Sunday, July 24, 2016

[Esoteric Order Duets] Neon Masquerade (Classic World of Darkness) - Episode Five: I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts

In a high-rise building in Century City, conspiracies are hatched and bullets and blood fly...

(We had some audio issues this outing, unfortunately, so your intrepid Storyteller is a bit muddy in the mix. Apologies.)

Goth af

Download this episode (right click and save)

The campaign wiki can be found here.


  1. It's back! Wonderful.

    I remember that when I was younger I ran quite a lot of Vampire, and *I* never really got a handle on the rules. My players ended up hardly using them - but we had a lot of conversation and intrigue. In fact, I really didn't like the rules at all, with the exception of character generation. Gave me an allergy to dice pool mechanics to this day.

    One useful thing to remember is that, in Vampire, you can always say that you've learned something like "The only thing that makes anything beautiful is that it will die." :)

    1. You know, that *does* make me feel a bit better. I can definitely see why people used to get so invested in it. It really rewards going down that ol' rabbit hole, both mechanically and in terms of setting.

      It's funny--I was just getting into gaming back when VtM was taking the hobby by storm, and one thing I remember from reviews and chatter was how *simple* the system was supposed to be. Which I suppose it was compared to what was out there at the time, but has not aged well in that regard.

      I've been eyeballing a couple PbtA-type games that have come out recently (Urban Shadows and Undying) in terms of converting to a smoother, simpler system, but I think the tonal shift is noticeable enough that I'm happy to keep muddling through with the old system for now.

      Glad you're enjoying the series! I passed your pro-tip on to Des, and she laughed and laughed...

    2. It was "simple" in the sense that it didn't have big long lists of guns, each with fractionally-different range and damage and so on, the way "serious" games tended to - even Torg, which was pretty much trying to be a narrativist game before the concept had really been invented, did that. But Vampire? Ten generic ranged weapons, and that's your lot. (Even that's more than later games would provide, of course - four different sorts of pistol, for example.) A mere thirty skills, and some of them are called "talents" and "knowledges" instead, and they cover things like "Science" and "Athletics" rather than "Physics" and "Climbing".

      As people have seen more recently with FATE, taking stuff out only makes the game simpler if you don't replace it with other stuff, admittedly stuff that's more relevant to the sort of game the authors want to run.

    3. I can't say that it struck me at the time as particularly simple, although the "attribute+skill" mechanic for most things was elegant compared to a lot of what was out there.

      A lot of the simplicity seems taken away by - as Roger says - was added. Only ten ranged weapons - but of the Disciplines, only Potence, Celerity, and Fortitude didn't have loads of stuff to remember. And that's at the start, before they expanded the Disciplines (and in so doing diluted the vampire-ness of it all to the setting's detriment).

  2. You know, I'm almost starting to suspect that there's something about Mistress Black (Karen?) that people aren't telling our protagonist. It's almost like they want her out of the way for some reason.

    Clearly he thinks so, given that he's now started to hallucinate assassination attempts and ghostly figures pushing him into elevators.

    1. Your comments are cracking me up, Max! As much as I think Aaron hopes he wakes up from this fever dream, I don't think that's what the fates have in store for him. Delusions, ahoy!