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Vampire the Masquerade - Choosing a Core Rulebook & Players Guide

Updated on October 23, 2012

     Vampire the Masquerade is a very complex role playing setting. If you have ever looked into playing the game, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of books that are available for purchase. I am creating a series of hubs that will break the books down and give you a good idea of what is available for purchase or download. You will then be able to decide what you need to play White Wolf’s Vampire the Masquerade RPG.

This is the first in what I plan to be a series of dozens of articles about the books for sale for Vampire the Masquerade. This article is going to go over the differences between each of the core rulebooks available for Vampire the Masquerade. Hopefully you will be able to more easily decide which of the Vampire the Masquerade rulebooks are best for you and your gaming group.

One thing you may want to keep in mind is that you can purchase a PDF of the Vampire the Masquerade rulebook. Purchasing the PDF file online may be a cheaper way to get the book if you can play from your computer, or have access to a cheap way to print it out. Vampire the Masquerade PDF’s are available from several online retailers like Buying your Vampire the Masquerade books in downloadable form is becoming more and more popular as the older, out of print books become harder to find.

Vampire the Masquerade 1st edition

This is the first edition of the Vampire the Masquerade rulebook that was published by White Wolf. It was very quickly replaced by the 2nd edition rules which simply clarified some of the details and fixed most of the errors that were in this first edition. This is often the cheapest version of the book, but if you purchase online make sure it is in good condition as these do tend to suffer from weak spines.

Vampire the Masquerade 2nd edition

This second version of the game was available from 1992 until 1998 when the third or revised edition was released. Many old-school players feel like this is the "true" version of the game, but the third edition of VtM is what most gaming groups play today.  This tends to be an affordable book, but the price varies regularly since it is only available on the secondary market.

Vampire the Masquerade Revised edition

This 3rd edition of Vampire the Masquerade is probably the one most commonly played today.  It has the easiest to understand rules and a wide variety of books have been published to go along with it.  This is a must have for any die hard VtM fan.  Vampire the Masquerade revised edition can be pricey, but you can find it discounted occasionally on Amazon, or you may be able to buy a Vampire the Masquerade rulebook pdf online.

Player's Guide

If your gaming group is beginning to play Vampire the Masquerade, your first purchase is probably the core rulebook. However, once you have purchased this and are ready to expand your knowledge you probably want to purchase a Player’s Guide. The player’s guides are great because they give more information from the viewpoint of a player. The rules are explained in a more simplistic manner, and the books give information to help create a well rounded character.

Whether you are going to be a storyteller or a player, I highly recommend picking up a copy of the player’s guide as one of your first Vampire the Masquerade purchases.

Don’t forget, there are other options for obtaining these game books besides purchasing used. You can also find many of the Vampire the Masquerade Sourcebooks on

Vampire the Masquerade Player's Guide 1st

The first edition of this book is not considered to be the best version. The rules are very similar to the second edition published but there are several errors throughout. Additionally, the spine is very weak and often cracks.

Vampire Player's Guide 2nd

This is the most affordable edition, and is well loved by the community of game players. Check to make sure it is in good condition before you purchase it, the spine can become separated from the book on some of these.

Vampire Player's Guide - Revised

The Ultimate edition for any fan of the Vampire the Masquerade revised ruleset. This is a slick, clean book that is chock full of information. This book can be pricey, check around to find the best deal available!

Some additional books you may enjoy...


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