Vampire: the Masquerade, 2nd Edition - 1992
Written By: Mark Rein•Hagen, Graeme Davis, Tom Dowd, Lisa Stevens, Stewart Wieck
*Note: in our haste to review the second edition, we incorrectly remembered this book and erroneously stated that the Sabbat clans, independent clans and some various other information was in this book, when it is in fact, not. We apologize for our mistake. There is actually very little additional information in this book that was missing from the previous edition. Also, The Appendix has the beginning of the Forged in Steel Chronicle, which starts in Gary, Indiana and moves into the Chicago Chronicles.*
"Vampire is a game of make-believe, of pretend, of storytelling. Although Vampire is a game, it is more about storytelling than it is about winning. If you've never done this kind of thing before, you may be confused by the whole premise of a storytelling game. Once you catch on to the basic concepts, however, you'll find that it isn't all that strange, and is, in fact, eerily familiar.
You, along with some of your friends, are going to tell stories of madness and lust. Tales of things that go bump in the night. Tales of peril, paranoia, and sinister, shadowy evil. Tales from the darkest recesses of our unconscious minds. And at the heart of these stories are vampires.
These stories will capture your imagination far more readily than any play or movie; likewise, they are of a darker nature than the children's fairy tales you might remember (although those too were rather grim if you think back). This is because you are inside the story and not just watching it. You are creating it as you go along, and the outcome is always uncertain.
This game provides a way to experience a horror of an all too immediate nature, for you experience the terror from the other side of the mirror. The horror of Vampire is the legacy of being half a beast, trapped in a world of no absolutes, where morality is chosen, not ordained. The horror of Vampire is the evil within, and the all-consuming lust for warm blood.
Perhaps the greatest danger of playing Vampire is that of seeing yourself in the mirror. To play this game you must face the madness within you, that which you strive to master and overcome, but cannot bear to face.
Unless you are willing to face the reflection of your own imperfections then go no further. Madness as well as wisdom rewards those who dare to gaze into eternity."