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%

The joke meme showing Batman is all nine alignments really underscores how poor a fit that is. In comparison, I suspect getting the Nature/Demeanor right for him would generate far fewer than nine serious entries and be a good example of how one's Demeanor can be wildly different than their inner nature.

The alignment system is certainly an idiosyncratic way of conceptualizing people and the world. It works both wonderfully and terribly.

Going back to 1978, I suppose the ninefold alignment system was a relative step forward in character creation and role-playing. Likewise, Nature & Demeanor was another step forward in 1991. And in a game full of scheming and deceit, wearing masks and exploring what being undead is like, it was perfect.
 

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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
The alignment system is certainly an idiosyncratic way of conceptualizing people and the world. It works both wonderfully and terribly.

Going back to 1978, I suppose the ninefold alignment system was a relative step forward in character creation and role-playing. Likewise, Nature & Demeanor was another step forward in 1991. And in a game full of scheming and deceit, wearing masks and exploring what being undead is like, it was perfect.
I think it's probably mostly an artifact of Gygax's love of checking off every box.

"Oh, you want Good and Evil in addition to Lawful, Neutral and Good? Well, that changes things from a spectrum to a matrix. Ooh, and if I apply that to the planes, I can make one for each of them, plus planes for the gray areas between each! Hey, I bet I could do that with the elemental planes, too, and then create planes for the overlaps with the Positive and Negative planes ..."
 

I think it's probably mostly an artifact of Gygax's love of checking off every box.

"Oh, you want Good and Evil in addition to Lawful, Neutral and Good? Well, that changes things from a spectrum to a matrix. Ooh, and if I apply that to the planes, I can make one for each of them, plus planes for the gray areas between each! Hey, I bet I could do that with the elemental planes, too, and then create planes for the overlaps with the Positive and Negative planes ..."
Oh yeah, so much of D&D, good and bad, stems from his need to classify and systemize everything.
 



Then to come back to things starting with "story": there is this new Onyx Path project called The World Below on Backerkit, which apparently uses the Storypath Ultra system. This reminded me that the Storypath System is a thing. However, I don't know much more that it exists. Is this just Storyteller/Storytellling System with serial numbers filed off? If so, why was this necessary? I thought Onyx Path has the rights to publish WoD stuff for quite a while now.
 

Ulfgeir

Hero
The basic system was OK, although the way they did botches was really bad. Unfortunately the rules didn't mesh with the setting at all. It would have worked better if you threw out all the powers.

The advantage the system has, it that the character sheets very simple, with a clear visual style.
 

Campbell

Relaxed Intensity
Then to come back to things starting with "story": there is this new Onyx Path project called The World Below on Backerkit, which apparently uses the Storypath Ultra system. This reminded me that the Storypath System is a thing. However, I don't know much more that it exists. Is this just Storyteller/Storytellling System with serial numbers filed off? If so, why was this necessary? I thought Onyx Path has the rights to publish WoD stuff for quite a while now.

They're kissing cousins, mostly with some specialized rules tech to handle differences in power scale better given that Storypath was designed with Scion and Aberrant in mind. My only experience with it was running Scion Second Edition for 6 months which was a very solid game compared to the unruly mess that was Scion First Edition (which was pretty much the worst implementation of Storyteller I ever played or ran).

It's pretty hard to compare because Storyteller games had such remarkably different implementations. Even the basic resolution mechanic varied dramatically between different games (even between editions of the same game).
 

Ulfgeir

Hero
They're kissing cousins, mostly with some specialized rules tech to handle differences in power scale better given that Storypath was designed with Scion and Aberrant in mind. My only experience with it was running Scion Second Edition for 6 months which was a very solid game compared to the unruly mess that was Scion First Edition (which was pretty much the worst implementation of Storyteller I ever played or ran).

It's pretty hard to compare because Storyteller games had such remarkably different implementations. Even the basic resolution mechanic varied dramatically between different games (even between editions of the same game).
The problem with scion 2e is that the rules are missing parts, or unclear in some cases. For example, you have both soft and hard armour. Soft makes you more difficult to hit, and hard armour removes some damage (or gives extre health boxes.. not clear which. Also not clear if it does that for every attack or if the armor degrades. They have in Demigod, that you can have ice armor, and that seems to be spent after 3 damage) Unfortunatley when describing opponnets, they simply go for Armour (At a high value, so which version is it)
 

DammitVictor

Trust the Fungus
Supporter
It's hard for me to give the system a simple grade because it was attached to several of my least favorite roleplaying games, and also to one of my favorite games of all time. I could-- but I won't-- go on at length about everything I hate about the World/Chronicles of Darkness games, and the negative influence they had on other RPGs (including D&D) throughout the Nineties, and the arrogant/pretentious corporate culture that tainted seemingly everything they touched... and on and on and on and on and on...

But the underlying system of "roll these dots plus these dots (plus these dots)" is fundamentally pretty sound and the implementation in Street Fighter works very smoothly for a difficult genre to convey at the gaming table, and there was an amazing amount of creativity that went into every product that company produced for that system.
 

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