Vampire: The Dark Ages
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|A Storytelling Game of Epic Horror|
Dark Ages: Vampire cover (2002 edition)
|Designer(s)||Jennifer Hartshorn, Ethan Skemp, Mark Rein·Hagen, Kevin Hassall|
|Publication date||1996 (Vampire: The Dark Ages)
2002 (Dark Ages: Vampire)
Vampire: The Dark Ages is a role-playing game originally published by White Wolf Game Studio in 1996. Later, in 2002, the gameline was replaced by Dark Ages: Vampire. 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. Vampire: The Dark Ages is a spin-off from the Vampire: The Masquerade game, also published by White Wolf, the latter set in modern times.
White Wolf Publishing came up with a new model for game releases as historical RPGs, each based on one of the original World of Darkness games. This resulted in three new lines: Vampire: The Dark Ages (1996), Werewolf: The Wild West (1997), and Mage: The Sorcerer's Crusade (1998). By 1998 White Wolf was facing continued economic problems, and was hitting a crisis. Of their last five World of Darkness games – the three new historical games, as well as 1994's Wraith: The Oblivion and 1995's Changeling: The Dreaming – only Vampire: The Dark Ages sold well.
The original game was set in dark medieval Europe in the year 1197, while the 2002 edition updated the setting to the year 1230. The setting lives from both its differences to the historical facts and to the predecessor game Vampire: The Masquerade.
- In Dark Ages, vampires rule the night openly and some are even revered and worshipped, though the powers of the Inquisition and other mortal foes restrain their freedom.
- A large number of vampires, as the rest of the European population, are deeply religious. The Cainite Heresy tries to infiltrate the Church.
- The major vampire sects, the Camarilla and the Sabbat, have not been formed yet. The vampire society in Europe is ruled by Princes and other fief holders, although their power rarely extend beyond their city or domain.
- The Tremere clan is in its infancy. Their clan leader has slain the founder of Salubri clan, Saulot, only few decades ago. The Tremere are at war with a number of other clans, notably with the powerful Tzimisce.
- The Blood Curse has not yet been imposed on the Assamite clan.
- The Cappadocians are one of the major 13 clans. The Giovanni are a bloodline of the Cappadocian clan.
- Bruce Baugh etal, Dark Ages: Vampire (White Wolf Game Studio, 2002, ISBN 1-58846-276-5)
- Justin Achilli, Clanbook: Cappadocian (White Wolf Game Studio, 1997, ISBN 1-56504-280-8)
- Jennifer Hartshorn, et al., Vampire: The Dark Ages (White Wolf Game Studio, 1996, ISBN 1-56504-275-1)