The Difference Between Various Vampire Games

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The Difference Between Various Vampire Games

Post by Chris Shaffer on Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:51 am

For the sake of folks just coming in from Masquerade or the earlier edition of Requiem, this is a real quick rundown of what you can and can't expect beyond the obvious stuff.

Differences from Vampire: The Masquerade

  • While this particular game leans this way, plot-wise, Requiem in general has a much smaller emphasis on sect warfare. The different factions don't always get along (and some combinations are just asking for a trouble), but very rarely will you be getting anything like the Sabbat/Camarilla conflict. The sects are also much more localized; the Invictus Prince of Charleston might keep the lines of communication open with the Invictus Prince of Chicago, but Prince Justin's enemies are not necessarily Prince Maxwell's enemies. There isn't one large overarching organization to each of the covenants.
  • As far as anybody knows, the setting doesn't revolve around a bunch of ancient vampires working their will through unsuspecting followers. There are some ancient, powerful, string-pulling vampires, but nothing on par with the Antediluvians. As far as anyone knows. Similarly, aside from a few legends here and there, Requiem doesn't have a clear counterpart to Caine from Masquerade.
  • Raw vampiric strength is determined by age rather than steps removed from a progenitor. The equivalent character trait that determines how much blood they hold, how much they can spend, and how high their other traits can rise is Blood Potency and naturally increases with age. Sometimes the Blood gets weird, however and some vampires progress at different rates than others (as the player spends Experiences on Blood Potency). But the more potent a vampire is, the purer blood they need. At Blood Potency 3 (a century of age for most vampires), they have difficulties feeding from animals. At Blood Potency 6 (250 years of age for most vampires), they lose the ability to easily feed on mortals and require something stronger (either other vampires or other supernatural creatures purchased with a Merit). They can still manage to feed on weaker blood, but it requires effort.
  • Vampiric lineages are much murkier. Requiem focuses on five clans, each with their own origin myths and broad interpretations of what being a vampire means. But in addition to the clans there are dozens of bloodline offshoots with strange powers, weaknesses, and so forth. There are even alternate strains of the vampiric condition that act like clans in most ways that matter, and altogether different creatures that are still vampiric in some way. The Kindred are the most widespread, but they don't necessarily have a claim on being the 'one true vampire species.' There are also no Caitiff, though revenants (see below) fulfill a similar roll.
  • The struggle to maintain one's humanity is a much greater focus of Requiem. There are no 'Paths of Enlightenment' and Requiem's Humanity score is as much of a measure of how well one can identify with humankind as it is a scale of morality. (That said, vampires in Requiem have some ways of mitigating Humanity loss. See below.)

Between Requiem First Edition and Second Edition/'Blood and Smoke'

There are a number of little mechanical differences between editions (and most of this is also relevant to people coming in from Masquerade), but I'll try to stick to the important stuff here.

  • Above and beyond the Discipline updates, Blood Sorcery takes much longer to activate. It's a power meant for earlier preparation as opposed to on the spot casting. There are also certain thematic limitations on Blood Sorcery, like an inability to create fire or sunlight. In addition, the Coils of the Dragon have been expanded to five levels per Coil, and Coils now have rituals of their own called Scales. The 'core' Coils have been changed, the old Coils replaced with the new Coils of the Ascendant (focusing on dealing with the sun), Coil of the Wyrm (focusing on the Beast), and Coil of the Voivode (focusing on the blood bond).
  • The Invictus and Carthian Movement covenant advantages are now reflected through access to a selection of Merits, including the quasi-mystical Oaths and Carthian Law.
  • Vampires are now a little more resistant to sunlight (with the amount, type, and frequency of damage determined by Humanity and Blood Potency) and considerably more resistant to mundane weapons. Fire remains as dangerous as ever.
  • Vampires now have Touchstones that help anchor them to their Humanity. A Touchstone can be a human being with whom the character has forged an emotional connection, a keepsake of their previous life, or something similar (as long as I've cleared it). Humanity loss can be somewhat mitigated by giving oneself over to the Beast slightly. Upon losing Humanity, a vampire may make themselves unable to lose Humanity from that particular breaking point again at the cost of a permanent -1 to further detachment rolls and an additional vampiric weakness (called a bane).
  • The Virtue and Vice of mortals (and earlier edition Vampires) is replaced by Mask and Dirge, representing how the vampire covers its monstrous nature and what archetype its Beast takes (respectively).
  • The old Predator's Taint system, wherein vampires had to test upon first encountering each other, is gone. It's been replaced with the Predatory Aura, which allows vampires to voluntarily 'lash out' and attempt to overwhelm someone else with the power of their Beast. Vampires still automatically recognize each other as vampires on sight unless a power interferes with it.
  • Vampires no longer turn up as blurry in mirrors or visual recordings. They have an instinctive tendency to avoid being visible in reflections (when possible) and photos of them never turn out quite right. Either the vampire just happened to look away at the right moment, or a flash of light or something affected the focus, or some other factor. Vampires can suppress this effect at will, at no cost.
  • The Embrace now involves giving a little of yourself up to the Beast rather than infusing the vitae and childe with your will (mechanically, it costs a dot of Humanity instead of Willpower). It's also possible that when a human dies with the 'taint' of vampirism on them (drained to death, vitae in their system, etc.) they can rise again as a weak, clanless vampire known as a revenant.
  • The Fog of Eternity is no longer an assumed absolute. Elders awakening from torpor are often primed to understand the world around them and while some wake up crazy or deluded vampiric history in general is no longer the mystery it once was. There are legends and myths of Kindred history and while not everything of the ancient Camarilla is still known, there are elders who could tell you stories of it.
  • Vampiric senses are a little sharper. They see in the darkness far better than humans do and can compensate with hearing. They can also instinctively sense blood nearby whether it's hearing heartbeats, spotting faded bloodstains at the far end of a carpeted floor, or following the scent of fresh blood.
  • Tiny, tiny little difference, but in case nobody noticed: The Lancea Sanctum have been properly renamed the Lancea et Sanctum, thus preserving the proper Latin.
Chris Shaffer

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