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Thoughts on Vampire: The Masquerade 5th edition?

Raduin711

Adventurer
I know we have a few White Wolf people on this forum, but the games mostly only get brought up in passing. I am curious what people's reactions have been to 5th edition Vampire and what you think about the possibility of Werewolf and Mage 5th edition.
 

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Staffan

Adventurer
I haven't actually played V5, so my only experience with it is by skimming the rule book and watching LA By Night on Youtube.

My impression is that it's a significant improvement over earlier editions, particularly the Hunger system. In previous editions, you had a Blood Pool of 10 or more points depending on generation. When you used blood, you just crossed out points and when you drank you just filled it up. Functional, but a little dull.

In V5, you instead have a Hunger stat that ranges from 0 to 5. Drinking a small, safe amount of blood lowers it by 1, and drinking a larger amount of blood from a single vessel can harm them. Depending on the blood's quality, your hunger can't drop below a certain value - things like blood bags and animal blood might never take you below 2, and the only way to reduce your Hunger to 0 is by entirely draining your victim. There are also rules for how the mood, or Resonance, of the vessel can affect you.

Calling on the power of your blood requires a Rouse check: roll a die with a 50% chance of increasing your hunger. This creates an uncertainty regarding how much power you can call upon, instead of the plain numbers of earlier editions. As your blood potency increases, some things become easier to do so you might roll two dice instead, with both having to be failures in order to increase your Hunger, or you get increased value for your Rouse checks (healing more, getting a bigger bonus). Blood Potency servers some of the functions Generation used to do. It is connected to Generation, but each Generation has a span of possible Blood Potencies.

When you make a skill roll in the game, you replace a number of dice with Hunger Dice. They work mostly like normal dice, except:
  • You can't spend Willpower to reroll Hunger dice (normally one point of Willpower lets you reroll three dice, but they can't be Hunger dice)
  • If you roll a 1 on any of your Hunger dice, and your roll is a failure, you have gotten a Bestial Failure. Either the Beast manifested in a way that caused you to fail, or your failure made the Beast manifest. This can result in a Compulsion to act in a negative fashion for a short while, give you a point of Hunger, or some other negative effect.
  • If you roll two 10s, and at least one is a Hunger die, you have scored a Messy Critical (normally two 10s is just a critical, which counts as four successes instead of two). This means you succeeded and probably overkilled in a way that can threaten the Masquerade, or temporarily lose a dot of an advantage (background) because of your mess. You didn't just knock the guy out, you tore his head off. You didn't just realize something on a knowledge-type roll, you went on a long rant that alienated your allies. In your attempt to intimidate someone into letting you pass, you bared your fangs and snarled at them, sending them packing but showing your true nature. Stuff like that.
I would absolutely love to see a Mage 5th edition that based its Paradox rules on V5's Hunger rules (but with Weird Stuff instead of monstrousness).
 

AaronOfBarbaria

Adventurer
When it comes to V5, I really like the way the mechanical chassis reads as working (haven't had the time to actually run it yet, but don't expect any surprises once I do). And while the character creation system seemed odd at first because it involves assigning specific values to traits instead of spending pools of points, I realized the outcome is very similar to how people would spend their points when not trying to hyper-specialize.

The only complaints I have boil down to me not liking some of the people involved in the company, lack of nuance in the "edgy subject matter" parts of the writing, and the glacial pace of release for more mechanical goodies so that I have the whole set of tools I'm used to having when running my own stories.
 

MGibster

Hero
I think V5 is a fine game. I really like the way the hunger mechanics work. The hungrier a vampire is the more likely he or she is going to lose control and do something stupid like break the masquerade or embarrass themselves in front of other kindred. The main book seems really focused on younger vampires who are much more connected to mortals which works great for some campaigns but not all. I personally think they handled the edgy parts of the game fairly well. The authors made it clear that the player characters are unpleasant people doing unpleasant things but everybody should have fun so don't be edgy if it means making other players uncomfortable.
 

I would rather the V20 because it's is like a compilation. About crunch I would rather d20 and about fluff I don't need to spend my money when I can read the fandom wiki to know the metaplot. I bought the V20 and the book about the ghouls as pieces of collection.

The new rule of hunger is interesting, but dangerous or risky. I would rather to keep the pool of blood points. Why not to use both?
 

Staffan

Adventurer
The new rule of hunger is interesting, but dangerous or risky. I would rather to keep the pool of blood points. Why not to use both?
See, I like it precisely because it is dangerous and risky. The Beast is unpredictable. Some nights, you are riding the wave and calling upon the blood numerous times while keeping the Beast quiescent, and some nights the Beast gets cranky and insists on coming out to play.

There's also a psychological aspect to having the mechanical value being Hunger, not Blood. The important thing is not the quantity of blood, but how much more the Beast wants. And you also have the aspect of not being able to zero out Hunger without killing. You can have a herd of twenty willing donors to sip from, but unless you drink anyone dry the Beast will always want more.
 

AaronOfBarbaria

Adventurer
I like that way of looking at it Staffan.

Originally, my preference for the hunger mechanic over the blood pool mechanic was entirely game-play oriented. I had run years worth of chronicles and hunger-related story elements never seemed to come up without it being forced (such as by having antagonists drain a character to the point of starvation, or by ST mandate of 'you just spend a blood to wake up, so now you are running on empty, game on") because it was very simple and low-risk to keep topped off.

And I noticed, when I was playing a character that wasn't inherently physically imposing but was violence-minded, that even prepping for a fight by boosting all my physical stats to their cap didn't give me much risk of loosing control to hunger if I had my (readily available) herd to snack on - plus everyone else at the table looked at me like I was crazy once I started actually spending blood points at such a rapid pace.

So when I read the hunger rules and it brought unpredictability to the process, I was sold. Even if it means that a player now avoids using their vampiric powers more than they used to, that still appeals to me because it feels like genuine fear of the monster inside more so than spend a few blood and top off did.
 

MGibster

Hero
The new rule of hunger is interesting, but dangerous or risky. I would rather to keep the pool of blood points. Why not to use both?
With blood points in previous editions there's no uncertainty when it comes to consuming them. You pretty much know you'll lose X amount of blood anytime you use Y power or perform Z action. With the hunger mechanics in 5th edition there is always some uncertainty. Will that power actually increase my hunger level? Will that action increase my hunger level? I prefer the uncertainty.
 

Sadly, I ain't played it wither, but I'd LOVE to. The mechanics look solid and the lore is fun and dark (occasionally TOO dark. Freaking Chechnya...). I want to give the Duskborn a spin, especially.

Now, maybe they could also get W5 and M5 out as well? Mage 20th looks fun, but these mechanics seem a bit labyrinthine.
 

Ulfgeir

Explorer
I think it is the first time they kind of live up to the claims of being a game for personal horror, with how they redid the hunger-system.

I also think that some of the rules are outright clunky, and gets in the way with too much minutiae (like the types of blood). And it is as usual for White Wolf, as game where it is impossible to find the stuff you need as it is spread out over many not so obvious places.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
This new hunger mechanic sounds like we'd have enjoyed using it in our games 20 years ago. Of all the house rules we implemented I wonder why this never occurred to us?
 

GreenTengu

Explorer
I wonder if it was really so impossible to revise Ravenos and Tzimisce enough to put them in the core book. I had a particular fondness for those clans. I am glad the Followers of Set made it into the game though, they were my favorite.
 

Staffan

Adventurer
Sadly, I ain't played it wither, but I'd LOVE to. The mechanics look solid and the lore is fun and dark (occasionally TOO dark. Freaking Chechnya...). I want to give the Duskborn a spin, especially.

Now, maybe they could also get W5 and M5 out as well? Mage 20th looks fun, but these mechanics seem a bit labyrinthine.
There's a Werewolf 5th edition being done by Hunter's Entertainment (who also did Kids on Bikes and the Altered Carbon RPG). I don't know if they'll adapt the V5 system to Werewolf stuff, or if they'll do something different with it. So far nothing's been said about Mage, but then again the RPG business is generally running at a far slower pace these days than in the 90s.
 

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