Times of strife or turmoil or civil unrest are perfect for vampires: when people are dying or even better disappearing in great numbers it becomes very easy to cover their tracks. Some say that throughout history vampires have even brought about trouble, they've certainly taken advantage of it. Many vampires who were themselves Embraced in such times find them to their liking and will seek them out or even cause them in nights to come. In this book we meet several such, fully detailed with stat blocks, background information and more. Perhaps what they are getting up to will have an effect on your coterie or the chronicle you are running, or at least reading about them may spawn your own ideas.
Each clan's approach is discussed. For some, like the Assamites, civil unrest or outright war is an absolute gift - there's always work for assassins! Giovanni look for opportunities to acquire stuff whilst its owners are distracted, or have been slain or displaced. And so on. Their approach also informs who a typical member of that clan will Embrace during the turmoil and how they will go about it. This makes for fascinating reading, and can guide you in developing clan-based plots whenever there is some turmoil that can be taken advantage of within your game.
And then we come to the vampires themselves. Richly detailed with everything from their personal appearance to their backstory and game statistics, you can have them pop up as suits your chronicle... or even build events around one of them as they stir up trouble to their own advantage. Will your coterie try to hinder them or will they latch on to whatever's happening as suits their own best interests? Many of these vampires have been around quite a while, and their stories make interesting reading. Many retain habits and mannerisms of a bygone age, perhaps finding it hard to adapt to modern life. Each also has a full-page illustration that seeks to capture their personality on the page.
Role-playing hints are provided for each one, this is a book to be used, with vivid NPC vampires to make your nights more colourful. But it goes far beyond a clutch of interesting and well-detailed NPCs. Each gives a glimpse into a much wider picture of vampire society and other aspects of the World of Darkness that you can incorporate into your chronicles as background setting, or weave entire plotlines around. Much of it is complex and intrigue-ridden (much like vampire society itself) and makes for fascinating reading whatever use you intend to make of them in your game. Perhaps a book for the completist, but if your interests and style turn to the convoluted intrigues and machinations so beloved of vampires, this is a real treat.
[5 of 5 Stars!]