Piestar
 member, 874 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sun 2 May 2021
at 08:00
Vampire without the masquerade...
Hey, just looking for suggestions and recommendation for the best vampire system that isn't the Masquerade.

I've only played a few games in that system, but there is little sense of being a vampire in it, it is all about the politics and the battles between the houses and other groups. Is there a decent system where you just get to be a Vampire?
Alyse
 member, 735 posts
 Pretty, witty, and gay
 [married since 2011!]
Sun 2 May 2021
at 08:33
Vampire without the masquerade...
What do you mean by 'just get to be a vampire'... you want to play a blood-sucking fiend that feeds on people like they are cattle? Maybe look for a Sabbat game, if you like the VTM mechanics well enough. Otherwise, you have a number of options: Angel, Ghastly Affair, The Dawnline, Thousand Year Old Vampire, Undying, Victorian Gothic...
Ramidel
 member, 1385 posts
 Err on the side
 of awesome.
Sun 2 May 2021
at 08:38
Vampire without the masquerade...
CJ Carella's Witchcraft has Vampyre rules in the Mystery Codex. You need to take a disadvantage to suck blood, though.

This message was last edited by the user at 08:39, Sun 02 May.

Piestar
 member, 875 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sun 2 May 2021
at 08:41
Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to Alyse



I was hoping for a little bit more than just a list of names. Have you played all of those? Which one left you feeling the most like a vampire? Not looking for the opportunity to be more evil, but to spend less time doing the bidding of others, feeling more like a cursed being and less like a super-powered member of a huge army. More like a Hammer film and less like Underworld. And not at all like Twilight, please.
nauthiz
 subscriber, 716 posts
Sun 2 May 2021
at 10:44
Vampire without the masquerade...
Are you looking for strictly a rule set or a setting as well?

Mainly asking as the various flavors of Masquerade and its derivatives/affiliations can be used to play up the "personal horror" aspect mechanically if the decision is made to go that route.  The aspects you're looking to get away from are all mostly setting derived.
Piestar
 member, 876 posts
 once upon a time...
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Sun 2 May 2021
at 10:54
Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to nauthiz (msg # 5):

For one thing, I would like the more traditional set of vampire powers and weaknesses. So I think that would be system. But I would like it to come with a good setting as well. Urban, but the time period is open, Victorian could be fun, so could the 1920's, or even modern day.
Alyse
 member, 738 posts
 Pretty, witty, and gay
 [married since 2011!]
Sun 2 May 2021
at 11:03
Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to Piestar (msg # 4):

If you want to feel the most like a vampire, try Thousand Year Old Vampire. By way of caveat, this is a journaling game meant to be played solo. Very atmospheric, just not roleplaying per se. Undying would be my next choice, but you would hate it. Think of it as the bastard love-child of VTM and Apocalypse World. All the social aspects of VTM but with sharper edges and harder choices. Very dark, very intense. Monsterhearts is PBTA like Undying. It has a vampire playbook but is not specifically about vampires. An excellent game regardless, one I recommend. I have played neither Angel nor The Dawnline, but watched the Angel and Vampire Hunter D series which inspired them. Both are about vampires who combat otherworldly forces in defense of humankind, even as they struggle with their cursed existences. Ghastly Affair and Victorian Gothic are both games of period horror not built around playing vampires. Easily done in either, mind you, and most closely inspired by the Nineteenth Century stories by Polidori, Le Fanu, and Stoker.
Piestar
 member, 877 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sun 2 May 2021
at 11:06
Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to Alyse (msg # 7):

Wow, thank you, lots of good info there.

To be clear, I don't hate V:TM, it's just not the experience I am looking for at the moment.

Thousand Year Old Vampire sounds intriguing, I will certainly have to look it up. If you have the time, could you give me a bit more info on what a journalism game is though?

I will check out Ghastly and Victorian as well, just to see what they offer.
Piestar
 member, 878 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Sun 2 May 2021
at 11:33
Vampire without the masquerade...
Checked out a YouTube video on TYoV, and it sounds really cool. Considering buying it. I can't help but wonder if it couldn't be folded into sort of roleplaying game, where the players don't interact, but you can read each others stories. Then again, it sounds like it could go to some very dark places.
Alyse
 member, 739 posts
 Pretty, witty, and gay
 [married since 2011!]
Sun 2 May 2021
at 11:57
Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to Piestar (msg # 9):

You could make TYOV interactive by borrowing the letter-writing conceit of the game De Profundis (another one I recommend). Storylines would be entirely separate for the most part, as each player would be writing about their own character's trials and tribulations, but players could opt to merge them at some point. Still a journaling game, just one with an audience. ^_^
Alyse
 member, 740 posts
 Pretty, witty, and gay
 [married since 2011!]
Sun 2 May 2021
at 12:07
Vampire without the masquerade...
Quill is another game with a letter-writing conceit, although not entirely freeform like De Profundis. It has several supplements which expand the core premise into other settings and genres. Curiously lacking a vampire setting...
Knight_Vassal
 member, 578 posts
Sun 2 May 2021
at 17:08
Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to Piestar (msg # 8):

Sounds like the only real issue you are having with V:tM is the Blood powers. Which to be completely fair are based on the stories of vampires from myth. But removing them is easy. It's a rule set it can be changed. Besides the point. I mean properly set D&D works wonders. Tell a GM and help them set the tone of the game leave the details to them.

This message was last edited by the user at 17:16, Sun 02 May.

penne
 member, 17 posts
Sun 2 May 2021
at 20:01
Vampire without the masquerade...
Magpie Games has a free, diceless (PBTA) game called Undying that's about "vampires and their nightly schemes, filled with politics, passion, and predators."  Politics are part of it, but not all of it.

Other PBTA games like Urban Shadows and Monsterhearts also have vampires as player choices (among other supernatural types)--they're not strict vampire games.

This message was last edited by the user at 20:03, Sun 02 May.

jait
 member, 448 posts
Sun 2 May 2021
at 22:20
Vampire without the masquerade...
Dresden Files Accelerated has privisions for playing two different types of vampires:
WHite Court which are emotional vamps, feeding on a specific kind (lust, despair, fear), or Red Court, which is much closer to the traditional vamp setup.   If you're playing by the setting (based on The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher), then there is some internal politics, but it's not necessary nor core to the game.  That'd be entirely up to you and the GM to work out.  Of course, in that setting, the vamps are typically the bad guys.

If you're playing out of Butcher's setting, then there's all sorts of leeway to play, and the system is very customizable for character-creation, meaning that you could make it as traditional or outside of traditional bounds as you might wish.
Dirigible
 member, 239 posts
Sun 2 May 2021
at 22:33
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
Piestar:
For one thing, I would like the more traditional set of vampire powers and weaknesses.


I'm curious about this, as I'm working on a homebrew vampire RPG system and setting myself. VtM has every ability ever associated with vampires in myth or fiction, and then some. Is it that each individual character only has easy access to a small subset of them you don't like? And similarly, that each clan only has one signature weakness?
steelsmiter
 member, 2139 posts
 BESM, Fate, Indies, PBTA
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Sun 2 May 2021
at 22:49
Vampire without the masquerade...
Later BESM games?
V_V
 member, 936 posts
 Resting. I hope to find
 peace and vigor return.
Sun 2 May 2021
at 23:54
Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to steelsmiter (msg # 16):

I'm tickled this is the last response. I was coming to post about dX being the system I had the most fun with playing vampire. BESM 2e revised was really fun too.

By no means is it a vampire game though. It does, however, have powers that ooze with the vampires staples. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust battles are something I was very fortunate to have pulled off; though F2F, not on RPoL, and it was a marvelous mix of powers to make vampires grounded but diverse. Everything from the double armor pierce of D's weapon, to the cloak of the vampire lover being a forcefield, to the many shots of the wrist X-Bow to Atral Projection to the substantive damage in sunlight as bane that carried a custom flaw "incurable". Turning into a bat, wolf, or mist are doable, though admittedly clunky, like firing an overloaded sling shot. Gaining life force from drinking blood is the titular vampiric weapon attack function. While the process of created new vampires is baked into the power contamination.


BESM 2e is clunkier than dX; but dX is by no means smooth either. I like it, but it's not robust, and really has no strict setting; at least that I'd compare to WoD or D&D.
steelsmiter
 member, 2140 posts
 BESM, Fate, Indies, PBTA
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Mon 3 May 2021
at 00:35
Vampire without the masquerade...
V_V:
In reply to steelsmiter (msg # 16):

I'm tickled this is the last response. I was coming to post about dX being the system I had the most fun with playing vampire. BESM 2e revised was really fun too.

Honestly the main reason I suggested the later ones was support. 4's enough like 3 that you could easily get something for 4 converted to 3.

quote:
By no means is it a vampire game though. It does, however, have powers that ooze with the vampires staples.

Yes, I think perhaps me suggesting it was more out of not really intending to point out a vampire system, so much as a system that can run vampires and doesn't have anything to do with secrecy or whatever.

I feel like GURPS Horror would also probably be pretty good for having like 20 different mythos of vampires all in one game.
Sir Swindle
 member, 312 posts
Mon 3 May 2021
at 00:57
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
Piestar:
I've only played a few games in that system, but there is little sense of being a vampire in it, it is all about the politics and the battles between the houses and other groups. Is there a decent system where you just get to be a Vampire?

Can we address what this actually means?

quote:
there is little sense of being a vampire in it

What do you mean here? What vampiric aspects are you looking for?

quote:
it is all about the politics and the battles between the houses and other groups.
This is what the games YOU have been in are about. If you are looking for a new system then I assume you are not looking for games on RPOL since some random exotic system isn't going to show up. So if you have a group you play with and they know V:tM then it is better to say "Hey known VtM players, how about a game that focuses less on politics and the battles between the houses and other groups and more on [whatever you mean by vampireness]."

I recently read the forward of the Milwaukee by Night setting book and it is a fair bit different than someplace like New Orleans. You could peruse the other setting books and see if there is a city that fits your criteria or just do it homebrew.
Piestar
 member, 881 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Mon 3 May 2021
at 01:23
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
Dirigible:
Piestar:
For one thing, I would like the more traditional set of vampire powers and weaknesses.


I'm curious about this, as I'm working on a homebrew vampire RPG system and setting myself. VtM has every ability ever associated with vampires in myth or fiction, and then some. Is it that each individual character only has easy access to a small subset of them you don't like? And similarly, that each clan only has one signature weakness?


I don't get the same sense of the game as you I guess. Each clan has some version of some of the powers, but what class would you call the traditional Bela Lugosi/Christopher Lee vampire? Can change forms, can't stand the daylight. Distance hypnosis but can't enter a house without an overt invitation. Heck, I can withstand quite a bit of daylight, and turn my hand into a alligator paw in one game, not very traditional. And I get the impression most vampires can't change in to an animal at all.

So yeah, I guess what you're saying about diluting the vampire into all the different clans is part of it, but I also think of a vampire as a loner, with his or her own servants and sycophants, but beholden to no one.
Piestar
 member, 882 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Mon 3 May 2021
at 01:24
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
steelsmiter:
Later BESM games?


Not sure what BESM games are. Guerssing they are different from BDSM game. Hehehe...
Piestar
 member, 883 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Mon 3 May 2021
at 01:30
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
Sir Swindle:
Piestar:
Is there a decent system where you just get to be a Vampire?

Can we address what this actually means?

quote:
there is little sense of being a vampire in it

What do you mean here? What vampiric aspects are you looking for?

quote:
it is all about the politics and the battles between the houses and other groups.
This is what the games YOU have been in are about. If you are looking for a new system then I assume you are not looking for games on RPOL since some random exotic system isn't going to show up. So if you have a group you play with and they know V:tM then it is better to say "Hey known VtM players, how about a game that focuses less on politics and the battles between the houses and other groups and more on [whatever you mean by vampireness]."

I recently read the forward of the Milwaukee by Night setting book and it is a fair bit different than someplace like New Orleans. You could peruse the other setting books and see if there is a city that fits your criteria or just do it homebrew.


It means no other Vampires around, especially none who are the boss of me. And I would have all of the vampire powers and weaknesses, it wouldn't be split up. Imagine playing a spiderman game where you got only one of his powers? That would be weird.

The Vampire aspect I would like is the sense of being a loner, hiding in the shadows of society.

The Masquerade is right in the title, would you even be playing the game without it? Without the Camarilla and the Sabbat, without having to kneel to your betters, would you be using very much of the books? Without the clans?
gladiusdei
 member, 851 posts
Mon 3 May 2021
at 01:38
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
no, but your description isn't a group role playing game, it is a solo experience.  games like vampire are designed to create a game for groups, so they tend to revolve around group interaction and balancing multiple people, so they can't let one have all abilities.

and if you're ok with a solo game...just play a freeform game and adopt a vampire character that has all the powers you're describing. The systems exist to mitigate interaction and conflict between players, aka between vampires.
Sir Swindle
 member, 313 posts
Mon 3 May 2021
at 01:40
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
quote:
I would like is the sense of being a loner

So not an RPG. What you want is a fundamentally anti-social character that has no reason to interact with other players. There is a reason that that is not a thing that games attempt to emulate.

ninja'd
Alyse
 member, 741 posts
 Pretty, witty, and gay
 [married since 2011!]
Mon 3 May 2021
at 01:47
Vampire without the masquerade...
jait:
Dresden Files Accelerated has provisions for playing two different types of vampires:


It is the Black Court Vampires of The Dresden Files that fit the more traditional mold. In that setting's lore, the Black Court was nearly wiped out  in the Twentieth Century after Bram Stoker revealed the various ways to kill them in his book Dracula. Most of the world believe it to be one of fiction, but in The Dresden Files universe it is an actual true account of Doctor Abraham Van Helsing's efforts to destroy the aforenamed Black Court fiend.
Piestar
 member, 884 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:04
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
Sir Swindle:
quote:
I would like is the sense of being a loner

So not an RPG. What you want is a fundamentally anti-social character that has no reason to interact with other players. There is a reason that that is not a thing that games attempt to emulate.

ninja'd


No, there is a difference between being a loner, and being solitary. The Vampire wouldn't want to be alone, but he would always be isolated in the end as a result of his curse.

It is the same problem I have with superhero computer games, if you live in a city where virtually everyone is a superhero, then it stops being special. What made Batman special was that he was alone, not one of an Army of Batmen.
Piestar
 member, 885 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:05
Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to Alyse (msg # 25):

That sounds cool. I read a few of the Dresden books, years ago. They seemed fun. Never tried the RPG.
gladiusdei
 member, 852 posts
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:07
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
which is what I said.  You're looking for an experience where your character has the level of power of Dracula from the story.  But Dracula was singularly powerful, and if you take adaptations like Coppola's Dracula, nearly godlike.

None of that works well in a game with other people, because either your character is going to be far more powerful than everyone else, which I am sure the other players won't like, or everyone will be just as powerful, which you won't like.

so how do you see it working with players other than yourself?
Piestar
 member, 886 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:14
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to gladiusdei (msg # 28):

If Dracula was that powerful, he wouldn't die at the end of all him movies. He spends an enormous amount of time and energy hiding and protecting himself. To do that, he needs assistants, like Renfield. He would hire people to be his agents, etc.

I imagine it similar to Ars Magika, where one player is the central focus, the mage, and everyone else revolved around him.
gladiusdei
 member, 853 posts
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:17
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
I don't really agree with your logic.  It's a story, extremely powerful villains are killed by much weaker heroes all the time.  A certain hobbit and a dark lord come to mind.

but to me, what you're asking for would require a very specific group of players that are willing to indulge you.  Everyone wants to be the main character of their story, that's one of the biggest tensions GMs have to deal with in rpgs.  Not very many would volunteer to be a side character in your game.
Piestar
 member, 887 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:19
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to gladiusdei (msg # 30):

Why, exactly did you feel the need to come into a thread you had no useful input for, simply to start an argument? I didn't ask you to play in my game. Why go out of your way to be difficult, when you could have simply moved along? Very rude. Please go away.,
gladiusdei
 member, 854 posts
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:21
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
I'm trying to point out that what you're looking for isn't game system dependent, it is game group dependent.  You could easily run a game in VtM that has you as a central, powerful vampire, with lesser vampires or ghouls or humans as the other players.

So to get what you're looking for is less about finding a different system, and more about finding a GM and players that would accommodate you.
Piestar
 member, 888 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:24
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to gladiusdei (msg # 32):

Please go away.
steelsmiter
 member, 2141 posts
 BESM, Fate, Indies, PBTA
 NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:30
Vampire without the masquerade...
Misunderstandings about selfishness or some other aspect of play featuring singular heroes aside, Ars Magica does a similar thing with mages. But it's still a multiplayer game, where each player creates a whole cadre of characters, and there's a rotation of who plays which character... or at least that's what I gleaned from it at a casual glance.

This message had punctuation tweaked by the user at 02:32, Mon 03 May.

Piestar
 member, 889 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:36
Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to steelsmiter (msg # 34):

That would be fun, I always enjoyed their ads. Wish I had gotten a chance to play it. With the magic user at the core, I would expect them to have a very robust magic system.
steelsmiter
 member, 2142 posts
 BESM, Fate, Indies, PBTA
 NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:41
Vampire without the masquerade...
I hear there's also PBTA games where when someone's chosen a playbook, nobody else can, and that vampires and other sentient monstrosities can be part of them, but you're not looking at the experience of being a giant atop a lesser support team with any of those. Still might get the "I'm the only vampire" thing going though.
Ezri
 member, 349 posts
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:43
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
From the description of the game you're wanting, it sounds more like the vampire lord would be an NPC/GMPC and the players would be it's minions, doing jobs/tasks/quests etc for the vampire. Otherwise you'd have a strange power balance of GM > Vampire > Other players, which may work with a table of friends who are happy for one person to be the main character for a while, but on a site like this I honestly can't see that working unless you find the specific players willing to do that. Now, we only have snippets of your desires in this part of the game, so this might not be your intention at all.

But separate to that issue, regarding the rules/system question, if you are intending there to only be one vampire in the game, then it actually doesn't matter too much which rules you use - most rules are there to balance characters against the world and each other, and since there's a power imbalance by default it's just you vs the world, and that doesn't need too much in the way of complex rules, just a list of what you can and cannot do as a vampire - the game doesn't need rules around the vampire being unable to cross a threshold, you simply need to state you have that limitation and move on. As such, most of the 'generic' system would work fine, like the mentioned BESM (thematically an anime system, but usable for anything with tweaking, or any number of points based systems like GURPS or Mutants and Masterminds).
Piestar
 member, 890 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:44
Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to steelsmiter (msg # 36):

Not interested in being a big giant on the top, in fact I would like to start from day one, not even sure what I am, and learning my weaknesses and about the curse the hard way.
Piestar
 member, 891 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:45
Re: Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to Ezri (msg # 37):

I don't think balance is all that important between the party members, I can enjoy being a heroes side-kick. I just want a system that deals with more traditional vampires.
steelsmiter
 member, 2143 posts
 BESM, Fate, Indies, PBTA
 NO FREEFORM! NO d20!
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:50
Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to Piestar (msg # 38):

so you don't really care if you're not the literal only vampire, you just don't really want the clans and the secrets. You'd be more cool with a set of powers not restricted by anything but perhaps points, in a setting where vampires are not keeping anything secret. Are people aware they're a thing in general?

The last question is less of required than the other bit, 'cause GURPS Horror can handle vampires with the only restriction on powers being points, and it allows players to build their own games around the system they use. You can also use the same structures with it to build all the other characters who aren't vampires and not give other players mixed feelings about selfishness since everyone has the same points guidelines.

quote:
I don't think balance is all that important between the party members, I can enjoy being a heroes side-kick. I just want a system that deals with more traditional vampires.


Yep, That'll be GURPS Horror, though be prepared, they go into details about a lot of other horror things besides vampires. Recommend also the corebooks, and get all three in 4th ed.
Piestar
 member, 892 posts
 once upon a time...
 ...there was a little pie
Mon 3 May 2021
at 02:59
Vampire without the masquerade...
In reply to steelsmiter (msg # 40):

No, not at all. Not sure why this is so hard to explain. Mods, please close this thread.

This message was last edited by the user at 03:11, Mon 03 May.