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About Annael

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    Ever-shifting Luna
  • Birthday 08/31/1978

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  1. Filling the long nights

    One thing I don't see STs or players exploiting as often as they could is the whole "it goes both ways" aspect of Contacts. Having contacts means you know people who call and ask you for favors sometimes as well as vice versa. Even if they haven't done that in a while, it strengthens your bond with them if you sometimes swing by to talk or do things like pass on info you know they'd be interested in. It's also wise to spend some time expanding your contacts and allies by chatting with and lending a hand to people you meet. Say you talk to somebody who deals in antique books one night, and then a week later you come across a vampire who's looking for a rare volume on the history of heretical sects. So you put them in touch, the vampire gives the dealer a good price on the volume he wants, he's grateful you helped him and the book dealer is pleased you got him a new customer. Voila! Two new contacts. Even a vampire appreciates a helpful person. And the more friends you have...well, the more friends you have. It's definitely good for survival to have lots of people who like you. And it's kind of cool in RP terms if you've actually *done* stuff for this contact when you need to call her up to ask a favor, because then the ST's all, "Oh yeah, you terrorized that white slavery guy to rescue her kidnapped daughter a couple of years ago. She owes you big-time; she's all over this."
  2. Mal! The only evil die that ever liked me. :) It has been too long. How's it going?

  3. Hola my favourite plushy Cthulhu!

  4. Are the morality rules too harsh?

    That's another thing people tend to forget. You don't lose (or even risk losing) Morality every time you do a bad thing. You only risk Morality loss if the action you take rests below the current level of your own Morality rating. If you steal something and fail a Morality check for it (thus discovering that stealing doesn't bother you), then you can steal to your heart's content and you will never make another Morality check unless you do something else, such as, say, murder somebody. So it's actually really difficult to fall off the bottom of the Morality chart, because even the most cold-blooded of individuals tend to settle in around 3 or 4 and stay there. You have to go beyond being a stone-cold killer into being a monstrous cannibalistic rapist or something.
  5. Are the morality rules too harsh?

    My personal preference is to for the player to choose what to do about degeneration. I feel like ignoring it completely is dismissing a potentially great tool for character development. It's all about story hooks and character development, really, and using the Morality structure gives you access to mechanics that can add some zest to social interactions besides. But a decent player generally has a grasp on their character's likely reactions and how they want their PC to evolve, so as long as they're being fair and giving their character *some* response, I don't see the problem whether they lose Morality or retain it and the attendant guilt or have a mental break and gain a derangement of the player's choice. If the player's letting it slide, however, or the angst gets too overpowering or it's a special occasion or the player just *wants* to throw caution to the winds and see what happens, then roll. But in almost every case, I'd prefer a derangement be picked rather than rolled for (though I think that in NWoD, you choose rather than roll anyway, don't you?). The brain breaks in particular ways, and not all derangements are suitable for every occasion. But of course, if it all just irritates the hell out of you and makes your game less fun, then you've gotta do what you've gotta do.
  6. The World of Derailed Trains

    Remember that these guys are rivals against each other, too. If one of them thinks they could use the coterie to get at *each other*... Well, what do they care about more? Punishing the coterie, or taking down their own rivals for power? (The answer to that question will probably vary from NPC to NPC.) Another question to ask is, how much work will it be to clean up the mess the coterie made? The city's Kindred will be quite rightfully angry, but the degree to which they're pissed off will probably be commensurate with how much effort they'll have to exert to fix this. Oh, and that's something the rivals can hold over the *whole city*: "I'll fix this disaster, but you all had better realize how much effort it'll take me and be appropriately grateful." So y'know, they haven't necessarily found themselves in a *worse* position for all this. If any of them play particularly dirty pool, it might even suit to keep the PCs alive and on a short leash in case they need any more carefully applied mayhem. The benefit of a situation like that is that if you're stuck doing somebody else's dirty work, then you're potentially in a position to gather dirt on *them.* Also, if the coterie is able to wrangle themselves a bit of power or influence, they become much more valuable to keep alive and blackmailed. All this leaves Harry aside, since it sounds like they pissed him off on a personal level. One potential drawback of all these thoughts is that they lean toward a much more political, subtle game, which may not be what your players are looking for. They might prefer being chased by hunters while they desperately try to kiss up to someone who can protect them. In any case, an idea for a follow-up storyline if they make it through in one piece: "Now that our survival for the near future is secured, how do we get loose from this guy we sold our souls to?"
  7. The World of Derailed Trains

    That's a heck of a mess they've left behind them, though it may still be possible for them to clean it up. You could go Libra's way--it's not bad--but it feels a bit "no way out" to me. Another alternative is to change the direction the game is going. Now, the first thing I would do is sit the players down and explain the concepts of "subtlety" and "consequences" to them. Make sure they realize how the game works, and what they've gotten themselves in for. It's only fair to make sure they understand that you *can't* go around bombing buildings and vamping out in front of cameras in this world without consequences. If they're already aware, then that's fine. Just so they understand what effects their choices will have. Then: put the characters on the run. They've screwed up too many times, gotten too sloppy, and now they just have to deal with it. It sounds like Kindred society in this city is in a mess, but there are still power players who're active on the scene. These individuals are likely to want to get the characters out of the way or to use them as pawns so they can maneuver the situation to take power. So some folks will want them dead, while others will want to use them. While the latter are still dangerous, they will at least provide enough information and resources to the characters to give them some options (even if in the long run those "allies" plan to throw them to the wolves). The PCs have also probably attracted the attention of mortal hunters and other potential enemies. They're likely to find all this out the hard way when you send a few of these antagonists their way. The way you avoid railroading is by understanding what you want the goals of your game to be, but not requiring the PCs to take a particular path to achieve those goals. In this case, to survive, the PCs will have to dodge enemies while utilizing their resources to clean up their own mess. They definitely need to fix the Masquerade breaches they caused (perhaps by framing a terrorist group for the destruction?) to keep humans from becoming a major threat and to keep the city's Kindred from turning against them wholesale. It's worth noting that this won't fix the hunters who're already coming after them; that's a permanent enemy they've earned (though if they're really clever, they might be able to frame the hunters as the terrorists!). Since they've pissed off, blown up or wrecked the city's structure, they'll also need to keep Kindred society from eating them alive. This could happen a lot of different ways. Maybe they can gather some dirt on someone powerful enough to protect them. Maybe they can show that they've got enough talent to keep around after all. Maybe they can prove they can be trusted to fix their mistakes and that they'll be more discreet in the future. Maybe they have to end up bailing out and running for a different city where they're safely anonymous, and your chronicle will turn into a cross-country survival trek for a while. Maybe they'll succeed against all odds and snatch power for themselves, or maybe they'll fail and they'll all end up kitty litter. But they've got lots of options, so long as you're willing to remain flexible about what you'll let happen in your game.
  8. Are the morality rules too harsh?

    Average Morality (for a human) is supposed to be around 7. Many supernaturals hang a little bit lower, maybe around 5-6, because they have to awkwardly balance their alien natures against their human side. The effect of 0 Morality depends on the type of character you're playing. For humans, there's no mechanical effect. Your character is a total monster of a human being, but that's it. For vampires, 0 Humanity means the Beast has taken control and they're no longer a character, just a raving man-eating ghoul. Werewolves likewise become unplayable at a 0 Harmony, and...I don't remember what happens to mages. You don't have to use it if you don't want to, of course, but it does sort of act as a brake on the more egregious abuses of power if you do, and it inspires a bit of creative thinking in players. If she *doesn't* want to just murder the security guards, what other options does she have to get into the building? Also it makes them *think* about their character's values and motivations. It shouldn't necessarily stop them from having their character do something horrible, but ideally it should mean that they choose to do it because it's what their character would do, rather than a convenient hack-n-slash solution nobody's going to hold them accountable for. I agree with Red Devil that the rules should be used in a way that suits the type of game you run, but frankly I think that a well-earned, well-chosen emotional crisis and/or derangement here and there adds some life to the party.
  9. Are the morality rules too harsh?

    The morality rules aren't a judgement on whether something is right or wrong, and they're not to punish characters for doing the wrong thing. In fact, in any given WoD game, it's quite possible that the morally wrong thing is the expected and perhaps even socially approved thing. It's a dark world, and many supernaturals are perfectly happy with being not-nice people. Morality is a measure of a character's reaction or, if you like, their monstrosity. Now, if *you* killed someone while defending yourself or someone you loved, wouldn't you still feel the impact of taking a life? Even if you knew it was your only option, it's still likely to hurt and upset you. Or you might reject that reaction, insist to yourself that you did what you had to and there's no reason to feel bad about it, but find yourself dealing with PTSD nightmares--aka derangement. But if you knew somebody who killed a man to defend themselves and legitimately had no emotional response to it, just stabbed or shot the guy and walked away, wouldn't you find that a little...disturbing? That's Morality loss. When you do something, find you're perfectly fine with it, and become a little more alarming to the world at large. Morality is meant to represent where the character's personal line is drawn, what'll still raise a reaction and a sense of transgression from them...and how far from a comfortable mainstream human reaction they've gone. And the *purpose* of it is to form an objective stat to weigh a character's subjective image of themselves against. Say somebody was playing a PC who was a terrorist. The PC thinks he's just a swell guy; striking a blow for justice with every dissenting life he takes. The player, however, can track the character's morality and have an easy reference to judge just how awful and/or insane the PC has gotten, which is a handy tool where a player's awareness of their character's inner existence is concerned.
  10. Well Meet!

    TONAY! *hugs*
  11. Morpheus and the Endless...

    *headdesk* I just realized that I went for twelve years without ever realizing that Changeling's The Dreaming was Dream's The Dreaming. Holy crap, Changeling suddenly makes so much more sense if you assume that the writers' primary influence was Sandman rather than world mythology! And frankly I think it'd be adding a little to the Changeling setting to drop in a Lord of the Dreaming/God of the fae.
  12. Oh, leave off, you scoundrel. :)

  13. *Kneels before Ever-shifting Luna* I shall love thee aways, Mistress.

  14. Morpheus and the Endless...

    Well, they're either gods or anthropomorphic personifications of universal forces, depending on your point of view, so statting them isn't necessary. They don't even strictly require a rejiggering of the Vampire cosmology (such as it is), so I'd say the most important thing is to use them appropriately in a game. If you want them to be a feature, it's probably best to tailor a chronicle to fit the themes they bring with them. Despite the fact that they're universal powers, they're very...personal beings, so it would be a chronicle where the player characters take a central role--their lives, their destinies, their trials, their deaths being a driving part of something bigger. It doesn't have to be an "end of the world" kind of thing, but something more meaningful than petty vampire politics. *Or,* actually, a game where the characters' interior lives and the forces acting upon them (represented by the Endless) are contrasted against vampire politics as usual to demonstrate just how shallow the life of your average vampire is. Which could lead into some interesting territory if you wanted to run with it, the spiritual side of Vampire that doesn't get explored so often. It'd be more dramatic with OWoD, where the spirituality of vampires is ignored most thoroughly, but probably easier to accommodate in NWoD, where there is a niche for that, with groups like the Lance and Circle of the Crone. The Ordo Dracul would be...interesting, because it's an attempt to scientifically explore the spiritual, so while visionary experiences are not scoffed at, having a subjective emotional response to them isn't so much the done thing.