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V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
by Karl E. L. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/13/2018 10:20:01

Now this is a first for me as this is perhaps the first ever Matthew Dawkins project i have read, which i have not immediately loved. This might also be the biggest indicator of my shifting priorities as a gamer. As i used to love pure lore write ups like these, but now i am more a fan of seing new mechanics combined with fluff rather than pure fluff itself. So i have spent a lot of time pondering what my opinion is regarding this book.

So first the positives: The Writing is good as per the standard that we have come to expect from Onyx Path. They help collect and in many ways salvage the burn shipwreck that is the lore of Vampire the Masquerade. It provides many excellent campaign ideas and guides for how to run these ideas or scenarios. They finally adress Mesoamerican vampires in a proper manner, as the Tlacique weren't quite enough to cover the potential goldmine of splat ideas that you could pull from that region. We get an established continuity between the three Laibon Legacies introduced in V20 Dark Ages and the rest of the Laibon community...and we get more Laibon mentions so yaaay. And yes with the mesoamerican vampires there were new splats introduce which always= yay in my book. It was good we got some of the Thin Blood stuff to be updated at least the mechanical portion of it.

Now for the negatives, and do keep in mind that this is my opinion and i might be a huge dumbfuck childling who is ruining the business. que angry Jim Cornette Rant: There are too few new mechanical additions to this book. This is most noteable when it comes to the Drowned Legacies, and i know that it would probably have been very difficult to do them justice considering there are word constraints and such. But i still have to point out that when some of them even have unique disciplines and they don't get a write up i have to tsk that. Hopefully we get to see the Drowned Legacies in a future book, either in V20 or Fifth Edition. Secondly i find that the inclusion of the 16th gen and the rewrite of dhampirs was largely pointless and i still do not see why dhampirs exists...as mechanically speaking they are just revenants except they suck. I think the 15th generation was a nice and round number to stop things, and we could have made Dhampirs with the abillity to reach max 2 disciplines and such, so to make them distinct from Revenants. Anyway lastly i would have tried to murder the whole Rasputin issue in the crib, rather than trying to make sense out of the like 50 different supernatural splats who claimed him as one of them. However the way they went about it was still well written so this is a tiny negative overall.

Now for my biggest criticism of this book i might earn quite a few angry glares from my fellow readers, but i think this has to be said. And sorry for my angry outburst..I HATE, HATE, HATE! When roleplaying books changes the font, page and even writing style several times throughout the book. In this book we go from standard vtm source book, to chat logs, ancient tomes written in cursive, and ripped out notebook pages that have been written on and so on. To me it makes the book very hard and distracting to read, and i have a hard time absorbing the content. I know it is done both for aesthetic and in character reasons as this is Beckett's Jyhad diary after all, but i would have prefered it if we could have just stuck to one type of font and page background. This very same issue is what made me stop reading another Onyx Path book(Secret of the Covenants for vtr by the way). Now as i said i might just be a dumbfuck, but i still think that this complaint is at least noteworthy.

Now that i have presented my positives and negatives, we have to discuss if they actually matter. Maybe i am just coming at this book from the wrong perspective, i should have perhaps lowered my expectations in regards to new mechanical additions. Or just had the point of view that this isn't that kind of book. However i am coming with that particular line of Criticism since there actually were new mechanical additions to the book, few as they were mind you. Anyway now despite the fact that i have used two sections to list of what i perceive as negatives in this book, i do not think the negatives outnumber the positives in the terms of value. The thing about criticism is that it is much easier to specifically define what you don't like and why you don't like it, as opposed to define why something is good. So i will not hide that i can have a bit of a motormouth when it comes to ranting about what i do not like. However for any potential readers of this review, do not misunderstand my stance regarding this book.

It is quite clear to me that this is a labor of love and hard work on account of the many people involved in this major project, and i think that overall this is a positive addition to the long list of Vampire the Masquerade books. In many ways this is actually the most necessary books of them all, as somebody had to salavage and make some sense out of the huge mess that is the lore of the past editions of VTM. A lore i have come to appreciate less and less over the years as i have re-examined the various editions. Like how the survival of the Tremere makes veeeery little sense in Universe when you look at their history, but that is a rant for another day. So anyway i don't want to discount the tremendous effort that must have been put in to make something salvageable out of the lore and collecting it into one massive compendium.

We will need that compendium more than ever as we move into the new era of the World of Darkness, and the games are going to be taken in a very bold and new direction by the new White Wolf. que fist shaking at those diabolical swedes. So my conclusion is that while i appreciate this book and think that everybody should buy it, i don't think this one is quite for me as it doesn't quite align with my tastes. However that is not to say that the book is not good, it just didn't match all of my criterias. We can only hope that the many great ideas and splats mentioned/presented in this book get mechanical and lore follow ups in the future.

-Karl Erik L. Hoftaniska



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
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V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
by stephane B. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2018 17:04:02

I've just gotten my hands on the product last thursday. I was very eager, as I had heard really good words about the book. Indeed I wasn't disappointed, by the end of the first week-end, i've consumed more than 300 pages of the product.

The book has been a treat to read. It presents us with a vision from within the world that really contributes to the immersion when reading the book. The artwork, always being relevant to the page you are reading, is fantastic and adds a lot to the experience. I also love the change of pace that the transcripts offer, and the insight into some characters that may have not gotten a voice before.

I've been waiting for additional content on the Sabbat and their way of living, the chapters dedicated to the Sabbat cities we're AMAZING.

I'd like to give a special Shoutout to Steffie de Vaan, for Frère Marc's dialog. This was a very funny and memorable moment, being a quebecer myself, to see him represented with some quirky turn of phrase.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Beast Player's Guide
by Karl E. L. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/08/2018 08:03:15

This book is everything you could ever want out of a player's guide. It expands the understanding of Beast Psychology and it even reveals societies of Begotten, which to many fans of the Chronicles of Darkness or the World of Darkness is a known and beloved aspect of their games. I find them to be diverse and well written so that is something, and i like how the different societies can be grouped into larger categories. Cults of Incarnate Beasts, Societies devoted to the Dark Mother and more are to be found in this book.

It helps us with understanding the inhuman and primordial mindsets of the Begotten and how they react to various things, like being subjected to a Hero's Anathema. They help us with understanding the world view of each family and each hunger, from everything to other supernaturals to the pursuit of inheritance. 3 new Inheritances are added to the game, and i personally think that this ends the circle as each inheritance has now a contrasting one.

There is not only fluff however there are many new mechanical additions to the game. We have merits related to every notable aspect of the game; General Merits, Kinship Merits and Lair Merits. These merits introduce many new potential ideas to the game(like making a chamber in your lair into a small colony for humans and supernatural creatures). New lair traits are introduced to help further customizing your lair and several new avatisms and nightmares as well. And a nice helpful guide to create kinship nightmares.

However there are not just expansions to already existing mechanics that are introduced, there are entirely new mechanics introduced as well. Horrorspawn are perhaps the most extensive of the new mechanics introduced save one other. Horrorspawn are lesser children of the character's horror, but at the same time they are an extension of the character. They serve as the physical monsters that many have clamored for in beast. And afterall who wouldn't want to have a few children ;). The other major new mechanic that has been introduced are Obacus Rites, which i for one am a major fan of. They serve as a great storytelling tool and a way to make Beasts more religiously oriented. I could see a Brood of the Begotten and a Coven of Vampires join together over their shared faith in the dark mother and their shared magic of Obacus Rites and Cruac. My only complaint about the book comes here however, as i do think that there should have been added more rites to the book.

Lastly i have to talk about the two new families and hungers. We have the Inguma who are the Nightmares of the Other. They are the most human of the Begotten and they are the youngest as they came about at the dawn of civilization. They are the representation of the fear of Outsiders, the living result of Xenophobia. Honestly this makes them perhaps the most interesting family to me, as their horrors are usually Human in shape. They are the ones who do not fit in and see society from an outsider's perspective. The other family are the Talassi the fear of Confinement. They were cursed long ago to become Kidnappers and Jailers. They are the constrictor snakes, the horror which snatches your child out of bed or the warden kobold in the mountain. They are not bad, but i didn't connect much to them. As for the two new hungers: The Whispers and the Enablers. They are both nice new additions to the game and it helps clear up Collectors once and for all. Whispers are the hunger for secrets, they collect and expose the secrets of other people. The Enablers are the hunger for transgressions, they are the seductors and tempters of the Begotten Community. They feed on making other people go against their beliefs, cheating spouses, breaking a vow or a fast and so on are what they want.

Anyway so yeah this book is filled with great stuff both from a fluff and a mechanics perspective and it is a must buy for any potential Beast Player.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Beast Player's Guide
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Adventurers, Acrobats, and Acolytes
by Gregory B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/07/2018 18:03:51

As a StoryTeller/GameMaster one aspect that's a constant struggle for me is giving my NPCs more depth and personality - I often get so wrapped up in my story that the cast of side characters feel flat to me. So I long ago turned to affordable NPC collections to overcome that weakness in my games.

Adventurers, Acrobats, and Acolytes is a fantastic tool for just the very purpose I need. The characters are thoroughly conceived, fun, and yet still flexible enough to insert many of them ready-made into whatever situation I might require in my games.

Well worth the money.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurers, Acrobats, and Acolytes
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Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition: The Dark Ages
by Jean M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/06/2018 07:51:05

Simply amazing! I bought the standard version, but I feared that it would not have a good quality, thanks God I was wrong. If this is the quality of the standard version, so the Premiun version is a masterpiece sent from Heaven. Incredible quality, cover and pages, the colors are a bit pale, but sincerely, it does not matter. I'm from Brazil, so I expected a month or more to receive the product, man... It arrived ONE week after the book was printed. DriveThru definitely gained a loyal client, I'm looking foward to make more business with you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition: The Dark Ages
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W20 The Song of Unmaking
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/05/2018 22:09:28

I might be a little biased, but when I see a Werewolf: the Apocalypse novel with Bill Bridges name on the front cover, I expect greatness. His previous work has always been excellent, breathing life into the setting, and showing how Garou culture 'works' on a day-to-day basis. This has served as inspiration for RPG sessions, and I take Mr Bridges novels to be just-as-canon (if not more) than source books. 'Song of Unmaking' does not disappoint in any way. The novel provides a masterful cross-over between Werewolf, and Mage: the Ascension in a manner that positions the cross-purposes of both groups in a logical collision course. Favourite characters such as Albrecht, Mari, and Evan return, and a host of other characters new and old all add their individual responses to the looming threat. The depiction of spirits (two in particualr, I shan't ruin it) shows the sometimes erratic nature of these entitites, and demonstrates that spirits are not always 'easy-access fonts of knowledge' - that sometimes that knowledge is hard-won. In addition, the threat posed by the Wyrm forces is credible and creative, weaving contemporary technology and scientific progress into recongnsable mythos. It is this skillful mesh of science and myth that makes parts of Werewolf so appealing, and it is delivered in a manner that left me very pleased with the overall plot. I would leave only one consideration with the fiction line from Onyx Path, and that is to consider an 'enhanced fiction' line, wherein some of the spirits, talens, and the like are given game-mechanic treatment in an appendix. It would be great to see the fiction line not only enrich the story via these tales, but the game through ready-made items. This is, however, merely a suggestion, as I cannot fault the book. I look forward to my print copy, which will be placed next to my well-worn copy of 'The Silver Crown'.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
W20 The Song of Unmaking
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Monarchies of Mau Early Access
by Antone K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/05/2018 15:36:56

I really like the new classes, and the differences in flavor between this book and pugmire, but i was really hoping for new monsters compaired to the other book. i was really saf there was no monk or paladin in pugmire. the arcane caster has more of a sorcerer feel than the pugmire book, and the differences between the other classes make them different enough to each be relevent.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Monarchies of Mau Early Access
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Moose's Dossier of Heroes and Villains
by Ben W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/28/2018 23:18:54

DISCLAIMER: I've worked with Mr. Kennedy in the past, however, I did not work on this project in any manner at all. I am simply a fan.

I am a HUGE fan of this book and Pugmire. My son is just getting into role-playing games and Pugmire is the perfect introduction for him. He loves dogs, and loves reading fantasy so this is perfect for him. Moose's Dossier, as a GM, make my life easy as I try to prepare adventures and populate the world of Pugmire. All of the characters and factions are interesting and some in surprising ways, and they have all sparked adventure ideas for me as the GM to run for my son, wife, and daughter.

Rock on Pugsteady and John Kennedy, and thank you for this fantastic look deeper into the world of Pugmire.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Moose's Dossier of Heroes and Villains
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V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/26/2018 17:12:07

A fantastic and beautifully written work. The art, stories, development, plots, and interactions are something that could only be created from people who truly love their craft. Thank you for this. In my humble opinion it was entirely worth the price for the hardback.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
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Arms of the Chosen
by Joe A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/26/2018 16:51:51

Arms of the chosen is a source book of magic items for the third edition of exalted, focusing on the new 'Evocation' mechanic, where by which by wielding a legendary item ( or forging a legend with an item) the wielder can unlock unique abilities. In comparison to second edition books it is closer to ' Wonders of the lost age' rather than 'Odenel's codex' There is some general 'fluff' on magic materials and artifact creation, some errata and some guidance on creating evocations for your artifacts in campaigns, but that is approximately 8 pages out of 173, most of the book is taken up by example arms and armour. Looking at story surrounding the item and evocations that come off it. There is also a chapter on 'Miscellaneous' magic, which is a bit of a mixed bag, some hearthstones, some new items, and the return of some classics, like the dragon tear tiara, the golden viper and the implosion bow. Finally, their is a chapter on warstriders, with information on their general function an some named legendary warstriders and their evocation trees, there are a some fun homages to Escaflowne and Evangelion in this section. Both the art and the fiction are good, the chapter stories each focus around the theme of the chapter, so the intro chapter is about crafting, the weapons chapter features a legendary blade, they are very flavorful and with the art add greatly to the feel of the book. Aside from the miscellaneous chapter, which as the name suggests is a mixed bag, the items in this book are intended to be important parts of a characters story. To evoke, if you pardon the pun, the feeling of wielding Glamdring or Stormbringer rather than 'just a Daiklave' it's not about the power per say, since the XP spend on evocations could have been spent on other charms, but about making the item part of the legend. Thier where only a few minor niggles; most of which stem from when this book was released, with only the Solars as playable exalts. So the terms solar and exalt are used largely interchangeably in the charm descriptions, while there is some clearly 'solar only' evocations their is no clear commentary on modifiying the charm trees for non solars, even though the notes on magical material resonance in the charm description imply some of them could be used by a non-solar exalt. Over all I liked this book, there is plenty to inspire character and inspire plot.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Arms of the Chosen
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition Condition Cards
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/25/2018 18:04:59

Got the printed cards and the pdf. Cards are good quality, and will be very handy for my games. However, the cards that reference pages from the books have XX instead of the page number. This is despite the pdf version haveing the correct page listed. If anyone from Drivethru or Onyx Path reads this, I would look into getting it corrected.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition Condition Cards
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Moose's Dossier of Heroes and Villains
by Colin C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2018 18:10:37

As one of the earliest pieces in the Canis Minor support community, you might expect some stumbling to occur. Unfortunately, this is one such instance. For a supplement of NPCs and Groups to be introduced in play, it makes the very strange decision to focus on fiction/backstory while completely eschewing game-related material such as stats for the various NPCs. This makes it much less useful in play.

Don't get me wrong, there are some interesting NPCs and Groups in this, but it needed to be much more focused on usability at the table. With a terser writing style it could have been a fraction of this length while still conveying the same information (also enabling the Guide to access key information more rapidly in the process). This would also have freed up space for the stats that should have been included.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Moose's Dossier of Heroes and Villains
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Monarchies of Mau Early Access
by Nadezhda G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/23/2018 12:22:21

The book is cool. It contains enough information to start (and even finish in case of non-spelcasting characters) playing, and still holds back enough to wait for full-access book. Game is balanced between funny and serious, cute and severe. Great! Will wait for final version, and also books for Rats, Badgers and (especially and foremost!) Lizards!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monarchies of Mau Early Access
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Digging Up Trouble
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/23/2018 08:30:43

A neat little adventure that can be slotted in to your campaign when the party are going about their own business (if their own plans don't take them to the right place, an errand for them is provided), with the opening being an encounter with a dog beset by bandits. Hopefully, like the Good Dogs they are, the party will come to his rescue.

The background provides an explanation about who that dog is and how he came to be there, and tells of who is after him and why. The main NPCs are introduced in detail, and then we're off with the various encounters and scenes explained clearly and vividly, everything laid out so that a novice GM should have little difficulty in running the adventure. Likely player choices - including those that might derail the adventure - are anticipated and dealt with in a way that brings things back on track without it appearing forced. There are at least two good brawls, probably three plus the excitement of finding buried treasure... and a few suggestions for further adventures.

Oh, and there are pirates involved! You never go far wrong with pirates...

Overall it is a nice straightforward adventure for an inexperienced party to get their teeth into. Any Good Dog ought to enjoy it!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Digging Up Trouble
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The Secret of Vinsen's Tomb: A Pugmire Jumpstart
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/23/2018 04:10:47

This 'quickstart' introduction to Pugmire comes in three parts: a rules and setting overview, an adventure, and a collection of pre-generated characters. It opens by explaining the core concept of the game. In a distant future, human beings have vanished and the place has been taken over by anthropomorphic dogs. They live in the ruins of the world human beings have left behind, now having evolved to walk upright on their hind legs, talk, and have developed opposable thumbs so that they can manipulate items and wield weapons. Despite wearing clothes they are still furry, though!

Many dogs deify the long-lost human beings and are driven by the desire to be adjudged a 'Good Dog' by their peers. They scavenge amongst the ruins for the legendary material 'plastic' and attempt to learn to use the things that human beings left behind - even if they consider them to be magic rather than understanding the underlying technology. These are the player-characters of this world.

The first section moves on to discuss the rules. These are based closely on Dungeons & Dragons 5e, with the standard abilities (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma), with Skills and Tricks defining what each character is good at doing. Everything is explained in very basic terms, making this an excellent introductory game for children. Task resolution is by rolling a D20, adding apposite Skills and other bonuses and trying to exceed a target number. There's information about time in the game and about what happens when a fight breaks out, too; and the section ends with some notes on magic and spell use.

Next comes the adventure itself, The Secret of Vinsen's Tomb. This starts with a list of the primary NPCs, then there is a synopsis or overview of the entire adventure. Basically, the tomb in question is that of Vinsen Pug I, the very first king of Pugmire, and the plot concerns the retrieval (or looting if you prefer) of certain artefacts supposedly buried with him. It all starts with an assignment to find a cat who is an informant with criminal connections who has recently vanished. Where has she gone and what was she doing? Rumours hath it she was on the trail of ancient artefacts.

Once you have the information to get the party involved, the various scenes that can take place are laid out in detail. There are loads of helpful hints and tips for the first-time GM, too, so even if this is your first time it should flow smoothly. There's a clear plan of the tomb with atmospheric room descriptions coupled with notes on who is to be found there and what they are likely to do when the party wanders in. It all ends with a few ideas for further stories...

Finally, the pre-generated characters, complete with loads of background and even portraits to bring them to life. With a two-page character sheet, the entire package for each character runs to four pages. There are six of them in total, all nicely put together and - if you study the backgrounds - ready to work as a team.

Overall it makes a good introduction to the game, and should give you sufficient information and experience to be in a position to decide if Pugmire is for you and your group (or not). Presentation is to a high standard unless you use the PDF bookmarks, which start well in the first section but fail thereafter. The internal hyperlinks are a little hit and miss too. So, are you a Good Dog? Play this and find out!

Update: The bookmarking error has now been fixed (less than 24 hours after this review was posted) - Well done, Onyx Path!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Secret of Vinsen's Tomb: A Pugmire Jumpstart
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