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Author Topic: The World of Darkness Thread  (Read 11126 times)

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Offline Braioch

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Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #175 on: December 14, 2012, 06:58:03 AM »
They kinda overdid the metaplot with the Old stuff near the end anyways.

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #176 on: December 14, 2012, 12:46:26 PM »
A Lasombra who leaves the Sabbat is pretty much forced to run to the Camarilla due to a total lack of other options, particularly since he'll almost certainly be Wild Hunted and have not just the entire Lasombra clan, but the entire Sword of Caine after his blood.

What about the Anarchs, if in California?

Offline Two Faced

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #177 on: December 14, 2012, 01:01:36 PM »
Oh, there's a World of Darkness thread. I am going to have a heart attack. A very, very happy heart attack.

I have to admit that my experience is based solely in nWoD, but I've explored pretty much all of it. (At least the books, some of which I can't find players or a more experienced storyteller for.) I am absurdly fond of Changeling, but not a lot of people seem to play it-- I've only run one or two games that stuck to the system. I guess the abstract dealings of it paired with strict, circumstantial catches is a turn off to a lot of people... and I'm told that it's really hard to understand, at first.

I never really had that problem, though...

And then there's V:tM, which everyone seems to be a primary discussion here (from like a three page hop-through) and people eat up like mad. Which, I'll admit, is pretty fun... but it feels almost generic. I've seen vampires a thousand times, and while it's presented in an interesting way-- and they have a lot of interesting twists-- I can't seem to hardcore back it as much as I feel like I should.

Werewolf always seemed cool, but it wasn't something that I've had a chance to really dig my claws into. People seem to favor Vampires time and time again, and whenever someone tries to start a game, it falls apart for some reason or another.

Mage is okay, but it's never really been my style-- maybe I wasn't introduced to it right.

I haven't played with Promethean at all, though there was a running joke about one of my vampire characters having a 'pet' Promethean that started smashing everything if anyone touched his teddy bear.

And Hunter? I have the book for it, but I just never sat down with it... it seems like it could be interesting, but dear lord-- why would you hunt anything in nWoD? Just-- run. Eesh. Oh! And Geist, too, but that's another thing I've just skimmed through.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 01:13:46 PM by Sigma Octantis »

Offline Moraline

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #178 on: December 14, 2012, 01:13:20 PM »
It feels generic because most of the TV shows like True Blood etc.. and all the modern culture literature is based off of V:tM. They literally ripped off and/or directly stole their ideas from it. The writer of the True Blood series admits to being heavily influenced by it.

V:tM was released over 20 years ago. It's had a major impact on pop culture Vampires.

As for Changeling. I like those books too. *pokes your avatar picture*

Offline Two Faced

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #179 on: December 14, 2012, 01:16:47 PM »
That's quite possible, but I'm still pretty young-- there's a good chance that V:tM is almost as old as I am. It really does seem like it could have seeped into culture pretty well. By no means is it bad, and I've met some really interesting characters, so... I guess I'm actually pretty happy with it, overall.

And-- shh shh. Don't you poke at him.

...I've actually always had an interest in fae; Changeling really gave me the right doses of fae creatures are not nice in the right way. I don't think I've enjoyed the concept of any dice-based tabletop as much.

Also I edited my post with rambling about different nWoD books and such. Haha...  haaa.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 01:22:44 PM by Sigma Octantis »

Offline Moraline

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #180 on: December 14, 2012, 01:22:33 PM »
I saw that little update.

You know personally, I never could get into Mage either. I liked a lot of the concepts and stuff. However, I guess I was attracted to the other games because I didn't want to play a human character and mages are just humans to me. Also they feel to fantasy setting like for me as if I was still playing a sword and sorcery game. Lots of people like the books though. Just not my personal thing.

Do you watch True Blood? I like the way they did Faeries in that series. I know the show has it's problems but I still enjoy it.

Offline Two Faced

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #181 on: December 14, 2012, 01:27:05 PM »
I understand that, totally. I think I burn myself out on humans in written, non-system roleplays so... bring on the strange? Haha. I almost wish I did like Mage more, it has a lot of potential to expand... but all WoD books do, I guess.


I watched up to season.. three?-- of True Blood. I don't know, it was really only beginning to handle all that when I stopped watching it. It might actually be worth a re-watch-- it's been awhile.

That said, I did a bit of freehand research on it, I'm just not sure if I grasp it all the way.

Offline Geeklet

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #182 on: December 14, 2012, 01:32:50 PM »
Speaking of mage, if I could take the metaplot from the old Mage, do away with all the funky mechanics of spellcasting, and insert the stats and mechanical aspects of the new Mage, I'd be a happy Geeklet.

Offline Two Faced

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #183 on: December 14, 2012, 01:39:51 PM »
I don't really know about any particularly funky mechanics in Mage... You're referencing the old one, right? They didn't carry them over into the new Mage... right? Or am I skipping some important part of spellcasting? (Because that would probably change a lot.)

Offline Geeklet

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #184 on: December 14, 2012, 01:43:47 PM »
Yeah, the spellcasting in old mage (the Ascension) always left me slightly confused as to what I could and couldn't do. In Awakening, you still have spheres, but its much more clearcut on what they do at each levels. There is still room for improvised magic, stuff that isn't directly listed in the book, but its much easier to figure out what is needed now.

Offline Two Faced

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #185 on: December 14, 2012, 01:48:53 PM »
Oh. What's wrong with using a vague system? Sure, characters will take advantage of it, but that kind of creativity is half of the fun for me. Plus, it allows different ways to play your character-- you know, make them think and function different from another. It seems like Mage should be looser.

Actually, hindsight alerts me to how rigid all nWoD is within certain boundaries.. but I guess you can't really build a good system around things that you can't measure out.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #186 on: December 14, 2012, 05:33:17 PM »
Primarily because it removes a lot of the point in using a system at all. When playing Old Mage, it literally had no effect what type of magic you were specialized in (and what types of magic you were banned from), the only thing that mattered was how persuasive you were OOC in convincing your Storyteller to let you use the type of magic you were good at in a certain way to create an effect that would normally require a completely different kind of magic.

New Mage is still very flexible, but it's more rigid in classes of effects...a death spell needs the Death Sphere, healing needs Life, and so on, with Improvised Casting for making up spells on-the-fly and combined spheres for combo effects.

Offline Two Faced

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #187 on: December 14, 2012, 06:02:56 PM »
That seems more like the Storyteller's responsibility in than the books-- as with all system books, they're usually just meant to be guidelines-- particularly considering how WoD is very big on creating personalized characters. I'll admit that, without knowing or understanding the old system, that the concept of creatively using magic sounds way more interesting to me than laying out a single specific path... at the same time, you should never be able to pull anything you want off, which may be the problem there?

It actually sounds like the new system is loose enough to get away with and rigid enough to hold structure (I should probably thumb through and look into them more,) but I'm still not entirely sure I understand the problem that the old.

It's just too easy to abuse, right? Rather than come up with creative answers and strategies, it's just twisting things until at an unrecognizable (and absurd?) point? Because... that seems like general player abuse-- you know, you get smartasses making broken characters for all tabletops-- and seems like it falls in the Storyteller's lap to police? I don't know; I've always taken a very flexible approach to Storytelling and DMing and such with tabletops, so maybe that's where I'm failing to see eye to eye on this.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #188 on: December 14, 2012, 06:10:13 PM »
I think that was the issue - the books implicitly sanctioned arguing your way into getting a desired effect, while simultaneously emphasizing how each of the spheres was supposed to be different in what it could accomplish. The end result was openings for twisty players to get what they want and for inexperienced or uncertain STs to be bullied into something, because the book was telling them two different things at the same time. If you weren't an expert, you wouldn't even know how to judge if something was fair or not, and the books were no help in advising you on this topic. It was mechanically flawed, because if you could weasel, say, your Time sphere into being used to duplicate any magical effect, any faction/tradition that didn't favor Time was at a disadvantage and created a disconnect between the mechanics and the story they were supposedly being used to create. Repeat for all the Spheres, so the point of having any rules at all instead of playing freeform collapsed in favor of being a player who could BS their way into doing their best magic at all times
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 06:13:30 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline Two Faced

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #189 on: December 14, 2012, 06:33:06 PM »
Okay, that I understand. Thanks for explaining!

I feel like that's something someone should have caught in beta, though... ah, well. At least they got around to fixing it in nWoD instead of leaving it unchecked. The things that make games unpleasant for Storytellers are the worst because then you start to lose the people who want to run your games (and lose players when they're not STing, too,) and it seems like players don't always understand that.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #190 on: December 14, 2012, 06:39:15 PM »
The era of OWoD's height was one that emphasized roleplaying over mechanics anyways...they didn't put much effort into playtesting (or even proofreading every so often), because of the cultural bias.

Offline SkynetTopic starter

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #191 on: December 14, 2012, 06:45:11 PM »
The era of OWoD's height was one that emphasized roleplaying over mechanics anyways...they didn't put much effort into playtesting (or even proofreading every so often), because of the cultural bias.

Sadly, some designers today still see these things as a zero-sum game.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #192 on: December 14, 2012, 06:50:46 PM »
Probably because they learned how to game (and "design" - looking at you, SKR) during that era, and now they're at the helm of the sinking ship. I find it a more common phenomenon in players, though, either because they also started RPGs under that mindset and never lost it, or they learned from games created by said designers.

Offline Two Faced

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #193 on: December 14, 2012, 06:54:03 PM »
That doesn't really make a lot of sense-- personal standpoint, I would always value roleplaying over mechanics, but you need a solid system to build off of. You can't really toss it to the wind and let it go free-for-all-- as much as I'd like to say that it would be fair and balanced and fun and all that, it would get abused for individual player's personal gain, and that would just collapse upon itself...

I don't get that much, either, and I'm-- well, I have to admit that I don't really understand the concept of a zero-sum game to begin with; a quick research into it didn't leave me with much of an understanding of the term so I'm just going to keep my head ducked on that one, haha...

Offline Moraline

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #194 on: December 14, 2012, 07:02:34 PM »
That doesn't really make a lot of sense-- personal standpoint, I would always value roleplaying over mechanics, but you need a solid system to build off of. You can't really toss it to the wind and let it go free-for-all-- as much as I'd like to say that it would be fair and balanced and fun and all that, it would get abused for individual player's personal gain, and that would just collapse upon itself...

I find that an interesting statement on a website where the largest portion of role playing occurs in the Freeform (non-system) forums.

*edit* I think you had it right with your first statement, "I would always value roleplaying over mechanics..."
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 07:05:12 PM by Moraline »

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #195 on: December 14, 2012, 07:05:57 PM »
It's more of a cultural bias, like I said. Partly, the design conceit that 'real players' don't need good mechanics, since they're too busy roleplaying. And then there's what is called the Stormwind Fallacy among D&D players, the fallacious idea that a mechanically powerful character must be a poorly roleplayed one, and a mechanically weak character will be a well-roleplayed one.

The whole point is that it doesn't make sense. But it happened, and still happens uncomfortably often.

I find that an interesting statement on a website where the largest portion of role playing occurs in the Freeform (non-system) forums.
Most of those aren't 'games', though, but collaborative writing works/stories. The overlap with a freeform RPG is very close, but the mindset that drives each of them is a very different beast. Plus, a good portion of the freeform stories here are 1v1 instead of group games, which also brings a different attitude.


I think a better general statement would be 'prioritize good roleplaying over mechanics, but if you're going to use mechanics, make sure they're good mechanics. No mechanics is better than bad ones.'

Offline Moraline

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #196 on: December 14, 2012, 07:24:02 PM »
The whole point is that it doesn't make sense. But it happened, and still happens uncomfortably often.
Most of those aren't 'games', though, but collaborative writing works/stories. The overlap with a freeform RPG is very close, but the mindset that drives each of them is a very different beast. Plus, a good portion of the freeform stories here are 1v1 instead of group games, which also brings a different attitude.


I think a better general statement would be 'prioritize good roleplaying over mechanics, but if you're going to use mechanics, make sure they're good mechanics. No mechanics is better than bad ones.'

I disagree with most of this.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #197 on: December 14, 2012, 07:25:10 PM »
Such as?


Offline Two Faced

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #198 on: December 14, 2012, 07:36:25 PM »
I find that an interesting statement on a website where the largest portion of role playing occurs in the Freeform (non-system) forums.

*edit* I think you had it right with your first statement, "I would always value roleplaying over mechanics..."

Well, yes, but I think that's where there's a big difference. If it's just two people, it's easier to accomplish a lot of things that would otherwise ruin it. For instance, you can get what you want out of your individual character, but it's usually discussed first. Likewise, the overall telling of any story is discussed here-- while in a tabletop game, you don't know what's coming because it's always supposed to keep you on your feet and keep you from metagaming.

With group games, as system games often are, there's a competitive edge and no time to discuss what your character is going to do constantly, as well. That puts a small stunt on roleplaying-- you are always, in one way or another, going to step on another player's toes with some action. Mechanics are good because it keeps things from becoming painfully steamrolled by one character or battled for by more-- not that this doesn't happen, but man do players get neglected in non-system group games a lot.

Offline Moraline

Re: The World of Darkness Thread
« Reply #199 on: December 14, 2012, 08:15:41 PM »
Most of those aren't 'games', though, but collaborative writing works/stories.
It really depends on how you define what a game is. It sounds to me like your referring to competition as a game. Having strict rules for competition makes sense but you don't have to have a competition for something to be a game. So rules, good or bad are not a necessity for a creative game to take place. IE: The act of participating in a game involving or where the focus is role playing.

The overlap with a freeform RPG is very close, but the mindset that drives each of them is a very different beast.
It really is more about the mindset of the players then it is the game itself. You are correct, which is why systems/rules are not really needed (they are optional.) You don't have to have that mindset to play an RPG (tabletop or otherwise.)

I'm not a competitive person and I value creativity over competition. As a result of that, rules have only as much meaning to me as I want them to.

I can Freeform then turn around and play with hard rules in the same game/same setting without it making a difference. My friends and I often used to do this when we'd take long road trips. We'd skip the dice, skip the rules and just freeform our role playing until we decided to pick the dice back up. If at all.

Now I'm not saying that you can completely do away with rules.. I'm just saying that the kinda rules that are involved in a "system" are not necessary.

The way for this to work, simply involves trusting your storyteller/GM's judgement and for the players to respect each other.

Plus, a good portion of the freeform stories here are 1v1 instead of group games, which also brings a different attitude.

I looked through the group games in several of the different categories here. Most of them look freeform to me. I see, magic, super heroes, fantasy settings, and lots of others that are all freeform/non-system.

So your wrong on that entirely.

Not to mention that fact that the system games themselves tend to not use the actual systems very much at all anyways. So it seems the ability of a system to function or not, if it's broken or not, doesn't matter much because people here at least don't really abide by them anyhow.

I think a better general statement would be 'prioritize good roleplaying over mechanics, but if you're going to use mechanics, make sure they're good mechanics. No mechanics is better than bad ones.'

I think good mechanics are nice to have but bad or good, a good GM/Storyteller should have no problem working with them.

I've been told by a number of people here on the forums how horrible the Palladium system is, yet I never had a problem with it in all my years of play. I never had a complaint from any of my players. No one ever complained about the system.. or any system that we ever played it. We laughed occasionally at some odd discrepancies in various systems but good or bad, the systems never made much of a difference to us as players or GM's(story tellers.)

So the only thing I really agree with is, "prioritize good roleplaying over mechanics."

Well, yes, but I think that's where there's a big difference. If it's just two people, it's easier to accomplish a lot of things that would otherwise ruin it. For instance, you can get what you want out of your individual character, but it's usually discussed first. Likewise, the overall telling of any story is discussed here-- while in a tabletop game, you don't know what's coming because it's always supposed to keep you on your feet and keep you from metagaming.

With group games, as system games often are, there's a competitive edge and no time to discuss what your character is going to do constantly, as well. That puts a small stunt on roleplaying-- you are always, in one way or another, going to step on another player's toes with some action. Mechanics are good because it keeps things from becoming painfully steamrolled by one character or battled for by more-- not that this doesn't happen, but man do players get neglected in non-system group games a lot.

I think this is the problem. There's some assumptions here.

1) Your assuming that people discuss stories in advance. That's not always the case. I know lots of people that respect each other and trust each other enough to enjoy the surprise of elements in a role play - on forum or in table top. I've done both for years. I've never had a problem.

2) Good role players don't metagame on purpose. Bad role players are usually just naive of how to role play and again, don't do it on purpose - they just don't know what they've done is wrong.

I rarely run into people that meta game on purpose in most role playing settings. If it happens, it's almost always by accident. Of course there is the occasional childish person that does it for various reasons but those people have been far and few in between in my experience. People just have a tendency to make a big dramatic deal out of it when it happens. It's better to stay calm, find out why it happened and help the person to not do it, or remove them from the game.

3) Group role play or One on One(duet) role play makes no difference. As I stated  in my other responses above, there are lots of games taking place right here right now that are Freeform (more freeform then system games actually - just go look.)

4) Competition. I can see why people would like a system for competition. I never had that issue myself where a system was necessary but I did play with some really great groups of people throughout my many years of table top gaming. I've come to see that many people here have not shared that same good fortune of having good players to share games with.

However, don't make the mistake of assuming that a system is necessary for competition either. You said so yourself in an earlier post when talking about it being the Storyteller's(GM) responsibility to keep things in line and make it work fluidly. That's how I always approached my role playing and it's pretty much worked for me. Respect each other as players and go with the flow when things happen and most of the time it'll work out. A few good rules help but there's a difference between a few rules and an entire system of them.

As you also stated in an earlier post. Even the creators of those RPG systems usually state in the opening pages of their books that their system is a guideline only and encourage the players/GM's to do what they wish. So if that's the case then does it really matter if the system is flawed or broken in some way?


Now I admit, I agree with both of you about some issues that take place where having a good solid system can avoid those circumstances. Player conflicts do happen but we are all adults or in the case of younger table top gamers - they are all friends. If I have a conflict i a street game of basketball, I don't suddenly whip out a rule book and start dictating rules. We all know the basics.. a system isn't really necessary unless your just learning the game.

It also feels like we as players/GM's use the system as a crutch more often then use it for resolution of those issues. If the system doesn't work, it seems like many here, for some reason go into a panic and toss out the whole game instead of seeing past it to the good role playing possibilities.

It's only my opinion but there is far too much of a competition /battle simulation focus on system gaming.  That or everyone wants to earn their XP points, get the best stats, roll the best dice, so on and so forth.

I'll keep my personal focus on role playing.