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Thoughts of a new Storyteller

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  • Mateus
    started a topic Thoughts of a new Storyteller

    Thoughts of a new Storyteller

    Hey all!

    So tonight i ran my very first Chronicle of Darkness game and i just have to get my thoughts out for it.

    For starters, i thought i was well prepared. I was wrong lol. I had used the Nightmare on Manor Hill as a basis for this one night story. 10 scenes, some optional, with the intent of running it all in a 3h30 hour session. I planned breaks and ambiance music and setting, the scenes and tried to keep the rules in mind all for this one night of introducing me and my friend to CofD.

    Lets start with the bad: i was not expecting the jokes and the giggles. We all knew this is a horror themed game but i think my group just wanted to have fun and roll dice. Which im ok with but was not expecting. I will be ready for it next time and see if i can find a way to still keep them immersed without having the train get off the tracks.
    Second was my own time management...we did 3 or 4 scenes...i was shocked by how fast time was flying by! Shocked!
    Third, the ambiance music failed on me. I decided pretty quickly to drop it when it failed as the jokes pretty much set the tone for the night we were going to have.
    Finally my own lack of experience showed. No matter how much you prepare there will always be other things getting in the way...i still want to improve on this...setting, tone, rules...much improvement to be had on all accounts!

    The good: fun was had by most even me! The system and freedom is great! I cant wait to know it well and be confident in it. Most of my group wants to play again soon which is a good sign and once i get over my hickups i think ill want to play often too.

    Any other stories you have had from your first times?

    -Matt

  • Michael
    replied
    Originally posted by Mateus View Post
    I am planning to create full sheets for each character as well as some notes to help conversations and social maneuvering(which I will introduce next game).

    Is that what any of you do too?
    Depends a lot on the game you want to run. Like, I'm playing with the Boston Unveiled setting at the moment which is quite a closed political setting. There are a huge number of characters, but I can be pretty sure that the players are going to be interacting with them regularly in the future so it's generally worth the effort.

    That being said, I play using Roll20, so stating a full sheet is comparatively quick.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mr.F.I.X.
    replied
    I've ran the same one shot a few times but when my inexperience showed was the first group to just work together showed me how much padding I assumed by groups debating what to do, disagreeing on choices and just splitting up. It was good to see just how much I was expecting them to slow themselves down.

    But, considering the other groups didn't know each other first, that does make sense. I should have adapted my intro oneshot to deal with them knowing each other and gaming previously.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sith_Happens
    replied
    Originally posted by Mateus View Post
    Open world planning!
    So the next game is scheduled for June 21st and I am trying to build characters that the players can interact with and start forging this Chronicle.

    I am planning to create full sheets for each character as well as some notes to help conversations and social maneuvering(which I will introduce next game).

    Is that what any of you do too?
    You could, but if you’re doing more than a few then making most (or even all) of them quick character-style instead will save your life.

    Leave a comment:


  • KieranMullen
    replied
    I'll have a compressed spreadsheet for a set of NPC's with their traits, combat numbers, and (importantly) three quick aspirations and a virtue and a vice. These are terse so it's not a lot to read while switching conversations or situations. They might be:
    • Aspirations: Never be seen to be wrong, Be admired, Drink beer. Virtue: Proud, Vice: Lazy
    • Aspirations: Get custody of daughter, Avoid conflict, Get a better job. Virtue: Caring, Vice: Worrying.
    Major characters get more of a write-up. I haven't had occasion to use the social maneuvering. I suspect that's more important in a Vampire game than a Demon game. In fact I try to avoid the Social Maneuvering and Investigation mechanics if I can since I feel that they turn player interactions into dice rolls. (But YMMV).

    I also have adopted the Conspyramid from Night's Black Agents, where you have a hierarchy of response from the antagonists as well as a chain of clues for the players to follow. Again, that makes sense in a Demon game more than in other splats. This helps with the open world planning.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mateus
    replied
    Open world planning!
    So the next game is scheduled for June 21st and I am trying to build characters that the players can interact with and start forging this Chronicle.

    I am planning to create full sheets for each character as well as some notes to help conversations and social maneuvering(which I will introduce next game).

    Is that what any of you do too?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mateus
    replied
    Game 3 review!
    So, we talked here about willpower and its use and i found my players seriously laking or forgetting it to their detriment. So game three was all about survival and willpower.

    I was hoping to make them use way more than they did, mostly as i forgot how succesful die rolls of 4-6 die can be, but this session went really well in getting them to use that willpower when they were sure they didnt want to fail a roll.
    They remembered conditions and couldnt wait to get them to be able to earn xp. Which made me very happy!

    Overall it was a good game as it continued this story forward and brought in a new mechanic. We are slowly getting direction for this chronicle and im going to have to do some open world planning and asking direction of these players for their characters, two things i am not familiar with.

    Any thoughts? Tips? Should i get Damnation City and go from there?

    Leave a comment:


  • Ventrue Life
    replied
    My first time playing Chronicles of Darkness was in 2007, back when it was still called (New) World of Darkness. But my first time Storytelling a Chronicles of Darkness game was in 2017. I didn't even know second edition was a thing when I got back into Chronicles of Darkness, so it was a first edition World of Darkness game, with the players being humans in 1888 London, investigating the Jack the Ripper murders. I planned to involve vampires into the chronicle and eventually have the players get embraced.

    This is what I planned:

    The players would start their story after the 2nd victim of Jack the Ripper, Annie Chapman. They would each have their own personal reasons to look into the murders, and quickly discover that Jack the Ripper was somehow connected to the supernatural. I planned on Jack the Ripper being a rogue, mentally damaged ghoul. After about 3 sessions or so, the players would solve the Ripper case and they would be neck-deep into vampire politics. This is what would get them embraced, and that would be the end of the Ripper story, and a potential setup for a new Vampire the Requiem story if my players enjoyed themselves and wanted more.

    What I planned did not at all line up with what actually happened.

    After the second session, I learned about second edition, now known as Chronicles of Darkness. I bought the book and loved it so much that I proposed to my players to switch over to the second edition rules. They agreed, and so we converted our game from first edition to second edition.
    The idea that the Ripper story would last 3 sessions was way too optimistic. After 9 sessions the story was still not done and the players started to become antsy. They knew what was coming, and they were eager to play vampires rather than continuing as humans. So I got the player characters embraced before they solved the Ripper story.
    Because I now had access to Vampire the Requiem 2e and I learned about the Strix, I felt like the Strix named Anna Red would be a perfect fit for Jack the Ripper, so instead of Jack the Ripper being an insane rogue ghoul, I made her (yes, the ghoul was female) an insane rogue ghoul who bargained with Anna Red and got herself possessed.
    The problem I ran into is that my players stopped actively solving the Ripper murders, and instead went off their merry way doing random other things involving frivolous vampire stuff, drama among themselves, and drama involving their sires. This annoyed me, but I understood why it was happening. The Ripper story was going on for too long and couldn't keep the players' interest after they got their shiny new fangs and their shiny new vampire toys. Luckily I got them back on track by making it abundantly clear that the Invictus expected the new vampire coterie to earn their keep, by continuing their Ripper investigation, else their vampire careers wouldn't last for very long, if you get my meaning.
    It was perhaps not the most elegant way to get the players back on the main plot, but it worked.

    The game is still ongoing, though the Ripper arc has long since been resolved.
    One thing that's still a "problem" is that I always grossly underestimate the length of my stories. What I expect to be resolved in 3 sessions often easily takes 9 sessions. I've been working on that now by trying to keep each individual scene short, to the point and meaningful. Anything that isn't meaningful to the story or character will be handled "down and dirty". Doing it this way managed to improve the pacing of our chronicle significantly, and with a little luck we might actually get this entire chronicle done before the end of 2020.
    Last edited by Ventrue Life; 04-04-2019, 07:42 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Tabanese
    replied
    ITT: Justification for the 2nd Amendment. :P

    Leave a comment:


  • ethawyn
    replied
    Originally posted by Mateus View Post
    Hey all!

    d to CofD.

    Lets start with the bad: i was not expecting the jokes and the giggles. We all knew this is a horror themed game but i think my group just wanted to have fun and roll dice. Which im ok with but was not expecting. I will be ready for it next time and see if i can find a way to still keep them immersed without having the train get off the tracks.
    I've worried about the same thing in the past myself, but you don't need to. RPG Academy's GM Master Class talked about this very thing (you can find it here: https://therpgacademy.com/podcasts/g...m-jim-mcclure/). The point they made is that in serious and horror games, humor can actually be a very good sign. People crack jokes to release tension, so the fact that they are cracking jokes is a sign that they are feeling the ratcheting tension.

    Leave a comment:


  • ElvesofZion
    replied
    0 or less to be specific, but yes 1 die roll is a regular roll.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mateus
    replied
    Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
    1 dice is better than 0 dice in Chance Roll. With 1 dice you have (circa) 30% of success - with Chance Roll, only 10% is then.
    hold on...so a chance die is only if you are dropped below 0 in a dice pool?

    Leave a comment:


  • Michael
    replied
    There's all-out attack as well. Drop your defence to get 2 extra dice on your attack.

    Plus, you can aim for the arms/legs etc. those can impose tilts that can radically alter the fight.

    Finally, the characters defence drops by 1 each time someone attacks in a round. So, you're probably loosing against the beat cop if it's a one-on-one, but a group of PCs are probably going to win.

    Leave a comment:


  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    1 dice is better than 0 dice in Chance Roll. With 1 dice you have (circa) 30% of success - with Chance Roll, only 10% is then.

    Leave a comment:


  • Acrozatarim
    replied
    Willpower points, all-out attacks, the gradual whittling away of Defence via the multiple attackers rule, and so forth, are all means by which characters can get past high Defence. Not to mention that werewolves can change shape to boost their Strength significantly.

    A WP point and all-out attack is giving you +5 dice before factoring in any reduced Defence on the target from your fellows also attacking them.

    I'd say Def 6 for a beat cop is probably a bit high, to be honest; I'd envisage most police probably having defence somewhere in the 4-6 region, with 6 being particularly talented and fit individuals.

    Leave a comment:

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