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The Monsters: A Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition Quickstart $0.00
Average Rating:4.0 / 5
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The Monsters: A Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition Quickstart
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The Monsters: A Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition Quickstart
Publisher: Modiphius
by Noah P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/28/2021 14:44:09

This PDF is a terrible starting point for VTM V5. Rules are mixed in with the module itself, so I had to spend the better part of an hour deleting pages and redacting pages that mixed rules with story.

The pre-gen characters included are fine. Just be sure to read over their abilities as a storyteller, I was caught off guard by the Malkavian's ability to get visions about things he investigates.

The module itself is a freaking mess. It tries to keep secrets from the storyteller, I had to read it several times to understand what the hell was going on. One standout flaw is a situation where an NPC might have killed someone but the module doesn't even tell the storyteller whether they or someone else did it. You just have to guess. There is also a really confusing flashback sequence taking place in a hotel with a bizarre, nonsensical layout that seems to consist of nothing but doorless hallways and rooms.

Several investigation scenes are given precious little detail. I had to improv a lot of things that nearly derailed the investigation because the module barely describes how the victims died.

Spoilers Ahead

So for curious storytellers, here's a breakdown of the plot and more specific reasons why I hate it.

Dramatis Personae:

Sheriff Sam: Not actually a camarilla or police sheriff, she's just called sheriff for no reason.

Red herring: I forgot his name, he's a stalker fan and drunkenly broke into his idol's house to profess his love. She declined obviously and he hit her and left. She was found dead the next day. This is litterally all you know as a ST about what the hell happened.

Detective: Sam's ghoul in the police force. He's there to be grumpy and pass supernatural cases on to the coterie.

The killer: She gets a vague description in this section of the PDF, it is not really useful. Basically, the coterie killed her daughter, so now she wants to become a serial killer to lure out the coterie.

The Mess of a Plot I am ommitting some details, as the plot was fairly long. The coterie gets told about vampire like killing they need to investigate. This part of the module is fine and dandy, though we took so much time on it that we had to break the module into two sessions. Then a few more bodies drop and the Red Herring gets released from prison. An angry mob tries to kill him and the coterie has the choice to try to help him escape, or get him killed. My group saved him. The third victim is at an abandoned apartment and there's an encounter with amateur "hunters". This encounter was pretty fun honestly.

The module says that when questioned he genuinly believes he did not kill his idol. It is never clarified in the text what really happened. Anyway, the fourth and final body drops at a hotel, but this time the coterie can get there to investigate before the cops. This is where the module falls apart. The coterie gets in and finds the mutilated body of the fourth victim along with a message in blood on the wall reading Four for Four. Thus begins the awful flashback section.

Through a three or four stage set of flashbacks (which are out of order to deliberatly make it more confusing) the coterie learns that they killed two people during a frenzy when they were embraced in the 80s. Somehow immortal, undead, superhuman creatures forgot this traumatic event. Then Sheriff Sam waltzes in and offers to help them if the coterie starts working for her. Then the module says "One of your players will suggest that they should kill more people to pad the numbers and make the killings look like the work of a nonexistent serial killer". This is a huge assumption, and I had to have Sam present the idea because my players are not all knowing. Also Sam set this series of events up to get the coterie under her control, but there's no way for the players to learn this.

Now we get back to modern day after the revalatory flashback sequence. Oh no, we killed some people 30-40 years ago in a frenzy. Amusingly for a module about how bad a vampire's frenzy is, this one does not include the rules for frenzying. The coterie is then supposed to do research about the victims of the 80s to find a surviving relative with a grudge. It does not specify which victim this killer is related to. The coterie then drives to this lady's house and she tries to kill them in a gas explosion (or in other ways, it provides multiple options at least). My group opted for saving themselves and her from the explosion to turn her over to an optional NPC who collects blood clots from serial killers.

In summation, this module is pretty good until the flashback sequence. The meeting with the serial killer at the end is non-satisfactory and just dumb. The coterie's connection to her is only established minutes before they meet her, and they're expected to feel guilt for something they didn't know they did until 6 hours into this mess. A further issue with this woman being the killer is the fact that she is 60-70 years old at minimum. My players spent 45 minutes trying to figure out "who the real killer was" because it made no sense to them that someone this old was able to kill a bunch of young people and drag their corpses around. The mystery cannot actually be solved by the players, they just have to wait for meaningless killings to happen until an arbitrary flashback happens to retroactively give meaning to the killings.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Monsters: A Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition Quickstart
Publisher: Modiphius
by Mona J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/26/2021 16:04:54

I liked the idea behind this, but sadly, Modiphius, in my own personal opinion, failed bestially at their execution of publishing V5 as a whole, with the core books and PDFs, the custom dice... this Quickstart, while interesting, is no exception.

A good storyteller with some experience could find ways to work with it, but for a beginner, this is a disservice.

At least the PDF is free.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Monsters: A Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition Quickstart
Publisher: Modiphius
by Ian W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/08/2021 19:33:46

I have ran this scenario three times and all three times I've encountered the same issues. The scenario is interesting enough, presenting itself as a murder mystery that reveals itself to be a personal drama about the pain and consequences of being an inhuman monster. Unfortunately, it falls flat on its face in its attempt. It comes off as disjointed and messy, with unesessary padding and railroad. I do enjoy that the mechanics and rules explainations are built into each section to make them easier to understand without being overwhelmed and the fact that it's free doesn't hurt. Still, if you're aiming for something more substantial and don't mind shelling out a few dollars, I'd look elsewhere.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
The Monsters: A Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition Quickstart
Publisher: Modiphius
by Iv R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/01/2020 17:31:36

I actually liked that the rules are mixed with the story. The adventure makes it clear when you are expected to use some mechanics as both Storyteller and player. However the story in itself is not particularly good; at one point the adventure expects the players to act very linearly, even giving handouts of what players are expected to do.

The characters are good and everything about it was pretty clear for me and the players, but that single linear part took me out of the experience+



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Monsters: A Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition Quickstart
Publisher: Modiphius
by Jonathan S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/20/2020 10:35:30

[REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS]

this quickstart module is great for quickly establishing the basic rules of the Vampire world and the personal horror of it all. The characters are strongly written and the plot is easy to follow. There are some possibilities the module simply does not account for though, and there are points where it is assumed that players will automatically be invested in certain things. The pregen character sheets are filled out nicely, and the ST advice is good. I don't think this accurately reflects the high-politicking nature of a lot of V5, but then again the system can be just as easily suited to very personal stories like this. I think there are points where the module kind of just expects players to automatically feel bad for stuff. It also oddly focuses rather heavily on the mystery aspect at first, but gives very few clues or actual ways for the PCs to unravel said mystery. The mystery itself isn't I think meant to be the main focus, but then why include all the details of the victims and the crimes? Unlike other reviewers, I quite enjoyed the flashback section, as the entire point of that is to get rid of player agency. The hunger just happens. You have to do it right as a storyteller, but the idea is literally that you are not in control. Sam is a strong driving presence in the module.

[SPOILERS AHEAD] On the other hand, I feel that the module's suggestion to have the killer admonish the PCs in the Confrontation Climax is particularly weak. She killed those people by choice. what she did is in no way comparable to the PCs. If the goal is to make the PCs question their actions, why have the actual serial killer be the vehicle for that??

additionally, the module gives no real direction for the relationship between Sam and Lector or for what he would do in general if the coterie just straight up kills Martha. This is odd to me if only for the moments in which the module prescribes moments to the second, like the flashbacks. Additionally, I am really confused by the "epilogues." They may or may not reflect the versions of the characters a given group plays, and they seem more like something you'd find in a video game than an RPG. You are literally told what your character thinks by the end.\

[END OF SPOILERS]

Overall though, I would say that this is a great first step for anyone into the World of Darkness.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Monsters: A Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition Quickstart
Publisher: Modiphius
by Stephen M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/26/2019 08:35:26

A fair/good quickstart wth a few issues. The V5 system is great, that is absolutly not at fault. The story is intersting, an investiagtion with some interesting characters. but at the end it starts to tell the players what to think and say. It is also a bit too long for a one-shot.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Monsters: A Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition Quickstart
Publisher: Modiphius
by Chris G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/29/2018 23:33:34

I am a D&D5e player that is starting to branch out to other games. It was nice to find that VtM is starting a new edition, as I was looking for a jumping on point myself. The story is very interesting, however I had to improvise a few changes to make the characters more personally involved in the story. Spoilers ahead For instance, I made Webber secretly hire the "monster hunters" with AR-15s as he was looking to get out of involvement with the kindred. Additionally the flashback section needed to be removed entirely as it completely disregards player autonomy. So I had Sam reveal the necessary information from the flashback to them as they didn't remember their first few foggy days as vampires. It was also important to give the scapegoat/red herring character more of a backstory and reason to be hated by the town. In the end it felt like it needed a lot of tweaking but was still a solid premise. Guess I can't complain too much since it was free.

Mechanically speaking I can't compare it to older editions since I haven't played them. But I will say I enjoyed the controversial hunger dice very much as a GM and it added a lot of excitement to simple tests. Everything else was laid out in plain English and easy to understand and use.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Monsters: A Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition Quickstart
Publisher: Modiphius
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/26/2018 03:50:10

The Monsters provides a pretty good overview of all the mechanics in the new Vampire 5th edition in an easy to read and levied way. The story itself is a classic noir tale, solving a murder mystery through investigation, but with a good variety of action and drama along the way. As a free introduction, it actually holds a fair amount of story which should provide several sessions of play, and includes the requisite number of pregens.

With regards to the system changes, I have to say this is a much more streamlined and superior system than in previous editions. I like the Hunger mechanic that seems to cause much chagrin for other critics, largely because it seamlessly brings the vampiric condition to the general play of the game in a much more integrated way than before. Frankly, it was a fundamental aspect of the game often forgetten by some groups, who were just happy to play 'superheroes with fangs' well within their comfort zones. The other mechanics manage to incorporate diceless play and a number of other simple but effective ideas into an elegant and very playable whole. As such, the fifth edition of the game remains a faithful throwback to the earlier editions (1st and 2nd) without the baggage of nearly 30 years of supplementary development.

Regardless of how some established fans may react to change, this is a very good and well thought out product that serves to show new players what the game of Vampire: The Masquerade is all about. And it's totally free, so judge for yourselves!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Monsters: A Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition Quickstart
Publisher: Modiphius
by Nicholas K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/23/2018 16:08:23

The development of 5th edition of Vampire The Masquerade continues to be, in my opinon, a disaster.

This is a game that has forsaken a great deal of its identity and character in exchange for gimmick mechanics and odd changes. In terms of identity the game presents itself as an unusual chimera between Masquerade and Requiem. Attributes, skills, and even disciplines follow the examples and philosophies of Requiem, when they're not completely new inventions with no bearing in previous editions. Now I have no problem with Requiem, its a fine game, but it is distinct from Masquerade, and I feel that both games are being done a disservice with this edition. With this drastic mechanical change over it is difficult for me to convert a character from a previous editon to this one while maintianing the crunch of the character, a feat that was very easy previously.

A far more distressing change, however, is the relience on hunger dice. This is a gimmick mechanic that takes control away from the player and bases their actions on the whims of a die. The idea of the "messy critical" in particular is a sore point for me, as it forceully usurps the control of a character away from the player for cheap shock and "drama".

Furthermore, this direction makes me very concerned for future game line in the 5th edition bannerhead. the sheer flipancy of changes wrought in this edition give me concern for how the identity of future gamelines will be handeled, and what new methods of undermining player agency these developers will concoct.

That being said, we have not seen all of the systems and options that will be advaliable in the final relese. It is important to remember that this is a snapshot meant for a very broad audience. But it is that snap shot that I have to go on and make my judgments concerning. While I o hold out hope that the final product will be strong I am unfourtunately very discouraged by this. While it is better than the initial beta that was shown, I have severe philisophical qualms with the direction they are taking the game.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
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