What Has Gone Before
Part of me wants to talk about the closure of the World of Darkness MMO. It’s not an easy thing to think of — the people working on the MMO were the remaining parts of White Wolf. I have friends among the people who have lost their jobs. I don’t want to trivialise the fact that they must now find new places to work.
At the same time, I do want to note the passing. Papa Chuck must have taught me wrong, though, because I can’t find them. So instead, I’m going to point you to the words of two friends, and two better writers: Chuck Wendig and Aaron Debski-Bowden
I guess I don’t share quite their outlook. I’m heavily involved in writing and developing World of Darkness games for Onyx Path. I’ve got both Werewolf games to my name. I’m working on the system for the new edition of Trinity and Scion (which Onyx Path own outright). I’ve got my name on Vampire books — something I was sure would never happen when I started. We’ve been publishing what people think of as White Wolf tabletop RPGs for a couple of years now and that’s continuing apace.
I think part of why I can’t find the words is that so many of us at Onyx Path are ex-employees and ex-freelancers for White Wolf. From my perspective behind a keyboard in Scotland I’m talking to the same people and writing words for the same game lines — and some new ones — as I was when working for White Wolf. Sure, some of the friends I needed to get through those first books — people like Aaron and Chuck — have gone off to become bestselling writers, but that’s how the world works.
I played White Wolf games as a teenager. One of my first characters was a bitterly sarcastic Corax with long hair and a leather trenchcoat; not so much a character as a prediction of what I would become. I created him for the first edition of Werewolf: The Apocalypse when I got my hands on the Werewolf Players’ Guide. Just recently I dug out his sheet and converted him to the updated rules in Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition and W20: Changing Breeds — the latter being the first book I developed. He’s still the same, though I’d play him differently now.
The key thing, I think, is to note White Wolf’s passing but not to mourn the pale pooch — not as an entity. White Wolf, as a collection of games and worlds, hasn’t died — it’s changed. As the God-Machine Chronicle says:
What rises may fall. What has fallen may rise again.