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Thousand Years of Night
by Cyrille N. T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/21/2018 08:25:08

I read some of Thousand Years of Night from a friend's copy and I just had to get it. It is THE book I have waited for Vampire since Masquerade, it is wonderfully written, engaging and is a pleasure to read while setting the stage for the monolithic Eldritch beings––the Elders came and how they came into being and segues wonderfully into the Eras of Darkness texts as a possible thread of the tangled web of history behind any one Elder.

It does a magnificent job illustrating how truly alien and removed they are from us while making them doubly invested into the affairs of both kine and kindred worlds.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Thousand Years of Night
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Promethean the Created 2nd Edition
by Paul B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2018 12:28:09

I love this book. I love this game. I was a playtester for this Second Edition version, in fact. All that said, I appreciate and acknowledge that everyone may not share these feelings. Promethean: the Created offers experiences that run the gamut from extremely personal journeys to over-the-top transhuman craziness, and while my goals tend towards the former, I understand that mileage varies. So, what about the book? I think that it tends towards catering more to that personal side, but it does not negate any other options. I’ll go into more detail below…

The book is a true new edition of the game, with some heavy revisions, big additions, and refinements (not just the ten philosophies of the Created) that shift some of the game’s base assumptions. Much of it is based on focusing and enhancing the experience of the Pilgrimage, the journey towards the New Dawn of becoming truly mortal. You see this right away with the ten Refinements – divided into Basic and Complex, where the former are ‘intuitive’ to follow while the latter require some teacher – and the addition of Roles that are tied to Transmutations that are no longer the one-to-five dot buffet of First Edition, but now nested sets of effects that tie strongly to Roles and their Refinements, all of which are somewhat based on your character’s Elpis and Torment archetypes (think along the lines of Virtue and Vice), but they lead to one of three forms of milestones that add to your Pilgrimage score (kinda like Humanity), leading to Vitriol and the eventual New Dawn.

Does all of that sound complex? Yeah, it kinda is until you play it. At that point, you see just how many OPTIONS this game offers! Getting to that point, though, may prove difficult for some of us. New players may feel that entering the game is a bit like a trial by fire, and even seasoned veterans of Promethean can find the additions and changes jarring. That’s when taken as a whole, but when broken down to the individual character, it’s far more manageable.

There are seven Lineages (adding the Unfleshed and Extempore from First Edition supplements) and a whopping ten Refinements (double the First Edition’s), but each is distinctive and well presented. The chapter on the Promethean experience – what some would call ‘fluff’ – is a wonderful introduction to the perspective of the Created, and it segues well to the chapter on mechanics. Here you’ll find character creation, new Merits, and all fifteen of the Transmutations, as well as mechanics for Azoth and the Pilgrimage. Again, it is a lot, for sure. Again, too, it doesn’t need to scare you off.

The chapter on antagonists isn’t as robust as maybe I’d like, feeling like it only skims over Pandorans and Qashmallim, and the view of the Alchemists focuses more on what they DO than why they’re to feared. What this chapter does, however, is offer more options, which is good.

I’m not a big fan of the ‘location splats’ that have appeared in each of these Second Edition books, but this one has a reasonably good one. Where the book truly shines is the last chapter, on Storytelling, where we find a bunch of great advice on how the game works, what may not work, and ways to let it work without fighting the basic concepts of Promethean.

I could have given this a four-star rating for the steep learning-curve or the added complexities, but I choose to see those as wonderful reminders of how nothing in the Promethean experience is easy, and anything worth having is worth working for. Uh, also just on account of how much I LOVE this game! Five stars, and worth every cent I paid.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Promethean the Created 2nd Edition
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Exalted 3rd Edition
by Ivan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2018 07:17:25

I full expected to not enjoy Exalted. I'm mostly a fan of simpler systems, because I'm quite interested in quickly telling interesting stories, and only leaning on the mechanics when it's interesting to fail; I'm not one to enjoy a long slew of fights in most systems, and I thought I was just going to see some anime conflict. But a friend was running, so I got the book.

This book blew me away. I got interested in the setting almost immediately, and the system spoke volumes to me. Although it has a lotof content in it, the game leans on those mechanics to make thing interesting. Even its combat system is, relatively speaking, a breath of fresh air which does a better job of simulating a bustling fight than it does a tactical battlemap. It made me think of Ip Man.

In this book, you get the rules for playing the game, and for making Solars, the most powerful type of Exalt, and the system's flagship splat. It has a host of Martial Arts, some cool Artefacts, and it introduces the entire setting, including giving basic, short, descriptions of what each of the other Exalted are like, and a quick look at how they'll differ.

I browsed through the other reviews to see why some people gave this book such a low rating. They seemed, at a glance, to have two different flavours.

1) This book is too full of stuff. (it's 700+ pages) 2) This book doesn't have particular stuff. (Only one type of Exalt)

I'm going by the law of averages, and saying that if both sides are unhappy, then things could be worse. Too long? They're not fleecing you for three books, this is a PHB, DMG, Setting Guide, and MM all in one! "Only one type of Exalt"? That Exalt has a list of unique abilites ("Charms") that takes up about 200 pages, and would be the equivalent of an entire type of splat in Chronicles/World of Darkness.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
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Hundred Devils Night Parade: Doppleganger and Mata-Yadh (Demon)
by Ivan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2018 06:33:09

Mata-Yadh is a "Fledgeling Behemoth" a phrase which here means "Pretty damn powerful, but possibly beatable by a starting Circle if they prepare, co-ordinate, and at least all have offensive Excellencies". It's interesting, and I've just realised in the game I'm playing my Circle (of 5 Essence 2 Solars, including a Dawn and an Ebon Shadow Night, but no-one else particularly focused) killed a reskinned version of this (sans rider).

The Doppleganger is a pretty scary, at least insofar as it has the potential to keep up its ruse for at least a conversation with a Solar. They're pretty close to the generic idea people have of them, but this flavour is undead and has a vendetta. It has an Eclipse charm that lets you steal motes.

I'm mostly rating this 5/5 because of Mata-Yadh being a great example of how to make a threat for your Circle that they'll have to work smart and hard to deal with, and because I was pleasantly surprised by the Doppleganger; to be honest, I'm also a bit of a sucker for anything that I can just "yoink" and this includes the Eclipse Charm.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hundred Devils Night Parade: Doppleganger and Mata-Yadh (Demon)
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Hundred Devils Night Parade: Aughdeighe and Jungle Stalker
by Ivan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2018 06:25:18

Aughdeighe: ice horses who turn up during blizzards. Awesome, would have as set dressing, familiars, or steeds of an oncoming horde. 5/5, they even get their own Eclipse Charm and have some really cool features. Already know these are coming into the game.

Jungle Stalker: weird lizard people with plenty of cool abilities, including an antipathy for magic. Would include in a game with even the slightest excuse. Come with hooks for an ancient history. They're 5/5 for having loads of cool stuff around them, and being interesting enough to stand by themselves next to the Aughdeighe.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hundred Devils Night Parade: Aughdeighe and Jungle Stalker
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Adversaries of the Righteous: The Blood Thirsty
by Ivan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2018 05:52:01

Fundamentally, I'm here agreeing with the tone in the discussion pieces.

This series of adversaries comes with 4 different sets of stats for mortal pirates, including 2 unique members or affiliates of the bloodthirsty, the stats for a pilot and the person who tells the mooks to line up but isn't the Captain. They're nothing amazing, but the word count is good enough to make them feel useable and important, so if it were just them I'd probably skew towards 3/5, as it's mostly good fluff when I wanted new crunch/fluff hybrids. But then we get to:

It then has a write-up for a Ghost-Blooded captain, who is kinda cool and gets (new) Charms along with artefact armour. For something new, and a cool character, this is 5/5.

On the "Sailing" front, the write-up adds to the setting, and includes a new bonus for ships, and a shiny naval stratagem for added strategery. This would be enough to bump it up from its average of 4/5, but...

The reason it isn't 5/5 is that the write-up makes "heavy reference" to an Exigent (who is the boss of the Bloodthirsty, pretty sure they're the most-mentioned character in the pdf) who is not included. I want this NPC available, and as an Exigent I have no idea what to make of them.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adversaries of the Righteous: The Blood Thirsty
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Adversaries of the Righteous: Cynis Borok and Regara Feria
by Ivan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2018 05:40:58

Two Dragon-Blooded with full write-ups, their own goals, and tips for dropping them into your campaign.

One, Ragara the admiral, comes with a new artefact weapon and 2 Evocations. 5/5

The other, Cynis the satrap of some failine area, is relatively simple by comparison, with no new bells or whistles. I think he wins 4/5 for being interesting enough to put in, but as he doesn't actually add anything unless you use him, or ideas from him.

That said, they're interesting and highly useable characters, and I'll go for 5/5 overall thanks to that.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adversaries of the Righteous: Cynis Borok and Regara Feria
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Hundred Devils Night Parade: Eight Tailed Mole Hound and Mahicara, the Volcanic Earthwalker
by Ivan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2018 05:15:27

8-Tailed Mole Hounds are burrowing, armoured, and plain strange doggos which make an excellent contribution to the world. I would pick one as my familiar. They do not completely replace dog/wolfs. Much awoo 5/5

Mahicara is a titan who could probably take your Circle. If I were running a game set outside the Blessed Isle, I'd totally consider bringing him in to stomp all over someone's city. On the other hand, I reckon that I'll have to wait. Ah well, worth the money for the awesome thing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hundred Devils Night Parade: Eight Tailed Mole Hound and Mahicara, the Volcanic Earthwalker
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Hundred Devils Night Parade: Cloud Person & Fang Blossom
by Ivan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2018 05:06:19

I'm glad I bought this.

Haughty Cloud People, Air Elementals who just wanna talk philosophy, are a pretty cool inclusion. They have a few Charms to cement their archetype as "weird, evasive, and wise" including an offensive Eclipse Charm. They're written so that they look like they can be used in several different ways, and they make quite good inclusions in any game that could use voyeurs from up above with a penchant for astrology.

Fang Blossoms are Audrey IIs. They look like they might even count as a boss encounter if fighting a bunch of PCs at a lower power level than Solars. Against Solars, they're a cool and interesting speedbump, or potential use for a green thumb.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hundred Devils Night Parade: Cloud Person & Fang Blossom
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Adversaries of the Righteous: The Broker and Ifraja the Librarian
by Ivan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/18/2018 04:59:43

These two characters are quite interesting, and for the chump change I picked them up for I'm certainly not going to say I expected something awesome.

Ifraja is cool, a crotetchy sorceror with a new spell and a new shaping ritual. He's cool and kinda interesting, especially if you want a desert game or a wandering magician.

The Broker is an archetype that they don't quite live up to, being that they're a fully burned character who still has some serious difficulties compared to a social-focused Exalted who has no Charms. They come with 2 bodyguards, who are QCs with basic enough stats you'll waltz past them ("The Sentry" rolls 5 dice for noticing you coming, "The Guard" has a 6-die attack roll)



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Adversaries of the Righteous: The Broker and Ifraja the Librarian
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Hundred Devils Night Parade: Elephant/Mammoth and Fulope
by Ivan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/17/2018 06:58:02

This is a weird combo, and I boguht it for the Elephants. That said, I stayed for the Fulope.

The Elephant/Mammoth stats are kinda straightforward, albeit with a cool (latent) ability for them to be taught, and with storyteller tactics to underline their role in a battle. I wanted mammoth riders in my campaign, and I love elephants, so they'll see use, but they're fundamentally something I could have written myself, mostly, and so I can't really rate them more then 3/5. +1 Because elephants.

Then I decided to review this other thing I got with it. "Fulope" is a "Choral Equestrian" and is basically a First-Circle demon who is a Yeerk from Anipmorphs (or a Host from the Hosts) that loves to sing; complete with poesession rules and the ability to use its host to sing well. I think it's a cool concept, and it looks like it works really fucking well, so I'm basically going to rate it 4/5. If it had even a single Eclipse Charm, I'd probably up it to 5/5, but I'm basically feeling moody right now.

Overall, it's a solid 4/5. I'm going to include mammoths in my game anyway, but now I have ideas for how to include a poesessed singer too...



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hundred Devils Night Parade: Elephant/Mammoth and Fulope
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Hundred Devils Night Parade: Mouse of the Sun and Rantai
by Ivan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/17/2018 06:44:35

For chump change, you can own the stats and fluff for: 1) The Mouse of the Sun. The perfect companion for any Solar too interested in subtlety to walk around with a Tyrant Lizard. These sneaky bastards are up there with awesome companions, and have enough interesting abilities that I think they're worth picking up. (They're a 3-dot familiar, and work with Solars) 2) The Plague of the Sun. The mice above can spread this plague. It's nice to have a new disease, especially one which represents the Unconquered Sun getting involved. 3) Rantai. Quite scary (especially vs battlegroups, and for Solars "scary" is relative) ghost-chaining death-dealers who have 2 Charms with the Eclipse keyword.

If it cost £6 (it's a quarter that amount) I'd definitely say it's more of a 3/4-star deal, because there isn't anything earth-shattering in there. That said, I'm definitely glad ot have spent this money on this product, and I have about 5 story ideas from these things alone.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hundred Devils Night Parade: Mouse of the Sun and Rantai
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Demon Translation Guide
by Anton G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2018 10:30:58

If you're a die-hard fan of Demon: the Fallen like I am, and practically had a heart attack when you saw that this was getting made, then let my words spare you the coronary: this thing's a bust. What we have here is a valiant, but ultimately slap-dash attempt to construct a translation guide that instead comes across as an incredibly one-sided and imbalanaced. It pains me to write this, as there are some solid things going on in the book, and some neat ideas in play, but Onyx Path simply didn't put in the effort necessary to make this what it needed to be. There is a lot to say, but I'll keep my critique to three main points.

  1. Poor organizaition: The TG attempts to give fluid rules for porting characters between systems, but unfortunately ends up creating a slurry of information, where Descent info blends together with Fallen info, making it hard to keep the two separarate. In addition, there are some strange redundancies with some things, particularly Merits (Pacts are still listed as a Merit, but that Merit has been replaced by the Thrall Merit, which is itself difficult to find). Further, none of the Lores have explicitly spelled-out dice pools, and attempting to decipher which Attributes and Skills are needed for each is tedious and inefficient. Overall, the book shoud have been organized with greater distinction.

  2. A lot of missing data: the TG covers character conversion and basic powers, but says nothing about some of the most critical systems from the old game, such as empowering Thralls, rituals from the old Player's Guide, or rules for exorcism and the devouring of demons by their peers post mortem. These missing pieces of info make attempting to run D:tF with the new rules incredily frustrating, as players have fewer rescources to give their characters, and STs will be left struggling to help their players complete common demon-related tasks.

  3. The Apocalyptic Powers: possibly the most infurating part of the whole book, instead of going through the Demon Player's Guide and methodically converting each power for the sake of clarity and conciseness, and perhaps altering or trimming some away to keep things clean and efficient, OP instead opted to simply convert some powers and treat the rest as rebranded versions of powers from D:tD. This causes a host of redundancies as well as some bizarre alterations to the designs of some powers that in no way mirrors their orginal function or intent, and can potentially derail a character concept. This is the most egregious sin, for not only does it make porting a character over incredibly messy, but it undermines Fallen in favor of keeping Descent at the fore, and makes it seem as though OP is putting Fallen in the backseat in favor of highlighting Descent.

In conclusion, the Demon Translation Guide is a competent work, and the rule conversions therein are a fitting update for bringing Fallen into the CoD system, but its glaring flaws and poor organization make it difficult to use at best, and an absolute nightmare at worst. I leave here an open statement to the staff at Onyx Path:

Dear Mss. and Messrs.,

I understand that creating works like this is a monumental undertaking, and your efforts must not be overlooked, but if you want to create something that fans will appreciate, and more importantly buy, you must ensure that the necessary effort is put into it. If this means putting more writers on the project, prolonging development, or even making a Kickstarter page for it, then do it, because I guarantee that a legion of loyal patrons and fans like myself are ready and willing to contribute to see the game we love so much be reborn, and you will enjoy both critical praise and financial success in the long-run.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Demon Translation Guide
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C20 Book of Freeholds
by Christopher G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/09/2018 17:56:53

A great addition to the Changeling 20th anniversary line, the Book of Freeholds expands and expounds on what freeholds are and how to use them in a game easily, with clear and evocative examples which can be used as is, or mined for ideas on making your own. The writing manages to be both concise and illustrative at the same time, packing in usable content in a limited page count. The art, while sparse, is well used, often amusing, and in all cases nice to look at. The book is full of inspiration for both players and storytellers and i have already incorporated some of the elements from it into my game. I highly recommend this addition to the C20 game line and hope to see more of this quality in the future.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
C20 Book of Freeholds
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Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition: The Dark Ages
by Elizabeth M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/04/2018 18:41:13

This was just what I needed. I'm getting into the Dark Ages with my gaming group. This was on sale randomly right around when I needed to pick up a copy.

The art is amazing.

The layout? Beautiful and perfect. It's such an easy read.

The text itself just made me fall in love with this edition to the Vampire collection. I also loved that with this pdf you could click on the chapter or section inb the table of contents and jump right to what you want to read. Not all of the Onyx Path pdfs I already have do that. This is the perfect feature for someone who wants to cheery pick their way through the book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition: The Dark Ages
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