Title: World of Darkness
Developer: White Wolf (older) or Onyx Path (current) depending on which book you buy
Platform(s): Tabletop RPG
Release Date(s):1991 – Present
Players: As many as a GM can emotionally handle.
Kid Friendly Rating: Perhaps 15+, this is completely dependent on the storyteller. This is a more adult series for sure, just look at the books, but if the storyteller keeps it PG, it can be just fine.
Personal Rating: There are so many aspects to the game and systems it runs. Overall I would give it an 8/10 with Mage system being my favorite at 10/10.
Since 1991, World of Darkness has brought players into a world that is grungy, grimy, and at times, frightening. There are two main core systems to focus on old World of Darkness (oWoD) and new World of Darkness (nWoD). The different systems within oWoD are (there are many books and versions for each of the below plus there are other supplement books!):
- Vampire: The Masquerade
- Werewolf: The Apocalypse
- Mage: The Ascension
- Wraith: The Oblivion
- Changeling: The Dreaming
- Kindred of the East
- Hunter: The Reckoning
- Mummy: The Resurrection
- Demon: The Fallen
- Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom
oWoD also included some historical settings:
- Vampire: The Victorian Age (set in the late 19th century)
- Werewolf: The Wild West (set in the 19th century)
- Mage: The Sorcerer’s Crusade (set in the late 15th century)
- Wraith: The Great War (set during and immediately after World War I)
- Vampire: The Dark Ages (12th century version that was later reworked into the Dark Ages product line)
- Dark Ages (13th century Middle Ages) versions of the settings:
nWoD was a complete revamping of the system. The core concepts were still there but there was a lot of streamlining and changes that did occur. These systems that are included in nWoD are:
- Vampire: The Requiem (released August 21, 2004 alongside The World of Darkness core book)
- Werewolf: The Forsaken (released March 14, 2005)
- Mage: The Awakening (released August 29, 2005)
- Promethean: The Created (released August 11, 2006)
- Changeling: The Lost (released August 16, 2007)
- Hunter: The Vigil (released August 15, 2008)
- Geist: The Sin-Eaters (released August 19, 2009)
- Mummy: The Curse (released March 27, 2013)
- Demon: The Descent (released May, 2014)
- Beast: The Primordial (scheduled to release in 2015)
WoD was originally created to be a single use system. By that I mean, most systems are meant to be stand alone where everyone plays a Vampire and there are no Werewolf or Mage players. While there will be some people that will tell you that is the way the game has to be played, I have never played in or ran a game where we didn’t cross-systems. I am not just talking about the core systems either! We would have Demons in a game that was full of shifters! In the game I am currently running we have 2 Mokole (weredragons!), a Corax (werebird), a Bastet (werecat) and a Werewolf. As a storyteller, you just need to make sure that the characters do not have some hatred for one another right away and just want to kill the whole party.
I am really enjoying the new 20th anniversary books they have released which are the main books we are using to play the game I am running right now. They really took the game and used everything that worked and tried to remove what did not and STILL kept the same feeling. That is not something that is easy to accomplish!
I love this system because it is so fluid and flexible. It has always been the staple of WoD that if you do not like a rule you can change it. Plus I also enjoy that even though you are surrounded by the supernatural, you are still in the real world. There are real jobs, real family members, and real world problems. I would suggest that everyone tries a World of Darkness game at least once in their gaming career.
Does anyone out there have any WoD experience? Any stories you would like to tell?
Check out our videos and podcasts where we play in my WoD campaign!