Why I Can’t Do Vampire RPG.

Bad guys do bad stuff like sucking the blood out of peoples’ necks and stealing their money. Good guys drive stakes through the bad guys hearts and leave them out in the sun to dry.


For the record: I don’t hate it.

Vampire the Masquerade Second Edition.

I’ve actually been a fan since it first came out. In general, I like World of Darkness. I’m a bit puzzled as to why Hasbro has taken an interest in it indirectly through Renegade Games, but at least it’s in good hands there.

The original game wasn’t bad. I’ve played a lot of LARP in that world. I’ve also done a few tabletop sessions playing as a Malkavian. My personality for that character was Bugs Bunny meets Hannibal Lecter. It was kinda cool, but I still feel kinda queasy even discussing it. That character took my mind to some hella dark places.

That was many years ago, however. I’ve had a lot of therapy and a spiritual awakening since then, so I’m okay now. My point being, like a couple of the other World of Darkness games, it can get dark and depressing pretty fast. That is just not my thing these days. But hey, if Vampire is your jam, that’s cool.

World of Darkness and Vampire the Requiem produced some really fabulous books.

Vampire: the Requiem

I ran Werewolf: the Apocalypse through much of my college career at ISU and it’s still one of my favorite campaigns of all time. But my players and I made it clear from day one that it was to be a strictly Werewolf game. Werewolf is not White Wolf. As in: thou shalt not drag Mages, Vampires, or Wraiths into it. The campaign worked beautifully. It was really a lot of lighthearted fun with the occasional growling, snarling bloodbath mixed in.

A few years down the road, Vampire: the Requiem came along and a new World of Darkness with it. I’m still a huge fan of those books. The revised WoD still sits on my shelves because I love the system. VtR had some of the most wonderful source material ever written, in my opinion.

I still keep the Chronicler’s Guide and Damnation City handy for worldbuilding in modern campaigns. They had some of the best advice for running any sort of horror game and worldbuilding in those books. I liked all of the WoD books from that era, but oddly VtR had the most standouts.

My issue, aside from the darkness, is politics.

No, I don’t mean Democrats vs Republicans. Masquerade suffered from constant bickering amongst the clans and that’s before the Hunters, the Sabbat, and the Antediluvians started getting involved. It just gets really stinking complicated really fast to the point where I’d rather play Diplomacy or Axis & Allies all night instead.

Requiem has its share of politics and groups, too. I just feel like it focused more on local events and less on inter clan rivalries. There were a good share of groups and organizations in that game as well, but it was more foreboding and less overwhelming in terms of horror.That’s just my perception, though.

I’ve never been a fan of drooling, slobbering monster characters.

I had the same problem with World of Warcraft, oddly enough. I just can’t get into playing the nasty undead, orc, goblin, vampire kinds of characters in any game as a player. As a DM/GM, we take on all of those roles and more every game session, just for a shorter time. If it’s your jam, cool. I just don’t do the whole let’s-be-evil-PCs thing.

At the end of the day, I’d rather play an elf. I like games where there is a lot of black and white. I’m not as big of a fan, from a GM perspective, of massive amounts of gray. Bad guys do bad stuff like sucking the blood out of peoples’ necks and stealing their money. Good guys drive stakes through the bad guys hearts and leave them out in the sun to dry.

Truth be told, I’d rather run a campaign based on John Carpenter’s Vampires, which would truly be a Hunters game. Not to mention the really epic dialogue in that movie… lol! Grizzled and gritty can be fun sometimes, but I actually prefer warmer and fuzzier characters as a player.

Thank you for being here. I appreciate you! Take care. Enjoy the sunlight and fresh air today if you get a chance.

Author: Jeff Craigmile

I'm a tabletop role-playing game writer and designer from Des Moines, Iowa always looking for more work. I'm the father of four boys and human to three cats.

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