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WoD: No Metaplot, Just the Facts

   
No Metaplot, Just the Facts

I've been considering running a cWoD chronicle for a long time now. I have a rough idea of where I want it to go, but that doesn't involve the Apocalypse or the oWoD-spanning metaplot. I want to take a neutral approach to the game, and therefore, want to throw most of the metaplot out of the window. I've already decided it would be a Werewolf: the Apocalypse game, with possibly a few other books thrown in.

What I have so far as the most necessary books to the game that don't laden it with metaplot, based upon what I can gather:

Core
Player's Guide
Books of the Wyld, Weaver and Wyrm
Pentex
Possessed
Guardians of the Caerns
Hammer and Klaive
All of the Tribe Books
POSSIBLY Changing Breeds and the individual Changing Breed books

Can anyone help out here? Any suggestions for running a chronicle that sticks to the lore, but moves away from the metaplot? Or am I better off investing in the Werewolf Translation Guide and converting my ideas to the nWoD mechanics I already use?

Most of the tribe books and Changing Breeds are very influenced by the meta, unfortunatly. You can scrounge what you need out of them, but they are definatly meta based.

I'm currently running a Hunter game that has nothing of the metaplot, and it works just fine. The key is to make it clear to the players you won't be using that stuff, so they don't use any of it to make their characters or IC.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love oWoD, especially Vampire and Werewolf, but so much of the mechanics are driven by the metaplot, I feel like it would be REALLY hard to run Werewolf without the threat of the Wyrm bringing the end of the world specifically because pretty much all the enemies of the Garou are of the Wyrm. No metaplot means no Fomori, no Banes, no BSDs and no Wyrm spirits. Vampire is a little easier to deal with but if you take out the threat of Gehenna then the Sabbat is pointless and as such the Camarilla's only enemy would be the independent Clans and occasionally the Anarchs.

That having been said, I would be very interested in playing in any game you can come up with, because if you can make it work without metaplot, I think I would have a ton of fun, mostly because I wouldn't have any idea what plot kits you'd be using and the entire thing would be a surprise. I don't want you to think I'm discouraging you, that isn't the case at all, I just think it would be exceptionally difficult, but as I said, if you can make it work, I would LOVE to play a character.

And for that matter, the existence of the Camarilla is metaplot.

I agree, metaplot comes with the turf in most of the oWoD books. I loved the concept of Hunter: the Reckoning, but I really couldn't stand the metaplot and the way they handled many of the in-game story elements. But removing it from my game was much more difficult than I originally anticipated.

Just because you don't use the metaplot the game comes with doesn't mean you can't have those things. It means you need to create your own justifications for them. My game has exactly zero of the built-in metaplot, and yet, I still have almost all of those things. It's because I have a different metaplot.

Or, you can not have a metaplot at all and still have those things 'because'. The game takes on a different tone, but that isn't inherently bad, it's just different. Magic, because. Werewolves, because. Vampires, because. And so on. The why of it all can be entirely irrelevant to the game. Why they hate each other and form factions and whatnot likewise doesn't have to be metaplot driven, either. Everything factionalizes and defends its own tribe from outsiders, and that doesn't change just because they're monsters and spirits and whatnot. Get creative with the monster politics.

I agree, metaplot is interesting to read, but I find it off-putting to use - people seem to expect things to happen in accordance with it (which provokes meta-gaming to some extent) and it just feels like handing people a script...

The nWoD's take is better in this way, it provides lots of hints and ideas, but won't give definite facts.

Actually, on the topic of metaplot, does anyone remember the name of -- or better yet -- have a link to the canonically legal yet most broken character ever for oWoD? I think his name was Sam Height or something like that.




 

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