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Old 01-31-2008, 03:59 PM
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Monte Cook's World of Darkness
Being both a rabid D&D 3E fan and a lover of the World of Darkness RPG settings, I plopped down 50 bucks last night for the hefty little hardcover that is Monte Cook's World of Darkness.

For those who don't know, Monte Cook was one of the big guys behind the 3rd edition/d20 rules set. He would also go on to publish "variant" d20 settings and books under his own label Malhavoc press, printed up by the folks at White-Wolf (who do the World of Darkness game books, now owned by CCP.)

His works included huge hits like Arcana Unearthed (and the later Arcana Evolved), The Banewarrens, Chaositech and even his opus: the massively detailed fantasy urban setting of Ptolus. Now, his final book is his complete re-vision of WoD.

What's cool is despite its hefty price (49.99+tax) it's a stand alone product. If you've never played D&D or World of Darkness, it stands on its own and gives the propper information and guidelines. The world is totally different from the World of Darkness settings; yeah, it's still modern, has vampires and werewolves and mages and all that good stuff. But the supernatural only officially existed in this setting approximately one year, and they're of a VERY different nature.

See the setting takes place after a weird catastrophe hits the Central US; essentially these beings of an unknown reality tried to wipe us out but failed. In its wake is the central heartland turned into a weird post apocalyptic nightmarescape...kinda like Hellgate:London, only not global. Chicago and other outside cities that weren't in the direct devestation continue to operate as normal but now with increased supernatural activity.

Spooks are very real in this world, although the general populous and the rest of the world governments aren't really sure what happened. Most believed it was a weird asteroid crash, others think it was something like the Manhattan project gone awry; either case, SOMETHING happened in the middle US and everyone knows unearthly things are coming out of it.

Essentially, those eldritch evils that tried to wipe our reality out are aware that the problem is a particular breed of humans referred to as The Awakened, who subconciously managed to keep reality in tact during the event. There were a few million in the world with these powers, and were not aware until it all happened. So now, said unknown faceless evils are sending in Agents to try to wipe these few people out.

They send in the spirits of evil dead people, making them possess mortals and turning them into Vampires. They also send in the spirits of some strange savage beings from an alternate reality, whom create Werewolves. They also send in Demons to try to fool the populace at large from the truth of the "invasion". And regular mortals feel the draw of their ancient and strange energies, and are lured to its power to become Mages.

The players have an interesting role in this setting: they're one of these supernatural entities or Awakened mortals, generally trying to drive out the forces of these evils (called the Inconnu).

So yes, we have Vampires and Werewolves and Demons turning on their evil creators and trying to save humanity. What I love is: This isn't some Buffy-ism like Angel or something; essentially Vampires are still evil people, just choosing to follow their own agenda then some dark Beings that brought them out of their damned states. Werewolves may become heroes but they're still savage killing machines with a craving for murder. Demons....are demons; they may help humanity but that's probably because they want to rule us themselves instead of wiping us off the map.

The standard settings set things up for the players to be members of a Government agency dedicated to hunting out servants of the Inconnu, but there's plenty of other organizations and agendas if the players don't wanna be Mulders and Scullies (or J's and K's).

It's a helluva read, and I recommend it especially to d20 Modern buffs and regular Horror RPG players alike.
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Old 04-25-2008, 06:30 PM
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Okay how did I never see this thread before. I've been looking for something similar to this to wean my players off simpler d10 systems and provide a decent backdrop. They mostly prefer World of Darkness because it's familiar. I'd like something to mix it up a bit. I'll have to look for a UK stockist.

Thanks Rev.
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Old 04-25-2008, 08:34 PM
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No prob!
Heh, I'll have to link you my campaign ideas once they're all down. After reading through this setting and watching Torchwood Season 1, I felt I had to run something fused of the two :P
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