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Midnight Circus? How bad can it be?

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  • Midnight Circus? How bad can it be?

    its mentioned on some websites and specially on tv tropes, i havent get my hands on this book but they call it "The mother of the nightmare fuel on World of Darkness." and i wonder..how bad can it be?


    Forum's Official's Joker and Trickster. Pardon my bad english, aint my first language (I Speak Spanish).
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  • #2
    All I remember was that it was supposed to be crossover heavy.

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    • #3
      Nightmare fuel? Hardly. A lot of the NPCs were pretty dumb; the literally dog-faced security guard springs to mind. I did like some of the characters though, such as Bag Boy the atrocity bane.

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      • #4
        Cone of flesh ftw!


        Are you on the square?
        Are you on the level?

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        • #5
          It was attempt to make a crossover for 5 (five) early edition game lines IN TRAVELLING CIRCUS. Written by Christopher Howard.

          This is the very definition of "bad sourcebook".
          Last edited by von Lyttenburgh; 10-10-2014, 09:49 AM.

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          • #6
            All in all, it's not really a bad book, but you need to retcon here and there, tuning it to your playstyle and the game you're playing.

            I plan to use it for "kidnapping" a sidekicker of my vampire troupe (actually a Caitiff) and then using it as plot hook for the successive chronicle


            ====================================
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            • #7
              >Tvtropes

              Realtalk, don't use it if you want reliable information.


              “I am absolute, I am perfect, I am supreme. I shall be eternal. My tragedy, is that there is no other fate for me. My powerlessness was that I couldn’t subjugate my journey to the gods, while dreaming of rebirth at the end of distant time, like other pharaohs.” Ramesses II, Fate/Prototype: Argent Fragments.

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              • #8
                Watch American Horror Story: Freak Show. And just see my favorite clown.


                Onyx Path Kickstarters I back.
                W20, MtC, CB20, DtD, MtAs20, BotW20, Wraith 20th.

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                • #9
                  It's been years since I read it, but if memory serves the answer is all. It can be all the bad.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Katsura View Post
                    >Tvtropes

                    Realtalk, don't use it if you want reliable information.
                    Or any other wiki, for that matter. Specialized info wikis only partially excepted.

                    On the OP; it was the embodiment of everything gonzo and surreal about the cWoD. I liked it, but mainly because I like the surreal nature of both WoDs. Really, it got more than slightly comic in places (the Ferris Wheel is the nesting ground for an incarnation of Apophis? Really?).

                    It's more of a book for inspiration than actual play, the guys who made it never seemed to quite grok that gamelines are usually kept separate for reasons.


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                    • #11
                      Giving this old thread a bump...

                      How would you handle the MC in the age of V5?

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                      • #12
                        My favorite comment about Midnight Circus was from Geoff Grabowski, who said he'd stopped taking it seriously as soon as he got to the Black Spiral Dancers as trained dog act. It was an interesting idea, but suffered from execution IMO. Not necessarily because of the excessively heavy crossover angle, but from the very RIFTS-like way they did it. For those unfamiliar with it, RIFTS is/was a very popular post-apocalyptic sci fi fantasy mash up RPG from the late 80s, 90s and 2000s, somewhat infamous for it's "everything and the kitchen sink" setting. Cyborgs, wizards, elves, aliens, giant robots, dragons, and a bunch of other stuff all mashed together. And if you were doing a circus in RIFTS, it would pretty much be guaranteed to include cat-men acrobats, ex-Na$i mad scientist fortune tellers, elf prostitutes/dancing girls, and every other weird thing Midnight Circus had in it. Unfortunately, outside of a certain niche in some aspects of 2nd ed Werewolf and Mage, it clashes pretty badly with a lot of the World of Darkness games' different themes and moods.

                        I can't speak for V5, but as far as My Own Private World of Darkness (trademark pending) goes, I use something I refer to as the Dark Carnival, which serves a similar purpose but which isn't tied to any specific cosmology, and whose backers/patrons are completely nebulous. It's public face is "The Showman", who draws a massive amount of influence from Alice Cooper's Showman in Neil Gaiman & Michael Zulli's The Last Temptation graphic novel and Johnathan Pryce's portrayal of Mr. Dark in the 1983 film Something Wicked This Way Comes. (Also a tiny bit from Peter Fonda's Mephistopheles in Ghost Rider and Wes Bentley's Edward Mordrake in AHS:Freak Show.) It's a traveling carnival which has been around in some form or another since at least the Dark Ages if not earlier. Sometimes it takes lives, or souls, or futures. Other times it leaves - often unwanted - knowledge or other gifts in its wake. Its attractions vary from place to place and time to time, but you can usually from the usual standards of fortune tellers, illusionists, daredevils, freak shows, and carnival rides. You may also come across things that beggar the imagination or even break the mind.

                        Influences:
                        • Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes (obviously), as well as the 1983 film from Disney (back when they actually did things like that).
                        • Neil Gaiman & Michael Zulli's The Last Temptation, as well as the Alice Cooper album it was made in conjunction with. Cooper's live stage show is also worth watching, as is his appearance on The Muppet Show back in the very early 80s. I also strongly recommend Gaiman's short story "The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch" and it's graphic novel adaption my Zulli.
                        • Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz, one of his best works, about carnivals psychics involved in a secret struggle against things that hate humanity and seeks its destruction. Also his novel Funhouse (which was supposed to be the novelization of a 1980 movie by that name; the book is good, but the film is utterly wretched).
                        • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. A sort of dark fairy tail set in the Circus of Dreams in a Victorian London that is slightly askew from mundane reality.
                        • Charles G. Finney's The Circus of Dr. Lao and to lesser extent its 1964 movie adaption The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao.
                        • The Land of Toys/Pleasure Island segment of Pinocchio.
                        • American Horror Story: Freak Show
                        • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
                        • Carniepunk, an anthology of urban fantasy stories set around the theme of carnivals. (One of them is an Iron Druid series story from Kevin Herne, which makes for good Mage inspiration.)


                        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
                          I'm going to pick bits of it to suit me, if and when I can run another games.

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                          • #14
                            It’s not that bad, I love Cavendish and Calebros.


                            It is a time for great deeds!

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                            • #15
                              Read through it found it ok...

                              but did wonder one thing for a while

                              if the G word Book is in use, Would it still be reasonable to say theirs more fortune tellers who Dress in the cliché of the Romani then actually made using its Rules


                              As rule on Blood Purity kind of means you don't WANT to be that socially involved.


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