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Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition The Dark Ages
by Jeffrey B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2015 23:51:09
This book is extremely flavorful and thematic. It has some of the most evocative writing I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying in any roleplaying book. The explanation of the endless cycle of the hunt for blood is superb and really drives home what it might feel like to be a vampire in the Dark Ages. This historical portions are well researched, and where they deviate from history they follow a pattern which makes sense.

Unfortunately the mechanics are scattered at best. The Disciplines are inconsistent in the extreme, particularly the three Physical Disciplines which are not remotely comparable in terms of power level or ease of use. The multiple-actions system is confusing and probably would have been better left out, though I can understand the desire to make Celerity not a must-have for any type of character who wants to win a fight.

These shortcomings do not come close to the fantastic quality overall of the book, however, and I can still strongly recommend this to anyone with an interest in dark fantasy or the World of Darkness in general.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition The Dark Ages
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Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition The Dark Ages
by P. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2015 12:35:50
This book is everything that I wished for when it was announced by Onyx Path Publishing, and that is to say it is a proper new edition of a beloved classic! For the PDF, the price-per-page is a steal, and the quality of the contents quite makes that price almost embarrassingly low. That's all you NEED to know, but there's more I'll tell...

First, know that I've played Vampire since Second Edition came out in '92 (I was too much of a 'vampire snob' to even look at the First Edition... thanks Anne Rice!), and when Vampire: the Masquerade Twentieth Anniversary Edition was announced, I jumped on the opportunity to support it. The result was lovely, but in comparison to later Twentieth Anniversary releases (e.g. for Werewolf: the Apocalypse and the as-yet-to-be widely available Mage: the Ascension), the V20 wound up looking less like a 'new' edition than a polished omnibus collection with gorgeous new art. I do so love that book, no doubt, but V20 does not QUITE live up to what it could have been as a new edition.

Now we have V20 Dark Ages, and THIS book takes what started in V20 to create something both familiar and brand new. The whole experience of the Dark Medieval (a/k/a classic World of Darkness circa AD 1200-1300) comes across in vivid (un)living detail, and the overall LOOK is quite wonderfully vitalised with full-colour borders, art, and Clan heraldry. Rules have been added and revised for Disciplines and schools of blood magic (oh yes, the Koldunic Sorcery and Thaumaturgy rules ARE fantastic!), and new Bloodlines appear with some wider view of the Dark Medieval beyond western Europe. Additional information on the Roads of morality and antagonists handily round out the rules. For all of this, though, the CORE of what I adore about Vampire remains: the ability to take what's here and make it your own.

...It seems like a small thing, that so-called 'Golden Rule' that White Wolf introduced in Mark Rein•Hagen's first Vampire core book in 1991, but the idea that all of these rules are here as a guide, for you to interpret or disregard to change as you will, it suffuses this V20 Dark Ages book. Indeed, the chapter on Storytelling is far more of a love letter to the entire hobby of roleplaying games than dry directions on what to do. Yes, there are a LOT of directions, but what David A. Hill, Jr (Developer) and crew have created here is less a book of rules than an ideal jumping-off point for your games, for your world (of medieval darkness).

I could list all of the things that I do NOT love about this book (and yeah, there's plenty), but in light of the above, that's not necessary. What is here is all quite lovely, and even the parts that are not perfect are easily dismissed or changed. Even if you're only looking for the bits you remember from the first Vampire: the Dark Ages, you ought to enjoy this title enough to make it worth your while.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
W20 The Poison Tree
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/27/2015 23:34:49
As the product blurb states, this is part of the W20 Kickstarter and it is great to see new products still arriving so long after the initial rulebook release. I read a lot of gaming fiction, and White Wolf has novels that sit across the quality spectrum. This novel is certainly one of the better ones that I have read and it shows that the author not only has a good grasp of the core concepts and game material, but a great love for the setting.

The main story is about a besieged Sept ruled by a Shadow Lord Elder. Even though the Sept is part of a greater area, the Elder has autocratically locked down the city, whilst playing political games with both the Garou Nation and the human world. His former Glory is enough to cement his position, but the city is falling steadily to the Wyrm. His daughter Ingrid is the main character and the daily war against the Fomori (and worse) falls to her.

The setting is well-imagined and I'd love to see Onyx Path follow the same 'enhanced fiction' route as Catalyst - that is, a novel that presents the story and then includes game statistics in the back for major characters, places, and items. The overall feeling of the city is one of creeping, inevitable doom - perfectly evoked for Werewolf. The sense of impending Apocalypse is portrayed through a confluence of events that overlap and interact meaningfully and add to the story. Intertwined are the character relationships, influenced by Rank and Tribe (there is plenty of prejudice against the Ronin and Metis that is not overdone) and the reader is treated to a view of the Garou Nation that is fractured by petty rivalries, personal grudges, and past hatred. There are a lot of small details included from the use of Rites, the portrayal of the Umbra, and even Spirit Weapons that I appreciated as they all worked to make the world more consistent with the game whilst at the same time written in a way that didn't feel like a retelling of a gaming session. When reading some game novels, I can almost hear the dice fall on the table behind the descriptions, but this is not the case here.

It is a setting that I'd like to see explored in further novels and possibly a short sourcebook, and I'd recommend this for any fan of Werewolf. Mike Lee's work has already been included in 'When will you rage? II', and if Onyx Path is to produce more novels, then he should be part of the regular mix of authors.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
W20 The Poison Tree
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V20 Companion
by Ryan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2015 19:42:22
I was so unhappy with this book and their Kickstarter, that I threw them up on eBay and took a loss just to get rid of it.
The worst part of this very short book was there is a section of what they didnt include in the book....yeah, rather than include SOMETHING else decent, they blab on about what you aren't getting.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Companion
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World of Darkness: Gothic Icons
by Ron M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2015 23:51:24
Interesting Characters. I think its a good idea to have some ready made characters for any game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
World of Darkness: Gothic Icons
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Cavaliers of Mars Quickstart
by Jason W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/10/2015 16:52:24
Almost playable. Tried Googling the Wushu system to fill in a couple of rules gaps, to no avail. I think I've deduced correctly from the example that, in a conflict, opponents throw details at one another one or two at a time (although, why would anyone just do one?), finally rolling at the end of a round where one of them hits their cap.(?) The section on ganging up in a conflict doesn't provide an example. But if I understand correctly, multiple PCs ganging up on a single opponent don't get an increased dice cap. So the only advantage of a second PC joining a first who was fighting a "boss" in a conflict with a cap of 5 would be, they get to force a roll every 2 rounds of combat versus the villain, who takes 3 rounds to accumulate his cap of 5, and so will always make rolls below his cap. Right? Maybe not, since my understanding comes from trying to extrapolate things from the examples that the preceding rules didn't make clear enough. The adventure seems like it would work, no problems there. My only other complaint is that the characters are pretty blah. They each have 2-3 hooks that let them do useful, if not interesting, things during the 3-act adventure. There's an assassin with knives, poison, and a grappling hook, an ex-soldier with thieving and entertaining skills, a guy who can ride anything, never gets lost, and is a miserable excuse for a human being, a mildly telekinetic fortune teller, and an escaped slave that can fix anything and heal anybody. Sadly, their most interesting thing about them as RPG characters stems from the narrative freedom bequeathed them by the system, not their personal powers, or skills, or full-fledged, three-dimensional realization. The system looks intriguing, can't wait for it to be done. But I really can't see my players getting jazzed about the setting using these guys for pre-gens.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Cavaliers of Mars Quickstart
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W20 The Poison Tree
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/03/2015 16:43:44
Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2015/06/17/book-review-the-poison--
tree-werewolf-the-apocalypse-20th-anniversary-edition/


More than two years after its release, Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition is still the gift that keeps on giving – at least if you were a Kickstarter backer for it. Case in point, The Poison Tree – the newest W:TA Novel. Sure, with a page count of only 180 pages (which includes covers and legal bits), The Poison Tree is somewhere between a full length book and a novella, but it’s always nice to see a new release for Werewolf: The Apocalypse, am I right?

I going to be brutally honest right now though. The Poison Tree is a pretty paint by numbers piece. You should be able to see the end of the novel coming from the first few pages. If not, I have to assume this is your first ever book, not just your first W:TA read. It’s full of clichés, it can be quite hackneyed, not a single major protagonist dies (odd for a Werewolf book) and the climax is an abrupt Dues Ex Machina that feels a bit hollow/rushed/unsatisfactory. So you would think that means The Poison Tree is pretty terrible. In fact, the EXACT OPPOSITE is true. In spite of all these flaws, tropes and things authors are told never to do, The Poison Tree manages to be a very fun read due to the ability of the author and the personalities of the characters. If anything, The Poison Tree proves that sometimes you can take what are perceived to be negatives and turn them into positives. Sure, The Poison Tree‘s plot won’t win any awards since it’s something we’ve all no doubt read or watched dozens of times before, you can’t help but find the tale enjoyable. Think of it as the W:TA version of a Cozy Mystery, where you’re charmed by the book and its characters in spite of it having characteristics people tend to poo-poo.

The Poison Tree revolves around the war chief of Savannah, Georgia. Her name is Ingrid and she is a Shadow Fang (My favorite clan, followed by Uktena and Silent Striders). Ingrid is a rather angry young woman. Her cousin Marcus wants her title and pack. Her father Karl, runs the city and although he has always been an isolationist, he seems to grow more paranoid and insane with each passing day. Her city is under constant siege by the forces of the Wyrm and due to her father’s policies, it’s hard to recruit Garou from outside the city to help battle fomori and other Wyrmspawn. So yes, Ingrid is a little angry at the world and unfortunately, there isn’t much she can do about it.

Recently though, she’s been having terrible dreams about the fall of Savannah and apparently, she is not alone. Her father appears to be plagued by something similar and her cousin, a Metis named Eric is having the same dreams as Ingrid. So disturbed is she by the combo of bad weather and dreams that Ingrid decides to bring in some new blood to the city. At the next moot she enlists some outside help. Now her father is okay with Garou getting the equivalent of a yearlong pass into Savannah as long as they spend the bulk of their time fighting the Wyrm, so the Get of Fenris pack and a mixed pack of three other Garou mean nothing to her father. These are within the laws of his realm. It’s when Ingrid break her father’s rule of letting ronin werewolves into the city that his sanity begins to break completely. Moreover, allowing these three ronin into the city begins to unmask a conspiracy that involves the entire city of Savannah that has waited twenty-five years to unveil its machinations. This conspiracy may not wipe out just the Garou of Savannah…but the entire city itself. Who can Ingrid trust, if anyone, to save Savannah and her own soul from the Wyrm?

The Poison Tree is a quick read since it is about half the length of most full-sized novels, but even though the page count is short, there is a lot of action and characterization packed in. Each character is pretty stereotypical, not just in regards to how their clan, but personality tropes as well. Marcus, Ingrid cousin is a slimy weasel who does nothing else but plot, scheme and annoy Ingrid. Ingrid herself is little more than the two-dimensional bad ass female with a heart of gold trope. Yet even while each character clings to clichés, they managed to leap off the page as more than they actually are, which is a testament to the author’s writing ability more than anything else. You quickly find characters you’ll love and whom you’ll hate (my favorite was Catherine the Uktena and Starscream…I mean Marcus was the easiest to loathe). This was fun light literature from beginning to end and even though The Poison Tree embraces a lot of my personal pet peeves (especially for WoD fiction), I couldn’t help but really enjoy this book for what it was. Fans of Werewolf: The Apocalypse should definitely track this down once it is released to the general public. Onyx Path generally prices their fiction quite affordably, especially digital-only pieces like this and this is just one example of how W20 has managed to outside V:TM 20AE in nearly every way (as a longtime V:TM zealot, it pains me to admit that).

So yes, The Poison Tree is fun fiction. It doesn’t try to be a work of seminal literature. It’s simply a somewhat generic, but very-well written tale about the Garou vs the Wyrm and how often times werewolves are their own worst enemies. Pick it up on DriveThruRPG.com once it’s released. If you’re a W:TA fan, I think you’ll enjoy it a lot.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
W20 The Poison Tree
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V20 Dread Names, Red List
by Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/03/2015 16:43:06
Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2015/07/02/tabletop-review-dread-n-
ames-red-list-vampire-the-masquerade-20th-anniversary-editio-
n/

Dread Names, Red List is a remake/update of both The Kindred’s Most Wanted and bits of other books like The Storyteller’s Handbook to the Sabbat. Dread Names, Red List came about as a stretch goal to the Kickstarter campaign for Children of the Revolution which was a mediocre release (to be fair, all the early WW/OPP Kickstarters were underwhelming in terms of final product). It’s also kind of shocking it took three years for the stretch goal to make print, but at least it’s here, right? The good news is that Dread Names, Red List is MUCH better than the product that spawned it and the supplement is guaranteed to fill any Storyteller’s head with ideas. Plots and adventures to through at their players’ coterie.

The Red List is a vampire equivalent of the FBI’s Most Wanted List, except it’s maintained by the largest undead organization in world. As well, the Red List isn’t made up of just vampires. It’s controlled by the Camarilla sure, but Lupines, Mages, Technocrats, Fae and demons could make the list if they were a big enough threat to the organization and/or the Masquerade. The list as it stands within Dread Names, Red List is mostly vampires, but there is one mortal in the set. Of course, just because it’s 92.3% vampires doesn’t mean the list isn’t diverse. You have the offspring of Set, one of the heads of the Sabbat, a Typhoid Mary for Kindred, a religious zealot, an anarch and more. With these thirteen characters you have a wide range of potential antagonists that could fill up an entire Chronicle with their machinations. The characters are a lot of fun and it’s worth noting that several of the art pieces are based on some very recognizable people. For example the portait of Raymond Narcisse is very obiously David Heath, the professional wrestler known as both the Vampire Warrior and Gangrel. My wife, whose only exposure to V:TM is through one episode of Kindred; The Embraced and The Brood from WWF/WWE programming took one look at that picture and recognized him immediately. Part of the fun will be recognizing familiar faces in the art. Oddly enough Gangrel is a Torreador in Dread Names, Red List.

Moving on, much of Dread Names, Red List is not actually about the thirteen beings named to the Red List. The book’s true focus is on the Alastors. An Alastor is essentially a parallel to an Archon. Both are positioned given to Kindred by Justicars, but while Archons are more the police of the Kindred, Alastors are more the equivalent of its military/CIA assassins. Once given the position of Alastor, you hold it until Final Death. The problem is that your job is now to eternally hunt down and destroy those who are on the Red List. So your life becomes one of intrigue and combat. This is perfect for people who like V:TM but want something a little more dungeon crawling or hack and slashy instead of talking heads and their politics. Still, being an Alastor doesn’t mean all fisticuffs and heaping amounts of Fortitude soak rolls. You still have to investigate, sleuth and other cerebral type activities. This is V:TM after all. I’m just saying an Alastor oriented campaigns offers you a lot more combat potential than any other Classic World of Darkness game save Werewolf: The Apocalypse.

The book has five set sections along with an introduction and an appendix. The intro is the usual “This is the purpose of the book” yammering. “History and Tradition” talks about why the Camarilla has the traditions along with the origins and evolutions of the Red List. Here you learn about the Justicars and their role in the Red List as well as what happens when someone is removed from the Red List (ie, killed). The second section is unnamed but it gives you all thirteen of the current Red List “participants” along with their history, stats and a full page portRait of them. Again, several should look quite familiar to you.

“Role of the Alastor” is the next section and it’s the longest in the book. Here you learn why someone is chosen to be an Alastor and it is quite interesting to see all the aspects the Justicars look at. Age, clan, generation, politics and so on. You also learn about the complex relationship between Justicars, Alastors, Archons and Josians (Infernalist/demon-worshipper hunters). There is also a list of preferred Disciplines and their respective powers in case you want to min/max (which is odd for a V:TM game, but this also shows you how combat heavy an Alastor is meant to be).

“Characters and Traits” is for players who want to make an Alastor or who will be taking part in an all Alastor campaign/Chronicle. It gives you some things to think about when designing your new character, with a lot of emphasis on the importance of the background traits you choose. There are also some new combo Disciplines and Thaumaturgy rituals to take. This section does have a Merits & Flaws area but there is only one of each provided, both having to do with “trophies” – a type of boon and other associated rewards a character gets when they knock someone off the Red List.

The final section is “Storyteller Toolkit” and the title is pretty self-explanatory if you know your WoD jargon. This section gives some great advice on designing a Red List/Alastor oriented campaign and how to keep it both flowing and fun. There are also some story hooks in case you can’t think of any and also some people to put onto the Red List in case your players manage to destroy one of the current members.

The final part of the book is an appendix called “The Path of Evil Revelations.” As mentioned in the beginning of the review, this was originally part of The Storyteller’s Handbook to the Sabbat and allowed characters (although preferably NPCs/antagonists only) access to an infernal versions of both Thaumaturgy and an alternative to Humanity/the usual paths. It’s not a straight lift from Second Edition V:TM, but rather a recreation of the same themes and ideas to better fit the game twenty years later. It’s a lot shorter than the original version, but the Path of Evil Revelations is better left as some more open ended than concretely defined. I know WW/OPP has difficulty leaving concepts nebulous but hopefully they will leave the Path of Evil Revelations as is.

So that’s the book. Dread Names, Red List is a short little supplement, but it’s well written and one of the best releases for V20. The price for both the PDF and the print of demand versions are decent, making this a fine addition to your Vampire: The Masquerade collection. I can certainly recommend this over several other V20 releases, including the one that made this possible Children of the Revolution. That has to be some degree of irony, right?

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Dread Names, Red List
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V20 Dread Names, Red List
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/29/2015 08:32:10
Did you think being a vampire was all about having others be afraid of you? Think again: this book centres around those that many vampires fear... some seek to eliminate them, others - through fear, conviction or for other reasons - support these Anathema and seek to keep them from harm. Whether the Anathema or the hunt for them play a central role in your chronicle or are just peripheral, this book presents a wealth of background information and other details to help them come to unlife in your game.

Chapter 1: History and Tradition dives straight in to show how the Anathema are interwoven with the Camarilla as a whole. The Camarilla have always striven to impose order on the night, to establish rules and guidelines whereby vampires can operate in relative safety. As part of this, they established the traditions, the laws that bind the kindred together with a set of commonly-accepted beliefs. Now, when a vampire transgresses, it is up to the Prince whom they serve to decide what to do with them - but it can lead to a call for a blood hunt to find the offender and subject them to final death. Some lucky vampires are given an ultimatum to leave that Prince's territory or else, but generally a call to a blood hunt involves everyone who owes allegiance to that Prince joining in the hunt. Those who appear on the Red List, however, have not just broken the odd tradition or stepped over the line once too often: they are persistant offenders deemed liable to endanger the entire Camarilla by their actions - and the Red List is maintained outwith individual Princes' jurisdictions (which annoys many of them, of course!) by the Justicars on behalf of the Inner Circle. Needless to say, it's all very political, with each clan nominating a Justicar to act on their behalf. A legalistic process is used to add a name to the Red List, one which does not give the accused any chance to dispute the process. There's plenty of history here, although younger vampire often never hear about it.

Next, Chapter 2: 13 Anathema presents the worst, the 'Most Wanted' of the vampire world. Each is listed in considerable detail, complete with a portrait and full stats, as well as their backstory and even role-playing hints should the party happen upon them in person. Surprisingly, one of them is a mortal, an occultist and book-seller whose hobby of turning supernatural beings into his personal slaves is what has led to his inclusion. The stories are rich and compelling, standing ready to be mined for snippets to weave into your game... although it is at times hard to discern just what makes these vampires so much worse than all the other kindred. Artefacts and rules snippets as appropriate are also included.

Then, Chapter 3: Role of the Alastor details those who hunt Anathema. Many younger vampires are barely aware of what an Alastor is and does, let alone who actually is one, as it is only recently that they have become a little more open after operating in the shadows since their inception. To become an Alastor one must either kill an Anathema or be spotted as a likely candidate by a Justicar. There are different ranks and roles, plus duties and responsibilities, for the would-be Alastor to understand. There's also plenty of advice on how to carry out this role, the ways in which to become an effective Alastor. Useful for the would-be Alastor amidst the party, or for the Storyteller who wants the coterie to interact with an Alastor at some point in the plot.

Chapter 4: Character and Traits then covers what a character will need if they wish to take upon themselves the mantle of an Alastor, retooling material from the core rulebook and adding more specialised details. It's written from the standpoint of creating an Alastor character from scratch, although it might make an interesting plot twist to have appointment to their ranks actually occur during play. There's plenty of advice as to which traits, disciplines, merits and flaws would make good choices, as well as some new ones to make available to your would-be Alastor.

Then comes Chapter 5: Storyteller's Toolkit, which proffers advice on running a chronicle involving the material in this book, including plenty of plot seeds to involve the Anathema in whatever you have going on. It examines appropriate moods and themes for your chronicle, and suggests that the most suitable styles of play are action or investigation (or indeed a bit of both) and discusses how to use these styles to best effect. There are also ideas for how to introduce the stuff of this book into an existing chronicle rather than starting over with a new one just because you'd like to use some of the material and ideas here. If you do not like the 13 Anathema presented earlier (or if one is dealt with permanently during the course of your game), there are notes about creating alternate ones of your own.

Finally, there's an Appendix: Path of Evil Revelations. Here we learn of a path followed by infernalists in all its dark glory, as well as dark thaumaturgic rituals.

This work adds a new level of complexity to vampire politics, taking the normal squabbling to a wholly-new level. Many players (and Storytellers) will revel in it, whilst those who prefer a more physical game can relish the challenge of taking on some really Big Bads... and doing so without attracting the ire of other Camarilla notables. There's a lot to think about here, but it could add a whole new depth to your game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cursed Necropolis: D.C.
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2015 16:39:08
Listen to my full review of the book on Darker Days Radio.

http://podcast.darker-days.org/e/darker-days-radio-episo-
de-58/

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cursed Necropolis: D.C.
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Demon: The Descent
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2015 16:35:18
A exciting game that offers up a fresh angle on angels and demons, and makes full use of the 2nd ed WoD rules.

Listen to my full review on Darker Days Radio.

http://podcast.darker-days.org/e/darker-days-radio-episo-
de-57/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Demon: The Descent
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Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/24/2015 16:31:56
An excellent update that makes the game far more playable, and takes full advantage of the 2nd edition rules.

A full review can be heard on Darker Days Radio.

http://podcast.darker-days.org/e/darker-days-radio-episo-
de-64/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
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Cavaliers of Mars Quickstart
by Steven W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/23/2015 11:39:19
I am very enthusiastic about this game and cannot wait for the full release.

The quick starter has gorgeous art, sample characters and an adventure, as well as a quick rules summary. the rules are based on Wushu, which is available for free on the net so really they don't need a lot of pages to explain (besides which, Wushu is very rules lite anyway).

What the quick start does not have and really should have (in my opinion) is a small write up of the setting. Even one page would be nice. And while you can gather bits and pieces from the adventure and sample characters, it would be nice to have something you could put in front of your players and say "THIS! This is our new world."

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cavaliers of Mars Quickstart
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The Fallen World Chronicle Anthology
by Shaun D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/06/2015 21:02:18
I really enjoyed this selection of short stories. It is well priced and the stories themselves are well written and interesting. A special call-out to Rick Chilliot and his story called "The Storyteller." This story was fantastic and creepy and captured a real sense of horror.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Fallen World Chronicle Anthology
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Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
by Tara I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/02/2015 11:21:15
This new version of Werewolf: the Forsaken is truly heads and tails better than its predecessor. While the lore stays the same for the most part, the Tribes and Auspices have undergone some much needed tweaking both with their histories and with their roles in the pack. The pack means so much now in this game, and the Hunt is where the game is truly centered. Gifts are so much better now (they don't suffer anymore from the 1e problems of super-specific conditions, all over the place Renowns needed in each gift list, nor do they require you anymore to buy up all the earlier gifts in the tree (or pay more to avoid those gifts) in order to get what might be the only thing you want in the tree). Rites are no longer tied to Harmony, and Harmony itself is now way more important as it measures how close you are to the wolf or the man and there are different game effects depending on where you are on that scale that really fit into the theme of being part wolf and part man.

The reason I have always loved Werewolf is because of its co-operative nature. The pack has far more emphasis now - a lot of the mechanics now complement the idea that you are a part of a bigger whole. Working with others is more built in now than it was in the previous version, especially when you bring Conditions into account. Being able to include humans, Wolf-Blooded, spirits, and others into the pack is also a great change. Wolf-Blooded are so much better now through their Tells and their own special abilities, and for the first time I really want to do a Chronicle where everyone starts off as Wolf-Blooded and may or may not make the shift to Werewolf during the game.

I also really love the new Totem building rules. I always found the 1e rules for building totems confusing, but they are much more streamlined in 2e and easier to understand.

I'm giving this game 4 stars out of 5. While mechanically I absolutely love the new edition, I found that the antagonists section did not meet my expectations. I know that it's the Idigam Chronicle, but a lot of page count was used up by the Idigam, an enemy that I can really only see pulling out near the end of a Chronicle for the pack to face off against at that point, even if they may be calling the shots throughout the game. The Pure were pretty much a footnote, as were the spirit claimed and the Hosts. I think the Bale Hounds got a couple of sentences. It will make it really great when OP puts out an antagonists book in the future for them, but for a core book I'd hoped to have more "street-level" enemies included in greater detail in the book than so much page count devoted to "epic-level" enemies. The art also could have been better spread out through some of the sections, though that's a minor quibble.

Overall: I really love this new version - it fixed almost every problem that our group had with the first edition of the game. It's a gorgeous book and well worth the wait!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
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