This is a great product for anyone that wants to role play a Creature of the Night that must experience just about everything to become enlightened. It isn't for the faint of heart though, as one is required to put on the mask of the beast and use the beast's intuition, since why would a dragon be given claws unless it's supposed to rend flesh? The Thrashing Dragons are a Yang aspected Dharma, one of the few that actively conceive and raise Dhampyrs, encouraged to use drugs, sex, violence, and even try a semester or two to bear the plague, all in the name of going to the Hundred Clouds Court. If you want to experience a Character that's down to perform the most heinous of activities, while you the Player is like, “WTF!?!”, this is the product for you.
Manga: Dreams of the Dragon: I like this manga/comic, since it doesn't focus on overt sex and violence, but is a sad tale about multiple suicide, and is very subtle on the horror. The trip to Kakuri Yomi is really interesting, and it made me laugh when everyone's hand gets stamped with a hole puncher by the ticket taker.
Pulling Out the Pin (Introduction) pg 4: An introduction to what it means to be a Thrashing Dragon along with a nice glossary of words. It seems this is a Dharmic path that is easy to make a caricature out of, sort of like Malkavians and the whole “Drop the fish Malk” thing, so they give hints and suggestions on how to role play Thrashing Dragons effectively. I had a Story Teller that let all four Players in his group be Malkavians at once. Only once.
Reflections on our State (Philosophy and Outlook) pg 8: Unlike other Kuei-Jin, Thrashing Dragons don't mess around, and right off the bat they're told what wretches they really are, along with “A moment of profound regret for your misdeeds and wasted life might be appropriate at this point.” Thrashing Dragons still have a road to redemption, and they feel that every observation and experience is needed to get there, since you can't write enlightenment down in a book, it comes from the heart and soul. However, Kuei-Jin are disconnected from Maya and numb compared to a normal humans, so enlightenment takes much longer to attain on average. The chapter then goes on to explain the Thrashing Dragon's relations with all the other Dharmic paths, and how they're usually low on the political totem pole and few in number, except in the Golden Courts. It goes on to explain the four main sects, “The Laughing Rainbows”, “The Thousand Faced Thunders”, “The Passion Blood Flowers”, and “The Ten Seasons Sect”, and finishes up with their relations with other Creatures of the Night.
The Holy Rhythm (Practices and Sects) pg 30: This chapter starts out with the eight tenants of the Thrashing Dragons; 1) Attunement to life, 2) Indulge passions, 3) Stewardship of creation, 4) Slay the dying, 5) Eschew half-life, 6) Sun veneration, 7) Laugh often, and 8) Protect spirits. Each of these tenants is practiced or viewed differently by each sect, but all the sects believe in all eight tenants. Next it goes over the different forms the P'o takes in Thrashing Dragons, like the demon, the bandit, and the monkey, which are still vital paths toward enlightenment. Lastly, it ends with a discussion about each sect's history, structure, holy places, and leadership.
Tiger’s Claws, Dragon’s Teeth (Rules & Advice) pg 46: Covers Disciplines, Rituals, and items that the Thrashing Dragons use, a few of which are very combat oriented like Fur and Fangs, Animal Form Dragon Dance, and Eight Fold Yang Barrier. Gender Change does exactly what it sounds like, and allows a Character to produce children as the opposite sex, which is very important to The Passion Blood Flowers sect. My personal favorite is Thousand Lice Eyes, which is like a twenty foot cloud of microscopic cameras, a great way to keep tabs on someone for a few days. Unlike the other Dharmic paths, Thrashing Dragons have many day to day Rituals they use to “give back” a little, since their lives are premised on rape and take. The three main rituals are Greeting The Sun, Prayer For Taking Life, and Ritual For Giving Birth, which are all story based rituals, not results based. Greeting The Sun is important for Thrashing Dragons, since the sun is the most holy of symbols, a reminder that the August Personage of Jade is merciful, a reminder that Haven smiles on them still, and without it's presence everyone and everything would die, which would make even death lonely. Prayer for taking Life, as the name clearly implies, is a ritual to show respect to the spirits after a Thrashing Dragon kills someone, which seems to happen often. Since Thrashing Dragons can't give back in any way, they feel reproduction is they best way to compensate, and that's when the Ritual of Giving Birth is used. A Dhampyr is at least half alive, which is much better than zero.
Young Lions (Templates) pg 68: Five pre-made characters that the Story Teller or her Coterie may pick from. I personally like the Kung Fu Rapper and the Second Sort Gardener.
Appendix: Faces of the Dance pg 80: The last chapter fills us in on some influential members of the Thrashing Dragons, like Thousand Crane Mother, Black Earth Boy, and Odo Ito. It was interesting to find out that Black Earth Boy was one of the three Bodhisattvas that took down Zapathasura at the Infinite Thunders Court, back in 1999 during The Week Of Nightmares.
[5 of 5 Stars!]