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OSSR: Breedbook Mokole
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Mord
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

hyzmarca wrote:
On the other hand, the Yeren are literally Gorden Gekko apemen. That's a concept that has legs. You could totally play a Wolf Apes of Wall Street campaign where the PCs are all wereapes who outsource manufacturing jobs to China by day and fight ecoterrorist werewolves by night. Get a nice "greed is good" theme going there, about how they're the ones who keep the economy running even if they're prone to excess sometimes.

"Wyrm tainted. You say that like it means something. You know what the Wyrm is? It's civilization. It's humanity. It's X-Boxes and hot and cold running water. It's putting your grandmother in a nursing home instead of ripping her throat out and eating her because she was becoming a burden. Everything that Mankind has ever done. Just look at everything we've ever accomplished. Just look at the drives that compelled us to do all of this. The passion. The desire. The lust and the greed and the terror and the hate. Even the love. That's not the Weaver. And it's certainly not the Wyld. That's the Wyrm. All of it. It's touched everything we've made. It drive us to ever greater heights and glories. And without that fire, where would we be? We'd still be sleeping in the dirt, covered in our own shit. That's where they all want us, the wolves, the spirits, and all those other motherfuckers. They want to tear down civilization and leave us huddled in a dark cave without so much as a fire for warmth. I say fuck them. They're bitter, jealous losers. They're stronger than us, faster, much harder to kill. They slaughtered us with impunity back in the day. And guess what, we still fucking won. They lost, we won, because we have that fire and they don't. We weak, pathetic apes are simply better than them. So I'm just going to drink this martini. Then I'm going downstairs and get into my Bugatti Veyron and I am going to call a dozen thousand dollar an hour escorts and have them all spend the night in my penthouse. I'm going to video out sexcapades and then I'm going to visit this werewolf that I know. And when i show him the video I'll be sure to point out that the nastiest, kinkiest one is his sister. And then I'm going to rip his fucking spine and and piss up his nose. Because that's what it means to be a fucking human being."


Despite anyone's quibbles about the canonicity of this little spiel, I think this is exactly the way a Pentex exec would justify himself to himself.

Your point about the parallel with the Syndicate/Technocracy is a good one. It would be really easy to sub in "mages" for "wolves" and get something comprehensible, but the Syndicate as a whole does seem to go in for hookers and blow a little less and jerk off to surveillance feeds a little more.

Reading bits of ephemera like this makes me sad, because it reminds me just how tepid and uninspired actual WoD fiction is.


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Prak
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Morning: Was
Because Numbered Chapters Aren't Pretentious Enough

The chapter quote is a passage from the Rig Veda, a collection of vedic hymns. It's basically just saying "only one person knows how the world was created." It's lampshading what will be explicitly stated in the chapter- the mokole don't know how the world began because they weren't there. The fiction continues with the garou talking to a mokole and asking dumb questions. He has The Memory, which is the Mokole racial memory, which isn't a record of all the world, but just what mokole saw. The paragraph about him thinking back through the memory reads like Land Before Time fic with descriptive names for dinosaurs--wingfingers and duckbills--rather than common names, like pterodactyl. Which is a defensible choice, I suppose, the target audience of WoD doesn't strike me as people who were dinosaur fanatics as kids, and pterodactyl does translate to wingfinger, so whatever.

I suppose it's interesting that the book straight up says that the mokole don't know how they were created or where they came from.

The book continues using fiction for it's info drop, and through it you are forced to go back to the lexicon to find that the Mokole have their own names for the triat, Wyld=Devisor, Weaver=Designer, Wyrm=Dissolver. It works, I just wish they wrote their shit better so that it's explained in text somewhere rather than me having to flip to their glossary. The Mokole character take the Garou to wake someone named Wolaru who is dead in mundane terms, but I think is just some spirit personage or something. This is all about WoD prehistory, which, while I did find a timeline for on the White Wolf wiki, still needs to have been actually designed, rather than amassed by a hundred writers on a hundred typewriters. We get the infodump that there were monotreme-shifters, though mokole call them bristlecreepers, and there were birdpeople.

...during the Time of Kings, ie, the time of dinosaurs.

...oh, White Wolf... Pick up a fucking book that you haven't written sometime.

To their credit, Mokole seem to be some of the more reasonable shifters, since they understand that extinctions serve a purpose, and there have been and will be many. But the biggest problem I have with this is continuity of the race through the extinction of the dinosaurs. Mokole lived then, and in place of homid they had the Drachid form, which was basically a lizardfolk. And so they had drachid and suchid kin, and suchid kin included dinosaurs. Then the mass extinction happens, killing off all Mokole and and all their dinosaur kin, leaving lizard and crocodillia kin, and maybe drachid kin. Well, more like ancestral lizard and crocodillia kin, but I digress. These ancient reptiles then breed and have about a 1:4 chance of giving birth to a Mokole. Who'll be a suchid. So all Mokole should be Suchid or Metis, except there are no metis Mokole. So how the hell do Mokole make the leap to having homids? All I can figure is that after the Mokole helped guide the evolution of man (seriously), some neanderthal said "a giant lizard? I'll fuck it!" and Gaia just shook her buried face and said "fine. Whatever."

Oh wait, I'm sorry. A Mokole used a gift to turn into a person. So it's slightly better. Slightly. Apparently the oldest kid of hers is Mokole-Mbembe, so there you go JE.

And apparently, yes the Corax "evolved" from the Mokole, they basically gave up the Mnesis, The Memory, so that they could access the Umbra. There's something that could be done with that, it's not terrible. Though I did fucking read the Corax breedbook back when I played, and I don't recall anything about this there. Ditto the Nagah, though I never read that book. Indian fantasy just doesn't really do it for me.

Apparently the Gurahl, werebears, were the first mammalian changing breed, and taught humans to survive winters, and Mokole taught them to hibernate in return. The book makes the mistake of implying that the ananasi are gaian, when they're not.

Anyway, while Mokole currently consider Garou enemies (because of the War of Rage and garou stubbornness and stupidity), they were friends in "The Last Times." It's sort of implied that Garou gifts should be accessible through the Mnesis, since Mokole took their record keeper role seriously.




I have to leave for work soon, so I'll finish this chapter later. Probably tomorrow afternoon.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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name_here
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Given the conceit of them having a joint memory pool, I'll allow their breedbook to retcon any prior information about deep history by saying that the people who don't remember those events are just wrong about them and assume the Mokole are lying to make themselves look good if the Mokole try to tell them. Especially anything that was previously qualified with "no one is quite sure" or "some believe".
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It's not just that everything you say is stupid, but that they are Gordian knots of stupid that leave me completely bewildered as to where to even begin. After hearing you speak Alexander the Great would stab you and triumphantly declare the puzzle solved.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
The corax may be newish, but not too much so. I know that the Kitsune were the last breed made, and used up the last of Gaia's juice.


seems like an odd choice, I think kitsune date back further than any European werewolf stories.


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Smirnoffico
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

There are specifically thing that White Wolf was too lazy to think through they are forbidden to access. The first is time before dinosaurs (previous extinction), the third is the reason War of Rage started (it's hinted that Mokole may be at fault) and I either missed the second thing or it's not mentioned.

Also, if Corax and Nagah evolved from Mokole, current-day Mokole may as be a next evolution - werecrocodiles instead of weredinosaurs
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Smirnoffico
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Prak wrote:
The corax may be newish, but not too much so. I know that the Kitsune were the last breed made, and used up the last of Gaia's juice.


seems like an odd choice, I think kitsune date back further than any European werewolf stories.

In White Wolf Russia new is the one they cared to write about last!
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Prak
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'd heard the War of Rage started basically because Garou decided Gaia didn't need anyone else.

I don't think there's any particular reason for werecrocs to be separate or somehow different. I actually really like the basic concept of Mokole building their war-forms from lots of associated animal traits and kind of think that's what Gifts should be. Werewolves should have magic, certainly, but it should be called something else. The things they learn from spirits should generally be physical attributes and occasionally knacks and tricks that are part of their war-form.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The Mokole have a build your own forms system because White Wolf could't come up with Any animal that actually had enough traction to be a thing. There are Scalies of course, but they are a tiny minority of furrdom and they lack a unifying vision. You'd get farther with wereskunks or wererabbits than with all the werelizards, weredragons, weregators, and weredinosaurs combined. Werelizards are such a non-thing that Whitewolf could't even present an artistic vision of what they might look like.

AS isn't doing werelizards because there's no demand. You have to make a Steve aggregate faction for there to be enough stragglers to collectively be demographically measurable. Fuck the Mokole.

-Frank
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Prak
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The mokole traction seems to primarily come from the "hulk out" and "dragon" things. They could just as easily have been a fae thing, or Leviathans could have been a canon gameline, or anything. But you're right, werecroc is not generally going to generate as much interest as werebears, werecats, and so on.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
The mokole traction seems to primarily come from the "hulk out" and "dragon" things. They could just as easily have been a fae thing, or Leviathans could have been a canon gameline, or anything. But you're right, werecroc is not generally going to generate as much interest as werebears, werecats, and so on.


I'd actually go the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle route with them. Baby crocodile gets flushed down the sewer and exposed to toxic waste. Now it's a humanoid mutant with a grudge leading an entire civilization of mutant sewer crocodiles.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

In the established mythos of WoD, that would make them Wyrmish, which I suppose could work, but they'd be very, very different, and while WW never met an antagonist group it wouldn't eventually let you play, I don't think Wyrm games were anywhere near as common as Sabbat.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Smirnoffico
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
In the established mythos of WoD, that would make them Wyrmish, which I suppose could work, but they'd be very, very different, and while WW never met an antagonist group it wouldn't eventually let you play, I don't think Wyrm games were anywhere near as common as Sabbat.

The best game I was a part of was about a bunch of humans going fomori.
Maybe that's local meta, but I much more fomori/bsd games that sabbat games. And from that experience I can certainly say that if you start seriously trying to roleplay wyrm minions, they become unplayable. Because wyrm is essentially murderrapist without any flair of nobility or redeeming qualities or anything


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Prak
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah. Fomori are potentially interesting to play, because it's all about playing a person who suddenly starts manifesting powers, often horrifying ones. Like Werewolf is supposed to be about, but instead of "sweet! I'm a hot super wolfman now!" you get "...great... I can vomit maggots now... and have a malevolent spirit sitting in my head trying to make me fuck my wife with a torch. Guess I'll go eat my gun now..."

But BSD is all about being a murderrapist psycho who just shits on everything, pretty much literally.

I might review the Possessed book next, which talks about, well, possessed, which includes Fomori, Gorgons (things possessed by wyld spirits), Drones (unplayable human bots possessed by weaver spirits), and Kami (possessed by gaian spirits, which arguably includes the changing breeds themselves)

Edit: But Mokole as wyrm-mutated lizardthings could work, really well. As accidental creations, they might be relatively free of influence, and might try, like the Ananasi, to take the vacant role of the Wyrm and try to do it right.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.


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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Smirnoffico wrote:

Because wyrm is essentially murderrapist without any flair of nobility or redeeming qualities or anything


Doesn't that exactly describe the Garou?
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Prak
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It's a difference of intent. The garou are supposed to be doomed noble-savage warriors that defend mother Earth from those that would destroy her. Wyrm-minions are creatures of death, disease, decay, and degredation, and the crazed thrashings of their master drives them to psychosis and violence.

However, when you write a doomed race of arrogant beasts who despise humans and thinks them weak, but still needs them to further their race, they wind up murderrapists.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
It's a difference of intent. The garou are supposed to be doomed noble-savage warriors that defend mother Earth from those that would destroy her. Wyrm-minions are creatures of death, disease, decay, and degredation, and the crazed thrashings of their master drives them to psychosis and violence.

However, when you write a doomed race of arrogant beasts who despise humans and thinks them weak, but still needs them to further their race, they wind up murderrapists.


Oddly, I find the Black Spiral Dancers to be much more sympathetic than the other Garou. Mainly because the whole noble savage archetype is stupid and racist. And the Garou themselves are stupid, racist, idiots who are dying off solely because they shoved a giant 2x4 up their own ass and can't get it out. Meanwhile, the BSD's are inclusive, egalitarian, and tolerant in a manner that is actually adaptive and functional and actually makes them more able to fit into society at large.

Still, Pentex is more sympathetic than both.


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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
AS isn't doing werelizards because there's no demand.


Snake people/Nagas still count as their own separate faction in AS right?

Now I'm wondering how little/much rejiggering it takes to turn After Sundown into After the Bomb.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Well, ATB as a White Wolf game would have been titled Steve: The Stevening, so some, but I could see it.
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Prak wrote:
Well, ATB as a White Wolf game would have been titled Steve: The Stevening, so some, but I could see it.


Great. Now I'm thinking of a virally transmitted transformation curse that turns its victims into identical clones of a man named Steve Stevens. Literally, an entire splat of Steves.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

hyzmarca wrote:
Prak wrote:
Well, ATB as a White Wolf game would have been titled Steve: The Stevening, so some, but I could see it.


Great. Now I'm thinking of a virally transmitted transformation curse that turns its victims into identical clones of a man named Steve Stevens. Literally, an entire splat of Steves.




Why do you think Captain America never gets laid?
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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Gobbeldygook
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

hyzmarca wrote:
Prak wrote:
Well, ATB as a White Wolf game would have been titled Steve: The Stevening, so some, but I could see it.


Great. Now I'm thinking of a virally transmitted transformation curse that turns its victims into identical clones of a man named Steve Stevens. Literally, an entire splat of Steves.

This already exists in the World of Darkness. There's a Legacy in Mage which is learned from a grimoire. The third attainment is you lose control of your character and take on the personality of the Atlantean founder who was obsessed with extending his own lifezpan but is cursed to die no later than 80.


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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Quote:
AS isn't doing werelizards because there's no demand.


Snake people/Nagas still count as their own separate faction in AS right?


Snake people in the Hindu/Buddhist/Conan sense have little overlap with the furries/scalies that White Wolf was chasing with Apocalypse. No one has arguments about whether Mariliths should have boobs.

As for the BSD, when they are written as more than just cannibal murder rapists with quills on their dicks, they are a lot more sympathetic than the protagonist garrou. Some of that's the old D&D problem where evil has humans and orcs and good has humans and no orcs so obviously evil is less racist than good. But a lot of it is that the personal politics of White Wolf authors were pretty screwed up, so a lot of stuff they wrote to be edgy is way worse than stuff they wrote to be evil.

-Frank
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talozin
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Whenever you write a vicious parody of someone you hate, there's always the risk that you'll go too far and wind up making the reader sympathize with them. The more you go overboard frothing about how they eat babies and intentionally poison the elderly and how literally any means whatsoever are justified in opposing them, the more your reader is likely to suspect that they're being propagandized and look around for reasons why they aren't such bad people after all.

But White Wolf's accomplishment with Werewolf is kind of impressive even on this scale. I mean, they were writing about the World of Darkness analog of Halliburton which is literally run by Nazi vampires, and they still managed to make them more sympathetic than the ostensible protagonists. And it's not as if the main demographic for roleplaying games is filled with people who unironically listen to Glenn Beck and think the only problem with Rick Santorum as a presidential candidate is that he isn't quite pro-business enough. That's some next-level work right there.
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Prak
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wait, talozin, do you see Pentex as sympathetic, or BSDs? Because Pentex is Halliburton literally run by Nazi vampires, and literally wants to destroy the Earth because they think they get to be kings of what's left/comes after, and Black Spiral Dancers are a tribe of Garou who "dug too deep" and fell to the wyrm and basically run around killing, raping, and polluting, but are ostensibly slightly more sympathetic because they are actually driven insane and accept pretty much anyone (not quite, but more or less).
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Dean, on Paranoia wrote:
The book is a hardbound liars paradox.


Winnah wrote:
No, No. 'Prak' is actually a Thri Kreen impersonating a human and roleplaying himself as a D&D character. All hail our hidden insect overlords.


FrankTrollman wrote:
In Soviet Russia, cosmic horror is the default state.

You should gain sanity for finding out that the problems of a region are because there are fucking monsters there.
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talozin
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I put it to you that Pentex is, indeed, more sympathetic than the Gaian werewolves. I'm not saying they're good people, but, let's be honest, "more sympathetic than Gaian werewolves" is a pretty fucking low bar to clear.

If the Black Spiral Dancers are sympathetic because they're accepting of pretty much anyone -- well, fuck! Pentex not only accepts Black Spiral Dancers (which, by extension, makes them as accepting as the Spirals are), it also accepts vampires, fomori, psychics, what the fuck ever. Not only does Pentex not give a fuck what your "bloodline" is or what "tribe" you descend from -- they don't even care if you're not a werewolf. That already puts them one up on the Gaians, who could not possibly give any less of a fuck about you if you don't have the magic werewolf blood, to say nothing of the fact that they will use you for breeding stock if you have the blood but aren't a werewolf.

If the Black Spiral Dancers are sympathetic because they're insane and therefore don't really know what they're doing, how much more sympathetic is Pentex, the vast majority of whom don't have a clue what their employer is doing and are just ordinary schmucks trying to get by in a world where cannibal dog rapists think that ripping you to shreds when you forget to separate the recycling is an acceptable, indeed necessary, response?

Oh, but the higher ups know what they're doing, you say. Yeah, well, first of all, the majority of those higher ups are, themselves, insane. The Nazi vampire on Pentex's board of directors is a Malkavian, which means that he is, by definition, crazy, and a couple of the other board members are also described as insane. It doesn't get any better for the ones who aren't: White Wolf is explicit about the fact that most of the top Pentex people are in thrall to the Wyrm or its minions. So not only are they despoiling the environment and harming their fellow man, they're doing it under the influence of malign supernatural forces. Which is to say, they're pretty much just the Black Spiral Dancers writ large, if not worse off, because at least the werewolves probably know what the fucking Wyrm is before they agree to sign on the dotted line.

But they want to destroy the world, you say. Well, unfortunately, so do the werewolves, pretty much. The werewolves' idea of a Golden Age was an era when you, the person reading this, lived in a grass hut and could be slaughtered out of hand because the couple down the road had too many babies and the human population was getting a little too high. Except there was no road and there probably wasn't a hut. Yes, Pentex wants to burn down the world as we know it, but at least they intend to build something up in its place.

I am not saying Pentex's agenda is morally praiseworthy. I am not saying that Pentex is the "good guys." I'm just saying that it's not a huge stretch that, when the alternative is a gang of murderous dog rapist cannibals who believe the natural order of things is Nature -> Them -> Fuck You and who feel that it's been all downhill ever since humans learned how to whack flint with a stone and make edge weapons -- they could maybe be the lesser evil.
_________________
TheFlatline wrote:
This is like arguing that blowjobs have to be terrible, pain-inflicting endeavors so that when you get a chick who *doesn't* draw blood everyone can high-five and feel good about it.
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