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Showing most liked content on 11/14/2018 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    Dr Ether has posted a review of the titles so far, in a separate post. This is at my personal request, since he had done such a good job of selling me the positives of v5, warts and all, over a private off-site chat lately. So if there is any shade to be cast, cast it to me, not to Kris.
  2. 1 point
    Hey, you may well know me as one of the hosts of Darker Days Radio, and so we have had some exclusive access to V5 in the lead up to the release, and so I was asked by Libra to give my impression of it all. So if you didn't know I am a long time CofD fan, and love Requiem. Hell I abandoned the stale setting of Masquerade for Requiem. Mainly for how I can create such variety in the social and political structures that appear in my games, along with how I want to build any form of mythology into the setting. I could just do what I wanted and to hell with anybody else. After a good 10 years of just not caring about Masquerade, and not listening to the whining about how Requiem sucks, V5, which I was sceptical about, even after attending World of Darkness Berlin, was something that I took a dive into. Let's be honest the first alpha was not great with the example character (I do believe her interests were in young vampires, not young people, but I could see how it could be read that way), and the example die roll (I do not think that was a dog whistle, just dice were listed in ascending order), and the Brujah compulsion being called Triggered (though I do think the word triggered is often used incorrectly when people say something is not to their tastes). But the new systems were definitely innovative. The Hunger dice were tactile tension, much like using Jenga blocks. Coupled with compulsions, we now had systems that nudged players to be mindful of feeding, hunger, and the cost of those things. It was more than just topping up the engine. Hunger was now a spectrum, and not one easily predicted. The Beta was a clear improvement, and one that I ran at Dragonmeet 2017. This was a great demo, and built strongly on the Hunger system, and the new humanity system, with stains, is again a far more tangible sliding scale. Characters and plots were much improved, representing the quality of writers being brought on board. Darker Days Radio then was lucky enough to be sent a review copy of the game a month before release, and we recorded a play through of the game for the podcast. Art and layout are all about taste. Some works, some doesn't. Honestly I like that the book is not pages and pages of walls of text. It seemed much more focused on a particular play experience as neonate vampires of the Camarilla or Anarchs. The rules were simple and fast, something that even for my home games my group are enjoying a lot. More importantly, the setting is clearly updated to create gaps. Gaps either in the hierarchies of the Kindred, or more uncertainty in the things that we once took for granted with regards to the mythology. This is why I felt able to write the "Ascension Night" scenario for Darker Days Radio, a scenario you can download for free, and one which is heavily influence by the things I like in Requiem and in Vampire the Dark Ages. V5 feels as if sacred cows are being killed in the setting, and myths are being upturned and re-evaluated. Now of course the core book did have issues. But I feel the mention in the Brujah section of an example character as being a neo Nazi is not an issue. Brujah are typically rebels and revolutionaries, and not all revolutions are positive, especially when you look at the current political climate in Europe. Some of the highlights of V5 so far then have been the return of the Church of Caine, which featured prominently at the WoD Berlin Larp event, Enlightenment in Blood. Now what of the new books, the Anarch and Camarilla guides? Long story short, as I wrote an article and review for these two books for Beasts of War, is that if you ignore the Abrek chapter, which was crass and egregious, the Camarilla book is filled with some really good ideas, and lots of information about how the Camarilla in the modern nights is now harbouring many old faiths and heresies now that the sect acknowledges that the Antediluvians are real. The Anarch books is far weaker in terms of gameable content. Both books also have nice updates of the Assamites (Banu Haqim) and the Setites (The Ministry). The art in the Anarch book is much stronger. But both books suffer from "show don't tell" taken to the extreme. The sheer number of first-hand accounts and vignettes do not help when you want to find game content and ideas to apply to your games. In particular advice on how to represent each faction. So is V5 a bust? No. Is it poorly managed and thus leads to stupid mistakes? Yes! V5 in terms of gameplay and the setting is far more interesting for a lapsed VtM player and Requiem fan like me. I can apply so many ideas from the latter to the former. But is V5 trying too hard to be shocking in the way that the original appeared to be? Yes. Back in the old days, just having diversity in the characters, such as gay, bi, lesbian, black, islamic etc, was seen as shocking and ground breaking. Now to be shocking is not as easy. Nor is the audience as easy to appease with content (even if there is a portion of the community that confuses crass and crude shock horror material as mature themes). The team at WW are not the WW we once knew. Some are familiar faces, but they are still learning. There is some good talent there. But better guidance is needed. If you haven't tried V5 I do suggest you give it a shot for the rules. And the plot is interesting in places. But WW is quickly burning up the free passes that we have been dishing out.
  3. 1 point
    Oh wow, just when I thought things couldn't get any worse as far as the world goes... This is just sad. SMH I guess I'll step away from the state of the world now...this is pretty sick....
  4. 1 point
    Rest in Peace, Stan "the Man" Lee, you are Legend, and will never be forgotten. You are already sorely missed, having coauthored at least most of the Marvel titles in existence, cameoing in almost every film ever produced by the MCU, and regaling your readers in the excerpts or as you sometimes called it, "the Bullpen." Spider-man and the X-men are among my favorite comics of all time, and have remained so since discovering them as a young boy, at the age of nine years old. May your Legend live on, as your work has inspired generation after generation to right injustices and stand for ones own principles. "With great power, comes great responsibility"...a nd so many other maxims, have defined your superheroes and enabled the telling, through comics, of some of the most fantastic and yet intriguingly human stories of all time, and I always felt that was a big part of Marvels universal appeal, even when compared to DC comics, whose stories were awe inspiring but whose characters were akin to gods and archetypes rather than men, like Peter Parker, who still had to make rent by photographing himself, and so on. Along with giants like Jack Kirby, your work has inspired a nation or maybe a few, and I only hope someone remains at Marvel to take up your torch for you, rather than let it fall into the hands of crony corporatism like so many have. R.I.P., STan! Nuff said!
  5. 1 point
    This is why I never put all of my heart and soul into a single game company, or its products, but rather spread the love around to embrace a whole bunch of fandoms. Don't play the blame game. It's unbecoming. All the traditionally nerd-dominated markets - all of them, from tabletop to TV, to books, to comics, to console gaming, to collectible card gaming - all of these industries are facing changes, and you can't go around pointing fingers of blame at social justice warriors for this - and let's give them their full name, to remind people that they have a mission to bring a sense of social justice to a hitherto-unpoliced and lawless toxic environment. There are legions of young people out there, girls, boys, all sorts, who want to join in the games, too. They don't want to be told by the Old Guard to go into the kitchen and make them sandwiches. They have reflexes just as good as the old timers, plus their money's just as good. And the gaming communities are having to run and jump to come up with new kinds of games, new gaming engines, and new environments, to bring them and their fresh money into the fold. Face it. The environment is changing. The Old Guard are losing their power. The people are speaking, and the providers are now starting to listen. Pretty soon, there'll be no corner of the gaming world for old attitudes about who should be in charge. And that has got to be a good thing, because the Old Guard won't be around forever, and sooner or later they'll be gone, and what's left will be all these newcomers, finding their way and then moving on to let the next generation take over, just like the Old Guard did.