The Book of Nod is a stand-alone fictional book that can be used in a Vampire the Masquerade game either as an informational supplement or as an artifact found by the characters in-game. The Book of Nod is essentially the “Vampire Bible”. While this could be used in-game, this book can also be read as a fiction book that can give the reader some great Vampire the Masquerade lore from the beginning of the time of Caine to the current environment of the Masquerade. The Book of Nod is a 136-page hardcover book that is packed with information.
The Book of Nod is the mythical collection of stories that recount the first night of the Vampires upon Earth as well as the establishment of the rules that most vampires abide by. It is filled with parables and commentary from the author, who so happens to be a vampire in the Masquerade universe.
The first section of the book talks about the history of the fabled Book of Nod and has most of the commentary from the “author”. This book has been pieced together by their travels and research and collected into one place to have a close translation of all core text that belongs in the Book of Nod.
The Chronicles of Caine is a section dealing with the earliest days of the vampire. It follows Caine after he was cursed and cast out of society and his dwelling in Nod. It also details when Lilith bestows the powers of vampirism on Caine.
The Chronicles of Shadow details the rules and commandments set forth by Caine for Vampires in the world. Some of these are details on how other vampires treat their progeny, how to feed and hunt, and the ratio of vampires to humans in an area. Included in this section are the tenants from the different vampire clans that they live by.
The Chronicle of Secrets states the different prophecies that have been collected over the years. This deals with the final days of vampires, the end of the world, and the awaking of Caine to re-establish control over the planet. This section also includes the appendixes on the history of the first vampire city.
The afterword is a quick wrap up of the implications of the writing on the modern-day Masquerade as well as a ranking structure of vampires in the wars currently being fought.
The Book of Nod is filled with fluff for Vampire the Masquerade’s world and history. It is written very much in the style of reading a religious text, so that may be easy or difficult for some readers to get into depending on their experience with the text. Overall, the book is a wonderful tool that puts most old vampire stories and lore into one place, allowing for a game master to use in their game.
Each section is clearly organized with beautiful black and white art throughout, and the production value of the book is quite high. One thing I found particularly helpful was having notes at the end of each section that shed further light on certain vampiric references that you read over the course of the section. Even being a fan of Vampire the Masquerade universe, some of the sections of the Book of Nod are quite dense and need some context, so the notes really help. The afterword really sets the tone of how to relate these stories to the current climate for vampires in the modern world, which was a nice touch to end the book on.
I think it is important to note again that the Book of Nod is not a rules supplement but more of a story supplement that can even be used as an artifact for players to find in a game of Vampire the Masquerade. Some storytellers may find this book wonderfully useful and want to use the deeper details to flesh out their game’s stories or bring further life to the Sabbat vampires who follow the literal word of the book. Other storytellers might have some trouble fitting the religious text into their campaigns and may want to pass until a better opportunity arises to implement the Book of Nod.
The Book of Nod is jam-packed with vampiric religious text and stories that some storytellers will find useful while others may want to pass on. One of the best uses for this book could be an artifact that players find in-game allowing them some more insight into the origin tales of vampires and what could be coming. If not looking for game practicality, then the book is still a great, thematic read with high production value and plenty of notes to fill in any knowledge gaps of the reader.
Final Score: 4 Stars – A stand-alone fictional book that essentially functions as the lost biblical text of vampire origin. Can be used as a prop in-game or as an informational supplement.
• Niche item that may not fit into every game.