Monday, October 28, 2013

Vampire 30-Day Challenge : Favorite Edition

Vampire 30-Day Challenge : Favorite Edition
Oh, the dreaded edition wars question.  Let's see, we have First edition which very few ever got to try.  We have 2nd edition which rocked the hardcovers and tended to have very dated artwork.  We have Revised edition which sort of shifted gears away from Tim Bradstreet artwork and slid towards a more anime-manga-inspired look.  And then, we have the new World of Darkness line, which by all means is a whole new game of its own, but is close enough to count (at least in my opinion) as another edition/incarnation of the Vampire game concept.  And finally, we have the 20th Anniversary edition which tried to tie things together revamp classics that needed revamping and re-approach concepts that were deemed broken or in desperate need of rewriting.

So given those, which one is my favorite?

The answer, admittedly, comes easy:  2nd edition.

Yes, it was clunky and messy, with Disciplines that were easily abused, Paths that didn't quite make realistic sense, and had a plethora of non-playing characters whose stats did not seem to make any sense save for they had what their creators wanted them to have.  

It was the edition of railroad-heavy Chronicle books, of Masquerade of the Red Death, of the Soul Eaters, and of trenchcoats and katanas.

But it was marvelous.

I loved how the material was rich and new for its time.  How it challenged the old and familiar staple myths and gave them new form.  People were used to Anne Rice and Bram Stoker, but how many were accustomed to vampires being flesh-molding monsters who would use your own spine to impale you?  How many thought of vampires as third-eye bearing pacifists who stole your soul to heal you?   The books were tremendously rich in creativity and perhaps what they lacked in better design, they made up with inspired writing.

So yes, my fond memories of 2nd edition will never fade away.  It doesn't matter if certain levels of Disciplines didn't make sense back then.  Or that Celerity was far too over-powered for its own good.  It was a rollercoaster ride of fangs and violent drama that will never be forgotten.
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