RPPR Episode 72: It’s a Dark Dark Dark Dark World

I am A Vampire You Can't See Me RPPR News: The first RPPR video is now online. Check it out!

RPPR friend, Pagan Publishing has a Kickstarter going on. Take a look at it.

Arc Dream has a Kickstarter for Sense of the Sleight of Hand Man, a Call of Cthulhu Dreamlands campaign.

Synopsis: The World of Darkness is a massive family of role playing games spanning from 1991 to today. We invite Jason and Aaron, both regulars from the RPPR AP podcast, to discuss the wide range of horror games. As we are more familiar with the old World of Darkness than the new, we spend more time discussing that the new World of Darkness but neither side is neglected. We also discuss how to jump in the World of Darkness, common pitfalls for running games in this universe and some of our favorite books or settings for it. Oh and of course, the metaplot. Tom also has a letter, and we have shout outs and a horror related anecdote from a listener email.

Shout outs:

  • Drifter Broken Road: A post-apocalyptic Western. Shoot outs in the ruins of a bombed out world.
  • Kindred the Embraced: An ill-fated television show based on the role playing game, Vampire: The Masquerade.
  • Destroyer: A horror movie starring Anthony Perkins.
  • Feed: A dystopian sci-fi novel about inserting the Internet in your head. Kind of.
  • Rochard: A fun 2d platformer/puzzle video game on Steam with a great soundtrack.
  • The Sixth Gun: A horror/western comic created by Cullen Bunn. Great fodder for RPGs!
  • Danger 5: A hilariously insane Australian comedy show about fighting Nazis, being sexist and drinking too much.
  • Community: A funny sitcom that had a D&D based episode.
  • Amnesia: Dark Descent – a scary as fuck video game.
  • Horror Recognition Guide: Great fiction set in the new World of Darkness.
  • Reincarnation: A flash game that Tom likes.

Song: Darkness be thy Name by Midnight Configuration

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  1. Having only started playing after the release of Nwod its interesting to hear about the old system and its meta plot.
    Sadly I think power creep was the reason Geist turned out so powerful. They don’t have the same versatility that WW gave mages, but what ever it is they do, they do it better and cheaper than almost other game line. They also had access to similar power across all of the game lines. They could buy group powers like hunters. rituals like werewolves for ghosts, magic items similar to mages.
    Lastly the ability to absorb huge amounts of damage and to actually die and come back a few times didn’t hurt either.
    Apparently they are working on Mummy for Nwod.

  2. Good summary guys. It would have been nice if you’d managed to wrangle up a major New World of Darkness gamer to help show how different things have become because it’s pretty clear that most of you guys don’t know the nitty gritty rules of the new systems.

  3. I’m stoked about the Seight of Hand kickstarter you guys talked about, I’m glad you guys brought it up.

    It was nice to hear from Jason, even if that dastardly Aaron was riding in on his coattails. I would agree with Tadanori about getting a NWoD player for a sharper review.

    This review seemed a little muddled, too much darkness, too much material that had to be covered. It smothered you guys too much, you couldn’t properly aim at the darkness to shoot it.

    Still, good episode.

  4. yaaay World of Darkness. I’ve been trying to work up the energy to go play on one of the huge-ass NWoD MUSHes. some of those beasts have 250 concurrent players. it’s terrifying. there’s a Changeling: The Lost actual play chronicle that gets podcasted, At Sixes and Sevens. haven’t found the brain power to get past the first few episodes, but it’s cute. ‘s no RPPR, acourse.

    also what is with Tom’s habit of taking statements other people have made and repeating them v slowly with an inverted sentence structure just to say he agrees =\

  5. Just.

  6. Ross, you’ll want to throw Dynaweb’s Freegate on your computer before coming over here. It’s the least troublesome proxy to use.

  7. Woo! Jason was rock solid. As per usual, what a real treat to have him on! I started having crazy flashbacks when Tom mentioned the Werewolf book. Dear Lord.

    I always threaten the players with the “and it was all a dream” ending. Fate worse than death.

  8. Going to China Ross? Oh man, don’t forget the Pepto and Antacids. I’ve heard that your first trip to China is like your first trip to India: gastronomically brutal!

    Your expose on the World Of Darkness games reminds me of when I bought the first “Vampire” book in the early 90s. The concept of “larping” was so alien to my D&D sensibilities, but I really liked the idea of dice pools and I thought the game mechanics seemed pretty straight forward. My friend Saul was really into the idea of playing the game. We then managed to rope his sister and her boyfriend into a test run of the game. Let’s just say our first attempt was our only attempt and the game fizzled and went poof…

    Great to hear some of the RPPR regulars on this episode. Jason and Aaron provided some really helpful information regarding the different World Of Darkness game systems. I think I might have revisit the updated WoD books and perhaps run a game for my crew sometime!

  9. Only been listening to RPPR (and its Actual Play sibling) for two months now, but I can’t get enough. After two years of no time to play or group to play with, it’s awesome to hear that there are still groups where jackassery and four-letter-words get the job done.

    Ass-kissing aside, and speaking of dark worlds, any hopes of a discussion on Unknown Armies? I’d love to hear the group’s opinions.

  10. Ah, the ‘World of Dimness’ :3 It’s through this product line that I met my wife, though she came to gaming from an acting background.

    I fondly remember the first time when I picked up the Cthulhu green perfect bound book in 1990 in Bellingham, WA.

    It was my first experience with dice pools.

    And it led eventually to mainlining gaming, LARP. I found LARPing to be quite intense.

    The Camarilla LARP was relatively simple, but as it grew, the tiny little rules became more and more complex and the club became a kind of place for Lifestylers to hang out in, or a place where people can form their own tribe and get involved in non consenual BDSM (ie bullying, attempted rape, etc etc).

    So I mainly played online because then I could control the type of gamer I gamed with — the ones who loved making stuff up. There was really just 1 fundamental rule in the whole game system, well 2: 1. Everything has a cost & 2. All challenges are a social contract — both sides have to agree on the terms and if they can’t, then they should try something else which includes not doing the challenge.

    The world of the game was quite detailed and my favourite was MAGE — here it was all aboot how you could fiddle with reality. Werewolf was reality-travelling storytellers. Vampire was all aboot humans who have lost their free will to gain a bit of power. Changeling was awesome — being a child again, then getting older. I didn’t get into wraith as much but I saw it had a lot of potental — the coinage of the realm was delightfully twisted. My favourite supplement was Gypsies.

    The mood of the system itself I never found to be horror — it was very much romantic. “gothic punk”. And I chuckled at people’s attempts to say it was like the real world but darker. Yeah, right :3

    Eventually, most of the time in the LARP consisted of me trying to teach newcomers aboot the game and protect them from the rl predators in the game. It grew too exhausting and I left also because I saw where the game was going, getting too bureaucratic and official and trying to fit creativity into tiny little boxes. I used to joke that creativity would eventually become a High Approval item (explanation: in order to get some goodies that were too rare or too powerful for the game, one would have to go through an approval process, that was classfied from Low to High).

    The game system was very open and free form, which fit perfectly with my likes and dislikes. The world as it was written, however I agree with one of my friends, wasn’t emotionally realistic.

    So I am glad I got out of the LARP when it changed (esp. since it’s got ‘more dark’ *giggle*) That Gehenna storyline was intense and marvelous — I’m glad I was there to be a part of Clan Malkav being saved by getting to leave the doomed universe and I am also glad I was heavily involved with the Malkavian Madness Network, a very awesome online storytelling medium that we thought of as a kind of dream space but, of course, it wasn’t physically real. So the players who could write well and had good imaginations did quite well :3

    Oh, and I don’t consider HP Lovecraft’s mythos to be horror — I think his mythos is nihilistic.

  11. I just got back to start listening to rppr and I have to say it’s really great, I am in the military now and at Fort Stewart, and there are no Roleplayers here. So listening to you all is the most fun I have had in months.

  12. Sidhe is pronounced “Shee”. As in Bean-Sidhe is pronounced banshee. Its Irish Gaelic, so it isn’t always pronounced like its spelt.

  13. Big thanks for this as I got into a bunch of the White wolf stuff before the metaplot collapse & with our online gaming group (and one of the newer people) wanting to run Vampire/World of Darkness, I found this to be quite a good way of catching up on what all happened.

    I will at least say that with my initial look into Vampire the Requiem of the new World of Darkness Vampire storytelling line, they completely fixed the gamebreaking celerity skill. Now just spend a blood point & the points in that discipline are added to when the character goes in combat as well as reducing from all attackers dice pools to hit him/her. So while diving into the new World of Darkness more, give Requiem a try as it might lead to some fun games for the RPPR group that even Caleb might enjoy.

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