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Bloodsuckers: The Angst

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The following is quoted directly from the PDF version of the book, page 2 (7 of 106):

Chapter 1 – Characters in Bloodsucker: A complete guide on how to create your denizen of the night for play in the game, from aggressive hunters to cliquey social butterflies to katana-wielding trench coat wearers and gothopotami.

Chapter 2 – Skills: A reasonably comprehensive breakdown of all the Skills featured in Bloodsucker, which will allow a character to specialise in a number of fields of expertise from an encyclopaedic knowledge of comic books to the ability to play three chords on a guitar and get girls.

Chapter 3 – Feats: Feats are special abilities that allow you to truly customise your character to fit their background, or trip them out like a hotrod into the ultimate munchkin. They are gained slowly over time and in Bloodsucker are also used to assign your supernatural vampire Powers.

Chapter 4 – Pros and Cons: Pros and Cons are a further way to customise and specialise your character at the start of play. Pros are innate advantages your character has while Cons are drawbacks that hamper them. This allows a greater amount of munchkinism in creating your suburban ninja.

Chapter 5 – Background: Who is this person you have created? Consideration must be given to where they’ve come from, how they think, what clothes they wear and how they came to be a Bloodsucker in the first place.

Chapter 6 – Magic(k): The arcane Powers of the Bloodsuckers and others are mystical and marvellous, or at least entertaining, and are detailed here for your examination.
Chapter 7 – Combat: From physical altercations over who is seeing who, or the fact you’re dressed funny and have the temerity to exist in the same rail carriage as a chav, to the immortal conflicts that beset the Bloodsuckers night after night, combat is an essential part of Life of Angst and this chapter covers the rules for such battles.

Chapter 8 – The Society of the Damned: The Bloodsuckers have organised themselves and this organisation is detailed here along with explanations of the social systems and distinctions of the Bloodsucker society.

Chapter 9 – The Shadow World: The world is similar but different, to our own. This chapter describes those differences and records the experiences of the Bloodsuckers across the globe allowing you to create more world-spanning adventures. You may find that Bloodsuckers in other lands disagree with you though, that would be terrible.

Chapter 10 – The Opposition: Bloodsuckers are not the only things out there hiding in the night - far from it. Many of these other forces oppose them and this chapter describes those beings and sets out their abilities and motivations.

Chapter 11 – Campaigns in Life of Angst: Running games within this setting may not be the easiest of enterprises, especially for those new to role-playing or Games Mastering. This chapter will give you ideas for adventures and campaigns in Bloodsucker.

        Bloodsuckers is a parody of Vampire: the Masquerade…or rather, the players of Vampire: The Masquerade.  It also pokes fun at the entire subculture White Wolf targeted while marketing Vampire.  It does not attempt to be just a parody; it also attempts to be a complete game, albeit a humorous one.  That said; how does Bloodsuckers hold up as a stand alone game?
        Characters live a Life of Angst, set in the Shadow world, where the world is the same as ours but, “the nights are a little darker, the jeans a little baggier and the top twenty a little sparser when it comes to good tunes…”  It is a rip on the World of Darkness, but with an exaggerated pretension reminiscent of White Wolf’s older editions.  The characters in this world are Bloodsuckers: vampires spontaneously created by being “that damn Goth.”  It is also possible to become as a Vampire through the bite, ala V:tM.  The characters are mostly average people with some aversion to sunlight and an unhealthy addiction to blood, although all have a small amount of supernatural power.
        The system used for the game is and OGL variant.  This will probably turn some people off, but that is largely a matter of taste.  The use of OGL in Bloodsuckers is fair; and there a few additions.  The one issue with using OGL in this game is the fact that the author simply cut and pasted a large amount of the text of the OGL and in so doing failed to omit certain feats and skills that might be inappropriate to the game.  Cleave immediately comes to mind.  However, some of the additions to OGL are actually pretty cool.  Pros and Cons, for instance, are advantages and disadvantages bought with skill points.  Character generation is much the same as d20, save there is only one race and one class.  Hit points are equal to the sum of a character’s Strength and Constitution BONUSES, with a minimum of three!  Character creation also has some special alterations, namely the lack of alignment and the addition of Cool and Juice Stats.  Juice represents the magical fuel left inside your character (much like a blood pool in V:tM), and Cool represents how cool your character is.  The game also introduces Life Templates and Cliques, which can further differentiate characters.

   The layout of the book is a parody in itself.  The book has a layout very similar to White Wolf’s, and the organization is also strikingly similar.  Obviously, the format of the book is a parody of White Wolf’s products, but the joke is subtle, and really only funny to someone who is or was a fan of the World of Darkness series.  It even includes full page archetype art for the splats!  The art is not bad, although most of it has an unintentional anime flavor, and there is plenty but not too much.  This book well edited and has few typos, no obvious typographical errors, and no references to “page XX” (which was somewhat disappointing).

   The writing in Bloodsuckers is quite funny most of the time and hilarious some of the time.  The writing itself is witty and engaging, but is interspersed at times with the dry VCR manual language of the SRD.  It is a real shame the author did not re-write those sections to be more in line with the humor of the rest of the text.

   Overall, this product is worth a second look.  Parodies turn me off, as do OGL games, but Bloodsuckers was a pleasant surprise being a funny and well written example of both.  I have given it a solid 7 out of 10.   If you’re looking for a humorous game to be played when someone can’t make it to D&D this week, give Bloodsuckers a try, you will not be disappointed.

Zachary The First:
Good review!  Sounds like a funny game.  But I'm worried--do we really need bad teen poetry about the "nothingness of shadowness" given eternal life? :p

Well, I'd like to use Bloodsuckers for my annual Halloween game...but I don't know yet.  Like I said in the review, it'll be great for when someone doesn't show or we feel the night would be better served with something light.

I'm very glad I had the opportunity to review this, it's much better than I thought it would be.

Zachary The First:
Oh, I know what I was going to ask--any chance you could give us some examples of some of the cliques/life templates?  Thanks!

Sure.  The Cliques are the "Splats" of the world and include the Crowleys (magic users), Freaks (ugly people), Gothistocrats (the IN crowd that inevitable develops), Grungies (Coabin followers), Moshers (nu-metaller punks), Outcasts (the people no one likes), Perkies (boundless energy), and Pretentious Art Whores (think Toreador but worse).

The life paths add skill and attribute bonuses, as well as give an idea of starting wealth and a special mechanical thing.  There are LOTS of these in the book.

Burger-flipper, concole junkie, dealer, "in a band," student, "person of leisure," web cam diva...and so on and so on.

They're pretty cool...I'll give you an example here.  Grim, if you read this, don't be mad!

Web Cam Diva

‘Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.’
- Andrew Brown

Low-end, web-capable computer. £400.

Decent webcam. £100.

Broadband Internet. £20 a month.

Sad sweaty perverts in Alabama buying you presents?

Ability: Webcam divas know how to wheedle what they want from perverts worldwide, gaining a +1 bonus to their Charisma.

Class Skills: Bitch, Bluff, Computer Use, Hobby, Look Good, Perform and Craft.

Special: Web cam Diva’s start with a computer, web cam and broadband. Every game they roll a D20 and if under their Level they may pick a single item of a value up to £100 multiplied by their Level, which has been bought for them from their wish list by an admirer. On the downside occasionally scary stalkers will discover the Web cam Diva’s home address and cause them problems. Webcam Divas get +1 Cool.

Moolah: Divas start with £1000 worth of stuff and have an income of £25 per game.

Does that help?


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