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Pen & Paper Roleplaying Central => Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion => Topic started by: Batjon on June 27, 2020, 02:20:19 PM

Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Batjon on June 27, 2020, 02:20:19 PM
I'm looking for a good replacement for the World of Darkness games because certain things about the lore and setting urk me.  I love the different factions like the Camarilla and Sabbat in Vampire and the different Clans in Vampire as well.  I'm seeking a game/system that can encompass the whole of the entire WoD setting including Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Changeling, Mummy, Wraith, Geist, Hunter, etc. meaning that all these kinds of characters can be explored/played as and encountered as NPCs.  It always bothered me that WoD was so compartmentalized where vampires would never team up with werewolves or mages, etc., even if the story could allow for it due to narrative reasons.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Omega on June 27, 2020, 02:31:45 PM
For me hands down its one of two.

Nights Edge for CP2020: allows you to run a supernatural cyberpunk setting with the cyber toned down or up as desire.

Nightlife: Pretty much the precursor to WoD.

Runners up would be games like Nightbane from Palladium.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: SavageSchemer on June 27, 2020, 03:38:48 PM
The closest I can think of are CJ Carella's Witchcraft, and Dresden Files. I was going to say Dark Streets & Darker Secrets, but out of the box it really only supports mortals & sorcerers. Still worth looking at, IMO. It just won't support all the splats you mention without some work. My own choice would be Witchcraft. Dresden is likely too "pulpy" for the sort of thing you're after.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Itachi on June 27, 2020, 04:01:56 PM
Monsterhearts has a different premise, being about teen monsters on the same school (think Vampire Diaries), but it's very good at what it does.

Here are the game archetypes, for a quick peak: http://buriedwithoutceremony.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/reference-sheets-and-core-skins1.pdf
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: PencilBoy99 on June 27, 2020, 05:01:26 PM
Liminal seems very popular now.
The Dresden Files Fate Accelerated.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: PencilBoy99 on June 27, 2020, 05:02:35 PM
BtW chronicles of darkness is now aggressively encouraging crossovers with its new Contagion Chronicles product line. However the downside is Chronicles 2e is very crunchy, and you'd have to master the subsystems / rules of each of the splats your players are playing.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Slipshot762 on June 27, 2020, 07:21:33 PM
Use D6 Adventure.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: S'mon on June 28, 2020, 02:08:37 AM
I'd say NightLife, though I might use the D6 System (Mini Six or D6 Adventure) for the crunch. Someone mentioned NightLife yesterday and a swift google turned up a pdf that looks legal AFAICT. I foolishly got rid of my hardcopy in the early '90s. :(
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Doc Sammy on June 28, 2020, 02:25:43 AM
Do what I do.

Play an older edition of WoD and explicitly invoke Rule Zero to axe the metaplot entirely.

Make sure your players know this when you all sit down to play the game.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Valatar on June 28, 2020, 03:49:21 AM
Monsterhearts is all just one big metaphor for underaged fucking, so if you're looking for the horror aspect of WoD I probably wouldn't recommend that one.  I'd honestly lean most towards Doc Sammy's suggestion here; if your beef with WoD is the partitioning between the groups, you can just houserule it away easily enough.  And to be honest, a lot of the WoD books allude to unofficial alliances and crossovers already.  Yeah, a Red Talon's probably not gonna just chill with the local vampire group, but each faction has somewhat more flexibly-minded members.  A vampire could conceivably talk more urban werewolves like Glass Walkers or Bone Gnawers into not eviscerating them on sight, so long as they could demonstrate good behavior like not drinking the werewolves' kin.  Similar setups for other groups like mages.  Every faction has some reasons to not welcome outsiders with open arms, so it'd take some decent roleplaying to work out the differences enough to make a crossover work, but I definitely feel it's doable.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Batjon on June 28, 2020, 07:54:13 AM
Quote from: S'mon;1136758
I'd say NightLife, though I might use the D6 System (Mini Six or D6 Adventure) for the crunch. Someone mentioned NightLife yesterday and a swift google turned up a pdf that looks legal AFAICT. I foolishly got rid of my hardcopy in the early '90s. :(

How well does Nightlife play? I was told by some on another forum that shall not be named forum that it is "creaky." Does it play relatively well? Is it crunchy? Is it easy to grok and teach?
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: S'mon on June 28, 2020, 08:28:05 AM
Quote from: Batjon;1136774
How well does Nightlife play? I was told by some on another forum that shall not be named forum that it is "creaky." Does it play relatively well? Is it crunchy? Is it easy to grok and teach?

I only ever used the fluff (with basically AD&D rules) not the crunch, sorry!
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Spinachcat on June 29, 2020, 05:49:32 AM
I highly recommend Palladium's Nightbane.

The chargen alone is worth the ride. You can be a were-motorcycle.

Not kidding.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: tenbones on June 29, 2020, 09:52:41 AM
Quote from: Batjon;1136697
I'm looking for a good replacement for the World of Darkness games because certain things about the lore and setting urk me.  I love the different factions like the Camarilla and Sabbat in Vampire and the different Clans in Vampire as well.  I'm seeking a game/system that can encompass the whole of the entire WoD setting including Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Changeling, Mummy, Wraith, Geist, Hunter, etc. meaning that all these kinds of characters can be explored/played as and encountered as NPCs.  It always bothered me that WoD was so compartmentalized where vampires would never team up with werewolves or mages, etc., even if the story could allow for it due to narrative reasons.


So my *real* observation about this - as I've had with this very question that has come up many times recently: You seem to know what you don't want (WoD metaplot), but you like all the high-level elements within the WoD.

These elements exist in literally dozens of settings with entirely different backgrounds to those elements - so are you wanting to stick with the WoD system?

Because otherwise just pick a gaming system you *really* like - and make it all up. As posted upthread, Chronicles of Darkness's system (NWoD) and it's 1e books were pretty metaplot free and ALL those elements are obviously in play and it's designed for them to work together as you see fit. So a lot of the heavy lifting is done for you.

If you're looking for a new system that also has those elements... that's a pretty broad question. Everyone here will post their favorite system to use, but without knowing if you're trying to emulate WoD directly, different systems will weight a different emphasis to these elements. And it also depends on how much customization and work you're willing to do to pull it off.

If you're willing to go full-on scratch-build I'd suggest a universal system: GURPS, Savage Worlds, d6 etc. If you're wanting to go with something thematically designed for Horror(ish) games - Cthulhu, Nightbane(Palladium), Nightlife.

If you want to  repurpose an established system: I'd suggest as others here have: Cyberpunk2020 (Interlock), Marvel Super Heroes (FASERIP), or anything else that you're passionate about personally.

Otherwise- I'd fall back to Chronicles of Darkness.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Snowman0147 on June 29, 2020, 04:38:59 PM
I notice some new bloods are making games to compete against WoD without being woke.  If you cannot wait for them I suggest you get Chronicles of Darkness, but only first edition books.  Back when it was called New World of Darkness.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: tenbones on June 29, 2020, 11:39:39 PM
^ This.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Batjon on June 29, 2020, 11:40:49 PM
Quote from: Snowman0147;1136994
I notice some new bloods are making games to compete against WoD without being woke.  If you cannot wait for them I suggest you get Chronicles of Darkness, but only first edition books.  Back when it was called New World of Darkness.

What new games? I'd love to look into these.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Itachi on June 30, 2020, 12:24:08 AM
There's also Urban Shadows.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Snowman0147 on July 01, 2020, 08:26:40 PM
Quote from: Batjon;1137085
What new games? I'd love to look into these.

Check out Nightshift.  It is OSR that allows you play as monsters.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Dan Vince on July 01, 2020, 09:30:48 PM
Quote from: Spinachcat;1136913
I highly recommend Palladium's Nightbane.

The chargen alone is worth the ride. You can be a were-motorcycle.

Not kidding.

THIS.

Also, fold in Ninjas & Superspies and Mystic China for the full Palladium experience.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Itachi on July 02, 2020, 01:54:50 AM
If you like Werewolf there's also Bite Marks.

https://gnomestew.com/bite-marks-review/
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: ShieldWife on July 02, 2020, 10:09:44 AM
I guess to answer this question, we need to know what you like about WoD and what you don't like about WoD. If there is just some woke setting element, it might just be easiest to toss it out and keep the rest of the game. If you just want to be able play any sort of urban horror or fantasy creature, then maybe some kind of generic system might be best.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Batjon on July 02, 2020, 10:57:37 AM
Quote from: ShieldWife;1137552
I guess to answer this question, we need to know what you like about WoD and what you don't like about WoD. If there is just some woke setting element, it might just be easiest to toss it out and keep the rest of the game. If you just want to be able play any sort of urban horror or fantasy creature, then maybe some kind of generic system might be best.

I don't like the Cain mythology about the origin of vampires.  I like good mythology sometimes but not this one.  I like the political machinations between the clans the unique nature of the clans.  A little bit of metaplot is ok, but VtM has MASSIVE amounts of metaplot and too many NPCs important to it all to keep track of.  I like a good focus to be on the inner beast and the struggle to hold onto whatever sliver of humanity you can and dealings with mortals as well.  I feel VtM really skips over dealing and co-existing with mortals a lot to focus entirely on clan/sect squabling.  I'd like to see more dealing with mortals and even romance.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Rhiannon on July 02, 2020, 11:00:20 AM
Have you checked out V5? It addresses many of your issues I think.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on July 02, 2020, 09:15:23 PM
There's The Everlasting, which was originally written by a WW freelancer to compete with it. It uses the same rules for everything, so crossover is pretty easy. You can buy all the books from drivethru except the Magician's Companion. It's probably the most WoD-like game out there.

Right now there isn't really any RPG that competes with the WW games in terms of monsters and politics like you seem to want. I too wish there was a competitor, and have tried world building in the past. The last campaign setting I tried to build was basically a variation on Urban Arcana, with the urban fantasy characters being alien immigrants from various fantasy settings.

I did settle upon an idea that I should have a while ago. You know how Mage had this concept of magic styles that used the same rules to support concepts as varied as cyborgs, time travelers, and knights templars? There's no reason you couldn't apply the same logic to every splat. Vampires that feed on emotions, werewolves that serve the Christian God, etc.

Although at this point you might be better off using a generic system like GURPS. I don't know.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: ShieldWife on July 03, 2020, 12:03:23 AM
Quote from: Batjon;1137568
I don't like the Cain mythology about the origin of vampires.  I like good mythology sometimes but not this one.  I like the political machinations between the clans the unique nature of the clans.  A little bit of metaplot is ok, but VtM has MASSIVE amounts of metaplot and too many NPCs important to it all to keep track of.  I like a good focus to be on the inner beast and the struggle to hold onto whatever sliver of humanity you can and dealings with mortals as well.  I feel VtM really skips over dealing and co-existing with mortals a lot to focus entirely on clan/sect squabling.  I'd like to see more dealing with mortals and even romance.


It actually sounds like you could just play V:tM with a few minor tweaks and that would solve your problems. I have been with plenty of gaming groups who modified their WoD as much or more than you're requesting.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Spinachcat on July 03, 2020, 12:40:24 AM
I agree with ShieldWife. V:tM using just the corebook negates the metaplot and instead, you can keep the conflicts and NPCs local. Metaplot sells books, but its rarely useful for actual play. The only NPCs who matter are those who interact with the PCs. The issues of the wider world are mostly just background. Think Batman and Gotham.

As for involvement with mortals, that's easy enough to create on your own and tailor it specifically to your local setting and the interests of the other players. Mortals should be a constant threat yet vampires should be drawn to them for more than just food.

I've played and run Nightbane and Werewolf much more than Vampire (which I mostly LARPed), but the concepts are similar. One of the best things I did as a GM was have the PCs be tied to the mortal world through their past mortal life. I got this heavily from the Spawn comics. Spawn may live in a dumpster and battle angels and demons, but he also has to protect his ex-wife, his daughter and his blind grandma. And of course, various elements of his "human life" get caught up in the various supernatural threads as well. It's especially fun when you have a mix of dumb, cunning and smart mortals.

Also, the fate of the mortals and the town/city has to matter to the PCs...for whatever reason. Like superheroes, the monsters of WoD are the protectors (though Vampires are both protector and predator) because the whole point of playing an anti-hero is you are a bad thing, but you fight worse things.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: Iron_Rain on July 03, 2020, 01:19:40 AM
I would recommend a custom V:tM setting... But! By the sounds of it, you want a complete RPG with a setting that you don't have to write up yourself. Tough choice.
Title: Good replacement for World of Darkness?
Post by: BoxCrayonTales on July 03, 2020, 11:43:24 AM
Quote from: Batjon;1137568
I don't like the Cain mythology about the origin of vampires.  I like good mythology sometimes but not this one.  I like the political machinations between the clans the unique nature of the clans.  A little bit of metaplot is ok, but VtM has MASSIVE amounts of metaplot and too many NPCs important to it all to keep track of.  I like a good focus to be on the inner beast and the struggle to hold onto whatever sliver of humanity you can and dealings with mortals as well.  I feel VtM really skips over dealing and co-existing with mortals a lot to focus entirely on clan/sect squabling.  I'd like to see more dealing with mortals and even romance.


Feed by Whistlepunk Games is a good alternative that addresses most of these specific complaints. It puts the struggle between humanity and vampirism at the forefront by building the mechanics from the ground up around that. It's also free, so you can check it out without investing a cent.

It doesn't have as detailed settings, but it has several sample settings and is generally chock full of interesting ideas. You can even easily adapt the VtM setting or bits thereof because the rules are so flexible.