Vampire: The Masquerade (2nd Edition) – System Mastery 80


We’re drawing ever closer to the terrifying end of White Ween, and we figured why not tackle an 800 pound gorilla a week before every sad internet friend you hate puts on their makeshift Harambe costumes.  It’s Vampire: The Masquerade!  The seminal White Wolf classic which is dripping with blood, gore, and pretension!

16 responses to “Vampire: The Masquerade (2nd Edition) – System Mastery 80

  1. Isn’t Wraith the Oblivion one of the main Whitewolf games? At least, we all treated it as a thing in the 90s… not that it seemed at all playable to me.

  2. Are you gonna do Changeling? It’s like a whole book of Malkavians. The way Changeling is written, it should be about the tragedy of being trapped in a dying world, but the way it is played, makes it all about wacky hijinx

    • I assume by “taking five points in a resource is actually a drawback” you mean that you end up getting worse at something when you do so? I want to say the rule of one is what causes that, but I’m not familiar with oWod or nWod to be sure.

      • I believe he’s talking about the Background points in most White Wolf games that end up having weird drawbacks. Like if you have 3 points in Mentor, you have a guy that likes you and knows a decent amount of stuff but if you put 5 points into it your Mentor is so powerful and busy that he doesn’t have time for you.

      • It’s a reference to a common theme in white wolf background advantages, where the more dots you acquire, the more larded down they are with restrictions or issues. IE (fake example here) one dot in Land gets you a shack, three gets you a town, five gets you a country but wouldn’t you know it you’re automatically at war and assassins are in your bathroom.

        Lol rare double clarification in this thread. Go team!

  3. Cool! I think I’ve been waiting for this review ever since the podcast started.

    Was the Camarilla/Sabbat conflict and the elder/neonate generational conflict a factor in 2e? Because those were a major part of Vampire’s setting since Revised and I feel like they barely got mentioned at all.

    Still enjoying the podcasts, but… I feel like lately you guys try to cram in so many side jokes that a lot of important details about the games you review tend to get lost in the shuffle. I know you can’t cover *everything*, but a little more setting info than “there are vampires, they’re in clans, here are there powers” would be helpful.

  4. I’ve been thinking about this. Do you think you’d prefer it if the majority of our reviews were two partners? It’s slow the schedule but let us five deeper into the books we cover.

    • That could go well; I’d enjoy listening to a two-part review. You wouldn’t even necessarily need two parts for every RPG (like a licensed setting, for ex., everybody and their grandma knows the setting of a Star Wars RPG), but games like Vampire where understanding the politics and culture of the setting is a vital part to playing the game would definitely benefit from a two-part episode.

    • I think you’re doing a pretty good job of separating out what should be a two-parter – games where both the setting and the mechanics are unique, so it takes a lot of time to cover them both. Specifically for things like World of Darkness, or anything based on d20, you’ve already covered the system mechanics so many times that it would be a stretch to go two episodes with any of those. Just the brief overview of mechanics that you gave in this episode is more than enough to remind everyone of how the system works (though your explanation during the Promethean episode was probably a bit lacking).

      And if you’d tried to spread the Vampire lore out over two episodes, it might have gotten boring for anyone who wasn’t super into Vampire already.

      You do lose a lot of time to the schtick, though. The first season was really focused, but now it seems like every episode starts with six minutes of padding.

    • Seconding the notion that you waste way too much time on padding. Remember that April fools episode where you never got to the game at all? It legitimately, honestly took me over fifteen minutes to notice that something was different from normal. Because every episode you put out starts with ten minutes of random nonsense before the first word about the actual game is spoken. Come on, guys. Tighten it up. Leave the nonsense for the Afterthoughts.

    • I’m going to disagree with the rest of the commenters in this tree. I love the schtick and the schmutz and the padding. Granted, I listen to you guys more for entertainment value than for insight into long-dead game systems. Given your avoidance of contemporary games, I think the entertainment first, analysis second approach is the best format for the show. You guys rock. Keep up the amazing work! :)

    • It’s really game dependent: you couldnt do a 2 parter on a lot of things like ad&d knockoffs or rules-light oddities, but it could work on stuff like this. There’s deffo a lot of times where you say you dont have time to talk. Maybe vary episode lengths, with like 1.5 hour long ones if there’s still stuff to say

  5. I have been enjoying System Mastery and was interested in finally hearing an episode on a game I’d played a lot of and not as a dumb high school kid (I played a bunch of Tales of the Floating Vagabond in High School). Anyway, fun episode (I vote thumbs up on side jokes) but I was kind of surprised on the Malc hate! In the campaign I played in we never had the wacky Malc problem and we had 2! One had the derangement that made him think he was a Ventrue (only the GM knew, it was well played) and the other had the mistaken notion that he was a wanted Italian war criminal from WWII and could never tell people as he thought he was being hunted for war crimes. It was a fun game….

  6. I had the rulebook and a few clan books for years before finally finding someone in my area that ran the game. I loved the story telling aspect, but hated the mechanics. My dice roll against me 85% of the time, so in my view the better you are at a skill, the better your chance at botching, which makes absolutely no sense. Just roll one die and add the skill point to the result, with a nat 1 being a botch. Sidenote, I played a Malkavian (former psychiatrist) with 20 different personalities one of which was Cain, but the GM thought I meant Kane from WWF lol

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