Posted by: markfender | September 10, 2013

V:tR – New Orleans

There’s another appendix with a sample city write-up. So I guess I should read that.

requiem5The sample city is New Orleans. Oh joy, the most generic city in the world for vampires. I realize that White Wolf probably wanted to break away from their previous “iconic” city of Chicago for the new game, but, New Orleans? Really? Is there anything more typical? So, pull out your Concrete Blonde albums and your Anne Rice novels and let’s get started.

This was written before Hurricane Katrina so it’s kind of out-of-date. The population of New Orleans, for instance, is now at 81% of what it was before Katrina and I haven’t watched enough Treme to know if the descriptions of neighborhoods in this book are anywhere accurate. One nice touch from this book is that it lists the curfew. This is important information for vampires, since they’re only about at night.

New Orleans is a Lancea Sanctum-controlled city. The political situation is kind of interesting because there’s actually two factions within the Lancea, creating tension. The other large faction are the Circle of the Crone. You know, because of all the voodoo. The Circle of the Crone are powerful because they have a lot of mortal sway with voudou practitioners. I think this book is overestimating the power that that would bring. Generous estimates place voudou followers at 15% of the population. Unless every single one of these people follows the vampires, I can’t see the power that regular vampires could bring to bear being too worried about those numbers. I guess if none of the other vampires in the city control any mortals that would work.

Since this is an appendix to the main book, there’s not a ton of information here. We get the political background, some short neighborhood descriptions, and write-ups for a number of vampires. I actually think is probably about all I’d want for a city write-up, though. Any longer and my eyes tend to glaze over. The political situation is pretty interesting, as well. The split in the Lancae presents some cool story hooks. I think this setting does a good job of presenting something unique while still presenting a ‘typical’ city in the new universe (Something not all the White Wolf games manage to do). I just wish it wasn’t New Orleans.

Next is a (bad) Index and a (bad) character sheet. So, a typical White Wolf book. Which brings us to our final thoughts…

I prefer Requiem to Masquerade. It becomes more obvious when you start looking at the supplements, but Requiem is designed to be a toolbox that lets you tweak the game in so many ways. To do that, it had to become slightly more generic with it Clan breakdown, its more general Bloodline system, and its Covenants. But these are still good changes to get away from the ultra-specific breakdown of Masquerade. I think Requiem goes out of its way to enforce the breakdown of the old order, though. The Predator’s Taint and its repeated emphasis on “politics is local” looks a like a measured and steady attempt to divorce itself from Masquerade. I’m not as enamored with that. Also, not be to overlooked, but the rules themselves are so much cleaner than the old one. For the longest time, I just sort of blamed that on the amount of time that they’d had to identify and iron out problems in the previous rule set. But then the 20th Anniversary edition came out and didn’t fix any of the really obvious rules holes. So I guess Requiem is just better.

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