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Mirrors: Bleeding Edge $5.00
Average Rating:4.0 / 5
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Mirrors: Bleeding Edge
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Mirrors: Bleeding Edge
Publisher: White Wolf
by Michael A. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 01/30/2013 18:20:07

There are already a lot of reviews for this 23 page product, so I'm not sure how much I can add... but I figure I should chim in.

The Bleeding Edge is good. It's well written and presents the core themes of Cyberpunk, along with some new Merits to represent those themes. But it's not great, and serves as an example of using a limited word count improperly.

Bleeding Edge has three broad sections - Introduction and cyberpunk themes, mechanics, and storytelling elements. The first and last sections are great - the right length and well written. The mechanics, I feel, did not use their space well.

There new mechanics are three Merits - Origin, Role, and Plug-ins - along with Alienation, a new Morality alternative.

Origin and Role are basically Merits that put a mechanical advantage to something you did anyway - create a character concept and character backstory. The mechanics are sound, but the first thing to go through my head was, "Is this really necessary?" The second thought was, "Do these two Merits need to take up 8 pages of a 23 page PDF?" Both of these Merits just feel like unnecessary bloat - why do characters need free bonus specializations when they should already purchase those based on their character concept?

Plug-ins are great. There's just enough here to give you ideas, but leaves you a system that can be easily expanded and modified. For example, I'd really be interested in giving some plug-ins a "Passive" mode, where they have an effect that doesn't require the expenditure of Willpower.

Alienation is pretty thematic, and represents how cyberpunk characters drift away from "civilized" society. It charts a course for the character's story arc as well, as they accept more daring jobs and are forced to commit more horrific acts. I approve.

All that said, I'm fairly happy with my purchase, I just felt that others should be aware of what they'll actually be getting with this product.

If you'd like more World of Darkness discussion, check out our website at http://darker-days.org

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mirrors: Bleeding Edge
Publisher: White Wolf
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/09/2011 19:53:26

'World of Darknes: Mirrors' was an exciting title. Basically, it gave you all of the tools to disassemble the nWoD and refashion it in the image that best suited your gaming group. It gave a wide variety of genres, new rules and some alternative character creation rules. 'Bleeding Edge' represents one of the chapters that didn't make it into this book, and the modular format of these extra chapters does represent good value. The reason I say this is that with any compilation of alternate settings and rules, your value will be determined by how much you actually use. In this way, you are able to select from the extra chapters what material you want to pay for.

That said, 'Bleeding Edge' is a remarkably ambitious piece of work. It seeks, in 23 pages, to cover the cyberpunk genre and integrate it into the WoD - no mean feat. Overall, it gives good background information about the genre (which I think all Shadowrun and Cyberpunk GMs should have to read) and sets the tone as to why this would be a good fit for White Wolf's setting.

It offers some additional backgrounds that are contextualised to this genre, none of which are game breaking and they all add their own machine-oil and chrome flavour to the game. The archetypes are well-presented and would be a great starting point for a new gamer, someone not familiar with the genre, or an ST looking for some good NPC starters.

However, where the product falls down is in what could have been included (but what not). Whilst cyberware does form an integral part of any cyberpunk setting, it is glossed over with minimal rules. The overall writing is very brief, as demanded by the breadth of scope and the space dedicated to making it happen. What I would have liked is a supplement about twice this size, where the author would be allowed to take their time and explore some of the concepts a bit more.

As a starting point, this is very good. It sets the tone and provides enough of the basic tools that an enterprising Storyteller could fill in all of the white space and make a really good game. And that is the caveat here - pick it up certainly (and you'll enjoy it), but expect to be doing some additional work to make this a viable additional to your game.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mirrors: Bleeding Edge
Publisher: White Wolf
by Nathan H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/01/2011 14:24:11

Absolutely fantastic addition to Mirrors. Those complaining about its lack of content don't seem to understand what this actually was - this is cut material (fleshed out a bit) from a storyteller's book for reworking the World of Darkness as you see fit. It is not supposed to be a full cyberpunk supplement. Judging it for what it was meant to be, it's a fantastic collections of ideas, thematic rule hacks, and advise for storytellers.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mirrors: Bleeding Edge
Publisher: White Wolf
by Steven J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/01/2011 00:36:31

Feels unfinished and somewhat lacking. I was looking forward and as a ST without a lot of extra time on my hands I find the lack of Pre-generated cybernetics and lack of better Netrunning rules a let down. Shorted then its counterpart book I feel that it may also be a tad over priced. Clocking in at only 20 pages after you factor in the cover and title pages. I think it should have been $3.99 instead of $4.99 or better yet add 7 pages and make it the same size as Mirrors: Infinite Macabre. Given the quality of all the other recent WoD offerings I felt this was a tad rushed and left me let down.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Mirrors: Bleeding Edge
Publisher: White Wolf
by Scott R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2011 15:16:21

Cyberpunks, high tech and low life; why not incorporate it into your World of Darkness repertoire? The straight World of Darkness protagonist always was a monstrous anti-hero living at the fridge of society just as any Gibson or Stephenson hero. This is one of two science fiction-themed supplements to World of Darkness: Mirrors, material that had to be cut due to space constraints from their chapter entitled “Shards” which offered genre hacks for the World of Darkness system.

Bleeding Edge describes two cyberpunk sub-settings to craft games around. Both feature alienation as a central theme, casting the characters as outsiders. In Tomorrow Country technology is the alienating factor in the form of information technology and virtual reality. Think Kathryn Bigelow’s “Strange Days”. Metalground is the second scenario. Technology hasn’t pushed you out, people did; powerful people, bad people. This setting makes good use of The Man as the ever-present cyberpunk antagonist. Money and power keep the wealthy insulated form an ever growing underclass, but they still need scoundrels to do their dirty work.

There are a lot of interesting hacks in Bleeding Edge for creating a cyberpunk atmosphere. Your World of Darkness campaign might start to feel more like Shadowrun. In fact, the character section includes the Origins and Roles merits that when applied can shape your party into a decent shadowrunning troupe. There is a Plugins merit that does a good job providing simple plug-and-play rules for incorporating cyberware and biotech. In fact, it is not really a set of rules more than it is examples of how to create technologic gadgets for your characters without unbalancing gameplay. “Mirrors” is a toolbox sourcebook, so a typical bloated chapter on different shiny weapons one can buy would have been boring and defeating the point. The controversial morality system (which has seen its share of boosters and detractors over the years) is revisited. You can exchange Morality for Alienation to easily simulate the cynical nature and deadly atmosphere of the cyberpunk genre.

There are some very good tips for portraying megacorporations and artificial intelligences in your chronicle, and more importantly how to avoid portraying them wrong. Back in Vampire: the Masquerade there was always the assumption ancient and incredibly powerful vampires were out there secretly pulling the strings, everything and everyone were just game pieces in their competition with one another. Megacorps should be portrayed in the same fashion. You can design a modified character sheet for a corp complete with virtue and vice, motivations and strengths. Having stats on a sheet to remind you they are the disembodied meta-characters upon which the plot pivots will keep you from falling into the trap of having them be the corporate Satan doing evil just for evil’s sake. They should have goals and motivations just like the old unseen vampire lords. Like immensely complex beings they careen through the plot destroying characters heedlessly. Some of the same concepts are true for AIs. There in intriguing passages on how to use rules and themes from The Book of Spirits when dealing with an AI.

The one thing I am left missing is an overview of how the change in setting affects all the game lines. A few are touched on, such as the hunter groups Network Zero and Task Force VALKYRE having a renaissance with the ubiquitous information technology infrastructure and data mining capability. But what would a cyberpunk Changeling or Mage campaign look like? How would it fundamentally change these monsters differently than the average human? Of all the game lines that could benefit from a cyberpunk setting it is Promethean: the Created that reaps the most rewards. With artificial intelligence, cloning, simulated humanity as well as reality as a motif you can really give your created characters a lot of Philip K. Dick-inspired psychological angst. In fact, I don’t think I would like to play Promethean without including Bleeding Edge.

While Bleeding Edge focuses on the cyberpunk near future, its sister project Infinite Macabre provides a space opera backdrop. A clever Storyteller could use these two products in tandem, sort of like how White Wolf’s parent company now offers the EVE Online space-faring strategy game as well as the planet-based first person shooter spinoff Dust 514.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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