View Full Version : Help me pick a vampire RPG

2008-12-29, 02:59 AM
First post here, so bear with me. I'm trying to get my sisters interested in Tabletop RPGs. They've shown interest in a vampire theme, and I'm wondering what books I should look for. I would just go with the obvious White Wolf, but I'd like to know if there's anything better floating around. Also I'd have to run it, and I've never GMed before, so ease of use is a priority. Any knowledge on the subject would be awesome, thanks.

2008-12-29, 03:14 AM
I still think that the whole new World of Darkness is an abomination and that should be fed to its authors after every book was used as inlay in a guinea pig cage, but that may be a slighlty disappropriate defensive reaction.
In direct comparison, the original world of Darkness is better in every single aspect and has te great advantage that it is partially original. So if you have the choice, try to get the original one, not the rip-of. And stay away from the Monte Cook version, which is even worse.

Alternatives are a bit scarce. There is always Witchcraft (http://www.edenstudios.net/witchcraft/WitchcraftCorebook.zip), which includes Vampires etc. but certainly do not use them as a major plot element. It has the great advantage that it is free and has always been the better and much less regarded world of darkness.
Then there are the Buffy and Angel RPG's which are slightly more light-hearted than the world of Darkness. They are fun games, with easy and good rules and easy access.
And, like always, the best source book you can hope for is made for Gurps In this case it's called Blood Lines. Gurps: Blood Lines is a cool game in its own, but even if you do not wabnt to use the Gurps rules, this is an enormosly helpful ressource.

2008-12-29, 03:22 AM
I prefer NWoD to the old. Found the rules easier to get and figure how to do stuff. I did play NWoD before OWoD, so like those who did the opposite, take advice with a pinch of salt

Never seen the Monte Cooks version, but it is apparently a d20 version of white wolf, so if DnD is your standard (Or another d20) and you are comfortable with it, it might be an option. Satyr seems to not like it, so it might be bad.

There is also the good old freeform. No system, just go with the flow. They try to do something, rock paper scissors against you, they win, they success (Within limits of course)

2008-12-29, 03:47 AM
I'd have to go with (old) World of Darkness. To me their system was about as easy as a RPG's can be. Besides, it takes place in modern time, so you can literally set the game within your home city. Sure, it might be silly to have a few vampires running around in a small town (if you live in a small town), so you might want to set it in the local "big city." For instance, I'm from a small town in Western NC, so I tend to set my Vampire games in Asheville. It's still not a big city, but it's big enough, and I know it well. Most importantly, so do my players, so it's a win/win.

The system itself just makes sense. Abilities like Firearms (how well you can shoot) or Computers (how well you can use a computer). I like that. Your players will easily understand it. Also, there's only one dice you need: a d10. They may ask how many, but at least they won't be asking how many and which kind. Plus, it's modern time! That really allows the players to stretch their legs and easily pretend they are a vampire, thus allowing them to figure out what to do.

I've tried other vampire systems, but in my eyes, Vampire: the Masquerade from WoD is the best and simplest.


2008-12-29, 05:13 AM
Cliched, boring vampires.... play vampire hunters and burn the lot of em.

2008-12-29, 05:30 AM
Regarding n/oWoD:

If you're just using one system, this doesn't apply, but I prefer nWoD for this reason:

Vampire: I get the wolf to attack the mage
Verbena (nature mage): I get it to lick my face instead
GM: Ok, roll opposed Animal Empathy.
Vampire: (rolls) 3 successes!
Verbena: Um... the Animal Empathy skill doesn't exist in Mage.
GM: ... you fail, roll defense (rolls wolf's attack).

nWoD doesn't have this problem, all types have the same skill list.

Of course, before the Verbena, I was playing a Caitiff (clanless vamp) in the same game. The same GM assigned disciplines (vampire powers) for me. I didn't know it at the time, but he just gave me 1 point in each of the Tzimisci (sp, evil vamps) disciplines. I found this out later, 3 sessions later to be precise, when the party tracked down my sire, at which point my character was officially declared a Tzimisci.

I wanted to play an Effing Caitiff, you Effing bastard!

2008-12-29, 08:32 AM
Verbena: Um... the Animal Empathy skill doesn't exist in Mage.

Bad example. There are half a dozen attribute+skill alternatives that would be functionally equivalent in Mage, and that's before you get into whatever Sphere they put points in. At the very least, you could ask for a simple Manipulation role.

Better example...

GM: The blood from the freshly slain troops pooling around him, the Antideluvian opens up the blackened portal--
Son of Ether: Wait a sec, vampires aren't alive, right? So they're just unliving dead matter... can I just use my Matter sphere to turn the Antideluvian into a lace doily?
Verbena: Well, heck, then I turn his head into a bowl of petunias with a Life roll.
Get of Fenris: ...seventeen, eighteen, nineteen aggravated damage... does anyone have anymore d10's?

I'm an old purist, so I would recommend 2nd Edition Vampire as the best. Pick up the Hunters Hunted if you can find it, maybe the Ghouls book and one or two clanbooks. Don't touch the Player's Guide to Twinkism or anything printed after it.

The old World of Darkness runs just fine if you're not trying to mix systems, and most groups *don't* try to mix in Mage or Werewolf or whatever until they've been playing awhile.

2008-12-29, 08:45 AM
I love OWoD with all my heart. The rules are very simple if your Storyteller has a brain, and doesn't overrule everything (such as including a billion side-talents, taking in all merits / flaws, all discipline-combinations ect).
Also, the feeling and world is amazing. It's a long read, but it's well worth it in my humble opinion.

Darth Stabber
2008-12-29, 09:34 AM
One more vote for oWoD. Still bitter over the awesomectomy white wolf inflicted on themselves, And the fact that alot of things got renamed for the sake of renaming, heck in werewolf most of werewolf specific terms are the same as the old just shuffled with different meanings. Mixing systems is difficult cut rewarding. Best WoD game I played featured 1 innocent (hunter), 1 child of gaia ahroun, 1 silver fang ahroun, 1 Demon (demon the fallen), and 1 Order of Hermes Mage, all students @ a college. The key is to get the gm to go through and make one list of talents/skills/knowleges that everyone uses, and to be prepared for some mage induced temporary derailment.

Yes that's right awesomectomy, Feel free to use the word liberally, or for those red staters Conservatively. Also used to describe the switch for D&D 3.5 to 4e

2008-12-29, 10:17 AM
Gotta say while I think the Old WoD had much the better background. I do prefer the rules from NWoD. Much simpler and more streamlined

2008-12-29, 10:44 AM
Okay. the original poster did not ask for a game that combines mage, werewolf, and vampires the best. He asked for a game that is a good vampire game for novices!!!

oWoD Vampire: the Masquerade
This is not a bad game but it has some faults. 1st it has way too many clans of vampires. If you try to explain everything to your sisters at once, they'll have information overload. If you use this game, scale back on the clans. don't include the rare bloodlines, clan rivalries, Camarillia vs Sabbat. Stick to the Brujah, Toreador, Ventrue, and Nosferatu as concepts and focus on the characters hiding their nature from the mortals, hiding from the sun, finding blood, etc.

nWoD Vampire: the Requiem
This game does not have the problem V:tM has with only 5 clans and 5 covenants. two groups of 5 is much easier than a lump of 13. This game's problem is that it requires two $30 books to play both with tiny hard to read writing on shiny glossy paper. Also the Lancea Santum covenant is definately for more adult themes.

2008-12-29, 01:15 PM
This is not a bad game but it has some faults. 1st it has way too many clans of vampires

Diversity is not a mistake, it is a gift. The versaility is one of the many features that defines the enormous quality decline from the original World of Darkness to the ripoff version.

If you try to explain everything to your sisters at once, they'll have information overload.

Only because someone is new doesn't mean he or she is stupid. This is a really condescending attitude.

The World of Darkness has one great advantage over many other RPG's - the player doesn't need to know anything about the background before he or she starts to play when you start the game with a newly embraced Vampire, a Garou at the First Change etc.

2008-12-29, 01:27 PM
One more vote for Old WoD. Remember just because your sheet doesn't have a skill on it doesn't mean you can't have it. There's an "other skills" section for a reason.

2008-12-29, 04:48 PM
Well, I'll throw my hat in with nWoD.

Now I've had little contact with oWoD, indeed all I've experienced were the two computer games (which despite everything, I still love them =P). It was only a few months ago that while playing those games I decided I wanted to get the pen and paper game. Of course, I had a choice similar to what you have now.

If you go with oWoD there are some things you should be aware of (and these would be the reason that I decided to go with nWoD).

1. Since it's out of print, you'll only really be able to find this book used. Places like ebay do have some up for somewhere around 25 bucks counting shipping. It can also be much harder to track down certain supplements with this version.

2. If you try to find a local group, nWoD is what is currently supported and you will (likely) have a harder time finding a group.

3. oWoD had this sorta over arching power structure that was interesting and richly detailed. But in turn it keeps neonates kinda low on the power structure, what with the generation system involved (and I believe the only way to change it is through diablerie). In addition to that it tends to have a broader scope, with vampires controlling major power centers and generally doing very well for themselves.

4. Since I don't have the rules I can't speak to balance, but I have heard some problems involving a few disciplines like Celerity.

nWoD is not without flaws either, and I'll gladly bring those up. =P

1. It requires the WoD core rule book to use the new edition of Vampire. With that in mind you will be able to purchase them both new for a total of 40-60 bucks depending on if you order online or shop locally.

2. nWoD Doesn't have a richly detailed history, or even a major power structure in place. In nWoD you play on a much smaller level, dealing with more of a city scale rather than global scale. In addition to this, the clans/covenants don't have much detail to them, because nWoD is more of a sandbox than a campaign setting.

3. While most of the clan concepts are really in line with most vampire myths, the Mekhet can be, and have been, criticized for being rather bland.

4. I can say that it is a very streamlined and easy to use system, where you can make almost any kind of character. But this shouldn't delude you into thinking that it's a perfectly balanced system. There are several issues with the system (like every system), the one that comes to mind is, of course, fighting styles. Just generally avoid styles that offer extra attacks (like Kung Fu) and you shouldn't have too many problems.

Now I can tell you that I initially fell in love with the game because of oWoD (well, the games at least =P), so I would be one of the last people to tell you not to get it. For me, it came down to the fact that while I really enjoyed Vampire, I'm an RPG collector of sorts, and having three + systems running off of one easy to use base sounded interesting.

Oh, and if you'd like to get an idea of what the nWoD rules are like I recommend this (http://www.white-wolf.com/downloads.php?category_id=14) link. It's a free quick start from white-wolf to show people what the system is like, and you can even try it with your sisters before you decide to invest money into it.


2008-12-29, 06:05 PM



I like both, and still play both. They are very different though, and there are some things I don't like about Requiem. But there were a lot of things that I didn't like about Masquerade too.


Forsaken is better balanced with the rest of the WoD. Which is a bad thing.


Awakening is better. A lot better. My favorite game in nWoD. I pretty much can't got back to Ascension.

Have no interest in Changeling or Created.

2008-12-29, 06:33 PM
First post here, so bear with me. I'm trying to get my sisters interested in Tabletop RPGs. They've shown interest in a vampire theme, and I'm wondering what books I should look for. I would just go with the obvious White Wolf, but I'd like to know if there's anything better floating around. Also I'd have to run it, and I've never GMed before, so ease of use is a priority. Any knowledge on the subject would be awesome, thanks.What type of vampire theme are you looking for? Do your sisters want to play vampires? If so I'd look primarily at World of Darkness though Angel and Witchcraft (you'll need an expansion for Witchcraft) have that option also. However, both Angel and Witchcraft are more likely to have you fighting vampires than playing them. Other options for fighting vampires include Savage Worlds with Rippers (Victorian setting, that may be a selling point) and most fantasy genre games.

What do you want to do with the system besides use vampires? What style (dark, gritty, cinematic, heroic, pulp, swashbuckling, etc) of setting / system do you want? What genre (fantasy, scifi, modern, horror, etc) are you interested in? What type of play orientation (social, combat, themed, etc) do you want? With more details we may be able to help narrow your choices down.

2008-12-29, 06:44 PM
I say screw WoD, at least as far as first-time players/GM. I played in a (short-lived but) really fun game of Wushu (http://www.story-games.at/wushu/open_reloaded.pdf) in which the PCs were vampires, taking on an endless army of zombies in order to protect the few humans left on Earth (who were incidentally, the only remaining food source for the PC vampires). It's a very "rule of cool" system, and I find that it handles vampires well.

2008-12-29, 09:42 PM
I've looked at wushu, and it really doesn't work for everyone. It also isn't a vampire game. In my opinion, much of a good vampire game revolves around the setting, so you want a system with a built in setting, or else you are going to have to do a lot of work developing the setting from scratch.

Savage Worlds is a good system also, but I'm not sure I'd want to use it for vampire.

Mark Hall
2008-12-29, 10:41 PM
I'd say one of the versions of Vampire... you can probably find some of it pretty cheap in a Half-Price Books... like around $10-15 for a OWoD Vampire corebook, which will cover what you need.