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V20 Ready Made Characters
por Charles P. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 07/19/16 07:16:24

I picked up this from RPGnow and decided to give it a review. It's thirteen Neonates, one from every clan, with suggestions for using them as NPCs or player characters. Also, how they might get along. I was originally going to give this one a pass but decided since it was only five dollars for the PDF to pick it up. I was surprised to see it had a "Coterie Chart" in the pack for making these characters interact and I have to say I approve. I loved those in Chicago by Night. I also noted there were some decent adventure hooks in the back of the book but was disappointed they were generic rather than tied to specific characters.


The characters all very much feel like Post-Revised which is trying a little too hard to be serious in my opinion. I generally prefer my vampires to be a little bit exaggerated in their behavior so my favorite of the 13 were the Scottish Giovanni football couch (which I will have far too much fun doing the outrageous accent of--based on my grandfather no less), the MMA fighter killed in the ring by the Sabbat, and the Pre-WW2 Jewish girl who torpored through the Holocaust.


The latter is just a serious actual character and one with a lot of potential for drama as well as good RPGing. I'll also probably use the Ventrue PC as she has a very easy to use job (she's a fence), has an interesting backstory (parted from her lesbian fiance by the embrace), and the PCs can probably regain a point of Humanity by reuniting them right before things go horribly wrong.


I also give credit for 'Tzimisce Veterinarian.' as a concept.


There's a couple of other interesting ideas in the book as well, including a member of the Giovanni family embraced by a member of the Lasombra who is more interested in his mortal family than his parent one. Also, a Toreador embracing a Dadaist is an inherently interesting idea because Dadaism is an inherent rejection of the concept of art. It's basically like the Tremere embracing someone who hates the concept of magic and finds it stupid.


Plus a Ravnos Lawyer.


Overall, I recommend this book and think you'll probably get your five bucks worth with at least some of the book. Certainly, it can be used to pad out the Kindred of a city if you don't feel your homebrew city is populated by enough Kindred to just causally interact with.


9/10



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V20 Ready Made Characters
por Lucas V. t. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 07/18/16 13:54:53

Im here because of the gentleman gamer and want to say that every world of darkness book should be a holy relic because they are all great keep up the great work.



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V20 Ready Made Characters
por Customer Name Withheld [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 07/18/16 13:28:05

Each of the character designs cleverly explore the creative potential of each clan. Even if you don't get a character idea you want to use outright, you're bound to be inspired by the Gentleman Gamer's fun and flavorful ideas.



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V20 Ready Made Characters
por Michael W. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 07/17/16 13:51:37

I love this book, the characters are so unique and give a great idea for further character designs. Especially when they go against type.



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Exalted 3rd Edition
por Jason S. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 07/15/16 12:29:42

I got the 1st edition of Exalted years ago when it first came out because I loved the idea of it but never really got into it because the storyteller rules didn’t really seem to work well with the more cinematic combat system that this game was trying to simulate. I eventually sold my copy which I kind of regretted because if nothing else the artwork and story building for the game were great. I bought the PDF of the 3rd Edition just recently as an impulse but I’m glad I did. I will be purchasing the physical copy soon and will most definitely be pitching this game to my local gaming group.



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V20 Ready Made Characters
por Kevin C. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 07/12/16 09:13:57

It's always handy to have some pre-made characters ready to go when you need one to help move the group along when they've taken a path you didnt expect and need to get them back on track! This, in my opinion, will definatly save my backside with my group! Thank you!!!



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V20 Ready Made Characters
por Matthew B. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 07/08/16 14:35:05

This is a great book and very handy to someone who is new to Vampire, despite being a RPGer since the mid-80s. The books offers an intriguing collection of characters ready to play, as both novice and experienced builds. The rich backgrounds offers spurs to adventrue ideas and the PCs themselves allow low-prep games easily. The feature I liked particularly was the coteries and the groupings and relationships of the characters. I should also add that the author is Matthew Dawkins and his writing is really great - I've enjoyed his gentleman gamer youtube reviews for many years and great to see his RPG writing. Thanks Onyx Path.



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V20 Ready Made Characters
por P. B. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 07/07/16 12:57:59

True confessions time: I didn't want any V20 ready-made character nonsense when I saw it as a stretch goal during the V20 Lore of the Clans Kickstarter. I got the PDF when they sent out the link to backers, but I thought the book wouldn't be worth looking at... And then I DID look, and oh my GOODNESS is it great!
This is waaaaaay more than I'd expected when I heard the announcement, both in terms of showing us what's great about Vampire: the Masquerade AND in terms of showing us what's possible within the game. Is it perfect? Nah, but that's what makes it kind of perfect. Yes, I've said that about a LOT of V20 products (e.g. The Hunters Hunted II, V20 Black Hand, Rites of the Blood), but this one is really neat for it's ability to offer more than just another supplement. Rather, it offers seeds for your chronicles, whether as something new or as something to grow in the fertile ground of an existing chronicle.
These characters come with enough detail to act as starting points, OR they can be picked up for players in a more advanced game. Each has a 'neonate' set of traits as well as a second, 'ancilla' set of traits to give you plenty of options. They present just enough back story to hook you without forcing your hand in what shall become of any of these characters in your chronicles. There is also a very nice set of ready-made coteries of various Sects and outlooks using these character, and finally a helpful bevy of story ideas for these vampires.
For the price, it's a STEAL, but don't let that be your only reason you pick this up. This book's something that will help you love Vampire, even if you already love the game.



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Exalted 3rd Edition
por Andy G. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 07/06/16 17:42:39

This is a fun game. The combat system is very cinematic in that it splits damage into "real" damage to your health track (inflicting wound penalties that gamers familiar with WW IPs will recognise) and "tactical" damage (which effects your initiative score and other elements of combat like grapples and dealing "real" damage).


The art is a bit spotty in places (a couple of the weapons essentially have the same illustration) but is generally good.


My main gripes are three-fold:




  1. Natural language. This book intentionally avoids using "system terms" to spell out exactly what things do. This leads to a great deal of confusion when two players interpret effects differently. It is, of course, easy enough to house-rule -- but then the purpose of this edition was to alleviate the endless house-ruling from 2nd Edition.




  2. System bloat. The core content vector in Exalted is "Charms" (comparable perhaps to Feats in D&D). This corebook has more charms than any previous edition... but a great many of them don't do anything outside of "+1 Higher Number on your character sheet". Outside of charms, subsystems like Crafting have become more complex. Previous editions let you roll to create the object you want, with the roll taking a variable length of time and difficulty based on what you were crafting. This edition keeps that, but now: you can't create a powerful magic sword until you've created a half-dozen regular magic swords; you can't create a regular magic sword until you've created a dozen swords; and you can't smith a sword until you've fletched a dozen arrows. This book is enormous: nearly takes up as much room on my shelf as the 1st and 2nd edition corebooks put together. Yet it lacks setting information found in those earlier editions and it doesn't have a story-telling chapter to tell you how to run the game.



  3. Lack of backwards compatibility. Exalted has been around for ~15 years. There are dozens of supplements for it (not to mention fan material). Translating from 1st Edition to 2nd is a bit iffy in places but bringing old material into this edition pretty much necessitates writing it from the ground up. No doubt this problem will abate as more books are released... but 2nd Edition had six playable Exalted factions (and many more side-factions) over the course of its release while this edition only has one. This problem extends to equipment, antagonists and adventure pathways.


I'd like to reiterate that the game is fun. But it needs a lot of house rulings. The previous edition of this game is also fun, also needs a lot of house rulings... but has a lot more existing content. Ex3 has a lot of potential, but without extensive errata and a few good supplements behind it, I can't honestly recommend it.



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Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
por Customer Name Withheld [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 07/01/16 17:17:39

The book is huge, litteraly, and that's awesome. The thing is beautiful. The colors are vivid and the arts are nice. The one thing that bothers me a bit is that it seems like it's a softcover glued to a cardboard hardcover. It doesn't change much on the functionnal side of the product, but it reflect poorly on the quality. None the less, i love this product. Thk Onyx Path.



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V20 Lore of the Clans
por Lucas v. D. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 07/01/16 08:56:23

First of all I want to say this book is exactly what I expected from it: More lore of the 13 clans. The setting is very important in WoD and as a storyteller this is a perfect supplement to get a better grasp on the tentions between the clans (something I use in almost every gamesession). The chapters are written from a in clan perspective what gives a immersed feeling when reading. Ill definitly let my players read their own clan chapter.


Furthermore I think the short explaination in the end for the Antitribu is very usefull if you have limited knowledge about the sabbat. The extra clan disiplines and merits/flaws are cool, but (for me at least) you should buy this for the stories, lore and cool fluff.


My final verdict: A must have for storytellers



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V20 The Black Hand: A Guide to the Tal’Mahe’Ra
por Megan R. [Cr�tico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 06/28/16 11:28:11

It's all about conspiracies, about ancient vampire pulling strings behind the scenes... even the Camarilla are wary of the Black Hand. Yet in revealing a conspiracy, it's a delicate balance between giving you the tools you need to feature it in your game and exposing so much that it isn't scary or exciting any more. The Black Hand has had a chequered existance, being first introduced in Vampire: The Masquerade 2e with Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand, then being wiped out by Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition - it's mentioned explicitly that they no longer exist - but had proven so enjoyable that it was decided to bring them back. Of course, if it's not to your taste, you can ignore them, but if the thought of a conspiracy running through the depths of the heart of vampire society excites you, presents an opportunity to build tension in your chronicle (or blow it apart entirely as what seems normal to your coterie is turned on its head) then this is worth a look...


The book begins with Chapter 1: Black as Hell, Dark as Night, which introduces the whole conspiracy, its rituals, practices and underlying ideology (not that it's that simple, there are various strands of thought and different factions), and provides the mechanics necessary for creating your own Black Hand characters, to play or as NPCs. The lineage of the Black Hand is truly ancient, predating all the other sects. Formed of disparate groups linked by common goals, the origins seem to lie in a 3,000 year old bunch of mages who came to the Middle East (but where from?) and attracted the attention of Egyptian immortals who took them deep into the underworld where they found an ancient city, sunless and brooding. Many alliances and betrayals followed as these originals worked with (and against) other groups during the ages between that initial discovery and tonight... for those who adore the sweep of vampire history, there are some treats in store here.


Then, Chapter 2: Bahari - Cult of the Dark Mother explores those who worship Lilith and the particular spin they put on things, including the unique way they practice thaumaturgy and necromancy. Lilit's faithful knew of that dark and brooding subterranean city, called Enoch, of old but were not great explorers. But they bided their time, formed alliances and eventually got there... yet soon had to turn their minds to the protection of their faith as other religions arose around them. Mysticism, beliefs, legends abound, delve deep to discover the Bahari take. Did Lilith spawn her own vampiric line? Some believe she did. The study of Litith is the study of pain, with creation and transformation mixed in, for how can these be accomplished without pain? Find out the appeal of this sect, what its adherants believe and do, and bring them into your chronicle to best effect.


In Chapter 3: The Dark Below, we read about infernalism and how some see it as a way to bring on the apocalypse while others regard it as a dark evil that needs stamping out forthwith. The true aims of the Black Hand, unlike other vampiric cults, are very obscure and known only to a few (and they probably don't agree completely as to what they are). In recruiting members, they seek out vampires who are curious about things they really ought not to be delving into... perhaps one or more of your coterie will attact their attention? More history, more philosophy, more ideas - plenty to read and mine for ideas here.


Next Chapter 4: Dirty Secrets talks about the wide range of characters involved in the Dark Hand apart from vampires themselves - mummies, werewolves and even more abominable entities... ghosts and even the mortal necromances of Enoch. Although the Dark Hand is very much a vampiric conspiracy, they are not above drawing anyone else they view as potentially useful into their ranks. There are notes on how to create many of the entities they might suck in, as well as information on how to use them as antagonists, allies or even as player characters.


Finally, Chapter 5: Watch the Hand provides an example chronicle, ready to use or as inspiration for one of your own devising. It's exciting and fast-paced, dragging the party straight into the heart of the conspiracy almost from the outset.


The addition of the Black Hand to your chronicles can add layers of depth and hidden meaning to your game. For some, it might be a bit too much, for others it will enrich the experience and give purpose to vampiric existance - as a part of the conspiracy or as an implacable opponent... or seeking to find out just what is going on before taking sides. You may even decide to keep it all bubbling away below the surface, barely perceived by the characters, until...



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V20 Lore of the Clans
por Megan R. [Cr�tico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 06/27/16 09:37:42

If you have been playing Vampire: The Masquerade for any time, you probably have a stack of clan 'splatbooks' giving you the low-down on the various clans of vampires (especially if you are an experimental role-player and don't stick to identical characters all the time). Here notes on all thirteen clans have been gathered together into a single sourcebook containing a wealth of vampire history, tradition and outright lies, all ready for you to delve into.


Each chapter addresses the nature and traditions of a single clan from the standpoint of a vampire who is a member of that clan. How truthful are they? Well, about as truthful as any vampire is, and most of them make politicians look vaguely honest. Starting with the history of the clan, the chapter also contains information about how the clan operates tonight, and provides a range of new powers, merits, flaws, and other rules information which can be used to customise a typical clan member as you please.


The approach is vaguely scholarly, and proves quite an entertaining read. Most could be gathered by a curious vampire of any clan who is prepared to research and talk to members of other clans - after all, any vampire has a lot of nights to fill and needs a good hobby! Of course, for older vampires it's not history, it is something through which they existed although memories may not be as sharp, or may be coloured by later events and opinions. Only the Storyteller knows for certain what is fact and what is fiction in his own campaign... and he may not be telling!


With appendices covering the Caitiff and the Antitribu and a selection of notable vampires, this work provides a fascinating insight to vampire society and is well worth reading, especially if you enjoy all the details that take this game to a high level of absorbing role-playing and storytelling.



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Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
por Customer Name Withheld [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 06/27/16 07:09:38

I have mixed feelings about this product.


The book is too heavy for using it at a gaming table easily. The binding is ok, and I have had no problems with it yet. The quality of the illustrations varies a lot, the quality of the printing in the heavy paperweight version is ok, and the space management and layout of the elements of the book is a bit underwelming.


"Ok" means "sufficient, but not great".


The books gathers a lot of gaming content. It touches the History and metaphisics of Mage, the worlds beyond Earth, and allows for player characters from the Traditions, the Technocracy and the Disparate Alliance factions. It covers a lot of topics but does not move into much depth. Some players claim that certain things are explained in not a deep enough detail for using them in the game despite taking many pages of the book. I am prety sure any compenent Storyteller will manage to make something out of the content even if it is not explained in full detail, though.


The content is badly organized. Certain pieces of information are duplicated, which is a problem because the book is already big as it is. I think it would be hard to follow by a newcomer to Mage: The Ascension.


I think the "focuses" of certain Traditions/Crafts/Conventions are arbitrary and that the authors did not put a lot of thought into making the suggested tools/foci related to the paradigms represented by each faction. Hence you get cybernetics and hypertech as suggested tools for Verbena mages -who are portrayed as druidic mages with primitivistic beliefs and points of view. A good Game Master is obviously going to hack this if need be, but it looks ugly to me.


As a side note, there has been some Internet drama and forum flaming because the authors made an active effort to be socially inclussive towards homosexuals and transexuals, that is, to include characters with gender identity crisis in the fiction and so on. Most of the time it is not annoying and it feels like a natural incussion. Some of the time you feel like they shoehorned a political advertisement at some sidebar. I think they had good intentions but did a lousy job: it is ok to have a computer advertisement in the Linux Magazine; it is ok to have ethics advertisement in a religious magazine; it feels odd to have ethics/political advertisement in high end entertaiment books for which you have paid premium. If they wanted to publish a socially inclusive product, they should have learnt from authors who introduce such concepts in a way that does not feel like the element was placed in the book just because they wanted to do a political declaration. Onyx Path also messed it up pretty badly when addressing related flames in the forums by sutting down, suspending, banning and locking related forum threads and people who disliked the way this was done.


The book is entertaining to read and can be used as a source for inspiration. If my books suddenly burned down, I am not sure I would buy it again, however. Too "average" for a 20th Anniversary edition.



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V20 Rites of the Blood
por Megan R. [Cr�tico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 06/25/16 12:39:21

Just as their unlife derive from it, so does vampire sorcery have its basis in blood. Quite messily at times, as the opening piece of fiction describes (all in the best possible taste, I'm glad to say, your imagination is left to fill in the less pleasant bits!). Many vampires wonder just how blood does what it does for them, the more curious ask what else it can do. Out of this inquiry comes more exotic knowledge. Raw power shaped and controlled by ritual... magic. This book, then, looks at what effect blood rituals (and indeed blood sorcery as a whole) has on vampire society, as well as the price an individual vampire pays to develop his arts.


Ultimately, it's all about power. Raw power. Some clans codify their knowledge and pass it on, master to apprentice, sire to childe... but others reach deep into themselves to tap into powers they might have learned to control but do not really understand. The theme here is the cost of power, the mood is the strange and often scary wierdness of it all. Even vampires themselves see it as unnatural, which coming from unnatural beings is strange indeed! Ancient secrets and recent discoveries, quite apart from the disciplines practiced by all vampires, blood magic involves individuals wielding almost limitless power that can as easily overwhelm as it can serve. Treat with caution...


Chapter 1: The Ivory Tower starts a survey of blood magic as practised by various vampire groups by looking at the Tremere and thaumaturgy. The very history of the clan is bound up in their practice of thaumaturgy and it makes interesting reading to see how they used it to claw their way from untrusted outsiders to valued members of the vampire community (even if viewed somewhat warily)... and then the Camarilla was formed, and they established their position. There's more on their current status and the way in which they work, then follow detailed descriptions of commonly used rituals, including the rule mechanics for using them.


Then Chapter 2: The Sword of Caine continues in similar vein, explaining how blood magic is used by vampires of the Sabbat. Various kinds of magic are practiced and these are explained at length. The recurrent theme is that whatever magic is studied depends on the clan affiliation of the vampire studying it: although there are a few exceptions when particularly curious individuals somehow manage to learn a different style. The Sabbat also practice a variant form of magic called the ritae, which involve not just blood but faith as well. Detail is immense, reflecting the way in which spell-casters pore over their books and scrolls, amassing vast amounts of knowledge, a constanct feature of this entire book.


And so it continues with chapters exploring the blood magic practices of other groups - Chapter 3: The Movement looks at what Anarchs do including wierd and wonderful 'Hacktivist Thaumaturgy' that mixes computer technology, blood and magic and Chapter 4: The Independents explores the exploits of Assemites, Setites, Giovanni (who are in to necromancy big style). Then Chapter 5: The Unusal covers the Inconnu, the Tal'Mahe'Ra and even looks at the magical creation of creatures such as gargoyles. Not that that is supposed to happen any more, the Tremere had to give up their gargoyle habit when they joined the Camarilla but... well, the appropriate rituals are laid out here. Chapter 6: The Damned looks at demons, with a note explaining that these demons are not the ones of Demon: The Fallen, but rather demons as vampire view them. This chapter is steeped in the history of vampiric dealings with demons and inclues a section on the Sabbat Inquisition. Don't mess with them...


Finally, Chapter 7: Secrets of the Blood attempts, as far as is possible, a systematic analysis of blood magic from its fundamental principles. Whilst this mainly concentrates on the game mechanics necessary, there is enough background for a studious player to make his vampire character sound like he knows what he is talking about!


If magic is to play a leading role in your chronicle, or your character wants to study it, this work will provide ample resources. It is perhaps a bit of a niche interest, but reading through these chapters gives an insight into quite a lot more than just ritual spellcasting vampire-style... it provides added depth to the activities of sects and clans and so gives further insight to the shadowed world of vampires.



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