Tag Archive | "vampire retrospective"


Vampire Retrospective: Crystal Mazur

Posted on March 16, 2012 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Crystal Mazur. Crystal is an active member of One World by Night and tells us how Vampire was her introduction to RPGs.

Vampire the Masquerade has been a part of my life for about 13 years now. It was my introduction to roleplaying games, and no game has yet to bring what VtM has to offer. VtM has a lot of aspects that games tend to shy away from and themes even the most grotesque horror novelists would find deplorable.

So why has this game become such a sub-cultural icon? To me, it has to do with several factors. The first being the Theme of the game. VtM is all about personal horror. Yes there are monsters under the bed, but over time you become that monster.


Vampire Retrospective: Craig Oxbrow

Posted on March 5, 2012 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Craig Oxbrow. Craig tells us about his experiences with Vampire: the Masquerade 1st Edition.

I had been playing and GMing roleplaying games since I was eleven or twelve, and I’d always wanted more focus on the players’ characters than most RPGs and adventures encouraged. Too many missions where it didn’t really matter what you were like as long as you could pick locks or use a sniper rifle. I was approaching seventeen and already jaded.


The Vampire Retrospective Project Continues…

Posted on February 29, 2012 by

When I first launched the Vampire Retrospective Project I had intended it to be a short run to the end of the year and that was it. The response has been very positive from fans, developers and freelancers that have worked on various editions of Vampire: the Masquerade and other RPGs over the years. I’ve also had a few people contact me that wished they could have taken part, but missed the deadline due to work or other conflicts.

So…I’m making the project an open-ended event here on Flames Rising. Especially now that Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition is out and people are starting up games all over the world. If you missed out on sending in an essay, here is your chance, I’d love to hear about your experiences with Vampire (any and all editions or variants).


Vampire Retrospective: Frederick Bell

Posted on December 23, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Frederick Bell. Frederick tells us about how much he initially did not like Vampire and walked away from it for some time. He then re-discovered the game through online play. He goes on to tell us how playing the game online was one of the most rewarding gaming experiences of his life.

At first, I absolutely hated the Vampire the Masquerade game.

I hated everything about it. The haughty audacity of the game concept, the glorification of monsters, the hipster arrogance of the players, the model-perfect character art, and even the overly ornate layout of the game-books just grated against my sensibilities. My first attempts at playing in a chronicle were clumsy, confused and brutal affairs that always descended into sociopathy and sadism.


Vampire Retrospective: Adrian Stagg

Posted on December 13, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Adrian Stagg, a reviewer over at DriveThruRPG. Adrian tells us about discovering Vampire at age 15 and how the World of Darkness has influenced his games and more.

Since I was fifteen, there has been a vampire lurking in background. Green marble and red rose, the book was to change very much how I approached role-playing and really, certain aspects of my life. I had been playing D&D, WEG’s Star Wars, Shadowrun and a dash of Cthuhlu before I discovered Vampire: the Masquerade. Compared to the other games, it held a slightly different allure.


Vampire Retrospective: Tyler Ray

Posted on December 5, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Tyler Ray. Tyler tells us about discovering Vampire at a convention in Las Vegas and the artwork and mood of Vampire have changed how he plays RPGs even today.

Vampire The Masquerade brings up so many thoughts and images since it was brought to my attentions at convention in Vegas. The first soft cover green book showed that 16 year old the first time it was more about the character than the action. Those pages bound inside the book talking about the fight between man and the beast, are you really in control of your fate, and can you live in the structure of society or rebel against it.


Vampire Retrospective: Kelley Barnes

Posted on December 1, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Kelley Barnes, who has been onvolved with Vampire a number of different ways over the years ranging from Camarilla Club Director to White Wolf’s Marketing Director and contributing author on Paths of Storytelling: Vampire and so much more. Kelley tells us about her experiences with LARP, the Gehenna announcement and the 20th Anniversary Edition of Vampire.


Vampire Retrospective: Joshua Alan Doetsch

Posted on November 28, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Joshua Alan Doetsch, author of the novel Strangeness in the Proportion for World of Darkness. Joshua tells us about discovering Vampire: the Masquerade in 1995, exploring the World of Darkness and how his novel is “my love letter to The Masquerade and all of its ghoulish siblings.”


Vampire Retrospective: Michelle Webb

Posted on November 23, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Michelle Webb, author of the recently launched Life Imitates LARP column here at Flames Rising. Michelle tells us about her joining a Vampire LARP, being a member of the Camarilla fan club and the friends she has met along the way…

When I went with my friend Scott to play in a Vampire game he’d heard about at his (now wife’s) school, I had no idea my life would be forever changed. At the time I was in my first marriage and working at jobs I hated, making just enough scratch to keep my head above water. Little did I know when I showed up at Angsthaus that night that I’d be here writing this all these years later. I’m now happily married and living the nerd dream of working in the gaming industry and being able to be a part of the game that changed my life. That game was Vampire the Masquerade.


Vampire Retrospective: Todd Cash

Posted on November 17, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Todd Cash, one of the more prolific RPG reviewers here at Flames Rising. Todd tells us about his first experiences with Vampire, moving on to other games and now looking to start up some old characters once more.

I wouldn’t be gaming today if Vampire the Masquerade failed to exist. It sounds more melodramatic than the situation really is. I started gaming in 1987 with TSR’s Marvel Super Heroes and Top Secret. I loved comics and horror movies, wanted to be the heroes I read about, and found that outlet through gaming. While there were great horror games on the market, my exposure to them was limited (they didn’t advertise in comic books and Waldenbooks didn’t carry them).


Vampire Retrospective: Dave Martin

Posted on November 14, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues with a new essay from Dave Martin. Dave is the leader of the Wrecking Crew demo team. The Wrecking Crew ran a number of Vampire tabletop games at this year’s Grand Masquerade in New Orleans.

I am a better therapist because of Vampire.

I know this sounds crazy but it’s true. I run specialty groups for men in prison and on probation – between two jobs I run twelve of these groups every week with each group consisting of six to twelve men. It is my job to confront or challenge them in order to help them grow and meet their own goals.


Vampire Retrospective: Tiphanie Gammon

Posted on November 11, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues with a new essay from Tiphanie Gammon. Tiphanie got her start with Vampire as part of an online forum game. Here she tells us about that experience and her recent return to the night.

My story with the World of Darkness started back in 2005, when a friend asked me to join a forum role-play with him. I was in eighth grade at the time, with seemingly endless free time, so of course I joined. And that moment, that choice to join, changed my life.

I was never into traditional table top role-plays — a horrific experience the one time I ever tried to purchase dice in my teens left me scarred and unwilling to leave the comfort of Japanese RPGs and manga until college — but I gave London by Night a chance since Jon thought it was cool. Why not, right?


Vampire Retrospective: Brian Petkash

Posted on November 7, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Brian Petkash. Brian tells us about his short time working at White Wolf, which in part led to him working with the National Association to Protect Children and becoming a teacher.

Fate is a curious thing

One doesn’t know what is planned out ahead of time, of course—God or the three old ladies or the oracle or the Flying Spaghetti Monster isn’t that open—but with hindsight it’s easy to see the willful hand, or paw, as it is in this case, of the cause-and-effect chain of fate.


Vampire Retrospective: Eddy Webb

Posted on November 1, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Eddy Webb, Lead Developer for Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition and many other World of Darkness titles. Eddy tells us about the special dedication from the 20th Anniversary Edition book.

To Michelle. Without you, I would not have Vampire. Without Vampire, I would not have you.

Those sixteen words in Vampire: The Masquerade – 20th Anniversary Edition were mentioned to me more than any others as I walked around The Grand Masquerade in 2011. People seemed pleased, confused, and even close to tears as they read them back to me over and over again. Those words really explain the most important thing about Vampire to me – it brought me the woman I love.


Vampire Retrospective: Shane DeFreest

Posted on October 27, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues today with an essay from Shane DeFreest, the former Community Developer for CCP/White Wolf Publishing. Shane tells us about his early introduction to Vampire and his experience being part of the fan community. Shane’s role may have changed, but his commitment to the fans has not.

If you were to go back in time 20 years and tell me that the funny weird looking green book I was putting on the shelf in the section with all the other non-D&D “weirdo role playing games” at the local comic and game shop I worked at would be the single most defining thing in my life, I would have laughed at you and pointed to the X-Men #1 hanging on the wall and said “that defines my life”. Because, for ten years prior to Vampires release, and for as long as I could remember, comics did that for me, not role playing games. Sure, I loved playing D&D for the acting escapism (did theater from a young age) but I was a comic guy and expected that my life journey would forever be tied to superheroes. How so very wrong I would be. That strange green book ironically came out the same year I graduated from high school and my first year of adulthood. I didn’t know it then but my journey into darkness had just begun.


Vampire Retrospective: Pauline Benney

Posted on October 24, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues with a little something from Pauline Benney, former designer at White Wolf and now at DriveThruRPG. Pauline tells us how she started playing Vampire and how she started working at White Wolf.

I first encountered Vampire: The Masquerade in 1993…But to tell this correctly, I should give a little background. I had gotten my certificate in Graphic Design and had completed school just as digital design started taking root. Most of the practical knowledge I had acquired at school was not in practice anymore by the time I graduated. In January 1992 I moved to Florida for no good reasons. After a couple of months, I got a job and made friends. One of them, Jinx, asked a group of us to play a new tabletop RPG with him. I had not role played since I was quite young…I didn’t want to spend hours rolling dice and reading charts just to make a character before we could even get started…I had flashbacks of my dad and brother trying to explain to me why my wizard could not carry a sword. After some pestering and promises that it wouldn’t be like that because “this system is sooo different,” I agreed.


Vampire Retrospective: Jacob Bjørnø Klünder

Posted on October 21, 2011 by

The next entry in the Vampire Retrospective Project comes from a freelancer know for his work on Dark Ages: Vampire and other classic World of Darkness titles. Jacob tells us how he got his start with Vampire.

Funnily enough, it actually started with Mage: the Ascension.

I’d made a new friend in High School, a guy named Thomas, and he had Mage. I was getting tired of my old group and our games and so I got together with this guy and some other friends and we used Mage as a generic game. The result was a number of fun one-shot games and a great horror campaign. We’d also found out that the company that did Mage had done another game, this one about vampires, and so Thomas and I went to visit my cousin in Copenhagen and pick up some books at the gaming stores in the “big city”.


Vampire Retrospective: Yair Robinson

Posted on October 18, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective Project continues this week with a new essay from Yair Robinson, a Rabbi who tells about the search for a game that explores a character and the first time playing Vampire: the Masquerade.

It was 1992 or so when Vampire: The Masquerade entered my life. I was a sophomore in high school, knee-deep in the kind of existential crisis that only arises when you’re 15, when my friend Amber and her boyfriend Keith asked me if I wanted to try a new game out called Vampire.

Initially I was unconvinced. I had played role-playing games before, and hadn’t been impressed. Oh, some of them had been amusing: Marvel Superheroes in Middle School (with appropriate ‘pew-pew’ noises); AD&D and MERP, which always struck me as a math textbook pretending to be a game; TORG (not going there), all provided a good laugh but never really moved me, never were more than a vaguely amusing board game. Oh, there was something called ‘character development’ in each of those games, but the rules surrounding them always seemed arcane and overly complex, with most of the effort spent on stats and figures rather than the nuances of the character himself.


Vampire Retrospective: Steve Wieck

Posted on October 12, 2011 by

Our next Vampire Retrospective Essay comes from Steve Wieck, former CEO of White Wolf and current head of DriveThruRPG. Steve tells us about some of the early days when White Wolf was dealing with printers, distributors and retail stores.

White Wolf in the early days of Vampire

“Steve, we have a problem with the Tzimisce book,” Rich Thomas, White Wolf’s head of design said, “but we think we have a solution for it.”

“Ok,” I said with some trepidation.

“Josh did the art piece for the back cover, and well, it’s probably going to be seen as a little inappropriate by some distributors and retailers.”


Vampire Retrospective: Morgan A. Oviatt

Posted on October 9, 2011 by

The Vampire Retrospective continues with an essay from Morgan A. Oviatt. Morgan tells us about his first character and making friends with “a guy in a beret playing an Assamite” which certainly sounds cool to me.

Vampire with Moon

My initial forays into the World of Darkness was a boy in my NASA-funded school in Texas nicknamed “Satan”. He was a goth, had sharpened nails and carried the Vampire Player’s guide everywhere but played with nobody. He struck me as a bit of a git, and so I was initially hesitant to consider Vampire as a real game.


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