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[Dark Eras] Fixing/Adding actual Crossovers to the Crossover Eras

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  • [Dark Eras] Fixing/Adding actual Crossovers to the Crossover Eras

    Much as I love the Dark Eras book (and am looking forward to Dark Eras Companion and Dark Eras 2), the book does have some problems.

    One of them being that many of the "crossover" Eras, as in the Eras that highlighted two gamelines instead of one...didn't actually crossover.

    That they're basically detailed write-ups of

    As is, only Requiem for Regina kind of has it via the Weihan Cynn and Gallows Post covenants that regularly interact with aspects of the Rose Courts. Sundered World sort of talks about it...but honestly it's just brief sentences here and there, and at most how the Wise deal with aspects unique to Werewolf's setting (the Wolf-Blooded, Pangaea) but nothing about the Wise actually interacting directly with the Urathra.

    And that's about it. The other lines...nothing.

    Nothing about changelings of the Directional Courts working with the Bang Huo Sin-Eaters in Three Kingdoms of Darkness.

    Nothing on Viking Urathra packs that also have a Sin-Eater Krewe in The Wolf and the Raven. And when they do talk about the "restless dead" with the draugr, the entry makes it sound like the Urathra are perfectly fine taking care of them themselves. They certainly don't need a Sin-Eater when one of their own can take care of the job.

    And nothing on what would happen if a skinchanger came to blows with an Unchained in Beneath the Skin (presumably after the demon's initial surprise at the jaguar running towards him suddenly turning into a guy).

    So...let's think on this. What could we do with the crossover Eras that could give the two gamelines in each one reason to either work together, or to come into conflict and fight each other?

    (and in regards to Werewolf...yes, I am aware that the Pack supplementary book does cover crossovers with other gamelines. I own it myself. And you could easily use that as a basis for interaction in Sundered World or The Wolf and the Raven. However, that involves having to purchase and use a separate book entirely. And for me, you shouldn't be required to get additional books to make another book, other then the core rulebooks, to work.)

  • #2
    I would call that a feature instead of a bug, given that CofD isn't made for crossovers. It's simply presented as an option if STs are into that.

    That being said, I think The Sundered World is the best one to actually crossover. The opening fiction shows a good example of Werewolves and Mages working together to solve their goals, and I think in this time period - before the Sundering - Awakened Shamans and the Uratha are more likely to have similar experiences and generally work together better.

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    • #3
      That's the problem with the CofD game design. With the exception of Beast, most gamelines have no interest in crossover, barring certain individuals (vampire addicted to 'ling blood, a mage Obsessed with the Hisil and its half-spirit guardians, a Silver Promethean hanging out with a Demon while fighting angels)


      Basically, what you're going to have to do is create a plot that somehow mixes the interests that your PCs in question will have. So, if you have a mixed group, you'll encourage Spirit mages and wolves. You'll make a crossover pack. You'll decide how other packs will look at yours, and get pissed at the Awakened who go out and kill spirit gods, and you'l have rival Circles that see your mage as betraying humans for the hunt. Drama and story!
      Last edited by MCN; 03-13-2017, 07:05 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
        (and in regards to Werewolf...yes, I am aware that the Pack supplementary book does cover crossovers with other gamelines. I own it myself. And you could easily use that as a basis for interaction in Sundered World or The Wolf and the Raven. However, that involves having to purchase and use a separate book entirely. And for me, you shouldn't be required to get additional books to make another book, other then the core rulebooks, to work.)
        You're sort of operating under a misconception, these weren't crossovers to begin with.

        With Wolf and the Raven, I believe the Pack wasn't available to the writer when it was written and Geist is still lingering in first edition making a crossover between them weird, as they cross two editions. Considering the addition of Sin-Eaters wasn't billed as a crossover to start with, I'd suggest the section was deliberately separate, so that people playing one game wouldn't be stymied trying to incorporate the other.

        One thing that might help crossover is not having drastically different rule sets.

        Offhand I think the only pair that was stated as a 'dual era' to begin with was the Promethean and Vampire one. The rest were just 'a section of a gameline of your choice added to an era of your choice.' And the Skinchangers one was 'Skinchangers in the Aztec Empire' not associated with Demon.

        Depending on how Vampire and Promethean go, and how making second edition rulesets go, we might get actual crossovers in Dark Eras 2.

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        • #5
          Regarding the Sundered World, maybe a more crossover-focused writeup could draw from the Pack supplement's section on Mages with regards to Wise among the Uratha. In fact, some of the apostates who stand apart from the Circles could be members of werewolf packs... and maybe they were even Wolf-Blooded themselves prior to Awakening.

          A Legacy that associates itself with Wolf could also be a nice addition. We already have Bull's Children and their viewpoints, so what if these Wise still venerate the hunt to an extent while even opposing the prevailing Lie on the Omphalos Stones?


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          • #6
            Originally posted by nofather View Post

            You're sort of operating under a misconception, these weren't crossovers to begin with.

            With Wolf and the Raven, I believe the Pack wasn't available to the writer when it was written and Geist is still lingering in first edition making a crossover between them weird, as they cross two editions. Considering the addition of Sin-Eaters wasn't billed as a crossover to start with, I'd suggest the section was deliberately separate, so that people playing one game wouldn't be stymied trying to incorporate the other.

            One thing that might help crossover is not having drastically different rule sets.

            Offhand I think the only pair that was stated as a 'dual era' to begin with was the Promethean and Vampire one. The rest were just 'a section of a gameline of your choice added to an era of your choice.' And the Skinchangers one was 'Skinchangers in the Aztec Empire' not associated with Demon.

            Depending on how Vampire and Promethean go, and how making second edition rulesets go, we might get actual crossovers in Dark Eras 2.
            I believe the Mage/Mummy one will be explicit crossover as well.


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            • #7
              Oh boy, lot to go through.

              Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus View Post
              I would call that a feature instead of a bug, given that CofD isn't made for crossovers. It's simply presented as an option if STs are into that.
              Originally posted by MCN View Post
              That's the problem with the CofD game design. With the exception of Beast, most gamelines have no interest in crossover, barring certain individuals (vampire addicted to 'ling blood, a mage Obsessed with the Hisil and its half-spirit guardians, a Silver Promethean hanging out with a Demon while fighting angels)
              Originally posted by nofather
              One thing that might help crossover is not having drastically different rule sets.
              Wait, what?

              Wasn’t nWoD/CofD specifically designed to be more compatible with other gamelines? At least, moreso then what it was with cWoD.

              Yes, it’s a lot on a ST/GM’s plate to take into account the rulesets of two gamelines, but not impossible. And all the gamelines' rulesets are structured in a way to draw parallels with the other lines.

              +3 gamelines? Yeah you’d have to be the GM of the gods to pull that off.

              Originally posted by RomulusGloriosus
              That being said, I think The Sundered World is the best one to actually crossover. The opening fiction shows a good example of Werewolves and Mages working together to solve their goals, and I think in this time period - before the Sundering - Awakened Shamans and the Uratha are more likely to have similar experiences and generally work together better.
              Originally posted by MCN
              Basically, what you're going to have to do is create a plot that somehow mixes the interests that your PCs in question will have. So, if you have a mixed group, you'll encourage Spirit mages and wolves. You'll make a crossover pack. You'll decide how other packs will look at yours, and get pissed at the Awakened who go out and kill spirit gods, and you'l have rival Circles that see your mage as betraying humans for the hunt. Drama and story!
              Sundered World, as written, does provide a lot more in at crossing over Mage and Werewolf.

              Right off the bat, despite how the Uratha are very much drawn to the wonders of the Border Marches, they are still very much human. And barring the older werewolves, most of them still haven’t forgotten about their home village. Either becoming a distant guardian of the village or just passive observers of the life they once had.

              It’s possible that a village’s Wise not only knows who the villager-turned-werewolf is, but personally knows them. Either as just another villager, a personal friend, or even a family member.

              A Wise and an Uratha pack could enter a mutual agreement with each other. Either of the Wise calling upon the pack as an ally in case if there’s a crisis and needs the extra claws. The Uratha if they need special knowledge and lore, particularly an ephemeral entity’s ban and/or bane. And both as acting liaisons from their own worlds: the Wise as the representative for the physical world, the Urathra the spirit world. Or, to team up to take down a particularly powerful Pangaean.

              Lot to work with there.

              Originally posted by nofather View Post
              You're sort of operating under a misconception, these weren't crossovers to begin with.
              I’m…not sure about that.

              Looking through the KS Updates…the term “crossover” is specifically used.

              So, with no further delay, your next three poll options, for $88,000:
              • Changeling & Geist: Three Kingdoms China (~240 CE)
              • Vampire & Promethean: Europe's Black Death (~1350 CE)
              • Mage & Mummy: French Revolution (~1790s CE)
              Doing explicit crossover is going to be a fun change of pace. We've been tossing ideas back and forth fast and furious, and I can't wait to see which one of these you pick!
              Source

              Unless of course this statement got debunked/clarified later down the line that I missed.

              What’s amusing to me that the gameline that ended up getting chosen was Three Kingdoms of Darkness…and that Era does not discuss a thing about how the Changelings and Sin-Eaters in that Era would interact or have any points of commonality. But with the lines that got backer add-ons, like Werewolf to Sundered World and Changeling to Requiem for Regina? Those added a lot more material that provides possibilities for how the two gamelines of those eras could interact, or enough hints to work off of.

              Which at that point I think it comes down less with developer mandate and more on the writer’s personal preference. Some chose to add in specific crossover seeds among the Eras. Others chose not to and opted for just a more detailed write up of the other gameline then what the “the other CofD splats” sidebar provided.

              Which if so...yeah, not much that can be said if a writer decided they didn't want add crossover material to the chapter.



              Last edited by tasti man LH; 03-19-2017, 01:31 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
                Wait, what?

                Wasn’t nWoD/CofD specifically designed to be more compatible with other gamelines? At least, moreso then what it was with cWoD.
                Yep. As in you can go from playing one to another without that much difficulty. Playing multiple ones at the same time is harder.

                Yes, it’s a lot on a ST/GM’s plate to take into account the rulesets of two gamelines, but not impossible. And all the gamelines' rulesets are structured in a way to draw parallels with the other lines.
                I didn't say it was impossible. And it goes beyond rulesets, though I wouldn't go so far as to say the 'entirety' of their rulesets are meant to draw parallels. Vampires have a vast weakness no one else does, being unlikely to walk around in the sun. Prometheans can't talk to people without potentially causing a raging mob, werewolves have to go on a sacred hunt and occasionally dip into another world and so forth. And then at the core of each game is their themes, which are different enough that by mixing two or more you would not be doing justice to any. Some people certainly seem to have fun in them, but every example I've seen has seemed more like a Dungeons and Dragons game, not with the 'murderhobo' thing, but with people just adventuring for no particular reason while also ignoring their entire reason for being, or giving up their own in favor of one splats.

                Right off the bat, despite how the Uratha are very much drawn to the wonders of the Border Marches, they are still very much human. And barring the older werewolves, most of them still haven’t forgotten about their home village. Either becoming a distant guardian of the village or just passive observers of the life they once had.
                I want to point out here, werewolves are not human. It says this again and again in the books. They might have feelings for their past, but they might want to abandon it just as much, and likely the attitudes of others who see their once-neighbor turn into a monster would help sway them.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by nofather View Post
                  Some people certainly seem to have fun in them, but every example I've seen has seemed more like a Dungeons and Dragons game, not with the 'murderhobo' thing, but with people just adventuring for no particular reason while also ignoring their entire reason for being, or giving up their own in favor of one splats.
                  Well, at that point all I can really say is "as long as everyone is on the same page on what to expect and what they're doing in a chronicle and you got a good GM to keep things running, you should be fine".

                  It's not much, but it's something.

                  I want to point out here, werewolves are not human. It says this again and again in the books. They might have feelings for their past, but they might want to abandon it just as much, and likely the attitudes of others who see their once-neighbor turn into a monster would help sway them.
                  That's only partly true, at least from my reading of the WtF2 book.

                  Yes, at best a werewolf is 1/3rd human. But 1/3rd isn't "not human at all". Unlike with WtA, all Uratha start out as human. Some come from a family of Wolf-Blooded or Uratha that tell them all about their heritage and prepare them for the First Change, and there are others that do not and they are not prepared when the Change happens. Either way, their perspective when they first start out is very human. And I'd imagine most players start out with Uratha PCs that have recently undergone the First Change to be the most common choice to make.

                  And while the Oath of the Moon isn't a thing in the Sundered World ("The Uratha shall cleave to the Human"), they still maintain some connection to humanity, however distant. As outlined within the chapter:

                  Originally posted by Dark Eras: Sundered World p.59-60
                  Uratha also seek mates and family from humanity. Some werewolves stalk back to villages to watch over their kindred, taking an active hand to ensure that siblings and parents are safe — a child lost in the cold wakes in a warm den, and is gently led back to the community by a wolf that has her sister’s eyes; a hungry old man discovers a freshly killed rabbit laid before his door each morning. Some werewolves watch the villages to take comfort from seeing the daily domesticity and labors of the people they once lived among, and grow fascinated by particular men and women. Stories abound among the People of powerful, alluring strangers sweeping briefly through a villager’s life, or hunters who win the admiration of a shapeshifter and indulge in passionate liaisons deep in the wilderness.

                  Other sects among the Uratha hold this attachment to humanity as a weakness; they brutally cut the ties of their new members, going so far as to raid and slaughter human families: They dwell deeper in the wilds, in simple caves and hollows, and live as wolves. Most packs, however, remember that they are both human and beast. Uratha use the Border Marches’ malleable nature to build eerie, alien dens overlooking the prey-paths; rock and wood all shaped like clay, fetishes and warding glyphs everywhere, vivid paints and dried blood used to render striking images on stone plaques. The largest packs, those that have collected the wolf-tainted castoffs of major human populations for decades, live amidst earthworks of considerable size and scope.
                  Plus there's the Harmony mechanic. While it does dictate that Uratha can't be too human, at the same time it also encourages them to not be too spirit-like, aka non-human.

                  Werewolves aren't 100% human. But they aren't completely inhuman either, or incapable of forging connections with humanity.
                  Last edited by tasti man LH; 03-19-2017, 10:19 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
                    That's only partly true, at least from my reading of the WtF2 book.

                    Yes, at best a werewolf is 1/3rd human. But 1/3rd isn't "not human at all". Unlike with WtA, all Uratha start out as human. Some come from a family of Wolf-Blooded or Uratha that tell them all about their heritage and prepare them for the First Change, and there are others that do not and they are not prepared when the Change happens. Either way, their perspective when they first start out is very human. And I'd imagine most players start out with Uratha PCs that have recently undergone the First Change to be the most common choice to make.

                    And while the Oath of the Moon isn't a thing in the Sundered World ("The Uratha shall cleave to the Human"), they still maintain some connection to humanity, however distant. As outlined within the chapter:
                    If you have the PDF, just search for 'not human' and enjoy the results. I was making a point that they are definitively not human as a species. It's a pedantic thing I do and I apologize. Your statement, however, and the quote, are not about DNA/species human as much as 'human acting.' Such as a human who does monstrous things can be considered 'inhuman.'

                    Plus there's the Harmony mechanic. While it does dictate that Uratha can't be too human, at the same time it also encourages them to not be too spirit-like, aka non-human.

                    Werewolves aren't 100% human. But they aren't completely inhuman either, or incapable of forging connections with humanity.
                    They aren't human. Harmony bounds to flesh and to spirit. Flesh includes the biological needs and desires that we humans have but also those animals share.
                    Last edited by nofather; 03-19-2017, 10:28 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by nofather View Post
                      If you have the PDF, just search for 'not human' and enjoy the results. I was making a point that they are definitively not human as a species. It's a pedantic thing I do and I apologize. Your statement, however, and the quote, are not about DNA/species human as much as 'human acting.' Such as a human who does monstrous things can be considered 'inhuman.
                      I didn't mean them actually physically being human. Just the more mentally and emotionally being human.

                      My apologies if I wasn't clear before.

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                      • #12
                        I mostly felt that the Dark Eras book gave me what I was expecting it to have crossover wise. Namely setting material that briefly touched on the crossover elements of some of the splats that the era was intended to highlight according to what splats play so well with the time period. As a Classic WoD vet having the vastly more compatible rules sets has been a real boon for someone who enjoys well done crossovers. That said while I expect some awesome things from the Dark Eras Companion(Cleopatra and Mutapa!), I don't expect to see dedicated crossover until the ChoD book dedicated to that subject drops.


                        “As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

                          I believe the Mage/Mummy one will be explicit crossover as well.

                          The Mutapa one is so explicit it has 3000 words of mechanics notes about what Arcana you need to detect/manipulate Pillars, how Mummy's 1e rules interact with 2e ghosts, that kind of thing.


                          Dave Brookshaw, Mage and Deviant Developer, writer of many things

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tasti man LH View Post
                            Wait, what?

                            Wasn’t nWoD/CofD specifically designed to be more compatible with other gamelines? At least, moreso then what it was with cWoD.
                            There's a difference between "crossover compatable" and "designed for crossover stories." Mechanically, nothing stops you from doing it. Works great. Storywise? Vampires really don't want to study mage mysteries outside of the Ordo Dracul, and even then its a narrow amount. Changelings generally don't know nor care about the Flesh-Spirit balances of Werewolf. In general, with the exception of Beast, each game is designed to go play in each individual's sandbox and really ignore everyone and everything else.

                            Now, there are some areas of overlap. Werewolf and vampire games can focus on games around supernatural predation/anger issues and human prey. Ordo Dracul and Moros mages would be happy to explore underworld gates together alongside a ghosttouched 'ling and human medium. You can even have a werewolf-v-vampire war if you wanted. But the crossover focus is going to come at the price of other things. Vampire politcs are going to take more of a backseat, and hunting of sacred prey is going to be less viable during the war.

                            So, that's the thing. Its possible to do crossover. But its not really highly supported since every game generally does its own thing, leaving all the work up to the indivudal STs who are finding what kinds of games they want.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dave Brookshaw View Post


                              The Mutapa one is so explicit it has 3000 words of mechanics notes about what Arcana you need to detect/manipulate Pillars, how Mummy's 1e rules interact with 2e ghosts, that kind of thing.


                              CofD booklists:
                              Beast I Changeling | Geist l Hunter l Mummy | Promethean

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