So you’ve got your player characters, and the city upon which to unleash them.
The Chronicles chapter addresses that issue by inspiring Storytellers by providing a host of Chronicle Ideas, as well as a guided tour of how to dredge up drama and interesting stories by looking at the conflicts inherent to the setting.
There’s a good range of scales provided in this chapter, and advice ranges from street level games where issues of turf and gang-wars are the norm, to more political games.
The chapter also goes into detail on how to run a campaign, from handling the spotlight to managing the villains, whether they be other vampires, the Second Inquisition or worse.
The Tools chapter is where the Storyteller goes for their Antagonists, Equipment and Loresheets. There’s not much to say here, except that there’s definitely going to be Werewolves, Mages, Changelings and Wraith in the future… with Hunters likely being there as well.
Given the whole Second Inquisition thing, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hunters were a big part of it.
The book concludes with three Appendices: Standard Feats, Projects and Advice for Considerate Play. Standard Feats talks about the usual rolls that you might encounter in a game and how to manage them in play. Projects introduces a subsystem that allows Vampires to undertake long-term projects, like establishing a drug empire in a city.
But perhaps the most important of all is the last one. Advice for Considerate Play is an essay about how to run Vampire responsibly, going over all the best practices in making Vampire a safer experience for everyone. There’s solid advice here on handling delicate issues such as identity, fascism, and sexual violence in a manner that is safer.
Add to that is advice on what Safety Tools can be used in game to make sure that people can tap out before things go wrong. I’m glad to see these because awareness for the need of these safety tools and the tools themselves isn’t exactly common knowledge, having them here helps a lot.
Overall the Chronicles and Tools Chapters are pretty utilitarian. They cover all the bases and are valuable to Storytellers looking for inspiration for running a new game of Vampire with the new edition.
After being exposed to the horrible things that Vampires do in the World of Darkness, it’s a good thing to end with that last appendix. It’s a much-needed section that I’m glad was there, and I would mandate the presence of these in play if the Storyteller intends to run Vampire as-is, without diluting it from how it was presented in the book.
Finally we’ll have a Review of V5 as a whole in our next and final entry in this Let’s Study series.
If you’d like to read along, you can grab a PDF copy of Vampire the Masquerade 5e from the World of Darkness Website for $24.99