For my fifteenth birthday, I was given $40 to buy myself a present. That present? My Very First Tabletop Roleplaying Book, Litany of the Tribles vol. 1, a sourcebook for White Wolf’s Werewolf: the Apoclaypse game. (Why that book? Well… because they had it in the shop. And I had no idea how RPG books “worked”. Needless to say, my very next purchase was the actual core rule themselves.) To say this game changed my life is probably both hyperbole and an understatement; Liesmith‘s Lain, for example, had his first incarnation as the totem for our W:tA game, which was set in the proto version of Pandemonium City.
I spent pretty much all my teen years playing various versions of White Wolf’s World of Darkness, primarily Werewolf, Vampire, and Changeling. Yeah, the games both have and had issues—even to my un-woke, pre-internet teen self—but I adored them then and still adore them now. To the point that I spent hundreds buying up the various 20th anniversary editions from Onyx Path which, honestly, I thought did a fantastic job of keeping the “old WoD feel”, while simultaneously updating and smoothing out some of the… less great elements that had been present in the originals.
So when I heard about Vampire‘s 5th edition, I was cautiously optimistic. Even if it wasn’t going to be developed by Onyx Path, but rather a new studio under the same name as the original, White Wolf. The New White Wolf, or nWW, if you will. Because the *20 books were great… but they were also kind of “stuck”, in that they were designed very much as updated versions of old material, not new sourcebooks in-and-of-themselves. So to have things like an updated metaplot? Yeah. I could’ve been down for that. (Also, I really want more content for Demon: the Fallen…)
And then? Then I read the initial 5e alpha rules. Y’know. The one that had “Triggered” as a vampire clan weakness.
Oh, nWW, no.
Since then, everything I’ve heard from the nWW has pretty much gotten worse and worse, right up to the current point, where it’s… getting pretty hard to deny that the nWW is throwing 5e straight at the edgelord wannabe fascist alt-right scene. Which… for a game that introduced me to things like class politics, feminism, and queer activism?1 Yeah. 5e can basically fuck right the fuck off, and take its entire fucking dev team with it.
… talk about ruining someone’s childhood. Ugh.
(Also, while I’m on the subject: Why am I suddenly not surprised to learn the nWW is owned by Paradox Interactive? Because, yeah. I enjoyed Stellaris well enough but holy shit that game’s fandom is an alt-right anime Nazi trashfire. Yikes.)
- That Litany of the Tribes vol. 1 really was… formative, let me tell you. [↩]