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How much do you adhere to the books?

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  • Ragged Robin
    replied
    I tend to be more supportive of metaplot when it's conductive to setting utility. For example I'll explicitly endorse the assamite exodus to the carmarilla because its let's you play assamites in carmarilla whereas I downplayed the sabbats anti clan aspects because the antitribu cultures were pretty interesting and they just ended up treating the paths as psuado classes anyway so the whole thing was pointless.
    Last edited by Ragged Robin; 11-21-2021, 08:00 AM.

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  • monteparnas
    replied
    Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
    The metaplot is the best part of V:TM.
    If you take it mostly as an inspiration, but is willing to throw away anything that don't fit your game, then sure, why not?

    ​Otherwise I have to agree with AnubisXy here. Reading the Week of Nightmares was fun as hell, despite the many, may problems it had. But it was mostly a bad fit for the game. And the potential it had for actual tables was almost completely lost, as the book has zero focus on how the WoN could be run on your game or whatever, the focus really is on the action flick happening in Bangladesh.

    Ur-Shulgi and the fall of Baba Yaga work to repair problems on the setting, the racist depiction of the Assamites and the idiotic isolation of Russia, but they are both boring and designed not just to focus on NPCs, but effectively have no interference from your PCs or bearing on your table. Of course, the worst offender is Baba Yaga as the book dares to propose that railroading your PCs to witness the conflict of two NPCs and go home without any chance to accomplish anything relevant will be fun.

    Lair of the Hidden is really the only good use for metaplot I can remember on VtM. You have a situation with an open-ended resolution and your players are empowered to deal with it as they please, it is meant for meaningful interaction and let them really participate in the shaping of the setting. It follows the gold standard for metaplot developments in RPGs, but is the only VtM book to do so.

    Werewolf have a lot of other ways to do this and is usually adamant on making room for your PCs to participate, or the effect of the development may really be used at a table. I like the plot of the Revised Breed Books, where the spy managed to gather the secrets of every Fera. It isn't a written story for you to put your PCs in, but leaves behind a huge amount of threads you can put your PCs in contact with. They may hunt the guy, protect the guy, find his report, or be thrown into a number of situations that can arise from his shenanigans. It is easier to implement than the Week of Nightmares and isn't even that important as a plot development.

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  • Ragged Robin
    replied
    Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
    Metaplot can be hit or miss. There's definitely been a lot of doofy metaplot in Vampire (Week of Nightmares, Baba Yaga's demise, etc). V5 has some painfully doofy metaplot too.
    The big issue is metaplot was used as a cudgel for a soft reboot. A lot of time the implications of it arnt even very well thought out and don't flow with anything resembling consistency.

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  • AnubisXy
    replied
    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
    Even if we just ignore the idea of how metaplot can harm the game, good or bad, VTM metaplot has overwhelmingly been more bad than good. Like balls-crushingly stupid. Every cool thing has been accompanied by at least two very stupid things.

    /change my mind
    /hasn't actually read anything. Entirely using secondhand information.

    That seems overly harsh. Yeah, there's a lot of dumb stuff, but there's good stuff in the metaplot too.

    Like for example you have... well... okay. So like, you could take... ... ... hmmm. Okay. Let me try this again.

    Ahem. There's definitely good metaplot developments. You've got metaplot developments like with the Giovanni.... errr... maybe the Ravnos? Hmmm. This is tricky. Okay. So....

    Yeah, now that I've actually taken some time to look inward I've come to the realization that there's not much I can say about the metaplot. I mean there's stuff I like. I liked the Week of Nightmares with an Antedeluvian going full Godzilla and getting into a kung-fu fight with a bunch of Wan Kuei and getting blown up with orbital space laserbeams. Seriously, I enjoyed that. But I also recognize that it is absolutely harmful to the gameline.

    The metaplot events for most of the games tended to ultimately be more harmful, whether we're looking at the Jade Emperor's invasion of Stygia in Wraith, or the Avatar Storm in Mage. I guess the Perfect Metis metaplot in Werewolf was decent. In fact, overall I think Werewolf generally had the best metaplot, which helped to push the game forward in good ways and get you focused on the important things. Vampire metaplot tended to overly focus on ancient Methuselahs and Antedeluvians which are things that are cool from a reader pespective but much less cool from a gameing-table perspective. Werewolf metaplot was focused on stuff that would probably matter at the gaming table, Vampire metaplot was focused more on stuff that wouldn't really come up there.

    With Werewolf the metaplot felt more like something that you could actually take part in, whereas with Vampire it tended to feel more like it was stuff that happened in the world and would wash over you like a wave, but you couldn't really do much about it. And attempts to have players directly interact with metaplot developments, like in To Grandmothers House, just came off feeling very pointless and awkward.

    About the only good metaplot book in Vampire that worked well from,a table-perspective was Lair of the Hidden since it felt more like something your PCs could reasonably interact with. Giovanni Chronicles was pretty good too, though its impact on moving the game's lore forward was fairly minor.
    Last edited by AnubisXy; 11-21-2021, 05:52 AM.

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  • Damian May
    replied
    Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
    Metaplot can be hit or miss. There's definitely been a lot of doofy metaplot in Vampire (Week of Nightmares, Baba Yaga's demise, etc). V5 has some painfully doofy metaplot too.

    Honestly the best thing about Metaplot is ignoring it, the vast majority of it is just terrible and the good parts are nothing an ST couldn't have just come up with themselves anyway.

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  • MyWifeIsScary
    replied
    Even if we just ignore the idea of how metaplot can harm the game, good or bad, VTM metaplot has overwhelmingly been more bad than good. Like balls-crushingly stupid. Every cool thing has been accompanied by at least two very stupid things.

    /change my mind
    /hasn't actually read anything. Entirely using secondhand information.


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  • AnubisXy
    replied
    Metaplot can be hit or miss. There's definitely been a lot of doofy metaplot in Vampire (Week of Nightmares, Baba Yaga's demise, etc). V5 has some painfully doofy metaplot too.

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    The metaplot is the best part of V:TM.

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  • CajunKhan
    replied
    I like most of the new mechanics and use them, but the changes to the metaplot, especially to the Sabbat, are a dumpster fire, imo. So I've just completely ignored them.

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  • MyWifeIsScary
    replied
    Metaplot is the bane of vampire.
    Sure, it might've sold well
    But you've got 500 years of consistent very-little-happens in-the-grand-scheme-of-things vampire history, some slight anarch/thinblood problems in the last 100, and then suddenly more happens in 30 years than the last thousand. Each edition getting worse in it's attempts to outdo the last.

    Gehenna being round the corner didn't mean it had to happen. How long have evangelists been preaching that "the end is nigh"? For a lot longer than VTM has been around, for damn sure.

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  • Resplendent Fire
    replied
    I ignore much of the revised metaplot and virtually all of V5. I prefer to stay with V20 for mechanics and kind of a not yet Gehenna status quo.

    I might run V5 at some point but I'd probably start the chronicle with someone dumping a lot of SI secrets onto wikileaks for the heck of it

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  • monteparnas
    replied
    I may run current Sabbat as is in a future chronicle, but if I do so a lot of the focus will be on ex-Sabbat and the fall of the sect, basically an OoC eulogy for it ending with nuSabbat's complete wipe out and a character writing an elegy for the end of the sect's history.

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  • Ragged Robin
    replied
    I heavily downplay recent developments in the Sabbat and did a total re write of anarchs since neither are particulary interesting as currently written in v5. The carmarilla I mostly keep the same in terms of demographics. Although it's rare for me to run established cities.

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  • No One of Consequence
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris24601 View Post
    Not at all; Boston having a Malk prince who thinks he’s King Arthur is and the only other established NPC being an Anarch leader riffing on the Sons of Liberty is the sort of unimaginative drivel you’d expect from a setting book called “Dark Colony” (singular) that actually covers the entire New England region (i.e. colonies, plural).
    In perfect hindsight, I rather wish Boston had gotten its own city book, either for Vampire or Wraith, with some plot hooks/ideas for the other game lines included.

    Dark Colony always felt like a wasted opportunity to talk about the "New England Gothic" genre of Hawthorne, Lovecraft, and King, how it was influenced by the region's history and geography, and how to apply it to Vampire. Especially the idea of these various small towns scattered throughout vast stretches of rural country, where you might have a handful of vampires as a sort of island in a sea of Lupines.

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  • No One of Consequence
    replied
    Sort of along the lines of the early 2nd edition status quo updated to reflect some current events, but since I have everyone being equally part of the Camarilla (though the Giovanni are extremely cliquish), most of the city-book NPCs get spindled, folded, and mutilated as needed. If in Chicago, it usually defaults to the Prince having just disappeared (or been destroyed depending on circumstance) in the past few months. New York would usually default to having most of the city having been taken back from the Sabbat over the past decade -ish (but there still being hold outs in Long Island and especially Newark). LA would default to the Anarch Free State having been established in the late 69s/early 70s, but being a somewhat weirder set up than LA by Night. New Orleans would ignore the city book altogether. Miami would be created from scratch. Berlin would be set in the mid 90s, keeping the idea of two rival courts, but with a vastly different cast of characters.

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