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  • The problem is - and again I don't think in this one specific case it's a big deal, but it is a larger pattern from them - there's a difference between "you should treat Neo-Nazi's as mainstream insiders," and, "you should consider how mainstream Neo-Nazis have become in the past decade." It's subtle, but the first can be taken as normalizing ("Neo-Nazi's having 'insider' power is the default") instead of the second ("Here's a disturbing political trend that you might want to explore in your game").

    Which is really an unforced ambiguity of the choice to mention this as part of the insider/outsider concept, and not addressing Brujah Embracing from radicals of all stripes as it's own passage.

    It's also something that doesn't entirely translate evenly on a global market. While the world in general is dealing with an uptick in all sorts of regressive political movements, the specific Neo-Nazi and alt-right movements aren't universally on the rise. People that are experiencing a rise in fascist and authoritarian political movements that aren't Nazi affiliated/aligned are going to have a different reaction to "Neo-Nazis are insiders," than people living in places where explicit Neo-Nazis are running for public office and sometimes even win.

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    • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
      Which is really an unforced ambiguity of the choice to mention this as part of the insider/outsider concept, and not addressing Brujah Embracing from radicals of all stripes as it's own passage.
      Okay, this is going to be yet another step in the inevitable death spiral of this thread towards being locked and warnings handed out, but I have a few things to say. The big thing, here, is the growing popularity of "everyone who disagrees with me is a Nazi" in contemporary political discourse across the board, coupled with the astounding lack of a question I personally feel should be a no-brainer, but could stand to be asked a lot more in today's society: "is this person actually a Nazi?".

      In an earlier post I mentioned the most archetypal image possible of a Brujah, is an outlaw biker. That was pretty much the Brujah stereotype early on, and it's so enduring because of its striking imagery, and fitting juxtaposition with the "Masquerade society" image of VtM as a whole. Outlaw MC's, among other things, are and have been associated for a long time with Nazi iconography. Are outlaw bikers Nazis, or do they condone Nazism? no, not necessarily, and to wit outlaw biker culture was founded mostly by WWII vets. Nazi iconography was appropriated to shock, identify themselves as counter-culture, and in some cases to satirize Cold War-era American culture and policy.

      That last part's kind of important, so let me elaborate:

      Both my granddads fought in WWII, one of them (he landed on Normandy on D-Day and fought in the Battle of the Bulge) was a biker and a trucker in his post-war years, but the other's the one I'll talk about. That granddad spent two and a half years in a POW camp. I was seven or eight when he talked to me about this; he knew he wasn't going to be around much longer (he died four months later) and the topic couldn't wait.

      You go to war to fight the Nazis. You see the prison camps and the concentration camps, and watch how the Nazis treated anyone and everyone they deemed inferior in any way to them, even the shit that's been swept under the rug like how the Nazis treated Soviet POW's. But you, you get it easy, because they respected Americans and most of them already knew on some level they were going to lose the war, and didn't want to piss off the people they hoped they'd surrender to in the end.

      You get home, and the Americans who sympathized with the Nazis and supported them before the war, and all their war profiteer buddies, are now the ones in charge. The country's rampaging across the globe in the name of stopping their own allies, putting down revolutions, assassinating and overthrowing democratically-elected leaders, and militarily occupying countries, all because they dared to do for themselves what you just went to war to do for others. Sure, we hung and shot a few of the most infamous Nazi leaders, but the rest we whitewashed and put right back in power.

      The black guys you went to war with? Most weren't even allowed to fight, but made to serve the white troops. They get home and they can't even vote in half the country; hell, a good chunk of the country (the one this granddad was from) is itching for an excuse to lynch them. They don't have nearly the economic prospects or hope you do as a broke-ass dirt farmer turned soldier, and it doesn't matter one whit where they're from in that regard. They want the same rights and respect as the people they helped liberate overseas, and what they get in repayment is the full force of the law.

      The country, despite all proclamations otherwise, is still antisemitic as hell. A lot of people supported Israel early on because they thought it'd get the Jews out. We still hated Indians, even though Indians fought in the war too on our side. We even brought home the Nazis' hatred of Communism and most of their strategies for fighting it; we stopped short of putting suspected Communists in concentration camps, but everything up to that point -- wiretapping, secret police, dehumanization and ostracization, guilt by association, blackballing -- that's all on the table.

      Basically, you go to fight Nazi Germany and see worse shit than any of us visiting this board can imagine. You come home, and the country's turning into Nazi Germany. How do you cope with that?


      Are some outlaw bikers neo-Nazis? Sure. Likewise, the affiliation of outlaw MC's with white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups like the AB should not go unstated or understated. But, are they necessarily so? no. One needs a more nuanced understanding of the topic, and its historic and social context, than "Nazis are bad". But, as pertains to the Brujah, the linkage between them and Nazi iconography is clear, and has been present in the game since its inception. It seems denial, or a general lack of contextualizing knowledge, runs rampant.
      Last edited by Theodrim; 07-06-2018, 09:18 AM.

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      • Originally posted by Theodrim View Post

        All that stuff.
        Yeah. There's only subjectivity, there's no objectivity. Also, the same writeup that mentions that they can draw from the alt-right and such (which it doesn't present as 'HEY PLAY THIS!' it just says the Brujah can do, the rest of it is on the onus of the players and STs, and if you already can't weed that out of the group, you shouldn't rely on the game to do that for you), it also mentions 'vocal activists who follow the zeitgeist uncritically'. I mean, that succinctly describes a lot of the subjective reading that the Brujah writeup keeps having.

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        • Meanwhile, vampirism is an allegory for sexual violence (or at the very least, there is an element of that in it), and the Tzimisce are happily both inhuman and inhumane. So apparently fleshcrafting, depersonalisation, necrophiliac incest are OK, but woe betide anyone who even mentions Neo-Nazis?

          I do wonder what game those people have been playing in this whole "our world, but a lot shittier" thing called World of Darkness.

          Comment


          • The Storyteller system is about telling stories, and everyone is the hero of their own story. Contrary to Lord Vetinari's view that "there are only bad people, but not all of them are on the same side", stories need heroes, however flawed. Vampire in its first incarnation introduced a system, Humanity, which penalized characters if they were consistently as ruthless even as say, Indiana Jones or James Bond. Vampires were not licensed to kill. The game in its darker aspects was about fighting against a curse, not surrendering to it. The Sabbat deviated radically from that original vision, but the "mainstream" game still largely adhered to it.

            V5 "is not a roleplaying game where you play good guys". And just to hammer that point home, they've made it so that you can never fully satisfy your hunger unless you murder someone. It doesn't just allow, but actively encourages, characters to do "things the player finds morally repugnant" so that they "use it as a fictional space to explore terrible things".

            The Nazis were morally repugnant, all right, and they did terrible things. And if you want players to create characters who do terrible things that they find morally repugnant, Nazis are pretty much what you'll end up with.

            But there's a problem with that. Playing a character who viscerally repulses you isn't fun. And contrary to what the preview implies, characters like that are rarely even interesting, let alone emotionally meaningful. Professor Bernice Summerfield had it right. "By 1976, to pick a year at random, the only people wearing the Nazi uniform were sad little blokes who couldn't get it up any other way. A few gangs of glue-sniffing thugs had the swastika tattooed in their foreheads, but they never learnt what it really stood for. They hung around on street corners, spitting and swearing, trying to shock their parents. They weren't up to anything other than petty vandalism and beating up immigrant women and children. In other words, Fascism ended just like it started"

            I suspect that the Facebook thing is a storm in a teacup, but it might do some good if it brings home to some of the New Guard that actually, no, real evil isn't interesting, or "emotionally meaningful", or cool, and that a game which revolves around wallowing in it isn't the slightest bit more "mature" than "superheroes with fangs". (Play a word association game, and "adolescent" goes with "angst" like "ham" goes with "eggs"). It's just less psychologically healthy. Yes, it's the World of Darkness, but the point is to rage against the dying of the light, not shoot out the bloody bulb.

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            • 1, You can't, in the same post chastise WW for dictating a play style, and then mandate that we ought to play against the dark. That's inconsistent.

              2, Speaking for myself, I do find playing, reading about, or in some other way engaging with things that make me uncomfortable fascinating and interesting. Substituting fun for engaging is a poor way to experience things.

              3, The real Nazis (Chetniks, Stalinists, Maoists, Spartakists, etc) absolutely are interesting. If the proposition of "what turns Weimar into Third Reich" is not an interesting question to you, I don't know what to tell you.

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              • In all honesty, I think the metaplot was a mistake.

                Also, I find it ironic that the same people who like to chastise me for running "Superheroes with Fangs" are now complaining that Vampire is too dark and angsty because one of the NPC's is a Nazi. Don't get me wrong, I hate Nazis as much as the next guy, but this is just a symptom and not the main problem.

                From my perspective, V5's nihilistic grimdark excess is just the end stage of the over-corrective "Personal Horror is the One True Way" trend that was mostly started by Revised Edition.

                You can keep your personal horror, your metaplot, your irredeemably evil vampires, your Touchstones and punitive Humanity system, your awful feeding system, your Nazi Brujah, and any other pseudo-Goth/Punk trappings if that is what you like.

                I'll be over here playing "Vampions" and actually having fun with my games, not worrying anymore about the next bone-headed decision that NuWW makes.

                I said it before, and I will say it again, but I am going to pass on V5 and stick to good-old fashioned 1e and V20. I'm just glad I reconsidered pre-ordering it, or otherwise I would have wasted my money.
                Last edited by Camilla; 07-06-2018, 04:58 PM.

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                • Originally posted by Camilla View Post
                  In all honesty, I think the metaplot was a mistake.

                  Also, I find it ironic that the same people who like to chastise me for running "Superheroes with Fangs" are now complaining that Vampire is too dark and angsty because one of the NPC's is a Nazi. Don't get me wrong, I hate Nazis as much as the next guy, but this is just a symptom and not the main problem.

                  From my perspective, V5's nihilistic grimdark excess is just the end stage of the over-corrective "Personal Horror is the One True Way" trend that was mostly started by Revised Edition.

                  You can keep your personal horror, your metaplot, your irredeemably evil vampires, your Touchstones and punitive Humanity system, your awful feeding system, your Nazi Brujah, and any other pseudo-Goth/Punk trappings if that is what you like.

                  I'll be over here playing "Vampions" and actually having fun with my games, not worrying anymore about the next bone-headed decision that NuWW makes.

                  I said it before, and I will say it again, but I am going to pass on V5 and stick to good-old fashioned 1e and V20. I'm just glad I reconsidered pre-ordering it, or otherwise I would have wasted my money.

                  You do you, Camilla. You do you. You don't have to say it every third page of every thread though.

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                  • Originally posted by Herbert_West View Post
                    I do wonder what game those people have been playing in this whole "our world, but a lot shittier" thing called World of Darkness.
                    I've noticed a few of the people crying foul are former employees of Onyx Path who have spent a good deal of time throwing the current Onyx Path and White Wolf employees under the rug. Even months later, they seem to lobby insults attacking both the employees and their work up to and including V5. And to be fair, they have their supporters lock step with their opinions that generally back them.

                    I don't know if that had anything to do with White Wolf releasing that statement, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

                    Martin doesn't have the best grasp of the English language, but I in no way took his statement the other day as being in support of nazism of any way; nor do I think he was encouraging the playing of one.

                    And for what it's worth, I'm a Jew.


                    PENTEX SUCKS.

                    I'm a gamer. I'm conservative. We exist.

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                    • In a effort to change the subject i'll post this. This new edition will include a brand-new reason for Toreador and Nosferatu to hate each other. In the past it was mostly because the average toreador is shallow and the average nosferatu is vengeful. But now,it's because toreador literally are weakened and disturbed by ugliness in a physical and spiritual level by ugliness,can you imagine the wars the two clans must have fought to destroy each other?
                      And don't forget,one of the Nosferatu compulsions is destroying works of art.
                      Jeez,and they says Dwarves and Elves are hard to work together.
                      Last edited by Nicolas Milioni; 07-06-2018, 08:58 PM.

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                      • Originally posted by Fat Larry View Post

                        I've noticed a few of the people crying foul are former employees of Onyx Path who have spent a good deal of time throwing the current Onyx Path and White Wolf employees under the rug. Even months later, they seem to lobby insults attacking both the employees and their work up to and including V5. And to be fair, they have their supporters lock step with their opinions that generally back them.

                        I don't know if that had anything to do with White Wolf releasing that statement, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

                        Martin doesn't have the best grasp of the English language, but I in no way took his statement the other day as being in support of nazism of any way; nor do I think he was encouraging the playing of one.

                        And for what it's worth, I'm a Jew.

                        Again, subjectivity (I don't like this thing and anything not immediately condemning it is not good) vs objectivity (They talked about this in a neutral manner, stating that it does happen but isn't the core focus of the thing). And (this will probably get me banned, but whatevs) being honest, it's not like OPP hasn't thrown some questionable and awful stuff into their games through 'inclusiveness' that is tasteless and is ACTUALLY pandering.

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                        • Originally posted by Fat Larry View Post

                          I've noticed a few of the people crying foul are former employees of Onyx Path who have spent a good deal of time throwing the current Onyx Path and White Wolf employees under the rug. Even months later, they seem to lobby insults attacking both the employees and their work up to and including V5. And to be fair, they have their supporters lock step with their opinions that generally back them.

                          I don't know if that had anything to do with White Wolf releasing that statement, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

                          Martin doesn't have the best grasp of the English language, but I in no way took his statement the other day as being in support of nazism of any way; nor do I think he was encouraging the playing of one.

                          And for what it's worth, I'm a Jew.
                          Remember, when I've said V5 will be probably even more political and proglib than the earlier eiditons, just not necessairly "PC"? Well.

                          To be honest, I've read their statement on FB. I've read the screenshots about Martin's discussion with some other former developers. The stance he takes on representing bad things in WoD is still a stance I'm agreeing with. Now, it's obviously clear that his (an/or the team's in general) political view colored a LOT the how of that representation. I'd even say, more than it was normal back in the day, or even under V20. And people are still crying "Not enough!" Huh? What kind of WoD those people would have wanted? Brujah neo-nazis were a thing (and rightfully so) since the beginning, it's the nature of the clan and WW presented them in an unambigously negative way in the preview, again, even more than it was the norm in earler editions, where it was just mentioned, that some of them are like that, without extended meta-narrative around it. The majority of the brujah writeup clearly shows proglib-activist Brujah as the default protagonists. And it's still not enough? They'd serously wanted to not mentioning even the existence of nazi Brujah at all? How's that viable for the clan at all? Also, they did nothing to endorse the ide, it's quite clearly npc material, shown in a negative light.

                          Come on...


                          Also, I think the whole Chronicle Tenets thing is an attempt to placate those people, who don't like an "edgy" and "unnecessarily dark" WoD. I have ambiguous feelings about it. On the one hand, it's great that the game gives actual incentives and tools to discuss things that should be discussed at session zero anyway and it gives an easy-to-use tool when advertising games online, for example. You'll know what you're getting into and you can calibrate your own games. On the other hand, I think it has the danger of the game losing the central tone and identity, because the gothic-punk and the whole mood and Humanity was a big part of it. Of course that could be remedied with the handling of it, similar to how RPGs are handling metaplot and canon material in general: "here's the default thing we're assuming when writing the books, but you can change it whenever you like". It gives actual tools for that, which isn't a bad thing.


                          Truly, it's so frustrating, V5 really has some neat ideas and improvements, but the parts I don't like are just fouling the whole so badly. Based on what we know this far, of course. I'll still give it a chance, but I won't lie, I'll buy only the pdf and the physical books only if that manages to convince me, which, I have serious doubts about, again, based on the stuff we've seen already. Most likely, I'd keep reading the old material for the mood and themes, using V20's system. Possibly the most I'll use form V5 will be the new metaplot, in the case it turns out to be good, as a background. However, I still have the firm oppinion that WW gets a lot of flack for, essentially, nothing, from several people who, I just can't imagine how could have liked WoD at all. Maybe they never did, really, as it was, and that is what fuels their frustration... But seriously, WW and Martin is painstaikingly obvviously on the side of people who are criticizing them the most. That's how the revolution eats up its own children, I guess...



                          If nothing worked, then let's think!

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                          • Originally posted by Herbert_West View Post
                            1, You can't, in the same post chastise WW for dictating a play style, and then mandate that we ought to play against the dark. That's inconsistent.
                            A fair point, but V5 not only represents a tonal shift from the original - from struggling against the darkness to wallowing in it - but also introduces systemic modifications designed to shove that tonal shift down your throat and stop you from playing any other way.

                            Originally posted by Herbert_West View Post
                            2, Speaking for myself, I do find playing, reading about, or in some other way engaging with things that make me uncomfortable fascinating and interesting. Substituting fun for engaging is a poor way to experience things.
                            And if you want to play that way, good for you, go for it. But it's game, not a tool for therapy or a way to confront real-world issues that are best confronted and engaged with in... well, the real world. Playing a KKK member, or a neo-Nazi, or a Mafia torturer, or a terrorist mastermind, might be an intellectually interesting psychological exercise, but it's not really "experiencing" things, just exploring your own preconceptions of what those characters are like.

                            Originally posted by Herbert_West View Post
                            3, The real Nazis (Chetniks, Stalinists, Maoists, Spartakists, etc) absolutely are interesting. If the proposition of "what turns Weimar into Third Reich" is not an interesting question to you, I don't know what to tell you.
                            Oh, "what were social, political and economic circumstances that allowed a bunch of hater-mongering inadequates to take over Germany?" is a very interesting question. The hate-mongering inadequates themselves? Not so much. And playing a neo-Nazi won't help me to answer the question.

                            Originally posted by PMárk View Post
                            Truly, it's so frustrating, V5 really has some neat ideas and improvements, but the parts I don't like are just fouling the whole so badly.
                            I feel far more positive about it than that. The preview contained much that I liked - Loresheets, discipline refinements, tantalizing hints of changes in vampire society which look extremely interesting. The whole "wallowing in angst and evil makes us cool and edgy, and soooo much more mature than people who want to play characters who struggle against the Curse to be good guys" is adolescent and irritating, and I can't help feeling amused that it's wound up tripping them up on FB. But some heavy houseruling can get around that, and I have high hopes that the good in the book will massively outweigh the bad. I'm looking forward to the release with enthusiasm and interest.

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                            • I think Nazis are the easiest thing to rail against, when people are probably trying to air a more general disagreement with the changes in the game. It just seems like that's easier to articulate than the other things that give them a general air of deflation/dissatisfaction/annoyance. For me, the problem is in tone, wording, confidence . . . There's just something unconvincing about the fluff, like it's trying too hard, and the mechanics seem more intrusive but even vaguer. There's a sense of uncanny, from the almost-but-not-quite entirely unlike VTM feel of the thing, but it's easier to howl 'NAZIS!' than explain that.

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                              • Originally posted by JezMiller View Post
                                The Storyteller system is about telling stories, and everyone is the hero of their own story. Contrary to Lord Vetinari's view that "there are only bad people, but not all of them are on the same side", stories need heroes, however flawed. Vampire in its first incarnation introduced a system, Humanity, which penalized characters if they were consistently as ruthless even as say, Indiana Jones or James Bond. Vampires were not licensed to kill. The game in its darker aspects was about fighting against a curse, not surrendering to it. The Sabbat deviated radically from that original vision, but the "mainstream" game still largely adhered to it.

                                V5 "is not a roleplaying game where you play good guys". And just to hammer that point home, they've made it so that you can never fully satisfy your hunger unless you murder someone. It doesn't just allow, but actively encourages, characters to do "things the player finds morally repugnant" so that they "use it as a fictional space to explore terrible things".
                                I think we differ in interpretation here. For me, as someone who enjoys playing the good (or at least good-ish) guys, the murder-to-become-sated shtick is a good thing. Because good deeds aren't as meaningful if there's no temptation to be bad. Everyone can be good if you are happy, sated, rich and safe (and there's a stick waiting to beat you up when you do bad things). Remember the old video game RPGs where they were just figuring out how to do intriguing morality stuff and most quests were "Good solution: Do this interesting quest chain where you learn about the world, gain a ton of items and XP and have warm fuzzy feelings" versus "Evil solution: Murder some people, take less stuff and gain less XP, move on with main quest"?

                                Compare that with today's Vampyr: You can drink story NPCs dry for a massive XP boost and get a lot of fluff out of it because you gain more XP from drinking the more of their secrets you have revealed. The temptation is always there: Hunters or rival vampires too strong? Just open up a juice bag and get some additional ability levels - in fact, I'm pretty certain you can't even reasonably get to the top of some skill trees without murdering several people.
                                I still haven't killed a single NPC outside of combat. I've gotten thrashed at multiple points of the game and instead of getting more powers, I've learned how to better use the combat system. Because that's what I choose. And I feel pretty good with that, even when other players may choose to drink entire boroughs dry and waltz through hordes of enemies.
                                Last edited by Cifer; 07-07-2018, 06:45 AM.

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