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ArrMatey!
08-26-2009, 03:21 AM
So, I was looking through one of the splatbooks from 'old' WoD today, and it struck me: Wraiths are sort-of proof of an afterlife, and shifter-types constantly interact with various 'archetypal' spirits. Some magi can traverse to other spiritual dimensions, and the whole wyrm / weaver / wild (or was it 'wyld'? I never remember.) is taken as a given.

So, what about the judeo-christian G-d?

I suspect White Wolf did what other gaming companies do: That is, color it as something creatively powerful, but incredibly distant, so they'd never have to worry about contreversy over it. I could, however, be completely wrong.

So, what's up? Yaweh, Jesus, and the like... Where do they fit in the White Wolf cosmology? (And is it different in the 'old' WoD compared to the 'new' WoD?)

smiling bandit
08-26-2009, 10:41 AM
There is no answer, because there is no cosmology. Despite the similar systems, WoD has no unified Grand Theory of Everything, and even it were, the Mages mess everything up. See, Mage basically says that people define their own reality. They currently hold a sufficiently similar viewpoint that they can interact, but they don't have to. Any human could, at any time, simply creat his or her own entire world. This is what Marauders do, more or less.

In Vampire, the Triple-W forces are nonexistent and the Judeo-Christian God does indeed exist. In Werwolf, Gaia is the head honcho and the Triple-W's are only servants. In Mage, they're the eternal cosmic forces and everyone else are lesser beings, be they spirit or not. Changeling says nothing. Wraith is more interesting, because while some Jews/Christians are ordinary wraiths or live in a shallow demi-afterlife, others apparently left the ordinary realm of the dead by knowing where they were going. In the original, good, and interesting form of Mummy (a sort of subset Vampire game), the Mummies coudl visit any afterlife and come back again.

All in all, most WoD games depict the afterlife as a fairly dull and tedious affair. Death is alrgely pointless and there is no particular reason to do or not do anything.

ArrMatey!
08-26-2009, 10:55 AM
Hm. That's sorta disapointing. Good overview, though! (And having bought Mummy when it was just a thin li'l sourcebook, I suddenly remember how much more fun it was than the angst-fest of Vampire!)

Jophiel
08-26-2009, 12:51 PM
As I remember, wraiths could potentially transcend and move beyond their ghostly purgatory to some (presumably divine) afterlife.

The source books also mention wraith-made mini-Heavens where some wraiths would find a bit of real estate in the Sea of Shadows and create their own Pearly Gates style afterlife. Oh, and "angelics" and "demonics" which were explicitly not of divine origin but which looked the part and were convinced that they were.

ArrMatey!
08-26-2009, 12:55 PM
So, in that sense, a dodge. No judeo-christian deities at all? Or is it speculated that they do exist, it's just that 'angels' and 'demons' are just deluded loonies?

smiling bandit
08-26-2009, 03:08 PM
So, in that sense, a dodge. No judeo-christian deities at all? Or is it speculated that they do exist, it's just that 'angels' and 'demons' are just deluded loonies?

As I said, they exist in some games but not others. Honestly, WoD writers weren't very consistent about anything even within one game. Don't get me started on the legendary Setites book, or Page XX, or how many 3rd-Gen Vampires there were, or when all the eastern vampires retroactively became some completely different form of undead.

And then there's Demon: The Fallen, which was exceedingly depressing and even silly. Nothing in it made sense whatsoever. It was potentially a good game, just... weird.

Jophiel
08-26-2009, 04:04 PM
So, in that sense, a dodge. No judeo-christian deities at all? Or is it speculated that they do exist, it's just that 'angels' and 'demons' are just deluded loonies?
They never mention whether or not real angels/demons exist, just state that angelics/demonics aren't divine. I think it was a hedge to give GMs some starting point towards adding 'real' angels & demons into their afterlife game without the complications of trying to add actual religion into the mix.

If I was to give a straight answer, I'd say that Wraith: the Oblivion never gives mention of a Judeo-Christian God. In fact, I'd go the opposite -- for one thing, Charon gets his job from mythological types forces such as "Fate". For another, it's made clear that "Western" wraiths are claimed by the Dark Kingdom of Steel (the main game world for Wraith) but that there is a Dark Kingdom of Jade for Asian wraiths which is devised around Eastern spiritualism, a Dark Kingdom of Ivory based around African beliefs, a Dark Kingdom of Dust for Australian aboriginals, one for Hindus, one for Native Americans, one for the Central/South American indigenous beliefs, etc. So while there may be a divine presence waiting for you when you transcend, it's probably not the singular Jehovah of the Bible.

Like Smiling Bandit points out, there's definitely more religion in Vampire: the Masquerade. God (as per Genesis) curses Cain after all. Now that I think about it, both V:tM and W:tO mention hunters of the paranormal who have some power over their prey through True Faith so there's a divine component there as well.

So, really, it's all just a mess.

ArrMatey!
08-26-2009, 05:42 PM
Okay, that sorta jibes with what I remember; to wit, every time a new splatbook came out, I'd sit there going, "Whaaa? But... They said earlier..." Which was justified with 'well, it's all point-of-view'. I found this -almost- as maddening as the Deadlands 'we won't tell you anything until you buy more product, and you'd better NEVER touch our NPC's' rule.

Hoopy Frood
08-26-2009, 09:10 PM
Like Smiling Bandit points out, there's definitely more religion in Vampire: the Masquerade. God (as per Genesis) curses Cain after all. Now that I think about it, both V:tM and W:tO mention hunters of the paranormal who have some power over their prey through True Faith so there's a divine component there as well.

Not to mention that in Vampire: the Requiem, there are many Vampires who actually worship God, many of whom view their curse as less of a curse and more of a condition whereby they were selected by God to test humanity. I was in a LARP based during the time of the First Crusade where one of the characters was a holy rolling priest and accused any who didn't follow God in the way he thought God should be followed as being heretics. He even accused the Bishop, who was a vampire as well and considerably outranked the Priest in the Church hierarchy of being a heretic.

Kobal2
08-27-2009, 05:58 AM
I believe they leave that up to the DM for once.

There are demons and "Infernal" magic/disciplines, but the books explicitly say that it may not be a proof that the Bible's right (in fact, some writers tried to make it so demons were actually alien beings from a parallel dimension. Yeah, that went well...). The story of God cursing Caine is of course possibly a myth, even though IIRC Lilith does still walk the Earth - but as with all things Vampire, she may be an impostor. And the Caine story doesn't explain Asian vamps.
And of course, there's the question of True Faith, which was a trait people could put char points into without really knowing what it did : the rule book again explicitly said "it's up to you : it may do nothing at all, it may be a kind of luck, it may be a direct conduit to God that burns vamps to a crisp. Your call."

smiling bandit
08-27-2009, 11:55 AM
And the Caine story doesn't explain Asian vamps.

Aha! You mentioned it, and now you're in for a rant!

The "Asian" vampires made no sense and contradicted everything. They were a prop put in by a White Wolf starting to feel a little worried because it had glutted its own market, and needed to prop up sales. They chose to.. glut their market some more. Despite this, the line sold poorly and went nowhere. It also led to a huge irritation because suddenly a nuber of existing characters and figures vainshed.

So technically, you're right. The Caine story doesn't exaplin Asian vampires. Money does. :D

Kobal2
08-27-2009, 12:34 PM
Aha! You mentioned it, and now you're in for a rant!

The "Asian" vampires made no sense and contradicted everything. They were a prop put in by a White Wolf starting to feel a little worried because it had glutted its own market, and needed to prop up sales. They chose to.. glut their market some more. Despite this, the line sold poorly and went nowhere. It also led to a huge irritation because suddenly a nuber of existing characters and figures vainshed.

So technically, you're right. The Caine story doesn't exaplin Asian vampires. Money does. :D

Preaching to the choir, mate :)

Jophiel
08-27-2009, 12:36 PM
And of course, there's the question of True Faith, which was a trait people could put char points into without really knowing what it did : the rule book again explicitly said "it's up to you : it may do nothing at all, it may be a kind of luck, it may be a direct conduit to God that burns vamps to a crisp. Your call."In the Wraith source book "The Quick & the Dead" (about mortals who deal with the paranormal), it gives a little direction. Namely that wraiths must make a Willpower check to affect or even approach someone with True Faith.

But again, it says that "True Faith" may come from God, gods or some other "unknown power". The wraith hunters in the Sect of St. James has it but so could an Inca shaman or even a Scientologist.

ArrMatey!
08-27-2009, 12:46 PM
Ah yes, the big faith cop-out. I understand; having faith work against the undead is a major trope of the genre, but game designers never want to feel like they're singling out one faith, or even a group of faiths, to be 'real', so they retreat to "Y'know, faith in... Whatever." At first it seemed sort-of enlightened. Now it just seems like an annoying dodge.
Also put me in the choir about asian vamps. Heck, I remember when VtM first came out and going out of the cities was suicide because (gasp!) werewolves were out there, and meeting one automatically meant death for a vamp. The asians were supposed to be that squared. No one going to asia ever returned. Then WW decided they needed to... Well, read Bandit's post.
I'm wondering, though... The self-contradiction. It seems it might've come from three things (in my mind):

1) Simple ignorance. The writers might not've delved deeply enough into their own histories to keep things canonical.

2) Egoes. I've seen this in other RPG product lines. 'My view of the world is different than established, but I'm a writer and my view is best, so therefore it's TRUE!' Somehow WW gives off a vibe that makes this very possible.

3) Power creep. Something that WW was famous for in it's splatbooks. Every book had to have increasingly more and more badass supernaturals, from stronger vamps to vamp / were / mage crossbreeds that happened to control entire nations or whatever. Honestly, this particular bit sickened me, but I followed it as far as I could.

I'm wondering if any / all of the above seems probable for the lack of continuity to other folk, or is it just me?

(Also, side note about faith. TORG had a fun mechanic about faith and the 'faithless'. Athiests could have faith in atheism, which allowed them to 'counterspell' (for lack of a better word) miracles cast by other faithful. 'Our deity will smite you with thunder!' 'Deities don't exist, blowhard!' *lightning bolt fizzles in mid-air*)

Kobal2
08-27-2009, 02:50 PM
Ah yes, the big faith cop-out. I understand; having faith work against the undead is a major trope of the genre, but game designers never want to feel like they're singling out one faith, or even a group of faiths, to be 'real', so they retreat to "Y'know, faith in... Whatever." At first it seemed sort-of enlightened. Now it just seems like an annoying dodge.

I for one think it's kinda cool that anything can count as True Faith - of course, it depends on what the DM figures True Faith does. We tend to treat it as a sort of mind block against stuff that messes with the psyche, especially things like Domination, since the spot is already taken by some concept or deep conviction that is hard for a would-be brainwasher to work through.
I remember a game where the table's Malkavian was an ultra solipsist, utterly convinced that reality was 100% in his mind, that he was in fact the sole creator and actor of this mindscape, and that said mindscape was basically there for him to amuse himself. So he had one point of True Faith in... himself. Besides that, he was absolutely rational, as Malks go.

Well, admittedly his risk assessment was a bit skewed, since he was also convinced he wouldn't let his dreamscape kill himself in something as silly and symbolically pointless as a brawl or falling off a cliff... so he tended to jump right into trouble, convinced he wouldn't let bad things happen to himself without a reason. Amusing fellow.

smiling bandit
08-27-2009, 10:36 PM
I for one think it's kinda cool that anything can count as True Faith - of course, it depends on what the DM figures True Faith does. We tend to treat it as a sort of mind block against stuff that messes with the psyche, especially things like Domination, since the spot is already taken by some concept or deep conviction that is hard for a would-be brainwasher to work through.

That's one thing it does, but it has a wide number of other effects that really work unless you're talking about Christianity. of course, those were not always remembered, and many WoD books jut said, "Here's True Faith. It's expensive and does... something."

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