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If you could Revise CWOD Cosmology

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  • If you could Revise CWOD Cosmology

    So if you could revise the Cosmology of the Classic World of Darkness, like your own directed reboot how would you go about changing things?

    Me personally I think it would be better if you condensed most of the Otherworldy dimensions. If it was a brand new setting I would experiment with the land of the dead being the same spirit world as the land of Nature spirits. But for the World of Darkness they would like room to concentrate ghost stories on Ghosts, so I would have the Dark Umbra be its own things, but like Yin Realms in the Middle Kingdom setting I would have it closer to the other spirit worlds. But I would condense the Penumbra, Dreaming and Astral into the same layer of existence. So Chimera would be spirits, animism and dream spirits interact and have shared ecology and possibly origins. When Vampires Astral Project they go here. But the Astral realms like that Vulgate River can still be accessed as its own area towards the Near Umbra Layer. Arcadia is in the Deep Umbra. No more issues with the Nunnehi or Hsien or even Inanimae existing along with other weird spirits and elementals. This would simplify a lot without really removing vital portions of the narrative, in fact I feel it will add a lot of depths when you can explore the nature of reality and spirits when both myth effects the spiritual landscape but somethings are always there.

    The Deep Umbra/Deep Dreaming are also on the very periphery of the Universe. They are on the outermost layer, with the Dreaming on the Wyld Layer that is the portion that stretches off into other Universes. Thus some Gods or beings like the Fomorians may have Trodded from elsewhere or may have vamoosed off to another universe.


    It is a time for great deeds!

  • #2
    NWoD approach to cosmology, pretty much. Importance is to make the world feel like you don't know everything and things can't be put into neat boxes on what each creature is. I have used NWoD creatures in non-dice games, because they have a good variation of things and don't need to be attached to anything else.


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    • #3
      I agree. The one thing I love in NWoD over CWoD is the Cthulhuesque feeling of the Unknown. The God-Machine itself is an excellent example of it.
      CWoD, as written, does not hold many suprises; Everything is explained, everything is a Spirit, a Fomor, a..well, you name it. Mostly, everything is a Spirit, or something that has been influenced by one of the big splats.

      Now, it is of course absolutely possible to go this route of the Unknown in CWoD - and it's not hard to do so simply through St creativity and freedom.
      But official-Fluff-wise, there simply is not much left as a mystery. Mage probably comes closest, with its many possibilities for high Umbrood, but again that runs into a well defined categorization.


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      • #4
        Each game would have its own special place, it may even be redundant with other things but it will stick out. There will be an explicitly chaotic mess of contradictions and impossibilities.

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        • #5
          The good thing about the cWoD is the pure amount of fluff and stuff you can use. There are so many supplements for so many games, there's always something you don't already know.
          The bad thing is, it is so much and so spread out, you can search for hours and hours until you find what you need.

          I don't like how NWoD approaches it's cosmology, creatures and "gods" with the whole "you can't understand" thing. The important part in M:tAs is that your character can't possibly know everything, because everything he knows somehow fits or forms his paradigm and there's always a different explanation that could also be true. In NWoD it's the fact that nobody can possibly understand a single creature because it's... not understandable? It just feels kind of cheap to me.
          Of course you want to be confronted with the unknown when you're playing the game. It's hard to forget these parts if you're a player and you recognize a certain being. It's a personal preference, really.

          I wouldn't change much about cWoDs comsology. Maybe a few books to condense the very great amount of information about the different worlds into more accessible form. That's what I would want. Then again, Werewolfs will meet different spirits than Vampires and Mages, so we will be having books for each game anyways.
          Last edited by TheVarulfen; 06-25-2018, 12:50 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TheVarulfen View Post
            The good thing about the cWoD is the pure amount of fluff and stuff you can use. There are so many supplements for so many games, there's always something you don't already know.
            The bad thing is, it is so much and so spread out, you can search for hours and hours until you find what you need.

            I don't like how NWoD approaches it's cosmology, creatures and "gods" with the whole "you can't understand" thing. The important part in M:tAs is that your character can't possibly know everything, because everything he knows somehow fits or forms his paradigm and there's always a different explanation that could also be true. In NWoD it's the fact that nobody can possibly understand a single creature because it's... not understandable? It just feels kind of cheap to me.
            Of course you want to be confronted with the unknown when you're playing the game. It's hard to forget these parts if you're a player and you recognize a certain being. It's a personal preference, really.

            I wouldn't change much about cWoDs comsology. Maybe a few books to condense the very great amount of information about the different worlds into more accessible form. That's what I would want. Then again, Werewolfs will meet different spirits than Vampires and Mages, so we will be having books for each game anyways.
            For me, NWoD's method works because it was build from ground up to leave enough 'holes' in the setting for the races to exist or not exist. Most likely, because crossover in cWoD is a huge mess, because the gamelines went their own ways, but referenced each other, but were separate, etc.

            To use a weird allegory, cWoD is like piling a bunch of fantasy books on to of one another, it is dense and the more you have to make sure it doesn't fall over. NWoD is like legos, sure you can build it like the instructions, or you can build what you like. I love the setting of cWoD a lot, but I prefer the looser worldbuilding since it is easier to wing things.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by TheVarulfen View Post
              The good thing about the cWoD is the pure amount of fluff and stuff you can use. There are so many supplements for so many games, there's always something you don't already know.
              The bad thing is, it is so much and so spread out, you can search for hours and hours until you find what you need.

              I don't like how NWoD approaches it's cosmology, creatures and "gods" with the whole "you can't understand" thing. The important part in M:tAs is that your character can't possibly know everything, because everything he knows somehow fits or forms his paradigm and there's always a different explanation that could also be true. In NWoD it's the fact that nobody can possibly understand a single creature because it's... not understandable? It just feels kind of cheap to me.
              Of course you want to be confronted with the unknown when you're playing the game. It's hard to forget these parts if you're a player and you recognize a certain being. It's a personal preference, really..
              And I find the attempts people try to make Classic WOD understandable makes it cheap. Kindred keep better records across thousands of years than humanity? They NEVER lie? Werewolf Oral Culture perfectly records things? A world where reality litterally changes can have a simple understandable truth rather than it only being part of a bigger whole?

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              • #8
                I think the problem it's not the attempts of "the people", but rather the attempts of some authors:

                No, of course you can't enter Hollow Earth without magick and you will disembody if you go to live there, it isn't part of the material world you silly.

                Your Paradigm may say Spirit are aliens, but they will use Spirit Traits and live in the Umbra anyway - of course you will turn into a spirit if you go live with them - similarities with the Hollow Earth and the Spirit Worlds are mere coincidence?.

                If Everything it's Real, then Nothing is...and thus everything out there can be sumarized as a bland splat that uses the same rules for everything, like Mage's Umbrood and Umbra show.

                Really, right now the Dreaming it's the only thing that doesn't fall neatly on the Umbra-model.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                  I think the problem it's not the attempts of "the people", but rather the attempts of some authors:

                  No, of course you can't enter Hollow Earth without magick and you will disembody if you go to live there, it isn't part of the material world you silly.

                  Your Paradigm may say Spirit are aliens, but they will use Spirit Traits and live in the Umbra anyway - of course you will turn into a spirit if you go live with them - similarities with the Hollow Earth and the Spirit Worlds are mere coincidence?.

                  If Everything it's Real, then Nothing is...and thus everything out there can be sumarized as a bland splat that uses the same rules for everything, like Mage's Umbrood and Umbra show.

                  Really, right now the Dreaming it's the only thing that doesn't fall neatly on the Umbra-model.

                  the Dreaming is just another Umbra. I'd argue the Digital web more readily moves from the Pen/near/middle/far model

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                  • #10
                    I think you're right about the Dreaming, albeit the books say it isn't a Zone nor one of the three worlds, it still follows the same general model for the Umbra. It could easily be called the 4 World (Dark, Wild, Astral, and now Dreaming).

                    But the digital web?. With its data spiders, it's meme spirits, its virus spirits...I don't think so. I can locate the Web precisely as a well defined Zone of the Umbra located arround the Cyberrealm. Much like the Dream-Zone it's in the Astral Umbra regardless of the fact that humans enter there in their dreams. The only diference was that in First edition the Web was made of Forces instead of Spirit - but that was forgotten in 2.0

                    I think that Zones (all of them) had a lot of potential as oddities that don't fall neatly on the Umbra model. But it was wasted. The difference was never explored and they (yes, including the Digital Web) were populated by Spirits and human emanations - which it's the whole complaint about Umbrood (that there's nothing more than spirits or splats to play with)

                    The Dark Umbra sometimes gets interesting. Wraith insinuated that it, perhaps, was a reflection of the Wraith's own psyche - a personal travel as much an interpresonal world. But most of the time it's just a gloomy demiplane like the rest of the Umbra.
                    Last edited by Aleph; 06-27-2018, 09:41 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Aleph View Post

                      But the digital web?. With its data spiders, it's meme spirits, its virus spirits...I don't think so. I can locate the Web precisely as a well defined Zone of the Umbra located arround the Cyberrealm. Much like the Dream-Zone it's in the Astral Umbra regardless of the fact that humans enter there in their dreams. The only diference was that in First edition the Web was made of Forces instead of Spirit - but that was forgotten in 2.0
                      .
                      No, having read the Digital web recently its still made of Forces. Spirits DO slip in but they get in from the Umbra the Infomorphs are the natural residents. Now they aren't really all that different from spirits of those things but I mean chimera aren't all that different from spirits either.

                      The difference I was pointing out is the Digital web doesn't follow the whole "Earth overlay"(chimerical reality/Penumbras/Shadowlands) Near(Dreaming/Umbras), Middle and Far/Deep

                      SImilarly with the YOmi which re explicitly torn out of the Umbras you don't have They are off in theirown thing, I'd like to see more "off in theirown thing' stuff than this whole Onion reality.

                      And more exceptions!

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                      • #12
                        My biggest alteration to Mage cosmology has been that "consensus" and belief impact how magic works. Reality is what it is, but belief influences how the Awakened are able to use magic to manipulate the Tapistry which underlies it. I did this just because it saved me a number of headaches over the years.

                        Also, reality is, at times, weird. The Digital Web doesn't exactly conform to anything the Awakened had seen before. And the Hollow Earth is sort of a pocket dimension that exists within the Earth.

                        Most of my major chantries are also constructed using Correspondence and other arts to hide them in the material world rather than ever having been in the Umbra.


                        What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                          My biggest alteration to Mage cosmology has been that "consensus" and belief impact how magic works. Reality is what it is, but belief influences how the Awakened are able to use magic to manipulate the Tapistry which underlies it. I did this just because it saved me a number of headaches over the years.

                          Also, reality is, at times, weird. The Digital Web doesn't exactly conform to anything the Awakened had seen before. And the Hollow Earth is sort of a pocket dimension that exists within the Earth.

                          Most of my major chantries are also constructed using Correspondence and other arts to hide them in the material world rather than ever having been in the Umbra.
                          Yeah I want this. Belief effects reality but reality is old and existed before people.


                          It is a time for great deeds!

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                          • #14
                            Also it’s been suggested maybe the digital web sprung from tha location of Mount Qaf.


                            It is a time for great deeds!

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                            • #15
                              Yeah, it's a rather strong suggestion. Qaf it's mentioned by M20 as the source of the Web.

                              Originally posted by Lian
                              No, having read the Digital web recently its still made of Forces.
                              Is that stated or it's a deduction?

                              Spirits DO slip in but they get in from the Umbra the Infomorphs are the natural residents. Now they aren't really all that different from spirits of those things but I mean chimera aren't all that different from spirits either.
                              That's an interesting distinction.

                              M20 has Spirits as native, though: See Web Spirits in the spirit hierarchy. Memophores are listed as spirits (minions) created by memes, and have spirit traits. You say Infomorphs aren't very different: I already admited that the Dreaming was an Umbra in everything but name - by that rule of three chimera can't prove Infomorphs aren't spirits...

                              Now, can you alter/create/control Infomorphs with Forces alone in Digital Web 2.0?, Are Infomorphs outside Spirit scope the same way animals or humans are?. Because that would be something...I need more than a few cosmetic differences to call something different (and to regret M20 refused to follow that model).

                              The difference I was pointing out is the Digital web doesn't follow the whole "Earth overlay"(chimerical reality/Penumbras/Shadowlands) Near(Dreaming/Umbras), Middle and Far/Deep
                              If not being an onion it's all you require to say that a place it's different from the Umbra then every single Realm and Zone follows your requisites.
                              Last edited by Aleph; 06-28-2018, 10:53 AM.

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