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My review of SABBAT: THE BLACK HAND 4.5/5

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  • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

    This is true.

    Wait what?? I didn't hear about it. Cool! What book is that? Is it the last Cult of the Blood Gods sup-book?


    Strange... When coincidence seems too convenient, I prefer to call it fate.

    -Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain d=

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    • What I don't understand: If the previous presentation of Banu Haqim/Assamites shows Muslims in a bad light, how isn't the current lore painting secular Arabs and Ex-Muslims in an even worse light.

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      • Originally posted by Taggie View Post


        That would rob methusalehs in general of their power and horror. They should be completely beyond the abilities of neonates and ancilla.
        They're not actually very good horror monsters especially ul shugis level. Simply put when one shows up you die so theirs zero tension. Killing the damned thing might do the opposite because it implies some actual stakes with them. With some exceptions no hope or stakes in is usually quite horror is usually quite a buzz kill.

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        • Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
          Ur shulgi was an overwhelmingly possitive addition.
          There's a difference between the service he did to the game and his quality and role as a character. Was there other means to make that? I think a coup among some sorcerers would be just one example of how it could have went, with them finally breaking the curse after centuries of work. The religious split could have a more organic internal development. Or other ideas could have been implemented.

          Even the "he's pre-historic so insanely powerful" shtick only goes so far for me. Having an easy excuse to power doesn't make this power good for the story by itself. Demdemeh is supposedly mixing with actual diseases, this is frighteningly powerful AND makes for good story material, as this creates more ways for interactions between characters instead of less, doesn't makes him necessarily invincible or even necessarily hostile (we don't know how much their deadliness is by design) and his personal history gives you ideas on making this a far more nuanced character if the players ever encounter him. Ur-Shulgi is just a kill switch.

          Not that I'm that of a fan of the Baali curse, either, but none of the changes depended on Ur-Shulgi specifically, so they don't affect my opinion over the character. I do welcome the changes themselves, evidently.

          Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
          He would have made a far more believable sacrifice to said idea than the Council of Seven who are AWARE of what has happened in the last 6000 years.
          So true...

          I saw nothing worth it accomplished by the bombing of the Council of Seven, it wasn't at all necessary for splitting the Tremere in Houses. This is literally how their predecessors already worked and a likely outcome once Tremere was out of the picture, and he was since Goratrix's body was elsewhere anyway. It would be natural for the Council to get less tight and abandon the Bonding rituals that Tremere introduced.

          Actually that would even make more sense for their current weakness, as an Inner Circle bitter with centuries of Blood Bond and with the Will of former Mages could lash out and as a "last" communal ritual strip the entire clan of the ability to Bond, maybe even as also a security measure against each other.

          But no. Seven extremely active elders with actual knowledge of the Ascension War and probable knowledge of the Technocracy were taken by surprise by a mortal bombardment, while the cave-man hiding in a well known fortress in a war-ridden region have nothing to fear but dreaded Facebook.

          Originally posted by Taggie View Post
          I think he could be, but having a military action in the Middle East against a death cult is probably a mine best not stepped on.
          Why is a military action in Austria any better? After so many military bombardments against rl civilians I don't think targeting a fictional death god would be particularly bad.

          Trying to say this death cult had anything to do with some rl problem would be, like they did with Chechnya, but that is not the case.

          Originally posted by Taggie View Post
          That would rob methusalehs in general of their power and horror. They should be completely beyond the abilities of neonates and ancilla.
          I don't like the constant use of this excuse to actually rob the PCs from protagonism.

          Also, the only being resistant to machine guns are the emus. And as powerful as he is, Ur-Shulgi is no emu.


          #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
          #AutismPride
          She/her pronouns

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          • Originally posted by monteparnas View Post


            I don't like the constant use of this excuse to actually rob the PCs from protagonism.

            Also, the only being resistant to machine guns are the emus. And as powerful as he is, Ur-Shulgi is no emu.
            It's your table ofc, but killing UrShulgi or Dumdumeh would be like killing Nyarlahotep or Cthulhu in a CoC game. They are beyond you, and should imho stay that way.

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            • Originally posted by Taggie View Post

              It's your table ofc, but killing UrShulgi or Dumdumeh would be like killing Nyarlahotep or Cthulhu in a CoC game. They are beyond you, and should imho stay that way.
              Eh, Transylvania Chronicles and The Fall of London have it well.

              You don't fight Ur-Shulgi but you unleash Kupala on him or do the ritual sucks him into Hell or whatever.


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

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              • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                Eh, Transylvania Chronicles and The Fall of London have it well.

                You don't fight Ur-Shulgi but you unleash Kupala on him or do the ritual sucks him into Hell or whatever.
                Transylvania Chronicles has Kupala being rebound by a group of elders at the end of a centuries long plan (which wasn't originally theira). FoL uses V5, and you know my opinion on Methuselahs in V5.

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                • Ultimately this is really an extension of the discussions around how metaplot should be handled.

                  Extremely powerful foes that the protagonists of a story can never hope to defeat in a fight, and might, maybe, if they're exceedingly lucky, be defeated in a temporary sort of way? That's bread and butter for horror genre monsters.

                  However, it's extremely hard on horror RPGs, esp. ones supposedly focused more on personal horror than cosmic horror.

                  Novel characters don't have to worry about the reader feeling disempowered because the Big Bad is beyond defeating as long as the protagonists' story is engaging. RPG characters do because of the interactive nature of the medium.

                  So a writer writing metaplot that's not really meant for PCs to interact with is free to not worry about what it would look like if the PCs had to fight [whoever]. But the presence of that sort of metaplot has a distinct downside: it's material the PCs can't directly interact with and thus makes the players feel cut out of the story.

                  Honestly, it's an RPG. Great fiction writing is a bonus, but OK fiction writing and great writing for things I'm going to play with my fellow players is more important. I don't care how well written a major setting NPC is compared to caring how much they add to the game as an element to be interacted with.

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                  • Originally posted by Taggie View Post

                    Transylvania Chronicles has Kupala being rebound by a group of elders at the end of a centuries long plan (which wasn't originally theira). FoL uses V5, and you know my opinion on Methuselahs in V5.
                    My opinion is no Methuselah will ever fall to another Methuselah or Elder save as the result of a 1000 year plan.

                    However Neonates can fuck up their plans completely because they're beneath suspicion.


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

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                    • Originally posted by Taggie View Post

                      It's your table ofc, but killing UrShulgi or Dumdumeh would be like killing Nyarlahotep or Cthulhu in a CoC game. They are beyond you, and should imho stay that way.
                      Aside from the fact the outer gods make vtm methulahs look like an office temp who got shovelheaded vs the wyrm. You can 'defeat' the outer gods by preventing their arrival. You buy mankind another day which ads stakes and hope-which are useful for horror.
                      Last edited by Ragged Robin; 10-03-2021, 07:23 PM.

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                      • Originally posted by Taggie View Post
                        It's your table ofc, but killing UrShulgi or Dumdumeh would be like killing Nyarlahotep or Cthulhu in a CoC game. They are beyond you, and should imho stay that way.
                        Apples and Oranges, powerlessness is one of the strongest themes of Call of Cthulhu, and you're not supposed to deal with any of them directly. They are also not meant to be much more than an ominous background in most stories. When they do appear, they have circumstances linked to their coming and going that either let the protagonists have a chance of ending the threat or surviving it until it is gone, like the protagonist in the very "The Call of Cthulhu" tale.

                        Vampire already makes you a monster and gives you power, and also have several instances of vampires killing more powerful vampires somehow.

                        But lets assume apples and oranges are the same. If your PCs can't interact meaningfully with the NPC and that way affect the outcome of a story, this is a stupid story for an RPG.

                        "Nights of Prophecy" is an official module where the PCs basically survive stuff coming while you railroad them to encounter Vasilisa, with little to no meaningful interaction, encounter Baba Yaga, with little to no meaningful interaction, then watch Vasilisa kill Baba Yaga and absolutely nothing they can do will affect the story in the slightest or even pretend to it. It is one of the most boring things I've ever saw for an RPG.

                        "Lair of the Hidden" have not one, not three, but twelve Methuselah, each and every single one with the power to kill any member of the coterie with barely more than a thought. But they are developed as characters to the point where you have several possible angles of interaction with each one of them, weaknesses to explore and alliances to form. It is dangerous, but the coterie can guide those monsters to self improvement, pit them against one another, just learn about them, or any other meaningful interaction they want and everything is possible, even the best end of freeing twelve lost souls from their cycle of self-loathing and send an Earthbound back to Hell.

                        If you say to me you like NoP more than LotH, you'll be the first.


                        #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs
                        #AutismPride
                        She/her pronouns

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                        • Lair of the Hidden does indeed sound way better! The focus on social interaction and player choices mattering makes me wanna try it out somday.

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                          • Night of Prophecy could have been great and you do fight a 5th generation KGB agent. However, it's notable for the fact that it is so on the rails.

                            Also, Baba Yaga SHOULD have died fighting a Garou pack.


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

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                            • Have never played Lair of the Hidden or Night of Prophecy, so can't comment.

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                              • Originally posted by Taggie View Post
                                Have never played Lair of the Hidden or Night of Prophecy, so can't comment.
                                Lair of the Hidden has the problem of making the Inconnu into a bunch of neurotic Methuselahs living in a castle that is begging for a murder mystery like Clue.


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

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