February 22nd, 2010

Voodoo Dolly
  • tashiro

A unique complaint

A bit of back-story.  In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, you play a werewolf attempting to defeat the minions of the Wyrm -- the embodiment of Entropy.  This being was corrupted and went insane, and now spreads this corruption through the land via spirits called Banes.

Anyway, in most games, the werewolves hunt for people and animals that have been corrupted, and slaughter them.  The game tends to be very physical, involving a lot of clawing, biting, and hacking with swords.  The corrupted creatures die, the werewolves throw a party, lather, rinse, repeat.  I tried a different approach.  Killing the body of a corrupted individual doesn't do anything to the spirit.  The spirit of corruption departs, and gets used later on, making the problem a perpetual thing.  (Or, the way it was explained in one book was 'if you kill a tree, the tree spirit moves on to another tree.  If you kill a tree spirit, you destroy that tree, and every tree that spirit would be').  So, my werewolf had a different tactic:  Cleanse the area of spiritual corruption from the spirit world, hunt down and kill any corrupt spirits found, then go into the physical world, destroy any physical elements, pop back into the spirit world, track down the fleeing banes, and wipe them out while they're weak from the spiritual purity that surrounds them.  They'll stick out like a sore thumb.  Problem solved.  (My character was a Theurge -- their shaman / spirit talker types, meaning I had some pretty solid information on how the spirit world works.)

I got a number of complaints from others about this.  I was told by one or two players that this was too much work.  The other complaint, strangely, came from a few game masters, stating this 'would kill the game', because the Wyrm is 'supposed to' be an ever-present threat.  Hunting down and butchering the spirits, cleansing the areas, (and doing regular patrols to keep it clean) went against the feel of the game.  Or, as I was told, 'you're doing it wrong'.

Just... random weirdness for you.

(Amusing afterthought:  In the Apocalypse book -- the last book in the series which wrapped up the metaplot, it actually mentioned that the weakness of the werewolves was that they ignored the spirit world, and were too busy fixating on beating up the Wyrm in the physical world.  I felt very justified.  Strangely, the response was 'well, they're wrong'.  o.O)
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