5 Tips on Running a Vampire the Masquerade Session

Vampire the Masquerade 5th Edition is the tabletop role-playing game for anyone wanting to experience the power of being a vampire. Picking up this TTRPG will provide rich lore, diverse vampire clans, and a variety of options to ensure your character is unique. However, the most daunting aspect of any TTRPG is running a session. As the Storyteller, it’ll be your task to assist players in understanding the rules, introducing them to conflicts, and guiding them through an exciting story.

To assist fellow Storytellers, here are 5 trips on running a Vampire the Masquerade session!

Tell the Story You Want to Tell

Oftentimes new Storytellers will look at L.A. by Night, which is one of the best VTM shows around, and feel like they must tell a story similar to them. Then we the new Storyteller tries and inevitably falls short, they can feel defeated. But I am here to tell you that you absolutely do not have to try and be like anyone else. You should consider what kind of a vibe you want for your game and run with it.

I personally find that comedy is what my players enjoy most and the fact that jokes are happening with vampires it only adds to the humor. I avoid making things too grim or dark, it just isn’t something I enjoy. So find your Northstar and lean into it since if you aren’t having fun then it is unlikely others will!

Have Premade Characters Available

In my opinion, the most daunting aspect of Vampire the Masquerade is character creation. In order to create a new character, you’ll have no choice but to flip backward and forwards multiple times. Although VTM veterans like myself love the process, it turns away new players. In order to counter this, I recommend having 2-4 characters all ready to go so that folks can simply jump into the game without any worry.

If anyone absolutely wants to make their own character, I recommend they check out Outstar’s video on character creation!

Build Your Setting Based On or Influenced by Real Life Locations

The difference between Dungeons & Dragons and Vampire the Masquerade is that the latter focuses on modern-day society whereas the former is completely fictional. Writing modern fiction can be difficult due to the fact that players already know their surroundings so if something doesn’t make sense, it will break their immersion.

To assist with this issue, you should take a popular city you know and love and simply base your game there. That way you can easily use Google maps to search for businesses, shopping areas, and more. If players ask for their surroundings you can literally send them a link to check it out themselves. This will help them understand the situation and choose their actions accordingly while also saving you time in crafting maps.

An added bonus to this is that your group may even discover cool locations you never knew about and decide to check it out in person!

Remind Your Players to Spend their Willpower for ReRolls

In TTRPGs, nothing is worse than waiting for your turn to come, thinking up a cool action, and then failing horribly to roll enough successes. However, in VTM there are a variety of ways to get assistance with a roll. One of which is spending Willpower in order to reroll up to 3 dice. New players will be so consumed with keeping up with the lore, their new characters, and the basics of skill checks that they’ll completely forget about their Willpower.

The moment a player fails a roll, gently remind them of their option to reroll! Although your well-crafted enemy NPCs will fall easily to your players, your friends will love every minute of it and that alone makes it worthwhile!

Have Check Ins

Vampire the Masquerade has aspects in the world and abilities that can be hard to swallow for some players. A game made by World of Darkness is expected to come with a heavy layer of horror however, it is best to take time after a session to talk with your group about boundaries. This helps ensure no one is uncomfortable with any part of the sessions. If there are, you’ll be able to work around it for the future.

Sometimes there will be players that may not feel comfortable speaking in a group setting so having an option to reach out privately is a tremendous help.

As an example, the Tremere are a vampire clan that uses blood magic to assist them in their lives. One ability, in particular, require the Vampire to cut their wrists in order to use their own blood as an offensive weapon. To most players, this is an exciting ability but one player I had suffered from ‘cutting’ in their personal life and admitted that they didn’t feel comfortable with the ability. They wanted to use it and loved their vampire clan but the description just did not sit right with them.

In response, I immediately allowed her creative control over how she uses her ability. She thanked me and simply decide on a new method to activate the ability. Everyone at the table was more than fine with it and we carried on. Communication is vital, especially in horror settings!

These are 5 tips on running a Vampire the Masquerade session! I hope this helps your future sessions be easy and fun for all!

If you are looking for a Vampire the Masquerade series, feel free to check out Phoenix by Night, our own series we host on Saturdays on Twitch.tv/that_deangelo !

Chicano | Fighting/Writing for Diversity | DM since 08 | Anime Lover | Site: http://thegeeklyfe.com | info@thegeeklyfe.com | http://twitch.tv/that_deangelo | https://linktr.ee/deangelomurillo

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