Sunday, October 09, 2005

Things that are not immediately obvious about the New World of Darkness MET

With the advent of the new MET system, comes some troubles and growing pains and a few other weird symptoms of the changeover. With this will come the inevitable misunderstandings and changes in thought. Also, you'll have people doing dumb stuff and then complaining "But that's how it works in the OLD System..." This of course makes me want to hit those people with a brick. It also makes me want to hit myself with a brick when I realize that i'm doing something dumb based on old rules.

Maybe i should learn some fucking tolerance, ya think?

In any case, i'm starting to notice a few things about the new system, especially, how it collides with the old system.

1) Point costs;
New MET is more based on the tabletop model to the point of having nearly everything cost the same. (there are some exceptions, but not many)
As a result, much of the point based economy of the old system needs to be thrown out. In old MET, a single trait of experience could be used to purchase a lot of things. In fact, if your larp met often enough, you could see the time compression of characters with active lives versus the advancement of relatively static NPC in action. I've been in a larp or two that could boast 13th generation vampires with 5 dots in certain clan disciplines. The only thing halting their advancement was not having diablerized someone. A single point could go a long way. a batch of points, doubly so.
This is not true under the new system. a single point of experience won't get you dick. The break point on costs for things is usually at the point of 3 dots. Costs for objectives over three dots are sufficiently expensive that they'll take you a number of games sessions to acquire. and even if you meet twice a month, you'll advance no faster than if you participated in a tabletop game that met twice a month. As a result, GM's need to re-wire their expectations about giving out EXP to players, and how generous they can actually be without breaking their game.
Important Safety Tip: If you need to buy something high and you have a batch of EXP to make the character, Then you are better off purchasing all the things you need to purchase high with your base points than you are with you Exp. Use your EXP to fill up all the cracks in your character sheet.
For instance, If you want your Mekhet to really good at his Auspex, You might want to use all of his base discipline points in order to get Auspex 3
and then use EXP to purchase his Celerity and Obfuscate. If you were to spread your base evenly and then purchase Auspex up to 3 with your experience, it would cost a LOT more.

2) Expectations of new products
It is my considered opinion, that once a Core book for MET comes out, there will be no further books for it in the MET line. The reason for this is, nobody wants to buy the same material twice and since the character sheets are the same, you can effectively use the tabletop books as reference for the MET game.
This is not wrong. But it is not altogether right. There will be things that won't translate well to MET. Some won't translate well because they don't fit in as well well with the basic framework of how a larp story differs from a TT story. Certain things won't work as well because they call for a more intimate form of setting than a Larp allows. Other things won't work so good because they just don't seem to work as well ( I have never seen Animalism work incredibly well in a Larp. a 3" by 5" card with the words "Pack of Wolves" just doesn't seem to cut it.)
It's a good idea to be on the lookout for things that don't translate well and to weigh each new thing that comes down the pike in terms of how well it will intergrate. And occasionally, it's okay to say "No."

3) The TT Room
On the other hand, certain things in a larp are now facilitated by dint of a more TT structured system, as long as the GM sets aside for himself a room for handling such things. For instance, you tell a GM you intend to follow a character or NPC back to his lair. A car chase ensues. How many times have you ever seen a car chase run in an older style larp? I can't think of one i've seen, much less been in.
However, in the new system, if you want to do something outside the scope of, "I take 3 steps and then shoot" You can. You can retire to a room set aside for running things TT style and knock those things out. You could even run LARGE scale battles in this way as long as you can get everyone involved in the room. You might lay in a battlemat and some figs and some dice for these times.

4) Different Strokes for Different Folks
Some folks like fingers. Some like drawing the cards. Some like Dice. I like Dice, they're faster in my opinion and require less math. One die is easy to carry. you can hand another to your GM and save yourself some grief and he digs out his cards. Fingers are better for conflicts that go on at range and can be more easily read unless it gets too dark. Cards are best when a nearby table is lacking. Any confrontation in a hallway is likely to use cards. Multifunctionality in conflict resolution is a positive boon.

Sono Finito


At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Everett said...

Every new change forces us to go through several stages of learning and understanding - apprehension, denial, frustration, understanding and finally acceptance - then the next version comes out.

Personally, I'm at the "Financially Disagreeable" part of apprehension about Requiem. Is it worth my money to get onboard?

In your opinion, is it worth $30.- to upgrade or does playing a Masquerade game (say set in the 80's-90's) offer me all the RP gothic-horror angst I really need? Does the Requiem setting bring all that much to the table? How about the new Mage and Werewolf?

At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

.....I'm neutral to Requiem. I don't find a new version worth my time and money, unless one of my ST's starts using it. I'm sort of a twink that way. If there's published info on the combat system that I'm allowed to have, I'm going to check it out and figure some strategies, even if I haven't spent a ton on being a tank. I want to know what can happen when my novice character unloads a double-barrel 10 gauge with 3 inch magnums....

.....My primary game as a player is an old first edition AD&D game. It's kind of funny watching the new players trying to chase books down on Ebay! There are pirated PDFs out there, and given the lack of publishing on those titles, not terribly criminal, in my mind. Second ed and beyond, in my mind, were written to limit what the player could do. I'm sorry, I worked my ass off to make upper teens magic-user, and now you're telling me my fireballs only do 10 dice?

.....I've suspected, based on what I've seen, that this not exactly what White Wolf is done. It's more of a case of keeping Elder levels gray and out of player ken. It always bugged me that the first thing a reader encountered in the so-called "Player's Guides" was high-level twink disciplines. To me, that stuff should have been ref-only material, for sure!

.....I'm old-school on combat. Figures and rulers are where it's at. There's too much wandering that goes on in live-action. The more clever players wander toward cover and/or their target and essentially get free actions they shouldn't. And for Caine's sake, make 'em pay actions for switching weapons or pulling out ritual components! Vampire is NOT 1 minute melee rounds!


At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Acid Reign said...

.....Don't you hate folks that spam blogs? If you had the intelligence and wherewithall to actually get a mortgage, would you really click a weblink and trust a spammer with your bank info?

.....Pay it off, as soon as possible. Debt-free is best!

.....I'm not sure why Blogger dropped my "Acid Reign" name. My mistake, probably!


At 10:16 PM, Blogger kinesys said...

Goodbye spammer schmuck.

While i dig requiem, i can also see how it might not be everyone's cup of tea.

However, I do think that the New World of Darkness core book is well worth the money. It's tight, elegant, bloody, and FAST as hell. I think it's well worth the money even if you decide you hate Requiem,Forsaken, and Awakening. It is my system for any kind of modern day gaming (especially espionage) and I think the only thing it lacks are certain elements of the Aeon Adventure system that i liked a lot. At Origins, i got to talk to Achilli and he said that he believes that they too will be incorporated as optional rules in later NWOD books.

This makes me a happy monkey.

At 1:52 AM, Anonymous Acid Reign said...

.....Oh, I'll probably spend the money soon. But, it wouldn't make sense to convert my old WOD game to it at this point, not while I'm leading up to the big Gehenna/Apocalypse shebang! And the WOD game I'm a player in is currently running Rage Across New York. So I'm not in great need of the new poop. Yet.

.....If for no other reason, I'd like to see what they've done with combat. I always found it ridiculous that it was difficulty 8 to hit with an M-16, and difficulty 5 to hit with an UZI. There was a definite bias against rifles, mainly for "Kewel's" sake, I thought. Sorry, guys, if I have Potence, and am involved with nightly violence, I want the biggest gun I can shoot and get ammo for! Cute-sy pistols just won't get the job done! (although a pistol-handled sawed-off double-barrel 12ga is sweetly reminiscent of "Road Warrior...")

.....In my opinion, though, mega-firearms pale next to an Elder brute's ability to manipulate time (Celerity) and earth-strength (Potence), and mash you with a lead-and-concrete-filled cast-iron fence-post. Not to mention Magick-mass-altered (Matter 3) titanium swords... Hope you saw it coming, suckaaaa!



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