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Chronicles of Darkness $19.99
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Chronicles of Darkness
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Chronicles of Darkness
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/21/2017 17:13:26

Beats, new rules for social combat, new rules for monster creation, and broadening of Vices are all great new additions to the second addition. I got the PDF on a whim, but these new rules convinced me to invest in a paper copy as well. The clues system takes weight off of the GM, but personally I'm not fond of it because my players enjoy figuring out puzzles for themselves rather than having their characters do it via die rolls.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Evan P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/26/2016 16:50:56

Very fun, streamlined system. Includes God Machine optional rules and lore.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Chris L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/25/2016 20:53:22

A much-needed update to the previous iteration of the World of Darkness. This review is targeted at people with some knowledge of nWoD 1E.

Highlights: -Much better experience system that rewards participation and roleplay, while also simplifying trait purchase costs. -Social Maneuvering system that, while not perfect, provides a mechanical framework to schmoozing. GMing this aspect for social characters always felt a little like pulling stuff out of your ass before, but no longer! -New combat mechanics make firearms much better, which makes sense, while simultaneously widening the gap between humans and the supernatural templates. -The chapter on "Horrors" provides a great framework for creating antagonists that don't fit into one of the other supernatural settings. This is completely underappreciated, IMO, because it's a perfectly streamlined system that could be integrated into any Chronicles game, human PCs or otherwise.

Biggest complaint: The Clue systems make for lazy roleplay and GMing. It's always better to let the players decide what's a relevant clue, and then to direct their investigation as they see fit. "You look in the cabinet and find X," is less compelling than describing the cabinets, letting the players decide to look in them (or in the other room that you didn't expect them to investigate!) and then describing what they found "through their own intuition." I dunno, there's probably a way to use the Clue system without ruining scenes, but I can't figure it out. And that makes it a bad, or at least poorly communicated, system.

Net opinion: The new experience system alone would make the new ruleset worth using. Adding in Social Maneuvering and the Horrors chapter are just delicious icing on the cake.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by James A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/20/2016 03:51:18

I consider this to be the culmination of the Storytelling system, a perfect fusion of mechanics and roleplaying.

Each Attibute category has an associated subsystem: Violence and Chase for Physical, Investigation for Mental, and Social Maneuvering for Social. Each subsystem is unique, simple mechanics that lend incredible depth to your game. Might I add, Social Chases are a stroke of genius. Not only that, but these subsystems allow players - at Storyteller discretion, of course - to contribute to the world and narrative in meaningful ways, emphasizing a collaborative angle to Storytelling.

The advancement system actively encourages rewards you for developing your character, adding to the story, and making things dramatic. Beats get everyone involved; it's incredible how someone who isn't confident or invested in roleplaying totally shifts gears once they realize that they have an entire rules structure behind them.

Chronicles of Darkness is incredibly malleable (and will be even more so once Hurt Locker drops). Need to change over to a totally different setting? Slap some flavor on there, jot down a few Conditions, invent some new Merits as you need them, and BAM. Converting older World of Darkness settings to Chronicles of Darkness has been an absolute breeze. And if something doesn't work, discuss it with the players, and give them a Beat to parley. Silky smooth.

I could go on, but I wouldn't know where to begin. The way the system focuses in on the meat of tabletop roleplaying and streamlines all the fiddly bits is something I feel no other system has done thus far. I recommend reading the book all the way through, giving it time to digest, analyzing the intent of the rules, and corroborating your findings with others. For such a small package, Chronicles of Darkness has a lot to appreciate, and every new insight you glean opens up a world of opportunities.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/23/2016 12:33:10

While a good start on updating the nWoD core book to include the updates from the GMC Rules Update, several editing issues are present within the text that has prevented our group from moving over to as our main chronicle resource.

To wit, many of the updated rules and/or item require additional rules and/or items that have not been includeded - forcing one to refer back to the previous version of the nWoD/GMC books.

For Example: Safe Place - The location, luxury, and size size are supposed to be reprented by equipment. There are no listings for anything similiar to this in the equipment section unless you refer back to the seperate GMC Rules Update.

We'll be keeping an eye on this - hopefully OPP catches this issue and the others like it before the POD release is ready.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Adrian K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/18/2016 22:11:00

Where to start here? So this particular book is half second edition core book and half repackaging of the New World of Darkness supplement The God-Machine Chronicle. The first half of the books presents the rules system and adds some perspective for new storytellers. It also presents some new play ideas that may help distinguish Chronicles of Darkness from Classic World of Darkness and hopefully keep it unique from the upcoming One World of Darkness. It's straight forward and isn't bogged down with terminology and strict mechanics. The second half of the book is an edit of the original product. Some of the fiction is lost from the original supplement, however new fiction is added in this book. Other missing parts consist of the "rating system" discussed in the GMC and the rules sections are also edited out, having been covered and rewritten in the first part of the book. Finally the last batch of pages consist of equipment and condition charts alongside their descriptions, this is a nice touch. As for the art most of it is recycled from the God-Machine chronicle and some classic pieces from the World of Darkness 1st Edition rule book alongside some from Armory. All and all those pieces seem iconic to the cores and work very well in this new edition. Chronicles of Darkness isn't a revolutionary new book, but it sure does it's job explaining the system and surpasses the previous core book by not only including the rules for spirits and ghosts it adds the rules of Horrors (monster of the week style badies) and reprints the rules for Angels.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jordan M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/10/2016 02:38:59

This is more good work by the writers over at Onyx Path. This book brings together the hard work of decades of writing, gaming and passion to make the perfect rules for, what was, the New World of Darkness. The original rules are as great as they have always been all these years, and the tweaks, balancing and changes introduced through the previously separate God-Machine Chronicles just work to benefit the game even more.

If you want a single source of the core rules for Chronicles of Darkness, or some of the best rules for gritty, modern day roleplaying you can find, you could do worse than buy this book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Charles S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2016 15:13:19

I think the first edition World of Darkness may be one of my favorite RPG books/systems/games of all time. I played it for years and really enjoyed how fast, flexible, and story driven it was. It was such a perfectly balanced game. I think there were some quirky parts and some of the material from other books such as Armory and Reloaded could have been included in a second edition. There was some room for improvement.

Second edition has ruined the original game's balance both mechanicaly and in abstraction. Playing this feels like a huge step backward. This is a less flexible game with much quirkier and unpolished rules than the previous edition. A sample of my gripes:

The XP system is awful crap and should not have been changed in any way. I hate it. The change from progressive XP costs for higher ranks to linear costs makes no sense and ensures that everyone has rank 5 in their key abilities and skills. The game should be called World of Experts. Merits needed to be cleaned up from the previous edition. This edition did fix some issues but they threw out the baby with the bathwater on some of them. Combat with all of its options and extensive merits is getting bogged down. Conditions have me flipping all over the book during combat. Lots of cool material from first edition WoD supplements could have been included but was not.

And now the big gripe: In first edition "The God Machine" would have been a small supplemental book that could be added to the core rules if desired. And I would not have bought it because I hate it. Its not inspiring to me and it clashes horribly with the plot of my previous WoD stories. Forcing it to be the core setting of the game absolutely ruins the spirit of this game. First edition was a lightweight system and a black backdrop ready and inviting you to craft any dark story kindled by your unique imagination. We played mysteries, ghost stories, and slasher horror games without any care about a damn God Machine. It was a blast and a fresh break from all the other games we used to play. Whatever the story was, it was mysterious and the players were legitimately intrigued to learn the story, because a 40 page explanation of it was not in the damn core rule book!

I give it 2 stars because they kept the first edition cover art.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Bryan C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/03/2016 11:01:36

This book is exactly what I've been waiting for. For those afraid that it has too much fluff from the GMC, don't worry. The new write-up, clean look, neat organization, plus added fluff make up for it. Besides, I think of it this way. If Onyx Path came up and asked me if I wanted a new book on the street for only $20, of course I'd gladly support the team. Looking forward to getting a hard copy of this to mark a new beginning to storytelling for me, without all the hang ups I once felt over "New World of Darkness."



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/29/2015 04:59:52

in general this book is very good, but it have a few mistakes and it is normal, but in this case it have a few more mistakes than usually.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jean-Pierre S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/28/2015 17:26:39

I got the former God Machine supplement and, nonetheless, I bought this one and I'm not disappointed at all. What I think is an improvement over the last edition is :

1)- ok, that's old school, but I love the way Vampire the macarade described each skill explaining you what were the difference between having one through five dots in it. You'll see a difference: before one dot was a casual user, two dots a seasoned (albait amateur) user and at three you were a professional. Now, you a professional at two dots only and seasoned at one. So I guess that you don't have to put XPs in a skill to tell (for instance) you know how to drive

2) The investigation system is just brilliant: if you love to run investigation stories, you know that you're facing two major problems: directive stories that would lead players from scene A to Z for them to uncover information (so a quite non interactive scenario) and the risk that players won't add dots the way you figured and will miss solving the case. These rules avoid it all whilst still putting the story first. These rules alone did worth my money.

3) Chasing rules, lighter than the previous ones and working.

4) You got it all: you bought the God Machine Chronicle ? But you still need the nWoD cause you don't have all the information (car's stats for instance) now you got it all, it's not a supplement anymore, it's actually the new core book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by P. B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/13/2015 15:01:17

What the heck IS Chronicles of Darkness Rulebook, you ask? Well, it's what WAS going to be The World of Darkness Second Edition, but because of, you know, REASONS (do a quick Google search for 'paradox white wolf' to get a notion of what those might entail, OR check out the Onyx Path website), the title became ‘Chronicles of Darkness’ now. So how is it? I like it, but as anyone who reads reviews can see, mileage varies. Below are my reasons that are a tad long-winded. First, you may read my ‘on the tram’ review in two lines, and then see more if you like.

This self-contained rulebook for playing mortals in The Chronicles of Darkness gives you all that you need for supernatural roleplay experience in a well-designed, well written, well imagined single sourcebook, and it looks pretty too!

I’m calling that two lines, but enough of that, what about the details of the book?

Overall, the most jarring – but maybe most wonderful – change is that name: Chronicles of Darkness. It’s not just the title of the book and the new brand for the various game lines (Vampire: the Requiem, Werewolf: the Forsaken, Mage: the Maging, Promethean: the What-have-you), but it’s ALSO the mantra behind everything in this book. Rules, setting, artwork, fiction and 'fluff' (a term I kinda detest, but what can I do?), ALL of it subtly shifts the attention of gameplay towards the narrative element as being key. The WORLD is still a vital thread here, but we get more focus on the STORIES we tell. It's a path we've been on for a while, and we see it more clearly now than ever before.

Please note, while the REASONS I mentioned before (intellectual property, licensing, Scandinavian game companies, etc.) remain facts important here, I endourse the name change for my own reasons, stated above. Anyway, what about the book itself? Having actually READ it rather than 'skimmed over it' as other reviewers might – not judging, as we are all different – I'll share my observations.

The layout and content, as far as using the rules parts of the book, are very well done. The fiction is just enough (something that got a little over-done in the original World of Darkness book, I thought), and the changes/ revisions are handled very well. Tabs in the outside margins help with finding rules or subsections while ‘thumbing-through’ the book – or the virtual equivalent for the PDF – and there are plenty of easy to read charts. In the back, a full appendix has these ready for quick reference, which will be helpful for the hard-copy book and can be printed out from the PDF for a DIY Storyteller screen if you bought the PDF. It keeps that ‘world of darkness’ heading font that we know and love (the ‘scratched letters’), but it’s not a difficult font to read, unlike say, the one that was used in the first edition Vampire: the Requiem.

For 'crunch' (not MY way of describing rules, mind), the changes from ‘first edition’ are not actually grand and sweeping. However, they do make sense, and after about ten years, it's nice to see the revision of things like computer technology and other bits-and-bobs that have changed in a decade or so. More than that, the addition of many new Merits, the whole new system for Tilts and Conditions, changes to Anchors (our Virtue and Vice), and the shift from 'Morality' to 'Integrity' – much of which debuted in the World of Darkness: the God-Machine Chronicle – makes this far more than just a revision. Of course, that brings up the 800 kilo gorilla in the room, and I'll digress a moment to discuss that.

Yes, the God-Machine Chronicle IS about half of this book. Here's the thing about that, though: It is NOT a mandatory part of the Chronicles of Darkness. All of the Second Edition titles for the World of Darkness – oops, Chronicles of Darkness! – have a chronicle in them. Vampire’s Strix Chronicle, Werewolf’s Igdam Chronicle, the soon-to-arrive Mage’s Fallen World Chronicle, perhaps you see a pattern? The God-Machine Chronicle is a tad more involved and intensive than what I've seen from Vampire and Werewolf, but really? It's also very flexible. You are not told exactly WHAT the God-Machine is or must be, and the stories, characters, settings in there can ALL be used for any number of things with just a little work. Again, yes you mileage may vary, but as a Storyteller with less time that I had as a kid, I find those ready-made helps to be, well, a LOT of help! On that note, I want to address the world-building piece outside of the God-Machine thingus.

The rules for making 'monsters' and 'ookie places' ARE stripped-down from The World of Darkness Rulebook, but I see that a serving the overall direction of Chronicles of Darkness. The rules serve the narrative, and I kind of see that as the 'golden rule' of Chronicles of Darkness and its related lines. We tell stories, and the rules should not get in the way of that. Want to build a ghost for the haunted house? The rules let you do that to as much detail as you’ll likely want. Need to have a skinless dog-thing guarding the crypt of someone's necromancer great-grand dad? Oh, you need it on the fly? Yeah, the rules will help you with that, too. Look, if you NEED a ton of info on ghosts or vampires or bogeymen, there are resources out there – heck, the book gives you a wonderful list of them right in the Introduction – but THIS book has all you need to make a solid approximation that four out of five players won't think twice about.

(Note, I have NO research to back up the last claim, but I think that it's terribly conservative if MY troupe of over-educated writers and creative types are any indication... They want the STORY, not the mechanics!)

All of the above notwithstanding, The Chronicles of Darkness Rulebook is not perfect, but nothing is in this world. It is not all-things-to-all-gamers, but it IS a wonderful tool AND a proper game in its own right. That's my last point here, actually – and thanks for reading this far!

The World of Darkness Rulebook was just that, a book of rules to set up all of the following games. Yes, it COULD be a self-contained game, but even the authors and developer didn't MEAN that to happen [insert citation here...]. THIS book, this Chronicles of Darkness book, it IS made to be a game in its own right. That makes it a wonder in and of itself, something well worth the investment, I think. You do not have to agree with me, but now you know why I say that.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Guido M. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/13/2015 02:08:17

I've bought this book with great expectations...sure I knew that it should have been an "upgrade" of the original 1st edition World of Darkness, but there was a lot still to be converted and, moreover, I was extremely curious about the changes they would make and about the new material that they'd add!

However, after skimming through this book I am extremely dissatisfied and now I'll explain you why:

  • The original book was of 226 pages (216 if you don't consider cover, indexes and character sheet), of which 17 where dedicated to "generate the mood", 13 were dedicated to hints about "hints to produce your campaign"...but the remaining 186, apart from a few pages of "stories" (which usually I simply ignore), were dedicated to rules and generic antagonists...which were the building blocks for your OWN campaign! This new book has 297 pages (285 if you take out covers, index, character sheet and credits), which one would think "Great! More content!"...then nasty surprise...107 pages are dedicated to enforcing the God-Machine Chronicle upon you...not helping you in creating your OWN campaign, but cramming their idea down in your throat...and this means that only 178 pages are dedicated to rules and generic antagonists (nearly 5% less)!
  • I personally don't like the whole God-Machine Chronicle idea and what I'd have expected from a "core book" was the tools I needed to produce my own campaign...not to be forced into something that, in my personal opinion, I felt "lame". However, skimming through the extensive "God-Machine" part you get 44 pages of what I could only feel appropriate to call "adventure hooks" or "plot hints", but that probably from the author's point of view should be "adventures"...13 pages were devoted to something that left me with the jaw hanging open...in fact they are wasting 13 pages to explain you how to interconnect the "plot hints" they will gave you!! ...and 26 pages are dedicated to showcase the creator's own "pre-built" Angels and Demons. From my point of view the God-Machine Chronicle part could have been left out of the book entirely, since, as said before, I don't like it, but what struck me as extremely upsetting is how they have managed this section: First of all...this is a "core book"...it should lists "rules" and "building blocks" for a campaign...if I need a pre-made campaign, I'd buy a setting sourcebook or a pre-made adventure! But they managed to cram their "pre-built" creatures (because they think you are not capable of thinking one yourself, you "humble mortal" Storyteller, right?!) which took a lot of space and then reduced the adventure part to a series of "plot hints", which in an adventure book would probably be ground for lawsuit, because an adventure shouldn't be missing so much "meat"! And not even satisfied of this, they show the boundless hubris to tell you how to INTERLOCK those hints into a campaign!!! 13 pages of telling you how to interlock their adventure plots into a campaign!!
  • In the shrinked rules part, most of the equipment part is moved to the Appendix, which, while I partially approve (since it's good to have all things in a separate chapter, but putting them as "Appendix" means that you consider them an "extra"...which I definitely don't agree upon!)...however, the significant problem of this part is that a CORE BOOK should list all the important pieces...but the developers "missed" both Housing and Contraband, which were, for example, in Vampire, but aren't vampire-related material! Moreover, the material here is just a full copy of what you find in GMC old manual. 11 pages which weren't new, but definitely weren't as complete as you would expect from a core book.
  • Tilts and Conditions take 11 pages. Here you find 7 pages of Tilts which are detailed (and probably it's one of the few things good of this book), but nothing new. Moreover, if you consider that the original book didn't have Tilts and Conditions, you'd probably agree with me that these should have been "on top" of the rule part...so having inside the rule part means that the rule part comparable with the origina book is in fact of 167 pages! If you have God Machine Chronicle Update, you'll see nothing new here...full copy, again!
  • For Antagonists...which are generic antagonists...you get just 3 pages...which were 7 in the old version (and was still less if compared with the old manuals). Any attempt to give a fair share of animals is GONE here...you only get "Trained Dog" statistics. Moreover, the developer don't seem to be able to keep their own Ego not even out of generic antagonists...each antagonists gets a (useless) adjective attached to it, a few lines of (useless) flavour pseudo-quote and (amazing) even two lines of suggestion on how "double" those statistics for something else...sure...because for Onyx Path Publishing developers Storyteller needs also their suggestions on how to cannibalize the washed out resources they provide!! In my opinion this part is probably second only to the "adventure hook glueing guide" and the Angel part from the point of view of arrogance and obvious contempt for the people who play their games and buy their goods, but let's go on with the review... -The Building Equipment part (3 pages) was probably one of the few things I liked in this book...it was new and intriguing as game mechanics, but the fact that the Equipment part was so secondary and the limited space given for it make it less satisfying. You should consider that half of one page is devoted to two equipment conditions, which, while interesting, seemed to be a sort of "morsel of something tasty" more than something truly finished good...
  • The Merit section was something I was looking forward to, but again...another bad surprise. Merits are mostly copy-and-pasted from God-Machine Chronicle...a few new ones are added that grant benefits for chasing and investigations, which take quite a bit of space within the rules...but my opinion is that those Merits are depressing and uninspired...they seems to be just to be able to tell you "we added something new", which is true, but definitely not worth buying the rulebook for! Anything from 1st edition which generated suspence on some players about how it will be dealt with in 2nd Edition where delt with by cutting them out of the book: Gunslinger is gone as it is Two Weapon Fighting Style...which makes you wonder why someone would leave Ambidexterity Merit which, at this point, becomes completely useless...but well...I guess that thinking at the implications of their "cuts" is a bit too much thought for the new "copy and paste" policy of the authors!
  • The Horrors part would have been interesting, but the authors made another "fail" out of it. 19 pages dedicated to Horrors...11 pages dedicated to showcasing their monsters! However, given what I've pointed out in the above said points, we could assume that their devoted player and Storyteller base are just a bunch of morons who cannot do the obvious unless this is pointed them by the "divine" authors! The remaining 8 pages, which include the Dread Powers which I was looking forward to....it's not satisfying:
  • Dream Powers mechanics have been changed from a "dot based detailed power structure" to a "single power vague power structure", which is incompatible to what the developers did for Hunters the Mortal Remains, which, in theory, was the GMC conversion of Hunter the Vigil! So the authors don't seem to be even able to stick to the lines that they set for the same mechanics in their old books of the same version! Seems that we are going back to the "10 books, 10 mechanics" logic of old World of Darkness, which the existence of a core book for the World of Darkness attempted to avoid! Moreover while the old Dread Powers descriptions seemed to me too detailed in their description, the game mechanics were solid...in this case they are vague and uninspired...in fact seems that the Horror section is just another uninspired part added just to say "we added something new"...
  • The remaining part of the book are just a copy and paste of the God Machine Chronicle material with the addition of conversions of part of the 1st Edition World of Darkness and the introduction of some "old fashioned" space-wasting choice made by White Wolf in the past...you get all those silly rating descriptions (as in OWOD), but, on other hand, all example actions have been moved to the Dramatic System section (which I would approve, however...)...but some of them seems to be gone for good.

In the end, if you have 1st Edition World of Darkness and God Machine Chronicle update I'd advise against buying this uninspired merge of "copy-and-paste" approach and "spit my contempt on your face" hubris...you have much more value from those books that you would from buying this one!



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
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