Vampire?

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Vampire?

Postby Richard » Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:12 pm

My daughter (13 next month) hasn't really been interested in gaming, although she is an avid reader of fantasy novels and such. She knows what gaming is; she sees my bookshelves full of it all the time.

Well, she's been reading these "Twilight" books about the vampire boy and the human girl... and I don't really know a lot about it myself. (My wife has been reading them all too.) Today they got their Cafe Press shipment with all these black shirts with the book logos and such on them. They all say "Vampire" on them. I told her people are going to think she plays Vampire the role-playing game. She perks up with, "there's a role-playing game for vampires?"

Of course there is! And I told her what little I know of the game. And I tell her I'll send her a link. Here's my confusion. What's the difference between Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem? I thought there was only one Vampire game (The Masquerade).
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Re: Vampire?

Postby JLHBurnett » Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:40 pm

About four years ago (I remeber the daye, because it happened over my honeymoon), White-Wolf relaunched their entire World of Darkness line. Since then, they have been relaunching their old game lines, one by one, plus a completely new one. These are complete re-imaginings, not all related to the old series, although some common elements remain. The new series dropped the concept of metaplot and a definite history and origin for supernatural critters. I myself, greatly prefer the new games, even though I played the old games for years. Opinions vary. My wife disagrees, for instance.

So far the line includes, Vampire" the Requiem, Werewolf: the Forsaken, Mage: the Awakening, Promethean: the Created (Fankenstiens!), Changeling: the Dreaming, and the newly-realeased Hunter: the Vigil.

How the books are organized is a little different too. The core "World of Darkness" book contains all the basic mechanics and rules for playing humans. The different splat books tell you how to modify those rules to make a vampire, werewolf, or whatever. This way, you haven't paid for 6 different copies of the basic dice rules.

Vampire the Requiem is, I think, the closest of the new games to its original counterpart. You still play a vampire and the game revolves around political and social maneuvering with a heavy Anne Rice influence. They got rid of generations and the whole Caine concept, and streamlined everything into five clans, a handful of societies (covenants), and a number of optional bloodlines. The new game also encourages players and STs to develop their own bloodlines and new disciplines, and give you plenty of advice on how to do that.

I haven't had much of a chance to play the new games, but I own them all, and I'm happy with what I've read.
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Re: Vampire?

Postby Richard » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:33 pm

Thanks for clearing that up for me, Joshua (or do you prefer Josh?). I've never played any of the White Wolf family of games. Never been interested. Although, back in '93 I owned a game store and a Vampire group wanted me to play in their game. I suppose what they really wanted was for me to stay at my store until the wee hours so they could play there. I was okay with that. I even made a Mage character to run around with their vampires. But their game broke up and I never got to play.

I always like the way they named their books, though. I thought for sure we'd eventually see "Zombie: The Reckoning" or something like that.

Perhaps, if she's still interested in a month, I'll get the girl the World of Darkness book and the Vampire book for her birthday. Which, of course, brings up something else. How would you rate the game if it were a movie? PG? PG-13?
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Re: Vampire?

Postby Snag » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:43 pm

Actually, there was a Hunter: the Reckoning. The other would probably be something like Zombie: the Eatening. Or something.

Back in the day, the books ranged from mid to high PG-13 to light R. I didn't care much for the current crop, so I haven't looked in depth yet.
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Re: Vampire?

Postby JohnWick » Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:12 am

Not a good game to introduce new players to roleplaying with, though.

If you have the Chronicler's Guide, check out Jared Sorensen's "Monster Garage" chapter. That's got a great set of streamlined, simple rules to run Vampire. Excellent stuff, as usual.
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Re: Vampire?

Postby ElectricPaladin » Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:54 am

I'd agree with John that Vampire is not a great game to start a new player on. I agree that she would probably have more fun (and you'd be more comfortable) with something hacked together. Hell... if you want to go to the trouble of reading the books and doing it yourself, you could always through together a Twilight-universe roleplaying game.

Anyway, if you're going to run one of White Wolf's Vampires for your daughter, you could edit the content of a particular game so it isn't too bloody/sexy/intense. I mean, I read Vampire at 14, but I read my first roleplaying book - the first edition Lasombra Clanbook - wow, it must have been four years earlier, and I turned out... ok ;-).

Either way, I'm not going to tell you your daughter can or can't read it. I'm going to recommend you read it yourself, and then you decide based on what you're ok with your daughter reading. Anything I say in the matter would be ignorance personified, as I don't know your daughter and I don't know you.

As for the two Vampiers, I'm not enormously fond of either these days, though I went through a big Vampire: the Masquerade phase. I have read Requiem, though, so what I say next is an educated opinion.

Vampire: the Requiem is a much more limited game, primarily because it puts a lot more weight on the idea that Vampires have an inherently different mindset. In Requiem, your character cannot grow emotionally after the Embrace (being made into a Vampire). Instead, you experience all emotions in the context of whatever you have already experienced. I find the idea of this theme in a roleplaying game equal parts repugnant and silly... isn't character growth the point of roleplaying? Imagine if John Wick had told us that the Ven are all dishonest sociopaths, and that's why their culture is so violent and full of rules no one follows? I guarantee there'd be a lot fewer of us on this board.

In Masquerade, on the other hand, Vampires are merely emotionally... cooled. They have the same passions as humans and the same capacity for growth (until they become inhuman enough).

Other than that, Requiem has a slightly better thought-out setting and system. The world is much less black and white. Instead of an "evil" and a "good" group, both of which turn out to be asshats in the end, Requiem has a whole smorgasbord of factions for an individual storyteller to work with when building an individual setting. Requiem also has the advantage of being much easier to find these days.

A final word of warning: if your daughter was turned on to Vampires by the Twilight series, then there's a good chance what she's into isn't vampires, but what the internet has taken to calling "sparkly vampires." I'll try to be fair, but I'm not a fan of the concept... "sparkly vampires" are like vampires, but without a lot of the darkness. Both of White Wolf's vampire games (and pretty much every worthwhile work of fiction) take place in what I call "a world of equation." That is, a world where you don't get something for nothing. If you want power, happiness, victory, whatever, you pay for it. From a lot of what I've read, the Twilight books don't exist in that world. Sparkly vampires exist in a world where vampirism has been stripped of its themes. They're all glitz and no bloodstains. The power of being a vampire doesn't cost anything.

Congratulations for making it to the end of my megapost. I hope it was helpful.
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Re: Vampire?

Postby Richard » Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:17 pm

ElectricPaladin wrote:Congratulations for making it to the end of my megapost. I hope it was helpful.



Yeah, everyone's input is helpful. :)

Upon further discussion with her about RPGs in general, I've determined she is interested, but not enthusiastically so. Which means, of course, if she wants to pursue it, that's great. If she doesn't want to, well, no one in this household is shoving gaming down anyone's throats. That would be like the family next door where the dad makes them all play sports and excel at athletics whether it's their thing, or not.

I would likely agree as well that a game like Vampire isn't the best choice to introduce someone to gaming. Even never having played/read it before (obviously), it seems like it would be overload. When Keith Baker (not that one; a different one) introduced me to gaming way back in 1980, he did so without any books or dice or character sheets or anything at all other than description and "what do you do?"

I like your description of sparkly vampires. That helps put into perspective the Twilight series for me. What's dark and vampirey for my wife and daughter who have read the books, isn't necessarily what veteran gamers might think as dark and vampirey.

I may pick up the World of Darkness book sometime, but I have a whole list of other RPG books I'll be picking up sooner. ;)


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Re: Vampire?

Postby Mishka » Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:09 pm

My advice would be using a different game rather than either VtM or VtR. As much a fan as I am of the new World of Darkness, both those games are just bordering R a little bit too much to give the books to a 13 year-old (VtR more so than VtM, due to a higher emphasis on sexuality of the critters). If you are the one who would run these games, give the books a read and then decide which parts of them you would like to use, and whether you would like to let your daughter read the books whole.

And another thing about rating the books: some sourcebooks are a lot more explicit than others. If VtR and the core nWoD books are most probably PG-13, books like Ghouls are R all the way.

But well... You can always play vampires in other games, even in D&D (or even using the rules of HotB... I could totally see that)
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Re: Vampire?

Postby adidasfiend » Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:27 am

There is a quick start game on the White Wolf website. It has a pleasing price point if you don't want to invest $50 into a game she might not even play... Its FREE. Granted there are only pregenerated characters but the storyline is ver entertaining and does grab the essence of Vampire the requiem very well. The Storyteller system can be very simple of very complex. I think, mechanically its easy to understand for new players.
I have to hesitate to say that Vampire is not suitable for a 13/14 year old when I got my first Vampire the Masquerade book when i was 14. I even had a discussion with Pat Robertson on the 700 club when I was 16 about the game, my phone call was not aired. Thats another story for another time.
Give the quick play adventure a shot, saves some money and could foster up more enthusiasm for gaming.
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Re: Vampire?

Postby ElectricPaladin » Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:21 pm

adidasfiend wrote:I have to hesitate to say that Vampire is not suitable for a 13/14 year old when I got my first Vampire the Masquerade book when i was 14. I even had a discussion with Pat Robertson on the 700 club when I was 16 about the game, my phone call was not aired. Thats another story for another time.


Why is that? I want to hear it.
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