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Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition: The Dark Ages
by Kostas K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/19/2020 15:21:25

i absolutely love this book, the art is amazing, the system is pretty helpful and it leaves a lot of room for the dm and players to make their own world and use the rules to their advantage. Very well written,l easy to understand.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition: The Dark Ages
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C20 Cup of Dreams (Part 4 of the Immortal Eyes Saga)
by Joseph T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/19/2020 15:11:17

Good story but shame on Onyx Path for not editing the manuscript before publishing it. Innumerable spelling mistakes, random spacing or lack of spacing, and formatting errors plague this book, taking the reader out of what would otherwise be an engrossing story.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
C20 Cup of Dreams (Part 4 of the Immortal Eyes Saga)
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Titanomachy (A Collection of Threats for Scion Second Edition)
by Mathias K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/19/2020 06:49:30

This is one of those books that makes it difficult to use a five-star rating as a medium, but I will endeavor to try and clarify what I think of this book and why, in spite of genuinely enjoying the majority of the book, I ultimately gave it a somewhat low grade.

Firstly, let me preface this by saying that the mechanics of the book are absolutely top-shelf stuff, both for giving player Scions access to new tools and for running more antagonistic Scions. The antagonists section, while it does have its misses (and we'll talk more about thise later) is a very good collection of antagonists for a Hero-tier group to face off with, and some of them are interesting, novel takes on old myth that are still very firmly grounded in an understanding of these mythologies. If what you're looking for is a good collection of systems to help you run your games, this is not a bad pickup.

However, the first section on Titans is, in my opinion, hewing closer to Scion First Edition in all the wrong ways. While many of the writeups (in particular the Órisha, Deva and Shen) take great care to present Titanic threats that problematize the Gods and are simultaneously grounded in tangible legend, many of the other writeups seem to be made up from wholecloth with uninspired and, in some cases, frankly offensive ideas.

Some of them are benign, if frustrating: Why does nobody know Thor's mother is Jord when we, in the real world the World is based on, have several texts where she is named as his mother? Why is Kronos, ruler of the Golden Age of Man and a god associated with fruitful harvests, a tyrant who represents entropy and cold? Why is Indech, a prodigious warrior-king who killed the king of the Túatha Dé Danann, a Doctor Frankenstein-esque mad scientist? Why is Bres' dethroning via satire, a cosmology-defining moment, completely omitted?

Others are not so benign. Why are fully half of the Túatha Dé Domnann not based on Irish figures? Why does one of them have a specialization in 'Primitive' art? Why is there an implication that Balor caused the Great Famine in Ireland? Why are the Fomoir fish-people who salvage things out of the oceans like the Fomorians out of the Dresden Files? Why is Ymir, the primordial being whose very body and being was used to create the Nine Worlds, hanging around so the art could have a nice 'earth, fire and frost' motif when there's no shortage of not-dead hrimthurssar who could have filled the position without having one of the deadest beings in Norse mythology be still-present? Why is the only reference to the Bretons a twisted version of the Ankou, further stepping on a culture that's already facing attempts by the French government to stamp it out?

They smack of a development team that thought their source material wasn't 'interesting' enough and decided the only way to remedy this was to fill in the blanks, and doing so in a way that is disrespectful and stereotypical rather than respectful and thoughtful, as most of the rest of the game line has generally succeeded at being. And while I'd like to give a higher rating to a mechanically strong book, I feel that the additions made to the setting in the book have done more harm than good to the World as a setting.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Titanomachy (A Collection of Threats for Scion Second Edition)
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Hollowfaust: City of Necromancers
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/17/2020 16:46:09

The first city supplement for the Scarred Lands, this book was a shot off the bow of most d20 fantasy games, which had cleaved extremely closely to standard D&D in hopes of capturing a larger portion of the market. Instead, Hollowfaust makes a bold statement about necromatic magic, which the players must navigate not necessarily to survive (it's a city - city environments, by their definition, are hospitable to many different kinds of people), but to thrive in the way that D&D pushes its characters to thrive. You won't just feel like you're in Fantasy Canada (the Forgotten Realms - a setting I love) when you come to Hollowfaust. You will feel the pressure of magic and possiblity on the world in unusual and eye-opening ways. GMs will find that Hollowfaust lets them talk about how ancestors and memory both empower and are exploited by the present.

If I had to name something to improve about Hollowfaust, it is that the city is a fantasy city first and a D&D city second, perhaps the only area where it doesn't excel. There are many areas of pressure to explore which D&D heroes will have no means of fully interacting with. In a way, it's more of a fantastic experience than D&D, with its romantic and escapist nature, can ever embrace.

It's perhaps the best fantasy citybook of the d20 era, and well worth your time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hollowfaust: City of Necromancers
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Scarred Lands Campaign Setting: Ghelspad
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/17/2020 16:37:16

The second best feature of the Scarred Lands was, as it was in Planescape, was the incorporation of the alignment into the cosmic setup of the world. Rather than being a dumb 9th grader's idea of what morals and ethics might be, instead, alignment became the embodied will of cosmic entities - the gods, in Ghelspad.

The best feature, of course, is that Ghelsad desperately needs heroes exactly of the sort D&D is set up to deliver. No matter where you go, the cosmic conflicts of the Scarred Lands cause suffering and injustice, which heavily armored magical superheroes can repair. This book is a comprehensive look at Ghelspad as an adventure setting, combining exploratory culture and ancient treasures. It's everything you want D&D to be.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Scarred Lands Campaign Setting: Ghelspad
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V20 Ready Made Characters
by Johnathan Y. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/11/2020 14:53:48

It's a good starting book that is very cheap for those who don't know jack S*** about V20



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Ready Made Characters
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Changeling: the Lost Second Edition
by Edward C. O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/08/2020 10:28:19

i bought both the PDF and Hardcover, so i will be primarily talking about the hardcover.

what can be said about Changeling the Lost that hasn't been said? well written? well told? one word i can definitely say is beautiful tradegy. this game, is really well told! the gaming sessions are fun yet when the drama hits, it hits, and my players walk away with a sense of wow, we all had a moment together.

Changeling is definitely one of those games, that if you really want a mature, adult theme game, while just happened to be a fey creature, outcoming tramua and ptsd, this is the game! on page 13 there is a content warning because this game allows for those kinds of topics to be discussed and explored, it also has a section which other games refers back to as well, the "Safe Table" system, and i don't mean that in a sacastic tone. its a system to protect the players first, while maintaining the adult themes of the game, though playing a game in any of the WoD/CofD games, it should be established, i digress. from something simple as allowing players to walk away from a scene if it gets too intense or fade to black, to setup a green, yellow, red system and debriefing after session. this game is really good and definitely has the World of Darkness feel.

the book is gorgeous! i love the thorns and the hedge themes in the pages, again placement of information is a constant problem, but it's par for the course when it comes to that.

of all the reimagining, in my opinion, THIS is the game to play. definitely worth playing as your first Chronicles of Darkness game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: the Lost Second Edition
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Scarred Lands Creature Collection (OGL 5e)
by Sebastian F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/06/2020 11:32:52

What a great book! Amazing nostalgia and update of infamous Scarred Lands critters reborn as 5E. The artwork, design, and overall appearance of the book is as clean and professional as I could even ask for; the book, from cover to cover, conveys a consistent feel and image for the Scarred Lands. Very importantly, the book does NOT waste a chapter on rehashing definitions of game terms related to monsters (or potentially worse...there is no "redefining" or tweaking game rules just for the creatures found within the book). There is literally a splash page with the title artwork, then one page of credits, then one page of Introduction (explaining the page-edge icons), then the monsters start on page FOUR. No wasted space or regurgitated fluff in this book!

Even aside from the book being designed for that setting, it is just packed full of monsters that can appear in any dungeon or campaign. I particularly like the page-edge color-keyed icons: fan the pages just slightly and you can see where in the book the CR16+ critters are....or the critters who primarily inhabit mountains (or whatever other terrain). People who buy the pdf can also benefit from a handful of battle maps at the end; they are full-page and ready to be printed, displayed on a virtual tabletop, or displayed on a tabletop panel. Plus, each battlemap is a different and fully detailed encounter with various nasties in the book.

5/5 for value, 5/5 for content, 5/5 for production.

(Note: I have the PDF and printed version of the book from backing it on Kickstarter. I do not know how the PoD versions look)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Scarred Lands Creature Collection (OGL 5e)
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They Came From Beneath the Sea!
by Henrik J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/01/2020 20:07:44

I've made a video review of this game on the link here: https://youtu.be/-Abh1O7tCP0



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
They Came From Beneath the Sea!
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Skirmish at Khantze Lu Ge
by Benjamin R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/28/2020 08:23:42

Here's the headline - Trinity Continuum: Æon Storyguides; buy this, for the price you won't regret it.

Now for a bit more detail...I would say that this is easily the best introductory Æon scenario currently available for purchase. It does right what "Quantum Entaglements"# (the official quick start for Æon) gets wrong.

  • There are detailed suggestions on how to get characters involved (and why they would stay involved).
  • Before the adventure proper there are a series of introductory exercises that both teach the systems of the game but also fit with the rationale of the story. This is ideal for both new players and storyguides.
  • The adversaries and NPCs have clear goals and motivations, again something that is perfect for a starter adventure or kicking off a new campaign.
  • The story itself also manages to clearly portray key aspects of the setting without getting bogged down. At the end of the scenario players should have a keen idea what aberrants are, why they are a threat, what psions role is in defending and protecting humanity and also Earth's relationship with it's extra solar colonies and the part the jumpships play in that - a perfect grounding for lots of spin off stories.

Now the gripes....Unfortunately the scenario does play fast and loose with a few bits of "canon". For example the starship that the players serve on is described as an Orgotek Scarab but the illustartion looks nothing like a scraba as presented in other sources and, possibly worse, it doesn't match the ship as described in the main rule book e.g. it has too large a crew and passnger and doesn't carry figther complement. That's easily hand waved by saying that it's a larger class of Orgotek starship but it still an error. The other thing that grates a little is that the mission starts on "Thompson Spaceport" - a Luna location which doesn't exist in the setting. While it's easy to corrcet that to Mare Ingenii or Yutu Yinchon (two of the space ports that are officially on Luna) it's a silly detail that does not need to be there.

All in all I would recommend it but purists may want to tweak a few details to line up with published material.

For my in depth comments on Quantum Entanglements check out my review on the product page on Drivethrurpg

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Skirmish at Khantze Lu Ge
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Creator Reply:
Thanks so much for the thoughtful and in-depth review! I'm glad you enjoyed the book. A couple quick points of clarification regarding the numbers with the ship: the normal compliment of fighters is replaced by the VARGs in the hangar, and the supplies and personnel being moved on the ship. The two fighters that are normally docked with the Scarab, are among the fighters that escort the frigate to the surface. These shifts in cargo and personnel should fall well within the capabilities laid out in the frigate's stats. Thanks, Travis
Mage the Awakening 2nd Edition
by Edward C. O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/26/2020 23:25:51

i bought the PDF and Hardcover, i will be primarily reviewing the hardcover.

Mage is one of those games, that i can get out of hand in a great way, and epic at most. other is utter failure and disaster due to rules of the game.

personally, the artwork leaves something to be desire, there are some really good ones, and some meh artwork. but that's mostly subjective. the game itself is really fun, discovery of magic in the city we're in, preventing the mages to perform act of hubris and create paradoxes. it is really a great time!

i feel like a broken record, but again, the placement of the information is confusing! rotes, and other information is either lost, easily missed, or not labelled properly, at times it gets annoying at worse it is frustrating! again, if you have the pdf CTRL+F is your best friend.

overall, this is a super fun game! this is the final of the big three and i love all three!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mage the Awakening 2nd Edition
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Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
by Edward C. O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/26/2020 23:08:56

i bought both the PDF and Hardcover, so i'll primarily reviewing the hardcover.

this is a game about werewolves, fighting spirits, and family. i really love the themes that are presented in this game! firstly i LOVE LOVE LOVE the artwork! i think this is a toss up between Vampire the Requiem and this book in terms of amazing artwork.

the game itself is very fun! i love the mechanics of fighting the urge to not give into the werewolf rage and the hunt. also when the player does fail, they lose control and reap the consquences of that rage. it reminds them that they need to be smart and not let their triggers get to them.

my main complaint, and this is a constant problem, is finding information in the book. it's pretty confusing on explaining werewolves, the death rage triggers, rites, and so on. it isn't very clear, and when you do read it, the section is in a weird part of the page, where you could have easily missed, or the appendix doesn't give you what you need on what page a certain information is. this complaint is with the book, with the PDF you can always Ctrl+F and look for the keywords.

overall very fun game, and it's one of the main three of the CofD/WoD lines, if nothing else, the artwork is amazing!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
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They Came From Beneath the Sea!
by Alex D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/25/2020 11:14:51

The book does a great chance of providing both Storytellers and Players a tool box to tell a unique story. By emulating the fiction rather than the reality, by leaning into the tropes and allowing them to codified the game avoids being a comedy game and instead challengesw the players to lean into the tropes and the fiction challenging them to think less about what they know (hard skilling) and more about what the story needs.

This version of the Storypath system is familiar to anyone who has played any World of Darkness or Scion game but the meta powers are where the game comes into its own.

You will like this if:

  1. Your group likes horror but isn't afraid to have a giggle.
  2. You see your game as a moive or tv show (with the camera panning and cutting away to X).
  3. You enjoy in running a idealised version of the real world (or historical periods).
  4. You want to se what happens when a trope has a mechanical backiong to it.
  5. You like d10 dice pools systems

Art does a great job of capturing the feeling of the game without distracting. The Bestiary is expansive (including creatures from beneath the sea, aleins, cyborgs and my personal favorite the COMMUNISTS!)

I sprang for the Preium colour version and it holds up to the retail version of other Onyx path books. The card decks are interesting and there are online rollers for if you want to use them without printing them out.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
They Came From Beneath the Sea!
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Chronicles of Darkness: The Contagion Chronicle
by Edward C. O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2020 16:39:17

bought this book day one, and i have read through it 2-3 times since i have gotten the PDF, i won't be talking about the hardcover, because as of writing this review, i haven't gotten my copy yet.

i'm sure i am not the only one who are running Crossover games, so majority of us have homebrewed rules to run things games, with some success and failure.

this book is a solution to give you rules and setting on running a crossover game to have it makes sense, and have a bigger evil for all to attempt to combat or survive. the Contagion is ambiguous in how it was created, whether it was a virus created by the God-Machine a little too well thus infecting the God-Machine, or you can make a super flu that has a 99.7% mortality rate specifically infecting supernaturals by making their touchstones forget them, human blood burns them, really whatever makes sense for your setting. based on this premise of a super virus gives me Stephen King's The Stand vibes. it gives you two major factions and sub sections of the factions, the Sworn are those who try to contain the Contagion, while the False wants to use it for any means. there are some interesting sections and vector powers, which is basically powers that every supernatural and mortals can use, giving specific abilities based on what you are playing.

now the big question is, do you need this book to have crossover games? simple answer.... yes and no.

yes because it gives you rules, setting, and a big unknown baddy that all supernaturals and mortals to come together to work alongside eachother and combat it. however, if you have a homebrew rule setting that makes your chronicle work, then this book isn't for you. however, it does have rules that you do not need the Contagion itself, it can be something else, and it'll fit your chronicle. really, it is a conpendum/supplemental book, much like Hurt Locker, however, it will add to your world, and like i said, if you don't get it because you have a homebrew rule that works, thats fine. if you do get it, it is a good read, and gives you great ideas on how to incorporate the Contagion and the Sworn and False into your setting.

i'll end this by saying, this is primarily for Storytellers, players do not need this book. players just need their character specific book, so if you want to play a Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Geist, etc. get the specific book, jump in and play in this setting/rules.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness: The Contagion Chronicle
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Beast: The Primordial
by Erlan P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2020 21:26:12

Very underated game. No not pay attention to the drama. The game is great. It has several flaws and will benefit greatly from a second edition, but the mechanics are neat, the powers awesome, and the crossover options very interesting. Just buy this togheter with the Player Guide, that book is a must to expand the options presented here and to get clarifications about other things.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Beast: The Primordial
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