Vampire: The Masquerade As A Battle Royale Could Be A Genius Idea
A battle royale based on Vampire: The Masquerade was recently announced for a 2021 release. Fans of the series were critical of the decision to use this franchise as the basis for a battle royale, but there are elements of the setting that could make for an exciting and unique take on the genre.
Vampire: The Masquerade is a tabletop RPG set in contemporary times. Supernatural beings exist in the world of Vampire, but the population at large is unaware that they are real. Vampires belong to different political factions, sects, and religious groups, but they all follow a version of a law called the Masquerade.
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The Masquerade is the rule that all vampires must keep their existence a secret from mortals. Breaking this rule often leads to death, depending on how severe the infraction is. A drunk mortal watching you feed in a grimy S&M club is easy to fix, but calling CNN and telling them the secrets of vampire society is a quick way to be shot with incendiary rounds. Mortals who unknowingly discover the secret are usually killed to keep them quiet.
Why It Shouldn’t Work As A Battle Royale
As a tabletop RPG, Vampire focuses on things outside of battle. A typical Vampire game involves dealing with your existence as a blood-sucking undead monster, trying to survive the political machinations of elder vampires, and trying to hold on to your humanity. Vampire games rarely involve combat and the rules for battles are barebones.
Vampires live in a shadow world, where problems are dealt with in silence. It’s not a world where a hundred vampires parachute in and start blasting each other with their powers on the street. The very notion goes against the idea of the game itself.
Why It Could Be A Genius Idea
Or does it?
There was a book in the old World of Darkness line called Nights of Prophecy, which described a battle between the Camarilla and Sabbat factions. The Sabbat had controlled New York City for a long time and the Camarilla wanted to take it back. This led to a massive military operation that was disguised in a number of different ways, including gang warfare and exploding pipes. One of the biggest armed conflicts in the Vampire world happened in one of its busiest cities, and the Masquerade wasn’t broken. There is no reason why a similar excuse can’t be used for Prague, which is the location for the upcoming battle royale.
That explains the lore, but what about the gameplay? Will the Vampire: The Masquerade battle royale be a cheap knock-off of an existing game with some familiar names thrown on it?
The development team of the Vampire: The Masquerade battle royal has been interviewed since the game was announced, and it has been confirmed that the Masquerade will be a component in the game. The people who break the Masquerade will suffer severe consequences for their actions. It’s unclear what these consequences will be, but it will likely be death, as the Second Inquisition (a massive international vampire-hunting organization) is part of the game. Vampires also need to feed in the game, which will likely be tied to their ability to use their supernatural abilities.
Battle royale games usually involve the players who are taking part, but what if there is an audience of NPCs? In the case of this game, the behavior of the player around these NPCs can mean the difference between life and death. A badass Tremere vampire might have the ability to fire blasts of arcane energy, but using them around mortals is going to have strict consequences. The Vampire: The Masquerade battle royale could have elements of the Assassin’s Creed multiplayer modes, where the player has to blend in with regular people until the time comes to strike. The players also need to feed, so leading mortals away to private locations could also be interesting, especially as it leaves you vulnerable.
A Masquerade mechanic that forces the player to uphold the secret of their kind could make for a fresh take on the battle royale genre, which is already saturated with Fortnite/PUBG clones. Maintaining the Masquerade was one of the best elements of the original Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines, and it has the chance to be even more effective in multiplayer.
Next: Vampire: The Masquerade Is Bringing Back Clan Tzimisce, Ravnos, & Salubri
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Scott has been writing for The Gamer since it launched in 2017 and also regularly contributes to Screen Rant. He has previously written gaming articles for websites like Cracked, Dorkly, Topless Robot, and TopTenz. He has been gaming since the days of the ZX Spectrum, when it used to take 40 minutes to load a game from a tape cassette player to a black and white TV set.
Scott thinks Chrono Trigger is the best video game of all time, followed closely by Final Fantasy Tactics and Baldur’s Gate 2. He pretends that sorcerer is his favorite Dungeons & Dragons class in public but he secretly loves bards.
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