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And after Deviants? What game archetypes are missing?

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  • And after Deviants? What game archetypes are missing?

    Particularly I would like to see Changing Breeds as full line as it has not had a review yet.

  • BrilliantRain
    replied
    Hmmm... As a thought experiment, I’m going to try to explore the concept space of “classic monsters” a bit and see if we have any obvious holes anywhere.

    Dracula
    Witches
    Wolfman
    Mummy
    Zombies
    Ghosts
    Demons
    Aliens
    Frankenstein
    Invisible Man
    Creature from the Black Lagoon
    Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
    Slasher Movie Monsters

    ...and that’s all I can get off the cuff.

    Hmmm... Looking at the list, we don’t have a game for explicitly playing shambling undead, but I kind of doubt anyone would want that. Demon lacks explicit Judaeo-Christian symbolism, but that carries enough baggage that it would be hard to properly include it in the game, so...

    ...Yeah, I don’t really see any big holes here that aren’t covered by Beast or Deviant except for Aliens. And they’re probably better served as a general book that discusses how to use Changeling, Demon, Deviant, and the others to include Aliens in the game or whatever.

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  • TyrannicalRabbit
    replied
    Originally posted by reseru View Post
    What if there was just an alien supplement like Inferno and Immortals? Probably not distinct enough for a whole line, but interesting and niche enough for a one shot deal (maybe this is how I wish Beast was handled, too).
    If they ever explore the concept, that feels like the best way to go about it.

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  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by reseru View Post
    What if there was just an alien supplement like Inferno and Immortals? Probably not distinct enough for a whole line, but interesting and niche enough for a one shot deal (maybe this is how I wish Beast was handled, too).
    This has always sounded plausible, and given Rose's interest and everyone else's subsequent interest in doing something like Infinite Macabre, there' a pretty clear avenue for such a book.

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  • reseru
    replied
    What if there was just an alien supplement like Inferno and Immortals? Probably not distinct enough for a whole line, but interesting and niche enough for a one shot deal (maybe this is how I wish Beast was handled, too).

    Leave a comment:


  • ArcaneArts
    replied
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    Like, the foundational question of "what is an Alien and how does it square with a setting full of various forms of Darkness?" needs to be addressed as a coherent pitch with a solid hook.
    Minor...not caveat, but notation:

    So. Changeling deals with the abduction angle, where in humans experience the most humanly-relatable levels of interactions with a alien entity and how we, as people, interact with it. And before people bitch, Deviant and Hunter cross onto this territory as well.

    So. Demon deals with the invasion-rebellion angle - where in aliens experience what humans considerable the most universal relatable elements and work to reconcile it with their advanced knowledge of the universe, all while combating aliens who will not waste their time or purpose on things outside of why they are here. And before people bitch, Promethean and Mummy cross onto this territory as well.

    So. Here's the thing, the circle that needs to be squared regarding all of that and needs to be considered, and why and what my default on these conversations are-

    -a somehow different Alien Gameline has to distinguish itself from the (all other six) gamelines that exists in relation to this premise in a way that is comfortable and interesting while still being transgressive and relevant to my experience, while still being distinctive enough I'm just not going to hop over to another franchise and dealing with any other turn-off or -hop-ship instincts.

    For a moment here, I would love to just acknowledge how fucking brilliant Deviant is-because absolutely, in lesser hands, this would have been a Changeling But Not Supplement, and instead Deviant took very similar themes and ideas crafted it into it's own distinct idea of horror and response to the various levels of abuses. Like, I, even pretty early on, could draw a clear line between Changeling's ideas of abuse and Deviant's ideas of abuse, and the focus of both, and how radically divided the two are (One being about moving beyond one's inability to act on it, and the other being about meaningfully and actively acting where they can[because abso-fucking-lutely Changeling now hews towards impersonal trauma vs Deviant hewing towards personal trauma).

    THe biggest problem right now, the same sort of thing that messed with World of Darkness outside of the business sphere(I am not going there at fucking all here) is starting to happen with Chronicles, where-in large gamelines that handle openly broader ideas and issues need to diversify and, resultantly, need to specify to get to more distinctive points-which clashes towards an ever larger and sometimes-more-empathetic-sometimes-more-neglectful attitude towards those points as a Broad Subject but have something Very Important to say on a More Individual Point.

    The main idea for...I'm going to be bold and clearly state original White Wolf ideology, is that it tackled broad and complex issues and portrayed them with the immediately clarifying metaphors of various mythologies and ideas supporting them, which stands true for a lot of their other properties but is particularly true for World and Chronicles properties. But the world, as we experience it, is shrinking.

    On a (desperately and personally kind of big issue for me, please do not go hard into it*) iconic issue, the KyoAni Fire Assault of this last summer would not have been meaningfully global news in the 90s. That simply could not have been of personal relevance to people the way it is(or rather could potentially be, as matters to the marketers) now. I don't reference that to because I, as an anime fan, knew about it, but because my mom, who is very much not, asked me details about it.

    I bring that up for a seemingly-disintrested idea, which is just that

    media is getting more singular, and the individual experience is becoming king, and with it, the more niche kingdoms around it. The KyoAni fire was less a thing because people cared about it on a human level and more of a thing because anime is a thing and people who bring people in think of it as a thing. Which is kind of the developing trend, currently, across media on the whole.

    Pick anything. Anime, porn, reality tv, tabletop gaming. It's getting more defined by the niches that support it rather than a encompassing and vague mass.

    That's not a bad thing, on record! Nor does it somehow invalidate distinctive broad takes on media as a result somehow.

    BUT.

    It does mean that media is increasingly needing to make a point, and that such points are becoming increasingly more pointed, which by inherent disinclination means that media that leans toward the broader, more archetypal take on things is gonna have trouble. Or, to put it another way, as such points become increasingly more pointed, there is an inherent inclination towards media that speaks specifically rather than broadly.

    Chronicles has followed this trend along it's own definitions, and as dealing with broad ideas that are confronting specific ideas ends up doing, we're

    Not At a Point where there are No More Original Ideas, but where in Dealing with the Distinctions is Definitely Proving Problematic.

    Each new gameline is confronting, if not a reality, than at least a Very Real Sense that the grounds for New Gamelines is becoming Increasingly Limited, and there's a point where The Thing You Want To Talk About is something that is under the Umbrella of another category.

    Now, Chronicles is unique in that it has directions to go on this-but it is not unique in that they all suck.

    Namely, as broad directions go, it can invest it's nuance into it's current gamelines and run the risk of being broadly considered irrelevant and unchaning, or it can invest it's conviction into as new as possible ideas and continue stretching itself thin. Within it's current model, more exploration of ideas through the means of lesser mediums ala Lesser Templates and/or Merit(s)/-Chains is the more logical way to go, but at the risk of being overlooked because it's own model of perception and importance inherently (whether liked or not) means they are going to be lower on the scale of appreciation than the alternative. None of which means it'll happen, because White Wolf unsurprisingly likes to takes risk, but shouldn't be disregarded either, because White Wolf loves them some calculations.

    But just saying, the risk vs reward factor of digging into what we've got is probably, at the first point in a while, larger than what we flirt with immediately at each month.

    Anyways, my point is boringly normal-I'm not saying an Alien Game is impossible, but I am saying that, from a thematic level, it has been covered before, and that does mean that the ability of any new major template is equally and increasingly limited.

    Someone's got a good pitch, go for it. Anyone's got a pitch, I would wager not that.

    You gotta win where the stone are together tight, and more coherent that the usual questioners. Simply put, that is rough.

    *Long story short, the KyoAni burning and my 2019 birthday have a lot of correlating factors that nevertheless have nothing to do with each other but really feel shitty regardless.
    Last edited by ArcaneArts; 11-09-2019, 05:35 AM.

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Errol216 View Post
    It's interesting how each gameline seems to demand more and more backstory in order to understand what's really going on.
    I agree with the general sentiment this is going into, but I have to point out that the line of progression from "There was a pre-Bronze Age civilization near what would become Ancient Egypt that made these characters that are tailor-made for historical games" to "there's a distributed arcane machine-consciousness that turns the world with a mysterious agenda and its disconnected agents do espionage in the name of achieving their own goals" to "there have been, historically, a lot of different loosely-affiliated shitty conspiracies that want to take advantage of the various ways you can crack a person's soul open to give them superpowers" is not a case of more backstory happening, particularly not when the thing in between those last two is "the psychic imprint of the Original Monster had kids who hooked into the collective unconscious through individual people's nightmares, and they're a bunch of relatable bastards that the main characters of the monomyth keep trying to kill because that's the script they were given."

    To build on your point, though: At this point we've established in the various other gamelines — including several gamelines whose protagonists are the sort of creature to know better unless there's a damn good reason not to — that the outer space of the material realm is mostly as we know it in our world; if there is any significant chunk of life out among the stars, it's from far enough away that it's edging into the pulp-era conceit that things work so differently out there that it might as well be another dimension anyway, and at that point the very real questions arise of either a) why they act in anything approaching a human-interactable fashion despite that distance or 2) how you're supposed to play them if they don't act in that way and still have this be a Chronicles of Darkness game where the character you portray is a person.

    Like, the foundational question of "what is an Alien and how does it square with a setting full of various forms of Darkness?" needs to be addressed as a coherent pitch with a solid hook.

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  • TyrannicalRabbit
    replied
    Originally posted by Errol216 View Post
    It's interesting how each gameline seems to demand more and more backstory in order to understand what's really going on. With Vampire it's mostly a shrug, and then most of the next ones have some kind of otherworld, and then you've got Mummy with Irem and then Demon with the God-Machine and then Deviant with all the ... (blanking on the term; evil mad scientist cults) and now we're discussing whole alien civilizations with enough technological know-how and stake in this planet that they figured out not only how to mimic human shape but also how to insert themselves into our society as infiltrators?

    Making Atlantis an optional backstory for Mage was a good thing, folks. Aliens are a fairly common obsession in this forum, I've noticed, and I've honestly never understood why. Y'all are trying to get at something else, and I can't tell what it is.
    Game lines, by nature are going to vary wildly in their backstory and overall setting complexity. There is no one size fits all for every game line. It comes down to what the developer is looking to accomplish, how well that setting is conveyed and what is necessary to tell the story looking to be told.
    Last edited by TyrannicalRabbit; 11-09-2019, 01:07 PM.

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  • Errol216
    replied
    Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
    trying to keep your loyalty to your race WHILE trying to develop human ties with a race you presumably never interacted with, and deciding whether your kind matters more than the individuals you personally speak and share experiences with.
    It's interesting how each gameline seems to demand more and more backstory in order to understand what's really going on. With Vampire it's mostly a shrug, and then most of the next ones have some kind of otherworld, and then you've got Mummy with Irem and then Demon with the God-Machine and then Deviant with all the ... (blanking on the term; evil mad scientist cults) and now we're discussing whole alien civilizations with enough technological know-how and stake in this planet that they figured out not only how to mimic human shape but also how to insert themselves into our society as infiltrators?

    Making Atlantis an optional backstory for Mage was a good thing, folks. Aliens are a fairly common obsession in this forum, I've noticed, and I've honestly never understood why. Y'all are trying to get at something else, and I can't tell what it is.

    Leave a comment:


  • Primordial newcomer
    replied
    Originally posted by reseru View Post
    Boy, that's a little harsh considering how you quoted my post wherein I asked for other peoples' ideas.



    That's something I could get behind. Yes, I see it in Mummy and stuff, but I think that can be a good theme for an alien game.
    thanks for being open minded! I can understand why you were averse to seeing what an alien game could explore, but you were willing to listen and I really appreciate you taking that time. if you have any critisms regarding the themes we brought up and can offer your own ways to mend them we would be happy to listen ( Tessie I assume you would be ok with that)

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  • Tessie
    replied
    Originally posted by reseru View Post
    Boy, that's a little harsh considering how you quoted my post wherein I asked for other peoples' ideas.
    "What would it even be" style questions tend to sound very derisive. If you did ask in earnest, then I apologise.

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  • reseru
    replied
    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    Instead of getting hung up on a set of preconceived themes, try to be a bit open minded and receptive of different ideas.
    Boy, that's a little harsh considering how you quoted my post wherein I asked for other peoples' ideas.

    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    During play they have to juggle keeping up their human responsibilities (both to keep up appearances but also to maintain emotional connections forged on Earth) with carrying out orders from their alien overlords.
    Originally posted by Primordial newcomer View Post
    ...WHILE trying to develop human ties with a race you presumably never interacted with, and deciding whether your kind matters more than the individuals you personally speak and share experiences with.
    That's something I could get behind. Yes, I see it in Mummy and stuff, but I think that can be a good theme for an alien game.

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  • Primordial newcomer
    replied
    Originally posted by Tessie View Post

    While you can do it in Deviant (if you also get rules for oscillating between renegade and devoted without leaving the Conspiracy), it's not the same game as the one I described. Remove the anger, amp up the paranoia, erase the line between devoted and renegades. A deviant tends to look at everything in black and white. Everyone who matters is either with them (Loyalist Touchstones) or against them (Conviction Touchstones). You can't have a middling Touchstone; what you get is a Touchstone that oscillates between the two.
    What I'm proposing puts the player in the role of someone who's smack in the middle, who is neither devoted to their masters nor reneging their duties; alternatively someone who's stretched thin in two directions, where abandoning either leads to dramatic and potentially catastrophic consequences (which would be part of the endgame, much like Geist's Catharsis/Catabasis).
    this stuff right here. reseru sorry I couldn't reply earlier, have school. anyway, A game of aliens would be different from demon in that unlike demon, which is about asserting your place in the world as an individual while escaping your supernatural origin as an angel (or trying to get back, like an integrator), aliens would explore what it's like to purposely hide amongst humanity, trying to keep your loyalty to your race WHILE trying to develop human ties with a race you presumably never interacted with, and deciding whether your kind matters more than the individuals you personally speak and share experiences with.

    Ben Linus I could easily say deviant sounds like a changeling supplement for how to take revenge on the true fae. I could even claim that a book for a monster trying to imitate humanity would easily fit demon, vampire and promethean. Yet, as we know, all three do so in extremely different ways that lend to drastically different themes

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  • Tessie
    replied
    Originally posted by Ben Linus View Post

    Sounds like a Deviant supplement.

    The only thing Alien that isn't covered is them as invading antagonists.
    While you can do it in Deviant (if you also get rules for oscillating between renegade and devoted without leaving the Conspiracy), it's not the same game as the one I described. Remove the anger, amp up the paranoia, erase the line between devoted and renegades. A deviant tends to look at everything in black and white. Everyone who matters is either with them (Loyalist Touchstones) or against them (Conviction Touchstones). You can't have a middling Touchstone; what you get is a Touchstone that oscillates between the two.
    What I'm proposing puts the player in the role of someone who's smack in the middle, who is neither devoted to their masters nor reneging their duties; alternatively someone who's stretched thin in two directions, where abandoning either leads to dramatic and potentially catastrophic consequences (which would be part of the endgame, much like Geist's Catharsis/Catabasis).

    Leave a comment:


  • Ben Linus
    replied
    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    :Sleeper agents implanted by alien entities, who are programmed to believe they are humans. The PCs are newly activated agents who knows what they are not human, but they also haven't yet reclaimed their pre-infiltration memories and powers. During play they have to juggle keeping up their human responsibilities (both to keep up appearances but also to maintain emotional connections forged on Earth) with carrying out orders from their alien overlords.
    Sounds like a Deviant supplement.

    The only thing Alien that isn't covered is them as invading antagonists.

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