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  • Wait, what does that "I'm sure there are people who want a more high-action approach" mean?

    It's fricking Werewolf the Apocalypse, it's high action by design in the first place. And it's horror aspect is way more circumstantial to Apocalypse coming than personal horror.

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    • Not to beat the dead horse here, but I really think Forsaken 1e is what Justin thinks a Werewolf game should be, and he's just slapping enough Apocalypse stuff on it mixed with WoD5 mechanics to get something they can call W5.

      Forsaken drastically tones down the high action elements of Apocalypse; though 2e does a lot to replace this with the extremely tense "wolf must hunt" mantra to give it an appropriate action vibe.

      What doesn't make sense, is that Forsaken 1e was kinda meh. It hadn't really found itself yet like it did by 2e. WtA fans didn't want the rather toned down nature of Forsaken, and WtF fans generally really like how 2e ramped things back up but in a new direction. As someone that likes Forsaken more than Apocalypse, I don't get why you'd want to take the worst iteration of Forsaken, and then try to reskin that for Apocalypse. Who is really out there wanting that product?

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      • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
        Not to beat the dead horse here, but I really think Forsaken 1e is what Justin thinks a Werewolf game should be, and he's just slapping enough Apocalypse stuff on it mixed with WoD5 mechanics to get something they can call W5.

        Forsaken drastically tones down the high action elements of Apocalypse; though 2e does a lot to replace this with the extremely tense "wolf must hunt" mantra to give it an appropriate action vibe.

        What doesn't make sense, is that Forsaken 1e was kinda meh. It hadn't really found itself yet like it did by 2e. WtA fans didn't want the rather toned down nature of Forsaken, and WtF fans generally really like how 2e ramped things back up but in a new direction. As someone that likes Forsaken more than Apocalypse, I don't get why you'd want to take the worst iteration of Forsaken, and then try to reskin that for Apocalypse. Who is really out there wanting that product?
        JAs on record as stating that WtF 1st Ed is his favourite ( or rather least hated) Werewolf game.

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        • On the whole, I find Justin Achilli's design-approach to be strange. On one side, as I mentioned before you have him talking about "opening things up for a greater range of character types". That's why you don't have Imbued in H5 (and get replaced by the broader and more generic idea of Hunters with Drive) and it's why W5 dumped most of the old lore to offer more range in who can be a Garou. But then on the other side, you have these moments where Justin has very specific visions for what the game is and how you should play it. This is when like in this tweet he talks about supernatural horror or whenever he talks about gothic punk. This is when suddenly all these directives and limitations come in like all hunter-orgs are bad or whenever he talked about V5 for him it's a game about playing young Anarchs. First, it's "Hey, do whatever you want, it's all up to what you!" and then it's "But let me tell you... you better play this game in this one particular way - or you're doing it wrong!".

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          • Originally posted by Knightingale View Post
            On the whole, I find Justin Achilli's design-approach to be strange. On one side, as I mentioned before you have him talking about "opening things up for a greater range of character types". That's why you don't have Imbued in H5 (and get replaced by the broader and more generic idea of Hunters with Drive) and it's why W5 dumped most of the old lore to offer more range in who can be a Garou. But then on the other side, you have these moments where Justin has very specific visions for what the game is and how you should play it. This is when like in this tweet he talks about supernatural horror or whenever he talks about gothic punk. This is when suddenly all these directives and limitations come in like all hunter-orgs are bad or whenever he talked about V5 for him it's a game about playing young Anarchs. First, it's "Hey, do whatever you want, it's all up to what you!" and then it's "But let me tell you... you better play this game in this one particular way - or you're doing it wrong!".
            I assume one is a broader goal, either set by him in design phase or by Paradox, and the other is his personal interpretation of how it should be. Could be the other way around, but I didn't get the feeling so far that others at Paradox had that level of vision or overview of the games.


            What doesn't kill you, makes you... stranger.

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            • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
              Not to beat the dead horse here, but I really think Forsaken 1e is what Justin thinks a Werewolf game should be, and he's just slapping enough Apocalypse stuff on it mixed with WoD5 mechanics to get something they can call W5.

              Forsaken drastically tones down the high action elements of Apocalypse; though 2e does a lot to replace this with the extremely tense "wolf must hunt" mantra to give it an appropriate action vibe.

              What doesn't make sense, is that Forsaken 1e was kinda meh. It hadn't really found itself yet like it did by 2e. WtA fans didn't want the rather toned down nature of Forsaken, and WtF fans generally really like how 2e ramped things back up but in a new direction. As someone that likes Forsaken more than Apocalypse, I don't get why you'd want to take the worst iteration of Forsaken, and then try to reskin that for Apocalypse. Who is really out there wanting that product?
              My experiance of 1st ed werewolf was the pure tribes where genrally more flavourful than the forsaken, while not particulary playable I was tempted implement them as wyrm tribes in werewolf.
              Last edited by Ragged Robin; 02-28-2023, 07:06 AM.

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              • Originally posted by JA
                Feature not bug. It's a consequence of changing shape, and should not be "fixed." When I did the MS handover, there was indeed a Rite to not shred your clothes upon violently changing form. Dunno if that's been kept post-handover, but dedicating one's clothes to oneself remained.


                I'm sure there are people who want a more high-action approach and fewer consequences (which is fine, and their prerogative), but development skews more toward the supernatural horror, and being a monster has its drawbacks.‚Äč
                Is it just me or this is a bit disjointed? Should the rite be there or not? Do you want it to be there or not?

                Because when you publicly say stuff about a new edition, it should all lean in one direction.

                And once more, if the focus is more in line with movie werewolves, not having that rite is fine. People won't mind having a clear direction to the game, even if it is not typical WtA.

                As for Forsaken 1e, the fact that there was no given reason to join a tribe like in 2e kind of tells enough. The game suffered from remnants of WtA and a lot of confusion about its direction. For example, for all the uratha were not garou, we still had kinfolk and sort of crinos born. Both were removed or changed in 2e for the better.



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                • Originally posted by Knightingale View Post
                  On the whole, I find Justin Achilli's design-approach to be strange.
                  I think a lot of it is how shaped his design mentality is by spending so much time working on other people's stuff. He's been saying things like this since the late 90s when he took over VtM Rev. He went on record back then both praising the openness of the ST system and how you can make whatever you want with it, and then also wrote a big essay about how people were making vampires within the rules but not his vision of The Spirit of the Rules are were thus problem players that had to be dealt with. Spending so much time taking projects over after certain things are set in stone, he's gotten very good at promoting his views of what to play even in systems that don't entirely mesh with that.

                  I used to talk to him on the old BBS and forums. I never got the sense he was dishonest about either opinion even if holding both seemed contradictory.

                  The best way I can describe how I read his posts back then is to pull an example from older mentalities about D&D: A lot people used to treat D&D with a "sink or swim" attitude. Players made whatever they made (which might sound really cool, but be mechanical garbage in the system), and then the DM put the party into a harsh wringer until only the "good" PCs endured. Players that made bad char-gen choices ended up with dead PCs and then new PCs. DMs weren't supposed to pull punches or try to design encounters tailor made to the party. The players had to 'git gud.'

                  Justin has always argued for what amounts to the thematic rather than combat focused version of this. Take a system where you can make far more diverse characters than what the designers really "want" you to do, because that appearance of freedom is important. But then the ST is supposed to use their tools to ensure only "proper" PCs last. The WoD is full of things to take PCs that aren't made "right" out of the picture, and STs should do exactly that until players only make the right kind of PCs instead of just rules-legal PCs.

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                  • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                    Justin has always argued for what amounts to the thematic rather than combat focused version of this. Take a system where you can make far more diverse characters than what the designers really "want" you to do, because that appearance of freedom is important. But then the ST is supposed to use their tools to ensure only "proper" PCs last. The WoD is full of things to take PCs that aren't made "right" out of the picture, and STs should do exactly that until players only make the right kind of PCs instead of just rules-legal PCs.
                    So essentially, the complete opposite of the 'No more Snowflakes' mentality 20th edition WtA had.

                    I personally hate that approach, with mechanics or with concepts. Because I feel it is dishonest to the players in the worst way because a player should be able to trust the ST to give them the parameters to make the character fit. Especially since some people might not 'get' the intended lesson, I've had that happen far too often.



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                    • I don't like it either, though I do understand where it comes from. It was basically the way RPGs were done for the 70s and 80s. If you grew up with RPGs in that era, that was the normal. When it's the expected, people don't tend to question it that much. It's still a pretty well represented mentality in the OSR movement (though plenty of OSR folks consider it cruft to get rid of too).

                      To me, the biggest problem beyond my personal tastes, is that it flies in the face of the idea that WoD5 is supposed to make the games more relevant for a TTRPG in the 2020s. The last two decades of RPGs have seen a much stronger shift towards a more collaborative default where the GM/etc. and the players are supposed to be communicating and working together to make sure the way they play the game - however it lines up with authorial intent - is fun for everyone. Even the "hardcore" OSR types agree that you should be extremely upfront about a game having a very harsh learning curve that will probably result in a bunch of PC deaths so players know that's the kind of game they're getting into.

                      "You can make whatever you want, but no not like that player with a now dead PC!" is not modern game design. It's a lingering bit of hold over from decades ago that Onyx Path has been trying to prune off of things like the CofD and Exalted to this day since it lingered on those games based on their 90s origins not having fully expunged it either.

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                      • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post

                        I think a lot of it is how shaped his design mentality is by spending so much time working on other people's stuff. He's been saying things like this since the late 90s when he took over VtM Rev. He went on record back then both praising the openness of the ST system and how you can make whatever you want with it, and then also wrote a big essay about how people were making vampires within the rules but not his vision of The Spirit of the Rules are were thus problem players that had to be dealt with. Spending so much time taking projects over after certain things are set in stone, he's gotten very good at promoting his views of what to play even in systems that don't entirely mesh with that.

                        I used to talk to him on the old BBS and forums. I never got the sense he was dishonest about either opinion even if holding both seemed contradictory.

                        The best way I can describe how I read his posts back then is to pull an example from older mentalities about D&D: A lot people used to treat D&D with a "sink or swim" attitude. Players made whatever they made (which might sound really cool, but be mechanical garbage in the system), and then the DM put the party into a harsh wringer until only the "good" PCs endured. Players that made bad char-gen choices ended up with dead PCs and then new PCs. DMs weren't supposed to pull punches or try to design encounters tailor made to the party. The players had to 'git gud.'

                        Justin has always argued for what amounts to the thematic rather than combat focused version of this. Take a system where you can make far more diverse characters than what the designers really "want" you to do, because that appearance of freedom is important. But then the ST is supposed to use their tools to ensure only "proper" PCs last. The WoD is full of things to take PCs that aren't made "right" out of the picture, and STs should do exactly that until players only make the right kind of PCs instead of just rules-legal PCs.
                        It isn't just this old-fashioned mindset he has, though. I mean, it rings true with what he even says nowadays but the whole "GM as an adversary"-idea has been put to rest ages ago, I thought. And you mention this in the other post, too, how this doesn't reflect an attempt to bring back the WOD into the modern-day-gaming-scene.

                        Just take the Danger-Track of H5: The idea is you have this track about the antagonist's awareness of the Hunter-cell. And all the book can offer is a couple of examples (one poorly chosen one linked to difficulty since the book can't make up its mind what the relationship between Danger and difficulty is) and the storytelling-chapter just reminds you that maybe there's a difference between Danger 4 and Danger 2 when you describe a situation. That's all you get. But if you look at gaming overall, there's examples of what this is trying to do: Soft and Hard Moves from Apocalypse World or the Clocks from Blades In The Dark. There are probably even more examples of this mechanic in other games. Instead, nothing's been learned from those games and as it's presented in the H5 corebook it's mostly reliant on GM-fiat. You just gotta hope your ST can make it work. That's the mechanic in a nutshell.

                        But also those contradictions... They aren't just annoying but they're also hindering these games from focusing on what Justin Achilli thinks is important. This game he thinks you should play at the table, that's what he should be concerned with. Instead, you get something like H5 overly concerned with telling you how bad hunter-orgs are and W5 will probably be overly concerned with telling you how bad Rage, the Garou-Nation and Get (who are overcome by Rage) are in order to lecture you on why wanting to be a warrior fighting for Gaia against the Wyrm is a bad idea and actually makes things worse overall. But H5 is about local hunter-cells and W5 is about a local pack managing a Caern. And instead of focusing on those things, lecturing readers about why other modes of play are "badwrongfun" needs to be a part of the experience as well for whatever reason.

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                        • Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                          Not to beat the dead horse here, but I really think Forsaken 1e is what Justin thinks a Werewolf game should be, and he's just slapping enough Apocalypse stuff on it mixed with WoD5 mechanics to get something they can call W5.

                          Forsaken drastically tones down the high action elements of Apocalypse; though 2e does a lot to replace this with the extremely tense "wolf must hunt" mantra to give it an appropriate action vibe.

                          What doesn't make sense, is that Forsaken 1e was kinda meh. It hadn't really found itself yet like it did by 2e. WtA fans didn't want the rather toned down nature of Forsaken, and WtF fans generally really like how 2e ramped things back up but in a new direction. As someone that likes Forsaken more than Apocalypse, I don't get why you'd want to take the worst iteration of Forsaken, and then try to reskin that for Apocalypse. Who is really out there wanting that product?
                          Not disagree with this assessment so much as to give due credit where it belongs-Werewolf as a line is actually probably the strongest of the big three, with a lot of it's supplements still being really usable in the Second Edition landscape, even the early books. That said, that started with the supplemental adjustment, not the core-and yeah, Justin seems to be very interested in manking the Forsaken First Edition Corebook in Apocalypse language.

                          I get thinking of one's self as right and trying to get people on board with one's view because of that, but it is very weird to stick to that after being proven demonstrably wrong. Sooooo...did Justin just not pay attention to the way the Forsaken fanbase was responding the further away it got from that first corebook?


                          Kelly R.S. Steele, Freelance Writer(Feel free to call me Kelly, Arcane, or Arc)
                          The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey
                          Feminine pronouns, please.

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                          • Originally posted by Knightingale View Post
                            But also those contradictions... They aren't just annoying but they're also hindering these games from focusing on what Justin Achilli thinks is important. This game he thinks you should play at the table, that's what he should be concerned with. Instead, you get something like H5 overly concerned with telling you how bad hunter-orgs are and W5 will probably be overly concerned with telling you how bad Rage, the Garou-Nation and Get (who are overcome by Rage) are in order to lecture you on why wanting to be a warrior fighting for Gaia against the Wyrm is a bad idea and actually makes things worse overall. But H5 is about local hunter-cells and W5 is about a local pack managing a Caern. And instead of focusing on those things, lecturing readers about why other modes of play are "badwrongfun" needs to be a part of the experience as well for whatever reason.
                            Honestly, a lot of W5 original stuff is a punishment rather than a feature. The garou limits for rites punish trying to create a larger support system. Renown gives you benefits but too much and you suffer for it. Crinos cannot wield a weapon designed for it because that would be too silly. The Apocalypse is on, but only for YOU because YOU screwed up while the rest of the world somehow doesn't notice. The Nation has fallen and trying to rebuild it is mechanically pointless/impossible.


                            Even aside from Forsaken copying, there is so much on what you should NOT do. But very little on what you should do or even presenting the punishment mechanics as something you'd want to play.

                            For example, no Nation should not be presented as garou boomers complaining about what was and the youth rolling their eyes, it should be presented as a freedom to choose HOW you protect Gaia. Do you take over a town and lord over it to keep the humans in check? Do you break the Veil to get humans to help you? Or do you look at the situation and decide to just go ham as a monster?

                            Actually, as much as Justin talk about the monster thing, W5 doesn't seem to let you really BE a monster proper.


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                            • Folks-

                              I've previously asked you to talk about the products, not the creators, particularly Justin Achilli. Since Justin did not create the direction for WoD5, nor is he a solo creator dictating projects like W5, I'm going to ask once more that you stop talking about Justin saying X, Y, or Z, and refocus your thoughts and concerns on the project itself. Even though actual info about W5 is thin on the ground, please work with what you do have from Paradox about the book. Thanks-

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                              • Fair, to reframe the discussion w5 does seem to feed into the larger trend in 5th ed of reductive attitudes to play. V5 doesn't really want you playing anything but low level anarch games, hunter doesn't like orgs or actual power and w5 doesn't seem to want large scale co ordinated efforts from werewolves. I suspect m5 will have a simular approach. Their also seems to an fixation in mechanising the human interactions to enforce a certain approach.


                                A friend recently suggested 5th ed is radical in its approach but I think in truth 5th ed is incredably Conservative-it has a very narrow vision of what wod should be and it is aggressive in enforcing those boundaries. It feels very much like wasted potential.
                                Last edited by Ragged Robin; 03-01-2023, 09:56 AM.

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