To those who have the Blood Dark Thirst - playtest "A" document, thanks again for participating! I look forward to reading your feedback.
I've already received several surveys and even a review of sorts.
As I'm just about finished with my duties for The S'rulyan Vault II kickstarter, I've given more thought to the world of Blood Dark Thirst - the default campaign setting. Even though I want this vampire RPG to support multiple styles of play, I do want to focus on what makes this game special.
I need to ask myself, "How is this vampire RPG different than others?"
The following is a drop zone of things I want to explore and investigate. Some of these I've touched on in the playtest, others are new but still rooted in my growing list of influences.
- I've started watching the Subspecies films again (only the first one so far). I love Radu's belief that attachment to the feelings of mortals is a weakness that vampires can't afford to have. Also, his preoccupation with consorts and fledglings.
- I want character creation and the introductory adventure to focus on what it would be like to awaken as a vampire just after being turned - especially, under less than ideal circumstances.
- The existence of vampires is somewhere between an open secret and common knowledge. Maybe it's something that most people don't like to talk about, but is an ever-growing threat on the edges of popular culture. While I don't want to go anywhere as far as that Daybreakers (which I did not care for), the masquerade is certainly over. If you remember that Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode from season 3 "The Wish," that's kind of what I'm going for. Vampires have effectively taken over the bad parts of town - the inner cities, but the affluent areas and suburbs are more or less bloodsucker free... for now.
- Because mortals know about vampires, a fair number of them retaliate. The hunters become the hunted. So, that means the PCs will have to watch out. It won't always be easy pickings out there, they'll have to watch their backs. That's a good reason for vampires to form packs.
- This also means that vampire competition can be brutal. Remain in your usual hunting ground and eventually hunters will come after you. Stray too far from your usual hunting ground and other vampires might try to kill you because you're on their turf, indulging in their limited resources.
- Since the secret's out, it's hard to casually insert oneself into a gathering of mortals and drink their precious blood without causing a panic. That means vampires will have to be stealthier and smarter in order to feed. Some pale dude with a Eurotrash accent pulls up in his black porsche and asks a couple of females to get in because he's in the mood to party - that's going to work approximately 1% of the time. This forces vampires to be more creative.
- There's no strict hierarchy, political squabbles, or "vampire government." Vampires tend towards the animalistic, feral, demonic, impulsive, and predatory. They are more instinctual than contemplative. I can't imagine vampires in Blood Dark Thirst sitting in a fancy room of green marble, subtly manipulating other vampires like chess pieces in order to get what they want. Sure, you can plan, coerce, intimidate and even manipulate humans and vampires alike, but with this game it's more immediate. "GTFO or I'll kill you where you stand."
- Because of the nightly struggle for survival, there's no ennui or malaise - you fight to stay alive, night after night, enjoying small pleasures where you can. Achieving lofty goals is on the horizon, but that's tomorrow's problem.
Feel free to comment, share, ask a question, or whatever. Even if you just want to talk about vampires - go ahead and post something!
I'll let you guys know when the playtest "B" document is ready, possibly this weekend.