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That which I dislike the most about V5: The absence of the Elders

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  • #16
    There are many elders and Methuselahs still around, but the departure of others provides vacancies player characters can fill.

    As examples of elders who didn't feel the call / have resisted it, you have Marcus Vitel, Lucinde, Karl Schrekt, among others.


    Matthew Dawkins
    In-House Developer for Onyx Path Publishing

    ~Hapax Legomenon~

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    • #17
      The first thing I'd point out is that not every elder has been beckoned. Carna and Karl Schreckt haven't, for a start, although admittedly their Antediluvian(s) are in Europe. The Gentleman is narrating an elder who hasn't in his video series. Elders are still a thing.

      The second thing is that the V5 core... isn't. Not in the same way that Revised and V20 are. A better analogy would be Fantasy Flight's Star Wars games. The V5 "core" is primarily for Edge-of-Empire characters, the Fringe. The Anarch book will be for Age of Rebellion vampires. And the Camarilla...er... well... adventure, excitement, they seek not these things.

      Elders are downplayed in the new "core" because it's primary milieu is young, often street-level vampires. Tenth-generation ancillae are the "power players" here, just as mid-level gangsters are the power players in Edge of Empire. That doesn't mean the Grand Moffs and Sith Lords aren't out there, just that the characters aren't likely to meet them very often.

      But sooner or later they're going to be publishing rules for elders, and a one page sheet saying "Your character is summoned to the middle east and becomes an NPC. The End" ain't going to cut it when they do.

      Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post

      Of course. I understand why it was done, but the counterargument needs to be made too.

      I think it's interesting that MET did some market research into why some people prefer oWoD to CoD, and that kind of effort wasn't repeated. VTM fans who stuck with that game instead of VTR didn't want balanced or streamlined rules. They wanted oodles of metaplot and signature NPCs.

      I wonder what a similar survey now would reveal?
      But while V20 was aimed at a specific demographic - established Masquerade players who loved the setting as it was - with V5, they are attempting to reach out to a larger audience with more concerns about play balance. Since I fall into the V20 target demographic, I am very sympathetic to those who don't like the removal of the elders, and I'm inclined to agree. But I think V5 will eventually meet those concerns at least halfway.

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      • #18
        I think it's just the price you pay for a metaplot. Stuff of real consequence needs to happen and that stuff may well cut across what players are using the setting for. You trade constrained game-style for a more vibrant and dynamic setting.


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        • #19
          Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
          Accurate as it may be, it falls into the exact same logical problem as Revised had. If I don't want to play the game the designers want me to, then the new edition has nothing to offer me.
          Hold up a sec. With the exception of the Avatar Storm, and the four books that ended the line, Revised is the edition that opened up all of the avenues of play by presenting different groups and styles in internally consistent and reasonable options.


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          • #20
            Originally posted by Beckett View Post

            Hold up a sec. With the exception of the Avatar Storm, and the four books that ended the line, Revised is the edition that opened up all of the avenues of play by presenting different groups and styles in internally consistent and reasonable options.

            Actually Revised was where the metaplot got really out of hand (until V5 managed to top that) because outside of the corebooks you had the metaplot screwing over players left and right, especially if you were playing Vampire or Mage, though Werewolf got some of it too.

            If you played a Ravnos, a Stargazer, or a Camarilla-aligned Gangrel, the metaplot fucked you over if you followed it and aside from the metaplot, Revised had very little to offer. There's also the infamous Avatar Storm but that's already been discussed in this thread.

            I like the Ravnos as a full Clan, the Gangrel in the Camarilla, the Setites and Assamites as Independents, and I don't fool around with the Beckoning or any other metaplot bullshit or wonky mechanics that force players to play personal horror whether they like it or not. So, V5 really has nothing to offer me.

            Thank God for the metaplot-neutral V20 though that has everything you need for any chronicle.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Camilla View Post


              Actually Revised was where the metaplot got really out of hand (until V5 managed to top that) because outside of the corebooks you had the metaplot screwing over players left and right, especially if you were playing Vampire or Mage, though Werewolf got some of it too.

              If you played a Ravnos, a Stargazer, or a Camarilla-aligned Gangrel, the metaplot fucked you over if you followed it and aside from the metaplot, Revised had very little to offer. There's also the infamous Avatar Storm but that's already been discussed in this thread.

              I like the Ravnos as a full Clan, the Gangrel in the Camarilla, the Setites and Assamites as Independents, and I don't fool around with the Beckoning or any other metaplot bullshit or wonky mechanics that force players to play personal horror whether they like it or not. So, V5 really has nothing to offer me.

              Thank God for the metaplot-neutral V20 though that has everything you need for any chronicle.

              I don't understand. You need the writers' permission to play the game the way you want? V20 is plot-neutral because the plot is optional. You can choose to play the malkavian with or without dementation, you can play the assamite with or without their blood curse, etc'. So why can't you play other editions like that?

              Also, the mechanic doesn't force you to play personal horror, you can choose convictions and tenets that work for you, and it can have nothing to do with the tragedy.

              Example character conviction:
              Everyone that crosses me will pay.
              Only the strong survive.
              Never turn the other cheek.

              Example chronicle tenets:
              Those who oppose us shall fall
              Love is for the weak
              Blood is life and it shall be all ours (\m/)

              Last edited by Godforsaken; 08-07-2018, 07:44 AM.

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              • #22
                For vampire aside from the Ravnos most of the changes the metaplot had in revised where not too invasive. There was plenty of Gangrel in the Camarilla after xaviar pulled out (look at karsh), and Gangrel where still present in camarilla sections of the books (I'm thinking of Archon and templars, guide to the Camarilla and so on.). Same goes for the assamite: after revised you could have been an assamite and being Camarilla, or Sabbat or whatever you wished, since Ur shulgi ascension provided a good explanation for all of this.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by JezMiller View Post
                  But while V20 was aimed at a specific demographic - established Masquerade players who loved the setting as it was - with V5, they are attempting to reach out to a larger audience with more concerns about play balance.
                  So... VtR. Is not the exact point for Requiem and the CoD?

                  I think the main problem is that that larger audiance basically doesn't exist. One of the main design philosophies behind V5, officially or not, seems to be to have taken "the best parts" of VtM and VtR and put them together, except for a lot of people, the best part of Masquerade was it was not Requiem, and vice versa.

                  I'm not bashing either game when I say that, but there are a lot of mutually exclusive elements. Masquerade's strengths are its deep lore/story/metaplot, varied play styles, globalism, and that it was set in a progressing story, where events could matter and build.

                  Requiem's strengths are it's focus on one location, it's kitchen sink approach, (year zero, pick and choose suppliments), it's high level of unknown, and it's balance.

                  Sure, as far as fans, there is some crossover, but even among those that enjoy VtM and VtR, the overwelming idea I hear is that they like each game for it's unique strengths, while the majority flock towards one and dislike the other. V5, so far to me, is really coming off as more of a VtR game with some Masquerade name drops, and speaking for myself, a lot of the things I am not enjoying are exactly why I did not like Requiem. I can see Requiem fans feeling very similar in regards to Masquerade, and the "larger audience" turning out to be another divide in the overall player base, but probably not as loyal to one over the others.

                  It might have been wiser to have started with the Sabbat and Anarch books, but the more I think about it, if there is going to be any chance that those will be good, the the V5 "core" seems to become pointless. It is just too minimalist in all the things it should do, (presenting systems to actually play the game, presenting the world, setting the stage and what came before, explaining enough about the mysteries that those mysteries matter, etc...). V5 "core" is more of a primer, (and wasted a shitload of page space for how little it seems to actually offer), akin to a proper playtest document.


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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Godforsaken View Post


                    I don't understand. You need the writers' permission to play the game the way you want? V20 is plot-neutral because the plot is optional. You can choose to play the malkavian with or without dementation, you can play the assamite with or without their blood curse, etc'. So why can't you play other editions like that? If you want your game.

                    Also, the mechanic doesn't force you to play personal horror, you can choose convictions and tenets that work for you, and it can have nothing to do with the tragedy.

                    Example character conviction:
                    Everyone that crosses me will pay.
                    Only the strong survive.
                    Never turn the other cheek.

                    Example chronicle tenets:
                    Those who oppose us shall fall
                    Love is for the weak
                    Blood is life and it shall be all ours (\m/)

                    The problem with V5 is that is a Huge Mechanical mesh , is Incomplete (Lacks Elder rules and only has 7 clans giving the EA DLC policy feeling) and the Metaplot is as everybody included me said a Avatar Storm all over again all in order to compel the players to play the One Way to Have Fun.

                    Tailored humanity would have been a good idea if it weren´t tied to human touchstones and the intrusive Hunger dices weren´t a thing

                    Yes I could do as you suggest and ignore both the mechanics and the metaplot as I don´t like neither but why should I buy a book if I am gonna ignore all inside it when I already have a complete product as V20 is?

                    This was Stolen from a Spanish forums but defines perfectly my feelings https://imgur.com/MwhlMKy

                    pd Everyone has his tastes If you like V5 I hope your cronicles are full of fun but this edition isn´t for me or players/ST like me

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post
                      For vampire aside from the Ravnos most of the changes the metaplot had in revised where not too invasive.
                      That is correct, though I would argue even the Ravnos was not that invasive, as White Wolf made it rather clear at the time that they where goung to leave the percentages largely in each ST's hands.


                      Originally posted by Camilla
                      If you played a Ravnos, a Stargazer, or a Camarilla-aligned Gangrel, the metaplot fucked you over if you followed it and aside from the metaplot, Revised had very little to offer.
                      I know you are very opinionated, but I completely disagree, and would say Revised was the absolute best edition all around. It took a lot of the rediculous and gonzo of 2nd and not only made it reasonable and internally consistent, but presented it in more mature and playable ways, turning moustache-twirling bad guys into well-written villians and antagonists. And while I get it, some people don't like metaplot or strong setting histories, but to many others that was one of the stronger draws to the game, and presenting it was the best option for everyone, because those who do not like it can easily ignore it, vs how V20 just left half the fans out in the cold, (though granted, they started getting better by M20).


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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Bluecho View Post

                        One of the big things that galls me over this "Beckoning" business is how it basically takes the entire central conflict of Vampire: The Masquerade - the war between old and young - and summarily breaks it over a knee.
                        This is my opinion as well. It hardly feels like a War of the Ages when it's 9th-12th Gen Ventrue/Toreador/Tremere ancillaes and neonates struggling against 9th-15th Gen ancillae and neonates Brujah, Gangrel, Setites, Caitiffs and Thin Bloods.


                        Originally posted by The Gentleman Gamer View Post
                        There are many elders and Methuselahs still around, but the departure of others provides vacancies player characters can fill.

                        As examples of elders who didn't feel the call / have resisted it, you have Marcus Vitel, Lucinde, Karl Schrekt, among others.
                        Thank you for the reply. I'm hoping the upcoming Guides to the Camarilla and Anarch will give us a clearer picture of how many Elders have remained behind and of the composition of your "average" domain now.
                        Last edited by HardestadtTheEvenYounger; 08-07-2018, 08:28 AM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Beckett View Post

                          That is correct, though I would argue even the Ravnos was not that invasive, as White Wolf made it rather clear at the time that they where goung to leave the percentages largely in each ST's hands.


                          I know you are very opinionated, but I completely disagree, and would say Revised was the absolute best edition all around. It took a lot of the rediculous and gonzo of 2nd and not only made it reasonable and internally consistent, but presented it in more mature and playable ways, turning moustache-twirling bad guys into well-written villians and antagonists. And while I get it, some people don't like metaplot or strong setting histories, but to many others that was one of the stronger draws to the game, and presenting it was the best option for everyone, because those who do not like it can easily ignore it, vs how V20 just left half the fans out in the cold, (though granted, they started getting better by M20).

                          Meh, I actually sort of unironically liked the gonzo stuff from 1e and 2e. If you like the metaplot, that's cool with me but I think V20 did the best approach by being metaplot-neutral. You can include the metaplot if you want and they even provide the options for it, but it's not going to be forced on you like in Revised or especially V5.

                          I will admit that Revised is better than V5, and if you're just going on the corebook alone, then VTM Revised is fairly decent.

                          Another thing I didn't like about Revised was the WW writers at the time, most notably Justin Achilli, would call out people who didn't follow the metaplot or play personal horror in the text of many books and essentially tell them that they were "Playing The Game Wrong".

                          The Revised Player's Guide for VTM was one of the more notorious examples of what I am describing.

                          (That being said, Achilli did mellow out somewhat later on and I enjoyed some of his work for Requiem and V20)

                          V5 has amped up the One True Way-ism and the mechanics and metaplot are even wonkier and more intrusive than before. With Revised, if you just stayed with the corebook and ignored the Humanity meter, then you could easily run a non-personal horror or non-metaplot game.

                          With V5, that is no longer an option.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Leandro16 View Post
                            The problem with V5 is that is a Huge Mechanical mesh , is Incomplete (Lacks Elder rules and only has 7 clans giving the EA DLC policy feeling) and the Metaplot is as everybody included me said a Avatar Storm all over again all in order to compel the players to play the One Way to Have Fun.

                            Tailored humanity would have been a good idea if it weren´t tied to human touchstones and the intrusive Hunger dices weren´t a thing

                            Yes I could do as you suggest and ignore both the mechanics and the metaplot as I don´t like neither but why should I buy a book if I am gonna ignore all inside it when I already have a complete product as V20 is?

                            This was Stolen from a Spanish forums but defines perfectly my feelings https://imgur.com/MwhlMKy

                            pd Everyone has his tastes If you like V5 I hope your cronicles are full of fun but this edition isn´t for me or players/ST like me
                            I haven't ignored the mechanics, the examples I gave for convictions and tenets are well within the rules.

                            And everyone ignores the metaplot in a way. Because the game you run is your own. The characters in your game do not exist in the metaplot and they will never contribute to the metaplot. This is the main reason I do not use it. In your game which can be as close to the meta as possible, the characters are the main heroes, but in the end, the metaplot characters that were written by WW are the ones who define what will happen in the future. In your game maybe the Camarilla took back a major city from the Sabbat, but it's not the meta anymore, so you had to deviate in order to create your own story, you created your own NPCs, and your own world, where is the metaplot here? maybe you based your game on it, but it will never be part of it.


                            EDIT: The amount of elder rules you have in the book, are the same that you had in revised, you have all the generation and blood potency rules, you just don't have disciplines above 5 dots, which was the same with revised, only later books added the 6+ dots in disciplines.

                            EDIT 2.0: Even more so, you can create a generation 5 elder with 8 dot discipline in V5 because each discipline has more than one power at each level, so you can create an elder with 8 powers in a discipline which is to have 8 dots. You couldn't do it in revised.
                            Last edited by Godforsaken; 08-07-2018, 08:52 AM.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Camilla View Post
                              V5 has amped up the One True Way-ism and the mechanics and metaplot are even wonkier and more intrusive than before. With Revised, if you just stayed with the corebook and ignored the Humanity meter, then you could easily run a non-personal horror or non-metaplot game.

                              With V5, that is no longer an option.
                              This is by no means a dig at you, or any playstyle you choose to play, so I ask this with the most respectful of intents.

                              What sort of game did you run? It is clearly not a personal horror game, despite Vampire saying it front and center?
                              Political Horror? Splatterpunk? Highlander with politics? I'm very confused and would like to understand what sort of game that you actually play.


                              __________________________________________________
                              Preaching the enlightened gospels of Gaming Anarchy

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                              • #30
                                To be fair, the WoD has always been more of a Gothic Punk theme than a Personal Horror as far as on the tin. It was CoD that focused more on Personal Horror, (as I think you mean it) when it went away from Punk, and Gothic as a modern culture.

                                1st Ed, mostly the Core book did have a very strong personal horror theme in focusing on fighting the Beast and struggling to keep your Humanity (Forever Knight, Interview with the Vampire).
                                Last edited by Beckett; 08-07-2018, 09:10 AM.


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