Vampire Requiem 2e

Posted 17 Apr 2021 to Urban Fantasy

A reboot of Vampire Masquerade that uncouples the game from the burden of accumulated lore.


XP Card

Sessions GM'd: 35
Sessions as Player: 0

I Used

321 page PDF. I have run 3 campaigns and only used the core book.


I played Vampire Masquerade way back in first edition. It was edgy and new. Our campaign was set in our home city and it was really a memorable experience. However, there are some aspects of the Masquerade setting that block the kinds of stories you can play in a Vampire game. Requiem fixes so much of that, and I love what they've done with the lore. Some people are heavily invested in the lore of VtM and resisted what Requiem tried to do. I am not one of those. I prefer the game mechanics of Vampire Masquerade v5 over Requiem, but I will still always use Requiem's lore in a new campaign I run.


The Good

  • Factions done right. In old VtM, you have the Sabbat and the Camarilla. They hate each other and are at war. This is a very 2 dimensional political situation. In Requiem, there are five factions, and each city is assumed to have their own delicate balance. Alliances and favours are traded between the factions, and it is intended that a coterie of PCs could contain different factions. Each faction has its own world view or priorities. It frees the GM to setup their own city where vampires of different clans can nevertheless unite and engage in politics. My version of Paris was run by a Carthian prince with an alliance with the Lancea et Sanctum, against whom the Invictus were plotting with the Ordo Dracul.
  • More varied history. In old VtM, it is presented that the first vampire was Caine of the Bible. He was cursed by God, and vampires are his sinful progeny. This is a very Judeo-Christian outlook, which Requiem sought to fix. Now nobody really knows where vampires come from, although there are various theories. It frees the GM to introduce their own truths to their game.
  • Blood Potency. In old VtM, you have Generation. The older your sire, the more powerful you are. The only way to gain in power is to murder and consume the soul of someone more powerful. In Requiem, you have Blood Potency, which increases with age. The older you are, the more powerful you are. But as it increases, drawbacks are introduced - for example, you can no longer feed from animals. You can voluntarily lower your BP by going to sleep for decades. I like how it creates an in-world explanation for why old vampires sometimes go to sleep, setting up opportunities for the young ones to shake things up.
  • Quick combat. In a deliberate move away from trenchcoats-and-katana's play, new rules are introduced that allow combat to be resolved narratively and quickly. Not everyone wants to roll for initiative and track the second-by-second progress of who stabs who. We used it a few times to quickly handle a scuffle.
  • Touchstones. Your vampire has several mortals who are important to them. They help you keep your sanity. My players loved scenes where they got to interact and care with their mortals. This is a new aspect of the game, and a great innovation.
  • Strix. These hungry smoke demons were introduced as a villain or threat to a vampire society. They feed from mortals similarly to vampires, but can also inhabit corpses and vampires. They make wonderful enemies, and when I hinted they may be nearby, players were excited to meet them.
  • Ghouls. The rules introduce mechanics for playing as a ghoul (a mortal servant of a vampire). This one chapter introduces a whole new concept that opens the door to a new kind of campaign. It is dark and sad, which is just right.

The Not-So-Good

  • Conditions. PCs acquire Conditions whenever they are hurt or hungry or affected by a vampire power. They each have their own rules, and each one is resolved by taking a different fictional action. There are dozens of them. There is no way I can remember them all. A GM needs to hand them out, because they are an important way to earn XP. I'd find the game easier to run if they weren't there.
  • The Writing. Every World of Darkness book I have encountered gets this gripe from me. The writing style is flowery and dense. The game rules are hidden inside walls of text and surrounded by fluff. It is not possible to quickly look something up in the middle of a session. If someone were to extract just the rules and rewrite them in terse OSR style, the book would be much shorter. I believe that many of the people who buy the book will never play it. They buy it to read it. A person who wants to play the game and refer to the rules during play - is not the intended audience.



I'd play this again. I'd find a way to ignore Conditions and just play with everything else as written. I already have some campaign ideas bubbling around in my head.



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