This is a rant written by Justin Achilli venting about his work and the feedback that it garners. It provides a personal perspective on the state of some gamers and roleplaying games where power is seemingly everything, and the imagination is left behind. Written in the late 1990's it was posted at White Wolf's official site http://www.white-wolf.com The author is unable to be contacted. The rant has not been changed except to format it for Everything.
It's part and parcel to the job. I bust my ass to make quality, exciting books that expose various malignant elements of the World of Darkness for a fraction of what Hollywood knuckleheads get paid to do the same thing with less depth and attention to detail. The only thing I have other than an ulcer, a DUI and several thousand dollars in debt is a festering yet undeniable love for Vampire and its sense of brooding, gothic horror. Every time some illiterate mongrel sends me a shrill, rabid e-mail demanding that he be allowed to play a Dragon/Angel Archmage and obliterate the city of Compton with the Level Sixty power of BlowShitUpus, it makes me want to put a gun to my head. Every whiny letter that complains how such-and-such clan used to be so cool but we fucked it up in the revised edition brings me one step closer to serial murder. Every poorly punctuated missive from a one-eyed high-school cave dwarf decrying me for how much better he could do my job makes the extinction of the human race all the more appealing.
If you like crossover games, fine. I don't. If you like Immortals, fine. I don't. If you like amassing millions of dots in Disciplines and descending into the depths of hell to slay the Archduke of Tartarus, fine. I don't. I have a pretty purist viewpoint concerning Vampire and I pour every bit of love I can muster from my wretched, black little heart into my books. I hope you enjoy them. If you don't, I'll gladly accept that, but I hope you can take the pieces you do like and make them into something rewarding for you.
There's no "right" way to play Vampire. I bring all of the material in line with my vision, but who says who have to use my vision? Likewise, your vision isn't "right," either. As long as you're having fun, the game works and fulfills its purpose: entertainment. I think I do a pretty good job of making Vampire a sublime game of horror, mystery, moral ambiguity and passion, but if you'd rather do something else with it, that's cool, too. WoD bibliophiles, self-avowed experts, arrogant pundits and other fascists of ideas make me sick; there are a lot of them out there, and they never hesitate to send e-mail in my direction. By the time the 400th idiotic question finds its way to my mailbox, and it's sitting next to a six-page dissertation on why I should be fired for allowing a vampire to be Embraced from the Ugaritic Sub-Saharan Huns when their cultic religion so clearly prevents them from drinking blood, I get a bit disgusted. By the time I see my 3,000th Celtic Gangrel, merry Clan Ravnos trickster or wacky, teddy-bear carrying Malkavian, I wonder why I even bother thinking about these books, when so many people seem to want the same old pap and stupidity each month. I may as well print pictures of my ass and write, "The Followers of Set are EEEEEEEEEEEEEVIL. Marilyn Manson Rules!" on the last page; people would buy it.
But I don't want to do that. To me, Vampire is vastly more than that. I'm gonna catch a shitstorm for the apparent "arrogance" of this little diatribe from people who can't read any deeper than the surface, but whatever. God help me, I want Vampire to be the cool, edgy, hip thing it was when it first burst on the scene seven years ago. It's all I can to do to keep that edge; Vampire, to some people, is just another game, just another fantasy-role-playing power trip in which they can beat up on orcs-- er, anarchs and rob the king-- er, Ventrue prince blind. We have indeed become the Generation of Swine, even in our little roleplaying pond. I don't want that either, so I make Vampire my valediction and my bastion of expression.
Then someone e-mails me with a request for a list of kickass guns for his character. That's why I'm so goddamn cranky.
And by the way, Baba Yaga's dead.