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This event is known as Gehenna, the end of all vampiric races. Others claim that Gehenna is simply the wakening of the Antediluvians who have returned to feed on the blood of their descendants.
Differing interpretations of the myths divide vampire society. The Sabbat, for example, take the myths quite literally and believe that it is their purpose to defend vampires from the depredations of the ancients.
The Camarilla is more dismissive, either claiming that Cain is nothing more than a myth or metaphor or outright suppressing the myths and their study.
Contentions between the different societies surrounding the origins of vampires and Gehenna are important in-game motivations for the Jyhad that color the character's understanding of their world.
Regardless as to whether or not the myths are true in the context of the game the myth of Cain represents important themes presented in the metaplot such as sins of the father coming back upon his children, the threat of apocalypse, questions of faith, conspiracies, and war of ages.
Golconda is a fabled state of enlightenment that offers vampires a release from their struggle with the Beast. Different editions have gone into different level of detail as to what Golconda is but all agree that it is an elusive and mysterious state and there is very little information in-game or out as to how to achieve it.
The Masquerade , the Masquerade refers to an organized conspiracy primarily orchestrated by the Camarilla to convince the general public that vampires do not exist.
The Camarilla believes the Masquerade is the cornerstone survival strategy for Kindred and fear that without it the kine would rise up and exterminate all the undead.
Prohibitions against exposing the existence of Kindred existed prior to the 15th century in a set of ancient laws known as the Traditions.
The First Tradition reads:. Doing such shall renounce thy claims of Blood. This stricture was not consistently nor as strictly enforced until the Inquisition of the 15th century required it.
During this period vampires were destroyed in large numbers by vampire hunters which largely prompted the formation of a sect known as the Camarilla whose primary purpose was to promote and enforce the Masquerade as a means of survival.
The Masquerade is largely enforced through self-policing, but it is primarily the job of the Prince in Camarilla controlled cities to enforce it.
Princes may use any means at their disposal to ensure vampire society stays hidden and that those who break the Masquerade are duly punished.
Punishments for breaches have a range but are usually draconian in nature due to the seriousness of the Masquerade.
Final Death, often by means of a ritualized "Blood Hunt" by other vampires, is not uncommon. When breaches do occur, the Camarilla takes great pains to repair them.
This could include anything from erasing mortal's memories using supernatural powers to manipulating mortal pawns in order to keep events out of the media.
The Masquerade is one of the main in-game points of contention between the two major factions of vampires in the World of Darkness. While many vampires see the pragmatism in the Masquerade some do not agree with it.
For example, the Sabbat do not uphold the Tradition that justifies the enforcement of the Masquerade but behind closed doors even they take some steps to contain breaches.
Vampires in the World of Darkness have a rich, complex, and diverse secret society with a range of ideologies, goals, and backgrounds. Sects largely divide along ideological disputes surrounding the distribution of power among vampires, the role of vampires in the human world, and the ancient myths that allegedly explain the origins and purpose of vampires.
An important means of social distinction among vampires in this setting is through age. Younger vampires wanting respect and power must prove themselves to their elders.
While ambition can provide a degree of upward mobility among immortals, oftentimes respect comes to those who can prove they can survive.
Ages aren't titles or jobs but rather loose descriptions to describe a vampire's development and the social expectations that come with aging. Vampires organize and divide themselves politically and ideologically into sects which form governing structure for undead societies.
Laws and norms concerning the place of vampires within the mortal world, feeding, the treatment of vessels, vampiric morality, secrecy, feeding grounds, Gehenna and the distribution of power form the basis of these divisions.
The two major sects are the Camarilla and the Sabbat, but there are other sects as well, such as the Inconnu or the Anarchs.
A sect is something a character may choose in-game, though this decision is often chosen for them by their Sire. Defection to one side or the other is possible, but come with great risk, as much of what motivates the Jyhad are the ideological differences between the Camarilla and the Sabbat.
The Masquerade offers the players the opportunity to play in a politically diverse world in which sects rule over all of vampire society.
While many factions and sub-sects exist in the game, the main focus is the conflict between the Camarilla, the Sabbat and the Anarchs.
A vampire who rejects all associations with any sect and clan is known as "Autarkis". The Laibon, called Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom by Western Kindred, are not so much a sect as a cultural group bound together loosely by a powerful spiritual bond to the land and the people of Africa.
The Kindred of the East , while sharing some superficial similarity to the western Kindred, are actually an entirely different variety of supernatural being.
A clan is the character's vampire family. All characters of a single clan allegedly descended from the clan's Antediluvian founder. It is widely accepted that there are thirteen clans with thirteen founders, though not all of them are technically Antediluvian.
Some clan founders, such as Giovanni or Tremere, usurped their position via Diablerie. Clans may have a social or political component to them, but a clan is not something a character chooses; it is something they are Embraced into.
Those without a clan are known as Caitiff, and are considered outsiders. The Masquerade introduces the use of 13 clans or major bloodlines in the game.
Each accepted clan can trace its origins to one of 13 elder vampires known as an Antediluvian , for they survived God 's biblical flood.
Through the back story of the game, Antediluvians started a war among themselves, called the Jyhad , and use their clansmen to fight this war for them.
Each Clan and Bloodline has a unique set of powers called Disciplines, and their own set of weaknesses, also unique to that particular branch of vampire.
For example, Toreador within the Sabbat style themselves Toreador antitribu. Some rebel or twist the expectations of their clans, while others take a more radical view of their lineage's core ideas.
Some are so different that they are considered different bloodlines manifesting different Disciplines, weaknesses or even a different name. Lasombra outside the Sabbat are considered antitribu while the Tzimisce outside the Sabbat are referred to as Old Clan.
A Sabbat offshoot of the Followers of Setites is known as the Serpents of the Light, and have rejected both the clan founder and his Egyptian origin, in favor of the cultural trappings of Caribbean voodoo.
Bloodlines, on the other hand, either cannot trace their lineage to an Antediluvian founder or are too little in number to be considered a major player in the Jyhad.
Some Bloodlines are considered to be offshoots of existing clans. All bloodlines are treated as exceptionally rare in the game, leaving most of the interactions and story lines centered around the clans.
The Masquerade was ranked 6th in the reader poll of Arcane magazine to determine the 50 most popular roleplaying games of all time.
The UK magazine's editor Paul Pettengale commented: Like all of the Storyteller range, it's not an easy game to get right, and it relies heavily on both the players and the referee putting a lot of effort and imagination into their roles.
With a good group, though, it can be an immensely interesting and thought-provoking game, and one of the most effective horror RPGs around.
Despite its tendency to take itself a little seriously, Vampire: The Masquerade has a great deal to offer the more mature and serious gamer.
The game was inducted into the Origins Awards Hall of Fame in The original version was superseded by a second edition in , and a revised edition in The Masquerade game line was discontinued in , at which point it was superseded by Vampire: On March 17, , White Wolf announced the 20th Anniversary Edition, which was published during the Grand Masquerade event in New Orleans on September 15—17, , released to the attendees.
Customers not attending The Grand Masquerade were offered a limited time preorder option. The 20th Anniversary Edition contains revisions of rules and is a compendium of most information provided in supplemental material in the game's earlier life.
The 20th Anniversary Edition officially revived Vampire: The Masquerade as part of White Wolf Publishing's shift to a print on demand business model,  and multiple new Masquerade products have been announced.
A 5th edition of Vampire: The Masquerade is scheduled for release in early During the Great War, he enlisted as a military doctor - partly to test his progressive theories on blood transfusion and organ transplantation.
As the war draws to a close in the Autumn of , Dr. Reid is sent home. Returning to London and looking forward to being reunited with his family, Reid is attacked and loses consciousness in the street.
His last memory is that of a strange figure murmuring a dark poem, making towards his neck. At the beginning of Vampyr, Dr.
Reid awakens, cursed with a terrible thirst for human blood. In his quest to find a cure for his vampiric condition, he tries to maintain a rational and scientific method — all while coming to terms with a strange, supernatural world.
In the aftermath of the Great War, London is ravaged by a mysterious illness that is tearing the city apart. As a doctor, you have taken an oath to heal those in need, and your medical expertise has given you the means to find a cure that will save the city.