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Design: (1e) Virtue & Vice vs. (2e) Mask & Dirge

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  • Design: (1e) Virtue & Vice vs. (2e) Mask & Dirge

    From a game design standpoint, can someone walk me through the decision to switch over from the Virtue/Vice system in VTR 1e to the Mask & Dirge system in 2e?

    (0) EDITED TO ADD: I do not want to discuss the place of Christian theology in Vampire: the Requiem 1e or pop culture at large. You're welcome to whatever beliefs you may have, but I would prefer them to be aired in someone else's thread rather than here.

    (1) In what way did Virtue & Vice fail to meet the themes of VTR, so that Mask & Dirge were better suited?

    (2) What sub-systems are affected by Mask & Dirge? By this I mean something like: in VTR 1e, Virtue and Vice keyed into a couple of mechanics beyond simply replenishing Willpower. For example, the curse of the Daeva in 1e was that they'd lose 2 Willpower by ignoring their Vice--this meant that Daeva would, in general, act very strongly in accordance with their personal preferred sin. Also, Virtue and Vice also provided situational modifiers when trying to resist frenzy. Indirectly, Virtue and Vice also led the players to form moral judgments about the characters (including their own). I'd suspect that over play, Virtue and Vice would also cause you to engage in actions that directly affected 1e's Humanity score.

    (3) At a quick glance, it seems like this stuff ties back to changes in how Humanity is conceived in 1e vs. 2e. Would it be correct to say that in 1e, Humanity is a question of, "Can I be a good human?" whereas in 2e it becomes, "Am I even human at all?"
    Last edited by James_Nostack; 05-18-2019, 02:37 PM.

  • DubiousRuffian
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    It feels like you're making "Roles" really just be, "the specific way my character is currently embodying an archetype."

    Which... I don't know... feels like overdoing it?
    I'm pretty against archetypes on just.... aesthetic grounds, so I'm not sure how much of my disagreement is just a knee-jerk reaction to the word itself or what... But you're probably right that I am overdoing it. But this is my thought process:
    • The point of the Anchor is to foreground these two lives you live, which may occasionally clash or cause complications.
    • It does this by incentivizing the pursuit of characteristic actions in a variety of relevant situations.
    • The incentive is Willpower, so the incentive is for the character rather than the player, and the character finds the action to be engergizing (I doubt a Rebel necessarily enjoys protesting injustice).
    • Your character is also incentivized to pursue characteristic actions in ways that may cause problems (breaking points, risking final death, etc.)
    • The incentives to act characteristically, despite high risk, seems to be an incentive for players rather than just characters. The player is incentivized to not metagame around problems.

    So whatever falls under the category of Mask/Dirge/Role will need to fill a number of functions.
    1. Communicate a motivation
    2. Communicate a type of action that is available in a variety of situations.
    3. Guide consistent characterization/play despite high risks.

    I would accept "Good Boss" if being a good boss is something that the character identifies with as an end rather than a means: A Good Boss goes to bed on time to set a good example and be at the office early, reads about better management techniques on their off time, maybe takes a pay cut for their employees. A Good Boss does these things because they want to be a good boss, not because they want approval or are a Conformist, or have a wider commitment to being a Pillar of Society

    This raises the question of how the Mask/Dirge/Role is different than Virtue/Vice. Pillar of Society sounds pretty close to a Reliable Virtue. Maybe it has something to do with genre constraints (which is where we get archetypes) or maybe it has something to do with the fact that Virtue/Vice could apply in all contexts, while Mask/Dirge/Role should apply in many-but-not all contexts.



    Side note I wouldn't accept "Bad Boss". To paraphrase Tolstoy "All good boss's are alike; each bad boss is bad in its own way." Bad Boss isn't action guiding enough, and "Disgruntled Rep" fails to communicate a motivation.

    Last edited by DubiousRuffian; 06-12-2019, 01:05 PM.

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  • Maitrecorbo
    replied
    My thing was really more about the part you take in mortal society (and effort to hide what you really are) and the part you take in kindred society. You regain WP by being an archivist for the lancea sanctum because it reinforce that you are part of kindred society.
    Again im tailoring this to what i know my players (and me) will enjoy.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    It feels like you're making "Roles" really just be, "the specific way my character is currently embodying an archetype."

    Which... I don't know... feels like overdoing it? Like, "Bad Boss," seems like it should emerge out of the Authoritarian archetype with everything else in your concept, not need to be specified like that. It don't see how it's any different from "Disgruntled Rep."

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  • DubiousRuffian
    replied
    Originally posted by Tessie View Post

    Now you've switched back to Mask/Dirge archetypes, the very thing that Roles were supposed to replace.
    Yeah...


    Originally posted by DubiousRuffian View Post
    I'm not arguing against you in favor of replacing Mask/Dirge with job. I'm arguing that Mask/Dirge could be seen as representing the way your personality is expressed in a given context, and this could be interpreted as being "your role", depending on how narrowly you want to interpret the word "role".

    I'm arguing that Mask/Dirge are Roles, not archetypes. They influence play, and reflect an interplay between what you do and what you want.

    Example: I don't see how the archivist couldn't have Scheming Bastard or Yuppie instead.

    EDIT: Reading back over the thread, I may have misreadMaitrecorbo's post and just created a problem out of nothing. I feel like the whole Role idea isn't bad, as long as you allow Role to not just be Job. Like, I'd be fine with someone using "Good Boss" or "Wage Slave", but maybe not "Disgruntled Rep" because it's more covered by the Concept Anchor.
    Last edited by DubiousRuffian; 06-12-2019, 11:43 AM.

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  • Tessie
    replied
    Originally posted by DubiousRuffian View Post
    Maybe Social Climber should be your Anchor; maybe Competitor. Maybe you want status because what you want is power. So maybe Authoritarian should be your Anchor.

    The way you relate, in a given context, expresses character. Your M/D are likely to change as your context does. So maybe you started off as a Social Climber archivist. You networked, made friends, worked hard, and are now you are a respected member of the Sanctified. Now, you don't need to gain status. You need to protect it. So you switch to Authoritarian. Or maybe you have status, and you can finally revel in it. Switch to Courtesan.
    Now you've switched back to Mask/Dirge archetypes, the very thing that Roles were supposed to replace.

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  • DubiousRuffian
    replied

    I think I didn't make my position entirely clear and I'm not sure we're arguing against each other. I'm not arguing against you in favor of replacing Mask/Dirge with job. I'm arguing that Mask/Dirge could be seen as representing the way your personality is expressed in a given context, and this could be interpreted as being "your role", depending on how narrowly you want to interpret the word "role".

    Originally posted by Tessie View Post

    Most commonly because of the need for a salary.
    So right here we can make a useful distinction. I may have a desire to earn a salary, but that desire might be contingent on a higher order desire for material stability (or any number of other reasons). The pertinent question for this Anchor isn't how I spend my time, but what I get out of the way I spend my time.

    Why do you need a salary? Plenty of homeless people exist. I need it to live a comfortable life. So how do you act at your job? I do the bare minimum, and fantasize about vacations; given the chance I'll take a better paying option in a heartbeat.

    Vampires are probably going to feel forced to it by other means... My point is that it's not uncommon for people to do stuff for reasons that are tangentially related to what they're doing. Lets say the archivist only does it to build status within the church. Why would acting like an archivist in other contexts reaffirm their personal strength and grant them WP? It's not who they are as a person; it's just their job for the time being.
    Again, I'm not saying to use a job directly. I'm saying to use the reason for doing the job.

    You're an archivist and you are building status. What you get out of archiving is status. Do you want status status in general or as an archivist? Maybe Social Climber should be your Anchor; maybe Competitor. Maybe you want status because what you want is power. So maybe Authoritarian should be your Anchor.

    The way you relate, in a given context, expresses character. Your M/D are likely to change as your context does. So maybe you started off as a Social Climber archivist. You networked, made friends, worked hard, and are now you are a respected member of the Sanctified. Now, you don't need to gain status. You need to protect it. So you switch to Authoritarian. Or maybe you have status, and you can finally revel in it. Switch to Courtesan.

    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    If you take a public school teacher that's emotionally affirmed by the act of instructing students... should they still get WP for doing all the administrative work teachers are expected to do outside of their time instructing students? Do they get WP for going to school board meetings, voting on union matters, doing yearly budgets, submitting for routine background checks, and all sorts of matters that are important to the system but don't really emotionally resonate with the experience of being in the classroom?
    As I say above, I think the Anchor is about what you get out of the role. So if the teacher is emotionally affirmed by instructing students...

    I would say that anything substantially furthering the goal of educating would refill WP. So maybe not most paperwork, but definitely finishing the paperwork to get your teacher's licence. Maybe not voting on procedural school board matters, but definitely voting on a significant change in policy that makes a positive change. Maybe breaking a strike refills all willpower.

    Maybe quitting the job because it's become a bureaucratic mess, and becoming an SAT tutor.

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  • Rose Bailey
    replied
    Originally posted by Shadowdragon View Post
    Is this revised version of Requiem just a labour of love that you'll (hopefully?) be sharing with the community at large? Or is this an official thing where we'll finally get an official Vampire the Requiem v2.5? Either way I would LOVE to see a revised version of Requiem. As amazing as I think Requiem 2e is, I think a revision is something we've desperately needed for a long time.
    This is something unofficial I'm making for my own use, compiling the best ideas I've played with over the years and smoothing out some of the rough edges. If people want to see it, I'll put it up here or on STV.

    From a personal standpoint, I'm coming back to horror in a big way. I took a year mostly off from it, and now I've got multiple projects going and I'm super excited!

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Originally posted by Shadowdragon View Post
    I can think of dozens of examples where a Mask and Dirge would end up being exactly the same because the character/npc acts the same with humans as they do with vampires.
    That seems... questionable to me as a practical matter.

    Vice and Virtue, and most other splat variations, work because EVERYONE has them without exception, and they absolutely have to be different from each other.
    Every vampire has them without exception, and in many cases there's nothing actually stopping them from being the same in characterization even if the rules wouldn't allow it. There's not conceptual reason why a Virtue and a Vice can't be the same in 2e.

    Relating Mask and Dirge to Humanity and Beast, in a similar way as say Werewolf handles Bone and Blood, makes a LOT more sense than relating them to behaviour in human society vs behaviour in vampire society.
    I think this glosses over exactly how much this is a distinction without a difference. How a vampire relates to Humanity is entirely based on how they interact with humans socially. How they relate to the Beast is tempered by their roles in vampire society.

    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    My point is that it's not uncommon for people to do stuff for reasons that are tangentially related to what they're doing. Lets say the archivist only does it to build status within the church. Why would acting like an archivist in other contexts reaffirm their personal strength and grant them WP? It's not who they are as a person; it's just their job for the time being.
    To add an additional wrinkle to this hypothetical.

    If you take a public school teacher that's emotionally affirmed by the act of instructing students... should they still get WP for doing all the administrative work teachers are expected to do outside of their time instructing students? Do they get WP for going to school board meetings, voting on union matters, doing yearly budgets, submitting for routine background checks, and all sorts of matters that are important to the system but don't really emotionally resonate with the experience of being in the classroom?

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  • Tessie
    replied
    Originally posted by DubiousRuffian View Post
    If someone hasn't found their "calling" and works a job they hate, then why don't they quit it?
    Most commonly because of the need for a salary. Vampires are probably going to feel forced to it by other means, such as getting hunting ground rights, keeping up favour with a superior, pressured to it by the Sire, etc. And even if you don't hate it, it's still very unlikely to be something they actually burn for. It generally isn't for humans and vampires have even worse opportunities of landing such a position. (Not to mention that combining work and pleasure can actually end up sucking the pleasure out of the job.)

    My point is that it's not uncommon for people to do stuff for reasons that are tangentially related to what they're doing. Lets say the archivist only does it to build status within the church. Why would acting like an archivist in other contexts reaffirm their personal strength and grant them WP? It's not who they are as a person; it's just their job for the time being.

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  • DubiousRuffian
    replied
    Originally posted by Tessie View Post
    If it works for your PCs, then go for it. Just have in mind that it might not work for NPCs unless you've had all of them having found their calling, so to speak.
    It doesn't need to be their job, per se. No matter the situation, what you do is in some way an expression of your character. If someone hasn't found their "calling" and works a job they hate, then why don't they quit it? Maybe because they fear risking failure by pursuing something better; maybe they feel lost; maybe they are biding their time; maybe they are being coerced and this is the best way they can deal.

    People do things for reasons, and that's what the Mask/Dirge/Willpower loop seems to be about - - which reasons weigh on the person, and how is their character expressed through their relations within a given context? What do you do when surrounded by friends and family and food you can never be honest with? What do you do when you are surrounded by undead gaslighting dickbags who think you're a threat to their material security?

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  • Shadowdragon
    replied
    Originally posted by Rose Bailey View Post
    The core idea was that Mask is who you are when you're dealing with humans, Dirge is who you are as a vampire. Neither's more truly you than the other, but Mask is harder to keep up.

    One of the things that runs through several of the nWoD games is the idea that if you put up a facade, it's still part of you. A mask is still a face.

    So they're both anchors, they both ground you, they're both roles that reaffirm your identity and therefore your Willpower.

    My biggest problem with this is that it works for certain other splats, but it doesn't always work in Vampire. I can think of dozens of examples where a Mask and Dirge would end up being exactly the same because the character/npc acts the same with humans as they do with vampires. Vice and Virtue, and most other splat variations, work because EVERYONE has them without exception, and they absolutely have to be different from each other. You don't get this with Mask and Dirge at all. Relating Mask and Dirge to Humanity and Beast, in a similar way as say Werewolf handles Bone and Blood, makes a LOT more sense than relating them to behaviour in human society vs behaviour in vampire society.

    Originally posted by Rose Bailey View Post
    I'm working on a revised version of them for my own purposes, and I'll keep this thread in mind!
    Is this revised version of Requiem just a labour of love that you'll (hopefully?) be sharing with the community at large? Or is this an official thing where we'll finally get an official Vampire the Requiem v2.5? Either way I would LOVE to see a revised version of Requiem. As amazing as I think Requiem 2e is, I think a revision is something we've desperately needed for a long time.
    Last edited by Shadowdragon; 06-11-2019, 10:18 PM.

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  • Tessie
    replied
    If it works for your PCs, then go for it. Just have in mind that it might not work for NPCs unless you've had all of them having found their calling, so to speak.

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  • Maitrecorbo
    replied
    For me the goal of making it a job is to emphasize the importance of having a place in kindred society.
    (tho i'm doing this to make things more aligned with how i've seen my group approach playing Requiem and i don't think this is a change that would work for everybody)

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  • Tessie
    replied
    Sounds more like jobs. I think that goes pretty far from the point of Anchors. Being an archivist might just be how a sanctified has chosen to pass the time rather than anything that informs any part of their personality.

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