First of all, I have not playtested the game yet, but I managed to notice that Vampire 20th Anniversary Disciplines roster has been wildly revised from any previous version. Seems like all the disciplines are now much more lethal and straightforward than previously. My concerns arose when I noticed changes in Celerity. Now it gives any vamp possessing it another Dex die to any roll at no cost AND on top of that ability to get an additional action at the expense of just one blood point.

I am baffled.

This discipline was already insanely powerful before in terms of not only sheer combat efficiency giving you basically free attacks, but now it's an additional dice bucket for any task that requires Dex.

Could anyone please explain the rationale behind the change? Are the boosts given to other disciplines outweighing this one? Is the blood expenditure so severely limiting? Or maybe going back to 2ed multiple action system reduces the effective value of an additional attack?

I'd appreciate if someone explained.

Note: I am perfectly content with the change in actions/blood expenditure. My concern arises over unprecedented DEX-monsters, with pools of pure dexterity nearing 9 or 10 (+ relevant ability). Even if it is perfectly reasonable to have a vampire move with godlike speed, how would Celerity allow for such monstrous dice pools on checks such as lockpicking (dex+larceny)? It's not the actions that spoil my view, its the bonus dice.


1 Answer 1


I'm going to copy from another answer of mine regarding changes between Revised and the 20th Anniversary edition.

Potence and Celerity have been significantly altered. Each now adds a passive bonus (at no vitae cost) to their governing physical attribute; you add your dots as extra dice in pools using Strength and Dexterity, respectively. In addition, Potence and Celerity allow the vampire to spend vitae for effects: spending 1v allows a Potence user to add his dots in Potence as successes to all subsequent Strength rolls made during that turn--which used to be inherent to the discipline--and a Celerity user may choose to spend 1v to convert a Celerity dot into an additional physical action for that turn, which may be done multiple times, reducing the Celerity rating accordingly for the turn (Generational blood-spending maxima do not apply to these expenditures.) (pp. 142, 192)

Each additional action you get costs you a vitae that turn (at the start of the turn) and lowers the potential Dexterity boost by one. (That is, a vampire with Dex 4 and Celerity 3 can have a potential Dex pool of 7 for free with no additional actions, of 6 with one extra action at 1v, of 5 with two extra actions at 2v, and so on.) That means that the blood expenditure is pretty enormous, with the added temptation of not being capped by Gen. Compare that to earlier versions of Celerity, where a single vitae got you your Celerity rank in extra actions for the round, and this version is actually something of a downgrade.

As far as balancing Celerity against other powers, it's worth noting that the social disciplines also got a power boost (in that they target current, rather than permanent, Willpower totals). You're correct in saying that Celerity has always been overpowered as a discipline, but the 20th anniversary edition rules don't make it more so.

Now, as far as the additional die pools: yes, this means that the scope of Celerity has been increased from "superhuman speed" to "superhuman speed, grace, and precision." Frankly, this isn't that big a change -- the Toreador have always had the "fluff" of using their Celerity when creating art, and this is a better way to do it. However, as we can see answered here, after a certain point, adding lots more dice doesn't actually increase your actual chance of success that much. What it does do is make it more likely that you'll get an extraordinary success (where that means something) and make it easier to overcome defenses. That seems like a reasonable thing for a power to do.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Great answer. Also worth pointing out that in many vampire games the social powerhouse is more frightening than the physical one. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 13, 2014 at 16:18

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