Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Rebuilding the WoD

Okay, so I've been playing this MUD that is kind of like the WoD. It's simpler and it makes me pine for old-old-old WoD before you had 13 clans and a million bloodlines and anti-tribut and..... you get the idea. By the end of the OWoD, it was getting pretty crowded in there.

I'm thinking I'll use the chassis of the old WoD (d10s, attribute+skill@difficulty) and figure out some way to standardize all the "extra" stats.

In the OWoD, I figured there were a few types of extra stats-
*Fuel Stats- Powered your supernatural powers
*Power Stats-They determined how high up on the supernatural totem pole you were. (Generation, Rank, Arete, etc.)
*Anchor Stats- A morality/sanity type thing, which you wanted to keep from going to zero (Humanity) or you wanted to keep as low as possible (Angst, Paradox)

The OWoD didn't have any symmetry regarding this at all, since each game line was standalone. Werewolves had two Fuel stats (Rage and Gnosis) and three Power stats. (Glory, Honor, Renown) In Orpheus, you could actually tap your anchor stat for extra energy (at the cost of possibly raising it permanently, and it was a bad stat you didn't want to raise)

New World of Darkness tried to standardize this by giving each type of supernatural an Anchor stat that worked the same way (don't let it drop or you gradually become unplayable) and a Power stat that worked the same way (determined you overall power level)

Standardization is cool in that it makes it easier to run multiple types of supers in the same game. On the other hand, taken to an extreme it can become like 4E, where every class feels like it plays the same.

Types of creatures I would want in the game:
Vampires, shapeshifters (were-whatevers), mages, psychically gifted, supernaturally-imbued monster hunters, demons (perhaps just half demons), changelings/fae, projectors (like in Orpheus)

I'm also kind of keen to include some kind of angelic-based character type and to include dragons (reborn in human form) because I really liked the *idea* of the Fireborn rpg, but I wasn't a big fan of the system.

Some deliberate design goals:

-None of that gothy stuff. Over it.
-Horror or Urban Fantasy. Let the GM decide what vibe his game gives off.
-No PC behavior regulated by game mechanics.(Removal of anchor stat?)
-Have a variety of supernatural creatures, but don't overcrowd the world. (Might already be too late, looking at my list above.) Perhaps come up with some whack ass excuse to have them concentrated in certain areas.
-Anchor Stats represent a "devil's deal" kinda thing. I want to model it after Spite in Orpheus.... you can tap it for extra power beyond what you can normally dial, but you may have to accept a temporary or permanent consequence for doing so. I figure this will be my "morality" system, rather than having some stupid ass, arbitrary set of values that determines if you are eeeeeeeeeeeevil or not.

Edit: Since I've started working on this little project, I've come across a "WoD Heartbreaker" and am currently studying it for things to steal
inspiration. Obviously the tone of this game is much lighter, being that it has a "Table of Awesome." I'm going for a lighter tone in that I want this game to be more modern/urban fantasy and not so much GAWTHPUNKZ, but the tone of this particular game is a little too light in some spots. Anyway, it should make for interesting reading.
Yes, my RIFTS-to-AD&D game is still not quite finished. Maybe I'll finish it off over my winter break.


  1. If possible, you might want to check out Dead Inside. The setting is sort of a "WoD Lite". Most of supernatural types seem to be defined by whether they are missing part or all of their soul, have a little extra soul, or an extra soul, or are just a free-floating soul without a body. You could narrow down your varieties by defining the supernaturals in a similar way: mundane beings/objects, spirits, in-betweens/possessed, and the supernaturally touched. The various types of each are just a special feature.

  2. I took a look at their setup, and I really like the spectrum they have. It's definitely something to consider. Some supernatural types are closer to human than others: hunter and mages are essentially human, whereas demons and changelings aren't human and never were to begin with. (I imagine vampires and werewolves fall into the middle of the spectrum) It's a good place to start. Thanks for pointing that out.