Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition

list of vtm books 2020

Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition , also known as V5 , is the recent version of Vampire: The Masquerade and was released in 2018 , with the publication of Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition Corebook . The system was co-created by Martin Ericsson (lead storyteller), Karim Muammar (playtest designer and editor-in-chief), and Kenneth Hite (lead designer).

It contains new and overhauled rules, and has updated the metaplot to the year 2018 in the World of Darkness , with further books continuing to update it.

  • 1 Changes to the Metaplot
  • 2 Changes to Mechanics
  • 4.1 Base Disciplines
  • 4.2 Classic Amalgam Disciplines
  • 6 References

Changes to the Metaplot

Changes to Mechanics

All 13 clans from the classic modern Vampire setting are present and playable in the Fifth Edition. The 5th Edition Corebook only includes the seven traditional clans of the Camarilla , besides the Caitiff and Thin-Blooded , with the Banu Haqim being introduced in Camarilla [10] , the Ministry in Anarch [4] , the Lasombra in Chicago by Night [6] , the Ravnos , Salubri and Tzimisce in the Companion [7] and the Hecata in Cults of the Blood Gods . [5]

Updated Disciplines

Base disciplines.

Classic Amalgam Disciplines

Using the mechanics of Amalgam Powers , a number of distinct Disciplines from classic versions of Vampire have been merged into Fifth Edition's base disciplines as part of the process to streamline how the game functions.

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list of vtm books 2020

Vampire: The Masquerade — Multiple Authors

list of vtm books 2020

Vampire: The Masquerade Series in Order (26 Books)

Book descriptions for series: vampire: the masquerade.


HtR: Predator & Prey: JudgeWhite WolfAuthor: Gherbod FlemingPages: 284SRP: $6.50ISBN: 1-59504-970-5UPC: 099379117013Predator & Prey: Judge is the second in this series of six novels that explores the Hunters newly arrived within the World of Darkness...

The Beast Within

Unseen, The Kindred move Among us Many human fears are realized in the World of Darkness. Among them are the vampires, who call themselves the Kindred because they are a breed set apart from man. But these vampires are not just mad beasts or solit...

A Dozen Black Roses

Trouble's brewing when Sonja Blue, vampire and vampire hunter, takes on the Kindred of the World of Darkness in a hair-raising, hell-raising carnage-filled crossover. Written as only Nancy Collins can, this novel promises to be a treat for World of D...

As One Dead

The Sabbat: wild, free. Vampires reveling in their inhumanity. In Toronto, they rule the night. The Camarilla: silent, restrained. Vampires denying the Beast within. In Toronto, they are prisoners, trophies of conquest, trapped inside the confines...

The Road to Hell

The Horizon War Volume One The battle for reality ignites as mages of all stripes vie for the fabled. Horizon Realms, the dimensions juxtaposing Earth and...elsewhere. A villain from the mages' past returns to claim his legacy, embroiling both Ear...

The Ascension Warrior

A desperate war rages on the Horizon Realms, the mystic dimensions that surround Earth. The images of both the Nine Traditions and the Technocracy are under attack by a mysterious willworker. His challenge: "Join me or be destroyed!"...

Dark Prophecy

When the hunter becomes the hunted... The crazed Camarilla prince of Atlanta will stop at nothing to kill Owain Evans. Carlos, bishop of the Sabbat, also thirsts for vengeance. The Giovanniitight come to Owain's aid -- unless they can benefit from...


Longest day, eternal night. Among the thirteen clans of the Kindred - vampires who secretly manipulate human events - the Toreador are dismissed as hedonists. They accept this as the price of preserving that which is beautiful... particularly the...

Guide to the Camarilla

The Doorway Into Depravity For hundreds of years Camarilla vampires have preserved the Masquerade - an intricate dance of deception, misdirection and manipulation that conceals their nocturnal predations from mortal eyes. Now the Sabbat are about ...


As humanity fades... Hidden dangers lurk in every shadow. Ramona and her friends have learned this much: What they don't know can kill them -- and will, if given the chance. Their watchword: beware! Beware other vampires -- the Sabbat's conscie...


The halls of power. War rages among the children of the night. The monstrous vampires of the Sabbat ravage the East Coast from Savannah to Washington, D.C. Camarilla princes who ruled for centuries are ashes on the wind, burning cities the only w...


A cathedral of shadows. Lucita - vampire assassin and turncoat childe of the devious Cardinal Moncada - is hunting a Sabbat archbishop, a leader of the sect's East Coast war of conquest. If she succeeds, her mysterious patrons will pay her very w...


Khalil Ravana has always been a lightweight, a drifter, a thief with no status and no power...until now. Chance saved him from a storm in Calcutta that annihilated his clan, and now chance has placed him in the center of another storm - this one in N...


Some Kindred believe the Malkavians mad pretenders to authentic visions. Other Kindred believe it mad to pretend that Malkavian visions bear no truth. Among all Malkavians, Anatole is most infamous for his apocalyptic insights. As he follows the path...


The Vampire the Masquerade Clan Novel Saga is a thirteen-volume masterpiece, presenting the war between the established Camarilla leadership and the growing power of the brutal Sabbat on the East Coast of the United States. Each novel is told from th...


the monstrous vampires of the Sabbat are swarming north in ever-increasing numbers and threatening to overwhelm Baltimore, the last bastion of Camarilla power on the U.S. East Coast. Theo Bell, archon o Clan Brujah, is the Kindred in the trenches. Wh...


KEEPER OF SECRETS Lowliest and most scorned of vampires, the Kindred of Clan Nosferatu know better than most the horrors that lie far beneath the streets. Little did Calebros, among the foremost of the brethren, suspect that his clan's suggestion ...


Magic, manipulation, murder. With one foot firmly planted in the mythic and the other rooted in the unforgiving streets of New York City, Aisling Sturbridge, Regent of the besieged Chantry of the Five Boroughs, serves as leader, teacher and guardian ...

Clanbook: Ravnos

Provides information about the history of the vampire clan Ravnos from its beginning to near annihilation; character and story lines for the clan's rebuilding attempts; and powers, derangements, and castes within the clan....

Midnight Siege

A sourcebook of sect conflict for Vampire: The Masquerade

From Graceful Salons to the Halls of the Consistory For half a millennium the Kindred of the Camarilla have warred with the Cainites of the Sabbat. In the modern nights, though, ...


Adrian Cross is unwittingly abetting the efforts of the Technocracy to further their grandiose plans, which have already essentially assured them world domination. However, in order for their latest efforts to bear fruit, the Technocracy needs a larg...

Gehenna: The Final Night

For millennia, vampires have fed on the living, hidden in the shadows of mortal society. Legends say the undead descend from Caine, the first murderer portrayed in the Bible, who passed on his curse through his blood. Those same legends speak of a fi...

Is there a list of published "in-universe" books? (like The Book of Nod, Encyclopaedia Vampirica, etc.)

list of vtm books 2020

I'm mostly familiar with VtM, but I'm wondering what other "in-universe" books exist across all the game lines?

The ones I'm aware of so far are:

I also found Chronicle of the Black Labyrinth and The Silver Record for WtA, but I'm not sure if they're in-universe books or just contain in-universe texts.

Beckett's Jyhad Diary is also arguably an in-universe book, but the published book also contains sourcebook material, so I'm not sure whether the community considers it in-universe or not 🤷‍♂️

' src=

VTM: Book of Nod

VTM: Revelations of the Dark Mother

VTDA: Erciyes Fragments

WTA: The Silver Record

WTA: Chronicle of the Black Labyrinth

MTA: The Fragile Path

HTR: Hunter Apocrypha

DTF: Days of Fire

I think that's it for the World of Darkness. A few were made for the CofD as well, like Rites of the Dragon and the Testament of Longinus.

Thanks so much VonAether.

If you were to include books beyond the "Book of Nod-sized chapbooks", can you think of any others apart from Encyclopaedia Vampirica , Pentex Employee Indoctrination Manual , and BJD ?

Chronicle of the Black Labyrinth is fully in-universe, down to fake publishing information. It is also a deeply deeply disturbing book, especially since it's implying that you reading it is actually drawing you into the same abyss that it came from.

Oh man, that's sounds like peak White Wolf. I'll add it to the list in my post.

Hunter Apocrypha for HtR

Oh, awesome, thanks!

Theres one written by beckett that i have

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Interesting pre-written adventures for VtM

or thereabouts

Do such things exist? I have not ever run a pre-written VtM thing, but the idea appeals right now, thus this question. Would strongly prefer adventures / storylines low on (required or highly probable) violence, and high on intrigue, investigation, interaction, and suchlike. Also, are there any written by people or companies other than WW?  


The main trouble is that VtM is primarily about interaction between PCs and NPCs in an ongoing world. It's hard to carry over adventures to some extent as everything really needs to relate to the available NPCs. The early adventures for VtM were somewhat dungeon crawls in themselves, but even then, they seemed to happen in different locations and the beginning was dealing with the local vampires of that area. Overall, the best adventures I found were from the various location books as they were built to play to the local NPCs and as introductions into the region for PCs new to it. Even then, I found I always modified them to fit my tastes and those of my players, perhaps too much to really recommend them too much. What might work well for VtM is something more like the old Traveller LBB 76 Patrons (Supplement 6). Basically a list of people coming to the PCs for help or events that happen in their awareness so the they catch their attention. Then for each one there is a d6 roll for the Referee to determine what is really going on in this situation so even if the players had and have read the book they really don't know what is going on.  



Yes, there are prewritten Vampire: The Masquerade adventures. White Wolf and Onyx Path (they have the license for the 20th anniversary edition of Vampire The Masquerade) have a large store of material on, one of our regular advertisers. In addition, while it's going to be hard to find, there was a GURPS Vampire the Masquerade which has an adventure, 'Mortal Desires.' The mage, vampire, and werewolf lines each got converted into GURPS Third Edition during a brief licensing deal between Steve Jackson Games and White wolf. Vampire got a second book, Vampire Companion, which added more disciplines, material for both the Sabbat and Camarilla, and some mini-adventures. I used to own GURPS VTM book--the adventure didn't seem to have any flaws but I never ran it. Finally, there is the Storyteller's Vault, which is the community content page for World of Darkness products. I'm basically a Mage fan, but there are lots of vampire materials there. I own a few vampire setting items that have fleshed out my mage game. Some of the writers are really good--they could already have written professionally and if they have not you would not be able to tell the difference.  


baakyocalder said: White Wolf and Onyx Path (they have the license for the 20th anniversary edition of Vampire The Masquerade) Click to expand...

Vampire Translation Guide - White Wolf | Vampire: The Requiem | Vampire: The Masquerade Revised | Vampire 20 | Vampire 20th Anniversary | Storytellers Vault

Thank you, good people. I will not, however, indulge this whim. That’s all that it was. A silly one, what’s more. VtM 1e + DC will do nicely.  


Dweller on the Threshold

Indeed, the new Chicago by Night by Onyx Path is widely considered the best thing out there for V5 right now, though admittedly there isn’t much yet. It includes a chronicle about the introduction of a bunch of Lasombra defectors into the Camarilla culture of Chicago, and the player characters will help decide whether they’re ultimately allowed to stay there. I’d like to do this one with PCs on both sides (Camarilla and Lasombra).  

Well, don't just stick to the written Vampire 1e books if you get stuck for an adventure. I've used older D&D adventures, GURPS adventures and many other adventures in a variety of RPGs. Some of the Storytellers Vault writers aim to write adventures broadly compatible with all editions of the games they write for. A significant adventure for my Aces & Eights game was entering a valley filled with dinosaurs and cavemen--I tweaked a GURPS adventure from the Spacegamer that's over 20 years old. HackMaster's AD&D 2e version took classic D&D modules such as Against the Giants and Keep on the Borderlands and remixed them. You can always borrow a map, an image, or a character from an adventure and drop it in where it fits. That's my 2 cents. . .  

Putting a pre-written scenario into an ongoing VtM chronicle has never worked for me. I might have mined them for ideas. What did work was using a pre-written scenario to start a chronicle to introduce factions, key individuals and setting the theme and mood. I have fond memories of Ashes to Ashes (Which started our long running CbN chronicle) and the 1st installment of the Giovanni Chronicles as an intro to our Dark Ages campaign.  

baakyocalder said: Well, don't just stick to the written Vampire 1e books if you get stuck for an adventure. Click to expand...

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The Best Vampire Books to Read, Besides Twilight

Though, of course that series is on here.

list of vtm books 2020

The below vampire books are inventive, and often believable, with an array of authors creating their own evocative series that give depth to the blood-thirsty. We've found some of the most celebrated vampire books, from romance and horror, to fantasy classics and young adult novels , that will send a chill down your spine and have you turning those pages faster than you can say "Team Edward or Team Jacob?" To continue your paranormal binge-read, check out books featuring witches and werewolves next. Regardless of which book you choose, you may want to consider sleeping with the lights on.

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

Adapted into the 1994 film starring Kirsten Dunst, Tom Cruise, and Brad Pitt, this '76 classic follows the spellbinding life story of a centuries old vampire.

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Rae, also known as Sunshine, is the head baker at her family's popular café. But she needs a break, and heads out to her waterside cabin to relax. It's at the lake that the "Others" creep up on Sunshine when she least expects it. 

Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin

Yes,  Fevre Dream  is written by  Game of Thrones 's George R.R. Martin, but this novel takes place in a completely different world than Westeros. River boat captain  Abner Marsh is approached by a peculiar aristocrat about a job that sounds too good to be true. But after he warily accepts, and sails the Mississippi River in the brutal winter in 1857, he soon discovers the true nature of his mission.

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

Ward's massive 19-part Black Dagger Brotherhood paranormal romance series starts out with Wrath, a reluctant leader of elite vampire warriors and the last living pure breed of his kind. He soon meets Beth, a newly transitioned half-vampire with whom he has an intense and passionate connection.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

One day while exploring her father's library, a young woman discovers a series of letters that reveal a labyrinth of dark secrets about her parents, and a hidden world that goes back centuries. They specifically focus on the folklore surrounding Vlad the Impaler, a medieval ruler who inspired the story of Dracula.

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

If vampires roamed the earth, what would society  really  be like? Silvia Moreno-Garcia answers this question in stunning detail in her novel  Certain Dark Things . The book's version of Mexico City is one of the few places to outlaw vampires. The rest of the world is home to warring clans of legitimately scary bloodsuckers who perceive humans as, well—dinner. In this world, a vampire named Atl and a street cleaner named Domingo forge an unlikely bond. Expect a blend of Mexican folklore, vampire myth reduxes, and a fast-paced trip through an intricately built world. 

Guilty Pleasures: An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel

Guilty Pleasures: An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel

Okay, you're in for a ride if you start this beloved series because it has a whopping  27  books. Anita Blake is St. Louis's fiercest vampire huntress, but an assignment to solve the mystery behind a slew of killings forces her to confront her feeling for her nemesis, vampire leader Jean-Claude.

Already Dead by Charlie Huston

Already Dead  follows the adventures of Joe Pitt, a Manhattan vampire who's investigating a fierce zombie epidemic that's taken over the city.

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

In 1990's Charleston, the only thing stay-at-home mom Patricia has to look forward to is her true crime book club. One day after a meeting, Patricia is attacked by a neighbor, leading her to meet his handsome nephew James, whose charm hides a sinister secret.

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Backed by another fiercely loyal fanbase, the Sookie Stackhouse series–aka the books that inspired HBO's  True Blood— follows Sookie, a small town Southern Belle who can read minds. That is, until she meets the mysterious Bill Compton, an alluring newcomer with a dark secret.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

After being on the run, Rose and her best friend Lissa, a vampire princess, are forced to return to vampire boarding school, St. Vladimir's Academy. Rose is tasked with being Lissa's bodyguard, but as they become enmeshed in romance and the drama surrounding the school's cliques, Rose must also fight to save Lissa from the ruthless Strigoi.

Orb Books The Vampire Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas

This unusual tale follows Edward Weyland, an anthropology professor whose vampirism is biological rather than paranormal. He attempts to not kill his prey, while coming to terms with his disdain for humans and attempting to find the truth about what he truly is.

Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler

Fledgling , by the incomparable Octavia Butler, reflects on race and sexuality through a unique story. A 10-year-old with amnesia makes the surprising discovery that she's actually a 53-year-old vampire. She fights to recover her memories in order to save herself and those she cares for.

The Gilda Stories by Jewelle Gomez

After escaping slavery in 1850s Louisiana, Gilda is inducted into the world of the undead while working at a brothel. For the next 200 years, Gilda searches for true love and a place to call home.

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

Somehow Gene has been able to hide that fact that he's not like the others around him (read: he's not a vampire). But as one of the last remaining humans, he must keep his secret in order to survive. However, his careful facade is threatened with the opportunity of a lifetime and—of course—a girl.

The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith

You're probably familiar with the hit CW TV show that was inspired by this four-part book series. The novels follow popular high schooler Elena Gilbert who falls into a tumultuous romance with vampire Stefan Salvatore—and we can't forget his trouble-making brother Damon.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

The famous (or infamous)  Twilight  saga which spawned five films, and a cult following of fanatic "Twihards," tells the story of Bella Swan, a regular teenage girl who finds herself intwined in the vampire world when she falls hard for the alluring Edward Cullen. The latest,  Midnight Sun , told from Edward's perspective, came out in 2020. 

Carmilla by J. Sheridan Lefanu

This 1876 Gothic novella inspired the celebrated classic  Dracula , and is narrated by a young woman who finds herself falling victim to the advances of a female vampire named Carmilla.

Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon

In the first installment of this sexy 27-book series, vampire warrior Kyrian wakes up handcuffed to something that's against everything he stands for: Amanda, a conservative  human  accountant. But when it becomes obvious he must fight to protect her from evil, Kyrian begins to fall in love.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

This classic 1897 Gothic horror novel is  the  ultimate vampire tale, as it follows Dracula on his quest to move from Transylvania to England in order to spread the curse of the undead.

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Vampire: The Masquerade Companion releases in December!

Today, World of Darkness brand management announced that Renegade Game Studios is now our publishing partner for tabletop role playing games (TTRPG), and that we are centralizing core creative development for our story world in-house, under our Creative Lead, Justin Achilli. 

What does it all mean? Read on, we’ll share! 

The Vampire Companion

We’re kicking off this big change in creative development with a free holiday gift to you:  Vampire: The Masquerade Companion, a free digital supplement that brings three highly-anticipated playable clans to Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition.

The Companion will be available in December as a downloadable PDF. To get your free copy, create a Paradox Interactive account here on this website (check the top right corner!), and then next month we’ll notify you when the Companion is ready for download.

What is in the Companion? We’re glad you asked!

The Vampire: The Masquerade Companion book brings three highly-anticipated Vampire clans into V5, and gives Storytellers more tools to enhance their chronicles, including:

list of vtm books 2020

So What Does This Big Change Mean for You? 

Bottom line, it means that we will be able to get more tabletop roleplaying game content to you, faster. Our Creative Lead Justin Achilli will work with internal and external teams to set the lore, atmosphere, and tone that you expect from World of Darkness, and work with partners like Renegade to create compelling stories within that framework. “Even though I’m leading this process,” says Justin, “we’ll continue to work with teams of writers and freelancers. Our goal is to ensure that book development happens with teams that include a diversity of voices. And, the next V5 book we’re sending your way is Sabbat.”

Additionally, all World of Darkness books will continue to include sensitivity reviews as part of the development process.

Want even more details and maybe a deep dive into the new Vampire: The Masquerade Companion? Check out this video, where we talk about the Renegade Game Studios partnership, future development of tabletop products, and dive deep into the Companion:

And if you are curious to know more about just what is World of Darkness brand management, we have that covered in a blog post and another handy video for you that explains it all, right here:

Vampire: The Masquerade

Vampire: The Masquerade Vol.1

Winter's teeth.

Tim Seeley (Writer), Blake Howard (Writer), Tini Howard (Writer), Nathan Gooden (Artist), Dev Pramanik (Artist), Addison Duke (Colorist), Jim Campbell (Letterer), Aaron Campbell (Cover Artist )

Born from the world of the internationally best-selling role playing game, Vampire: The Masquerade's critically acclaimed comics debut spins a gripping and tragic tale about the beast within us all.

The global best-seller Vampire: The Masquerade comes to comics. When Camarilla enforcer Cecily Bain takes a fledgling vampire under her wing, she's dragged into an vast conspiracy that will topple princes and threaten the very Masquerade.

When Cecily Bain, an enforcer for the Twin Cities' vampiric elite, takes a mysterious new vampire under her wing, she's dragged into an insidious conspiracy. Meanwhile, on the outskirts of the cities, a rebellious found-family of vampire cast-outs investigates a vicious killing.

As the unlives of the Kindred twine together and betrayals are unearthed, will Cecily be able to escape and save what's left of her family, or will she be yet another pawn sacrificed to maintain the age-old secret: that vampires exist among the living?

Other books in this series

Vampire: The Masquerade

Vampire: The Masquerade Vol.2

Tim seeley (writer) blake howard (writer) tini howard (writer) nathan gooden (artist) dev pramanik (artist) addison duke (colorist) jim campbell (letterer) aaron campbell (cover artist), paperback + ebook, staff recommendations.


These Savage Shores


Barbaric Vol.1

Bleed Them Dry

Bleed Them Dry

list of vtm books 2020

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list of vtm books 2020

Vampire: The Masquerade

Walk among us publisher's summary.

One of the most popular role-playing properties in the world gets new life with this trio of horror novellas set in Vampire: The Masquerade 's World of Darkness by three brilliant talents: Genevieve Gornichec, Cassandra Khaw, and Caitlin Starling

The subtle horror and infernal politics of the World of Darkness are shown in a new light in Vampire: The Masquerade: Walk Among Us , an audio-first collection of three novellas that show the terror, hunger, and power of the Kindred as you've never seen them before. 

In Genevieve Gornichec's A Sheep Among Wolves , performed by Erika Ishii, depression and radicalization go hand in hand as a young woman finds companionship in the darkness....

In Cassandra Khaw's Fine Print , performed by Neil Kaplan, an arrogant tech bro learns the importance of reading the fine print in the contract for immortality.... 

And in Caitlin Starling's The Land of Milk and Honey , performed by Xe Sands, ideals and ethics bump heads with appetite on a blood farm. 

Three very different stories from three amazing, distinct voices, but all with one thing in common: The hunger never stops, and for someone to experience power, many others are going to have to feel pain. 

You're getting a free audiobook.

Walk Among Us Audiobook By Cassandra Khaw, Genevieve Gornichec, Caitlin Starling cover art

Walk Among Us

One of the most popular role-playing properties in the world gets new life with this trio of horror novellas set in Vampire: The Masquerade 's World of Darkness by three brilliant talents: Genevieve Gornichec, Cassandra Khaw, and Caitlin Starling.

Please skip it, boring

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Sometimes a book goes temporarily out of print - and sometimes no audio version has ever been recorded. Audible wants to give you the most complete selection we can and we'll keep adding series and filling in gaps as quickly as possible.

Unti Vampire: The Masquerade #3

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Storytellers Vault

Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition

Renegade game studios.

Vampire: The Masquerade is the original and ultimate roleplaying game of personal and political horror. You are a vampire, struggling for survival, supremacy, and your own fading  humanity — afraid of what you are capable of, and fearful of the inhuman conspiracies that  surround you.

The classic that changed roleplaying games forever returns! This fifth edition features a streamlined and modern rules design, beautiful new full-color art, and a rich story experience for players. Powered by the innovative Hunger cycle, the game also includes rules for creating system supported character coteries, Loresheets to directly involve players with their favorite parts of the setting and The Memoriam, a new way to bring the character's detailed backgrounds and expand on them in-session.

V5 is a return to Vampire 's original vision, moving boldly into the 21st century. While the rules have been redesigned, this new edition honors the deep story of the original, advancing the metaplot from where it left off and detailing exactly what has happened in the world of the Kindred up until tonight. The terror of the Second Inquisition, the conspiracies behind the Gehenna War, and the rekindling of the War of Ages: these are the building blocks of the modern V5 chronicle.

Mature Warning: Contains graphic and written content of a mature nature, including violence,sexual themes, and strong language. Reader discretion is advised.

Red List

list of vtm books 2020

Daniel Mayfair

Jan 10, 2020

Reviewing Vampire: The Masquerade Rule Books Part 4: Vampire: The Dark Ages — 20th Anniversary Edition

Let’s review a ye olde vampire book…, introduction.

At the time of typing, the tabletop RPG game ‘Vampire: The Masquerade’ (VtM) has been around about 25 years and has collected many fans and embraced many a storyteller. It is a game filled with extensive lore and metaplot for players to sink their teeth into, which furthers their own knowledge and provides more ways for players to have fun in their games. The immediate downside with something like this is that players, both new and old may feel a bit overwhelmed by it all, with newer players feeling pressured to memorise 25 years of inconsistent lore and clan rules and motivations.

I believe the most accessible of the VtM editions (at the time of typing), is V20, otherwise known as the 20th Anniversary Edition. This edition basically resets a lot of prior lore, informing the reader/player everything they need to know in order play a game of VtM with other people, either online or with a group of people around a table. It explains it’s mechanics clearly and precisely for all types of players. I will leave a link to my review blog about V20 in the link below.

Reviewing Vampire: The Masquerade Rule Books: Part 2— 20th Anniversary Edition

The holy grail of vtm.

Most of the VtM books are centred around modern settings, by which I mean, from the mid-twentieth century to modern-day. Whilst it is not impossible to mould the rules and settings in an older setting, certain lore aspects and weapons of that time period, such as swords, maces and pikes, have not been included. This may be a slight irritation for some Storytellers to work out themselves.

This is were ‘Vampire: The Dark Ages V20’ enters. Just like VtM V20, Dark Ages has updated and revised a lot the established lore found within the VtM Dark Ages period (the book’s default setting is 1242), basing it’s layout, rules and mechanics on the main V20 layout and system.

Now with that edition in my nerdy hands, I wish to tell you all what’s like and try and educate you whether it is worth buying.

The Blog Proper


The texture and materials found within these two books are very similar to that of its sire, V20. It’s a slightly squishing hardback, made out of some form of cardboard(?) which means it will mark easily. The pages themselves are filled with a combination of artwork that has been used in older versions of VtM, and the popular revised clan books, which are novels focused around a particular member of a given clan.

The artwork, which can take up most of a page, are in colour, which was a pleasant surprise, given that V20 charged extra for their colour option. You can purchase a PDF version of these books, should you wish to forgo the archaic device in favour of a bright shining, soulless screen. The PDF version is also in colour. I will admit that I am not as enthusiastic with the artwork found in this book than I have been in other VtM books, but there is no denying they do a good job at setting this setting of VtM with its murky, deadened colours.

On the topic of colour, I approve greatly in the changes from the marble green usually associated with VtM books to the marble black. The swap in colour scheme suggests that its contents are more serious/darker, which is both true and false, depending on the creative minds of the players and storyteller. There are sections of the book dedicated to helping the storyteller to really make players feel repulsed by the grimy, dirty, plague-infested Dark Ages, which I adore in a macabre sort of way.

The way in which this book is organised and presented is noticeably different from other books in the V20 line. It starts the same with setting and the bare minimum of Cainite (a VtM word for vampire. The term ‘Kindred’ was not invented in this point in the VtM timeline) terminology for a player to understand. Next, the various clans are presented, in addition to MANY bloodlines (all of which I will explore momentarily) including the known ones such as the Nagarajah and various Salurbri castes, and the African offshoots, the Laibons (which justifies the plentiful pages found in V20 Dark Ages). The immediate chapter is the clan & bloodlines discipline, followed by the rituals and the paths of enlightenment and rituals. This differs from the regular V20, where most of these are swapped around and appear in the middle/latter half of the book. These changes make a lot of more sense for a player to find said disciplines/rituals, which is what most players would use the rule book beyond character creation.

The organisation of V20 Dark Ages reminded me greatly how V5 (fifth edition) is presented, which I am a fan of (for the most part), so it is nice to see that structure was carried over from one setting/edition to the next.

Like other VtM books, the character sheet is found at the back of the book, something that I failed to mention in my previous rulebook reviews, for the reason that I did not think much needed to be mentioned. With V20 Dark Ages, the sheet has become sheets, providing much space for players to notate everything about their character, from the equipment they own, a description of their haven and themselves. You also have 10 dot spaces, rather than the usual 5, should you wish to play an Elder Cainite who can use those spaces. I think these are wonderful additions and a little bit upset that this level of detail to the character sheets wasn’t carried over.

Content & Mechanics

I would find it highly unlikely for the uninitiated (or newly embraced, sticking to the vampire theme), in VtM to come to this book first, but on the off chance this is your first experience with VtM, there are a variety of vampire clans you can play as, each one has their own powers and weaknesses, meaning that no one clan is overpowered and all are fun to play as (except for Brujah, in my incredibly biased opinion). Those who are familiar to VtM should be aware that due to various lore reasons, the way the clans behave is rather different, in addition to some of the disciplines. For example, the Giovanni are a bloodline who have yet to exterminate their ascenders, Clan Cappadocian, the true clan of death. The Assamites (known as the Banu Haqim in V5) are not so much assassin’s, but Cainte judge, jury and executioners.

Whether you wish to play as one of these clans or any other mentioned in V20 Dark Ages, such as the Giovanni or Followers of Set, each clan if thoroughly explained on two pages, teasing the reader with enough of a clan’s lore to understand the basics but leaving the more enthusiastic players (such as myself) to learn more.

Other information included is:

Also included are stereotypes that a particular clan will have over other clans, which can be very helpful when playing with other players within a session/story.

The example I will present to you is what the typical Gangrel will think of the other clans and sects, which is above/left of this paragraph (depending on where you’re reading this blog).

I spoke earlier of the size of the book and the addition of the Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom, otherwise known as the Laibon, which I found to be quite the interesting addition, but one that puzzled me, as I am not all that certain what significance it has to the V20 Dark Ages timeline, beyond revising and updating such Kindred. To my immediate knowledge, the Kuei-Jin, The Kindred of the East, have not been included in other V20 books, probably because of how different they are to their vampiric brethren. The book also contains the one western bloodline that wasn’t present in V20, which was the Niktuku, a bloodline whose origins lie with the Nosferatu.

Many actions in VtM are determined by the result of rolled 10-sided dice (d10). Successes and failures operate come from so many successes above a certain score (delivered by the storyteller).

For example, if you rolled 5 dice with the scores of 4, 3, 5, 6, 8 for a task with a difficulty of 6, you would have 2 successes.

2 scores of 10 are called a ‘critical success’, which equates to additional success. Using the above example, if 4, 3 were 10s, you would have 3 successes. Getting a critical success means you excel at a task, whilst 1 is seriously bad luck if you role a lot of them.

If you think failure is not an option, you can spend a point of Willpower to grant you one success. Willpower is finite and not easy to get back, so spend it wisely!

A feature that was carried over from the Lore of the Clans/Bloodlines was combo disciplines, where a player has to have enough points in at least 2 disciplines to use such combo. For example, if a character has one point in their Auspex and Obfuscate disciplines as well as 7 experience points, they can purchase Blood Apocrypha, allowing them to leave secret messages in blood. Combo disciplines were some of my favourite features in the Lore of the Clans/Bloodlines books, so I am glad that they were included in this large and exciting book.

As I mentioned many times, the established Modern Night setting is built and based upon what was established hundreds of years ago, through a setting that you can play in V20 Dark Ages. There is no Camarilla, Sabbat or Anarch. Every Cainite in a city answers to a Prince, who is far more a monarch than most versions of VtM. The clans are divided up into High and Low Clans, depending on their statue and where in the world you are. For example, The Followers of Set are usually deemed one of the Low Clans in the Western world, but they are a High Clan in Egypt. These, of course, can be altered greatly in your own session. All the VtM books encourage flexibility to all of their systems.

Being set in a more medieval setting, some players may wish to adopt a more realistic approach with who and what was ruling at the time of 1242. Players may also wish to use established VtM lore, to better aid them in creating an ‘authentic’ setting. Towards the back of the book are a few pages about some events, both real-world and Cainite-world, although it is more the latter. Both a disadvantage and advantage of this layout (fit with many a detailed map!) is the select few countries in Europe. I was hoping that the UK would be mentioned, but alas, it is not. I am no history buff, so I am not all that certain how important the UK was during the 13th Century both in the normal/real world and Cainite world. There is plenty of material for players to work with regardless.

There is much I could cover under all of these headings, but I’m avoiding all of that for a very good reason.

Vampire: The Masquerade has been around for nearly 30 years (at the time of typing) and there are many supplement books from all sorts of periods from all over the world, and I am certain a good 40% is found in this book. You can imagine how some players may be overwhelmed and discouraged from playing a game they thought was just about vampires killing over vampires.

V20 Dark Ages acts as both as a brilliantly clean slate for players who not only new to VtM, but to older players who are just confused with what’s going on in the Dark Ages. This books also acts as a good sourcebook, should you wise to integrate the Laibon or other obscure bloodlines into your chronicle. That being said, if you wish to purchase V20 for that, there are less expensive ways of doing that.

This rule book will contain everything that any VtM will need without going to loads of detail, whilst presenting just the right amount for keen players to explore for more in other rulebooks or the clan novels. Just be mindful that none of these books are particularly cheap!

If by some chance this is your first VtM books, perhaps I can interest you in these other Vampire: The Masquerade books…

Reviewing Vampire: The Masquerade Rule Books: Part 1 — Fifth Edition

Let’s review a vampire book…, reviewing vampire: the masquerade rule books part 3: v20 — lore of the clans & bloodlines, let’s review 2 vampire books that really should be 1….

Do you own this rather large book? If so, what are your thoughts on it? What is your VtM setting?

Let’s start a conversation, people!

More from Daniel Mayfair

Video game know-it-all, music theory wizard and lover of big words. Occasionally a blogger.

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Books in Review II

The online complement to the printed edition of the vva veteran magazine's book in review column.

Books in Review II

Books in Review II

Welcome to “Books in Review II,” the online-only column that complements “Books in Review,” which runs in The VVA Veteran , the bimonthly print magazine published by Vietnam Veterans of America.

That column and this site contain book reviews by writers who specialize in the Vietnam War and Vietnam War veterans. Our regular Books in Review II reviewers are John Cirafici, Dan Hart, Bill McCloud, Bob Wartman, Harvey Weiner, Tom Werzyn, and Henry Zeybel. The late David Willson wrote hundreds of reviews for Books in Review II from its inception in 2011 through the spring of 2021.

Our goal is to review every newly published book of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that deals with the Vietnam War and Vietnam War veterans. Publishers and self-published authors may mail review copies to:

Marc Leepson

Arts Editor, The VVA Veteran

Vietnam Veterans of America

8719 Colesville Road

Silver Spring, MD 20910

We welcome comments, questions, and suggestions at [email protected]

–Marc Leepson, Books in Review II Editor

The Erawan War, Volume 3: The Royal Lao Armed Forces 1961-1974 by Ken Conboy

list of vtm books 2020

The Erawan War, Volume 3: The Royal Lao Armed Forces 1961-1974 (Helion, 68 pp. $25, paper) by Ken Conboy departs from the two volumes that preceded it, which concentrated on the CIA’s clandestine operations in Laos from 1961-74. In this volume we learn about the different units that collectively comprised the Royal Lao Armed Forces in that time period.  

It very quickly becomes apparent that many of the units were also tools of the political factions vying for control of the country or functioning as regional centers of power. As a result, chain-of-command was often driven by allegiances and personal loyalties. Reading about the convoluted politics will make readers cynical about the war and question why the United States invested so much in this remote country and its military. 

It’s difficult in hindsight to believe that President Eisenhower, concerned about what was then called the Domino Theory, warned incoming President Kennedy in January 1961 about Laos, advising him that events there—rather than in South Vietna,—should have his full attention. 

Maj. Kong Le, a well-known personality in Laos in the early sixties (he was the cover of Time in 1964), and who at one point promoted himself to general, is highlighted in this volume. He was an important player in Lao politics and the military, and a highly competent commander of one of the best Lao units in the war—the 2nd Parachute Battalion.  

When not leading coups against the government, the nominally neutralist leader would switch sides when it suited him. At one point he joined with the communist Pathet Lao and the North Vietnamese and received military assitance from the Soviet Union. In the end, he became irrelevant and departed Laos.  

list of vtm books 2020

Kong Le was not alone in staging coups. Rightists were keen to overthrow Laos’ Geneva Accords-directed coalition government and pursued that end through repeated coups. Because political allegiances were the driving factor in the Lao military you have to pay close attention when reading this book to follow who was doing what to whom at any given time.

Only when the war ended in 1975 and the communists took total and vindictive control did it become clear how tragic it was that the Lao military failed to unify and focus its energies on defeating the true enemy.

The book’s title, Erawan , is a mythological three-headed elephant common in Thai, Lao, and Khmer culture. It prominently appeared in the center of the red Lao national flag that was used until the end of the war.

This concise book is rich in photographs and illustrations. Careful reading will reveal the tragedy that befell Laos despite all the aid that the United States provided. From that perspective it is an important read.

–John Cirafici

The Flying Grunt by Alan E. Mesches

list of vtm books 2020

Landing at Inchon, advancing to Seoul, fighting at the Chosin Reservoir, slogging through 189 days of combat, making seven narrow escapes from death, frostbite and wounds; providing leadership during the siege of Khe Sanh in Vietnam, flying 204 F-4 and C-117 interdiction and close air support missions, and receiving a Distinguished Flying Cross and 16 Air Medals. Those are the highlights of the 38-year military career of Richard Carey as recounted in Alan Mesches’ new biography, The Flying Grunt: The Story of Lieutenant General Richard E. Carey, United States Marine Corps (Casemate, 240 pp. $37.95, hardcover; $15.99, Kindle).

In 1945 at the age of 17 Carey enlisted in the Marine Corps. Four years later his leadership skills earned him a direct commission to second lieutenant and the command of a platoon.

In more than 100 hours of interviews Carey guided historian Alan E. Mesches through his life and military career. In telling Carey’s life story, Mesches, an Air Force veteran, includes summations of world events occurring at the same time.    

Carey’s war actions well beyond normal. At one point in Korea, for example, he tackled Gen. Douglas MacArthur to save him from a line of fire. Their subsequent exchanges became historic. Carey also recalls people such as Marine Corps legend Chesty Puller with whom he interacted.

Carey’s recollections of battling Chinese communist forces at Hagaru-ri, abutting the Chosin Reservoir, are especially dynamic. Half of his platoon died during that vicious fight in November and December of 1950. “A lot bled to death,” Carey says. Since then, he has championed the Marines who fought in that battle, known as The Chosin Few.

Shortly after Choisin Reservoir, a mortar round wounded Carey and he returned stateside for treatment. Following rehabilitation, he received the assignment he had wanted since he was 17: flight school. He then began flight training and won his pilot wings.

list of vtm books 2020

Carey went to Vietnam three times. In 1963, he spent two weeks there gathering intelligence as a major advisor. In 1967-68, he had charge of base support activities at Chu Lai and Da Nang as a lieutenant colonel and volunteered to fly combat missions.

In 1975, as a brigadier general, he coordinated evacuation plans in Cambodia and South Vietnam as the North Vietnamese Army overran the South. That task included political and personality conflicts and diplomacy.

The chapters dealing with the evacuation of Saigon are especially enlightening. Carey and Mesches offer arguments for readers to reach personal conclusions about the rights and wrongs of the withdrawal procedures.

In combat and administrative roles Carey vigorously pursued and solved large and small problems. He demonstrated a wide-angle view of leadership techniques while scaling the levels of command from platoon leader to Commanding General of the Marine Corps Development and Education Command before retiring at age 55 in 1983. 

In civilian, among other things, he worked with the Metroplex Marine Coordinating Council in the Dallas-Fort Worth area helping veterans and their families. His efforts helped build a Dallas-Fort Worth veterans cemetery, provide housing for homeless veterans and accommodations for families of hospitalized veterans, and instituted a VA shuttle service.

Most importantly, Carey–who is 95–worked to fund and erect an eight-panel monument in the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery with seven panels containing battle scenes in tribute to The Chosin Few.

—Henry Zeybel

Brothers & Sisters Like These

list of vtm books 2020

Brothers & Sisters Like These: An Anthology of Writing by Veterans (Redhawk Publications, 185 pp. $15, paperback) is a collection of 77 very short stories and poems by 36 North Carolina veterans, with a Preface by Dr. Richard Kelly and an Introduction by Elizabeth Heaney.

 “Writing programs for veterans have existed since the Second World War to help veterans make sense of their military experience and honor the voices inside needing to be heard,” Dr. Kelly notes. The selections in this book come from one such program.

Some notable entries include:

“A Good Place,” in which Mike Smith visits the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, climbs a ladder, and as he reaches “toward Larry,” the names on The Wall start to come to life.

“Shiva’s Dance Card” by Pete Ramsey, which deals with American troops trying to negotiate with a Vietnamese woman to make up for the loss of her two ducks.

Steve Henderson’s “Tribe,” in which he writes that “To meet and share all of our stories and understand the times, the dangers, the emotions, has been uplifting and therapeutic for me.”

“What I Brought Back” in which Ted Minnick writes that he returned from Vietnam with “an appreciation for brotherhood, a deeper appreciation for spouse and family, and a sneaky hidden disease called Agent Orange.”

Renee Hermancek, who served during Desert Storm, writes: “Being a woman, the uniform carried more for me and others. M.W. Whore. Bitch. Marine. Teammate. Job title. At any moment I can fulfill any one of those titles or all of them depending on who I’m speaking to.”

“The Pillowcase,” by Midge Lorence, which deals with her husband dying in hospice, leaving her with feelings of anger and his pillowcase that she doesn’t want to remove from its pillow. 

“One of These Boots” by Gabriel Garcia, a poetic tribute to the men and women who perished during her nine months in Afghanistan.

“No Escape,” in which Vietnam War veteran Ray Crombe is trying to get away from PTSD. Here’s his last paragraph: “It was a long road back, and for so long, I thought the suffering was deserved – the warranted consequences of poor choices. I instinctively knew that Justice is getting what we deserve. Then found out that Grace is getting God’s Goodness – which we don’t deserve. But for which I – for one – am eternally grateful.”

Frank Cucumber’s poem, “I Used to Be,” is about how his Drill Instructor at Fort Gordon made him into who he is today. It’s not something he’s proud of.

This isn’t the type of anthology you judge on its literary merit. The work here is about honesty and truth and the courage to dig deep down into yourself and have the willingness to bring what you find out into the light.

Brothers & Sisters is one of the few books that nothing negative can be said about. It’s a literary powerhouse.

–Bill McCloud

Operation Utah by Hubert Yoshida

list of vtm books 2020

The history of the Vietnam War grows more complete and accurate as veterans, journalists, and historians continue to research and write about the conflict. Today’s authors gain the advantage of supplementing their research by studying what other writers have learned and written about the war. Organizations that help veterans offer opportunities for prospective authors to share information and work on their craft. Improvements in access to after action reports and other documents continually expand the information base.

All of those factors significantly helped Hubert Yoshida in writing Operation Utah:The Die Is Cast (Luna Blue, 356 pp. $29.99, hardcover; $20.99, paper), which centers on a four-day March 1966 Vietnam War battle in which he participated. His extensive research has uncovered facts not previously published and identified errors made by other authors.

Lt. Yoshida commanded a rifle platoon in H Company, 2nd Battalion, of 7th Marine Regiment based at Chu Lai. As a child of Japanese American citizens, he and his family spent World War II interred in a prison camp. He earned a math degree from the University of California, then enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and was commissioned from Officer Candidate School. He survived the Vietnam War with no traumatic aftereffects but is physically disabled from exposure Agent Orange.

Operation Utah matched three undermanned 2/7 Marine battalions and one South Vietnamese Airborne battalion against the North Vietnamese Army’s 21st Regiment and local Viet Cong forces. The Marines prevailed, but only after paying a heavy price of 101 killed in action and 278 wounded. Enemy losses totaled 600 KIA and an estimated 1,200 to 2,000 WIA.

Yoshida’s account of the fighting includes a look at the buildup of the Marine battalions and questions the intel underlying the operation. He breaks the combat into three phases and describes maneuvers from the perspective of the combatants. In this thoroughly researched account, Yoshida highlights Marine helicopter crews and artillery and Navy corpsmen. He also includes a chapter based on the diary of a KIA North Vietnamese soldier. His account of how one American family coped with the death of a young son and brother is universally true.

list of vtm books 2020

Yoshida offers four “obvious” lessons learned from Operation Utah. He also attempts to “connect the dots” regarding the war’s influence on the lives of the surviving young men.

The crowning tribute of the book is a photo gallery with short biographies that pays fond farewell to the 101 men killed in action during Operation Utah. Hubert Yoshida’s heart and soul are intrinsic in the biographies, a tone similar to his story telling.

Overall, Yoshida expresses sadness for the losses of young lives in this battle and the Vietnam War in general. Operation Utah easily could be retitled Tragedy in Victory .  

Warrior Spirit by Herman J. Viola

list of vtm books 2020

Herman J. Viola’s Warrior Spirit: The Story of Native American Heroism and Patriotism (University of Oklahoma Press, 168 pp. $19.95, paperback) is a unique and informative book. Aimed at young adults, the book is a quick-and-easy but fact-filled read. Viola, Curator Emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution and his four contributors—Debra Kay Mooney, Ellen Baumler, Cheryl Hughes, and Michelle Pearson—present a well-researched and illustrated history of the positive contributions Native Americans have made in all of the major U.S. military conflicts since the Revolutionary War.  

When many people think of Native Americans efforts during wartime, they tend to focus on the Code Talkers during World War II. In Warrior Spirit , we learn that that that unique communications effort was first used during in Europe during the First World War,

There is a lot of other revealing information in this book, including stories of Medal of Honor recipients and little-known contributions made by Native Americans in the heat of battle.

Viola and company explain the warrior ethos of Native Americans, as well as their deeply held religious beliefs, and their respect for warriors and for other war fighters around them.

Warrior Spirit is a well-written and edited book from an author who has devoted much of his career to studying, teaching and writing about American Indian history and culture.

–Tom Werzyn

My Country is the World edited by Luke Stewart

list of vtm books 2020

My Country Is the World: Staughton Lynd’s Writings, Speeches, and Statements Against the Vietnam War (Haymarket Books, 400 pp. $65, hardcover; $29.95, paper; $9.99, Kindle), edited by the historian Luke Stewart, is an extensive look at the antiwar movement of the late 1960s, concentrating on the leadership of one man, Staughton Lynd.

Lynd (1929-2022) actively opposed America’s involvement in the Vietnam War between 1965 and 1970, especially in New York and Washington. His efforts peaked in the months after a December 1965 trip he made to Hanoi with Tom Hayden, founding member of Students for a Democratic Society, and Albert Aptheker, a historian and member of the Communist Party of the United States.

A professor at Yale University, Lynd believed that the U.S. went to war in Vietnam because of a foreign policy established by a group of privileged people who felt their manhood threatened by any challenge to American power.

Lynd’s wife Alice, who often worked beside him, seemed most comfortable being involved in draft counseling. Those who took part in that work were well aware of the painful irony that for every young man they helped avoid conscription, another one would be drafted and likely be sent to Vietnam.

Lynd started working for Civil Rights in the South before moving to opposing the war in Vietnam. From 1965-67, many considered him to be the leading American voice against the war. This volume collects his major writings, speeches, and interviews during this time.

In February 1965 the Lynds wrote to the IRS stating they would stop paying the percentage of their income taxes that went to the Defense Department. Lynd said he instead favored the U.S. paying massive reparations to the Vietnamese people.

Lynd considered the fighting in Vietnam to be the result of a civil war, and not a question of foreign aggression that should be stopped by military intervention. He moved from opposing the war to trying to end it and called for the creation of a War Crimes Tribunal.  

“This country is presently waging an undeclared war so evil and so dangerous that the imagination can hardly comprehend it,” Lynd declared at a protest meeting in Carnegie Hall. He went to Hanoi in an effort to encourage peace talks. While in Vietnam he said the war was “immoral, illegal, and antidemocratic.” The trip resulted in having his passport revoked, losing his job at Yale, being marked by the CIA as “the notorious national peace leader.”

Lynd later became a critic of the antiwar movement’s tactics and strategies. That resulted in a permanent split with his good friend and another leader in the movement, David Dellinger. Lynd then began to move away from national antiwar activity, becoming more involved in the labor movement.

The records gathered here are an important accounting of the early years of the American antiwar movement during the Vietnam War. Just as important to me is editor Luke Stewart’s lengthy, informative essays that make up the book’s chapter introductions.

This book will help to balance out many a Vietnam War library.

Dustoff by Arnold Hughbrook Sampson, Jr.

list of vtm books 2020

Arnold Sampson, Jr., takes an exploratory journey into the past in Dustoff: More than Met the Eye, Reflections of a Vietnam Medevac Pilot (BookBaby, 200 pp. $19.69, paper). This war memoir is exceptional because, in examining his role as a UH1-H medevac (Dustoff) helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War, Sampson admits to not remembering significant portions of what he did.

As he puts it: “Time has sopped up and blotted out some of the observations I thought I would never forget.” The events Sampson does remember add up to an in-depth appraisal of the ups and downs (pun intended) of a Vietnam War Dustoff pilot.  

Sampson, a life member of Vietnam Veterans of America, joined the 68th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) in 1969, six months after the unit deployed to Chu Lai. As a newbie lieutenant and one of only a few commissioned officers in the unit, all of the non-combat administrative duties were dumped on him. He still flew missions, but it took seven months for him to reach an aircraft commander’s seat.

Flying in the Vietnam War proved to be both exceptionally rewarding and extremely dangerous, Sampson says. He tells stories about situations for which he had no training or inadequate information. He learned from mistakes that often began as creative ideas but failed in practicality, and continually calls himself to task for them.

His conflicted feelings about extreme situations such as rescuing a fellow pilot who accidentally shot himself did not finally resolve themselves until decades later. His acts of kindness such as doctoring a badly injured Vietnamese child who died practically in his arms took a heavy emotional toll. That child’s death still haunts his dreams.   

Sampson creates a nightmare of terror with his accounts of days of flying through rain, clouds, and zero visibility during the monsoon season. For a time, all aircraft were grounded except for Dustoff choppers. In the midst of that chaos, an extraordinary close call caused his crewmen to face him down with a mini-mutiny; Sampson merely walked away from them and the war continued. During that period, his crew saved lives on every mission.

A loner who did not drink or hang out at the club, Sampson was not particularly sociable. His overall view of the 68th is a group of skillful but self-centered warrant officers who did nothing but fly. Sampson’s piloting skill and willingness to help others improve their abilities earned him respect.

He challenges the necessity for the war and criticizes its execution. In closing, he honors the dead and recognizes the post-war suffering of survivors.

Arnold Sampson writes in an enjoyable, conversational style. Although many of his stories emphasize his shortcomings, the fact is that he flew 878 combat missions that evacuated 2,200 people, saving the lives of hundreds of them. 

SOG Kontum by Joe Parnar and Robert Dumont

list of vtm books 2020

Joe Parnar and Robert Dumont’s SOG Kontum: Top Secret Missions in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, 1968–1969  (Casemate, 304 pp. $37.95, hardcover; $15.99, Kindle), as its subtitle indicates, tells the story of MACV Studies and Observation Group covert missions operating out of a Special Forces Forward Operating Fire Support Base near the Ho Chi Minh Trail. 

Those SOG teams made their way into Laos and Cambodia to conduct reconnaissance, rescue downed pilots, carry out psychological operations, and reduce the flow of arms and personnel down the winding trail. 

The MACV/SOG program was the largest covert operation undertaken by the American military since World War II. It was disbanded in 1972 and most of its records destroyed. 

One of the first books about the program was John Plaster’s SOG: The Secret Wars of American Commandos in Vietnam , which came out in 1997. Parner and Dumont’s book is something of a sequel to Plaster’s book. The two books do a good job of replacing the lost records and serving as tributes to the SOG operatives, their allies, and their helicopter crews.

SOG units usually consisted of three grunts and a group of indigenous warriors, mostly Montagnards. The authors interviewed many veterans and the book is filled with their eyewitness accounts.

The book concentrates on missions launched from FOB Kontum, which was near the tri-border area. Former Vietnam War Green Beret Parnar and researcher/writer Dumont cover weapons, uniforms (with no insignia), and gear in the irintroduction.

Then they go on to describe the missions. A typical one started with insertion by helicopter. Most of the missions involved scouting the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Many resulted in problems that required emergency evacuations. These problems often were unplanned encounters with larger enemy units.

The format of the book works well. The move from one eyewitness account to the next is seamless. There are many pictures of the SOG members and maps. What stands out is that many of the missions went wrong and triggered enormous efforts to rescue the Americans and their Montagnards.

list of vtm books 2020

The book is a tribute to the SOG personnel and to the helicopter crews who risked their lives picking up endangered units. Medics also come off as heroes. The indigenous soldiers are given their due. The enemy is depicted as a worthy adversary.

My main takeaway is how U.S. military leaders were willing to lose more lives to rescue small numbers of Americans or even a dead American.

Also, I could not help but wonder whether the missions were worth the deaths. I cannot believe they had much of an impact on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Twelve SOG teams disappeared when radio contact ceased; 407 team members were killed in action and 49 are missing in action. Eight SOG men received Medals of Honor and, in 2001, SOG received a Presidential Unit Citation.    

–Kevin Hardy

An Ebony Life Defined by William “Smoke” Howard

list of vtm books 2020

Memoirs are, by definition, self-serving, strongly personal stories that tell the rest of us the author’s life story. So it is with William “Smoke” Howard’s An Ebony Life Defined (120 pp. $14.99, paper; $7.50, Kindle), the story of Howard’s journey through the music scene starting in Nashville and ending in Philadelphia.

Howard, in his short book, takes the reader on a succinct and well-written ride from early family singing experiences in Bristol, Tennessee, to owning, co-managing and becoming the lead vocalist of the long-time, regionally successful group, The Ebonys .

Centered around Nashville, far from the music industry frenzy of Detroit and of both coasts, Howard was able to hold to the values of his Christian upbringing. Full of anecdotes and asides, his book is akin to Who’s-Who of the Nashville non-country music scene.

I confess that I wasn’t aware of the success and popularity of the Ebonys or many of the other singing groups Howard mentions, and learned a good deal about them from his book.

Howard briefly mentions his service with the Americal Division in the Vietnam War, but includes one of the best war stories I’ve ever read. Don’t miss it.

An Ebony Life is a nicely written and a well-presented labor of love by a man who is rightly proud of his achievements in the music business.

It’s an inspirational read.

The Fifth Special Forces in the Valleys of Vietnam, 1967 by Douglas Coulter

list of vtm books 2020

In his compelling memoir, The Fifth Special Forces in the Valleys of Vietnam, 1967 : An Insider’s Account (McFarland, 240 pp. $29.95, paper; $13.49, hardcover), Douglas Coulter describes how he was kicked out of Harvard and wound up in the jungles of Vietnam to perform one of the war’s most dangerous assignments, a long range reconnaissance patrol leader.

Coulter, a privileged Mayflower descendant who died last year, volunteered for Vietnam and to be a platoon leader with Project Delta (the forerunner of today’s Delta Force), a small reconnaisance unit jmade up of American and Vietnamese Special Forces. He went on to lead three-to-five-day patrols off five-man LRRP teams up to 25 miles behind enemy lines in the highly dangerous A Shau Valley, well out of range of friendly artillery. 

He describes in gripping detail the terror, uncertainty, and fear he felt while leading these patrols. Coulter’s depiction of moving through the dense jungle, which he says “in all its aspects conspired to kill,” is graphic and the reader can almost feel the roots, thorns, and vines that his patrol had to defeat, as well as traverse, in the dark. The patrols, while terrifying, were only occasionally successful in gaining intel and made contact with the enemy only once—on his final patrol.

Because he clearly walked the walk, Douglas Coulter is entitled to talk the talk, including criticizing American involvement in the Vietnam War. He says that narcissism was the underlying issue that led to the war and attacks the notion of American exceptionalism. He believes that much of the war was window dressing and a show, and severely criticized how individual Americans treated their Vietnamese allies. On the other hand, he hated the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese soldiers, although he admired their commitment and their abilities.

Coulter criticizes by name and in detail many decisions by, and the character of, many American soldiers of all ranks. He contends that said decisions were born of impure reasons – professional jealousy, stupidity, the desire to look good, power and career over duty and honor, incompetence, bad judgment, cowardice, ass kissing, and lack of character. He describes an incident in which an officer unnecessarily got into a chopper and had it fly over a skirmish so that he could receive the Combat Infantryman Badge, not an uncommon occurrence in the Vietnam War.

list of vtm books 2020

Not sparing himself, Coulter cites incidents of his own errors of judgment, incompetence, and stupidity. He goes on to say that experiencing the character of other men is one of the great things about serving in the military, but concludes that he hadn’t “gained a thing” from serving in the war, and hadn’t learned to act like a man. This reviewer disagrees with that assessment.

Coulter returned from the war and finished his Harvard degree, then added an MBA from its business school. He became a political organizer working for the 1972 presidential campaign of George McGovern.

Coulter and I had a close mutual friend at Harvard who idolized him. So did almost all of the men he served with, including Gen. Henry Hugh Shelton, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who was a Project Delta captain in the Vietnam War and who wrote the book’s foreword.

A Harvard rallying cry is, “Fight Fiercely, Harvard,” something Douglas Coulter did.

–Harvey Weiner

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    list of vtm books 2020

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  1. List of Vampire: The Masquerade books

    It was originally released by White Wolf Publishing in 1991, and with new editions released in 1992 (second edition), 1998 ( Revised Edition ), 2011 ( 20th Anniversary Edition ), and 2018 (fifth edition), [1] each of which updated the game rules. [2] These have been supported with supplementary game books, expanding the game mechanics and setting.

  2. Vampire: The Masquerade books

    1 First Edition 2 Second Edition 3 Revised Edition 4 20th Anniversary Edition 5 Fifth Edition 6 Products By Other Companies 6.1 Chessex 6.2 Diamond Select Toys 6.3 Java's Crypt 6.4 Ral Partha 6.5 Red Bubble 6.6 Rusted Icon Designs 6.7 Shield Games 7 Cancelled 8 References First Edition Second Edition Revised Edition 20th Anniversary Edition

  3. Vampire: The Masquerade

    Check out our introductory guide below! Our guide lists essential products, streaming shows and links to everything you need to start your own Vampire: The Masquerade adventure. We've prepared official Vampire: The Masquerade moodboards to help you get immersed in the setting, learn about the clans and find inspiring locations.

  4. Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition

    Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition, also known as V5, is the recent version of Vampire: The Masquerade and was released in 2018, with the publication of Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition Corebook. The system was co-created by Martin Ericsson (lead storyteller), Karim Muammar (playtest designer and editor-in-chief), and Kenneth Hite (lead designer). It contains new and overhauled rules, and ...

  5. Vampire: The Masquerade Series in Order

    Book Descriptions for series: Vampire: The Masquerade. Judge. Gherbod Fleming. HtR: Predator & Prey: JudgeWhite WolfAuthor: Gherbod FlemingPages: 284SRP: $6.50ISBN: 1-59504-970-5UPC: 099379117013Predator & Prey: Judge is the second in this series of six novels that explores the Hunters newly arrived within the World of Darkness...

  6. Is there a list of published "in-universe" books? (like The Book of Nod

    VTM: Book of Nod VTM: Revelations of the Dark Mother VTDA: Erciyes Fragments WTA: The Silver Record WTA: Chronicle of the Black Labyrinth MTA: The Fragile Path HTR: Hunter Apocrypha DTF: Days of Fire I thinkthat's it for the World of Darkness. A few were made for the CofD as well, like Rites of the Dragon and the Testament of Longinus. 4 Share

  7. Interesting pre-written adventures for VtM

    May 25, 2020 #3 Yes, there are prewritten Vampire: The Masquerade adventures. White Wolf and Onyx Path (they have the license for the 20th anniversary edition of Vampire The Masquerade) have a large store of material on, one of our regular advertisers.

  8. 33 Best Vampire Books for Adults to Read in 2021

    Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. $11 at Bookshop. After being on the run, Rose and her best friend Lissa, a vampire princess, are forced to return to vampire boarding school, St. Vladimir's Academy. Rose is tasked with being Lissa's bodyguard, but as they become enmeshed in romance and the drama surrounding the school's cliques, Rose must also ...

  9. Most popular books published in 2020

    The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body. On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher.

  10. Vampire: The Masquerade Companion releases in December!

    The Vampire: The Masquerade Companion book brings three highly-anticipated Vampire clans into V5, and gives Storytellers more tools to enhance their chronicles, including: Three vampire clans: Tzimisce, Ravnos, Salubri Discipline powers representing each of the new clans Expanded rules and roleplaying information for ghouls and mortals

  11. Vampire: The Masquerade

    When Cecily Bain, an enforcer for the Twin Cities' vampiric elite, takes a mysterious new vampire under her wing, she's dragged into an insidious conspiracy. Meanwhile, on the outskirts of the cities, a rebellious found-family of vampire cast-outs investigates a vicious killing. As the unlives of the Kindred twine together and betrayals are ...


    Lore of the Clans is a single volume revisiting all thirteen Clans for Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, providing story hooks, character concepts, history, and Clan-specific rules. This PDF includes charts and tools to help the Storyteller when they are running the Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition RPG. ...

  13. Vampire: The Masquerade Audiobooks

    One of the most popular role-playing properties in the world gets new life with this trio of horror novellas set in Vampire: The Masquerade's World of Darkness by three brilliant talents: Genevieve Gornichec, Cassandra Khaw, and Caitlin Starling . The subtle horror and infernal politics of the World of Darkness are shown in a new light in Vampire: The Masquerade: Walk Among Us, an audio-first ...

  14. Best Books About VMI (62 books)

    VMI authors and books of interest (wars, campaigns, battles involving alumni; fiction; etc.) can also be found. flag. All Votes Add Books To This List. 1. Always a River. by. Todd Allen Henderson. 4.31 avg rating — 13 ratings. score: 200 , and 2 people voted.

  15. VTU Text Books

    Engineering Chemistry, Revised ed, (As per 2014 - 15 syllabus of VTU): 1. Electrode Potential and Cells. 2. Batteries and Fuel Cells. 3. Corrosion and Its Control. 4.

  16. Wikipedia:Featured list candidates/List of Vampire: The Masquerade

    Nominator(s): Alexandra IDV 12:30, 29 October 2020 (UTC) Reply [] Hello, all! This is my second FLC, following last year's List of World of Darkness video games, and is also about the WoD series - this time about tabletop game books, organized by which game edition they were released for, and with annotations describing each item.Although I feel more confident than I did last year, this is a ...

  17. 2020 Book Lists

    Listopia > 2020 Book Lists. Goodreads Choice Awards 2021 (eligible for write-in only) 2,664 books — 3,900 voters YA Novels of 2020. 826 books — 3,041 voters Most Anticipated Romance Novels of 2020. 951 books — 2,773 voters May 2020 Most-Anticipated Romances. 221 books — 2,697 voters ...

  18. Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition

    Vampire: The Masquerade is the original and ultimate roleplaying game of personal and political horror. You are a vampire, struggling for survival, supremacy, and your own fading humanity — afraid of what you are capable of, and fearful of the inhuman conspiracies that surround you. The classic that changed roleplaying games forever returns!

  19. Vampire: The Masquerade: Clan Novel Book Series

    The Vampire: The Masquerade: Clan Novel book series by multiple authors includes books Toreador, Clan Novel: Tzimisce, Gangrel, and several more. See the complete Vampire: The Masquerade: Clan Novel series book list in order, box sets or omnibus editions, and companion titles.

  20. Reviewing Vampire: The Masquerade Rule Books Part 4: Vampire ...

    Most of the VtM books are centred around modern settings, by which I mean, from the mid-twentieth century to modern-day. Whilst it is not impossible to mould the rules and settings in an older ...

  21. Books in Review II

    Herman J. Viola's Warrior Spirit: The Story of Native American Heroism and Patriotism (University of Oklahoma Press, 168 pp. $19.95, paperback) is a unique and informative book. Aimed at young adults, the book is a quick-and-easy but fact-filled read. Viola, Curator Emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution and his four contributors—Debra Kay Mooney, Ellen Baumler, Cheryl Hughes, and ...