Rebuilding Vampire: Related Reading

It’s not Spring Break yet so no new design posts from me. However, I think you should take a look at the posts I am linking to below.

Nothing happens in a vacuum, especially not creative endeavors, and since I both send links to my design posts to Twitter, as well as “think out loud” there, it is inevitable that a network of influences would eventually emerge. Take for example last week: I’m not sure how it started, but for some reason, my Twitter feed last week was awash in a number of conversations about the World of Darkness, both old and new. Over the five days of the work week, there was not one day when at least a handful of World of Darkness-related tweets flew by, sparking conversations and blog posts.

This has been happening for a while now, of course; it’s just the nature of Twitter. Of interest to me at this moment, though, are these blog posts, all of which have some sort of relation to my current vampire project. I think that if you have found what I’m doing here of any interest, you should check out these posts as well. If they in turn spawn their own series, I’ll do my best to let you all know as well.

Hacking Werewolf by Mike Lafferty

I never played Werewolf: The Apocalypse; the transformable beast thing was never my own, let alone the bestial shapeshifting eco-warriors angle that White Wolf went for in this game. I had friends who really loved this game, though, on par with my love for Vampire, so I was aware of the same situation happening there as in my game: (to borrow a phrase that Stuart Robertson said in the comments to this post) it seemed like it would be An American Werewolf In London, but turned out to be Captain Planet with a lot of fur. Or put differently: gothic superheroes, just a different kind than the vampires were.

Mike sets out, not to rebuild Werewolf, but to tweak it to do what it promises it can do, along the way engaging in an exploration of the werewolf myth and the salient points that he wants to spotlight. For the Werewolf fan contingent out there, I think this will be of great interest, and maybe you can help Mike out in his quest.

Journey of a Thousand Miles by JJ Lanza

Mage couldn’t be left behind, so JJ, blaming me for the umpteenth time in recent memory (*grin*), dusts out his copy of Mage: The Ascension and takes both a loving stroll down memory lane as well as a hard look at what it could’ve been, why he thinks that, and where the book itself betrays its own failure to deliver. Again, I never played Mage, so I can’t comment from the inside, but man, did I enjoy JJ’s insight into the game, especially when he calls out the game (author) on its own self-censoring.

JJ is not setting out to hack or rebuild Mage, though he is taking all the meaningful things he tapped into through Mage and using them as building blocks for something else, a game that he once created and which he is now revisiting with the insight gained via this exploration to be what he thought Mage could be. Mage fans should check this out and join that conversation.

Me and Mage: The Ascension by Ryan Macklin

Ever since I started talking about revisiting Vampire, Ryan has been talking about doing the same with the game that was his own crush, Mage: The Ascension. It took some weeks, and some egging on from me and JJ Lanza, but it finally paid off and Ryan has uncorked the bottle with this post, this love letter. I love the passion Ryan shows for the game; it makes me want to play with him, which is saying a lot since this is a game that I never really felt any calling for. It also calls my attention how Ryan distills the game as he sees it: two sides, both wrong – pick one and go. Moral ambiguity. What’s going to be interesting to see is how Ryan and JJ approach the same game and where do they take it, where does the game take them.

Ryan teases that this is just the initial post. Let’s make sure it is only the first of many, shall we?

WoD Mod #2: Virtue and Vice as Aspects by Shaun Hayworth

To my knowledge, Shaun has not read any of my posts on Rebuilding Vampire (and if he has, he hasn’t left any comments nor made any reference to it in our Twitter exchanges). Which is great because it shows a case of parallel thinking when it comes to the topic of what we wanted out of Vampire. In his series, Shaun is writing about a couple of modifications he wants to introduce to his World of Darkness games, and if you read the one I have linked here, then go read my own post on Joy & Sorrow, you’ll see we’re getting at the same idea via different routes. That tickles me because I like reading about people making these games their own, and because it gives me a little ego boost that I’m on the right track with what I’ve been thinking and designing. Drop by and see what Shaun’s been cooking up.