Posted on September 20, 2004 by Flames
Written by Ari Marmell and Mike Mearls, White Wolf Publishing (WW2420)
Vampire the Masquerade is made up of a variety of elements that are integrated through both gaming skills and storytelling. A player oftentimes becomes strictly focused on the fighting or “battle” aspect of a game and neglects to take advantage of the other elements of the game. I’m not denying the fact that it’s fun to defeat a challenge using brute force, but I feel the more creatively I can defeat an opponent, the more gratification I receive. If you’re planning on taking a different route from simply ripping your enemies head off, you may consider corrupting his/her small corporation with your influence, or even bankrupting all of his/her bank account. In that case, Gilded Cage is the sourcebook for you.
Gilded Cage, a sourcebook for Vampire: The Masquerade, takes a look at the opportunity for players to control their ability to use politics and influence. The book is a fairly easy read at 111 pages and its layout is pretty easy to follow. Focusing on one’s personal influence, Gilded Cage exhibits how anyone can become influential, whether you are in janitorial services or the leader of a multibillion-dollar corporation. Not only can you learn to become more influential, but the book also covers some strategy behind climbing the social ladder. What player doesn’t want to become the highest on the social food chain in their local game? Learn how to pull all the strings needed to rules the streets or the business world; it’s your choice.
The key to using Gilded Cage isn’t the exact words on the pages, but instead how one uses the information given to enhance the story they have created. My favorite aspect of role-playing is the opportunity to take any story or concept and make it your own. The ability to make a character a “social butterfly” in the World of Darkness is just as important as how many enemies he/she can take down with a punch or a gunshot.
I like to keep myself aware that Gilded Cage is a sourcebook. Personally, I found it a bit difficult to finish in one sitting. Nonetheless, I also look at that as a good thing, for taking in all that information at once may have been a bit overwhelming. I suggest if you have a tendency of browsing through books for details, that you take a few days to look over the information in detail and then go back and try to read it in a shorter span of time. I found that the second time around, I gathered more from the source than I would reading it only once.
You don’t have to be into Vampire: The Masquerade to understand the information Gilded Cage displays. The book brings up the various social issues that we see in every day life, yet incorporates them nicely in the World of Darkness. All gamers should at least keep in mind that there are many ways to play a character. So if you think you have what it takes to be your clan’s leader or you just want to swindle your way to the top, Gilded Cage could be your guide to being the leader of your Vampire community.
Reviewer: Jeff Jacobs