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  • Mixing Werewolf, Vampire and Mage characters

    So, I was considering running a Werewolf: The Apocalypse game sometime in the future, but I know my group will want to have it be a mixed old World of Darkness game with two of throwing mages and one being a vampire. On top of having to learn mechanics and lore for multiple systems, the last time we did this the group fell apart due to vastly different character motivations and any magic a werewolf could do with gnosis was vastly outshines by the mages. It just did not work well. Does anyone have insight on if/how a mixed old World of Darkness game could work?

  • #2
    Have players make characters that will work together, solidly give people niches and protect them. Only pick two games don't let everyone bring whatever. Have a rotating game where the same setting is interacted with(city, state etc) but might be done from different gamelines(Like one arc you are playing vampires. Then the next you are playing Werewolves interacting on that.. and then so on and so forth)

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    • #3
      Long post, sorry, see bottom for TL;DR (Sorry, evidently I get a bad case of motormouth when extremely tired)

      Well, see last time my group tried this, I and another person, who is kinda iffy about playing these days, played werewolves, and two others played mages, the ST was the one who is always on about vampire lore, so I suspect if I run for my group, the only person who might want to play werewolf will kinda just abstain and everyone else will want mage and vampire stuff... everything but what I want to run... I really love WtA lore.

      So the last time I got the ST to read into werewolf lore and we had a kinda spotty Umbra adventure, it was kinda subpar, and the other werewolf was absent half the time and the two mages were like tenuously tied into the story, and always doing crazy cool magic stuff that way overshadowed most of the werewolf stuff and it was about like oil and water, it felt like the systems aren't much made to mix. The whole reason I'm considering trying to run a game is because I have some cool ideas for a Werewolf game and am now unsure anyone in my group wants to host a game as the previous ST seems kinda burned out on running games and would prefer to just play a character in future campaigns. But I really wanna play out more awesome WtA lore, but now I'm thinking to get the group interested I'd need to run a mixed game and ultimately filter out anything I want...

      I'd thought the games didn't mix well and was looking for an excuse to run a game exclusively Werewolf: The Apocalypse. I don't much know the lore of Mage and Vampire and am kind of new to running games, and it's a lot of lore and mechanics to take in and maintain, I'm leery to even suggest a Werewolf game to my group as I don't even know if any of them much care about WtA stuff and would take it as an open invitation to make it a mixed old World of Darkness game and walk all over me expecting me to just learn everything about the other systems and run it for them.

      Either way it'd be in the future after I finish my current Pathfinder game, which I'm already constantly stressing about running and maintaining quality despite my newness. Most of our group's DMs, GMs, STs or Guides or whatever in the past have been kinda lackluster and pretty much phoned it in and it's showed, they make it up as they go, but not in a good way, it's such that they don't prepare at all and the game is generally pretty boring and filled out with people browsing youtube on their phones and randomly discussing memes as the game is pretty boring. I want to show my group what fun a game can be, make them want to pay attention and be involved in an epic tale and now I'm constantly trying to provide a top of the line gaming experience while hardly knowing what I'm doing and it's stressful.

      Part of me just hoped if I can persevere and get through this maybe it'll inspire the group to put forth more effort in their games in the future, but I wasn't sure I would run anything again at least for a while. I liked this idea a lot, but don't know if I can convince my group to do a game of Werewolf: The Apocalypse exclusively. Either due to my general inexperience making the workload of two or three systems too much to bear or because the systems genuinely don't mesh well together, my idea revolves around werewolves, I don't want to get their hopes up for a new game and then have to tell them to forget about it because I can't run a non-werewolf game due to my own lack of interest in the other systems or lack of experience to balance the systems against one another or whatnot. Most of me feels like trying to do what I want won't work for them and I might as well forget about it.


      TL;DR I'm a new ST, I love WtA, but don't know that I can balance multiple systems or even want to, I was looking for a valid excuse to tell my group I can't run a mixed game.

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      • #4
        I don't mean to sound harsh, but it sounds like if you really want to run WtA and ONLY WtA, and your group just does not...well, then maybe it's time to find a different batch of players that are interested in the story you want to tell.

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        • #5
          Offer to Run Werewolf. Say "I want to run werewolf, not "anything shows up". If people say "I want to play a vampire" respond with "no" If no one wants to play Werewolf ask if anyone else wants to run anything because this is your idea. Perhaps even request those who "HAVE" to play something else that they run that so that you might come to understand that aspect of the setting better.

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          • #6
            Indeed, this sounds like a comunication problem.

            Seeking excuses it's not going to work, because no matter how hard it's to play crossover (your experiences are far from uncommon) or that for some it's impossible to do it "right", there's no reason in the world so strong that there isn't a possible "but" in the horizon. You can see that in this very forums where people argue viciously on the validity of crossover.

            The point it's not that it can't possibly be done (you could even say "I want to stay as close to WtA Lore as humanely possible, and thus whatever your books say about the world just isn't true. And your rules are subject to modification whenever I feel they clash with Werewolf themes. Are you ok with all of this?"), the point it's that you don't want to.

            This it's not the story you want to narrate. Just say that you don't like to play or narrate crossover, and thus you ain't going to allow non-werewolf characters.

            If your players aren't ok with this, well, too bad because you're not ok with narrating crossover. You have your own reasons, that are all the more compelling because they represent your own experience and feelings. You clearly don't need random internet people opinions on crossover to feel like that.

            So:

            Originally posted by Wulfswift
            I'm a new ST, I love WtA, but don't know that I can balance multiple systems or even want to, I was looking for a valid excuse to tell my group I can't run a mixed game.
            "I don't want to run a mixed game"

            How it's that not a valid reason?.

            Probably you're not under legal contract to narrate, so I'm going to take a chance and assume you're shy. If I'm right, I can tell you that, as a shy person myself, I know this is difficult, but if you don't do it you will live with the anguish of doing things you don't want to for the sake of not facing others. I understand someone shy would want to face them with the best possible reasons, but asking people that don't even know your troupe (and their reasons to want to play that way) it's hardly going to give you the best tools to convince them. At least I can't think on anything.

            Be straightforward about it, before proposing the game. "I want to narrate werewolf, but I don't want to do crossover. Non-werewolf characters are going to be banned" sounds like a good start to me. If they try to convince you otherwise, well you can share your reasons (and expect a debate) and/or just say you made up your mind about it.

            If they're not ok with it, well, at least it's done and you tried.
            Last edited by Aleph; 06-18-2019, 10:08 AM.

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            • #7
              Also, vampires are pretty useless by day. So, the player in question probably has some game sessions, where the character can't actually do anything.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Aleph View Post
                Probably you're not under legal contract to narrate, so I'm going to take a chance and assume you're shy. If I'm right, I can tell you that, as a shy person myself, I know this is difficult, but if you don't do it you will live with the anguish of doing things you don't want to for the sake of not facing others.
                I wouldn't say I'm shy, not anymore. I would definitely say you were right like three years ago, but I've come out of my shell since then. Maybe some of it lingers still. I'd generally think of myself as being too nice. I have trouble saying no.

                I think lowly of myself and generally like to put others first, I've been called a people pleaser. I like to make others happy and often get shouldered with a larger workload because people see this in me and ask too much of me and I don't tend to say no. I've been treated as a doormat in the past, people take advantage of my kindness and walk all over me.

                So I'm just apprehensive about approaching my group with this idea. most of them seem more interested in other World of Darkness properties. I'm afraid my ideas and my wants will get put on the back burner to run what they want. I might harbor resentment deep down and unintentionally run a worse game to spite them.

                I did honestly think that, based on my previous experience, it seemed like both mechanically and thematically the systems don't mesh well. Mages by default lore oppose the Technocracy as far as I could tell, based on what my friends prattled on about. They rarely enter the Umbra and have trouble doing so due to the "Avatar Storm" or something.

                We'd had to essentially tie the Technocracy and Pentax together and place some macguffin deep in the Umbra in order to get them on board for anything werewolfy. Not to mention our ST kept going off on tangents about Vampire stuff, so I feel like he was doing what I was worried I'd do and running a worse game into the ground to spite us for not letting him run the story he wanted. But to be fair, he did propose it openly as an old World of Darkness game.

                I think he might have the same problem as me, but worse because he allows just about anything, OP characters, bonkers back stories that shouldn't fit and he never kills characters, enemies actively stop targeting characters with low HP. He is mainly why I started my current Pathfinder game, I wanted to show the group how I think a game should be run.

                When I started I set limits like no third party content and told people they needed to make fitting characters, not like some standoffish loners starting halfway across the world from each other such that they're going to force me to lead them to the group and dangle some macguffin relevant to their background that they somehow need to work together to obtain in order to get them to all tenuously work together. I pretty much said I'm not jumping through hoops for you, if you ACTUALLY want to be in this game, please make a character fitting to the setting that will work together with others.

                I feel like my group is often on different pages with this sort of thing. If I run high fantasy, set in a Europe like area, I can still count on our local weeaboo wanting to make some kind of eastern martial artist, potentially with semi-magic Saiyan-like powers, our lolicon will always try to make some kind of little magical girl superhero and our usual ST always makes brooding lone cowboy sorts when he plays, even if guns shouldn't fit the setting and despite saying please not to make lone wolf sorts.

                I'm still fighting to keep his Dhampir Gunslinger mercenary character in my Pathfinder game on board for plot, he keeps having her leave because it's "in character" for her to decline the NPC who invited the group to dinner to give plot exposition and just go back to the inn she's staying at separate from the rest of the group to polish her gun and brood over how her mother was bitten by a vampire shortly before her birth and how life as a Dhampir is so hard. The group is about to face a group of mercenaries highered by the big bad and I'm honestly considering one of them come and offer her money to off her so called "friends" since one of his biggest complaints is his character is a neutral mercenary and NPCs keep expecting her to help people out of the goodness of her heart and not being paid for it.
                Last edited by Wulfswift; 06-18-2019, 01:54 PM.

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                • #9
                  I feel like my group is often on different pages with this sort of thing.
                  It sounds like that, yeah.

                  That's all the more reason to be straigthfoward. Like a falling rock.

                  Don't tell them "you can't be Mage because the Avatar Storm prevents going to the Umbra", if the player it's versant in Mage he will tell you "Oh, in M20 there's no Storm anymore. Let's play with those rules instead". Or use the Revised rules that allow to bypass it. If your problem was really the Storm, that would be my answer. But we know that's not the problem, that's the tip of the iceberg.

                  Tell them like you did with Pathfinder.

                  So I'm just apprehensive about approaching my group with this idea. most of them seem more interested in other World of Darkness properties. I'm afraid my ideas and my wants will get put on the back burner to run what they want. I might harbor resentment deep down and unintentionally run a worse game to spite them.
                  Yeah, that happens. Sometimes it's not even that bad, there's no such thing as players doing what the ST wants. And no ST it's 100% impartial. But that's what compromises are for, the group doesn't need to be exactly on the same page, as long as everyone have fun. But they should be, at least, agreeing on a few lines

                  If you really can't reach a compromise that's fun for everyone, TacoTwesday's "final solution" may be just what the doctor ordered.

                  The group is about to face a group of mercenaries highered by the big bad and I'm honestly considering one of them come and offer her money to off her so called "friends" one of his biggest complaints is his character is a neutral mercenary and NPCs keep expecting her to help people out of the goodness of her heart and not being paid for it.
                  Were you explicit that they were to play heroes?

                  Because if I said I'm going to play with a Neutral merc, and everyone expects me to help people "just 'cause", I would be piss off too. If I had wanted to play the hero of the people I would have made a Paladin, if you get what I'm saying. I would feel like there isn't a place for my character in the plot...

                  Those are the kind of compromises and social contracts I'm talking about. The Session 0 exists for that purpose. If they agreed to play Hero, and they're still evil-ish, well, then it's time for a second talk...and if everything fails the "final solution". If they weren't told (and then told again) they were supposed to be heroic and they made a perfectly valid merc that ain't going to help people if he isn't paid...well, then you just weren't specific enough, and you may need to re-think a few things.

                  This is true for ALL games.
                  Last edited by Aleph; 06-18-2019, 03:28 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Aleph has some very good posts but I still thought I would chime in.

                    Personally I often run crossover or mixed chronicles in WoD but that is because I know these lines pretty well and have, in my opinion pretty good handle on them. I would not suggest such chronicles for someone who doesn’t have familiarity with all the lines involved.

                    My advice ends up being the same as Alephs, just tell your players that you are interested in running a WtA and they may choose to either play along or skip this game. If you have enough players interested in the end run the game for them and the rest may join when it’s time for something else, if no consensus can be found then just say that it is someone elses turn to ST. Never, and I do mean never, ST a game your not interested in running yourself that will just leave everyone unsatisfied.

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                    • #11
                      I recommend limiting the crossover to two or three groups, and try not to have Vampires because of the sleeping during the day issue. And it helps if they have familial connections like the group knows each other from Childhood, some are related and some are married to the other's family.

                      That being said Mage and Changelings have the potential to fit with most groups. And with Werewolves and Vampires and Technocrats they don't smile on your group if you bring in the Gentiles.


                      It is a time for great deeds!

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