Saturday, September 28, 2013

Other Worlds: Day 4

The day 4 question on the challenge is: What is your favorite game world?  Now, I'm gonna play fair and not include my real favorite game worlds.  They are the game world that I created and the one my friend, Jacob, created.  Both have way too much information to sufficiently blog about, are not able to be adequately explained, and really are places you'd have to play in to really understand.  Thus I am going to select from published game worlds.  My selection is the Classic World of Darkness, the setting of games such as Vampire: the Masquerade, Werewolf: the Apocalypse, and Changeling: the Dreaming.

The good old U.S.A. according to faeries.

Why do I like the World of Darkness so much?  Even though Vampire: the Masquerade wasn't the first RPG I ever played (the honor goes to D20 Star Wars), it was the first taste of true roleplaying that I had.  It was the first of our games that was not a series of missions or an endless dungeon crawl.  It had plot, intrigue, politics, power plays, dark secrets, and schemes.  We feared sudden death even when we weren't in combat.  Every word to our Elders could land us in deep shit or glorify us to the top of the Elysium pecking order.  All that, and I got to play a vampire (Dracula was, and still is, one of my favorite books since junior high) and got awesome super powers.

Salubri antitribu for life.

While Vampire opened my eyes and irrevocably sucked me into roleplaying, when my GM, Mike, got Werewolf: the Apocalypse, I saw yet another side of the magic of the World of Darkness.  Yes, we turned into giant, psycho rage monsters, but we were doing so to defend and succor the earth.  Making pacts with spirits was just as important as killing the creatures of the Wyrm, and we got just as much mileage out of inter-pack dynamics as going toe to toe with Black Spiral Dancers.

I love me some Bone Gnawers.

Werewolf was only a brief detour from Vampire, Vampire, Dark Ages Vampire, and more Vampire during my high school years.  It wasn't until college when I played a different White Wolf game.  Joe, my new GM, was a White Wolf fanatic, and he decided to run Hunter: the Reckoning for our cobbled together college group.  I was immediately hooked.  Werewolf and Vampire both had horror aspects, but despite the fact that there were bigger badder things in the night, you still played one of the things that went bump.  In Hunter, you just got bumped.  The odds were stacked against us, we had nowhere to turn, there wasn't anyone to help us, and our own kind was as liable to hunt us as help us (goddam Waywards).  On top of that, we got to brush the rich mythos of all the different supernatural factions, and, since most of the people in the group weren't White Wolf savants, we got to experience the same sense of horror and discovery as our characters when faced with things like Baali vampires and their Satanic flesh pits.  

As characters died, Joe let me play a Mummy from Mummy: the Resurrection, and it was awesome being essentially unable to die.  Plus I'm a huge fan of ancient Egypt.  It was cool.  Out of that group, I met my good friend, Jacob, and he ran a few sessions of Mage: the Ascension for us too, although I will admit that I am horribly unversed in that game line.  However, the Technocracy as a secret Men In Black organization of super science is an awesome angle to augment the old world horror of the rest of the World of Darkness.  I've read enough of the other game lines such as Changeling, Demon, and Wraith to get a good view of what they all bring to the table as well, and, quite honestly, I still compulsively buy World of Darkness books even though most of my new gaming friends won't play those game just so I can read them and drink in the stories.  

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