Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Messing with History

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Messing with History

    How much do you story tellers alter actual history in your games and if so, why? Successful invasion or assassination fail? Death of an important figure before they achieve greatness? Important discovery delayed? What have you gotten away within your games?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Vladikov View Post
    How much do you story tellers alter actual history in your games and if so, why? Successful invasion or assassination fail? Death of an important figure before they achieve greatness? Important discovery delayed? What have you gotten away within your games?
    Generally, I state that history is entirely the same except for details. I think I stated this in one of my files:

    * Europe is dotted with hundreds of extra castles that didn't exist in our world as architecture was influenced by Kindred to make bigger more grandiose palaces for Kindred to dwell in.

    * Secret passages are just a thing in mansions. It's not an invention of Agatha Christie. The Panic Room existed for centuries before hand as do escape tunnels.

    * Gothic flourishes like gargoyles and grotesques are just common things in architecture to this day.

    * Art deco and brutalism are major influences in today's architecture. Lots of cities look like Gotham City.

    * The homelessness problem is not something anyone bothers to keep up. You'll pass a dozen on your way to work every day and they'll be there at night.

    * Goth never went out of style as a youth culture and just carried on.

    * Aleister Crowley is a legitimate religious icon to a large number of Americans.

    * Satanism is a theistic movement and not a form of atheist protest.

    * Lots of corporations in our world don't exist but are replaced by Pentex ones.

    * Enron Energy was replaced by the collapse of Endron Oil (with the help of Glass Walkers, Virtual Adepts, and others) but has since been replaced by another energy conglomerate. Brittex Oil was bought by Pentex to replace it.

    * The environment is about 10 years worse in the World of Darkness but I admit, we've caught up a lot to it.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 12-29-2019, 04:14 AM.


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

    Comment


    • #3
      A few more ideas that I've got bustling around in this vein, inspired stylistically by what CTPhipps posted above:

      •Egyptomania (perhaps even Egyptophilia in all honestly) has remained an even more consistent presence in the World of Darkness then in our own, with a near constant cultural buzz surrounding it. This is thanks to the constant effort of Settites amongst numerous others, including the Order of Hermes and Fae of the Sphinx.

      •Organized Crime has maintained its presence throughout the world, particularly in America and Western Europe where it had been on the decline irl for awhile, due to the intervention of numerous supernaturals and corruption. It's not necessarily as bad as the worst of the prohibition, but the various mobs (including Irish, Yiddish, Russian, etc.) are more active and publicly recognized then irl.

      •Due to coincidence, eavesdropping, and over-use of euphemisms; certain supernatural dog-whistles have reached the status of genuine slang in human cultures. 'Lick', 'Leech', and 'Whelp' for example to represent a cool person, a drain on others, and a young dumbass respectively.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Gryffon15 View Post
        Organized Crime has maintained its presence throughout the world, particularly in America and Western Europe where it had been on the decline irl for awhile, due to the intervention of numerous supernaturals and corruption. It's not necessarily as bad as the worst of the prohibition, but the various mobs (including Irish, Yiddish, Russian, etc.) are more active and publicly recognized then irl.
        Oh definitely how I do it as well. Really, a big deal is the fact that a lot of organized crime and certain businesses (like construction) are so interwoven it's difficult to say where one begins and one ends. Lots of businesses have fixers, cleaners, and sometimes outright hitmen working for them. Corporate culture is just that much worse even before Pentex and the Camarilla's influence.

        •Due to coincidence, eavesdropping, and over-use of euphemisms; certain supernatural dog-whistles have reached the status of genuine slang in human cultures. 'Lick', 'Leech', and 'Whelp' for example to represent a cool person, a drain on others, and a young dumbass respectively.
        I imagine that actually helps the Masquerade to an extent.


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

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
          * Secret passages are just a thing in mansions. It's not an invention of Agatha Christie. The Panic Room existed for centuries before hand as do escape tunnels.
          This is a real thing in England. Priest holes were common in the Elizabethian era for Catholic recusant households. St. Nicholas Owen is credited with the construction of a lot of these. Tony Reynolds wrote a pretty good biography of the man for those interested. There are also a lot of very old smuggler tunnels along various parts of Britain's coastline, including previously undiscovered ones that get stumbled upon during construction projects. It's really one of those things you could probably do an entire sourcebook about; I'm just not sure anymore but me and twelve other people would have bought it.

          Also glad to see I'm not the only one who is a fan of art deco and brutalist architecture for the WoD.
          Last edited by No One of Consequence; 12-29-2019, 03:42 PM.


          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

          Comment


          • #6
            The fatal 1947 crash of an experimental high altitude balloon carrying a photographer's nest in Roswell, New Mexico was not an attempt to spy on Russian bomb testing, but a Ventrue Prince's scheme to collect intel on the Russian Brujah. After the recovery of bodies from the crash site made it impossible to keep some form of the story out of the press, it was decided to let the first cover story that came to mind go out in order to protect the Masquerade. And that's why the town is famous for flying saucers.
            Last edited by Reasor; 12-29-2019, 07:18 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              I keep history as is except for the need to make lots of Gothic horror conventions omnipresent in the setting.

              However, I have no problem making substitutions for certain figures or organizations in order to use them in play. Horatio Ballard basically replaced real life Danforth Armour in my Chicago By Night chronicle, and various fictional corporations replace their real world counterparts. If I ever need to have PCs interact with real world celebrities or historical figures, I generally use roman-a-clef versions of them so if the PCs or NPCs ever do anything to them, I don't feel I've violated the timestream.

              I really don't want Time-Baby to visit me.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Reasor View Post
                The fatal 1947 crash of an experimental high altitude balloon carrying a photographer's nest in Roswell, New Mexico was not an attempt to spy on Russian bomb testing, but a Ventrue Prince's scheme to collect intel on the Russian Brujah. After the recovery of bodies from the crash site made it impossible to keep some form of the story out of the press, it was decided to let the first cover story that came to mind go out in order to protect the Masquerade. And that's why the town is famous for flying saucers.
                Jack Parsons is a 11th generation Tremere in my games. He was Embraced by Ailsing Sturbridge.

                L. Ron Hubbard actually did know about the supernatural from Jack but created his religion entirely from whole cloth after receiving a sizeable pay off from Technocracy acolytes to forget everything he knew about Parsons.

                The SAD pursued him needlessly for a decade or two believing he was a lead.
                Last edited by CTPhipps; 12-30-2019, 12:13 AM.


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

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have quite a few ways I've altered the mortal timestream in my games. Here are a few that I find the most interesting:

                  The most significant is that I've drastically retarded technology. Most of the world is pretty much stuck somewhere between "WarGames" and "You've Got Mail", technologically speaking. There is cutting edge technology available, but it's ridiculously expensive. Cell Phones are portable, but they cost $10K. There's no Facebook, no iPod, not even a Treo 650. There's no Wi-Fi in the coffee shop, or even at the airport (although in the Centurion Lounge you can plug into a node if you happen to have spent $20,000 on a laptop). The "Internet" is actually the "Internets" -- and it's a bunch of semi-compatible privately-owned and administrated networks, not centralized through ICANN. Data gets saved to 3.5 inch floppies or to CD-ROMs. There are security cameras, but there's nothing like the ubiquitous and easily affordable CCTV unit, certainly not with digital offsite storage. Dolly was never cloned, or at least it was never made public. This change is for thematic reasons.

                  I don't use any real life political figures for anything. Ever. If the President of the U.S. becomes important, I'll figure out who it is. (It'll probably be Jonathon Clifton Harkness IV from the great state of Tennessee. Or Abigail Leonard Price, from the great state of Wisconsin. Or some other random assemblage of names I come up with on the spot.) FOr the most part, I just refer to politicians by their offices/titles unless and until they become super relevant to the story. (They are very rarely written into my stories as super important; politicians are figureheads -- a mere afterthought to vampires and corporations in the World of Darkness.) This change is to avoid distraction from my games.

                  The legal landscape in my WoD is different. Civil rights aren't that much of a thing, and every slippery slope that you've ever heard about has been coated with an extra layer of oil and given 10% more tilt. The Warren and Brennan court may have happened, but no one listened to them. Miranda either never happened or got overruled (implicitly or explicitly). Tennessee v. Garner ("The police may not stop an unarmed, non-dangerous fleeing suspect by shooting him dead") certainly never happened. Korematsu is still good law. Roe v. Wade came out as a total and complete victory for abortion rights, and babies are regularly killed at birth as "abortions" and sold for parts. Executions are easier, the Feds don't deal with day to day crime as much as they do in the real world, andmandatory sentencing isn't really a thing anymore. Firearms laws are strict -- you have to have money or connections to legally carry weapons. These changes are also for thematic reasons.

                  Microsoft didn't bail out Apple, and Apple went under. This is also for thematic reasons. Apple was always going to be too cheery for my world of darkness.

                  There's no scandal of pedophile priests in the Catholic Church. This change is also for thematic reasons. Why would it erupt into a scandal? Who would care enough to make it a scandal?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As a general thing, everything in the WoD is up to 25% worse than in the real world.

                    So, the the WWII death toll is close 110 million, rather than 85 million.

                    The Great Recession lasted a full two years.

                    Prices for everything are 25% higher than in the real world, while wage salaries are about 25% less.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                      Prices for everything are 25% higher than in the real world, while wage salaries are about 25% less.
                      Alan Sovereign: That would be 50% worse.


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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The name of this thread keeps making me think of the old Jack Link's "Messing with Sasquatch" commercials.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Generally I tend to keep my recent history (the last thousand years or so) relatively close to real world history, but with my interest in antiquities and ancient technology the farther back in history you go the more crazy things tend to get. A good example is the so called "Baghdad Battery" which makes electricity a possible storyline element despite being around in antiquity.

                          It doesn't take much research to find examples of technologies that we often think of as "modern" being around during the dark ages or sword & sandals eras. Which means all sorts of cascade reactions when you map out how that interacts with game mechanics. Ancient vampire pirates on the Mediterranean might have been the reason "Greek Fire" got developed in the first place as well as its hand pump naval flame throwers. Does a roman ventrue want to outdo a competitor, well invest in water wheel powered trip hammers or water wheel powered grain mills to cause the market to go where he wants.

                          This is also one of the major reasons why I think the idea of vampire elders being utterly flabbergasted by technology is some what silly. They were around when the technology was first invented to begin with, survived long enough to see the human race forget that knowledge, only for humanity to re-invent it many centuries or millennia later. To vampires of a certain age a modern smart phone is just an "Antikythera Mechanism" with around two millennia worth of improved models.

                          This ancient technology adjustment tends to freshen things up quite nicely.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've also always been of the opinion that the WoD is probably, as a rule of thumb, ~10-25% worst in almost every regard to our own real world and those above legal and technological ideas are both interesting notions along that vein to me.

                            Now, to add another idea.

                            •Silver. You know those 'Buy Gold' adds? Replace that with silver. People have been buying out silver whenever it's found for millennia and stocks soar when mining companies announce fresh silver veins. This is due to the fact that, since the nights of the first and second cities (if they ever existed), kindred and ancient peoples alike have hoarded them to combat lupines. Thus Silver has become a status symbol across cultures for millennia, to the fascination of modern academics (it even received a mention in Joseph Campbell's 'The Hero With A Thousand Faces'). No self respecting elder doesn't have a horde of at least double their weight and young kindred often flash silver jewelry as status symbols where they can afford it, to the great envy of their peers. The Lupines naturally, refer to this as one of many signs of their looming Apocalypse.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gryffon15 View Post
                              •Silver. You know those 'Buy Gold' adds? Replace that with silver. People have been buying out silver whenever it's found for millennia and stocks soar when mining companies announce fresh silver veins. This is due to the fact that, since the nights of the first and second cities (if they ever existed), kindred and ancient peoples alike have hoarded them to combat lupines. Thus Silver has become a status symbol across cultures for millennia, to the fascination of modern academics (it even received a mention in Joseph Campbell's 'The Hero With A Thousand Faces'). No self respecting elder doesn't have a horde of at least double their weight and young kindred often flash silver jewelry as status symbols where they can afford it, to the great envy of their peers.
                              I love this. Is this just a demand change or is it scarcer as well?

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X