Welcome to the feature for this Polyhedral month, First Time Gamer, where we will share stories of people from our staff and from around the country’s experiences as a “First time Gamer.” To start us off, This segment introduces us with my first time experience gaming, Vampire the Masquerade, a game I was introduced to in 1999 by my future husband, Darth Anexandros.
The Game: Vampire: The Masquerade, Second Edition
Brief description of System: Vampire the Masquerade is one of White Wolf’s many story-telling based systems that is D-10 based. Vampires live with this elite sub-society, running the world from behind the scenes.
Character Concept: 13th Generation Malkavian Prison Escapee. Malkavians are vampires driven insane in the process of becoming a vampire.
Character: Violet Amber Green in Northeast Atlanta (The game took place in Houston). She fell victim to “Hollywood Vampirisms:” If she heard something about vampire lore on a movie or TV, she believed it to be real, even if it was not the case in the world of the game. She also wore a cape and hissed a lot. If anyone tried to tell her these things weren’t true, she’d throw a fit and “hulk out.”
The story: Began the story with my character breaking out of prison mental health ward, then the Storyteller (also known as Anexandros) wanted me to figure out what to do next. I said, “I don’t know, call my allies to get me to a safehouse?” The story went on for a long time before Anexandros realized I had never played a game before in my life and thus really had no idea what stuff my character knew. I mean, there weren’t stats for “knowing phone numbers” or “Directional sense” or anything else.
Ultimately I figured it out, and the story went on to where Violet had to go help out the other PC in the game, a mage-vampire/thug character named sKILLz.
We then went on a Quest for SOMETHING AWESOME.
But then, Violet got arrested again. Because Violet got hungry and fed on a puny peasant. Then Violet went to jail and died in the sunlight instead of using my powers (which I totally forgot Violet had) to overpower the guard and get out of the jail cell and into safety.
Stupid dumb Sunlight.
Honestly, it’s been so long I remember very little of the story except for my inexperience at playing and at how little I knew about gaming.
I learned some things from Violet.
First and foremost, Remember your character’s magic powers. I keep a handwritten copy of my skills somewhere close by during games. (handwritten helps the memory).
Second, listen to the flavor text. If you are in jail, and there is a single guard, he’s probably easily manipulated and has the single set of keys to get you out.
Third, and probably most important: if you are playing a character from a world, don’t feel reigned in to play just the splat sort of character. So many people who played V:tM Malkavians felt the need to play their crazy vampires more like “I’m going to hit you with a fish” and less like “I will stab you and play around with your blood” a la Patrick Bateman:
I didn’t learn this from Violet, but more from sKILLz: his character, a “thug” doesn’t usually fit the mold of the clan he belonged to, but he pulled it off wonderfully.
Do you want to share a gamer tale? Your first experience gaming? Or a cool tale from the table? Contact Us today and we’ll share your tale.