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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    the amount of starting VtM characters who can't drive a car or use a computer is stunning
    You don't need points to do these things. Having points means you have some level of training. A person who drives for a living might have 1 or 2 dots. A professional driver is at 3 or 4. Without these points you can still do these things without needing a roll at all.
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    So despite the game saying it's a horror game on the cover, there doesn't actually seem to be anything about horror in the book. And despite looking far and wide, there's no actual talk or advice on that topic on the internet either.
    If it's not a horror game and not a superhero game, then what exactly is the concept behind all of it? What's the intention for this game and setting existing? What is it for and why has it been popular and successful for such a long time?
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Obviously that depends on what each group wanted from the game. One of the most fun games I was in started us of as mafia soldiers, moved us into being ghouls of the vampires in the Family before becoming Vampires ourselves. With each step 'up' introducing us into the wider world and presenting us with new challenges and opponents.
    Many people ran it as 'superheroes with fangs' and if they had fun with that, more power to them.
    I'd say that the designers mainly wanted it to be run as a game of political intrigue. (And certainly that's how I've seen it done most often). With the P.C.s trying to maneuverer there way up the power structure by doing favours, allying with other Kindred and bringing down their rivals by any dirty trick. (And as 'Game of Thrones' showed political intrigue done well is great fun)
    Last edited by comicshorse; 2020-12-20 at 08:09 AM.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    So despite the game saying it's a horror game on the cover, there doesn't actually seem to be anything about horror in the book. And despite looking far and wide, there's no actual talk or advice on that topic on the internet either.
    If it's not a horror game and not a superhero game, then what exactly is the concept behind all of it? What's the intention for this game and setting existing? What is it for and why has it been popular and successful for such a long time?
    To an extent, the main book had a horror element in the Humanity trait... a decrease in your Humanity was supposed to have role-playing effects, including a loss of control of the Beast. But they undercut that by offering up different paths, which meant that your Humanity became irrelevant, if you wanted it to be.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    That actually makes sense. And fits most things that are stated about vampire society.

    The players are thrown at the very bottom of a rigid hierarchy of cold monsters where higher positions only become available when a superior gets killed. And those above them want to use them as pawns to get at their own superiors while also protecting their own backs against their own treacherous underlings. And the whole thing is only kept together by a pretence of civility and order.

    That's also roughly what I thought to be the approach with the most potential. Wouldn't have been so hard for the rulebook to actually state that at some point.

    And I can see how you could actually have personal horror in such a campaign. Discovering what horrible deeds your superiors made you do improve their own position, or screwing up and having to take drastic measures to hide the evidence of your crimes. Knowing that you're going to be the fall guys or your friends are to be sacrificed for the benefit of your best ally and protector. And every sin you commit to save your skin for another night gnaws away on your humanity. And there really isn't anywhere out. It's the same thing in every other princes' domains, and the only other option is taking your chances with the wolves.
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I'd dearly love to know what precisely counts as "horror" to you if inhuman blood drinking monsters aren't in that category.
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I guess at the most basic, it'd be anything that puts a character in distress and fear of what will happen next.
    People getting attacked by vampires is certainly horror. But it's horror for the human, not the vampire. We don't consider it horror to eat a stake, even people who used to butcher the livestock they raised themselves. And it's less violent than that when you don't kill a human when drinking some blood.
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by fishyfishyfishy View Post
    I'd dearly love to know what precisely counts as "horror" to you if inhuman blood drinking monsters aren't in that category.
    I don't think blood drinking monsters alone are enough to qualify something as horror (not in fiction, anyway). Vampires show up in action, romance, comedy, all sorts of genres. They certainly lean towards horror more than some of the other genres but hardly exclusively.

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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    So despite the game saying it's a horror game on the cover, there doesn't actually seem to be anything about horror in the book. And despite looking far and wide, there's no actual talk or advice on that topic on the internet either.
    If it's not a horror game and not a superhero game, then what exactly is the concept behind all of it? What's the intention for this game and setting existing? What is it for and why has it been popular and successful for such a long time?
    Thing is the horror stuff can be there.

    The methuthela's should be horrifying . . . the fact they were once human only makes the depths they fall to more touching.

    Each and every vampire who is on a path should be a horror show...as incapable of dealing with the human race they were born into as an un-obfuscated Nosferatu...and utterly inhuman by choice instead of alien creation...

    The very futility of much of the machiavelian Jyhad should have a tragic-horror element to it.

    As for personal horror....the realization that your character is not human in so many small ways...what happens when the stores, family members, etc that they were mortal with fade away and the world has actually passed them...what does that do to a mind...the nightly grapple with a deamon that lives under your skin, erodes your sense of self, threatens to take control of you....and may just know what to do better than you (I mean you do get bonuses and the beast does tend to be brutally good at what it does and oh so satisfying)...that should be horrifying......and just BEING a vampire should have the power to bring horror...the dread and fear of self where you loose the capacity to see humans and humans...demonstrated by those who have existed this way and thus bringing a sense of inevitable dread...where the human you once loved, were family to, or were bonded to via a shared sense of identity is now just valued for the hunger that they can sate...a vampire attacking a human should be threat to the sense of self of the vampire itself (and in theory should be represented by the humanity roles).
    Personal horror should be horror of the self...of what one will do in the name of power vs morality...but if you lack power then your ability to protect your morality (via catspaws, being pushed into others dirty work, having stable and easy blood sources (to avoid hunger frenzies or needing to drain people deeply), or just paying someone off rather than killing them) is greatly reduced...that paradox is in theory at the heart of the game...

    That's all great in theory.
    But according to the rules? eh all that is from the fluff and is up to the ST to make sure happens.

    This is a lot of what I meant by "expectations" is a major weakness in the game. But this very much can be countered by a skilled ST.

    What Kind of game is it?
    and it is an anti-hero game...a grey-on-black superhero-with-fangs game painted with lots of classic and movie vampire lore.
    Think of it kinda like how Underworld (the first one) wasn't really a horror movie. It was an action movie in vampire skin (and skin tight pants) and much like the WoD almost totally lacked mortals (no seriously rewatch it..besides the couple subway scenes where they grab McGuffinBoy/LoveInterest and have the fight/not-fight pauses they are basically running around a city with no people in it...once you see it-it is weird)
    Last edited by sktarq; 2020-12-21 at 06:05 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by fishyfishyfishy View Post
    I'd dearly love to know what precisely counts as "horror" to you if inhuman blood drinking monsters aren't in that category.
    To an extent, it becomes kind of like shopping in D&D.

    "Ok, we need to get on to the story, let's all go find food and meet up back at the tavern Elysium."

    The fact that you're an inhuman bloodsucking monster can frequently become obscured by the fact that almost everyone you deal with is an inhuman bloodsucking monster, works for inhuman bloodsucking monster, or, rarely, is an uncontrollable mass of fur and rage.

    When you're all monsters, doing monster things, the inhumanity gets glossed over as unimportant.
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  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    To an extent, it becomes kind of like shopping in D&D.

    "Ok, we need to get on to the story, let's all go find food and meet up back at the tavern Elysium."

    The fact that you're an inhuman bloodsucking monster can frequently become obscured by the fact that almost everyone you deal with is an inhuman bloodsucking monster, works for inhuman bloodsucking monster, or, rarely, is an uncontrollable mass of fur and rage.

    When you're all monsters, doing monster things, the inhumanity gets glossed over as unimportant.
    VtM also fails to enforce any inherent mechanics that make your character do anything monstrous or in fact even any bloodsucking. VtM vampires can drink animal blood, which you can just purchase commercially from a butcher in milk jugs. They can drink from blood bags too, which are trivial to acquire using dominate or just spreading around the benjamins in an appropriately creative fashion. It's hard to make a character to suffer the horror of being a bloodsucker if they never suck anyone's blood.

    In the same fashion the game doesn't actually require you to do anything monstrous. The principle demands of the Masquerade and the Camarilla traditions are to avoid attention. You don't have to play the game, and in fact there are strong incentives not to because there are relatively few benefits to be obtained from playing the game. Heck, there aren't even that many benefits to winning the political struggle and becoming Prince. That just brings a lot of headaches and only minor benefits. Yes there's obviously some intrinsic hunger for social interaction, but going to Elysium a couple of nights a week or hanging around at whatever hangout your clan uses in the city doesn't carry much risk or require any monstrous actions.

    And this is very much in line with the source media for Vampires in the 21st century. There are lots of vampire stories where the vampires are just immortals with superpowers and a weird diet/sunlight issue and the plots are driven by the same soap opera style romantic ridiculousness as regular soap operas (and this isn't limited to vampires, the CW has a whole cottage industry of doing it with actual DC superheroes).
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Some ideas to have these things come up during play:

    Two vampires have been killed and an elder tells the PCs to go kill all their ghouls to tie up loose ends.
    Another young neonate calls the PCs because he had a little accident in a public space and needs to dispose of the bodies before they are found, if possible without his sire hearing about it.
    The PCs are visiting a friend at home, who still has an empty body from last night lying in the living room, or rolled up next to the door for pickup. (Maybe appologizes and drags it from the couch before offering them a seat.)
    Or to be really mean, having a half concious and half empty body in the larder he is saving for later.
    A mortal contact or friend gets killed by another vampire, who doesn't see how that is an issue.
    The PCs are part of a blood hunt for a vampire who has lost all humanity and is exposing the masquerade. Preferably someone they know and talked to.
    To introduce diablerie, one of their friends gets diablerized. Possibly by another friend.
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Some ideas to have these things come up during play:
    <snippy snip snip>
    Yeah these are all the kind of thing that can really work. And what I mean by it is up to the ST to create and play into the themes of horror that the game's fluff pushes but the mechanics don't.

    as Mechalich pointed out feeding from animals and blood banks is a thing...and has logical consequences...the idea that it is trivial or not to do so is mostly up to the ST running the game. And if you think about it it such a feeding style should be an issue in some ways...it opens one up to attacks from other vampires etc just like any over-reliance on a single blood source does. I personally think most ST's let this kind of thing slide way too easily to get on with "plot". I personally house rule that players who do so get a lot more of those beast being hungry moments and distract the player with scumptious mortals placed in their way...being moral should take effort. (and I may have run a variation of vitae addiction as human blood for those who avoid it but found players didn't need it if the descriptions were good)

    Also since there is a mechanic for "I hunt" it is very easy to skip over basically all the act of getting blood. You can also make players actually roll out what they want to do. And in such vignettes an ST can do far more to play up the horror if they actually go into how the hunt works. Describe the taste of the blood, the scents of fear of the weakness caused by the feeding if appropriate, make the human fed on show flickers of the complete life the vampire is going in to disrupt (even if it just what is in the house visited by the cachumar style feeder)...these things do work and can get the players far more involved and attached to the visceral horror of what they are...but take ST work.

    also just how you run lots of little things also matters...describing that a character's beast has something to say even if it doesn't need a frenzy roll to control...(growls, hungers, etc)...tripping someone up by needing to buy something not available in a 24hr store (combined with a time limit is good at making the fact they are separated from normal life more forefront in their minds)...but again this is ST driven nor rules inherent.

    as for "Playing the Camarila Political game" being totally optional...to an extent this is true. But there is a logical cost. when you need help doing something involving government.
    Edit: (called away from keyboard)
    Or when you don't want to be hunted by the hound, or when you want a media story squashed but don't have the editor under your personal thumb....
    It is a valid option for the PC's to take...but it is up to the ST to figure out what the consequences are for that choice and bring them into play.

    Like the choice to drink animal blood this option is both a strength and weakness of the system...it is highly flexible but very reliant on the ST to work the consequences into the story...they are not intrinsic. That flexibility is great for playing in different styles and keep having fun in the same system for years or decades but it also means the ST needs to be aware of what they are doing be able to make those choices matter (which can easily be swamped by the lore and "plot" parts) and make that part of the game stand up well story wise...because it is labor intensive but not classically "challenging"...which is where those issues like scale and the power level of vampires comes into play. . . So in some ways you can think of it like playing eVE online where people spend lots of time running accounting and basic trade hops vs the classic space battle image...which is something that puts off a lot of people.

    All that said with a good ST who understands these things about the games RAW issues not pushing the vibe and atmosphere of the game well and has a breadth of understanding the world so they can pick good difficulty levels of rolls it is a system that can be VERY fun. It is just not an EASY or OBVIOUS system.

    i'll also point several of Yora's good idea involve the death or of a vampire...which would be fine if you have enough of them about but runs into that population problem I mentioned earlier...where even a single mid-level vampire's final death/long torpor upset the social and political structure because each vampire represents such a large percentage of their clan/faction/city. . . And so this tends to just be handwaved. . . Which leads to internal logic problems which weakens verisimilitude and engagment.
    Last edited by sktarq; 2020-12-22 at 03:57 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    as for "Playing the Camarila Political game" being totally optional...to an extent this is true. But there is a logical cost. when you need help doing something involving government.
    Or when you screw up, and everybody screws up sooner or later, having no friends, allies or favours to call in
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    Also since there is a mechanic for "I hunt" it is very easy to skip over basically all the act of getting blood. You can also make players actually roll out what they want to do. And in such vignettes an ST can do far more to play up the horror if they actually go into how the hunt works. Describe the taste of the blood, the scents of fear of the weakness caused by the feeding if appropriate, make the human fed on show flickers of the complete life the vampire is going in to disrupt (even if it just what is in the house visited by the cachumar style feeder)...these things do work and can get the players far more involved and attached to the visceral horror of what they are...but take ST work.
    Which is part of why I compare it to shopping in D&D... sure, you can roleplay every encounter with a shopkeep, but, eventually, you just buy the rations and arrows and move on.
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Which is part of why I compare it to shopping in D&D... sure, you can roleplay every encounter with a shopkeep, but, eventually, you just buy the rations and arrows and move on.
    It depends.

    If the ST makes it interesting....I find players will go toward it. Now YMMV in that but I've played with several groups where it is true.
    Several players have flat out said it is the core thing they end up remembering and building their characters around.
    And when I've had ST's who do so for me when I'm playing I've also been drawn toward it....
    So the game can work without it...but it can also be a gold mine of character development and table fun.

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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I think it's something that should be approached like "making camp" in a dungeon crawling game. You don't do it every night the party is staying at an inn in town, or even every single night during a long overland journey. But it is an important step when going to sleep in a dungeon or ruined castle. A single story probably isn't going to cover a period of time longer than a week or two before you make another time jump of several weeks, months, or years until the next story. (Of course, you can play continuous days by day if you want to, but I don't see that working.)
    If there's no time pressure at all and the PCs are mostly going by their every night activities, I think feeding might not be worth getting specifically mentioned. They have the luxury to select their targets carefully and using the optimal methods they are most comfortable with, and if they don't have any luck they can try again the next night.
    When characters are on a clock and can not just take a night off while there's important things that need to be dealt with right now, maybe make a roll to see if feeding was successful, and if not, if it caused some complications. (Maybe make success more difficult with higher humanity, and make complications worse with a low blood pool?)
    And if the PCs are currently under pressure or in danger, every feeding has to be played out in full detail. Because there's dramatic tension and stakes if something goes south.

    While I see how an Anarch campaign could be fun, I don't quite see why people complain about Camarilla campaigns being awful. That sounds to me a lot like simply being a case of railroady GMs who justify their railroading by "the Prince orders you". As I see it, the prince is not your leader. The prince is one of the main antagonist. One of the people who will both push you into trouble and who you can't afford to piss off. They are the biggest thumb the PCs are under, and one of the driving forces why they have to plot get up the ladder. I think the prince (and other elders) should be an NPC the players struggle against and they are supposed to try to cheat and get away with. Not someone to be obeyed without complaint. (Though of course, complain where he can't hear it.)

    And that need to improve your station in the vampire hierarchy by getting influence and collecting favors is the reason the PCs have to do awful things. They need the approval and respect of horrible monsters, and do things that benefit them. If you look like you don't have a drive to be a predator, that's not going to happen and you'll always remain a punching bag.
    If you're a happy anarch drinking cow blood in peace, what is horrible about being undead? If you only fight fanatic human vampire hunters and fanatic sabbat vampire in self-defense, you're not a bad guy doing bad things.
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    VtM also fails to enforce any inherent mechanics that make your character do anything monstrous or in fact even any bloodsucking. VtM vampires can drink animal blood, which you can just purchase commercially from a butcher in milk jugs. They can drink from blood bags too, which are trivial to acquire using dominate or just spreading around the benjamins in an appropriately creative fashion. It's hard to make a character to suffer the horror of being a bloodsucker if they never suck anyone's blood.
    This is completely false. There's game mechanics requiring you to drink human blood or go into a blood starved frenzy. If you feed only on animals it gets harder to resist that frenzy. Eventually the sight or smell of a tiny amount of blood makes you frenzy. If your storyteller/gm allowed you to get away with this that's a fault on their behalf, not on the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    In the same fashion the game doesn't actually require you to do anything monstrous. The principle demands of the Masquerade and the Camarilla traditions are to avoid attention. You don't have to play the game, and in fact there are strong incentives not to because there are relatively few benefits to be obtained from playing the game. Heck, there aren't even that many benefits to winning the political struggle and becoming Prince. That just brings a lot of headaches and only minor benefits. Yes there's obviously some intrinsic hunger for social interaction, but going to Elysium a couple of nights a week or hanging around at whatever hangout your clan uses in the city doesn't carry much risk or require any monstrous actions.
    The point of VtM was never "become Prince". The struggle is between individual characters and the beast. The horror comes from your own actions as you spin down the inevitable spiral towards losing your sanity and becoming a beast. It's about surviving and living with yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    And this is very much in line with the source media for Vampires in the 21st century. There are lots of vampire stories where the vampires are just immortals with superpowers and a weird diet/sunlight issue and the plots are driven by the same soap opera style romantic ridiculousness as regular soap operas (and this isn't limited to vampires, the CW has a whole cottage industry of doing it with actual DC superheroes).
    {{Scrubbed}}

    That's not even getting into V5 and the Hunger system...
    Last edited by Mark Hall; 2020-12-23 at 12:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I guess at the most basic, it'd be anything that puts a character in distress and fear of what will happen next.
    That's the Frenzy/Rotshreck and Humanity systems...

    You slowly spiral down the track until you no longer recognize the person you once were.
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    I see the idea behind this, but I don't think it works. It's just like Sanity points or fear mechanics. Telling a player "the dice say your character is now afraid" does not make the player feel that the situation is scary, or what the GM is describing horrific.
    Frenzy means that you temporarily lose control of your character. Not because of something you did, but because of the way a die landed. And the things the character does during the frenzy are outside the player's control. There is no real sense of "I did something aweful". Things in frenzy are not something that the character does, but something that happens to the character.
    Players can of course choose to roll with it and decide to deliberate react in dramatic ways and take their characters down a dark path. But that is the mechanics giving the player a suggestion to create horror. The player can take it or leave it. Of course, all RPGs are consensus and players always have to respond to what's happening mechanically and create story around it. But the mechanics themselves can not create horror. Players can just as well respond to it in ways that don't create a sense of horror.

    To really make players feel that their characters become awful people, they need to be put in situations where acting awful seems like the best option. Players need to feel that they had an option, and they choose freely to do something that is horrible. As GM, you have to create a world in which some things seem reasonable, practical, and necessary, which to the players looking in from the outside seem horrible.

    Right now, I am playing Cyberpunk 2077, and usually take out as many enemies stealthily and nonlethal as I can until I am, spotted and a gunfight breaks out. Killing or knocking out is mechanically identical, it's a purely cosmetic choice. You can knock out with guns, and when you grab an enemy from behind you can click the knockout or kill button, which do the same thing. You still get XP and the bounty. A dead or unconscious body are impossible to tell apart, except that when an unconscious body gets shot or explodes, you see the amount of damage you dealt it. If you kill or capture seems to be a difference that exists purely in the player's mind, it's not a mechanic.
    Yesterday, I was quietly knocking out a whole group of gangsters hanging out between shipping containers, until there were only two left talking to each other, and I saw that one of them did not belong to the gang, but was one of the organ-harvesting Scavengers. I shot them both on sight, and after hearing banging from the shipping container next to them, I decided to do another round of the whole place to get all the knocked out bodies that I hid and shot them for good measure.
    First I tried to bring every criminal in alive if possibly. After a few scavenger lairs, I switched to always killing them instead of knocking them out. And now I'm at killing anyone they do business with as well. Stealthily taking out street punks gets boring after a while, and more and more I find myself turning into Judge Dredd in low level areas, simply walking in on crime scenes through the front door and shoting everyone with a gun where they stand, even before they see me. And it's fun! I have no idea where this will lead to in another 40 hours down the line.
    I think that's the kind of thing that GM's should be aiming for when running games about the PCs turning into monsters or madmen. Humans have an instinct to adopt the speec and behavior of the people around them to fit in. Have vampires talk about humans as objects, and look down on the PCs if they don't. Make it so that the players play along to humor important NPCs they are trying to such up to, and give them opportunities to show their loyalty and how serious they are about making it in vampire politics. In a game with no actual lives at stake, the inhibition to do bad things for convenience are already very low.
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by fishyfishyfishy View Post
    This is completely false. There's game mechanics requiring you to drink human blood or go into a blood starved frenzy. If you feed only on animals it gets harder to resist that frenzy. Eventually the sight or smell of a tiny amount of blood makes you frenzy. If your storyteller/gm allowed you to get away with this that's a fault on their behalf, not on the system.
    There are no such mechanics in VtM Revised or V20, so I have no idea where you're getting this idea. VtM Revised has the following language "Vampires replenish Blood pool by taking it from others. "Others need not be human" on pg 139 of the corebook. V20 has the exact same language on pg 269. So no, vampires can subsist off animal blood. Nothing in the frenzy rules speaks about animal blood making frenzy more difficult to resist.
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    There are no such mechanics in VtM Revised or V20, so I have no idea where you're getting this idea. VtM Revised has the following language "Vampires replenish Blood pool by taking it from others. "Others need not be human" on pg 139 of the corebook. V20 has the exact same language on pg 269. So no, vampires can subsist off animal blood. Nothing in the frenzy rules speaks about animal blood making frenzy more difficult to resist.
    It's actually hidden away in the elder discipline powers for Animalism. I've had the opportunity to clarify with the developers their intent over social media and animal blood is not meant to be a viable long term solution for feeding.
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    If you are talking about "Animal Succulence" then I'd call hooey.

    Because it claims to address a problem that is never created to exist...thus only allowing an implied idea.
    Compare to something like VtR where it is clearly established what blood potency may drink animal blood and the cost of getting around it (Buy and maintain membership (not availible as a starting power) in the Ordo Dracul and the 2nd Tier coil of Blood). There we see limit and exception.
    In VtM we see an exception to a rule I can never find. . . It doesn't even give you what it is like for elders without animal succulence to compare. . .

    As for intent of creators....well that's very nice but if they wanted a rule they could have written it down. They had the option. In fact they did with VtR...Animal Succulence implies they were already thinking about it certainly...and maybe there is a rule in V5 as I have not gone into detail in that book. But for 2e I'd say it just WW being a bit hinkey in their book writing.

    And since it says on page 140 that animal blood is less nourishing and thus must be made up for in volume....no mention of blood having differing value depend on who is drinking it. on any page in the core and camarilla book...which is where I'd expect to find them.

    Now it is not as though WhiteWolf can't have these issues...they quite possibly do. i mean at times they claim a character and their sire are different clans (Chicago Book) or the whole mess of the Baali where it was rather obvious different writers had very different ideas at different times etc.

    So the idea that some members of the team wanted elders in particular or vampires more generally to have problems with feeding on animal indefinitely makes total sense...as does the idea that somehow that doesn't really matter if they never got around to publishing that.



    Oh I guess this brings up another issue with at least the e2 version of the game....splat creep...over time the addition of new skills/talents/knowledges as well a so so many more merits had an issue...it made the initial point budget a problem. Esecially as the new s/t/k were often just specialties if the splatbook wasn't being used...they didn't (or very rarely) added something that wasn't covered passably well before. . . And just upping starting point wasn't generally a good response (as then it made it too easy to concentrate points in a few traits and max things out) . . . Again it is a surmountable issue with the ST working with their players during character creation, being careful what splats they add, mentioning it during session zero, and some good faith all round...it can however trip things up and cause problems where the utility is being drained from some s/t/k by being diluted across multiple new traits etc...its nowhere the same scale of similar splat-creep issues (Hi Rifts) but does need some ST attention.

    As for the whole idea that humanity and the whole personal horror stuff doesn't work because it happens TOO the player?
    It can have that effect if not run well. Run well the sense that the player is losing control of their character or the character is losing their mind is a big boon...but it largely about focus and the skill of the ST's presentation.

    Again it may sound like I dislike the game...I don't...I actually rather like it, especially when the lore gets used well and not as the main focus of the game...but I am aware it has issues.

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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    As for the whole idea that humanity and the whole personal horror stuff doesn't work because it happens TOO the player?
    It can have that effect if not run well. Run well the sense that the player is losing control of their character or the character is losing their mind is a big boon...but it largely about focus and the skill of the ST's presentation.
    That is my point. You can make it all work. If you are a skilled (and I would argue experienced) GM, and you make up your own interpretations and solutions.
    But the game does not say how it works or what it's supposed to look like. Aside from the actual crunch for dice rolls and disciplines, it's all like an early concept version of a game. A wish list of things that might be cool in a game. But this game has not yet decided what it even wants to be (though I hear it might have gotten around to that in V5), or even has any outlines for how it would be performed in practice. There is nothing (of any substance) regarding structure or procedures,

    It's a game from 1991, and I actually applaud that most of the editions are actually new editions and not different games. That's from way back when AD&D 2nd edition was just out..
    But I think if a game with this concept were to be made now, one would approach it completely differently. I talked with other people about it recently, and we agreed that if not for all the disciplines, Vampire is a concept that calls for a quick and dirty PtbA hack. (But the disciplines would make it anything but quick.)
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    i mean i do agree with you.

    i'm solidly a VtR (1e) guy myself. Which has a lot of the focus moved to a personal level. And some stuff in VtR 2e is good at that too on the personal level.

    But I'm not sure having a really solid system would actually help or be desirable. One of the things about having this kind of soft-loosy-goosy system is that different GM's can grow in very different ways that all can work pretty well...or even the same ST can shift between chronicles in style really well...so this can significantly up the systems flexibility, internal variety, replayability, etc. For a starting ST it is a tough system.

    So while the floor of ST skill to make a good chronicle is rather high...so are rewards.

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    Personally, I do not give a crap about "personal horror" and such. My main character of three years had a killcount in the high double digits, and basically bagged at least one "character type" aside from demons (there weren't any) and werewolves (I kinda wanted to, but had no such option).

    However, I still felt like I was playing a vampire, because I was doing vampire things - even if those vampire things were mostly just physical Disciplines and a few dots in Presence/Auspex, and being a middling figure in vampiric politics, not a pawn (can't be a pawn if you can single-handedly kill anyone in town aside from one or two elders who actually have combat powers), but probably not higher than a rook, either. Also those things about not being able to walk in the sun, being vulnerable to fire, and the Frenzy rolls, you know, stuff. Quite enough vampiric experience for me, no angst over spilled blood involved, though I did lose a few Humanity points (from 7 to 5).
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    i mean i do agree with you.

    i'm solidly a VtR (1e) guy myself. Which has a lot of the focus moved to a personal level. And some stuff in VtR 2e is good at that too on the personal level.

    But I'm not sure having a really solid system would actually help or be desirable.
    System? No. I don't actually see much of a problem with the rules in that regard.

    But any kind of suggestion what the creators of the game where thinking a game session would look like, or what kinds of activities PCs and antagonist would be doing during play is something that I see as the most fundamental thing that a rulebook needs to provide in addition to the rules.

    Though I admit, almost all rulebooks are awful in that regard. I know only a single case of a game book that gives GMs advice and suggestion how to actually run a game, and that's the Star Wars d6 Gamemaster Handbook from 1993. Vampire is not alone in this, but seems like the worst example of not addressing "what does it do"?
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    i'm solidly a VtR (1e) guy myself. Which has a lot of the focus moved to a personal level. And some stuff in VtR 2e is good at that too on the personal level.
    I consider VtR 2E to be the best take on the general concept Masquerade started with long ago, myself. Still not perfect and it's still pretty hard for a novice GM to get, but it offers best support for the kind of story it's meant to create.
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    There's literally entire chapters dedicated to explaining how to capture the right theme and mood for your story, and whole supplemental books dedicated to expanding on how you can tell a proper horror story. Those of you claiming it's not present are simply wrong. You may not think it's adequate, but that's an entirely different thing.

    That said, I agree that VtR2e is generally better at this but that's only because it is necessary for the game to be functional. It doesn't have a meta plot to fall back on.
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    Default Re: Question About Starting Vampire: The Masquerade

    Quote Originally Posted by Ignimortis View Post
    Personally, I do not give a crap about "personal horror" and such. My main character of three years had a killcount in the high double digits, and basically bagged at least one "character type" aside from demons (there weren't any) and werewolves (I kinda wanted to, but had no such option).
    Had a blood-trash Brujah who took down a Garou, once. Player's Guide Knife-fighting rules, some potency, that one dot of celerity, and a silver dagger that a friendly Thaumaturge summoned and handed me... while the more powerful people tried to go face-to-face.

    A few turns of several attacks of unsoakable damage, backed by automatic successes from Potence, took it down.
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