innocent_man: (redtalons)
[personal profile] innocent_man
Well, turned out to be an interesting day, though not as interesting as it could've been. Dad was back in the hospital for a few hours. Blood pressure dropped to where they couldn't find it, and they took him in and very nearly shocked him, but then figured out what was up. He's back home now, on new meds.

And then there's the interesting email I got today. Not going into that. Not thrilled about it. But I'll endure.

Now, tomorrow, I go back to work again. I've been trying to psych myself up, really I have. I've been telling myself that it'll be great to get back into the building, start treating kids, not have to do it while dealing with CSU's bullshit for a change. And this week is cake; meetings tomorrow and Wednesday and then just putting together caseloads and schedules the rest of the week. Hearing screenings after that. Getting organized.

But if I'm honest, I've really loved being home this summer. I like being a full-time writer and dad, and going back to work is going to sting, especially since Teagan's starting preschool and I don't get to drop her off or pick her up because of how schedules work out. And I just know that Cael is going to grow every day a little bit, and I'm going to miss parts of that. It's the reality of the working parent, but man, there are days when I wish I could've stuck with the work-from-home gig.

For all that, though, I'm glad I got out of RPGs. I still love them, and I'm having a great time reading them again (it's been a really long time since I've read non-WW stuff, and I'm presently reading Fading Suns, which is pretty close to WW in set-up, but still interesting). But I wouldn't go back to being a full-time RPG anything unless I got a salary and, more importantly, job security comparable to what I have as an SLP. Join me now in a good hearty scoff.


Right. So, tomorrow I go to a boring meeting, and Thursday I get back into school, and I'll my kiddos again, and I'm sure I'll get right back into gear. But for now, y'know. I'd kinda like one more week.

The Game: Dark Ages: Werewolf
The publisher: White Wolf.
Degree of familiarity: Just a little bit. I developed the book, after all, and even ran it a bit a while back.
Books required: The Dark Ages: Werewolf book, and either the Dark Ages: Vampire book or the free Dark Ages rules download.

Ah, Dark Ages: Werewolf. If I had one book to do over, this would be it. Not because it turned out badly, because I don't think it did, but it's not really all that different from the modern incarnation of Werewolf: The Apocalypse, nor from the previous Werewolf: The Dark Ages. But then again, the culture at WW was very different then. They were still very concerned with changing any of the properties that were working for them (what you know as Vampire: The Requiem was originally going to be kept Vampire: The Masquerade, because of all the money and time that had gone into that property, f'rex), and I don't know how well a major change might have been received.

But if I had to do it over? I'd have cut off werewolves from the spirit world, at least for the most part. At a time when the average human being took so much on faith, werewolves, who up to that point had been used to knowing their place in the grand scheme of things, would be reduced to guesswork and making up stories, just like humans do. And that pissed them off. Rage, indeed.

But never mind that. I've got my copies of DA:V and DA:W, so let's get to it. Now, like [ profile] digitalraven, I'm no historian. Go ahead, laugh or scoff (SCOFF!) about how inappropriate it was for me to be Dark Ages developer, but it's true. My focus is language and writing and English, not history, and I've never really been fascinated by it. Bad teachers, maybe? I dunno. Doesn't help that historical buffs tend to be dicks when they point out something you got wrong ([ profile] trekhead once mentioned that any historical correction usually reads like it should be followed with "you idiot," and I don't disagree).

Man, looking through this book, it's amazing what you forget. I'd forgotten about the Prophecies. See, in the setting of the game, there was this werewolf named Songs of Shadows who popped into the spirit world, and then popped about in the year AD 1200 with 10 prophecies, one for each tribe. He delivered them to his tribe (the Red Talons, whoo!) and they went about spreading them around. This led to a change in status for that tribe, and all kinds of other craziness.

Lots of stuff I wish we'd been better able to follow up on. Ah, well. You might note, though, that in the full-pager before the Appendix, the very last line is: "And Thomas Skyfire knew that someday, it would all end. But somehow, after the last prophecy had come to pass, there would be something else."

And that, my friends, was me saying "I know you don't get this now, and 90% of you don't read these anyway, but the World of Darkness is going to end, but don't worry, because we're doing a new one, and it's going to rock."

OK, Step One: Character Concept. Well, I want to play a lupus character. That'd be "born of wolves, not people." Lived to sexual maturity in one of the great forests of Europe, and then Changed. I'll say that he Changed in response to his pack getting attacked and ultimately killed by a bane, a spirit of the Wyrm (wow, do you have any idea how fucking weird this is for me?). He Changed and attacked it, but only managed to drive it into the swamps (so we're somewhere with swamps...England, maybe?). A pack of Garou showed up and found him, and together they routed the beast. And it wasn't until after he'd been trained as a werewolf and taught how to deal with spirits and all that he learned the first thing about humanity. He's never seen a city, only small villages, and he's woefully ignorant in the ways of people, but rock-solid in his own People's customs. I'm think he's a Theurge, and tribe-wise, let's say Children of Gaia, because they're all over the damn place.

I mark Concept down as "Naive Ritemaster." His focus is going to be on rites, I think, and he's much more comfortable among werewolves than with anything that looks remotely human. Other werewolves call him Lowered Eyes, because he's always got his head down, but that's because he's always listening.

Step Two: Select Attributes. 7/5/3, as is the OWoD way. This is always hard for lupus characters. I'll got Mental first, then Physical, then Social, because I see him as being smart and sharp first and foremost. To wit, I'll put three points into Perception and Wits, and one into Intelligence. Over on the Physical side, I'll put two points into Dexterity and Stamina, and one into Strength. And Social gets one each across the board, though I might raise either Charisma or Manipulation later to help deal with spirits.

Step Three: Select Abilities. 13/9/5. I've got some restricted traits here, and most of them are Knowledges, so that'll be dead last. I'll put Talents first, then. Alertness, Dodge and Primal Urge all get three dots, because I can't put them higher without bonus points. Athletics and Brawl get two points. That's about the standard package for being a wolf.

Skills, I figure, why buck the trend? This guy's very focused on being a wolf. Three into Animal Ken, Stealth and Survival.

Knowledges. Three into Rituals, duh. One into Occult, the other into Enigmas. And that's Abilities done.

Step Four: Advantages. Five points into Backgrounds. This is always easy for werewolves. I'm tempted to throw all five points into Rites, but I want other stuff, too. One point into Hunting Grounds, one into Ancestors, the other three into Rites.

Now, Gifts. I get three, one for breed, tribe and auspice. For my breed Gift, definitely Ley Lines, which lets me sense the nearest caern. Auspice Gifts, I'll take Spirit Speech (handy for learning rites). And, for tribe...OK, why the Hell did I allow the Eve's Blessing Gift? Talk about fucking useless. And, while we're on the subject, what the fuck is that awful picture on p. 131? Oh, it's the Maw of the Whale Gift. Jesus. Cobb'd. Anyway, I'll take, hmm, Mother's Touch. It's not perfect for Eyes, but it's better than Resist Pain for him.

Step Five: Finishing Touches. I record my starting Rage (2), Gnosis (5) and Willpower (3) and get started on spending them bonus points!

First off, I spend two to bump Rites to five. I also spend two to raise my Rituals Knowledge to four. While we're over there in Abilities, I'll buy another of Enigmas and two of Empathy. That's 8 down, 7 to go. Hmm. More Willpower is always nice, so I'll spend 2 and buy it up to 5. I'll buy one more dot in Hunting Ground, to give Eyes a little more room to run. That's...4 points left. I'd like to buy the Sense Wyrm Gift, but I'd need three more bonus points. Fortunately, there are Flaws! I'll take Foe From the Past. The bane that attacked his pack before he Changed did so for a reason - it remembers Eyes' famous ancestor among the Children of Gaia, a mighty Ahroun named Eyes of Wildfire. It figured it could kill Wildfire's descendant while he was still a cub, but Eyes was just too clever and vicious. The spirit's still out there, though, probably lurking in the bog...

Anyway, that's all my points. But I've got to do rites yet! I get 5 levels, and I can take anything up to and including level 4 rites. Well, right off, I want the Rite of Cleansing. Eyes probably does it to his territory often. I'll take the Rite of Summoning and the Rite of Spirit Awakening, both level 2, and both good Theurge rites. I think I'd be working on learning more in a chronicle.

And that's it, because Specialties don't work the same way in Dark Ages as they do in other OWoD games. Neato.

Right, off to bed. Tomorrow: Dunno. I might wind up going to every other day on these, because we're kinda drifting out of the realms of games I can just pick up and make characters for. But I might do Monsters And Other Childish Things.

Date: 2008-08-26 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sure I'll Scoff at you. *scofs*

Buahahaha, my self esteem is rising like the tide while yours is lowering like my gut over my belt buckle.


(Actually I'm down four pant sizes and 18 pounds since I've started exercising. But I've been lazy this week so I must punish myself. :P)

Date: 2008-08-26 02:19 pm (UTC)
amokk: (WTF skull)
From: [personal profile] amokk
(what you know as Vampire: The Requiem was originally going to be kept Vampire: The Masquerade, because of all the money and time that had gone into that property, f'rex)

I don't even want to know how they were going to work that one. Or actually yeah, I do. What, just a "everything before this point, just ignore it" Like, what, VtM 4th ed, to be the companion piece to the whiners of D&D 4th ed? ;)

And that, my friends, was me saying "I know you don't get this now, and 90% of you don't read these anyway, but the World of Darkness is going to end, but don't worry, because we're doing a new one, and it's going to rock."

I didn't read it because I hated WtA, disliked Dark Ages, and so had no desire for that particular book. Which is funny since WtF is my favorite of the new WOD games.

Being reminded that Primal Urge was a talent, ha.

I do find some fun coincidence here, since last night I found myself explaining Metis to someone who'd never read WtA, and finding out how much one has to backtrack and explain other concepts to get that simple one across.

Date: 2008-08-26 04:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've always liked Werewolf: the Apocalypse, but I've never played Dark Ages.

Actually, I've never gotten too far into any of the alternate time period oWoD settings, though I should own up to a strange fondness for Werewolf: the Wild West (I had this Anansi card sharp I always wanted to play...) and Mage: the Sorcerers Crusade seemed nifty.

I'd love to see more alternate settings for the nWoD, though. Vampire in Rome sounds cool (though I'm not much of a Vampire person), and apparently New Wave Requiem is in the works. It would be nifty to see stuff for Awakening and Forsaken.

Date: 2008-08-26 05:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm glad your day wasn't overly interesting.

Date: 2008-08-26 10:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good luck to your dad for his mending.


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