This is the table top Vampire game to play, hands down. This version of Vampire the Masquerade beats Vampire the Requiem 2nd Edition! Here is why.
I have played Vampire the Requiem extensively. The new second edition of Vampire the Requiem has alienated me. The art was trashy and cheap, the rules for experience and progression are stupid, rebalancing of disciplines resulted in more confusion and unbalance, and the game feels goofier and more unpolished than ever. Even though there are some positive changes to the new VtR2e, the game plays more awkward than ever. So I thought to myself, it’s time to learn about my options. And that is why VtM20th got my consideration.
My reservations have always been that the system is too old with too much baggage and outdated mechanics that won’t play as clean and smooth as first edition nWoD games did. My reservations were justified to some degree. The game still feels a little dusty. Some of the mechanics are a bit clunky feeling and could diffidently be cleaner. But the book is beautiful, the setting is ruthlessly wonderful, and the game is even better than I remember it being. I have been running a game for about 8 full nights now and I am really enjoying it. The community that supports this game is still very alive. The setting has been very well cleaned up. The rules make more sense than ever. Some of the things that initially bothered me either didnt bother me as much as I thought they would when we played or I have found a solution in the rules that I did not notice at first. The disciplines seem more balanced than I remember. Combat is a bit too cumbersome but the more I get used to it the more this is not an issue for me.
It’s not perfect and I do miss some of my favorite aspects of VtR (first edition.) But this game has not faded away at all. Its community is thriving and the game has been refined yet preserved.
In the end, games like this are about role play. This game’s role play experience is great. This feels like the quintessential vampire game that has colored our culture for the last 20+ years. That’s what VtR2e is missing. While playing this game, I keep getting this feeling that, this is it; this is what our generation's Vampire mythology is. It’s been thought out and vetted for eternity.
I think VtR has some issues it will need to work through for the next ten year cycle. While it works that out, I’ll be happily playing VtM.
As for the book, it’s big. I mean, in real life, this damn thing is HUGE. My first “premium” book had binding problems. DTRPG sent me out a new one right away. They are great to work with and I’m pleased that they handle problems quickly and kindly. But I don’t think the quality of the binding is very good for a $100 book. Other than the binding being stressed by the page count, the book is absolutely beautiful. I’m not sure that the premium version is worth the extra money though.
[5 of 5 Stars!]