Anyone with a report from the White Wolf panel at Grand Masquerade?

Jadasc

Registered User
Validated User
#1
I keep seeing vague references to controversy, including that release of V5 in 2018. Anyone got a report?
 

Tumbleweed

Supporting Cast!
Validated User
#2
Well, from what I've heard (third hand, mind you, as I didn't go to Grand Masquerade) is that Shane DeFreest did some shit-talking about the Mind's Eye Society at his Keynote speech.

Nothing big, but he's basically throwing shade at the organization for A) Banning sexual violence as a topic of RP/Character background, and B) Playing in a different setting that's not 'standard' World of Darkness.

Again, not a full report, so we'll just have to wait to learn more. Still, it mostly smells of entitled gamer-nerd playing gatekeeper from what I've heard.
 

LCDR Seamonkey

Urban Monkey Warfare
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#3
Well, from what I've heard (third hand, mind you, as I didn't go to Grand Masquerade) is that Shane DeFreest did some shit-talking about the Mind's Eye Society at his Keynote speech.

Nothing big, but he's basically throwing shade at the organization for A) Banning sexual violence as a topic of RP/Character background, and B) Playing in a different setting that's not 'standard' World of Darkness.

Again, not a full report, so we'll just have to wait to learn more. Still, it mostly smells of entitled gamer-nerd playing gatekeeper from what I've heard.
I was there. I don't think point B was really something he was putting out, so much as he emphasized that they are going to open their business model up to allow all sorts of partners and even fans to play with the IP so long as they adhere to White Wolf's new setting bibles, which kind of led to the undressed question of "what about these guys that have been charging boldly forward with evolving the setting in ways that make it more friendly to LARP (specifically American style endless chronicle, highly legalistic LARP)."

Point A was....well, you can certainly read it his remarks in that light. I think mostly, he was trying to address toxic gamer culture, but coming at it from a viewpoint that you occasionally see from (some) Euro-gamers, which is that the current American trend to avoid certain "Social Justice" hotpoints is just the latest expression of American Puritanism, and that we are all adults making and enjoying adult products for adults, so nothing should be off-limits. Which is certainly in keeping with White Wolf's original mentality, and doesn't necessarily come from a hostile place, but I think many American gamers are used to seeing this viewpoint used as cover for more toxic behavior. One specific line was (and I may not have this word for word, but it is pretty close) "We should not ban any topic, but we should always ban problem players." I'll be honest, It did set me a little on edge, but again, not because of anything I thought he was saying, but because I was afraid that other people might take his words/positions as cover for their own shitty axe-grinding.

My .02
 
Last edited:

Tumbleweed

Supporting Cast!
Validated User
#4
As for point B, I understand he made a dig at 'Vampires in Space,' which is a direct reference to the MES planning to do an Infinite Macabre game next chronicle. Which ... well, I'll be honest and say I'm of slightly leery, but at least it's something DIFFERENT than the same old 'blah blah blah Cam/Anarch Masquerade.'

And again, I wasn't there, and I don't even know this DeFreest guy, but people I know are bandying about stories that make me a bit dubious as to where he's coming from. It's easy to write off as "shitty axe grinding" but I trust these folks more than that.

In regards to the "Nothing should be off limits," that's weird territory. Since the Mind's Eye Society is a national organization, they're trying to make it a safe and inclusive space for everyone. What works in a troupe or a Euro-style LARP probably won't work for every game. I guess it's just a matter of image-- if somebody's first impression of the game/organization is 'RAPE IS DRAMA!' it's not likely to end well. Personally, I think it's better to err on the side of caution. Other national LARP organizations (or, well, at least Dystopia Rising) have taken a similar approach, so I think it's fine if the MES follows suit.
 

Jadasc

Registered User
Validated User
#5
Thanks to both of you. More data is slowly filtering out, but I appreciate the updates and the candor. I was in New Orleans until Saturday afternoon, before all of this started to hit the fan.
 

Jadasc

Registered User
Validated User
#6
So, something that's not clear from what I've heard so far: I know that these "new products" are for the World of Darkness games that Paradox will be producing starting in 2018. Does Onyx Path still have the rights to continue along the lines of the 20th Anniversary material? Does By Night Studios? If so, then why wouldn't we keep supporting that fork of the line and leave the newer stuff to an audience that wants it?
 

LCDR Seamonkey

Urban Monkey Warfare
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#7
So, something that's not clear from what I've heard so far: I know that these "new products" are for the World of Darkness games that Paradox will be producing starting in 2018. Does Onyx Path still have the rights to continue along the lines of the 20th Anniversary material? Does By Night Studios? If so, then why wouldn't we keep supporting that fork of the line and leave the newer stuff to an audience that wants it?
First to answer your questions:

The presentation was very short on concrete details - it seemed more than anything else like a very stripped down investor pitch meeting. Lots of their general philosophy and the areas they're exploring, not a lot of concrete steps yet. HOWEVER, reading between the lines: it was said that Vampire 5th edition is called 5th edition to recognize that both Revised and 20th Anniversary are complete, mature editions..... So make of that what you will.

As an update to the initial topic, at the White Wolf Q+A today, Shane very explicitly laid out that it was not his intention to throw any shade, specifically at Mind's Eye. He tried to clarify that he was trying to say that the IP would be about exploring dark places, but it would be up to individual groups and players to chose which of those places and to explore and how. A lot of discussion also of trying to make sure matters are addressed appropriately (at the IP level) by getting people who are affected by the issues to write about them (whether the issues are sexism, treatment of native populations, refugee crises, or rising nationalist violence.)

Another big HOWEVER here - There seemed to be a continuation of the wider theme of Shane and Tobias Sjogren giving a reassuring, on-message, we-hear-you-and-hope-you-will-be-pleased-with-what-we-put-out answer, and then Martin Ericsson jumping in to say the EXACT wrong thing to the fan raising the concern. Again, it didn't seem like he was ever coming from a place of actually fundamentally disagreeing with or dismissing the concerns raised, but he seemed to have a compulsion against staying on message and just reassuring people that he was on their side. He put across a vibe of "i'm having an intense take-no-prisoners coffee house discussion with my friends, where we all know we are broadly on the same side and are free to challenge each other on specifics," and doesn't seem to have an appreciation that he needs to actually reassure people that he really does get their concerns. Which led to the conversation threatening to veer wildly off the rails at a couple of points.

Anyways, just my perception.

V/R,
Me.
 

theliel

Fan of Many Things
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#8
I'm interested to see who actually complained about MES banning sexual assault as an available thing because I was in the MES precursor org around the time those discussions were happening and the whole thing was on the chopping block specifically because people were doing really sketchy shit on such a constant basis at every level of the game. I don't really think anyone outside the org really had an idea just how bad it'd become, but it's about the same time that 'dude, rape jokes are not ok' also started to be a national conversation. TL:DR - I'm highly suspicious of anyone like in the US scene who thinks MES is being 'PC' or "coddling" or "not matching the darkedgymcdarkness source material" by banning SA in games. It's the "What about the Men?" of gaming.

Details....Recruiting from young college kids it's hard to keep new (female) players when the nationally known characters have such wonderful signature quotes like "Let's not turn this rape into a murder, eh?" or a dozen other related rape 'joke' things. That's not including that flat out "i'm going to do these things so intensely that players safeword and have to bail on the scene and turn their PC over to a Storyteller to run so their easier to 'defeat'" campaigns(an interim solution where if a player felt uncomfortable they could safeword and an ST would take over for their character), harassment/intimidation campaigns and on up to everything from the creepy gamer thread. Like...the newbs would play a few games, have some fun, then one of the 'big players' would show up, go a raping and we'd never see the new players again. There was always that talk of "guess they're just not into exploring dark spaces and edgy material" that you see all over the press release for Martin's games and it's like...dude, we basically had a player that initiated plans to rape any character of an attractive woman who joined the game. This is not cool. But part of the reason we parted ways was the inability of MES to keep problem players from being a problem at my game because they constantly danced on the edge of the rules and were buddies with the people that enforced the rules.

Honestly the only discussion I remember was whether it was OK to have sexual assault come up with the [prior] consent of all parties and a high approval or to just ban it all together. The voices fighting doing something did not overly convince me they were acting out of anything other than self-interest either because they enjoyed the social aspect of being 'transgressive' or they'd weaponized SA for 'success' in game.
 
Last edited:

Tumbleweed

Supporting Cast!
Validated User
#9
I've only been involved with MES for a few years (and honestly, haven't done much in the last year or so since I've moved), so thankfully I didn't have to deal with any of that kind of shit (as if I did, well, I'd probably peace out before long myself).

This said, when they started rolling out the various revisions, I had some friends (well, let's say acquaintances) who got all worked up about how this is an 'adult' game and therefore it doesn't need to baby its players, or something. I'm pretty sure these were the same people who got their panties in a twist when the MES also recently said "Yeah, that thing about Assamites turning black as they get older is super racist, so that's not canon, so you better not show up in blackface." It's just this weird, reactionary bunch of people who seem to take White Wolf material as Holy Canon That Shalt Not Be Changed.

(One of said reactionaries also argued that Garnet from Steven Universe wasn't really 'black' since she's an alien, and that I was racist for interpreting her as such. To which I replied 'Well, does that mean Superman's not white?' and he had no proper rebuttal. So yeah).

Aaaaanyway, Attackmonkey, thanks for chiming in. Though I'm curious, how exactly did Martin Ericsson keep screwing the proverbial pooch?
 
Last edited:

theliel

Fan of Many Things
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#10
Tried to pump an old buddy who was there, he started the story out with "during QA this femminazi had a meltdown.." so that was a pointless waste of pixels & bytes. *stanface* And he wonders why the game he's trying to stand up isn't getting more players...

I guess we'll have to wait for someone who was there to make it home for more information.
 
Top Bottom