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.

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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.

Breathing the Same Shadow

We have received many questioning or critical emails and comments over the last few days about Vampire: The Masquerade – We Eat Blood. Some of these are in relation to game writer and artist Zak Sabbath, others are about the content of the game. We continue to read them all; we welcome all feedback, and value this ongoing dialogue.

First, we recognize that we need to clarify the wording of our blog post from last week. We realise now that it could be interpreted as a dismissal of people’s experiences, and that was never our intention. Nor did we intend to imply that we think anyone was being actively dishonest, and we are very sorry if that’s how it seemed. We understand how hurtful that could seem, and we regret it.

Naturally we are aware that Zak Sabbath is a controversial figure. Before deciding to work with Sarah Horrocks and Zak Sabbath on We Eat Blood, we read as deeply as we could about the historical conflicts around him. These issues seemed to be several years old, were debated exhaustively online, and were very complex.

Our reading and the conversations we had with people in the industry who have interacted with him in the past did not unearth any new or factual evidence in regards to the more serious allegations periodically made against him. It is however clear that Zak Sabbath is often abrasive, and sometimes his behavior has been perceived as hurtful or offensive. Going forward, we expect him not to engage in any such behaviors, and he has agreed.

The collaboration between Sarah Horrocks and Zak Sabbath brings a unique aesthetic to this work, and we felt Zak Sabbath’s participation would contribute more to the game than allegations about his past private behavior would detract from it.

This brings us to the second point of criticism. Both We Eat Blood and Karin Tidbeck’s Mage: The Ascension – Refuge feature personal experiences and social commentary as the authors explore themes of class, gender, and rising intolerance. Our choice to focus on these themes has led to some critical voices. This is criticism we are proud to receive. Relevant works in any medium are part of a global discourse and we welcome healthy and well-informed debate on these issues. We have said repeatedly that our games will examine contemporary issues through the lens of the World of Darkness, and we do not plan to shy away from this vision.

In addition to this blanket criticism of engagement with contemporary issues, there has been some concern about the inclusion of two transgender vampire characters in We Eat Blood. Given the history of transgender representation in popular culture, we are sensitive to these concerns. So is the game’s co-writer Sarah Horrocks, a noted comic artist and horror blogger, who is also a transgender woman. She writes about her views on her blog: http://mercurialblonde.tumblr.com/post/157431573538.

The criticized character, Avery, is perhaps the most helpful and kick-ass vampire in the game. She saves your ass and is (spoiler alert!) one of two main allies at the conclusion. Like Horrocks and Sabbath, we believe this character positively broadens the range of transgender portrayal in games. Naturally, she will not be the last transgender character in a White Wolf game, as we continue work with designers, writers and artists from a wide range of backgrounds.

White Wolf are dedicated to making games that feature mature, contemporary storytelling. We are already engaged with a network of partners from all over the world, of all genders and backgrounds, and we are working every day to increase that reach and diversity. We do that because we strongly believe that diversity results in the best stories, and that without representation across intersections those stories will not reflect the world we live in.

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A howl for our bloody writer-artists!

White Wolf Entertainment is proud to have Zak S and Sarah Horrocks join the pack as the artists and main authors of Vampire The Masquerade: We Eat Blood.

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A Yale graduate, Zak Smith (aka. Sabbath) is an American artist known for his portrait, drawings, abstract art, comic books, and roleplaying games. His art has been featured in the MOMA, Whitney, Heller, and other world-class galleries. Zak is one of the foremost creative minds in the roleplaying game community, with multiple published books for some of the biggest publishers in the in the genre including Dungeons & Dragons and his own award-winning independent works based off his D&D campaign, including Red and Pleasant Land and Maze of the Blue Medusa. He recently illustrated The Worst Breakfast by award-winning novelist China Mieville.

 

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Sarah Horrocks is an artist, writer, cartoonist and critic currently residing in Oklahoma. Her comics include Hecate Snake Diaries and The Leopard. She has done cover work for various Image Comics, and Boom Studios comics.  She has done critical writing about comics for Fantagraphics, ComicsAlliance, Study Group Magazine, and The Comics Journal. and she forms one-half of the Trash Twins podcast.


Regarding the recent accusations made against our freelancers: White Wolf was aware of and investigated the previous accusations against Zak before contracting him to write and illustrate the game script. Fortunately, these accusations all pertained to alleged online behavior: each accusation is connected to an online discussion, and the digital records of these discussions can be located and reviewed. White Wolf’s investigation concluded that the accusations are false, and that Zak did not engage in the alleged behavior. We have full faith in Zak and Sarah and are excited to see their great work with the World of Darkness spread!

Prelude to a World of Darkness

Today, the first digital stories set in the World of Darkness since Bloodlines (in 2004!!!) are set to launch on app-stores and Steam. How will you face the future in our made-for-mobile WoD Preludes?

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Vampire The Masquerade: We Eat Blood. A twisted nighttime journey by writer-artists Zak Sabbath and Sarah Horrocks, told as an intimate messenger conversation where you make the big decisions. 

Mage The Ascension: RefugeSweden, a small country on the edge of the world. A young woman awakens to Magick in the middle of the Syrian refugee crisis. Are these new arrivals friends or enemies? Bend reality to your will using tech or arcane mysteries. A surreal adventure by weird-fiction author Karin Tidbeck. 

The word ”Prelude” has a long history in our games and books as a term for the very first story you tell about your supernatural character. In a Prelude you experience your first traumatic nights as a bloodsucker, your dizzying awakening to true Magick or the terror of the first change into a fearsome Werewolf.

We chose this format to express that there has never been a better time to come back to the World of Darkness, or to introduce it to new friends.

The second reason is that we know you’ve been waiting for a long, long time.We didn’t want you to have wait two or more years to see anything from us. Naming them Preludes should give just the right expectations, and make sure they’re not confused with (insert your most anticipated WoD title here.)

It was a crazy idea. But it worked. One year later we have two gripping and stylish story-games ready to launch, penned by some of our favourite writers and artists and solidly informed by our new directions for the setting.

So yeah, this is it. The wait is over. The Preludes mark the beginning of the end of silence and teasing hints. From here on out we invite you to explore the darkest aspects of our world with us.

Be warned, it’s a fucked-up and ugly place. But it’s ok. Because in this story, you will become the monster!

Blood and Souls!

Links to the games: