*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
June 12, 2021, 06:15:16 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 221 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: The Rhapsody of Eternal: New concept for a vampire game  (Read 9102 times)
Brian Kittrell
Member

Posts: 14


« on: January 11, 2004, 05:09:20 AM »

I am currently designing a role playing game based around a fictional world of my own design centered on vampires and the undead.  I am currently looking for constructive criticism and opinions of what I have so far.  It does not include the mechanics or character sheet, as yet; this is simply the first few pages of the game manual which discuss the history behind vampires in this world, as well as the established orders and organizations within its society.

It is in Adobe PDF format, ~550 KB in size, at: http://www.geocities.com/kittrbj82/index.html.  Click on the link to access the PDF file.

Thanks in advance for comments.
Logged
montag
Member

Posts: 172


« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2004, 09:35:02 AM »

terribly sorry to say so, maybe you could provide some more information to make things clearer, but as it stands it looks like a 100% copy of V:tM. The orders are slightly different, go by different names and such, but I failed to find any addition which would interest me. Except for the music thing in the introduction (which was otherwise a boring retelling of the oldest vampire cliche in the book).
Maybe there's some great ideas waiting around the corner, maybe you never heard of V:tM (which seems unlikely, given you use the terms Storyteller and Diabolism) but as it stands I feel I've wasted my time. My constructive criticism would be "write something original".
Logged

markus
------------------------------------------------------
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do."
--B. F. Skinner, Contingencies of Reinforcement (1969)
Brian Kittrell
Member

Posts: 14


« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2004, 01:20:03 PM »

Yes, I've heard of Vampire: the Masquerade, but I do not see how it is a 100% copy of that game.

For starters, this game operates from the theory of vampires originating more as an evolutionary creature, rather than as a descendent of a biblical character.  It also operates more on a social organization, rather than a clan-based organization; all the vampires are exactly the same in appearance and characteristics, though they choose to join different orders based upon their personality and personal history.  Their powers are not truly based off of what order they are, but, instead, what patron or matron chose them, what they have studied over time, and so forth.

Orders are completely different from "Clans"; they are social institutions, not something that changes how you look, who you are, and so forth.

As for Diabolism, I believe they use the term Diablery (or something like that) in V:tM.  In the case of Rhapsody, it is a totally different affair; Diabolism is simply the dark enchantment of vampire blood to create poisons, sickness, delirium, and other such effects, whereas in V:tM, it is the consumption of a vampire's total blood supply.

I can change the word Storyteller to something else, I suppose; it does not really matter to me.  Seemed a decent word to use to describe the purpose of a GM.

As for "write something original", I assumed it would get such assessment; it is impossible to write anything on the subject of vampires in a roleplaying game without being compared to "the big name in the business right now", be it Anne Rice's series, V:tM, and so forth.

Also, I laughed about the "oldest vampire cliche in the book" a bit; the whole beginning story did sound kinda cheesey and used up, and I agree that a new intro story is in order. lol  I will think about it.

In my humble opinion, I have played V:tM in the past, and I can most certainly say that it sucks.  It captures none of the interesting concepts around vampires from literature, and the romance of the whole idea in V:tM is non-existent.  In most White Wolf games, you are a vampire who drinks a little blood from some mortal, then goes about on some rampage across the city with little more than a care in the world.  You are not vampires in V:tM, you are gods, but perhaps that is why people like it so much.  Who knows.

But, thanks for the input.
Logged
MPOSullivan
Member

Posts: 149


WWW
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2004, 02:01:37 PM »

heya Brian, welcome to the Forge.

alright, to the stuff you've presented us.  first off, you honestly don't give us a lot of setting information to critique, but what stuff you do isn't exactly steeped in originality.  what i see here seems to posit many ideas that are strikingly similar to those in V:tM.  You have Orders which, though they are societal rather than "genetic" or familial, they are still social groupings of vampires vying for power over the other orders, and as such aren't much different in actual play than the Clans of V:tM.

You also have phrases such as Diabolism and The World of Darkness used in your texts, as well as Storyteller.  Both the World of Darkness and Storyteller are trademarked words for White Wolf, and while, as you say, Diabloism is simply a form of magic and Diablery is much different, Diabolism is a form of magick that is used in Mage: the Assencion and Sorcerer's Crusade.  You have a lot of "coincidental" similarities in your texts to things White Wolf-ian.  

The impression i get is that this is your Vampire "heartbreaker", a concept that has been explored by Ron Edwards in one of his articles.  take a look at these articles here:

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/articles/9/

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/articles/10/

these articles may help with your development of your game.

also, i have some questions about the game's background.  As you have said before, vampirism in this game world is something that has developed through evolution and, as such, is simply an advanced strain of humanity some-what like the mutants in X-Men.  If this is so, how are new vampires created?  are they born to vampire parents?  is vampirism transmitted through a bite?  can a vampire be born to human biological parents simply as an outgrowth of the tide of evolution, just as mutants can be born to human parents?

you also have mentioned that characters select their own Order to belong to.  Can characters choose to have belonged to one Order in their past and have changed their Order?  And, if so, do they get to keep their Gifts (which is a Werewolf: the Apocolypse gaming term)?

a suggestion to help differentiate your world from that of White Wolf's World of Darkness: bring the vampires out of the shadow.  make them into this world's "mutants".  Say that vampirism is an evolutionary trait that is popping up in mankind.  have religions turn to zealotry over this.  make your vampiric orders a part of the real world.  put them on TV, have them have dignitaries that speak with human governmental officials.  hell, give them a country of their own and a seat on the U.N.  

Creating a new RPG is a fantastic chance to say something original.  right now you're taking the statement that White Wolf put down thirteen years ago and rephrasing it.  It may use some new words and have an odd cadence, but you're still winding up saying the exact same thing.

good luck with the game man.

laters
Logged

Michael P. O'Sullivan
--------------------------------------------
Criminal Element
Desperate People, Desperate Deeds
available at Fullmotor Productions
montag
Member

Posts: 172


« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2004, 02:22:20 PM »

Logged

markus
------------------------------------------------------
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do."
--B. F. Skinner, Contingencies of Reinforcement (1969)
Brian Kittrell
Member

Posts: 14


« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2004, 03:44:52 PM »

Hi, everyone,

Thanks for the input and resource links.  I will take a look into them and see what I can do with what I have at present.  As for now, I may let it rest a while; I need to get a list of what standard English words White Wolf has copyrighted and trademarked for their own. lol  Besides, I have this other game I was designing before this, and I think it has more merit to be considered "original enough" by the gaming community in general.

As for having heard of and played V:tM, yes, I have played the modern day one and the dark ages one before, and have heard the slightest things about the other ones that White Wolf makes.  I heard that Mage is extremely complicated (at least in the modern times), that Werewolf campaigns are extremely power-gamer-ish, and so forth.

And I agree with the part where montag is talking about difficulty of coming up with "things that have never been seen before" in all genres of roleplaying; it is becoming increasingly more difficult as more things come out, new editions are released of a variety of best-selling games, and so forth.

To answer some of Zathreyel's questions,

Vampires, in this setting, originally derived from an evolutionary shift happening many, many, many ... years ago.  This is what created the first "batch".  Somewhere along the line, these ancients discovered that ingesting blood from a vampire by a mortal alters their anatomical processes, such as a vaccination changes how the immune system fights disease.  The actual reason or source for vampirism is not precisely known, just as the true source of humans or the solar system cannot be proven beyond a doubt.
Logged
montag
Member

Posts: 172


« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2004, 04:26:52 PM »

I don't think you should care too much whether your game has "merit to be considered "original enough" by the gaming community in general." if you don't intend to make money from it. If it's just for you and your friends, and a few interested people on the net, forget the gaming community. Who cares what a bunch of smartasses with too much time on their hands think about your game, as long as you're having fun (gaming, being creative, socialising, whatever)?

That aside, I'd like to second Michael's suggestion concerning the mutants. I think it has a lot of potential, it wouldn't stretch your current concept too far IMO (merely fast-forward a few years), and I'd really like to play or at least read that. (Plus, you'd get to reuse some nice X-Men plots, with hardly anyone noticing.)
Logged

markus
------------------------------------------------------
"The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do."
--B. F. Skinner, Contingencies of Reinforcement (1969)
Shreyas Sampat
Member

Posts: 970


WWW
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2004, 07:29:00 PM »

Honestly, I'm curious about your mechanics much more than about your setting (except as system relates to setting)... can you tell us a little about it?

Edit: By this, I mean the following:
    [*]Sketch out the system, including any reward mechanics you wish to include.
    [*]Describe your design goals.[/list:u]
    Logged

    Brian Kittrell
    Member

    Posts: 14


    « Reply #8 on: January 11, 2004, 10:42:41 PM »

    Well, the mechanics of the game could be compared easily to most other RPG's currently out; you have body, mind, and tact stats, as well as skill, ability, and knowledge traits.

    All the above can rise to 10 in any level, dependent upon restrictions built into the mechanics.  i.e. Only very old vampires (of Ancient substance) may rise to 10 in stats and traits, and it varies the younger a vampire is in the scheme of things.

    At this point, I have two possible ways of going with it.  Either 1) roll X d20's dependent upon Y stat + Z trait to determine successes based upon a difficulty, or 2) subtract (Y stat + Z trait of NPC) from total of (A stat + B trait of player character) to determine the difficulty rate of making an action against the NPC.

    The first possibility is self-explanatory.  The second possibility, for instance, would go a little something like this... hit it!:

    - John the Player has a Dexterity stat of 6 and a Melee trait of 4.  This totals 10, and we shall refer to this total as the variable J.
    - Paul the NPC has a Dextery stat of 4 and a Parry trait of 7.  This totals 11, and we shall refer to this total as the variable P.
    - John attacks Paul.  J - P = X.  X is the adjustment modifier.  Since J = 10 and P = 11, => 10 - 11 = -1.  Thus, John's difficulty to attack the NPC is increased by 1 on the dice.  If the base difficulty for attacking someone else is 10 on a d20, then John's difficulty to attack this particular NPC would become 11, meaning he would have to roll an 11 or higher to succeed.

    Personally, I like both possibilities.  The first gives you more chances to succeed, but the second makes you roll less dice in the long run.  I am a big fan of rolling less dice when, on average, the results are generally about the same/the results are equally fair.

    The second method also balances the system in its own way.  Since it is not the player's ability alone which allows him to succeed, but his roll against a variable, it would encourage players to in return increase their defensive traits and stats.  Rather than seeing a character sheet with Melee and Dexterity full, we would see a sheet with a good balance of Dexterity, Melee, Parry, and, perhaps, Shielding and Use Armor, etc.

    If I went totally off course of your question, let me know.  I hope I answered it, though. :)
    Logged
    Brian Kittrell
    Member

    Posts: 14


    « Reply #9 on: January 11, 2004, 11:20:30 PM »

    Actually, I snooped around a little bit, and this might make V:tM playable for those who are... unhappy... with how the current thing works.  Even if you disagree or don't like it, it is definitely a funny article to read.

    http://kuoi.asui.uidaho.edu/~kamikaze/RPG/bloodsuckers.php

    Looks like I need not worry with making a game myself; this guy has already fixed V:tM.  hehe
    Logged
    MPOSullivan
    Member

    Posts: 149


    WWW
    « Reply #10 on: January 12, 2004, 04:00:18 AM »

    Quote
    That aside, I'd like to second Michael's suggestion concerning the mutants. I think it has a lot of potential, it wouldn't stretch your current concept too far IMO (merely fast-forward a few years), and I'd really like to play or at least read that. (Plus, you'd get to reuse some nice X-Men plots, with hardly anyone noticing.)


    y'know, right after i wrote that i thought to myself "man, that would be a great amount of fun to play in."  so, yeah, i tihnk i'm gonna work on the idea some more and see if i can bang out some kinda ten-pager or something for that kinda setting.  i just love the idea of a kid going through puberty and discovering that not only is he getting zits and growing hair in weird spots, but now he has to go to night school because the sun hurts him, he can't eat his favourite food anymore and he's going to be effectively immortal and all of his childhood friends are going to die.  man is there some juicy stuff there.

    also, when i first wrote it i came up with an awesome image in my head to put in the "book".  a mother breastfeeding her baby, and the baby leaning back, looking straight out at the viewer, with two little fangs sticking out of an otherwise toothless mouth and some blood trickling down from a wound on the mother's areola.  man, that's good.  at least i think it is.

    so, uh, brian, do you mind if i steal my idea back?  please?

    laters
    Logged

    Michael P. O'Sullivan
    --------------------------------------------
    Criminal Element
    Desperate People, Desperate Deeds
    available at Fullmotor Productions
    sirogit
    Member

    Posts: 503


    « Reply #11 on: January 12, 2004, 06:55:47 AM »

    The article doesn't  'fix' V:tM. It doesn't do V:tM. It does Buffy the vampire Slayer with the WoD system. While I'm religiously against the show albiet never watched it, from everything I've heard about it the Buffy system is excellant and more fine-tuned towards it's concept than the WoD system is towards any concept.

    The fact is, people like the V:tM as is. Most people wish the horror element was played down. Alot of people are attracted to the hype as a legitimate feature, in the thought that it will cause the ST's to try to represent the game's claims and put a cursosry effort into not making the game a dungeon crawl. Sometimes it works.

    Now, personally I think if you're still thinking of your game as something to run with friends, forget about originality. I think a big incentive to play in a game by a friend's system is that if you game with that person, you apparently must have some compatiable ideas, more likely than a game that's meant to please the largest market possible.

    I'd say you should be abit more coherent on the game's originality issue... not liking v:tm is not an explaination that the game you are making is completely unattached to it, what it really seems to mean is that you have elements that you WANT from V:tM, but don't want to deal with the junk that's stuck to it.

    Which gets to tje important issue... what do you think sucks about V:tM, what do you like about V:tM, and what would your system/setting do better?

    If your game was in fact completely and totally not influenced by V:tM, these would still be the questions that will pop up most whenever you discuss the system, due to the fact that Vampire is a huge piece of structured roleplaying and vampire fiction doesn't have enough marketplace to make people think of something other than V:tM when they see a vampire game.

    Look at TROS, I think it's one of the most original games I've ever seen, yet it knows it'll have to answer why it's different from D&D, and it answers with pizaz: Realistic Combat, Commitance to the source material, Sorcery's powerfull, strange mystique versus some commonplace gimmick, and the Spiritual Attribuites system.

    It's not very easily advertised, but I wish it was, would be the feature of "Coherence". That's something that's lacking in severly V:tM.

    Course, the poster could have completely forgot about this game by now, but I think this is good advice to games in similar veins.
    Logged
    montag
    Member

    Posts: 172


    « Reply #12 on: January 12, 2004, 08:51:30 AM »

    @Michael O'Sullivan
    please do go ahead and flesh out the mutant-vampire idea a bit. Personally, I'd suggest making them as normal as possible: allergic to sunlight; a little stronger; thougher; feeding on blood substitute (a common commodity) and with a long but final life span. Just being different should be enough.
    Heck, vampirism makes such a neat substitute for puberty, the first time you drink from a human, the temptation to simply "use" people (ok, that's more of an addiction angle).
    If you absolutely must make them immortal, allow me to suggest this book: Simone de Beauvoir "All men are mortal" http://www.virago.co.uk/virago/meet/debeauvoir_extract.asp?TAG=&CID=virago
    Granted, she's a socialist, a feminist and she's French, ;) but the novel does an excellent job describing why immortality is a very bad idea.
    Logged

    markus
    ------------------------------------------------------
    "The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do."
    --B. F. Skinner, Contingencies of Reinforcement (1969)
    Rich Stokes
    Member

    Posts: 78


    WWW
    « Reply #13 on: January 12, 2004, 12:33:25 PM »

    Brian,

    I've had a quick glance at the PDF you have posted.  I'm afraid that I have to agree that it's essentially a re-hash of V:tM.  Please don't see this as a dig, it's not that bad a thing.  Your understanding that this is different from V:tM (based on your posts) is probably because the feeling you've tried to capture is the same as the one the original Vampire had.  The current incarnation appears to have become a "Gunz and Fangz and kewl Powerz" powerfest, and if that's the only experiece you have of the game then I understand you distaste for the franchise.  But (he says as he buttons his cardy, strokes his beard and stokes his pipe, while slouching into his old man's slippers) back in the day V:tM was actually a pretty cool game.  It was fairly original in that it took a type of fiction and turned it into an RPG.  It wasn't the first to do this genre, but it was containly, for me at least, the most interesting.

    So I think you've in some way reinvented a game you've never played "properly".  You're trying to build another pre-munchkinite Vampire.

    Your comments that a Vampire's clan "changes how you look, who you are, and so forth" are fairly typical of players i've met in recent years who've missed the point with the clans entirely: They were always supposed to be social institutions and as such just attracted a certain type of person.  Brujah don't all wear leather jackets and carry shotguns, but the vast majority of munchies who've flocked to the game in recent years lack the inagination to read beyond the illo in the book and actually create someone interesting around that framework.  As a result I understand why you think the game's like that and why you want to "fix" it.

    But you're also not doing yourself any favours by making your manuscript look almost exactly like an except from a WW book.  I think you even re-used one of their Clan Symbol thingies.

    I tried doing something original with Vampires in my setting.  Doing something original is easy: Making it work's the hard bit.  Far instance, you could say that all vampires are fruit and grow like bananas on trees.  I don't think I've seen that in an RPG before, but then I'm not supprised: It's bloody stupid.  That's hardly scary is it?

    My post here http://indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=9029 shows what I've come up with.  Granted that my Vampires aren't the focus of Urban Mythos, but the point is that you CAN do something at least A BIT original.

    I really don't want to come across as saying (as many folks do in other forums) "you are stupid, your game is stupid and this it why I am cleverer that you are".  I think what you're trying to do is capture feel.  It's too early in the development to see if you've done a good job, but so far it looks just fine. It's a cool vibe that I really groove on.  But it's one that's, like, so 1994 ;)
    Logged

    The poster previously known as RichKS
    Mike Holmes
    Acts of Evil Playtesters
    Member

    Posts: 10459


    « Reply #14 on: January 12, 2004, 01:41:55 PM »

    Originality is over-rated. Your game is original enough already. It's problem is related to originality, however:
    Quote
    In my humble opinion, I have played V:tM in the past, and I can most certainly say that it sucks. It captures none of the interesting concepts around vampires from literature, and the romance of the whole idea in V:tM is non-existent. In most White Wolf games, you are a vampire who drinks a little blood from some mortal, then goes about on some rampage across the city with little more than a care in the world. You are not vampires in V:tM, you are gods, but perhaps that is why people like it so much. Who knows.
    Like Sirogit said, this is what you think sucks about Vampire. And I can garuntee that there are other people who agree (how many is irrelevant).

    So, the question is, how does your system and presentation change this? Why doesn't your game suck in exactly the same way that V:tM does? It's not that you don't have some original takes. It's just that it's hard to see how the alterations you make do anything functionally different than V:tM does in terms of play. I'm not saying that's true. But it has to be the perception at this point of all the posters.

    What will your game do to promote the real "feel" (as Rich puts it) that you seem to want to get from it?

    Mike
    Logged

    Member of Indie Netgaming
    -Get your indie game fix online.
    Pages: [1] 2
    Print
    Jump to:  

    Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
    Oxygen design by Bloc
    Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!