The development of 5th edition of Vampire The Masquerade continues to be, in my opinon, a disaster.
This is a game that has forsaken a great deal of its identity and character in exchange for gimmick mechanics and odd changes. In terms of identity the game presents itself as an unusual chimera between Masquerade and Requiem. Attributes, skills, and even disciplines follow the examples and philosophies of Requiem, when they're not completely new inventions with no bearing in previous editions. Now I have no problem with Requiem, its a fine game, but it is distinct from Masquerade, and I feel that both games are being done a disservice with this edition. With this drastic mechanical change over it is difficult for me to convert a character from a previous editon to this one while maintianing the crunch of the character, a feat that was very easy previously.
A far more distressing change, however, is the relience on hunger dice. This is a gimmick mechanic that takes control away from the player and bases their actions on the whims of a die. The idea of the "messy critical" in particular is a sore point for me, as it forceully usurps the control of a character away from the player for cheap shock and "drama".
Furthermore, this direction makes me very concerned for future game line in the 5th edition bannerhead. the sheer flipancy of changes wrought in this edition give me concern for how the identity of future gamelines will be handeled, and what new methods of undermining player agency these developers will concoct.
That being said, we have not seen all of the systems and options that will be advaliable in the final relese. It is important to remember that this is a snapshot meant for a very broad audience. But it is that snap shot that I have to go on and make my judgments concerning. While I o hold out hope that the final product will be strong I am unfourtunately very discouraged by this. While it is better than the initial beta that was shown, I have severe philisophical qualms with the direction they are taking the game.
[1 of 5 Stars!]