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V20 Dark Ages Companion
by Mathieu D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2017 01:55:13

Bon supplément, chacun des domaines décrits possèdent une âme certaine et peuvent être jouable presque immédiatement (en particulier les "petits "domaines de Bath et Bjarkarey). Mention spéciale à Mogadiscio et à Bath. Pour les deux derniers chapitres, ce n'est pas vraiment quelque chose que j'attends dans un supplément, même si j'en comprends l'intérêt, alors je ne saurais les juger. Le seul bémol, c'est peut-être que le livre donne l'impression d'avoir été plus gros, et que les coupes faites rendant certaines infos un peu absconses. Mangalore mériterait d'être plus déveoppé, car au contraire de Rome et Constantinople, c'est la première fois que la ville est décrite.

Quant aux apocryphes, certains sont vraiment bien (Ventrue, Ramanga, voire Cappadocien), d'autres plus... anecdotiques. Globalement toutefois, très bon supplément !



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Dark Ages Companion
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V20 Dark Ages Companion
by P. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/23/2017 12:18:41

The one thing I found wanting from V20 Dark Ages was world building, and this book offers a good deal of that, as well as some wonderful additions to stories begun in the previous interations of Vampire in the Dark Medieval era. Know that I give this five stars, but I'm rounding up from, like, a four-and-a-half stars rating? I'd knock off a little for some of the art (there's one piece in particular that looks straight up lifted out of Poser), and I think that the Clan Apocrypha bits are a tad hit-and-miss. However, there is WAAAY more to love than hate here!

We receive not only updates to domains like Constantinople and Rome, but we get a look at places well outside of Europe such as Mogadishu and Mangalore ('Mangaluru' in the old form here) in Africa and India, respectively. The domain descriptions fall short of a full 'by Night' book coverage, but they are far more than we'd see in a brief blurb within a core rule book. You mileage may vary on how well each finds the right balance – I found that nearly ALL of the informaion on the domain of Bjarkarey strained credulity, for example – but you shall find plenty here to help you flesh out your version of the Dark Medieval era.

Beyond the domains themselves, though, there are tools for making your chronicle better, and this starts in the Introduction that reminds you that all of this information is here for YOU to do with as YOU please. Mix-and-match elements? Yeah, that's cool. Ignore stuff you don't like? Oh sure, no harm in that. All throughout I found myself alternately thinking 'Oh that's good!' and 'Huh uh, bullocks to that!' The book is wonderful for this, from the 'fluff' to the 'crunch' in it.

Is this book vital for the game? No. Is it a great addition? Oh yes.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Ready Made Characters
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/22/2017 10:57:44

This book goes above and beyond. It's not just a bunch of characters already made for you, it's an inspired menagerie of ways to subvert, twist, and use the clan stereotypes. Also, you get quite a lot of ideas into making these characters into a working coterie. There's much more here than they had to give you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Ready Made Characters
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Adversaries of the Righteous: Harrowing Silence
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/22/2017 10:54:07

What you get is very, very little. If you want an NPC you don't have to make yourself, or a guideline for how a Solar Exalt might exist in the world, you could do worse.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Adversaries of the Righteous: Harrowing Silence
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V20 Dark Ages Companion
by Karl E. L. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/20/2017 11:45:23

Onyx Path yet again comes with another good entry to the V20 Dark Ages line. This type of book in the terms of it's location focus is not really my thing. However i have to say this book did do a lot of needed things, as it for one helped build a lot of regions that have been written either sloppily or not given a proper write up at all. India finally got a proper write up and we revisit Africa once more to see the Laibon. That i could also see Bjarkøy get it's own setting write up in the world of darkness amuses me as a Norwegian to no end.

Now where the book really hits it's stride is in the Apocrypha sections at the end of the chapters along with the domain building chapter. It is here that we can finally see more cultural systematic add ons to various clans and bloodlines. The Ramanga get a very interesting expansion of their true nature, their strange variant discipline Aizia and how it differs from Obtenebration. We finally get some updated insight into the role of House Tremere before it became Clan Tremere, and a nice set of war related rituals. There are introduced several new paths to the various Roads that the Cainites of the Dark Medieval World traverse, and even a new bloodline in the Nephilim. Combo disciplines, blood sorcery and other such things are also found in addition to lore bits about the various clans covered here. I also loved that with the Ramanga they once again are stepping away from making the Cainite myth confirmed as there are vampires who have come into being independently from the clans and bloodlines of the world.

The domain building system was a very much needed element in the dark ages and to be honest the vampre lisence as a whole. Considering that Vampires are all about empire building in the long term, this system helps with such things as city creation projects. Which i have personal experience with when it comes to running Dark Ages, some pcs want to create their own cities and there is nothing wrong with that if it fits the scope of the game. So having a proper system to help build cities and smaller holdings along with storyhook ideas reflected mechanically are all very welcome additions to the game.

I also did appreciate the various non vampire supernatural creatures that are introduced in the book. Like the Fossegrim for example, as it not only helps with generating antagonists but it also helps expand the supernatural world as a whole. As we all know players of world of darkness games, can sometimes become too jaded and prepared for everything. So it is nice having the abillity to throw them an unknown curveball here and there.

Now my big criticism of this game that keeps it from 5 stars, has to be that i miss more of the system and clan additions. I would have loved to see the Telyavellic Tremere get a proper Dark Ages V20 write up, as they have been perhaps next to only the Lhiannan as the most prolific of all the Dark Ages bloodlines in the past. More system additions to various Clans that only got lore and vice versa would have been nice. And more new bloodlines to help cover the regions that do not share the very euro centric culture of main stream vampire society or expansions to some of the new dark ages bloodlines beyond the Ramanga. Maybe even a new discipline or two beyond the Sadhana updates.

However beyond that criticism i think this is a very good and worthwhile book and i will certainly poach ideas from it, as i do from many media sources. As the great man Jim Cornette once said: "stealing from one place is plagiarism, stealing from many is research".



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Dark Ages Companion
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W20 The Song of Unmaking
by Marcin K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/15/2017 14:12:47

It's the best Werewolf the Apocalypse fiction I ever read and I have read them all. Plot, main antgonist, plot twist, exciting combat scenes, excellent garou stories - it's all there. I want more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
W20 The Song of Unmaking
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Hunter: Tooth and Nail
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2017 16:50:54

Hit or miss, but more hits than the core Beast the Primordial book with less awkward rhetoric. Anything to do with Heroes is sadly terrible, and the Reckoning compact is predictably bad, but the other two (Merrick Institute and Yuri's Group) fit the world well, with Yuri's Group being a good addition to most games and Merrick Institute more specifically anti-Beast.

For the most part, the writing struggles in places to defend the Beasts as a concept. Where Beasts are another monster to be illuminated by the Vigil, the book works better. This is less than surprising, considering the awkward attempt to force the Beasts as a crossover friendly ENE has never really worked. The usefulness of the book is crippled by this dichotomy, and instead of two different viewpoints of the same thing the reader is left with views of two entirely different things.

I can't see anyone running a pure Hunters vs Beasts game based on the limited content available here. As an extra piece to a full crossover style game, Tooth and Nail does the job as a solid if unremarkable addition to the Hunter line. Mortal Remains, Slasher, and Witch Finders and set the bar very high, with two of the Big Three coming in below it (Spirit Slayers and Night Stalkers). Tooth and Nail falls lower still, but not to mediocrity.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Hunter: Tooth and Nail
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Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2017 13:29:33

The Onyx Path C20 book is fairly complete, but ulitmaltely not as solid as the V20 materials. Where the V20 book was a distilled version of all of the Vampire: the Masquerade materials, C20 was simply an expanded version of the main book with some highlights from the supplimentary materials. To be fair I have not had the oppertunity to play with the mechanics, this is based on scanning through the content.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
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V20 Lore of the Bloodlines
by P. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2017 12:59:27

Okay, anyone whose read many reviews for these books probably thinks I'm a shill for Onyx Path or something, but I do quite love these books... Well, I WAS fairly disappointed in that V20 Ghouls book. Anyway, this one is kinda amazing.

First off, the CONCEPT of Lore of the Bloodlines has been, like, over twenty-five years coming. The first of these vamires I remember seeing was the 'blood line' Salubri from the Players Guide back in '91, and then came the Gargoyles, Blood Brothers (sadly not in THIS book) and Baali from the '92 The Storytellers Handbook. After that, an explosion of bloodlines came, each with lovely hints and mysteries to explore. Not until now, though, have we received a proper look at these Kindred and Cainites – and even stranger identifiers to listen to these monsters – in a single book.

Know that ALL of the bloodlilnes are not in here. As a 'stretch goal' for the V20 Lore of the Clans Kickstarter, this book was funded in stages. The bloodlines that appear here are those that the backers were able to achieve, so the above-mentioned Blood Brothers, alas, didn't make the cut. However, the nine bloodlines we DID get are a very nice spread of posibilities from the entire run of Vampire: The Masquerade. I don't see the limited scope as a ding against the book so much as the ever-present 'wish I could'a had' chance to winge.

Good points: Well-written in character and out of character bits; evocative as well as informative art that fits the V20 aesthetic; and very consistent, polished presentation all combine to make this book a worthy addition to the line. These are the easiest to quantify, but there's more to love here.

My favourite part is how the presented information offers more new and myeterious content than even the gigantic Lore of the Clans did. Since there was no previous edition, the amount of apparent cut-and-paste (of ideas rather than literal, mind you) that we've seen in some other V20 books is very small here. Further, the book isn't afraid to contradict what we already know... or THINK we know. Bits from older books are as often called out as lies as they are mentioned as fact (Kiasyd with Necromancy, anyone?), and while oddities like those presented in, say, The Black Hand: A Guide to the Tal'Mahe'Ra aren't mentioned for the Harbingers of Skulls, nor are they outright contradicted. It's all presented more as the POSSIBLE than as anything required. Like when I first discovered the idea of bloodlines, this whole book feels novel., but the format like that of the Lore of the Clans makes it easy to use at the talbe and elsewhere. It's a familiar presentation of something new.

In all, I find this book a wonderful expansion of the World of Darkness that my vampires inhabit.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Lore of the Bloodlines
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Trinity: Alien Encounter 2: Deception
by Ira S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/30/2017 11:59:35

The campaigns in this book are divided neatly into two halves: the great half and the abhorrent half.

The good: Alien Encounter: Deception frontloads its content with an engaging Star Trek-esque adventure negotiating the twists and turns of the thoroughly alien Qin as they try to pull a fast one over the humans and among their fiercely competitive guilds. The fundamental disconnect between human expectations and the aliens' reality is pulled off well and gives players stuff to do besides follow a plotted line to the end of the fairly-predictable "mystery". But it's different, has something to say about the dangers of going into space expecting to find humans in different skins and expands the Trinity universe depthwise.

Then you go to the second campaign and find White Wolf cannot let go of their rape-monster fixation.

Understand that it isn't prudery or a sensitive palette that makes the second campaign awful, it's how the existence and presence of rape-monsters warps the story into a mess and runs into unintentional parody.

The Coalition, a mono-species that takes genetic material from other species to augment themselves, cannot obtain that material without raping people. Also they have giant spaceships, advanced genetic engineering and "hard"(inorganic) tech far beyond the human civilization the players represent.

I hope you see the problem. What's worse is the obvious question "why?" has no answer in the story besides, effectively, "because the Coalition are evil". Why were they written that way? To be worse villains.

Adding insult to injury is the campaign itself. You go through a sight-seeing corridor of events, climaxing in a shootout intended to relieve the tension and give the players a chance to vent against the people the Storyteller has been describing as doing atrocious things to helpless victims for hours. The writing wastes no time using rape synonyms to describe absolutely every action the Coalition undertakes.

There's not even any espionage or expanded depth for the other side in this one, they're transparently evil and one-dimensional rape-monsters who are that way because they stopped at making them evil rape-monsters from space.

White Wolf can do, has done and does better. Their writers do better in the same book.

I can't reccomend this. The Qin story isn't enough to justify the price and getting the Coalition's is a waste no matter the money.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Trinity: Alien Encounter 2: Deception
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V20 Lore of the Bloodlines
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2017 20:22:54

Overall, the book is really good. It fleshes out the Bloodlines in interesting ways. I like the Samedi, Daughters, and Gargoyle chapters the best - I think those stuck closest to old canon while still being widely usable, and the Gargoyle variants are great. Those become more playable. The Trujah chapter is good in that it tells their side of the story more. The Kiasyd have a sommalier schtick added to them, yet no explanation of how they create these vintages that provide heady rushes - this should've been detailed and just better than taking Crafts with a specialty in Blood Vintages. Baali are still...Baali. Modern Salubri (not just the Sabbat variety) are detailed and semi-playable, but only where there are not Tremere, because, well, Tremere. Harbingers are also included, and have one utterly broken merit that is pretty much a must-have for any Necromantically inclined character.

Overall, the one big complaint I have with the book is that it adds more to the True Black Hand being the super cool vampires while the rest are just dupes trope that is just tired already. It is time to provide meaningful updates on the Camarilla and Sabbat. Still, it is definitely worth the purchase, and there is plenty of wonderful stuff for any type of game, Camarilla, Sabbat, Anarch, Independent, and yes, those dippy Tal'Mahe'Ra licks too.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Lore of the Bloodlines
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Tomb of Dreams an Exalted 3rd Edition Jumpstart
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2017 22:59:17

An interesting approach for an adventure. I haven't run or played it, but it looks like it could be fun, though the combat encounters are likely to be pushovers if the PCs are using their own, more combat-optimized characters rather than the example characters from the book. It's got useful information for players and GMs even if they don't want to run the adventure, as it has full stats for four new spirit varieties, three of which are potentially summonable by sorceror PCs, a new artifact (unfortunately, its artifact dot rating is left unstated, making it difficult for PCs to take with their Merit dots outside this adventure, or for craft-oriented PCs to make without the GM making a house-rule regarding its potency), and a pile of descriptions for different varieties of artifact weapons. The example PCs are all very unoptimized, making them poorly suited for extended play if the campaign will also involve home-made characters, but they each possess a distinct niche that helps with making each of them possess a distinct role in the example party. Overall, I rate it 4/5; not perfect, but pretty good and perfectly servicable as an introduction to Exalted.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Tomb of Dreams an Exalted 3rd Edition Jumpstart
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Mage: the Awakening 2nd Edition Condition and Numina Cards
by RAFAEL P. D. P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2017 13:18:30

As good as the Chronicles of Darkness Condition, Numina, and Dread Power deck of cards. It's very handy and of great qualitity (i purshed the pdf version and printed myself). The only thing that could be improved, im my opinion, is that it doesn't have any margins, and because of that it makes that i little bit smaller than the ones that we are used to see in Magic: The Gathering. So when you put then in a deck protector, it doesn't quit fit the size.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: the Awakening 2nd Edition Condition and Numina Cards
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Chronicles of Darkness Tilt Cards
by RAFAEL P. D. P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2017 13:17:27

It's a nice complement of the Chronicles of Darkness Condition, Numina, and Dread Power deck of cards (be sure that you already bought that ones first, cause it's more useful). It's very handy and of great qualitity (i purshed the pdf version and printed myself). The only thing that could be improved, im my opinion, is that it doesn't have any margins, and because of that it makes that i little bit smaller than the ones that we are used to see in Magic: The Gathering. So when you put then in a deck protector, it doesn't quit fit the size.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness Tilt Cards
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Chronicles of Darkness Condition, Numina, and Dread Power Cards
by RAFAEL P. D. P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2017 13:15:27

I absolutely loved the cards. It's very handy and of great qualitity (i purshed the pdf version and printed myself). The only thing that could be improved, im my opinion, is that it doesn't have any margins, and because of that it makes that i little bit smaller than the ones that we are used to see in Magic: The Gathering. So when you put then in a deck protector, it doesn't quit fit the size.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness Condition, Numina, and Dread Power Cards
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