Dark Ages: Vampire
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Dark Ages: Vampire cover (2002 edition)
Dark Ages: Vampire is a role-playing game originally published by White Wolf Game Studio in 2002. It was a replacement for the 1996 gameline Vampire: The Dark Ages. Additionally, with the release of Dark Ages: Vampire, several other game lines were added, Dark Ages: Werewolf, Dark Ages: Mage, Dark Ages: Inquisitor, and Dark Ages: Fae, each contributing to the shared setting.
In 2002 White Wolf Publishing returned to historical role-playing games and re-launched their only truly[peacock term] successful historical line from the years of 1995-1999. Dark Ages: Vampire (2002) was published as a core rulebook. Supplements then appeared for other magical groups, each dependent upon Dark Ages: Vampire to play. Over the next few years, all of the surviving World of Darkness games got Dark Ages attention in this way, resulting in Dark Ages: Mage (2002), Dark Ages: Inquisitor (2002), Dark Ages: Werewolf (2003) and Dark Ages: Fae (2004).
This version of Vampire Dark ages took a page from White Wolf's other successful property Exalted, in that the game featured a single setting with one base type of character (Vampires) to be played out of the core book and then several supplements or "Splat Books" that featured independent play of different types of characters with the same rule set (Inquisitors, Werewolves, Fae and Mages). This was later attempted again with the "New World of Darkness" and its base World of Darkness book that featured Mortal characters. Now it seems that fans prefer to have an entire rule set in one book rather than the setting core book and supplement approach, as evidenced by the V20 resurgence, and the V20 Dark ages return to first edition Dark ages game focus and aesthetics.
Vampire: The Dark Ages was set in dark medieval Europe in the year 1197, while Dark Ages: Vampire updated the setting to the year 1230. The setting is differentiated from both historical facts and the predecessor game Vampire: The Masquerade and attempted to stand on its own as a fantasy medieval setting.