The original game was set in the year 1197, while the 2002 edition updated the setting to the year 1230. Both, however, are set in a dark medieval Europe. The setting lives from both its differences to the historical facts and to the predecessor game Vampire: The Masquerade.
In Dark Ages, vampires rule the night openly and some are even revered and worshipped, though the powers of the Inquisition and other mortal foes restrain their freedom.
A large number of vampires, as the rest of the European population, are deeply religious. The Cainite Heresy tries to infiltrate the Church.
The major vampire sects, the Camarilla and the Sabbat, have not been formed yet. The vampire society in Europe is ruled by Princes and other fief holders, although their power rarely extend beyond their city or domain.
The Tremere clan is in its infancy. Their clan leader has slain the founder of Salubri clan, Saulot, only few decades ago. The Tremere are at war with a number of other clans, notably with the powerful Tzimisce.
The Blood Curse has not yet been imposed on the Assamite clan.
The Cappadocians are one of the major 13 clans. The Giovanni are a bloodline of the Cappadocian clan.