Monday, June 29, 2009

First steps with new World of Darkness

I have been quite skeptic towards new World of Darkness games line. What I have read in internet some people adore nWoD over old one, some people despise it. I have to admit, that I had some serious prejudice for it.

Book itself is quite dull. Nothing spectacular for the book what started new World of Darkness line. Artwork is ok at it's best, and quite awful at it's worst. Most of the pictures are quite mediocre. Also there is quite much different shortstories what makes book also thicker, but also gives a bit of insight of the game. How it is intended to play. Most of the stories are ok even if none of them is a masterpiece. In whole book only one story I couldn't read through. It was just too boring for me.

Rules are quite simple. They have the same feeling as oWoD, but still they are different. For some reason I get the expression of a bit more gamistic, D&D like rules set what is strange, as basically rules are a bit easier for example reduced amount of dicepools needed. This feels more like a game. It might be that new WoD is desidned again, and flaws of previous versions have tried to crop out. As oWoD was Storytelling mostly, the new one has had attention more on rules also. I like the concept of the rules. Easy to learn, easy to use. Quite same as old but still brand new.

I started to Storytell World of Darkness Mortals game, with ordinary player character who witnesses supernatural events. It is quite fun, as for ordinary human this personal horror is more easy to provide than horror himself, ie. vampire character. There is something vulnerable in humans (duh) what makes game more mystery- and horror like. Also I can freely use as much stereotypes about supernatural beings in WoD fiction. I can forget all sects, clans, tribes, undead social districts et cetera because they aren't relevant for people. Humans only see the fanged monster lurking in the shadows, they don't see if he is council of city or something else. I like this. And it is so easy to make story go. For vampires (what I had Storytelled past 7 years) it started to get dull. Ok, you are vampire, today what magnificent things you will witness than human, who sees strange patterns in milk when pouring it to glass. Also, if human sees two red eyes in forest, he is terrified for the unknown as vampire would go "Fuck! Werewolf! Let the prince know!" If you get my point.

My style of gaming doesn't inolve that much dice rolling (what I'd like to have more, but the story takes all the attention). There has been few skill checks this far, and for my experience, nWoD runs quite smooth. It has that old WoD feeling, yet it seems to be new. Earlier in this post I Pointed out how for some reason nWoD feels a bit more like "game" as D&D but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

My experience this far of new World of Darkness basic rule set is awe. It is cool, seems fresh (some time last time I took a totally new game for me and ran it), works fine. For horror/supernatural game with humans I like this. If I compare nWoD to other horror games with humans, I think this is most earthly to come by. Characters aren't intelligent investigators searching for ancient mysteries and stumbling on huge monster with tentacles stuck on jaw, they don't have magical powers to be avatars, they don't see through illusion what monsters lurk behind the lie we call reality... In WoD mortals are postmen, worn out cops, office clergs - and in my game - girl working in horse ranch.
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