Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong: Beginner Tips

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  • Explore Everything And Pack A Notebook
  • Don’t Neglect Your Disciplines
  • Don’t Be Afraid To Use Your Resources
  • Keep Your Hunger Levels Low When Finishing A Level
  • Track Down Thin Blood Artifacts
  • Use Your Consumables
  • Replay The Game

Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is the latest game to be spawned from the long-running World Of Darkness series. Set in the heart of vampire society in Boston, it tasks Emem, Galeb, and Leysha to uncover the reason behind a recent attack that has caused major tensions between various factions.

Swansong is both an RPG and a game that is heavily focused on its plot. Whilst there is no combat in the traditional sense, your Stats, Skills, Talents, and Disciplines will all be put to good use. Whether that’s winning a battle of wits, interrogating a prisoner, or bending mortals to your will. This freedom can be somewhat overwhelming, so we’ve gathered some tips to help you get started.

Explore Everything And Pack A Notebook

Early on, Scenes in Swansong can get rather long. They often hit the multiple-hour mark, and your journal is pretty darn useless. Nothing is recorded, and you have to pay attention to everything if you want to make progress. On a basic level, this could mean reading documents and uncovering secrets with your intuition.

How about noticing a strange set of posters on a wall, or a set of books on a shelf in an unusual order. Nearly everything in Swansong can be opened, unlocked, or hacked, without using skills. You can even finish Scenes in multiple ways. You can find hints everywhere – you just have to look for them.

Once you think you’ve found something, you still have to make the connections. Often there will be multiple pieces to a puzzle, and manually figuring out how everything fits together is a major part of the game. Because of this, you are going to need a notebook to jot down potential PINs and safe combinations.

Don’t Neglect Your Disciplines

There are two ways to power up your characters in Swansong. You can increase your stats, or you can enhance your disciplines. Your stats directly influence your ability to communicate and interact with the world. These are things like Persuasion or Technology. They can even be Knowledge-based, like an affinity for Deduction.

These all seem like useful abilities that you should be focusing on, but that leaves you neglecting your Disciplines. These are the vampiric powers that allow you to bend reality, minds, and even time. You can get through the game without investing heavily into them, but you’d be missing out.

Leysha can perfectly imitate characters using Doppelganger. Emem can use Auspex to trace the memories of an object or see visions of the future. Galeb can Dominate people's minds, and force them to do his bidding – overcoming any conversational stat checks. This is just a small taste of what you can do, so don’t overlook them.

Don’t Be Afraid To Use Your Resources

Swansong has two major resources: Willpower and Hunger. They both serve fairly similar roles but interact with different abilities. Willpower influences your ability to hack, lockpick, or persuade. Hunger on the other hand dictates how many times you can make use of your vampiric powers. Both are limited, but both are essential to your success.

Using Willpower, you can bypass the need to find a PIN to a safe or to elevate your natural ability to communicate. This can open doors, or reveal information that would otherwise be hidden from the player. They can also help you get through levels faster if you don’t want to mess around with key hunting.

Hunger fills as you use your abilities, and abusing them can leave you without an out when it comes to fulfilling your objectives. Unlike Willpower, however, Hunger is easily replenished by feeding, and most Scenes have plenty of opportunities to do just that. Your resources are always limited, but never to the point of being starved.

Keep Your Hunger Levels Low When Finishing A Level

One thing you should get into the habit of is keeping your Hunger low when you are about to go through a point of no return. These can be at the end of a level, or sometimes in the middle of one. In either case, you want to go for a last-minute feed to keep you topped up.

There are several instances where having low Hunger will open up additional options between transitions, and these can sometimes have serious implications on the plot. Stay fed at the end, and you won’t have any issues. Go in hungry, and things could go spectacularly wrong.

Track Down Thin Blood Artifacts

Being an RPG, Swansong has equippable items called Artifacts. These are powerfully enchanted items that grant the wearer bonuses, such as making conversations easier. They usually come with some kind of drawback, but the benefits far outweigh them. The catch? They are hard to find.

These items are often found at the end of a long string of optional content within a Scene and are easily missed. It is very possible to go through the entire game and never bump into one. Whilst this isn’t game-ending as they are optional, you are certainly better off going out of your way to find them wherever possible.

Use Your Consumables

There are consumables scattered around Swansong, and they are all very useful – if not downright powerful. These can range from a stack of old coins that replenish Willpower, to much rarer concoctions that restore Hunger. On the more extreme end of things, you could find an item that temporarily boosts your stats, like a Lockpick or a vial of ancient vampire blood.

Hoarding these items will do you no good. Using a consumable to increase your ability to hack temporarily could open up areas of the game that were locked off to you because you didn’t invest enough. Downing a concoction to restore Hunger could give you that extra edge when you need it most.

Not only that, there are parts of the game that can strip you of all of your gear, so if you don’t use them and you fall into one of those scenarios, well, you’ve wasted all of them.

Replay The Game

Swansong is a game that is full of interesting choices. Not all of them are meaningful, but they all at least give off the illusion of being something game-changing. Heck, some of them actually are game-changing. You will not be able to see everything on your first playthrough. Things are very well hidden, so you might just miss them.

Other times you don’t have a choice – you need to make a decision and that puts you down a path whilst locking another. Going through Swansong more than once can give you more perspective on what’s actually going on, and lets you find all those side objectives the game told you about after you failed to find them the first time around.

The best part? Replaying the game allows you to fast-forward through dialogue you’ve already seen. This makes replaying the game much faster. It'll go by in a flash if you were taking notes too, as you can just reference all of those PINs and passwords and punch them in when needed.

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