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White Wolf has published a variety of product lines. Each product line has multiple editions. Do the editions of various games line up intuitively?

For example, I have a smattering of books from both Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Wraith: The Oblivion. Both games have a first edition, second edition, and 20th anniversary edition (Werewolf additionally has a Revised edition that does not seem to correspond to anything in Wraith).

In other games with which I'm familiar the editions would line up nicely. For example, in Dungeons & Dragons there are Ravenloft books for 2nd edition D&D and 5th edition D&D. There are also Planescape books for 2nd edition. The Planescape 2e and Ravenloft 2e books are in some sense "related" because they refer to the same rule set.

Is this true for White Wolf products? I'm confused because the periods in which they are published don't overlap. Werewolf 1e was published between 1992 - 1993, while Wraith 1e was published in 1994 - 1995. Second edition Werewolf started in 1994, but second edition Wraith started in 1996.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Wraith was thrown out and replaced by Demon by the time Revised came around. \$\endgroup\$ – Trish Jun 3 at 7:59
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Sort of, within product lines, but not in any reliable way.

White Wolf released a variety of core games organized around a common setting and metaplot, along with splats to fill in more details for specific in-game groups, settings, and events. The release schedule was largely focused on releasing new games at intervals (such as Werewolf: the Apocalypse core rulebook being released after the Vampire: the Masquerade) which were intended to occupy the same game universe but allow different play experiences for different types of supernatural creatures.

This release schedule made for some awkwardness, as VtM already had some information on werewolves, ghosts, and other creatures (so that they could be used in a VtM game), which did not necessarily match up with material in WtA, WtO, and other games when they were released.

The Storyteller system itself also underwent a major revision between 1st edition and 2nd edition products, with much of the 1st edition material and rules becoming irrelevant. Some of the 1st edition rulebooks include references to Mind's Eye Theater (MET), and this is a good sign that you will have difficulty seamlessly combining that information with later-edition releases.

For rules, game mechanics, and lore, the most important division in White Wolf products is between the "old" World of Darkness (often abbreviated historically as oWoD) and the "new" World of Darkness (often abbreviated historically as nWoD). To deal with this confusing naming, the "new" World of Darkness product lines have been renamed to Chronicles of Darkness. There is little to no connection between these two product lines, though some fan conversion guides make it possible to port content from one to the other.

In general, you can assume intended continuity within a product line regardless of edition (with an uneven exception for 1st edition titles in the oWoD line, particularly for Vampire: the Masquerade). Many discrepancies still exist, but the intent was not a D&D style multiverse in which all settings sort of coexist at once.


The metaplot spans editions but doesn't provide great continuity

The old World of Darkness has a massive, overarching plot which spans all oWoD products alike. It is sprawling and difficult to document well. White Wolf also made minimal efforts to keep that information clearly sorted out or consistent, typically with an explanation that the World of Darkness setting is rife with misinformation and so it is very difficult to know what information is true or untrue.

So information which is explicitly contradicted by a later edition isn't necessarily out of date, untrue, overwritten, or retconned.

They're the same setting and core game system (a d10 game with common Abilities, Skills, Backgrounds, and so on). But it's like buying a jigsaw puzzle with pieces from multiple puzzles in the box and none of them complete-- it's one product, all marketed together intentionally, but it's going to be hard to make all the pieces fit together at once.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is the superlative answer. I would also add that the lore given in each oWoD game is given from the perspective of the majority of the characters in that game. For example, the Umbra works a bit differently for mages and werewolves. Vampires, werewolves, mages, hunters, etc will all have different perspectives on each other. Mages of different traditions are able to perform their magic with different methods grounded in differing beliefs, yet the magic still occurs. In the same way characters from each of the games are able to do what they do regardless of their beliefs or known lore. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubellite Fae Jun 2 at 4:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a good answer. I would only add that the Onyx Path 20th Anniversary editions make a good attempt at making the backstory and setting for the five core original World of Darkness games – Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Changling and Wraith – fit together. However, you still need to do a lot of tweaking and adapting rules if you want a Vampire vampire to appear in a Werewolf game, let alone a changling, wraith or mage. \$\endgroup\$ – Richard Cosgrove Jun 2 at 10:44
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It's better to think of the different splats as different games, sharing the same setting and rules structure. D&D doesn't have a joint setting, just setting books, which means the game itself is the core book and then the setting books are supplements. WoD is its setting, which means each splatbook is the corebook for that game, and supplements would be things like the faction books or city books or similar.

So Werewolf Revised is the revised edition for the werewolf game. Vampire revised is the revised edition for the vampire game, and so on. They're not supplements to a joint game, they're their own games sharing a setting and based of the same general rules (with lots of individual differences)

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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with this answer in general. But it’s incorrectly using the term “splat”. Werewolf and Wraith are both games, and books that supplement those games are the splats. See: Origin of the term “Splat Book” \$\endgroup\$ – Dana Jun 1 at 15:16

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