Shawn (inscrutable) wrote in roleplayers,

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Thoughts re: Requiems, Masquerades, Dark Worlds Old and New.

I originally was going to reply to this bit of commenting, but it's a largely unrelated topic in an old LJ post, and I could feel a longer, more rambly reply inside me, so I'm just going to start a whole new post.

So I'm gearing up for a big Vampire the Requiem chronicle, to start later this year. Before then, I'll be running a solo game of unknown length for my girlfriend. Here are some random musings on Vampire, the various Worlds of Darkness, and whatnot. Hopefully I'll be able to do this without flame wars.

First off, Requiem came out 3 years ago! It really doesn't seem like it. I know there's no way of knowing for sure, but I wonder what's the percentage of people who play VtR versus the people who still play VtM? It seems like there are still a lot of "Oh they killed Masquerade and the new game sucks and it's a shitty knockoff and I'd never play it" people, but perhaps they're just more vocal than the "I'm playing a Mekhet college professor who's spying on the Ordo Dracul for the Carthians" crowd.

Having played VtM for over a decade, I can see why some people were somewhat unimpressed with VtR. I was annoyed to see Malkovians and Ventrue and Diablerie and whatnot the first time I read it. Unlike Mage or Werewolf or Changeling, the new Vampire really wasn't a whole new beast, but a refinement of the old game.

While they're obviously very similar games, Requiem feels different in play. It feels scarier. Predator's Taint is a great reminder that These Are Monsters You're Dealing With.

One thing I find interesting about the new World of Darkness in general is it feels less Comic Booky than the old setting. Part of that is simply art direction, but it's also in the writing and the setting.

The other thing in Requiem that really impresses me is the Covenants. Not so much that there are 5 of them and the archetypes/organizations they fill, but the simple fact that they're generally not incompetent. In VtM it was kind of a running joke that the Anarchs were never going to succeed, that the elders of the Camarilla were lying outright about the Antediluvians and Gehenna and whatnot, that the elders of the Sabbat were just as hypocritical and scheming as the Camarilla, etc. I love the fact that the Invictus have to pretty much do what they say, because you can just leave to go join the Carthians or Ordo Dracul if they endlessly dick you over. Yes there are self serving elders, but the Covenants aren't completely full of shit from the ground up. Which is a nice change. The Lancea Sanctum are for the most part fanatically devoted to their beliefs. Sure there are members weak in their faith or just going through the motions or what have you, but that's more the exception than the rule. Which A: makes it better if your young PC joins the Lancea, and B: makes them all that much scarier to outsiders.

It also feels like there's less shit now I have to pick and choose from. The main exception to this is the bajillion Bloodlines in the game, but the default assumption is "Yeah, none of those exist. Add whatever ones you want to, or not." This is a big shift from the days of Chaos Factor or Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand. (Or later, for the people who were cool with 2nd ed's goofy shit and were mad at Revised's attempts to clean it up by nuking everything.)

But back to classic Vampire for a moment. A friend of mine is starting up a Victorian era Requiem game, and I've been reading through Victorian Age Vampire for VtM, and I'd absolutely forgotten how incredible this book is. One of the best Vampire source books they've done, for either game. A good chunk of it is the artwork, which is absolutely perfect, but the whole book just does a great job at creating the right vibe and helping you create it. Even with my burnout with VtM, it's an awesome read.

VAV did bring home one point to me though, and that's the new clans. At first I thought they were kind of bland, but they're not, they're broad. Each of the 5 clans covers the shtick of 2 or 3 or more of the old clans, and sometimes not the clan that shares their name. The creepy guy who sits in the sewers and talks to rats is now a Gangrel. The sneaky middle eastern assassin is now a Mekhet, or a Daeva, hell or a Nosferatu. I didn't at first, but now I really like that the clans have largely been seperated from real world cultures and stereotypes.

I haven't really dug around much in Mage or Werewolf. They were never my bag, although new Mage looks tempting, largely because of the major changes to things I hated about old Mage. Promethean seems pretty cool, and I'm really psyched about new Changeling.

I could ramble on longer about the core mortal World of Darkness line (and I might later) but this is too long as it is.

I don't really have any specific questions, but hopefully something I've said in here sparks a reply out of somebody.
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