gladiusdei
 member, 708 posts
Tue 17 Jul 2018
at 03:11
Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
This seems like a simple question, but it's something that has stumped me on rpol for a while now.  I've tried to run Vampire games, but none of them have had huge success.  I think my disconnect is knowing what players on RPOL want to do in a vampire game, versus the guys I grew up playing vampire with tabletop.

So what do vampire players want to do?  what sort of things do they look for?  What makes a good game, versus one where players just slowly vanish from lack of interest?
nauthiz
 member, 577 posts
Tue 17 Jul 2018
at 04:29
Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
I personally like a game with the sorts of goals that require coordination, with the threats being external.  So, for instance, a group of Anarchs attempting to maintain thier independence against the Camarilla trying to move in, or a Sabbat pack trying to wipe out an infestation of garou.

This is mostly because I'm not a plotty backstabby person in real life so the political intrigues and power struggles that generally are the focus of something like a Camarilla court oriented game isn't really my bag.  However I've met a number of players who really dig that sort of play and immerse themselves in the wheels within wheels scheming that is the hallmark of that type of game.

I don't know if there's a "type" of game that will work best on RPoL.  I suspect it's mostly going to come down to making a game that is structured to try to compensate for the nature of RPoL, much like trying to succeed with any other game on here irregardless of system or genre.
gladiusdei
 member, 709 posts
Tue 17 Jul 2018
at 04:32
Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
I get that a lot of it depends on how you work a game on RPOL.  I just seem to have a lot less success with Vampire (well, white wolf games in general I guess) compared to other game types.

So I wanted to see what players normally like to do, to get a better idea of what to build a game around.
Hendell
 member, 111 posts
Tue 17 Jul 2018
at 05:03
Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
I find that the neonate game has grown stale for me, and not just here on RPOL.  There are only so many 100 or less XP characters one can make and play before you find that you have done it all.

The thing that keeps me going back to Vampire (admittedly not mostly on RPOL) is the elder game, or at least the more complex ancilla game.  Where death isn't really a thing any more, you don't kill much, and you don't die, but you win or lose by increments of success or degrees of failure on long term machinations.
witchdoctor
 member, 167 posts
Tue 17 Jul 2018
at 07:21
Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
  See, I'm on the polar opposite of Hendell in that I prefer the lower-powered end of Vampire...and in most games in general really.  I enjoy the 'struggle to rise' more that the heights of power and have a frame of reference closer to the human realm than that of the ancients.  That being said, that's just the playstyle I prefer and there's absolutely nothing wrong with preferring either end of the scale.

  As for what I enjoy, on the rare chance I get to play Vampire, is to get in on the ground floor and explore the world presented and the "people" in it... including the character I crafted for the game.  To get in there, get my hands dirty making a place for that character to exist and thrive.  That's what I enjoy doing.
Rook Seidhr
 member, 108 posts
Tue 17 Jul 2018
at 21:20
Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
I'm pretty much in witchdoctor's camp. Also I like to play out things like feeding scenes sometimes, to ground the character in being a vampire and not a superhero, supervillain or politician with fangs.

That said, my characters tend to be on the noblebright end of the Vampire spectrum, which ticks off some GMs.
MarkK
 member, 123 posts
Tue 17 Jul 2018
at 23:42
Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
I'd lean towards Hendell. Advancement in play by post is super, glacially slow no matter how many times the GM promises it won't be, and the idea of basically playing the same neonate forever, doing the same neonate scale things, saps what motivation I have pretty quickly.
ShadoPrism
 member, 1229 posts
 OCGD-Obsessive-Compulsive
 Gamer-Disorder
Wed 18 Jul 2018
at 01:14
Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
Hmm this is tricky - the last few games I played were Kind of Neonate and kind of not with some high powered type people in it with unique home brewed clans mixed in with the standard branch groups.
I got stats and power listings for 3 or 4 'new' clans as well as some interesting alternative looks at existing clans.
One concept I like is the 'bad fit' idea. Someone ends up in a clan for what ever reason and they really don't fit in. Example, I once had a Gangrel, who was in reality a complete Gamer Nerd. No outdoor or animal empathy at all. The GM ran it as an accidental turn type.
While I had fun with it the game slowly died as others did not enjoy the concept as much as they thought they would...
Another game type I like to play (and have done so to death and back cause I like it so much) is playing a character based (mostly) on the real player. Including people transformed from one race to another THEN getting turned in to something else entirely (aka elf turned in to vampire <- that was a home brewed table top AD&D crossed with World of Darkness one shot. Loved it.)
I prefer games that have more RP than combat and really I loath Politics. More in to personal exploration or mild to moderate adventure. More intellectual than combat to. (though I suck at puzzles so don't go there much either.)
I admit I tend toward being a bit of a power gamer and sometimes need to be reeled in to keep me from going over the top. (I prefer a GM that will point such things out to me if possible. Have had to many who at first encourage me then just delete me from the game cause I went to far. But that is all on a rant and I don't really want to go there now.)
Wyrm
 member, 655 posts
Wed 18 Jul 2018
at 04:45
Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
I'm a simple man: play Sabbat or Garou :D
gladiusdei
 member, 710 posts
Wed 18 Jul 2018
at 04:51
Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
I guess I'm looking for a bit more of a specific answer.  Do players enjoy interacting with humans?  planning their own plots? dealing with gangs, or the mafia, or other outside threats?  Or do they prefer to revel in the vampire side and be the one that preys on others?  Do they like spending time in elysium, or do they want the game to focus just on the coterie?

I've started a fair number of games over the years, and they always seem to just peter out.  Players don't seem to have a lot of drive to do anything, so I am assuming I haven't provided the opportunities they desire.
MarkK
 member, 124 posts
Wed 18 Jul 2018
at 05:50
Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
I suppose for me part of it is that vampire went out of its way to create this really rich and intricate setting that I'd like an opportunity to actually feel like I can interact with it in some kind of meaningful sense, be that focus on vampire society and politics, be that characters old enough to weave in interactions with both mortal history and setting lore, just something more than grotty street scale neonates.
Hendell
 member, 112 posts
Wed 18 Jul 2018
at 07:24
Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
I think the most likely problem you have seen is that there are two significantly different interest groups, and most games try to do both.

Pick the one you are most comfortable with and label it clearly.
PCO.Spvnky
 member, 366 posts
Fri 20 Jul 2018
at 15:08
Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
Honestly, I'm just interested in a game that doesn't end in 100 posts (or three RL sessions).  I have concepts for low level games and ones for high level games that never get to be played to completion, lol. Doesn't help that I prefer Lasombra and most GMs don't like them.
GreyGriffin
 member, 213 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Fri 20 Jul 2018
at 16:53
Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
Vampire is kind of an odd duck to me.  I really like the horror aspects of it, but playing up the horror of the experience of being a vampire doesn't seem conducive to group play, and the societal aspects encourage distrust and individual motivation, which runs against the "PCs vs. all" instinct of most player groups...
Big Brother
 member, 454 posts
 Who controls the past...
 ... Controls the future.
Wed 25 Jul 2018
at 13:43
Re: Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
Hendell:
I think the most likely problem you have seen is that there are two significantly different interest groups, and most games try to do both.

Pick the one you are most comfortable with and label it clearly.

This right here. I'm not sure I'd agree it's quite so simple as to say "two," but definitely there are two major branches - action and intrigue. Especially in a game here on RPOL, but also IRL, you need to make the decision right up front as to which path you're following, and make sure you're very clear about it. If your players are expecting superheroes with fangs and you give them spy novella it's just as bad as if they're expecting Clancy and get Black Panther.

Me personally, I prefer head games, especially here on RPOL. Combat tends to destroy games here on RPOL if not handled well. On the other hand, discussion games like those I like appear not to attract as large an audience and need to be kept interesting by all parties involved.

And, as GreyGriffin noted, the idea that Vampire encourages intra-party distrust and conflict doesn't exactly help matters. External forces can ensure a circle of wraiths or a pack of werewolves stick together even if they hate one another; there's really nothing keeping your standard party of licks from tearing one anothers' throats out (apart from something like a Vaulderie, but then you're getting into what amounts to werewolf with fangs territory, and that's another game entirely).
MarkK
 member, 125 posts
Wed 25 Jul 2018
at 19:30
Re: Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
I would note that if you're saying people only want to play elder games to do superheroes with fangs, that's.. not really the case.
Big Brother
 member, 455 posts
 Who controls the past...
 ... Controls the future.
Wed 25 Jul 2018
at 20:12
Re: Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
MarkK:
I would note that if you're saying people only want to play elder games to do superheroes with fangs, that's.. not really the case.

No, no. I wasn't speaking toward the elder/neonate difference, I was speaking toward play styles themselves: action vs intrigue, etc.
TookyG
 member, 87 posts
Wed 25 Jul 2018
at 20:30
Re: Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
Hendell:
I think the most likely problem you have seen is that there are two significantly different interest groups, and most games try to do both.

Pick the one you are most comfortable with and label it clearly.


This.  I like both the neonate and the elder level of play, and can't really say I have a preference, but I find that elder play requires a more buy in from players and a storyteller capable of running that play level.  It's tough to nail down political machinations and make an interesting game.
Big Brother
 member, 456 posts
 Who controls the past...
 ... Controls the future.
Wed 25 Jul 2018
at 20:47
Re: Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
TookyG:
It's tough to nail down political machinations and make an interesting game.

I'll second this as well. In particular, IRL I often try to imagine what I would do politically given a mere mortal's lifetime to look forward to. I cant imagine how much more difficult it is to think, "You know, I don't mind taking the long view in this instance. I may not be able to kill William the Bastard, but I can sure as hell ensure the monarchy ends in a thousand years. And this is my million step process..."
belovedshadows
 member, 70 posts
Wed 25 Jul 2018
at 20:59
Re: Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
 I think it has to be a joint venture, not just the Storyteller but the Players as well. My last Vampire game went on for over a year and a half. It was because of the vein it was ran in or Storyteller gave us more to work with than our own inner disputes.

What we did was everyone chose what they wanted to play.  Three long term goals, three short term goals and we worked around these for the story. As the game progressed we had shared goals that players came up with.

You need a group who knows they will have to work together, yes disputes will happen, and yes there is always someone who wants to do this or that. It is just having a group that understands each other.

When I play Vampire, I want to write a gothic story, be it in modern times or the past. I want something epic. I don't play it to play like Paranoia with fangs. I have heard but that's not vampire, its cut throat and..and..people should be out to get each other.

This is a possibility but its not what I look for in a game. I want something where we are like the lost boys, or you know Anne Rice books come to mind too. So something dark and Gothic.
Big Brother
 member, 457 posts
 Who controls the past...
 ... Controls the future.
Wed 25 Jul 2018
at 22:30
Re: Vampire the Masquerade: What do players like doing?
belovedshadows:
My last Vampire game went on for over a year and a half. It was because of the vein it was ran in or Storyteller gave us more to work with than our own inner disputes.

Was this here on RPOL? I would love to see that sort of success here.