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Hunter: The Vigil Quickstart (The Hunt)
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/20/2015 12:54:27

I heard about this game by listening to the 2 GM's, 1 Mic podcast. I have briefly read through the intro and rules, but have not yet read through the module. I am very interested in playing this game though - it sounds like it will be right up my alley and I like the simplicity of the system - I can hardly wait to see how it works.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hunter: The Vigil Quickstart (The Hunt)
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The Mysterium
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/16/2015 13:46:22

The Mysterium is the order of mages that seeks to preserve wisdom and magical lore, sometimes by keeping it secret from those who might use it for ill or who would be themselves damaged from knowing it... and if your character decides to join this is essential reading, certainly if you have embraced the underlying concept of the game as being about individual growth and development in a world where magic is real. It opens with a compelling piece of fiction about a man who is somehow accessing secrets of magic without actually being Awakened, which sweeps the reader along in fascination.


The Introduction explains who the Mysterium are and the sort of things that they do, how they recruit and what happens to those who join up - in a word, ongoing enlightenment (Sorry, that ended up two words) - and then lays out what is in the rest of the book.


Chapter 1: A History of Wisdom traces the history of magic itself from its early beginnings, back through the ages to the days of Atlantis and forwards until the now. Of course, this is the history of magic as told by the Mysterium. Others may have different views... and even Mysterium members do not agree about everything! There is still much hidden knowledge, and finding it is a challenge that a group of Mysterium mages might well embrace. The chapter discusses how they have sought to find and preserve knowledge throughout known history, and sometimes even shared it.


Then, Chapter 2: Those Who Know talks about knowledge itself and how the way in which Mysterium mages handle it defines them as much as do their practices. There is even more magical theory here, however, showing how they operate on a day to day basis and the ideas underlying their actions. A core belief is that magic is itself alive, but of course there are many ways in which they handle it on that basis - be it ecologically (rationalising that if magic is alive, so is all of the universe), through mathematics, or by developing advanced mental powers. Knowledge, it is said, is divided into three strands: a High Path that studies magic and mages themselves along with the Supernal Realms, a Central Path that looks at the supernatural world and its denizens, and a Common Path that explores the regular arts and sciences available to everyone, mage or not. Research goes hand in hand with exploration and experimentation, Mysterium mages often infiltrating archaeological expeditions or consorting with tomb raiders in their quest to discover what has been lost over the ages. There are certain standards by which they live, however, which include never deliberately misleading another mage, the duties between master and apprentice, and a requirement for fair trading when knowledge is to be exchanged. There are plenty of ideas on how to incorporate these concepts into your game, even suggestions for complete chronicles.


Next, Chapter 3: The Ladder of Mysteries focusses on the organisation of the Mysterium and charts how one progresses through it via a series of initiations. This section is full of ritual (and funny handshakes if you want them) that can be used to mark a character's growth within the order from initial recruitment and the ceremonial surround entry into the Mysterium through to higher levels few may attain. Signs, symbols, mystical phrases abound: anyone who has studied mystery cults or belonged to one will recognise the pattern.


Chapter 4: Factions and Legacies explains how the Mysterium is not one monolithic block sharing uniform customs but instead is made up of many different groups working together (at least most of the time) towards a common cause. These factions may on the face of it be defined by their role within the order - librarian, curator, archaeologist, ritualist and so on - but if you dig deeper there is much more to it than that. History, motivations and approaches to life and to magic are discussed for each group. There are plenty of ideas here for developing a character's distinctive personality and style.


Then Chapter 5: Spells and Artifacts explores some of the magical knowledge, spells and tactics that the Mysterium shares only with those within the order. There's a lot here, from typical ritual gestures of spellcasting to (naturally) some new spells.


Finally, there's an Appendix: Allies and Antagonists which provides a selection of well-developed Mysterium NPCs which may be encounter - as friend, foe or just someone passing through - during the course of a game.


It all makes for a fascinating read but begs the question: just who ought to read it? A player with a non-Mysterium character would likely know none of this, and even a Mysterium character will grow into his knowledge as the game progresses. Yet it's not really for Storytellers alone, and even players may well play several different characters over the course of time. What it does do is give a magnificent insight into how this particular order operates and thinks, being excellent information for those who want to get into the very head of a Mysterium mage.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Mysterium
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Dark Ages Clan Novel 2: Assamite
by Juanita N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/13/2015 12:55:35

Intriguging page turner.


I love how the author grabbed you from the first chapter and held you all the way to the end. The author took the three sects of the Assamite clan and blended them into a cohesive whole against the backdrop of the fall of Constantinople. He peppered it with some rarities and made a very interesting and intriguing characters. I highly recommend this for anyone interested in such a secretive clan.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Ages Clan Novel 2: Assamite
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Legacies: The Ancient
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/12/2015 08:02:34

Opening with some decidedly adult fiction in which mages and ordinary mortals mix at a convention with unsatisfactory results for just about everyone, this book is a second collection of legacies adding to the rich tapestry of mage society and perhaps offering a path which your mage character might like to tread.


The Introduction: Long Ago and Far Away explains the significance of legacies in a mage's journey through life, how they can contribute to his development as an individual and Awakened mage. The focus of this book is the ancient traditions, those that trace their lineage back through the mists of time or which seek to rediscover ancient truths lost to modern mages. Thirteen legacies are presented here including a couple from the Left Hand Path, teaching their adherents dubious practices which make them more suited for NPCs than player-characters and so best left for Storyteller use.


The bulk of the book is given over to detailed discussions of the thirteen legacies, providing ample material for anyone wishing to play a mage embracing one of the legacies or a Storyteller who wants to embroil that legacy in the storyline. Although necessary game mechanics are included, the main gist of each one is the underlying mindset and concepts involved, helping the reader to understand how a mage will grow and develop as he pursues that legacy. Each one includes the attainments a mage gains as he advances within it and a sample character should you wish to make use of it as an NPC representative of the legacy (or as inspiration for building your own character or NPCs). There are also story hooks based around each legacy which can be woven into the plot or even used as inspiration for an entire chronicle focussed on it.


Reading through the different legacies gives an idea of the vast and magestic sweep of history that lies behind magic within this game. Like its companion book Legacies: The Sublime this one delves deep into the underlying philosophy and addresses the core of the game: the development of the individual as a wielder of magic in modern times. Many of these legacies involve mastery over something - the elements, dreams, even death itself - and speak to the need of many to control things around them, something that lies at the very heart of magical power. Others address the equally powerful urge to create, be it in stone or metal or music, or to understand the underlying pattern.


This makes for a fascinating read, once you have got past the opening fiction which will be a bit too explicit for some readers. The legacies are varied and provide valuable insights into what it means to be a modern-day mage, and for those who choose to follow them provide a vehicle to develop characters into potent practitioners of their art.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legacies: The Ancient
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Tri-Stat dX: Core System Role-Playing Game
by Dave R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/07/2015 08:52:08

I really like this system. I found it extremely intuitive without being crazy bogged down.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tri-Stat dX: Core System Role-Playing Game
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Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
by lee m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/28/2015 07:46:05

What an amazing book. Packed full of information and very useable without the need to buy other source material...well at least for a while



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
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World of Darkness Rulebook
by Jacob S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/17/2015 09:03:42

Very happy with the softcover I bought, much cheaper then I can get elsewhere and came in great time considering I live in the UK. Very crisp print making the text easy to read.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
World of Darkness Rulebook
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Mage Noir
by Michael B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/17/2015 06:02:12

Short, focused and inspiring.


Mage Noir manages to deliver with a relatively small word count, tons of atmosphere and information about 1940's america and how the Awakened fit into it, all with an eye for the noir style. The book is jammed with storyhooks and ideas about a variety of possible mage stories set in the period. And while it focuses greatly on the large American cities of the time, there's enough material to visit the small towns of the south or the battlefields of europe.
When talking about the war against fascism, Noir tends to depict the Awakened as divided along similar lines by their opposition to the Seers of the Throne. But there are enough throw-away clues to hint that this wasn't a clear-cut dichotomy. The horrors of that war a constant theme in the book, as is the cynicism those horrors carved into the men and women who lived through them.
The book uses a new legacy of mages practicing covert magic almost exclusively, as the focusing lense of the book. This legacy embodies the spirit of the age, and the short adventure in the book is tailored to a cabal belonging to that legacy.


The only downside I see to this book is the art. It is serviceable. But nothing there really captures the eye or the imagination.


An enjoyable and informative read. Full of advice and ideas.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mage Noir
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Changeling: The Lost
by James L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/14/2015 23:09:12

I have been a long time fan of White Wolf games Vampire: The Masquerade, Changeling: The Dreaming, Werewolf: The Apocalips and Wraith: The Oblivion. I'm very happy that they made Changeling: The Lost.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Lost
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Veil of Night
by Robert G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/06/2015 21:58:52

Having been a follower of Classic Vampire the Masquerade, I found it confusing that the book refers to the Cainite Clans by Arab knicknames, especially since they did not create new blood lines. I had to create a cheat sheet to follow along.


The book seems to take that stance that the Clans are mostly European lineages, forgetting that Mithras(Dark Ages Europe/Dark Ages: British Isles), Arakur, Sire of Tiamat(Bloody Hearts Diablerie: London), Michael(Constantinople by Night) are all characters were middle eastern when embraced by their Antediluvian (3rd Generation) Sires. So the Ventrue and Toreador were in area well before the Roman Empire and should not be outsiders. The Children of Haqim and Followers of Set seem to at once be center and outsiders in an area always associated with them.


Overall I liked it.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Veil of Night
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Dark Ages: Vampire
by Vivien W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2015 06:50:11

Nice edition, too bad there is some problems of white square with the illustration (for example, page 65 with the foot of the Brujah).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Ages: Vampire
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Tribebook: Silver Fangs (Revised)
by Fenix P. P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/31/2014 13:45:11

It has an error, but it's an awesome book anyways, I just want the other books of this perfect franchise to become available in PDF.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tribebook: Silver Fangs (Revised)
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Orpheus
by Alexander P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/26/2014 18:08:59

Orpheus is a brilliant book, and a fantastic alternative for people who want a ghost game but felt like Wraith was a little too dreary. I'm a huge fan of this entire line.


Which is why this review hurts me. I bought a PoD hardcover copy of this product, and couldn't be more disappointed. Many of the pages in this book have black logos behind the text; these are messily printed, to the point where the whole pages are rendered unreadable. Combined with the overall cheap feeling of the pages, I've wound up with an unusable copy of a book I love. Stay away!



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Orpheus
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Legacies: The Sublime
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/19/2014 02:52:51

Opening with a poster for a gig and an evocative piece of fiction, a tale about a young musician-mage who in desperation is directed by her future self to seek guidance from a strange old man, thus leading in to the concept of legacies as introduced in the core rulebook but now to be discussed at length in a book dedicated to the subject.


The Introduction: Reaching for the Supernal explains how whilst mages know that there's a lot more to the world than 'ordinary' folk (or Sleepers) might realise, they each have to find their own routes to understanding and mastering it. Fundamentally, working magic comes down to the mage's will and his soul but there are many images and theories used to explain it and various powers, called attainments, that mages can learn in their quest to mould their souls and work their wills. Many develop themselves, Awakened and having chosen an order, by training in a legacy or perhaps even creating their own. The legacies are so named because that is what they are, the legacy of an earlier mage's efforts to craft their own soul and master their magical powers.


This book describes, in considerable detail, some thirteen of these legacies which are all linked by in some way referring to 'the sublime'. Some are organised and widely-recognised in mage society, others chaotic or followed by but a few determined souls. Mages following these teachings aspire to become in some way sublime themselves. Perhaps they dream of becoming gods, wish to ascend to a better world or improve the one they live in. Maybe they'd like to wield magic unheard of by any of their peers. It is amazing enough to have one's soul Awaken to the Supernal World, but those mages who choose to follow a legacy seek to become exceptional even by Awakened standards. It taps into the essence of this game, the core concept of opening one's eyes to the realms of possibilities inherent iin the use of magic in a modern world.


The bulk of the book is given over to detailed discussion of each of the thirteen legacies presented herein. Most are available to player-character mages but two follow the so-called Left Hand Path, strands of knowledge so abhorrent that mage society recoils from such teachings and those who practice them. These can serve as outright enemies, rather than the political rivals others present in the continual dance that is the intrigue upon which mage society thrives.


For each legacy there is extensive discussion of the underlying philosophy: what kind of mage is attracted to it and will thrive in its ranks. There's the history and of course the attainments, the legacy-specific powers that practitioners gain. There are also details of what the typical adherent might look like and behave, and how they are regarded by and interact with the rest of mage society. Rites and rituals of the legacy and even story hooks and ideas based upon them are included. A neat item is a fully-developed sample character complete with backstory, quotes and stat block - a ready-made NPC should you require a member of that legacy.


The really fun thing about all these legacies, however, is the underlying philosophy, the theories by which each explains their magic. Studying these, and embracing the thought-patterns of your chosen legacy, will help you begin to think like your character.


After introducing such a wide variety of legacies - including a couple of really dark and destructive ones that are best followed by NPCs - there is an Appendix: Shaping the Soul that explains how to design your own legacy. As some of the legacies presented here are of recent origin, there are bound to be potential new ones springing up so if you fancy a go at writing your own philosophy of magic, here is your chance. Game mechanics are made clear, but the spark of imagination will be your own. As a player, this is a chance for your character to make their own original contribution to mage society. As a Storyteller, you can craft legacies to tell your own stories in your own way, devising allies and antagonists around a premise of your own devising.


As with the extant legacies, the whole process is embued with the underlying philosophy of magic. This drives the development of the new legacy, the relevant game mechanics follow later as a matter of course. Characters who carve their own paths in this manner may be consciously absorbed in the process or it may be a natural progression from the development of their interests as they progress as mages... for this is but the first step in actually creating a legacy, only time will tell if other mages will choose to follow. Creating a legacy should be a slow process, one of spiritual growth and change, not something done on a whim merely to create a more powerful character.


If you really want to get into a mage's mind, studying this work gives some insight, even if you do not choose to have your character join one of these legacies or have a go at creating one of his own. If you are the Storyteller there is plenty here to help you create a rich tapestry of mage society as a backdrop for your stories whilst the legacies may suggest some actual plots as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Legacies: The Sublime
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Vampire: The Masquerade - Revised Edition
by Joseph P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/16/2014 20:10:38

The book and material itself is great, and honestly, I think I prefer it t the 20th Anniversary edition over all. The main issue is that this scan is poorly done. Pease redo this for quality, and also add in some bookmarks please. Still, it's a great product and worth the price. It's just in comparison to other White Wolf/Onyx Path products I've gotten via DriveThru, the digital aspects are on the poorer side.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Masquerade - Revised Edition
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