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How much do you adhere to the books?

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  • Amethyst
    replied
    I start with what’s in the books but then change a lot of stuff to fit my chronicle.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    Originally posted by Vincent View Post
    One thing I've been wondering about when setting up London in 1882, is how the bloody hell the Elders are gonne find the time for all the sects, intrigues and what have you among other supernaturals, which both core books and city books are very centered on? The Camarilla (as I'm using them) is swamped in problems with mortal society in terms of sewage system, underground building, electric lighting (which is definately not popular among all Cainites), housing problems (it's actually dificult to live secluded and undetected as a vampire, when your next door neighbour is suddenly a family of 15 immigrant Irish workers), constructions of new houses (your haven is suddently missing a wall due to renovations of the house next door), etc.
    Why would the Camarilla care at all about any of those things? Those are mortal problems, and mortals will be taking care of them. The Camarilla has thrived in all sorts of situations.

    Vampires are essentially parasitic creatures. They hide amongst humanity and attach themselves to whatever they can use to satisfy their desires for blood, safety, and prestige among the other damned.

    As mortals create new institutions, they simply create other opportunities for these parasites to use.

    Now such changes can put different vampires into conflict because they change the balance of power between for some reason, or it turns into a zero sum game. If one vampire is using a section of slums in the city as their feeding grounds, and mortal politics and business is going to renovate the area and therefore eliminate that as a good feeding ground, then that vampire may attempt to use influence to negate that which may or may not bring it into conflict with another vampire. But then that becomes the intrigue between supernatural creatures.

    Otherwise, the vampire just adjusts to the change. If you have a new neighboring family of 15, is that a threat, an opportunity, or irrelevant? That creates the plot or just becomes boring background detail. It can also be the springboard for vampire politics. Does the PC have to approach an NPC and ask for a boon in helping with the situation? Does the PC's own solution disrupt the existing arrangements between other vampires? Does the PC learn the reason his slum feeding grounds are being renovated and he is losing his current haven because it is benefitting some other vampire's mortal pawns? Is slum clearance creating such a problem it is radicalizing other vampires into becoming Anarchs because the system isn't benefitting them?

    One thing I use as an ST is the idea that Elders are primarily concerned with vampire society. Neonates are the primary actors in mortal society because they come from there and understand it the best. Elders use Ancillae to supervise the Neonates to make sure the Neonates' actions among mortals ultimately serve their own purposes. Ancillae are the crucial link by which the Elders control Neonates and thus all of vampire society. If you use that structure, you may find it easier to link what happens in the mortal world to the vampire world and vice versa.

    Originally posted by Vincent View Post
    With innovations comes new possibilities, yes, but unlife becomes rather hectic. Anyway, it has put an emphasis on mortal interactions in our game, and as my players seem to enjoy it, I'm not complaining.
    I like interactions between vampire PCs and humans too. I think it grounds the game in reality. And overcoming challenges like that can be just as fun as overcoming other kinds of challenges. But whether you concentrate on that, concentrate on vampire-only politics, or whatever mix between them is always an ST decision based on what he thinks is fun for the game. Otherwise you handwave or reduce the prominence of the things you don't find fun. You concentrate on what does provide fun at your table.

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  • Vamps Like Us
    replied
    Like most everyone else, we spent a lot of time in Chicago, Gary and Milwaukee. I think first and second edition were the height of VtM as far as setting goes. I can agree the rules improved here and there, but Revised turned off most of the people I knew over time. It had a vision of it's own sure, but it failed to capture the imagination of most of us. It just didn't feel like VtM anymore so we forged our own path.

    Another problem with premade city books is the tendency to add in overly godlike vampires. In retrospect the game would probably been better served without a plethora of fourth and fifth generations running around Chicago. If Helena and Menele were 6th Gens and everyone dropped from there, it would have inspired less Ur-Shugi and Mithras, and that would have been good things for the direction of the game I think. Making 5th the new Third would probably have headed off a great deal of balance issues the game has with high level disciplines, since level 8 powers tend to be where the game really starts to break.

    The main reasons I make my own cities are:

    The fact that anyone can buy and read xxxxxx by Night and you can't just tell the 4 or 5 people playing with you they aren't allowed to buy and enjoy the published books because they are just players and your the only one allowed to read them.

    I do a better job making a city for my games than the game designers who have different sensibilities, often by a large margin.

    It's fun. I think the reason I prefer running games to playing in them is it's hard for me to be excited to play the same character for the length of a chronicle. When you are the story teller you get to play as many characters as you want.

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  • Vincent
    replied
    Chris24601 wrote:

    "And the official version is there’s a nutter who thinks he’s King Arthur in charge as the highlight of WoD Boston. *sigh*"

    This made me smile, 'cause even if it's out of place and silly - and it is - it's still an amusing derangement.

    One thing I've been wondering about when setting up London in 1882, is how the bloody hell the Elders are gonne find the time for all the sects, intrigues and what have you among other supernaturals, which both core books and city books are very centered on? The Camarilla (as I'm using them) is swamped in problems with mortal society in terms of sewage system, underground building, electric lighting (which is definately not popular among all Cainites), housing problems (it's actually dificult to live secluded and undetected as a vampire, when your next door neighbour is suddenly a family of 15 immigrant Irish workers), constructions of new houses (your haven is suddently missing a wall due to renovations of the house next door), etc.

    With innovations comes new possibilities, yes, but unlife becomes rather hectic. Anyway, it has put an emphasis on mortal interactions in our game, and as my players seem to enjoy it, I'm not complaining.

    V

    Leave a comment:


  • Damian May
    replied
    Luckily all the places I set my campaigns in have never or barely been touched by WW ( Vampires wise at least). Metaplot is almost never touched on, I've never used an official NPC ( well, Squizzy Taylor but as a historical figure I would have used them anyway.). I've also changed a few of the cities dominant sects as the ones depicted by WW made it fairly obvious they'd never actually visited any of the cities in question.

    I also reworked and rewrote Hungry Ghosts entirely so they mesh much more neatly with parts of Asia, Oceania etc. that are not mainland China.

    If any of my campaigns had ever involved North America or Europe I'd probably have to have a good think about whether to go by sourcebook or do it myself but as they haven't really then it hasn't been an issue.
    Last edited by Damian May; 11-18-2021, 04:44 AM.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    I use the basic setting as described in the 2e corebook plus most of what is described in the original Players Guide, STs Handbook, and Sabbat books. Those books established the core setting that is recognizable as the World of Darkness, and I find they give me the tools and concepts I need to tell whatever vampire story I want to tell. I ignore metaplot entirely. My chronicles have their own internal chronology based on my ideas as an ST and the actions of the PCs who had played within it.

    Everything else I use only to pillage ideas from them - if I like individual things in it, I keep it. I discard the rest, or if there is something I like but think is flawed, I change it appropriately. Everything else I create on my own.

    The only city book I would use mostly "as is" would be Chicago By Night. I think it's the only well done modern city book. I think most of the city books are fairly terrible and ignore them completely. However, there are a few city books I think have some intriguing concepts or concepts so I keep those while discarding most of the rest of their setting.

    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).
    Actually, Dark Colony is one of the few city books that has just enough good stuff in it, that I utilize some of it. I like the general idea of the region being a Camarilla domain under threat by Sabbat. I like the idea of a chronicle setting that doesn't take place in just one city, but within a region of many smaller cities so PCs likely would move around between them to accomplish their goals. I like Warwick's Web and Warwick being the Prince of Providence. I like the Gemini League as a concept. I even like the general idea that Boston is a center of Malkavian power (I mean, some city has to be one). There's a few individual characters I like.

    But yeah, it has a lot of terrible ideas. Having some characters steeped in the history of it as a colony and the American Revolution would be awesome. Making the setting's main plot hook be a retread of the American Revolution by having American Kindred fight off a British invasion isn't. If I would ever actually set a game there, I'd probably rewrite 80% of the setting.

    Originally posted by Chris24601 View Post
    There’s just so much actual history that can be mined there, from its early position on the British trade triangle, to notable Boston Brahmin (the elite families of Boston) who would certainly have been Embraced over the years (my Prince is from one of these families, in life was a member of the actual Hellfire club, and can only feed from Boston’s generational elites), to it being the site of the first subway system in the United States and having had miles of smuggling tunnels and hidden underground rooms.
    I agree there's a lot of potential in the actual history of the area that could be utilized well. In general, that's my biggest complaint of most By Night books. Outside of Chicago, for the most part the NPCs of each city seem extremely generic and divorced from the kind of "living history" that many Chicago NPCs had. One of the things I love about HP Lovecraft's fiction is how steeped it is in the regional history and lore of New England. I would want to create the same kind of atmosphere if I set a chronicle in New England.

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  • MarkK
    replied
    I find that I've varied it pretty wildly depending on who I'm running for and what their inclinations are. Some groups are really into the setting and its lore as something to dive into, interact and mess about with, in which case I'm perfectly happy to lean into that, and other groups aren't, in which case I've worked to put something a lot more idiosyncratic together.

    But honestly there have been times where I only have so much space and energy to work with, in which case I'll rely a fair bit on the books for support.

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  • monteparnas
    replied
    I actually do a lot of research on the setting, metaplot and NPCs when preparing my games, but following that I butcher then completely for the parts I really want in my games.

    But I can say that I have a lot of leeway to do that without affecting the main setting as I focus mostly on fictional cities.

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  • Chris24601
    replied
    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).

    There’s just so much actual history that can be mined there, from its early position on the British trade triangle, to notable Boston Brahmin (the elite families of Boston) who would certainly have been Embraced over the years (my Prince is from one of these families, in life was a member of the actual Hellfire club, and can only feed from Boston’s generational elites), to it being the site of the first subway system in the United States and having had miles of smuggling tunnels and hidden underground rooms.

    And the official version is there’s a nutter who thinks he’s King Arthur in charge as the highlight of WoD Boston. *sigh*

    I’m using a few of the V5 events, but setting them in the present day as they resulted in interesting events in my city; but others are going to be either outright ignored or changed utterly (ex. Theo Bell is a grease stain after the Brujah who’ve spent centuries building power bases staked him and the vamps they found sheltering him, doused them all in gasoline, lit a match and sent the video they took of the whole thing to the Inner Circle for his attempt to fuck up their unlives with his stunt; “Being a Bell” has become Anarch slang for doing stupid shit that gets others killed in retribution).

    My Brujah remain in good standing with the Camarilla and their primogen’s grip on the Fellows and Board of Overseers of Harvard remains as strong as ever.

    The Sabbat Crusade though was useful though as the local pack was heavily Honorable Accord and ended up never getting called up due to politics and basically spent the entire time waiting for orders that never came and now never will. So they’ve become wild cards in the area and more akin to an Anarch stronghold than the V5 murderhobos.

    So, yeah, not much is being used at all.

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  • Brickman
    replied
    Basically what's in the core books.
    The city is all home made and I don't think we've ever used a named NPC.
    Occasionally bits of the meta plot might get brought in if it sounds like it'll make a good story but most of it is irrelevant at the local level.

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  • Legendre
    replied
    100% homebrew. The only things I've kept from the canon background are the general structure of the Camarilla and the general structure of the Sabbat. (And Marcus Vitel -- but he's an actual Ventrue now and the clan's inner circle member.) I've redone the vampiric origins, clan histories, what it means to be a "clan", the nature of the Camarilla-Sabbat conflict..... everything. I've traced out the lineages of all the most important vampires, and I've got summaries of every major city subject to Camarilla control including when vampires first arrived, the city's praxis history, current residents of note, etc. (Because I run Cam games, I have a little more leeway in underdefining the Sabbat cities.)

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  • Rhywbeth
    replied
    Not in the slightest. Thankfully, there is no city book for my home city so I get to work from scratch anyway. When setting up a city for a game, I glance at the canon timeline, research the history of a location, seek out the perspectives of people who live in these places and then make my own WoD equivalent. I prefer to incorporate the canon, but I won't hesitate to cut it out either.

    The general flavour of the Clanbooks and Sect guides largely hold true. I ignore anything concrete about specific locations. My setting is my setting, rather than the canon.

    I'm also far more likely to create an NPC based on a canon character than use them.
    For example, Mithras or some other vampire analoguous to him existed as the British vampires' equivalent to Caesar, but everything else about him and his lot I throw out. I haven't done anything with London, but when I do it likely will not resemble anything written about it.

    Metaplot can, by and large, stay out of my games unless invited.

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  • MyWifeIsScary
    replied
    City books? not at all.
    Metaplot? I ignore most of it. Ur-shulgi will wake up. That's about it. The Gangrel are core members of the Camarilla, because of course they are.

    But in terms of setting I try to be as faithful as possible. of course sources contradict one another and there are a lot of unanswered questions but that gives me a good amount of room for interpretation or allows me to tailor things to the needs of the chronicle. I think the WoD has a very intricate setting and if i just started changing things at will I'd cause a chain reaction if not done carefully.

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