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Many WoDs vs. Single WoD

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  • #16
    Disclaimer: These are impressions and experiences relating to the topic and not my beliefs.

    In my very first Vampire the Masquerade session, I saw that the ST had a Werewolf the Apocalypse book. I looked them over, noting how the character sheets looked similar. The ST told me "They are actually in the same universe!" in a very excited tone. I thought that was cool. I asked her to play one. Her expression went from excited to dour. "No, we're playing Vampire." she said. Being 13, I took this as some kind of unfair remark, and was a jerky kid about the whole thing. The ST herself didn't seem to realize why she was saying no, which only incensed me further. I chose to, obviously, play a Gangrel. Because that's what you do.

    After that I played in and ran a lot of crossover games, then stopped after a couple years. A long time later, with the benefit of hindsight and design experience under my belt, I understand why she reacted that way, even if she or I didn't at the time. It was in defense of thematic integrity of the given game, and the difficulties of undermining it for crossover. Whether it was intended to be run one way or another was immaterial to us, given that crossovers just didn't seem to work mechanically either.

    Another impression I got was being anti-crossover was sort of an identity issue for some early players. One of the ways in which White Wolf games were supposed to be different from DnD, which, back then, was kind of a selling point was to NOT be the colorful troupe of mixed race adventurers. It was something else. You were monsters, of a stripe. The impression I got was trying to turn the game into something of a splat-troupe was seen as kind of an amateurish or dick move, spotlight hogging, etc.

    In any case, I prefer MWM. Based on my experiences, it would be weirder if I didn't.


    Incentive is not permission or justification.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
      People who claim that this was always so because of statements made in late second edition or revised should know the game's history a little bit better,
      You are absolutely correct, and I agree.

      Because it was late "Second Edition" that was lousy with crazy crossover stuff.

      So let me elucidate:
      In first edition, it is very apparent that everything is supposed to be the one world and one game line. Crossover was not a dirty word and it was expected.
      "Crossover was not a dirty word" since crossover didn't exist - because which "first edition?" The only two books that share an overlap in first editions are Vampire (1991) and Werewolf (1992) - Vampire 2nd edition (1992) was published a year before Mage 1st edition even hit the shelves (1993). Vampire 1e didn't have any crossover stuff because there was nothing to crossover with. In fact, V:TM 2e was published a month after W:TA 1e (May and June, respectively), so even then, their overlap was only ~30 days. 1994 saw the publication of Wraith 1e and Werewolf 2e, then Changeling 1e and Mage 2e in 1995. Wraith 2e was published in 1996, and Changeling 2e in 1997, so I don't know where you're getting this nebulous "1st edition/2nd edition" divide - there's no clear-cut delineation like there is in something like D&D or Shadowrun, not until the Revised era in 1998 starting with Vampire (and Werewolf and Mage both published in 2000).

      Infamously, it was 1996's The Risen (published for Wraith 2e) that said "make sure you have a copy of Vampire 2e on hand for Potence, Celerity, Fortitude, and Obfuscate!" and 1997's Charnel Houses of Europe that ran a disclaimer stating "anything in this book supersedes material published in Berlin by Night (1993)." Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand was also published in December of 1994, only a few months after Wraith 1e, but a book for Vampire 2e. All of the rubbish crossover stuff was mid-to-late Second Edition Vampire mostly (excluding the Week of Nightmares and Red Sign stuff, which was rubbish Revised Era stuff, though Blood Treachery (2000) and Ghost Towns (1998) were good).

      And let's not even get into the Tremere and Order of Hermes with their connection to Ars Magica - a game not owned by White Wolf or even part of the World of Darkness, but published by them - or how Exalted was originally advertised as the "pre-history" of the World of Darkness (or that there was a real-life wrestler going by the name Gangrel...).

      It was the Revised Era that said "We're getting too silly. Everyone back to your corners like we were in the beginning." 1994-98 was the time of "FishMalks" and Sam Haight, when Vampire gained the derogatory label of "vampions," and Garou were referred to as "Captain Planet wannabees."

      I mean, there's a(/several) reason(s) why the Antagonists chapter in Vampire 2e didn't include Bringer-of-Tears, the Rank 4 Get Ahroun1 - because the werewolves and Lupines of Vampire are not the Garou of Werewolf; they exist as parallel universes more than anything.

      1-I made this up. It's an example. And also, marketing.


      If you don't use an Oxford comma, I feel bad for you, son,
      'Cuz I got ninety-nine problems, but clarity ain't one.

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      • #18
        I have been playing cWoD since 1994 and, at least among the people I played with throughout the USA (from Chicago to NYC to San Diego) it has always been one WoD. Now, no one is saying that anyone has to play crossover games, but it is incorrect to say that it is more than one WoD (there are more than a few dozen of books that explicitly have crossover characters). Just because a specific form of favored supernatural creature does not play well with others does not mean that the others do not exist, it just means that they try to avoid being noticed by the other supernatural entities that can kick their rear end.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by nothing View Post
          I don't know where you're getting this nebulous "1st edition/2nd edition" divide - there's no clear-cut delineation like there is in something like D&D or Shadowrun, not until the Revised era in 1998 starting with Vampire (and Werewolf and Mage both published in 2000).
          The 1st and 2nd Editions of the various game lines tend to blur together for a lot of people because of this layered release schedule. I've had several conversation where I've talked exclusively about 1st Edition Vampire, for example, only for people to bring up the contents of the pre-Revised clanbooks as relevant material -- because those are sometimes called the first editions of the clanbooks, as opposed to the Revised versions, even on sites like DriveThruRPG.com. While it's true that they're the first editions of the specific concept of clanbooks, they're still not material for 1st Edition VtM, which, as you correctly note, only ran from 1991 to 1992.

          The terminology we have for the Old/Classic World of Darkness is awkward sometimes.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
            I have been playing cWoD since 1994 and, at least among the people I played with throughout the USA (from Chicago to NYC to San Diego) it has always been one WoD. Now, no one is saying that anyone has to play crossover games, but it is incorrect to say that it is more than one WoD (there are more than a few dozen of books that explicitly have crossover characters). Just because a specific form of favored supernatural creature does not play well with others does not mean that the others do not exist, it just means that they try to avoid being noticed by the other supernatural entities that can kick their rear end.
            A hundred people being wrong for 23 years doesn't make it true - this isn't Mage, with its consensual reality. I have repeatedly provided you with literal textual, authorial evidence as to the canonicity of a "Unified WoD," and its answer in the negative. Just because you don't like the answer doesn't make it any less true.

            Now, the people that want to play and discuss crossover stuff? Go ahead, have a blast - but let's knock it off with this "canon one World of Darkness" nonsense.


            If you don't use an Oxford comma, I feel bad for you, son,
            'Cuz I got ninety-nine problems, but clarity ain't one.

            Comment


            • #21
              "Vampions" is not necessarily a bad thing. Champions is a great game, although even I wouldn't go so far as to advocate a Champions/WoD crossover...but I have run a WoD/Birthright crossover which my players enjoyed tremendously.


              My name is Colleen. My favorite song is "Wildwood Flower." My ambition is to write the complete history of the White Wolf/Onyx Path universe.

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              • #22
                Definitely not cannon but fitting:
                http://evildrganymede.net/wp/rpgs/continuum/

                Each splat gets own virtuals.
                Problem solved.
                For crossover use MC Earth or some other virtual.


                So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by nothing View Post
                  A hundred people being wrong for 23 years doesn't make it true - this isn't Mage, with its consensual reality. I have repeatedly provided you with literal textual, authorial evidence as to the canonicity of a "Unified WoD," and its answer in the negative. Just because you don't like the answer doesn't make it any less true.

                  Now, the people that want to play and discuss crossover stuff? Go ahead, have a blast - but let's knock it off with this "canon one World of Darkness" nonsense.
                  Midnight Circus? Kindred of the East? Hengeyokai? Pentex: Book of Subsidies? Freak Legion? Ghoul: Fatal Addiction? Kinfolk: Unsung Heroes? Hedge Wizard's Handbook? Ascension's Right Hand? Book of Madness: Revised? Book of the Weaver? Rage Across Russia? Rage Across Appalachia? Rage Across New York? Dream and Nightmares? These are all books that discuss crossover games or give information that supports crossover campaigns.

                  Look, it is up to every ST whether or not to decide to run a crossover campaign. Most don't, and that is perfectly fine, but it is one canon cWoD

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    And let's not forget official novel lines, like Year of the Scarab and Predator&Prey.

                    Calling crossover books rubbish doesn't make those books non-existent or eliminate them as parts of the WoD canon. It's okay to not like them, but they're part of the setting.

                    As for Revised curbing back the crossover mayhem of late 2e, that might be true, but you know what was the first place I encountered with Werewolf the Apocalypse? In the antagonist section of the VtM Revised corebook, which said if I'm curious about the side and worldview of werewolves, that is the game about them (I don't have the book at hand right now, so I can't quote the exact line).

                    Honestly, my opinion is that crossover was left lousy enough for GMs and writers who don't want(ed) to deal with it for whatever reason (and those reasons are perfectly valid) to be able to say 'nope' to it. WW provided and supported the option for the MWM, but the default was the SWM.


                    If nothing worked, then let's think!

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by PMárk View Post
                      And let's not forget official novel lines, like Year of the Scarab and Predator&Prey.

                      Calling crossover books rubbish doesn't make those books non-existent or eliminate them as parts of the WoD canon. It's okay to not like them, but they're part of the setting.

                      As for Revised curbing back the crossover mayhem of late 2e, that might be true, but you know what was the first place I encountered with Werewolf the Apocalypse? In the antagonist section of the VtM Revised corebook, which said if I'm curious about the side and worldview of werewolves, that is the game about them (I don't have the book at hand right now, so I can't quote the exact line).

                      Honestly, my opinion is that crossover was left lousy enough for GMs and writers who don't want(ed) to deal with it for whatever reason (and those reasons are perfectly valid) to be able to say 'nope' to it. WW provided and supported the option for the MWM, but the default was the SWM.
                      P&P, wherein a metis Garou knocks up an Imbued woman? That's not a very strong case for actual crossover, as opposed to crossover being painted as ridiculous (even if inadvertently).

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                      • #26
                        I'd reiterate: not liking any of the crossover material, or thinking that any particular piece is silly is OK, but that doesn't change the fact that they're the part of official WoD material.

                        That a particular novel is not the best novel in the world (although I'm sure there are people out there who enjoyed it) doesn't change that it's an official WoD crossover storyline.


                        If nothing worked, then let's think!

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Yes, for all we know, it could be a particular weakness of the Imbued which would allow otherwise sterile supernatural entities to knock them up as long as they are sexually functional. After all, it is canon, and it would not change cWoD that much (other than a few unusual pregnancies).

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by nothing View Post
                            All of the rubbish crossover stuff was mid-to-late Second Edition Vampire mostly (excluding the Week of Nightmares and Red Sign stuff, which was rubbish Revised Era stuff, though Blood Treachery (2000) and Ghost Towns (1998) were good).
                            Alright, so supposing, for argument’s sake, I accept that (false, as noted by Aya Tari) statement, how are the parts of canon you listed non-canonical?

                            It was the Revised Era that said "We're getting too silly. Everyone back to your corners like we were in the beginning." 1994-98 was the time of "FishMalks" and Sam Haight, when Vampire gained the derogatory label of "vampions," and Garou were referred to as "Captain Planet wannabees."
                            P&P, wherein a metis Garou knocks up an Imbued woman? That's not a very strong case for actual crossover, as opposed to crossover being painted as ridiculous (even if inadvertently).
                            I've said it before and I'll say it again:

                            Originally posted by Mr. Sluagh in the Donald Trump thread View Post
                            It's funny how, from time to time, WoD fans and writers will have this horrible realization that some specific WoD trope is silly and they'll get all embarassed and try to abolish that one trope as if that will stop people who turn into wolves and enter the spirit world through mirrors from being silly.
                            It seems that the issue this and many other threads are orbiting is that CWoD fans tend to reserve the right to ignore parts of canon they find silly. Fans have a reached a certain consensus on what qualifies as "silly", which may be roughly defined as "reminiscent of Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand, Subsidiaries: a Guide to Pentex, or Sam Haight". There's a tendency to shoot down any interpretation of canon that meets that definition, or references parts of canon that do.

                            I think having a "rule of silly" for your game is in principle completely appropriate and unavoidable when trying to make sense of something as nonsensical as the CWoD. My difficulty is that I find different things silly than most CWoD fans do, and I get frustrated when people who on the whole are cherry-picking just as much as I am shoot down my theories as non-canonical without even acknowledging that they're appealing more to what they find silly than what canon says (which is many contradictory things), much less being willing to discuss what qualifies as silly and why.

                            What it looks like to me from the history Nothing gave is that White Wolf wanted to integrate the WoD from the start. The plan was to conceive and design each game separately, so players wouldn’t have to invest in multiple core books, and then gradually merge them once the fans were hooked.

                            This didn't work out as well as WW had hoped. Fans reacted poorly to the increase in crossovers. This was partly because fans had become more attached to individual games than to the WoD as a whole, and partly because a lot of the crossovers were just plain badly done and came on too strong.

                            This didn't cause WW to give up on crossovers. On the contrary, crossovers continued to be sprinkled throughout Revised, WW just developed a policy of doing them sparingly and leaving interactions and overlaps between the games' metaphysics entirely to the ST. The centerpiece of the Revised metaplot was the Week of Nightmares, a massive crossover metaplot that impacted and involved representatives and metaphysics from every existing gameline, and spawned two new gamelines.
                            Last edited by Mr. Sluagh; 02-21-2017, 11:33 PM.

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                            • #29
                              And while we might not like the events of the Week of Nightmares (my 2015 setting has it being avoid by an temporary alliance of Changelings, Fera, Kindred, KJ, Mages, and Wraiths), it is canonical proof that the writers supported one and only one cWoD.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                                And while we might not like the events of the Week of Nightmares (my 2015 setting has it being avoid by an temporary alliance of Changelings, Fera, Kindred, KJ, Mages, and Wraiths), it is canonical proof that the writers supported one and only one cWoD.
                                And I can just as easily say that it's canonical proof that the Worlds occasionally align.
                                As has been cited, the books make sure to specifically say that the Worlds are different. They never specifically say that they are the same. It is heavily implied in places though.

                                So in the end, there are contradictory sources. No one gets too be 100% right, as much as you like to think you know the one true way. Sorry.


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