White Wolf are holding their Grand Masquerade at the moment, which makes me wish I was in New Orleans. That said, just mentioning New Orleans makes me want to be there so we won’t give White Wolf too much credit. If you’re not aware of them, they’re the company behind Vampire: The Masquerade and other related role playing games. Not the computer versions, mind, but the actual pen and paper, sit around and speak words to each other versions. The Grand Masquerade is their fan get-together and details about CCP’s upcoming World of Darkness MMORPG have been dripping out of it. Dripping like blood, you see?
This was revealed ages ago and there was even some scene setting footage at last year’s Grand Masquerade, but it hasn’t been heard of in a good while. It’s also the first time there’s been any real discussion of how it’ll actually play. It’s still in pre-production so everything could change but there will definitely be vampires. I’m willing to place a large bet on that.
Although keen on vampires, the game will allow players to remain mortal. Everyone starts that way and can choose to become one of the undead. Although even the undead can die, of course, and the game will have permadeath for characters. The game is sticking close to its pen and paper roots and will even have LARP crossover events, which doesn’t sound like something I’d particularly want to involve myself in. Unless they took place in a bar in New Orleans.
While vampires scurrying around in the dark might sound like a very different proposition to EVE Online, there will be similarities. The whole game will take place on a single server and Masquerade’s world is full of political manoeuvring and warring factions. That aside, there will also be nudity, gore and insanity. Although presumably not at the LARP events.
Characters have “humanity” points, which they lose if they do too many horrible or, presumably, inhuman things. Presumably, there will be some sort of balancing act to perform, with players trying to retain their humanity while being tempted by nasty plots and quests that promise power. It’s not confirmed but I imagine making a cup of tea and sighing about the terribly dark state of today’s world restores some humanity.
My favourite detail though? Even for mortal characters, the entire game will take place at night. And I bet the coolest vampires will still wear shades.