- Hardcover: 251 pages
- Publisher: White Wolf Publishing (23 Oct. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1588462706
- ISBN-13: 978-1588462701
- Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 22.9 x 29.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,019,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Requiem for Rome (Vampire: The Requiem) Hardcover – 23 Oct 2003
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You'll be glad you did.
In here you'll find the power of one of the first vampire covenants: the Camarilla. You'll also find how rhetoric and debate, including social combat, were much more weapons to vampires of ROME than gladii or tridents in the Coliseum. Detailed is the vast subterranean Necropolis that was the underground ROME of vampires. Find the secrets of the Julii Clan and the dangerous Strix, who brought about their fall. Vampire has the benefit, more so than any other World of Darkness game, of being historical--vampires are immortal. Take your coterie to the beginning, change the course of Kindred history, run a chronicle from the ancient nights of Rome to the modern nights of New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. All these ideas contained in this book.
Enter the new WoD. No restrictive backstory, just some historical elements in broad strokes. Requiem for Rome is a setting book for the late-Roman (and, thus, late-Camarilla period) from the Vampire: The Requiem books.
Unlike the oWoD "Vampire: Dark Ages," Requiem for Rome is not a standalone. To make full use of the book, one would need the base "World of Darkness" and "Vampire: the Masquerade."
The book sets up a series of historical elements and gives a good description of the setting from a Roman vampire's standpoint in that era. The various views of self that the vampire's hold, and the culture are all rather well described. The book tries to give a postage stamp view of Rome through the ages, but wisely only focuses on one era, that being the end of Roman dominance.
The historical content is fair, though very few things are detailed very far. It focuses on vampires in the era, and mentions humanity only slightly. The book could really have used a few extra pages devoted to some of the topics, especially mortal institutions and legal doctrine.
What is present was done well, if brief in places. It's understandable, of course, but it was a bit of a letdown.
This book is one of the best examples of a historical setting supplements that I've seen. It describes the sweeping trends but doesn't try to tell a specific story, leaving that for the storyteller and his troupe. I think that this is a dramatic improvement over the older WoD approach, as it provides many of the missed story aspects, without caging plot.
It's a good book, and one worth reading if you are interested in running or playing in a historical setting for Vampire.
The rhythm of this book moves like a locomotive, running over any pedestrian horror fan. This will appeal to both the Old World of Darkness fan who felt there was a lack of flavor in the Requiem core, and to the new player looking for a historical setting. A note to OWOD players: this book is darker than any Sabbat or Baali book and comes without any cheese. This is World of Darkness all grown up.
NOTE: You will need the Requiem core and World of Darkness core to use this book.
A quick rundown of the chapters:
Forward: The Deathless City by Kenneth Hite
The forward will practically read itself to you. It felt as if I was being relentlessly run down by a Roman legion--I couldn't stop reading. What's worse, is that it's a very hard hitting section and I couldn't get those horrible images painted of Rome out of my head. Very appropriate.
Prologue: Why o' Why must White Wolf continue to use hand scribbled fonts. It looks very evocative of the era and I'm sure it's a great read...it's just rough on the eyes of us older players. I'll add more when I read it.
Introduction: Standard fare of how to use this book, complete with film, movie, and literature references. There is description of theme and mood, as well as a lexicon.
Chapter One: The History of Rome
This chapter does a great job of not being dry and covering (in broad strokes)the key points in the history of Rome from fabled beginnings to the bitter end. There are cross-references within this chapter giving historical context to kindred in Rome. They too, are caught up in the machine of The Great Republic. There is a great sidebar on each page that moves you through the timeline for quick reference.
Interlude I: More scribble...
Chapter Two: Player's Guide
Here lies the Camarilla. The Camarilla is a very structured kindred society with three traditions, and four wings. The three traditions are Dominion, Destruction, and Amaranth. The four wings are The Senex (Wing of the Ancients--they make the law for all kindred, Legio Mortuum (the military wing), The Cult of Augurs (the wing of prophets), and The Peregrine Collegia (basically the wing of bastards). As a kindred in Rome you will belong to at least one of these wings if not more--whether you want to or not. The Lancea Sanctum are recognized, nominally, as an independent organization within the Camarilla. All of these wings/organizations function like covenents in Requiem--each vying for a little bigger piece of the pie. The Lancea Sanctum's power base grows with time, starting out on the bottom and rising near the top toward the end of Rome.
Here you will also find the clans with one omission and one addition. The Julii take the place of the Ventrue and function as primary rulers with the majority of them falling within the Senex wings they are the movers and shakers. They are very much like the Ventrue in discipline and weakness.
This chapter also has era specific merits, devotions, and theban sorcery.
Interlude II: More Scribble
Chapter Three: Rome and Necropolis
Everything from Iconic locations for scenes (these are great visual tools), what it means to be a Roman citizen free or slave, and some really great rules for debate in Elysium which covers getting frustrated and possibly frenzying when you fail in debate--very Roman stuff here. You can actually loose points in merits if you loose on the floor here. Beware the debate!
Interlude III: As before
Chapter Four: Storytelling and antagonist
Complete with numerous types of conflict, sample settings that span the breadth of time and space of the Empire, and Striges (whoa!). The last one, is a very creepy supernatural creature that looks like a smokey black bird in it's natural spirit form when it isn't possessing a body of some sort. These things are not ghosts, or anything else I've read about in other books... and they have a serious beef with the Julii. Man, I'm not going to go into detail here about them because as a storyteller, this is the kind of thing we prefer to spring on poor unsuspecting players.
Index: I haven't noticed any XX page references, yet. Looks good.
Epilogue: More Sribble