I am mostly interested in using these over a video conference or over audio:

  • Dominate
  • Presence
  • Obfuscate (such as Mask of Thousand Faces)
  • Chimerstry

If possible, it would open many new interesting ways to influence reality. Can I do it?

I am asking about both video and pure-audio communication media. For example, would video count as eye contact, or would you be able to dominate a ghoul affected by Dominate level 4 power (Conditioning)?

  • \$\begingroup\$ @Steve-O Keep in mind that comments are only for site administration purposes related to the post they're under. As soon as you get into considering or musing on angles related to answering it, rather than mere site administration matters, it is no longer something to post in a comment and should be reserved for a full answer (or nothing at all, if it is insufficient for answering). \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Dec 17 '16 at 22:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Without double checking each and every power I find it unlikely that this would be possible. Have you actually read the rules for these and seen some possibility of this working or are you simply asking for opinions? \$\endgroup\$ – Still Not Happy Dec 18 '16 at 19:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @StillNotHappy Of course, yest, I did read the core book, but it seems to be insufficient, and I need answers based on canon sources. \$\endgroup\$ – Baskakov_Dmitriy Dec 18 '16 at 20:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think that this is going to be almost entirely opinion based so I've flagged it. Maybe if you edited it to be about a specific power within a discipline, rather than a such a wideband search for mentions in the various books it would be better. There are at least five plus individual powers in each of the four disciplines listed above and that's a lot of ground to cover. \$\endgroup\$ – Still Not Happy Dec 20 '16 at 17:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @StillNotHappy Disregard that, have read the answer of Jadasc and accepted it. As you may see, it is possible to answer this question. \$\endgroup\$ – Baskakov_Dmitriy Dec 22 '16 at 15:49

Some of these are explicitly called out in the rules; others require some interpretation.

Dominate: Permission to command others by voice alone is restricted to Conditioning (Dominate ••••) or better; lower levels require what the BNS rules refer to as "gaze and focus." Both parties must be able to see the eyes of both parties (or face penalties); images will not do, and an electronic medium is just an image.

Presence: The powers of Presence require proximity and influence; you must be near the person you're trying to influence. (Again, Summon [Presence ••••] is called out as an exception, but even then, you must have met the person in question at least once.) However, once the person has been influenced by the powers of the discipline, you can make "suggestions" in whatever medium you choose.

Obfuscate: The rules for how Obfuscate interacts with digital media are printed on page 184 of V20. In short, Obfuscate works on the human mind; even if the image of the hidden vampire is recorded (as it will be), a person watching live through video will be affected by the discipline. Watching the recording later, however, will reveal the vampire's true image.

Chimerstry: As per page 144, the illusions of Chimerstry "fool the senses and technology alike." Works fine via recording or electronic transmission; only Auspex pierces it.


Domination has two requirements: you speak in the language the recipient understands, you are able to capture recipient's eyes, so while in theory it doesn't say anything about broadcasting it over TV its an open way to exploit: Get some low generation Sabbath to national TV station, plant some messages via Mesmerise and watch the country burn.

When you watch TV you don't look at the speaker, you look at his PICTURE, there is no (or VERY limited) connection between yours and his ego/mind/psyche/soul (you need 8 dots in domination to command on far distance, similar dots in Presence), so there is almost no way for the vampire's will to dominate the human one. That is unless... the recipients is really willing to get dominated (as it was the case of the Russian hypnotist Kashpirovsky), but even then personally, as a GM I'd rise the difficulty level sky-high.

In case of Chimestry I don't see why not you can't broadcast your illusions (because they are conjurations - you really summon a picture from nothing, not just make it appear in recipients mind), but hey - they will be again just pictures and in the world where movies are full of state-of-art special effects, your work would not be that special. But again - if something is supposed to work directly on recipients mind (like Horrid Reality) then its a big no, since they are responding to the picture of your creation, not the creation itself.

Conclusion: Powers that work on the mind/emotions of the recipients (dominate, presence, obfuscate) cannot be transmitted via television, because tv lacks the personal contact between minds of vampire and his victim. Powers that actually change something in the physical world obviously can, but they wouldn't be treated the same way as regular tv "special effects".

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is all a bit vague - how about some sort of conclusion based on your examples? \$\endgroup\$ – Still Not Happy Dec 20 '16 at 17:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ short answer: No, you can't manipulate mind through tv. \$\endgroup\$ – Yasskier Dec 20 '16 at 19:23

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