Help Me Decide (Please!)



  • Hello! I am currently working on a new game (all by my lonesome, and no idea how long this is going to take). I have two ideas, and I am wondering what the player-base thinks about them.

    The first idea I've had for a while. A Werewolf the Forsaken 2E game focused on packs and territory. Similar to how RFK operated with their vampire territory, I wanted to have a game that focused on controlling turf, encouraging non-lethal skirmishes over valuable locations, and dealing with problems that arise with holding valuable territory. I don't think a game like this has ever been done, but I have also worried about it becoming a PvP fest. There is also the added challenge that packs can be hard to maintain with people having online schedules. Is this something people would be interested in enough to be worth doing?

    The second idea I had, was a game based on the Monsterhearts system. Monsterhearts is a very easy to play game based on the Apocalypse World game, made by the same indie developer. It is about playing angsty, hormone-filled teenagers that happen to be monsters. It is your Buffy, Angel, Teen Wolf, Misfits, Secret Circle, and True Blood all rolled into one thing with simple mechanics that encourage in character drama. I haven't seen any MU*s based around this system yet, but it seems perfect for the sort of games you see develope on WoD. Do people have any thoughts?

    Anyway, I'd love some feedback on either of these ideas. Thank you.


  • Pitcrew

    That werewolf game would be neat. I think if you did run it, though, you would need to prepare people for a high PC turnover and just ... be okay with PK.

    Because even if you gear it towards non-lethal conflict, they're werewolves. Lethality is kind of what they are about. And honestly, if a game is honest about it, it could even be a lot of fun.


  • Admin

    The Oath of the Moon might reduce the casualty rate. Unless of course PCs decide to ignore it, but it's a pretty big part of being Uratha.


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel said:

    The Oath of the Moon might reduce the casualty rate. Unless of course PCs decide to ignore it, but it's a pretty big part of being Uratha.

    Players will ignore what they don't like. It's important for staff to have a presence in character--someone who can react to breaches of the Oath if they happen even if other players don't care. But honestly, if there's a pack who runs around killing other PCs in violation of the Oath of the Moon, eventually there's gonna be a bunch of people who app in a pack of Blood Talons and take them out, rofl.



  • You could attempt to model actual conflicts where dominance is the issue, not life or death. I doubt the game setting supports it very well, the rules less so, and the players even less. Real world it is biologically costly to have actual fights, or serious injuries. Perhaps a spiritual world cost could perform the same function in Werewolf.

    You'd want to make the territory pieces each have something interesting, even just as buffer distance between groups, or even no ones land at all so they feel like they have some wilderness that is just a normal space. The ability to decide how a given area is treated would be important. Places like small town, a tourist attraction like a national park, local resource farming like mining, logging or agriculture, places where they could affect the behavior or local mortals like religious centers and extracurricular activites like scouting, hiking, conservation, trouble teens, drug rehab etc.

    Most important, being in control of a place should allow you to affect that place for good or ill, and/or come with a tangible benefit. Perhaps a way to regain WP, or reduce stress by having distance from mortal and pother packs, anything to emphasize why they want this territory.


  • Coder

    @coin or bad shit starts happening to those werewolfs who keep ignoring the oath. Because you know it's not like father wolf isn't still out there or that they don't each have auspice totem spirits.


  • Pitcrew

    @Alzie said:

    @coin or bad shit starts happening to those werewolfs who keep ignoring the oath. Because you know it's not like father wolf isn't still out there or that they don't each have auspice totem spirits.

    So basically,

    Players will ignore what they don't like. It's important for staff to have a presence in character--someone who can react to breaches of the Oath if they happen even if other players don't care. But honestly, if there's a pack who runs around killing other PCs in violation of the Oath of the Moon, eventually there's gonna be a bunch of people who app in a pack of Blood Talons and take them out, rofl.


  • Admin

    Frankly, I'd quite likely play a well designed game based around politics regardless of which sphere they're actually using.

    But the emphasis would need to be on said design, and that means staff who can strike a good balance between giving people the freedom to play without picking favorites and not being afraid to get their hands dirty in case people try to skip the legitimate consequences of their actions.

    That's a high order for staff.



  • Value is usually self referential. EG combat stats only matter if we use them to resolve combat, No combat, or no use during combat, they have zero value.

    Same with any other mechanisms. They will almost completely be referring to more of the same topic, meaning that territory control will mainly affect more territory statuses and so on. I did like that the RFK had benefits bleed over to certain personal roll such as feeding.

    Overall though, you can't enforce someone representing things in their RP in a way that doesn't match consequences or current realities. You could make the results public, but that seems like a lot of work. It might be fun.


  • Admin

    @Wodchelle said:

    I wanted to have a game that focused on controlling turf, encouraging non-lethal skirmishes over valuable locations, and dealing with problems that arise with holding valuable territory.

    Let's go over that - what is value? Why is some territory worth more to werewolves than any other?

    In a game like Vampire this is pretty straight forward; they look for specific qualities such as feeding privileges or improved security when it comes to their domain, and theirs is a system largely constructed around faction and individual status.

    Werewolf is... different. Loci are the direct equivalent to feeding but the concept doesn't translate as evenly - Uratha are proud or protective of them but they don't need them to survive the same way Kindred do vitae. Furthermore status in itself isn't as big a deal since the Lunes are the ones who provide Renown (the rough counterpart to Harpies in a way?) and that's the final arbirtrer of just who is worth what, and they will grant their favor to acts more than size; there is no incentive for PCs to bargain or negotiate with others as there's no 'voting' on who's to rise or fall.

    So the challenge here is giving players the incentive to go out and risk everything to expand their territories or, even more so, claim that of others. Staff would have to decide certain things directly rather than delegate to players - unless a mechanism allowing players to decide on what Lunes' determinations are is implemented, which would make it a novelty for MU* - and do it in a very fluid way to encourage such gameplay to function.

    Finally the process in which territory is taken has to be figured out. The Oath of the Moon may be flexible but it's pretty hard to just do away with - and it specifically states werewolves don't kill each other. So unless every other pack is a murderous bunch it's a bit complicated since the guy you just beat the crap out of will heal and if they refuse to back down... well, then what? You can't escalate, there's no 'Prince' to take it to.

    Perhaps this would be better fleshed out after the next Werewolf book comes out but some of these questions will probably still be valid then.



  • @Arkandel said:

    Finally the process in which territory is taken has to be figured out. The Oath of the Moon may be flexible but it's pretty hard to just do away with - and it specifically states werewolves don't kill each other. So unless every other pack is a murderous bunch it's a bit complicated since the guy you just beat the crap out of will heal and if they refuse to back down... well, then what? You can't escalate, there's no 'Prince' to take it to.

    This is the biggest reason for me worrying it would turn into a PvP game, because players by and large don't like showing deference when beaten. They internalize the defeat and turn the competition into a direct attack. That is my main concern, because I don't know if the hobby is mature enough to handle losing with dignity.

    As for the value of turf. The game would have benefits similar to the territory merits from 1st ed, but already part of the grid. Loci would be established with their resonance based on the emotional factors of the grid around them. This would be a resource in creating fetishes, as well as what type of spirits could be found in the area. Which influences (spiritual) would be readily available to the pack, and the amount of essence they could have. In addition, there would be territory that is better for influencing the mortal society.

    The setting is planned to be relatively small. A mountain lake town. Inspired somewhat by the old TV show Wolf Lake.


  • Coder

    If you can't hold a territory, then it is not your territory.

    So if you get in a dispute over a piece of land then you need to hold it. The thing about territory is it's more than just holding it, as Uratha you also have to do your duty /to/ the territory, you have to guard it not only from possible Uratha who want your territory, but you also have to make sure it doesn't get spiritually screwed over too.

    As to what makes territory valuable besides a Locus? I imagine it being a pleasant place to live would matter, or at least fit your characters idea of what is cool and awesome. What is valuable to a biker gang is going to be different in value to a political club going to college.

    One man's trash is another's treasure for example.

    As for the oath of the moon, mistakes do happen, but they are violations, and there are ways to bind a werewolf that don't involve killing them using spirits and rites for example. So if someone or some pack gets to murderous, you deal with it.



  • The world needs more single-sphere WoD games. Do the Forsaken 2e game.