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 Post subject: Your Favorite Vampire characters
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:10 pm 
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Given BK's comment on another thread ( http://yafgc.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=24701#p24701), and given that I have not played Vampire that much (one PNP, one Live Action), I found myself wondering what kind of Vampire characters were people's "Favorites".

Can anyone enlighten me with some examples?

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 Post subject: Re: Your Favorite Vampire characters
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:03 pm 
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I *loved* the concept of "Vampire: The Masquerade", though I found that some of the way it was pulled off was kind of fluffy and I felt the system SUCKED SUCKED SUCKED. I like my Vampires to be MONSTERS as well as tragic and... yes, I'll say it... emo. There was a tendancy for people to start over-humanizing the creatures instead of exploring the horror of the beast.

When I created my first vampire character I dithered over whether to play a Toreador or a Malkavian. I opted Malkavian because the madness could add an extra dimension of horror to the character, if not played for laughs as I'm sure most Malkavs were.

So I worked that indecision into Nathaniel's backstory. He was a brilliant musician who was a bit mad. He was being 'courted' by a Malkavian and a Toreador who were having a gentlemanly competition over who would win him in the end. It was agreed between them that it came down to the reaction to his latest concert. If his new masterwork was a brilliant success, the Toreador would take him. If it bombed, the Malkavian could have him.

Nathaniel's latest (and final) piece was a brilliant work, but a little too avant guard for his audience. The critics killed him and reaction was terrible. The Toreador ditched him like an old fish and the Malkavian embraced him, feeding his madness.

When Nathaniel plays music is the only time he is really lucid. Ask him questions while he's lost in a brilliant symphony and he'll give you answers you can comprehend. But otherwise he's a slave to the demons. He speaks in self reflective metaphors deeply laden with personal meaning and has a very short attention span.

He has also become a very cold killer, lurking in dark alleys and toying with prey. Watching from the shadows with glowing eyes. He hunts to kill and seems to feel that terror and fear and pain make the blood taste better.

Instead of a pretty pair of retracting fangs like his cohorts have, his mouth is filled with needle-like teeth that he uses to bite chunks out of his victims.

I wanted my Vampire to be something out of a John Carpenter film. Not a prancing Dracula wannabe.

I loved Nathaniel.

Later White Wolf products like Werewolf: the Hippy Puppies and Changeling: The WTF really wrecked the line for me. Come on, eco-soldier werewolves? FEMALE SATYRS???

No.

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 Post subject: Re: Your Favorite Vampire characters
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:03 pm 
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Beholder King wrote:
Later White Wolf products like Werewolf: the Hippy Puppies and Changeling: The WTF really wrecked the line for me. Come on, eco-soldier werewolves? FEMALE SATYRS???

No.


Heh, that's why I like the concepts behind the new World of Darkness. Vampires and Werewolves are now monsters as they should have been. Changelings are borderline Evil (with a capital E) because of their long association with The Gentry/True Fae. Prometheans are tragic, misunderstood monsters searching for a soul. Mages are arrogance incarnate as they tamper with the fabric of reality, damn the consequences. Sin-Eaters (my favourite of the new lineup) are, generally speaking, crazy Revenants who have some weird Cthonic entity that has reanimated them after death. Hunters are usually poor saps who discover that yes, there are monsters under the bed.

Now, is it perfect? No. The old World of Darkness had an over-arching metaplot that is completely absent new World of Darkness. Some of the old games, namely Wraith: the Oblivion and Demon: the Fallen have not really been translated into the new paradigm (sadly). The problem White Wolf is now facing is that people yearn for the old game's storytelling potential with the new game's integration. That and I miss 7/5/3, 13/9/5 and 15 bonus points.

Of course, some of the metaplot changes are the better in nWoD. Yes, old Werewolves being fuzzy Eco-Nazi's got old REAL quick. It basically was written like a Monkey Wrencher's wet dream being able to slice up any poor bugger that got in their way. New Werewolf imposes penalties on people who go bananas and start hacking people to pieces.


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 Post subject: Re: Your Favorite Vampire characters
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:46 am 
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Meh. World of Darkness can go to various judgemental afterworlds. I'd rather see "Forever Knight: the RPG". It's where they got most of their ideas anyway.

When I'm running a horror game I don't want the system to get in the way (and my experience with "Waste of Darkness" was exactly that, the system was SERIOUSLY ANNOYING!), so I resort to something simple. I like the "Eden Studios" system and use the "All Flesh Must Be Eaten" rule book. It's easy to manipulate it into any situation you want, though I confess that using it has made me wish I'd bought "Witchcraft" when it was still in print. I have the PDF version but it's just not the same.

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 Post subject: Re: Your Favorite Vampire characters
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:23 pm 
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Beholder King wrote:
[W]ish I'd bought "Witchcraft" when it was still in print. I have the PDF version but it's just not the same.

I'll see if I can track you down a copy. I know I saw one in a used bookstore around here somewhere. (Of course, that doesn't really narrow it down all that much...)

But I found the trick to running Vampire (which I think that everyone should run at least once - it makes you a better GM) is to put the players in the position where there characters have to do monstrous things in order to advance their agendas or even to survive, and creating situations where their very interactions with mortals have disturbing consequences.

I inherited a Vampire game where the PCs were basically superheroes with an allergy to sunlight. So I set about changing it.

One of the PCs was an executive, whose business more or less required him to be out at times during the day. So I had him loose his job. But then he's contacted by a group of vampire businesspeople, who were running an Illuminati-like shadow business consortium. Since none of them could be out during the day, they all had doubles, ghouls who masqueraded as them for important executive engagements. So, the PC needed one too... and the person they suggest is someone who the coterie already knew and liked, and who knew who they were and trusted them. (The previous GM had established an NPC who looked at lot like this particular PC. I little cosmetic surgery, and presto.) And they weren't going to take "no" for an answer. The pickup team had even already "collected" him...

When one of the other characters picked up a guy she met in a bar to take him home and put the bite on him, I made him a police officer. The character in question had been a former Assistant District Attorney (who had also lost her job due to her inability to be out during daylight hours) - the officer knew exactly who she was... He became addicted to having his blood sucked - thought it was the greatest thing ever. So, a while after he'd recovered, her went looking for her, kidnapped her under the pretense of arresting her for murder (she thought she'd been busted for a killing they group had perpetrated a few sessions earlier) and forced her to bite him again at gunpoint. Of course, the player was pretty skeeved out by this whole thing, but that was nothing compared to the time when he showed up at her place one night with his wife and daughter cuffed and gagged in the trunk of his car... He wanted to share the joy, you see...

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 Post subject: Re: Your Favorite Vampire characters
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:08 pm 
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Quote:
Wish I'd bought "Witchcraft" when it was still in print. I have the PDF version but it's just not the same.


Which Witchcraft? Eden Studios or Myrmidion Press? First or Second Edition? Because Noble Knight has at least some of them.

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 Post subject: Re: Your Favorite Vampire characters
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:42 pm 
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Lord_Fellgrin wrote:
Quote:
Wish I'd bought "Witchcraft" when it was still in print. I have the PDF version but it's just not the same.


Which Witchcraft? Eden Studios or Myrmidion Press? First or Second Edition? Because Noble Knight has at least some of them.


The black-cover Eden one is the one I'm thinking of. It's got a compatible system with All Flesh.

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 Post subject: Re: Your Favorite Vampire characters
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:04 pm 
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Lyger wrote:
But I found the trick to running Vampire (which I think that everyone should run at least once - it makes you a better GM) is to put the players in the position where there characters have to do monstrous things in order to advance their agendas or even to survive, and creating situations where their very interactions with mortals have disturbing consequences.

So, would it be fair to say is Vampire (The Maquerade) just truly supposed to be "Emo on steroids"? Is that the only raison d'etre?

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 Post subject: Re: Your Favorite Vampire characters
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:49 pm 
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Bunshichi wrote:
So, would it be fair to say is Vampire (The Maquerade) just truly supposed to be "Emo on steroids"? Is that the only raison d'etre?


I'd say that was not a fair statement, actually. I'd say the concept of Vampire was horror gaming awesome. Vampire of different clans and exploring the creepy symbiotic relationship they have to humans. The secret world they have amongst us right under our eyes and a chance to play one as a proper PC character is a great idea!

The problem is that it got gobbled up by (and then marketed to) the latter-day-goth, early period Emo set who were far more concerned with being "oh so dark and poetic" then with being the stuff of real nightmares.

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 Post subject: Re: Your Favorite Vampire characters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:53 am 
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That's either first or second (both have black covers). Right now, NK has everything except the First Edition core in stock.

http://www.nobleknight.com/ViewProducts.asp_Q_ProductLineID_E_-2044734618_A_ManufacturerID_E_163_A_CategoryID_E_12_A_GenreID_E_

But they don't have YAFGC in the Novels and Comics section. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Your Favorite Vampire characters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:16 am 
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Lyger wrote:
... where the PCs were basically superheroes with an allergy to sunlight.

I've got to remember this quote... :) it seems to fit some of the groups I have observed...

Quote:
Of course, the player was pretty skeeved out by this whole thing, but that was nothing compared to the time when he showed up at her place one night with his wife and daughter cuffed and gagged in the trunk of his car... He wanted to share the joy, you see...

That is pure (evil) poetry. After gaming/GM'ing a session, do you ever have the urge to take a shower and rinse off the taint?
I confess that I'm more of a teambuilder, so I'm not used to having the players looking daggers at me all the time... it always made me feel a bit... unclean... :oops:

Then again, that may be a normal feeling for Ventrue player-characters... what do I know... :wacky:

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 Post subject: Re: Your Favorite Vampire characters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:00 am 
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Ahem...
Vampire was neither emo nor superheroes with cloaks. It has a beautiful mythos and it was a great exploration of ego and desire. But you cannot demand of every gaming group to want to explore these themes.

So yes, some groups may play it differently than it was meant to but the important thing is that White Wolf gave us the chance to play it, and now they are re-issuing it as print on demand and adding a supplement to play the Old WoD with the new, superior rules .

I do not foresee us changing the (yes, sucky) rule system but i do hope we will be playing it for a long long time.

And back to the thread...

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 Post subject: Re: Your Favorite Vampire characters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:08 am 
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...i am a die hard Toreador fan but my favorite character is a Lasombra. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that me and the storyteller played an one on one for years, examining her from the night of her embrace, while the campaign was going on.
But what i loved with her was the chance to explore something so much different than me. She was a Spanish former nun, born under the Franco regime and approving of it, very dry, with no real need for friends or lovers, marginally loving her family, very calm and disciplined and proper. She made a perfect Lasombra who shed her humanity bit by bit, and who after years of emotional emptiness (she could not stay a nun for she did not manage to feel a love of God, only respect and fear) became obsessively attached to her sire fully realizing that the emotion was a kind of Stockholm syndrome. Watching her become a monster (because it was either this or her death at the hnds of a sire who did not permit weakness) was the most fulfilling role playing i ever had.

Please do not call the police.

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 Post subject: Re: Your Favorite Vampire characters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 2:59 pm 
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Bunshichi wrote:
So, would it be fair to say is Vampire (The Maquerade) just truly supposed to be "Emo on steroids"? Is that the only raison d'etre?

Nah. Not really. The whole Emo and wangst* bits come from too many munchkins playing the game. (I picked up a used copy of Vampire the Dark Ages and found somebody's D&D character sheet for their 20th level Vampire Paladin in the back.)

The idea is supposed to be the conflict between the human that a character wants to be and the monster that they are and need to be, not dark, whiny, pseudo-poetic/faux Gothic musings about how hard it is to be so superior to everyone around you that no-one loves or understands you. Vampires shouldn't be woobies*.

I think I got my own Vampire to the point that it succeeded in getting the players to enjoy narrating their characters but not wanting to be their characters.

My not very humble opinion - if I ask you: "What would you do if you met your character?" and your answer is "Cower in abject terror until he turns his back, then stake the bastard." I'm doing it right. Dreams with your character in them should wake you up in a cold sweat. (If, on the other hand, you point him towards the crosshairs you've had tattooed on your neck, I get a metric truckload of Fail points.)

Bunshichi wrote:
After gaming/GM'ing a session, do you ever have the urge to take a shower and rinse off the taint?

Nah. That's why it's Storytelling. I'm not on this guy's side - I just want to know what he's going to do next.

*= TV Tropes terms. You can look them up there. But it might take you a while to find your way back...

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 Post subject: Re: Your Favorite Vampire characters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:32 pm 
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Quote:
My not very humble opinion - if I ask you: "What would you do if you met your character?" and your answer is "Cower in abject terror until he turns his back, then stake the bastard." I'm doing it right.


Seconded.

I heartily approve of humane vampire characters as long as by the end of the campaign you have them fully monsterized. The moments of Fall are the best for me in a Vampire game -when the ego overcomes all compassion or even good sense.

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