Thursday, August 8, 2013

Old School Vampire: the Masquerade

This post is just what I've been thinking of and toying with regarding an upcoming Vampire: the Masquerade chronicle.  For the most part, I've decided to stay true to the first printing of the rule book - with a few Requiem changes for good measure.  For instance, I'm using Blood Potency instead of Generation, as well as, obscuring Kindred origins (probably nothing to do with Cain).  

I'm only allowing the original core clans.  The following are the descriptions I sent to the one-off Vampire game I'm volunteering to run for a local geek meetup...

Here's the list of possible clans which will strongly influence the type of vampire you are. Vampires (Kindred) tend to choose certain types of people to vampirize (embrace), those who will best fit into their respective clan. You can play against type, but you need to have a compelling reason for doing so (i.e. your being made a vampire was a case of mistaken identity).

Nosferatu: Physically, they are repulsive. They like to live in sewers, staying hidden or in the background of Kindred society (the Camarilla), trading in secrets rather than showing off in the spotlight.

Tremere: They are vampire wizards, but instead of casting fireball or magic missile, The Tremere use elaborate rituals and alchemical potions containing rare ingredients. The most hierarchical clan - don't expect a neonate (new vampire) to quickly rise in the ranks.

Ventrue: A sophisticated, conservative, calculating, and old-world clan. The Ventrue are power brokers who more or less "lead" the clans, claiming to be Fathers of the Camarilla.

Gangrel: Loners who are in tune with their animalistic roots. Gangrel are most likely to survive outside the city.

Toreador: Hedonists, sensualists, artists, and epicureans. This clan sees vampirism as search for truth, beauty, pleasure, or as a purely aesthetic exercise. Since they also consider themselves sophisticated and refined, Toreador get along fairly well with the Ventrue. If clan Ventrue are Camarilla Fathers, then Toreador would be the Mothers.

Brujah: Rebellious malcontents. This clan despises authority and revels in anarchy. Even though clan Brujah is part of the Camarilla, they are on the outskirts. In that way, they are sort of like the Gangrel; however, the two clans rarely get along.

Malkavian: The Kindred equivalent of a "wild card". These vampires are more or less insane. Very unpredictable. They see things from their own warped perspective, and love a good prank or practical joke.

Caitiff: This is the category for those without a clan. These vampires are definitely on the outside looking in and treated as second class citizens by most, yet they have more freedom than any Kindred belonging to a clan. 

After that, I sent another email.  Here are the questions I wanted each player to think about...

1. What's your character's name? Birth name and nickname or what he/she goes by these days? 

2. How long has your character been a vampire, as well as, the age he/she was embraced (your character's apparent age)? 

3. Does your character have any close mortal friends? If not, then why not. If so, then do they know that he/she is a vampire? Keep in mind that allowing humans to know about the Kindred is a breach of the masquerade. 

4. What is your character's nature and demeanor. Nature is your inner desires, who you really are - the core beliefs you hold. Demeanor is what you've picked up along the way, learned behavior, affectations, and surface bits of personality. Sometimes, nature and demeanor work in conjunction and are very similar to each other, other times they seem downright opposed. A list of nature and demeanor archetypes I found online: [not included here]

5. Who was/is your character's sire? Is he/she still around? If so, describe your relationship. 

6. What are your thoughts on your character's clan? 

7. Describe a typical night for your character. 

8. What was your character like as a person before he/she was embraced?

In a few days, I'll post again, exploring chronicle stories, concepts, themes, motifs, and whatnot.


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