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Author Topic: Hacking the Storyteller System  (Read 8045 times)

BoxCrayonTales

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« Reply #75 on: May 09, 2020, 07:47:15 PM »
So over in another thread some people complained about World of Darkness official materials not being what they wanted anymore. So why not bring the OSR to the worlds of dimness? Does anybody have ideas for settings? Any interest in a shared multiverse?

Aglondir

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« Reply #76 on: May 11, 2020, 12:35:57 AM »
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1129422
So over in another thread some people complained about World of Darkness official materials not being what they wanted anymore. So why not bring the OSR to the worlds of dimness? Does anybody have ideas for settings? Any interest in a shared multiverse?


Sure. Maybe a new post in the main forum might get more responses. My first question would be: How would the OSR work with vampires?
I know it's hard to keep an open heart,
When even friends seem out to harm you.
But if you could heal a broken heart,
Wouldn't time be out to charm you?

- Axl Rose, "November Rain"

BoxCrayonTales

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« Reply #77 on: May 11, 2020, 11:53:59 AM »
Quote from: Aglondir;1129534
Sure. Maybe a new post in the main forum might get more responses.
Good idea. Thanks. I'll get around to that one of these days...

Quote from: Aglondir;1129534
My first question would be: How would the OSR work with vampires?
How it works with any other concept? People can share mechanics and even fluff legally? Back when d20Modern launched its SRD, it included Department-7 as part of the SRD. The same logic could be used with any other kind of fictional organization. We could create a shared multiverse a la Cthulhu mythos or whatever is going on with the OGL multiverse.

The upside is that you wouldn't be limited to a particular person's or group's vision of what the setting should be, because there would be a multiverse. The OGL may also be applied selectively, so you can retain certain concepts under more exclusive use.

Aglondir

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« Reply #78 on: May 11, 2020, 01:10:46 PM »
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1129564
Good idea. Thanks. I'll get around to that one of these days...

You should do another thread about vampire games that are NOT V:TM, like Feed, Nightlife, Monsterhearts, etc. Maybe a paragraph each about what makes them different than V:TM.
I know it's hard to keep an open heart,
When even friends seem out to harm you.
But if you could heal a broken heart,
Wouldn't time be out to charm you?

- Axl Rose, "November Rain"

Aglondir

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« Reply #79 on: May 11, 2020, 01:27:31 PM »
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1129564
Good idea. Thanks. I'll get around to that one of these days...


How it works with any other concept? People can share mechanics and even fluff legally? Back when d20Modern launched its SRD, it included Department-7 as part of the SRD. The same logic could be used with any other kind of fictional organization. We could create a shared multiverse a la Cthulhu mythos or whatever is going on with the OGL multiverse.

The upside is that you wouldn't be limited to a particular person's or group's vision of what the setting should be, because there would be a multiverse. The OGL may also be applied selectively, so you can retain certain concepts under more exclusive use.

True. I've been doing some thinking about this lately. I see several ways to implement it:

  • Version 1: A B/X concept, where race = class. So the classes would be Vampire, Werewolf, Changeling, Mages, etc.
  • Version 2: An AD&D concept, with race as one axis and class as another. So you'd have Vampire fighters, Werewolf fighters, Vampire magic users, Changeling rogues, etc. Right away there's a problem with "Mage magic-users."
  • Version 3: A Stars Without Number concept. with 3 classes (Fighter, Expert, Spellcaster) and supernatural template as a Background.
  • Version 4: A D6 concept (it's old school, right?) with no classes but supernatural templates.
  • Version 5: A Star Frontiers concept, with percentile skills and supernatural races (instead of Dralasite, Vrusk, etc.)

1, 3, and 5 are my current favorites. But I'm focused on System, you might be focused more on Setting.
I know it's hard to keep an open heart,
When even friends seem out to harm you.
But if you could heal a broken heart,
Wouldn't time be out to charm you?

- Axl Rose, "November Rain"

BoxCrayonTales

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« Reply #80 on: May 11, 2020, 04:53:06 PM »
Quote from: Aglondir;1129571
You should do another thread about vampire games that are NOT V:TM, like Feed, Nightlife, Monsterhearts, etc. Maybe a paragraph each about what makes them different than V:TM.


I think I might have done something like that a while ago, but I don't remember. I'd prefer to write original work rather than just shill for other games. None of those are released under the OGL, which I would prefer to use.

Quote from: Aglondir;1129572
True. I've been doing some thinking about this lately. I see several ways to implement it:

  • Version 1: A B/X concept, where race = class. So the classes would be Vampire, Werewolf, Changeling, Mages, etc.
  • Version 2: An AD&D concept, with race as one axis and class as another. So you'd have Vampire fighters, Werewolf fighters, Vampire magic users, Changeling rogues, etc. Right away there's a problem with "Mage magic-users."
  • Version 3: A Stars Without Number concept. with 3 classes (Fighter, Expert, Spellcaster) and supernatural template as a Background.
  • Version 4: A D6 concept (it's old school, right?) with no classes but supernatural templates.
  • Version 5: A Star Frontiers concept, with percentile skills and supernatural races (instead of Dralasite, Vrusk, etc.)


1, 3, and 5 are my current favorites. But I'm focused on System, you might be focused more on Setting.

I'm just using OSR as a generic shorthand for a retroclone movement, I'm not suggesting using D&D rules. Certainly I suggest using the OGL, but I'm not married to any particular system. I prefer skill-based systems, but to each their own.

BoxCrayonTales

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« Reply #81 on: May 14, 2020, 12:26:50 PM »
I'm going to skip wizards for a sec to focus on animates, i.e. animated inanimated humanoid objects. To quote myself in another thread:
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1129960
Does anybody want to discuss more world building?

For example, if we wanted to make a "animate" splat, there's a bunch of public domain inspirations you could use instead of copying Promethean.

The homunculus of medieval alchemy, made of flesh grown in an alchemical laboratory.

The golem of Jewish folklore, animated from clay by Kabbalah lore.

The galatea of Greek myth, animated from stone by a desire for companionship.

The automaton of Greek myth, animated from metal by the divine forge.

The pinocchio of Italian fairytale, animated from wood by a father's love.

The nephele of Greek myth, animated from cloud by divine trickery.

The moowis of Algonquin folklore, animated from snow by a suitor spurned.

The scarecrow, animated from cloth and straw.

Etc.


I have to work around WW's copyright on Promethean for fear of them suing me like Underworld, so that means I have to go back to original sources and remix them in ways WW didn't. I can't incorporate alchemy or Pandora's box into my setting for the same reason. Which sucks since Promethean had some interesting ideas, but that's what you get when WW has to cobble together splats based on extremely niche concepts for the first time.

So splats, at least the involuntary inherent splats, are based on the materials that the animate is made from. These materials include flesh, clay, stone, refined metal, wood, cloud, snow, textiles, etc. Most have at least one associated fraternity who claims direct descent from a particular mythical/legendary figure, like Pinocchio or Adam Frankenstein.

The fraternities include Paracelsians (homunculi descended from Paracelsus), Löwites (golems descended from Rabbi Löw), Galatians (stone statues descended from Pygmalion and Galatea), Talosians (bronze men descended from the Cretan Talos), Pinocchians (wooden puppets descended from Geppetto and Pinocchio), Nephwracks (sentient clouds descended from Nephele), Abominable Snowmen (descended from the Algonquin Moowis), Haitian zombies, etc.

There's no wasteland, disquiet, or torment. Partly because that is copyrighted, and partly because those mechanics were unpopular. If you want to play animates under a city politics style rather than going on a pilgrimage to become a real boy, then I'm not going to arbitrarily punish you for wanting to do so.

I suppose there could also be another splat axis for how well the character can integrate into human society. This could include "can pass for human," "clearly not human," "must parasitically feed on a human host," etc.

Then, I don't know, another splat axis specifically for explaining why the animate came to life. This could include "has an artificial soul," "subservient to a master," "possessed by a ghost," etc.

That last bit reminds me... I guess if you wanted to then you could play hybrid splats, like a ghost, fairy, nature spirit, or whatever with an animate body that they can leave sometimes. This might be a porcelain doll, a corpse (their own or somebody else's), a car, etc. They can learn superpowers normally restricted to animates, but only have access while possessing their simulacrum.

What do you think?

The Exploited.

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« Reply #82 on: May 17, 2020, 11:51:40 AM »
Out of curiosity... How does one go about avoiding copyright issues with the dreaded WW? Is it just a case of lingo and core groups?

I'd love to see something like this published, but without all the meta-snot baggage.
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BoxCrayonTales

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« Reply #83 on: May 18, 2020, 04:45:05 PM »
Quote from: The Exploited.;1130291
Out of curiosity... How does one go about avoiding copyright issues with the dreaded WW? Is it just a case of lingo and core groups?


I don't actually recall WW ever making frivolous lawsuits besides the Underworld lawsuit. The only other time I personally recall is when somebody was selling pendants of the CoD skull designs received a C&D, but I don't recall an actual lawsuit being filed.

WW didn't sue The Everlasting even though it was literally written by a former WW writer (Steven C. Brown) and didn't sue Mykal Lakim for his horribly written Wastelands of Damnation ripoff of WW.

Also, you could easily show that WW's Vampire's clans are ripoffs of specific works of vampire fiction. Toreador are Vampire Chronicles, Ventrue are Dracula, Nosferatu are Nosferatu, Gangrel are 80s b-movie vampires, Brujah are The Lost Boys, Tremere are from Ars Magica (now owned by Atlas), Tzimisce are Necroscope, Setites are from Conan, etc.

Quote from: The Exploited.;1130291
I'd love to see something like this published, but without all the meta-snot baggage.
I'm not really versed in the metaplot other than it means the setting has a timeline that continues as real world time advances. It's essentially inescapable for any setting which is linked to the contemporary real world. Even VTR has a metaplot for New Orleans, since the hurricane apparently redrew the political map IIRC.

Anyway, you still need to write a bazillion words of backstory for all the lore junkies and I always found that extremely intrusive outside of Nephilim. Nephilim was amazing at that sort of thing because it used real history as a basis and then invented a variety of nephilim and secret society politics in the background of major historical periods. Because of the past lives mechanic, the PCs could have been personally involved in major historical events or even famous historical figures (assuming the GM approves), which WW never offered as an option.

A lot of my ideas are pretty weird, like vampire castles in space, so I'm not sure whether I could devise a convincing backstory. It would take me years to write much of anything. I'm thinking that it might be better to write introductory adventures, adventure paths, and short stories to get players interested. Actually, I think making an introductory adventure titled Vampire Castles in Space would probably go a long way to attracting the sort of audience I want. That title is simultaneously irreverent and cool, since it bends genres. The last thing I want to be is pretentious like WW. (Yes, I know Mage had space battles in orbit of Saturn, but it still somehow managed to be pretentious as hell.)

Like, how much backstory do you think it would take to explain why there is a vampire castle in space and why the PCs are visiting? Is it a murder mystery where one of the PCs is a vampire who inherited the castle from a relative who died under mysterious circumstances and now risks the same fate unless the party discovers the truth? Maybe, Discworld-style, the heir became a vampire by inheriting the castle and thus it serves as an introduction to the vampire lifestyle?

What do you guys think?

The Exploited.

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« Reply #84 on: June 12, 2020, 08:40:53 PM »
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1130490
I don't actually recall WW ever making frivolous lawsuits besides the Underworld lawsuit. The only other time I personally recall is when somebody was selling pendants of the CoD skull designs received a C&D, but I don't recall an actual lawsuit being filed.

WW didn't sue The Everlasting even though it was literally written by a former WW writer (Steven C. Brown) and didn't sue Mykal Lakim for his horribly written Wastelands of Damnation ripoff of WW.

Also, you could easily show that WW's Vampire's clans are ripoffs of specific works of vampire fiction. Toreador are Vampire Chronicles, Ventrue are Dracula, Nosferatu are Nosferatu, Gangrel are 80s b-movie vampires, Brujah are The Lost Boys, Tremere are from Ars Magica (now owned by Atlas), Tzimisce are Necroscope, Setites are from Conan, etc.

I'm not really versed in the metaplot other than it means the setting has a timeline that continues as real world time advances. It's essentially inescapable for any setting which is linked to the contemporary real world. Even VTR has a metaplot for New Orleans, since the hurricane apparently redrew the political map IIRC.

Anyway, you still need to write a bazillion words of backstory for all the lore junkies and I always found that extremely intrusive outside of Nephilim. Nephilim was amazing at that sort of thing because it used real history as a basis and then invented a variety of nephilim and secret society politics in the background of major historical periods. Because of the past lives mechanic, the PCs could have been personally involved in major historical events or even famous historical figures (assuming the GM approves), which WW never offered as an option.

A lot of my ideas are pretty weird, like vampire castles in space, so I'm not sure whether I could devise a convincing backstory. It would take me years to write much of anything.


Thanks for the info' and Sorry for the late reply.

As you say, there's a shed load of influences WW 'borrowed' as the years rolled by. I'm definitely going to start writing stuff up, even just for an experiment.

BTW - what's wrong with floating castles in space?! Sounds like OSR paradise :) or something from a cool anime flick like Vampire Hunter D. I think you could always hand-wave the backstory. Just keep it nebulous and the players mostly int he dark. ;)
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BoxCrayonTales

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« Reply #85 on: July 03, 2020, 03:17:32 PM »
Hey again. I've gotten over my last depressive episode and I'm in the mood to start discussing OSR urban fantasy again.

I sure I mentioned this before, but I'll reiterate it here in the simplest possible terms. I thought the concept of magic styles in the Mage games was a neat concept and I want to apply that dynamic to splats in general.

What do you think?

Snowman0147

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« Reply #86 on: July 03, 2020, 04:18:42 PM »
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1137775
Hey again. I've gotten over my last depressive episode and I'm in the mood to start discussing OSR urban fantasy again.

I sure I mentioned this before, but I'll reiterate it here in the simplest possible terms. I thought the concept of magic styles in the Mage games was a neat concept and I want to apply that dynamic to splats in general.

What do you think?

I am way ahead of you.  I already got server on discord testing out mortals.

Aglondir

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« Reply #87 on: July 03, 2020, 11:37:19 PM »
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1137775
Hey again. I've gotten over my last depressive episode and I'm in the mood to start discussing OSR urban fantasy again.

I sure I mentioned this before, but I'll reiterate it here in the simplest possible terms. I thought the concept of magic styles in the Mage games was a neat concept and I want to apply that dynamic to splats in general.

What do you think?


Welcome back. Glad you are feeling better!
I know it's hard to keep an open heart,
When even friends seem out to harm you.
But if you could heal a broken heart,
Wouldn't time be out to charm you?

- Axl Rose, "November Rain"

BoxCrayonTales

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« Reply #88 on: July 04, 2020, 03:36:28 PM »
What do you think of applying the concept of "magic styles" to splats in general? It would mean greater diversity within splats.

E.g. the vampire archetype would include blood-suckers, succubi, leanan sidhe, etc; werewolves would include cursed irishmen of ossory, medicine men, krsniks, cadejo, hounds of God, etc; wizards would include hermetic adepts, wiccans, taoists, mad scientists, time travelers, templar knights, cyborgs, etc.

This isn't a new concept by any means, but I don't think I've ever seen a setting build around it. Even the original Nightlife is essentially about variations on the vampire archetype.

What do you think?

Chris24601

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« Reply #89 on: July 14, 2020, 11:02:37 AM »
Quote from: BoxCrayonTales;1137919
What do you think of applying the concept of "magic styles" to splats in general? It would mean greater diversity within splats.

E.g. the vampire archetype would include blood-suckers, succubi, leanan sidhe, etc; werewolves would include cursed irishmen of ossory, medicine men, krsniks, cadejo, hounds of God, etc; wizards would include hermetic adepts, wiccans, taoists, mad scientists, time travelers, templar knights, cyborgs, etc.

This isn't a new concept by any means, but I don't think I've ever seen a setting build around it. Even the original Nightlife is essentially about variations on the vampire archetype.

What do you think?
You certainly HAVE seen settings built around it... its called the Old World of Darkness. That's basically the setup for all their splats.

The Traditions were based off real magical practices;
- Akashics were Tibetan Daoists.
- Celestial Chorus was a smattering of faith-based magics including Mithrasism, Gnostics and Christians.
- Cult of Ecstasy is ecstatic practices descended from the Indian Dervishes.
- Dreamspeakers were indigenous shamanic practices.
- Euthanatos are a Cthonic Mystery Cult based who work magic through spiritual union with god-forms.
- Order of Hermes are, naturally, hermetics whose practices they trace back to Hermes Trimegestus.
- Sons of Ether are Mad Science.
- Verbena is pre-Christian European paganism.
- Virtual Adepts are modern chaos theory and attempting to build a Reality 2.0 inside the digital realm.
- Ali-Batani is Islamic mysticism.
- Taftani are pre-Islamic Middle Eastern mysticism.
- Solificati are medieval alchemists.
- Hollow Ones are New Age/Victorian mysticism.
- The Technocracy as a whole are super-science, but with specific fields like social conditioning (NWO), cybernetic systems (Iteration-X; note this includes classic cybernetics... i.e. the science of system organization not just implants and the like), financial theory (Syndicate), genetics (Progenitors) and space exploration (Void Engineers).

Similarly the original Vampire clans were essentially specific vampire archetypes;
- Brujah were Lost Boys style vampires.
- Gangrel were the shape-shifting, commands animals vampires.
- Malkavians were your obsessive-compulsive must count every grain of rice vampires.
- Nosferatu were your ugly monstrous vampires.
- Toreador were your Anne Rice vampires.
- Tremere were your extremely magical vampires.
- Ventrue were your Vampire Lords.

Its the same for werewolves, ghosts and fae. It wasn't until they started getting into hyper-specific splats like Mummy, Hunter the Reckoning (vs. generic Hunter's Hunted where there was plenty of diversity) or Kindred of the East that you started to see mono-cultures in relation to the splats.

The later additions got ever more specific because there's only so much you could do with the generic "must suck blood, burns up in daylight" limits they established; but you can see the whole "magical styles" setup right there from the start.