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[Dark Eras] Year Without Summer Discussion

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  • [Dark Eras] Year Without Summer Discussion

    As I'm ending reading this Dark Era about creation of Frankenstein Linage, I'd like to talk about it. What do you think about it? And about greatest twist of it all: That Mary Shelley ( with help of Polidori as Alchemist ) IS Demiurge of first Wretched, Adam?
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 04-03-2017, 10:21 AM.


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  • #2
    I think it's really, really cheesy and I can't imagine ever using this Dark Era, let alone acknowledging its existence in any game I ever plan on running.

    That being said, some people like cheese, and that's okay.

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    • #3
      It felt like a goofy historical fiction rather than a part of the CofD world or a setting I could use. That second part is what really irks me: where the hell is the setting?

      Definitely the weakest part of all of Dark Eras by miles.


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      • #4
        Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
        It felt like a goofy historical fiction rather than a part of the CofD world or a setting I could use.
        Well, Forsaken by Rome for Werewolf have 'kidnapped Wolf-Blooded Germania prince' that is real, historical character - Erminaz/Arminius - as main settings NPC about what who whole Era revolves, so it's not more cheesy than that. Making Demiurge of Shelley that later reflected her regret and Polidori alchemists hubris in novel as character of Victor Frankenstein - sounds to me really appropriate if they should use historical persons. It's really 'secret (lesser) werewolf' vs 'secret alchemist' tropes in both Era - so it's all Beethoven Was an Alien Spy. Take it if you like it, but if not - you should also not like this part of Forsaken by Rome.

        Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
        That second part is what really irks me: where the hell is the setting?
        Switzerland and Britain? Both where Adam and Mary spend times after villa. Most of background information are on those two areas. We also have story seeds pointed to Geneva in Switzerland and Cork in Ireleand, so it seems to confirm that.

        And I think that using 'legions of beggars times' works really great for Promethean as time for coming to being of Frankenstein Linage.

        Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
        Definitely the weakest part of all of Dark Eras by miles.
        I will highly disagree here on When the Horseman Rode - Horseman is NOT even Dark Era at any length, only particular chronicle stories in disguise of one. You may not like Shelly as Demuirge idea, but at least it's time of great reform of Created by ending and starting of Linage, we got cool Black Alchemist 'guild' ( by Golden Thorn ) and working setting there, not some 4 random locations like in When the Horseman Rode...
        Last edited by wyrdhamster; 04-03-2017, 12:55 PM.


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        • #5
          I want to point out also that CoD lines used Bethoveen Was an Alien Spy trope at least twice in Requiem as founders of Covenants - Both Longinus and Dracula are historical figures having secret supernatural background in this game. And to quote TvTrope page:

          While the mixing of fantastic elements into historical texts is as old as mankind (see the Arthurian cycle for one example), the modern form of this trope probably originates with Dracula, essentially the incorporation of a fantastic secret life into the history of Vlad the Impaler.
          Last edited by wyrdhamster; 04-03-2017, 12:56 PM.


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          • #6
            I'll quote myself.

            Originally posted by Cinder View Post
            I have mixed feelings about Year Without Summer. I mean, it's written well and I can see what the writers were aiming for but, I don't know, I was so convinced that Victor Frankenstein was a thing in the Chronicles of Darkness that the chapter just did not click for me. I am a little old-fashioned when it comes to the classics and while I would have accepted Mary being a part of the story as she is in many adaptations of Frankenstein, cutting out Victor for Polidori is something I did not like. Hell, I would have been more accepting of Mary being the Demiurge without John being a part of the story. Still not the best option if you ask me, but one I could metabolize better.

            The fact so much of the chapter is focused on Diodati and its aftermath and does not give as much informations and plot hooks about the era as other chapters is another point of contention for me.

            I know there's a sidebar that addresses this specific concern and nothing stops me from Frankenstein being real in my setting, but it's not the same thing, It's clearly a matter of personal preferences and I'm not saying that the chapter is bad or anything, merely that it is not what I hoped it would be. It has parts I like a lot, but still. Oh well, to each his own, you can't like everything.

            Sorry if this sounded like a grumpy comment, but that's how I feel about it

            I'm not against real historical figures in the Chronicles of Darkness by default. I think it can be fine, even though I sure am not a huge fan of the trope. I just don't like how it was done this time. Not liking this specific instance does not mean being against the trope as a whole. But, you know, it's just my perspective and all so I'm not gonna argue with people if they disagree with me on this.

            What I actually wanted from the chapter was a combination of the real events (the Tambora eruption, famines, turmoil) and Romanticism put in the context of a Promethean setting with the advent of the Frankenstein as the "big news" that brings change in the life of the Created. Plus Victor Frankenstein and Mary Shelley, but again, that's strictly a matter of personal taste. I don't feel like the chapter delivered it, basing perhaps too much of its foundation on the Mary and Polidori twist.
            Last edited by Cinder; 04-03-2017, 09:22 AM.


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            • #7
              Who are both male characters in graphic on page 217 of Companion?


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              • #8
                I'm not sure. They seem to be a little old to be anyone from the Byron-Shelly-Polidori household (who were all in their late teens, early twenties at the time, except for Byron, who was 28) but based off of portraits that I have seen they are closest to Polidori and Byron. The one on the right might be Percy Shelly, but just for reference this is a portrait of Percy three years after the Dark Era is set, and this is a portrait of Polidori from... I'm not sure when, but historically he is believed to have committed suicide via cyanide (the coroner ruled it natural causes, but who dies naturally from cyanide poisoning?) five years after the Dark Era. Poor guy was severely depressed, and spent a good portion of his short life working for and living with people who were considered massively more talented than he was and who never particularly liked him.

                Then again, the game offers a portrait of Polidori, looking quite forlorn, with his character sheet right after they give Adam's, so maybe it's Shelly and Byron?

                I agree that the setting depended too much on the Shelly/Polidori twist (even if I liked that it gave Mary an active role instead of just 'hearing about' or 'being told' the story of the Frankenstein Lineage) but I think the little Story Hooks at the end of the chapter, all the weird and wondrous things a character could encounter while on a Pilgrimage, are the strongest part of it.
                Last edited by Arcanist; 04-03-2017, 10:03 AM.


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                • #9
                  I think that whole Polidori twist was to make Golden Thorn more impactfull on Dark Eras events. And I must say, it does make sense here. It's a bit stretch, but it makes Era better as RPG setting, using particular antagonists as story folders in particular game setting. And I really like idea of Golden Thorn being based on 'soulmate' Alchemy here. It makes them even wickeder as anatagonists.


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                  • #10
                    Well, technically, the Golden Thorn seem relatively benign, the book says Polidori plunging off the deep end basically causes an irreconcilable schism in the order. Other than being Alchemists, they're just a Rosicrucian offshoot, and the Rosicrucians were a fraternal semi-religious order rife with alchemical and sexual symbolism to begin with. (The Rosicrucians were one of the different lodges of the time that eventually melded into the Golden Dawn. This time period was lousy with different 'secret societies' with interesting, overlapping beliefs) I like Polidori as a brutal but sympathetic antagonist. I'm not sure I like him as purely dark and obsessive antagonist. He is Tormented as much as any of the Created are, and he really needs a hug and some appreciation.

                    Also, therapy. Soooo much therapy. All the Romantics do. It's kind of killing me that most of them are my age or younger, and they're all due to die in the next couple of years. The weight given to their writing makes them feel a lot older and more mature than they probably are, but some of the research I've been doing on the Shellys and Byron for a Romantic Literature class burns off more than a little of the mystique and it makes them seem so... young and pained.
                    Last edited by Arcanist; 04-03-2017, 10:09 AM.


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