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The Strix Chronicle Anthology
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:59:04

the new stories here are nice, but a lot of this stuff is collected from previous vampire the requiem intro fiction. not really necessary unless you're skipping out on pre-2nd ed material entirely



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Strix Chronicle Anthology
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Promethean the Created 2nd Edition
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:55:15

one of those games that i'll never get to run but that is sure is fun to read about. very well made



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Promethean the Created 2nd Edition
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Convention Book: Void Engineers
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:43:09

i'm not a huge fan of how the revised mage avatar storm metaplot really harmed the power and resources of the void engineers, so some of this book doesn't quite work with how i want to portray this faction in the games i run. regardless, this is a book worth reading for the enormous amount of explosive plot hooks that you can easily build an entire chronicle around, especially the iconic threat null that has the potential to change the entire mage cosmology.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Convention Book: Void Engineers
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Convention Book: Syndicate
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:39:20

i hate the syndicate with a passion, so when i say this, i mean it: this book is so good & well-written that it'll make you kinda like the syndicate.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convention Book: Syndicate
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Convention Book: Progenitors
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:37:06

the progenitors are the duct tape & chewing gum holding the technocracy together, and this revised convention book goes a long way into taking them out of their stuffy laboratories and into actually helping sleeper society. also, they love killing vampires; how could anyone call them evil?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convention Book: Progenitors
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Convention Book: N.W.O.
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:33:52

the glorious start to the 2010s run of revised technocracy convention books. the NWO have always been one of my favorite factions in mage, and this adds so much information and plot hooks to run stories with. all of the revised convention books also have great ready-made characters that can really help players get an idea as to how to make an interesting, unique character concept. imo, this is one of the best written mage books out there and i'd consider it mandatory if you want to understand how the technocracy works as an organization



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convention Book: N.W.O.
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Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:27:35

a major & necessary overhaul for the changeling line. pretty much is changeling's revised edition, with a large amount of diversity and detail added to a game that always embodied the best about the world of darkness setting. i love stuff like changeling the lost, but for me this is the true version of gothic fae roleplaying that fans have always wanted. if you're even vaguely interested in changeling the dreaming, buy this, you won't regret it. it's a shame that we won't get a huge amount of material for c20 like v20 got, because in many ways this is the most developed 20th anniversiery edition of all of them. given how this game isn't the most popular, we might not even get a changeling 5th edition at all from paradox, or at the very least not until a far-off date like 2029, so this is the best version we might have for a long while.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
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M20 The Book of Secrets
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:19:05

a treasure trove of information for both mage players and storytellers, with loads of additional optional systems, great example characters, lots of paradigms, and a huge FAQ from satryros brucato that answers a ton of questions that mage fans have had over the years and clears up a lot of things about the games. plus you get a whole list of mage-centric inspirational movies, music and books that are invaluable to really help understand the philosophic, cultural and artistic influences that have gone into this game for over 20 years. the m20 corebook has a ton of info in it, but in my opinion this is a great necessary companion that you'll be going back to again and again



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
M20 The Book of Secrets
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Let the Streets Run Red (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition)
by Andrea B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/19/2020 12:25:39

Well, 4 different type of Vampire The Masquerade V5 story. 4 different scenario, all take place near Chicago. From Milwakee to Gary, from Indianapolis to a rural area in Indiana or in Illinois. This sourcebook is very helpfull to breath V5 mood and to go deep what happen to the Domain of Chicago.

Take a breath and... read it !



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Let the Streets Run Red (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition)
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V20 The Endless Ages Anthology
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/18/2020 23:53:58

The following review was originally published in Mephisto 65 and translated from German.

The Endless Ages Anthology

With the revival of the roleplaying game Vampire in its 20th-anniversary version, novels and short story anthologies based on this game setting get published again. The Endless Ages Anthology is a collection of short stories, which, in contrast to the anthology volume Dark Ages: The Cainite Conspiracies, is set in modern times. The different short stories illuminate different facets of the vampires' unlife and offer exciting and amusing insights into their world. As you would expect from such a volume, the stories cover a wide range of topics, but basically, most of the stories are well written and entertaining. It is striking how often the conflicts between vampires are the central topic and that the focus is on the Camarilla. As expect, the different clans and their features stand in the foreground. But also bloodlines like the Gargoyle have their appearance.

If you plan to start with the roleplaying game Vampire again and like to take in a little flair and atmosphere, The Endless Ages is a good choice to get back into the world of Vampire.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
V20 The Endless Ages Anthology
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Titanomachy (A Collection of Threats for Scion Second Edition)
by David A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/17/2020 14:03:19

TL;DR: There were some good bits of lore and mechanics, but this book reverts to bad, '1st-edition-ish' philosophy far too much.

So, let me start off with saying the things I did like, and why I'm giving this two stars rather than one.

There are good sections. The Orisha's section is awesome, predominantly because it essentially mocks the premise of the rest of the book. The Deva have some really cool and well-done members in there, and while the Theoi are questionable here, Echidna is great.

The mechanics are good, too. The new callings are nice, there's some good antagonists and other new Storyguide mechanics that I enjoy. If mechanics is predominantly what you want, this is definitely a solid recommend - although if you're a player and not a Storyguide, seeing as the new callings are the only parts that pertain to you, you might want to wait for Demigod as I hear they'll be republished in that.

The Internet Trolls are incredible.

There's a few parts of the book I won't comment on, such as the Kami and the Manitou, simply because I haven't got enough knowledge about those cultures.

But now, the stuff that was bad, and that I think I can comment on.

The Tuatha Dé Domnann are just... inaccurate and insensitive. The implication that Balor caused the Potato Famine is just... that wasn't anything to do with supernatural. That was the British being horrific.

Belenus and Cernunnos don't belong here, they're the gods of long-dead continental European religion and are part of the Nemetondevos according to another book in 2e. Admittedly these other 'versions' are acknowledged, but it just... doesn't sit right. It feeds the 'Celts were all one culture' concept that many have. And that concept is wrong. Not only that, claiming Cernunnos is the Horned God of Wicca (as in, this Cernunnos, not the idea that an old remnant of the power that was Cernunnos has somewhat been revived by Wicca as that god - that's a cool concept, this isn't) is really dodgy when, while he may be the most 'good' amongst these guys, is still associated with the 'evil side' of a pantheon. These are bold claims about what you claim to be the god of a living religion.

I can't really comment much on the other Titans of the Tuatha. But, as far as I know, one of them we know next to nothing about, and the other's writeup seems to imply Ireland's in the UK. So yeah.

Final thing on the Tuatha is something I didn't notice the first few times I glanced through, but is honestly one of the most grievous things done to them. Indech, who was the King of the Fomorians, who would have been an incredible choice for a Titan instead of, you know, the Gaulish Gods, has been turned into Frankenstein for the sake of having an excuse to put the Monster in. If you want the Monster, as a more modern story to add to the game, invent someone to create it. Hell, have them be a sample Scion of Prometheus (and writeup Prometheus) and really go full-on with the 'modern Prometheus' vibe. I'd love that. Don't appropriate someone with nothing to do with any of that.

The Aesir are weird. Nidhoggr is written as if he has a rivalry with the Dragon Níðhöggr, who I assume is coming in Scion: Dragon. A few reasons why this is confusing: first, IIRC, Dragon is intended to be optional. A potential addition to your games if you want it, portayed like the Nemetondevos, Teros, and the upcoming Masks of the Mythos. I honestly quite like the idea of Dragon, but having lines of this book, which is supposedly part of the World's mainstream 'canon', refer to it is odd. The second reason is that if you want a rival for Nidhoggr, he has one. Right there in the myths. The unnamed eagle, who sits at the top of Yggdrasil. They send insults to each other via Ratatoskr, the squirrel. But the eagle is only briefly mentioned, and the squirrel is completely absent. Also, the whole thing about spelling being an argument, albeit a somewhat sarcastic one, about Níðhöggr being older, is a bit odd.

Ymir's dead, so not a threat. Reviving him... like, it's somewhat understandable, but not including, say, any of Loki's children (I'm aware Jormungandr and Fenris are more animals than logical thinkers, but Hel could surely fit in) and deciding to revive someone long dead... it's an odd decision. And, come to think of it, the Monster purview works fine for more 'bestial' Titans so yeah. What the Hel. Throw in at least one of the children of Loki instead. (And yes, I know they're mentioned, but none of them get a proper writeup.)

The Netjer have problems, but not really any more so than their godly counterparts' writeup in Hero. Aten is better than he was in 1e. That's not saying much, admittedly, but overall, I find his writeup okay. Apep/Apophis is another victim of the Dragon references, but it's dealt with a bit better. Isfet should probably be a Primordial, not a Titan, but I can deal with this. In fact, the writeup says she has the 'Primordial' calling; I'm assuming that typo was caused due to the writer having similar ideas to me, and meaning to write 'Primeval'. I should submit that to the errata. Finally, in the art, Apep is depicted with a cobra-like head fan, and as far as I know, he's not really depicted like that in Egyptian art. Just a plain old giant snake, no flourishes.

That's about all I can talk about with my knowledge. Oh, and looking back, the description of merfolk... like, the vicious concept presented here is fine, but there are also mermaid tales that do cast them as beautiful women, or even men, luring people to their doom - or perhaps not, perhaps falling in love with them and taking them back into their home under the waves. The idea presented here kinda contradicts the 'All Myths Are True' premise.

So, a final thing. Years ago, a young me stumbled across Scion First Edition, and was fascinated. Here was a game that was inspired by the tales I loved, and would allow me to play in worlds like those written about by Rick Riordan as a child of the gods. I plunged in, and expected the people making the book had done their research, and I took in a lot of misconceptions about the gods presented.

Now, 2e is here. Someone in a similar position to me back then will probably go for it over 1e - it's more up-to-date, more revised. New editions are meant to be better, and 2e is better. It's balanced, and it's pretty well-researched, and on its failings in research, it still tends to be respectful. And so someone in that position won't find the awful ideas that were present then, and instead find what Scion 2e has done, and take that as the truth about these religions. And that is good.

But then that someone may find this book. And, seeing as the research and respect so far has been good, they think to themselves, why shouldn't this be the same? And they'll take it, and they'll be plunged into misconceptions in the same way I was, and they might not be as lucky as me and find out that what they read was wrong. And that makes me beyond sad.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Titanomachy (A Collection of Threats for Scion Second Edition)
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Changeling: the Lost Second Edition
by Sara R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2020 14:10:20

I love this 2nd Edition with a passion, i find it way more enjoyable than the first edition, the rules and mechanics make more sense, and in hindsight while I had many good hours playing the first edition I can see while people described it as "fetishizing victimhood" while the 2nd Edition is written in a way that is much more mindful of the possible mindsets of survivors.

It's simply more fun to play.

My odd complaint is that I can never -find- the product as it appears missing both from the stores library searches and my own library of purchased books. I know the first edition is apparently more popular but is this second edition so unpopular that the store or publisher has chosen to pretend it doesn't exist?? It even took me two years after the products release to find and purchase it, while i checked the site for it for years, thinking it had not been released at all yet.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: the Lost Second Edition
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Scion 2nd Edition A5 Character Booklet
by Velezizweni M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/11/2020 05:52:31

This is a really nice character sheet, but it lacks a set place for divine titles, which seem like a significant part of the game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Scion 2nd Edition A5 Character Booklet
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Creator Reply:
Hey, thanks for the review! There's intended space for Divine Titles next to each dot of Legend on the front page. It is a small space but I'm planning on improvements with the next update that will accommodate Demigod characters. Thank you again for the review, it is truly appreciated.
Frostlands of Fenrilik
by Alain G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/04/2020 14:25:29

This product establishes a new campaign location for the Scarred Lands (the continent of Fenrilik), expanding from old material and connecting some of the dots from this material. It is aimed at two different targets: a) Game Masters (and players), so that they can jump right into the setting for their own games and b) community content creators so that they can write their own product set on that continent for the Slarecian Vault. This dual nature (and the limited page count) has lead to some decisions from the writers to lean on one side or the other depending on the section of the book.

Chapter 1 is a kind of gazeeter, presenting some elements of day-to-day life in Fenrilik (notably environmental hazards and the major settlements on the continent). It opens with in-game description of an explorer who comes to Fenrilik for the first time, which is quite relatable as I imagine most Scarred Lands games never set foot on that continent. NB: the font for the sidebars has been changed (for the best) from the other Scarred Lands products, which is a good idea since it was difficult to read in other books... I'm looking at you, Yugman's Guide to Ghelspad!

  • Some informations I feel is missing from this chapter: a) a list of geographical landmarks could have been nice, for example the names of forests, montains, plains, etc. "The forest west of the Tobor gorge" doesn't have the same ring to it as "The Forest Of The Coolest Name Ever" On one hand it provides community content creators (and GMs) room to name these whichever way they want, on the other this may run the risk of having the same location named dfferently by different authors, which could be confusing for readers. b) there is no indication of how many people live among the nomadic tribes. No examples of nomadic tribes are given (a nice way to invite GMs and community content creators to create their own stuff), which may be disappointing for GMs who may need one or two right away for their games.

Chapter 2 and 3 cover the city of Kovokimru and the Tobor Gorge next to it as read-to-play locations for GMs to start their games. There are descriptions of main buildings, characters, local holidays, story hooks (includes a dragon for those who really want to use a dragon). This section is really useful, though maybe the description of one of the accomodations could have been cut short to allow for more space in Chapter 1.

Chapter 4 is aimed at players and presents 3 new character races + 4 new subclasses, which are all enticing to play. Two of the races are new and provide a very nice dynamic to the setting, which is very well highlighted by the authors throughout the book. It hints as a cultural schock (if not war) between two populations who don't know anything about the other, which sparks some great campaign ideas. The subclasses are really evocative and fit very well into the setting (some of them could even be present in other parts of the Scarred Lands). The races and subclasses are great. There are new spells as well, which are conversion from their 3E counterpart, and I feel that the book did not need some of them. Empathy of the faceless one seems overpowered (no damage cap and no concentration required, and should probably deal psychic damage), iceshard description seems incomplete (when can the player use the ranged attack) and seems underwhelming when cast at 2nd level but really grows in power at higher level), rupture sounds like it should have been an option for higher level casting of fracture instead. The feat seems dangerously powerful given that heat metal is a rather powerful 2nd level spell in itself... A table of languages from Fenrilik and the other Scarred Lands languages they relate to could have been useful. This information is somewhat disseminated throughout the book but the reader needs to search for it... I guess it was left over for lack of space.

Chapter 5 presents new monsters including some indication on how to adjust existing monsters to "reskin" them for Fenrilik (which I found very nice). The skerrai seem nasty (though tbh there seems to be some weird things going on in their stat blocks, like the +7 to hit for the immature skerrai, which is incredibly high for a CR1 creature), notably due to their ability to stun PCs for extended period of time, without the possibility to make new saving throws after a failed save (which seems weird). Also, it seems like the authors tried to adjust these monsters so that their CR matches the original CRs, which makes for really high challenge monsters. The 5E mosnters (from the Monster Manual) generally have lower CRs from their 3.X counterpart, so I think it would have made sense to have lowered the CRs here a tiny bit as well. The section ends with two NPC stat blocks which is really useful!

Chapter 6 is an introductory adventure and leverages the cultural divide between the surface of Fenrilik and the underground. It seems to assume that the PCs have good intentions toward the people below, but this adventure may take a very different turn if the players are not as well behaved. It ties up nicely the different elements presented in this book and makes a perfect introduction to the setting.

Overall

  • Interesting new setting for the Scarred Lands, ready to play for GMs and ready to develop for community content creator
  • Very cool races and subclasses which fit very well into the setting (I want to play them!)
  • Consistent setting with the different sections working well with one another
  • Maybe some of the spells, feats and monsters could use some attention

NB: The PoD version is nice and seems to hold well at first glance, no complaints about the printer here



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Frostlands of Fenrilik
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Creator Reply:
Thank you so much for the detailed and thoughtful review! I think a book of nomadic tribes would be awesome!
Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon
by Matthew P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/03/2020 14:24:59

This book is a MUST HAVE for Werewolf fans. In between reams of story hooks, it fleshes out the setting, filling in gaps in the lore with antagonists that hold up a dark mirror to what your players' characters could have been.

What other shards are out there? Why is a mortal making a deal with spirits bad? What happens when a werewolf shirks the protection of one of the tribes? This book has answers for all of these, but importantly, they are delivered as session seeds that you can pick up easily and use at your table. My only complaint is that the cover art seems somewhat goofy to me, but the art inside the book is beautiful.

Cannot recommend this book enough, I went back and ordered a physical copy I liked the pdf so much. Together with Predators from 1e, this is a Need To Purchase for any Werewolf ST, and a strong recommend for any player.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Night Horrors: Shunned by the Moon
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