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Blood And Smoke - The Strix Chronicle

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Curator

So, folks, who's looking forward to the release of this Chronicle book?

What do you think of the devblog leaks so far?

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After what I've read with God Machine, I can't wait for Blood and Smoke... Haven't read much of anything other than the new Humanity rules so far, didn't think to look for the devblogs... Any chance of a link to them in here?

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After what I've read with God Machine, I can't wait for Blood and Smoke... Haven't read much of anything other than the new Humanity rules so far, didn't think to look for the devblogs... Any chance of a link to them in here?

Did you buy it? Can you tell me something about the new setting material?

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Curator

The focus of the book is the God-Machine Chronicle.

The book does not go into specific canon details of what it actually is - it leaves that to you, the ST - but it outlines the ways that the God-Machine works, what factions are at play (worshippers, opponents, pawns, cogs in the wheel, the morbidly curious who want to study it, those who foolishly want to try to use it etc) and ways in which your characters can identify its plans and the weaknesses in its plans, and generally take the agents of the God-Machine down if they have to.

As well as the measures the God-Machine can bring to bear against them.

Mechanically, the book introduces Tiers to the mortals game.

Tier One - the local game. Just your little circle of characters against a whole world of strange darkness.

Tier Two - the regional game. People across the city, district or region banding together.

Tier Three - the global game. The game goes everywhere. Major forces are at play.

And then there is Tier Four for the mortals game, playing at the cosmic level, dragging in Twilight, the Shadow, maybe the Hedge, the Underworld, the Abyss ...

Let's just say that bit again.

There is Tier Four for the mortals game.

Playing at the cosmic level.

I'll just leave that right there for you to digest.

Then, twenty scenarios for the Chronicle - I haven't gone through them yet - and various individuals connected with the God-Machine (with one of them you'll probably whistle and say "Bloody Hell" under your breath, then wait gleefully to deploy him in battle ...) followed by some angels of the God-Machine (again, a lot of whistling and muttering "Damn").

As for the Angels ... there is a hint as to the forthcoming Demon: the Frutang (or is it Blungarg today?) game as the possibility is addressed of angels falling, failing to perform their assigned functions or even turning against the God-Machine which gave them form.

Some of these angels are jaw-droppingly cool. Others, you seriously want someone to take their heads off and burn them slowly with oxyacetylene.

Next, of course, there are the rules revisions themselves - which really deserve a full review of their own. Needless to say, many of them totally break the rules in the Blue Book good and hard across the knee. But these are the wave of all future WoD releases, so they've been released in the form of a separate, free rules supplement.

Go and get it. You will need it.

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Yep. Bought the PDF, and it seems totally worth it for STs... For people doing PCs in that setting, the rules update PDF (which is free) is all you need...

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I just read Chapter 6 of Blood & Smoke is all about worldbuilding. That's the part I missed in new wod for all those years. I also missed that part in the GMC, which seems to be more of a toolkit campaign book than a setting book.

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Curator

And I bought the PDF of Blood & Smoke.

I got it a few weeks ago, but I've only just now got back here to talk about it (with the aid of an ISP proxy bypass browser add-on - long story).

If you haven't got it yet, and are looking to talk about it before making up your minds, ask me questions about the book.

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Curator

Blood and Smoke, also, turns out to be amazing - though if you've been used to the core rulebook, the rules changes will take some considerable amount of getting used to.

Some of the features of Blood and Smoke which are radical deviations from the established rules include:-

- The whole feel of Vampire: the Requiem is now "die young and leave a good-looking corpse." It is hot-blooded, a setting for telling tales of immortal sin and lust, hunger and power.

- Chargen rules are now from GMC, not from the blue rulebook. Attributes, Skills, Specialities, all taken from GMC.

- Vampire traits include Dirge and Mask, replacing Virtue and Vice. The Mask is the Kindred's public face - the Dirge, his personality behind closed doors.

- Another new trait is Touchstone. A Touchstone is a human character connected to the Kindred, whose function is to keep the person rooted. Keep her from losing it.

- Blood Potency is the same trait, and Humanity is still called that; but the rules for Humanity are different - for one thing, Humanity ties in to how much, and what kind of, damage the Kindred sustains in sunlight. High Humanity is good, for a most practical reason, and not just because of the sunlight thing - Humanity ties in to how well the Kindred blends in with humans.

Stay tuned for further news.

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Curator

We've started a game and I'm still wrapping myself around the changes.

Mask and Dirge are retreads of Demeanor and Nature, so they aren't new concepts to try and work with but they have the same old problem of leaving some concepts scrambling to find just the right description. It seems like the opposite problem of having to shoehorn everything into the previous Virtue and Vice mechanics but I always prefer creative freedom over HAVING to pick something when nothing fits.

Touchstones leave me wanting. In trying to "convert" some of my VtR characters I am finding many who seem likely to have items or places as Touchstones. Those aren't impossible, by any means, but they are supposed to be rare. Minor nitpick, easily fixable. Mechanically, I hate the 4-die swing between having one Touchstone and having none.

I like the changes to Blood Potency and Humanity, simple but meaningful.

By now we have all seen the changes to the Disciplines, I imagine, but I am equally enjoying the changes to Covenants. All of the various Merits that let a Vampire do more with their Covenant Status are fun. Carthian Law and Invictus Oaths are WAY easier to enjoy. Coils are very different in presentation but no less unique and the addition of Scales are a nice touch. I'm a little put off by the changes to Cruac and Theban Sorcery, as they appear gimped, but the fix seems easy enough.

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My 2 cents. It is definitely an improvement, but it isn't perfect. I like the new clan and covenant descriptions. It is actually flavorful and not bland like the old core edition. It makes me want to play all of them, which is good. I like the sample settings they made. Most of them break the mold and don't fall into the trap of becoming the same setting all the time, which probably comes from the static nature of the factions in this game. I also really like the backstory of most of those settings. They all have something happening (like vampires disappearing) which affects all of them. I don't like those very elaborate histories old vamp has, but I don't like the complete lack of a plot either. A setting should have something going on affecting the entire setting. It doesn't have to be much (one page is enough) and it can be something as simple as "vampires have to leave town once a year, every vampire who stays behind is getting killed".

The rules are a mixed bag. I like some things about it like the active dodge roll, masks and dirges (yay nature and demeanor), banes and touchstones, aspirations. I don't like all of those conditions and I hate the new humanity system. It is even more EMO than the earlier version. I will be using Intergrity, because I like it better when it's more open-ended and I prefer sanity systems.

Overall I still like it. But Onyx Path has to be careful to be still in the spotlight, because the new WoD games have fallen of the map for a lot of people. And the year long pause and switch from WW to Onyx Path didn't make that better.

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There are some things that are improvements, and there are some things that are just flat out bad. I can't say that I'm too fond of it overall, but I must admit that it has provided me with some very useful ideas and material in constructing my own WoD.

I dislike the rewrite of the Ordo Dracul, specifically thier portrayal as a covenant of angry vampires rebelling against the abrahamaic god. Very teen-angst.

I especially dislike the new Humanity, for much the same reason as Red Devil. It reads as if it is a fan system written by a tumblr social justice warrior.

I do like the options for Kindred to have brief runs in sunlight without ashing in seconds. Reminds of Kindred: The Embraced, and offers some good potential for character interactions.

I also like some of the expanded material on the Covenants (other than the Ordo). The Carthian rewrite is particularly good.

Overall, it is a tool box from which I will be pulling things out very selectively. As a whole it is disappointing, and the original Requiem book will remain the foundation of any games that I run. Bland as it is, it leaves me much more to work with than B&S does.

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I mostly use the new clan and covenant descriptions and stick with the original rules, except the original humanity and the virtue/vice system. I use the mask/dirge system and integrity from GMC.

I don't think the Order is anti God. I think they believe they can become Godlike themselves. At least that's how I read it.

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