Vampire the Masquerade: 20th anniversary edition


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Zombieneighbours wrote:


Their production rate had dropped right off, and quality took a dive after changling: the lost, in my opinion. I've also been missing the old world of darkness more and more in the last two or three years.

As a full blown collector of Mage and Wrait, knowing that I will soon be able to get the books I am missing is very satisfying.

The production rate dropped because they don't feel the need to put out months books anymore- an attitude that I agree with.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on the quality thing though. Not everything's for everyone, so it's cool.


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So how is the meta plot in this? Has it advanced any or regressed? Has it become focused at all or become more vague?


Jam412 wrote:
So how is the meta plot in this? Has it advanced any or regressed? Has it become focused at all or become more vague?

The book is, for WWP, pretty setting-light. Basically, the metaplot has been moved backwards to just prior to Revised, though they do give you sidebars here in there in the book that tell you things like: "In Vampire continuity, the Assamites break their curse, and the Ravnos blow up. Here's how to handle that." It's honestly more of a rules update then a plot advancement, but it's got nearly ever single Clan, Bloodline, and Discipline all in one place. Including a bunch from The Dark Ages.

IIRC, there really won't be any metaplot advancement until Children of the Revolution next year, and even then it'll be pre-Gehenna.


Abbasax wrote:
Jam412 wrote:
So how is the meta plot in this? Has it advanced any or regressed? Has it become focused at all or become more vague?

The book is, for WWP, pretty setting-light. Basically, the metaplot has been moved backwards to just prior to Revised, though they do give you sidebars here in there in the book that tell you things like: "In Vampire continuity, the Assamites break their curse, and the Ravnos blow up. Here's how to handle that." It's honestly more of a rules update then a plot advancement, but it's got nearly ever single Clan, Bloodline, and Discipline all in one place. Including a bunch from The Dark Ages.

IIRC, there really won't be any metaplot advancement until Children of the Revolution next year, and even then it'll be pre-Gehenna.

I hope we never see post-Gehenna material.


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Abbasax wrote:


IIRC, there really won't be any metaplot advancement until Children of the Revolution next year, and even then it'll be pre-Gehenna.

Whoa, wait. They're going to put more Masquerade stuff out!? I thought that this was a one off. That is awesome news.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Was nice to see the Revnants, but my favourites were missing. *sob*


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Matthew Morris wrote:
Was nice to see the Revnants, but my favourites were missing. *sob*

Who were your favorites?

Also, i liked gehenna and the other ending books save for ascension, which just rubbed me the wrong way.


Jam412 wrote:
Abbasax wrote:


IIRC, there really won't be any metaplot advancement until Children of the Revolution next year, and even then it'll be pre-Gehenna.
Whoa, wait. They're going to put more Masquerade stuff out!? I thought that this was a one off. That is awesome news.

Indeed they are. Not just V:TM but some other CWoD stuff also. You can see their release schedule here.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Freehold DM wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
Was nice to see the Revnants, but my favourites were missing. *sob*

Who were your favorites?

Also, i liked gehenna and the other ending books save for ascension, which just rubbed me the wrong way.

Modern, Rafastion and the Indian assassin clan

Dark Ages: Danislav (Ethan's least favourite IIRC)


Zombieneighbours wrote:
I hope we never see post-Gehenna material.

Yeah, I pretty much I agree with that.

Though I suppose if they did some kind of post-Gehenna section in a Mirrors-style book, I couldn't mind it. Though I wouldn't want to see a whole sourcebook dedicated to it.


Abbasax wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
I hope we never see post-Gehenna material.

Yeah, I pretty much I agree with that.

Though I suppose if they did some kind of post-Gehenna section in a Mirrors-style book, I couldn't mind it. Though I wouldn't want to see a whole sourcebook dedicated to it.

Is mirrors any good? one of the recent releases I haven't had a chance to check out.


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Sort of related question: I've never been super sure on how to run a game of Vampire (I've tried with varying degrees of success). Does anyone have a good adventures to suggest? I'd like to see how certain staples of the game should work. Like how do you make roleplaying spending the evening in Elysium or some nightclub any fun?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

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Jam412 wrote:
Sort of related question: I've never been super sure on how to run a game of Vampire (I've tried with varying degrees of success). Does anyone have a good adventures to suggest? I'd like to see how certain staples of the game should work. Like how do you make roleplaying spending the evening in Elysium or some nightclub any fun?

It's been a while since I've picked up a tube of d10s...

Adventures, start small. I ususally set my games in Columbus or Newark, since I know the former ok, and the later very well. If you're starting the 'default' Camerilla game, then the characters are not going to be the big shots.* So you can play up the night to night. Pick an area you want to use as 'The Rack' where the low ranking vamps go to feed. Also make them flesh out those backgrounds. Assuming you're in the US, check your wallet. How much cash do you have on you? ($33 and change for me right now, but that's unusually high) so how are they maintaining resources or other backgrounds?** For antagonists, I prefer mortals, with a little help. Let the players get grounded before they encounter the rest of the WoD.***

Social encounters: Yeah, this requires a lot of role play, you're playing a cast while they're playing one character each. Emphasize the non-combatant nature. Maybe by showing a vamp goaded into frenzy being destroyed in 'self defence'. If you have more than the character's sires in the city, put the vampires in different ages in clothing from their time. (Elysium is where they can be themselves.) Maybe that Vetrue is wearing a 1930's style suit, while the toreador is dressed as a 20's flapper and the Tremere is dressed in his labcoat. But also tweak it up. That flapper might be a neonate trying to play an older part, or that Ventrue may be 200 years old, the 30's is where he just stopped trying to keep up with mortal fashion. Show how social power is more important than physical power.**** Try to get your players immersed in the favor exchange early. Especially if they have high backgrounds or are lacking them completely. "Mr. Neonate, may I snack on your herd? I'll give you X." "Miss Neonate, you look famished! Here, take a blood doll of mine. Oh, don't worry, I'm sure I'll think of something you can do to repay me..."

Long term, I'd start by playing up the inhumanness of the vampires. The casual disregard for life and humanity, show someone fighting until the Kiss hits, point out how no one is breathing. At the same time, play up the humans activites. Describe their sounds, scents, sights etc. As the game advances, allow the other vamps to seem more normal, while the humans get less and less detail, unless they're focused on. When you subtly go from "A young couple, maybe in their 20's clearly in love by the way they hold hands, her smile, the scent of orchids in her perfume," to "a couple of people, maybe a man and a woman, walking down the street. She's smiling," to "A pair of humans, oblivious to your presence. Come to think of it, how many BP do you have left?" and the players don't realize it, you've hit on one of the horror themes of Vampire.

*

Spoiler:
Another route is to make them expendable. I ran a Columbus by night game where the neonates were embraced by outside vamps and sent to scout, since every vampire in the city had disappeared. Had the game continued, they very well could have been the big shots by claiming the power themselves.

**

Spoiler:
One new way for resources is medical transcription. Doctors send their notes overseas to be transcribed during our night (their day) and have the transcription ready when they get in the next morning. A Vamp might be able to do this.

***

Spoiler:
This also depends on how much you want to rely on other books or wing it. A cascading effect can work for this too. Vampire knows gangs are terroizing his neighborhood. He takes control of one of them, starts removing the others. Player's comfortable with mechanics? Good, now one of the other gangs has a couple ghouls on their payroll. Player takes them out, Vampire wants to know what happend. Or maybe one of the gangers that gets killed is a Kinfolk...

****

Spoiler:
A good example would be who controls a school/hospital/other important mortal place. Not so much as in 'behind the scenes' as in 'I claim this territory.' When the PC's sister is injured in the car wreck, how eager is she to get into the hospital to see her? What is she willing to pay? Does she let the vampire know why she wants in?


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Wow, that is a ton of very useful advice. Thanks Matthew!!


Gotta say that's some good vampire, mm.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Thanks Freehold,

Best character my (now ex) wife played was a vampire. We were driving back from Indiana, talking about her character, and me filling in the dots. So she knew all her skills and backgrounds and how they meshed together.

Funniest moment? When they went on Campus and ran into LARPers. And the Hunters watching the LARPers.

Wife: We're looking for the real vampires.
Hunter: Really? So are we.


Zombieneighbours wrote:
Is mirrors any good? one of the recent releases I haven't had a chance to check out.

I really like Mirrors.

The first section of the book is a bunch of ways to mess with rules concerning characters and character creation. Things like different ways to handle the dot spreads for Attributes/Skills during character creation. Messing with Virtues/Vices & Natures/Demeanors. A "Cthulhu Mythos" way of letting mortals learn different powers of supernatural beings (meaning the more you know, the crazier you get). Ways to mess with Merits and Morality. Oh, and Skill Tricks, which are pretty fun. Basically they're abilities a character can pick up during creation that can let them do cool little cinematic things. There's at least 5 per skill, and each one also gives an example plot hook the Storyteller can use. For example, Web Presence lets the character come up with a composite of a target using information found online (habits, likes/dislikes. Basically the type of thing you see on TV procedurals), even if they only have a name and place of birth. The plot hook is that the character finds three different obituaries for target, from three different sources, each three years apart.

The second section of the book is rules hacks. Tons of alternate ways to handle combat: Diceless, miniatures (which is new for White Wolf...), on second rounds, simultaneous actions. It also has Social and Mental combat,

The third section are different setting hacks, they call Shards. Basically they're alternate ways to handle the WoD setting as a whole. The present three in the book. The first is one where there is no Masquerade, no Lunacy. The different supernatural species are known to the world at large. They also give different takes on it, like what if everyone knew Mages exist, but Vampires are still secret.
The second is post-apocalyptic. Whether by an asteroid strike, nuclear armageddon, alien invasion, or the ever popular zombie apocalypse, the WoD as we know it is gone.
The third is using the World of Darkness as a fantasy setting. A little bit of Dark Ages and a little bit of D&D. More interesting then it sounds, but it's not really my cup of tea so it didn't strike a cord with me.

The last little bit contains essays of a few of the developers house rules. Most of them are fun to read, just to get a peak in their heads if nothing else.

EDIT: Oh, of course this book is for the New World of Darkness, but most of it can be pretty easily applied to the old stuff as well.


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That was some great advice Matthew! Because I can't sleep, I'm going to add a few things I usually do for a game. It's mostly rudimentary type stuff, but typing is better then lying in bed staring at the ceiling.

I tend to do most (but no means all) of my WoD stuff as sandbox games.

I usually pick a city and populate it with some kindred. Unless I'm using one of the By Night books I focus on the main power players, the ones that want to be the power players, and those stuck at the bottom.

I then do a quick relationship chart for them. (Pretty much all of the By Night books use these, and I've found them quite helpful. In case you're not familiar with them it's just a simple flowchart that says things like: Vampire A fears Vampire B. Vampire B took Vampire C's place in the Primogen, and Vampire C knows Vampire A's dirty secret). Of course not every vampire in the city feels strongly enough about every other vampire in the city to warrant this. Just stick to the ones that you think would play well off each other.

Once I get a good idea of the climate of the city, I come up with at least one big event to use as a backdrop for the game (For example, A Justicar has come to the city for a "vacation" after a particular difficult hunt. Is he really there to rest, or is it just part of a bigger plot? Either way, his presence throws the entire politics of the city into chaos as half the kindred try to curry his favor, and the other half avoid him like the plague. Meanwhile everyone is trying to bury their secrets deep) I don't always introduce this from the start, and sometimes I never use it at all if the players are having fun and keeping me busy with their character's actions. They're just good to have to shake things up if you feel like it or to use as an unexpected monkey wrench. (and they're just tons of fun to think up)

You'll probably want to put social, political, and combat types of characters/events into the city, so you can plan for what the players want once they're are done creating their characters. (That being said, if you have specific type of game in mind, but sure to let the players know before they start making characters)

Once I get all of that lined up, I get my players together and make characters. It's nice to have all of these ducks lined up in a row before character creation, because then you're prepared to say to someone who wants to play a Nos, "Sure, but just to warn you because they lack a Primogen member, they've gone on "strike". They're not dealing any information, regardless of payment. So they're not very well liked right now. Even more the usual."
Concepts for characters is crazy important, imho. It gives you guide lines for asking questions during character creation. If the character was a truck driver before he was turned, why does he have points in Medicine? The reason you want to know this is because it makes the players think about it and it puts a story behind the dots. Every little story makes the character a little more real.

Really focus these questions on Backgrounds and Merits & Flaws (if you use them) because this is where a lot of your story seeds are going to come from. The character has a Contact that's a lawyer in the DA's office. How did they meet? What deals have they already done for each other? How can you use the Contact in a story, what use does she have for the character?
The simple fact that the player choose a lawyer to begin with tells you something about what the player wants from the game. It means she probably wants something political, and she's either gearing up to make a play or she's preemptively trying to protect herself from getting played.
If a player choose a crazy gun-nut survivalist with a bomb shelter as an Ally, that tells you that he's expecting to need to go underground and disappear at some point during the chronicle. The same thing applies to Merits and Flaws.

Finally after character creation is done, have a list of Twenty Questions. The rule books lists a bunch of these, but you don't need to ask all of those ones. Tailor a few of them to your chronicle. If you're feeling really ambitious and can think fast on the fly, you can replace a few of your original questions with new ones based off the info you just got. Pretty much the one question I recommend always asking is "What is your character's goals?" It's a simple and blatant way to get an upfront answer as to what each player wants out of your game.

The players are choose to answer you questions the way they did, picked their Backgrounds, Merits and Flaws for a reason. Once you find out those reasons and learn the story behind each choice, and you start to find the threads the players are giving you to weave into the stuff you've already set up. You find the place where their police contact fits into your Prince's hold on the Commissioner. Where your missing Harpy intersects with their Infamous Sire. You find out if they want a gritty street level drama, a cinematic ride with bullets and fangs, or a dark slide from man into beast.

And that's where you start to find your story.


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Some rules to build into your game.

Neonates are ignorant
If your players are new to OWoD, then tell them almost nothing about the game. Let them learn from what their characters see. NPCs should lie to them about such simple things as the existance of the sabbat, tell them nothing of the independent clans. If they are experienced players, mess with the set up of the WoD. Make the Tzimisce or Lasombra into camarilla or independent clans, have the brujah be the leaders of the sabbat, turn the tremere into an organisation like the black hand at the heart of the camarilla rather than being a clan. Most importantly of all, do not tell the PC about diablerie.

But let them piece a kind of truth together. Let them feel like they know what going on, let them identify the camarilla clans, their strengths their weaknesses, their archetypes. Let them develop prejudices.

Vampires do not kill one another very often:
Vampires are loathed to kill one another. Their unlife is precious to them, and when the feuds and enmities that drive vampire society turn bloody, even elders can die. Play up intrigue and proxy conflict, don't try to kill the PCs, have their havens threatened with demolishion, destroy their herds, take their resources. But most of all have a kill limit say, I will kill no more than 5 NPC vampires at the hands of other vampires, and stick to that through out the campaign.

Have a fixed cast:
Decide how many vampires there are in the city, give them all backgrounds(and get an idea what stats they should have), and then stick with that as your vampire cast. New vampires are made rarely, and vampires don't die that often

Vampires don't travel well:
keep the game local. If one outsider vampire enters a city in a campaign, that is about right.It is just to difficult for vampires to travel any distance, to dangerous to welcome strangers into your domain, and the rewards just arn't enough to justify it.

Focus on the blood
Every waking moment should become about vitae for the PCs, play through every hunt, make them worry about where their next feed will come from, describe the rush of pleasure, describe the fear, and the fighting back, and then the release as the pray succumbs to the kiss. Make it sexual, and make it unclean.

Now put the cat amongst the pigeons

The sabbat break all the rules the players think they have learned.

The sabbat are right about g'henna, they know enough about the world to try and change it, they kill other vampires, they engage in mass sireings, they shatter the masquerade, they travel from city to city. 1/3's to 1/2 of the way into a chronicle, once the PCs have started to understand the rules above, hit them with the Sabbat.

See what happens when they realise they are suddenly fighting for their unlives against monsters even worse than they are. But hold this back, you can only do this once and have full effect.


Wow, congratulations guys. That advice has actually made me want to dust off my Vampire books from high school and seriously consider running them.

Scarab Sages

James Keegan wrote:
Wow, congratulations guys. That advice has actually made me want to dust off my Vampire books from high school and seriously consider running them.

Same. I didn't even LIKE Vampire before now.


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I think I may have to add a few extra monsters to the next encounter in my RL Pathfinder game. "Wow guys, I totally didn't see that TPK coming. So who's up for playing some Vampire...?" :-P

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I'd also point out that Sabbat games come from the opposite direction.

Pre-Revision Sabbat:

Spoiler:
This was really about being a monster. A lot of players fell into the "Super-vamps" and "Code of whatever the hell I want" types, but the sabbat could really be seen as crazy evangelicals. They have a religious message (The Antideluvians are real!) a mission (we're here to stop them!) and a problem (we don't know how!). They're also utterly inhuman with their paths. It could be a fun game to get into the heads of these skullbusters and try to see the world through their eyes. My Sabbat vamp would likely be seen as 'soft' by some, because he's all for 'saving' the neonates and converting them.

Post-Rev Sabbat:

Spoiler:
This went back to the outsider theme I talked about above. Your fledgling Sabbat didn't magically convert to a path, and was on a downward spiral of humanity. You had to prove you weren't just cannon fodder to the rest of the pack in order to 'live', and then you had to prove your worth to the elders so you might get on a path and become a monster, but one under control. You might actually find a Cam or independent that you like, have a lot in common with (or had, back in the breathing days) but you're going to be pushed to kill her because of the viniculum, or to prove your 'street cred'.


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James Keegan wrote:
Wow, congratulations guys. That advice has actually made me want to dust off my Vampire books from high school and seriously consider running them.

If that urge manifests in the form of a pbp, you know where to find me. ;-)


Jam412 wrote:
James Keegan wrote:
Wow, congratulations guys. That advice has actually made me want to dust off my Vampire books from high school and seriously consider running them.
If that urge manifests in the form of a pbp, you know where to find me. ;-)

A possibility. I doubt Vampire would be to my RL players' taste, even were it somehow stripped of its goth stigma.


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Awesome.


I keep getting tempted to try running a pbp, but I've never ran or played in one before and I feel hopelessly clueless about how to go about it.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

PoD is out, here is the pricing.

Watermarked PDF: $29.99
Softcover B&W: $44.99
Hardcover B&W: $54.99
Hardcover Color: $79.99
Watermarked PDF + Softcover B&W: $49.99 (Sale)
Watermarked PDF + Hardcover B&W: $59.99 (Sale)
Watermarked PDF + Hardcover Color: $84.99 (Sale)

Notes: The Black & White print editions of this book are not full-bleed. Because of printing requirements there is a small white border around the edge of the pages.

Though it does not seem to say it on the DriveThruRPG site, the email said the Color Hardcover version comes in a 2 book set.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Just got my PoD in the mail.

Little worried about the quality.

With heavy use this will fall apart quick, it is not stitch binding. Held to the book with only clue, same with the paper.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Dragnmoon wrote:

Just got my PoD in the mail.

Little worried about the quality.

With heavy use this will fall apart quick, it is not stitch binding. Held to the book with only clue, same with the paper.

Did you get color, or just B&W?

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
deinol wrote:
Did you get color, or just B&W?

Color

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Dragnmoon wrote:
deinol wrote:
Did you get color, or just B&W?
Color

Ouch. Thanks for being the guinea pig for us.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

There was a printing error in the first patch for the both B&W and Color version *Oddly different errors*.

They are sending replacements or refund to those that request them.


I picked up a hardcover original of the Vampire Masquerade RPG. I was inspired to purchase it after viewing the movie "Interview with the Vampire".


I thought I would see if anyone is interested in doing an online game here on the boards- let me know if you're interested in this thread.

Shadow Lodge

I am. . .

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