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View Full Version : Vampire the Requiem (Core) Constructive Criticism



Claive
01-21-2010, 01:32 PM
We all know that Vampire the Requiem hasnít done as well as it could have and that this happened for several reasons. The purpose of this thread is to come up with creative criticism regarding the Vampire the Requiem core book. Please be specific, to the point and on topic.

Saying white-wolf should just go back to the old wod clans or meta plot is not constructive criticism. Comments regarding White-wolfís release schedule or the quality of their other products are also off topic.

My Creative Criticism
The layout of VtR should be consolidated, namely
-The beginning should give a more clear and to the point introduction as to what the game is. Currently it feels very awkward especially if you are a new player rather than an old player coming from VtM. It has a lot of atmosphere but doesnít accomplish the job of introducing the purpose and theme of the game.
-What the vampire template is (or what a supernatural template is) should either be explained much earlier and more clearly.
-The table of contents and the index should be expanded and improved.
-All of the information on character creation should be consolidated into one place. Hopefully the same place that describes what a supernatural template is.
-All of the information regarding the city of New Orleans should be removed. It is added bloat that only serves to raise the page count of the book.

Feel free to add your own criticism either of the VtR core book or my observations.

MortonStromgal
01-21-2010, 11:06 PM
Honestly I would...
dump predators taint, make it the first level of protean.
dump bloodlines, if you need more than 5 options make them clans and stick them in optional books. Dont create a subset of rules
only have two covenants in the main book and have them work well together. Again you can introduce more later
dump the non-disicpline mechanics, want blood sorcery well it works the same as a discipline
dump clans... if we were really going for a reboot generic toolbox system clans just get in the way.

Even Justin has said if they were to do Requiem now it would be totally different from what we got, they tried to play both sides of the fence (old vs new) and ended up with a very in between product.

Claive
01-22-2010, 10:40 AM
Topics Under discussion

Predator's Taint
I agree that predator's taint is a clunky mechanic, that if played as written ends in vampires frenzying all the time... If role-played it prevents coteries from forming in the first place. However, how would you fix the VtM problem of never knowing who was a vampire and who was a mortal?

Number of Covenants
Personally I liked very much that they created a dynamic world rather than simply giving us a choice between black or white (or muddy grey vs. steel grey).

Mechanics of Blood Sorcery
This complaint surprises me. They fixed everything that was wrong with thaumaturgy and it works fairly well. Why don't you like it (besides that they keep adding new kinds, as this is a discussion of the main book)?

Number of clans / Bloodlines
Again this complaint surprises me. The current system is theme based with added flexibility for those that want more specific themes. My only complaints are the similarity of the ventrue and gangrel's disciplines and how the Deava get screwed with two physical disciplines (which supposedly can be learned by anyone without a teacher). Thematically what do you see as the difference between a bloodline and a clan? I agree that simply removing clans all together might be a good idea, but wouldn't that be the same as turning all clans into bloodlines (which you seem to be against?) (Again this is a discussion of the main book and focusing on the fact that they keep releasing more and more bloodlines doesn't bear on the conversation).

MortonStromgal
01-22-2010, 08:03 PM
Topics Under discussion

Number of Covenants
Personally I liked very much that they created a dynamic world rather than simply giving us a choice between black or white (or muddy grey vs. steel grey).

I'm fine with the numbers but I don't want them in the core. For example I would have put in the Invictus an the Lancea Sanctum, because the novels have them working together quite a bit. You can introduce the Carthians, Ordo Dracul, Circle of Crone and anyone else in later books. Changeling is a perfect example of the deviation where they did 4x6 rather than 5x5. You need to do whats best for the line and not try to force it into a box.


Topics Under discussion
Mechanics of Blood Sorcery
This complaint surprises me. They fixed everything that was wrong with thaumaturgy and it works fairly well. Why don't you like it (besides that they keep adding new kinds, as this is a discussion of the main book)?


If your goal is a simplified system you don't add subsystems. This is a subsystem that was not needed.


Topics Under discussion
Number of clans / Bloodlines
Again this complaint surprises me. The current system is theme based with added flexibility for those that want more specific themes. My only complaints are the similarity of the ventrue and gangrel's disciplines and how the Deava get screwed with two physical disciplines (which supposedly can be learned by anyone without a teacher). Thematically what do you see as the difference between a bloodline and a clan? I agree that simply removing clans all together might be a good idea, but wouldn't that be the same as turning all clans into bloodlines (which you seem to be against?) (Again this is a discussion of the main book and focusing on the fact that they keep releasing more and more bloodlines doesn't bear on the conversation).

I'm talking totally clanless, you just pick your powers like most generic games. If the goal is to have a tool box style game you shouldnt have to worry about clans or bloodlines. Your covenant makes up who you are. If they really wanted to push the game forward leaving oWOD behind they would have done that and I also would have removed sunlight causes damage (perhaps limit your dice pool to your humanity during daylight). Now you would have a very different tool box game rather than the same game with different serial numbers. The design was for a new and reinvisioned vampire. What we got was a lot of old with new names.

[edit] I'm not trying to say that Requiem is not a good game just didn't do what the hype leading up to the reboot said.

[edit2] my comment on removing bloodlines is because it created a subset of rules yet again. This is anti the idea of simplifying the system. Clans or Bloodlines whatever you want to call them by name, the rules should be the same.

Claive
01-25-2010, 02:01 PM
I'm fine with the numbers but I don't want them in the core. For example I would have put in the Invictus an the Lancea Sanctum, because the novels have them working together quite a bit. You can introduce the Carthians, Ordo Dracul, Circle of Crone and anyone else in later books. Changeling is a perfect example of the deviation where they did 4x6 rather than 5x5. You need to do whats best for the line and not try to force it into a box.


I thought it was a good use of space. Just because they haven't made novels that cover the other covenents doesn't seem like a good reason not to include them. The lance and the Invictus don't get along in every city. We were given a tool box to build our own political climate in our games. I see this as an improvement of being told what the political climate should be.




If your goal is a simplified system you don't add subsystems. This is a subsystem that was not needed.




[edit2] my comment on removing bloodlines is because it created a subset of rules yet again. This is anti the idea of simplifying the system. Clans or Bloodlines whatever you want to call them by name, the rules should be the same.

Why do you think that the goal is to create a simple system? Sometimes added complexity makes a more rebust game. Simplicity isn't always the best choice.

I think both the coils and both forms of sorcery add to the game. I don't feel that the differences in these systems is significantly hard to figure out.

The bloodlines system is a step towards letting us create our own content, while still putting some form of structure to the game. If clans and bloodlines were the same we would have a googleplex of clans like in VtM. The other extreme is a "build a vampire from scratch" system which might be a good idea but then it becomes a lot of work building a vampire, or worse yet populating a city with vampires.



I'm talking totally clanless, you just pick your powers like most generic games. If the goal is to have a tool box style game you shouldnt have to worry about clans or bloodlines. Your covenant makes up who you are. If they really wanted to push the game forward leaving oWOD behind they would have done that and I also would have removed sunlight causes damage (perhaps limit your dice pool to your humanity during daylight). Now you would have a very different tool box game rather than the same game with different serial numbers. The design was for a new and reinvisioned vampire. What we got was a lot of old with new names.


Again, I like having Clans. This adds depth to the system. It makes it so that I have to deal with covenant politics, AND clan politics. In any given city clan ties may be stronger or weaker than in another city. I just don't want there to be 60 clans. It becomes unmanagable at that point.



[edit] I'm not trying to say that Requiem is not a good game just didn't do what the hype leading up to the reboot said.

[edit2] my comment on removing bloodlines is because it created a subset of rules yet again. This is anti the idea of simplifying the system. Clans or Bloodlines whatever you want to call them by name, the rules should be the same.

How could the base book be reformated so that new gamers coming to a vampire game for the first time would find it easier to take in?

MortonStromgal
01-25-2010, 08:36 PM
White-Wolfs design goals were posted well before nWOD came out as a reboot of everything. The new game will be a streamlines universal mechanic with a totally new direction for Vampire.

I don't feel this is what we got, neither do several people who were involved in the project including Justin.


From my own point of view the bloodlines are nothing more than prestige classes and there are what 3 or 4 books of nothing but bloodlines (we are getting up on your 200 clans number)? Thats where bloodlines belong in additional books for people who want to add them. Same with having 5 covenants. 2 or 3 that mesh well together are fine in the core but you should never have opposing faction in the core book. That way you can be a YES storyteller. The way it is now if I want a unified group moving against a political opponent I have to be a NO storyteller by saying no Carthians or whatever. You can mention them as the political rivals of the Invictus but there should be a second book dealing with opponents much like VII, so I don't have to go YES, NO, YES, NO to everything. I should just be able to say "Everything in the core book is fine, everything else you have to run by me" As a player I don't want to have to deal with reading about 5 factions, I just want to play. If i can't build a character in 15 min I'm already loosing interest. Clans are great for that but this is not new. We have been having clans and bloodlines since VtM first came out, if they wanted to go new and tool box. Remove the clans.

On a side note, I never stat vampires for a city when I run. I write a general description about them and motivations. If they need stats I'll make them up on the fly as needed. It would take me no more time to do that clanless than with clans.

Requiem suffered by trying to mix in the old. Now I like VtM a lot but Requiem is pretty much the same game all over again with a few tweaks.


I
How could the base book be reformated so that new gamers coming to a vampire game for the first time would find it easier to take in?

Well personally I would have offered 2 factions that work well togeather. 12 prebuilt characters labeled like Social Butterfly, The Monster, Lives to Fight, etc. All powers would be disicplines, no clans, bloodlines or anything else. Any new powers with new mechanics or extra factions would be in other books and not the core. So you could still have that stuff in your toolbox but its not part of the main book. I also would have tried not to use old term in a new way so as not to confuse old players.

Claive
01-26-2010, 10:32 AM
Same with having 5 covenants. 2 or 3 that mesh well together are fine in the core but you should never have opposing faction in the core book. That way you can be a YES storyteller. The way it is now if I want a unified group moving against a political opponent I have to be a NO storyteller by saying no Carthians or whatever.

I think that eventually everything you have said I could come to agree with except this.

The competition between five groups is much different than a war between two. If two groups decided to expend large amounts of resources to wipe eachother out then they have three other groups willing to come in and kill the weakened winner. These three other groups will often put aside their own rivalries to wipe out this winner because they all fear that they will be next. The three remaining covenants then fight amungst themselves over the spoils, allowing the two beaten groups to move in from out of town working behind the scenes. This is why groups don't bother trying to wipe eachother out... it is bad politics.

If you are telling a player that they cannot build a character of Covenent X then you have either designed the city incorrectly or do not understand how Covenent system is supposed to work.

Having just three core political groups to choose from is what I hated more than anything about VtM. Though I figure that we will not agree on this point.

MortonStromgal
01-28-2010, 12:53 AM
What if the 3 presented (unlike oWOD) didnt work against each other. I mean the Cam vs Sabbat things was pretty black and white and I wouldn't want that again. I just may not want 5 factions in my city. If your truly going for tool box factions should feel less forced. You have to have 2 or else you may as well have none but 2 is a very USA idea where you have two major parties and a bunch of parties with no real power. I would probably go for 3 just to break away from the 2 party feeling. There is nothing wrong with having the 5 I just want my core book to be the stripped down essential rules with fully flushed out stuff. So if your going to give me Carthians give me a chapter on them not a page. Its a personal taste thing.

LordChicken
03-13-2010, 07:05 PM
With Vampire:The Requiem I have 3 likes and hates, as well as some ways to fix it.

LIKE

Customization:its easier to be totally different then your friends
I like the new blood stat boosting, The old one took to long! the new one may only give a bonus for 1 round, but it gives a good bonus
Bloodlines are a nicely done, allowing for a wee bit more customization


HATE

I dislike the abundance of Covenants, Sure it means more customization, but it divides the players up even more!
The New clans...:Sure the new clans are cool, but I hate how the Malkavian turned into the Malkovian Bloodline! the mad clan is now just a bunch of madmen!
Organization of the Book: the books were built to set the mood then explain what the hen is going on, I want all my information about Vitae in one spot, Boosting in one spot, not scattered threw out the book!


Fix

Allow some of the old clans to be played! write a pamphlet on transferring the beloved old clans, over to the new system.
Work on better organization, gather related topics together.


All in all I give the Requiem a 4/5.

DireMosquito
03-14-2010, 03:50 AM
I donít know if this actually counts as criticism, though here are my thoughts anywayÖ

I actually like the way that nWOD is done. I donít have a problem navigating the books, I love the atmosphere more than any other system and I like the way that the game mechanic is largely the same as oWOD, except more streamlined and balanced - particularly as WW have now managed to integrate the various different supernatural sourcebooks a lot better. I especially like the way that they have dumped the generations in V:tR, as I always used to be at great pains to avoid spending excessive generation points on that in V:tM.

From what I can see, many of the critical V:tM players Iíve spoken to seem to dislike the way that WW changed the canon from the descendants of Caine, Antideluvians, Methuselahs etc to the more bland version in V:tR. Some also liked the whole Camarila vs Sabat thing. Personally, I always felt that Camarilla vs Sabat was far too black and white and am pleased they have ditched it. I also think that unless youíre playing in a worldwide setting or something highly organised, the background and the setting is the job of the ST. If you want the descendants theme in your game, then put the damn thing in and tell your players thatís the way it is. They will either play or not.

Same goes with the covenants, clans and coteries. Sure, there will ideally be a blend of clans and covenants in a city and thatís great for an ST that wants to flesh out the whole place and have a massively intricate plot. Bravo! However, if you donít feel up to the task as an ST or you want something on a smaller scale or more specific, then you should be able to tell your players that they can only play Carthians, or VII, or whatever the hell you choose and are prepared to write for. Some respect for the ST please Ė theyíre the ones who are putting countless hours into building the game!

I thought that it was the aim Quickstart guide to break new players (and STs) into the system.

I also like the way that more self-centred characters can use Vampire, while there are alternatives for a more pack-oriented, different style of play in Werewolf.

There are a few improvements I can seeÖ

Firstly, I would like to see a revival of the Victorian setting Ė particularly London, Paris or New Orleans. If anything fits a Victorian setting, it would undoubtedly be Vampire, Werewolves, Prometheans and WOD in general. Keep the modern scene, but have Victorian times as an alternative like they did with Victorian Age Vampire. Surely it wouldnít be too hard to convert the existing material from V:tR to Victorian V:tR and make it easy for aspiring STs. Even if itís just a PDF.

Secondly, Iíve always had trouble writing story material for WOD. I think that itís probably because I feel that the game should be a lot more political and personal than something like D&D. So, I think that any kind of aid that would assist STs to develop plots in WOD or any existing stories would be very welcome. Yes, I know they came out with the SAS stuff a little later on, though SAS is still pretty wordy and I think that it would have been more useful at the start.

Thirdly, (and I donít know how to remedy this), itís often difficult to find an online game. Perhaps itís because WOD is best played at 3am around the tabletop with red wine and candles - but any resource that helps to build the player base would also be a good thing. Though I used to play and ST oWOD, I prefer the new system (and would love to get into a small-scale or even solo vamp chat game right now if I could ever find one!).

Fourth, summaries would be good. Sometimes an ST is just not interested in wading through books of material in order to piece together a game.

/rant