Looks like vampire fans are ready to experience a Montreal masquerade from the comfort of home (or board game cafe). A Kickstarter for a board game edition of Vampire: The Masquerade clawed past its goal easily, and with 21 days to go, fans can still get the massive game at a lower price.
Vampire: The Masquerade — Chapters promises a “rich narrative and story arc, many immersive scenarios that adapt to your playing style,” and player choice that will “impact the story” for a “custom experience.” Of course, unlike similar RPG board or card games, this game, more than its strategy alone, is about story and choices.
If this sounds deliciously tempting, you’re not alone. Flyos Games, the team behind the game and Kickstarter, claims on the page that the game was funded in just 90 minutes. By all means, reaching a $250,000 CAD goal (that’s $188,907 USD) is extremely impressive. And it’s still marching: fans pledged $683,514 at time of publication.
Of course, with a $113 USD asking price, it’s no wonder so many people poured so much money into it. Still, with the amount of play-ability Chapters promises, it may be a worthy asking price. In the core box alone, the game hints at a huge multitude of scenarios you can fall into. Regarding NPC interaction alone, VTM — Chapters hands you literally 40 booklets with 200,000 words of potential NPC dialogue. There are over 300 event and investigation cards, each double-sided.
One quirk of this game is that because of its huge number of scenarios, it’s deeply replayable. The game hands players a massively diverse set of tools and stats to build an original character with. And with an array of weapons, many start conditions, and a stack of blank character sheet pads, you’re encouraged to try again and again.
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And in terms of shinies, there are… a lot. Tons of tokens, including over 100 NPC tokens and cards. Over 170 thick tokens for money and effects. Of course, there’s a black sand timer, because no goth-aesthetic vampire roleplaying set is complete without a black sand timer. And fans have unlocked nineteen stretch goals that include more tokens, so, you know, more shinies! Plus, if you’re more of an audiobug, there’s an “ambient music” stretch goal for $950,000 CAD. (I didn’t hit everything included in this paragraph, it was just too damn much.)
That’s a lot of little neat tokens! And that’s not even including the add-ons/expansion packs. The promised add-ons include extra scenarios, which bring more cards and tokens for the extra situations and NPCs. Honestly, I think just writing this article, I lost at least three of any aforementioned of them. But I know I’ll inevitably re-draw one onto three-times-folded paper so I can actually visualize what’s going on.
Possibly the best part of this game is that it’s Vampire: The Masquerade without half of the setup, plus no game master necessary. You get some of the better parts of the technical setup of the famed RPG franchise.
And chances are, there’ll be a helluva lot less social drama, since the board game seem to keep you relatively on the rails. True choice is probably an illusion here. That’s probably way better for fresh blood you’re trying to induct into your RPG shenanigans. Maybe it’s not as fun for your LARP versions where you have to explain to confused police officers why a bunch of you are being melodramatic in full-out 2000’s goth looks at the Starbucks.
But maybe you don’t need all that! If you’re a fan of modern fantasy, and you like RPGs, and you like board games, VTM —Chapters likely scratches all those itches. Hopefully, you don’t lose too many tokens from the box in the process.
[DISCLAIMER: Paradox Interactive is partially owned by Tencent, which also owns Fanbyte. However, we claim editorial independence and do what we want, which is to say this post isn’t sponsored nor an attempt at intra-supercorp promotion. I’m almost just kind of exhausted of looking up and remembering what Tencent owns at this point, y’know?]