Yay! The Vampire 5th ed splatbooks are finally out!

I’ve just ordered the Anarch book and the Camarilla book from The Shop on the Borderlands. They were originally supposed to be out in January!

Hopefully all the background stuff I need to understand how the Anarchs work will actually be in those books! :slight_smile:

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Were you sure this was the game for you, Stronty?

This is the first edition of Vampire where I’ve felt any inclination to run it. All other editions I’ve been happy to play, but had zero tingling in my GM-spidey sense.

This is the first edition of Vampire I have wanted to play!

Do you do online?

I’ve run a Dr Who game online, on Hangouts. It didn’t work that well, and I think a large part of that (but not all) was because it was online rather than round a table.

On the other hand, I’ve enjoyed playing Roger’s online game (GURPS Royal Navy in Space). That just seemed to flow better. Maybe because Roger was doing all the heavy lifting?

When i’ve run games online I’ve often felt that I had to keep spooling out new stuff at a greater rate than when I’m doing it face to face - possibly because the players are less prone to arse about and chat about things, but want to get on to the next bit of game?

The Whartson Hall Doctor Who game seemed to go reasonably well, though story points would have been fiddly if we’d been using those more extensively. I find myself wanting to try running that system face to face.

I don’t recognise this at all.

Yeah, well, you lot are weird.

Perhaps because the Wharties have been doing this a lot longer than I have, and you’ve had more time to get used to the medium – because when we play in person it feels like about the same level of demand on me as GM.

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The books arrived and I’ve read the Anarch one and have begun the Camarilla one. They are an interesting read.

But 99.99% of the contents is in the form of letters, magazine articles, recordings of conversations, internet chatroom threads, etc. Which means finding any of the information again will be well nigh impossible.

For instance, there’s a mention on one page that Manchester is an Anarch run city. And on another that Middlesbrough is also an Anarch Gangrel stronghold. But there is no index, so if I forget those place names, there is no way - apart from reading the whole damn book again - for finding out which UK towns and cities belong to the Anarchs.

I’ve started to make notes of page numbers!

They’ve also forgotten Africa exists again. There is tons of stuff about vampires from place X having to flee or faction Y having to swap allegiances. The fleeing all head for Europe and the Americas, and never go south to sub-Saharan Africa. The swapping allegiances means suck up to the Camarilla or join the Anarchs.

At the point I’ve reached, it looks like they are trying to say the Ashirra (a kind of Camarilla for predominantly Muslim countries) are a spent force but haven’t explained why that applies to places which haven’t recently been at war with the West, like Turkey, Bangladesh, Algeria or Gambia. Which is weird, as the whole point of their timeline upheaval is that the Camarilla has taken a kicking.

There’s a story about a vampire gang in the countryside in South Africa, but it is from a human perspective, so nothing from The Ebony Kingdoms canon is in it.

Given that significant numbers of my neighbours are British-Pakistani, British-Indian, British-West African, Somali and Sudanese, it would be nice to have more acknowledgement there might have been an influx of Ashirra and Ebony Kingdom vampires to Europe just because they followed their communities, not because Plot wants them to be a bit rubbish and need to suck up to the Camarilla.

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This was one of the things that irked me about Vampire when it first came out. Having all your background as in-world documentation is great for atmosphere, but the GM needs to know which of various conflicting things is going to be true in their world (and if it’s “you decide”, it needs to be labelled as “we’re not going to decide it differently later”).

(All right, I know that creating an index is an art; but that’s not an excuse not to try.)

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The indexing would be less art and more banging your head against a brick wall. Vampire would have a paragraph like this:

Ah, two. Magnificent two. Think of all the words we have in English for two. A deuce. A brace. A pair, duo or couple. Admire the symmetry of identical twins. Now imagine what happens if you twin your twins. The outcome is quadruplets, a quartet, a foursome. The outcome is… four! And the magic of mathematics means that two added to itself is the same as two multiplied by itself. Magnificent, magical two!

The index needs to say this:

2 + 2 = 4

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I think the hobby is surprisingly backward compared to the rich Cultural and ethnic society we have in the UK

The weird thing is that the books have lots of stuff about Islam and Muslim vampires. It’s like a bunch of people could emigrate to the UK from, say, Somalia, and then think:

  • Keep my religion? Tick.
  • Keep my human cultural traditions? Tick.
  • Keep my vampire cultural traditions? No! I shall immediately dump those and become Camarilla, because their centuries of history are far more important than my homeland’s vampiric centuries of history.

I think if I ever run this, the UK will have had a lot more independent factions and clans since the 50s than VTM canon believes in. Doing their own thing alongside the Camarilla. But not like the Anarchs. They still have lots of rules and traditions, but they are Ashirra rules or Ebony Kingdom rules.

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The Camarilla book is better than the Anarch book in terms of re-finding information. It has, for instance, how the 2nd Inquisition is organised, country by country. (Why wasn’t that in the Core Rules, instead of stuff about fashion?) And it has a chapter about information about 19 important cities, from London to Tokyo to Jerusalem.

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Clearly you are not one of the Beautiful People.

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Stronty is a very beautiful soul.

(I want VtM online…)

What Would the Smart Party Do podcast (episode 96) interviews Ken Hite about VTM 5th ed and Night’s Black Agents: https://www.whatwouldthesmartpartydo.com/