Vampire: interview with Justin Achilli

Those are excerpts of an interview with the intellectual property manager (developer) for Vampire: The Masquerade, at the time of the Vampire Revised edition. It was conducted in January of 2001 and featured at the time in an issue of Backstab, the French roleplaying game magazine. I post it online in January, 2012 after editing out the questions and answers which have lost relevance.

Clan: Drunkard
Path: Debauchery
Nature: Hooligan
Quote: "Just do it."
Favorite Vampire character: Jan Pieterzoon

What have the sales of Vampire Revised been like?
J.A. I sell about one-and-a-half copies for each time a Sting or Celine Dion song makes me vomit.

When you took the office, your objective was to put back the individual horror at the center of the game (correct me if I'm wrong) - but now it is Gehenna time; will the heart of the game move to collective horror (vampiric genocide, atomic bombs, battles involving thousands of vampires and the like)? How does evolve the 'feeling' of the game with the new developments?
I don't like too much on the epic scale -- you certainly won't see battles involving thousands of vampires or anything like that. While I have made some pretty sweeping changes to the world, it's all with the intent of making the end of the world seem very close to the individual Kindred about whom you and your troupe tell stories. If the world never changes, there's no threat that it will end as Gehenna prophecies would have us believe.

Do you play to the game often?
Between 40 and 80 hours a week.

Where you very involved in the Succubus Club music record? Could you tell us more about it?
I wasn't involved with the selection of music, but I did go over the record for approval. It's not particularly the music I associate with Vampire -- if I had a chance to do my own from the ground up, it would have a lot of progressive and trance. The current one is a collection of darkwave, industrial and electro tracks from bands like the Cruxshadows, Nosferatu and Beborn Beton. I think my personal favorite on the album is Neuroactive's "Superficial."

What is next: Vampire ashtrays?
If I have my way, a Vampire clothing line, but don't count on that anytime soon ;)

I always fail to get half the answers to any of the funny contests you sometimes post on Could you tell us what you have been listening or reading lately?
In the CD player right now: Nick Warren's Global Underground set in Amsterdam, Paul Oakenfold's Perfecto Presents Another World, Moby's Play, Madonna's Immaculate Collection and Music, New Order's Substance, Paul van Dyk's Out There and Back and ATB's Two Worlds, disc two. As to what I'm reading, I just finished Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Nick Hornby's High Fidelity, Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy, and I'm working on Stephen King's On Writing and Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer right now.

The samples of your work as an editor, with remarks and directions, that you put online, are quite insightful.
Cool! Glad you dig it. I'm trying to make Vampire very edgy and hypermodern, and it's not always greeted with open arms by gamers who have their own expectations for the game. Then again, if I'm upsetting people, I'm at least making them think, so I'm doing my job.

Read also this more recent interview with Justin.