Arthaus: The Abandoning?
Changeling was the fifth and last in White Wolf's World of Darkness line. It was originally created by Ian Lemke, hailed by all as the Grand Pooka. Changeling: the Dreaming first edition came out around June 1995.
It was nowhere near as popular as White Wolf's previous hits, Vampire, Werewolf, and Mage. This is mostly probablly due to the fact that many folks heard it was about faeries and decided right there it was not worth their time. (heck, I did, until i read The Toybox by Jackie Cassada) Everyone know what Vampires and Werewolves are. Those were easy concepts to grasp for most people. Changeling was a very original idea, more geared towards fantasy and imagination more than any other game.
Because of all this, the money pinching bussiness men (yeah, so i'm prejuiced, so what?) at White Wolf were going to cancel the line. To try to milk the fans for money, they even pulled a stunt trying to make them buy pre-made bunk cards; not even thinking that anyone creative enough to play Changeling would probablly be creavite enough to make their own cards... but, i digress.
To put it bluntly, the fans saved the game. Due to many complaints
and online petions... proving a very loyal, if small, fan base - they relaunched
it under a subdivisory of their company called Arthaus (means art house in
German, i believe).
Ian Lemke disapeared. No one i know in my contacts knows exactly why, but I imagine that if Changeling was his baby as much as they say, he might be depressed or something. Anynyas, his leaving threw a wrench in the works. Who was going to head the project at Arthaus now?
Some people working for White Wolf offered to do the job for them. These are only a handful of folks who do all the work for this line, for less pay than they really should get. In truth, only Mike Tinney and Fred Yelk are official in-house staff for White Wolf. Jackie, Nicky, and all the writers are freelanced. If they love the game enough to do this, then we have to love it enough to support it. Make new fans, and buy as many of the books as we can. Especially the new ones.
Due to Arthaus' small staff and low budjet, they will only be able to do about 4 books a year. And, if telling you right now, don't bitch and complain if something doesn't come out like it should or when it should. Trust me, i've been an editor before. It's crazy... and that was just for a tiny school newspaper. Personally, with less books per year, that should mean those books will be worked on very well. Make them do too many at a time, and you'll have stuff going to print before it's all been properly finished. (Example: See page XX was caused because when that page was written, they didn't know what page the related information would be on... and never replaced the X's with the page number before it went to print)
Also, you can kiss color, hardcovers, and glossy paper goodbye. I know, i mourn them too... but I'd rather loose those things than loose the whole line. Think about it, what is more important? A beautiful piece of typography with no usful text content, or a plain black and white book with well written, informative information? Remember, D&D started out as little black and white booklets. If we prove that the game is successful enough to be worth it, those things will come back, but we gotta earn it by supporting the game.