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[Alt-Settings; Mirrors Shards] Darkness Across More Than Just an Era

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  • [Alt-Settings; Mirrors Shards] Darkness Across More Than Just an Era

    Something that I'm fond of musing over is the idea of using The WorldChronicles of Darkness for settings outside of the standard modern urban fantasy horror. While there's loads of problems with the crunch, it's a crunch I'm familiar with, and am comfortable changing. The setting has a lot of concepts that seem like they'd be interesting in other lenses. Dark Eras really plays with this, setting chronicles in historical locations. But what I'm really interested in are things like in Mirrors, where the notion that the WorldChronicle of Darkness that the game takes place in is our own. Unfortunately, something about how things were handled in Mirrors never really satisfied me.

    How would you handle alternate settings? Or even just alternate game styles, like the suggestions in the Mage Chronicler's Guide of drugs and psuedoscience?

    Personally I've always wanted to run a game using CofD for a gritty fantasy setting. Use Hunter rules, maybe homebrew in some magic or special abilities, allow for Skyrim style Birthsigns or Blessings using Changeling Kiths. Something like D&D, but without the power leveling. It could focus on being part of some kind of adventure guild, either dealing with the politics of a fantasy metropolis, or just traveling and adventuring, seeing new sites. There are already weapons and armour stats for archaic weapons, since vampires and wizards are more likely to use those. Both Hunter and the new Corebook provide rules for creating monsters and beasties that might guard tombs or lurk in the woods. Frankly, I've kind of wanted to create a setting run by a series of Guilds that are essentially Shadowrun style megacorps in a fantasy setting, with the players being a group of people who do jobs for them. Spirits would get to be more like gods of the woods and such.

    I've also thought of running a portal fantasy game that's more connected to the traditional urbfan CofD; a sort of Chronicles of Darkness of Narnia thing, at least in spirit, if not actual setting. The idea is taking off from what I liked about Woundgate (a patchwork realm) while ignoring what I don't (the ease of travel between it and the real world). The players would wake up in this world where all the Realms Invisible are merged together, where you can walk from the Underworld to the Hedge to the Shadow to the Inferno to the Astral. It could probably use some of the same "magic or special abilities" rules as mentioned above. The players would decide whether they even want to go home, and if they do they'd have to explore this world that's the result of all the various Sunderings and worldchanging events in the CofD's history. Mages and Werewolves break the world, and all the broken parts end up in this trash bin of a place.

    And on that Shadowrun comparison, Cyberpunk is another thing I want to do with the setting, mostly because Shadowrun itself is too disappointing for me. While I don't care for the rules suggested in Bleeding Edge (and nothing but the core concept of Shadowrun), mixing high tech and low life with a little magic is something that makes normally uninteresting Cyberpunk so much cooler. CthulhuTech is another game that had an interesting setting concept, but the rest of the game ruined it. How supernaturals would operate in such a setting is an interesting question. Demon even has this as a setting option, though I haven't actually read that shard. Rules for augmentations would be necessary, but really they're just equipment, or at most merits that serve as equipment. Maybe with a "Battery" mechanic that serves as an energy stat. It could even be the result of harvesting God-Machine parts!

    It's also technically still fantasy, but around Halloween and then again when Shadows Over Innistrad was being spoiled, I got the urge to run a schlocky gothic horror game inspired by Castlevania, Magic the Gathering's Innistrad and Shadows Over Innistrad blocks, and Bloodborne. Especially the last two, since those settings make me appreciate the Lovecraftian Cosmic Horror much more when it's used alongside cheesy Draculas and wolfmen. The idea for this game of course would just be monster hunters. Possibly with magic whips. Investigating some spooky castles and haunted mansions.

    Just stretching things, it's an idea I didn't have until I sat down to write this thread, but if you take away Creative Thaumaturgy and Paradox, you could probably use a lot of the Spells in Mage to run a Martial Arts Tournament game, a la Street Fighter. Have characters throwing fireballs with their punches and leaping across chasms.

    ------

    I'm mostly rambling, but I'd like to know what other people think. Personally, I'd love an entire book of stuff like this. Other people don't agree with me, but stuff like Chris' Mass: The Effecting and Princess: The Hopeful really show off just how much the core mechanics are capable of. Even before 2e, I've always felt that WoD would be great as a generic build-your-own type game. A less crunchy version of GURPS or Mutants & Masterminds. I've actually used the mechanics to transfer over M&M characters, homebrewing up powers for a low powered superhero game, mostly by taking existing Spells, Disciplines, Second Sight merits, and Contracts and then making them fit mechanically in the same system.

    Have any of you run games like that? Have I given you any ideas?

  • #2
    RE: Worlds Without End

    I have personally used the bones of the system fora number of alternate settings, and I am a compulsive home-brewer. Some have just run for a few sessions, while others haven't made it past the concept stage. I will share what I have done.

    Day 13 - This setting was something post-apocalyptic, with the catalyst being an extra-terrestrial virus. Didn't get much beyond the research stage for setting and rules, but I was going to runit a Core Rules stye game.

    Gothic - This setting was inspired by Castlevania, Van Helsing, and Innistrad. I used the basic Hunter: the Vigil frame work. Each "Calling" gave a few freebie merits and access to an Endowment.
    The last time I worked on it, my callings were Alchemist, Explorer, Inspired Scientist, Mentalist, Shaman, Slayer, Thaumaturgist, and Theurgist. The first draft of the character sheet is here

    XCOM - I adapted the XCOM game series (especially the more recent ones) into the rules set. came up with some decent material for both the equipment of the XCOM soldiers as well as the alien menace. example character sheet here.

    I haven't done anything for gritty fantasy yet, but would probably try to keep it Merit based to keep things more in line with "Game of Thrones" than"D&D". You can find a decent bestiary here.



    The Artificer's Workshop - A collection of Exalted Artifacts
    Curios, Relics, and Tomes - A collection of Relics (Cursed and Otherwise)
    The Horror Lab - A collection of Beasts, Monsters and less definable things.
    Strange Places - A collection of Dark, Mysterious, and Wondrous Locations
    Twilight Menagerie - A collection of Ephemeral Entities

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Aspel View Post
      Just stretching things, it's an idea I didn't have until I sat down to write this thread, but if you take away Creative Thaumaturgy and Paradox, you could probably use a lot of the Spells in Mage to run a Martial Arts Tournament game, a la Street Fighter. Have characters throwing fireballs with their punches and leaping across chasms.
      I'm actually planning to run a Play by Post game like that on these forums once Hurt Locker comes out. It's open crossover instead of Mage specifically, and I'm leaving creative thaumaturgy and Paradox intact, but the core idea of a CofD martial arts tournament is the same. Heavy PvP focus, so the more the merrier if you're interested.
      Last edited by Charlaquin; 06-11-2016, 01:10 PM.


      Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Reighnhell View Post
        3) Shamelessly raid power and abilities from the other game lines for Dread Powers. I especially like using Beast Atavism's (BtP), Cryptid Adaptations(DtD), Demonic Form Abilities (DtD), and Idigam Powers (WtF) as places to adapt powers from.
        Nice to see I'm not the only one who does that. I actually had my own fantasy thing written up that also gave what I called "Callings"; they were closer to an X-Splat than anything else, though. I like the sheets, though my first thought is that they're not form fillable but they're way too colourful to print. The X-Com one, at least. I wouldn't have thought to do X-Com in WoD myself--I've always wanted to make a d% roll under system for simulating that--but Advanced Armoury would definitely work, and a lot of powers could be tweaked to simulate stuff like futureweapons and Meld use.

        Charlaquin Oh, no no thank you. 闇のの年代記:天下一武道会 Chronicles of Darkness: Tenkaichi Boudakai sounds fun, but I stay far, far away from PvP and massively multiplayer games. Too many bad experiences with places like Wanton Wicked. I'm not that fond of play-by-post, either. IRC games are the way for me.

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        • #5
          No worries, that's totally reasonable.


          Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
            I'm actually planning to run a Play by Post game like that on these forums once Hurt Locker comes out. It's open crossover instead of Mage specifically, and I'm leaving creative thaumaturgy and Paradox intact, but the core idea of a CofD martial arts tournament is the same. Heavy PvP focus, so the more the merrier if you're interested.
            White Wolf's old Street Fighter RPG was one of my first games back in the day so I am keenly interested in this.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Darkblade View Post
              White Wolf's old Street Fighter RPG was one of my first games back in the day so I am keenly interested in this.
              Swing by the Gauging Interest thread over on the online play forums, we've got a few interested folks and we've been brainstorming while we await Hurt Locker.


              Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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              • #8
                I keep meaning to put more work into a general Fantasy setting, using Demon the Descent's rules. Standard "adventurers" would range from skilled mortals, "sorcerers" (Stigmatics), to those bloodlines (Demon-Blooded) chosen by the Gods (Demons who actually rule the setting). Magic items are simply Gadgets, monsters are Cryptids, etc.
                Last edited by Vent0; 06-11-2016, 04:59 PM.


                Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                • #9
                  Vent0 Why Demon, of all things? Feels like a lot of Demon's themes would get tossed out (or not; industrial fantasy with lots of Mecha worked for the old school Final Fantasy games), but also a lot of their powers are just straight up weird for traditional fantasy. Things like Shift Consequences is great for Demon, but weird for your standard fantasy fare.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aspel View Post
                    Vent0 Why Demon, of all things? Feels like a lot of Demon's themes would get tossed out (or not; industrial fantasy with lots of Mecha worked for the old school Final Fantasy games), but also a lot of their powers are just straight up weird for traditional fantasy. Things like Shift Consequences is great for Demon, but weird for your standard fantasy fare.
                    Because, with the Demon-Blooded as "divinely" chosen bloodlines with inherent powers, it works just as well. I'm primarily going for mechanics there. Demon's themes match Demons who might find themselves there very well - the existing hierarchy doesn't like outliers any more than the Machine does. Welcome to Hell, same as the old place, just a friendlier face.

                    Also, why not? Plus, it has a ready explanation for a lot of the common fantasy head-scratchers: odd geography? Well, the world was stitched together from mismatched portions of another. Odd prophecies? Half-understood requirements for Occult Matrices. Interference by the "Gods"? Watch out for that Cipher...

                    It only seems heroic as per typical Fantasy.


                    I wonder how well a Time-Spanning Adventures game might run with Demon and/or Mage, as well? I'm currently watching Legends of Tomorrow, and a disparate band of CofD splats against, say, something from Mummy in the role of Vandal Savage seems like it would just fit well.
                    Last edited by Vent0; 06-11-2016, 06:15 PM.


                    Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                    Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've wanted to do a 2000 AD-inspired (you know, dark fantasy in a cyberpunk + space opera paint job) shard ever since I became a fan of Mutant Chronicles.

                      Because I think Changelings vs. Muawijhe's Literal Army of Nightmares is too damn fitting to pass up. For the uninitiated, Muawijhe is the Dark Apostle (one of the five demigods who lead the alien demons of the Dark Legion responsible for destroying man's golden age) who embodies Madness. Except Madness not just insanity (all the Dark Legion and the traitorous Heretics who serve them are irrational and viciously nuts), but doubt-of one's senses, of one's identity, of trust, of the capacity for hope...he could call himself the Master of Despair and nobody would notice. And indeed, he's very much the hand of paranoia and relentless wearing down of humanity's will to fight on. More importantly, he's the local savant at Oneriomancy-his Symmetry Pattern (the Dark Symmetry is that Dark Legion's black magic) revolves around the twisting of minds and summoning monsters from the universal unconscious. Something fae are uniquely suited to face-just as he is perfectly suited to fact them, functional and prophetic madmen they are.
                      Last edited by Leliel; 06-11-2016, 10:16 PM.


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