I have been a die-hard vampire fan girl since, well, at least age 11 if not younger. I cut my fangs on the Red-Box edition of D&D ran for me and my girlfriends on my 13th birthday party by a family friend. In high school, towards the end of my senior year, a school mate handed me a book and said I might like it. He wasn’t going to use it. I still wonder to this day why he gave it to me. It was not like we ran in the same circles. I was the local goth-witch-pagan-tarot-card-spell-casting-evilness-in-a-small-town and he was a preacher’s son. That book was the 1st edition Vampire the Masquerade by White Wolf. My girlfriends at the time were not interested; they preferred D&D to Vampire. Me, I fell in love with it at first read.
Two decades later… my goth clothing, corsets, black nail polish, etc have all been passed down to my daughter who has celebrated her 13th birthday. I’m still a die-hard vampire-phile. I mourn the havoc that kids and health have done to my body, because well, being a fat vampire just doesn’t work aesthetically for me.
I have found a new gaming love that sings to me more than Vampire does these days. Who would have thought? Geist the Sin-Eaters is a game about second chances, and so much more. It took me awhile to dissect why I love it so much, and why it has become my absolute favorite White Wolf game.
If I have any sort of specialty when it comes to White Wolf games, old or new, it is that I inherently get the spiritual aspects. The Umbra? My play ground. Spirits? My play things. Voodoo loas? Oh yes. Ghosts? Yep, got that covered to. Anything along those lines, my forte. Toss in a good-old-fashioned interest (obsession?) with death, and you have what I love to read about and role-play about. Vampires, zombies, ghost stories, resurrection, reincarnation… yep, love that stuff.
Wraith just didn’t tickle my fancy in the ways that Vampire did, despite it being about ghosts and life after death and other goodness. Never really got into it, but I did enjoy it when I could play it.
Geist however, combines all the elements in just the right way that reaches that special spot. I love the concept behind the game, I love the Underworld journeys, the duality, the celebration of life because you have been touch by death, the Krewe aspects (I love Mardi Gras), the ability to create your own mythology about why you are the way you are, the creep factor, the powers, the innate abilities… it’s has every aspect of what I love in a game all rolled up into one.
I do think that it boils down to that one phrase: Geist is a celebration of life. You have a second chance to live… and you have some kick ass, spooky, powers to go along with it because of what hitched a ride with you back from the other side.
Having lost a son, my mother, and so many other loved ones to death, I innately and intimately get the philosophy behind it all: “through death we come to celebrate life”. It can be said any number of ways, and it is part of several faiths and philosophies. This is also why the Baron Samedi, the Ghedes, Papa Ghede, Manman Brigitte, or any of that particular family of loas are my favorite.
… Yes, and of course, my name is listed in the book under play tester /might/ also be a reason why Geist overtook 1st place.