Collecting classic Word of Darkness, part 15: Related and third-party games

Related games

As may be seen fairly easily, the World of Darkness designers liked tying their games together (even though they discouraged excess crossover, something that changed in the nWoD).  This doesn’t just extend to cWoD games themselves; there were a couple of other game lines that also had WoD ties, and thus could be considered connected in a loose sense.  I don’t have extensive experience collecting either of them, so I won’t get into that in detail.

Ars Magica

Ars Magica is a game of wizards in the 13th Century, living in a world where the medieval worldview is reflected in the game world.  As such, it’s a predecessor to Mage and some aspects of Vampire.

The first edition of Ars Magica was published by Lion Rampant games in 1987, and the 2nd in 1989.  After Lion Rampant merged into White Wolf, they published 3rd edition in 1992, then sold the game to Wizards of the Coast in 1994.  WotC sold it to Atlas Games in 1996, just as 4th edition came out.  5th edition was released in 2004. (I treasure a copy of a supplement that has two different stickers over the publisher name–clearly published stock went with the sale.)

The main connection between AM and the WoD is the Order of Hermes, the circle of wizards that the game centers on.  The history of the OoH was brought more or less directly into the WoD, and they became one of the Traditions in Mage.  Clan Tremere from Vampire also originally appeared here (in one of the post-WW editions there’s a mention that a bunch of the clan had become vampires, but that nonsense was stamped out quickly).  The concept of the world and human belief reflecting each other became a major part of Mage.

Third edition Ars Magica, as the first post-Vampire White Wolf edition, is the closest to the WoD in setting.  Any of the Houses of Hermes supplements could be useful as background for Vampire, Dark Ages or Mage, and setting material could also be used for Dark Ages games of any sort.

Exalted

Exalted is an epic fantasy game that White Wolf first published in 2001.  As Vampire had done with Ars Magica, so Exalted did with the WoD, albeit in a more ambiguous and less direct way.  Exalted could be taken as the mythic prehistory of the WoD before everything went to pieces; some types of Exalted are similar to WoD creatures (most obviously Lunars/werewolves), and some names and concepts are shared between games.  In addition, Exalted uses the Storyteller system, albeit with some changes from the Revised WoD games.

The primary use of Exalted to WoD players would be inspirational; for example, the Underworld presented in the game can be seen as the more-functional forerunner of the afterlife in Wraith.  Translating game material from one version of Storyteller to the other is probably easier than some translations, but I’ve never tried it myself.

Third-party WoD material

Various WoD products have been published by other publishers under license, including adventures, crossovers, system translations, and foreign-language-only supplements.  I’ve touched on some of these before, but here they all are in one place.  I’m also including purchase links where I have them, since the foreign supplements in particular can be hard to locate.

Atlas Games: Blood Nativity

Blood Nativity was a very early (August 1991) introductory adventure for Vampire.  It suffers from the problem most VtM intro adventures do (how to handle Embracing all the PCs), but is better than White Wolf’s bizarre Alien Hunger.  It’s not terribly hard to find and runs about $5.

Amazon, DriveThruRPG

Steve Jackson Games: GURPS adaptations

In 1993, it was announced that Steve Jackson Games had been licensed to produce GURPS adaptations of the WoD games, one adaptation of the core game and one companion covering additional material.  However, the license was ended due to White Wolf employees trashing the adaptations on Usenet, and only four games were produced (core games for VtM, WtA, MtA and the VtM companion).  There was also at least one adventure published in Pyramid.  They’re not too hard to find for $5 or so (there aren’t any official PDFs).  Don’t confuse GURPS Vampire with GURPS Blood Types, their generic vampire supplement, or GURPS Mage with GURPS Magic.

GURPS Vampire: the Masquerade: Amazon
GURPS Vampire: the Masquerade Companion: Amazon

GURPS Werewolf: the Apocalypse: Amazon

GURPS Mage: the Ascension: Amazon

Pinnacle Entertainment: Deadlands crossover adventures

In 1998, Pinnacle produced three adventures in their “Dime Novel” fiction/game series that crossed over Deadlands and Werewolf: the Wild West (thus increasing the number of WtWW books by 60%).  The series title is “Under a Harrowed Moon.” They include conversion rules between the two games.  These can be found for under $5.

Strange Bedfellows: Amazon, DriveThruRPG

Savage Passage: Amazon, DriveThruRPG

Ground Zero: Amazon, DriveThruRPG

Feder & Schwert: German supplements

Feder & Schwert (“Feather & Sword”) is the German licensee and translator of the World of Darkness games, among others. In addition to translating existing supplements, they produced five original supplements, one of which (Encyclopaedia Vampirica) was translated back into English and published by White Wolf.  WW also released the English translation of F&S’s game Engel, plus a couple of supplements.

They released two modern citybooks for VtM: Die Stadt, Das Blut, Der Tod: Frankfurt bei Nacht and Wiener Blut: Wien by Nacht (covering Vienna), and a VtDA citybook, Reichsgold: Aachen bei Nacht (covering Aachen/Aix-la-Chapelle).  There’s also a CtD supplement, Trolle, Träume, Tiefer Wälder, a supplement for German Changeling in general.  Some of their material did make it into English via Encyclopaedia Vampirica, such as the timeline for Vienna.

Availability is the US is extremely low; I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one on eBay or Amazon.com, and on Amazon.de they run from 20 Euros (the Frankfurt book), 50 Euros (the Aachen book) or not available at all.  Fortunately, two of them are available on DriveThruRPG (although I haven’t bought them yet myself). (If anyone can hook me up with physical copies for a reasonable price, drop me a line.)

Die Stadt, Das Blut, Der Tod: Frankfurt bei Nacht: Amazon.de

Wiener Blut: Wien by Nacht: Amazon.de, DriveThruRPG

Reichsgold: Aachen bei Nacht: Amazon.de, DriveThruRPG

Trolle, Träume, Tiefer Wälder: Amazon.de

Ludis International: French supplement

I don’t know much about Ludis International, but from Google it looks like they translated other horror RPGs into French (the first hit is for their translation of Kult).  In 1997, they published Monde des Ténèbres: France, a sourcebook covering the original five WoD core games in modern France.  Availability of physical copies in the US is similar to the German books; there doesn’t seem to be an official PDF, but there is an unofficial PDF in circulation.

Amazon.fr

 

And that’s it for that category!  I could do a separate section on blatant WoD ripoffs, but the research would be brain melting.  Until next time, the Woggle-Bug says “You are technically correct–the best kind of correct.”

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