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I'm designing a Daeva character, who I want to be physically powerful but still able to handle themselves socially. The two social disciplines, Majesty and Dominate, seem to have a power mismatch.

The main use of each social power is to control others, or sway them to your side. This is how I want my character to use them: To manipulate an individual to either get some power over them, or to get out of trouble.

A concrete example would be to get someone to hand over keys to a door, or to get them to ignore the character leaving a building.

Looking at the disciplines from the wiki (Dominate and Majesty), and the developer blogs for Majesty and Dominate:

As of Vampire the Requiem Second Edition, powers of Majesty were refined and reorganized.

Awe: Awe magnifies the vampire’s presence in the eyes of others, making her seem cool, hot, and in general the kind of person with her very own spotlight.
Confidant: When the vampire speaks, she creates an air of trust and reliability. The victim gains the Charmed Condition.
Green Eyes: The victim feels deep jealousy over the vampire’s attention and desperation for her favor.
Loyalty: The vampire becomes so important to the victim that acting against the vampire becomes traumatic. The victim gains the Enthralled Condition.
Idol: The vampire takes on the mantle of the king or the star, becoming so important in the eyes of others that they cannot possibly act against her.

As of Vampire the Requiem Second Edition, powers of Dominate were refined and reorganized.

Mesmerize: You meet the victim’s eye, lulling them into a trance.
Iron Edict: Your Mesmerism becomes stronger and more insidious.
Entombed Command: You hide a command in your prey’s subconscious.
The Lying Mind: You can make more drastic alterations to a victim’s memories.
Possession: You extend your mind fully into that of another, supplanting their will and taking complete control of their body.

Majesty seems like it grants soft social power, whereas dominate is more direct and seems to cover the same bases majesty does.

For instance, in the developer blog for Majesty we see this power of Awe:

She suffers no social penalties due to her actions or appearance, and can generally talk her way out of most offenses, even minor criminal ones.

We still need to roll a social skill check to get out of trouble, no matter our successes.

Whereas if you succeed in the contest roll for the Dominate power Mesmerise, you can do any of these.

You may do either of the following at a rate of one per action:
Issue a brief command, no more than two or three words. This command must be a single, discrete action, with no room for creativity or interpretation. (“Drop that gun”, “Repeat after me…”, and “Follow me” work. “Submit” and “Do my bidding” are too subjective.)
Alter one memory of the current scene. (“I was never here”, “You hurt this man.”)

It seems that besides some minor soft power/roleplaying advantages all the hard power (i.e. if you succeed a roll you absolutely can do this) lies in Dominate.

This makes it seem like I'd almost never want to use Majesty, instead of Dominate as you can probably do all the things Majesty does with Dominate.

My issue is that Dominate is out of clan for Daeva, whereas Majesty is the clan specific discipline. So I either need to find a way to use Majesty to manipulate others as above, or spend more on getting dominate as a power. I picked Daeva for in-character reasons, and I would not want to pick Ventrue if at all possible.

Am I wrong to want to use Majesty in this way? How is it supposed to used?

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's basically the difference between Marketing and Sales \$\endgroup\$ – Alex M Jul 25 '20 at 22:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @alexM I'm not sure if I could answer that either \$\endgroup\$ – AncientSwordRage Jul 26 '20 at 0:52
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Dominate only ever affects a single target; Majesty can apply to everyone who can see you (and then you can use specific powers on individuals).

The conditions inflicted by the disciplines are very different: they have varying durations, mechanical effects, resolution conditions and beats. For example, mesmerised lasts for a scene, and dominated for a night; both are the result of Dominate. Charmed and enthralled, inflicted by Majesty, are persistent conditions not easily resolved. (Longer lasting effects are possible with Dominate, but take preparation or special Devotions like Conditioning.)

Dominate offers direct control, but can leave memory gaps or confusion in its wake. Majesty improves your ability to convince others to do what you ask, and they justify their own actions since they usually feel like they wanted to help you.

Of the two, Majesty is better suited to social power. Dominate can be a club or a scalpel, and create servants with no choice but to be loyal; but Majesty is an attractive force that gathers you a willingly loyal entourage.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This feels like a good way to distinguish the two \$\endgroup\$ – AncientSwordRage Jul 24 '20 at 18:12
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The solution to the problem you have is "At Blood Potency 2, choose the Toreador bloodline, which grants in-clan access to Dominate." But that's not the question, so I leave it here as additional useful information.

The question is, "Am I wrong to want to use Majesty to accomplish tasks Dominate is crafted to accomplish? How is it supposed to be used?" And, although one could waggishly say that for a Daeva, desires are never wrong, there is a mismatch to intent.

With Dominate, they do as you command — no more, no less. In Requiem 2E, words like "puppeteering," "suggestible," and "slave" are used to describe the effects. A person being Dominated does what you want, as an automaton might. A person under the sway of Majesty, on the other hand, wants to attend to you and please you. They like the way being around you makes them feel. Words like "charmed" and "loyalty" are used. Use Majesty when you want people to use creativity and intuition to accomplish your ends. Use Majesty when you're trying to play on people's emotions, or secure Retainers and Allies. It may also be that Majesty is less likely to test your Humanity, because it feels nicer and leaves fewer obvious scars.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is a good answer. \$\endgroup\$ – AncientSwordRage Jul 24 '20 at 17:51

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