White Wolf release new Vampire: The Masquerade game

White Wolf, who are now owned by Paradox, have released a new Vampire: The Masquerade game. Book. Gamebook. A new Vampire gamebook. Ahh, jokes. They’ve launched a pair of new gamebooks set in the World of Darkness, one Vampire: The Masquerade full of conspiracy and a Mage: The Ascension tale that’s, y’know, also full of conspiracy. White Wolf say the launch of these World of Darkness Preludes [official site] “marks the start of [their] emergence as a transmedia entertainment company”, which also sees a new Werewolf: The Apocalypse game on the horizon.

So, the gamebooks! They’re two tales, sold together, introducing players to Vampire and Mage through the eyes and fingers of characters who find themselves dragged into the shadowy world.

Vampire: The Masquerade: We Eat Blood And All Our Friends Are Dead is genuinely the name of the Vampire one, which is written and illustrated by Zak Smith and Sarah Horrocks. Here’s the blurb:

“Told entirely from a mobile messaging perspective, We Eat Blood is a sharp, mature and often terrifying story about your first nights as unwilling predator and prey. Hunted by unknown enemies and driven by an alien hunger, will you sever your ties with the mortal world or try to cling to your former life? Will you join ancient conspiracies, or turn the tables on forces older than the written word? Terrible power lies within your grasp, but there is always a price to pay.”

And a wee trailer:

Mage might be new to folks who know World of Darkness through Vampire, so I’ll briefly explain. It’s about wizards whose magic is powered by their own understanding of the world, who can shape reality but are somewhat limited by the unconscious consensus of the unwizardly population – and reality can kick back hard. So they try to defend (and control) reality by shaping society. It’s been a few years since I dug into a chum’s sourcebooks, but I think that’s about it?

Anyway! The Mage story is written by Karin Tidbeck. Your blurb:

“In Mage The Ascension: Refuge you play a volunteer at a European camp for Syrian refugees, and suddenly you discover that magic is real, you can use it, and you’re in the middle of a secret magical war for the fate of the world. The game lets you experience today’s social and political upheavals while learning that you can shape reality itself through sheer force of belief. Your actions and choices will have profound consequences on the world and people around you. Safety or sacrifice? Let them in or build the wall? The choice is yours.”

And your trailer:

World of Darkness Preludes: Vampire and Mage is out for Windows, Mac, and Linux through Steam for £6.99/9,99€/$9.99.

41 Comments

  1. buenaventura says:

    Perhaps you will review it? I would be interested.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Benratha says:

    Ooooh :-(
    That was cruel Alice.

  3. ColonelFlanders says:

    Not funny. Unsubscribing.

  4. Neurotic says:

    Huh? What did I miss? Why the upset?

    • eliren27 says:

      The headline reads like a new Vampire: The Masquerade game came out, when in fact it is just a game book. And VtM: Bloodlines is basically one of the pillar games of the RPS community, alongside Deus Ex and Bioshock 2. And maybe Dark Souls.

      • BTA says:

        I mean, it’s a video game, not an actual book. An IF game that’s sorta cloning Lifeline (and its sequels and its clones) and acting like it’s an “innovative” new system, but still, a game. I can get why people would be disappointed, of course, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing and games starting to get made at all could be a good sign.

  5. Daoler says:

    You are a terrible person.

  6. RedViv says:

    Uh, that guy? :/

    • theliel says:

      It’s ok! White wolf’s Crack investigators found no evidence of zaks bad behavior including brigadING and sick puppetING.

      link to blog.white-wolf.com

      In unrelated news, some one who is not zak but according to him has been using his computer, has been pretending to be the admin of rpg.net on reddit and defending zak s with copy paste material to zaks own account.

      So yeah, totally legit.

      “he unapologetically drove me to tears in our first minor disagreement” and “he has to not just win, but crush his enemies and drink their tears” -zaks friends character witness posts. That’s what his friends have to say about him, but nuwhite wolf is sure he’s never done anything bad guys.

      • thekelvingreen says:

        This pointless vendetta needs to end.

        • theliel says:

          Indeed. So if people on zaks shit list could stop getting static when he throws a tantrum or gets caught pretending to be someone else that’d be great.

          I’ll settle for not name searching and brigading.

          I’d never have noticed if paradox via nu white wolf hadn’t shoved their “we totes investigated and it turns out he’s a saint” out there.

          There’d not even be much to comment on if they pulled the Hasbro “we like his art, it’s proactive and edgy and he’s always been professional with us” but nope, had to go and be like “he’s never been shit top current and former white wolf and onyx path staff & freelancers, we totally checked all baseless lies”

      • Ialda says:

        If this is the worst you have to say about Zaks, maybe you should consider stopping. The baseless lynching has been going on for years now.

        I know, talented people can get on your nerves sometimes but come on, get a life.

        • Sharky70 says:

          If he had talent, maybe the story would be good, not full of errors, plot holes, and contradictions to V:TM lore.

      • GDorn says:

        I am continually amazed that both sides still seem to believe that anybody outside the pointless, insignificant fiefdom of RPG.net gives a crap about this stupid feud.

        The tabletop RPG community is a fraction of a speck of dust of the larger gaming world, and this petty squabbling is what they waste their time and energy on?

    • J Arcane says:

      Yep. In one stroke, Paradox has successfully unconvinced me of their intentions.

      More lame edgelord white boys who harass people on the internet. That’s TOTALLY what this hobby needs more support for …

      Ugh.

      • theliel says:

        See I assumed by putting Martin in charge they were signaling they wanted to go full edgelord, now theyve just confirmed it.

        • April March says:

          Yeah. Zak isn’t even in my UGH list and he’s pretty talented, so I personally wouldn’t discount the game on that alone. But it’s a matter of tone. The fact that the people in charge of the franchise saw his work and said, “Yes, that’s what we need!” strikes me as… well, yeah, the word ‘edgelord’ might be it.

    • BTA says:

      Oh… I forgot about this dude. Was considering getting this but now… hmm.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Yeah, Zak S has been well known as the biggest piece of shit in the tabletop RPG scene for years, and there’s some pretty stiff competition. He likes to hide behind a liberal facade to pretend that of course he’s not the type of person who would target vulnerable people for harassment.

      Fuck him, and fuck whatever “White Wolf” has become.

  7. malkav11 says:

    Might be interesting. I can’t say licensed fiction is usually all that great, but they had a couple decent things in the WoD fiction line back in the day.

  8. Darth Gangrel says:

    From the Steam page: “Set in modern-day Sweden” Say whaaaaat?! Lol, that’s nice.

    I’ve come to like gamebooks after playing Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf HD Remastered. Today I acquired my second gamebook, A Land Fit For Heroes, although I don’t expect it to be as good as Lone Wolf and I certainly don’t expect that of these VtM/Mage gamebooks.

    I’ll still check them out on youtube to see if they’re worth getting during a sale.

    From the Steam page: “Set in modern-day Sweden” Say whaaaaat?! Sweden! Lol, that’s nice.

    • malkav11 says:

      You should really check out inkle’s stuff – 80 Days and the four Sorcery! books.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        Ever since John praised the Sorcery! books I have had them in mind when considering whether to get more gamebooks. Not so sure I’d like 80 days.

        • GDorn says:

          I’ve played both, and found 80 Days to be the much more accessible, interesting and engaging game. Sorcery! is hampered by the arbitrary need to stay true to the original material, which was okay for the time and medium but now mostly just nostalgia fodder.

  9. aliksy says:

    Ugh, I love Mage but why are they doing stuff for Ascension instead of Awakening 2e? Awakening’s a great system.

    • malkav11 says:

      Because Ascension is better, obv.

      But seriously, way more nostalgia exists for oWoD than nWoD. And personally I like most of the oWoD concepts/setting better myself, especially with Mage. The idea that magic is the mage imposing their own worldview on consensual reality is, to me, a lot more interesting than the more rigid and defined (and conventional) magic of Awakening. I mean, some of Awakening’s mythology sounds kind of cool, but it’s just not what I came to Mage for.

      • aliksy says:

        I guess it’s hard for me to untangle the “battle for consensual reality” from the weaker rules system and weird metaplot stuff. I like ascension’s premise, but I don’t think the rules are as good.

        • malkav11 says:

          I don’t think many people would argue that oWoD’s rules were as good, but a) that’s not particularly relevant to a gamebook (or at least, they usually don’t use the actual RPG’s ruleset), and b) you can always update rules.

          • theliel says:

            The rules betray the premise. The order of Hermes is objectively correct about how the world works. Which is no surprise since Phil is a practicing hermetic.
            There are no rules for actually changing the consensus.

            The pitch is that scientists are deluded, science is just magick. Turns out every other mage is also deluded, their magical paradigm is a lie too. Which is fine if everyone is wrong, but the ooh gets to be 100 % right because the game has an objective reality behind it.

            So you have a game about subjective reality where one faction is genre aware and knows the rules and everyone else is deluded, because everyone else uses the underlying system the same way and there is no mechanism to change the rules.

          • malkav11 says:

            I don’t recall it ever being stated that the Hermetic take was correct, that there was an actual objective reality, or there being any basis for assuming that from the mechanics but it’s been ages and I didn’t read all the supplements so maybe that ended up being how the metaplot rolled? I am almost certain it was never in the corebook(s).

          • theliel says:

            Right. On a computer now and can do this out proper –
            TL:DR – Spheres, Dots (in the forms of ranks, which are repeatable, predictable and determine social status),Avatars, and Linear progression of capabilities are all in character items that were all created by the Order of Hermes that just happen to match the rules of the game. They’re such an objective truth that the anti-magic bad-guy faction obeys the same rules.

            Longer version:
            The game of Mage: the Ascension posits that Reality as the average person interacts with it is governed by The Consensus which is a Paradigm created by the massed power of those who have not yet awakened – the dim sparks of power within every human allow for massive collective power even if individuals are largely incapable of effecting much change.

            The ‘reality war’ is because mages in the past learned how to manipulate the consensus directly instead of indirectly and utilized this knowledge to create The Rational world.

            In theory it is possible to change The Consensus, and doing so in an attempt to bring back magic and realign The Consensus with Objective Reality is the core of Second Edition. Current disconnects are things such as “Humans don’t have souls” (we do) or “Ghost aren’t real” or “Vampires aren’t real” – all of which are provable facts that are out of step with the current Consensus in an attempt to use the power of sleepers to wish away these ‘problems’ and undermine their enemies. The Consensus Paradigm determines what is and is not possible for sleepers as well as what will cause paradox, but cannot effect a reasonably large list of items.

            Consensus has changed throughout history, and is actively being manipulated. It is the source of the conflict.

            ok, a postmodern solphistic RPG utilizing the mage/secret knowledge myth to explore mutable reality. Seems legit.

            Issues –

            There’s 0 rules for consensus, changing it, moving it, doing anything other than suffering from it. Rules about cults effecting local consensus show up just before Revised and never go beyond that. The central conflict of the game has no mechanical representation and worse still is never examined in the fiction layer either. You’re (in some cases literally) told that you are fighting a war but the writers never actually discuss how you’d even fight a war of belief in a game about a war of belief. This is essentially like making a Star Trek game with detailed personal combat rules but nothing for star ships or exploration.

            2 – Characters are supposed to start with a Paragim that locks them into a specific mode of thinking and during their magical discovery understand that paradigm is a lie, removing restrictions and opening up increasing amounts of powers.

            Slowly Mage characters discover that power comes from Their Enlightened Will (Avatar), progresses in clearly delineated Spheres of influence which increase in a proportional and predictable manner and that any effect is possible with the right combination of Spheres and levels within the Spheres.
            Their paradigm being a lie is why effects that should be possible are impossible, and why magic that they are capable of they cannot perform. This is true for every player and NPC faction with the exception of the Order of Hermes.

            The unraveling of mystery for the hermetics leads them to discover that the world, and by ‘world’ I mean ‘the rules’, work exactly as their masters in the game world have posited including that magick flows from an Enlightened Will channeled through an Avatar (The Hermetics even have spells that kill Avatars rendering one a normal human), magickal capability is measured in clearly deliniated Spheres of influence that progress in predictable, repeatable steps and that any effect is possible with the right combination Spheres and levels within the Spheres and that a mage is only limited by their rating in each Sphere.

            You may recognize this as The Magic(k) Chapter of the corebook.

            This wouldn’t be a problem except that the factions are organized by paradigm. That means literally every other faction are deluded chumps.

            Mage: the Ascension has the same problem as Vampire: the Masquerade – they have a faction that is objectively correct.

            Vampire has the Sabbat – The antediluvians are real, every vampire is a descendant of Caine, he is real, they are going to wake up and eat everyone, and vampiric politics are centered around re-ordering the buffet so that your ancestors are full by the time they get to you or eating them before they can eat you.

            The Order of Hermes is objectively correct in that there are underlying aspects of reality that cannot be changed, avatars are the source of magical power, Spheres & dots in them exist and are measurable, etc.

            The actual rules paradigm for using player powers is literally the Order of Hermes paradigm. The only thing they have wrong is that you don’t need magical implements, only the will & an Awakened Avatar.

            In a game about postmodern subjective reality that’s a direct betrayal of the premise of the game.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gnarl says:

            @theliel

            I would say that rules for changing Consensus are a fairly late game need – surviving and fighting the other factions are more relevant for most of a Mage Chronicle. And in depth rules wouldn’t really fit with the fairly trad-with-loose-magic-bits oWoD rules, so you can just take some of the Sanctum stuff over and it would be fine, or just GM fiat it. My wife vaguely remembers there being rules for magicing in places of more friendly populations, like a Celestial Choristor in the Vatican somewhere, aswell.

            As for the Hermetic thing, most Traditions accept the forcing change upon the world with your will as a high truth, and the sphere’s work as they do, the Arete progression and basically the magic chapter is right. They just tend to have different slants on it, because knowing that’s roughly how it works doesn’t really help in actually doing magic, or help in coming to the true understanding of it (represented by your Arete – if it’s at the lowest level you don’t actually believe it’s just your will doin’ stuff, you have another Paradigm even if you don’t admit it).

            Hermetics sell that they came up with it, and they’ve pushed their terminology on everyone, but that’s mostly their propaganda and rigid control of their members (tehe). A problem they often have in their progression is their overconfidence in their knowledge, and they often can’t push at the limits of their spheres as well as other Traditions because they know the Spheres do This and only This. In the end the Storyteller can run it lots of different ways, and a good one would probably emphasise the equality of approach. The main books have always been fairly vague on a lot of the practicalities of magic (eg what a dot level in Sphere can do is highly debatable – I’ve seen many of the debates), and the other books I’ve always looked on as unreliable narrators, as they’ve often disagreed.

            And the Sabbat might be right if the Storyteller runs it that way. Some of endings in the Gehenna book outright disagree.

  10. April March says:

    My thoughts about the Refugee game are torn between “oh, a game set in a refugee camp, that’s pretty ballsy” and the exact same thought, but in a high-pitched mocking tone.

    • J Arcane says:

      Unfortunately, that about sums up a lot of the attempts at social commentary in the old World of Darkness games so … yeah.

      I guess in exchange for maybe getting back rip-and-tear style Werewolves, we also get the utterly sophomoric “hot takes” of someone with the sociopolitical awareness of an American middle school dropout with a Rage Against the Machine patch on his backpack.

      • theliel says:

        I got about two weeks of posts deleted on the Paradox forums for pointing that out. It was categorized as ‘trolling’ – they blasted the thread back to 1/24.

        NuWhite Wolf wants to be the White Wolf that did Wraith: Shoa or Dharma Book: Devil Tigers but is clearly going to be the White Wolf that did Montreal by Night, Isle of the Mighty and World of Darkness: Gypsies.

  11. Hieronymusgoa says:

    The Mage game (didn’t play the Vampire one so far) is very well done. It has the feel of the World of Darkness and touches on all important topics regarding an introduction into that world (the Mage-part) without too much special vocabulary for newcomers. However it is too short for the price, but I will pay anything for WoD-nostalgia :)

  12. Danbanan says:

    I live in Malmö and i have been to almost all the places in the game.
    The illegal clubs on norra grängesbergsgatan with the illegal clubs, where you have to join the club to get in so they can sidestep the alcohol laws. It usually a run down placed with bad ventilation, indoor smoking(which is banned in regular clubs), surly old yugoslavs, smuggled german beer and usually pretty good music and a nice crowd.
    Galatea’s meadow where they step sideways inside the hedges is a super nice place, go there if you visit Malmö in the summer and you want to relax in a quiet fairytale place. link to upload.wikimedia.org Go into the passage between the hedges the step right or left into the hedge and you will maybe be somewhere else?

    Haven’t been to one of the wood raves that also happen i nthe sotry but they were popular at one time but they gave up on it since the police always raided them(apparently drugs were sold there, who would have a thunk it).
    The refuge “crisis” is exaggerated of course, it is the world of darkness after all. In reality we had a few weeks when the unprepared local government where catching up and lots of people in Malmö volunteered and pitched in to help the refugees. Which doesn’t sound very world of darkness at all. Then again there are the sverigedemokraterna who are basically far right racists posing as socialdemocrats which is very world of darkness.

    Good game though :)

  13. ErikMalkavian says:

    I am buying this right now. Been waiting for a new Vampire the Masquerade game for the LONGEST TIME and very glad to support Two of my favorite developers, White Wolf and Paradox

  14. ErikMalkavian says:

    Won’t be buying because of what I am reading about this Zak Smith..seems pretty despicable. Can’t Wait for a Vampire the Masquerade:Bloodlines 2 (And I will be playing the New Werewolf: the Apocalypse on release)

  15. Sharky70 says:

    Don’t bother, they’re garbage.