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This is a PDF version of the Vampire: The Masquerade Core Rulebook. This PDF will be emailed to you shortly after finalization of your purchase. This does not include the physical book.
Mature Content Warning: contains graphic and written content of a mature nature, including violence, sexual themes, and strong language. Reader discretion is advised.
A Storytelling game of personal and political horror.
You are a vampire, struggling for survival, supremacy, and your own fading humanity—afraid of what you are capable of, and fearful of the inhuman conspiracies that surround you. As a vampire, you suffer the pangs of the Hunger, the relentless and terrible thirst for human blood. If you refuse to deal with it, it will overcome your mind and drive you to terrible acts to slake it. You walk this razor's edge every night. This is the original and ultimate roleplaying game of personal and political horror.
Fifth Edition is a return to Vampire's original vision, moving boldly into the 21st century. While the rules have been redesigned, this new edition honors the deep story of the original, advancing the metaplot from where it left off and detailing exactly what has happened in the world of the Kindred up until tonight.
Mature Warning: contains graphic and written content of a mature nature, including violence, sexual themes, and strong language. Reader discretion is advised.
- As a vampire, struggle for survival, supremacy, and your own fading humanity
- Suffer the pangs of Hunger, while navigating undead politics and avoiding deadly hunters.
- Honors the history of Vampire: The Masquerade while advancing the story with streamlined 5th Edition rules.
- This 428 page full-color PDF download.
Download the fillable PDF character sheet here.
- For Ages:
12 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews
While in the late 90s the roleplaying game Vampire - The Masquerade was one of the most exciting game titles of its time, the game was eventually discontinued together with the entire World of Darkness. For Vampire, the metaplot introduced Gehenna - everything ended with the vampiric apocalypse. For a long time, it was quiet around Vampire, but with the success of the anniversary edition, the foundation was laid to let the game return in a completely new 5th edition. Even though Vampire V5 picks up where its predecessors left off in many places, the game often goes completely new ways - and shows that the time of the last almost 20 years has not stood still in the world of vampires. The world of the Vampire The basic background of Vampire still remains: Players take on the role of vampires in a world that, on the surface at least, resembles ours. In the background, however, there are the so-called Kindred, who as vampires not only hunt humans but have more or less strongly influenced human history. The vampiric society is very complex. There are different clans, which can be traced back as lines of descent directly to the legendary Antediluvians, and various sects, in which different vampiric philosophies meet. In the past, there were two major sects, the Camarilla and the Sabbat. While the Camarilla always appeared to bring order to the vampire world and to use the Masquerade to ensure that humanity does not learn of the existence of vampires (to prevent vampires from being hunted down as in the days of the Inquisition), the Sabbat always stood for the unrestrained display of vampiric abilities and superiority. The anarchs, who did not want to submit to the Camarilla, but were not as radical as the Sabbat either, formed the third power bloc. But much has changed, especially for the big sects. Here Vampire uses events in history, as the authors did in the past, and takes September 11th as a critical event for great upheavals. In this case, it was the Camarilla who suspected Sabbat interference after the attacks and tried to manipulate the secret services to follow this lead. Even if the events had nothing to do with the vampires, in the end, the secret services became partially aware of the vampires and used the war on terror also to hunt the vampires. They have joined forces with church organizations such as the Society of Leopold and created what the vampires call the Second Inquisition: a well-organized and excellently equipped group of vampire hunters. Not only was the main Tremere chantry in Vienna destroyed by the Second Inquisition - cities like London also suffered heavy losses. At the same time, another development has led to the Sabbat going in droves to the Middle East to fight the Gehenna War. In this region, the Sabbat suspect that an antediluvian is buried, against whom they want to wage war. At the same time, many of the ancient vampires are drawn by an unknown force to the same region, so that not only have many former Sabbat domains been abandoned and fallen, but other cities have also been stripped of their leadership. For this reason, the younger vampires suddenly have much more influence. But also the Anarch movement has regained strength due to the situation. The Anarchs control several cities on an equal footing with the Camarilla. With the Gangrel and Brujah, two clans have also ultimately left the Camarilla to join the Anarchs. Therefore, the Camarilla is looking for new allies and tries to work together with both the Ashira and the Assamites. As the old vampires move on, the young vampires - including the player characters - have much more influence and responsibility, and can make a big difference on the side of both the Camarilla and the Anarchs. Even the so-called Thin-bloods, which were introduced in the 3rd edition of the roleplaying game, have established themselves as a factor and are more than just a short-term phenomenon. These vampires are so far removed from their vampiric ancestors that they neither have the full range of vampiric powers nor have they inherited all their weaknesses. Vampires as characters Character creation mixes familiar elements with new ideas. As before, there are attributes and skills that are combined during dice tests. The backgrounds and disciplines have also been retained in principle. However, character creation is now taking a new direction, as attribute points can be distributed more freely, while skills are determined in a process that more closely reflects the background story of the character. Besides, each vampire now has to choose a Predator Type, which corresponds to their hunting mode - and also affects their skills. The coterie - the group of vampires - and their domain, which the characters control together if necessary, also play a role in the character creation process. There are rules for defining domains as well as different types of coterie types that can be selected, which have different advantages and disadvantages and, above all, tasks. The former backgrounds and advantages and disadvantages have been merged and mixed. In some cases, the points have to be distributed for various properties of these backgrounds. A novelty here are the so-called lore sheets, which are unique background properties that revolve around a specific theme. This way, it is possible for a player to become more connected to the background of the game. A broad selection of elements from the metaplots of the last decades appears here. For example, a player can be a veteran of the sect wars of the late 20th century, which at a low level can mean that he or she is allowed to roll the dice for appropriate knowledge - and at a high level that he or she was one of the critical characters in that conflict. Other Lore Sheets allow you to know well-known characters like Theo Bell, Jeanette Voerman or others. At least this makes the background system a lot more confusing for the player. With the V5 core book, the player can choose between seven classic clans. In addition, there are the Caitiff and Thin-Blooded. The latter are clearly different from the other vampires (and are accordingly hated by them). Both the Caitiff, the Thin-Blooded, but also the Brujah and Gangrel are now on the side of the Anarchs and thus oppose the Camarilla, which is based on Ventrue, Tremere, Nosferatu, Toreador and Malkavian. The rules Vampire still uses ten-sided dice, and most tests add the value of a skill with an attribute to form a dice pool. Any roll of 6 or more is a success. Ones and tens have special effects. They can lead to critical failures or successes. While the system can be played with normal ten-sided dice, Vampire also offers special dice with corresponding symbols to help you count successes faster. A major rule change concerns the vampires' bloodthirst. In V5, blood points are no longer counted, but a character's hunger is used. This hunger has concrete effects because every point of hunger replaces a regular die with a so-called hunger die. A missed roll and a one on hunger dice will result in a bestial failure, in which the vampiric side of the character will take over. A bestial failure always triggers certain behaviour of a vampire. There are both generic reactions and unique clan variants. But also a critical success on a hunger die leads to a messy critical, which can quickly become problematic. The accumulation of hunger has become more unpredictable because where previously blood points simply had to be used, a die roll is now used to determine whether a character's hunger grows. This means that the use of special abilities becomes riskier. Blood now plays a more defined role for vampires anyway, because, in addition to generation, it is Blood Potency that defines a vampire. Even if this is within limits that depend on the generation, significant differences can also arise within a generation. This concerns, on the one hand, the powers of a vampire, but on the other hand, also the restrictions in the search for blood and its weaknesses. A vampire with a high value is more powerful, but cannot feed on animals, for example. Moreover, blood is no longer simply blood, but the choice of victims also takes on a new meaning. Here, the so-called resonances of the blood are taken into account (based on the humor theory of Hippocrates), which ideally even offer additional bonus effects for the vampire - but at least it is a clear question of taste. Humanity is also newly managed. In contrast to the past, a character does not immediately lose points if it behaves inhumanely, but the empty dots on the scale of 0-10 can be filled with so-called stains. These are small blemishes that the character has taken upon himself. Only when the empty dots are used up (which happens the faster, the higher the humanity of a character is), the character is hindered by the moral conflict and has to cope with it. Either the character has to try to come to terms with himself again at the end of the game session, or has the quick and hard option of losing humanity. The core abilities of the vampires are still the disciplines, but there are changes here too, the main one being that in many cases there are several powers at different levels from which the player must choose. This change means that characters with the same disciplines can still end up with very different abilities. Additionally disciplines like Celerity, Potence, and Fortitude will not simply award bonus points, but will have defined powers. Thaumaturgy has now become the Blood Sorcery, which consists of only one discipline path, but has rituals as additional abilities. For the thin-blooded vampires who do not have classic disciplines, there is Blood Alchemy, with which they can use to achieve effects with blood and other ingredients, some of which deviate significantly from the classic disciplines. Material for the game master The book deliberately stores some additional rules, e.g. for faster conflicts and other options, in a separate chapter and thus allows the gaming group to adapt the rule mechanics to individual needs. The book also offers more information on how to deal with designing the cities and the setting for the chronicle - and also how to deal with the increasingly important topic of domains. The structure of chronicles is described, and accordingly, there is also game material in the form of profiles for enemies and the like. The book also takes a brief look at the Second Inquisition, which is presented in a comparatively superficial manner. Old and new V5 is an exciting new incarnation of vampires. The game manages to build solidly on the long tradition of the roleplaying game, but also dares to make a new beginning at some points. From the background, the world has clearly turned further. The lines of conflict have shifted: here, Camarilla and Anarch are facing each other harshly, and the former fragile peace has given way to more confrontation. On the one hand, the Camarilla appears more rigid and more determined, while on the other hand, the Anarchs offer a real alternative. And V5 is not afraid to change the clans as well: The Tremere are deprived of their central leadership in Vienna, the Brujah have turned their backs on the Camarilla, and the Camarilla is looking for two clans to fill the gaps in their ranks. With many of the old vampires gone, the player characters have greater opportunities to make a difference in their city and not just stand in the shadow of their ancestors. With the Second Inquisition, there is also a dangerous enemy making even the most powerful vampires tremble, and who forces not only the player characters to take the Masquerade much, much more seriously. Even though the earlier metaplots are still hinted at, they clearly take a back seat, at least in the rulebook. The game becomes much clearer, especially for newcomers, as the number of clans and bloodlines, the infamous vampires and other secrets has been reduced considerably (in the lore sheets, however, some of these elements are taken up again, which probably makes them much more accessible for veterans of the game). There have also been some changes in the rules. While I personally find the new rule for hunger very fitting, it is not as unpredictable as one would expect. Also, the more complex rules on blood, which influence hunting and thus one of the essential elements of the game, can enrich a game session, but may also come to much to the fore. The approach of tightening up and standardizing the disciplines more strongly is certainly a sensible way of dealing with the earlier wild growth. However, I personally will have to get used to a few changes first. Also, the choice of different disciplinary powers may make the game more individual for the players on the one hand, but on the other hand, it makes it more difficult for the players, because he might miss certain powers. Conclusion V5 is, in my opinion, a successful synthesis of old and new. The latest edition of Vampire is definitely not just a mixture of familiar ideas but dares to break away from its predecessors in terms of background, rules and even presentation. At many points, you notice a return to the basic values of the first edition, which simplifies the complex background a lot. On the one hand, the player characters are put into focus much more, because they can achieve more. On the other hand, the Second Inquisition makes sure that the player characters or even the vampires, in general, cannot simply rule the world with their abilities. Hunters quickly become the hunted. If you love a vampire with complex metaplots, overpowering super-vampires, dozens of clans and bloodlines, and complex conspiracies, you'll experience some limitations with V5 (and you are probably better off with V20, which bundles all these aspects). But if you are looking for a new start and want to play vampires with a fresh perspective and also a new role of the player characters, you will find a robust new rule system here. Even if some changes surprised me personally at first - and I also had to get used to the new presentation with photos and the new layout - in my opinion, the rebirth of Vampire is very well done, leading to an excellent new edition which is not just another copy of former editions. The fact that the basic rules do not contain all the background knowledge is not a novel approach for Vampire but was also the case in previous incarnations. From my point of view, this game can be recommended to vampire fans in any case. (Björn Lippold)
The purchase was very easy and the PDF access was quick. As for the book contents, I am concerned that they presented a generic list of Clans but the Lasombra & Hecata who are part of the Camarilla are not included. PSA: Vampire: The Masquerade Companion is a sourcebook for Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition. The book is only available in PDF format, and can be downloaded for free from the official World of Darkness website using a Paradox Account. (This has the Ravnos, Salubri, Tzimisce) Hopefully they do small books like past editions for each Clan/Bloodline.
I have played Vampire the Masquerade for around 30 years, since 1st edition. I might leave for a time but I usually come back to it. This latest edition is excellent. It incorporates new mechanics to empasize one of the more compelling aspects of Vampire, Hunger. It is less handwaved than earlier editions and that pleases me. The production quality is excellent and the updates to the story are great. Good Work!!
Good Quality in compression well organized and a great game to play, I would have ordered a paperback but there is no shipping to canada which is disappointing.
The contents of the book are amazing and the photos and pictures are nice to look at as well. I just haven't found an audio version of it (which would be amazing), but I love the fact that the PDF comes with the physical version. That is a great attention to the needs of a group of friends that want to play and the team is highly deserving of congratulations.
The artwork and layout of this book is stellar. Lore first, rules last, as it should be. I cannot wait to get my hard copy!
Up to date, without the errors of the old Modiphius print run, but at the time of writing there are no bookmarks, you have to manually find the right pages.
Really disappointed that the last update has no bookmarks at all. Hoping to see an updated file with bookmarks soon.
Great layout and fantastic art, content and a solid update and revision of the classic game. Looking forward to future updates and additions as the world expands