The 'New' World Of Darkness Makes Way For Chronicles Of Darkness And The World Of Darkness
  • The 'New' World Of Darkness Makes Way For Chronicles Of Darkness And The World Of Darkness



    In case you missed it, White Wolf Publishing has been under new ownership for the last couple of months, since Swedish video game publisher Paradox Interactive announced buying the rights to White Wolf Publishing and the World of Darkness and Exalted properties from CCP Games in October. This announcement left fans, and developers up in the air over what the next step would be. Yesterday, at the Tenebrae Noctis White Wolf fan convention in Cologne, more information was announced. Probably one of the bigger announcements being about what was the status, going forward, of the various Worlds of Darkness currently being published.

    White Wolf Publishing will be doing the, new, fourth editions of the World of Darkness games, starting with

    A press release on the Onyx Path Publishing website said this:

    Onyx Path Publishing and White Wolf Publishing are proud to announce that Chronicles of Darkness is now the overall brand name for the series of game lines previously called the New World of Darkness. These game lines include Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition, Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition, Mage: the Awakening 2nd Edition, Promethean: the Created 2nd Edition, Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition, Geist: the Sin-Eaters, Mummy: the Curse, Demon: the Descent, and Beast: the Primordial, as well as any upcoming projects and game lines.

    And the press release went into some of the reasoning for the change here:

    Because, let’s face it, the cWoD/nWoD thing has always been awkward once you tried to explain why there were two of them but the second WoD wasn’t another edition but a whole ‘nother reimagining. Another WoD that enables equally awesome stories to be told but which has different rules and themes and overall tone. Nothing confusing there!

    Onyx Path Publishing will also continue with the 20th Anniversary editions of World of Darkness games and Exalted.

    Where the “new” World of Darkness will now be called The Chronicles of Darkness, the lines being developed in-house by White Wolf Publishing will just be, simply, The World of Darkness. No longer will there be a “new,” “classic,” or any other sort of qualifier to the title. Where White Wolf Publishing’s World of Darkness games will line up with the upcoming AAA video game, and other media adaptations, the Chronicles of Darkness will be continue to be “an amazing toolkit to create the WOD that you as the Storyteller want,” according to Martin Elricsson, the Lead Storyteller at White Wolf Publishing.

    It looks that the World of Darkness setting material will feature a shift from America to Europe, which makes sense coming from a publisher based in Europe. This might actually make the buy-in to the setting easier for many American gamers, since it will make the setting, for them, into more of a “fantasy world” and less of the “world outside of your windows.”

    In addition to developing the World of Darkness game in-house, it also looks that White Wolf Publishing will also be developing new LARP rules in-house as well. From social media talk on Twitter and Facebook, it looks as though the new rules will take a nod from the traditions of Nordic LARPs, which will be interesting to see. I admit that I have never been one for LARPing, so my knowledge of that area is a hole that I will have to fill up in order to talk about it intelligently in the future.


    In the Onyx Path Publishing press release for the Chronicles of Darkness announcement, they also talked about practical, licensing-related reasons for why the name shifts make sense:

    And on a licensing level, garnering interest outside our hobby has been a nightmare. One kind of Hollywood type has a 3.5 second attention span, by and large, and you have to hook them right away, while another type Googles everything as you’re talking. The first will be gone before you can explain the N in new WoD, and the second will find page after page of info that sounds similar but is different and is all coming up under World of Darkness.
    Comments 44 Comments
    1. TerraDave's Avatar
      TerraDave -
      Oh yeah, that totally clears things up.
    1. DMZ2112's Avatar
      DMZ2112 -
      Chris, I'm a little fuzzy on the math, as if there's a 2nd edition of Requiem and a 2nd edition of Masquerade, this is (at least) the fifth iteration of the ruleset, is it not? Can you share your sources on the new edition? The Onyx Path press release doesn't mention it.

      Is it clear from your sources whether the new material will parallel the original World of Darkness setting, continue with the Chronicles of Darkness setting, or be an entirely new third setting?

      In any case, thank you for the article; this is is good news. Paradox drinks first at the vaulderie! :[)
    1. Christopher Helton's Avatar
      Christopher Helton -
      My assumption is that the stuff that Paradox/White Wolf will be doing will grow out of the old World of Darkness material, but I don't know. It looks like there will be an ongoing plot to the "World of Darkness," while "Chronicles of Darkness" continue with a more toolkit approach.

      I reached out to contacts for follow up, but it's a Saturday.
    1. Eminence_Grise -
      Is it just me, or it seems as complicated as following the Traveller editions or RuneQuest editions.
    1. Christopher Helton's Avatar
      Christopher Helton -
      I don't find either of those things complicated.
    1. bergec's Avatar
      bergec -
      Short version:

      Old World of Darkness = World of Darkness
      New World of Darkness = Chronicles of Darkness

      Nothing else changes. This is just to clarify branding on the two lines.
    1. Matt-M-McElroy's Avatar
      Matt-M-McElroy -
      Chronicles of Darkness was formerly called World of Darkness 2nd Edition, it was going to be the new edition of this book.

      So, the "classic" World of Darkness line continues with books like:

      Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
      Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition
      Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
      Wraith: the Oblivion: 20th Anniversary Edition (coming soon)
      Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition (Kickstarter going on now)
      Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition The Dark Ages

      Chronicles of Darkness (formerly "new" World of Darkness) continues with:

      Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition
      Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
      Demon: the Descent
      Mage: the Awakening 2nd Edition (coming soon)
      Promethean: the Created 2nd Edition (coming soon)
      Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition (coming soon)
      Hunter: the Vigil 2nd Edition (coming soon)

      There are new books coming out for both game lines and plenty of excellent material is already available. I've developed books for both (Hunter: Mortal Remains and Dread Names, Red List for example) and have more on the way.

      This change will help move things along with the upcoming 2nd Editions and any new games that are part of the Chronicles of Darkness line. We won't have to deal with stuff like announcing a new book for the World of Darkness and getting a reply like "Which World of Darkness?"

      -MMM
    1. AverageCitizen's Avatar
      AverageCitizen -
      I am still confused. I understand that there are books being released under different brands, I just don't understand why. I guess some of it is done by WW and some is done by someone else? Was there some kind of ideological schism or hostile takeover? What is the difference between the two approaches? Do they cover the same material? It is confusing both as a potential customer and as someone who is interested in the industry. It seems like that kind of confusion is bad for a brand.
    1. Christopher Helton's Avatar
      Christopher Helton -
      Quote Originally Posted by Matt-M-McElroy View Post
      This change will help move things along with the upcoming 2nd Editions and any new games that are part of the Chronicles of Darkness line. We won't have to deal with stuff like announcing a new book for the World of Darkness and getting a reply like "Which World of Darkness?"
      Thanks for the response, Matt.
    1. BrockBallingdark -
      I like this and clears things up for me. Now I wait for Hunter: the Vigil 2nd edition.
    1. Matt-M-McElroy's Avatar
      Matt-M-McElroy -
      The classic World of Darkness ended its initial run in 2004, then a couple of years later the new World of Darkness was released. The new games were not simple reboots of the old games, instead they explored similar overarching themes "vampires" "urban horror" and things along those lines, but introduced new mythologies, new systems, and had their own styles of play. The classic lines remained as PDFs and secondary market copies, but nothing new was being published for them.

      This was all done by White Wolf at the time. They were in turn acquired by the video game company CCP. They continued to release new material under the new World of Darkness brand.

      Then, in 2011 they released a 20th Anniversary edition of Vampire: the Masquerade, originally intended to be a cool one-off nostalgic deluxe book celebrating all the cool things people loved about Vampire: the Masquerade. It proved to be incredibly popular.

      At the same time CCP was working on a MMO adaptation of the World of Darkness and realizing that they didn't know much (or want to) about publishing RPGs.

      Rich Thomas had been the creative director of White Wolf for 20 years and didn't much like working on video games, so he stepped away to form his own company, Onyx Path Publishing. He pitched the idea of Onyx Path licensing some IP from CCP (and buying stuff like Scion and Trinity outright) and was granted the opportunity to publish RPGs based on both versions of the World of Darkness and Exalted.

      So, for while now Onyx Path has been publishing books for the classic and the new World of Darkness. Somewhat similar games/themes, different execution and systems. Many fans have been pretty happy with this arrangement as there are fans of individual game lines and fans of multiple game lines.

      In October, a different video game company, Paradox Interactive, purchased all of the White Wolf IP from CCP (World of Darkness, Exalted, the White Wolf brand, etc) and with that they formed a new subsidiary company called White Wolf.

      Now, the new White Wolf and Onyx Path have worked out a way for them to focus the "World of Darkness" brand on the classic lines and yet keep the (formerly) new lines going with their own brand. This will go far in clearing up confusion as now they are distinctly different game lines doing their own things in their own ways.

      It sounds like the new White Wolf has big plans both for their own in house publishing efforts and licensing deals and it will be much easier to talk about the World of Darkness and the Chronicles of Darkness settings as their own lines.

      -MMM
    1. Christopher Helton's Avatar
      Christopher Helton -
      I reported on the acquisition of White Wolf by Paradox at my last job: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/10/...-publishing-2/

      Tobias Sjögren even answered a couple of questions for me.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Helton View Post
      I reported on the acquisition of White Wolf by Paradox at my last job: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/10/...-publishing-2/

      Tobias Sjögren even answered a couple of questions for me.
      I also covered it in some detail here on EN World.
    1. Matt-M-McElroy's Avatar
      Matt-M-McElroy -
      Quote Originally Posted by BrockBallingdark View Post
      I like this and clears things up for me. Now I wait for Hunter: the Vigil 2nd edition.
      You and me both!

      My girlfriend, Monica Valentinelli, is the developer on that one. She was also the developer of the Firefly RPG line from Margaret Weis Productions.

      -MMM
    1. Sir Brennen's Avatar
      Sir Brennen -
      So, Chronicles is simply a rebranding of NWoD, basically a reprint of existing material with a new cover, so if I have the NWoD (2nd Ed) core rule book already, that's still going to be compatible with the upcoming Chronicles of Darkness: Mage? No actual rules changes will be introduced with the CoD core book, right?
    1. Matt-M-McElroy's Avatar
      Matt-M-McElroy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sir Brennen View Post
      So, Chronicles is simply a rebranding of NWoD, basically a reprint of existing material with a new cover, so if I have the NWoD (2nd Ed) core rule book already, that's still going to be compatible with the upcoming Chronicles of Darkness: Mage? No actual rules changes will be introduced with the CoD core book, right?
      Well...the new core book was just release this morning in PDF.

      You might be referring to the God-Machine Chronicle, which if so, yes it does use the same system.

      Mage: the Awakening 2nd Edition featuring the Fallen World Chronicle will also use the same system. Vampire: the Requiem 2E and Forsaken 2E which are out now, also use this system.

      -MMM
    1. delericho's Avatar
      delericho -
      A good move. When they retired the oWoD to make room for the new, it made sense to reuse the name - the same way it made sense for the Battlestar Galactica reboot to use the same name as the old.

      But when the oWoD returned from its torpor that reuse of the name became a source of confusion, which is really not a good thing. So better to rename the nWoD so that they're not constantly getting in one another's way.
    1. psychophipps's Avatar
      psychophipps -
      Did the OWoD return involve a swap the more streamlined mechanics of NWoD?
    1. Matt-M-McElroy's Avatar
      Matt-M-McElroy -
      Quote Originally Posted by psychophipps View Post
      Did the OWoD return involve a swap the more streamlined mechanics of NWoD?
      No. The 20th Anniversary lines do not use the newer system. There are several system bits that have had adjustments and revisions, but they still use the Storyteller System.

      -MMM
    1. Benji's Avatar
      Benji -
      My concern is this: If the world of darkness (formerly Owod) is no longer being published by onyx path (I'm reading between the lines): are we still likely to see the quality of product/support? Or is it all going to be about computer game branding? Are we ever going to see , for example, Changeling 20? Or is that shelved now?

      EDIT: As it's being advertised on a banner on this website, it's probably still going ahead. But my question stands.
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