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Moldwarps
by Henry O. C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/30/2020 13:17:13

Moldwarps is a breedbook for Werewolf: The Apocalypse, and as such you need the core book to make use of them. It is developed with the 20th Anniversary ruleset, and tries to fit into the W20 era of books.

The book (and authors) is aware of of the possibly comical nature of moles as a Changing Breed, but as I said to Ben whilst he and Sam were writing and editing the book: “If it ain’t werehorses based on My Little Pony, it ain’t stupid.” With that said, I should disclose that I got to see the book long before release, and had discussions about it with the authors, and I was also given a free copy upon release and I am mentioned in the Special Thanks section of the book. And with that in mind, what I’m writing in this review is all my own honest opinions, and despite having become good friends with the authors, I will not pull any punches in this review.

Writing

The book is well-written and uses proper grammar and punctuation as far as I could tell. There are some funky formatting from time to time, such as using a more grey typeface colour in front of glyphs. Though it makes the glyph clearer, it comes at the cost of making the text a little harder to read. The typeface also changes in the sections about Stereotypes, kind of taking you out of the reading moment. Bit of an error at face value, but negligible in the long run.

Art

There is a ton of original art in this book created by Naomi Cornock, Luis Miguez, and Ben Allsop himself, though there is also official Storyteller Vault art used. I think Cornock and Miguez’s art was really good, and I could not have distinguished between their art and official 1st and 2nd Edition artwork for Werewolf. But, to a slight detriment as well, I have some difficulty telling their art apart. The most stark contrast to me is with the illustration of the five Moldwarp forms, which is in a very slightly different style.

And, can I just say; the Talpid in the illustration of the five forms is goddamn cute. It is adorable as hell. I cannot get over it, and now I’ve come to think moles are really cute.

But I know for certain that Ben made the Moldwarp glyphs himself, and I have to say that they are not only damn cool, but the man went all-out with them. Well over forty original glyphs litter this book, and I have to say that they are quite nice. Ben makes good use of setting a base meaning for a simple glyph, and then makes small variations to change it so that Breed glyphs look similar, Warren glyphs look similar, and so on, but they look different from each other.

Content

The book begins with a piece of introductory fiction showing the trial of a Get of Fenris Garou who failed to kill a fomor because Moldwarps took both it to cleanse, and two of his packmates because they got in the way. It is well-written and interesting in providing a touchstone as to how Garou don’t know about them, with a small insight into the Moldwarps’ look at Garou as well. It is a good start to the book as a whole.

The rest of the book is divided up into four chapters and two appendices, each following the structure of an official sourcebook. At 138 pages, this book is a bit of a beast to get through, but I know that I quite enjoyed it myself.

Chapter One describes the history and legends of the Changing Breed in the same style as any other tribebook and breedbook (first-person perspective from Paints-the-Ages, a lorekeeper for one of the Orders described in the book). It goes into remarkable detail and does a good job of maneuvering around the Garou and other Fera, whilst still relating to them in small ways. This lends to how no one knows that they still exist, and gives you as perfect an understanding of the Changing Breed as you would ever need to play them.

Chapter Two goes into detail on working, practical knowledge that you need to play the game as a weremole. It details the Breeds (Homid, Metis, and Talpid), their Warrens (equivalent to Auspice, but determined by the outcome of a vision quest during your First Change), and Tunnels (Tribes), all with starting Gnosis, Rage and Gifts.

This chapter also goes into the social structure of the Moldwarps and the way they connect with the Overland (above ground), Underland (within the earth) and the Otherland (the Umbra). There is mention of their views on the Triat and Totems, and ends with an explanation of Sceatha, everything that has an imbalance of Wyld, Weaver, and Wyrm energies such as vampires, fomori, drones, tainted werewolves, etc.

Chapter Three is, as is common for core books, the chapter on character creation, and is basically a bunch of resumes about the Breeds, Warrens, and Tunnels to provide numbers and Gifts for quick reference. It also describes the various Forms weremoles take, from human to mole being Homid, Moleman, Crinos, Eulipotyphla, and Talpid. It also lists the relationship weremoles have with Rage, Gnosis, and Renown, and provides the rules for Digging, a small list of possible Totems, and other new Traits (a new Background, new Merits and Flaws, and a Moldwarp look at Pure-Breed).

Chapter Four gives you a TON of new Gifts for Breeds, Warrens, Tunnels, etc., as well as a lot of new Rites specifically for Moldwarps, and a number of Tools (their word for Talens and Fetishes)

Appendix One has five sample Moldwarp characters, a Labour (Pack-ish group-formation) of Note, some Moldwarps of Note, and finally some Burrows (Septs) of Note.

Appendix Two, at the very end, gives you some Moldwarp-specific plot hooks, tells you how they interact with other inhabitants of the World of Darkness, and gives you some new spirits and a new antagonist group to go up against, related specifically to the Moldwarps because of large-scale fracking operations.

Potential Use

Moldwarps brings an entirely new, very intriguing Changing Breed to the already-long roster of Breeds, and so can be used well in any mixed-Breed game. It uses the W20 system and drops seamlessly into the lore of the Werewolf World of Darkness, so a weremole suddenly appearing in a group with no one knowing what it is makes some sense.

Full transparency; I have not played with this in a game, and so I cannot speak to balance of rules, Gifts, etc., but from just reading them and looking them over, I see it as quite comparable to werewolves. I do fully intend on putting this book to good use in future games, however, and look forward to trying out being a weremole.

Conclusion

The book is long, and that is a bit daunting for a Vault product. I myself had to drag myself through the first chapter, as it can get a little… dry, at times. It is in the style of official splatbooks having a narrator telling the reader the stories and history, which I think is nice, and I also think that it is nice to have; you can skip it the first read through and take a look later for some background info. On its own merits, though, the first chapter makes me a little more tired than I was before.

Moving on to the chapters you need to play a Moldwarp, fluff becomes shorter and more concise, more to-the-point, and we get into the crunch, which is clear and easy to understand.

Some of the layout can get funky at times, and it draws your attention from what you’re reading for a little while. As you read on, it becomes a little less intrusive, but you will always be aware when the formatting shifts.

Is it worth a buy? Yes. For the price listed compared to the page count and quality of content, I will say that this book is very much worth it. Should you buy it? I think that, if you want to add something interesting to your chronicles, even only as a new, strange NPC type that your players can meet, interact with and learn about, then you should buy it. If you simply want to play as a new Changing Breed, it’s really cool as well. However, I think that it should be noted that this isn’t for everyone. The very nature of Moldwarp society means that they are far more restrictive in what they can do compared to other Changing Breeds, and so you would need a good reason to make a mixed-Breed game if you want to stay consistent to lore presented in the book.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, with an asterisk that Chapter One kind of lost my interest several times and that the formatting can get a little wonky at times.

4/5, would recommend it to all avid Werewolf STs and Players.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Moldwarps
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2e Alchemicals: Collosus and Metropolis
by DSC T. G. C. _. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/30/2020 11:59:38

Alchemicals Colossus and Metropolis Charms is product that is exactly what its title claims. Within its covers are new charms for both the Colossus and Metropolis stages of an Alchemical exalted life. The charms presents all are interesting and can fit well into a campaign in which an Alchemical exalted is used.

The Tabletop Gaming Club used some of these charms for an NPC alchemical in our campaign and the players did enjoy dealing with the effects. We recommend that storytellers of exalted pick up a copy of this product if you plan on using Collosus and/or Metropoli in your campaign.

We should note the product does seem to assume that users are already familiar with Alchemical exalted and their Collosus and Metropoli stages of life.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
2e Alchemicals: Collosus and Metropolis
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BITE ME: How to Write Vampire
by Matthew P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/28/2020 21:10:06

This book/pdf was awesome, and I felt better equipped to convey the TONE of Requiem, particularly 2nd edition. Enjoyed the exploration of the themes, I have used this as a reference guide when prepping scenes.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
BITE ME: How to Write Vampire
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SotM's Guide to Siring
by Matthew P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/28/2020 21:06:09

I didn't really feel like I got much out of this supplement. The reasons given for why a vampire would sire someone felt pretty obvious, and very removed from night to night vampiric politics. Embrace "for the lulz", boredom, and solitude felt like 3 of the same reason, for instance. I also have a hard time imagining the vampire that has a spare boon lying around to just Embrace with on a whim, but hey, Camarilla Elder without any enemies I guess? I was hoping for more explanation of when to ghoul vs when to sire, but that dichotomy, while hinted at, didn't get any line space.

The three mortals presented felt kinda bland, but they only get a page each so that isn't too bad. It got better for me when contrasting how the same person getting sired by three different vampires for different reasons would turn out. That said, I felt the level of detail presented was below that I'd get from a company book.

Wasn't really helpful for me, but for >$5, give it a read and you might have a different opinion.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
SotM's Guide to Siring
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Dark New England Regional Sourcebook
by Christian M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/28/2020 15:19:51

There's several excellent reviews for the sheer scope of this work already, so I have little to add, except my own personal congratulations on a job thoroughly and completely well done.

This work enhances and surpasses Dark Colony, the original setting book. I really appreciate some of the additional layers that were added to previously existing characters in that setting, almost always providing interesting wrinkles to some ideas that were presented less adroitly in the original work. But then, we've had nearly 30 years of additional insight into what makes a great setting work since then, so it's to be expected. The author shows a masterful understanding of how to construct and weave story ideas into a dense work that you can mine for inspiration for chronicles for years to come.

The jumpstart adventures are well thought out, and the Native American clans are a welcome surprise. The formating and artwork are exceptional.

Overall, a highly enjoyable book that is going to take quite some time to sift through.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark New England Regional Sourcebook
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The Fragile Path: Testaments of the First Cabal
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/26/2020 09:13:35

absolutely essential for any mage player or ST to understand the mood & themes of mage, this is practically the game's bible.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Fragile Path: Testaments of the First Cabal
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World of Darkness: Mysterious Places
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/24/2020 11:25:35

another one of these early generic nWoD books that doesn't have a tight focus and is more just a grab-bag of nice sounding concepts, in this case being a bunch of tiny modules that you can stick into any game. some decent material but the circus stuff is so plainly just a worse & generic rip-off version of oWoD's midnight circus. for completionists only



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
World of Darkness: Mysterious Places
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Lords of Summer
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/24/2020 11:22:32

almost all the changeling the lost 1st ed material is worth checking out, but this in particular is an enormous toolbox for both players and GMs to be able to use. great art, great content



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Lords of Summer
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World of Darkness: Dogs of War
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/24/2020 11:21:10

decent material for knowing about 2000s western militaries and how to include them in your game. slightly generic though and could use an update



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
World of Darkness: Dogs of War
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Werewolf the Apocalypse - Free Introductory Kit
by Paul L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/23/2020 13:26:47

This is a great introduction into the world of Werewolf. Totally worth the download.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf the Apocalypse - Free Introductory Kit
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Sorcerer Revised Edition
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/23/2020 12:43:15

a well-made update to previous sorcerer material, but seriously, don't use the advice in here about giving supernaturals and mages access to numina, it's a bad idea that encourages min-maxing and mechanics bloat and makes mortal sorcerers much less special.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sorcerer Revised Edition
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World of Darkness: Urban Legends
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 12:01:36

a painfully generic book from when they hadn't really figured out the direction they wanted to take the new world of darkness into. maybe some nice ideas, but otherwise this is just a collector's item from a bad period of writing for a great gameline.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
World of Darkness: Urban Legends
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Convention Book: Iteration X
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:29:37

100% necessary for running a technocracy chronicle, despite being almost 20 years old this is still a great modern look at the most high-tech convention in the mage setting



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Convention Book: Iteration X
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Book of Madness (Revised)
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:12:45

very excellent book covering almost all the main antagonists that you'll have in a typical mage game. even almost 20 years later this has a lot of pertinant advice that STs can use to portray nephandi, marauders, infernalists and umbrood. the storytelling chapter helps you understand very clearly how to portray interesting & nuanced antagonists, and the umbrood chapter provides perhaps the best overall game framework for using the infinite possibilities of umbrood in your mage chronicle. although parts of this have been expanded for m20's book of the fallen and gods & monsters, in my opinion this is still the best source for marauders in mage to this day because we haven't really gotten an m20 update for marauders, this renders the 1st ed book of madness mostly useless as the marauders in that were cartoonish caricatures, whereas in this they have real depth and tragedy to their existence.

recommended for mage storytellers and fans



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Madness (Revised)
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Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
by DSC T. G. C. _. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/21/2020 17:57:30

Quietus Drug Lord Poison King presents us with a really drastic rework of the Assassimite clan discipline.

The Tabletop Gaming Club really wishes we could say more about this product, but honestly this product is flawed. This product suffers from horrible and inconsitent layout, along with poor editing. The layout is so distracting it makes it hard to actually read. Not only is the layout bad... some pages have a randomly different color background.. and each page is a non-searchable picture pdf rather a searchable text based pdf.

The Tabletop Gaming Club really really wants to recommend this product, and since its pay what you want, we will recommend grabbing a copy, but in its current condition we wouldn't pay more than zero for it.

We do not want the author to become discouraged at all though. This product does have potential and we recomend the author update the book with a better layout and maybe have an editior look at it. We recommend the author reach out to the Storyteller Vault facebook group as many of the other vault authors would probably be willing to help or give advice.

Update: The author has edited this product and removed the random colored backgrounds and has made it searchable, but it still suffers from poor layout.

Update 2 Response to Author: More than 6 members for the Tabletop Gaming Club went through this product before we posted this rewiew. And all input given, was on the layout of this product and how much the layout distracted from the reading of the product. We honestly don't think this is a scathing review. We honestly think that this product can be much better with simple editing and consistent layout. Please consider reaching out to storyvault community on facebook, or joining the writers group, cause it would not take much to make this a 5 star product.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
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Creator Reply:
Your criticism has been taken onboard. I've rushed to create an updated version with a cleaner look and bookmarks. It was tough with the potato I'm using, but perhaps it may satisfy.
Is not liking the layout really worth such a scathing review? You've not even discussed the contents.
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