With Vampire: The Masquerade celebrating twenty years of perpetual darkness, a second Grand Masquerade event quickly approaching, and the World of Darkness MMORPG making considerable progress behind tightly sealed doors, we felt it was the perfect time to conduct another interview with White Wolf's Shane DeFreest about the company's past success and future plans.
GB: When did you first come up with the idea of doing a 20th anniversary edition of V:tM, and what sort of ideas did you kick around before making the decision to only release a limited number of "print-to-order" copies along with a Grand Masquerade-exclusive version of the book?
Shane: We have been wanting to do something special for the 20th Anniversary of Vampire for a while and it came down to the decision to either do an art book or a commemorative version of the original game. So instead of picking one over the other we basically decided to do both and do a very high end prestige book that’s one part coffee table book and one part ultimate gaming compendium. Initially we were going to do a book with just the 13 original clans and then we decided we wanted to do a version that included all the rare bloodlines and it just sort of grew at that point to be this massive volume with virtually everything in it. In regards to the print-to-order idea, we have been constantly evolving how we directly interact with our fans for some time so this seemed like a great time do something directly from us to them. But fans need to act quickly because if they don’t purchase it by July 1 then they won’t get it at all. That’s the cutoff date for us to send the order to the printer and when it's done, it's done.
GB: Over 400 pages of content are packed into the 20th anniversary edition. Do you feel that these pages encompass everything an enthusiast could ask for in a single book? Is there additional content that you would have liked to add to it, but chose not to in an effort to keep it from becoming unwieldy?
Shane: Actually at this point it looks to be over 500 pages. It keeps growing in leaps and bounds. This book will absolutely encompass everything a longtime fan who really wants all the most important and significant content or from the game line over the last two decades. We have included things from over 20 different books and it keeps growing. But like you say we need to cut it off somewhere and where we really decided to draw the line was probably with things of a historical nature. While we include all the clans and bloodlines that have ever been included in the Vampire franchise the book is distinctly the modern version. We have added some things here and there from the Victorian and Dark Ages versions of the game but those are few and far between. So untimely where we drew the line was the need to keep the game modern with rules and a setting for modern Vampires. Some of the other era’s that the game takes place in are briefly mentioned but they are not the focus.