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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I don't think there's anythign as such stopping vampires of the stronger generations from procreating.

    I suppose it's largely paranoia. If you're an elder, a bunch of thinbloods and neonates are much less of a threat to you. It would probably be very difficult to ensure someone's loyalty through the transformation. You'd have to find a human and make them loyal to you in a way that still applies once they are powerful and immortal.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2020-12-07 at 11:17 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    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.)
    1 per 100,00 is the ideal. Most cities actually have between 1 per 10,00-50,000 depending on how popular/ overcrowded they are. ( Also depending on how much plot you want to build around competition for Hunting grounds ). The Sabbat are by canon much worse at keeping these numbers down than the Camarilla.

    Brujah are indeed generally considered to be the most numerous clan. Nobody outside the Nosferatu knows how many Nosferatu there are . I'd say the smallest clan by sheer numbers would probably be the Gangrel.

    Cities usually have some Clans that are more numerous than others. For most cities this is just because of chance or groups of Kindred forming around a powerful Elder of their clan. Or even that members of that particular clan just like that city for its cultural background ( For example if you are in Paris you are going to be constantly tripping over Toreador. )

    The younger Generations are definitely more numerous than Elders. This is variously described as because Elders lose the urge to spend time on helping their Childe/ don't want to create potential rivals/ will have enough experience to not accidentally Sire

    Absolutely something would stop a Primogen creating new Vampires. The Prince. Arguably keeping the Vampire population down is his most important job.

    Ghouls do not count as Vampires because as you said they don't put a strain on the Blood supply.


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    Last edited by comicshorse; 2020-12-07 at 03:39 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I will go ahead and buy the revised edition and give it a read. I just wanted to get a good idea before I took the plunge, entertainment money has been harder to come by this year so I have been more conservative with purchases like this of late. Thank you, everyone, for your responses.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    The younger Generations are definitely more numerous than Elders. This is variously described as because Elders lose the urge to spend time on helping their Childe/ don't want to create potential rivals/ will have enough experience to not accidentally Sire
    Yeah, you need pawns who are useful, but not strong enough to challenge you. Most of the Camarilla laws seem to exist to keep the younger generations from rising up against the elders.

    While I've not seen it explictly mentioned yet (either in the book or when looking things up on the internet), the tension between older and younger generations seems to be a really major element of the setting.
    The whole story of the Antedeluvians and the Methusala is about which ones are going to eat the other first. Supposedly, ancient vampires have to feed on other vampires, and younger vampires can get the power to escape that fate by feeding on their ancestors first.
    And if the world doesn't end any day now, the same thing will happen to the younger generations of today in a thousand years or so.

    Which brings me to another question: Is the world definitely going to end? It says the Camarilla, who are mainstream vampire society, believes it's all fairy tales and boogymen, with the Sabbat being a nutty doomsday cult. But at the same time it's always "Gehenna, Sabbat, Jyhad!" and "These are the end times".
    If the world really ends in two or three years, then the whole thing about young vampires turning into beasts after several centuries, and the inevitable conflict with their elders becomes meaningless.

    My early suspicion would be that this is a case of metaplot lore creep, with it being meant as a myth originally, and writer then getting swept up by the hype over the years and it becoming a certainty.
    But what makes more sense to me is that a minority believe in the end times is putting enough vampires on edge to start causing widespread disruption, and the fear being the source of actual chaos that will cause a lasting shift to vampire society when it settles. Is that what the original intent was?
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post

    While I've not seen it explictly mentioned yet (either in the book or when looking things up on the internet), the tension between older and younger generations seems to be a really major element of the setting.
    Yeah it was a very big part of 1st edition. Indeed I'd go as far as to say originally it was meant to be one of the two major themes of the game. As time went by it got sidelined in favour of conflict with the Sabbat and maintaining the Masquerade as the more important plot elements


    Which brings me to another question: Is the world definitely going to end? It says the Camarilla, who are mainstream vampire society, believes it's all fairy tales and boogymen, with the Sabbat being a nutty doomsday cult. But at the same time it's always "Gehenna, Sabbat, Jyhad!" and "These are the end times".
    Well as always its your game so if you don't want the Apocalypse to be more than a Kindred legend than that is how it is. And for the record in the many Vampire games I've been in only one ST chose to have it be actually happening and then it was the major thrust of the whole campaign as we were playing his adaption of the 'Transylvanian Chronicles'/ 'Giovanni Chronicles''
    That said from the amount of print White Wolf dedicated to the subject (including the rather poor book of scenario's on different ways you could run Gehenna) I'd have to say they definitely meant for the world to end and in a real, no kidding Apocalypse not just social change to Kindred society
    Last edited by comicshorse; 2020-12-08 at 06:00 AM.
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    That does seem to defeat the purpose of the game, though. Elders mistrusting their own progeny, fighting over territory, trying to keep your humanity, maintaining the masquerade. It's all pointless when all vampires and humans are going to be dead in a few months.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

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  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    That does seem to defeat the purpose of the game, though. Elders mistrusting their own progeny, fighting over territory, trying to keep your humanity, maintaining the masquerade. It's all pointless when all vampires and humans are going to be dead in a few months.
    Well when the books first started coming out it wasn't a few months off just the new future. The first book came out in 1991 so assuming they were thinking the Apocalpyse was going to be at the turn of the millennium as was very popular back then. That gave them 9 years to play with before they had to think about whether they actually wanted it to be true.
    Its also worth pointing out that while the End was definitely happening for Vampires the fate of humans was much more ill defined.
    But in the end its up to the ST. If they feel the atmosphere is enhanced by having this mystical sword of Damocles hanging over everything, great. If not, it's just a legend only a few old and hide bound vampires believe in nowadays
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I've looked around some more and found one really neat sounding approach to this.

    Almost all contemporary doomsday cults in Europe and North America are led by ultra-conservative old men who believe that the modern world has become so corrupt that it's inconceivable to continue. They are people who find that the modern world is changing and the privileged position people like them used to hold in society doesn't count for that anymore. They don't fear the end of the world, they are hoping for it. Even if you take out the belief that they will find salvation in the afterlife, the end of the world would still at least proof that there was something wrong with the world, and not with them.
    The elders of the 6th and 7th generation have been around since the middle ages. They might have been able to adapt to the 18th and 19th century, but now they really struggle to keep up with the changing times. They are already struggling to maintain their humanity simply because of their age, and now they are both struggling more and more to keep being invested in the human world. And on top of that, even the younger vampires are flocking to the Anarchs, leaving the Camarilla behind as an outdated relic from a bygone age. Many elders would feel that they will be fully combined by the beast soon. If Gehenna is real and would happen before that, it might not actually be that bad.
    The World Wars and nuclear weapons gave plenty of support to the assumption that the end times might be near, and having gotten comfortable with the idea that Gehenna might be close, many elders actually wish for it to come and get it over with, even if they don't admit it to themselves yet. All this keeps fanning the flames within vampire society and sooner or later it's all going to explode. Elders either turning fully into beasts or disappearing to join the methuselah will leave a power vacuum and there will be lots of all out war between younger vampires fighting to full the void or overthrow remaining elders who are not yet ready to leave the world. When it's open war between vampires, the Masquerade will suffer and masses of vampire hunters will charge into the chaos.

    For much of the kindred, it will be the end.
    We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on very tall tower of other dwarves.

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  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    That all sounds good though I wouldn't underestimate the number of Elders who may lip service to religious/social beliefs as the reason for wanting the End. When it really comes down to a buried death wish after being ground down by centuries of the same damn thing, over an over
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    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.



    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.
    Honestly I would totally disagree with your assumption that the extra rules are a detriment to the game. The only reason I could see for not wanting them is wanting to run limited games, but having to explain that to the players is hard.

    Paths of Enlightenment, Minor Bloodlines and Methuselah's are all part of the world, and therefor something that can come up in game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarZero View Post
    I like the "hobo" in there.
    "Hey, you just got 10000gp! You going to buy a fully staffed mansion or something?"
    "Nah, I'll upgrade my +2 sword to a +3 sword and sleep in my cloak."

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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    But I think the important thing here is that the topic at hand is learning the game as new GMs and new players.
    From what I understand, V20 is revised edition plus 200 pages of additional material, on top of the 300 pages that are in revised. That's 200 pages of material that have to be read, understood, and remembered. When you start with a blank slate, that is a very significant increase in workload that makes it harder to get a good grasp of the necessary basics.
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  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by druid91 View Post
    Honestly I would totally disagree with your assumption that the extra rules are a detriment to the game. The only reason I could see for not wanting them is wanting to run limited games, but having to explain that to the players is hard.

    Paths of Enlightenment, Minor Bloodlines and Methuselah's are all part of the world, and therefor something that can come up in game.
    Extra rules are only helpful when those rules are good and provide useful additions to the world. if the rules are bad adding them reduces the overall playability of the system. Heck even if the rules are neutral, just adding more rules means adding more complexity to a system and unnecessary complexity is bad. For example, adding psionics to a D&D setting 'just because' is a terrible idea.

    Paths of Enlightenment are unnecessary. They are only useful to advanced players. Everyone else is just fine broadly ignoring the humanity mechanic like they always do (since it's a bad mechanic that is not beneficial to gameplay) and moving on. Minor bloodlines are unnecessary - VtM has too many bloodlines as it is with just the 13 major clans. There is simply no need to have any member of any minor bloodline in the city in which your game is set. Methusalehs do not need stats. They exist. They have plot device level powers. Giving them stats is a waste of space in the same way that stating demon lords and Lords of the Nine in D&D is a waste of space.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora
    But I think the important thing here is that the topic at hand is learning the game as new GMs and new players.
    From what I understand, V20 is revised edition plus 200 pages of additional material, on top of the 300 pages that are in revised. That's 200 pages of material that have to be read, understood, and remembered. When you start with a blank slate, that is a very significant increase in workload that makes it harder to get a good grasp of the necessary basics.
    This is very much true. New players to Vampire should start with a variant 'core only' approach, and V20 is very much not that. Even the base book for the earlier editions contains too much. New players should be in a Camarilla city. The Sabbat can exist, offscreen, but everything involved with it need never appear in game. The same is true of the 'independent' clans.

    Ultimately you want a city with 50-100 Vampires, divided between 6-8 clans (~10 per clan really), with 2-3 political factions between them (the easy version is pro-prince, anti-prince, and leave-us-alone). The PC coterie represents members who are all part of one political faction and - and this part is really important - has some actual reason to be working together and some kind of functional goal. VtM as a game, is awfully short on campaign goals. It is very easy to build characters and even whole parties who lack incentive to actually participate in a campaign in any way (also there's a certain kind of VtM player that gravitates towards playing Malkavians who are actively detrimental to the party ever accomplishing anything).
    Last edited by Mechalich; 2020-12-09 at 07:42 AM.
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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Extra rules are only helpful when those rules are good and provide useful additions to the world. if the rules are bad adding them reduces the overall playability of the system. Heck even if the rules are neutral, just adding more rules means adding more complexity to a system and unnecessary complexity is bad. For example, adding psionics to a D&D setting 'just because' is a terrible idea.
    Good and bad are subjective. There's no consensus on which version of the rules are better.

    Side note: it's weird that you use psionics in d&d as an example when they've been present in the game since the beginning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Paths of Enlightenment are unnecessary. They are only useful to advanced players. Everyone else is just fine broadly ignoring the humanity mechanic like they always do (since it's a bad mechanic that is not beneficial to gameplay) and moving on. Minor bloodlines are unnecessary - VtM has too many bloodlines as it is with just the 13 major clans. There is simply no need to have any member of any minor bloodline in the city in which your game is set. Methusalehs do not need stats. They exist. They have plot device level powers. Giving them stats is a waste of space in the same way that stating demon lords and Lords of the Nine in D&D is a waste of space.
    I have never heard of anyone ignoring the Humanity mechanics. It's the entire point of playing the game. Your experiences seem to be far outside the norm for this series.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    This is very much true. New players to Vampire should start with a variant 'core only' approach, and V20 is very much not that. Even the base book for the earlier editions contains too much. New players should be in a Camarilla city. The Sabbat can exist, offscreen, but everything involved with it need never appear in game. The same is true of the 'independent' clans.
    Revised has all 13 clans in the core book as playable options, and has details on the Sabbat as a major player faction. It's been part of the core experience of VtM for the majority of it's existence as a game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Ultimately you want a city with 50-100 Vampires, divided between 6-8 clans (~10 per clan really), with 2-3 political factions between them (the easy version is pro-prince, anti-prince, and leave-us-alone). The PC coterie represents members who are all part of one political faction and - and this part is really important - has some actual reason to be working together and some kind of functional goal. VtM as a game, is awfully short on campaign goals. It is very easy to build characters and even whole parties who lack incentive to actually participate in a campaign in any way (also there's a certain kind of VtM player that gravitates towards playing Malkavians who are actively detrimental to the party ever accomplishing anything).
    Most people I interact with in various forums, discord servers, and social media prefer smaller locations with fewer vampires for their stories. There's rarely representatives from every clan. These same people also usually don't mind a variety of clans as a player option. V5 took this a step further and makes most clans dissociated with Sect. Anarch Tremere, Camarilla Hecata, and Sabbat Ventrue are more viable than ever before.
    Most of my posts are made on my mobile device. Please excuse any errors from auto correct.

  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Extra rules are only helpful when those rules are good and provide useful additions to the world. if the rules are bad adding them reduces the overall playability of the system. Heck even if the rules are neutral, just adding more rules means adding more complexity to a system and unnecessary complexity is bad. For example, adding psionics to a D&D setting 'just because' is a terrible idea.

    Paths of Enlightenment are unnecessary. They are only useful to advanced players. Everyone else is just fine broadly ignoring the humanity mechanic like they always do (since it's a bad mechanic that is not beneficial to gameplay) and moving on. Minor bloodlines are unnecessary - VtM has too many bloodlines as it is with just the 13 major clans. There is simply no need to have any member of any minor bloodline in the city in which your game is set. Methusalehs do not need stats. They exist. They have plot device level powers. Giving them stats is a waste of space in the same way that stating demon lords and Lords of the Nine in D&D is a waste of space.



    This is very much true. New players to Vampire should start with a variant 'core only' approach, and V20 is very much not that. Even the base book for the earlier editions contains too much. New players should be in a Camarilla city. The Sabbat can exist, offscreen, but everything involved with it need never appear in game. The same is true of the 'independent' clans.

    Ultimately you want a city with 50-100 Vampires, divided between 6-8 clans (~10 per clan really), with 2-3 political factions between them (the easy version is pro-prince, anti-prince, and leave-us-alone). The PC coterie represents members who are all part of one political faction and - and this part is really important - has some actual reason to be working together and some kind of functional goal. VtM as a game, is awfully short on campaign goals. It is very easy to build characters and even whole parties who lack incentive to actually participate in a campaign in any way (also there's a certain kind of VtM player that gravitates towards playing Malkavians who are actively detrimental to the party ever accomplishing anything).
    ... Yeah... This is a very particular set of house rules that seems unnecessarily restrictive and a tad bit lazy on the ST's part.

    Methuselah's are not demon lords. A single Methuselah isn't going to destroy a plane of existence. Their powers are not 'plot device' level.

    Now if you were talking about rules for Antidiluvians sure. But Methuselah's exist, they typically are prince of whatever city they live in. You need rules to make them because assigning them plot device powers is lazy and undermines your players from the start.

    As for bloodlines, while certain bloodlines are problematic because of roleplay considerations, like the Asamites or Baali. Most are perfectly fine. The idea that you shouldn't play whichever sect you want and should automatically go Camarilla is also weird. There's nothing playing Camarilla does that teaches you anything important or makes it easier than playing Sabbat or Anarch.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarZero View Post
    I like the "hobo" in there.
    "Hey, you just got 10000gp! You going to buy a fully staffed mansion or something?"
    "Nah, I'll upgrade my +2 sword to a +3 sword and sleep in my cloak."

    Non est salvatori salvator, neque defensori dominus, nec pater nec mater, nihil supernum.

    Torumekian knight Avatar by Licoot.

    Note to self: Never get involved in an ethics thread again...Especially if I'm defending the empire.

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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Yes, but how many clans, bloodlines, sects, and paths should new players and GMs read up on before they get to make their first characters and make their first campaign?
    Most players won't be doing homework. Simply starting with the Camarilla and seven original clans is fully sufficient to get started. Not necessarily the best or only smaller sub-set to start with, but I think the easiest to get the basic hang of it.
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Going to agree with you there Yora. For a first game I highly recommend a camarilla town or city. The core clans are written to work well together, there's plenty of overlap in disciplines and enough of an organization to provide easy npcs and rules to follow.
    You could go anarch, but by their nature you'll have to put a bit more legwork into how the city is organised. The LA by night series on YouTube is centered on an anarch city and could give some ideas on how to run one (and the game on general).
    I'd avoid sabbat as a first game as it is very easy to get them wrong and just turn into murder hobo town.
    I'd also avoid bloodlines to start with, partially because it's just extra work. If someone wants to play a harbinger of death then you now need to go research them, the Capadocians and probably the Giovanni for good luck on top of all the common clans. Then you need to work out why one of these monsters has turned up in your city and is willing to work with the other pcs on mundane stuff. More importantly though whilst it's great that they can be run as pcs, savor the mystery of the setting for a while and keep one or two npcs from a bloodline that catches your fancy as an NPC for later. The game definitely loses something when you can point at any NPC that turns up and reel off their disciplines and supposedly ancient, mysterious background.

    Not saying you shouldn't play any type of game you want, but for a new group that's be my recommendation.
    Last edited by Aliess; 2020-12-11 at 03:49 AM.

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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Yes, but how many clans, bloodlines, sects, and paths should new players and GMs read up on before they get to make their first characters and make their first campaign?
    Most players won't be doing homework. Simply starting with the Camarilla and seven original clans is fully sufficient to get started. Not necessarily the best or only smaller sub-set to start with, but I think the easiest to get the basic hang of it.
    One option? Give everyone a capsule of the Seven Camarilla clans and, if they want to look into others, let folks pitch non-standard clans and such. Want to play a Ravnos or Salubri or Gargoyle? Do your homework and pitch it.
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  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Even the newbie friendly V5 pitches 2 major opposing sects with a variety of clans in both. I don't think it's unreasonable for a Storyteller to research the organizations and vampire clans they want to portray in their story and then tell their players what choices they have to work with. Compare 13 clans and 3 organizations to say...D&D 5e with 9 races and 12 classes with 3 subclasses each in the core book.

    If you're using an older edition there's over a dozen different settings to choose from (the "by Night" city books) that already does a lot of the work for you and gives you plenty of plot hooks to work with. Some of those books are Camarilla focused but there's also Anarch and Sabbat aligned locations that have their own setting book.

    My point being that regardless of what version you choose to run there's tools and instructions for any starting storyteller to play with the entire catalogue of vampires and it doesn't really make a big difference at all
    Last edited by fishyfishyfishy; 2020-12-11 at 07:10 PM.
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    To be fair, 'core' V5 includes the seven original Clans and nothing else, with the Tremere altered to be much more newbie-friendly. The two Sect Books then each add in one new Clan, although honestly the Banu Haqim in the Camarilla book are going to be easier for most players to grasp than the Settites/Ministry (that Clan needs a better formal name, I'm using Clan Typhon at the moment). It also pushes the Anarchs as the newbie friendly Sect, but it's arguable if that's true (it is, however, easier to be a Baron than a Prince).

    But yeah, for a first game I'd recommend either Anarchs or Camarilla and limited to the original seven. Maybe one more if there's a particular Clan you want to include.
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    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?
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    But yeah, for a first game I'd recommend either Anarchs or Camarilla and limited to the original seven. Maybe one more if there's a particular Clan you want to include.
    Camarilla can feel stifling and harsh to new players. I feel like the Sabbat is better for new people. Majority of vampires in that sect follow Humanity anyway, and there's an actual game mechanic enforcing and incentivizing cooperation in the form of the Viniculum. You have a wider variety of clans to choose from and greater chance of violence, allowing people to learn that part of the mechanics. Their characters also have greater freedom and can learn the nuances of the setting by pushing boundaries.
    Last edited by fishyfishyfishy; 2020-12-12 at 08:22 PM.
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by fishyfishyfishy View Post
    Camarilla can feel stifling and harsh to new players. I feel like the Sabbat is better for new people. Majority of vampires in that sect follow Humanity anyway, and there's an actual game mechanic enforcing and incentivizing cooperation in the form of the Viniculum. You have a wider variety of clans to choose from and greater chance of violence, allowing people to learn that part of the mechanics. Their characters also have greater freedom and can learn the nuances of the setting by pushing boundaries.
    IMO the Sabbat Congress with a few problems for new players, particularly the fact that most try to be inhuman monsters. But I do get the problems with the Camarilla and Anarchs are probably the easiest Sect to deal with, due to not having the restrictive rules of the Camarilla but not with the widespread attempted monstrosity of the Sabbat.

    Plus Anarchs have sports like bullet tag that means their likelihood of violence isn't that far behind the Sabbath's.
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    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.

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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    (EDIT: summery at bottom I guess-this went longer than planned)
    ***Grumble grumble***

    Okay I will say that I have history with VtM and have had a ton of fun playing. But have a very different take. And I'll toss out what I think are some of the risks and my thoughts are with starting VtM...this is mostly aimed the revised edition.

    I think the system is pretty good actually. The real issue is the lore and expectations.

    Firstly the lore...there is a TON of it. And with the big level stuff going on it is VERY easy for ST's to bleed so much of it in that it eats their own game. THis can quickly make your players group get sucked up into someone else's story. Also I find the lore pretty damn limiting in terms of what vampires are where they come from etc....So I'd recommend just figuring out how you want to deal with the lore and how your players are going to deal with this...a session zero can be very helpful here. Also the lore can be very tempting to use as a way to create the appearance of stakes and scale...this can somewhat work but is also not really attached to the PC's and players unless the they are either pretty invested in the lore already or the ST puts in the work to connect them personally with this bit of lore he is using. Overall I find it encourages lazy senses of "this is important" without putting in the work to get the players invested...its an easy trap. SO just be careful how you use the lore and thing before you add it. For some it really helps but it is no substitute fore building things up for your players on a personal basis over time. And personally I don't really like the lore...so ya know....tougher.

    on the dice system...now I love the unpredictability of the dice system. I like the botches, the exploding tens etc. It both has lots of good drama potential and also has an interesting tie in with the game behavior. If things can blow up on you...it makes sense to play in a cagey way. to avoid risk, to use catspaws...hey sounds like how a classic elder vampire is presented..I like this. And for while many people say they dislike botches I personally love them...the amount of humour that has come up from such events is massive...and those exploding tens? well that encourages hail mary's and game shifting WTF moments...which kinda makes everything kinda unpredictable..and that makes the game hard to metam (from both the player's and ST's end)...and again makes playing in a classic elder style make logical sense. It does mean that planning is going to be upset easily...so again lean into it...the system rewards the ST being fast on their feet and good with ad hoc like few systems I've known which if that ISN'T something you enjoy is a bad thing but if you do it's gold. The basic Attribute+(Talent/Skill/Knowledge)+(Merit/Tool) Vs (Difficulty set by ST) is a pretty good one in the right hands it is wonderfully flexible and makes a decent model to reflect character strengths. Though it does mean the ST needs a personal wide breadth of knowledge in order to cover the ability to make good choices for difficulty on the fly. This is more true in non-combat than combat IMO. Learn the system well and give yourself a lot of room to improvise and the drama will make itself...try to set up the perfect moment and some weird dice result at the wrong moment will ruin it...luck runs both ways.

    on mortals....the power levels in the game are such that mortals are kinda just speed bumps. This has lots of issues. It means that your players are basically just going to be dealing with other supernaturals unless you are really specific. So interactions with the whole mortal world get pushed into the background of the game unless the ST really makes an effort. THis can very much limit your cast of characters but also blur out things like the relations that the vampire can have....how does the vampire relate to his family, how she feels about her old high school (particularly when she can still pass as a student but the students she went with are now the grandparents of the students who are giving recitals, which can change the focus of the game...but you may notice something...a lot of the personal aspect is what can easily get lost when the game turns away from the mortal world and in revised book as well as other the game is described as "a game of personal horror"...which can be leaned against and have some really good stories but the games balance doesn't lead you there naturally. And with all that drive to basically ignore humans in general it has the contrast that "humanity" is presented as the greatest threat in the game...the point of the whole masquerade is for protection.

    also there is a related issue...the game sells itself as a social driven game but because of the power of the vampires compared to most things around them and that several of the powers the vampires have are very much boosting their combat ability it makes hitting things a more obvious choice than talking. . . which can be pretty fun TBH but a lot of the set up is not aimed at that so well. and kinda why people have a degree of "superheros with fangs" view of this game....which if that is what you want it can play that way pretty well....but "personal horror" is not how most people play it, they just kinda ignore that part.

    Actually lots of the game's problem is that a lot of the rules are really easy to accidentally ignore. Most commonly ignored? Humanity and the beast. People tend to get wrapped up in the plot. Now this has issues as you can imagine. It takes ST's really focusing on this to make it work. It CAN work but it it not natural with the flow of the game if you are not used to it and there are only rare times it up and smacks you with the rules. Also the Beast is something described as a constant but that is not reflected in the rules in how most people play....remember the beast of the PC's is largely under the control of the ST (who can delegate to an extent but I only recommend that for advanced players) and this is something that most players and most ST/GM/etc are not used to...in most games the PC's are pretty inviolate. So again pay attention to it, talk with your players about it ahead of time and just work around it.

    also issues with populations....well how many vampires do you need to make a good story? that is a hard one. few cities can support a population more than a handful at the 1-to-100K ratio...and this can bring stuff up...firstly means that even a single fatality can really shift things balance wise in a city. SO that means that investigating a murder of another vampire, getting into a lethal fight etc are a BIG deal if you actually play things out logically. So you either end up having to be pretty loosy goosy on who exists (with an implied larger population) have to play for non-lethal stakes (which I'd say is well matched to the theme and feel of the game but conflicts with sense of scale that the lore implies) and lots of players with characters who can (via Potence) toss a car around for a tiny amount of prestation or territory can feel off scale wise. So the need to husband your other vampires is a major driver a scale issues. and similarly if vampires are rare but also quite powerful it means that the PC fledglings are valuable which leads to the question of why the players have the relationships they do...classically they are largely free from most connection to the larger vampiric community. ANd leads to the question of why is the coterie together? Can this be dealt with? honestly pretty easy but it needs to leaned into. I recommend that ST's really focus on such things in order to both make sure the players having fun and maintaining the verisimilitude. I personally found I liked both boosting the WoD version of the city's population vs the real life version and also using a 1 to 30-50K number for my high population games but YMMV.

    which kinda leads to clans....the real things is that the way the books are written it is easy to the think of the clans as actual things when they usually are not...They can be really restricting (Ventrue do X, The Gangrel react Y, etc) and that can cause issues in game. The various clan books help a lot with this IMO. And I'd say the two biggest things to remember is the clans are mostly families...most of the clan X in a city will be related to each other pretty directly. . . which can lead to questions of an elder's generation vs the highest generation (or the generation the player wants to play) coming into conflict with that limited population thing I mentioned which is a side issue...and so what THIS town's clan X looks like is going to much more based on what the local elder of the clan is like and how they behaved than what the overall idea of what the clan on a global scale is thought to be like (this is another place where the grand lore tends to bite people in the ass IMO)...this can lead to things getting very generic and can be combated by focusing on making sure the major influences in the town are well fleshed out as characters and not just "classic clan X"....And these family dynamics can be a great source of plot hooks. This sounds like a lot of extra work and is if you have a large population but if you only have say 35vampires in town besides your players (which would mean even a party of 4 is 10% of the city...again that can have effects that are basically unexamined) a quick sketch is all you need and is still only % members of each main clan on average. It is pretty doable at this scale...if you want a larger scale only focus on a couple power players and those your players will interact with a lot...

    as for things like the Paths and the Bloodlines? Actually they are pretty good. But I wouldn't recommend jumping into them the first run through the game. The main clans work just fine. Perhaps a gargoyle or the like as a NPC or something is fine just to show that there are bloodlines but in the vein of KISS (keep it simple stupid) don't feel like you need some super-special set of characters right off the bat. That said they do give the game the ability to be built out in a more complex way later. can give you interesting visitors, and also make good replay value for later games once you are settled in. It can be hard to judge how best to use them as an ST if you don't have a baseline to work against. I would never recommend using them all in a since campaign just like I wouldn't recommend using your whole spice rack in a single meal but having the options can add a lot to the game. But I would work up to it as the base game has a ton to explore.
    Similarly with the paths they are a great way to play with getting into some really interesting character corners but they do best with a lot of thinking and focus which is hard to give them when you are still learning how to just be a vampire. Paths are not just being a vampire but taking on a system of thought that is supposed to be inhuman...which can make the game really philosophically fun if you have a ST who likes giving philosophical choices and players who get into what those may mean and projecting into their characters....or they can be an excuse to turn the PC's into inhuman monsters who just run around using their cool powers without having to worry about the humanity mechanics and treating the mortal city as the background vegetation is basically tends to devolve to anyway (good for a light graze from time to time)....which in the right set up can be a ton of fun...beer and pretzels VtM. Not gonna say its playing it wrong.

    as for the set in 2020...laughably easy. Just take the game as it was set up in early books (late 90's) and just shift the year to the current one....The lore is mostly divorced from. The newer stuff with pulling the elders to middle east and stuff is a harder sell on the surface but again you can just ignore all history from any given semi-modern date and shift that year to the current one because basically the vampire world lore has no connection to the real world history after about the middle ages. SO just reset the vampire timeline to whatever you want and play from there. ANd just ignore all the end of the world stuff as you want....The whole rise of Gehenna thing was always something that struck me as a major downpoint in the game TBH as again I found it another aspect of the "big" overall story that just got in the way of my or my players stories. I personally saw it toward the end as a way to end the edition and thus inspire people to buy all new books..... as for trying to kick the late 70's and 80's view of how city's work, urban blight etc and tone thereof...can be harder
    As some of you can imagine who are familiar with the game, if this is how I felt even at the time you can guess I really liked the VtR version which I felt dealt with a fair number of these issues in a better way thus I have never really gotten back into the V20 o 5e versions that much. as I just don't find them as fun and have similar issues outlined above.


    err..that got long...I'll try to sumerize
    Out of all that? my biggest points would really be
    on the having a considered relationship with how to deal with the wider lore of the game (it is too easy to let it become your story without you meaning to-it can be worked with well but needs to be done activly to be done well IMO)
    on understanding that dealing with the human world needs a lot of work on the ST's part or it just becomes speed bumps and background noise and that should be planned for
    that as much as it claims and the fluff is about personal horror it takes work to make it such. the humanity rules and the beast are some of the most unnatural to use in actual game play, are easily forgotten and many people just give them lip service and play superhero with fangs games....make your choice consciously about how your table should go and lean into that...it is very doable and lots of fun both ways.
    that the games structure makes things easy to be generic and pretty flat lean against this and you'll be fine but it can happen if are looking at other things
    that the dice are unpredictable-very much so. This has good and bad sides leaning into this will really help and it makes things hard to meta game and can lead to lots of fun-ad lib and seat of pants ST'ing is key here and some players won't like it...I also recommend playing it up as drama in your descriptions big time.
    Last edited by sktarq; 2020-12-15 at 12:25 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I think problems with humans being no real threat seem like they really are an issue of setting up situation in which the main challenge to accomplishing the goal is "there are lots if guards with guns who can shot us". That is indeed the main challenge PCs are facing in many RPG scenarios, like stealing money or wartime sabotage. But those are things that just don't seem like stuff vampires concern themselves with.
    The game is set in a world of supernatural forces, like magic, monsters, and undead. Vampires don't worry about paying rent or planning to retire to a tropical island. Humans are not a problem because they can kill you, but because they can see you. The reason that vampires should avoid being caught is not because they could be killed, but because they could be seen. I guess the problem is how to have rules for consequences when they are discovered and word of it spreads.
    I think unarmed civilians seem like much better obstacles than armed guards who shot at any intruders. Generally players don't really think too much about killing anything that attacks them. The typical solution of "we just knock them out and tie them up, and someone will free them in the morning" also doesn't work because they already saw things that they will remember and tell others. I think when an attempt to break into a place starting with the assumption that "if anyone happens to be in that place we didn't know about, they will have to die if we get spotted", it already creates it's own different type of tension. How many cleaning stuff and newspaper deliverer can you murder without losing your humanity?
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I think problems with humans being no real threat seem like they really are an issue of setting up situation in which the main challenge to accomplishing the goal is "there are lots if guards with guns who can shot us". That is indeed the main challenge PCs are facing in many RPG scenarios, like stealing money or wartime sabotage. But those are things that just don't seem like stuff vampires concern themselves with.
    Okay wait, humans are absolutely a threat to vampires in VtM in combat, in particular, the way the system works superior numbers destroy people. A character with Dex+Firearms of 5 (which represents a security guard or cop) will manage the single success necessary to hit a character almost all the time (84%), and if you attempt to dodge you don't get to attack (the rules for splitting dice pools make almost any effort that relies upon them not worth doing). And you only get to soak with your stamina (max 5 dice) plus fortitude (also max 5 but probably only have 0 or 1 dots to start). Vampires take reduced damage from firearms, but you've only got 7 health levels. Consequently, at even moderate numeric disadvantage vampires go down hard and fast (oh and people who know they're up against vampires can use incendiary ammunition, which does aggravated damage and can only be soaked with fortitude and triggers rotchshrek roles if you get hit). Celerity compensates for this to a point, by providing additional actions, but it's not enough. It just means it takes more enemies to kill you.

    The most powerful supernatural abilities VtM provides characters are mind control and blood magic (the Tremere get both, which is why they were the most powerful clan). Actually fighting people yourself is anti-optimization in VtM, since you can easily get dozens or even hundreds of people to fight for you through backgrounds, ghouling, and mind control.

    The game is set in a world of supernatural forces, like magic, monsters, and undead. Vampires don't worry about paying rent or planning to retire to a tropical island. Humans are not a problem because they can kill you, but because they can see you. The reason that vampires should avoid being caught is not because they could be killed, but because they could be seen. I guess the problem is how to have rules for consequences when they are discovered and word of it spreads.
    Well, vampires do have to worry about paying rent, or at least property taxes, if they actually own property. And if they don't they're stuck sleeping in the sewers or something, which makes them awfully vulnerable. I mean, alternatively you can dominate the tax assessor to get your bills erased, but this only works on a small scale before it becomes a massive masquerade breach. Because VtM vampires basically cannot function during the day at all (as as their humanity drops their operational time at night lowers as well) maintaining monetary resources gets a bit tricky. yes once you pass a certain threshold you can just live on stock dividends for eternity, but it takes a lot of work to get to that point.

    I think unarmed civilians seem like much better obstacles than armed guards who shot at any intruders. Generally players don't really think too much about killing anything that attacks them. The typical solution of "we just knock them out and tie them up, and someone will free them in the morning" also doesn't work because they already saw things that they will remember and tell others. I think when an attempt to break into a place starting with the assumption that "if anyone happens to be in that place we didn't know about, they will have to die if we get spotted", it already creates it's own different type of tension. How many cleaning stuff and newspaper deliverer can you murder without losing your humanity?
    The number of people you can murder without losing your humanity, according to the game rules, isn't hypothetical at all, it's a probability function based on the hierarchy of sins and the number is actually probably a few dozen at most (I mean you won't technically lose all of your humanity just through murder, but dropping below humanity 4 makes a character basically unplayable).
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    When I said human are not a threat unless you tweek things to MAKE them a threat?

    A combat squad knowing that you are an enemy loaded out with semiauto long guns....is a threat.

    But....that's not going to happen unless you already mess up or they are being directed by something that is actually a threat...mostly they are a sword wielded by actual threats. Or you are playing superheores with fangs and get seen.

    i mostly ment it as a story effect. Humans are so easy to dominate, win over with presence, or slip by with obfuscate that they are no real story limiting factor. . . Nor are they a combat challenge unless they come outfitted for war...in which case come back tomorrow night or just ghoul their boss and misdirect them. Oh and Dom 3 which can basically set you up to do all that? Starting power for Ventrue, Tremere, and some Malks just within the base Cam....(oh yeah Malks who are still in the great Prank...are....so dangerous as to be laughable...like murderous giggle laughable) they are no threat on a plot level. So you can't use them on a plot level all that well unless your ST really sets things up just so.

    I do like the - can't use your powers until you make the situation okay with it. Its usually too easy IMO.

    Thats why most of your time ends up dealing with the other supernaturals of the WoD. And that limit things a lot.

    As for the stealing money, corp sabotage, yeah....that's what they actually spend most of their time doing....to gain, maintain, and undermine that influence stat of their sheets...Fetching weird bits for the rituals of regent...organizing a rant or rave....making sure the actually good cop is not on your beat....is exactly what most vampires are supposed to be spending their time on...because if they are not none of how their society is set up makes a lick of sense. Its that scale thing I mentioned. The system is set up to promote small scale in some ways and epics in other ways...and thus has internal issues....which can be planned for.

    As for murder....its not the total amount its the rate not total amount...you spend X amount of XP per (time period) buying back humanity you may loose to occasional murder....as long as your rate of earning XP is higher than your loss of humanity buyback rate you'll be okay...

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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Then what exactly is the problem?
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    There is so much jaded cynicism in this thread! So sad. :(

    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.
    Don't let the thread bring you down, friend! Vampire: The Masquerade is an outstanding game and if it has caught your interest, then I think you'll really enjoy delving into it!
    Let me give you some guiding help from the perspective of someone who considers the World of Darkness his favorite setting and has played in it, off and on, since 2nd Edition Revised rules:

    •The Lore: The canon lore of VtM can be really good at times, and it can be really 3rd-rate-trash at times, and there's a LOT of both. You should absolutely feel free to take what you like and throw away the rest. Instead of worrying about the overarching story, concern yourself more with the theme and the stereotypes of the clans and factions and world itself, and build out from there. (There is a wooorld of difference between getting your fangs wet for the first time as a fledgling vampire who has a lot to learn and isn't sure who they can trust, and the techno-mages launching magic nukes at the elder vampire while focusing the sun directly onto it with satellite-mirrors like a magnifying glass over insects. Like I said, it can get dumb, lol.)

    •The Mechanics: I enjoyed a lot of Revised and V20 play, and they're fun don't get me wrong, but they're pretty broken systems when you pick them apart. I'd suggest you go with either Vampire: The Requiem or Vampire 5th Edition as both did a TON of work to make the horribly broken bits go away and get a focus back onto the personalized storytelling elements of the Storytelling Game, with V5 being a bit better here IMO as they also were able to improve on the VtR rules.
    (VtR gets a bad wrap because they scrapped all the lore and went in a new direction. Also, the powers got *heavily* nerfed to the point that many players, myself included, did not enjoy them as much. A version came out a bit later called "Blood and Smoke" which reworked some of the issues people had with the Discipline changes and it's generally a much better product, but it's still new lore. I enjoy both games' version of the lore, but V5 kept to the old VtM lore, so if that's the big draw for you, I'd definitely go with V5.)
    What's important here, mechanics-wise, is the Disciplines (vampire powers) are MUCH more in-line with each other. The older editions of Revised and V20 had some powers that were utterly broken (didn't work right, were disappointing to use, or were basically impossible to roleplay - Demintation and Fortitude for instance), and some powers that were utterly broken (basically made you a god - Celerity, Thaumaturgy, anything that gave you access to Agrivated Damage, etc). They put a ton of creative thought into the new Disciplines and they all feel much better and more interesting than they used to, IMO.

    Also, the older versions really didn't make you feel like a vampire most of the time unless you specifically roleplayed it that way. You were essentially a blood wizard superhero/villain who couldn't be out during the day; when you want to use your superpowers you spend your blood points - when you're low on blood points you feed on someone to refill and now you can use more superpowers. Repeat, ad infinitum. V5 makes the Beast the game is always talking about part of the core rules by incorporating your hunger directly into your dice rolls. You still have to roleplay it on your own, but at least the game finally gives you some direction. Vampires are supposed to be cursed with this unquenchable thirst that succumbing to robs you of your humanity, and the core of the game has always been trying to keep that beast at bay, with the personal horror and the clan politics as your direct antagonizing issues. "A beast I am, lest a beast I become," and all that. Older editions ignored this too often. V5 keeps it relevant with literally every dice roll.

    •Setting Compatibility: In the older editions, there is none. Each WoD game is designed in it's own vacuum and they do not mix well. If you want werewolves and mages and whatever other supernatural friends/foes to play a part in your chronicle, the balance is going to break, pretty wildly so.
    The flip side is that, while V5 is promising to play nice with it's contemporaries, they don't actually exist yet. Werewolf is up first and, currently anyway, slated for a 2021 release, but if you definitely want to play with non-Vampires in your Vampire game, you'll have to use whatever small thought V5 came up with, or go with an older edition and deal with the fallout of the imbalance on your own.


    tl;dr - I think you'll enjoy Vampire regardless of which edition you go with, thought I'd suggest 5th for the variety of reasons above. Just ignore the grumpy grognards from earlier in the thread, grab whichever edition you end up with, and welcome to the World of Darkness.

    Edit to add: Just yesterday the devs dropped a free Companion .pdf that covers rules for the last 3 Clans that the so-far-released books didn't include (bringing us up to all 13 clans for V5), rules for playing mortals and ghouls, and some minor errata and rules updates. If you register on the worldofdarkness.com site you can pick it up. :)
    Last edited by Schwann145; 2020-12-18 at 03:51 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #58
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Everyone always says Vampires is incredibly broken. But I've never seen anyone say how.
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  29. - Top - End - #59
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Everyone always says Vampires is incredibly broken. But I've never seen anyone say how.
    Disciplines. Depends on the edition, but some Disciplines are just flat out better than others, and some are hilariously strong. Celerity is the obvious one. It's the speed discipline. You get to move at bullet time, while also winning initiative every time and taking multiple actions per turn. From what I've read, Celerity wins every combat, except for some highly specific counters. If I remember correctly, every point of celerity was +1 action per turn. So, at, say, Celerity 4, I take 5 actions per turn, all of which are stronger, while my buddy takes one action.

    It's also just that some powers are incredibly niche and you may almost never get to use them, but they cost the same amount of XP as powers which are both stronger and more general in use.

    Also, just the general problem with how critical failures worked in some editions. Where the more dice you had in your dice pool, the more likely you were to get a critical failure. Pretty much everyone houserules that.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2020-12-18 at 09:54 AM.
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  30. - Top - End - #60
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Disciplines. Depends on the edition, but some Disciplines are just flat out better than others, and some are hilariously strong. Celerity is the obvious one. It's the speed discipline. You get to move at bullet time, while also winning initiative every time and taking multiple actions per turn. From what I've read, Celerity wins every combat, except for some highly specific counters. If I remember correctly, every point of celerity was +1 action per turn. So, at, say, Celerity 4, I take 5 actions per turn, all of which are stronger, while my buddy takes one action.
    Celerity breaks combat between small groups in small spaces. However, celerity doesn't allow victory against overwhelming numbers. Even if your have celerity 5, which means your character has functionally no other powers, you get six actions per round. If you're up against 10 guys, you're still dead, and it's trivial to acquire ten armed minions through backgrounds or just using Dominate. It also doesn't help you that much against the guy who snipes you the third floor. Fighting people yourself in VtM is a decidedly un-optimized approach. Not only are the points against you but most tables are going to rule that you'll lose more humanity for killing people in person than ordering other people to do it.

    Functionally the disciplines separate into various tiers. Dominate and Thaumaturgy are at the top: Mind Control and Blood Magic. It drops off rapidly from there.

    Beyond the disciplines, everything else in the system lacks balance. The attributes aren't balanced at all: Dexterity is king, Appearance is less useful than Charisma or Manipulation. The abilities are a mess, and it's extremely easy for starting characters to end up with crippling holes in important traits (the amount of starting VtM characters who can't drive a car or use a computer is stunning), and super-broad knowledges like 'Academics' and 'Science' have never worked ever. Backgrounds are super-broken and always have been. A Resources 5 character has the power of wealth for an absurdly cheap price. Generation is a shambles for Vampires specifically. Even willpower doesn't really work properly, and certain natures have massive advantages over others depending on what type of game you're playing in terms of regaining it.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

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