Being someone who has always wanted a simplified VtM, when I saw Blood Dark Thirst, I was intrigued. Already a fan of Venger's different take on RPGs, I bought this PDF right away!
Firstly, I will go over what I like about this product. It really does a good job making the Vampire RPG concept much easier than what I have played before. The tedium of having to look up which abilities to add to what attributes in order to know what to roll to accomplish whatever I'm trying to do... is gone! The rolls that are made for skills and attacks are simple and intuitive. An awful lot of the fat has been trimmed here. Also, I could care less about Vampire politics and factions and endless metaplot. It appears that Venger feels the same, as this game seems to focus much more on being a vampire and doing vampire things. The world and plot are firmly in the grips of the Gamemaster. I do like the similarities to White Wolf's systems where they do appear, such as Blood Points, Willpower and Blood Bonds. It feels familiar but simplified. Mostly in a good way. This game is also easily house ruled for whatever one might not care for or wish to add in.
Now I'll go over what I am not all that fond of. I know that the system purposely keeps things simple but there is one area where I don't feel that shines. Powers. As has been mentioned by a previous reviewer, just an extra line or two on how some of them work would be great. Yes, I can sit down and take the extra time to house rule the powers that are extremely vague or have no system associated with them but it really feels like this particular section is unfinished. I'd also love to see more of them and perhaps Kort'thalis might release more in a future supplement. Another complaint of mine is the very low Blood Point cap. Six just doesn't feel like enough when you consider you must spend one just to wake up. Then there are all of the other uses for them that a character is going to need to be spending them on, like powers and healing. Add to that the fact that you begin having to worry about frenzying when you are down to 3 and that makes for an awful lot of feeding, at least with my group. I also didn't notice any ability to earn more through leveling. That's one I will house rule and it won't be hard in the least but I felt it was worth the mention. Finally, the lack of a character sheet is a bummer. It's a small bummer but a bummer none-the-less. Even in a super, extremely rules lite game like Blood Dark Thirst, I think a character sheet should be included with the core rules book.
So do I feel that this game is worth the $4 price tag? Absolutely! Venger has written the start of one of the RPGs that I've always wanted! It does have what I feel are flaws but nothing that I consider fatal. I do hope that there are more supplements for this game and that powers are expanded upon but if not, I can add to it myself. I just wish I didn't have to.
In closing, if you are a fan of VTM or VTR but really just want a simple system that allows you to make customized vampires and play them, then this might be the game for you. Just know that you might need to do a little extra work to make it feel 100% playable.
[3 of 5 Stars!]