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Left World of Darkness for 9 years. I need some help getting back! (Naming confusion)

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  • Left World of Darkness for 9 years. I need some help getting back! (Naming confusion)

    The first roleplaying I ever played was nWoD. We had a blast, tried all the main lines, a few of the off-shots, and it was a hoot! Then I had a systems change for quite a while. Several, actually. I went over to Exalted, then pathfinder, then 3rd edition Exalted, then VERY QUICKLY back to pathfinder. All that took up about 9 years. So now, nearly a decade after I last played World of Darkness, I got into a 2nd edition mage game. And I loved it! Got the new mage core and started to make plans for a campaign of my own. Except... I can’t figure out what books belong where and how useful anything is?

    See, I heard there was this new fangled thing called “chronicles of darkness”. And I thought, “Oh! So there was oWoD, then nWoD, and now there is CofD”. Essentially, I thought we were looking at first, second, and third edition with some unconventional and unnumbered naming conventions. Which, you know, cool! No problem! Now I just had to figure out what books were in the CofD line. And here is where my confusion really started.

    Is CofD just a retroactively renamed nWoD? Because jumping into the wiki, that was the impressions I got. Which, okay, still no problem. All that means is that we have oWoD and CofD. No big! Hell, if we ignore the hassle of renaming an analog medium, being able to call one “World of Darkness” and the other “Chronicles of Darkness” is plain better! They are more distinct from one another and they are also titles that are official instead of fan-made. So we got first edition (WoD), second edition (CofD) and 2nd edition Mage: The Awaken-... Wait, what?

    So, Chronicles of Darkness is nWoD but within nWoD we have 2nd editions of things? So where “Mage: The Ascension” is Mage 1st edition, “Mage: The Awakening” is 2nd edition, then “Mage: The Awakening, 2nd edition” is actually Mage 2.5? Or is that wrong? I can understand that “Signs of Sorcery” is a sourcebook for “Mage: The Awakening, 2nd edition”, meaning it fleshes out Mage 2.5. Does that mean that other Mage books (written for OG “Mage: The Awakening”) aren’t useful anymore? If not, how does the cannon work out? If OG “Mage: The Awakening” is part of CofD and “Mage: The Awakening, 2nd edition” is also part of that, does that mean “Mage: The Awakening” is superseded by “Mage: The Awakening, 2nd edition” but all other Mage sourcebooks that are CofD are still compatible with 2nd edition?

    In short, I have been gone for nearly 10 years, I come back, try to get a grip on things again, and it is not easy for me. So I need some youngsters (or just people who stuck with it) to help me through these naming conventions. Help me with my Awokening, please.

    (I have focused on Mage because it is the most prescient matter, but I actually would prefer to understand how this works for all gamelines).

  • #2
    World of Darkness recently started doing 5th editions with Vampire 5th. Here's the list of games, all with different editions, in WoD:

    Vampire: The Masquerade
    Werewolf: The Apocalypse
    Mage: The Ascension
    Changeling: The Dreaming
    Wraith: The Oblivion
    Hunter: The Reckoning
    Demon: The Fallen
    Mummy: The Resurrection

    Chronicles of Darkness is retroactively the NwoD, and there are 2 editions for most of its gamelines:

    Vampire: The Requiem
    Werewolf: The Forsaken
    Mage: The Awakening
    Changeling: The Lost
    Promethean: The Created
    Hunter: The Vigil
    Geist: The Sin-Eaters
    Mummy: The Curse
    Demon: The Descent
    Beast: The Primordial
    The upcoming Deviant: The Renegades

    The lines in WoD are completely distinct from the lines in CofD, they have nothing to do with each other besides some similar names.

    "Nihhina kalekal-zidu kal masun, kal manudanadu. Nihhina kalekal-zidu nukal shaghu-desasudu — nihhina kalekal-zidu kal innu-desasudu udhkal samm." Arthur Ashe
    Check out my tumblr for Chronicles of Darkness-related musings
    He/him pronouns, please


    • #3
      The confusion is understandable and the story behind it somewhat complicated, but I'll try to explain. Yes, CofD used to be called nWoD, and it is currently in the process of updating all of the splats to second edition. The name changed when a new company purchased the IP for both WoD and CofD (at that point still called nWoD) and decided that it wanted the two brands to be more distinct.

      And they really are different brands. CofD isn't a 2nd edition of WoD, despite using a lot of the same aesthetic, themes and terminology. This isn't a perfect analogy but I would say the relationship is more like DnD to Pathfinder than DnD (4) to DnD (5)

      Right now the lines that aren't updated are Geist (nearly there, basically just waiting on final editing to go to print) Mummy (wrapping up on kickstarter, where a mostly complete version of the text can be found) and Hunter (scheduled for a kickstarter early next year)

      1st edition sourcebooks may or may not still be useful. Some things have changed significantly, some things didn't, or changed in such a way that only minor tweaks are needed. If you're worried about accidentally breaking something by mixing editions you're better off not using them. There isn't much of a 'canon' in CofD, it's designed to be a very toolbox-y system where the books give you a lot of possible answers and you choose which ones are true for your setting


      • #4
        Your mistake is in thinking of the World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness as different editions of the same game: they are not, despite both having been called the "World of Darkness." They're two separate settings, albeit with similar supernatural creatures and themes.

        The two settings and their respective editions:

        World of Darkness
        • Vampire: The Masquerade - 1991: 1st Edition, 1992: 2nd Edition, 1998: Revised Edition, 2011: 20th Anniversary Edition, 2018: 5th Edition
        • Werewolf: The Apocalypse - 1992: 1st Edition, 1994: 2nd Edition, 2000: Revised Edition, 2013: 20th Anniversary Edition
        • Mage: The Ascension - 1993: 1st Edition, 1995: 2nd Edition, 2000: Revised Edition, 2015: 20th Anniversary Edition
        • Wraith: The Oblivion - 1994: 1st Edition, 1996: 2nd Edition, 2003: Orpheus (sort of), 2018: 20th Anniversary Edition
        • Changeling: The Dreaming - 1995: 1st Edition, 1997: 2nd Edition, 2017: 20th Anniversary Edition
        • Hunter: The Reckoning - 1999: 1st Edition (albeit using Revised Edition-era rules)
        • Demon: The Fallen - 2002: 1st Edition (albeit using Revised Edition-era rules)
        Plus various historical lines like Dark Ages, and minor lines like Mummy: The Resurrection.

        Chronicles of Darkness (formerly referred to as the "new World of Darkness")
        • Chronicles of Darkness - 2004: 1st Edition (the "World of Darkness Rulebook"), 2015: 2nd Edition (the "Chronicles of Darkness Rulebook")
        • Vampire: The Requiem - 2004: 1st Edition, 2013: 2nd Edition
        • Werewolf: The Forsaken - 2005: 1st Edition, 2015: 2nd Edition
        • Mage: The Awakening - 2005: 1st Edition, 2016: 2nd Edition
        • Promethean: The Created - 2006: 1st Edition, 2016: 2nd Edition
        • Changeling: The Lost - 2007: 1st Edition, 2019: 2nd Edition
        • Hunter: The Vigil - 2008: 1st Edition. 2nd Edition coming soon
        • Geist: The Sin-Eaters - 2009: 1st Edition. 2nd Edition coming soon
        • Mummy: The Curse - 2013: 1st Edition, 2nd Edition coming soon
        • Demon: The Descent - 2014: 1st Edition (albeit mostly using 2e-era rules)
        • Beast: The Primordial - 2016: 1st Edition (using 2e-era rules)
        • Deviant: The Renegades - 1st Edition coming soon

        Ian A. A. Watson
        Onyx Path Community Manager
        Trinity Continuum Content Lead


        • #5
          Chronicles of Darkness is indeed just a renaming of nWoD, brought about when new owners of the trademarks asked for more of a branding distinction between the two settings. Instead of oWoD and nWoD, you have the World of Darkness and the Chronicles of Darkness.

          In practice, this change kicked in right as the publisher of the nWoD (Onyx Path) was in the middle of updating their Storytelling System and the gamelines using it to a second edition. This means that while Chronicles of Darkness is officially the name that applies to everything having to do with that setting (retroactively including everything from 2004's launch of the nWoD to now), in practice you're going to be hearing people talk about the Chronicles of Darkness as the more recent stuff (mostly second editions, save only for Demon, Beast, and the upcoming Deviant, which have been Chronicles of Darkness from the get-go) and nWoD as the older stuff. So in practice, nWoD and CoD refer to the first and second iterations of that setting.

          I'll also point out that the Chronicles of Darkness has done some reimagining of the setting: the second edition of, say, Mage isn't just a continuation of the first edition but with a few rules tweaks; it makes some subtle but fundamental changes to the game. It's still essentially the same setting; but the changes are kind of like the changes between the carrots editions of Exalted.

          On the other side of this equation, you've got the oWoD. You say you've been gone for nine years; that means that when you left (2010), the oWoD was still dead. But in 2011, White Wolf published a 20th Anniversary edition of Vampire: the Masquerade as a tribute to the game. It was intended as a one-off project; but the response was phenomenal, and the company decided to keep going, producing commemorative editions of Werewolf, Mage, Changeling, and most recently Wraith — all under the increasingly inaccurate “20th Anniversary Edition” name. (Mage: the Ascension was announced shortly before its 20th anniversary, but didn't get published until closer to its 25th anniversary; Changeling and Wraith too even longer, with Wraith talking so long that Changeling got published first.)

          In the meantime, things happened. White Wolf got bought out by CCP Games in an effort to get off of the “publish or die” supplement treadmill. Things fell apart and White Wolf ceased to exist, though one of their number managed to start a new company, Onyx Path, to continue publishing the tabletop gamelines that White Wolf had created. Much more recently, another company, Paradox Interactive bought the White Wolf assets from CCP Games and started up a new White Wolf company, with the intent of publishing a “fifth edition” of the World of Darkness. This is when the rebranding of the nWoD to the Chronicles of Darkness took place.

          So in the World of Darkness, you have up to five editions: the first, (usually) second, and (sometimes) revised editions from the turn of the millennium (1991–2003), the 20th Anniversary Editions published over the last nine years, and the more recent “fifth edition” games — or rather, game: so far, only Vampire has a fifth edition.

          It's also worth noting that V5 has been controversial, as it is a radical departure from much of what has gone before. As well, Onyx Park is still publishing material for its 20th Anniversary Editions; so there's more of a feeling that there's a fork developing, with the 20th Anniversary Editions in one branch and the fifth edition in the other.

          That may just be a feeling, not a reality, mind you; I'm pretty sure that the V20 stuff is pretty much complete. But we are still getting new material for the other WoD20 gamelines (M20 just released its latest supplement, has another two in the pipeline, and will likely be Kick-starting Technocracy Reloaded), and the crew at Onyx Park says that they might still do more WoD20 gamelines though they haven't said for certain, let alone which ones. It may be that they'll wind down their WoD20 lines individually as the WoD5e editions come online; but that's going to take a while.

          It's also worth noting that the new White Wolf is primarily an IP management firm: while it has published a handful of books for its “One World of Darkness” line, it has mostly farmed out the development to other companies: Onyx Path has published the V5 version of Chicago By Night, and Modipheus has recently become the go-to developers of the 5e material.

          So in summary, we have two major settings, each with multiple iterations:

          1e/2e/Revised (White Wolf) 1991–2003
          20th Anniversary (Onyx Path) 2011–now
          5e (Modipheus) 2018–now

          nWoD 1e (White Wolf) 2004–2012
          CoD (Onyx Path) 2013–now
          Last edited by Dataweaver; 12-03-2019, 01:06 AM.


          • #6
   This thread has a list of all CofD books. Hope that helps you.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Jang View Post
              So, Chronicles of Darkness is nWoD but within nWoD we have 2nd editions of things? So where “Mage: The Ascension” is Mage 1st edition, “Mage: The Awakening” is 2nd edition, then “Mage: The Awakening, 2nd edition” is actually Mage 2.5? Or is that wrong?
              That's wrong.

              So, there are two sets of separate roleplaying games both branded World of Darkness. This is confusing.

              The first World of Darkness, or "oWoD" or "cWoD," is the set that has Vampire: the Masquerade, Mage: the Ascension, etc. Within this set of roleplaying games, there have been multiple "editions," or revised rulesets for the same game. So there was VTM First Edition, VTM Second Edition, VTM Revised Edition, VTM 20th Anniversary Edition, and VTM Fifth Edition. Supplements for VTM Fifth Edition are still being developed and released currently.

              The second World of Darkness, or "nWoD" or "CofD," is the set that has Vampire: the Requiem, Mage: the Awakening, etc. It started with the same name as the first set because the first set of games, which had been teasing the end of the world since the beginning, concluded publication in 2004 at the end of Revised Edition, with the new World of Darkness launched as reimagined games to take its place.

              Things got more confusing when new products for the first World of Darkness began being developed again with VTM 20th Anniversary Edition. Things got more confusing still when the second World of Darkness's developers considered developing second edition rulesets for those games, but the owners of the World of Darkness copyright at the time (who were not the people making the products at this point!) ruled that they could not use the phrase "second edition" to describe the updated rules. Things got more confusing still when those owners then sold the copyright to new owners, who approved of using the phrase "second edition," but asked that the second World of Darkness set of games change their name. So now the second World of Darkness became the Chronicles of Darkness, and since it happened around the same time books came out with "second edition" on the label, some people use "nWoD 2e" and "CofD" interchangeably, despite the fact that products using the nWoD 2e ruleset had been released before the namechange!

              The resulting situation as regards Mage: the Awakening:
              Mage: the Awakening is a spiritual successor of sorts to Mage: the Ascension, but they are not the same game and differ in setting and premise a lot. They're not multiple editions of the same game.
              There are two rulesets for Mage: the Awakening: Mage: the Awakening (1e) and Mage: the Awakening Second Edition (2e). The 2e rules are compatible with any other 2e Chronicles of Darkness/new World of Darkness books.
              Whether a given first edition Mage: the Awakening book is compatible with Mage: the Awakening Second Edition is more complicated than "yes" or "no." As a general rule, Second Edition is written under the assumption that the vast majority of setting description and writing introduced in the 1e supplements still applies, but the mechanical gameplay rules that describe what is going on have been reimagined to the point that a lot of mechanical supplement content can no longer be applied as is without a lot of eyeballing and readjustment to fit into the new model.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Live Bait View Post
       This thread has a list of all CofD books. Hope that helps you.
                Woo! So it is used! <3

                2 side notes for Jang, all in-progress things are updated weekly based on MMNs and as this is located in the CofD thread, it only includes nWoD/CofD books.
                I don't include fan-made material (largely speaking) but I try hard to keep it complete to released/planned books. Another user has separate fantastic threads for each line that include those under each sub-thread.

                Frequent Story Teller for the Circle of Five gaming group.


                • #9
                  For your all information - Hunter: The Vigil 2E just got it's Kickstarter - here is our forum discussion on the shared preview material of it.

                  My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
                  LGBT+ through Ages
                  LGBT+ in CoD games