Don’t worry, I’m not planning to cross-breed Edward Cullen and Dracula. The title refers to my rekindled passion for Vampire role-playing games, both Masquerade and Requiem.
You see, Masquerade will always have a special place in my heart. It was the RPG that got me into the hobby, and I will never forget my first sessions playing a Toreador poet in the city of New York. Since these first hours of pretending to be a vampire, Masquerade has been the game I must have played most often, with Exalted coming in as a close second. The game had messed-up rules and some really annoying metaplot, but I still feel like it’s one of the best RPG’s I’ve played. Maybe it was just that good, or it’s my nostalgia giving me rose-coloured glasses, but I feel like returning to the world of the Kindred once more.
There’s just one problem: the rules of Masquerade are an unstructured, frustrating bunch of contradictions and redundancies. As much as the setting was able to evoke the feeling of gothic horror the game was going for, the rules always failed to support that. Fortunately, Masquerade received a proper update awhile ago, in the form of its 20th Anniversary Edition. The rules are much cleaner now, but it still lacks that certain…sex appeal.
Requiem has a lot of sex appeal and I would love to use its ruleset to run a Masquerade game, but the rules of the new World of Darkness incarnation of Vampire support some other themes. For example, Generation is replaced by Blood Potency, giving age an entirely different flavour in the game. There is a Translation Document, which would make conversions easier, but I still don’t know if that’s worth the hassle.
Rules are just one issue, the other one is the actual game. I noticed that I simply lack the time to create big chronicles on my own, so I would have to resort to pre-written stuff. Fortunately, Masquerade has two big chronicles: the Transylvania and Giovanni Chronicles. From what I heard, the second one is a lot better and less railroady, and I’m actually reading through its first part to get a feel for it. It looks like something my players would like, so I’m thinking about giving it a shot. I would still have to talk it through with my players, but the general look and feel of the Giovanni Chronicles seem great!
So, while I’m figuring out which rules I would use, you can help me! What are your experiences with both Masquerade and Requiem? Have you played the Transylvania or Giovanni Chronicles? Do you think that I should not waste my time with bloodsuckers? Share your thoughts below!