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  • Originally posted by Wissenschaft View Post
    Hey, like I said, I'll just have to agree to disagree with people who dislike the hunger system. We all have valid points so we aren't going to change each others minds. I just provided my view point so people can see why someone might like the hunger system.

    I like that that the hunger dice provide both failures and success. Your beast might cause you to succeed with unintended consequences. Some few this as taking agency way from them but to me it just adds roleplaying opportunities. How does my character react to this?

    I don't know, maybe I just play so many different game systems over the years that I tend to just go along with a new set of rules then feel alienated by them.
    Yeah I’m with you. To me, the Hunger system is the most thematic and most thought out mechanic in 30 years of VTM. Even if V5 ends up being a dud everywhere else, the Hunger system is now the only way I will ever run a Vampire anything chronicle. It’s at the top of the things that convinced me to buy V5.

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    • Originally posted by Wissenschaft View Post
      I like that that the hunger dice provide both failures and success.
      OK, not trying to go on about opinions, but this part has a factual issue:

      Hunger dice don't provide success. Hunger dice only have a negative consequence. If you rolled the same result with a normal die instead of a Hunger die, the result is always better for your character.

      Having Hunger dice isn't a mixed bag of risking your beast's power to extra benefits for a loss of control. It's all negatives to compel you to keep as feed as possible.

      In the alpha (IIRC) it was phrased more than Messy Crits happened if you rolled a 10 on a Hunger die, even if you didn't roll one on your normal dice. This didn't address every issue people have with them, but it made keeping some Hunger dice more of a calculated risk, because your Hunger dice might get you a crit with better odds than having to roll two tens on normal dice. The final rules changed this to require a normal 10 as well, taking that part away.

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      • I guess that depends on how you view a messy critical. It’s still a critical success and will help you to overcome opposition. Yes, it does so in a way that won‘t really be healthy in the long run, but right here right now it’s a success. At least that‘s how I play it at the table.

        A friend has suggested that Hunger dice might have been better implemented if they didn’t replace dice, but rather add to the dice pool. Which I find an interesting idea.

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        • Originally posted by Murder-of-Crows View Post
          I guess that depends on how you view a messy critical. It’s still a critical success and will help you to overcome opposition. Yes, it does so in a way that won‘t really be healthy in the long run, but right here right now it’s a success. At least that‘s how I play it at the table.

          A friend has suggested that Hunger dice might have been better implemented if they didn’t replace dice, but rather add to the dice pool. Which I find an interesting idea.

          I have to agree with this. From running the game now for 3 or so sessions, Messy Criticals have not come up frequently to feel as if the dice are ruling the narrative, and when they have they have added to the play experience. Depending upon the situation I would use them to give messy positive results. For example in combat a messy critical gives some further damage to the opponent, but the problem now is that you are at risk of anger frenzy, or you don't just beat the person but kill them (that has consequences as well).

          But in all the game play I have run so far;

          a) most powers in non-combat situations when activated have not required Rouse Checks, thus Hunger has stayed low.
          b) even with Rouse Checks, Hunger has only increased rapidly in combat situations.
          c) Hunger dice have very infrequently caused Messy Criticals
          d) a good number of times for the task at hand the players have noted that taking half has been the better option, and so means they have ignored Hunger outright
          e) Bestial Fails have also occurred infrequently.

          Given the frequency of any of the above, I have often found players have enjoyed pushing their luck, risking a Rouse Check, to get that power or bonus off when they have needed it. And when things have gone wrong for them, they have enjoyed the nudge, the prompt, the opening, to roleplay out that result.


          www.darker-days.org - The Premier World of Darkness Podcast
          Co-designer and miniature painter for Noble Armada 3e
          Staff writer for CYBR Magazine https://shop.cybrmagazine.com/
          Writer, developer, editor, layout for Darker Days Radio Publishing
          Writer for Cubicle 7 Wrath and Glory Revised

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          • Originally posted by Murder-of-Crows View Post
            I guess that depends on how you view a messy critical.
            How so?

            The Hunger dice 10s do not provide additional successes/bonuses. There is no mechanical incentive to have a few Hunger dice because you might gain some boosts. Hunger dice are just as likely to produce crits as normal dice, but have complications attached to them. Messy Crits aren't going to let you do what a normal crit cannot in terms of your action's intent.

            I compare this to Mage for a reason. In Ascension, Paradox has a similar incentive structure: keep it as low as possible. Paradox is a randomly determined consequence that goes up the harder you push your magic, and eventually it bites you in the ass unless you can manage it well enough and get rid of your Paradox faster than you're building it up (aka the equivalent of feeding).

            There's no bonus for having a few Paradox on your wheel, just like there's no bonus to having some Hunger dice in your pool.

            A friend has suggested that Hunger dice might have been better implemented if they didn’t replace dice, but rather add to the dice pool. Which I find an interesting idea.
            I'm not sure I'd go with it exactly, but it's certainly the type of thing a lot of us would have rather seen in this regard.

            Originally posted by Dr Ether View Post
            From running the game now for 3 or so sessions, Messy Criticals have not come up frequently,,,
            But the frequency isn't what anyone's complaining about. It's the all downsides nature of it. In the alphas, frequency was the way Messy Crits felt less punishing, because they were more common as phrased there, having a few extra Hunger dice was a risk of immediate reward (lots of crits) against the longer term consequences (the fallout from however the Messy occurs).

            The final text reduced the frequency influence of Hunger dice, without putting in something else to replace the feeling that the Hunger dice are a dangerous source of help.

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            • Honestly it just sounds like you don't like risk. I'm bored now. Bye.


              www.darker-days.org - The Premier World of Darkness Podcast
              Co-designer and miniature painter for Noble Armada 3e
              Staff writer for CYBR Magazine https://shop.cybrmagazine.com/
              Writer, developer, editor, layout for Darker Days Radio Publishing
              Writer for Cubicle 7 Wrath and Glory Revised

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              • O....K....

                How do I sound like I don't like risk after saying that something like Hunger dice adding to your pool instead of replacing dice is a design I'd like better than the current one?

                You're jumping from, "Heavy Arms doesn't like mint ice cream," all the way down to, "Heavy Arms doesn't like dairy products, so I'm not talking to him about ice cream any more."

                My point is that for enjoyment, risk is not all created equally. Risk is more fun for me (and most people I've played any game with) when there's the chance of both positive and negative results. If the only risk provided (either in the game or with a specific mechanic) is negative risk, it's less fun. Hence all these negative subjective things like "punishing" or "restricting" and so on.

                One of the basic guidelines of RPGs is to roll when the risks of both success and failure of interesting, and skip rolling if there's no risk or reason to consider both.

                For example, I vastly prefer Mage the Awakening 2e's approach to risk in magic than Ascension or Awakening 1e. It's not because of some aversion to risk... but because I get to make a significant choice in my risks where I trade things like odds of success or increasing the Paradox dice-pool for my spell, for direct increases to my spell's power.

                The problem with the final version of Hunger dice (and I mean specifically Hunger dice here, not rousing even if I have my objections to that, it's a different consideration) is that lack of pay off for taking risks. Sitting around with two or three Hunger is purely negative, and the incentive is to then feed ASAP rather than continue with the story and hope that Hunger dice do some good instead of just making things worse.

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                • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                  O....K....

                  How do I sound like I don't like risk after saying that something like Hunger dice adding to your pool instead of replacing dice is a design I'd like better than the current one?

                  You're jumping from, "Heavy Arms doesn't like mint ice cream," all the way down to, "Heavy Arms doesn't like dairy products, so I'm not talking to him about ice cream any more."

                  My point is that for enjoyment, risk is not all created equally. Risk is more fun for me (and most people I've played any game with) when there's the chance of both positive and negative results. If the only risk provided (either in the game or with a specific mechanic) is negative risk, it's less fun. Hence all these negative subjective things like "punishing" or "restricting" and so on.

                  One of the basic guidelines of RPGs is to roll when the risks of both success and failure of interesting, and skip rolling if there's no risk or reason to consider both.

                  For example, I vastly prefer Mage the Awakening 2e's approach to risk in magic than Ascension or Awakening 1e. It's not because of some aversion to risk... but because I get to make a significant choice in my risks where I trade things like odds of success or increasing the Paradox dice-pool for my spell, for direct increases to my spell's power.

                  The problem with the final version of Hunger dice (and I mean specifically Hunger dice here, not rousing even if I have my objections to that, it's a different consideration) is that lack of pay off for taking risks. Sitting around with two or three Hunger is purely negative, and the incentive is to then feed ASAP rather than continue with the story and hope that Hunger dice do some good instead of just making things worse.
                  I don't think there is any such thing as a "basic guideline of RPG's", there isn't a basic guideline for RPG design.

                  The purpose of the Hunger mechanic is to represent hunger mechanically in a thematic way. The fact that hunger is a purely negative thing thematically, it makes sense that it would be so mechanically.

                  I understand not everyone is a fan of the hunger system, but if there was a positive effect from hunger.. that would be just outright illogical.

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                  • Originally posted by xguild View Post
                    I don't think there is any such thing as a "basic guideline of RPG's", there isn't a basic guideline for RPG design.
                    Officially? No (though would be absurd). But as emergent concepts? Yes. "Roll when it's actually interesting," is like the Golden Rule... one of those things that has grown to be a traditional part of RPG design as iteration has continued over the decades. If you spend time on RPG tinkering or design forums, it's a concept that's extremely ingrained in what gets present as the basics.

                    The purpose of the Hunger mechanic is to represent hunger mechanically in a thematic way. The fact that hunger is a purely negative thing thematically, it makes sense that it would be so mechanically.
                    The choice to make Hunger a purely negative thing thematically is a design choice by WW. Vampires are not universally defined with, "they get hungry, and that's always bad," in any fashion to claim it's necessary to not have any positives towards hunger. And since we're talking about a game, fun matters, and designing the themes of the game should pay attention to how people generally have fun with games. There's a reason why WtA doesn't follow standard European werewolf folklore; the designers realized that the PCs sitting around as normal humans for 27 days, and then waking up a day later after blanking out and being wolves, doesn't really make for much of a game for a group of players.

                    Frenzies provide bonuses. If you're in a bad fight as a vampire, a Frenzy might give you the physical edge to win the fight. You could see a cornered vampire taking the risk to give into a Frenzy when cornered to unleash their beasts on their foes if they're desperate enough. This doesn't negatively impact the themes of the game.... if anything it heightens them.

                    Hunger can be the same way. Here:

                    http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...-requiem/page2

                    This is an attempt to make a Hunger dice system that makes sense in the CofD design paradigm. I get the specific mechanics may or may not make sense, but how does that loss the theme of hunger being bad, even as lower Hunger Conditions give you some bonuses as well?

                    ...but if there was a positive effect from hunger.. that would be just outright illogical.
                    Why? Hunger is there to be a motivator to feed. Any bonuses that help you feed are completely logical. Any bonuses that stem from the beast being close to the surface to take over protecting itself from whatever's getting you to burn your blood is completely logical.

                    And, from a game perspective, these things give you reasons to play hungry vampires that don't rush to get a bite to eat ASAP every time their tummy rumbles.

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                    • Why? Hunger is there to be a motivator to feed. Any bonuses that help you feed are completely logical. Any bonuses that stem from the beast being close to the surface to take over protecting itself from whatever's getting you to burn your blood is completely logical.

                      And, from a game perspective, these things give you reasons to play hungry vampires that don't rush to get a bite to eat ASAP every time their tummy rumbles.

                      This is why i feel like the hunger mechanic is designed to make you a blood junkie, It's always gnawing on you, only killing can make it stop and only then for a while.

                      This is what i would expect a very low humanity shovelhead to act like, scrambling twitchily to their next fix. This might have an appeal in the short term, but only if i knew i could work my way out of it. Roleplaying this kind of addiction is not fun...


                      Prone to being a Classic Curmudgeon, goshdarned whippersnappers...

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                      • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                        Officially? No (though would be absurd). But as emergent concepts? Yes. "Roll when it's actually interesting," is like the Golden Rule... one of those things that has grown to be a traditional part of RPG design as iteration has continued over the decades. If you spend time on RPG tinkering or design forums, it's a concept that's extremely ingrained in what gets present as the basics.



                        The choice to make Hunger a purely negative thing thematically is a design choice by WW. Vampires are not universally defined with, "they get hungry, and that's always bad," in any fashion to claim it's necessary to not have any positives towards hunger. And since we're talking about a game, fun matters, and designing the themes of the game should pay attention to how people generally have fun with games. There's a reason why WtA doesn't follow standard European werewolf folklore; the designers realized that the PCs sitting around as normal humans for 27 days, and then waking up a day later after blanking out and being wolves, doesn't really make for much of a game for a group of players.

                        Frenzies provide bonuses. If you're in a bad fight as a vampire, a Frenzy might give you the physical edge to win the fight. You could see a cornered vampire taking the risk to give into a Frenzy when cornered to unleash their beasts on their foes if they're desperate enough. This doesn't negatively impact the themes of the game.... if anything it heightens them.

                        Hunger can be the same way. Here:

                        http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...-requiem/page2

                        This is an attempt to make a Hunger dice system that makes sense in the CofD design paradigm. I get the specific mechanics may or may not make sense, but how does that loss the theme of hunger being bad, even as lower Hunger Conditions give you some bonuses as well?



                        Why? Hunger is there to be a motivator to feed. Any bonuses that help you feed are completely logical. Any bonuses that stem from the beast being close to the surface to take over protecting itself from whatever's getting you to burn your blood is completely logical.

                        And, from a game perspective, these things give you reasons to play hungry vampires that don't rush to get a bite to eat ASAP every time their tummy rumbles.
                        Seriously I feel like the V5 hunger system was just overdesigned and overthought.

                        Keep blood points, and have your Vampires get hungry when their blood pool falls below a certain level, proportional to the size of their total blood pool. Have them at a greater risk of Frenzy, especially hunger frenzy, in this state. V20 already has Vampires frenzying at the sight/smell of blood when they are low on blood, this would just make the exact nature of that situation more concrete and remove ambiguity.

                        Add our "compulsions", or not-frenzies. Make them the 1-4 success outcome (in V20 you need 5 successes to completely throw off Frenzy, and you can accumulate them over several rolls). If you're hungry, that's a motivation to feed. You don't need to frenzy to really want to get some blood in you, and if you do that the beast will happily back off. If you're being angered, that's a motivation to demonstrate your strength or harm another. If you're being scared, that's a motivation to go on the defensive, or become territorial. Give a simple list of ways Vampires might respond to certain stimuli, and the many ways those could be RPed. Mention how these responses can be niche and unusual in some cases; how some Vampire's beasts are subtle and cunning predators, and how the standard "raging monster" can gradually change with age. Go into depth about how Paths, especially those with Instinct instead of Self-Control, change the way this relationship works.

                        As for why hunger should benefit you, I'm totally agreed... what do you all think the beast is FOR? It's not just a curse, it's a blessing. It can be a survival tool for Vampires. It isn't one that is suited to living in human society, which is why it can be so problematic. In "the wild" the things the beast pushes Vampires to do are perfectly logical. You're hungry, feed. You're burning, run and hide. Your dominance is being challenged, fight or flee. Your property is being threatened, defend it. The conflict this generates is a theme of the game; you have an angry apex predator cohabiting in your body, now try and hang onto your humanity.
                        Last edited by 11twiggins; 08-17-2018, 07:57 PM.

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                        • Originally posted by jamiemalk View Post


                          This is why i feel like the hunger mechanic is designed to make you a blood junkie, It's always gnawing on you, only killing can make it stop and only then for a while.

                          This is what i would expect a very low humanity shovelhead to act like, scrambling twitchily to their next fix. This might have an appeal in the short term, but only if i knew i could work my way out of it. Roleplaying this kind of addiction is not fun...
                          You're not supposed to overcome your hunger. It is always supposed to be nagging at you unless you're willing to give in to the monster inside and drink your victims dead.
                          The alternative is called Golconda, and it's treated as a myth for a reason (you're not supposed to reach Golconda, it's supposed to be that goal that's basically always out of reach).

                          --------

                          This is where I think the disconnect really comes from. From my perspective, at least, it sounds like people just don't want to play vampires; they want to play mages that use blood as a resource. However, saying this outright gets people feeling insulted and hostility rises, but then, a counter point is never provided.
                          Frankly, IMO, the challenges of roleplaying the downsides of being a vampire are what make this game great - you have plans and ambitions and this huge political arena of the night to play in and all these neat new powers to help you get there, but you have the nagging beast who is always there and always hungry potentially messing things up, and the challenge is to find a way to succeed despite it all.

                          It comes as no surprise that I keep seeing some of the biggest opponents of the new hunger mechanics also outright saying that Mage is their preferred game, cuz, well, yeah it kinda sounds like it would be.

                          Maybe it's my experience with Legend of the Five Rings roleplaying (my preferred rpg) but that game really drives into you how "losing" isn't necessarily a bad thing - "How is your character going to die?" is one of the character creation questions you're asked, and I think that kind of thinking would go a loooong way in WW games. Losing to hunger or frenzy or even final death isn't a bad thing, as long as the story stays interesting.
                          The only way to lose in this game is to have a boring story, after all.
                          Last edited by Schwann145; 08-18-2018, 06:25 AM.

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                          • Originally posted by jamiemalk View Post
                            This is why i feel like the hunger mechanic is designed to make you a blood junkie, It's always gnawing on you, only killing can make it stop and only then for a while.
                            Vampires are blood junkies! However you look at the game: you are playing a junkie who gets high on the lifeblood of others. A vampire is living of humans as a predator. A vampire is not a nice guy, and certainly the beast is not a blessing. The Beast is essentially turning a vampire into an animal completely driven by instinct: hunt, feed, sleep. The irony is: a vampire would be best suited to the wilderness, except for one thing: blood can be found more easily in cities. The core existence of a vampire is defined by that contradiction; being a solitary predator, but being forced to live among the herd, and thus into conflict with their own kind. Why do you think domains are baked into the game? That's hunting territory. The Camarilla, Sabbat, Anarchs, whatever is just a way to deal with territoriality, the instincts of the beast, and trying to give their existence meaning. By the way, all these themes have been there from Day 1 in 1991. The former implementations were just not rather good at show-casing the main struggles of being a vampire. The vampire part could be too easily pushed aside and VtM turned into a generic urban fantasy. I think V5 really re-focuses that part of the franchise. Which also differentiates it from all the nice-guy vampires we've seen in True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and The Originals.If VtM is going to become a transmedia success, it must find it's own tone of being a vampire separate from the latest incarnations.

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                            • Originally posted by Murder-of-Crows View Post

                              Vampires are blood junkies! However you look at the game: you are playing a junkie who gets high on the lifeblood of others. A vampire is living of humans as a predator. A vampire is not a nice guy, and certainly the beast is not a blessing. The Beast is essentially turning a vampire into an animal completely driven by instinct: hunt, feed, sleep. The irony is: a vampire would be best suited to the wilderness, except for one thing: blood can be found more easily in cities. The core existence of a vampire is defined by that contradiction; being a solitary predator, but being forced to live among the herd, and thus into conflict with their own kind. Why do you think domains are baked into the game? That's hunting territory. The Camarilla, Sabbat, Anarchs, whatever is just a way to deal with territoriality, the instincts of the beast, and trying to give their existence meaning. By the way, all these themes have been there from Day 1 in 1991. The former implementations were just not rather good at show-casing the main struggles of being a vampire. The vampire part could be too easily pushed aside and VtM turned into a generic urban fantasy. I think V5 really re-focuses that part of the franchise. Which also differentiates it from all the nice-guy vampires we've seen in True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and The Originals..

                              And yet if we take the first big character roost and setting Vampire ever had, Chicago By Night 1991, we find a lot of vampire who are nice guys and are not solitary predators,have no kind of contradiction and problem with being a vampire that must feed on blood and do not simply fit that description

                              Among them

                              Menele
                              Joshua Tarnopolski
                              Hank Cave
                              Anita Wainwright
                              Gengis
                              Jimmy Holcomb
                              Rosa Hernandez
                              Anthius
                              Evan Klein
                              Johann Weltmann
                              Elzbieta
                              Jurgis
                              Tommy Walker
                              Katy Glens
                              Garwood Marshall
                              Erichto
                              Tommy Hinds
                              Lawrence Ballard
                              Bobby Weatherbottom
                              Lorraine
                              Rebekah
                              Yaryan


                              22 out of 73 characters, 1/3 of the characters in the setting fitted the "nice-guy vampires we've seen in True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and The Originals", 22 characters out of 73 had an humanity raiting (and subsequent characterization) of 8 or above. And serveral of them even fitted the "friendly vampire neighbour" trope.

                              Let's take Gengis for example

                              "Though he appears as a punk when he goes about the world, Gengis has a well-kept condo where he likes to watch Chicago Bulls games and cook meals for a number of Yuppie friends he has somehow made over the years. They don't realize that he is a Vampire (whant an absurd idea!), but they do know he's somewhat weird."

                              Even more the kind of character you are talking about where a minority, because another third of the character roost is made by inhuman vampires who do not give a single fuck about being Vampires, most of them were shitty person in life, as they are in death, and their Vampiric condition doesn't bother them in the slightest. No one of them is living the "personal horror" angle, they like their un-life and have fully embraced what they are (since it is just the same of what they were), no contraddiction in it.

                              Most of the "evil" vampires of Chicago are evil vampires because they were evil humans, their transformation just gave them a little push, but Horatio Ballard, Doyle Fincher, Jason Newberry,Paula and Ben Smith,Nathaniel,Bret Stryker, Lodin, Edgar Drummond, Alan Sovereign.Capone, Pham Hong and so on.
                              They are sick fucks because they were sick fucks in life, death has really not chaged a bit of what they was.

                              What you're talking about fit a good third of the characters: Critias, Helena, Khalid,Neally, Tyler, and many others, but it doesn fit every character.


                              If you take Chicago by night you have 1/3 monsters who are monsters because they were monsters in life, 1/3 good guys, who more often than not where good guys in life, and 1/3 characters who fight with their nature and whose nature is shifted by vampirism.
                              Last edited by Undead rabbit; 08-18-2018, 08:00 AM.

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                              • V20's intro has it right in my opinion. And I'm sure Revised and 2nd Ed also hit these points, but look at the True/False section at the start.

                                "Vampires are monsters — demonic spirits embodied in corpses. False... and true. Vampires are not demons per se, but a combination of tragic factors draws them inexorably toward wicked deeds. In the beginning, the newly-created vampire thinks and acts much as she did while living. She doesn’t immediately turn into an evil, sadistic monster. However, the vampire soon discovers her overpowering hunger for blood, and realizes that her existence depends on feeding on humanity. In many ways, the vampire’s mindset changes — she adopts a set of attitudes less suited to a communal omnivore and more befitting a solitary predator.

                                At first reluctant to kill, the vampire is finally forced into murder by circumstance or need — and killing becomes easier as the years pass. Realizing that she herself is untrustworthy, she ceases to trust others. Realizing that she is different, she walls herself away from the mortal world. Realizing that her existence depends on secrecy and control, she becomes a manipulator. And things only degenerate as the years turn to decades and then centuries, and the vampire kills over and over, watching the people she loved age and die. Human life, so short and cheap in comparison to hers, becomes of less and less value, until the mortal “herd” around her means no more to her than a swarm of annoying insects. Vampire elders are among the most jaded, unfeeling, and paranoid — in short, monstrous — beings the world has ever known. Maybe they are not demons exactly — but at that point, who can tell the difference?"

                                This, for me, is an apt summary. The beast draws you down a certain path, like a current at sea, but you're still holding the wheel. The waters are choppy, but your voyage isn't doomed... yet.

                                Essentially this is how I like my Vampires, and why I enjoy playing V20 and Revised. With a good ST it's a story about gradually becoming fucked over by your own nature, letting one thing slide after another. So it makes sense to me that a setting should have a bunch of moral young vampires. Ideally there should be fewer moral *older* vampires; as the years slide past things do decline on average.

                                One thing I will say is that V20 doesn't give us that great of a framework in which to carry out these themes, and I would welcome an edition which improved here. The Virtues/Humanity/Derangements system feels slightly underdeveloped, and in many games these themes slip backwards as time goes on, taking a smaller and smaller place on the stage. I'm just annoyed that V5 missed the mark, for my taste at least.
                                Last edited by 11twiggins; 08-18-2018, 07:48 AM.

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