This is the definitive edition of Vampire: The Masquerade. The 1st edition certainly paved the way, but this slim hardcover was the book on the table anywhere you went within a year of its release. The glossy pages, effective black and white art, and strong focus on the gothic-punk setting thoroughly captured the magic that made Vampire the hit it became. Those of you who have only played later editions will note some major details missing from the book. The Sabbat is barely detailed (this is before the first real Sabbat guide was released). Many of the Disciplines could use a bit of balancing. The game has that sense of limitlness boundaries, and is not yet yoked to the pervasive overplot that would sell splatbooks but cripple the life of the game in the long run. A fantastic read, and entirely playable to this day. Still my go-to-edition, even with Revised, 20th, two editions of Requiem and now 5th edition existing.
[5 of 5 Stars!]