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[OSSER]Havens of the Damned
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Ancient History
Invincible Overlord


Joined: 18 Aug 2010
Posts: 11361

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:16 pm    Post subject: [OSSER]Havens of the Damned Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List



I won't say 2002 was the point where White Wolf stopped giving a fuck, but you can maybe see it from here. I dare say it would be difficult to find a less interesting or ambitious book for vampire out in 2002, unless you count the novels. It was technically the Year of the Damned, but the only way that relates to Havens of the Damned is when players scratch their heads and go "Why did I buy this damned book?" I would not be surprised if the number of copies of this downloaded far exceeded the number of copies sold, and even then you'd wonder why the fuck you bothered.

Let's be honest: this book is filler, and this is going to be a short OSSR. This isn't a book about creating your own haven. Haven is a background, and even by background standards it's a headscratcher because, as Frank Trollman says:

FrankTrollman wrote:
Havens was a background that they never quite managed to sell me on.

Real estate just isn't that hard to come by.

You can just buy it.


This book isn't about building your own haven, or considerations thereof. There's nothing in here about escape routes, or traps, or property taxes, or dealing with neighbors. There are no warding rituals, no security systems, no rules for ghosts or building your haven on top of a magical node or anything like that. This isn't the Dungeon Builder's Guidebook or the Stronghold Builder's Guidebook, because this is about the Modern Nights and building a castle with enough stable room for your ghoul horses and the logistics of installing a blood fountain just isn't quite as relevant.

It's not that there isn't room in the setting or the game to discuss havens. D&D usually doesn't cover all the niceties of how you live, since the game is primarily interested in you essentially camping out or living at inns when you aren't dungeoneering, and when you are ready to "settle down" it gives you rules for building mage towers and castles and shit. In Shadowrun, your home/apartment/etc. is covered by your lifestyle, which is generally highly abstracted. It's not that no one is going to break into your home at some point, but 99% of the time you're at the table to game, your player characters are going to be out in the streets, not cooped up in their apartment. That doesn't mean home invasions aren't significant - even if somewhat of a dick move - and a break-in or robbery is a good way for Mister Cavern to catch the PCs in an unguarded moment, or to make off with <money/equipment/small children/animals/spouses/etc.> which can be significant in a scenario or adventure, but generally that's a level of personal intrusion you don't see in games, and home security and facilities is left to a matter of personal paranoia until it becomes a plot point.

But for Vampire...well, it's important to remember that the first chunk of Bram Stoker's Dracula was essentially a real estate novel. Vampires are technically dead, and usually have dubious legal existence, so there can be some considerations when it comes to owning property. Likewise, vampires tend to have certain considerations of privacy (i.e. no sunlight) and security to consider. No one wants to be the 12th generation vampire that gets Scooby Doo'd and staked by the neighborhood kids because they trusted to a goddamn deadbolt and maybe didn't hide the bodies well enough.



There's also the dungeoneering aspect. This doesn't get as much play in the latter days of Vampire: the Masquerade, but the idea of a bunch of younger vampires going into the well-defended haven of an elder in torpor to diablerize them or whatever was a trope they tried to play a few times. It doesn't work very well because, y'know, vampires, but it's obviously a mindset they got into. And you could probably stretch a scenario or two out of managing to entice the PC vampires into a SAW-style murder-trap-house built by a Malkavian or a small cathedral of flesh put together by a Tzimisce that outsourced their interior decoration to the Zerg.



That's all a bit high-rent though. The typical vampire aesthetic - especially the Gothic Punk aesthetic initially pushed by White Wolf - was way more low-key. A vampire PC might not literally crawl back into their grave at night, or sleep in a coffin, or own a dilapidated Southern Gothic plantation house, but you were probably squatting in an abandoned building or maintaining a chic apartment by Dominating the guy who owned the building or living in a mobile home...


Hey it works.

...but we don't get any of that here. Instead, what this book covers 15 already-occupied havens in 96 pages. These are not explicitly dungeons for you to run or examples for you to consider when designing your own haven, although each comes with a couple adventure seeds. I figure I can manage about five per post. So we will do that.
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Ancient History
Invincible Overlord


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
How to Use This Book
The remainder of this book is a random sampling of interesting or unusual havens of American Cainites from varied backgrounds, who use their havens in a variety of ways. The structure of each entry follows the same basic pattern. A brief description of the Kindred resident is followed by a quick explanation of how he or she came to dwell in the haven in question, as well as what makes it an important part of his or her nightly unlife. Next, come descriptions of what the haven looks like, inside and out, and how it fits into the mortal and Kindred worlds. A good deal of that information focuses on how the resident ensures his safety and privacy while he's home, as well as any special concerns that feeding might raise in relation to the haven.

The last section of each haven write-up is a list of two to four quick story ideas.
You can use and expand on these nuggets as inspiration for one-shot Vampire sessions, or you can slip them into an ongoing chronicle as your players' characters explore their Kindred society and get to know the other Kindred who make it up. You might even use of them to start off an entirely new chronicle.
If you're really up for a challenge, however, you can look for the subtle common threads that run through many of the suggested story ideas. If you can pick them out, you might want to construct a chronicle in which the characters have occasion to visit as many of the havens and interact with as many of the characters in this book as possible.


tl;dr: This is the laziest-ass set up for a book I've ever come across. Even Grimtooth's Traps put slightly more thought and effort into just presenting a series of horrible things to throw at your PCs, because it at least did some of the work involved. This shit is the kind of thing you might write up during your lunch break, and is so disconnected from anything fucking else that the book sits alone in its own little fucking void, not interacting with anything. No other book needs this to exist, and this book doesn't need anything else to exist. It could apply as written to damn near any edition of vampire, or for any game that has vampires, because filing off the serial numbers in this case just means removing any proper names from Clans.

The Winchester Mystery House
This is a real place. So most of the first page is just a reiteration of its real-life history. Then is goes to crazy town.
Quote:
The Winchester mansion is more than a mere haven. It is also an elaborate trap designed to test its architect's theories about negative architecture and its effect on the human mind (and even the Cainite consciousness, to a lesser extent.


Basically, the Winchester Mystery House is the product of a Malkavanian named Johnathan Smith, who was embraced by Ivo Shandor. Yes, seriously, they thought a Ghostbusters reference in for funsies, or maybe the editors were just dense and didn't get the joke. In any event, Smith is still occupying the house, and all the tour guides are actually his ghouls. The basic idea is that the confusing geography of the house is exacerbated by Smith's mastery of Dementation, and maybe the wraith of Sarah Winchester.

The idea of turning your haven into a tourist destination, which thus grants it a certain amount of protection (local historical society, hiding in plain sight), guaranteed income (admission fees), and access to fresh blood (tourists) is interesting, but not really developed because...well...fishmalking. Smith is "insane," but not in any particularly specific or interesting way; he has no real plans, motivations, or goals now that the house is built beyond basic survival. No stats are given for anything, no maps provided for the house (although you can probably find that online these days).

A Real Fixer-Upper
Setite Eric Parker is a neonate vampire and his master decided suffering is character building, so has taken away "his car, his apartment, his job, his finances and even saw to it that his regular lady friends were offered better-paying, irresistible jobs in different cities. Eric awoke one night to find everything gone and a clipping from a local newspaper with his own obituary in it."

He lives in a rented motel room, supported by a nighttime job dealing blackjack. The room used to hold unservicable furniture, but Parker used the awesome vampiric power of bribing the clerk with a bottle of whiskey on occasion to let him rent it.

Quote:
He makes ritual offerings of beer, which come from six packs bought at the corner gas station, and he takes the bus to the suburbs once a month in order to buy incense and candles at a cut-rate arts and crafts store at the mall. On weeks when tips are heavy and his personal gambling goes well, Eric occasionally splurges at the Discovery Channel Store located at the outlet mall, picking up Egyptian-style knickknacks to add to his home. Items he's already purchased include a small throw rug with a scene from the Egyptian Book of the Dead woven into the fibers, and ink pen set with the utensils styled in the image of Set and Sekhmet and a Dover edition of Egyptian Magic and Ritual by E.A. Wallis Budge.


Okay, seedy and pathetic as this is, I kinda like it for the punk DIY attitude. It's at the low end of the scale, but there's nothing wrong with that. The only problem is...it's too cheap. There's nothing to make Parker stand out. I mean, you work at a casino. Kill somebody and take their wallet. Buy some Egyptian crap off ebay. Something. I mean yes, it's an example of a My First Haven, but give us a reason to give a fuck.

The Local
A Sabbat pack called the Spartacists having been living out of Local Office 1111 of the State Janitorial and Maintenance Workers Union in New Orleans since WWI. That's it. It's a union office, and the Sabbat "headquarters" is in the basement, behind some locked doors with a pinpad, a deadbolt, and a security system. There's a couple cots in the back and a workbench with some tools where somebody has been doing some gunsmithing. That's it.

The Glass House
Jesse Van Reginald is a Toreador with a flair for illusion, more a la David Copperfield than Chimerstry. He has invested his resources into a small magic shop, The Magic Rabbit, and an attached bar with a stage that caters to local illusionists and comedians, Faust's Pub. Jesse's haven is upstairs. Because he's weird, every single surface in his haven is covered with mirror, which is disconcerting to others and lets him know where anyone is up there. One would also think one good ray of sunlight would do for Jesse, except that his actual sleeping-space is a cramped room accessed through a hidden door; he also has a few other tricks to fuck with would-be-intruders, but unless you're really keen to do a vampire version of the final scene in John Wick Chapter 2 with the world's shyest Toreador, you don't care. Also, saddest part of the whole thing:

Quote:
He keeps the fridge and cupboard partly stocked with non-perishables, even though the canned items are a decade old and the carbonated drinks have long since gone flat. Jesse, however, cannot bear a kitchen without food or a toilet that does not work (which he flushes every morning before going to sleep). Jesse believes that there is something terribly wrong in not having the mortal necessities around. He does not drink, eat or use the toilet, but he cannot cope with the fact that he does not need them anymore.


Also, as I read this I realize it has been many years since I read V:tM and I'm not entirely sure what a "level-three feat of Perception" means anymore.

Problems with this haven are...numerous. It's a dungeon, basically, and kind of a crappy dungeon because it's on the second floor of a commercial building. It's a dungeon you can set fire to, it's a dungeon you can leave and throw Molotov cocktails into. Stage magic illusion just doesn't cut it when the local Tremere can throw fire at anything they don't like the look of, and whatever Jesse's other skills or abilities he doesn't actually have a gun or other weapon in the place. So this place is only "secure" insofar as the PCs are willing to play by the rules. Also, fucking Garou must love this place. Every single surface is a door to step sideways through.

Downstairs Downtown
Sebastian Wright is a Tremere living in a sub-street apartment in Boston. This is the ultimate in hiding-in-plain-sight: the door doesn't even have a mail slot. Living in a basement with no windows is a plus for a vampire. He keeps the bare minimum of food around to make it look like someone actually lives there and uses the kitchen. The cheap door has been replaced with a stouter one, and there's no phone. There's a small chest with thaumaturgy supplies, and the second bedroom was converted into an electronics workspace.

Quote:
A washer and dryer come built into a corner closet. Even though Kindred no longer sweat, clothes can still become grimy, and the businessman and dealer downtown needs to stay tidy. It's safer than going to an all-night Laundromat down a few blocks in the city, although anything requiring ironing or dry-cleaning is dropped off--irons are just a little too much for this vampire's aversion to heat.


I don't mind little observations like this, but I wish there was...more. For example, they point out:

Quote:
Intruders will be disappointed that this Tremere doesn't keep much in the way of occult material in his haven.

Well, yes. Again, there's nothing in this haven of any actual interest or value except the vampire himself, and he's frankly fucking boring. There are no wards on the door, no familiars lurking in odd corners, no hidden shotguns or other protections. If a roid'd out Brujah or a squad of mortal Hunters kicks in the door, Sebastian Wright is fucked

Mostly, this haven is here as an excuse to talk about the fine details of paying rent when you're (un)dead, potential difficulties from flooding (and subsequent repairs), and the dire specter of lowering property values in the coming decades. Which would actually be something to meditate on if this wasn't the Final Nights, you fucking hacks.
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Longes
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
Sebastian Wright is a Tremere living in a sub-street apartment in Boston.

The joke here is that as of V20, all Tremere live together in a chantry and not living in a chantry is a merit.
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G‚tFromKI
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Seriously ? There was a need for a VtM sourcebook stating you can live in a motel or in a commercial building, and btw vampires also need to wash their clothes ?

Every haven you reviewed sounds boring.

Quote:
Intruders will be disappointed that this Tremere doesn't keep much in the way of occult material in his haven.

OK that's great I guess. Then where does he keep his occult material ? In some other place more interesting than "this is a house. There is a washer somewhere" ? My players aren't into boring locations and they already know a lot of place where they won't find Sebastian Wright's occult material, why should they care about this one ?
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talozin
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

G‚tFromKI wrote:
There was a need for a VtM sourcebook stating you can live in a motel or in a commercial building


I'm pretty sure it was White Wolf's need for cash flow that drove this book to production, rather than any perceived need for the book itself.
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Ancient History
Invincible Overlord


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The House of Storms
Kathyrn Green is a member of the "Keepers clan" (Lasombra. It literally never says Lasombra in this section, I had to look it up.) She apparently doesn't have Obtenebrate and specializes in Dominate, and has a specific taste in blood:

Quote:
She adjusted well to the Becoming and discovered that she had a particular taste for fresh, hot blood with an identifiable tang of adrenaline in it. She experimented with different means of coming by such blood - purchasing synthetic adrenaline and adding it to blood heated in the microwave, or seducing biddable men in bars and feeding on them as she went through the motions of sex - but she found none of those methods entirely satisfying. Synthetic adrenaline did nothing for her, and the constant pantomime of picking up guys, letting them do their business inside her, then wiping their memories clean of the encounter after the fact became too cumbersome for the satisfaction it provided her.


...taken together, I think she was actually meant to be a Ventrue and somebody either didn't do the research or didn't care. She decided to fulfill her needs through...gentrification. Seriously, there's a long section where it talks about how she a growing Hispanic population was causing white flight in the neighborhood, but she has reversed this by buying up a shopping center and converting it to high-end places that cater to middle-class white people. I wish I could make this up.

Quote:
At one time, the Broadway Corners shopping center was home to a second-rate grocery store, a Chinese dry cleaner and a dollar store only marginally distinguishable from a miniature indoor flea market. Before Kathryn came along, the place had been turning into a magnet for the city's growing Hispanic population, which was driving down property values in the surrounding neighborhoods and attracting other nickel-and-dime businesses into the area. This change in the community had begun to push out the reactionary white suburbanites, which was hurting the local economy because they took their money with them as they sought more homogenous pastures. Since Kathryn renovated and redesigned the shopping center, Broadway Corners has become the home of a paintball pro-shop, a skateboard shop, a restaurant with a small bar, and the House of Storms.


(The anti-Hispanic racism is really weird when you remember that the Lasombra were largely Spanish in backstory. But whatevs.) The House of Storms is an indoor paintball arena; her haven is a bedroom-cum-office leading off the manager's office. She feeds on paintball players that are high on adrenaline. That's it.

The Guardian Lakes Country Club
Pahuska ("Pat") is a Gangrel. When the growing city threatened to engulf his traditional hunting area, the Gangrel begged a favor off a Ventrue to turn it into a country club park which Pat has the run of as a night-shift groundskeeper. Pat keeps his few belongings in a metal locker in the maintenance shed, sleeps by melding into the earth, and feeds off limousine drivers, golf caddies, drunken guests, and whatever squirrels, deer, and rabbits he can catch. With access to the maintenance keys, Pat has access to everywhere and disposing of small animal bodies is part of his job, so that's sort of a bonus.

This is a bit more subtle and interesting take on "hiding in plain sight," since Player Cainites will probably go to the clubhouse first (no dice), then the maintenance shed (some paperwork showing Pat as the actual owner), but the vampire himself can be anywhere on the grounds. This could actually be more interesting if Pat had Ogham or Koldunic Sorcery, but that's a bit too ambitious for this book.

The Elevator and the Arrow
Conrad Constantinos is a Ravnos, despite the fact that this is post-Week of Nightmares and those were supposed to all be dead. Conrad lives in an abandoned overseer's office of a grain elevator in Iowa. Includes a cage where he can keep large dog or other animal as a source of back-up blood. As with the budget Setite haven above, this is definitely at the low end of the Gothic Punk aesthetic:

Quote:
One of the few luxuries that Conrad truly relishes is the ability to occasionally sleep on an actual mattress. Scrounging at a not-too-distant city dump and spending some of the little money he has, he's brought an old box-spring and mattress up into his haven, and he uses them without a frame. This one luxury dominates the corner nearest the door and has a sizable indentation in the springs from repeated use.


Conrad is partially nomadic, and his preferred means of transportation is an RV: "a rusty, grimy 1981 Pace Arrow." The deeply tinted windows are covered by plywood on the inside to block any sunlight from getting in. In the back is an old La-Z-Boy chair he occasionally ties a victim to for a night or two.

Really, this section is a) an excuse to discuss the difficulty of living in stolen vehicles for long periods of time, and b) an excuse to discuss the difficulty of making crappy, dilapidated havens light-tight (Conrad uses scrap aluminum, industrial caulk, and that old standby: duct tape.)

Quote:
He then plays the role of a war veteran down on his luck looking for money or a hot meal somewhere. Then, using his charm and predatory guile, he pretends to connect with his mark emotionally and tries to find a way to get him or her alone. The inevitable then happens, and Conrad leaves his mark, often dead or near death, in her own bedroom and certainly poorer.


Aside: Why the hell wasn't this a Hunter book? These could be 15 vampires you had to kill, and it would work a lot fucking better.

Zatopek Farms
Ilya Zatopek is a Czech Tzimisce. They say he's a member of the Oradea League, which would make him Old Clan Tzimisce, and thus continuing this book's tradition of trying to make it so that none of the vampires have interesting powers of any kind. Anyway, Zatopek's haven is a nightcrawler farm in Detroit, which is authorized to import Zatopek's home soil (also Czech peat moss, European night crawlers and red wigglers); this occupies a vaulted, Cathedral-like space where the farm grows its worms, kept behind multiple levels of security, including the Orpichniki revenant family that manages the farm. Zatopek spends most of his time in his native soil, being one with the worms.



This is maybe the closest to what you would think of as an actual Vampire Haven (TM), because with only the barest bit of sprucing up it could be a video game level. You're got a giant fucking worm farm swarming with ghouls, each of which his haunted by a wraith (although that isn't discussed here), and the stage boss is in an area literally called the "Worm Forest" which looks like somebody filled an Eastern European church filled with tons of rich soil and one bad-ass old vampire. The flavor text goes into straight crazy-town:

Quote:
Ilya's body rests here, in a church of his own making. He communes with worms deep below the surface, perhaps in an effort to understand who he was before the Embrace or perhaps trying to impregnate the womb from which he himself was born. Regardless, when he manifests, he appears to be a corpse whose innards have turned into worms. he speaks while they pour over his ragged lips and out his empty eye sockets, and like a worm, he can move in and out of the earth with fluid grace.


As a nice bonus, there are giant corkscrew blades beneath the earth in Ilya's haven which the ghouls use to aerate the soil...and cause 15 dice of lethal damage to any kindred unlucky enough to be caught in them.

The Legend of Sensual Secrets
Tabitha Somerset, aka Miss Tara Sunshine is a Brujah. Her haven is a brothel in Tampa, Florida which was flooded during hurricane Irma hide behind the facade of an acting school-cum-private modeling agency. This is actually a fairly hard R-rated entry, and the longest in the book, discussing the various specialty rooms in the house.

Quote:
The Reality Behind the Fantasy
As elegant as an experience in one of the rooms might sound to a potential customer, the constant reminders of who a client is and where he is are difficult to banish. In every room, one can find plain, white hand towels, bottles of Astroglide, condoms and a dispenser of baby wipes, which all happen to be strategically placed for ease of access. When the fantasies are all over and the girl or girls of the client's choice have fulfilled his desires, the girls who were not selected by any client that day enter the room with a pair of latex gloves, spray disinfectant and disposable terrycloth towels to clean up any residual mess. In many cases, what gets thrown out in the garbage on any given night i the only thing left of the fantasies made flesh within the walls of The Legend.


Miss Tara's haven is in the basement, which I'm still not entirely sure how it isn't flooded regularly because quite honestly, the water table in Tampa is pretty high, and she keeps an eye on things with a network of miniature digital cameras hidden in every room. The girls are all highly trained and blood-bonded ghouls, and she occasionally feeds on them.

Next up: the last five.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
At one time, the Broadway Corners shopping center was home to a second-rate grocery store, a Chinese dry cleaner and a dollar store only marginally distinguishable from a miniature indoor flea market. Before Kathryn came along, the place had been turning into a magnet for the city's growing Hispanic population, which was driving down property values in the surrounding neighborhoods and attracting other nickel-and-dime businesses into the area. This change in the community had begun to push out the reactionary white suburbanites, which was hurting the local economy because they took their money with them as they sought more homogenous pastures. Since Kathryn renovated and redesigned the shopping center, Broadway Corners has become the home of a paintball pro-shop, a skateboard shop, a restaurant with a small bar, and the House of Storms.



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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Wiseman wrote:




It's a White Wolf book. White Southern Baptist xenophobia should be expected as the norm after decades of such examples.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

People seem to think adrenaline lasts way longer than it actually does. From people having various eroneous beliefs that scared meat tastes better or worse to, well, this book. In the real world, adrenaline is quite short acting, and the effects of injecting high doses with a syringe wear off in about twenty minutes.

Unless she's doing some sort of skateboard piracy to do mid-ollie blood drinking, the participation or not in extreme sports is not going to have any effect on how much adrenaline is active in their blood. For fuck's sake.

-Frank
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Judging__Eagle wrote:
Wiseman wrote:




It's a White Wolf book. White Southern Baptist xenophobia should be expected as the norm after decades of such examples.


I mean, seriously. I hate the stereotype that people in the south/flyover states are all [insert bigotry of choice], but these assholes aren't helping any.
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Ancient History
Invincible Overlord


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The Venetian
Dante Giovanni Putanesca is a wise guy Giovanni vampire who built an Italian-themed hotel and casino in Las Vegas on the strip. Also, no matter how you phrase it, Giovanni family relations sound incestuous as fuck.

Quote:
Dante came to the attention of his "Great-uncle," Lorenzo Putanesca, who was then visiting Chicago from the old country. Lorenzo was deeply disappointed by the sorry state of the family in America. However, in Dante, Lorenzo saw a spark of dark and terrible potential, enough that he was willing to bestow on the man the Proxy Kiss.


The only thing remotely interesting about the vampire/mob-run hotel casino is that it was erected on the site of the old Sands Hotel and Casino, and that the ghostly remains of the demolished casino still survive in the Underworld, complete with all the wraiths and specters that are taking refuge in it. This is cool because: 1) it's a haunted hotel/casino, 2) necromancers/others who can step sideways can run around the old casino and pop back into the new casino at odd places. Which to me just screams "Kindred Ocean's 11 plus wraiths," but I understand if that isn't everyone else's cup of tea.



Other than that...uh, yeah, when you're a vampire/mobster running a casino in Vegas, disposing of dead hookers drained of all blood isn't really a thing, I guess? And nobody goes out during the day anyway. It's bright and hot as fuck. Dante's got a suite on the 17th floor, all the ghouled and non-ghouled casino security backing him up, plus a network of wraiths spying on everybody. The only kind of sad-and-pathetic thing is that whatever his vampire powers are, he still can't get laid feed himself correctly:

Quote:
He also keeps a moderate stash of Rohypanol and Percodan hidden in the bar so that he can make a loaded drink for a guest he's lured to his suite for a private snack.


The Gatekeeper's Hold
Maximilian is a Nosferatu with claustrophobia, so he doesn't like the traditional sewer-haven.

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Seemed so much bigger as a kid.

So, Max's haven is a an unused basement mechanical maintenance room at the Water Treatment Plant. He works as the night manager, using Obfuscate when he has to deal with humans, which is often, and does his part for the Masquerade by controlling the active sewers. Despite have an appearance of Zero and deformities which apparently make it hard for him to talk intelligibly, Max is the most social Nosferatu you've ever met, with a stellar rep and on good terms with everybody.

Quote:
The day manager, Tony Athlex, knows that Maximilian often sleeps in the mechanical closet, but he was convinced some time ago to look the other way. Tony believes that Maximilian is having some personal trouble at home and that ignoring the existence of the cot is a huge favor he's doing his coworker. Maximilian's ability to persuade Tony so easily springs not only from a well-conceived story, but also from the partial blood bond that Max enforces by mixing his vitae with the coffee he hands to Tony as they change shifts.

Partial blood bond? Seriously? SEAL THE DEAL, MAX. Also it turns out he's "mildly blood-bound" the five plant managers. What the fuck does that mean? You've had three sips of vitae or you haven't.

Other than Max's cot, he has basically no personal effects they care to mention and there's no real reason to raid his crib, and there's no additional security other than the usual for breaking into a public works building.

The House That Fear Built
Harriet Perkins is a Malkavian slumlord.

Quote:
Blessed with old money, her blue-blooded family, which was now ghouled to her whims, purchased every available mansion that came up for sale, until she owned everything within the cluster of blocks that surrounded her own. The Perkins family then converted all the mansions, save theirs, of course, into smaller apartments in order to support the ghetto that was blossoming around them. Every home they converted devalued the local property further, making it easier to purchase more buildings. For Harriet, the role of slumlord proved profitable both financially and in terms of vitae. Her tenants, mostly North American untouchables, were no more important than cobwebs. When they vanished, few bothered to investigate or even cared.


So, Harriet turned into your reclusive aunt in her decaying five-story Art Nouveau-style apartment mansion in the middle of a slum of her own creation. And she's a hoarder. Because she's a Malkavian. Unlike the rest of these places, this means that her haven is a hoard of antiques that could be sold for much money, but she's so insane that she'll kill anyone that touches her shit. So this is as close as they get to an actual dungeon, but there's only one boss monster (Harriet) and a bunch of minions (Harriet's ghouled family members).

CVN 70, USS Carl Vinson
This is a real-life Nimitz-class supercarrier. Hiding onboard is Burak, a 900-year old Ottoman Turk (which is kind of weird, because Osman I didn't found the Ottoman state until c. 1299, which should top his age at ~700 in 2003, but let's let that slide) and Assamite fuck-up.

Quote:
Much to the disappointment of his sire, however, he did not make a good killer.


What, seriously? This is usually a vampire problem that solves itself, as far as not feeding regularly. Anyway, he entered voluntary torpor and woke up in 1800s Ottoman Empire, where he promptly fled for the exciting life of a vampiric sailor. No, seriously.

Quote:
By the modern age, Burak had come to two conclusions. First, he realized that vampiric society was innately degrading and that it would serve only to erode the morals of anyone who participated in its Jyhad. Second, he saw in the onslaught of pollution, the threat of atomic warfare and the godlessness of the masses that the end of the world was at hand. Faced with those revelations, Burak decided to rely on his earliest lessons as an ascetic. If the world had become corrupt, he decided, then he must withdraw from the world.


Aside from the strong suspicion that we're being trolled here - and the fact that a lot of the vampires in this book are more or less trying to live their unlives by themselves, interacting with "Kindred society" as little as fucking possible - vampires still need to eat, and Burak isn't fishing for his bloody supper. So his "ascetic" life away from the world involves exiling himself to a floating city and preying on US Navy sailors. Which, incidentally, sounds like the set-up to a really fun Hunter campaign. Roll up a marine, Naval airman, deck mechanic, etc. and let's go hunt a vampire monstrosity in the bowels of the nuclear wessel!

Burak feeds at sea by 1) not killing anyone, since that would instantly rouse a massive manhunt, and 2) feeding only on sailors who are on a sleep shift, "the occasional lone engineer in a faraway compartment with the help of Dominate," and of course rats. He doesn't have a set haven, but pretends to be a crewman, carefully keeping to the lower decks.

Quote:
This type of haven demands no rent, no bills and no background checks, but even then, the price is high. The trick isn't so much maintaining a haven of this sort, as it is letting the haven maintain itself without getting aught. In some ways, it's a consummate exercise of the Masquerade, for nobody can so much as suspect anything. Even a single out-of-place leftover drop of blood or piece of clothing could bring the whole arrangement crashing in ruins.


It's like Hitman meets The Sims. And there's your problem. While a creative concept, this is both completely unworkable from any sort of actual RPG standpoint, and incredibly fucking difficult to work into a campaign. Your PCs are never going to have a US Navy nuclear fucking aircraft carrier as their haven. If they did, they would only do so by ghouling and/or dominating enough people that they could actually make the goddamn thing work.



The Chattanooga Recreational Center
Dr. Phillip Andrews is a Caitiff whose haven is the local community Rec Center. He lives in a former storage closet. He uses a combination of Dominate and Presence to keep people from asking too many questions and to cloud memories as necessary so he can feed. It's not quite the bottom of Kindred existence, but you can see it from here.



This book sucks. I appreciate the fact that it's trying to be gritty, with all these hard-up vampires pushed to the lonely outskirts by their need to feed and keep secret and shit, but for most of these it comes off as pathetic and for the rest it comes off as kooky. And not really the fun kind of kooky, but the "Jesus, it's 9AM and he's hit the hard stuff" kinda kooky. I'm not saying the World of Darkness wasn't big enough to embrace all these different characters...but what the fuck was the point to all this? Your Player Cainites aren't going to want to spend their unlives like this. For fuck's sake. I can appreciate that they wanted to cover more ground than the stereotype where a vampire is living in their family crypt or the old Transylvanian castle, or a swanky expensive apartment that they get by Dominating Donald Trump or whatever, but...there's nothing here that players will really want, and there's not much fucking here that will make players want to go to these places and interact with these people. These are boring, uncreative undead motherfuckers.

Why do none of these people have traps? Or weapons? Fuck, I have a dozen swords in my house, and I'm not even particularly concerned about home invasion! In the US you can buy guns and even bulletproof vests and riot gear pretty damn easy, and that's before you start trawling the Army Surplus stores. There's a grand total of two vampires in this book with access to blood sorcery, and neither of them have any wards, familiars, or any sort of magical protections. Fuck, one of the first things I do in any game where I'm playing a blood sorcerer is to build a library and ward the shit out of it.

...and that's before you get creative. There should be more home security stuff. DIY traps. Home-made silver bullets. Soundproof rooms where you can bleed a victim dry and keep the blood in a fridge for later. Fuck, a blood bank. You don't even have to be in the building, you can just be in the sewer and catch all the blood they throw out! Sure, it sounds like shit to rummage through medical waste for used needles and shit, but you know there's some high-Humanity vampire that would see that as a good alternative to chowing down on a living, breathing person.

What this book most emphasizes though? Fuck Kindred society. 90% of the vamps in this book interact with other vampires as little as fucking possible, because it's hard enough to fucking eat and sleep through the day as it is without dealing with that shit. These are not team players; they barely have the ambition to get off their ass every night and go to their jobs. Is this the fucking escape that most players sit down to experience? Fuck no. This is some lame ass shit. Even the god-damn Sabbat, who are supposed to paint the town red with their dicks just to prove they're real goddamn Cainites, are sleeping on cots in the basement of a 80-year-old union building. You notice Lestat didn't do that shit.



But of course, that's half the point. This isn't a book about having fun, or helping the player in any meaningful, substantial way. This is a book to remind the emo kids how terrible it is to be one of the Damned, and to list the ways in which the Storyteller can fuck with you if you fail an oral sex check. As much as Havens of the Damned is about anything other than a little more money in the bank, it's a callous appeal to every player that is so inured to or slightly guilty about their comfy middle-class existence that they can play poor and desperate people with no resources for fun. It's a book written for college kids whose parents are paying for the dorm room they sleep in. This is the roleplaying game equivalent of slumming, and fuck this book.
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Thaluikhain
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ancient History wrote:
As much as Havens of the Damned is about anything other than a little more money in the bank, it's a callous appeal to every player that is so inured to or slightly guilty about their comfy middle-class existence that they can play poor and desperate people with no resources for fun. It's a book written for college kids whose parents are paying for the dorm room they sleep in. This is the roleplaying game equivalent of slumming, and fuck this book.


Ah...ah, I was wondering what the point of role-playing having a rubbish house and rubbish job was. That makes sense.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I just want a spire of the damned that looks like a normal skyscraper to muggles who go about their daily lives oblivious to the monsters in their midst but is really a giant edifice of 666 iron spikes, each adorned with a writhing, screaming mortal whose blood slowly drips down onto the sidewalk below.

Is that too much to ask for in my haven of the damned?
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Mord
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

hyzmarca wrote:
I just want a spire of the damned that looks like a normal skyscraper to muggles who go about their daily lives oblivious to the monsters in their midst but is really a giant edifice of 666 iron spikes, each adorned with a writhing, screaming mortal whose blood slowly drips down onto the sidewalk below.

Is that too much to ask for in my haven of the damned?

That's way too metal for White Wolf.
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Mechalich
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ancient History wrote:
As much as Havens of the Damned is about anything other than a little more money in the bank, it's a callous appeal to every player that is so inured to or slightly guilty about their comfy middle-class existence that they can play poor and desperate people with no resources for fun. It's a book written for college kids whose parents are paying for the dorm room they sleep in. This is the roleplaying game equivalent of slumming, and fuck this book.


While this is no doubt true, I think this is partially linked to a broader disconnect between how White-Wolf imagined Vampire characters and vampire society worked compared to what was actually playable. Sample characters with Resources 0 are surprisingly common.

The ten characters in the Gangrel Clanbook have resources scores as follows:
0 - 4, 1 - 1, 2 - 4, 3 - 1

The Toreador sample is doing better:
0 - 1, 1 - 1, 2 - 3, 3 - 4, 4 - 1

And the Ventrue (ostensibly the richest clan):
0 -2, 1 - 1, 2 - 2, 3 - 3, 4 - 2

So out of that sample of 30 starting vampires the number who have enough resources to qualify as solidly middle class - which is roughly resources 3 - is 11, or just over a third. The implication here is that Kindred society is not particularly well off (well, aside from the fact that White-Wolf couldn't make playable characters to save their lives). There's a certain twisted logic to this - most vampires are embraced young and therefore have little accumulated wealth and being unable to act during the day makes it hard to hold down a job - but it's a huge barrier to viable gameplay.
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mechalich wrote:
Ancient History wrote:
As much as Havens of the Damned is about anything other than a little more money in the bank, it's a callous appeal to every player that is so inured to or slightly guilty about their comfy middle-class existence that they can play poor and desperate people with no resources for fun. It's a book written for college kids whose parents are paying for the dorm room they sleep in. This is the roleplaying game equivalent of slumming, and fuck this book.


While this is no doubt true, I think this is partially linked to a broader disconnect between how White-Wolf imagined Vampire characters and vampire society worked compared to what was actually playable. Sample characters with Resources 0 are surprisingly common.

The ten characters in the Gangrel Clanbook have resources scores as follows:
0 - 4, 1 - 1, 2 - 4, 3 - 1

The Toreador sample is doing better:
0 - 1, 1 - 1, 2 - 3, 3 - 4, 4 - 1

And the Ventrue (ostensibly the richest clan):
0 -2, 1 - 1, 2 - 2, 3 - 3, 4 - 2

So out of that sample of 30 starting vampires the number who have enough resources to qualify as solidly middle class - which is roughly resources 3 - is 11, or just over a third. The implication here is that Kindred society is not particularly well off (well, aside from the fact that White-Wolf couldn't make playable characters to save their lives). There's a certain twisted logic to this - most vampires are embraced young and therefore have little accumulated wealth and being unable to act during the day makes it hard to hold down a job - but it's a huge barrier to viable gameplay.


Though, hypothetically, a lot of characters are going to be supported by someone with Resources 6+. Best case scenario, the vampire who embraced you has both permission from the Prince and good resources, and you basically live off his dime. Worst case scenario, the Prince needs knights, and feudal obligations go both ways, even if that just means a shitty hotel room and all the hookers you can eat.


In fact, Princes have incentive to support vampires in their domains with their own resources, as power plays against them become much more difficult when they can just cut the purse strings at will.

Also, you save on freebie points if you just let one guy buy resources five and then everyone else lives off his money.
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Mechalich
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

hyzmarca wrote:

Though, hypothetically, a lot of characters are going to be supported by someone with Resources 6+. Best case scenario, the vampire who embraced you has both permission from the Prince and good resources, and you basically live off his dime. Worst case scenario, the Prince needs knights, and feudal obligations go both ways, even if that just means a shitty hotel room and all the hookers you can eat.


If an NPC is giving you money on a regular basis to pay your expenses, you still have to take the resources background. If your character started out broke and during play went and begged the prince for a stipend, you would be awarded background dots to represent that. That's how the storyteller system is supposed to work - if it's not on your sheet, you don't have it.

Quote:
Also, you save on freebie points if you just let one guy buy resources five and then everyone else lives off his money.


If your party does this, your GM can, and should, break the party up during the course of the campaign at least once and brutally enforce the inherent financial restrictions that would result. If you make a character who cannot survive on their own in any game the GM should either disallow it or note that your will pay the price at some point. Metagaming against 'don't split the party' is not to be encouraged.
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Omegonthesane
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mechalich wrote:
Quote:
Also, you save on freebie points if you just let one guy buy resources five and then everyone else lives off his money.


If your party does this, your GM can, and should, break the party up during the course of the campaign at least once and brutally enforce the inherent financial restrictions that would result. If you make a character who cannot survive on their own in any game the GM should either disallow it or note that your will pay the price at some point. Metagaming against 'don't split the party' is not to be encouraged.

If your GM does this, you can, and should, leave the game immediately and never trust them to GM anything ever again. Metagaming against "don't split the party" is absolutely to be encouraged, because splitting the party hurts the game so you should contrive IC reasons to never split the party.

Since you didn't include a tongue emoji or the like I can only assume this is your actual opinion and not a portrayal of the philosophy of White Wolf.
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As far as death and human misery goes, Tobacco is basically World War II grinding on forever with no real sign of stopping in our life times. Death camps and nuclear bombs and stuff are certainly dramatic, but public health crises are always and forever bigger than wars on the global scale.

FrankTrollman wrote:
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Mechalich
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Omegonthesane wrote:

If your GM does this, you can, and should, leave the game immediately and never trust them to GM anything ever again. Metagaming against "don't split the party" is absolutely to be encouraged, because splitting the party hurts the game so you should contrive IC reasons to never split the party.


Splitting the party is bad, yes. That does not make building characters who will die instantly (a modest exaggeration in oWoD, quite literal in many other games) if separated from their buddies a good thing. It damages verisimilitude, it reduces storytelling options, and produces obvious storytelling scenarios that the GM is then forced to ignore if they don't want to kill your character. in storytelling if a character shows up that is absolutely dependent upon someone else, the obvious move is to eventually knock that crutch out. Now the GM should warn people about doing this during character creation and ideally will disallow such imbalances, but if players insist, then they need to reap what they sow. This is exactly the same as if you allow characters to buy flaws - those flaws had sure as hell better come up in game or you've given away free points.

'Don't split the party' is an axiom of how tabletop gameplay functions that limits storytelling - in fact it is one of the largest barriers to storytelling inherent to tabletop. While it is a reality of functional gameplay it is massively detrimental to the options available in a collaborative storytelling game. It is much better to operate under the assumption that the party could be split at any time, even when this never actually happens, because of course as far as the characters know this is the truth, than to allow the players to metagame their character designs knowing the party will not be split.

Also, in the context of the oWoD specifically, backgrounds are massively overpowered and forcing players to spread points out in a fashion that reflects actual logical backstories promotes balance. Four characters collectively spending 8 background dots to each have resources 2 is a much better outcome than 1 character buying resources 5 and having 3 points for something else. This effectively metagaming to pool backgrounds in the case that your GM has disallowed such a move - which they should have because as mentioned in the Technocracy OSSR, pooling backgrounds destroys the game.

Additionally, if the players are allowed to metagame pooled backgrounds, then the GM is obligated to do so in return for the NPCs, meaning that every coterie is suddenly a unified blob maximizing its resources too, and the game is far less interesting because you have squads instead of characters.


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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mechalich wrote:

Splitting the party is bad, yes. That does not make building characters who will die instantly (a modest exaggeration in oWoD, quite literal in many other games) if separated from their buddies a good thing.


Actually, it kind of does.

We know that we don't want to split the party from the PLAYER'S perspective, but to maintain verisimilitude it is CRITICAL to create a reason to remain with your party from the CHARACTER'S perspective. Needing them to 'not die' is a pretty powerful motivation. That makes it very easy to keep the party together when one character gets an offer to play a sparkly vampire in Twilight.
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Omegonthesane
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mechalich wrote:
Omegonthesane wrote:

If your GM does this, you can, and should, leave the game immediately and never trust them to GM anything ever again. Metagaming against "don't split the party" is absolutely to be encouraged, because splitting the party hurts the game so you should contrive IC reasons to never split the party.


Splitting the party is bad, yes. That does not make building characters who will die instantly (a modest exaggeration in oWoD, quite literal in many other games) if separated from their buddies a good thing.

What DDMW said.
Mechalich wrote:
It damages verisimilitude

Opposite of the truth. Making there be IC reasons for what the party is OOC going to do improves verisimilitude.
Mechalich wrote:
it reduces storytelling options

For any options to exist, infinitely many others must not exist.
Mechalich wrote:
and produces obvious storytelling scenarios that the GM is then forced to ignore if they don't want to kill your character.

That's not how you spell "makes the named cast members bend over backwards to prevent certain scenarios from taking place because it makes sense IC for them to do so".
Mechalich wrote:
in storytelling if a character shows up that is absolutely dependent upon someone else, the obvious move is to eventually knock that crutch out.

Then fuck the obvious move. Everyone is absolutely dependent on the help of others in the real world and triply so in WoD.
Mechalich wrote:
Now the GM should warn people about doing this during character creation and ideally will disallow such imbalances, but if players insist, then they need to reap what they sow.

The story of how you by your powers combined overcame the GM's bullshit a circumstance that would normally require a party split qualifies as reaping what you sow.
Mechalich wrote:
This is exactly the same as if you allow characters to buy flaws - those flaws had sure as hell better come up in game or you've given away free points.

"Come up" != "cause you to die". In fact a flaw that just makes you die after X games is free points no matter what, because you're going to stop playing every character you ever make eventually anyway because the game's going to end eventually. And if your character's dark fate comes up in play, you roll a new character and the party's had the benefit of your free points.
Mechalich wrote:
'Don't split the party' is an axiom of how tabletop gameplay functions that limits storytelling - in fact it is one of the largest barriers to storytelling inherent to tabletop. While it is a reality of functional gameplay it is massively detrimental to the options available in a collaborative storytelling game.

Every medium has its limitations. You can't for example make an entertaining action flick in book form, or cover all details of a book in an HBO miniseries.
Mechalich wrote:
It is much better to operate under the assumption that the party could be split at any time, even when this never actually happens, because of course as far as the characters know this is the truth, than to allow the players to metagame their character designs knowing the party will not be split.

That's called "identifying the things that could split the party in-universe and taking in-character steps to make sure they never happen".
Mechalich wrote:
Also, in the context of the oWoD specifically, backgrounds are massively overpowered and forcing players to spread points out in a fashion that reflects actual logical backstories promotes balance. Four characters collectively spending 8 background dots to each have resources 2 is a much better outcome than 1 character buying resources 5 and having 3 points for something else. This effectively metagaming to pool backgrounds in the case that your GM has disallowed such a move - which they should have because as mentioned in the Technocracy OSSR, pooling backgrounds destroys the game.

In the context of WoD specifically no one gets enough background points for anything. In the context of games in general there will always be statlines and party concepts that are mechanically stronger than others; bringing the hammer down on a group for daring to like playing to the hilt is not really kosher.
Mechalich wrote:
Additionally, if the players are allowed to metagame pooled backgrounds, then the GM is obligated to do so in return for the NPCs, meaning that every coterie is suddenly a unified blob maximizing its resources too, and the game is far less interesting because you have squads instead of characters.

Ha ha ha you think the GM is playing by any kind of rules beyond, at best, "what do I think will entertain the party" when designing challenges.
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Because powerful men get away with terrible shit, and even the public domain ones get ignored, and then, when the floodgates open, it turns out there was a goddam flood behind it.
FrankTrollman wrote:
As far as death and human misery goes, Tobacco is basically World War II grinding on forever with no real sign of stopping in our life times. Death camps and nuclear bombs and stuff are certainly dramatic, but public health crises are always and forever bigger than wars on the global scale.

FrankTrollman wrote:
White people are basically just horrible...The entire Reagan Revolution is just white people voting to destroy their own social safety nets because they'd rather fucking starve than let black people eat.



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Dimmy
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ancient History wrote:


Hiding onboard is Burak, a 900-year old Ottoman Turk (which is kind of weird, because Osman I didn't found the Ottoman state until c. 1299, which should top his age at ~700 in 2003, but let's let that slide) and Assamite fuck-up.



I'm probably being too kind to White Wolf here, and apologies for the following run-on sentence. But: is there any possibility Burak was meant to be from the Oghuz tribe -- which Osman led in his early years before he decided to start his own dynasty, with blackjack and hookers -- until some editor said "our readers aren't exactly Middle Eastern history professors, just say he's an Ottoman and call it a day"?

For that matter...were there any editors for this book in the first place?
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hyzmarca
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Mechalich wrote:
It is much better to operate under the assumption that the party could be split at any time, even when this never actually happens, because of course as far as the characters know this is the truth, than to allow the players to metagame their character designs knowing the party will not be split.


Starting Vampires get three dots to split between 34 Disciplines each with five levels. It is literally impossible to build a vampire that can do everything on his own.

It's hard enough to built a coterie that can has a solution to every challenge. And that becomes utterly impossible if you disallow specialization, in which case you end up with a group of redundant and under-powered jack of all trade builds that quickly die.

Second, splitting the party for a night or an adventure and splitting the party for long enough that they have to worry about paying their rent are completely different things. Sure, Maybe Imhotep is going to kidnap one of your group because he thinks she looks like his dead lover. But she escapes or is rescued by the end of the nigh, and most of your effort is spent tracking the mummy, not worrying about how you're going to pay your phone bill.
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Schleiermacher
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Specializiation is well and good - to be encouraged, in fact. But specialization is not the same as being unable to function from night to night without the assistance of the other PCs. And I don't mean "function as an adventure protagonist" here, just "live independently by whatever means your backstory says you've been doing."

If character creation gives you too few resources to make that feasible -which it does for many concepts - then the correct answer is to rewrite character creation, not incentivize people to play completely illogical, individually-helpless pieces of a synergistic puzzle. Just about everything Mechalich said is in fact t true, just about everything Omegonthesane said is tilting at straw men or just rubbish.


Quote:
Ha ha ha you think the GM is playing by any kind of rules beyond, at best, "what do I think will entertain the party" when designing challenges.


This is especially rubbish. The rules exist to reflect and support the fiction. A consistent relationship between fiction and rules is necessary for the game to be coherent at all. Which means among other things that the stats of NPCs should be consistent with the benchmarks established by the PCs - min-maxed to the hilt if the PCs are, otherwise not. This is not about difficulty per se or about punishing the players, just about establishing what the baseline of competence looks like in any given game.
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Ancient History
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Dimmy wrote:
Ancient History wrote:


Hiding onboard is Burak, a 900-year old Ottoman Turk (which is kind of weird, because Osman I didn't found the Ottoman state until c. 1299, which should top his age at ~700 in 2003, but let's let that slide) and Assamite fuck-up.



I'm probably being too kind to White Wolf here, and apologies for the following run-on sentence. But: is there any possibility Burak was meant to be from the Oghuz tribe -- which Osman led in his early years before he decided to start his own dynasty, with blackjack and hookers -- until some editor said "our readers aren't exactly Middle Eastern history professors, just say he's an Ottoman and call it a day"?

There's nothing given to suggest that. I honestly just think they didn't do the math.

Quote:
For that matter...were there any editors for this book in the first place?

There are six credited writers (including Den favorite Lucien Soulban), three accused of "additional material and assistance", one editor and a developer.
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