Grade the Storyteller System

How do you feel about the Storyteller System (any variant or edition)?

  • I love it.

    Votes: 8 9.1%
  • It's pretty good.

    Votes: 18 20.5%
  • It's alright I guess.

    Votes: 26 29.5%
  • It's pretty bad.

    Votes: 13 14.8%
  • I hate it.

    Votes: 6 6.8%
  • I've never played it.

    Votes: 17 19.3%
  • I have never even heard of it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Have you used the Storytelling System (or its precursor, the Storyteller System) for your tabletop roleplaying games? If you've ever played World of Darkness, Vampire: The Requiem, Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game, Exalted, Trinity, or almost any other game published by White Wolf Inc., you've probably played with this game system before. Wikipedia has the following to say about it:

The Storytelling System is a role-playing game system created by White Wolf, Inc. for the Chronicles of Darkness (formerly known as the New World of Darkness), a game world with several pen and paper games tied in. The Storytelling System is largely based on the Storyteller System, the rule set used for White Wolf's other, older game setting, the World of Darkness (for a time known as old or classic World of Darkness).
While on the road to Gen Con '90, Mark Rein-Hagen came upon the idea of a new game design that would become Vampire: The Masquerade. Tom Dowd, co-designer for Shadowrun, worked with Rein-Hagen to adapt the core mechanics from his previous game success to use d10 instead of d6 for calculating probability. Over the next few years, several games were published under this rule set. The World of Darkness games exclusively used this ruleset, as did Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game (1995), Trinity (1999), and Exalted (2001).
The Storyteller System was discontinued in 2003 after completing the metaplot building up since Vampire: The Masquerade. It was replaced by the Storytelling System, a more streamlined rule set. The Storytelling System premiered in The World of Darkness in 2004.

As I've said before in the other threads, the D20 System is the undeniable favorite for tabletop RPGs today, but there are plenty of options out there for those who don't like D20 or might want to try something different. My goal in these little surveys is to highlight the many different game systems and options out there...I certainly don't want to bash anyone's favorites. So! If you've used Storyteller (or Storytelling, or Story Path, or Mind's Eye, or any of its many other variants), please share your experience. What did you like/dislike about it? What games did you play? And if you've never played it or one of the many successful games that use it, what's holding you back? I'll collect everyone's votes and give the system a "grade" from A+ to F, just for fun.

Grade: C
Of those who voted, 100% have heard of it and 81% have played it.
Of those who have played it: 11% love it, 26% like it, 36% are lukewarm, 19% dislike it, and 9% hate it.

The "grade" is calculated as follows:
  • Votes from people who have not played it will not affect the grade.
  • "I love it" votes are worth 4 points. The highest score, comparable to an "A" vote.
  • "It's pretty good" votes are worth 3 points. The equivalent of a "B" vote.
  • "It's alright I guess" votes are worth 2 points. This is your basic "C" vote.
  • "It's pretty bad" votes are worth 1 point. This is considered a "D" vote.
  • "I hate it" votes are worth 0 points. The lowest score, considered an "F" vote.

The grading formula:
GPA = Σ(PiVi)

where:
GPA = "grade-point average," the grading score used in the Key below.​
Vi = percentage of votes in each category (Love, Like, Meh, Dislike, or Hate)​
Pi = corresponding score for that category (4, 3, 2, 1, or 0)​

Key
Over 3.75 = A+
3.51 to 3.75 = A
3.26 to 3.50 = A-
3.01 to 3.25 = B+
2.76 to 3.00 = B
2.51 to 2.75 = B-
2.26 to 2.50 = C+
1.76 to 2.25 = C
1.51 to 1.75 = C-
1.26 to 1.50 = D+
1.01 to 1.25 = D
0.75 to 1.00 = D-
Under 0.75 = F
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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Ah, Storyteller.

This game conjures up memories of clove cigarettes, black plastic chokers, and Brandon Lee's last movie. It was the 90s, I was a nerd in college, and practically everyone I dated was reading Anne Rice novels, playing Vampire, and listening to Stone Temple Pilots.

The game system itself was fine--I think it had the best character creation and resource management of any RPG system I've played (the Bonus Points were so straightforward and customizable), and I thought the Virtue/Vices mechanic was amazing for a gothic horror RPG with factions and alliances. And I'll be honest: most of my love for this system is tied to the person I was at the time, and the people I was gaming with.

I love this system.
 

I should have been really into the World of Darkness, given I was heavily into Metal and Gothic music in my teens, but somehow it never really materialized and I only played a handful of times. Maybe it was because RPGs really kicked off for me only when I went to university, and at that time (early 00s), it seems, the WoD had already peaked.
Still, I like the system in its relative simplicity (also I'm generally a fan of dice pool systems). I don't think it was that good at modeling the struggle with the beast within, though. And I have mixed feelings about the myriad of splat books they put out.
But all in all, still a fair system. I might have another look at Mage if they decide to also give it the (WoD) 5e treatment.
 

I love Storyteller. The base system itself is easy to grok, attributes make sense, dice pools are fun, and it gets out of the way when needed. That’s for the system itself.

The games using it had wonderfully evocative backgrounds, and covered a lot of ground. However, each had its own twists, and those twists seemed to lack more complexity than necessary. This is coming from a Mage, Aeon (Trinity), and Hunter player. I think it reached ultimate complexity with Exalted, which I’d love to play thanks to Creation being an awesome setting, but the extra rules make it a hard pass.

Never played Storytelling. Did pick up the World of Darkness book, and it made me really want to play a mundane in this world. Vigil looked cool.

Also, for @schneeland , I still love cloves, have my black leather duster that I break out when it is cold and wet enough, and my wife still has the chain dog collar that I was wearing when we met.
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
I ran and played storyteller a lot in the 90s and managed to have a lot of fun with it, especially M:tA. But the dice mechanics were just borked and, ultimately, the game's 'tude, while it was mostly trying to be a certain kind of cool, and even mostly pulled it off, was on the arrogant side.

I'll still point out positives about storyteller in D&D discussions, tho.
 


Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
For me it vastly depends on the iteration we're talking about. Classic World of Darkness was full of conceptually compelling stuff wedded to very poor game design (in my opinion). Vampire Fifth Edition and some of the Chronicles of Darkness games (Vampire, Werewolf, Demon) are some of my favorite trad games because they retain the compelling bits while dropping a lot of the metaplot and have mechanics that actually reinforce the games' themes.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Heaps of nostalgia for super-powered vampires in trench coats with katanas murdering their way through anything that got in their way. Repeat with Werewolf. Never really did Mage. Collected Wraith but no one was interested in playing. And absolutely fell head-over-heels for Changeling. Best of the bunch, I think.

The system is okay. Way too fiddly in a lot of places. Roll to hit, roll damage, roll to dodge, roll to soak. Just gets tedious real fast. Some of the later revised systems were much smoother and quicker to play, but by then most everyone had moved on. Definitely liked the concepts and setting far, far more than the system itself.
 

I’ll just echo the majority here, I think: a serviceable rpg system wedded to some A+ worldbuilding.

It did introduce me to the whole idea of a dice pool mechanic, and it definitely gets a point or two for that.
 

Ah, Storyteller.

This game conjures up memories of clove cigarettes, black plastic chokers, and Brandon Lee's last movie. It was the 90s, I was a nerd in college, and practically everyone I dated was reading Anne Rice novels, playing Vampire, and listening to Stone Temple Pilots.

Don't forget the silver ankh necklaces!

The game system itself was fine--I think it had the best character creation and resource management of any RPG system I've played (the Bonus Points were so straightforward and customizable), and I thought the Virtue/Vices mechanic was amazing for a gothic horror RPG with factions and alliances.

The character creation was great in OWoD, and how it fused role-playing into the very mechanics, how integrated with the worldbuilding it was, that was revelatory.
 

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