Exploring the New Vampire Players Guide: A (New) Companion for 5th Edition Vampire: The Masquerade
So, You Want to Play a Vampire
Whether you’ve heard of Vampire: The Masquerade or not, the 5th Edition of the game has taken the tabletop industry by storm over the last few years. Entering the roleplaying zeitgeist after a not-so-Final Death in the early 2000s (sans a small resurgence in the 2010s thanks to the 20th Anniversary edition) this latest edition reintroduced us all to the Camarilla and Anarchs, and many of our favorite clans. Though not without some critics, 5th Edition Vampire: The Masquerade (V5) reinvigorated the World of Darkness and brought many players old and new to the nighttime streets of their favorite cities once again.
However, since I mentioned critics, at launch the Vampire corebook was missing some key things – specifically many players’ favorite Clans and their Disciplines. These were reintroduced to this new edition of the World of Darkness over the span of several years through sourcebooks and supplements, with the VTM Companion bringing the last few clans – the Tzimisce, Ravnos, and Salubri – back at last at the end of 2020. This approach requiring Storytellers and players to purchase several books (five in total, as the Companion was released for free) in order to gain access to all the Clans and powers has remained a major point of contention amongst the community. Until now.
Say hello to the Vampire Players Guide.
What’s In the Vampire Players Guide?
The Vampire Players Guide consolidates all of the numerous Clans, Disciplines, Advantages, Loresheets, and other character features into a single resource to accompany the Corebook. Whether you want to play a Banu Haqim or a Hecata with the Gorgon bloodline Loresheet, this book has all the additional resources you need.
However, that’s not all – the Playe’s Guide also introduces new options for your Kindred, from new Merits & Flaws to optional rules for your Coteries. A plethora of Merits & Flaws can help round out your new characters or pre-existing favorites, while expanded Domain rules allow your coterie to truly make their slice of the city their own. Plus, the guide expands on the Considerate Play Guidelines presented in the core rulebook to help players explore the World of Darkness in a safe, hospitable gaming environment.
Streamlining all of these rules into a single resource not only removes the need to purchase multiple books to make sure you have all the character options available for your table, but it also makes it easier to check rules on the fly during a session and make sure you have the latest errata for play.
Taking a deeper dive into the Players Guide, we have five areas of content: the additional Clans; comprehensive guidelines for Character creation and pre-gen Characters; expanded rules for Caitiffs, Thin-Bloods, Ghouls, and Mortals; new and expanded rules for Coterie creations; and guidance for how to create and run Chronicles in a variety of different settings, from LARPs to streaming.
Who is the Vampire Players Guide For?
So, who needs all the information? Frankly, everyone. This book is a replacement for the Companion previously released digitally and provides all of the rules for creating any type of Kindred consolidated into a single resource. We gain all the information previously not included in the V5 core rulebook, as well as a plethora of new things to add to our games.
If you’re new to the World of Darkness and Vampire: The Masquerade, you’ll gain insight into how the game runs, how to create a character, how vampires (Kindred, as they call themselves) interact with each other, and how to run your first game if you’re a fledgling Storyteller. For veterans of the Sabbat Wars of the 90s and the Final Nights of the 2000s, this book brings all the character, coterie, and domain creation resources you need beyond the Corebook to the table so you can create a hardened survivor of those battles, or a fresh, innocent Mortal ready to be embraced for the first time.
This is a resource for every table running Vampire: The Masquerade, whether you’re just starting out or in the middle of a five-year-long Chronicle, that will add new ideas, tools, and features to your game.
What’s New for my Coterie?
The Vampire Players Guide doesn’t just consolidate information though, it brings new features to V5, both surprises and those long-asked-for – from expanded Merits & Flaws to new Blood Sorcery Rituals and more. We have four new coterie types, systems for Coterie Advantages, and my personal favorite, Clan Bane variants for variety in characters.
The Clan Bane variants allow players to adjust their Kindred’s weakness to better suit their playstyle and the Chronicle. New Advantages provide additional flavor and systems for players to explore. New coterie formation systems and Advantages offer a renewed purpose for older Kindred and exciting ways to bring new players into the fold, and an expanded section on Considerate Play provides new guidelines for players wanting to explore the personal and supernatural horrors the World of Darkness has to offer.
What’s the TL;DR?
Do you love the World of Darkness, have been intrigued by the NY by Night and Nightlife actual plays, or are finally giving in to that one player’s constant requests to check Vampire out? The Vampire Players Guide provides a new, comprehensive resource for the game to accompany the Corebook with everything you need to dive into the world of Vampire politics, blood cults, supernatural hunters, and the other things that go bump in the night. As a long (long… long) time player of VTM I’m excited to roll these new and consolidated features into my Chronicles, and I think you will be too. Whether you’ve been waiting to play a Lasombra and dig into the Oblivion rules, or you want to play in an all-Thin-Blood coterie, this book has what you need and much more. Enjoy!
Ian E. Muller is the founder of Gehenna Gaming, a horror TTRPG company with a focus on safety and inclusivity. A longtime fan of tabletop games, horror, and storytelling, Ian is a writer, musician, and content creator as well. You can find his work over at Gehenna Gaming, with SugarAxe, on the podcast sM*A*S*Hed and over on his website at ianemuller.com.