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Unread 08-02-2008, 08:34 AM   #1
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Video Games Let's Play: Vampire: Bloodlines


Available now for 19.99 on everyone's favorite digital distribution platform, Steam!

Troika's (I believe) finest RPG, Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines is based on White Wolf's World of Darkness, a bleak and desolate world of vampires, werewolves and all manner of creatures that go bump in the night. The bumping noises being the thousands corpses crashing to the ground from bloodied, savage maws. If it's any consolation they were probably very bad people anyway, since everyone in World of Darkness is a bad person. Some are just badder than most.

We're going to be playing as a vampire, as previously implied in the title Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines. Your character is freshly turned after a one night stand gone bad (or good, if you're into that) and is thrust immediately into the vampiric world of backstabbing politicians, blood hungry madmen, eastern invasion, apocalyptic cults and an ancient artifact that could bring about the end of days. Nice to see so little has change.

To start with, we get to pick one of seven bloodlines for our fledgling vampire to belong to. These donít act as rigid character classes so much as general guides to the play style youíd like to use. It doesnít fall into the Oblivion trap of letting you become everything, however. A Toreador is never going to survive a slap fight with a Gangrel no matter how many points you dump in melee.

That said, letís show off the available bloodlines, with a little bit of commentary by our good friend, Bertram Tung, all 'round nasty dude and second in line to become Prince of Santa Monica!

"Nasty dude? Hey, I may not be a looker, kid, but I could squash you like a freaking bug if my panties get all in a bunch.



The Brujah



"They're a bunch of malcontents. They get pumped up by rousing the rabble they keep around them. Like that's hard. Nothing breeds faster than contempt, and that's what the Brujah are all about. Jealousy and contempt."

The Brujah are inheritors of an ancient and noble legacy, which is unfortunate, as modern Brujah seem less like a clan and more like a mob. Punks, terrorists, revolutionaries, criminals, gangbangers and the like make up the Brujah; the clan seems to be united in nothing save its contempt for the institutions of vampire and mortal society. Well, this is not entirely true; Clan Brujah are among the most savage vampires, and the most trivial slight or annoyance may trigger a howling Brujah frenzy.

The Brujah's disunity keeps the clan tenuously in the Camarilla, but Brujah thugs routinely defect to the anarchs, the better to strike against their hated elders. Even the "tamer" Brujah annoy the elders and princes routinely through acts of defiance and rebellion. Despite their recalcitrance, however, Brujah are valued as warriors; they are perhaps the most dangerous vampires in a straightforward battle. To anger a Brujah is nigh suicidal - and Brujah are notorious for their tempers.


GANGREL


"They fancy themselves loners and drifters, running around the countryside and barking at the moon. Fheh. It's all just an act. Gangrel can walk upright, they just choose not to."

Of all vampires, the Gangrel are perhaps closest to their inner nature. These nomadic loners spurn the constraints of society, preferring the comfort of the wilderness. How they avoid the wrath of the werewolves is unknown; perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the Gangrel are themselves shapeshifters. When a mortal speaks of a vampire changing into a wolf or a bat, she is probably speaking of a Gangrel.

Like the Brujah, Gangrel are fierce warriors; unlike the Brujah, Gangrel ferocity does not stem from anarchic rage, but from animalistic instinct. Gangrel have a keen understanding of the Beast in their souls, and prefer to spend their nights in communion with the animals whom they so emulate.


MALKAVIANS



"Malkavians are... ah.. interesting. There's something to them. Learning to sort the wisdom from the bullshit can be some work and not all of them are worth listening to, but... they're all good fun, if you ask me."

At first glance, the members of Clan Malkavian do not appear to be a clan at all; they are chosen from all races, creeds and social strata. But Malkavians, regardless of mortal standing, bear one disturbing commonality: They are all quite mad. Whether from the clan's choice of victims, the circumstances of the Embrace, or some property in Malkavian blood itself, all Malkavians go insane shortly after the transformation (if they were not insane to begin with).

Accordingly, many Malkavians find themselves pariahs, ostracized by a vampiric society fearful of their random urges and capricious whims. Wiser Kindred, however, prefer to keep the madmen close at hand: Behind the Malkavians' lunatic cackling and feverish rantings lie smatterings of insight, even wisdom.

Note: The game actually plays quite differently as a Malkavian, as all of the dialog is changed and you get a good number of unique encounters and insights that range from hilarious to horribly creepy and disturbing.


NOSFERATU



"The Nosferatu are damn good at what we do, no one even argues that. If you need to know, if you want it found, you come to us. We're indespensable. Not a bad place to be, in the afterlife."

Caine's childer are called "The Damned," and no vampires embody this more than do the wretches of Clan Nosferatu. While other vampires still look human and may travel in mortal society, Nosferatu are twisted and deformed by the curse of vampirism. To put it bluntly, the Embrace transforms them into hideous monsters. Unable to walk among humans, Nosferatu must dwell in subterranean sewers and catacombs. Other vampires revile Nosferatu, considering them disgusting and interacting with them only when they must.

Because of this stigma, however, Nosferatu are survivors par excellence. Few creatures, mortal or vampire, know the city's back alleys and dark corners like the Nosferatu do. Additionally, Nosferatu have refined the crafts of sneaking and eavesdropping to fine arts; if anyone or anything has the latest dirt on mortal or vampiric society, it is the Nosferatu. Finally, millennia of shared deformity and abuse have fostered strong bonds among the monsters. Nosferatu forego the squabbling and feuds ubiquitous to the other clans, preferring to work in unison. You mess with one, you mess with 'em all - and that can get messy indeed.


TOREADOR



"Hmph. I don't rub elbows with the pretty bloodsuckers much. But I've seen them work people like puppeteers, and that's admirable. Now if only they'd get off their slimy asses and put their talent to some use besides feeding their egos."

The Toreador are called many things - "degenerates," "artistes," "poseurs," and "hedonists" being but a few. But any such mass categorization does the clan a disservice. Depending on the individual and her mood, Toreador are alternately elegant and flamboyant, brilliant and ludicrous, visionary and dissipated. Perhaps the only truism that can be applied to the clan is its members' aesthetic zeal. Whatever a Toreador does, she does with passion. Whatever a Toreador is, she is with passion.

To the Toreador, eternal life is to be savored. Many Toreador were artists, musicians or poets in life; many more have spent frustrating centuries producing laughable attempts at art, music or poetry. Toreador share the Ventrue's love of high society, though not for them the tedium of actually running things - that's what functionaries are for, darling. Toreador know that their place is to captivate and inspire - through their witty speech, graceful deeds, and simple, scintillating existence.


TREMERE



"Mages. I don't have any reason to trust them, they're creepy and I think they like it that way. But... to be honest, I don't hear much about the tremere. There's a few in LA but they're a dying breed. Not that many of them around anymore."

Even among vampires, the insular Clan Tremere bears a reputation for treachery. This reputation is well earned; the Tremere were formerly a cabal of human wizards who, hungering for immortal life, wrested the secrets of vampirism from unwilling Kindred. Such vile deeds earned the clan a sinister reputation; even today, certain vampire clans would love nothing better than to destroy the entire Tremere line.

Nonetheless, Clan Tremere holds a place in the Camarilla, for its members were instrumental in suppressing the Inquisition and supporting the Masquerade. Then, too, the Tremere have proved themselves dangerous enemies - and powerful allies. Tremere still practice a version of the arcane arts they studied in life, and so these "warlocks" use their sorcerous powers in service to the Camarilla almost as much as they use the Camarilla in service to themselves.

VENTRUE



"They get a bad rap, if you ask me. Everyone likes to take shots at the man in charge, but when it comes to getting the job done, the Ventrue know how to step up. They can take the heat."

Elegant, aristocratic and regal, the Ventrue are the lords of the Camarilla. It was Clan Ventrue that provided the cornerstone of the Camarilla, and it is Clan Ventrue that directs and coaxes the Camarilla in its darkest hours. Even in the modern age, the majority of princes descend from Clan Ventrue. The Ventrue would, of course, have things no other way. In the tradition of noblesse oblige, the Ventrue must lead the other clans for their own good.

In ancient nights, Ventrue were chosen from nobles, merchant princes or other wielders of power. In modern times the clan recruits from wealthy "old-money" families, ruthless corporate climbers, and politicians. Although Ventrue move in the same social circles as the Toreador, they do not fritter away their existences in frivolity and idle chatter. The Ventrue proudly wear the privileges of leadership, and stoically bear its burdens. Thus has it always been; thus shall it always be.


There's our options! I'll let you guys vote and I'll leave the polls open until Monday night. You can also vote on the gender we'll be playing as, not a huge difference between the two, but it changes some dialog and a few quest options, pretty standard fare.

Next update will be refining the class we've chosen, then we can get right into the game! AREN'T YOU FUCKING STOKED?
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Unread 08-02-2008, 08:36 AM   #2
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Brujahhhhhhhh.

HEY GUESS WHAT PAPA ODJN BEAMS UPON YOU ALL.

CHARACTER CREATION P1
HEADS WILL ROLL
Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
A man of infinite jest
Slaughter, Sutures, Saviors
A better question: why does a butcher of men question the wrongness of the world?
American Dream
From gimbles to gibbets
I've fallen and I can't get up
If they came from Mercurio's rib I'm going to get me a bonesaw
...brought unto him little children...
...rebuked them...
Suffer the little children, and forbid them not.
for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
No going back.
Mourning Flower
Aftermath
Scene of the Crime
Dead man's picture in a dead woman's hand
Massacre with extra blood, please.
Collision
No Mirrors Allowed
Solemn Wolf
Expectations and planning thereof
Damsel in Distress
Elizabeth Dane, Elizabeth Dane, who has bloodied your name?
A manor and a slave
Bloody deals
The Soul of Marsellus Wallace
Confessions of Cleopatra Jones, Pimp-killing woman
Tombs
Virulent Voices
Well fuck you too, Johann Sebastian.
LaCroix on the Cross
99 red bits of Helen
Poor dumb dead bitch.
YOU GAVE ME CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABS
INTERMISSION ONE: Vacation time, let's get some sun while we can.
Dammit, I was just getting a tan.
It's no fun when they argue back.
Smarmy bastard.
Blood hunt? Nines fucking Rodriguez? Ha.
Helen's a bitch.
Bishop's Bane
Caina
I still like redheaded bitch better than Helen.
Those left behind
VV
She's my favorite character ever and if you mock me I'll hurt you. >:O
Hunter Hunted
Fuck you, Troika, for making her quests so short.
Long Gone
Real horrorshow, my droogs.
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MFIDFMMF: I love how the story of every ancient culture ends with "Hey look at those pale guys in boats."

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I'm a terrible human being, who is drunk half the time, is unshaven, unwashed, being a dick to people to see what happens.
There are no features that I possess, physical, mental or social in me, that would ground this decision of yours except in the most horrible of tastes.

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Unread 08-02-2008, 08:51 AM   #3
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Female Malkavian. I feel like a big cup of crazy.
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Unread 08-02-2008, 08:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Note: The game actually plays quite differently as a Malkavian, as all of the dialog is changed and you get a good number of unique encounters and insights that range from hilarious to horribly creepy and disturbing.
Well shit, how can I not vote Malkavian? Answer: I can't not do that! So I'll not not do that.
Female Malkavian.

Last edited by 01d55; 08-02-2008 at 09:15 AM. Reason: votin a gender too
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Unread 08-02-2008, 08:59 AM   #5
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Also, let me just say a couple of things about the playstyles of the clans.

Brujah are all about dishing out hurt with melee weapons. There's not much in the way of defensive abilities because they're too busy hitting shit with a street light.

Gangrel use hand to hand and can soak up damage like a mother fucker. They also have a war form that makes them even more of a bat-wolf mother fucker.

Malkavians are geared somewhat more towards stealth given their obfuscation discipline and they get access to a unique "Dementation" that makes other people go batshit to varying degrees.

Nosferatu are all about being EXTREMELY STEALTHY but they also get bonuses to melee and unarmed combat.

Toreadors are definitely more suited to talking their way out of situations, but combine their celarity with almost any firearm and Toreadors become total mother fuckers.

Tremere are mages and shit power out their wizard chutes, their initial attack kills enemies and recharges more mana than they lost casting it, and at later levels they can make a person's blood boil inside their veins until they explode.

Ventrue don't usually get their hands dirty, so their combat stats aren't exactly phenomenal and they're primarily reliant on firearms to have a chance at survival. They can, however, talk their way out of anything and they can literally force people to commit suicide or kill their friends through sheer force of will.

EDIT: GUYS VOTE A GENDER, TOO
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Unread 08-02-2008, 09:08 AM   #6
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I don't care which gender as long as it's a crazy burn fight kill motherfucker.
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MFIDFMMF: I love how the story of every ancient culture ends with "Hey look at those pale guys in boats."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smarty McBarrelpants View Post
I'm a terrible human being, who is drunk half the time, is unshaven, unwashed, being a dick to people to see what happens.
There are no features that I possess, physical, mental or social in me, that would ground this decision of yours except in the most horrible of tastes.
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Unread 08-02-2008, 09:56 AM   #7
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I say the Ventrue. Malkavian sounds fun, but that kind of charisma simply can't be passed up.
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Unread 08-02-2008, 10:01 AM   #8
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Male Malkavian. Crazy wins a lot, y'know.
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Unread 08-02-2008, 11:06 AM   #9
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I love mages, but I love crazies. What to do...

I'll vote tomorrow. I think I'll go for female though.
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Unread 08-02-2008, 11:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loyal2NES View Post
I say the Ventrue. Malkavian sounds fun, but that kind of charisma simply can't be passed up.
I vote for Ventrue as well. I mean, talking people to suicide? Awesome. My second choice would be Malkavian though. A tall glass of crazy is pretty cool.

EDIT: Male Ventrue, Female Malkavian.
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