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Greyhawk Player's Guide (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by RODRIGO R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/22/2022 17:23:57

Great book, but the scan is disgusting. It should be considered an insult to publish such poorly scanned books.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Greyhawk Player's Guide (2e)
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Dark Ages: Devil's Due
Publisher: White Wolf
by RODRIGO R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/02/2020 15:28:35

Don't get me wrong, Devil's Due is a great book, content and style wise. I'd give it 5 stars, but the publisher updated the old file (original electronic) and now the available PDF is a bad scanned copy. I even emailed DriveThruRPG, and they emailed the publisher, that aparently never cared to answer.

I started the following discussion, but no avail - yet:

"Devil's Due just got updated (April 23, 2020), and the previous version was replaced by a worse PDF file. I just download the file and it looks terrible. The new PDF isn't even "original electronic", as stated in the item's Product Information."

My advice is to buy it after the upload a new original electronic file ebook.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Ages: Devil's Due
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Conan the Adventurer
Publisher: Modiphius
by RODRIGO R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/15/2020 11:40:02

This is an ok book, but it could have been a great source book. Maybe is too soon to write a review, and I think the publisher can edit a few typos. That's not the reason I granted the book the 3 / 5 ("average") rating.

The 3 / 5 rating isn't related to the art: the art follow Modiphius standards (it's great!). My verdict was settled due to inconsistencies and the want of a more elegant style (the way the information is presented):

  1. I failed to find in the book a description of the Stygian people (their phenotype), and if I’m not wrong the core book lacks it. I know there are the descendants of the “giant kings”, and they are tall and have lighter skin. But how about the majority of the population?

The other nations receive a better treatment. For example (p. 36): "The Darfari are a deeply dark-skinned, tall, and lithely muscled people with equally dark hair, often molded into symbolic shapes with twigs and dried mud, sometimes over a wooden base. The Darfari love to dance and chant, having ritual dances and chants for almost any activity."

  1. p. 65 mentions the Ammut demon and references p. 84. However, p. 84 says nothing on Ammut.

  2. The books fails to mention serpent men. The map (p. 30) shows a “lost colony of serpent men”, but says nothing about the place. Considering the book covers Stygia I can say it is a disappointment.

  3. Another place displayed in the map isn’t described at all: the monolith of Carcosa.

  4. Some locations mentioned in the text aren’t displayed in the map: the ford of Bubastes; the Bakhr river; the Purple Lotus Swamp.

  5. Minor inconsistencies. Compare the following two passages (both from page 65): “Whether this is a holdover from an earlier tribal version of the cult, or some mystical truism, it remains that the dead are important in Stygia. Petitioners often go to the tombs of their ancestors to ask for favors. For example, if a couple is childless, they may place letters at the tombs of their relatives asking them to speak to the gods in their favor for a child” x “Stygians place their dead in a Hall of the Dead, a broad dim-lit hall of colossal proportions in which rises tier upon tier of carven painted sarcophagi. Each stands in a niche in the black stone, and the tiers mount up and up to be lost in the gloom above. A Hall of the Dead is the silent grave of thousands of these mummies. Few see these halls save the silent priests of Set.” The first passage states the living relatives visit their dead often. The second passage state the dead are stored within Halls of the Dead, and that these buildings aren’t usually visited.

  6. Style issues (for example, p. 37). The section deals with conflict resolution withing Darfari society, but is interruped by a passage on foreign commerce:

"The method of handling intertribal conflict is much more complex but follows a pattern — and it is within this pattern that third parties enter Darfari affairs. If a villager commits some offense against a member of another clan or village, the wronged Darfari travels to a third-party village (or group) and demands to see their chief. When in the presence of the clan chief, the wronged Darfari explains that they were wronged, naming the village and the person who wronged him, informing the chief that the burden is now on them to correct the wrong. The third party Darfari and the wronged Darfari travel to the village of the offender, find the offender, and the third party Darfari demands payment for the offense. All parties then gather in front of a palaver house (the central hut where the headmen meet) and wait for the village to gather. When all have gathered, the parties tell their side of the story and talk it out in front of the village. If the village deems the offender guilty, the offender must either come to an agreement on how much will be paid to the party he offended and the third party, or risk sending the village into a pattern of raids and counter-raids between the three villages, which could escalate into a never-ending blood feud. The Darfari culture involves a third party to increase the cost of immoral behavior as a deterrent toward such acts. While largely hunter-gatherers, the Darfari do engage in some trade and this process may also be a way to involve adventurers in their affairs. The primary trading goods of the Darfari are cloth, salt, millet, and tobacco. When other methods of conflict resolution fail, raids between the clans and villages occurs. Raids typically happen at night and involve three raiding parties. One party, the ambushing party, hides along a trail leading from the raided village in the tall grasses, the swamps, or even the forest edges, and waits. A second party is the main war party, waiting on another trail. The third party consists of two men who walk into the village, knock on the door, and claim to be hungry travelers."

The few sentences on foreign commerce are sandwiched between the treatment of conflict resolution. That's bad style.

I still can recommend buying the sourcebook, but I hope next releases will not have the same issues.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Conan the Adventurer
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Conan The Wanderer Sourcebook
Publisher: Modiphius
by RODRIGO R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/17/2020 07:49:26

This is a great book and the only reasons I'm not giving it five stars are: (i) the fact that it could have used more maps; and (ii) the fact that it ignores the Naacal people, their enslavement of the Lemurians, and them being the ancestors of the Stygians: For those of you guys that aren't really into the setting, the Naacal were a people inhabiting the east of the Thurian continente during and after the last cataclysm. After the destruction of Lemuria its survivors were enslaved by the Naacal, and then they migrated east. Hyrkanians are the descendants of the Lemurians. Now, the Naacal also migrated, and after intermigling with some (human or inhuman) Stygian race they became the current Stygians. Other sourcebooks deal with this history.
Wanderer not only states that part of the Lemurians became the Stygians, but fails to identify the Naacal as those who enslaved the Lemurians. Instead the book states the Lemurians were enslaved by an "inhuman culture" (check p. 37 for both references). This contradiction reveals an unfortunate lack of consistency.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Conan The Wanderer Sourcebook
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V20 Lore of the Clans
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Rodrigo C G R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/26/2015 20:44:22

Why you MUST buy this book:

  • Not just a nostalgia product;
  • Great (evocative) writing - seriously, just finished the Followers of Set chapter;
  • Breaks old clan stereotypes;
  • New archetypes;
  • Brings the Clans to the 21th Century;
  • New Merits;
  • Combination of Disciplines;
  • Great NPCs.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Lore of the Clans
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The Xothic Legend Cycle
Publisher: Chaosium
by Rodrigo C G R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2015 14:34:26

It's really comforting to know that Chaosium fiction is now in electronic format. The Xothic Legende Cycle it's a good starting collection for the neophyte, and a fundamental reading for anyone exploring the Mythos.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Xothic Legend Cycle
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Guide to the Camarilla
Publisher: White Wolf
by Rodrigo C G R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/19/2013 12:13:47

Do not get me wrong, Guide to the Camarilla is one of the best VtM titles, ever. Camarilla's "politics as usual" is well explored and explained, meaning you get the reasons why Kindred are a-holes. In that, it more than hits the spot.

The poor scanning, however, made me give it only two stars. Guide to the Camarilla deserves higher quality scanning, and its file should be updated.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Guide to the Camarilla
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Erciyes Fragments
Publisher: White Wolf
by Rodrigo C G R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/04/2013 12:10:44

Great contents, but it really needs a better file. I can't even believe its really a OEF, especially when compared to Book of Nod and Revelations of the Dark Mother. DTRPG staff, please, update this book.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Erciyes Fragments
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Clanbook: Cappadocian
Publisher: White Wolf
by Rodrigo C G R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/18/2013 12:11:52

The only real bad thing about this book is its poorly scanning. Also, If you want more rituals and paths that's not a book for you.

However, it's great if all you need is to improve your campaign's mood and setting. Also, the history chapter really makes the Cappadocians (as a Clan) make sense.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Clanbook: Cappadocian
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Three Pillars
Publisher: White Wolf
by Rodrigo C G R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/11/2013 13:45:34

Not as essential as other DA tittles, but if you can, buy it. It was poorly scanned, but we can always hope DrivethruRPG staff will update it's file, right?

Three Pillars not only summarizes what you need to know about the Dark Medieval's society, it shows how it relates to Cainites. It covers the nobles, the clergy and the 99%.

TP It's useful enough, specially because it explores the inner workings of each group of people. It make you (player of storyteller) improve the story's verisimilitude. Even better, it shows how Cainites embraced from different ranks of society differ from each other, and how they interact with each rank.

Even if you know enough about medieval society, you can always enjoy the last chapter. It details Italy and its Cainites. It would be great to have Italy by Night, but this chapter is the next better thing. Why Italy? Italy is a "anomaly of the feudal system", with rich commoners entering the ranks of the urban upper classes and nobles engaging in the mercantile business. The conflicting groups within each of the Italian cities make the political arena unpredictable.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Three Pillars
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Iberia by Night
Publisher: White Wolf
by Rodrigo C G R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/11/2013 13:30:04

It would be nice to have more Vampire: the Dark Ages books with IbN's scanning. Is it really scanned? It looks like the original electronic file.

DrivethruRPG staff, if you're reading this review, make Iberia by Night the quality standard for you all Vampire: the Dark Ages products.

Now, Iberia by Night makes me think about all other great tittles that need better scanning. I'm talking about Dark Ages Europe, Transylvania by Night, House of Tremere, the Ashen books, the whole Libellus Sanguinis series, both the Capaddocian and Salubri clanbooks and others.

Why I'm talking about other titles? Well, because its hard to own only a single Dark Ages setting/story book. IbN details the Shadow Reconquista, something that affects Clan Lasombra as a whole, from Iberia to Outremer. Also, it affects most Christian and Muslim Cainites, even those cynical enough to use the wars of Reconquista for political gain. The Iberian cities (both Christian and Muslim) presented in IbN were, during the 12th and 13th centuries, the centers of dynamic societies that attracted people from both sides of the Mediterranean. I can say the same about local Cainites. The place has Cainite Knightly order, its own branch of the Cainite Heresy and many other examples of Iberia's local character. It brings something different from the archetypal middle ages. It's almost exotic, from the Anglo-Saxon/Northwestern European point of view. If you want to run a different thing, give it a try.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Iberia by Night
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Cainite Heresy
Publisher: White Wolf
by Rodrigo C G R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/11/2013 13:10:39

Its not fair to release Cainite Heresy in such a poor scanned file. The text looks faded and blurred. It's just sad.

Anyway, you can buy it and wait for the updated file (I hope they update it).

5 stars book, but in terms of content only. It needs a better scanning.

Now to contents.

It not only covers the Heresy proper, but the heretic mindset and the phenomenon of heresy in the middle ages. It makes for a nice combo with Ashen Cults and Ashen Knight.

About the Cainite Heresy... if you want them as antagonists or characters (for mature roleplaying, of course), buy this book. What makes the Heresy such a adversary? It is insidious and omnipresent, and it's a enemy much more interesting than mere devil worshipers. How can you say the Heretics are wrong? It's a matter of faith. That's their greatest strength, since they lack nothing in faith.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cainite Heresy
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Fountains of Bright Crimson
Publisher: White Wolf
by Rodrigo C G R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/11/2013 13:06:59

My advice is to buy it now and wait for the updated file. Yes, it is poorly scanned, with blurred text (like its gray, not black), but the contents are great.

Act I is called the "Trouble with Tremere", what else can I say (if you own House of Tremere you know I'm talking about)? It also involves one of the Clan Founders (yeah, shut up and take my money kind of stuff).

It's a standalone story, but it brings numerous hooks and plot devices, elements you can use for years of storytelling. If you also own Jerusalem by Night and Veil of Night (and maybe Dark Ages Europe) you can also run any kind of Middle-Eastern story from 1197 to 1230.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fountains of Bright Crimson
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Jerusalem by Night
Publisher: White Wolf
by Rodrigo C G R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/11/2013 13:04:47

Poorly scanned, a pitty. The text is blurred and faded. Some pages are not straight.

My advice? Buy it now and wait for the updated file.

When we talk about Masquerade (Revised) setting books, like Mexico City by Night or New York by Night, we know we're dealing with material that can always be transplanted, adapted and used according the the storyteller's need. I can say the same about Jerusalem by Night. Any Dark Ages chronicle can benefit from Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is Dark Age's spiritual core, and as a spiritual center, its seen as the world's geographical center. Any Christian or Muslim Cainite should think about Jerusalem from time to time, or even attempt peregrination once. The conflicts between crusaders and the local powers also make for great social and political chronicles (and martial chronicles, obviously



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Jerusalem by Night
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Bitter Crusade
Publisher: White Wolf
by Rodrigo C G R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/11/2013 13:00:50

Great book, but poorly scanned (the text acquired a grayish quality).

Give it a try anyway, specially because Drivethru folks will (eventually) update the file.

There some books I consider essential to understand the Dark Ages line, and Bitter Crusade is one of the (the others being Constantinople by Night, Transylvania by Night and Under the Black Cross).

Bitter Crusade update the setting, explaining why (and how) everything changed after 1204, and why the War of Princes gained so much momentum. It covers three years of plotting and treachery, scenarios that can be used as a trilogy or as standalone stories. Also, it brings a healthy amount of information on Italy and Italian Cainites (if you want more, buy Three Pillars).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bitter Crusade
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