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Which spatbooks would you NOT crossover

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  • Which spatbooks would you NOT crossover

    A while back I got the Chronicles of Darkness book and the big three spalt books from DTRPG. Last night, I went on a wee spending spree and got Promethean, Changeling, Mummy, and Gheist.

    I have this weird idea that's been percolating in my head for a chronicle where a coterie (or maybe just several solitary vampires) move to a small, unremarkable city in the hope of finding uncontested territory to claim a domain. Upon arrival, they find out not only have at least two vampires got their first but so have Mages investigating local landmarks, a gang of Pure Werewolves, a small court of Changelings, and the occasional Spirit that's running loose.

    Before I take this idea further, I wonder what NOT to use. Prometheans seem difficult, as I get the impression they're supposed to keep moving (although the flavor text for the Ordo Dracul describes an encounter with what reads like a Frankenstein to me). Hunters, I don't know what to do with them besides, well, hunting. Mummies seem cool, except I'm worried they might seem TOO cool and the players may want to stop playing Vampires.

    Are there any Monsters that you think should just NOT have crossovers? You can say Vampires if you want to.
    Last edited by Father Enoch; 06-13-2022, 03:56 AM.

  • #2
    Like, on principle? None.

    There are some that are harder to work around in contexts than others, but often those experiences are more flexible than they might anticipate. Of the 11, I imagine.....Vampire, Promethean, Hunter, and Mummy are the ones you have to apply some thought to.

    Vampire's big thing is primarily the night restrictions and their lack of larger scope access that some of the other splats, but there's actually a lot of tools for skirting around and flirting with daytime operation (often with penalties and struggles, but it's not an absolute closed door), and most monsters are still more inclined and rewarded for night operation anyways, and vampires carry a lot of direct effectiveness for their sphere that helps them keep up for some of that larger scope problem.

    Prometheans may be focused on their Pilgrimage, but the way to Dawn has many roads, and even scenarios completely unrooted in humanity are useful for contrast if a Promethean is willing to reflect and learn on it in such a way. More often, though, there's very rarely an experience that doesn't engage with humanity and reflect on it in some way that yields the spiritual calculus and vitriol that helps them on their way. More importantly is Disquiet and Wasteland management, but that's gonna be true no matter what, and it is IS a thing that can be managed.

    The conflict for Hunters is that in any situation where it's a human life versus a monstrous one and the hunter prioritizes the latter over the former, it's psychologically very hard for them. Beyond that though, Hunter do a lot of things in addition to hunting-those in Compacts and Conspiracies have more direct....directives, but just about any hunter can benefit from learning more about the supernatural community and how it's various subsections work together (or against each other), shoring up resources both mundane and supernatural for defense and comfort (and okay, for murderkilling), and just learning or experiencing new things. I had a Hunter campaign that could be more adequately called monster ambassador-ing, and while some ardent killjoys are nothing but death to anything resembling monsters, more have fraught but workable relationships to monsters who aren't being their worst selves all the time.

    Mummies, by and large, seem the most restricted, since there are penalties for not being focused on their First and Final Purposes-but it's not the most hyper strict thing ever. The Arisen have room to go and explore and do other things do long as it doesn't completely derail their attention, and the time they could spend learning to appreciate trap music, experiment with food dishes, and/or pursuing Memory (and other like) can easily go into crossover game stuff. It's made all the easier if that crossover game stuff IS their First Purpose, ala everyone else being in their cult, or at least successfully petitioning the cult to call the Arisen to their aid., but even if not, so long as the Purposes are intertwined into the narrative (even antagonistically), it's fine. The only other concern is their power at the start, and that just requires smart planning-if they can do it in The Hobbit and Avengers Endgame, you can keep a Sekhem 10 Arisen player busy and happy while everyone else is playing scrambling hatchlings under their necrotic wings.

    Most crossover concerns come down to creatively employing and utilizing the pieces that keep things fun.
    ----

    Now, should you include these, or any other ones? Honestly, it comes down to management and usable material. Sure, it can be cool to make it clear that your metropolitan area is dense and busy with the supernatural (comparatively), but are you really gonna incorporate every single splat into the story hooks and over all projected path of the game going forward? Probably not. It comes down to what's going to keep the gameplay a tight and fun experience.

    In this case, a Vampire game contesting against the presence of pack of werewolves, a cabal of mages, the assumed corresponding impact and influence of spirits and the Shadow along with those two, and a whole court of changelings (and it's correlated assumed impact and influence of hobgoblins and the Hedge)-all of that makes for a pretty tight and dynamic landscape to game in on it's own, if it's within the scope people are going for. You don't want to load up your plate with too much to deal with, and even in settings where everyone is populous, present, and active and it'd be weird if they weren't, it's important to keep in mind that the game takes place in a corner of the world, and not everything is going to have something to do with that corner. Keep only that which matters to the big picture of your chronicle, if it turns out to be too lean, then you can add in something from another gameline that plays well with the conflicts and themes of that game.


    Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
    The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
    Feminine pronouns, please.

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    • #3
      Shouldn't at all? None.

      But that said I can understand why some are more difficult. Mummies with how they start at max power and fall could be hard to work with but you might find a way. Especially as there are ways to slow the fall so maybe you can have them in the middle of a decent and holding their current state or regaining power. But that might be difficult and different to a standard game of mummy. In a similar way mage can be a struggle because of the flexibility and power of their arcana.

      Largely, you just have to understand that the gamelines are internally balanced and not truly cross balanced. Your group has to be willing to work together and make the mix work and focus on the group more so than the individual, more than a normal game.

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      • #4
        I agree with ArcaneArts on this. The NWoD/CoD/GMC rules are a lot more compatible with crossovers than O/CWoD based on what I’ve heard, so it’s ultimately up to a combination of what sort of setting you’re trying to make, what sort of game you’re wanting to run, what you and your players would genuinely consider fun, and your own preferences.

        Though one possible work around could be that, while the various splats do indeed exist in your setting, none beyond those you’ve listed as already being present have yet found a reason to actually head towards the city. Heck, you could even try mixing in the big four ‘fan-splats’ if you so chose!

        What I’m getting at is that all of the official, ‘canon’ splats can easily be used, or not used, in a game setting if you can pull it off. It simply depends on what sort of story that you, the storyteller, wish to tell.


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        • #5
          I don't recommend mixed splats for the PCs. That said, all other games can definitely be used as source books for the game you're running. Having the PCs accidentally disturb the tomb of a mummy or cross paths with a promethean who wishes to learn from them could work great in basically any game.


          Bloodline: The Stygians
          Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
          Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Tessie View Post
            I don't recommend mixed splats for the PCs. That said, all other games can definitely be used as source books for the game you're running. Having the PCs accidentally disturb the tomb of a mummy or cross paths with a promethean who wishes to learn from them could work great in basically any game.
            Okay, I have something to say regarding mixed-splat troupes.

            Namely, while it can be really hard to pull off, it’s still possible. One just has to develop some sort of in-universe justification as to just why all these different supernaturals are working together, instead of just leaving or tearing each other apart, and maybe also play off of the drama spawned by the meeting and interactions of differing world views and belief systems.


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            • #7
              CoD makes crossovers relatively easy, the two games I would be the most worried about are purely for meta reasons and I think that it is nothing in the world that makes them bad, but just the mechanics of the splats that hinder them a bit.

              1. Mages, considering you need almost an active excel sheet to cast magic and how cumbersome the casting system itself is, along with all of the myriads of systems that has to be kept in mind with Mage. Mage Sight is an all-encompassing system by itself, and the math needed for the spells, and similar. That is before you even get into the discussion of Arcana vs the other powers which I frankly don't find that interesting, but Mage is a game that if you start with more experienced characters can lead to one character eclipsing the rest.

              2. Mummy...and that is simply due to the focused nature of mummies and their very powerful starting point. But I think you can handle this with good STing, compared to Mage where I honestly see the idea of having a mage with the rest as a bit nightmarish. "Okay I am going to cast a fireball!" *sits down to begin calculating yantras and the spell factors...15 minutes later the fireball is good to go*. Mummy just has a lot of power to deal with and their Judges yelling at them.

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              • #8
                The bigger issue of crossover troupes is that it's generally not as satisfying if you haven't had the experience of splats in isolation, or as originally intended. It's a similar sort of problem to playing in a shard or Dark Era or with major rule changes like you'd find in the Chronicler's Guides*. All of these things are there to deliver a deviation from the norm, that makes a character's experience as a splat that much more abnormal, weird, unique, and challenging-an appreciation that's hard to have if you've never experienced all the weird, unique, and challenging aspects that form the fog of "normal" experience for any given splat.

                That said, there's nothing wrong with doing a mixed troupe outside of personal preferences in how themes and ideas are handled in regards to it, and in fact it was a built in feature from the word go. It's just more rewarding for more experienced players than for newbies, a nuanced and different tapestry for the former where it's otherwise just D&D for the latter.

                *or, hell, even Beast: the Primordial in a non-crossover capacity, to a certain degree.


                Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                Feminine pronouns, please.

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                • #9
                  Depends a lot on what you want to do with them. Like, the last game I ran had the mage PCs making friends with a vampire, and getting to know some of the local domain. Still, I didn't bother that much with being strictly accurate with how Requiem mechanics work. The friendly NPC could move around so quickly that they seemed to teleport, but I didn't really care how many dots in Celerity she had.


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                  • #10
                    Mages don't play well with other splats for purely mechanical reasons, mummies are a close second but the others can reasonably play together in a Chronicle.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Newb95 View Post
                      Mages don't play well with other splats for purely mechanical reasons, mummies are a close second but the others can reasonably play together in a Chronicle.
                      Mage's mechanical reasons come from that, in a long enough run from the beginning, they have a large amount of variety of action that is honestly going to be decently matched by the much more rapid progression of their peers. It's more openly intimidating, and sure a Storyteller benefits from running a Mage game first, but it's not actually all that challenging even if you just start by understanding the art of alternating spotlights and providing opposition that has it's pieces work in tandem with each other.


                      Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                      The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                      Feminine pronouns, please.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                        Mage's mechanical reasons come from that, in a long enough run from the beginning, they have a large amount of variety of action that is honestly going to be decently matched by the much more rapid progression of their peers. It's more openly intimidating, and sure a Storyteller benefits from running a Mage game first, but it's not actually all that challenging even if you just start by understanding the art of alternating spotlights and providing opposition that has it's pieces work in tandem with each other.

                        By their peers you mean the other splats? Because mages are very quick in getting xp compared to many splats (vampires particularly), I am running a geist chronicle with a mage player and I'm seriously considering killing it, mage is possibly the hardest game to run and if you add them in a multisplat, it becomes borderline impossible without either you nerfing mages or the mage players holding back with their spells.

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                        • #13
                          A crossover game I have been wanting to run for a while now is a short chronicle focused on a group of childhood friends all grown up who have not seen each other in at least 5 years [the players]. They all come back to their hometown for a [reunion/festival/funeral/murder mystery/all of the above] and generally catch up on each others' lives. Of course, each has been turned into a different kind of monster since last meeting, and everyone assumes everyone else is still a normal mortal. Comedy ensues.

                          I guess what I am saying is, when it comes to crossovers...
                          Embrace chaos.


                          Consistently Inconsistent
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Caedus View Post
                            CoD makes crossovers relatively easy, the two games I would be the most worried about are purely for meta reasons and I think that it is nothing in the world that makes them bad, but just the mechanics of the splats that hinder them a bit.

                            1. Mages, considering you need almost an active excel sheet to cast magic and how cumbersome the casting system itself is, along with all of the myriads of systems that has to be kept in mind with Mage. Mage Sight is an all-encompassing system by itself, and the math needed for the spells, and similar. That is before you even get into the discussion of Arcana vs the other powers which I frankly don't find that interesting, but Mage is a game that if you start with more experienced characters can lead to one character eclipsing the rest.

                            2. Mummy...and that is simply due to the focused nature of mummies and their very powerful starting point. But I think you can handle this with good STing, compared to Mage where I honestly see the idea of having a mage with the rest as a bit nightmarish. "Okay I am going to cast a fireball!" *sits down to begin calculating yantras and the spell factors...15 minutes later the fireball is good to go*. Mummy just has a lot of power to deal with and their Judges yelling at them.
                            This why I pre write my standard way of casting spells that my character regularly uses. Then it's just a quick alteration of one or more spell factors if needed but far less work than doing from square 1.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Newb95 View Post


                              By their peers you mean the other splats? Because mages are very quick in getting xp compared to many splats (vampires particularly), I am running a geist chronicle with a mage player and I'm seriously considering killing it, mage is possibly the hardest game to run and if you add them in a multisplat, it becomes borderline impossible without either you nerfing mages or the mage players holding back with their spells.
                              Saying this as gently as I can-having read about your problems in the Geist Answers thread, I'm disinclined to believe that this experience is rooted in a problem of clashing mechanics. Yes, Mages are versatile, and yes, Arcane Beats provides some decent acceleration, but decent planning can account for that.


                              Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                              The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                              Feminine pronouns, please.

                              Comment

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