[Vampire: The Masquerade] 5th Edition

Arethusa

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Re: Vampire, 5th Edition

I don't know if this is the exchange the prior poster was referring to, but here's one where Gaiman says he's 'investigating' the V5 usage:

https://twitter.com/neilhimself/status/1025690363502178304
Thank you. I’m pretty terrible with Twitter too.

That piece of text that Peter_Smyk is quoting (two Tweets above Gaiman), is that in the V5 book? Because that does not sound like Gaiman’s prose style to me.

This is odd, and I feel like we don’t know what’s up.
 

Pheidias

herder of rampant stories
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Re: Vampire, 5th Edition

[MENTION=169747]Arethusa[/MENTION], that's from the text excerpt of Art of Vampire the Masquerade.
 

Arethusa

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Re: Vampire, 5th Edition

[MENTION=169747]Arethusa[/MENTION], that's from the text excerpt of Art of Vampire the Masquerade.
So to be clear, it’s not the text in V5 being referred to, which appears to be Gaiman’s work and credited to him?
 

Pheidias

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Re: Vampire, 5th Edition

@Arethusa, I'm sorry for expressing myself unclearly.

What I meant is the text in question appearing as accompaniment to an image in V5 in 2018 is identical to the text in the introductory fiction written by Neil Gaiman for 'Art of Vampire the Masquerade' in 1998.

It would look like a straight lift from that book, except for the two sentences at the end, which seem to be from the longer version of a similar text which only appears in the book you quoted, ' Fragile Things' (2006). The quote included on the Twitter conversation is present in both Vampire books.

The text in AoVtM ends rather abruptly and looks like it might have been cut short for space reasons during layout, so the original manuscript submitted to WW might possibly have been longer as well. The text in V5 has the same punchline as the one printed in Fragile Things (2006).

Neil Gaiman is credited in both AoVtM (1998) and V5 (2018) as a writer and both books have a sole copyright note of White Wolf as part of the authors page.
 
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Uthred

Nature's critical miss
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Re: Vampire, 5th Edition

Whether they had the right to the version from Fragile things, or the one from the Art of the Masquerade is another matter, however, as is whether the original contract gave them the right to re-use it at all, as certainly it's listed as his copyright on his website.

And of course that he knew nothing about it.

If they have rights to it, which is indeed up in the air, then does it matter whether Mr Gaiman knew anything about it or not? At worst its perhaps a little rude not to let him know. But ultimately if they have the rights to print it what does it matter? I mean getting him on-board would clearly have been better if possible purely for marketing reasons but at the same time it feels like people are looking to put the boot in. At first it was "How dare they re-write it!", then it turned out they didnt re-write it we roll back to "What about the rights!" if it turns out they do have the rights to it whats next? "Theyre so rude!"?

For a thread about the game theres surprisingly little about the actual nuts and bolts of the game being discussed.
 

Aaron Mouritsen

RadioFreeDeath
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Re: Vampire, 5th Edition

Unless I missed it somewhere, did anyone get to play V5 at gen con? What are the reviews and opinions?
 

MarkK

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Re: Vampire, 5th Edition

If they have rights to it, which is indeed up in the air, then does it matter whether Mr Gaiman knew anything about it or not? At worst its perhaps a little rude not to let him know. But ultimately if they have the rights to print it what does it matter? I mean getting him on-board would clearly have been better if possible purely for marketing reasons but at the same time it feels like people are looking to put the boot in. At first it was "How dare they re-write it!", then it turned out they didnt re-write it we roll back to "What about the rights!" if it turns out they do have the rights to it whats next? "Theyre so rude!"?

For a thread about the game theres surprisingly little about the actual nuts and bolts of the game being discussed.
The first several pages of this thread, and a pile threads on this forum before it as more previews came out with further and further fleshed out detail, had posts at length talking about the problems people had with the setting changes, with rules stuff like Hunger, with various things that come off as edgelordism for the sake of, what have you. With the book having released and a lot of those things having played out in exactly the way people had gripes with, it reads like you seem to basically want people to have to repeat themselves ceaselessly in order for you to accept the idea that people have expressed they have problems with this game on some meaningful level?

Which is sort of one of the things I dislike about internet discussions. If at some point you reach a point where you feel like you've said all you can possibly say on a thing, or that someone else has and you figure there's not much you could add other than "yeah!", so you just let it stand, it's mostly going to be leaped on by the people who disagree with the thing you're saying that clearly there was nothing of substance to actually discuss disliking in the first place, since if there was, well, people would keep saying it. Yet if you keep saying it, well, clearly you're just part of a "overly vocal group" dominating a discussion.

Still, if you like, things people are bothered by (I'm not numbering them for helping some imminent point by point refutation of bringing them up, I'm numbering them for outlining the different topics that have been discussed before, now, and/or somewhere across the internets)

1) It's a game where the developers claimed outright and repeatedly that it would support multiple playstyles, and then it turns out both the rules and provided material both really only help with and outright even strongly reinforce just the one, street level heavy mortal focused sorts of things. That's maybe a bit frustrating, and when the dismissal of it is the basically useless "well if you run you can do it how you want" or "no one is taking your old books away" (and for my own part I offered at length several posts ago, across two posts, why that sort of dismissal is not offering the level of insight people seem to believe it does right in this thread that I don't feel like I should have to repeat in the same thread), that's more frustrating.

I'll add this though, past a certain point of "well so long as you run it, and thus not actually play it, and you change all the things you don't like, what's your problem", you have bought a game you will only ever use to run games, not play them, and in which you are house ruling huge swaths of its setting and rules to the point that you're barely using it. Which is to say, you wasted a big ol chunk of money.

2) It uses a whole lot of things from Requiem, down to mechanics like Touchstones and Blood potency being central elements of the game, to the setting thematics of Requiem of broken off cities, little travel, making torpor for elders more of an necessity because methuselah's thirst is now straight up inevitable (despite not quite being so apparently mechanically, but the mechanics vs their own material is another issue below) and even feeding from animals becomes impossible after blood potency 2 (4 if you have that one animalism power), it even throws in a little nod for half a second to the fog of eternity in the fluff material (that little bit of elders even forgetting wide chunks of their own unlives). It takes the Camarilla and makes them an organization that once had international reach but lost most of it, and is now a sort of splintered to city by city select aristocracy with a particular internal culture, if it even exists in a given city, reduced to the point that it can't always enforce the strictures of its internal culture on others within a given city, though it certainly tries to. Which is to say, they are leaning reaaallly heavily into the themes of the Invictus (especially the VtR 1e Invictus). It's a setting with little to no elders whose main focus is on city scale, street level stuff, much reduced communication or interaction between cities, etc. etc. etc. Even a resurgence in a vampire religious group feels like completing a Carthians/Invictus/Lancea Sanctum thing.

And if you liked Requiem and wanted Masquerade to be more like it? These changes probably thrill you.

If you either didn't like Requiem or at least preferred Masquerade to be distinct from it? This is one more reason to find this game off putting, to put it mildly.

3) Hunger is still there. I feel like by this point the internet in a variety of places has offered all that possibly could be said about why the people who don't like hunger dice, don't like hunger dice. From the impacts of its ubiquity to the potential silliness of messy criticals on, say, searching a bookcase, to hunger helping you get killed in a fight, all still there in one form or another. In general it's one more way the supposed "multiple playstyle supporting game" is really just about the one.

4) The Second Inquisition comes off as so potent and effective that it is a head scratcher why there are still Vampires. There are posts at length on that even in this thread that never really got addressed so much as handwaved off. What would be the point of repeating them? They said basically all that could be said there.

5) The way they made a lot of their setting changes feels to some as ranging from clumsy to insulting. The Sabbat have "devolved" and are wayyy off in a corner somewhere so as not to get their cooties all over the game (but hey, that shoved off corner will be playable sometime in 2019! is something I imagine people who liked the Sabbat feel totally encouraged by). Elders have been conveniently hit by the beckoning. The whole Second Inquisition thing sundering any especially strong connections between cities and even sect presences. The way various major cities were purged. It feels a lot like being angry at anyone for having liked elements of the game the developers thought were people playing the game incorrectly from their vision or something and just stomping those elements out. Though for a game that wants to be all about that "1e" feel, it's kind of funny that they brought back blowing up the Ravnos clan, when V20 itself got rid of that having happened.

6) It's a minor note, but for me, blowing up the Ravnos clan again is a.. why? So the developers again say they're using BJD as their springboard for plot. BJD gives the Ravnos a significant chapter of plot development with future potential for being fleshed out, to the point that they have the "how to use this" section being a "here's all the interesting things you could now do with Ravnos characters". V5 says that ends in them being mostly completely destroyed, so, whoops if you liked that! I mean I don't really care about the Ravnos in any grand sense, it's just kind of needless/surreal to send such a "if you did like that clan, well eff you buddy" message to anyone that was into them. It's a pointless message that doesn't accomplish anything but offer one more little touch of "we don't want you in this game anymore, person who liked a thing we didn't". Putting the week of nightmares back in is certainly.. a choice. I just realized this will get a "then they were racists that liked a racist thing!" so I will note that in both dark ages, and various other places, down into V20, a bunch of work was done on giving the Ravnos an identity/culture that wasn't some stereotype. Even just from the experience of vampire games I have run and concepts put to me, there were people into that just fine. And then kaboom.

7) I like point buy creation, and taking that out of Vampire feels again like narrowing it as far as any particular flexibility. And while isolated to itself that's a single element and I'm guessing some people will respond to it that way in some point by point refutation, my point would be that this is a game where so many things, from setting to rules, feel like the deeply narrowing version of vampire, that they come together to create that effect as a whole. That V5 is ultimately the game about taking away options from the people playing it, not providing them. And if that's what you wanted, and the thing it is narrowed to is what you wanted, that's great for you. If a "all these things come together to make this game feel like it has no room for anything particularly that I liked" feeling is instead what you come away with, then you just wasted a bunch of money (I know I feel like I did at this point).

8) Needless "look at how edgy we are" crap. Again, posts even in this thread on the topic.

9) Mechanical choices that feel rushed and badly thought out or just balanced within itself. So, for instance, Celerity feels sort of.. not all that grandly useful except in very specific ways for 1-3, certainly not in the way Celerity used to be (yes, everyone cheering about that, good for you for having gotten the thing you wanted), and then boom, suddenly at level 4-5 what are almost auto hit attacks. At the very least the expressions of that power to that point are definitely not balanced to the latter ones. The aspects of the Toreador clan curse seem designed by someone that kinda hates the Toreador. Dice pool penalties to basic uses of your powers pretty much everywhere that isn't really pretty, or at minimum are now having to engage in constant efforts to try and argue that some place counts as having beauty in it still (with even the game, as if sensing that, starting in with a 'nope, the city streets aren't'). For a section that wants to make this big speech about how Toreador aren't stereotypes of their clan, it certainly hits them with a curse that wants to reinforce that they will be if they want to be effective. It's like whoever did the mechanics there and whoever wrote the fluff were different people. There are other examples, and people have given them.

10) This is a personal note for that they were something I enjoyed and am thus just myself bringing up now after my read of this thing, but especially with how blood potency works for things like minimum hunger dice being quite substantial (and again, the sorts of things hunger dice do), wow are elder games going to not be a thing under these rules. Which is certainly what they want, but it's one more "nuts to you".

11) Touchstones. I was part of a long discussion recently on why it seems at least online, quite a few people hate touchstones and I frankly don't have the energy for redoing it. Short version: It's a straightjacket that reinforces a very specific style of play and goes beyond it to basically make that much more difficult/impossible playing a character that feels like they meaningfully believe in anything, because unless some specific mortal represents that belief, nope, they don't really. It kills concepts like religious vampires struggling with their faith in something larger than themselves and reconciling it with their nature, because they don't really have that faith in a higher power, they just have some specific person slotted into the "Catholicism" conviction box. There could have been things like merits or flaws to represent the inspirations/burdens of beliefs and ethics, but instead this.

12 and end) The read of this book is the read of a game that wants to seriously judge you for even the idea of playing differently than how it tells you to. Oh, for instance, it will give you advanced combat rules as an option, you twink, but shouldn't you think about how needless and silly it is that you want them? (If you feel the way it describes the thinking behind 3 and done isn't doing this, well, honestly, we're not going to agree on that at all). You might say "VtM always judged you", to which I might reply "A game doing something bad in previous editions does not make making the same mistake, again, a good thing".

In fact one of the things that made stuff like that more tolerable, and in general made anything that might have given someone an issue feel less glaring was that it offered so much other stuff besides doing that, gave more options, allowed for various sorts of games without really getting in the way of them, or needing huge changes for them. The smaller the scope of a game is, the harder it is to not find the things you don't like about it glaring, because there's nothing to offset them.

And that? That's for me the real problem of Vampire 5th edition. It is such a small, specific, narrowed game. It's clearly meant to do the one thing it does, and I imagine for the certainly sizable enough target audience that will make it a huge success on rpg terms, it does that thing in a way they super like. VtM always did various things various people found stupid/offensive/inane/baffling. But it was also open enough to give you plenty of other things to compensate, from range of potential playstyles to the expanse of the setting on up. This game doesn't do that, and it doesn't do that by intent. If you're not the target audience as a result, it's just a game that makes a lot of irksome choices with a not small price tag that feels like a working so stripped down, it neither has room for people who weren't doing what it does, nor ultimately even really wants them to hang around.

But it's also the game that is from this point out going to be default vampire. It's the game that if you get strangers together to play, especially online, they will think this is vampire. So that's kinda it and "no one is taking your books away" or "you can still run whatever", don't really compensate for people kinda bummed out right now in the wake of such things.

Anyway there you go, collected in one place a "issues people have with this game" that have nothing to do with it frankly being pretty lame and eyerolling to take something Neil Gaiman wrote a while ago, altered or not, stick it in the book, and thus get to attach his name to this, without apparently even the courtesy of asking him.
 
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Sabermane

Proud Fianna knight of hope and peace
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Re: Vampire, 5th Edition

I'm gonna take back some of the things I've said about you...*Hands MarkK a Nestle Bar* You....you've earned this.

(and uhh...for the good of the companies involved, I'll say I really hope Mr. Gaiman is happy about his work on this because he's dealt with comic book companies. RPG's are a post-lunch triscuit in comparison).
 

MarkK

Registered User
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Re: Vampire, 5th Edition

I'm gonna take back some of the things I've said about you...*Hands MarkK a Nestle Bar* You....you've earned this.

(and uhh...for the good of the companies involved, I'll say I really hope Mr. Gaiman is happy about his work on this because he's dealt with comic book companies. RPG's are a post-lunch triscuit in comparison).
Oh my god now I want at least a Nestle Crunch right now and don't have time to go get one.

Yours is a terrible and sinister revenge!

(I am going to get one later)
 

theliel

Fan of Many Things
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Re: Vampire, 5th Edition

The question about book availability - Several of my friends are at Gencon running CWoD LARPs, they say that there were smaller crowds at their games, but also that it wasn't the 50th anniversary this year either.

One reported that White Wolf delivered on physical product in a big way - Stacks of V5 available for sale at the start of the con, so I imagine anyone who wanted a physical copy was able to get one.
 
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