What is Vampire: The Masquerade?
Vampire: The Masquerade is a storytelling game of personal horror.
What's a "storytelling game?"
A roleplaying game with a colon in the title.
How does it work?
Players take on the roles of undead members of a mysterious world of nocturnal intrigue and Gothic-Punk attitude.
What's a "Gothic-Punk"?
Someone who gets laughed at by goths and punks.
There are people in black lace playing paper-scissors-rock outside my window. Should I be alarmed?
Heavens no. They're just playing the live-action version of V:tM. In it, they dress up as their characters and act out their interactions.
Do they actually gnaw each other's necks, then?
No. Touching is not allowed.
What the hell is the point, then?
You got me.
Can you play something other than a vampire?
Sure. You can get the rules in related games like "Werewolf: the Apocalypse," "Wraith: the Oblivion," and "Changeling: The Dreaming."
How about "Bigfoot: The Malodorousness"?
I wouldn't be surprised.
Or "Swamp Monster: The Moistening"?
Sure. Anything's possible.
Or, or how about "Alanis: The Morissette"?
Yeah, yeah, we get the idea.
I bet you can buy all sorts of expansion crap, can't you?
You betcha. Settings like "Chicago by Night" and the much thinner "Montreal by Night," write-ups of important people in the bloodsucking industry, special dice, the whole kabuki.
Yeah. They're all marbled and dark-looking, for people who like their random numbers to reflect their tortured soul.
Hey, wait a sec. Wasn't there a TV show based on "Vampire: The Masquerade"?
We don't like to talk about it.
Yeah! Now I remember! It was called "The Embrace" or something. Man. That was a stinker.
I bet you're all pissed that "Buffy" got so popular and your show sank like a lead orc figurine, aren't you?
Drop it, I said.
Oh, I've got another one! "House Painter: The Masking Tape."