Onyx Path Publishing does it again. And by "it", I mean add a wonderful addition to the series!
Taking elements found in both Children of the Blood and Cults of the Blood Gods, this book marries the two:
The Wellspring, in Copenhagen Denmark, players are given a taste for what it's like to find the remnants of a cult with no leader. It's a question of: What do we do next? An exploration on how they act in a given sticky/tricky situation.
The Family, in Atlantic City USA, somebody’s been talking. Secrets of the Hecata soon find themselves spilled and it's up to the coterie to find out who, why, and then mop up the mess.
Open Your Eyes, in Birmingham England, a mysterious figure speaks of Golconda. They perform miracles which sound and seem unbelievable. It's time to separate fact from fiction, and uncover the truth.
- Old Wounds, in Florence Italy, a celebration is to be had and you’ve managed an invitation. The Family is planning a get-together. Some of those in attendance are finally ready to bury the hatchet.
Accompanying these stories and settings, there are new Loresheets:
The Ruby Throat, a Gambling/Crime related sheet set in Atlantic City, though it could easily be moved to other locations if a Chronicle found its setting applicable, the book even goes as far to state that.
Descendant of de Camden, provides benefit for those of clan Hecata in what appears to be the last confirmed ‘bloodline’ of sorts for them (at least for now).
Finally, we have Relics of the Veil; it provides some haunted/shroud/spooky items of interest for those venturing toward the esoteric or necromantic types of characters.
Three new Ceremonies feature in Trails of Ash and Bone, allowing for some measure of protection against (or entrapment of) spirits, mending of the shroud, or the projection of a spirit’s final mortal moments onto a willing participant or an unsuspecting enemy.
Finally we have Ready-Made Characters, giving players the ideal jumping-in point for the stories in the book, or in general for where they might be suited. All set, and ready to play.
I’ve found several elements I’ve wanted to cherry pick for my own Chronicles, Characters, but also Locations. They give you enough to work for the stories, but one could cultivate it into their own setting if they were up for the challenge. If I had to compare this book to others in V5, it would be the much loved Let the Street Run Red.
Each story features new SPCs, alongside antagonist stat blocks, and a variety of options for how each could play out. This is baked-in, allowing newer STs better flexibility on how they could tackle the setting for their first time, or for further replays. With Old Wounds in particular they may feel they’re playing a completely different story, given the change in motivations of their potential adversary/adversaries.
Some named SPCs found in Children of the Blood also feature here, allowing for those who have it a deeper understanding of the character, and their motivations (though of course, it is not necessary/mandatory to have it).
Yet again, I can’t help wanting more. It's not as if the content is lacking by any means, it's more that you can’t get enough of a good thing when Onyx Path Publishing is involved.
I consider this another knock-out for them. 5 Stars. I can't wait for Forbidden Religions.
[5 of 5 Stars!]