oWoD / nWoD / *WoD

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Some of you may have noticed how, a few weeks ago, we added experimental New World of Darkness system support, and how a few weeks later it suddenly disappeared again. This post gives some of the reasoning behind that change, and what you can expect form that in the future.

When talking about World of Darkness game systems, there are a few versions to take into account. The “orignal” two versions are Old World of Darkness (oWoD) and New World of Darkness (nWoD) — or, respectively, World of Darkness and Chronicles of Darkness, according to the official branding.

Superficially, oWoD and nWoD has a lot in common: they both use the Storyteller system, they both heavily feature character sheets separated into a neat columns of Attributes and Abilities, and they both use ten-sided dice.

When looked at in detail there are a thousand little things that are just somewhat different between the two systems. What things are you allowed to add to your dice pool, what happens when you do not have an ability required for a roll, how to count a 1 on a die, what exactly constitutes a botch, and so forth. And these are only some dice mechanic-related differences, there’s loads more unrelated to dice.

When you are writing code to a make a computer deal with all these things you have to explicitly take care of every little detail. Every thing that is just a little different needs to be handled a little different.

There are a several ways to cope with this when writing programs, one of them is to “factor out” the things they have in common. This means that we look at the two game systems, and try to see what things are exactly the same between them — by doing so, we can determine what parts we need to build just once for all “World of Darkness” and what parts different are “New” and “Old”.

The original plan we had was to go from just supporting “World of Darkness” (1) to support both “Old World of Darkness” and “New World of Darkness” (2) with a bit of effort. The idea being that we would factor out commonalities and put them up in a shared part.

Of course, as so often happens with plans, the plan did not completely survive contact with reality, and we ended up improving World of Darkness support a lot but in a way that really only benefitted the oWoD side of the new situation.

Because of the plan did not survive contact with reality, we decided to roll with it instead of sticking to the plan. We removed new World of Darkness support for the time being as we continue improving support for Old World of Darkness. The new plan is as follows:

New plan

In the current situation (2), we acknowledge that our “shared” World of Darkness is really just things that help us work on Old World of Darkness. Based on that we will continue with our improvements and polish — further refining the extra fields, upgrading the dice roller to take advantage of the extra fields, etc. — and finally we will take a good long look at the current state of our oWoD support again and compare it the nWoD to make a new shared World of Darkness from which we can then adjust to fully support Old and New.

The goal is to make sure that we support your World of Darkness campaigns, and offer your campaign the best integration between character sheets and the rest of RPGpad we can. This includes house rules and customisation to make sure that RPGpad adjusts to your campaign, instead of your campaign adjusting to RPGpad.

As always, you can view the details of this week’s changes in the changelog. If you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas on how to approach the Old World of Darkness and New World of Darkness split, let us know!