Vampires La Masquerade 1: The Bite of Winter

SaldaPress It takes me back twenty-five years, when full of enthusiasm and perverse fantasies, I sat at the table to satisfy the bloodlust of my character, a violent and dangerous follower of Seth.

In Italy among RPG fans, Vampire: The Masquerade (1992 winner of the Origins Award for Best RPG Rules of 1991) was considered one of the most popular settings cool of the moment and heard about it in every aggregation center for players with the dice in one hand and a manual in the other.
From version live in which we met in the street to reap victims among the unsuspecting fellow citizens, to the one sitting at the table with their own card, the followers of Cain were everywhere.

Thanks also to the film successes of the period (in 1994 theInterview with the vampire from Neil Jordan with Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and a very charming Antonio Banderas and in 1992 with the Bram Stoker’s Dracula with Gary Oldman, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder and Anthony Hopkins directed by Francis Ford Coppola) the romantic and controversial figure of the prince of darkness was back in vogue and the dream of being a vampire was realized by playing him in the game, centuries before the appearance of Twilight.


The comic The bite of winter perfectly returns the climax of the role-playing game from which it is based: it clearly presents the dynamics of Camarillapresents the various types of clans, between a wink to those who know perfectly well what you are talking about and a clear explanation to those who still do not know the Masquerade.

The beautiful boards made by Nathan Gooden And Devmalya Pramanik they perfectly convey the dynamism of the clashes, the decadence that defines the Prince and his court and the difficult environment in which the protagonists live, suspended between past and present. The effects are very well done with a light screening and the chromatic choices, perfectly consistent with the mood of the story and characters.

I very much appreciated that at the end of the volume there are both descriptions with the setting and the card of the characters present in the storyto allow readers to set up a campaign (or even just a session) starting from the story of The Bite of Winter.

The plot

We are in America, between the two Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, where it dominates Prince Samantha and there is, as usual, a great need to monitor what is happening everywhere, starting with the slums. The Clans are many and even if the blood is not hot, there is always someone ready to override the system to boycott, prevail, dominate. Cecily Bain, the Lone Wolf without a puppy – as her epitaph says – is called to control and calm the spirits and as usual, a mess happens …

The volume

The comic is the first issue of a series published in Italy by SaldaPress, it was written by Tini Howard, Blake Howard And Tim Seeley (also writer of Revival And Deep red) in 168 x 256 mm format, in hardcover version with 176 color pages.

The role play

Reading The bite of winter you will certainly want, if you have never tried it, to learn more about the role-playing game that inspired it. Just to give you an idea, I can say that in the 90s it was one of the most loved settings ever. Different from the classic D&D, less fantasy than MERP, more gothic than Cyberpunk, and with a good master, adaptable to any existing city setting.

Vampires: the Masquerade takes place in the World of Darkness, a reality very similar to the everyday one, only more corrupt, dark and decadent. The whole known world is in the hands of a select few of the vampire community, whose common goal is not to be identified by mere mortals, thus hiding their identity behind the masquerade. The princes (ie those who are at the head of the various organizations) have a large group of faithful in tow, who make sure that no one breaks the rules, coming out into the open or exposing other vampires to the risk of being identified. Society has an articulated system of hierarchies that all vampires are required to respect: princes, seneschals, elders, archons, conciliators, elders are just some of the reference figures of the nocturnal community.

All vampires originated with Cain and their power increases with age. Naturally a vampire retains the appearance he had when he was “embraced” and necessarily belongs to the Clan that made him immortal (and to which he is expected to swear eternal loyalty). In order to stay alive, each character will have to strive to find continuous sources of sustenance and keep his blood points high enough.

According to the RPG story, the Camarilla was the first vampire sect and originated in 1480 as a reaction to the pressure suffered by many creatures during the Inquisition. With the logic of Unity is strength, they decided to organize themselves to remain hidden in the shadows and save themselves from persecution, gradually learning to become the absolute masters of society. The main clans to which vampires belong are: Brujah, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Toreador, Tremble, Gangrel And Ventrue.

Of course, depending on the Clan you choose for your character, they will be acquired different characteristics and strengths / weaknesses.

For newbies, read the comic and start playing with the characters included in the story it can be a great way to get to know RPGs too.

Nerdando in short

A beautiful comic to discover the link between the dark world of Vampires and RPGor to relive it if you have already tasted its ferrous flavor.

Vampires La Masquerade 1: The Bite of Winter – The Masquerade is back –