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Vampire: Control or Open-endedness?


Atreides

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I'm browsing wikipedia on Vampire: The Requiem and I notice players have a few choice nodes.

 

Clan: Daeva, Gangrel, Mekhet, Nosferatu, Ventrue (and that's before counting Bloodlines)

Covenants: The Carthian Movement, The Circle of the Crone, The Invictus, The Lancea Sanctum, The Ordo Dracul, The Unaligned

 

That gives 30 (5x6) combinations which is a lot of scenarios to assume in an open ended game.

 

Would a pc/console rpg assuming you're a member of The Invictus (with any clan combination) and playing from their political/ perspective give a more satisfying experience for you, or would you prefer an open-ended scenario? Maybe a compromise between the two? Or maybe a series of expansions that give more attention to certain Covenants?

 

For reference I think Bloodlines was a compromise, giving a few options but not all of them (no option for Saabat).

Spreading beauty with my katana.

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I can't really expect a game to accomodate 30 different game paths without them becoming diluted to the point of irrelevancy. From reading a few of the Vampire PnP books, it seemed like it was pretty rare for a character to be in control of his own fate. That was the central conceit of Bloodlines, after all. So I wouldn't expect a Vampire game to go balls-out with true player choice.

Edited by Pop
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Also, my limited experience with new Requiem tells me that the covenants would matter more in a story anyway. The clan is just who your parent was, the covenant decides your outlook on life.

 

So clans would correspond to races in D&D, while could be compared to class (although it's more ideology than profession, so not really).

 

It gets a bit more complicated if you start throwing bloodlines into the mix, but I doubt anyone making a Requiem computer game would even consider them .

 

The themes of Requiem are different enough to those of Masquerade that you can be in control of your own fate though. And I imagine chosing your covenant could be a very integral part of the game, if a more open ended approach was to be taken. Side quests opening and closing depending on who you ally yourself with, a little like New Reno in Fallout (and yes even with the possibility to work for several factions at once, at least up to a point).

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Well i have only played Vampire once and it wasn't a good experience. The DM was horrible, she gave us no freedom at all. One of our guys got tired of being led around by the nose and tried to destroy this church but we couldn't do any damage. nothing would burn, when we would throw around furniture nothing would break. I want, no demand freedom to make choices in my games.

For a video game they have to limit you though, there is too much content in any game world to allow the player free run anywhere. There is no way for a programer to think of any and all situations. Most of the time you just get a watered down version of everything which isn't that fun like pop mentioned.

games like Fallout did it well but even then when presented with that much choice, it makes you want even more. After a dozen playthroughs i would get fustrated with each fallout game for not letting me do what i wanted to do :ermm:

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I'm not really sure how open ended any game could be; I'd be happy if they took the Covenants and made sure that whichever ones they implement have a solid story built around that choice.

 

But even that will be limited; I'm reminded of how in V:tM:R if you decide to state your intention to side against teh Camirilla with the free vampires your mission is...to keep working with the Camirila "undercover", basically keeping you on the rails for the game (not that I minded, its a fun game. Just gave me a laugh is all).

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The themes of Requiem are different enough to those of Masquerade that you can be in control of your own fate though. And I imagine chosing your covenant could be a very integral part of the game, if a more open ended approach was to be taken. Side quests opening and closing depending on who you ally yourself with, a little like New Reno in Fallout (and yes even with the possibility to work for several factions at once, at least up to a point).

That's the impression I got too, that a game would be based more on the Covenant than the Clans.

 

An interesting use of the long age of Kindred could be playing flashbacks in the game. A lot like KOTOR2's Exile recalling the meeting with the Jedi Council that happened long ago. In this case Requiem could go even further back, across the ages to say Renaissance Europe complete with change in architecture, speech patterns and fashion while the main characters may be the same.

 

I haven't thought it out yet, but a prequel expansion may have less "choice problems" because it doesn't need to accomodate for the branches the player made in the original game (and try to fit those into the story - like how Mask of the Betrayer sort of asks the player what happened at the end, whether they were evil/good etc). The prequel would know how the story goes and can build from there. The disadvantage I guess is you sorta know the ending and how it leads to the original game. However there's still lots of fresh area to expand into, and grow the characters.

 

Plus maybe for the first time the expansion won't have to deal with super high levels - the character would actually regress back and start at a weaker state.

Spreading beauty with my katana.

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