Review: Modiphius Entertainment – Fall of London (Vampire: The Masquerade)

Fall of London
Fall of London is a chronicle for the gothic horror RPG Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition, written by Klara H. Herbøl, Kira Magrann, Mike Nudd, Andrew Peregrine, Hilary Sklar, and Steffie de Vaan and published by Modiphius Entertainment.
By Aaron T. Huss

Learn more about Fall of London here
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Fall of London is a chronicle for Vampire: The Masquerade, taking place in contemporary London. The premises is quite basic in that the players’ character’s are scouring the land looking for artifacts needed to bring this god-like ancient vampire back to life while encountering a number of important “people” covering the gambit of what makes Vampire a gothic horror setting (including all the drama that goes with it). The book itself is basically broken into four sections: foreground, 5-part chronicle, wrap-up, background, and a bonus collection of pregens.

The “foreground” is a look at London and what makes it unique within the confines of Vampire: The Masquerade and this chronicle. It provides a look at the events leading up to the chronicle and the goals of those involved (outside of the characters).

The “5-part chronicle” is effectively written as what I call a playground-style game. It’s like a sandbox, but with defined encounters that move the story from one point to another. However, each part is presented with scaling mechanics, allowing the players to choose what order they follow to achieve the ultimate goal of the 5-part chronicle.

The “wrap-up” is just that; it’s the ends game and the way of tying all other aspects of the chronicle together, bringing the storyline to closure. It provides a look at the different NPCs the characters could meet, options and how the storyline may move along, and the aftermath of it all.

The “background” is the storyteller’s behind-the-scenes look at the setting and how to bring the chronicle to life. There is a lot of setting information here such as transportation, nightlife, other chronicle opportunities, lore sheets, and more.

I will admit that I love the premises of games within World of Darkness/Chronicles of Darkness, but am often perplexed by what type of game you would play. Fall of London provides a good example of one style of gameplay that embraces the setting and essential design of Vampire: The Masquerade. I emphasize the “one style” as this is a very “safe” style of chronicle that would be perfect for those new to the setting or those unsure about if they would even like a gothic horror game. It does not delve too much into the morals of the vampire lifestyle nor does it focus on a lot of conflict between various sects found in WoD/CoD. In all honesty, it’s kind of like a type fantasy relic hunt, but skinned for gothic horror. Those who really get into WoD/CoD and the whole gothic horror scene probably won’t like it as much, but it’s a really good place for those just getting started. In fact, I would dare say that it lays the perfect groundwork for continued chronicles following the same gaming group. It allows players to understand the mechanics and setting (including the thematic aspects of the setting) before they really delve into the ins and outs of Vampire: The Masquerade.

For all others, it makes a great setting and can be twisted in any fashion to embrace each gaming group’s desired gameplay style.

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