2.1. Order of Play
Seating position can be determined by whatever method the players choose. The player to your left is your prey. She is the player you hope to oust from the game. The player to your right is your predator. She is the player who hopes to oust you from the game. When your prey is ousted, the next player (the prey of your former prey) becomes your new prey.
Each player takes 30 blood counters to form her starting pool. The remaining blood counters are placed in the blood bank -- a common reserve of counters placed so that all players can reach it. Remember that the number of blood counters in the blood bank is limitless -- the bank never runs out.
The Edge (see section 1.2) begins the game uncontrolled and so is placed in the central area as well.
2.3. Play Area
The area in front of each player is divided into two regions: the uncontrolled region, which will start with four uncontrolled minions dealt from the crypt, and the controlled region, which is empty at the start of the game. The controlled region is further divided into two areas: the ready region and the torpor region. Torpor is a special area for wounded vampires (see Torpor, sec. 6.5). As the game progresses, you will gain control of some of your minions, moving them to the ready region, face up (see Influence Phase, sec. 7).
Uncontrolled (Face down)
To begin, separate your crypt cards from your library cards. Shuffle both decks and allow your predator to cut both. Place both decks in front of you. Deal the top seven library cards to yourself to form your hand and deal the top four crypt cards face down into your uncontrolled region. You can look at the cards in your hand and in your uncontrolled region at any time during the game.
You can choose to draw more cards from your crypt to your uncontrolled region later in the game (see Influence Phase, sec. 7).