Pointy-teethed Gamers V:tR/nWoD worth it?

OK, I have to admit that some formerly repressed desire is causing me to consider starting role playing again. Vampire and the WoD have always been close to my heart (ugh) and I even picked up 3rd ed. after I stopped playing just to see what happened (Crisis on Infinite Metaplots would have been a better title).

So, they’re redoing it, apparently making it more like 1st Ed (game of personal horror, etc.) although keeping some of the better bits of 2nd Ed (having a reason for people to get together and do stuff, not having every anti-establishment type wear a Public Enemy shirt, etc.). Hopefully, they left out everything from 3rd ed (especially the Tremere ritual that destroyed the antitribu and apparently made everyone look manga).

Here’s what I gather from the new edition:

  1. Five sorts of vampires based on the most common stereotypes (or “genres”) of vampires in literature instead of having seven types of vampires based on the seven types of angsty role players (then two more types based on the hack and slasher preferences and then four more types because they had slots to fill). This seems to be done well although true to typical WW style, you can’t just let one division sit well, now you’ve got bloodlines, Covenants, prestige bloodlines, paths of enlightenment, etc.)

  2. The ability for characters to actually do something. Apparently the turnover in vampiredom is pretty high, allowing characters to attain/maintain positions of power other than being errand boys.

  3. Simplified combat. Not that we ever had a problem with it, but I guess a lot of people did. Then again, we didn’t do it too much either.

  4. Ever-decreasing production standards. What’s with that logo?

Anyone pick it up? Anything else worth mentioning/knowing? Is it worth it for a new take on vampires for my own morbid curiosity?

I haven’t picked it up yet, but I’m considering it. I’d like someone’s perspective on it, as well.

And how did they resolve the various plots?

It looks like the biggest change (in addition to all the theme and plot changes) is that all the various World of Darkness games are going to be interrelated. Instead of “Ok, here’s the Vampire book with all the rules”, and “Here’s the Magic book with all the rules”, “Here’s the Werewolf book with all the rules”, it’s “Here’s the White Wolf World of Darkness rulebook, and here’s another book dealing with vampires or werewolves or whatever”.

So instead of five or six different games with five or six different (and sometimes contradictory) settings, rules, and so on, you have one game.

I’ve got it. I like it, I like it more than the old vampire.

First thing, there’s two books you have to buy to play the game. The World of Darkness has the basic dice mechanics, and Vampire: The Requiem has the rules for pointy-toothed horror. This is so you don’t have to buy the same core rules over and over again if you’re going to play the other nWoD games (Werewolf and Mage come out in 2005, IIRC), but seems kinda pricey for just one game. It’s also laying a nice atmosphere for a mortals campaign (a la X-Files, Hunters Hunted, or Call of Cthulu), but only ghosts are outlined as antagonists.

The dice mechanics are very nicely streamlined. You only make one roll for combat, that abstracts “to hit” and “damage” into a single roll. Characters have a “defense” trait based on their armor and dexterity that subtracts from their opponents combat dice pool. Yeah, it’s close to being d20’s AC, but I hated the feeling that characters, unless actively dodging were just standing around wide open in old-school WoD.

As for V:tR. Five Clans, five (playable) covenants. The covennats coexist relatively peacefully, (unlike the old Camarilla and Sabbat) and the plot is much more on the local level (Vamps are now pretty xenophobic, as two vamps meeting for the first time risk causing each other to frenzy). The covenants are nifty, and unaligned is in fact an option.

Instead of Generation, vampires now have Blood Potency, which grows with age or diablerie. As it grows one’s dining choices become limited (<3 animals are OK, >6, only other vampires will do) and vamps are apt to slip into torpor to let their blood thin out. Torpored vamps have only foggy memories of what happened before they went to sleep, so even the oldest vamps might be on teh same power levels of the PCs and don’t recall exactly the ancient history of vampires (which is unknown this time, and both Christian and Pagan origin theories are widely held). Also, your immediate vampiric family (Your sire, randsire, childer, and grandchilder) have a mental link, and thus a mutual lowered difficulty for using mental powers on one another.

Bloodlines, yeah I don’t like bloodlines much either. They’re a way to get more customizabllity in there, and cram in some of the clans that didn’t make the cut to the new edition (Malkovians, Bruja, and Toreador). However, it’s also the most easily ignored aspect of the game. Starting PCs aren’t even techcically allowed to be in one (you can’t join your sire’s bloodlines until you’re at Blood Potency 2).

The art’s beautiful. I think these are the prettiest books WW’s put out yet.

As for the old metaplot, Gamera, Gehenna happened. Everyone died. Oh, that’s another new thing. There’s no immenient apocolypse (at least in Vampire). Now being an ageless creature of the night actually means something, since you may actually outlive your mortal buddies.

Okay… wait. I meant all the metaplots - Mage, Werewolf, too. And secondly… everybody died? That’s it? Where’d the new vampires come from? Or is this a new parallel world, or some such?

It’s a total reboot. The old World of Darkness is done with. They released “ending books” for each of the game systems, each of which offered several different adventures the Storyteller could use to end the game. For example, in the Vampire book, either God destroys all the vampires, the antediluvians reawaken and destroy the world, or Caine and Lillith come back, fight, and Caine is killed, destroying the vampires. In Werewolf, there was a scenario where the Wyrm tried to take over, and the werewolves stopped it, but all of them died. There was another where civilization was destroyed and the world went back to a wild state.

Did they bother to give a wrap-up for Wraith seeing as how they had abandoned the product line a couple years ago? I always figured Oblivion could kick Gehanna’s ass :wink:

Did Changling even have an end-of-the-world hanging over the storyline? I never played it.

Sheesh. This is exactly why I hated playing those games. If there is literally no hope of a character achieving anything worthwhile, whether it be in regard to overcoming his limitations, or in regard to making the world a better place, there’s no point in playing him. The endings should’ve been more of the “ride off into the sunset” variety, for my money. Well, except for the vampire one, I suppose, as that wouldn’t quite work.

White Wolf built the same kind of crap into Aberrant and ruined any possible enjoyment I would’ve had in that game, too - the only game they got right was Adventure.

Wraith kinda sorta came back in the game Orpheus. That did have an end-of-the-world metaplot wrapup (Orpheus was interesting because it was a miniseries, very tight and definite metaplot, but it only had six (?) books). I think either the mother of all Maleans ate everything, or not, depending on if the PCs could prevent it. I didn’t play/read that one myself.

Changeling’s pre-millenarianism was more subtle than Vampire or Werewolf’s, but it was there. Not only was magic dying, but the kingdom of Concordia (the Changeling kingdom in America) was falling into war and nasties from the dawn of time were stirring in the dreaming. Changeling, like the other minor WoD titles, got a wrapup in the Time of Judgement book.


To be fair, most of the scenarios gave at least some chance of survival and “victory” of one type or another. They weren’t quite “rocks fall, everyone dies”. Ride off into the susnet wouldn’t quite be appropriate for anybody. They had promised the endtimes for years now, and it wouldn’t quite be the apocolypse if everything wasn’t destroyed, now would it? :wink:

Actually, I’m with you. There was too much metaplot that PCs couldn’t hope to affect in the old WoD. Fortunately, that seems to be adressed in the new WoD. The hegemony of the elders isn’t so opressive, and we’ve been promised no new metaplot, just more detailed setting.

I’ll have to leaf through it at the bookstore then. If you’re interested, the “end game” in Wraith was originally the Fifth Maelstrom. After Hiroshima, the massive influx of souls into the Void caused the Fourth Maelstrom where millions of spectres poured out of the Labyrinth and wreaked havoc across the lands of the dead. It was assumed that the next time something like that happened, there would be too many spectres to stop them from literally dragging all the Underworld kingdoms into the Void which would cause the Void to grow to a point where it simply swallowed existance into Oblivion. As I said before, it kinda made Gehanna seem insignificant.

I guess having an uber-Malfean consume everything would be about the same effect but maybe without destroying the living world in the process.

Would it be worth it for a Mind’s Eye player to pick up V:tR?

I’m always interested more in the background stuff, not so much the technical side. And I’ve never done the dice thing so it would be of no use to me :stuck_out_tongue:

You’re the ideal reader for V:tR. It only has the vampire-specific rules (like feeding and disciplines), not the normal task resolution stuff. The setting’s all there, and little else. You won’t be able to play it unless you get WoD, but you can still read it.

I think they’re releasing LARP rules soon, so you may just want to wait for that.



AutoCthonos was destroyed. The Iterators were found to have been largely taken over by Nephandi. Dositep was destroyed. The Technocracy won. While they didn’t establish a 1984 dictatorship, they were able to lock the world just the way it is. No more original ideas ever. No discovering new species or revolutionary discoveries in quantum physics.


This tied in somewhat with Vampire. 3 Antediluvians (Their keepers believe them to be 3rd generation. But their descriptions match the 3 known 2nd generation vamps) sleep in the city of Enoch, guarded by a secret organization which is the True Black Hand (for more information on the organization and Enoch see the VtM book Dirty Secrets Of The Black Hand). During the endtimes books, somebody blew the city up with a relic nuclear device. This caused the Fifth Great Maelstrom. Charon returned and took vengance on on somebody or other. I have read Dirty Secrets, but no Wraith books and know little of it. My information about the end of Wraith is second hand.

Re Metaplots

I feel that one of the problems was firing the man who put Rasputin in all the books. After he was fired, WW explained it as “It was just a joke”. The writer had not planned it as a joke. He wanted to eventually put out a chronicle in which the characters meet a vampire who seems to be of a different clan each time they meet him. He is so powerful players may believe he is Caine. They finally learn he is the Mad Monk. Rasputin reveals that he was able to treat the prince’s hemophilia due to his alchemical studies of blood. His studies of Kindred blood led to a discovery of how to make himself an incredibly powerful vampire. He did this, but his new auspex showed him Gehenna. This drove him mad. Still he remains one of the best hidden and most powerful of all the players in the Jihad.

The same writer had intended the Malkavian Madness Network to be much more important. ‘The network is the soul of Malkav. He’s sacrificing himself to his childer so that they can become united and powerful enough to survive Gehenna. When the other Antediluvians rise to devour their childer, the Malkavians will be strong enough to survive because they’ve devoured Malkav.’

Hmm I might. We’ll see. I do own Guide to the Camarilla just cuz it had nifty info in it, so I might check out V:tR.

Must find local shop…

Nope, Mage had several endings just like every other game. This may have been one of them, but I know there were happier ones, and ones that didn’t involve the Technos winning everything. I think you may also be confusing it with the Revised setting, which started with the Techies winning the Ascension war and was rather bleaker than earlier editions of the game.

Actually, one of the Vampire scenarios worked well and sort of “fit” with the vampire themes. In it, the players found themselves drawn to this inner city abandoned church. When they got there, they found a bunch of other vampires also drawn to the church. It turns out that God’s had enough of the vampires, and has concluded they’re ultimately unredeemable bastards, and so He’s destroying them. The vampires in the church are those that God decided are potentially able to be redeemed. The players have 40 days to prove that they’re capable of being good and repentant. At the end of those 40 days, if they fail, they burst into flames. If they succeed, they regain their humanity.

Actually I messed up – the Sixth Maelstrom is the End of the World. I assume you were just following my lead with your description.

Do you mean that Enoch existed in the Shadowlands and was blown up by said device? I don’t know how a relic would affect the material world (I suppose some Arcanoi could allow it).

I would have used said device to blow up Stygia :wink: Granted, that’d have nothing to do with the vampires, but it’d fit the Wraith campaign better. Charon went down in the Fifth Maelstrom (the Hiroshima one) fighting some Malfean named Gorool so that might have been his vengance fight you describe.

Sorry for the hijack (just think of them as free bumps!) – I was rather disappointed when WW dropped the Wraith line as it was my favorite in the WoD series (apparently, mine and three other people’s). Hearing anything new about it perks my interest.

I was thinking of the revised edition. Sorry.


Enoch was in the Shadowlands. There was a bloodline developed in another mystic attempt to become Kindred, the Nagarajah. They had a special discipline, Nhilistics, which allowed them to travel between the Shadow and Skinlands and gave them some power over the creatures of the Shadowlands.

The bomb did create another Great Maelstrom (my count was simply off). I know I read of Charon returning. Unless he was presumed destroyed before, and then returned to fight Gorool, he came back at this time.

World Of Darkness Blood Dimmed Tide, and WoD Midnight Circus both contain Wraith sections. Tide has some good material in it, but there are several references to Wraith-Sea Of Shadows which make me wonder if the Wraith section in tide is just a partial reprint of that book. (Freak Legion-Guide To The Fomori is at least 90% reprinted material from the Fomori section of Book Of The Wyrm).

BTW- Can you recommend a good Wraith site? I’m not asking for a site where I can download illegal copies of the books. Just one that gives basic explanations of terms, groups, Arcanoi etc.

Orpheus is an interesting game. Wraith as an independent line ended with End of Empires a book that detailed Charon’s return and the onset of a storm that shreds the underworld. During this storm Persephony is crossing the Shroud to Rise, allowing a number of Wraiths to follow her through into bodies (thougn not always the right ones). This is where the rots come from in Hunter. The storm also cracks open the Abyss, and that’s where the demon’s in Demon:The Fallen come from.
Despite all this legacy Orpheus occurs in a little pocket WoD with no outside supernatural influence. Ghosts are stuck on the living side of the stormwall and objects occasionally toss their way through. There is a lot of interesting stuff in the books and the game’s resolution depends on the players forming a tight enough group to communicate with a being that only understands Hive-minds.

The new WoD is a solid, fast rule set. It emulates horror romances (as opposed to horror novels) quite well. Character made in it do what they are designed to do, which is not always the case in games that aim for simplicity. If you are familiar with Unknown Armies the new WoD is like that, except that old school occultism never got replaced by the post modern variety.

I am quite pleased with V:tR as well. I decided to get it because I had gone to a midnight release party for the WoD book and figured why come for just one? Not only am I pleasantly surprised with the changes but I ended up winning a dagger as a result. Chief among the changes: no political structures above the city; vampires don’t have reliable information on their kind before the time of Rome; Clans are ethnicities now, they stick together due to blood but they have different politics represented by the Covenants; no understanding of the start of the Clans; no Clanless vampires, except maybe Dracula who claims he didn’t receive the Embrace; making new vampires is taxing; and, one of my favorite, the lack of Generation. Although already mentioned the implications of Generation being removed are huge. Raw power is only attainable by age or Amaranth, no more boost for “daddy” being powerful.

Charon was “missing” after the Fifth Maelstrom. Gorool was awoken by the Maelstrom and rode the storm with the rest of the spectres to lay seige to Stygia. Although Charon’s forces were able to hold back the bulk of the spectres (at great sacrifice, naturally) they couldn’t do a thing to stop Gorool who is assumed to be one of the first breed of Malfean: those who simple were when the Shadowlands were formed (as opposed to spectres who rose to awesome power later).

Anyway, Charon knows that there’s no stopping Gorool via any sort of conventional warfare. Charon goes out on his skiff and fights Gorool one on one in the sea. A whirlpool opens up and swallows both down into it (the implication being that Charon knew what would happen and used himself to lure Gorool into it).

The Wraith books contained sections of a story of the Guild lords discussing the possible return of Charon. I think the last one before they got discontinued had a party returning from a trip to the Labyrinth with Charon’s shattered scythe. Of course, since they didn’t finish the guildbooks, they never finished the story. Anyway, Charon was MIA but never declared dead (ok, more dead… heh).

I’m afraid I don’t know of any websites, though I might have my own “Prelude” file around someplace that I used to print out and use on novice players. Basicly a rundown on how to create a character and what the terms meant.