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Ephemeral Influence $4.50
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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Ephemeral Influence
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Ephemeral Influence
Publisher: White Wolf
by Justin S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/20/2019 14:49:23

One of the things a lot of people have had trouble with in Chronicles is the Influence system. While assorted books get into the basics of what dot of an Influence can do, they're meant to be mostly plot devices. This doesn't help some of the more mechanically-minded storytellers, or players (as PCs are capable of getting Influences).

Ephemeral Influence breaks down the mechanics, still leaving some open to plot device but giving you a sturdy framework to build off of. It starts with breaking down each dot, similar to how Mage has its Practices, it offers you some rules capable at each dot of Influence. Then it goes into specific Influences, covering Air, Authority, Death, Dogs, Disease, Earth, Electricity, Emotions, Fear, Fire, Information, Location, Time, Vice, and Water. Each Influence has many individual powers beneath it, offering rules and Tilt suggestions for them, including multiple options at different dot levels. There's a wide variety of powers here, and they're under suitably generic Influences that a ST should be able to convert them for more specific needs (Air to Smoke, Water and Earth to Mud, Water to Blood, Dog to basically any other animal). Each Influence has between 13 and 15 powers.

And while that makes up the bulk of the book, that isn't it. The last chapter offers ideas and mechanics for how some other gamelines can gain Influences (the Mortal section references some other books, mostly fanmade: Hurt Locker, Borrowed Power, and Second Sight: Third Eye, though it offers mechanics of its own). For Vampire there's an update to Blood Tenebrous, the spirit-affecting Discipline from first edition's Book of Spirits. There's a new Rite and Emotion Gift for Werewolves (that offers for the most part Influences over emotions). A spell for Mage that allows for a sort of 'reverse claiming' allowing mages to put spirits and their abilities at the disposal of another. All use the second edition rules.

It's a pretty good book. If you've ever had issues with figuring out mechanics for Influence, I can't recommend it more.

The only complaint I have is pretty minor, in that the Honor Facet of the Gift should probably allow for targeting packmates, given the Essence cost. And Dalu is misspelled.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
The typo I'll mark down and update shortly. As for the Gift, I didn't want to double up on Fearless Hunter (Inspiration); I'd personally allow a character with Fearless Hunter to gain the bonus to the Clash of Wills granted by Neutral Observer, which would then effectively wipe the effect away from pack-mates suffering from it. Still, I can see that not always working, especially with mundane conditions/tilts. When I make the update, I'll ponder a more costly activation option that will affect packmatess as well. Fearless Hunter could then perhaps be more of a shielding, while this Facet is more for removing such problems after the fact.
Ephemeral Influence
Publisher: White Wolf
by Kevin B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/11/2019 13:47:33

I thought this book was quite solid, fleshing out the influence rules from the core Chronicles of Darkness book in an easy to understand and evocative way.

The best parts of the book were the sections on general guidelines for influence use and the example influences. Those were worth the price of the book alone. I think the core rulebook for Chronicles would have been improved with a version of the general guidelines included here. The examples for influences are nice and varied and should be able to accomidate a wide variety of spirits and ghosts in a game.

The last section on Merits and Powers wasn't bad, but it was shorter than I was hoping for. That said, the author directly references already existing merits and powers for the various supernatural groups in other books that can be used for further influence control, which I thought was a particularly nice touch.

By my count there is: One Mortal merit One Vampire Discipline (five ranks) One Werewolf Rite, One Werewolf Gift (That can be used in five different ways) One mage Spell (With three variations)

All that said, the entire book is 43 pages, so it isn't light on content by any means. It just left me wanting more in the final section.

As far as some final thoughts: The layout is clear and easy to follow The art is good and fits the content The mechanical powers seem largely balanced and evocative

I would recommend Ephemeral Influence for anyone wanting to use Spirits or Ghosts in their Chronicles of Darkness game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for the input! I was pondering putting in a bit more material for each splat, but it was meant to be more like a little 'bonus section' than the focus of the book, and I wanted to get it out there for several reasons. Still, I'll ponder coming up with a little addon or maybe expanding the book at a later time.
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