DriveThruRPG.com
Close
Close
Browse
 Publisher Info









Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Masters of Jade
by Brian P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2015 19:48:19

This was the last book published before the announcement of third edition, and I think it deserves at least a whole star for being the book that does the most to expand the scope of the world since...well, since Scavenger Sons. One of the problems with Exalted as a whole is that the setting was laid out early and very few new locations were introduced, which meant that the existing locations ended up with connections that make no sense for how far they are from each other. Like how I complained in my review of the Exalted corebook that the Linowan have an ocean presence despite being a thousand miles from the sea, or the way that the Realm has a base in Greyfalls even though it's a year round-trip.


One of the problems is the way that there were rarely any locations placed in between the existing ones in order to actually demonstrate the distances involved, and Masters of Jade fixes that pretty handily. Zebremani; the tomb-cities of Dazra of Irivande, ruled by the nemessary ghosts of their former inhabitants possessing their former bodies; the Empire of the Three Devil Princes, ruled by mysterious shapeshifters; Coindelving, the silver foundry-mill in the frozen North; the behemoth-island Grand Amanuta; the Thaumatarchy of Tessen-O; the Scorpion Empire... Reading those names gives me the same feeling as when I was reading the Exalted 1e corebook with its descriptions of mysterious cities, crumbling empires, teeming wilderness, and desolate wasteland, and even though that's not really what the book was about it's probably my favorite part of it.


What Masters of Jade is actually about is the Guild, the largest trading organization in Creation and one famous for being primarily mortal-run in a world where the supernatural is an ongoing and constant concern. I admit, I've never particularly liked the Guild for the same reason that I don't like the countries with implausibly large territories or trading relationships across hundreds of miles of trackless wasteland--it makes the world feel smaller when there's a single organization that runs nearly all international trade. The book actually does a lot to help rehabilitate the Guild in my eyes by making the case the the Guild's size is essential to its function. Individual Guild factors can be subverted and their interests taken over, but that's just one small area, and if the new owner still makes a profit it doesn't really matter. What really worries the Guild is the prospect of large-scale subversion, and their size and cell structure makes taking over the entirety of the organization a Herculean undertaking.


But not impossible, now that the Solars have returned.


Where Manacle And Coin was more of a lower-level view of a day-to-day Guild business, Masters of Jade deals mostly with the high level and the actions of the Guild as a whole. There's a section about how the Guild's power base is built on slavery, both because manpower is one of the few things in great supply in the Age of Sorrows and because slaves provide the only things of value that the Guild can trade with the fair folk, the powers of Hell, or the dead. Though the Guild is very careful on the last of those, because they actually have competition there--the Timeless Order of Manacle and Coin, the Guild of the Underworld. Or, taking account their respective pedigrees, it'd be more accurate to say that the Guild is the Timeless Order of Creation.


I really like the Timeless Order section, because it deals with the reality of the Underworld. Those with unfinished business become ghosts when they die, and Guild merchants are probably especially likely to become ghosts due to their obvious greed, without which they would not be successful Guild merchants. But the Guild's wealth is built on slavery and drugs, and they work thousands or tens of thousands in the fields to death every year to keep their markets supplied. Any member of the Guild who becomes a ghost is likely to face quite a few extremely angry ghosts with knives when they arrive in the Underworld--and this also serves the Guild's purposes, because it motivates its merchants to become extremely rich so they can finance lavish funerals and arrive in the Underworld with enough resources to obtain membership in the Timeless Order or other protection. Every Guild member lives in mortal terror of dying a pauper.


There's also an explanation for how the Guild manages to compete against supernatural threats, and it also comes down to its size. Against spirits, it relies on blackmail: agree to our policies and receive rich sacrifices, work against us and be starved of worship. Against Exalts, it relies on information: Exalts still have human concerns, after all, and if the Guild can find out what they want and put the Exalt in their debt, is if far better to have the Princes of the Earth work with you out of their own free will than to try to buy them. And if both of those fail, well, most Exalts have mortals they care about, and if the Guild can find that out as well, there's always the knife in the dark.


The book ends with a system called the Creation-Ruling Mandate, which sounds worse but plays better than the Mandate of Heaven from the Exalted Storytellers Companion. The Mandate of Heaven isn't necessarily flawed, but it's overcomplicated for all but the most focused nation-building games and has a ton of actions with names like Tiger Confounds Bear Legislation that are impossible to remember without memorizing them all. The Creation-Ruling Mandate abstracts out most of the attributes and changes the action names to simple ones like "Destroy Asset," which are less flavorful but much easier to use in play. The main drawback is that there are no example organizations provided and no example of play, so it's a bit difficult to figure out how the actions interact.


I remember liking Manacle and Coin and I wasn't sure how I would feel about Masters of Jade, but it managed to win me over. As someone who tuned out of Exalted 2e relatively early in the line, I wish there had been more books like this early on. They might have maintained my interest.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Masters of Jade
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Immortal Eyes: Court of all Kings
by Jan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2015 09:12:26

This is mostly a good scan of the original hardcopy. There is none of the usual fading at the binding edge of pages from pressing the book down on the scanner.
Alas page 135/136 of the PDF (133/134 of the printed copy) was scrunched and some of the text on pg. 136 is illegible.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Immortal Eyes: Court of all Kings
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Changeling: The Lost Character Sheet Pad
by Scott E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/02/2015 12:18:00

Excellent for printing and allows quick reference for players (mine keep forgetting their kith abilities) though I think the new interactive pages, like the VtR one make for a less cumbersome
file.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Lost Character Sheet Pad
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Mage: The Sorcerers Crusade
by Patrick L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/08/2015 16:35:06

Highly, highly disappointed.


This is just an extremely poor scan, which is absolutely not worth the money. One could finde these scans in illiegal download areas. But I would never have expected this when paying almost 20$ on a - what I expected - digital copy!
This is nothing like it, it's just a scan I could've done better with the camera snapshot app of my modile phone. The thing is, that it's not even readable at all, as just trying to decipher the poor quality hurts my eyes! Is there a refund option with drive thru? I'll gladly delete this copy and swear an oath not to have any copies on my systems!


I have to say this, though, that, until now, all of my other purchases at drivethru have been very satisfying!



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Sorcerers Crusade
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
by Raiko N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/07/2015 16:20:52

First: english is not my mothertongue but I think the following will be possible to decipher :)


Second: The content of the books (I ordered both in colour two years ago I think) is great, the other ratings tell more about that.


but, and this is my point of view and a useless one when you don't care about the binding of a book,


Third: The Binding, for me an essential component for a Roleplaying Game Rulebook, is what seems to me as a double-fan adhesive bound. I am not proficient in this trade but I am able to compare all of my other p&p Books (nearly 20 Hardcover books of over 7 different Games from the US, UK and Germany, sometimes with over 500 pages thick) bindings with the bindings of the book I am reviewing. And none of them has this kind of binding. Instead they are done with the oversewing technique. And from my point of view there is a consequence in that.
After using both Vampire books nearly 2 times a month over 2 years (as a Storyteller) the paper which held the pages in the cover ripped (both books). A clear cut between the first page attached to the cover and the rest of the pages. The tear is located there because I open the books usually with the front cover first, like from right to left. Not any of my other books 5 to 10 years older and more frequently in use (once a week for over 5 years (also for storytelling)) plagued me with this problem. Well not any other books except the last VtM Core-Rulebook Edition before this one (but I am not sure if this version also had the same binding as the v20, I don't posses it any more, passed it along when receiving the v20 ones)
This is essential because these books are considered to be used frequently preferably over a long time. They have to withstand the continuing opening and closing of the players.
"I use my new feat XY, I have to..." open - close
"I would like to create this character from..." open - close
"Isn't this supposed to be..." open - close
and so on.
When the pages are going to fall out of the cover it is a annoying hindrance to use the books. And this is happening and I can see no other Reason than this. I doubt that my girlfriend is gnawing at the pages at night Oo


I wrote this Review because I care and because I love the Vampire Setting and hope that this will be considered in the future.


Books with this flaw tends to be useless to me and therefore wasted money.
Delagur


PS: I also wrote an E-Mail to the support about this topic but I felt to tell this again and this time to the ones considering to buy the books.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

World of Darkness: Character Pad
by David H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2015 16:19:12

It was extremely useful and it made much easier to teach my players how to make characters



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
World of Darkness: Character Pad
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
by greg m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/29/2015 16:27:24

I cannot say enough good things about this product. The images are all crisp, well drawn. Seeing Tim Bradstreet's art grace the pages of a V:tM core book was fantastic, in my opinion.
The writers missed very few items in bringing V:tM to an expanded audience for the twentieth anniversary of the flagship line of the classic Works of Darkness. Two things that stood out as missing to me was the lack of two Paths of Enlightenment, the Path of the Hive, and Scorched Heart. Other than that, fantastic book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

New World of Darkness Rulebook (1st Edition)
by Matthew P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2015 18:59:38

I purchased a hardcover printed edition of this player's manual, and I'm really impressed with the overall quality of the physical book itself.


I have an original copy of the book to compare it to, just for the sake of those who are interested.


The DriveThruRPG hardbound printing came with a thick gloss cover about 8.5" x 11" and a little short of an inch thick. The page paper is good quality and matte. The binding appears to be a thermally activated binding, perfect binding (think National Geographic). World of Darkness is artwork heavy, especially the borders of the individual pages, and the printing quality is consistent and clear.


The original printing has some interesting differences. The original has a matte cover instead of the gloss, what appears to be a Smyth sewn binding, and the interior pages are a little bit glossier and heavier making the images and print come out a little bit crisper. The original is also slightly smaller than the DriveThruRPG printing and features a slightly larger font for the title on the binding, as well as the White Wolf logo.


DriveThruRPG has certainly printed a very high quality volume with no flaws. The differences between the two printings are pretty unimportant, and chances are, the gloss cover on the DriveThruRPG printing will hold up better to wear and tear than the matte cover on the original.


The only concern I have is that a Perfect binding will fall apart faster than a Smyth binding will, and it may make it worth the extra money to hunt down an original printing just to have the book last a little bit longer.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
New World of Darkness Rulebook (1st Edition)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Dudes of Legend (Full Version)
by Jon L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/06/2015 16:34:07

This book was okay and had a decent set of rules of how to make and be a bad-ass character. Not very detailed in anything else but for 0.99 it wasn't so bad it wasn't even a $1.00 so money well spent.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dudes of Legend (Full Version)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Hunter: Deadly Prey Rulebook
by Jon L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/06/2015 16:29:51

I didn't really care for it honestly. I got it under the pretense of it being something else.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Hunter: Deadly Prey Rulebook
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Adamantine Arrow
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/02/2015 08:37:01

Opening with a strange piece of fiction about death and beyond, Why We Fight, this supplement seeks to dig deep into the very soul of the order of mages called the Adamantine Arrow. Mages of this order are not just warriors but more, they wish to dig deep to understand the philosophy of conflict, and fight with weapons and their arts, seeing combat as the way to truth and enlightenment. Hence members of this order do not merely Awaken, they are then forged into potent weapons, combatants with a burning desire to win... or die trying.


Chapter 1: The Smoke from Distant Fires looks at the history of the order from the earliest times right up to the present. Like all warriors they have many legends of past glories to recount. It sweeps from the days of Atlantis itself, developing the core theme that existence itself is conflict. Wherever there is conflict, there you will find Arrow mages. Some say they have formented wars through the ages, others hold that they have just taken advantage of something ordinary mundane mankind is pretty good at engaging in for itself. One thing though, they detest cannibals. They'll always seek to stamp out that vile practice wherever they encounter it. Throughout the sweep of known history, often written in blood, you will find the Arrow.


Next, Chapter 2: Sown From the Dragon's Talons seeks to explain the philosophies, beliefs and practices of the order. Here we read of the Admant Way - symbolised by a hand grasping a thunderbolt - which speaks of great power and the universe as a weapon wielding by a mage's trained hand. Understand this, and you begin to understand what makes this order tick.


Then Chapter 3: Among Warriors delves into what it is like to be a member of the Arrow. To start with, unlike most orders, constant study and a 'mystery cult' approach does not apply here. No secret handshakes or constant initiation rituals... the idea is that members ought to be out there doing rather than reading or performing ceremonies. This is the underlying difference in philosophical approach, and it's key to understanding the order. Of course, mages still have to be accepted for membership, and to remain in good standing once in. There's an interesting discussion about Awakening - who is likely to Awaken and what sort of events provide the opportunity - which raises some interesting possibilities, and a look at what the order seeks at different stages of a prospective member's career as a mage. Initial initiation, whether sought when newly-Awakened or later on, is quite a lengthy process and both mage and order will have a good understanding of the other by the time it is concluded. It's detailed at length, sufficient to play out if desired although generally a fully-generated character is regarded as having already joined the order of their choice. Alternatively, some groups may want to play 'recruiters' and oversee the initiation of other (NPC) mages. Like any organisation, once in members can gain rank and recognition, and this is laid out in detail. There's also quite a lot about the principles on which the order is run and how they are handled on a day-to-day basis, complete with examples: everything you need to construct Arrow society in a meaningful way in your game. For Storytellers, this is useful even if no character wants to join the order, you can make NPC members come to vivid life. Notes on how to handle cabals that are all or partly composed of Arrow members, or have a single one, and Arrow relationships with other orders and other kinds of supernatural beings are also included.


This is followed by Chapter 4: Factions and Legacies which talks about the various groups with which a member of the order can ally and the different paths that he can follow. The preceding chapter rather gives the air of a unified purposeful order and whilst that is mostly true there are of course a multitude of ways in which individual members group to pursue common aims... and even add in aims of their own into the mix. There are three main factions, but each contains several cults (as they term legacies) that faction members may adhere to. Plenty of detail, plenty of choice.


Chapter 5: Magic discusses the ways in which the Adamantine Arrow uses magic, based on the underlying principle that existence itself is conflict. Tactics, new spells and ideas on the practical application of magic to further the order's aims are to be found here, with the discussion ranging from the philosophical ideas to actual rotes ready to be learned and used. Artefacts and relics are included as well.


Finally, an Appendix contains a goodly collection of ready-made Arrow mages - friends, rivals, or foes as appropriate. There is a wide range of different folk, you will be fairly certain to find one who meets your needs.


Overall, this book gives an excellent look at the Adamantine Arrow and is essential reading if you want them to feature in your Chronicle, or have characters wanting to join the order. There's the usual confusion, that this is far more knowledge than most characters will have, even those who are members (unless very senior ones), but provided players are good at keeping in-character and out-of-character knowledge separate, or the Storyteller doles out information as needed, it should not cause a problem. An entertaining and informative read, broadening your knowledge of the world of Mage: The Awakening.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adamantine Arrow
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Nightmare on Hill Manor
by Mycl B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/27/2015 19:22:47

Great quality. Great introductory scenario. Would have liked it to include a few maps. A basic floor map of floor five would have been very helpful. Possibly even a generic apartment map.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Nightmare on Hill Manor
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Vampire: The Requiem Demo Full
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/20/2015 12:56:31

Oh.My.God. I am so excited to play this game. I have only printed and read through the intro and rules, but I'm so intrigued and jazzed to play this game. It's definitely right up my alley. I heard about this one from the 2 GM's, 1 Mic podcast and I can why they rave about it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Requiem Demo Full
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

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)
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

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
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Displaying 46 to 60 (of 1632 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates