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
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 two former settings. Being based on 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 RPG provides examples of:
- Animorphism: Werewolves, duh.
- Astral Projection
- Beast Man: Werewolves, again.
- Badass Normal
- 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 (and/or heavy subversion of Beauty Equals Goodness)
- 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
- Body Horror
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe
- Competitive Balance: Between the supernaturals and the awakened humans.
- Cosmic Horror Story
- 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.
- The Dark Side
- Dark World
- 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.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Iconnu.
- The End of the World as We Know It: Adjustable to Game Master desire, no less.
- Enemy Within: The second soul possessing a vampire.
- Enlightenment Superpowers: Mages, awakened humans.
- Evil Feels Good
- Evil Tastes Good: Vampires and blood.
- Eviler than Thou
- 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?
- Final Death:
Possibly Adaptation of the Trope Namer.
- Functional Magic
- Game Face
- Glamour: Many supernaturals can make themselves seem beautiful, trustworthy, desirable and invincible to onlookers.
- Hermetic Magic
- Horror Hunger: Vampires and blood.
- Hybrid Overkill Avoidance: Used to avoid template stacking.
- Hypnotic Eyes
- Immortality Immorality
- Karma Meter
- Killed to Uphold the Masquerade
- The Men in Black Humans fighting the supernaturals usually form part of these.
- Mind Control
- 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
- 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 Bad Ass.
- Point Build System
- Red Right Hand: All of vampire Clan Nosferatu.
- 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.
- Sliding Scale of Turn Realism: Action by Action.
- The Soulless
- Split Personality Takeover: Crossed with Demonic Possession, how vampires operate.
- Stages of Monster Grief: Just about every splat has members who deny, love, hate, or go off the deep end after changing from mere human. Except Demons, who weren't human.
- Super Loser
- Touched by Vorlons / Lovecraftian Superpower: It all depends on the luck of the draw.
- Un Equal Rites
- The Unmasqued World: The book gives you several suggestions on doing this and the possible consequences thereof.
- Urban Fantasy
- The Usual Adversaries: Humans!
- Van Helsing Hate Crimes
- The Wall Around the World: The borders between the physical realm and the spirit worlds.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist
- Wolf Man
- Wolverine Publicity / Spotlight-Stealing Title: Monte Cook's World of Darkness.
- World-Wrecking Wave