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When it was announced that Monte Cook was teaming up with White Wolf to publish a 'new look' reinvention of the World of Darkness I was really fired up about the idea. I alwasy like seeing 'alternative' looks into familiar things and the whole 'What If?' angle.

I also thought it would be a nice product that would hopefully breathe a bit of life into the genre with something fresh and interesting.

In short, I was sold. I haven't brought (and kept) a WW product since they wrapped up the old World of Darkness setting several years ago (I started to buy the new stuff and then sold it all and stopped because if I ever run or play Vampire again it'll be using the old setting as I know it inside out). This was a chance to reinvigorate my passion!

But today the coffin has been firmly renailed shut.

Monte Cook's World of Darkness is apparently going to be a d20/OGL product!!!

WTF?

Who in their right minds at White Wolf thought that was going to be a good idea???

d20 World of Darkness? The d20 market is dying a very big death. Sales of d20 products have pretty come to a standstill outside a few core companies and (apparently) the PDF industry. The bulk of World of Darkness fans aren't interested in d20 and the bulk of d20 fans aren't interested in the Wold of Darkness...Especially an 'alternative' WoD setting! Maybe if they'd done a core WoD setting book it may have attract some people.

I've been doing a starw poll with customers (and staff) in the shop today since I learnt of the d20 angle and we haven't had one person who thinks this is a good idea.

I hope I'm wrong but this has really annoyed me.

I know some of the guys and gals from White Wolf read this Blog so if you are reading this please can you let me know the thinking behind this move?

Alternative setting - good/brilliant idea!
Using d20 and not the Storyteller system - terrible idea and probably about 4 years too late!

Comments

( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
d_floorlandmine
Jun. 11th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC)
Sounds dumb to me, too! [grin]
sack_boy
Jun. 11th, 2007 03:51 pm (UTC)
The D20 system was probably the best to ever happen to the mess of rules known as AD&D 2nd edition. But D20ing up something to jump on a bandwagon is a BAD™ idea.

Different games have different game mechanics systems for a reason, as each fits the style of the game. There are different approaches to character development; one of them is level based, another of them is skill improvement. WoD is quite categorically not level based, D20 can't work for WoD without WoD radically changing.
replicantlizard
Jun. 11th, 2007 04:03 pm (UTC)
well, I haven't picked up dice for as long as I care to remember - but clearly the D20 is an unecessary tool - but how I would mourn its loss from the gaming world - so many sides (twenty to be exact) - so lovely in form *sniff* Maybe White Wolf are suffering from a nostalgia trip?! - Robert
bob_goat
Jun. 11th, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC)
I am guessing the idea behind this is to sell the book on Monte's name. I mean he is the D20 guy right... But I keep thinking of Cthulhu D20. Very cool implementation of the two (which Monte did I believe) but went nowhere.
angusabranson
Jun. 11th, 2007 04:12 pm (UTC)
...and d20 Fading Suns, d20 Deadlands, Swashbuckling Adventures (d20 7th Sea), Rokugan (d20 Legend of the Five Rings), d20 Adventure/Trinity/Aberrant all had medicore success and that was at the height of d20.

d20 Traveller seems to do pretty well though...
(no subject) - bob_goat - Jun. 11th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
freeport_pirate
Jun. 11th, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
While d20 is dying an ugly death, Monte is more or less a brand by himself.
angusabranson
Jun. 11th, 2007 04:14 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but how important is Monte to World of Darkness fans?

Monte as a d20 entity is certain, and I'm sure some d20 players will pick the book up because of him. But the bulk of the WoD fans who may have been interested in this book are probably going to be put off because of the d20 angle.

It's certainly a risky venture and whilst WW have been reprieved because of their sale to CCP last year I would have thought they wouldn't have taken the risk and would have played to the Storyteller System market over a d20 one.
(Deleted comment)
angusabranson
Jun. 11th, 2007 04:28 pm (UTC)
Re: NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
They're not replacing the Storyteller System for the core products. This book is a one-off stand alone book which 'reimagines' the World of Darkness if Monte Cook had designed the setting as opposed to the WW crew behind Requiem.

WW are sticking to the Storyteller system for all the other WoD and Exalted, etc, products.
Re: NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! - sack_boy - Jun. 11th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
_grimtales_
Jun. 11th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
I think I hear RPGpundit exploding with joy and schadenfreuder...
cazmonster
Jun. 11th, 2007 05:16 pm (UTC)
This... I do not like
I know the folks in house Shadowrun are already certain that d20 gives you cancer.

I can only think that most hardcore World of Dimness folks feel the same way.
melanikus
Jun. 11th, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC)
I really enjoy my D20 games and I really enjoy my WoD games, but mixing the two is just wrong.

D20 works for certain settings, but it is not a generic system. Trying to D20ize WoD just won't work. The feel of the setting is not geared to the D20 ruleset.

Ugh. Just, NO!
nesf
Jun. 11th, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
I completely agree about this probably being about 4 years too late. Still, I'll wait till I see the implementation before casting judgement upon it (D20 isn't always bad).

That said, I'd actually appreciate an alternative WoD. The present one does absolutely nothing for me. Though I agree that the old system needed a spring clean of sorts.
borrgette
Jun. 11th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
D20 or D20 Modern? At least modern does have a far less intrusive class system than straight D20 and while I have issues with either system the modern system could actually work if they worked it into WoD style.

Of Course I won't know 'cause I'm not going to buy it! :)
eryx_uk
Jun. 11th, 2007 09:21 pm (UTC)
I'm not a fan of Monte Cook at the best of times. He always seems like he's up his own backside to me. So when I read a week ago that this was going to be D20 I rolled my eyes and ignored it. What a waste of time.

I'd rather WW continued with their excellent nWoD stuff rather than try to showhorn it into D20.
zenmeisterin
Jun. 11th, 2007 10:02 pm (UTC)
Yick. While I don't like the new stuff WW is doing, d20 has got to be the worst way of doing it. I think I will weep into my drink if I hear someone talking about their '9th level ventrue noble'.
(Deleted comment)
mr_rakshasa
Jun. 12th, 2007 08:23 am (UTC)
There are still gamers on the street?
(no subject) - angusabranson - Jun. 12th, 2007 08:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mr_rakshasa - Jun. 12th, 2007 09:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angusabranson - Jun. 12th, 2007 09:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mr_rakshasa - Jun. 12th, 2007 10:47 am (UTC) - Expand
mr_rakshasa
Jun. 12th, 2007 08:28 am (UTC)
I'm not 100% sure either way. I gather the d20 boost kept 7th Sea in books for quite a while longer than it would have managed without it, but I also gather that this will not be an issue for WoD.
It worries me for some reason that Monte Cook can be considered a "brand" - I thought that the RPG industry wasn't that much about the notion of celebrity. Sure it has been, but these aren't the 90s anymore and I'm not sure that it is these days.
I guess the thing is that it will be a different game, and it will be a horror game for the d20 system - something definitive and unique. I mean, there are horror supplements and there's d20 Cthulhu, but WoD is essentially a horror superhero world and that's a million miles away in terms of gaming experience from the fey lillies of the average Cthulhu party. You can be a dude who gets the vapours on seeing a scary book, or you can be an immortal vampire who can lift cars and punch other vampires in half. DUDE!
I can see it would appeal to d20 players.
angusabranson
Jun. 12th, 2007 08:39 am (UTC)
The cult of personality still sells. Look at Robin Laws, or Ken Hite, or Greg Stolze for example. All have a loyal fan base that will pick up any book they've touched.

I don't think this is a bad thing. Everyone has favourite authors, actors, bands - why not game designers! This industry gives so little back in the way of rewards in the first place that a nice ego massage can by good on occasion. As long as those being massaged remember that this is still a very little pond and not 'the real world' :p

**I gather the d20 boost kept 7th Sea in books for quite a while longer than it would have managed without it**

See this surprises me as we saw sales of Swashbuckling Adventures books plummet compared to the sales we were getting for 7th Sea branded books. Certainly all the customers I knew at the time were upset because of the rebrand to d20 and also what they conceived as a 'dumbing down' of the game to try and make it appeal to the more mainstream D&D gamer (something that was always unlikely to happen).

Moving 7th Sea to Swashbuckling Adventures. imho, speeded up it's demise as fan loyalty ebbed away.
(no subject) - angusabranson - Jun. 12th, 2007 08:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mr_rakshasa - Jun. 12th, 2007 09:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mr_rakshasa - Jun. 12th, 2007 09:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angusabranson - Jun. 12th, 2007 09:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mytholder - Jun. 12th, 2007 10:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angusabranson - Jun. 12th, 2007 11:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mr_rakshasa - Jun. 12th, 2007 11:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angusabranson - Jun. 12th, 2007 11:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mr_rakshasa - Jun. 12th, 2007 12:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )

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