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Gifts and narration

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  • Gifts and narration

    So i was wonderinf with gifts, what mind of sensory effects do any of you give when gifts are activated or used, how do you story tell them? Anything visual? A word needed to activate? Movements or smells?

    And I ask this in reference to gifts that don't already have something written in the fluff (i.e. odious aroma or lambient flame)

  • #2
    I let my players use whatever means they like to describe how their powers work when they use their party tricks. My Gnawer player conjures multitudes of rats that bedevil the enemy when he uses Hootenanny... it isn't so much that the pack is inspired as it is the enemy gets chewed up and/or distracted. The Get of Fenris carves jagged glyph-oaths into whatever is at hand when he prepares his Razor Claws.

    For enemies using gifts, disciplines or spells, I like to make it clear that the NPCs are doing something, even if it isn't immediately obvious what it is. If the bane-bloated witch is winding up to cast something by singing rhymes and methodically tearing out his fingernails with a pair of rusty calipers... he should probably be stopped...

    Experientially, I like to imagine that gifts feel different to users depending on what resource is expended. Willpower might require a high degree of focus and concentration. Gnosis is accompanied by a rush of enlightenment, a brief but limitless interconnection as Gaia breaths life into the user. Rage is glazed eyes and the taste of adrenaline in the corners of your mouth.

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    • #3
      I like some of those, I wanted to find a way to liven up my storytelling. So do you make the visual different for each character? So basically no two resist pains look the same?

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      • #4
        I'd save the specific Gift effects for boss battles. Just come up with a base description for each gift that has a visual element. Encourage your players to describe their own gifts in action. If they have trouble, you can prompt them with ideas.

        To liven up my Storytelling, I usually focus on describing the scenery. I realized when I was in an Exalted game, it was easier to stunt actions as a PC when there was a good description of the area my character was in. I was able to use the fireflies for one sorcery stunt. In a world of darkness, I'd be sure to describe any parked cars, shops, dumpsters/trash for an urban setting. Maybe trees, rocks, boulders, etc for a forest setting. I just look up pictures of the area and build the setting description from there. Umbra is most important to describe as it is a spiritual realm that players never encounter in real life. (At least I assume none of my players have actually been in the Umbra)

        I also focus on NPC descriptions. Give each NPC or group of NPCs a special detail. I had an NPC with a nose ring once that a player abused in combat. In another game, a group of NPCs were smoking a hookah.

        I try to write these descriptions up before game. I spend more effort on important NPCs. Maybe come up with a few generics based on the setting (cops, wolf kin, a run down hotel, etc) The less I have to make up on the fly, the more brain power I can devote to dealing with whatever shenanigans the players come up with.


        Are you ready to rage? Discover if you are Brave Enough to fight for the soul of the world.

        The Werewolf: the Apocalypse Quest updates on Mondays. All are welcome to vote.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by wonderandawe View Post

          To liven up my Storytelling, I usually focus on describing the scenery. I realized when I was in an Exalted game, it was easier to stunt actions as a PC when there was a good description of the area my character was in. I was able to use the fireflies for one sorcery stunt. In a world of darkness, I'd be sure to describe any parked cars, shops, dumpsters/trash for an urban setting. Maybe trees, rocks, boulders, etc for a forest setting. I just look up pictures of the area and build the setting description from there. Umbra is most important to describe as it is a spiritual realm that players never encounter in real life. (At least I assume none of my players have actually been in the Umbra)
          I'll try to keep this in mind as well, and not glaze over details here. NPC wise I feel I do a pretty good job as the NPC's tend to be popular (either love to have around or love to hate, hell had a Setite antagonist where the players all said they really all wanted to hang out with him and loved how hard he was to hate).

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          • #6
            All WoD games are focused on story telling. You can really take the time to flesh out how a certain character uses it's powers, not just on werewolf, and it really very much improves the experience. Give some good, creative examples depending on the characters and let your players do the same. Make it so the gifts of a tribe have a theme (like all glasswalkers using some kind of tech devise to use their gifts or all fianna sing and so on) so your players know what to expect from certain NPCs. This could also be a nice way to 'reveal' a Character to be of a certain tribe (Of f***, so he really IS a BSD!)

            Also, like wonderandawe wrote, it's really good to have a description of the location. So as a player, when the details are not quite clear, just ask. Or make stuff up if your ST is too lazy and see if he rolls with it.

            Be carefull though. A gift used every game session, a place visited frequently or something like that does'nt need an explanation every time. When you get the feeling everyone already knows what happens you don't have to explain it just another time. Also you want to finish some stuff quick (oh... another group of *those* enemies?), so the really epic descritions should be reserved for the big bad guys and the especially epic moments of a session or campaign.

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            • #7
              So far I like the advice that I'm getting. So really just have a discussion with my players on what we should have for narratives for the gift in the case where it is not outlined. A lot of my players prefer no obvious tell about gifts if outlined (this way they can activate anything given any situation, and can be stealthy about it...I feel guilty limiting that).

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