In addition to updating the mechanics, White Wolf revised the lore around these blood-suckers to become more game-friendly and less splatbook dependent. Combined with the unique powers that come standard-issue with each vampire, the various combinations of clan and covenant can yield completely different kinds of Kindred. The possibilities for both hardcore roleplayers and hardcore undead number-crunchers are absolutely dizzying. Special mention, of course, must be given to the Strix who grace the title of the book. The Strix are both more and less than the Kindred; predator, prey, ally, and nemesis, all rolled into one. Leave it to White Wolf to make vampires morally-ambigous anti-heroes, and then give them even more morally-ambigous anti-anti-heroes to co-exist with.
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Herein the brave traveller shall find dark musings on horror, explorations of the occult, and wild flights of fantasy. This makes perfect sense. At its core, the Gothic is about the Old World invading the New. Pull back the curtain and the demons are still there. We have the Vampire. Like the ruined abbeys and battered fortresses he likes to haunt, he is a medieval relic, vulnerable not to science, but only to the power of superstition and religion itself.
Because he is the perfect vehicle for the Gothic aesthetic, the Vampire shows up over and over again. From the 19th century forward, fiction has been swarming with vampire stories.
The 20th century alone gave birth to thousands of novels, films, television programs, and games about the Undead. But every now and again, someone figures out how to revive him. His secret ingredient? Because, really, "cyberpunk" was the "gothic" of the late 80s and early 90s. Gothic preyed on the fear of the past, while Cyberpunk showed us our fear of the future. It envisioned a sort of new Middle Ages, where the megacorporate aristocracy ruled over an indentured worker class.
Not only did Masquerade spawn sourcebooks and new editions, it launched eight sister games, and its influence over the broader vampire genre was immense. The elements it introduced into vampire mythology suddenly started turning up everywhere. Corporate vampires secretly pulling the strings of the world, rival vampire clans, vampires at war with lycans werewolves , and terms like Sire and Embrace cropped up in Blade, Underworld, and Buffy.
Everyone seemed to what a piece of it, making Masquerade one of the most successful RPGs of all time. Nothing lasts forever. The terrifying possibility of megacorporations running the planet was now a terrifying reality. Cyberpunk has lost some of its punch, and the gothic punk World of Darkness was looking a bit old. So publisher White Wolf decided to shut the whole thing down and reboot. There would be a new World of Darkness, with new vampires, werewolves and mages, and all that Cyberpunk stuff was going to be gone.
Vampire: The Requiem was the result. It was, essentially, Masquerade with the "punk" removed. White Wolf yanked out the millennialism Gehenna bits, the "vampire clan as megacorp" metaphor, the concept of generations and having to climb the corporate ladder over the bodies of your superiors, and kept all the Gothic elements intact. Now the vampires were hunters and parasites rather than secret rulers of the world.
Now you grew more powerful with age, rather than needing to off your elders. Now nobody knew where vampires came from. The punk was gone, but there was nothing new to replace it. Requiem is by no means a "bad" game, but it brings nothing new to the genre. It reads--and feels--a bit like a generic knock off of Masquerade. Starting with The God Machine Chronicle, which took the World of Darkness core rulebook and gave it a horrific new focus, Onyx Path took the de-punked World of Darkness and started putting new elements back in.
The new secret ingredient? Strix Chronicle is not a new game. And yet, it is an entirely self-contained product. Requiem was meant to be all things to all vampires; Strix narrows things down to a very specific vibe. It starts right up front with the "inspirational media" section.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is it. There is no mention of Dracula, Anne Rice, or Nosferatu. These are all stories about transgressing social norms, the very essence of "punk. And then there is the writing. Strix is written loud, with a raw, in-your-face tone. Compare, for example, the origins of the Clan Daeva; Among Kindred historians, the Daeva are suspected of being one of the oldest clans of the Damned. Requiem, p. The Serpents arose from the sticky musk of the ancient world. River tides teased the gaping valleys to frothing fertility.
The world turned again. Blood and Smoke, p. Strix gets what Masquerade knew; tone matters. The Strix Chronicle then comes dripping with attitude. If you know Requiem, your pretty much know Strix Chronicle.
It has the same Clans, the same Covenants, and pretty much the same rules. But they are all redone with a nastier attitude. Take the Daeva again. In Requiem their Clan weakness is that they lose 2 points of Willpower for failing to indulge their vice.
Makes sense. They are sensualists. In Strix, the Daeva become addicted to their prey. That, brothers and sisters, is proper scary. It is in the Disciplines that the new aesthetic shows itself best. They feel less like superpowers and more like holy shit what the fuck is that?!? Remember Auspex? What a lovely little discipline that was, with heightened senses, aura perception oh! In short, the powers are pretty similar, but with the niceties stripped away. Protean is another fine example.
In Requiem Protean gave the vampire the power to project a bestial aura, to sink into the earth and slumber there, to grow claws, to transform into a bat or wolf, or to become a cloud of mist.
Standard Count Dracula, really. In Strix, Protean is much more raw. The first level now allows you to sink into the earth, but here the two versions part company. At level two the vampire lets her Beast out a little, twisting her body and transforming her flesh. She gains animalistic features of her choice At level three, the vampire can now transform into the form of any animal it has consumed.
Sort of. Draining the blood of the animal turns you into an unholy, vampiric version of it. Not a dog but a hound of hell. Now a raven but a blood-sucking horror of a crow-like thing.
At level four she can now really let the Beast out, her body warping into truly terrifying shapes, the kind of things we see in modern vampire films And finally that nice mist form is still there These Kindred are really at their most monstrous.
Way back in the beginning, Vampire: The Masquerade had the Sabbat. In the original game, players were meant to portray the Camarilla vampires Unfortunately, Masquerade strayed from this vision and the Sabbat became the "cool clans" to play. The Strix Chronicle brings the idea of the shadowy opposite back, and this time with a vengeance.
So too are the Strix, except of course that they were never human to begin with. The Birds of Dis are shadowy spirits that possess human corpses and drain life from living victims in the form of blood or breath. They have no humanity; they exist to devour it. They are the Sabbat vampires of old but far, far worse Were they once Kindred themselves, a clan destroyed by others and back for revenge?
Are the Kindred themselves a bastard offshoot of the Strix? Whatever the case, they seem to be truly immortal and solitary, except for those horrible times when they call a Parliament and congregate in a city, bringing ruin and terror If you are looking for the romantic, sensual vampire, the Lestat or Frank Langella Dracula, you will not find it here. It is, however, ideal for people who associate vampires with death and decay rather than teen love triangles and sparkling.
Like Masquerade, it has a punk edge that this time is more visceral and bloody. It just might not be the flavour for everyone.
Vampire: The Requiem Second Edition
Herein the brave traveller shall find dark musings on horror, explorations of the occult, and wild flights of fantasy. This makes perfect sense. At its core, the Gothic is about the Old World invading the New. Pull back the curtain and the demons are still there. We have the Vampire. Like the ruined abbeys and battered fortresses he likes to haunt, he is a medieval relic, vulnerable not to science, but only to the power of superstition and religion itself. Because he is the perfect vehicle for the Gothic aesthetic, the Vampire shows up over and over again.
Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicle Storyteller's Screen
A clear-cut dedication to exploring humanity through the lens of vampirism makes for great personal horror: you can tell some very powerful stories in this manner. Also having mechanics in place to support this recurring theme conditions, a characteristic actually called "humanity," an outline of suggestions about what could be considered monstrous to list a few is amazing. Many of the descriptive changes to game functions Great addition to the WoD or nWoD, for those needing the designation. Many of the descriptive changes to game functions skills, disciplines, etc are inspiring from a narrative point of view, as well. Speaking of narrative The departure from a long-established meta-plot is a welcome change.
Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chronicle – Vampiro, o Réquiem revisado