Vampire: The Masquerade - The Early Years and Personal Horror

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Apologies for the thread necromancy but I've been thinking on something.

We should make Roanoke By Night a thing, and maybe it could be a collaborative project?
If Roanoke was colonised by Scotch-Irish and Germans, and is nicknamed "Magic City", I can see a three-way magical war between original native spirits, Celtical druidery, and the powers of WOTAN! But then, my WoD games always tended towards vampires running around doing what Mages wanted.
 
We should make Roanoke By Night a thing, and maybe it could be a collaborative project?
According to Wikipedia, the Roanoke metro has a population of 315,000 people. That's enough for 3 vampires, maybe 6 if it's crowded.
 
Apologies for the thread necromancy but I've been thinking on something.

We should make Roanoke By Night a thing, and maybe it could be a collaborative project?

to make it appropriately 90s White Wolf, it should be written by people who have never stepped within a 1000 miles of Virginia...
 
to make it appropriately 90s White Wolf, it should be written by people who have never stepped within a 1000 miles of Virginia...

YES! :thumbsup::heart:

I'mma make it like Branson, MO, but with GOTHS! :grin: There'll be Karaoke Night with everyone dressing like they just came outta the Bat Cave, sporting Deathhawks and Siouxsie Eyes! :music: We'll have "patriotic pageants" where it'll be as wholesome as snakebite and clove cigarettes! Even the mailman will mope along his route around dusk and the local bank closes at 8pm to accommodate late depositors!

(:cry: Unfortunately I've stepped within 1000 miles of VA. So I cannot contribute.)
 
Has Roanoke ever been featured in a film?
 
According to Wikipedia, the Roanoke metro has a population of 315,000 people. That's enough for 3 vampires, maybe 6 if it's crowded.

Fuck that "1 for every 100,000" rule. It's a crock of shit and even WW themselves were never keen on following it. Gary, Indiana had even less people and yet it had seven vampires and that's not counting the PC's

Has Roanoke ever been featured in a film?

It's been featured in two different episodes of Criminal Minds, and an episode of The X-Files was set there. Said episode featured Bruce Campbell as a guest star.
 
Fuck that "1 for every 100,000" rule. It's a crock of shit and even WW themselves were never keen on following it. Gary, Indiana had even less people and yet it had seven vampires and that's not counting the PC's
One of the few places I agree with V5 is on higher vampire densities… V5 posits densities as high as 1:10,000 for a setting that’s stressed near to breaking (i.e. a place where vampires can’t just ignore each other ensuring dramatic events will happen).

That definitely sounds more interesting to me for a game or story than a safe ideal habitat for the protagonists.

So if the metro area is 315,000 then I say pack it with 32 vampires and then add a major Gangrel presence (a dozen or so) out in surrounding back country… or if you want to lean into stereotypes like old school WW, have a batch of Tzmisce tied to back hills land and playing into all the violent inbred malformed hillbilly tropes.

In short, make it place where things have to happen because it’s too unstable to hold in its present situation.* If there’s lots of different ways things could fall out, even better, since now the players feel they’re making a real difference (one way or the other) and the setting gains replay value as the players could try different things each time.

* actual stability probably requires a 50-90% die off of the vampire population… with the players likely being pivotal in who the survivors are.
 
The 1:100,000 figure was never meant to be applied to a city; it was just a suggestion for the global population that came out many years ago, and even then nobody actually did anything with it.

There’s no magic figure, since population density would make the ratio go up in a nonlinear fashion.

The current edition suggests vampires can hide successfully with a ratio as high as 1:3000 in a country like the US, but it recommends 1:10,000 as a practical cap on the size of the supporting cast.
 
The 1:100,000 figure was never meant to be applied to a city; it was just a suggestion for the global population that came out many years ago, and even then nobody actually did anything with it.

I am afraid you are incorrect.

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I will be the first to say there is nuance and exception to the 1:100k rule; it's not a number to be slavishly adhered to, that's why it is described as a rule of thumb. For example - a bustling, dense, and busy city with many visitors can hide more vampires than a quiet, spread out one in a flyover state. Las Vegas only has a population of 600k but has a whopping 88,000 visitors a day. Vegas could hold many more permanent vampire residents than its population would suggest even when accounting for the transients passing through hoping to cheat the casinos and drink hooker blood.

Far be it for me to tell anyone how to run their games. It's a longstanding Vampire tradition for GMs to run a monstermash set in their little home town with a cast of 20+ vampires including rare bloodlines along with at least one supernatural from each of the other WW lines.
 
YES! :thumbsup::heart:

I'mma make it like Branson, MO, but with GOTHS! :grin: There'll be Karaoke Night with everyone dressing like they just came outta the Bat Cave, sporting Deathhawks and Siouxsie Eyes! :music: We'll have "patriotic pageants" where it'll be as wholesome as snakebite and clove cigarettes! Even the mailman will mope along his route around dusk and the local bank closes at 8pm to accommodate late depositors!

(:cry: Unfortunately I've stepped within 1000 miles of VA. So I cannot contribute.)


You know, the idea of making the WoD version of Roanoke into a kitschy gothic tourist town is a great idea. It'd be like a mishmash of Branson, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Asbury Park, Myrtle Beach, Blowing Rock, and the like but geared towards the goth and punk subculture.

I'm going to include that in my Roanoke By Night thread then.
 
You know, the idea of making the WoD version of Roanoke into a kitschy gothic tourist town is a great idea. It'd be like a mishmash of Branson, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Asbury Park, Myrtle Beach, Blowing Rock, and the like but geared towards the goth and punk subculture.
That's a great idea- a lot of visitors and transients ensures the city can support a much larger vampire population than the mortal population would suggest.
If I may add a tiny bit of flavor, perhaps the WoD Roanoke is home to a famous goth-punk-urban horror author (think Roanoke's version of Poppy Z Brite or Kathe Koja). Kinda like Chuck Palahniuk and Portland.
 
That's a great idea- a lot of visitors and transients ensures the city can support a much larger vampire population than the mortal population would suggest.
If I may add a tiny bit of flavor, perhaps the WoD Roanoke is home to a famous goth-punk-urban horror author (think Roanoke's version of Poppy Z Brite or Kathe Koja). Kinda like Chuck Palahniuk and Portland.

Excellent! I'm definitely gonna use that idea too.

Also, maybe a lot of of the early goth bands would play in Roanoke back in the early 80's and gave it glowing praise so it became like a pilgrimage for goths and punks to attend the concerts there, along with having a famous horror novelist to call it home.

Meanwhile, you'd have the weebs, rockers, and metalheads as the heroic rebels against the smug and pretetious goth and punk establishment
 
Excellent! I'm definitely gonna use that idea too.

Also, maybe a lot of of the early goth bands would play in Roanoke back in the early 80's and gave it glowing praise so it became like a pilgrimage for goths and punks to attend the concerts there, along with having a famous horror novelist to call it home.

Right? A single story could suffice e.g. ever since Bauhaus played a legendary set at a local venue in the early 80's due to a wrong turn while on tour, Roanoke is enshrined as traditional stop for up-and-coming goth bands touring the Eastern Seaboard.
 
I think the 1:100K number is more believable, if anything too high still but for gaming purposes it is obviously trivial to address.

If needed you could even create a lore-related explanation for a high number of vamps in a smaller town: it is sacred for some reason or a vampire cult/nest that presents itself as a commune or recovery community (echoes of The Howling).

That kind of sparks the idea for me of a Mansonite vampire cult, hiding in Death Valley...
 
According to this list Movies filmed in Roanoke Virginia on IMDb, a bunch of movies have been filmed there.

Whether that means any of them actually features the place, I don't know.

Hoo-ly shee-it. :shock: There's a movie called "The Vampires of Zanzibar" about Zanzibar, VA. And it's about a Dhampyr, half-vampire.

PLUS THIS!
The documentary film, "Monkey Circus: The story of the Space Monkey Odyssey" film follows the Evil Monkeybrothers band as they prepare to put on a "one night only" rock opera, "The Space Monkey Odyssey." New friendships are made despite several obstacles.

The band consists of adult high school/college friends who live across the United States. Each summer, they gather together at different cities across America and are transformed into a group of musicians who perform for the public. Disc 2 is the actual rock opera performed at the Jefferson Center, a theater in Roanoke, Virginia on August 2, 2008.

What the fuck is this mystical place?! :gooseshades: It should be already famous given its pants on head movie madness! :gooselove: I never knew I loved you, Virginia. You truly are for lovers.

:grin: OK people who haven't stepped foot within a 1000 miles of Virginia, you got your homework to do! Go ground Roanoke, VA into a believable goth-punk place! :shade::coffee: We believe in you!
 
You know, the idea of making the WoD version of Roanoke into a kitschy gothic tourist town is a great idea. It'd be like a mishmash of Branson, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Asbury Park, Myrtle Beach, Blowing Rock, and the like but geared towards the goth and punk subculture.

I'm going to include that in my Roanoke By Night thread then.

I only know two of those places. :happy: I can only imagine what people who are even further removed will imagine these places to be. :thumbsup: I positively look forward to it! Corn dogs, back-teased hair high to heaven to tickle the angels' toes, everyone saying 'Suuure thiiing, Huuuun!' (If you speak any faster you'll die of heat stroke from the humidity).

(Please, please, please allow suped-up go-karts and ATVs doing moonshine smuggling runs! I want my goth-punk Dukes of Hazzard in go-karts & ATVs with shotguns and rifles! :dice::hurry:
:music:/slaps on Sisters of Mercy "This Corrosion" (yes it's a DJ bathroom break)
 
Due to those population numbers claimed in the book, my first VtM game was set in the whole country of Denmark instead of just Copenhagen.
I still had more Vampires than the 1:100k number, though not that many more. It worked surprisingly well.
 
:quiet: Hmm, we might have to narrow the distance from 1000 miles to contribute. There is not enough wild and wonderous speculation. Perhaps Disneyworld being within that radius throws off the demographics. :eat:
 
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"Listen to me, Mr. Achilli! There was nothing wrong with the World of Darkness during Second Edition! You got stuck in it because you tried to do Gothic-Punk Personal Horror! RPG's are not highbrow hipster art and YOU are not a philosopher! If it happens again, I'll beat the shit out of you!"
-Sir Topham Hatt, CEO of North West Railways
 
View attachment 77957

"Listen to me, Mr. Achilli! There was nothing wrong with the World of Darkness during Second Edition! You got stuck in it because you tried to do Gothic-Punk Personal Horror! RPG's are not highbrow hipster art and YOU are not a philosopher! If it happens again, I'll beat the shit out of you!"
-Sir Topham Hatt, CEO of North West Railways
The sad thing is that Achilli didn't invent the personal horror part of vampire, it was always there but was mixed with gloriously 90's gonzo that made for a very special mix, now we have to deal with pretentious dickheads who will lambast you for trying to do anything other than larping out a perpetually depressed drama queen.
 
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V:tM was never game of personal horror. Or rather, not just personal horror. It was the storytelling game of self-insertion fanfic. You have your personal horror aspect, as well as your low-budget 1990s action movie aspect, and your queering the fiction aspect, and your monster wish-fulfillment aspect. And they all lived comfortably in the same ecosystem because, as the early Internet taught us, was that people were really happy to take a genre, and then turn it into something they wanted it to be. Vampire worked off the same drives that gave us people cosplaying Klingons and practicing batleth combat. It was just a different aesthetic. And it really sold. Goth people played V:tM, people who played V:tM became goths. The whole thing invaded D&D spaces, and also club spaces, LARP spaces, Rennie spaces. Vampire was always a vampire nerd-fest. Some of the books seemed undisciplined, in relation to the rest of the line and the other fiction, but they weren't necessarily wrong. Every Vampire author coloring outside the lines, bucking the official line and trends, was making a bid for the future of what vampires ARE. Even the weird Vicissitude stuff was completely in line with some modern depictions of vampires; there is a lot of Cthulhu-esque, gorepunk, and alien vampire stuff out there. Heck, Rifts vampires are the avatars of weird, tentacled alien beings.
Vampire: The Masquerade is the role-playing game of people who thinks vampires are cool, from an era when it was one of maybe five options for playing vampires in RPGs.
 
Was the game always pretentious? Hell fucking yes. But was the pretentiousness meant to be taken as seriously as it is now? Honestly, I don't think so. Looking back on the early materials and looking more into both the hobby and wider pop culture at the time of VTM's release, I think it was more of a move done to boost VTM's image, increasing sales and as a hedge against moral guardians at the time.
I can say, as someone who worked with a lot of the people and did some testing and such back in the days when it first came out, yeah, the pretentiousness was a marketing gimmick. I worked at a game store and one of the people responsible for their PR was a friend back then. It was a hook. Somewhere along the way, it became more and the ironic part of being pretentious was dropped.
 
Worked at a game store at the turn of the century, and became a regular in more that a few LGS that got behind the scene dirt with developers on many games. It is so true, the whole tongue-in-cheek turns into serious business fast, it's a very old tragedy in gaming and creativity. And in retrospect this might just be a function of fans in spaces over time. Warhammer taking itself too seriously is another gamer example, becoming serious business. But also sports like Oakland (now Vegas) Raiders or P-town Eagles (NFL football) taking the Raider Nation and home turf too seriously (wear the right colors or your car battery is gone, son!).

Every group got its scrappers, and boy do they find each other quick when people gather. They often get territorial too.
 
V:tM was never game of personal horror. Or rather, not just personal horror. It was the storytelling game of self-insertion fanfic. You have your personal horror aspect, as well as your low-budget 1990s action movie aspect, and your queering the fiction aspect, and your monster wish-fulfillment aspect. And they all lived comfortably in the same ecosystem because, as the early Internet taught us, was that people were really happy to take a genre, and then turn it into something they wanted it to be. Vampire worked off the same drives that gave us people cosplaying Klingons and practicing batleth combat. It was just a different aesthetic. And it really sold. Goth people played V:tM, people who played V:tM became goths. The whole thing invaded D&D spaces, and also club spaces, LARP spaces, Rennie spaces. Vampire was always a vampire nerd-fest. Some of the books seemed undisciplined, in relation to the rest of the line and the other fiction, but they weren't necessarily wrong. Every Vampire author coloring outside the lines, bucking the official line and trends, was making a bid for the future of what vampires ARE. Even the weird Vicissitude stuff was completely in line with some modern depictions of vampires; there is a lot of Cthulhu-esque, gorepunk, and alien vampire stuff out there. Heck, Rifts vampires are the avatars of weird, tentacled alien beings.
Vampire: The Masquerade is the role-playing game of people who thinks vampires are cool, from an era when it was one of maybe five options for playing vampires in RPGs.

This guy gets it

I can say, as someone who worked with a lot of the people and did some testing and such back in the days when it first came out, yeah, the pretentiousness was a marketing gimmick. I worked at a game store and one of the people responsible for their PR was a friend back then. It was a hook. Somewhere along the way, it became more and the ironic part of being pretentious was dropped.

Tell me more about your experiences with early WW, I'm genuinely interested.
 
View attachment 77957

"Listen to me, Mr. Achilli! There was nothing wrong with the World of Darkness during Second Edition! You got stuck in it because you tried to do Gothic-Punk Personal Horror! RPG's are not highbrow hipster art and YOU are not a philosopher! If it happens again, I'll beat the shit out of you!"
-Sir Topham Hatt, CEO of North West Railways

The funny thing about REVISED, which I assume Justin Achilli contributed a lot of the attitude to is it turned up its nose at 2nd Edition's "wackiness" and then did things every bit as ridiculous.

The Black Hand? UTTER TRASH!

So what do you do? NUKE IT WITH A BOMB IN THE UNDERWORLD! Oh and one linked to nuking an Antediluvian that kills a million people in India with a death ray being the only thing that stops it.
 
Wait, WoD did not invent Dice Pools? Genuinely did not know that.

I don;t think Ghostbusters was the first, but I'm sure it and Star Wars popularized Dice Pool mechanics, about 7 years before Vampire came around. Vampire took more than just dice pools from Shadowrun, the basic WOD system was overall a mashup of Shadowrun, DCH, and Prince Valiant (which is also essentially a dice pool system, using coins for d02s)
 
I don;t think Ghostbusters was the first, but I'm sure it and Star Wars popularized Dice Pool mechanics, about 7 years before Vampire came around. Vampire took more than just dice pools from Shadowrun, the basic WOD system was overall a mashup of Shadowrun, DCH, and Prince Valiant (which is also essentially a dice pool system, using coins for d02s)

What is DCH? Tell me more about it?
 
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