What is the Prince’s Gambit? [Vampire: The Masquerade]

News, Open Development, Vampire: The Masquerade

You are a vampire; you own the night. And you’re not alone. There are others of you out there, the Kindred as you call yourselves, and your world is one of secret sects and hidden agendas. Some of you belong to the Camarilla, the aristocracy of the undead, holding yourselves above the mortal world in an ivory tower. Others of you belong to the Sabbat, a medieval death cult that believes the living are little more than animal to be fed from.

But who can you trust? You’re all blood-drinking monsters, after all. Your loyalty to your sect is a secret, and those who make a grand show of fidelity may be hiding ambitions of their own.

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Vampire: Prince’s Gambit is a social deduction game in which a number of players seek to bolster the Prince’s claim to praxis, the right to rule her domain. That’s no mean task, though, as traitors lurk among these Kindred. The city’s Camarilla has been infiltrated by the Sabbat, who aim to topple the Prince and claim the city for their own.

Inspired by games like the Prisoner’s Dilemma, Diplomacy, Mafia, and the Resistance, Vampire: Prince’s Gambit hides a number of betrayers among a number of vampires loyal to the Prince’s cause. The hitch is that the traitors know who each other are while the loyal Kindred must trust their wits and instinct in order to discern who’s acting in their same interest and who’s trying to subvert the Prince’s will.

In Vampire: Prince’s Gambit, you might encounter situations like these:

Draft one is done and playable, which I’m going to make available via Open Development after a few loose ends are tied up. Development commentary will be collected here at the Onyx Path website, as well.

The game is built for 5-10 players, and while it’s not a “roleplaying” game per se, I think it’ll provide great opportunties to indulge in as much or as little characterization as individual players prefer. If you like, go all the way: Speak in character, wear a costume, and really dig into the role. Or you can simply play to your hidden loyalty and let your actions in-game speak for you.

Vampire: Prince’s Gambit is designed for sessions of 30 minutes to an hour, and to offer just a taste of the high politics and low treachery of the world of the Kindred. It’s a great game to play before a traditional RPG session starts, or at a convention or party with new or old friends.

  15 comments for “What is the Prince’s Gambit? [Vampire: The Masquerade]

  1. Adam
    January 23, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    This awesome!

    Also great to see you are still around Justin!

    We havent heard from ya in while, was afraid you had left onyx path or something 🙁

    • Justin Achilli
      January 23, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      I’m a freelancer for Onyx Path, so I phase in and out as the work permits me. My day job is pretty demanding, so I’m limited in how much I can be a part of Onyx projects. Also, I was briefly dead, but I’m fine now.

      • Phaolan
        January 24, 2015 at 12:12 pm

        Yeah, I KNEW you were dead, at least for a while… Not that *I* had anything to do with that!

        You don’t remember the meeting, but I cannot ever forget the one time that our paths crossed. I totally acted like I didn’t recognise you, and when I started to hack on the ‘White Wolf wonkiness’ (in a manner MEANT to be ironic), you just shrugged and said, ‘Mileage varies.’

        …At least that’s how I remember it. So cheers not being among the living, and keep up the great work!

  2. January 23, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Sounds fun! Can’t wait to give it a try!

  3. Philip
    January 23, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    So what format is it in? A card game? Board game? Pen and paper?

    • Justin Achilli
      January 23, 2015 at 5:06 pm

      We’re working out the details on a final presentation. It has cards that convey role information, but it’s not a “card game.” There’s no spatial relationships, so it’s not a “board game.” It’s a social deduction game, somewhat like a dinner party murder mystery.

  4. Unsilent Majority
    January 23, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    New game by my favorite vampire writer?

    Yes, please. Can’t wait for more news!

    • Justin Achilli
      January 25, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      I aim to please 😉

  5. January 23, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    So cool, looking forward to trying it. I think it’s a cool way to introduce or reintroduce the world of Vampire to gamers.

    • Justin Achilli
      January 25, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      That’s the plan. “Hey, if you like the world and the sense of wheels turning within wheels, come give the RPG a try….”

  6. Full Time GM
    January 23, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Awesome! I love One Night Werewolf and has enough similar themes I think I’ll like it to.

  7. Mike
    January 23, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    Sounds a lot like Resistance or Avalon. I mean that in a good way.

    http://www.indieboardsandcards.com/RESAvalon.php

    http://www.indieboardsandcards.com/resistance.php

    • Justin Achilli
      January 25, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      Yes, I mention the Resistance in the blog entry itself, above the videos. What I like about Resistance over Mafia/ Werewolf is that there’s no player elimination. Every player gets to participate for the duration of the game.

  8. Qwar
    January 25, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Awesome to see that it’s going to be cWoD.

  9. Ed Seibert
    January 26, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    I re-fluffed The Resistance as Cam vs. Anarchs for a game a couple of months ago and it was super fun. I’m looking forward to this, but to be honest everything Justin does is usually pretty awesome so I’d be getting it anyway.

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