The Case for Separating Praenomen from the Vampire Subrace or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Roleplay
How do you do, fellow kids!
Ever since @Naos posted his thread
ages ago about separating Praenomen from the Vampire subrace, I’ve been thinking about it. It never struck me as a possibility until he said something, it never occurred to me that Praenomen and Vampire could be separate things entirely--and the more I thought about it, the more it seems like a good idea to me. The case I’m going to try to make in this post is simple: separating the Praenomen class from the vampire subrace is good for everyone and should be done. So let’s get started.
Diverging the RP of Vampirism away from the Praenomen Class will make vampire RP better
My understanding under current class/guild rules is that making the hurdles to getting class too difficult is frowned upon, if not outright against the rules of the game. This means you can require people to do some
work before getting GR2, but you can’t make it a huge challenge. This is good and I love it; however, this creates a problem where it is now insanely easy--and in fact, it’s a requirement that getting to be a vampire is incredibly easy. This, I think, devalues the roleplay quite a bit. It used to be that getting embraced was this monumental choice and ritual with a ton of roleplay behind it, but this is effectively against the rules of the game now. You can’t build a relationship to become a vampire over many, many weeks, because it’s compulsory that you be given the Praenomen class relatively easily. Cutting full Praenomen class from the Vampire subrace would effectively eliminate this problem. Which brings us to our next point.
Unshackling Vampirism from the Praenomen Class will make the Dominion better
In Naos’s post, I said that if Vampirism became separate from Praenomen, this would make the Dominion a glorified Praenomen-dispenser class, but after thinking about this a long time, I no longer think this is the case, and is very reductive. A lot of guilds have incredibly immersive guild RP rewards as you move up the ranks. Carnifex has Knighting and Tainting. Syssin has the thing I forgot the name of. Templars have...don’t y’all get cool swords or something? Many guilds have their entire cultures built around these ascending rituals, where once you get past the very basic stepping stone, you get to choose to immerse yourself in the guild culture and Roleplay for more rewards if you want. Breaking Praenomen away from Vampirism will almost immediately unlock an incredibly cool
guild reward for people in the Dominion to work to, and could make Vampirism something to aspire toward and work toward again without cutting people off at the ankles mechanically. You could work with a sire and get to know them over weeks and months and finally have a cool ascension ritual just like the old days. Not only would it turn vampirism into a really cool guild reward, it’d actually be one of the coolest guild rewards in the game
. Most guild RP rewards (not all) have zero mechanics behind them and are simply RP rewards. Vampirism is an entire subrace, and the coolness of that reward can’t be understated.
Making Praenomen a class independent from Vampirism will make Mirrors easier and better
Okay, so we know that mirror-Praenomen is a thing that’s going to happen and is on the horizon. Spirit tether wants it, and it’s apparently one that @Tiur
wants as well, judging by his vote in this thread
. With the present set-up, this creates some problems. Currently, the handicaps associated with being a vampire (burning in the sun if your blood is too low being a major one, plus some other stats related to undeath) makes building a spirit-equivalent mechanic/subrace situation a little silly. The RP of vampirism fits things like getting burnt by the sun, being misted upon death and reforming, etc, work really well; however, I don’t think these traits moving across tether will be a smooth transition. Why are you taking damage at night time? Why do you have this weird death cycle? Why do you have to get sustenance from eating corpses?
If you break vampirism off from Praenomen, these issues go away entirely. You’ll no longer be forced to heave these RP consequences onto Spirit people, and it will make forming the class image and roleplay a lot easier and give you a ton more freedom to build Mirror Praenomen into something sexy and unique.
And that’s the pitch
There are really obvious challenges to breaking Prae off from Vampirism from a mechanical and lore perspective, I don’t deny that, but it’s definitely not impossible. There’s nothing that really says you HAVE to be a vampire to use blood magic in a world where we have pretty much every form of weird magic under the sun. Would it require major reworking of some skillsets and messages? Absolutely. That said, I think the benefits to everyone outweigh the costs, and all the hurdles can be worked around with some clever writing and roleplay. Would finding out how Vampirism fits into Prae mechanically require trial and error? Undoubtedly. But I think it’s worth it, in the end, and will make the game better from just about every single angle. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk.
EDIT: I also don't hope to make it sound like I think only
the Dominion should be able to embrace people. I think the current sanction/bloodline system is...okay. I think rogues existing is good and will always encourage diversity. I'm just saying that I think making it something that requires RP and isn't a barrier to class is only ever going to be a good thing. If we made embracing a Dominion-only ability (when they already have exclusivity on Siring), I'd be extremely sad.