I'm a Vampire: the Masquerade V20 (20th Anniversary Edition) game master, and I've thought about switching to the V5 (5th Edition) version. I tried to find sites that compare the two, but I didn't really find something that helped me decide whether to stay in V20 or go to V5.

What are the main changes between the two versions, both in the system and the lore?
(I've seen that the Sabbat died?!)


1 Answer 1


The main system changes

  • Vitae is no longer tracked through a blood pool. Instead, up to five dice in every test pool are replaced with contrasting-color "hunger dice"; the more of these dice there are in your pool, the more your vampire's Beast is in control.
  • The target number is now fixed at 6. Difficulty is adjusted through requiring more or fewer successes. Paired 10s give 4 successes. Vampires have special rules for criticals and failures based on the numbers that appear on their hunger dice.
  • Damage now comes in only two types: superficial and aggravated. Willpower is now a damage track, rather than a pool, and covers social and mental "damage" as well as its former use. All incoming superficial damage is halved (barring super powers); this replaces the soak roll.
  • Discipline powers are now chosen from a menu rather than being fixed in sequence; you still can choose only five, but they can vary from vampire to vampire. Some disciplines have been combined — Quietus and Thaumaturgy are now Blood Sorcery, for example — and some powers have been moved around or have added requirements or prerequisites.
  • More attention is given to the hunt for blood. Your hunting style is now part of character creation, offering benefits and dots in exchange for flaws. Blood has different resonances (the old-style humours) that give boosts in certain circumstances. Expect to spend more time in game on feeding.
  • Generation is no longer a merit; instead, the span of permissible generations is selected at chronicle start and costs no points. You may modify the potency of your blood with XP. There's an entire stratum of vampires that are basically half-human; their blood is thin, and they have access to a unique set of merits and a discipline called Blood Alchemy.
  • The humanity system no longer uses a Hierarchy of Sins. Instead, you and your group will decide on what things will trigger degeneration rolls cooperatively.

The main setting changes

  • In the years following V20, the excesses of the vampire world in their attempts to rule the mortals have bitten them back hard. Advances in technology have empowered the hunters, who have launched a Second Inquisition. Cities like London and Vienna have had their Kindred populations devastated.
  • In the wake of these changes, the Camarilla has become more like the days of the Dark Ages. Using computers and technology to communicate is forbidden to Kindred in many cities, and the courts have become more insular, evicting many of those who would formerly be welcome. The Anarchs, on the other hand, have embraced (ahem) the idea of hiding in the cities and wild places.
  • The current lineup: The Camarilla is – Ventrue, Toreador, Malkavian, Tremere, Nosferatu, Banu HaQim (once called Assamites). The Anarchs are – Brujah, Gangrel, the Ministry (the rebranded Followers of Set) and whomever they can get to leave. The Lasombra have made an effort to join the Camarilla; it's still in motion. The Tremere, following the events of Beckett's Jyhad Diary, have schismed into multiple houses only loosely connected. The Giovanni have now joined with the other descendants of Ashur-called-Cappadocius and a variety of bloodlines interested in necromancy into a greater Clan of Death called the Hecata. The Tzimisce, Ravnos, and Salubri remain independent and unaffiliated.
  • Everyone with a Generation thicker than 9 has felt the call of the Antediluvians to head to the Middle East to fight the Gehenna War. Most cities have lost their elders, leaving room for ancilla and neonates to run things. The Sabbat's not dead…they've just stalked after their prey. We'll find out about their story later.

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