Sunday, 13 December 2015

Vampire Masks and Dirges

So earlier I tried out some character generation for Vampire: the Requiem and ran into some trouble with Masks and Dirges. I just want to dig a little bit further into that.

Here, for background, I present the text of these mechanics.

Mask is the bearing Kindred present to the world. It’s the fa├žade, the pretty lie. It’s the excuse for why he can’t stay for breakfast in the morning. It’s the reason she gives the cab driver for dropping her off near an abandoned warehouse at odd hours of the night. It’s his excuse for barely touching his dinner. The First Tradition reads: “Do not reveal your nature to those not of the Blood. Doing so forfeits your claim to the Blood.” Kindred take this concept seriously, and extend it beyond the purview of their unnatural existences. Revealing oneself is a form of vulnerability. Vulnerability is a quick route to Final Death. Any time a vampire overcomes a small hurdle in defense of her Mask, she gains a point of Willpower. When committing atrocious or existentially risky acts in defense of her Mask, she regains all her spent Willpower points.

The Dirge is the truth behind the lies. It’s the vampire’s secret self; it’s who he is when the lights are off and nobody is present to witness his dirtiest moments. It’s his dark indulgence. It’s the self-loathing she will never admit. It’s his desire for an end. It’s her need for companionship.

A Dirge gives the Kindred a sense of identity. After all, her very existence is a lie. In the Danse Macabre, truth is rarely more than a pipe dream. For most vampires, honesty only exists within oneself. Defending that internal honesty helps her to maintain perspective. Any time a vampire withdraws from his outside life in defense of his truer self, he gains a point of Willpower. When committing terrible, damning acts in defense of his personal identity, he regains all his spent Willpower points.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Not the Man I Used to Be: a plug-in approach to World of Darkness chargen

So obviously I've spent a fair bit of time thinking about White Wolf stuff, what with the sci-fi game and all the nitpicking.

One of the things that's come up repeatedly, and is a regular source of bafflement-slash-frustration to me, is that sometimes White Wolf seem to have completely forgotten their own fluff when writing the rules. Or perhaps simply couldn't be bothered to try and implement these rules. Although the fact that Vampire, the very first game, has sort of the same problem, suggests that they never really thought about it.

I'll talk about Demon, because these two are basically the most egregious cases, but it applies in varying degrees to some of the other games. The issue I'm talking about here is how they mechanically handle becoming a supernatural being.