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Classic World of Darkness VtM & HtA or MtA game possible? Rules/Mechanics Questions

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  • Classic World of Darkness VtM & HtA or MtA game possible? Rules/Mechanics Questions

    Hello. First time poster, long term lurker.

    Been wanting to story tell a Classic World of Darkness game for the past few years. Specifically, a Washington DC by Night game based off Harry Heckel’s City Sourcebook published in 95?
    This post is an attempt to garner information about running a cross-over Classic World of Darkness game and to see if it is even possible mechanically, and if so --- how a crossover game in CWoD plays.
    Why DC by Night? (The setting would be early 95 in DC).
    1. I know the book virtually cover to cover. Heckel does a good job with the geography of the DC area (Virtual Adept Chantry in Vienna, Setties in SE, Inquisition in Georgetown, Smithsonian and the Museums as Elysium, Garou in the Tidal Basin, Technocracy all over the main governmental branches).
    2. Decent cast of Vampires and coteries (Vitel, Jack, Dorian Adams, Art Morgan, Dorfman, Taylor, Black Sisters, Stephen Norton, Razor, Glenn, Art’s Archons, Puppet Primogen, Prince’s Allies, Nosferatu-Gangrel Alliance). What I really like about Heckel’s cast is that each clan has an “A-typical member” --- (Dorian Adams, Freeman, Fueller, Granger).
    3. I am from the area ---
    4. Plot Hooks/Chronicle Ideas – Rockets Red Glare!!!
    5. The city sourcebook book plays well for Crossover Campaigns (see addendum 1).
    6. The campaign will start off with the group exploring/hunting down Melissa of clan Gangrel. Either Karina Dobson or Gino Manitelli manipulates the group into hunting down Melissa to remove her as a Moral Anchor to Prince Vitel. What the group does in this first story will affect who their allies are at the beginning of the campaign. The PC’s will also encounter Trevor Barron and mid-campaign climax will be his eventual face to face meeting with Helena Taylor.
    7. I’m planning to run some of the chronicle ideas Heckel lays out at the end of the book (Spirits of the Fallen, Demons Rise, and of course as crazy as it is…Rockets Red Glare). I also plan to alter the story hooks to fit MtA or HtA.
    Prior Exp – Like most, my first exposure to WoD was VtM in the mid-90s (2nd edition). As a teenager I played a gen 8 Asian Assamite who carried around a large knife and wore a trenchcoat. For some reason, his entire coterie was made up of Tremere Vampires (My friends were Tremere fanboys).
    Then I ran a short DC by Night VtM campaign (Revised Rules) six years ago that went well before personal problems hit.
    Conclusion: My only experience with CWoD games is VTM 2nd and Revised.

    Question/Need Help: How would a Hunter the Reckoning or Mage the Ascension (2nd ed preferred) play in a VtM city “by night” campaign? Do the rules/mechanics somewhat gel/mesh? Or would be playing a HtR or MtA game in a VtM setting be to much to handle and not a good idea at all?
    My prior attempts to run a VtM campaign have fallen through for whatever reason. I’ve also been hoping for a long time to try HtR or MtA.
    Let me know if a crossover campaign with HtR or MtA with VtM is even possible.

    Thanks in Advance!

  • #2
    Crossover campaigns are perfectly possible, especially with Hunter. The mechanics are compatible enough that you can make it work with a bit of houseruling. Off-hand, the two supplements which are probably most relevant are these:-

    The primary issue is that the different splats tend to interact primarily as antagonists - this is especially true of Hunter. My first consideration would be a rationale for why the different types would choose to work together. If you borrow the Second Inquisition metaplot from V5, then Mages and Vampires might be forced into an alliance if the SI starts targeting "witches" as well, for instance. The Hunters could be driven by curiosity rather than a desire for extermination. The characters could all be on the lowest rung of the ladder and need to band together for mutual survival. (In the Book of Chantries, there's a Hollow One chantry which allows a Lasombra Antitribu to sleep in the basement). Or second-tier players could look for help outside their own community if they were faced with powerful enemies within it.

    I'd advise first working out the "scope" of the game - powerful movers-and-shakers, up-and-comers, or bottom-feeders - and then working out your rationale or cooperation based on that.


    • #3
      In one word? Lawnchairs.

      Seriously, though, the mechanics of a cross-over can get difficult.

      Hunter could work, maybe.

      Mage... that's tougher. There are vastly different power levels at work here. Worse, half the players will be sidelined during the daytime.

      If you are dead-set on running a Mage-Vampire crossover, the easiest... which is likely different from the best... way of doing it could be how I handle Mage npcs when they turn up in VtM games:
      • Use Sorcerer sourcebook, with static magick paths, for the vast majority of magical stuff. Have them purchase Paths during chagen.
      • Also, allow most vampiric disciplines as additional paths... Obfuscate, Presence, Dominate, and Auspex are most useful. The physical disciplines can also work with some paradigms. Take a special look at Spiritus and Temporis; they are surprising good for certain paradigms. Thaumaturgical paths are almost too obvious to mention.
      • If an effect outside of static magick is needed, work it out on a case by case basis, but make it a big, ritualistic deal. Mechanically, this will give access to a Path power they don't happen to have.
      • Mages don't have Humanity. They're already human. Otherwise, use VtM mechanics.
      • Be liberal with allowing odd merits and flaws, like Charmed Existence or Haunted.
      • Power magick with Willpower. One point per path level.
      • Foci required!
      • No paradox mechanic. Require an activation roll for magick. If there's a failure, enforce some paradox-like side effect at ST fiat, based on how vulgar the magick was. Botches should be really spectacular and... weird.
      • Allow mages to recharge their WP by doing things appropriate to their paradigm doesn't activate a spell. (Think of their paradigm as a second Nature.) Give them extra willpower for doing this in a Node.
      To most outside observers, the Mages in this system would look a lot like actual Mages, but the mechanics are streamlined and works more smoothly in a VtM environment.

      Then you just need to figure out a way to keep the vampire players from feeling left out half the time. I still haven't figured that out, without multiple characters.


      • #4
        All the story teller guides cover down on crossover rules. This is enough to have crossover NPCs. I am doing that and it is working well.

        As far as having PCs of different books use the book “Outcasts a guide to pariahs”.
        I haven’t had good experiences with players of different settings cause the power scales are different. But it may be mostly the players who didn’t work well cause they’re hack n’ slashers. I didn’t use the outcast book but maybe if I try it again with it, a new campaign could work.


        • #5
          Thanks for the input. I wasn’t clear. It wouldn’t be Hunters fighting alongside Vampire. More how would a HtA game work within the context of DC by Night. IE: would Karina Dobson be able to use forgetful mind on an avenger who had seen Jack in full creature form? Or would Gino be able to incorporate potency 2, celerity 2 and fortitude 5 within the HtA game system?


          • #6
            Yes and no.
            Hunter powers can negate most mental power with a snap of the finger. They can turn on their ultra mode by player choice, not character choice.
            Hunters could get wrecked by kindred or vice versa depending on build. And that also depends if one party knows and understands the powers of their opponent.
            A hunter could sneak attack and throw pocket change at a kindred and deal instant kill agg levels.


            • #7
              To sum up as best the books taught me:

              You can keep both systems as is and there are some comparisons to counter each other like various invisibility va detection powers. (Least amount of work, most amount of hiccups)

              You can convert all other systems to the primary system you choose. (Moderate work, moderate hiccups)

              You can make up your own stuff to fit your narrative. (Most work, Least hiccups)