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Renegade Game Studios Takes Over World of Darkness

Renegade Game Studio is taking over the World of Darkness! They will be publishing books produced in-house by owner Paradox, starting in December with the free (digital) Vampire: The Masquerade Companion, which has rules for playing humans and ghouls, as well as the clans Tzimisce, Ravnos, and Salubri.

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Modiphius took over the line in December 2018; there's no mention of whether that is continuing. Renegade Game Studios, which brought us Kids on Bikes, recently announced that it was producing D&D 5E-powered lines for various Hasbro properties, including Power Rangers, and possibly Transformers, G.I. Joe, and My Little Pony.

The new World of Darkness books are to be produced in-house at Paradox, under the leadership of Justin Achilli, from White Wolf. They won't only be making RPGs -- they're also creating video games, comics, and more.

The Vampire Companion is coming free in December.

The Vampire: The Masquerade Companion book brings three highly-anticipated Vampire clans into V5, and gives Storytellers more tools to enhance their chronicles, including:
  • Three vampire clans: Tzimisce, Ravnos, Salubri
  • Discipline powers representing each of the new clans
  • Expanded rules and roleplaying information for ghouls and mortals
  • Details on each clan’s view on vampire coteries
  • New Merits for players characters
  • Rules errata to Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


FallenAkriel

Explorer
Justin was hired to speed up and clean the ttrpg schedule. I was a mess and I'm sure Paradox wasnt happy with. Just the fact that the Companion will be free and the Clans written by the WoD team directly show the total rejection of all Modiphius work on the Player's Guide.

Hope that Onyx Path will be able to keep one v5 book per year. Chicago by night & Cult of the Bloods Gods plus there supplements were of amazing quality.
 


Justin was hired to speed up and clean the ttrpg schedule. I was a mess and I'm sure Paradox wasnt happy with. Just the fact that the Companion will be free and the Clans written by the WoD team directly show the total rejection of all Modiphius work on the Player's Guide.

Hope that Onyx Path will be able to keep one v5 book per year. Chicago by night & Cult of the Bloods Gods plus there supplements were of amazing quality.

I am not sure, if Modiphius' work was completely rejected. I'll see as soon as the companion is released. Also, I hope that Onyx Path gets the shaft. I don't like their publishing model. While keeping the WoD/CofD spirit alive, they basically withdrew completely from bookstores. If your products can be only found at DriveThru RPG, you have no chance of growing the audience. So, all OPP achieved was ossifying the following of WoD/CofD instead of reaching out to new gamers. Considering the number of streaming show both official and unofficial for V5, Paradox does a much better job at this. Besides, with Achilli on board, OPP isn't really required anymore.

Cults of the Blood Gods hasn't even been released yet. While the draft indeed looks amazing, I am not thrilled with all the delays. Even "Let the Streets Run Red" is not out to general public, yet. KS isn't something you want to pursue when you are planning to play in the big leagues (WotC and Paizo).

A clean re-start for WoD/V5 would be best. Up to and including getting rid of OPP. They can continue publishing the CofD. Then maybe, they have the chance of getting their Kickstarter act together.
 

You know I love to speculate about possible future merger and acquisitions, and watching the last actions by Renegade Games Studios, the publishers of, among others, Warldings TTRPG..... I wonder.... about if it would be possible an intercompany crossover between Pugmire and My Little Pony, for example. Is a too fool idea? If Hasbro wants to be the new Disney empire then it will want to get more IPs for projects of multimedia franchises. and today RPG publishers are a good source of relatively original ideas. And we know after D&D the main cash-cows in the TTRPG industry have been the Call of Cthulhu and World of Darkness.
 

opacitizen

Explorer
Can they please abandon the cheap and badly 'shopped fashion magazine look full of what look like actual cosplayers (?), and get back to a more appropriate, traditional and readable and usable design aesthetic? Yeah, that would be great. (The look of v5 played a rather significant part in me skipping the 5th edition of the game entirely.)
 

univoxs

That's my dog, Walter
Supporter
The comic that is out now has been stellar. I highly recommend. It is a cut above the usual licensed comic fare. It toes a great line of introduction for new people and plenty for OVs (old vampires) to chew on. I would really look forward to a new Dark Ages line.

From what I have seen, the new video game keeps getting pushed back sort of like Cyberpunk. Which on the one hand is good. I am a proponent of companies putting out games when they are actually finished. I jumped off the beta train years ago. This has both saved my sanity and my wallet.
 

zhivik

Explorer
I am not sure, if Modiphius' work was completely rejected. I'll see as soon as the companion is released. Also, I hope that Onyx Path gets the shaft. I don't like their publishing model. While keeping the WoD/CofD spirit alive, they basically withdrew completely from bookstores. If your products can be only found at DriveThru RPG, you have no chance of growing the audience. So, all OPP achieved was ossifying the following of WoD/CofD instead of reaching out to new gamers. Considering the number of streaming show both official and unofficial for V5, Paradox does a much better job at this. Besides, with Achilli on board, OPP isn't really required anymore.

Cults of the Blood Gods hasn't even been released yet. While the draft indeed looks amazing, I am not thrilled with all the delays. Even "Let the Streets Run Red" is not out to general public, yet. KS isn't something you want to pursue when you are planning to play in the big leagues (WotC and Paizo).

A clean re-start for WoD/V5 would be best. Up to and including getting rid of OPP. They can continue publishing the CofD. Then maybe, they have the chance of getting their Kickstarter act together.
Onyx Path are doing what they can afford to. The reality of today’s tabletop RPG market is that only large publishers can afford to release print editions regularly. Everyone else needs to rely on crowdfunding campaigns or they will go broke. This issue has been brought up on Onyx Path’s forums more than once, and they have been very open about what they can afford to do.

Sure, it is not pleasant and makes getting new players difficult. However, if it wasn’t Onyx Path to maintain the World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness lines, then they would be completely gone now. CCP had practically buried White Wolf, with nothing coming out for years, and I seriously doubt Paradox would have bought the IP if it were not maintained.

So there, it’s just much more expensive to publish anything that is not PoD right now and most independent developers don’t even try. Sure, they may be wrong and some books could get enough sales. The big issue is that a publisher can swallow an unsuccessful release, but it will be the end for an independent one like Onyx Path. I don’t know what idea do you have about Onyx Path, but they don’t have a lot of permanent staff and work primarily with contractors - it is indeed that bad. As far as I am concerned, they should get a lot of praise for keeping World of Darkness a thing so long, despite all odds.

I can only hope that after the new Bloodlines game is released next year, things could get better, though the change in lead developers so shirt before release doesn’t bring a lot of hope ...
 

Stacie GmrGrl

Adventurer
I am not sure, if Modiphius' work was completely rejected. I'll see as soon as the companion is released. Also, I hope that Onyx Path gets the shaft. I don't like their publishing model. While keeping the WoD/CofD spirit alive, they basically withdrew completely from bookstores. If your products can be only found at DriveThru RPG, you have no chance of growing the audience. So, all OPP achieved was ossifying the following of WoD/CofD instead of reaching out to new gamers. Considering the number of streaming show both official and unofficial for V5, Paradox does a much better job at this. Besides, with Achilli on board, OPP isn't really required anymore.

Cults of the Blood Gods hasn't even been released yet. While the draft indeed looks amazing, I am not thrilled with all the delays. Even "Let the Streets Run Red" is not out to general public, yet. KS isn't something you want to pursue when you are planning to play in the big leagues (WotC and Paizo).

A clean re-start for WoD/V5 would be best. Up to and including getting rid of OPP. They can continue publishing the CofD. Then maybe, they have the chance of getting their Kickstarter act together.
Chicago by Night was in my FLGS and it is/was sold on the Modiphius web store too. They also have a copy of Geist 2e, which is CofD (and personally I feel it's an atrocious version of just how good first edition Geist was, but that's just conjecture). They have also gotten Scion 2e and Trinity Continuum books at one point. But they have always only gotten these books from backing the Kickstarters I think.

I do agree that how OPP handles getting their deluxe books out to market is bad. Every Kickstarter of theirs they push the idea that they want to get their books to retail market, but market to them seems to be Indie Press Revolution and sometimes Amazon and not regular distribution. I could be wrong, but that's how it seems.
 

Can they please abandon the cheap and badly 'shopped fashion magazine look full of what look like actual cosplayers (?), and get back to a more appropriate, traditional and readable and usable design aesthetic? Yeah, that would be great. (The look of v5 played a rather significant part in me skipping the 5th edition of the game entirely.)
And here I was looking at V5 and going: finally the artwork in the game book looks like the artwork I bring to the table :D
 


I am not a fan of The World of Darkness but would still be grateful if someone with knowledge of the brand can explain who actually owns the Intellectual Property in its spiderweb of ownership.

Is it Onyx Path, or Paradox, or Modiphius or this new Renegade Game Studios?
 

RAdeMorris

Villager
I am not a fan of The World of Darkness but would still be grateful if someone with knowledge of the brand can explain who actually owns the Intellectual Property in its spiderweb of ownership.

Is it Onyx Path, or Paradox, or Modiphius or this new Renegade Game Studios?
Paradox Interactive owns the World of Darkness brand and all of its subbrands (e.g.: Vampire the Masquerade).
 


stadi

Explorer
I really like the V5 art direction so I'm happy with that generally. What I don't like is the layout and that the book is not logical. Some important things are at seemingly random places. There is one thing I don't like about the art and that is the Brujah. I hope they will stop portraying them as gang members all the time. They could be so much more. Why not make them modern warrior-philosophers? I don't know how warrior-philosophers look like, but definitely not like a mexican gang.
 

I really like the V5 art direction so I'm happy with that generally. What I don't like is the layout and that the book is not logical. Some important things are at seemingly random places. There is one thing I don't like about the art and that is the Brujah. I hope they will stop portraying them as gang members all the time. They could be so much more. Why not make them modern warrior-philosophers? I don't know how warrior-philosophers look like, but definitely not like a mexican gang.
Now, bear in mind I haven't played Vampire in quite a while, but the Brujah if I recall right were set up to be both the warrior-philosophers as well as the basic rage-filled gang members. I think it was part of their curse, post- Carthage, but I agree - if they're only showing one and not the other, that should be fixed
 

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
Modiphius took over the line in December 2018; there's no mention of whether that is continuing.

It is implied that they aren’t, considering that the content of the Vampire Companion book was mooted to be in Modiphius’ Vampire's Player’s Handbook which never materialized. It doesn’t appear that Modiphius is writing new material for Vampire.

Maybe Modiphius will continue to distribute?

Justin Achilli’s experience of directing Vampire development will be valuable, although it does seem a bit disjointed to have multiple companies running different sub-lines for the WoD. Seems odd that the supplements seem to add up the Clans to 14 rather than 13 (with Banu Haqim, The Ministry, Lasombra, Hecata already added in supplements, along with Ravnos, Tzimisce and Salubri Clans in Companion along with the seven in the core).
 

stadi

Explorer
Now, bear in mind I haven't played Vampire in quite a while, but the Brujah if I recall right were set up to be both the warrior-philosophers as well as the basic rage-filled gang members. I think it was part of their curse, post- Carthage, but I agree - if they're only showing one and not the other, that should be fixed

Yeah, I would be happy if they would also show the philosophers. Even better would be showing the rage filled rabble as something else. They could be a group of MMA fighters or wrestlers. They could be a group of mercenaries who do it for the fight and not the money. There are probably a lot of other options they could come up with.
 

Abstruse

Hero
I am not a fan of The World of Darkness but would still be grateful if someone with knowledge of the brand can explain who actually owns the Intellectual Property in its spiderweb of ownership.

Is it Onyx Path, or Paradox, or Modiphius or this new Renegade Game Studios?
So there's a bit of history going on here and before I start, there's one key thing to understand: The market for video games is at least an order of magnitude or two larger than the RPG industry. Smaller RPG companies think in the tens/hundreds of thousands. Larger ones think in the millions. Video game companies think in the billions.

So White Wolf was founded in 1991 and sold (or merged depending on who you ask) with video game company CCP (an Icelandic company best known for Eve Online). They began work on an ambitious World of Darkness MMO using the Eve Online model (as in players could amass political power to become Prince of the city and make laws that would govern the other players, could be overthrown, etc.) During this time, CCP produced a few World of Darkness books in-house before licensing the brands to Onyx Path Publishing for the tabletop games and By Night Studios for the LARPs. Onyx Path produced new material both for the original World of Darkness and the New World of Darkness (Vampire: The Requiem, Werewolf: The Forsaken, etc.), which they rebranded to "Chronicles of Darkness" to prevent confusion after they started creating new material for the "Old World of Darkness".

In 2014, development on the MMO ended and, in 2015, the World of Darkness IP and the "White Wolf" name were sold to Paradox Interactive (a Swedish video game developer known for strategy games like Crusader Kings, Stellaris, and Cities: Skylines). Paradox then created a new publishing company and called it White Wolf (though it had no ties to the original White Wolf other than the name and IP). A lot of bad/weird/controversial things happened that I won't go into, but it ended up with their White Wolf company causing an international incident with the country of Chechnya and threats of criminal prosecution before Paradox dissolved the company. They then placed Modiphius in charge of the World of Darkness IP for tabletop roleplaying games. They started producing new editions of the V:TM 5e sourcebooks that caused the controversy. A license was also given to Hunters Entertainment to produce a fifth edition of Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Meanwhile through all this, Onyx Path Publishing and By Night Studios retained their licenses to create new products for World of Darkness including material for 5e.

And that brings us to today. With this announcement, the development of the World of Darkness tabletop roleplaying games is back in-house with Paradox Interactive, Renegade Game Studios will publish the books, and we're not sure of the status of the license deals with Modiphius, Onyx Path Publishing, Hunters Entertainment, and By Night Studios.
 

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