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Offline BoxCrayonTales

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Another vampire tabletop game
« on: October 09, 2018, 03:52:06 PM »
So years ago I used to be a diehard fighter of the edition wars. Now I’m back to critique the games themselves and offer alternatives.

There are not very significant differences between Masquerade and Requiem and it is childish to fight over which is better. The rules are similar enough that you could easily mash them together and play your favorite bloodline in either game. I myself liked the idea of Necroscope, Lost Boys and Nosferatu styles of vampires being present in the same setting.

The real problem is that the fluff and rules are arbitrarily restrictive. You can only play a pseudo-Ricean model with clan weaknesses to add an artificial sense of variety. The powers are arbitrarily structured in to a hierarchy that forgets many classic vampire powers and adds many that are niche, questionable or just plain weird. It isn’t possible to replicate any other vampire fiction without the square peg round hole problem, not without rewriting the rules. Compare this to the 1989 game Nightlife, which featured all sorts of quasi-vampiric monsters like wights and werewolves and demons using the same rules.

The humanity rules are truly abysmal. They are supposed to foster a feeling of personal horror, but in practice characters are arbitrarily punished with schizophrenia for stealing a candy bar. Ironically, having a higher conscience rating makes it easier to get away with atrocities. In reality, you suffer insanity as a result of doing bad things because of your conscience and guilt, not the lack of it!

I am not the only person who felt this way. A few years back there was a kickstarter for an indie game called “Feed” by Whistlepunk Games which is now sold for FREE on Drivethrurpg.com. It is superficially similar to World of Darkness, but with a few key differences. It is a genuine toolkit game that provides guidelines on creating any kind of vampire you can imagine or have seen in media: these are called “strains”. The humanity rules function more like light/dark side mechanics in other games, providing meaningful temptation. By becoming more vampiric, you literally become less human in the same amount and vice versa. The sample settings show how the game is intended to be flexible enough to adjudicate both angsty stories and b-movie horror, since not everyone is invested into personal horror.

You can read a more detailed review here: http://withinthedungeon.blogspot.com/2017/01/rpg-review-feed.html

I liked some of the ideas presented in World of Darkness, but I prefered Feed because its rules were vastly more flexible. I feel like Feed is what World of Darkness should gave been. Indeed, it is quite easy to play World of Darkness with the Feed rules. I have a whole google drive folder full of my ideas for new strains adapting both other games, fiction and my own ideas.

If anyone is interested in discussing further, feel free. I am always happy to have a constructive and polite conversation.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 01:44:43 PM by BoxCrayonTales »



 

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