A Game of Personal Horror
This is a game about the darkest areas of humanity, or should we say, the the lack of humanity. Vampires are creatures of the night, monsters which hunt for mortal blood. Their food. Their drug. Vampires are not superheroes with fangs or epic heroes. Vampires were people that recieved a thousand year old curse.
Vampire, in many cases, is a game about fighting to hold onto the last threads of your humanity, and not being subdued by the beast. The book sets up a world much like our own, where Vampires hide among the mortal masses, feeding off them like parasites. As a result, the world is darker than our own, where crime and poverty are more common. Within Vampire, or Kindred as they call themselves, society, there are two main sects, with multiple sub-factions. The Camarilla upholds a masquerade, hiding itself from the eyes of humanity. The Sabbat are Kindred who directly oppose the Camarilla, seeking to subjugate the mortal masses.
The art is wonderfully dark, showing you a world of shadows and deceit. While some of the pictures have a less realistic feel, such as the clan pictures, others are extremely detailed and nearly portrait like.
The rules of the game are actually extremely simple, providing a system which equally balances mental, physical and social actions. Character creation is simple, requiring not more than five minutes for a person that knows the system (except if your providing a character history, which is quite common). There are thirteen vampire clans to choose from, giving diversity to any chronicle.
Vampire: the Masquerade is an extremely worthwhile purchase for anyone that is into horror, storytelling, creative writing, or even just history.
[5 of 5 Stars!]