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How much darker is the World of Darkness from the Real World?

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  • #16
    Colored paint, dye, and make up were never invented in the World of Darkness. So clothing, houses, cars, lights, paint, dye and make-up only come in white, shades of gray, and black. Also, not light bulb above 40watt was ever developed.

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    • #17
      Suspensión of disbelief doesn't overule coherence.

      If the setting is selling me a crapsackworld but everything is the same then maybe It isn't that worse compared to our world maybe our world is already very fucked Up I mean do you guys watch the news? I dont always do that but when i do i look throught the window in awe that the street is not on fire.

      The WOD is not so diferent , is just that as a vampire you are more aware of shit as It now concerns you more especially If It happens in your domain and you are more prone to corruption becuase power doesnt change people It only helps them to be their true selves.

      And of course power has a lot of potential uses for evil
      Last edited by Leandro16; 08-15-2019, 09:53 PM.


      https://www.deviantart.com/cicerondixit/gallery

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      • #18
        I'd say the WoD isn't necessarily worse than the real world,
        it's just that areas that are normally safe in the real world aren't spared in the WoD

        so, areas like Mexico or Brazil don't feel very different in real life and WoD,

        However, WoD Montreal and Paris are much different from their real life equivalent


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        • #19
          Originally posted by Pleiades View Post
          I'd say the WoD isn't necessarily worse than the real world,
          it's just that areas that are normally safe in the real world aren't spared in the WoD

          so, areas like Mexico or Brazil don't feel very different in real life and WoD,

          However, WoD Montreal and Paris are much different from their real life equivalent
          Mind you, I was always a bit annoyed that Mexico City was Mordor in the WOD.

          I'm glad it no longer is.


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

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          • #20
            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

            Mind you, I was always a bit annoyed that Mexico City was Mordor in the WOD.

            I'm glad it no longer is.
            what kind of tangent is that?

            if you want a different opinion on Mexico,
            I feel giving it to the Cam was a waste,
            they should've put the nahualli instead, we would've had a 3rd established sect ruled by native american deities

            plus, it works so well with the lore,
            with the ancients waking up, Mictlantecuhtli waking up in mexico would've been excellent timing

            the nahualli were one of the scariest (if not the scariest) vampire sect, and one of the best plot devices introduced in Revised,
            it's a waste that v5 ignored them completely
            Last edited by Pleiades; 08-16-2019, 09:01 AM.


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            • #21
              While writing an entry for the BJD WIR, I thought about this for a time. For one thing, what does the question “How much darker is the World of Darkness from the Real World?” actually mean? How could the relative worseness of the WoD be measured or quantified?

              The best I could think of, without pushing the WoD into a dystopia parody, is saying that everything is 10% worse.

              The recession cut 10% deeper and lasted 10% longer. Wages for wage slaves are 10% less. Rents, food, and medical care are 10% more expensive. The pollution levels of water ways is 10% higher. The world-wide rates of homicide, suicide, disease fatalities, and death by misadventure (which can cover up homicides) are all 10% higher. And so on.

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              • #22
                One way to find an answer that fit a specific story or circle of players is to start with this:

                What is the role the mortals play in your story?

                Is the human race the object of sympathy? Is the fact that they live in a World of Darkness tragic? Is it tragic in the Greek sense, in that humanity’s flaws made it darker, or is it just darker because of supernaturals?

                Do human beings, at the end if the day, deserve the World of Darkness?

                “Yes, they do” isn’t necessarily a wrong answer. It depends on the story you’re out to tell. Look how much satire there is in Pentex and its subsidiaries. Werewolf is fundamentally a game about how ordinary humans let Mother Earth down at every opportunity. For a chronicle about vampires angsting it up about “a beast I am, lest a beast I become,” then sure, humans are innocent lambs because the vampires need something to feel guilty about. It’s all about what the story needs.
                Last edited by Reasor; 08-18-2019, 10:23 PM.

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                • #23
                  I think I could dig every version of the World of Darkness posited in this thread.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Reasor View Post
                    One way to find an answer that fit a specific story or circle of players is to start with this:

                    What is the role the mortals play in your story?

                    Is the human race the object of sympathy? Is the fact that they live in a World of Darkness tragic? Is it tragic in the Greek sense, in that humanity’s flaws made it darker, or is it just darker because of supernaturals?

                    Do human beings, at the end if the day, deserve the World of Darkness?

                    “Yes, they do” isn’t necessarily a wrong answer. It depends on the story you’re out to tell. Look how much satire there is in Pentex and its subsidiaries. Werewolf is fundamentally a game about how ordinary humans let Mother Earth down at every opportunity. For a chronicle about vampires angsting it up about “a beast I am, lest a beast I become,” then sure, humans are innocent lambs because the vampires need something to feel guilty about. It’s all about what the story needs.
                    I tend to take a view that vampires, werewolves, changelings, and more are basically human beings. It's not the Beast that makes vampires evil, though it certainly makes them dangerous. Its the unrestrained benefits of things like immortality, invulnerability, Dominate, Presence, and more. The World of Darkness is not worse because of supernaturals but because of human beings with lots of power.

                    That doesn't mean that humans are worse.

                    But it doesn't mean that supernaturals are that different.

                    And that maybe hey can be better.
                    Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-18-2019, 11:20 PM.


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

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                    • #25
                      While I've disagreed with other parts in this thread, this I actually agree with quite a bit. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and being given even just the first few dots of a few Disciplines would be tempting to misuse under many circumstances. One would need to possess a strong moral compass and iron will. A happy helping of a guilty conscience wouldn't hurt either.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by The Dreamweaver View Post
                        Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and being given even just the first few dots of a few Disciplines would be tempting to misuse under many circumstances. One would need to possess a strong moral compass and iron will. A happy helping of a guilty conscience wouldn't hurt either.
                        While I agree that these concepts in general apply, I feel it does beg the question of about exactly what "corruption" and "guilt" are actually doing in this scenario.

                        A vampire can exist far outside the normal human lifespan, so can some mages, and a few shifters. So what does this do to their moral compass just by virtue of having a longer existence? It tends to make them aware what parts of morality change with the season.

                        For instance a vampire who was embraced during the Roman empire would probably have a very different morality view on slavery than we do today, if only for the fact that back then anyone could be a slave, but today we largely associate the idea of slavery here in the US with African Americans from the past. Yet human trafficking is just a modern term for old fashioned slavery, and it is still a major problem. So with this more nuanced perspective, does that mean that the vampire is corrupted and lacks guilt or does it mean that after watching humanity enslave each other for a couple thousand years that such things are part of the human condition rather than being a social aberration we modern types try to convince ourselves it is.

                        Additionally there is the fact that a vampire could simply choose to maintain certain moral and ethical standards from various time periods, since vampires are based off of human beings they tend to be great at self justification when doing questionable things. The Spanish Inquisition was started to root out those whom faked their faith while maintaining other beliefs in private, once a person was classified as a non-believer you could do anything you want to them.

                        So being able to witness history play out, a vampire can grow quite alien in both morality and mindset just because mortals can't see how pointless some of our views really are in the grand scheme of things. If we wanted to be charitable it is kind of like the difference in values that a soldier who has actually gone to war has, as compared to say six year old playing pretend out in the backyard and claiming they know about the hell of war.

                        Vampires in my mind end up being the walking embodiment of a quote by Philip K. Dick "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away". A lot of morality and ethics are only supported by belief, rather than anything approaching scientific fact or just good old practicality.

                        So before we discuss the implications of having access to presence or dominate and how it might warp a vampires moral compass, we have to deal with the larger issue that our own perspective is more or less highly malleable. Just look at the sorts of jokes used in movies and tv from the decade you were born in and compare them to now, chances are the political correctness hasn't aged well by our modern standards.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Thoth View Post
                          -snip-
                          All I'm saying is that what you believe in the moment—not what anyone else believes or thinks or how the passage of time has changed things—is all that matters in terms of how guilty you personally feel, and how the addition of superpowers can sway you to betray or contradict your currently held beliefs. I don't steal from people, but if I was able to live for centuries and rewrite/delete memories, make you ignore me, make you "donate" to me, I might be sufficiently more inclined to do so if I can justify it somehow and conditions in my unlife are just right. That's what I mean.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Thoth View Post

                            While I agree that these concepts in general apply, I feel it does beg the question of about exactly what "corruption" and "guilt" are actually doing in this scenario.

                            A vampire can exist far outside the normal human lifespan, so can some mages, and a few shifters. So what does this do to their moral compass just by virtue of having a longer existence? It tends to make them aware what parts of morality change with the season.

                            For instance a vampire who was embraced during the Roman empire would probably have a very different morality view on slavery than we do today, if only for the fact that back then anyone could be a slave, but today we largely associate the idea of slavery here in the US with African Americans from the past. Yet human trafficking is just a modern term for old fashioned slavery, and it is still a major problem. So with this more nuanced perspective, does that mean that the vampire is corrupted and lacks guilt or does it mean that after watching humanity enslave each other for a couple thousand years that such things are part of the human condition rather than being a social aberration we modern types try to convince ourselves it is.

                            Additionally there is the fact that a vampire could simply choose to maintain certain moral and ethical standards from various time periods, since vampires are based off of human beings they tend to be great at self justification when doing questionable things. The Spanish Inquisition was started to root out those whom faked their faith while maintaining other beliefs in private, once a person was classified as a non-believer you could do anything you want to them.

                            So being able to witness history play out, a vampire can grow quite alien in both morality and mindset just because mortals can't see how pointless some of our views really are in the grand scheme of things. If we wanted to be charitable it is kind of like the difference in values that a soldier who has actually gone to war has, as compared to say six year old playing pretend out in the backyard and claiming they know about the hell of war.

                            Vampires in my mind end up being the walking embodiment of a quote by Philip K. Dick "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away". A lot of morality and ethics are only supported by belief, rather than anything approaching scientific fact or just good old practicality.

                            So before we discuss the implications of having access to presence or dominate and how it might warp a vampires moral compass, we have to deal with the larger issue that our own perspective is more or less highly malleable. Just look at the sorts of jokes used in movies and tv from the decade you were born in and compare them to now, chances are the political correctness hasn't aged well by our modern standards.
                            I suppose that depends if you think that vampires are static unchanging creatures like Requiem because the simple fact is that if this was the case that a lot of people would grow up with strong moral boundaries about things like killing, obedience, and the Divine Right of Kings that we absolutely know the vast majority of vampires do not have.

                            For me, vampire society is wholly its own thing and it encourages the undead to have absolutely no consequences for their actions in the persecution of mortals.Its easy to say a Roman patriarch wouldn't have any problem with slavery and being a brutal jerk to his enemies but I find it difficult to believe that things like their social obligations to family, state, and gods. You can argue a bigger issue really is the fact most vampires will hang out with other vampires and thus this means their morality will be skewed by a society that condones the behavior of casual murder because human beings will not be "real" to most vampires.

                            There's also the very upfront question of whether you consider Humanity to represent a fundamental axiomatic condition of, "Your inner empathy and compassion i..e Romans had low humanity when they were slavers and crucifying people" or merely, "The prevalent Judeo-Christian morality system most Western people follow even if secular." Because the former being true means that vampires can't escape the consequences of their actions, no matter what they believe.

                            The Roman Prince of Judea who crucifies his enemies and tortures them regularly rapidly hits wassail because his beliefs about what is right don't matter. Only his connection to others and willingness to fight the Beast with love and guilt. Ironically, "reality doesn't go away" here means that the delusion you can leave behind the consequences of actions and morality applies to the opposite of your point. There is no Ubermensch among the undead. If you try and cast aside mortal constraints in V:TM, you are not wise, you're simply evil because the Beast is a fundamental element of your psychology.

                            The alternative means Roads and Paths would be far more common.

                            Establishing which is true is very important in this respect.
                            Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-19-2019, 09:58 AM.


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

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                              I suppose that depends if you think that vampires are static unchanging creatures like Requiem because the simple fact is that if this was the case that a lot of people would grow up with strong moral boundaries about things like killing, obedience, and the Divine Right of Kings that we absolutely know the vast majority of vampires do not have.
                              I have always thought the notion of the "unchanging and static" vampire was a bit silly. If only because survival requires adaptability, be it in a combat situation, in just finding sustenance, or navigating social interactions. Thus vampires need to be able to learn new languages and assimilate into new societies with different customs. Otherwise all a vampire hunter would need to do to hunt down any vampire older than 30 years dead is listen for out of date slang. Don't get me wrong, I would probably laugh at the notion of a vampire hunter simply staking anyone using the word "gay" in its original meaning of "happy" rather than the more modern use which denotes homosexuality.

                              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                              There's also the very upfront question of whether you consider Humanity to represent a fundamental axiomatic condition of, "Your inner empathy and compassion i..e Romans had low humanity when they were slavers and crucifying people" or merely, "The prevalent Judeo-Christian morality system most Western people follow even if secular." Because the former being true means that vampires can't escape the consequences of their actions, no matter what they believe.
                              I feel both approaches are imprecise. Roman society had a strong value system of right and wrong, of laws, and of civic duty. They just also happened to condone the enslavement of defeated enemies. Despite the portrayal of roman society in many movies and tv series, there were laws regarding the treatment of slaves and how an owner could be held accountable for poor treatment. So with this duality of morality does that make them low humanity or just a different configuration of morality? Our modern culture rejects the notion of slavery, but we seem to be quite content with things like forced child labor in third world countries that brings in the majority of the chocolate supply.

                              As for humanity vs. paths, once again I think it is an imprecise patch rather than an answer. The beast is not something that can be ignored nor removed from a vampire. In fact when we get any information about Golconda it usually refers to the idea that the vampire is at peace with the beast and has integrated it into their nature and overall psychological make up. Thus we have a vampire who is capable of acts of benevolence and savagery in equal measure. So perhaps a form of balance mechanic would be a better concept than several abstract paths which become more or less moral as viewed by the societal norms in any given decade.

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                              • #30
                                It kind of feels like the idea of how 'dark' it is differed from author to author and edition to edition. It's not unlike the way various 'grimdark' facets of Warhammer 40K also tend to differ in a seemingly inconsistent fashion (one moment technological ignorance and superstition, the next you have the AdMech quoting scientific principles. Sometimes in the same book.) Add in differing perceptions of players and differing 'suspension of disbelief' thresholds and you can get some very different answers I think.

                                I tend to think of WoD being more like Stephen King's Dark Tower series in terms of its 'dark' - it's an age where things were magical and amazing at one point, but things have worn down/dying out and nobody is sure you can actually reverse it.

                                But even then you want at least some 'positives' to offset the negatives to create hope (or the illusion thereof), to generate dynamic tension, and to reinforce the contrasts. If everything is unremitting gloom and darkness and decay then it just gets repetitive and boring and it loses it's impact. There has to be a sense that something can be tangibly lost I feel to really maximize the impact of 'dark'.

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