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Author Topic: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.  (Read 24708 times)

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Offline Black Howling

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Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #175 on: September 29, 2011, 01:27:05 PM »
Not really.. you could set the tone of your own games pretty good. :D
My vampire game was about city politics and a centuries old feud between a Giovanni Elder, his 'illegitimate' Childe (technically a Caitiff, but how many 8th Gen Caitiff are there) with a good side war of the Tremere chantry wanting both their grimoires.

Add in small things like the Sabbat trying to make an incursion, a 'small' invasion of redcaps (my own make based on the ones in Matt Wagner's Mage) and a few other things.
So, just one of those things that sounds suffocating when you think to hard or aren't creative enough? Like Exalted's setting.

Offline meikle

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #176 on: September 29, 2011, 01:53:29 PM »
World of Darkness still seems stifling to me.

I mean, the default assumption of the game seems to be, to take Callie's example, that all of those kinds of things are going on ... and the PCs are playing 13th generation nobodies that can't meaningfully confront any of the major characters in the events unfolding.

Even the CRPG, Vampire: the Masquerade: Bloodlines: Colons had this whole thing going on; the game was excellent, but the entire plot could be summarized as "sucks to be you, newbie."

There's one scene where you're dealing with the vampire in charge of the city.  If you try to tell him you're not willing to work with him, he literally just mind controls you so that all of your responses to his command are agreement.

That scene basically summarizes the old World of Darkness in my mind.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 01:57:36 PM by meikle »

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #177 on: September 29, 2011, 02:12:26 PM »
World of Darkness still seems stifling to me.

I mean, the default assumption of the game seems to be, to take Callie's example, that all of those kinds of things are going on ... and the PCs are playing 13th generation nobodies that can't meaningfully confront any of the major characters in the events unfolding.

Even the CRPG, Vampire: the Masquerade: Bloodlines: Colons had this whole thing going on; the game was excellent, but the entire plot could be summarized as "sucks to be you, newbie."

There's one scene where you're dealing with the vampire in charge of the city.  If you try to tell him you're not willing to work with him, he literally just mind controls you so that all of your responses to his command are agreement.

That scene basically summarizes the old World of Darkness in my mind.

Actually in my game the players weren't 13th gen nobodies, even the 13th gen folks.

We had a setite who was all about building up a network of contacts..she pulled it off. Started with the morgue and had a trio of ghouls in the morgue, blackmailed the new chief of police and hijacked the local bloodbank from one of the Brujah elders.. (actually she set up a new one and undercut the elders)

One of the players wound up being the 'Sheriff' of the city, after he killed the prior one when it turned out he was backing a Sabbat attempt to take the city. Another wound up being her Elder's rep in the city, after the current rep showed his true colors and ran during the same event.

The trick with Vampire is put the players in a spot where they can succeed as well.. then slowly reveal that the 'win' might not be as big as they thought.. or puts them in a position they have to defend.

The Gangrel wound up being the 'go to guy' for territorial beefs (Sheriff), the Setite had to make deals to keep her growing network (as well as stab her sire in the back during the Sabbat event to keep them for herself), The Toredor wound up having to spend more time in Elysium and learning what a roaring bitch the elder could be. (She was a prima dona of epic proportions) and the Catiff of the group had to defend his territory from a trio of Brujah Anarchs. (He was given six blocks around his dojo)

Offline meikle

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #178 on: September 29, 2011, 02:18:51 PM »
Just because you run your game contrary to what the game assumes doesn't change the assumption. :p

I didn't mean to imply that your game followed that outline; just that the game itself seems to assume that given your outline, the PCs would be characters who are not very important.  It does this by assuming that PCs will be fresh vampires in locations that are already established (like Chicago.)

If you're playing in, say, Chicago, the only way a 13th generation, freshly-turned character is going to become Sheriff is if the game is intentionally twisted in favor of that happening.

Anyone can deviate from the game's assumptions, and I'm not saying you shouldn't.  But the way the game presents itself is the basis of my criticism.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 02:20:09 PM by meikle »

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Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #179 on: September 29, 2011, 02:21:41 PM »
Not all of the Shifting Races were 'Tech bad!'  You had the Glass-Walkers, who were tech-friendly Garou, and the Corvids seemed to get along pretty well with modern civilization.

I tended to see the oWoD setting as sort of a Mafia-type world:  Yes, there were the 'dons' that were beyond your ability to influence, but you still have a whole network of underlings (like you) that you can exert influence on, call hits on, cut deals with, and so on.

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #180 on: September 29, 2011, 02:26:21 PM »
Just because you run your game contrary to what the game assumes doesn't change the assumption. :p

I didn't mean to imply that your game followed that outline; just that the game itself seems to assume that given your outline, the PCs would be characters who are not very important.  It does this by assuming that PCs will be fresh vampires in locations that are already established (like Chicago.)

If you're playing in, say, Chicago, the only way a 13th generation, freshly-turned character is going to become Sheriff is if the game is intentionally twisted in favor of that happening.

Anyone can deviate from the game's assumptions, and I'm not saying you shouldn't.  But the way the game presents itself is the basis of my criticism.


Uh..the 13th Gen wasn't the Sherrif, he was a 9th gen Gangrel (with a century of life) and the stuff they put in the storyteller's book was easily summed up by this. It's your world.. play it your way.

If the players don't have fun, in whatever way they can, you'll not be playing it long. I made the players invest in the game and by doing so, they had fun. If it's not fun..why play.


Offline meikle

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #181 on: September 29, 2011, 02:33:48 PM »
Right, I'm not going to engage "change what you want to make it fun", because that's obvious and also not a very useful point -- I'm not arguing that you can't change things to make your game work for you.  I'm arguing that the setting presented by the VtM books -- the setting where the default character is not a 100 year old, 9th generatio  gangrel but a <1 year old 13th generation whatever -- is a stifling one.

Yes, you can ignore the parts that make it stifling.  That doesn't mean they're not stifling, it just means you're ignoring them.

edit: but if I wanted to play a game that didn't use the normal setting assumptions, I'd probably just use VTR.  I like it better. :p
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 02:49:35 PM by meikle »

Offline Black Howling

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Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #182 on: September 29, 2011, 03:02:21 PM »
Right, I'm not going to engage "change what you want to make it fun", because that's obvious and also not a very useful point -- I'm not arguing that you can't change things to make your game work for you.  I'm arguing that the setting presented by the VtM books -- the setting where the default character is not a 100 year old, 9th generatio  gangrel but a <1 year old 13th generation whatever -- is a stifling one.

Yes, you can ignore the parts that make it stifling.  That doesn't mean they're not stifling, it just means you're ignoring them.

edit: but if I wanted to play a game that didn't use the normal setting assumptions, I'd probably just use VTR.  I like it better. :p
So your issue with VTM is most people's issue(beyond the mechanics)with Exalted. How the base assumption is "you are a newly exalted Solar who will try to stay under the wyld hunt radar, while you bolster your strength to change the world' ideal. I can't count how many people I've heard gripe about essential enemies, and how it quickly turns into to this.

 "I challenge you, Dark Lord of the yellow Sign." "Oh really now?" Proceeds to join battle, and then starts off with 'Newb pwning prana' and then finishes with 'it'll take you a thousand years to comprehend this attack' combo "What was that again?"

If that's similar to the stifling you speak of, then I think a lot of people would share your view.

PS: And the comment about VTR is a little unwarranted besides as a preference, as the base setting for NWOD is very different, mainly because it's made to flex to the needs of the players(ST included). Which is likely why the setting is seen as so inferior, it has less detail to it because of this.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 03:04:51 PM by Black Howling »

Offline Plot Hooks

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #183 on: September 29, 2011, 03:04:22 PM »
Couldn't you buy up your Gen at character creation?

Offline meikle

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #184 on: September 29, 2011, 03:08:26 PM »
Couldn't you buy up your Gen at character creation?
You could, but generation without experience wasn't a major benefit except at the highest point (I think 8th was the highest it goes at chargen, and that's when you can use 2 blood points per turn.)

Quote
"I challenge you, Dark Lord of the yellow Sign." "Oh really now?" Proceeds to join battle, and then starts off with 'Newb pwning prana' and then finishes with 'it'll take you a thousand years to comprehend this attack' combo "What was that again?"

Essentially, except it's not hard to make a fairly defensively competent Solar at character creation.  It's more not really possible to make a starting Vampire who can survive against someone with a century worth of XP (especially when you have things like Dominate, where if you don't want to buy 5 dots of Generation, you have no real defensive recourse, or where someone with 4 dots of Celerity just gets to an extra action on top of you ever turn, etc etc).  VtM has absolutely no interest in presenting a game with anything resembling mechanical balance -- and I know that's why some people love it, but I don't like it too much. :p

Quote
PS: And the comment about VTR is a little unwarranted besides as a preference, as the base setting for NWOD is very different, mainly because it's made to flex to the needs of the players(ST included). Which is likely why the setting is seen as so inferior, it has less detail to it because of this.

That's actually my point: if I wanted to play a vampire game and I wasn't going to be playing it explicitly for the setting portrayed in VtM, I wouldn't use VtM at all.  I'd use VtR: I like the setting and the system better.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 03:10:41 PM by meikle »

Offline Black Howling

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Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #185 on: September 29, 2011, 03:10:48 PM »
You could, but generation without experience wasn't a major benefit except at the highest point (I think 8th was the highest it goes at chargen, and that's when you can use 2 blood points per turn.)

Essentially, except it's not hard to make a fairly defensively competent Solar at character creation.  It's more not really possible to make a starting Vampire who can survive against someone with a century worth of XP.

That's actually my point: if I wanted to play a vampire game and I wasn't going to be playing it explicitly for the setting portrayed in VtM, I wouldn't use VtM at all.  I'd use VtR: I like the setting and the system better.
Yeah, but try to make a solar who can stand up against someone with 500+ centuries. As such dragonblooded and sidereals are abundant. It's storyteller dependent at that point, much as I imagine it would be in VTM; except to a little larger scale. Since, you know, Exalts can range in the thousands.
With the exception of Dragon Blooded.

Offline meikle

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #186 on: September 29, 2011, 03:14:13 PM »
I think you and I have had this argument before, though -- at the very least, an Exalt with a perfect defense + surprise negator will last ten rounds or so and have an opportunity to defend themself or find a way out (even if it's going to go one way or another int he end).  Not so much with vampire.

Offline Black Howling

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Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #187 on: September 29, 2011, 03:18:44 PM »
I think you and I have had this argument before, though -- at the very least, an Exalt with a perfect defense + surprise negator will last ten rounds or so and have an opportunity to defend themself or find a way out (even if it's going to go one way or another int he end).  Not so much with vampire.
I also think the word 'argument' is why you tended to take the discussion too seriously then. Argument implies someone is not only disagreeing, but is upset about it. Debating would be the term I would prefer. I also mentioned that it seemed the same, though on a larger scale considering power level ratio, on VTM. So I fail to see how your reasoning that they'd make it for a few ticks is relevant, as I already mentioned the varying degrees.

Offline Plot Hooks

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #188 on: September 29, 2011, 03:22:02 PM »
The thing abOut the Exalted argument is that I can build a starting character who could kick the ass of anything short if an Essence 7 lunar elder.   In RPG terms, that's hardly stifling, considering most starting characters in the majority of other systems can be killed by a dude with a pocket knife.

Offline Black Howling

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Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #189 on: September 29, 2011, 03:29:17 PM »
The thing abOut the Exalted argument is that I can build a starting character who could kick the ass of anything short if an Essence 7 lunar elder.   In RPG terms, that's hardly stifling, considering most starting characters in the majority of other systems can be killed by a dude with a pocket knife.
I suppose you could say that, but I've never seen it happen. This may not strike you as a good excuse, but I don't use the predetermined characters in the book. And I've also seen 'big exalted builds' get killed at starting level way too easily, typically because they thought they were too strong to be careful. Statistically speaking, you must have been fighting very poorly built NPC's. I've never seen anyone defeat any challenge i presented without expending massive resources of motes, and being close to death. Assuming it was suppose to be a tough fight anyhow. And my players min max for combat.

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #190 on: September 29, 2011, 03:29:48 PM »
Well I had 'fights' with the PCs and Elders.. Nicholas Giovanni was one of them.. having a 7th gen Giovanni show up to claim one of the player's herd (she had 'tasty blood') ended badly. The Sheriff unloaded a double barrel of dimes into him..they ran.. wound up parking one of the player's mini-van on his chest.

Then they met Nicholas' enforcer. Augustus the Gargolye. That was a nasty fight.. he opened up by pulling up a man hole cover, not just the lid.. the entire metal fixture and threw it at them.

The trick is in a game with elders isnt' to leave the characters in a corner.. just like when you're playing Mage (or any storyteller game) is to set things up so when they are facing a superior foe to not make it totally impossible for them to win/flee. You would be surprised how creative the players can be when after dropping a 7th gen elder with one shotgun blast to see his 'grunt' brush off 2 bucks in silver dimes without a single wound.

Offline Black Howling

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Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #191 on: September 29, 2011, 03:31:54 PM »
Well I had 'fights' with the PCs and Elders.. Nicholas Giovanni was one of them.. having a 7th gen Giovanni show up to claim one of the player's herd (she had 'tasty blood') ended badly. The Sheriff unloaded a double barrel of dimes into him..they ran.. wound up parking one of the player's mini-van on his chest.

Then they met Nicholas' enforcer. Augustus the Gargolye. That was a nasty fight.. he opened up by pulling up a man hole cover, not just the lid.. the entire metal fixture and threw it at them.

The trick is in a game with elders isnt' to leave the characters in a corner.. just like when you're playing Mage (or any storyteller game) is to set things up so when they are facing a superior foe to not make it totally impossible for them to win/flee. You would be surprised how creative the players can be when after dropping a 7th gen elder with one shotgun blast to see his 'grunt' brush off 2 bucks in silver dimes without a single wound.
Kinda my entire point.

Offline meikle

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #192 on: September 29, 2011, 03:34:05 PM »
I also think the word 'argument' is why you tended to take the discussion too seriously then. Argument implies someone is not only disagreeing, but is upset about it. Debating would be the term I would prefer. I also mentioned that it seemed the same, though on a larger scale considering power level ratio, on VTM. So I fail to see how your reasoning that they'd make it for a few ticks is relevant, as I already mentioned the varying degrees.

Quote
In philosophy and logic, an argument is an attempt to persuade someone of something, by giving reasons or evidence for accepting a particular conclusion.

I take things too seriously when someone tells me that I "take things too seriously".

I can provide more support for my argument, however: VtM assumes that the default game takes place in a Camarilla-held city.  Sabbat and Neutral games are more 'advanced', if that makes sense, covered in supplements.  This means that VtM assumes that my fresh, incompetent character will be surrounded by people who are far more capable and have a vested interest in ensuring that my character is not able to succeed (because if my character is successful, she becomes competition in the city.)

Exalted does not assume that my Solar character starts in a place that has a heavy Exalted population -- quite the opposite, in fact, because there are no places with 'heavy Exalted populations', except the Blessed Isle -- and the only group of Exalted who have an active interest in murdering my character are the ones who are least suited to accomplishing it.

Offline Black Howling

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Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #193 on: September 29, 2011, 03:39:33 PM »
I take things too seriously when someone tells me that I "take things too seriously".

I can provide more support for my argument, however: VtM assumes that the default game takes place in a Camarilla-held city.  Sabbat and Neutral games are more 'advanced', if that makes sense, covered in supplements.  This means that VtM assumes that my fresh, incompetent character will be surrounded by people who are far more capable and have a vested interest in ensuring that my character is not able to succeed (because if my character is successful, she becomes competition in the city.)

Exalted does not assume that my Solar character starts in a place that has a heavy Exalted population -- quite the opposite, in fact, because there are no places with 'heavy Exalted populations', except the Blessed Isle -- and the only group of Exalted who have an active interest in murdering my character are the ones who are least suited to accomplishing it.
Actually the default setting from the way the comics describes it, and even the core book, is the scavenger lands since it's the most thoroughly detailed and assumed. With that knowledge, I'll add that in the seventh legion alone there is over 7,000 dragon blooded and more war striders then the realm has access to. They also did not lose to the bull of the north recently, and so don't have the recent humbling the realm got; thus aren't as afraid to use them.

This also isn't my thoughts, it's the core book's and terrestrial directions 'the scavenger lands' material at work.   

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #194 on: September 29, 2011, 03:43:00 PM »
I take things too seriously when someone tells me that I "take things too seriously".

I can provide more support for my argument, however: VtM assumes that the default game takes place in a Camarilla-held city.  Sabbat and Neutral games are more 'advanced', if that makes sense, covered in supplements.  This means that VtM assumes that my fresh, incompetent character will be surrounded by people who are far more capable and have a vested interest in ensuring that my character is not able to succeed (because if my character is successful, she becomes competition in the city.)

Exalted does not assume that my Solar character starts in a place that has a heavy Exalted population -- quite the opposite, in fact, because there are no places with 'heavy Exalted populations', except the Blessed Isle -- and the only group of Exalted who have an active interest in murdering my character are the ones who are least suited to accomplishing it.


I always thought the Dragon-blooded were fairly skillful at killing Solars. I mean they have numbers, tactics, and when they aren't at each others throats, unity behind them.

Of course I've never had a play by post game of it last more than a month, and most implode before that so my experience in Exalted is sadly low.. to the point I got the 2nd edition core book then stopped when I had four games on RPoL literally implode in the same day with another on EnWorld going in the same week. Seemed like a waste of time after dozens of attempts to make characters to fit in.. only to have my character get booted for being 'redundant' for one reason or another.

Offline Plot Hooks

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #195 on: September 29, 2011, 03:43:50 PM »
Its pretty simple to do, given paranoia combat. With a proper paranoia suit and a 2/7 filter, your fight becomes a battle of mote attrition.  Assuming that as a player, your capitalizing on stunt rewards, you can keep up enough willpower to fuel your combos.  Anything that has more expensive perfects or no perfects is grass unless their mote pool dwarfs yours or you can't penetrate their DV. 

Also, there is no near death in exalted.  Leathality is such that, if you are playing combat optimized, any one hit will splatter molar anything.   You are either dead or not dead, unless you intentionally allow yourself injury for charm benefits.

Offline meikle

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #196 on: September 29, 2011, 03:46:15 PM »
"The scavenger lands" is an area that covers hundreds of thousands of square miles of territory.

The Seventh Legion are not Realm dragonblooded; they are not Exalted who have a reason to want to kill a Solar just for existing.

Quote
I always thought the Dragon-blooded were fairly skillful at killing Solars. I mean they have numbers, tactics, and when they aren't at each others throats, unity behind them.

They are okay at killing Solars who haven't gotten their bearings yet.  There's a reason they send (at minimum) five capable dragon-blooded and hundreds (or thousands) of mortal soldiers after each individual Solar -- and this is for Solars that have only just Exalted.

There's a reason that it took millions of Dragon-Blooded with the backing of the Sidereal host to take out the Solar Deliberative in the First Age, after all (and that was a costly attack!)

Offline Plot Hooks

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #197 on: September 29, 2011, 03:48:25 PM »
Also, as per cannon, the dragon blood host is only 10k strong, world wide IICR.   7th legion is mostly mortals,

Online Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #198 on: September 29, 2011, 03:51:19 PM »
Like I said.. after a dozen imploded attempts I gave up. It was just too disappointing.. particularly since I liked it and the Scion game.. and I've never had either last more than a day or two of actual game time.

Offline Black Howling

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Re: RPGs you want to try but you doubt you'd get your Real Life Group to try.
« Reply #199 on: September 29, 2011, 03:53:30 PM »
"The scavenger lands" is an area that covers hundreds of thousands of square miles of territory.

The Seventh Legion are not Realm dragonblooded; they are not Exalted who have a reason to want to kill a Solar just for existing.

They are okay at killing Solars who haven't gotten their bearings yet.  There's a reason they send (at minimum) five capable dragon-blooded and hundreds (or thousands) of mortal soldiers after each individual Solar -- and this is for Solars that have only just Exalted.

There's a reason that it took millions of Dragon-Blooded with the backing of the Sidereal host to take out the Solar Deliberative in the First Age, after all (and that was a costly attack!)
I love how you ignore the fact that roughly half the dragonblooded sided with the solar during the usurpation, and that all but 12 solars were wiped out in a single night. Also, how many solars were essence ten. Also, the Seventh legion is made up the same way the shogunate was originally, and thus according they hunt solars. Because it was the sidereal run shogunate that originally started it. That's stated in plain terrain, since there is currently a general of the seventh legion hunting her solar daughter.

Also, they would have killed the experienced bull of the north despite his full circle if it wasn't for Lunar's with Celestial circle sorcery intervening. This is documented in the scroll of exalts. Until you get to essence 4+, the dragonblooded are skilled at killing solars. Why do you think not many of few that weren't captured in the jade prison haven't survived. I'm using setting detail for this information, not how personal games or forums indicate it as.
Also, as per cannon, the dragon blood host is only 10k strong, world wide IICR.   7th legion is mostly mortals,
Partially Wrong, the dragon blooded host is 10k strong, meaning the realm, thus the statement of the hegemony of ten thousand dragons. I've read the setting detail of every book, and find it very fascinating. And yes, mostly mortals; but a city that big isn't comprised of just 7k people.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 03:54:46 PM by Black Howling »