This book unfortunately suffers from a large number of spelling errors, and there is even two pages who have completely swapped places. There is also many errors that shows that they had a hard time finding out what they wanted for this game. In the beginning and here and there, Lunar is described as the male and the wolf as the female (Father Moon and Mother Wolf). But this changes very quickly and becomes the old lore throughout most of the book. Bale Hounds have also been mentioned two places in the book, but with no description of what exactly this is.
There is also allot of repeating of lore or rules, which takes up valuable space that could have been spend on describing the setting instead, which I feel is missing greatly. These pages that could have been used for setting, have also been used to describe the core rules. I really liked the First Editions way of doing it. Make a smaller, cheaper book with the core rules, which allowed the "real" settings to spend those pages on extra lore, information, rules and artwork.
The setup of the book is very confusing and it very hard to get around since each chapter isn't called something like "Rules" or "Storytelling" or "Character creation". The various aspects of the game is aslo spread out across the whole book. If you want to learn about a specific thing, there isn't a index in the back for easy locating of the subject. Not in one place. Want to learn about a specific thing.
As usual with the World of Darkness series, most of the artwork is gorgeous and mood setting. However, there is one place where a piece of art is actually covering some of the text.
Many of the changes from First Edition to Second have made the game allot more complicated to keep track of, which I feel was one of the strength for White Wolf games compared to something like D&D or Pathfinder. One of the things that are complicated, is Harmony and Death Rage. Harmony still goes from 0 – 10. But instead of being a trait about balance, having a higher trait is “bad”, because you become more tied to the physical world the higher up you go, and when you reach 10, you cannot enter the spirit world. Which isn’t a bad idea and I might use a modified version of it, but there is allot of complicated rules with them. Death Rage is now two steps, each with their triggers and rules. "Almost angry" (have to shift into Dalu or Urshul) and "Full Rage" (Gauru).
The best thing in the book, is the changes they have added to the Gifts and rites. Instead of being a list of powers from 1-5, each group has facets which can be purchased as usual, but what really determines how powerful each facet is, is the werewolf’s Renown. Each of the facets is tied to one of the renowns, and when you increase that rating related to a facet, that facets power goes up. And rites are now not tied into Harmony, which no longer forces your itheaur to keep a high harmony.
I could say more about the book, but I figured I should try and keep it short.
Søren H. Pedersen