adjective; resulting from originality of thought, expression, etc.

Imagination is the key to creativity.

Gaming is one way to enjoy the results of someone's creativity and imagination.

Tools of gaming (which in and of itself requires imagination and creativity).

Writing is a good outlet for your creativity.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Vampire 5th Edition

Just collecting all the information I've found out about it thus far into one spot in order to share the horror with friends of mine.

This first bit comes from 4chan, I think it was:
  1. Becketts Jyhad Diary to be the setting and metaplot bible of V5
  2. Format will be one slimmer than normal core rulebook with all the game systems for each line starting with Vampire but to encompass eventually one for all 5 original games
  3. The lines will work together but whether they will be balanced to play together is unclear even to them at this stage. Nevertheless I am sure they will try to do so, for now they focus on what they need to develop.
  4. Demon, Changeling, and all other lines that came later may appear in other media formats before their tabletop games arrive
  5. In fact MET LARP rules for Changeling are now announced
  6. The philosophy with KotE is that is if they find someone from the area who can do it they will. They want to avoid the problem of having people write about a culture when they do not know it themselves. So go for it if you live anywhere in Asia and love these games.
  7. The fact that China is making moves around Africa was talked about as being very interesting from the point of the undead sects in those places now having interactions.
  8. Setting material will be presented seperately in huge books related to specific groups the first two being Camrilla and Anarch setting and source books
  9. The setting material will be the reference material for all creative projects from film to larp and tt - and there will be an online hub for sharing every aspect of the wod in every media. Contributors to this "storytelling vault" will be paid 50% of what their contributions earn.
  10. Vampires first two setting books will be Camarilla and Anarch with Sabbat to come later (see below for the metaplot reasons for this). These will release with the core rulebook for V5
  11. Art will involve much photography
  12. Blood Pool is gone. It was described as a gas meter and thus not very sexy. In its place is an elegant and well thought out system relating how you choose to handle hunger to the likelihood of frenzy. You will have composure as a resource. You can opt to spend this when faced with a situation where you want to resist doing something eg feeding at the sight of blood. If you spend it however you get a red hunger die or more in your pools (for probably all your rolls) which will act to increase your chance of entering frenzy. If you dont, you do something you dont want to, avoiding compulsion, but you will have more composure when the chance you frenzy comes up, and less hunger, meaning less likely to frenzy.
  13. Similar mechanics will replace Rage and other power supply traits in the core books for those games.
  14. Over 40 books currently in development. Hopes for an adult tv show by 2020.
  15. System will use dots and d10s and be recognisable to older fans. However some dice may be customised and the inclusion of hunger dice is a sign that further innovations of the d10 system are planned.
  16. Kenneth Hite of Trail of Cthulhu is on the team as V5 developer
  17. Vampires will have two looks, one for the mortal world and one for Elysium
  18. The Masquerade more important than ever
  19. Its so important the Anarchs have had to agree to join the Cam or be exterminated for not following the 1st Tradition
  20. The 2nd Inquisition is underway after government agencies have discovered the truth. And its brutal and ugly.
  21. The 2nd Inquisition ties in with the Technocracy AND Pentex but the vampires have yet to cotton on to how those spies keep outwitting their attempts to stay hidden...seems as if a new and truly ugly Massassa War may be brewing.
  22. The 2nd Impergium is underway with the Garou finally having presumably listened to the Red Talons (and presumably grudgingly accepted the Ratkins purpose) that humanity must be stopped. Werewolves have realised that Gaia is almost dead.
  23. The current world tensions between Islam and the west are in truth just the mortal facet of the Gehenna Wars
  24. The Gehenna Wars have mysteriously called many elders to the east, in something called The Beckoning, the Sabbat have been especially responsive. Some elders are resisting the Beckoning.
  25. Sabbat reveling in the chaos and war of our times and is now seeking out the ancients to utterly destroy them. This may be what The Beckoning relates to. The Sabbat situation is unclear.
  26. Camarilla more secretive than ever and Masquerade strongly enforced.
  27. V5 playtest tomorrow with Mark Rein Hagen in the house to give a keynote address (taking all 5 of my 1st eds to be signed!)
  28. V5 beta test to be released soon after convention so everyone can try it
  29. Documentary on netflix next year
The rest comes from the Onyx Path forums (and mainly discusses the playtest):

Originally posted by werewolf43 View Post
Any words from testers about mechanic changes? First impressions about glimpses of setting?

Yes. Lots, where to begin? I know

ALL OF THIS IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE IN THE FINAL PRODUCT

Only 3 Attributes - Physical, Social and Mental, 1-5 dots
Specialities for these Attributes like Strength, Charisma etc (the old atts) and others that were not old Atts add one die
Skills pretty much unchanged 1-5 dots
TN nearly always 6
Difficulty is now number of succs. needed
Disciplines are activated by "Rousing the Blood"
This means you add all your (red) Hunger die to the pool (they replace ordinary die). We started with 1 die.
Hunger die only added to skill based pools (including pools that use skills for disciplines) but not others like willpower.
Hunger die track 1-5
Hunger increased during play, but it happened to me only once and I cant recall the mechanical cause
Hunger went to zero when someone fed
Victims sometimes gave a small bonus to trait rolls (eg. the homeless guy gave a die for the next stealth roll I think). This was even when partially drained.
Each 1 on Hunger die triggers a Compulsion
Compulsions are clan based and the consequences situation based and were randomly generated. Our hungry Toreador walked into a burned out haven and became entranced by the beauty of the destruction. Police then crept up on him.
Compulsions could be overcome with Composure, but this left you with less Compusure to counter with should a Frenzy occur later.
Frenzy occurred when more 1s came up together (I think)
Willpower was 1-5 and could be spent to reroll all the failed dice, so long as there was at least one success
Humanity was in there at 1-10, but was not tested or afaik used in the beta, the focus was on other mechanics
Characters also had advantages like backgounds and merits, but these too were not a focus of play
The focus was really on how the mechanics and storytelling aspects of play integrated with one another
Im not going to give my views as I want that to brew for a while and to submit it to the offical feedback place first
The story was very dense - I dont think any table completed it in the 4 hours of play - and was a direct follow up to the events of the Enlightenment in Blood LARP which concluded the night before. The story became the first event of the new VtM metaplot.
It was set in Berlin in the current nights during an Anarch uprising that saw the final death of Breidenstein and numerous other vampires as well as follow up trouble coming from the Inquisition. We were all Camarilla neonates trying to find the vampire who had blood bonded us all. It was a clusterfuck. There were several classic moments in the story where the Hunger mechanics produced a genuine 'Vampire' moment.

I made one reporting error in my earlier post, the Anarchs are being forced out of the Camarilla, of course. But its a changed Camarilla, almost broken. The Anarchs are basically turning on a tyrannical, despotic organisation. The events in Berlin were the catalyst for a global change, as the Anarchs pulled the Camarilla to its knees here last week.
Generation was still in development but the idea talked about was that it would be less discernable and more difficult to know which generation your character or anothers actually was. Line of descent may be growing murky to the characters.
Gehenna (the actual events of any ToJ metaplot) was not revealed but my sense is that V5 will feature a selection of elements from ToJ blended togther into a new version of Gehenna which for now we only know as the Gehenna Wars.
The two looks for vampire I mentioned are cosmetic looks, nothing more. Vampires in Elysium dress (and act) differently. This I feel is a nod to the LARPers, who like to really go to town on a look that would often shred the Masquerade on the streets. Elysium is now a place where they can let their monsters show and relax.
Last edited by deejayToday, 06:37 AM.

on combat - oh yeah! mostly between the characters as the situation was really intensive and desperate.
You could rouse the blood to increase any Attribute not just Physical. Also to heal.
Damage was really interesting, it came as either Superficial or Aggravated. Anything that could conceivably kill you was Aggravated for you. Aggravated damage was also very slow to heal.
You didnt take any penalty or injury until a certain level was reached (5 I think) then you took a nasty consequence that was dependent on the type of damage used.
The fighting was between the coterie members, the coterie and the German armed forces, the coterie and some very well equipped dudes who were likely New Inquisitors, and the coterie and some Anarchs. It worked well and was entertaining.
By the way, a little bird sitting in the middle of the nest told me that EDOM from Nights Black Agents were being ported or adapted into WoD...check out The Dracula Dossier for more on that little insight...and you'll realise this could easily be and probably will be part or even the heart of the New Inquisition.
Last edited by deejayToday, 06:39 AM.

I'm still at the airport in Germany but I figure I'll add my own two cents to what deejay has posted. I'm not going to get too hung up on system minutiae as that's the most likely thing to change going forward. Instead I'll focusing more on mechanical concepts and applications.

The "big thing" that it seemed like this was a testbed for is the Hunger system as a replacement for Blood Points. The basic idea is that rather than decreasing the amount of blood you have you increase the amount of hunger you have. Rather than spending Blood Points you instead "Rouse the Blood" to accomplish a variety of things (basically all the same things you spend blood for under the current rules). A few subtle but important inclusions are that you must Rouse the Blood to awaken each night, any vampire must Rouse in order to not appear dead, and all uses of Disciplines require Rousing. You keep track of how many times you Rouse the Blood in a scene and at the end of that scene you roll that many dice. Any dice that don't roll a success add to your Hunger (a scale of 1-5). Any time you make a skill roll or skill-based Discipline roll you have a number of dice in your pool replaced by "Hunger dice," equal to your Hunger rating. These dice function like normal dice and can contribute successes, but if any of them roll a 1 you gain a temporary Compulsion from your Beast (note that 1s do not subtract from successes in these rules so you aren't getting double-whammied or anything). Compulsions are tics of your predatory vampiric nature that can vary in severity depending on the number of Hunger dice that rolled a 1. In the game I ran a Toreador was overwhelmed with strong emotion for someone in the scene, a Ventrue felt compelled to assert his dominance and leadership over the group, and another Ventrue felt incredible anxiety at the lack of order and structure they had without guidance from their superiors. These were all pretty minor Compulsions and we didn't have anyone fail badly enough to pull one of the nastier ones (though one character was walking around with 4 Hunger for a bit).
Hunger is reduced by feeding, shock of all shocks. There was a scale that told you how much Hunger was removed by feeding on what. IIRC animals removed 2 and feeding on a human without killing them removed 3. Feeding on a human and killing them in the process removes 4 and is also the only way to reduce your Hunger below 1 (temporarily), otherwise all vampires are assumed to always have at least 1 Hunger.
Honestly, it worked pretty well and everyone I talked to seemed to feel likewise. It needs refinement, something even Karim said in a couple conversations I had with him, but the core concept and system is actually surprisingly thematic and functional.

In this set of rules the extent of "you are what you eat" was getting small, temporary bonuses from feeding on certain people. They said this is something they want to continue with but are still developing a proper system for. At this point though assuming the final system for that has broadly similar outcomes to the listed effects in the playtest it doesn't seem like that addition to the system is going to be as huge and game-changing as some people were thinking.

The other addition that was generally a hit (with exceptions I'll talk about) was "Success With Consequences," wherein if the number of successes you rolled fell exactly one short of the number you needed you could choose to succeed but have the ST add in some complication or consequence. It only happened a couple times at my table and worked well both times. Other people I talked to reported similarly with the exception of one table where it apparently happened so often it became cumbersome to the flow. Seems like something that depends a great deal on the fall of the dice and the kinds of things the ST decides to throw in.

There are other smaller things I could go into, but deejay already mostly touched on them and I feel they're fairly minor details to really heavily scrutinize at this early stage.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Therapy

~Written on Wed April 5th 2017~

Two years ago, my psychiatrist wrote me a script for a therapy animal. My landlords at that time were (and still are) very disagreeable people, and said absolutely no pets. Though as far as we could tell the law was on our side, we opted not to force the issue, incase they decided to evict us or go off the WSOS program, which was helping us with our rent. 

In November of last year, we moved into metro housing, which legally has to allow me the pet. The ladies at the office are aware that I've been prescribed a pet, but said I would need to get an updates script - the first one was too old. So today my psychiatrist wrote me a new script for a therapy animal. 

So tomorrow, when the office is open (they are closed Wed, Fri and weekends) I plan to show it to them. My next step is to contact the Humane Society and figure out what the process is for adoption, adoption fees, will I get shot records..that sort of thing. I probably won't be able to go out there until Friday, due to my husband having an appointment tomorrow, and their hours, it would be too much of a time crunch to attempt it tomorrow.

~Written on Thu April 6th 2017~


Some progress made on the cat front. In other words, I overcame a couple of anxiety hurdles. First hurdle was to get the script into the office so they could make a copy. Did that early in the morning, then took care of other errands. In the afternoon during my husband's appointment I called the Humane Society of Ottawa County where I wanted to go to see what their prices for cats were and what their adoption process entailed. The cats there were $90, and for the adoption form you had to have two personal referrals and a vet referral. The personal referrals I could come up with, but how am I supposed to come up with a vet referral when I haven't had a pet for six years? I asked as much, and they told me they might be able to waive it, but that's really what they look for. 

So I called the Humane Society of Sandusky County (where I live) and asked the same questions. Cats under a year are $90, while cats a year or older are $70. The adoption process was a simple form, no referrals necessary. So after discussing it with a friend and my husband, I went out to the Sandusky County Humane Society and filled out the application, and met with some of the cats (though not all of them. I was too nervous and had been gone a while already). 

I should hear back by next week Friday. The front desk lady put a note on my application for the lady that goes over them, because she thought it was real commendable that I want to let the cat choose me. 

I really, really hope this goes through.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Small Treatise On Depression

For the record, depression sucks balls.

While I am happy to be living in a new place, have a new car and a general better quality of life, depression still hits me, very hard sometimes. It's hard to work my way out of it, it's hard to think through it - hell, its hard to want to do much more than lay in bed and try to sleep the day away. But I get up because my kids need me to be up. I may go back upstairs after half an hour, but I make every effort.

This holiday season seems to be especially hard - I don't know if that's because, overall, 2016 has been a rough year or because I miss my dad or some combination...I couldn't tell you. I just know it feels like it's been difficult for me.

Right now my eldest son is upstairs on his tablet, while my youngest is playing video games. My daughter is on her way to a New Year's Eve party with my mom that will be at my cousin's place. My husband is downstairs, per my request to have company, though he is watching Netflix presently. I'm at a loss for what to do, really. I looked at imgur for new posts and came here to ramble, and when I'm done I don't know what I'll do, other than continue to try and not be depressed.

Hobbywise, little has been happening. I haven't really been interested in World of Warcraft for a while. I have been playing The Sims 4 a little. Roleplaying feels like it's been at a standstill for quite a while. Theoretically there's a few games in the pipe, but most have yet to start. My Dark Ages game was on hiatus for approximately 2 months due to moving and scheduling conflicts, and right now I don't know when the next time we'll be able to get back to it is. I've got a game I need to work on for my husband and my friend out in California, but that was just decided on last night, and I have a vague idea already of where I might want to try and go with it.

My train of thought has derailed - I got momentarily distracted by the show hubby is watching because he made a comment about it. Not a bad thing - I didn't have much of a train going to begin with. I guess that's all for now? I guess so...off to take something for a mild headache.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Reigniting

I've started back on doing a daily to-do list, and I'm going to start trying to do daily selfies, but do like what I was doing before, and animate them and only post them once a month, instead of everyday and clogging things up with them. Seeing as today is the first day of July, it's as good a time as any to start, right?

So just tried to take a selfie with the webcam, and with where my desk is positioned it's hard not to get one of the kids in the shot - I had to ask them to move. However, the first pic for July is taken, so there is that.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Just Some Rambling

I haven't written in a while, because I never seem to know what to say. When I do feel like writing a post, it's usually because I want or need to vent about things going on in my life, yet I am reluctant to do so because this blog is public and I'm leery of inviting drama into my life by venting about things or people in my life and them coming across the post and reading it or judging me without knowing me or what I've been through.

Whatever, I guess. I suppose when/if I do decide to do venting blog posts I do have a resource for it - just not here. While writing the idle thought of a tumblr blog crossed my mind but thankfully common sense prevailed. Frankly, I can't stand tumblr...not the site itself nor the culture surrounding it.

Recently too I've been in the mood to do some writing, and I did actually write something the other day, in-character, as it were, and post it to my other blog. Hell, I think that blog has seen more activity than this one, but then, my life isn't as interesting, lol. Kind of in the mood to write today, however the focus isn't there. I try to think about picking up where I left off and I just blank because I can't focus. But then, it's the weekend and the kids are home and active, which means noise, so I guess the lack of focus thing is understandable.

Anyway....don't really know what else to say. Think I might try and change my blog layout. Again. Been vaguely toying with doing the selfies of the month again. Or a post-of-the-day thing. Not really sure, but would like to hear opinions, if anyone has any.