V5 – Adapting the Genre

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As I make my way through more of the ‘meat’ in the V5 core book I am a little surprised by a few finds. In a genre that is as deep as Vampire, sorting out the origins of any fictional element is damn near impossible. One of the easiest to mention is: “Where did the concept of thin-blood or daywalker come from?” Certainly, movies such as Blade brought these lore elements into the mainstream (or at least closer to the mainstream), but thin-bloods/half-bloods appeared fairly early on in VtM, and then more heavily (to some criticism) in revised/3rd edition. Neither Blade, VtM, or any other literary work that I am aware of could lay claim to ‘creating’ the notion of half-blood. It’s an old notion, likely rooted in legend.

With that in my mind, I’m 75% of the way through selected portions of the book, and I can definitely see elements that harken back to a wide swath of fiction. This is the first edition of VtM where I feel that it drew significantly from other media. Previous editions always had a ‘Thanks’ or ‘Inspired by..’ section, with a nod to certain genre setting works (shout-out to Anne Rice), which I find missing in this tome. I can only guess that the editor felt that it wasn’t needed, or that the reader could just search online for other inspirations.

For myself, I feel that how the book presents Vampires as a breed/race lends itself to more playstyle diversity. I could easily imagine the following styles of VtM games using the presented material, in most cases with barely any modification:

  • Blade, daywalkers and half-breeds
  • Black Dagger Brotherhood or Embrace of the Vampire, with the heavy emphasis on sexual scenes
  • Near Dark, imperfect turning, vampires on the road
  • Kindred the Embraced, Art imitates Art?
  • The Lost Boys, anarch elements
  • Twilight, yeah for better or worse I can see how the setting could be jigged to make this teen emo sparklefest happen.
  • Underworld, notably some of the artwork and encouragement toward quick cinematic conflict


Given the focus on the modern nights, I find that anything pre-WW2 would require considerably more work to adapt to this new material.