The GWJ CRPG Club - Game 8: Vampire: TM-B (In Progress)

For more information on the GWJ CRPG Club, go here.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is the GWJ CRPG's Club's eighth winner, a solid victor in a surprisingly comfortable election. A first- and third-person perspective action RPG, the gamer plays the role of either a male or female vampire in early 21st-century Los Angeles.

The game is playable on Windows. A patch is strongly recommended and may be necessary for running the game. As an aside, the sequel is scheduled for release in March of 2020, so this is a great chance to play your way right into the new release!

We'll be playing this game until March 31, 2020. This thread is for friendly discussion as we play through the game. Share your reflections, successes, defeats, tactics, wishes, impressions, and whatever here! The more conversation the better, so post away.

For BIG spoilers, please use the spoiler tag. (No! I am your father!) Tactics, strategies, general story progression likely won't need them.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to participate, and can start at any time, so join the fun! One quick favor: If you decide to play, make a post here along the lines of "I'm in!" to let us know. If you start and finish the game before the end, you'll level up your GWJ CRPG Membership.

Helpful Links
Steam ($19.99)
GOG ($19.99)
How Long to Beat (23-40 hours)
Wikipedia Page
Fan Wiki - Fandom
No Achievements
Metacritic (80 metascore, 8.9 user score)
Walkthrough
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines Patch (Unofficial, 10.5)
Technical Troubleshooting Thread (Steam)

Members Completed
Alien Love Gardener
*Legion*
Shadout
ubrakto
pyxistyx

Members Playing
Godzilla Blitz
Math
Redherring
JohnKillo
SillyRabbit
Hardek

I'm in, by the way, and very much looking forward to it.

From the looks of it, patching is essential and recommended, right?

I've put a link to the unofficial patch (version 10.5) in the first post. For those in the know, is that the best patch for the game?

EDIT: To answer my own question, it would seem that yes, the Unofficial Patch (10.5 now) is the best route to address technical issues and improve gameplay.

Also, don't patch an existing save with the latest 10.5 patch. Things will break.

There is a handy dandy Steam guide for help with installing the patch (also linked above).

EDIT AGAIN: So there is a "Patch Plus" included with the Unofficial Patch that changes core gameplay a bit. In answer to the question, "Should I play the basic version or the plus version?" I found this:

Some people said that unless you are a diehard and plan to beat the game several times it might be fun to start on Basic and then install plus on a later playthrough to see what has been restored.

On the other hand most people said that it is a step backwards to not install Plus even if it is your first playthrough because Plus restores original content from the game, changes item locations or characters & moves them around to ideal locations (this might confuse people who remember their original locations - & they're not there) but it makes more sense. Also, the difficulty has been made easier & the game is more flexible to play.

I went with installing Plus with my first go through. I am currently 10 hours in and the game is fantastic.

I suggest installing Plus. Also make sure you use the High Res patcher which will be an option at the end of the unoffcial patch installation.

Lastly, I suggest navigating to the Extras folder which was added when you patched your game and installing SweetFX. I have custom preset settings that make the game much more realistic looking. Most of the game is set in very dark settings little to no light and with the default renderer it looks way too bright...

From here.

In. And yeah the patch is pretty much essential.

One quick thing, do the "full" tutorial with Jack. You'll get a lockpick, revolver and a couple of melee weapons you otherwise wont.

Anyway, started a new lady Malkavian (which, if i'm honest, i mostly take for Obfuscate, because it makes playing stealth SUPER easy).

I don't know if i would suggest a malkavian as a first play through though, as the way it mixes up their dialogue can be a bit hard to follow if you don't already have some idea how conversations play out. But DEFINITELY play a malkavian in a second playthrough.

Nice. Looking forward to trying this.

Thanks, pyxi! I'll be sure to do the tutorial. I'll probably just pick something generic for a first play through.

I was messing about with SweetFX shaders but much confusion there. Abandoning that for the moment and planning to dig right into the game.

I *might* wait until after Inktober to start, but I doubt it.

In!

I'm in, but will wait until a big sale to pick it up. Looks like it regularly hits $5 on GoG.

Probably going to pass on this one but will vicariously experience it through all y’all. Good luck!

Installed, along with the Plus version of the unofficial patch. It appears to be working (it launches, and I can reach character creation). Now to spend the evening deciding what character type and traits to roll with. Off the cuff, I'm thinking a dialog-driven character and Ventrue seems like a fun one to explore, but need to do some reading first.

I’m in, but maybe not starting right away.

I’m in. I just can’t start it soon. PC is packed for a move next weekend.

Ubrakto : don’t entirely neglect combat skills even in a talky character...I don’t know exactly how the fan patch has affected the end-game but in vanilla, you can hit a brick wall, since the latter few areas were pure combat in vanilla.

I'm thinking Brujah to hit all the things.

Have fun guys.

I've won this game twice. Maybe three times? Can't remember if I finished my Malkavian playthrough. Will be sitting out because the pile is calling.

I think I'll skip this one.

IMAGE(https://media2.giphy.com/media/iGHbjYrUftITS/giphy.gif)

I'm in. Actually going to start this one now, while I'm still waiting for Baldur's Gate for Switch to release. I've been behind in the game conversations lately, playing through games right before the 6 month mark hits. Time to reset and play along with the rest of the crowd.

Going to have to think about this one. If I do play it probably won’t be until later in the year.

pyxistyx wrote:

Ubrakto : don’t entirely neglect combat skills even in a talky character...I don’t know exactly how the fan patch has affected the end-game but in vanilla, you can hit a brick wall, since the latter few areas were pure combat in vanilla.

Good tip! I was thinking I'd load up on gun skills, especially after doing some character guides last night. Sounds like, for the endgame, they come in handy.

I'm definitely in.

Sent the poorly acted cop in the tutorial in to fight a Sabbat vampire on his own.
Lost a point of humanity. Not even sorry.

This is probably the one game where I feel comfortable playing an amoral a-hole

I think he's a new addition with the patch (with probably temporary or fan voice acting judging by the poorer quality) as I don't recall him being there before.

Installed, patched, played a bit of the tutorial. The subtitles kept disappearing so I didn’t get half of what Tutorial Guy was saying. I suppose I should go find some headphones.

Edit: Found that if you left click during conversations the subtitles go away. Left click again to get them back. Played a bit more and explored around the medical clinic and blood bank. Don’t really know what I’m doing yet.

Ocean House?

Spoiler:

More like Spooker House!

I'm in! Getting started now, I just can't decide which clan I'm going to choose. I think in the past I've played Toreador and Malkavian, flirted with Nosferatu ... I don't recommend flirting with Nosferatu!

Edit: After reading the clan descriptions, I'm trying to remember exactly how many times I've played this game. At least three - I also recall playing a Tremere. I'm excited to get back in and play again!

The gang hideout at the beach surprised me with just how much homophobic background dialogue there is that i didn't notice before. Needless to say I took care of the problem the only way an amoral Malkavian can*

*by stealing the objective maguffin and THEN making everyone vomit blood and then drinking whatever they don't vomit, obvs. Except the goodest guard boy outside. He's only doing his job.

Wow, what a difference the patch makes. I haven't played this in years, but so much has changed with it. I rolled a Tremere, going to try to use thaumaturgy so as to not sully my hands.

SillyRabbit wrote:

I'm in! Getting started now, I just can't decide which clan I'm going to choose. I think in the past I've played Toreador and Malkavian, flirted with Nosferatu ... I don't recommend flirting with Nosferatu! ;-)

I toyed with the idea of playing a Nosferatu this playthrough, but making your very presense a masquerade violation limits the bits I enjoy the most in rpgs, so I rolled a gangrel instead.

And the I changed my mind after the tutorial, and decided it'd be more fun to have slow-mo powers instead, and went with Brujah instead.

Man, I still enjoy the core structure and design so much in this game, even if the individual levels and kinesthetics are...a bit lacking, shall we say.

Speaking lacking levels, I just made my way through the infamous sewers, and even if it wasn't particularly hard for my badass brujah biker lady and her trusty fireaxe to carve their way through, it's still such a slog. That segment should have been cut down to at least a third of its length.

I’m in !

Downloaded and finished the tutorial. Went with a Brujah.

Bill get back to it Sunday

Hardek wrote:

I’m in !

Downloaded and finished the tutorial. Went with a Brujah.

Bill get back to it Sunday

SillyRabbit wrote:

I'm in! Getting started now, I just can't decide which clan I'm going to choose. I think in the past I've played Toreador and Malkavian, flirted with Nosferatu ... I don't recommend flirting with Nosferatu!

Edit: After reading the clan descriptions, I'm trying to remember exactly how many times I've played this game. At least three - I also recall playing a Tremere. I'm excited to get back in and play again!

Welcome welcome!

I'm amazed at how many people have played the game multiple times. I'm excited to get started.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/ZFYVdVn.png)

Damn, it was that long ago?

So, about 3 5 7 hours into this game, and I love it.

I'm already pumped for Bloodlines 2, because going around Santa Monica, all I think is, "I would just love a more modern, dense version of this".

Games being set in real-world California locations always get bonus points from me, too. Too bad Bloodlines 2 is apparently set in Seattle.

Oh, one thing I don't think anyone has explicitly pointed out: Troika Games existed long enough to create 3 games, and the CRPG club has now touched on two of them: Arcanum, and Vampire.

So who's up for some Temple of Elemental Evil in 2020?

*Legion* wrote:

So who's up for some Temple of Elemental Evil in 2020? :D

I dug this out of a box of my old CD games about 3 months ago, so it’s very possible I’ll nominate it instead of wastelands 2 next round

Got a few hours into the game now, rolling with a Ventrue focused on lockpicking/hacking/dialog.

It felt a bit clunky at first, and you can definitely see where areas just feel kind of empty, but I've been sinking into it (in a good way) doing the random little quests around Santa Monica. The stuff with the sisters has been a highlight, even though I apparently didn't do the right things to earn a "good" outcome. And the Ocean House Hotel bit was easily one of the most spine-tingling experiences I've had from a setpiece, even with the engine limitations.