Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 129
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I have wanted to try Vampire: The Masquerade for a long time and have reached a point where I want to actually make it happen if I can get enough of my rpg buddies on board. The thing is, I know next to nothing about the game and was hoping to get some opinions on what you guys see as a good place to start. Is there a particular edition of the game that is considered to be the best? Would a pre-written adventure be a good way to help my group get our feet wet with the system? If so, any suggestions on that front? I would love to get some feedback and these and anything else you think if worse knowing.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    In my library

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    There is basically a divider between V20 and V5. V20 is basically a compilation of everything that came before, on the plus side all the Clans, Bloodlines, and Disciplined are all in one place. In the surveys it's a terrible ruleset.

    V5 is more of a soft reboot, and what I personally own (so small amount of bias here, I like it). It returns to the Anarchs versus Camarilla focus from 1e, although the Anarchs are now a Sect instead of mostly being Camarilla rebels, and with three full Clans claiming membership in the movement it's lost a good bit of the 'young versus old' it used to have. The Sabbat has been kept offscreen for the moment, with the Anarchs teaching on a few of their traits (notably now having a significant number of pro-diablerie members), but are coming back soon.

    There's also been other shakeups. The Tremere have split, with House Tremere going independent, House Goratrix resurfacing inside the Sabbat, and House Carna remaining with the Canals as they start to abandon Hermetic Thaumaturgy for a number of more nature-focused traditions. Maybe House Carna will matter in a few decades. There's also House Ipssismus, who joined the Anarchs and welcome any and all magical styles, but they're mostly a footnote.

    For other Clans it's mostly been a melding, the various Necromancer Clans now operate under one banner, whole the Banu Haqim castes are more social distinctions than separate bloodlines, with the Viziers absorbing the Sorcerers. A lot of Banu Haqim have joined the Camarilla, mainly Viziers, which means that the Cam has some actually competent Sorcerers as well as House Carna. Oh, the Lasombra also joined the Camarilla, but I don't want to play as one as much.

    Disciplines have now been combined together but are more versatile, with multiple Perez to pick from (at all levels). Quietus is now Boots Sorcery, for example.

    Blood Potency is now only limited to Generation Icarus's of being strictly based on it. Each Generation has a minimum and maximum value, and then it waxes and wanes with time spent anyone and in Torpor.

    Finally vampires are a little bit weaker, and some government agency directors have found out about them and teamed up with the Vatican. Hunters are a bigger deal again.

    If the amount sounds good to you get V5, if not get V20. Nothing wrong with being either side of the fence.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

    Spoiler: playground quotes
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    The best edition of VtM is probably still the old revised edition from 1998. V20 is just a compilation cash grab by Onyx Path and the recent V5 is a barely extant product that's already been pulled back upon by the actual owners of the IP (video game company Paradox Interactive) and is not broadly supported. None of the rule sets are actually good, by any reasonable estimation, but the oWoD storyteller system is at least well known. There are no good pre-written adventures, White-Wolf never wrote a decent adventure module for any game ever.

    The key to making VtM work, especially for a new group, if to simplify. The setting is massively overstuffed with unnecessary elements that aren't central to the drama at all and just make things complicated in ways that are not helpful. Making it work involves cutting out things you don't need. In general, a useful operating principle is to work only with the core vampire clans of the Camarilla: Brujah, Gangrel, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Toreador, Treme, and Ventrue (if any player asks to play a Malkavian, say no). Don't involve the Anarchs, Sabbat, or any other less faction at all, the internal politics of seven Camarilla clans is more than enough for any one city. Do not involve other types of supernaturals, they are allowed to exist, in a nebulous way, but PCs should not encounter them. Don't involve weird powers or abilities. The disciplines in the core book are more than enough to play with for a new group. Backgrounds are massively unbalanced in every storyteller game there has ever been, be aware of this. For a first time group, do not use merits and flaws (or frankly anything with the word 'optional' in front of it).

    VtM's central structure is the city, which is actually a [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_area#:~:text=A%20metropolitan%20area% 20or%20metro,sharing%20industry%2C%20infrastructur e%20and%20housing.]metro area. You should pick a city that is known to you to develop as the city for your game, as familiarity makes it much easier to bring to life. You probably want the city to feature 50-100 vampires (divided between 7 clans, this gives each clan 7-14 members, a good number). You want the ratio of vampires to humans to be between 1:10,000 and 1:100,000. A metro of 1-3 million works well for this. For example, Pittsburgh, at 2.3 million, hosts 76 vampires at a 1:30,000 ratio.

    VtM does not provide a natural reason for its parties (called coteries) to work together, especially when they consist of multi-clan groups. The single most important part of VtM campaign design and session zero play is to provide a reason for why the coterie functions as a unit and to present an overarching plot they are dealing with that all the members have some legitimate reason to care about.

    In terms of campaign ideas and flow it is useful to think of VtM as a game about criminal conspiracy. The Camarilla operates quite similarly to a mafia network or drug cartel, it's just that all the major players are immortal blood drinkers.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    fishyfishyfishy's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    DFW, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    V20 is just a compilation cash grab by Onyx Path
    This is objectively false and I can prove it. Onyx Path Publishing didn't publish V20. They published the supplements afterward and turned it into a full fledged edition of it's own.

    To answer the original question: V20 is probably your best bet if you plan on playing the system for any length of time. It's got everything you need, and has a multitude of additional materials. I highly recommend the core book and Beckett's Jyhad Diary for every Storyteller.
    Last edited by fishyfishyfishy; 2020-11-28 at 12:47 PM.
    Most of my posts are made on my mobile device. Please excuse any errors from auto correct.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I see the edition drama already started.

    Anyway, I say try out the QuickStart version of the game. Should still be free out there, and on .pdf in DriveThruRPG Storyteller Vault. It starts you as Camarilla, and of the original 7 clans. Once you learn those 7 clands, and the typical "starting 3" in-clan disciplines of the basic 10 disciplines, you're good to go.

    After that Run Chicago By Night as a sandbox with some adventures in the back and you are golden. Easiest way into the game.

    Biggest Hint: Discard the Rule of One (where each rolled 1 removes a success). It messes with probability in 'stoopid' ways where high dice pools become a liability for increased botch chance.

    The advantage of Storyteller dice pools is it's a bunch of dots for the math-phobic. Unfortunately a lot of the ideas they initially threw out there reinforces how math-phobic the designers were... and it effects everything from probability (e.g. Rule of One), action economy (e.g. Celerity), time definitions (e.g. tabulating rounds & scenes), and experience progression (e.g. XP inflation rate). And the rest of the game line has been trying to kit-bash these flawed foundations into something less loosey-goosey and unbalanced whimsy for decades now.

    Enjoy the product for what it wishes to be and unclench from what it really is. It's a beanbag chair of aspirations, not a sturdy chair of heirloom.
    Last edited by opaopajr; 2020-11-28 at 04:29 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    In my library

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    V5's advantage is that, well, the mechanics work. They might not be the best, but the old system jyst didn't work.

    Plus you'll see a lot of the arguments against V5 boil down to 'it's not Revised'. This is a good thing, revised was made for a somewhat different audience and trying to continue from it runs a large risk of alienating new players. V5 ramps everything back massively, puts the focus back on the 12th-13th generation* instead of the 8th to 4th, and kicks the harder to play Clans out of the rulebook.The downside is that the Revised fluff was legitimately good, and the new edition still hasn't found it's feet.

    Plus there's been a lot of drama with changes to who is developing it, I haven't bothered to keep track of who is on the team.

    I personally like it, I like most of the mechanical changes (but not the addition of Blood Potency), I like the new fluff in the broad strokes even if it needs tightening up around the edges (the Second Inquisition needs to be toned down a bit, while the Camarilla should soften their anti-tech policies), and I like not having forty plus Bloodlines each with a unique discipline in addition to half the Clans getting them as well. Yeah, combining Vicissitude into Protean or Blood Sorcery makes the game easier, especially if we actually bother to balance the powers.

    Don't listen to people telling you V5 is bad, have a look at the changes compared to revised and decide for yourself. You might decide the Revised fluff sunds better, in which case you should pick up Revised or V20 instead.

    * Yes, 13th is still the standard assumed generation. Duskborn in the core rulebook just allows you to scale down if you want, but they're not intended to be the focus.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

    Spoiler: playground quotes
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by fishyfishyfishy View Post
    This is objectively false and I can prove it. Onyx Path Publishing didn't publish V20. They published the supplements afterward and turned it into a full fledged edition of it's own.
    Okay, fine, if you want to split technical hairs, the V20 corebook did come out while the the corpse of White-Wolf was owned and operated by CCP (a video game producer responsible for EVE Online, White-Wolf has been owned by a TTRPG house since 2006), but that happened literally months before CCP terminated the existence of White-Wolf and let Rich Thomas publish books made by freelancers and 'White-Wolf' was literally two people at that point plus a bunch of freelance contributors.

    That's not really important though. The real issue with V20 is that because it's primarily a compilation/rewrite of material created in various earlier Vampire materials it includes tons of material that is actively detrimental to making the system useful for new players because it includes a whole bunch of options that you don't want to bring into a new game. Paths of Enlightenment, Minor Bloodlines, rules for creating methuselahs? These things have negative value to someone just getting into the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard
    Plus there's been a lot of drama with changes to who is developing it, I haven't bothered to keep track of who is on the team.
    That's an understatement. Paradox functionally canceled V5 and absorbed their version of 'White-Wolf' back into the core company, fired the main creative director, and gave publishing control back to Onyx Path.

    V5 may very well have superior mechanics to VtM revised (this isn't exactly a high bar). I don't know. I have no interest in the game given the mess surrounding it.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    In my library

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    That's an understatement. Paradox functionally canceled V5 and absorbed their version of 'White-Wolf' back into the core company, fired the main creative director, and gave publishing control back to Onyx Path.

    V5 may very well have superior mechanics to VtM revised (this isn't exactly a high bar). I don't know. I have no interest in the game given the mess surrounding it.
    To Modiphius. I know it's confusing because Onyx Path was the one releasing books but it wasn't OP with the licence. There was supposed to be a Player's Guide this year, nothing came out of it.

    Of course Paradox has now taken control back, given the licence to some other company (who publish Kids on Bikes or something). But Parawolf2 is writing the books, and they've put the Grontar: the Frutang guy in charge.

    As for the mechanics, they're basically nWoD but slightly better/worse (delete according to taste). The game actually functions now and doesn't cause skilled characters to botch more, but yeah it's not exactly great.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

    Spoiler: playground quotes
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    As for the mechanics, they're basically nWoD but slightly better/worse (delete according to taste). The game actually functions now and doesn't cause skilled characters to botch more, but yeah it's not exactly great.
    My understanding is that the best mechanics ever made for Vampire is actually the officially licensed GURPS port of the system, which is both hilarious and tragic at the same time.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Thank you, everyone for your replies, I really appreciate the information. I have been involved to a lesser or greater degree with D&D for almost twenty years so it is comfortable and known. This holds true with the people I play with most of the time as well. We have dabbled with other games, but only a bit and not much since 5e came out. I am really antsy to play something different and I love the flavor of Vampire but it is a little intimidating getting into a franchise with decades of lore and rules. Is the Vatican and government agency stuff in all versions? If so, to what degree? To be honest that aspect does not interest me at all.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    In my library

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    My understanding is that the best mechanics ever made for Vampire is actually the officially licensed GURPS port of the system, which is both hilarious and tragic at the same time.
    Yes, but that only lasted for two books and IIRC didn't cover all the Clans.

    Like, the original system isn't hard to beat in terms of design, and the new system isn't much better. But to me the new system is good enough to but houserule like I did the old one. It's a matter of taste.


    As to the Church and Government Agency stuff, religious hunters have been important since 1e, and major institutions new about vampires, while kindred would occasionally run into government agents who mostly wouldn't be in the know. A big part of 5e's metaplot is a small number of highly placed agents finding out, deciding to keep quiet about it, and making an agreement with a particular group of religious hunters to pool resources. Hunters provide the knowledge, which is then used to direct government strike teams to take out vampires. They destroyed the primary Tremere chantry, killed the majority of kindred in London (probably only took six months for more to show up, if that), and might be the reason Giovanni HQ is no more.

    But the Second Inquisition is strictly 5e only.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

    Spoiler: playground quotes
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Snownine View Post
    Thank you, everyone for your replies, I really appreciate the information. I have been involved to a lesser or greater degree with D&D for almost twenty years so it is comfortable and known. This holds true with the people I play with most of the time as well. We have dabbled with other games, but only a bit and not much since 5e came out. I am really antsy to play something different and I love the flavor of Vampire but it is a little intimidating getting into a franchise with decades of lore and rules. Is the Vatican and government agency stuff in all versions? If so, to what degree? To be honest that aspect does not interest me at all.
    Vampire hunters of various sorts exist in all editions, and are indeed a classic part of the lore and part of the reason behind the titular masquerade. A unit of vampire hunters associated with the Catholic Church has also existed in pretty much all versions of the game, because this is something that it makes sense would exist, but it's importance and value varies considerably.

    In the oWoD (which for purposes of VtM encompasses Revised and V20), Vampires were both massively more powerful than ordinary mortals (well, if you took the right abilities anyway), and also the weakest major supernatural splat. In particular Mages were just more powerful than anyone else, and the technological mages, the Technocracy, who got to play with all the really fun government goodies, could basically annihilate an infinite number of PC level vampires without even trying. This was a major design issue for a whole bunch of reasons.

    The big thing with regard to hunters, other supernaturals, and government attention all rolled together is that it's called 'the masquerade' for a reason. It's important that, if masquerade breaches start to pile up, pressure from outside sources (and also fellow vampires who recognize you as endangering them too) pile up as well, kind of like the wanted meter in GTA. It's doesn't really matter what you use for this purpose, and the amount a given party can get away with will vary significantly based on things like campaign tone and also location (because things like variation in murder rate and the level of government of authority matter in this context), but you can't just rampage.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Thanks again for the info. I will talk to my potential players and maybe nudge them to do a little research of their own and figure decide what they think sounds best. It will probably come down to my choice since I am the one most interested in it and will almost certainly be the gm.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Snownine View Post
    Thank you, everyone for your replies, I really appreciate the information. I have been involved to a lesser or greater degree with D&D for almost twenty years so it is comfortable and known. This holds true with the people I play with most of the time as well. We have dabbled with other games, but only a bit and not much since 5e came out. I am really antsy to play something different and I love the flavor of Vampire but it is a little intimidating getting into a franchise with decades of lore and rules. Is the Vatican and government agency stuff in all versions? If so, to what degree? To be honest that aspect does not interest me at all.
    Yeah... that is all part of the duct tape and pvc piping grafted onto the beanbag chair... the later editions added rules & setting creep just as it always does to every game in an effort to "ground" the freewheeling energy of its 1e.

    There is a reason I suggest the Quickstart rules, which mostly ignores all of that cruft while still selling some of that 1e energy.

    I like 1e, but it is very much a heady product of its time (which makes its fun all the better to me). It is still wholly workable for a GM who can master their game system & setting & table as long as the trust flows. If you got 20 years of GMing under your belt I assume you eventually learned that "the rules are more like guidelines~!" and can handle your own.

    (2e is... OK. I have nothing good to say about Revised beyond offering extra clans & sects around the world. Vampire: the Dark Ages is amazing, but not what you are wanting. V20 is a great compiler but is the deep end of the pool. V5 is a functional reworking but is a gutted reset that leaves me utterly uninspired and disinterested. So that really leaves me 1e and Quickstart.)

    But getting a 1e book might be more than you guys need to jump in. So I say Quickstart for simplication & clarity.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    In my library

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I'd recommend 2e over 1e, it came out a year later and it's basically the same book, but has some tweaks that makes the game work better.
    Snazzy avatar (now back! ) by Honest Tiefling.

    RIP Laser-Snail, may you live on in our hearts forever.

    Spoiler: playground quotes
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    fishyfishyfishy's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    DFW, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    That's not really important though. The real issue with V20 is that because it's primarily a compilation/rewrite of material created in various earlier Vampire materials it includes tons of material that is actively detrimental to making the system useful for new players because it includes a whole bunch of options that you don't want to bring into a new game. Paths of Enlightenment, Minor Bloodlines, rules for creating methuselahs? These things have negative value to someone just getting into the game.
    This is honestly the first time I've ever heard someone express this opinion. To say it's in the minority would be an understatement. Most people love having everything they'd need to run the game available from the start. Not to mention every single one of those additional options is presented with the context that it's optional and players should consult with their storyteller if they wish to use it. Long time and new fans alike love V20.

    Edit: I also want to address that you straight up lied, or were very misinformed about V20, and stated that it's a cash grab and then doubled down on the hate after being called out. You don't have to like it but at least don't make things up about it. Nobody gets into the ttRPG industry for money.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    To Modiphius. I know it's confusing because Onyx Path was the one releasing books but it wasn't OP with the licence. There was supposed to be a Player's Guide this year, nothing came out of it.

    Of course Paradox has now taken control back, given the licence to some other company (who publish Kids on Bikes or something). But Parawolf2 is writing the books, and they've put the Grontar: the Frutang guy in charge.
    Actually, Modiphius doesn't have Publishing rights any longer. Renegade Game Studios are the publishers for core content going forward and Onyx Path Publishing maintains it's agreement with White Wolf to publish other products.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snownine View Post
    Thanks again for the info. I will talk to my potential players and maybe nudge them to do a little research of their own and figure decide what they think sounds best. It will probably come down to my choice since I am the one most interested in it and will almost certainly be the gm.
    This is the best decision you could make. If you're open to it I'd even suggest trying multiple versions to see which one you like better.
    Last edited by fishyfishyfishy; 2020-11-30 at 09:45 PM.
    Most of my posts are made on my mobile device. Please excuse any errors from auto correct.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I think I will order a copy of the revised edition and give that a read. It is my understanding that I just need the one book for both players and gm? I am looking on Amazon and seeing used copies of the hardcover for $43 but might just buy the pdf at drivethrurpg for $18. It is the one with the green cover and the lone rose on it, yeah?

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Oct 2018

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    A fairly easy "in" to the setting that I've run a couple of times is to have all of the PCs be new vampires who are being presented to the Prince for recognition into society.
    After a quick scene between each character and their sire to get that relationship down and impress on the player how important this night is the PCs are taken to Elysium and;
    Immediately get told they owe the Prince a life bin just for existing.
    Get to recite the traditions.
    Get pointed to the sheriff who has a job for then to start paying off their debt.
    Meet a couple of primogen/important members of court.
    Head over to a student party where a couple of 14th gens live.
    "Deal" with the students however they see fit (under the watchful eye of an obfuscated scourge). Usually I have one of the 14th green up in their room panicking after accidentally murdering their partner while trying to get off them for extra complications.
    Go back to court and report.

    It's a nice contained story, you're already managing about a dozen NPC's, the PCs have a reason to work together, they're in debt to at least one member of court (two if the scourge needs to help/cover for them) which lets you put in story hooks for them to follow. It's all camarilla focused so you don't need to worry about global meta politics and the PCs are just as green as the players do don't need to have memorised every book in existence.
    And it's totally edition agnostic so you can run it with whatevers to hand.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    fishyfishyfishy's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    DFW, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Snownine View Post
    I think I will order a copy of the revised edition and give that a read. It is my understanding that I just need the one book for both players and gm? I am looking on Amazon and seeing used copies of the hardcover for $43 but might just buy the pdf at drivethrurpg for $18. It is the one with the green cover and the lone rose on it, yeah?
    Yes you only need one book.
    Most of my posts are made on my mobile device. Please excuse any errors from auto correct.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Ventura CA

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    From a player of the original WoD series of games, I'm partial to them specifically. There is plenty of.excellent.and more knowledgeable advice above to lean on regarding current iterations.

    I'll through in that for players coming from D&D, Vampire: Dark Ages might be a easier transition thematically. The political divisions are less complex, and the genre feel will be closer to what your players are already used to.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Now I want to look get a real look at the game as well. (I'm going with revised, I think.)

    Are there any resources for the old World of Darkness in Northern Germany and Denmark?
    Can an old World of Darkness campaign work being set in 2020? (Even if it's an alternative timeline where the apocalypse never happened yet?)
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Ventura CA

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Now I want to look get a real look at the game as well. (I'm going with revised, I think.)

    Are there any resources for the old World of Darkness in Northern Germany and Denmark?
    Can an old World of Darkness campaign work being set in 2020? (Even if it's an alternative timeline where the apocalypse never happened yet?)
    Could old WoD be ported into 2020? Almost certainly yes, although you'll have to make some big creative license calls about how the societies of supernaturals change.

    How does the Masquerade work (or Delerium) in a world where everyone has the ability to livestream feeding or supernatural behavior? Does your New Orleans by Night sourcebook make sense post Katrina, or New York by night post 9/11? You'll have to imagine and adapt the material to accommodate, but it's not such a stretch. You can even introduce new major theme dilemmas like the availability of CRIPR technology has foisted an identity crisis on Cainites (Kindred for you posers), as you can now lab grow human blood. Have fun.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I am imagining John Wick with vampires.

    Actually even more like Drive and Hotline Miami, but John Wick also has similar aesthetics and a ridiculous secret underworld hiding in plain sight. I feel 90s gothic is very much past its sell by date (unless you deliberately want to run a retro campaign), but more recent neo-noir feels like an aesthetic that would work quite well as a modernized alternative.

    My concern was primarily if there's something in the mythology that definitely states that Vampires all have to go extinct in 2000, or something like that. But it seems like at least the earlier sources treat the upcoming end of the vampire world as a fringe hysteria and not something that's actually expected to happen.

    With modern technology, I think the vampires just have to be more vigilant. Don't assume that you can't be seen just because you don't see anyone observing you. Do your monster stuff only when you're certain there's no line of sight from other nearby places. Have the Nosferatu spread well made but easily identifiable fake videos on the internet. And maybe when you have vampires and ghouls starting to show hints of going rogue, take them out primitively instead of waiting until they break the masquerade.
    I'm going through the revised rules, and they state at the beginning that The World of Darkness is not just the real world, but with vampires always having been hidden in the shadows. It's an alternative version of the world that has always been influenced by the supernatural. Superstition and urban legends, as well as human disinterest are somewhat different than in reality. It's not like a video of a vampire attack appearing tomorrow would be something completely new and unexpected. It would exist as just another small piece in a long line of vampire documentation that has been going on for centuries, and which people are used to as normal. And let's not forget what silly nonsense people believe today because they heard it on the internet or even the news, and most people just shrug and consider them deluded idiots.
    Vampires being real sounds no more delusional than the ghost of Hugo Chavez manipulating elections in the US. There might be millions of people who correctly believe that Vampire sightings are real, but the masquerade would still be intact because the other humans tell them to shut up with that nonsense.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I am imagining John Wick with vampires.

    Actually even more like Drive and Hotline Miami, but John Wick also has similar aesthetics and a ridiculous secret underworld hiding in plain sight. I feel 90s gothic is very much past its sell by date (unless you deliberately want to run a retro campaign), but more recent neo-noir feels like an aesthetic that would work quite well as a modernized alternative.
    Unfortunately, VtM was not designed to facilitate this style of gameplay. In fact the design team denigrated such 'katana and trenchcoat' type games as 'Vampions' and worked directly to counter the playstyle. If you want to make a neo-noir urban fantasy street level superheroes game involving vampires and other creatures of the night you really should use something else.

    The system is both bad generally and specifically bad at things like functional combat. The action economy is a terrible mess and always has been and minionomancy is both directly supported by the fluff and also impossibly OP - one player can spend literally every last point they've got to become a bad*** vampire warrior and another can spend 5 points in 'backup' and the latter will have significantly more force to through around. Mechanically it makes sense to pick a system that runs low-level supers (what VtM vampires functionally are) well rather than use VtM.

    Likewise, the fluff...isn't actually good, there's just a lot of it. If you want a generalized modern urban fantasy backdrop, there's no real advantage over choosing VtM versus say, The Vampire Dairies or some other recent franchise as a basis for the fluff. In fact, for a neo-noir action-heavy take I'd specifically suggest looking at the Underworld film franchise, campy and ridiculous as it is, rather than VtM.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    Ventura CA

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Hard to sell an Underworld setting as an improvement on WoD when it was such a blatant ripoff of White Wolf IP. The only reason the studio got away with it was a small RPG company is too poor to successfully litigate.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Rule-Of-Three View Post
    Hard to sell an Underworld setting as an improvement on WoD when it was such a blatant ripoff of White Wolf IP. The only reason the studio got away with it was a small RPG company is too poor to successfully litigate.
    It really wasn't. The reality is that very little in Vampire qualifies as 'original' itself. Most of the clans are directly traceable to other kinds of vampires in other kinds of vampire media that circulated in the decades prior to VtM's publication, and all of the general concepts - the universal monsters, the blood magic, how vampires are made, etc. trace to public domain sources like the titular Dracula. Which is why people have continued to make exceedingly popular urban fantasy settings using all the same monsters and tropes as the WoD (go to Amazon and browse 'Paranormal & Urban' in the fantasy section for a few pages) without any problems.

    VtM took a bunch of extremely classic ideas, mixed in some 'gothic-punk' stylizations and packaged it all together in some books that were very well put together for the time (if you compare WW productions to the other gaming texts on the market in the 1990s the quality variance is obvious) and threw out an appealing package that happened to resonate with the needs and desires of the TTRPG community and its adjacent fandoms at the time.

    Look Underworld isn't good, it's not nearly self-aware enough to be campy and not nearly restrained enough to not look ridiculous, but it does have action-focused Vampire superheroes. The thing it shares with Vampire is, really, the fashion sense. But so do the Blade films, the Matrix, and a whole bunch of other early 2000s movies. The key point though is that VtM, as a game, is not about playing Vampires as street level supers and if you try to do that using the VtM system - something so, so many people did, myself included - you will have to fight the system basically every step of the way.

    VtM manages to just barely work, if you understand its foibles and wrestle with it a bunch, for the sort of tightly-knit goth-tinged soapy vampire politics it was intended to produce. Not only does it share the problem typical of most RPGs that it struggles outside of its specific design wheelhouse, but the people behind the game were openly against playing it 'the wrong way' and worked to actively cripple any ability to do so.

    Ultimately the only real reason to recommend VtM is because its well-known due to being, very briefly, the world's most popular RPG and therefore it's easier to find people willing to play it. But it's not a good game in its own right, it's not even the best game or most playable game in the oWoD. To basically any GM familiar with running a decent generic or universal system it makes way more sense to put together their own urban fantasy variant (plenty of the more popular settings already have homemade versions floating around the internet) rather than using VtM.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Overall this thread really put a damper on my enthusiasm for the game. Are there any other games with the same feel that run better? I have no experience with generic systems and where things in my life are right now I don't think I have the drive atm to build my own game out of a generic system just to get a little vampire fix, it sounds like way more work than using an already made game.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Oct 2018

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    That's sad to hear. As a counter to some of the podts above, we used to play second addition, and have played some 5th edition out of the box and never experienced any problems. I wouldn't say we're the sort of group that push the rules though so I'm happy to accept groups that take the gaming aspect of an RPG seriously may have different experiences.
    Setting wise... Ignore the Meta is my suggestion. Read whatever main book you get and throw in anything you find on forums, wikis and elsewhere that you think sounds fun regardless of edition. There is so much material out there that you're never going to get a 100% canon game, and most of it is irrelevant to your game anyway.
    LA by night on YouTube is a mostly canon 5e game run by one of the game team which is worth a watch to get an idea of how the game plays.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Morty's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Snownine View Post
    Overall this thread really put a damper on my enthusiasm for the game. Are there any other games with the same feel that run better? I have no experience with generic systems and where things in my life are right now I don't think I have the drive atm to build my own game out of a generic system just to get a little vampire fix, it sounds like way more work than using an already made game.
    I don't think it's worthwhile to listen too much to people who respond to a thread inquiring about a game with "don't, it sucks". If you want to try it, try it. You'll like it or you won't and you can proceed from there. If you do want another vampire game, there's always Vampire: the Requiem, from the "new" World of Darkness, later rebranded to Chronicles of Darkness. It's superficially similar to Masquerade but with a different feel and focus.
    Last edited by Morty; 2020-12-07 at 08:13 AM.
    My FFRP characters. Avatar by Ashen Lilies. Sigatars by Ashen Lilies, Gulaghar and Purple Eagle.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Yora's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Germany

    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    As someone who's still reading through the revised edition rulebook: Are there any guidelines on designing the vampire underworld for your own city?

    The only number I've found being thrown around is that the Camarilla tries to keep the vampire population for an area to 1 vampire per 100,000 humans, or 10 vampires per million (1 vpm). When you look at metropolitan areas and not just strictly cities, that actually gets a pretty decent number of a few dozen vampires.
    (You could take this map as the territories of vampire prices in Germany, each supporting some 40-60 vampires. And with low traffic at night, it would only be an hour car ride to the center even from the more outlying areas.)

    50 vampires (for a region of 5 million humans) is pretty good pool of NPCs, but if you split them among eight or nine clans, you end up with average clans of only 6 vampires. That's not enough to have just one vampire for every generation from 6th to 13th. Is it assumed that all the major clans have a presence in each city, or is it common to have only three or four clans (plus the occasional loner from other clans)?
    Is there anything on which clans are more numerous and which ones more rare? (I'd guess Brujah might be quite common, while Gangrel and Nosferatu would be more rare.)
    Are younger generations more numerous than older ones? Nothing should stop a primogen to make more 8th or 9th generation vampires instead of leaving it up to 11th and 12th generation progeny to create new members.

    And do ghouls count as vampires? (They need permission from the prince to be created, but they don't put a drain on the local blood supply.)
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

    Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor - Writing Sword & Sorcery
    Spriggan's Den Heroic Fantasy Roleplaying

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •