Camarilla is the new compendium for the fifth edition of "Vampires: La Masquerade", out today on Need Games site, Italian publisher of the title. To celebrate the arrival in Italy of this compendium and its twin, dedicated to the Anarchist Movement, one was organized evening at the Casa dei Giochi in Milan. In tomorrow's review we will talk about the Non-Aligned and the thousand anarchist movements that their compendium presents. Today let's focus on the Ivory Tower and the beautiful cathedral it represents.

Who is the Compendium for? Who should read it?

The compendium has very few rules inside, so if you are interested in those aspects of the game, purchasing is absolutely not recommended. Who is this two hundred page book for? It is aimed at vampire fans. You may have never heard of role-playing games, don't know Vampires: La Masquerade or appreciate this edition, but you'll love this book. Its strong point is precisely the possibility of being read as a compendium on a type of night society. The purchase is therefore recommended to storytellers, players, readers, writers, designers, sculptors. If you love the vampire figure and its intrinsic elegance, this book is for you.

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Mood of the Compendium

Camarilla, unlike its twin, it was born with a very interesting narrative cue. Victoria Ash, an expert Toreador who recently climbed to the top of the wave again thanks to a historic wedding, leaves her personal "presentation" of the Camarilla to a young vampire who has recently been embraced. In the two hundred pages that make up the manual, Victoria will often tell firsthand the history, cults, beliefs and political maneuvers of the Ivory Tower world. Other illustrious vampires will join her in what are conferences, letters, emails, recordings of conversations.

Well yes, most of the texts that you will read in the two compendiums are absolutely In Game, written, thought or said by vampires of all social backgrounds. Since Camarilla is a set of traditions, stories and cults, it is much easier to reconstruct its history and structure. Imagine it as a marvelous cathedral, with a recognizable structure and a hierarchical staircase that can be traveled both above and below. As Victoria herself will tell you, it is not good to bind too much to form because falling down stairs is a moment even for a vampire.

Our Faith

This first part of the compendium deals with the relationship between the vampire belonging to the Camarilla and religion. There have been several cults revered by vampires over the centuries and this chapter tries not only to summarize them but also to explain why immortal creatures feel the need to bind to one or other religion. You can even find the liturgy of a Mass, with all the sacredness of the rite and the word.

Our Mission

Victoria explains to us at this point how to move in the modern world, which contacts it is good to keep with reality and which philosophies it would be good to stick to. The Beast is always around the corner, both for young and older vampires, and one of the ways to fight it is not to lose your humanity and not to become zotic. This is why the Brother should not just survive but is invited to be an active part of the Camarilla's life and to forge his own destiny.

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The Gehenna War and the Second Inquisition

For each member of the Camarilla these two concepts mean trouble. In these two sections we face two problems that afflict the world of vampires, especially the organized one of the Ivory Tower. SI has already made its presence felt on numerous occasions and devastated the presence of undead in London. However, for the more daring and the shrewd, even a destructive force like SI can become a means of gaining power. You just have to have enough liver to go and get it.

Loyalty and Order - The Court

These two sections deal with complementary but different things. The first deals with studying the world of the relationship between vampires at a level comparable to that of a coterie, therefore blood ties, marriages, the formation of a coterie itself. The second deals with the hierarchical organization of a domain, with all its important and non-replaceable figures, and then tells us about the main cities in the world. Do you want to know what the situation in Paris is? This compendium is for you. You will find that there are several very interesting narrative ideas.

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The Clans of the Brothers

Victoria guides us, filling the text with her personal considerations, on the main clans that make up the Camarilla after the betrayal of the Brujahs and the expulsion of the Gangrels. Very useful section due to the division of the treatment according to the situations: vampire with vampire, vampire with human being and sins of the vampire. Each clan has its flaws and its dark sides and this section deals with those.

The vampire clan of Banu Haqim, who recently entered the orbit of the Camarilla thanks to Victoria Ash's blood marriage, is also treated for the first time. A completely new world and a different world view comes from the Middle East, allowing you to expand your conception of the vampire beyond the western one.

Institutional conflict

The compendium adds some really interesting rules in case the vampire war, conflict and hunger for power wants to be managed institutionally. Politics will return cyclically in the two summaries and the idea that a vampire ends up owning or commanding will attract much attention. What this manual shows us, and Victoria Ash will give us excellent examples, is that a vampire does not necessarily destroy himself with direct conflict.

Difference between the two compendiums

As we can see in the review of the compendium on the Anarchist Movement, the different structure of the material reflects a different conception of the world. On the one hand we will find the Camarilla order, with a well-defined history and traditions, on the other we will find the Anarchist Movement and its rejection of the story told by the Ivory Tower. Some vampires will believe that they are chosen by divine beings, others that they are desperately trying to reproduce a virus.