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How do you rationalize all splats lore together?

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  • Pluvinarch
    started a topic How do you rationalize all splats lore together?

    How do you rationalize all splats lore together?

    So the Werewolves have Father Wolf, the Demons have the God-Machine, the Beasts have the Dark Mother, the Changelings have the Gentry and Arcadia, the Mages have their Atlantean towers... How do you make sense of all of this if crossover chronicles?
    I can only think of 2 possibilities:

    1) It all exist. There is a God-Machine, there is a Father Wolf, there is a Dark Mother. Somehow each one of them doesn't contradict the other. God-Machine creates angels and demons while the Gentry kidnaps humans that becomes changelings and the Beasts get their soul devoured. It is a world of both technognosis, fae magic, primordial dreams, magical awakening, blood curses and spiritual shapeshifting. However the big splat "gods" are all focused on their respective splat and they don't interfere with each other, unless the Storyteller wants to.

    2) It all exist, but each splat is giving their version of the story, just like the tale of the blind people describing the elephant. They have their own subjective interpretation but there is only one objective truth. Maybe one splat is right and the others are wrong. Maybe they are all children of the Dark Mother. Maybe they are all a mad creation of the God-Machine. Maybe they are all strange things that scaped the unlimited imagination of Arcadia... Maybe the objective truth is none of the above and the Storyteller makes his/her own answer.

    Anyway, I am just curious, have you ever created a great metaplot explanation for the CoD universe? Feel free to share it here.

  • Simon Darkstep
    replied
    There are some things that I could add to this, but it isn't just WW/OP splats. I like WW & OP games quite a lot, so they feature prominently, but there are several other games in there as well. So, this is my own story-related remix, not a unified theory of a particular game line.

    I've got a long-running group, so we've got a decade or more between us. What I've been doing is having certain events and patterns reoccur in various places. This is in the Mage sense of Pattern, but a pattern that might have been dormant or lost for a long time through other realities before bubbling back up.

    For instance, there's a floating castle or city that shows up. It's a center of attention in a fantastic setting, or faraway and inaccessible if it appears in a vision in a contemporary setting.

    There's usually a time jump or distortion, too, that I use to break up the game when it hits a doldrum, and show a sharp before/after of events in progress.

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  • Iceblade44
    replied
    Originally posted by Ruger View Post

    Since when was CoD written by Nasu?
    I have no idea why I wrote that, I'm a little in awe seeing how little attention I pay when I'm writing, my brain must have been on several levels of distracted.

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  • Ruger
    replied
    Originally posted by Iceblade44 View Post
    Yeah for the most part all spats just have one slice of the big picture in the Nasuverse, even the Mages. This is intentional though since it gives more freedom to the respective STs in detailing exactly what the background behind their games that they want it to be. Even as OP goes along and adds more and more hidden details for the setting I doubt this will ever change.
    Since when was CoD written by Nasu?

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  • Mirthless
    replied
    To the degree that macro-scale cosmic relations need to be mapped out, I operate on the following assumptions:

    1) There is no cosmic hierarchy. If there was ever an orderly system to the universe such that it has a definite origin and ideas, none of the current cosmic players even have any memory of what that was supposed to be like. God (in the sense of a single supreme being/system that is truly greater than everyone else and responsible for an ordered cosmos) is not just dead but forgotten.

    2) All splats overestimate their place in the scheme of things, and hence also overestimate their enemies' place therein. To the degree that is seems the God-Machine, or the Exarchs, or the Dark Mother or the Principle or God-Who-Cursed-Longinus seems to be of singular importance to the entire cosmos, this is a case of confirmation bias as much as anything else.

    3) Power, if anything, makes things worse. The greatest entities in existence are not particularly more well-suited to understand all the others. Luna is just as mystified by the God-Machine as anyone else. More so in some ways, because her increased power gives her a much greater sense of just how much there is to be mystified by. This is true for almost all such relationships. All being powerful does for such entities is give them a greater sense of just how weird the Chronicles of Darkness really is. It's a mysterious setting, even for the beings that most Player Characters think of as (almost) supreme.

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  • Iceblade44
    replied
    Yeah for the most part all spats just have one slice of the big picture in CofD, even the Mages. This is intentional though since it gives more freedom to the respective STs in detailing exactly what the background behind their games that they want it to be. Even as OP goes along and adds more and more hidden details for the setting I doubt this will ever change.
    Last edited by Iceblade44; 10-09-2018, 12:38 PM.

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  • LostLight
    replied
    Well, I assume that with the lack of Kinship between Beasts and Demons, we could also say that it is likely that the whole "Dark Mother does not recognize the God Machine as family" is also some sort of "canon relationship". Also, P:tC 2e did explored all kinds of possible relations between the God Machine and the Principle, while intentionally did not established anything as "canon". The rivalry/hate/dislike between abyssal beings and infernal demons should also extend to the Annunaki and Archdemons, so we also have that as "canon". We may gain more from the Crossover Chronicles to some degree, but that's what I can pull out of my head.

    As for the subject of the thread itself, I actually have little to no problem at rationalizing all of the cosmology/lore together- I just assume that everything is mostly true, with some big misunderstandings which come from the way a certain supernatural society views the world. Each of the "powers that be" has its own small corner in the multiverse, where they operate and advance their agenda. Some of the said powers work together with each other as they share a goal (like the God Machine and the Exarchs), while others hate each other (like the God Machine and the Blood), compete with each other (like the God Machine and the Principle) or mostly ignore each other (like the God Machine and the Wyrd). Yeah, the God Machine is kind of a big deal in there, but that's simply because its "corner of the multiverse" is the actual material world, putting it, both metaphysically and literally, in the center of all things.

    That reminds me I should finish my cosmology posts. I guess I should start working on it :P

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  • Dave Brookshaw
    replied
    Amusingly, and counter to the "they must regard it as a threat!" fandom, the only canon relatuonship between cosmic entities is the one between the God Machine and Exarchs, thanks to a Demon sourcebook.

    They actually get on suspiciously well, and send Seers / Angels to help one another out periodically, which winds Pentacle mages and Demons up right proper

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  • Enokh
    replied
    I've run a LOT of games, and I haven't run into any problems with cosmology. Especially considering that, for nearly every PC that could be played, information about that kind of stuff wouldn't come from directly discovered knowledge, but via NPCs or their records.

    And my NPCs get things wrong all the time.

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  • Simon Darkstep
    replied
    The various published cosmologies are story starters for your own cosmology, to be revealed or ignored in the story you share with your friends.

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  • Kleptomania
    replied
    I don't think there's necessarily much conflict, though there are some weird redundancies in places. As a whole, I just think of the Chronicles of Darkness as playing out in a very big world, so even more powerful supernatural beings tend to focus on their own somewhat familiar parts of it. Still, I like to leave the door open for various forms of 'crossover' and interconnections.
    I do sort of have my own little notes for how various cosmic entities and forces interact with one another. For example, the God-Machine sees the Exarchs as a liability to the long-term stability of the cosmos, while the Exarchs are desperate to find a way to bring the God-Machine under their control; basically a thematic conflict between 'inscrutable lovecraftian conspiracy-god' and 'once-human tyrant gods'.
    Last edited by Kleptomania; 10-04-2018, 08:22 AM.

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  • Malus
    replied
    To Reply to the OP: I don't. Characters have legends. The actual truth is so far beyond their capacity to comprehend that even Mages would likely attain Archmastery if told how the Exarchs actually seized the Heavens.

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  • Gurkhal
    replied
    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    (Municipality for kommun; county would be län.)

    While I don't think any cosmology really intrudes on any other cosmology, it becomes much more practical to limit the number of splats that exists in any given game. Even then, in smaller cities and towns not every included splat would be represented for the above reasons.
    Wise words.Still I feel more comfortable by focusing the game and essentially cut out background noise and when possible give explinations that ties into the cosmology of what we're playing.

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  • Tessie
    replied
    (Municipality for kommun; county would be län.)

    While I don't think any cosmology really intrudes on any other cosmology, it becomes much more practical to limit the number of splats that exists in any given game. Even then, in smaller cities and towns not every included splat would be represented for the above reasons.

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  • Gurkhal
    replied
    I just pick one line, the one we're playing, and say that these are dominant and that the cosmology in their material is the correct one while the others are effectively supporting cast and exist in much smaller numbers than the "main players".

    So for example if we play Werewolf, then Werewolf mythology and cosmology trumps everything else and every other splat or line exists in much reduced numbers and powers. So with these Werewolves there are Vampires, but too few to create covenants and do probably not have Clans or Bloodlines, there are a few Mages but these do not have an organized society and the Watchtowers and Exarchs don't exist and so on. Instead creatures associated with the main line are more numerous and influential to essentially fill up the space left so that Urged and Claimed are more numerous, as are Hosts and potentially also other shapeshifters and such stuff that tie in with the Werewolves.

    If we would play Vampire, this would change to put the Kindred at the center of the stage and so on.

    One of the reasons to do this is to essentially avoid a world where a normal human is the most rare thing you can find and to ensure there's space to tell the story of the characters without things getting crowded.

    For example in my home county (or whatever "kommun" in Swedish is in English) there are a bit short of 200 000 humans. I can see there being up to four or five packs of Werewolves in this area, provided the packs are not to large and with interaction with the Shadow and spirits to keep things to do, if its only that. But I don't see it being some 4 packs of Werewolves, 10-15 vampires, 3 Mages, 15 Changelings, 9 Beasts and so on and all of them are "doing their thing". That's way to crowded to allow for even a hint of "realism" for what could reasonably go on without getting noticed very fast. Better then to cut down on the extras and sideshows and put the focus on the line we're actually playing.

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