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Vampire: the Masquerade (V5 pre-alpha playtest)
by Adam D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/23/2017 16:23:30

i like the hunger dice, i can even deal with additional successes opposed to having a higher number then six that you need to get. as i have read it it seems like the whole world would not exist though. the original game is based on low generation older vamps having all the power with this new system, i feel , that a group would just take out the prince and take over, or just go on living normal lives. there is no individual need to try to lower your gen to get more powerful, you just need to be patient and role play a bunch of boring things to gain enough experience to challenge the prince. i am also against the attributes being reduced to three. one of the greatest aspects of this game is that you can literally make you as a vampire, and there are to many people who are intelligent, but nether witty or perceptive, extremely atractive but not manipulative. but dropping to just three sure you can take a specialty but you lose some customization On your character. bottom line it still needs work and i would pick the older versions over the new.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: the Masquerade (V5 pre-alpha playtest)
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Vampire: the Masquerade (V5 pre-alpha playtest)
by kenneth h. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/23/2017 15:26:44

I have not played it yet,but I like the direction of the new system.It seems like a much cleanier system. Hopefuly it will mesh up good with the other WOD games.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: the Masquerade (V5 pre-alpha playtest)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/23/2017 13:10:00

This is a dumbed down version of the Vampire: the Masquerade that has reduced resolution and has been touch inappropritely by a By Night Studios fan boy.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Rage Warriors of the Apocalypse
by Darryl J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/11/2017 16:27:11

Such a great book.

Originally all these NPCs were cards for the Rage card game. As this book was released after several expansions of that ccg, there are garou of every rank, many fera, all sorts of wyrm minions for you use.

The background on every NPC is brief (about as much as seen in any Rage Across... book) but descriptive enough to be easily slid into a campaign. Great book for needing a antagonist quick and on the fly, here you go: rank 4 Silver Fang braggert, easy; a BSD pack to harass the PCs, no problem, got enough for two packs; Pentex First Team - this book has it all.

On the downside: this is a 2nd edition book, some Gift choices were not present back then, and some skills existed that don't now (w20th edition); also sometimes the written background doesn't seem to match whatever the person giving stats had in mind - the Gifts / skills of the NPC seem to be missing essential assets (character is a healer of note, but has no healing skills/rites)(character is known for commanding the wind but no Gift to explain this power).

Great book, will always have a use for this at my table.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Rage Warriors of the Apocalypse
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Tri-Stat dX: Core System Role-Playing Game
by Scott F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/26/2017 14:48:48

I have to admit, the Tri-Stat dX system is probably one of the most complete, modularized, and modifiable generic RPGs available, since GURPS. The rules aren't difficult to pick up and there is as much meat as you need to sate your hunger - be it for high fantasy, gritty cyberpunk, soaring heavy hitting superheroics, kingly subterfuge or virtually any manga or anime setting. At the low introductory cost of free, there is no reason for you not to own it. Try it. I couldn't find anything wrong with the sytem, except yhat it's too bad Guardians of Order is not around anymore.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tri-Stat dX: Core System Role-Playing Game
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Mage The Awakening Tarot
by P. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/23/2017 12:38:55

What can I say about this? The deck is lovely at all levels. Gorgeous art, well printed, presented in a fine tuck box, a fantastic deal for a very nice tarot, whether you use it for Mage: The Awakening or not, it is worth the money.

Two criticisms: First is that the 'insert' for the rules isn't available to buy in PoD, but know that I do understand the limitations of such. Second is that the insert only covers the major arcana, which makes the fact that I already own the Keys to the Supernal Tarot (available separately from this same site) all the more important. Note that you WILL want that book, too, in order to get the most out of this deck in a game, but it's not necessary by any means.

The above notwithstanding, I cannot say enough about how great this deck is. Very pleased.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mage The Awakening Tarot
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New World of Darkness Rulebook (1st Edition)
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/13/2017 14:24:30

I am so glad this book is still available and can't recommend this game high enough. Consider buying this book instead of Chronicles of Darkness if you like your rules simple, streamlined and if you don't want to juggle conditions, tilts and other ressources throughout your gaming session. For me this is my go-to gaming system for every need.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
New World of Darkness Rulebook (1st Edition)
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Dark Alliance: Vancouver
by Shawn T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2017 17:59:15

This book definitely makes Vancouver into an interesting and varied place. With plenty of local hooks. And as someone who lives in Vancouver a pretty good feel for the city itself. Side note, check the publication date. If your planning to use this for a modern campaign a small amount of updating of the source material will be needed (Like the Evergreen line)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Alliance: Vancouver
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The Kindred Most Wanted (WW2230)
by Richard P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/30/2017 17:16:05

Terrible scan. Many pages have streaks in them. Obviously used a sheet feed scanner and not a very good one.

Very low quality.

Would not reccomend buying this at all.

You could do better with a cell phone camera.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
The Kindred Most Wanted (WW2230)
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Games of Divinity
by Brian P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/25/2017 15:25:17

Much like Scavenger Sons, Games of Divinity was one of the books that really defined how Exalted was different than other games. It's not just that it had a vibrant spiritual ecology, though that was a major part of it--it's true that animism has always been missing from D&D other than incorporeal undead, but plenty of games like Glorantha or, indeed, other White Wolf games like Mage: the Ascension had a vibrant spirit world. It's that the spirit world was so petty.

Back when the Primordials ruled and dinosaurs walked the earth, Creation was run by the Celestial Bureaucracy in which everyone had their place and performed their function or else. After the Primordial War, the gods gave over rule of Creation to the Exalted and some them relaxed into playing the titular Games of Divinity, but everything still worked. Then the Solar Exalted were overthrown and things have steadily gotten worse. Many of the gods now require bribes to perform their duties, or can be bribed to favor certain groups or oppose others. The censors who used to regulate the Celestial Bureaucracy are mostly jaded and corrupt themselves, with those censors who still uphold their office thought of as naive and overly idealistic by their fellow gods. In some places like Great Forks or Whitewall, gods even openly rule over mortals in a violation of all principles of divine behavior, and yet no censure comes from the Celestial Incarna. They are too busy playing the Games of Divinity in the Jade Pleasure Dome. There's no transcendence here, only power.

This setup is a bit depressing, but it reinforces one of Exalted's central themes--power without restraint always goes wrong. Once the most powerful gods were free to control their destinies, they went into the Jade Pleasure Dome and spent all day playing the Games. Once the rest of the gods were no longer restrained by the Exalted, they abandoned every duty they could get away with. And of course, the Solar Exalted's excesses brought the First Age down in ruin. In each case, trying to solve the problem with violence just ended up making things worse in the long wrong. Violence is easy but lessens the world, so will your character try for a better solution?

Elementals are less thematic, but provide a good background to the world. They naturally arise from ambient Essence and are naturally material, so they're a great catch-all category for weird one-off monsters and inhabitants of hidden valleys that show in sword and sorcery fiction. Some of them are intelligent and some are basically supernatural animals, and some of them set up supernatural spirit courts in imitation of the gods. These courts are full of byzantine rules and elaborate pomp and ceremony, because that's what being important involves, and even in the absence of duties the courts continue because bureaucracy has its own inertia.

I was a bit surprised to see that a lot of the trends fans decried in later Exalted had their start here rather than later on. The most blatant was the unimportance of Dragon-Blooded to the spiritual order:

Today, many gods see the Dragon-Blooded as nothing more than a more dangerous and longer-lived form of mortal

which later contributed to a fan conception that only Solar-equivalents were "real" Exalts and Dragon-Blooded might as well not even be in the game, but there's also the pointless elemental spirit courts and divine disdain for elementals. With all the praise for Games of Divinity--and it is a good book--this was unexpected and a bit unwelcome.

All of that was forgotten when I got to the Demons chapter, though. I've heard Malfeas described as the best hell in gaming, and I'm willing to endorse that. The twisted body of one of the fallen Primordials, enclosed by another Primordial, and with all of his siblings entrapped within. While the gods are just people with power and tend to have mortal viewpoints, the Primordials are worlds unto themselves. Each of them has many forms, which they can adopt simultaneously, and it's possible for Malfeas the man to stand in a square of Malfeas the city and dance in the light of the mad green sun, Ligier, his fetich soul. The Primordials are too large for one soul to contain them, and each of them is its own spiritual ecology--they have multiple souls, each of which has seven souls of their own, and each of which has spawned entire races of children, creations, and servants.

The demons are more interesting than the gods, honestly. From Makarios, the Sigil's Dreamer, who turns the dreams of mortals into fine trade goods; to Zsofika, the Kite Flute, who chooses a target of her hunt after being summoned, always moving just slightly faster than them, and will only do her summoner's bidding after her prey is dead; to Gervasin, the Grieving Lord, a spear that binds to his wielder and drives them to death and beyond, but has fallen in love and now finds little joy in life. And these are just the demons of the second circle, the citizens of the Demon City, not the greater demons of whom they form the component souls. There's enough to form a game around each demon's plots all on its own.

Also, there's a mention of the Infernal Exalted who are owned "body and soul" by the yozis. If only they had stayed that way.

In several of the most popular RPGs, gods and demons are just around to worship and gain superpowers from or to fill out the higher-tier enemy rosters. In Exalted, they're people. Weird people, who have magical powers and weird quirks--but then again, that's true of the Exalted too. I wasn't a big fan of the comics in the Exalted 2e corebook, but I did love the tone set by the opening comic, where the Solars fight the local river god after he's flooding the river only to learn that the flooding is because he's sad that the maidens who traditionally came and sang to him haven't been showing up because of local bandits. That's a deity that provides immediate game possibilities, and this book is full of those kind of interactions.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Games of Divinity
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Changeling: The Lost
by Katarzyna K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2017 08:46:39

I'm a little disappointed. I knew that standard hardcover isn't premium quality, but still... Pages made of the same paper I have in my printer and glued, shiny cover aren't worth 35$.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Lost
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Mage The Awakening Tarot
by Kent F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/02/2017 10:19:21

What a fantastic deck! I collect tarot decks, and this is now one of my favorites: great artwork and interesting takes on the traditional Rider-Waite illustrations (some fairly similar but with modern-day elements, and some quite different) .The companion guide book (PDF) has excellent ideas for ways to use the cards in-game - ideas that can easily be adapted to systems other than Mage: the Awakening.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mage The Awakening Tarot
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Nightmare on Hill Manor
by Rheannon M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/31/2017 14:21:19

This is a fun, disturbing introduction to the World of Darkness for mortals (including fledgling Hunters). There is a lot to play with as a storyteller to set a mood/theme appropriate to your group with some potential encounters that are more gore and others that are more spooky not gross. I used this free story as an introduction for my Hunter players who (along with their characters) have not yet faced the unknown in the new chronicles of darkness setting. It worked really well for that as it is challenging but gives them plenty of room to try out skills and learn the ropes. It played in about 4 solid hours (although I could see some groups taking a bit longer if they were more meandering/explorer types) so it definitely works as a one short or short arc. Definitely has quality despite the price!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nightmare on Hill Manor
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Alien Hunger
by Todd R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/26/2017 15:20:51

Alien Hunger is, without a doubt, my favorite published adventure for Vampire: The Masquerade, and the one I have run more than any other. It's also one of the oldest, published back in 1991, and one of the first supplements ever published for the game. Which might be why I like it so; there's a sense of chaos and experimentation in many of the earlier supplements that is invigorating.

It's a different kind of Vampire adventure than most of what White Wolf published (even contemporaries like Ashes to Ashes). It's more immediate, local, and personal, at least compared to the more dramatic epics. The players aren't dealing with a massive change to Kindred history, or even alterations to a city. Instead, the adventure is about them, how the change into vampires affects them, and destroys them, and ultimately what they decide to do with these changes. As such, it's only really appropriate for a new Chronicle, and I find the less experience with both roleplaying in general and Vampire in particular, the better the experience will be for the players. Though I'll go more into what I mean by that later.

I can't really talk about Alien Hunger without getting too deep into the "plot" of the adventure, such as it is. So, here's spoilers for a 25 year old adventure. At the beginning, the players either create mortal characters, or choose one of the pre-generated ones. The only restriction is that they all must live in Denver, know each other in some fashion, and have a general liking to each other. They're co-workers and acquaintances, not necessarily friends. For example, all the pre-gens are connected via community theater, so they're all members of the same social group. One night, a stranger kidnaps each of the characters. Hours later they awaken, changed, and locked in the basement of a burning building with a few mortals.

Their "sire" (for lack of a better term) is an Elder who has been researching a cure for vampirism, and believes he has finally found it. Now ready for more advanced trials, he has grabbed the characters to test his theory. The plan was to turn them (through a special technique), make sure they were vampires, and then administer the cure. In theory, no one should have remembered anything, but local Kindred intervened, slew the Elder and set fire to his haven.

As ever, it's more complicated than that, but that's the basics.

The players have an obvious and immediate goal, to get the hell out of the building. It's tricky, but there are ways. The bigger issue is how do they handle the mortals? Do they frenzy and slay them? Do they reveal what they are? Will they even figure it out before it's too late?

Once out, they need to deal with the changes they've gone through. In fact, once they're out, the adventure opens up. The players can, more or less, do whatever the hell they want. There are certain plot threads, of course, that they'll need to deal with in some form sooner or later. First, understanding what they are, what they can and can't do, and what, if any, precautions they need to take. This is exacerbated by a police detective who just knows there's something fishy about the characters. Secondly, the Kindred of Denver. While they had no idea what their creator was up to that night, they have little patience for these strange outsiders and their seeming deliberate actions that threaten their community. After all, the players are going to screw up, somehow and in someway, which the locals will view as a threat. Finally, there's the question of what happened to them, why, and if there's anyway to undue it.

I think it is this structure that makes me so love this adventure. The various threads do follow each each logically--the cop and dealing with changes would come first. After all, the Kindred of Denver don't even know the players exist at first. Then, once they begin hunting the coterie, survival becomes the focus. Only once both of these are settled can the players comfortably deal with the greater questions. But, it doesn't HAVE to be this way. In one play through, the players never really dealt with the police, instead going "off the grid" and being on the run the entire game. In another, the war with the other Kindred continued even after the had resolved the question of their origin. Each time I've run it, the game has gone south in its own unusual fashion.

This is the kind of structure I use for my own games; create a situation and let the players respond to it as they see fit. There are no "scenes" or chapters, the story unfolds as it will based on the characters actions. It's a style that I wish more Vampire adventures adhered to. For some groups, the struggle with the law and their own changes will predominate. Others will resolve this quickly but will go to war with the other vampires. Its entirely up to them, which makes for an incredible experience.

Of course, there are some flaws in Alien Hunger. First off, it's pitched as "Jump Start" for Vampire. But, the very nature of their embrace makes for an odd and unusual setup for a Chronicle. Since they are created as lab experiments, the ties of sire and Clan, and the benefits and consequences of these relationships are entirely lacking not only for this story, but for any that come after. While the coterie will have a strong reason to be together, at least initially, it also makes it damn difficult to replace characters or add new players to the game later.

It also doesn't work well for veterans, of either Vampire or gaming in general. This is not because they know the "rules"--understanding disciplines and blood use, or knowing about how the city has a "Prince" isn't the issue. The problem is that if you think like a "gamer" you are going to have a VERY tough time with this adventure. Veterans often think "well, we can just kill this cop," whereas new players often never even think that, understanding that killing cops is a bad thing. Particularly if you're trying to not draw attention to yourself. Likewise, veterans often assume that any enemy vampire presented in the game most be "level appropriate" and will often choose to stand and fight when they should run. Alien Hunger isn't intended to be a blood bath, but approaching it like a game can have disastrous consequences.

Finally, while Alien Hunger provides an excellent setup for the coterie to form initially, it is terrible at keeping them together, making it as best a crap shoot as a basis for an ongoing Chronicle. In fact, I've never seen a coterie survive the story. Not the characters--again, it's not a blood bath. But the coterie has fallen apart every time I've run this story. This might be a negative to some Storytellers, but to me it's an amazing positive.

By the end of the story, the characters have been through hell. Death, damnation, murder, violence, and paranoia have been their companions for days or weeks, and they are irrevocably changed from who and what they were. As they find the final clues and uncover the lab work of their creator, they are presented with a number of choices. Risk the cure? Destroy it? Turn it over to other vampires? Ignore it? More critically, there are broader questions of what they've become, how they feel about being vampires, what they want going forward, and what they have done to survive up to this point.

Every time, it's these questions that tear the group apart. Morality, ethics, Humanity, acceptance or rejection of others of their kind and what they have become. Questions for which there are no "right" answers, but merely each individual characters point of view. I've seen betrayals and lies and hour long debates about things that really matter tear the coterie apart. Not the group, not the players, but the characters.

It's an amazing thing to witness. I generally dislike "inter-party conflict," that tiresome trope of players backstabbing others because "it's what my character would do" over some slight, real or imagined, or some insane theory, or just because of "lolz." But this kind of conflict? Arguing about philosophy and morality and right and wrong, and the group falling apart over those who embrace being vampires and the power they have over those who are terrified and reject their existence? The kind of conflict where after the game, everyone has had a great time, and feel more alive and engaged than they did before the game started? The kind of conflict that makes the story powerful and memorable, and might even leave a player with a new perspective on things in the real world? Yeah, this is why I love Vampire and why, when it works, there is no other game like it.

As such, I feel that Alien Hunger works best as a "one-shot." Approach it as a closed story, a brief diversion from your other games that might last a session or three (I generally find it lasts 2-4 sessions, but this is up to each group). If everyone has fun, then continue the game (if the coterie survives) or start a more conventional Vampire game as a follow up.

So, if you have a group of people who have never tried roleplaying before, and they're into vampires and horror and all that junk that we love, run Alien Hunger. It can be an amazing experience for everyone. If you're players are really into Vampire and/or want to do something epic and "badass," well, there are other adventures that will better suit their needs. At the very least, any Storyteller can learn a thing or two by reading it, just to get a different perspective on what Vampire can do.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Alien Hunger
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Silver Age Sentinels Standard Tri-Stat Edition
by Yann E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/11/2017 04:46:37

Le seul jeu de rôle de super-héros créé par la défunte Guardians of Order et co-écrit par Steve Kenson lui-même qui est ensuite devenu célèbre pour son jeu Mutants & Masterminds.

Le système est une version un peu plus technique du Tri-Stat utilisé dans BESM et il n'y a pas vraiment de garde fou concernant la construction des super-pouvoirs, un MJ vigilant est donc recommandé. Le systeme se veut simple mais ne l'est pas tout à fait une fois la couche super-héroïque ajoutée, mais il fonctionne tout de meme et met l'accent sur l'histoire et le roleplay.

Deux bémols : le PDF n'est pas indexé et il fait 300 pages donc pour chercher, ce n'est pas évident. Le fait d'utiliser des points de vie n'est peut-être pas le plus adapté à un jeu de super-héros.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Silver Age Sentinels Standard Tri-Stat Edition
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