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Is Metaplot going to be Hunter's "thing," or the new standard?

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  • Is Metaplot going to be Hunter's "thing," or the new standard?

    So each, or at least, most gamelines has some weirdness that deviates from the norm of the other gamelines. Now that Hunter has embraced metaplot, is the intent that other gamelines will have a rolling present or will that be confined to Hunter?

    Note: this thread isn't about whether judging Hunter's inclusion of metaplot is good or bad, just whether its going to remain Hunter's signature "thing" or whether the intent is that other gamelines will start receiving it.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Deinos View Post
    So each, or at least, most gamelines has some weirdness that deviates from the norm of the other gamelines. Now that Hunter has embraced metaplot, is the intent that other gamelines will have a rolling present or will that be confined to Hunter?

    Note: this thread isn't about whether judging Hunter's inclusion of metaplot is good or bad, just whether its going to remain Hunter's signature "thing" or whether the intent is that other gamelines will start receiving it.

    I wouldn't necessarily quantify Hunter 2e as having "embraced metaplot." Your mileage may vary.

    So no, I don't expect the other CofD game lines will include metaplot in any definitive sense. None of them have so far, and Hunter is the last of the 1e lines to get a 2e update.


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    • #3
      I would just want to note that in here blog, Monica has stated that she didn't actually intended on creating a "metaplot"- she just wanted to develop the history of Hunter, and show how the setting has changed through the years, and she used some of the already existing organizations to do so. As such, yeah, I would not expect any metaplot to form for the CofD anytime soon, as it wasn't even the intention for Hunter, even if it sometimes came out like it.

      I do remember that Hill once said that Tokyo was intended to be a "metaplot experiment" of some kind, introducing a crossover setting with certain developments and changes while the books progressed. But considering the current state, if it was true it is probably no longer the case, as Tokyo no longer got anything new since Hurt Locker.


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      • #4
        I believe the Tokyo setting was Hill's brainchild, and once she left OPP it simply died out. If it was a metaplot experiment, the result would've been inconclusive rather than positive or negative.

        Honestly, metaplot is way too nebulous a concept to meaningfully discuss. Certain setting elements have always progressed in the fiction, most notably the Chicago setting for Vampire, but with the drastically reduced release pacing any such developments are now few and far between.
        Hunter 2e might be unique in the scope of its setting advancement, but it's on such an impersonal level that it couldn't be replicated in any supplements. It's the type of advancement that only comes with an edition change, and as mentioned Hunter is the last game to receive one and third editions should be far, far away.


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        • #5
          To me, Hunter 2E is having 'metaplot' in the same way as Dark Eras line is 'metaplot'. Meaning - not so much. As with Hunter, Dark Eras are showing history of the particular gamelines - but not stories of particular NPCs across many books, like it is in ( old ) World of Darkness games. You do not have 'history of Prince Phillipe of Paris' in 15 Dark Eras, don't you?

          It's because WoD metaplot is like comic book series - it has protagonists, antagonists and particular story to tell. Dark Eras in CoD ( and Hunter history like it ) is much more Points of Light settings of D&D - you have some information on time period, have rough guidelines of gameplay and maybe NPC or two of note. It's nowhere near 'great saga of Cain and Triad' of WoD.

          Collect enough Dark Eras and you will have history of particular gameline - but it still not be particular story - at least, not in the WoD scope of things. Hopes that helps!


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          • #6
            Seems to me like people are so spooked by the very idea of a "metaplot" that they become nervous at the first hint of something that might look like one if you squint.

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            • #7
              Is there anything inherently wrong about metaplot? Just because it might be present doesn't mean it's troublesome.

              Does it invalidate player investment and decision making by having NPCs do all the cool, heavy-lifting plot pushing? That's bad metaplot. Does it invalidate the creativity of the GM by describing how you must constantly update the setting that requires you to purchase multiple supplement installments? That's bad metaplot. Does it describe a history or background of the setting? That's not metaplot at all.

              Does it update setting material from one edition into another, while not invalidating player input or requiring the GM to subscribe to an ongoing story? I'm not sure there's anything wrong with that.

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              • #8
                Yeah, I pointed out that it isn't about whether its good or bad.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by reseru View Post
                  Is there anything inherently wrong about metaplot? Just because it might be present doesn't mean it's troublesome.

                  Does it invalidate player investment and decision making by having NPCs do all the cool, heavy-lifting plot pushing? That's bad metaplot. Does it invalidate the creativity of the GM by describing how you must constantly update the setting that requires you to purchase multiple supplement installments? That's bad metaplot. Does it describe a history or background of the setting? That's not metaplot at all.

                  Does it update setting material from one edition into another, while not invalidating player input or requiring the GM to subscribe to an ongoing story? I'm not sure there's anything wrong with that.
                  Metaplot at an edition change isn’t that bad, but I definitely don’t want the old classic World of Darkness days of each new supplement changing (rather than expanding) the setting, because it renders each new supplement less useful if you aren’t following THE SAME storyline at your table.

                  But an update with events for a new edition with all supplements for that edition focused on exploring that new status-quo rather than updating events further (until a new edition) is fine, because then it’s just the new starting points that are different for incoming people, rather than the setting constantly changing.
                  Last edited by glamourweaver; 03-12-2020, 08:58 PM.


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                  • #10
                    I agree with you there, though it also reminds me of 4th edition D&D overhauling the Forgotten Realms and how that was not received well.

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                    • #11
                      FR's use of metaplot is wild as hell, from the beginning of Time of Troubles onward.

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                      • #12
                        I think Hunter was sort of unique in that it had a ton of compacts and conspiracies that a lot of people really took to heart, and I was a bit surprised they decided to deal with some of them at all, rather than leave it blank or name-drop them in more positive or at least ambiguous ways. Like, even without being mentioned no one thinks the z-splats from other games in first edition were killed off just because they weren't mentioned or given full write-ups. Still, I have to agree with Ian Watson that it doesn't seem like its 'embraced metaplot' solely due to actually dealing with that. It shows something that wasn't explored too much in first edition, that compacts and even conspiracies rise and fall, and not every leave members to carry on the fight thousands of years later.

                        The changes are, I imagine, also a way to sort of encourage you to build your own compact or conspiracy, which has always been popular in first edition. I've noted elsewhere that it -seems- like Hunter has the most homebrewed organizations (counting bloodlines and lodges and so forth) compared to the other splats. And freeing you up to make your own version of the compact you like, or have your cell be made up of survivors from that dead conspiracy, also lets them not have to spend a lot of time essentially re-building compacts for whom not much would have changed in second edition.

                        It's a surprising move. I think we'll be able to get more of a grasp on everything once the supplements come out.

                        All that said, a long time ago we were told that we were going to be getting a book called 'Dark Shards.' And for Vampire 'Shattered Masks: A Shards (alternative) World Setting where the Masquerade comes down. What effect does this have on a world of darkness where vampires are suddenly real, and among us?' It's possible that, while we have the core setting, we might be getting shards where certain themes and aspects of the games are put on the spotlight. If there was a shard that got a lot of attention, I could see it having metaplot, similar to the old Orpheus books wrapping around a single story event. Just as an example, What if something went wrong, and the only vampires left were Belial's Brood, the only werewolves the Pure, mages the Scelesti, so on down the line and any pretense of a masquerade is shattered and the world actually needs hunters?

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