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  • LordOfAsh
    started a topic Sell me on 5th edition

    Sell me on 5th edition

    Ive been buying Vampire products for 30 years now, I still remember coming across the 2nd edition book in my rpg store 30 years ago (I still have this copy and its in almost-mint condition). I was also a fan of NWoD as I believe it was refreshing and did streamlined the rules. I havent bought any of the 5th edition yet though - there was 'scandal' around the time of release and Im not a fan of the artwork, It just seems like random people standing around in leather, makeup and rubber fangs (though the cover for second inquisition looks cool). Artwork is extremely important to me as it helps set the mood.

    My question is: can someone sell me on 5th? Is the artwork that bad? Has it improved? Are the rules superior to V20?

  • adambeyoncelowe
    replied
    Originally posted by Newb95 View Post


    This might seem petty compared to all the other issues of the game but I can't put into words how much the power limit vexes me, it needlessly limits character development options, if you have the xp then you should be able to buy all the powers that you want and most tables I played at ignored the rule, also it would have been nice if they took a clue from requiem and allowed the physical disciplines like potency, resistance and celerity to be developed independently, without needing to taste another vamp blood (while keeping the out of clan costs of course), lastly, am I the only one that thinks that vampires who can't naturally see in the dark are ridiculous?

    The hunger dice is interesting but I think it should use more work, particularly regarding options to limit or nullify its effects, vampires with high composure and resolve should definitely be able to control themselves better, ditto for Compulsions Messy Criticals and Bestial Failures, I don't think it would go against the established lore to have vampire able to control themselves.

    Regarding loresheets, I enjoy the descriptions and all but I frankly couldn't justify most of them for any character I could make, they are too attached to particular cities and sects.
    I have a new thread for reworking Messy Crits. Let me know your thoughts? Essentially, the behaviour element (baring your fangs, breaking things) becomes a choice you make to gain an extra bonus during Blood Surge, with the risk that if you roll more successes than your Composure, you will gain a Compulsion. That way, Composure is useful for retaining control, and the choice to take a risk (with potentially devastating consequences) is at that sweet point where it's worth it.

    As for Loresheets, I have just become aware. Via Ian Watson over on RPG.net, that Storypath's Paths system is their version of Loresheets for the Trinity Continuum. I actually really dig that model and have begun wondering if they can replace the VTM method of buying Backgrounds altogether (so you get packages of things like Allies, Contacts, Resources, etc, tied to a particular niche or life path, which makes it much faster to pull together your history without having to juggle Advantage/Background/Freebie points, depending on edition).

    I am a constant tinkerer, though. At this point, I have at least three sets of house rules I can choose from for every game I play. 🤣

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    While getting tangential, it's completely legal to create a PDF bookmark export file for a given gaming book, and then put it up on the Internet for people to import to their own pdfs (obviously you can't control how they got their pdfs, but that's not on you). Almost every pdf reader has a custom bookmark function and importing a bookmark file just having someone else do it for you. The only problem is you'll have to redo it any time the pdf is updated (though most gaming pdfs are rarely updated after the first 6 months).

    Leave a comment:


  • monteparnas
    replied
    Definitely. OPP did a far better job than WW with content organization and indexation, but it really shines when it comes to PDF bookmarks. If you're used to physical books, then really OPP is just ok, while WW went through the years from terrible to just plain bad. V20 core was WW, it is better than everything they did before, but still bad. If your only experience is with WoD, then OPP seems awesome, but there're actually plenty of better books in the market.

    Not so much with PDFs. Most traditional publishers only recently started to fiddle around with electronic bookmarks, and it is really bad. Heck, most of the best bookmarked PDFs out there are just ok and are pirate stuff, not official. WotC only started to take it seriously with 5e, and they're learning the ropes. In that sea of shit, Paradox did an ok job, which is really good in comparison. But again, if your only reference is OPP, then they can't easily compete.

    Overall V5 doesn't bother me, and the bookmarks do a fine job indeed, but it surely isn't like anything OPP did.

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Onyx Path tends to do better about taking full advantages of pdf book marks for things like important sidebars/charts, but as someone that's consumed a lot of RPG pdfs, there are so much worse out there. Sure, that's not the most glowing recommendation, but there's a difference between "could have used a few more bookmarks for commonly referenced charts" and actively bad pdfs where the bookmarks are just a glorified table of contents.

    Leave a comment:


  • Newb95
    replied
    Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
    Yeah, the bookmarks aren't something I can complain, which is a positive overall, especially in the book you'll reference the most. And while the layout is atrocious, for the matter of finding information it is actually far better than 1st and 2nd editions, mostly on par with Revised and a little worse than V20.

    V:tM does not have a stellar history with book organization, overall. We got used to it, which is a whole different thing.

    Guess I've been spoiled with requiem, every time I play masquerade its always a pain to find info and now that you mention it, V5 is definitely not worse than the older versions but its still bad with this.

    Leave a comment:


  • Newb95
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

    I'll disagree on this. IME the pdf's bookmarking is actually above par (not largely so) for gaming pdfs of this size and system complexity. As someone that's debated V5 core bits via asking a friend to search the pdf for quotes, that's a pretty good testament to the pdf bookmarking work.

    That's because it isn't really a matter of how the text itself is laid out; if the pdf bookmarks do a good job of pointing you to the right page(s) you can find the information you want.

    I always have trouble finding the quick character creation chart and the various merits and flaws, the weapon values in particular are a pain because they are just a small box, this happened frequently in every table I was in, the info spread and the indexing is just bad in my opinion.

    Leave a comment:


  • SetiteFriend
    replied
    I do agree that the layout isn't good, but just to play devil's advocate for a minute, it is good (theoretically anyway) for character creation.

    You have the lore, introduction to clans and basic rules first. Then the walkthrough of character creation, with the list of almost everything you picked (Attributes, Skills, Predator Types) right after, as well as integral beliefs of the character, like convictions, touchstones and desires. These last things might seem weird being separate to Humanity section, but that is because it something you should pick for the character, not just to soak up stains.

    After that you get the whole ins and outs of Vampirism, from the mechanics to disciplines, and at this point you would have a complete character. After that you have a lot of, mostly ST, stuff.


    This design goal means it is bad for looking up stuff however, especially when rules are in two separate sections, like Humanity, despite its close association with Tenets and Convictions, is separate from them. But it is something you get used to, I have a general idea of where everything is by now, searching keywords with ctrl-F helps immensely.

    Leave a comment:


  • monteparnas
    replied
    Yeah, the bookmarks aren't something I can complain, which is a positive overall, especially in the book you'll reference the most. And while the layout is atrocious, for the matter of finding information it is actually far better than 1st and 2nd editions, mostly on par with Revised and a little worse than V20.

    V:tM does not have a stellar history with book organization, overall. We got used to it, which is a whole different thing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Originally posted by Newb95 View Post
    ...seriously even with the pdf it takes ages to find info....
    I'll disagree on this. IME the pdf's bookmarking is actually above par (not largely so) for gaming pdfs of this size and system complexity. As someone that's debated V5 core bits via asking a friend to search the pdf for quotes, that's a pretty good testament to the pdf bookmarking work.

    That's because it isn't really a matter of how the text itself is laid out; if the pdf bookmarks do a good job of pointing you to the right page(s) you can find the information you want.

    Leave a comment:


  • CaptOtter
    replied
    I'm not a fan of anything V5, and don't care for literally any of what has been done with the line--however, it's the official present edition of the game, and therefore contains the official metaplot and setting. If those are things that matter to you, then V5 is probably what you need to be playing.

    Leave a comment:


  • Newb95
    replied
    One thing I feel should be said about the core is the absolutely atrocious layout, seriously even with the pdf it takes ages to find info, the art might be justified as a (very bad) stylistic choice but not the layout, regarding the clan books, I have the slip case with all the 3 main books (core, camarilla and anarchs) and yes they are bad but like monteparnas pointed out, they are necessary to get the full picture of what is happening with V5 metaplot.

    Leave a comment:


  • monteparnas
    replied
    As someone who isn't a fan of V5 either, I can confirm the rules are a huge positive with the needed caveats.

    But I would like to elaborate on this that it means I do have a lot of good expectations about the rules in the future. V20 is the culmination of 20 years then more of expertise on making that system, yet it has a lot of flaws because the foundations of the system are deeply flawed.

    V5 still needs a lot of polishing, but it is a far better foundation as far as rules go, it just doesn't have decades of polishing. On this regard, I'm far more displeased with Revised. And it isn't trying to just be Requiem despite borrowing some ideas from there, so while I do think Requiem is a superior system (especially now on 2nd ed), V5 is its own thing and very promising on this regard.

    On the matter of books, it is really important to point out the difference between the core and everything else, and the mixed bag of quality they have.

    Core V5 isn't the best RPG book around by far. Good rules, the art is mostly bad, really bad, and being photos isn't the problem, the problem is how much it looks like a fashion magazine, it just doesn't convey the mood for the game. It has all the bones of the lore, that is the most divisive part, but even for the ones that like the lore it doesn't have a great presentation of it.

    In short, the core isn't a bad purchase, but it lets too much work yet to be done to go from an ok game to a game you can really like.

    Fortunately this work is being done by the supplements, especially the ones CTPhipps pointed out. It won't be enough if you can't stand the bones of the new metaplot (which I can't), but it does improve things so that if you like those bones, they're being better fleshed out now. Far better. And the art is overall improving, and while the good writing is mostly OPP, the art improvement is far more consistent.

    You mostly have to be wary of some last minefields here. While not cited by Phipps, the three Sect books are important to understand the setting as it is now, although later material also help a lot. But the reason Phipps didn't cited them is because they're really bad, and another source of endless contention. The three sects got very cartoonish descriptions and narrower roles in the setting. You may come to like them that way, and later material does a good job at re-adding nuance to them, but it is still there.

    How much it is worth your investment in the end, it depends. I pretty much think it is worth at least reading it to take your own conclusions. No one here can say for sure if the changes will please you or not, it is divisive. How much money you have to expend on it matters, because it isn't the cheapest RPG around and buying the right (or wrong) books makes a big difference due to the relative low quality of the core, but at the same time it is very complete system-wise.

    Do not buy the Sabbat book in particular if you're on a tight budget, while it is the best sect book it is still bad and, worse, overpriced.

    Leave a comment:


  • Newb95
    replied
    Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
    Loresheets are very good. I love them.

    Allowing Background points to be spent on Merits, too, is good.

    Hunger Dice are a good idea, though I think they need tweaking. Maybe something like WTO's Shadow Dice would work better.

    The Hecata are sort of cool, but maybe more as a sect than a clan.

    I like Compulsions, Messy Criticals and Bestial Failures. But I think there could be more finesse in making them work. I also miss botches, generally.

    Flexible Disciplines are a good idea, but the Amalgams get a bit messy (there are hidden traps) and the 'one power per dot rule' should just be ignored.

    I think that's everything.

    This might seem petty compared to all the other issues of the game but I can't put into words how much the power limit vexes me, it needlessly limits character development options, if you have the xp then you should be able to buy all the powers that you want and most tables I played at ignored the rule, also it would have been nice if they took a clue from requiem and allowed the physical disciplines like potency, resistance and celerity to be developed independently, without needing to taste another vamp blood (while keeping the out of clan costs of course), lastly, am I the only one that thinks that vampires who can't naturally see in the dark are ridiculous?

    The hunger dice is interesting but I think it should use more work, particularly regarding options to limit or nullify its effects, vampires with high composure and resolve should definitely be able to control themselves better, ditto for Compulsions Messy Criticals and Bestial Failures, I don't think it would go against the established lore to have vampire able to control themselves.

    Regarding loresheets, I enjoy the descriptions and all but I frankly couldn't justify most of them for any character I could make, they are too attached to particular cities and sects.

    Leave a comment:


  • adambeyoncelowe
    replied
    Loresheets are very good. I love them.

    Allowing Background points to be spent on Merits, too, is good.

    Hunger Dice are a good idea, though I think they need tweaking. Maybe something like WTO's Shadow Dice would work better.

    The Hecata are sort of cool, but maybe more as a sect than a clan.

    I like Compulsions, Messy Criticals and Bestial Failures. But I think there could be more finesse in making them work. I also miss botches, generally.

    Flexible Disciplines are a good idea, but the Amalgams get a bit messy (there are hidden traps) and the 'one power per dot rule' should just be ignored.

    I think that's everything.

    Leave a comment:

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