In October 2011, the 20th Anniversary edition of Vampire: The Masquerade was released to the general public. Although the majority of the work is derived from the game's second edition (1992) and its revised edition (1998), a number of alterations were made in the name of clarity and game balance. What were these changes, and where can they be found in the text?

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    \$\begingroup\$ The Domain Background was in Dark Ages Vampire. It was bugging the crap out of me because I knew I'd seen it but I couldn't find it, looked in all the books: Storyteller's Handbook & Companion, Player's Guide, Guides to Camarilla, Sabbat, Anarchs, etc. Finally remembered though. So yeah...Dark Ages Vampire & one of the only pooled Backgrounds I can remember from Classic Vampire...other than Haven \$\endgroup\$
    – user8418
    Jun 1, 2013 at 10:38

3 Answers 3


Attributes & Abilities

  • Awareness has been added as a Talent.
  • Dodge has been removed as a skill; its former functionality has been moved to Athletics.
  • Security has also been removed; its former functionality has been subsumed by the Larceny skill and the Technology knowledge.
  • Linguistics is no longer a skill; each language known is a 1-dot Merit instead. (p. 484)


  • The Tremere have a new clan flaw; they succumb to the blood bond after only two drinks from a regnant, rather than three. (It's not made clear whether the effect of the first drink is magnified to that of the second drink, or whether the second drink is skipped.) (p.69)
  • The animal features of the Gangrel that manifest after a frenzy are now temporary, and may be behavioral rather than physical. (p.55)

Character Creation and Costs

  • During character creation, Humanity/Path dots costs 2 freebie points instead of 1.

Core Disciplines

  • Potence and Celerity have been significantly altered. Each now adds a passive bonus (at no vitae cost) to their governing physical attribute; you add your dots as extra dice in pools using Strength and Dexterity, respectively. In addition, Potence and Celerity allow the vampire to spend vitae for effects: spending 1v allows a Potence user to add his dots in Potence as successes to all subsequent Strength rolls made during that turn--which used to be inherent to the discipline--and a Celerity user may choose to spend 1v to convert a Celerity dot into an additional physical action for that turn, which may be done multiple times, reducing the Celerity rating accordingly for the turn (Generational blood-spending maxima do not apply to these expenditures.) (pp. 142, 192)
  • Dominate and Presence powers whose difficulties were once equal to the subject's permanent Willpower rating now target the subject's current Willpower.


  • If "splitting one's action" in a turn, compare the dice pools for each action, find the one with the fewest dice, and then allot that number of dice among all the actions being attempted. (p.248)
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is kind of what I had in mind. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 25, 2013 at 14:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ How do you learn new languages? Is there a method to acquire merits with xp? \$\endgroup\$
    – Flamma
    Apr 25, 2013 at 17:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Flamma There's no way to buy them with XP. After character creation, the only way to add Merits is to petition the Storyteller to add them to your sheet. (p.479) So I'm guessing you either get all the languages you want at character creation (possibly with the help of the Natural Linguist merit) or roleplay your way through it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Apr 25, 2013 at 18:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Awareness is included as a talent. \$\endgroup\$
    – Flamma
    Aug 11, 2014 at 22:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ During character creation, Humanity/Path cost 2 freebie points instead of 1, as in previous editions. \$\endgroup\$
    – Flamma
    Aug 29, 2014 at 10:38

I think I can say the major change is the undoing of the metaplot. In V20, Assamites are still cursed, Ravnos are alive and Gangrel dwell in the Camarilla. One of the design objective was to recover the original vampire flavour. It's unclear to me why some other revised changed hasn't been undone, as the Tremere antitribu extermination or the Ahrimanes disappearance.

Apart from that, many mechanics has been changed. I must say that these changes has been openly consulted to the community. Achilli or someone posts for instance a clan description, or a discipline and anyone could contribute with his feedback. Developers still kept the control, but I can say they do listen and include to people's opinion.

Many disciplines has been revised, at least Potence and Celerity. Dodge disappears. Languages are not learnt with Linguistics. Some Dark Ages mechanics are introduces, such as pooled backgrounds or Path of Enlightenment bearings.

I was disappointed that some parts of the book are not changed. Storytelling chapter is pretty much the same, which isn't bad per se, but the Path of Enlightments are the same, except the new Bearing mechanic, which was very disappointing to me as I find the revised edition paths very bad designed.

I have not studied V20 enough to know all the changes, but I expect those examples gives you an idea. As I said, I think the most important is the undoing of the metaplot and the aim to recover the original V:tM feeling, which I feel it hasn't been completely successful.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That is not true. They just describe them in front in the pre metaplot state but on page 428 there is listed the metaplotchange and how it changes the clans in the present. There is even with Beckett's Jyhad Diary a book which lists the whole metaplot \$\endgroup\$
    – Koronus
    Dec 17, 2019 at 14:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Koronus the metaplot in V20 is presented in optional sideboxes. You have cursed Assamites in the description, then a sidebox telling you about the uncursed ones. You have a healthy Ravnos clan, and then a sidebox about its extinction. BJD, which came later than this answer, is the metaplot book, and it was presented as entirely optional, because V20 promised to be metaplot agnostic. \$\endgroup\$
    – Flamma
    Jan 3, 2020 at 9:12

There isn't a complete list of changes I can find, but the development process is pretty well documented on the development blog, albeit in bits and pieces, and according to this review, the changes are minor at best.

So, does this book deliver? Yes, yes it does. There aren’t a whole lot of changes here, and many of the changes that do exist are relatively subtle. A few Clan weaknesses have changed, a few Disciplines are different, the often-abused Age Background is missing, there’s a new background I don’t remember having seen before (Domain) and rules for pooling backgrounds. The “timeline” has been advanced somewhat, with mention of tablet computers. There’s even a way to reconcile the Week of Nightmares, but it’s only mentioned once in the book and I’m not going to spoil it for you.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just on comment, I haven't read the V20 book, yet, but the Domain background, I think it appears in the last edition of Vampire Dark Ages. \$\endgroup\$
    – Random
    Apr 23, 2013 at 6:33

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