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Thread: NWoD

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    Default NWoD

    Hi. I'm thinking about buying the World of Darkness, and one of the side books (Vampire, Hunter, or Changeling, probably). I'm wondering if anyone could tell me what it's like compared to, say, Dungeons and Dragons, and how much of a change it would be to run. For example, combat isn't as prevalent in WoD, and story is usually heavier. So... Any advice?


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    Default Re: NWoD

    Try to get the original World of Darkness books instead of the new ones. While the rules of new edition may be faster, they are also a lot more restrictive and constrictive, while the background is mostly an unoriginal rip-off of the predecessor which rarely ever reaches the quality of the original.
    While these games are out of stock and therefore not easily avalable, the gigantic gap in quality completely justifies the additional efforts to search them.

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    Default Re: NWoD

    I disagree with Satyr. I suggest if you're a new player to invest in the nWoD rather than the oWoD. The gap in quality he describes is in my opinion the result of already being a fan of the old work and seeing it changed. As a casual player of Old World of Darkness, but not a fanatic, New World of Darkness has just as good of flavor, and far superior mechanics. Except Mage. While Old Mage had some of the best flavor of any RPG sourcebook ever, New Mage has some of the most meandering, contradictory and poorly written flavor I've ever seen. Mechanics-wise Old Mage was basically, "Have your ST make it all up" and New Mage is a kludge of unclear and complex rules.

    My recommendation: If you're planning on playing Vampires, Werewolves, Humans/Hunters, or a mixed group including some of each... go for nWoD. If you're planning on playing Mages, definitely go Old World of Darkness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satyr View Post
    Try to get the original World of Darkness books instead of the new ones. While the rules of new edition may be faster, they are also a lot more restrictive and constrictive, while the background is mostly an unoriginal rip-off of the predecessor which rarely ever reaches the quality of the original.
    While these games are out of stock and therefore not easily avalable, the gigantic gap in quality completely justifies the additional efforts to search them.
    Gotta agree with this. nWoD just....its WoD put in the shell of Exalted(Which 1st ed is better then 2nd as well..). Both are great games, but not combined.
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    Default Re: NWoD

    Read them for yourself, and decide whether you like the themes, I'd say--as you can see, the systems are somewhat polarizing.

    The main difference is that the characters will be of greater importance than the treasure or the locations in many ways--just like you would have in D&D statted encounters and been very careful about dungeons and such, in WoD you need to really know your NPCs and PCs. Gameplay will be a little different in that it's more dramatic and less-action oriented, but it can be a smooth transition if you do it with your eyes open.

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    I'm going to disagree with those saying learn the owod. It's just a huge amount to learn, somewhat akin to being expected to learn every DnD splatbook all at once. It's not fair, and it's not good for a new player.

    It's not necessarily a massive change in how you run games, but the prescribed methods and goals in WoD are /massively/ different from the prescribed methods and goals of D20.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerthanis View Post
    My recommendation: If you're planning on playing Vampires, Werewolves, Humans/Hunters, or a mixed group including some of each... go for nWoD. If you're planning on playing Mages, definitely go Old World of Darkness.
    I'll second this opinion, based on my own experience with Mage, and what friends of mine who are fans of WoD have said about Mage and everything else in the system. Since you didn't specify you wanted to get Mage though, I'd say go with New World of Darkness.

    In general, the system is quite a bit looser than D&D, and more focused on telling a story than following the rules. In character creation, they beat you over the head with the idea that you're creating a character and not a bunch of stats on a piece of paper. They constantly remind the storyteller to bend rules if it will make the story better, and only rely on dice when necessary. It's much more about cooperative storytelling than crunching numbers, and you will be reminded of this all the time as you read the rulebooks.

    Also, combat is usually much more lethal in WoD than in D&D, which is likely why it's less common. Combat is actually a lot more realistic I would say... inasmuch as anything in an rpg is realistic. Though if you're playing as vampires and werewolves, combat can actually be quite a chore due to various powers they have that can really prolong the fight... so enter into combat at your own risk if you don't like long fights.

    Incidentally, they also have a much better since of humor in WoD than in D&D I think. That doesn't really effect the game much, but it makes for fun reading while you learn the rules.

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    My two cents:

    First off, to answer your original question, WoD is a much more cinematic game than D&D. Hit points don't last as long, actions are more over the top and the entire focus on the games lends itself poorly to dungeon crawl / quest of the week. So if you're looking for that kind of game, then have at it. If not, you need to go back to a style you are more comfortable with.

    Now to comment on the whole oWoD vs. nWoD. I prefer the oWoD material. There are a couple of things that I like better. The first is that the world is more detailed. There is more material to go off of, there are more directions that you can run with your characters, there is more going on. Not to mention the fact that each different "game" comes out of the box with an overarching plotline that, even when not used by a storyteller, has an impact on the game.

    nWoD on the other hand, leaves all, and I mean all of these decisions up to the storyteller, and I have yet to play under a storyteller that has been able to give me enough written background to satisfy my thirst for fluff. Also, it has a nasty habit of contradicting itself. You might notice that in each of the source books it talks about how Werewolves are very scary things to deal with, but in reality, they are just as balanced as any other supernatural. They were balanced so that a party of all supernaturals would be fair to play, but then we shouldn't have hints that say "these guys are killing machines, avoid at all cost." Or the fact that in Vampire, every city is an island, you shouldn't travel between cities, people who travel between cities are throwing away their lives. But really? From where I live there are three metropolitan areas within 2 hours drive of each other. If we extend that to a five hour drive (easily done over a single night) then the number of metropolitan areas increases to 9. To add to this, the first supplement out for Vampire was Nomads, a book that talks about how to travel safely between cities.

    To sum this all up, nWoD has a better overall system, especially if you want to allow for multiple supernatural types, but it gains this by leaving every decision about the setting to the Storyteller, including things as trivial as the ease of travel and how to justify making the other supernaturals live up their reputations.

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    Default Re: NWoD

    I play a ton of WOD.

    NWOD is Crap Except Mage... if you want to play mage play the new one... the old one is terribly complicated... it takes a level of abstraction, and ususaly comes down to bardering with the gm about not giving you paradox cuz you decided to close your door at range in your own abode....


    But every other setting is better in the older version.
    Werewolf is all about the ass kicking... lots of ass kicking. Vampire is a bit more about drama...
    And Changling is about whos hooking up with who...


    But as far as less combat, it depends our WOD games tend to have more Combat. but its diffrent because you have to be carful of where when and how...


    Lots of fun.

    The old system isn't that hard to learn... if you want less combat and more drama i would go vampire.. Just pick up the Vampire book and the players guide...
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    Default Re: NWoD

    I'd say get whatever is cheaper and/or most easily available, personally. nWoD is going to be more expensive, but the books will be easier to find and (if you're the sort of person who likes sourcebooks) it'll be supported. On the other hand, picking up an oWoD base rules (one book!) on the cheap is a great way to be introduced to the feel of playing a White Wolf game.

    But, back to the OP question: what's it like compared to D&D?

    (1) Setting
    WoD is a very setting-heavy system. In D&D you generally can just make up your world - everything to the gods & kingdoms to whether wizards learn in academies or from random hermits. WoD integrates their fluff much more, so it can be harder to homebrew. Plus, at least in oWoD, there's not really a transparent system for statting things, so you're better off sticking to the examples they give in the books.

    (2) Play Style
    WoD leans more towards a "narrative" type of system. There are few rules and the skill system is fairly kludgy (the storyteller picks a stat and a skill for a check - so you can be rolling Firearms + INT or Firearms + DEX) so things work better if the players think up what they want to do, and the storyteller makes an ad hoc ruling for how to resolve it.

    This means less "Power Attack for 5" and more "I jump down from the ledge and try to knock him to the ground."

    (3) Plots
    WoD, generally, is not really combat focused. Characters are not all that durable, and getting injured can really ruin your whole day. That said, if you play a supernatural being (which you probably will), you are going to be tough enough to whup up on mortals all day, and do some action-hero style stuff.

    Ideally, a WoD game will be very social - you will spend more of your time talking to people than killing them. However, a detective game works well here too. Dungeon crawls, however, are pretty much right out.

    (4) Rules Structure
    WoD is nothing like D&D.
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    - D&D uses many different dice against target numbers. WoD uses D10s in dice pools, and success can be determined by target numbers and the number of successful rolls.

    - D&D uses HP and you fight just as well until dead. WoD uses a general wound system in which pretty much everyone can take the same amount of damage before dying, and getting wounded can impact your ability to do pretty much everything.

    - D&D has an alignment system to help guide RP. WoD has a built-in ethics meter which, depending on how you act, can go up or down. If it gets too low, bad stuff happens.

    - D&D combat is simple. You roll to hit a DC, and if you hit, you roll damage. Sometimes you attacks do status effects - neat. WoD has complicated combat. has you roll one dice pool to hit, and depending on how well you do, you roll another dice pool for damage. That damage may be resisted or otherwise mitigated by your opponent's die roll.


    And those are just examples.

    Disclaimer
    I'm much more familiar with oWoD than nWoD, but from my experience, the above is a fair comparison of the two systems. If you want to play WoD, you will need to learn a whole new rule set than any D20 system you may have played - thems the breaks for trying something new. WoD is a very fluff-heavy game, so if you like homebrewing, it can be your enemy. If you prefer to work within a well-defined universe, then WoD is for you.
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    Default Re: NWoD

    Oracle_Hunter: NWoD combat is much more streamlined. You look up your attack pool, subtract the opponent's Defense, roll and mark the successes as wounds. Gets more complicated if there are supernaturals involved (soaks, mainly), but that's the basics of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Attilargh View Post
    Oracle_Hunter: NWoD combat is much more streamlined. You look up your attack pool, subtract the opponent's Defense, roll and mark the successes as wounds. Gets more complicated if there are supernaturals involved (soaks, mainly), but that's the basics of it.
    Well, thank god for that. oWoD combat was never worth the trouble. Still, it's going to be more complicated than D&D, unless they also got rid of freeform combat manuevers.
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    Default Re: NWoD

    I found nWoD combats to be dull and bloodless, mostly because of a) the static target numbers of everything (because it makes so much sense that beating someone with bare hands is as easy as using a sword...) and b) the lack of an active defense that is also the suspense killer of D&D combats. The original WoD combats were much more dynamic and allowed for more creativity and involvement of the players. I think that suspense is a bad thing to sacrifice to gain a more streamlined system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jertanis
    I disagree with Satyr. I suggest if you're a new player to invest in the nWoD rather than the oWoD. The gap in quality he describes is in my opinion the result of already being a fan of the old work and seeing it changed.
    The base of any comparison is that you know the things you compare. It may be that the nWoD is not as disappointing for people who don't have the possibility to compare both systems / settings, but for many, many people who were quite fond with the original World of Darkness, the new one was major letdown.
    In Germany, the oWoD was probably the second most popular RPG around with many, many players and very active Larping community. The distribution of the nWoD on the other hand was stopped after a year or two because no one took it up. I think there are still more people who play in the original WoD here than those who made the change.
    The dislike for the nWoD is not just my personal opinion, it is very common, mostly because there are good reasons for it.

    As a side note, if you want the probably 'better' version of any WoD, try Witchcraft. Is likely the best of both worlds, with rules that are both enthralling and fast, and it is free.
    Last edited by Satyr; 2008-11-03 at 05:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satyr View Post
    I found nWoD combats to be dull and bloodless, mostly because of a) the static target numbers of everything (because it makes so much sense that beating someone with bare hands is as easy as using a sword...)
    Swords give you, IIRC, a +3 bonus to your dice pool and deal lethal damage instead of bashing. Killing someone with a sword is much, much easier than with your fists.
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    Default Re: NWoD

    I have to adit that my rules knowledge of the nWod is quite lacking. I have onyl played irt for a very short time when the game was still new and I was still convinced that the game could be quite good (despite the painfully dumbed down background elements like the borrowed VtM clansthat were reduced on the basic stereotype).

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    Rules wise for people who just want to pick up the books and go rather then learn the rules(which honestly combat in OWOD isn't that bad, even if you have the big book of beating ass. the only thing that realy makes in complicated is the manuvers... the new fluff blows...

    OP i would talk to the people you know in RL around that area that play and know your gaming style. We do combat heavy oWOD, its a lot of fun. Hyper lethel and realy cool. Don't play combat like you play D&d the characters will die.

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    Default Re: NWoD

    Well, I am a new fan of WoD and other White-Wolf so here is my opinion. First of all, I have never played oWoD so everything I know is 2nd-hand knowledge, but a lot of it is consensus.

    First of all, oWoD has a more encompassing amount of fluff in the terms of setting. Whether this is a good or bad thing is based on the player/ST's opinion. In my opinion, I prefer nWoD fluff because it gives you a good base and then I can make the world my own a lot easier and it feels more like a game I've created for my players than some module (which I don't usually like). The only exception to this is, as almost everyone will and has told you, nWoD Mage. The system is still very complex, but a bit more solid from the oWoD version, but the fluff is very limiting in the basic book.

    In terms of mechanics, nWoD is far superior. Even oWoD fans have conceded, that yes the nWoD mechanics are better than the oWoD mechanics in some basic respects. The most major of these is in crossover balancing. nWoD is a lot more balanced between the systems, as long as you are looking at every aspect as of the game. Vampires are not as good at combat as Werewolves (anyone who says werewolves don't live up to their hype hasn't fought a good Werewolf pack). Everything subsystem has it's own focus that needs to be taken into account. The second major advantage nWoD has over oWoD is that it is a lot easier to learn, a lot more streamlined, but the fun isn't reduced.

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    Homebrewing a setting actually isn't bad at all in WoD, if that's your thing. Yes, some mechanics are tied to the fluff, but there's still a lot of extraneous fluff that can be stripped away to make way for your own setting. You'll still need to keep what's tied to the mechanics and tie it into your new fluff, but that isn't so bad really. Of course, you could also reflavor the fluff that mechanics depend on to be consistent with plot, if that's necessary.

    Just be sure you explain your plans ahead of time if you're homebrewing. There are definitely people out there who really like the WoD fluff, and do not want to play a game in which it is significantly changed. As long as everyone is on the same page though, it should be fine.

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    To the previous poster: Honestly, I'm the only person I know who's heard of WoD... or at least knows a little about it. I'm sure most of my friends have seen the books next to the DnD books...

    So... Thanks. I was also wondering what exactly Changeling would be like to play... I'm not much of a hack 'n slasher, so I'm not too worried about most of it, but I'm sure I'm going for Changeling or Hunter... or at least first. How do the books mesh together in a setting where they meet? And is it possible to create a non-earth setting for WoD?

    And I'm probably going with NWoD, if not just because it's the only thing my bookstore sells.


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    Default Re: NWoD

    None earth setting in WoD is as easy as establishing the "rules" for the world you want to put it on. Just say your not on earth and play how you will.

    Hunter the Vigil is a good game for human play. It lets you keep the "rules" on the supernatural very, very vague so your players will be on their toes.

    Changeling is my favorite out of all the settings and I always recommend it. Even if you don't play the game, getting the book will let you create some very amazing Changeling (or Fey) styled antagonists.

    Changeling is the easiest setting to mesh with others because Changelings strable the human/monster line alot closer than some of the other settings.

    Hack and Slash is easy to work out of the system. Just give the players stuff to investigate and puzzles to solve, you can cut combat out completely and still have a workable dice system.
    Last edited by Tadanori Oyama; 2008-11-03 at 06:05 PM.
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    Default Re: NWoD

    If you're going to go with a non-earth setting, it'll take some work but it's very very doable.

    As for particular books, I'd recommend the core book (World of Darkness) which shows you how to run the game and make mortals. Given the option between Changeling and Hunter, I'd go with Hunter, but that's really a matter of personal preference. I'd also recommend getting either Antagonists or Ghost Stories, if you're planning on playing a mortals game. It's really quite versatile, really. Ghost Stories + Hunter = Ghostbusters, whereas Antagonists + Hunter = Resident Evil and Hunter + Prometheans = Frankenstein.
    Last edited by Fax Celestis; 2008-11-03 at 06:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sequinox View Post
    To the previous poster: Honestly, I'm the only person I know who's heard of WoD... or at least knows a little about it. I'm sure most of my friends have seen the books next to the DnD books...

    So... Thanks. I was also wondering what exactly Changeling would be like to play... I'm not much of a hack 'n slasher, so I'm not too worried about most of it, but I'm sure I'm going for Changeling or Hunter... or at least first. How do the books mesh together in a setting where they meet? And is it possible to create a non-earth setting for WoD?

    And I'm probably going with NWoD, if not just because it's the only thing my bookstore sells.

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    Personally, I'd suggest Hunter. At my college, I'm the only one in the gaming club who has ever played WoD or really knows anything about it which makes Hunter that much more fun. Basically, the players are learning about all the crazy stuff that's going on with no metagame knowledge in the way and they mess up sometimes, but never to a TPK yet (I've had to pull a Deus Ex Machina once, but that was the second session and they learned their lesson after that). Unfortunately, I have no experience with Changeling except I know they are considering making it more of a central subsystem like Vampire, Werewolf and Mage are out of popularity, so I bet its good.

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    Default Re: NWoD

    Hack and Slash is easy to work out of the system. Just give the players stuff to investigate and puzzles to solve, you can cut combat out completely and still have a workable dice system.
    Well yeah. My point there was that it wasn't quite as large a change when people brought up the lack of hack n slashiness. Just wanted to make that clear.

    It sounds really interesting... Now I just need the money and to convince friends that this isn't gonna work out like the time we tried Star Wars... Arguments over whether Endor had been discovered in the Old Republic era...

    Anyway, I'm thinking I'm gonna go with Hunter in a pseudo-earth with the same technology and all that stuff. (I just like being able to draw out my own maps, I guess)
    Last edited by Sequinox; 2008-11-03 at 09:16 PM.


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    Default Re: NWoD

    I just use locations no one has every been to, or work out my own town...

    Or as my group had done we made this town, collectivly, in canada. completely ficticous and the back ground of the city was worked over by our group its pritty cool.
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  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Default Re: NWoD

    If you're interested in Changeling, I can't tell you much one way or the other, because I didn't play it when it was Changeling: The Dreaming, and I don't own it now that it's Changeling: The Lost, but here's the one thing I do know. Old World of Darkness Changeling was so unpopular they quit publishing material for it LONG before they stopped publishing for any of their other lines. New World of Darkness Changeling is so popular, they've extended the publishing life of the game far beyond what they originally planned.

    As for fans of the previous game line disliking the new game line, I understand why, but I still think the new line is just as good or better as a game than oWoD was. A friend of mine who is less of a fan of oWoD than I am once said, "White Wolf didn't start making RPGs until 2004, before that it made bad Anne Rice fanfiction that it got away with publishing by tacking on an RPG system where you could play spectator to the setting NPCs."

    I didn't agree with him entirely, but I do believe that the game is now a lot easier to generate a sense of "player ownership" of the setting. While I understand the appeal of the sense that "the game" is larger than your table, but I'm never going to meet most of them... and I've got five good friends here who are more interested in the story we're telling right at the table than anyone else's story.

    Playing non-earth settings will be hard either way, but I can't help but feel like nWoD would be better for that, since there are fewer specific references to specific real-world myths and histories.
    Last edited by Jerthanis; 2008-11-04 at 01:49 AM.
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  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: NWoD

    I'll base my views solely on nWoD, because I never had the opportunity to play the original except for a few hastily thrown together Vampire sessions.

    I must say that I view nWoD as my favourite rules system, and the one I run to the exclusion of all others. The combat is fluid and deadly, and the fluff in the different settings is really flavourful and gives me lots of ideas for campaigns and one shot adventures. It's good stuff, but if you're used to playing DnD and want something similar, it might come as a bit of a culture shock.

    One thing you might want to try is Monte Cook's World of Darkness, a kind of 3.5 take on the WoD world using the DnD section. I've been told it's pretty inferior to nWoD, but it might be worth a look if you want DnD style rules with a different setting.


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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Goblin

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    Default Re: NWoD

    Hm. I think I just heard Tengu exploding.
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    Default Re: NWoD

    One thing you might want to try is Monte Cook's World of Darkness, a kind of 3.5 take on the WoD world using the DnD section. I've been told it's pretty inferior to nWoD, but it might be worth a look if you want DnD style rules with a different setting.
    Actually, there was a time where I was really interested it and was this close to buying it, but I ended up deciding that if I wanted a new game, I might as well pick up a new system. The reason this started was actually because I was getting tired of d20 system. It's not bad, but it's getting old. (Also, D20 variants of games tend to get old quickly - see SW reference in last post... though that was probably more SW and less d20) And 4th edition didn't do it for me, so... This game has always interested me, so I figured I would think about this next.


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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Default Re: NWoD

    Concerning non-Earth settings, I know old Mage was very well suited to that kind of campaign. In about 12 years of playing White Wolf games, I never bothered with White Wolf fluff beyond the basics set out in the core book, so it might explain why I have such an easy time doing it. I don't know how easy it is with the new Mage, however, because I have only tried it once, but I'm pretty sure it could be done if you replace the new fluff with whatever is relevant to your world. Either way, you could pull it off with just the core book (or books if you go with new Mage.) As pointed out by others, old Mage had a more free-form magic system than the new one, in which the rules are a lot more defined. As opposed to many other Mage players, I work better with a rules-light system when designing and running my stories, so I don't bother with the specifics of each spell beyond what is necessary; also, the old "active defense" mechanics (attack roll vs. defense roll) are more to my taste than the new "passive defense" mechanics (roll Attack pool minus defense pool) but this is just my tastes. Apart from the magic and combat rules, I think the new system is very good. Conclusion: new or old, try Mage for a non-Earth setting. [/my 2 cents]
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