I woke up this morning to a massive world news story. You may be aware of it. I’ll not issue any spoilers if you’ve not.
It reminded me of something I’d been thinking about a couple of weeks ago, around the publication of White Wolf’s Vampire: the Masquerade 20th anniversary edition (V:tM R.5?).

Firstly, a link, link fans:

Are we up to speed? Awesome.

What I was thinking was this: how are they going to adapt the setting to reflect 2011 onwards? Or, how are they going to incorporate the events of the last ten or so years, specifically 9/11?
With the publication of Vampire Revised in 98 (?), there was a revision of the Assamite clan, and the metaplot focussed on a threat from the East.
Then, just as New York by Night was due for publication, the Twin Towers were attacked and the world changed over night.
White Wolf chose not to pull or amend the book, instead opting to fix it firmly before the attack and present it as a tribute to a heroic city.

Or, in other words, real life events did not affect the metaplot.

So I found myself wondering what take V20 will take on the events since 9/11, and on the events of the last few days.
Will the Assamites be affected? Theoretically they should be sympathetic to some of the ideologies of the Muslim extremist movements, and are certainly geared up to wage a war against their enemies.

I also think that playing an Assamite would be a roleplay challenge in itself, given recent events.
Could most players do the concept justice without crossing any lines of gaming etiquette?
I don’t know, myself. It would be hard for me to portray a fundamentalist amongst people who personified everything he stood against.

Finally, a question to you all: should a RPG game reference world events as defining and emotive as 9/11?


3 thoughts on “Vampire 20th / The modern world

  1. For the most part .. isn't gaming our ESCAPE from modern day concerns ?

    when does roleplay become a tool to alter our perceptions of foreign culture ?

    This week folks you will need to bring stuff to the session :

    Dice -check
    cookies -check
    drinks -check
    PHB -check
    copy of the Qur'an – say what now ?
    Prayer mat — errrm Mr. GM Sir .. please can I have some of the same pills as you !

    IMO .. I think it crosses a blurry line … where we try to distance ourselves a little from news and media .. putting off the horror of the world around us for a World of Darknes (for example) where we can fudge dice rolls to Not become suicide bombers etc.


  2. Are you not reading a bit too much into my post there?

    One of the reasons I stopped playing Ars Magica was that I didn't want to study towards a degree in medieval history, and the same holds true here.
    I'm not suggesting that players in a modern game need research until they bleed, merely that they maintain a general level of familiarity with the world in which we live. i.e. watch the news every now and then, talk to other human beings, walk around with our eyes open.

    Wouldn't it be weird to play a modern game in which the Twin Towers were still standing, the world wasn't in a massive recession and you could still swim off the coast of Florida?
    It'd be like the Matrix – not necessarily a bad game setting, but arguably not 'modern'.

    I would assert that real life events inform and influence modern games, and a lot of what's going on in the world today has a place in a World of Darkness chronicle.


  3. For a Masquerade game, I'd not be surprised to see them update things (including bringing the towers down). It was always such a thoroughly dark game, and reveled in that, and the last ten years have made the world plenty dark.

    Also, this post was the first I'd heard of this new edition, and I'm VERY excited.


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