oWoD - Is there such thing as a good one?



  • Is there such thing as a good one? Even nWoD based, is there a game that isn't ripe with infantile player mentalities rolling themselves over with power fantasies?

    Is there a game that's a bit more true to form? Where political intrigue and screwing with each other is all ICly done and isn't avoided by, or made moot by:

    • OOC complaints/reactions/fits

    • Random log-offs and pretending everything is gravy?

    • Staff ran where their characters are the best, every time, no questions asked?

    Is there a WoD game out there where people are having FUN anymore? Where players are actively allowed, and encouraged, to make changes to the world around them with their characters?

    If so...please, please point me in that direction. I have the itch and the Tower is calling me. (Well, the Sword is calling me, to be perfectly honest...)



  • @rizbunz

    You'd have to change the culture of the community in a lot of places. Which is sad. Staff also have to be willing to enforce that community change through reinforcement.



  • @bobotron I know :( I know the truths behind it, I guess I just hoping against hope, y'know?


  • Pitcrew

    There isn't. Please make a good* oWoD game. Please.

    please

    • Note: Must allow Sabbat vampires.


  • @sunnyj We've thought about it! We have Fallout first, though. Maybe someday.

    PS: Sabbat are a MUST.


  • Pitcrew

    I honestly don't think there were too many 'good' oWoD games back when oWoD was just 'WoD'. The system has some inherent problems with regards to playing online - some splats more than others - and it really was never intended to be a cross-sphere setting. Each race was basically a game unto itself with only superficially similar mechanics.

    And then there's the players which, really, have not changed overmuch over the last 20-25 years. The only thing that's different is that, back in the day, there were probably about as many WoD games as there were WoD players. When MIAM came out, just about anyone could put together a codebase, slap a 'by Night' on the end of a random location and have their own little corner of the multiverse. Internet access wasn't as prevalent back then, though, so the people weren't always around as much as they are now.

    As time went on, though, more and more games shut down and the population became concentrated. Where there used to be dozens of different games, now there's just a rolling handful - and the population's become inbred because of it. You can go to any given game and run into exactly the same people that you ran into in the last three games you visited. This, coupled with the fact that people have more access than they did before, makes the issues that crop up far more obvious. Before, if whackjob@ClevelandByNight was harassing players, it was usually limited to ClevelandByNight and people who knew of him might only know by hearsay. He might be on several other places, but the population was usually spread out well enough that circles didn't intersect. Now, whackjob@CBN is also jerkoff@Boise, dingleberry@Plano - and everyone has either met him, or knows someone who's met him because CBN, BBN and PBN are the only places to play. The idiocy is just more obvious.

    The other issue that I've noticed is a gradual decline of stories or cohesive plots over the course of the last several years. Places try to pad their numbers by offering everything and their mother as playable spheres, but don't give those spheres very much to do. There might be one-off events every so often, but no real cohesive sphere or game-wide storyline to tell. Players might call it railroading, but personally I think game - and by extension gamestaff - need to have a solid sense of identity with regards to their game and what they want to do with it; and more importantly, why they have that game, in that setting, with those spheres. Even the events tend towards bottle-episode type things - or just random social scenes that involve getting people together in a room and letting them interact on their own. That, however, is another issue and isn't necessarily the mark of a 'bad' game; but I think it does contribute to the decline of activity.


  • Politics

    @rizbunz said in oWoD - Is there such thing as a good one?:

    Is there a WoD game out there where people are having FUN anymore? Where players are actively allowed, and encouraged, to make changes to the world around them with their characters?

    I'm having fun with the limited time I have at Fate's Harvest.

    To answer your real question, though, I honestly don't believe there was ever an Old World of Darkness game that was not rife with the shit you want to avoid. All you could do was find a place that appealed to you, and try to get some good mileage out of it. I liked my time playing at and running Due Rewards, as well as Denver by Night, but those two places have stories.


  • Coder


  • Coder

    @rizbunz

    I enjoyed Paris:FdM and that New York City one. They were just goofy, therefore fun. CrackMUX before the staff got Srs Bznz.

    Really, a lot of these games were fun before the players got Srs Bznz.

    I had fun on Haunted Memories in spite of staff, and that our TLs let the sphere pretty much run itself, which was amazing for the players and fostered an environment where the Good Players™ were allowed to make things up with mostly a thumbs-up, and I know a Good Player™ because they mostly do things that involved the sphere, adding to it, not absorbing and therefore subtracting from it.

    There were plenty of OOC complaints/reactions/fits. I was one of the problem children, sure, but I was handled well by the other players, which allowed the sphere to continue on. Acting like an adult and expecting others to act like adults is the best counter I've ever seen to this.

    --

    The point of oWoD as written was to be silly. Oh I know that they wrote it with grimdarque in mind, but doing silly things for grimdarque reasons is practically part of grimdarque's MO. Taking it too seriously is usually there too, but you look at Warhammer 40k and go, "Being self-aware works too."

    In my very first tabletop game of Vampire, my character with help of another worked out that we could ghoul about 15 hamsters a night, so we did this and let them loose in a park in a rival city just for the laughs.

    And maybe that's why we don't have many oWoD games anymore: "Just for the laughs" does not seem the direction games or gamers want to go with their urban horror.

    Not that you'd know from OOC channel chatter. I wonder if people would jump all over "just for the laughs" if given the chance, to get it out of their system.

    --

    edit tl;dr:

    oWoD was stronger on the tongue-in-cheek. People didn't like each other's tongue-in-cheek so things got more serious. I think more tongue-in-cheek, as long as it's thematic, would be a very good move.



  • @thenomain said in oWoD - Is there such thing as a good one?:

    oWoD was stronger on the tongue-in-cheek. People didn't like each other's tongue-in-cheek so things got more serious. I think more tongue-in-cheek, as long as it's thematic, would be a very good move.

    Seconding this. Part of what I like more about oWoD than nWoD/CoD is its 'sense of fun'. nWoD/CoD's darkness vibes too hard on the soul-crushing depressing drudgery.

    In part, I think in trying to make failure an interesting part of the game, they went a bit overboard. This is common; any time something's new and intended to be a point of emphasis, it often ends up as something over the top in a way that goes a little too far. Depression and drudgery aren't interesting RP for me. Failure absolutely can be and very often is. The directions they went shifted the D from Darkness to Don't Bother, There's No Point for me, and with less of the goofy stuff and humor and wackiness, the combination just ends up feeling completely soulless and boringly bleak to me.



  • I've really enjoyed the setting's fluff for a VERY long time. I also think it's one of those things that just works better as a tabletop, too. That way, you KNOW who you're playing with.

    I like having fun with it. The funnier moments in a system full of screwed up experiences, but yeah...what I wouldn't give to just find a community that isn't so toxic with it. It's amazing stuff to work with, and when new people are interested in it, I often point them in the direction of Bloodlines. I've always considered that to be a fun, rather on point, example of what a GREAT tabletop/MU* setting COULD BE. Under the right alignment of planets and stars and when you finally get that gold plated unicorn to dance the samba at your house at midnight...

    I digress. I understand, and agree, with what everyone is saying. It all depends on the fun YOU make for yourself. I have a feeling that even if I go the route of 'This is broke, so I'll try and fix it', I'll still get those people showing up regardless, the community being what it is.



  • @ixokai Thank you for the link! I'll check it out!



  • @rizbunz While she and I don't see eye to eye on a great many things, Kanye Quest posted a link to an article (that of course I can't find right now... ) about the power of the phrase 'We don't do that here.'

    It's the right answer if you're running the joint and those people show up.


  • Coder

    @rizbunz said in oWoD - Is there such thing as a good one?:

    It all depends on the fun YOU make for yourself.

    To borrow a phrase from @surreality, it depends.

    Sometimes the fun you make for yourself is going to run counter to someone else's idea of fun.

    Sorry, let me clarify that:

    The fun you make for yourself is WILL run counter to someone else's idea of fun.

    The drama we get is the friction between our actions and the actions or beliefs of others. Just as much as finding out what is fun for us, we also have to be accepting of the differences of others.

    Not stupid, just accepting.


  • Pitcrew

    I find OWoD more interesting than NWoD in terms of setting and what you can play. I find the NWoD better in terms of system and conflict resolution.

    I find both manage to make me run screaming into the night, sooner or later. OOCly. ICly, that would actually be thematic. But I keep trying. One day, I will find the game that clicks.

    (But probably not.)



  • @surreality I like that outlook. And it's easy to say that, or make policies that touch into that. It's hard to keep them stapled down, but worth trying to do.

    @Thenomain I get that. I guess what I meant was if you can't find fun with the general cliques, you have to find your own tribe in these types of games. It squares people off, and while conflict should be understood and accepted, it kinda grinds gears. People play as they do, and if that's what they enjoy, you're right, you have to accept that (regardless of it being different than your own fun). I just like the idea of people playing together, and not getting twisted up in a bad way over it. Like you said, the drama. Just makes me sad :(

    @Bad-at-Lurking Agreed. The fluff drags me in with oWoD. I ADORE it, greatly, but nWoD does very, very well syntax/system wise. But yeah, I'm in your boat with the running and screaming part.

    I'll keep trying, too.


  • Pitcrew

    @thenomain Save us, Theno! You are the coder we need, not the one we deserve!


  • Coder

    @rizbunz said in oWoD - Is there such thing as a good one?:

    @Thenomain I get that. I guess what I meant was if you can't find fun with the general cliques, you have to find your own tribe in these types of games.

    In all types of games, I think. The only game I've personally ever played that I could fall into anyone's group was City of Heroes (and as an extension, City of Villains). I rarely had anyone get judgy at me, except for those times where people would add speed to my super-speed character and I absolutely could not control aggroing the next group because I hit the "forward" key for a millisecond too long and launched me into the future.

    It squares people off, and while conflict should be understood and accepted, it kinda grinds gears.

    The downside of playing almost exclusively WoD games online is that I have a very broad understanding of a very narrow topic. For instance, because oWoD's core gameplay is antagonistic, people tended to play characters antagonistically. Games attempted solutions to this that caused even more friction.

    Haunted Memories, then The Reach, both started with the ideology: Fuck it, we're going to just go with the flow, but in the decades-long history of this genre, this is very new and recent.

    What this doesn't analyze is the same phenomenon in different genres.

    I'm not going to say that Superhero games haven't traditionally had the same friction, but that they have it for different reasons.

    That Firan had the same friction for largely the same reason as WoD games was interesting and makes me wonder if we WoD games are holding onto vestiges of the 90s.

    --

    @sunnyj said in oWoD - Is there such thing as a good one?:

    @thenomain Save us, Theno! You are the coder we need, not the one we deserve!

    My Python-fu sucks, so I'm not sure anyone needs me right now. I, too, am a vestige of the 90s.



  • @Thenomain I think that all swirls back to it being the community at large. I'm not saying I've only been on bad games, either. Sometimes I have so, so much fun, and if I didn't, I wouldn't be begging for an outlet of this world that I love. I get it, and I know in the long run I can't fix it. Not on my own or anything of the like. It deals with people fixing themselves, or how they act, and I suppose everyone has their reasons.

    I agree that start and finish are different, too, and very, very long roads to travel.

    When you get a bunch of people together, there's no way to avoid conflict all together. Conflict should be fun, is all. I just understand why it wouldn't be to most. I think it's required for a good story, but I also know that not everyone is playing for story. Odd for RPGs, but whatever. You do you, boo. (Not you personally, just in general commentary.)

    PS: You're always useful!



  • No.

    And there never really was.

    There were games where one could have fun, but that's not the same thing.

    For instance, a friend of mine and I were once asked to join the mage sphere on a game where, for whatever reason, the sphere had been nearly wiped clean. We were offered anything we wanted, which meant Master mages, to get in there, get active and, per the god 'help clean up some loose threads'. So of course we decided to go in there with a light touch, be respectful, get to know the place and figure out ho- haha, no, we made two mages with Twin Souls, him specializing in Corr/Time/Mind/Spirit and me specializing in Forces/Matter/Life/Prime, and we just went in there and did whatever wanted. Our characters had long, detailed backgrounds, but Jesus, who cares? We were asked to trim up some loose ends, so we trimmed like crazy. Bad Black Spiral Dancer? Telenuked. Inactive Prince? Inactive pile of ash. Oh, and when the article about turning vampires to lawnchairs came out, did we take that as a warning? No. We took that as a challenge. Suddenly everyone became a potential addition to our dining room. And as Kant once said, one loses the capacity for good moral reasoning when rather than seeing other people as an end, one sees them as an end table.

    Anyway, the place died because I guess players started to feel like things were unstable and they never knew if they or their friends might die at any moment? I donno. Seems like a bunch of whining to me.

    So that was a FUN MU, but it probably wasn't a very good one.