Tabletop Game / Monte Cook's World of Darkness

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The end of the world? No, it's just the beginning.

Monte Cook's World of Darkness is a Tabletop RPG set in a world much like our own, albeit with one not-so-small difference. Thanks to the intrusion of an Eldritch Abomination, the fabric of reality has been weakened. However, the intrusion was (mostly) halted thanks to the collective resistance of a few thousand minds. In the wake of this initial failure, the entity has created various brands of horrors, monsters, and supernatural phenomena around the world. This Cosy Catastrophe is nonetheless subject to a Masquerade as the world is only dimly aware of the true nature and repercussions of the event that devastated a large chunk of the US. In this world, shadows run deeper, mysteries exist in every corner, and humanity is not quite the master of the world or its fate.

Humans share the Earth with various supernatural creepy crawlies that prey on them like cattle, use them as pawns, and kill them when convenient (or at whim). In an interesting tightrope walk, individual humans have little power, but the minds of those who resisted the intrusion gained various powers that they use to fight the influence of the entity and its unwitting and willing servants.

Much like the Old World of Darkness and the New World of Darkness, in this setting there are several supernatural creatures, albeit here they all share the same Mass Super-Empowering Event and have a shared cosmology rather than the sometimes conflicting backgrounds and Fantasy Kitchen Sink of the original setting. Utilizing the d20 System, it allows for a good deal of customization with other supplements and materials outside the World of Darkness. This conversion of White Wolf's Point Build System into a Class and Level System also allows a way of porting some WoD concepts and mechanics into other games.


This role-playing game provides examples of:

  • After the End: Anything set in Minneapolis, the largest inhabited area in the Annihilation Zone.
  • Apocalypse How: Focused metaphysical annihilation at the Conflagration, surrounded by regional societal collapse, for a net effect of global societal disruption.
  • Astral Projection: Vampires and mages can both learn this trick.
  • Badass Normal: The Awakened are regular humans who just so happen to be really, really competent.
  • Barrier Maiden: Every human mind that helped push back the Eldritch Abomination. It's now actively pursuing the murder of each and every such human to weaken the resistance enough to enter for good.
  • The Beautiful Elite: True to the World of Darkness, some vampires try to be this, particularly the Daeva.
  • Becoming the Costume: All of the costumes at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis function this way.
  • Blessed with Suck: It is not fun to be a supernatural being in the Monte Cook's WOD. Vampires are humans who've had the soul of a murderer put in them, for example.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The Iconnu don't have any conception of human morality.
  • Body Horror: The Nightmare Wave has some pretty nasty effects on regular life that's exposed to it. Demons, being made of Nightmare, are walking Brown Notes in their true forms.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Reality continues to be real because enough people expect it to be. The servants of the Iconnu want the clapping to stop.
  • Competitive Balance: Between the supernaturals and the awakened humans.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Nobody knows what the Iconnu are, how they do what they do, or even if they're aware of life on Earth — and there is no way to take the fight to them.
  • Crapsack World: Not quite as bad as the other gamelines, but the good guys are still badly outnumbered, and there's still that Eldritch Abomination trying to crack the wall of humaniy.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Quite a few people have literal Curses affecting them. Some turn out to be quite useful though.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Player Character and NPC vampires, werewolves, and mages can potentially be a Defector from Decadence.
  • Dark World: Right there in the title.
  • Deal with the Devil: Demons are happy to provide. Unusually, mortals don't actually forfeit their souls, although they might believe themselves to be.
  • Demonic Possession: Vampires. Although the human may be Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth, leading to Fighting from the Inside and the human taking the driver's seat, and given how the "demon" in question is a human ghost, there's no particular reason why they won't decide to side with their living brethren.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: A lot of the supernatural splats who fight the Iconnu do so because they need the world to exist to enjoy their particular brands of fun.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: Depending on the game, you're sometimes left wondering "okay, how the hell can they cover that up?"
  • Fantastic Fragility: Most supernaturals can get all the new powers they want, and more cheaply and quickly than working honestly would bring... at the downside of getting loaded down with (usually permanent) potentially crippling weaknesses. Have we mentioned being a supernatural is Blessed with Suck?
  • Game Face: Vampires can do this. Werewolves and demons have game bodies.
  • Glamour: Many supernaturals can make themselves seem beautiful, trustworthy, desirable and invincible to onlookers.
  • Hermetic Magic: One way that mages can do their thing, thanks to the Nightmare Wave. It aids the mage in concentration but isn't intrinsically magical.
  • Historical-Domain Character: With the soul of an evil dead person animating each vampire, this crops up. One of the characters is hosting the Marquis de Sade.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: The servants of the Iconnu do not want the world to know what is threatening it, or how important the Awakened are to it.
  • The Men in Black: Humans fighting the supernaturals usually form part of these. In particular, the Intrusion Defense Agency.
  • Mind Control: Every supernatural group gets this to a greater or lesser degree.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Potentially any and every player and character.
  • Mundane Utility: Mage powers are quite flexible.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Demons are alien spirits from another dimension that inhabit non-living matter and take on a hideous form, which they can alter. Normal humans who see a demon's true form become terrified.
  • Our Souls Are Different: They can be stuffed into new bodies, fused with primal spirits, and tapped for power by demons.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires are human bodies possessed by the ghosts of sinners. The type of sin tends to determine the "clan" of vampire.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Werewolves are humans sharing a body with a bestial, primordial spirit. Possession tends to turn even the most milquetoast of hosts into a snarling badass.
  • Red Right Hand: All of vampire Clan Nosferatu. Mages that identify very closely with their Path can gain these as well, which can cause problems for a Warlock who starts to look like a Big Red Devil.
  • Romanticized Abuse: Common in the relation between vampires and their ghouls, among other things. Their body-sculpting powers them to reshape victims into house furniture, while keeping them alive and aware of their condition.
  • Unequal Rites: Mages' powers are by far the most versatile of all the splats.
  • The Unfettered: Demons, thanks to being completely alien to human morality.
  • The Unmasqued World: The book gives you several suggestions on doing this and the possible consequences thereof.
  • Urban Fantasy: The result of the Nightmare Wave making the normal world a bit... unreliable.

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