Posted by: markfender | March 5, 2014

V:tR – Night Horrors: Immortal Sinners and Night Horrors: Wicked Dead

When Hunter: the Vigil came out, each of the preexisting World of Darkness games did a “monster book” for its particular brand of horror. For some reason, Requiem got two.

immortalsinnersImmortal Sinners is the first book and you could probably describe it as an NPC book. Most of the vampires in this book would fit into normal vampiric society. Many of them would have some unusual quirks, but they’d still work fine in a normal game mixed in with your own assortment of vampires. These are usually accompanied with a unique Devotion, magical item, or other rule system that can be used by other people. There’s a lot of them here, but amongst the selections are: Jesse from Breaking Bad, a travel agent for vampires, the horrors of social networking, a pretty pretty princess, and a tortured artist.

The next section is on outlaws, which is where things get a little ickier. There’s the honeymoon serial killers, a renegade preacher, and not one but two mad scientists. Finally, the third section details some elders, who tend to have wackier concepts. Like the Prince of Budapest who is actually a part of the city and uses his blood to move around appearing from the shadows everywhere. Or the Sightless Mother, the origin of all Cruac rituals. Or a vampire who remembers everything (rare with vampires) and can manipulate reality. I felt like this last section is where the monster book part started to come in.

So, it’s a book of NPCs. I don’t care. A couple of them were interesting ideas that I’ll file away in the old memory bank and repurpose later, but most of these guys just bounce right off me. So, I guess check it out from your local library instead of buying it?

wickeddeadWicked Dead is more of what you think of when you think of a monster book. It has a whole bunch of alternate vampire types, usually based on world myths that didn’t originate in the Western world. So, we’ve got aswang, ghuls, hopping vampires and penanggalans, along with some original ideas, like the cymothoa sanguinaria, a parasitic virus. I don’t know exactly why these are in a vampire monster book. Many of them wouldn’t even interact with vampires, since they’re loners who want different food sources. Is it all that horrific for a vampire to stumble upon a weird vampire they don’t recognize? I’m not so sure. Now, as a generic monster book for the World of Darkness, it does have a lot of vampires in it.

The second section was more interesting, since these are actually things that might interact with vampires. First up, we’ve got the draugr, which are what happens to vampires when they hit 0 Humanity. These were in the Gangrel Clanbook, but now they’re in a non-sucky book. Added for this version are Clan strengths and weaknesses, which are pretty cool. We’ve also got larvae, which are incorrectly Embraced vampires. Essentially, these are ravenous, non-thinking minion vampires that you occasionally encounter in horror movies. And of course the draugr have mind control powers over them. There’s a lot of different ways to create larvae so you can work them however you want. Next, we get the Strix again. These were already in Requiem for Rome but they’ve been updated to modern day…and lost a bit in translation. Since they’ve already wiped out their immortal enemies back in Rome, the owl spirits who can possess dead bodies don’t really have a reason for being around in modern days. Seriously, that’s the reason they’re around now…they don’t have a reason. Also, they can possess living bodies now, so the whole original concept is kind of gone. I don’t really get these guys now and I hope the upcoming Strix Chronicle gives them some goals again. Otherwise, we’ve got a wasted opportunity on our hands.

This book also has dampyr, which are mortal children of vampires. How that exactly happens is given several reasons so you can pick your own sick method. I’m not a fan of the mortal children of vampires, but I did like how the dampyrs worked. They attract vampires to them (even supplying them with Willpower) until they reach a weird point where suddenly the vampire can’t regain Willpower from any source anymore. This usually leads to an angry or confused vampire and the poor dampyr, who might not have a clue on its parentage, is left picking up the pieces. And that even assumes it survives. It’s a more psychological approach to monsters that I thought would fit well as a sub-plot into a regular Requiem game.

Like I said, the first part didn’t do much for me. It seemed like a generic vampire monster book that was stuck in this line for no good reason. Weirdly, the Immortal Sinners book had an Appendix for converting the powers of those vampires into other White Wolf games, so it functioned much better as a generic monster book than the book with the monsters in it. Personally, I would have preferred the draugr, dampyr, larvae, and Strix stuff stuck into the NPC book and moved the appendix into Wicked Dead. But the page count would not have worked out quite right.

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