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Empath Hybrid Class
Publisher: Wayward Rogues Publishing
by mark m. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/16/2016 22:02:27

This review is being done in exchange for free copy of the pdf. This is a 14 page PDF. It's sparse on artwork, but the few pictures are full color. The main bulk of the document is 11 pages dedicated to the class itself, with three archetypes. The next three pages are a couple ads and the OGL. The class itself is a hybrid of the Cleric and Psychic. The class gets d6 HP, a slow attack progression, and 2/0/2 saves. Spell progression is as a Cleric. One of the key features of the class is Emotional Sensitivity. With this feature, the character picks an emotion and this choice informs the class from there on out. For instance, if you pick Anger, you become a ranged attacker. With Awe you debuff enemies, and with Courage, you buff allies. The second big feature of the class is Deep Bond, which allows you to pick an ally and heal them without burning spells. This ability is activated with a touch and a standard action, so changing allies in the middle of combat could be tricky. Most of this class's spells are picked from the Psychic's spell list, however, a variety of heals, buffs, and debuffs from the Cleric spell list are included. The archetypes seen interesting. The sensorial basically allows your character to see through an allies senses. Central Mind turns your character into communication hub. Instinctual mind allows communication with oozes and other strange creatures. The Savant of Pain if an unusual healer. I admit to being unfamiliar with Shattered Skies setting, but this class should fit well in any game using Occult Adventures as an option.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Empath Hybrid Class
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Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition: The Dark Ages
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by greg m. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/14/2015 12:22:22

To me, this book fell flat. Yes, it is nice to have most everything you need to run a game set in the century at your fingertips, but I suppose my big complaint is I wanted a 20th anniversary of Dark Ages: Vampire; not Vampire: the Dark Ages. Beyond that, the artwork is good, the chapters are nicely organized, and the index is a vast improvement from White Wolf material. The inclusion of the Salubri Sentinels was a great bonus, and mechanics for dirtier, more primitive versions of the Cainite sorceries was nice too. I backed the project on Kickstarter, so I got to see the evolution of the pdf from a draft to a finished product. My quibbles with the product are all vastly personal opinion, as I hinted at in the first paragraph. If you like romantic historical fiction, are a fan of vampires, or an experienced V:tDA, I recommend this book.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition: The Dark Ages
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Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand
Publisher: White Wolf
by greg m. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/13/2015 15:26:26

Intended to be a jumping board for chronicles involving a global conspiracy of elders manipulating the two major sects in order to wipe out Vicissitude; this book became a much debated topic in V:tM circles, and writers never quite seemed sure what to do with it after this book was released. The Tal'mahe'Ra was used as a boogie-man of sorts in later books, and the Path of Biothaumaturgy was edited and brought into the Revised Camarilla Guide. The Path of Self Focus was reprinted elsewhere, and when the True Brujah were ported into revised in the Storytellers Guide, they brought the Path of the Scorched Heart with them. The Path of Lillith was made available in the Guide to the Sabbat. The fates of the revenant families were discussed in various supplements. But, I digress. The purpose of the book was to present a new sect into the Jyhad, and it succeeded at that. As I hinted earlier, the purpose of this sect was to wipe out Vicissitude, the signature Discipline of the Tzimisce. That is because the power is not in fact a Discipline, but an insidious parasite that transmits through blood, has a mind of it's own, drives it's host insane and exists only to procreate!

To stop this insidious threat, the True Black Hand operates out of a spectral copy of the august city of Enoch, and also protects three ancient sarcophogi that house incredibly ancient Kindred! Are they the fabled second generation? Stay tuned and find out!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand
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Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
Publisher: R. Talsorian Games Inc.
by greg m. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/13/2015 12:48:37

This is the first rpg I am aware of to try to capture the "High-tech, Low-life" feel of the literary and film cyberpunk genre, and it wildly succeeded. Of course, the game shows it's age now-a-days, what with some of the setting stuff. Who still uses fax machines? And a lot of the super fancy high tech in the game just looks dated. Wires and cables are everywhere in the game. Computer memory is made out to be a precious commodity. I feel I would be remiss if I didn't mention that kind of thing is all setting flavor and if you want to give the setting a more 2015 flavor of what the future would look like, it's not that difficult to reskin. The other approach would be to run it as a gonzo alternate future that went sideways during the 1990's. Mechanically, this is a great game. All you need to play is a single d10 and 2d6. Maybe a couple more for some of the really big guns, but I don't think that any of those were in the corebook. There are 9 stats you rolled a d10 each for, and a couple derived stats that used simple math to determine. Figure out your role... You can be a Solo, which is a classic cyber soldier, or a cop, corporate suit, a fixer (think fence,) nomad (Mad Max extras,) reporter, techie, doctor, netrunner (computer hacker) or a rock star! Slap on some shiny chrome parts to your character, get a couple bfg's, and your good to go. A couple things to be warned about, the netrunning rules take up a good third of the book, so a lot of referee's tended to ban that role or run one as a side npc so as not to use up huge segments of time the other players could be using. The combat system is this game has a bit of a learning curve, as does any mechanic for any game, but once you get used to it, combat can be resolved quickly, easily, and LETHALLY. Guns kill characters in this game. If they don't kill you outright, chances are the ambulance won't show up in time. The rule system for this game is really well balanced, and once you get the hang of it, is really intuitive. Some parts of this review may sound blase, but I am trying to give an honest review of all parts of the game; so you get the good with the not-so-good. It really is an excellent game and worthy of a 5 star rating.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. The Second Edition, Version 2.01
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Book of Crafts: Whispers of Dissent
Publisher: White Wolf
by greg m. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/13/2015 11:33:33

This was an earlier entry into the M:tA line of CWoD books, and introduced many Crafts into the mix of the Ascension War. Crafts differ from the Traditions and Conventions in that they are geographically or culturally limited. Each Craft gets it's own chapter complete with a full page piece of art and a fluff short story to set tone. The history of each Craft is discussed, a few signature Rotes (magick spells) are given, and one or two templates for PC's are given. The Crafts presented are an Epytian throwback; a group of Hawai'ian traditionalists; the Sisters of Hippolita, a Greek cult; the Knights Templar, who left the nascent Order of Reason, which became the Technocracy; and also a Chinese magickal society. Artwork ranges from good to passable, and there are several typos, so grammar police may be annoyed. The groups presented in the book all have a specific, local focus, so use in games is questionable, but still entertaining to read.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Crafts: Whispers of Dissent
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V20 Anarchs Unbound
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by greg m. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/13/2015 09:19:54

A fairly narrow tome, this book is solid for what it has,and it does a good job of moving the Anarch Movement forward into the 21st century. The artwork is interesting and thematic with whatever is being discussed on the page. The short stories and fluff text are nice reads, but I feel the book was cut short.

There is a refresher course section that is brief history lesson from the Anarch perspective, Then it dives into how Anarchs deal with the Camarilla, Sabbat, and the Independents. There is also a blurb about how the Anarchs deal with the Tremere's most dangerous tool, Thaumaturgy, and even more briefly discusses the Anarch's own brand of gutter magic.

There is also a nice shakedown of how the Anarchs are using their (lack of) age and modern tech to their advantage.

Another chapter dives into various Anarch Baronies around the world, and discusses the different models of government these fiefdoms use. So you have the gangland model of L.A., the communist model in Russia, and a whole spectrum in between.The last section are some ready made NPC's, followed by the Kickstarter backers for the project.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Anarchs Unbound
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Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
Publisher: White Wolf
by greg m. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/29/2015 16:27:24

I cannot say enough good things about this product. The images are all crisp, well drawn. Seeing Tim Bradstreet's art grace the pages of a V:tM core book was fantastic, in my opinion. The writers missed very few items in bringing V:tM to an expanded audience for the twentieth anniversary of the flagship line of the classic Works of Darkness. Two things that stood out as missing to me was the lack of two Paths of Enlightenment, the Path of the Hive, and Scorched Heart. Other than that, fantastic book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
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Shadowrun: Run Faster (Second Printing)
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
by greg m. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/16/2015 10:09:55

Nice format, good layout. Fantastic art. Nice looking scan. Bloody expensive. Book contains several chapters, ranging from alternative character generation, the big ones being sum to ten, where you get numbers instead of letters for your priorities, and 4e style point based build.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Shadowrun: Run Faster (Second Printing)
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