This reminds me very clearly of the first edition book ‘Unearthed Arcana’ and effectively it does many of the same things – just for the World of Darkness. I must admit a little confusion as the advertising before publication didn’t lead me to believe that this was the type of book that it turned out to be – however, it is well worth purchasing. The book presents a number of different ways to play and to tweak the mechanical aspects of the Storyteller System, including alternatives for streamlined play, advice for one-shot games, a discussion on morality systems and how they flavour a chronicle and even methods of altering the morality systems to suit your game. Of great interest was the suggestion of a Reason statistic. Reason functions in the same way as SAN for Cthuhlu and is a useful way of charting how forbidden knowledge impairs the characters ability to interact with the ‘real world’. The other major value lies in the series of short essays (much like those found in the oWoD Storytellers Guides) which give a lot of food for thought.
In all, the book works as a toolbox, which is both its greatest strength and weakness. Its strength lies in practical advice to tailor the rules to your particular type of play experience and all of the ideas are extremely easy to implement. However, this isn’t something you’ll need for every game, and fills the niche of a reference book. It is its’ reference nature that would make me prioritise other titles that I would use more often for a purchase. It would be perfect if you are trying to start a new, or reinvigorate and old, chronicle, and as such is much more of a storyteller title.
[3 of 5 Stars!]