1 Sphere, 2 Sphere, 3 Sphere, 4!


  • Pitcrew

    It seems rare that you ever see a (n)WOD game that has just 1 sphere - I can't speak for other styles of games. The question I posit is: do we make these games with many/most/every sphere just to get player numbers? Is there room for a human only game? A werewolf only game? Vampire?

    Is it true that 'not enough players would log in' if your game didn't support this sphere, or that? Plenty of people seem to love Promethean, but I don't see any Promethean games running around. For that matter, I never saw, a Wraith the Oblivion game, and that game woulda been gold (ok maybe not).

    So what is it? What would be the criteria if you wanted the perfect less-is-more set-up. Games are out there. But, this is the Mildly Constructive pit. What would your fantasy set-up be?



  • I think it's just a division, but some players only want to play one thing, or they want to play that thing if it's mixed with others..

    You won't see a 200+ person game with one sphere, but there's a Requiem game I'm looking at right now, Requiem for Kingsmouth that has about 44 people and it's a single sphere (well, 2 if you count mortals). There's also a couple of single-sphere OWoD games floating around out there as well. They just aren't the 'WHO scrolls off the screen' type games.

    And that's fine. In those

    My ideal setup is a single venue, with the allowance of mortals (with focus, but not the full push of the game, or at least given equal push with the other venue). If there are distinct sub-venues within that venue (say, Masquerade: Cam/Anarch and Sabbat, or Ascension: Traditions and Technocracy), I would also want to see one of those venues only (especially in that case, as having two opposing sects in the same city becomes hard to deal with in game.)

    I like this because it allows you to have a focus, and a drive, to overarching plots and setups for the game when all the staff are on the same page, working in the same theme sandbox.


  • Tutorialist

    I think that if you have an active staff changeling, mage, and potentially geist work the best for single sphere games.


  • Politics

    I think any game can stand on its own if run correctly and actively. Some people like cross-over a lot, though, and will judge their ability to play with (if not actually play as) a certain sphere, or just other spheres in general.

    Some games work better alone. I think Mage and Hunter are two excellent examples of that. Mage's versatility and sheer amount of potential power (which, given how MUs tend to treat XP, can quickly turn into actual power) and Hunter's general theme of being antagonistic to every supernatural splat on the basis of being, well, Hunters, make them both best for one-sphere games. In fact, I think they would be more fun as one-sphere games, where everything is an insane arcane mystery or everything that goes bump in the night is a target.

    For the game I'm working on, we have three supernatural spheres (Demon, Vampire, and Werewolf), plus their sub-splats (Stigmatics, Ghouls, and Wolf-Blooded), plus Mortals (which can all have psychic powers if the players want, since we won't be differentiating between those with and those without for the purposes of the "Mortal Sphere". That's a lot of options, even if it doesn't seem like it after playing somewhere like Haunted Memories or The Reach.

    Each one of those spheres was picked for a reason. Demon was picked because at least some of us (myself included) just really, really want to play that game, and this is the only way to get to do that (short of starting our own online tabletop, but I've wanted to make a MU since forever, so). Vampire was picked because it has a political element that we enjoy; and it also brings in a large amount of often good players who just really like to play vampires. Werewolf was picked because it's a great counterpart to the other two, especially vampire, with its animalistic, shamanistic savagery and its entirely different way of organizing its society, plus, it's also a super-popular game, like vampire.

    So, yes, in part, some of these choices had a bit of "what will attract the most players?" because the only thing worse than "too many people!" is "not enough people".

    The deciding factor was that we wanted a game with multiple (but not many!) spheres, and we definitely wanted it to be second edition. At this point, that left us with three options: Demon, which was out; Vampire, which was out; and Werewolf, which purported to be almost out, but OPP are a bunch of mean, jerkfas liars who are late WHERE THE FUCK IS MY WEREWOLF BOOK ahem. Sorry.

    Mage is coming out soon, too, supposedly. But like I said above, Mage, IMO, works best on its own. So we're leaving it out.



  • Some games don't work well in multisphere.

    Promethean, Demon, Mage, all are horribly broken and don't play well with others.

    Some, like Hunter, also work better in single-sphere but for different reasons.

    Hunter-only would be a very fun game.


  • Admin

    And some staff just have a specific kind of game in mind. If you have (what you consider) a great idea for a Vampire sphere with its politics and metaplot, you might not want to dilute that by adding Werewolf on top of it.

    But yeah, some splats work better in multi-sphere environments than others.


  • Politics

    @Admiral said:

    Promethean, Demon, Mage, all are horribly broken and don't play well with others.

    I guess we'll see about Demon. Promethean doesn't work more because they can't stay put, and MUs are invariably centered around a location. Mages can work, they just trample over others's schtick a lot, which I don't think is going to be a problem with Demon.

    @Arkandel said:

    And some staff just have a specific kind of game in mind. If you have (what you consider) a great idea for a Vampire sphere with its politics and metaplot, you might not want to dilute that by adding Werewolf on top of it.

    And sometimes, your idea is incorporating how the politics of vampire deal with the existence of and co-habitation with werewolves.



  • @Coin

    In fact, I think they would be more fun as one-sphere games, where everything is an insane arcane mystery or everything that goes bump in the night is a target.

    This isn't really the case for Mage. Not for me, anyway. No ST is ever going to be able to put even remotely the amount of work that has gone into, say, Werewolf or Changeling as the actual books that people play with have. Roleplaying with them and delving into what their deal is, is a lot of fun. Few, if any STs are going to have the time or interest in playing that out like you can between PCs.

    There are plenty of random Things That Go Bump In The Night and arcane mysteries as it is. Storytellers have been making them up for ages. While a mage-only game would certainly work by itself, calling it 'more fun' is probably only true for those who whine about anybody who's potentially (or actually) more powerful than them.


  • Politics

    @HelloRaptor
    Or maybe it's just a way of saying that I suspect it might be more fun because that's my opinion. :P I don't necessarily have to hate people who play PCs more powerful than mine to have an opinion that isolates a game. You exaggerating jerk.


  • Politics

    @Admiral said:

    Hunter-only would be a very fun game.

    Regarding the game I'm planning out, I'm beginning to think this is where to start. Zombies + Hunter sounds like win-win.


  • Pitcrew

    @Coin said:

    @Arkandel said:

    And some staff just have a specific kind of game in mind. If you have (what you consider) a great idea for a Vampire sphere with its politics and metaplot, you might not want to dilute that by adding Werewolf on top of it.

    And sometimes, your idea is incorporating how the politics of vampire deal with the existence of and co-habitation with werewolves.

    Oh, that sounds interesting... especially depending on your intended setting. But, that's the Dead Wolf Gangrel-lover in me talking there -- while Reno features the foundation for that, it's mitigated by Werewolf being pretty slow right now because of no 2.0 rules being out just yet for it.

    I may have to keep an eye out for your game, Coin, if only because Demon seems pretty cool (just from reading the introduction), and I do enjoy Vampire -- it would be nice to, for once, be able to come in at the ground floor with a Vampire in a new game and, to a degree, having a "sky's the limit" mentality on your ambitions.


  • Politics

    @darksabrz
    The Praxis is NPC-heavy, but that's because a lot of the stories we want to tell involve people making their way up through actual politicking, not just taking spots that are open because no one else is in there. My best advice, once we open, is to start out as low as you can and claw your way up--that's going to be where the fun will be in Vampire, at least in my opinion.

    We're also waiting for Werewolf 2.0, unfortunately, but the Dead Wolves are absolutely one of the Bloodlines we will be wanting represented. I am currently going to embark on a project to make sure all the Bloodlines we want are 2nd Ed. compliant, which means making unique Disciplines into Devotions. Luckily, Sublunario is downright easy to do that for.

    I look forward to running the cut-throat world of Vampire for you, though, absolutely.



  • I think single sphere games don't really work well because most people like alts, and there is just too much chance of accidental CoI. So they don't bother with one character. Because mortals/mortal+ don't usually count as a second sphere. No one wants to play a human anyway, and most Mortal+ types are attached to a sphere, and have the conflict problems.



  • @Insomnia said:

    No one wants to play a human anyway

    This part is not at all true in my experience. Mortal alts seem to have become more common than less.

    Some folks don't like to do it, but 'no one' is miles away from the truth.

    and most Mortal+ types are attached to a sphere, and have the conflict problems.

    This part, still an issue, yep.



  • Right, but is playing a mortal a thing when they are one of how many spheres? Or the other sphere not supers.? (Honest question, I haven't played online in almost 3 years now?)



  • Mortal was by far the largest sphere on TR. If you included the psychics and thaum in it, which are non-aligned M+ types, when I quit staffing there, the M/M+ non-aligned census was almost exactly 2x the next highest (Mage or Changeling, I forget which).


  • Coder

    I played briefly in HM's "mortal sphere". The quotes are for sarcasm, as most mortal spheres are about as cohesive as your general metropolis. There is no social glue that all other game lines have, and I wince any time someone appoints a "mortal staffer". These people can do little more than be the important brain behind approvals, and I wince any time a player complains to them that there's nothing going on.

    I feel that the "mortal sphere" is something that needs to stop. All characters need to belong to an established theme and setting, or they might as well be just taking up disk space.


  • Politics

    @Thenomain
    Thus spheres like Crime, Law, High Society, etc. This is what playing a Mortal is really all about.



  • @Coin It also requires putting in the time to codify how those spheres of influence look. Codifying who the gangs are, putting out some names on those high rank positions so mortals have something they too can refer to and play against.

    I'd also recommend throwing up a bunch of ready made cults that have a bit of gravity to them. Like the Masons with some actual influence on the city.


  • Politics

    @lordbelh
    We're doing some of that, some of the other stuff will come up during play. In the end, staff can only do so much without player interest. A lot of the time it's player interest and spurs content and not the other way around.


  • Politics

    While I think that some players do not want to play a mortal at all, I am of the opinion that most players don't play mortals when supernatural PCs are available. At least, I think.

    Frankly, with GMC, I'm beginning to like Mortals. I think I'll start my game with them.


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