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Vampire City

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Post  Mr Nay on Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:09 am

Vampire City Vampire_city_cover_english_220

The city is a place of nightmare and darkness, where the worst fears of mortals' hearts come alive. Creatures driven by their need to feed upon us like lowly cattle stalk the shadows. If you choose to come here, mortal, it will be your end! Vampires have appeared in legend for time immemorial, throughout all ages of history. Vampire City represents a new voice in their tale, inviting you to make it your own. Romanticism and tragedy, sacrifice and avarice, diplomacy and betrayal, gift and curse, the struggle with mortality--this game is not for the faint of heart. A a roleplaying game for three to five players, Vampire City focuses on these dark souls. Without the need for a gamemaster, the game allows everyone to participate in a truly collaborative experience--giving free reign to pursue even contrary interests!

Below is one of the authors replies when asked about the setting and system and below that is a description of Western City's system

I'm Jason Wallace, one of the crazy authors.... er.... or the crazy one of the two authors, or.... you get the idea.

Arma did a great job covering the basics. It was indeed built on the system of Western City as a GM-less game with bidding to determine some narrative rights and decisions and lets the players build their own characters, a few extras related to them, and then frame a loose story line together of locations and rough events that they play through.

With Vampire City, the process actually does start with vampire and world building. What I mean by "vampire building" is that the group has to decide what KIND of vampire they all want to play. Are vampires descended from Cain, are they a mystical curse, of alien origin, the result of a disease, etc.? Also you determine together things like how do you kill them, what they are actually vulnerable to, and what powers they can or can't have. Then you work together (with bidding again if need be) to develop the world, from Roman to modern to distopian to whatever. Then you make characters and frame the plot together as mentioned above.

For conflict resolution, there are attributes and skills used to form dice pools of D6's and roll successes (attribute # of dice, trying to roll Skill rating or higher). There are also special powers added to this, as well as an optional magic system if you like sorcery or blood magic with your vampires.

Since there's no GM you can play quite different characters and still might things jive. For example, one player could be like Blade (a vampire who hunts vampires), two other players could be regular vampires, another could be a mundane famaliar, while the last could be a mundane priest. While your character isn't in a given scene, you are encouraged to play (and will often have already taken ownership of) various NPCs involved in those scenes. It can take a little work to get used to, but can be quite a bit of fun!

I hope that helps! I'd love to hear what people think of Vampire City once it's out and can answer more questions (although I'm infrequently on, hence arma's poking).

Western City
Similar, yes, although it also features other elements you would find in other indie-style games, and also some found in traditional style games.
Western City is heavily built around a bidding mechanic (using poker chips, or something similar if you don't have any) to decide who has the right to control the narration, not luck by drawing cards or somesuch. There also is a skill system complementing this to resolve things that are outside of narrative control.
This may sound a bit weird at first, but the bidding mechanic revolves around "extras", additional characters created by everyone that can be used as antagonists, and controlled by anyone.

What essentially happens is you bid to be the primary narrator for a scene (scenes are planned together beforehand, and everyone gets a "high noon" scene where his/her major goal for the day may be resolved), and others bid to control the "extras". You narrate the scene and make use of the skill system within the scene to resolve conflicts where they appear (this limits your narrative control again, which makes it more challenging). In a way, everyone else serves as the GM for the player who is the protagonist in that scene.
There's more to it, like vetoing (also costs you chips), special items that serve a similar function as "aspects" or "edges" do, and so on.

Can't really talk about the details and proceedings, as I only read the german version more than a year ago, and didn't play it yet.

As an additional note on "system", Western City also utilizes a task resolution system with pools of D6, rolling under the skill value, counting successes.
There's no huge list of skills on the character sheet though, rather, you have a profession covering multiple skills, and a handful of other skills are what you excel at.

It's a nice way to combine traditional resolution mechanics with more "progressive" narrative ones, which might make it a good introduction into more narrative games.

Mr Nay
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