Vampire the Masquerade 5th Edition, commonly referred to as V5, is quite a departure from previous versions of Vampire. While some core parts of the rules are the same as before, the actual mechanics are quite different.
This cheat sheet was written for just the core rulebook and the errata, so mechanics added in other books aren’t included (at least for now).
I created this Cheat Sheet following the standards laid out by Justin Alexander in his articles on the subject.
The basic idea is to cover all the mechanics, but none of the ‘option chunks’ such as discipline powers or advantages.
Page 1—Core Mechanics: Details how vampire and hunger dice work, the difficulty table, all the parts of rolling tests and checks and the essential rules for blood in regard to hunger and rousing the blood. This page is the most critical mechanics required and the most frequently referenced until you really learn the game.
Page 2—Trackers and Damage: Trackers are essentially ‘stat pools’ for your health, willpower and humanity. The base mechanics are the same across every tracker, but then each tracker has its own specific rules.
Page 3—Combat (both physical and social): Getting into conflicts is incredibly likely and there’s a lot of different rules for it spread throughout the core rulebook. This single page distils all of that information into easily referenced tables and bullet points.
Page 4—Dangers and Frenzy: This page goes hand in hand with combat which leads to risks of danger and frenzy. Some of the frenzy triggers are easy to forget in the middle of a session, so having this information to hand really helps ensure the risk of frenzy is a major part of your games.
Page 5—Compulsions: Both main compulsions and clan compulsions are listed, even though you could argue that clan compulsions are ‘option chunks’ it’s useful to have a page reference.
Page 6—Feeding: Drinking blood is one of the single most important parts of Vampire the Masquerade Fifth Edition. With the new hunger mechanics, draining blood will be a common occurrence. Blood bonds between vampires and the diablerie of draining other vampires is included too.
Page 7—Feeding (continued): There are a lot of tables for hunting and feeding. Predator type is technically an ‘option chunk’ but having the default check for each with all the other references for hunting and drinking blood just makes sense. In introductory games I’ve ignored all the rules on humours, resonance, and temperament, as they are perhaps too involved, but they are summarised here for your convenience.
Page 8—Generations, Blood Potency and Experience: All three of these things are mechanically linked to advancement, either narratively, mechanically, or both. I’ve also included the rules for thin-bloods in this section as its linked to their generation.
Page 9—Blood Potency: This table is at the end of the cheat sheet intentionally, despite how frequently you will reference it at the table. By being at the back you will easily have it to hand if you print the cheat sheet double-sided (which you should). This table is updated with the errata which changes some of the figures, such as providing Blood Potency 0 vampires with a Blood Surge of ‘Add 1 die’.
To my understanding that’s all the rules from the V5 Core Rulebook in cheat sheet form. If you have any comments, or if there’s anything I have missed, got wrong, or are from other Vampire 5th edition books you think really should be included, please let me know in the comments below.