Vampire: The Masquerade Revised FAQ

(Note: All rules matters concern the revised edition; we're not Microsoft and I don't give a monkey's ding about backward compatibility.)

How do you reconcile the changes in Disciplines in chronicles that have been running before the revised edition changed several of them?

Dang, start with the difficult questions, whydontcha?

I recommend the *poof!* method -- just make the changes and assume that's how it's always been. With a few exceptions (Malkavians contracting Dominate) this is unobtrusive. In an "official" sense that's how it happened; there was no gradual change.

Fine, I guess, but what about those Malkavians? And how about the now-curseless Assamites? And Thaumaturgy?

Some Malkavians still have Dominate as a clan Discipline; they have yet to be "infected." As for those who have caught the disea-- er, Dementation (Storytellers, it's your call to make as to whether or not a given player's Malkavian caught it), I would have them keep the amount of Dominate they already possess, make them pay out-of-clan costs for future levels of Dominate, and allow them to start buying Dementation as a clan Discipline.

Concerning the Assamites, they literally woke up one night and found their curse lifted. This shouldn't cause any continuity problems in most games anyway; it's like a vampire waking up and finding her kewl new tattoo or nose ring has pushed itself out of her body. Future books will explain a bit more about how it happened, but it's intended to be a mystery of grave proportion.

Regarding Thaumaturgy, it's not seamless; the magic slowly grew more obstinate between the second and revised editions. (For those without the revised edition, even Thaumaturgic rituals now require rolls.) Storytellers should integrate this into their chronicles -- make Thaumaturgical effects slowly become more and more difficult to perform until you finally arrive at the VRev system. Little continuity hiccups like this are inevitable, but easy to work around.

Why are there discrepancies between the Disciplines in V: tM and V: tDA?

This is deliberate; it was intended to show how even the undead gradually evolve (devolve?) over the centuries. Use the V: tDA Disciplines for V: tDA games and the V: tM Disciplines for V: tM games.

How does Celerity work in the revised edition?

Vampires using Celerity spend blood the turn before their Celerity takes effect. If you spend blood in Turn Three, you get your extra actions in Turn Four. If you'd like extra actions in Turn Five as well, you'd better spend blood during Turn Four, too.

Note that a vampire spends one blood point for all Celerity actions, not for each Celerity action. A vampire with Celerity 5 gets five extra actions for the price of one blood point.

How high can a vampire boost her Physical Attributes with vitae?

A vampire may increase her Physical Attributes to one more than her generational limit. For example, a 12th-generation anarch may increase any of her Physical Attributes to 6, while a 7th-generation justicar can increase his to 7. (See the chart on page 139 of Vampire: The Masquerade for details on this.)

If the vampire is really serious about it, she can increase those Traits even more, but doing this lasts only three turns after she stops spending blood on those Traits. This is covered pretty well on page 138 of the core book.

Can I Embrace a (whatever)?

Here's a handy chart:

If you Embrace a: You get a:
Werewolf Dead werewolf, but sometimes an abomination; see the Werewolf Players Guide Second Edition. Embracing other were-foolishness usually doesn't work, but if your Storyteller is deranged enough to permit it, I can't stop her.
Mage Vampire (Spheres vanish when the Embrace destroys the mage's avatar).
Wraith Wraiths cannot be Embraced, as they have no physical bodies.
Changeling Dead elf.
Mummy Mummy (nothing changes -- sucking out all the mummy's blood kills him, but he'll re-form later).
Risen Mouthful of fetid corpse-blood and one pissed-off risen.
Gypsy Vampire.
Hedge mage Vampire.
Kinfolk/Kinain/Family member of other supernatural entity. Vampire.
Ghoul Vampire
Animal Dead animal. Yes, this refutes weird and vague references to the contrary from earlier editions, but vampire dogs are pretty stupid, if you stop to think about it, not to mention the various goony things ill-adjusted players will want to create, like vampire rhesus monkeys and whale sharks.
Inanimae Oh, for God's sake!

It bears mention that "crossbreeds" are best left in the hands of the Storyteller; they tend to get goofy in players' hands and are often excuses for twinkery.

When is [Title X] coming out?

I like charts in FAQs.

Guide to the Camarilla February '99
Guide to the Sabbat

March '99

(Note: The Limited Edition Camarilla/Sabbat Guide Slipcase is available in February, so you get the Sabbat book a month early if you buy the expensive one.)

Kindred of the East Companion April '99
Children of the Night (A character book of movers and shakers in Vampire's WoD) May '99
Giovanni Chronicles IV: Nuova Malattia (The epilogue; the name means "new sickness.) June '99
The Time of Thin Blood (Storytelling and playing high-generation vampires; Year of the Reckoning title) July '99
Transylvania Chronicles III: Ill Omens August '99
Eternal Hearts (working title) (An erotic vampire novella, written by Stoker award winner Lucy Taylor and illustrated by the incomparable John Bolton) September '99
Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy December '99

How did the Assamites break the curse? What are Caine's Traits? What are the names of the surviving Antediluvians? Who would win the Jyhad? What's the truth about the Inconnu?

The Vampire line has well over 60 titles released. It's hard to keep a sense of secrecy when practically every book reveals some cryptic profundity.

As a game of horror and mystical intrigue, Vampire loses much of its mystery when "the truth" sees print.

Some secrets should stay that way. If we don't answer them in time, perhaps they weren't meant to be known.

(Yes, master, I have answered their question with vague menace and misdirection. Now we are ready for our-- oops! I'm still typing!)

How many vampires are there in the world?

Roughly 1 to every 100,000 mortals; maybe 60,000 or so. A third of these, maybe, are Kuei-jin, and the numbers are skewed in Sabbat and Third-World cities that may have up to twice as many vampires as normal. (Remember, though, that some places hold little appeal to the Kindred -- I can't imagine much of Cainite interest in Flomaton, Mississippi -- and there may be less than the normal number of vampires in that area.)

In MET, how do I--

Hold it right there. I don't answer MET questions, because I don't know the system well enough.

I imagine you probably have to wear a cape or some sort of makeup, for what it's worth, because I see a lot of that at LARPs. Exactly who some "vampire" with a face full of Crow makeup and a velvet cloak thinks he's fooling with his "Masquerade" is a bit sketchy, but it seems to be part of the thing.

Then again, dressing in those boss costumes is part of the appeal. Just remember, enthusiasts of Victoriana, that hunters are trained to look for anachronisms. Don't blame me when the Society of Leopold burns down your havens at one in the afternoon. I warned you. ;)

I want to play a Highlander Immortal, or a Demon, or a member of Clan Nuketheworld or some other Web-published mania.

I guess the 30+ clans and bloodlines and their kewl powerz don't do it for you, eh? Okay; it's not my position to judge.

However (ha!), White Wolf does not make a practice of keeping track of Web, Usenet or other Internet material. I suggest a Web search. Here's a hint, for those who like such things: Search for "B.J. Zanzibar." There's actually some good stuff at that site, too, amid all the piles of God-smiting Disciplines and stultifying adaptations of "Xena Warrior Princess in the WoD," so it's worth a look even if you're a bitter, spiteful bastard like me.

Aargh! How come you left the [pet bloodline here] out of the revised edition?! I am the elder of the [pet bloodline here] in [city here] and my coven of bloodwyne-drinking childer is very upset!

Sigh.

Okay. The revised edition covers the 13 clans. Bloodlines are not clans. Just because they're not in the main rulebook doesn't mean they've been written out of the continuity. The Daughters of Cacophony weren't in the second edition rulebook, either, were they? Jesus, calm down.

Some of these questions answer themselves, if you think about 'em. The Daughters, Samedi and Salubri appear in the Vampire Storytellers Companion.

Okay, smartmouth, what's the difference between a clan and a bloodline?

Clans have founders of the Third Generation. Bloodlines are little wrinkles in clan consanguinity, usually. Somewhere in the past, something weird happened with a given member of a clan and all those who descended from her share the same anomalous Traits.

Yes, this means the Salubri are now a bloodline. Happy?

What happens when a pregnant woman gets Embraced?

Hey! Use a grammatically correct question, willya?

"What happens when a vampire Embraces a pregnant woman?"

Well, two distinct possibilities exist.

First, and most likely, the pregnancy terminates immediately, causing a miscarriage, infant stillbirth, whatever, depending on how far along the mother had progressed in the pregnancy. Incidentally, this is also what happens when a pregnant (and nonrevenant) woman becomes a ghoul.

The second, less common event is a bit more horrific. The fetus dies, as the mother dies to become a vampire, but remains forever in the mother's womb, a dead, static thing. Gross. It may even become a monstrous little vampire-fetus itself, perhaps gnawing its way from its mother's guts in a disgusting display of primal survival-urge. It will not grow, however; if it for some reason survives (some pervy vampire takes it an feeds it blood, whatever), it will be a mindless little beast-fetus-thing, creeping the hell out of whoever looks at it. Yuck. Just stomp on it and put it out of its misery.

A pregnant woman, if Embraced, will not yield Blade. Certain rumors circulate in these Final Nights about vampires of extremely high generation (14th and 15th) actually bearing children, but I don't believe it for a second.

I have a movie proposal/a tech question/a MUD I want sanctioned/been looking for the Vampire CD-ROM/been looking for the Limited Edition/ cooties. Can you help me?

As much as I'd love to, no.

Media and licensing is handled by Mike Tinney.

We don't deal with tech -- Acrobat's not our software and neither is your browser. If you have a website issue, talk to Chris but be patient, 'cause we get thousands of hits each day and he's not just the webmastah.

The CD-ROM is out of print, out of stock, and there are no current plans to do one for the revised edition (yet; we'll see).

The Limited Edition is long sold out.

Cooties may be eliminated by eating four one-gallon institutional cans of peanut butter.

To keep it simple, I work on continuity and development only. If you have a mechanical question, a question about the world, or a concern about a book's content, I'm your guy. If it's any more esoteric than the property itself, I don't handle it.

I saw you at a convention and you're not a goth.

That's not a question, and I'm not an anything.

For the record, Vampire is not a game about being a goth. Vampire is a game with a gothic mood and setting, which is quite different. It's also a horror game, but no one seems to have any problem with me not being a bloody, screaming skeleton.

If you're talking straight numbers, more vampires aren't goth than are. Most vampires follow mortal trends, and the whole goth scene isn't the rage it used to be. Granted, it is easy to feed and to pass relatively unchallenged among the goths if you legitimately do look dead. If I was a hunter, though, I'd board up a gothic nightclub, burn it to the ground and let God sort 'em out.

To all you goths out there, I'm just kidding. Relax; even Bauhaus knows how to laugh at themselves. I played several goth tunes at the GenCon party for you, by the way, so I'm not as antagonistic as I'm pretending to be. Who loves ya, baby?

Why are you so goddamn cranky?

It's part and parcel to the job. I bust my ass to make quality, exciting books that expose various malignant elements of the World of Darkness for a fraction of what Hollywood knuckleheads get paid to do the same thing with less depth and attention to detail. The only thing I have other than an ulcer, a DUI and several thousand dollars in debt is a festering yet undeniable love for Vampire and its sense of brooding, gothic horror. Every time some illiterate mongrel sends me a shrill, rabid e-mail demanding that he be allowed to play a Dragon/Angel Archmage and obliterate the city of Compton with the Level Sixty power of BlowShitUpus, it makes me want to put a gun to my head. Every whiny letter that complains how such-and-such clan used to be so cool but we fucked it up in the revised edition brings me one step closer to serial murder. Every poorly punctuated missive from a one-eyed high-school cave dwarf decrying me for how much better he could do my job makes the extinction of the human race all the more appealing.

If you like crossover games, fine. I don't. If you like Immortals, fine. I don't. If you like amassing millions of dots in Discplines and descending into the depths of hell to slay the Archduke of Tartarus, fine. I don't. I have a pretty purist viewpoint concerning Vampire and I pour every bit of love I can muster from my wretched, black little heart into my books. I hope you enjoy them. If you don't, I'll gladly accept that, but I hope you can take the pieces you do like and make them into something rewarding for you.

There's no "right" way to play Vampire. I bring all of the material in line with my vision, but who says who have to use my vision? Likewise, your vision isn't "right," either. As long as you're having fun, the game works and fulfills its purpose: entertainment. I think I do a pretty good job of making Vampire a sublime game of horror, mystery, moral ambiguity and passion, but if you'd rather do something else with it, that's cool, too. WoD bibliophiles, self-avowed experts, arrogant pundits and other fascists of ideas make me sick; there are a lot of them out there, and they never hesitate to send e-mail in my direction. By the time the 400th idiotic question finds its way to my mailbox, and it's sitting next to a six-page dissertation on why I should be fired for allowing a vampire to be Embraced from the Ugaritic Sub-Saharan Huns when their cultic religion so clearly prevents them from drinking blood, I get a bit disgusted. By the time I see my 3,000th Celtic Gangrel, merry Ravnos trickster or wacky, teddy-bear carrying Malkavian, I wonder why I even bother thinking about these books, when so many people seem to want the same old pap and stupidity each month. I may as well print pictures of my ass and write, "The Followers of Set are EEEEEEEEEEEEEVIL. Marilyn Manson Rules!" on the last page; people would buy it.

But I don't want to do that. To me, Vampire is vastly more than that. I'm gonna catch a shitstorm for the apparent "arrogance" of this little diatribe from people who can't read any deeper than the surface, but whatever. God help me, I want Vampire to be the cool, edgy, hip thing it was when it first burst on the scene seven years ago. It's all I can to do to keep that edge; Vampire, to some people, is just another game, just another fantasy-role-playing power trip in which they can beat up on orcs-- er, anarchs and rob the king-- er, Ventrue prince blind. We have indeed become the Generation of Swine, even in our little roleplaying pond. I don't want that either, so I make Vampire my valediction and my bastion of expression.

Then someone e-mails me with a request for a list of kickass guns for his character.

That's why I'm so goddamn cranky.

And by the way, Baba Yaga's dead.

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