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[World of Darkness General Discussion] Mage: The Ascension 20th in the works!

cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm RogueCoral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
edited March 28 in Critical Failures
The old thread's fallen beyond repair, since I can't edit it.

Besides, it was overly lengthy, so now, a concise version!

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World of Darkness, or WoD for short, is the storytelling game in which all of White Wolf's supernatural games transpire: Vampire, Mage, Werewolf, Changeling, Geist, etc.
The World of Darkness resembles the contemporary world, but darker, more devious, more conspiratorial. Humanity is losing hope as it is secretly preyed upon and controlled by supernatural creatures such as vampires, werewolves and wraiths. One facet that sets the World of Darkness apart from most other horror fiction is that these creatures are not solitary predators to be hunted down and destroyed, but they are numerous and intelligent; enough so to form secret societies, develop various factions and allegiances, and use humans as pawns in power struggles and murderous games often lasting centuries or millennia.

However, the rising power and strength of human civilization has started to restrict their power, and an atmosphere of gloom resides over many of the games as once-almighty supernatural beings, the dark Princes and Lords of previous eras, in their turn face the bleak and unbearable prospect of a future spent struggling and shrinking under the ever-more powerful gaze and control of a world-wide technocratic cabal, which intends to stamp out mysticism - and their supernatural rivals in the same course - by making reason and science paramount. In the meantime, normal humanity, tool or prey of all factions, is oppressed and hounded in this hidden, all-encompassing conflict, barely capable of fighting and for the majority not even aware of their enemies.

Interlocking conspiracies, some mirroring those existing in our own world, some unique, can be found throughout the setting. Cabals of powerful mages, coteries of cunning vampires, and other, stranger powers vie within their own cultures and with each other for control of the world. The dichotomy between rich and poor, influential and weak, powerful and powerless, is much more pronounced than in our world. Decadence is common and corruption is everywhere. This dark reflection is seen everywhere: gargoyles and gothic construction influence architecture, while the leather look and punk atmosphere crowd the streets. Everything is as gloomy in the WoD as the most pessimistic tabloid headlines present it.


Here's some stuff on games that take place in the WoD universe.


Mage: The Awakening

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A storytelling game of modern sorcery. PCs play as budding young sorcerers, and have to keep the boundary between mortal reality and mage society from collapsing, and tearing both worlds apart.

A revision of the legendarily complicated Mage: The Ascension tabletop game.



Vampire: The Requiem

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The revised version of the classic Vampire: The Masquerade storytelling game, Requiem streamlines the gameplay, in favor of cutting out a whole lot of story fluff.

Hunter: The Vigil

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The revised version of Hunter: The Reckoning. One of the more solid updates. Streamlined WoD mechanics, and a near endless array of possibilities for making a PC to take on the things that go bump in the night.

Changeling: The Lost

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A self-proclaimed storytelling game of beautiful madness, about what happens when faeries take those who don't belong to them, and how the survivors try to rebuild the pieces of their shattered lives.


Geist: The Sin-Eaters

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A storytelling game of life after death. Think Grim Fandango meets Dead Like Me and you have the idea.


Werewolf: The Forsaken

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I know the least about Werewolf, but in a nutshell, [strike]half-human half-wolf beings have taken up the mantle of defending mother earth and destroying its enemies[/strike].
Most werewolves couldn't give two shits about mother earth, it's all about protecting their territory, and the spirits tend to be a bigger pain then the humans.

Basically they're still trying to keep a balance, but it isn't just humans that try to throw it out of whack, and most don't care about the world at large, only the parts they control. Think less eco-terrorists and more street gangs.

A revised version of Werewolf: The Apocalypse, which I've heard was better in every respect.


Demon: The Descent
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The recently-kickstarted DEMON: THE DESCENT is a terrific read, something I am super-looking forweard to playing, and also possibly a signpost toward how Onyx Path/White Wolf are addressing this issue. The game still gives you a lot of open-ended freedom, but there's also an antagonist and a natural source of conflict baked right into the system and the mechanics. Demons must maintain their Cover (their human secret identity) lest it become eroded and expose their location to the hunter-killer angels that pursue them relentlessly. They maintain their Covers by doing things that Cover would do - taking care of its family and kids, doing its day job, walking its dog, all of that. Demons need spiritual Essence to power their supernatural abilities, but can only get it certain ways, many of them physically risky. Demons need to cultivate new Covers in case one of theirs is suddenly blown or exposed, which means going among mortals and making bargains and deals. Demons need to keep an eye on their enemy, if nothing else so they know how close it is to finding them, which means seeking out its lairs and exposing its agents. Every Demon has a long-term goal of achieving Hell - a state of existence where they aren't hunted, either by destroying or reprogramming the God-Machine that hunts them, or by finding a new dimension, or by becoming human for real - and every demon has a Cipher, a four-line riddle that, when solved, guides them on their quest for Hell and can unlock new abilities and insights for the demon. And, of course, this is a White Wolf game, so all the usual politicking and plotting and planning and double-crossing is fair game too.

So for once we have a game here where at no point should players ever feel like they have nothing to be doing next. They have a ton of options, and all these things are actually part of the system, not just background or fluff, and working toward these goals gives them real mechanical rewards.


So feel free to talk about any of the above WoD games or other ones and such, or their mechanics.

Other WW stuff is cool too, I guess, but I felt a WoD-focused thread would be easier to upkeep.

cj iwakura on
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Posts

  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I've played one Vampire campaign, and one Mage campaign with my friends from college and had a blast. Mage especially, it's just fun to get really creative with the powers.

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  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I've STed three WoD games here(attempted a fourth that never started), and Mage was easily the most fun.

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  • Owen EdwardsOwen Edwards Registered User
    edited September 2010
    WoD = rock.

    On my hobby horse of Alex Macris, I remember him once dismissing WoD games as necessarily, universally 15-year-old goth emo sobfests. Which is bizarre, because that doesn't match anyone I've ever played with. Well, one.

  • AriviaArivia Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Mori's gift of the Mage Chronicler's Guide arrived today, so I'm going to start piecing things together. Unless something goes crazy wrong, I'll have a thread up by the end of the month. gooooo Mage.

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  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    All the goths typically flock to Vampire, in my experience. They've never bothered me though. It's not like it doesn't fit the universe. We had an awesome Masquerade community in Tampa.

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  • Owen EdwardsOwen Edwards Registered User
    edited September 2010
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    All the goths typically flock to Vampire, in my experience. They've never bothered me though. It's not like it doesn't fit the universe. We had an awesome Masquerade community in Tampa.

    Know a guy called Eloy Lasanta? Runs Third Eye Games, comes from a WoD background?

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Arivia: I wait with bated breath.
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    All the goths typically flock to Vampire, in my experience. They've never bothered me though. It's not like it doesn't fit the universe. We had an awesome Masquerade community in Tampa.

    Know a guy called Eloy Lasanta? Runs Third Eye Games, comes from a WoD background?

    That kind of rings a bell? Should I?

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  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    In the Vampire game, the ST let me spend extra experience to make a hybrid power (like that one vamps with, Obtenebration and Potence gets). I was a Toreador, and had like, 5 Auspix and 3 Presence or something like that. Basically what I wanted was to be able to use the Auspix power that let you leave your body and go to the Penumbra, forget what it was called, and then use Presence to summon someone's soul out of their body.

    Then, since my "physical" stats would be greater there, and their's if I chose well would be worse, I could fight them. Since I was otherwise kind of useless in combat.

    I never got to try it out, since I got killed pretty spectacularly when I went on my first penumbral scouting trip to gather some information.

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  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I really want to run a game set in the Terminator universe using the WoD base rules and a little bit of Hunter.

    I think it'd be the perfect system for it.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. On Hiatus!

    Any gamers in the Danville, PA area? PM me if you're interested in some tabletop gaming.
  • Owen EdwardsOwen Edwards Registered User
    edited September 2010
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    That kind of rings a bell? Should I?

    He's a Tampa guy and formerly in the WoD community.

    I think the goths flocking to VtM (and Wraith) is all good - I just find it typical of Macris that he spent two paragraphs of a column bitching about WoD players and how it's not a real RPG...

    I started on VtM but got a lot more into Changeling and Werewolf in the old WoD; in nWoD I've played some Werewolf, which I like a lot. Though I don't love every fluff-cut in nWoD, I DO like the mystery theme - Mysterious Places is one of the best sourcebooks ever.

    I LOVE running and playing adventures where it's weird and unknowable and fucked up.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    That name realllly sounds familiar, but at a cursory google check, I don't think I've met him.

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  • Abysmal LynxAbysmal Lynx Registered User
    edited September 2010
    I don't want this to come off as harsh, but that description of W:tF is pretty terrible! Most werewolves couldn't give two shits about mother earth, it's all about protecting their territory, and the spirits tend to be a bigger pain then the humans.

    Basically they're still trying to keep a balance, but it isn't just humans that try to throw it out of whack, and most don't care about the world at large, only the parts they control.

    Think less eco-terrorists and more street gangs.

    Sorry about the outburst, Werewolf is my second favorite splat and I feel that it doesn't get nearly as much love as it deserves.

    Speaking of which, who else got Signs of the Moon? I thought it did a good job giving the Auspices more depth, and I just love the new Aspect system. Also, the Lodge of the Fury Choir is just awesome.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'll just quote that, as I really don't know any better. :P You should talk with Krata, I think he likes Werewolf. (Not sure if he's into NW though)

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  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    So, you're new to the World of Darkness, and you're probably wondering: What books are good?

    Well, you're in luck- almost all of them are. It's easier to list the bad books in the game lines than talk about the good ones.

    So here we go: The WORST books of the World of Darkness game lines. Avoid these!

    1. Tome of the Watchtowers: With the exception of the Mastigos section, this was an incoherent, rambling, myopic mess of a book that stereotyped the Awakening paths so badly if you took this book at all seriously the game would end up unplayable. Combined with a tiny amount of absolutely garbage mechanics and completely inconsistent content between each path (due to multiple authors and poor editorial oversight) this is the most skippable book in the Mage line.

    2. Urban Legends: Is it an adventure book? Is it full of boring ideas that weren't given the peculiarly dark twist everything else gets in the nWoD? It's both! This book could have been something great, and it was instead something pointless.

    3. Nomads: Widely regarded as poor, and definitely displaying a lot of the learning steps, having appeared so early in the Vampire product line.

    4. Changeing Breeds: Tone. Tone. Tone. This is an oWoD book in nWoD drag*. It lacks none of the more existential perspective of the new World of Darkness, inserts a simplistic and irritating ecowarrior message, and feels silly and out of place. The shapeshifters in Skinchangers and War Against the Pure were infinitely more flavorable and better suited to a horror setting. For sheer amount of mechanics, this book is definitely not useless and could certainly be modified to taste- and I've always been a fan of the opening fiction. But ultimately, it's a product that should have existed but not in the form it ultimately took.

    *HOWEVER, the book did successfully appeal to some oWoD tastes- if the more horror-ey tone of the nWoD does not appeal, this book does reintroduce some of the gonzo crazyness that made the oWoD such a special place to game in.

    5. Sanctum & Sigil: This book is EXTREMELY DULL, repetitive, and NOT AT ALL INFORMATIVE. Much of the Banisher and Seer sections have been completely supplanted by their respective (excellent) sourcebooks, Mage society _still does not make any sense whatsoever_ and the mechanical information is semi-useful at best. Skip.

    6. Free Council: A self-proclaimed "experimental" splatbook, this book...sucks. WW designers admit that it sucks. It makes the Free Council about the most shallow and uninteresting organization in the new World of Darkness, has almost no horror content whatsoever, and has some of the most unbalanced game mechanics in the whole of nMage which is saying a lot. Most notably, the spell "Save Point", which is a level of ridiculousness when I ran a brief Mage campaign I not only allowed it but encouraged my players to take it...because I had quietly instituted a policy that unstoppable time-demon-spiders would eat their eyeballs for missing with the order of the timestream. And oh, how their eyeballs were eaten.

    Honorable mention goes to Magical Traditions, which is not a bad book by any measure, but suffers from it not being part of a series and the core mechanic not being worked into Mage proper (which would have saved the game from its monodominant Atlantis problem) and for having the single worst merit White Wolf has ever published.

    IMHO, the first three Vampire bloodline books (Hidden, Legendary, Chosen) were kind of lame, but Ancient Bloodlines is a ton of fun. Other than that, you can't really go wrong.

    Oh, and the OP? You forgot poor Promethean!

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    As far as favorites go, Keys to the Supernal Tarot is great. The only Order sourcebook I have is Guardians of the Veil. Some great stuff in there all around.


    How does Mage society not make sense, though? Five orders, Seers who act against them, and some Banishers who want to kill them all.

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  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    As far as favorites go, Keys to the Supernal Tarot is great. The only Order sourcebook I have is Guardians of the Veil. Some great stuff in there all around.


    How does Mage society not make sense, though? Five orders, Seers who act against them, and some Banishers who want to kill them all.

    Try to figure out how cabals (as described in, say, Boston) interact with Orders.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    They work together as long as their tasks don't conflict with their Orders, I assume?

    Could vary by Cabal.

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  • INeedNoSaltINeedNoSalt Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    You should talk with Krata, I think he likes Werewolf. (Not sure if he's into NW though)

    i wouldn't ask Krata anything about nwod.

    sometimes you just gotta do a thing
  • Abysmal LynxAbysmal Lynx Registered User
    edited September 2010
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    I'll just quote that, as I really don't know any better. :P You should talk with Krata, I think he likes Werewolf. (Not sure if he's into NW though)

    That's cool, I'm glad I could help out.

    I want to post this here because I think it is pretty much the best example of a Werewolf game out there: Detroit Rock City. It's this one Storyteller putting up his Werewolf game for others to read. It's pretty awesome and I highly recommend reading it. I liked it from the beginning, but if it doesn't grab you, at least read up to the point where the second PC, Bastian is introduced, because that's when the action starts.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • psycojesterpsycojester Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'm currently running a Hunter game for some friends at uni. It's proving problematic that my group behave like a pack of gutless cowards. In the most recent session they were breaking into a warehouse a cult was using as a ritual site. Inside they find a small girl sitting alone drawing pictures with crayons and generally ignoring them.

    The group responds by staging a full scale retreat and bugging out of the area. All i wanted was a small scale ghost encounter to get their characters used to the idea of the supernatural :(

    I do have to give them props for quick thinking at times thought, my favourite moment was while the possessed killer was chasing his victim down an alley way, the brains of the outfit quickly drove round to the other end of the alleyway and hit him with the car when he came out.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Alkey42Alkey42 Registered User
    edited September 2010
    I have never tried a WoD setting. I have only ever played D&D. But an old roommate had an old Mage books on his shelf, and I absolutely loved looking through it. The whole magic is your perception concept blew my role playing mind. The Son's of Ether spoke to me on some deep level. Wizard/Mad Scientists character where technobable was a requirement? Hells yeah!

    Never found a group that wanted to try it though. And I never really wrapped my head around the mechanics, so running the game myself has never been an option. My interest in the new versions ended when I found out they threw all the coincidental/vulgar magic out the window for some tower of Atlantis fluff.

  • psycojesterpsycojester Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    You should really go back and take another look at it. The nWoD system is about 1000 better, more clear cut and streamlined than the WoD system and its not very difficult to run mechanically.

    As for the fluff in the nMage Core Book is horribly written and managed to turn just about every single person off the concept of nMage. If you're interested in giving it a go i'd try looking at the nWoD thread in somethingawful's trad games discussion subforum it's full of great stuff.

    This dudes summary of what nMage is about might spark your interest more than the Atlantis stuff.
    Spoiler:

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Alkey42 wrote: »
    I have never tried a WoD setting. I have only ever played D&D. But an old roommate had an old Mage books on his shelf, and I absolutely loved looking through it. The whole magic is your perception concept blew my role playing mind. The Son's of Ether spoke to me on some deep level. Wizard/Mad Scientists character where technobable was a requirement? Hells yeah!

    Never found a group that wanted to try it though. And I never really wrapped my head around the mechanics, so running the game myself has never been an option. My interest in the new versions ended when I found out they threw all the coincidental/vulgar magic out the window for some tower of Atlantis fluff.

    Coincidental/vulgar magic still exists. You still have to prevent paradox, or very bad stuff will happen to you in NMage. Maybe it's because I had no experience with Old Mage, but New grabbed me from the prologue to the book.


    psyco, regarding those cowardly PCs: I'd have forced them to stay, or sealed the exits somehow, but I'm evil. :P


    As for the Atlantis stuff, as with all things NWoD, you can use as little or as much of it as you want. So if you run a Mage game, it doesn't have to have anything to do with Atlantis.

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  • Abysmal LynxAbysmal Lynx Registered User
    edited September 2010
    I'm of the opinion that Mage started out pretty mediocre but then got really good. Probably my favorite Mage book would have to be Summoners. That book just had some good things going for it all around.

    What is everyone's favorite minor splat book? I really like Inferno and the Possessed, but ultimately, I think I like skinthieves more.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • DJP3710DJP3710 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    For all the oWoD and nWoD books that I have, I've never played in or run a game. Then again I favored Werewolf which, in my experience, is one of the least understood World of Darkness settings; which makes it even stranger that White Wolf considers Werewolf one of their three main settings.

    Anyway, very soon I intend to make a game using the Storytelling system at its base. As of this moment, I'm not sure whether it will be based in the World of Darkness, though; I've got something original in mind, and I'm not sure how much it would fit into such a delightfully horror-filled place.

    This is just me probing around about whether anyone would be interested in such a thing, questions, etc. Please tell me whether it's inappropriate to turn a general discussion thread into something like that.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    If it's going to be horror based or at least supernatural and focused around mortals, then WoD is the right system to use.

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  • DJP3710DJP3710 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    If it's going to be horror based or at least supernatural and focused around mortals, then WoD is the right system to use.

    Definitely, on both counts. The Storytelling system covers about everything I'd want to know about characters in a modern setting dealing with something horrible and supernatural and all that.

    So far, my plan is to have everyone just create regular human characters to start, too, which makes the template nature of the Storytelling system very useful.


    Edit: For the sake of those who've never played or don't own the core rulebook, should I include a "how to create your character" writeup, or is that considered bad form to give them access to information they should only possess by owning the sourcebooks?

  • GraelynGraelyn Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    For those who care, CCP Games (makers of EVE Online) bought White Wolf a few years back.

    They'll be unveiling World of Darkness Online in a week or so.

    Good product or bad, expect the WoD to recieve some renewed interest from the gaming public.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    A week? Seriously? It's about bloody time. Source?
    DJP3710 wrote: »
    Edit: For the sake of those who've never played or don't own the core rulebook, should I include a "how to create your character" writeup, or is that considered bad form to give them access to information they should only possess by owning the sourcebooks?

    Actually, you should do just that. It helps people who don't own the books become involved. I always do that when I recruit for games.

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  • DJP3710DJP3710 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Thanks for clarifying that, cj.

  • Owen EdwardsOwen Edwards Registered User
    edited September 2010
    DJP, I am DEFINITELY up for playing a human in your nwod game.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    New Hunter book:


    515xoaKDBSL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

    Amazon doesn't say much of anything about it, so here's a review.
    The Horror Recognition Guide, besides having a neat alliterative name, isn't much of a guide--it certainly won't help you with recognition of said horrors.

    I purchased this book for its use as a potential prop in my existing conspiracy game. Although I'm familiar with the World of Darkness and the Hunter setting, I'm not running a Hunter game. I took the marketing text describing the book at face value: "Can be used as a prop in any Hunter: The Vigil game, or can be used by Storytellers and players as a resource from which to draw new encounter and story ideas."

    The book contains a series of faux documents: hand-written diary pages, pictures, typed case files, and printouts of email correspondence. Collectively they each tell a tale of a Philadelphia Hunter cell and their encounters with the supernatural. These horrors range from your bog-standard bloodsucker to creepy cats that possess old ladies to alien doctors to something that may or may not be an ogre. In other words, standard World of Darkness stuff: werewolves, vampires, Frankenstein's monsters, dark faeries, mages, and some other weirdness.

    As fiction, the stories range from entertaining to tedious. Although the Guide is supposed to be a series of documents collected to tell a story, the various pieces often read as if they were verbatim fiction--which they are. The journals are a little too coherent and verbose. Still, this is all about crafting a story from multiple sources and the premise holds up across the stories.

    A few entries stand out. Blood Dolls is about vampires, which at this point have been so thoroughly covered that it's difficult to write anything new and interesting about them. Fortunately, the author gets this and shifts gears from fiction to one of the better pieces in the book--a how-to guide on capturing an inanimate vampire. Unfortunately, the only other place an official document appears dealing with horrors is Gnosopharm, which actually makes mages (if I'm interpreting the story correctly) scary.

    Ten Photos, on the other hand, works because it's so utterly unhinged from the tidy hierarchy of horrors in the World of Darkness. The pictures are bizarre and disturbing. Because it's so vague, Storytellers have a lot of leeway to invent the stories behind each photo.

    As a role-playing supplement, the Guide is far less successful. Many of the tales are actually resolved by the hunters, leaving a prospective Storyteller without an easy hook to work with. Others are so frustratingly vague as to be of no use - you could just as easily pick up a random weird story from the Internet and use that instead.

    Since it's a non-standard size with a wide binding, photocopying the book is problematic. The alternative is to just hand the players the book, which seems a bit overwhelming given that any particular scenario is likely to focus only on one chapter. As an electronic .PDF, the Guide is a much more flexible prop. As a printed book, not so much.

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  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Uh, that's not new, that's been out for like...forever. And it's ridiculously awesome. There's a PDF-only product called Collection of Horrors that adds some game stats to each entry. I haven't picked it up, but it's supposedly pretty decent.

  • cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Rogue Coral Springs, FLRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Oh. Well, the thread's been dead for months, humor me.
    amazon just informed me, don't judge

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  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Professor Phobos' Industrial Strength Guide to Vampire: The Requiem

    Like Vampires, but aren't A. a bored housewife dreaming of sexual escapades in the deep south or b. a teenage girl who secretly wants to wait for her wedding night to lose her precious virginity to her abusive husband?

    Vampire is the game for you!

    The COREBOOK: The main flaw of the core-book is that it's dry as hell; this led many to believe Requiem was "boring" compared to Masquerade. Nothing could be further from the truth. Look past the workmanlike writing and you'll find that Requiem has an almost laser-like focus on actually building a game around fucked-up walking rapist parasites for whom the daytime does not exist. It's a dark, beautifully bleak game. The corebook is remarkably complete on its own; many of the Vampire supplements suffer from the "sure that sounds nice, but do I really need it?" problem.

    The SUPPLEMENTS:

    The Blood. A highly recommended guide to what it's actually like to be a vampire; much more vibrant and personal writing to the corebook and really brings out the meat of the "personal horror" element of the game.

    Damnation City. This is a step-by-step guide to building a city in the World of Darkness and the resulting vampire secret societies...but it works just fine, if not wonderfully, for any of the game lines. Damnation City is one of the most remarkably awesome books produced by White Wolf in the last decade. It suffers primarily from being a Vampire supplement instead of having the Vampire-specific rules cut out and the rest of the (huuuuge) book being made into a general World of Darkness book.

    Ghouls. This book is somewhat problematic. It does one thing fairly well, but only that one thing. It describes Ghouls as basically the most fucked up people imaginable- being a ghoul in in the World of Darkness is horrifyingly awful....and that's all it does. It's fairly one-note. You will not find competent ghouls, much on rogue ghouls, or new and interesting ways to be a ghoul. The problem here is not that it emphasizes the sheer brutal horror of ghouling and being ghouled, but that it does so in the same exact way (a bondage/abuse victim/addict motif) over and over again, so it's kind of repetitive.

    The clanbooks. These books rock on toast. The fiction is well written, often creepy, sometimes hilarious (I got a huge kick out of Count Fucking Dracula) and really dive into what the day-to-day existence is for vampires. In the back of each book is some new mechanical bit, and these are great. Ventrue get a transmittable supernatural insanity disease, Mekhet get a shit-ton of awesome stuff; including a new clan flaw ten times more thematic and interesting than "You take extra damage from fire and sunlight, which you were going to avoid anyway", Daeva...actually don't get anything super interesting, sadly. Nosferatu get ways to transform themselves into increasingly monstrous forms, and the Gangrel get the details on fucking up the embrace and accidentally creating mindless vampire-zombies.

    The Covenants. Each of these books is kind of dry, workmanlike...but very thorough. They do exactly what they say on the tin; offer a lot more detail and options for each Covenant. Not every option is all that interesting (though some are quite good) the mechanics on Carthian Law and Ventrue Oaths is six kinds of abuseable, but ultimately...these are all very good, major expansions to the setting, offering a ton of additional meat-and-potatoes to the setting logic. Just be ready to ignore stuff you think is dumb.

    VII and Belial's Brood are basically "covenant books" for two groups of antagonist vampires. VII has three different options; the first is kind of your standard secret Clan/Covenant deal of assassin badasses. The second I can't remember. The third makes VII essentially a group of programmed anti-vampire sleeper agents; it's entirely possible to be a member of VII and not even know it. Belial's Brood is one of the most in-depth looks at what a crazed satanic cult might actually look like if it were functional I've seen in gaming, and...it's basically scary as hell. The Brood went from fulfilling a standard niche in the corebook to one of the most distinctive bad guy groups in the World of Darkness.

    Ancient Bloodlines and Ancient Mysteries deal with vampires throughout history. Ancient Mysteries also covers elders in a lot of detail, as well as ten different periods in history and how vampires engaged with them. Notable highlights include the Haitian slave revolt in the 18th century and a vampire bloodline built around the use of poison gas in WW1. Ancient Bloodlines is the companion book, offering a well-designed and interesting historical bloodline for each of the covered eras. I recommend both if you're interested in involving elders and particularly their memory or backstory extensively, running an elder game, running a historical game, or you just want some new awesome bloodlines.

    Mythologies is kind of a weird book. It's basically a grab-bag full of vampire urban legends and weird stuff, ranging from the cool and thematic (the vampire drug Solace) to the cliched and dull (an unstoppable vampire hunter who may or may not be a promethean). This is one of those books you don't need but might be happy you have, since some of the ideas are pretty good. I especially liked the section on Ghouls, and the description of a subset of vampire conspiracy theorists who are terrified that ghouls are "planning something" and "aren't what they seem to be."

    Night Horrors: Immortal Sinners and Night Horrors: Wicked Dead are two books of antagonists. Immortal Sinners is basically just a big book of vampire personalities. They're all pretty good, but it's one of those nice-to-have-but-not-necessary sorts of books. Special mention goes to how useful both Night Horrors books can be for non vampire games as a source of antagonists. Wicked Dead doesn't cover regular vampires, but instead things that are vampires but not kindred...and it's awesome. Some of the most fucked-up shit in the whole nWoD is found in this book. It's got all kinds of crazy vampire-like stuff, as well as an extensive section on draugr, the Stirges, and other cool little bits of "being a vampire sucks even more than you thought" backstory.

    Requiem for Rome is intensely good; this is the book that shifted the direction of the nWoD away from the "dry-and-reluctant-to-create-good-fluff" to "no metaplot, but backstory" paradigm that transitioned the line from good to great. It does a wonderful job of getting the flavor across of Rome, makes Roman vampires very distinct culturally from modern vampires...if you are at all interested in a historical setting for Requiem, this is the book to get. And if you aren't interested in running a Rome game now, get the book anyway, since there's a very good chance you will be when you're done.

    The Requiem Chronicler's Guide is a really good book for storytellers who want to fold, spindle and mutilate vampire into something more akin to their taste. A lot of great options and advice is within; I am particularly fond of extemporaneously embraced vampires and work them into my games. If you're not a storyteller, you can skip it. If you're not a storyteller who needs more advice and a lot of suggestions on how to modify the setting, you can skip it. It's not necessary, but it's nice to have.

    Bloodlines: The Hidden/The Legendary/The Chosen are books full of hit-or-miss new bloodlines. Some are good, some are stupid, some are intensely stupid, and only a few are great. I've skipped these books (though I've read them), especially since you can buy some of the bloodlines as individual PDFs now so you can just grab the good ones and pass on the shitty ones. Unlike Ancient Bloodlines, these fail to really feel like unique, vibrant, awesome additions to the setting for the most part, and are usually just "vampires + gimmick concept 1, vampires+gimmick concept 2..." over and over again. Also, almost every supplement has bloodlines, particularly the Covenant books, so it isn't like you're going to be missing out on options for your players.

    Coteries and Nomads are bad books, you can skip them.

    Two PDF books have been released- New Wave Requiem and Invite Only. The first is about setting Requiem games in the 1980s, and the second is about vampire social circles and Elysium and all that stuff. I haven't read either yet, though word of mouth is pretty good.

    I know I'm forgetting a book or two.

  • DJP3710DJP3710 Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I already discussed making it earlier, so I thought I might as well announce it here; the game I made using the Storytelling System is up and is recruiting.

    Rhapsody

    I didn't label it World of Darkness in the title because I'm not sure whether it is based in the World of Darkness universe or not, yet. Still, thought it worth bringing up here, too.

  • HorseshoeHorseshoe Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    OptimusZed wrote: »
    I really want to run a game set in the Terminator universe using the WoD base rules and a little bit of Hunter.

    I think it'd be the perfect system for it.

    That actually sounds like a fun idea!

    dmsigsmallek3.jpg
  • BrainleechBrainleech Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I own some of the vampire books listed above but I do like Rome and what it does Mythologies is werid and I had to read it a few times to figure out what to do with it

    Belial's Brood and Circle of the Chrone made me want to make a character that was part of these but not the generic evil the main book makes them out to be

    A.jpg
  • EgosEgos God Hand Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Have you taken a look at "The VII"?

    Two of the scenarios in there have the potential to be interesting imo, granted they really go in the opposite direction of Belial's Brood.

    edit: Unfortunately the other "three" scenarios (it might be two) explaining the VII are quite weak from what I recall.

    XBL: Invisible Man PSN: Indrik
  • ReptarReptar Registered User
    edited September 2010
    I love the World of Darkness books and I've been a fan of both the old and the new versions. I've been thinking about running a Hunter: The Vigil game at my local hobby store though I'm waiting until I've got a solid idea before I move any further than that. Has anyone here run a Hunter game? If so, did you use the Tier 3 stuff? I'm not sure if I want to include the weird super tech or magic power stuff or just go with Tier 1 and 2 content and have a 'normal people facing evil' chronicle.

    Or are you waking up?
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