2-dot power Arms of Ahriman is the signature power of the Lasombra, allowing them to create shadow tentacles that attack their foes – except in V5 this power seems weaker than a punch.
The way I understand the power is as follows:
- Vampire makes a Rouse Check (possibly gaining a Stain from 1-10 rule).
- Vampire spends a whole round summoning shadowy tentacles. These have 3 health levels, can be hurt by bright light and attack using vampire’s Wits+Oblivion – but if there’s more than one tentacle this pool needs to be split using normal rules. The tentacles gain half Potence as bonus damage.
- On each subsequent round vampire can attack a foe to grapple, deal superficial damage etc. at distance, provided the arms can reach. The vampire can do nothing else or the power dissipates.
So the dice pool scales with Attribute+Discipline and gets half Potence as extra damage, requires a full round to activate, threatens Stains and prevents doing anything else. For comparison, throwing a punch scales with Attribute+Skill, gets full Potence as extra damage, can be split the same way, doesn’t threaten Stains, can’t be interrupted etc. Using a gun damages at range just like these tentacles, except it’s a flat +1-3 damage rather than depending on Potence.
This seems underwhelming for what is a 2-dot Amalgam with Potence 2. Signature Gangrel ability, Feral Claws, deals unhalved superficial damage at the same 2-dot place, with no downsides. This power is perhaps comparable to Dominate 2: Mesmerize, but even than doesn’t threaten Stains and has the extra power of triggering Compulsions.
I find it quite confusing as to why this power is so underwhelming. Am I reading it wrong? Am I missing something? I can’t believe this is what my favourite clan’s signature ability can do.