Vampire: The Masquerade

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Vampire: The Masquerade is a role-playing game. Created by Mark Rein·Hagen, it was the first of White Wolf Game Studio's World of Darkness live-action and role-playing games, based on the Storyteller System and centered around vampires in a modern gothic-punk world.[1] The Revised Edition, sometimes alternately referred to as the Third Edition by fans, was released in 1998 and explains, "the setting of Vampire is a composite of its populace and their despair." The title of the series comes from "The Masquerade", referring to the Camarilla's attempts to hide vampirism from humans and their governments, but is also a double entendre referring to vampires' efforts to convince themselves that they are not truly monsters.[2]

In 1992, Vampire: The Masquerade won the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Rules of 1991.[3] The game line was discontinued in 2004 but was followed by a revision of the setting in Vampire: The Requiem.

Contents

Concept

The game uses the cursed and immortal Vampiric condition as a backdrop to explore themes of morality, depravity, the human condition (or appreciation of the human condition in its absence), salvation, and personal horror. The gloomy version of the real world that the Vampires inhabit, called "The World of Darkness," forms an already bleak canvas against which the stories and struggles of characters are painted. The themes that the game seeks to address include retaining the character's sense of self, humanity, and sanity, as well as simply keeping from being crushed by the grim opposition of mortal and supernatural antagonists and, more poignantly, surviving the politics, treachery and often violent ambitions of their own kind.

Game system

Vampire is based on the Storyteller System. In addition to the general Storyteller rules, it uses a number of specific mechanics aimed towards simulating the vampiric existence. A vampire has a blood pool signifying the amount of human blood or vitae currently in their body; this blood can be spent to power abilities and perform supernatural tricks. These tricks simulate many of those portrayed on film, such as turning into animals or mist, sleeping in the ground or having unnatural charisma and powers of suggestion.

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