Year Red

This has been a hell of a year.

Back in January, I was trying to get my life together post-CCP. And, it still pains me to say it, post White Wolf. Onyx Path is the old gang, but it’s a very different work environment. Entirely virtual; I can’t just walk down the hall and bug Joe or Eddy anymore.

I was facing the possibility that I was walking away from Vampire.

I put Blood Sorcery to bed and moved to Baltimore. Sorcery was a little bit of a gamble. I persuaded Rich to bring it forward in part so that I could get started on revising the core of the game. The last few years of nWoD releases have been books of options. Extensions. I felt, and Rich felt, that it was time to start looking at the core.

So Sorcery was sort of a test balloon. I put together a team of White Wolf veterans who loved Vampire but hadn’t much worked together. I didn’t tell them at the time, but they were auditioning for the much bigger project we hadn’t announced.

Overall, Blood Sorcery turned out well. It suffered a little bit from having been developed literally during my move. I was working on redlines while burly men were helping me with my furniture. There are a few issues I wish I’d paid a little more attention to, like ritual intervals and casting time.

Nonetheless, it’s a very good book, and taking the top spot on DriveThruRPG for a few weeks was good for my ego, as were the excellent reviews. The discussion on the forums was sometimes critical, but generally upbeat and really useful for plotting our next steps.

My writers had passed their audition with flying colors, and became the starting workgroup for the Strix Chronicle. More on that in a moment, because the next big thing was…

…the announcement of Onyx Path. Onyx is the new home of the World of Darkness, and its debut coincided with the announcement of the most exciting White Wolf schedule in years. It had a big impact for me personally.

The fan energy was amazing, and as I dove into development for the new books, I felt alive like I hadn’t felt in a really long time. Any possibility that I was going to walk away into the sunrise was gone. I am the Vampire developer, and I want to stay that way.

So, the Strix Chronicle. That one didn’t make too much of a splash when the title was revealed. I think a lot of folks just thought “oh, a book of adventures,” and moved on. But it’s so much more than that.

As you know by now, the Strix Chronicle represents the next step forward for Vampire as a game and as a world. And it’s a big step. We’re revising and expanding the setting, bringing the vivid world first glimpsed in the clanbooks to the core game. On top of that, all of the basic vampire mechanics are getting upgraded, as are the Disciplines and Coils. It’s a bold new take on the core.

We’ve been testing many of these revisions in partnership with you. Open development came to Requiem this year — in a big way. We’re putting most of the new Disciplines through a public playtesting cycle, as well as unveiling new abilities like Kindred Senses.

So that’s 2012. What about the new year?

Starting next week, the workgroup becomes the writing team as we begin our first drafts for the Strix Chronicle. The veterans will be joined by some extremely talented newcomers hand-picked from the player community.

In a few months, you get the Strix Anthology, a collection of classic and new stories by some of Vampire’s finest writers.

And the next book after that is the Strix Chronicle itself. The book we’ve called Sexmurder and a variety of other odd names. The overhaul. The next big step for Vampire.

And it’s got a title now.

Blood & Smoke: The Strix Chronicle

It’ll be a hell of a year.

14 thoughts on “Year Red”

  1. Congrats! Glad to hear it’s working out well for you and the product line. I really hope it turns out fantastic. At first I was a little confused, but figured out half-way through that it was Requiem you were talking about, and then it all made more sense. ^.^

  2. Great review! So, so pleased that WW are back in the game (even if it’s under a different name!) You are doing some very cool things.

    Any word on Lost and Forsaken stuff? 🙂

  3. “There are a few issues I wish I’d paid a little more attention to, like ritual intervals and casting time.”

    If you had a second chance; what would you have done differently?

  4. Of interest, my group has added some more female players to the mix and Vampire’s a game they are all enjoying, they have however mentioned a few times that they’ve noticed that the vast majority of the WoD books are written by men. So, I was wondering what the gender break down of the current Vampire team is going to be?

  5. I’m a bit confused here about the exact nature of the Blood & Smoke: The Strix Chronicle. As I understand it will be a rules update with a default setting for Vampire the Requiem. But will it replace the original Vampire the Requiem core rulebook or do I still need it? The name doesn’t imply that it’ll be an entire new edition for Vampire the Requiem.

    Same question could also be asked about coming The God-Machine Chronicle for nWoD.

    • The GMC requires the core rulebook. Blood and Smoke requires the core rulebook, but not the Vampire rulebook. It’ll also be GMC compatible, but we’re looking at ways to package it so that we’re not requiring a lot of extra book purchases.

      I’ll be putting up more playtest and preview material as we roll along.

  6. Sorry if this is just me miss-reading something, but will Blood & Smoke: The Strix Chronicle be providing updated rules for Blood Magic ala Cruac and Thebean Sorcery? Obviously we have seen examples of discipline updates and you mentioned updated Coils as well, but no mention in any of the posts you have made so far on if blood magic will be included.

    Since as you mentioned blood magic was recently updated in the Blood Sorcery book itself. Of course, as you said yourself, the last couple of years of books for Vampire have been about “options”, while B&S:tSC is all about revising the Core of the game.

    I also wonder about this point because of an earlier comment you made to a previous poster, about including some Blood Sorcery addenda on a blog at some point. Which implies a slightly revised version of the more “freeform” blood magic rules in Blood Sorcery will not appear in B&S:tSC.

    Obviously, give the fact that you guys have a page limit, its understandable if you are dropping revising the blood magic aspect. I liked Blood Sorcery and would use it to compliment B&S:tSC in such a case anyway. Just wondering out load really.

    Also, you mentioned back in September (Seeing in the Dark post) that powers previously in the “main body” of the disciplines that have been removed were going to be made into Merits, Devotions and Threnody. Is it still the development teams intention to include Threnody elements? I found them to be my least favourite part of Blood Sorcery, however I would like to see how you might have developed them in a second book.

    As a final point, I am happy that Vampire is getting some attention in regard to its Core. Its always been my favourite game line in the nWoD and as of late (the last 2 years) its annoyed me that it does not measure up (mechanically) with some of the newer nWoD games. Its kinda annoying to have the supposed “Kings of the Night” getting smacked around several other splats on a regular basis in any crossover game or venue. Hopefully B&S:tSC will give Vampire the shot in the arm it needs. Obviously, I understand this is not its intent, but its still nice to see vampire grow.


Leave a Comment