Revisiting Preloads: World of Darkness

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As we are nearing the end of the year, we continue to work on the features we planned out mid year. This week, we release the first step of our effort to reintroduce preloads, specifically focused on World of Darkness.

RPGpad allows for a wide variety of house rules and variations for our game systems. That means many aspects of a game can be configured to your liking, but it also means some insight is required to properly configure RPGpad. Preloads are a way around this problem, allowing users to select the default settings that fit with their campaign.

The World of Darkness games are particularly notorious in this regards, offering many different variations, and often in a way that they can be played together. Even the base Vampire game has more than five different editions, but once you start adding Werewolves - and their Garou cousins - Wraiths, Mages, Changelings in all their variety and more, things become complicated.

Our original setup supported just one creature type because that was sufficient for most tabletop games, but we quickly found campaigns desiring to combine multiple creature types in one game. We naively presumed that this was mostly a matter of adding special fields for each type, but the problem is a bit more insidious: each sheet is slightly different, with different abilities, different powers (some rated with dots, others designed as trees with many optional branching sub-powers) and even different dice rolling rules.

To support all of this, we added many customized options, but it came at a cost: combining specific creature types required custom handling. The worst part was that it required sacrificing the preloads, as we simply did not have the resources to build custom preloads for every possible combination of different creature types.

So this week we release the first part of a rework of the World of Darkness system which drops some of the presumptions of shared systems between creature types. This overhaul will not affect most character sheets directly, but it will mean certain configuration options will no longer be campaign wide, but by creature type. The huge advantage it gains though is that each creature type will work (mostly) independently. This will in turn allow us to reintroduce preloads, as they are now limited to just one creature type each.

There are still some hurdles to cover, and the update is not done yet, but it will be rolling in over the coming weeks, including a brand new preload system supporting different variations of World of Darkness creatures.

What version of WoD do you play? We’d love to hear from you on our forum. While there, why not check out this weeks changelog for details on this weeks update?