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Author Topic: NWOD question  (Read 965 times)

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Offline DizziedTopic starter

NWOD question
« on: November 09, 2009, 07:37:26 PM »
I thought I'd come to the roleplaying experts on this one...me and some friends of mine have been thinking about starting up a game set in the world of darkness, probably a vampire game.  I'm thinking about volunteering as the storyteller, since I have a few ideas pent up for vampires, and the most storytelling experience.  But I'm interested in trying the new world, instead of the old...I've leafed over the core rules and the requiem core book, and from what I can gather, they toned down the power vampires used to have.  Am I seeing things right here, or are my perceptions skew from years of owod?

The game I'd want to run would be an elder vampire game...I've done these before in the old world, but I can't figure out what the official guide book is for this type of game in the new world.  (The old one was 'Elysium', but there doesn't seem to be a modern analog.)  Can anyone offer any help/tips?  Thank you!

Offline Brandon

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2009, 07:07:47 PM »
The powerlevel for the game was toned down completly and with good reason since they wanted to make a more crossover friendly game and allow mortals to join the stories and still be a threat.

Now before I go on I want you to understand that I hate Requim with a passion, Im not sure why but it seems poorly written compared to Werewolf the Forsaken, Mage: The Awakening, and Changeling: The Lost and has few reasons to acctualy play it. If I wanted Cut-throat political play Ild play Werewolf, if I wanted up front combat again I would play werewolf, and if I wanted that feeling of being a monster yet having monsters all around us...well again I would play werewolf.  :P

That all said, the one thing that the NWoD setting has above the older setting is more freedom. You can create any kind of setting you want whether the vampiric society is based around Scientology or Democracy. The old system, IMO, didnt really give those options you only had the Camarilla or sabbat to play with and had no room for other soceities

Offline DizziedTopic starter

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2009, 09:12:16 AM »
I could get around the inherently lower power level by just being really generous with experience.  Although There are still things about the new system that seem outright stifling...but again, I can't help but compare it to the old world.  >_<

I'm not really bothered by the lack of setting choices in the old world.  I'm thinking that this game will start in ancient times and slowly move through the ages.  So the camarilla and sabbat won't exist yet...and when they do, they might be very different from how we know them. 

Offline RubySlippers

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2009, 09:39:52 AM »
On vampire rule most ST toss out is the frenzy chance when meeting a new vampire, it was so stupid. At least when one expects to meet vampires and its not threatening. For example a strange vampire is near or at your haven that is a biggy, meeting a new vampire at a popular nightclub is not nearly as threatening.

I like nWoD just playing normal humans can be a blast, a vampire hunter who just has big guns and lots of the wrong ideas can be amusing.

And supernaturals don't autohate each other a vampire can hang out with werewolves, if the vampire is decent to be around.

Offline Transgirlenstein

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2009, 12:15:14 PM »
I don't know Vampire the Requiem as well as the Masquerade (I love the new games..I love the new system..but I like Vampire the Masquerade much more then Requiem) but I think elder vampires eventually go into torpor, I'm not sure if that would effect an elder game or not.  In other words, they become like Akasha from Queen of the Damned.

Offline Cold Heritage

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2009, 01:28:24 PM »
I was under the impression that torpor was a byproduct of some other restriction - it happened when a vampire got to a certain power level that what they could feed on got really, really specific, and the design assumption was eventually you would never find enough. Then torpor would set in and you'd get weak enough that food would be plentiful again.

Offline Cold Heritage

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2009, 10:35:10 PM »
Ok, I went and asked abroad, and sources knowledgeable about the game say that "Requiem's Chronicler's Guide touches the subject of running a game of vampire as Elders/heads of the city themselves. It basically touches up on how to be Like a Boss and the problems that go with it."

Offline RubySlippers

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2009, 11:02:31 PM »
I was under the impression that torpor was a byproduct of some other restriction - it happened when a vampire got to a certain power level that what they could feed on got really, really specific, and the design assumption was eventually you would never find enough. Then torpor would set in and you'd get weak enough that food would be plentiful again.

That's simple the older a vampire gets the stronger the blood they need eventually needing vampire blood, when that is no longer enough a vampire Torpors. Their blood thins so they can survive on weaker blood but their memories get all screwed up and they have nightmares. Oddly one covenenant the Ordo Dracul has a coil a path of power to avoid this. They can Torpor voluntarily as well to thin their blood as well.

But it adds a new concept the Blood Consort a young vampire chosen to be a food source and lover that shares the Blood Bond with the Elder. And would have all the food sources to keep full as part of his or her background. Good if your Invictus and don't give a crap about politics since your not expected to do more than make the Elder fed and pleased to be around with a relaxing partner. I picture them selected on personality over looks kind of looking for the kind of girl one would introduce ones parents to.

As for an Elder game I would personally not play in one as an Elder, but that is more I'd rather work to get power not have it handed to me in the game.

Offline Transgirlenstein

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2009, 09:26:23 AM »
Quote
But it adds a new concept the Blood Consort a young vampire chosen to be a food source and lover that shares the Blood Bond with the Elder.

Wow, that sounds cool actually.  I might use that in a V:TM game actually..a perfect mouthpiece for an ancient vampire

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2009, 10:04:38 AM »
I just don't get into the nWoD that much. When you can have a mall cop with a 38 kill a vamp it's a bit weird. And I liked the clans of the old game much better.. and all those are gone now sadly.

My favorite OWoD game was Mage.. nothing like messing with the forces of nature for fun and mischief.. had one NPC base on John Constantine from Hellblazer..the players HATED him.
(Of course that comes from him leaving them high and dry on more than one occasion)

Offline Cold Heritage

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2009, 06:45:44 PM »
I just don't get into the nWoD that much. When you can have a mall cop with a 38 kill a vamp it's a bit weird.

You could have that in the oWoD too.

I could never get into Vampire, old or new, and even a lot of White Wolf's games, because their worldview is so misanthropic . . . and yet, you're supposed to portray characters who should feel like that loss of humanity is something to be mourned.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2009, 08:11:37 PM »
You could have that in the oWoD too.

I could never get into Vampire, old or new, and even a lot of White Wolf's games, because their worldview is so misanthropic . . . and yet, you're supposed to portray characters who should feel like that loss of humanity is something to be mourned.

Not with one shot.. bullets didn't do killing damage to vamp in OWoD so it's really hard for a 2 dex 2 gun skill rentacop to blow joe average vamp away in a single shot

Offline Cold Heritage

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2009, 03:56:03 PM »
They don't do killing damage to vamps in nWoD, either. Guns still do bashing to vampires, and it's a lot of bullets for a firearms 2 dex 2 anyone with a pistol to do enough bashing to kill a vamp.

Offline DizziedTopic starter

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2009, 11:48:51 PM »
I like the blood consortium idea.  Sounds like an interesting merit you could allow.  :)

Since I want the game to be really long in scope and big in power, the old world seems more appropriate.  But I think I might take a few pages from the new world.  The need for really ancient vampires to drink kindred blood sounds like an interesting angle. 

Offline Cold Heritage

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2009, 09:44:34 PM »
Probably for the best. The New World of Darkness generally seems to aim to take things down to the micro and focus on smaller scope events.

Offline The Great Triangle

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2009, 03:16:42 PM »
Elder vampires is probobly a bad idea for your fits nWOD game, but if you're used to D&D, it might be a little easier to get used to.  I suggest simply giving characters more dots to build their characters with, rather than giving them gobs of xp, since that will create ungodly headaches during character gen.  (if your players unironically use the word "optimization" just give them xp though, since extra dots will lead to power level disparities)


Vampire the Requiem is actually the mechanically tightest of the nWOD games, though it's also one of the most "emo" games.  One thing people particularly hate is the mind bogglingly stupid frenzy rules, which turn low willpower vampires into uncontrollable animals who thirst for blood and hate other vampires with a fiery passion.  I once played a recently dusted off elder vampire who used those rules as written, and was driven to uncontrollable fury by his inability to control his actions.  (compared to his previous state as a scholar and vampire power broker)

One of the most important things about Vampire the Requiem is that it's a game about the question "what would you do if you became a vampire?"  Be careful around certain players, because for many people the answer to this question is "throw myself into the sun instead of having to live as an unholy mockery of life" and this can bring down your group if everyone isn't on the same page regarding that type of play. 

Elder vampire play is less obsessed with that question, but you still have to deal with the practical realities of being a vampire.  Gruesome descriptions of blood drinking are typically quite important in vampire, and much of gameplay is about what the players will do to get that next fix of superpower generating blood.  By the elder game, a lot of that tension has leaked away, and the game becomes more about what the characters will do to keep the power structure they've painstakingly constructed for themselves standing.

The discipline (cool power) rules are extremely tight though, and blood/blood potency work extremely well.  Just make sure you want to play a game about somewhat angsty vampires perched on the edge of madness, rather than a game about superpowered conspirators by night.   (which might indeed better be served by mage or even exalted, depending on your needs.  Possibly Mutants and Masterminds, if you want to play an rpg with decently written rules.)    Vampire the Masquerade has a higher power level, and deals more with vampires who aren't so freaking crazy.   

If you do run elder vampires, find some way to make it clear to your players that the characters had to WORK and do horrible things to get where they are.  Being a vampire in the nWOD isn't happy or romantic, it's bloody, ugly work that inevitably gets people killed.  No vampire gets to elder level by stalking around drinking from rats (and becoming the carrier of a dozen hobo diseases, not to mention smelling like a sewer) or stalking through allies drinking muggers and rapists dry.  (unless this particular vampire has a very permissive definition of "mugger" and "rapist.")


Elder Vampires are covered in the books "Ancient Mysteries" and "Requiem Chroniclers Guide"   Chronicler's Guide has 1 chapter on them, and Ancient Mysteries is an entire book on them.  (And heavily based on  the idea that, by definition, as an elder, you are an anachronism)  Chronicler's guide mostly contains rules to empower elders, while Ancient Mysteries mostly contains various rules that screw them over just as hard as the frenzy rules screw over neonates. 

The book "Night Horrors: Immortal Sinners"  Also has some writeups of elder vampires, perspectives on what elder vampires actually DO with their lives, and examples of blood potency 6+ discipline effects.  (which are generally insanely unbalanced devotions)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 03:21:58 PM by The Great Triangle »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2009, 12:13:07 AM »
That is why I came up with the Blood Consort character concept I read the game and figured out Elders at that power level where they need vampire blood would be:

a. paranoid of all other vampires

b. need on vampire they can trust

c. it helps if that vampire can function in the modern world

d. would want something centered and normal


In short a vampire they can trust and who can function well in the modern age, and who will let them let their hair down in private and not be an issue for them. I can see both Daeva and oddly Gangrel filling these roles the former just because they are so fraking fun to be with and the later since they are oddly grounded in what they are. In any case the Blood Consort exploits the fundamental weakness in Elders to let a youngster have some serious boost in power for little actual work. But you do get mutually bloodbound to an Elder that is not a small cost. I found in the two cases I run one the roleplaying can be intimate and intnse.

As for Elders covenant matter in the Invictus Elders either are amazingly old or they are younger and brutally get to where they are with bloody claws and fangs. Less so for others but they still have to see and be part of the game to be taken seriously even if Unaligned. In fact an Unaligned Elder who got there did so on their own merits and is often a hugely evil and tough SOB.

Offline Cold Heritage

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2009, 01:28:58 AM »
One of the most important things about Vampire the Requiem is that it's a game about the question "what would you do if you became a vampire?"  Be careful around certain players, because for many people the answer to this question is "throw myself into the sun instead of having to live as an unholy mockery of life" and this can bring down your group if everyone isn't on the same page regarding that type of play. 

Sometimes it's just out of frustration with the personal horror rules White Wolf is so enamoured of.

Offline DizziedTopic starter

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2009, 09:33:59 AM »
Great Triangle:  Thank you for the book references!  I'll be sure to check them out.

 I certainly am worried about making the players understand that they've had to do terrible things to accrue their power.  But aside from the -1 humanity every few centuries, and maybe a few downtime notes, it sounds like a tough job.  In the past, my vampire chronicles get their biggest doses of horror after a challenging scene and everyone is low on blood, on the verge of frenzy.  It's gonna be hard or impossible to do that in this game, where everyone is going to have 30 - 40 blood.  So I'll have to get creative.

Offline The Great Triangle

Re: NWOD question
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2009, 09:39:33 AM »
Just remember to do gruesome blood drinking scenes, even when the players top off.  You can also throw top tier antagonists at the party (high wyrd changelings, werewolf packs, jagglings, slayer geists trying to restore the natural order) almost casually, since they can dust them without substantial risk to themselves.  (especially if you use a house rule that vampires don't go into torpor from lethal damage until the end of the scene)

In my experience, nothing short of over 100 vampires can challenge a well fortified group of elders.  (though that group of elders had accumulated an army of 300,000 soldiers in china, while the Camarilla came after them with an army of 3,000 ghouls, 250 vampires, and 15,000 blood slaves.)

Elders and covenants is something that comes up in Requiem which doesn't have much of a paralell in Masquerade.  Basically, instead of the Camarilla and Sabatt (plus technically anarchs) there are six different factions a vampire can belong to (plus technically VII and Belial's Brood) which influence a vampire's political life a great deal. 

The factions from an elder's perspective:

Invictus: Control more money than Jesus, stand at the top of a silly power structure, drink blood from a wine glass every day?  Why the hell would anyone not want to be invictus?  The handing 1 million dollars to neonates and seeing how much trouble they get into thing is fun too.

Carthians: Why the hell would an elder want to be a Carthian?  You have to respect people, you don't get to be a leader just because you're old, and they keep doing these creepy sing alongs.  On the other hand, they do have pretty good night classes on how to operate these mysterious "ATM" devices I hear so much about.

Lancea Sanctum: Only Elders can draw upon the true power of the Lord most high.  Blot out the sun, launch spears from your eyes, transubstantiate lead into gold (or milk into blood)  It's good to be the antichrist. 

Circle of the Crone: If the Sanctum elders get to be the heirophants, Circle elders get to be pagan gods.  Intensely customized high end magical power, horrific monsters at your beck and call...  Maybe even a scary copse of trees to torment teenagers in.  Just don't get shoved into your own oven.

Ordo Dracul: Endless youth, eternity to plot one's clever machinations...  It's really incredible that Elders don't choose the Ordo Dracul.  If only the hazing rituals weren't so painful and humiliating, trying to make completely and utterly sure those cowardly elders aren't going to use their power to steal the techniques of the ordo dracul to evade torpor, then run off back to their own covenant.  Dracula is coming back, by the way.

Unaligned: The only sensible way to live is without rules.  Unaligned elders have the best of all possible worlds when it comes to deciding their own destiny, and can create plans that the other covenants would reel at and call a blood hunt on.  Then, of course, there are those elders who have simply given in to the red surrender, and bring chaos everywhere they go, their movements predicted by other vampires like hurricanes.

Belial's Brood: The elders of Belial's Brood are the scariest fucking monsters you will ever meet.  Ever.  Coincidentally, elders of the Brood are virtually unheard of, and most of them got that way through mass diablerie.  These beasts tend to have short cycles of intense activity, followed by decades or centuries of torpor, quite often staked by monster hunters.  Even more dangerous are the Brood vampires who don't get themselves staked regularly; these clever scourges tend to do things like research rituals to awaken every torpid vampire in the region at once. 

VII: Nobody is sure if VII has elders.  If they do, they would probobly have used them to wipe out the neonates and ancillae of target cities.  On the other hand, the nomad messenger from Bakersfield hasn't shown up in a couple of months...  And there have never been proper lines of communication with the prince of Philidelphia...  Send a pack of neonates to investigate!


(one of the classic elder vampire solutions to any problem is: "send a pack of neonates at it" and see if that solves the problem.  Another elder vampire solution is to wait a year, and see if that clears things up.  Particularly old vampires will sometimes wait a decade.)