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Let's Compare Editions! Part 9 -- Examples of Play

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Let’s Compare the different editions of Vampire: The Masquerade Examples of Play Pretty much every role-playing game contains some section which serves as an "Example of Play." These short vignettes serve to show the rules and mechanics "in action," and can serve as a wonderful learning tool for the reader. For some, particularly those new to RPGs in general, these can help to give some idea of what, exactly, one is supposed to do with this bizarre book you find in front of you. For veterans, they help to show off what makes this particular game different or unique from the other games you might be familiar with. Some use a simple example of a round or two of combat. Understandable, as combat is often the trickiest and most complicated part of any given RPG. But even at its most basic, some form of narrative inevitably is involved in these examples. After all, even a battle against orcs in a dungeon implies some sort "dungeon" and "adven

Transylvania Chronicles Redux -- ACT XII

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Transylvania Chronicles IV The Dragon Ascendant Act XII: Revelations (Massive Spoilers) Summary : It's the year 2000. One of the characters receives a phone call from Lucita. She needs the coterie to meet with her and Anatole, as he has had another of his prophetic visions. If the players no longer possess the ivory tablets from Dark Tides Rising , then she has managed to acquire them, and informs the characters that the language appears to be proto-Chinese. After delivering his final message, Anatole and Lucita leave. Soon after, a torrential storm erupts and the players receive another message, this one from Celestyn, former Chief Librarian for the Tremere at Ceoris. He offers the coterie great knowledge in exchange for their aid in stopping the rise of Kupala. The characters travel to Romania to meet with him, only to be ambushed by a cult of Nosferatu acting on behalf of their Antediluvian master. During their victory over the Nosferatu (or their escape, if cap

Let's Compare Editions! Part 8 -- Disciplines

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Let’s Compare the different editions of Vampire: The Masquerade Disciplines Ah, Disciplines, the "fun" part of the game. Why bother playing Vampire if you don't get to play around with crazy and bizarre supernatural powers? Normally, I wax a bit philosophical before getting into the "meat" of any particular issue, but this time it's all about the mechanics and the fun. One thing before we get started, though. In the earlier editions, the Disciplines weren't all published in the base book; most of them were scattered throughout various supplements. I've tried to stick with some of the more or less "core" disciplines, and only those of the the modern/non-Dark Ages Kindred. In addition to the various "core" books, here's the sources: Players Guide, 1st Edition , Players Guide, 2nd Edition , Hunter's Hunted , Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand , Players Guide to the Sabbat , and Storyteller Handbook . Also, the v

Let's Compare Editions! Part 7 -- Degeneration

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Let’s Compare the different editions of Vampire: The Masquerade Degeneration Back when we were looking at Derangements , I went on a bit of a rant about how Vampire is fundamentally a different kind of Horror game. While it has the classic tropes of horror--vampires, werewolves, witches, oh my--it's really all that horrifying for a player.  There's something very different in being the victim of supernatural evil, and the perpetrator of it. When you start rooting for the undead killing machine, it stops being horror and becomes something else. If you want to keep the horror alive in the, it can't come from outside, from something targeting the characters. Classic horror is the result between the average man confronting the horrific, and struggling against it. Personal Horror comes from within, from committing the horrific.  Probably the most famous and iconic horror role-playing game is Call of Cthulhu . One would be hard pressed to find a horror game out there

Transylvania Chronicles Redux -- ACT XI

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Transylvania Chronicles IV The Dragon Ascendant Act XI: The Accounting (Massive Spoilers) Summary : It’s 1998, and the characters each receive a letter from Etrius, leader of Clan Tremere, regardless of Sect or prior history. He requests their aid with a delicate and perilous task. Assuming the characters accept, they are provided the finest transport to, and luxurious accommodations while in, Vienna, where a terrible storm rages--one which follows them throughout their journey. They meet with Etrius, who outlines his plan to meet with a leader of the Sabbat, and needs their help as escorts and guards. He seems “off” and unwell, but genuine in his conversations. In the havens provided for them, they are approached by a maid who asks them to steal Etrius’ journal, supposedly at the behest of Tremere. If they do, they discover the horrifying secret that Salout is not dead, but hiding deep with Tremere himself. They then escort Etrius to Atlanta, where the haven provided f