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Dark Era: The Wolf and the Raven

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  • Dark Era: The Wolf and the Raven

    We have a thread for the Neolithic Forsaken period so I thought it appropriate to open another one up for the Viking Werewolf era, shared with Sin-Eaters.

    What do you backers and non-backers who've heard of it or seen friends copies think? Any criticisms, compliments or comments?

  • #2
    It's definitely the densest chapter in the book; while the others settle for the movie version of history, this one goes hard on the actual Viking info.

    Some of the art is impressively bad.


    Call me Regina or Lex.

    Female pronouns for me, please.

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    • #3
      On the other hand, for a chapter I expected so little from, I was genuinely impressed with how interesting and dynamic a setting it is for the Uratha. I have some gripes with how the Sin-Eaters don't feel fully integrated (Though I still love it to bits), but on the whole, this setting is rich and evocative-it's awesome to see the Uratha in another heyday setting that's quite different from their heyday in Sumer. I never cared much for the Meninna before, but the idea of doing one who has a raid come back to haunt them appeals to me quite a lot.

      And oh my god, Hearthglass Beads are the sweetest thing ever, you guys.


      Sean K.I.W. Steele, Freelance Writer
      Work Blog Coming Soon
      The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey

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      • #4
        I'm glad they updated the Gift of Technology because I needed that for a game set during the Crusades that I might be playing.

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        • #5
          Hi! I wrote from Raiding & Trading through to the Fire-Touched Lodge and a couple of the blurbs on other lines. I'm happy to answer questions if you have them. Apologies if "dense" was a bad thing

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          • #6
            As I said previously, I actually expected to get bored by that chapter. Instead, I was immensely entertained and excited for the setting. Good job to you and your fellows, again.


            Sean K.I.W. Steele, Freelance Writer
            Work Blog Coming Soon
            The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey

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            • #7
              Originally posted by M.Murray View Post
              Hi! I wrote from Raiding & Trading through to the Fire-Touched Lodge and a couple of the blurbs on other lines. I'm happy to answer questions if you have them. Apologies if "dense" was a bad thing
              Dense is so not a problem; I'm perfectly happy with lots of history in my historical settings.


              Call me Regina or Lex.

              Female pronouns for me, please.

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              • #8
                ( I’m just before reading Auspices section )

                I have a bit mixed feelings about Viking chapter, but in the end positive, I think. I very like there are much historical accuracy even I did not know about or terms not known by me

                My biggest concern is downgraded role of religion in chapter - Norse gods got only one paragraph ( till moment I’m in ) and Christianity is shown just as political force.
                Integration of Old Gods with Uratha knowledge of Shadow is big issue, that we tried on ourselves to touch before chapter come out and it is a bit mess- especially between worship of Firstborns and Norse Gods - I really hoped for more on this matter in Era chapter, really.
                Also, position of Church as more than political faction uniting Europe. In cWoD Werewolf: Dark Ages, the Church is Wyrm puppet, infiltrated by it and pervasive fighting with Northern Gaouru. In Wolf and Raven we have vampire here and there and maybe Claimed. Even shout out to mages Seers of Throne would make much bigger threat midst the Church. Not too mention that Christian temples could put interesting Bans on pagan werewolves from desecration of their holy sites.

                Other thing that bothers me is portraying of Uratha as “just explorers”. “Viking werewolves comes to new land were are other werewolves, but working under the same packs” - whole chapter read sounds like Uratha, on themselves, do not different wherever they are, they just on two sides of humans political conflict. I wanted some highlighting in difference between European wolves and North ones. Did not get it.

                However, I very like hiding pack Totem in boats ornaments - it does have sens that Uratha would sail under banner of Totem, and we all know that boats have great animal decorations. This idea is really great!

                For now, I’m a bit disappointment on Viking Uratha culture parts itself. Historical - it’s really good written. But I need a bit more how werewolves where different in those times. Or how Uratha seen their raids and wars targets.


                Conquest of Paradise - Fan Dark Era about Portugal and Spain conquests in XVI century - Mage & Beast ( & Hunter )
                My Hubs - VtR 2E System Hacks, MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                  My biggest concern is downgraded role of religion in chapter - Norse gods got only one paragraph ( till moment I’m in ) and Christianity is shown just as political force.
                  Integration of Old Gods with Uratha knowledge of Shadow is big issue, that we tried on ourselves to touch before chapter come out and it is a bit mess- especially between worship of Firstborns and Norse Gods - I really hoped for more on this matter in Era chapter, really.
                  We tried it before - and it ended in arguments.

                  Leaving it vague is MUCH better. That allows each troupe to play as they want without getting told by the book they are doing it wrong.

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                  • #10
                    Reading futher - the Auspies and Tribes sections solves most of my Old Gods interpretiotion problems. Still Christianity seems to be "whithout flavor"...


                    Conquest of Paradise - Fan Dark Era about Portugal and Spain conquests in XVI century - Mage & Beast ( & Hunter )
                    My Hubs - VtR 2E System Hacks, MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                      Reading futher - the Auspies and Tribes sections solves most of my Old Gods interpretiotion problems. Still Christianity seems to be "whithout flavor"...
                      So... What would you have wanted?

                      I'm fairly certain everyone here has at least an inkling about how Christianity works, and how to think of it. Focusing on it would be wasted word count, in many ways.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Seidmadr View Post

                        So... What would you have wanted?

                        I'm fairly certain everyone here has at least an inkling about how Christianity works, and how to think of it. Focusing on it would be wasted word count, in many ways.
                        Yeah, I have to agree. I'm glad word count wasn't 'wasted' on stuff most already know.

                        I probably jumped the gun with the thread, when I made it I had only skimmed the section and I only just read it last night. It's nicely organized, and we get an actual Hunting Ground and sections about the tribes and auspices, all very well done. There's also the mechanics section, which was sweet. The Lodge of Muspell was really interesting, and I honestly feel like I'm going to try and pick up that rite in my modern day because it looks incredibly useful, and fitting for our pack.

                        All in all I really like it, but I feel like in some parts it could have been more ambitious, offering more werewolf-related story seeds than moments of human history you could insert your werewolves. But I'm being unfairly critical here, it's very well done and it makes a point of keeping the Uratha involved throughout the whole thing.

                        I particularly liked the Restless Dead section, and the ambiguity of the things they come across and how they're formed.

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                        • #13
                          I tried to touch on how Norse Christianity differed in that their usual political processes didn't always work out. The Norse initially warmed to the concept of Christ a lot faster than they did to monotheism (as mentioned in the chapter). I did consider covering Christianity a bit more, but there were a couple of issues. As Seidmadr and nofather said, it seemed to be covering a lot of stuff people would know, which was non-specific to the region, and it was killing the word count. I actually had to cut a lot out and my section is still slightly over the assigned count. And nofather actually touched on another aspect of it that featured in the Restless Dead; I was going for ambiguity, and I like the idea that one supernatural species wouldn't have a whole lot of info on the others. I was a tad conscious of bashing the Christians a bit too much, and while oWoD has big nasty forces controlling the Church, 1st Ed and CofD always struck me as more reserved about that sort of thing, where the simple non-supernatural explanation was more likely than a large prevailing presence of one big bad. Consider also that the putting too many big nasty evil things behind the Church gives Vikings a nice moral motivation to hide behind that simply doesn't exist in real life, and that doesn't seem in keeping with the setting.

                          It's worth pointing out, because it's a small reference, but Sitric was raiding the monasteries sponsored by other Christian leaders. It wasn't uncommon for Christian Vikings to find new excuses to keep raiding.

                          I probably could've put some more story seeds in with the other stuff. Doing justice to that battle without over-simplifying it was challenging in the space I had. The St Bryce's Day Massacre and the ensuing conflict probably would've taken up a lot more space if I'd been expanding on that, but it was a less consolidated event and had less pay-off for players.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Seidmadr View Post
                            So... What would you have wanted?

                            I'm fairly certain everyone here has at least an inkling about how Christianity works, and how to think of it. Focusing on it would be wasted word count, in many ways.
                            We know how Christianity works - the Norseman didn't. We also know how Christianity works NOW, not in early Middle Ages. Mainly, I was looking for some nice Christianity related Werewolf story seeds - like how it works with spirits? How Shadow answer to coming of new religion? What does Christian converted werewolf looks like in those times? HOW Christian packs in Europe differce from those in Vikings? I cannot show deep contrast on those with having only answer of one side of it.

                            I was hoping a bit less stress was put on historical battles and more on showing this kind of thing. Battles I can easily find online - relation to fictional RPG epheremal beings between 1000 years before version of Christianity - not so much.

                            Maybe I did not read to it, but I do not see any Bale Hounds shout out that should be natural in Christian dominated Europe. Old World should be crawling with Malejin worshiping Uratha when confronted with Christianity and it's view on


                            Conquest of Paradise - Fan Dark Era about Portugal and Spain conquests in XVI century - Mage & Beast ( & Hunter )
                            My Hubs - VtR 2E System Hacks, MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by M.Murray View Post
                              I tried to touch on how Norse Christianity differed in that their usual political processes didn't always work out. The Norse initially warmed to the concept of Christ a lot faster than they did to monotheism (as mentioned in the chapter). I did consider covering Christianity a bit more, but there were a couple of issues. As Seidmadr and nofather said, it seemed to be covering a lot of stuff people would know, which was non-specific to the region, and it was killing the word count. I actually had to cut a lot out and my section is still slightly over the assigned count.
                              In understand word count limitation - still, I would much rather read about setting related differences than list of all historical battles. It made me a bit disappointed in here - Viking cultural related stuff was really superb and introduced me to some concept I wasn't aware worth. But using few pages on most known battles could be used on showing more "culture shock" werewolves get by meetings on both sides.

                              Originally posted by M.Murray View Post
                              And nofather actually touched on another aspect of it that featured in the Restless Dead; I was going for ambiguity, and I like the idea that one supernatural species wouldn't have a whole lot of info on the others. I was a tad conscious of bashing the Christians a bit too much, and while oWoD has big nasty forces controlling the Church, 1st Ed and CofD always struck me as more reserved about that sort of thing, where the simple non-supernatural explanation was more likely than a large prevailing presence of one big bad. Consider also that the putting too many big nasty evil things behind the Church gives Vikings a nice moral motivation to hide behind that simply doesn't exist in real life, and that doesn't seem in keeping with the setting.
                              I do not want to choose one enemy amidst Church - I want to deepen mystery of fighting with other religion.

                              In chapter, sacking monasteries and chapels do not seem much different than attacking the towns or castles - so it's "favourless". Mention here and there vampires or Claimed seems more like random encounters than fighting alien religion temple. I was hoping for maybe at weird Bans or curses going on raiders? "Alien" christian spirts, not found in Scandinavia? Maybe not even some detailed stats, just mentioning that Christianity was a problem for Norse werewolves, as ALIEN religion itself, even when human Vikings embraced it easily? That Uratha in Europe had some weird fetishes and Gifts? Some things like that.

                              Originally posted by M.Murray View Post
                              It's worth pointing out, because it's a small reference, but Sitric was raiding the monasteries sponsored by other Christian leaders. It wasn't uncommon for Christian Vikings to find new excuses to keep raiding.
                              Great news - now how this relates to Uratha? What does it gives me, as ST, to say to Viking Uratha and build story on this? 'You can attack your brothers in Christianity'? Well, what does this bring to my table?

                              Originally posted by M.Murray View Post
                              I probably could've put some more story seeds in with the other stuff. Doing justice to that battle without over-simplifying it was challenging in the space I had. The St Bryce's Day Massacre and the ensuing conflict probably would've taken up a lot more space if I'd been expanding on that, but it was a less consolidated event and had less pay-off for players.
                              Without Mass Combat Rules in Dark Eras using battles itself as story scenario is dubious goal in first place.

                              Maybe I didn't get to those ( I'm in Tribes part ) but I feel the chapter lacks story seeds and setting backgrounds where it should have.
                              Last edited by wyrdhamster; 04-02-2016, 04:54 AM.


                              Conquest of Paradise - Fan Dark Era about Portugal and Spain conquests in XVI century - Mage & Beast ( & Hunter )
                              My Hubs - VtR 2E System Hacks, MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks

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