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Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
by Aaron S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2024 15:26:15

not happy less than a year after purchase the book is already falling apart.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
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The World Below Ashcan Edition
by Andrew [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/19/2024 19:20:06

Concise preview with interesting material. I am the madman who is putting this below oWoD



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The World Below Ashcan Edition
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Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition
by Matthew H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/31/2024 04:26:06

on the whole very good, the rules are a tad awkwardly presented but the setting is interesting and character creation pretty cool. more could and should be said of lore elements but on the whole a good text.

at least to a degree. Fair warning to those new to werewolf there is a LOT of uncomfortable shit in here as an immense holdover from older editions. There is a reason W5 rebooted various setting elements. If you're not certain about whether you can handle this stuff (or aren't competent enough to just gut it) buy when it's on sale, otherwise... well you've been warned.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition
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Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
by Matthew H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/26/2024 14:04:36

I write this as a person who had not experienced changeling before buying this edition. This is a really enjoyable game, the option to create your own kith is nice and feels really fresh, possibly opening up the doors to take the fae in many interesting directions if you so wish. The vibe is of course different from most world of darkness games but it adds some nice contrast whilst still having enough of a grim vibe to be appealing. the magic system is also surprisingly intuitive. all in all really cool check it out



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
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Scion Second Edition Book Three: Demigod
by SJ [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2024 17:49:32

The third core rulebook for Scion 2e that takes players to Demigod tier as they strive to become Gods. You need Scion: Origin and Scion: Hero to use this book, and I suspect you might need Mysteries of the World too since Demigod refers to pantheons from that book.

As always, I enjoyed the new pantheons described in this book as well as a pseudo-alliance of outcasts from other pantheons found in the appendix. The book has new antagonists to challenge Demigod characters as well as more in-depth info on Underworlds because they play a large role in apotheosis. Not sure how this content interacts with Mysteries of the World, which also describes these Underworlds. There's also a new mechanic for Goliaths (literal gigantic monsters or large-scale events/hordes like armies, elections, etc.), which is pretty interesting.

This book hammers home (with the power of Mjolnir) the poor organization of the series. There's a lot of need for cross-referencing split between three books, which is going to require a lot of to-ing and fro-ing during sessions. And it's not always clear which page of which book contains the rules you're looking for. And there is a lot of crunchiness baked into the game (which you can admittedly ignore, but that's true for a lot of TTRPGs) that would necessitate consulting the rulebooks, especially if players are used to D&D-style play.

I love Onyx's world-building and aesthetics as well as their imagination, so I hope they get better at organizing information in the future. There's something to be said for the "DM's Guide/Players' Handbook" simplicity of D&D rather than Scion's method of parsing out rules in drips and drabs. It'd be one thing if the new rules in Demigod concerned themselves solely with mechanics necessary for Demigod characters (along with cool new pantheons because I always hunger for more!), but there's plenty in here that is useful for Hero campaigns as well.

Maybe Onyx will publish an all-encompassing book much like the D&D Rules Cyclopedia.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Scion Second Edition Book Three: Demigod
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Specialized Purviews Volume 2
by Kenneth [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/23/2024 17:53:14

Do not be fooled! At the time of writing, DriveThruRPG shows this product as being nine pages and the description does not list how much actual material you are receiving. There are four Specialized Purviews in this book (most of which I consider of middling but serviceable quality) which fit onto two separate half-pages. I don't begrudge small productions, but this product looks much larger than it is with four pages of advertisements.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Specialized Purviews Volume 2
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Across the Eight Directions
by Davin [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/19/2024 14:18:14

I will start this by saying openly that I have not and probably will not read this cover-to-cover at any point, but I think to do so defeats the point of a setting book like Across the Eight Directions. Every paragraph hooks me with potential sessions, stories or even entire chronicles.

As an essentially permanent Storyteller, I'm going to set games in locations and read those locales beforehand/as I run my game, or my players are going to sprint headfirst into a place I know nothing about and I'm going to call the session and open up AT8D to get inspiration on a particular Direction.

Some of the art is fine. Some of the art is outstanding. With forty or so pieces, not everything is going to be equal. While I personally wish there was more of the impressionism found in Fangs at the Gate, I can't fault more clear-cut and in honesty, more visually clear/evocative artwork in a book more about "reality" than about tone.

The orientation of the maps is strange, but I would rather have full-page strangely oriented maps than weird aspect ratios and blank spaces. It's a trivial effort to pull the map out of the PDF and rotate it, anyway.

All in all, a book I'm going to be referring to for years to come.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Across the Eight Directions
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Across the Eight Directions
by Ian F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/15/2024 14:52:09

Not bad at all- this book includes a lot of locations for Exalted adventures. Of interesting note is that the vast majority of locations covered in this book are actually ruled by ordinary humans or terrestrial gods, rather than the Exalted themselves. This means it overlooks places like Lookshy or Skullstone, where a clade of Exalted dominate. Those are being covered in fatsplats regarding those specific Exaltations, so readers shouldn't worry.

Of strange note, everywhere in Creation appears to be ruled explicitly by scheming old grannies, even in places far away from the Scarlet Realm's matriarchal influence. While this is likely just some slipshod attempt by Onyx Path's writers to placate San Francisco arthouse culture, it does make Creation seem weirdly monocultural. Storytellers are of course free to edit that oddity out of their game, but it did strike me as hackneyed while reading the book.

All in all, while parts of the writing may lack a natural feeling, this is still a valuable resource for those who want to see what more mundane (as much as that applies) parts of Creation might look like.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Scion Second Edition: Once and Future
by Ashley [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/11/2024 16:16:21

An extremely solid translation of Arthurian lore to Scion. Could use more explicit character creations notes, especially about how to tie a Pendragon candidate to a Pantheon (or not).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Scion Second Edition: Once and Future
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Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
by Adrien [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/11/2024 10:22:21

The quality of the standard edition reprint is really underwhelming. €50 for a (deemed to crack) glue binded book with slightly desaturated colours, cheap paper, and (!) cropped off center. Of course the content is what it is, it's gonna be a good read. But don't expect the quality of the object to even compare to first hand publishers: the printer has no love for the final product. Too bothered to send it back it will have to do, but if used extensively the book WILL break.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
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Scion Second Edition Book Two: Hero
by SJ [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/11/2024 09:38:44

One of the two must-have core rulebooks for the Scion game, Scion: Hero introduces details on the pantheons (Scion: Origin only gave you a list of abilities and Purviews with the latter pretty much unexplained), additional powers (including miracles) and resources for Hero-level characters (still mortal but more powerful than the divinely inspired noobs of Scion: Origin), and more challenging Antagonists for them to battle. I found the Pantheons chapter the most interesting, even if I disagreed with the accuracy of some of the background content. I don't mind, though, since this system explicitly pushes a "use what you like, discard what you don't" approach. This flexibility may frustrate some players, but I found it refreshing. Some of the nit-picky rules in Origin go counter to this style, but I found fewer such rules in Hero. In any case, I hope to read more about other Pantheons as well as other gods in the standard range in future books.

Despite the overall design philosophy to de-emphasize stats, complex dice rolls (only d10s, static difficulty number, etc.), and detailed rules (vs. D&D), I agree with some reviewers that the rules still tend to be overly complicated compared to the WoD system, for example. Maybe it's just because I've been exposed to WoD for longer...

The other flaw is the organization of the books so far. Origin and Hero should've been combined into one core rulebook to minimize switching between the two constantly throughout a session. There's a lot of cross-referencing, and you can't really play the game without both. At the same time, Hero included some duplicate info (e.g., the Knacks and Boons sections both cut-and-pasted text on Hero-level abilities into the Hero book rather than just describing new Immortal-level ones, but other sections required you to consult Origin for required info). I don't know why some sections were duplicated but others were not. If you got rid of the duplicates and some of the fluff, then the two books could've easily been collapsed into one.

As for reviewers complaining about the world-building, it's just a different genre than WoD. It's more like the comics where you have superhuman characters and yet we still end up fighting the same world wars. Either the comparative edge to the mortal "good guys" provided by superhuman heroes are canceled out by superhuman villains on the other side, or the standard history was the result of divine manipulation, and hence history in the World ends up looking the same as ours. Also, while the gods' agents in the World are powerful, so are governments and the collective efforts of millions of mortals. My only conflict is how to deal with the major monotheistic religions that dominate our world...do fervent believers gain powers too or are they treated the same as atheists in that they don't get access to Knacks, Boons, etc.?



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Scion Second Edition Book Two: Hero
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Scion Second Edition Book One: Origin
by SJ [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/08/2024 20:04:50

This game has a lot of potential. Like other reviewers, I think Origin and Hero should've been combined as one book. I understand some of the grumbling about the setting, especially for those more used to the WoD themes, but it's not hard to tone down the "high fantasy" setting of 2E. The world-building of the core books is interesting but not essential to the game, which leaves a lot up to the Story Guide.

In terms of pros, I like the tongue-firmly-in-cheek mood of the setting, which updates mythology to the modern world, but it may not be for everyone. I'm not an expert on mythology so can't speak to the descriptions of the pantheons, which you really need Hero to understand anyway.

I also like the flexible mechanics, even if I think it's a bit too "dense" for such an open system. There are way too many "if/then" rules with too many permutations for every action, which would have bogged down gameplay as the SG and players scrambled every scene to consult two books (the Hero rulebook is pretty essential even to Origin-level campaigns). But unlike D&D, you can really tailor the game to all sorts of gaming styles. Scion leans more towards cinematic action (think Marvel movies with over-the-top combat and intrigue) than the drama and RP-heavy WoD products. There is enough in the mechanics, though, if you want to run a more WoD-like storyline. The fixed difficulty number for all actions helps to streamline play at least, as does the range rules (vs. having to calculate actual distances). I still found the Combat rules a bit too complicated compared to the rest of the rule system.

If I were designing the game from scratch, I would've moved all the essential details (including pantheons, relics, etc.) into Origin and narrowed the scope of Hero to only those rules that are necessary to play/design a Hero character. That would minimize the constant need to cross-reference or duplicate content, and also speed up gameplay.

The Paths concept is a real breakthrough, freeing characters from classes, clans, houses, etc., and really allowing players to customize their characters while also unlocking concrete abilities and resources. I hope this concept spreads to other games as well so we're not always straightjacketed by class, faction, etc.

Finally, the frequency of typos is a bit distracting.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Scion Second Edition Book One: Origin
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Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
by Joshua [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/08/2024 09:38:47

Werewolf the Forsaken 2nd edition is, IMO, a perfect werewolf roleplaying game. It's emphasis on the Hunt and how each pack member and even each different form plays a different role within the hunt makes it feel more like "playing a werewolf" than the other werewolf roleplaying games available, even the ones that blatantly ripped off Forsaken.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
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The Timeless Tomb of Tir’za’nthel
by Matthew [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/07/2024 23:24:18

An excellent multifaceted scenario for Masks of the Mythos, allowing for different interpretations of there base premise to suit the Band’s needs.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Timeless Tomb of Tir’za’nthel
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Scion Second Edition: Once and Future
by Andrew [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/30/2023 13:31:37

My favourite Scion title since Mysteries of the World. The writeups on the pantheon and the mantles are especially good.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Scion Second Edition: Once and Future
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