Comparing and Contrasting the Clans of VTR2


  • Pitcrew

    In response to the brief debate between @Ganymede and @Tempest I ended up putting way, way too much effort into ranking the various vampire clans. I am a damn nerd.

    A comparison of Clans in Vampire the Requiem 2nd Edition

    I will be comparing and contrasting these without taking Bloodlines in to account, and I will give them 3 Ratings - Combat Twinkiness, Social Twinkiness, and Overall Power. This is not a discussion of which I feel is coolest, because that is even more subjective.

    Daeva
    Favored Attributes: Manipulation or Dexterity
    Disciplines: Celerity, Majesty, Vigor
    Nickname: Serpents
    Clan Bane: The Wanton Curse
    Unique Merit: Kiss of the Succubus
    Ghoul Merit: Taste of The Serpent

    It is no question why the Daeva are so popular. First, they are the sexy vampires, so that is a big thing. Their favored attributes are the ever-useful Dexterity, great for fighters or even not-fighters who want to get away. And Manipulation is great if you actually attempt social rolls, but it only helps with one level of Majesty.

    Discipline wise, they rock. Celerity and Vigor give you the only core clan with 2 physicals, and they are both great for offense. A Daeva can hit hard, hit first, and escape. And Majesty is as useful as you can be creative with it.

    Their Weakness is mediocre. It serves more as a playstyle decision, do you slut it up or keep a giant harem? The fact that you can always spend a WP on the Humanity roll, and only need a single success makes this less than a huge issue.

    Merits wise, Daeva do well for themselves. It doesn't actually help the Daeva as it gives them a long string of mortals wanting seconds, which is bad for the Daeva, but it can be a great means to control them. For Daeva Ghouls, Taste of the Serpent gives them a nice little social control tool.

    Combat Effectiveness 4/5
    Social Effectiveness 4/5
    Overall Power: 4/5

    Summary: The Daeva are very strong, but they lack any overt mystical power, and have virtually nothing going for them in subtlety.

    Gangrel
    Favored Attributes: Composure or Stamina
    Disciplines: Animalism, Protean, Resilience
    Nickname: Savages
    Clan Bane: The Feral Curse
    Unique Merit: Pack Alpha
    Ghoul Merit: Taste of The Wild

    The Gangrel are always a popular choice. Their discipline of Protean is extremely powerful AND versatily, leading to them being a common choice for combat kindred.

    Attribute choice for most Gangrel will be Stamina, since it is the obvious combat selection, and frees up a dot for Strength or Dexterity. But Composure may be more useful, as it helps resist social powers, as well as adds to initiative.

    Disciplines are good. Animalism is often neglected, but a smart player can find it excessively versatile and useful, especially if they Master it. Resilience is absurdly important if you want to survive a fight, and Protean makes them not only the most defensively powerful Kindred, but some of the most offensive as well. Protean 4 is one of the few ways to do lethal to another vampire, and if truly needed, there is always turning into a Bear.

    The Feral Curse is, initially, not so big a deal. It becomes a true problem when Humanity plumets, but most Gangrel tend to not seem to mind if they Flip Out And Kill Things TM.

    The merits are where the Gangrel fall off. Pack alpha, while decently flavorful, is fairly shitty and also niche. Ghouls make out much much better than their Regnants, gaining the kickass ability to have ghoul animals.

    Combat Effectiveness: 5/5
    Social Effectiveness: 1/5
    Overall Power: 3/5

    Summary: The Gangrel slightly edge out the Daeva in the fighting arena, but they are almost useless socially, with nothing to boost their skills with mortals. Between Animalism and Protean, however, the abilities of a Gangrel are possibly the most versatile of any clan.

    Mekhet
    Favored Attributes: Intelligence or Wits
    Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Obfuscate
    Nickname: Shadows
    Clan Bane: The Tenebrous Curse
    Unique Merit: Dream Visions
    Ghoul Merit: Taste of Shadow

    Mekhet are the only clan whose attributes come from the same column. Both are Mental, and both are useful. Auspex uses a split of 2 Wits, 3 Intelligence, so either choice is well served. Further, not only are they the only clan to get two mental attributes, they are the only clan which can choose Intelligence or Wits. The Shadows are just smarter than others, and can either get better Int for extended rolls, or Wits to buff Perception and, possibly, Defense

    When celerity is your worst discipline you are doing good for yourself. The Mekhet see all and no one sees them back. Mastery of Auspex can make almost any secret trivial to uncover, and combined with decent Obfuscate, no one will ever know you did it. Celerity of course gives them the ability to make a retreat if they are discovered. Bonus points for being the only vampires that can see through Obfuscate, too.

    The Tenebrous curse is either going to let you have a cool RP quirk, or it is going to get you killed. The extra damage from Sunlight, and the possible inconvenience or damage from banes may never come up. Often it will come up just once. When you die. But a Kindred stranded in the sun is pretty screwed regardless.

    Dream Visions is useful, it is like an extra little secret the Mekhet can learn, though it isn't truly needed when you have Auspex. Ghouls get the pretty cool Taste of Shadow, which is again, kind of Auspex but not quite.

    Combat Effectiveness: 1/5
    Social Effectiveness: 3/5
    Overall Power: 3/5

    Summary: The Mekhet's power and influence are greatly determined by the intelligence and skill of the player. They can get access to almost any place, any secret, and escape unharmed. What they do with that information can make them either the most dangerous Kindred possible, or just a gossip.

    Nosferatu
    Favored Attributes: Composure or Strength
    Disciplines: Nightmare, Obfuscate, Vigor
    Nickname: Haunts
    Clan Bane: The Lonely Curse
    Unique Merit: Unsettling Gaze
    Ghoul Merit: Taste of Fear

    Nosferatu get to be Strong or they get to be chill. Composure is more thematic, as it lets them resist the powers of other emotional manipulators, but by itself doesn't add much to their arsenal. Strength is great if you need to get to a Superhuman level of strength quickly, combined with Vigor.

    First, Nosferatu one of two clans whose special Discipline can cause lethal damage to other Kindred, though less overt and dangerously as a Gangrel. Nightmare lets you make most that you meet your play-thing. It also allows some truly creative roleplaying of how to enact various fears and illusions. Obfuscate grants the ability to escape or to be extra, absurdly creepy. Then "simple" Vigor lets the Haunt take matters - and victims- into their own hands.

    Eventually a Nosferatu will suck at dealing with people. This is just a given. Weirdly, this flaw even impacts Intimidation rolls, but not discipline use. Huh. However, if you spend much of your time roleplaying with other Kindred, or your touchstones, this flaw does nothing to you.

    For particular builds, Unsettling Gaze is amazing. It lets a combat-oriented Nosferatu throw on the Bestial Condition, break yout spirit and then get the perks to kicking your teeth in. Love it, ESPECIALLY combined with Atrocious. The ghoul merit, despite weirdly being contested with Resolve, can really fuck up someone's day.

    Combat Effectiveness: 4/5
    Social Effectiveness: 2/5
    Overall Power: 4/5

    Summary: Nosferatu are offensive, and not just their smell. Nightmare attacks others thoughts while Vigor attacks the body. While Nightmare and Obfuscate can grant tremendous social utility, the fact that they can become practically unable to interact with humanity in a meaningful way is a big kick in the boil.

    Ventrue
    Favored Attributes: Resolve or Presence
    Disciplines: Animalism, Dominate, Resilience
    Nickname: Lords
    Clan Bane: The Aloof Curse
    Unique Merit: N/A
    Ghoul Merit: Taste of Gold

    Born to be Kings, Ventrue follow the patern of being better at resisting their inate mojo by having higher Resolve, or having better Presence. Resolve is generally the better choice, as it boosts Willpower, and between their three disciplines, only one utilizes Presence at a single dot.

    But the disciplines, boy. As with Gangrel, Animalism is what you make it. A clever player will put it to good use, both offensively and defensively. Resilience helps in those times when your minions fail you and someone decides to shuffle you off of the immortal coil. And then we have Dominate, the hot button discipline. It lets you break people. It won't make you friends among many players, because you will be making their characters do whatever the fuck you want. With the major increase in utility with 2nd Edition, Dominate is simply put, fucking dope.

    The Aloof curse is not so bad. It is, more or less, an XP surcharge an an incentive to not lose all of your Humanity. Buying a single dot of Touchstone mostly removes this flaw for the duration of the average PC's existence.

    Merit? Ouch. Ventrue just don't get a unique merit. Sorry guys. But for their Ghouls, they can really pile on the Willpower regain through Taste of Gold. Which is a dumb name.

    Combat Effectiveness: 2/5
    Social Effectiveness: 5/5
    Overall Power: 4/5

    Summary: The Ventrue lack significant combat power, primarily in offense. Their best means of dealing damage is to use pawns, but at least Resilience lets them take a licking and keep on ticking. But when you can have a higher than average Presence or just, y'know, make anyone do your bidding, Man or Beast, well, you are going to rule the social arena.



  • The problem is there are a lot of Nosferatu/Daeva/etc Bloodlines that get Dominate In-Clan, which IMO is the only thing Ventrue have going for them.

    A Daeva with Dominate (and there are like....3? 4? different Daeva BLs that get it?) is loads better than a Ventrue with Majesty. Daeva with Auspex In-Clan is pretty hax too.

    If Vampires were actually limited to their /clan/ Disciplines only, and could NEVER learn other ones, I would rate Ventrue higher.

    As it stands, Ventrue in last place, by far.


  • Pitcrew

    None of those bloodlines officially exist in 2nd Edition.



  • @tragedyjones OP has given us no reason to think they won't, eventually. If anything, based on how they appear to be doing 2.0 Bloodlines, we can expect /more/ Bloodlines to get Dominate (and other 'Clan' discs), since they're doing 4 Discs + Devotions instead of unique disc.



  • @Tempest said:

    The problem is there are a lot of Nosferatu/Daeva/etc Bloodlines that get Dominate In-Clan, which IMO is the only thing Ventrue have going for them.

    This is a silly argument. Any Ventrue bloodline also gets another discipline. Further, unlike say for the Mekhet where more Auspex users is directly detrimental to the Clan (because they have Obfuscate, and also because Auspex is the only way to tell if someone has used Auspex), more Dominate around doesn't actually lessen the power of the Ventrue.



  • @lordbelh said:

    This is a silly argument. Any Ventrue bloodline also gets another discipline.

    Animalism is pretty crappy. It's "better" than 1e Animalism, but it is still the worst discipline (would anyone like to argue this? Maybe I am wrong!). Lord of the Land is kind of cool, but....it's the dot5 power, it better be kind of cool.

    Resilience is not the 'best' physical discipline. IMO, there is no best. The 3 physicals are pretty well balanced and each have different situations they shine in.

    Core Ventrue has nothing but Dominate going for it. Ventrue + 1 other discipline is not on par with Any Other Clan + Dominate.


  • Pitcrew

    @Tempest said:

    @tragedyjones OP has given us no reason to think they won't, eventually. If anything, based on how they appear to be doing 2.0 Bloodlines, we can expect /more/ Bloodlines to get Dominate (and other 'Clan' discs), since they're doing 4 Discs + Devotions instead of unique disc.

    That isn't acruelly how they are doing the new Bloodlines. That is how they did ONE of them. One got an extra discipline and some devotions. And yea, that was the model adopted on Reno.

    Another gets a bonus discipline and a set of merits.

    A third gets no extra discipline and just some inherent powers.



  • @tragedyjones Well, fair enough then!

    If you remove the potential for Bloodlines of other clans to have Dominate, then sure, the Ventrue are somewhere in the middle of the pack.



  • On another note, this is entirely a player preference thing, but I'm not sure I agree with the 'combat effectiveness' ratings for Ventrue, Nossie, Mekhet.

    My preference, if you are only going to get /one/ Physical discipline, Celerity is the best to have.

    When you start getting into multiple physical disc's though, Resil/Vigor are probably the best, if you're picking 2.

    Resilience alone is pretty lackluster unless the person/people you're fighting have NO physical discipline.

    Celerity lets you auto-dodge or just flat out GTFO.

    Vigor w/o Resilience or Celerity to back it up loses out to Celerity 1vs1, imo.

    Vigor/Resilience combo though is fucking insane.



  • @Tempest said:

    Animalism is pretty crappy. It's "better" than 1e Animalism, but it is still the worst discipline (would anyone like to argue this? Maybe I am wrong!). Lord of the Land is kind of cool, but....it's the dot5 power, it better be kind of cool.

    I think you're wrong. I don't really think there is a worst discipline, though any of them is useless if you don't apply them correctly and if the game is rigged against them. You can break a game with Animalism if Staff will let you. There's its biggest weakness: it requires playing along with Staff/Sts to make the most out of its first 3 levels. How many Bear/Large Cat/Wolf familiars will they let you hang onto? By the book there's no limit at all. Perhaps they force you to buy 'em as retainers, in which case they've made them pretty pointless.

    On the other hand if there are no great secrets to discover, what's the point of Auspex (it doesn't let you break Obfuscate unless you have cause to be looking)? If everybody will Lash Out against you the moment you use Majesty, good luck getting much out of it vs Players.

    @Tempest said:

    Core Ventrue has nothing but Dominate going for it. Ventrue + 1 other discipline is not on par with Any Other Clan + Dominate.

    I am baffled by this argument. (Question: What is a Gangrel without Protean? Same as a Ventrue without Dominate, only with a worse bane.)

    @Tempest said:

    Resilience alone is pretty lackluster unless the person/people you're fighting have NO physical discipline.

    • Vigor gives you per level: 1 attack dice (and each is between .3 and .4 of a success) and 1 dmg if you spend blood. (Edit: Yes, it lets you jump real high and swing small cars around, but meh)

    • Resilience gives you per level: 1 health level (equaling 1, 2 (or 3) damage depending on what's being dealt), A to L downgrade per level. Additionally if you spend blood the first level does 2 damage reduction, further adds 1 (or just 1 all over if its vs banes).

    What does this mean?

    It means that for the first 3 rounds Resilience's first passive is better, after which extra dice of Vigor gradually becomes better. However if you're coming in contact with A damage (which is rare but happens, say against an angry Gangrel), that A to L downgrade is massively important. And of course the Resilience active is just plain better in the dmg vs soaking game, massively depending on what sort of damage is being dealt.

    Situationally Vigor can better (for ambush first strike to win, or in a Grapple, or if its the difference between hitting at all or not), but in straight up fighting there's no debating Resilience vs Vigor.

    • Celerity gives you 1 Defense (including vs Firearms), and its actives are great in that i lets you Speed multiply, Act First and of course Interrupt.

    It's easy to see why you would say it is best; situationally it can certainly be employed to max effect. Hit and run with enough speed multiplier that the opponent can't actually catch up and hit you back can't be denied. Never underestimate hitting first, either. If your movement is limited or complicated, its less useful. If you find yourself in a grapple, Celerity is completely useless.

    Edit summary: I find Resilience better because it is universally dependable, rather than situationally great (though it is that as well.) But it's all a matter of taste and playstyle. And how often do people get into fights, anyway? Not very often at all. Let's face it, for RP generating purposes, physical disciplines are the worst.

    I do agree with you criticizing @tragedyjones ' Mekhet combat ranking. Obfuscate is a combat ability. Anything that allows you to dictate when and where you want to fight will massively help you win. Obfuscate + Celerity lets you do that.


  • Coder

    For purposes of Combat Twinkery, Obfuscate is the hands down most powerful discipline in the game if you're not using the Blood Sorcery book. The second most powerful combat discipline in the game is Majesty.


  • Pitcrew

    My assessment of Obfuscate as a combat ability was probably tempered by my own Mekhet's complete inability to capitalize even on the opportunity to take advantage of total surprise.

    Also, a lot of people in WoD underestimate the lethality of a grapple. I know @lordbelh doesn't, but a lot do.



  • @tragedyjones said:

    My assessment of Obfuscate as a combat ability was probably tempered by my own Mekhet's complete inability to capitalize even on the opportunity to take advantage of total surprise.

    Also, a lot of people in WoD underestimate the lethality of a grapple. I know @lordbelh doesn't, but a lot do.

    I have a grappler werewolf. I've never even shifted him out of Hishu.


  • Pitcrew

    @Derp said:

    @tragedyjones said:

    My assessment of Obfuscate as a combat ability was probably tempered by my own Mekhet's complete inability to capitalize even on the opportunity to take advantage of total surprise.

    Also, a lot of people in WoD underestimate the lethality of a grapple. I know @lordbelh doesn't, but a lot do.

    I have a grappler werewolf. I've never even shifted him out of Hishu.

    That's probably a breaking point towards Flesh by now!



  • @tragedyjones said:

    @Derp said:

    @tragedyjones said:

    My assessment of Obfuscate as a combat ability was probably tempered by my own Mekhet's complete inability to capitalize even on the opportunity to take advantage of total surprise.

    Also, a lot of people in WoD underestimate the lethality of a grapple. I know @lordbelh doesn't, but a lot do.

    I have a grappler werewolf. I've never even shifted him out of Hishu.

    That's probably a breaking point towards Flesh by now!

    Oh, I mean in a fight. I've had him shift outside of a fight before.

    Though it's still a literal pain for him to do so. There's spending essence involved and excruciating agony. I don't imagine he does it very much at this point.

    But back to the point, rar vampires! They're cool(er), even if I don't get how some of the Disciplines are supposed to work in a MU. Still not as broken as Demon! And that's something!


  • Pitcrew

    I was just making a dumb joke. And remember, if you ever get in a gunfight, SHIFT! Dalu can dodge bullets.

    What discipline confuses you for MU useage though?

    Also also. Animalism is totally a combat discipline in clever hands. You can summon hordes of beasts!



  • @tragedyjones said:

    I was just making a dumb joke. And remember, if you ever get in a gunfight, SHIFT! Dalu can dodge bullets.

    What discipline confuses you for MU useage though?

    Also also. Animalism is totally a combat discipline in clever hands. You can summon hordes of beasts!

    Mostly, Majesty, with the occasional Blood Bond. If you read either of them, it augments social rolls and changes Impression levels. But MU's (and some MUers) are pretty notorious for flat-out ignoring social rolls and screaming that the Doors system was never meant to be used by PC's against PCs. (But then again, neither were these disciplines and game systems, etc).

    So you have powers that require the use of something that everyone fights tooth and claw to avoid, stating that they weren't meant to be used on PCs and should be resolved through RP, sooo... what about these powers then? Do we just likewise ignore them?

    It just seems a dumb line in the sand to draw, and I'm not sure how those powers are supposed to work.



  • This post is deleted!

  • Pitcrew

    @derp - You make it abundantly clear that the game will or will not be using Social Maneuvering on Player Characters. If it is, you use the rule on page 193 about how to resolve it with PCs.



  • @tragedyjones said:

    @derp - You make it abundantly clear that the game will or will not be using Social Maneuvering on Player Characters. If it is, you use the rule on page 193 about how to resolve it with PCs.

    Right, but then if the game isn't using social maneuvering, do these things just cease to exist?


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