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Open Question Regarding Metaplot

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  • Open Question Regarding Metaplot

    So, to my fellow STs and just general enthusiasts of the setting, I've got a question that I struggle with at times when considering how to run classic WoD as a setting and I'm curious to hear y'all's opinions and takes.

    Basically, now that 20th edition has put a rain check on the Time of Judgement for the foreseeable future, how do you handle all the baked in setting lore which pretty blatantly was building up to a looming end of days.

    Was the 90s and early 00s just a really unlucky year for humanity? How do y'all deal with the Week of Nightmares and all that came with that? The Red Star? Jonas Albrecht as 'the last Gaian king'? The Avatar Storm? The Imbued? The Fallen? The Sixth Great Maelstrom?

    I've considered altering the dates, I've considered stripping elements away entirely, I've considered altering the lore. But I'm curious about how y'all answer the question.

    Anyway, thanks for listening to me ramble and here's to hoping that anyone reading this is having a solid day!

  • #2
    It depends a lot on what I'm doing.

    For most of the game-lines, I prefer to move the ToJ events into the nebulous future, and pick and choose what of the Revised metaplot I feel like. This works just fine for the five original games, esp. with the 20th cores essentially assuming that anyway.

    Demon and Hunter (though lacking a 20th book for either) require a bit more inclusion of Revised metaplot events, but I still opt to roll time forward. Both games, IME, lose a lot of their dramatic oomph if you assume that there are members of the PC groups that have been active for 20+ years

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    • #3
      Unless doing something with Hunter the Reckoning, Mummy the Resurrection, or Demon the Fallen, I tend to ignore the bulk of it. There are minor exceptions or tweeks here and there. For example, my default starting point for a Mage chronicle is that Doisetep has recently fallen, that it was the place the Grand Council traditionally met, and the newly established Horizon - as a grand chantry and not a realm - has recently been established near wherever the game is set and the PC cabal is associated with it. If I run a Vampire game in Chicago, Lodin has recently disappeared (or if in LA, the Anarchs still in power), and any Werewolf game usually defaults to the old Silver Fang head of Wyrmfoe having just died, the Margrave having recently come to power, and the Adihi being established in the past five to ten years.


      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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      • #4
        Aye, both very fair ways of going about things.

        Just for the sake of funsies though, let's say you were put in charge of handling a 20th+ lore update to get us from where we were to the modern day, how would you go about it?

        I for one definitely appreciate the 20th edition metaplot agnostic approach and think it's a smart method, I'm just asking for sake of discussion and out of genuine interest.

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        • #5
          Does this need to be a cohesive pan-WoD effort, or can it be by gameline?

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          • #6
            Probably some sort of rundown of different events, each one presented as an optional setting modification, with a "if this happened, then A, B, or C might be the current results".


            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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            • #7
              Whatever y'all had in the tank really, I'm just a curious sort.

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              • #8
                So we actually have a few case studies of what someone HAS done in the BNS Larp book storylines. I say "lines" because honestly it feels that Masquerade and Apoc went in very different directions, with Changeling going more along with Apoc. But, to sum them up succinctly:

                Masquerade: everything happened as in canon up to the Red Star and a bit after. However, this turned out to be a False Gehenna, though the Hunters made many think otherwise. The hunters hit hard across the lines and the Sabbat and Camarilla entered into a detente of sorts to lick their wounds (the MES storyline took this detente as the main point of this chronicle, with the Chicago Blood Accords - can't recall if they were also in the BNS book and too tired to look them up, but basically the Prisci and Justicariate/Inner Council did a mega blood contract to avoid fighting for a set period of time, at which point they'd renegotiate). In the middle of this, the Anarchs got more traction (as they were getting in the old timeline), and after a kerfluffle between the Giovanni and the Camarilla almost broke into war, the Setites and Gios formed the Independent Alliance. At the time of publication, they were the only members, though the remnants of the True Brujah were being courted; the Blood and Betrayal events led to many Lasombra Antitribu joining the IA. Meanwhile, the Red Star slowly faded, though many were still scarred by prophecies of destruction, unsure if it is coming or if it is what was averted - and whether avoiding Gehenna was the right thing.

                Apocalypse: Everything is going to shit. Storm Eater (see Wyld West) broke free and kicked off the Apocalypse, which the game is in the middle of (rather than it being a one time event). Storm Eater helped destroy all but 13 of the old caerns; however, a return and resurgence of the Fera (paired with the Shadow Lords creating an official split in the nation by creating a camp of six tribes that was more welcoming to the Fera, and the other Faction at least tacitly agreeing that they couldn't and shouldn't repeat the mistakes of the past... well, most of them agreeing anyways) allowed for a new method of caern development to be revealed, as the Gurahl helped create "seeds" from the remaining Great Caerns to plant into Shard Caerns. So, now the world is in the Apocalypse.

                In both cases, the "official" history took the state of the game as it was in 2003ish and sketched out from there to just before publication. In one case, the signs of the end-times were embraced by the writers and a plot that was built around the idea that the signs were true but that the war would be longer (which may or may not have had anything to do with the idea of the "Gehenna Wars" that V5 was building and revealing after the acquisition of the property and before BNS WtA came out - not sure whether that was the original idea or if it was added in). In the other, earlier case, Masquerade kept some of the ideas and symbols of the end times but twisted them into a false event - a case of people reading into events as prophecy and arguably fitting the prophecy to the events. Were the prophecies wrong, or were they about something further down the line? Whichever the case may be, the world didn't end, and now we have to figure out what to do next.

                And yes, I am aware the BNS ideas aren't necessarily well-accepted by everyone; I play in games using them and I don't necessarily like them all. But I wanted to present them as case studies in this very question, on how you can use elements that have been laid out but tell a new story.

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                • #9
                  Both of those scenarios do sound rather interesting and I've actually come to the notion of taking a similar tack to what the MET did with the Red Star having its period of emergence be a fluctuation that neared apocalyptic levels and lead to a great deal of darkness but was just barely averted by [Insert player characters here] and ensured the continuation of life in the World of Darkness, for better or worse...

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                  • #10
                    EndlessKng but a lot of that stuff seems to contradict the setting updates in V20 and V5. Or at least it’s not really mentioned anywhere in the V5 Anarchs book or Beckett’s Jyhad Diary.


                    “The Bonnie Prince is a clever, slippery snake with enough charm to convince good men (and women) that he’s God’s Chosen One. If we don’t stop him from raising this rebellion, we’re all going to be staring down into the abyss at Culloden Moor.”

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                    • #11
                      I never liked the direction of the Revised era metaplot and never incorporated it into the chronicles I run. And the friends I gamed with did the same. So I just ignore it entirely. Things are where they were in Second Edition (which I've also pruned because a game can only have so much).

                      There could be some elements I might choose to incorporate at some point. Either because as individual scenarios, I find them cool, or because I'd like to include ONE thing that could be taken as a sign that the End Times are commencing.

                      Among the many changes in the gamelines, I think there are more potentially salvageable bits in Vampire than the others.

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