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Mind's Eye Theatre: Werewolf The Apocalypse
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Mind\'s Eye Theatre: Werewolf The Apocalypse
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Mind's Eye Theatre: Werewolf The Apocalypse
Publisher: By Night Studios
by Carl L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/20/2019 12:53:30

Another fine treatment of an older game. I still dig the ability bits that go beyond just numbers for tests. I like the downtime action layout, as well as the Quest bits for trying to make sense of all the questing things the warriors of Gaia undergo.

I think setting wise it suffers from trying to 'fix' all the issues of the old Werewolf setting. Suddenly nearly all the shifters get along. Suddenly the Garou and other Fera get a rousing second chance in the forms of seed caerns and the inclusion kinfolk being Bitten. While there's some interesting ideas there it honestly smacks of a little too much of a fan fiction type 'fix' for things they saw 'wrong' with the old.

That's just a personal opinion. I know plenty you love the suddenly fluffy hugs and rainbows approach to the end of the world. Mechanically, I think the only gripe I can find is that while the streamlined powers work fine in the Vampire, Werewolf loses out when you take a machete to the gift lists. True, there's too many of the things, but still. In stripping away some of the key gifts for a certain tribe or fera those groups lose a lot of their 'flavor'.

And the book still suffers from the size issue as the Vampire MET.

All in all a solid book and game though.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Mind's Eye Theatre: Werewolf The Apocalypse
Publisher: By Night Studios
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/27/2018 14:25:38

First, I find the content/conceptual update of this product from the BNS writers to be phenomenal, engaging, and very appropriate to the Zeitgeist of the early 21st century rather than the 1990s that birthed the earlier editions of Werewolf: The Apocalypse. In that regard, I do play and love playing this game.

My problems have been with the release. There is the general problem that it is too massive for its binding. I treat mine like a museum piece as a result, because I hear countless accounts of how 1 rough handling will break its spine in an instant, quickly leading to a fragmented book. That's a common and well-known problem with the hardcover edition.

But there are additional problems in terms of versions.

PDF version: I bought the PDF-only package early on (October 2016), because I needed access to the text and couldn't afford hard copy then. Fow what it is, it's good, although you still have to refer to the BNS Errata on their website for a last few and sundry patches to the text. (Some wrong, rogue, and missing sentences slipped by the final edit for the current PDF version.) But since the Errata points out those fixes, and there are rather few, it's manageable. And when I'm at my desktop with extra monitor, reading the book this way works well. Also, being searchable is the only solution sometimes, so that's good. You just have to make sure you check the Errata on some points.

Hard copy: I waited a year and a half before buying the hardcopy version (January 2018), because sometimes you just want/need a book, not a PDF. I also figured that (1) this would avoid early misprint/publication problems, and (2) since it's listed as Print on Demand, it wouldn't run out, and it would be up to date with any PDF revisions that might come up (as one did shortly after initial release of the game).

There are significant content problems with the hard copy edition.

The hard copy I received is printed from an extremely out of date version of the PDF (pre-October 2016), which has numerous additional errors in the rules for various Gifts and making Spirit NPCs not covered in the online BNS errata. Those are just the ones I know about. The BNS Errata does not cover the changes that were made between that old version and the PDF version now sold by DriveThru RPG, so there seems to be no indication of which parts of the hard copy are wrong as compared to the PDF. This means the reader is left to discover them like rotten Easter eggs at some point when looking at the book and the PDF side by side. And then you still have to check the BNS Errata for the lingering discrepancies in the PDF version (which on its own would be forgivable for an otherwise great product).

I ordered the book as a Print on demand product in January 2018. But it was printed from a pre-October 2016 outdated (erroneous) version of the PDF.

I submitted this to Customer Service with print lot number and everything per norma, hoping it was just a probem with one lot--bad luck of the draw for me. They looked into it for a few weeks, then concluded the issue with the offer of refund, because "Unfortunately it doesn't look like we will be able to get an updated print version of this book any time soon." This tells me that this is not actually a Print on Demand product, but that they are sitting on a big stock of misprinted hardcover editions that are faulty (or for some mysterious reason can only print from a very out-of-date version). Customer Service then pointed me to the BNS Errata online. But that Errata only covers the errors in the more recent PDF version of the book; there is apparently no Errata/Changelog available that shows what content changed between the outdated version used to print the hard copy and the PDF version that is sold now. Such a file should at least be provided to customers as a courtesy.

Additionally, because I bought the PDF on its own first, then the hard copy separately, I was not eligible for the bundle price, nor did Customer Service offer that as an option--i.e., keeping the faulty book, but at reduced (bundle) price via partial refund (or even credit). So it's either all or nothing on refund for the book. You either settle for a book that is from a version of the text that is 18+ months out of date (and undocumented), or you have no hard copy at all. Having paid full price for both parts of the bundle, I am left using the hard copy (because sometimes PDF is really inconvenient, especially for extended reading), but then still having to check the PDF for some rules updates and then also the BNS Errata online for additional rules changes. This seriously reduces the value of a hardcover book that cost $60 (Standard Heavyweight) in addition to the $25 PDF.

I am tolerant of a lot of things, but this release gaffe has hit my bottom line for hobby budgeting pretty hard, with no solutions being offered by the sellers.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mind's Eye Theatre: Werewolf The Apocalypse
Publisher: By Night Studios
by Dana R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/22/2017 12:53:36

Another great title from BNS! As a long time fan of the Garou setting, I really appreciate this addition to the new LARP rules they are generating for White Wolf.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mind's Eye Theatre: Werewolf The Apocalypse
Publisher: By Night Studios
by Alex S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/24/2017 22:33:12

I've had this book for a month, and just beginning a campaign with it. It is already falling apart. I'd assume I was just unlucky if it wasn't happening to 3 other people's books as well. It's a massive book, the binding isn't up for the task.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Mind's Eye Theatre: Werewolf The Apocalypse
Publisher: By Night Studios
by William M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/28/2016 13:05:02

So a quick history: White Wolf published a LARP (Live Action Role Play) variant of their Old World of Darkness (oWoD) series in the early and mid-90s dubbed Mind’s Eye Theater (MET). By Night Studios (BNS) recently acquired the right to make new LARP materials from oWoD and have set out to create newly revamped systems that are based today incorporate more recent societal themes. This is a review of their newest book in this reimagining, Werewolf:The Apocalypse.

The Story

In the original setting, the world ended around 2000. To allow for the game to be more modern, BNS had to work from the point where the world would have ended, forward, and continue to build the world. This was a monumental job that could have fallen flat if they had gone in the wrong direction. Instead, they hit it out of the ballpark.

The story moving in to the current era is plausible, interesting, and makes for a large amount of story hooks for any storyteller. The feeling of something akin to an Apocalypse happening was preserved. At the same time, the authors moved both the game and the setting forward. I feel the most impressive thing they did was characterizing the cyber generation, especially in a game historically defined by hatred of technology (and sometimes progress). The inclusion of two political factions (The Concordat of Stars and the Sanctum of Gaia) working both together and against one another while fighting the same war also adds a new angle that storytellers can use if heavy meta-politics are their players’ jam.

Most importantly to me, some of the tribes have moved forward to become fully fleshed out, living groups of people. Black Furies accept all women and cubs of both genders born to the tribe, the Wendigo aren’t solely just angry native people, and in general, the setting incorporates globalization of our culture in a very appropriate and respectful way. I’m not saying that if you hadn’t dug deeper in to those tribes I mentioned before you wouldn’t have found life and spark, but this is an area where I feel the previous LARP books did a disservice. I feel like BNS went above and beyond to truly give new players a glance in to a living, breathing cultural organization of people, especially ones with more sensitive themes.


If you are familiar with rock-paper-scissors, you can play this game. Mechanically not much is changed from BNS’s MET: Vampire: the Masquerade (VtM). You have test pools determined by your sheet, you throw rock-paper-scissors, you compare your results and then things happen. Some elements are new, but if you are familiar with the other book, this book is an almost seamless transition. It’s also obvious that this is BNS’s second book, because concerns with MET: VtM have either been corrected or elaborated upon (backgrounds, etc.).

The only mechanic that is truly new, and I feel makes the game stand out from its companion, is the Quest System. Players develop a Quest, work together to determine requirements, and then, regardless of success or failure, collectively create a shared narrative. This emphasizes player cooperation and agency, while reducing storyteller stress. It’s a great example of a system promoting positive play and I am very impressed with it. I have heard a lot of Vampire storytellers that want to incorporate it in to their game and I look forward to that.

Relevance to New and Old Playersrokea

I would like to preface this section with the fact that BNS talked with the community at large about what they liked and disliked about Werewolf, and it’s pretty obvious that they took those suggestions to heart in their development of the new book. They made a lot of changes to make the game more palatable, easier to run, and easier to play.

My old group of players has an adage. “Forget what you knew before, read through the book and that’s what you have.” There is a lot of difference between the original Werewolf and this one. But these changes aren’t bad, especially considering the backstory of the book. If you like Werewolf, you’ll definitely find the old Werewolf you love deep inside the heart of this book, as well as a whole new world to explore

For newer players, this book is a great introduction to the genre. With the inclusion of definite mechanics and story hooks that allow for inexperienced players to play as Kinfolk (the human relatives of werewolves), and Cubs (newly changed werewolves), and also to become actively involved in the story, even as low powered creatures (I’m looking at you Den Mother), even the greenest oWoD player can truly become involved and captured by the system and story. Don’t try and read the whole thing in one sitting though.

Storytellers are given a lot of information and a lot of meat to sink their fangs in to. The Umbra section alone could be an entire 5 year chronicles. This makes the book great for someone trying to run a game, especially if paired with its sister book, Vampire the Masquerade. There are 750+ pages of pure information to sink your teeth into and you have all the time in the world to get to know it.


This needed its own section. The art is amazing, representative, evocative, and while the style may be slightly strange at first, it meshes well. There are depictions of strength and serenity in both genders. It’s some great stuff.

But… it’s not perfect.

My major gripe is that there are firmly more depictions of men than women (by a factor of maybe ¼ from a quick count through the book) and there are a few ‘sexy poses’ that women are in that you don’t see the men paralleling (I’m looking at you page 735). There’s nothing wrong with sexy, but similar poses could have been employed in some of the male images. Also the bewildered and bored look that the two women in the Pentex scene respectively have (page 610) hurt my soul a little bit compared to the businesslike and serious look the men have.

These seem like petty gripes, but I hold BNS to high standards in regards to being open and accommodating to the community, and art is one of the major ways that the gaming community has majorly failed to do this in the past.

Overall, the art is stunning, and despite these issues the full color renderings of them make me want an art book with more.


So there is one Were-Elephant in the room I’d like to address. The original LARP books were small and portable. This book is not. While the 750+ pages are absolutely glorious and give you all the information you could ever need, it’s also a monster of a book. There are ways around this (printing and creating subsection binders, e-readers, etc.), but those are hoops that the consumer has to jump through themselves. Also, the size does seem to mess with certain e-readers and PDF readers, so a B&W option of the pdf at some point in the future would be appreciated.

Final Verdict

This is an amazing book. It’s a great re-imagining of Werewolf that addresses and deals with a large amount of the issues that the community was vocal about. It’s obvious that the two years of work that both BNS and the community put in to it have paid off and I feel like this is definitely going to revitalize a once dying subset of the LARP community. They have taken a part of oWoD that I loved but was always hesitant to suggest due to problematic issues in the original source material and morphed it in to something I would suggest to most, if not all, of my LARPing friends to try out at least once.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mind's Eye Theatre: Werewolf The Apocalypse
Publisher: By Night Studios
by Jason O. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2016 19:45:18

A great set of updates for the LARP rules of Apocalypse. The downtime system updates are great and hope they migrate to the Vampire rules as well.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mind's Eye Theatre: Werewolf The Apocalypse
Publisher: By Night Studios
by Ivan . [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/25/2016 17:36:58

I liked the book, it's 200 pages more than the Vampire book at the same price, and the base mechanics, downtime system etc. have been polished in the meantime. Plenty of setting info, but a lot of it has been changed since tabletop version.

Very compatible with Vampire book, unlike previous WtA offerings - it has a nice chapter about mechanical interaction of both creatures, and a huge NPC section including even more World of Darkness creatures. Excellent status/political system, and plenty of additional info in the core book (like Fera) which would usually be found in some supplements. Great buy.

I wrote a more comprehensive review on my blog:

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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