September 23rd, 2007

Voodoo Dolly
  • tashiro

Was She Wrong?

So, my roomie was thinking of running a Vampire: the Requiem game.  I've only ever GM'd it, and I was looking forward to playing.  I'd made a drifter Gangrel who had come into the city, and was trying to fit in -- member of the Ordo Dracul.  (The idea was taking Dean from Supernatural, making him an army brat who'd never settled down, and getting him embraced during a monster hunt.  Now, he studies monsters for the O.D.)

She liked the character concept just fine, but was a little disappointed in the whole 'vampires only echo emotions felt in life, rather than truly feel'.  I'll get to the outcome of that in a second.

My sister (you may have heard a little about her from my earlier posts.  She's a very... competitive... player).  She made a Ventrue for the Invictus, and specifically chose the sub-group who deals with supernatural threats.  Considering the third player was making an O.D. 'hit man' -- an internal enforcer of the O.D.'s laws, the three characters weren't really in conflict, and could have gotten along fairly well.  my sister and my character both have the same goals, and my other roomie's character would really be looking out for O.D. interests.

So, no problem with the group.

But this is where things got sticky.
Our ST has a big thing for the 'romantic' vampire thing.  Swoons over Angel and Spike, likes those movies and romance novels where the vampire is the seducer and such.  I'd have to say V:tR isn't quite the place for it, especially hot vampire-on-vampire action.  Sure, it can exist, perhaps, but as I mentioned, there's that whole 'echo of emotion' thing.

Now, the solution she had was to come up with the city being run by the Ordo Dracul (which is fine).  The problem to this solution was she made the Prince a member of this heretical Coil within the O.D. where the group is trying to reclaim their Humanity and feel.  The O.D. isn't really down with that Coil.  The second problem was her 'token NPC/PC', childe of the Prince, was also a member of the same heretical Coil.  (And because she wanted the character up there in the Coil, all the PCs started with 75 XP).

So, we have a Prince and her childe as members of a heretical Coil, that the Dragon don't like.  And one of the PCs is a member of the Order who hunts down people who are members of heretical Coils.  The NPC/PC was going to... err... try to sway my character to her view of things.  So, we have this little problem before the game's even started.

The second issue was my sister's character.  A loyal-to-the-hilt Invictus.  While she'd be working with the PCs, she'd taken one of the Invictus Oaths to see the Invictus in control of the city.  While she'd not backstab the rest of the group, she would use them as part of her schemes to take the Prince down and get the Invictus in charge.  Seriously, I considered this a pretty cool concept, and a pretty realistic way to run the character.

Since all the characters were experienced vampires in the city (well, okay, my character was fresh to the city, but an experienced vampire overall), my sister wanted to know the layout and power structure of the city -- who are the primogen, who is the seneschal, who are the movers and shakers.

The big problem here was the ST wasn't interested in a political campaign. She didn't want a PC gunning for a change in power, she didn't want someone with political aspirations, and she didn't want to have to figure out who was who in the city.  She wanted a Buffy-esque romantic plot with love triangles and seductions and such.

In my view, she wound up with a V:tR game.  Sure, such things could exist as the 'forefront' of the campaign, but when the players wanted to do other things, they had the backgrounds to make such possible.  My character was perfect for hunting the 'freak of the week' and scouring for monsters, as was my sister's character.  My other roomie's character would very much likely tag along to help protect the investigators, or even find allies for the O.D. and ferret out subversives.

But during 'slow times', the characters could do other things.  My sister's character would be hunting for weak points in the power structure to exploit, and my other roomie would be looking for those in the O.D. who don't follow the party line.

And our ST had set up the perfect house of cards to have the city implode two or three stories down the line.  But... she didn't want that, and so the campaign crashed before even the first session.

So... was my sister wrong for making such a character?  Was the ST wrong for trying to make a Buffy-esque campaign and ignoring the repercussions that would logically come from her decisions on how the city was laid out (a Prince and her Childe, both breaking their covenant's laws).

What do you think?
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative
Thrall - My Heart Calling

Maps for d20 games

I have a horrible feeling I've asked a very similar question before, but here goes...

I need to find a mapmaking program, with some specific characteristics.

  • Has to be able to handle the standard d20-type, square 1-yard grid - printing it on the maps, and with symbols in a suitable scale.

  • Has to have a decent number of futuristic/space type symbols - it's going to be used for a Star Wars game and sadly, Jedi can't be counted upon to stick to pastoral settings exclusively.

  • Tile-based is VASTLY preferable, but failing that the easier the learning curve, the better. (Don't even mention CCwhatever if you value your life.)

  • Doesn't have to be free, in fact I'm quite willing to pay so long as the program does what I need to get done, with a minimum of fuss.

Any advice, o friendly fellow gamers?

ETA: As you might've figured from the scale, I'm much more interested in floorplans than outdoor/overland maps!
evil gm

I'm so excited!

My players will be here in an hour, and we're starting a Serenity RPG. Last session was character-creation, and now I finally get to throw them into the world and the plot I've devised for them. This is designed to be a short-term, limited campaign (only two or three sessions or so).

I will be interested to see how the Serenity system handles. I've never used a system quite like this one.

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I shall keep you all updated if you wish.

I can't wait! *bounce*
  • Current Mood
    excited excited