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MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Rand Brittain posted:

Has David Hill officially left? Or even unofficially left?

Yes.

I might be doing some writing stuff still. Dunno. We'll see.

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MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Basic Chunnel posted:

Oh are you him? I really like David Hill's work and hope he can stay on however that works out.

Yeah. It's me. Friend got me an account. And, I figure, at very least I can waste Zak's time making more ridiculous Glenn Beck association charts if I post here.

Thank you.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Ferrinus posted:

Ah, excellent, you're here. Now, your latest design mistakes are as follows,

It's good to see you recognize the inherent flawlessness in my work. Took you long enough.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Soonmot posted:

Turn off your sig file, they ban for that. Welcome to the worst forum on the internet except for all of the others.

That stuff you posted on twitter about vampires and sorcerers was really intriguing, make sure to link us any kickstarters.


Thanks for the newbie schooling. And cool on the other stuff. I will be talking more about that soon, I hope it gets to being a thing.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Further Reading posted:

I love your work man, just picked up V20 Dark Ages actually just because people here pointed out your involvement.

If another project involving you ends up on kickstarter you've got a pledge from me.

Thanks. V20DA was a huge labor of love. I've heard some people tell me it was their single favorite edition of Masquerade, which is high praise.

I'm doing a thing. It's going to be kind of weird in structure because I'm tired of just doing the same old poo poo, so it'll be a Patreon thing.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Dave Brookshaw posted:

Dunno. Shane DeFreest works there, and he wrote a bit for old WW in the latter years (he is, of course, most known for By Night Studio's LARP versions). If anyone's freelancing for both Onyx Path and White Wolf, they haven't told me, nor would I expect them to.

One person is freelancing for both. But I don't even really know who they are, because they're afraid to reveal their identity because people might not like them. Which is weird, because it'll come out eventually? I dunno. But I sorely doubt it's any of the more prominent OPP names.

MC Smoke Sensei posted:

gently caress Shane Defreest

I'd really advise against it. You don't know where he's been.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Pope Guilty posted:

My favorite "Did not think this through" thing in the BNS LARP rules is the awareness skill. Having one dot allows you, anytime somebody nearby uses a power, to make a test against them to detect their use of the power. This means that every. single. loving. use. of dominate, presence, etc. involves a dozen goddamn people testing for awareness, and in practice means that subtle use of social disciplines doesn't exist. It's also a big nerf to Ventrue on top of presence powers costing blood, as the lack of blood-spending disciplines used to be a big counterbalance to their clan weakness.

That's literally my experience with MET Auspex. And it was loving butchery. Ruined the flow of play. And, frankly, ruined the fact that vampires lying is such an important facet of the game. I walked out of a game once because amidst giving an important speech the Storyteller requested I give and give acting gravity to, I was literally stopped for bullshit lie and superpower detection twelve times.

Can't stand that stuff.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Once my character was executed because they couldn't tell whether or not I was lying about my guilt with Auspex, so they had to presume I was lying and guilty. Mind, I was innocent, which was ironic because it was probably the only time I was ever innocent of anything.

I have seen this exact thing a few times.

I ended up only LARPing in very tight, curated groups where I fundamentally redesigned the game mechanics.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Mister Olympus posted:

Removing lie detection is a Good Thingô and I have hard anecdata as to why.

My LARP group (nVamp since a bit after its release) runs one standalone chron a year, resetting ST team, setting, characters, etc. after every 10 games. This means more often than not, games will experiment with really far-out setting and mechanical variants to keep things fresh. This year, there is no Masquerade--a PC broke it on national television in 1960. The clan/covenant setup is also changed a bit; though some clans are decently similar to core, the primary, most substantial difference is that nobody has Auspex or Dominate. Between vampires being public and the two most brute-force social disciplines being peeled out, we've had the most subtle, intricate, and baffling politics all year, just from people being forced to play their horrible schemes out the hard way (with social merits)--and as a secret from both the law and the Kindred community, because everyone has to obey the law anyway.

We're going to be going back into Masquerade-present years with some weird habits after this one, but not all bad ones.

I have another sort of counter-anecdote that still supports the premise that lie detection is a bad thing.

I played an inquisitor who tried to play a political game to eliminate enemies. Every time I falsely accused someone, instead of people rolling with it and accepting that the game isn't about honest people, I was met with an overwhelming air of, "NUH UH MY SUPERPOWER SAYS YOU'RE LYING." And, then everyone starts nodding, because clearly the person who said that out-of-character's character is honest and doesn't have an agenda. Nevermind the way things like Status work.

It makes the game boring, lacking nuance, and downright childish.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Axelgear posted:

Hey, random question: Is your name meant to be read as "Machine Four" or "Machine-Ayy-Vee"?

Machine Four. It's a reference to an old Sister Machine Gun song of all things. But it stuck with me.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Yawgmoth posted:

I have yet to hear a LARP story that makes me think "man, I wish I could find a LARP group because it sure doesn't sound like a continual shoryuken to the balls!"

I've had some amazing LARP experiences. In fact, some of my all-time favorite gaming experiences. But they were always with highly curated groups, and designed with a specific, narrow focus in mind.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Alien Rope Burn posted:

One of the old jokes we used to make was that if you wanted to do something sneaky, never, ever use Obfuscate. The arm gesture for Obfuscate just invited curiosity by those with Auspex about what you were doing, whereas you could often sneak around or eavesdrop more reliably by just pretending you were supposed to be somewhere. A friend once eavesdropped on a secret Camarilla leadership meeting by overhearing where the meeting was to take place, sat down beforehand, and faked reading a book. The folks showed up and held their "secret" meeting, not questioning his presence for well over a half-hour.

People love throwing that poo poo around. I had a friend who used to toss things into play randomly to find out who had what power. "I think he's lying!" Then everyone starts using Auspex. "I don't think we can trust him unless someone can Condition him..." Someone volunteers to use their Dominate.

Also, throwing up the hand signal for language usage was good to find out quickly who could and could not use what language. At one point, he and I got a cretin player to spend all his points on buying new languages, because every game session, we'd prepare some set phrases in a new language to use in public. The guy would ask what language we were speaking. He'd grumble when we told him. Then next session, he'd come with that new language on his sheet. We'd use a new language, he'd grumble, then he'd go buy another language. I think by the end of the game, we'd tricked him into wasting his points on like twelve different languages.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Barbed Tongues posted:

Did you ever have a chance to use your conversions for 2E Requiem? I liked the 'aside' mechanics you posted on the OPP forums under Auspex, for example. Wondering if you ever fleshed those all out and gave them a try.

Yes, I did. They worked pretty well. I'm actually going to be hammering out some notes about them for a friend probably some time next month. So I may share them if that becomes a thing.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Kavak posted:

Most of that can be probably traced to Beast's creator Matt McFarland doubling down on everything Senior Scarybagels said while the rest of the writing staff try to work things in a Vampire-like direction. The Hunter supplement from the Kickstarter ranged from the Union explaining exactly why they're no better than child abusers to Cheiron grinding them up to make super-viagra for Trump.

That Hunter book was a good place to work out some of my problems with the game. I kind of approached it from a, "What if Beasts were..." standpoint.

Also at the time I wrote most of it, the second draft version wasn't ready yet. Admittedly, I only kind of skimmed the second draft, because it's a pretty big book and I find it painstakingly difficult to parse minor differences in such a huge thing I was only nominally involved in.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Archonex posted:

Not gonna lie. That was the first thing I thought of when I heard of that faction.

Granted, there is a faction of psychic hunters that Beast introduced. But i'm pretty sure they aren't a group of bald-headed time traveling Russian tyrants. Rather, they prefer to hunt Beast's in their dreams using the psychic powers they were designed by a conspiracy to have. Or something like that. They sounded like a rad as gently caress crossover pitch with Deviant and Hunter when it was explained to me.

It's kind of funny that the best written parts of Beast deal with people that want to stop or kill Beasts.


Edit: Got it, their name is the Merrick Institute. From TVtropes, because i'm lazy as gently caress and it's been a long day:

Fun fact: The Merrick Institute exists because when we were doing Beast, I did a playtest game that ultimately ended up being a Hunter game because we got fed up with the chronicle and didn't want to play beasts anymore. And the Hunter cell basically ended up as the kids from Nightmare on Elm Street 3, with Beasts acting as the Freddy Krueger analogues.

It became a much better chronicle at that point.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Archonex posted:

So on the scale of internet sins how bad would engaging in repeated Mage chat be then? :v:


This is really neat. Did any other factions or story oriented stuff like that come about as a result of play testing? Or was that a one off thing?

In that particular book? Not really. Yuri's Group was something I've wanted to do for some time. It was actually in my pitch for HtV2E as a core group, but I didn't get the gig in the end. And basically, Beast happened, and gave me a perfect opportunity to use the idea.

But pretty much everything in the HtV Fallen Blossoms chapter came out of playstorming in an Edo Jidai chronicle. As well as a lot of the mini templates out of Hurt Locker, and all of the blog bloodlines I did for Requiem 2E.

In fact, since I'm done with OPP, I guess the other bloodline I did for them that never got released isn't going to see the light of day. So I'll share it here.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j6G9wEoA9Rt0OJb1LOApER-zNhD2988SFGVbEMT-rBU/edit?usp=sharing

These guys came out of a chronicle I ran. They were one of the major antagonist groups in that story.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Mors Rattus posted:

Still coming out, the KS was mishandled massively, now has new and better devs trying to salvage the shitshow Morke and Holden made.

As for David Hill...well, I am not privy to his contract and he is, but I would be really surprised if his resignation didn't trigger a penalty clause of some kind.

Nah. Not a thing with penalty clauses due to resignation. I was actually willing to fulfill everything for Changeling. I just told them I wasn't going to work on anything post-Changeling. At that point, they decided to tell me I was cut. I found out later that they'd been planning that for months, even going so far as to hire a replacement, meanwhile telling me every couple of weeks to keep my schedule open for revisions. They even told another developer not to pick me up for a big project, because I'd be too busy with Changeling.

It's more to do with the weird stipulations about dates in contracts. Technically, because of the vagueness of "final drafts" in relationship to due dates, an expert I've talked to has said that literally any project I've worked on in the past ten years, they could have just decided not to pay me and gotten away with it.

Without getting too unnecessarily detailed, imagine your first developed draft is due April 31st, and your final draft is due May 31st. Your contract says every day you're later than May 31st, they reserve the right to reduce your pay by 2%. Common wisdom says that the first draft is the first thing you throw up, then final is with the bout of necessary revisions. Sure. But, since "final" is not actually defined anywhere, pretty much any judge would assume "final" means "the words that actually go into the book after editing, layout, and errata revisions." Which of course could never happen before May 31st, even in the most optimistic possible scenario. This is doubly so considering editors often run late, and layout can sometimes inexplicably take a year.

So if they say, "We've decided we're just going to pay you for the 30% we're publishing instead of the 100% your contract says we're paying you for," you kinda have to take the 30%. They could technically decide it's 0%.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Archonex posted:

drat. All of that sounds incredibly scummy and i'm sorry to hear that the industry (And OPP especially.) is like this to you guys.

That they told a prospective employer to not hire you because you're currently busy with a project while planning on replacing you is especially egregious in it's dickishness.

Yeah. And frankly? I'm sure they didn't mean it maliciously. They all have the best intentions in mind. But that doesn't mean it didn't leave me screwed out of my primary form of income for months, only to leave me finding out on the back end that my single biggest project of the year just... wasn't going to be paid out as I expected. Ironically, I even finally got the contract for that project after seven requests. It was the first contract I'd gotten for a development job since the CCP days I believe.

They might not have had malicious intent. But it sure hosed me thanks to their unwillingness to be up front, direct, and professional about it. Had they told me in, say, October that they wanted to remove me from the project, instead of waiting until March coincidentally RIGHT after I started complaining that White Wolf hired Zak and threw me under the bus, that would have been WAY different.

MachineIV fucked around with this message at 11:04 on Jun 9, 2017

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Archonex posted:

I can imagine. I've been screwed over in a similar way by an employer in the past.

I'd be cautious about giving them a free pass on their mentality over it though. At least, on the management end of things. Like you said, they probably didn't actively mean it maliciously. However i've experienced that sort of mentality from employer's before and by setting up a replacement while not giving you notice they are definitely are putting the needs of their company over the well being and financial safety of their current employee. Just because they didn't see anything wrong with it didn't mean that they weren't doing something that was extremely messed up in industries that have better protections for employees.

I obviously can't speak to the situation in your industry but if your situation is anything like mine then they had simply written you off as a loss at some point and were solely focused on covering their asses from a business standpoint at the expense of yours. I've seen it happen to other people in and outside my field of work too, so I imagine it's not uncommon in other industries that have a trend of being exploitative.

Regardless, hopefully everything is going well for you now that you've moved on.

Oh I'm definitely not giving them a pass. I'm just recognizing that they're not mustache-twirling villains or anything like that. Just people who made bad choices which hurt me.

That said, I'm enjoying doing my own thing. I released my first novel since ending that relationship, and I'm excitedly writing a second and third right now. So, there's that.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



GimpInBlack posted:

Wait till you folks see Geist Second Edition. :)

poo poo I wanna see it now.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Soonmot posted:

Huh, I'm blocked. I don't often use twitter so I must be on some list. I know I responded to Hill's tweets before she came out so rip me, I guess.

EDIT: And Geist is backed, gently caress yeah!

Must be a block list. Lemme know your Twitter handle and Iíll unblock you.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Soonmot posted:

@soonmot, thanks.

Have you posted anything about the vampire system you started work on?

Iíve actually been retooling it. Focusing a lot on how I can modernize the horror ideas Iím presenting and not just make it an artifact of the 90s. Last couple of days, Iíve posted my high concept ideas for magic, werewolves, vampires, and some game concepts. Iím getting to a point where Iím comfortable moving ahead on it. I had to take a healthy break.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Zereth posted:

The author was recently revealed to be a rapist, so yeah, it was intentional.

So here's a thing I want to throw out there.

Matt's an utter piece of rapist trash.

But he also didn't really write most of the Beast book. A lot of people did. It was a really bad development cycle. Super rushed. A lot of people who had never worked with the WoD stuff before. And ultimately Matt did development fairly hands-off with an email list. Which meant that a whole hell of a lot of people were talking over each other and elevating the first idea they found cool. It's pretty much the worst example of "design by committee" I can think of.

During that process, a handful of people said, "Um, this is kinda gross?" But that never really gained traction among the cacophony of people saying, "Oh hey this thing would be cool and also this thing would be." It happened very fast. Like, across a month. And every day, we'd all wake up to a chain of 20 or more emails and it was just a gigantic pain in the rear end.

Without a coherent direction, Matt just sort of assigned little bits to a lot of people. Each writing in their own little island. TBH I don't think Matt actually wrote any of the first draft of the book everyone saw, except for like the introduction "how you use this book" bit.

There were a ton of people with little experience, and a few with experience throwing together words based on cobbled together ideas about a massive email chain with 500+ replies, and of course everyone had their own sort of idea of what the game should look like based on which emails they focused on. Everyone wrote on an island. The book is a mess because there's no coherent theme, and it's like 20 different books.

I personally wrote a very small chunk (I think actually my smallest contract ever for WW/CCP/OPP). I told Matt it was altogether too much to deal with, reading hundreds upon hundreds of emails just to do underpaid work on an elfgame. So I told him I'd do Merits, since I can do those in my sleep and did them for almost every other Chronicles book. A lot of my material was trimmed to nothingness. That happens. Ultimately the best I could do as a creator was develop the Hunter book for Beast, which was basically my sort of answer/criticism to Beast.

I know some of the people who wrote the things that people point to and say, "this is clear evidence the game was written by a rapist." A few of those people were also rape survivors, who were utterly devastated to hear their work was being attributed to a rapist. A few walked away from writing RPGs in the future. When they were writing what they were writing, they didn't see it in the greater context of what the game was, and some were just overcome with the nervousness of doing their first White Wolf core rulebook. They did a thing they thought was clever or edgy or whatever. That doesn't mean they're rapists.

Matt was irresponsible and negligent in not listening to the numerous people who told him he should fix it from moment one. Matt had a responsibility to the authors to look at what was there, and not allow it to be released in its state, after all the warnings. Matt had a responsibility to control the development process and present a coherent vision that didn't allow the writers to make something that was ultimately so harmful. He was rushed to compile a draft, because other books were late and they NEEDED that Kickstarter preview immediately. But I think it's important to note that pointing to a piece of text and saying, "clearly this was written by a rapist" can have unintended targets.

MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Unoriginal Name posted:

If a rapist is at the helm, isnt that gonna shine through regardless of who is writing specific material, especially if hes keeping people on islands and no voice is developed except his own?

To an extent. But his development edits were very quick and hands off. A lot of it was just voice and typo stuff. The kind of draft where you can hit ďaccept all changesĒ and itís basically done. The edits you can really point to as his specifically are the first to second public draft versions. Those were 100% him.

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MachineIV
Feb 28, 2017



Kurieg posted:

I know Matt didn't write everything in the book, but as the lead designer and presumably the first person to get a crack at editing he's definitely responsible for telling people what to write, deciding what goes in the book, and how it's presented. And I know how he responded to criticism before and during the kickstarter. Belittling his detractors and promising changes that resulted in very little actual change(that was then undone in the storyteller chapter).

Oh I agree. You can absolutely attribute it to his development and his negligence and his hostility toward detractors. I just think itís important to note the potential problems with pathtologizing work by individual unknown contributors. He is absolutely responsible for how bad the game turned out. And he had a responsibility to the contributors that he betrayed.

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