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Cults of the Blood Gods (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition)
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/16/2021 10:27:32

CotBG is excellent and probably the most essential addition to the V5 game line. It collects all of the clans of death, now condensed into bloodlines under a single 'family' clan, the Hecata. This book is big, it has the Harbringers, the Samedi, the Nagarajah and yes, my favorite clan of Revised edtion, the Giovanni. Included are rules for their unique discipline of Necromancy which now falls under the purview of Oblivion, tapping into the powers of the Underworld to fuel their necromancy; thematically one of the best representations of this power in any edition of VtM, (yes, it should taint your soul). Additionally you get Loresheets to represent all of the death clan bloodlines in the event you want to play a more unique vampire. You get a great story that focuses on these clans, though you dont have to be Hecata to play in it. Onyx Path delivers yet another steller book to expand the core rules of V5 and I hope to see more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cults of the Blood Gods (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition)
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Let the Streets Run Red (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition)
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/22/2020 08:45:15

This, like Chicago Folios, is a book for the storyteller; it has probably some of the best scenarios for V5. It is a big book, comprising 250 pages; divided into sections similar to Chicago by Night and Chicago Folios; however, what makes this book of particular interest to me as ST is rules that are included in side bars for things such as Lupines, Lupine kinfolk and sections on Antagonists and Loresheets. The second half of the book has Kindred biographies of SPCs that can be easily dropped into your game. Best of all, you get a pretty indepth overview of Kindred domains such as Indianapolis and Milwaukee. Also, you get whole new Blood Sorcery rituals that can be introduced and that like the Loresheets are linked to these two domains. Overall, the quality of the POD is much better and improved from previous POD books Ive bought here, the page quality is decidedly better, not the previous chalky paper, this is a glossy paper similar to the traditionally printed books of V5 by Modiphius; Im so impressed with the quality that I purchased a second copy, (premium color, its more expensive but the quality and vibrancy of the color is excellent).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Let the Streets Run Red (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition)
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Chicago By Night (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition)
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/13/2020 08:54:50

This is a beatifully and well written supplement to Vampire the Masquerade's 5th edition by night series. Ive been comparing this to Chicago by Night 1e and Im telling you that the writers went in a direction that brings the setting to our modern nights; a new prince, a new primogen, old threats and new obstacles (Lasombra) make it a perfect combination for storytellers wanting a vast city as their stage. The Loresheets are uniquely 'Chicagoan' and full spreads on all the Kindred SPC's you could need. What I particularly love is that the book is written with the idea that your coterie will make an impact on this city and that is how a 'by Night' book should be writter; that and the fact that its obvious that the writers actually have been to Chicago or live there. Bravo!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chicago By Night (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition)
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V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/30/2020 09:25:48

This book was highly recommended by a few gaming colleagues as the perfect jumping off point for catching up on the metaplot of VtM 5th edition, (or as its referred to V5). Having picked up the V5 corebook, which delves into the metaplot of vampires in the world of darkness in cursory fashion, this book is the perfect companion. V5 is absolutely brilliant in its mechanics and really updates VtM to the current state of affairs in our troubled world. While the V5 corebook updates the metaplot, Beckett's diary bridges the story of VtM 4th edition, (also referred to as V20) to its 5th edition. Incredibly well written by Matthew Dawkins who is one of the contributors to V5, this book is hard to put down, (well its actually easy to put down becasuse this book is huge, its a literal encyclopedia of Kindred history). I am really looking forward to what WW/Paradox does with V5 but so far I have been more inspired than ever to return to VtM.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
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Anthology: Comprehensive Equipment
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/15/2019 21:46:23

I picked up the previous version; this book is excellent! Its become indispensible at my gaming table, comprehensive and fully extant, even alchemical substances, poisons, etc.; the best part, when it gets updated I get the update for free! Now, it does contain some optional rules for those of us who like our combat a bit more realistic, yet it keeps the simplicity of the 5e design philosophy. Some parts of it harken back to 1e, for example the complete list of polearms, and includes additional exotic weapons from settings like Eberron. As a veteran DM of 28 years, I full endorse this product. Now I need this to be available on POD.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Anthology: Comprehensive Equipment
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D&D 5e Player Cheet Sheet
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/08/2016 08:20:14

Very nice, concise summary of the main rules, easy for handy reference and to give new players so they have clear ideas of what they can do. I've even printed these to give to my players.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
D&D 5e Player Cheet Sheet
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5e Critical Hit and Fumble Charts
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/26/2016 15:23:29

A very handy list of crit/fumble tables that are easy to reference from a tablet or print to insert into a customizable DM screen. Not a fan of the cover art, but it does not detract from the awesomeness of the crit descriptions. Great fan addition to 5-e. Would be awesome to creat an app for this like the Pathfinder one.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
5e Critical Hit and Fumble Charts
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zDnD 5e Epic Level Handbook
Publisher: Dungeon Masters Guild
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/26/2016 15:21:24

A great fan addition to very high, epic level play builds. I dont necessarily plan on running this level of play for PCs, but it allows me to provide special abilities, powers and enhancements to NPC gods, demigods and deities, who far exceed normal mortal limitations. The layout is clear and the art, (stock art) really gives this an authentic, Wizards seal of approval. Im a particular fan of Deathsave advantage and X-born powers.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
zDnD 5e Epic Level Handbook
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Forsaken Chronicler's Guide
Publisher: White Wolf
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/14/2013 09:32:31

If you are a storyteller for Forsaken this book is for you, absolutely indispensible and contains lots of useful info and setting hacks. Really a great product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Forsaken Chronicler's Guide
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Mummy: The Curse Player's Book
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/06/2013 12:40:38

In December, Onyx Path, the publishers of the World of Darkness and related table-top games, launched a highly successfuly funded kickstarter for their new role-playing game Mummy the Curse. Icontributed and supported the kickstarter so I got an early PDF version of that book. This is a summary review of the game based only on the core rules (further expansion supplements are planned as tier rewards for the Kickstarter).

Mummy the Curse is a game where you play Immortal and ancient undead creatures from an era prior to the rise of Egypt, roughly 6,000 or so years before recorded history, also referred to as the Nameless Empire. Driven by ancient gods of the Underworld, these immortal beings seek artifacts, destroy unholy monsters, and strive to remember who they once were. Powered by an ancient ritual, the Rite of Return, which reanimates them from death and makes them impossible to permanently destroy, they are the undying servants of the ancient Sorcerer-Priests who made them.

Typicall of Onyx Path’s books, this one begins with some introductory fiction. The material is flavorful and hints strongly at the strengths and weaknesses of mummies. One thing I found interesting was that for the most part the viewpoint character is not a mummy but one of his mortal servants. I think this serves to better highlight the peculiar personality of a mummy who has just woken from its slumber.

As I’ve hinted one of the major themes of the game is the recovery of Memory, which is the template's Morality trait. Mummies, who are many thousands of years old, have lost most of their memories of both their human life and previous periods of activity, which harkens to Vampire the Requiem's Fog of Ages, but more dramatic. Mummies spend most of their existence in a state of death from which they recall nothing. Only when they are summoned by their cult's (or a Sothic Cycle) to perform a task or an intruder disturbs their tomb do these beings Awaken. When they arise, they rise as cadaverous, sometimes mummified remains, of incredible power and almost no vestige of humanity remaining. It is only with time that they recall their human past, and in so doing regain a semblance of their human self's.

So a major focus of the game is the reclaim of its lost humanity and knowledge about who they were. In contrast to other games of the Storyteller system, mummies do not get a prelude, but instead begin as near god-like automatons. They also have Memory codified as a morality trait, one that begins horribly low and can get lower still with further “deaths”. Therefore, players are encouraged to raise their Memory, not only to regain a semblance of their breathing days and make social interaction with mortals easier, but if only to avoid devolving into merciless tools of the Judges of the Underworld.

These 42 Judges have charged mummies with a purpose. All mummies are driven by a purpose and without it they quickly weaken and return to a state of death. Usually this purpose is clear upon a mummy reviving: kill the intruder disturbing the tomb, recover an artifact, or aid the cult who has awakened you. The only time a mummy becomes active without a purpose is the turn of a Sothic cycle. This 1460 year cycle exist to give the game a reason to have multiple mummies all active at the same time. It also cleverly explains why no mummies have been visibly active prior to the release of this game, which is the year 2012.

When a mummy first awakens it is incredibly and god like powerful. In game terms, a mummy's power stat, called Sekhem, begins at 10 unlike other World of Darkness supernaturals who begin at 1. This allows them to boost their Attributes, particularly Strength and Stamina, to superhuman levels in addition to other potent effects. A mummy typically begins in their tomb with their artifacts and easy access to their cult who are charged with protecting them and aiding their work.

As the game progresses their Sekhem decreases reducing them from automatons serving the will of their Judge of cult to supernatural beings with individual agenda's and pursuits, such as fulfilling the functions of their Guild (all Mummies begin with Guild Status 1, which is required to access Guild Affinities).

As with other Storyteller games there is a division of political-social groups (Guilds) and inherent aspects of the character (Decree), a five by five Axis that the mummy fits into. Guilds are the ancient groups of craftsmen that the mummies served in mortal life. Briefly they include the Engravers of Amulets, assistants and secret police of the Nameless Empire; the First Alchemists, workers of potions and the source of the Empire’s wealth; the Inscribers of Texts, scholars and judges; the Shepherds of the Shell, funerary priests who mastered the dead; and the Builders of Effigies, masons and engineers who used monumental architectural to build the Nameless Empire. The guilds give an Affinity, an innate power of the mummy, as well as the ability to handle certain magical artifacts, called Relics, more easily. These represent the typical Archetypes found in many other Storyteller games: priests, soldiers, craftsmen, etc.

Further slots are defined by the Decree, that Defining Pillar of the mummy’s soul which he or she proclaimed before the Judges of the Underworld. In Mummy there are five parts to the soul: Ab, the heart which controls feeling; Ba, the spirit which drives them to do great deeds; Ka, the constant essence of a soul; Ren, the true name of the soul; and Sheut, the shadow that dwells on magic and secrets. This relates to basic Egyptian mythology about the nature of the soul, check Wikipedia :-)

Finally each Mummy picks a Judge who defines their Decree and provides access to Affinity powers and Utterance rituals. There are 42 judges which might seem a bit overwhelming except that most Judges only hear a single type of Decree. The mummy gains another Affinity based on their Judge.

The powers of a Mummy are fairly potent. Affinities cover a range of powers with each Affinity tending to give three or more lesser abilities. These range from being able to interact with ghosts to animal companions to lowering the target number for successes on a die for a certain class of actions.

More potent abilities are Utterances. These potent “words of power” start off weak but their upper levels (powered by mummies with 4 or 5 dots in a Pillar) can cause Biblical destruction. As an example one power allows you to know where you are by looking at the night sky. But with further Pillar expenditures, you can use it call down a meteorite from the sky. At its highest levels, you can use it to learn hidden secrets or call down a swarm of meteors over an large area.

A mummy’s innate abilities are potent as well. As mentioned above they can raise their attributes with Sekhem. As undead, they are resistant to bullets. They also have a potent healing ability that exceeds that of Werewolves. By spending a pot of Pillar they can heal three bashing damage per turn as well as a lethal damage per turn. But more importantly, while healing they can not die. It is impossible to kill them. Only after the healing stops do they finally die.

And dead mummies always come back.

Mummy the Curse has a separate Storyteller section. Since Memory is a strong theme of the game there needs to both be secrets about the setting that the players don’t know and a definite past for them to learn. I’ll be keeping my spoilers to a minimum for this section.

Chapter 1 begins with several pages of exposition by way of a series of letters. I’ve mentioned before how I dislike this. Thankfully this section is fairly brief and does not say much new about the setting. The rest of this chapter then delves into the truth behind what happens when a mummy dies or seeks to break the cycle by reaching Apotheosis.

Chapter 2 of this section discusses the antagonists of the setting. There is little on the hinted sixth guild, the one destroyed while the Nameless Empire still stood. A selection of groups includes some disturbing monsters made from stitched together animals, or Amhkhata, and who haunt twilight looking for relics to feed on.

One type of Lifeless, the Shuanksen, is actually quite similar to mummies (Bane mummies?). These enemies have a serious tie to the darker bits of the mummy back story, things most of them no longer know. They also possess Bane Affinities, cursed affinities with disturbing powers. Other foes include other mummies, mortals, and wayward cults. A sample cult is described: Last Dynasty International, which has become an evil mega-corporation. This details what cults look like at various modes of play (Tier one, two and three, which is introduced in Hunter the Vigil). Finally we get new ghost numina powers, plus the option for playing a ghost as a full character. The new abilities greatly expand a ghost’s capabilities and the character rules would be a great addition for a mixed group of mummies and other “immortals”. As a Wraith the Oblivion fan, this makes me pretty happy.

Chapter 3 details relics, which are artifacts Mummies seek either for their own ends or to take back to the Underworld for their Judges. Many are detailed in this section and can be used as templates for players and storytellers to create their own.

The final section of the book is the Storytellers Handbook, which deals with running the game: building a campaign world, creating a cult for the players, developing antagonists, additional antagonists powers and sample enemies. At the final section of the Storyteller Handbook is a Storyteller Adventure System (SAS) module titled Eve of Judgement. This module also provides details of what a typical Mummy Nome looks like and it details briefly the signature city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

In conclusion, Mummy the Curse is an excellent game. This game harkens to old Hammer horror style of play and there are clear inspirational links to HP Lovecreaft and the pulp era of the Cthulhu mythos. IN fact, one could easily see the Judges as near cosmic Old Ones, who have little interest in human affairs and use their agents to thwart each other. A solid, solid addition to the World of Darkness and one that will become a clear winner come award season.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mummy: The Curse Player's Book
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Mummy the Curse-Kickstarter Edition
Publisher: White Wolf
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/06/2013 12:38:49

In December, Onyx Path, the publishers of the World of Darkness and related table-top games, launched a highly successfuly funded kickstarter for their new role-playing game Mummy the Curse. Icontributed and supported the kickstarter so I got an early PDF version of that book. This is a summary review of the game based only on the core rules (further expansion supplements are planned as tier rewards for the Kickstarter).

Mummy the Curse is a game where you play Immortal and ancient undead creatures from an era prior to the rise of Egypt, roughly 6,000 or so years before recorded history, also referred to as the Nameless Empire. Driven by ancient gods of the Underworld, these immortal beings seek artifacts, destroy unholy monsters, and strive to remember who they once were. Powered by an ancient ritual, the Rite of Return, which reanimates them from death and makes them impossible to permanently destroy, they are the undying servants of the ancient Sorcerer-Priests who made them.

Typicall of Onyx Path’s books, this one begins with some introductory fiction. The material is flavorful and hints strongly at the strengths and weaknesses of mummies. One thing I found interesting was that for the most part the viewpoint character is not a mummy but one of his mortal servants. I think this serves to better highlight the peculiar personality of a mummy who has just woken from its slumber.

As I’ve hinted one of the major themes of the game is the recovery of Memory, which is the template's Morality trait. Mummies, who are many thousands of years old, have lost most of their memories of both their human life and previous periods of activity, which harkens to Vampire the Requiem's Fog of Ages, but more dramatic. Mummies spend most of their existence in a state of death from which they recall nothing. Only when they are summoned by their cult's (or a Sothic Cycle) to perform a task or an intruder disturbs their tomb do these beings Awaken. When they arise, they rise as cadaverous, sometimes mummified remains, of incredible power and almost no vestige of humanity remaining. It is only with time that they recall their human past, and in so doing regain a semblance of their human self's.

So a major focus of the game is the reclaim of its lost humanity and knowledge about who they were. In contrast to other games of the Storyteller system, mummies do not get a prelude, but instead begin as near god-like automatons. They also have Memory codified as a morality trait, one that begins horribly low and can get lower still with further “deaths”. Therefore, players are encouraged to raise their Memory, not only to regain a semblance of their breathing days and make social interaction with mortals easier, but if only to avoid devolving into merciless tools of the Judges of the Underworld.

These 42 Judges have charged mummies with a purpose. All mummies are driven by a purpose and without it they quickly weaken and return to a state of death. Usually this purpose is clear upon a mummy reviving: kill the intruder disturbing the tomb, recover an artifact, or aid the cult who has awakened you. The only time a mummy becomes active without a purpose is the turn of a Sothic cycle. This 1460 year cycle exist to give the game a reason to have multiple mummies all active at the same time. It also cleverly explains why no mummies have been visibly active prior to the release of this game, which is the year 2012.

When a mummy first awakens it is incredibly and god like powerful. In game terms, a mummy's power stat, called Sekhem, begins at 10 unlike other World of Darkness supernaturals who begin at 1. This allows them to boost their Attributes, particularly Strength and Stamina, to superhuman levels in addition to other potent effects. A mummy typically begins in their tomb with their artifacts and easy access to their cult who are charged with protecting them and aiding their work.

As the game progresses their Sekhem decreases reducing them from automatons serving the will of their Judge of cult to supernatural beings with individual agenda's and pursuits, such as fulfilling the functions of their Guild (all Mummies begin with Guild Status 1, which is required to access Guild Affinities).

As with other Storyteller games there is a division of political-social groups (Guilds) and inherent aspects of the character (Decree), a five by five Axis that the mummy fits into. Guilds are the ancient groups of craftsmen that the mummies served in mortal life. Briefly they include the Engravers of Amulets, assistants and secret police of the Nameless Empire; the First Alchemists, workers of potions and the source of the Empire’s wealth; the Inscribers of Texts, scholars and judges; the Shepherds of the Shell, funerary priests who mastered the dead; and the Builders of Effigies, masons and engineers who used monumental architectural to build the Nameless Empire. The guilds give an Affinity, an innate power of the mummy, as well as the ability to handle certain magical artifacts, called Relics, more easily. These represent the typical Archetypes found in many other Storyteller games: priests, soldiers, craftsmen, etc.

Further slots are defined by the Decree, that Defining Pillar of the mummy’s soul which he or she proclaimed before the Judges of the Underworld. In Mummy there are five parts to the soul: Ab, the heart which controls feeling; Ba, the spirit which drives them to do great deeds; Ka, the constant essence of a soul; Ren, the true name of the soul; and Sheut, the shadow that dwells on magic and secrets. This relates to basic Egyptian mythology about the nature of the soul, check Wikipedia :-)

Finally each Mummy picks a Judge who defines their Decree and provides access to Affinity powers and Utterance rituals. There are 42 judges which might seem a bit overwhelming except that most Judges only hear a single type of Decree. The mummy gains another Affinity based on their Judge.

The powers of a Mummy are fairly potent. Affinities cover a range of powers with each Affinity tending to give three or more lesser abilities. These range from being able to interact with ghosts to animal companions to lowering the target number for successes on a die for a certain class of actions.

More potent abilities are Utterances. These potent “words of power” start off weak but their upper levels (powered by mummies with 4 or 5 dots in a Pillar) can cause Biblical destruction. As an example one power allows you to know where you are by looking at the night sky. But with further Pillar expenditures, you can use it call down a meteorite from the sky. At its highest levels, you can use it to learn hidden secrets or call down a swarm of meteors over an large area.

A mummy’s innate abilities are potent as well. As mentioned above they can raise their attributes with Sekhem. As undead, they are resistant to bullets. They also have a potent healing ability that exceeds that of Werewolves. By spending a pot of Pillar they can heal three bashing damage per turn as well as a lethal damage per turn. But more importantly, while healing they can not die. It is impossible to kill them. Only after the healing stops do they finally die.

And dead mummies always come back.

Mummy the Curse has a separate Storyteller section. Since Memory is a strong theme of the game there needs to both be secrets about the setting that the players don’t know and a definite past for them to learn. I’ll be keeping my spoilers to a minimum for this section.

Chapter 1 begins with several pages of exposition by way of a series of letters. I’ve mentioned before how I dislike this. Thankfully this section is fairly brief and does not say much new about the setting. The rest of this chapter then delves into the truth behind what happens when a mummy dies or seeks to break the cycle by reaching Apotheosis.

Chapter 2 of this section discusses the antagonists of the setting. There is little on the hinted sixth guild, the one destroyed while the Nameless Empire still stood. A selection of groups includes some disturbing monsters made from stitched together animals, or Amhkhata, and who haunt twilight looking for relics to feed on.

One type of Lifeless, the Shuanksen, is actually quite similar to mummies (Bane mummies?). These enemies have a serious tie to the darker bits of the mummy back story, things most of them no longer know. They also possess Bane Affinities, cursed affinities with disturbing powers. Other foes include other mummies, mortals, and wayward cults. A sample cult is described: Last Dynasty International, which has become an evil mega-corporation. This details what cults look like at various modes of play (Tier one, two and three, which is introduced in Hunter the Vigil). Finally we get new ghost numina powers, plus the option for playing a ghost as a full character. The new abilities greatly expand a ghost’s capabilities and the character rules would be a great addition for a mixed group of mummies and other “immortals”. As a Wraith the Oblivion fan, this makes me pretty happy.

Chapter 3 details relics, which are artifacts Mummies seek either for their own ends or to take back to the Underworld for their Judges. Many are detailed in this section and can be used as templates for players and storytellers to create their own.

The final section of the book is the Storytellers Handbook, which deals with running the game: building a campaign world, creating a cult for the players, developing antagonists, additional antagonists powers and sample enemies. At the final section of the Storyteller Handbook is a Storyteller Adventure System (SAS) module titled Eve of Judgement. This module also provides details of what a typical Mummy Nome looks like and it details briefly the signature city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

In conclusion, Mummy the Curse is an excellent game. This game harkens to old Hammer horror style of play and there are clear inspirational links to HP Lovecreaft and the pulp era of the Cthulhu mythos. IN fact, one could easily see the Judges as near cosmic Old Ones, who have little interest in human affairs and use their agents to thwart each other. A solid, solid addition to the World of Darkness and one that will become a clear winner come award season.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mummy the Curse-Kickstarter Edition
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Guildhalls of the Deathless
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/06/2013 12:01:31

Mummy the Curse has received some criticism due to the vague rules for social interactions between guild mummies. Well this book is the developers response to this. Perhaps it was always meant to be the case that the supplements, similar to Changeling the Lost, will further develop the game. Essentially, this book is to Mummy the Curse what Tome of Mysteries is to Mage the Awakening; the most indispensible supplement to fully realize the game. Here you'll find fully detailed rules for guild membership, what mummies do during periods of their Ascent, roles played by various guilds and story seeds to socialize mummies. Each guild is given exclusive content, detailing purpose, functions, ranks, hierarchies. Additionally, this book offers a wide range of additional Guild Affinities and Guild Utterances unique to the various guilds as well as added Merits, such as the Temple Merit. This book is big, and covers alot of information. For all intents and purposes this is the Players Handbook to Mummy, and like all upcomming Mummy the Curse supplements, is divided into a Players section and Storytellers section (I imagine this will be sold separately to help storytellers preserve the mysteries of their campaigns, and making the pdf's easily affordable). All in all this is the book that has answered alot of questions left vague or unclear in the core book, and comes right at the heels of the beautifully colorful Mummy the Curse Deluxe Kickstarter corebook. I cannot wait to put these new rules into play at my table.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Guildhalls of the Deathless
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Requiem for Rome
Publisher: White Wolf
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.



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Requiem for Rome
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Reap the Whirlwind
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/03/2013 07:46:15

This is a great quickstart to Vampire the Requiem. Contains the module as well as the introductory rules to expand to Blood & Smoke rules.



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Reap the Whirlwind
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World of Darkness: The God-Machine Chronicle
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/03/2013 09:09:04

An excellent expansion of the core new World of Darkness that updates the rules set. Included are new rules for Integrity (Morality) expanded Virtues & Vices, combat (now your damage is added as automatic successes!!) and many others, such as new updated rules for Social Maneuvering (social combat introduced in Danse Macabre). The book itself presents a full chronicle that can be played and a 120 page rules appendix that can be downloaded for free!! The artwork is the standard high quality stuff we come to expect from White Wolf. Overall, very happy with this purchase and cannot wait to try the new rules at my table.



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World of Darkness: The God-Machine Chronicle
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