I never got to play in the World of Darkness in its prime.

I didn’t know much about it back in its hay-day. I knew about Vampire, in so much that Vampire: The Masquerade was about Vampires that hated themselves, or something. I didn’t have too firm a grasp and relied on stereotypes to fill in any gaps in my understanding. I knew they had some sort of political system in there, called the camisole or whatever, but that game sounded stupid to me when I was 13 years old. Those misconceptions stayed with me until I started playing Hunter: The Reckoning.

For those that don’t know: Hunter: The Reckoning is a game set in the World of Darkness, just like Vampire and Mage. Players assume the role of the Imbued: Normal, everyday people who are made aware of the supernatural, and find ways to deal with it. Some go in with guns blazing / axe swinging, others try to redeem the supernaturals, and others try to see the bigger picture at hand (this is a broad way of selling the game, the imbued are more varied then I make them out to be). Hunter stories tend to be very personal, and while Hunters themselves have a a few tricks they can pull (called “Edges”) to aid them in the fight against the supernatural, they’ve very vulnerable, and characters are likely to die sooner rather than later.

After our Hunter game wrapped up (we managed to last for 2 and a half years, which is pretty wild), I started digging around, learning more about the setting I just went through, and holy crap, that rabbit hole goes deep.

I read up on Mage: The Ascension and the whole struggle between the loose council of magic traditions struggling to keep magic and inspiration itself alive against the onslaught of the Technocracy, a group trying to redefine reality itself to its own monolithic vision. I found out about all the vampires and the masquerade (the act of hiding from the humans, so as to not to reveal the existence and thus endangering them), And about the Changelings,  ” fae souls reborn into human bodies, a practice begun by the fae to protect themselves as magic vanished from the world.” (Thanks wikipedia, for phrasing it better than me). And this isn’t even a third of the whole spectrum that was the World of Darkness.

I was floored. I missed out on all that? I would have eaten those games up had I ever gotten the chance. There was so much written for that setting, and it made me look at how I ran my games and how I write my setting (World of Darkness games are written in a very conversational tone).

Unfortunately, that ship has sailed. The setting I like has been discontinued, and in it’s place is the “New World of Darkness”, this time without a metaplot for each gameline and major differences between the original games and their newer counter-parts (I’m looking at you, Mage the Awakening). The setting is still Gothic-Punk, but it’s not exactly the same. It’s a good system and setting, but I find it missing that magic that the Old World of Darkness had. Added to this problem is that I don’t know of any storytellers in the area who are running either system, and I also can’t really get into playing RPGs over IRC or via forums.

There’s probably a good chance that I’ll never get to check out any other World of Darkness games, Old or New World, which kind of sucks, but that’s the way things go sometimes.

What about you guys? Any games that you wish you could have played in or run that you can’t now?

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