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World of Darkness

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This article is about the "new" World of Darkness. For the other settings by this name, see Classic World of Darkness or Monte Cook's World of Darkness.

The World of Darkness is a modern gothic setting, using the Storytelling System. It presents an image of the modern world "through a looking glass darkly": more dangerous, less caring, and filled with monsters of both human and inhuman varieties.

Overview Edit

World of Darkness Logo

Designed to be flexible and allow for a multitude of horror stories, the World of Darkness is (intentionally) somewhat vague. Flavor text in the WOD: World of Darkness: Storytelling System Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip presents possibilities for stories that clearly tie into traditional werewolf and vampire stories, and includes a lengthy section on ghosts and ghost stories.

However, other pieces of fiction present the possibilities of demonic antagonists, occult storylines and inexplicable oddity. There is no over-riding mythos as there is in games such as Call of Cthulhu or Unknown Armies. While the setting is described as one of "dark mystery", "dread" and "threatening symbolism", it is ultimately left open for the Storyteller to construct stories within.

Differences from the Classic WOD Edit


WOD: World of Darkness: Storytelling System Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip

The WOD: World of Darkness: Storytelling System Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip was the first book of a re-launch for the World of Darkness setting. Premiering in Vampire: The Masquerade in 1991, the old World of Darkness acted as the shared setting for White Wolf Game Studio's horror roleplaying games. While the basic setting is similar, there are some important differences between the two settings.

  • "Gothic-Punk" vs. "Modern Gothic" — The first World of Darkness setting was described as "Gothic-Punk", blending decaying gothic visuals and mood with brash punk attitude and energy. The new setting has instead been described as modern gothic, focusing instead on the dark gothic images and mood, pushing aside the "punk" in the description to an optional element rather than the focus.
  • Codified vs. Undefined — As discussed above, the new World of Darkness is assumed to be incomplete, with a Storyteller expected to create new content and explanations for the events within their games. By contrast, the previous setting assumed greater uniformity, with any events being attributed to an existing force.
  • Global vs. Local — The old World of Darkness frequently presented creatures and groups of global power, capable of pursuing characters across the world and affecting change worldwide. The new World of Darkness tends instead to localize power, assuming creatures and groups who can affect cities powerfully, with less influence to affect countries and international events.
  • Player Choice vs. Character Choice - In the original World of Darkness, player choice at character creation was sometimes overwhleming, with an ever-growing selection of splats (e.g. Masquerade's clans, bloodlines and legacies). The new games generally simplify this to a "5 x 5" system: five inherent supernatural types (e.g. Requiem's clans) and five voluntarily joined (or rejected) groups (e.g. covenants). These are the only choices available at character creation. Specific refinements or alterations for splat types (e.g. bloodlines) may be joined or even created by characters, but only after they have sufficiently grown in power and often involving some personal sacrifice, putting the focus on character choice.
  • One World, Many Games vs. One World, One Game - In the original it was difficult for players and storytellers to have more than one type of supernatural in a game as there were different rule sets for each supernatural. In the new setting there is one core set of game mechanics that applies to everything and the rules for the abilities of different supernaturals are built off of this core rule set. In other words while it was difficult to have vampire and werewolf players in the same game in the original without a skilled storyteller, it is easy to do this in the new setting.

World of Darkness Scenarios Edit


World of Darkness symbol

In addition to being a game line in its own right, featuring mortal humans who explore the unknown, the World of Darkness is the shared setting for a number of additional game lines.

The 'Big Three' game lines, all of which have open-ended runs, are:

In addition to the above lines, further games are released semi-annually in a more limited-run format, with one core rulebook and a set number of supplements (similar to Orpheus for the old World of Darkness). So far six such games have been released:

  • Mummy: The Curse - A game of immortal souls, where players play the roles of the Arisen, beings who long ago were subjected to the Rite of Return and had their souls bound to their earthly remains. Released in 2013.

Second Edition Edit

The second edition of the World of Darkness was released with the The God-Machine Chronicle in 2013. Several rules were overhauled, and old game lines were updated. New game lines, like Demon: The Descent, will be made with the new ruleset from The God-Machine Chronicle in mind.

While initially containing an unique naming scheme to identify the new versions, it was announced at GenCon 2014 that the games would be renamed, including the ones already released. Instead of "The [X] Chronicle" the games will merely retain the original name with "Second Edition" affixed to the end.[1] Ex: Vampire: The Requiem Second Edition

  • Mortal Remains: A game book that updates Hunter: The Vigil to include the rules updates from The God-Machine Chronicles as well as the other supernatural races (Prometheans, Changelings, Geists, Mummies, and Demons). Released in April 2014.

See also Edit


"Mortals" skull

References Edit

  1. The World of Darkness, Second Edition

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