Apocalypse World for Vampire: the Masquerade

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Apocalypse World for Vampire: the Masquerade
« on: September 23, 2011, 06:57:07 PM »
Hey, guys! So, I've been increasingly entranced by the old (or "classic) World of Darkness after playing in a Mind's Eye Theatre game... and increasingly frustrated at the tabletop's "storytelling system." Specifically, there were all these dark, tragic, romantic, horrific themes... But where was the support in the rules themselves? But say... Wouldn't it be great if someone tried to take that setting (or a similar one) and work it into a system that could support awesome, badass characters mostly-destined for tragedy... like, say... Apocalypse World?

So, with a great deal of help from my dear friend, Antisinecurist, I started working on it. In addition to Apocalypse World, I've taken a great deal of inspiration from Dungeon World Hack... In a way, I'm hoping to for Vampire what DWH is doing for D&D. I'm keeping track of the rules and setting info on Obsidian Portal, where I hope to eventually chronicle the games I run with this hack.

http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/new-york-nightlife/wikis/main-page

Specific areas where I'd like feedback:
-Are players rewarded for driving their characters towards tragedy?
-Did I capture the feel and hidden meaning of each of the clans?
-Do you think it was a good choice to have character development largely determined by clan? I ask, because while writing it, I felt torn between two ideas. On the one hand, I don't think every character is necessarily defined by what clan they are, but on the other hand, I felt strongly that as characters develop, they go from being mostly defined by their Humanity, to becoming increasingly vampiric (where "vampiric" is defined as "more like their clan").
-Are there any glaring holes, things I'm missing, or general advice you'd like to share?

Thanks a lot!

Re: Apocalypse World for Vampire: the Masquerade
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2011, 05:36:08 PM »
A bit of Devil's Advocate here, but (for people not familiar with V:TM), what are you hoping to capture with this hack, style-wise and thematically? What's the draw and "elevator" pitch for this hack (beyond just "V:TM for people who don't like V:TM")?

Just curious to see the idea explained a bit more on a conceptual level. I think it'd help both of us and anyone else who'd like to jump into the conversation.

- Alex

Re: Apocalypse World for Vampire: the Masquerade
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2011, 05:55:07 PM »
I find your title amusing, by the by, based on this snippet of awesome from St. Finn: "And I'm nailed to the nightlife like Christ on the cross...".

Re: Apocalypse World for Vampire: the Masquerade
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2011, 12:35:16 AM »
Along the lines of what Antisinecurist said, I'd think about what's exciting about VtM to you and design around that, only keeping the elements of VtM that support those design goals. Basically, what's cool about a vampire game to you? If you can communicate that to us we can give you a little more feedback, it will inform your design, and you don't have to let the elements of VtM that don't support it slow you down.

Re: Apocalypse World for Vampire: the Masquerade
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2011, 07:08:14 PM »
Thanks, guys. Let me try to elaborate... To me, Vampire: the Masquerade is more a game about tragedy than anything else. You start out with people who are fairly ordinary, and who have been awakened to the strange and romantic world of Vampires, only to find that nothing about the world is as romantic as it seemed. Characters are forced to wrestle with the central issue of Power VS Humanity; that is to say, do they seek power in hopes of using that power to the benefit of all and, by doing so, risk the very things that make them human?

There's also this element of duality and contradiction to it... Vampires seem to have it all (wealth and abilities far greater than what they possessed in life), yet are never satisfied. Central to it all is the conflict between man and monster that they personify.

That's the central bit... The other things I like about V:tM (politics, conspiracies, action) are secondary.

Does that make any more sense?

Re: Apocalypse World for Vampire: the Masquerade
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2012, 04:02:38 PM »
Hey, I'm sortof doing a similar thing, I'm working on a pretty straight-up hack of Wraith: The Oblivion into AW. I love the theme and intent (and art direction) of Wraith, and I love the Apocalypse World rules, and think that they could really make the Wraith thing pop. I'd like to hear how you're making out, if you're still working on this. One main thing I'm puzzling out is the Pathos/Angst/Shadow concept, which is similar to the Humanity/Beast part of Vampire. Maybe they could run on the same type of engine.