The World of Darkness
Taken from page 15 of “The World of Darkness” book from White Wolf Setting
Everyone has had the sense at least once in their lives that things are not right with the world, that not everything is as it seems. We sometimes feel that sinister truths hide behind a facade of normality, veiled partially by the rational, orderly “natural laws” taught to s by science. We’re told that medieval beliefs in monsters and magic were merely primitive superstitions. We’re too wise for that sort of foolishness these days. Or so we assure ourselves. But at night, when the shadows grow long and the wind whistles through the trees, we shudder and remember older truths, the truths of our ancestors, who were right to fear the dark.
We know deep down that the world is a far more terrifying place than we allow our rational minds to acknowledge. To accept this subconscious truth is to invite madness, to succumb to the raw chaos that lurks at the edges of our perception. Best to shut our eyes, pretend it’s not there. If we don’t see it, it might not see us.
Pretending something is not there, however, does not make it go away. It only helps it to hide better—and predators like to hide from their prey, lest it be scared away.
A world where such predators truly existed is a conspiracy theorist’s worst nightmare. In such a reality, unseen beings hatch incognito plots against us, pulling our strings like puppeteers looming above us, hidden in the darkness beyond the stage lights. Our only protection is our ignorance, the obliviousness that allows us to keep going day by day, building toward “something meaningful”—a career, a home, a family. Allegations about secret masters or creatures lucking in the night simply lack evidence. If these things are real, why don’t we see them on the evening news? Even Internet sites dedicated to exposing unknown forces in our lives can’t produce a single, verifiable picture. It’s hard to believe in something we can’t see.
Maybe they want it that way.
Welcome to the World of Darkness.Taken from pages 17-18 of “The World of Darkness” book from White Wolf
The stories told in this game are set in the World of Darkness. It’s a place very much like our world, sharing the same history, culture, and geography. Superficially, most people in this fictional world live the same lives we do. They eat the same food, wear the same clothes, and waste time watching the same stupid TV shows. And yet, in the World of Darkness, shadows are deeper, nights are darker, fog is thicker. If, in our world, a neighborhood has a rundown house that gives people the creeps, in the World of Darkness, that house emits strange sighs on certain nights of the year, and seems to have a human face when seen in the corner of one’s eye. Or so some neighbors say. In our world, there are urban legends. In the World of Darkness, there are urban legends whispered into the ears of autistic children by invisible spiders.
In the world you’re about to enter, the horrors and nightmares of legend aren’t just scary bedtime stories—they’re real, even though most people don’t realize it. The truth, or at least some of the truth about this world’s hidden terrors, is revealed in other books. But you don’t need all the answers to begin exploring. This book gives you everything you nee to create your own collaborative tales. Horror stories, ghost stories, wonder tales, adventures or mysteries. Stories of people who suspect the truth about what lurks in the shadows, perhaps only after getting an unwelcome glimpse of it.
The rest of this handout tells how we can tell our own stories, with simple but broad rules for doing so. You’ll find that this game challenges you not just to roll dice and keep track of numbers, but to inhabit a character who is as real and believable as you can make him. The true measure of success in a Storytelling game is how much your character interacts with the imaginary world he inhabits.
Maybe the character you create will uncover some secrets of his shadowed world. Maybe he’ll become one of those secrets. Time will tell.