Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Difference Between Old and New World of Darkness(es)

So, old World of Darkness versus new.  I mentioned it earlier today.  I think I determined what gets me about one versus the other.

In oWoD, what you play is a meaningful choice.  Vampires feel radically different from werewolves who feel radically different from magi who feel radically different from, say, fomori.  These choices may fall under a variation of It Was His Sled or Late Arrival Spoiler — some players always like to speculate on what a given creature is, occasionally sucking the mystery out of things — but at least those choices all felt different.

In nWoD, everything feels a little similar.  Characters are just humans + supernatural templates, so only the game themes tend to differentiate game lines (you have a weird cannibal with claws, which could be...well, anything, really).  On the other hand, this does aid the atmosphere of mystery — the subtle variations are such that it is difficult to determine among supernatural "types" (though even in oWoD, these assumptions are sometimes hilariously wrong).  It's a tradeoff — different supernatural creatures don't feel as different, but everything feels weird and mysterious.  I might recommend a recent article on non-banal D&D to highlight this difference, as the sense of mystery is one of nWoD's strengths.

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