Please read through this, v5 Dominate in relation to v20 Dominate is quite different.
Discipline restrictions to all powers:
- Eye contact is required, if the victim is actively or intentionally avoiding eye contact, it will be a roll to catch their eyes; and eye contact must be maintained for the duration of the use. The victim must be able to understand the language spoken regardless of exceptions.
- Mass Manipulate: They must be able to see the eyes of the user. If someone is not looking or cannot hear while using it, this would not affect them.
- Exception: Irresistible Voice, Telepathy, and Dementation do not require eye contact. Dementation requires a conversation to be happening.
- Dominate overall cannot be used for anything related to sexual actions or replacing feeding rolls, as this is a form of SA. It will not be allowed.
Levels of Dominate commands
Compel does simple commands; Mezmerize allows more complex commands but needs more attention from the victim; submerged directive powers up mezmerize to allow for delayed triggers; and rationalize powers up all Dominate commands as does Terminal decree.
Compel: short simple sentences, instant actions
“Give me your keys”
“Drop the gun”
Mezmerize: Complex commands can’t be done in say a gun fight or a rock concert, but ambient bar music or a kazoo is fine.
“Take out the cigarette and put it in my mouth”
“Walk to my car, turn it on, and then take it around the block”
“Get of that car, go in the closet, and don’t move from that spot”
Submerged Directive: This lets the character implant one command in a person that can trigger later, and does allow for recognizing things and time. The dominated person recognizes that trigger sets off the submerged command; and then they become mindless, per the usual Dominate conditions, while carrying out the task.
Prepared or Unprepared Mortal:
If it’s against a mortal (this includes ghouls) who is unthreatened and unaware of what vampires are, then there is no resistance roll. If it is a mortal who has been threatened, or is on guard due to recent actions, there is a resistance roll. If there is harm in the command, there is always a resistance roll.
Vampires and Dominate:
There are two key details here. The first is if the victim of Dominate is a lower generation they can spend willpower to ignore a command for that turn. The second is that the beast inside the vampire is all about control; there is no option to choose to fail a Dominate command because the beast will always challenge it.
Levels of Harm:
Dominate has limits depending on the harm to the victim. At the lower levels of minor physical harm and social harm, the victim will always have a chance to fight back mentally. It will result in a contested roll even with unprepared mortals. When it comes to minor physical harm it can be contested but carried through, but major obvious harm you need terminal decree to force the victim to follow your command.
Social harm is defined as hurting your public image, not to just one person but to the wider public. Think of social statements or actions that carry heavy social ramifications. Being embarrassed on a date you will never see again isn’t enough, getting fired for inappropriate conduct is.
Social Harm – “Disrobe in public”, ”Tell your wife ‘I want a divorce’”, “make out with your boss”, “Urinate”
Minor Physical Harm – “Bite your lip” “Slap yourself” ‘Bite your tongue” “Step on a lego”
Serious Physical Harm – , “Shoot yourself”, “jump off that building,” “Play in traffic” “Drink this poison” “Drink my blood” “Hit yourself in the balls” (unless they are kindred)
Erasing someone’s mind in clear and present danger
-”You aren’t in in a gunfight, this is a block party”
-”You don’t see my coterie mate murdering everyone and you next”
-”Forget” (When you literally have a gun to their head)
(Of course if the danger has passed, you are free to erase their minds as you see fit)
Dominate even with Terminal Decree can’t replace a feeding roll.
While the book does say the target doesn’t think, the target still has contextual clues of the situation. Think of the person being put on autopilot of sorts. A guard will open a door if he knows how, a man will go towards the direction of home if commanded, etc.
Completing commands: The victim is in a dream-like state where they follow the commands in the best way they can interpret it. They will follow the directive as their main priority, they won’t yell or attack during a command for example. They will realize they did something without thinking as an afterthought. They may question why they did as a kindred asked when they completed the task. They will not automatically know it was supernatural unless they are repeatedly exposed or know of dominate. Rationalization is the power that allows them to follow commands without question..
For the command “go home”, if the victim has no reason to return after leaving (which this power would end after a turn or change of scene), the victim would continue going home. In the case where they have a reason to be at that location and they have left, for example security guard on a shift, they would return to the location when it wears off. The only exception is having rationalize and them believing they have left for a reason (shift has ended).
A command of “Don’t move” doesn’t work as you want as they would stop blinking and/or breathing and once it enters harm the ability would break, if you’re intending to have a victim not leave their spot instead use “Don’t leave that spot” or something along those lines.
A command of “Follow the van” would work but only if it’s meeting the requirements based on the discipline of either within a turn or within a scene (changing areas constitutes scene changes). Having them follow your van from a parking lot to an alleyway would work, but going from downtown to Capitol Hill will not.
“Read this” with the intention of them understanding the content, if you use this they are auto pilot reading.
“Tell me what you know” They will repeat “What you know”
“Do my homework” They will be unable to accomplish this task.
“Go to that building right there”
“Get into that van”
“Close the door”
“Read this paper to me”