While I started roleplaying with Dungeons & Dragons, put more time and effort into creating, writing and gamemastering Champions than any other system, and my heart will always prefer Amber, I must confess a strong appreciation for White Wolf and their various product lines. I was always impressed with the quality of the rule systems, which did have some problems that seem to have been overcome with the more recent second generation of systems.
My two favorites are (original) Vampire and (original) Mage campaign settings, with an admiration for the (original and revised) Changeling setting as well. Not only did vampires have the classic mesmerizing stare and other dominating abilities, the first supplement to their Vampire: the Masquerade book had rules for using hypnosis. Mages had access to the Mind Arcana, and Changelings had all sorts of glamourie to bewitch and befuddle others.
But what I found most compelling about them was the settings themselves. They were complex, distinctive and fascinating displays of creativity, and that included the fiction.
Especially the fiction.
A number of excellent writers wrote for White Wolf, including Don Bassingthwaite, Matt Forbek, S P Somtow, Lois Tilton, Lawrence Watt-Evans and Robert Weinberg. They were as much responsible for my appreciation for the games and settings as the published game material. Their writing, the ways they displayed the setting world, was as much responsible for my character creation, which included historical research, background creation and writing and character development. (Yeah, right, its all their fault. Not really.)
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