History part 2
When we last looked, the third company who had the Rage license, Azrael Productions, had been forced to throw in the towel. This then is the legacy of their efforts and a brief summary of the fan sets and their support.
Azrael did start development of additional cards, in anticipation of the license coming through any day now. When that fell through, it was left with a partially tested new base set which would have produced 6 90 card starter decks that had 3 factions each in them and would have 2 complete 20 renown decks you could make out of them. It would have been a mix of new cards and reprints.
At same time, Azrael was doing tournament support and was having storyline written in response to effects going on in tournaments. Storyline was then passed on to White Wolf for approval. (A few minor alterations occured here and there, to bring it in line with WW's own projects)
Azrael also updated the rules book and FAQ. (You can review the color coded rules to see what changes were made and when)
From that base set came the four sets of the New England block. They coudn't do anything commerical with them, so gave up claim to them. After a bit of thrashing around, the idea was floated to do Intermezzo. The playtesters from Azrael assembled that while talking with White Wolf as they already had contact with the Werewolf team from getting the storyline approved.
At that time (2003), creating the fan made sets was allowed so long as it conformed to White Wolf guidelines for fan made materials. They ALMOST ended up on White Wolf's site itself, but due to the way things worked via legal department regarding the artwork, it was decided to host remotely and merely link to sets.
In 2004 and 2005 Rage moved to online play via the Gatling Engine. In that period, Vampire: the Eternal Struggle also moved to gEngine and both Rage and V:tES were officially licensed for online play and development. During that period, Least Wanted was released (2006), which produced virtual reprints of the 18 most broken cards. The rules book was also overhauled again. Production on Ahadi started at that time.
The gEngine melted down in 2008 and it did not find a new online player until 2009 on Lackey. Some of the playtesters fell away in the break between players but the majority of Ahadi had initially been developed during the tenure on Gatling Engine.
In some ways we've come back full circle as the original tesing for New England was largely done via play by post by e-mail. And now a lot of the playtesting for the final sets of Ahadi are being done via play by post on the Rage forum. Lackey is used for a lot of the playtesting and general play but has not actually displaced the play by post model (which everyone swore would be displaced by online players!)