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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition €18,68 €4,67
Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by shawn h. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/04/2015 14:40:42

layout and design is nice. unfortunately I'm withholding a mark due to the fact that, as usual, the HC version shipped physically damaged.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/20/2015 19:07:58

You can listen to my review of this book on Darker Days Radio http://podcast.darker-days.org/e/darker-days-radio-episode-56/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by manuel h. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/18/2015 12:13:44

Great book! I have been playing V:tM and 1st edition V:tR for quite long times and now I really like the direction, where this new edition is heading. Many rules were completely rewritten, and in most cases, I prefer the new rules. Those few passages, where I liked the old rules more (like sun light) are very easy to fix. The new disciplines are awesome, and contribute much to a dense mood. I also like the clan descriptions and the many examples for touchstones, feeding grounds etc. Touchstones, by the way, are a great innovation, it's mostly persons remembering you of your humanity. Both the style of writing in this book and the rules strongly support the mood a vampire game should have.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Alexander P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/15/2015 19:54:19

Vampire: the Requiem was a game with an identity problem.

As the first title in the New World of Darkness, Requiem had big shoes to fill; it failed to distinguish itself from its prestigious predecessor (Vampire: the Masquerade), and ended up rather bland. While later supplements bolstered the line, the core meat of it remained somewhat unsatisfying.

Requiem 2e goes a long way towards fixing that. This second edition (previous Blood & Smoke: The Strix Chronicle) is a game that oozes style; the fiction is evocative, the mechanics are a hell of a lot more elegant, and the sample settings within give new Storytellers a sound chance to step right into the game. The rules updates are welcome in a lot of places (updated experience point costs, revised Disciplines, an overhauled Humanity system that I'm just in love with) and slightly clunky in others (Conditions, Beats, and Touchstones all generally go ignored by my playgroup as unnecessary clutter), but the product as a whole is satisfying.

If you're willing to give Requiem a shot, this book might win you over. The Masquerade influence is definitely still there in places, but this is a game that can definitely stand on its own and start forging a legacy in future supplements.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/25/2014 15:25:56

OPP has really outdone themselves here. This is a fantastic product for any World of Darkness fan, and a welcome addition to my collection. I can't wait to introduce my players to it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Harry H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/30/2014 16:21:31

A really well written, well designed game. I have gotten a few people into role-playing and world of darkness by using this.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Martin P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/21/2014 00:04:32

This is a very good book probably my new favorite and definitely the trump of the 2nd ed NWoD splats at this time (end of 2014, so there's only demon and vampire, but meh). It holds a much needed update to vampire, it is more or less self-contiained with a few minor exceptions, and it is in general a very interesting read.

Now, on the downside, here are a few things you should consider. Please note that while the below list is "long" I do not believe any of these things are so bad as to make the book itself bad, but if you are particularly bothered by any of the below you should probably think carefully before buying the book so as to avoid being disappointed later on. (and yes, I have been Very nitpicky with this part)

First off, this is not a very well ordered book. The way it's laid out is confusing, it lacks an index (but has bookmarks, a minor balm for the issue) which makes the layout issue a bit more troublesome.

It is also lacking entirely in animals, despite the fact that one of the powers, Protean, actually relies on them for shape-shifting, something which also limits your choices of Ghouls (servants) and so on. This issue CAN be gotten around by looking online for some fan-made animals of course, or just writing up a few yourself.

Then at last (and least, to my mind) we have language use. This is not an entirely "clean" book. It is not by any stretch dirty but you should, if you are particularly sensitive, keep this in mind.

At this time the book costs $19.99 and I, personally, would consider it well worth that price.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Joshua H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/06/2014 20:41:00

I have been playing Vampire since the days of Vt:M. Requiem simplified the rules to the point where my entire group couldn't imagine going back. This book, being nothing more than the Requiem the writers wished they produced from the beginning, has either simplified many rules or clarified them significantly. It includes Merits from across all books that should have been there from the beginning and turned Disciplines into diverse, yet finely tuned tools to be exploited and utilized in any story, be it horror, mystery, political play or any combination of them all. Thank you, White Wolf!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Christopher S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/15/2014 08:26:39

The game that Vampire: the Requiem should always have been.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Matt G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/22/2014 13:22:41

It's amazing how nearly all of the rule changes are my house rules. I'm thrilled by the better vampire combat system, even if I find the Strix somewhat lackluster after all the hype. It is a solid sting that balances thebest if old and new WoD. You won't be disappointed.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Garrett T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2014 11:11:27

I was incredibly excited for this book to come out and incredibly disappointment once it was released.

This book feels like a Requiem 1.1 rather than a Requiem 2.0. I was disappointment in the fact that material from the supplement blood sorcery wasn't included, no bloodlines are included (and there are no plans to officially update the old bloodlines), the humanity system feels even more restrictive than before, etc.

The decisions Onyx path made to make this a "stand alone" product (yet they direct you back to God Machine for Merits?!) while making the God Machine reliant on the original World of Darkness Core seems like the most backward decision they could have made. If God Machine was a stand alone product, they could have used the extra space that opened to really flesh out this book with Vampire specific rules and lore. Now they are stuck in a cycle were every new splat will contain "core" information (which gives us less book), yet refers us back to another book that refers us back to another book.

Vampire the Requiem is ten years old and this is the first actual revision to the game, I was hoping for a solid product that incorporated and updated the rules and themes published since 2004 and in many ways this book delivers.. but not nearly enough to justify the ten years it took to get it.

-I enjoyed the new Coils and Scales of the Dragon, but somehow still miss the old ones. I wish Blood Sorcery had gotten the same treatment in the corebook. -I love many of the new merits.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jon G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/22/2014 09:21:09

This Book Takes the Concept of "The Danse Macabre" from Vampire the Requiem and turns it into a Bleeding Fact of the game, at first I was worried that with so many changes to the NWoD would leave me with a bad taste, and Frustration as a Storyteller. But this is exactly what Requiem needed, it breathes something back into the system that left vampire's feeling lifeless. Now while the concept of playing an Inhuman Monster clinging to the last vestiges of humanity to remain a thinking creature was fun, This is Beautiful. No longer are Vampires merely creatures that are no longer human, they are something completely Inhuman merely masquerading as a part of the world. While I'm still concerned with how some of the supplements I bought for Requiem fit into the larger concept of what it is to be Kindred with this addition, Its not something I'll worry about in the long run. Beautifully done, masterfully written. Worth buying the Premium addition and the wait for its arrival.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Maxime L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2014 09:27:03

An uneven book, but a much better core than the original, bland Vampire: The Requiem core. Underneath a confusing title (this should really be named Vampire: The Requiem, second edition), you will fine a refined background, an expanded system, and a focus on a specific set of antagonists (the Stryx) and campaign setting.

The book opens on the usual Introduction which is common to all White Wolf core books, with general knowledge about vampire in the game and what a RPG is. The inspirational media section drew my attention, for it is quite short and precise. It's just odd seeing a series of Vampire fiction works which doesn't include Dracula. Of note is that it does mention some other Requiem books (namely the five Clan Books, the Stryx Chronicles Anthology and Damnation City), which should give you an idea of what the authors are aligning the book with.

Chapter one opens on the first part of a fiction which runs through the book, and then opens with the Five Clans. They haven't dramatically changed, but rather refocused around their theme, and I was pleased with the result. Weaknesses (now called Clan Banes) have changed as well: the Daeva know get attached to those they feed too much from, while the Ventrue quickly grow detached from mankind. The information given here, as through the rest of the book, is very evocative, and immediately inspires stories. We are also treated to stories of some lost Clans, good fodder for stories as well.

Then follows the description of the Covenants. Here as well, there has been a lot of improvement and you get a definite feel for each of the Covenant. The Lancea Sanctum, which suffered from having been the first Covenant to receive its book in the past, felt particularly more vivid to me there. My only disappointment was VII, which is still a big mystery we're not told much about, only now vaguely tied to the Stryx. Similarly to the previous section, we get some info about some lost covenants. Interestingly, there is no mention of Belial's Brood here (possibly to avoid overlap with Stryx-possessed vampires in their antagonist role?)

The next chapter describes "the Night Society", the (un)life of a vampire from the early nights to the possible end. Here again, we get lots of concrete examples, enough to fire up the imagination. We end up with the lexicon which, THANK GOODNESS, has dropped some of the "old people slang/new people slang" which Requiem had imported from Masquerade. I'm glad I don't have to read about "Lupines" anymore.

Chapter 3 gives us the basic character creation rules of the WoD system, as updated in the God Machine Chronicle (aka nWod 2.0). The basics haven't changed much, but some new points are interesting. Vampires drop virtues and vices, and instead gain a Mask and a Dirge, what they present to the world and their true nature. A character also gets a Touchstone attached to his humanity stat - a character, or more rarely an item or location, which keeps them grounded to their human nature. The experience system is also presented, and has been reworked to key off story elements more than ever. Also interesting is that it is a linear rather than exponential system - increase Strength from 3 to 4 costs the same as increasing it from 2 to 3, which I think fits a story driven game (where we always want to see some progression happen).

We then are treated to the rules which govern undead life, some of which have changed in a way that affects the setting. The Predator's Taint is much more complex, having three different aspects. Humanity is closely tied to the Touchstones system, and also vampires now have their own specific "sins" (Finally). I really enjoyed the fact Vampires now must take Banes when decreasing in Humanity (and the Mekhet, as part of their weaknesses, are more vulnerable to them) meaning that you can have some vampires afraid of crosses and garlics, but not others. Merits have also been reworked to include many ones specific to vampires, covenants, or clans, making it much easier to customize a character with fancy abilities. Then we get Disciplines, which are still the same core ones, but have all been reworked. Almost all of them come of as being more "useful", and in particular Protean allows you to really play the shapeshifting role. We then get a much larger list of devotions than any I had seen before, once again allowing to customize a character while standing within the bounds of the main Clans and disciplines. Blood Sorcery and Theban Sorcery remain more or less the same, while the Coils of the Dragon are now on a scale of 1 to 5 - more consistant with the rest of the system, but making it harder for a Dragon to master more than 1.

We then, after being treated to pages of rules specific to vampires, find a chapter which explains the basic rules of the game - one of many questionable layout choices, which will make the book confusing for any new player. The major change here is the use of conditions, the list of which is... all the way at the end of the book. Not the most practical, again.

The next chapter covers the Stryx mentioned in the book's title (it only took 197 pages to get there!) in an extensive manner. Basic rules and a lot of sample characters provide for an extensive antagonists which will doubtlessly help readers to come up with their own ideas. The Stryx are powerful, sinister and enigmatic, a perfect foil to vampires.

The next chapter was a nice surprise, as it describes a few campaign settings based on different world locations (Athens, Beijing, Berlin, Montreal, Raleigh, Swansea, Tokyo, San Francisco). All of them have unique crises they're facing, making them a good mine for story ideas, and many have their own local covenants (some of which get some simple rules to go with it, others not). One thing that piqued my interest is the Jiang Shi, a sixth Clan of sorts with its unique bane (but no unique discipline).

Which finish on a chapter related to storytelling, which I expected to be the same bland advice we found everywhere but actually had a lot of good advice on how to use the vampire-specific system to further support the story, and ways to tweak them. It closes on an interesting "12 steps" campaign creation concept, essentially motivating the players to come up with NPC ideas and the ties between them. I'm thinking of adapting it to other games myself.

Appendix one, the living, describes some of the vampire's mortal relationships, but mainly serves as the most interesting coverage of ghouls I've ever read. Appendix 2 (finally) lists the conditions, many of which are specific to vampires or their victims.

Overall, this is a great improvement on the Requiem line. What this book is:

  • A new core book for the game
  • A strong support for one to create characters and campaigns
  • A story-axed game, with a system to support it
  • A Requiem book, moving further from Masquerade and cementing its own mythology

What it isn't:

  • A new player friendly book. The Clans ahead of the setting, the vampire rules ahead of the regular ones, the conditions at the end... this stuff is confusing.
  • A polite book. I have no issues with the c or f word in real life, but I really don't see the point of including them in a book when not in fiction.
  • A well laid out book: there is something weird and inconsistent about how the titles and columns interact, and I often have to look for where to go next.

Despite this minor flaws however, I would still recommend this book for anyone fan of vampire stories - just be prepared for a little bit of extra difficulty if you have never read anything related to Requiem, and a lot if you have never played a RPG.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/16/2014 06:53:55

Originally posted at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/01/16/tabletop-review-blood-and-smoke-the-strix-chronicle-vampire-the-requiem/

Well, it took me a while to get this reviewed, but here it is. It’s a shame that Blood and Smoke came out so late in the year. It was hit with more delays that some video games. The key thing is that the book is finally out and V:TR fans can rejoice. At first I thought it was too bad that Blood and Smoke came out the same time as a glut of other releases like FOUR different Werewolf: The Apocalypse titles, two Shadowrun supplements, a new Numenera game, a Deadlands Noir adventure, the launch of Accursed and so many other titles. However instead of having its sales cannibalized by all the titles hitting at once, Blood and Smoke sold like it was the cure for cancer. It’s been the #1 seller on DriveThruRPG.com since it came out and is one of the 100 best selling titles of all time on that site – an impressive feat for a product that has only been out for a month.

It’s worth noting that even though Blood and Smoke is being sold as a sourcebook, it’s actually a core rulebook for Vampire: The Requiem in the same was you get a new edition of D&D, Call of Cthulhu or Traveller. It’s also worth nothing that for the first time in New World of Darkness history, you don’t need the World of Darkness core rulebook AND a second rulebook for the type of game you want to play, like Mummy: The Curse or Werewolf: The Forsaken. Nope, all you need is Blood and Smoke. It has all the rules you need to play the game. You don’t even need The God Machine Chronicle and it’s rules update from mid-2013. It’s about time the New World of Darkness did this and it’s long been a complaint I’ve heard about the system. It only took a decade, but it’s nice to see all the rules in one spot, and is no doubt a big reason why Blood and Smoke is selling as well as it is.

I’ll admit, I never really cared for V:TR when it first came out. Besides the having to double dip for rulebooks unlike the OLD World of Darkness line, the writing just didn’t seem as good (while the mechanics were improved) and the more the line went on, the more disjointed and piecemeal it seemed to become. Over the past few years, things have started to tighten up and flow better. There seemed to be more cohesion and continuity between products and a definite uptick in terms of writing quality. A great example was last year’s Blood Sorcery which dramatically improved Vampire based magic in the game. Then this year, between Reap the Whirlwind and The Strix Chronicle Anthology, I was actually excited for V:TR for well..the first time ever. The stories being told and the new rules that were showcased had me convinced that Blood and Smoke would be the overhaul Vampire: The Requiem desperately needed. It turned out that it was. I’ve never been happier with the new World of Darkness between this, Mummy and The God Machine and 2013 was definitely the best year for the NWoD EVER.

Although Blood and Smoke rewrites Vampire; The Requiem from the ground up, much of the book is a retelling of things longtime V:TR fans already know. It’s all new writing and there are twists on the history, timelines and different interpretations of things from previous releases, so that means even people who own dozens of V:TR releases can pour through Blood and Smoke and find it to be a fresh new read. I’m also glad that Blood and Smoke retells all the basic details, the most minute mechanics and explains that the core theme of Vampire: The Requiem is, because that means the book is extremely accessible and inviting to new gamers. One of the biggest detractions the NWoD gets is that the books have been written in such a way that they assume you already own everything that came before it. There’s no explanations for newcomers and thus the releases have tend to drive more gamers away than they have brought in, thus leaving the NWoD extremely insular and with a much smaller fanbase that the Old World of Darkness had in its prime. Again, Blood and Smoke is proof that OPP is learning from the mistakes the NWoD has made over the past 10+ years. The game hasn’t been this wide open to new and old fans alike since its inception and again, another reason why Blood and Smoke is selling like hotcakes.

For those new to V:TR, the book contains everything you need to play along with copious amounts of back story, description and content. You have the five clans, Daeva, Gangrel, Mekhet, Nosferatu and Ventrue. There are also short write-ups of the three extinct clans: The Akhud, the Juli and Pijavica. The Tremere don’t show up anywhere in Blood and Smoke even though they occasionally are referred to as a “Lost Clan” in some books. For newcomers, you’ll have to look to Mage as they show up there regularly (They’re considered Liches in the NWoD for people who only know the V:TM version.). You also get six Covenants and four “broken” ones. By broken they mean, died out in a figurative sense. Covenants are how vampires group their allegiance in V:TR. Again, if your only exposure is Vampire: The Masquerade, think of Covenants as much smaller organizations like the Camarilla, the Sabbat and the True Hand, except these organizations all work together (to varying degrees) instead of being at each other’s throats.

Much of the book is about the mood, theme and atmosphere rather than mechanics. Don’t worry dice chuckers and ruleslayers; there are plenty of mechanics in Blood and Smoke for you. But World of Darkness games have always been about the story first and so the newest version of V:TR is no difference. The book takes you through what it means to be a vampire and how the longer you stay a vampire the harder it is to hold on to your humanity. The core concept of humanity is redone for Blood and Smoke instead of basically being a chart where you compare what act you did to your humanity rating and then rolling dice to see if you’ve become more of a “monster,” humanity in this latest version of the game is more of an immersive role-playing experience. You have touchstones, aspects of your former mortal life which keep your grounded and your baser instincts in check. A Touchstone could be anything from your gravestone to the children you had when you were a mortal. It could be the baseball stadium that you always had season tickets to or perhaps an opera. Regardless these touchstones give your character something to work with in-game as well as story thread potential for the person running the game. Maybe a subplot of an adventure is that a character’s touchstone is a park and some unscrupulous builder wants to turn it into condos. Here then, the PC can protect the touchstone which makes the adventure a metaphor for protecting his or her slowly eroding humanity. Now, that doesn’t mean touchstones should always be in danger of being destroyed or tampered with. That’s only something a lazy or unimaginative Storyteller would do. Touchstones exist for the character first and foremost and help keep them grounded. Constantly attacking or threatening them just turns the game into the unfortunate “Storyteller Vs Player” setting where no one ends up happy and to be honest, is kind of spitting in the face of what White Wolf style games are supposed to be like.

It’s also worth noting that Humanity also effects how a vampire takes sun damage. The newer a vampire is to their unlife coupled with how high their humanity is, determines how much damage you take from the sun and how often. Higher Humanity levels can tolerate the sun for longer periods and the same with being a younger vampire. Now this is the inverse of V:TM or most horror games like Ravenloft where the older a vampire is the more sun they can withstand. Personally as a folklorist, I prefer the pre-1922 vampire where sunlight was an annoyance at best and never lethal. Stupid Count Orlock. However, the past century has pretty much cemented sunlight as a weakness for vampires (unless they are sparklepires…), so as much as I was hoping that sunlight would be downplayed entirely, I do approve of this reworking of the weakness. In a sense, sunlight damage becomes a metaphor not for a character’s purity or how good they were as a mortal, but rather how much they are able to cling to the being they used to be. Humanity in V:TR isn’t where a ten rating equals Lawful Good Paladin from Dungeons & Dragons, but rather how much you have held it together in the face of your new existence. When you lose Humanity, you lose what you once were. Memories, emotional, connections, empathy and the like all erode. The less Humanity you have, the more bestial or instinctual a vampire becomes until they are an animalistic predator with no thoughts but the most basic on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. So in this respect the more sunlight you can tolerate, the more of yourself you are and the more damage you take from it, the more you have slipped towards the embrace of the Beast.

Another unusual aspect of V:TR is Blood Potency. While this goes up with age, it can also go down from entering a deathlike sleep called torpor. Blood Potency not only determines a PC’s power level but also drawbacks as well. For example, the higher the Blood Potency, the more limited your feeding options are. You might lose the ability to feed off animals and then humans, leaving your only prey option to be other vampires. At this point, you might choose to enter Torpor to lose BP and thus feed normally. It’s an interesting juxtaposition of benefit Vs drawback and I enjoy the concept, but I can definitely see where others would have a problem with it, especially munchkin/power gamers. Blood Potency kind of prevents the min/max’ing you see in other games, which I personally approve of. So two things. First, notice how in the previous paragraphs you have rules and mechanics, but without dice. They are pure storytelling. I love this. Sure, the option to roll or whatever is still available, but Blood and Smoke does put an emphasis on as little rolling as possible. It’s proof you can have the rules without bogging a game down with check on the exact implementation or stopping the pace or flow of an adventure every few seconds with rolling dice. This is kind of a throwback to older RPGs rather than the 3.0/Pathfinder era of games where there is a roll based mechanic for everything. Again, I prefer the limiting of dice to big moments and letting the group of players and Storyteller control the majority of the tale. That’s just me though so again, enjoyment of this play style may vary. Second, notice how in the previous paragraphs I also commented how a play mechanic is a metaphor for something else. This is constant throughout Blood and Smoke. I love this. I love games where mechanics flow into the story rather than run parallel with them. It makes the game a more immersive experience overall.

We also see Conditions make their return from God Machine Chronicle. Conditions are similar to derangements in that they are mental states a character can enter. Unlike derangements conditions can be temporary as well as persistent or permanent. There are nearly fifty Conditions, and each has their own way they can be developed and beaten. I like this because it ties a specific mental state down to the character and make them actual act it out. Too often I’ve seen people gain derangements and pay them no mind. We’ve probably all seen the one person who plays a Malkavian without any specific derangement and just has them be “crazy” which everyone else interprets as “annoying to the point of PvP occurring.” Some gamers might not like having a specific Condition forced on them, but I feel it makes for better role-playing potential and ensures someone will act out their insanity. Conditions feel a lot like the temporary insanities, phobias or philia you can pick up in Call of Cthulhu. Plus, you can gain a beat for some of these, which is a nice reward a la the GM Intrusion from Numenera. Beats are fractions of experience points by the way. Get five and they become 1 XP.

Okay, I should probably move on to the titular aspect of the book, which are the Strix. Although in previous versions of V:TR supplements and sourcebooks, information about the Strix has been contradictory and oddly defined. At times it felt like all of the people writing about the Strix didn’t bother to read what anyone else had written and so their entire history felt very poorly done (as a whole, some individual pieces were quite nice), disjointed and kind of like a flesh golem if it were words instead of people parts. If there was one thing I was really looking forward to being overhauled and getting some much needed cohesion, it was the Owls. After all, the Strix represent all the bits of folkloric vampires that the more Hollywood/20th century style Kindred lack. The overwhelming hunger, the pure monstrosity, the bizarre weaknesses, the ability to go out in the sun. Hmm. Vlad Tepes can go out in the sun in V:TR, yet he is NOT an owl. Or is he? So many possibilities there! Anyway, with the Strix, VLTR pays homage to the vampires from yesteryear as well as the modern incarnation. Even better, they’ve shored up what the Strix are instead of making them unstoppable boogeymen that just kill PCs left and right. Now, they’re still fearsome SEEMINGLY unstoppable creatures, but there weaknesses and powers are better laid out and more thoroughly defined. What this means is that a Strix is still a monster for the monsters, but that they can be defeated in a similar vein to Call of Cthulhu where investigation and knowledge helps a mere mortal stop the machinations of an being utterly alien to our own form of existence. Hmm. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy the changes to V:TR so much. I am a long time CoC fan…

There’s a lot more to Blood and Smoke than what I’ve covered. I mean, I’ve only written 2,500 words and the PDF is 311 pages long. I could touch on character creation, but it’s pretty much the same as any White Wolf game. Masks and Dirges are the equivalent of Natures and Demeanors. Disciplines, Frenzies, ghouls and everything else are similar to earlier incarnations of Vampire: The Requiem. Are they exact? No, but they are so close that the devil is in the details. Again, if you’ve never played V:TR before, this is definitely the book to get. It gives you all the rules and is as inviting to newcomers as it is full of references and telltale hints that only long time fans of the game will pick up. I honestly feel Vampire: The Requiem is SO MUCH BETTER than it used to be. The game has gone from my least favorite New World of Darkness setting to third or fourth (behind Mummy, God Machine and maybe Mage. I go back and forth on it. I absolutely think this is a step in the right direction and with these changes I am actually inspired to run a game of V:TR. I can’t think of the last time that has happened. This was just a fantastic job all around by the writing team. The question now is, where does V:TR go from here?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Roger L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/08/2014 02:44:14

http://www.teilzeithelden.de/2014/01/08/rezension-vampire-the-requiem-blood-and-smoke-the-strix-chronicle/

Seit ihrem Erschei­nen 2004 als „Reboot“ der Clas­sic World of Dar­k­ness bil­de­ten das World of Dar­k­ness Rule­book und Vam­pire: The Requiem (V:TR) das Fun­da­ment für die neue WoD und die darin hau­sen­den Blut­sau­ger. The God-Machine Chro­ni­cle (GMC) hat das World of Dar­k­ness Rule­book nun­mehr mit Rege­l­über­ar­bei­tun­gen des Storytelling-Basissystems umfas­send ergänzt (mehr dazu hier). Blood and Smoke: The Strix Chro­ni­cle (B&S) begann sei­nen Ent­wick­lungs­pro­zess als ver­gleich­ba­res Buch, das neben einem spe­zi­el­len Kam­pa­gnen­hin­ter­grund für den V:TR–Bau­kas­ten ent­spre­chende Rege­l­an­pas­sun­gen und eine Über­ar­bei­tung der vam­pi­ri­schen Kräfte ent­hal­ten sollte. Im Laufe der Zeit aller­dings ist das Buch kon­zep­tio­nell über den ursprüng­li­chen Grund­riss hin­aus gewu­chert. Irri­tie­ren­der­weise segelt es noch immer unter der ursprüng­li­chen Flagge und trägt dazu das unschein­bare und irre­füh­rende Eti­kett „a sour­ce­book“ auf dem Cover – sich ste­tig wie­der­ho­lende, ver­wirrte Nach­fra­gen zur Natur des Buches dürf­ten für die nächs­ten Jahre garan­tiert sein.

Aus B&S ist näm­lich ein inhalt­lich und vom Regel­kos­tüm her voll­stän­di­ges Grund­re­gel­werk gewor­den, das sogar eine abge­speckte, GMC–kom­pa­ti­ble Fas­sung der WoD–Basis­re­geln ent­häl­t. Requiem–Neu­linge müs­sen sich also kei­ner­lei Sor­gen machen – B&S allein ent­hält alles, was zum Spie­len nötig ist. Sicher­lich war das eine kluge Ent­schei­dung; Neu­ein­stei­ger hät­ten sich sonst im schlimms­ten Falle durch ein kon­fu­ses und abschre­cken­des Kon­strukt aus zwei Regel­bü­chern und zwei Updates kämp­fen müs­sen. Umso rät­sel­haf­ter bleibt es, warum man es für oppor­tun hielt, den Cha­rak­ter des Buchs zu verschleiern.

Aller­dings lohnt es sich, mit dem Attri­but „neue/aktuelle Edi­tion von V:TR“ behut­sam zu han­tie­ren. Zur Frage, ob es sich nun um die „defi­ni­tive zweite Requiem–Edi­tion“ han­delt, hält man sich beim Ver­lag merk­wür­dig bedeckt; man mag spe­ku­lie­ren, dass dahin­ter lizenz­recht­li­che Gründe ste­hen. Gleich­wohl deu­tet alles dar­auf hin, dass die grund­le­gen­den Über­ar­bei­tun­gen und der in kräf­ti­ge­ren Far­ben gemalte Kam­pa­gnen­hin­ter­grund der Spiel­li­nie den Weg zu den zukünf­ti­gen Ver­öf­fent­li­chun­gen weisen.

Die Spiel­welt

Vor eini­ger Zeit schon habe ich ver­sucht, die Ent­wick­lungs­li­nien der Vampir-Spiele aus dem Hause White Wolf/Onyx Path Publis­hing in einer Bestands­auf­nahme nach­zu­zeich­nen. Hier fin­det sich wei­ter­hin ein knap­per Über­blick über die Grund­la­gen von V:TR.

Wo das 2004er V:TR–Regel­buch und die ers­ten Erwei­te­run­gen einen besonnen-reflektierten, melan­cho­li­schen Grund­ton anschlu­gen, wech­selt B&S die Art und Weise der Dar­stel­lung; das betrifft nicht nur die sprach­li­che Ebene, son­dern färbt von dort aus ebenso die gesamte Spiel­welt. Mit brei­ten Pin­sel­stri­chen in kräf­ti­gen Far­ben malt es ein leb­haf­tes, pul­sie­ren­des Bild der vam­pi­ri­schen Exis­tenz im Requiem–Uni­ver­sum. Die Schil­de­run­gen sind drän­gend, inten­siv, mit­rei­ßend und mühen sich, mit beein­dru­cken­der Bild­ge­walt plastisch-greifbare Ein­drü­cke vor dem geis­ti­gen Auge zu skizzieren.

Im Ver­gleich zu die­ser Unmit­tel­bar­keit wir­ken die 2004er-Texte wie die Sezie­rung der vam­pi­ri­schen Exis­tenz mit der drö­gen, detail­ver­lieb­ten Akri­bie einer Dok­tor­ar­beit über die Geschichte der Rau­fa­ser­ta­pete. Ihre auf der Mas­quer­ade–Erfah­rung beru­hende Gewis­sen­haf­tig­keit bie­tet zwar ein über­aus soli­des Fun­da­ment, erschöpft aber zuwei­len nicht nur das Thema, son­dern auch den Leser. An die Stelle ele­gi­scher Besin­nungs­auf­sätze tritt nun hek­ti­sche Betrieb­sam­keit. B&S möchte uns sogleich am Kra­gen packen und in eine bewe­gungs­rei­che Welt hin­ein­zer­ren, die dabei här­ter, bru­ta­ler und sexu­ell auf­ge­la­den gewor­den ist. Man scheut sich nicht, das poten­ti­elle Spiel­ge­fühl pla­ka­tiv mit Fangzahn-Coolness, Roman­tik und media­len Vam­pir­bil­dern aus­zu­ge­stal­ten, die moder­nen popu­lär­kul­tu­rel­len Refe­ren­zen ent­stam­men. Die leben­di­gen Schil­de­run­gen dürf­ten Vete­ra­nen Spaß berei­ten und Ein­stei­gern ein über­aus greif­ba­res Bild davon ver­mit­teln, was es hier zu erle­ben gibt.

An der Ober­flä­che scheint es durch die­sen Ton zunächst so, als nähere sich Requiem im Stil der Mas­quer­ade an. Mei­nes Erach­tens ist das aber kei­nes­wegs der Fall, son­dern, im Gegen­teil, Bestand­teil des wei­te­ren Eman­zi­pa­ti­ons­pro­zes­ses. Rund um das vam­pi­ri­sche Dasein prä­sen­tiert B&S näm­lich zugleich zahl­rei­che radi­kale Ver­än­de­run­gen, die zu jenem Zeit­punkt, als V:TR noch dazu gedacht war, V:TM voll­stän­dig zu erset­zen, wohl nie in Betracht gekom­men wären.

Clans und Bünde

In der Anfangs­phase stan­den die Bünde als Bau­steine der Schat­ten­ge­sell­schaft lange Zeit im Mit­tel­punkt der publi­ka­to­ri­schen Auf­merk­sam­keit, wäh­rend die Clans nur skiz­zen­haft grund­le­gende Arche­ty­pen ergänz­ten. B&S stellt sie nun­mehr nicht nur weit an den Anfang der Dar­stel­lung, son­dern ver­leiht ihnen in aus­drucks­vol­len Wer­be­tex­ten lebhaft-immersive Kon­tu­ren. Auf dem Rücken der Clan­bü­cher ver­mit­teln sie mit voll­stän­dig über­ar­bei­te­ten Clan­schwä­chen ein kraft­vol­les, the­ma­tisch stim­mi­ges Bild.

Das Abrü­cken von der ana­ly­ti­schen Per­spek­tive zeigt bei der fol­gen­den Vor­stel­lung der Bünde aller­dings auch seine Nach­teile. Die pla­ka­ti­ven Schil­de­run­gen geben dem „sowohl – als auch“ wenig Raum. Zwar erhal­ten beson­dere Vor­teile für Invic­tus und Car­thia­ner, die bis­her nur in den gleich­na­mi­gen Büchern zu fin­den waren, pas­sen­der­weise Ein­zug ins Basis­buch (Car­thian Law & Invic­tus Oaths). Der Dif­fe­ren­zie­rungs­grad der ursprüng­li­chen Ver­öf­fent­li­chun­gen zu den Bün­den, die zugleich auch tie­fen Ein­blick in die Funk­ti­ons­me­cha­nis­men der vam­pi­ri­schen Gesell­schaft gewäh­ren, muss jedoch der mar­kan­ten Pau­scha­lie­rung wei­chen. So wird man bei­spiels­weise dar­über strei­ten kön­nen, ob es dem Thema gerecht wird, Car­thia­ner quasi zu Jako­bi­nern ohne Puls zu machen. Zu hof­fen ist, dass mit dem bereits ange­kün­dig­ten Secrets of the Coven­ants, der auf B&S auf­bau­en­den Erwei­te­rung zu Bün­den, die Fein­hei­ten vam­pi­ri­scher Poli­tik mehr Beach­tung erfahren.

Die Dar­le­gungs­weise setzt sich in der Schil­de­rung der übri­gen Facet­ten des vam­pi­ri­schen Unle­bens fort. Ihre Exis­tenz offen­bart sich nicht so sehr in abs­trak­ten All­ge­mein­plät­zen, son­dern viel­mehr in inten­si­ven Bil­dern auf Augen­höhe der Cha­rak­tere. B&S spricht nicht in ers­ter Linie über den Hin­ter­grund, son­dern illus­triert ihn aus der Innenperspektive.

Frei­lich hat die Kom­pri­mie­rung der ursprüng­li­chen Basis­texte zusam­men mit viel neuem Mate­rial auf engem Raum auch Opfer gefor­dert. Beli­als Brood, die ste­reo­ty­pen, destruk­ti­ven Fins­ter­linge des 2004er Grund­re­gel­werks, sind der Schere zum Opfer gefal­len. All­ge­meine Regeln zu Blut­li­nien sind zwar noch ent­hal­ten, mehr jedoch nicht. Alles in allem sind das wohl­er­wo­gene und zu ver­schmer­zende Kür­zun­gen, die durch das Zusatz­ma­te­rial mehr als kom­pen­siert werden.

Die Strix

Die titel­ge­ben­den Strix erhal­ten ein aus­führ­li­ches eige­nes Kapi­tel, das inhalt­lich weit über die bereits in Night Hor­rors: The wicked Dead ver­öf­fent­lichte Skizze hin­aus­geht. Wie sich bereits in der Strix Chro­ni­cle Antho­logy (mehr dazu hier) erwies, sind Vam­pire kei­nes­wegs allei­nige Herr­scher der Nacht. In der Fins­ter­nis lau­ern Geis­ter aus der Ver­gan­gen­heit, die ihre Beute unter den Jägern suchen. Kör­per­lose Wesen aus Rauch und Schat­ten bedro­hen die Schat­ten­ge­sell­schaft der Vam­pire und dro­hen, sie mit gestoh­le­nen Kör­pern und all­ge­gen­wär­ti­ger Para­noia von innen her­aus zu zer­set­zen. Im Grund­satz wird die Spiel­welt durch die Strix geheim­nis­vol­ler wie auch bedroh­li­cher. Sie tra­gen starke, geheim­nis­um­wo­bene und viel­fäl­tig ein­setz­bare Ant­ago­nis­ten bei, die die Atmo­sphäre des Geheimnisvoll-Phantastischen stär­ken, rei­ßen dabei aber kei­nes­wegs das gesamte Set­ting an sich.

In der spä­te­ren V:TR–Publi­ka­ti­ons­phase haben die Clan­bü­cher und Night Hor­rors–Bände schon einen stär­ker Story-orientierten Ansatz gewählt. Die latente Ste­ri­li­tät des Bau­kas­tens weicht dort durch Beto­nung des Mys­te­riö­sen inten­si­ve­rer Stim­mung. B&S setzt mit den Strix, aber auch vie­len ande­ren Hin­ter­grund­ele­men­ten, die­sen Schwenk in Rich­tung und Schwer­punkt fort, um tie­fer in das Set­ting ein­zu­tau­chen, ihm mehr Leben ein­zu­hau­chen und es mar­kan­ter als Story auszugestalten.

Die Regeln

Das 30-seitige Grund­re­gel­ka­pi­tel leis­tet mei­nes Erach­tens her­vor­ra­gende Arbeit dabei, die Basis­re­geln von Bal­last zu befreien und auf das unbe­dingt Not­wen­dige ein­zu­damp­fen; der Platz hat sogar für das Sys­tem zu sozia­len Aus­ein­an­der­set­zun­gen aus­ge­reicht. B&S ver­wen­det das World of Dar­k­ness Sto­ry­tel­ling Sys­tem unter Ein­be­zie­hung der jüngs­ten grund­le­gen­den Über­ar­bei­tun­gen im World of Dar­k­ness Rules Update. So wäh­len Cha­rak­tere nun von Beginn an drei Aspi­ra­ti­ons, in die Zukunft gerich­tete Cha­rak­ter­ziele. Dar­über und über wei­tere Mecha­nis­men wer­den Erfah­rungs­punk­te­ge­winn und die per­sön­li­che Geschichte im neuen Sys­tem eng mit­ein­an­der ver­wo­ben. Das Spiel­kon­zept Con­di­ti­ons for­ma­li­siert bestimmte Zustände, in denen sich Cha­rak­tere befin­den kön­nen, mit des­sen Aus­wir­kun­gen und den Bedin­gun­gen, unter denen sie enden; sie sind in viele spiel­wich­tige Effekte ein­ge­bun­den. Die Ten­denz hin zu Sys­te­men, die dra­ma­ti­sche Situa­tio­nen und indi­vi­du­elle Cha­rak­ter­aus­for­mung abbil­den und för­dern, wird für den Requiem–Hin­ter­grund ent­spre­chend fort­ent­wi­ckelt. An ande­rer Stelle habe ich bereits meine Skep­sis bezüg­lich der GMC–For­ma­li­sie­rung und den Spiel­fluss geäu­ßert, nament­lich zum Erfah­rungs­sys­tem. Im Grund­satz hat sich daran zwar nichts geän­dert, und auch andern­orts mag ihr Wert durch­aus frag­lich sein. Doch zei­gen die Con­di­ti­ons im Zusam­men­hang mit vam­pi­ri­schen Kräf­ten und Zustän­den erheb­li­chen prak­ti­schen Nut­zen, indem sie Klar­heit und Sys­te­ma­tik beträcht­lich fördern.

Gegen­über der ursprüng­li­chen V:TR–Aus­gabe haben sich im Gro­ßen wie im Klei­nen so viele Stell­schrau­ben ver­än­dert, dass eine Gesamt­auf­zäh­lung den Rah­men die­ser Rezen­sion spren­gen würde. Die umfas­sende Bear­bei­tung und Ergän­zung der Merits auf der Grund­lage der seit­her erschie­ne­nen Bücher macht nur einen klei­nen Teil davon aus.

Beson­dere Auf­merk­sam­keit ver­die­nen die (neuen) Mecha­nis­men zu einer der zen­tra­len Cha­rak­ter­res­sour­cen des Spiels: der Wil­lens­kraft (Will­power). Sie kann genutzt wer­den, um das Ergeb­nis von Wür­fen zu modi­fi­zie­ren und spielt in vie­len wich­ti­gen Momen­ten eine tra­gende Rolle. Die frü­her damit asso­zi­ier­ten Tugen­den und Las­ter (Vir­tue/Vice) sind in Pen­sion gegan­gen; an ihre Stelle sind Mask und Dirge getre­ten (aus Masquerade/Requiem in Danse Macabre her­vor­ge­gan­gen). Mask reprä­sen­tiert die Fas­sade eines Vam­pirs, also die Rolle, die er gegen­über den Sterb­li­chen ein­nimmt. Dirge hin­ge­gen bedeu­tet sein ver­bor­ge­nes, wah­res Ant­litz, sein Selbst­ge­fühl. Durch Stär­kung und Ver­tei­di­gung die­ser bei­den Sei­ten sei­nes Unle­bens gewinnt ein Cha­rak­ter Willenskraft.

Die Mensch­lich­keit (Huma­nity) bleibt die zen­trale Mess­latte dafür, wie­viel Abstand ein Cha­rak­ter noch von der Bes­tie in sei­nem Inne­ren wahrt. Ihre Bedeu­tung hat sich jedoch sacht ver­scho­ben. Nicht moralisch-ethische Wert­vor­stel­lun­gen, son­dern die Frage, wie stark sich der Vam­pir von der mensch­li­chen Lebens– und Erfah­rungs­welt ent­fernt hat, füllt Mensch­lich­keit mit Bedeu­tung. Jene Situa­tio­nen, die das Risiko der Ent­frem­dung und damit des Mensch­lich­keits­ver­lus­tes mit sich brin­gen, hei­ßen Brea­king Points. Der Abstieg wird nicht mehr von der Gefahr einer Geis­tes­stö­rung, son­dern dem Durch­schei­nen der Bes­tie beglei­tet. Um sich vor spe­zi­el­len Brea­king Points zu schüt­zen, kann der Vam­pir wei­tere über­na­tür­li­che Schwä­chen auf sich neh­men. Touchs­to­nes hin­ge­gen stel­len Anker in der sterb­li­chen Welt dar; sie sind mit der Mensch­lich­keit ver­bun­den und hel­fen dem Cha­rak­ter, den Ablö­sungs­pro­zess auf­zu­hal­ten. Diese Mecha­nis­men wir­ken maß­geb­lich auf die Rolle des Vam­pirs in der Spiel­welt zurück. Frü­her schie­nen die Blut­sau­ger allzu häu­fig in einem abge­schlos­se­nen Mikro­kos­mos zu exis­tie­ren, in dem Sterb­li­che im bes­ten Fall Kulisse, im schlimms­ten Fall blo­ßes Hin­ter­grund­rau­schen sind. Nun ist das vam­pi­ri­sche Dasein fest in der sterb­li­chen Welt ver­an­kert; einer der Anhänge wid­met sich dem­ent­spre­chend spe­zi­ell den Sterb­li­chen und Ghu­len.

Dane­ben wur­den unzäh­lige grö­ßere und klei­nere Facet­ten des unto­ten Zustands ver­än­dert. Zumeist geht damit ein Zuge­winn im Macht­po­ten­tial ein­her. Vam­pire erhal­ten (end­lich!) geschärfte, auf die Dun­kel­heit und den Geruch des Blu­tes abge­stimmte Sinne. Sie haben außer­dem Zugriff auf ver­schie­dene Aspekte ihrer inne­ren Bes­tie und kön­nen ihre ver­füh­re­ri­sche oder auch zer­stö­re­ri­sche Kraft benut­zen. Wie gefähr­lich Son­nen­licht Vam­pi­ren wird, hängt nun von ihrer Mensch­lich­keit und der Macht des Blu­tes ab. Junge Vam­pire kön­nen geraume Zeit im Licht ver­brin­gen und erhal­ten so gegen­über den Ahnen einen bedeut­sa­men Vorteil.

Her­aus sticht im Übri­gen die umfas­sende Neu­be­ar­bei­tung der Dis­zi­pli­nen. Neben stim­mi­ger, the­ma­ti­scher Neu­jus­tie­rung an etli­chen Stel­len sind sie im All­ge­mei­nen deut­lich stär­ker und auch fle­xi­bler gewor­den; sie stel­len die Unto­ten klar über gewöhn­li­che Men­schen. Zudem wur­den sie unter­ein­an­der sorg­sam neu aus­ba­lan­ciert. Das­selbe gilt für die voll­stän­dig neu struk­tu­rier­ten Mys­te­ries of the Dra­gon des Ordo Dra­cul. Von der bean­spruch­ten Zeit her ist die Blut­ma­gie nun zu tat­säch­li­cher Ritu­al­ma­gie gewor­den, deren Effekte der Vor­be­rei­tung bedür­fen. Miß­lich ist inso­weit, dass die Riten der Sache nach ans Sys­tem des vor nicht allzu lan­ger Zeit erschie­ne­nen Blood Sorcery (mehr dazu hier) ange­passt wur­den und die Rege­l­an­pas­sun­gen in B&S quasi eine Ant­wort auf des­sen spiel­bre­chen­des Poten­tial sind. Blood Sorcery erscheint hilf­reich, viel­leicht gar nötig, um Anpas­sun­gen vor­zu­neh­men und die Blut­ma­gie auf eine mit den übri­gen über­ar­bei­te­ten Kräf­ten ver­gleich­bare Ebene zu heben.

Cha­rak­ter­er­schaf­fung

Das sto­ry­tel­ling–typi­sche Aus­ma­len von Punk­ten auf dem Cha­rak­ter­bo­gen bleibt eine denk­bar ein­fa­che Methode, um fix in Attri­bu­ten und Fer­tig­kei­ten die Grund­pa­ra­me­ter eines Cha­rak­ters fest­zu­le­gen. Die Rege­lup­dates gewähr­leis­ten aber nicht nur ein erkenn­bar gestie­ge­nes Macht­ni­veau der Cha­rak­tere, son­dern auch eine deut­li­chere Aus­for­mung ihrer Ziele und sozia­len Aspekte. Ver­harr­ten frü­here Inkar­na­tio­nen des Sys­tems noch in ers­ter Linie bei sei­ner gegen­wär­ti­gen Per­sön­lich­keit, tre­ten nun­mehr auch seine poten­ti­elle Ent­wick­lung (Aspi­ra­ti­ons) und seine Ein­bin­dung in die Spiel­welt in den Vor­der­grund. Mask, Dirge, Touchs­tone – das alles dient dazu, nicht pri­mär eine iso­lierte Per­son zu erden­ken. Der Cha­rak­ter wird von Beginn an als sozia­les Wesen erschaf­fen, das mit der Umwelt ver­knüpft und somit direkt in die Spiel­welt ein­ge­bet­tet ist. Ergän­zend stellt das Storytelling-Kapitel dem Spiel­lei­ter Anre­gun­gen, optio­nale Sys­teme und einen Fra­gen­ka­ta­log zur Seite, um dar­auf auf­bau­end die Ansätze der Chro­nik auszuformen.

Spiel­bar­keit aus Spielleitersicht

Zwar dürfte es die über weite Teile des Buchs kon­se­quent durch­ge­hal­tene Innen­per­spek­tive frisch­ge­ba­cke­nen Requiem–Erzäh­lern zunächst etwas schwe­rer machen, einen Über­blick über die zugrun­de­lie­gende Funk­ti­ons­weise der Spiel­welt zu gewin­nen. Doch ist das aus älte­ren Sto­ry­tel­ling–Regel­wer­ken bekannte Grund­bild der voll­stän­dig erzäh­ler­ge­steu­er­ten Chro­nik aber auch aus den Spielleiter-Handreichungen ver­schwun­den. Wo man frü­her in ers­ter Linie Lip­pen­be­kennt­nisse zum cha­rak­ter­zen­trier­ten Spiel vor­fand, wer­den die Cha­rak­tere in B&S tat­säch­lich zum Aus­gangs­punkt der Geschichte. Das Sto­ry­tel­ling–Kapi­tel kon­zen­triert sich dar­auf, das erzählerisch-dramaturgische Poten­tial von Eigen­schaf­ten und Hin­ter­grund­fa­cet­ten der Figu­ren opti­mal zu nut­zen. Dane­ben fin­det sich eine Werk­zeug­kiste vol­ler optio­na­ler Sys­teme, mit denen sich das Spiel wei­ter indi­vi­dua­li­sie­ren lässt. Die Basis-Instrumente für den Auf­bau einer von den Prot­ago­nis­ten aus­ge­hen­den Chro­nik sowie das Bau­kas­ten­prin­zip, das spä­tere Requiem–Bücher aus­zeich­nete, haben so bereits Ein­zug ins Grund­re­gel­werk gehalten.

Dar­über hin­aus war­tet B&S über das gesamte Buch hin­weg mit einer hohen Dichte an Plot Hooks und Story-Bausteinen auf, die zum Sprung­brett für zahl­rei­che Geschich­ten wer­den kön­nen. Schon die Strix bie­ten viele Ansätze. Ein gan­zes Kapi­tel wid­met sich zudem ver­schie­de­nen Domä­nen rund um die Welt, die als Set­ting, Bei­spiel oder zur Inspi­ra­tion die­nen mögen. Sie demons­trie­ren anschau­lich Dyna­mik und Band­breite des Hin­ter­grun­des. Auch hier möchte B&S seine Welt weni­ger abs­trakt beschrei­ben, son­dern viel­mehr mög­lichst unmit­tel­bar zei­gen, wo ihr Story-Potential liegt. An die­ser Stelle ist gut zu erken­nen, dass man nicht nur den neuen, son­dern auch den erfah­re­nen Spiel­lei­ter im Blick hatte. Requiem–Vete­ra­nen fin­den anstelle der ansons­ten in neuen Edi­tio­nen übli­chen Wiederholungen/Zusammenfassungen eine über­aus loh­nens­werte Fülle neuen Mate­ri­als vor, um Geschich­ten zu inspi­rie­ren oder zu unterfüttern.

Ein Wer­muts­trop­fen aller­dings ist die ein­ge­schränkte Rück­wärts­kom­pa­ti­bi­li­tät. Da sich sowohl Hin­ter­grund wie Regel­me­cha­nik zum Teil stark geän­dert haben, sind viele der älte­ren Bücher nicht mehr naht­los mit B&S ver­wend­bar. Die Regel­op­tio­nen aus Danse Macabre sind stark auf die alte Regel­ver­sion abge­stimmt. Die Dis­zi­pli­nen der in immer­hin vier Büchern aus­ge­brei­te­ten Blut­li­nien blei­ben im Spiel­wert deut­lich hin­ter den Über­ar­bei­tun­gen zurück. Eini­ges an älte­rem Hin­ter­grund­ma­te­rial fügt sich nicht mehr ohne wei­te­res in die Spiel­welt ein, wie sie sich in B&S dar­stellt. Zumin­dest das Städtebau-Kompendium Dam­na­tion City und die Clan­bü­cher dürf­ten wei­ter­hin gut ver­wend­bar sein.

Spiel­bar­keit aus Spielersicht

B&S gibt sich alle erdenk­li­che Mühe, Spie­ler sowohl mit den plastisch-greifbaren Schil­de­run­gen als auch den ver­schie­de­nen Aspek­ten der Cha­rak­ter­er­schaf­fung mög­lichst hür­den­frei in die Tiefe der Requiem–Welt zu lot­sen. Die kla­ren Kon­tu­ren von Clans und Bün­den wie auch Cha­rak­tere, die von Anfang an in die Welt inte­griert sind, leis­ten maß­geb­li­che Bei­träge zur Zugäng­lich­keit des Set­tings. Mei­ner Ansicht nach ist B&S das bis­her gegen­über Spie­lern herzlichste/spielerfreundlichste Regel­werk der Vam­pire–Spiele.

Preis-/Leistungsverhältnis

Für ein 311 Sei­ten umfas­sen­des, auf­wen­dig gestal­te­tes Regel­werk erscheint mir der Preis bereits fair. Berück­sich­tigt man dabei noch die beein­dru­ckende inhalt­li­che Dichte des sorg­sam ent­wi­ckel­ten Mate­ri­als, finde ich die auf­ge­ru­fene Summe im Ver­hält­nis zum Spiel­wert des Inhal­tes sogar ausgezeichnet.

Erschei­nungs­bild

Blood Smoke CoverB&S prä­sen­tiert sich auf 311 eng­be­schrie­be­nen, voll­far­bi­gen Sei­ten im klassisch-atmosphärischen Lay­out der bis­he­ri­gen V:TR–Ver­öf­fent­li­chun­gen. Die gemäl­de­ar­ti­gen Inne­nil­lus­tra­tio­nen in dunk­len, kräf­ti­gen Far­ben har­mo­nie­ren mit Thema und Stim­mung. Optisch hält das Buch das hohe Niveau der jün­ge­ren PDF-Publikationen aus dem Hause WW/OOP.

Fazit

Anstelle der Folge 1138 von Grzi­meks Vam­pir­le­ben trägt B&S eine steife Brise fri­schen Win­des ins Requiem–Uni­ver­sum. V:TR zeigt sich in der Neu­be­ar­bei­tung expe­ri­men­tier­freu­dig, ide­en­reich und vol­ler Elan; dichte Atmo­sphäre und viel­ge­stal­tige Geschich­ten quel­len aus dem Buch. B&S berich­tet nicht, son­dern führt mit­rei­ßend und unter­halt­sam vor, wo die Fas­zi­na­tion die­ser Spiel­welt liegt. Zwar fällt dem Stil manch fein­sin­nige Nuan­cie­rung zum Opfer. Breite Pin­sel­stri­che in kräf­ti­gen Far­ben aber hau­chen der vam­pi­ri­schen Exis­tenz Leben ein und holen Dyna­mik und die Cool­ness moder­ner Vor­bil­der ins Spiel. Rundum moder­ni­sierte Regel­me­cha­nis­men bet­ten die Cha­rak­tere in das vibrie­rende Uni­ver­sum ein und zei­gen neue Mög­lich­kei­ten auf, ihre Ent­wick­lung, Kräfte, Schwä­chen und per­sön­li­che Dra­ma­tik ange­mes­sen ins Regel­sys­tem zu integrieren.

Den Balan­ce­akt, den sehr unter­schied­li­chen Bedürf­nis­sen von Ein­stei­gern wie Vete­ra­nen glei­cher­ma­ßen gerecht zu wer­den, meis­tert B&S dabei mit erstaun­li­cher Sou­ve­rä­ni­tät. Neu­linge wer­den unmit­tel­bar gepackt und in die Welt hin­ein­ge­zo­gen; Requiem–Vete­ra­nen fin­den eine Fülle neuer Sys­teme und neuen Hin­ter­grund­ma­te­ri­als vor, um Geschich­ten zu inspi­rie­ren und auszugestalten.

Ein per­fek­tes Buch ist es sicher nicht gewor­den – aber ein gro­ßer Wurf, auf des­sen Grund­lage Requiem gelas­sen und opti­mis­tisch in die Zukunft bli­cken kann.



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