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For questions about games branded “World of Darkness”, including the original “old WoD” or “classic WoD” and the “WoD” reboot by WW/Paradox Interactive/Modiphius. Not for nWoD/CoD questions. See full description for details.

The World of Darkness is an urban-fantasy/horror game setting created by White Wolf Publishing, best known for its flagship game, Vampire: the Masquerade. In the World of Darkness, player characters are typically supernatural creatures who play out secret intrigues while keeping their existence hidden from ordinary people and the enlightened humans who hunt them.

Two different incarnations of the World of Darkness setting were published: one from 1991 until 2004, and the other from 2005 until the present. These are usually referred to as the "old World of Darkness" and the "new World of Darkness," or "oWoD" and "nWoD." In 2011, White Wolf released a 20th anniversary edition of Vampire, followed by the debut in 2012 of Onyx Path Publishing (a company founded and comprised by former White Wolf/CCPna employees), and an initiative to publish new material using the pre-2005 setting. This setting was then known as the "Classic" World of Darkness, or "cWoD."

In 2015, White Wolf Publishing was purchased by Paradox Interactive from ICC and a revival of old World of Darkness was announced. Onyx Path continues to publish, with all previous "new" World of Darkness titles (1e or 2e) retroactively rebranded as Chronicles of Darkness (1e or 2e), to separate the game lines from the new Paradox/White Wolf revival of the World of Darkness line branding.

In 2018, Paradox dissolved its White Wolf unit. Paradox still maintains IP control over the World of Darkness and serves in an advisory capacity, but the production of World of Darkness games has been given over to Modiphius Entertainment.

Original World of Darkness games

Mythic Europe, the setting of Ars Magica, has at various points in its history been considered part of the old World of Darkness. The 5th edition of the game, currently published by Atlas Games, does not acknowledge such a connection.

Editions

Using the reckoning of Paradox/WW, the World of Darkness games have come in five eras, marked by the release of the associated edition of Vampire: the Masquerade:

  • 1st Edition: The softcover releases of the original five games — Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Wraith, and Changeling – and the associated supplements.
  • 2nd Edition: The hardcover releases of those games, for those which got them, and the supplements for those.
  • 3rd Edition: Called "Revised" at the time. Added Hunter and Demon to the list of fully supported lines, and upgraded Mummy.
  • 4th Edition: Largely produced under license by Onyx Path, this was the 20th Anniversary compendium series of books and associated supplements.
  • 5th Edition: The current series, which begins with Vampire the Masquerade (2018) and follows from the events of the bridge product Beckett's Jyhad Diary.

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