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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)
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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)
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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New World of Darkness Rulebook (1st Edition)
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!]
New World of Darkness Rulebook (1st Edition)
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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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