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After 15 years I FINALLY got around to reading Gehenna

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  • After 15 years I FINALLY got around to reading Gehenna

    I suppose I just wasnt willing to admit the dream is over. But I finished it today, and I feel like the 1st story with Ferox the Gargoyle was the best one.

    If you have read it, which scenario was your favorite?
    Or your least favorite? Personally I could take or leave the Lilth ones. But the one whith Sutekh was pretty cool


    Light inspires illusion and interpretation. Truth can only be found in darkness.

  • #2
    I haven't read it in 15 years so I'm largely working from memory here.

    The first one was probably my favorite, but it's not the kind of thing that I would have been able to run with my group. Most of the players were much more interested in action and would have gotten bored pretty quickly. If I had tried running that scenario, it would have been over in 1 or 2 sessions at most. So when reading the Gehenna book, I was generally more interested in the 3rd and 4th "gonzo" scenarios, since those were what I was eyeing for running my group on.

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    • #3
      I only ever got around to reading "Wormwood", but thought it was pretty neat. It's a very different kind of vampire story, and harks back to 1st edition, where moral choice and even redemption took center stage. That said, it's pretty rail-roady, and can run counter to much of the themes in a typical VtM campaign.

      Back when I read it, I thought Wormwood would make for a good TV miniseries.


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      • #4
        I'll be harsh on this.

        Accepting Wormwood as the best story is not justice for 13 years of backstory. It's clear that between 2nd ed and revised there was an evident change in direction of the canon story by killing most of the 2nd ed most important NPCs and establishing the new ones. The clan novels expressing this change of direction were good (except the Tremere one), but the lack of a central direction of the story made the change to abrupt. On one hand we have stories about the True Black Hand and Unbeholden (Lameth/Lazarus, Anis, Count Germain/Seker) and then in Revised everything turned more cryptic towards methuselahs and antediluvians, which was good, but too much of a change on what sourcebooks were used to storytell. White-Wolf needed a Kevin Feige from 1st to revised and they didn't have one.

        Gehenna did not make justice to neither. It was rushed, poorly written, and vague. Plus, with plot holes big enough to be worthy of a Brett Ratner X-Men film (I'm refering to -> "Ventrue was dead since the Second City" and the following lamest excuse to support this). It was a REALLY BAD book.

        - Saga
        Last edited by Saga; 09-21-2019, 11:48 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Saga View Post
          I'll be harsh on this.

          Accepting Wormwood as the best story is not justice for 13 years of backstory. It's clear that between 2nd ed and revised there was an evident change in direction of the canon story by killing most of the 2nd ed most important NPCs and establishing the new ones. The clan novels expressing this change of direction were good (except the Tremere one), but the lack of a central direction of the story made the change to abrupt. On one hand we have stories about the True Black Hand and Unbeholden (Lameth/Lazarus, Anis, Count Germain/Seker) and then in Revised everything turned more cryptic towards methuselahs and antediluvians, which was good, but too much of a change on what sourcebooks were used to storytell. White-Wolf needed a Kevin Feige from 1st to revised and they didn't have one.

          Gehenna did not make justice to neither. It was rushed, poorly written, and vague. Plus, with plot holes big enough to be worthy of a Brett Ratner X-Men film (I'm refering to -> "Ventrue was dead since the Second City" and the following lamest excuse to support this). It was a REALLY BAD book.

          - Saga
          Well it's received well generally because it's a story about reflecting on your sins (or lack thereof) and what you're going to do when you're going to die. In other words, doing away with all the action to tell an intensely personal story.

          I will say I love the Withering element as it means you can kill vampires of ancient lineages without cheating.


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

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          • #6
            Frankly speaking Gehenna was not a good book.

            Wormwood was for sure a nice scenario, the best to play, but also the most inconsequential with the metaplot and the setting. It doesn't bring resolution, it doesn't end anything, it doesn't resolve metaplot. It's a side story.

            The Crucible of God and Nightshade were a better attempt to give a more metaplot driven ending, but...they were bad, a real railroad. Nothing to do, nothing to see, just your players looking at what the Antes did, a lot of descriptions, and then the infamous final prayer to god in Nighshade. They were not playable scenarios, it was something you could read, but not something you could play.



            I think that the best final scenario of all the splats was Ascension (Judgment was really good). It really worked in terms of closure of the metaplot but at the same time it gave quite the room to players.
            Last edited by Undead rabbit; 09-23-2019, 05:01 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Saga View Post
              I'll be harsh on this.

              Accepting Wormwood as the best story is not justice for 13 years of backstory.
              I would generally agree with this idea, but (and obviously there would be a but involved or my post would be pretty short)...

              I think Wormwood was about bringing the "personal" back to the whole "personal horror" concept of VtM. With Wormwood none of the metaplot or setting backstory or any of that impersonal stuff matters, none of it ever mattered and vampires just fooled themselves into thinking their great Jyhad held any meaning in the first place. In that scenario, the only thing that ends up mattering is who you are, what you've done and what you plan to do.

              Which is, and I'd be the first to agree, not a satisfying conclusion to all of the backstory and metaplot that White Wolf spent over a decade building up to. So if Wormwood had been the official ending or the only ending to VtM I would have been extremely irate about it. But as is, I find that Wormwood is a nice bookend to the original VtM corebook where the game was less focused on backstory and metaplot (since none of that had been written yet) and at the forefront was the idea that your character was what was important and that Vampire is ultimately a game of "personal" horror.
              Last edited by AnubisXy; 09-22-2019, 04:30 PM.

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              • #8
                It has been ages since I've read the book. I remember liking how events and the scope scaled across the different scenarios. But little else has stuck with me.

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                • #9
                  Wormwood was pretty clearly the LARP Gehenna. I mean, vampires all locked together in one room, having to deal mostly with each other and the occasional external moral dilemma, plus a tiny handful of NPCs? LARP.

                  My favorite was definitely The Crucible of G-d, because it was the most open-ended. All the other scenarios were small-scale and often overly-scripted, but Crucible was far more free-flowing. It had a bunch of different scenarios and contained the same kind of world-wide chaos contained in Apocalypse and Ascension and hinted at in the Time of Judgement ticker. I've always wanted to run that, but so far I've never gotten the chance. Maybe some day.


                  Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: Glorious Tree-Felling Prana and All-Encompassing Liquid-Carrying Methodology.

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                  • #10
                    I'll agree, The Crucible of God was my favorite as well. Wormwood seemed more like a play than an adventure for free-willed characters, and I hated the two main NPCs who were basically stand-ins for the Storyteller. Nightshade had too many comic book tropes for the genre imho, mixing science fiction and a bunch of melodramatic plot twists while making everything revolve around the PCs. (TCOG seemed to involve the players more organically.) Fair Is Foul was just awful—ptui! Let us never speak of it again.

                    Honestly the introductory fiction seemed like a much better storyline than any of the adventure scenarios.

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