In the previous design blog, I talked about how hard it was to pin down what “Classic Sabbat” really meant, since they had changed so much in the last 27 years. So, how are we, the writers and creators of The Night In Question, going to depict them? What kind of monsters are we asking you all to play?
From the beginning, we’ve billed The Night In Question as a “Classic Sabbat” game. When I started this project, that seemed like a fairly straightforward statement – we would be playing the Sabbat as my friends and I remembered them, playing Vampire: The Masquerade for the first time in the late 1990s. Then we started researching, and we discovered that the Sabbat are likely the most modified, frequently rewritten and retroactively changed aspect of Vampire: The Masquerade. Perhaps in the entire World of Darkness.
So, the question becomes, which “Classic Sabbat” are we going to play? And where did all this confusion and changes come from in the first place?
Well, let’s start by talking about how we got here in the first place.
Writer’s Note: The history of the World of Darkness’ development is vast. If you spot a missing piece of the puzzle or an inaccuracy, let us know! We’d love to learn more. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Edition: The Pure Antagonists
The First Edition of Vampire: The Masquerade says almost nothing about the Sabbat. Their commitment to monstrosity and their reveling in their natures is outlined. Some things said in the first edition continue onward, while others are never mentioned again.
The Lasombra and Tzimisce are first mentioned, but have no history or rules defined. A version of the Creation Rites is first mentioned in First Edition but involves embracing a Sabbat by mixing the blood of the entire pack then burying them. Portrayed mostly as a vicious death cult that does little more than hunt the player characters to diablerize them, the Sabbat are purely antagonists with little defined about them.