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What did you think of Transylvania Chronicles III and IV?

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  • What did you think of Transylvania Chronicles III and IV?

    I didn’t like TC III. The plots were boring and except for the Cappadocian Maria, who was basically a Madonna figure, there were no interesting female characters. However, except for a few things I changed from Beckett’s Jyhad Diary and my own head canon, I really liked TC IV.


    The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

  • #2
    The one thing that Dark Ages Vampire does that makes it unique and kind of special is it allows Vampires/Players to experience the passage of time through history and the concept of immortality. However equally one of the hardest things about running such a campaign and Dark Age Vampire is that you actually have to know a fair amount about history spanning hundreds of years to make it a believable experience which creates a lot of logistical problems for GM's. The Transylvania Chronicles are great because they give you that resource you need to help you create that feel of historical significance and I think in big part its why they have always been very popular.

    That said, in terms of actual story lines, frankly I think most experienced GM's can do better and these chronicles place quite a bit of expectation on the GM to keep the players "on target" storywise giving the stories a kind of claustrophobic "on rails" feel.

    Of course there are some great highlights, attending the Convention of Thorns, Dracula and getting involved in mortal history like the French Revolution is kind of cool, but I do agree there was always something kind of missing in those books, they never really fired on all cylinders. I do think however they are great resources for running historical campaigns and connecting early history to modern day chronicles.

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    • #3
      I really liked everything until the ending with nuclear war vs. releasing Cthulhu.


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

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      • #4
        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        I really liked everything until the ending with nuclear war vs. releasing Cthulhu.
        Overall I agree with you lol.

        I forgot. Lucita was in TC III and she was a cool female character.


        The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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        • #5
          Yeah, while I do like both the TC and GC, I like the GC a little more, mostly for it's start and the twist of the last book. And that it didn't jump the shark like the TC's ending did.

          Originally posted by xguild View Post
          Of course there are some great highlights, attending the Convention of Thorns, Dracula and getting involved in mortal history like the French Revolution is kind of cool, but I do agree there was always something kind of missing in those books, they never really fired on all cylinders. I do think however they are great resources for running historical campaigns and connecting early history to modern day chronicles.
          Well I think that may be because the TC and GC often times feel like a railroad, giving you only a brief tour through these things as you deal with the overall plot. For some things, it's alright but for others it's kind of annoying. Like the Convention of Thorns only spans a handful of nights and run by Elders far more powerful than the PCs so it's okay for it to feel more on rails. But something like the French Revolution... well that spanned years and frankly could be a sourcebook all in it's own right so it feels more underwhelming.


          Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It's only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They've survived flood, famine and plague. They've survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They're indomitable. Indomitable.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by AkatsukiLeader13 View Post
            Yeah, while I do like both the TC and GC, I like the GC a little more, mostly for it's start and the twist of the last book. And that it didn't jump the shark like the TC's ending did.



            Well I think that may be because the TC and GC often times feel like a railroad, giving you only a brief tour through these things as you deal with the overall plot. For some things, it's alright but for others it's kind of annoying. Like the Convention of Thorns only spans a handful of nights and run by Elders far more powerful than the PCs so it's okay for it to feel more on rails. But something like the French Revolution... well that spanned years and frankly could be a sourcebook all in it's own right so it feels more underwhelming.
            Frankly, the problem there is it's a plot utterly irrelevant to the rest of the story and yet an event big enough to be worthwhile.


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

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            • #7
              That too. Like I said, the French Revolution could be it's own book and honestly I'm kind of surprised that TC3 is the only WW/OPP book to tackle it. It's a fascinating era that is fertile ground for multiple lines across both the WoD and the CofD.


              Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It's only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They've survived flood, famine and plague. They've survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They're indomitable. Indomitable.

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              • #8
                Dark Eras 2 discusses it.


                The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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                • #9
                  I think they're great if you allow for the fact of their linearity (which given the scale and chronology of the series in a gaming system noted for an agnostic view towards canon, linearity may be desired). I think it offered some interesting ideas even if some of them may not have aged well (I do have a soft spot for them in a way I didn't for, say, Giovanni chronicles even though they had the same sense of scale and epicness relating to 'historical' vampire events.)

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                  • #10
                    One thing to note as well and this has always been kind of a point of contention among Vampire communities is that despite all the expansive writing for the game, there was very few examples of pacing and of play provided. Like, there isn't a sort of methodology to the operation of a game, lots of advice, but no examples and I think in a way, the historical chronicles in how they were written, actually offer what amounts to the biggest example that addresses the question, how do you actually create and run a chronicle which is notably a lot different then what most GM's learned to do it before the example existed.

                    So when you read the T or G chronicles, you realize that the authors of the game actually had a very different vision of what a Vampire Chronicle is, then how most of us where doing it before those books existed. Personally I find them very awkward to actually use simply because they are so different from how I learned to run and approach the game as a whole.

                    If you look at other games like say D&D, even as far back as 1st edition AD&D, there was a comprehensive example of how a typical D&D session is played out, which instilled the procedure of running adventure modules in the culture of running the game, resulting in a kind of methodology behind both how players were accustomed to running games and the method by which adventure modules were written to support them.

                    I think this why we really got very few "Chronicle" books for Vampire The Masquerade and Dark Ages, by the time these books where released, players had already developed their own culture of how to run games and the Chronicle books where just out of sync with how we were already running games and the two approaches where largely irreconcilable.

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                    • #11
                      I was a pen and paper RPG player before 2nd Edition AD&D, and I've never seen a commercially published adventure whose attempts at railroading could survive the capricious unpredictability of players. I do like Transylvania Chronicles' system for advancing an aging vampire when a chronicle fast forwards through several decades of downtime, though.

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                      • #12
                        Thank you guys. Idk if I’ll ever run them, but they were fun to read.


                        The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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