Joseph Erwin – Freelance Dungeon Master

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The Night Beckons: Roleplaying Vampires

We all know Vampires, those enigmatic creatures of darkness which drink the blood of the living and prey upon mortals like livestock. Their variegated depictions are too numerous to recount here, suffice to say that simply searching “vampire” properties and stories online will yield more then enough results.

Vampire: The Masquerade is a uniquely charming and compelling role-playing setting where every vampire story is cannon. This is represented by the various clans which are constantly at odds with each other. It is really worth looking into, if like me and many of my friends you have a love or nostalgia for early 2000s goth aesthetic and movies like Underworld (2003) and Blade (1998).

I have run and played Vampire many times at this point, and one interesting aspect stands out to me that I wished to recount here: That vampires (or “Kindred” in VtM) are portrayed as pack creatures which band together, but in the end are completely alone.

The Beast, the animalistic blood-drinking instinct of Kindred which lurks in all their cold hearts, is always trying to escape. The endless battle against The Beast (represented by the slowly slipping Humanity stat), is one which is fought alone. All of a Kindred’s contacts and allies, all of their friends and touchstones, can only serve to remind a vampire of what it once meant to be human.

The Kindred of Vampire: The Masquerade are filled with pathos and remorse, wracked by inner anguish and conflict over how to reconcile their condition.

And as my players and I put it: “They are unironically edgy and pretentious, and that’s why they’re great.”

Published by Joe Erwin

I am an independent creator and GM with a deep love of storytelling and adventure! I desire most to share these things with others, and I hope to do that through my work and my writing.

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