Watching people pretend to be vampires is what I got through 2020

If I had a dollar for every article I read that started with “2020 was a difficult year for everyone,” I would be rich enough not to be writing this one here.

But it was! And with a week or two left I’m still not sure we’ll face the zombie apocalypse before Christmas. That being said, I am more prepared than ever for whatever horrors await those weak days and those that are sure to come in 2021. Because I am vampire.

Vampire: The Masquerade has been around for decades. Today, World of Darkness (which is the universe that contains V: TM) released a companion book for the Vampire: The Masquerade V5 Core Rulebook. PDF 65 is a free downloadable page that, to use a video game term, is basically a full-featured expansion pack to the main game.

I’ve been playing V: TM since the early 1990s when it was released by a company called White Wolf. The IPs have undergone some changes and are now controlled by Paradox Interactive.

You may recognize V: TM or World of Darkness from the video game “Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2” which will be released next year. It’s gotten a bit of hype in the game world, even beyond just the hardcore fans. And for good reason. If you don’t find out about this World of Darkness trailer trailer, I don’t think it will do anything:

I can’t help but think of Stanley Kubrick ‘s imagination of Anthony Burgess’ s “A Clockwork Orange” when I look at that trainer.

The World of Darkness, as advertised, is a dark and gloomy place that holds up a mirror to today’s society. The universe covers more results than you can bet at. There are the board role – playing games on which the whole thing is based, the original V: TM and Werewolf: The Apocalypse (as well as other titles from older versions along the way).

And then there’s a huge collection of board games, video games, novels, live streams, and twin card games. There is even a game that you can play on Amazon Alexa. Hell, they do battle royale video game and VR experience too.

And also my personal favorite way to enjoy the World of Darkness is live streaming ”TV Show”(That’s air quotas) called“ LA By Night. ”

At the heart of the World of Darkness is the simple concept that, for the most part, the characters you play monsters. You are a vampire, or a werewolf, or a wraith, or even a demon. There are some exceptions (there is a game aimed at monster hunters called, aptly, Hunter), but the real antagonist in the World of Darkness is usually your character’s enduring humanity. . In the game this is called “The Beast.”

The stories told in the World of Darkness are not about heroes going away. They are about monsters clinging to their humanity. You play against yourself, basically. The challenge is not to win, but to experience a good story.

I spoke to Justin Achilli, Creative Director of World of Darkness Brand, and Marketing Manager Jason Carl Brand for World of Darkness earlier in the week and, in addition to fanboying out (Carl is the ‘Storyteller’ in the show LA By Night), I managed to ask questions about the company, its products and its fans.

When I talk to a game designer for a product line as complex as WoD’s I usually ask where new players and fans will be. ought to apply. For example, there is a “New Blood” starter pack for people who have never played a V: TM board RPG before. But that is not necessarily the case most interesting no the best a way to enter the whole world.

Achilli ‘s first job as a creative director on the core products is the V: TM companion, something he was very enthusiastic about when we spoke, but he and Carl agreed that the company’ s overall vision was, as Carl says “people who ‘never rolled a dice’ to get as much out of the universe and its folklore as the hardtop tabletop gamers who have been down from the first day.

As mentioned, LA By Night is my favorite part of the universe. It’s a streaming show that Carl described as resembling both old radio play and early TV shows where most of the action took place live.

It is essentially a group of professional actors sitting around a table, in costume, playing Vampire: The Masquerade with Carl as their “Storyteller” (dungeon master or game master in most RPGs). The show plays out in 2 to 3 hour “chapters” that are within a longer schedule. Described as my favorite vampire TV show ever, you should give it a full program or two if you want to decide for yourself.

As well as being very cool, it is also a solid resource for people new to the world of darkness and board games in general. There are as many ways to role play as there are people taking part, but not only are the people playing the LA By Night harming all professional actors and performers role, what they do is considered a canon in the universe.

In addition, they manage to explain the rules and gameplay unknowingly, so it is helpful for those who are trying to figure out who a good game of Vampire should be be similar. Watching a real world of characters and minds come to life in front of you is a great incentive for newcomers to tell their own stories in the World of Darkness.

The most important thing is that a place-brand ad isn’t gussied up to look like a game. LA By Night is clearly a passionate work. Carl told me it was his “love letter to the World of Darkness,” and I think that’s obvious on screen. Anyway, I’m not all the way through the first season yet, but so far Jasper and my girlfriend have enjoyed my favorite.

The sincerity of LA By Night, that is to say the very valley with which its hunting members play the game, makes it special. The main cast is elegant and the guests have done an amazing job knocking out the rest of the chronicle. Watching them make me feel like I’m playing too. It makes me want to admit.

And that’s what V: TM and World of Darkness are all about. It’s a place, rather than hiding from the realities of reality in a crater or fantasizing about life in space – both completely legitimate locations – it allows players to go face-to-face. face anything that disturbs them in an environment where they can tell the story they want to hear. Even if it’s just blowing off steam, it’s a safe place to put off those big feelings and emotions.

The World of Darkness is truly in one world in which we live today. So for some, being a vampire is a way to explore ideas about themselves that are not necessarily safe for them to explore in the real world. A teenager who struggles with sexuality, bullying or social anxiety may create a character that allows them to explore aspects of themselves that they could not otherwise.

Check out “I was a teenage bisexual blood catcher: how Vampire: The Masquerade saved me from homophobia in the early 2000s” on Dicebreaker.

And while you can do this in any board game, there aren’t many that point us towards the real world and its real problems like Vampire: The Masquerade. The game practically makes you think about the true nature of what it means to be human. Will you save mankind by hunting the Earth’s scum? Will you risk punishing those you had as enemies when you were still human?

It also allows us to see our real problems through someone else ‘s lens. I may not like wearing a mask everywhere I go, but some vampires look like monsters (called Nosferatu) and I often think so wonderful and he suddenly has to live in a world where they walk around in the middle of the night with your face covered while trying to socialize. be avoided as usual.

I also live with a mental illness and there is a certain type of vampire character in the game who, through coming up with a backstory and experiencing what it’s like to walk a mile in the fangs help me find ways to deal with depression. , anxious, and living with PTSD. Called “Malkavian” they are usually seen as “cowardly” by others who are “kind.” I feel like everyone thinks I’m crazy too, sometimes, even though everyone has mental health.

The chance is that no matter what goes on in your life, there is a character in the World of Darkness who reveals your pain or fear. Engaging the world through their eyes, safely in a game, makes you discover that character’s strengths and, possibly, help you find yourself.

I can honestly say that jumping on reality to survive in the World of Darkness for a few hours was a very big reason for me to get through 2020.

Whether you’re playing the first Bloodlines game, enjoy the interactive fictional games Shadows of New York and Coteries of New York (wow are they good, more on that in another article) , or just putting up with my boyfriend watching LA By Night, I found comfort over and over again with the richness and depth of an ever-changing World of Darkness.

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