bloodline NPC sneaking up on them from the flank, posing as the Mentor of the most vulnerable group member to gain her confidence and then subtly turning the coterie member into a Fifth Columnist.

Why? Because some people like the idea of becoming a Fifth Columnist, then realising what he or she has done and making amends before perishing spectacularly in order to show the group that what they have is Right and Proper.

And the ST can sit back and let the story enfold and enjoy it, because it's a damned good story, especially the moment when everybody turns to look in disbelief at the player who's just revealed that she is the mole working for the Prince, and has been all along.

I know some things hardly seem fair from the perspective of the players. Some random Hound might come along swinging her Claws of the Wild to inflict agg damage on them; the enemy they're chasing knows Haven of Soil and your guys don't, forcing them to call off the hunt for her early because they need to go and find light tight shelter before sunup while she can keep on running those extra few yards towards freedom.

Or your characters' enemy, a Daeva of some corruption, throws up a blast of Sovereignty in Elysium mere seconds before the characters can expose her to the Prince, making it virtually impossible that they can even speak, let alone accuse her of impropriety.

Or, indeed, three of the five man coterie manage to make it across the roof; numbers 4 and 5, however, are reduced to Chance Dice - and 4 rolls a 1. In public, the die landing on its 1 right there for all the world to see.

(Admitedly, as ST I'd be prepared to fudge the results - 4 and 5 slam into the wall, but somehow they both manage to grip hold of the ledge. Trouble is, 4 lands awkwardly and suffers a lot of bashing, whereas 5 only suffers 1 bashing. But both would savour the bitter fruits of cocking up.)

Point being, nothing is entirely permanent in the World of Darkness. If the characters are saddled with something, there's a story involved in the search to get rid of it. Why else do they have Flaws as a character option? To make the game more fun to play, not less.

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Donor

I guess that is why you are Villicus Libra, you show not only what an ST sees but a true love of your game. By love I am saying you are showing everybody how to use what has been written to make great stories and how to handle munchkins in one fell swoop. Done correctly the munchkin will entertain the possibility of trying something new as long as they know it is intergal to the actual story you are running. My old GM in DnD did the same with me in that I willingly gimped my character for most of the campaign for the payoff at the end, much fun was had by all.

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I think this discussion is beyond the point of reason, we'll better call it a day and close this argument. I see only bloodshed where this is going. (more than a bloody nose)

Indeed.

We all made our points.

We tried to convince, and didn't succeed.

What's left is to agree to disagree.

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If however, no one is interested in telling a story where they might have someone inflict madness on them with that much ease, then no one is going to have fun, hell, the power could only work one in 15 times, but it could still ruin some people's enjoyment. You can argue its part and parcel with the setting, but who hasn't done some houseruling to make the game more fun for them.

And its not a matter of being 'gimped' either. Its a matter of what you want to do. If I want to play a second site game and have it be gritty and low powered, and the ST makes it into a Mage campaign with no warning, I would be annoyed with that as well. Its the same as not letting people choose their clan, in my opinion.

Now, my group is fine with nightmare 4 as is, and I'm fine with it blasting my characters mind apart, but I can see why it'd be a dealbreaker for some people. If they have no interest in telling that story, well, they'll get bored and annoyed.

Edited by krazlica

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Donor

I see your point which is why I demand to know the baseline before going into any game. Or the reason why my character is getting "blasted". If it has a good story behind it, which my character will be in the spotlight then I am for it. If it is only for the ST to kill my character out of hand then I am against it. You HAVE to dicuss the baseline with your group before the game happens, you just have to.

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Curator
I see your point which is why I demand to know the baseline before going into any game. Or the reason why my character is getting "blasted". If it has a good story behind it, which my character will be in the spotlight then I am for it. If it is only for the ST to kill my character out of hand then I am against it. You HAVE to dicuss the baseline with your group before the game happens, you just have to.

You can do this in character, too, thanks to that well known rumour mill, the Elysium.

If you know that a particular NPC carries a threat level Discipline power, or knows a particularly dangerous Cruac ritual, you can have the other Kindred at Elysium cast aspersions about that character in conversation:

e.g. 'You know the Ventrue Sheriff over there has been biting his tongue of late when it comes to the Nosferatu who live down by the railway yards? That's because he sent his childe in to handle them for a minor Masquerade violation, and she came out totally, you know ... *tapping side of head* when their gang mother, what'shername Bertha, they don't allow her into Elysium any more, just looked at her. You know, broke her mind. Looks like his poor childe may never recover.'

Suddenly, if the characters are told by the Sheriff that they're next to go into the railway yard to sort out Big Ugly Bertha and her Masquerade - violating Nos brood, they are aware that they could be in line for a dose of Shatter the Mind unless they are very careful.

This is the equivalent of Perseus getting the gossip from the Gods on what the Medusa can and cannot do. "She'll turn you to stone if you look at her, but if you let her see her own face first, welll ..."

Also, if you think about it, it's the equivalent of those Marines being briefed on the Sulaco by Ripley as to what the Aliens could do, only ... she didn't do too good a job of it, and the Marines didn't listen, and welll ...

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Donor
You can do this in character, too, thanks to that well known rumour mill, the Elysium.

If you know that a particular NPC carries a threat level Discipline power, or knows a particularly dangerous Cruac ritual, you can have the other Kindred at Elysium cast aspersions about that character in conversation:

e.g. 'You know the Ventrue Sheriff over there has been biting his tongue of late when it comes to the Nosferatu who live down by the railway yards? That's because he sent his childe in to handle them for a minor Masquerade violation, and she came out totally, you know ... *tapping side of head* when their gang mother, what'shername Bertha, they don't allow her into Elysium any more, just looked at her. You know, broke her mind. Looks like his poor childe may never recover.'

Suddenly, if the characters are told by the Sheriff that they're next to go into the railway yard to sort out Big Ugly Bertha and her Masquerade - violating Nos brood, they are aware that they could be in line for a dose of Shatter the Mind unless they are very careful.

This is the equivalent of Perseus getting the gossip from the Gods on what the Medusa can and cannot do. "She'll turn you to stone if you look at her, but if you let her see her own face first, welll ..."

Also, if you think about it, it's the equivalent of those Marines being briefed on the Sulaco by Ripley as to what the Aliens could do, only ... she didn't do too good a job of it, and the Marines didn't listen, and welll ...

Basically for the slow learners, this is part of the "baseline" I demand to know, or if it is in play before I enter a game. Doesn't everybody? I know my players ask what the basic setup of the city and consillium is. Or what I allow as legacies, how I ran rotes before Oakthorne cleared that up in spades, what merits or build points I allow, and so on...

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Curator

This is also what the Mentor, Allies and Contacts Merits are good for, Contacts in particular. These are here to furnish your guys with information that they could not know otherwise, not without punitive amounts of legwork on their part - sometimes, legwork which can yield no fruit because the most they'd be able to find out through their own efforts is that the information they seek lies beyond their grasp and their personal authority (but, obviously, bot beyonds that of their Merit dots).

Mentor, in particular, can teach the characters what is, and is not, possible with their Disciplines ... meaning that they can only be taught so much about their powers.

If their Sire doesn't know more than Nightmare 3, it's going to be a bit of a shock for him if your character reaches that level, and then goes on to develop Nightmare 4.

Also, your character might have the option of learning Devotions, with requisite knowledge of the combination Disciplines and sufficient XP to buy them. Your Mentors might not have that knowledge.

There are so many ways your characters can find out about their powers and abilities, but the best way for them to learn, really learn, is from those powers' activation and usage.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if your players react with sheer bloody horror, the first time they activate Shatter the Mind on an NPC opponent. And in fact, as ST I recommend that their first exposure to Shatter the Mind be with someone else on the business end.

Y'see, this is one of those Discipline powers, like using Leashing the Beast to deliberately trigger frenzy, which skirts the ragged edge of Humanity rolls and degeneration. It's not broken, no ... but it's in no way a nice power, and after its first activation, I would be wary of any player who hears the description of what it does and replies "Cool!"

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Donor
I would be wary of any player who hears the description of what it does and replies "Cool!"
A better bellweather standard to be used for the question of "is a power broken" I have not seen. I bow to your superior knowledge of STing with no regret.

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So... I should be wary of myself then? Seems like there could be a better yardstick for it than that. Maybe more like a combination: 1) Player looks at Discipline, says "Cool!" So far so good, it could just be someone who's very enthusiastic about Vampire, or the Discipline they spoke about previously. 2) Player gets irked at in-clan/out-of-clan costs or the idea that there are IC and OOC Disciplines in the first place. 3) The reason why the player is irked at this division is revealed when they start saying things like "....but 'Leashing the Beast' would be so cool with Nightmare. Why can't I learn them all at the same cost?" 4) Player becomes upset at the fact that the Coils/Cruac/Theban are only available to members of the covenant, yet decided to go with the Invictus or Carthians for the Merit cost breaks... or because they just think those are the best covenants, for whatever reason.

Of course, these could be in any combination. The important points are: it takes more than just seeing a Discipline as cool to uncover a closeted munchkin, and if you see these events occuring with a player you're currently dealing with, RUN!

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Donor

I dont vote, because I find this statement to be wrong: broken discipline

None of the powers is broken as far as I'm concerned, if it had been a miniature game and perfect balanced was needed (not that miniature companies does balance well), they might get some broken. But its a rpg, and therefore the story flows any ways...

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I said Celerity, because I have used it in a game with a character who speed stat was rather high and had it at Celerity 5. Once some major math was done based of how fast a character moves times the speed iincrease, plus adding the rate of fall due to gravity and some other small mechanics my character able at the time to hit speeds exceed mach 3. LOL. So Celerity, kind broke there.

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