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How closely do you adhere to the metaplot?

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  • How closely do you adhere to the metaplot?

    Do you follow the setting of the game precisely? Or do you take some creative liberties like we did with the Sabbat being gone and having the Lasombra joining the Camarilla and or Anarchs and the Tzisimce being an independant clan.


    What in the name of Set is going on here?

  • #2
    Sometimes I change things but the appeal of the metaplot is that the player characters aren't the center of things and you can have, "Something else is happening in the world."

    Which adds to the realism.


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

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    • #3
      I don't adhere to it at all, though I do use it as inspiration. For example, in my games Cathari demagogues took over the Sabbat after the Gehenna War caused a lot of our elders to go off to the middle east. The hedonistic stupidity of the Cathari demagogues has cost the Sabbat a lot of territory, and the Cathari demagogues made up a bunch of utterly ridiculous, RIDICULOUS bullshit propaganda about how the Sabbat doesn't neeeed our own territory and we are better offff as just wandering other sect's territory making trouble. Which almost no one is buying, and is rapidly leading to a civil war which will wipe the Cathari off the face of the map, a civil war my players are spearheading.


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      • #4
        I'm late to the WoD and there's a stupidly large amount of lore to read, much of it contradictory (unreliable narrator is just an excuse for lazy writers). So while I take the setting into account, and check up on stuff when there's a detail I need to verify, I never base things around the metaplot, I'd much rather tell an original story, even if it is inspired by other stories.

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        • #5
          I completely ignore the metaplot.

          It hijacks the game away from what kind of story the ST may want to do, and frankly I think many aspects of the Revised and V5 metaplot are ridiculous. If I want to show an organic setting that seems real and changes to show the PCs aren't the center of everything, I like my own ideas much better. I think metaplot is a lazy way for RPG companies to churn out products to exploit their fanbase instead of doing the harder work of producing good content that gives more options to the STs and provide them tools to tell the kind of story they want. I'm not going to keep buying sourcebooks that change things only because the companies want a quick buck. It's why I stopped buying new sourcebooks after a certain point in Revised, and why I stopped buying new D&D setting books back in the day.

          I run the setting mostly as it was originally established in 1e. There are differences. I have my own Jyhad level mysteries to replace the stuff in Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand that I think are too gonzo. I streamed down the number of bloodlines. I ignore Disciplines that I don't like (such as Vicissitude and Dementation). I increase the differences between the Sabbat Lasombra and Tzimisce, and the members of those clans not in the Sabbat. I want a distinct Sabbat culture that forged the vampires there, not say they are essentially identical but on different sides. Those would be the most obvious changes.

          Then there are more subtle changes that don't invalidate canon, but aren't typical. The Lasombra anti-tribu are a bit more noticeable in the Camarilla with more influence and numbers, but not enough to be anywhere near the power of the clans of the Inner Circle. The Followers of Set are less obviously moustache twirling villains than they were in 1e. They are still servants of the Wyrm through their high priest Set, but work hard to present a more respectable front, and a significant minority publicly proclaim acceptance of the Camarilla's authority. Tremere do not have a monopoly on Blood Magic in the Camarilla, though certain Paths are proprietary to them and aren't known. I include a lot of the Gehenna cults mentioned in Elysium. After all, they recruit. And some are anodyne enough that they aren't suppressed.

          Typically what I like to do is read the original sourcebooks closely. I usually find some very interesting tidbits that develops my chronicles differently than how the setting is usually portrayed because subsequent books (and other STs) either ignored or downplayed those elements.

          The Giovanni are probably the big exception as so much material about them was only revealed after 1e. We know the name and history of their progenitors, the Cappadocian clan. And we know that Giovanni claims to have wiped out the Cappadocians were ridiculous, and that there is just an incredibly high number of survivors (in various formats). Since there's no mystery anymore, it needs a substantial rewrite. The Giovanni are small, but powerful. There was a reason the Camarilla accorded them the respect as being a clan. But the Giovanni have so often reported killing the "last Cappadocian" for several centuries now, it's embarrassing and they no longer report it. There are lots of Cappadocian survivors (including bloodlines like the Samedi) that are either in hiding or in disguise. Some totally keep off the grid, but others are known members of the Camarilla under aliases and hiding their identity. Some are actively protected by other vampires.

          The reason the Giovanni are the "official clan" is twofold. First, the Cappadocians were thought to somehow be intrinsically involved with the Black Death. In my WoD, the Black Death was not a mundane disease, but a spiritual/magical one. This is why per early canon, the Black Death could infect and destroy low generation vampires (ninth generation and thinner blood). It was believed that the Cappadocian antedeluvian might have somehow been responsible as he seemed to only wake from torpor when a big plague epidemic was on (the Plague of Justinian and the Black Death). It might have been a sign of Gehenna. (Cappadocious was believed to be the only antedeluvian who was somewhat active after 3000 BC or so.) As a result, there's a certain amount of fear and uncertainty about the Cappadocian bloodline, and that the Giovanni ended that threat. There's just enough fear and dread that most Kindred prefer not to interfere in the Giovanni hunting down any remaining Cappadocians. (Of course many point out the Giovanni are also descended from the same antedeluvian.)

          Second was the reason for the Promise of 1528. During the Anarch Revolt, Augustus Giovanni was originally considered to be a figure like Gratiano and Lugoj Bondbreaker for having diablerized another antedeluvian. One who was becoming seen as the harbinger of Gehenna - the one who would wake first before the others. And many Giovanni and Anarch Cappadocians (who had their own agenda and fear of him as a result of the Feast of Folly) worked together. But Augustus wasn't really interested in the Anarch Revolt and didn't want to continue the war. It had served his purpose. By the time of the Convention of Thorns, there wasn't much of the Cappadocian clan left. The Promise of 1528 was basically to ensure Giovanni neutrality. They would not join the Sabbat in exchange for some matter of protection and regulation. In exchange, they would be left alone, recognized as their own clan, and not be subjected to interference by the Justicars or Inner Circle other than what was agreed in the Promise of 1528. The Sabbat see them as only slightly less defeatist and traitorous than other Anarchs who joined the Camarilla. But some of the old "Anarchs" in the Giovanni keep some lines of communication to the Sabbat and provide just enough help that the Sabbat's official position is to respect the "neutrality" of the clan. Who knows, they might just defect like House Goratrix or the Serpents of the Light. Neither the Camarilla or Sabbat trust the Devil Kindred, but it serves both of their purposes not to antagonize the Necromancers too much lest they join one side or the other.

          As for what has happened since 1994 or so, I do what I think the original writers did. Look at how the real world changed and think how vampires either encouraged it or exploited it, and what that would mean for the setting. So sects can advance or fall back. Individual vampires of immense importance might be destroyed or defect. The Independent Clans might change the balance of power in some region of the world. Plenty of change going on that has nothing to do with the PCs. It's not a static setting where nothing changes unless the PCs do nothing. Even in actual chronicles, there are changes that occur if the PCs do nothing because other vampires react even if the PCs don't.

          There are some ideas from the metaplot that I like. The destruction of House Goratrix was really neat. But it's probably something I'd only hint at as happening in the future rather than occurring in game. After all, if I ever run a Sabbat game, I want to keep Tremere anti-tribu open just in case a player wants to be one. There might be something else I liked that I don't remember now. There's no problem in using things as inspiration.

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          • #6
            I follow it pretty closely, but I also add my own spin on it. In general there’s nothing I dislike about the current metaplot enough to not use it.

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            • #7
              So I take it that many of you a fair amount liberties with the setting. So what was the most dramatic change did you do with your game that ignores the metaplot?

              Such as reworking the idea of the True Brujah and there Temporis discipline? That always struck me that would fit better with Mage The Awakening and or Changeling The Lost. I started playing more NWOD when it came onto my radar.
              Last edited by Lysander; 05-05-2022, 04:56 PM. Reason: More thoughts to add.


              What in the name of Set is going on here?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Lysander View Post
                So I take it that many of you a fair amount liberties with the setting. So what was the most dramatic change did you do with your game that ignores the metaplot?

                Such as reworking the idea of the True Brujah and there Temporis discipline? That always struck me that would fit better with Mage The Awakening and or Changeling The Lost. I started playing more NWOD when it came onto my radar.
                I haven't used the True Brujah since....maybe a couple of times when they first came out? Like I think...maybe one or two people wanted to play them back when they first came out? I certainly haven't used them this edition, so adapting them has been moot.

                In terms of discipline changes, I've made weather-control an Oblivion 5 power, though even that hasn't come up, since no one has gotten to Oblivion five since I started running.

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                • #9
                  Re: The WoD as a whole - Aside from the Technocracy (who have to play the long game and herd cats to make sure everything is stable) none of the superbaturals control humanity as much as they think they do. Nope. Not even Pentex. They can capitalize on the shittier parts of human nature, of course, but they have to fight tooth and nail to get direct influence.

                  Re; Werewolf - There's more Fera out there and the Lost Tribes are still out there, but Garou still did their big fuckups like the Impergium and the War of Rage (just not to as drastic an extent) and are constantly trying to atone for them and many Fera will never let them live it down. Vampires may smell of the Wyrm but are not of the Wyrm.

                  Re; Hunter - The Messengers will never be known and what they are is irrelevant. Humans with Numina don't proc the Second Sight "THIS BEING AINT RIGHT" sense unless they start dealing with Wyrm/Infernalist stuff.

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                  • #10
                    Very little. About the closest thing is that if I run a game set in Chicago, then usually the Prince has just been murdered/disappeared/etc. so that the PCs can get in on the ground floor of the new regime.


                    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
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                    • #11
                      Ignore 99% of it and alter the remaining 1%.

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                      • #12
                        Uh, preferably never, though I'll adapt something if it interests me. Like; The Sabbat regent is dead and was an infernalist, and the Sabbat are now on the verge of a civil war over the succession. A long term methuselah plot has resulted in the unification of the Hecata (but not as a literal fusion of the bloodlines), and Vienna somehow got destroyed, the Council of Seven is missing, the Pyramid is no longer held by blood bonds and nobody has a clue what happened (although clan Tremere has not splintered the way it did in V5).

                        I'm here for the core concepts of the setting (13 clans, the sects, the themes of the setting) and making my own characters and stories with it, I'm not interested in being told to play using other people's characters in the stories I'm told to tell. Metaplot is fine for inspiration, but it's not my game. I also tone down the impact of the supernatural on humanity and the global stage. Humanity affects the course of history, vampires mostly just tag along, make a profit off what they're doing, and then claim credit to make themselves look impressive.

                        Originally posted by Lysander View Post
                        So I take it that many of you a fair amount liberties with the setting. So what was the most dramatic change did you do with your game that ignores the metaplot?
                        The Camarilla recognises all 13 clans as members, and always has. Though the independents have negotiated specific clauses in their membership (such as the Promise)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rhywbeth View Post
                          The Camarilla recognises all 13 clans as members, and always has. Though the independents have negotiated specific clauses in their membership (such as the Promise)
                          This is not a dramatic change, this is the metaplot until Revised started to shit on the Cam.


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                          • #14
                            Right now I'm not GMing due to recovering from an accident. But I'm laying the groundwork in a mish-mash mix between VtR's Requiem for Rome and WtM's stuff for the future.

                            To mention two of these things, I run the Tremere as existing already in Late Antiquity after they made a deal with the Striges.

                            And that Julii is the Patrician Roman Clan while the Ventrue get connected with Dorian Greeks and some of the bits north of Greece proper like Epirus and Makedonia, in addition to Dorian Lakedaimon/Sparta. So when Constantinople rose, the Greek Ventrue made it a stronghold for themselves.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gurkhal View Post
                              To mention two of these things, I run the Tremere as existing already in Late Antiquity after they made a deal with the Striges.
                              I've thought of doing something similar, as I 100% prefer the Tremere to the Salubri. And possibly also changing them so that their organization was never quite absolute and splinter houses always existed. Thus allowing the Tremere to fit more into niches, like pagan sorcerers and druids without the burden of metaplot.

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