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World of Darkness: Combat
by Nick S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/21/2013 11:02:51
If you think WoD needs to run a bit more like D&D this is your book. While the combat options are decent, they are a bit clunky so expect to spend a fair bit of time, characters points and effort in combat if you want to include this module. WoD:Combat is well written dropping the RP fluff and getting right down to combat details to give you most you can get out of an RPG book but it mostly feels unnecessary for WoD so I'm not sure you will get your money's worth out of it as I can't see using these combat rules with very many stories.

Exalted or D&D are much better suited to more battle heavy games with volumes of combat oriented material written for them. While WoD:Combat does add a bit of spice with new combat abilities and more detailed mechanics it still pales in comparison to games built around combat. I think for most people added extra combat rules to the World of Darkness will feel unnecessary as that isn't really what WoD is all about it. I'd wait for this one to go on sale if you really want the extra combat options with the exception if you are planning on playing Demon Hunter X which I feel will benefit most from WoD:Combat.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
World of Darkness: Combat
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Project Twilight
by Nick S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/21/2013 10:51:00
A solid book for people looking to run a character as part of the government in the World of Darkness. Usually the government is only brought up as being manipulated by the Kindred so these are a lot of good insight into human affairs in this book. The book focus on the USA and is sufficiently different Japan's from Strike Force Zero in Demon Hunter X that it stands on its own even if you already own that book. While most will prefer to play vampires, this book is a must for people looking to play a more average human fighting the good fight rather than a SFO cyber spy, Chi powered martial artist or a Supernatural style rogue hunter driving across the USA in an Impala with the Imbued power. The one downside to this book is it occasionally directs you to get more information from "Hunters Hunted" for a handful of paragraphs in that book which touched the FBI.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Project Twilight
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Orpheus: Haunting the Dead (Novel)
by Flames R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/17/2013 10:25:01
Haunting the Dead features four novellas set in White Wolf’s World of Darkness featuring characters from the Orpheus game line. This is a break from the usual format that White Wolf uses when releasing a new game. Usually there is a fiction anthology featuring several short stories. The novellas in Haunting the Dead allow for more character development and (as with any good ghost story) more plot twists. This was a great idea and I hope White Wolf continues his trend.

The first story, The Grass is Always Greener, by Stefan Petrucha, is the best of the bunch. This story introduces the reader to the world of Orpheus without forcing pages of information down our throats. The author takes through the mind of the main character as she deals with her inner demons while hanging out with a band of misfits. The tension continues up to the very end of the tale, keeping the reader hooked and wanting more. A difficult tale to follow, The Grass is Always Greener, starts off Haunting the Dead with a bang.

The other three stories in Haunting the Dead follow the game material a little more closely than The Grass is Always Greener, featuring the adventures of Orpheus Agents (the type of characters you’d play in the RPG). Eurydice, by Seth Lindberg, is a good tale, but it probably would have made a better full-length novel. It does feature a creepy villain that fans are still discussing on the various Orpheus boards on the web. Dia de los Muertos, by Allen Rausch, and Corridors, by Rick Chillot, are good fiction, and fit the world of Orpheus well…they just are not on the same level as The Grass is Always Greener and to a lesser extent Eurydice.

My hat goes off to Becky Jollensten, who did the cover and book design for Haunting the Dead. Most readers don’t notice these little details, but she did a great job with this book. The design adds just a bit of extra style, complimenting the novellas inside.

This book ties in well with the Orpheus game supplements, but is enjoyable by those who have no knowledge of the game. A great collection of talented authors that should set the standard for new material.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Orpheus: Haunting the Dead (Novel)
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Dust to Dust
by Andrés M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/12/2013 15:51:36
Sometimes we storytellers get out of ideas or we just don't have the time to create a short story out of the blue. And this can be even more difficult if we didn't play Vampire in a while. Thankfully we have Dust to Dust. A short story with interesting characters, a good location and a couple of plot twists that will really get into the characters.

In Dust to Dust we have to visit the decaying city of Gary, Indiana. We will get into an ongoing vendetta between a forsaken Prince and a bored anarch. But things will get really messed up when not one but two tinkerers of the dead come to town. Oh, and a bad ass vampire hunter.

If you need a story to fill up or start your chronicle, or perhaps to play a one shot at a convention, Dust to Dust will be perfect for the job!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dust to Dust
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Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
by David G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2013 10:48:08
This is an amazing product. All the rules are in one place so that gameplay doesn't have to stop while someone digs out some obscure book, all the clans, sects, bloodlines, and powers are here so that frugal players can grab it and have whatever they need. The only downside is that some of the art leaves a little to be desired, but most of the art is phenomenal. If you like V:tM, cWoD, or just White Wolf, pick this up. If you like vampires in general, pick this up, find a group, and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. I got it to replace a revised Core Rulebook that was stolen from me years ago, and I'm almost glad it was stolen now. I got the B&W softcover from Drive Thru, and the quality is amazing. They say there's a thin white edge on all the pages, but it's not a big deal at all. You barely notice it, and the binding is pretty good too. Buy this book.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
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Hunter: The Reckoning
by John E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2013 16:50:25
We bought this as a supplement to our game as we only had 2 hard covers. This works great on computer but especially the ipad.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hunter: The Reckoning
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Ghouls
by Jack E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/10/2013 15:25:53
I was sucked in by the prologue: the story is simple, it's a day in the life of a ghoul named Ward, told through a series of time stamped entries.

I found the book describe ghouls in an unsettling human way, but the book also hammered home the point that ghouls are ghouls first, humans second. I found it oddly enlightening. I hope to capture the sort of feeling this book captured in its prologue in future games I run with ghouls. I think that's a good testament to this book's standard. I found the systems in the books interesting, especially in regards to ghoul families. It's very detailed and thought-provoking throughout.

Finally I like the overall quality and usefulness of the book. I like this book enough it's one of the few books I feel bothered to write a review about.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ghouls
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BESM Space Fantasy
by Robin C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2013 22:15:28
Great supplement. I love having no limit to the variety of races BESM allows. This is just one more easy access way to expand character creation choices.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BESM Space Fantasy
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BESM Fantasy Bestiary
by Robin C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2013 22:13:45
This is a great supplement! I love having the versatility of so many race choices.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BESM Fantasy Bestiary
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BESM Character Diary
by Robin C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2013 22:12:18
Haven't used this yet, but the set up is great. Plan to use it soon.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BESM Character Diary
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Big Eyes, Small Mouth Revised Second Edition
by Robin C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2013 22:10:43
The game is great. Too bad it's out of print as our local game shop would offer them for sale if they were available in paperback.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Big Eyes, Small Mouth Revised Second Edition
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Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
by Jorge C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2013 06:28:56
No podría estar más contento con el manual, es increíble, un regalo para la vista.

Por ello, es todavía más triste que el envío y el servicio de atención al cliente me hayan dado tantos problemas.
Según se me informó, el libro salió de su destino (Reino Unido) el día 1 de abril, y me ha llegado hoy, 3 de mayo, un mes después.
Dos veces contacté con DriveThruRPG, las dos veces me dijeron que había habido un problema con los datos que tenía la empresa de reparto, y las dos veces di mi dirección completa y mi número de teléfono personal, ta y como me solicitaban.
Finalmente, hoy recibí una llamada de dicha empresa de reparto, y me dijeron que habían conseguido mi teléfono buscando mi nombre en internet y llamando a mi antiguo lugar de trabajo, y tuve que darles de palabra mi dirección completa, cuando yo contaba con que DriveThruRPG se hubiera encargado de esto.

Espero que haya sido un malententido aislado y que el servicio y de atención al cliente y/o el servico de envío no sea tan deficiente como a mí me ha parecido, porque, repito, la calidad del producto, de la impresión y del encuadernado, es increíble.

Muchas gracias.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
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Werewolf The Wild West
by Darryl J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2013 22:30:27
This is a great book. All the information you need for setting your Werewolf campaign during the 19th century. The book has many built-in rivalries, giving the impression of the tribes killing each other much more often than working together.

New Gifts, and Rites. And the mechanics of this match up with Werewolf 3rd edition. Starting with no character concept, I found the description of the tribes, and examples of common members, to be very inspiring with character concept and generation coming together very fast.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf The Wild West
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Three Shades of Night
by Flames R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/15/2013 11:02:25
Three Shades of Night offers a look into each of the “big three” supernatural races of the World of Darkness; all three novellas in this book take place in Chicago, and all of them also involve a supernatural virus that is killing innocents throughout the city.

The first tale, by Janet Trautvetter, is called “The Murder of Crows” and follows the Mekhet vampire, Loki, on his quest to discover the person(s) responsible for the virus that is currently killing mortals throughout the city. Elders within the Kindred population believe that there may be a vampire “carrier” of the virus because some of the victims are among the regular herd of mortals the Kindred feed upon. Loki gets involved with a variety of characters throughout his hunt, including Kindred mentioned in other Requiem books (fiction and RPG alike). The Unholy makes an appearance or two, keeping Loki guessing as to her true motives and powers. The characters from the next two stories in Three Shades of Night also make short appearances in this story, hinting at what is yet to come later in the book. All-in-all, “The Murder of Crows” is the strongest of the three stories in the book.

“Birds of Ill Omen” by Sarah Roark is the Werewolf: the Forsaken tale of the book. The main character, Heartsblood, is not a Chicago native; he comes to Chicago by way of a vision about the city, hoping to stop the plague from spreading. Along the way he temporarily joins a local Pack of werewolves (eventually becoming the Pack Alpha for a time) and seeks clues to help him unravel the mystery. He learns a lot about the corruption that has built up in the city, talks to a few Spirits and even helps heal some of the Pack’s emotional wounds before moving on. “Birds of Ill Omen” is a bit of a difficult read at times; it seems that the reader needs to be familiar with Werewolf: the Forsaken in order to understand some of the terminology that Heartsblood is using. Even though at times it seemed a bit confusing, there was more than enough action to keep things interesting.

Myranda Sarro is the author of “Shadows and Mirrors” and wraps us the conspiracy with the Mage characters that made brief appearances in the first two stories. This story is hurt by the fact that “The Murder of Crows” and “Birds of Ill Omen” have already set-up much of the mystery and clued the reader in on some of the secrets. While the other two tales were complete stories of their own (and complimented each others’ events), “Shadows and Mirrors” relied on the assumption the reader was familiar with not only the Mage: the Awakening setting, but also with the first two stories of this collection.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Three Shades of Night
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Marriage of Virtue & Viciousness (Vampire: The Requiem Novel #3)
by Flames R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 04/15/2013 10:57:12
A great follow-up tale to Stolze’s earlier Requiem novel A Hunger like Fire, this time we learn about some new members of Chicago’s undead society. Most of the characters in this book, with two notable exceptions, are members of the Lancea Sanctum Covenant. The two exceptions are “Earth” Baines and Aurora…but I’ll get to them a little later.

Events in A Hunger like Fire have put Solomon Birch, the ranking member of the Lancea Sanctum, in a dangerous position. A few members of the Covenant feel he is no longer fit to lead them and begin planning his removal as Bishop. Deals are made, gossip is whispered, and pawns are set into motion. While no one in the city questions the faith of Solomon Birch, there are those who think his ties to the Prince (an Invictus) have made him unfit to lead the Covenant. In addition to the internal politics of the Lancea Sanctum, there are rumors of a night on Indulgence. An Indulgence is a single night where vampires are free to kill others and to Embrace new vampires without fear of punishment from the Prince. This could lead to old grudges settled with violence and new young vampires throughout the city. This is dangerous for those wishing to uphold the Masquerade and keep mortal hunters from finding the undead.

Throughout the book there are several conversations between vampires of different factions that really demonstrate just how devious and deadly the undead really are. The Invictus lounging in an exclusive health club while discussing the potential outcomes of the current situation, for example is quite different from the members of the Ordo Dracul whispering in the library.

Velvet, a younger member of the Lancea Sanctum, gets herself mixed up with two mortals and the ongoing political drama…keeping her quite busy throughout the book. She is an interesting character, having next-to-nothing in the way of favors, powers or position when compared to Solomon Birch or his rivals. She makes her way through the night just as well as they, even if her problems are much less grand.

“Earth” Baines is a member of the Invictus Covenant and a sometime “Hound” for the Prince’s enforcer Norris. This position, and his desire for more, gets him dragged into the internal strife of the Lancea Sanctum. Certain members of the Covenant make use of his blatant greed, lack of subtlety and joy of violence. He is never quite bright enough to realize when he is being used, much to the delight of those manipulating him.

Aurora, a mortal out for revenge against the vampires, gets in over her head rather quickly. She fails in an attack on Velvet early in the story, which sets her up to be manipulated by monsters much more powerful than she ever imagined. She is probably my favorite character in the story. She is determined, resourceful and angry. She even manages to humiliate and frustrate Baines at least once, which was an entertaining read.

There are several other members of the Lancea Sanctum that make appearances throughout the story. Some of them are even written up in World of Darkness: Chicago for those that play the Vampire: the Requiem role-playing game. Sylvia Raines, for example, stirs up some trouble and sets a few plots in motion that would make for some very interesting character motivations in an ongoing game.

The writing in The Marriage of Virtue & Viciousness is top-notch, among the author’s best work to date. Each of the characters shows a range of motivations and their emotional states never feel flat.

While I would have liked to have read a bit more of Solomon Birch (especially considering the back cover text reads as if the entire book is about him and him alone), the other characters certainly keep things interesting. If you enjoyed A Hunger like Fire this book is as good, if not better.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Marriage of Virtue & Viciousness (Vampire: The Requiem Novel #3)
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