Ken Hite Is Lead Designer of VAMPIRE 5th EDITION!
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  • Ken Hite Is Lead Designer of VAMPIRE 5th EDITION!


    A few days behind the news curve on this one - apologies! Veteran game designer Kenneth Hite, author of Trail of Cthulhu and Night's Black Agents, has been revealed as the lead designer on Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition. Hite announced it via social media, following a live announcement at a World of Darkness event in Berlin -- "Now it can be revealed: I am the Lead Designer for VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE 5th Edition. Some pretty big Doc Martens to fill." There's not a lot more info available yet, but I'll report it as I hear it.

    He made a few other comments on social media:

    Lore: "It's still in the World of Darkness but it's very much about the 21st century. Our goal is to make it a (dark and horrific) great on-ramp."

    More on lore changes: "Mostly timeline advancement but everything you ever read in V:tM was already explicitly from an unreliable narrator."

    Mechanics: "Still uses d10s but not Storyteller. So far."

    Other World of Darkness games: "I'm only doing VAMPIRE. Other games are other games by other designers."

    On Pelgrane Press: "I won't have a lot of time for Pelgrane work in the near future."

    On vampires: Hite once said "If it were up to me, nobody would ever get to play the good vampire again in any medium. It is, sadly, not up to me." When somebody rather aggressively asked about this in the context of this news, he replied that "Vampires are monsters, but in V:tM the possibility of moral redemption is not entirely remote."



    Comments 33 Comments
    1. jimmifett's Avatar
      jimmifett -
      This is great news! I've met Ken a couple times, great guy!
    1. Desh-Rae-Halra's Avatar
      Desh-Rae-Halra -
      This is exciting. I loved his work in Nights Black Agents.
    1. Von Ether's Avatar
      Von Ether -
      The Tim Powers of RPGs working on Vampire? Now you have my attention.
    1. Mercule's Avatar
      Mercule -
      These are the bits that most caught my attention:
      Mechanics: "Still uses d10s but not Storyteller. So far."

      Other World of Darkness games: "I'm only doing VAMPIRE. Other games are other games by other designers."
      I wonder if the first one means that it's going to be a tweak along the lines of Storyteller --> Storytelling System. Or, does it mean something more significant. I hope the former, as I think the Storytell* system was a very, very good fit for the game. Also, I just kinda like dice pools.

      The second bit is unremarkable, in itself. All the original WoD games had different leads. I'm assuming that's what's going on, here. Placed back-to-back with the line about "not Storyteller", the context made me question whether they're considering using somewhat different mechanics for the different games. That would be disastrous, IMO. Just to be clear, I don't think this is a real possibility, just commenting on a twitch I got from the way the two comments lined up.
    1. Doctor Futurity -
      Very exciting. I am not a WoD fan but I'll probably pick this up because it's frakkin Ken Hite! Love it.
    1. Transcendental Dream's Avatar
      Transcendental Dream -
      Game changer!!
    1. chibi graz'zt's Avatar
      chibi graz'zt -
      There are now 3 different versions of vampire being played: Vampire the Requiem/Chronicles of Darkness/storytelling system, Vampire the Masquerade 20th Anniversary/storyteller system, and now this. I wonder which one will be the definitive edition?

      Seems a bit of a hodgepodge to me.
    1. ChapolimX's Avatar
      ChapolimX -
      Quote Originally Posted by Von Ether View Post
      The Tim Powers of RPGs working on Vampire? Now you have my attention.
      I'm not familiar with Ken Hite or Tim Powers work besides what I could find in Wikipedia. This makes me curious about your comment meaning.
    1. ChapolimX's Avatar
      ChapolimX -
      Quote Originally Posted by chibi graz'zt View Post
      There are now 3 different versions of vampire being played: Vampire the Requiem/Chronicles of Darkness/storytelling system, Vampire the Masquerade 20th Anniversary/storyteller system, and now this. I wonder which one will be the definitive edition?

      Seems a bit of a hodgepodge to me.
      This has being a line of comment that I see here from time to time that I don't grasp.

      IMO, if you want to stretch things a bit, you can say that there will be two versions of the same game. This assumes you considers Vampire: the Masquerade and Vampire: the Requiem essentially the same game, as DnD and Pathfinder. I don't agree with this, but I'm not willing to make a case.

      Beyond that? It's the same old story of most rpgs. They iterate through editions. Some games change little, some games change a lot. Some players stick to their favorite editions some players want the newest. Not a big deal.
    1. PMárk's Avatar
      PMárk -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mercule View Post
      These are the bits that most caught my attention:

      I wonder if the first one means that it's going to be a tweak along the lines of Storyteller --> Storytelling System. Or, does it mean something more significant. I hope the former, as I think the Storytell* system was a very, very good fit for the game. Also, I just kinda like dice pools.

      The second bit is unremarkable, in itself. All the original WoD games had different leads. I'm assuming that's what's going on, here. Placed back-to-back with the line about "not Storyteller", the context made me question whether they're considering using somewhat different mechanics for the different games. That would be disastrous, IMO. Just to be clear, I don't think this is a real possibility, just commenting on a twitch I got from the way the two comments lined up.
      "Not storyteller" means, as long as I understood it, that significant things will change, like it will be a fixed target number and there will be new mechanics. For example a new hunger mechanic will replace the old blood pool. Otherwise it'll be still d10 dice pool-based (thanks for all the gods who listened!) and dots from 1 to 5 on the character sheet.

      Over at the Onyx Path forums we have a thread about it, where some people posted details who participated in the playtest at WoD Berlin this week: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...ss-berlin-2017 .

      They said the playtest will be downloadable short after the event, so I'm expecting it 1-2 weeks from now.

      So far, it seems pretty interesting.
    1. PMárk's Avatar
      PMárk -
      Quote Originally Posted by chibi graz'zt View Post
      There are now 3 different versions of vampire being played: Vampire the Requiem/Chronicles of Darkness/storytelling system, Vampire the Masquerade 20th Anniversary/storyteller system, and now this. I wonder which one will be the definitive edition?

      Seems a bit of a hodgepodge to me.
      Since, all the 20ths will be stopped getting more supplements the time they get their new editions (so no more V20 books after V5) and since people generally like new things and updated metaplot, I think V5 will be the definitive unless they're messing it up big time and alienating much of the fanbase.

      Of course, there will be folks playing the older ruleset if they don't like the new (maybe even me, if it will be too much of a narrative game), but that's it. Karim (the other chief developer) said they want around 90% compatibility between character sheets and statblocks (if not rules), so much of the new books (which I suspect mostly will revolve around story, not crunch anyway) will be somewhat usable with the older ruleset.
    1. Von Ether's Avatar
      Von Ether -
      Quote Originally Posted by ChapolimX View Post
      I'm not familiar with Ken Hite or Tim Powers work besides what I could find in Wikipedia. This makes me curious about your comment meaning.
      Tim Powers is an SF writer who specializes in taking odd and rarely known factoids and building an occult conspiracy around them. By the time you are half way though a novel, you can see the "logic."

      i.e. Our modern 52-card playing deck is based on the Tarot. What if a magically talented person could still use them as a focus for magic? What if some the famous gangsters of our time were magic users who knew that? What does that make of the original Las Vegas mob-backed casinos, then? etc.

      Ken Hite does the same stuff. What if the Nazi occultists were right? (Day After Ragnarok) What if Count Dracula had been invited to England to become an supernatural espionage asset and the famous book is a cover up? (Night's Black Agents) And what if a fantasy version of Cambodia had been the victim of two gods instead of two super powers? (Qelong).

      And he just finished up with the 60/70s reboot of Delta Green.

      He's going to take a much more in-depth and historical approach to the mythos, accomplishing more twistedness in a smaller page count compared to other WoD supplements.
    1. ChapolimX's Avatar
      ChapolimX -
      Quote Originally Posted by Von Ether View Post
      Tim Powers is an SF writer who specializes in taking odd and not well-known factoids and building an occult conspiracy around them. By the time you are half way though a novel, you can see the "logic."

      i.e. Our modern 52- car playing deck is based on the Tarot. What if a magically talented person could still use them as a focus for magic? What if some the famous gangsters of our time were magic users who knew that? What does that make of the original Las Vegas mob-backed casinos, then? etc.

      Ken Hite does the same stuff. What if the Nazi occultists were right? (Day After Ragnarok) What if Count Dracula had been invited to England to become an supernatural espionage asset and the famous book is a cover up? (Night's Black Agents) And what if a fantasy version of Cambodia had been the victim of two gods instead of two super powers? (Qelong).

      And he just finished up with the 60/70s reboot of Delta Green.

      He's going to take a much more in-depth and historical approach to the mythos, accomplishing more twistedness in a smaller page count compared to other WoD supplements.
      Nice! Thanks for your insight. This announcement looks very promising now as this type of conspiracy theories were a hallmark from VTM and the World of Darkness in general...
    1. Enevhar Aldarion's Avatar
      Enevhar Aldarion -
      I am guessing we will get more info on this, or at least the video game side of the game, in June, since it says on their website that White Wolf will be at E3 this year. They will also be at GenCon in August.

      The News page of their site also says V5 is expected for release in early 2018, though your guess is as good as mine on how accurate that still is since this news was just announced this past weekend:

      http://www.white-wolf.com/news/
    1. Jhaelen -
      I think, I'd be interested in that.
    1. Mercule's Avatar
      Mercule -
      Quote Originally Posted by PMárk View Post
      Over at the Onyx Path forums we have a thread about it, where some people posted details who participated in the playtest at WoD Berlin this week: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...ss-berlin-2017 .
      Nice. It still looks reasonably Storytell*, to me, just with a tweak to resources. Time will tell, though.

      What's the deal with the metaplot? We haven't been able to fit in any WoD games in several years, so the most current books I have are the nWoD (Mage: the Awakening, et al.). They redid all the metaplot in those and got rid of things like the Technocracy. I know they redid the original books for the 20th anniversary and all. Did oWoD become the new gold standard? I was a bit confused in reading about Camarilla vs. Sabbat and the Technocracy.
    1. PMárk's Avatar
      PMárk -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mercule View Post
      Nice. It still looks reasonably Storytell*, to me, just with a tweak to resources. Time will tell, though.

      What's the deal with the metaplot? We haven't been able to fit in any WoD games in several years, so the most current books I have are the nWoD (Mage: the Awakening, et al.). They redid all the metaplot in those and got rid of things like the Technocracy. I know they redid the original books for the 20th anniversary and all. Did oWoD become the new gold standard? I was a bit confused in reading about Camarilla vs. Sabbat and the Technocracy.
      Ok, so:

      NWoD has nothing to do with CWoD. They're completely separate game lines.

      The 20ths were anniversary products with a metaplot-agnostic approach.

      V5 and all the new editions will continue the metaplot, the concept will be:

      - Up to Revised, everything is canon, but not necessarily true (unreliable narrator). OPP's upcoming Beckett's jyhad diary book will be the ultimate metaplot compendium leading upt to the new edition.
      - Then, 10 years have passed, the setting changed in some ways, they talked a lot about it in the Berlin videos, so forgive me, I don1t want to type that much (search for YT 'WoD Berlin'), the new metaplot will pick up the thread from there.
      It won't be "post-gehenna", it will be somewhat "during gehenna", but gehenna will be something different from the "raining down blood and fire, blood gods awakening" concept, it seems to be a more subtle thing. There was some talk on the forums back awhile about the cyclical gehenna concept, which was an in-setting theory during 2e. It seems like they somewhat went into that direction.
    1. Enevhar Aldarion's Avatar
      Enevhar Aldarion -
      I will probably have to see the finished product before I can make a final decision. I am one of those players stuck in between the previous two versions. I much prefer the meta-plot for the OWoD but many of the mechanical changes that were made in NWoD are better to me.
    1. Mercule's Avatar
      Mercule -
      Quote Originally Posted by PMárk View Post
      Ok, so:

      NWoD has nothing to do with CWoD. They're completely separate game lines.
      Man, I'm so confused. Pretend like the last time I knew anything substantive about any WoD product, Mummy: the Resurrection was hot off the press.

      Are both still in print/supported? If I found a group at the game store and they invited me to play "WoD", Vampire, or Mage without any "the Descriptor" should I assume one way or the other?

      The 20ths were anniversary products with a metaplot-agnostic approach.
      But... they had to define clans, traditions, etc. I assume those were from the oWoD (Mage: the Ascension). Is that accurate?

      I'd also assumed that it was a one-off nostalgia thing and that the nWoD (Mage: the Awakening) was the mainline support product. Is that wrong?

      V5 and all the new editions will continue the metaplot, the concept will be:

      - Up to Revised, everything is canon, but not necessarily true (unreliable narrator). OPP's upcoming Beckett's jyhad diary book will be the ultimate metaplot compendium leading upt to the new edition.
      - Then, 10 years have passed, the setting changed in some ways, they talked a lot about it in the Berlin videos, so forgive me, I don1t want to type that much (search for YT 'WoD Berlin'), the new metaplot will pick up the thread from there.
      It won't be "post-gehenna", it will be somewhat "during gehenna", but gehenna will be something different from the "raining down blood and fire, blood gods awakening" concept, it seems to be a more subtle thing. There was some talk on the forums back awhile about the cyclical gehenna concept, which was an in-setting theory during 2e. It seems like they somewhat went into that direction.
      By "metaplot", you mean from V:tM, not V:tR, correct?
    1. PMárk's Avatar
      PMárk -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mercule View Post
      Man, I'm so confused. Pretend like the last time I knew anything substantive about any WoD product, Mummy: the Resurrection was hot off the press.
      Sigh... I understand your confusion, welcome to the wonderful clusterf*ck soap opera, which is woD's publication history since the early 2000's...

      Anyway, I'll try to encompass it into something short.


      Are both still in print/supported? If I found a group at the game store and they invited me to play "WoD", Vampire, or Mage without any "the Descriptor" should I assume one way or the other?
      The story goes like that:

      1. The old WoD setting and rules system ended in 2004. They did the time of judgement books, then shut down the whole thing. It was dead after that. Although plenty of people played it after that and didn't switch for the new thing.

      2. After that, they published the New WoD (it was just WoD, but everyone dubbed it 'new'). It wasn't a sequel to old WoD, not even a reboot, it was a total reimagining of the old lines into new games, like Vampire the Requiem and Mage The Awakening. It worked with the same concepts (a game about vampires in the modern world, etc.), but it was very different from WoD and again had nothing to do with the old game, but some names and concepts and the core of the rules (d10s, dots on the sheet, etc.). NWoD had a some years of good run.

      3. Much later, and I will skip some thing here (among them the axing of the MMo and firing nearly everyone from WW itself, by CCG), to keep my sanity, Onyx Path ( a small publishing company, consisting of old WW guard and new talents) picked up the WW rpg tabletop line as a licence and started making new books again. Among them, they did the Vampire 20th anniversary edition, which was planned really as such, a love letter to old fans. however it became a big success and led to the revival of all the old games. Werewolf, Mage and recently Changeling (with Wraith in the works) got their 20ths and multiple supplements and met approval from the fanbase. So, after a while, the old WoD and new WoD ran with side to side, similar games, but with different focus and largely a different fanbase, different setting, etc. They're just different games, Like Pathfinder and D&D are different games.

      4. Recently, Paradox bought WW and there is a new WW crew, who are developing the new edition of WoD, which will be the continuation of the old, while the new WoD (now called the Chronicles of Darkness, for better brand differentiation) will remain Onyx Path's thing. OP will also do the 20ths to the point when their new editions will come out.


      But... they had to define clans, traditions, etc. I assume those were from the oWoD (Mage: the Ascension). Is that accurate?
      Simply ask what they're talking about? Masquerade/Ascension/Apocalypse? It's OWoD, likely with the 20th rulesets, sine those are the current editions of OWoD, but it could be that they're playing one of the older editions still. If they talked about Traditions (in the sense of Mage), it's likely be OWoD.

      I'd also assumed that it was a one-off nostalgia thing and that the nWoD (Mage: the Awakening) was the mainline support product. Is that wrong?
      See above. Yes it was like that for a while, but in the past 6-7 years the OWoD and NWoD are both officially continued and supported. Although, the 20ths don't have much in the metaplot department. The upcoming new edition will advance the metaplot yet again.

      By "metaplot", you mean from V:tM, not V:tR, correct?
      Yes, absolutely! VtR doesn't have a continuous metaplot. All the NWoD (now CofD) games are essentially sandbox-focused, that's one of the main differences between the two lines.

      I hope it helped.
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