What follows over the next couple posts will undoubtedly be a maudlin and sentimental, not to mention wandering, journey through my thoughts on VAMPIRE: the Masquerade and its impact on my life. It seems somehow appropriate that I would take full advantage of the vanity nature of blog posting to comment on my 20-year relationship with this game.
I’m in New Orleans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the World of Darkness. Twenty years. Can you believe it?
I began playing VAMPIRE not long after it came out. At the time, I owned a comic and games store in Blacksburg, Virginia, with a parcel of mates who were also big into roleplaying. I, however, was the only one among them with a dark enough soul to enjoy the drama, romance, and angst of VAMPIRE. It sucked me deep into its bloody quicksand and changed my life.
My first face-to-face contact with White Wolf was at DragonCon in 1994. I was a writer hopeful with a bundle of homemade business cards and a single game publication under my belt (a Millennium’s End adventure). I still remember how nervous I was as I approached them at the booth and introduced myself. Being quite shy in my natural state, this was a challenge. I knew, however, that if I wanted to be a writer–and I did–I’d need to reach out.
It paid off, and shortly thereafter, I became their SHADOWRUN reviewer in Inphobia, their magazine.
More DragonCons led to more contact with White Wolf, and eventually, I found myself having a conversation with Ian Lemke. He invited me to contribute to my first CHANGELING sourcebook. The door was open, and my foot was firmly in it.
It was always the exploration of dark themes that drew me to the World of Darkness. Back in the day, the employees at White Wolf had a mystique that matched their games. Drugs, kink, rock-and-roll. I, being the timid and gullible Mid-Western girl, hovered at the periphery and watched with fascination as they strutted about in their tight leather pants, nipple rings visible through their mesh shirts. They tried to drag me deeper, but I resisted–more out of fear than anything else. I was safe experiencing the Darkness from the vehicle of writing. Those people were experiencing it all first-hand–and they weren’t playing safe.
Nevertheless, most of them survived, as did I, and we’ve all settled down quite a bit since then. Twenty years later, I’m here to see how the Darkness has evolved.