Vampire: The Masquerade - The Early Years and Personal Horror

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(Though I'm never going to include Assamites and Lasombra in the Camarilla in any chronicle I run at all whatsoever. Thin-Bloods aren't ever going to be a thing in my chronicle either. The Sabbat is still a thing so in other words, it's not V5 and will never be)

However you want to do your games but I found the anti-V5 reaction seems to have occasionally come with a collective case of amnesia for some fans.

* The Lasombra Antitribu were already the largest Bloodline within the Camarilla and given vampire population figures, a few hundred vampire difference either way between a Clan. Montano was already a "I was around when humans were still living in caves" 4th generation vampire that was on the Inner Council.

* The Assamites joined the Camarilla in 3rd Edition, not 5th. V20 just pretended it didn't happen as if forgetting that they joined in 3rd Edition to remind the player base that the 2nd Edition version were profoundly racist and stupid. Also, not even going to work within "silly campy" campaigns for any players who are familiar with Assassins Creed.

* The Time of Thin Blood was another 3rd Edition supplement and the whole, "Caitiff are now everywhere" was a theme since 1st Edition.

Which is to say that not everything from 5th Edition came with cooties. Some of it, almost 100% of it from Matthew Dawkins, was following up on preexisting lore.
 
However you want to do your games but I found the anti-V5 reaction seems to have occasionally come with a collective case of amnesia for some fans.

* The Lasombra Antitribu were already the largest Bloodline within the Camarilla and given vampire population figures, a few hundred vampire difference either way between a Clan. Montano was already a "I was around when humans were still living in caves" 4th generation vampire that was on the Inner Council.

* The Assamites joined the Camarilla in 3rd Edition, not 5th. V20 just pretended it didn't happen as if forgetting that they joined in 3rd Edition to remind the player base that the 2nd Edition version were profoundly racist and stupid. Also, not even going to work within "silly campy" campaigns for any players who are familiar with Assassins Creed.

Which is to say that not everything from 5th Edition came with cooties.

In my defense, I also despise the metaplot and setting changes of 3rd Edition/Revised as well so at least I've got some consistency, lol.

Especially since V20 kept most of the mechanical improvements of Revised but the setting is a lot more metaplot-neutral and closer to 2e for the most part unless you explicitly incorporate elements of Revised's metaplot in your V20 chronicles as an ST.

(Yes, I'm well aware that Beckett's Jyhad Diary is technically a V20 book but that's really more of a V5 book with V20 trade dress meant to be a primer for V5's setting)
 
In my defense, I also despise the metaplot and setting changes of 3rd Edition/Revised as well so at least I've got some consistency, lol.

Especially since V20 kept most of the mechanical improvements of Revised but the setting is a lot more metaplot-neutral and closer to 2e for the most part unless you explicitly incorporate elements of Revised's metaplot in your V20 chronicles as an ST.

(Yes, I'm well aware that Beckett's Jyhad Diary is technically a V20 book but that's really more of a V5 book with V20 trade dress meant to be a primer for V5's setting)

Fair on hating metaplot but I give a benny to the Assamites being rewritten to not be, "Scary Brown People With RELIGION: The ClanTM."

There's also an asterisk for Beckett's Jyhad Diary in that it was originally a set up for ONYX PATH'S version of 5th Edition. They were then told, after the book was done, no less, that Paradox had bought White Wolf and would be releasing their own.

Which is why there's a handful of lines added to the manuscript (I was a backer and had the original) foreshadowing the "canon" 5th Edition.

It's all the more ironic because aside from OPP, 5th Edition ignores the previous 4 Editions of Metaplot almost completely.
 
Fair on hating metaplot but I give a benny to the Assamites being rewritten to not be, "Scary Brown People With RELIGION: The ClanTM."

There's also an asterisk for Beckett's Jyhad Diary in that it was originally a set up for ONYX PATH'S version of 5th Edition. They were then told, after the book was done, no less, that Paradox had bought White Wolf and would be releasing their own.

Which is why there's a handful of lines added to the manuscript (I was a backer and had the original) foreshadowing the "canon" 5th Edition.

It's all the more ironic because aside from OPP, 5th Edition ignores the previous 4 Editions of Metaplot almost completely.

V5 still has all those awful setting changes I don't like and I don't like the mechanical parts I've seen either.

I always viewed the Assamites as more of a specific clan/cult that emerged from the Middle East but they were not the dominant clan in the Middle East nor were they even the largest and in my setting, there are other variants of Assamites in both the West and East Asia.

That said, many Assamites in the New World will try to play up the "scary brown people with religion" angle to try and scare clueless neonates from other clans.

So yeah, in my setting, East Asia is fully accessible to Cainite Kindred. There are NO Kuei-Jin at all, but the Camarilla and Sabbat don't have much real pull over there either.

The Kuei-Jin courts instead get turned into regional sects that are roughly congruent with the Camarilla but they aren't truly part of it either. These Asian sects all have their own equivalent to the Masquerade and the other Camarilla traditions but they are not subject to the authority of any Archons and Justicars.

The Justicars may care what the Prince of Chicago does but they don't give two shits what the Prefect of Chengdu does unless it directly threatens the Masquerade.


The Ashirra in the Middle East is in a similar position, of course.

And that's assuming I'm focusing on a grand-scale V20 setting.

For a more localized old-school V1 sort of game, that information is a lot less relevant.
 
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Well played



Your ideas are intriguing and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

That's it, I'm going fishing and my next VTM character is going to be a Toreador twink with an Appearance score of 5 and an ass like Shinji Ikari.



Once the current chronicle I'm playing in is done with, I'll be playing a big booty Toreador twink in the next one.



Honestly, this might actually be useful for me.

(Though I'm never going to include Assamites and Lasombra in the Camarilla in any chronicle I run at all whatsoever. Thin-Bloods aren't ever going to be a thing in my chronicle either. The Sabbat is still a thing so in other words, it's not V5 and will never be)

With that being said, I will also include some crossover stuff in any VTM games I'd run as well as the usual Lupines, Magi, ghosts, etc.

Stuff that PC's probably wouldn't know without an Occult score but also aren't part of the usual WoD milieu instead. Something that could truly take them by surprise.


You're defining V5 by its lore when the core book gives options to play completely outside any of the lore.

No one is forcing you to follow any lore from any edition and there is no requirement that you play any edition's ruleset tied to that edition's lore. V5 even makes this explicit. Thinbloods for instance are completely optional in V5.

This idea that the lore in a supplement somehow 'ruins' the game seems like a particular obsession of the WoD fanbase, it certainly exists in other games, it is headache inducing to see some ramble on about the changes to Forgotten Realms as well, as if just because it appears in a book that they're coming to your house and making you run it that way at the table.

Consider the tangled mess that are the settings for Marvel and DC, but that doesn't impede anyone when playing a game of MSH or DCH.

I can see why the designers of V5 wanted a reset of the setting, it's a complete mess than has created a weird fanbase obsessed with its terrible 'worldbuilding' over making a game at a table.
 
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V5 still has all those awful setting changes I don't like and I don't like the mechanical parts I've seen either.

I always viewed the Assamites as more of a specific clan/cult that emerged from the Middle East but they were not the dominant clan in the Middle East nor were they even the largest and in my setting, there are other variants of Assamites in both the West and East Asia.

That said, many Assamites in the New World will try to play up the "scary brown people with religion" angle to try and scare clueless neonates from other clans.

So yeah, in my setting, East Asia is fully accessible to Cainite Kindred. There are NO Kuei-Jin at all, but the Camarilla and Sabbat don't have much real pull over there either.

The Kuei-Jin courts instead get turned into regional sects that are roughly congruent with the Camarilla but they aren't truly part of it either. These Asian sects all have their own equivalent to the Masquerade and the other Camarilla traditions but they are not subject to the authority of any Archons and Justicars.

The Justicars may care what the Prince of Chicago does but they don't give two shits what the Prefect of Chengdu does unless it directly threatens the Masquerade.


The Ashirra in the Middle East is in a similar position, of course.

And that's assuming I'm focusing on a grand-scale V20 setting.

For a more localized old-school V1 sort of game, that information is a lot less relevant.

Yes, literally the one positive change that almost everyone agrees with for V5 is that Jason Carl said, "The Kuei Jin don't exist. They have never existed."

Presumably, Ming Xiao and her cronies in Bloodlines 2 are just a bunch of pretentious Asian Tzimisce (or whatever they go by in their home territories).

V20's Lore of the Clans also adopted the Assamites as written up in Revised without having them joining the Camarilla.

So it was more, "There's this crazy diablerie cult of murderers in Alamut but in the Ashirra, the Assamites Viziers and Sorcerer caste are much more chill. It's just Europe assumes we're all our version of the Sabbat."
 
The main issue I think the Assamites needed changing was that whatever people think of them as lore, "these vampires kill other vampires" is pretty unplayable. And if you want uberevil NPCs that's what the Baali are for.
 
This idea that the lore in a supplement somehow 'ruins' the game seems like a particular obsession of the WoD fanbase, it certainly exists in other games, it is headache inducing to see some ramble on about the changes to Forgotten Realms as well, as if just because it appears in a book that they're coming to your house and making you run it that way at the table.
It's also, ironically, a completely lore obsessed position. Ranting about how "they shouldn't have changed this lore" rather than "I just ignore the lore" still treats it as vital to the game.
 
You're defining V5 by its lore when the core book gives options to play completely outside any of the lore.

No one is forcing you to follow any lore from any edition and there is no requirement that you play any edition's ruleset tied to that edition's lore. V5 even makes this explicit. Thinbloods for instance are completely optional in V5.

This idea that the lore in a supplement somehow 'ruins' the game seems like a particular obsession of the WoD fanbase, it certainly exists in other games, it is headache inducing to see some ramble on about the changes to Forgotten Realms as well, as if just because it appears in a book that they're coming to your house and making you run it that way at the table.

Consider the tangled mess that is the settings for Marvel and DC, but that doesn't impede anyone when playing a game of MSH or DCH.

I can see why the designers of V5 wanted a reset of the setting, it's a complete mess than has created a weird fanbase obsessed with its terrible 'worldbuilding' over making a game at a table.

I mean, this argument I just do not get at all.

"You can play the game setting without the game setting!"

Well, yeah, but what's the fucking point? I buy the lore to use the lore. I could make up my entire setting entirely on my own but what have I plopped down thirty dollars and however many other dollars I've spent in supplements if not for the actual game. The point of metaplot is to establish a living world to move around and beyond the players to increase immersion and enjoyment.

To give a shared experience. It's also not limited to WOD players but includes virtually every longstanding RPG setting. Sometimes it ruins the setting like 4th Edition Forgotten Realms and whatever the fuck CCG disaster destroyed Rokugan this year.

But it also creates engagement with the setting.

Also, the whole "Its like Marvel or DC!" like it's a bad thing. People LOVE those settings and keep buying comics because they want to keep up with whats going on.

The main issue I think the Assamites needed changing was that whatever people think of them as lore, "these vampires kill other vampires" is pretty unplayable. And if you want uberevil NPCs that's what the Baali are for.

That's what all of the Players Guide clans were for.

The Followers of Set are PURE EVIL. With snakes and drugs and sex like Thulsa Doom!

The Assamites are PURE EVIL. With diablerie! Terrorism! Assassins!

The Giovanni are PURE EVIL...with pasta and ghosts!

The Ravnos...are just really fucking racist. But sexy like Gambit! And illusions! Because why not!

Which is to say they weren't really meant as PC clans.
 
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You're defining V5 by its lore when the core book gives options to play completely outside any of the lore.

No one is forcing you to follow any lore from any edition and there is no requirement that you play any edition's ruleset tied to that edition's lore. V5 even makes this explicit. Thinbloods for instance are completely optional in V5.

This idea that the lore in a supplement somehow 'ruins' the game seems like a particular obsession of the WoD fanbase, it certainly exists in other games, it is headache inducing to see some ramble on about the changes to Forgotten Realms as well, as if just because it appears in a book that they're coming to your house and making you run it that way at the table.

Consider the tangled mess that are the settings for Marvel and DC, but that doesn't impede anyone when playing a game of MSH or DCH.

I can see why the designers of V5 wanted a reset of the setting, it's a complete mess than has created a weird fanbase obsessed with its terrible 'worldbuilding' over making a game at a table.

Thing is though, I don't like the V5 mechanics either. All the shit like Touchstones, the reworked and altered Disciplines, the Hunger Dice, etc.

It doesn't help that WoD has the issue of the writers always chiding people who "played the game wrong" and telling them they should play "Some Other Game" while also using the lore and metaplot to try and police the setting of anything they personally didn't like. This is one of the biggest hallmarks of the Achilli School.

The practice of explicitly chiding players for badwrongfun was completely gone by V20 and is slightly less on the nose in V5 than it was in Revised. It's still there with all the setting and rules changes, but you don't have Achilli himself writing these whole sidebars telling you you're playing the game wrong if you don't do it in a specific way.

So from both the perspective of setting and rules, V5 is a crock of shit IMHO.

Yes, literally the one positive change that almost everyone agrees with for V5 is that Jason Carl said, "The Kuei Jin don't exist. They have never existed."

There are only two good things that ever came from V5, IMHO.

One is getting rid of the Kuei-Jin. The other is Arthur Caldwell.

No joke, I could easily backport in Arthur Caldwell in a V1, V2, or V20 game.
 
A good rule of thumb I use for White Wolf anything is to remember their splats don't typically play well with each other. If you do include other monsters in your game, look for the quick conversion notes to keep their template within your splat's parameters. It's easier to convert a Werewolf into Vampire, or vice versa, than to play both rules together.

If I wanted them all to play together I'd rather bust out CJ Carella's Witchcraft, IN SJG, Bloodshadows, or several other RPGs. Just a recommendation from my experience.
Pretty much, multisplat in WoD is just not feasible, I remember playing into one with a vampire (me), a mage and a werewolf, the fucking garou completely stole the scene, there was literally no problem they couldn't fix and it didn't have to be violence either, their gifts are utterly insane and just on another level compared to vampires and starting mages.

Chronicles of darkness fixed this to some extent since all the splats use a common system and the power creep is less present among the splats, although still there, mages are bonafide gods straight from the beginning there.
 
Thing is though, I don't like the V5 mechanics either. All the shit like Touchstones, the reworked and altered Disciplines, the Hunger Dice, etc.

It doesn't help that WoD has the issue of the writers always chiding people who "played the game wrong" and telling them they should play "Some Other Game" while also using the lore and metaplot to try and police the setting of anything they personally didn't like. This is one of the biggest hallmarks of the Achilli School.

The practice of explicitly chiding players for badwrongfun was completely gone by V20 and is slightly less on the nose in V5 than it was in Revised. It's still there with all the setting and rules changes, but you don't have Achilli himself writing these whole sidebars telling you you're playing the game wrong if you don't do it in a specific way.

So from both the perspective of setting and rules, V5 is a crock of shit IMHO.



There are only two good things that ever came from V5, IMHO.

One is getting rid of the Kuei-Jin. The other is Arthur Caldwell.

No joke, I could easily backport in Arthur Caldwell in a V1, V2, or V20 game.

How is V5 'chiding' you for playing the game 'wrong' when it gives you a wide range of modular and optional rules that significantly change the setting and ruleset, from extra crunchy combat and warring gangs outside of the standard VtM clans to one roll combat?

Hunger dice is a great mechanic to me, it is simple but reminds you that you're playing vampires, not sparkly superhumans with fangs. The only play it is impeding is a Twilight-style game.

As to the lore, as I've said I could not care less about those completely optional setting details that literally no one is enforcing on you or your table.

Sounds to me like you're arguing more your own concept of what the game is 'about' than what is actually there in the ruleset.
 
How is V5 'chiding' you for playing the game 'wrong' when it gives you a wide range of modular and optional rules that significantly change the setting and ruleset, from extra crunchy combat and warring gangs outside of the standard VtM clans to one roll combat?

Hunger dice is a great mechanic to me, it is simple but reminds you that you're playing vampires, not sparkly superhumans with fangs. The only play it is impeding is a Twilight-style game.

I only read the V5 corebook once when it first came out so I'll admit that I'm going off of rather biased memory, and I've looked over some of the pre-release stuff as well.

I was not impressed with what I remember. It's still too low-powered, too "personal horror", and I hate Hunger Dice.

Yeah, V5's probably got a lot of supplements that can make the game far more modular and better tailored to my tastes, but the same can be said of Requiem 2e, which seems to have had a lot of subtle influence on V5.

But if I wanted Requiem 2e, I'll just play Requiem 2e.
 
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Another point in favor of my thesis that "Vampions"/"Trenchcoats & Katanas" was assumed to be the norm in VTM 1e and 2e and only got retroactively declared "the wrong way to play" under Achilli's tenure is the "Example of Play" in the 1e corebook.

It's basically the vigilante Gangrel Malcolm (who is basically a T&K character archetype except he's got pistols instead of katanas) raiding a crackhouse, killing drug dealers and going into a state of frenzy.

Keep in mind that this example of gameplay came from the very first game of VTM ever played, the Forged In Steel playtest chronicle.

Malcolm was the PC of Lisa Stevens, one of the founding members of White Wolf and Mark Rein-Hagen himself was the goddamn Storyteller!

Even in the game's most absolute primordial state, Vampire: The Masquerade was a lot more "Trenchcoats & Katanas badwrongfun" and a lot less "artsy intellectual personal horror". Justin Achilli, Paradox Interactive, and their ilk will never admit it though.

Checkmate, Goths and Punks. :hehe:
Counterpoint: If 1st Edition Vampire was meant to be played in Trenchcoats & Katanas style, why didn't they give the game a functional combat system?
 
Counterpoint: If 1st Edition Vampire was meant to be played in Trenchcoats & Katanas style, why didn't they give the game a functional combat system?

Well played, I must admit.

My theory for why the combat system was kind of janky, especially for T&K games, has more to do with how relatively amateurish V1 was when compared to pretty much every edition after it (including V2, which was largely a re-arranged hardcover V1 with some new artwork added, old artwork removed, and some errata) and they slapped together a dice pool system because Shadowrun was popular among them.

The only one of the OG WW founders (Mark Rein-Hagen, the Wieck Brothers, Lisa Stevens, Andrew Greenburg, et cetera) who I know for a fact had worked on their own RPG was MRH, who co-created Ars Magica.

I'm not familiar at all with Ars Magica, so I can't comment on that game's systems for anything as all I know is that Ars Magica was set in a whimsical medieval Europe, featured the earliest appearances of the Order of Hermes and House Tremere, and troupe style games were seen as the default form of play.

That aside, I also don't know how much Lion Rampant-era Ars Magica was the work of Tweet versus the work of Rein-Hagen.
 
Well played, I must admit.

My theory for why the combat system was kind of janky, especially for T&K games, has more to do with how relatively amateurish V1 was when compared to pretty much every edition after it (including V2, which was largely a re-arranged hardcover V1 with some new artwork added, old artwork removed, and some errata) and they slapped together a dice pool system because Shadowrun was popular among them.

The only one of the OG WW founders (Mark Rein-Hagen, the Wieck Brothers, Lisa Stevens, Andrew Greenburg, et cetera) who I know for a fact had worked on their own RPG was MRH, who co-created Ars Magica.

I'm not familiar at all with Ars Magica, so I can't comment on that game's systems for anything as all I know is that Ars Magica was set in a whimsical medieval Europe, featured the earliest appearances of the Order of Hermes and House Tremere, and troupe style games were seen as the default form of play.

That aside, I also don't know how much Lion Rampant-era Ars Magica was the work of Tweet versus the work of Rein-Hagen.
Mark Rein-Hagan co-designed Ars Magica with Jonathan Tweet. There are a lot of similarities in design between Ars Magica and Tweet's D20 system, so I have the feeling that Tweet did a lot of the mechanical work.
 
Mark Rein-Hagan co-designed Ars Magica with Jonathan Tweet. There are a lot of similarities in design between Ars Magica and Tweet's D20 system, so I have the feeling that Tweet did a lot of the mechanical work.

If that's the case, then it definitely lends some credence to my theory that VTM's combat was janky due to inexperienced designers, as opposed to any specific thematic intent.
 
Thing is though, I don't like the V5 mechanics either. All the shit like Touchstones, the reworked and altered Disciplines, the Hunger Dice, etc.
I dislike the mechanics far more than I dislike the lore changes. The lore changes I at least understand the intent of in terms of being a basic a soft-to-medium reboot for new players.

But mechanically it’s just… bad. I know the intent was to make it simpler, and in a sense it is, but at the same time it’s got too many fiddly bits (hunger dice, mechanizing so many disciplines like they’re video game powers) while leaving some areas way too simple (combat is just opposed rolls where it never makes sense to do anything but “attack attack attack”) and also feeling like they never actually did a deep dive on their dice math.

I also dislike that, what, eight years in and there’s still no playable Dhampir (no the Thinblooded doesn’t cut it… the entire joy of the V20 and earlier Dhampir was being able to play in the setting with a connection to the vampiric world without having to play an actual parasite… the much weaker power level save for sheer ability to take punishment was worth that price for me to have a character I enjoy in a game my friends enjoy).

Mechanically speaking I’m looking at some way to houserule V20 into something that runs a bit faster, but keeps the attributes, abilities, disciplines, etc. This would also preferably involve using either card draws or 1-2 dice in a popper/cup since default play for our group these past few years is sitting around the family room and there’s just not enough space to roll all the needed d10’s.
 
If that's the case, then it definitely lends some credence to my theory that VTM's combat was janky due to inexperienced designers, as opposed to any specific thematic intent.
To add, while I think Tweet was primarily behind the mechanics of Ars Magica, there are some clear similarities between Ars Magica and V:tM.. In Ars Magica, magi were members of the Order of Hermes and followed the laws set up in the Code of Hermes. Among these is a rule that restricts violence between magi. From an RPG design perspective, this discourages gamers from taking the usual approach of just murdering anyone the gets in their way. Instead there is an expectation that they will engage in political intrigue in conflicts with other magi.

Rein-Hagan did the exact same thing in V:tM. The Traditions of the Camarilla forbid vampires from killing one another, also encouraging non-violent conflict, at least when dealing with other vampires.

It is debatable though. Tweet also discouraged violence in his next RPG, Over the Edge, by making firearms illegal on the island of Al Amarja, so it's hard to say who originally was behind the idea.
 
I've played two campaigns with V5 rules and my take is the Hunger dice is great. It really keeps the vampiric bloodlust to the fore and the lore and discipline updates freshen the game for WoD veterans like me.
 
Ultimately WoD is a dumpster fire that fails at everything it sets out to do. If you’re interested in playing a game, then you’re better off playing D&D or a video game because these rules suck. If you like urban fantasy, then you’re better off reading Dresden Files because this crap isn’t about fun. If you’re interested in passively consuming lore, then you’re better off reading J.R.R. Tolkien or Frank Herbert because this crap ain’t consistent and has no coherent themes or creative vision. If you like pathos, then you’re better off reading Anne Rice because this sucks at it. If you like originality and freshness, then you’re better off not touching roleplaying games at all and trying indie video games.

“You have no choice but to eat this shit because it’s the only product available.” Fuck that zombie consumerist bullshit. I’m waiting for Paradox to finally pull on the plug on this shit once their crappy video game venture bombs spectacularly as we’ve been expecting for a while. I’ve spent decades waiting for fun urban fantasy to materialize without results. WoD is just standing in the way because people are afraid to compete with it despite it obviously being well past its expiry date. Once it finally dies, somebody with actual competence will finally have a chance to step into the void created by the newly opened market. Or maybe the urban fantasy genre will finally die for good. Much like most other genres nowadays.
 
There are only two good things that ever came from V5, IMHO.

One is getting rid of the Kuei-Jin. The other is Arthur Caldwell.

No joke, I could easily backport in Arthur Caldwell in a V1, V2, or V20 game.

Thanks man. I appreciate it. I'm glad OPP let me make him.

Ultimately WoD is a dumpster fire that fails at everything it sets out to do. If you’re interested in playing a game, then you’re better off playing D&D or a video game because these rules suck. If you like urban fantasy, then you’re better off reading Dresden Files because this crap isn’t about fun.

It could just be....and this may shock you. It's not for you but it definitely is for some people.
 
It could just be....and this may shock you. It's not for you but it definitely is for some people.
And this may shock you, but Chronicles was genuinely profitable the 2000s and accumulated a sizeable fandom before the new management lost interest. I know this because I was in the fandom at the time. It's easy to assume that White Wolf just died out then if you were one of those people who abandoned them, but if you had your pulse on the market then you'd know they were doing just fine then. They were releasing loads of books every year, had multiple subsidiaries doing card games, BESM, d20, etc. They were selling tie-in merchandize like board games, holding contests to get fan content published in official releases, Lost was so successful that they expanded it beyond an initially limited plan, Chronicles books are bestsellers on Drivethrurpg, etc. Heck, the whole reason they rebooted was because marketing observed that it was the best choice financially and they seemed to be correct (for comparison, other companies who continued to maintain ttrpgs with lore bloat went out of business at the same time, like MultiSim). It was only after CCP bought them so the IP could be mined for an MMO that they visibly declined (ttrpg money is drops in the bucket to video game money), culminating in the company being gutted into a shell company and then sold to Paradox who wanted to make a Bloodlines sequel because the Steam sales were high enough to justify it, only for Paradox to epically botch everything. The shovelware tie-in games have been critically panned, the only financial successes were for ultra-cheap ones that only needed a few dozen customers to break even, and everyone openly acknowledges that Bloodlines 2 will either be canceled or bomb spectacularly if it ever does release.

Not that it really matters now. Attention spans are at an all time low so recapping the leadup to this events is pointless.

I don't dispute that WoD isn't for me. But it's desperately trying to grab my wallet by killing off all the other options. Nightlife, Everlasting, Invisible War, Nephilim, Nightbane, WitchCraft, etc... they're all dead now. WoD and CoD are the only games with surviving communities and they're fucking dumpster fires that I want nothing to do with. I just don't like the way they're designed.

All I want is a game for me, but the universe just wants to punch me in the face repeatedly for not being a consumerist zombie.

I despise lore and I consider it a blight on the tabletop hobby, as it is a blight on all media. Even if I liked lore, I'd still hate WoD because its lore is a fucking mess. It's not just because of my personal experiences with the fandom, as I'm encountering the same problem with other metaplot ttrpgs I investigate. Lore in general strangles the creative potential of any game that develops it, I hate it when the writers inevitably contradict themselves over time, I hate it when they scatter vitally important information across dozens of books, and I hate when these fucking incompetent idiots don't even know what the fuck their own lore is even supposed to be after a decade or two of messing it up. Don't even get me started on asking fans for garbled telephone accounts about basic facets of the rules, since they obviously don't know shit either.

Here's a specific example: Nephilim is one of the few ttrpgs whose lore I don't hate. Mostly because Chaosium did a lot of house cleaning with the US version in the 90s, and my own campaign is hugely homebrewed anyway. The French version is still a fucking mess though. The third edition was the peak of design since it tried to give you an overview of the lore and rules even if it had to condense a decade of material and leave a lot out, only to get canceled after releasing only a few books. But the current edition is worthless bullshit that contradicts itself and doesn't explain fucking anything. To add insult to injury, the writers wrote a recap of past editions where they insulted it all as inferior despite their own works being nothing more than a inferior recap with nothing new or original because they're banking on nostalgia from kickstarter backers. Asking the fans for help is pointless. The French fandom is mostly dead due to attrition since the IP wasn't actively supported from 2003 to 2019 and tabletop fandom loses interest without "official" support (never mind that these IPs are owned and managed by completely different people now), so the few hundred remaining stragglers have forgotten everything and can't answer basic questions about the IP. The books for past editions aren't available anywhere in case you're interesting in getting an accurate summary of the lore, because apparently the current publisher doesn't have the copyright? Even web enhancements, errata, character sheets, etc for past editions that were previously publicly available are now off limits due to copyright law? It doesn't make any fucking sense and I fucking hate it.

I fucking hate tabletop games. As with every other media industry, every IP turns to shit if you wait long enough. The best I can do is take some inspiration and totally do my own thing. I can't trust these corpos to do basic things right.
 
And this may shock you, but Chronicles was genuinely profitable the 2000s and accumulated a sizeable fandom before the new management lost interest.

The only people who think there's a fight between NWoD and OWOD are the ones who think they have to choose one or the other.

I use NWoD rules for OWOD setting.
 
Thanks man. I appreciate it. I'm glad OPP let me make him.

Wait, that was your character? Awesome!

One of my characters actually made it into a V20 product (Children of the Revolution), the Setite black metal musician Svein Fortinbras (AKA Azrael) and as much as I dislike Justin Achilli, I will give the guy credit where it's due for accepting my character.

I know you love the lore and metaplot of V5, but would you ever be interested in one day joining a V1 Chronicle using the old setting and lore? (And then going in some unexpected and unique directions from there, of course)

Rules would either be V20 or a house ruled version of V1's rules.

Honestly, it'd be an honor to have you play one of my games despite our disagreements even if you didn't make Arthur Caldwell. You've got a lot of passion for the game, and I respect that at the end of the day, even if we disagree on what specific version of the game we prefer.
 
Wait, that was your character? Awesome!

One of my characters actually made it into a V20 product (Children of the Revolution), the Setite black metal musician Svein Fortinbras (AKA Azrael) and as much as I dislike Justin Achilli, I will give the guy credit where it's due for accepting my character.

I know you love the lore and metaplot of V5, but would you ever be interested in one day joining a V1 Chronicle using the old setting and lore? (And then going in some unexpected and unique directions from there, of course)

Rules would either be V20 or a house ruled version of V1's rules.

Honestly, it'd be an honor to have you play one of my games despite our disagreements even if you didn't make Arthur Caldwell. You've got a lot of passion for the game, and I respect that at the end of the day, even if we disagree on what specific version of the game we prefer.

I remember him! The guy who burned down a bunch of churches and got rewarded by the Prince because he killed some Witch Hunters in the process.

:smile:

Great character.

But to clarify my love of V5, I love it because I thought it would be going back to V1 style personal horror and because it offered a setting update of Chicago by Night and its surrounding areas of Milwaukee as well as Gary. I thought they would be focusing more on local NPCs and power structures. Instead, Renegade has shown it has very little interest in that as well as the past of the lore. I was a big cheerleader for V5 but it turns out I was only a cheerleader for OPP's V5.

Honestly, my V5 is very different from V5 in canon these days.


And 1st Edition is still my favorite.
 
The only people who think there's a fight between NWoD and OWOD are the ones who think they have to choose one or the other.

I use NWoD rules for OWOD setting.
Wish Paradox would understand this but no, the fuckers are killing CofD because they think it will keep people from buying their bullshit 5th edition stuff, these morons don't understand that the audiences are completely different, it just proves how little Paradox understands the IP.
 
Wish Paradox would understand this but no, the fuckers are killing CofD because they think it will keep people from buying their bullshit 5th edition stuff, these morons don't understand that the audiences are completely different, it just proves how little Paradox understands the IP.

On that we agree.

But I think they should have kept OPP making NWOD stuff and allowed them to write 5th Edition books.
 
That’s why my setting has actual angels running around giving people therapy, fighting crime and vanquishing demons. They’re not specific to any religion, but superheroes that serve the divine principle of goodness that coincidentally aligns with humanism.
Huh, I kinda did the same in my WoD, but more grimdark. It would be next to impossible for the PCs to find it out but there were a dozen or two powerful angels across the globe with the self-appointed duty of watching over and protecting humanity from the worst depredations of the supernatural e.g. methuselahs mindfucking Russian submarine crews into nuking their rivals. Naturally, toiling for millennia at this thankless and damning task can try even an angel's patience, compassion, and resolve.
 
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On that we agree.

But I think they should have kept OPP making NWOD stuff and allowed them to write 5th Edition books.
It's a shame Onyx Path didn't manage to buy the Requiem IP altogether like they did with exalted and trinity but I guess it just wasn't feasible, a shame really because they clearly found their niche with that and I speak as someone who really doesn't like Onyx Path's other work.
 
The only people who think there's a fight between NWoD and OWOD are the ones who think they have to choose one or the other.

I use NWoD rules for OWOD setting.
Those cultists are everywhere and drove me out of the fandom. I hate both now and I am gleefully watching Paradox drive the brand into the ground. I want to play a different game entirely, nothing made by white wolf, if any other games existed. But no, this fandom killed everything else. That’s not a choice, that’s being peer pressured to join a lunatic cult. Urban fantasy is all shit now thanks to white wolf’s bullshit cult.

My objectively is shot to hell after the cyberbully PTSD. I need to ignore this thread for the sake of my stress levels.
 
Best Vampire the Masquerade campaign I ever played was... the PC game Bloodlines.

In terms of structure, things to do, people to interact with etc...

That werewolf fight was bullshit though. Railroaded boss fights are always a bore.

Also why did so many video games treat "Celerity/speed" powers as "everything, including YOU, are in slow motion"?!? I hated that while I was speeding along, the physics didn't apply to anything else (eg. try opening a fucking door while using Celerity).
 
Those cultists are everywhere and drove me out of the fandom. I hate both now and I am gleefully watching Paradox drive the brand into the ground. I want to play a different game entirely, nothing made by white wolf, if any other games existed. But no, this fandom killed everything else. That’s not a choice, that’s being peer pressured to join a lunatic cult. Urban fantasy is all shit now thanks to white wolf’s bullshit cult.

My objectively is shot to hell after the cyberbully PTSD. I need to ignore this thread for the sake of my stress levels.

Sorry to hear about your experience. I hope you find a game you like that you enjoy and don't feel persecuted over.
 
Those cultists are everywhere and drove me out of the fandom. I hate both now and I am gleefully watching Paradox drive the brand into the ground. I want to play a different game entirely, nothing made by white wolf, if any other games existed. But no, this fandom killed everything else. That’s not a choice, that’s being peer pressured to join a lunatic cult. Urban fantasy is all shit now thanks to white wolf’s bullshit cult.
I sympathize. Many fandoms have driven me away from the things that I loved.
 
Those cultists are everywhere and drove me out of the fandom. I hate both now and I am gleefully watching Paradox drive the brand into the ground. I want to play a different game entirely, nothing made by white wolf, if any other games existed. But no, this fandom killed everything else. That’s not a choice, that’s being peer pressured to join a lunatic cult. Urban fantasy is all shit now thanks to white wolf’s bullshit cult.

My objectively is shot to hell after the cyberbully PTSD. I need to ignore this thread for the sake of my stress levels.
...have you considered After the Vampire Wars:grin:?

OK, I'm kinda joking, but there are other options:thumbsup:.
 
Those cultists are everywhere and drove me out of the fandom. I hate both now and I am gleefully watching Paradox drive the brand into the ground. I want to play a different game entirely, nothing made by white wolf, if any other games existed. But no, this fandom killed everything else. That’s not a choice, that’s being peer pressured to join a lunatic cult. Urban fantasy is all shit now thanks to white wolf’s bullshit cult.
I know there’s the whole first mover effect with rpgs (which is why D&D is still top dog despite numerous gaffs that would have destroyed other companies)… but if there was anything that clearly surpassed VtM/WoD lore, one would think it’d at least have some type of following remaining.

I mean, there’s still active 4E campaigns despite it all; so the utter lack of anything outside of the World of Darkness suggests either the whole niche is too small to support anything beyond a single system… or, and I’m just spitballing here… maybe the original VtM caught lightning in a bottle with its clans based on different pop culture takes on vampires and frankly iconic take on the origin of vampires (the First Murderer became the First Vampire just slides right into the shared Christian foundation of Western civilization; even if society has shifted mostly secular).

Yes, VtM has a ton of lore for those who care about such things, but at the same time you don’t NEED any of that lore to actually play; because there’s some clan and disciplines that will get pretty darned close to whatever your concept of a vampire is.

A Lestat fan doesn’t need to look any further than the Toreador. Someone who wants a crass bruiser like Spike from BtVS has Brujah right there.

The “cult’s” only power to kill other systems is just that they don’t buy or play those systems because they don’t find anything more appealing to them.
 
I know there’s the whole first mover effect with rpgs (which is why D&D is still top dog despite numerous gaffs that would have destroyed other companies)… but if there was anything that clearly surpassed VtM/WoD lore, one would think it’d at least have some type of following remaining.

I mean, there’s still active 4E campaigns despite it all; so the utter lack of anything outside of the World of Darkness suggests either the whole niche is too small to support anything beyond a single system… or, and I’m just spitballing here… maybe the original VtM caught lightning in a bottle with its clans based on different pop culture takes on vampires and frankly iconic take on the origin of vampires (the First Murderer became the First Vampire just slides right into the shared Christian foundation of Western civilization; even if society has shifted mostly secular).

Yes, VtM has a ton of lore for those who care about such things, but at the same time you don’t NEED any of that lore to actually play; because there’s some clan and disciplines that will get pretty darned close to whatever your concept of a vampire is.

A Lestat fan doesn’t need to look any further than the Toreador. Someone who wants a crass bruiser like Spike from BtVS has Brujah right there.

The “cult’s” only power to kill other systems is just that they don’t buy or play those systems because they don’t find anything more appealing to them.
Considering that Paradox is currently having money troubles, I’m guessing that the marketplace is too small to support more than one.
 
The town's name is Roanoke
The state is called Virginia
Among the RPG Pub goers
The weeb's ego is inflated
'Cause of the new chronicle he's making

They say the game is cool
And not deep and artsy at all
The game's running to the Pub
And Achilli couldn't stop it if he wanted to

The Goth Cartel's running hot
'Cause they ain't getting no respect
Talkin' about some redneck weeb
Who's running the game wrong
Or they would if they knew him
And they really don't care to

The Goth Cartel's about personal horror
And they ain't forgiving
But that homie can play how he wants
He just doesn't know it yet

 
Considering that Paradox is currently having money troubles, I’m guessing that the marketplace is too small to support more than one.

I know this is a personal issue for you but Paradox is a much bigger company than White Wolf. They also don't spend any money on their World of Darkness properties. They pretty much have adopted a purely mercenary licensing system for it. Everything is pure profit because they give it to whoever will pay them for it and make nothing themselves.

Also, the decision not to publish Chronicles of Darkness and Old World of Darkness is silly. There was always room for both.
 
I know this is a personal issue for you but Paradox is a much bigger company than White Wolf. They also don't spend any money on their World of Darkness properties. They pretty much have adopted a purely mercenary licensing system for it. Everything is pure profit because they give it to whoever will pay them for it and make nothing themselves.
Hence why the monetary troubles standout. If they’re investing no money and still failing to make a profit, then…?

Also, the decision not to publish Chronicles of Darkness and Old World of Darkness is silly. There was always room for both.
I appreciate D&D promoting a multitude of separate campaign settings both official and 3pp. It makes the market more creative and vivacious. I wish more companies would do that.
 
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