Since Paradox acquired World of Darkness in 2015, the previously sleepy cult brand has produced an avalanche of new and exciting projects, all of them based around 2018’s V5 system. While the highly anticipated Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 video game is its most ambitious project — with Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood close behind — it’s worth taking a look at the other 26 World of Darkness products that have been announced for this year and next.
From video games to fast-paced card battles, and from streamed shows to comic books, World of Darkness seems to be thinking about every possible angle to bring old and new fans into the night. All of the products below are considered canon, meaning that World of Darkness‘ brand team oversees the plot and larger metastory going on behind the scenes. It also means that characters and events from one game could reappear in a comic or one of the streamed shows.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 – Developed by Paradox and Hardsuit Labs, this is a first-person RPG set in modern-day Seattle and a sequel to the cult classic Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. The player will get to live as a newly Embraced Thinblood (a weak, clanless vampire) as they navigate the politics and conspiracies of the different factions.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong – Another game in this universe, Swansong is a narrative mystery game. Players will control three different vampires from three classic Camarilla clans (Toreador, Ventrue and Malkavian) as they travel around Boston and Hartford trying to discover who crashed Prince Helen’s rooftop party with two shotguns and bad intentions. It will be released in 2021.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Coteries of New York – Also receiving an expansion, called Shadows of New York, these are lavishly drawn and scored visual novels set in the Big Apple. In Coteries, the player could pick one of three fledgling vampires from clans Ventrue, Toreador and Brujah as they created their first alliances to help their adoptive Sire. In Shadows, there is only one character, Julia the Lasombra, who is much older and has a much bleaker outlook than her predecessors. Coteries fans can look forward to the return of Qarim, the stern Toreador sheriff of New York.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood – This is a third-person action-RPG where players control, Cahal, a fierce warrior of the Fianna tribe. The game will showcase the werewolves three main forms (man, wolf and the battle-scary Crinos), as well as a Rage meter that will fuel Cahal’s battle combos (and might negatively affect his social skills). It was designed to be a steam valve, and Cyanide studio is very concerned with showcasing both the beauty of nature and the horrors of environmental destruction.
Werewolf: Heart of the Forest – A narrative game set on the Polish Bialowieza Forest, this follows Maia, an America in her twenties, searching for her ancestral history. The game contains great writing and art, and it takes the Rage mechanic to a whole new emotional level. While Rage will allow Maia to be more assertive and get things done, it will also lower her empathy and simplify her view of the world. The character is locked, but her personality (“Auspice”) can be customized through different game choices.
Wraith: The Oblivion – Afterlife – In the first VR game set in World of Darkness, players will become a Wraith, the spirit of a person who has died recently and failed to ascend to the next life. Guided only by the sinister Shadow, players will have to enter the haunted Barclay Mansion, where he and many, many others, lost their lives in an unspeakable event.
Novels and Comics
Choice of Games will be releasing three Vampire: The Masquerade interactive novels. These are basically the grown-up version of the Choose Your Own Adventure books many enjoyed as children, and they include stat raisers, branching endings, romanceable characters and mini-games.
Night Road by Kyle Marquis – In Night Road, the reader will choose the path of a Camarilla courier trying to drive from LA to Seattle.
Out for Blood by Jim Dattilo – This second one turns the tables and puts the reader in the shoes of a suburban Vampire Hunter. Suddenly, those friendly vampires that you played as are actually terrifying, and they must be destroyed.
Parliament of Knives by Jeffrey Dean – This last one is set in modern-day Ottawa, right after a coup destabilizes the local vampire politics. The reader will have to decide whether to support their Sire, ally with a different faction, strike out on their own or sabotage the local blood scene even more.
There are also audiobooks and comics coming soon for those who are less interested in the prospect of reading over 900,000 words.
Walk Among Us – Produced by HarperCollins, this audiobook is a collection of three Vampire: The Masquerade novellas. In A Sheep Among Wolves (written by Genevieve Gornichec and narrated by Erika Ishii) an introverted Ohio college freshman gets too involved with a mysterious support group. In Fine Print (written by Cassandra Khaw and narrated by Neil Kaplan) a techie fratboy suffers through his first nights as a Ventrue in chilly Reykjavik. Lastly, there’s The Land of Milk and Honey (written by Caitlin Starling and narrated by Xe Sands), in which a pastoral Portland Toreador tries her best to keep her “arts and farming commune” healthy and happy while struggling with her feelings for a beautiful newcomer and Portland’s increasingly hungry Camarilla.
Winter’s Teeth – Co-written by Tim Seeley, Tini Howard and Blake Howard; drawn by Devmalya Pramanik, Nathan Gooden; colored by Addison Duke; and published by Vault Comics, this series will be set in the Twin Cities and told from a dual point of view. On the Camarilla side, Cecily Baine, the tough-as-nails right hand of the Prince, finds a mysterious fledgling. Meanwhile, a coteries of Anarchs are struggling to solve a murder. Their paths will eventually cross.
So far, there are three canonical shows run by the World of Darkness team, and all of them are tabletop roleplaying Chronicles of Vampire: The Masquerade.
L.A. By Night – This show, currently in its fourth season, takes place in Los Angeles and follows an Anarch coterie as they try to defend their city against the advances of the Camarilla. Played by professional actors B. Dave Walters, Erika Ishii, Cynthia Marie and Alex Ward and run by Jason Carl, L.A. By Night is a fun, low-commitment way to get acquainted with the ways of the Kindred and the game mechanics. It also explored some of the darker themes of Vampire: The Masquerade.
Vein Pursuit – Set up as a classic American road trip and played by Paradox employees, this show follows a team of incompetent Anarch envoys trying to drive from L.A. to Seattle to back up a courier. Along the way, the characters have made horrendous but hilarious decisions. Like L.A. By Night, it showcases the basic game mechanics, adapting them for a shorter campaign with brief sessions. However, this is much lighter in tone.
Seattle By Night – If you’re looking for something even lighter than Vein Pursuit, this last series is for you. The characters are as wacky as Vein Pursuit‘s but almost as powerful as those of L.A. By Night, so their shenanigans have massive potential for destruction. Run by Jason Carl, the show starts right after the protagonist coterie gets back to Seattle from Montreal, where they were involved in an incident that everyone would rather forget. The Second Inquisition is one of the principal antagonists of the show.
Roleplaying Books and Manuals
For old fans and the new, World of Darkness has the perfect manuals to get started with a roleplaying Vampire: The Masquerade Chronicle. The basic one is V5’s Vampire: The Masquerade – Core Book, which provides an introduction to concepts like vampiric clans, sects and disciplines, and mechanics like Hunger, Boons and Combat (social or physical). For players that want to dig deeper into the history and stories of either of the main two sects, there’s also the V5 Camarilla Guide and V5’s Anarch Guide. This year saw the release of updated versions of Chicago by Night, the Chicago Folios, Fall of London and the 260-page supplement Let the Streets Run Red. There are also more supplemental materials coming soon.
V5 Player’s Guide – Along with the highly-anticipated Cults of the Blood Gods, this supplement contains instructions to play the heterogeneous Hecata and the clan of Death. It also has juicy information regarding vampiric religions, cults, philosophies and churches — including the Bahari, the Church of Set and the Mithraic Mysteries.
Second Inquisition – A supplement still in the works, this will provide more information for players who want to run a campaign with tonight’s scariest, tech-savvy and globally-connected vampire hunters.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Chapters – A quick-starting cooperative game that includes miniatures, cards and, most importantly, doesn’t require a Game Master, Chapters is set in Montreal City after the fall of the Sabbat. Each scenario will be entirely different depending on the character and the player’s choices, meaning it has plenty of replay value.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Blood Feud – This is a mega board game for four to 32 players that will work in teams of one to four, making it perfect for conventions. It’s set in New York in 2016, and it mixes miniatures, real-life negotiation, cards, and a bloodthirsty marketplace for new character Disciplines.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Rivals Expandable Card Game – In this game for two to four players set in modern-day San Francisco, vampires from four different clans will have to create a coterie and use their unique talents to win by destroying their enemies, winning the missions or hoarding influence points.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Heritage – This is a card game in which players will compete as they build a bloodline and coteries to carry out ambitious missions over the course of 700 years. It’s for two to four players, and each round lasts 15-20 minutes per player. The artwork is great, and it appears to be a good introduction to the World of Darkness for people who are unfamiliar with the franchise.
Vampire: The Masquerade – The Eternal Struggle – While technically an older card game that was republished in 2018, the game is set to receive a reboot this year. In it, players control Methuselahs (Vampire elders) engaged in a fight of eons against other elders and their descendants. Players attack those on their left, and they have to hold onto their 30 points of influence to win the game.
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