Strange times are upon the Kindred Domain of Northeast Ohio. A recent Sabbat raid has left many prominent Elders and Ancilla ash, and presented opportunities for some ambitious neonates to step up and seize the reins of power. The player characters will take the roles of these Neonates, who after successfully defending the Domain, are being rewarded by Prince Osborne with their very first Domains and Territories. Here’s a few themes to keep in mind as your prepare to play in Mistake by the Lake.

The key element of each Kindred’s life is going to be his Domain. Start thinking about where your vampire lives, how he guards the Masquerade. Where he feeds and who he knows. More importantly, who knows him? Specifically, does anyone know he is a blood drinking monster? Does he hold down a job? What kind of holdings does he possess?

Vampire the Masquerade is a Horror game. Not a spooky game, not a scary game. This is a game that will deal with real honest horrifying themes.. Kevin Siembiada the creator of Palladium games told me a great way tot tell the difference between fear, panic and terror. Fear is that biological response to something sudden. You’re walking down the street when a dog suddenly lunges toward you, snapping its jaws and snarling. That rush you feel is fear. Same scenario, only this time the dog is loose, and coming towards you at full speed. That feeling is panic. Panic is fear that demands action. Terror is the same loose dog, you feel the fear, you act in your panic and run into your car and lock the doors. Now the dog’s eyes begin to glow with an eerie red light and the animal chuckles. Even if you manage to survive the encounter, that’s an image that will stick with you. Real horror is fear and panic that stick with you. Even when you’re “safe” that dread doesn’t stop. There will be some dark and awful material in this campaign. Consider yourself warned!

Don’t ever assume that anyone is telling you the truth. Kindred are selfish, bestial monsters. You should never reveal your Disciplines, Resources, Backgrounds, Haven, or really ANY personal details to another Kindred, unless you are doing so because you plan to use that information to screw them over. The truth is a weapon in the Kindred arsenal. Don’t give your enemies more weapons.

The other player characters are not automatically your allies. Vampires are the most selfish creatures that exist. Their very existence revolves around them constantly stealing life from other creatures. They don’t just share with anyone. This isn’t to say that these undying creatures of the night don’t still know love, it’s just that it’s just that selflessness is inherently alien to the Kindred. Feel free to make alliances in game, but recognize that betrayal is almost inevitable. This isn’t an episode of “Super-Friends” so don’t cry when your allies stab you in the back.

Every vampire is driven by hunger. Vampires are the embodiment of desire. This isn’t as simple as just a lust for blood, although that is a very important element of the game. Vampires do crave blood, but they also want power, innocence, respect, wealth. Really, they want everything they cannot have. They want their cake, and they want to eat it too. Then they want to take everyone else’s cake, and eat those as well. Your character needs MULTIPLE driving desires. If you created a character that has less than FIVE long-term goals, you did it wrong. Go back and add more.

At its core, the vampire myth is all about violence. No matter how a vampire feeds, The Kiss and the Embrace are violent acts. With the incredible physical power a vampire has, violence is inevitable. Build a character that has options when violence breaks out. Pacifists and cowards will not live long. Every vampire needs to have something to do in a fight.

The vampire legends are also, really about sex. The sharp sting of a penetrating fang, the delicious suction that starts the juices flowing. Your character doesn’t have to actively seek sex, but recognize that in the real world, sex is a powerful motivator. How does your character feel about sex?

Vitae, sweet, sweet vitae. The red, red kroovy. No vampires without blood. And not just mortal blood. Kindred pursue exotic bloods like some people chase rare wines. And not just to drink themselves. Forcing a Blood Bond on another Kindred is a treasure to the Kindred. Blood is everything to a vampire.


Mistake by the Lake Tinner