Is Anyone Still Playing Vampire 5th Edition?

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tenbones

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If a person keeps arguing the same thing every time an opportunity comes up, then I guess the same results come up each time too.
And that's why I simply assume it will happen. And it does. Easy peasy.
 

Trippy

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The more we talk about it... one can see why V5 has obviously different inspirations that are less fictional than reality. Perhaps that's the turn off since it is less juxtaposition and therefore less fun for some.

Which is weird - I would have guessed I would like it more for that reason since I inject a lot of reality into my WoD if only to contrast the sheer supernatural nature of the PC's. But it leaves me cold as if the supernatural aspects of their characters are more incidental to the mundane realities around them. There is something lost in that translation to me.

I could fix it. But it was easier for me to just go V20.
The weird thing here, though, (and you are totally entitled to whichever edition you prefer) is that V20 was developed by Justin Achilli - who Doc Sammy keeps saying was trying to force y’all to play it in the way that V5 basically does - even though Justin Achilli wasn’t involved in the development of V5.
 

TristramEvans

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Demon came too late for me, I'd already drifted away from the WoD by that point. Wraith I think really struggled to find it's playstyle, and it did in the end - just too late to save the gameline. Into the Labryrinth was the best supplement for the game by far and provided a vviable way to play that gt away from the well-intended but really hard to pull off "one foot in the real world and the other in a way too vaguelly-defined afterlife world, and another player playing your shadow/asshole side"
 

tenbones

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The weird thing here, though, (and you are totally entitled to whichever edition you prefer) is that V20 was developed by Justin Achilli - who Doc Sammy keeps saying was trying to force y’all to play it in the way that V5 basically does - even though Justin Achilli wasn’t involved in the development of V5.
Sure. But that's why I said in my first response: I've never let any writer *make* me swallow their narrative if I think I have something better to serve up.

Achilli was not much of an issue for me since I was already long into the game, and my Vampire was a creature that was well established in my gaming group. Achilli's content (such that it was) had very little direct impact on my games. The stuff that was good - I used. The stuff that wasn't - I didn't. I find it easy to ignore silly things...

ALTHOUGHT.... my god I'll admit the one time I blew a gasket was LA By Night... I had pitched my version of LA By Night to them, but it would have been as large/larger than Chicago By Night and that was a dealbreaker on its own, but they had already gone with the guy that got the gig...

and what a shitshow of a book that was. But my campaign actually ended up in Los Angles, where I effectively re-wrote the entirety of the book to my vision. But I did use the book... my players, who were Sabbat, effectively wiped out most of the power-players in the LA By Night book with trivial ease... but I digress.

V20 embraces everything without reservation. For me, it's good because I can chuck the stuff I never liked out without missing a beat. Fortunately I was fine with most of it.
 

Trippy

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Demon came too late for me, I'd already drifted away from the WoD by that point. Wraith I think really struggled to find it's playstyle, and it did in the end - just too late to save the gameline. Into the Labryrinth was the best supplement for the game by far and provided a vviable way to play that gt away from the well-intended but really hard to pull off "one foot in the real world and the other in a way too vaguelly-defined afterlife world, and another player playing your shadow/asshole side"
My big problem for Demon, aside from coming really late on, was that somebody thought it would be a good idea to write the whole book from a first person fictional character's point of view. It’s actually really hard to decipher rules and concepts from it.
 

Trippy

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Well, the irony here is that I am defending Justin Achilli, when actually Vampire Revised and V20 are my least favourite editions - precisely because the game became less focussed in these editions. I just don’t think it is fair to personalize attacks on him and, actually, he’s a good choice for developer for V5 from this point onwards.
 

TristramEvans

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I don't even have any idea who Achilli is or what his contribution to Vampire was - I only know the name in the context of Doc's rants So for me he just exists as Doc's archenemy - I picture him as a blonde New Wave preppy who hates trenchcoats and sunglasses and katanas and wants RPGs to be "art" or something.

I'm sure the reality is far more boring.
 

Trippy

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I don't even have any idea who Achilli is or what his contribution to Vampire was - I only know the name in the context of Doc's rants So for me he just exists as Doc's archenemy - I picture him as a blonde New Wave preppy who hates trenchcoats and sunglasses and katanas and wants RPGs to be "art" or something.

I'm sure the reality is far more boring.
Out of all the WoD developers I’ve seen, he is the one who looks the least ‘goth’. I think he was the first Vampire developer who became an active online presence - and had quite an acerbic wit in some of his responses which may have set some against him, I guess. He is now the current creative lead of the WoD brand, so you can see him talking in some of the promotional videos, like the one I posted up in the thread.
 

tenbones

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Well, you can thank Justin Achilli for that then.

Okay sure. I don't have any axes to grind against Achilli. He's got his views, I got mine. I don't hate the guy or anything because of his game offerings.
 

Voros

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I don't even have any idea who Achilli is or what his contribution to Vampire was - I only know the name in the context of Doc's rants So for me he just exists as Doc's archenemy - I picture him as a blonde New Wave preppy who hates trenchcoats and sunglasses and katanas and wants RPGs to be "art" or something.

I'm sure the reality is far more boring.

Achilli looks more like someone likely to be playing trombone in a thirdwave Ska band in the 90s to me.

230200_10151380371232326_829588317_n.jpg

I also think V5 does let you play trenchcoats and katanas if you like, there is a section of the book where it discusses playing warring street gangs for instance.

Speaking of which the great Sion Sono's Tokyo Vampire Hotel's yakuza vampire is an interesting take. The series as a whole, like a lot of Sono, is a sprawling gonzo mess but I liked it.

 
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Brock Savage

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I played a fuckton of Vampire the Masquerade and even some LARPing. High school cliques, domain management, and supernatural mysteries seem to be the consistent themes. My favorite and longest running character was a "paladin of the night" seeking Golconda. He was an action-oriented Toreador and indeed had a longsword but I never did get to play in any of the trenchcoats & katanas Vampions games you guys are talking about.
 

Halda

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I must admit I like both the Katana and Trench coat style (I do love my highlander), and the politics. There personal horror side was never one I was really big on. I personally found the politics worked better in LARPs where there were heaps of people to wheel and deal with.

I actually mainly ran Mage, but I did like bringing in the other bits of the WoD. During one campaign I had a Sabbat crusade going on in the background. One of the players stumbled into it (by going off on his own) and sucked the rest of the players in. To me and my players it made the world feel bigger.

But all play styles have their ups and downs. While I have my preferred ways of playing Vampire (and the other WoD games) I do enjoy the challenge of the other styles from time to time.
 

Black Leaf

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Demon came too late for me, I'd already drifted away from the WoD by that point. Wraith I think really struggled to find it's playstyle, and it did in the end - just too late to save the gameline. Into the Labryrinth was the best supplement for the game by far and provided a vviable way to play that gt away from the well-intended but really hard to pull off "one foot in the real world and the other in a way too vaguelly-defined afterlife world, and another player playing your shadow/asshole side"
The big issue with Demon from what I understand was that the lead developer fell ill halfway through which is why stuff like powers are so skewed.
 

The Butcher

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All WoD games can do trenchcoats and katanas, or high school cliques, or angsty explorations of the nature of humanity, and likely a bunch of others I didn’t mention. Some are better suited for one play style or another but pretty much all of them can do all of those.

That’s because they’re “incoherent” (to borrow a turn of phrase from Ron Edwards). They lack the laser-like focus of storygames and can be made to sing a variety of tunes. I consider that a feature, not a bug, but YMMV.

As for Doc, yeah, he’s got an axe to grind, and the Rein-Hagen love/Achilli hate-boner duality in particular perplexes me. But his accounting of a WW party-line that (from late 2nd edition through VRev, much of it with Achilli as a developer) looked down on action-oriented vampire games and more or less disavowed and/or swept under the rug the more gonzo entries to Masquerade canon (like the list he presented) is accurate.

He is also correct that 1st edition was gonzo as fuck.

As for Rein-Hagen, I’ll go out on a limb and risk stating that he knew you can have gonzo and personal horror. And if the tone of early supplements is any indication, his games probably consisted of a gonzo entrée with a personal horror dessert.

The idea that one excludes the other reminds me of the Lovecraftian “purist vs. pulp” bullshit, but that’s my axe to grind. Let Sammy have the stage here. :devil:
 

Black Leaf

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As for Doc, yeah, he’s got an axe to grind, and the Rein-Hagen love/Achilli hate-boner duality in particular perplexes me. But his accounting of a WW party-line that (from late 2nd edition through VRev, much of it with Achilli as a developer) looked down on action-oriented vampire games and more or less disavowed and/or swept under the rug the more gonzo entries to Masquerade canon (like the list he presented) is accurate.

He is also correct that 1st edition was gonzo as fuck.
I'd say it was 2nd ed rather then 1st ed that was gonzo. That was where a lot of the books in his list were published. 1e wasn't anti gonzo, but there weren't that many books released for it so they mostly focused on the basics.

But revised had its gonzo moments as well. The sourcebooks on vampiric religion and heresies spring to mind.

Of course, the amusing thing here is that the most gonzo parts of Vampire were always heavily tied to the metaplot.

Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand
is a perfect example. It wasn't metaplot agnostic. It was metaplot turned up to 11.

I agree the canon was revised later (which happened a lot with Vampire), but it's still mostly part of the metaplot.

DSBH is a really good example of what I mean about why it can be hard to find common ground if one commenter is basing it on Vampire as a game and the other is treating Vampire as a standard novel.

Sammy seems to be under the impression that the Vampire RPGers hated it because it was a move away from personal horror. Actually, they hated it for the much more critical reason that a secret society of ancient Vampires who had little contact with anyone else and lived in the underworld was entirely useless at the vast majority of game tables so the whole thing felt like an exercise in fruitless self indulgence.

But obviously Sammy doesn't care about the latter because he doesn't run or play, so "unplayable" isn't actually a negative for him. Which is fine; I don't see anything wrong with being a Vampire "fan" rather than a Vampire "player". It just means he has a very different perspective than most people on here. (Compared to places like TBP we have a much smaller number of people that aren't actively involved in GMing or playing, or at least we did before COVID).
 

The Butcher

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I'd say it was 2nd ed rather then 1st ed that was gonzo.

2e had a ton more content overall but gradually shifted away from it (DSotBH was probably “peak gonzo”) and 1e had proportionally more wild, over-the-top content throughout its short life cycle. The Diablerie modules, the Storytellers Handbook bits on demonology and Dark Thaumaturgy and the gloriously insane A World of Darkness, 1st edition all spring to mind. (Compare with the 2nd edition of A World of Darkness and you’ll see what I mean.)

But revised had its gonzo moments as well. The sourcebooks on vampiric religion and heresies spring to mind.

I wouldn’t call it gonzo but arguing the point risks devolving the thread into a semantic debate on what’s “gonzo” and by God let’s not do that.

Of course, the amusing thing here is that the most gonzo parts of Vampire were always heavily tied to the metaplot.

Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand is a perfect example. It wasn't metaplot agnostic. It was metaplot turned up to 11.

I agree the canon was revised later (which happened a lot with Vampire), but it's still mostly part of the metaplot.

100% agreed.

Sammy seems to be under the impression that the Vampire RPGers hated it because it was a move away from personal horror. Actually, they hated it for the much more critical reason that a secret society of ancient Vampires who had little contact with anyone else and lived in the underworld was entirely useless at the vast majority of game tables so the whole thing felt like an exercise in fruitless self indulgence.

That is not how the True Black Hand is characterized in DSotBH at all.

But obviously Sammy doesn't care about the latter because he doesn't run or play, so "unplayable" isn't actually a negative for him. Which is fine; I don't see anything wrong with being a Vampire "fan" rather than a Vampire "player". It just means he has a very different perspective than most people on here. (Compared to places like TBP we have a much smaller number of people that aren't actively involved in GMing or playing, or at least we did before COVID).

I don’t know about that. The style he professes to enjoy is well rooted in actual play. His experience or lack thereof is irrelevant to the points he makes — where he’s wrong, he’s wrong, but he’s not entirely wrong.
 

Black Leaf

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2e had a ton more content overall but gradually shifted away from it (DSotBH was probably “peak gonzo”) and 1e had proportionally more wild, over-the-top content throughout its short life cycle. The Diablerie modules, the Storytellers Handbook bits on demonology and Dark Thaumaturgy and the gloriously insane A World of Darkness, 1st edition all spring to mind. (Compare with the 2nd edition of A World of Darkness and you’ll see what I mean.)

Although there were parts where WOD was less glorious and more just stupid.

If I'm remembering correctly, it was the one where they claimed hippies had started the Poll Tax Riots and made Manchester/Liverpool a single fiefdom. (Stuff like that probably passed most Americans by, but Mancs and Scousers hate each other). Compare to the Cyberpunk stuff on England where they got incredibly into the internal tensions in the free rave scene and based it on stuff that was going on at the time. (

That is not how the True Black Hand is characterized in DSotBH at all.

Less than 200 members in the world and their headquarters were in Enoch? On top of that, the fact they were all ancient was a big issue for most games.

I don’t know about that. The style he professes to enjoy is well rooted in actual play. His experience or lack thereof is irrelevant to the points he makes — where he’s wrong, he’s wrong, but he’s not entirely wrong.
It's not the experience or lack thereof I'm talking about so much as the fact that he wants different things from Vampire than many of us and "playability" doesn't seem to be of particular interest to him.
 

The Butcher

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Although there were parts where WOD was less glorious and more just stupid.

If I'm remembering correctly, it was the one where they claimed hippies had started the Poll Tax Riots and made Manchester/Liverpool a single fiefdom. (Stuff like that probably passed most Americans by, but Mancs and Scousers hate each other). Compare to the Cyberpunk stuff on England where they got incredibly into the internal tensions in the free rave scene and based it on stuff that was going on at the time. (

Yes, their research was for the most part atrocious.

I got kicked from a WW mailing list for pointing out that François Villon was Embraced before he was born.

Less than 200 members in the world and their headquarters were in Enoch? On top of that, the fact they were all ancient was a big issue for most games.

And yet all pregenerated characters were presented as sleeper agents.

And I really don’t see how numbers would stop players from playing them, or GMs from deploying them as antagonists.

That book was an adventure gold mine for us.

It's not the experience or lack thereof I'm talking about so much as the fact that he wants different things from Vampire than many of us and "playability" doesn't seem to be of particular interest to him.

Speak for yourself; I have played a ton of action-oriented Vampire in the past, across editions, and see no indictment of “playability” in Doc Sammy’s viewpoint.

Your characterization of Sammy’s preferences as “less playable” is blatantly false, does nothing to refute his points and at best suggests your gameplay was a lot more “focused” than mine, or most groups I’ve talked shop and played with.
 
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Trippy

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All WoD games can do trenchcoats and katanas, or high school cliques, or angsty explorations of the nature of humanity, and likely a bunch of others I didn’t mention. Some are better suited for one play style or another but pretty much all of them can do all of those.

That’s because they’re “incoherent” (to borrow a turn of phrase from Ron Edwards). They lack the laser-like focus of storygames and can be made to sing a variety of tunes. I consider that a feature, not a bug, but YMMV.

As for Doc, yeah, he’s got an axe to grind, and the Rein-Hagen love/Achilli hate-boner duality in particular perplexes me. But his accounting of a WW party-line that (from late 2nd edition through VRev, much of it with Achilli as a developer) looked down on action-oriented vampire games and more or less disavowed and/or swept under the rug the more gonzo entries to Masquerade canon (like the list he presented) is accurate.

He is also correct that 1st edition was gonzo as fuck.

As for Rein-Hagen, I’ll go out on a limb and risk stating that he knew you can have gonzo and personal horror. And if the tone of early supplements is any indication, his games probably consisted of a gonzo entrée with a personal horror dessert.

The idea that one excludes the other reminds me of the Lovecraftian “purist vs. pulp” bullshit, but that’s my axe to grind. Let Sammy have the stage here. :devil:
I still have 1st edition on my shelf. I don’t really understand what you mean by ‘gonzo’. Reading through the book, it is pretty unequivocal about what the game is trying to do - including examples of play, dedications and copious essays. It doesn’t highlight anything about high action sword play in the streets - there is not a single illustration of a katana wielding vampire in the book. As I pointed out before, the first core rulebook that does include illustrations of katana-weilding vampires is actually Vampire Revised.

Sure you could use the loosely designed rules to play action games, but to try and claim Mark Rein-Hagen, who had moved over from his work in Ars Magica and, in some ways, saw it as a continuation of his ideas, was plugging for some type of high action, gonzo game is just not backed up by what he wrote in the text. We also know that Rein-Hagen had a big part in helping design V5 - which again, makes it clear what the intent of the game is, with much better designed rules. If you want to see the game that Rein-Hagen says now is what he hoped for, then that is what V5 is.

If you read letters and articles sent in to White Wolf magazine in the early 1990s, or reviews of the game, there was always people looking down on playing action-orientated games. It was often the main reason why people claimed the game was pretentious: that the game, itself, talked up about personal horror and politics, but that playing groups ended up playing trenchcoats and katanas because the rules didn’t enforce any particular type of gameplay.

Justin Achilli and Vampire Revised didn’t start that conversation. There was a massive glut of supplements that started after 2E, which went in all sorts of directions, inconsistently, with not an awful lot of quality control. Most weren’t written by Mark Rein-Hagen, incidentally, as the development of the game was handed on to Andrew Greenburg. As the game grew massively in popularity during the 1990s, a load of gamers came over from games like D&D and Champions and just played it how they played the previous games.

When Achilli started in the late 1990s, he was given the job of making a new edition and consolidating everything into something more coherent . As such, Vampire Revised is a more open ended core rulebook - incorporating all sorts of gameplay - including trenchcoats and katanas. He, himself, probably tried to steer it towards being a game that was more about personal horror because that was actually the tagline of the game and, as game developer that was his job. However, in supplements it was also repeated ad nauseam that players could play the game however they wanted, so the notion that they were being squeezed out doesn’t really hold again.

I don’t have a beef with people playing the game however they like, or having preferences of editions or whatever. What you are doing though now, I guess, along with Sammy, is revising the history of the game and projecting particular play styles on it - based on personal experience, quite probably - but that is all. You can still choose to play Trenchcoats & Katanas with V5 if you wanted to, but I prefer the fact that the current game is more ‘laser focused’ as you put it - and directly tailored to the intent of the writing, myself. I really couldn’t care less if people who prefer playing vampires in other ways move on to BESM or whatever instead. I mean, if you really want to play a WoD crypto-superhero game, well, that is what Werewolf is for....
 
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Black Leaf

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I aim to fix that hopefully

And I've ran a few one-shots IRL back in the day.
Cool. I'll be genuinely interested to hear how that goes. As I said, some of your stuff like the ideas about 1950s VTM are really interesting, so it'd be good to see how it plays in practice.
 

The Butcher

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I still have 1st edition on my shelf. I don’t really understand what you mean by ‘gonzo’. Reading through the book, it is pretty unequivocal about what the game is trying to do - including examples of play, dedications and copious essays.

Straw man. Look at the supplements I explicitly named.

It doesn’t highlight anything about high action sword play in the streets - there is not a single illustration of a katana wielding vampire in the book. As I pointed out before, the first core rulebook that does include illustrations of katana-weilding vampires is actually Vampire Revised.

Missing the forest for the trees here.

If you read letters and articles sent in to White Wolf magazine in the early 1990s, or reviews of the game, there was always people looking down on playing action-orientated games.

Which only documents that the playstyle was real.

And despite the high-handed spiel, WW was cranking out action-oriented material. Again: look at the books Doc Sammy and I specifically mentioned.

I am reminded of D&D — OD&D hobbyist Gary (“sure, imagine the hell out of it”) vs. AD&D corporate Gary (“if you don’t play by the book you’re not playing AD&D!”). This is a similar disconnect.

I don’t have a beef with people playing the game however they like, or having preferences of editions or whatever.

Your tone in this post and others suggests otherwise.

Again I am reminded of D&D standbys like “there was no min-maxing in AD&D”.

What you are doing though now, I guess, along with Sammy, is revising the history of the game and projecting particular play styles on it - based on personal experience, quite probably - but that is all.

For the third time: address the supplements that we have actually mentioned.

You can still choose to play Trenchcoats & Katanas with V5 if you wanted to, but I prefer the fact that the current game is more ‘laser focused’ as you put it - and directly tailored to the intent of the writing, myself. I really couldn’t care less if people who prefer playing vampires in other ways move on to BESM or whatever instead. I mean, if you really want to play a WoD crypto-superhero game, well, that is what Werewolf is for....

I am not familiar with V5 and have said nothing about it.

Besides, pre-V20 Celerity 5+ melts werewolves. :grin:
 
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Trippy

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Straw man. Look at the supplements I explicitly named.
No, it's not a strawman. Look at the core rule book, which is the only book you’d ever need to buy to play the game. The original game had only a handful of supplements made for it, as nobody at the time knew it would take off. As I pointed out, as the game grew in popularity, there was a huge glut in supplements and their quality was all over the place. Your argument here is a straw man.

Missing the forest for the trees here.

Which only documents that the playstyle was real.

And despite the high-handed spiel, WW was cranking out action-oriented material. Again: look at the books Doc Sammy and I specifically mentioned.

Again I am reminded of D&D — see: OD&D hobbyist Gary vs. AD&D corporate Gary.

I refer all these points to what I’ve already stated about supplements. There was a ton of them (about 50 WoD books per year) as the game became successful, and they were very inconsistent.

Your tone in this post and others suggests otherwise.
Really?! Lets do a quick analysis on the ‘tone' of these comments:

Doc Sammy said:
Fuck Clan Hecate. It's a bullshit clan and I honestly prefer the Giovanni to that goth Wiccan bullshit and it's bad enough what they did to the Ravnos and the other clans.

Seriously, I really do feel like V5 is a disgrace to Vampire and is a pseudo-intellectual and smugly pretentious mockery that's trying to wear the skin of V1 and is failing badly. Like a pretentious and hipster-ishcargo cult affectation of Vampire 1st Edition

This was pretty much injected into this thread apropos of nothing, and is what kicked off this latest round. And you want to lecture me about tone?! In fact, go and look at your own tone in your last post. Talk about defensive...

This conversation reminds me a lot of D&D standbys like “there was no min-maxing in AD&D”, by the way.
Does it? How exactly?

For the third time: address the supplements that we have actually mentioned.
For the umpteenth time, I already have.

I am not familiar with V5 and have said nothing about it.
Well Doc Sammy has, and as the point in the example given, it is relevant to point out that Mark Rein-Hagen helped develop V5 in accordance to how he perceived how the original game he designed was trying to be.
 
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TristramEvans

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Maybe we coud not lecture anyone about tone and accept that there are multiple valid viewpoints in regards to Vampire.

I can completely understand the PoV and argument that the corebook and the material specifically written by Count Von Haagan-Daaz, as the game's creator, can be looked t as the primary source for the intentions of the game.

Likewise, it's also fair to point out the wildly uneven and contradictory presentations of the supplementary material, and how these expanded upon or altered the way the game was seen and played.

Both PoV are legitimate,as far as I can see, so why the aggression folks?
 

The Butcher

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No, it's not a strawman. Look at the core rule book, which is the only book you’d ever need to buy to play the game.

Excluding the data that doesn’t support your point from the sample. Are you perchance an economist? :grin:

My Rifts core rulebook bills itself, I shit you not, as “a thinking man’s game.” Doesn’t mean that either the game line that followed, or the play culture that grew around it, supports that.

I refer all these points to what I’ve already stated about supplements. There was a ton of them as the game became successful, and they were very inconsistent.

The “inconsistency” you refer to is the very point I am making. Other play styles were amply supported.

Hell, Ron Edwards is on record as describing this disconnect as one of the frustrations that spurred him into RPG theory.

Really?! Lets do a quick analysis on the ‘tone' of these comments:

I am not Doc Sammy.

And I never said he was 100% right.

He is right, though, that VtM supported a whole lot of play that wasn’t angsty navel-gazing “personal horror”. And the fact that he’s getting flak for suggesting that boggles the mind.

Anything else Doc Sammy said is up for him to defend. But in this — that the early game had a proclivity to bald-faced, over-the-top fantasy that later developers toned down and even retconned when given the chance — he is dead on.

Does it? How exactly?

Cynical revisionism.

I was there too, Trippy.

For the umpteenth time, I already have.

Yes, by pretending they are not relevant.

Well Doc Sammy has, and as the point in the example given, it is relevant to point out that Mark Rein-Hagen helped develop V5 in accordance to how he perceived how the original game he designed was trying to be.

As stated above — I am not Doc Sammy.
 

Black Leaf

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Yes, their research was for the most part atrocious.

I got kicked from a WW mailing list for pointing out that François Villon was Embraced before he was born.

A particular issue when they were into making every other famous person a vampire.

And yet all pregenerated characters were presented as sleeper agents.

And I really don’t see how numbers would stop players from playing them, or GMs from deploying them as antagonists.

That book was an adventure gold mine for us.

I'd be interested to hear more about that? For us, it felt very much like it existed at much higher power levels then anyone we knew was playing at.

Speak for yourself; I have played a ton of action-oriented Vampire in the past, across editions, and see no indictment of “playability” in Doc Sammy’s viewpoint.

Out of interest, what do you think were the specific supplements that catered to an action orientated approach? Some stuff like the high explosives rules in the 1e player guide I think would qualify. But I can't think of actual books. More gonzo, yes, but that's a different matter. Although as I said I think you can make a better case there for 2e then 1e. Berlin by Night had more gonzo in a single book than the entire of the 1e line. (Jekyll and Hyde! Nazi Vampires! The Brothers Grimm!). And as I said, the idea that gonzo had disappeared by revised isn't true either. The Gehenna line especially. Although admittedly it didn't come close to Lucifer setting of a nuke for the lulz.

Your characterization of Sammy’s preferences as “less playable” is blatantly false, does nothing to refute his points and at best suggests your gameplay was a lot more “focused” than mine, or most groups I’ve talked shop and played with.
It would be, if it's what I'd said. What I said is that he has no interest in them from the perspective of playability, which is an entirely different statement. And one I stand by; his view on Vampire is very much based on whether he likes the setting fluff to read, not whether he thinks it would work well in a game. And I would argue that does lead to him not recognising playability issues where they are there. If he can get the original version of Temporis to work in his game all power to him. But I'm of the view that it's too powerful and I'm not going to change that if it's based on "it sounds cool though" rather than "actually, I've used it and it worked fine".
 

TristramEvans

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Out of interest, what do you think were the specific supplements that catered to an action orientated approach?

I realize this isn't really what you're asking about, but this one was a particular favourite of mine

World-of-Darkness-Combat-WW3206.jpg

It was an attempt to transfer over the expanded combat rules from the Streetfighter RPG to the WoD
 

Trippy

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Excluding the data that doesn’t support your point from the sample. Are you perchance an economist? :grin:

My Rifts core rulebook bills itself, I shit you not, as “a thinking man’s game.” Doesn’t mean the line supports that.

The “inconsistency” you refer to is the very point I am making. Other play styles were amply supported.
I am not excluding the data. I am saying that there were published over several years amongst a glut of supplemental releases - in many cases after Mark Rein-Hagen actually stopped working in the game - and were wildly inconsistent. I am not saying that you couldn’t play this way, or find text to support it, but it was always criticized as a play style before Achilli even came on to the scene.

I am not Doc Sammy.

And I never said he was 100% right.

He is right, though, that VtM supported a whole lot of play that wasn’t angsty navel-gazing “personal horror”. And the fact that he’s getting flak for suggesting that boggles the mind.
Go and read the post I just quoted, and maybe you can see why. And again, even in your comment here - you can’t stop describing this particular play style in pejorative terms yourself - ‘angsty, navel-gazing’. Who is the one criticizing game play styles here?

Anything else Doc Sammy said is up for him to defend. But in this — that the early game had a proclivity to bald-faced, over-the-top fantasy that later developers toned down and even retconned when given the chance — he is dead on.
It wasn’t retconned. As I said the support for playing action orientated games was enhanced in Vampire Revised - it made the Camarilla vs Sabbat theme first and foremost in the game, included action-based supplements and it even adjusted the combat system to make it less clunky. Having a Developer criticise gameplay is actually part of his job, and was only a continuation of criticisms that the game always had.

Cynical revisionism.

I was there too, Trippy.
Well, that still isn’t a very good answer when the facts are laid out.

In the case of AD&D, you can cite that min/maxing was not actually possible in the 1st edition core rule books, because there wasn’t any character generation system that included points build options - it was all randomized. The fact that the AD&D rules weren’t very good meant that there were a lot of house rules where different groups did Min/Max. If there is an analogy here, it just goes to show how weak rule sets tend to create different play styles.

Yes, by pretending they are not relevant.
Nobody is pretending they are not relevant. What is being pointed out is what their relevance is, in the context of a ton of inconsistent supplements as the game expanded its market.

As stated above — I am not Doc Sammy.
You are choosing to advocate for him - have a look at what you are defending.
 

Trippy

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Yes, because if you want to take the stance that somehow Doc Sammy is being picked on, you need to understand that he was the one that kicked this all off with his comments - and what the full extent of his argument is.

He is not just claiming that there were supplements that allowed people to play a certain game style. He is claiming that:
  1. Mark Rein-Hagen deliberately set out to design a game that had gonzo-action orientation,
  2. Justin Achilli then ruined the game when he took over its development by refusing to let people play this way,
  3. People who don’t play Vampire the way Doc Sammy likes are all pretentious wankers,
  4. That because V5 has much more refined rules and a more consistent tone towards playing a game of personal horror, that he doesn’t like to play, is a therefore a traitor to its legacy.
  5. It's all Justin Achilli’s fault.
And, sorry, but this just isn’t true.
 

Trippy

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I realize this isn't really what you're asking about, but this one was a particular favourite of mine

View attachment 25653

It was an attempt to transfer over the expanded combat rules from the Streetfighter RPG to the WoD
I remember that book. It came out in 1996, whereas Street Fighter came out a few years before (1994). It gave lots of combat options in it, akin to some other combat orientated games, but I always felt it was completely redundant (as several reviewers also pointed out at the time).

The major problem was that the core combat rules in all the WoD games up to that point, objectively, were badly designed. Mathematically, in the old ST game, the more dice that were rolled at the table, then less your higher stats became advantageous, while you also increased your chances to botch. It was normally the case, in large combat scenes, that players could end up rolling tons of dice with little dramatic effect. They fixed it a bit when Revised came out - fixing the botch rule and making the Initiative roll a single D10 per character rather than a dice pool - but it was still clunky.

So, even though the Combat book had a lot of maneuvers and combat styles and the like, you couldn’t really use them very well in the game.
 

Séadna

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It was an attempt to transfer over the expanded combat rules from the Streetfighter RPG to the WoD
The New WoD line had similar books like Hurt Locker (which had two seperate editions), basically combat gear and feats/edges/merits.
 

The Butcher

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Yes, because if you want to take the stance that somehow Doc Sammy is being picked on, you need to understand that he was the one that kicked this all off with his comments - and what the full extent of his argument is.


I am not Doc Sammy.

And I never said he was 100% right.

He is right, though, that VtM supported a whole lot of play that wasn’t angsty navel-gazing “personal horror”. And the fact that he’s getting flak for suggesting that boggles the mind.

Anything else Doc Sammy said is up for him to defend. But in this — that the early game had a proclivity to bald-faced, over-the-top fantasy that later developers toned down and even retconned when given the chance — he is dead on.

You are either an idiot or arguing in bad faith.

Either renders this discussion pointless.
 
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