Last session in a Dark Ages game I wanted to scare a hunter with my dread gaze (Presence level 2). But the Storyteller told me that I wasn't close enough. We were in a quite big room, but he told me that I needed to scare the hunter at roughly melee distance. He stated it based on many vampire movies and fictions.

I have read the power description in various books, but not a word has said about the range. I was in the opinion that the power must have a longer range, but I wouldn't say that eyesight distance is enough (I wouldn't allow it to work at 20 metres, for instance).

So, is there any official (or even unofficial FAQ) where this is explained? If not, which range do you think the power would have?


2 Answers 2


The description of the power states that it magnifies the natural intimidation tactics of a vampire — "baring claws and fangs, glaring with malevolence, hissing loudly with malice" — to a supernatural degree. I'd set the range at conversational distance: if the hunter could understand you at that distance (even if, say, you had to shout to do it), then he's close enough to be affected by the Discipline. It's a two-dot power, and (under the Dark Ages rules set) pretty hard to resist, so limiting its range is reasonable.


Quoting page 236 of V20: Dark Ages:

Like how a spark can light a forest fire, Dread Gaze lets a vampire take a spark of fear and turn it into paralyzing terror. By revealing her predatory nature, such as baring her fangs, snarling, displaying her claws, or crying for blood, Dread Gaze inflames that natural reaction into mindless terror.

I would say that it would work from any distance from which a particular subject can be Intimidated normally, understand that he sees a monster and get scared, even if just a bit. It would be especially hard to do with, say, a blind person, or the one who is drugged and doesn't understand what is going on, but easier with the one who has level one Auspex power "Sharpened senses".

Presence is powerful and intended to be powerful. Surely, you can nerf it if you feel like doing it (the Golden Rule always exists), but you should understand that you would change the rules.


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