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The Ventrue Handbook
by Dimosthenis L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/13/2022 05:15:17

I bought it for v5 and most of the book is useless. Half the book with the mechanics are for other editions. Should have stated that in the description. The "universal part" requires already familiarity with the Clan, because it relates to events and places like it is common knowledge. Definitely not for new players. If you have knowledge enough to know what this book is all about propably you don't need this book.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
The Ventrue Handbook
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A Place to Call Home
by Dimosthenis L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2022 08:56:38

It was very helpfull. Especially the example havens with the loresheet layout. I would like some more sample havens but it was ok.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Place to Call Home
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Corrupting Influence
by Dimosthenis L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2022 07:23:52

Very well done (except for some typos). It is the best thing to award my players with when they gain influence in game via ghouls, blackmail etc.. My players loved it. The costs to buy with XP is very big but as an ST you can short it out easy.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Corrupting Influence
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Bog Bodies
by Jeremy M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2022 03:23:08

This is a superb product which is simultaneously wholly consistent with existing Mummy lore and a refreshingly original new take on it, quite different from the Amenti of Egypt. The Bog Mummies are given a distinct culture, purpose, magic, and factions. The layout is standard for a World of Darkness sourcebook, with chapters on the Bog Mummies' history, character creation rules, magic, and chronicle advice, including some handy rules for crossover chronicles - meaning that Storytellers primarily running other WoD games will find it a useful source of allies or antagonists. It's very well-written, in an accessible style that will feel familiar to anyone who's read a lot of "official" World of Darkness products. Visually, it's very pretty indeed, with a lot of photograpic art that reminded me of a MET book. (There's also a nice-looking custom character sheet).

By the very nature of the Bog Mummies, the setting is very specific to northern Europe, so it's less useful for chronicles set elsewhere (save perhaps as inspiration). It's not a stand-alone product, but although Mummy is the best "main rulebook" for it, any WoD rulebook should serve.

This is a lovely little gem of a book and a real bargain for European Storytellers looking for something new to spice up their chronicles.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bog Bodies
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V5: Bloodlines Unbound Volume 2: The Tal'mahe'Ra
by Vesper B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/06/2022 14:46:48

I was very disappointed by this product. The descriptions of the Loresheet dots are barebones and overly mechanical, sometimes lacking enough flavor text to actually understand the line of thinking behind the mechanics. The same is true of the Discipline powers, some of which needed at least another paragraph of description.

The real reason I gave this such a low rating, however, is that many of the mechanics are incoherent with V5's systems. For example, one of the Discipline powers allows you to "gain a dot of Willpower." Willpower does not have dots in V5; Willpower is a Tracker, and it can have Superficial or Aggravated damage. This wording makes it sound as though you permanently increase the size of your Willpower Tracker. Another example is an effect that grants "2 bonus dice to unarmed damage." You could say "gain a 2 dice bonus to Brawl tests" or "the damage modifier of your Brawl attacks increases by +2," but the current wording is extremely unclear.

I know what it feels like to get a low review and I don't like giving one, but the bare minimum of what I expect from a product is for it to have mechanics that are coherent with V5's rules. I feel that if I were to actually use this in my Chronicle, I would have to supplement half the mechanics with my own clarifications.

The Bloodline flavor writeups are entertaining, and the authors clearly come from a place of knowledge about VtM lore. BTW - I would not have bothered leaving a negative review if you had Full Size Preview on, but I think people should have some idea of what they're getting into. Best of luck with your next product!



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
V5: Bloodlines Unbound Volume 2: The Tal'mahe'Ra
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Tribebook: Lepix
by Melissa W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2022 14:34:23

I totally loved this book and actually used it as an inspiriation for my werewolf campaign. For a "joke book", it was great value for money.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tribebook: Lepix
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The Savage Age Intro Bundle [BUNDLE]
by Ben D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2022 05:34:43

If you want to get into the Savage Age (And you should if you like Werewolf the Apocalypse) this is the way to do it! Tons of great information, awesome new fera species and really fun art to go along with it. This is a great deal and fantstic work by the Weaponized Ink crew! Highly recommend it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Savage Age Intro Bundle   [BUNDLE]
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Tribebook: Lepix
by Ben D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/04/2022 21:10:32

This book is fantastic! Such a fun read. Its entertaining, interesting, funny and a quick read. And, for an April Fools joke, it is real info that you can use to expand your personal world/chronicle. I highly recommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tribebook: Lepix
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Complete Collection: Wraith the Oblivion [BUNDLE]
by Amanda P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/04/2022 01:00:18

Great bundle. Not quite complete, but still great. Bundle is missing the Faces of Death artbook. While it includes the Oblivion LARP book, it doesn't inlcude the 3 MET Journals that include vital Wraith LARP content. It does, however, include Ghost Towns, which was a pleasent surprise since it's technically a WtWW product.

10 out of 10, will recommend.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Complete Collection: Wraith the Oblivion [BUNDLE]
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A Blessing and A Curse
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2022 21:48:53

Great little side adventure to add as a random encounter or jump start for your next Mage game. The structure leaves avenues open for how your PCs want to play it and gives them NPCs that they can meet up with again in future sessions. The only thing missing, I feel, is the Hermetic Jamie's character sheet. I understand that he can really be anything that the Storyteller wants him to be, but some stats or suggested spheres would be a good reference for those newer to the system or not the greatest at improv. Travis does a very interesting version of Jamie in the actual play and I'd like to add him to my game! TL;DR Worth adding to your library if you want a more realistic or subtle encounter for your Mage game that can lead to greater possibilities in the future.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Blessing and A Curse
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Year of the Scarab Trilogy Complete
by Natalie C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2022 10:45:21

In my continuing quest to follow Beckett through White Wolf Publishing, I read the Year of the Scarab Trilogy. The Trilogy served as part of a year-long introduction to the Mummy: the Resurrection game line. In addition to Mummy, the story incorporates lore from Wraith: the Oblivion, Hunter: the Reckoning, Vampire: the Masquerade, and smidgen of Mage: the Awakening. I gotta be honest, folks: this trilogy was my second worst White Wolf reading experience ever.

In broadstroke, and cutting out a lot of filler, Year of the Scarab Trilogy chronicles a comedy of terrible errors performed by terrible people as they seek the Heart of Osiris, the book’s McGuffin. We have Thea Ghandour and the Chicago hunters, who represent the worst of America in their blind hatred and stockpile of guns. It’s fine to not know things—unlike me, the hunters can’t look things up on the White Wolf Wiki—but it was total disinterest in learning (even about their own powers!) that got me. Compassion for anyone besides themselves isn’t just rejected, but totally alien. One hunter, Jake Washington, pipes up that “hey, maybe we shouldn’t commit genocide?” but it’s a token protest.

Next, we have Maxwell Carpenter, a former leg-breaker for the Chicago mob, who is now a Wraith. His initial mission is to murder the entire Sforza bloodline. These plans are complicated when it turns out the last Sforza heir, Nicholas, is a Mummy. Nicholas, meanwhile, wants to repatriate the Heart of Osiris to Egypt to prove his Mummy-ness. This desire seems laudable until you remember he’s a pasty white man who basically wants to be brown. Beckett also appears, for marketing reasons I guess? His actions have little to no impact on the actual plot. His zero impact has the weird bonus of at least he’s not as involved in all the racism. His presence made the later two books halfway enjoyable, bumping up my review to 2 stars.

I’m not kidding when I say that Bates put in so much racism and sexism in the novels, both with and without intent. Incredibly tedious and boring to read. There’s an attempt to make Mummies not racist wet dream fodder, but the story, and Nicholas in particular, never quite overcome the feeling of white guys playing Egyptian dress-up.

But! Those aren't the only elements that made me want to pull my hair out! The plot’s a mess! There’s a rumor floating around online that the White Wolf novels are, in reality, novelizations of the original staff’s game chronicles. After reading Year of the Scarab, I believe it. These books have an incredible amount of just…logistics. A subplot about Beckett getting a cell phone. Two pages of intricate details about Carpenter’s digestive system and sexual biology. The hunters navigating bus/train schedules and schlepping their guns. These sections read like game notes, or perhaps an outline that Bates barely filled in.

Some genres—heist novels come to mind—thrive on logistics. Details of how something’s done are part of the fun. Here, however, logistics don’t reveal character, are irreverent to the work's themes, fail to evoke mood, atmosphere, or setting, and slow the novel down to a snail's pace. I read soooo many boring pages about people getting places. Bates must have had city maps and enjoyed tracing paths for the characters to travel. Some of his only details about the cities are bus schedules and driving directions. I don't feel like I know Cairo, Las Vegas, or Chicago any better after reading. The descriptions are generic, without sensory details. He doesn’t bring them to life. All that, AND the minutiae often leads nowhere in the grand scheme of the series. Entire arcs are closed loops: the character travels to a place and nothing with lasting consequences happens. Those chapters feel like busywork.

My final note is on the Beckett-ness. If my research is correct, Lay Down with Lions is his first long-form appearance. And my goodness, has this guy changed over the years. Year of the Scarab’s Beckett is a Low Humanity moron. He’s bumbling, arrogant, and scatter-brained. I guess I know where some of the “off beats” in the Diary come from now. Over the course of Lay Down with Lions and Land of the Dead, Beckett makes many of the same mistakes my friends and I made when we were first playing Vampire. He forgets to feed, what powers he has, how to avoid frenzy; what quest he’s on. To extend one iota of an olive branch to Bates, he had a tough gig. Not only was he introducing newly minted Mummy: the Resurrection lore, he juggled Wraith and Hunter characters. Lay Down with Lions adds Vampire: the Masquerade. But, goodness gracious, sometimes it’s painful how unfamiliar Bates is with Kindred, Gangrel, and Beckett in particular.

It left me wondering. Did Bates not read the Book of Nod's footnotes? Was Beckett's initial character concept to be an idiot and it later changed to be the One Sane Man, the Single Good Dude? There are some moments where I recognized Cuthbert amongst the mess. Should I be thankful that the VTMB writers drew more from his Victorian Trilogy self than this one? What happened here?

Mostly, I mourn what this trilogy could have been. We could have had a meditation on monstrosity and redemption. Who/what is a monster? Can the monster be redeemed? What does redemption look like? Who grants absolution? When is it ever enough? Unfortunately, this nice feast of questions had to go through the Andrew Bates’ digestive tract and it came out of his butt a pile of poop.

From plot to character, the Year of the Scarab Trilogy has a lot of problems. Reading it was the epitome of White Wolf Publishing for me. It stunk, yet something compelled me to go on. By the time I finished the second book, I wanted to read mediocre vampire fiction. I wanted to be blown away by how bad it was, to witness the depths it could sink; to believe there was some point to critiquing bad art. We could have had a horrific, thrilling adventure and mediation on the makings of a monster. Bates’ work is a car so determined to launch itself off the freeway and into the ocean.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Year of the Scarab Trilogy Complete
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The True Hand
by Andrew H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2022 07:43:07

Not your parents’ Black Hand…! The old Tal’Mahe’Ra is gone, and the sect is back to begin their wars anew in this era of information and technology. Loads of new content allows you to seamlessly add these allies (or foes) into any existing chronicle. Lots of good crunch to explore this new method of roleplaying vampires adapting the old ways into the tech-savvy world in which they find themselves. In our modern world how do you conduct intrigue and sabotage your enemies who are themselves ancient and powerful? The True Hand spells it out beautifully and brings the Jyhad into a new era!

The authors make no bones about what you can expect in the opening pages; I find this refreshing. Vampire: the Masquerade has been around for many years and there are always old and new players wanting to jump in. They seem to understand this as they present you with a taste of the older versions of the Tal’Mahe’Ra and mix it into the paradigm that is fifth edition Vampire. For example, they pull no punches when describing the events of the Week of Nightmares and how the destruction of Enoch changed everything. This is what I find most engaging about the book! It’s not another, “Well folks, let’s give this obscure sect its overdue update,” because it keeps so many of the older constructs in place. The True Hand realizes that so many of their older methods - like sorcery and double agents - are still valid, but those pesky humans have also stepped up their game with information gathering. The first chapters are filled with a primer for new players to this sect as well little easter eggs that older players will appreciate. An example: explanations of how the Tal’Mahe’Ra reorganizes itself in the wake of the Beckoning and how their old ties with the Sabbat were very interesting! The True Hand also has some clan shake-ups like the rest of fifth edition, but I must gush over my faves: the True Brujah… They’re still the introspective intellectuals but the emphasis is no longer on making sure you understand how opposite they are to their false “siblings”. Their focus is shifted to something more interesting and less the dispassionate robots. Huzzah! The other clans have their purposes and places within the history of the sect and it’s interesting how they are still a part of the old world of vampires but also apart from the strands of history as we know it. This really helps to add to the mystery and how they have been manipulating the world for millennia. I will admit it is an interesting choice to not fully ascribe stats and powers to the Revenants, but I feel the Duskborn and cabals fill that niche particularly well. No book is written fully for only one reader of course, but the quibbles I have are minor, and I don’t think it should stop anyone from buying this book. The presentation is a quality I expect for a Masquerade book with the print style and fonts. The art choices are where I sometimes scratched my head as there are a few pictures that didn’t seem to fit. Some of the photography seemed odd that they were shot outside in the daylight, which is fine for Thin Bloods, but still took me by surprise. I was also looking for a few “ready-made” villains that could easily be inserted into a story. I always like to come up with my own baddies, but sometimes a Storyteller has a busy week and needs a few names and occupations for quick notes. In conclusion, this is not the same old Tal’Mahe’Ra, nor should it be. I’d be disappointed if the authors just rehashed the old Black Hand and just gave it a new polish. Boring! This edition is supposed to be a continuing tale and is about getting newer players to fall in love with roleplaying vampires as well as getting older players to remember why they loved this game so much! The world has changed and so has this ancient organization. They’re still just as treacherous as ever but now they have new tools and new powers. If you like the idea of Jason Bourne or Le Femme Nikita with vampire powers, this is the book for you!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The True Hand
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The Hobgoblin Children's Brigade
by DSC T. G. C. _. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/02/2022 07:32:54

This is a great idea and we absolutely love it. As a one shot with some premade sheets this is a fun introduction to Changeling. As a "oh I don't know what you're doing" slam together in an already established chronicle? It'd take a little doing but it could probably fit in any story.

We personally think this might fit a little better with the more obvious whimsy coat of paint in Changeling the Dreaming but is written in such a fashion it could fit in either game perfectly.

We hope there are more short story arcs like this soon, as the idea of more light hearted but still on brand pallet cleanser stories are a market that definitely needs the love.

This has become one of our go to "teaching" plot hooks to use for younger audiences.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Hobgoblin Children's Brigade
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Wyrd Tides
by DSC T. G. C. _. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/02/2022 07:31:36

27 Pages of Underwater goodness for Changeling the Lost that feels like the author looked at the Changeling chapter for World of Darkness Blood Dimmed Tides and went "Why doesn't this exist in Chroniclest of Darkness?".

A fairly standard two column format with bolding in all the right places to draw attention and key a quick reader in. There is no white space that feels wasted or to pad out page count. The pieces of art add ambiance and serve to get the reader into the mood.

A few kiths that looks like they'd be good fun on paper, but they didn't stand out to us personally. What did stand out, however, were the three Arcadian Lords and they were worth the read for us. While not in depth per say, they have plenty of fun threads that can be the scopes of whole chronicles as is, or just red-herrings to keep the universe a little unknown.

The Contracts are written both for standard rules and for the Lost At Sea book always a nicety to see writing for rules both with a system in mind and to allow users to toolbox out the book with no muss or fuss.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wyrd Tides
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Wild Hunt: Gangrel
by Waldemar I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/01/2022 09:12:57

Vampire the Requiem is back from the grave! Wild Hunt: Gangrel is, as the other books of the series, a good addendum to the original clanbook Gangrel and takes the ideas further on it the direction indicated by them. The Savages are now even more useable for the Second edition.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wild Hunt: Gangrel
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