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[V5] What are YOUR thoughts on ShreckNet?

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  • GilbyTheFat
    started a topic [V5] What are YOUR thoughts on ShreckNet?

    [V5] What are YOUR thoughts on ShreckNet?

    So, the whole ShreckNet breach that happened at the hands of the NSA in 2004 in V5 has me wondering how everyone sees it.

    The main reason its a curiosity for me is because its been previously established that Clan Nosferatu are the best of the best in the world when it comes to hacking and digital warfare,and that ShreckNet was meant to be so colossally difficult to breach that even an Ancilla Tremere master hacker with the Thaumaturgical Path of Technology and a whole bunch of fancy complimentary rituals couldn't pull it off...

    ...and yet one human intelligence agency without supernatural advantages, that the Nosferatu would have without a doubt been watching like hawks (and therefore have seen the breach coming from a mile away), managed to breach the system and suddenly the Kindred world acts like ShreckNet is nothing more than an unsecured windows PC operated by an octogenarian who doesn't know what an antivirus is?

    Makes me think there's only two choices to explain it here:
    1. There's a lot more to the story that the Nosferatu aren't telling us.
    2. White-Wolf didn't want to put effort into devising a credible and at-all-plausible explanation for the start of the Second Inquisition.
    Seeing as I quite enjoy V5, I'm choosing to believe that its a case of 1 and not 2. But I am wondering how it is that you all look at it - do you take it at face value? Is there some deeper thing going on with it in your games? Have you or your STs simply scrapped the breach and gone with a plausible explanation for the origins of the SI?

  • Theodrim
    replied
    Originally posted by elmerg View Post

    Didn't most of L5R's metaplot changes happen because of player action, though? Like, that was a constant complaint I heard about it when there was talk of 'official metaplot' LARP events for WoD.
    Back when I played, it was the case AEG was taking cues from tourney outcomes to write metaplot. The controversy wasn't over that per se, but rather the notion game metaplot would be dictated by tourney meta. That's a concern I can certainly understand, given how whacked-out tourney meta was for L5R at the time. If I remember right (this was over twenty years ago) the only clans really considered tourney-viable were Crane, Scorpion, Crab, and Lion, and that all boiled down to honor cheese, and the ability to counter-play it.

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  • Gurkhal
    replied
    I'm late to the party but considering that I hate the SchreckNet and the whole, as I experience it, "No one can touch us!" vibe for the Nosferatu I see this as a vast improvement. Hopefully the advancing metaplot will further cut down on that element of the Nosferatu.

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  • elmerg
    replied
    Originally posted by Reasor View Post
    The only thing that bothers me about elements of the changes to the status quo is the feeling that this will be the new status quo until the next edition. There won't be an official account of the aftermath of the Second Inquisition and the Gehenna War until V6.

    Well, yeah, they designed the fucking game to function on this new status quo. It's not like two more books in we're going to see 'Oh noes, it's all back to Revised status quo!' Both of those things, the SI and the Crusade, are still ongoing as of V5's timeline. It's part and parcel of their advancing metaplot.

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  • Reasor
    replied
    The only thing that bothers me about elements of the changes to the status quo is the feeling that this will be the new status quo until the next edition. There won't be an official account of the aftermath of the Second Inquisition and the Gehenna War until V6.

    Leave a comment:


  • PMárk
    replied
    Originally posted by Theodrim View Post
    Funny enough, the Rokugan and Abeir-Toril settings are perfect examples of the problem I'm calling out, on either side of the coin. That being, when game mechanics and rules changes dictate metaplot.

    I never played the L5R RPG, but I played the hell out of the CCG back in the day. Sure, metaplot advancement happened with expansion set release and edition update, but the rules were never completely overhauled as long as I played it. The only major changes I can remember were espionage mechanics for clan Scorpion and alliance/rivalry mechanics for Yoritomo, but both were expansions of game mechanics that already existed; while edition changes had balance and QoL passes, and incorporated errata, core mechanics and gameplay loop stayed the same.

    Then...there's FR. The 1st-2nd edition change had the Time of Troubles, but those metaplot changes were due to outside circumstances -- the satanic panic and TSR's PR problem. Most complaint about it came from a place of perceived capitulation by TSR to moral busybodies who would never be satisfied in the first place, and it was quickly forgiven thanks to good support and content from Greenwood and his team. The mechanical changes were more balance/QoL passing than anything, and the core mechanics stayed mostly the same.

    2nd-3rd was a complete rules overhaul, and while the metaplot advanced there were no massive changes to it and continuity was largely preserved. The only markers I can think of offhand are Bane's resurrection and the Bhaalspawn crisis, but that's it. 3rd to 4th was the doozy between the Second Sundering and the Spellplague, and even a casual observer would note the metaplot advancement was largely in service to the rules overhaul. Which is the issue I take, when rules, and rule changes, dictate metaplot.
    That's why we still use 2e and 3e material for FR (and Ravenloft). From 4e on, it is really the same problem as with V5' plot. They didn't just progressed the setting and changed the status quo here and there, they basically blown up the setting we loved.
    Last edited by PMárk; 11-13-2019, 02:33 PM.

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  • PMárk
    replied
    Originally posted by Illuminostro View Post
    Networks are being cracked and hacked every day. It's not inconceivable Shreknet got hacked. As a matter of fact, It's good. In the modern age, it should be extremely difficult for vampires to remain hidden.
    More difficult? Yeah, in some respects. Having to learn new techniques? Yes, absolutely. Still, a lot of people overestimating the difficulty by a large margin. WW went overboard in V5 with the portrayal of this, to accomodate their specific vision of the setting, but objectively, V20 had a much more realistic approach.

    I'd even argue that, as long as they are not stupid, or refuse to learn the new stuff, they could hide easier than during the middle ages.

    Just consider the dark web and how much and what kind of awfull stuf is going on there. That organized crime, or even non-organized crime is still a big problem everywhere in the West, you just can't see bands shooting at each other at the streets that often. Consider the various big riots in the recent years. The sheer ammount of data out there and how much of that is trustworthy. That cellphone cameras are still generally shit at taking pictures and videos at night and at a longer distance and even if a bystander catches anything, who would believe her?

    Surveillance and even big governmental agencies aren't omnipotent and omniscient. Heck, even i the WoD, the frickin' Technocracy isn't that. So, I firmly stand by my oppinion that they went waaay overboard with the SI, largely, because they wanted a setting setup more closely resembling Requiem's, with fractured sects, isolated cities, mostly young vampires, who tremble in fear of the humans and so on. I get that some prefer this picture and it's perfectly fine. For me, I'll use my version, described above, because I liked the prior, more connected, more "globalized" version of the setting.

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  • PMárk
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

    Unfortunately it's 2, but it's slowly going to be retconned as best certain authors can to make it 1 after the fact.
    Yup, this. I have many problems how far they went with their, otherwise interesting plot ideas, but this, along with the destruction of the Tremere main chantry are the biggest offenders, IMO. They just don't make sense in view of all the material written up to V5. They clearly a crude deus-ex machina they used to fit the setting to their own vision and stil hadn't got any sufficient explanation aside "well, it just happened, because fuck yeah humanity".

    For me, I refuse to use any of that (or nearly any of the V5 plotline, to be honest) in my V20 games, as written, but I'm using the core ideas. For those who might be interested, this is my version of the setting as it is now:

    - In the case of the SchrekNET, maybe a breach happened, maybe with the Technocracy secretly aiding the SI, but it got covered up quickly, but not quickly enough that some information got leaked and because of that, the loose cooperation between various groups, dubbed as the SI got to be a bigger problem than it was earlier, but nowhere near the extent given in V5.

    - Similarly, the raid on the Vienna chantry might happened, but with great casualties on the SI's side and most of the 7 and the higher-ups of the clan got out and working hard to restore order since then. Tremere/Saulot himself vanished, though, alongside Etrius. Also, naturally, the clan lost a great deal of thaumaturgical resources gathered there.

    - House Carna is basically Anarch Tremeres, a natural ougrowing of the things described in Anarchs Unbound. Mostly young members of the clan, who were dissatisfied and took the opportunity to leave.

    - The Beckonning is happening, but nowhere near the same extent as in V5. Elders feel the call and many went (ans some returned since then), but many still remained.

    - The Sabbat is still there in the West, the inner civil war happening, as foreshadowed in Beckett's and the Gehenna Crusader faction left for the Middle East.

    - The Camarilla is still the old Camarilla, but the Anarchs took over some cities, taking advantage of all the above.

    - The Anarchs are still parts of the Cam in most cities, at least nominally. The Brujah and the Gangrel are still in the Cam, officially, they have a Justiciar, but many went over to the Anarchs. The Assamites, who fled Ur-Shulgi joined and have a justiciar. The Lasombra are still frimly Sabbat, but they more prominent in the "saner" faction of the Sabbat, even maintaining some tenous diplomatic connections with the Cam here and there.

    - Theo Bell made a big fuss at Prague (rightly so) and left the Cam and joined the Anarchs, but Hardestadt and Pieterzoon are still alive.

    - The London "purge" happened, but again, with great casualties and it was mainly about driving out the entrenched cam from London. Many of them got out, but many perished. London is absolutely not "vampire-free", but currently, it's a no-man's land, where everyone treads carefully.

    So, basically, almost all of the V5 plot points are there, but curbed back and the setting is more similar to how it was, although big changes still happened. Generally, I took the V20 material, especially Anarchs Unbound and BJD and went from the plot points there, building the V5 stuff on it in a much more mild fashion.
    Last edited by PMárk; 11-13-2019, 05:59 PM.

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  • Grumpy RPG Reviews
    replied
    The idea that it would be difficult (online) to tell some human basement dwelling redpill type from a Nosferatu is amusing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Reasor
    replied
    Originally posted by Illuminostro View Post
    Where was it ever stated the Nosferatu were the smartest and best hackers in the world?
    Right. The Nosferatu were basically just the first vampires to bother with the Internet at all, because they weren't invited to the sexy parties.

    Leave a comment:


  • Illuminostro
    replied
    Originally posted by GilbyTheFat View Post
    So, the whole ShreckNet breach that happened at the hands of the NSA in 2004 in V5 has me wondering how everyone sees it.

    The main reason its a curiosity for me is because its been previously established that Clan Nosferatu are the best of the best in the world when it comes to hacking and digital warfare,and that ShreckNet was meant to be so colossally difficult to breach that even an Ancilla Tremere master hacker with the Thaumaturgical Path of Technology and a whole bunch of fancy complimentary rituals couldn't pull it off...

    ...and yet one human intelligence agency without supernatural advantages, that the Nosferatu would have without a doubt been watching like hawks (and therefore have seen the breach coming from a mile away), managed to breach the system and suddenly the Kindred world acts like ShreckNet is nothing more than an unsecured windows PC operated by an octogenarian who doesn't know what an antivirus is?

    Makes me think there's only two choices to explain it here:
    1. There's a lot more to the story that the Nosferatu aren't telling us.
    2. White-Wolf didn't want to put effort into devising a credible and at-all-plausible explanation for the start of the Second Inquisition.
    Seeing as I quite enjoy V5, I'm choosing to believe that its a case of 1 and not 2. But I am wondering how it is that you all look at it - do you take it at face value? Is there some deeper thing going on with it in your games? Have you or your STs simply scrapped the breach and gone with a plausible explanation for the origins of the SI?
    Where was it ever stated the Nosferatu were the smartest and best hackers in the world?

    Networks are being cracked and hacked every day. It's not inconceivable Shreknet got hacked. As a matter of fact, It's good. In the modern age, it should be extremely difficult for vampires to remain hidden.

    Leave a comment:


  • Illuminostro
    replied
    Originally posted by GilbyTheFat View Post
    So, the whole ShreckNet breach that happened at the hands of the NSA in 2004 in V5 has me wondering how everyone sees it.

    The main reason its a curiosity for me is because its been previously established that Clan Nosferatu are the best of the best in the world when it comes to hacking and digital warfare,and that ShreckNet was meant to be so colossally difficult to breach that even an Ancilla Tremere master hacker with the Thaumaturgical Path of Technology and a whole bunch of fancy complimentary rituals couldn't pull it off...

    ...and yet one human intelligence agency without supernatural advantages, that the Nosferatu would have without a doubt been watching like hawks (and therefore have seen the breach coming from a mile away), managed to breach the system and suddenly the Kindred world acts like ShreckNet is nothing more than an unsecured windows PC operated by an octogenarian who doesn't know what an antivirus is?

    Makes me think there's only two choices to explain it here:
    1. There's a lot more to the story that the Nosferatu aren't telling us.
    2. White-Wolf didn't want to put effort into devising a credible and at-all-plausible explanation for the start of the Second Inquisition.
    Seeing as I quite enjoy V5, I'm choosing to believe that its a case of 1 and not 2. But I am wondering how it is that you all look at it - do you take it at face value? Is there some deeper thing going on with it in your games? Have you or your STs simply scrapped the breach and gone with a plausible explanation for the origins of the SI?
    Where was it ever stated the Nosferatu were the smartest and best hackers in the world?

    Networks are being cracked and hacked every day. It's not inconceivable Shreknet got hacked. As a matter of fact, It's good. In the modern age, it should be extremely difficult for vampires to remain hidden.

    Leave a comment:


  • elmerg
    replied
    Originally posted by Theodrim View Post
    Funny enough, the Rokugan and Abeir-Toril settings are perfect examples of the problem I'm calling out, on either side of the coin. That being, when game mechanics and rules changes dictate metaplot.

    I never played the L5R RPG, but I played the hell out of the CCG back in the day. Sure, metaplot advancement happened with expansion set release and edition update, but the rules were never completely overhauled as long as I played it. The only major changes I can remember were espionage mechanics for clan Scorpion and alliance/rivalry mechanics for Yoritomo, but both were expansions of game mechanics that already existed; while edition changes had balance and QoL passes, and incorporated errata, core mechanics and gameplay loop stayed the same.

    Then...there's FR. The 1st-2nd edition change had the Time of Troubles, but those metaplot changes were due to outside circumstances -- the satanic panic and TSR's PR problem. Most complaint about it came from a place of perceived capitulation by TSR to moral busybodies who would never be satisfied in the first place, and it was quickly forgiven thanks to good support and content from Greenwood and his team. The mechanical changes were more balance/QoL passing than anything, and the core mechanics stayed mostly the same.

    2nd-3rd was a complete rules overhaul, and while the metaplot advanced there were no massive changes to it and continuity was largely preserved. The only markers I can think of offhand are Bane's resurrection and the Bhaalspawn crisis, but that's it. 3rd to 4th was the doozy between the Second Sundering and the Spellplague, and even a casual observer would note the metaplot advancement was largely in service to the rules overhaul. Which is the issue I take, when rules, and rule changes, dictate metaplot.

    Didn't most of L5R's metaplot changes happen because of player action, though? Like, that was a constant complaint I heard about it when there was talk of 'official metaplot' LARP events for WoD.

    Honestly though, outside of maybe two things, I can't pick out anything major that is 'mechanical overhaul led to this plot change'. Most of this, looking at it, can easily be a logical advancement of the old metaplot. Assuming you're not caught up in the 'invincible vampires own all governments FOREVER' fallacy.

    Leave a comment:


  • Theodrim
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    The metaplot wasn't upended. It was simply continued.

    The whole point of metaplot is to have events happen to Rokugan, Toril, or whatever to give STs something to do.
    Funny enough, the Rokugan and Abeir-Toril settings are perfect examples of the problem I'm calling out, on either side of the coin. That being, when game mechanics and rules changes dictate metaplot.

    I never played the L5R RPG, but I played the hell out of the CCG back in the day. Sure, metaplot advancement happened with expansion set release and edition update, but the rules were never completely overhauled as long as I played it. The only major changes I can remember were espionage mechanics for clan Scorpion and alliance/rivalry mechanics for Yoritomo, but both were expansions of game mechanics that already existed; while edition changes had balance and QoL passes, and incorporated errata, core mechanics and gameplay loop stayed the same.

    Then...there's FR. The 1st-2nd edition change had the Time of Troubles, but those metaplot changes were due to outside circumstances -- the satanic panic and TSR's PR problem. Most complaint about it came from a place of perceived capitulation by TSR to moral busybodies who would never be satisfied in the first place, and it was quickly forgiven thanks to good support and content from Greenwood and his team. The mechanical changes were more balance/QoL passing than anything, and the core mechanics stayed mostly the same.

    2nd-3rd was a complete rules overhaul, and while the metaplot advanced there were no massive changes to it and continuity was largely preserved. The only markers I can think of offhand are Bane's resurrection and the Bhaalspawn crisis, but that's it. 3rd to 4th was the doozy between the Second Sundering and the Spellplague, and even a casual observer would note the metaplot advancement was largely in service to the rules overhaul. Which is the issue I take, when rules, and rule changes, dictate metaplot.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nyrufa
    replied
    Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post

    What is more nihilistic that having a bunch of un-cool plebs puncture the bubble of your power fantasy?

    Well, there's the fact that in pretty much every other game in the line, mortals are doomed from the onset.

    Can't destroy the Changelings, without destroying the very spirit of humanity itself.

    Can't destroy Mages, without destroying the limitless potential of humanity's will.

    Can't destroy Werewolves, because the mere sight of their full power drives people to temporary madness. Also they're the only thing standing between you and the literal apocalypse.

    And we can't forget the fact that even God himself has a grudge against humanity, when he ordered his Arch Angels to lay curses upon the entire species after the whole Demon rebellion. One of which was stripping humans of the knowledge of self resurrection, which logic would imply mortals were never supposed to stay dead in the first place, and thus the Underworld may in fact become the final resting place for humanity's souls after all.

    Edit: Oh yeah, and another one of those curses states that every achievement mankind strives for will inevitably become corrupted. So even if mortals did win the war, and the Technocracy did complete their plan of creating a world based on secular rationalism, we may be looking at an Anti-Christ situation. Since part of the prophecy refers to him convincing humanity to turn its back on faith and celebrate the glory of Man over God.
    Last edited by Nyrufa; 10-19-2019, 12:35 PM.

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