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White Wolf Ends The World Of Darkness

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the bye-bye-toodle-oo dept.

Role Playing (Games) 94

KrinnDNZ writes "So White Wolf has been providing us geeks with angsty roleplaying pleasure as vampires, werewolves, and various other beasties, ever since the early 90s. Guess what - it's over. I'll have to admit that it takes guts to have your RPGs' 'big story' include the end of their world, but they're doing it, and they've got a date, 171 days from now." This seems to mean that well-known pen-and-paper RPG titles like Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Mage: The Ascension, and Hunter: The Reckoning are genuinely being retired.

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hmmmm heck of a way to lay-off workers (5, Funny)

BFedRec (257522) | more than 10 years ago | (#6547414)

I have a good friend who's former roomie works for white wolf... I wonder if he's going to have a job in 170 odd days... I hope my company doesn't announce a personal armageddon anytime soon...

Re:hmmmm heck of a way to lay-off workers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6548890)

If hope my company doesn't announce a personal armageddon anytime soon...

I wouldn't sweat it. Long after your software is dead your company can blame others for devaluing it and sue people for IP theft. You are part of the legal staff, aren't you?

End of an era (4, Interesting)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 10 years ago | (#6547420)

I was never huge into these games. But, it sure influenced a whole genre of RPG, impacted the themes of a whole lot of MUSHes, and was certainly the chief theme of LARPs, if not the originator of the style.

So much for being immortal. Now I feel really old--I've seen a class of gaming come and go.

Re:End of an era (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6547468)

Is there any one particular dark vampire MUSH that you might like to recommend?

Re:End of an era (1)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 10 years ago | (#6549717)

I spent much of my Uni years on cajun-nights. But the last time I logged in was a few years ago, and I don't know how many MU*s are still around at all, any more. But try "cajun nights mush" google to see what you get.

Re:End of an era (1)

vortexofchaos (693132) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551780)

WW gets far too much credit in the LARP world, and this is another case in point.

1. Ask ten different LARPers what LARP means and you'll get twelve or thirteen different answers. WW and WoD is just one of the many answers, but not, by far, the most common.

2. LARPs have been around for a lot longer than WW and the WoD. There are many LARPers currently active who've been LARPing since the mid-80s, well before WW and the WoD. (Myself included.)

3. If you're interested in the actual diversity of LARPs, check out Intercon D [intercon-d.org], the all-LARP multi-genre Live Action Role Playing convention. Intercon, in some form, has been around since before WW and the WoD as well. It's the best place in the world to learn what LARP is all about.

Re:End of an era (1)

Kingfox (149377) | more than 10 years ago | (#6554074)

Agreed, they do get too much credit. Whenever I hear someone attributing the origins of LARPing to WoD, I laugh my ass off.

I remember my stepfather's college roommate hosting LARPs on the beaches of Sandy Hook, based on the AD&D system, when I was ten. That was fifteen years ago, well before any WoD LARP.

Oh yeah? (5, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 10 years ago | (#6547424)

> This seems to mean that well-known pen-and-paper RPG titles like Vampire: The Masquerade,
> Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Mage: The Ascension, and Hunter: The Reckoning are genuinely being retired.

I think you didn't read *all* of the press release:

> An all-new World of Darkness launches in August of 2004.

Which only makes sense, really. Putting a permanent end to WoD would mean essentially White Wolf was going out of business. What else do they do?

Chris Mattern

Re:Oh yeah? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6547565)

actually the WOD is no longer their bread and butter, they have other games, like their Sword and Sorcery line which makes games for teh D20 system, which includes the Diablo and Warcraft d20 supplements. They also have Exalted, a new game line which is actually really good. They also mentioned the fact that their Dark Ages line of the World of Darkness will continue to be produced.

I am saddened though to hear of this, its like hearing that my favorite uncle has cancer and only a short time to live.

Re:Oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6549159)

Bad news. Your uncle DOES have cancer and has only a short time to live. 169 days to be exact.

Re:Oh yeah? (4, Informative)

travail_jgd (80602) | more than 10 years ago | (#6547605)

"> An all-new World of Darkness launches in August of 2004.
Which only makes sense, really. Putting a permanent end to WoD would mean essentially White Wolf was going out of business. What else do they do?"

Only the modern-day World of Darkness games are getting cancelled and/or rebooted. Games set in the past won't be effected.

White Wolf has a number of other product lines that won't touched even if the World of Darkness was completely dropped. Aberrant, Exalted, Ravenloft 3E (licensed from Wizards of the Coast), Sword & Sorcery, Warcraft, Everquest and others will keep White Wolf in business for a little while longer. ;)

I'm hoping that the "new" WoD is similar to Laurell K. Hamilton's [laurellkhamilton.org] Anita Blake stories, where the general public knows about monsters, and has to deal with them on a day-to-day basis. No Paradox, no Masquerade, no Veil -- almost everything is out in the open.

Re:Oh yeah? (1)

jtkauff (552147) | more than 10 years ago | (#6549330)

Dunno about Aberrant helping keep them afloat - I can't remember the last time an Aberrant book was published, and there certainly isn't anything on the horizon for the line. Of course, they did just let slip that there will be a second Adventure! book, so I suppose you could just sub in Adventure! for Aberrant in the above sentence...

But yeah, your point was spot-on, White Wolf has plenty of other money-makers. From what I hear, Exalted is selling just as many copies at my local game store as Vampire or Werewolf, and with how quickly Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed (they publish all of Malhavoc Press' books, so they'd get a portion of that, at least) sold out at GenCon, it sounds like they'll be sitting pretty solid for a while.

And I must say that a no Paradox/Masquerade/Veil World of Darkness would be quite cool...

Re:Oh yeah? (2, Insightful)

analog_line (465182) | more than 10 years ago | (#6549691)

And just because the storyline ends doesn't mean anyone who wants to can't keep playing it, completely ignoring the published story and writing their own end times. Or playing years in the past, having their characters somehow nudge events differently.

Re:Oh yeah? (1)

shadowcabbit (466253) | more than 10 years ago | (#6578559)

WotC's d20 Modern offers something like that in the Urban Arcana sourcebook. Non-human elements co-mingle with ordinary humans, even if the humans delude themselves intot hinking otherwise. I've been busy tweaking that material for a campaign, but it's nearly impossible to find players around here (northern Pennsylvania).

Thank goodness (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6547798)

Maybe now I won't have to worry about getting jumped by a LARP 'vampire' when I cut through the public park to get home after being out partying Saturday night.

It's not that I'm afraid, it's just that I'm tired of kicking their asses.

And i would want to play this why? (3, Funny)

arkham6 (24514) | more than 10 years ago | (#6547924)

"Yeah, lets play the final wrapup, where no matter what your characters do, they are all going to DIE in a massive battle that they can ultimately do nothing to change."


Re:And i would want to play this why? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6547963)

The goal is not to die. The goal is to die well.

Re:And i would want to play this why? (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 10 years ago | (#6550248)

"no matter what your characters do, they are all going to DIE"

Aaah, I see you've played Paranoia before then.

Re:And i would want to play this why? (1)

code_nerd (37853) | more than 10 years ago | (#6550361)

Now THAT is a good game. Paranoia is hands down the most enjoyable game to play (and roleplay), IMO.

None of this pathetic idolizing of undead bottom-feeders (I mean, honestly, looking up to vampires is like looking up to slum landlords).

Re:And i would want to play this why? (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551189)

I'm absolutely with you on the vampire-hating front, don't worry. PTerry had the right idea - cut their heads off and stuff garlic down the neck hole.

I must admit its just hilariously astute of Marilyn Manson to have switched allusions from vampirism to Weimar Republic-era Germany. The excusing of all manner of violent, offensive and generally distateful ideas behind a veneer of "but they look really stylish while they exploit people" is a neat parallel.

err, what was the subject again?

WW's done this before... (5, Interesting)

freeBill (3843) | more than 10 years ago | (#6548009)

...in 2000, when they did a year-long promotion, which was kinda like a long, drawn-out Y2K thing.

I sit here looking at the Mage poster on my wall: "The Traditions stand in ruins... The Technocracy has won. Join the last stand in the war for reality." (Revised Edition -- March 2000)

Just an excuse for a new edition of everything. It's sad when a once-creative company runs out of ideas. "Let's do the whole thing over again," is a sad excuse for an original concept. But "Demon," "Mummy," and "Engel" just aren't selling like "Vampire" and "Werewolf." Heck, they aren't even selling like "Mage" and "Changling."

But they are selling like "Wraith."

Re:WW's done this before... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6548529)

Which is a shame as Demon is the best game they have done in ages.

I always said if WW came out with a good new game the world would end, but I didn't really mean it this literaly :)

Re:WW's done this before... (1)

Krellan (107440) | more than 10 years ago | (#6549339)

Actually, that Mage poster you mentioned makes perfect sense.

The setting of Mage is one in which the Technocracy has indeed won, and mages are forced to band together in small groups and struggle to survive while the Technocracy controls the world at large. People as a whole don't believe in magic anymore. The Technocracy has won the culture war.

So the poster does make sense, fitting in the overall storyline of Mage. This is something far bigger: WW is ending the world entirely (Armaggedon), not merely just making it difficult for mages to live in.

Re:WW's done this before... (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551691)

Actually, the Technocracy lost the Ascention War, as did the Traditions.

Who won, you ask? The Masses. As they point out, your computer crashes more often, the space program ground to a smoking halt, and people just don't care about progress anymore; they just want their satellite TV and Big Macs. The Technocracy is hurting, too.

In Vampire, they slaughtered off an entire Vampire clan (admittedly, a second tier one, but still) and in Werewolf, they shook a few things up as well. Wraith, they already ended.

Still, it's nice to see them actually bringing the story line to a close. Considering that all of the books have been saying that the various end times will happen in this character generation, I'm glad to see they have the stones to actually do it.

Granted, they'll just bring it all back during the reboot, but that's just fine.

No, I'm serious... (1)

freeBill (3843) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551915)

...they did this before: They announced some trademarked name for 2000 ("The Year of the Apocalypse" or "The Year of the Reckoning" or some such) and said it would mean the end of the World of Darkness. And what it meant was they issued new editions for their most popular World of Darkness games.

Each game had some cataclysmic event tailored for it. In "Mage" it was the victory of the Technocracy over the Traditions. I agree with your assessment that this was not much of a departure from what went before. Instead of being the rag-tag representatives of the struggling Traditions, players were asked to be the rag-tag remnants of the dead Traditions. But it was portrayed as the end of the Traditions and, hence, part of the end of the World of Darkness. The chantries were wiped out. The Horizon Realms were no longer accessible. There were similar Armageddon scenarios for "Vampire" and "Werewolf."

All of this had a high enough Lameness Quotient that I didn't go out and buy the new edition. But that doesn't change the fact that they portrayed it at the start of the year much as they are portraying this.

But the poster was really cool.

I swear this is not a troll. (2, Interesting)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 10 years ago | (#6548212)

I'm rather glad WoD is gone. I've never liked it.

That's not to say that WW hasn't dropped a few great games; Mage (in its various forms) has always been a great game regardless of being set in the WoD, Exalted continues to amaze me, and the Sword and Sorcery series simply rock. I could go on. :)

But the whole World of Darkness itself... I've never found it appealing. Sorta grated on the nerves, if you will. Never really understood the point, I suppose. I guess I need more angst in my life, who knows? I'll certainly lose no sleep knowing it's gone, though. Maybe now WW can do more of the "different" stuff.

The End of the World? (3, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 10 years ago | (#6548300)

When Arthur Conan Doyle got sick of Sherlock Holmes, he had him fall off Reichenbach Falls [non-books.com]. When Gene Roddenberry (or maybe it was Leonard Nimoy) got sick of Spock, they had that corny scene in the reactor room. I could go on and on. It never works. Face it, it's not about the story, it's about making a living!

Re:The End of the World? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6548609)

...got sick of Spock, they had that corny scene in the reactor room...

Are you implying that Spock died? He lived on, you know, and was even in ST VI. Live long and misinform, my friend.

Re:The End of the World? (2, Informative)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#6548713)

Actually, didn't Sir Arthur Conan Doyle do more Sherlock Holmes stories after the (not particularly good) Moriarty story, though?

And then there's the Alien series...the scriptwriters keep trying to end the series in a dramatic fashion, and the suits keep bringing it back.

End the world? Again?!? (1)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 10 years ago | (#6552318)

You want a "Story That Wouldn't Die" story? Look no further than Planet of the Apes. I mean the original series of films, not the contemporary remake. The production staff concocted a good, popular movie with a sharp twist ending on a relatively small budget.

Good enough? Nope. The studio wanted another. The crew didn't really want to do a second movie because the first was hard enough. Charlton Heston didn't want to do the second one either. The film crew managed to convince him to do the second one by showing him a script which would all but guarantee he'd never have to do another one ever again. Oh, and the studio said they had less budget to make this one with too.

And it did well too. Was the studio satisfied? Hell no! They figured there was still money in that cash cow, so they had to keep milking. Somehow, working from the end of the frigging world they had to create a script for a third film. Oh, and could they do it again with even less money this time?

And so it continued--as far as I can remember, every movie in the PotA series was made with a smaller budget. And each subsequent film suffered for it. The makeup effects that everyone had in the first movie were reduced to major characters in each subsequent film; crowd scenes in later movies looked worse and worse, until they no longer had crowd scenes because the crew couldn't afford as many extras!

Personally, by the fifth I think the series was running on fumes, but they still made a sixth. And taken as a whole, the hexology made a certain sense, but the series suffered greatly because it was forced to dance to faster and faster music in the same steadily worn-down shoes, to coin a metaphor. But it got to where it did by clever writing, good directing, and more than a little dumb luck.

Which brings up the question, why would people want to violate continuity and push something way past its prime? Because someone thinks they can get more money by doing so. Thus has the conflict forever run between the worlds of art and profit.

Re:The End of the World? (1)

Iainuki (537456) | more than 10 years ago | (#6553592)

That's not true. Artists have refused to continue before. The two instances that come to mind are Gary Larson and Bill Watterson, who stopped making their still (economically) viable comics because they decided that the quality was declining, or would decline. There are many examples of artists who continue long past the point of the decline of their series, but not everyone does.

Re:The End of the World? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 10 years ago | (#6557061)

Yeah, I've always been grateful to Watterson. Not only for terminating the strip before it got stale, but for resisting the temptation to turn it into a franchise. I wouldn't have minded a Hobbes coffee cup or Calvin balloons (for filling with water, of course). But thank God there was never a C&H XMas Special!

But for every Calvin and Hobbes or Far Side, there's a hundred artistic endeavors that have gone over to the dark side. Just in the area of comic strips, I can't count the ones that I used to think were funny and creative, and are now just going through the motions. And don't you wish The Simpsons had called it quits after 10 years? I actually think they're still funny, but the basic concept has simply gotten old.

I do wish Watterson had done something else after he ended his strip. Does anybody know where he's been?

Good luck (3, Interesting)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 10 years ago | (#6548533)

There are already quite a few people who won't advance to 3rd edition because they like neither the rules changes nor the advances in teh storyline. Mage players are particularly prone to this because according to 3rd edition Mage the Traditions have lost the battle for Ascension.

It will be interesting to see how they handle that, obviously 4th edition will still have vampires and werewolves and such around, but it seems like the Technocracy winning the Ascension would pretty much put an end to all the other supernatural stuff. Once the Technocs have complete control of both the mundane and magical human worlds and don't have to worry about the Traditions anymore, i expect it wouldn't take much time for their focused attention to deal with all the other elements they wish to eliminate.

It'll be interesting to hear about (i'm still catching up with the changes to 3rd edition) but i'm not sure if i'll be interested in buying the new sourcebooks and playing in that world.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6548911)



theghost (156240) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551207)

I think the biggest "looser" ever award should go to a "looser" AC who insulted someone in a particularly insipid and uninteresting way without even making a point AND spelled their insult wrong. Now THAT dumbass would be a real LOSER.

Re:Good luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6549166)

Howard Dean - "Elect me and I will get everyone laid, even Daetrin!"

Now that's a campaign promise! Good show!

Time o' Judgment (4, Informative)

etherlad (410990) | more than 10 years ago | (#6548537)

I just want to point out to /.ers that if White Wolf's server's down, I provide all the pertinent info at WolfSpoor [wolf-spoor.org], my WW-themed slashdot equivalent.

Anyhoo, yes, the World of Darkness game lines are indeed ending. For sure. Overwith.

But they're bringing in a "new World of Darkness" in August 2004. Maybe it'll be like Marvel's Ulitmates: a reimagining of the same concepts. Maybe there'll be compeltely different critters. Maybe it's something no one else has thought of. Who knows?

White Wolf has more than enough to keep them busy in the guise of Exalted, Dark Ages, and their massive Sword & Sorcery line (incl. Scarred Lands, Necromancer Games, Malhavoc Press, Ravenloft, Gamma World, Everquest RPG, Warcraft RPG, et al). Plus they're going to be doing something with Adventure [white-wolf.com] again, I hear.

But the World of Darkness is indeed their biggest moneymaker overall. It's a ballsy move to actually usher in the End Times, but they're not stupid. It'll be back in some way.

Re:Time o' Judgment (1)

scrytch (9198) | more than 10 years ago | (#6550375)

But they're bringing in a "new World of Darkness" in August 2004. Maybe it'll be like Marvel's Ulitmates: a reimagining of the same concepts. Maybe there'll be compeltely different critters. Maybe it's something no one else has thought of. Who knows?

Yeah, but whatever they release, it's going to have copy that reads like this (verbatim from the WW website for Hunter)

For centuries, supernatural powers have reigned, warring among themselves, culling the human herds and lashing out from the shadows. The creatures of the night have held court since before the dawn of history.

Nothing lasts forever.

From the throng of humanity, individuals emerge who know the truth. They know monsters exist. Enough is enough. The forces of darkness must pay their due. You are the reckoning!

I remember being sort of impressed (not wowed, but pleasantly surprised) by the literate and articulate feel of V:tM. I'll grant that the writing quality has always been uneven, but garbage like the above as cover text is indicative of a very long fall, and like the Ragnarok of the Edda, I think most people are just going to write off the WoD's history without regard to a future installment. Don't know if they'll claim it'll end in fire or ice, but my guess is that it drowns in a sea of wretchedly poor writing like the above.

Re:Time o' Judgment (1)

etherlad (410990) | more than 10 years ago | (#6550394)

I don't know; I think, overall, the quality of products has vastly improved over the last few years.

Re:Time o' Judgment (1)

unclethursday (664807) | more than 10 years ago | (#6554102)

Ah, Etherlad. Our talks have slowed over the past few months.

I must simply contact your Canadian arse again. But you are not online at present.

And when are you comming down to par-tay with us at Dragon*Con, fool! We's been waiting on ya for three years!

Hrm, so what's going to happen to the new VtM PC game?

Re:Time o' Judgment (1)

etherlad (410990) | more than 10 years ago | (#6555819)

Sam, ya bastid!

I'm online fairly often these days. Just watch for me, I'll be around.

I'll go down to Dragon*Con much sooner if someone pays my fare, and that of my girlfriend. ;) Other than that, GenCon's our priority. We were going to go this year, but Jenn couldn't get the day off. There's always next year.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines (the new PC game) will have a storyline which ties in directly to the Time of Judgment.

Re:Time o' Judgment (1)

Chops-Frozen-Water (2085) | more than 10 years ago | (#6554483)

they're bringing in a "new World of Darkness" in August 2004
One begins to wonder if they're going to do more continuity with their historical Vamp/Were/Mage material. The modern WoD has had quite a bit of re-fitting done to it as they've added new setting material.

What's the big deal? (4, Insightful)

sebi (152185) | more than 10 years ago | (#6548557)

From reading the press release I did not get the impression that all existing source-, rule- and other books are suddenly going spontaneously self-destruct, once the "Time of Judgement" comes around. I really liked playing Vampire, because it was completely different than any RPG I had encountered before. The way we played it the average session required about five die rolls all in all, but explicitly rewarded good role-playing.

I find White Wolf's decision commendable. Naturally they are trying to sell as many books related to "The End" as possible, but following through with all the hints and promises of the last years still is a gutsy thing to do. They are trying to pull an "Enter the Matrix" in the process, though. The next Vampire game by Activision is supposed to offer an unique view at the impending apocalypse and gamers who want to get the whole picture are strongly encouraged to get the game.

A new world of Darkness, based in 2004, rather than 1992 might be exciting--you never know. I just have a hunch that the rules concerning computers are going to be a lot more detailed, than they were in the old books I know. I don't know if that is a good thing.

No Problem for V:tES (1)

BigDork1001 (683341) | more than 10 years ago | (#6548569)

From a press release

"White Wolf will release a special addition to its popular Vampire: The Eternal Struggle trading-card game based on the Time of Judgment. 'The Gehenna expansion allows VTES to partake in this exciting storyline,' said Steve Wieck, White Wolf's Director of Card Projects. "We're committed to continued support of VTES, and this set of boosters is only the first part of that."

Even if WW dropped support for V:tES after ToJ it'd still go. We kept the game going when Wizards of the Coast dropped it and we'll keep it going if WW ever drops it.

Erik Carlsson
Prince of Ramstein GE
Vampire the Eternal Struggle [white-wolf.com]

Guts. Feh. (4, Insightful)

mikedaisey (413058) | more than 10 years ago | (#6548585)

"I'll have to admit that it takes guts to have your RPGs' 'big story' include the end of their world, but they're doing it"

It would take guts for them to have created an RPG that leaves the stories in the hands of the people playing the game...I hate their mania for "novelizing" their worlds and dictating what happens to everyone and everything.

Crap like this is exactly why mainstream RPGs have failed to deliver--what are groups supposed to do, sit around and READ these damn things out loud?

If you want to write fiction, write it. If you want to create an environment for RPGs, create it and then let the players and GMs sit in the driver seat.

Re:Guts. Feh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6549405)

>it would take guts for them to have created an RPG that leaves the stories in the hands of the people playing the game

but that would take away too much angsting time from the players!

Re:Guts. Feh. (1)

nikkomega (693084) | more than 10 years ago | (#6550365)

Indeed. When they called it "Storyteller" I thought they meant the GM and players would cooperatively tell stories. In fact, they meant that the WW authors would tell you a story while you occasionally roll some dice to see how angsty and goth-kewl you look during the apocalypse.

Re:Guts. Feh. (1)

etherlad (410990) | more than 10 years ago | (#6550422)

Did you even read the press release above?

Each of the Judgment books contains a variety of of options for the End. IT can be as bad as you want it. Or not at all.

The White Wolf Game Gestapo are not going to barge down your door if you fail to play up the Apocalypse. If you want to keep playing the games as they're currently published, go for it.

Re:Guts. Feh. (1)

mikedaisey (413058) | more than 10 years ago | (#6555158)

I did, in fact...and a variety of options in no way disguises the fact that this is thinly-veiled fiction. It's no different than what they've been doing for years, and hardly surprising.

Not gutsy... (1)

freeBill (3843) | more than 10 years ago | (#6552229)

...but pragmatic.

The dirty little secret of role-playing games is that most of the money is made off of supplements. While the games themselves offer players the chance for truly creative gameplay, many gamemasters (and many players) want to be led by the hand.

Perhaps this is true of freedom in general: We all want to be free, but many of us end up gravitating towards some cultural status quo.

White Wolf has always recognized this and tailored their games towards players who want hand-holding and lots of "atmospheric scene-setting" advice. At the same time, they also designed their games so anyone could play as creative a campaign as they wanted. In fact, one could argue "Mage" was less popular than "Vampire" or "Werewolf" precisely because it forced players to be a little more creative.

The not-so-dirty little secret of role-playing is that good roleplayers can have fun and be creative with any system. The best campaign I ever saw was run for years on a system which was long-since defunct by the time the campaign really got rolling.

No, WW isn't making a particularly gutsy move here. It's probably being done strictly as a marketing move. As such, it may even be successful.

Re:Not gutsy... (1)

Chops-Frozen-Water (2085) | more than 10 years ago | (#6557065)

White Wolf has always recognized this and tailored their games towards players who want hand-holding and lots of "atmospheric scene-setting" advice. At the same time, they also designed their games so anyone could play as creative a campaign as they wanted.

This is the exact conundrum most game companies find themselves in. Players run the gamut from "tell me everything about the setting" to "only give me a bare bones framework to build on" and so a game designer must walk a line between filling in details while still leaving room for creativity on the part of the players. The result is that the middle ground is satisfied, while the two ends complain about not-enough/too-much detail in the material.

Re:Guts. Feh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6554703)

It would take guts for them to have created an RPG that leaves the stories in the hands of the people playing the game.

West End Games tried that in the late 80s/early 90s (I'm a little fuzzy on the dates). TORG was innovative (at least I thought it was, I was in high school at the time) in that most of the published adventures included a mail-in survey form, asking what the party did and how well they did it. Someone at WEG apparently tallied those, and players as a whole helped determine the future direction of the game world.

In fact, most of their meta-plot (and TORG is one of the first games I remember that had a substantial meta-plot) was handled not so much through the game supplements as it was through a (wholly optional) monthly newsletter, which was reasonably priced. There were gaggles of splatbooks, yeah, but they were mostly informational.

It was also the first RPG I remember that used dice as well as weird action cards that players could use to tweak the plot in minor ways, sorta like Everway Lite. But I digress.

Re:Guts. Feh. (1)

mikedaisey (413058) | more than 10 years ago | (#6555184)

TORG was an absolutely horrific mess that solicited opinions because they had no internal direction. But it was nice that they didn't bundle it in...even if the atrocious first trilogy of "novels" did a lot of that for people.

Leaving games in the hands of the people means laying off metaplot...and most game companies smoke metaplot like crack.

I hope it's not Wod20 (4, Insightful)

Dracos (107777) | more than 10 years ago | (#6548800)

I've always believed that the lifespan of WoD was directly tied to the goth craze of the 90's: when there were no new goths kidz, WoD would dissappear.

With seemingly every other publisher in the RPG industry joining the d20 lemming parade, lining WoTC's pockets while slitting their own throats (including WW, in their other product lines), I hope WW has the foresight to not base the second generation of their flagship products on d20. A lot of people don't like d20 (myself included), and I keep hearing that number is increasing. D&D 3.5 won't help matters... enough people are annoyed with having to buy all the books again that I think 3.5E sales will stabilize about twice as fast as 3E (which took about 6 months).

And, putting a minor version number on something that's not software is just plain stupid IMO.


Re:I hope it's not Wod20 (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 10 years ago | (#6548907)

What's so bad about the D20 system? I don't follow the whole pen and paper RPG thing closely, the last book i bought was the D&D 3 player's guide, you know, the one before they made the extra 20 page revision one? Anywho, it seemed alright, and took 95% of everything needed into account, at least to the casual player.

Re:I hope it's not Wod20 (1)

Nyarly (104096) | more than 10 years ago | (#6550998)

d20 is fine for AD&D, but a lot of roleplayers (self included) feel that a system should match it's setting - that, yeah, I huess you can use any source for any game, but why? AD&D is at heart, and still, a wargame with heroes. Nothing says you can't actually roleplay, but the system is built around tweaking.

So it's an unfortunate trend when a number of games whose systems matched their tones very nicely (most tragically: Call of Cthulhu) are moving to a d20 system, and sacrificing both a good mapping of system to world and a good match in tone between system and setting in the name of drawing more players.

Re:I hope it's not Wod20 (1)

CaptMonkeyDLuffy (623905) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551812)

Just a simple seconding of the opinion... But it really is a good point. Play mechanics have a certain style/flavor to them, and it is really important that the setting and the play mechanics compliment each other. Another good example of a set of play mechanics that really complimented the setting/theme of the game is 7th Sea. I've not taken a look at the new d20 version of it, but unless they rewrite a lot of the basic d20 system, you would have to lose a lot of what made the original 7th Sea work...

Re:I hope it's not Wod20 (1)

EllF (205050) | more than 10 years ago | (#6553152)

Eh. I've followed Cthulhu for years; I run a game now, under D20 rules. The game is as creepy and enjoyable as it has always been -- rolling a 20 sided die instead of a percentile does not dramatically change the game's feel. Feeling and atmosphere come from roleplaying, not from the piece of plastic you throw.

Re:I hope it's not Wod20 (1)

Chops-Frozen-Water (2085) | more than 10 years ago | (#6553784)

Actually, the CoC d20 rules are pretty good; they don't really destroy the tone unless you/your group let them. (With the noted exception of level-based hit points; just use HP==(STR+CON)/2 and you're set.)
And I've seen other d20/OGL games be quite creative with the d20 mechanic - Mutants & Masterminds [greenronin.com] from Green Ronin Press [greenronin.com] does Superheroes quite well, ignoring some of the horrid legacy rules that AD&D has.
However, the D&D rules suck pretty badly for any tone of game other than Epic-Heroic Saga. Given that they still can't treat "hit points" consistently throughout the system, after 3.5 versions, I really don't expect D&D to improve any time soon, either.

What it comes down to is that while a given RPG system/mechanic does not prevent you from playing a particular theme or tone for a game, the system/mechanics can influence how players direct and develop their characters. D&D pretty much only has rules for building and refining the ultimate combat monster, thus reinforcing that style of play and pushing other styles to the side.

Re:I hope it's not Wod20 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6556330)

And sometimes, shoehorning in a new system can not just kill the setting, it can kill the game. The Legend of the Five Rings becomes a lot less dangerous when you take it to D20. They've done a good job of not dropping their old system, but D20 is usually more popular just because it's so well known.

Re:I hope it's not Wod20 (1)

Discopete (316823) | more than 10 years ago | (#6557390)

Speaking for myself, the fact that WoD is NOT d20 is one of the main reasons I still play it.
I see nothing wrong with d20, but the WW system is much cleaner (which is also the reason I still play ShadowRun).

OTOH, I'm not planning on spending the $60+ bucks on DND 3.5 and I'm probably not going to spend it on a "new" version of WoD.

Re:I hope it's not Wod20 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6550006)

Nothing against your anology aside from the point that it is totally baseless and wrong. While on the one hand I totally agree with you that WoTC is the base of all that is totally wrong and evil in the world of gaming these days, Having seen them take my beloved THAC0 and throw it out a window, as well as separating Ravenloft from the multiverse and reducing The Planes to a mere enhancement, the D20 system is more akin to Linux than Windows. If you look at the copyright info in the main sourcebooks, WoTC gives permission to use the D20 system with any other gaming system, without having to license the system. Mention of the fact that the system belongs to WoTC needs to be made of course, however it does not need to be paid for.

Re:I hope it's not Wod20 (1)

etherlad (410990) | more than 10 years ago | (#6550466)

Actually, you only need to mention WotC and the Player's Handbook in one of the licenses - specifically, the "d20" license, where you specifically put the d20 logo on the product.

If you just use the OGL, you don't need to mention WotC at all, can include stuff the d20 license doesn't let you, but you can't use the d20 logo (or, I believe, refer to it as a d20 product). Most OGL products I've seen call themselves "compatible with 3rd Edition Roleplaying."

Re:I hope it's not Wod20 (1)

Chops-Frozen-Water (2085) | more than 10 years ago | (#6553678)

or, instead of the d20 trademark logo, they stick a picture of a 20-sided die somewhere prominent. Like the Everquest RPG did, IIRC.

Copyright abuse (1, Insightful)

Twylite (234238) | more than 10 years ago | (#6548880)

The worst part about this is not that White Wolf are bringing WoD (modern) to an end. It is that they are abusing their copyright privlidge in order to do so. Yet another creation of humanity will disappear into archives for 84 (more) years, and be completely forgotten, save for those who already have the books.

No copyright holder should have the right to withdraw a work from publication without ceding their copyright. If it doesn't pay to keep it in publication anymore, the benefit offered by copyright has been fully realised, and the work should fall into the public domain.

Re:Copyright abuse (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 10 years ago | (#6548915)

so have your friend in D.C. swing by the library of congress, check it out, mail it to you. scan it in, send it back with a money order to cover the late fee and his S&H cost, and you're set. no, it's not easy, but if you think the public should have a copy, I say it's your responsibility to put the work into a public medium (gnutella), or buy a copy and donate it to your local library for public consumption. there's probably 100 ways to circumvent this small problem.

Re:Copyright abuse (1)

Twylite (234238) | more than 10 years ago | (#6548980)

I think you're missing the point. Making a copy is a copyright violation, because the copyright over the work is still valid. Making the work available on (say) gnutella is also a copyright violation. Buying a copy for the library doesn't make the work public domain, it just makes it more accessible. And when that copy is lost or damaged you can't replace it, because it is out of publication, but it is still a copyright violation to duplicate the Library of Congress copy.

Copyright law should have a "use it or lose it" clause that applies once a work has been published. At the very least, every published work should be made available in electronic form to the Library of Congress, and any out of publication work may be reproduced by an on-demand printer and a standard fee paid to the copyright owner.

Re:Copyright abuse (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 10 years ago | (#6549013)

I realize that my solutions wern't legal, but should they be challenged in a court of law, you might be able to more easily have your solutions introduced into a bill. Civil disobedience, of some sort. At least the book is in circulation.

Re:Copyright abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6557404)

Just so you know, the entire WoD product line (or for that matter, just about any other gaming system is already in a public medium.

(all hail Kaz- er no.... Kazaa-Lite!!!)

Re:Copyright abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6549175)

"All these documents are Copyright © 1994-2000, Twylite . All Rights Reserved. Apart from viewing or linking to these documents at their original location, and rights explicitly stated below, no rights to these documents are granted."

Ah shucks, another creation of humanity that will remain out of the public domain for years and years years. What ever will we do.

Re:Copyright abuse (1)

Twylite (234238) | more than 10 years ago | (#6549223)

I'm flattered :)

But if you bothered to read my comments instead of misrepresenting my ideas, you would realise that these are works in publication, and I am referring to works OUT of publication.

And if you're not going to be using your car (3, Interesting)

goldcd (587052) | more than 10 years ago | (#6549636)

this evening, I'll just borrow it off your drive and take it for a spin.
If you create something, it's yours. You don't owe the world anything.

Re:And if you're not going to be using your car (1)

BiteMeFanboy (680905) | more than 10 years ago | (#6552016)

Err yeah you do. You obviously don't understand the reason for and nature of a copyright.

Re:Copyright abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6550868)

Making the WOD public domain would KILL a small company like that, no matter how much you think it would be "cool". It would also destroy the demand for newer products, if the old products are all free.

Re:Copyright abuse (1)

Twylite (234238) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551016)

My contention is that they shouldn't be able to withdraw a work from publication. If they made it available from an on-demand publisher, even at a higher price (as would be expected for single copy publication), I would be happy.

Re:Copyright abuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6578202)

Small company??

What on earth makes you think WW is a small company?

White Wolf owns the Sword & Sorcery product line, the Evercrack RPG line and Exalted. They no longer rely on WoD to stay in the black.

I don't know where to begin. I hate you all. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6549056)

I was in the Borders up by the Arboretum, cruising the computer section. I saw this really hot chic and she was looking at the linux books ! I'm no linux freak (barely even a computer person, learning C in a class I'm taking now, installed linux so I could learn postgreSQL for a job that never materialized, working as a lowly filer at a title company) but I decided to start talking to her. She said she worked for BAE and they were switching some Oracle shit over to Linux and she was learning it. We talked and had a coffee there and exchanged email addresses. I did ok because my two roommates use linux all the time, so I tossed out some buzzwords and bashed SCO. Little did I know what I was in for.

A week later we agree to meet for a bite to eat and start talking.

My first warning was that she told me the last three relationships she's had were people she met on Evercrack. That, and the fact that she called it "Evercrack", should have made me run right then. But didn't know. I wasn't even sure what Everquest was, or what a role playing game was. So I toss out that I've heard of it from my roommates and ask her what she likes about it.

It turns out this girl plays more than 6 hours a day on weekdays ! She's part of some "raiding party" that has more than 100 people and started yammering about how they had standards for admission in ping times and bandwidth and stuff. It goes on and on. She won't shut up. She writes down a link to her character online and gives it to me. She stares at me after I get the napkin, so I feel obligated it put in my pocket like I'm gonna check it. (She is some magician-elf-Romulan thing.) She starts telling me how it is a real problem that her character can't see in the dark. "It's get dark in the everquest world too, you know!" Yeah, that's a "real" problem.

I'm out of my league and struggling here, but I'm not giving up. Remember she's hot. I remember my two roommates (the linux dudes) having a conversation with a third nerd (hey that rhymes) about some game that was a top secrete local project funded by some rich dude -- basically, the idea was a distributed P2P world, so each player got to edit and make rules for the piece of the universe hosted on their computer. There was some contrived shit with giant cylindrical space stations, to allow for the fact that you could visit anybody, not just the physical neighbors in a flat world. I realize now it is sick and gay and will probably lead to school shootings, but I'm trying to bang this chic so I tell her everything I remember.

While I am talking her face slowly smooths out and gets very calm, and then her eyes starting getting narrow. I think this is because she's interested.

As soon as I finish, she informs me in this dead, calm voice that I am part of a conspiracy of corporate powers envious of Evercrack's (yeah she still called it that) success and plotting to bring it down by siphoning off all the new gamers who didn't know better than to fall for our false sirens rather than join the one true game, evercrack. She actually said the words "the evercrack world is just as valid as the real world."

I get really scared for some reason, but I start defending my self. First, I have no designs on the evercrack world and I'm not even the one writing the competeing game. (She interrupts and accuses me of making fun of evercrackers.) I said I planned to try evercrack myself, since it sounded fun. (I'm sure my face betrayed the fact that I will never go near it.) She accused me of thinking that playing Evercrack was a waste of time, which I never even said. She wouldn't be stopped. At this point she also said I rudely made her feel fat by ordering a smaller meal than she did. (She was skinny and very hot.)

Her voice kept rising, and some people were listening. I sort of calmed down and realized I had no chance in hell, but that she probably wasn't armed so there was no danger. I calmly pointed out that she was totally fucking nuts and she got up and stomped out. The waiter guy said "dude, I heard some of that and you may feel bad but I think you are lucky to get out that before you were too involved." I told him to bring me the biggest margerita they had and I was moving to the bar.

I look through the wacked out fantasy crack world posts in here and I am horrified. If I ever have kids, and I catch them doing anything with a computer except for normal stuff like porn and hacking into school to change their grades, I will beat their asses like a red headed step child. I will take them out to the middle of southern Pecos County and dump them out with a knife and a bottle of water. No way am I going to have a freak like one of you in my family.

Oh, and a whole week later she sent me an email saying "I don't really see us in a relationship, I'd like to be friends." We had met for one coffee and one burger which she ruined. I sent her an email back saying, "Let's not be friends, because you are completely psycho."

I'm feeling ambiguous (2, Interesting)

der_joachim (590045) | more than 10 years ago | (#6549341)


As a long-time WW player, I have a bit of an ambiguous feeling about The End (tm). On the one hand, it is a good thing to end the WoD as we know it. The VtM setting was complete enough; there wasn't much to say anymore. It is exhausted. As far as I've heard from others, WtA and MtA had the same problem. It is good that the folks at WW finally wrap it up.

OTOH, I sincerely hope that this is not an excuse for *another* revised version of all their WoD games. Furthermore, this whole End of the World business reeks of marketing.

I hope that WoD V2.0 will be something worthy. Please don't let it be a new WoD with just some other names.

der Joachim

What? More Books? (1)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 10 years ago | (#6549935)

Damn it all, I'm having a hard enough time trying to convince myself to go by the new D&D source books. Now I have to go update my WW ones as well?! Drek! I'm going back to Shadowrun chummer.

I do appreciate what they are doing. How many times has a TV show had the 'And someone is going to die...' commercial but then it turns out to be Bobby's cousin that is introduced 5 minutes into the show? It's nice to have a continually growing storyline to work with, but at the same time, you can stick with whatever version of sourcebooks you enjoy most.

Oh god. I hope they didnt steal our idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6550686)

some friends of mine and I a couple years ago wrote an entirely new setting for the WoD that takes place after an Apocalyptic event, we never decided what it was. Everyone believed it was their particular expected apocalypse, but was just something mundane in reality. The idea was sent to some WW representitives so we could make sure there were no copyright problems as we were doing it for a public LARP. We never heared back from them. So I wonder if we filled their heads with ideas. :p

Well, duh?!? (2, Funny)

iainl (136759) | more than 10 years ago | (#6551231)

Anyone who knows their Ghostbusters (which, incidentally, made a pretty neat RPG itself back in the day) knows that the idea of the Dead rising from their graves (Which the whole vampirism thing has at its heart) is an obvious sign of end times.

The End Of The World Is Nigh is the only logical place for the story to go, then.

Re:Well, duh?!? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6551306)

Anyone who knows their Ghostbusters (which, incidentally, made a pretty neat RPG itself back in the day) knows that the idea of the Dead rising from their graves (Which the whole vampirism thing has at its heart) is an obvious sign of end times.

Coming August 2004 from White Wolf:

Dogs and Cats: The Co-habitation

the whole theme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6552048)

Am I the only one that noticed the actual theme to Werewolf? THE APOCALPSE. The end is here and that was the whole point, to die in a blaze of glory, any werewolf player could/would tell you that. The war was lost in the industrial revolution.

Oh well.... (1)

unclethursday (664807) | more than 10 years ago | (#6554225)

I guess I don't need to worry about my writing submission after all.

And all those months of talking to Justin and trying to butter him up... all for nothing.


Still partying with WW at Dragon*con, though.

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines (1)

sandalwood (196527) | more than 10 years ago | (#6557252)

Activision cancelled their Star Trek license by suing Viacom for not "keeping the license active enough," I wonder if White Wolf is next on their list for ending the World of Darkness before Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines [gamespot.com] ships! Or maybe they'll just end up with another dead license... heh...

Re:Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines (1)

sandalwood (196527) | more than 10 years ago | (#6557274)

Whoops, I'm dumb. Never mind - I RTFA.

Re:Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines (1)

etherlad (410990) | more than 10 years ago | (#6570693)

For those who didn't...

Bloodlines' storyline concerns the Time of Judgment. They already had this planned. There are some Gehenna-based revelations made in Bloodlines, actually, that you can't find out about any other way.
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