I could try to remember a moment when RPGs appeared in some favorite TV show or movie, but that’s not what I immediately thought of when reading today’s topic. There’s only one answer as far as I’m concerned.
Kindred: The Embraced was an 8-episode TV drama based on White Wolf’s Vampire: The Masquerade. Set in San Francisco, California, Kindred follows the story of a human cop who stumbles inside the Masquerade, discovering the realm of Prince Julian of Clan Ventrue as he rules over the five clans in the city (Venture, Toreador, Brujah, Gangrel, and Nosferatu). The series had all the hallmarks of 90s primetime drama (understandable considering it was produced by Aaron Spelling’s company, who also did Beverly Hills 90210) combined perfectly with the melodramatic world of Vampire. It was a little bit cheesy, but it was fantastic overall, a beautiful visual presentation of what many Vampire games were like.
Sadly, Kindred only lasted 8 episodes before getting canceled, and with the death of star Mark Frankel (Prince Julian), all hopes of more episodes in another network disappeared. The show now lives only on DVD and VHS, and you can get a used copy cheap on Amazon.
We now have True Blood, Underworld, and lots of other vampire shows and movies, but in the 90s, Kindred came to show that you could have a primetime drama based on an RPG, and it could be sleek and sexy.
During the month of August, I am participating in #RPGaDay, an opportunity to talk daily about different topics related to games and gaming, organized by Dave Chapman, designer of Doctor Who: Adventures In Time and Space. I’ve been out of gaming for a while, so this is gonna be an interesting exercise.