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Return of the Scarlet Empress $19.99 $16.59
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Return of the Scarlet Empress
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Return of the Scarlet Empress
Publisher: White Wolf
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/14/2011 03:51:49

As a story driven book, this title excels. Storytellers and players have asked for years what the political and social ramifications would be for the Return of the Scarlet Empress. The answer provided in essentially what is a 'what if?' book won't disappoint. The storyline logically ties into previous publications and as such retains a level of consistency. The book is divided into geographical areas and deals with the reclamation activities in each area - allowing this supplement to be tied into any existing chronicle and localised as required. For those running non-Solar chronicles, these is a section (Chapter 6) which deals with the 'others' including an overview of the implications for Malfeas, The Wyld, the Lunar Exalted and Autocthonia.

The production values are of the same high quality that Exalted fans will expect, with the obligatory comic in the front and back, and good quality artwork throughout.

This title is something that will excite veteran players and storytellers. Realistically, though, it is something that you can pick up just to read.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Scarlet Empress
Publisher: White Wolf
by Anna J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/29/2010 20:44:48

I bought RotSE the hour it was released... and I wasn't disappointed! It's an epic story that provides endless plot hooks for Storytellers of any splat, not just Solars - from Mountain Folk to Alchemicals, it's a smorgasbord. Everyone feels the love!

The book also appeals in the vast amount of tying-up of loose lore ends which it contains. I was really thrilled to learn what I did... and the unveiling of a certain Yozi was breathtaking.

I don't want to spoil anything, so I better stop there. It's comprehensive, it's broad in scope and scale, and it's a toolbox that includes options for "what if the bad guys succeed".

Very cool! Five out of five, man!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Scarlet Empress
Publisher: White Wolf
by Lars-Henrik H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/29/2010 09:11:29

I really liked the book. It's a well of inspiration, which can be used both as events where the payers are involved and background events leading to exciting adventures for your players.

I will be using the book for both, and look forward to seeing how the players doom or save the world many times over. :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Scarlet Empress
Publisher: White Wolf
by Chris J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/29/2010 09:05:00

First, this is not the end of the Exalted line. It is, however, the last product to be released more or less simultaneously in electronic and dead tree format. Future products will be released in electronic form first, possibly followed by print or print-on-demand versions later.

That out of the way, let's take a look at this beauty. This book offers a what-if campaign layout illustrating possible events resulting from the marriage of the Scarlet Empress to the Ebon Dragon. It showcases theatres of conflict in all directions of Creation, including some options to continue the story in the underworld. The good, to me, far outweighs any meh (nothing really bad springs to my mind). We got various examples of how the Realm would wage great-scale wars, a lot of possibility for player characters to involve themselves no matter where they are and what kind of Exalt they are, from Solars in the West to Lunars in the South, from Abyssals to Infernals, with Dragonblooded, Sidereals and Alchemicals as well. While the narrative part does in many ways use the GSPs as the devices of the Reclamation, any kind of gaming group can be slotted in as movers and shakers, never relegated to the sidelines. All events that transpire in the book only happen as shown IF the players do not interfere. And there are a lot of places where the players can take the reigns of Creation's resistance (or the Reclamation from Hell). On top of that, the PCs can expect a final facedown with a fifty-mile long Ebon Dragon with the fate and future of Creation at stake, complete with stats for the Big Bad. This also for the first time shows exactly what a Primordial turned Yozi looks like. Additionally, we get more information about and stats for the Scarlet Empress, but no boring wall of Charms. Talking about charms, there are several new, from Solar to Infernal including the aforementioned I Am Ebon Dragon stuff. This is all topped by various plot hooks depending upon how the end game plays itself out and perhaps the finest example of what a truly utopian Creation could look like, even if only illustrated in a few short sentences (short does not make it any less awesome).

So, let's cut to chase. If you like to know what could result from the return of the Scarlet Empress, grab this book. If you like to know what it means to fight a 50-mile long dragon of evil and darkness, grab this book. If you like to see what a given group of PCs could grab in a powerplay for any of the 5 directions, with possible reactions by the Realm, grab this book. Hell, even if you want to know what the endgame for Creation as initiated by any of the other threats (Neverborn, Unshaped) could look like, there are a lot ideas and plot hooks right here. Which is not to say that I wouldn't love a book dedicated to this, but that is mostly thanks to how much I did enjoy this product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Scarlet Empress
Publisher: White Wolf
by Ethan W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/29/2010 08:52:20

Return of the Scarlet Empress is an excellent addition to the exalted line, the book is a great "what if" scenario generator for any game but obviously it has a focus to it with the returning Dragon-blooded empress. The two box setup allows any Storyteller to take as they need and leave what they do not. Any Storyteller that wishes to be able to poke the brains of the writers in a comprehensive mannor and get their thoughts back on the different "what if" they should get a copy of Return of the Scarlet Empress.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Scarlet Empress
Publisher: White Wolf
by Joshua G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/29/2010 08:05:01

It's a great book. Its not the End of the Line. Now there is a Developer's Note in the back which is felt to be a goodbye letter, RotSE was started quite a while back when White Wolf may have felt like it was. Come over to the White Wolf Forums and you will see that there is still Exalted to be done.

Now, having gainsaid the naysayers, this book is great for what it is intended for. Exalted does not Cater to Meta plot. This is simply a book of possibilities and logical conclusions. Most importantly it presents the stat block of the Ebon Dragon, which is integral for wanting to develop your own Yozi/Primordial. It presents options and a stat block for the Scarlet Empress. It details the effects on the Exalt in question when their Patron dies. That alone is enough for me to have bought it. It also piggybacks new spells and charms.

The fluff, ie story, is also wonderful. But there is some discrepancies largely in part due to, what I believe, that Glories was written after RotSE.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Scarlet Empress
Publisher: White Wolf
by Doga E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/11/2010 13:10:29

Mechanically, this book is a good addition to the Exalted line. It is relatively well balanced, as you can expect from a Goodwin book. It has few actual Charms, but the astrological Charms included within are great, and the Solar Charms and Ebon Dragon Charms are mechanically sound as well.

Therein lies my big problem with the book: it is a huge divorce from the fluff of the Exalted I've come to love, and it is almost nothing but fluff. The scenario, where the Scarlet Empress returns to Creation to free Ebon Dragon from the confines of Malfeas, apparently relies on several established characters acting less capable and intelligent than they actually are and half the Exalted population of Creation and beyond being in the service of the Yozis just so the PCs can shine. If you don't want to see Ebon Dragon as the ultimate villain of all Exalted universe despite his utter cowardice, ineptitude and lack of virtue repeated several times in the books, and the rest of Creation being too incapable of stopping his overcomplicated plan, you probably won't enjoy this book. There are a couple of good ideas and characterizations in the book, but most of it seems to lead to Ebon Dragon's victory being inevitable without the PCs, who are apparently special by virtue of being PCs alone, all else be damned, which seems to be a poor design choice for this (or any) book.

My other main problem is a personal dislike of Yozis being nothing more than a set of Charms, but ultimately, it is a very small problem compared to the doomsday scenario detailed within.

There are two main good sides to the book. One is the artwork, especially the chapter comics. Despite lacking color, some of them have a breathtaking quality, and most of them are above average, at least. The other is that if you can divorce the book from the Exalted line, it reads rather well as an RPG sourcebook. It is well-designed, well-placed and the prose is well-written. For another game line, it might have been a good addition. For Exalted, it is a disappointment.

To conclude, this does not cater to all Exalted players, so I would be careful about shelling out money for this book. It makes sweeping changes to Exalted, and most of them (in my opinion) not for the better.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Scarlet Empress
Publisher: White Wolf
by Andrew S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/07/2010 16:42:14

Firstly, it is worth pointing out this isn't the end of the Exalted line, White Wolf have already released details of several new books that will be released in the coming months (not to mention the free stuff available on the Ink Monkies blog on the White Wolf website), all the new releases will be .pdf only - hence the note at the end that looks like an end of the line comment (but most definitely isn't).

I found this book a fun read, the expansion of the Ebon Dragon charms presented in Infernals to give a near complete set of charms for a Yozi is a very welcome addition. The plot seeds are interesting, and a welcome addition (as are the smattering of DB and Solar charms).

All things considered a very welcome release and well worth the money.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Return of the Scarlet Empress
Publisher: White Wolf
by Terence C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/04/2010 17:42:57

OK ending to the Exalted line.

Gives several endings to Exalted. Sub par than I expected but an ending nontheless



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
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