Vampire: the Masquerade — Night Road (BETA TESTERS NEEDED)

It’s a new Dark Age for the dead. When the Second Inquisition’s vampire hunters hacked phone lines and computer networks to expose and destroy vampires all over the world, the elders turned to undead couriers like you. For ten years, you’ve raced across the desert between cities, delivering vital information and supplies. But when an old friend reappears with a plan to disrupt the blood trade across the American Southwest, everything you’ve built starts crashing down.

Directions for beta-testing:
Email us, beta AT choiceofgames for access. (This changed several months ago, so take note if you haven’t beta tested in a while.)

  • Do not send me DMs/PMs through the forum mail system, Discord, text message, carrier pigeon, or any other method than email.
  • When you send your EMAIL, include: – the game you want to test in the Subject line of the email. – your forum-name – your real name (first and last) — if your family/surname comes first, please indicate that. I will assume that your given name is listed first unless you tell me otherwise.
  • Do not email us multiple times about joining a beta. If you don’t email us as soon as we post a beta, you go into a queue. As we post new drafts, we admit more people from the queue. Eventually, we will get to you.

When you have been admitted to the beta, we will send you a link, a username, and a password as a reply to your email.

When you have feedback to submit:

  • Return feedback to beta@choiceofgames, preferably part of the same email thread/chain, rather than a new one.
  • Please send screenshots or copy/pasted quotes as often as you can; it helps us track down whatever observation you’re making. In particular, the author may see things that you don’t, and/or the screenshot may contain more information than you realize.
  • If you’re submitting feedback using the Bug/Submit button in the game, make sure you include your handle/name in the body of the email. The Submit button obscures your email address, and I can’t give you credit for feedback if I don’t know who you are.

DO NOT POST ASKING WHAT THE BETA EMAIL ADDRESS IS. The first test to becoming a beta tester is inferring what it is based on the above paragraph.

Lastly, you cannot be testing two games at once. Send feedback on one and you can apply to another.

Tips on How to Give Feedback
I’m looking for “high level” and “low level” feedback. Not mid-level feedback.

Low-level = typos and continuity errors. A continuity error is when a character’s gender flips, or someone comes back from the dead, or you run into a plotline that just doesn’t make sense (because it’s probably a coding error).

For these low-level issues, screenshots are very helpful. If you see a problem, take a screenshot, or copy and paste the text that is in error, and email that.

“High level” feedback has to do with things like plot, pacing, and characters. “Scene A didn’t work for me because x, y, and z,” is useful feedback. “B character was entirely unsympathetic, because u, w, and v,” is also useful feedback.

“Mid-level” feedback describes things like grammar, style, word choice, or the use of commas. As I said above, I do not want mid-level feedback. In particular, DO NOT WRITE TO ME ABOUT COMMAS.

“I had a great time and saw only a few spelling errors,” is not useful feedback. In fact, it’s the sort of thing that results in you not being given access to future betas.

Some examples of useful feedback
In Choice of the Dragon, you get to choose what type of wings you have: leather or scaled. Someone wrote in and asked about having feathered wings. Great suggestion! Done!

In “The Eagle’s Heir,” someone asked about Eugenie. They said that the romance moved too quickly–because she only appeared in the last third of the game–and wished they could have had an opportunity to meet her earlier. So the authors added an opportunity to meet her and start the romance earlier in the game (in a scene that already existed).

In “Demon Mark: A Russian Saga” several people commented on how the PC’s parents were unsympathetic, so the authors added a choice or two to deepen the relationship with the parents in the first chapter, to help better establish their characters.

Similarly, pointing out a specific choice and saying, “this is who I imagined my character was at this particular moment, and none of these options seemed right for me. I would have liked an option to do X instead,” is also really helpful feedback.

Another useful piece of feedback: if you choose an #option and then the results of that #option don’t make sense. Like, if you thought an #option might test one stat, but it seems to have tested a different one.

30 Likes

New draft posted!

This is pretty clean, and I’m not seeing any more negative prices, negative XP, infinite loops, etc.—all that’s been cleaned up. Nonetheless I encourage testers to trash the hell out of the inventory/XP/stat page systems to find any remaining bugs.

Remaining worries:

  • I’m still not sure how difficult the game is. I’d like reports on that from testers, both in general and in specific instances. Also please have them send me the final page , which is full of statistical readouts.
  • Testers are encouraged to send me any variation of “I wanted to do/say X here but it wasn’t an option.”
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YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, the hype for this is real!!! Already sent my beta test request email. :smile: :oncoming_automobile: :crescent_moon: :vampire: :milky_way:

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I wanna beta test for these so bad but i’m working round the clock on WW DLC :sob: :sob: :sob: :sob: :sob: :sob: :sob:

drama aside, do you know when will the beta test will close? If it’s still up after my deadline i’d love to hop in, but i don’t wanna send an email until then. :wink:

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I know the feeling. I am dying for playing this game as a player of all the editions except the first one because I was a little girl when first was published. But I don’t present to the beta testing because I am afraid being a nerd of Vampire I could result in a burden on the project. I hope that the project will be great. As the new lore V5 present big opportunities to the plot.

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Ok real talk Mara someone with as extensive knowledge as you (and me I’ve been playing since 1rst addition) are probably exactly the kind of ppl that should be reading it. We are not the only Vampire Masquerade nerds out there, and a lot of them will be reading it when it comes out. Unless I’m somehow missing something, knowing everything we know about lore and gameplay is exactly what @jasonstevanhill needs.

Freaking submit yr name, girl

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Agree, people with an understanding of the lore in this, should be the ones reading it or problems in the lore will be picked up later after it is published and potentially get reflected in the rating (and we all want this to do well right? Best to have everything all ironed out now if there’s anything that might need to be looked at. (I know if I was writing something based on an existing series I’d want fans reading it.)

I’d think it would also be good to have people unfamiliar with the setting reading it too, so that it can be made sure someone with less knowledge of what’s this is about could read it without getting confused. It’s quite a complicated setting compared to many. If you want to beta, I reckon submit your name @poison_mara :slight_smile:

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Everyone: please remember to screenshot the last page of the game with the stat printouts and send that in with your beta feedback!

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New draft posted! v20487

  • All money/store bugs should be fixed. No more negative dollars, no more loops at the pawn shop, all the greater-thans and less-thans pointing the right way.
  • Stats page should be displaying more smoothly. No more missing dots, etc.
  • Your possible relationships with Edouard the Setite have been expanded in the code and should work properly now.
  • The race scene shouldn’t loop anymore. If somehow it still does, I would like to be informed so I can replace it with a very ugly but effective kludge involving hard *goto_scenes and a bunch of variables.
  • The ghoul missions for all three possible ghouls should now be working smoothly, with no more loops or no-option scenarios.
  • Chapter 3 difficulties reduced a bit.
  • Fixed dozens of minor bugs, multireplace problems, grammatical hitches, continuity errors, etc.

Notes:

  • I’m still interested in how hard the game is. I’ve made major changes throughout, so please everyone keep sending me 1) final-page readouts and 2) your subjective opinion of game difficulty, especially 1) the SI raid on your haven (for anyone who encounters it), and 2) in the last chapter.
  • I have concerns that the 🗷🗷☐ for Masquerade Violations, Health, and Vehicle damage are not showing up properly on all devices. Could people check those out on a couple different computers/mobile devices and make sure they don’t disappear? If they’re missing, please tell me what kind of device you’re using.
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New draft posted! v20539

Note that I have not had time to include all previous beta test feedback. If a bug/problem remains it’s not because I hate you and your opinions, it’s because we’re trying to get the difficulty just right and clear all bugs out of the complex money/blood/xp subsystems.

Changes:

  • “Negative money” bugs no longer showing up.
  • Difficulty rebalanced. Halved upkeep, reduced xp penalty for failed missions. My #1 interest right now is how hard the game feels at different points. This is one thing I can’t test for (since I know how to play the game) so your subjective opinion is SO important right now!
  • Difficulty sub-note: This version, like the immediately prior version, makes Masquerade violations more common. Are you constantly hitting Masquerade 0 and getting destroyed by a Second Inquisition kill team? Let me know if you feel 100% doomed there.
  • Added substantial “fear of fire” penalties to the ending scenes if you aid the Second Inquisition.
  • Changed Toreador weakness so you lose Willpower whenever you’re captivated by beauty (this happens once per mission, usually) rather than an initial penalty to Max Willpower.
  • Various minor fixes/corrections/etc
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This is the “canon” update, with lore-fixes per WOD.

  • Removes various “secret doors,” keeping only the actual sorcerous veils that Jasper Knowles wove through the Viper.
  • Made sex less obviously fun and added a Humanity minimum to Siren feeding, and a very high (4+, equivalent of 8+ in tabletop) Humanity minimum to sexy-times with your ghoul.
  • Replaced sex with vampires you can romance with moderately fucked-up kinky blood-sharing
  • Replaced boxes with circles for Health and Hunger; they should show up correctly now. They look good on my PC but please check them on Mac.

Next up: addressing chargen balance issues.

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Even having played Vampire, read Vampire: the Masquerade - Corebook, Fifth Edition, and written/read multiple essays on Kindred intimacy, this edit hit me like a brick to the face:

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The danger of kinky blood sharing is the danger of the Blood bond. I personally won’t romance a vampire if blood sharing is part forced of the romance. .3 times of blood sharing and you are in a weird mind control bond and dominated for the vampire more powerful of the two.

As the tabletop has shown me never to share blood with another vampire. It always ends badly.

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Oh, believe me, I am well aware of the consequences of blood bonding. My character once started the night blood bonding with a Toreador and ended the night with the Toreador diablerized by her nephew, her Haven burned down, and her best friend/mentor run out of town :joy: :rofl:

I think Jason’s wording just took me by surprise. It made me laugh.

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I was took by surprise, In the sense I wouldn’t romance anything vampire as the blood sharing is toxic and nobody wants become a mind slave. But It is something very interesting and deep on the lore so I am glad is included even if means not being near a vampire lol.

I role Toreador Siren with lingering kiss so I know how badly can go. I have killed and diablerized other vampires using that.

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LOL, oh no, those are my descriptions! I always forget that Jason just copies whatever I include in the emails and posts it here.

(I miss my secret doors :frowning: )

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Oh yeah, you forget and don’t at all purposefully state that there’s moderately fucked-up kinky blood-sharing in those exact words.

Not that we’re complaining.

(My post was flagged. I’m really sorry that it was hurtful. I meant no offense; just trying to make a sarcastic joke that I should have been clearer about to avoid being rude and sounding in poor taste.)

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New draft posted! v20578

Updates in this version:

  • Adjusted attribute and skill allocation in Chapter 1.
  • Fixed bugs where you don’t get paid. Being a vampire is hard but not that hard!
  • Halved upkeep, added larger payments for completing missions, plus bonus payments if your Camarilla relationship is high.
  • Added an option in Tucson to rebuild your Masquerade if it hits 1. If possible, please test that to make sure it works.
  • Added a warning when your Masquerade hits 1.
  • Adjusted Toreador clan flaw so they lose Willpower each chapter (when hypnotized by something particularly beautiful) rather than having a lower Max Willpower
  • Increased XP, and reduced XP penalty for failed missions to prevent a failure-spiral.
  • Fixed bug where Raúl doesn’t show up as a potential ally/ghoul recruit at Camp Scheffler.
  • Per White Wolf request, minimized “bagged blood cocktails” and “secret doors.” The Bagger achievement is now a high-value achievement. Can anyone get it?
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