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The Fight Isn't Over

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  • The Fight Isn't Over

    I've been troubled by the statements coming out of the recent announcements about Werewolf: the Apocalypse. Namely, that the Apocalypse has already happened and that there's nothing left to do but survive.

    I want to clarify that this objection isn't out of nostalgia. It's actually more that I'm kind of worried that this attitude of "The world is already dead" is embracing a kind of Doomerism that is both disheartening and also not really appropriate. Yes, we've come to a point where certain climate changes are now irrevocable with human action, but there's still a lot to be done to improve how that will play out. Even in all but the most extreme examples IRL, humanity will survive, to say nothing of the environment, but even in the World of Darkness, where everything sucks a little harder, they have something we don't: magic. Are we meant to understand that the world is already doomed, nothing can be done about it, and that even magic is powerless?

    I understand that this was done to take the focus off of the war and more on local stuff, but that was really never needed for Werewolf to have or be about local stories. It also misses out on the radical - and frankly punk - vibes of Werewolf where you go to town on the corporations and governments that are hurting people and the world. Am I meant to understand that we shouldn't bother being awesome ecoterrorists striking back against the system anymore?

    Perhaps it's premature and more detail will come out, but this is a big disappointment if that's what's going on.


    We don't allow mages to cast spells, since this is the most unbalancing rule of all.

  • #2
    I feel the important part of this puzzle, is that the Doomerism is not because of the current situation. At least, not entirely.

    The doomerism is because the game needed to be scaled back to personal. So the characters are always on the back foot and never gain any power that is not used as a punishment.


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    • #3
      I don't think that was needed for it to be scaled back to personal is part of my point.

      Werewolf did have a lot of issues. Their history is basically one long accounting of them committing various flavors of genocide, both the Red Talons and Get of Fenris are absolute monsters worse than any vampire, all the weird eugenics/blood purity stuff. These things demand being adjusted (and may be - we don't know.)

      Them having the noble cause of saving the world was like, their primary saving grace. Absent that, I dunno what defines them other than being big puppies (which, hey, is a nice benefit.)


      We don't allow mages to cast spells, since this is the most unbalancing rule of all.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jachra View Post
        I don't think that was needed for it to be scaled back to personal is part of my point.

        Werewolf did have a lot of issues. Their history is basically one long accounting of them committing various flavors of genocide, both the Red Talons and Get of Fenris are absolute monsters worse than any vampire, all the weird eugenics/blood purity stuff. These things demand being adjusted (and may be - we don't know.)

        Them having the noble cause of saving the world was like, their primary saving grace. Absent that, I dunno what defines them other than being big puppies (which, hey, is a nice benefit.)
        Oh, I agree it is dumb.

        While I don't agree that the Fenrir and Talons are worse than any vampire (Giovanni, Tzimisce, Sabbat in general yo), I'd say their monstrousness had a purpose W5 is intentionally removing. At least for the Talons, they are desperate as they see their kinfolk die all around them and the Nation doesn't care. So the Talons, out of any option that does not break their vow of wolfness, strike back against humanity in a desperate attempt to take at least some humans down with them.

        It is a tragic and misguided story, but it fits the tone of WtA.

        And in W5, they now accept homids among them. Completely destroying the point of the tribe.

        I think the Talons here are such a good example of why the Doomerism in W5 does not work. Because while it yaps about the end of days and such, the human world is still completely unaware. As in, there IS an Apocalypse, but it is one that will not disrupt the 9-5 workday or your weekend trip to Disneyland. It is toothless, because to do otherwise would mean the human world would notice.

        Yet, despite the above, the Nation has fallen and now garou are fighting only for themselves and the next day. Any effort to rise above the horror and take charge is punished.

        All in all, so much of this is something made up of disparate parts in an effort to create a low-level play from an epic game.


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        • #5
          I might be wrong,but I'm more or less sure they are giving thing a new context instead of saying it's over

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post
            I might be wrong,but I'm more or less sure they are giving thing a new context instead of saying it's over
            They've been banging the "Gaia is dead" drum a bit too hard for that.

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            • #7
              Personally the whole setting comes across as childishly nihilistic in w5.

              Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post
              The doomerism is because the game needed to be scaled back to personal.

              Did it though?
              Last edited by Ragged Robin; 11-05-2022, 04:06 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

                They've been banging the "Gaia is dead" drum a bit too hard for that.
                Ooh,must've missed that. I only saw it being mentioned once.
                Of course,death for spirits might mean something different than for is fleshy beings

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                • #9
                  The game didn't need to be personal horror, or to scale back. In fact, it is better without those approaches. Vampire's horror works well for vampire but not the other games, and its focus, likewise. Parawolf really needs to let the other games be other games, and dispense with this "One WoD" nonsense. It was an empty promise from day one and we all knew it.

                  Originally posted by Nicolas Milioni View Post

                  Ooh,must've missed that. I only saw it being mentioned once.
                  Of course,death for spirits might mean something different than for is fleshy beings
                  I think that the implications don't change.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ragged Robin View Post
                    Did it though?
                    Absolutely not. I was just parroting the 'reason' given. I consider the scaling down a grave mistake.

                    Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post
                    The game didn't need to be personal horror, or to scale back. In fact, it is better without those approaches. Vampire's horror works well for vampire but not the other games, and its focus, likewise. Parawolf really needs to let the other games be other games, and dispense with this "One WoD" nonsense. It was an empty promise from day one and we all knew it.
                    I find it really curious how they want every game to be vampire(ish) yet they refuse to make the threats in either vampire or Hunter and Werewolf actually meaningful. The Second Inquisition kicked major vampire arse, but the Hunters cannot join in because it is apparently too corrupt? Even though Hunters as a concept can be EXTREMELY corrupt.

                    They want the Nation to have fallen and the Apocalypse to be happening so the garou are helpless to stop it. Yet, as I stated above, this so-called apocalypse is so mild that a regular human can just go to work and visit a park without noticing anything unusual. Thus making the very concept of an apocalypse meaningless.

                    WOD5 wants to have it threat cake and eat it too, which makes neither aspect strong.
                    Last edited by Ana Mizuki; 11-05-2022, 05:28 PM.


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                    • #11
                      Oh no, the idea of flawed heroes from a flawed culture is one the game tackles with, how will we ever survive that!?

                      Hell, even the blood purity/eugenics thing is taken way out of context. Ever notice that the Tribes that follow it strongly are dying, whereas Tribes like the Bone Gnawers are growing? Sure the Glass Walkers are on the downwards slope, but that's because they've driven away their kinfolk instead of them being too strict/loose with cuddling partners. Pure breed is a nice thing to have, but it's really not worth the consequences to try to keep it as high as possible.

                      W5 is, essentially, offering to change a lot of the things that draw people to the game, and the final battle being already lost is part of that. I don't want my players to defend their turf and roleplay moping about Gaia being dead. I want them to look at the state of the world and environment, go 'fuck that', stop deforestation, punch an elder for their treatment of kinfolk, rip apart some BSDs, and then mail their heads* to Pentex. I know it's not what everybody wants from the game, but it sure as hell is what I want

                      * The BSD's heads, not the PCs' noggins.


                      Blue is sarcasm.

                      If I suggestion I make contradicts in-setting metaphysics please ignore me, I probably brought in scientific ideas.

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                      • #12
                        The reason why Werewolf is in this schema of being "scaled back," harkens toward Parawolf's now universal philosophy toward the WoD franchise: everything needs to be brought down toward the "street level". By doing this, it invokes an artificial "grittiness" that can make the "horror" in the franchise "personal". Parawolf looks at the fact that since all the gamelines are composed of monsters that you play as; everything MUST be horror-based and nothing in between.

                        Werewolf at its core, was a roleplaying action game at heart. The Garou are supposed to be killing machines that fight at a cosmic spiritual level, against an all-consuming god of destruction that was the Wyrm. The Garou were on the unthanked frontline, having gory battles that could render them heavily injured despite their regenerative abilities, or just outright dead.

                        This "street level" paradigm is something almost everyone who liked cWoD does not care about. I don't know why they keep hamfisting it in almost everyone "new" (see: rebooted) 5th game.


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                        • #13
                          I think plenty of WoD fans like the street level side of the game. What they don't like is when the books try to force it, as evidenced by things like the Mage Revised metaplot, and the fan schism at the launch of the-now-CofD (though even the CofD made it clear it was going to include the tools to scale up very early on and delivered on that).

                          I don't think it would have been wrong for the WoD5 games to start with a street level focus, but the books need to be in the pipeline for how to move beyond it, rather than treating getting too powerful as a character ending status.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                            I think plenty of WoD fans like the street level side of the game. What they don't like is when the books try to force it, as evidenced by things like the Mage Revised metaplot, and the fan schism at the launch of the-now-CofD (though even the CofD made it clear it was going to include the tools to scale up very early on and delivered on that).

                            I don't think it would have been wrong for the WoD5 games to start with a street level focus, but the books need to be in the pipeline for how to move beyond it, rather than treating getting too powerful as a character ending status.
                            Part of the problem is they're working on a false binary. While they want to do more 'street' games it's not particularly clear why they think this is the superior form of play or why they they are unwilling to entertain other forms of play.

                            They also as a side have very odd interpretation of 'street' imo. For example they dislike large scale institutions or power bases even though interacting with such things is a very big part of urban life.
                            Last edited by Ragged Robin; 11-06-2022, 06:20 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ragged Robin View Post

                              Part of the problem is they're working on a false binary. While they want to do more 'street' games it's not particularly clear why they think this is the superior form of play or why they they are unwilling to entertain other forms of play.

                              They also as a side have very odd interpretation of 'street' imo. For example they dislike large scale institutions or power bases even though interacting with such things is a very big part of urban life.
                              This is just a theory, but I'm guessing they want to avoid big orgs because to join them is to join with The Man and so selling out. If your idea of 'punk is about struggling day in day out with few resources while The Man gets everything and controls everything, then joining them is betraying your beliefs and friends and selling your soul for the corporate.

                              What this has to do with Garou Nation, which is naturally geared much MUCH younger than most human organizations, I have no idea.


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