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Vampire: The Dark Ages Hardcover – December 1, 1995
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And yet, I think they made one of the best RPGs of all time with a small line that came out after Vampire the Masquerade. Vampire, The Dark Ages is one of the most deep, scary, and intense games I have owned since Call of Cthulhu. It shows you that if you take away the modern sensibilities of tolerance, taking away the power of science and the light bulb, and the secular understanding of the world, the world can truly become a nightmare world where every shadow may have a demon and every corpse, even your loved ones, may become blood sucking monsters.
Set during the turn of the century, after many years after the Glory of Rome was shattered by its own decay and the hordes of barbarians, Europe is slowly changing. Feudalism is taking over the lands, where once a central government ruled Europe now its a patch work of Barons and Kings that fight each other over tracks of land and what little resources are left. Dark Age Europe, the one showed in this game, is almost post-apocalyptic in the way that it shows how hopeless and dark the old world has become.
In this darkness, the Cainites do what they do best with what is left of the Empire they help create. Vampires are creatures that are immortal and do not change...so what happens when the lands and society itself start to change around them....and its also affecting their own. Old clans are being killed off while out of the death of these clans, new ones rise. Its a time of upheaval, of drama, and of great roleplaying.
If you have the money and you want a great game that has a great setting, get this game...you will not regret it my childer.
Unlike VM, VDA allows the players to exist in a world much more open and less ruled by the extremely irritating, corrupt web of the Camarilla and Sabbat. In fact, those two sects don't even exist: every vampire becomes an entity unto itself, under complex rule by no one. This allows for great freedom of expression in gameplay--expression that is all too stifled in VM.
Also, the book itself has MUCH more in the way of setting. The VM book, Revised Edition, seems extremely vague in the descriptions of the 13 clans. I could not help but be enraptured by the mysterious Dark Ages Assamites: in the modern day, they are static and more or less boring (at least based upon the meager descriptions found in the main core book). In the Dark Ages, they burn with life and passion. This is only one example--virtually every clan falls into this category.
The Dark Ages' own inherent mysteriousness and superstition allows for much more varied gameplay as well--the science of the modern day detracts much from the vague--but interesting--origin of vampiric power. That strange sense of wonder is present in the Dark Ages, but in the modern day VM it is simply in the way. One feels like vampires should have been scientifically explained by now, in our day.
Anyway, in short, the Dark Ages are a much better setting to be a vampire. You have more power, more mystery, more varied gameplay, and above all: freedom. Also, that whole blasted "punk" thing is done away with--when I think of vampires, I think very little of rebel hoodlums on a street corner. ;)
Most recent customer reviews
For one thing it takes the main core rules of VTM and combines them with an age in time that already had horrors...Read more