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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Eldmor's Avatar

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    Default Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    I bought Requiem and thought it was absolute brilliance. Volunteered myself to co-GM a campaign after DMing 3 years of beer and pretzels, hack and slash D&D3.5. HUGE change. I'm wanting to use equal parts RP and combat, if that's any help.
    I'm open to anything and everything. Except suggestions to a new system.
    Libras D'lnar avatar by CSK

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    If no one in your group has ever played the game before, make them literally create their chars in front of you. Not stats or whateva, make 'em give the chars a backstory ("As he walked home from the recital, he felt an extremely strong hand hold him by the neck. Then, he was bit, some kind of fangs drilling deep into his skin. As he desperately tried to escape from the powerful grasp, everything went black"), make separate solo adventures for everyone, and find a way to unite them after they've all had a shot at it. It can be kinda hard to coordinate this, specially when there are a lot of players around, but it's generally a nice way to get developed chars, and give the players an understanding of the system. You can consider it a tutorial.
    Last edited by Azerian Kelimon; 2007-09-20 at 08:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    Most importantly, change XP vs character point cost so they either are both flat or increase with level. I vote for flat myself but it's your choice. As is, all you're doing is feeding a massive amount of min-maxing while making well-rounded characters suck.

    Get rid of drugs. They exist only to be abused in a min-max sort of way, not a drug use sort of way. Otherwise, you'll see vampires getting drunk (from drinking alcoholic blood) to talk to the prince. Or (admittly nerfed) crack snorting vampires for combat.

    One thing to keep in mind is that nWoD is deadly. Homeless guys with Saturday Night Specials can take out vampires. Now this doesn't have to be a problem per se except that it means combat is quick and favors ambushes. A dragon in D&D can soak some hits with its 400 HP. In nWoD only a very few things can take a half-way decent combat character's attacks.

    My roleplaying advice is play NPCs as characters and not as avatars of GM wrath. It's a common trap in WW games for this to happen (due to setting and rules). Sure they are awesome people running around with angsty histories and super NPC powers, but the story should be about the PCs, not them. For example, Xylon is cool. But he isn't the focus of the story. It's the OoTS.
    Last edited by HidaTsuzua; 2007-09-20 at 08:40 PM.

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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    I'm wanting to use equal parts RP and combat, if that's any help.
    I'm afraid that is the wrong ratio for nWoD. You should have closer to 2/3 RP, 1/3 combat. Keep in mind that social skills/powers cost the same as physical/combat powers. In a vampire game, there should be an even smaller focus on combat. The ideal situation should be to have one meaningful combat a session, with the rest of the session building up to and/or dealing with the aftermath of it.

    Most importantly, change XP vs character point cost so they either are both flat or increase with level.
    I don't understand what you mean here at all. The scaling XP cost encourages well-rounded characters over specialized ones. I have played in games as a well-rounded character alongside min-maxed ones. In a well-run game, the result is as follows:
    Min-maxed combat whore is bored for most of the session, then the combat happens, he kills it, and then goes back to being bored. Meanwhile, everyone else gets to enjoy the entire session.
    Aratos Tell
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  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    Quote Originally Posted by Skjaldbakka View Post
    I'm afraid that is the wrong ratio for nWoD. You should have closer to 2/3 RP, 1/3 combat. Keep in mind that social skills/powers cost the same as physical/combat powers. In a vampire game, there should be an even smaller focus on combat. The ideal situation should be to have one meaningful combat a session, with the rest of the session building up to and/or dealing with the aftermath of it.
    That sounds reasonable. I've heard that WoD was always RP-heavy yet I found Requiem to have more crunch than I thought.
    Any kind of quick list I should keep around? Tables? Possibly a jury-rigged GM screen?
    Libras D'lnar avatar by CSK

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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    The front of the WoD book has list of dice pools for various actions.

    Rule of Thumb: If you don't know the rules for something, make it up. It is hard to go wrong with Stat+Skill +/-1-5 circumstance modifier. It really isn't worth spending the time to look alot of things up in Vampire. Mage is another story.
    Aratos Tell
    HP:53/53 AC:19,FlatFooted:16,Touch:13
    Active Effects: Speak w/Animals
    Spells Prepared: Cure Minor Wounds*4, Flare, Calm Animals, Charm Animal, Cure Light Wounds, Animal Messenger, Flaming Sphere, Lesser Restoration, Hold Animal, Cure Mod. Wounds*2, Speak w/Plants

    Megiddo
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    Spells Prepared: Light*2, Burning Hands*2, Protection f/Evil, Magic Missile, Shocking Grasp, See Invis., Acid Arrow, Scorching Ray*2

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    I find vampire works really well if you build up a dark mood with all the vampy angst and what-not, but make sure to have a few "wtf?" moments for your players too... introducing things that neither the character nor the players understand and presenting it in a freaky, somewhere-in-the-shadows way is great fun and keeps everyone up and interested well into the morning! Like... "Who is manipulating the local government against the us?" "Is that rat looking me right in the eye?" "What the hell clawed open this septic tank?" or "There are HOW many staked bodies lying on stone slabs?"

    and don't try to develop your story in order to lead into combat situations... seriously, if for the first few sessions the only combats are beating someone outside a bar for information and running some guy over with a limousine, you can still have a blast.

    Hell, if I was an immortal being of the night, I would avoid injury at all costs even if I could take it... you have hundreds of years to die in an unlikely freak "Sleeping hobo you try feeding on turns out to be a possesed by a vengeful being from Somewhere Else" accident.
    The reason we have ten fingers and only two eyes, is that we may type more and read less.

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    Also in the Wizards 4E forum under the same name... but be warned, I'm more annoying there.

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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    and don't try to develop your story in order to lead into combat situations... seriously, if for the first few sessions the only combats are beating someone outside a bar for information and running some guy over with a limousine, you can still have a blast.
    Generally, I would agree with that sentiment, but my suggestion is likely a shorter gap to jump between his previous style of play and the new one. The ideal V:tR game has no plot whatsoever, just a setting that the players manipulate (thus creating their own plot).
    Aratos Tell
    HP:53/53 AC:19,FlatFooted:16,Touch:13
    Active Effects: Speak w/Animals
    Spells Prepared: Cure Minor Wounds*4, Flare, Calm Animals, Charm Animal, Cure Light Wounds, Animal Messenger, Flaming Sphere, Lesser Restoration, Hold Animal, Cure Mod. Wounds*2, Speak w/Plants

    Megiddo
    HP:26/26 PP: 40/40 AC:14,FlatFooted:13,Touch:13
    Active Effects:
    Spells Prepared: Light*2, Burning Hands*2, Protection f/Evil, Magic Missile, Shocking Grasp, See Invis., Acid Arrow, Scorching Ray*2

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    So far the advice most people are suggesting here is pretty good. I wanted to address sone thing on the issue of combat. One thing to remember is that unlike D&D where combat exists to provide a challenge in a storyteller game it just has to convey the story.

    Two of the previous examples being the 'driving over someone with a limousine or beating someone up for information'

    What this means is, you can present combats that are not at all a threat to your players if they convey the story. Obviously if it suits the story to have them deadly that suits fine too.

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    one note. For the MOST part vampires dont carry on running battles in the public eye. There has been some notable exceptions, but most vampires dont. there is just too much chance that they might meet a final death.

    While many of the older vampires are trained in some sort of combat, they arnt all combat monsters. Alot of older vampirers' combat leathality comes from being very old and powerful. Again there are exceptions to this.

    Alot of vampire is schemes. enourage your players to solve problems/take out enemies without throwing a punch. Sure they might be able to kill that vamp who bought out one of their companies, but ruining his business and shaming him in the eyes of the other vampires in the city is fun also.

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    As other posters have mentioned, there really is no dropped in plot. However, you can have a lot of funwith a bare bones situation and let the players fill it in. For example, our current storyline involves two older (and much more powerful) vampires. They managed to get a blood hunt called on them. The prince set a public challange. Whomever manages to get them is given control over a domain. Then let the fun start as every young (and not so young) vampire in the city goes for the bait.

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    One thing to keep in mind that even if you don't run with a fixed plot, that doesn't mean you have to be totally reactive in your game planning.

    Very generically speaking, there's going to be some political power structure amongst vampires in the PCs' home city. The vamps with the most vested interest in maintaining the status quo are liable to think that if the PCs (whom I'm assuming won't be at or near the top of the vampire food chain) aren't working for them, then they're working for one of their rivals. These same vampires are probably going to be pretty resourceful (else how would they have come to power?) and can figure out more than one way to achieve their goals.

    Thus, when the PCs stubbornly and maliciously refuse to bite on any of your finely crafted plot hooks pursue their own agendas, if said pursuit means turning down offers from more powerful vampires, just have the big guys figure out how to get what they want another way, off screen. Maybe they'll tap a different set of lackeys who on their own would not be a match for the PCs, but with the backing of one of the city's major players they'd be able to thwart the PCs' ambitions to some extent, for example...

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    Quote Originally Posted by Skjaldbakka View Post
    I don't understand what you mean here at all. The scaling XP cost encourages well-rounded characters over specialized ones. I have played in games as a well-rounded character alongside min-maxed ones.

    I think what HT means is that since costs are Linear during Char creation, and exponential outside of it, players are very rewarded by getting high lvls of a few things, than a broad array of skills (because it costs more to buy up in game)

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    Quote Originally Posted by Squee_nabob View Post
    I think what HT means is that since costs are Linear during Char creation, and exponential outside of it
    Yes, but the net effect is to make character creation much easier and faster. Besides, if they're first-time players and (as suggested) making characters in the first session with you around, this likely won't be a problem.

    What I find works very well with Whitewolf is have the players create the backstory for a human, then have the game start shortly after (or even before) their Change. That way, neither character nor player has much of a clue what kind of weird society they've just been forced into, and both will find out simultaneously.

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    I'd suggest dumping the ability to buy Humanity with XP + Roleplay.

    The XP cost is so prohibitive for something that tends to make you weaker that if any of your players take it up they're actually weakening the entire party.

    I suggest you replace it with Roleplay and a reverse of the system for losing humanity.
    i.e. If a PC either does some outstanding above their current humanity level act, or consistently acts in a somewhat superior humanity way, they make a humanity check and gain a level if they suceed.

    Stephen

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    As it stands now; several people are interested in the campaign. After I joined a d20WoD game. I can still juggle, though.
    I liked the suggestion about Humanity. I'll factor that in.
    Most of the people interested have already ran Vampire, which is very helpful for me. They said the only thing that needed to be really applied from nWoD was grapple rules.
    Libras D'lnar avatar by CSK

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    I wouldn't use the Humanity houserule. The whole point of Humanity (and the Morality system in general) is the fight against baser, selfish urges in a world full of selfish individuals.

    Even moreso for Vampires (and to a lesser extent Werewolves), as they've literally become monsters and have to really fight to see normal humans as people instead of, say, cattle. Being unable to lose Humanity rather defeats the point.

    So what if it makes Vampires 'weaker' when they gain more Humanity (this is debateable, anyway)? The World of Darkness is not Oerth. The whole point is the story you're collectively telling, not who has the highest damage modifier.
    Last edited by Yuki Akuma; 2007-09-24 at 09:57 AM.
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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    Humanity, and the whole morality issue, is a vital part to the World of Darkness. You are supposed to fight a losing battle against yourself. I would strongly suggest against a priori houseruling this to something else, unless you have several years of experience storytelling in the WoD.

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    unless you have several years of experience storytelling in the WoD.
    Which I don't. I'm also starting to see the holes in it also. Repealed.
    Anyone know other house rules that might work for me?
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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    What I find works very well with Whitewolf is have the players create the backstory for a human, then have the game start shortly after (or even before) their Change. That way, neither character nor player has much of a clue what kind of weird society they've just been forced into, and both will find out simultaneously.
    I heartily second that. In fact, I'd even go as far as to suggest that you have your players create normal humans, complete with a human life, and have them not transform for at least one, if not several sessions. Have them slowly uncover that something is amiss in that world, send them after some mystery without ever explicitly stating that there are vampires and werewolves in this world (though they may get enough hints to gather that much), and have them get their transition only during that. It makes the transition that much more traumatic, and also gives them a human life to begin with that they will have to struggle in order to keep - there is more attachment to humanity if the character was established first as a dedicated musician, who has these and these friends, his band, such and such hobbies, leads that or another style of life, and played for a while in that fashion, too. The human past may lose much of its importance to the players if it is completely skipped and the characters are vampires or whatever they shall be to begin with.
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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Yes, but the net effect is to make character creation much easier and faster. Besides, if they're first-time players and (as suggested) making characters in the first session with you around, this likely won't be a problem.
    Really all you have to do is change XP costs for raising stuff so that it's flat rather than linear. That isn't hard. Heck, you can adjust the costs to reflect how quickly you think they should get better at stuff.

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    Default Re: Tips for GMing Vampire: Requiem

    Quote Originally Posted by HidaTsuzua View Post
    Heck, you can adjust the costs to reflect how quickly you think they should get better at stuff.
    Even easier, you can give them more XP if you want them to get better at stuff quickly

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldmor View Post
    Anyone know other house rules that might work for me?
    Well, depending on your group's experience with other RPGs, you may want to skip the part about combat maneuvers. If your group is good with rules, by all means leave it in; but if they're beginners, it may help to just let them "attack" rather than letting them choose between attack, grab, slam, bite, kick, trip, and half a dozen other options that each have their own dice mod.

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