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A Game About Tears in Rain - Thousand Year Old Vampire RPG Review

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14 Feb 2021 16:47 #319211 by jason10mm
How much actual game time did it take to acquire all that?

I feel like these synposes need to be scribbled into old leather bound journals and just left in those used book seller booths at cons for unsuspecting folks to find and marvel over :p
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14 Feb 2021 19:22 #319212 by Shellhead
That was the end state of a game that took a few hours to play. In the context of the game, the passage of time wasn't precise, but I estimate that my vampire lived about four centuries. I had no mortals in my life at the end, as I had only recently revived after a long torpor. I also had no diary at the end of the game, because my previous three diaries were all lost or destroyed.
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25 Feb 2021 10:47 #319674 by Shellhead
I am now sort of DMing a game of Thousand Year Old Vampire for a friend via email correspondence. I had a suspicion that he would love this game but would never get around to buying it himself. My friend has vast experience at DMing D&D, is a major history buff, a big fan of the movie Bram Stoker's Dracula, and designs board games including one that got published. I sent him an email briefly explaining the nature of the game and laying out the process of character creation. I stressed that each Experience should only be one or two sentences long.

My friend responded with great enthusiasm, sending me a full-page write-up of his character, plus another page of paragraph-long Experiences to start each of his five Memories, plus another half page of lengthy descriptions of his Skills and Resources and Mark. On a daily basis, I send him a prompt and he sends back at least a paragraph of an Experience. Three prompts in and his word document is already over four pages long. It will be interesting to see if his wordy approach changes once he starts losing Memories.
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25 Feb 2021 13:49 #319688 by Gary Sax
That's kind of a creative, fun way to play this.

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25 Feb 2021 13:58 #319689 by Shellhead
I pondered doing this with several players in a multi-player game, but I found it difficult to envision how their narratives might overlap without railroading the players. There are some brief rules in the book, but they don't really address my concerns.

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10 Mar 2021 10:55 #320329 by Shellhead
For more than a week, my correspondence play with my friend was going great. He really leaned into the historical setting and sent really long responses to every prompt. His character is a baron with a castle, and his story has involved regional politics, the Catholic Church, gypsies, and peasants. But he has only responded to one prompt since March 1st, though that response was lengthy and interesting one involving a dryad.

I see three possible issues. First, his responses have been so long and detailed so far, and that is much more demanding than the one or two sentence responses recommended by the game designer. Second, his most recent prompt asks about a humanizing experience with a child, and that might not hold much interest for him. Third, this experience will fill up his last available space in memory, so he will face the daunting choice of either moving memories to a physical diary that could be eventually lost, or losing some of his long memories right away. All three of these issues could have been avoided if he had stuck to the guideline of one or two sentence responses. For example, I got that same kid prompt when I played, and got past it with a brief, perfunctory experience.

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01 Apr 2021 22:08 #321597 by Shellhead
Since I last posted here, my player picked up where we left on and responded to a total of 6 more prompts over the course of 12 days. Now it has been nearly 10 days of silence. His most recent prompt to respond to was:

"The hunters are persistent, capable, and well-informed. They know things about you that you don't - create a Mark that is revealed during a confrontation. You are driven into hiding in an unpopulated wasteland. Lose any stationary Resources. Learn a new Skill related to this desolate region. What new name comes to you in this loneliness?"

Seems like an interesting prompt to respond to, but maybe he is thrown by the idea of his character leaving his familiar homeland.

Three weeks ago, I was telling another friend about Thousand Year Old Vampire on the phone, and he wanted to play the same kind of correspondence game. I know that he is a very concise writer, so I expected his responses to prompts to be less burdensome for him. But he is also taking some college classes, so he warned me that he might get busy from time to time.

It took him a few days to respond with his character and his starting experiences, skills, resources, and mark. But he misunderstood the concept of the game and had described a vampire that was already 1,000 years old and now living in our time. I re-explained the default assumptions of the game, but offered him the option to go ahead with his character anyway, with the understanding that most of his game would take place in a science-fiction future of his devising. I guess that he wasn't feeling to creative, because he has stayed in touch but never mentions the game.

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