Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

[V5] The Sabbat in V5

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

  • They removed from THE ANARCH book the Thin Blooded Cleavers discussing giving blood to babies and so on and I'm like, "It's a horror game."

    It's supposed to be horrifying.
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 08-29-2021, 09:07 PM.


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

    Comment


    • TBH that wasn't terrifying, it was comically dumb. I do think the book is better without the baby feeders. On the other hand the part of the discussion about feeding ON their children was creepy, interesting, fitting and tragic.

      My take on all this is that the most probable reason behind the decisions is a combination of personal vision and focus on other media. This isn't to say that this is a smart way to go for this goal, either, but it seems to be their strategy. Hasbro tried this strategy before with D&D 4th ed with mixed results, then 5th ed went back in this regard, but they launched "now" a D&D/MTG crossover and that is making a ton of money without compromising any of them.

      But the strategy shows. The greatest telltale is the art in the core book, glamorous, colorful, frequently nonsensical. It improved A LOT in this respect in other books, but that one shows where their eyes were, and probably still are.

      Now, to say that "Anarch Good Guys" isn't something the game ever had isn't true. Since 1st ed the subtext of the game is that the Anarchs are the heroes or, at least, the heroes are among the Anarchs. The Camarilla (that originally weren't an overt organization, but an Illuminati-like legend) was always portrayed as too corrupt and upholding vital information, and the Sabbat (that originally were a boogeyman with no confirmed truths about it) embraces monstrosity. But the core books do sell the idea that doing some good in this world is possible and that players are usually expected to try.


      #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
      #AutismPride
      She/her pronouns

      Comment


      • Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
        TBH that wasn't terrifying, it was comically dumb. I do think the book is better without the baby feeders. On the other hand the part of the discussion about feeding ON their children was creepy, interesting, fitting and tragic.

        My take on all this is that the most probable reason behind the decisions is a combination of personal vision and focus on other media. This isn't to say that this is a smart way to go for this goal, either, but it seems to be their strategy. Hasbro tried this strategy before with D&D 4th ed with mixed results, then 5th ed went back in this regard, but they launched "now" a D&D/MTG crossover and that is making a ton of money without compromising any of them.

        But the strategy shows. The greatest telltale is the art in the core book, glamorous, colorful, frequently nonsensical. It improved A LOT in this respect in other books, but that one shows where their eyes were, and probably still are.

        Now, to say that "Anarch Good Guys" isn't something the game ever had isn't true. Since 1st ed the subtext of the game is that the Anarchs are the heroes or, at least, the heroes are among the Anarchs. The Camarilla (that originally weren't an overt organization, but an Illuminati-like legend) was always portrayed as too corrupt and upholding vital information, and the Sabbat (that originally were a boogeyman with no confirmed truths about it) embraces monstrosity. But the core books do sell the idea that doing some good in this world is possible and that players are usually expected to try.

        I wouldn't particularly say so on the "Anarch Good Guys" thing as far as some notion of there being an actual consistent subtext in VtM's history. Their portrayal in a variety of stuff across the gameline has been outright brutal, as early as Los Angeles by Night and various of its anarch factions, a bunch of other places having the Anarchs be shown as venal and manipulative as any other vampire and making that something of the point. As far as the idea that "the heroes are among the Anarchs", certainly by second edition (and if we're being accurate, first as well really) and well into revised and 20th, you had at the very least in the Camarilla a variety of figures intentionally portrayed as doing the best that they could and trying to, for reasons that could be viewed as, let's say, heroic adjacent. Even members of the Sabbat were given sympathetic and heroic treatment, as early as Children of the Inquisition (a book that came out in all of... 1992).

        The Camarilla being "an Illuminati like legend" died by as early as Chicago by Night in first edition.

        This for me has been one of the problems of the V5 rollout honestly, and the way fans and developers will talk about it as far as interactions with material that has come before. It tends to feel highly selective either about vampire's actual publishing history when making blanket statements about it, or boiling down to a 'well everything after the 1st edition corebook was a mistake anyway' when various things will get pointed out, which feels a very OSR revival kind of thing, in a bad way. The word originally ultimately can only mean "only the first edition corebook" as even first edition itself, for the very short time it existed as far as stuff that came out for it (it's really worth remembering that the rollout of second edition vampire happened *fast* as far as how long 1st ed existed as its own thing, 1st ed had a really short shelf life), went in ways that would play into a lot of later developments.
        Last edited by MarkK; 08-30-2021, 04:40 AM.

        Comment


        • The funny thing is that I'm a huge Anarch fan but I think that it was actually earlier than LA by Night that the Anarchs were morally ambiguous but I do think there's a shift in how the various books handled things:

          Forged in Steel, 1st Edition: The first Camarilla vs. Anarch conversation we have is Modius vs. Juggler and the "joke" is that they are effectively identical. Modius is an old insane nobleman and Juggler is a classy Anarch "cool guy" but both of them keep enslaved childer. They are also obsessed with their rivalry that they gleefully throw their allies at each other for.

          Chicago by Night: Lodin is a Humanity 4 scheming asshole and Maldavis is a Humanity 10 Good GuyTM so it's hard to know which is the side you're "supposed" to side with. This had the idea the Prince is meant to be the Big Bad of a Chronicle. The Anarchs have bad eggs like Gordon Keaton and Uriah but the Camarilla is objectively worse.

          Los Angeles by Night: This is really the supplement that utterly wrecked the Anarchs in V:TM as a protagonist faction as the biggest thing you can say about this book is they made the Movement look like a bunch of morons. The Anarch Free State is a violent Hellhole and utterly failed with everyone fighting over turf run by idiots.

          Clan Novels: After Los Angeles by Night, the Anarchs basically became irrelevant to future stories and it was solely the Sabbat vs. Camarilla. The Anarchs and Camarilla team up with Theo Bell representing that the hardass badass leather-jacket wearing Brujah fighting for the Inner Council against the rampaging Black Hand.

          Bloodline: As mentioned, I felt Revised had no interest in the Anarchs but they had a fandom revived by making them the "good guys" for the Bloodline game or at least the least objectionable option. Nines would never have fit in the original Los Angeles by Night because he wasn't a raging moron.



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

          Comment


          • It was indeed earlier than LA by Night that the Anarchs were shown to have their own problems and awfulness as far as what can really be viewed as possibly the only lasting throughline in VtM (until 5th naturally). That vampire sects (except for the Inconnu in a couple editions I suppose), are bad ideas that ultimately degenerate into corrupt hypocrisies that ultimately are vehicles for all the old power games and for being just as manipulated in the Jyhad from on high as any other vampire, and that those seeking a moral existence in the end must come to a point where they reject them (this is actually explicit text in a couple of places in revised and 20th for instance, 20th having a straight up proclamation from Almighty God through Sullivan Dane about that no less). I was just inclined to use LA as an example.

            Chicago by Night: Lodin is a Humanity 4 scheming asshole and Maldavis is a Humanity 10 Good GuyTM so it's hard to know which is the side you're "supposed" to side with. This had the idea the Prince is meant to be the Big Bad of a Chronicle. The Anarchs have bad eggs like Gordon Keaton and Uriah but the Camarilla is objectively worse.
            Maldavis was also portrayed as a failure in part for her virtue and being questioned and rejected by the more pragmatic/ruthless members of her own sect for such things. There's a tragic/dark nuance fitting a tragic dark game of "yeah, Maldavis is a good person, but she failed and was just a pawn and her own sect is starting to reject her". It's a deeply cynical comment on things.
            Last edited by MarkK; 08-30-2021, 05:06 AM.

            Comment


            • Nines would never have fit in the original Los Angeles by Night because he wasn't a raging moron.
              Did we play the same game? The guy raps for you, everyone in the Last Round bar Jack presents themselves as dumber than a bag of hammers.


              Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
              There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

              Comment


              • I will say it is a bit remarkable to see how a relatively consistent theme in the gameline of "all societies built by vampires are ultimately terrible in their own special ways" (again, obviously pre V5) gets people's hackles up and inclined to try and advocate for whoever they might be a fan of out of them. Vampires default to awfulness for any number of reasons and have to struggle really hard to find ways not to be such, if that's what they want. Anything they build is going to reflect that.

                Your given individual vampire can be a good person or certainly can fight to be a good person. They can even be heroic, though often at cost. But the world they have built and live in is built to compromise them and tear pieces of their souls away with the allure of power, agenda, cause, a balm against otherwise feeling painfully isolated, the often poisonous and empathy numbing concepts of "necessity", or just the temptation of getting to feel religiously or morally vindicated over the people around you.

                Be it the Anarchs, the Camarilla, or the Sabbat, none of the major sects are "good" (again, pre V5). They might be useful, they might serve some particular constructive purpose that if you squint and stare at, looks good, but each in their own way are macrocosms of everything wrong with vampiric existence. If you have to start down the road of "well but these guys are less evil", you're doing the thing the sects trade on doing to lull their constituents into going along with their causes and downplaying their wretchedness. "Well, the other guy is worse!" "The bad things are justified" and all that.

                The Anarchs make the same blood junkie ghoul slaves out of humans, monger influence via the same generally awful vampire means, fight and kill each other for power or petty grudges and all the rest.

                And that was something I liked about VtM, that it forced you to look at these groups and go "is this thing and what meaning I hope it gives me worth ripping out a chunk of my soul over?" As though this is a game with a central tenet of "A beast I am lest a beast I become" as something to struggle with and ponder.

                If anything "the Anarchs are the heroes as a sect, you can be part of them without even a ping upon your conscience" degrades that theme and makes things a lot more facile.

                Comment


                • As mentioned, I felt Revised had no interest in the Anarchs
                  They got their own hardcover in revised, that takes a lot of effort to create and put out there.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by MarkK View Post
                    This for me has been one of the problems of the V5 rollout honestly, and the way fans and developers will talk about it as far as interactions with material that has come before. It tends to feel highly selective either about vampire's actual publishing history when making blanket statements about it, or boiling down to a 'well everything after the 1st edition corebook was a mistake anyway' when various things will get pointed out, which feels a very OSR revival kind of thing, in a bad way. The word originally ultimately can only mean "only the first edition corebook" as even first edition itself, for the very short time it existed as far as stuff that came out for it (it's really worth remembering that the rollout of second edition vampire happened *fast* as far as how long 1st ed existed as its own thing, 1st ed had a really short shelf life), went in ways that would play into a lot of later developments.
                    Extremely well put. This reflects my thoughts on V5 versus the original game line almost exactly.

                    I would only object to the characterization of the OSR as a movement that views everything after the original edition of D&D as a mistake. The main thrust of the Old School Renaissance was always to shine a spotlight on an early style of play that had been lost in subsequent editions of the game (D&D as an exploration game rather than a game of heroic fantasy). In contrast, the playstyle that the current edition of Vampire promotes was never lost. It was always what the books tried to hammer home from the beginning (even if the core design of the game always actively resisted the "personal horror" angle).

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Elphilm View Post
                      Extremely well put. This reflects my thoughts on V5 versus the original game line almost exactly.

                      I would only object to the characterization of the OSR as a movement that views everything after the original edition of D&D as a mistake. The main thrust of the Old School Renaissance was always to shine a spotlight on an early style of play that had been lost in subsequent editions of the game (D&D as an exploration game rather than a game of heroic fantasy). In contrast, the playstyle that the current edition of Vampire promotes was never lost. It was always what the books tried to hammer home from the beginning (even if the core design of the game always actively resisted the "personal horror" angle).
                      That’s pretty much my experience as well; you have to really WORK to get your Humanity below 3-4 and until that point it’s not really hampering your virtues or imposing bearing penalties either. It’s really only a struggle if you care about Blush or Health or otherwise need that Humanity 7+ for some merit or Golconda/True Faith sort of benefit.

                      Hell, one of my players is an ex-Marine and considers Humanity 3 to be perfectly moral which I honestly think says more about the indoctrination methods of the modern military and its need fo essentially create sociopaths and the difficulty of deprogramming that afterwards than it does about some failure of the Humanity system. By contrast they had no problem at all with the ideals of the Path of Honorable Accord to the point I actually house rule that, since if still uses both Conscience and Self-Control, mortals can actually follow that path (so most NPC hardened soldiers don’t have Humanity 2-3, they have Honorable Accord 6-8).

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Chris24601 View Post
                        Hell, one of my players is an ex-Marine and considers Humanity 3 to be perfectly moral which I honestly think says more about the indoctrination methods of the modern military and its need fo essentially create sociopaths and the difficulty of deprogramming that afterwards than it does about some failure of the Humanity system.
                        I'm interested to find out what Humanity 3 behavior your player considers "perfectly moral" -- I don't want gruesome details, but are we conflating enemy combatants killing each other (even from ambush,) within the ambit of a war or other period of openly declared hostility, to be a Humanity 3 thing?

                        Originally posted by Chris24601 View Post
                        By contrast they had no problem at all with the ideals of the Path of Honorable Accord to the point I actually house rule that, since if still uses both Conscience and Self-Control, mortals can actually follow that path (so most NPC hardened soldiers don’t have Humanity 2-3, they have Honorable Accord 6-8).
                        This absolutely makes sense to me; in fact, it's bizarre to me that there are (that I know of at least,) no prominent examples or mentions in the text of human beings on paths of enlightenment. I'm not sure how one ascends to power in high-level corporate environments, or the government of an industrialized superpower, without being on Path of Power and the Inner Voice.


                        Sig

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by CaptOtter View Post
                          This absolutely makes sense to me; in fact, it's bizarre to me that there are (that I know of at least,) no prominent examples or mentions in the text of human beings on paths of enlightenment. I'm not sure how one ascends to power in high-level corporate environments, or the government of an industrialized superpower, without being on Path of Power and the Inner Voice.
                          My first instinct when questions like this come up is to ask what the system in question is trying to accomplish in the first place. Humanity was put into the game to portray the inner conflict of vampires, not mortals, and I would seriously question whether human NPCs should even have a Humanity score, let alone a Path of Enlightenment score. Both systems are intended for vampire characters. Paths of Enlightenment in particular are so Sabbat-centric that I don't think it's bizarre at all that there are next to no prominent examples of human beings on Paths.

                          To be honest, if I was serious about making mortals playable in the World of Darkness, I might be tempted to give them a Call of Cthulhu style Sanity mechanic instead of Humanity. The former would more accurately depict how utterly hosed human beings are when they try to rub shoulders with the supernatural in the World of Darkness.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Elphilm View Post
                            Humanity was put into the game to portray the inner conflict of vampires, not mortals
                            I echo some of your issues around this--some more semantic than others, such as the fact that literal human beings cannot be "inhuman", and the fact that it's bizarre to suppose that the majority of human beings throughout history (and certainly in ancient or medieval times,) would probably have skewed pretty low on the humanity scale for a number of reasons; but "Humanity" has a little more gravitas than "'Virtuous and Moral' as Framed by the Standards of Modern Westernized Liberal Democracies."

                            Originally posted by Elphilm View Post
                            To be honest, if I was serious about making mortals playable in the World of Darkness, I might be tempted to give them a Call of Cthulhu style Sanity mechanic instead of Humanity. The former would more accurately depict how utterly hosed human beings are when they try to rub shoulders with the supernatural in the World of Darkness.
                            It always seemed weird to me that Call of Cthulhu was an established property when V:tM first came out, but that sanity wasn't a bigger part of the game; it doesn't make sense to me that you'd have to fail or both humanity or virtue rolls to get a derangement, and it doesn't make sense to me that there's no mechanic or track for those derangements to get more or less severe. There's plenty of examples from other narratives where something horrible happens to someone and they just snap and are never the same.


                            Sig

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                              Did we play the same game? The guy raps for you, everyone in the Last Round bar Jack presents themselves as dumber than a bag of hammers.
                              I don't recall him rapping.

                              Guy saves you twice and may successfully take over LA. He's also a Great Depression survivor so knows the score.


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

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by MarkK View Post
                                The word originally ultimately can only mean "only the first edition corebook" as even first edition itself, for the very short time it existed as far as stuff that came out for it (it's really worth remembering that the rollout of second edition vampire happened *fast* as far as how long 1st ed existed as its own thing, 1st ed had a really short shelf life), went in ways that would play into a lot of later developments.
                                At least for the early game lines, there is really no difference between 1st and 2nd editions. 1st edition softcover corebooks were basically a "print 'em fast so we can get some quick cash". I assume that since early White Wolf was a small, independent game publisher that cash flow was a serious issue. 2nd edition hardcover corebooks weren't so much as a new edition, but the same rules with errata, some slight improved rules from additional playtesting, and a much more attractive trade dress. It was the exact same setting. I can't remember any case where 2e sourcebooks contradicted 1e sourcebooks. In many cases, the text was exactly identical for much or all of the book (like between 1e Players Guide and 2e Vampire Players Guide). The only thing that changed were cases when they included other game line material before those game lines were introduced (like how Lupines were presented in Milwaukee By Night, or how they handled the ghosts associated with the Walenski siblings in 1e and 2e Chicago By Night).

                                In contrast, Revised was an updating of the game in both mechanics (slightly) and the setting (majorly). Revised corebook rules were mostly similar to 1e/2e, but contained some important changes as well as collecting a lot of material that was previously published separately from the corebook. In the beginning, it seemed much like V20 - just a compendium of everything major previously published separately. But there was most changes in the setting as new sourcebooks came out. Much of it was metaplot related. But others were retcons of things the new Developers just didn't like in earlier established material. There was definitely a tendency in some Revised sourcebooks to not only directly contradict an idea in previous books, but to add snarky comments that the idea itself was stupid.

                                If I was going to make a sharp distinction when "1e" "ended", it would be with Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand which was well into 2e era in 1994. It would probably be best to call this the "Greenberg era" after its developer Andrew Greenberg. While the rest of the 2e era (1995-1997) did not directly contradict what had gone on before, we begin to see a shift in tone and direction in the game. This could be called the Hatch era after its developer Robert Hatch. Following this convention, Revised then becomes the Achilli era.
                                Last edited by Black Fox; 08-30-2021, 05:31 PM.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X