• COMING SOON! -- Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition! Level up your 5E game! The standalone advanced 5E tabletop RPG adds depth and diversity to the game you love!
log in or register to remove this ad

 

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.

vamp.jpg


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
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


log in or register to remove this ad

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
That's a good question. I guess, Paradox will have to tell us. The Hecata are part of the 13. The Salubri aren't even mentioned so far anywhere, right?
Well, they’re going to be in the upcoming Vampire Companion. That is what left me confused. Actually, it was touch and go as to whether they were going to include the Ravnos this time round, although it looks like they are just going to remove heavy references to ‘Gypsies’ as in previous publications and include them as just ‘tricksters’.
 

Yeah, there've been issues around the Ravnos apparently. But I guess, in the end it is manageable. The Dark Ages Libellus Sanguinis and the Ravnos Revised clanbook took steps in the right direction, but didn't finish all the way.
 

Well, they’re going to be in the upcoming Vampire Companion. That is what left me confused. Actually, it was touch and go as to whether they were going to include the Ravnos this time round, although it looks like they are just going to remove heavy references to ‘Gypsies’ as in previous publications and include them as just ‘tricksters’.
Yeah, there've been issues around the Ravnos apparently. But I guess, in the end it is manageable. The Dark Ages Libellus Sanguinis and the Ravnos Revised clanbook took steps in the right direction, but didn't finish all the way.

This is what I wondered too, about how they would clean it up and deal with the baggage of them being tied to the Roma peoples. Strahd and Barovia weren't the only ones with this problem to fix.
 

Stacie GmrGrl

Adventurer
I also have found the StoryPath system a bit convoluted - they’ve added in some details that comes from games like Fate or whathaveyou - although I have hopes to be able to use it sometime. This is largely because the writing and ideas in Scion, especially, are really good - its almost like a mirror image of the WoD games as a more upbeat modern fantasy setting - so the system is a bit of a barrier in a way.

The thing about the StoryPath system is that it moves away from the looser, more freeform aspects of the original Storyteller system. What I like about V5 is that it manages to tighten up these rules while simultaneously keeping and, in fact, enhancing the freeform aspects (like diceless play).
I know. V5 has a really good rules system. The changes to the basic Storyteller System are good and Hunger dice are genius. I can see Werewolf 5 using Rage dice, or Mage 5 using Quintessence/Paradox dice.

I have never felt a disconnect with any rpg system like I have with OPP's Storypath System. They threw the entire narrative kitchen sink into the system and then applied gamey rules to every part of that; gamey rules that come off very discordant to me. I mean, they literally have a rule for Enhancement Drawbacks... I have never seen such an oxymoron in an rpg book like this before.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I'm starting a new Mage the Ascension game using the 20th Anniversary ruleset. I don't really need a new version of the game, but boy would it be nice if would do more to bring their games into the modern era of online play. The lack of support for online character sheets and assets is a big downside to playing the game. You don't need much, I doubt I'll use a battlemap, but I would like to have online charactersheets and access to online content. I really hate using PDFs.

I love what Fandom is doing with Cortex. It would be much easier to digest and reference MAGE materials if there was something like D&D Beyond for it.

I'm starting to build out my campaign in World Anvil, but I gave up trying to create a charactersheet MAGE.

I'm hoping that the soon to be released Creative Suite for Role early access will give me an easy way to build MAGE charactersheets that players can use and reference in on-line games, with very basic roll automations.
 

If I want bluff/lore/background I don't need the need editions. Mage is my favorite WoD line, and I would like a sourcebook about the Disparate Alliance, about the new crafts appeared in the 20Ann edition. Why to buy a rehash when I have bought it in the past? I bought Progenitors and Interaction X and after reading once I didn't want read them again. The had got some "crunch", but then I would rather to spend my money with d20 Future or Stardrive.

Really I would rather a mash-up, using WotC factions in other fantasy universes, for example an alternate version of Ravenloft+Innistrad.

I love the 20Anniversary books I bought, but I don't want new rehash. When White Wolf published the revised edition of vampire then I chose to not buy D&D until 3.5 Ed arrived.
 

Ulfgeir

Hero
Maybe Modiphius was always meant to be something “until we solve this mess”... aren’t Conan and John Carter also owned by Paradox?

Paradox at least claims to own the IP for Conan. I do seem to recall a few years ago when they came out with these claims, some discussions of whether or not Conan was public domain or not. It never got resolved in court as far as I know. The situation was a bit murky like the issue with Sherlock Holmes if I can recall correctly.

No idea on whether or not they also own John Carter, or if it is Modiphius, or if it is public domain.. Modiphius has at least made games involving both IP's.

--

I like some of the rules in V5. It is the first version afaict where it is a horror that the beast will take over, and make for personal horror, instead of super-critters with fangs and claws. However, the rules do have some drawback, in that your character WILL have he beats take over, very likely to risk breaking the masquerade, and that the difficulty for feeding is absurdly high.
 

MGibster

Legend
However, the rules do have some drawback, in that your character WILL have he beats take over, very likely to risk breaking the masquerade, and that the difficulty for feeding is absurdly high.

Yeah. If a character doesn't have access to a herd or hunting grounds then finding blood becomes very, very difficult. I think the likelihood of violating the Masquerade in mundane situations is mitigated by encouraging Storytellers to avoid having PCs roll for actions whose success or failure really don't matter to the game. When I ran my campaign, there were more than few times where I asked myself, "Why did I have them roll for that?"
 

For those talking about Cults of the Blood Gods, the PDF was released to backers yesterday. I am not a backer, just saw this posted to Twitter. Also, the Thursday episode of WoD News will be talking about this book and about Let the Streets Run Red.
 


Well, they’re going to be in the upcoming Vampire Companion. That is what left me confused. Actually, it was touch and go as to whether they were going to include the Ravnos this time round, although it looks like they are just going to remove heavy references to ‘Gypsies’ as in previous publications and include them as just ‘tricksters’.

The free Companion out now available to download and the Ravnos section never mentions Roma or Gypsy even once, so it looks like they did the smart thing and ended that association completely.
 

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
The free Companion out now available to download and the Ravnos section never mentions Roma or Gypsy even once, so it looks like they did the smart thing and ended that association completely.
Yep. Picked up my copy too. They definitely did the smart thing regarding the Ravnos - they are just the Clan of tricksters now, akin to Loki or other archetypes of that sort. I expect quite a few people will find them fun to play.

I’d also note that while they also included the Salubri Clan - technically making 14 Clans in total - they do explain that these are so rare that it would have to be a special reason to include one in any storyline. The backstory, of course, is that the Salubri were one of the original 13 Clans, before the Tremere (a medieval group of dark wizards) usurped them and then hunted them to virtual extinction. So, officially, 13 Clans is what stays in the lore.

I could see a good Chronicle, similar in storyline to Children of Men, where a secret Salubri vampire needs to get transported somewhere for their own safety and perhaps a political agenda to undermine the Tremere.
 

Isn't it curious? Renegade Games has got deals with Hasbro and White-Wolf, and we know WotC has been the most important IP in the TTRPG industry after D&D. Do you think Hasbro may wish WoD? This franchise is perfect for action-live productions by Entertaiment-One.
 

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
Isn't it curious? Renegade Games has got deals with Hasbro and White-Wolf, and we know WotC has been the most important IP in the TTRPG industry after D&D. Do you think Hasbro may wish WoD? This franchise is perfect for action-live productions by Entertaiment-One.
Well considering the (unconfirmed) rumors about Hasbro wanting to sell WotC, I think the connection is more the other way. Both Hasbro and Paradox want an interested third party business to run their RPGs, while they themselves can focus on using their brands for more lucrative projects like boardgames and video games, respectively.

Within the RPG hobby/industry, nevertheless, Renegade Games seems to have become a giant almost overnight.
 

I was like sounds great until we got to Justin Achilli, who was directly and intentionally responsible for how terrible VtM Revised was, which was this hilariously perverse attempt to "course correct" VtM away from how it was actually played by most people, i.e. as a sort vaguely romantic gothic urban fantasy deal (which is what 95% of the inspiration for VtM was too!) into hardcore body horror and nothing else. Instead of leaning in to how people played, he pushed away hard.

I can only hope he has learned, in the intervening decades, the error of his ways. Because otherwise the next VtR is going to be similarly hilariously perverse.
 

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
I was like sounds great until we got to Justin Achilli, who was directly and intentionally responsible for how terrible VtM Revised was, which was this hilariously perverse attempt to "course correct" VtM away from how it was actually played by most people, i.e. as a sort vaguely romantic gothic urban fantasy deal (which is what 95% of the inspiration for VtM was too!) into hardcore body horror and nothing else. Instead of leaning in to how people played, he pushed away hard.

I can only hope he has learned, in the intervening decades, the error of his ways. Because otherwise the next VtR is going to be similarly hilariously perverse.
I think your history is challenged.

I played all the editions of Vampire: The Masquerade, and while Vampire Revised and V20 (both of which were developed primarily by Justin Achilli) were not my favourite editions, they both had the impact of broadening the scope of the game from the original game’s brief. That is, the game expanded more in the direction of an open urban fantasy, while the original game (the first edition - by Mark Rein-Hagen) had a much more narrow focus on personal, gothic horror. The game got hugely expanded out with supplements after the 2nd edition came out (developed mainly by Andrew Greenberg), along with a bunch of other follow-on WoD games. What Justin Achilli did, primarily, with Vampire Revised was consolidate the setting material and tweak the rules to make them more consistent and a bit more functional.

The text of pretty much every Vampire Revised book developed by Achilli says ‘do what you want’ with the material and play the game however you want. Hardly a hard push.
 
Last edited:

I think your history is challenged.

I played all the editions of Vampire: The Masquerade, and while Vampire Revised and V20 (both of which were developed primarily by Justin Achilli) were not my favourite editions, they both had the impact of broadening the scope of the game from the original game’s brief. That is, the game expanded more in the direction of an open urban fantasy, while the original game (the first edition - by Mark Rein-Hagen) had a much more narrow focus on personal, gothic horror. The game got hugely expanded out with supplements after the 2nd edition came out (developed mainly by Andrew Greenberg), along with a bunch of other follow-on WoD games. What Justin Achilli did, primarily, with Vampire Revised was consolidate the setting material and tweak the rules to make them more consistent and a bit more functional.

The text of pretty much every Vampire Revised book developed by Achilli says ‘do what you want’ with the material and play the game however you want. Hardly a hard push.
Nah.

My history is accurate - I played from 1st edition too, thanks. There are a number of lore changes and even IIRC mechanical ones in VtM Revised which push towards body horror, and more importantly, Achilli was quite open and explicit about the reasoning for the changes when discussing them, and entirely clear on his dislike of both "trenchcoats and katanas" and more "Anne Rice-y" modes of play in the Revised era (as compared to body horror). It's accurate to say the rules were consolidated and broadly improved (whilst retaining some problems, unfortunately), but not accurate to suggest that was all that changed. Again, the lore changes were significant, and a push away from the way that I suspect the vast majority of people played VtM. "Do what you want" is something pretty much every non-insane designer says. The issue here is taking an existing and popular game/setting and then changing things for no reason other than to make certain popular approaches to the game less popular. It was, I admit, not the first time this had happened with a WW game, but it was still rather irritating, because it was such a high-profile line and because Achilli went on record about his reasoning for the changes (rather than people guessing at them).

It's good to hear that V20 was by Achilli because whilst I don't own it myself, I had heard it reverted some of the Revised lore changes and generally was more based on the vibe of 2nd edition rather than Revised (with better mechanics than either).
 

TrippyHippy

Adventurer
Nah.

My history is accurate - I played from 1st edition too, thanks. There are a number of lore changes and even IIRC mechanical ones in VtM Revised which push towards body horror, and more importantly, Achilli was quite open and explicit about the reasoning for the changes when discussing them, and entirely clear on his dislike of both "trenchcoats and katanas" and more "Anne Rice-y" modes of play in the Revised era (as compared to body horror). It's accurate to say the rules were consolidated and broadly improved (whilst retaining some problems, unfortunately), but not accurate to suggest that was all that changed. Again, the lore changes were significant, and a push away from the way that I suspect the vast majority of people played VtM. "Do what you want" is something pretty much every non-insane designer says. The issue here is taking an existing and popular game/setting and then changing things for no reason other than to make certain popular approaches to the game less popular. It was, I admit, not the first time this had happened with a WW game, but it was still rather irritating, because it was such a high-profile line and because Achilli went on record about his reasoning for the changes (rather than people guessing at them).

It's good to hear that V20 was by Achilli because whilst I don't own it myself, I had heard it reverted some of the Revised lore changes and generally was more based on the vibe of 2nd edition rather than Revised (with better mechanics than either).
Your history is challenged if all you took from reading Mark Rein-Hagen’s version of the game is ‘trenchcoats and katanas’. You are making the error of assuming that this was how ‘the vast majority of people played VtM’. The term ‘trenchcoats and katanas’ was lampooning how the intent of the game was lost on certain groups from the 1st edition onwards - it is literally a parody of how the game was intended to be played. The ‘personal horror’ motif, however, was written on the cover and discussed within it. Body horror was always implicit in the game too, while the flesh crafting Tzimisce was already well established. The game incorporates all sorts of horror.

Justin Achilli, when he took over, went to some lengths to express what the was trying to do, but his job as director was to steer the game through changes - whether yourself or others appreciate it or not. If I was taking over, I’d be steering it away from 'trenchcoats and katanas' too. Your attribution to his motivations are your own perspective - not historical fact.
 

Your history is challenged if all you took from reading Mark Rein-Hagen’s version of the game is ‘trenchcoats and katanas’. You are making the error of assuming that this was how ‘the vast majority of people played VtM’. The term ‘trenchcoats and katanas’ was lampooning how the intent of the game was lost on certain groups from the 1st edition onwards - it is literally a parody of how the game was intended to be played. The ‘personal horror’ motif, however, was written on the cover and discussed within it. Body horror was always implicit in the game too, while the flesh crafting Tzimisce was already well established. The game incorporates all sorts of horror.

Justin Achilli, when he took over, went to some lengths to express what the was trying to do, but his job as director was to steer the game through changes - whether yourself or others appreciate it or not. If I was taking over, I’d be steering it away from 'trenchcoats and katanas' too. Your attribution to his motivations are your own perspective - not historical fact.

You seem confused by what "historical fact" means. You also seem strangely confused about what "literally" and "parody" mean.

Achilli was extremely clear about his motivations, and you're actually agreeing with everything I said now, rather than contradicting any of it as you did previously. All you're adding is that you think he was right to do what he did, and giving a very specific and rather shallow justification. Which is exactly the problem with Revised.

My point is pretty simple, and is "historical fact" (let's not get into how that's a oxymoron, but whatever). Justin Achilli decided to make significant changes to the lore (and possibly mechanics, I forget), of VtM, as soon as he got in charge of it, in order to "purify" the game of people "playing it the wrong way". You seem to think that sort of purification is cool, and justify it, I get it. Some people did. I was unimpressed myself. The specific groups he outlined his dislike of were people who played it as "superheroes with fangs" or "trenchcoats and katanas"-style, and people who played it as if vampires were sort of more "romance-novel" than Nosferatu. The latter of which is of course hilarious given VtM emerged from what were quasi-romance-novels, and that most of the most successful vampire stuff has sort of circled the romance novel space (especially post-VtM!).

No, "trenchcoats and katanas" was not "literally a parody". It was neither of those things (not literal, and not a parody). It was a derogatory phrase some people used to sneer at an extremely common way that VtM was played, and it was very broadly used. Basically any VtM game that didn't focus almost exclusively on:

1) How much it sucked to be a vampire.

or

2) That combined with largely violence-free intrigue.

Could potentially be described as "trenchcoats and katanas" or "superheroes with fangs" (again, irony here given that could apply to a lot of popular vampire stuff in pop-culture).

Essentially it was an exclusionary move, designed to reject modes of play that, quite frankly, not only did no harm to VtM, but sold an awful lot of copies. Sure, sell it as a game of personal horror, but don't pretend that's all it is, not when you're going to bring out massive books full of combat stuff, or spend far more time and energy on vampire powers and deep lore than on how much it sucks to be a vampire (which actually gets kind of short shrift for a game supposedly about this - don't even get me started on Paths vs Humanity).

As an aside, I literally never came across an actual game of VtM, online or off, that could not be described, albeit sometimes rather unfairly as "trenchcoats and katanas", "superheroes with fangs", or "romance-novel" (or worse, basically just ERP). I played in one, which, if you maybe took like four sessions out of the dozens (admittedly they were in a row), you could have said it was just "personal horror", but that's it. This idea that "personal horror" - particularly body horror (which has little to do with and predates any real mention of the Tzmisces) - was the main mode of VtM play in the 1990s seems to me impossible to sustain. It also very clearly wasn't how the LARP was played either.

To put it another way - it seems like Justin Achilli wanted VtM to only be about the Louis of the world, but most players were playing Lestat, Nick Knight, or Blade.

EDIT - Just realized you might be REALLY REALLY CONFUSED about trenchcoats and katanas, esp. if you weren't around in the 1990s. Do you think I'm referring to the RPG called "Katanas and Trenchcoats"?


Which IS "literally a parody", so your comment would make more sense there. If so, okay, no, I'm talking about the phrase that RPG is referring to, which dates back to the 1990s (hence it being a 1990s RPG). The phrase "trenchcoats and katanas" is a derisory one as I said, designed to denigrate people who have vampires who are too cool and too heavily armed (there is, amusing, an episode of True Blood which basically devolves into this, what with Vampire Erik having a rocket launcher whilst wearing an all-black outfit and so on).
 

Visit Our Sponsor

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top