The Storyteller's Vault Roundup
  • The Storyteller's Vault Roundup

    Launched just prior to this year's Gen Con, Storytellers Vault is a crowd-sourced content creation arrangement that allows fans of World of Darkness to create and sell supplements for their favorite games from that line. The Storytellers Vault is similar to the successful Dungeon Masters Guild program for Dungeons & Dragons, and indeed it uses the very same content guidelines.

    Initially, the Vault allowed for new material for any of the (so far) four editions of Vampire: The Masquerade. Recently, White Wolf opened up the Dark Ages Vampire line to development as well, with every indication that we'll be seeing more of their classic lineup available for development in the future. Content creators are provided with style templates and even art from past publications, and are free to contribute "adventures, city or regional supplements, splatbooks, fiction; new powers and character types; backgrounds; character sheets, artwork, etc."

    This monthly column focuses on content from the Vault; every month, we round up and highlight a handful of noteworthy products. And so, without further ado, and with a rattling of old chains and a creaking of rusty gate hinges, let's open the Storytellers Vault Roundup for the first time...

    City supplements have quickly proven popular. At the time of writing, the most popular product in the Vault is a city book entitled Rose City at Night ($6.99). Written by Rachel Judd, this supplement represents the potential of the Storytellers Vault at its fullest.

    Clocking in at over 100 pages and written for Revised/3rd edition, Rose City by Night covers the city of Portland in the universe of Vampire. All the hallmarks of a classic city sourcebook are here: an overview of the setting (including its Mood and Theme), a potted history of Kindred and Kine in the region, urban geography, the Damned of Portland, and advice for running Chronicles set in PDX. The book concludes with a fully fleshed-out introductory adventure.

    Judd does an excellent job of conveying the feel of an old Vampire sourcebook: every section starts with a bit of fiction, for instance, and there's even a Special Thanks section on the credits page where everyone gets a silly nickname! The layout template and art resources provided by Storytellers Vault of course go a long way towards giving the book that "authentic" look as well. Folks who are familiar with the classic-era White Wolf books might spot more than a few familiar images, but Judd uses them effectively here and even includes some original art in the form of digitally-manipulated photos.

    Like any decent city sourcebook, Rose City by Night presents enough material to run many nights of action in Portland and its surrounding territories. The city's unique geography is nicely integrated (the Underground has obvious applications for vampires!) and the Camarilla-dominated politics of the city promise a great deal of scheming and betrayals for Troupes to explore. Even those Storytellers not planning Rose City by Night may get some use out of the expanded rules for hunting and feeding, as well as the gallery of sample victims presented.

    Small Bites: Other Storytellers Vault products are more utilitarian in nature. Here we highlight a couple quick picks from this particular side of the Vault.

    Fiends and Foes: Ready Made Antagonists for V20 ($4.99) by Sarah Hans gives Storytellers three groups of pre-generated antagonists to throw at their Troupes: a Sabbat Nomad Pack, an Anarchist gang, and an Inquisition pack. Written for V20/4th edition, the book is 40 pages of "backgrounds, role-playing tips, character sheets, and general inspiration" as well as full character sheets for each of the 18 characters detailed.

    For those of you who, like your esteemed author, use a landscape-style GM screen with insert pockets, the Storyteller Quick Reference Charts (PWYW; suggested price $2.99), compiled by someone who appears to wish to remain nameless, are an indispensable resource. Written for V20/4th edition, the screen inserts present the most crucial tables (Auspex auras, health levels, weapon charts) alongside handy summaries of various game procedures (hunting, frenzy triggers, Willpower spends) and in-game information, such as the Six Traditions. Even for those nighted souls without access to the sort of screen these inserts were designed for may wish to have them close to hand for quick reference instead of navigating the hefty tome that is the 20th Anniversary rulebook!

    ​contributed by David Larkins
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. PMrk's Avatar
      PMrk -
      It's quite good to have a roundup with so much material now out there, thanks!
    1. Zack Ball's Avatar
      Zack Ball -
      This was a great read, I look forward to the next one!
    1. SMHWorlds's Avatar
      SMHWorlds -
      I imagine some of these ideas have been gestating for decades. The Storyteller's Vault really is a fantastic concept.
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