CoD - Victorian - Penny Dreadful-ish.



  • I'm considering it.

    I absolutely adore the horror set in the late 1800's to early 1900's (or loosely thereabouts): Jeckyll/Hyde. Dracula. Frankenstein. Jack the Ripper. Spiritualism and mediums. Dorian Grey. Ghosts ala In A Glass Darkly. Lovecraft and Poe.

    Now that season three of Penny Dreadful is underway, its awakened an urge I had midway through the first season that's been slumbering ever since. Obviously, as was discussed elsewhere within these boards, the game wouldn't be based on any actual model of the show but rather the mood and atmosphere.

    My initial thoughts were to include Vampire, Werewolf, Mortal, Mortal +, a selection of Immortals, Slasher, and as much as possible from Inferno/Things That Should Not Be (mortals only). I'm curious regarding Hunter and Promethean, though I doubt the latter is doable without gutting the disquiet and wasteland mechanics unless I turn the setting into something post-apocalyptic-esh.

    Setting the story (because I'd love for it to be a collection of stories as each character creates their own little Penny Dreadfuls) in London seems a bit daunting. I prefer grids with greater detail and building one recognizable as Victorian London would be a challenge so I'm open to alternative locations or suggestions in how to do London well.

    There also needs to be a balance between relate-ability to modern humans and a setting/time frame for which our primary references would be books/movies. So not a strictly historically accurate version of steam/coal powered Victorian times. Women should be able to wear pants and be skilled with a sword, for example, if they so choose. The language used then, in my opinion, felt poetic even when uttered by a common day laborer, so we modern barbarians would need to be cut some slack.

    The core theme is the expression of horror though setting and personal stories. The fear of disease. The very real sensation that something creeps in foggy streets waiting to kill anyone foolish enough to travel alone. I don't like the God-Machine stuff but I know how to do spirits right. So Strix would be just one vampire adversary. The beginning of Industry and the struggle between Nature and Man-Made spirits would make for a challenging Shadow. I'd like to make the occult have teeth as well.

    Anyway. I'm leaning heavily towards beginning the game-creation process with 2.0 rules and peer reviewed conversations for the stuff that hasn't been ported over yet by Onyx.

    Any interest? Thoughts on location? I'm open to feedback.

    Thanks,
    ~Creep


  • Admin

    @Creepy I think the setting is great and ripe for a MU*. A couple of suggestions since you're asking:

    1. Set it in a slightly alternate universe Victorian London - you probably want to avoid historical purity.

    2. Maybe start with a small number of spheres, see how your staff is holding up, what your playerbase wants etc and if you want to add more you always can.


  • Pitcrew

    I'd definitely be interested in giving it a whirl. :) Please keep us posted! I am a bit leery of too many spheres on a place that's already got some special applications (like a historicalish theme) and a mix of of things that don't have conversions to CoD yet. But this does seem like a really fun place to do mortal, which I have really been missing.



  • @ mietze and @Arkandel I like multiple sphere selections so players can have greater freedom in telling their personal stories. That might be a direct result of having only staffed at HM and TR. I'm not afraid of it being a niche server but I'd like to build with the hope that it wouldn't be a small player base.

    I can make vampire and werewolf work together. Vampire would build the foundation of material/political/non-spirit stuff whereas Werewolf would build the foundation of Shadow-based/Spirit stuff. So a mortal or Immortal will be supported with a foot in either (or both) of those worlds. And Vamp/Were would be able to cross-step wherever the plot carries them. So really the framework would be set to allow all the versions of Mortal+ (Inferno, Things That Should Not Be, Slasher, Immortal) to integrate fairly easily (if not rule-wise then at least theme-wise).

    @Arkandel Yeah alternative Victorian London or whatever city would be the plan. I'd avoid steampunk and focus a bit more on grit with some tweaked historical backgrounds. The problem is I want the history/flavor of London without the massive sprawl/size. I also build grids with character concepts in mind, so I feel the need to have wilderness zones for HiD/Gangrel types and urban zones for those that want to focus their stories there. With an ease of movement between the two.


  • Admin

    @Creepy said in CoD - Victorian - Penny Dreadful-ish.:

    @ mietze and @Arkandel I like multiple sphere selections so players can have greater freedom in telling their personal stories. That might be a direct result of having only staffed at HM and TR. I'm not afraid of it being a niche server but I'd like to build with the hope that it wouldn't be a small player base.

    Yes, that's one of the advantages of having many spheres. The drawback is that you need these spheres staffed - and good people who can stay consistently active, can work with each other, require a relative small overhead of administration on your end and know their stuff aren't exactly easy to find.

    You worked on HM and TR so you probably know what that's like. :)

    @Arkandel Yeah alternative Victorian London or whatever city would be the plan. I'd avoid steampunk and focus a bit more on grit with some tweaked historical backgrounds. The problem is I want the history/flavor of London without the massive sprawl/size.

    All I was thinking about is not having to worry too much about historical accuracy for that time frame; players are unlikely to know many details about everyday life (is there indoor plumbing? are women allowed to do <X>? how does parliament work? how does inheriting money/land work?) which are bound to come out in real life - but if you're doing an alternate setting you can just make it all up, put it on a wiki page and no one will bat an eyelash.


  • Pitcrew

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  • Pitcrew

    Alternative Victorian London is the way to go. Layout the basic historical elements in the setting and don't require everyone to have read Bram Stoker or reviewed their favourite steampunk or Gothic novel. ;)

    I'd really limit down your available spheres. Multi-sphere games have the place, sure, but there is a beauty to having a focus on one over the other. You could probably manage 'episodic' appearances of supernaturals beyond the norm, like Slasher or Inferno-inspired options. Have pregenerated characters or concepts to fill these out for a short run? Possibly have a focus like Eldritch's slots? On such a game, the 'out of the ordinary' sort of things being in a smaller number, and limited term, is fairly attractive.

    Are you keeping this 2E alone or not? I'd second the notion don't have splats that aren't converted.

    If you're worried about grid-size, then have a reason where only a core part of London is accessible and the outlying areas aren't. So you're focusing on the City or Cheapside, but not all the rest.

    Alternatives:

    • Glasgow (super smoky and critical to the Empire at the time without all the fuss; also lots of industry going on there, major transportation links);
    • Liverpool, Birmingham or Manchester (lots and lots of industry, too; grim-dark and smoky feel);
    • Amsterdam or one of the continental cities.

  • Creator

    I love the concept, but I vote

    • Altertative History London

    • Smaller Spheres (Mortals + Vampires, or Werewolves, OR Mages), but not all three, not even two, actually MAGES would be epic).

    Those are my two cent. I do heavily vote Mages, with the 2e book out, and it being 'compatabile' with 1st Edition Nwod!, DO IT!



  • If this went Mage, I'd be all over it. More than I originally would have, haha


  • TV & Movies

    Didn't this game already happen when nWoD Changeling came out?

    Anyway, if you want it not to be 100% about Mage, don't have Mage.



  • @bored nWoD Changeling's Dark Ages thing was more Era of the Sun King, I believe, so a ways before this. (If that's what you mean. I dunno if someone made a Victorian era Changeling MUX.)



  • Didn't Spider try to set up this game already? Victorian London Mage?


  • TV & Movies

    @surreality

    No, there was specifically a Victorian Changeling game. @Ganymede and @Thenomain were both involved, I'm not imagining things, I promise!



  • This post is deleted!


  • I've never been comfortable running Mage and haven't gotten the 2.0 books yet. In answer to a few of the questions posted:

    • I'd run with 2.0 rules and try to avoid a hybrid mix.
    • Due to the point above, I'm leaning now towards Vampire and Mortal(+). I wouldn't need to do Shadow desc's by avoiding Werewolf (initially).
    • I will work with the community regarding bloodlines and scavenge from other MUs with their owners (hopeful) permission.
    • Alternative London will be the setting and I have a general overview as to limiting the grid size and why (spoiler: the results of an arch-nemesis out of literature).
    • I will be building the grid with expand-ability via player actions in mind, with the potential to add additional spheres later.
    • This will be an apocalyptic game, meaning the events will unfold on the grid rather than as a post-apocalyptic setting. They will drive storyline and the player's actions will be able to mitigate or expand on the ruin that follows.
    • I've never been great at politics/court intrigue, so I'd like to have a dedicated staffer that will play a primary Harpy NPC.
    • I envision the game's general mood via staff-run plots to be 30% political, 30% combat and 30% investigation/survival with the rest open for players. So a spread of the core Skill groups (mental, social and physical) would be a good balance (or a group with specialized members for each, see below).
    • I want to heavily influence the formation of coteries and will do so via incentives.
    • I'll pre-stat some NPCs for player and staff run plot usage with some basic objectives.

    Questions, comments or suggestions? I'm open to all.

    Will be looking into servers this week and trying to figure out code stuff. Been reading several threads here as to how to do this.

    Thanks for all the feedback thus far!
    ~Creep


  • Coder

    You wouldn't have to worry about Shadow descs anyways because of the fluid nature of the Shadow in nWoD/CoD. Instead of doing a fully formed grid the person running the scene would know what alterations would need to be made in the Shadow in order to fit the mood, tone, and theme of the location at that specific time.

    The only thing about Victorian/Dark Ages is that from what I have seen in the past they don't tend to take off because of the inherent sexism and politics of the era so you'd need to consider that as well, it can drive off some players.



  • @Lithium Yeah I'm going to address that (and the rampant racism) via the Alternative History aspect. Women's Suffrage became a national movement in 1872 with the formation of the National Society for Women's Suffrage and later the more influential National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS). Things got put on hold for WW-I, so I'll advance the timeline and have it occur earlier. I can then use it as a rational for players to relocate to the London setting rather than a hindrance. I.E., relocate from France or Germany because women had equal right in England.



  • Ugh. I may need some help with this server-side stuff. Anyone knowledgeable that can assist? I bought the domain name, set it up on the server hosting, and tried to do a TinyMUX install using the help in this thread: http://musoapbox.net/topic/138/zero-to-mux-with-wiki

    Can't seem to get ./Startmux going and I can't find where to set up wiki user names.


  • Pitcrew

    @bored said in CoD - Victorian - Penny Dreadful-ish.:

    @surreality

    No, there was specifically a Victorian Changeling game. @Ganymede and @Thenomain were both involved, I'm not imagining things, I promise!

    Yeah I remember this game, can't remember the name of it though.
    There was also after that one a game names Penny Dreadful, that was mortals, Sin-eater and changeling, run by different people though.
    That said while it is not the first of it's kind I would be tempted to play it even with CoD/GMC rules.


  • Coder

    @bored

    Victorian Reverie. I played there as one of the few humans. It was okay, tho I had a lot of problems with the staff. And the grid. Er, and the code. So, yeah.


  • Politics

    @ThatGuyThere said in CoD - Victorian - Penny Dreadful-ish.:

    Yeah I remember this game, can't remember the name of it though.
    There was also after that one a game names Penny Dreadful, that was mortals, Sin-eater and changeling, run by different people though.

    Close, but no.

    I was involved with Victorian Reverie. I was one of three head staffers. Two of them had a falling out, and one went to start Penny Dreadful.

    That is all.


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