Sarge67
 member, 2 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 00:38
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
In reply to gladiusdei (msg # 1):

Hey Gladiusdei.  This sounds a lot like the first VtM game I played back in 94?  Each character had individual stories as well as group stories.  The Tremere found an archaic wand (that only a mage could use/identify), My Brujah caused havoc against the Sabbat and we joined with a Garou to fight off the Settites and group of Elders from Europe.


It had a mix of everything and boy did my Brujah cause trouble. He had more meetings with the Prince than the Arcons combined.  It was the most enjoyable character I ever ran.

My lone Werewolf died a glorius death with a double kill while ripping the heart out of a demon in the void.
MarkK
 member, 132 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 03:45
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
I would note that even with not allowing pvp, the power gap between vampires as regards werewolves and mages is so significant that the vampire players will generally come off as ineffective as far as resolving problems in a given storyline to the garou and mages unless you do really hardcore niche protection at character creation.
gladiusdei
 member, 775 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 03:51
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
I really disagree, if the game is run correctly.  Vampires are social creatures of the city.  They should be working social powers, manipulating and staying behind a shield of secrecy and human puppets.

werewolves eat things.  very effectively.  But they are not very effective at all at what vampires are good at.

Now mages can technically be good at both, if a storyteller allows them to get that powerful.  But that's a slow, high hill to climb.

if you have a game where all problems can be solved with fireballs and claws, it's not really a vampire game.
MarkK
 member, 133 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 15:45
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
I've played in several crossover games and it's pretty rare that this social advantage seems to materialize into anything particularly effective by comparison. Werewolf gifts run a fairly wide gamut at this point, and even things like the ability to deal with spirits and umbra travel open up avenues of infiltration and investigation vampires simply don't have equivalency to in terms of effectiveness that reaches beyond just combat. Mages are both powerful and versatile and it doesn't really take all that long to get that way. Even just something like taking a bunch of background dots pretty much does for whatever nebulous thing social advantage can be called as far as its tangible benefits. And at the heart of it, even "can operate during the day" opens up angles of approach to any given problem vampires will simply not be able to approximate.

Many if not most things vampires can do mechanically, other WoD types can find a way to do as well, if not better, and also, they can go out in the sun without exploding. Vampire characters will be considerably outpaced in feeling effective in fights, and unless character creation is highly restricted for what other characters can be good at, will at the very best have very slight edges in anything else, that will soon fade away, or even be outpaced at from the jump.

The World of Darkness isn't especially balanced between supernatural types, and it was never the intent that it was. That was only ever a thing with the New World of Darkness/Chronicles of Darkness/Whatever it is being called these days, and even there it kinda falls apart in various places.

Have you run crossover games before where this has not been the case?

This message was last edited by the user at 15:53, Mon 06 May.

gladiusdei
 member, 776 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 16:27
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
I guess I've just played really different games than you guys have.

It seems like your STs set your players directly against each other, which isn't how I see this game working.  Vampires have a lot of abilities the other two don't, and the other two's abilities only really begin to shine, outside of combat, at higher levels of ability.  Gifts of rank 3 and up, sphere levels of 3, 4, 5.  That stuff isn't as easy to get.  Mixed with the paradox inherent in using magic in the city, makes mages a bit less effective than normal in situations where vampires excel.

And werewolves are hard pressed to take on a team of five thugs with automatic weapons armed with silver bullets.  I've seen entire packs get wiped out by such a thing, especially if the vampire plans ahead, which is something most werewolf players (and players in general) don't do.

I was planning on beefing the vampires up a little bit compared two the other two.  The mages and werewolves would be working at a disadvantage from the outset, effectively stranded in a city dominated by vampires, creatures they have to work to figure out, not just kill.

But if this is how most players feel, I guess the idea is scrapped.
Hendell
 member, 189 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 16:38
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
While walking yourself into a trap is always a bad move, and the vast majority of editions of the world of darkness are extremely aggressor (and thus ambush) friendly to the point that the unbalance in the system can often be countered out by a good plan there is nothing even close to a parity between capability per xp value between supernatural types.

Any good Story Teller can make those differences meaningless, but at some point any game usually comes down to dice and when that happens to be PVP with the intent to kill you can expect there to be a strong bias for Mages to win, werewolfs to follow up, and vampires to die in the lower XP levels.  Higher XP and or elder vampires can switch with werewolfs for 2nd place but mages have a clear advantage in the math that just isn't going to go away without some Story Teller intervention.
gladiusdei
 member, 777 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 16:42
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
Which is why I said this game will never have PvP of that nature.  It isn't the point of the game.
Hendell
 member, 190 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 16:50
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
Never having PvP is probably worse, it puts the characters into a limited play style and hobbles all sorts of negotiation options.  Making PvP not the focus is good, and adding negative incentives from within each community helps but arbitrary lockouts that have nothing to do with and or run counter to the setting is a problematic choice at best.
gladiusdei
 member, 778 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 16:58
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
I don't think you guys are viewing these games the same way I am.  But I guess I know my plan, and you don't.

The idea is for all three types to be seperate, and encounter aspects of the same calamity in the city.  Eventually they would either work together to fix it, or die.  But play would mostly keep the three groups separate except for specific points where they work together ( the amount they work together would be up to the players).  It isn't really a scenario where direct PvP would make sense outside players making very stupid decisions.

And as a side note, the werewolves and mages wouldn't have communities.  They would be alone.

This message was last edited by the user at 17:43, Mon 06 May.

Sarge67
 member, 11 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 19:02
Re: IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
gladiusdei:
I guess I've just played really different games than you guys have.

It seems like your STs set your players directly against each other, which isn't how I see this game working.  Vampires have a lot of abilities the other two don't, and the other two's abilities only really begin to shine, outside of combat, at higher levels of ability.  Gifts of rank 3 and up, sphere levels of 3, 4, 5.  That stuff isn't as easy to get.  Mixed with the paradox inherent in using magic in the city, makes mages a bit less effective than normal in situations where vampires excel.


But if this is how most players feel, I guess the idea is scrapped.


Can't blame the players on this one.  Only White Wolf writers/developers.  These players have studied these books and all of them pit each against the other with only the most extreme situations resulting in a tentative cease fire, but once that event is over..be sure that one of the groups will turn.

I have seen stories where Mages, Wolves, and Kindred worked together. Usually the STs controlled all but one of the groups (PC group).  It is because of how the games were developed not to work with each other, but as stand alones.  So, if a player is going to play according to their nature (per White Wolf) than you will get conflict.  It is best to have the players decide on what faction the majority prefer to play and then control the others.

A good ST can make the game work, but the ST has the ultimate collar and chain to prevent such abuses. IF it is a free for all than the ST either denies a character their nature (unfair to the player) or allows the players to act according to their nature and destroy the game.  I like your idea, but you have to be very careful when giving away certain freedoms.  Now; IF a werewolf were to work with a Kindred for any reason there are only a couple that I believe MIGHT.  Glasswalkers and Bone Gnawers..MAYBE only under the most extreme situation a Silverfang, but that is stretching it.
gladiusdei
 member, 779 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 19:11
Re: IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
I can see that the idea won't really work, so I'm not going to pursue it.  If i run the game it will just be vampires.

But I really think those of you who have voiced your view on this aren't viewing it properly.

My original idea was to have the game be a vampire game, in a city dominated by a very powerful vampire prince, with a tight control on most of mortal society.  the player vampires would be younger vampires who begin to discover a problem in the city that could lead to a total collapse.

At the same time, the werewolf pack was going to be a pack that was punished (each player having done something in the past that garnered this punishment) by being sentenced to live in central park, to survive on their own in a vampire dominated city, until they died.

the mages would have been a similar situation, a small cabal alone in the city.

but all three groups, on their own, would eventually begin to discover aspects of this larger calamity.  This would eventually bring them in contact with each other.

Now, yes, they could fight, but it would be totally counter productive both from an ooc standpoint, and an in game stand point, to try to kill the only possible allies they may have in avoiding a total destruction scenario.

then the players would choose how they work together, which groups handle what, to avoid the impending doom.

To me, this would avoid the possible friction by putting the characters in an enemy of my enemy is my friend scenario.  If the werewolves just attacked the vampires, well then they'd likely win, only to die shortly thereafter when the city imploded.  The vampires would be the most crucial aspect of the solution, because they would be the only ones that could actually interact with other vampires to try to discover what was going on.

For all their magic and fangs, werewolves and mages can't walk into an elysium and try to get information from an older vampire.  They can't investigate changes in vampire society.  They can't feel the magic of the blood the way vampires can.  Which means they are ultimately unable to solve the problem in the city without vampire help.

But I can see that players just don't really want to play this sort of game.  They view it as impossible.  That's fine.  I'll find something else to run.

This message was last edited by the user at 19:20, Mon 06 May.

Sarge67
 member, 12 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 20:34
Re: IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
In reply to gladiusdei (msg # 12):

My point was that the ST had to be strong handed.  Remember wether the Werewolf is punished or not, he still has the beast in him.

I think for simplicity's sake sticking to one and STing the others would work out best.  I wouldn't put that much freedom on players that may view their nature in a different manner than makes up good story cohesion.

If you do decide to run the story, look me up as I'll be the first to jump on board.
gladiusdei
 member, 780 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 20:42
Re: IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
The beast doesn't automatically tell you to kill a vampire.  If players decided that it did, that's fine.  They just doomed their character to a relatively quick death in the game.  Players can enter a game with the understanding that they will have to control that aspect of the game a bit.

It's like saying it's IMPOSSIBLE for a paladin to ride in the same group as an orc.  It really isn't hard to provide story context to make them work together, despite the forces that cause friction between them.  In my game, they also don't have to spend all their time together, only occasionally.

There isn't any point to putting the non-vampires in the game without them being PCs.  It was honestly just trying to give players who like werewolves and mages an opportunity to play them in an unusual setting.

I won't be running this.  If I run a VtM game in the future, it will be different.
PCO.Spvnky
 member, 397 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 20:53
Re: IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
Hmm, late comer to the discussion.  I love playing mages and really all that has to be stipulated in the game is that the players are expected to make characters that will get along with others.  Anyone can make a character that is simply intent on disrupting the game (in fact many players on rpol seem to strive for that) anyone can also make a character that is intent on getting along with the other characters.
MarkK
 member, 134 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 21:58
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
In reply to gladiusdei (msg # 10):

The problem here again boils down to that unless you take a very heavy, to the point of arbitrarily restrictive, hand, two out of three groups will be much more effective at solving any given problem put before them as part of a plotline than a third. This tends to make people in the third group feel either comparatively inept, or make people in the other two groups feel arbitrarily restricted. Neither is great.

You really are better off picking a supernatural type and just going with those, and it's for the best I think that you're rolling with just running a vamp game now.


For what it's worth, I've mostly found the most "crossover friendly" groups, if you will, to basically be mages and fae (i.e. Changelings), as fae magic, while much more defined, shares that "gets crazier as you go" quality, and also with the addition of unleashing in C20, shares a certain "define the thing you do within the thematics of your powers and it happens" quality, even if that's a more last ditch move for faeries (though as a tradeoff for that, it's also generally more powerful).

edit: otherwise honestly the most you could do is make the vampires elders by comparison and try to solve the effectiveness deficit by giving them far more points.

This message was last edited by the user at 21:59, Mon 06 May.

gladiusdei
 member, 781 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 22:07
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
I disagree.  I don't see how a lone werewolf pack will be able to unravel vampire politics and dark spirit magic in a hostile city with a spirit world that is tainted by the vampire domination, without vampire assistance.

I just think you see games very differently than I do.  players don't have to have the same level of power stat to work together.  It's not how games work, if you do them as stories instead of competitions.
MarkK
 member, 135 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 22:12
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
Have you run crossover games before where you have found this to be the case?
gladiusdei
 member, 782 posts
Mon 6 May 2019
at 22:28
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
Yes, I have, face to face.  Apparently on RPOL you can't ask your players not to show each other up or kill each other.

you're saying it's impossible to play a d&d game where some players are higher level than others?

look, in my experience, rpol is honestly the perfect platform for a game like this because a coterie of vampires, a pack of werewolves, and a cabal of mages can all exist in the same game, but be largely independent of each other.  Only coming together to discuss strategy, socially interact, and a few possible situations were one or two or a few of each group work together on something.  Then they can return to their own groups for the things they do well.

You may think it's simply impossible to get a group on rpol to do something like that, and I agree it would probably be hard.  That's why I put up the IC check.  I'm not a novice gm, I've run games on here for years, and games that have lasted for years.  I was just checking to see if there were players that would want to be said mages or werewolves.  I didn't get any interest, so it's a dead idea anyway.

This message was last edited by the user at 22:43, Mon 06 May.

Rook Seidhr
 member, 123 posts
Tue 7 May 2019
at 00:43
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
I'd be interested in playing a mage in that game, but all the yammering put me off replying.

Too bad.
PCO.Spvnky
 member, 398 posts
Tue 7 May 2019
at 01:48
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
As would I....:)  Its easy as a mage to have a reason to get along with vampires.
Arbentur
 member, 130 posts
Tue 7 May 2019
at 02:43
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
*chuckles*

I'd say that a mage wouldn't want to do anything with a vampire if they could afford it.  Same could be said for werewolves or vampires and as many said before balance was never a thought of designing each creature as each was supposed to be the focus of the players in their given game.

Could it be done, sure, and without PvP between creatures, yeah.

Really the 'hardest' to work on a not friendly basis but neutral one would be the Garou to the Vampires...but if a pack is alone, and small, with little in the way of resources or backup the question comes down to what is more dangerous.  The vampires that they think are local or the any number of other Wyrm creatures in the city wrecking things more obviously and dangerously?  Same could be said more specifically if there were any Tremere and any mages.  Even if they found out that the other existed there was a massively damaging war in their past and neither wants or can afford a repeat...either in breaking the Masquerade or exposing themselves to the Technocracy (depending on what side of the coin you are operating on).

Each creature has many things they have to worry about in their own realms.
gladiusdei
 member, 783 posts
Tue 7 May 2019
at 02:56
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
the idea was that they all discover a potentially city destroying calamity at roughly the same time, then discover each other (the small groups) in connection with that calamity.  And very quickly discover these three small groups of individuals are the only thing that can stop what's going on.

so for the mages and werewolves it would literally be work with this coterie of vampires, or the city is destroyed and them with it.

honestly, if that didn't work for the groups to work together at least in some capacity, then the players involved just aren't cut out for the game.  Even a die-hard garou would realize that cooperating with these vampires would be the lesser of two evils compared to the entire city being swallowed up by evil.
Arbentur
 member, 131 posts
Tue 7 May 2019
at 03:16
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
Like Sarge mentioned and I agree it can be done.  Like you've just said by dangling the greater enemy among them all it leads to the enemy of my enemy is my friend...even if just temporarily. :)

Generally you should only get players who want to abide by the PvP restriction you've mentioned.  People can put in their two cents disagreeing with the idea but then they don't play it.  I'd totally play in a game like that but at the moment I have more vampire ideas than mages or werewolves to help bolster that sort of willing detente...less something comes up to me.
MarkK
 member, 136 posts
Tue 7 May 2019
at 03:29
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
quote:
you're saying it's impossible to play a d&d game where some players are higher level than others?


I'm saying it's asking a lot out of people to do a game where any number of other people are going to be better at more or less everything they can do, and without anything like the handicaps the hands down weakest group will have on top of that. Suggesting that's about being overcompetitive or needing to feel like they can kill everyone, or can't game with someone is a bit much. It's nothing more than that many people when they make a character, like to feel a character can contribute meaningfully to resolving the challenges of a storyline by way of what they're good at, without feeling like the ST is basically just finding excuses for them to somehow still be useful despite the evident gaps.

It's frankly not even intentionally "showing someone up", someone will note their capacities to resolve a problem, just for wanting to resolve it, and it's clear in doing so they're just that much better at doing so, something I've seen any number of times. At which point it just is what it is. Characters that function on considerably different levels of capacity will demonstrate that just for using that capacity.

It's maybe kind of a bummer if you make a character and you find that in terms of resolving a given issue, you're basically sidekick scale effective at most. I've seen various crossover games on rpol and they basically boil down to that the vampires don't manage much of anything significant by comparison while mages, werewolves, and what have you pretty much get most things done in any meaningful sense, be it combat, non combat, what have you, and the vamp players stop doing much out of a feeling of comparative pointlessness, that it's only a lot of heavy handed and obvious contrivance keeping them still relevant. Which for some people isn't great.

You seem to focus on that the idea here is that people are showing a deficiency as players to bring up these issues, but even cooperating, some characters will be ineffectual by comparison at working towards a common goal by simple virtue of the imbalance between types. That's what I'm getting at here.

And I suppose that being a 5th level character expected to contribute alongside a party of 10th level characters, as far as your D&D comparison, doesn't really sound like all that much fun.

If you get people that are interested anyway, more power to you.
gladiusdei
 member, 784 posts
Tue 7 May 2019
at 03:36
IC- A semi-sandbox V20 game including werewolves/mages
On this we're just going to have to disagree.  MY game was never designed to even really allow for instances where one group would show the other up.  But even then, it's easier to balance the three groups than you are making it out to be.

I honestly can't see how a group of werewolves would be more efficient at getting done what I have already said would be on the vampires.  How does a pack of werewolves deal with inter-tribal vampire politics?  How does a group of mages track down which vampire has control of the city's mass transit and work a deal with him?  Their abilities are grand, but they aren't all encompassing.  Big dice pools don't automatically mean success in situations where the penalties would be immense.

and yes, if a player joins a game that says from the outset one of its main aspects is cooperation between three disparate groups of players, and they insist on attacking the other group, then they are not the right player for the game.  That's not really hard to see.  It may not mean they are deficient as players on the whole, but they are definitely not the type of player that should have applied to the game as advertised.

And again, I already said I am not going to run it.  It seems clear that the type of player I am after did not respond to the advertisement, so it's already a dead idea.  But it definitely isn't impossible.

This message was last updated by a moderator, as it was in need of a minor tweak, at 04:20, Tue 07 May.