So I got my hands on a copy of Vampire. It's, um, well, it's a pretty decent read. It takes 86 pages to get to anything resembling a game, but I can forgive. The system looks kind of spiffy, and I need to get a hold of the core book so I can take a closer look at that. And it's got some amusing stuff about the usual behavior of young vampires. They pretty much all act like PCs -- questioning the government, treating Disciplines as superpowers, "getting off on being a dark creature of the night," and breaking stuff for no good reason -- which, of course, they are.
But I just can't seem to wrap my head around how I'd actually run the dang thing. I don't have a good sense of what a typical session would look like, or what a really good session would look like. The book tends to go on about "moral choices" and "themes" and "Man vs. Beast" but I can't imagine running a game that gets too seriously into that stuff. Most of my games, though they're not necessarily combat heavy, tend to err on the adventure-y side of things. Crashing weddings, jumping out of helicopters, questing for lost swords, setting off volcanoes, that kind of thing.
Which should, theoretically, be doable with Vampire--people are always complaining about it being used for "dark superheroes" which sounds like it would work, but I can't really get a good sense for what that would look like. The game has a pretty obvious starting point, the whole "you've just been turned, now what do you do?" thing, but I'm not completely solid on where I would go after that.
And I have absolutely no clue what to do with a "standard" game, which otherwise I'd think might be interesting to try. What is it that Vampire PCs spend most of their time doing? Clawing their way up the power structure? Messing with other vampires? Trying to connect with mortals?
My suspicion is that my problems will be solved once I can just get a hold of some players. Get some characters, some actual goals, a couple extra sources of ideas, and I should be able to get a better handle on what exactly this Vampire thing is supposed to look like. Or I could just run some Traveller or something. We'll see.