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Hello everyone, welcome to another episode of From My RPG Library. My name is Patrick and I am your host today. Thank you for joining me. If you missed my last episode, I covered the book, The Last Supper. The first book in the classic Giovanni Chronicles for Vampire: The Masquerade.
Ok, today we are looking at a new book. This is a book I was anxious to get, especially considering all the controversy surrounding it when it originally published. The book I am speaking of is the supplement for Vampire the Masquerade fifth edition, The Camarilla.
I had some difficulty getting my hands on this book as I tried to work through both of my local game stores. Unfortunately, neither of them were able to get it as it was back ordered. I instead purchased the book directly through Modiphius which gave me instant access to the pdf. Shipping was a bit expensive as it came from the United Kingdom, but overall it has been worth it.
Let’s talk about the book from an ascetic stand point. Overall, I think the book is laid out very well. I feel there is great use of the page, and clearly someone with a good eye towards design had influence on it. The book uses a good mixture of artwork and photography to illustrate the book which helps add a sense of realism to it.
To be fair, it’s still had for me to look at some of these newer Vampire: the Masquerade books and not see Tim Bradstreet’s art. I know Time has always done the artwork for VtM supplements, but damn is he good.
Enough of that. Let’s talk about the contents of the book. One of the first things I noticed is the book is not written as a traditional rule book. Instead, it’s as if the famous Toreador, Victoria Ash is writing to her childer. It’s like a collection of her thoughts on all things Camarilla including clans, cities, ranks, and views on other sects like The Sabbat, the Banu Haquim, or the Ashira. If you have followed this podcast you would know I love it when books are written this way. I mentioned this during the episode on Beckett’s Jyhad Diary and again on the episode about Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes ( a Dungeons and Dragons supplement).
On the occasion we get guest writers who give their thoughts on different areas, too. I always enjoy when Fatima Al-Faqadi, the infamous Banu Haquim drops in.
One thing of note. As far as I knew Victoria Ash was killed by the Nosferatu, Okulos. Okulos is a friend of the well known Gangrel. Yet here we have a book written by her. It should be noted, Jessica Chobot recently portrayed Victoria Ash on the ever popular show, L.A. by Night.
If that’s the case, I am pretty much ok with that, I guess. I mean we have seen other vampires return from the final grave, right?
Ok, let’s talk about some other things about this book. This book does a great job of explaining the camarilla society. It discusses princes, sheriffs, primogen, justicars, etc. It doesn’t go too deep into the Inner Circle, but it does mention it. It also has an excellent section on the Second Inquisition and the threat it poses. I especially like how it relates some of the actions of real life activity to that of the SI. I should note it was the relation of real life activity that got white Wolf in trouble with this book. That particular issue was handled by the delayed release of the book as the offending section was edited out.
Speaking of editing. I wonder if that is what caused some of the problems with this book. Although no where near as bad as the 1999 sourcebook we spoke about on this show, this book is not without it’s issues. In fact, there is a page where it would appear a jump was missed. In this case it is the section on The elysia, pages 105 – 106. It seems something got missed here. I have checked both in the pdf and the hard copy and find it to be the same.
Ok, enough complaining. Let’s talk more about what is in this book. We talked about the section on Camarilla ranks, the clans, cities, and even the second inquisition. A section we haven’t spoken about is vampire religions. Which really blew me away. This subject is talked about in Beckett’s Jyhad diary but I didn’t realize it had become such a big deal within the game as a whole. That being said, it is a welcome addition as it helps to add another layer of richness to your games.
This book is actually very well done in my opinion. Again, I am not a book critic, I am just someone who enjoys reading and discussing RPG books. Still, I really enjoyed it.
Within the game itself, because this book doesn’t truly go into any depth about rules, I would not have a problem with my players referencing it. It is done well enough that, like Beckett’s, it reads more like a journal than a rule book. It could provide the resourceful player with a lot of insight on how to behave within the Camarilla. I might be cautious about the gallery of rogues in the back of the book, possibly, but I am not sure.
As I stated, I really enjoyed this book. I like that it doesn’t reset the World of Darkness with a new edition but it instead embraces (yes I see what I did there) it and says this is where we are now. White Wolf has always done a great job of having the World of Darkness mirror reality and I think they continue this with this book.
Ok, that’s it for now. I hope you all enjoyed this episode and will tune in for more. If there is a book you want to hear me talk about, shoot me a line and I will see what I can do. As always, you can find me on twitter @theforgeherald or on Instagram by the same handle. If you enjoy our shows and want to support our efforts, you can find us on Patreon at patreon.com/theforgeherald thanks for listening!
© 2019, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.