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Until Dawn - Revised
Until Dawn - Revised
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Guide to the Camarilla
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/27/2013 06:47:07
The quality of the scan could have been much better. The alignment of the pages is acceptable, but shows a marked disinterest in presentation, which, in the last pages of the book becomes even more profound. Compared to other products that have been scanned in, this book is disappointing from a professional standpoint. Also, the scan-lines in the images make them seem somewhat haphazardly included.

The content of the book is well recorded, nonetheless. All the text is well intact and can be read at high magnification without blurring. The misalignment of the text can be viewed as a very old-fashioned way of presenting manuscripts, which is still used by RPG developers today. The passages are clear and no information is missing from the volume. It is all included and some of the more hand drawn art is actually well preserved and as impressive as the original hard cover ones.

Since the majority of PDF's of VTM on this sight are high quality Original Electronic documents, I feel that an exception can be made in the case of Guide to the Camarilla. It could have been one too, but the original one was damaged and White Wolf had to compensate by scanning in a copy of the actual book. They could have done a better job, but the one they did was satisfactory. I only own the scanned image PDF file, but I do imagine that a print copy of it, thanks in part to the larger paper used, would look alright. It wouldn't be as perfectly aligned as a properly designed book, but it would still be clear and appeal to both the mind and the eye.

Don't let the average quality of the file get you down. Modern printing methods and enough concern to make the book a digital product was put into this book. The content does outweigh the faults.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Guide to the Camarilla
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Clanbook: Toreador - Revised Edition
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2013 15:01:43
Groundbreaking and enlightening are the best words to describe this installment of the series. Upon initial inspection, Clan Toreador appears to be a decadent clan of sybarites that leech off human arts, lacking in intelligent judgement. This book redeems the Toreador in my eyes. It fleshes them out and gives them a much greater personality and depth than the Core Rule Books of all editions. The goals of the Toreador become much more tangible once you read about them in this volume, so it is highly recommended that you purchase Clanbook: Toreador. There is more to this seemingly hollow clan than meets the eye.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Clanbook: Toreador - Revised Edition
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Clanbook: Ventrue - Revised Edition
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2013 14:55:15
Brilliant in every respect. The history of clan Ventrue is very thoroughly told, in such a way that links to human history very intuitively. The nature of the clan is well described and its organization is explained magnificently. The traits and abilities add fresh and well conceived new options for Ventrue Vampires to choose from.

An ideal writing aid for those want to specifically use this clan in their works of fiction.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Clanbook: Ventrue - Revised Edition
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Ordo Dracul
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2013 12:27:31
A well planned piece of work, Ordo Dracul brings into focus one of the men who made the Vampire a success in the first place, Count Dracula. It was always widely assumed that he was a loner, a hermit, isolationist, or any other of the secluded types, but now, this book casts him in a very different light. The notion that he has followers is evocative and a fitting tribute to his name. The history, various titles and how the Covenant relates to other kindred is enterprisingly documented. There are many layers to the followers of Count Dracula and the various clan members who follow the edicts of his organization. Each one perceive each other differently, but well enough to follow the common goal of the covenant.

From the front cover to the very end, the art is explicit and terrifying in places, but superbly designed. The digital quality of this title is nigh on perfect and fans of Vampire could make great monuments of the various images contained within this volume.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ordo Dracul
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Vampire: The Requiem
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2013 12:20:49
The art of the front and inlay covers, as well as various digital pieces throughout have suffered from overt compression, as one of my fellow reviewers has mentioned. This is a pity, because the drawings and graphics of White Wolf have always been very appealing and the ones in this volume are inventively designed. White Wolf should have used the weaker compression method that they used for their future products.

However, the text and original artwork survives and makes the Requiem worth these unfortunate glitches. The information contained in this remake of Vampire reinvents the wheel impressively. The five clans and five covenants add new ideas, as well as reinstate original ones with great flare for the dramatic and intrigue. The Masquerade was more complex and much time is needed to absorb its many concepts, but the Requiem admirably takes the best it had to offer, reduce the overall content and added new organizations and names, to very pleasing effect.

The covenants are a thoughtful invention and help better unify the Vampire Clans. A reduction in the number of clans and bloodlines leads to a slightly narrower focus, which allows readers and writers alike to let the information soak in a little better. The writers preserve the Gothic mysticism and personality of the vampire well and introduce thoughtful new features, such as the Ordo Dracul, created by the legendary Count Dracula and maps of two select venues to place a Vampire chronicle.

Anything done with the intent of bettering a genre, and, or presenting new forms and ways for a society, group, or even an individual is a noteworthy deed. The Requiem writers did both and give the Vampire a new lease on life. Buy this book if you wish to explore new ways the Vampire takes to further his existence and those of his fellow kindred.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Requiem
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Manual of Exalted Power: Lunars
by Charles C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2013 20:59:08
The book does suffer from White Wolf's continuing indexing failures, but it is a must for running a game where you intend any Lunar interaction for your group, or if you want to run a Lunar game. Some of the Lunar rules are a bit cumbersome, but considering the nature of the Lunars it's not surprising. A good Index of the Charms especially the Gift and Fury Charms would much improve the book's use.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Manual of Exalted Power: Lunars
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Havens of the Damned
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2013 13:28:06
Where the vampires dwell and who decides where to live is unveiled nicely in this volume. From the mystic, Gothic houses to the most urban of settings, Havens of the Damned adorably details what places Vampires chose to call home. Each one is given its own section and is very authentic. The artwork of this book is certainly quite evocative and will give you a very enticing first impression of what a vampireĀ“s den looks like. If you want to use one of the templates offered in this supplement, or use what you find in it to develop your own, Havens of the Damned is a must.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Havens of the Damned
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Laws of the Night (Revised)
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2013 13:24:05
Clear and concise, Laws of the Night redelivers the most useful information about Vampire the Masquerade. The clans are fantastically details in the simplest and most straightforward of ways. No elaborate explanations of anything are given. It might seem a little minimalist to the unobservant, but when you read this book in depth, you will quickly realize that it contains the best of the Masquerade synthesized into a smaller volume, keeping the most important details and actually making them easier to understand. At times White Wolf's writers overdeveloped certain ideas, making them seem a little too dense or overtly elaborate, but Laws of the Night cuts them down to perfect size. Buy this book if you want a quick, yet complete reference to Vampire. For people like me, who are currently in the process of reading V20, Laws of the Night will serve as a fine future reminder and refresher of what was discovered before.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Laws of the Night (Revised)
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Counsel of Primogen
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/19/2013 13:16:37
Counsel of Primogen excellently develops the concept of the vampires that guide and influence their princes. The titles, internal chemistry of the Primogen, the inner mechanics of each of the different kinds of Primogen, how they relate to their princes and the rest of Vampire society, is expertly revealed. Writers who wish to create stories involving the Camarilla are strongly advised to read this source book. It will highlight how the Vampires relate to each other on the highest levels and explain how their politics work in their various ways. First, read Guide to the Camarilla and then pick up a copy of this book. You will have a well rounded knowledge base to start your stories with.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Counsel of Primogen
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Proverbial Monsters
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/19/2013 05:42:27
Proverbial Monster is a short and sweet collection of interesting scenarios and antagonists for the World of Darkness, perhaps best used in Changeling and Mortals games. It gives an interesting air of folklore to the games and helps spark the imagination to go back and look at certain sayings and customs in society and cultures and see how they may have roots in the supernatural.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Proverbial Monsters
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Predators
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/10/2013 05:54:56
A continuation of the information on the shadow world from the Core Rule Book, Predators offers aspiring authors the kind of creatures that make worthy foes for the Forsaken to tackle, or allies of the Pure to make. The spirit creatures included in this book are diverse and well thought of. They make admirable use of the imagination and the way werewolves relate to them is well documented. Aside from the Pure, Tribes of the Moon, Signs of the Moon and Territories, Predators helps complete the overall picture of the World of Darkness's Shadow World. It will give you the means to create your own protagonists, and, or, antagonists for your pieces of writing, big and small.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Predators
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Territories
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/06/2013 02:37:00
A smaller, but nonetheless necessary addition to the Forsaken library. The examples of territory, totem and pack are well described and, with the right authors, could be a central component of any Forsaken narrative. As always, diversity of ideas plays a strong role in the execution of this book. Buy it if you want to better develop the surroundings and inhabitants for your works of fictions.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Territories
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Caine's Chosen: The Black Hand
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/26/2013 13:32:10
Indeed, the Black Hand is well described, its organization is explained in efficient detail, its sphere of operations is well covered. I do agree, however, that examples of campaigns and characters would have greatly enhanced the quality of this book. There is much to be gleamed about the Black Hand from this title, but a sample of what it is like to be a member of a tribe a pack, an organization, is a method that the writer's of White Wolf did not employ in this particular installment and it leaves the book somewhat unfinished.

However, it is a solid addition to the line and no Sabbat worshiper should be without it. They can learn much from reading Caine's Chosen.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Caine's Chosen: The Black Hand
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Requiem for Rome
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/25/2013 11:19:35
I purchased this in preparation for a historical chronicle begining in the late years of the Roman Empire. This book is absolutely amazing in detail, depth and information. It provides specific dates for the history of the Camarilla, as well as a detail chapter on splats from the perspective of this era, including a new Clan: the Julii. Included in this is rules, disciplines and rituals for the time period plus the most evocative and terrifying antagonists of the Kindred: the Strix. This book is more geared to the players in the group and serves as a Players Handbook per se. The companion volume "Fall of the Camarilla" is the full lenght chronicle and ST Handbook. This book really sets the standard for historical gaming in the Vampire Requiem setting and even allows for characters to change the course of Kindred history.

Importante note: You will need the Requiem core and World of Darkness core to use this book.

Here is a quick run-down of each chapter:

Forward: The Deathless City by Kenneth Hite
Very evocative Intro fiction by one of White Wolf luminaries. It felt as if I was being relentlessly run down by a Roman legion--could not put it down. It is a very hard hitting section and I couldn't get those horrible images painted of Rome out of my head. Very appropriate.

Prologue: The developer talks about the reason for making this book, and the importance for the time period in Kindred history.

Introduction: Basic primer on how to use this book, complete with film, movie, and literature references. There is description of theme and mood, as well as a lexicon.

Chapter One: The History of Rome
This chapter does a great job of not being dry and covering (in broad strokes)the key points in the history of Rome from fabled beginnings to the bitter end. There are cross-references within this chapter giving historical context to kindred in Rome. They too, are caught up in the machine of The Great Republic. There is a great sidebar on each page that moves you through the timeline for quick reference.

Interlude I: Additional background info essential to the setting.

Chapter Two: Player's Guide
This section descrives in detail the Camarilla. The Camarilla is a very structured kindred society with three traditions, and four wings. The three traditions are Dominion, Destruction, and Amaranth. The four wings are The Senex (Wing of the Ancients--they make the law for all kindred, Legio Mortuum (the military wing), The Cult of Augurs (the wing of prophets), and The Peregrine Collegia (basically the wing of bastards). As a kindred in Rome you will belong to at least one of these wings if not more--whether you want to or not. The Lancea Sanctum are recognized, nominally, as an independent organization within the Camarilla. All of these wings/organizations function like covenents in Requiem--each vying for a little bigger piece of the pie. The Lancea Sanctum's power base grows with time, starting out on the bottom and rising near the top toward the end of Rome.
Here you will also find the clans with one omission and one addition. The Julii take the place of the Ventrue and function as primary rulers with the majority of them falling within the Senex wings they are the movers and shakers. They are very much like the Ventrue in discipline and weakness.
This chapter also has era specific merits, devotions, and theban sorcery.

Interlude II: Additional historical background information relevant to this time period.

Chapter Three: Rome and Necropolis
The geographic background chapter. Everything from Iconic locations for scenes (these are great visual tools), what it means to be a Roman citizen free or slave, and some really great rules for debate in Elysium which covers getting frustrated and possibly frenzying when you fail in debate--very Roman stuff here. You can actually loose points in merits if you loose on the floor here. Beware the debate!

Interlude III: As above described.

Chapter Four: Storytelling and Antagonist
The monster chapter: The Strix are described. Complete with numerous types of conflict, sample settings that span the breadth of time and space of the Empire. The Strix are a very creepy supernatural creature that looks like a smokey black bird in it's natural spirit form when it isn't possessing a body, which they do to experience the world. These things are not ghosts, or spirits, they are something older, more sinister, darker than anything else I've read about in other books... and they are linked with the Julii.
Index: Very well written and referenced index with no noticeable errors (those pesky See page XX errors, which are not here).

Epilogue: Closing fiction and hisotircal info.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Requiem for Rome
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Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/24/2013 15:28:23
THE PDF VERSION

The highest quality art and excellent presentation are one of the most compelling things about this book. The colors are all very vivid, the poses of the vampires are imaginative. The gore, in the form of the depictions of decapitation and slit wrists and throat in one illustration, might turn off some and captivate others. In black and white, the images contained within are seriously worth printing to keep monuments of and to stimulate the writer's mind.

THE PRINT VERSION (BLACK AND WHITE)

In grey-scale, the art takes on a classical Gothic, mysterious kind of life. It more accurate represents the Vampire in a way, because it was created by a man in the late 19th century, when color photography was not featured as prominently as it is in today's publications. The models in the book are really attractive, each in their own distinct ways. No two models are alike and the hand drawn illustrations gain a mystical, intriguing quality.

THE BOOK ITSELF

The introduction of the Vampire, the guidance on storytelling are very neatly written and the red headers add a stylish edge. How to write about stories of the Masquerade must be read to know how to begin to fathom the art of writing for beginners and a good reminder for seasoned writers. The essential methods of building a foundation for fiction are brilliantly explained. The titles, statuses clans and sects are very complete, even though some are concisely covered. The worldly archetypes and occupations your vampires can take are described very thoroughly. New or familiar to the genre, you must read the book from stem to stern. It's extensive and a mountain of patience is required in order to finish it, but when you're done, you'll be well-informed and eager to learn more precise details about the Camarilla, the Sabbat, the Anarch movement and the Independents. You'll also be able to build your characters from the ground up, give them their abilities, backgrounds, powers and make them play as prominent a role in your works of fictions as you see fit. The bloodlines will certainly give you fine starting points from which to begin. The ghouls and revenants offer many possibilities, too.

Thank you very much, White Wolf! This is a rebirth of one of the RPG titles that helped set the gears of supernatural fiction into motion.

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