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[V5]Thoughts on Vienna

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
    That would be dull.
    Personally, I think a Swat Team taking out a Methuselah is what is dull.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by HardestadtTheEvenYounger View Post

      Personally, I think a Swat Team taking out a Methuselah is what is dull.
      It's not a SWAT team.

      But vampires no matter what their power level should be vulnerable to mortals during the daytime. There's a reason the game is called the Masquerade and not, "The Herding."


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

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      • #48
        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

        It's not a SWAT team.

        But vampires no matter what their power level should be vulnerable to mortals during the daytime. There's a reason the game is called the Masquerade and not, "The Herding."
        To be sure, I am not calling for vampires to rule the world. But still, I do think that the Second Inquisition has been hyped too much as an existential threat and, to make it worse, at the cost of Worfing major character like Jalan-Aajav.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by HardestadtTheEvenYounger View Post

          To be sure, I am not calling for vampires to rule the world. But still, I do think that the Second Inquisition has been hyped too much as an existential threat and, to make it worse, at the cost of Worfing major character like Jalan-Aajav.
          Jalan dared fight the True Hand.

          His doom was assured.



          Mind you, if he was Karsh then Beckett and Xavier got him beforehand. Maybe the Second Inquisition just finished him out and decapitated him.


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

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          • #50
            Ultimately, humans are going to be more powerful than most vampires (even those of the 6th and 5th generations). The amount of damage dealing capacity a well armed human can bring to combat continues to increase, and the maximum combat capabilities of vampires continues to remain stagnant. The only way to avoid this is to either (a) change the game so it's set in an assumption that you're playing in the past even if the default is the early 90s, or (b) change vampires in the game to be more adaptable.

            So the concept of the SI - esp since they have assistance from the holy magic of the Society of Leopold - being able to do some major damage to what vampires assumed were untouchable strongholds is not by itself a bad concept.

            The issue is execution of that concept. This means both actually researching what kinda of things the groups that make the SI are capable of when you have them do something (since that changes, rapidly) rather than just hand-waving it off as the WoD isn't exactly the same as our own and ignore the implications of how different things would really be if someone could have done this 10 years earlier. As well as having a better narrative goal for things. The SI is a major catalyst of metaplot change for V5 but... what it's done and how it did those things is not exactly a clear picture of what the SI is supposed to "be" for the story of the game besides, "whatever the authors of the books decide they are, even if it feels incoherent with a different book."

            It's pretty clear research into covert operations wasn't the biggest deal for Vienna. But it's also pretty clear that Vienna is more confusing to the audience than clarifying. Sure, a lot of the questions raised could be fun stories, but if you don't want to explore the SI as a threat to vampires, then those questions being unanswered is just an annoying thing of not being sure of how to play with respect to the SI existing and make sure it's lack of presence in your story makes sense.

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            • #51
              "Western European 9/11 happened and everyone just sort of ignored it" is a really hard pitch to swallow.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                "Western European 9/11 happened and everyone just sort of ignored it" is a really hard pitch to swallow.
                Could you explain?

                I mean, blowing up an empty castle is bad but it's the World of Darkness.

                Terrorist attacks are probably a weekly event in WoD Europe.

                They're just not reported.


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

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                  "Western European 9/11 happened and everyone just sort of ignored it" is a really hard pitch to swallow.
                  Define "sort of ignored it". What would have to happen in response to make it believable for you? Not every nation changes completely after a terror attack - take the Bataclan attack in Paris.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                    "Western European 9/11 happened and everyone just sort of ignored it" is a really hard pitch to swallow.
                    Again, it's not an idea that couldn't have been salvaged, it just takes actually caring about how the world works.

                    Let's be honest, if a major terrorist bombing happened in Vienna in 2015... the world probably wouldn't be any different (for normal folks) today in the macro-scale. The ISIS linked/inspired terror attacks that happened from 2014-2016 in Europe helped propel right wing political parties to more power, but there wasn't the same sea change in geopolitics like there was after 9/11. One more wouldn't have seriously altered how things were going.

                    2008 (esp. if you keep to the idea that ISIS was responsible as a cover story) could have re-written history because it would have radically altered the international stance on the US's continued operations in the Middle East at the time. This was the middle of the US troop surge that was meant to stabilize Iraq, but only managed to do so temporarily. Once the coalition and US moved out of Iraq by 2010 (well kinda, but for the purposes of the conversation), is precisely when proto-ISIS went from a tiny part of Al-Qaeda to the new big player. Everything about the surge and draw down would have changed if an Al-Qaeda splinter group managed an attack of that magnitude in Europe at the time.

                    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                    Could you explain?
                    I think I went into a good deal of it above. The thing about terror attacks (and other radicalized violence/etc.) and their impact on society is that it is frequently a matter of geopolitical timing rather than the actual damage done. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand set off the powder keg of Europe and WWI. Meanwhile the attempts to kill the last of the Romanovs is basically a minor footnote since the revolution against the monarch of Russia had already been successful... so nobody really cared about the Russians assassinating the former royal family.

                    ISIS attacking Vienna in 2008 and it having not impact is just hard to swallow because of what was happening in the world at the time. It doesn't fit with history to be "just another terror attack." Wrong group, wrong time, wrong place, to be shoved aside by history.

                    Terrorist attacks are probably a weekly event in WoD Europe.

                    They're just not reported.
                    No, they're not, because that's moving beyond the idea of the WoD being superficially the same as our world until you look closer at how the darkness screws with things.

                    Living in a place where terror attacks are so common place that they're not news is not something you can just layer on a society and say that it still operates largely like it does IRL.

                    This is something that I frequently see people not understand about something like Israeli politics. If you haven't spent time with people that are part of a culture where the idea of years of small scale terror attacks aren't just a fear, but part of lived memory, you don't really see the massive difference in the social impact compared to people that only view their interaction with terror in the light of major attacks like 9/11. Both types of terror is traumatizing, that's the point, but the impact even long after the attacks stop, is different. It's different like getting out of long term abusive relationship vs. getting assaulted on the street.

                    You can't just say, "Oh, in WoD Europe, terrorist attacks happen all the time and people just got over it and continued to act and vote and politic the same as they did before," because that's just not how these things work.

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                    • #55
                      I think you misunderstand me.

                      My view of the World of Darkness is not that the terror attacks are going to be numb to the party but that they're going to be unreported. The world is a much darker and more violent place but the surface of the world is going to be much better covered up.

                      Mind you, I'm curious how much more violent and dark your World of Darkness is from the World of Reality.

                      How much worse is yours, Heavy Arms and how is that reflected?

                      You can't just say, "Oh, in WoD Europe, terrorist attacks happen all the time and people just got over it and continued to act and vote and politic the same as they did before," because that's just not how these things work.
                      I should note that in my immediate area we had the murder of an elderly black couple in my Kroger by KKK after a failed attempt to massacre a church, up my street a man took his family hostage until he was killed by SWAT, a man was taken down in my University Library after he tried to shoot up the place, and there were multiple bomb threats at my school.

                      This is just my area.


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

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                        My view of the World of Darkness is not that the terror attacks are going to be numb to the party but that they're going to be unreported.
                        Unreported terrorist attacks are, in the eyes of terrorists, failed attacks. The point of terror attacks are to be noticed. If there's active terror attacks all the time, and they're just unreported, then the terrorists are just going to get more extreme until they are.

                        Terrorism also isn't just violence. It's political violence. It has a bigger purpose than the violent acts. "More attacks," that don't do anything is failed terrorism, which means terrorists change their tactics. A world were terrorists just keep doing stuff that doesn't get reported and never adapt is a world that wasn't written by people that understand what terrorism is and how it works.

                        Mind you, I'm curious how much more violent and dark your World of Darkness is from the World of Reality.
                        Not particularly. I find the idea that the WoD requires even a minor increase in violence a concept held to by people that either want a setting that's more extreme than the books describe, or don't really appreciate how violent the real world really is already.

                        The increased darkness in my idea of the WoD vs. reality is the more subtle darkness of corruption, and of the forces that work quietly out of view to perpetuate systemic injustice, persecution, exploitation, and disharmony. In my WoD racial profiling is something the majority of people are fine with and see those trying to point out how it's just show and doesn't help are treated as kooky hippies. Where nobody takes seriously the idea that US prisons are making crime worse instead of being just punishment. Etc.

                        That's darkness that actually makes the world both recognizably our own but also so much worse than increasing the violent crime rate will ever accomplish.

                        This is just my area.
                        Yep. We live in America, where we haven't lost a war because we haven't actually gone to war in decades despite all the military actions we've been involved in, and white supremacy violence is always rationalized away as not terrorism despite being terrorism. We have a whole political-media machine dedicated to fighting a war of terminology to keep us quite about horrible things and how easily we the people could stop them if we acted as a majority in a democracy about it.

                        But... well... that's the thing. You're saying that the WoD everyone should be living in an even more violent version of the USA, rather than a more violent version of how those countries actually are. You can't ramp up violent crime in Austria to double US levels of violent crime and not have a radically changed Austrian culture.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                          But... well... that's the thing. You're saying that the WoD everyone should be living in an even more violent version of the USA, rather than a more violent version of how those countries actually are. You can't ramp up violent crime in Austria to double US levels of violent crime and not have a radically changed Austrian culture.
                          Started a new thread about this:

                          http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...the-real-world
                          Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-11-2019, 09:28 PM.


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

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                          • #58
                            Yeah I have to admit that I have trouble buying into Vienna. It's not that mortals could not strike against Vampire but here we have to believe that agencies obliterated a building inside one of the biggest cities of Europe in the middle of the day and that did not "break the Masquerade" so to speak.

                            Yeah... no I don't believe it.

                            Worse is the terrorist excuse. Frankly this is the worst thing here. You know what is the thing post 9/11 that generate the most attention when it happens ? Terrorism.

                            I expect every western medias investigating the ruins of the chantry to understand WHY and WHO (as in the actual persons involved with full background in tehir motivations) they chose to strike that place in particular and police forces and politicians zealously searching the place as well for plenty of reasons (survivor, understanding the attacks etc.). In short if you try to hide something that was the worse excuse you could come with.

                            I also agree with heavy arms that saying that since violence is common nobody would care much. In that case why not just blame traditional criminal and be done with ?

                            Terrorism is special, if it does not generate outrage and attention then it has not point.


                            Another problem is that supposedly the attack took place when the council of seven was in the place. That's an awful coincidence considering they do need meet that often. (or in human life span never).

                            The last one pretty much remove any chance that this was a purely mortal assault against vampire. Someone had to know about the council and knew how to blow them up... . That is if they actually did.

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                            • #59
                              For me, I like the Second Inquisition for the same reason that I like the changes to the Anarchs. It takes an already pre-established element of the Anarchs and Hunters then raised them to be a lot more interesting as potential sources of drama.

                              I think part of why I approve of the SI destroying the Vienna chantry is a mixture of in-universe and OOC reasons that I think helps matters.

                              1. The Tremere have been always the most draconian and controlled clan in the game so that severely limits character concepts.
                              2. They've been standing up to virtually the entire World of Darkness from the beginning so a big defeat was a good thing.
                              3. The Council of Seven are recognizable Methusalehs so their destruction shows how vulnerable they are during the day.
                              4. It resets the "Power Level" of the setting as if Methuselahs are vulnerable to humans that means just about everyone is now.
                              5. It resolves the Tremere-Lot/Worm/Tzimsice/Kupala business so that it doesn't hang like an albatross around the neck of the gamers.

                              I think it could have been done better with a few minor changes:

                              1. Making it clear Austria's government knows.
                              2. Making it Al-Qaeda
                              3. Saying that "no one was injured in a premature detonation"

                              However, I think of the World of Darkness full of cover stories for constant bloody battles. Canada is a place with a toxic crime-ridden hell hole of a city in Montreal after all.


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

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                              • #60
                                Again though, execution matters. The concept of the SI isn't under contention. The concept of them managing to take out the Vienna Chantry isn't. It's the details and execution of it that has people unhappy with it.

                                That so many people only find it plausible that the SI has had the successes it has is because of supernatural backing (either major like the Technocracy, or are just being used by different vampire elders) says a lot about how little it actually did to help make the SI feel like a serious threat. People aren't going, "damn, the SI is a brutal new antagonist!" but rather, "The SI have to be pawns of something we actually care about fighting."

                                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                                4. It resets the "Power Level" of the setting as if Methuselahs are vulnerable to humans that means just about everyone is now.
                                This in particular was a failure of the game, because taking out a few big name Methuselahs doesn't really accomplish this. It's just like the Beckoning. "Lets lower the power in the setting!" doesn't work when all the cool high powered NPCs avoid these things. Basically, there's still too many big named powerful NPCs around for this to have worked.
                                Last edited by Heavy Arms; 08-12-2019, 01:42 AM.

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