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V20 Thaugmaturgy vs V5 Blood Sorcery?

I’ve recently been chatting with one of my players about how Blood Sorcery works in V5 compared to Thaumaturgy in V20 and would be interested to hear everybody’s thoughts.

See, he and I both thought that the Blood Sorcery currently introduced in V5 seems very underpowered and far less versatile compared to V20’s Thaumaturgy.

I’ll be the first to admit that Thaumaturgy became very unwieldy (and sometimes downright broken) in previous editions. That being said, apart from the fact you can cast rituals (something that’s ostensibly coming to Oblivion with the Hecata), Blood Sorcery now just feels like any other discipline.

The lack of alternate paths of thaumaturgy (e.g. Summoning, the Green Path, Path of Father’s Vengeance, etc) really leaves Tremere quite restricted in my opinion. No longer can they really adapt to what’s happening in a chronicle, they have to hope their specific powers prove relevant. This is only compounded by the fact that learning a new thaumaturgy ritual, takes the level of the ritual squared, in weeks, to learn, on top of the XP. That’s not too bad for a very longterm game, but it means that in shorter games your Tremere player certainly can’t pick up a new ritual to help out.

I don’t know though, do people prefer the new Blood Sorcery, does it help bring the Tremere back into line with the general power curve? When I see Jason Carl (spoilers for L.A. by Night) having the Tremere break out the old paths (Lure of Flames in season 2 for instance) it just makes me wonder why they weren’t included.

I’ve my theories, but will keep them to myself since my theories seem to be unpopular here or get dismissed quickly.

Personally I’d be interested in hearing them, the more the merrier and all that.

That being said, if I’ve personally given you the impression your theories are unpopular or should be dismissed, then I’d like to apologise for that. Most certainly not my intent, even if we’ve disagreed on a few things.

My Theory is that since Thaumaturgy has long been to OP Discipline they decided to dial back at least out of the gate when it comes to Blood Sorcery, now my belief is they will bring back some of the old paths eventually once they are dialed back. I also believe we will be getting more Rituals eventually as well. Yes I am aware this theory is not as doom and gloom as my theories on some of the other discussions I’ve popped in on and even a bit more optimistic in approach.

But to me from a design point I can see why they would dial it back starting out of the gate.

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That’s more or less what I’d been thinking myself (my prior comments in the OP aside). Deal with the accusations that the discipline was OP, then dial things up overtime once they’ve got a better handle on things.

By reducing the options overall it makes the whole discipline something much easier to balance. I guess we can only wait and see, but I sincerely hope you’re right on this front. Tremere were OP, but it’d be nice to give them at least some of their old toolkit back.

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As a looooong time Tremere player (hated them at first but I came around) I would agree with you both.

Thaumaturgy started out ok, then got better with a few added options and rituals, then suddenly went nuts where you could pretty much do anything you wanted, with the right Path.

It was slowed there for a bit when you had to start with Path of the Blood, but got crazy when that rule was dropped or ignored.

It makes sense to me to go back to the drawing board, and open it up a bit at a time. That way you can gauge impact and balance before opening the door a little bit more.

We may even see the same thing with alternative options for the other disciplines as well. Something turned out weaker than you thought? Here’s a new 3 dot option for you to help rebalance or just provide options. Etc…

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I agree with Kingofshadows on this one. One of the things I’ve been noticing more and more about this edition is that it seems to be a “fresh start” on almost every level.

It really came to mind first when I was dealing with reviews about long time players who disliked the lack of a metaplot. They seem to have been of the combined opinion that the lore just wasn’t available like it used to be, and that the metaplot seemed to have been forgotten. I read through the books, specifically looking with this thought in the back of my mind, and compared side by side with the core books of the 1st, 2nd, Revised, and then 20th anniversary editions and found a startling correlation. Namely, that the lore followed a style and content similar to the 1st edition of the rulebook way back in the day. That’s when I realized that Modiphius wasn’t ignoring the metaplot, merely that almost all the metaplot threads we were following had already resolved, and new metaplot was slowly being developed and released, just as it had when the game first came out.

I think they are treating a lot disciplines, especially Blood Sorcery, in the same way. The elimination of Quietus and Serpentis are good examples of this, where if a power can be attributed to another discipline it is being released as an amalgam, while truly unique effects are set in core disciplines. When Thaumaturgy first came out, the many Paths and unique effects weren’t even imagined yet. In fact, it looked a lot like it does now. I think as we see more content released, we’ll slowly get introduced to new and different effects, but I’d imagine that it will be slow going. Modiphius took the opportunity to revitalize the game and reintroduce it, and I think they’re making the most of it, taking things slow and really getting that mystery back.

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Exactly Jarl

At this point I would not be surprised if Viscicitude, and Chimeristry are made as Amalgam or mini offshoots of other Disciplines case in Point Viscicitude absorbed into Protean. Not sure Chimeristry maybe a Auspex Obfuscate Amalgam.

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I was just thinking about that, and Protean already has a version of Horrid Form through the Xaviar Loresheet, it wouldn’t surprise me if Tzimisce were either Animalism, Protean, Blood Sorcery or Auspex, Protean, Blood Sorcery and the existing Vicissitude powers became Protean/Blood Sorcery amalgam powers.

It would elegantly resolve the Koldun/Tzimisce/Old Clan problem as well, because with Vicissitude removed from the mix the core distinction would become a non-issue and it would be entirely a social preference.

The effect on the backstory would be interesting too, as the metaplot was revolving around Tzimisce attempting to diablerize Gangrel. If you’ve been paying attention, the Final Nights novels back in '99 had Xaviar and the Gangrel encounter the unfortunate Toreador victim of the Eye of Hazimel, whom they believed to be an Antediluvian, and to escape it, Xaviar earth melded in to the ground. The battle took place in New York. This is interesting, because sleeping underneath New York at that time was the Tzimisce Antediluvian, as confirmed in the same series by the ever-unfortunate Lombach Ruthven, official Job of the World of Darkness.

Now, the Xaviar Loresheet specifically mentions under the 5th dot that “Xaviar was not only Gangrel to sink into the ground and find himself inside his clan founder’s vast inhuman form.” This means, that if we know this happened in New York, and that Tzimisce, who had taken the form of the Cathedral of Flesh after consuming it was under New York … then the “inhuman Clan founder” that Xaviar identified as his clan founder was in fact Tzimisce. That means either Xaviar (and every other Gangrel who experienced it) was wrong in their assumption, or the metaplot is leading to the idea that Tzimisce was successful in his bid to diablerize Gangrel and now is clan founder of both Gangrel and Tzimisce!

I’d pay full price to see that movie. lol

That would be scary and awesome combine that with the old thought going around that Tzimisce could take control of whoever shared his blood. Think about that for a second, his blood Tzimisce Blood That would mean Tremere (who became vampires from stealing Tzimisce Blood), Gargoyles (Tzimisce, Nosferatu and Gangrel BLood used in their creation), Tzimisce themselves, The vast majority of the Sabbat (Through Vaulderie) and the list goes on. Tzimisce potentially has the biggest army should he rise and decide to take it all for himself.

Utterly terrifying, but consider this (to go down the conspiracy theory tunnel). A lot of speculation has been made about the Lasombra leaving the Sabbat for the Camarilla, and there was always the battle between Tzimisce and Lasombra fighting for the ideology (dare I say, “soul”?) of the Sabbat. What if (and I don’t personally hold to this, like I said, deep down the rabbit hole we are) the success and increased power of Tzimisce through the hold he has on his blood is the reason for the increased monstrosity of the Sabbat? What if his insanity and power hunger is rippling through the vaulderie and caused the cold war between Lasombra and Tzimisce to go hot? The Lasombra got out, thinking they no longer can be a part of the depths of insanity that the Sabbat are being called to do.

You can go further too - imagine that (since the Lasombra took Vaulderie too) Tzimisce arranged for the effects to be quelled on the Lasombra so that they would leave to join the Camarilla? This effectively would “infect” the Camarilla with Tzimisce’s influence as well when the Lasombra started passing their blood through Blood Bonds and prestation…

To get near the bottom of this proverbial rabbit’s hole …

… what if the next Gehenna is the awakening of Tzimisce, now the “one, true Antediluvian” after all his rivals are gone. We know that the Elders of the Camarilla are being called to the Middle East for the Jyhad to defend their “sleeping elders” from a concerted Sabbat assault. What if Tzimisce is using the Sabbat to take out the other remaining Antediluvians? What if he plans to consume the other Antediluvian’s through his Sabbat proxies so that only he remains?

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Damn that would be a wild ride.

I agree with the sentiments here. V5 does feel like a hard restart, and looking at it from a game design perspective, I’d say they’ve done a great job of balancing and opening the game up.

Honestly? I don’t want to see any other paths. I always thought they were out of place. I’d rather see all the signature path powers turned into rituals and given a “powered by blood” theme. That would make much, much more sense.

Plus, it would make the Tremere game about finding these ritual spells to add to their repertoire, rather than burning exp on more disciplines. I’d enjoy that as a player for discovering cool stuff, and as an ST to control access to the magic beings used in the game.

I also love the refining of the disciplines with amalgam powers. It ties everything in together. Know sure whether or not Vissicitude (sp?) could work as a protean amalgam, though.

Lastly, I promise, I think Lasombra joined the Cam because I think sabbat is being reserved for purely antagonist roles. The game’s focus is definitely on Cam and Anarchs now, and Tzim monsters as lone, leftover Sabbat villains ramps up the evil factor.

My multiple cents.

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Whilst I think we’re all agreed that V5 is a fundamental re-design, and to some extent ‘reset’ of VTM, I personally disagree about not wanting other paths, or at least the addition of more discipline options.

The Tremere’s strength was always their adaptability, that’s how they became a clan to be feared, it’s why Thaumaturgy was such a powerful thing as to ensure the Tremere’s survival and to a lesser extent, ascendancy, within the Camarilla.

Without the ability to adapt the Tremere really are just another clan, and given their historic place in the WoD, even more so with their clan split into three, they need versatility and power to survive.

The clan needed soldiers that could fight Szlactha and Vohzd, Thaumaturgical rituals meant they could create Gargoyles to be sure, but the Lure of Flames meant an individual Tremere could actually fight back. The Tremere were isolated, so they mastered the path of summoning, so that even without the contacts of the other clans, they could create and survive.

I think if that’s to be reflected in the new edition then at the very least we need some more powers to choose from under the main discipline then some extra rituals.

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looking at the mosaic of the current game I don’t see them adding anything resembling Paths of Thaum, maybe a handful of sub powers to Blood Sorcery, that being said I do think they probably will be turning a lot of old Thaum paths into Rituals one can perform which still gives the Discipline it’s diversity but doesn’t make it out of control and unwieldy as Thaum got.

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I’m hoping for a bit of both. Some of the old paths have always felt like they would have been better as rituals to me. Like weather control. Others, I think, would be harder to convert and would better as actual powers, like Movement of the Mind.

Having to do an hour or so long ritual just to raise a goblet off a table would lose its charm after awhile. Unless maybe they did it so that the ritual was to enchant an item/self to have that ability for a period of time. Kinda like the “anti-Presence” ritual of old. (Man I LOVED that one!! Lol )

From what I’ve seen, I agree they will most likely stick with powers and rituals. I really believe that we’re going to see a lot more level 1-5 powers and amalgams instead of new disciplines moving forward for bloodlines. There seems to be a dedicated push towards streamlining the disciplines, and I expect Blood Sorcery is going to get a lot of benefit from this.

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Hello,everybody.I have been storytelling Vampire :the Dark Ages since it was released back in 96 and was about to start another chronicle,but something kept bothering me for some reason:the use of Vicissitude level 5-bloodform(ascendancy of the sanguine Humor).I was thinking about a specific situation and realised that ,so far, I NEVER saw or hear about this hapenning.It goes sort of like that:the character eventually gets to the level 5 power. In the midst of a combat,he chooses to transform his torso in blood.Therefore,all attakcs to his torso that are not caused by fire would just pass through him,but,as I see it,he would still be able to walk,use his arms and so forth.What do you guys think?

Interpreting the power as written that would indeed be the case they’d also be un-stakable. As far as I understand they can still keep all their other body parts under control, keep them connected through nothing but blood and such.

Dot 5 disciplines are strong, but not unbeatable.

Yes!That’s what I thought!Thanks!!!