Okay, this is a very simple story with a very complicated background. I’m going to tell the story first this time and, if you’re not sure what’s going on, I’ll explain more in the next paragraph. White Wolf Publishing announced details about the new edition of Vampire: The Masquerade. This new fifth edition of the game will come out in early 2018 and, according to ICv2, “continue the metagame that was shaped in 2004”. This would be the sourcebook Gehenna which presented several options for the “end of the world” of the World of Darkness and the tie-in novel Gehenna: The Final Night be Ari Marmell. If these events will be rolled into the new edition in an “After the End” manner, it’s not yet known. This project began in controversy after White Wolf announced hiring Zak Smith (aka Zak Sabbath or Zak S) back in February, a man who has been accused of harassing behavior, to work on a video game. WW's response can be found here.
So some of you may be wondering where Onyx Path is in all this. They’re still around, but they’re not involved with this new edition of the game. They are, however, still creating new material for World of Darkness. But not for the new edition. Onyx Path still holds the license for the Chronicles of Darkness (which is the official name of what was called the New World of Darkness titles: Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken, etc.) and they hold the license for the 20th Anniversary editions of all the World of Darkness (the official name for Old World of Darkness titles: Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, etc.). So Onyx Path is still publishing new material for both of these lines, but are NOT publishing material for the new 5th Edition of Vampire: The Masquerade.
So White Wolf was purchased by CCP Games (makers of the Eve Online franchise) who only wanted the IP rights to make a World of Darkness MMO. After many years of development, the title was finally canceled in 2014 and White Wolf plus all its assets were sold to Paradox Interactive in 2015. Late last year, Paradox Interactive spun White Wolf Publishing into its own (but fully owned) company in anticipation of publishing a new edition. At this time, the licensing deals were restructured and, when the dust settled, the licenses for Chronicles of Darkness and the 20th Anniversary versions of the original World of Darkness games were with Onyx Path and the live-action Mind’s Eye Theater remained with By Night Studios. So this is how White Wolf is coming out with a new edition at a time when Onyx Path is running a Kickstarter for a World of Darkness themed card game.
Green Ronin launched a talent search for contributors to The Lost Citadel roleplaying game, based on the fiction anthology and world developed by Jaym Gates, C.A. Suleiman, and Ari Marmell about a fantasy world in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. There is a catch, as they’re specifically accepting proposals from women. From the announcement:
In the lead-up to June’s Kickstarter for the LCRPG, we are going to be running a talent search for women who are interested in coming to work on the project. If you identify as female and dark fantasy is your jam, we want to see what you can bring to the table! Not to worry, fellas, we have some other opportunities for you coming up later in the year, as well, but this talent search is just for the ladies.
A statement was issued to further clarify that the talent search was also open to those who identify as non-binary gender. The announcement from Green Ronin General Manager Nicole Lindroos comes following a post from Green Ronin President Chris Pramas [EDIT: This post was from Green Ronin General Manager Nicole Lindroos, not Chris Pramas as original posted] speaking about his [EDIT: her] experience on a panel at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas, noting the gender discrepancy of those in the industry and those looking to break in, noting both how far the industry has come and how far it still has to go.
7th Sea promised a platform for user-created content during their wildly successful Kickstarter last year, and now they’ve delivered as Explorer’s Society is live. The online store allows users to create and sell content for the 7th Sea 2nd Edition game, including adventures, NPCs, homebrew rules, or more. There is a content guideline that acts as a license for use of the Intellectual Property, laying out exactly what you can and cannot use from published materials and in what way you’re allowed to use them (this is similar to the license for the DM’s Guild). In the week since launch, there’s already two dozen products available for purchase ranging in cost from free to Pay-What-You-Want to a set price of $3.99 for some of the adventures.
International Tabletop Day has run into a minor issue: The event is so big that they can’t keep up with demand! This is the first year that all promotional items have been released a la carte rather than as a single one-size-fits-all pack. Personally, I preferred the old way, but that’s because I live in a rural area so my local event always had more promotional items than attendees. However, retailers in more populated areas could customize their orders in order to make sure they could meet demand based on previous events. And this year, the demand was higher than ever – so much so that not everyone will be getting their products. Quoted in ICv2, Producer Ivan Van Norman said “We opened up the print sizes significantly as well with publishers, but didn’t know what to expect with the new system. After collecting all the pre-orders we can tell you that you meet and beat the expectations out of the park. Despite opening up numbers significantly, we are at 85-95% fill rate to pre-orders for almost all items for International Tabletop Day.” The only odd one out was the promotional card from Cryptozoic’s Master of Orion, which only had enough product to fill 16% of the orders and cannot be reprinted in time for the event. International Tabletop Day is on Saturday, April 29 and the official website has a locator to find the event closest to you.
Even the Kickstarters this week haven’t managed to evade controversy this week! Alternity is now on Kickstarter bringing a world of science fiction adventure. Technically speaking, however, this is not a new edition of the original Alternity game. Instead, this game takes the abandoned trademarks from the original Alternity and creates an entire new rules system inspired by the original. Some on social media criticized Sasquatch games for using the abandoned trademarks rather than creating an original property. My response: Yeah, how dare this Richard Baker and Bill Slavicsek rip off the hard work of the original Alternity creators, Richard Baker and Bill Slavicsek! And can you believe they’re letting George RR Martin write the next Song of Ice and Fire novel? But more seriously, this new game captures everything from the original Alternity with the original creators involved as they update and streamline the game system bringing in the knowledge of twenty years of advancement in the industry since the original. You can get the core rulebook in PDF for $25, a print version for $40, or a bundle of all content including stretch goals in PDF for $45 or adding on a print copy of the core rulebook for $65. This project is about halfway to its funding goal, but has until Thursday, May 4 to reach its $35,000 goal.
Now for some controversial nepotism! EN Publishing, the game design and publishing arm of EN World, is creating a book of brand new classes for the 5th Edition of “the world’s most popular roleplaying game”. Alchemist, Cardcaster, Diabolist, Feywalker, Morph, Noble, and Occultist are each detailed with multiple subclass builds (see the links for previews). In addition, the book includes new subclasses and build options for the core classes and much more. You can get the PDF version immediately at the end of the Kickstarter for a £10 (about US$13) pledge, or a print copy for £17 (about US$21) for a print copy as soon as it’s printed. This Kickstarter is fully funded and runs until Friday, May 5.
Underworld Races & Classes gives you even more options for your 5th Edition or Pathfinder games from Adventure a Week Games. What’s the controversy with promoting this one? While I’m not directly involved with this project, I am currently working with AAW Games on another project they haven’t announced yet. That said, this book is a collection of new races, classes, spells, and items all themed around the things that dwell beneath the surface of the world, thriving in the darkness. The PDF is available for $25 for your choice of edition or $45 for both with hardcover versions available for $55 or $105 for both. This Kickstarter is fully funded and runs until Friday, April 28.
That’s all from me for this week! Find more gaming news at the EN World News Network website, and don’t forget to support our Patreon to bring you even more gaming news content. If you have any news to submit, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow me on Twitter @Abstruse where I’ve been ranting about the Pepsi controversy (there’s no reason not to bring back Crystal Pepsi permanently!), or you can listen to the archives of the Gamer’s Tavern podcast. Until next time, may all your hits be crits! Note: Links to Amazon and/or DriveThru may contain affiliate links with the proceeds going to the author of this column.