Collecting World of Darkness RPGs and Roleplaying Games
World of Darkness Collectibles
When collecting World of Darkness RPGs and role-playing games, it pays to shop around. That’s because prices can fluctuate wildly from one site to another, and even sellers at the same location can offer items for varying amounts. At AbeBooks for example, I found two copies of World of Darkness: Shadows of the UK in similar condition. One seller wanted $36 for this RPG supplement, while the other edition was selling for $94.
The World of Darkness Setting
The World of Darkness is set in a world not unlike our own, but with one notable exception: supernatural creatures such as ghosts, werewolves, and vampires roam the planet. These immortal beings contend with one another for power, while at the same time using humans as disposable pawns in their centuries-old game of living chess. As the world falls into despair and disarray, a handful of humans are also struggling to take back the night from what they perceive as an ancient evil.
Depending on the rulebook the players are using, they can take the roles of one or more types of supernatural beings, or they can challenge the pale-skinned undead and ravenous werewolves as mortal monster hunters. Given the array of products that have been released over the last 20 years, participants have unlimited choices at their fingertips.
I once ran a short-lived Vampire: The Masquerade campaign back in the day, and I recall it being filled with atmosphere and intrigue. It was set in Dallas, Texas, and the lead vampire’s primary henchman was a former Nazi officer. That’s about all I remember, though, as it was only for a few weeks more than 15 years ago.
World of Darkness Collectible Roleplaying Games
If you’re preparing to begin your World of Darkness collection, it’s important to know that there are three distinct lines of products. The first line was launched in 1991 by Mark Rein-Hagen and the company he helped to found, White Wolf. The most famous title in this line was Vampire: The Masquerade, and an array of spin-off titles and supplements were released up until 2003, when the second line of collectible World of Darkness (or WoD) titles were unveiled. Fans of the game often refer to this first line of products as “old World of Darkness” or “oWoD.”
The second line of products, known to collectors and players as “new World of Darkness” or “nWoD,” hit the market in 2004 with the release of Vampire: The Requiem. The new core book for the World of Darkness setting won the Origins Gamers’ Choice Award, and it offered simplified combat and streamlined rules. Other core games in the system include Werewolf: The Forsaken and Mage: The Awakening.
Most of the collectible World of Darkness products in this second line are reasonably priced, and I found a slightly used core book of Vampire: The Requiem for only $8 on AbeBooks. Other supplements went in the $17 to $25 range, so those looking for valuable World of Darkness collectibles may want to concentrate on the original product line.
One exception for RPG collectors may be the limited series settings that White Wolf began publishing in 2006. Each game was given a core rulebook, plus a maximum of five supplements (although the popular Changeling: The Lost surpassed this limit). While the core book for Changeling can be found on eBay in the $25 to $35 range, I did find a rare set of 10 dice made specifically for the game that listed for $200. While I can’t justify paying that much for 10 green dice, it’s exactly the sort of hard-to-find RPG item that sends collectors into a frenzy.
Of the core books in the limited series editions, Geist: The Sin-Eaters looks to be the most collectible. When I visited eBay, it was listed as out of print and selling for $100.
The third line only has one product to this point, the core rulebook for Monte Cook’s World of Darkness. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic landscape, with humans and the supernatural pitted against one another in a desperate struggle for survival. When you begin to collect World of Darkness roleplaying games, I suggest this one be last on your list. The product never generated enough interest to warrant any supplements, and its original list price of $50 has fallen to $34 on Amazon and $15 at the Troll and Toad website.
World of Darkness - The Original Line
The original line of World of Darkness products (oWoD) are the most valuable to roleplaying game collectors. A copy of Vampire: The Masquerade published in 1998, for example, originally listed for $69.95 (thanks to the lavish artwork and interior design). I found one version on eBay in a slipcase with two leatherette books for an asking price of $135, while a limited edition set containing two hardcover books (Guide to the Sabbat and Guide to the Camarilla) in a slipcase sold for $150.
A copy of Mage: The Ascension in a limited edition slipcase goes for $100 on eBay, while the core rulebook for Demon: The Fallen is listed at $87 (with the player’s guide and supplements in the $80 range). Other titles to keep an eye on include Hunter: The Reckoning, Wraith: The Oblivion, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, and Mummy: The Resurrection.
Several of the products from the Dark Ages set (World of Darkness in the 13th century) are also going for notable prices. Dark Ages: Inquisitor was selling on eBay for $100, while Alibris stocked Dark Ages: Vampire for $56 (used) and $195 (new).
World of Darkness Collectible Dice
A number of sets of collectible dice for the World of Darkness have been fetching big prices over at eBay. I mentioned the set of 10 exclusive Changeling dice earlier (selling for $200), but an additional search revealed a 2004 vampire dice set selling for $200, a 2005 set of Mage: The Awakening dice for $200, and a set of 2006 WoD dice for $400. For those building up a stash of World of Darkness collectible items, this is an interesting niche.
Other World of Darkness Collectibles
Vampire: The Masquerade and its spin-offs have been popular enough over the years to result in a number of collectible items, with even the vampiric wrestler Gangrel from the days of the WWF being a notable tie-in. And just in case you’re wondering, Gangrel action figures sell in the $20 to $30 range on eBay.
I found a beautiful Mage: The Ascension tarot card deck selling on eBay for $41, as well as a set of pins for the various clans from Vampire: The Masquerade for $450. And if video games are your thing, be sure to check out the CD-ROM release of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. Used copies started at $40, while new copies were selling for $84.
Vampire: The Eternal Struggle (known in previous years as Jyhad) is one of the oldest collectible card games around, and starter decks are going for as little as $10 on eBay. This is in contrast to the boxes filled with individual packs of cards, many of which sell for several hundred dollars. The most expensive example I found on eBay was the Ancient Hearts Booster Box, which was listed at $302.
And for those who like to pretend to be vampires (no, not the kind that sparkle), there’s the live-action role-playing game (aka LARP) from Mind’s Eye Theatre. The core book sells for $50 on eBay, while several supplements could be had for $60. If you want to combine your World of Darkness collecting with some physical activity and social interaction, this makes for a tempting purchase.