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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:20 pm 
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Well, I finally finished Virtue.

While I much prefer a first-person present-tense perspective of Hunger (it's that perspective that actually made me buy the novel in the first place!), I still enjoyed Virtue and Viciousness.

My only complaint is that the ending felt too fast - mostly because I became quite interested in the relationship that'd develop between Velvet and Aurora once they actually began to properly interact. I'd love to have seen her siring as a nice, long scene.

Greg, did you ever consider writing that in?

Also... writing for White Wolf, I have to ask - I presume there are certain limitations (length, content, character stuff, plot stuff) that get imposed on you. Does this ever become a problem for you? Were there any things you were vetoed on while writing either of the V:tR novels you've written?

(Oh... I was sufficiently impressed that I went out and dug up the first of your Demon: the Fallen novels, despite not having any particular interest in D:tF.)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:44 am 
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I just bought Virtue today. I was hoping for a continuation of the Bruise saga but it doesn't seem to be that way.

I think you'll like the Demon novels, even though they're all third person. Pay special attention to the interplay between Hasmed and Vodantu. It's fun seeing a devil struggling to understand 21st Century society:

"I know Joriel was greatly abused with mortal weapons..."


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:50 am 
I'm already 70 pages into the first Demon book, and I'm quite enjoying it - even if I find it a bit hard to follow, as I've no background knowledge about the Demon : the Fallen game.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 5:16 am 
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When I first read them I was unfamiliar with the Demon game as well. I'm not deeply religious, but the themes made me squeemish. I have since then read the main manual and found it to be one of the most entertaining of WoD books. They maintain a consistent narrative throughout, slipping in the rules as a kind of branch to the story. It's full of great (and gory) stories. The imagery of the climactic fall from Heaven would make a great movie scene (many times better than Constantine with Keanu Reeves).

It's too bad they killed off all the sideline WoD like Demon along with the main ones. I wonder if they're planning to resuscitate them?

H


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:56 pm 
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I've finished Virtue. Overall I thought it was very good, outstanding in some respects, but I prefer Hunger.

Firstly, I thought the "love triangle" between Velvet, Aurora and Steve was excellent. I found myself motoring through the book trying to get to every scene where they interact or where one of these characters is focussed on. This is where Greg is strongest, character to character. Great dialogue, great flow, thoroughly engaging.

I especially like the resolution. Since Tommy Ramone in Demon - followed by Bruise in Hunger, Greg always seems to include a loser with a heart of gold. Steve's path seems similar at first (I won't spoil it) but ends very differently.

What I didn't like was the whole overarching machinations of the undead herarchy stuff. Meta-plot has always been kryptonite to WoD. I've been trying to figure out why and it was actually Dark Ages: Fae that made me understand. Here you have this species of magical creatures vying for political power, just like people. It's mundane. It kills the magic. It kills the supernatural.

I felt Stolze has always been good at using the meta-plot for what it was intended to be, background music, and concentrating on characters. The least entertaining parts of this novel are the backroom Kindred manipulations scenes. In fact, the writing for those scenes (especially the ones with the Invictus and Ordo Dracul) seems unenthusiastic. Correct me if I'm wrong Greg, but it seems like there was an editor over your shoulder telling you the required percentage of covenant face time per chapter. Same thing with the discipline usage and signature characters (although Solomon Birch is growing to be one of the most well-articulated actors in the history of WoD).

But overall this is a very good book and Stolze is by far the strongest writer doing work for WW. I'd love to see his interpretation of the Mage: The Awakening world.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2005 1:49 pm 
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I could bust your chops by pointing out that Bruce Miller did murder, comitted robbery with violence, and knocked his own daughter into a coma, but despite that, I'll buy the "heart of gold" argument. He always had good intentions, which I suppose makes him a tragic figure. On the other hand, I suspect I've got just as many losers with hearts full of pure, pus-crusted evil. From Joellen O'Hanlon to Earth Baines, there's always someone who seems to have let his disadvantages warp him. Just as, from Sal to Solomon, there's someone whose advantages have corrupted him.

I hope it didn't feel like I was just going through the motions with the politics -- I wasn't under any kind of quota pressure or anything. I was as comitted to those scenes, though maybe I'm just not as good at writing them.

As for Disciplines, I try to keep them as sedate as I can for several reasons. One, they'll wear out the reader if that's all there is. Two, a lot of times they require blood and my instinct is that vampires are going to be super-conservative with it. Three, I keep the high-level stuff down because I feel that if the low level powers are cool enough for the starting characters of people actually playing the game, they should be cool enough for characters in novels who are (after all) intended to enhance the game. (From my perspective, they're PRIMARILY there to be agents of a great story, but don't tell Will I said so.)

-G.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:10 pm 
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GregStolze wrote:
I could bust your chops by pointing out that Bruce Miller did murder, comitted robbery with violence, and knocked his own daughter into a coma, but despite that, I'll buy the "heart of gold" argument. He always had good intentions, which I suppose makes him a tragic figure.


Why did you have to kill Peaches though? :(
The way you write Solomon makes me hate him. But that's essential for a villain ;)

Quote:
I hope it didn't feel like I was just going through the motions with the politics -- I wasn't under any kind of quota pressure or anything. I was as comitted to those scenes, though maybe I'm just not as good at writing them.


I liked the way you presented the politics. I'm very vocal on the WW forum and my own forum about how much I hate the covenants and how we got rid of them completely for our games.
In your novels, it works, as it feels more like part of the world rather than a social group you join.

Quote:
As for Disciplines, I try to keep them as sedate as I can for several reasons. One, they'll wear out the reader if that's all there is.


I definately agree. Keep them low usage and when you describe them in the novels, don't refer to them by the game names it makes it seem more real.
Quote:
Two, a lot of times they require blood and my instinct is that vampires are going to be super-conservative with it.


I know when I am very conservative with blood. I rarely use powers which require vitae at all, especially with my Malkovian.

Quote:
Three, I keep the high-level stuff down because I feel that if the low level powers are cool enough for the starting characters of people actually playing the game, they should be cool enough for characters in novels who are (after all) intended to enhance the game. (From my perspective, they're PRIMARILY there to be agents of a great story, but don't tell Will I said so.)

-G.



Heh, I won't tell Will cause I agree with this, too.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:29 pm 
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bt wrote:
Why did you have to kill Peaches though? :(
The way you write Solomon makes me hate him. But that's essential for a villain ;)


Agreed. There was a certain "NOOOOO! PEACHEEEESSSS!" feeling when Solomon wasted her. As for hating Solomon, I'm directly opposite. I love everything about that guy. Sure, I don't agree with or approve of all the things he does, but so far he's the most enjoyable character in VtR, with Scrath and Persephone fighting over the second place.

As for The Marriage..., I liked that book alot, though not as much as A Hunger... I guess I just perferred the first person narrating-style in Hunger over the thirdperson style of Marriage. Steve Quatermain was an enjoyable character, and Earth Baines was just hilarious. His lack of social graces made him stand out among the other slick, social predators. My favorite moment can be found on page 57. "Cool, yo." Velvet's choice at the end of the book did surprise me, but it made sense, since it fits within the Sanctified mindset.

Gah, I'm not getting anywhere with this. I guess what I'm trying to say is I liked the book.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:50 pm 
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Why do I hate Solomon?
He's not lovable.
He sees himself as holier than thou on every subject(which is one thing I hate about people).
Rather than deal with his opinion like a man, he stalks and attacks a pretty much helpless woman.
If he would have minded his own business he would have had no reason to attack Persephone in the first place (see the above two)
He just annoys me.

He is a great villian as Greg writes him, but I'd never invite Solomon over for tea and crumpets :D

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:05 pm 
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bt wrote:
Why do I hate Solomon?
He's not lovable.
He sees himself as holier than thou on every subject(which is one thing I hate about people).
Rather than deal with his opinion like a man, he stalks and attacks a pretty much helpless woman.
If he would have minded his own business he would have had no reason to attack Persephone in the first place (see the above two)
He just annoys me.

He is a great villian as Greg writes him, but I'd never invite Solomon over for tea and crumpets :D


I love Solomon. He's my favorite character from the books so far. Of course the LS is my favorite covenant also so I may be biased there! :lol:

He is everything that I would expect and elder LS Bishop to me. Sick, twisted and completely set in his ways, which in my mind just make the sick and twisted seem I don't know....right.

Plus I love the way he deals with Persephone. I can't believe she made it past book one.

I can't believe he's 2 stepped though...man that's gotta just kill him.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:07 pm 
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Rohan wrote:
My only complaint is that the ending felt too fast - mostly because I became quite interested in the relationship that'd develop between Velvet and Aurora once they actually began to properly interact. I'd love to have seen her siring as a nice, long scene.

Greg, did you ever consider writing that in?



I felt the same about the ending and would have also loved to see the embracing scene drawn out. Especially with the turmoil the LS are supposed to suffer through with embracing, going against God, committing one of the ultimate sins. That would have been and interesting ride to travel.

I have to say though props on that move as I didn't expect it. Although, once it happened, it was absolutly perfect and made complete sense.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 4:06 am 
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I rather liked the political scenes in Virtue, the OD one is especially hilarious (the more so because we never actually find out what they decide).

Also, Solomon is awesome, he's the guy you love to hate and a bad ass all the while. I admit a certain perverse satisfaction that his 'goddaughter' did find a means to strike back at him, and for all his harping about creating a strong and virtuous human that would resist him, he was angry about it! :roll:

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:17 pm 
Black Frank wrote:
I admit a certain perverse satisfaction that his 'goddaughter' did find a means to strike back at him, and for all his harping about creating a strong and virtuous human that would resist him, he was angry about it! :roll:


Thinking through the consequences of his actions seems to be Solomon's weak spot. He doesn't seem to have learned to be careful what he wishes for. (Or prays for. Whatever). Not just Margery. He also devotes a lot of effort to divorcing Persephone from humanity (and Humanity). He never stops to think what she might do if he succeeds. He doesn't even consider that giving her the idea of using mortal mortal pawns against a vampire might wind up turning around and biting him on the ass. Scheming to depose Maxwell with someone he didn't have a hold over wasn't all that smart either. He's not a Daeva stereotype but in some ways he acts very stereotypically, ruled by passion rather than reason.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:24 pm 
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Somehow it seems my point wasn't clear, or I'm just misreading the responses.

Solomon is an awesome antagonist. But he is not anyone I could ever like :)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 2:33 pm 
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bt wrote:
Solomon is an awesome antagonist. But he is not anyone I could ever like :)



Yes. 100% agree with this. Solomon is scary and creepy as hell, and not someone I'd ever want to meet or go up against. But he's eerily drawn me in, and he's frikkin' awesome.


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