Want to Playtest Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition (V5)?
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  • Want to Playtest Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition (V5)?


    White Wolf has just announced the Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition "pre-alpha" playtest, which you can download and play right now! The company also has an attached survey for playtest feedback. "Today we are sharing with you the Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition (V5) pre-alpha playtest kit, which includes the V5 pre-alpha rules and a special V5 pre-alpha scenario, The Night After. We invite you to download the kit and try it out: invite a few friends to play through the scenario together, talk about it, and then share your opinions with us through the online survey. We appreciate your feedback and value your input." The survey closes on August 1st, so you have about six weeks, after which WW will release the next iteration, the "alpha playtest".




    The announcement continues:

    We recommend strongly that you play the scenario and not just read the rules document. Actual play is the best way to experience and understand new rules concepts. In fact we suggest that you play it more than once, making different decisions each time to experience the full scope of the rules.

    This version of the rules is pre-alpha. That means it’s not feature complete, and the designers have not made final decisions about what rules and features will be included. It was created specifically to test the new Hunger Dice mechanics for a live playtest at the World of Darkness Berlin fan convention in May. Much will change between this version and the Alpha, Beta, and final release versions.

    We understand that you may be tempted to use this material to test the rules in ways that aren’t intended (such as trying to reverse-engineer the rules into your own scenarios, or published scenarios). We don’t recommend this: the pre-alpha rules were created specifically for The Night After scenario, and aren’t even close to final. We strongly recommend using them only to play The Night After scenario.

    The Night After is a scenario that was designed specifically for these pre-alpha rules. It provides a glimpse into the tumultuous and destructive events that occurred in Berlin in May 2017, as told in Enlightenment in Blood, a VTM LARP event at the WoD Berlin convention. The scenario takes place on the evening immediately after Enlightenment in Blood, but no knowledge of that LARP or its events is necessary to enjoy the playtest.



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    Comments 43 Comments
    1. Derren's Avatar
      Derren -
      I am confused, wasnt Masquerade the name of the old WoD setting? Are they bringing the oWoD back?
    1. ppaladin123's Avatar
      ppaladin123 -
      Yeah they released an anniversary edition (with tweaks) of the old world of darkness settings a few years back (masquerade was old world of darkness vampires....requiem is new world of darkness vampires). I think the old setting/ruleset has proved popular/durable enough that they decided to return to it more formally.
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Onyx Path (a separate company from White Wolf) licensed the rights to the World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness (old and new WoD, respectively, oWoD being Masquerade, Apocalypse, Ascension, etc. and nWoD being Requiem, Forsaken, Awakening, etc.) after White Wolf was sold. They developed the 20th Anniversary Editions of the various games (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Changeling, etc.). The Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition is being treated as the "4th Edition" in terms of calling this 5th Edition.

      After White Wolf was sold to CCP (a video game company), they tried and failed to make a World of Darkness MMO so then sold White Wolf to another video game company, Paradox. Paradox is the one ostensibly "in charge" of Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition.

      Meanwhile, Onyx Path still has an active license to produce material for both World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness and have had new releases as recently as this month, and Onyx Path has published a lot of brand-new not-reprinted-or-revised Vampire: The Masquerade and World of Darkness material.
    1. PMárk's Avatar
      PMárk -
      In other words, yes, OWoD is back and has been over 5ish years and OWoD and NWoD (now CofD) are existing in tandem since that.

      Honestly, I understand the whole story is like a bad soap opera and I understand not die-hard fans being confused, but man, it's getting trying, explaining it every time a new is coming up from WW.
    1. MH13outlaw's Avatar
      MH13outlaw -
      not a fan of the Art
    1. TerraDave's Avatar
      TerraDave -
      I guess these are cut down versions of the rules, but very clear and easy to understand! It remains a relatively light game, but it was never supposed to be about the "systems".

      Of course, chargen was not that clear. There are pre-gens in the scenario, which seems to have the style I remember from the game.

      Curious to see what the vampire veterans think.
    1. TwoSix -
      Considering all the controversy around this release, I'm interested to see how it will be received.
    1. PabloM's Avatar
      PabloM -
      Quote Originally Posted by TwoSix View Post
      Considering all the controversy around this release, I'm interested to see how it will be received.
      I´m sorry, what contreversy?
    1. shidaku's Avatar
      shidaku -
      I skimmed the download real quick, I get that this is supposed to set in the "real world" but I'm surprised that it's actually dealing with ISIS by name. That's...bothersome.
    1. EthanSental's Avatar
      EthanSental -
      I purchased the version that came out back in 2004 time frame at DragonCon and the version that was out before that. Never found a group to play it so never really got into it other than reading material like the clan books, etc.

      I'll probably do the same, check this out when it's completed more for just an interesting read.

      those clanbook covers by Bradstreet were pretty cool back then!
    1. Akodoken's Avatar
      Akodoken -
      Well, there goes my weekend, lol.
    1. Birmy's Avatar
      Birmy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Abstruse View Post
      Onyx Path (a separate company from White Wolf) licensed the rights to the World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness (old and new WoD, respectively, oWoD being Masquerade, Apocalypse, Ascension, etc. and nWoD being Requiem, Forsaken, Awakening, etc.) after White Wolf was sold. They developed the 20th Anniversary Editions of the various games (Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Changeling, etc.). The Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition is being treated as the "4th Edition" in terms of calling this 5th Edition.

      After White Wolf was sold to CCP (a video game company), they tried and failed to make a World of Darkness MMO so then sold White Wolf to another video game company, Paradox. Paradox is the one ostensibly "in charge" of Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition.

      Meanwhile, Onyx Path still has an active license to produce material for both World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness and have had new releases as recently as this month, and Onyx Path has published a lot of brand-new not-reprinted-or-revised Vampire: The Masquerade and World of Darkness material.
      I hope you just have the whole explanation ready to cut-and-paste when you need it, at this point...
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by Birmy View Post
      I hope you just have the whole explanation ready to cut-and-paste when you need it, at this point...
      Easier to tailor it to the needs of the discussion. If someone's confused over oWoD "coming back", I post something similar to that. If it's about "I thought White Wolf was out of business", I talk more about the company closing and the MMO. If it's about the LARP, I bring up By Night Studios but otherwise leave it out because crap's already confusing enough without adding a third (fifth?) company into the mix.
    1. TwoSix -
      Quote Originally Posted by PabloM View Post
      I´m sorry, what contreversy?
      Somebody from Paradox managed to offend a fairly broad group of fans with some tone-deaf marketing. I don't really remember all the details (not a big Vampire fan, Werewolf and Mage are more my thing), but it was a fairly contentious topic on RPG.net, which has a lot of White Wolf fans.
    1. PMárk's Avatar
      PMárk -
      Somebody from Paradox managed to offend a fairly broad group of fans with some tone-deaf marketing. I don't really remember all the details (not a big Vampire fan, Werewolf and Mage are more my thing), but it was a fairly contentious topic on RPG.net, which has a lot of White Wolf fans.
      1. They decided to use WoD, not NWoD/CofD and had comments about that the latter didn't sell as much as the former. NWoD fans didn't like that.

      2. They said they won't shy away using real-world events and other phenomenon in the game. For some people that's too "edgy" and they just basically hating them since that. That and the former point themselves are enough for some people to bash them at any opportunity.

      3. They made a big deal about a game concept which could have change the game profoundly. From the playtest the sky isn't seem to be falling.

      4. They hired Zak Smith for one of the app games and a lot of die-hard fans of Onyx Path games had serious problems with that, due to personal reasons. The app games also had some controversial elements in them.

      +1. The tabletop community (or at least the visible parts on forums) feels a bit neglected, because they're concentrated on the LARP side of things so far, although with this playtest, I hope that'd even out somewhat. Also it's somewhat understandable why they did so. Also-also they'd need more communication with the fanbase and I hope that'd change too (I'm willing to forgive them so far for that, they probably have a lot of things on their plate and have a small crew).

      That's it, in a nutshell. Anyway, the playtest is quite good, IMO. I don't like every part of it and yes, it needs a lot of work, but they said clearly, that it's really a pre-alpha. The Hunger mechanic is an interesting change and I more-or-less like it. I have concerns, about both the rules and the setting, but I'm also excited and happy they don't make it behind closed doors. Aside from that, do I like, or agree with everything they did and said so far? No, not at all, but I also think the amount of hate directed at them is quite extreme on several forums (and it's quite contained to those forums and specific groups), but hey, it's rpg fans on the internet, what should we expect?
    1. Jester David's Avatar
      Jester David -
      I'm sure this was already asked elsewhere, but how is this the 5th version of VtM? Are they counting Revised and 20th as separate editions? Is VtR an edition of VtM?

      For someone who can't remember the rules of the past version of Vampire the Masquerade, how different is this?
      I don't recall the rules being that dense that they required heavy playtesting, let alone playtesting starting pre-alpha...
    1. PMárk's Avatar
      PMárk -
      I'm sure this was already asked elsewhere, but how is this the 5th version of VtM? Are they counting Revised and 20th as separate editions?
      Yes, the 20th is officially the "4th edition" now.

      Is VtR an edition of VtM?
      No. They are completely separate games, separate universes, separate (although familiar) rule systems. They're coexist now and will coexist in the future. OPP does CofD and the 20ths to the point where the new edition will come out then the 20ths will likely be stopped. They'll continue to publish CofD (thus, VtR) as their thing and WW will publish WoD (thus VtM) as their thing. Collaborative works, like supplements might happen in the future.

      For someone who can't remember the rules of the past version of Vampire the Masquerade, how different is this?
      Depends. Still dice pools, still five dots as measure of aptitude. Still d10s. Lot of things are familiar, but a lot of them changed, streamlined. Blood pool is no more, instead we have a mechanic for how hungry the vampire is, which is similar, in purpose but a quite important shift in tone and focus. It's really a pre-alpha, so we don't know a lot of details about the majority of things, and this playtest's foremost purpose is testing the hunger mechanic. They said things will change so it's early to draw conclusions about V5. It's a bit like between D&D 3.5 and 5e, IMO, a lot of things are the same, or very close, but a lot of things are tweaked, simplified and so on.

      I don't recall the rules being that dense that they required heavy playtesting, let alone playtesting starting pre-alpha...
      WoD fans would likely disagree. Also, it's always funny, I agree with you, the rules never were dense, but you always find people in the indie/narrative game/FATE crowd complaining to no end about how rules-heavy WoD is.

      I'm happy they're willing to run it through multiple playtest turns, especially since they want to make some big changes. Better safe, than sorry.
    1. Abstruse's Avatar
      Abstruse -
      Quote Originally Posted by PMárk View Post
      They're coexist now and will coexist in the future. OPP does CofD and the 20ths to the point where the new edition will come out then the 20ths will likely be stopped. They'll continue to publish CofD (thus, VtR) as their thing and WW will publish WoD (thus VtM) as their thing.
      According to Ian Watson, they have the right to create works for both World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness as part of their license, without restriction to edition. So Onyx Path can, if they choose, start publishing V5 stuff as soon as it's released until the license is renegotiated.
    1. Winghorn's Avatar
      Winghorn -
      Quote Originally Posted by PMárk View Post
      2. They said they won't shy away using real-world events and other phenomenon in the game. For some people that's too "edgy" and they just basically hating them since that. That and the former point themselves are enough for some people to bash them at any opportunity.
      I must admit, I'm not really familiar with VtM and it's setting, so when I was skimming the PDFs the ISIS stuff in the playtest scenario kind of made me do a double-take. I get that some people want something more real-world-ey but to be honest it puts me off.

      Different people come to roleplaying for different things, I suppose.
    1. Arnix's Avatar
      Arnix -
      Am I the only one who thought about how much dead space (no pun intended) on every page of the PDF? The margins on either side come out to about 40% of the page width. 48 pages should be something like 30, or less.
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