White Wolf – The Amazing People and A Look Ahead

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Members of the Original White Wolf: Stewart Wieck, Mike Tinney, Steve Wieck, Mark Rein-Hagen, Rich Thomas, and Travis Williams (photo at The Grand Masquerade 2016 in New Orleans)

 

As the company CEO I don’t have the chance to pause for reflection as often as I would like. However earlier this year everyone in the White Wolf community was saddened to learn about the untimely passing of White Wolf co-founder Stewart Wieck, and this has obviously led me to think more than usual about the amazingly talented, knowledgeable, and passionate people who works with us on a daily basis and how they shape our future.

I certainly feel blessed by and have a strong enthusiasm for the incredible group working together on the future of the World of Darkness and I want to take this opportunity to let you know who they are and what they are working on right now.

First, we have the small but strong team of five itself, White Wolf Entertainment in Stockholm, who oversee the daily work forward. Martin Ericsson as our Lead Story Teller and Karim Muammar as Chief Editor are working on expanding the World of Darkness metaplot and coordinating the creative work with all our partners. Our business development side is handled by Dhaunae DeVir who works mainly with distribution and availability of our products including everything from board games to books and computer games, and Shane DeFreest whose main focus is on our great community and the expanding events business. My role as CEO is to try to make sure that we have everything in place that we need to achieve our goals, and to use the experience I gathered during my 21 years as a business professional to help and support my team. And though we don’t interact much with our sister company Paradox Interactive on a daily basis we are extremely fortunate to have their Finance and Legal team supporting us pretty much every day.

This brings me to our licensing partners, where we are very lucky to have people with a wide variety of backgrounds, including ex-White Wolf employees like Steve Wieck at DriveThruRPG and Rich Thomas at Onyx Path Publishing. Onyx Path is among many other things working on a new Vampire the Masquerade card game product created by Justin Achilli, Prince’s Gambit. Both companies employ many amazing people—too many to fit here easily—but a special shout out to Matt McElroy, and a special thanks to all the writers contracted by Onyx Path to create great books set in the World of Darkness, the Chronicles of Darkness, and Exalted. Jason Carl and his team at By Night Studios continue to publish products for Mind’s Eye Theatre including this year’s MET Werewolf: The Apocalypse and the new MET Changeling: The Dreaming Alpha Slice.

Over on the events side, Dziobak LARP Studios is producing the second run of Convention of Thorns LARP this October 2017 and planning even more immersive events next year. Johanna, Bjarke and Juhana and their team at Participation Design Agency, who produced several End of the Line LARPs and the World of Darkness Berlin convention, will be working with us on more cutting-edge events, the latest being Parliament of Shadows in Brussels.

The production company Lucky Day have done a fantastic documentary that summarizes the history of World of Darkness and White Wolf which premiered in October 2017 at the Sitges film festival, and that in later 2018 will find its way into TV and streaming. Many thanks to Kevin Lee and the team at Lucky Day for telling this story and we wish them best of luck with their documentary.

Our great community clubs that are run by so many passionate people deserves a special accolade: the number of fans working on great LARP chronicles and events are too many to mention individually, but we recognize how important they are to the future prosperity of the World of Darkness. Thanks also to the great work of Shane Robinett and his team at Knetik, we will be able to support our community in so much better ways in the future through www.worldofdarkness.com.

Development on a Werewolf: The Apocalypse PC/console game is continuing at Focus Home Entertainment and Cyanide Studios, who shared some of the concept art with fans at E3 and GenCon this year. The next computer game release will be the exciting audio game product from Earplay, led by Jonathon Myers and including the talents of Eddy Webb and Richard Dansky. You can expect many more announcements about video games in the future.

Finally, we have the great team working on Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition roleplaying game, including Mary Lee as Art Director, Kenneth Hite as Lead Designer, and Jason Carl as Producer. The development team also now includes the talents of Consulting Developer Mark Rein-Hagen, Lead Editor Jennifer Smith, and writers Matthew Dawkins and Jason Andrew. Their next big milestone is another playtest at PAX Unplugged in Philadelphia (17-19 November).

That’s a lot of amazing people and yet I’ve managed to mention only a few: many more deserve acknowledgment and will be introduced to you in the future. One of the great strengths of the licensing model that we use is that we get to work with some of the incredible teams and people, as they focus on what they do best.

I would lastly like to extend my warmest gratitude to all the White Wolf fan community that has been such a great help and support to us since we restarted White Wolf in October 2015. You inspire everything that we do at White Wolf, every day. Thank you all, it is thanks to you that we can have all these amazing people working on restoring World of Darkness to its rightful stature.

  • Tobias Sjögren, CEO White Wolf Entertainment

 

P.S. Stewart, we miss you so much and not having you around while we re-establish World of Darkness breaks our hearts. But as we expect heaven to be pretty much playing rpg’s 24/7, we rest assured that you are doing just great.

White Wolf Entertainment and DriveThruRPG Launch “Storytellers Vault”, a Creators Content Program for Vampire: The Masquerade

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Stockholm, Sweden – August 11, 2017 White Wolf Entertainment, creator of the World of Darkness and Vampire: The Masquerade are partnering with DriveThruRPG to allow independent content creators to publish material set in the World of Darkness using the Storytellers Vault.

For over a quarter century, fans of the World of Darkness have aspired to bring their own unique World of Darkness creations to the masses, and now they can as part of the Storytellers Vault, White Wolf’s new creator content program.  Beginning with Vampire: The Masquerade, aspiring writers, artists, and game designers can publish their non-canonical table top RPG supplements and fiction stories worldwide in the language of their choosing, and making half of the revenue as their royalty. To assist content creators making the best possible products, Storytellers Vault offers a considerable variety of graphical layout tools including pre-made design templates, and art-packs to choose from.

“World of Darkness fans have always shared their stories with the world, and now is the time we help them to do that in an even greater scale” says CEO Tobias Sjögren.  “The magic of the Storytellers Vault is supporting fans that love and want to create content from all eras of our games, we can’t wait to see what they produce and how everyone enjoys it!”

The Storytellers Vault features:

  • Self-publish service for table top RPG material set using any of the four previously published editions of Vampire: The Masquerade
  • Content creators themselves set the price for the material they publish and receive 50% of the revenue
  • Access to over 15 templates and art packs produced helps content creators make their work look as professional as the official products from any set era
  • Publishing in any language supporting the vast global World of Darkness community
  • Additional content supporting other game lines and historical settings in the White Wolf catalogue will be progressively unlocked beginning in October 2017

The Storytellers Vault is now available at www.storytellersvault.com.

About White Wolf
White Wolf is a licensing company focused on creating the best participatory brands in the world. Since its original entry into the roleplaying game market in 1991, White Wolf’s World of Darkness has grown to be one of the most recognized and successful brands in the hobby game space with collective book sales in excess of 10 million copies during this time. White Wolf’s World of Darkness brands, which include Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Wraith: The Oblivion, and Orpheus, has been licensed for television series, console and computer video games, interactive media events, and a myriad of merchandise and other entertainment products.
www.white-wolf.com
Contact: press@white-wolf.com

About DriveThruRPG
DriveThruRPG.com is part of a family of premiere online marketplaces including RPGNow, DriveThruRPG, DriveThruCards, DMsGuild, DriveThruComics, DriveThruFiction, and Wargame Vault. Together, we have been selling digital and print-on-demand comic books, roleplaying games, and fiction since 2001. As of 2016, we have launched multiple community content programs as well as our Community Card Creator for fans to create content for some of their favorite roleplaying and card games.
www.onebookshelf.com
Contact: matt@onebookshelf.com

Vampire: The Masquerade, A Storytelling Game of Personal and Political Horror

Last month we shared our Vampire The Masquerade fifth edition (V5) pre-alpha playtest at World of Darkness Berlin, with over 100 playtesters from 26 different countries. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive and did not raise any red flags about content or core systems. Last week we released it to the world, and we are grateful for all your survey responses, emails, social media comments, and reviews. Now we are working on the alpha playtest for GenCon 2017, but your feedback on the pre-alpha makes it clear that we need to provide some context for the playtest and for V5.

White Wolf, the World of Darkness, and Vampire: The Masquerade all share a long and proud tradition of exploring contemporary issues through a dark roleplaying lens. Throughout the development of the fifth edition of Vampire (V5), our goals have explicitly included the proud continuation of this tradition, while also supporting an incredibly entertaining roleplaying game experience. We strive to explore difficult and disturbing subjects maturely, but not gratuitously, building on the brave heritage of previous editions.

We don’t plan to abandon this practice, which has been a core part of Vampire for a quarter-century: this is a roleplaying game about monsters.

Make no mistake, the player characters in the V5 pre-alpha playtest are monsters and villains. Through them, we intend for our players to view the Camarilla sect from the Anarch perspective, as a perverse and privileged class of old-school vampires and who adhere to an antiquated code of morality and obsessed by the realpolitik of staying in power at any price. The player characters are written as dictators and collaborators who deserve to fall hard, perhaps even deserve to die, as they are torn from power.

The nature of the Curse makes each sin vampires might inflict upon the world erode their souls. Yet vampires must live off the blood of humans. The longer they exist, the longer they visit their own evil upon the world, they become ever-more distant and alien to the world around them. Their actions have terrible consequences for themselves and others; some of them can be considered truly evil. This internal conflict has been been at the core of VTM stories since the game’s creation. That is the very essence of the Curse of Caine, and it makes the best vampire a struggling anti-hero and the worst a hypocritical monster like Amelina.

Our oversight, for which we apologize, was not providing this context so that our players could see why and how we made these decisions. We needed to clearly state again that the material was intended for mature audiences, and to label it that way. We should have stated again that our vision for V5 brings Vampire back to its roots as a morality tale about evil, set in the darkest places of our own world. Contemporary, real-world horrors and atrocities are an important part of the setting and by extension – its characters.

We’ll communicate this and other design-choices better as we go forward. We can and will make the game’s contents transparent for those who need them to be by giving you fair warning. We want our game’s dark tone to be truly earned, giving it meaning and the opportunity for our players to use it to tell stories of genuinely personal and political horror.

As we release future previews, you’ll see that V5 will include many relevant, timely story elements like the global migrant and refugee crises, drug abuse, human trafficking, urban decay, homelessness, government corruption, ecological crises and political instability. V5 characters will have the opportunity to interact with these topics through scenarios designed to prompt insight and critical thinking, while also being exciting, dramatic, and thrilling, as each Storyteller deems appropriate. Our goal is to allow our players to use these elements to explore tough topics through the lens of roleplaying, to the extent they are interested in exploring such ideas.  

Our plan for V5 also includes providing tools and techniques for adjusting the game to personal tastes. There will be techniques to deal with difficult subject matter and strong emotions. We’ll give you the means to focus your V5 chronicles on any aspect of Vampire: The Masquerade that you’ve ever enjoyed, from terrifyingly intimate scenes of very personal horror to the repulsive global power plays of the Camarilla Kindred. You’ll get expert guidance helping you to shine the spotlight on ripped-from-the-headlines realism or insidious parlor politics as you choose.

If you prefer the bloody violence of a street-level drama set against the backdrop of vampire gang warfare and an Anarch Baron’s rise and fall, you can tell that story in V5. You can also join Beckett in his global quest to unravel hidden and forbidden Kindred secrets, or come face to face with the consequences of a modern intelligence community as instruments of government overreach while unraveling the horrifying intrigues of a Camarilla Prince. The V5 stories will scale downward, upward, and sideways as you decide.

Our next live playtest will take place at GenCon 2017 in Indianapolis, and we hope you will join us there, not only to celebrate this convention’s 50th anniversary, but also to participate in the shared creation of a game we all love, and talk about it with us in person. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Blood and Souls,

/ The V5 team


V5 Pre-Alpha QA
We answer some of the most common questions about the V5 Pre-Alpha. Feel free to send us more questions.

Q: Why is Amelina a pedophile?
A: She’s not. She has an obsession with young (recently embraced) Kindred and a feeding restriction that forces her to feed from children and young teens.

Q: Why did you use the term “triggered” to describe someone easily offended on ideological grounds?
A: Because that is the common usage of the term in everyday language, no disrespect intended.

Q: Why are so many characters children (“Club Kids”)?
A: The term Club Kid (at least in Sweden) means a youngish (roughly 18-25) person who spends all their free time at clubs, often under the influence of drugs.  

V5 pre-alpha: The curtain rises!

It’s Time!

Put aside the guesswork and feverish speculation: the V5 pre-alpha playtest is here!

Today we are sharing with you the Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition (V5) pre-alpha playtest kit, which includes the V5 pre-alpha rules and a special V5 pre-alpha scenario, The Night After. We invite you to download the kit and try it out: invite a few friends to play through the scenario together, talk about it, and then share your opinions with us through the online survey. We appreciate your feedback and value your input.

The Links:

Playtest Kit – https://whitewolf.box.com/v/v5prealphaplaytest

Playtest Survey – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/v5prealphasurvey

V5 Presentation from WoD Berlin (video) – https://youtu.be/43VXwCS42O0

 

Please Note:

We will close the survey on 1 August in preparation for the alpha playtest.

We recommend strongly that you play the scenario and not just read the rules document. Actual play is the best way to experience and understand new rules concepts. In fact we suggest that you play it more than once, making different decisions each time to experience the full scope of the rules.

This version of the rules is pre-alpha. That means it’s not feature complete, and the designers have not made final decisions about what rules and features will be included. It was created specifically to test the new Hunger Dice mechanics for a live playtest at the World of Darkness Berlin fan convention in May. Much will change between this version and the Alpha, Beta, and final release versions.

We understand that you may be tempted to use this material to test the rules in ways that aren’t intended (such as trying to reverse-engineer the rules into your own scenarios, or published scenarios). We don’t recommend this: the pre-alpha rules were created specifically for The Night After scenario, and aren’t even close to final. We strongly recommend using them only to play The Night After scenario.

The Night After is a scenario that was designed specifically for these pre-alpha rules. It provides a glimpse into the tumultuous and destructive events that occurred in Berlin in May 2017, as told in Enlightenment in Blood, a VTM LARP event at the WoD Berlin convention. The scenario takes place on the evening immediately after Enlightenment in Blood, but no knowledge of that LARP or its events is necessary to enjoy the playtest.

Vampire and Mage Preludes – IndieCade and Celebratory Steam Sale!

The first new digital World of Darkness game – ”Vampire the Masquerade – We eat Blood and all our Friends are Dead” selected for IndieCade and E3 ShowCase!

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To celebrate this awesome news we are holding a sale of the World of Darkness Preludes this weekend!

Find the Steam bundle here, “Vampire – We eat Blood…” here for iOS and here for Android. “Mage – Refuge” here for iOS and and here for Android.

White Wolf Entertainment is proud to announce that our experimental interactive narrative ”We eat Blood…” has been chosen as an official selection at IndieCade 2017 and as an official selection for the E3 IndieCade ShowCase. The game is also nominated and in competition for the 2017 IndieCade Awards. The Prelude games are the first digital games where White Wolf acts as an independent developer.

”We eat Blood…” is an interactive horror-story about your first nights on the edge of a secret World of Darkness hidden just under the surface of contemporary Los Angeles, made for mobile but also available on Steam as part of our World of Darkness Preludes Bundle.

Written and illustrated by comic-book artist Sarah Horrocks (Ophelia, Dysnomia, Hecate Snake Diaries, Bruise) and award winning fine artist and rpg-designer Zak Sabbath (We Did Porn, Pictures Showing What Happenson Each Page of Thomas Pynchon’s Novel Gravity’s Rainbow, Red and Pleasant Land, Vornheim, Maze of the Blue Medusa and more), ”We eat Blood…” is one of two artist-driven explorations of the World of Darkness published this spring. Featuring a full music score by Ossian Reynolds, (Zaza). This is the first title for the White Wolf team.

Learn more about the creators of the Preludes and their ideas in our series of interview shorts on the Word of Darkness YouTube channel here!

World of Darkness is the legendary rpg- setting behind cult PC rpg ”Vampire the Masquerade – Bloodlines” and the ”Hunter the Reckoning” console games series.

”By creating a situation where all interaction with the game-world is mediated through text messages and sent images, we tried to create genuine feelings of confusion, helplessness, attachment, shock, desperation and fear.” – Zak Sabbath

The second game, ”Mage the Ascension – Refuge”, a story about the war for Reality during the Syrian refugee crisis in Sweden, written by award-winning weird fiction author Karin Tidbeck, is also included in the bundle that goes on sale at a discount prize for a limited time this weekend!

IndiCade encourages, publicises, and cultivates innovation and artistry in interactive media,

helping to create a public perception of games as rich, diverse, artistic, and culturally significant. A perfect match for the thoughtful exploration of contemporary social and political issues found in White Wolf’s World of Darkness universe.

White Wolf and World of Darkness: Berlin invite the world to compete!

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Will You Become the World Champion of Darkness?  

White Wolf and the World of Darkness Berlin 2017 convention and games festival are proud to release a World of Darkness-themed quiz app for iOS and Android. You can download World of Darkness Quizima for free to compete against your friends in a World of Darkness- and thematically related trivia contest!

The addictive app is fun in itself, but it also provides the digital qualifying round for the convention’s “World Championships of Darkness” event. The World of Darkness: Berlin team and app makers Planeto will monitor the system’s backend to extract a definitive high score list of Digital Champions of Darkness. Anyone participating the game who is attending World of Darkness: Berlin is invited to compete in the live finals. During the month of April, participants who score high enough will be entered into a lottery for free admittance to the World of Darkness: Berlin convention.

“The events at World of Darkness: Berlin are all about having fun together and celebrating a shared love for White Wolf’s World of Darkness in all its forms, everything from tabletop rpgs, larps and card games to celebrating fan passion – regardless whether it’s Storytelling, art, game design, writing, costumes or lore and trivia. We’ve been looking for a way to include White Wolf fans who are unable to attend World of Darkness: Berlin, yet want to participate in the fun,” explains Participation | Design | Agency AB producer Johanna Koljonen.

“We’re very excited to partner with the top Swedish quiz company Planeto to make this happen and are thrilled that fans around the world will be able to qualify through the app for the Berlin trivia contest event in advance” said White Wolf CEO, Tobias Sjögren.

World of Darkness Quizima is an official White Wolf licensed product that exists thanks to the dedication and expertise of the fans that willed it into existence. The questions were written by an international team of volunteers: Fabio Garbo, Søren Hjorth, Minna Joki, Henrik Klippström, Federica Sustersic and Jere Tupala.

The production and editorial management was executed by Participation Design Agency,  the producing team responsible for the World of Darkness: Berlin Convention and games festival.

World of Darkness Quizima is available worldwide.

App store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/world-of-darkness-quizima/id1212234930?mt=8
Play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.planeto.quizima.wod
White Wolf: white-wolf.com
World of Darkness – Berlin: www.worldofdarkness.berlin
Participatory Design Agency: www.participation.design
Planeto: planeto.com

Give it up for the mistress of Time and Mind!

Karin has a long history with World of Darkness. I vividly remember Karin posing assuming Horrid Form after a Rage game we played in together in the late 1990s, and she quotes Mage:The Ascension as one of her major sources of early inspiration for her writing. Her stories are often about realities in flux and the power of language, and how we all share the power to shape the world through our thoughts and words. Having her come back to Mage with us is a dream come true, and exactly the kind of thing we love to enable here at White Wolf.

karin_tidbeck
Photo: Andreas Igefjord.

In the autumn of 2015 Karin volunteered to work in a refugee reception centre in Sweden as thousands of people escaping the war in Syria arrived in her home city of Malmö. The thoughts and feelings that her experience provoked are at the core of ”Refuge”.

It’s an important story. A personal story. And a story intimately tied to the core themes of Mage – the war for truth and the price of power.

Karin debuted with the short story collection Vem är Arvid Pekon? in 2010 followed by the novel Amatka in 2012, to be published internationally in 2017. Her first work in English, the short story collection Jagannath, was published in 2012 by Cheeky Frawg to favourable reviews, with Gary K. Wolfe describing Tidbeck as “one of the most distinctive new voices in short fiction since Margo Lanagan”.

The collection made the shortlist for the 2012 James Tiptree, Jr. Award and was nominated for the World Fantasy Award. The short story “Augusta Prima”, originally written in Swedish, was translated into English by Tidbeck who won a Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Award (2013) in the Short Form category.

Beyond her work as a weird fiction author, Karin has worked in Swedens premiere SciFi bookstore, written live-action games about Nordic faeries and has gone on a pilgrimage to Santiago De Compostella.