These are your roots: Kickstarter for Deluxe “Werewolf the Apocalypse” 20th Anniversary Edition

A. Quinton — Oct. 3rd 2012

Before the emails about this thing started arriving in my inbox yesterday, I hadn’t thought of Werewolf: the Apocalypse in years. I rolled my last dice in that system during the spring of 1998, and at the time, I didn’t actually miss it much. My group of gaming friends moved on to a weird hybrid of Rifts and Rolemaster that resulted in me getting less sleep and more C’s than I would have liked during my final year of high school. But I kept my WtA book and leafed through it occasionally, enjoying the artwork and the florid-yet-melancholy world described within. I don’t know where that book is now – probably sold to help pay for rent during my dipshit years – but my interest in the game and its universe has suddenly been renewed by news of a Kickstarter to help fund the creation of a Deluxe “Werewolf the Apocalypse” 20th Anniversary Edition.

The goal is to fund the creation of “a deluxe hardcover edition that stands proudly on its own as an amazing volume, or with Vampire the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition.” This volume, referred to as “the W20”, is planned as a black leatherette hardcover with “an inset disk on the spine featuring the W20 round symbol, with 520+ full color, silver-edged, interior pages, and a red silk ribbon bookmark.” Naturally, the cover will feature the classic Werewolf claw marks, die-cut right through the cover material.

Contributors will receive perks that range from a listing of their name on the thank-you page of the book, to the book itself, to an Ultra Deluxe W20 Heavy Metal Edition – a version of the book with an actual metal slab in the cover, bearing punched-out claw marks. In between (and beyond) these tiers are a treasure trove of PDFs, artwork, wallpapers and even a chance to have WtA “showrunner” Ethan Skemp GM a game for you and your friends over Skype.

As of this post, only two days after its start, the project has been 138% funded with contributions totalling nearly $120,000. Both of its stretch goals have already been met, too: all backers will also receive a Making of the Art of W20 PDF “that details via sketches and the text of emails and phone conversations the chaotic process of creating the art for W20“, and early access to a PDF copy of a new WtA novel by Bill Bridges.

I fully intend to get on board with this thing, partly out of nostalgia and partly because I think Werewolf: the Apocalypse is an important part of modern werewolf culture (if such a thing could be said to exist). Whether you played it or not, what you see when you search the Web for “werewolf” is influenced in some small way by what Ethan Skemp and his colleagues first released in 1992. Much of its aesthetics are things I turn my nose up at now – the cyperpunk/eco-warrior bent of its stories can be heavy-handed, and the spiritual elements of the game’s world are the purest distillation of that “tree-hugging anthropomorphic wolf in a loincloth” business that I love to hate) – but if you’re a werewolf fan who was old enough to get an allowance in the early 90’s, you’d better pay WtA some Goddamn respect or I’ll go Crinos on your ass.

  • Lew

    It’s not MY roots – I was in college and already way addicted to werewolves by the time it came out. Still have my original edition books somewhere. Might be worth it as an art book.

  • Baeroth

    There goes another $100 or so. =)

  • Never got the chance to play it or had people to play it with; though I always loved the lore and artwork from this series, I mean it’s werewolves after all! ^..^

    I just wish they would release a video game for this series, I know they tried a few times in the past and all of them never saw the light of day ;_;

  • Doruk

    While I too got tired of the ‘Superheroes That Look Like Werewolves’ nature of it eventually, I loved it to bits for a while. Would like to see game as well, they did a decent job with their last attempt of V:tM.

  • Laughing Hyena

    *Long time W:tA fan, thanks to the Rage CCG*
    Yeah, I take it you didn’t see Revised from that one statement. Most of the problems you are talking about in the last paragraph come directly from the Second Edition Corebook, which really was a product of times (90’s and all). Look at a lot of the media at the time, I remember Archie’s TMNT comic books talking a lot about environmental issues too. Remember, this was the era that gave us Ted Turner’s Captain Planet. Final Fantasy 7 came out in that era too, guess what it talks about?
    Also, I like both versions, aka the New World of Darkness’ Werewolf: the Forsaken. But that one isn’t perfect too. Forsaken has it’s own problems and issues as well. But I would gladly support a kickstarter project for it if it has any down the line. Cause hey, it’s White Wolf.

    The new W:tA 20th corebook will be more like a RPG toolbox, so old Metaplot isn’t getting in the way and you can change things to your liking or be able to use things that White Wolf never fully explained before (Lost Tribes, etc.). So hopefully a combo of First ed. and Revised with a do whatever is cool to you, rather than 2nd edition. I also really don’t want to see Black Tooth, I hated that concept from the Bastet Book in 2nd edition.

    Also, what’s really funny? Those same people you label as cuddlewolves or hippie wolves? HATED Werewolf: the Apocalypse. I should know, I used to visit those types of message boards, sites, or forums to try to talk about Werewolf folklore back in the day (Most of them label themselves as a Werewolf site too, so I thought it was okay to talk about that stuff. Not so it seems.). Of course, even if I tried to talk about W:tA in any shape or form in a mature manner: I would get attacked. Always. I was usually placed in the same category as “Werewolf Roleplayers who cried Werewolf Hunters were out to get them.”. I tried very hard to say that those things weren’t the same and to talk about modern media portrayals. But, nope, W:tA was verboten. In much in the way this blog annoying sometimes goes on about “REAL” werewolves, the so called “Hippie Wolves” as you call them: Do the very same thing themselves. Basically role-players in any form aren’t real “werewolves” and are trying to mock or make fun of people who think they can actually change shape.
    Oh, and I remember the constant fights between those who thought they could really change shape and those who thought you could only change shape mentally via dreaming. Good times.
    My favorite moment was when a bunch of them decided to call themselves “Were”, not noticing that means “Man” (They were mad over the use of wolfman/wolfmen).
    And don’t ever tell them you have a “fursona” or are “Otkaukin”, expect to be instant-banned for that.

    Also it’s really unfair to label W:tA as “purest distillation of that “tree-hugging anthropomorphic wolf in a loincloth” business”. That stuff has been with us since FOREVER, sadly. And will probably be with us in the future still. So blame our cavemen ancestors for wanting that animal power to hunt other animals by wearing animal skins to get close to prey. And then deciding to add spiritual stuff to it. And when you don’t own claws, fur, or really sharp teeth, you’ll be envious too of the animal spirits/gods.
    Also as someone interested in myths and folklore, W:tA had a lot of that and got me interested in other cultures’ myths/folklore: Ending up in me buying a lot of non-fiction books on the subject.

    As for W:tA vaperware:
    Rage CCG Operation: Twilight set (Card Game)
    Capcom’s Season of the Wolf (Video Game)
    ASC’s Heart of Gaia (Video Game)
    Rage Wars (Miniatures)
    White Wolf Character Generator CD-Rom
    At least three Werewolf: the Wild West Books never got published
    Croatan Song Graphic Novel
    Saga of Jay No-Name Novels (What happened to volume 2 and 3?)
    Rage Across Las Vegas: Rage Across the Dreamlands (Card Game)
    The Dark Ages books the never got published (Dark Ages: Italy and so on)

    W:tF vaperware:
    Werewolf: the Forsaken novel

    I’m hoping that the Kickstarter gets the Rage CCG back in publication again. Or at least the White Wolf guys are thinking of it (2015 = Rage’s 20th).

  • Varanid

    “Also, what’s really funny? Those same people you label as cuddlewolves or hippie wolves? HATED Werewolf: the Apocalypse.”

    You’re talking about wolfaboo cesspits like The Pack’s Den and Werewolf Haven right?

    No big surprise there, they refuse to even acknowledge the fact that Goldenwolf, the “first REAL werewolf fan” according to their bullshit dogma, was inspired by Rob Bottin’s work on The Howling.