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Changing Mask and Dirge for something else ... kinda

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  • Changing Mask and Dirge for something else ... kinda

    After more than a year of playing vampire (albeit only for 2hour once each month), my players have never really interacted with the mask and dirge. They have a few different reasons but ultimately they just dont really like those aspect.

    Therefore what i want to try is that instead of abstract personality types (autoritarian, conformist, idealist), i'll change the two anchors for more concrete roles/identity that they'll have to play to earn willpower.

    The Masquerade:
    Technically i'm not really changing much from mask. The big thing is that instead of a more or less abstract personnality trait, the players will instead select a role or identity that their characters is using to maintain the masquerade.
    For example: the core list Scholar as a possible mask. Instead the player picks Student taking late night classes.
    The character will regain a point of willpower when (in a scene) they either work at maintaining their masquerade (like being seen going to class or studying with other students) or develop it further (like actually enrolling in the class or making friends with the students or the teacher).
    Important actions that risk the character unlife to protect their masquerade refill their willpower point completely.

    Like i said, its not a huge change from the mask but i feel like it will help make the concept easier for my players to interact with.

    The Requiem:
    That one is more dicey. I know what i want to do with it, but i'm not sure i'm doing it right.

    Working in opposites of the Masquerade concept, i want the Requiem to represent the role the character holds within the All Night Society.
    The players will select things like Harpy (or even harpy apprentice), scourge, aide to an elder, loan shark for the carthians, etc.
    The characters regain a willpower point when they accomplish their function in vampiric society in a notable way.
    They regain all of their willpower when they go the extra miles (ideally endeangering themselves in the process).
    The PCs right now feel like they are interacting with vampire society but dont really feel ... integrated within it. My hope is that this change will help the players (and their characters) have a more concrete examples of how they are part of this society.
    My goal with the Requiem is to reinforce the characters connection to vampire society and showcase a sort of dependance on this society.
    I am still not sure this is the best way to go about it tho.

    Keep in mind these changes are just as much to help my players integrate with the themes of the game as helping me portray these themes successfully (which i feel like i've not succeeded at so far).

    Thoughts, helpful criticisms and accusations of heresy are all welcome.


    Currently running: VtR - The most serene requiem of Venice
    Currently playing: Tomb of Annihilation (DnD5e) - Thulwir, Aasimar Circle of Dream Druid.

  • #2
    But but but. This is more or less what Masque and Dirge is. The only difference you are pointing out are the Requiem is more role-based in what you do in the All Night Society.
    What you're doing is mixing up Concept with Masque and Dirge. But instead of the broad strokes in where you can regain willpower, you narrow it down into simple roles for the character to fill, stereotypes instead of archetypes if you will.

    A Vampire that is the Prince Hound and is taking night classes is part of her Concept, it shouldn't alone define how she regain willpower. Like in 99% of the scenes, where she ain't "on duty" or in night classes, she doesn't have a chance to regain willpower.

    Same vampire but with Masque as Questioner, might start a open debate against her professor to regain willpower, but can also do this against the Primogen or in any other suitable situation. Mostly the same goes for Dirge.

    If you're not using Masque and Dirge in Feeding Scenes, try that out, it should give better insight and meaning into Dirge/Masque. Although, the rules might need some tweaking to work at your table.

    Finding a Dirge/Masque that broadens and deepens ones concept is usually the way to go, something that can bridge the gap between Role/Fucntion/Lifestyle/Concept.
    Last edited by Poseur; 06-07-2018, 08:01 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Poseur View Post
      But but but. This is more or less what Masque and Dirge is. The only difference you are pointing out are the Requiem is more role-based in what you do in the All Night Society.
      What you're doing is mixing up Concept with Masque and Dirge. But instead of the broad strokes in where you can regain willpower, you narrow it down into simple roles for the character to fill, stereotypes instead of archetypes if you will.
      The thing is that the broadness of the archetypes are proving difficult for my players to interact with. The hope i have is a role would be easier for them to remember and use for the purpose of regaining their willpower.

      A Vampire that is the Prince Hound and is taking night classes is part of her Concept, it shouldn't alone define how she regain willpower. Like in 99% of the scenes, where she ain't "on duty" or in night classes, she doesn't have a chance to regain willpower.
      Yes, that is also what bothers me most about changing masque and dirge. But the truth is no matter how much more opportunity the players have they never used it to regain willpower. I thought that having the player tell me that they spend the first 3 hours of the night to go to class wouldn't be much different then telling me they go talk to their touchstone. It will also allow them to give more thoughts into how they are hiding among the humans and how they fit into vampire society.

      If you're not using Masque and Dirge in Feeding Scenes, try that out, it should give better insight and meaning into Dirge/Masque. Although, the rules might need some tweaking to work at your table.
      That is a very good idea, i'll definitely give it a try before i think of changing things.
      To be fair the issue here is just as much my fault as it is my players. I am not dealing well with the vagueness of these concepts. Tying those to feeding scenes might help me as well be more confident with those anchors.

      In the end, i'm most likely to keep masque and dirge but also offer my players the opportunity to regain willpower by working on their human identity or their role in vampire society.


      Currently running: VtR - The most serene requiem of Venice
      Currently playing: Tomb of Annihilation (DnD5e) - Thulwir, Aasimar Circle of Dream Druid.

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      • #4
        A suggested middle ground maybe, start with the narrower applications as a definite way that they can regain willpower, but then add scenes were they can use those facets of their character outside of the standard context and have them regain willpower form that.

        Example:

        The Student character gains willpower form going to class. And then during a different scene have being a student matter, maybe they need to research something, or know about academic systems. And give them willpower then.

        As your players get willpower from tangential things to their narrow choices, you can suggest a broader name to replace it.



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