Collecting classic World of Darkness, part 5: Vampire spinoffs

While starting these articles with Vampire was a no-brainer, I was unsure whether I should continue chronologically or by game family.  After some thought, I decided to go by game family, since most subsequent spinoff games don’t warrant an article of their own. (“Collecting Wraith: The Great War: Buy a copy of Wraith: The Great War. You’re done.”)  Vampire had three spinoff game lines of various sizes, but only one of them is big enough for its own article, so I’m lumping them all together.

Vampire: the Dark Ages/Dark Ages: Vampire

At one point White Wolf planned to release alternate versions of their core games set in earlier time periods.  Four of these were released: besides VtDA, there were Werewolf: the Wild West, Mage: the Sorcerers Crusade, and Wraith: the Great War. (Changeling got left out, since it wasn’t really being supported by the time its turn would have come.) Of these, WtGW was a single book rather than a game line.  The Werewolf and Mage games weren’t terribly successful, but VtDA was wildly successful; more books were released for it than some of the core games.  In 2002, the line was rebranded as Dark Ages: Vampire (the core book of which is essentially the Revised version of VtDA), and Dark Ages versions of the other games were released as well.  The Dark Ages line was originally intended to continue when the cWoD line ended, but it became clear that retailers wouldn’t support this, and some titles were listed on White Wolf’s WoD checklist but weren’t released.

Under the “earlier is more common” principle, none of the VtDA products are especially hard to find.  The main rulebook can be found for under $10, and the only supplements that have a noticeable demand are the Clanbooks for the clans/bloodlines that didn’t get them in modern VtM (Baali, Cappadocians and Salubri).  Therefore, the main part of this section will be focused on the later DA games.

Two VtDA notes: A four-part adventure, the Transylvania Chronicles, had its first two parts released with the Dark Ages trade dress and branding and the last two parts as modern VtM.  It’s up to you which game line(s) you consider these adventures to fall under.  Also, the splatbooks for the clans that existed in the modern era were combined into four books in the Libellus Sanguinis series.

Core books. The regular DA:V core book costs a bit more than the VtDA version, but isn’t prohibitively expensive.  The limited edition book is the easiest to find cheaply of all four limited core books (I won it for around $15 on eBay three times, although two of those sales fell through).  Note that the “Penance by Firelight” book in the limited set has never been released elsewhere, unlike the art books from the other games.

While they’re not full standalone games (in that they don’t have the core Storyteller rules), the DA versions of Werewolf, Mage, Fae (Changeling) and Inquisitor (more or less Hunter) fit best into this category.  The Mage and Inquisitor books (and their single supplements) run about the same amount as any other core book.  The Werewolf book is sought after (cheapest copy on Amazon=$50) and the Fae book, being rare due to being the last released and covering an aspect of the setting that doesn’t have much support, is extremely sought after–the cheapest copy on Amazon is $80, and I’ve seen it go for $150 on eBay. (I got my copy for half cover, or $15, at a local game store–showing the advantages of keeping your eyes open.)

Core supplements. The DA:V Storytellers Companion is the book that came with the ST’s screen.  It’s very useful, containing rules for bloodlines that aren’t available elsewhere, and not super-common.  It’s running around $30 on Amazon right now but can be found for less.

Rather than release splatbooks and a Players Guide, there were two books that covered the same ground: The Players Guide to Low Clans and High Clans.  These are key sourcebooks and much sought after.  The Low Clans book can be found with a bit of effort and will run around $15-30.  The High Clans book was another late release that’s very hard to find, and can run $75+. (Or if you’re me and religiously watch your Amazon wishlist, $15 when somebody doesn’t pay attention to other sellers’ prices–see what I mean about keeping your eyes open?)

Splatbooks: See above.  There were also five books released for the various paths of morality, the Road of X series.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Road of Sin runs the most expensive, but they’re not that hard to find.

Setting books: Only two of these were released for DA:V, Europe and British Isles (Italy was announced but not released).  The Europe book is useful as a general overview, while the British Isles book is relatively uncommon; they can run from $20-40.

Other supplements: There are only two of these, Right of Princes and Spoils of War, neither of which run to all that much.

Non-rules fluff: The Dark Ages equivalent of the Book of Nod is Erciyes Fragments, which is a lot less common and harder to find. Demand seems to have gone down, since Amazon has several copies in the $10-20 range.

Other merchandise: There is very little of this: I believe there’s a Dark Ages pin, and some of the Dark Ages era clans/bloodlines got pins in the Mind’s Eye Theater Kickstarter.  There may be some T-shirts but I don’t specifically know of any.  There were several Dark Ages novels, including a Clan Novels series.

Kindred of the East

Various Vampire books had indicated that Asia had its own vampires, but the early attempts (Clan Gaki and Clan Bushi) were embarrassing and found in some odd locations (Clan Bushi appeared in the Werewolf supplement Dark Alliance: Vancouver).  1998 was White Wolf’s “Year of the Lotus”, in which they released a bunch of Asian-themed expansions, including a new game, Kindred of the East, which gave the “real” rules for Asian vampires.

KotE functioned as its own game line, albeit a small one, with its own trade dress, splatbooks (one of only two non-core games to have books for individual splats, the Dharma Books) and expansions, but it’s connected to the VtM setting more directly than most of the games were intended to connect to each other.  San Francisco by Night, the game’s only setting book, covers the war between the Western and Eastern vampires in that city, and while released as a KotE book it works for VtM as well.

There’s not a lot to say about collecting KotE, because there are only fourteen books and none of them are especially rare or expensive; it was the first line I finished collecting (if you don’t count Wraith: the Great War), and you can get all the books for under $10 each if you’re patient. (Amazon’s lowest price for Dharma Book: Thrashing Dragons is currently around $20, but I suspect this is an outlier–I’ve never noticed it being particularly expensive elsewhere.)

I know of only one piece of KotE merchandise: a pin of the logo.  I don’t know of any novels under this brand.

Note: There are two historical KotE supplements. Blood and Silk is the Dark Ages supplement, although it’s released under the general WoD line rather than either KotE or Dark Ages and has its own unique trade dress.  Sunset Empires is the Victorian supplement (see below) and is only available as PDF and PoD.

Victorian Age: Vampire

A late historical release, there are only three books in this line (not counting Sunset Empires): the core book, the Companion, and London by Night.  These are very well-written books and hard to find, so they tend to be expensive.  Low price on Amazon is around $45 for the core book and LbN and $75 for the Companion.  The first two can be found for less if you pay attention, but the Companion is hard to even find, let alone for a reasonable price.

The only merchandise for this line is a few novels.

Up next: Werewolf!

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