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Learning from Sanguine
Sanguine is one of the highest tier vampires as of this writing. He refused to contribute any information to the wiki directly, but he was willing to spar. Lower tier Vampires might want to copy his build in order to achieve better success. From our fight I was able to determine:
- That he is most likely a Lasombra, and he took Chimerstry as his personal (bonus) discipline.
- He opened with Horrid Reality, a poison-like ability which affects his opponents at the beginning of every melee round.
- He relies of the Fist of Caine (potence 4) as his primary midround.
- In our second fight Sanguine took the form of a phantom, e.g.: Blood swells in A phantom of Sanguine's fist, and he releases its full force upon you! This is likely Chimerstry 6: Dark Phantom.
- I believe he also has Still the Mortal Flesh (dominate 5).
- Sanguine screams with rage as his inner beast consumes him! - this appears to be a frenzy ability that triggers automatically when the vampire is damage at low health.
Vampires are an exceptionally customizable and deep class on Dark Skies. Individual builds can vary from 100% Thug to Spell-Slinging Wizard to Wily Master of Deception/Seduction. The complexity of Vampires is largely in their setup: determining which clan and faction to use, which discipline to choose, and what level of "Beast" to operate at. Execution of your chosen build may or may not be difficult, depending on the complexity of the setup. There are dozens, possibly hundreds, of possible Vampire builds, a majority of which are viable.
There is some room for adjustment of a Vampire's build without the need to detox: while clan and faction are permanent selections, their personal discipline and Beast are resettable with negligible penalties.
Vampires also gain access to more commands/powers as they gain Tiers - I believe this maxes at Tier 6.
NOTE for new vampires: You can't begin researching disciplines until you've trained up your Age!
A vampire must declare their clan as part of the selfclass command (e.g. "selfclass vampire brujah"), and this selection is a permanent choice.
There are five clans, and the selected clan is the biggest determinant of the vampire's build. View "Help Clans" for an in-game list of the clans and their initial power sets.
As of the writing of this section of the article (September 3rd, 2014), there are five clans:
- Assamite - Quietus(P), Obfuscate(?), Celerity(?)
- Brujah - Celerity(P), Potence(5), Presence(3)
- Lasombra - Obtenebration(P), Potence(5), Dominate(3)
- Tzimisce - Vicissitude(P), Auspex(?), Animalism(?)
- Ventrue - Presence(P), Dominate(5), Fortitude(3)
By default, Vampires are allowed to train 6 ranks in their Primary(P) discipline, 5 in a second, and 3 in a third. This, however, may change depending on Faction selection.
There are two Vampire factions in Dark Skies: Camarilla and Sabbat. There are multiple functional differences between these factions within the game.
Camarilla vampires are more human-like, and as a result are able to achieve "Golconda", lowering their Beast to 0. Conversely, they are unable to fully give in to their Beast - their max Beast value is 80. They are also able to pursue the Obeah discipline.
Sabbat vampires are more beast-like, and as a result are able to give in to their Beast (raising their Beast to 100). Conversely, they are unable to fully chain their beast - their minimum Beast value is 20. They are also able to pursue the Serpentis and Obtenebration disciplines. [Note: in-game documentation only lists Serpentis as Sabbat-only, but as per Akurei, Obtenebration is barred from Camarilla vampires]
Membership: Native VS Renegade
Each faction has two "native" clans. Brujah and Ventrue vampires are native to Camarilla, and Tzimisce and Lasombra are native to Sabbat. Assamite vampires belong to neither faction.
Vampires that opt to join their Native clan progress normally - they're allowed to train their Primary(P) discipline up to rank 6, select a Personal Discipline at Tier 2, and gain 1 rank in that Personal Discipline with each Tier, maxing at Rank 5 (Tier 6).
"Renegade" vampires, which opt to join their clan's opposing faction, progress differently. Their Primary(P) discipline instead maxes at Rank 3, but they're allowed to immediately select a Personal Discipline and train that up to Rank 6. [Note: I do not know if further Tiers expand upon the ranks Renegade vampires can train their other disciplines]
Assamite vampires are considered "Native" without selecting a faction. They train Quietus to rank 6, and select a personal discipline of their choice at Tier 2. I suspect they function like Sabbats in terms of Beast, but have not yet confirmed.
Lasombra Renegades function differently as well. A Renegade (Camarilla) Lasombra replaces Obtenebration entirely with Chimerstry, and is allowed to choose a personal discipline immediately and train it to rank 3.
To use Brujahs as an example:
A Camarilla Brujah will, at Tier 1, have Celerity 6, Potence 5, and Presence 3. At Tier 2 they may selection a new Discipline of their choice and train it to Rank 1. At Tier 3, they can train that discipline to Rank 2. Etc.
A Sabbat Brujah will, at Tier 1, have Celerity 3, Potence 5, and Presence 3. They may immediately select a new Discipline of their choice and train it to Rank 6, as well. [Note: I do not yet know if they can train any of these disciplines higher at later tiers]
There are three things Vampires can do with their Inner Beast. They can conquer it, empower it, or neither.
Each individual vampire, however, only has two of those options, based upon their faction. Camarilla vampires may either conquer it or not, and Sabbat/Assamite vampires may either empower it or not.
Conquering the beast involves lowering the Beast stat to 0 by way of the Golconda quest in the Vampire class area. Travel Dominion, then go west, north, north to enter the maze of illusions wherein this quest resides. The forest is a 7x7 maze with shifting exits. The Inconnu vampire who gives the quest resides in the center square.
Golconda lowers the Vampire's blood cap by 100 (down from 2000 to 1900), lowers the amount of blood received by Embrace by 10%, and lowers the blood cost of abilities by 10%. Golconda also offers speed to midround attacks but with lesser damage, offering a more consistency to their midround damage. Chances of the beast taking over is nonexistent, which can be a downside. Over all, Golconda provides a better result for midround focused builds, but ultimately, it is personal preference.
This is only available to Camarilla vampires. Sabbat (and, presumably, Assamite) vampires can participate in the quest, but they cannot lower their Beast past 20.
Empowering the beast involves raising the Beast stat to 100 by way of the Frenzy quest in the Vampire class area. Travel Dominion, then go west, south, south to enter the Courtyard. A Gangrel Vampire resides in the courtyard and will instruct you on how to unleash the Beast.
Unleashing the beast is generally the opposite of Golconda - blood cap raised to 2100, +10% blood received from Embrace, and blood cost of abilities raised by 10%. Damage to Midround attacks tend to generally offer more lag to them, but has higher damage potential, making them more along the line of spike damage than a steady flow. Embracing the beast also allows a chance of raging when health draws low, giving a significant spike to health regeneration and providing extra melee attacks in combat making melee based builds more potent with it's use. Though like with Golconda, it does depend on personal preference.
This is only available to Sabbat (and, presumably, Assamite) vampires. Camarilla vampires can participate in the quest, but they cannot raise their Beast past 80.
Vampires can ignore the Beast quest entirely. The blood cap/cost and embrace modifier scale linearly with the Vampire's Beast stat, so they can raise or lower it in either direction without actually completing either quest. Results can be varied, with higher beast offering higher chance for the beast to take over, increasing emergency regeneration and melee attacks with increased damage and lag to midrounds, controlling the beast more offers more overall regeneration and prevents the beast from taking over, making midrounds quicker but lowering their average damage.
Golconda vampires can use "unchain" to release their Beast, going back up to 1, and then participate in the Frenzy quest to raise it further. Note that it takes a LONG time to raise Beast back up from 1 - it can take 2-3 rogue vampires just to reach Beast 2, let alone 50.
Frenzied vampires can use "chain" to re-harness their Beast, going back down to 99, and then participate in the Golconda quest to lower it further. I don't know if they have similar time penalties for lowering their beast.
Unchain and Chain both reset a Vampire's age down to 0, requiring the Vampire "train age" back up to Trueblood.