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Redemption is based on the widely popular Role-Playing Game (RPG) Vampire: the Masquerade (VtM), by White Wolf publishing.

Set in the World of Darkness (WOD), Vampire is a game, which centres on the themes of personal horror and emphasizes good in character role-playing, as well as character development. The World of Darkness is, in fact, our own world. Or rather a sinister mirror image of it, where vampires exist, secretly plotting and steering the fate of humanity since time immemorial. Where werewolves hunt in the forest, and mortal magi attempts to redefine reality, according to their view of the world. And still, this only scratches the surface.

Playing an RPG requires a certain amount of preparation, and a couple of pre-requisites. You need a set of rules, to resolve conflicts, you need players (of course) and you need a Storyteller (or Game Master to those of you who are familiar with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons).

The Players

The players of an RPG create a character for themselves, complete with background, personality, and traits, following the set of rules provided by the game. The players then act out this character, confronting the situations and persons put before them by the Storyteller.

The troupe usually consist of 3 to 5 players, but there is really no set limit as to how many players can be in a player troupe, the most important thing is that the players in the group function well together.

A good player disregards his own (out of character) knowledge, and agendas when playing out his character. He acts out his character to the fullest, feigning emotions, and changing his voice. Being a player of an RPG is very much like being an actor. In fact, many actors use role-playing to hone their acting skills.

The Storyteller

An RPG is a collaborative effort to create a story. The characters are the actors, but without a canvas on which these actors can be painted, there is no story. That is the job of the storyteller. The storyteller lays out a setting; he produces a plot and then places the actors within that picture. He plays all characters that are not players (known as NPCs, or Non Player Characters), and is sole judge and jury when it comes to interpretations of the rules. A good deal of improvisation must be used, as the players may not (more like 'will not') act as you have expected, or planned, ruining the best thought out intrigues.

When gathering a group of player, do not take on too much to handle. The standard group is, as stated before, 3 to 5 players strong, but you can have enjoyable experiences with both less, and more players. However, if your troupe exceeds about eight players, you will notice a decrease in gaming quality, since the more players you have in your group, the less time you will have for each member of that troupe. One way to solve this is to divide the group, maybe even into opposing factions (not something I recommend unless you are experienced gamers) and have one Storyteller per group, who confers among themselves as the story progresses.

Ultimately, it is the job of the storyteller to make the game as enjoyable as possible for the players. Being a good storyteller is a lot of work, but the rewards are great. The feeling when a good story works out, or maybe twists into something very different from what you had envisioned, due to the whims of the players cannot be described, until you've tried it yourself.

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