A discipline with skills that are more fun than they are efficient for solo players. The exception is Beckoning; the wall of creatures it can summon can keep a player character alive until s/he runs out of blood. Consequently, a solo player with Beckoning can kill any creature in the game, with a large enough supply of blood. This is also true of the Cappadocian's Mortis 'pet' skills, and to a much lesser extent, the Presence control skill, and to an even lesser extent, the Dominate control skill.
A tome that gives this Discipline to the user is available in the Dark Ages; it is somewhat redundant to give it to Christof, as he receives this ability after the Vozhd in Vysehrad Castle is dealt with. As can be seen in the descriptions following, it is probably best to give it to Wilhem; Serena has all the pets she needs from Mortis, and her pet creature would be the weak Zombu. Wilhelm gets the Brujah's Hellhound summon from Beckoning. Erik the Gangrel (red wolf) and Samuel the Nosferatu (Rat), and characters of those clans in multiplayer, start with it. The Tome requires 25 Manipulation.
Feral Whispers Edit
- Blood 5 at 3 dots; 25 Manipulation to gain and use
Feral Whispers is weak because there are so few animals in the game. Rats are the overwhelming majority that can be charmed, even Nosferatuu enemies' summoned ones, and the wolves in Vyzherad, but that is all. The numerous spiders are not, and neither are the Setites' Vipers.
- Blood 12 at 3 dots; 35 Charisma to gain and use
In a game with Tomes of all types available, every class is potentially every other class, with one exception: the shape of the animal summoned by Beckoning, which is forever set at one type, depending on starting clan.
Brujah Beckon a Hellhound, which is fairly balanced; maybe a little tough. Cappadocians summon the slow and weak Zombu. Gangrels summon a red wolf shape which is not available in the Storyteller List of creatures, and seems perfectly balanced for a clan with natural Animalism, although this pet skill, together with the very powerful Feral Claws, makes the Gangrel clan well above average in power. Giovanni get far and away the most powerful summon; a Ghoul Alligator. Malkavians and Nosferatu both get a Ghoul Rat. Toreadors summon a Ghoul Spider (the large one; with 25 Aggravated damage and 60 strength, it hits too hard, especially for the summon of a clan without natural Animalism). Tremere bring forth a Hopper, which is pretty balanced. Ventrue get a Viper, which is weak, in contrast with the enemy Ventrue's Shape of the Beast, which is nothing like any Ventrue skill in any other ruleset.
It is impossible to ascertain the stats of the summoned creatures without examining the code, as there is no display ingame; when the summoned are possessed with the ST head and the 'character sheet' button is pressed, the stats of the controller are shown instead. Testing, however, reveals a thoroughly broken skill, in the summons available to any of the clans other than Brujah and Gangrel and Tremere. Every other summon is too tough or too weak. Although it would seem unlikely that the summoned creatures, which vary wildly in power, are perfect replicas of the normal creatures they resemble, this does seem to be the case. Game balance is thrown completely away by giving Giovanni a Ghoul Alligator. A starting Giovanni with no weapons, armor, or even backup supplies of blood, can easily kill a Vozhd with no other skills than one dot in Beckoning, and the only thing they need to kill a Zulo is more blood (a lot more, because of the Zulo's 3000 hit points), and staying out of the attack radius of their own summon when the Zulo inevitably makes it frenzy; the frenzied Alligator itself can kill its lowbie summoner in one bite, given a sufficiently lucky hit. Even setting game balance aside, there is a brutal irony in giving one of the two true practitioners of this discipline a lowly Rat, when every other clan gets something tougher (except for perhaps, the Ventrue's Viper and the Cappadocian's Zombu).
Quell the Beast Edit
- Blood 15 at 3 dots. Requires 50 Manipulation
The third skill, Quell the Beast, can only be used on other players and enemies, and is therefore only useful to solo players as a way to stop vampires from Feeding due to Frenzy. Or the player could just run, or just sip some more blood.
Subsume the Spirit Edit
- Blood 20 at 3 dots. Requires 60 Manipulation
Controlling things, as usual, is less effective than charming them because it removes the user's actions; there was really no need to nerf it further by destroying the XP from controlled creatures and making Control, in most cases, the later skill and Charm the earlier.
Drawing out the Beast Edit
- Blood 25 at 3 dots. Requires 70 Manipulation
Drawing out the Beast is a welcome change from the mediocrity of the first, third and fourth skills; it is much more effective than the Malkavians' Voice of Madness at inducing Frenzy. However, like all debuffs, it runs the risk, and like many, suffers the penalty, of being too peripheral to the object of damaging and killing computer enemies. It should only be taken as an optional skill, after solid ones have been obtained. In duels against other players, however, it can be a very solid lockdown of the opponent's abilities. It has a very high Manipulation requirement of 70
Note that since healing takes away huge amounts of Frenzy, fully healed characters are therefore, ironically, at the greatest risk of Frenzy. Another odd thing is that taking damage from computer enemies (true for the caster of Drawing Out the Beast at any rate, and possibly other sources) reduces the recipient's Frenzy from full to zero, or nearly zero.