Vampire: The Masquerade

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ERRATA

Torpor token

The Torpor icon in the printed rulebook is incorrect.

Introduction

Our story begins in a dark reflection of medieval Europe. Behind the plots of mortal kings and queens, true monsters rule from the shadows, bending the flow of history to their own obscure purposes. You are one of those monsters.

Take control of vampiric conspiracies, shape bloodlines and form coteries to dominate the shifting battlegrounds of the night. Will you ultimately prevail in this struggle of ages? Or will ancient rivals snatch victory from your fangs at the end of the millennium?

Carpe Noctem.

Build Your World of Darkness

Vampire: The Masquerade – Heritage is a competitive legacy game. This means you play repeatedly, each time with new pieces, cards, and stickers depending on player choices. Each chapter is self-contained and has a specific winner, while also being part of the ongoing chronicle.

The lore of Vampire: The Masquerade spans millennia of alternative history, clan politics, and bloody feuds. Throughout the chronicle, you will have the opportunity to delve deep into that World of Darkness, but also shape it (and the game itself) in a myriad of ways.

Players already familiar with the World of Darkness will notice some quirks in the way terms are used. “How can a Toreador be embraced into my Nosferatu bloodline? Since when is Talley the ‘clan leader’ of the Lasombra? Why is this powerful ancilla also a fledgling? Inconceivable!”

A certain level of abstraction is necessary in any game, and we hope such moments allow you to weave your own tales. That Toreador might be a trusted advisor or an enemy blackmailed into servitude. That ancilla might be temporarily weakened from being “convinced” to join you!

Vampire: The Masquerade – Heritage is ultimately a game about ancient monsters scheming in the shadows. It’s not possible to consider all the outcomes, and sometimes the best-laid plans are undone by a simple stake through the heart. You can’t control everything … but you can always vow revenge!

Game Setup

The rules below are used for a basic (non-chronicle) game. For chronicle play, modify the rules with the indicated alternatives.

5 Assign the first player marker randomly.

Chronicle: In the initial chapter, assign the first player marker to the oldest player. In all following chapters, assign it to the vanquished (last place) player from the previous chapter.

6 Each player sets up their bloodline:

Chronicle: In the initial chapter, the youngest player selects first, while the oldest selects last. In all following chapters, select in reverse order of the previous chapter’s outcome (i.e. the victor of the previous chapter selects last).

Gameplay

Objective

Players recruit characters into their vampiric bloodline to influence the outcome of 3 contested battlegrounds. After the final round, players score victory points according to the outcome of each battleground and the vampires in their bloodline.

The player with the most victory points wins.

Turn Overview

On their turn, a player carries out the following phases in any order:

Recruit (mandatory)

and

Scheme (optional)

Turn order moves clockwise around the table, and the round is over when all players have finished their turn.

Recruit Phase (mandatory)

Add a character

Activate the recruited character

Vampires are always activated when recruited into a bloodline, but they can also be activated by particular schemes or abilities.

Trigger abilities

Scheme Phase (optional)

  1. Select any unexhausted vampire in your bloodline to be the coterie leader for the chosen scheme.

    An exhausted vampire cannot be selected as the coterie leader when playing a scheme.

New clan schemes are only drawn as a result of temperament calm / temperament cruel battlegrounds, or particular schemes and abilities. It is possible to run out of clan schemes during a game. When a player must draw a clan scheme but has none available, nothing happens.

Token effects

Exhaustion: Cannot be .

Torpor: Not considered part of .

Power (1/3): +1VP at end of game.

Infamy (1/3): -1VP at end of game.

Game End

Game Rounds

Each player recruits the same number of characters each game, one per round. The number of rounds is determined by the player count, as indicated on the main board:

The game ends as soon as the final round is finished.

Number of players

2

3

4

Rounds

10

9

8

Mission

Victory Points

Tally each player’s victory points according to the outcome of each battleground and the vampires in their bloodline, as well as their...

power (+1 VP)

boons (+1 VP)

infamy (-1 VP)

torpor (always 0 VP)

Vampires in torpor are not considered part of the bloodline, and do not affect VP in any way (including their power, infamy, and boons).

Mark these victory points using your clan markers and the scoreboard on the back of the rulebook.

The player with the most victory points is the winner.

Ties are broken in favor of the player who claimed fewer missions.

Chronicle: Claimed missions do not earn power, but impact the aftermath phase.

Ties and Consulting the Primogen

There are three moments during the chronicle when ties may need to be resolved: determining which player claims a mission, which player wins a chapter, and which player dominates an era. Each has their own initial tie-breaker, but if this fails there is a final step to determine the outcome.

Every tied player declares a different archetype. Shuffle the character deck and draw from it until the declared is revealed. That player wins the tie.

Key Terms

See clan section for following abilities: Black Market, Craft Monstrosity, Declare Enemy, Edict, Embrace the Chaos, Invitation, Kiss the Ring, Pack, Usurp

Activate

Ancilla (pl. Ancillae)

Any Opponent

The activating player chooses any other player and applies the indicated effect.

Assign Power / Infamy

Attributes

Colors indicating a character’s qualities in three categories: class class elitist / class egalitarian , temperament temperament calm / temperament cruel , and geography geography north / geography east / geography south / geography west . Also, the symbol indicating a character’s archetype: warlike archetype warlike , scholarly archetype scholarly , clandestine archetype clandestine or wealthy archetype coin .

Bloodline

Each player’s collection of recruited vampires, branching down from (and including) their clan leader. This excludes vampires in torpor unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Childe (pl. Childer)

Apart from the clan leader, every vampire in a player’s bloodline is the childe of their sire - the vampire directly above them. It is possible for a vampire to be both a childe and a sire.

Clan Boons

Boons can be used to help satisfy the archetype requirements of any scheme.

Clan Leader

Coterie Leader

Coterie Members

Exhaustion

Fledgling

Gain X

Power (value 1 /3)

Infamy (value 1 /3)

Rejuvenate

Reserve

Remove from the queue

Sacrifice

Sire

Every vampire in a player’s bloodline (including the clan leader) is a sire if they have a vampire directly beneath them (childe). It is possible for a vampire to be both a sire and a childe.

Steal

Torpor

A vampire in torpor is effectively removed from the player’s bloodline. They cannot:

  • Join any coterie (whether as member or leader)
  • Gain additional childer
  • Receive infamy
  • Receive or spend power
  • Receive or spend clan boons
  • Be the target of schemes or abilities

Vampires in torpor are not included in the player’s bloodline when resolving game effects, or scoring victory points.

If a vampire in your bloodline would be placed into torpor, you may choose to sacrifice by placing one of their childer into torpor instead.

Trigger Abilities

Chronicle Rules

Overview

Vampire: The Masquerade – Heritage is designed to be played as a single, epic chronicle of 21 chapters. At the end of the final chapter, one player is crowned the overall winner.

To start a campaign, all players take part in a prologue: setting up their player sheet, haven, and first retainer. Then play through the first chapter, using the basic game rules in this booklet as well as the red chronicle additions.

The chronicle deck is central to this mode, and contains more than 700 years of vampiric and human history to be revealed from the front in a very specific order. You should never shuffle the chronicle deck. You should also avoid the temptation to peek ahead!

After each chapter, players make decisions and record results in the aftermath step. Every three chapters, the current era comes to an end while the next begins. This marks a turning point in history, exchanging a battleground for a new one and allowing the player who dominated that era to significantly impact the chronicle.

After the 7th era, follow the steps outlined in the Chronicle End section to conclude your campaign.

Chronicle: This prologue demonstrates how to use the game’s legacy elements, and should be completed prior to beginning your chronicle.

Prologue

Our story begins in 14th-century Europe. The players are rival childer thrust into bitter conflict after slaying their powerful sire. Now the deed is done and the temporary truce is over …

The Prologue is a chance to establish your player character for the coming centuries! Are you a silver-tongued charlatan, or a solitary hermit alone in the wilderness? Maybe a ruthless assassin seeking vengeance? Choose dots that highlight the experiences and background of your character.

For each player

Traits score variable points at the end of the chronicle. However, their value hasn't yet been determined, so this is purely thematic at the beginning of the chronicle.

Your title is the first of many gathered through history. It could be the "fairy tale" told by mortals to scare their children, the secret name whispered by your enemies in halls of power, or the military rank earned in long-forgotten battles.

Your first retainer

Select your first retainer and elevate them to :

You are ready to begin the first chapter. Setup and begin your first game using all the chronicle rules.

Finally, your retainer is the vampire you turned to at the beginning of this long feud between siblings. He could be a Ventrue priest, able to grow your influence from the puplit. Or perhaps a Nosferatu wretch using her shady network to uncover secrets.

The chronicle is based primarily for a single group of consistent players. However, it is possible for players to drop in and out. Each player carries out a prologue when they join, and gains 1 free dot in any section of their player sheet for each missed chapter.

Aftermath

Before starting the aftermath, it's fine to make space on the table for the legacy elements (chronicle booklets, player envelopes, character sheets etc.) by removing the battlegrounds and the mainboard. You should however leave the players' in place, since they will be needed throught this process. Remove any vampires in torpor. Then take out all cards from the chronicle deck until you reach the next chapter overview card.

An aftermath occurs after each chapter, recording the results and revealing new content for the rest of the chronicle. Carry out the following steps in order.

1 Record results

2 Resolve chapter overview

Victor
Vanquished

3 Resolve chronicle missions

4 Resolve obligations

The winning player adds 1 random obligation to their haven. Each other player removes 1 random obligation from their haven. It is possible to accumulate several obligations by winning repeatedly.

5 Assign new abilities

6 Select retainers

Each player may move any vampire from their bloodline into their haven (which excludes those in torpor). This character may then be recruited in the next chapter. Only one vampire may be retained in each haven. Vampires unlocked via missions may be retained instead.

Chronicle Deck

1 Basic Characters

2 Chronicle Characters

3 Clan Leaders

4 Chronicle Scoring

5. Chapter Overview

6. Chronicle Missions

Each chronicle mission also provides one of three possible rewards:

  • Asset– Add the indicated asset to your haven. You may use it in future chapters.
  • Unlock – Add the indicated chronicle character or clan leader into play (see chronicle characters above).

Asset Effects

An image of a wax seal with a feather imprint
SCHOLARLY
Warlike
Wealthy
Clandestine

After the Era

Players shape their shared world with each successive era, bending history to favor their own traits – at the expense of their rivals.

Chronicle End

Ending the seventh era means resolving a feud centuries in the making.

  1. Use player sheets and the chronicle scoresheet to determine the final chronicle score of each player.
  2. The player with the most chronicle points ultimately rules the night, and receives the final card of the chronicle deck.

The Clans

Each chapter, you will choose to control one of nine vampire clans, each with a unique mechanic unavailable to the others. Their relative strengths and weaknesses change throughout the chronicle, as new clan schemes are unlocked and specific characters are embraced.

The chart below indicates each clan’s complexity to play, the player count at which it tends to be strongest, and the archetype most comm only required by clan schemes.

Each clan features a unique mechanic only found on their clan schemes. Special Clan Abilities are represented by a bolded keyword on the card. This bolded keyword signifies that the special ability is to be carried out.

Brujah

Quick to anger and always passionate, the Brujah have been lofty philosophers and activists just as often as they have been unruly rebels. Their deep involvement and unbridled anger in the face of perceived injustice means they should not be antagonized.

The Brujah’s ability to declare enemies and make them suffer with follow-up schemes makes them intimidating foes. However, this propensity for direct conflict can be their downfall - punishing enemies is not always enough to improve their own position. More prudent Brujah can use the threat of violence to keep other clans out of their way, without ever needing to get their hands dirty.

DECLARE ENEMY

Enemies in torpor follow all the normal rules, and cannot be targeted by further schemes or abilities. When counting the number of enemies, those in torpor are not included.

Gangrel

The Gangrel are a clan of feral nomads. They hold closer ties to wild places than most kindred and always feel the animalistic aspect of their vampiric curse.

Their pack ability allows the Gangrel to trigger schemes for devastating effect in many different contexts. To form these large packs, they must focus on a single geographic attribute. This feral attachment to certain locations can make the Gangrel vulnerable to attentive opponents. For this reason, it can sometimes be wise to diversify into a second attribute.

PACK

vampires count as their own pack, and may not join those of other attributes.

Lasombra

Clan Lasombra are social Darwinists with a firm belief in their right to rule. These elegant and inhuman predators cannot be seen in mirrors, bodies of water or any reflective surface.

For maximum effect, the Lasombra need to make their ‘offers’ at just the right time. This ability to directly coerce concessions from opponents doesn’t win the Lasombra any friends. The Lasombra should therefore be careful to avoid uniting their opponents; one approach is returning clan boons (very occasionally) to the weakest player.

KISS THE RING

The negative effect of Kiss the Ring applies only to opponents who do not give a clan boon.

Malkavian

Malkavians are the seers and oracles of the kindred. While their vampiric curse tends to give the power of vision and foresight, every last one is irredeemably insane.

By embracing the chaos, Malkavians completely bypass the queue, ensuring they can always find that crucial attribute. This ability becomes stronger as more ancillae populate the character deck. However, it can be a double-edged sword, as recruiting the wrong ancilla is sometimes catastrophic. Malkavians also lack the means to retaliate or recover from attacks, so should avoid attracting the ire of their opponents.

EMBRACE THE CHAOS

All the usual recruiting rules apply when embracing the chaos. Remember to the new recruit and trigger their abilities.

It is never possible to recruit more than once per turn. If a player has already recruited, they cannot embrace the chaos (and vice versa).

Nosferatu

Hideously deformed by their vampiric curse, Nosferatu are the masters of the underground. They tend to live in secret and trade information for survival.

Clan Nosferatu can manipulate infamy away from themselves and towards rivals. In addition, black market schemes provide a steady income of boons and direct benefits (by using it themselves). One potential danger is providing a new tool that may advantage their opponents more than themselves. For this reason, the Nosferatu should stir up trouble amongst the other players wherever possible - always ready to help clean up the mess.

BLACK MARKET

Black market schemes are not triggered when initially played. The Nosferatu player must move a boon to the black market in order to trigger its effect.

If a black market already has a boon, it may not be triggered again in this round.

Black market schemes remain in play, and there is no limit to the number that can be played.

Toreador

A clan of artists and innovators, Toreador are the most beautiful, sensual, emotional and glamorous creatures of the night.They are responsible for the legends of vampires who seduce and entice their prey with raw sensuality.

The Toreador require a mastery of clan politics to unlock the full effect of their invitation schemes. However, they are also the most attuned to the mortal world, and therefore most adept at manipulating the queue. This becomes increasingly valuable as more powerful ancillae enter the chronicle, and it becomes possible to recruit any character in the deck. Toreador must remain subtle and non-threatening above all.

INVITATION

The Toreador player may choose not to invite anyone.

Power gained from invitations is taken from the supply, not the invitee.

The Toreador player chooses the order in which invitation effects are triggered. This order should be determined before the invitee accepts.

When recruiting any character from the deck, all the normal recruiting rules apply, and no other character may be recruited this turn. Shuffle the character deck when finished.

Tremere

The Tremere are known as a clan of warlocks and interlopers after being founded by mages who took their vampiric powers by force. They place a high value on hierarchy and secrecy, wielding powerful blood magic for their own ends.

With a number of aggressive schemes – as well as the ability to quickly adapt their bloodline – Clan Tremere excel at direct conflict. Because their schemes are fuelled by vampires in torpor, they tend to promote violence between all the players. However, an over-reliance on usurpation can make it difficult to plan for the end game, leaving many battlegrounds wasted.

USURP

When usurping, all tokens except torpor are moved to the new character.

Usurpation does not count as a recruit. Do not activate the new character or trigger their abilities.

Do not pay power when using usurpation to take characters from the two left-most spaces.

Tzimisce

Clan Tzimisce are scholars and flesh-shapers who have gladly left the human condition behind. Now their focus is on transcending the limits of the vampiric state.

By crafting monstrosities, the Tzimisce are able to pursue strategies impossible for any other clan. These experiments can produce a huge variety of combined effects. However, this reliance on ancillae can place them at the mercy of the queue - and they are severely weakened at the beginning of the chronicle. One useful strategy is crafting monstrosities as a way of denying ancillae for opponents.

Craft Monstrosity

Craft monstrosity does not count as a recruit. Do not activate or trigger the abilities of the selected ancilla.

All of the selected ancilla’s abilities will be added to the monstrosity in your bloodline. It is not possible to add just one or two.

Ventrue

The Ventrue wish to be seen as nobles, rulers and aristocrats. This show of honor and “noblesse oblige” may sometimes conceal their unrivaled desire to control and dominate – but it never truly diminishes.

With their edicts, Clan Ventrue are able to influence an entire chapter using a single scheme. This influence over which characters are recruited, combined with activating coterie leaders, can have a powerful impact on determining battleground outcomes. However, it can become a double-edged sword if opponents are able to simply follow their lead and share in those battlegrounds.

Edict

Only a single edict may be in play at once. Discard the older edict if another is played.

It is not possible to change an edict’s target attribute once this has been selected.

Use a gem up from the supply to indicate selection. This is not worth a victory point at the end of the game for the Ventrue player.

Battlegrounds

Battleground A: Era 1

Of Clans High and Low

For centuries, kindred have been divided between those who rule and those who obey through clenched teeth. But the low clans are growing vengeful, while the high clans are growing into bloody tyrants. Which side are you on?

Setup

Play

Decisive Victory

Resolution

If on the neutral space, neither wins.

Scoring

1-2 VP

per vampire of winning attribute

Battleground B: Eras 2-5

The Beast Within

All vampires struggle with the inner hunger that calls for ever more blood. Only a consistent moral code –no matter how perverse – can keep this monster in check as the decades flow.

Setup

Activation

When temperament calm / temperament cruel activated, compare with player’s clan morality token.

Matching:
Not matching:

Nothing happens if a clan morality token would be moved up from the highest space or down from the lowest space.

End of Round

Scoring

X VP

If players are tied for the highest position, the first player marker does not move.

Battleground C: Eras 1-2

The War of the Princes

Europe churns with turmoil as rival courts vie to control the continent. Vampiric aristocrats trade estates and feeding

grounds in an age of excess. But eventually one faction will rise – and they will remember their friends.

Setup

Play

Ankhs may not be moved back into any home court.

geography roaming vampires may activate any attribute, and score 1 VP at the end of the game.

Resolution

Tied victories are possible.

The central space counts as two courts.

Scoring

2 VP

per vampire of winning attribute

In the case of a tied victory, each vampire of a tied attribute scores 2 VP.

Battleground D: Eras II-IV

The Inquisition

Tactless carnage between the clans has awakened a group of fanatics within the mortal church. Even these robed fools are bound to stumble across an impetuous vampire eventually. However, if this hunt cannot be stopped, perhaps it can be directed.

Setup

Play

Trial:

Vampires in cannot be targets of the inquisition. Ignore their infamy when determining targets.

Resolution

Scoring

1 VP

per vampire of winning attribute

Battleground E: Era 3

The Anarch Revolt

A call to rebellion echoes through Europe. The downtrodden and younger kindred have long been sacrificed to inquisitors or undead rivals, all for the advancement of their elders. Now they rise to overturn the established order and set the night aflame.

Setup

Play

Once an Ankh is placed on the fire space, it cannot be returned to the city. Ankhs on fire space do not return to the city during respite step.

vampires may activate any attribute.

Respite

Upheaval

Resolution

Cities with 1+ ankhs remain standing.

All matching attributes score.

Scoring

X VP

Each vampire scores 1 VP at the end of the game.

Battleground F: Eras 4-6

The Masquerade

As the living world advances, kindred grudgingly retreat further into the night. Secrecy and obscurity become marks of honor and respect, while those who lapse are quickly punished for their complacency. The danger of a single curious mortal has become too great to ignore.

Setup

Play

vampires may activate any attribute – but the Investigator is advanced 2 spaces rather than 1.

Breach

Cleanup

Outsider

Advance any investigator 2 spaces when activated.

Resolution

All attributes score.

Scoring

X VP

Each vampire scores 1 VP at the end of the game.

Battleground G: Eras 5-7

The Court

With the inquisition receding as a threat – derided by mortals now veiled in ignorance – a kind of stability emerges in each city. Several key titles have developed to bring order to the night, none more important than Prince. But uneasy lies the head that wears a crown …

Setup

Play

Hold Vote

Lay Claim

In the case of ties the title is not received by any vampire. Reset clan politics tokens and move timer to next title.

Vampires in torpor, as well as those already holding a court title, cannot gain titles. Ignore their power when holding votes.

Resolution

Prince's class elitist / class egalitarian determines winning attribute.

Scoring

2 VP

Battleground H: Eras 6-7

The Rise of Humanity

The world changes faster with each year, a dizzying crescendo of mortal ‘progress’ that risks leaving behind the unwary kindred. It is no longer wise to ignore the passing fancies of humanity. Keeping up with the kaleidoscope of history means one thing: change.

Setup

Play

When temperament calm / temperament cruel activated, compare with player’s clan morality token.

Matching:
Not matching:

Nothing happens if a clan morality token would be moved up from the highest space or down from the lowest space.

End of Round

Scoring

X VP

If players are tied for the lowest position, the first player marker does not move.

Battleground I: Era 7

The Sabbat Wars

After centuries of simmering tension, violence once again explodes among powerful kindred factions. Coteries travel the globe in a nocturnal game of cat and mouse that risks destroying the Masquerade forever. Vampires don’t grow old by starting battles, but this time you must.

Setup

2 players: Camarilla / Sabbat

3 players: Camarilla / Sabbat / Anarch

4 players: Camarilla / Camarilla / Sabbat / Sabbat

Play

When geography north / geography east / geography south / geography west activated, carry out the corresponding action:

Each map space can only hold one token. If there is no space for a token to be added to a region, return it to the supply.

Resolution

Scoring

9 VP

for player(s) of

winning allegiance

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General

Chronicle

Battleground - Clans High and Low

Battleground - The War of the Princes

Battleground - The Inquisition

Clan - Malkavian

Expansions

Ability Stickers

Modify corresponding battleground. When activating a vampire, modify all three battlegrounds.

Any vampire with one or more special abilities.

The activating player chooses any other player and applies the indicated effect.

Colors indicating a character’s qualities in three categories: class ( class elitist / class egalitarian ), temperament ( temperament calm / temperament cruel ), and geography ( geography north / geography east / geography south / geography west ). Also, the symbol indicating a character’s archetype ( archetype coin / archetype clandestine / archetype scholarly / archetype warlike ).

Each player’s collection of recruited vampires, branching down from (and including) their clan leader. This excludes vampires in torpor unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Apart from the clan leader, every vampire in a player’s bloodline is the childe of their sire - the vampire directly above them. It is possible for a vampire to be both a childe and a sire.

Boons can be used to help satisfy the archetype requirements of any scheme.

Vampire at the top of each player’s bloodline.

The vampire selected to carry out a clan or battleground scheme. “Gain” effects always refer to the coterie leader.

The coterie leader plus all their direct childer.

An exhausted vampire cannot be selected as the coterie leader when playing a scheme.

Definition

Any vampire in a player’s bloodline with no childer.

Remove both exhaustion and torpor tokens from the selected vampire.

Place clan marker token on any unreserved character in the queue.

Every vampire in a player’s bloodline (including the clan leader) is a sire if they have a vampire directly beneath them (childe). It is possible for a vampire to be both a sire and a childe.

A vampire in torpor is effectively removed from the player’s bloodline. See Key Terms for more information.

Carry out the full effect of each of the triggered vampire’s abilities before moving to the next (top to bottom).

Great hovering! Or tapping. You are the sire of tooltips.

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