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Vampire for the most part gives players a chance to try out a wide range of fun and evocatively-named disciplines without really hurting their game. Many games even today do not match its real-time lighting of some of its spell effects such as Torch and Fireball, the same real-time lighting that evokes cries of wonder from fans of Crysis, for example. The disciplines and their methodology, as much as Vampire's story, are fed from a deep reservoir of White Wolf's creative work in pen and paper roleplaying gaming

The computer game system is quite adaptable to experimentation with specialized skillsets. In the pen and paper/live roleplay version, higher level skills can not be used at all without the full expenditure of 'Experience' resources, and a five dot skill is as good as it ever will be when first purchased. In the computer game, higher skills in the group can be expanded to the maximum of five dots with no more than the single prerequisite dot in each of the preceding skills

Vampire - Redemption - part 68 - gameplay04:13

Vampire - Redemption - part 68 - gameplay

Vampire - Redemption - part 68 - gameplay by RXQ79 on YouTube. Shows the Fireball active lighting, characters in flames and ambient lighting effects, and the benefits of team members deactivated rather than with the active green light on. Also the benefits of high Feed, although it is very expensive to raise

There are two important ways to make the game easier, neither of which involve disciplines directly, and one that does

One is saving and reloading; whether opening chests, or in the magic or weapons stores, or both. Getting the best gear makes unlife considerably easier, and a good money supply early in the game is de riguer for those seeking the bloodpool enhancing effect of wearing +bloodpool gear when gaining rank.

The second is coterie control. The coterie can be easily seen as a greater challenge than the enemies; they spend blood with no good reason more often than they spend it with a purpose. This is well illustrated by the missions infiltrating the two Tremere bases;[1] Tremere Lords taking off half a life bar with each terrible Call Lightning spell can inspire no discernible extra effort on the part of Christof's 'allies', yet the appearance of a single Hopper at the end of battle may goad Serena to summon a Wraith for 20 wasted blood and/or Wilhem to gird himself with the 30-blood Celerity. The coterie can be made to do nothing by making them passive, or even left in place by clicking on the green light next to their blood and health bars

And the third, most definitely, is disciplines. There are three 'power Disciplines' in Vampire that stand head and shoulders above the rest: the starting Presence, the mid-game Blood Rituals, and late game Serpentis

Discipline Tomes given to Wilhem in the Dark Ages reportedly are wasted;[2] his disciplines are reset when he rejoins in the modern age.


Common

  • Blood Heal is of course the heart of the game; it is critical, and there is no substitute
  • When Feed is increased to its highest level, it can relieve the need to use Awe to a great extent. Feed can not increase total blood in the party by getting back more blood than is taken, as Pink does with his equivalent of Efficient Digestion, getting 4 blood for every 3 he takes from other party members. The game cheats hard with NPC use of Feed, which is to say, computer enemies are just better at it with the same amount of skill points. Enemies lunge at players and miss much less often at three dots of Feed (almost never) than the player characters do at five (quite a lot). Ardan and other bosses are immune to it altogether, despite having a few light snacks in the middle of combat themselves.
  • Blood Strength, Stamina, and Dexterity are in the main, stepping stones to the very useful:
  • Walk the Abyss, which not only save a lot of time, but can avoid the Werewolf encounter in London[3]
  • And finally, Awaken and sufficient blood makes it possible to never again have to see another "All coterie members are dead" message. Awaken can be used in an exploit; awakened enemies that are killed a second time still give full XP even though they are weakened, and drop items again. This is a proactive and very efficient way of getting extra experience, but it does not fit into the normal game well; for a less intensive, XP grinding way, use Shambling Hordes; the player gets XP every time one of the Horde dies.

Single Player

Animalism

More fun than they are efficient. A tome that gives this Discipline to the user is available in the Dark Ages; it is quite redundant to give it to Christof, as he receives this ability after the Vozhd in Vysehrad Castle is dealt with. Erik the Gangrel and Samuel the Nosferatu, and characters of those clans in multiplayer, start with it. The Tome requires 25 Manipulation.

Auspex

A utilitarian discipline. Heightened Senses helps a lot against the enemies that use Obfuscate: Nosferatu, and in the multiplayer game, Malkavians. Christof receives this ability after Ardan is defeated. Serena the Cappadocian starts with this, as do Clan Tremere, Toreador and Cappadocian characters in multiplayer

Blood Magic

A unique Tremere discipline; perhaps a signature one. One tome available in game in the Dark Ages. Theft of Vitae kills human Teutonic Knights, Lab Workers and Soldiers outright by taking the last of their blood. It makes vampires unable to use their skills, and combined with Awe and Feed, it is a very quick kill. The other skills are all good, although Blood Rage is, as is so often the case with even skills in the same discipline, almost entirely redundant to Cauldron of Blood.

Blood Rituals

The best control ability in the game, Prison of Ice, and one of only two spells that damage the target instantly, Call Lightning (Cauldron of Blood being the other, and the most powerful damage spell by far is Firestorm)

Prison of Ice is the ultimate defensive skill. Call Lightning can hit targets even if they are moving, but Firestorm is two to three times stronger against distant targets that will not move, or stay in one place to attack. No vampire clans start with this skill; it is only available as a tome (one in the single-player game)

Celerity

It has a dual purpose, movement speed and attack speed; it makes sense that it is less effective at increasing damage than Potence. Erik receives this skill after the encounter with Luther Black, after the party has left Stephensdom; Samuel, after the modern age encounter with Orsi. Brujah and Toreador in single- and multi-player get this skill; Christof, Wilhem, and Pink start with it, as does the Toreador Lily. Within the Darkness and other modifications to the game may create characters of other clans not normally in Redemption that also use this skill

Dementation

The Malkavian defining discipline. Not available at all in single player. There is a tome in Leaves of Three multiplayer scenario. A concise bag of tricks that plays on vampire's weaknesses. Definitely one of the weaker Discipline groups in the game, though. Voice of Madness is unequivocally inferior to Animalism's ultimate Frenzying spell, and the minor version is not only redundant but practically useless. The Fear caused by The Haunting suffers from the same tactical weakness as Presence's Dread Gaze and the Dread weapons: can backfire if it makes enemies flee towards other enemies, making them stronger as a group. The third skill is the same as Auspex's, showing the enemies' type (Human, ghoul, etc), and more information as it becomes stronger.

Dominate

Since all the spells are Generation-based (only work on a target of the same generation or lower) and there is nothing here that Presence does not do better, this is mostly useless in single-player. In Redemption, even the roleplaying game's use of The Forgetful Mind, to make humans forget they were fed on, is subsumed by Awe, and The Forgetful Mind becomes an inferior version of Majesty. The real deficiencies of Ventrue are well expressed by the storyline; it seems overkill to have nerfed what is, in Redemption,[4] a skill shared by the Tremere, Giovanni, and Lasombra. Wilhem receives this skill after the encounter with Luther Black, after the party has left Stephensdom. Christof and Lily receive it after they first encounter Lucretia. There is a tome in the Stephensdom clock tower. Even the Tremere are somewhat nerfed by having this spell in their attack routine; they will occasionally use Command on Christof, and always miss, since he is by then a higher generation than they. Christof and Lily both receive this after the first encounter with Lucretia in the Setite temple


Fortitude

This ability is given to Christof after navigating Josef's Tunnels, to Pink at the top of the Tower, and to Samuel at the end of the Sewers.

Dead enemies do less damage; putting one's efforts into killing them first is the rule in games. When that strategy comes up short, evasive maneuevers is a good idea, and when that is not enough, there is Fortitude and other damage prevention. This rule might not have survived the roleplaying game's very solid damage prevention, which prevents damage against all types of damage, but Fortitude was hit very hard with the Nerfbat, and only adds an invisible soak (cannot be seen on the 'character sheet', as opposed to the Blood Ritual Ignore the Searing Flame, whose resistance shows up clearly in red on the resistances wheel). The Fortitude soak is said to be against Aggravated damage. Its damage prevention effects are similarly hard to detect.

Hands of Destruction

The first and second spells in this set require 60 or less Humanity and 50, which are sufficient to see the "Good" ending. The next requires 35 or less and the final, 25 or less. They are all spells delivered at close combat range, which sort of makes the fact that they are spells pointless; at that range, swords may do better damage. Serena obtains this skill after Etrius is defeated, and there is one tome in the Dark Ages, with a Humanity requirement

Lure of Flames

So good, the developers gave the players two of its tomes. Only available as a tome. More than one dot in the lesser skills is unnecessary; save it all for Firestorm. Spot enemies before they spot you, and it is half over. Wait until they are close to melee range, and it is a rare one that can survive the full duration of Firestorm (with the exception of all Setites, who have considerable Fire resistance). Serena receives this ability for free after Ardan is defeated; the player may well prefer to save XP for this, rather than spending points on her physical attributes to make up for their low starting levels. The Ivory Bow found in Arden's Chantry level 3 makes this easier

Mortis

Undead Hordes can be quite good at high levels; hard to kill, and each one summoned can be drained for 7 more blood than it cost. The Wraith 20 blood cost can be unfeasibly high for multiple repeated battles with no incoming blood supply. Consider, also, that Serena receives Lure of Flames. Do not give the Mortis Tome found in the Sewers to Christof, as he receives the skill for free at the very end of the Giovanni Warehouse

Later in the game, when there is access to Theft of Vitae or at the very least, Tongue of the Asp, and money flows like water from all the Heavy Weapons that can be found in chests, the Mortis Tome found in the Sewers is an easier option to fit into the game plan

Obfuscate

Whether or not an Obfuscate user remains hidden depends on their actions, and the level of Auspex used to detect them. Standing still is the most hidden, then moving; attacking in normal Redemption always reveals an obfuscated attacker. Low levels of Auspex will reveal low level Obfuscators even when standing, but only detect medium level Obfuscators when moving.

Obfuscate ability is given to Wilhem after navigating Josef's Tunnels. Christof gets it after the encounter with Luther Black, after the party has left Stephensdom. Lily gets it after the Giovanni stronghold is raided. Samuel starts with it. Nosferatu in the single player game all have varying levels of it, making more and more of their actions invisible. at the lower levels, the user can only be seen when moving. Nosferatu NPCs in single player, and Nosferatu and Malkavian NPCs and Player Characters in multiplayer start with this discipline

Obtenebration

Dark Hunter is the only skill granted by this tome. Players cannot choose a Lasombra character. Lasombra skills in the roleplaying version of Vampire are elaborate and powerful; possibly the developers felt, too much. Lasombra enemies in multiplayer can use Dominate and Potence skills as well as Obtenebration only skill used by the Lasombra in the single-player game.The Lasombra clan and powers were added by the Within the Darkness mod, but the powers were still reserved in comparison to the Mind's Eye / tabletop version.

Potence

Dead enemies do less damage; putting one's efforts into killing them first is the rule in games. Potence adds damage to close-combat attacks (melee weapons or fists)

Potence is not available as a Tome in single player, nor is it granted to any of the characters. Brujah and Nosferatu in single- and multi-player get this skill. Christof, Wilhem, and Pink start with it, as does the Nosferatu Samuel

Presence

Brujah, Toreador and Ventrue in single- and multi-player get this skill. Christof, Wilhem, Lily, and Pink start with it. Master Awe + Feed, and there is rarely any real need for any other spell. Feed will kill any vampire and replenish the user's bloodpool at the same time, and Awe makes it almost automatic. Any party member can feed on the Awed target. Dread Gaze completely shuts down anything it lands on, but if it runs into the middle of more enemies, it can make matters worse than before. Entranced enemies give no XP when killed, which is a very serious drawback. If players like using Entrance, then consider the Awaken exploit to make up for it. Majesty is a very fine spell, but Awe does better in that it calls the target to the caster, and is considerably cheaper.

When attempting to Feed on a target that had Awe cast on it just before it finished casting Obfuscate, run backwards so that it will have to run towards you, and if its Obfuscate is low enough, it will become visible long enough to right-click Feed on. The Feed will occur as long as the command to do so is given before it disappears again. Or feed on it with a character with Heightened Senses active.

Protean

Feral Claws begins at 15 Aggravated damage, and gains 5 Aggravated each level, up to 35 Aggravated damage. Shape of the Beast's wolf form never goes above 20 Aggravated, nor does it add stats, it just gets longer duration. Eyes of the Beast makes a red animation and light source under the character's feet, with the duration and intensity of the light increasing with points spent. Most buffs are removed if the character dies, is revived, the game is reloaded or the character moves to another zone, but Eyes of the Beast continues until its duration is expired, regardless of these things. Two tactical defensive skills, Earth Meld (fun to watch the characters 'flatten' into the ground, even if one saves and reloads after gaining the skill), and Shape of Mist, round out the skill group. Christof receives this group after retrieving the fragment of the Book of Nod

Serpentis

Christof is given Serpentis after the second encounter with Lucretia, whether he chooses to drink from the heart or destroy it. The major skills of this discipline are discussed in its own article; below, the minor skills are described.

Skin of the Adder gives the damage soaking ability. Damage dealing abilities are usually preferred by gamers to defensive abilities, especially for killing NPCs, as damage is easily healed outside of battle and the quicker something dies, the less damage it does anyway. However, Skin of the Adder, while not as sexy as Potence and not a gamer favorite, has the distinct advantage of working whether the player chooses a hack and slay or spellcasting approach. The temporary vipers summoned by Hatch the Viper may do more damage than the laughable one damage of permanent enemy vipers, but it is can only be inferred from combat results, as pets' stats are not shown; possessing them with the ST head only shows their controller's stats.


Multiplayer only

Human

Faith

Also concise as Serpentis, as is appropriate for one of only two human skillsets. This contains Healing and direct damage

Numina

Point-blank area of effect damage, invisibility and counter-invisibility are handled by this set of abilities


Mod-only abilities

  • Giant Cobra is only available with modifications to the game such as the Within the Darkness mod
  • Obtenebration abilities other than Dark Hunter are available with the WtD mod
  • Playing as a Werewolf is available with the WtD mod

See also

Footnotes

  1. Vampire - Redemption - part 68 - gameplay : First Tremere base - Ardan's Chantry, also link above
  2. http://wiki.white-wolf.com/worldofdarkness/index.php?title=Vampire:_The_Masquerade_-_Redemption
  3. Teleport back to the Bridge Haven rather than pass the front gate of the Tower of London
  4. In the roleplaying version, Malkavians had Domination instead of Dementation

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