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  • Anarch Books and California Summaries

    Hey all!
    So I've been asked to run another game - an anarch game based in California/LA.

    This is all fine and good, but I'm curious as to the communities view on the best Anarch guide since there are several. I have them all and have read them but to be honest, I never really cared for Anarchs all that much though since I have been asked to run it I figured I'd give them another chance. (My recent replay of Bloodlines and watching LA by Night has NOTHING to do with this...lol). So which one do you guys think is best?

    And moving into California - I have LA by Night (the book), but obviously with Bloodlines and such, has there been any comprehensive updates to California and how everything went down?

    The loose plan is to start this game in the late 90s and eventually hook it up with my Chicago game somehow. But thats just a whimsical thought at the moment. Anyways, any input is appreciated!


    Currently running: Gary/Chicago By Night

  • #2
    The V20 one is perfect.

    Beckett's Jyhad Diary updated the California Free State (as in it's still there). There's also LA By Night by Jason Carl.


    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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    • #3
      Never was a big fan of the Free States, to be honest.

      Aside that, I think it's worth reading both the Revised one and the V20 one. The Revised one is a quite informative primer on the Anarchs as a whole, but IMO, it's lacking a certain ooomph, a direction, things the Anarchs are really doing on the big scale. The V20 Anarchs Unbound gives that aplenty and updates them, so I think the two complements each-other.


      If nothing worked, then let's think!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by PMárk View Post
        Never was a big fan of the Free States, to be honest.

        Aside that, I think it's worth reading both the Revised one and the V20 one. The Revised one is a quite informative primer on the Anarchs as a whole, but IMO, it's lacking a certain ooomph, a direction, things the Anarchs are really doing on the big scale. The V20 Anarchs Unbound gives that aplenty and updates them, so I think the two complements each-other.


        Me either but I think LA by Night (stream) has kind of changed my view on the possibilities which could be interesting.

        So you don't think it's a waste of time reading them both. Good to know!


        Currently running: Gary/Chicago By Night

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Schwartzung View Post

          So you don't think it's a waste of time reading them both. Good to know!
          Yes and they aren't that long anyway. To be frank, I think, during the Revised era, WW was too preoccupied with the big sect wars and eventually, Gehenna and they didn't really do anything with the Anarchs, aside from the Cathay invasion in the Free States. So, the Revised guide is a bit "dry", in terms of interesting story and what-to-do-right-now hooks. It's a good overview on the history and outlook on the Anarchs though. The V20 book, on the other hand, still has some overview in it, but less than the Rev one and it has more cool things happening right now, as well as, in my eyes, a better look into the Anarch mindset and differing views.

          If you don't have much time, I'd advise reading the V20 one, it still has enough background info to get you started. If you have time, both. Or just the relevant chapters from the Rev Guide.



          If nothing worked, then let's think!

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          • #6
            The Anarchs were designed to be the go-to player character faction but then they tried to make the Camarilla the go-to player faction.

            Vampire: Bloodlines is pretty much the first product since 1st Edition where the Anarchs weren't a joke.


            Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
              The Anarchs were designed to be the go-to player character faction but then they tried to make the Camarilla the go-to player faction.

              Vampire: Bloodlines is pretty much the first product since 1st Edition where the Anarchs weren't a joke.
              Yeah, 1e was initially marketed mostly to teenagers, in a time rebellious musical subcultures were on a high. Pretty soon afterwards, they didn't just try, they made the Camarilla the go-to player faction as the backstabbing night society with all the Elysia and halls of power, favors and the usual stuff (which people liked and tend to associate with VtM) and the Anarchs a subset of that for those who wanted to play the rebels. It worked and it was like that during the overwhelming majority of the game's run.

              We were through this before, but I never thought of the Anarch as a joke, just because they weren't a full sect in open war with the Cam. They were the rebels in the system, halfway in, the critics of its excesses, the checks on the authority. It was a place and role for them I was content with and liked a lot more than the V5 version.

              What I could acknowledge, as above, is that during the big sect wars and other stuff of the Revised era, the Anarchs were kinda left aside on the sidelines, but Anarchs Unbound remedied that, IMO.


              If nothing worked, then let's think!

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              • #8
                Over the weekend I took another read and PMárk you are absolutely correct in your analysis. I found the V5 book to be next to useless, the revised book to be "ok" and the V20 version to be very helpful in cultivating ideas.

                Now I'm moving on to LA by Night, which as I recall (and via the wiki) is a bloody mess with Bloodlines and the Kuei Jin muddying the waters. Any thoughts in what you'd change?

                CTPhipps yeah I agree. They were trying to do too much back then and had no direction.


                Currently running: Gary/Chicago By Night

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                • #9
                  LA by Night isn't a BAD book but it's not a very interesting book either because it takes LA, the 2nd largest city in the United States, and reduces it to Gangs, Gangs, and Gangs. It also does the same for the Anarch movement.

                  Where are the intellectuals, the communists, the Objectivist assholes, and the liberal hippies?

                  Nope.

                  Just a bunch of gun-toting Brujah stereotypes.

                  Adding people like Strauss and Camarilla threats make it much better, IMHO.


                  Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                  • #10
                    To be fair Bloodlines>Every Anarch book and Honestly i just make the anarchs a branch of the carthian movement becuase that opens the posibilities of having multiple ideologies in the anarchs and different domains:

                    Maybe in one the carthians belong to the anarch ideology and want to depose the prince to create gangs like in the anarch free state , maybe in another one the carthians are conservatives but want to impose some kind of democracy to not have an overabusive prince over their heads , maybe in another domain the carthians have made a blood bond reinforced orwellian state while in other places they are very protective of the humans to the distaste of the citizens who can abuse freely of their powers.

                    It adds variety and could have been done in the form of a "Section of Political Parties" instead of gangs kinda like the sabbat has factions but i guess that feeding vitae to babies was more interesting....
                    Last edited by Leandro16; 05-13-2019, 06:45 PM.


                    Hunger pool

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                    • #11
                      The ThingTM is the Anarchs have always been like the Carthian movement. The Brujah Idealists exist for example but they got forgotten about for some reason.

                      Also, people forgot the Princes were supposed to be assholes.


                      Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                      • #12
                        All vampires are supposed to be assholes it´s just that some are less than others

                        Heck to break the mold the prince of my current game is actually very religious man who truly thinks he is doing the best for huminity with his inmortality but that doesnt mean that he is nice...

                        Vampires need to be keep in check for the sake of humanity after all even if that implies using the right to destruction and making some population control over the rebellious ones.


                        Hunger pool

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Leandro16 View Post
                          All vampires are supposed to be assholes it´s just that some are less than others

                          Heck to break the mold the prince of my current game is actually very religious man who truly thinks he is doing the best for huminity with his inmortality but that doesnt mean that he is nice...

                          Vampires need to be keep in check for the sake of humanity after all even if that implies using the right to destruction and making some population control over the rebellious ones.
                          You play your game your way, I'll play it my way.



                          TAKE DOWN THE CAMARILLA!


                          Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                            The ThingTM is the Anarchs have always been like the Carthian movement. The Brujah Idealists exist for example but they got forgotten about for some reason.
                            Respectfully, I disagree. I loved the old Anarchs, but I really-really didn't like the Carthians. Why? Because for one, the Anarchs had their specific roots in vampiric society and history, not just trying to adopt and implement human ideologies among the kindred.

                            But, the more important thing for me was the whole different feel of the two groups. The Carthians are much more centered on collectivist (and frequently extreme) ideas, much more of an idealistic movement, as a whole. The Anarchs were called a movement too, but it's a lot less structured and individualism was a big part of it. Yes, they had hardliner idealists and activists and such, like Damsel, but take Smiling Jack, or Jeremy McNeill, as some of the most influential and known Anarchs. For many Anarchs, the point wasn't building a vampiric utopia on some ideological basis, but just being able to live their unlife as they see fit, without the authority panting down their neck and crushing them all the time. the Carthians, on the other hand, want to be the authority, building up that utopia.

                            I the most simple, most stripped down sense, in my eyes, the Anarchs are largely the rebellious punks and general noncomformists, while the Carthians are much more the actual local communists, for example. You could also see it as the Carthians could be viewed as a specific part of the Anarchs, but the Anarchs contained a lot more into them and I never was a big fan of that particular part.


                            Also, I always was a big fan of the Brujah intellectual archetype, but I never liked the notion that it automatically means a person with some sort of Marxism-derived ideology. What about social-liberal Brujah? Centrist Brujah? Heck, anarcho-capitalist, or libertarian Brujah?
                            Last edited by PMárk; 05-14-2019, 12:11 PM.


                            If nothing worked, then let's think!

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                            • #15
                              For me, the Anarchs are not a bunch of rabble and angry punks but an intellectual and ideological resistance to tyranny that has existed for over a 1000 years in various forms. The idea the Carthians are all communist is a bizarre statement to me, though, because they are a variety of ideologies welded together with the only thing in common being, "The Invictus way does not work nor does theocracy."


                              Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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