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No, you really ARE just a monster! (Reflection on the nature of Lore)

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  • No, you really ARE just a monster! (Reflection on the nature of Lore)

    So, there are two ways to approach Lore. The bit that comes at the start of the book or splat or tribe or clan or set of powers or sect. The bit said in a matter-of-fact tone that creates the world for you, the mythos. One is the This Is True approach. Gaia argued with the first Werefox and frenzied. The Werespiders are the offspring of one of the Weaver's daughters. Each Breed was created to fulfill a certain task for Gaia, you get the idea.

    The other approach is This Is Believed. This is the origin this group thinks is true. This is what 1 dot in "Ananasi Lore" gets you. For a VTM example, the Arhimane Bloodline harks back to a 4th Generation Vampire who legends paint as a Valkyrie, the daughter of a literal Viking Goddess. And when she died she was resurrected by her mother as an undead warrior. That simply cannot be 100% true, everyone reading that knows it isn't true. They are in reality (most likely) the result of Ennoia taking pity on a female Viking warrior (who she may have stalked for many years) who was crushed beneath a fallen building. The take-away (I am going somewhere with this) is that Adissa will have told the tale of how she was resurrected by her mother, a Goddess, but that isn't the this-is-what-happened fact.

    So, why am I posting here? Because the world of Werewolf is full of lore inherited not just from oral tradition, but from spirits. The Ahrimane Neonate is told the tale of Adissa and the weak King Ahrimane, but they don't feel the story, it doesn't call out to them, the spirits of the earth don't whisper it to them. To a Werewolf, Wereraven, Werecat, the lore of their people is a palpable and REAL thing. And if you take the first approach, everything that the Changing Breeds do is justified. If you take the second... things get messy. Very quickly.

    For absolute basics, Gaia created the Changing Breeds to carry out certain tasks, and while those tasks aren't all pretty (assassination of the worst, picking off the weak, limiting the growth of populations through devouring food and spreading disease) they are necessary and they promote harmony in the biosphere. Taken at face value, it has a nice harmony to it.

    The issue is that when we look at the lore of the Garou, Gurahl, Ananasi and Ratkin as a story passed down by people, animals and spirits (we'll get to them), things stop really working properly. The Ratkin have an ancestral memory + oral tradition (from here on I'll call it a Recalling) of being tasked with limiting the growth of human populations. The Garou have a Recalling of being made into Gaia's warriors. But can the Recalling be trusted?

    Oral Tradition and "Religion" (I know some of you cringe when that word is used to describe the spiritual relationship of the Garou with their role in life, but it's a fitting comparison) are non-starters. They simply aren't accurate. Historical Fact becomes Historical Story, a Historical Story becomes a Story. Chinese whispers. A population of humans can't keep stories going for a few thousand years, so wolf/human populations can't keep stories going for millenia.

    This is where spirits become important. They spread the tales, keep the Renown system going, and keep a more "accurate" oral history. How lovely and convenient. You just have to love these spirits. Teaching us everything we need to survive, telling us everything we need to know to keep doing those things we do. This feels... convenient.

    This is where we get into some existential problems. In a world where Magical Illusions exist, where memories are altered by the roll of a dicepool, is the collective memory of a group of Spirits something we trust? In a world where powerful beings can command spirits to obey their will with relative ease, do we feel comfortable (as a Wolf having just undergone the First Change in isolation) taking the word of this kind spirit?

    "Your family live in the woods and the wilds. I'm here to guide you. Here is your history. Here is a list of rules you have to follow. Here is your purpose. Here are some powers which will become stronger IF you play by the rules."

    Yes, when you look at it like that, Renown, Honour, Succor, Wisdom... they get less and less comfortable. The Spirits who spread these tales, if they were compromised... if the rules were made up long ago by some outside force...

    Here's an "Alternative History" of the Changing Breeds which might as well be true with the information we have and the world as it is now in W20. This isn't a head-canon or fan theory, it's for demonstrative purposes only.

    Lilith. The first woman, the one who stole the True Name of divinity itself, cursed to never be loved. The mother of Monsters. The mother of Ennoia, who according to one (equally untrustworthy) bit of Gangrel lore popped out the first Werewolf after sleeping with a Wolf. Lilith, who (again, according to unreliable "This Is What Is Believed" lore) has the power to make monsters to suit her purposes. The power to command spirits. The power to grant people supernatural powers (just look at Caine and every Vampire from then on). Lilith, who had a score to settle with the ungrateful race of Cainites and the Children of Eve. Tell me, what is to stop her from turning animals into human-like monsters, or humans into animal-like monsters? What is to stop her from teaching them powers, or gifts? What is to stop her from making Spirits whose task is to lie and keep a status quo?

    It's fine that you're killing that little disabled child. It's fine that you spread that flu which killed that overgrown village. It's fine that you killed that coterie of Vampires. It's your purpose. It's what you were made for. Have some Renown. Good boy! Well done! Oh, and here's some pretty new Gifts you can learn...

    I'm not saying that this is true, or that it should be true. I'm trying to make a comment on the nature of lore and how we should use it. I'm trying to point out why in-universe and out-of-universe skepticism of the status quo should be given more time and space. After all, it would be terrifying if any of the Garou lore was just bullshit spread by lying spirits. That might make them monsters...

  • #2
    That's like the number one thing I try and tell players as a preface before the game starts " All this fluffy stuff is cool and all but don't get it twisted....your a monster....and you will probably do monsterous things"

    Comment


    • #3
      For anyone who actually likes the Lilith thing, the number 1 questions is "why?". Well here's some ideas.

      - Vengeance against Cainites. Caine kind of screwed her over, and she grew up in a "sins of the father" type of world. If she created the Gifts and the Renown Systems, she can make the Changing Breeds a nightmare for Vampires to deal with.

      - Vengeance against the descendants of Adam and Eve. Adam was a rapist. Eve was a passive fool.

      - Vengeance against God. You think you're the Master of creation? I'm going to improve on your design! Can your species do THIS?! wolf turns into 9 foot tall bipedal wolf

      - Morbid Curiosity. She's the mother of monsters. She has the power to do it. Why wouldn't she?

      And the one I actually like:

      - Ethics. Her entire philosophy is that pain is the best teacher. God gave her a world of nothing but pain. She was raped by Adam and cast out. She was abandoned by Lucifer and by Caine. The three archangels beat and (in some translations) raped her. She learnt from it and she realised that pain was the gateway to power. Only by getting burnt do we learn to not touch the stove. Only through revenge do we teach wrongdoers the true nature of the world. The races of the Changing breeds were created to make the world a more painful place. Hence Rage, Frenzying, and the morbid and arguably evil roles of many of the breeds. Hence there being so little infrastructure to keep harmony between the breeds. Why should Lilith care if the Wolves attack the others? It will teach them valuable lessons.
      Last edited by 11twiggins; 02-21-2017, 06:12 PM.

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      • #4
        Garou predate the Kindred (Fera predate the Kindred by hundreds of millions of years). From the Garou perspective, the Kindred popped into existence five thousand years ago and are probably declscended from exiles from the High Umbra. The Garou would probably be sympathetic to Lilith and would probably help Lilith ash the entire Kindred race if it did not distract them from their mission to save the world (and they might go out of their way to ash Gangrel for their blasphemous claims about the origin of the Garou).

        Garou are nor 'monsters', they are the supernatural entities that you get to kill monsters. Yes, their ancestors practiced genocide against the European, American, and Australian Fera. Let us not be casting stones though because I can guarantee that the vast majority of people on the forum are probably descended from someone who helped commit genocide.

        In addition, this is a VtM thread, so it should be moved there. The origins of the Fera are canon in WtA, and Lilith has nothing to do with it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
          Garou predate the Kindred (Fera predate the Kindred by hundreds of millions of years). From the Garou perspective, the Kindred popped into existence five thousand years ago and are probably declscended from exiles from the High Umbra. The Garou would probably be sympathetic to Lilith and would probably help Lilith ash the entire Kindred race if it did not distract them from their mission to save the world (and they might go out of their way to ash Gangrel for their blasphemous claims about the origin of the Garou).

          Garou are nor 'monsters', they are the supernatural entities that you get to kill monsters. Yes, their ancestors practiced genocide against the European, American, and Australian Fera. Let us not be casting stones though because I can guarantee that the vast majority of people on the forum are probably descended from someone who helped commit genocide.

          In addition, this is a VtM thread, so it should be moved there. The origins of the Fera are canon in WtA, and Lilith has nothing to do with it.
          It's a comment on the nature of Lore and how it should be used in-game, primarily focused on the WtA lore. I use examples from VtM because I know a lot about it, to make points about the WtA lore, which is unique as it has the benefit of being supported by spirits.

          The Werewolves and other Fera predating Vampirism by a long period is only knowable via the information Werewolves get from spirits. And the origins of the Fera aren't really cemented as canon, since as always the lore is in "this is what is believed" territory, which is the sensible and accurate approach to reading lore IMO. I give the example of the Werefoxes + Werecats (they can't BOTH be the youngest) and the Ahrimane (no, you can't be a Cainite and be a Zombie brought back by a Viking Goddess) since it demonstrates what Lore really is; the Lore of a group, their collective 'history' which is dubious at best.

          And like I say, the idea of Lilith creating the Fera is just an idea which I felt was relevant. Since her biological daughter canonically (as I say, is believed to have) popped out a Lupine. From what modern Werewolves and Fera see and hear, they could have originated 5000 years ago via the magic of Lilith, simply being the descendants of Lilith rather than Eve. That's my point. They could also be the work of an Archmage, or just a natural phenomena. What I'm saying, overall, is that we can never take lore at face value and we shouldn't view it as concrete.

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          • #6
            Well, in that case...

            *Plot Twist*

            Lilith & Caine never existed but are Ananasis who just tried some magic in the wrong place & bam you got Vampires.

            Pretty much every splat have an explanation to what the other are.

            Your mileage may vary,and in the end the ST decide, and Vampires history is probably just as innacurate as the Werewolve's

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kendaan View Post
              Well, in that case...

              *Plot Twist*

              Lilith & Caine never existed but are Ananasis who just tried some magic in the wrong place & bam you got Vampires.

              Pretty much every splat have an explanation to what the other are.

              Your mileage may vary,and in the end the ST decide, and Vampires history is probably just as innacurate as the Werewolve's
              I'm guessing that I'm supposed to hate that, but it's actually quite cool. The Ananasi are blood-drinkers, and I can see a group of powerful Ananasi who are Wyrm-tainted making a deal with the Wyrm and it going wrong, and boom you get Vampires. If I were playing a Chronicle which built that up effectively I would actually be 100% onboard with that. I mean Mage posits at some point that the Antedeluvians were 13 Mages who botched a Ritual.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post

                I'm guessing that I'm supposed to hate that, but it's actually quite cool. The Ananasi are blood-drinkers, and I can see a group of powerful Ananasi who are Wyrm-tainted making a deal with the Wyrm and it going wrong, and boom you get Vampires. If I were playing a Chronicle which built that up effectively I would actually be 100% onboard with that. I mean Mage posits at some point that the Antedeluvians were 13 Mages who botched a Ritual.
                Ha ha I wasn't aiming at anyone to hate it ^^

                It's just that most of the time, people see the things from the scope of "their" main splat, while their is so many cool possibilities like that!

                For example I seem to remember the Changeling thinking that Vampires could come from a cursed/degenrated Redcap or something...

                My take on this is that no one actually really knows & everything prior to Dark Age is mostly speculation & distorted memories, when I'm STing I adapt depending the story I want while trying to not make anything looks like canon to the players ^^

                Comment


                • #9
                  So quite a bit of your argument gets shot down simply because the non IC sections of the books say things work the way they do. This isn't IC lore. This isn't up for debate. The world is what it is because the writers are telling you (the reader) that some things just are the way they are. Now to address some of your points on IC lore.
                  Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                  So, why am I posting here? Because the world of Werewolf is full of lore inherited not just from oral tradition, but from spirits. The Ahrimane Neonate is told the tale of Adissa and the weak King Ahrimane, but they don't feel the story, it doesn't call out to them, the spirits of the earth don't whisper it to them. To a Werewolf, Wereraven, Werecat, the lore of their people is a palpable and REAL thing. And if you take the first approach, everything that the Changing Breeds do is justified. If you take the second... things get messy. Very quickly.
                  Well it's a good thing that in the WtA setting (OOC) things work the first way then huh?

                  Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                  The issue is that when we look at the lore of the Garou, Gurahl, Ananasi and Ratkin as a story passed down by people, animals and spirits (we'll get to them), things stop really working properly. The Ratkin have an ancestral memory + oral tradition (from here on I'll call it a Recalling) of being tasked with limiting the growth of human populations. The Garou have a Recalling of being made into Gaia's warriors. But can the Recalling be trusted?
                  It's Blood Memory. And yes, it can in fact be reliable. We know this because it works. Every Ratkin automatically knows every other Ratkin because they are all in their racial memory. So as least for recent history, we know it absolutely works. Not everything for Fera is based on oral tradition. The Mokole are the best example, since their purpose is literally to be the memory. The Kitsune are functionally immortal (the nine tails, assuming she isn't full on Incarna, has a current lifespan of about 20,000+ years). The Rokea don't die of old age either, so there's that. Ananasi can also extend their lifespans. And you have pre-history Gurahl waking up. All of the examples run contrary to your view of the setting.
                  Oh, and Garou get Ancestors to channel and literally relive the memories of Garou from the past.

                  Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                  Here's an "Alternative History" of the Changing Breeds which might as well be true with the information we have and the world as it is now in W20. This isn't a head-canon or fan theory, it's for demonstrative purposes only.
                  Your alternate history approach is somewhat nonsensical. You've made Lilith out to be all powerful and able to manipulate spirits (and all of the Umbra) in an effort to trick the Fera into doing what they do. But again, the books say that this isn't the case. I suppose that yes, if you created your own all powerful being you could decide that all of history has been a trick and that the Garou are nothing but fooled monsters. But you are very much just making up whatever you want and rationalizing it by saying that everyone has been tricked and no one can see through it because....your all powerful being says so.

                  Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                  The Werewolves and other Fera predating Vampirism by a long period is only knowable via the information Werewolves get from spirits.
                  And memories and actual living creatures saying so. And most importantly, the setting saying so (elaborated on below).

                  Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                  And the origins of the Fera aren't really cemented as canon, since as always the lore is in "this is what is believed" territory, which is the sensible and accurate approach to reading lore IMO.
                  Except that you ignore the OOC parts of the setting that disagree with your approach.
                  For example, we know a few hundred million years ago there were Mokole and Ananasi and Rokea (because they are the setting choices laid out for us). That predates Vampire. You can't really argue against that. If you can, I'd be interested what you have to say.

                  Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                  I give the example of the Werefoxes + Werecats (they can't BOTH be the youngest)
                  This does at least support your claims. They can't be. But the Bastet could have been until the Kitsune were born. And since the Kitsune are hidden away (granted, baddly, since they're "hidden" on the largest continent) the Bastet as a whole don't know about them. This really just makes the Bastet mistaken. It doesn't contradict the setting as a whole at all.

                  Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                  What I'm saying, overall, is that we can never take lore at face value and we shouldn't view it as concrete.
                  We can when the writers tell us about how the setting works.


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                  • #10
                    In my games, 3th-bellow generations vampires are a non-thing. No real things. Actually, they exist, but are Umbral spirits that have all vanished long ago. My wife is annoying, gotta go

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by idpersona View Post
                      So quite a bit of your argument gets shot down simply because the non IC sections of the books say things work the way they do. This isn't IC lore. This isn't up for debate. The world is what it is because the writers are telling you (the reader) that some things just are the way they are. Now to address some of your points on IC lore.
                      Almost everything in CWoD canon is up for debate, sinceven that's how much of it is contradicted by another part of canon. I can't make much sense out of Werewolf canon unless I take everything as an unreliable narrator, even if it's out of character. This is because I don't know what to do with a statement about the setting if I can't figure out how I could verify it from within the setting.

                      If I'm not a Muslim, and it seems to me that my Werewolf character would have as much difficulty proving to my satisfaction that the Triat literally exist in his world as a Muslim would have convincing me that Allah exists, it seems to me that it would be rational for my character to be more skeptical about the Triat.

                      The OOC theological statements don't seem useful to me in a roleplaying game, because they don't help me put myself in my character's shoes and explore the setting from his perspective. I don't want to have to pat my character on the head and tell him "there there, book says so every time Triatic dogma doesn't make sense to him.

                      But hey, I'm just a filthy heretic whose favorite sourcebook is Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand. All the haters missed the point. This was the book that pioneered the in-setting rumors list before Unknown Armies did it. The point wasn't that Vicissitude was an alien virus. The point was that it could be, and how would your character know? What's given in the books is the tip of an iceberg infinitely more complex ando bizarre. If everything has to conform with the players' initial expectations until the end, where's the horror?

                      But most fans eschew DSotBH because they find it silly, along with many other parts of canon I like. Well, I also prefer to disregard parts of canon I find silly.

                      You know what I find silly? Looking at these tribes of ill-tempered, reactionary brutes who treat their kinfolk like breeding stock and have a long history of genocidal tendencies, magical gifts from powerful spirit allies, and globe-spanning political structures that have survived for millennia, you're and letting them convince you that no, really, they're the persecuted ones. They're the real heroes here because, if you believe their side of the story, The Enemy is a bajillion times worse.

                      Oh, yes, the know they were so wrong when they said the other shifters were universally irredeemable wyrm-tainted degenerates, and when they said the New World tribes were universally irredeemable wyrm-tainted degenerates, and when they said the Bunyip were universally irredeemable wyrm-tainted degenerates. The Garou are super sorry about that stuff. But really, you've gotta believe them, the Black Spiral Dancers are such universally irredeemable Wyrm-tainted degenerates, you don't even know! You'd better be glad you don't, too, because even bothering to ask a Black Spiral Dancer why he joined or what it's like would be too dangerous! Aren't you glad you were warned before you made any attempt to get an inside perspective?

                      And yeah, I guess this does have a little bit to do with the Black Spiral Dancers' transgressions against the Garou Nation's draconian sexual mores. Actually, it has a lot to do with that. But you've gotta understand, breaking the First Litany is really more like incest than homosexuality. Actually, it's not much more similar to either then they are to each other. But still, come on, eew! Think of the poor deformed metis babies! Just don't bother asking the majority of the metis what they think, because they've walked the Black Spiral for some stupid reason.

                      And besides, the Black Spirals are into cannibalism and rape and pedophilia, too! That frat has way worse of a rape culture than anyone in the Garou Nation, the girls all say so. The Get of Fenris are perfect gentlemen who only make consensual Primal Urge checks.

                      I can't take all that seriously if we're never going to get Tribebook: BSDs and see a real inside perspective that explains their motivations logically without making them less evil, as was done with the Sabbat.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by idpersona View Post
                        So quite a bit of your argument gets shot down simply because the non IC sections of the books say things work the way they do. This isn't IC lore. This isn't up for debate. The world is what it is because the writers are telling you (the reader) that some things just are the way they are. Now to address some of your points on IC lore.

                        Well it's a good thing that in the WtA setting (OOC) things work the first way then huh?


                        It's Blood Memory. And yes, it can in fact be reliable. We know this because it works. Every Ratkin automatically knows every other Ratkin because they are all in their racial memory. So as least for recent history, we know it absolutely works. Not everything for Fera is based on oral tradition. The Mokole are the best example, since their purpose is literally to be the memory. The Kitsune are functionally immortal (the nine tails, assuming she isn't full on Incarna, has a current lifespan of about 20,000+ years). The Rokea don't die of old age either, so there's that. Ananasi can also extend their lifespans. And you have pre-history Gurahl waking up. All of the examples run contrary to your view of the setting.
                        Oh, and Garou get Ancestors to channel and literally relive the memories of Garou from the past.


                        Your alternate history approach is somewhat nonsensical. You've made Lilith out to be all powerful and able to manipulate spirits (and all of the Umbra) in an effort to trick the Fera into doing what they do. But again, the books say that this isn't the case. I suppose that yes, if you created your own all powerful being you could decide that all of history has been a trick and that the Garou are nothing but fooled monsters. But you are very much just making up whatever you want and rationalizing it by saying that everyone has been tricked and no one can see through it because....your all powerful being says so.


                        And memories and actual living creatures saying so. And most importantly, the setting saying so (elaborated on below).
                        Except that you ignore the OOC parts of the setting that disagree with your approach.
                        For example, we know a few hundred million years ago there were Mokole and Ananasi and Rokea (because they are the setting choices laid out for us). That predates Vampire. You can't really argue against that. If you can, I'd be interested what you have to say.


                        This does at least support your claims. They can't be. But the Bastet could have been until the Kitsune were born. And since the Kitsune are hidden away (granted, baddly, since they're "hidden" on the largest continent) the Bastet as a whole don't know about them. This really just makes the Bastet mistaken. It doesn't contradict the setting as a whole at all.


                        We can when the writers tell us about how the setting works.
                        1: That's all lore, it's up for debate. VTM talks about the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Generations as though they're "this definitely happened" canon in the Corebook. But we all know that "this definitely happened" is bullshit. VTM players (well, the ones I associate with) are mature enough to know that maybe the ancient Vampires (the creatures who lie) might be lying, and maybe we can't trust The Book of Nod, (which, as it turns out, might be a forgery). By the same standards, maybe these helpful spirits who tell me where to go and spread the Renown system (guidelines to live by) and grant me Kewl Powerz when I play ball might be manipulating me a bit. Oh, you want that awesome new power? Here's exactly what you need to get it. Oh, that's unethical? Well... [Elder Dominate/Presence or equivalent] that's your purpose in life, don't you remember? Eating that little kid with a broken leg in the desert might have felt evil, but it's what you were born to do! Have some Renown!

                        2: Except it kind of does. You're doing Special Pleading here. I'll get onto it.

                        3: Except it can't in a world where illusions and magic exist. I'm aware of the Mokole, but while they are the Memory they don't share their Memory with others all that much (beyond giving tactical info to the Ravens). And people never dying doesn't matter in a world where memories can be altered, where people can lie. Plus remember that our own memories in our short lifespans are edited and rewritten (ask any respectable psychologist) to the point of being nearly useless. And you're trusting the angry shark to remember things from 10,000 years ago with clarity? Feels like "it's right because it just feels right" isn't going to cut it. People who are under the effects of supernatural emotional control often feel like everything is okay and natural.

                        4: The books don't present that story because no one of note believes it. It would be a bit odd if the book had a This is Something which might have happened and a This is what is believed and it's totally different. Every Corebook just presents what is believed by the Splat itself. Look at Demon. Seems factual. Except they all have no way of knowing if their memories of the First War (which are Patchy at best) are real. What if they never were angels? What if they were created just to suffer? Doubt creeps in... As for Lilith, are you doubting her power levels? Now sure, you can't trust the Bahari Lore, but if Lilith does exist and her power is anything approximating that presented in her lore, she's one of the most powerful beings in existence.

                        5: We know that it is believed that the Rokea, Ananasi etc. date back to that time. And we know that it is believed that Vampires only date back to 5000 years ago. Can we trust either? No. Of course we can't. It's all common belief passed down by (possibly and in some cases definitely) inaccurate oral, blood and spiritual tradition.

                        6: They're wrong! Well done. They're just wrong about who is the youngest. Shame that none of the ancient lore is truly OOC and truly objective, when you scrutinize things or approach it the way (I think) it should be approached.

                        7: They tell you the tale of the Fera and the Werewolves. The story that pins up the game and the setting. It is my opinion that there are a billion and one possible origins which could lead to Garou being the way they are today, and thinking what they think. And when you take the second approach (which is backed up by repeated contradictions in Lore within books, between books and between Liines) you can't, you can't really.
                        Last edited by 11twiggins; 02-22-2017, 03:42 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Let us get one thing clear first, Black Spiral Dancers aren't like the Sabbat. They are very much like Baali. They are very much like the Nephandi and the Shadow Court.

                          Sabbat, no matter how monstrous, was still formed from ideaks of freedom and choice. BSDs were formed when a tribe on its last legs was tortured enough that they gave up. There is a reason why even Sabbat hunts the infernalists.

                          More to the point of this thread,though. Comparing werewolf and vampire on the same princibles is pretty useless, because they are two very different games with very different tones.

                          A vampire is bound to the Jyhad, sure. But in a sense it is not a negative thing, just how vampires ARE. Gehenna has very little to do with the Jyhad. More than that, no vampire embraced is truly like another. Different clans can be worlds apart from one another. That is why there are so many splinter groups among them. And vampires generally combat to keep a hold of themselves, since you aren't born one.

                          Being born a garou basically limits you to one duty, fighting for Gaia. You cannot ever escape what you are, you cannot ever choose to be anything but a garou. For the most part, all garou function almost identically. They all have the same powers, same weaknesses and same forms. The war the garou fight is also one that is horrible and very much the cause of the Apocalypse. Garou might have minor splinter groups, but in general they are all under the banner of the Nation.

                          A garou can join the BSDs to avoid their fate, sure. But the lucky ones end up as food or breeders, those who manage to dance the spiral are forever basically slaves to the Wyrm (book of the Wyrm 20) and lose their autonomy somewhat.

                          And in the end, it all comes down to the point I made in the other threat. No individual in WoD is a carbon copy of another. A Tzimisce can care a lot, a Child of Gaia can be a sociopath.


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                          • #14
                            Yes, the idea that we need a BSD book so we can sympathize with rabid dogs is strange. In V20, the origins of the Kindred are presented as myth, and there are a few alternative myths presented (Kindred are demons, Set was the first Kindred, etc). In W20, there are no real alternative origin stories to the creation myths of each Fera, just different interpretations.

                            If someone does not like the Lore, they can change it for their games, and I think that everyone does, to a lesser or greater degree. In my games, the Camarilla possesses a much more centralized organization, supported by a ghoul bureaucracy maintained by the elders of the Camarilla, and neonates who obey the elders of the Camarilla are granted lower generation through the use of a variant of From Marduk's Throat after centuries of service. In my games, all Mages are insane, it is just that the Marauders are powerful enough to warp reality with their insanity. In my games, the Week of Nightmares did not happen because of the actions of the Grand Alliance. I, however, do not expect anyone to follow or even like my changes to the Lore.

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                            • #15
                              I'd say I'm a fan of the second approach for Vampire because I think that's a good part of the inherent conflict between the Sects. The ambiguity about Caine, the Antediluvians, the origin of Vampires, nature of their role/morality can fuel a fair bit of interesting story. It adds to that sort of horror. Whereas I feel that approach would make Werewolf less enjoyable. You don't need doubts about the nature of the Wyrm to have interest conflict between Garou and Pentex/BSD's. Or between the Changing Breeds and the Garou Nation. There is plenty of room for doubt and conflict (internal an external) without throwing their existence into question as well. Though, of course, might work for some.

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