December Storytellers Vault Roundup

Welcome to this month's Storyteller's Vault Roundup! This month we have some exciting news for fans of historical Vampire: The Masquerade gaming, as well as a couple spotlights on recent releases from the Vault.

When first launched, the Storyteller's Vault remit limited content creators strictly to one of the four extant editions of Vampire: The Masquerade, with promises of other lines being opened up over time.

White Wolf's first venture in that direction was with the Vampire: The Dark Ages line. However, on December 14th White Wolf announced that creators can now look forward to submitting material for the Vampire: The Victorian Age line. Quoting White Wolf's Shane DeFreest, "While there will not be a be a new V20 Vampire: The Victorian Age core sourcebook we will be releasing new color Victorian templates to go with the V20 line of products. Additionally, we will also be releasing the traditional 3rd Edition black and white templates made for use with the original Victorian Age line." As of writing, there is no definitive date for when these templates will be made available, but the goal is to have them out before the end of 2017.

Bloody but Unbowed is a complete Story by Travis Legge. Written for Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition (V20), it is set in the city of Rockford, Illinois. Although Rockford gets a short chapter's worth of coverage, the scenario "can be inserted into an existing chronicle with little to no work on the part of the Storyteller," according to the Introduction.

After a quick three pages providing an overview of Rockford, we get into the meat of the scenario. Interestingly, this presents options for running a troupe of mortals or vampires, and concerns the actions of a rogue, thin-blooded Cainite and the trouble she causes in the city. Options are provided for Storytellers to use this 21-page scenario as a Launchpad for a thin-blooded chronicle of their own, or even a Hunter's Hunted chronicle!

Apart from the author's photographs illustrating Rockford, much use is made of the Storyteller's Vault art archives, with layout following the standard V20 template.

Clanbook: Jiang Shi by the prolific David MacDowell Blue, takes a different approach, using its own layout and art—for better or for worse, as we shall see.

Because Kindred of the East has not yet been allowed for content contributions in the program by White Wolf, Clanbook: Jiang Shi presents an alternate take on East Asian vampires for Storytellers to use in their "4th edition" (i.e. V20) chronicles.

The author has very cleverly used the existing V20 rules framework to create a new type of Kindred rooted in Chinese vampire mythology. These "stiff corpses" are less hidebound to clan disciplines, but at the cost of being more obviously walking dead. In addition to guidelines for creating Jiang Shi characters (including new Merits and Flaws), the book also presents a host of prominent Jiang Shi. The book ends with a teaser for the author's forthcoming Dark San Francisco, which promises to make prominent use of Jiang Shi.

Where the book falls down is in layout. Clearly created using Microsoft Word, its look is a bit rough around the edges, particularly in the presence of an annoying watermark of a Chinese dragon that appears on every page; the dragon is just dark enough to interfere with easy legibility of the main text, making reading a chore. The art is uncredited but consists of Photoshopped images of Jiang Shi and other locations. The layout unfortunately detracts from what is otherwise a very strong entry in the Storyteller's Vault.

contributed by David Larkins



Great idea for a spotlight column! I think the proliferation of these officially sanctioned fan-content sites for game lines is a fascinating development, and I'm interested to see how this model mutates as the industry adapts and reimplements.

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