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The Monsters: A Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition Quickstart
by Nicholas K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2018 16:08:23

The development of 5th edition of Vampire The Masquerade continues to be, in my opinon, a disaster.

This is a game that has forsaken a great deal of its identity and character in exchange for gimmick mechanics and odd changes. In terms of identity the game presents itself as an unusual chimera between Masquerade and Requiem. Attributes, skills, and even disciplines follow the examples and philosophies of Requiem, when they're not completely new inventions with no bearing in previous editions. Now I have no problem with Requiem, its a fine game, but it is distinct from Masquerade, and I feel that both games are being done a disservice with this edition. With this drastic mechanical change over it is difficult for me to convert a character from a previous editon to this one while maintianing the crunch of the character, a feat that was very easy previously.

A far more distressing change, however, is the relience on hunger dice. This is a gimmick mechanic that takes control away from the player and bases their actions on the whims of a die. The idea of the "messy critical" in particular is a sore point for me, as it forceully usurps the control of a character away from the player for cheap shock and "drama".

Furthermore, this direction makes me very concerned for future game line in the 5th edition bannerhead. the sheer flipancy of changes wrought in this edition give me concern for how the identity of future gamelines will be handeled, and what new methods of undermining player agency these developers will concoct.

That being said, we have not seen all of the systems and options that will be advaliable in the final relese. It is important to remember that this is a snapshot meant for a very broad audience. But it is that snap shot that I have to go on and make my judgments concerning. While I o hold out hope that the final product will be strong I am unfourtunately very discouraged by this. While it is better than the initial beta that was shown, I have severe philisophical qualms with the direction they are taking the game.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
The Monsters: A Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition Quickstart
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SotM's Guide to Storytelling
by Arby S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2018 06:02:09

I gave this book five stars for very good reasons.

First, the layout, Secrets of the Masquerade has made a commendable job as far as art direction goes, with a mixture of some familiar pieces from previous editions as well as new and exclusive art. It is readable, easy on the eyes and well designed.

Second, the content, the book include a header on the impact of games in our day, as well as a few points on how role-playing games in particular are an excellent tool for fun and education, if done right. It contain some tips on role-playing delicate topics such as religion and politics, which are pervasive theme in a game such as Vampire. There are tips and insight on creating long-lasting and short stories, the structure of a role playing game, and creating a setting that is true to the real places, not to mention a deep look at the psychology of kindred. And a lot more.

Overall, the book is a must have for any ST looking for helpful tips on enriching their games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SotM's Guide to Storytelling
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Progenitors Crash Cart, Issue 2
by Josh H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/22/2018 21:03:19

When I'm planning to run a game I'll skim through books to pick up ideas, thought forms, and strings of concepts that I can utilize to hang a story on. The great thing about this book is that it provides that in heaps with Chapter 2. The NPC, Dr. Grillard is amazing, and I won't spoil anything, but he is a very dark and purposeful beast. He would be a villain I would easily pull into a chronicle. Then, there are the Rolling 13s, who are an awesome group for folks to bring into their Florida based games. So, win-win on the NPC concept front.

Then, for those of you that love your crunch, you've got Chapter 3 and 4, which provide Enhancements and Procedures that you can use for either Dr. Grillard, or other Progenitors that you might use in your own games. So, for this price, the book is 100% worth every dime, regardless of the types of things you are interested in getting out of a book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Progenitors Crash Cart, Issue 2
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Veneto by Night
by DSC T. G. C. _. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/22/2018 18:47:35

Found the book well organized and interesting.

The English version of the book was quite an interesting read. The background of the three princes presented in the book, we quite detailed would make for an interesting story to play out. This book is a welcome addition to any storyteller's library. We highly recommend this book for any storyteller planning to play a game set in Italy.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Veneto by Night
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Vicissitude Expanded
by William D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2018 20:22:29

This is an incredibly well put together supplement that any Fiend should have in their library. It's worth every penny.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vicissitude Expanded
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for the wonderful review William! By all means let us know either via here or on Discord how we might add something you think you'd like to see covered!
Vampire: The Dark Ages Companion
by Eugene S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2018 20:19:34

I'm glad I bought this on sale. THERE IS NO EXCUSE NOT TO HAVE BOOKMAKES ON THIS PDF.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Dark Ages Companion
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Bloodlines From The Vault Vol. I
by William D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2018 19:20:22

I debated for a bit about buying this product. I couldn't tell if this was a compilation or not. I'd really encourage the writers to update the summary of this product to explicitly state this is a sampler of their individual products. It doesn't contain the full content. I definitely would have changed my purchase to individual books.

The product as presented could use some polish. The cover is missing from the pdf, and a table of contents wouldn't be remiss. I'd really encourage the writers to get a third party to do some editting. I noticed errors like "heaven" instead of "haven" and "Just dunce!" instead of "Just dance!". I found the different colored pages jilting, but that might be a personal preference. I couldn't tell if they were to color code the different bloodlines or if they were pulled from the separate books that way. Those suggestons aside this book was really well put together. The layout work looked pretty professional. Glancing through it could be mistaken for an official White Wolf product. The concepts for these bloodlines are really neat.

Again this is only a sample of the writers' full works. If you're interested in perusing these bloodlines before investing in the individual books it's a good buy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Bloodlines From The Vault Vol. I
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Beckett’s Vampire Folio 1: Carna’s ReBellion
by William D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2018 18:43:16

I was rather impressed with the quality of this companion to Beckett's Jyhad Diary. If you intend to use the Diary for a campaign I would highly recommend this series. This volume contains stats for Carna, Parovich, Hrothulf, Lucina, Mark Decker, Ceserae Contaldo, Okulos, Akawa and Jacob/Esau. My only suggestion would be to update the summary so potential buyers know who's in each folio.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Beckett’s Vampire Folio 1:  Carna’s ReBellion
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Clanbook Chupacabra
by William D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2018 18:31:04

Clanbook Chupacabra is a short entry (23 pags) into the Storyteller's Vault. It's based on the interesting premise of a Puerto Rican bloodline, the Chupacabra. I'd really like to see a revised edition to fully realize the potential of the writer's concept. The writer should consider finding an editor to help them polish their product. I'd also recommend revamping the signature discipline, Miasma, and the bloodline's flaw. I'm not sure I understand the mechanics of Miasma's levels, and the flaw is too punitive. I'll happily update my review if there is a revised edition.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Clanbook Chupacabra
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Who's Who Among Vampires: Children of the Inquisition
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/13/2018 17:00:42

While I like this book as a sort of "coffe table" book a book with a bunch of NPCs with tales. Not particularly useful in most games but a fun read none the less.

However, I think they should put in the description that the PDF is missing the cover.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Who's Who Among Vampires: Children of the Inquisition
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SotM's one shots - Mens Sana
by John M. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/13/2018 12:01:56

This is a fantastic supplement that presents all the tools required to run a short campaign of personal horror in any modern Vampire: The Masquerade city. If you would like to read more of my thoughts then you can find them HERE



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
SotM's one shots - Mens Sana
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Dark New England Regional Sourcebook
by Shannon H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/11/2018 17:07:49

Dark New England Regional Sourcebook is a misnomer.

Dark New England is part history lesson in the geography, cultures, history textbook (indigenous, colonial and current) for the entirety of the area, and also a sourcebook that gives you a nearly overwhelming amount of data to incorporate into your own Vampire: the Masquerade Chronicle.

Now, being relatively new to the Storytellers Vault, I must state from the outset that I was both surprised and unprepared for the sheer size of this thing. The book comes in at 250 pages, which by anyone’s count represents a respectable sourcebook for any game, much less a “setting book.” But see, that’s the thing: this is where Dark New England Regional Sourcebook primarily succeeds. It is not just a “setting book.” Dark New England Regional Sourcebook handles geography from Maine down to Connecticut, sure, and there are most definitely important places and landmarks expressed within its pages, but there is also so much more. There are internal politics within the Camarilla, the Independent Clans, and Sabbat that are at work within New England. Very special attention-to-detail is paid to the Native American peoples who inhabited New England during the early settlement of the Europeans within the colonies, and this is an important benchmark for the book.

My first concern was “Man... this seems like a LOT of vampires to have running around New England for such a small geographical area and for a population that isn’t all that massive, doesn’t it?” but when you take into acound the dynamics of the vampires’ movement throughout New England, and how they don’t just stick to one place all of the time or forever, but more to the point, they rotate through the area, it all becomes a little “cleaner.” My second concern was the LACK OF SALEM. “Aw come on, Shannon! Salem is a tourist trap outside Boston.

Yeah... but that makes it fun.

BUT, there is a FANTASTIC opportunity use the information provided within this book to work up Salem as a Verbena or Euthanatos-held strongpoint. So there is most definitely that.

Three Chronicle “Jumpstarts” are included that were previously released – with the same generalized settings – as those collected in Dark New England. While these were previously released on the Storytellers Vault before Dark New England, they are gathered here all together WITH the setting information and with a ton of background information on the entirety of the setting itself, which more than justifies the double-dip.

PROS: I have seen MANY “community-generated Sourcebooks/Settingbooks” in my time. None of them – not even those I helped to write (I worked on a thing a decade-and-a-half ago for Ex Libris Nocturnis called “World of Darkness: Bergen” that WISHES it had been this book) are half as impressive. The sheer amount of research and care that went into the histories of the states, the colonies that came before the states, the beauty of the photographs that are used within the pages of the book... it’s all top-notch stuff. It is a truly INSPIRING book for anyone endeavoring to do something “big” for the Storytellers Vault to look at, and for a Vampire: the Masquerade Storyteller, it is a SOLID resource that, in my opinion, beats the pants off of “Dark Colony.”

CONS: There’s almost too much information for one book. Seriously. If such a thing is possible, the author is running real close to critical mass. My suggestion would be to take this book and digest it one state at a time rather than trying to devour all New England altogether as one, huge meal. If you focus on say, Boston first and then move outwards from there, you’ll be golden.

INTERESTING BITS: Achinkxat, Maxinkwelësëwakàn and Lëpweokàn “Clans,” for one, make the top of this list. Now, were it me, I probably would have set them up as Bloodlines rather than Clans. But that’s just me, and I didn’t write the book. I understand completely. These three Clans are the Descendants of the Three Sisters. Now... if you’re a Werewolf: the Apocalypse player or Storyteller who also likes or wants to dabble in Vampire: the Masquerade? This book presents the best interpretation of Native American/Spiritually-preoccupied vampires that I have ever seen. In a lot of ways, when you’re reading it, it almost falls into a HYBRID of the Kindred and the Keui-Jin in regard to the spirituality aspect that I really dug a whole lot. I thought it was a very interesting approach to World of Darkness vampires that isn’t just “more of the same.”

The sheer volume of NPC templates that this book provides is absolutely staggering. Trust me.

At the end of the day? If you're looking for a comprehensive, well-developed, attractive Source/Settingbook for Vampire: the Masquerade that you're bound to get a ton of miles out of? Then Dark New England Regional Sourcebook is a must have.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark New England Regional Sourcebook
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Emerald Valley by Night
by DSC T. G. C. _. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2018 11:00:37

Emerald City by Night struck a cord with most of our players. The book does focus on the importance of Humanity which a lot of newer books have unfortunately abandoned. The setting reminds us alot of when we were playing 1st edition, where one's struggle with their inner beast was more important that a quest for power.

The descriptions of the area provide an interesting setting in which to run game. The Red Hollow story seed, provides a dark and eerie element, that has losts of potential to explore. The npcs have rich history and a developed well, which help provide potential story threads.

The section on new flaws and merits is well done, and they can be used in any campaign setting. We particularly liked the Brujah merits.

The one area the book is lacking is formating. The background used when combined with the font used with for most of the text, make it a little difficulut to read. The words don't stand out well.

We strongly recommend this book as a welcome addition to any storyteller's library.

PS: Emerald City by Night also references other storyteller vault products particularlly Rose City by Night by Rachel Judd. We found it nice to see a storyteller vault product that helped unite the community content into one unified setting.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
Emerald Valley by Night
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Anarchs of Ireland: A Cause of Generations
by Lorcan D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2018 05:46:53

Very succinct and clever adaption of Irish history to the vampire setting, looking forward to using this material in my own chronicle set here in Ireland.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Anarchs of Ireland: A Cause of Generations
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Bloodline Cambridge A Daytona By Night Supplement
by John M. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/06/2018 15:31:22

I very rarely give 5 stars to a ST Vault product, however the Bloodline Book: Cambridge definitely falls into this category. I cannot recommend it enough! If you want to see a full review, I have wrote one HERE, or you could just buy the book...



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bloodline Cambridge A Daytona By Night Supplement
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