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C20 Book of Freeholds
por Chazz K. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 10/05/18 07:06:06

I took a lot of inspiration from this book and I'm very excited about some of the things it hints at for the future of the C20 line. For the full review, see our review episode: http://thestorytold.libsyn.com/episode-9



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C20 Kithbook: Boggans
por Chazz K. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 10/05/18 07:04:03

Short version, I love this book and think it recaptures the glamour of Changeling the Dreaming. For the long version, check out our review episode: http://thestorytold.libsyn.com/episode-9



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W20 Cookbook
por Darryl J. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 09/16/18 03:44:47

Did not understand the usefulness of this book. Guess it's a "fun" product, but never going to crack this open again.



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C20 Anthology of Dreams
por BOHDAN-OREST H. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 09/05/18 13:52:28

If you need inspiration for your changeling game, or just want to read some quality stories that take place in the world of changling, then I highly recommend this book. I enjoyed it very much.



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V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
por Mr A G C. C. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 09/05/18 05:27:46

This book is brilliant lets you fall in love with the vampire all over again epecially if your an older fan of the game like myself, but would be ideal for new players to get in touch with the feel of the vampire world of darkness setting. Found myself picking up old by Night books as i read it, to remind myself of certain characters. Art is excellent and its jam packed with ideas you could use in any game. BUY EEET NOW!!



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Wr20 Handbook for the Recently Deceased
por Shannon H. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 08/31/18 11:54:42

Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition is one of the best core books for the World of Darkness bar none. To say that it brought Wraith into the 21st Century in style would be a gross understatement, and for Onyx Path Publishing, the book is a triumph of literary accomplishment as well as updating the game and streamlining it while keeping the parts of it that absolutely needed to be held close.

Handbook for the Recently Deceased, however, affords both the player and the storyteller a succinct, capsulized glimpse at Wraith: the Oblivion that keeps the would-be storyteller who is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to throw his or her players across the Shroud from cutting deep into their printer’s ink reserves and spitting out chapters to serve as the building blocks for what they can expect from the game.

Part One: Playing the Recently Deceased covers the basic concepts-at-work for wraiths who may not have a clue on how the game works, or how to get started with character generation. The idea that you’re not only dead, but that you most probably died horrifically is something that has always been a cornerstone in Wraith: the Oblivion, regardless of Edition, and the 20th Anniversary Edition is, of course, no exception. You must come up with that story. You must figure out why you came across the Shroud from the Skinlands, and you must find a way to rationalize it so that you don’t immediately become a spectre, or an obolus in another wraith’s coin purse. Fetters are discussed. Passions are discussed. Where you are in the Underworld and definitions explaining what the basic lines of demarcation in the Underworld are, are discussed. You’ll understand the basic concepts behind the Hierarchy, Renegades, Heretic Cults and, to a degree, the Guilds.

This is a concept guide... not a how-to guide. If you’re looking for a how-to guide, you’ll need to purchase a copy of the core rules, which will provide you with instructions on how to generate a ghost character from scratch.

This book, however, is going to serve as a “taste-test,” so that you can decide if this is something that you want to invest your free time and imagination in.

Part Two: The New Shadow touches on a new concept to Wraith: the Oblivion; Shadowguiding. In past editions of the game, a character created two separate characters: their wraith PC and then the dark reflection of that PC, the Shadow. Now, with Shadowguiding and depending on how the storyteller wants to approach and handle it, once this process is complete, another player serves as the Shadowguide... which means you all trade off Shadows to each other. When the time comes for the Shadow to take action, speak, or plot against a wraith PC, the Shadowguide does the dirty work.

It is an EXCEPTIONALLY COOL idea that adds multiple new dimensions to a Wraith: the Oblivion Chronicle.

The basic concepts of what a Shadow is, Thorns – which are, effectively, Shadow-based powers above and beyond those already possessed by a wraith, Dark Passions, how and why the Shadow will talk to a wraith, when it will talk to a wraith, and what happens during a Harrowing are all explained. Again, systems for these things are in the core rulebook. Advice on how players can and should interact with one another while using each others’ Shadows against each other are discussed – and this is necessary, as too much can be given away, and there should be some secrets among players and their characters and their characters’ motivations.

Part Three: Storytelling for the Recently Deceased is for... well... storytellers looking to take up the scythe and lantern and get moving with a few games or, if you’d rather, a full-fledged Chronicle in Wraith: the Oblivion.

How to get the story started is explained, how you might move a group of ghosts together into a Circle is explained (although the ghosts becoming a functional family unit is completely up to them), ideas on how to handle PCs that want to experiment with Rising are covered, and how you may want to proceed with your first couple of Harrowings and Passion/Fetter Conflicts were, for me, the highlight here... if for no other reason than I’d never thought about Fetter or Passion conflicts among my players.

There are blurbs that give really rudimentary storyteller ideas – seeds, if you will – to help jumpstart something much, much larger for the Hierarchy, the Renegades, the Heretic Cults, advice on NPC creation, Antagonist creation, and advice on how to handle one-on-one player-to-storyteller interaction are all provided... and they’re provided by Rich “The Dead Guy” Dansky, who in a lot of ways – at least to many of us who have been with Wraith: the Oblivion since the beginning – is the consummate authority on any and all things dealing with the Shadowlands of the World of Darkness.

That’s not to say he’s always right or that his ideas are better than any you will ever come up with for the game ever, but suffice to say that if you follow his outlines and heed his suggestions and use the Handbook for the Recently Deceased as your primer for a Wraith game, you’re going to have one hell of a Chronicle cooking when it’s all said and done.

If you’ve bought Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition and you have not purchased this primer for yourself if you’re new to the Wraith system, or for your players, then you’re doing yourself a disservice.

While Handbook for the Recently Deceased is not absolutely necessary to play Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition, I personally cannot recommend it highly enough.



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Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
por John M. S. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 08/23/18 12:24:05

I haven't played previous editions of Wraith, so I really have nothing to compare this volume to. That being said I bought and read this book with an open mind and was blown away with the sheer volume of awesome content. I really cannot find fault with this book, and if you are interested in some more of my opinions on it you can read my full review HERE



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Wr20 Handbook for the Recently Deceased
por Megan R. [Crítico destacado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 08/22/18 13:57:48

Released in advance of the core rulebook for Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition, this work is made up of three sections, one aimed at players, one explaining the concept of Shadows, and one for Storytellers. The whole idea is to explain what the game is all about, give prospective players and Storytellers a handle on what is going on, and expand knowledge of the Underworld for those who've prior experience of Wraith.

There's a particular emphasis on the newly dead, a likely point to start a new campaign especially with inexperienced players. It explains a lot of the novel terminology used in the game, as well as its distinctive mechanics. These are chiefly Passions and Fetters, which affect all characters, and the operation of Shadows. The Storyteller section is aimed at both new Wraith Storytellers and those who are running their game for newly-deceased characters (whether or not their players are new to the game).

The Player section opens by explaining how important it is to realise that your character is as dead as a doornail. That's fine, though, because your character has somehow managed to hang on somewhere in the fringes of life instead of moving on like most dead people do to whatever lies beyond. You have a second chance to maybe influence mortal affairs. Maybe there's something you need to set right, or something left unfinished that you really, really wanted to complete. In effect, you've shaken a fist in the face of Oblivion (or whatever afterlife you think you are going to) and insisted on hanging around a bit longer.

However, hardly anyone knows what to expect when they die. Leaving aside religious belief, most of which have various promises (and threats) for what comes next, nobody really knows. So a lot of the game is about finding out about this new place you have suddenly arrived in, lots of exploration and discovery because the afterlife as presented in Wraith doesn't match up to any existing theories or beliefs about what happens after death. Time to ask lots of questions. Some your Storyteller might answer for you, but most you will have to find out for yourself. The process of arrival is explained - Storytellers might want to not release this information until it's played out, for shock effect - and the landscape that surrounds new arrivals is explained.

We also find out about Fetters, which are those things that have held you from proceeding onwards to whatever awaits most of the dead. That unfinished business or whatever it is you are here to attend to. You may choose to get on with dealing with them, but there are others things you can get up to here as well. If your character is lucky, someone whose been here a bit longer might be good enough to explain things to you. Or you might be unlucky... We also hear about Passions, the things that drive your character so powerfully and which are centred on powerful emotions.

There's a massive amount going on, and a lot to explore. There are cross-references to the core rulebook as appropriate: this work is more about concepts and ideas than game mechanics. This could make it useful for at least Storytellers to read this book before they get down to the nuts and bolts of how the game actually works, although with players new to the game they may prefer to let them experience all this through play rather than read about it first.

Next comes the section on Shadows. This is something that can be hard to grasp, especially when you are new to the game. It is the negative part of a given Wraith's personality and it has one objective: to drag that Wraith into Oblivion as fast as it can. The mechanic is interesting - another player at the table plays your Shadow, as well as their own Wraith. It's not intended as an outright competition or tug-of-war, though. It's more insiduous than that. For a start, what does the Shadow really want? It may want the now-Wraith to admit they were wrong about something they feel strongly about, for example. The 'Shadowguide' - that's the person playing the Shadow - needs to get to know their Wraith really well, to know their weak spots and their triggers, and then use them, creatively and relentlessly. There's a balance to be struck between standing back and letting the Wraith get on with business without interference, and being a complete and utter pest, in their face all the time. Plenty of advice here about how to develop your skills as a Shadowguide. The Shadow may even be as confused and lost as the Wraith at the beginning, or it may already have an agenda mapped out. There are hints and tips for Storytellers here as well, as they need to decide how things will work in their game. At times, the Shadowguide will have to work with the Storyteller, especially when setting up set-piece events called Harrowings, which basically put the poor Wraith on the spot.

Finally, the section directly aimed at Storytellers. It can be quite an overwhelming task, especially if you and your group are new to Wraith. There is a lot to take in, the good news is that the Storyteller - like newly-deceased Wraiths - can acquire the knowledge slowly and steadily rather than all at once. You just need to be a step or two ahead of your players. There's a wealth of advice here and one of the most important bits is to be aware of your players. They are here to have fun, even if their characters are not. If anyone gets uncomfortable, stop and find out what you need to avoid for the game to continue being enjoyable for all participants. There are lots of ideas for initial adventures too, many of which are designed to help you ease your players into their characters' new existence.

This doesn't replace the core rulebook, but it does lift the lid on the underlying ideas and concepts on which the game is built. Storytellers certainly ought to read it. Players may want to wait until they have been playing for a while before diving in, as it explains concepts that might be better discovered through play. Once they have met the concepts, though, this can deepen their understanding of them. It's a good way to get a handle on a quite difficult game, one with novel concepts and processes quite unlike anything else.



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Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
por sam w. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 08/22/18 07:27:01

Honestly... rather let down.

I am a faithful Wraith fan that purchased every single book that was released. I loved the feel, the connection, the tragedy and reasons that convinced these beings to continue to fight on. The story and history was superb, in my opinion. The writing was excellent. The systems needed clarity in a few areas (not many, but a few).

I had high hopes for Wraith - 20th. While the art, layout, writing etc are as impeccable as they always have been, some design decisions have completely turned me off this game. I find myself looking at a product that I purchased strictly for new art and a cleaner layout.

Why do I say this? Because I am shocked and unimpressed by the needless down-grading of many powers/arcanoi for no apparent reason. In some cases, some iconic level 5 powers are not even worth the action due to the ridiculous costs, difficulty and/or unimpressive effect. The wonder and awe at high level arcanoi and guild members can be safely thought of as mostly propaganda now.

This is as strange as it sounds... when we as players discussed hopes for Wr20, very few if any (I saw none) thought there was need to re-tune wraith powers or such. Instead - I can honestly say that this is the most significant change in this book. From Outrage 5 being now functionally less effective than a Stygian Steel blade, to Wraith's sudden inability to soak aggravated, to the near-uselessness of several other Level 5 powers.

My gaming group has decided to shelf this book as basically an art project - very sad indeed.



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Secrets of the Covenants
por Lukasz L. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 08/22/18 04:24:56

Interesting (if at times a bit illegible) collection of short stories, but not much else.



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Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
por Greg D. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 08/11/18 16:11:58

It's brilliant; of course it's brilliant. With the other extensive reviews here there's no need to say more than that. It's almost everything you could ever want from a comprehensive set of wraith rules.

Except for one or two things, for which I spitefully drop a star, because it's unforgiveable in my mind.

Where are the merits and flaws?

There are sixty-five pages (including an extra front cover) given over to the most incredibly self-indulgent, look-how-artsy-and-not-dungeons-and-dragons-we-are-circle-jerk of art and words ever committed to a WoD/OP game, and that's saying something. Yes, it's evocative; yes, it sets the scene; yes, it's wonderful and beautiful on it's own terms; but it's sixty-five pages long. Many of the pages only have a few words on them, was there really no more room in the book for another small appendix? Every other game line got one.

The contents is nine pages long on it's own. Mage managed it in five - and it's a 700-page book with tons of rules.

Sigh. It's minor I know, but it's annoying as all hell. I was also really hoping for a condensed Ferryman section from Ends of Empire and the alternate arcanoi from The Great War, but I guess you can't have everything.

Ok, I'll shut up with the self-indulgent winge-fest now. It's pathetic, I know. Wraith 20 is a fabulous labour of deepest love, and I haven't been this joyfully immersed in a book since The Deathly Hallows (or Changeling 20). The additions and edited/expanded rules are well-thought out, especially with regard to arcanoi, and the Orpheus appendix is inspired.



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Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
por Shannon H. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 08/10/18 16:10:15

Once upon a time, many years ago in the closing months of the 20th Century, one of my best friends said to me “We’re going to do something new. Something different. We’re going to play Wraith.” being in a group of players that was consistently made up of myself, the significant other of my best friend, and my best friend-as-Storyteller, I was immediately intimidated. I had no idea how to play Wraith, and – truth be told – had no idea how the rules worked or how the setting would be laid out, etc.

Let’s be clear here; Vampire is easy. You’re a vampire and you live in a city and you blah blah blah all night long until the sun comes up. And let’s also be clear that with Werewolf, you’re a werewolf and you live in the near-city or wilderness – or, as I’ve proven in MY OWN games of Werewolf that I’ve run – in the city proper and you blah blah blah all day and night long until your phase of the moon hits and you’re rocking at full-tilt Gnosis and Rage...

But Wraith was different.

Wraith was fucking PERSONAL.

“Here’s what I want you to do, Shannon” he said. “I want you to think about death. I want you to think about the worst possible death that you could die. I want you to think about drowning or dying unexpectedly while you’re going out to get something to eat. I want you to hold onto the feeling of that... of the emotion of that... and when you’ve got THAT locked down? THAT’S when we’ll create your character, and I’ll help you to do it.”

Wraith was about as supernatural and frightening to me as the World of Darkness – at least, the World of Darkness that we knew at the time – ever got.

It was story-driven drama. It was character-driven conflict. It was cogs within gears within transmissions of the great machinations of Stygian politics. It was endless, sunless day-to-day survival against the forces of Oblivion who were, to me, MUCH MORE ferocious and malnourished than any of the Wyrm’s minions because, in the end, they were – effectively – the “Great Nothing” that “The Neverending Story” painted as its primary antagonist.

The Wyrm... the Weaver... if it could be said that “they” want anything, it most certainly isn’t a LACK of ANYTHING. “They” want “something.” Something IS NOT nothing.

And Malfeans and their countless armies of spectres? It’s not that they want to watch the Underworld burn. They want Oblivion.

They want NOTHING to exist in the place of EVERYTHING.

So we created my ghost for this game... and when we were done, I felt drained to be honest. And my best friend said “Okay. That’s that. Now, we make your Shadow.”

“My what?”

“Your Shadow. The part of you that WANTS to be dead. The part of you that wants the madness of the Underworld to end. The part of you that wants to move on into the Great Nothing... because all of this? HURTS. The Shadow doesn’t like it.”

“That’s... fucked up.”

“He’ll help you at times. Not always, but sometimes. I mean, he IS YOU. Think of him as Rage Points in Werewolf, after a fashion. He’s your enemy, but he can be useful, too.”

Suffice to say we didn’t play those characters much, and the game didn’t last long. In all honesty, it was too stressful to me at the time, which is a funny thing for me to say now twenty some-odd years down the road after having a son, being widowed at 35, buying a house, and charging ahead through it all. But at the time, thinking about the depth of Wraith – about the darkness of it - wasn’t how I wanted to spend my game time.

Fast forward twenty years into the future into the middle of 2018.

I’m much older, I’d like to think that I’m much wiser, definitely more mature, a little beat up from wear and tear, but my heart – or a part of it, anyway – still lives in the gothic-punk World of Darkness, and a little piece of that part of my heart is hidden across the Shroud on the Isle of Sorrows in Stygia.

Benevolent psychopathology is a term I use for things that I find myself both terrified by and, simultaneously, obsessed with. Wraith: the Oblivion falls into the category of benevolent psychopathology for me.

When I heard that there would be a release of a 20th Anniversary Edition of the game, I was overjoyed with expectation. Having not read ANY of the Geist books and having been completely out of the loop with White Wolf Games Studios - and Onyx Path Publishing, for that matter – I started watching from afar to make sure I didn’t miss the initial release of the book.

Suffice to say, I am in no way, shape or form disappointed in what I have received.

Some people reading this will remember my reviews from my days with Ex Libris Nocturnis. Others, who got into the games long after ELN closed its cover and locked itself shut have no idea what my reviews are about or how they work. DrivethruRPG is, effectively, set up for my “style” of reviewing which has, admittedly, changed over the years to keep up with my understanding of objectivity and maturity.

I use a five-star system, pass or fail.

1 star for appearance. Yes or no. Is the book beautiful? Does the book strike me, inside and out? Was there as much care for internal artwork as with cover art? Does the book “live deliciously?”

1 star for overall content. Yes or no. Does the book DELIVER what it said it would deliver? Is the book claiming to be core rules nothing more than a gateway to a half dozen other sourcebooks that will be required to run the game coherently, or is the book a game in and of itself slapped betwixt two covers?

1 star for readability and proofing. Yes or no. Mistakes are made. I’ve written sections for these books, and I know for a fact that you can spend hours and hours and hours going over them with a fine-toothed comb and there will STILL be an error here or there. It happens. Names get spelled wrong, pages end up breaking in odd places, etc. In the end, is the book put together PROFESSIONALLY? Is it obvious that someone TOOK THE TIME to edit the book REASONABLY?

1 star for viability. Does the book add to the existing mythos of the game it supports or not? Can the game be played – FOREVER – without the book? Will it make the game A DIFFERENT GAME if the book is added into the mythos? This star is really for Storytellers. As a Storyteller, I’m going to ask myself “Should I pay money for this book to give players something wonderful that they have not seen before?” Is it a Player’s Guide to the Technocracy – which, back in the day, RE-DEFINED Mage: The Ascension COMPLETELY – or is it just another grimoire of “pew-pew!” Thaumaturgy Rites?

1 star for overall quality-in-ownership. I’ve written some SHITE. Seriously. There are things floating around out there that I SINCERELY WISH did not have my name attached to them. Did the developer of the game line get too busy to redline what was being submitted to him or her appropriately? Did the developer drop the ball after the contributing freelancer wrote a bunch of garbage to fluff a wordcount? Is the book I paid for supposed to be what I’m reading? Am I expecting too much professionalism from a legacy company that has put out some of the greatest Storytelling games ever created? Or am I expecting a book to be something that it isn’t. Am I wanting a book to be written one way while, what was published, is something completely different.

In all honesty, I think that of the five stars, that last one is the MOST subjective, even though I will do my absolute best to remain entirely objective throughout my reviews.

That being said, let’s do this.

The Prologue: The Face of Death is, quite simply, a graphic novella that takes some absolutely stunning Wraith: the Oblivion artwork superimposed with text blocs that explain the fundamental concepts of the game. Had this been something 1st or 2nd Edition contained, my best friend would not have had to spend the time that he did explaining to me what Wraith was and what it was all about. It is beautiful, it is chilling, it is darkly poetic, and it is also very emotionally driven while remaining matter-of-fact and succinct. This is your Ghost Story. This is your beginning.

Chapter One: Introduction is just that, and it serves as a syllabus for what you can expect throughout the course of your reading while working with the Table of Contents as a map. You’re given a basic Lexicon – and my only complaint here is that there are a couple of “What is that?” terms you’ll run across later that aren’t immediately identified (for example, “Labyrinth, the” even though there are a couple of terms directly related to the Labyrinth or that coincide directly with it) - but aside from that, it’s a concise little thing.

Chapter Two: Setting is where things get down and dirty, but in all fairness, is also where things get a little sketchy. Sketchy isn’t necessarily a bad thing, mind you... but there are times where contradictions are made that can leave the reader saying “...and whaaaaaaa?”

A good example is the issue of the Fishers and the Treaty of Paradise. Be careful with this part and know that what you’re reading is not necessarily what happened. Another would be the narrative explaining the Dark Kingdom of Obsidian. Another would be “Okay... wait... are ALL of the Ferrymen on their own in the City of Dis now? Did they ALL turn away from Charon? Or was it just the Shining Ones? Or was it the Ancients who existed pre-Rite of Severance?”

Confusion can set in, and while it isn’t fair to write the entirety of the chapter off as bullshit - because it isn’t by a longshot and there’s some amazing information offered up here from the dawn of Stygia to the formation of the Stygian Republic to the founding of the Ferrymen to the building of the Necropoli, to all of the Great Maelstroms, etc. - there are some parts here and there that simply do not jibe well with other parts here and there.

In the end, an intelligent Storyteller and his or her Circle will be able to use and clarify any confusions that they come across.

This chapter has the most "player meat" of the book. This is the chapter, other than the mechanics-related chapters that the players will sit and devour for hours.

I’ll say this as a fan of the game as well as an objective reviewer: The MAP of Stygia is freakin’ AMAZING. It’s something that I can’t ever remember having been provided with before. It harkens back to a sort of Forgotten Realms look at Waterdeep or a setting like that with commercial and military districts, Hierarchal and municipal management districts, Guild speakeasies... it’s an awesome resource that works very well with the written imagery of what is presented in the book. Pull it all together into a black bouquet with the history of the Guilds, the Legions, where they live, how they think, what they want, how they endeavor to achieve their ends, and you’re PROVIDED with a solid few nights-worth of game time without even mentioning the words “Skinlands” or “Spectres.”

Need to know how to buy and sell? Done.

Need a weapon forged? Done.

Need to know where to head to find work? Done.

Need to know this or that about the history of this faction or that faction? Done.

Need to know how to get to a specific Necropolis tonight (hint: The Midnight Express)? Done.

Unsure about the politics of a Legion or their views on being a wraith? Done.

It's all here. While there are a few hiccups, Chapter Two leaves no room for disappointment in just the sheer scope of information that it provides. As a Storyteller, you can spend your first night of gaming with an open Q&A, or you can print out this chapter of the .pdf for your players to review a night or two before character creation and be in front of the eight ball for time-management's sake.

Special note should be paid to the final entry in the chapter: The Mnemoi. Basically, if there’s a “bad guy among good guys,” it’s the Mnemoi Guild. See, if a ghost is anything, really... if anything gives a ghost “power” or “substance” outside of the Shadowloands, it’s memories. Guess what the Mnemoi manipulate?

I’m not saying they’re new, or even new and improved. I’m just saying that they’re THERE... and they’re waiting for you.

For better or for worse.

Chapter Four: Character, and Chapter Five: Traits serves as a Player's Guide for the 20th Anniversary Edition of Wraith: the Oblivion, but it is just as useful to Storytellers as to players in regards to NPC generation. The Three A’s of Attributes, Abilities and Advantages are presented for players to work with, as are finishing touches and ideas on how to create a pre-death situation for the character as well as a death concept, which of course will leave a “Deathmark” on the subsequent Wraith PC when they pass into the Shadowlands.

All of your Guildbooks are here, as is the meat for the Magick of the Dead, aka, Arcanoi. Now, I'm not saying that a ghost can just up and start some heavyweight spellthrowing with the likes of a Technocratic Magi or even a high-level Thaumaturgist... but let's give a little respect where it's due here. If you go about messing around in the affairs of the Dead, or the Shadowlands, or with ghosts who have Haunts that they don't want you messing around in, or corpse-bothering when you have no business or right to do so, you'd better get ready.

The Mnemoi, as an example, may not be able to throw a fireball at you or use direct "Pattern Magick" to rend you crippled... but they can make you disappear.

From everything. Everywhere. Forever. As if you never existed. And no one will know you're gone except for the Mnemoi who initiated the "spell," because NO ONE REMEMBERS YOU EVER EXISTED.

And they are able, conversely, to do the same thing to themselves if they are threatened or hunted.

That's no small amount of HEAVY, in my opinion.

Chapter Six: The Shadow is the Shadow Player's Guide for the 20th Anniversary Edition of Wraith: the Oblivion. It covers everything you need to know about the "dark half" of every ghost. Shadows can be bargained with, they can be sated temporarily, but they will never stop crying out for what they want, which is to bring the wraith closer to Oblivion. Even the Ferrymen, who have been separated from their Shadow STILL have to deal with the Pasiphae that their Shadow has become at every turn.

This chapter takes a nice, long look at each and every aspect of Shadow character generation including Thorns that the Shadow can use (that are SORT of like sub-Arcanoi in a sense), Angst (the "fuel" that "powers" a Shadow) and Harrowings... which are always a little scary because you never really know if your character is going to make it out of one or if they're going to be consumed by their Shadow and become a spectre.

If you're not sure what a Harrowing IS, got watch the movie "Jacob's Ladder." THAT is a Harrowing.

I really like the idea of Shadowguiding. I think it is ingenious. A special pat on the back should go to whomever invented it and implemented it into the rules system. I think that it solves a lot of mechanical problems with Shadows, and I think it REALLY has the potential of bringing a group of players closer together as a functional "family" unit.

Chapters Seven through Nine are the Storyteller's Handbook to the 20th Anniversary Edition of Wraith: the Oblivion. While these chapters focus predominately on the Storyteller and in helping the Storyteller tell an amazing Chronicle's-worth of stories, I think that they are also vitally important for players to skim over.

Special note should be paid by players to Chapter Nine that explains things like the Fog, Maelstroms, the Tempest, Fetters, Passions, Resolution, damage and combat in the Shadowlands, as I really think it helps someone new to Wraith understand how combat with a Corpus made of Plasm is a bit different from flesh and bone. These things are all explained better - or more importantly, in MORE DETAIL - than in previous chapters.

Chapter Ten: Spectres is where we get into the "bad guys" of Wraith: the Oblivion.

You may be a Thrall to a nastier-than-average Freewraith... but he/she is not a spectre.

Consider yourself lucky.

If there is ANYTHING in the World of Darkness that could be classified as "evil," it is the servants of Oblivion, or spectres. They are not like your Shadow. They are not like to Haunter in the opposing Guild. They are not the Renegade who harasses you every time you try to catch the one Ferryman's attention.

They want DESTRUCTION. Of everything. Everywhere.

"Listen... and understand. That Terminator is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity... or remorse... or fear... and it absolutely WILL NOT STOP until you're dead." -Kyle Reese, "The Terminator"

The 20th Anniversary Edition of Wraith: the Oblivion took the Black Dog Game Factory's release of Spectres and kicked it up a notch, gave it a little bit of a bath, slopped some deodorant on it, and made it something better. And having both owned and reviewed THAT BOOK back when it was released, I can say that was no easy feat.

Everything that you could possibly need to create spectre NPCs is here - cause, effect, motivation, how they do what they do, how they get where they're going, how they survive in the Tempest, how they have generally made an artform out of destroying ghosts via Dark Arcanoi and Shadecraft... Hell, there's even rules on how to let your freak-flag fly and run a game with nothing but specter PCs.

The author turned an oogie-boogie book of scary things into what is, for all intents and purposes, ANOTHER Player's Guide within the book. The result is no small amount of impressive and provides for antagonists that are unfathomably complex in their motivations and desires.

Quite possibly one of the more notable chapters of the book as a whole, I sincerely enjoyed reading Chapter Ten from beginning to end and was left, almost, with a sensation that I had taken TOO MUCH in from all of the additional information provided by it.

Chapter Eleven: The Risen The Risen is the Player's Guide to The Crow, sure... that's ONE WAY to look at it, I guess. It's a little short-sighted, but it definitely A WAY.

But if you're going to say that, then isn't Jason Voorhees a Shadow-Dominated Risen?

Wouldn't a Liche be, in many ways, something that caught the ire and eye of what is probably the most AWESOME Player/Storyteller vehicle within this chapter, the Acherontia Styx?

Everything you need is here. Are you new to Wraith and want to stick to the Skinlands for a time before Helldiving into the Shadowlands? Try a Risen. They have their own system, their own special Arcanoi that work in the Skinlands... and there are ghosts that hunt them across the Shroud in an attempt to destroy them or bring them back to where they belong to face the consequences wrought by the violation of Charon's Law.

It wa a really cool sourcebook, and I'm glad that The Risen didn't get forgotten in the 20th Anniversary Edition.

Chapter Twelve: The World of Darkness includes everything that you need to know to give you a running start regarding crossovers in the World of Darkness. How other denizens would react to ghosts, how Arcanoi effects other denizens, how other denizens' powers effects ghosts, Relics, Fetters, SPECTRAL Relics, Artifacts and Fetters (very cool, thank you!), and basically just serves as a sort of user manual for the incorporation of other supernaturals that exist side-by-side wraiths so that you're not completely limited to one sunless day after another in your Chronicle.

There's some REALLY great information in here. The "magic items" alone make this chapter a hoot. Lucky's Mr. Bunny made me think of Child's Play... because come on... Chucky is essentially a possessed Artifact...

Chapter Thirteen: The Other Dark Kingdoms takes a nice chunk of wordcount to serve as a bit of a travel guid for the Dead in regards to what else is out there beyond the Dark Kingdom of Iron, Stygia, the Tempest, etc.

In short, this chapter sort of expounds upon and condenses, at the same time, the Dark Kingdom of Jade (Asia) sourcebooks for the 2nd Edition of Wraith and adds to the mythos with the Dark Kingdom of Obsidian (parts of the Americas), the Dark Kingdom of Clay (Australia), the Bush of Ghosts (Africa), the Svarga (India and, possibly, Pakistan), and the Mirrorlands (the Caribean).

Whenever I read setting books like these for the World of Darkness, my first thought is "these guys are smoking WAY too much high-grade methamphetamine to do THIS MUCH WORK!" It pays off. While I personally don't have a whole lot of use for too many different settings outside of the Dark Kingdom of Iron, these setting books - and I call them that because, collected, THEY COULD stand SOLIDLY ALONE as a "Book of the Shadowlands" supplement - are ON POINT. Most of the Dark Kingdom of Jade stuff is stuff I comprehend and understand fairly readily. I've read the original supplements, read the Kuei-Jin stuff for Vampire back in the day, etc., but the opening up of new trade routes and areas in the Shadowlands the way these settings do?

Unrivaled.

Just the SHEER ATTENTION TO DETAIL is, to me, like nothing that I've ever seen in any role-playing supplement before. And trust me when I say I've seen PLENTY of them.

The Bush of Ghosts and the Dark Kingdom of Obsidian write-ups were my favorite, but that's a completely subjective thing. I just find it AWESOME that everything that Stygia thinks that they know about Africa is ABSOLUTELY WRONG in every conceivable way, and I was TRULY INTIMIDATED with the manner in which the Americas were handled. In both cases, it was as though I was being taught the DARK SIDE of African and Mesoamerican mythology... in the World of Darkness... none of which I was supposed to EVER know about.

Arcanoi specific to each geographical locale are provided, as are small Lexicons to add a bit of authenticity to your games when your players set sail to dark, distant shores.

And that's about that, by God.

All things being equal, I cannot readily remember the last time I had as much fun reading an RPG book. For my lot, it made me feel young again to see so many ideas I was introduced to so long ago and how they have evolved - some drastically, some only slightly - and that the spirit of the game is still exactly what it needs to be: "Hope."

Even with the Tempest spitting at you.

Even in the face of Oblivion.



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Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
por Rory H. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 08/10/18 03:42:14

FINALLY……being the operative word after three years of waiting after the original estimated Kickstarter delivery date. It should be noted that this is the last of the big 20th Anniversary (now called 4th edition) World of Darkness rulebooks, although most of the lines will continue with supplements for a while. Wraith was actually meant to be the fourth in the series, but was so delayed that Changeling overtook it. It's actually closer to it's 25th Anniversary now. That said, it makes a fitting finale to the WoD series, being themed around death and all. It should also be noted that the original game was a very slow burner, with initial reviews being unfavourable before critical appreciation slowly accrued some years later.

The major appeal of Wraith, in my view, is twofold. Firstly, it appeals to those critics of Vampire who don't like the awkward immorality of drinking blood from victims, but still want to experience some of the dark artfulness you get from WoD games. Wraith offers just as much mood and atmosphere, but deals with a more universal theme of existentialism. Characters aren't necessarily moral by default, but they aren't antiheroes either, and good tales can be built around regretful ghosts trying to atone for their failings in life. The society of ghosts, when implementing Guilds, the Heirarchy, Heretics and Renegades can build for decent political campaigns also, but can otherwise be ignored. The same is true for the various monsters found in the dark depths of the Shadowlands (Spectres etc). There is a lot of emotional depth in Wraith, and plenty for characters to do, and players can pick up on it well with decent preparation.

The second appeal is to do with the design, not so much of the general engine (which is so-so, but pretty much the same as other WoD games), but more with the innovation of 'Shadow-play'. This being where players are given the dark alter-ego of somebody else's character to play, with the goal of tempting the regular character towards self destruction and the eponymous Oblivion. Again, I see this as an optional feature rather than a compulsary mode of play, as it does make the game more complex. Nevertheless, it's a feature that definitely does create a sense of 'personal horror' much more than any other WoD game, and was a critical success.

Indeed, it's a pet theory of mine that the Shadow is actually a hold-over idea from Mage: The Ascension, which didn't make the cut as the Mage game was complex enough as it was. In Mage, I could see the Avatars being played exactly in this way, either trying to guide the character up towards a personal Ascension or as a kind of Faustian pact with a personal daemon. It's an idea that could still be lifted, and used to steer Mage away from it's tendency towards superhero roleplaying should you wish.

How is the new edition? It's extraordinarily stylish to look at, with the artwork being as good as any of the previous books. It's also very complete - including rules to play The Risen (á la The Crow) or Orpheus (á la Flatliners), and indeed any narrative in all sorts of ghost stories from literature, movies etc. It's very passionately written and was clearly a labour of love. Ideally, it possibly wouldn't have so many conventional stats - particularly physical stats like Strength, Stamina, etc (like….why?). There is a possibly overwhelming level of detail and ideas, particularly in this 20th Anniversary edition. However it's not necessary to include everything from the book in a scenario or campaign. It's more a case of using the book as a springboard for your own stories. It's terrific all the same though - I can't wait to have it make up my set of 20th Anniversary games.

Wraith's traditional role as the weakest commercial WoD game, and evidently the most difficult for the creators to complete, means this could potentially be the last edition. Make sure you give it your dues before it passes on….



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Wr20 Handbook for the Recently Deceased
por John M. S. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 08/07/18 08:41:16

This is a great supplement that I read through in one sitting delving into the lore of Wraith (albeit only dipping a toe in to a vast tank of story), though unlike other companion books that have been released around the time of their parent books, there was no stripped down version of character creation to get you started. That wasn't advertised, so not an issue. There were some tips on running elements of wraith, however I felt that some knowledge or a lexicon was required as the book launched into descriptions of certain things without explaining what they were. This is only an issue as at the time of reading, I had not read the Wraith rules. I suspect that knowledge would have made this much easier to read. I would give 5 stars but as it was released prior to main product and was read prior to main product I didn't get the full benefit of it, or at least I won't until the main book comes out. You can read my full review HERE



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Wr20 Handbook for the Recently Deceased
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V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
por Troy L. [Comprador verificado] Fecha en que fue añadido: 07/25/18 08:00:32

Whether you are new to the lore of Vampire: the Masquerade or have read every sourcebook, Beckett's Jyhad Diary has something for you. Not only is it a copmpelling, epistolary recounting of Beckett's search for the Book of the Grave War and the Tremere who has it, but it also is an amazing travelouge of the World of Darkness. On top of that, it takes each chapter and gives Storytellers advice on how to integrate that chapter's story into their own chronicle. This is probably the best in-world artifact-as-game-book I've seen.



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