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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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Signs of the Moon
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2013 14:18:11
A superbly presented and very humane piece of literature. Every page reflects the best possible digital care and attention to detail. They were made by a sculptor's hand and the content was written by the most creative of White Wolf's staff. The auspices were well documented in the Core Rulebook and referred to elsewhere, but Signs of the Moon gives them the proper exposure they deserve. The writers perform the chore of making them distinctive very well. Every auspice is very distinct, but all combined, they meld together to make a fine, liquid metal that can take many forms.

The hand written segments are a brilliant reminder of the now fading art of handwriting. They recreate very real accounts of werewolves. What is inscribed feels like living beings putting their thoughts to paper. The several forms of writing styles help make each of the notes in the narrative compelling in the sense that they create a menagerie of different personalities and perspectives. Each one introduces completely different circumstances and attitudes. No auspice is at all like, but they all come together to help form a whole. Not one of them is described the same way, creating a rich diversity of possibilities in the process.

It´s a pleasure to look and read in equal measure. For learning, it´s indispensable, for art, it´s a treasure.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Signs of the Moon
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The Rage: Forsaken Player's Guide
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/21/2013 14:00:07
There is useful information in this book. The different mentalities of the Tribes of the Moon, introduced in the Core Rulebook, are developed more and the internal chemistry of each of them is elaborated on well. The passages about what is needed to join a tribe or pack are well written and the Ghost Wolves section is especially enlightening. The part that discusses how the Forsaken in different countries cope with their surroundings, in different countries presents some interesting ideas that can be to craft detailed stories. They will stick in the reader's minds and can aid very well in the creation of Forsaken literature.

However, this volume doesn't add many new ideas, overall. It mostly expands upon what has already been written before. The concept of the clutch and the extra gifts are original and handy, but what makes this book worth buying is the greater depth it can give to the Forsaken and it can enlarge the sphere of knowledge of how their minds work. In order to have pleased me enough to give The Rage a better rating, it would have had to have come up with more fresh material.

Whatever faults the book has, however, it makes up for them by delving deeper into the methodology and psychology of the Forsaken, how they organize their packs and how they relate to newcomers. Readers of role playing will find facts and explanations worthy of praise and implementation in.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Rage: Forsaken Player's Guide
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The War Against the Pure
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/12/2013 13:25:39
War is a complex subject. There is more to it than anyone who has not studied military history and organization realize. The level of expertise and knowledge must be high for anyone to write about the subject of how open armed conflict works, what tactics are used, how the participants partake of it. Thankfully, War against the Pure provides all the tools writers will need in order to familiarize themselves with how to start and fight a war. The concepts of chivalry, structure, warlords and the followers of war are all generously provided in this volume. For those who wish to pit the Forsaken, or the Pure, depending on which side you wish to take, against their mortal enemy, this book is definitely one you should own.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The War Against the Pure
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The Pure
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/12/2013 13:20:35
Part barbaric prose, part realist material, the Pure is an impressive installment. It makes the Pure a separate and unique entity very well, although the issue of rape and the vulgar use of profanity to define the tribe in Chapter 1, may be very off-putting. It certainly was for me and there were certain other references in the book that were needlessly unpleasant. This is a shame, because the rest of the book is very compelling. The art is as succulent and awe inspiring as ever and the Pure are very well defined and plausible in terms of both their natures and their goals.

I would have certainly awarded this book a five star rating, hadn't it been for the bouts of bad taste contained within. White Wolf, unfortunately, has always suffered from a tendency to lean on the cruel and sadistic. The Pure could have done without both and even the art suffers from it in parts. However, the whole outweighs the sum of its parts and this piece of literature is an admirable title that ought to find its way into your library. It'll help add flavor and diversity to your stories. Just skip the parts on sexual and physical abuse and you'll be drawn deeply into the text.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Pure
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Tribes of the Moon
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/12/2013 13:12:49
This book breathes incredible life into the Tribes of Mother Luna. It explores each of the five tribes of the Forsaken in very interesting and informative ways. The Core Rulebook of the Forsaken introduced each of them well and gave useful examples for narrators to use, but Tribes of the Moon develops them in very imaginative and thought provoking ways. Of all the books you will need in order to write stories about the Forsaken, you should read this one to gain a better understanding of how their society works. Each of the five tribes is distinct and the information about them can bring many ideas to mind, both subtle and brutal.

Buy this book if you want to have a more complete knowledge of Forsaken werewolves.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Tribes of the Moon
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Archons and Templars
by Paul H. D. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/02/2013 13:28:01
A very handy guide for narrators who wish to include the vaunted agents of justice and order in their stories for Vampire the Masquerade. It details these two agents in great detail. It is one of the best examples of how White Wolf could specialize in a subject and deliver an insightful piece of work. Besides the Guides to the Sects and Ghoul: Fatal Addiction, Children of the Night and Havens of the Damned, Archons and Templars is one of the core essential books to buy. All combined these volumes will make a complete circle that will make a decent writer for White Wolf's classic version of the Vampire out of anyone.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Archons and Templars
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Damnation City: District Map Segments
by Guy H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2013 17:25:59
Very flexible and useful district maps without names or other identifying features. Not geomorphs in the sense that they don't fit together, but useful when you're building your own modern city. Also has cool Google Sketchup 3d illustrations about the effects of different types of buildings on the same street plans, thus illustrating the versatility of these maps. They work well with the Damnation City sourcebook to provide a guide to building your own city.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Damnation City: District Map Segments
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