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  • Changing Ways thoughts

    This book has been something I've waited for.... shit, YEARS. So here are some surface thoughts on the book;

    -The Metis section is legit great, focusing on the mentality a metismight have to the use of them. It is really well portrayed how effect up things can get with metis. One pretty funny addition to the chapter is the whole focus on whether two garou of the same gender can boink. Mostly, the answer is yes,unless they need to breed asap.

    -Lupus section is so far good, so far really well researched, but it does use the word alpha.

    I have yet to delve deeply into the the first chapter and the chapters after the lupus one, but so far it is good.

    Only two points of contetion I have so far are two of the new deformities. Nervous Changer should be a flaw and not a deformity, as it would more relate to all metis who get nervous. As for Spiritual Deformity, it to me feels a bit too much for garou to swallow. No totem bond, can best access through wyrmy places. Yeah, no, that is not only screaming WYRMY too much and making the metis pretty poor as a spiritual guardian.


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  • #2
    My impressions are that it has something in common with Scroll of Heroes. Namely in that the first and last chapters were nice, but everything in-between was at best... misguided. The sidebar on page 37 is an exception, and the focus of this next paragraph!

    If you wanted to really focus on global climate change, changing the Gauntlet across the globe was not the way to do it. You can emphasize the flooding of coastal caerns and loss of territory, the schism of those who try to stay behind and those who move to inland septs that haven't flooded yet, You can introduce named Chulorviah threats who are mounting attacks and trying to capture flooded caerns. You can focus on the people who are being displaced due to the rising sea level, especially as various groups move to silence them. There are entire cities that are also in this line of fire.

    Yet, nuWW decided to go with some kind of vague spiritual fever and an enhanced Gauntlet, which is something you should only really due if you you're planning on playing Weaver Ascendant. The retcon of the Avatar Storm into something that Garou and Fera give any shits about is an afterthought compared to the existence of The Malady and Betrayal.

    Another sidebar, "Cheat", also deserves notice for being a good way to lose friends and anyone else who wanted to play with you.

    As to my ire toward the middle chapters, it boils down to the present WW's desire to play with the "unreliable narrator" trope in terrible ways, as an excuse to rewrite whatever lore they wanted to rewrite. Congratulations; you've struck me as such an unreliable narrator that I don't trust the books you produce to be worth money. I am tired and there are better things that I could be reading.

    (Also, a lupus character used the term "alpha" in a way that only insecure dudebros unfamiliar with wolf packs would. It's on page 77.)

    Some of the Primal-Urge systems were nice. Killing Aura, however, does not specify how badly it inflicts The Curse on those nearby. Edit: But that's apparently an old version of the rules, because W20 doesn't seem to specify that The Curse causes social penalties, just that people don't want to be around you.
    Last edited by Saur Ops Specialist; 01-04-2018, 12:54 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post
      One pretty funny addition to the chapter is the whole focus on whether two garou of the same gender can boink. Mostly, the answer is yes,unless they need to breed asap.
      This is quite weird, especially since most tribebooks were something on the line of "No you can't have protected sex with other Garou, your duty is to breed not have fun" or "Stop considering other warriors like spouses"; only Bone Gnawers didn't care unless someone got pregnant...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
        Yet, nuWW decided to go with some kind of vague spiritual fever and an enhanced Gauntlet, which is something you should only really due if you you're planning on playing Weaver Ascendant. The retcon of the Avatar Storm into something that Garou and Fera give any shits about is an afterthought compared to the existence of The Malady and Betrayal.
        As to my ire toward the middle chapters, it boils down to the present WW's desire to play with the "unreliable narrator" trope in terrible ways, as an excuse to rewrite whatever lore they wanted to rewrite. Congratulations; you've struck me as such an unreliable narrator that I don't trust the books you produce to be worth money. I am tired and there are better things that I could be reading.
        Huh?

        This book is an OPP-developed book, not a nuWW developed book. The credits listing the writers have the usual amount of OPP freelancers and employees.

        Unless if there's some obscure bit of BTS information that this was directly developed by nuWW, or you have some decisive proof that everything here was nuWW-mandate-as-prelude to Werewolf 5th edition.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post



          Huh?

          This book is an OPP-developed book, not a nuWW developed book. The credits listing the writers have the usual amount of OPP freelancers and employees.

          Unless if there's some obscure bit of BTS information that this was directly developed by nuWW, or you have some decisive proof that everything here was nuWW-mandate-as-prelude to Werewolf 5th edition.
          Shattered Dreams had that sidebar added in by WW declaring it non-canon. I was under the impression that they would make adjustments to anything else in about the same fashion, regardless of who was writing it.

          Edit: The reasoning is fairly straightforward - Lead Storyteller Ericsson kept harping on about "Gaia dying of fever", which is exactly what the Malady and the Betrayal talked about. So at the very least, there's that.
          Last edited by Saur Ops Specialist; 12-20-2017, 11:42 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
            My impressions are that it has something in common with Scroll of Heroes. Namely in that the first and last chapters were nice, but everything in-between was at best... misguided. The sidebar on page 34 is an exception, and the focus of this next paragraph!

            If you wanted to really focus on global climate change, changing the Gauntlet across the globe was not the way to do it. You can emphasize the flooding of coastal caerns and loss of territory, the schism of those who try to stay behind and those who move to inland septs that haven't flooded yet, You can introduce named Chulorviah threats who are mounting attacks and trying to capture flooded caerns. You can focus on the people who are being displaced due to the rising sea level, especially as various groups move to silence them. There are entire cities that are also in this line of fire.

            Yet, nuWW decided to go with some kind of vague spiritual fever and an enhanced Gauntlet, which is something you should only really due if you you're planning on playing Weaver Ascendant. The retcon of the Avatar Storm into something that Garou and Fera give any shits about is an afterthought compared to the existence of The Malady and Betrayal.

            Another sidebar, "Cheat", also deserves notice for being a good way to lose friends and anyone else who wanted to play with you.

            As to my ire toward the middle chapters, it boils down to the present WW's desire to play with the "unreliable narrator" trope in terrible ways, as an excuse to rewrite whatever lore they wanted to rewrite. Congratulations; you've struck me as such an unreliable narrator that I don't trust the books you produce to be worth money. I am tired and there are better things that I could be reading.

            (Also, a lupus character used the term "alpha" in a way that only insecure dudebros unfamiliar with wolf packs would. It's on page 77.)

            Some of the Primal-Urge systems were nice. Killing Aura, however, does not specify how badly it inflicts The Curse on those nearby.
            Ugh, well that spirit fever isn't good. Nor is the Gauntlet getting stronger, especially since that is HALF of the game right there.

            Though, I disagree with the middle chapters being too unrealiable, at least on the metis part. I got the impression that it was mainly just how varied opinions on the breed were around the world. It is to me at least better than the Guardians of the Caerns metis chapter, though it does ape from it its format.

            The lupus chapter has so far been ok, minus the forced inclusion of the alpha concept where it doesn't belong to.

            The pack chapter looks interesting, though the garou language terms used sound more like Uratha First Tongue than garou language.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

              Shattered Dreams had that sidebar added in by WW declaring it non-canon. I was under the impression that they would make adjustments to anything else in about the same fashion, regardless of who was writing it.

              Edit: The reasoning is fairly straightforward - Lead Storyteller Ericsson kept harping on about "Gaia dying of fever", which is exactly what the Malady and the Betrayal talked about. So at the very least, there's that.
              1. Does it really matter if the thing that's killing Gaia is being killed by global warming?

              Last I checked, the usual setting element of the death of Gaia and the Wyld being pollution fundamentally hasn't changed. Global warming is something that happens because of pollution. Not sure what the deal is.

              2. In the case of Shattered Dreams...well...no duh?

              Of course a time-travel story would be non-canon. Time travel stories involving a metaplot people get very invested in is going to be polarizing either way. So making it non-canon sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

              3. Regarding the rest of the criticisms...you still don't have decisive proof that those were nuWW mandate changes.

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              • #8
                Damn....I was really looking forward to this but it sounds like some major ball-dropping has taken place.

                Whether OPP or Parawolf are the decision makers I'd kinda like to know the thinking behind some of this......my heart hopes it was Parawolf mandated so I don't have to get grumpy with OPP.....

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                • #9
                  The Malady and Betrayal seems to really come out of left field, its entirely POSSIBLE it was an idea that Onyx path members came up with, but it seems to match what we know is being dropped with NuWW ideas. Honestly some spiritual reaction to climate change makes some sense using it as an excuse to make the Umbra "enter at Caern only" is not so good.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
                    2. In the case of Shattered Dreams...well...no duh?

                    Of course a time-travel story would be non-canon. Time travel stories involving a metaplot people get very invested in is going to be polarizing either way. So making it non-canon sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
                    The time travel story is 27 of 165 pages (not counting the Kickstarter backer lists). What they also declared non-canon (apart from the other adventure and Storytelling advice, which anyone can obviously take or leave for their game as they see fit) are 22 pages of painstakingly researched history of the Changing Breeds across several editions of game line, reconciling conflicting legends, scraps of information, and real world time periods to give a coherent view of shapeshifter history so groups could set a game in any time period. And they made non-canon 71 pages of even more painstakingly researched detail into what the Wars of Rage were and how they shaped the Garou and Fera nations we know today (including the War of Shame etc.). And (for those who liked it) they made non-canon the 13 pages of the War of Dragons and how they shaped the future.

                    So, in order to make sure people understood that published adventures are totally optional and only as real as any group feels like making them, which you and everyone else obviously already know, and safeguard against their ideas for the future of the Garou nation, they invalidated the 84% of the book that deals with previously published history.


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                    WoD | Changing Breeds, Umbra, Book of the Wyrm, Shattered Dreams CofD | Werewolf: The Forsaken 2nd ed, Idigam Anthology, The Pack, Demon Storyteller's Guide, Hurt Locker, Dark Eras Companion, Beast Player's Guide, Deviant: The Renegades
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bunyip View Post

                      The time travel story is 27 of 165 pages (not counting the Kickstarter backer lists). What they also declared non-canon (apart from the other adventure and Storytelling advice, which anyone can obviously take or leave for their game as they see fit) are 22 pages of painstakingly researched history of the Changing Breeds across several editions of game line, reconciling conflicting legends, scraps of information, and real world time periods to give a coherent view of shapeshifter history so groups could set a game in any time period. And they made non-canon 71 pages of even more painstakingly researched detail into what the Wars of Rage were and how they shaped the Garou and Fera nations we know today (including the War of Shame etc.). And (for those who liked it) they made non-canon the 13 pages of the War of Dragons and how they shaped the future.

                      So, in order to make sure people understood that published adventures are totally optional and only as real as any group feels like making them, which you and everyone else obviously already know, and safeguard against their ideas for the future of the Garou nation, they invalidated the 84% of the book that deals with previously published history.
                      That, and they invalidated the amazingly through chapter on Bunyip and how Australia suffered from being colonized. Giving a far more realistic depiction of these issues vs the black and white one from Rage across Australia.

                      Back to Changing Ways, I smell a strong scent of Forsaken in some of the content. Not only is the limited access to the umbra pretty weird, but in the pack section they discuss Blessed Packs. Which amount to the exact same things discussed in Signs of the Moon for Forsaken. Basically, a pack of all five auspices. Why this is such a weird thing for me, is that a Forsaken pack is made up of local uratha who happen to be what auspice they may. So them having all five auspices represented in a pack IS blessed. Meanwhile, garou can just message other caerns if they need a ragabash wendigo or so. There is nothing blessed about it, its just decent organizing.


                      Another thing that strikes me as strange in Changing Ways, is the quality writing at parts. Somehow, the Silver Fang section talking about metis feels loose and not as meaty as it could be. Shattered Dreams felt meaty, Changing Ways feels like it was written in far less time than its production cycle was.

                      One rather nasty thing I noticed in the first chapter, was how trans garou were discussed. It was outright stated that they mostly were treated like metis and never truly felt they belonged in their body without corrective surgery. Spirits could grant them their true identity, though. First of all, while I am sure there are garou who would get up in arms about trans garou, the concept of a changing gender is mystical in itself (I know the word is correct their gender, just noting it from a mystical standpoint) and was discussed in Book of Auspices. Nevermind that there are cultures that have third genders and such. The concept of someone's spirit not matching their body shouldn't be THAT alien to garou, either.

                      Lupus chapter suffers from the Noble wolf-itis, as well, discussing how the wolves are SO in-tune with nature and understand its cycle. The way the text has accurate wolf behaviour, but then uses alpha and enforces that lupus have hard time ever blending in are in direct opposition to previous W20 books. Plus, it too feels so loose the narrator lupus apparently being very well read, despite the text stating that human language itself is way too hard for lupus.

                      EDIT: Oh yeah, forgot about this;

                      The Wendigo focus on metis is really stereotypical. There were no metis among them until the whites came, because they killed them at birth. Given the chapter out and out states that metis are abused disabled children, here I would have liked more research on how the native american nations Wendigo consider their own actually handled disabled children.
                      Last edited by Ana Mizuki; 12-21-2017, 09:41 AM.


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                      • #12
                        Not really a fan of what I've combed through so far. From some of the pointless sidebars, to a lot of the inconsistencies between chapters, it seems like this book has a case of too many hands in the pot. Some parts are fine and well-written, but others had me scratching my head.

                        Last three or four OP books have really seen a decrease in quality, IMO. The Mage Cookbook and and artbook are excluded from this. I'm talking Changing Ways, Pentex Handbook, Beckett's Diary, etc.

                        Oh, and the art...

                        Ron Spencer? Great.

                        Everyone else? Ugh.

                        Even Brian LeBlanc, who I usually love, seemed to kind of phone this one in. But I'm beginning to wonder if it's more of a case of the writer's art notes, rather than the artists themselves.


                        PENTEX SUCKS.

                        I'm a gamer. I'm conservative. We exist.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post
                          One rather nasty thing I noticed in the first chapter, was how trans garou were discussed. It was outright stated that they mostly were treated like metis and never truly felt they belonged in their body without corrective surgery.
                          I...didn't get that feeling at all. I actually thought it was handled in a pretty respectful way; especially considering typical Garou culture from first edition on.

                          Definitely a topic that has to be handled with delicacy and one where it is impossible to please everyone.


                          PENTEX SUCKS.

                          I'm a gamer. I'm conservative. We exist.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Fat Larry View Post

                            I...didn't get that feeling at all. I actually thought it was handled in a pretty respectful way; especially considering typical Garou culture from first edition on.

                            Definitely a topic that has to be handled with delicacy and one where it is impossible to please everyone.
                            Thing is that garou culture doesn't come from the strict monotheistic culture that the transphobia in the West comes from. They are creatures of spirits and of asian, native american and such cultures as well. The text you quoted was a pretty hyperbolic one, I admit, but the general tone I got from it was that the Nation followed the basic view that God/Gaia doesn't make mistakes.

                            Which is pretty weird, considering the rather hilarious amount of discussion on garou homosexuality in the next chapter.


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post

                              Thing is that garou culture doesn't come from the strict monotheistic culture that the transphobia in the West comes from.
                              Huh? Transphobia is a not a problem solely in the West(not saying that YOU said that), so I'm not sure why that was needed to be said.

                              I do agree with you on the weird placement and text considering the next chapter's discussion.


                              PENTEX SUCKS.

                              I'm a gamer. I'm conservative. We exist.

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