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Tabletop Game / Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition

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Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition (2018) is the first release by White Wolf since their acquisition by Paradox Interactive before being handed off to Modiphius Entertainment. It is an update of the setting from Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary and brings the game into the 21st century. Development of the new game was led by Kenneth Hite.

The premise of the game remains the same as its predecessor: vampires are real and live among us, pretending to be human. The player character is one of their number, having been turned and cursed with a hunger for blood as well as uncontrollable rage. Vampires have a secret society called the Camarilla which battles for control of humans and each other with many different factions. They are one of 13 Clans and each possesses unique powers. Every vampire must maintain a certain morality, called Humanity, or they will degenerate into a vicious wild animal. Vampires called the Sabbat forego this struggle and embrace their inner monster.

Changes to the setting brought about by 5th Edition include the discovery of vampires by world intelligence agencies. Rather than reveal their existence to the public, they have founded the dreaded FIRSTLIGHT organization and begun the Second Inquisition and have killed thousands of Kindred across the globe, have captured a few alive (so to speak) to study, and are hunting the remaining through the use of modern technology and semi-independent cells of human sleeper agents. This event has shaken Kindred society to its core, and the Camarilla has decided that even more draconian measures must be taken in upholding the Masquerade to ensure their survival, and has taken to enforce these rules under the strict threat of excommunicating everyone who just steps slightly out of line. These measures have not been welcomed by all, however, with some seeing them as the leaders of the Camarilla using the Inquisition as a convenient excuse to strengthen the grip on their power, which has caused everything from angry murmurs, to outright rebellion in the Camarilla's ranks, most prominently in the Brujah leaving to join the Gangrel in the Anarchs, which has experienced somewhat of a resurgence in spite of the trying times. This has of course not gone unnoticed by the Camarilla, and the centuries-long conflict between the two sects is heating up once again and is about to reach a fevered pitch.

Mysteriously, the eldest among vampires are summoned to the Middle East in an event called the Beckoning. The Sabbat, sensing the arrival of the Antediluvians, have journeyed there in large numbers to slay these Elders and search for their ancient enemies. But meanwhile, the difficult times for vampires in general have not gone unnoticed by the Sabbat's leading clan, the Lasombra, and with the Second Inquisition having toppled many of their old strongholds and still breathing down their neck and the Sabbat severely weakened as a result, some of their more radically-inclined leaders are starting to consider if maybe these highly unusual times call for even stranger bedfellows...

In the meantime, due to the many Kindred that have fallen to Inquisition, the so-called Thin-Bloods (also known as the "Duskborn") has risen to greater prominence and grudging respect in the eyes of the Elders, as their numbers are now directly needed to fill in the gaping holes in the ranks. While still seen with quite a bit of suspicion and condescension by the "truer" Kindred, especially from the Camarilla who still doggedly refuses to let them into the organization (though they don't mind exploiting them for dirtier kinds of work), they are no longer the embarrassing secret they used to be, and due to their limited ability to withstand sunlight and the discovery of a new power unique to them, these former outcasts have the chance to become powerful players in their own right.

The edition was controversial for choosing to play up the darker elements of the setting and was accused of sometimes being insensitive to real-world issues. After the release of The Camarilla sourcebook, which included a chapter about the Chechnyan persecution of homosexuals, the edition became international news. Paradox Interactive absorbed White Wolf Entertainment after this and declared it would be releasing 5th Edition exclusively through licensing deals from that point on.

Onyx Path Publishing licensed the Chicago By Night setting to produce the 5th Edition of that supplement. Its Kickstarter can be found here.

Comic books set in the setting:

Books set in the setting:

  • Rusted Veins (Gencon exclusive tie-in adventure)
  • Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition
  • Anarch (sourcebook)
  • Camarilla (sourcebook)
  • Chicago by Night: 5th Edition
    • The Chicago Folio
    • Let the Streets Run Red
  • Fall of London (The first published chronicle for V5, set in 2012 during the events that saw the titular city cleansed of vampires.)
  • Cults of the Blood Gods
    • Children of the Blood
    • Trails of Ash and Bone
  • Sabbat: The Black Hand
  • The Second Inquisition

Video games set in the setting are:

It also has a number of official Web Video playthroughs:

This game contains the following tropes:

  • Aborted Arc: Most of the plot points set in Beckett's Jyhad Diary like the discovery of a 2nd Generation Vampire, Marcus Vitel's new sect, the Tremere worm, and the upcoming Sabbat Civil War get ignored or rendered moot by 5th Edition's changes.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Sabbat from Sabbat: The Black Hand are emphasized as being a deranged antagonist group that is blood bound, crazy, and suicidal in one.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Camarilla has always been this, but V5 really enhances it with the restructuring. Gone from their ranks are the comparatively rebellious and un-influential Brujah and Gangrel clans. Instead, the Camarilla is now joined by the Lasombra, who wield significant control over religion (especially the Catholic Church), and the Banu Haqim, who are deeply entrenched in law enforcement and the judiciary. Between the new additions and the Ventrue's supremacy in business and politics, the Toreador's mastery of media and the entertainment industry, and the Tremere's domination of academia and science, the Camarilla now truly does have a leg in every facet of societal organization.
  • Apocalypse How: Averted actually. The build-up to Gehenna from classic Vampire: The Masquerade is changed so that Gehenna is cyclical and may be happening right now in the Middle East but it is not necessarily something that will result in the end of the world or even the destruction of all vampires. Many older vampires are screwed, though.
  • Artistic License – Medicine:
    • Averted with the Malkavians now. They are clarified as being supernaturally afflicted and their insanity has no basis in real-life mental illness. It also precludes Hollywood Psych.
    • Again with vampire biology as an opening letter of 5E says that "vampires make no scientific sense. They're magic. Deal with it."
  • Ascended Extra:
    • A downplayed example as the Anarchs used to be the default protagonist option but gradually faded from view. They have since been reimagined as the second most powerful sect, replacing the Sabbat, and are a serious threat to the Camarilla's existence.
    • Carna from Milwaukee by Night has gone from being Regent of a mid-level US city to leader of notable third House of the Tremere Clan.
    • Thin-Blood; over the years they went from a rumor at first to the dirty secret to a sourcebook option, to being a major clan and major player in this edition. This going as far as even gaining their own unique Discipline, a new name ("Duskborn"), and clan symbol.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Hardestadt was a Smug Snake Corrupt Corporate Executive who was always depicted as the Big Bad of the Camarilla. No one was unhappy to see him be killed by Theo Bell save, maybe, Jan Pieterzoon.
    • Jacob Schumpeter was a serial abuser of women and domestic abuser. He was killed by the Second Inquisition to no mourning.
    • Some of the Second Inquisition's victims as a whole, starting with the Inner Council and Queen Anne.
  • Author Appeal: Matthew Dawkins loves the characters of Diablerie: Britain and Milwaukee by Night. As such, references to both appear in multiple locations across the books where he's a developer. He's also said to be the primary party behind the Continuity Porn of the works under his command (and quite proud of it according to invokedWord of God).
  • Back from the Brink: The Society of Leopold was The Remnant in previous editions, deadly only to small groups of vampires and monsters. Now it has funding to the tune of several billion dollars, given military-grade equipment, and allowed to recruit from the world's Catholic Special Forces.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Prince Lodin, Marc Levensque, Nero the Violinist, and more in Chicago by Night 5E.
    • Anatole and Lucita among others killed during the build-up to Gehenna are retconned as being alive. Really, the entire vampiric race since they were all supposed to be destroyed in Gehenna.
    • Fall of London has the possibility of Mithras' return.
  • Bad Boss: The Camarilla is revealed to have been this as they threw the Anarchs to the Second Inquisition in hopes they would be satisfied.
  • Balkanize Me: The Tremere suffered a version of this with the decapitation of the Pyramid. The three major factions are now House Tremere (led by Karl Screkt Still Wearing the Old Colors), House Goratrix (secretly led by Tremere himself in the body of Goratrix), and House Carna. There's also a fourth, seemingly leaderless, House Ipsissimus with the Anarchs but it's much more of a freeform organization with more of a focus on spiritual journey than political matters. The more rigid Banu Haqim and Setite hierarchies have also been broken, making it much easier to play characters of these Clans with political/philosophical/religious views which deviate from those dictated to them and enforced by their Elders in previous editions.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Subverted, the Nosferatu are noted to be the closest to 'good' vampires as being forced to the edges of Kindred society means they tend to have a soft spot for the outcasts of human society. The inversion though is also subverted as while the Toreador certainly aren't "good" by human standards they do at least try to keep their Beast in check and maintain ties with humanity.
  • Big Good: The Second Inquisition could be considered a twisted example. It successfully eliminated the vampires of London, helped weaken the Giovanni enough to overthrown by the Hecata, inflicted heavy damage on the Sabbat, and also managed to destroy the Tremere chantry in Vienna.
  • Blatant Lies:
    • The Camarilla claims the Anarchs are the ones who brought down the Second Inquisition's wrath. It was actually the Camarilla, or more specifically the Nosferatu, through the NSA's unintentional discovery of the SchreckNet network.
    • There's also a letter in the core book about how the Ventrue and other higher-ups in the Camarilla being so panicked by 9/11 they ended up believing a conspiracy theory that was a Sabbat attack, unable to imagine that "mere mortals" could carry it out. The Ventrue elders broke the taboo against using the alphabet soup organizations to target other vampires, leading to compromising the entire Kindred community.
  • Body Horror: Downplayed. In earlier editions all Nosferatu looked hideously deformed and obviously monstrous to the point they had to hide as being seen was a Masquerade breach for them. In 5th edition some Nosferatu still look like this but the majority, while still ugly by human standards, can pass as living people and don't necessarily have to hide from human society.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Vannevar Thomas is now claiming Praxis of Los Angeles. This after having not been mentioned in decades.
    • Chicago by Night ceased to be the default setting in 1993. It's now getting a new edition published.
    • One of the major faction heads is Carna, a Tremere from the often-overlooked Milwaukee by Night.
  • Blessed with Suck: The new rules set dramatically increases the downsides of being a vampire if you don't want to be a psychopath. Feeding is far more emphasized than in previous editions as are Hunger frenzies. If vampires don't stay completely fed all the time, it's entirely possible for them to go Ax-Crazy at any given time. They also can only have a small version of them, the highest in generation, feeding on animal blood or blood bags. The godlike power possessed by ancients in previous editions seems to have been toned down as well.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Sabbat from Sabbat: The Black Hand are emphasized as being heavily indoctrinated and blood bound to the point that they do not have free will anymore. This is a sharp contrast to previous editions that emphasized their 'freedom.'
  • Broad Strokes: Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is considered canon for the game. The details however, such as the Player Character's fate and path through the narrative, are considered to be fuzzy. Though there are clear points of what happened to some things such as both Jeanette and Therese Voerman being around.
  • Broken Masquerade: Inciting incident that sets the stage for V5. While mapping out the Internet through the PRISM project, the NSA stumbled upon the Nosferatu's SchreckNet network. Disturbed by the implications of what they found, the NSA did not go public with this, but instead shared their findings with other security agencies, most prominently the MI-5 and the Vatican, all of whom also agreed not to go public with the information. Instead, the Vatican formally reestablished the Society of Leopold, while they and several of the agencies established the organization FIRSTLIGHT, in order to research and combat the vampire threat. Using anti-terrorist operations as cover to wipe out Kindred, FIRSTLIGHT struck against several central hubs of power for both the Camarilla and the Sabbat, wiping them out. Since then Kindred have made a new second layer of the Masquerade to avoid the FIRSTLIGHT's eye. FIRSTLIGHT's information on vampires, meanwhile, is far from perfect, both due to genuine gaps in their knowledge, and parts of the leadership keeping some cards close to their chest both because they like the power the secrecy affords them and out of (quite justified) paranoia about possible vampire infiltrations of the organization. Most FIRSTLIGHT mooks aren't even aware that what they are fighting are vampires, as their higher-ups take great pains to prevent them from learning too much, instead referring to their targets as terrorists or "blank bodies".
  • Call-Back: The V5 core book starts with a letter from Mina Harker to an "Alex", implied to one of her own descendants whom she has turned. This is a reference to the letter at the beginning of the 1st Edition core book, which started with a letter from a sire to their childer, with the sire strongly implied to be Dracula and the childer strongly implied to be Mina.
  • Can't Have Sex, Ever: Conditionally Averted. Vampires in previous editions couldn't have sex without spending blood and if they did, it wasn't enjoyable. Sex is now enjoyable for Kindred with High Humanity (8-10 points) even if it doesn't involve biting the other partner and is very enjoyable if it does. With a middling rating (5-7), they can still pretend to enjoy it, though any lower is a complete non-starter as your character naturally gives off an aura and appearance that makes it hard to talk to them, nevermind do the deed.
  • Changing Gameplay Priorities:
    • Vampires in 5E have a much greater need for feeding than previous editions. Hunger replaces Blood Pool, your character is now always hungry until they drain a living human. Hunger can range from your character being a bit peckish to almost single-minded focused on finding something to bite. Rousing the blood and most abilities can raise it upon a failure.
    • Lower Generation is now not as useful since while you can use more blood, you can no longer feed on animal blood or blood bags. Indeed, being a Thin-Blood is now a viable build as you can sometimes walk out in the day as well as make use of Thin-Blood Alchemy, which allows them to use abilities equal to Disciplines, to fight back.
    • Disciplines are now no longer dependent on a straight priority to higher levels. You can mix, match, and combine them to create a wide variety of weird powers. A vampire with Dominate and Protean could, theoretically, control people's minds with wolf howls.
    • It is now possible to Dominate lower generation vampires.
  • Character Customization: Now a much bigger deal with the new variety of powers, as well as a revamped merits and flaws system.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: A common trope about the Sabbat who claim everything going wrong in the world and offends them is the result of the Antediluvians.
  • Continuity Porn: The Anarch and Camarilla sourcebooks include references from all previous editions of the franchise, even some references to the video games.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Vampire Disciplines, at least, are now far more flexible. You can turn into a snake, a wolf, a bat, or a giant panda theoretically with Protean 4. You can also mix and match your abilities. The worst elements of most Clan Weaknesses have also been dialed down. It even gives a reason to be a high generation vampire as Duskborn, 12th, and 13th generation vampires can feed much-much easier. Duskborn can only frenzy under exceptional circumstances too and some are even Daywalking Vampire characters.
  • Darker and Edgier: The entire edition was deliberately marketed to adults with many attempts to tackle issues like government oversight, social manipulation, class warfare, activism, fascism, feeding, and consensuality. How successful they were in doing so can be discussed in YMMV.
  • Daywalking Vampire:
    • Generally downplayed with the Thin-Bloods, who only take superficial damage from the sun. They can also wake earlier and stay awake longer than full-blooded vampires are allowed to.
    • It is even possible to play it completely straight, by creating a Thin-Blood with the exclusive "Day Drinker" merit, which allows the vampire in question to walk around in sunlight without it harming them. There are some drawbacks to this however; a Day Drinker vampire cannot use any of their Disciplines as long as the sun is out, and their health pool is capped at half until nightfall. They also still feel the hunger for blood, even during the day, and will have to sleep eventually.
  • Demoted to Extra: The original seven clans: Brujah, Gangrel, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Toreador, Tremere, and Ventrue are joined by Caitiff as well as Duskborn in the main book. Most of the Independent and Sabbat Clans are not included. In order to learn about them, you have to purchase additional supplements for official stats or homebrew them.
    • The entire Sabbat are reduced from being the second most powerful sect in the world to being largely out of play. Most abandoned their cities and went to fight in the Gehenna War or been slaughtered. They also lost the Lasombra to the Camarilla in V5's Chicago by Night.
    • Clan Ravnos and Giovanni are completely out of play after the Week of Nightmares and several attacks by the Second Inquisition respectively. Though the remnants of the Giovanni have made alliances to make a new clan, Hecata.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The Nosferatu's SchreckNet was hacked by the government, exposing all of the Kindred's secrets to the NSA, who shared their discovery with the MI5 and the Vatican, which lead to the founding of the FIRSTLIGHT organization and the Second Inquisition. They really should have known better about the dangers of putting important information online given they include a strong hacker subculture.
    • However, as some Kindred point out, the Nosferatu themselves came through the very damaging opening salvos of Second Inquisition relatively unscathed and with no significant losses, because while the Nosferatu kept taps on most happenings in Kindred society through SchreckNet, a notable exception in their database was any information about themselves as a clan because they were too clever/paranoid to store such knowledge online.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Done twice by the Second Inquisition. The Second Inquisition managed to take out multiple targets in the early stage of their campaign. One of these was every vampire in London killed in the course of a few days, including Queen Anne and Monty Coven (who is actually the Methuselah Mithras). The second time was when they killed the Inner Council of the Tremere, who were composed of 4th and 5th generation vampires as well as potentially a 3rd in the basement.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Anarch sourcebook uses things like Antifa and internet activism to provide a backdrop for the new Anarch movement. Played with as it's also established they're directly drawing from many radical anti-fascist groups and are harming more than helping. The section on Cleavers was also meant to invoke parent internet chats where they frequently exchange wrong medical treatments and suggestions.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • Theo Bell, after having spent a century and a half being loyal to the Camarilla, kills the head of the Ventrue clan. In public. With a shotgun. Full of incendiary rounds.
    • The Brujah as a whole were long considered to be a member of the Camarilla but formally rebelled against them after being thrown to the Second Inquisition. They have become the main force of the Anarchs.
    • Humanity's intelligence community gets this as they manage to effectively put the vampire race on the backfoot after centuries, if not millennia, of being manipulated pawns.
  • Dying Race: Averted with Clan Ravnos: although their numbers were massively reduced by the Week Of Nightmares to the point where they were little more than a bloodline now, the Masquerade Companion book states they're in slowly but steadily in resurgence.
  • Evil Feels Good: If you kill someone while feeding, you will not be Hungry for the rest of the night, no matter how little you fed.
  • Feminist Fantasy: House Carna is based around this idea with Regent Carna using the Book of the Grave War to free her fellow Tremere. She's since gone on to found a feminist and nature-orientated version of the Tremere that will never bow to the Inner Council (or its replacements) again.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The Followers of Set's new name, the Ministry Of Love or just the Ministry, is designed to put people at ease.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Subverted. The game is very much about maintaining your humanity but this edition takes a harder stance than any previous one that vampires are incapable of being truly good people. Just trying not to be actively evil. Played straight with some high generation and Thin-Blood characters.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The perception of the Anarchs going from being a sect of disgruntled Camarilla members to a third sect in their own right, which has seized a lot of territory from the Sabbat.
    • Humans get this with the Second Inquisition wiping out the vampire population of London, Venice, and the Inner Council of the Tremere.
    • Thin-Bloods (now known as Duskborn) have become terrifying in their own way due to Thin-Blooded Alchemy and organizing.
    • Kevin Jackson is a Downplayed Trope example as while he was always a powerful Ventrue, him becoming Prince took many vampires (and players) by surprise.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • The Followers of Set have abandoned exclusive Set worship and become the Ministry (of Love). They also have joined the Anarchs in pursuing the cause of Kindred liberation. Subverted when it's revealed they're the same old snakes as always. They just feel they can win more Kindred to their cause if they didn't look like the Obviously Evil cult they are.
    • The Brujah as a whole joining the Gangrel as part of the Anarchs may also be viewed as this.
    • What the Anarch perception of Theo Bell killing Hardestadt was.
    • The Banu Haqim have joined the Camarilla, replacing the Brujah and Gangrel.
    • Clan Lasombra may be making one of these as the Gehenna War is causing them to consider joining the Camarilla. Whether they do so or not will be determined by players in the 1st Chicago by Night 5E Chronicle.
  • Horror Hunger: Hunger is a much larger part of the game. Now vampires never stop being hungry, unless they drained someone completely.
    • The Hunger is representative of your beast's desires surfacing and not a physically measurable hunger.
  • Hunter of Their Own Kind: Some agencies in the Second Inquisition, such as FIRSTLIGHT and GRU-N58 have taken to recruiting ghouls, thinbloods, and occasionally full-fledged vampires into their ranks. N58 even has an entire project dedicated to training thinblooded commandos, the ZMEI Protocol. These commandos often diablerize their vampire targets to become more powerful themselves.
  • Hypocrite: The Sabbat is emphasized as being this in Sabbat: The Black Hand. The Sabbat brainwash and indoctrinate their recruits before sending them out in Zerg Rush attacks against their enemies while extolling their freedom as well as the value of vampire lives.
  • I Do Not Drink Wine: Averted with Vampires at the higher end of the Humanity scale. At rating 8, and in direct defiance of the trope name, Vampires can use Blush of Life to drink and even digest wine. At rating 9, they can eat raw meat and drink most liquids and digest them. And at 10, they can eat and even digest food and liquids like a normal human would. Humanity 4 or lower, however, prevents you from even been able to pretend to eat normal food, even with Blush of Life.
  • Killed Off for Real: Hardestadt the Younger, Jan Pieterzoon, Monty Coven, and Queen Anne of London have all been confirmed to have met the Final Death. Although in Pieterzoon's case it is unclear due to lack of evidence of his death and Theo Bell, the one who allegedly killed Jan, denies having done so.
    • The Inner Council of the Tremere has also been killed off. Although there are rumors that one of them, Meerlinda, survived.
    • Modius is confirmed as having been killed and Juggler has since disappeared.
    • Al Capone, Dickie Fulcher, Jacob Schumpeter are all listed among those classic Chicago by Night characters to have met the Final Death.
  • Kill It with Fire: Vampires are weak to fire, making it one of the most effective ways of killing them. The Second Inquisition thus makes judicious use of incendiary weaponry.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Giovanni Clan have been nearly destroyed and forced to join the new Clan Hecata which includes the remains of the Clan they tried to genocide.
  • Masquerade: It's in the title. In this case, the Masquerade has been severely compromised but not quite broken. Many of the world's intelligence agencies are now aware of vampire existence and are taking steps to neutralize them. The Masquerade is now more important than ever since if the PCs screw up, then they will possibly have drone strikes and SEAL teams after them.
  • Lawman Baton: Members of the ESOG carry Nightwatchmen, batons with short swords hidden inside.
  • Master of Illusion: The Ravnos are back, and still maintain their classic illusionary abilities, though much like the Malkavian's Dementation, Chimerstry has been changed from its own Discipline to an Amalgam of Presence and Obfuscation — i.e., they are officially Obfuscation powers that can only be learned if you also have sufficient dots in Presence.
  • Meaningful Rename: The Assamites are now the Banu Haqim (or rather were always the Banu Haqim), the Followers of Set are the Ministry, and the remnants of the Giovanni are the Hecata.
  • Morality Pet: Weaponized and made part of the rules system. Every new vampire character should have a "Touchstone" which is a living human or group they care about a great deal. They may have a deeply unhealthy and messed up relationship with said Touchstone, but they do care about them enough to feel something human. Can go up to the level of Morality Chain since losing a Touchstone, especially as a result of one's actions, can seriously impact one's Humanity score.
  • Muggles Do It Better: Individual humans, even groups of humans, are not much of a threat to a vampire. However, the Second Inquisition has drone strikes, squads of soldiers with automatic weapons with incendiary ammunition, and various other weapons that the average vampire struggles to fight against.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: The text-based video games based on the ruleset have emphasized this more than usual, with both Night Road and Parliament of Knives featuring Camarilla princes who are atypically open-minded and have high levels of Reasonable Authority Figure, and also Anarchs who are a lot more willing to work with the Camarilla than is normal, especially in context of the renewed military hostilities between the two sects.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: Despite the fact the Sabbat have been a playable faction from Editions Two through V20, the Sabbat is now an antagonist-only faction. That said, the restructuring of Camarilla and Anarchs has resulted in both sects assuming certain Sabbat characteristicsnote . The trope is still played straight insofar as V5 places greater emphasis on its Humanity system, rather than the Sabbat with its Paths of Enlightenment. Camarilla and Anarch vampires aren't necessarily much less wicked than Sabbat vampires, but they do have to deal to a greater degree with human morality and remorse, whereas the Sabbat endorses Blue-and-Orange Morality and the rejection of such "weakness".
  • New Media Are Evil: In-Universe. Due to the Second Inquisition happening as a result of SchreckNet getting compromised and leaking the existence of vampires to several government agencies, the Camarilla's elders have adopted this attitude towards pretty much every form of online communication, and as such strictly forbid any member of the Camarilla to use it under the threat of excommunication, and possibly even being subjected to a blood hunt if the communication is risky enough.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Invoked by the FIRSTLIGHT organization. While their officers and leaders are aware that what they are hunting are indeed vampires, they are also trying to prevent the rank and file soldiers from gaining too much of the full picture, and so they refer to targets in their briefings and most documents as either terrorists or with the euphemism "blank body" (due to the vampires' lack of body heat, which makes them appear blank on heat vision monitors).
  • The Purge: The Second Inquisition is actively tracking Kindred globally and exterminating them. They have military-grade hardware, an unlimited budget, and the assistance of the Society of Leopold as well as the Catholic Church. Subverted in that not all of them want vampires to be destroyed and have many disparate factions.
    • In the first few years they've destroyed some notable names in England and The U.S.
  • Put on a Bus: According to the Core Book, all the Elders of both sects, as well as the Sabbat, have been summoned to the Middle East to fight in the Gehenna Wars. Eventually rolled back to mostly being Methuselahs and vampires from the Dark Ages.
    • Menele, Khalid, and Patricia Bollingbrook are revealed to have been Beckoned.
  • Retcon: Many.
    • Much of the Great Leap Outward, if it happened at all, has been retconned away as the Anarch Free States are the same as they were in the 90s. Expanded even to include Las Vegas.
    • Gehenna, at least the way people thought, didn't happen and the world didn't end. As always, Vampire society is greatly split over the implications of this, with some arguing that it just proved Gehenna was never real in the first place, others arguing that Gehenna is still going to happen and has merely been postponed, and others again claiming that Gehenna did indeed happen, but the effects of it were very different and less tangible than popular myths imagined and that said effects have yet to be properly observed by Kindred society or defined by Kindred scholars.
    • Serpentis, Vicissitude, and other shape-changing powers are all part of Protean. This extends to other similar Disciplines like Dominate and Dementation. Quietus is now just a bunch of Blood Sorcery rituals. It's meant to streamline the game.
    • All vampires have a maximum of 5 in their Attributes and Disciplines. This seems to apply to NPCs as well as PCs.
    • A small one with the Banu Haqim in that they used to grow darker as they aged until they were pitch black. This has been refuted.
  • Romanticized Abuse: A continuing element in all three of the main White Wolf supplements.
    • The Anarch sourcebook contains many many examples: Duskborn "Cleavers" feed their children vampire blood and feed on them, Jeanette Voerman seducing husbands and wives only to enslave them, a babysitter who talks about a family enslaved by their sire, and more.
    • Victoria Ash talks extensively about how this is one of her favorite pastimes with lovers. She loves building up relationships just to knock them down and see them burn.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Weaponized with Loresheets that, essentially, mean the player characters have a friend with a canon NPC or group that are willing to go to the bat for them. These include Victoria Ash, Theo Bell, Hardestadt, Helena, and more. In some cases, it reaches Pals with Jesus levels.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The Brujah's reaction to the Camarilla throwing their younger members under the bus to the Second Inquisition.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • To Vampire: The Requiem. V5 essentially represents a "best of both worlds" take on the two franchises, retaining the iconic lore and flavor of Masquerade, but bringing in from Requiem the more "voluntary association"-type approach to politics and religion, certain aspects of the Covenants themselves (see Suspiciously Similar Substitute below), various game mechanics (such as the attribute system, touchstones and blood potency), the general trend towards streamlining, and most importantly, the much more free-form, decentralized, personal horror, high-customization way of handling both characters and cities.
    • Surprisingly, it also returns several of the central elements of its own Dark Ages spinoff, specifically increased importance of religion and personal philosophy for vampires, with a staggering amount of offerings to choose or build your own from, a very strong and effective hunter movement, civil wars and massive doctrinal splits among the normally more hierarchical/homogeneous clans, and a generally more balkanized and sandboxy world, where political life is heavily based around individual cities and which person is in charge, rather than global conspiracies and organizations.
  • Start My Own: Carna from Milwaukee by Night has made her own Tremere house. She's not the only one to do it.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Many people have noted certain groups and characters have started to resemble elements from Vampire: The Requiem. Mind you, many of these elements were just less prominent elements of the original Vampire: The Masquerade.
    • Blood Potency has been incorporated from Requiem wholesale. Kindred can now become more powerful just by aging.
    • Touchstones, living humans that are important to a Player's Kindred, are treated as they are in Requiem. To the point anything happening to them can hurt humanity.
    • The Camarilla now has a stronger resemblance to the Invictus, no longer including common vampires.
    • The Anarchs are more similar to the Carthian Movement.
    • The Church of Caine has gone from a Sabbat-specific organization to an international cult. This resembles the Lancea Sanctum. There are also some Ordo Dracul parallels in that one of their main goals is learning to master and overcome their vampiric weaknesses, though through sheer force of will and training rather than scientific-occult study.
    • The Bah'ari (Lilith worshippers) are a major sect as well, resembling the Circle of the Crone.
    • To complete the assortment, though they're more a breed of vampire than a joinable organization, the Thinbloods have been reworked into the Duskborn, Daywalking Vampire types notable for lacking most of the traditional weaknesses and a tendency to experiment and mess with the vampiric condition on a meta level using alchemy. This resembles the Ordo Dracul.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
  • Sword Cane: The Nightwatchman, a weapon issued to members of the ESOG is a varient of this,being a short sword concealed within a Lawman Baton.
  • Technologically Blind Elders: A big reason why the Second Inquisition turned out so disastrously for vampire society. Amongst Kindred, leadership roles tend to be filled by older vampires, of which quite a few were turned back around the time when gas lamps were still a relatively new invention, horse-carts were still the normal mode of transportation in cities, and the quickest way of communicating with people on other continents was often to send mail by boat. And to make matters worse, vampires tend to be mentally "stuck" at the time they were turned, being very slow or even in some cases completely unable to grasp technological progression and changing social norms. The fact that would be extremely hard for a (relatively) tech-savvy younger vampire to convey the gravity of the situation that someone "hacked" your "online database" and "shared the information through the Internet" to these leaders, let alone even explain what these terms even mean in the first place, makes it understandable why they weren't really prepared when the first waves of FIRSTLIGHT's raids happened.
  • Took a Level in Badass: All over the place.
    • The Anarchs went from being a largely disorganized bunch of Brujah and Caitiff to being a three-clan strong sect in its own right that controls territory across the world. They've taken Berlin, Las Vegas, parts of Australia, Cuba, and more. The Gangrel, Ministry, and parts of the scattered Tremere have also joined its ranks.
    • Project: Twilight was previously depicted as something of a joke with the NSA compromised by multiple supernatural factions, the CIA completely in the dark, and the SAD being effective but outmatched. Project: Daylight is an Invincible Villain as far as vampires are concerned.
    • Duskborn (Thin-Blood) were barely more powerful than ghouls. Now they have the potential to be able to walk in daylight and use Thin-Blood Alchemy to kill much older as well as more powerful vampires.
  • The Unreveal: In her letter to her childer, Alex, Mina Harker all but outright confirms that she is a childer of Dracula, but she handily dodges the question of which clan he, and by extension, her and Alex, belong to.
  • Vampire Hunter: The new primary antagonist of the setting. Vampire Hunters are everywhere, but besides independent groups hunters, of which there still are a few, there are also the much more dangerous government-sanctioned ones operating under FIRSTLIGHT (although the vast majority of the grunts aren't aware that what they are hunting are vampires, or what FIRSTLIGHT even is). These include SEAL teams, SWAT teams, some special units within the regular police, FBI, Society of Leopold witch hunters, CIA black ops soldiers, and the NSA. That's just the American branch. The Society of Leopold also has been re-canonized so they have the backing of the Vatican itself to help with their efforts.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Now a Downplayed Trope example. You can be one but the only ones capable of being so are the 12th generation and up. Which makes a high generation now Cursed with Awesome for those trying to be a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire.
  • Villain Has a Point: Honestly, it's hard to argue the Second Inquisition is wrong to want to wipe out vampires. This is doubly true since the ability to be a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire has been drastically reduced.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The main reason why the NSA's discovery of ShrekNet hasn't turned into a full-on Broken Masquerade. The various national intelligence services involved in FIRSTLIGHT might consider the vampires a menace, but that is about as far as they all can agree on anything. FIRSTLIGHT is an international organization, but it is by design a very loose and extremely decentralized one. And because of constant paranoia about vampire infiltrations and national and ideological conflicts breeding distrust between the various leaders, communication between the different departments are often slow and ineffective. One of the main split is between those in the organization who think that vampire society just needs to be completely eradicated as quickly as possible and those who think that such a move would be a shameless waste of an opportunity to advance human science through extensive studies of vampires. In this environment, no one really trusts each other and are very reluctant to compare notes on what they know about vampires.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Many questions about Signature Characters like Beckett, Lucita, and others have yet to be answered.
  • The Worf Effect: The Inner Council of the Tremere was wiped out by the Second Inquisition in order to show how dangerous a threat they were.
  • Zerg Rush: The Sabbat emphasizes this more than any other point in their history. They send groups of suicidally fanatically and blindly loyal vampire on diablerie binges against their enemies.