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Things you do to let people know they're in the world of darkness.

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

    I also don't understand the insistence that the World of Darkness must have environmental regulations as they existed prior to 1960. It makes no sense. It's not needed. You can run a plot with PENTEX while not pretending things are as they were in 1926. In my chronicles, the Garou and Fae have succeeded in defending their domain somewhat and there is more beautiful, pristine wilderness. This doesn't mean the Garou and Fae don't have their own problems in regards to humanity. But let's not pretend Lake Erie still catches on fire, or that the smog in LA is like it was in the early 1970s. If that is actually important to you, you can set your games in Communist China or parts of the Third World where that still happens. Or acknowledge that it is the exception when PENTEX risks illegal dumping of toxic waste for whatever reason it has.

    The Gothic Horror genre is filled with romance and beauty. It's filled with mystery and excitement. All the great works of horror literature in it, including the direct inspiration for these games, have these elements. So my setting does as well. And in most of these works the evil is defeated. Maybe not without a great price to be paid, but it is.
    This 😊😊😊. Totally agree. Anyone who’s ever hung out with goths knows that Gothic can be beautiful.


    “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her.

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    • #17
      There isn’t necessarily any reason to make your WoD any darker than the real world. You can make an incredibly dark story full of horrors based entirely on things that have happened or that are happening in the real world. Likewise, you can create a bright and uplifting story even in a setting (or real life time period) full of terrible things. A lot of WoD games involve dark themes and so one might want to focus on dark aspects of life, regardless of whether or not you want to match it to reality or make it worse. How dark a setting should be is up to the ST and players.

      But, if darkness is what you want to convey, then my advice is to make it real and personal for the characters and the players too. Characters aren’t going to be looking up crime statistics to discover that WoD LA has a murder rate 50% higher than real LA, and even if they did it wouldn’t really mean anything to anybody. The world wouldn’t feel different to them. A dark setting is about making the players feel the darkness, which is why I favor personalizing it for them. Characters encounter things, they interact with people, they witness events - all of which should pull at the heartstrings of players as well as characters. If you don’t want it to feel dark, then you absolutely shouldn’t, sometimes WoD games can be used to tell uplifting stories, about people (or things) who triumph against the darkness.

      Originally posted by Penelope View Post
      This 😊😊😊. Totally agree. Anyone who’s ever hung out with goths knows that Gothic can be beautiful.
      I like both Gothic architecture, literature, and the goth style. They are all aesthetically appealing to me, so none those creates any negative emotion for me.

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      • #18
        To a small degree, I agree. Post punk is clearly the best and they're all miserable. But on the otherhand, you guys know Gothic architecture and Gothic literature had their time hundreds of years apart, right? Gothic literature spawned in england's early industrial revolution, looking back for an imagined past to fill an identity crisis and also be a midpoint between the old romance and the new realism. Early gothic authors looked for beautfy because the times were getting shit. A beautiful scene of nature doesn't need to become more beautiful than reality, but it can appear more beautiful when contrasted with an increasingly shit environment. Vampire is not Romantic horror, it's Gothic horror.


        Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
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        • #19
          In that case, I guess I like Romantic horror better. I never realized there was a difference. But everyone can run their own campaign whatever way they (and their players) like best.


          “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her.

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          • #20
            Unless you are talking about the combination of romance and horror, I don't know what you mean by "romantic horror". That combination does not define Gothic Horror, but it can certainly be found in there as well as lots of other genres. It's just a mix of genres.

            But the Gothic Novel and Gothic literature were certainly created in the Romantic Era. And that time was the Gothic revival of architecture. It was all part of a general reaction against the logic and reason of the Enlightenment in favor of emotion and feeling. This influenced the later Goth subculture which is its own thing. But you can certainly identify any number of "Gothic elements" and include them in the game. Just like the goth subculture identified gothic elements it wanted to include in its own music and aesthetics. And things outside the goth subsculture can do the same as well.

            So I don't understand your distinction between Romantic Horror (whatever you mean by that) and Gothic Horror, and that Vampire is one but not the other. It is not a distinction that proves your point.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
              Unless you are talking about the combination of romance and horror, I don't know what you mean by "romantic horror". That combination does not define Gothic Horror, but it can certainly be found in there as well as lots of other genres. It's just a mix of genres.

              But the Gothic Novel and Gothic literature were certainly created in the Romantic Era. And that time was the Gothic revival of architecture. It was all part of a general reaction against the logic and reason of the Enlightenment in favor of emotion and feeling. This influenced the later Goth subculture which is its own thing. But you can certainly identify any number of "Gothic elements" and include them in the game. Just like the goth subculture identified gothic elements it wanted to include in its own music and aesthetics. And things outside the goth subsculture can do the same as well.

              So I don't understand your distinction between Romantic Horror (whatever you mean by that) and Gothic Horror, and that Vampire is one but not the other. It is not a distinction that proves your point.
              Absolutely. Exactly what I wanted to say but couldn’t quite find the words to say it.


              “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her.

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              • #22
                Speaking of romanticism, WoD games really draw heavily on a lot of romantic themes. Werewolf, Mage, and Changeling all have common themes about modernity being bad as opposed to nature, imagination, spirituality, or something like that. Scientific and rational thought is inherently stultifying.

                Vampire and wraith seem to be more gothic in nature, with certain elements of romanticism, as is natural to gothic.

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                • #23
                  on phone so a little awkward. what i meant to say:
                  Gothic was reactionary to modernity and rationalism.

                  Gothic frequently celebrated the rich and put down the poor. It venerated 'high' culture and then made everything else more Vulgar. I read that earlier works celebrated virgins far too much.

                  Ideally, we can say that in the world of darkness, the bad stuff is worse, the good stuff is as good as it is in reality, though perhaps it seems better because of the increased contrast.


                  I don't like imagined pasts. I think they're dangerous. I don't like venerating certain people and shitting on others, because i think that's dangerous. Satire is far, far more valuable to me than Goth. First comes satire, then comes punk, then comes goth. The other way round is harmful.

                  plus, nicer nature and more genuine charity just stirs cognitive disonance.


                  Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
                  There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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                  • #24
                    MyWifeIsScary I prefer goth stuff and Romanticism to satire, at least in gaming. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this issue.


                    “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                      -Their first trouble with police will begin with an officer screaming "Don't move!" or something similar and then the police will immediately start shooting.
                      -Every use of hieghtened senses will involve a lot of background stench
                      -The first person (and most thereafter) they meet who works in customer service is continually contemplating suicide, their voices filled with suffering even if they're wearing fake smiles. The next person they meet in customer support is incredibly condescending as they are convinced that humanity is made up of entitled morons and that they and a few other people are the exceptions.
                      - A character on (American) public transport will observe that all the passengers look spiritually dead or wasted.
                      -All the worst prison stereotypes will occur during the short timeframe that players are exposed to prison.
                      -There are three kinds of priest; One is using his status as a priest to shield or facilitate his severe moral shortcomings, the next is a dangerous firebrand, and the last is so nice that it draws suspicion.
                      -Everyone looks down on you for not owning a car, even if you're among the broke. A High quality motorcycle with a foreign brand will similarly arouse contempt
                      -Leftwing people are often mentally conservative and are so wrapped up in identity politics that they can't make a good moderate-friendly argument, Vampires continually find good allies among people that turn out to be far right.
                      -Sewer systems are cleaner than the streets.
                      -Some People are forced to start work by chanting the name of their company.
                      -Players can get away with cringy speaches because the masses are too stupid to notice.
                      -You flavour scenery with GTA-like parody advertisments and terrible political statements.
                      So, basically, you just play it straight....


                      "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."
                      - H.L. Mencken

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Bob the Skull View Post

                        So, basically, you just play it straight....


                        Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
                        There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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                        • #27
                          So I want to start of by saying that I definitely think that there are 101 ways to do the World of Darkness in really interesting styles and that this post is basically me making a case/talking about one of my personal favorites which is based upon not-little personal taste.

                          So a few of the reasons that I like to play my World of Darkness as a more grungy and confrontational setting: I like gothic and punk aesthetics & attitudes, I think it helps facilitate conflicts for narratives, I enjoy some of the dark satire that come with it (Pentex maybe silly in many ways but I find a twisted charm in the motif of a splatter-punk O'Tolley factory pouring pink sludge onto a factory line) although it's definitely easy to go overboard, and ultimately there was just something about the feel I got when I first picked up the books that made me fall in love with them.

                          I grew up loving shows like 'The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy', 'Horror Movie Monsters', and Punk Music and it's look and culture and ideas, and with a general feeling of nostalgia for the grainy shows and strange-but-familiar culture of the 90s.

                          World of Darkness had a lot of things from that which appealed to me.

                          One of the reasons I like to imagine the WoD the way I do is because I like how it would look. I like sweeping gothic architecture and crumbling facades. I like stormswept cliffs and rain-wet city streets. I like the macabre and I like things that look kinda shitty and gross. So for me, imagining cities in the World of Darkness as anything from Gotham City to a Tim Burton Mind Palace was awesome.

                          I also feel that stripping away some of the edifice from life can be used well for storytelling. While nuance is important, sometimes you want to have a maddened executive who wants to get rich even if their employees are sent into the poor house and to see how your characters react. Whether they're playing anarch punks and garou monkeywrenchers and the monstrosity comes in how they fight back or if they're representatives of the Ivory Tower and their monstrosity comes from their tacit complicity in the system; it interests me to see.

                          Sometimes you want to lean into realism for a game and get into the sort of nuance that might be easily applicable to the real-world. Sometimes you want to leap into the realms of allegory and thematic motifs and reality be damned so yeah, why not have your local drive-thru chain have a creepy clown for a mascot and a local rumor about what is *really* in the Mondo Supreme Burger™.

                          Ultimately though, I fully acknowledge that a lot of this is personal taste. I get feelings I can't easily describe when I get to dubmerge myself in Halloween, Goth & Punk shenanigans, horror movies, spookiness, and that sort of thing.

                          It's the sort of thing that I get from certain shows and certain games and stuff like VtM: Bloodlines or Red Embrace and certain horror movies and old goosebumps books give me. It's 100% personal preference, but I figured I'd throw my 2 cents in because I always love seeing threads like these.

                          Anyway, hope y'all are vibing out there.

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                          • #28
                            Biggest one to me is population. WoD population is supposedly 25% higher than our own and mostly centered in the cities, but the food supply is the same.
                            Cities then feel really dense and populated, with lots of homeless and condemned buildings being used as homes.
                            People who live outside the city are in monster territory, constantly carrying a gun and wary of windows as they've all seen or heard stories about ranchers getting killed in the night by brutal monsters, though none will speak about it.


                            Check out my Sorcerer 20th homebrew and my update to Highlander: the Gathering for 20th Anniversary edition.

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