The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Word of darkness how to start

    so I am looking to start playing the various world of darkness games, and I was wondering what books should I get?
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    BardGirl

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    Default Re: Word of darkness how to start

    Which World of Darkness, and which edition thereof?

    (if your answer isn't oWoD revised, then my only response is going to be "play oWoD revised instead")

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Word of darkness how to start

    Quote Originally Posted by Amdy_vill View Post
    so I am looking to start playing the various world of darkness games, and I was wondering what books should I get?
    Do you have a specific reason for wanting to go down this particular road? I mean I have a nostalgic appreciation for the oWoD as much as the next guy but while there's certainly interesting, if overly circuitous, material buried in various portions of the fluff, the Storyteller system is objectively bad and the individual game lines do not play well together.

    I'd agree with Zetakya that oWoD revised is the best version of the system, but that's a fairly low bar. The most playable formats are, in my opinion, Camarilla Vampire and Technocracy Mage.

    For the former you really need only the VtM Corebook, though Guide to the Cam would be helpful and there are various supporting books like Elysium you may find helpful, plus the splatbooks for the various Cam clans, but these aren't really necessary and some, like Clanbook: Gangrel, introduce unnecessary metaplot-related complications.

    For the latter you need the MtA Corebook, and Guide to the Technocracy (in my opinion the best White Wolf sourcebook ever written by leaps and bounds). Convention Book: Iteration X (and the other Onyx Path convention books if you can track them down), plus Forged by Dragon's Fire and The Book of Madness Revised are all useful.
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    Morty's Avatar

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    Default Re: Word of darkness how to start

    Seconding the question of "which WoD". There's the old WoD that started with Masquerade and the new World or Darkness, which is an entirely different set of games altogether. And which is now known as the Chronicles of Darkness.
    Last edited by Morty; 2019-08-10 at 06:32 AM.

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    BardGirl

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    Default Re: Word of darkness how to start

    Personally I quite like the Storyteller system, but system mechanics are hardly at issue, really.

    The main point (with Vampire Revised, anyway, which is basically the core game as far as I'm concerned) is that far far more than D&D it is a Role-Playing Game first, and a combat system very much last.

    You can and most often will run through entire game sessions without combat capabilities coming up.

    The Core Rulebook, Guide to the Camarilla, Storytellers Guide, Clanbooks (note: not the Clan Novels) and Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy are solid books, but you can do without the Clanbooks from the opposing faction clans and Blood Magic if you're not wanting to get into the Tremere.

    Guide to the Sabbat is useful if you're playing Sabbat or using them as antagonists.

    Most of the other books are dross. Things like Havens of the Damned are a complete waste of money.

    Beyond that... Ignore the Metaplot entirely, crank up the personal horror. Above all else, keep secrets, and encourage your players to keep secrets from each other. Imply that you're not playing with the standard setting background even if you are. Keep Elders rare and terrifying: Centuries old unkillable monsters with hair-trigger tempers and a waning connection with the humanity they now only superficially resemble.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Word of darkness how to start

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Seconding the question of "which WoD". There's the old WoD that started with Masquerade and the new World or Darkness, which is an entirely different set of games altogether. And which is now known as the Chronicles of Darkness.
    The world of darkness that vtm 5th is in
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    Mark Hall's Avatar

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    Default Re: Word of darkness how to start

    Quote Originally Posted by Amdy_vill View Post
    The world of darkness that vtm 5th is in
    My advice, for a ST?

    Define YOUR setting. The players can come in with whatever ideas they like, but only YOU know the real truth. If the book you have is VTM5, then just go with what's there, modified to suit yourself. What are mages? What are werewolves? What are fairies? How do these, and other groups, interact with each other and with mortal society. Decide these things, or at least put a fence around the area they're hiding out, so you know where you're going.

    Pick your town. Decide what city you're in, and Darken it. Who does the mayor REALLY answer to? Is it the same people as the cops? What power factions are there, and how do they work together or against each other? What about external forces? The Feds, power groups who aren't represented in town... anyone who you want to be able to throw in.

    Set your limits. What do you NOT want to deal with? If you pick Houston as your town, maybe you'll put a hard limit on "Nothing to deal with human trafficking." If you pick San Antonio, maybe you're just SO ****ING TIRED of hearing about the Alamo. Personally, I would pick neither of those... your sweet spot is likely a town under 1 million, but above 50,000. College towns are great, since it gives you a big pool of young people to work with, and allows a lot of backgrounds in an otherwise unlikely place ("I came from New York City to Manhattan, KS, because of the architecture program at KSU. Then I got turned into a vampire by the Toreadors who run Regnier Hall.")
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Word of darkness how to start

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    My advice, for a ST?

    Define YOUR setting. The players can come in with whatever ideas they like, but only YOU know the real truth. If the book you have is VTM5, then just go with what's there, modified to suit yourself. What are mages? What are werewolves? What are fairies? How do these, and other groups, interact with each other and with mortal society. Decide these things, or at least put a fence around the area they're hiding out, so you know where you're going.

    Pick your town. Decide what city you're in, and Darken it. Who does the mayor REALLY answer to? Is it the same people as the cops? What power factions are there, and how do they work together or against each other? What about external forces? The Feds, power groups who aren't represented in town... anyone who you want to be able to throw in.

    Set your limits. What do you NOT want to deal with? If you pick Houston as your town, maybe you'll put a hard limit on "Nothing to deal with human trafficking." If you pick San Antonio, maybe you're just SO ****ING TIRED of hearing about the Alamo. Personally, I would pick neither of those... your sweet spot is likely a town under 1 million, but above 50,000. College towns are great, since it gives you a big pool of young people to work with, and allows a lot of backgrounds in an otherwise unlikely place ("I came from New York City to Manhattan, KS, because of the architecture program at KSU. Then I got turned into a vampire by the Toreadors who run Regnier Hall.")
    thank you vary much for this
    Have you accepted the Flying Spaghetti Monster as your Lord and Savior? If so, add this to your signature!
    Beholders are just a meatball that fell out of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.
    my first game started on a pirate ship
    Sorry for any spelling mistake

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: Word of darkness how to start

    Get yourself the VtM 5th book to start with, the Anarch and Cam books are also good.

    the other supernaturals aren't in that edition of the game as far as i'm aware, but there is talk of werewolf.

    This is technically the only book you need though.


    "I laugh at life, it's antics make for me a giddy game. Where only foolish fellows take themselves with solemn aim.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGirl

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    Default Re: Word of darkness how to start

    For reference, you can completely write out all of the other supernatural beasts that the white wolf games became littered with if you want. You do not need to have 100 splatbooks to populate the game world.

    Werewolves are misreported Gangrel. Zombies are misreported Nosferatu, Samedi, Cappadocians and Giovanni. Everything else is so rare that it's a misreport of either a Vampire or a Mortal.

    Strip the entire game down to just Vampires and Mortal Hunters. Like Mark Hall says, define your setting - that's how I define mine.

    Keep as much mystery as you can in the game, because the setting thrives on it. Later editions of Vampire suffered from later publishers and writers being of the mindset that wanted to nail down exactly what everything was, and it was much poorer for it.

    Be very very careful with letting people play Malkavians. I love the Clan, but they are so incredibly difficult to play well, or ST for.

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