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What are your favorite disciplines?

   
What are your favorite disciplines?

Just was looking through them for various reasons, and this crossed my mind.
Mine are Auspex, Dominate, and a tied of Protean and Thaumaturgy.

I'm sure my favorite clan is totally impossible to guess :P

Yeah, super difficult mr. Tremere :P

Thematically, I like most disciplines, if not all. They range from the fairly straightforward to the obscure and fantastical, which I appreciate from a reality-building perspective.

Mechanically, there's more of a clear cut line.

I like:
Auspex at least 2 dots, for that Aura reading.
Celerity: as many dots as I can get away with.*
Chimestry: as many dots as I can get away with.*
Dominate: as many dots as I can get away with*, the benefit vs investment of a single dot of Dominate is quite high.
Fortitude: as many dots as I can get away with*
Obfuscate: at least 2 dots, 3 if I'm Samedi or Nosferatu.
Obtenebration: at least 3 dots for the Arms of the Abyss.
Potence: as many dots as I can get away with*
Presence: at least 2 dots, as many dots as I can get away with* - I just really like Dread Gaze.
Protean: at least 2 dots for the Claws.

*Basically as many as I can get away with without it messing things up like game-and/or-intraparty balance and tone and intended generation of my vampire.

Indifferent/It depends:
Dementation. I could use it for some stuff, I'm sure. Maybe a single dot for Passion would entice me, but I'd probably not invest further.
Necromancy: Only interested if it's a story where it can be relevant and explored for all its facets. I'm either quite invested in it, or very indifferent. If so, as many dots in as many variations as is suitable for the story.
Thaumaturgy: Depends on which Path, but if I have dots in it, I tend to invest heavily in it.
Viscissitude: Uninterested in playing Tzimisce most of the time, but if I do, at least 3 dots here to feel like a proper one I guess.

Not interested:
Animalism. The payout compared to the level of work you need to do to get mileage out of dots in Animalism just doesn't appeal to me.
Quietus: Simply just very uninterested in both the discipline and the clan. I'd rather play a Gangrel Antitribu if I look at the remaining disciplines (CEL and OBF), especially since I can branch out to Protean easily as it's an in-clan discipline
Serpentis: See Quietus. Also very uninterested in playing a FoS generally.


Bloodline stuff:
Abombwe, Obeah, Flight, Visceratika: Same as Tzimisce, generally uninterested, but if I'm playing one I'm taking the opportunity to feel like a proper Akunanse/Salubri/Gargoyle.
Assamite Sorcery: If I
Bardo: Had to look in the v20 book to remember this was a thing. *shrugs*
Daimonion: Never been into Baali so no thanks.
Kholdun Sorcery: Undecided, haven't looked into it.
Melpominee: Not interested in playing a DoC anytime soon.
Mytherceria. Only in niche stories. Generally "meh"
Ogham: Unfamilar with it, haven't played Dark Ages.
Sanguinius: Blood Brothers are for NPC's.
Spiritus: I like this one. I'd put some points into if if I played an Ahrimane for sure, I like it more than the other "I'd invest it if I played the clan/bloodline just to seize the opportunity" so I can say I actively like it.
Temporis: Fiddling with Time makes my head hurt as a ST/DM/whatever the term. Also a True Brujah much like a Kiasyd seems very dull to play unless the story is tailored towards them in a way that is only really suitable for solo campaigns.
Thanatosis: Not sure I'd even invest in it as a Samedi. Then again, not sure I'd ever be interested in playing a Samedi in the first place.
Valeren: Go big or go home, the first two dots are very "meh" and it doesn't turn interesting until 4 dots.

I will always have a soft spot for Celerity. Super speed is the best thing. That being said, I think the most useful is Majesty. Most of the time even magic folks will miss that it's mind control.

There's also something to be said about the simplicity of Fortitude and to some extend Potence & Celerity in that they don't need blood point expenditure to be useful at levels 1-5. Of course, activating Potence and Celerity makes for quite an impression, but they're still good even if you're running low on blood.

Thaumaturgy is pretty well-understood as the strongest discipline. Maxing Focused Mind and either Movement or Lure of Flames is the most effective combat build. Lure has more front-loaded damage for the less creative, but Movement also has a whole bunch of control (force choke, anyone?) and non-combat uses. The free rituals, unless you veto them, also boosts the value you get per dot, and a lot of them are really, really good. Principal focus of vitae infusion pretty much effectively removes your maximum blood pool, while getting Communicate with Kindred Bond Mate, on a Sabbat, ensures you can telepathically contact anyone you have ever performed the Viniculum with.

Celerity is another extremely powerful one, for a reason anyone coming from D&D will find intuitive: Extra actions. It only sweetens thr deal that dexterity is such a powerful stat on its own. The only limitations are that it can only be used for physical actions, and not mystical ones (the only way to get that is focused mind 4), and that all bonus actions occur at the end of the turn, making a Celerity fighter lose to the aforementioned Thaumaturge if they both just unload damage.

As far as my favorite discipline, though, Obtenebration takes the cake. It has a beautiful mix of both power and awesome, Abyssal flavor. Just getting max Obten and nothing else is an effective combat build. Not unbeatable, by any means, but effective - Arms of the Abyss makes for some very potent battlefield control (think Evard's Black Tentacles for you D&D fans) that don't scale with your physical attributes or skills, but do scale with any dots in potence, celerity or fortitude you may have (potence being the most powerful for them since they do nothing but grapple and then squeeze for damage). The strangling and darkening effects of the lower levels of Obtenebration can be effective in certain niches; to flush out enemies from cover, for example. Tenebrous Avatar also makes a potent infiltration tool. Abyss Mysticism also makes for a very powerful array of rituals, balanced by the fact that you have to actively buy them.

Then you've got your Dominate1, Auspex2, Obfuscate2, Spiritus1, Mythercia1, Protean2, and Quietus1, where 1-2 ranks in a certain discipline have extremely potent effects, but maxing them is less effective than spreading out for versatility. Obfuscate2+Quietus1, for example, makes you invisible and unhearable - take a moment to let the possibilities of that sink in. Mythercia lets you instantly tell if someone's lying, Dominate is pretty obvious, Auspex gives you the ability to see auras, which isn't bad in itself in a social setting, but allows you to see them through walls too, which makes it a combat ability as well. And Protean and Spiritus give some very potent combat upgrades.

I am slowly warming up to Vicissitude, as well. I always assumed the Tzimisce flavor required you to be a Max Max style death-punk with bone spines for hair or something, but Game of Thrones' faceless men inspired a different idea of them, one that does fit the elegant predator mindset I tend to portray my vampires with in general.

Koldunism is also a discipline I just realized was really rather good. Way of Fire's first-dot ability mitigates the biggest problem a Lure of Flames Thaumaturge faces: the fear of his own fire (That being said, any good Thaumaturge will max courage on that build anyway for the boost to initial willpower). But while Way of Fire and Way of Earth are the most powerful combat disciplines, the path that really pulled my attention was the Way of Spirits. Omniscience within a given radius for 1 willpower a scene. The cost is high, but once you get a few points in there the outcome is incredible. You can spy on people through a dozen guards and fifty feet of sound-proof concrete, and nobody can get the jump on you. Combine that with a healthy dose of Presence and you have a very powerful social build (which is precisely what I'm going for in your game), if not a little lacking in combat.








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