I like White Wolf's D10 Dice Pool mechanic.
And WoD certainly takes you places:
It's just that...I don't know...I never could quite exactly explain the feeling, until Chris Gunning aptly and somewhat poetically put it this way, here:
Reading one of these books is like...
Truly excellently put. That's the feeling, exactly.
That, and also the fact that White Wolf is a publisher in the business of...
And it shows!
The more books, the better (for the publisher—quite obviously!):
The books cover what they choose to in exacting detail, and send the reader for more and more books to complete the big picture.
Most of them can be fun:
- Spirit Rules – the Storyteller’s Companion
- Spirits – Book of Madness
- Demons and Infernal Pacts – Book of Madness
- The Spirit Wilds – Umbra Revised (for Werewolf)
- The Shadowlands – Wraith: The Oblivion
- The Dreaming – Changeling: The Dreaming
But the list is endless, not to mention that it can rapidly become costly, and role-playing a predefined "paradigm" (especially in the Mage series), as opposed to something less constraining, like, say, the more generic D&D characters alignment system, can feel like too much of a straitjacket, at times.
Ideally, a good tabletop RPG settings should give just enough of a shared-universe for players to manifest their characters without burdening them with so many details and so much game mechanics that the players and GM's imagination can no longer take flight.
Because, otherwise, it would be too much like the "real world" out there—the make believe world of our politicians and economist and media pundits—wouldn't it?
Master of the game is he who creates the rules—not he who just follows them.
In my experience, most Game Masters seldom bother following the letter of any given system's law, anyway. The best of them eventually end-up generating their own material independently, and, oftentimes in contradiction with the rules and premises of all the painstakingly pre-written material laid out for them in these books.
They do make for a fine collection, though.
Posted by Ben Trovato : the words to say it