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Exalted 3rd Edition
by Carter D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/03/2022 22:15:11

I'm still in the process of digesting this mammoth tome, but I can certainly provide some first impressions. To start, on a purely aesthetic level this edition feels more like First Edition than Second. There's a lot more of a sense of the world being wide open and lively in the writing and art. The setting chapter provides write-ups for locations that are familiar, and breaks some new ground. The systems for combat and other things are evocative and meticulously balanced... which is good, because there are a LOT of them. This is a product that will take time to grock, but it will show itself to have been well spent.

In terms of major changes from the previous edition, let me provide some bullet points and my reflex reactions. The game is about 70% modified from the previous edition, and mostly in good ways.

Brawl makes its return, and Martial Arts has been slightly repositioned so that it requires a few prerequisites to access. The book also provides multiple Martial Arts styles. This does mean that there are now 26 abilities.

Caste abilities have been opened up so that you now choose five from a list of eight abilities. This does break the boilerplate of the First Edition character sheet, but it also lets you effectively opt out of Caste Abilities you would never use for a specific character, like an Archery-focused Dawn Caste who has no need for Thrown charms. They also introduce the concept of the Supernal ability.

Anima Abilities are more balanced, with each Caste having three. Of them, I only see one that I would consider 'bad'. It's a Twilight ability that isn't bad in itself, but could easily be abused by a player that just wants to get away from the table and go play videogames instead.

Social Combat has been replaced with the infinitely better 'Social Influence' system. Motivation has been ditched entirely, in favor of streamlining and detailing the Intimacy system, which interacts directly with the Social Influence system. Virtues are also out, although Virtue Flaws remain.

Backgrounds have become New WoD style Merits, and Flaws have become New WoD style Flaws. This allows a lot of the Backgrounds to work far better than they once did.

They include two extra exalt types in the fluff of the core book, just as the core rulebook has always talked about the other Exalts since First Edition. Of the two, Exigents are actually an interesting and worthwhile addition to the game, creating room for players who want to play something odd and unique to fit within the larger world. Liminal Exalted are an interesting niche case that is easily disregarded in stories that don't need them, and perform well in the kinds of pseudo-horror stories they're geared to.

I could keep going with this list, but I think I've hit the major highlights. If you're an exalted fan, or even just a fan of the things Exalted draws inspiration from, chances are good you'll like this game, if not love it. It has everything that made Exalted special from the outset, distilled and concentrated for added intensity.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
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Trinity Continuum Character Creation Reference
by John P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/03/2022 16:47:49

This guide is very helpful for building characters, especially for groups like mine where we are unfamiliar with the storypath system. It covers the talent, psion, and superior templates. Hopefully it will be updated to include the Nova template from Aberrant (that's the game my group is going to play).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Trinity Continuum Character Creation Reference
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Creator Reply:
Hi John, thanks for the review. I'm definitely hoping to add the Nova to the options in the near future.
Making History Modern
by Mathias K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/02/2022 02:47:37

An absolutely tremendous work that manages to accomplish three very important things in a very short amount of time:

1) Provide Storyguides with inspiration for how to use the "All Myths Are True" framework. It's not merely that they're all true in the strictest sense of it, but that the stories of pantheons and people overlap and change in the telling, that the meeting of the myths is a way to tell new stories by examining the way the old would change if figures from one or t he other could interact.

2) Remind Storyguides (and players) of their power and responsibility. The people for whom the stories that serve as a foundation for Scion lived in very different circumstances then than you do now. While it's important to respect that history (indeed, it's part of the DNA of the game itself) just as important is understanding what your players are comfortable with and the responsibility of the Storyguide not to sacrifice the players' ability to express themselves on the altar of strict textual authenticity. The world's there to be molded and changed, but doing so uncritically is to the detriment of everyone.

3) It gives a very clear and concise guide to the ways in which SG's can use these stories and the scholarship around them to reflect on and change these stories for a new audience in a different world. Not only does it have a very practical step-by-step example in the reimagining of a familiar Greek figure, but it pulls on different examples of the ways in which these myths have been examined to provide another lens through which to view them, as poetry of the world, as a storytelling 'grammar' with its own language, and as recurring patterns in humanity's relationship with the world we do all have in common, across the eons.

That it manages to accomplish these three things in the span of five pages is a testament to how much work and craft went into it, and I cannot possibly recommend it enough, especially for someone who wants to sit in the Storyguide's chair.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Making History Modern
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Making History Modern
by Kyle N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/01/2022 19:06:45

A very insightful and thoughtful look into the nature of stories, and plenty of good advice on how to look for and collect the story elements for remixing them for your Scion games. Would recommend for all Storyguides, and for anybody who likes playing with stories in general. Also useful for Heroes who may want to take themes of past Heroes and work them into their characters.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
World of Darkness: Paranormal Investigator's Handbook
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/01/2022 02:55:10
Monster hunting in the World of Darkness - a Mephisto review

Paranormal Investigator's Handbook

Although the Paranormal Investigators Handbook is, according to its cover, a sourcebook for Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition, it actually serves as a companion volume to the spin-off Ghost Hunters, in which player characters take on the denizens of the underworld as human mediums and ghost hunters. Accordingly, the book adds several aspects to the background.

It starts with material for the player characters in the form of equipment, advantages and disadvantages, and new psychic powers and gifts such as Psychic Healing and Psychic Vampirism. In addition, a concept is presented to handle ghost hunting stories – with various types of ghosts, the effect of different approaches depending on the ghost type, and a system to determine the escalation and success/failure of ghost hunts.

In the Monster Hunting chapter, alternatives to wraiths are presented, namely cryptids such as the Chupacabra, mythical creatures such as Banshees and Griffins, and even zombies created by disease. A few ghost archetypes are not missing either. While some monsters are correlated to the other World of Darkness systems, creatures that were not previously part of the canon also appear here.

The book concludes with a few groupings of necromancers, hedge magicians, and esoteric orders, which are briefly presented with backgrounds and memorable personalities, each also bringing a unique ability in the form of Numina. The range here is wide – from necromancers who find their gift in fire to a cult of formerly possessed people to fans of a mysterious rock band or an aristocratic hunting party. However, all organizations have in common that some mysteries and horrors surround them.

The Paranormal Investigator's Handbook is a small expansion for Ghost Hunter that brings a few character additions and background approaches. With the monster chapter, it provides an approach to steer the game focus away from wraiths and other canonical creatures of the World of Darkness. Thus, this sourcebook is not essential to the game, but is a good way for interested groups to further expand the scope of the game – offering a “unique monster per story”-style of play.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
World of Darkness: Paranormal Investigator's Handbook
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W20 Changing Ways
by REMI T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/28/2022 18:46:08

One of the most useful sourcebooks if you want to play a Metis or Lupus character with profound toughts and interesting internal struggles. Lots of details on a lot of topics.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
W20 Changing Ways
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Party Beach Creature Feature! (A Jumpstart for They Came From Beneath the Sea!)
by Corey R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/26/2022 22:08:16

From a story standpoint, this starting adventure is great! It has everything a story like this should have, and in play my group had a lot of fun with zany situations that arose.

From a game design perspective, They Came From Beneath the Sea is stellar, and much of that awesomeness is communicated here clearly and succinctly.

As a quickstart or jumpstart, though, this product leaves a bit to be desired:

  1. Its description of the combat rules have a glaring omission: weaponry. In fact, nothing is mentioned about any kind of equipment. Does my character have a gun? Does a gun give any Enhancement bonus to damage? These questions aren't answered.
  2. Trademarks and favored Stunts should have been listed on the character sheets. Their omission means that players will just not use them. Ever.
  3. Sometimes Skills and Attributes are mentioned that do not exist in the game system. Both Insight and Charisma are used in descriptions of example rolls, but I think the writer meant Integrity and Presence.

Maybe if your group also owns the core book, you could answer some of these questions, but if you are only playing from the jumpstart, you're going to have to leave some of these probably exciting game features out of your game.

As an aside, purchase on DriveThruRPG presents two different pdfs. They are identical except for the fact that the first one has "Page XX" instead of actual page numbers. This pdf should just be removed from the package. The second one has all the page numbers.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Party Beach Creature Feature! (A Jumpstart for They Came From Beneath the Sea!)
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Mummy: The Curse Second Edition
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/23/2022 09:49:09

Mummy: The Curse wasn't my first Chronicles of Darkness game, but it was the one that finally made me a Chronicles of Darkness fan.

Second Edition is a dense, tightly written book that distills the most evocative aspects of first edition and adds support for new styles of play. As someone who loves first edition, every decision that was made for second edition improved the game without sacrificing any of the awesome parts of 1E.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mummy: The Curse Second Edition
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Chronicles of Darkness
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2022 12:25:35

The Chronicles of Darkness Second Edition scratches a particular itch for me, better than any other game trying to do the same thing.

Specifically, it strikes a balance between rules that model the world and rules abstractions that make for easy play. It's a game where your characters investigate horrors and the dark secrets of their world and put themselves in mortal, social, and mental peril.

Conditions — especially supplemented by Condition Cards — are easy to use and reinforce the core gameplay loop by providing suggestions on how to make your characters behave and rewards them for contributing dramatic tension.

The front half of the book is tightly designed with no wasted space. This can make it feel anemic, but everything you need to play the game is there. This also makes it a great supplement for other games in the Chronicles of Darkness system by adding subsystems that aren't found in those books, such as Equipment Building, Investigations, and Chases.

The second half of the book is the God-Machine Chronicle, a collection of adventure hooks tied to the eponymous God-Machine, and provides a selection of ready-made antagonists and NPCs along with a framework to build custom chronicles.

The writing is evocative and spooky. "The Hangry Wolf" chapter fiction makes my skin crawl in the best way.

I heartily recommend this book to anybody looking for a rules-medium game of dramatic horror and/or anybody who's already got one of the other Chronicles of Darkness books and wants some more toys to play with.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness
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Scion: Second Edition Wallpaper
by Matthew R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2022 01:35:33

Excellent Artwork. I just wish they had a 2560x1600 option, because that’s my laptop screen’s dimensions, but the 2560x1440 does the job rather decently.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Scion: Second Edition Wallpaper
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Treasures and Gifts
by Nicklaus E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2022 09:38:04

A cheeky, fun way to fill out the birthrights of NPCs around my game is how I've been using this one. It can create some interesting scenarios when properly applied.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Treasures and Gifts
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Divine Menagerie
by Nicklaus E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2022 09:32:51

Handy to have yet more animal stat blocks to work with. The nemean section will get a lot of use at the table with the examples given, and the idea of the design philosophy they used in applying it to their own creatures. Zombies will see niche use at my table, but is pretty interesting as a read.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Divine Menagerie
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Divine Armory
by Nicklaus E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2022 09:30:55

To be quite honest, I'm really lazy when it comes to making my own weapons or working out new conditions for combat and am more likely to saw off the name of something else and swap it around. This did a fair amount of the legwork for me, and has some new tags and conditions that are going to be pretty handy at the table.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Divine Armory
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Dance off! Solve Social and Physical combat through the power of dance!
by Nicklaus E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2022 09:26:47

Really niche concept that handles it well. Sparked an idea for a scee which was all I asked of this one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dance off! Solve Social and Physical combat through the power of dance!
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Imperium
by Nicklaus E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/15/2022 09:18:52

If you have a table of all Theoi, this book is going to be a godsend. It really helps flesh a setting for the World. Some of the groups presented can be adapted to other settings pretty easily, and others will need more work. Terra Incognita have been really handy at the concept portion of building a story around. And the additional gods and relics are pretty solid.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Imperium
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