This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
The message boards have been upgraded. Please log in to your existing account by clicking here. It will ask twice, so that it can properly update your password and login information. If it has trouble recognizing your password, click the 'Forgot your password?' link to reset it with a new password sent to your email address on file.

Author Topic: Hacking the Storyteller System  (Read 8053 times)

Eldritch_Knight

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
    • http://youtube.com/c/eldritchknight
Hacking the Storyteller System
« Reply #60 on: April 16, 2020, 07:23:29 AM »
I am greatly interested in a retro clone of the Storyteller system, for my own needs. Especially one that streamlines some issues.

YnasMidgard

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Y
  • Posts: 9
    • View Profile
    • http://ynasmidgard.blogspot.com/
Hacking the Storyteller System
« Reply #61 on: April 16, 2020, 09:20:59 AM »
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1126979
I don't like the WW superpowers mechanics at all. Godbound's words mechanic, at least in basic concept, is superior. Or Everlasting's Codex of Immortals' guidelines for making superpowers. Or really any other game that lets you create powers using guidelines is better than WW.

As for shapeshifting modifiers... again, WW is overcomplicated for little benefit. I prefer WitchCraft's take on werewolves. They don't have fixed alternate forms, but flow like water as befits the situation.

In general I'm just frustrated with the WW games. I think their rules are terrible and their settings are (aside from Lost and Vigil) annoying narrow in concept. However, they hold a monopoly over the urban fantasy market so no other games have enough of a fandom for worthwhile discussions, much less finding interested players.

If I wanted to work on an actual retroclone using Opening the Dark, then I'd probably devise a setting that draws more from Nightlife, Everlasting and WitchCraft. For example, I prefer WitchCraft's depiction of spirits because it is more authentic to actual animistic beliefs.

I'm personally not that interested in having a formula for designing powers. In fact, I was probably drawn to Werewolf's Gifts because they were the equivalents of magic items (you even had to go on a quest to seek out a spirit that knows it). The games' narrowness has also never been an issue to me, but I never really wanted one system/setting to do all anyways.

However, the rules could definitely be improved, and I was never really fond of not having explicit advice and procedures on the GM/ST side of things (even if people do end up changing numbers and whatnot to better suit their vision of the setting, having a baseline is never a bad thing; think about how much implicit world-building is in the random encounter tables and no. appearing in AD&D).

As for Opening the Dark, I was super excited to read it - only to find that the base mechanics aren't to my liking (way too high chance of a critical failure; in fact, at 4+ dice the relative chance of a crit failure is higher than a regular failure). Even the base nWoD rules made more sense, even if they were far from perfect.
Freelance Copy-Editor
My blog and some things I worked on

BoxCrayonTales

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • B
  • Posts: 1627
    • View Profile
Hacking the Storyteller System
« Reply #62 on: April 16, 2020, 03:06:36 PM »
Quote from: Eldritch_Knight;1127027
I am greatly interested in a retro clone of the Storyteller system, for my own needs. Especially one that streamlines some issues.
Opening the Dark already provides some of that. It has task resolution, character traits, a magic system, and limited superpowers. I have been writing a bunch of house rules in a google doc, such as adding equivalents for other rules in the ST games like aggravated damage and fixed difficulties.

WitchCraft and Everlasting are the closest we have so far to published retroclones, as they were written directly in response to World of Darkness. The complete WitchCraft catalog is available on DriveThru. The Everlasting catalog is mostly there except for the Magician's Companion containing the rules for the Osirians, magicians who reincarnate and aren't limited by magical tradition; that's available from used sellers for $50+. There was apparently an EL comic that mysteriously vanished from the catalog a few years ago.

I liked the ideas presented by WC and EL, so I'm sad that they died. Eden Studios is apparently still around, but whoever owns the copyright for EL seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. Darn those pesky copyright laws!

IMO, working out the rules is probably the easy part. Working out campaign settings is probably the hard part. I want to provide a plurality of campaign settings, or a kitchen sink setting a la American Vampire and What We Do In The Shadows, or at least provide guides to tweaking the various paranormal stuff to suit the tastes of groups.

For example, you could devise a bunch of different kinds of vampires based on their diet. That's the whole premise of Nightlife.

Quote from: YnasMidgard;1127037
I'm personally not that interested in having a formula for designing powers. In fact, I was probably drawn to Werewolf's Gifts because they were the equivalents of magic items (you even had to go on a quest to seek out a spirit that knows it). The games' narrowness has also never been an issue to me, but I never really wanted one system/setting to do all anyways.

However, the rules could definitely be improved, and I was never really fond of not having explicit advice and procedures on the GM/ST side of things (even if people do end up changing numbers and whatnot to better suit their vision of the setting, having a baseline is never a bad thing; think about how much implicit world-building is in the random encounter tables and no. appearing in AD&D).
I don't find those mutually exclusive. If you want PCs to have fixed powers, then it still helps if the GM has a guideline to adjudicate new powers on the fly rather than waiting for the writers to invent them.

Quote from: YnasMidgard;1127037
As for Opening the Dark, I was super excited to read it - only to find that the base mechanics aren't to my liking (way too high chance of a critical failure; in fact, at 4+ dice the relative chance of a crit failure is higher than a regular failure). Even the base nWoD rules made more sense, even if they were far from perfect.
The great thing is that the rules are open game content. You can modify them and sell your modifications.

Nobody has actually seemed to have done anything with OtD as of yet, but you can't put the genie back in the bottle.

Chris24601

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • C
  • Posts: 1316
    • View Profile
Hacking the Storyteller System
« Reply #63 on: April 16, 2020, 03:43:24 PM »
Quote from: Eldritch_Knight;1127027
I am greatly interested in a retro clone of the Storyteller system, for my own needs. Especially one that streamlines some issues.


Here's my attempt from a number of years back. Despite the Mage name on the cover, you can easily build the more static monster types and the opponents section includes a list of the traits various creatures would have (Vampires, for example, would have the Thaumivore flaw, they gain Essence by feeding on the blood of living creatures and use that essence to power their other special abilities).

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8uzbbLvQJOLRWtSaVU4M3A5M0E

Major fixes attempted in the system were smoothing out the difficulty mechanics at the extremes (i.e. diff 9+ or 3-) and smoothing out the action economy (i.e. how unbalancing extra actions could be in the system), character building/leveling (to encourage more breadth to character concepts) and a bit less binary damage results leading to a slightly more cinematic bent when action breaks out.

I think I ultimately prefer Mage20 revision to its magic system over what I developed here because it had more of a "fast and loose" in its effect building while the mechanics in mine are much more deterministic; but the determinism is ultimately what made it easier to build the special powers of other supernatural types so if what you wanted was rules that would enable multiple supernatural types in the same campaign, its probably the better option than Mage20 for that purpose (do note that the magic/supernatural effects system IS designed to end up with difficulties of either 12+ (big effects) or 2- (quick magic attacks) pretty regularly; this works hand in hand with the difficulty smoothing mechanics where difficulty 12 would be rolled as difficulty 8 with four dice subtracted from the dice pool while difficulty 2 would be rolled at difficulty 4 with two extra dice added).

Eldritch_Knight

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
    • http://youtube.com/c/eldritchknight
Hacking the Storyteller System
« Reply #64 on: April 16, 2020, 04:27:52 PM »
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1127075
Opening the Dark already provides some of that. It has task resolution, character traits, a magic system, and limited superpowers. I have been writing a bunch of house rules in a google doc, such as adding equivalents for other rules in the ST games like aggravated damage and fixed difficulties.

IMO, working out the rules is probably the easy part. Working out campaign settings is probably the hard part. I want to provide a plurality of campaign settings, or a kitchen sink setting a la American Vampire and What We Do In The Shadows, or at least provide guides to tweaking the various paranormal stuff to suit the tastes of groups.


So if I understand you, Opening the Dark is the retro clone you are using, and you are only devising alternate methods of rules and campaign settings for OtD? Or are you combining everything together into a full OGL-type game? Just trying to get the full picture.

Is there rules ANYWHERE in the World of Darkness for creating powers? Or is it mostly just guess work?
What about minion-type rules?

I will check out Opening the Dark a while. Thanks.

BoxCrayonTales

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • B
  • Posts: 1627
    • View Profile
Hacking the Storyteller System
« Reply #65 on: April 16, 2020, 05:34:26 PM »
Quote from: Eldritch_Knight;1127081
Is there rules ANYWHERE in the World of Darkness for creating powers? Or is it mostly just guess work?
What about minion-type rules?
Guess work. Even then, WW has never been good at game design so it's a mess anyway.

Quote from: Eldritch_Knight;1127081
So if I understand you, Opening the Dark is the retro clone you are using, and you are only devising alternate methods of rules and campaign settings for OtD? Or are you combining everything together into a full OGL-type game? Just trying to get the full picture.
Opening the Dark was written around 2007 by Malcolm Sheppard as a tentative part of the OSR movement. It is more a proof of concept than anything else, as he retracted it shortly after release.

Right now I'm just spitballing. I'd like to create a full-blown clone someday, but I'm not sure it would be worth the effort. Right now I'm more focused on video games and prose fiction.

I've probably already gone over some ideas earlier in this thread, but I'll reiterate some of my basic ideas for a WoD retroclone/heartbreaker in a later post because right now I'm strapped for time. Sorry!

Eldritch_Knight

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
    • http://youtube.com/c/eldritchknight
Hacking the Storyteller System
« Reply #66 on: April 16, 2020, 06:06:18 PM »
Quote from: Chris24601;1127078
Here's my attempt from a number of years back.


I really appreciate that. Thank you.

Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1127083
Guess work. Even then, WW has never been good at game design so it's a mess anyway.

Opening the Dark was written around 2007 by Malcolm Sheppard as a tentative part of the OSR movement. It is more a proof of concept than anything else, as he retracted it shortly after release.

Right now I'm just spitballing. I'd like to create a full-blown clone someday, but I'm not sure it would be worth the effort. Right now I'm more focused on video games and prose fiction.

I've probably already gone over some ideas earlier in this thread, but I'll reiterate some of my basic ideas for a WoD retroclone/heartbreaker in a later post because right now I'm strapped for time. Sorry!


Thank you.

To be quite open, I want to create a specific retro clone eventually, which is why I am asking questions. I would like to create a retro clone of the Street Fighter game that White Wolf did, but with my own setting and rules adjustments. Sure, maybe a better way to do it, but I like the basic framework. I guess I am stubborn. But I read plenty of great reviews for it, so it sounds viable. I just want to revise the combat system to streamline it and make it faster. I had a few other ideas as well to build onto the system; some ideas from other systems. All this is a long ways off. For now I am just trying to get a framework of a game for my homebrew and build everything from there.

There was a well received system for martial arts years ago called CHAMPS, that helped to create martial arts techniques. Unfortunately, even the Wayback Machine can't grab the file, so it is lost. Not that I need it for what I want to do, but it would have been good to get a basic idea for what I want to try with my campaign.

One other thing. I thought I had seen on the first or second page of this thread, you talked about using D6's and had calculations compared to D10's. Were you working on having the game use D6 as well, or did I just misread everything?

I will read back through all your posts. I think everyone was making good points about stuff. I understand the system enough to run it, but it will take some time for me to begin reverse engineering the system to make any attempt at retrocloning (which is why I said any clone I make would be a long ways off).

Thank you.

BoxCrayonTales

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • B
  • Posts: 1627
    • View Profile
Hacking the Storyteller System
« Reply #67 on: April 16, 2020, 07:19:18 PM »
Quote from: Eldritch_Knight;1127085
I really appreciate that. Thank you.



Thank you.

To be quite open, I want to create a specific retro clone eventually, which is why I am asking questions. I would like to create a retro clone of the Street Fighter game that White Wolf did, but with my own setting and rules adjustments. Sure, maybe a better way to do it, but I like the basic framework. I guess I am stubborn. But I read plenty of great reviews for it, so it sounds viable. I just want to revise the combat system to streamline it and make it faster. I had a few other ideas as well to build onto the system; some ideas from other systems. All this is a long ways off. For now I am just trying to get a framework of a game for my homebrew and build everything from there.

There was a well received system for martial arts years ago called CHAMPS, that helped to create martial arts techniques. Unfortunately, even the Wayback Machine can't grab the file, so it is lost. Not that I need it for what I want to do, but it would have been good to get a basic idea for what I want to try with my campaign.

One other thing. I thought I had seen on the first or second page of this thread, you talked about using D6's and had calculations compared to D10's. Were you working on having the game use D6 as well, or did I just misread everything?

I will read back through all your posts. I think everyone was making good points about stuff. I understand the system enough to run it, but it will take some time for me to begin reverse engineering the system to make any attempt at retrocloning (which is why I said any clone I make would be a long ways off).

Thank you.

I think the type of dice can be changed depending on the group's proclivities. There is nothing about dice pools that requires a specific type of die.

Anyway, we are both coming at this with different goals in mind.

You want a martial arts game. Fair enough.

I want an urban fantasy game because I don't like how WW games are designed and I don't like their focus on single monolithic campaign settings.

I want vampires with shadow powers who feed on color, causing their victims to become colorless and eventually shatter like glass. I want werewolves who gain their powers from sentient enchanted wolf pelts symbiotically fused to their bodies. I want mages who aren't forced to fight in that stupid Ascension War. I want ghosts who can fly and teleport and control fire with their minds.

WW holds a monopoly on the market, preventing more creatives takes on the genre from flourishing. WitchCraft and Everlasting tried to be different, and they died.

BoxCrayonTales

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • B
  • Posts: 1627
    • View Profile
Hacking the Storyteller System
« Reply #68 on: April 16, 2020, 08:00:58 PM »
Quote from: Chris24601;1127078
Here's my attempt from a number of years back. Despite the Mage name on the cover, you can easily build the more static monster types and the opponents section includes a list of the traits various creatures would have (Vampires, for example, would have the Thaumivore flaw, they gain Essence by feeding on the blood of living creatures and use that essence to power their other special abilities).

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B8uzbbLvQJOLRWtSaVU4M3A5M0E

Major fixes attempted in the system were smoothing out the difficulty mechanics at the extremes (i.e. diff 9+ or 3-) and smoothing out the action economy (i.e. how unbalancing extra actions could be in the system), character building/leveling (to encourage more breadth to character concepts) and a bit less binary damage results leading to a slightly more cinematic bent when action breaks out.

I think I ultimately prefer Mage20 revision to its magic system over what I developed here because it had more of a "fast and loose" in its effect building while the mechanics in mine are much more deterministic; but the determinism is ultimately what made it easier to build the special powers of other supernatural types so if what you wanted was rules that would enable multiple supernatural types in the same campaign, its probably the better option than Mage20 for that purpose (do note that the magic/supernatural effects system IS designed to end up with difficulties of either 12+ (big effects) or 2- (quick magic attacks) pretty regularly; this works hand in hand with the difficulty smoothing mechanics where difficulty 12 would be rolled as difficulty 8 with four dice subtracted from the dice pool while difficulty 2 would be rolled at difficulty 4 with two extra dice added).


On a related note, a retroclone can't legally copy the setting of Mage: The Ascension. I wouldn't want to, either. While I like syntactic magic and the basic concept of paradigms (OtD replicates this with its art/praxis mechanic), I don't like the enforced Ascension War setting, abandoning Earth for the otherworlds at the first opportunity like an isekai protagonist, or the Gen X zeitgeist baked into everything.

Chris24601

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • C
  • Posts: 1316
    • View Profile
Hacking the Storyteller System
« Reply #69 on: April 16, 2020, 08:27:40 PM »
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1127092
On a related note, a retroclone can't legally copy the setting of Mage: The Ascension. I wouldn't want to, either. While I like syntactic magic and the basic concept of paradigms (OtD replicates this with its art/praxis mechanic), I don't like the enforced Ascension War setting, abandoning Earth for the otherworlds at the first opportunity like an isekai protagonist, or the Gen X zeitgeist baked into everything.

To be fair to my effort, the project started back in 2005 as a way to give new players access to the needed systems at a point where WW was pushing the NWoD hard and PDFs of the old system just weren't available. Over time it accrued various house rules meant to clean up the mechanics and it just made sense starting around 2010 to just build those house rules right into the material I provided my players.

In short, its material that was never intended to be used outside of my home games because the available books for new players to get into the game had dried up. One of the reasons I share it so readily is precisely because it's got very little commercial value without some rather extensive setting material reworking.

That said, the attribute spreads are unique (not those found in either version of the WoD), the character building method is different, the specifics of its dice pools and difficulty scales are different, the action economy is different, how the conflict-related traits of wounds and stamina work vs. health levels are different and the mechanics of building supernatural effects are different.

You could probably just drop your own setting fluff on top (different monster assumptions for example), give me a designer credit and call it done.

That said, since I'd last updated the document in 2013, I've come to approve of Mutants & Masterminds approach to non-mechanical flaws (ex. Enemies or Dependents) being presented as complications you gain a meta benefit from when they come up instead of as free extra build points. As such, were I to start rebuilding the system for a more generic urban fantasy setting, I'd probably remove many of the social flaws from the system in favor of a general "regain a point of Willpower when you successfully deal with [social complication]" mechanic.

Eldritch_Knight

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
    • http://youtube.com/c/eldritchknight
Hacking the Storyteller System
« Reply #70 on: April 16, 2020, 08:47:50 PM »
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1127091
I think the type of dice can be changed depending on the group's proclivities. There is nothing about dice pools that requires a specific type of die.

Anyway, we are both coming at this with different goals in mind.

You want a martial arts game. Fair enough.

I want an urban fantasy game because I don't like how WW games are designed and I don't like their focus on single monolithic campaign settings.

I want vampires with shadow powers who feed on color, causing their victims to become colorless and eventually shatter like glass. I want werewolves who gain their powers from sentient enchanted wolf pelts symbiotically fused to their bodies. I want mages who aren't forced to fight in that stupid Ascension War. I want ghosts who can fly and teleport and control fire with their minds.

WW holds a monopoly on the market, preventing more creatives takes on the genre from flourishing. WitchCraft and Everlasting tried to be different, and they died.

Yes. Different goals.

I like the concept for your game. I can see how you are attempting to make the game your own. Same with me. I want to take the base game design and tweak it to fit my own design goals, some of which are inspired by other systems. Mostly I want to strip off a little bit of complexity of combat from the Street Fighter game, to allow it to run faster. It seems to me that most martial arts games come in 2 types. Narrative only or super crunchy stuff. The Street Fighter game required a Hex board and each player had 9-15 martial arts technique to start.

What I want to do is take inspiration from Weapons of the Gods/Legends of the Wulin, specifically how they do martial arts style. The special techniques would be lessened, because instead of having cards for every type of punch, kick, etc, this would be done through player description. Instead of only knowing one martial arts style the entire game, you could go on to learn others, and eventually have a whole suite of techniques. I also wanted to eliminate the Hex board requirement. I will probably still use one, but I want the opportunity to do Theater of the Mind for smaller fights. I am already working on some basic probability and number crunching and getting my thoughts on paper as I do through and dissect the original game. Much of this is by referring to other games/systems/editions within the White Wolf line.

Its still early with the design. Mostly, I just don't want my players to stall because there are so many choices within the first session of the game.

What I want to do is develop a world that models the absurd settings of late 80's/early 90's martial arts movies and games. Bloodsport, Street Fighter, Big Trouble in Little China, Mortal Kombat, and many more. Played straight. This dark world where warriors with powers enter secret tournaments held by evil sorcerers. Or fight against powerful triads in Chinatown. Rival ninja clans wage secret wars. A megalomaniac whose failed state in the Himalayan mountains attempts to secure ancient martial arts techniques. And demons and servants attempt to release their Demon King so he can unleash Hell on Earth. It would be these various layers of story ideas that the players can go off and do.

Again, like you said, we have different goals in mind. But both are attempting to retro clone a specific genre filtered through our own ideas. And I have been greatly enjoying all the discussion of tearing apart the system and understand everything of how it works, and the probability of it.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 01:21:40 AM by Eldritch_Knight »

BoxCrayonTales

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • B
  • Posts: 1627
    • View Profile
Hacking the Storyteller System
« Reply #71 on: April 22, 2020, 09:10:37 PM »
Since this forum is also for the discussion of settings, I will try to discuss settings.

What exactly would be the purpose of a Vampire retroclone? Is there a place for that? I suppose there is for anyone who disagrees with WW politics and doesn't want to support their products, or for anyone who wants more freedom than the WW setting offers.

As Nightlife goes to show, a vampire-themed RPG needn't limit itself to the stereotypical blood-drinking creatures of the night. One of my bugbears regarding WW's game is that it was basically quasi-Ricean vampires with a bloodlines mechanic tacked on for an illusion that they're less stereotypical than they are. Anyone remember B.J. Zanzibar's World of Darkness archive? That included a ton of new bloodlines and so forth that were often hamstrung by the format of the WW games.

There is loads of inspiration for vampires than one can take from folklore and mythology. Here are a few sources I've come across in the course of my research:
Here are a few examples of vampiric creatures from East Asian folklore:
  • Fox fairy: known in China and Korea for eating human organs
  • Snow woman: known in Japan for draining the body heat from victims
  • Forked cat: while not infamous for eating humans, the Japanese folktale "The Vampire Cat of Nab├ęshima" tells of one that drained the life from a prince like a vampire. This presumably inspired the vampiric but non-undead "cats" seen in the older editions of World of Darkness.
There are plenty of examples like those in the books I cited.

What do you think? Any suggestions for a vampire-themed d10 retroclone?

Eldritch_Knight

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
    • http://youtube.com/c/eldritchknight
Hacking the Storyteller System
« Reply #72 on: April 24, 2020, 07:05:47 AM »
I don't know much about the World of Darkness, but have heard that their settings can be rather limited. I think having a focused setting concept can be great (players understand exactly what the game is about) but also can lead to boredom (all scenarios are ONLY about said game concept).

Do you plan to have a specific campaign concept or are you looking for a variety of campaign styles?

A few things off the top of my head (disregard if they do not fit your game concept):

1. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain for PS1 followed a man that becomes a vampire and gets trapped within a war between sinister gods.

2. Dracorouge (a Japanese TRPG) deals with vampires that have to resist their urges or turn into Night Beasts (a monstrous killing machine); has a similar feeling to the concepts of Bushido and Samurai.

3. Having an ominous threat in the background, where Vampires are bad, but there is something much worse...

Again, I don't know what specific types of stories you want to tell with your game. I have more fleshed out ideas, and explanations with what I am going for with the above, but figured I would save you time reading if none of this was where you were taking your game. Personally, I like campaign worlds that are layered. Where there are different levels of overall story types and challenges based on what the GM/group want to get into.

Hope this helps in any way.

BoxCrayonTales

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • B
  • Posts: 1627
    • View Profile
Hacking the Storyteller System
« Reply #73 on: April 24, 2020, 03:09:43 PM »
Quote from: Eldritch_Knight;1127745
I don't know much about the World of Darkness, but have heard that their settings can be rather limited. I think having a focused setting concept can be great (players understand exactly what the game is about) but also can lead to boredom (all scenarios are ONLY about said game concept).

Do you plan to have a specific campaign concept or are you looking for a variety of campaign styles?

A few things off the top of my head (disregard if they do not fit your game concept):

1. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain for PS1 followed a man that becomes a vampire and gets trapped within a war between sinister gods.

2. Dracorouge (a Japanese TRPG) deals with vampires that have to resist their urges or turn into Night Beasts (a monstrous killing machine); has a similar feeling to the concepts of Bushido and Samurai.

3. Having an ominous threat in the background, where Vampires are bad, but there is something much worse...

Again, I don't know what specific types of stories you want to tell with your game. I have more fleshed out ideas, and explanations with what I am going for with the above, but figured I would save you time reading if none of this was where you were taking your game. Personally, I like campaign worlds that are layered. Where there are different levels of overall story types and challenges based on what the GM/group want to get into.

Hope this helps in any way.

I do agree that a strong focus can help. The idea I have is some kind of broader sandbox, with a number of strong focuses to provide examples of what you can do.

I don't really have a more specific goal in mind than a retroclone of WW's vampire, made for those who are disappointed with WW's vampire games.

BoxCrayonTales

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • B
  • Posts: 1627
    • View Profile
Hacking the Storyteller System
« Reply #74 on: May 06, 2020, 09:33:08 PM »
So in an earlier post I mentioned some brief ideas for handling vampires. Basically, I wouldn't restrict them to drinking blood, burning in sunlight, etc but allow far more in the way of customization. The only thing that all vampires have in common is that they must feed, typically on humans. Some drink blood or tears, some feed on emotions, some drain sanity, some feed through sex, some feed on already dead bodies, etc.

More Lost Girl, What We Do In The Shadows, and American Vampire than WW.

Now comes some ideas for werewolves.

Werewolves

Compared to vampires, werewolves get the short stick in popular fiction. While vampires get laundry lists of superpowers because Dracula had lots of superpowers, werewolves generally get nothing beyond shapeshifting. There's never been a Dracula-equivalent for werewolves.

WW is pretty much the only time werewolves get many superpowers (although that's par the course for WW splats).

As with vampires, I would offer far more customization for werewolves than usual. Dresden Files' lupine theriomorphs, WitchCraft's ferals, The Everlasting's manitou, The Order's Knights of St. Christopher, etc. I think you should be able to create whatever you want.

Werewolves can have various origins: magical study, a talisman, a curse, a mental illness, pact with a spirit, a ritual, etc. If we're using animism, then all werewolves invoke wolf totems to transform. Or other predatory animals. The Everlasting's manitou can be bound with spirits of minerals or plants!

I'm leery of infectious werewolves because the infectious element raises the question of how humanity survived the dark ages. WitchCraft (and other works) explain this away by stating that the wolf spirit can only attempt to infect people who experience near-death-experience as a result of a werewolf attack. WitchCraft also has hereditary passing of the spirit (which is limited by slow human reproduction), and when a werewolf hunter kills a werewolf the spirit may attempt to possess the killer to survive (which is zero population growth).

Socially you could devise a number of different organizations for werewolves, depending on what the goal of the organization is: accumulate temporal power, eco-terrorism, police the spirit world, hunt down Cthulhu mythos invaders, police abuses of magic, hunt down bad people, etc.

There's no reason to be limited by WW's idiosyncratic games.