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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

System's We Play: World of Darkness (Classic)

World of Darkness (Classic):

Back in the early 90's, I was introduced to a couple of supernatural RPG's that I thought were interesting. I even got the main book from Werewolf: The Apocalypse for 50% off from my local book store because the front cover was torn. (Fans who remember the 1st edition, softcover will get a chuckle from this.) Between that and the 2nd edition of Vampire: The Masquerade, White Wolf had my attention. It wasn't until my friends started a Mage: The Ascension group that I actually played in the World of Darkness... and I have never regretted this first step.

The World of Darkness started with 5 core games...

Vampire: The Masquerade-

This was the first game from the World of Darkness line. You are vampires descended from Caine. (Yes, this game draws from a biblical origin story.) In modern times, you either live to maintain your hold on what is left of your humanity, or you embrace that you are beyond the concept of humanity.

Werewolf: The Apocalypse-

In Werewolf, you typically portrait a warrior of Gaia (defender of the Earth) against the corruption of the Wyrm. There are other were-creatures you can choose from as well, such as cats, spiders and crows. You fight for honor, glory and wisdom to raise yourself in Gaia's army of shape-shifters.

Mage: The Ascension-

An inner power has awoken inside of you, but there are those who would either exploit your power or kill you for it. Mage is probably the best game in the World of Darkness if you want a player vs. "The Man" game as you try to keep yourself safe from a government group known as The Technocracy.

Wraith: The Oblivion-

Death is not the end, but just a new beginning. Something is keeping you from the afterlife that is promised after you die, and this ties you the world you once knew. Your new home, known as the Shadowlands, is a dark image of the world you once knew. You seek your redemption while others would seek to keep you where you are or use you as something else.

Changeling: The Dreaming-

Faeries from childhood stories are real, and they have been living amongst you without your knowledge. Better yet, you've also started to understand that you're one of them. Fueled by creativity and imagination, Changelings are hidden from the real world but still need to work within it. Be careful not to stray down the wrong path and get stuck in the world fueled by banality lest you lose your Fae self.

And then came the additions to provide a little flavor to the World of Darkness...

Kindred of the East-

Not quite the same of the traditional vampires we're aware of. Asia has its own spin of vampires, spirits and shape-shifters, and it all started here.

Hunter: The Reckoning-

With all these supernatural creatures running wild in the World of Darkness, there has to be a group of people who can offset them. Where each of the individual games have their counterpart (perceived "good vs. evil"), the Hunters are out to cleanse the world. Armed with powers and abilities of their own, Hunters don't see themselves as part of the problem but rather as the ultimate solution.

Mummy: The Resurrection-

In the 1st edition of Vampire: The Masquerade, we're introduced to Mummies. Now, here they are expanded with a ton of extra powers and abilities that will overpower just about any group. If a Mummies body dies, no worries. The spirit moves on to the Shadowlands until the body is repaired.

Demon: The Fallen-

If having Mummies weren't overpowering enough for your game, you can add a healthy dose of "evil" to your games. Even though I have some of the books for this game in my collection, I have yet to actually participate in a Demon game.

To add a little extra flavor to the original line of games, White Wolf also published a Dark Ages series that included Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Fae and Inquisitor. These are great for the World of Darkness feel in a less modern time frame. I think these were created in light of the favorable response to Vampire: The Dark Ages.

There were a few off-shoots that were published but never that popular. Vampire: The Victorian Age (set in the late 19th century), Werewolf: The Wild West (set in the 19th century), Mage: The Sorcerer's Crusade (set in the late 15th century) and Wraith: The Great War (set during and immediately after World War I).

Other than Demon, I have either played or ran games and.or characters
from every single game in the World of Darkness. This is perhaps my
favorite of all systems. It's easy to learn and each individual game
within the system has a well thought out back story.

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