Fans of the classic World of Darkness tabletop RPG series can rejoice. Less than a year after acquisition by Paradox Interactive, the newly-reconstructed White Wolf Publishing has begun work on an update of the original World of Darkness/Storyteller product line. The first title, Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition, is slated for a Winter 2017-2018 release. The game is expected to be the tabletop debut of White Wolf’s ‘One World of Darkness’, promising better integration and structure between the tentpole product lines of the World of Darkness.
In addition, at the recent Grand Masquerade in New Orleans, several details emerged that point to new potential for gameplay and character development.
“What if you are what you eat? What if you grow through the prey you seek out? What if to disappear from sight, you feed from those we forget and look away from, the homeless, the lost? What if to dominate, you fuel your powers through the blood of those in submission?” – Martin Ericsson, Lead Storyteller
Other exciting developments promised included the setting’s metaplot would center around player actions, presumably tracked through social media, sanctioned events, and other means unavailable in 1991. Human characters will also be rethought to be more than just ‘blood bags’, giving them enough weight and importance to be viable player characters.
Though White Wolf has said that they intend to be primarily a ‘brand manager’ overseeing the story of the updated World of Darkness, there was confirmation in New Orleans that development and publication of at least this first pillar of the RPG line would be handled internally. Going forward, the company plans to gradually open the brand to ‘fan creativity’, and has stated that all licensees will receive “the same bible” on setting, metaplot, and other guiding principles.
It is still unknown how the release of the Fifth Edition product line will impact the 20th Anniversary line published by Onyx Path. Vampire, Werewolf, and Mage have all had their 20th Anniversary rulebooks released, with Wraith and Changeling successfully Kickstartered and now in the process of production. In addition, White Wolf is rumored to be planning two World of Darkness mobile games for this winter, and has their sights set on eventual development of a WoD television property. (Finally, V:tM fans can get Kindred: the Embarassed out of our collective psyches! I mean, they actually used the Bradstreet art from the freaking rulebook in that thing!)
Here’s the Keynote from the Grand Masquerade:
Martin Ericsson’s portion starts at 41:35, and for fans of the World of Darkness, it is 100% awesome. The man clearly loves the subject matter, and the way he thinks about the World of Darkness and how it relates to reality makes it clear the setting is in very good hands.