Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition: Creating a CharacterOctober 30, 2018 Off By Tifa
I had never played a version of Vampire: The Masquerade before, but my husband was a big fan of the game and wanted to GM a campaign with a group of our lady friends. As someone new to the setting, the book was very overwhelming at first. I decided to provide a quick guide to creating a character so that you know what parts you must read thoroughly and pay attention to while you decide what vampire you want to be in this dark world.
I want to start out by saying that I really enjoyed the character creation process for this RPG. It was very story-driven and the free-form nature of this game allowed me to be very creative and dive deep into who my vampire was.
You can start planning out your character thinking thematically about the type of vampire you’d like to play. If you are drawing a blank, or are ready to see the details you’ll need to fill out, check out the Character Creation section (page 135). This will guide you through how many points you have for each aspect of your character and all the parts you need to choose traits from.
First things first, decide what Clan appeals to you the most (page 63). Each clan has an entire chapter of details to look at, including possible archetypes, fashion trends, Disciplines (these will be the source of your powers), and the clan Bane (this will be a disadvantage you have as a member of the specific Clan you are a part of). I was torn between choosing Malkavian or Toreador myself but decided to play my crazy up as a Malkavian.
Before deciding for sure on a Clan, or to help you pick between the Clans you are considering, I recommend checking out the Disciplines first (page 243). Looking deep into the Disciplines of your Clan can help you craft your characters personality traits. How did they hone these particular skills? How do they use their Disciplines to their advantage? Think about what powers you’d like to use in the game. You get two points in one of your Clan’s Discipline and one point in the other. Think of this as your specialty power and a secondary power you have.
Once you have decided on a Clan and what Disciplines you want to focus on, you’ll need to decide on your attributes, skills, predatory style, advantages, and flaws. You can decide the order you want to create these in, but I will guide you through how I did it for my character. I found it easier to start building the backstory of my character before moving on to fill out any of the skills or attributes. Think about how your vampire was turned, who their sire was, what was their life and career before they were a vampire, what drives them to keep living on as an undead creature, do they have emotional ties to humans and other vampires, how do they survive, etc.
Once you have a good idea of a backstory and personality of your vampire and are ready to fully jump into your character, use the summary sheet (page 152) to determine what Attributes and Skills would work best for your character thematically and practically for your playstyle. I recommend reading about the skills you are interested in before you decide (page 155).
Next, you’ll need a Predatory Type (page 175 and 307). This is how your vampire eats and survives. I chose Osiris because my character ran an art school where she created a blood cult, using her abilities to enchant her students and wipe their memories after feedings. Think about how this ties into your character’s lifestyle.
Last, I recommend figuring out your Advantages and Flaws (page 179). I will admit that this was the most confusing part of creating a character for our group, and it took some guiding from our amazing GM. This is why I recommend that you do this part last because it will be easier to cater to an already well thought out character.
I recommend that the players and GM work together to decide on a Coterie that makes sense for your particular playgroup.
Join me soon to read all about playing the game!
About The Author
Tifa is the founder of the Lady Planeswalkers Society (LPS). With over 100 chapters worldwide, LPS creates welcoming, friendly environments to learn and play Magic: The Gathering regardless of gender, skill level, or anything else. The organization also teaches Magic at many conventions. She has worked in the gaming industry since 2010, including at Wizards of the Coast and Xbox. She has a degree in Creative Writing, with a minor in Biological Anthropology from the University of Washington. Tifa is a hardcore lifestyle gamer and a feminist, who enjoys combining the two.