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  • #76
    Originally posted by elmerg View Post

    A Messy Critical should normally still be a success; one of the suggested options is the action fails, but I have literally never seen anyone use that as an option. Most of them are going to fall into the 'you do something that could be Masquerade breachy' more than anything else, at least from what I've seen from other games and what narratively worked in the year long game I ended a couple months ago.
    Ok. As I said I am glad no one use the rule.

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    • #77
      Originally posted by blailton View Post

      In stealth, perception and others tests it turn sucess into failure.

      If your ST runs it right, it wouldn't. Messy Critical on a stealth roll? You stealth the shit out of that, slinking around and moving unnaturally, your body just that much more quiet like a panther stalking their prey. Perception? You find what you're looking for, and you stare at it for just that much longer than necessary, staring at it in unnatural stillness with a predatory glare to your eye.

      Again, the issue is most people run to the very extreme of it, when the intention is for it to fit the narrative of what's going on when you roll the ciritcal. That is not a failing of the system, that's a failing on the STs part to deal with the Critical in context. The suggestions in the book are just that: suggestions or how things should go. Breaching the Masquerade by the beast 'helping out' in a monstrous way is just as much a Messy Critical as tearing out some dude's spine in a fight.
      Last edited by elmerg; 01-08-2020, 12:15 AM.

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      • #78
        Originally posted by blailton View Post

        In stealth, perception and others tests it turn sucess into failure.
        Not necessarily. It depends on the way in which the Storyteller wants to rule it. It does suggest in the book that stealth and perception tests may be dealt with as mere failures, but there is no hard rule on the matter.

        For stealth tests, for example, I could rule as a ST that the stealth attempt is critically successful because the predatory nature of the vampire comes to the fore - the vampire is well hidden, but if he is just attempting to follow someone, then his hunting instincts kick in and he starts treating the target as prey instead....which he would need to then use Willpower to not act on. If it’s a perception roll, I might rule that his/her eyes start to glow red and he is unable to interact with mortals for a period of time without giving away his/her supernatural nature.

        Any imaginative Storyteller could come up with similar interpretations. The simple ‘failure’ is just a last resort really, if you can’t think of anything narrative to fit in.

        Comment


        • #79
          Originally posted by elmerg View Post


          If your ST runs it right, it wouldn't. Messy Critical on a stealth roll? You stealth the shit out of that, slinking around and moving unnaturally, your body just that much more quiet like a panther stalking their prey. Perception? You find what you're looking for, and you stare at it for just that much longer than necessary, staring at it in unnatural stillness with a predatory glare to your eye.

          Again, the issue is most people run to the very extreme of it, when the intention is for it to fit the narrative of what's going on when you roll the ciritcal. That is not a failing of the system, that's a failing on the STs part to deal with the Critical in context. The suggestions in the book are just that: suggestions or how things should go. Breaching the Masquerade by the beast 'helping out' in a monstrous way is just as much a Messy Critical as tearing out some dude's spine in a fight.
          Heh! Beat me to it!

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
            This just doesn't make sense. Vampires were always responsible for their Beast, even if it was just because they didn't choose to meet the Sun every morning.
            Sure vampires are responsible for what their beasts do—but I don’t think MyWifeIsScary is saying that vampires in V5 are totally and completely exculpated for the Bad Thing the beast makes them do by dint of being more difficult to control or manage. It is neither a hot take, nor extraordinary, to posit that moral failure exists on a spectrum: the less control one has over one’s actions and behavior, the less morally culpable one is for the negative or undesirable outcomes of those actions and behavior. Obviously you could never perfectly define the spectrum (because you would never be able to account for every possible fact pattern,) but at a minimum, the following is true:

            1. things completely out of our control (the ultimate example being bad things that happened before we were born) are simply not our fault;
            2. bad things that happen because we aren’t careful are our fault, at least partially—even if the specific bad consequences in question were not reasonably foreseeable;
            3. reasonably foreseeable bad things that happen because we aren’t careful are worse than the situation in No. 2 above, because we were careless despite knowing that carelessness could lead to the bad thing, and that bad thing did in fact come to pass;
            4. bad things that happen because we are callous and indifferent to the consequences are worse still, because at this stage we evince an indifference to the suffering, and possibly well-being, of others;
            5. bad things that happen because we specifically intend for them to happen despite, and where the ill consequences are the point, is worst.

            Getting back to your own statement, your suggestion appears to be that the moral failure starts and ends with the vampire not taking their own unlife; i.e., that by dint of the fact that the vampire doesn’t meet the sun, we don’t even need to engage in the analysis of whether one instance of the beast taking control is worse than any other (as would be necessary to portray grappling with moral complexity and ambiguity), because every such instance is equally bad by dint of having been equally preventable via suicide. It seems like the idea is that if you’ve been a vampire for any length of time, you know what the beast is capable of, and thus anything bad that happens because of the beast was a foreseeable ill that could have been prevented with the vampire’s suicide.

            My major problem with this is that it’s an unreasonable position to take. Nothing (that I can think of at least) works like this. Based on the you're-as-guilty-as-the-next-vamp-because-you-didn't-kill-yourself reasoning, if Person “A” is driving their car according to the rules of the road gets into an accident and the other motorist dies, Person “A” is as morally responsible for that death as a person who chooses to drive drunk, and kills someone in a car accident as a result, because in both cases the deaths were preventable by simply not driving. It wouldn’t matter that Person “A” took precautions to mitigate the risks of driving, or that the drunk driver, by being intoxicated, made it several orders of magnitude more likely that a crash would occur—the fact alone that tens of millions of people are injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents every year means it’s perfectly foreseeable that someone could die in an accident regardless of whether due care is exercised, and therefore, the only way to avoid being involved in a vehicular homicide is to never drive. But obviously that’s not how anyone sees that situation: cars are dangerous, and accidents happen, but our society still tends to light people up for driving under the influence precisely because it makes an already dangerous thing so much more dangerous.

            To bring this back to V:tM, MyWifeIsScary seems to be saying (and I agree) that in classic Vampire, hunger was manageable enough that it was like driving a car safely according to traffic laws—even if due care was taken, bad things could still occur… it’s just the nature of beast (see what I did there?) Just like accidents can happen despite being a very careful driver, even a vampire who conscientiously maintains a “safe” level of blood at all times could nevertheless end up frenzying and killing someone under the right set of circumstances (frenzy checks could be made much easier by being well fed, but you were never going to have more than five dice to make the roll, and every check could have you making multiple rolls)—but it was still more manageable than V5, and it's not like there were messy criticals or compulsions either. Similarly, a vampire who frenzied and killed people at every turn because they couldn’t be bothered to thoughtfully manage their blood level could be analogized to the drunk driver. The fact that hunger is (relatively) more manageable in classic V:tM, coupled with the fact that the beast killing a lot of people is the perfectly foreseeable result of being careless with hunger, means that a vampire’s choice to not exercise due care with their blood pool evinces a conscious indifference and disregard for human life and the suffering of others.

            However, whereas in classic V:tM, if your character often loses control and kills people because they’re hungry, it says something about how they value human life, and as such, speaks to the character’s knowing moral degeneration, if in V5 your character often loses control and kills people because they’re hungry, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything, since losing control and killing people is not nearly as preventable as in prior editions, and so the character can’t really be said to be making conscious choices about it one way or another—it’s hard to stop the beast from coming out and hurting people.

            Personally, I find the former instance more horrifying because it seems better equipped to illustrate the way that vampires night-to-night conduct reflects their evolving sensibilities regarding their former species-turned-food; it provides just one more way for the vampire to cede their humanity to be beast, by basically acknowledging that even if it’s not difficult to be mindful about not cutting loose and draining people… they just can’t bothered anymore. In V5 it seems like the greatly diminished capacity to effectively exercise care in the name of preserving human life would make it easier to rationalize killing people in a frenzy; and I seriously doubt that vampires themselves see the failure to commit suicide as the moral failing that renders moot any discussion other moral failures, because if that were the case, the automatic rejoinder to attempts to hold any given vampire morally accountable for their wrongdoings would be, “get off your high horse—you didn’t walk into the sun this morning either.”


            Sig

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            • #81
              Originally posted by CaptOtter View Post
              Sure vampires are responsible for what their beasts do—but I don’t think MyWifeIsScary is saying that vampires in V5 are totally and completely exculpated for the Bad Thing the beast makes them do by dint of being more difficult to control or manage. It is neither a hot take, nor extraordinary, to posit that moral failure exists on a spectrum: the less control one has over one’s actions and behavior, the less morally culpable one is for the negative or undesirable outcomes of those actions and behavior. Obviously you could never perfectly define the spectrum (because you would never be able to account for every possible fact pattern,) but at a minimum, the following is true:

              1. things completely out of our control (the ultimate example being bad things that happened before we were born) are simply not our fault;
              2. bad things that happen because we aren’t careful are our fault, at least partially—even if the specific bad consequences in question were not reasonably foreseeable;
              3. reasonably foreseeable bad things that happen because we aren’t careful are worse than the situation in No. 2 above, because we were careless despite knowing that carelessness could lead to the bad thing, and that bad thing did in fact come to pass;
              4. bad things that happen because we are callous and indifferent to the consequences are worse still, because at this stage we evince an indifference to the suffering, and possibly well-being, of others;
              5. bad things that happen because we specifically intend for them to happen despite, and where the ill consequences are the point, is worst.

              Getting back to your own statement, your suggestion appears to be that the moral failure starts and ends with the vampire not taking their own unlife; i.e., that by dint of the fact that the vampire doesn’t meet the sun, we don’t even need to engage in the analysis of whether one instance of the beast taking control is worse than any other (as would be necessary to portray grappling with moral complexity and ambiguity), because every such instance is equally bad by dint of having been equally preventable via suicide. It seems like the idea is that if you’ve been a vampire for any length of time, you know what the beast is capable of, and thus anything bad that happens because of the beast was a foreseeable ill that could have been prevented with the vampire’s suicide.

              My major problem with this is that it’s an unreasonable position to take. Nothing (that I can think of at least) works like this. Based on the you're-as-guilty-as-the-next-vamp-because-you-didn't-kill-yourself reasoning, if Person “A” is driving their car according to the rules of the road gets into an accident and the other motorist dies, Person “A” is as morally responsible for that death as a person who chooses to drive drunk, and kills someone in a car accident as a result, because in both cases the deaths were preventable by simply not driving. It wouldn’t matter that Person “A” took precautions to mitigate the risks of driving, or that the drunk driver, by being intoxicated, made it several orders of magnitude more likely that a crash would occur—the fact alone that tens of millions of people are injured or killed in motor vehicle accidents every year means it’s perfectly foreseeable that someone could die in an accident regardless of whether due care is exercised, and therefore, the only way to avoid being involved in a vehicular homicide is to never drive. But obviously that’s not how anyone sees that situation: cars are dangerous, and accidents happen, but our society still tends to light people up for driving under the influence precisely because it makes an already dangerous thing so much more dangerous.

              To bring this back to V:tM, MyWifeIsScary seems to be saying (and I agree) that in classic Vampire, hunger was manageable enough that it was like driving a car safely according to traffic laws—even if due care was taken, bad things could still occur… it’s just the nature of beast (see what I did there?) Just like accidents can happen despite being a very careful driver, even a vampire who conscientiously maintains a “safe” level of blood at all times could nevertheless end up frenzying and killing someone under the right set of circumstances (frenzy checks could be made much easier by being well fed, but you were never going to have more than five dice to make the roll, and every check could have you making multiple rolls)—but it was still more manageable than V5, and it's not like there were messy criticals or compulsions either. Similarly, a vampire who frenzied and killed people at every turn because they couldn’t be bothered to thoughtfully manage their blood level could be analogized to the drunk driver. The fact that hunger is (relatively) more manageable in classic V:tM, coupled with the fact that the beast killing a lot of people is the perfectly foreseeable result of being careless with hunger, means that a vampire’s choice to not exercise due care with their blood pool evinces a conscious indifference and disregard for human life and the suffering of others.

              However, whereas in classic V:tM, if your character often loses control and kills people because they’re hungry, it says something about how they value human life, and as such, speaks to the character’s knowing moral degeneration, if in V5 your character often loses control and kills people because they’re hungry, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything, since losing control and killing people is not nearly as preventable as in prior editions, and so the character can’t really be said to be making conscious choices about it one way or another—it’s hard to stop the beast from coming out and hurting people.

              Personally, I find the former instance more horrifying because it seems better equipped to illustrate the way that vampires night-to-night conduct reflects their evolving sensibilities regarding their former species-turned-food; it provides just one more way for the vampire to cede their humanity to be beast, by basically acknowledging that even if it’s not difficult to be mindful about not cutting loose and draining people… they just can’t bothered anymore. In V5 it seems like the greatly diminished capacity to effectively exercise care in the name of preserving human life would make it easier to rationalize killing people in a frenzy; and I seriously doubt that vampires themselves see the failure to commit suicide as the moral failing that renders moot any discussion other moral failures, because if that were the case, the automatic rejoinder to attempts to hold any given vampire morally accountable for their wrongdoings would be, “get off your high horse—you didn’t walk into the sun this morning either.”
              I would disagree with most of this actually.

              1. I don't think that resource management actually is a 100% solution in Vampire: The Masquerade's previous editions. In fact, I would argue that it's a much bigger thing in V5 and that it is a far more interesting system for this because Hunger Dice are things that you can keep track of. For the most part, vampires are only going to need to keep that down to 1 dice and while that means they're hungry, they're not actually people who are going to flip out and kill everyone unless they have 3 or 4. That's going to be something that requires starvation from a inability to hunt or something like healing aggravated damage.

              2. I don't think the system is substantially more dangerous for frenzying and Hunger actually with Hunger Dice to the point that vampires are going to be dropping bodies left and right. In fact, I'd actually argue that vampires probably kill LESS people in the long run under V5. In the previous edition, if you go into a frenzy you can end up killing whole rooms of people and rampaging through a place. If you drain someone to death in V5, however, the Hunger dice goes down to 0 and you're effectively free for the rest of the night.

              3. The morality of being a vampire is something that I'm not saying, "the only moral option is self-destruction" (as opposed to suicide since I feel it's important to draw a distinction between someone killing themselves in RL that many of us have friends victimized by versus someone killing themselves because they are a literal supernatural monster). I am saying, however, that one of the main themes of the game is the fact the Beast is a curse. It's something that means that a lot of vampires, perhaps most, have some innocent blood on their hands and must deal with. Either because their sires didn't care during their early days or something happened. Its an addiction you must learn to manage or simply give into.

              Using addiction as a metaphor means that vampires are simultaneously people with no power over their addiction and also responsible when they fall off the wagon.

              4. I think the uncontrollability of the Beast is something that has always been in part of the game. People who think that the beast is something they can reign in easily and not have to worry about are the ones most likely to be murderers in V:TM because it's a very arrogant and foolish statement. Vampires have to be very wary about it and I think the ones most afraid of it and aware it's a constant danger are the ones most likely to be less of a threat to their fellow humans. It also explains why vampires seek Golconda, Touchstones, and so on to help with their dealing with the Beast.

              5. Predator Types actually are an important way of showing how "moral hunger" plays a role in the game. They're not just something that's flavor text. A vampire who feeds entirely on bagged blood is not going to have the same habit of flipping out and killing people. This is because their Predator type shows how they have adapted to the nightly struggle.

              6. There's a big stat on the character sheet called Compsure. If you don't ever want to frenzy, just up to 5 and raise your willpower.


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

              Comment


              • #82
                1. We never said it was, but it's really, really helpful to manage resources. In V5 I think you're more managing not to roll, which sucks. Hunger Dice are things you can keep track of, sure, It's objectively correct that if you have two hunger, you have two hunger dice, but from there everything you say falls apart. You can't manage hunger like you could blood because you don't always get hungry when you rouse the blood, and you lose hunger by rather arbitrary classifications of how you feed, rater than "I take this much blood".

                2. That VTM example is a rare frenzy by all common interpretations. Also "I killed someone, I'm free for the rest of the night". Are you joking? Are you trying to make us laugh? Next rouse you make you could gain that hunger back, and in V5 there's a lot of things to rouse for. Let's not even get into the 'I'm free for the rest of the night' trap.

                3. I dunno, I find a theme of 'I should kill myself for being a literal monster' kind of an apt analogy for real life tragedy. But A theme that overrides the rest of vampire's themes? No thanks. V5's hunger is so distracting that it detracts from the other themes of Vampire (Well, I suppose V5 gutted the political horror as I've said earlier) Got some grand machiavelian plan? No you don't, you're hungry and unstable.

                4. I've played a lot of vampire. The Beast is easy to manage if you know what you're doing. I've played in games with punitive storytellers, where characters roll for frenzy often, and players who know what they're doing with characters who know what they're doing did pretty well when it came to avoiding the beast. And yes, this is possible without strong virtues. Rev/V20 was, well, Get Gud. In v5, the beast beats the best of strategists.

                5. Predator type is a nice suggestion but need not be a mechanical neccessity. But I've gotta ask; How the fuck does this refute anything?


                6. Virtues worked.

                I really, really want to be the dick about a few things:
                When I say "V5 is bad because of X" and you say "Well X means there's now Y, which I like" it doesn't address the concern of X. I'm aware of Y, Y is obvious, But Y is not worth the sacrifice of X; Y could be done without the sacrifice of X.

                "You keep talking about X but you've avoided talking about Y, You're conceding right?"
                No, X is the problem. Y is something you like. What X changed was apart of the game for 4 editions, Y is new. If I say "X doesn't work because basic logistical context or psychological/sociological improbability" and you say "but it enables Y!" then you're not really arguing

                "But there's also Z which is really good for/because Y"
                Nothing to do with X.


                So I'll reiterate the points I've made here that I don't feel have been adequatly refuted*
                V5 has released a lot of the political pressure of VTM: There is no monopolistic vampire government thus the vampires cannot abuse their monopoly as the opposition is a more viable option that can attract vampires. The playing field is more equal as there are fewer, weaker elders and thin bloods/mortals are relatively stronger. These changes in turn undermine the personal horror of the game as there is less pressure to conform, less pressure to excel and more room for error (as well as the political themes that have been attractive to many players)

                V5 has strengthened the Beast to the point of omnipresence, it frequently takes over, even if only in small ways. This robs the players of agency and so, when characters do something bad because of the Beast in optimal conditions, the player (and potentially the character) experiences agentic shift and dissasociates their own actions. This distances players from the character. as "It wasn't me". From the character getting a panic attack to a brutal strike to fang baring; If it happened because I had a hunger die, it wasn't me" (this also reduces how tenable the masquerade is by a large margin). VTM had a much stronger locus of control for players than V5, and most people that care really like that.
                *I don't think I've ever been adequately refuted on V5 for anything but minor details

                I dunno; I don't really wanna wave my educational background around (Far too relevant) but V5 has abandoned the formula of what makes a game great and attractive.
                -It's explicitly political in a way that defies the "show, not tell" rule. Bonus points for going out of their way in alienating the audience
                -It doesn't challenge or reinforce the player's viewpoint in a diagetic manner. Bonus points again for alienating members of the audience
                -It emphasizes a single feature (Hunger) which we can recognize as a gimick, at the expense of other assets.
                -It tries too be current but does so in a desperate manner: through citing real world events rather than trying to capture the feeling of the current zietgeist. It's at an extreme risk of being dated (I'm joking, it was dated on release)
                -Some other stuff I'd articulate later if I didn't spend too long here. Point being; V5 has no success formula beyond the fact that it stars Vampires and is a known IP.

                Look, V20 had everything it needed for success.
                -You aren't told it's politics, you live it's politics. It challenges/confirms your viewpoint in a diagetic matter.
                -There is no single thing, it's a package. There's stuff for everyone. Oh and It's a twisted dark exaggeration of reality with so many things people can possibly identify with or rally against.
                -It's agnostic to real world events, other than maybe the adaptations it took to be more in line with the information age.
                -Vampires, Werewolves, wizards, Machineguns Oh MY!


                V5 is not VTM

                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                  1. We never said it was, but it's really, really helpful to manage resources. In V5 I think you're more managing not to roll, which sucks. Hunger Dice are things you can keep track of, sure, It's objectively correct that if you have two hunger, you have two hunger dice, but from there everything you say falls apart. You can't manage hunger like you could blood because you don't always get hungry when you rouse the blood, and you lose hunger by rather arbitrary classifications of how you feed, rater than "I take this much blood".
                  The fact that you don't AUTOMATICALLY rouse your Hunger every time you do something makes it easier to manage than the pre-existing system of vampire. You have to keep track of how hungry you are at any given moment but the simple fact is that you could theoretically go without feeding for days without having a problem. The rouse checks means that you should probably feed more often but you're more likely to feed SHALLOWLY rather than feed DEEPLY.

                  2. That VTM example is a rare frenzy by all common interpretations. Also "I killed someone, I'm free for the rest of the night". Are you joking? Are you trying to make us laugh? Next rouse you make you could gain that hunger back, and in V5 there's a lot of things to rouse for. Let's not even get into the 'I'm free for the rest of the night' trap.
                  I disagree, Hunger 0 is something that makes you practically immune to the bad effects of hunger. You keep acting as if Hunger 1 is a terribly delibetating state but it's nothing mechanically.

                  3. I dunno, I find a theme of 'I should kill myself for being a literal monster' kind of an apt analogy for real life tragedy. But A theme that overrides the rest of vampire's themes? No thanks. V5's hunger is so distracting that it detracts from the other themes of Vampire (Well, I suppose V5 gutted the political horror as I've said earlier) Got some grand machiavelian plan? No you don't, you're hungry and unstable.
                  I don't think there's very many real life situations where a person is objectively a threat to the people around them. This is like discovering you have an evil alternate personality. I don't think it overrides other themes at all. Really, if you buy a Herd you probably will never have to worry about Hunger in game save for when you are trying to heal aggravated damage and it becomes an actual threat.

                  4. I've played a lot of vampire. The Beast is easy to manage if you know what you're doing. I've played in games with punitive storytellers, where characters roll for frenzy often, and players who know what they're doing with characters who know what they're doing did pretty well when it came to avoiding the beast. And yes, this is possible without strong virtues. Rev/V20 was, well, Get Gud. In v5, the beast beats the best of strategists.
                  I don't see what's difficult to manage about the Beast of v5. It can potentially go nuts but all the games I've played so far just have the PCs making sure that they try to keep it Hunger 1 whenever possible. Yes, I include the PCs occassionally killing innocent people for horror but that's my style and the result of the Curse.

                  5. Predator type is a nice suggestion but need not be a mechanical neccessity. But I've gotta ask; How the fuck does this refute anything?
                  Predator Types can go a long way to mitigating how Hunger is handled in your game. If your Predator type is, say, only bagged blood or animal blood then you can get the benefits necessary to avoid the worst of frenzying. There's a reason they get so much focus and that's to make feeding as a vampire how you wish to roleplay it in-game.

                  Say, Odette who only feeds on spouse abusers.

                  6. Virtues worked.
                  Compsure has the exact same number of dice as Self-Control. It's not like it's gone from 7 to 5. It's always been five. It's just an attribute now.
                  Last edited by CTPhipps; 01-08-2020, 09:57 AM.


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

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                    I find the idea that V5 is not a vast improvement politically and far more well-developed hard to take seriously. I'm not sure whether to tackle the Blood argument first or point out why anyone who loves political games in V:TM will love V5 more.
                    It's not really the presence of politics that's the issue, but the context in which it's presented. Vampires are immortal beings. For as much as the earlier editions were steeped in their eras, they took the track of making vampire politics as timeless as the vampires themselves. Mortal rulers come and go - whether from term to term or generation to generation - but vampires are eternal (until they're not).

                    Make a big deal about contemporary mortal politics, and the system loses flexibility and relevance as time goes by.


                    To that bit about "anyone who loves political games...will love V5 more", tell that to the Sabbat players who lost all their factions.

                    Where are the Ultra-Conservatives? The Loyalists? The Black Hand? The Inquisition? The Moderates? The Order of St. Blase?

                    Yes, we are yet to get the Sabbat book, which might give us more material to work with. But one of the big metaplot changes of V5 was the near total destruction of the sect, reducing the Sabbat to scattered forces. In short, far fewer than it was before.

                    I contend that no amount of material presented in any V5 Sabbat book will give as much fodder for Sabbat political games as was possible before they were nuked.

                    So...data point of one.


                    Comment


                    • #85
                      V5 has released a lot of the political pressure of VTM: There is no monopolistic vampire government thus the vampires cannot abuse their monopoly as the opposition is a more viable option that can attract vampires. The playing field is more equal as there are fewer, weaker elders and thin bloods/mortals are relatively stronger. These changes in turn undermine the personal horror of the game as there is less pressure to conform, less pressure to excel and more room for error (as well as the political themes that have been attractive to many players)
                      I think V5 is probably easily the best political set up for the game, objectively speaking. The simplistic, if not outright nonsensical, "Anarchs are part of the Camarilla" stupidity is gone. Now there's an outright conflict between the Ivory Tower trying to control cities and those actively opposed to their rule. The Camarilla controls downtown, the wealthy, the police, and the government while the Anarchs are on the ground trying to stay out of their way or outright undermine or take them down. It's a fascinating duality with a lot of potential for low-level Cold War-esque games.

                      There's also a lot more potential for variety of politics in the game as you could have the Camarilla totally in control of a city but opposed by, say, the Church of Caine or Bahari in the city instead. You might have an alliance between the Camarilla and the Anarchs as well. However, the politics is now oppositional so the Camarilla is an active sect CHOICE that the PCs must make. "Do I trade my freedom for wealth and power?"

                      It's a much more dynamic and fascinating conflict. It's also one Players can instantly understand as it's the one in Bloodlines where the Anarchs vs. La Croix vs. Kuei Jin vs. Sabbat made things a complicated and dangerous negotiation.

                      V5 has strengthened the Beast to the point of omnipresence, it frequently takes over, even if only in small ways.
                      This was always part of the lore. Also, I'm genuinely confused who would ever roleplay that their Beast "wasn't them" as that person would rapidly hit wassail. The only way to maintain Humanity is to acknowledge guilt and horror for your actions.

                      I dunno; I don't really wanna wave my educational background around (Far too relevant) but V5 has abandoned the formula of what makes a game great and attractive.
                      YMMV.

                      -It's explicitly political in a way that defies the "show, not tell" rule. Bonus points for going out of their way in alienating the audience
                      What do you mean?

                      -It doesn't challenge or reinforce the player's viewpoint in a diagetic manner. Bonus points again for alienating members of the audience
                      I feel like Ambitions, Convictions, and Predator Types put a lot more power in the hands of playr.

                      -It emphasizes a single feature (Hunger) which we can recognize as a gimick, at the expense of other assets.
                      One might even say it's made being a vampire more interesting and exciting.

                      -It tries too be current but does so in a desperate manner: through citing real world events rather than trying to capture the feeling of the current zietgeist. It's at an extreme risk of being dated (I'm joking, it was dated on release)
                      What are you talking about?

                      -Some other stuff I'd articulate later if I didn't spend too long here. Point being; V5 has no success formula beyond the fact that it stars Vampires and is a known IP.
                      It's massively popular because it's an awesome game people are enjoying.

                      -You aren't told it's politics, you live it's politics. It challenges/confirms your viewpoint in a diagetic matter.
                      Are you referring to in-universe politics between sects or real life politics?


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

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                      • #86
                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                        I find the idea that V5 is not a vast improvement politically and far more well-developed hard to take seriously. I'm not sure whether to tackle the Blood argument first or point out why anyone who loves political games in V:TM will love V5 more.
                        I can’t take it seriously either. Indeed, considering that all it takes to set certain people off on their protracted inventories of self perpetuating resentment, again, is to point out a game has done well in sales charts - I can’t take any of these grievances seriously at all. If people don’t like a game then fair enough - play what you like instead. But all attempts at proselytization is for the birds - it won’t change anything.

                        Ignore, ignore, ignore.....New Years Resolution, here we go again...

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                          It's not really the presence of politics that's the issue, but the context in which it's presented. Vampires are immortal beings. For as much as the earlier editions were steeped in their eras, they took the track of making vampire politics as timeless as the vampires themselves. Mortal rulers come and go - whether from term to term or generation to generation - but vampires are eternal (until they're not).
                          This is a weird thing to say when the Anarchs were based around being tied to mortal social trend as early as the Socialists of Chicago by Night 1st Edition. The Camarilla's failure to change from feudalism is why it has to be destroyed.

                          Make a big deal about contemporary mortal politics, and the system loses flexibility and relevance as time goes by.
                          Do you mean the Second Inquisition?

                          To that bit about "anyone who loves political games...will love V5 more", tell that to the Sabbat players who lost all their factions.

                          Where are the Ultra-Conservatives? The Loyalists? The Black Hand? The Inquisition? The Moderates? The Order of St. Blase?

                          Yes, we are yet to get the Sabbat book, which might give us more material to work with. But one of the big metaplot changes of V5 was the near total destruction of the sect, reducing the Sabbat to scattered forces. In short, far fewer than it was before.
                          The Sabbat haven't been nearly destroyed other than the fact that the Lasombra are defecting so that a very popular Clan can be involved in Camarilla games. I admit, I would have preferred the Sabbat to be in the main book but we don't know their situation.

                          I contend that no amount of material presented in any V5 Sabbat book will give as much fodder for Sabbat political games as was possible before they were nuked.

                          So...data point of one.
                          Except, maybe, that they...aren't nuked?


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

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Trippy View Post

                            I can’t take it seriously either. Indeed, considering that all it takes to set certain people off on their protracted inventories of self perpetuating resentment, again, is to point out a game has done well in sales charts - I can’t take any of these grievances seriously at all. If people don’t like a game then fair enough - play what you like instead. But all attempts at proselytization is for the birds - it won’t change anything.

                            Ignore, ignore, ignore.....New Years Resolution, here we go again...
                            I admit, I overstated things and that's why I deleted that comment. People are entitled to their opinion and I have my own issues with the book. I think the main book should have had all 13 Clans and at least a small write-up for the Sabbat even if it's been weakened as a sect.

                            HOWEVER, it's weird people want to insist V5 isn't successful as if they feel it validates them that OTHER people don't like it.


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

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                            • #89
                              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                              I admit, I overstated things and that's why I deleted that comment. People are entitled to their opinion and I have my own issues with the book. I think the main book should have had all 13 Clans and at least a small write-up for the Sabbat even if it's been weakened as a sect.

                              HOWEVER, it's weird people want to insist V5 isn't successful as if they feel it validates them that OTHER people don't like it.
                              Well, criticisms and personal tastes are fine - but never-ending, fanatical resentment is just tedious.

                              They did include a small write up for the Sabbat, in as much as saying that they are backstory boogeymen now. I think there was an issue, in my view, about making a group like the Sabbat so prominent in the setting - when their aim/purpose was to basically smash any sort of masquerade. My feeling is that by pushing them back into the shadows, they make them more mysterious (and scary again), while making the masquerade more believable. But this could be just me. Personally, I love the focus on the Camarilla vs Anarchs and vampire society as a whole vs The Second Inquisition - so I’ve not missed the Sabbat at all.

                              The 13 Clans could be argued for, although this was how the first two editions were presented also. There is meant to be the inclusion in The Players Guide at least.

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                                This is a weird thing to say when the Anarchs were based around being tied to mortal social trend as early as the Socialists of Chicago by Night 1st Edition. The Camarilla's failure to change from feudalism is why it has to be destroyed.
                                Socialism was not a new development in 1st Edition. Karl Marx would have a word. For a broader reading, we could take it back to the Enlightenment, where anti-Monarchical sentiment and philosophy started to flourish. (Arguably, this has never fully been a new thing, since the Romans had a Republic before they had an Emperor; though admittedly, the senators were landed nobles, not elected).

                                My point is that the Punk movement VtM took inspiration from was merely a then-current outgrowth of older, less era-specific tension between Authoritarianism and Equality. A tension that, itself, could be bundled into the larger, more primordial tension between the Old and the Young. The Established and the Up-In-Coming.

                                While a product its time, the themes of earlier editions could play out anywhere, in any era. That's why it's timeless.


                                Do you mean the Second Inquisition?
                                No. What made you think that was remotely my point?

                                I was talking about mortal politics. As in, the actual, Real Life stuff that governs the lives of billions, and that I gather from comments on this thread comprise a not-insignificant part of V5's text. (See also that whole Chechnya debacle).

                                The Sabbat haven't been nearly destroyed other than the fact that the Lasombra are defecting so that a very popular Clan can be involved in Camarilla games. I admit, I would have preferred the Sabbat to be in the main book but we don't know their situation.



                                Except, maybe, that they...aren't nuked?
                                Then which is it? Did the Sabbat lose enough of their number between civil war and Gehenna Crusade to reduce them to the 1st Edition style "mysterious outlier" types? Or did those events make barely a dent in their numbers, and the whole exercise was a narrative and world-building cul-de-sac?

                                This goes back to that "wanting to have their cake and eat it, too" problem many of us have with V5. Far less than being options for storytellers, it comes off as non-committal.

                                My contention, however, is that while some Sabbat vampires might be present, if they were culled in numbers enough for that plot point to mean anything, would require enough died that whole demographics would have either died off or been rendered so small as to be irrelevant. You can't really have an Inquisition, for instance, if there's barely a few dozen Cainites still around who are dedicated to that cause. Policing a sect of Infernalism doesn't work without enough institutional power to throw one's weight around.

                                The only Sabbat faction I could see coming out relatively unscathed would be the Loyalists, by virtue of them being a disorganized movement of Cainites who intentionally resist attempts at hierarchy or centralization, and thus would avoid participating in the Gehenna Crusade on principle. That doesn't leave a lot of room for political texture in a Sabbat game, when the largest demographic don't WANT to engage in politics as a rule, and only do so to stop others from imposing politics on them. (Plus, it just makes them off-brand Anarchs; in other words, a distinction without a difference).


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