Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday Werewolf Wonderings

A brief Wednesday morning post here.

So a couple of weeks ago I picked up the second edition of Vampire: the Masquerade. I had tangential associations with this game all through college, but only played one or perhaps two sessions of it, and wasn't all that enthused. Still, I think the game has value and, if nothing else, historical significance, so I picked it up on the cheap.

However, the White Wolf game that really snagged me was Werewolf: the Apocalypse. There was something about being able to play an enraged, shape-shifting, tragically heroic eco-warrior that got to me during my college years, and although the campaign I played in definitely had its issues, looking back on it years later it was still pretty impressive, and an interest in the game has stuck with me all this time, even though I've never owned any of the WW core game books.

Well, after picking up V:tM a few weeks ago, I decided to remedy the situation further and pick up W:tA. I found an online used bookseller through Barnes & Noble who had a second edition hardcover in "Good" condition for only $12. A week later, I had the book in hand. While it has obviously seen some use, the book is indeed in good condition; a little wear here and there and the binding has loosened up some with a few years of use, and there's a a small amount of markup in the book here and there (all accidental pen markings, looks like). I do find it kinda amusing that the Vampire book, which is older, looks like it was never even put to use, while the Werewolf book clearly saw some good campaigning. That gives me the warm fuzzies.

It's also worth noting that the W:tA book seems about half again as long as the V:tM book, and all in all I think it's a much more comprehensive "game", with a lot more options for characters and a much bigger picture overall. the "premise" of Vampire revolving almost exclusively around the character's struggle with themselves, interposed with the politics of the Vampire world. In contrast, the "premise" of Werewolf is much larger - the primary focus of the game is, essentially, a doomed struggle to save the world, and encompasses a lot of different facets that are covered within the core rulebook.

The ultimate effect is that, for me, Werewolf just seems like a much larger, more "epic" game, although I hesitate to use that word since it implies for many people a "RPG as Novel" and "Characters are Invincible Heroes" mentaility that I don't think is the case at all. When it comes right down to it, the PC's primary focus in Vampire is personal in nature, with a very immediate focus, while in Werewolf, the war against the Wyrm gives the game a much more far-reaching scope.

I'm going to be digging into the game a lot more in the coming weeks, and I hope to have some more to say about it as this digging moves along. But for now, I will say that I think of all the WW core books, Werewolf: the Apocalypse is probably the easiest for a more traditional, D&D-esque gamer to dive into.

1 comment:

BlUsKrEEm said...

I used to play a lot of Ratkin games in highschool and early college. I loved the punk feel of the game, and the odd anarchistic spirituality. That said i just couldn't take the core game (Werewolf the Apocalypse.) I can dig the idea of noble warriors valiantly standing up against their own doom, and much of the spiritual aspect I enjoyed about Ratkin remains (if toned don a bit,) but when the tribes just ruined it for me. I find most of them insulting, and the ones I don't seem to silly to be the resulty opf thousands of years of history.

I much prefer the Werewolf the Forsaken version of werewolves. While I'd agree that the WtF core book is definitely a blander read than WtA, the supplements are superbly written and they really manage to bring the setting to life. It's too bad the White Wolf seems to have decided to go the Changeling the Dreaming root for Forsaken (suppliments are released at about one book a year.)

All that said I still think Werewolf the Wild West is perhaps the best written core book of any game I know.