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Mythical Denizens (A Collection of Antagonists for Scion Second Edition)
by Chazz K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/25/2020 07:14:25

Mythical Denizens presenst an excellent collection of antagonists and inhabitants for the World. Each option presents story hooks, Storyguide tips, easy-to-use antagonist stats, and new rules when necessary. The antagonists come from a variety of myths associated with or adjacent to the pantheons presented in the core material for Scion 2nd Edition. The antagonists are divided into five types: Fair Folk, Giants, Therianthropes, Legendary Warriors, and Centaurs. However, they're not limited to the traditional representations. For example, a Tanuki trickster spirit from Japanese myth is presented in the section on the Fair Folk. The antagonists are presented with interesting nuance and story hooks for msot of them offer both sympathetic and antipathetic options for most of them that create interesting choices for Player Characters.

If I had one primary criticism, it would be that the supplement does not set out to do what I wanted it to do. I was hoping that for each antagonist type, we'd get some general information about what these denizens are like in the World and advise for creating your own. For the Fair Folk in particular, I was hoping to get a sense for their place in the setting. Only Centaurs get the braod treatment, which is really excellent in establishing their place in the World and its history. That said, I'm not deducting a point from my rating since this wasn't a promise of Mythical Denizens, merely my hope for it.

Overall, I'm very happy with this as bonus material from the Scion 2nd Edition Kickstarter. If I hadn't recieved it as a backer, I'd be willing to pay the $5 price tag to add it to my collection.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mythical Denizens (A Collection of Antagonists for Scion Second Edition)
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M20 Book of the Fallen
by greg m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/24/2020 20:21:24

Overall, I liked the book and recommend it for anyone wanting to add depth and make Nephandi a terrifying picture. It was a good expansion on the Fallen and detailing them beyond shadowy villains. The only thing that I disliked was the seeming lumping together of Nephandi and the older style Infernalists. There seemed to be less of a distinction, with personal descent being akin to the Infernalists of previous additions. Nephandi are terrible people, but the personal descent made the Nephandi seem like less of a faction and more a moniker for terrible people who are mages.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
M20 Book of the Fallen
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The Silence of Our Ancestors: A Dragon-Blooded Novella
by German F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/22/2020 17:33:28

The first thing that stood out to me about this book was its worldbuilding, showing one of the harshest parts of the exalted setting and how the people there built their lives, traditions and customs, and what happens when all those things are put in danger. The characters both Mortal and Exalted are compelling, and the author successfully weaves their differing perspectives into gripping drama throughout the story. You will care about these people by the end of this book.

While the worldbuilding and characters are the strongest part of the book, the action can sometimes come off as oddly paced, and the quick switching between perspectives can be unduly disorienting during fast-paced scenes, leaving you scrambling to place yourself in time and space for the first couple paragraphs after a switch, in addition some of the descriptions got a tad repetitive at times(prepare for a lot of mentions of inner fire). This does mean the latter part of the story feels a bit weaker than the earlier chapters, but by that point I was invested enough in the characters and their struggles to keep reading right through to the end.

All in all, a welcome addition to the world of Exalted, and a solid tale of adventure and friendship at the frigid edges of Creation.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Silence of Our Ancestors: A Dragon-Blooded Novella
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Demon Translation Guide
by Anton G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/19/2020 19:50:53

EDIT (October 2019): After some reflection, I feel it necessary to amend that this review came from a place of frustration and disappointment. I stand by what I said (though I was wrong about the Lores, their entries DO include the relevant dice pools), but it's also fair to say I was rather hyperbolic. I still think that the supplement should have been given more attention, but I understand that the book had only one writer, and that OP is still growing as a company. That said, wouldn't mind seeing some updates to this product, if that's possible.

If you're a die-hard fan of Demon: the Fallen like I am, and practically had a heart attack when you saw that this was getting made, then let my words spare you the coronary: this thing's a bust. What we have here is a valiant, but ultimately slap-dash attempt to construct a translation guide that instead comes across as an incredibly one-sided and imbalanaced. It pains me to write this, as there are some solid things going on in the book, and some neat ideas in play, but Onyx Path simply didn't put in the effort necessary to make this what it needed to be. There is a lot to say, but I'll keep my critique to three main points.

  1. Poor organization: The TG attempts to give fluid rules for porting characters between systems, but unfortunately ends up creating a slurry of information, where Descent info blends together with Fallen info, making it hard to keep the two separarate. In addition, there are some strange redundancies with some things, particularly Merits (Pacts are still listed as a Merit, but that Merit has been replaced by the Thrall Merit, which is itself difficult to find). Further, none of the Lores have explicitly spelled-out dice pools, and attempting to decipher which Attributes and Skills are needed for each is tedious and inefficient. Overall, the book shoud have been organized with greater distinction.

  2. A lot of missing data: the TG covers character conversion and basic powers, but says nothing about some of the most critical systems from the old game, such as empowering Thralls, rituals from the old Player's Guide, or rules for exorcism and the devouring of demons by their peers post mortem. These missing pieces of info make attempting to run D:tF with the new rules incredily frustrating, as players have fewer rescources to give their characters, and STs will be left struggling to help their players complete common demon-related tasks.

  3. The Apocalyptic Powers: possibly the most infurating part of the whole book, instead of going through the Demon Player's Guide and methodically converting each power for the sake of clarity and conciseness, and perhaps altering or trimming some away to keep things clean and efficient, OP instead opted to simply convert some powers and treat the rest as rebranded versions of powers from D:tD. This causes a host of redundancies as well as some bizarre alterations to the designs of some powers that in no way mirrors their orginal function or intent, and can potentially derail a character concept. This is the most egregious sin, for not only does it make porting a character over incredibly messy, but it undermines Fallen in favor of keeping Descent at the fore, and makes it seem as though OP is putting Fallen in the backseat in favor of highlighting Descent.

In conclusion, the Demon Translation Guide is a competent work, and the rule conversions therein are a fitting update for bringing Fallen into the CoD system, but its glaring flaws and poor organization make it difficult to use at best, and an absolute nightmare at worst. I leave here an open statement to the staff at Onyx Path:

Dear Mss. and Messrs.,

I understand that creating works like this is a monumental undertaking, and your efforts must not be overlooked, but if you want to create something that fans will appreciate, and more importantly buy, you must ensure that the necessary effort is put into it. If this means putting more writers on the project, prolonging development, or even making a Kickstarter page for it, then do it, because I guarantee that a legion of loyal patrons and fans like myself are ready and willing to contribute to see the game we love so much be reborn, and you will enjoy both critical praise and financial success in the long-run.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Demon Translation Guide
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The Chicago Folios (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition)
by Richard J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/16/2020 15:54:14

As a long term fan of Vampire: The Masquerade (got my first core book in 1993), this book has suitably impressed me.

Solid hooks that can be used to enhance your storytelling experience, great NPC write ups that could be easily ported to your own chronicle and solid loresheets to bring new connections to your PC's.

Matthew Dawkins is a solid writer who knows the WoD to a detail.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Chicago Folios (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition)
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Chicago By Night (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition)
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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The Republican Pantheon
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2020 20:45:15

Not bad. I particularly liked the inclusion of Julius Caesar as a divine villain, I though that worked very well.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Republican Pantheon
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The Silence of Our Ancestors: A Dragon-Blooded Novella
by Chazz K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/11/2020 06:40:18

I've read most of the Exalted fiction and this one may well be my favorite. The characters are interesting, the author demonstrates a clear understanding of the game and setting without feeling like you can hear the dice clattering behind the pages, and the novala provides a look into a corner of Creation that hasn't seen a lot of attention. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to get a taste of Exalted adventure and a feel for the setting.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Silence of Our Ancestors: A Dragon-Blooded Novella
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Cavaliers of Mars Core Rulebook
by Guillaume R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2020 14:31:57

Cavaliers of Mars is a game of cooperative story-telling in the swashbuckling, high romance, high adventure setting of Dying Mars. It is not a traditional TTRPG; it does make an interesting sourcebook for TTRPGs.

The game consists of rolelplaying adventurers in order to accumulate Drama Points, which are used to either benefit a character or make alterations to the story. The GM has final discretion on all uses of Drama Points. When it works, players and the GM are effectively co-writing a story in real time, livened up with dice and strategic swashbuckling action. When it doesn't, players are combatting the GM to give advantages to their characters, while the GM feels obliged to shut down players' unbalanced input.

Example In SWADE, the GM might tell a player that they recognize a figure from their past in the crowd; in Cavaliers, the Player tells the GM that they recognizes a figure from their past in the crowd, and then the GM plays the figure. A story unfolds, directed by the GM but shaped and told by all involved.

As for the setting, it is delightful and draws heavily from the sci-fi romances of the mid 20th century. Flying ships, ghosts driven on the wind, duels at night beneath rainbow-colored lanterns, mysterious lost cities, mad cults...

One thing I disliked about Cavaliers is the demand that the GM be a writer, rather than a GM. What are the dangers of canal travel? Unknown. How much technology is actually understood? Not defined. What the heck is a "shipsling"? You'll never know - or rather, that's entirely up to you, and your story. Total creative freedom is probably appropriate for a cooperative writing game.

Addendum: complaints about the complexity of the rules are unfounded. This is a game about shared imagination and dramatic scenes. Action is cinematic, not strictly bound by hard rules - explain what exciting stunt the character does, realize there was a failure and make that exciting too. If someone is poring through the rules to gain advantage for their character... well, that person won't be a good Cavaliers player.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Cavaliers of Mars Core Rulebook
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M20 Book of the Fallen
by Scott B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2020 15:54:35

This book is great resource on Mage's the ultimate adversary (or any game line, really) and a great (if completely stomach-churning) glimpse of True Evil(tm). Mechanics are kept to an easy to use and reference utility without being all crunch all the time.

If I have one complaint, and it's a major sticking point, it's that the authors allowed themselves to inject their real world political views into a game about escape-ism. If they could have kept their real world politics out of my happy fun time game (well, not-so-happy-fun-time, considering this book's material topic that is presented here, it's very heavy AF) that'd be great.

Page 96's 3rd paragraph's unwarranted insulting reference to a certain real world US president is and especially bad take.

I read/play mage to escape, not get slapped in the face with a cringe-worthy bad take about real world political opinions.

Had the authors managed to keep their IRL opinions about certain IRL people out of the book, I would have given it another star or two.

Otherwise, a great book damaged by unasked for outside opinions.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
M20 Book of the Fallen
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Mind Over Matter
by Brian A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/05/2020 09:00:18

This is another great product produced by the enthusiastic community of Trinity: Continuum. The edges enhance existing Psi powers, being both among the very mundane and flavourful and exceedingly pragmatic. It's a good mix if you ask me.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mind Over Matter
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Truth Beyond Paradox
by Stéphane Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/03/2020 06:26:02

I'd purchased this book a while ago, but hadn't taken the time to read the stories it contains. Finally taking a close look at the Mage 20 core book had me take a look at Everything Mage in general, and Truth Beyond Paradox in particular. First off, I think all short stories contained in this book are great, and are all well worth reading.

This book's contents are the following: Introduction by Satyros Brucato We Are the Shadows Cast by the Memory of Giants by Seanan McGuire A Secret Palace by J. F. High Well Played by Emily Jones Bound in Blue by S. J. Tucker & Ryan James Loyd Famished Road by Balogun Ojetade Life by Antonios Rave-N Galatis Nothing Important Happened Today by Scott Havens Wildfire Sky by Kris Millering The Girl Who Remembered Tomorrow by Bill Bridges Dabda by Travis Legge Sympathetic Magick by Stephen Michael DiPesa The Process by Shawn Connolly The Theogeneis Gimmick by Luna Lindsey Toxic by Tina Shelton The Long Game by R. S. Udell Gray Rising by Janine A. Southard A Firm Place to Stand by Sandra Damiana Buskirk

In no particular order, I loved "The Girl Who Remembered Tomorrow," by Bill Bridges, which is a nice shout out to some of his previous work on the Sons of Ether tradition book, published 20+ years ago. "We Are the Shadows Cast by the Memory of Giants" provides a really nice view of what it can be to follow the Order of Hermes as new member. Dabda is a great story about loss and the possible choices (and consequences!) that ensue for a mage. A Firm Place to Stand gives insight into some Technocratic groups, and how they strive to help humanity; how they themselves are evolving to better serve it. The Process is one of the stories that is the most explicit about the source material (Order of Hermes, Technocracy, etc.), but also provides a very interesting story about the main character and his relationship with the City, its spirit, and the people that inhabit it. The other stories are also great. Some, I'll need to re-read, because while I know I liked them, I also know I don't know how to feel after reading them (which, in my book, is a Good Thing).

To repeat what I said at the beginning: if you're a Mage: the Ascension fan, I think this book is really good. If you know nothing about M:tAs, it's OK. The stories are all really well written, and most are written in a way that it does not matter whether you know the universe or not. Even when some specific names are dropped, it does not hamper reading at all (I think). This book is worth reading, and I'll probably use some themes in the stories in my own chronicles (aspects of characters, or some of the more abstract descriptions, etc.).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Truth Beyond Paradox
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Supernatural Path: Vigilante
by Moros F. H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/30/2020 13:57:38

The idea of a non-divine mortal gaining Legend feels rather redundant considering the Wolf Warriors exist and fulfill that same role and also the same role of being ardent followers of a worthy cause.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Supernatural Path: Vigilante
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Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
by Kyle S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/28/2020 13:57:34

My favorite White Wolf game of all time! The 20th Anniversary is a FANTASTIC combination of so many of the amazing qualities of the game. They include the core game along with rules for Technocratic mages as well as other 'independents'.

They've taken the time to refine the Sphere's and a way to keep track of Rotes and even explain ways to make more common spells / rotes more refined so players can have a 'specialty' in the game. Artwork is as always beautifully drawn. If you were a fan of Mage: The Ascension in the 90's and early 2000's, you will absolutely love the 20th Anniversary Edition.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
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Pugmire Core Rulebook
by Daniel R. G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/27/2020 22:30:56

This is a wonderful RPG, and the luck jar system that they have works for me better than inspiration did in 5e. Wish they'd release a monster list or bestiary of some sort so we have more adventures.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pugmire Core Rulebook
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