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  • OPP V5 and what I like about it

    Okay, let's be honest, V5 is controversial.

    You're all entitled to your opinions on it, both good and bad. I'm considered by many people to be a water carrier for 5E but I'm actually not a fan of V5 by itself or at least my opinion on it is mixed. It did some good things and I think it did some bad things.

    I am a fan of V5, though.

    Specifically, I am a fan of ONYX PATH PUBLISHING's V5, which I am going to make the semi-controversial opinion can almost be considered its own thing separate from the presentation of the game by the main publishers and their licensees. I'm not here to do any bashing about the first books released for the line by Paradox or the Renegade Game Studios Sabbat and Hunter books. Instead, I'm going to talk about why I like OPP's supplements are the best thing to happen to V5 and what I like about them separate from the larger gameline.

    You're welcome to join in and discuss what you think they did better or could have done better or not. I hope this will be a mostly positive thread but as long as we're adults, I think we can also discuss highs and lows.

    OPP's products for the line are as follows:
    • Chicago by Night: 5th Edition
    • The Chicago Folio
    • Let the Streets Run Red
    • Cults of the Blood Gods
    • Children of the Blood
    • Trails of Ash and Bone
    • Forbidden Religions

    Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-16-2022, 12:55 AM.


    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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  • #2
    I'm going to be honest about why I think OPP's works work best for me. Continuity and Lore is what can be best summarized as it. V5 is a game system that seems to be actively allergic to referencing anything from V1 to V4 with the major exception being The Fall of London. So much of the worldbuilding is radically changed and there's very little continuity between editions. This is obviously not the case with the OPP products and it seems like they have done the lions share of the work trying to "fix" all the massive questions about what happened to X, Y, and Z. Obviously, Chicago by Night is the big example here but Cults of the Blood Gods and Forbidden Religions also goes the extra mile in order to try to explain what happened to:

    1. The Tal'Mah'Re
    2. The Cult of Ur-Shulgi
    3. The Ba'hari
    4. The original Set worshiping Followers of Set

    I feel like we could have answers to the Signature characters and many more details if they'd be cut loose.

    The second detail is going to seem like bashing but it most certainly is not. Still, I believe How any of this works is the second biggest contribution that OPP has made to V5. Without Chicago by Night, I think I honestly wouldn't have much idea how a Camarilla city would function in the Modern Nights. We have examples in LA by Night and Coteries of New York but those aren't supplements.Chicago by Night explains what has changed, what has stayed the same, and what is adjusted for a typical Camarilla city in the wake of the Second Inquisition.

    I frankly think it is a necessity as THE CAMARILLA and THE ANARCH books didn't do a great job explaining how their systems worked and it is much better to "show by example."
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-16-2022, 01:02 AM.


    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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    • #3
      Its very very good at childer/early neonate games, you don't have a good grasp on your beast, you have powers but they're shitty and don't compensate enough for the flaws, your political outlook is painfully naive and you're still heavily invested in kine.

      Chicago By night is alright and blood gods is actually a good book
      Last edited by Ragged Robin; 11-16-2022, 11:40 AM.

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      • #4
        There are many reasons for why I hate V5, mechanically and from a metaplot standpoint, but what I really dislike the most is the incredibly limited player options, I'm not just talking about mechanics (which is another problem) but conceptually, you are pretty much forced into playing a neonate anarch, I don't know where this anarch fascination came from but I've been playing for more than 15 years now and they were never really that big or rather they were never period, everyone either played Camarilla or Sabbath, the anarchs were a footnote and basically someone to laugh at or to make an example off, now they turned into a sect all of a sudden (whose new members introduced in V5 are basically walking memes) and we are supposed to root for them? Let's not even get into the butchering of the Sabbath, one of the most idiot thing they could have done since they damn well know the following they had amongst players.

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        • #5
          The point of this thread is talking about what things we like about V5, or at least about the materials OPP wrote for V5, so I'll need to put my cards on the table. I have not read anything V5 related as a book since the Fall of London. I got the Corebook, Camarilla, Anarch, and Fall of London and decided that I wasn't going forward with V5.

          I will say that in an overall sense I'm happy that OPP is tackling what I want out of a continuation of a timeline, specifically what are X doing, or since Y happened what happened X and how does that effect Z. You know things about the setting that inspire me to write stories and games around. Maybe I'll pick up Cults of the Blood Gods and Forbidden Religions just for my own notes but, I'm pretty defeated about the whole thing unfortunately.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Newb95 View Post
            There are many reasons for why I hate V5, mechanically and from a metaplot standpoint, but what I really dislike the most is the incredibly limited player options, I'm not just talking about mechanics (which is another problem) but conceptually, you are pretty much forced into playing a neonate anarch, I don't know where this anarch fascination came from but I've been playing for more than 15 years now and they were never really that big or rather they were never period, everyone either played Camarilla or Sabbath, the anarchs were a footnote and basically someone to laugh at or to make an example off, now they turned into a sect all of a sudden (whose new members introduced in V5 are basically walking memes) and we are supposed to root for them? Let's not even get into the butchering of the Sabbath, one of the most idiot thing they could have done since they damn well know the following they had amongst players.
            Out of curiosity, did you note that this is a thread to discuss OPP's V5 books only?

            So how does OPP's books relate to the above?

            Originally posted by MrNatas View Post
            The point of this thread is talking about what things we like about V5, or at least about the materials OPP wrote for V5, so I'll need to put my cards on the table. I have not read anything V5 related as a book since the Fall of London. I got the Corebook, Camarilla, Anarch, and Fall of London and decided that I wasn't going forward with V5.

            I will say that in an overall sense I'm happy that OPP is tackling what I want out of a continuation of a timeline, specifically what are X doing, or since Y happened what happened X and how does that effect Z. You know things about the setting that inspire me to write stories and games around. Maybe I'll pick up Cults of the Blood Gods and Forbidden Religions just for my own notes but, I'm pretty defeated about the whole thing unfortunately.
            That's a shame. I really recommend OPP's supplements and wanted to see what people liked or disliked about OPP because it's such a different beast from the rest of V5.
            Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-16-2022, 04:26 PM.


            Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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            • #7
              I like OPP’s V5 books better too. They create a real sense of continuity within the game.


              Amethyst is my birthstone. She/they.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                That's a shame. I really recommend OPP's supplements and wanted to see what people liked or disliked about OPP because it's such a different beast from the rest of V5.
                The problem is that for most people, I don't think this sort of hard separation is easy to do in their heads.

                Do I agree the OPP V5 books are significantly better than the rest? Sure. And not even by my low standards for the rest of them either.

                But they're still essentially useless to me because I'm not going to be running or playing in V5 for the foreseeable future; not even including the metaplot changes to a mechanically older version of the game. If anything, the OPP V5 books are kinda painful for me to read, because they're just reminders of the "V4" we never actually got. I see all this hints of what Rich and Eddy would have done with it, that are diminished because they have to slot into V5's mentality.

                Since reading them makes me constantly think about how V5 is holding OPP back, I can't make a clean break about them being nearly a completely different game in my head. These being V5 products, and the limitations on what could have been inherent in that, is too big of a hurdle for me to take them in isolation.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Newb95 View Post
                  There are many reasons for why I hate V5, mechanically and from a metaplot standpoint, but what I really dislike the most is the incredibly limited player options, I'm not just talking about mechanics (which is another problem) but conceptually, you are pretty much forced into playing a neonate anarch, I don't know where this anarch fascination came from but I've been playing for more than 15 years now and they were never really that big or rather they were never period, everyone either played Camarilla or Sabbath, the anarchs were a footnote and basically someone to laugh at or to make an example off, now they turned into a sect all of a sudden (whose new members introduced in V5 are basically walking memes) and we are supposed to root for them? Let's not even get into the butchering of the Sabbath, one of the most idiot thing they could have done since they damn well know the following they had amongst players.
                  The idea of playing a Neonate who has to choose between joining a flawed Anarch movement or sell out to the Elders is THE original spirit of the game. If you read the early V1 modules, that's what's all about. The choice is heavily handed introduced in the first module ever: Ashes to Ashes.
                  Now, as a old school V1 ST and an Anarch sympathizer, I am really happy that they tried to rescue the original concept of the game. On the other hand, I believe it has been badly implemented, the way the Anarch movement has been artificially resurrected is quite bad.
                  Regarding V1 and V5 CbN continuity... Once again, I like what they tried to do, V1 CbN is one of my favourite RPG nodules ever. But I think the implementation has been poor. If you are going to bring Lodin from the dead, please make him take the throne at once; it's stated once and once again in his original backstory that he would do anything to keep the power; is he really going to stay as a beggar and leave his youngest Childe rule his city? No way. Damien a Sheriff? Rose a Primogen? Blackjack a territorial Baron? Sorry, but it's all backwards

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                    The problem is that for most people, I don't think this sort of hard separation is easy to do in their heads.
                    If that's how you feel, that's how you feel.

                    Do I agree the OPP V5 books are significantly better than the rest? Sure. And not even by my low standards for the rest of them either.

                    But they're still essentially useless to me because I'm not going to be running or playing in V5 for the foreseeable future; not even including the metaplot changes to a mechanically older version of the game. If anything, the OPP V5 books are kinda painful for me to read, because they're just reminders of the "V4" we never actually got. I see all this hints of what Rich and Eddy would have done with it, that are diminished because they have to slot into V5's mentality.

                    Since reading them makes me constantly think about how V5 is holding OPP back, I can't make a clean break about them being nearly a completely different game in my head. These being V5 products, and the limitations on what could have been inherent in that, is too big of a hurdle for me to take them in isolation.
                    For me, I don't have this problem because I don't need use the books as objects that I just plunk into my own game. I constantly adapt all material I find in the books to my own games, whether it is for Classic V:TM or V5.

                    Which is to say, it's not. "Kevin Jackson is awesome in V5. It's a shame I can never use him because I would never use V5 material."

                    Instead it's, "Kevin Jackson is awesome in V5, I think I'll adapt him to my V20 classic game with his new backstory."

                    Originally posted by Microcuchon View Post

                    The idea of playing a Neonate who has to choose between joining a flawed Anarch movement or sell out to the Elders is THE original spirit of the game. If you read the early V1 modules, that's what's all about. The choice is heavily handed introduced in the first module ever: Ashes to Ashes.
                    Now, as a old school V1 ST and an Anarch sympathizer, I am really happy that they tried to rescue the original concept of the game. On the other hand, I believe it has been badly implemented, the way the Anarch movement has been artificially resurrected is quite bad.
                    I have commented that I found THE ANARCH to be quite bad compared to ANARCHS UNBOUND and this is from a die hard Anarch lover. I love the resurrection of the Anarch movement

                    Regarding V1 and V5 CbN continuity... Once again, I like what they tried to do, V1 CbN is one of my favourite RPG nodules ever. But I think the implementation has been poor. If you are going to bring Lodin from the dead, please make him take the throne at once; it's stated once and once again in his original backstory that he would do anything to keep the power; is he really going to stay as a beggar and leave his youngest Childe rule his city? No way. Damien a Sheriff? Rose a Primogen? Blackjack a territorial Baron? Sorry, but it's all backwards
                    I feel like Chicago by Night 5E is a supplement I would love to discuss all day and all night (and have in my WIR about it) but the issue is the fact that I feel like to truly appreciate it, you need to have been a fan of the original Chicago by Night (1E) or Second Edition old school fan as well as someone who is incredibly excited about the 5th Edition that we got. The overlap between the two has turned out to be far smaller than I'd hoped because I feel like a lot of people don't want to dive into the new book among classic fans because of V5 prejudice or V5 fans don't know enough about the old school Chicago by Night to really appreciate the care and attention to detail in the supplement.

                    Like, your comments wise:

                    Lodin: I don't really know why you'd bring back Lodin as an insane beggar king. He was such a beloved character that I kind of feel like its a disgrace he's been reduced to being the weird guy who lives in the sewars and rules over an army of the homeless. I would have been more interested in a fully restored Lodin or what might, if possible, do so.

                    Damien: I actually think this was brilliant because it's a V:TM style tragedy that takes a beloved "good guy" NPC and proceeds to make him into his own antithesis. Damien has lost all of his friends and lovers due to the events of Under a Blood Red Moon so he ends up becoming yet another Brujah sellout, exactly like his former enemy, Balthazar. It turns a character who the PCs may have liked and befriended into an enemy.

                    Rose: I feel like her being a Primogen makes no damn sense but she was a useless character before so at least she has some purpose now.

                    Blackjack: Sadly, I feel like we don't have enough backstory on what he's been up to and why he's done what he's done to make sense of it. I do like that they managed to get an update for him in The Chicago Folios.
                    Last edited by CTPhipps; 11-17-2022, 01:23 AM.


                    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                      If that's how you feel, that's how you feel.



                      For me, I don't have this problem because I don't need use the books as objects that I just plunk into my own game. I constantly adapt all material I find in the books to my own games, whether it is for Classic V:TM or V5.

                      Which is to say, it's not. "Kevin Jackson is awesome in V5. It's a shame I can never use him because I would never use V5 material."

                      Instead it's, "Kevin Jackson is awesome in V5, I think I'll adapt him to my V20 classic game with his new backstory."



                      I have commented that I found THE ANARCH to be quite bad compared to ANARCHS UNBOUND and this is from a die hard Anarch lover. I love the resurrection of the Anarch movement



                      I feel like Chicago by Night 5E is a supplement I would love to discuss all day and all night (and have in my WIR about it) but the issue is the fact that I feel like to truly appreciate it, you need to have been a fan of the original Chicago by Night (1E) or Second Edition old school fan as well as someone who is incredibly excited about the 5th Edition that we got. The overlap between the two has turned out to be far smaller than I'd hoped because I feel like a lot of people don't want to dive into the new book among classic fans because of V5 prejudice or V5 fans don't know enough about the old school Chicago by Night to really appreciate the care and attention to detail in the supplement.

                      Like, your comments wise:

                      Lodin: I don't really know why you'd bring back Lodin as an insane beggar king. He was such a beloved character that I kind of feel like its a disgrace he's been reduced to being the weird guy who lives in the sewars and rules over an army of the homeless. I would have been more interested in a fully restored Lodin or what might, if possible, do so.

                      Damien: I actually think this was brilliant because it's a V:TM style tragedy that takes a beloved "good guy" NPC and proceeds to make him into his own antithesis. Damien has lost all of his friends and lovers due to the events of Under a Blood Red Moon so he ends up becoming yet another Brujah sellout, exactly like his former enemy, Balthazar. It turns a character who the PCs may have liked and befriended into an enemy.

                      Rose: I feel like her being a Primogen makes no damn sense but she was a useless character before so at least she has some purpose now.

                      Blackjack: Sadly, I feel like we don't have enough backstory on what he's been up to and why he's done what he's done to make sense of it. I do like that they managed to get an update for him in The Chicago Folios.
                      You have a good point about Damien. I disagree Rose was was a useless character, though, she has her uses in the original V1 and her Animal Liberation Front angle has become even more prominent since. I would have gone exactly the opposite way with her, and would have made her a diehard Anarch terrorist figure, launching attacks against corporate interests.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                        If that's how you feel, that's how you feel.
                        Yep. That's why I said it.

                        For me, I don't have this problem because I don't need use the books as objects that I just plunk into my own game. I constantly adapt all material I find in the books to my own games, whether it is for Classic V:TM or V5.
                        You quoted more than one problem.

                        And these are gaming books. Their ultimate purpose is to be used, in games. Things like being fun to read, being part of the collections of fans that want everything, and so on are secondary aspects of them.

                        If something is seriously dragging down a TTRPG book's baseline utility as a gaming supplement, that's a negative to the book's overall quality. I don't think there's anything OPP could have done to address the specifics here, but you wanted to discuss what we see as the pros and cons of the OPP made V5 books. And for me the big con is that they're attached to the rest of V5.

                        Which is to say, it's not. "Kevin Jackson is awesome in V5. It's a shame I can never use him because I would never use V5 material."

                        Instead it's, "Kevin Jackson is awesome in V5, I think I'll adapt him to my V20 classic game with his new backstory."
                        OK. First, step back a bit and remember, again, that not everyone is nearly as attached to VtM Chicago as you, and the characters within. While Chicago is a fairly major milestone in VtM, and thus rightfully holds a special place in the fandom's hearts, it doesn't mean that many of us actually run Chicago stuff all the time, or try to import the Chicago NPCs into other settings. The fact that none of the city books have ever excited me doesn't mean I can't appreciate the Chicago books, or compare them across editions.

                        Second, Kevin Jackson in V5 isn't some massive improvement to me. I'm never running Chicago, or in games that use Chicago as written. Any NPCs (or PCs) inspired by the character aren't really going to be any different based on the V5 version of him vs. the 2e one. If I already have write-ups of these inspirational characters to use for ideas for my games, what do the V5 versions really add for thus of us that aren't going to be running the V5 setting? Not... much that I can see. They're good updates for people that plan on using the broader V5 material, but if you're not, they're not such major changes that I'm going to plop down money for it.

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                        • #13
                          Heavy Arms

                          The great irony is I don't disagree with you that V5 is the biggest issue for OPP's works because I am primarily a fan becasue of OPP doing their best to try to paper over the problems as well as provide a decent framework to do the books. Yes, Chicago by Night is my jam and I know city books are something that have always been somewhat questionable in popularity. But yes, basically, I think the bigger appeal of CbN isn't that it is an update of the classic characters from CbN1E and CBN2E. I mean that's great fanservice and I am excited whenever I can discuss the issues of Gary, Indiana or Lodin but it's actually something that I feel is a much bigger thing.

                          Really, the thing that Chicago by Night 5E provides is that it does the best for trying to make all of V5 make sense.

                          Ten Things Chicago By Night 5E does to make V5 better

                          1. The Beckoning: It shows that it affects some Elders but not all of them. It also gives potential reasons for why some Elders might not be affected like Critias, Helena, or so on. It gives us a sense of the power level meant to be had in the time period.

                          2. Neonate Princes: Kevin Jackson is a vampire Embraced in the Seventies and is Prince of the largest city in America. But Kevin Jackson shows what sort of influence and power that is needed for the V5 setting in order to make that happen.

                          3. Brujahexit: We see the Brujah still part of the Camarilla in Critias and Damien and those who are loyalists to the Camarilla cause are still there while others have been driven out into the Anarchs.

                          4. How Anarch vs. Camarilla divides work: We're told the Anarchs have left the Camarilla but what does that MEAN? In CBN5E, we find out that they are now formed into gangs holding territory around Chicago while others have made secret deals with the Camarilla.

                          5. Lasombra: The absence of the Lasombra was a massive failure on the part of V5 and its inclusion gives rules for something that had previously prevented the use of Sabbat or one of the more popular non-Camarilla clans.

                          6. How the Second Inquisition works: Here, we find it is not the SI breaking down every door and exterminating every Kindred. They're mostly monitoring people, there's a secret prison, and they have an infiltrator in the city power structure. It's a LOT more usable now.

                          7. Thin Bloods: We see their unique position in the city, There's ones making deals with the Second Inquisition, forming their own power bases, and yet being excluded from the formal Camarilla power base.

                          8. How the Sabbat is: The version of Renegade is ridiculous and I honestly much prefer OPP's hinted at version that is collapsing on the inside but not completely collapsed. Still, you have an idea about how they work not only in lore but the system.

                          9. City based street-level games: Part of what I liked about Chicago by NIght 5E is that it provides a good sense of how politics and vampire gaming should function in the new setting. There's a lot of write ups for short-easy to use adventure hooks that were absent from V20, let alone 5E.

                          10. Necessary Archetypes: The complete lack of focus on NPCs in the main book and the supplements means that there's a huge lack of statted up NPCs for V5. Chicago by Night provides ones that can be easily used for the setting. It also provides a better power level gradiant from Elders to Neonates.

                          Now, of course, Heavy Arms I know none of this does ANYTHING for you. I know, I get it. You don't use V5 but I'm going to state that I actually think OPP's attempts to fix the setting deserve a massive amount of credit and working within the framework that they've done needs the credit it deserves.

                          So, I'm not attempting to argue the point with you. Quite the opposite, I agree.

                          I just think OPP deserves massive praise for attempting to untangle the web of poor choices in the main books.


                          Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                            That's a shame. I really recommend OPP's supplements and wanted to see what people liked or disliked about OPP because it's such a different beast from the rest of V5.
                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                            For me, I don't have this problem because I don't need use the books as objects that I just plunk into my own game. I constantly adapt all material I find in the books to my own games, whether it is for Classic V:TM or V5.

                            Which is to say, it's not. "Kevin Jackson is awesome in V5. It's a shame I can never use him because I would never use V5 material."

                            Instead it's, "Kevin Jackson is awesome in V5, I think I'll adapt him to my V20 classic game with his new backstory."
                            For me it is less 'Oh I'll use convert these cool things to my games.' and more of 'Man do I want to spend my limited fund on a supplement for a game like that I don't like just so that I can look through it and think some things are cool and take them for my game but overall be sad that it wasn't written for a system I think is better.' Unfortunately, I am a being of limited time and capital thus have to weight time and money spent against other things.

                            One of the reasons I stopped even a bit to consider "Cults of the Blood Gods" and "Forbidden Religions" is specifically because "States of Grace" is one of my favorite books. One of the things I talk about with my group about is the religions of kindred. To me it was always odd how there are not more 'Night goddess' cults in kindred society. Nyx in particular seems like an easy point to what ancient greek kindred would build around, especially the Lasombra who would have the most control of those regions. You also have Persephone is a goddess that is associated with flowers and beauty but also the underworld and death, seems like Toreador would be interested in building something around that.

                            I could go on but, what it really boils down is that kindred society in terms of their population and age range really should have weirder 'Christopaganism' syncretism. Crimson Curia really shouldn't of been 'heretical' because Catholic Christianity wouldn't/shouldn't be the norm.

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                            • #15
                              -The average consumer probably doesn't care to even distinguish between WWV5 and OPV5
                              -A lot of hardcore fans just won't want to support V5
                              -If the foundations are so poor, how can the rest of the house be good?
                              -There's no shortage of pre-5 material.

                              I started the hobby as a cheapskate constantly borrowing other people's books, but now I'm in the later half of my 20's now and actually have some disposable income... and I don't want to buy any books. Even if OPP made the greatest supplement ever made (it gave me the body of a god and deepened my connection with the universe, now i can cast magic, after just three weeks of reading!) I'd still be resitant to buying it because I don't want to support V5. I do not want to contribute to any statistic that says V5 is good and that it should keep going and that it isn't a mistake. (I'll confess I'm not perfect with this: Andor is the best Star Wars since the original movie, as much as I don't want to support Disney.)

                              Even if we look at 20th, OP's earlier works are significantly better than their later products which is in need of serious editing and quality control. Being better than V5 =/= good. When your RPGs have 30 years of history your competition is your prior works, and you need to be better than yourself. I think there's some merit to books like CotBGs, but is it wholly better than what came before it? Is it free of issues? Does it justify it's purchase price and supporting V5? I wouldn't say so.

                              7/10 isn't good enough anymore.


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