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    So I'm looking to start up a masquerade game, and this will be my first time running this system. Does anyone have any advice?

  • #2
    Yeah, dont join the Marines.

    But about the game, be sure to have fun and dont over rely on dice too too too much, I guess.


    Morte ascendo

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    • #3
      Remember Humanity/Path and Virtues, and explain that implications of each to your players. Give your players a warning before they commit an action that would cost them Humanity/Path and, if players have their characters exhibit genuine contrition for an action, considering offering them a Derangement that lasts (Humanity/Path) sessions place of a Conscience/Conviction roll (STs are explicitly allowed to govern character mortality in any way that they see fit). It facilitates greater RP and slows the Degeneration of characters.

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      • #4
        Have a player who wants to practice blood magic? Adhere to casting times and don't just let them take any path or ritual they want. Also give your players enough rope to hang themselves, they really are their own worst enemies.

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        • #5
          Generic RP Advice
          Plan for the bad guy. Players will do crazy, unexpected things. Give your bad guy an ambitious goal and let him react and adapt to the meddling characters.

          Know your table. Some players love combat, others love roleplaying conversations, others love traps - the list grows pretty fast. Talk to your players about what they expect and want in a game. If you've got a table of hard core roleplayers, a hack-n-slash game of "go and bash it" won't fly.

          Start small. Run a couple short games before you start planning a long Chronicle.

          Create characters in a group. Stoic and mysterious characters are great in film, but can be a drag do deal with in a roleplaying game. Encourage players to let their character have a history - however brief - with at least one other character in the coterie. Building trust takes time. It easier to start a game with a few friendly bonds already holding the group together - especially in a game with intrigue and horror.

          Narrative trumps stats. The Storyteller sets the scene. When in combat, don't just say the stats to describe damage. Describe what's happening: "You fire two rounds into his chest. Dark, rotting blood oozes through his t-shirt. The ghoul staggers but grabs the wall and keeps his feet. He bares his kine teeth at you in a snarl and charges."


          WoD RP Advice

          Start Young.
          You didn't mention how familiar you are with the system, but planning for the abilities and complex relationships of Elders is a little harder than getting your feet wet with a coterie of Neonates.

          Don't forget about the humans. Remember that there's a whole city living all around the characters. Humans with no clue about vampires are everywhere. There's little privacy on the streets of any major city - even at night. If there are gunshots, the police will come. If there's a fire - the firemen. Corpses left in the street will be investigated. And even the dullest creatures among humanity can smell fresh blood. It's pretty pungent. Keeping the Masquerade gets a little harder when a character needs to ride the subway, but is covered in blood and ghoul-bits.

          Give the coterie one strong ally. It's hard to get started. Give the characters someone to turn to, someone they can trust - for now. Let them feel invited into this world of darkness. New players can feel especially alienated if they face nothing but contempt and disdain from all the other vampires of the city in their first experiences in the World of Darkness.

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          • #6
            Humans should be competent enough to be legitimate threats to Kindred characters in groups. Kindred should never think that they are capable of killing humans without consequences in modern campaigns. Digital cameras are nearly everywhere in modern cities, meaning that it is nearly impossible to kill someone without getting caught on camera before, during, or after the kidnapping and/or murder without proper planning. Even when the Camarilla suppresses the evidence, they will make sure that unpopular neonates do not get a second chance to endanger the Masquerade because it is very easy for them to create new Kindred. If the neonates have connections, they might instead by banished to a small Camarilla controlled town under the guidance of an elder for a decade or two until the elder determines that they have learned sufficient control.

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            • #7
              Stick to the Camarilla core clans. VtM is full of crazy shit and things can easily go way out of hand when you allow Baali, Kyasid, Tzimisce and the like.

              Despite what Aya says, murders committed by a stranger rarely get solved, so don't grind your players' ass too hard. Keep the game fun.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                Humans should be competent enough to be legitimate threats to Kindred characters in groups. Kindred should never think that they are capable of killing humans without consequences in modern campaigns. Digital cameras are nearly everywhere in modern cities, meaning that it is nearly impossible to kill someone without getting caught on camera before, during, or after the kidnapping and/or murder without proper planning. Even when the Camarilla suppresses the evidence, they will make sure that unpopular neonates do not get a second chance to endanger the Masquerade because it is very easy for them to create new Kindred. If the neonates have connections, they might instead by banished to a small Camarilla controlled town under the guidance of an elder for a decade or two until the elder determines that they have learned sufficient control.

                Its good to know the world of Darkness is apparently much better off on the crimes front than the real world.

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                • #9
                  You need substantial evidence or a confession to process someone through the US criminal justice system (86% of crimes are solved by confession, 8% are thrown out for lack of evidence, and only 6% go to trial). Kindred only need suspicion to justify examining a crime scene with Auspex, so they are capable of determining guilt with a much higher rate of success, and they do not need neonates who do not follow the rules. Elders can get away with murder, neonates have a much more precarious position in Kindred society.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                    You need substantial evidence or a confession to process someone through the US criminal justice system (86% of crimes are solved by confession, 8% are thrown out for lack of evidence, and only 6% go to trial). Kindred only need suspicion to justify examining a crime scene with Auspex, so they are capable of determining guilt with a much higher rate of success, and they do not need neonates who do not follow the rules. Elders can get away with murder, neonates have a much more precarious position in Kindred society.

                    And its some kindred's job to go out and check every kidnapping and random murder? Not "body turns up drained of blood" bullshit but "Homeless person disappears" If that's the case apparently Kindred are a net good because I live in one of the most monitored cities in the country and we we PLENTY of unsolved murders and people who go missing.

                    And fun things like the whole CTV system going off line for a week because of malware...

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                    • #11
                      No, just when suspicious stuff like 'drained of blood' occurs because that sort of thing gets noticed (no one cares about a homeless person disappearing, but how many neonates know how to properly dispose of a body?). The thing about Kindred who kill humans for blood is that it gets easier after the first time because they start losing Humanity. Eventually, their Humanity gets low enough that they no longer care about getting caught, and they get sloppy. When you catch neonates who murder humans for food, you cannot really tell where they are on that downward spiral, so it is better to be cautious and make sure that the Masquerade is preserved. You can always make a new neonate and, when the killings stop, the police will eventually stop looking for the murderer and the murders will become cold cases.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                        No, just when suspicious stuff like 'drained of blood' occurs because that sort of thing gets noticed (no one cares about a homeless person disappearing, but how many neonates know how to properly dispose of a body?).
                        I'd imagine more so than your average person having access to all manner of supernatural powers, of course there also might be someone who'd be willing to handle that sort of thing for a nominal fee(boons)


                        Considering IRL people are getting away with fairly impromptu murders and people are regularly complaining that cameras don't really help, I don't see how Vampires wouldn't in all ways be better off at this.

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                        • #13
                          Individually, mortals are by-and-large not really able to compete against a vampire of equal skill and ability, since the baseline benefits of vampirism and their disciplines seriously tilt things in their favor (conversely, a vampire accountant getting into a fistfight with a SWAT officer is gonna have a bad time no matter how much blood buffing they do). The danger mortals pose to vampires is more invested in groups of them organizing against the vampire, or a vampire decided to assault a mortal or a mortal institution without having any backup or support in case things go sour.


                          When one is accustomed to privilege, equality seems like oppression.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                            Stick to the Camarilla core clans.
                            Minus the Tremere. There's a lot more baggage there than the other Camarilla clans.

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                            • #15
                              Stick with a small group of players. A smaller group is easier to handle than a large group. You don't need a large party to navigate a dungeon like in more archetypal fantasy game, and it's easier to run individual character subplots if you don't have to keep up with too many.

                              Stick to basic, Camarilla clans to start, then feel free to branch out.

                              Start with Humanity only. It's easiest to understand and enforce. You can expand to Paths later, but make sure you study each one thoroughly.

                              Some disciplines don't have all of their limitations spelled out, or may be subject to interpretation. Read these thoroughly, and discuss them with your players.

                              Remember, if you have all of eternity on the line, you start to value non-violent resolution first.

                              Limit the practice of blood magic until you feel you have a chance to be fully familiar with it.

                              Flow of the game is more important than strict rules adherence. It's better to be wrong than to argue about something unimportant.

                              Follow logical consequences, but don't feel the need to continually one-up or escalate with your players. That will drive your game off the road faster than anything.

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