As yet another pair of revised PDFs for the Vampire: The Masquerade, 5th Edition sourcebooks Anarch and Camarilla dropped the other day, I found myself wondering what was the list of actual changes. So I googled for it, and found many people wondering the same but no actual list.
So, I pulled up the first-released PDFs and the newest versions alongside them and compared to get the following. This is just a list of additions, removals, and changes in the content. Some of the edits are pretty simple and inconsequential, but others can be read politically. I did not make mention of corrected typos, changes in the artwork, or shifts in layout. Some of the changes I agree with, such as the removal of the Abrek Blight, and some I do not, such as the rewriting of The Gehenna War. On the balance, I’m pretty happy with my uncensored hardcovers. I do appreciate, though, that of the additional cities in the revamped Camarilla, all but one are outside the United States.
It should be noted that in addition to the two that I compared, the original and them most recent one, there exists a third version, which is the quick edits right before going to print. I haven’t looked at them in detail but I think the only major change in those is that Camarilla has had Abrek Blight excised and a bunch of new city entries added to make up the page count. The first print edition does have the original Gehenna War chapter.
I worked by comparing the profile of the the text on two adjacent PDFs, not by close reading. I will have missed stuff, especially in sections of Camarilla where they jiggered the layout and made my technique harder. In such cases I did have to do close reading, but I am but a fallible mortal.
In entries where the pages differ between the two versions, the first page number is the original.
pg 1: Additional writing by Steffie De Vaan.
pg 27: Section titled The End of the Dream substantially rewritten to remove references to Central Asia and ambiguity as to whether Oksana refers to lording over humans or Communism itself.
pg 32: Chapter “Damsel wants YOU to join the Anarch Free States” inserted.
pg 40/42: Section “Overpopulation and Suicide” rewritten as “Overpopulation and Wights”. In the original version, it talked about how many newly Embraced Anarchs kill themselves in their first few months of unlife. In the new one, they succumb to the Beast.
pg 66/68: Chapter “Is It OK To Feed Vitae To a Baby?”, a cutting satire on internet’s baby and self-help forums cut away. “Damsel wants YOU to join the Anarch Free States” exists to make up the page count.
pg 104: In the Chapter “The Blood of the Patriots”, paragraph “Here’s a pro-tip: Don’t combine pretending to be human by eating food and drinking from girls who pass out at parties. Being so fucked you puke on your shoes is possible even as one of us, if the conditions are right.” changed to “Here’s a pro-tip: Don’t combine pretending to be human by eating food and drinking from people who’ve been chugging beer all night long.”
pg 114: A third eye removed from the picture of a young woman. Guess no Salubri here, then.
pg 120: In the chapter “A vér hanaja”, title corrected as “A vér hangja”. Two paragraphs in section “The Fate of Humanity” reading:
This is a simple truth: When a mortal breeds true, their blood tastes divine. If it doesn’t, something has gone wrong. Modern medicine has allowed the weak to survive, polluting the gene pool with their hereditary trash, spoiling our hunt in the process.
We must break apart human civilization, separating, radicalizing and regimenting them until only the best and purest blood rises to the surface. The human waste matter with no culinary value will starve out.
This is a simple truth: When a mortal feeds on too much processed food and refined sugars, their blood tastes different, wrong. Modern society has weakened most humans, spoiling our hunt in the process.
We must break apart human civilization, separating, radicalizing and regimenting them until they are forced back into an age of hunting and gathering.
pg 127: In the chapter “Electric Vitae Acid Test”, the text “(For extra credits, use the recipe with horse sperm. It’s online, look it up.)” from advice on harassing elders with custard pies.
pg 152: In the section “Caitiff in Vampire Society”, the sentence “All Thinblood are Caitiff, their weak 14-16th generation so diluted (or just different if you want to be politically correct among the unbound) […]” edited to remove the text in parentheses.
pg 157: A sidebar advertising the mobile game Vampire: Prelude has been removed, as the game is no longer being sold.
pg 177: A glyph, presumably of the Ministry, has been added on the photo illustration.
pg 196: Moloch’s Will removed from the Ruins of Carthage loresheet.
pg 1: Additional writing: Khaldoun Khelil.
pg 2: “How to Use This Book” added.
pg 21/23: In the section “The State and humanity, sentence “Tinfoil hats and anti-semitic hate-mongers looking for the fingerprints of “the Illuminati” in early US history will find only traces of night-wars and alliances between creatures unimaginable to their limited faculties.” edited to remove the words “and anti-semitic hate-mongers”.
pg 29/31: In the section “The Ur-Shulgi Cult”, the last paragraph
It is worth noting that the awakening of the Skinless One parallels the growth of extremist interpretations of the Qur’an on both sides of the Sunni-Shia divide. His thirst for destruction is shared by many mortals, and in his wake violence rises, tainting the image of Islam (and the Banu Haqim to those who know) in the minds of the West.
was rewritten as
It is worth noting that the awakening of the Skinless One and the schism it sparked within the clan has exposed the fact that we’ve misunderstood them all along, bringing us closer, first to those in the fringes, then to major factions within the clan.
pg 34/36: Chapter: “The Reformed Congregation of the Veneration of the Methuselah”. A couple of lines of context added to the beginning, apparently text that was accidentally omitted from the original.
pg 45/47: Sentence “A subfaction of the Camarilla call themselves the Kindred-Kine Collective, but anyone not of the group refers to them as parasites, or cleavers if we want to be polite” rewritten to “A small but repellent subfaction of the Camarilla has made itself known among the larger body of the sect. Anyone not of the group refers to them as parasites, or cleavers if we want to be polite.”
pg 53-62/55-64: Chapter “The Gehenna War”. Extensively rewritten. In the epigraph, “Elysium is empty of elders, as if a plague had swept over the city, and we ancillae now rule Lisbon as Prince pretenders.” rewritten as “Elysium is almost completely empty of elders, as if a plague had swept over the city, and we ancillae now rule Lisbon as Prince pretenders.”
Victoria Ash’s introduction to the material extensively rewritten. Example: sentence “We all feel the call” replaced with “Many in the Camarilla claim to hear the call, the soi-disant Beckoning.”
The entire timeline has been bumped back by a year, from 2018 to 2017.
A lot of the author’s characterization of the Ashirra has been cut.
Entry for 27.7.2018 set in Ramallah rewritten and relocated to Tunis. I must admit that the removal of the Palestinian connection rankles me. Juhana Pettersson, the author of the chapter, blogged about his own design decisions. Khaldoun Khelil, who did the rewriting, has posted both a general overview of his decisions for The Gehenna War chapter as well as a post on Palestine and Ramallah in public posts on his Patreon.
Entry for 1.8.2018 set in Jerusalem removed.
Entry for 19.9.2017 set in Kabul rewritten to be set in Dubrovnik.
Entry for 3.10.2017 set in Baghdad rewritten to be set in Heraklion.
Entry for 5.10.2017 set in Baghdad rewritten to be set in Khartoum.
A finale set on 31.10.2017 in Venice added.
pg 63-71: Chapter: “The Abrek Blight” removed due to international incident. The editor Freja Gyldenstrøm has written a blog post discussing the reasoning behind the chapter. The best and most comprehensive account of the events leading to the chapter being removed is unfortunately only available in Finnish, by Jussi Ahlroth.
pg 74-68: Credit added to Manfred Vaughn, Steward of Arms. This takes up an entire column and affects the layout of the entire Second Inquisition chapter.
pg 88/84: Flavor text about forcing a Blood Bond on a neonate slightly rewritten.
pg 107/103: Mention of Kowalski majoring in political science removed.
pg 117/113: Entries for the cities of Budapest and Cairo added.
pg 118/115: Entry for Jerusalem added.
pg 119/116: Entry for Miami added.
pg 121/119: Entry for St. Petersburg added.
pg 163-164/161-162: In the section “The Banu Haqim in Mortal Society”, the sentence “It is not racist to admit our clan is predominantly one of many hues.” changed to “Our clan is predominantly one of many hues.”
pg 179: Chapter: The Thin-Blooded. In the sentence “Some pass medical inspections with ease, while others change their gender through strange alchemies using their blood.” changed to “Some pass medical inspections with ease. Others appear to have the ability to change their physiognomy over time.” (Yeah, this was a good change.)
And there we go. I may return later to edit in new material as it turns up.