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My review of SABBAT: THE BLACK HAND 4.5/5

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  • Originally posted by MarkK View Post
    The idea that it "presents the Sabbat in a new way" when the praise for it, praise you yourself are quoting to compliment and note as yet another positive review, is being phrased as "restoring the original feel of the Sabbat" doesn't especially go together.
    Great response but an odd fact, I'd actually state that the Sabbat weren't really the antagonists of the setting until Revised. That was when suddenly they weren't EITHER mysterious boogeymen or a third player character sect.

    Revised went HARD on the idea, "The Sabbat are coming for your cities! Anarchs and Cammies together to fight them!"

    I mean, it was the basis of the entire Clan Novel line after all.

    It also was the one who emphasized they were a bunch of meathead poseurs on Low Humanity.


    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
      However, the point is that Paradox DOES recognize it as a problem and wanted to try to reverse it.
      As a certain little green man said, "Do or do not, there is no try."

      If Paradox wants there to be no Sabbat cities so nobody has to deal with their hometown being ruled by them, then there shouldn't be any Sabbat cities left. Period. Paradox has the final say in this. They could make it a demand to the writers that if they want to get paid, V5 Sabbat says no more Sabbat cities are left, end of that.

      So I don't buy that this is some sort of ideological stance on how VtM should be, because nothing is stopping them from making it that way. I can't help but say that if they left Sabbat ruled cities as a thing, they want that in the game. Which means the cities they pick for that are picked for a reason.

      Notably, I wanted to also bring up OPP created the Drowned to address the Sabbat issue. The whole "Native vampires taking back Latin America from the Sabbat."
      I'm not sure that's really why OPP introduced them in BJD. South America wasn't Sabbat territory in the older books, and most of the Drowned Legacies are from South America. Mexico City was about as far as the Sabbat got in solid territorial control; farther South gets "messy" or at least undefined. It's worth remembering that in the fictional history of the setting, the Sabbat were the first wave of European vampires coming to the Americas, and they focused on North America rather heavily. For a while, what is now Canada, the USA, and Mexico was all Sabbat, and the Caribbean and South American territories were contested or controlled by others.

      So the Drown Legacies seem more to answer who are the vampires of Central and South America that seemed to have held off Sabbat and Camarilla rule, but nobody knows anything about.

      Also, the Austrians don't believe that the buildings were blown up by the Austrian government (presumably as part of allied but member NATO relations) but they believe Al-Qaeda blew them up.
      I didn't say they claimed the Austrian government blew anything up, but that Austrians would be protesting their government letting other countries pull a Waco in the middle of Vienna.

      Even blaming Al-Qaeda requires a rather low opinion of the intelligence of the Austrian citizenry since Al-Qaeda never managed any sort of attack like that in Christian Europe (and I only have to qualify that because of the series of Al-Qaeda bombings in Turkey included attacks on the European side of Istanbul). This was when Al-Qaeda had degraded so much that they were getting caught trying to sneak bomb making materials onto airplanes leading to all those silly TSA restrictions. How Al-Qaeda could have pulled off an attack like that without massive public demand for an explanation doesn't make a bit of sense. The entire Eurozone should have been in a flurry of trying to figure out how all the intelligence saying Al-Qaeda had no operational capabilities in Europe was so wrong.

      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
      I would actually be very interested in what WOULD be a very good way to address the issue and would love to hear pitches as its something I've struggled with myself.
      If you don't want to go with the method of keeping to the more nuanced Sabbat of Revised?

      You answered your own question by bringing up the Drowned Legacies. Latin America doesn't need Camarilla invaders. The few independent Domains turn out to be the tip of an iceberg that was waiting for the right time to kick everyone else out of power. Camarilla or Sabbat control in Latin America was always a mix of ruse or strategic ceding of territory to hide the vampires that truly ruled the nights and now is their time to claim their territory for themselves again.

      Especially with the V5 take on the Camarilla retreating from being vampire UN, this also expands to other parts of the globe. Iberia can be a haven for Lasombra that don't want to submit to the Cam but want out of the Sabbat. The Old Clan reasserts itself as a likewise independent territory in Eastern Europe, etc.

      This gives people places to play that aren't Cam or Anarch ruled. This adds dynamic politics that plays into the Cam no longer exerting the control it used to in areas without a history of Anarch control. There's lots of story fodder how successful any of these efforts are.

      The overarching meta-narrative is that areas formerly ignored by the game are now supported as places of opportunity to shape local vampire politics away from the existing factions and established Elders (even with the Beckoning). Empower players to make their local set games about local issues, not just stuff outsider narratives into local games.

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      • Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        [B]

        If you don't want/believe that the Sabbat's lowest common denominator will eventually overwhelm the secret manipulators then this will not be a story you want to tell. It's a story of the mob gaining control of the revolution and turning it into a Reign of Terror (and we were pretty Reign of Terror-y to begin with).

        The Sabbat book should have had a whole ****ing chapter about, "So what does your Sabbat PC do now?"
        I'd argue it's the reactionary aspect of the movement ousting the reveltionary aspect, but other than that I agree.

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        • Thanks for that, Heavy Arms!


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

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          • I'm just glad they didn't make this a kickstarter like OPP did Cult of the Blood Gods. I'd almost certainly have contributed, and would now feel I'd been defrauded and robbed rather than just turned against and told "we don't want your kind here."

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            • It's funny...for everything they took from requiem they didn't take the thing o really hoped for. Break down the sects into a covenant like system. Make the sabbat, camarilla, and anarchs not monolithic either or organizations. Sure they can have a world spanning culture and hierarchy...but here's the simple solution...just allow them to interact and play together. Think of the drama and intrigue that you could have. Heck make 2 new "sects" as player options. Have the Bahari be a full "sect" and I dunno...flesh out the inconnu to be something.. and yoy can always talk about other sects that exist in other regions that are unique to their culture. Present options...don't subtract.

              I really wish they had taken that from requiem.

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              • Originally posted by SuperSabbatST View Post
                It's funny...for everything they took from requiem they didn't take the thing o really hoped for. Break down the sects into a covenant like system. Make the sabbat, camarilla, and anarchs not monolithic either or organizations. Sure they can have a world spanning culture and hierarchy...but here's the simple solution...just allow them to interact and play together. Think of the drama and intrigue that you could have. Heck make 2 new "sects" as player options. Have the Bahari be a full "sect" and I dunno...flesh out the inconnu to be something.. and yoy can always talk about other sects that exist in other regions that are unique to their culture. Present options...don't subtract.

                I really wish they had taken that from requiem.

                Damn, imagine what it would be like to have a group composed of an Anarch, a Sabbat, a Camarilla and a Hecata.

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                • And, while I've probably said this a lot already, we don't need to make brand new things to have more complicated local politics in VtM. There's already four established "local" Sects (five if they figure out what to do with KotE). Imagine a Chicago where the Camarilla and Anarch conflict is highlighted not by the Sabbat threat, but additional conflicts from a group of Caribbean Drowned Legacy, and Laibon Legacies, that have followed their mortal groups to major US cities and bring their own multi-Clan organizations to vie for control instead of just being an Independent Clan trying to occupy a niche.

                  Hell, the Ashirra might want to be in any major US city too.

                  VtM has so much untapped potential in political conflicts that aren't two-sided hard-line antagonism.

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                  • Originally posted by Matt the Bruins fan View Post
                    I'm just glad they didn't make this a kickstarter like OPP did Cult of the Blood Gods. I'd almost certainly have contributed, and would now feel I'd been defrauded and robbed rather than just turned against and told "we don't want your kind here."
                    You would have been able to read the material inside the book before the Kickstarter ended.


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

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                    • They had the perfect opportunity to explain it too with the second inqusition..."hey guys...look we aren't friends...but if we keep fighting like we did...we all die. So..um so we can survive we gotta learn to co exist"

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                      • Originally posted by SuperSabbatST View Post
                        They had the perfect opportunity to explain it too with the second inqusition..."hey guys...look we aren't friends...but if we keep fighting like we did...we all die. So..um so we can survive we gotta learn to co exist"
                        Eh, I have respect for the Sabbat who actually went, "You know, screw it. No more hiding. We fight."


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

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                        • Sure...those are called belials brood and could also be a thing lol. There's your pure antagonists. Some crazy young ex sabbat who have just collapsed to the beast and become monsters everyone fears. Just call them something else.

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                          • Originally posted by SuperSabbatST View Post
                            Sure...those are called belials brood and could also be a thing lol. There's your pure antagonists. Some crazy young ex sabbat who have just collapsed to the beast and become monsters everyone fears. Just call them something else.
                            I feel that's dismissive to Sabbat. Mind you, I like the infernalist Sabbat who revel in their own evil. I've played plenty of those as well. Sometimes you wish to cast down the veneer of humanity.


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

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                            • I mean...I find making sabbat watered down two dimensional insane vampire bad guys for pcs to deal with dismissive to the greater depth of the sabbat established over 20 years. I mean saying you can have your cake an eat it to. It's pretty easy to tell a story about a part of the sabbat that went done that route and became something else and have a functional sabbat for pc to play. Add...don't subtract

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                              • Originally posted by SuperSabbatST View Post
                                I mean...I find making sabbat watered down two dimensional insane vampire bad guys for pcs to deal with dismissive to the greater depth of the sabbat established over 20 years. I mean saying you can have your cake an eat it to. It's pretty easy to tell a story about a part of the sabbat that went done that route and became something else and have a functional sabbat for pc to play. Add...don't subtract
                                I don't think fanatics willing to die for the cause to be 2 dimensional if their motives as fleshed out as well. The book makes a lot of page count devoted to WHY they're fanatics and willing to die for the cause.


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

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