Not too long ago some friends invited Boyfriend and me to play a tabletop version of the role-playing game Vampire the Masquerade. I was fairly reluctant at first as I had heard of the Masquerade but never played. There are rules and I know none…I’m great at role-playing on paper but shy about it in person…I just wasn’t sure I could really get into it. Turns out I was unnecessarily psyching myself out.
From the moment they handed me the book to pick my clan, I was intrigued. The clans have a general trait as a theme – like the Malkavians who are all insane – and various strengths they bring to a kingdom. I wanted to play a Malkavian two seconds into reading their write-up. It didn’t hurt that the image illuminating the page reminded me of Delerium from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman; she was always one of my favorites. In the end, I talked myself out of the Malkavian Clan because it was my first go and I thought I’d do better role-playing something easier.
Here is a link to the tabletop gaming .pdf so you can read the clan descriptions for yourself. They start at about page 66 in my .pdf viewer. Just look for the word Brujah in bold red and you’ll be at the first clan summary.
There is a clan called Toreador that was my next choice:
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.
My quickly cobbled together backstory went like this:
Maisie Sky, aspiring Gothica novelist grew up with a passion for Vampire stories. She discovered Anne Rice’s Vampire Lestat series in her teens and decided if she couldn’t be a vampire at least she could try to be Anne Rice. She attended Tulane for a literary degree and spent many a dark night writing by candlelight in a vampire diary of her own imagining. After college, she spent a year traveling the world in search of vampire and other supernatural myths to bring a level of authenticity to her own work. During her research, she befriended a true vampire – though she was ignorant of his superhuman nature. He eventually became her sire.
Maisie is still writing. Her novels make the top pick on Amazon’s Kindle Club teen supernatural romance lists whenever she releases a new one. She also maintains a blog to keep in touch with her fans, writes poetry, makes jewelry, is a supporter of the arts, and was recently involved in a caper to steal a small Egyptian artifact that The Sabbat (her Kingdom’s enemy) wanted.
Needless to say, I had a lot of fun. I found the exercise inspiring from a writing perspective. I have a feeling Maisie will have a story written about her in the future, once my muse has returned from space.
Check out the clans in the .pdf and share with us which one plucks at your imagination. Share a quick character bio below. Have you played VTM? Tell us about your favorite character. Is there a different role-playing game that has brought you great story ideas for your original work?
Your work on Departures should be winding up. Don’t forget to submit by 11:45pm (EST) on Sunday.