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  • Why i like V5

    Firstly, this isn't a thread for edition wars - by all means don't like it or don't like an aspect of it, but i didn't create this thread to get into that. I wanted to bring up what i like in this version and also hear from the rest of you what you like as well.

    Secondly, why did i decide to write this? Well, i played Vampire since just after 2nd Ed, but then had a long hiatus due to marriage, Kids and moving away from my old gaming group, as such, it's been about 10+ years since i last got involved. The release of V5 got me not only interested again, but involved enough that i went out and found a group and actually got me playing again!

    So, what do i like? well, i'll start with the updates to the Metaplot - frankly i think they're really cool and provide some meat that we can get our teeth into. Also, they're vague enough that we can fill in the blanks and twist it to our particular style of play. For example - the Beckoning. I like this because it levels the playing field a bit. If you're neonates then suddenly you have a better chance to get a key position or take advantage of the chaos, if you're Ancillae, you can really make some waves and get some revenge for things that have happened before, if you're Elders, well, now you've got to keep hold of your power and spend the nights wondering when it'll be your turn to leave to fight in some pointless war. In a nice turn of events, it's not the poor and young that fight the War, but the Rich and powerful!

    The second Inquisition has made Mortal hunters relevant again - i can't even remember the last game we played with hunters as the Bad guys! They scored some huge wins (or seemingly did, seeds have already been sewn to suggest it could be more that it seems). Again, this works for whatever level story you want to play. Young - it's you against the world and you get thrown under the bus as you're disposable - Older? well, who are you going to throw under the bus to live? what will you sacrifice to survive? Money? Power? Retainers? Family? Your coterie? Your Humanity?

    Speaking of Humanity, i like the new Chronicle tenets. Personally i was always fed up when i created a Criminal Character, that instantly lost a humanity point when i had to steal something - an act integral to my backstory! it allows for a nice customised game that any group can get into - Cam, Anarch or Sabbat!

    The new rules in general are great. Hunger dice are very cool - they still have the same functional effect as the Old '1' on a dice roll, but aren't nearly as ubiquitous and therefore not as annoying (especially when you roll 8 dice for something your character is an expert on, and get a tonne of ones!). Also, the fact that the Beast is causing the action makes so much more sense and adds more flavour to the resultant roll. I really don't think i could go back to the old way now, even though i played it like that for a decade plus! Happy to see simplified combat too - much quicker!

    I also like the new Discipline powers and Mergers - adds more variety and flexibility to a character - just this week the Nosferatu in my group agonised about which level 4 power to buy! How cool is that! She has the options to worry about! I don't believe any flavour has truly been lost for the Clans, but now if i have 2 characters in my group with Presence (which i do) they can both take different paths!

    Finally, the main thing i like about V5 is that it's got me back into a game i love and introduced me a great bunch of people. Up until now i've always been a character, but i've been so inspired by the setting that i've now started STing and am loving every minute of it!

  • #2
    Most of it. but here is my top five list.

    1. Hunger dice
    2. Lore sheets
    3. Meta plot direction. Many thing feel new a fresh it doesn't feel like the same rehash of the same fluff but also still feels like Masquerade.
    4. New Discipline rules and restructure. It was getting all over the place form me, nice to see the clean up.
    5. Blood resonance rules. Opens up some character concepts that have been done before but didn't have rules to back them up really.

    Comment


    • #3
      I like what they did with the Tremere the most. I think taking the handcuffs off the PC so they don't have to be bound to the hierarchy of the Pyramid is great for breathing some life into the rather one note Clan. I think autarkis or anarch Tremere were pretty unheard of in previous editions but with the shakeups in the metaplot they can be found in places otherwise unheard of. The way I see it at least the upper leadership of the clan is defunct and its every man for himself. Some will pull in tighter and rely on the local coven for protection but others might feel they have a better shot alone without having a target on their back and being vulnerable by staying still.

      Comment


      • #4
        In no particular order:
        • Clarity on the mechanics of the Gangrel weakness. No more cat-dogs. Yay!
        • More easily customized Humanity system.
        • Level 1 of in-clan disciplines finally cost less than level 1 of out-of-clan.
        • Sorting physical, social, and mental skills on the character sheet makes sense.
        • Appearance was always an awkward Attribute. I like it as a merit. IRL, most people look "meh".
        • Blood pumping all Attributes is good. Weirdly, it almost makes me wish Appearance was an Attribute again. (I never claimed to be consistent.)
        • Blush of Life lasting all night for all effects is good.
        • Celerity and Potence gained some fun powers, at the cost of simplicity.
        • Fortitude remains the Scrappy-doo of disciplines, though I will admit adding a power that resists mental powers is good. (Maybe. It's written confusingly.)
        • Daunt. Finally. A vampire with Presence has an option other than being one of the beautiful people.
        • Dominate 1 gives a memory wipe option, which is what most vampires need Dominate for, anyway.
        • Predator types give some structure to book standard characters having an out-of-clan discipline. Not how I would have done it, but okay.
        • The SI and paper-thin state of the Masquerade was a necessary update to new media realities.
        • Loresheets look like a good way to tie the pcs into the larger world. Still not sure on the execution.
        Note, there are several things I like about V5 I didn't list here, like Touchstones and Blood Potency. I haven't entirely decided yet how I feel about them. I mean, they were good ideas when I first saw them in VtR, and even considered porting some of them into VtM. The problem, if there even is one, is that there already is a game where they exist. On the one hand, if it's a good idea, it should only make the game better. On the other, the problem might be that their inclusion blurs the lines between VtR and VtM.

        An analogy: I like chess, and I like checkers. Chess has lots of cool pieces that can move in many different ways; this is something I like. Checkers has a pleasant, stripped-down simplicity, which I also like. If the rules of checkers were changed to include Kings, Queens, Bishops, Knights, etc, with all their fancy movement rules, would it make checkers better, or just turn checkers into a mediocre version of chess?

        I'm still mulling this one over.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm just going to repost my entire review of V5.

          http://booknest.eu/reviews/charles/1...rade5thedition



          VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE 5TH EDITION is a book I never expected to see. I was a huge fan of Vampire: The Masquerade in the nineties. I was about as big a Gothic Punk as a tabletop roleplaying gamer could be in the South with no Goths around him, no black clothing in his wardrobe, and a restrictive Catholic high school. I loved pretending to be 8th generation Elder Lord Sirrius of the Ventrue and Erasmus Von Prague the Tremere Knight. It was a game inspired by INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE, LOST BOYS, and BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA. I traveled from the seedy streets of Chicago to Prague during the Dark Ages to the end of the world before the line ended in 2004.

          Its difficult to overstate just how influential Vampire: The Masquerade was in a post-Twilight era when vampires have so much shade thrown on them. Ironically, it's in part because of the tabletop roleplaying game that the undead became so over-saturated. BLADE, TRUE BLOOD, UNDERWORLD, and other works all drew from the lore of the game. There was a badly made Aaron Spelling TV series that I still have a fondness for and a couple of awesome video games. It was an influence on my STRAIGHT OUTTA FANGTON and I WAS A TEENAGE WEREDEER books and I can name many other urban fantasy authors who had some experience with the game.

          The premise of the game is extremely simple: you are a vampire in the modern world. At some point in the last fifty years, your character was a normal human being transformed into one of the undead. You are part of an undead society that exists behind the scenes and must maintain a constant vigilance so humans cannot find out about your existence. This is the titular Masquerade. Nightly unlife is a constant struggle against the vampire nobility, vampire hunters, werewolves, and your dwindling humanity. If you give into the killing urge too often, you'll eventually degenerate into a mindless beast that has to be put down.

          The 5th Edition of the game opens up with thirty pages of in-universe fiction that is designed to appeal to the now 30 and 40 year old fans of the game who played it in high school. The opening story is a letter from Mina Harker, a real person in the setting, who is addressing one of her descendants she's Embraced (turned into a vampire) out of loneliness. Other fiction talks about how the Camarilla (vampire society) has fallen and a Second Inquisition of ABC agencies globally has started a massive purge of the undead. Yes, the Masquerade is partially broken and now vampires have to fear drone strikes as well as thermal-vision equipped Special Forces.

          The idea of the government knowing about the undead is probably the only way you could believably do the Masquerade in the 21st century. In an age of cellphone cameras, cloud servers, instant global communication, and satellite networks--it's slightly more believable the intelligence communities want to avoid a global panic from the revelation the supernatural is real. I also like how the gameline says humanity is kicking the collective asses of vampiredom. Setting juggernauts like the Tremere Inner Council and Camarilla's leadership are wiped out to remind people why the Masquerade is so important.

          Previous editions were criticized for overly relying on their metaplot. So much so that the 20th anniversary edition of Vampire: The Masquerade (4th Edition by my count) actively removed all references to it. However, while the metaplot was overdone, I think it's one of the chief reasons to upgrade to a new edition. Seeing how old favorites and characters you had an attachment to growing up is something worthwhile. I've already heard they have plans for a 5th Edition of Chicago by Night and I'd enjoy discovering what the characters within have been up to for twenty years.

          Gameplay-wise, the biggest change is the focus of the game is shifted. Previous editions were a power fantasy where the majority of focus was on your disciplines. Many characters were built like Connor Macleod with a trench coat, a katana hidden underneath it, and a bunch of awesome superpowers. Now, the game greatly broadens the focus on hunger and feeding. Many pages are spent discussing how a vampire feeds, what they feed on, and how they feel about who (or what) they eat. There's also a change to Humanity in order to make what a character cares about and how they stay sane more varied.

          Fans of all thirteen clans may be disappointed to discover the book contains descriptions of only the original seven clans, Caitiff, and Thin Bloods. There's some light revisions to them like the fact the Gangrel's flaws are no longer as severe and the Malkavian's insanity is not related to any "real" mental illness (as they had previously been depicted as tricksters and doomsaying prophets--not really things you want to associate with the mentally ill). We also get updates to Disciplines (vampire powers), which are much more versatile. Perhaps the best rules revision is that its much harder to feed on animal blood or blood bags if you're a vampire of power. Vampires also become more powerful as they age in terms of Blood Potency.

          Fans of the Sabbat, Followers of Set, Giovanni, Ravnos (they exist, or so I hear!), and Assamites will wonder why they didn't do all thirteen clans. Also, why there was no focus on the Paths of Enlightenment that serve as alternatives to Humanity. While I imagine part of this is a space issue, I think it's actually a thematic issue. The above clans are the most inhuman of Kindred and they're really beating the drum of V:TM as a game about coping with the horror of one's condition. Besides, they have to get you to buy the supplements somehow. That's good business and I'm not just saying that because I leave cliffhangers in my books for the exact same reason (bwhahahaha!).

          The book has beautiful artwork spread throughout, using photos and touch-ups to give impressions of how the gameworld looks. Some of the artwork isn't great, like the Nosferatu look like poor college students and runaways than horrifying monsters in their Clan write-up, but most of it is incredible. The game is clearly intended for an older, more mature audience. This is a good thing as we finally get straight answers on everything from whether Kindred can have sex (High Humanity vampires can) to how to make a Herd of mortals.

          The general tone of the book is dark and edgy in a deliberately overdone style that implies Kindred are selfish monstrous creatures at every turn. One of my favorite pieces of art is a Ventrue debutante with her slave sitting underneath her as she wears a slit dress while posing over the city. Beside her, she has a little speech about how being rich made her life a party but being undead has made the world her bitch. There's some questionable choices but the general sense is the game is trying to be politically aware in a time when punk is feeling out of fashion but never so relevant. Whereas the original books were Gothic Punk written for sixteen-year-olds, this feels more like it was written for people who watch HBO and FX.

          There's some bad decisions in the book, I think. For one, there's a short story about how the Sabbat tried to claim credit for 9/11 despite having nothing to do with it. It's an attempt to refute the "vampires behind everything" of previous editions but I don't think anyone really needed a story about in the first place. I'm also not sure how Thin Bloods, a bunch of almost human vampires in the modern age, ended up making their own path of alchemy. The absence of a opening adventure like Gencon's Rusted Veins was a mistake, IMHO, as that was incredible. I also think making rules about how nice a vampire has to be to have sex is a bad decision.

          Gameplay mechanics-wise, I think 5th Edition suffers a bit in design. The Predator types, basically how and what you feed on, are a major part of the new game. However, they aren't very well described and sometimes the mechanics doesn't make sense for what you're eating. For example, one kind of vampire only feeds from other vampires but it doesn't explain how you do that--especially with the Blood Bond being a thing. Some players will also object to the changes to favored clans like the Tremere who have gone from the Clan which everyone is Blood Bonded in to the Clan which can't do Blood Bonds period. The absence of Paths and Sabbat clans feels wrong, especially as they have a role as both antagonists as well as players. Given the Lasombra have supposedly joined the Camarilla, their presence is sorely missed.

          Still, I think the game is fantastic. Vampire's 20th Anniversary Edition was great but it didn't feel sufficiently distinct from Revised. Every game is going to carry a heavy bias on "how you should play it." I think this manages to improve on Vampire: The Requiem, which also wanted to bring gamers into deeply personal horror stories but I feel failed in the fact it didn't provide a strong enough direction on how to do that. 5th Edition feels like it not only knows what it wants but is capable of showing gamers how to do it.

          9.5/10


          Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

          Comment


          • #6
            I like the second Inquisition. I'm ignoring most of the rule changes (I'm a creature of habit lol), but I like the metaplot.

            Still running Sabbat but the backdrop bring up a lot of new kinds of stories for them, even if they don't "exist" anymore lol

            Comment


            • #7
              I've been a VtM fan for decades, but have never actually manage to play. However the way V5 is has gotten me all keyed up to play it, even run it, for my gaming group.

              I like the rule changes, particularly hunger.
              I like the Discipline changes/amalgam powers.
              I like the metaplot updates and the de-powering of vampires through technology and human resourcefulness. While I may not make much use of SI, they are a GREAT addition. (Would they some day get their own book, I wonder? Or would they tie into a possibly future Hunter the Reckoning book?)
              I also like the general look of the main book. When I first saw it, I was unsure... but after reading through it I was really struck by the art/photos. THIS was different to previous editions.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
                (...)

                Still, I think the game is fantastic. Vampire's 20th Anniversary Edition was great but it didn't feel sufficiently distinct from Revised. Every game is going to carry a heavy bias on "how you should play it." I think this manages to improve on Vampire: The Requiem, which also wanted to bring gamers into deeply personal horror stories but I feel failed in the fact it didn't provide a strong enough direction on how to do that. 5th Edition feels like it not only knows what it wants but is capable of showing gamers how to do it.
                9.5/10
                Assuming there will be V6, would you have it continue directly from V5 ? Myself, I would prefer a hypothethical V6 to follow from V20 and Revised.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
                  Assuming there will be V6, would you have it continue directly from V5 ? Myself, I would prefer a hypothethical V6 to follow from V20 and Revised.

                  well, V5 has happened so i don't think they could continue from an earlier starting point. this isn't like the Halloween or Highlander movies! anyway, you're supposed to be stating what you like about it, not comparing it to an older version.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
                    Assuming there will be V6, would you have it continue directly from V5 ? Myself, I would prefer a hypothethical V6 to follow from V20 and Revised.
                    Given I absolutely love V5, I would completely hate continuing from V20 and would quit following V:TM.

                    I can't think of a bigger, "My dollars are not wanted."


                    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      There's so much good stuff in V5, it's too soon to consider a V6. That said, I would be happy to see a cleaned-up re-release of V5.

                      Some rules issues arose shortly after the game dropped, such as combat rules for multi-lateral combats. Other issues were confusing due to poor writing or omissions, like how Predator Types work for Thin-bloods, and the "Weight of a Feather vs a train" question.

                      Then there is the layout and organization. Much of the illustration is lovely, if not to everyone's taste. However, in many instances, the placement of the art unnecessarily breaks up the flow of text. For example, the Firearms skill sprawls across four pages (V5, pp160-163), due to interpolated art, sidebar texts, and random white space on 162 where the remainder of the section would have fit.

                      Another layout problem is the re-use of images within the book. When quickly paging or scrolling through a book, the images serve as an impromptu bookmark which help the reader quickly find sections. Repeating images creates unnecessary confusion as readers navigate.

                      My analogy for this phenomenon will be familiar to readers from the Southeastern US. Have you ever tried driving in Atlanta while looking for a street with the word "Peachtree" in the name? That city has 71 streets whose name includes that term. I pity any Uber drivers in Atlanta as much as I pity readers quickly paging through V5.

                      This layout is fine for a magazine or catalog where the goal is to force readers to slow down and view the adverts between the articles. In a rulebook which is needed for quick reference at a gaming table, it is... difficult.

                      If the publishers (or, given recent developments, I suppose another licensee) were to release a new edition as a sort of "V5.1" which fixed the minor content problems, and re-organized the crashing jumble of a layout into a more readable book, I would definitely buy it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                        There's so much good stuff in V5, it's too soon to consider a V6. That said, I would be happy to see a cleaned-up re-release of V5.

                        Some rules issues arose shortly after the game dropped, such as combat rules for multi-lateral combats. Other issues were confusing due to poor writing or omissions, like how Predator Types work for Thin-bloods, and the "Weight of a Feather vs a train" question.

                        Then there is the layout and organization. Much of the illustration is lovely, if not to everyone's taste. However, in many instances, the placement of the art unnecessarily breaks up the flow of text. For example, the Firearms skill sprawls across four pages (V5, pp160-163), due to interpolated art, sidebar texts, and random white space on 162 where the remainder of the section would have fit.

                        Another layout problem is the re-use of images within the book. When quickly paging or scrolling through a book, the images serve as an impromptu bookmark which help the reader quickly find sections. Repeating images creates unnecessary confusion as readers navigate.

                        My analogy for this phenomenon will be familiar to readers from the Southeastern US. Have you ever tried driving in Atlanta while looking for a street with the word "Peachtree" in the name? That city has 71 streets whose name includes that term. I pity any Uber drivers in Atlanta as much as I pity readers quickly paging through V5.

                        This layout is fine for a magazine or catalog where the goal is to force readers to slow down and view the adverts between the articles. In a rulebook which is needed for quick reference at a gaming table, it is... difficult.

                        If the publishers (or, given recent developments, I suppose another licensee) were to release a new edition as a sort of "V5.1" which fixed the minor content problems, and re-organized the crashing jumble of a layout into a more readable book, I would definitely buy it.
                        For some, it's never too early to consider V6 and going back to V20 entirely. And all this talk in another thread about a 'happy medium' is pointless because there is no happy medium.

                        Anyway.

                        I like V5 because it has been something different. I've been playing for years and years, starting with 2e in 1997. There's a point where the metaplot 'status quo' got old, especially as someone who is often ST. Sure, I could have come up with all of the aspects of the SI, how the Camarilla now functions and stuff, but I like it when I get new setting details to work with. The new system is really nice, something different, not just 'and we tweaked a coiuple of things, here's the same system we've printed for 25 years'. I really like the Discipline changes (probably also an easier transition for me from being a LARPer where the physical Disciplines were divided out into different powers). Basically, it was something new and fresh that I didn't sometimes dread running, especially with a couple of players who enjoy combat and combat-oriented characters. And it's been a pretty solid hit with my normal play group.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by thebiglarpnerd View Post

                          For some, it's never too early to consider V6 and going back to V20 entirely. And all this talk in another thread about a 'happy medium' is pointless because there is no happy medium.
                          It depends on what are the two sides, isn't it?


                          Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by chipotlechris View Post
                            well, V5 has happened so i don't think they could continue from an earlier starting point. this isn't like the Halloween or Highlander movies! anyway, you're supposed to be stating what you like about it, not comparing it to an older version.
                            I think that the Followers of Set changing significantly/noticably is interesting ; though I dislike, to an extent, how it is done. Part of why I like the Setites very much is because of how focused and narrow ( in the good sense of this word ) they are in their attitude and methods. From what I read, this is lessened in V5. Is it written how many Followers of Set follow the new Ministry approach ?
                            I don't have the V5 books and it will be months, possibly longer, until I will have enough money to buy them. Could someone please summarise all the changes that happened to the Followers of Set in V5 ?

                            I like the Church of Cain, that it is inclusive towards Vampires from various and different groups.
                            Could someone write the most basic and notable information about this group, as well ?
                            Last edited by Muad'Dib; 12-09-2018, 05:45 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My likes about V5:

                              Character creation. In previous editions, you had to select primary, secondary, tertiary attributes and abilities, I think the construction of the character has more nuance and variation. The inclusion of predatory type as a primary M.O. of hunting and resonance of blood adds another dimension to the vampire. Mechanically, I like that the physical disciplines now have specific discipline powers and the designers solved the "get as much celerity as you can" arms race that occurred in editions 1-3. I like the focus on domain and city. It feels personal again. I like how hunger works, and greatly prefer the Hunger mechanic over Blood Pool. I like the concept of chronicle tenets and personal convictions, you don't necessarily have to employ a strict Judeo-Christian morality of the old humanity scale. I like blood potency. A young diablerist who eats his way to 8th generation isn't necessarily going to be a strong as a vampire who's 200 years old, active and 8th generation. It adds another dynamic and measure in considering the age and potency of a vampire. I love the "occultation of the Sabbat". In first edition, the Sabbat were mysteries, forbidden and that made them exciting. The changes to the sect allows for ST localization of the Sabbat- and I think that's a good thing. The Second Inquisition- love it. That helps establishes the "political horror" of the modern police state and the perpetual "war on terror" and makes every vampire concerned with the Masquerade. It raises the stakes (pun intended).

                              V5 exceeded my expectations. Those who aren't thrilled with the meta-plot sending the elders off to be served (as dinner or otherwise) to their ancient elders, well, you know, the meta-plot was always there in every edition, you don't have to be 100% devoted to it. I personally like this sort of Gehenna, vampires are still in the shadows, but the chaos they create reverberates in the mortal world with war, terror and human savagery.

                              This vampire edition makes me feel the same sense of awe and wonder of 1e.

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