Posted on March 16, 2012 by Flames
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.
We made it our game…
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. Take your most frightening memory of childhood and view it through a mirror. That is what makes this game so appealing. You do what you have to in order to survive, but each time you do something bad, a little human part of you dies. You are the antagonist, even if you try not to be. VtM has been the one game to offer this up to players.
The second factor for VtM being an iconic game would have to be the artwork. Whether it is photographs or sketches, VtM has always had the most beautifully graphic art for a roleplaying game. It is one of the reasons I page through the books first and then read them, so I can see all of the artwork. Every detail is used to capture what it means to be a dark creature of the night, the monster under the bed, or the silent victim in this never ending war.
Plot is the third factor, in my opinion, that made VtM the iconic game it is. There are so many stories interwoven together to make this game. To make matters even more complicated, some of the stories may or may not actually be true, and it all depends on the point of view of the storyteller. This ties heavily into the personal horror theme as well, and makes for a wonderful point where characters discover that what they thought was true is really a huge lie. There comes a breaking point in every character’s story where they have to make a decision that can change the rest of their existence. To me that is one of the best types of stories. The rise of a character then the fall from grace, and what that turns them into.
The fourth factor in why VtM is such an iconic game is because it has brought together communities of people from all over the world. There are several organizations out there that deal with both LARP and tabletop. I have met so many people and made friends from all over America in my organization. Any time I travel to a city, chances are there is someone I know who plays VtM. I have been able to see cities I normally wouldn’t have seen, and meet awesome people who enjoy the game as much as I do. I feel very lucky to be a part of this culture and even a part of this game
Vampire the Masquerade gave us the setting to play in, and we made it our game.
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