Collecting classic World of Darkness, part 6: Werewolf: the Apocalypse

Werewolf: The Apocalypse was the second World of Darkness core game, released in 1992.  Most WtA products have a product code beginning with a 3.  WtA was one of the games that was supported until the end of the cWoD, and is the second to have a 20th edition released.

Core books

There are four core books: 1st and 2nd edition, Revised edition, and the 20th anniversary (W20) edition.  As with Vampire, the 1st and 2nd ed books can be found for $10 without much trouble, and Revised for under $20.  W20 was only sent out in the last month or so (the Kickstarter for the deluxe version took a long time due to feature creep and production delays) and I haven’t seen any copies on eBay yet, but since the pledge level for a copy of the book was $120 it will probably run to 3 digits.

(Since the W20 Kickstarter’s numbers are public, it’s possible to estimate how many copies of the deluxe edition exist; there should be roughly 1900 that were sent to backers.  There were 157 backers for the Heavy Metal edition (with a metal cover), which hasn’t shipped as of this writing.  Since the pledge level for this edition was $385, there probably won’t be many of these hitting the secondary market, and they’ll run to a lot if they do.  There are probably a few more copies in existence (extras for replacement copies, office/staff copies, etc.) but it’s still a pretty small number overall.)

There was a limited edition version of the Revised rulebook, with a slipcase and deluxe Art of Werewolf.  It’s the second most sought-after deluxe core book, after Vampire and before Mage.

One note on the core books: Every edition except Revised had three “claw marks” cut out of the cover.  This makes it harder to find copies of the 1st and 2nd editions in very good condition.  The 1st edition paperback was the worst–the cuts tended to fray or catch and tear, and the fist page faded and picked up dirt and finger oils under the cuts.  The 2nd edition wasn’t as bad, since the hardcover was stronger and thicker, but the fading and dirt issue still applied unless the book was kept protected.  (W20 may be prone to this as well, but it’s much more recent and as an expensive book will probably be better protected.)

Core supplements

WtA has the usual array of Players Guides and Storyteller Handbooks and Companions.  The 1st and 2nd edition Players Guides include the bare bones of the Changing Breeds (more on them later); for Revised they published a Players Guide to Garou and a Players Guide to Changing Breeds, which is one of the more sought after supplements.

Splatbooks

WtA has a lot of these–the most of any WoD game.  This is because, in addition to 13 werewolf tribes, there are also several Changing Breeds that shift into other types of animals.  There were 9 Breed Books, plus Hengeyokai, a guide to Asian shifters that also includes the Kitsune werefoxes.  Since there were 2 editions of each of the Tribebooks, that’s a total of 36.

The original Tribebooks are fairly common and easy to find.  Like the core book, they have diecut versions of the tribe’s symbol; they aren’t as large as the core book’s claws, but some of the more fiddly symbols in particular are vulnerable to tears or breakage. (The Breed Books have the same trade dress as the Tribebooks, but the symbols are embossed instead.) These were collected in 4 “Litany of the Tribes” collections.

The Revised Tribebooks are a classic example of the principle that earlier=more common and cheaper.  They were released in alphabetical order; the earliest ones (Black Furies and Bone Gnawers) aren’t that hard to find, while the latest ones (Uktena and Wendigo) are hard to find and expensive–the Uktena book was one of the last half-dozen books on my list.  The Wendigo book was one of the last oWoD supplements released.  Likewise, while not as rare, the Ananasi and Rokea Breed Books were the last one released and run to more than the earlier ones.

Setting books

The title formula for the setting books is “Rage Across…”, some of which were reprinted in “Rage Across the World” collections.  Dark Alliance: Vancouver is a combined setting book for WtA and VtM (and features a silly Japanese vampire clan).  None of these are particularly hard to find; however, some of them contain maps that were removable and therefore may or may not be included in used copies.

Other sourcebooks

Revised edition sourcebooks for WtA are often on the rare and expensive side–they often fall into the category of very useful and relatively underprinted.  Book of Auspices, Book of the City, Hammer and Klaive, and Past Lives can all run as high as $30-40 or so.

Screens

Each edition had a Storytellers Screen.  1st ed included a combat information sheet and blank character sheets.  2nd ed had an adventure, “Three Werewolf Stories”.  Revised was shrinkwrapped with the Storytellers Companion, and the W20 version was an addon for the W20 Kickstarter.

In-universe materials

There were two books released in this category, Silver Record and Chronicle of the Black Labyrinth.  CotBL isn’t that hard to find; Silver Record isn’t rare per se but can run around $20.

Historical settings

There are two Dark Ages Werewolf sourcebooks.  Werewolf: the Dark Ages is a paperback that was released during the VtDA era but is part of the Werewolf line, and isn’t very hard to find.  Dark Ages Werewolf is a hardcover, part of the Dark Ages line, and hard to find (running around $50).

The Werewolf historical setting was Werewolf: the Wild West, which wasn’t very popular.  None of the books from it are hard to find or expensive.  A couple of the supplements were released under the Arthaus line, which was supposed to be a more economical way of marketing books for less popular lines (Changeling wound up here as well), and in practice often meant a ridiculous amount of white space.  On the other hand, one supplemental item, the Wild West Poker Deck, is stupidly hard to find and expensive (generally $100 minimum).  (If I sound slightly bitter it’s partially because this is the one older WoD game item from the official checklist that I don’t own–if anyone has one they want to let go, please let know…)

Pinnacle Entertainment produced three Deadlands crossover adventures under their Dime Novel line: Under a Harrowed Moon, Savage Passage, and Ground Zero.  They can generally be found for a few bucks each, but since they’re Deadlands and not WoD products, they may not be found or listed with other WoD products.

There’s enough Werewolf merchandise that I’ll handle it in a separate article, as I did with Vampire.  Until next time, the Woggle-Bug says, “Truly, we live in an age of wonders.”

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