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The Vampire: The Masquerade Rulebook is the first edition of the rulebook for Vampire: The Masquerade. Released in 1991, it introduces not only the Kindred but also the World of Darkness and the Storyteller System.
From the White Wolf catalog:
- A Storytelling Game of Personal Horror
- "No one holds command over me. No man. No God. No Prince. What is a claim of age for ones who are immortal? What is a claim of power for ones who defy death? Call your damnable hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming to Hell with me."
The beginning of the book is a letter written by "V.T." to "W.H." explaining the nature of vampires from their strengths to their weaknesses. Though not specifically said it is implied that the author of the letter is Vlad Tepes (Count Dracula) speaking to Wilhelmina Harker.
This is the introduction to the World of Darkness through the eyes of the Vampire characters. It talks about Storytelling, role playing, the Storyteller and aids. It touches on different kinds of role playing by a brief paragraph about Live Action (LARP). The chapter concludes with another overview of Vampires as depicted in the game itself.
Between Chapter One and Chapter Two is an excerpt from the famed Book of Nod.
The Chapter covers the basic rules to playing the game. It is broken up into subsections that deal with Actions, Dice Rolling, and Game Terms. There is an example character sheet in this section.
The chapter deals with the generation of a character and steps to take when creating one.
Chapter Four is the explanation of the Traits used to create characters and the story.
- Brujah - Rabble
- Gangrel - Outlanders
- Malkavian - Kooks
- Nosferatu - Sewer Rats
- Toreador - Degenerates
- Tremere - Warlocks
- Ventrue - Blue Bloods
- Caitiff - This is shown in a picture but does not give any descriptions of them.
Archetypes are used to determine the character's Nature and Demeanour. They were useful in determining how a character regained Willpower during the course of a chronicle.
Architect, Bon Vivant, Bravo, Caregiver, Cavalier, Child, Conformist, Conniver, Curmudgeon, Deviant, Director, Fanatic, Gallant, Jester, Judge, Loner, Martyr, Plotter, Rebel, Survivor, Traditionalist, Visionary
Talents: Acting, Alertness, Athletics, Brawl, Dodge, Empathy, Intimidation, Leadership, Streetwise, Subterfuge
Skills: Animal Ken, Drive, Etiquette, Firearms, Melee, Music, Repair, Security, Stealth, Survival
Knowledge: Bureaucracy, Computer, Finance, Investigation, Law, Linguistics, Medicine, Occult, Politics, Science
Conscience, Self Control, Courage
This chapter contains all the different ways a character can change and develop within the course of a chronicle. It explores Experience, raising Disciplines, Backgrounds, Personality, the use of Willpower and Blood Pool, effects of Injury, explanation of Frenzy, Derangements, Humanity, Golconda, Diablerie, the Blood Bond, and Ghouls.
This chapter explains the mechanics of the game. There are explanations of physical (combat), social, and mental actions. The chapter ends with an example of play in both story form and how it would be in an actual game setting.
This chapter gives more information about the Setting of the World of Darkness. It talks about the Clans, Bloodlines, Social Distinctions, City positions like the Prince, The Traditions, Sects, a section on Generation, and Antagonists. The Chapter ends with a Lexicon specific to the game.
This chapter gives us an overview of what a Chronicle can be or should be. It gives you the basics for creating and running one by having the Setting, Characters, Antagonists, Plot, and Motif. It gives the potential storyteller some example concepts for a Chronicle and ends with the first piece of the overarching megaplot for most of the Vampire: The Masquerade books: Forged in Steel. This will be expanded on more in the revised hardcover version of this book.
Chapter Nine is for the Storyteller. This chapter helps a Storyteller do her job. It contains the tools needed to help start a chronicle. It also contains the first chapter to one of the various Metaplots, Baptism By Fire.
"There was what could only be described as a metaphysical stench about him. It was quite odd. I'd sensed him almost as soon as he'd entered the hall. It took me only a few moments to find him, standing off to the side, obscured by a sea of signs and placards. I'd have thought that the emotions within and without that place would have concealed him; that effect was certainly what I was counting on.
Nonetheless, there he was. I was cautious and quickly came to believe that I was all but invisible to him, though his body language told me he knew he was being watched. I took him to be old, and powerful, but there was something else.
It was only later, after consulting with some others, that I realized what had occurred. He was of the bloodline LaSombra; one of the Black Hand. I had sensed the Devil's touch on him. I have wondered since if he had anything to do with the horrible things that happened out in the streets that night."
"Now, reader, I have told my dream to thee; See if you canst interpret it to me Or to thyself, or neighbor. But take heed Of misinterpreting; for that, instead Of doing good, will but thyself abuse By misinterpreting evil issues."
- John Bunyan, Pilgrim's Progress
My blood is running dry, My skin is, my skin is growing thin For everytime you find yourself You lose a little bit of me, from within. It's just a raging cycle, why can't we bring it all to the end of the line From inside this existence, time is not on my side.
- Indigo Girls, Land of Canaan
Therefore with the same necessity with which the stone falls to earth; the hungry wolf buries its fangs in the flesh of its prey, without the possibility of the knowledge that it itself is the destroyed as well as the destroyer.
The Stage but echoes back the public voice, The drama's laws the drama's patrons give For we that live to please, must please to live.
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies. Nobody that matters, that is.
- Edna St.Vincent Millay, Childhood is the Kingdom where Nobody Dies.
Life has confided so many stories to me, I shall have to retell them to people who cannot read the book of life itself.
- Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life
He don't give a hoot of warning Wrapped in a black cat cloak. He don't go in the light of morning. He's split, the time the cock'rel crows.
- The Rolling Stones, Midnight Rambler
The dynamic principle of fantsy is play.
But first, on earth as Vampire sent, Thy corpse shall from its tomb be rent; Then ghastly haunt thy native place, And suck the blood of all thy race.
I forget how to move When my mouth is this dry And my eyes are bursting hearts In a bloodstained sky Oh it was sweet and wild.
- The Cure, Homesick
...with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.
- Allen Ginsberg, Howl
Devil and the deep blue sea behind me Vanish in the air you'll never find me I will turn your face to alabaster Then you will find your servant is your master.
- The Police, Wrapped Around Your Finger
Mythology is a rendition of forms, through which the formless form of forms can be known.
Time is the moving image of reality.
And the game never ends when your whole world depends On the turn of a friendly card.
- The Alan Parsons Project, Turn of a Friendly Card
Oftentimes, to win us to our harm, The instruments of darkness tell us truths; Win us with honest trifles, to betrays's In deepest consequence.
- William Shakespeare, Macbeth
Strong as I am There's something about this thing that scares me. Strong as I am Ther's something about this thing that dares me.
- The Prime Movers, Strong As I Am
Confusion will be my epitaph, s I cross the cracked and broken path, If we make it we can all sit back and laugh, But I fear tomorrow I’ll by crying.
- King Crimson, Epitaph
So slide over here And give me a moment. Your moves are so raw I’ve go to let you know You’re one of my kind.
INXS, I Need You Tonight
The inquiry of truth, which is the love making, or wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief in truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature.
- Francis Bacon, Of Truth
All the world's a stage And all men and women merely players They have their exits and entrances And one man in his time plays many parts.
William Shakespeare, As You Like It
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star, Hath had elsewhere its setting And cometh from afar.
- Wordsworth, Ode: Imitations of Immortality
Each person is many persons: a multitude made into one person, a corporate body; incorporated, a corporation... the unity of a person is as real, or sureal, as the unity of the corporation.
- N.O. Brown
I am what I am, and I don't think Betty Ford takes Vampires.
Between two worlds life hovers like a star, 'Twixt night and morn, upon the horizon's verge. How little do we know that which we are! How less what we may be!
- Lord Byron, Don Juan
His ardour smoulders * Phosphorus flies He radiates with urgency to hypnotize Stike the furnace * Feed his need This thirst for fire is all he sees
- Siouxsie and the Banshees, Burn Up
What is the worst of woes that wait on age? What Stamps the Wrinkle deeper on the brow? To view each loved one blotted from life's page, And be alone on earth as I am now.
- Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
This living hand, now warm and capable Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold And in the icy silence of the tomb, So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights That thou would wish thine own heart dry of blood So in my veins red life might stream again. And thou be conscience-calm'd - see here it is - I hold it toward you.
- Keats, Lines to Fanny Browne
She disappears at sunrise, I wonder where she goes Until then night comes fallin' down again She shows up with her friends half-alive.
- Tom Petty, Zombie Zoo
Now darkness has a hunger that's insatiable And lightness has a call that's hard to hear. I wrap my fear around me like a blanket I sailed my ship of safety till I sank it. I'm crawling on your shore.
- Indigo Girls, Closer to Fine
I've loved, turned to hate Trapped far beyond my fate I give, you take This life that I forsake. Been cheated of my youth You turned this lie to truth.
- Metallica, Harvest of Sorrow
I remember, before, my mother dragged me outto the shops with her. She often did. I'd been a good boy, for a change, and she'd taken me to the sweet shop for a couple of candied sticks, or some such. My reward, as it were. We were only there a moment when my mother spied a friend of hers in the shop too. She went to talk, as she often did, and left me standing there. It took me a moment, but I realized that I was alone. Me and the metal scoops of candy piled high. A lifetime of dreams, and no one to see me. No one to stop me.
When my mother returned, she found me standing there, shaking, my face red and hands clenched till they nearly bled. Oh how I'd wanted to just grab and take and stuff my pockets until they overflowed and thenfill myself up, stuffing the sweets inside me until I couldn't fit anymore. Only then would I stop.
But I was afraid. Frightened of being discovered, terrified of never being allowed into the sweet shop again, of not being able to stuff enough inside me to be happy forever. I was afraid.
I am not afraid anymore.
It's an infection It's a disease But no reflection It's gonna make your blood freeze Oh you know how I feel when you set me free Like a nightmare.
- Motorhead, Like a Nightmare
Let me go I can't breathe Yes the desperate have no shame My insatiable need My uncontrollable greed The pleasure is the pain. - Jane Child, Hey Mr. Jones
The good want power, but to weep barren tears. The powerful goodness want: worse need for them. The wize want love; and those who love want wisdom.
- P.S. Shelly, Prometheus Unbound
The beauty of these sublime creatures overwhelms me. So naive and fragile, so sensual - their every word and gesture only increases my attraction to them. Listen my love, the night air sings of my love for you, and of my lust for what is carried within your veins...
- Claudius Giovanni, Maelefactorium
As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.
- C.G. Jung
Cold late nights so long ago, when I was not so strong you know. A pretty man came to me, never seen eyes so blue. You know I could not run away it seemed we'd seen each other in a dream; seemed like he knew me, he looked right through me.
- Heart, Magic Man
It was many years ago that I became what I am. I was trapped in this life like an innocent lamb. Now I can never show my face at noon and you'll only see me walking by the light of the moon. The brim of my hat hides the eye of a beast I've the face of a sinner, but the hands of a priest.
- Sting, Moon over Bourbon Street
Only the free have disposition to be truthful, only the truthful have the interest to be just, only the just possess the will-power to be free.
- W.H. Auden, In Time of War, Commentary
Maybe there's no haven in this world for tender age my heart beat like the wings of wild birds in a cage my greatest hope my greatest cause to grieve and my my heart flew from its cage and it bled upon my sleve the cries of passion were like wounds that needed healing I couldn't hear them for the thunder. I was half the naked distance between hell and heaven's ceiling and he almost pulled me under.
- Indigo Girls, Prince of Darkness
The need comes upon me, a wash of lust and craving which I cannot resist. Like a tree against the storm, I do not bend but evenutally I will break. I may wait, contain my desire for week upon week, allowing the agony to mount, but eventually I can resist no more and I must kill again...
- Thomas Braundenburg, Soul Whisper
Why do your locks and rumpled clothes show tis more than usual sleep has made them so? Why are the kisses which he gave betrayed by the impression which his teeth have made?
And he that will this health deny, down among the dead men let him lie.
- John Dyer, Toast: Here's a Health to the King
Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day; Earth's joys grow dim, its flories pass away; Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou, who changest not, abide with me.
- H.F. Lyte, Abide With Me
Nothing determines who we will become, so much as those things we choose to ignore.
- Sandor McNab
Experience is the child of Thought, and Thought is the child of Action.
- Benjamin Disraeli, Vivian Grey
Be all that you can be. The greatest challenge of them all....Yourself.
I think of isolation and abstinence, and how each is so cruelly dependent upon the other. There are times I cannot stand to resist any longer, yet when I do feed, I cannot abide the sight of the blood that is upon my hands.
- Tamalary, Personal Recollections
Oh I miss the kiss of treachery the aching kiss before I feed teh stench of a love for a younger meat and the sound that it makes when it cuts in deep.
- The Cure, Disintegration
Remember Doc, when the will is invoked, the recuperative powers of the human body are incredible.
- FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks
And when the rain came down, he heard a wild dog howl, there were voices in the night - "Don't do it!" Voices out of sight - "Don't do it!" Too many men have failed before.
- Chris DeBurgh, Don't Pay the Ferryman
There's a red under my bed and there's a little green man in my head he said you're not going crazy, you're just kinda sad cause there's a man in you, knawing you, tearing you into two.
- The Kinks, Destroyer
So now ask yourself, what is human and what is truth? Ask yourself, whose voice is it that whispers up to you from the cellars of your homes. From the tops of your city roofs? Ask yourself, whose voice is it that whispers unto you?
- The The, Good Morning Beautiful
Should the whole frame of nature round him break, in ruin and confussion hurled, he, unconcerned, would hear the mighty crack, and stand secure amidst a falling world.
- Joseph Addison, Translation of Horace, Odes
Live baby live, now that the day is over I gotta new sensation, in perfect moments impossible to refuse sleep baby sleep, now that the night is over.
- INXS, New Sensation
It's the jewel of victory the chasm of misery and once you have bitten the core you will always know the flavour the split second of divinity.
- Faith No More, The Real Thing
Blood and Fire are too much for these restless arms to hold. And my nights of desire are calling me back to your fold. And I'm calling you, calling you from 10,000 miles away won't you wet my fire with your love, babe?
- Indigo Girls, Blood and Fire
Set the world as it used to be when you used to be in it when you were alive and when you were in love and when I took it from you. I won't let you forget the hatred I bestowed upon your neck with a fatal blow.
- Faith No More, Surprise! You're Dead
That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.
No one move a muscle as the dead come home.
- Shriekback, Nemesis
I'd like to kiss you, let my lips caress you sending sparks of passion up your spine. But doing so means saying no and even the thought would be a crime.
- Living Colour; Under Cover of Darkness
The one thing about living in Santa Carla that I never could stomach, is all the damn Vampires.
- Grandpa, The Lost Boys
There is only one step from the subline to the ridculous.
- Napolean I, after the retreat from Moscow
She did not seduce, she ravished.
- George Meredith, Diana of the Crossways
Trisete, Italy - Gun-toting toughs hijacked a bloodmobile near the Italian-Yugoslavian border, stealing hundreds of pints of freshly drawn blood - and lawmen blame the rubbery on vicious, thirst-crazed Vampires!
I woke last night to the sound of thunder. How far off, I sat and wondered. Started humming a song from nineteen sixty two. Ain't it funny how the night moves, when you just don't seem to have as much to lose. Strange how the night moves, with autumn closing in.
- Bob Seger, Night Moves
The beaten generation, the beaten generation reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information. The beaten generation, the beaten generation open your eyes, open your imagination.
- The The, The Beat(en) Generation
He who fights with monsters might take care, lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse
And the Lord said unto him, "Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.
- Genesis 4:15
Stealing through the night like a wolf on the prowel. Not a bird, not a plane, I'm just a mean old night owl. Watch me...hit...run...gotta move on. Going wild in the night cause I'm hooked on the neon.
- Foreigner, Night Life
Most musical of mourners, weep again! Lamen anew, Irania! - He died. Who was the Sire of an immortal strain, blind, old and lonely.
- Percy Shelley, Adonis
Is this a dagger which I see before me. The handle toward my hand? Come let me clutch thee: I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible to feeling as to sight? or art thou but a dagger of the mind, a false creation proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
- William Shakespeare, Macbeth
Now this is the Law of the Jungle - as old and as true as the sky; and the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
- Rudyard Kipling, The Law of the Jungle
Hurled headlong flaming from th' etheral sky with hideous ruin and combustion down to bottomless perdition, there to dwell in adamantine chains and penal fire.
- John Milton, Paradise Lost
She slipped up on daylight night is the best companion. I heard them talking.
- The JudyBats, She lives in a Time of Her Own
I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.
- Job 30:29-30
People try to put us down just because we get around. Things they do look awful cold I hope I die before I get old. Talkin' 'bout my Generation.
- The Who, My Generation
Sundown you'd better take care when I find you've been creeping 'round my back stair
- Gordon Lightfoot, Sundown
Because I could not stop for Death - He kindly stopped for me - The Carriage held but just Ourselves - And Immortality.
- Emily Dickenson, Because I could not stop for Death
All the vampires walkin' through the valley move west down Ventura Blvd. And all the bad boys are standing in the shadows and the good girls are home with borken hearts.
- Tom Petty, Free Fallin'
Her lips were red, her looks were free her locks were as yellow as gold, her skin was white as leprosy. The Nightmare Life-in-Death was she, who thicks man's blood with cold.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Good morrow, masters; put your torches out, the wolves have prey'd; and look, the gentle day, before the wheels of Phoebus, round about dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey.
- William Shakespeare, Othello
The best things happen at the wrong time; the rest happens not at all. The conscientious historian will repair this defect.
I am intense, I am in need, I am in pain, I am in love.
- Indigo Girls, Blood and Fire
It is precisely the soul that is the traveler; it is of the soul and of the soul alone that we can say with supreme truth that "being" neccessarily means "being on the way."
Come the last night of sadness, and it was clear she couldn't go on. Then the door was open and the wind appeared, the candles blew and then disappeared, the curtains flew and then he appeared. Come on baby, and she had no fear. And she ran to him, then they started to fly, they looked backward and said goodbye. She had become like they are, she had taken his hand. She had become like they are, don't fear the reaper.
- Blue Oyster Cult, Don't Fear the Reaper
The hero has died as a modern man; but as eternal man - universal man - he has been reborn.
- Joseph Campbell
I stood. Among then, but not of them; in a shroud of thoughts which were not their thoughts.
- Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
The secret thoughts of man run over all things, holy, profance, clean, obscene, grave and light without shame or blame.
Living in the limelight; the universal dream, for those who wish to seem, those who wish to be, must put aside the alienation, get on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying there.
- Rush, Limelight
So fair; so sweet; withat so sensitive all vain desires; all lawless wishes quelled be thou to love and praise alike impelled whatever boon is granted or withheld.
And I knew that this was only one of the many agonies, many deaths, in the unending scarlet loop of my modius existence. It had happened before, was happening now, and would happen again...and again...and again.
- Dan Simmons, Carrion Comfort
Through these fields of destruction baptisms of fire I've watched all your suffering as the battles raged higher.
- Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms
- Kyle - Shelzza's Childe
- Malcolm - Gangrel, Example Character
- Modius - Toreador; "Prince" of Gary, Indiana
- Allicia - Toreador, Modius' Childe
- Juggler - Brujah, Leading Anarch in Gary, Indiana
- Michael - Malkavian, Blood Bound to Allicia
- Evelyn Stephens - Brujah, Juggler's childe and sister to Detective Gregory Stephens of the Chicago Police Department.
- Alexander Danov - Nosferatu elder
- Lucian - Gangrel Elder, owner and operator of Gary Export Company, which serves as the primary conveyance for Vampires to travel to and from Chicago when traveling across the Atlantic.
- Sullivan Dane - Independent Hunter, former Jesuit priest.
- William Shepard - Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent.
- Gregory Stephens - Chicago Police Detective.
- Annabelle Triabell - Toreador Elder of Chicago, Illinois
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