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Barlast on Bloodlines (SPOILERS GALORE)


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#1
Kaftan Barlast

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  • Location:In the middle of the night when everything was still, she heard clawing and gnawing, nibbling and squabbling. She could hear the wolves in the walls, plotting their wolfish plots, hatching their wolfish schemes
As you know i have a huge beef with the brutally anticlimactic way in which Bloodlines abruptly ends without any form of satisfactory closure or tying up the loose ends.


from V.tM 3rd edition. Chapter 8 -Storytelling, pg265

The Climax.

Your ultimate finale must be worth the effort the character went through to get there. This is a golden rule of storytelling. Anticlimaxes work fine in books, but not when a group of people have put in hours of effort to reach a goal. the more the the players and their characters have to endure, the more dramatic the climax should be, or they will become disapointed.



Well, well, well. I guess the designers at Troika just neglected to read that part of the sourcebook didnt they? I wish they had, I really do.

and heres another bit of advice that all designers should take notice of


from V.tM 3rd edition. Chapter 8 -Storytelling, pg265

Resolution.

Also known as cause and effect, this the point in the story where the characters see the effects of their actions and resolve any loose ends that came up along the way.  ...play out the the aftermath of a story, let the players see the effects of their characters work.



#2
Dark Wanderer

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Hmm. I can't entirely agree about your first statement, partly because that I haven't got all endings yet (through I've been "spoiled" much enough to have an idea about what they are by now), but I can say that I was at least satisfied with the ending I got on my first palythrough, with the excpetation of that we did not get to know what was inside the Sarcophagus in that ending. Through as old Maxie said, it was perhaps for the bes tthat we didn't get to know :rolleyes:.

The second statement of yours, I can agree more with through; I'd have liked if you got to know when your game was over what happened in LA because of your actions, perhaps in a Fallout-like fashion, like, you're showed a few cutscenes along with some narrating notes that shows the effect of your actions, like, if you got my first ending;

"In the aftermath of the events of your character, the Camarilla and the Anarchs reach some agreements about the city, among them to completely drive out the Kuei-jin (cutscene showing Strauss and Nines shaking hands, but still eying each others suspiciously)"
"(scene switches to Chinatown) The few remaining Kuei-jin not killed by the main character flees the city, never to return"
"With their leader killed, the few reamining Sabbat likewise flee the city, through who can say for how long until their next attempt to bring the city under their control?".

And so on.... I'd be particullary intereted in knowing what happened to Therese and/or Jeanette depending on who of them you helped and such...

#3
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As you know i have a huge beef with the brutally anticlimactic way in which Bloodlines abruptly ends without any form of satisfactory closure or tying up the loose ends.


from V.tM 3rd edition. Chapter 8 -Storytelling, pg265

The Climax.

Your ultimate finale must be worth the effort the character went through to get there. This is a golden rule of storytelling. Anticlimaxes work fine in books, but not when a group of people have put in hours of effort to reach a goal. the more the the players and their characters have to endure, the more dramatic the climax should be, or they will become disapointed.

Guess you want them to ignore the canon storyline of the setting just to respect that rule of storytelling? Not gonna happen.

And it's a pretty dumb rule if you ask me. I says that anticlimaxes work fine in books but not in RPGs just because players took their time in playing the story? That's BS. You spend a lot of time reading a book too and can be disappointed by an anticlimactic ending just as easily. Picture this, the most anticlimactic ending of them all: the player dying because of a stupid action or an error in judgement. It happens all the time in RPGs.

Furthermore, note that those are not 'rules', but storytelling guidelines, most likely aimed to newcomers to the world of RPGs.

It's a matter of the ending being good or not, consistent with the story or not, but in the end it all comes down to your personal tolerance of anticlimactic endings.

from V.tM 3rd edition. Chapter 8 -Storytelling, pg265

Resolution.

Also known as cause and effect, this the point in the story where the characters see the effects of their actions and resolve any loose ends that came up along the way.  ...play out the the aftermath of a story, let the players see the effects of their characters work.

What you want is a slideshow ending a la FO. Yes, that would be nice. Not that many games have these nowadays, but it still would be nice anyway.

#4
Berserk

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Ending slideshows a'la Fallout is alway great for RPG:s. I like to see what impact my actions had on the gameworld I've spent 15+ hours on.

#5
Kaftan Barlast

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Guess you want them to ignore the canon storyline of the setting just to respect that rule of storytelling? Not gonna happen.


I think its a mistake to enforce canon on products that are beyond the original "medium"(be it a pnp game, a film, whatever) and directed at people that have never and probably never will play or care about what goes on in the original medium. No computer gamer that isnt familiar with WWs games and metaplot is going to go out and buy the Gehenna novels anyway. Especially now when theyve moved on to V:tR, who cares what happens in the old WoD?
-but most of all this is because Im against the concept of an enforced metaplot (one that isnt optional) because it restricts the creative freedom and can be seriously detrimental to the game.


it's a pretty dumb rule if you ask me. I says that anticlimaxes work fine in books but not in RPGs just because players took their time in playing the story? That's BS. You spend a lot of time reading a book too and can be disappointed by an anticlimactic ending just as easily. Picture this, the most anticlimactic ending of them all: the player dying because of a stupid action or an error in judgement. It happens all the time in  RPGs.


The "work fine in books" is a little dumb, I agree. An anticlimax is a bad thing no matter where it occurs. Your PnP example isnt very good either IMO because a good GM should never just "Youre dead. go home, well call when we've started a new chronicle. Bye!" The end of something should be equally dramatic(prefferably more) as the events that led to it.


Furthermore, note that those are not 'rules', but storytelling guidelines, most likely aimed to newcomers to the world of RPGs.



Of course they're only guidelines, noone said otherwise. But theyre very good and true guidelines.

#6
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I think its a mistake to enforce canon on products that are beyond the original "medium"(be it a pnp game, a film, whatever) and directed at people that have never and probably never will play or care about what goes on in the original medium.

Yeah right. So for KotOR 3 we should have Revan becoming Darth Vader, Mr Bean as the Emperor, and they would have to stop the Exile from stealing Christmas. How 'bout that? :ermm:

Fanfics are bad enough, last thing we need is games based on fanfics. *cringe*

Again, a setting is not only the world that makes it up, it's also its plots. If you don't like the setting, well, sorry. It's not going to be changed for you.

An anticlimax is a bad thing no matter where it occurs. Your PnP example isnt very good either IMO because a good GM should never just "Youre dead. go home, well call when we've started a new chronicle. Bye!"

An anticlimax is bad? How so? You might not like them, but that doesn't make them bad.

And as for a GM not allowing you to die if you had it coming, well, sorry but that would suck as a GM since there would be no emotion in playing whatsoever.
One of the things I like most of PnP is that if you screw up, you can't just press 'quickload' and everything's fine. You might want a dramatic ending for your character and the campaign, but if you haven't played your cards well, it's only fair that your character dies trying.

I can understand your not liking BL's ending, and I respect that. But your personal preferences don't shape the world, and you aren't going to convince me that the ending is bad per se, inadequate, or that it's not an end fitting for a RPG campaign.

#7
Dark Wanderer

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Fanfics are bad enough, last thing we need is games based on fanfics. *cringe*


Now, now, fanfics aren't an ALL bad thing. True, while 90 percent of fanfics I've read (of whatever) could be rated as junk, the reamining 10% can be pretty good ;)

BTW, you've been or are a VtM PnP player?

#8
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BTW, you've been or are a VtM PnP player?

Casual V:tM PnP player at most, yes. Whenever I get together with my group I always try to convince them to have a Vampire session but they'd rather play SW or D&D most of the times. Since I don't have the books myself, I'd be pretty lousy as a storyteller anyway. :">

#9
Aegeri

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I think its a mistake to enforce canon on products that are beyond the original "medium"(be it a pnp game, a film, whatever) and directed at people that have never and probably never will play or care about what goes on in the original medium.


There is no point to calling this game Vampire: The Masquerade, without actually bothering to USE the source materials setting and canon.

Again, it's great that you don't care about the setting and can't be bothered understanding it, however ironic it is that you've quoted from the sourcebooks of all things. For those of us familiar with the horror roleplaying genre, which despite being the monster (arguably the point of the white wolf series), V:tM is an example of, not everything is explained EVER as a part of the way these are run.

For example, even in a Call of Cthulhu game you never answer every single question, because that is not a part of the way these games are played. However, if you had paid attention, you'll find that Bloodlines is in fact part of the gehenna series, and you can find the answers to most loose ends simply by reading that novel.

Personally, I would rather see the next game set in the Requiem, where they have more freedom to do what they want, because there is no established meta plotline (yet).

Yeah right. So for KotOR 3 we should have Revan becoming Darth Vader, Mr Bean as the Emperor, and they would have to stop the Exile from stealing Christmas. How 'bout that? rolleyes.gif

snipped rest, but I agree with it anyway


Exactly.

BTW, you've been or are a VtM PnP player?


I have been an ST for Werewolf, Mage, Vampire Dark Ages and recently Vampire: The Requiem. I like the setting as a general rule, but I still view World of Darkness as being more a Cthulhu lite setting than anything else.

#10
Dark Wanderer

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Casual V:tM PnP player at most, yes. Whenever I get together with my group I always try to convince them to have a Vampire session but they'd rather play SW or D&D most of the times. Since I don't have the books myself, I'd be pretty lousy as a storyteller anyway. :">


I see.. So your knowledge of the WoD is pretty thin? ^^;;.

I have been an ST for Werewolf, Mage, Vampire Dark Ages and recently Vampire: The Requiem. I like the setting as a general rule, but I still view World of Darkness as being more a Cthulhu lite setting than anything else.


I see. So your WoD is pretty broad? :wub:

#11
Aegeri

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I see. So your WoD is pretty broad? original.gif


Basically, but the meta got so much for me I just lost all of the plots eventually for Werewolf and Mage. I followed Vampire relatively closely however, so I never quite got entirely out of the loop for it.

I do admit I have the Hunter, Mummy and Wraith books too, but I never did anything more than just read them.

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I see. So your WoD is pretty broad? original.gif


Basically, but the meta got so much for me I just lost all of the plots eventually for Werewolf and Mage. I followed Vampire relatively closely however, so I never quite got entirely out of the loop for it.

I do admit I have the Hunter, Mummy and Wraith books too, but I never did anything more than just read them.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I see. well, would you mind if I asked a few WoD related questions then? Since they're about vampires, it shouldn't be too difficult if you're most familiar with them...

#13
Aegeri

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I see. So your WoD is pretty broad? original.gif


Basically, but the meta got so much for me I just lost all of the plots eventually for Werewolf and Mage. I followed Vampire relatively closely however, so I never quite got entirely out of the loop for it.

I do admit I have the Hunter, Mummy and Wraith books too, but I never did anything more than just read them.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I see. well, would you mind if I asked a few WoD related questions then? Since they're about vampires, it shouldn't be too difficult if you're most familiar with them...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Kay, I'm mostly familiar with the newer material, but I remember most of the older kind of stuff,

Probably best to pm me, I have to go out and do some Christmas shopping soon.

#14
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Kay, I'm mostly familiar with the newer material, but I remember most of the older kind of stuff,


Oki doki!

Well my questions aren't many. I've just got four I can remember that I have for the tiem being:

About Diablere: First, would anyone know if you'd diablered another vampire? I mean, from what Jack and LaCroix says, it seems like it's illegal as hell, but would it be that hard for anyone to do it secretly, or would others notice soemthing new about you? Of course, I assume that thye might notice that the character in question has new powers, but I assume that they'd out of courtesty/politeness assume that those powers were learnt from another vampire, not through diablere...

Secondly..If a vampire of a younger generation is diablerized, what happens then? Jack only mentions the effect of sucking out an older vampire...

About gouls: first, I wonder: from what I've heard a ghoul is so dependent on the blood of his/her master that without a regualr supply of it, then he/she will die. Is that true? If so, doesn't refusing Heather into your service mean that you still sentence her to death?

Secondly does a ghoul gain some features or the like of his/her master? Like, do ghouls of nosferatu gain soem changes in their appearence (thinking of Knox's yellow eyes here) or behaviour (thinking of the ghouls at Grout's mansion, assuming that they were ghouls and not just escaped madmens or were mad before they got Grout's blood)?

That's it!

#15
Aegeri

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Kay, I'm mostly familiar with the newer material, but I remember most of the older kind of stuff,


Oki doki!


Kay.

About Diablere: First, would anyone know if you'd diablered another vampire?


I believe you get a smell or sense about you, from memory, Vampires that primarily feed on animals such as Nosferatu are often looked down on by other vampires who can 'sense' what sort of blood they have been drinking. Diablerising other Vampires is something that you will inevitably get a reputation for, the Sabbat are particularly keen on doing this, and Camarilla vampires that are found to be doing this are hunted down and killed. Presumably, if you do it to a sufficiently older Vampire it would be the way you 'smelled' that would probably trick other vampires off (the whole primal beast aspect).

IIRC, diablerised blood only gives you a temporary boost in power unless it's from a really really old vampire.

Secondly..If a vampire of a younger generation is diablerized, what happens then? Jack only mentions the effect of sucking out an older vampire...


It still gives a power boost, but not as much. This is because Vampire blood is a lot more potent than the blood of mortals.

About gouls: first, I wonder: from what I've heard a ghoul is so dependent on the blood of his/her master that without a regualr supply of it, then he/she will die. Is that true? If so, doesn't refusing Heather into your service mean that you still sentence her to death?


Yes, it is like a permanent 'addiction' that the person cannot get over. It can be compared to having your body flooded with a drug like heroin only much more significant. Ghouls that are seperated from their masters become desperate, and may be driven to attack a Vampire or simply end their lives in order to get more blood.

Secondly does a ghoul gain some features or the like of his/her master? Like, do ghouls of nosferatu gain soem changes in their appearence (thinking of Knox's yellow eyes here) or behaviour (thinking of the ghouls at Grout's mansion, assuming that they were ghouls and not just escaped madmens or were mad before they got Grout's blood)?


Yes they do, but usually only minor changes. Typically, the benefits to being a ghoul are that you gain a much higher amount of strength (more so than a human), you can take a lot more pain (for example, being shot isn't as instantly lethal), and you have some vampiric abilities, namely the ability to regenerate tissues (this is how Mecurio goes from being completely shot up to healthy very quickly in game).

#16
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I see. Thanks for your answers :). One additional question about diablere through...

I believe you get a smell or sense about you, from memory, Vampires that primarily feed on animals such as Nosferatu are often looked down on by other vampires who can 'sense' what sort of blood they have been drinking. Diablerising other Vampires is something that you will inevitably get a reputation for, the Sabbat are particularly keen on doing this, and Camarilla vampires that are found to be doing this are hunted down and killed. Presumably, if you do it to a sufficiently older Vampire it would be the way you 'smelled' that would probably trick other vampires off (the whole primal beast aspect).

IIRC, diablerised blood only gives you a temporary boost in power unless it's from a really really old vampire.


I see. so it doesn't raise a character's generation permantently and/or gain that vampire's powers? I was under the assupmtion that this was why vampires commited diablere and this being the reason to why for example Tremere did this to Saulot?

#17
Aegeri

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I see. Thanks for your answers :(. One additional question about diablere through...

I believe you get a smell or sense about you, from memory, Vampires that primarily feed on animals such as Nosferatu are often looked down on by other vampires who can 'sense' what sort of blood they have been drinking. Diablerising other Vampires is something that you will inevitably get a reputation for, the Sabbat are particularly keen on doing this, and Camarilla vampires that are found to be doing this are hunted down and killed. Presumably, if you do it to a sufficiently older Vampire it would be the way you 'smelled' that would probably trick other vampires off (the whole primal beast aspect).

IIRC, diablerised blood only gives you a temporary boost in power unless it's from a really really old vampire.


I see. so it doesn't raise a character's generation permantently and/or gain that vampire's powers? I was under the assupmtion that this was why vampires commited diablere and this being the reason to why for example Tremere did this to Saulot?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Correct, I realised after I had run off to do some shopping that I messed up the description somewhat.

Yes, when you consume the blood of an Elder vampie your bloods 'potency' does in fact increase and you become much more powerful (hence rapidly raising generation). However, it is a little more involved than just drinking all of the blood of an Eldar Vampire out. Firstly, the victim has to be in a state of Torpor, which is why the Sabbat are so keen on finding the sleeping antediluvians. Secondly, after consuming all of the blood of the victim the vampire keeps on feeding, in this situation the Vampire is actually consuming the 'soul' of the victim and draining their very unlife. This is the actually what Diablerie is, slightly more involved than just drinking the other vampires blood.

The benefits are usually an increase in the potency of the vampires blood (if the victim was of a higher generation), the gaining of their vampiric powers at times and very often other things such as the victims memories and the like. Vampires can sense other vampires that have done this act, and after diablerizing a victim the vampire will often develop black veins that will show him for what he is to others.

Yes, it is like a permanent 'addiction' that the person cannot get over. It can be compared to having your body flooded with a drug like heroin only much more significant. Ghouls that are seperated from their masters become desperate, and may be driven to attack a Vampire or simply end their lives in order to get more blood.


As a slight correction to this, you can get over being a ghoul depending on how often you are given vampiric vitae, how long it has been going on and a few other circumstances. Depends on how the ST wants to run it, I usually have characters that have become ex-ghouls pick up derangements to remove their status. But ghouls that have been like they are for a significant period of time often can't recover. Hopefully my statement isn't quite as misleading as it was anymore :(

#18
Kaftan Barlast

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I dont think anyone understood what I was actually trying to convey, so Ill make one last attempt to be absolutely clear and concise:


1. An anticlimax is a always a bad thing that should be avoided at all costs, if it isnt bad, it isnt an anticlimax. It is of course down to personal opinion if the end of Bl was an anticlimax or not.

2. It is a bad thing when a game developer has to downcompromise the games story due to the metaplot (only the metaplot that is, NOT the setting, maintaining the settings integrity is always important. I also do not belive the metaplot is an integral part of the setting) of the PnP game.

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Again, those two are subjective points. There's no point in discussing if your preferences are better or worse than anyone else's. :thumbsup:

#20
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Correct, I realised after I had run off to do some shopping that I messed up the description somewhat.

Yes, when you consume the blood of an Elder vampie your bloods 'potency' does in fact increase and you become much more powerful (hence rapidly raising generation). However, it is a little more involved than just drinking all of the blood of an Eldar Vampire out. Firstly, the victim has to be in a state of Torpor, which is why the Sabbat are so keen on finding the sleeping antediluvians. Secondly, after consuming all of the blood of the victim the vampire keeps on feeding, in this situation the Vampire is actually consuming the 'soul' of the victim and draining their very unlife. This is the actually what Diablerie is, slightly more involved than just drinking the other vampires blood.


Ahh, I see. So a vampire has to be in torpor in order to become diablerised properly? Well, at least that explains one thing about VtM: Redemption...

The benefits are usually an increase in the potency of the vampires blood (if the victim was of a higher generation), the gaining of their vampiric powers at times and very often other things such as the victims memories and the like. Vampires can sense other vampires that have done this act, and after diablerizing a victim the vampire will often develop black veins that will show him for what he is to others.


I see... So you do indeed become permantently marked in a way if you commit diablere... Wonder how LaCroix had planned to hide it, if his plan was indeed to diablerise the elder he assumed was hidden in the sarcophagus... Is this true even for the Assamites and the Salubri?

As a slight correction to this, you can get over being a ghoul depending on how often you are given vampiric vitae, how long it has been going on and a few other circumstances. Depends on how the ST wants to run it, I usually have characters that have become ex-ghouls pick up derangements to remove their status. But ghouls that have been like they are for a significant period of time often can't recover. Hopefully my statement isn't quite as misleading as it was anymore :p


Ah, I see, so if Heather is told to go away, then she will/can eventually become free of the power of the blood...




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