Not too long ago, Renegade Game Studios announced Werewolf: The Apocalypse Fifth Edition. This would mark the third TTRPG in the urban horror fantasy setting of World of Darkness to receive a fifth edition. Curious fans didn't need to wait too long for more details, as Renegade Game Studios did provide a Werewolf: The Apocalypse Fifth Edition teaser as part of one of their weekly livestreams.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse Fifth Edition Teaser livestream
The Werewolf: The Apocalypse Fifth Edition teaser happened on the weekly World of Darkness livestream. These livestreams are held every Thursday and feature developers and designers keeping fans informed of upcoming sourcebooks, supplements, and Chronicles for all World of Darkness products. The first half of this week's livestream, later uploaded to YouTube, was dedicated to a preview of the opening pages of the Core Rulebook for Werewolf: The Apocalypse Fifth Edition.
While the glimpse was brief, some key information did shine through in the Core Rulebook's first ten pages. The artwork for the book is being done by WolfSkullJack, an independent artist whose work includes Magic: The Gathering and several Metallica albums. While that artwork was only seen for a few pages, the illustrations are thematically dark and raw.
As for the text of these pages, it does reveal some big things for both Werewolf: The Apocalypse veterans and newcomers. First, a section of the book confirms that Werewolf: The Apocalypse Fifth Edition will be a re-imagining, not a continuation of prior editions of the game. In other words, this edition is a reboot; all prior lore and foundational truths may no longer apply. This means that veteran players will have to read the new material on its own terms. It also means that new players can get into this edition thanks to a lower barrier to entry.
The broad strokes however are still intact. The titular werewolves are still warriors fighting to save a world in the middle of environmental collapse. They're still caught between the spirit world and the physical, never fully welcome in either. And they're still fighting against the corruption and decay of the Wyrm in the name of Gaia. Whether fighting that corruption includes blowing up factories or ripping some short-sighted industrialist in half will depend on the table. This is in keeping with the environmentalist themes of the series, up to and including actually heated protests of the Bialowieza forest in Poland as depicted in the visual novel Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest.
Finally, the Werewolf: The Apocalypse Fifth Edition teaser does hint at some new or revised mechanics. First, players will need two different types of d10s while playing Werewolf: The Apocalypse: some regular dice and a Rage die. This is similar to Vampire: The Masquerade's Hunger Die or Hunter: The Reckoning's Desperation Die. In addition, a new tracker will need to be managed for Werewolf players as they are pulled between two different states. One is Harano, a state of misery and despair where all drive or agency is lost. The other is Hauglosk, a state of fanaticism where urgent action must be taken immediately.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse Fifth Edition is set to release in August 2023.