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Mav

Could crossover ever work?

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Just an idle wondering, systems aside, could the differing splats all coexist in the WoD?

How long would the Technocracy ignore attacks by Were packs? How long before the Silver Pack decided to wipeout the Sabbat? How could Changelings not work against Vampires?

I am just not sure that either the world is big enough (once you take all the retainers etc into account) nor that any of the groups could rest easy knowing the others exist.

I wonder what others think?

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Procurator

I've gotten it to work; but it requires ignoring some of the stupider rules, finding common ground with each other, and possibly similar motives. It also seems to work best with small groups and PCs who are less invested in their respective culture's hierarchy, or at least really young and inexperienced.

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One of the mechanical problems is that the games don't have equivalent statistics. Certain vampire disciplines require that the target roll one of their virtues or path, which the other splats don't have. Certain werewolf gifts require that the target roll their Rage or Gnosis, which, again, other splats don't have.

A way to fix this would be to have all splats use Virtues (a la Exalted and Scion) and Paths, and to figure out equivalencies between statistics. Angst, Balance, and Torment (and to a lesser degree, Banality) are the equivalent of Paths, though some work in reverse. This webpage cites books that explain certain stat equivalencies.

Of course, you could always play the new world of darkness, which supports crossovers much better mechanically and fluff-wise. There are translation guides for vampire and werewolf if it's extremely important to you to play a specific clan or tribe, and the mage guide is coming out this december. There's an incomplete (but playable) reimagining of wraith called Wraith: The Arising, which makes crossovers much easier. I don't know what to say about Changeling, aside from using Dreams of Delirium (a netbook for Lost which provides rules for exploring the Dreaming and new supernatural powers). The upcoming Mummy game is, apparently, about mummies from an antediluvian civilization that existed in the middle east, rather than dynastic Egypt.

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Donor

Mav's question regards setting, not mechanics. Can the setting elements of each game line functionally coexist, or do some setting elements preclude others?

Personally, I think they do and that's why, as Saint Michael relates, you have to make adjustments such as finding common ground for the various splats to co-exist. While each game line pays lip service to the notion that the various supernaturals are not universally at each others' throats, the fact of the matter is that the "non-native" splats are more often than not portrayed as antagonists. At best, they're irrelevant and OK to eliminate whenever convenient.

Largely, the latter at the very least seems a requirement just from the perspective that the splats are portrayed as largely dominating their spheres of influence. The Garou would be fine living in the woods as it's accepted that they rule that area, but the vampires supposedly rule the cities, except for the Glasswalkers and Bone Gnawers who any WtA fan will tell you would tear up the licks of the city as assuredly as a Get from the Canadian forests passing through Los Angeles on sept business. Obviously both can't be right so either the City Garou gotta go or they gotta play a bit nicer with vampires than a simple vow to "Try to avoid stirring up too much trouble with those local licks you silly cubs you..." There might actually be...gasp...official alliances! City spirits might actually...say it ain't so...favor vampires! Nosferatu and Ventrue might actually...preposterous...find common ground with Bone Gnawers and Glasswalkers! The stories of Gangrel alliances with rural Garou just might be true!

I'm...not sure I can take much more...

Of course, then there are the Changelings, Mages, and various other sundry supernatural beings kicking around that need to be worked into the multicultural milieu. Personally, it all gets to be a bit too crowded for my tastes. Seems to me it gets to a point where you can't swing a stick for fear of hitting a supernatural being, and that takes some of the magic away from the setting. That said, you could have one or two favored splats be merged into one world relatively complete and have the rest remain rarities. Cities are big, but having a vampire princedom, two tribes of Garou, Mage traditions and Conventions, and Changeling court(s) seems like it would fill it up pretty fast. Especially since vampires gotta spread out their feeding grounds pretty wide, encroaching on the territories of the other splats. Running a setting with Vampire and Garou more or less as standard with much smaller numbers of Mages and Changleings, for example, might work best. At least, in my opinion.

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Well I guess you can handwave the issue of Vampires and Garou in a city not being at each other's throats by arguing they just never run into each other. A good sized American city has a few million people in it, but less than a hundred vamps. Vampires would also be avoiding attention, while Garou would be more focused on that whole apocalypse thing; fighting the Wyrm where it dwells, going through the Penumbra, that sort of things.

So no offical alliances, since the Camarila and Sabbat have incompatable goals with the Garou Nation, the Technocracy, the Traditions, etc. and vice versa, any vampire with less than 7 humanity comes up as Wyrm tainted. It just boils down to the world being big enough that these groups normally stay out of each other's way, and are more concerned with their own problems that they don't bother each other; Vampires can simply outlive Werewolves and use the horde of humanity as a shield, Werewolves are more busy fighting Spirals, Fomori and banes to concern themselves with Mages, The Technocracy is too busy creating their brave new future to focus on hunting down vampires and changelings, but when they do finish with their plans it'll take care of these reality deviants anyway, etc. etc.

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Mav's question regards setting, not mechanics. Can the setting elements of each game line functionally coexist, or do some setting elements preclude others?

this.

It is the numbers that make me think not - even if a city of 10million had 50 Kindred in it, sooner or later one would ghoul/feed/dominate/generally fuck with either another splat or one of there retainers.

Then add in each other group and it's MO, I wonder how long the Mages would ignore Garou as low priority once a Mage or two gets shredded? How often the Garou will discount Changeling's after a Red Cap eats a pack mate?

The numbers are relatively low, but each has a massive sphere of influence, every 3rd official would be under swap of a splat either directly or indirectly.

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There is also this; Most if not all supernaturals have a law or a function that prevents them from revealing themselves. Especially in bigger crossover scenes, it's like a game of hot potato.

There are also things in games other than Werewolf and Vampire (I think these guys know the other exists pretty readily), say spirits or chimera. Oh, a thing ate Metal-Paw? Must have been a wendigo spirit! Oh, Lord ap Balor was slain, must have been a nervosa! IC, our characters do not -know- all the details, and have to do guesswork. Besides, they have their own scapegoats.

So a Pentex lab that burned with claw marks could be taken by Vampires as a sabbat attack, for example.

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Well, crossover seems to work best on a small scale. A werewolf pack might make a temporary truce with a group of vampires for some reason, for example, as long as the vampires weren't too low-humanity. It's also possible that each splat has a "territory" in the area where the others do not intrude. "Don't ever go down to the Succubus Club, that's leech turf." or "The Lupines claim that park. Don't go in there if you don't want to get shredded."

Of course, that's also where you'd go if you needed to find one for some reason (ie. you needed information that only they had, or whatever). Long as you don't cause too much trouble, they don't *automatically* have to kill you.

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Well, crossover seems to work best on a small scale. A werewolf pack might make a temporary truce with a group of vampires for some reason, for example, as long as the vampires weren't too low-humanity. It's also possible that each splat has a "territory" in the area where the others do not intrude. "Don't ever go down to the Succubus Club, that's leech turf." or "The Lupines claim that park. Don't go in there if you don't want to get shredded."

Of course, that's also where you'd go if you needed to find one for some reason (ie. you needed information that only they had, or whatever). Long as you don't cause too much trouble, they don't *automatically* have to kill you.

Is that squeezing it in a little to much?

If the numbers were all halved then I could see it happening better, but again that is changing the game for it.

What about Garou in a Sabbat city?

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Simple, cold war. Most supernaturals have enough on their plate -without- having to deal with each other. So for most I think it's just safer to not go starting trouble with the vampires/lupines.

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Well, sometimes you do have to fudge the rules a bit. But I think in practice it is somewhat like Ana Mizuki says. Most of the time I assume it to be a kind of cold war situation for sure. Most supernatural beings do not want to draw attention to themselves, which an open war with another group almost certainly would. It's also a lot more interesting. Imagine someone does break the peace. Now you have, for example, vampires and werewolves both trying to find out who's stirring the pot. Neither side really wants to fight the other because losses on both sides would be catastrophic. That can be an occasion for a crossover game very easily - even if the characters don't like each other much they have a reason to help each other out. Tomorrow night, they can go back to being enemies again.

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Meanwhile Hunters and Wraiths are just happy the big kids are talking to them.

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Surprisingly, this was the plot of Chaos Factor. Sam Haight had become far too dangerous and powerful, and so the book was made for Mages, garou AND vampires to kill him in. I'd say that style epic adventure could fit.

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Meanwhile Hunters and Wraiths are just happy the big kids are talking to them.

Hunters? as soon as the other know about them they are screwed, end up being a weapon for someone else.

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As ironic as it is, the Technocracy would actually coexist with other supernaturals with the least amount of fuss. They care about other Mages far more than they care about other supernaturals. Their standing orders are roughly as follows.

Vampires? Keep an eye on them, but leave them alone if they aren't causing problems.

Changelings? Faeries are real? Clap your hands and say you don't believe in them, the problem should fix itself.

Garou? Avoid and do not antagonize. Don't pursue unless well prepared and have a plan to escape.

Ghosts? Call in Void engineers to clean it up.

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Hunters? as soon as the other know about them they are screwed, end up being a weapon for someone else.

I meant more towards Hunter players, but yeah they would be boned. ^^;

Honestly though I do think that all of the games could coexist. The only one that I think would cause any issues would be the demons. But that's more to do with their origin story than anything.

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I meant more towards Hunter players, but yeah they would be boned. ^^;

Honestly though I do think that all of the games could coexist. The only one that I think would cause any issues would be the demons. But thats more to do with their origin story than anything.

What's wrong with it?

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Well for one demons has a clear christian concept and origin, which doesn't really work with the established mythos of the other games. But since demons exist then their story must be true right? Thats kinda where the crossover issues would start. :P

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Well for one demons has a clear christian concept and origin, which doesn't really work with the established mythos of the other games. But since demons exist then their story must be true right? Thats kinda where the crossover issues would start. :P

Keep in mind even in Demon canon Demons have gone insane from their time in the abyss, and they all don't remember the fall the same way. Easy handwave; one of them got summoned by a Mage, bound, was told about the Christian story, got sent back and spread it.

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Well for one demons has a clear christian concept and origin, which doesn't really work with the established mythos of the other games. But since demons exist then their story must be true right? Thats kinda where the crossover issues would start. :P

Don't the demon books explain that the cosmology all fits together? Gaia was one of God's angels, reality is layered, faith can literally move mountains, etc? Why isn't Vampire guilty of being "christian"?

EDIT: And what about the Celestial Chorus, or that Muslim mummy in the Mummy fiction?

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Don't the demon books explain that the cosmology all fits together? Gaia was one of God's angels, reality is layered, faith can literally move mountains, etc? Why isn't Vampire guilty of being "christian"?

EDIT: And what about the Celestial Chorus, or that Muslim mummy in the Mummy fiction?

Days of Fire maybe, but that only states that Lucifer of Biblical origin and that every single clan, tribe and tradition will suffer a unique and ironic fate worse than death, but it doesn't tie any of the cosmologies together.

The Celestial Chorus isn't actually Christian though; at least not entirely. They believe that all faiths are true and lead to the same God.

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Donor

I got to be honest and say that I'm not entirely well read up on all of the different games, in order to properly guage how many of each type of supernatural there are. But that being said, I'd argue that it ought to be possible for the different supernaturals to co-exist within reason. Not every city will have vampires. In fact, only cities or areas with 100.000+ people are likely to have any at all. Sabbat cities might have a higher density than that, but even going at 1:50.000, the chances of running into one are pretty crappy, though moving in some particular places might increase the odds. Yes, vampires in general do have ghouls, and they do influence a number of people each. But realistically speaking, not every vampire will have multiple ghouls and dozens upon dozens of human contacts, so the odds of another supernatural running into one of these individuals are still fairly remote, unless they are looking to influence the same people. But even if some ghoul or contact of one of the local vampires happen to run afoul of a local Garou and get torn up, is the vampire in question really going to go looking for the perpetrator? What's the point, once it's been determined that it wasn't an attack from one of the other vamps? There isn't any point. The contact/ghoul isn't coming back in any circumstances.

As for the Garou, they are a dwindling bunch, and most of them live out in the wilderness and/or countryside. They are rather insular by nature, and I'd imagine that they have their hands full with the various Wyrm creatures and servants that are actively looking to mess up the planet, and/or kill off the Garou. Yes, a Garou will probably try and kill a vampire if it happens to come across one, but again, the odds are pretty much against it, unless the Garou is actively looking for them. And even the Garou will know that it is a crappy idea to launch a full scale attack at all of the Vampire in a given city, because it likely also means taking on a bunch of human institutions, organisations, businesses, and politicians, who can make life a lot more difficult, especially in the long run. And what about the Kinfolk? Can they be concealed and protected enough that they will not be identified and brought into the conflict? Is it really worth it going after a bunch of minor wyrmspawn that confine themselves to the city and mainly play political games between their own kind, using humans as pawns?

And why should Mages give a damn about any of the other supernaturals at all? And how many of them actually know about their existence at all? The Mages are few and far between, and they already have their hands full with keeping out of sight of the Technocracy. Realistically speaking the Mages are probably most likely to run afoul of either a Fallen summoned from the Pit, or alternatively a pack of Garou defending a local Node. Either way, the general trend seems to be "stay away from other supernaturals".

As for the Changelings, I'll admit that my knowledge of these guys is pretty damned limited. I simply can not get through the material without dying before I've gotten through the core book :-( From what I do understand about the game, however, what is a bunch of kids really going to do about a bunch of other supernaturals? They might considder Vampires anathema, but even if they might have the ability to take the fight to a vampire, are they really going to have the chance and inclination to do so? They have their own political games, and their own monsters they fight against, without having to add a bunch of Vampires, Mages, Garou, Fallen, Hunters, or what have you. Can they encounter other supernaturals? Sure they can. But is a 13 year old Changeling really going to want to tangle with a Glasswalker or a 130 year old Ventrue? And would either of the two give a damn about the Changeling, as long as it doesn't cause problems or registre as a Wyrmspawn?

As for the Fallen, I can see these guys ending up in a conflict with some of the other Supernaturals. But on the other hand I can also see them ignoring or working with the Vampires and Mages in some situations. Garou, probably not so much, given the description that the Werewolves tend to attack them on sight (likely because their Torment reek of Wyrm). As for the Changelings, they are described as an enigma to the Fallen, as I recall.

Hunters? Ok. Hunters probably don't play all that well with others in general. But how many of the other Supernaturals are they going to find, and if they do, how long will they survive, if they start bringing down the house? I believe that the general concensus seem to be: "not that long."

Mummies. How many of these guys are there even in the world? And besides the occasional clash with some Settites or perhaps Assamites in the Middle East, how many others Supernaturals are they likely to encounter and care about? Personal oppinion: Not many. Nor the other way around.

The Technocracy. Well, generally speaking they seem content to try and root out the Tradition Mages and similar rogue reality deviants (Marauders etc.), guide Humanity along at a "safe" pace, and otherwise only bother with the odd Supernatural that stir up problems in public.

And this leads me to two other points concerning the different Supernaturals. 1) Most of the different Supernaturals tend to have an interest in keeping themselves hidden from the world at large. Large scale conflicts are not really conductive to keeping hidden from the public. 2) Not everyone knows about the existence of the other supernaturals. Especially not the young ones, and almost never in any actual detail.

Finally, the fact that there are a number of different Supernaturals in the world, does not mean that they necessarilly inhabit the same places. Depending on the place in question, one is probably more or less likely to run across different forms of supernaturals. A small town, for instance, is probably not going to contain any Vampires, though it might harbour a minor Changeling community.

In conclusion. Yes. I do believe that it is relatively possible that the different supernaturals will in fact be able to co-exist, without being at each other's throats all the time. The world is simply too big not to. Will there be conflicts about some resources? Certainly there will. But one thing is the occasional elimination of a pawn. Direct open battle is another thing entirely.

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Keep in mind even in Demon canon Demons have gone insane from their time in the abyss, and they all don't remember the fall the same way. Easy handwave; one of them got summoned by a Mage, bound, was told about the Christian story, got sent back and spread it.

At this point though you have set one setting above the others. The issue that Mav has said isn't about making one setting right and the other's wrong. It's about trying to get them all to fit and be equally right.

Don't the demon books explain that the cosmology all fits together? Gaia was one of God's angels, reality is layered, faith can literally move mountains, etc? Why isn't Vampire guilty of being "christian"?

EDIT: And what about the Celestial Chorus, or that Muslim mummy in the Mummy fiction?

The Book of the Weaver has the Christian god as an Incarna borderline Celestine.

With that said, a true crossover where everyone is right isn't going to work. When you run a crossover game the best thing to do is to have one setting be the core setting. That makes it's cosmology the 'right' one. From that point on it's just figuring out how the other pieces will fit together and still remain true to what the other supernaturals believe.

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Donor

Some fiction elements can cross over but not everything is compatible, which is precisely what this thread is attempting to hash out. If you can come up with a way for all fiction elements to coexist, then please throw your suggestion out there.

However, fair warning:

Suggesting some sort of mythic age shard realm universe is a cop-out and a dead horse that's had more than its fair share of beatings.

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Donor

OK Bebop, I'll bite.
You want a unified WoD, personally I'd start off with Demon as the core, as I believe this solves the most problems.

1) Reality was created by God, but this god is not the omniscient and omnipotent god commonly presented in Christianity. Rather it is the God presented in the cosmology indicated at in Revelations of the Dark Mother. There are multiple "gardens", and multiple creatures like "God". The God of Demon the Fallen is a very powerful being, but he is not omnipotent nor omniscient and infalible. Lilith is the pinacle of what a human can become. An Eloheim in her own right, with powers to rival those of "God", but without the wisdom, experience, and knowledge to use them in the same way.


2) Caine is the first vampire. The first human to kill another human being.


3) The energy described as Faith in Demon the Fallen, is the same power described as Quientessence in Mage. Avatars are the fragmented remains of the Angels and Fallen who were destroyed during the war in Demon. Through the joining of the human soul with the fragment of the Eloheim, the Humans become able to affect reality in much the same way as the Angels and Fallen do with their Evocations. Human creativity and lack of understanding of how reality was originally build, is the reason why Magick work the way it does in Mage, and it is the reason why you have paradox. Where the true Eloheim know exactly how they can manipulate reality, Mages do not. Thus the tend to pull or push too hard, and in manners that was never intended. As a result, once in a while things snap back into place, releasing paradox upon the mage. Reality has "default settings" which are not designed to be tampered with on a permanent basis (i.e. gravity). Mages and Humans can affect reality, but not everything is defined by belief, as otherwise described in Mage the Ascension.


4) The Wyrm, Weaver etc. of Werewolf are creations of the Eloheim, which were designed to handle various forces and processes in Creation. Basically they are a sort of "operating system" that has gone wrong. It was designed to take care of a Creation that looked like it did, before God smashed it. (I didn't come up with this interpretation. I believe it was someone on these boards that did, but I can't remember who. Regardless, I've allowed myself to shamelessly nick it, as I find it to be a quite elegant solution to the Werewolf cosmology in a unified setting.) Gaia is a former Eloheim that changed over time.


5) The Changelings are a random result of human subconscious belief affecting Quintessence and creating Arcadia, and a bunch of creatures that inhabit it.


6) Mummies and Hunters don't really mess too much with the fundamental concepts of how the world's cosmology is pieced together, so they ought to be fairly simple to fold into the unified cosmology. Yes, the Egyptian view of creation and the divine gods is somewhat different, but not more so that it can not be explained away as a combination of Angels and Fallen, and a warped and incomplete Human explanation of a past that was forgotten.


7) Wraith. The world of the Wraiths is the creation of one of the seven houses of the Fallen (sorry, but the name eludes me right now). Oblivion is where the souls were intended to end up by God. Where this is, is utterly unknown.


8) Orpheus. My knowledge of this setting is very limited, but I considder Grandmother and her spawn to be some of the creatures that inhabited the void, prior to Gods creation of...well, Creation.


9) Kindred of the East. The multiple planes of this setting are a combination of realities being separated from the original Creation, when God smashed it, and also a subsequent result of Human subconcious influence on Quintessence to create planes and beings corresponding to their believes and understanding of the universe. The Vampires of the East are a somewhat different form of dead spirit taking up residence in their former bodies.

And now I'm forgetting Exalted, but as I've never read the setting, I can't really comment on how that one might be possible to fold into the unified cosmology. One option, however, could be that it is the reality of one of the other "gardens" described in Revelations of the Dark Mother. Another parallel reality in other words, but not the same as the rest of the WoD. Alternatively it could be a previous version of the current version of Creation that God made.


/Kyrel

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