The Blood is a series of essays by 3 of Requiem's most renowned developers, each chapter deconstructs the Kindred curse in exhaustive detail. This expansion for the Storytelling System's Requiem line takes on an aspect of being a player in the Vampire game. The basic conceit of this book is that the drama of personal horror is in the players' hands; the Storyteller is there to lead her players in situations and characters against the backdrop of gothic horror stories.
This book is expanded into three "essays", each written by a different Requiem developer. Each chapter covers a different set of rules from the Vampire: the Requiem core rulebook (character creation, vitae and other mechanics, and the psychology of a Vampire's unlife respectively). The intent is to give the mechanics of the games more emotional depth for a player to work with. If you are going to really play a vampire, how can you start to identify with one?
Chapter 1 is Kindred Characters: This section is probably the most practically useful. It covers each step of character creation, but where the core rulebook covers the "what" of the character's attributes, this chapter digs into the "Why". Why does this character have Social Attributes over Physical? Why does she have a higher Blood Potency than normal? Why did this group of vampires get thrown together?
This section gets past the "dots" on the character sheet. It gives a player a lot more to think about as far as character cohesion and story hooks to give the Storyteller that resonate with the player. Rich stories come from rich backgrounds, and the Kindred Characters chapter gives players plenty of tools to add depth to her character before the first Scene even begins.
Chapter 2 is Properties of the Blood
This chapter deconstructs the essense of the vampire physiognomy. It is an exhaustive and in-depth analysis of the mechanics of the game that the players would use every night: each rule for vitae is described from a story perspective. What is each stage of the Vinculum (enslavement through a blood bond) like? How do different kinds of vampires choose to use it? What does it feel like to use blood to fuel Disciplines or to heal wounds? What about feeding?
This section also covers the non-mechanical aspects of other non-vitae systems like Torpor, Frenzy and Humanity.
More than any other chapter in this book "Properties of the Blood" vividly illustrates how the various rules detailed in the core rulebook can be dramatized in play.
Chapter 3 is Vampire Psychology
This chapter painstakingly details the essense of the Kindred mind, deconstructing rule concepts of the vampire's mindset. This section proves very useful as it gives a Storyteller a list of all of the events to weave into each character's chronicle, and for the player it describes what impacts it could have on her psyche.
This chapter also expands on vampire Disciplines and the psychological impact of each power, dot by dot, with an emphasis on the related Derangements that could develop with inappropriate use. The principal goal of this section is to give the players more options to wring every drop of drama from each game mechanic.
While this book is strictly for the "storyteller" and "method actor" gamer types, it can be used by both. Since my role is strictkly in the "storyteller" camp of gamer, I have found this book indispensible. One of the biggest challenges with any game is dramatizing the game's mechanics in a meaningful and entertaining way. This books is an exciting foray into taking game mechanic concepts and translating them into meaningful story seeds.