In this little section, we’d like to discuss the tech that’s getting us through the pandemic.
My obsession with TTRPGs last week lead me down a long and interesting rabbit hole that lead straight to “LA By Night,” a Vampire: The Masquerade campaign on Geek and Sundry.
When the original V:tM was released way back in 1991, I honestly thought it would end up being the next big Hollywood vampire franchise. The game world and its lore are exceptional, compelling, and very well-suited for a Marvel Universe-style conglomerate of films and TV shows.
Unfortunately, RPGs weren’t as popular through the late 1990s and the 2000s as they have been since Stranger Things brought Dungeons and Dragons back into the pop culture spotlight again a few years back.
And that means we spent decades with nothing but the RPG books, an old PC game called Bloodlines, and an underrated TV show that never got the chance to truly shine.
Things are changing though. It’s the Zoom era and RPGs are more popular than ever. The second biggest shock of the modern era is that, not only are we getting a sequel to Bloodlines, but it’s a highly-anticipated AAA title.
That’s something I don’t think anyone who played the original saw coming decades later. But the bigger shock, by far, is LA By Night’s success.
Unlike Kindred: the Embrace, LA By Night isn’t a traditional TV show. It’s actually just the equivalent of a Zoom conference call with a bunch of people dressed up like vampires sitting at a table playing V:tM (rolling the dice and everything).
The format was popularized by the Dungeons and Dragons-based campaign “Critical Role,” a series that cast voice actors as the players and dungeon master.
But, I’m actually not a big fan of games that involve a bunch of people using fake, loud, over-the-top vaguely UK-ish accents to portray fantasy creatures, so it’s hard for me to watch.
LA By Night, so far, is much more palatable — in fact, I’ll just say it: It’s the best vampire TV show I’ve ever watched. Give it an hour and see if you don’t get hooked too.