So here we go looking forward into 2008. Before we do, I will need to remind you guys about a few things- first, bear in mind that any of these books mentioned for the beginning of the year are already either in hand, at press or somewhere pretty far along in our process. Second, please understand that even though I’m going to reveal a fair bit of what’s coming up, I’m not spilling all of our release secrets in one fell swoop of a LJ. I need to leave something for Marketing to do after all. And third- I’m not listing every book we’ll be doing in this LJ- it’s a look ahead, not a schedule- so keep your eyes peeled for further news all year long.
Before I talk about the 6th Game, here are some of the cool WoD books coming out this year: we start with Midnight Roads in February. Developed by the always frightening Black Hat Matt McFarland, this book explores the terrors that can be encountered traveling the haunted highways and blood-splattered byways of the World of Darkness. We considered letting Matt rest his ebon chapeau’d head after Roads, but instead asked him to handle a book uniquely well suited to his talents and interests- WoD: Innocents. This is a bit of a different sort of game for us and really came out of the question of “why are so many of the denizens of the WoD so screwed up?” What must it be like to be a child in a world where the monster in the closet and under the bed is real? Matt has not only studied the subject (the real world equivalent at least) but is also a deeply committed parent and so we knew he’d approach the subject in a way guaranteed to provide plenty of seriously terrifying moments but without exploitation. It’s a hard balance to keep and Matt and his writers did it very well indeed. WoD: Innocents is a stand-alone, single volume game where you play children in the WoD- it is not written for children, although it is written broadly enough that a lot of different Chronicles are possible, including ones you could share with your kids. Finally this year for the WoD line is WoD: Dogs of War, which is being developed by Stephen Lea Sheppard who did such a great job with WoD: Armory. It contains all you need to know in order to use the military in your Chronicles, to create characters in the armed forces, and also includes example elite military Units that you can “plug’n’play”.
Which leads us to the 6th Game…But first let me tell you once again about the five Vampire the Requiem Clan Books that are spanning 2008: full color, deluxe soft cover, revealing in great and entertaining detail the secret histories, mysterious legends and powerful luminaries of the clans. Each Clan Book will re-examine the place of the clan in Kindred society and provide new information on the nature of the blood that flows through these “families“. At the end of the year will be a sixth VtR book that is the first in a new kind of book called Night Horrors. These books will pop up in all of the WoD core lines, and will showcase particular kinds of creatures that while based in that particular line can also be used in any WoD Chronicle. We’re still deciding on the exact format (matt wants them to be square) but this one will be in full color like the Clan Books. All six of the 2008 Vampire the Requiem books are designed to provide a wild ride into 2009 and the awesome surprises waiting there. Werewolf the Forsaken begins to ramp back up after the brief hiatus that allowed Ethan to concentrate on Changeling with Tribes of the Moon: a book that is designed to illustrate the primal differences between the Tribes and to provide tons of story hooks and character ideas for each Tribe. Judging by what I’ve read, you should pass the Chupp Test 5 times reading this one. Another WtF book arrives later in the year, but that one gets mentioned further on. Mage the Awakening continues to flesh out its setting with a variety of books intended to provide further details and options for your Chronicles with Banishers, The Grimoire of Grimoires (or book of books- and it’s just what it sounds like: magical books, scrolls, tomes and lexicons and all that goes along with recovering, using, collecting, creating and surviving them), The Silver Ladder and Keys to the Supernal Tarot, a book that reveals how the Tarot can be used both in your Chronicles and with your game-play. Changeling the Lost finishes its Limited Series run in 2008 and hopes are high that we won’t have seen the last of the Lost in 2008.
Even while the 6th Game is being fine-tuned, Exalted continues its master plan of releasing two big “fatsplat” hardcovers a year with softcover books detailing the associated areas relating to them. In 2008 we’re looking at two very different flavors: The Abyssals and the Fair Folk- with softcovers going into detail about Yu-Shan, The Underworld, The East, Ghosts & Demons and finally Scroll of the Lesser Races. Earlier in the year we’ll see The Scroll of Kings and the long anticipated Dreams of the First Age boxed set- filled to the brim with two full books detailing life in the First Age, a “travelogue” style book that walks you through the great city of Meru, a beautiful cloth map of Creation during the First Age and more goodies. But that’s not all for Exalted- check out what’s coming in the board game area below. And of interest to you art lovers out there, Brian Glass has embarked on a pilgrimage to wander the earth seeking new and exciting artists to work on Exalted (OK, he’s just going to conventions all year looking for artists, but the pilgrimage sounded cooler).
Also not about the 6th Game, but Scion has been an awesome hit for us and 2008 starts off with the last of the Scion trilogy, Scion: God, hitting stores. The last you say? Not really- we have more stories to tell with this game line and we start off in early Summer with Scion: Ragnarok. The idea behind this book is to basically take all the rules from the first trilogy and then base a Chronicle using them solely focused on the Norse myth of Ragnarok: the Twilight of the Gods. Obviously, we needed to include more info about the Norse gods and myths and we went ahead and created a whole new group of Norse Scions as pre-made player characters if you want to use them, or you can use any Scions you want- the book contains advice for including Scions from other pantheons. A few months later should see the release of the Scion Companion containing more pantheons, purviews, relics and even some revised throwing rules, I hear.
Although it comes after the 6th Game in the release schedule, the excitement over the EVE RPG here in the office and across the sea at CCP Iceland is immense. It’s been a long time since we did a real science fiction game, nevermind one based in the universe of the #1 science fiction MMO in the world and we’re looking forward to merging the Storytelling System with the dystopian and dark universe of EVE. Russell Bailey has been compiling EVE lore for the past few months and this promises to be not only a compelling and informative adaption of the EVE universe but a real leap forward in paper RPG gaming. The core book comes out in Oct and the following two volumes are a guide to the worlds of EVE- planets and asteroids and stations and who and what are on them- and a multi-part and multi adventure book in the SAS format designed to take beginning characters from start to becoming famous or infamous powers-that-be. These books will be lavishly illustrated in full color, deluxe formats with as many bells and whistles as we can add. Whether you’ve never played the EVE MMO or if you’re the head of a virtual corporation online in the game, there’ll be something for you in these books.
And so, that brings us at last to the 6th Game, which we like to call Hunter the Vigil. What happens when a human being realizes that there truly are things in the shadows that prey on him, his friends and his family? What does it mean for that modern day person and what did it mean to humans throughout history? Some hid, some pretended that nothing was wrong- and others watched, and learned, and waited for their chance to strike back. And some looked for help in all the wrong places, as desperate people often do. The core rulebook for Hunter the Vigil will be released in August, with the five books of its Limited Series coming out one a month for five months. Three of them will be crossover books that focus on the Hunters that deal with a particular one of the Big Three: VtR, WtF and MtA. Another will be a book called Slasher and the last one falls into 2009 so I’m not going to reference it here. Without giving anything away beyond what I already have, Hunter the Vigil breaks a lot of the molds and will shatter a lot of expectations as to what a Hunter game can be while at the same time satisfying those same expectations. How? You’ll see. As helmed by Cheerful Chuck Wendig (o) and as fine a group of writers as we’ve ever had on a project, these books are great reads as well as an amazing game line. In addition, we’ll be publishing a Hunter the Vigil board game in late 2008, and there will be a raft of support products like Quickstarts and SASs.
Which means it’s time to talk about a couple of other divisions within WWPub- first, Eddy Webb’s Alternative Publishing area, which begins to come into its own with new and different PDF/PoD products each and every month.
First, for SASs we’ll be trying to release one a month and if possible tie them to printed releases so that the printed book will have an SAS available to provide a quick way to get started with the material in the book. Currently we have a Midnight Roads, an Innocents, a Dogs of War, at least two Hunter the Vigil and a couple of EVE RPG SASs scheduled. We have SASs for Vampire, Mage and Exalted slated for 2008 as well. We’re going to continue to experiment in this area as well: one experiment we’re going to try is pre-releasing sections/chapters of the Scion Companion as PDFs in monthly installments before its release. Also, we’re attempting to set up the systems internally to make available both PDF as well as softcover PoD versions of our new releases- if we can, we’ll be starting with WoD: Innocents. Finally, we’ll be releasing more PDF/PoD books like Imperfect Lotus that take bonus material for a printed book and make it available in booklet form.
Also rolling along is our Board Games and Cards (BG&C) area that have four board games they’re offering this year. First out is Mike Chaney’s Mwa Ha Ha Ha!, a raucous and wacky game where you play a mad scientist determined to fulfill their evil scheme and- dare I say it?- conquer the world. Or destroy it if they’re so inclined. This game is like nothing we’ve done before, mostly because Mike really lives his characters- if you know what I mean from reading our LJs last year- and is a helluva lot of fun. A few months later will come a new Exalted board game which is a quest-based game of our signature Solars as they work separately or together to defeat rival Exalteds throughout Creation and master epic quests at the five corners of the world. Late Summer will bring the much anticipated EVE board game designed by Petur Thoriarsson, the creator of the EVE CCG, which brings strategy and resource allocation to a massive race to control the most important systems of space. Also, ships fight each other: Pew! Pew! Finally, the aforementioned Hunter the Vigil board game, designed by Ken Cliffe and Petur, will be released a few months after the Hunter RPG. VTES will also be represented this year, with Blood Shadowed Court and new plat mats appearing in early Spring, the Twilight Rebellion tournament deck in late Spring and a big Camarilla-based supplement heading to stores after August.
So that a large part of what we have in store for you all in this coming year- give us a yell and let us know what sounds cool to you-