People constantly debate whether these books are good or bad. Obviously, for the author, they’re very good. She doesn’t have to work anymore, can buy multiple mansions, and could easily divorce her husband and move in with a stable of carefully selected Fabios. This alone would be considered a reason to keep writing them. They sell. As far as business is concerned, there’s a whole lot of money to be made, and everyone wants to make it.
Now, let’s look at my current industry, the industry of game design. These books are bad. That’s right. I’ll just come out and say it. These books are the worst thing ever to happen to role playing games. An entire generation of gamers will be raised on the idea that not all vampires are evil bloodsucking freaks bent on world domination, controlling the living, and dominating the masses. In general, with a few exceptions, gamers like their vampires dark and gritty, with a side of nasty. We are fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which, while light-hearted, was a pretty good TV show. We are fans of Bram Stoker, and of Kenneth Hite, who writes some really creepy and awesome product.
Right now, I’m sure Mr. Stoker is turning over in his grave. This is not what Dracula was meant to be about. Vampires were not meant to be cuddled.
An entire generation will now be raised on the idea that you can talk to the vampire, World of Darkness aside (A community of the supernatural game falls outside these sorts of ideas). Well, anyone who is a fan of the horror classics knows that negotiating with the vampire is probably the single worst thing you could possibly do. Giving an evil creature with a near infinite lifespan the ability to plot against you is extremely dangerous. Vampires are, in general, not meant to be heroic characters, though some World of Darkness gamers may disagree. There’s a reason those “And then Buffy staked Edward, The End” t-shirts are so popular. It’s not that the concept of a romance with a vampire is a bad one. This can be well written, fun to read, and extremely sexy. It’s the nature of the vampire as it’s presented in the books that has the more costume oriented among us with their plastic fangs out and their black capes in an uproar. (This isn’t me. I’m a jacket and tie guy.)
In D+D, romancing a vampire means raising it from the dead and trying to change the individual’s mindset (And this won’t be easy, because he’s evil), or “Give me your character sheet.” In most superhero games, Vampires are the bad guys. They’re not meant to be player characters, because they suffer from severe limitations that aren’t real limitations. (Only at Night is a great limitation, but in many games, that won’t fly, unless you run a game where the characters regularly transport themselves around the globe.)
So why is this bad? It’s bad because most young people tend to take with them the vision of creatures that they had when they were young. Now, some people would ask me for sympathy if a new player joined my game and expected to have that kind of Edward/Bella romance, and their character killed. Don’t show them any. And when they ask what Vampires are about, give them a copy of Dracula to read instead.