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The Horizon War Volume 1: The Road to Hell
by Burnace C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/13/2014 04:41:44
I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Mage, and this book just grabbed me and wouldn't let go! I have to stop myself from finishing it in one sitting so I can do my homework!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Horizon War Volume 1: The Road to Hell
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Exalted Second Edition
by Brian P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/25/2014 20:12:52
"Before the world was bent but after the Great Contagion, there was a civilization built in the image of the First Age. It sought to emulate the splendor of the bygone Golden Age, but it was in all ways less. It was a time of sorcery and heroism, of fabulous wonders and treacherous betrayals. Ruled by a decadent empire, it slipped inch by inch into barbarism and darkness, until one last cataclysm blotted it out forever. Yet, in its sunset, it was a splended thing, and glorious were the deeds of the Exalted."
-Exalted 1e Core

Exalted is one of my favorite games of all time. I ran a first edition game for five years, plus an additional year of random fiction extras and discussions about where the game might have gone, and I'd dare say that almost everything I learned about running an RPG I learned over the course of that game. I bought Exalted 2e when it came out, but after a discussion with my group we decided not to convert over and so I skimmed the book, and never really sat down to read it cover to cover until now. I'll try not to do too much comparison with 1e as I write, but with the context above it'll be hard. But, what comparison I'm going to do I'll get out of the way in the beginning here:

--I really don't like the art. 2e's art has a few great pieces--the picture of the hiker seeing Mount Mostath in the distance on page 51, for example--but generally I was lukewarm on it, and a lot of it I actively disliked. It didn't seem as thematically or stylistically unified as 1e did.
--I prefer the writing style of 1e. 2e has the benefit of a lot more setting material to draw on, but that also means it goes into much more detail and feels more like a technical manual and less like weird fiction. 1e's sense of wonder was due to most of the setting not being fleshed out yet, but it definitely got my imagination working more.
--The chapter comics do a decent job of setting the tone, especially the very first one with the river god, but I prefer the chapter fiction from 1e.
--While I think the concept is fine, I hate the word "Magitech."

That out of the way, let's dive in.

===Setting===

Exalted takes place in Creation, bordered by the swirling chaos of the Wyld on all edges and anchored by the Elemental Poles. To the west is the Elemental Pole of Water and a vast sea broken up by occasional islands until the sea and sky merge into one. To the south is the Elemental Pole of Fire and balmy coastal cities that give way to trackless sands and broken ground until in the far southern reaches the ground is too hot to walk on and the very air bursts into flame. To the east is the Elemental Pole of Wood, where fertile plains turn to dense forests whose trees grow taller and taller until the ground falls always and it's nothing but vast trunks going up and down into the misty green. To the north is the Elemental Pole of Air, from the temperate cities on the coast of the Inner Sea to the icy wastes of the north criss-crossed by tribes of nomads and haunted by the dead until it all becomes a vast sheet of ice. And in the center is the Blessed Isle, the stronghold of the Realm, the greatest empire in the world, and towering over the Realm is the Imperial Mountain, the Elemental Pole of Earth.

The assumed heroes of the game are the Exalted, empowered by the gods to fight the ancient Primordials and rule Creation. The Solars--the assumed protagonists of this book--were the greatest, until their hubris led to debauchery and chaos and they were overthrown, hunted down, and slain in incarnation after incarnation. Their enemies are the Dragon-blooded, elementally-empowered Princes of the Earth who rule the Realm and brand the Solars as Anathema. There are also the protean Lunars, the manipulative Sidereals, and the sinister Abyssals, among other, stranger beings. Like the Fair Folk who lurk in the Wyld beyond Creation and feed on human souls, or the spirits of the dead who watch over their ancestors, or the myriad of gods who govern every principle and location in Creation, from the concept of justice or the movement of the moon to the local god of an individual river or arrangement of boulders.

I am an unabashed lover of Creation. I could write pages and pages of setting description about the various areas of the setting and the people that live there, but in the interests of not turning this review into a book in its own right, I'll leave it at that.

It is a great setting, though. It's huge enough that it's possible to have wide diversity in cultures and physical geography without even accounting for the mutating effects of the Wyld, but the parts that are detailed are far-flung enough that it's easy to drop in your own kingdoms and civilizations in almost any place on the map. There are some places where the writers seem to forget this, though, like when they talk about how the Linowan, who are several thousand miles from the ocean, and would have to go several thousand more miles out of their way to get there by river, have a sea presence. I get that it's only a couple inches on the map, but each of those inches is a thousand miles. Creation is big.

There are also points where it gets a bit tedious. It's true that the Realm is the greatest power in the world and the Dragon-blooded are extremely important to the setting, but I'm not sure that we needed all that info about the inner workings of the Realm in this book. The assumed default is that the players will play Solars, and since repeated mention is made of how Solars who Exalt on the Blessed Isle almost never live very long, it probably would have been better to put that wordcount into describing the places where the characters will be spending their time.

The assumed tone of the game is Bronze Age epic crossed with high-powered wuxia film, with a greater or lesser proportion of either depending on the location chosen and the preferences of the players. I've noticed that the Bronze Age part tends to get lost in a lot of the online discussion, but the book does provide support for it through the setting. For example, the bestiary is filled with prehistoric creatures like dinosaurs or megafauna. On the wuxia side, the main staple crop of most places isn't maize, it's rice. Minor things, sure, but it does a lot to set the mood if the characters are fighting giant insects and velociraptors and getting jumped by ninjas in tea houses instead of fighting goblins and getting jumped by bandits in taverns.

Though you can do those too, if you want. Creation is large. It contains multitudes.

===System===

If you've played any of the other Storyteller games, you know the basic way the system works. A bunch of attributes, a bunch of abilities, add them together to get a dice pool, and try to beat a target number. A 7 or more is a success, and a 10 is two successes. Characters have Willpower that they can spend to increase their odds of success and Health Levels that stand between them and death. All that's the same.

There are some major differences between this and the various other Storyteller games, though, mostly relating to combat. For one, combat doesn't involve initiative and going around the table in turns. Instead, it's tick-based--each action a character can perform, including doing nothing, takes a certain number of "ticks" and reduces your ability to defend yourself by a certain amount until those ticks have gone by and you can act again. Similarly, defenses are no longer rolled out. Instead, everyone has a Defense Value that's automatically applied against incoming attacks. Damage and soak are still both rolled out, though, and damage is successes from the attack plus the weapon damage as is typical for Storytelling games. In addition, characters can move on every tick, which seems like it would help prevent the problem of people tuning out when it's not their turn, since they can block enemies, jockey for position, and so on even while they're waiting for their next action to come up. It does seem a little complicated, but I know there are fan-created accessories called Battlewheels to keep track of combatants' ticks-to-next-action, DV penalties, and so on.

Then, having created this elegant system, they created "flurries," a type of action that let people take multiple actions on the same tick, which seems like it gets rid of the whole point of having a timing-based system.

Combat is brutal, with rules for wounds becoming infected, bleeding to death, taking permanently crippling and disfiguring injuries, getting thrown to the floor or through walls, having armor and weapons smashed, and then the Exalted get to ignore almost all of those because they're just that awesome.

Each character has virtues as well: Compassion, Conviction, Temperance, and Valor. These have more of a mechanical effect in play, because a character has to fail a roll in order to go against any virtue rated 3 or higher. Failing a Valor roll to run from battle, for example, or failing a Compassion roll to execute a prisoner, or failing a Conviction roll to change their plan if ambiguous evidence of its failure comes through. It's not entirely a disadvantage, though, since characters can spend Willpower through a virtue to get bonus dice to appropriate rolls.

The main thing that makes the Exalted awesome is their Charms, and Solar Charms take up the single largest chunk of space in the book. Every ability, from Melee to Bureaucracy to Ride, has an array of special effects that can be invoked, letting Solars throw people across a football field, jump over mountains, raise a mob with a rousing speech, walk through walls, keep a ship from capsizing, survive a blow from a mammoth, or any number of other powers. There's a system of keywords for the Charms, like Obvious, meaning that it always causes some kind of physical manifestation that makes it easy to spot, or Emotion, meaning it affects the target's feelings. There's also sorcery, which lets the Exalted summon demons, teleport in the blink of an eye, part vast seas, or call down an acid rain that annihilates everything within its area of effect.

Two additional subsystems that weren't in Exalted 1e are the mass combat system and the social combat system. The mass combat system is a bit strange, because armies are modeled as essentially another piece of equipment that modifies the stats of the commander. It's a reasonable abstraction, but when mixed with the Charm and sorcery system it leads to weird effects. Some Charms have notes of how their usage change in mass combat, and some don't. Death of Obsidian Butterflies summons hundreds of razor-sharp butterflies and should carve a swath through any mortal army, but has no stats for mass combat. Adamant Skin Technique, which lets the Exalt stop all damage from an attack on them, can be used to block massed arrow fire because the army is an addition to the Exalt's stats. It does say that the GM should use their judgement, but I can see a lot of things that would get odd.

The social combat system is tick-based like physical combat, and involves making arguments and then either making a counterargument (social "parry") or stubbornly refusing to listen (social "dodge"), plus other actions. It also allows the recipient to spend a Willpower point to just say no and block the argument there, but the problems come in when supernatural persuasion is taken into account. Many supernatural powers require more than one Willpower to resist, and sometimes it has a periodic resistance cost. Furthermore, the book says: "Never forget that characters can flee the presence of individuals attempting to engage them in social combat or attack them in an attempt to cut short the conversation." Now admittedly, if someone can rewrite my beliefs then stabbing them in the face is a legitimate response for them trying to do so, but the image this conjures, of people running screaming from itinerant preachers or stabbing merchants who try to sell them goods they don't want to buy, is really odd.

The point of this is to affect the target's Intimacies and Motivation, which are a mechanical representation of their beliefs. They don't have much of a mechanical hook into the system, but they provide a basis for determining how characters are played.

There are some sloppy parts, though. The Fair Folk are supernaturally charming and can beguile the unwitting into believing in and accepting them, but there's no tie in with the social combat system. Buck-ogres have a note that they can "split their dice pools," even though that's a relic of the old Storyteller system and has been replaced by flurries. The aforementioned lack of interaction between large-scale battle sorcery and the system to handle large-scale battles. The listing of languages in NPC writeups has languages that aren't listed anywhere in the languages PCs can take, like Sijanese or River Valley.

And I won't even mention the errata. I have both the hardcopy and the PDF, and overlaid the errata as comments on the PDF, and some pages have up to a dozen comments on them. It's probably the most extensively-errataed RPG I've ever seen.

Exalted 1e has given me more fun than any RPG I own and I have a lot of love for the franchise because of that, but while this book does bring a lot of that to mind and even kindles it again in its own right, there are just too many small niggling things that bother me for me to give it five stars. A lot of that has to do with the system, though, not the setting. Creation is one of the most compelling fantasy worlds I'm familiar with, and I'd say Exalted is worth reading just for that.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted Second Edition
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Monte Cook's World of Darkness
by Carol L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2014 06:08:36
The name Monte Cook rings pretty loudly in the RPG world, I admit to buying more than one book because it had that embossed on the cover, and this book only adds to the weight of his gravity. In a sweeping reformation from earlier World of Darkness titles, Cook aligns the entire gaming mechanic to a d20 system that mirrors the world's greatest RPG. Most importantly he does it successfully- but did you expect any less?

Cook expands the entire gaming world with this title because he uses an easy mechanic that rarely alters itself and ties to so many other popular games. The d20 mechanic is easy to learn for a beginner and so completely realized new possibilities are always available to experienced gamers.Plus this title is actually self-contained , so it is the only necessary book for players to start gaming which is nice on the wallet.

The use of the d20 mechanic really is the best selling point to the title because it is a system so many people already know that they can forget learning a game and actually play it. The system allows an endless choice of creativity in that it already possesses setting titles for every time frame or reality that gamers wish to use, from true history to high fantasy to futuristic to modern day; and all of it fits together cohesively without any alteration.

In comparison to other WoD texts the Monte Cook version holds its own very well with an equal amount of game mechanic and flavor text that really sets the stage of the game. There is plenty of story line built in place within the system so there is never a want for gaming plot or characters.
The entire history and current status of the setting are fully explained in detail with strong examples of actual game usage.
There is one piece that defies my explanation within the text, why he granted extra hit dice to beginning characters, it seems that such a move creates imbalanced characters across the different game setting divide, but in the WoD setting alone it remains balanced since all characters receive them.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monte Cook's World of Darkness
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A Night With Jack
by Adrian K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/21/2014 18:20:28
Great little story hooks and a very nice nWoD treatment for this legend. It would be very interesting to see White Wolf do a series of these as short SAS cards.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
A Night With Jack
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Past Lives
by Rémi T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/18/2014 08:45:02
Great ideas, great scenes, many time periods, but needs works : feel too railroaded. A must-by for Werewolf.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Past Lives
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Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
by Michael O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/11/2014 06:56:14
Love this book. I purchased the black and white softcover version, and though the price was a bit high, it was definitely worth it to get everything I could need to play or run a game. If you have the money, you definitely need to pick this book up.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition
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Nightmare on Hill Manor
by Francesco L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/07/2014 13:08:45
Indeed a good product, especially for free, but it needs a bit of work to function, not much but there are a couple of minor plotholes which need to be fixed.
Apart from that the idea behind the story is good, the plot intriguing, and with some fantasy the story can be extended and amplified for even more game sessions.

Particularly appreciated the surrealistic setting. It does work.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Nightmare on Hill Manor
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Vampire: The Masquerade - Revised Edition
by Yair L. R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/26/2014 09:27:08
I find the price for an scanned book to be high. Although the scan quality is OK, One thinks its gonna be a digital version of the book not just a book scan. You should sell the actual digital version.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Masquerade - Revised Edition
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Wraith the Oblivion (2nd Edition)
by Christopher S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/18/2014 06:33:51
Note: This is a review of the hardcover Print on Demand product and not the game.

The PoD book is a printed version of the currently available PDF. While the text and art is fuzzy in places, it is legible and more than useable for games. The binding is more than sufficient although the cover image looks a little drab (due to the printing and not the original image). The paperstock used is fair but some care will need to be taken when handling the book as it has a tendency to pick up stains rather easily. The ever-present white boarder around the interior pages is annoying and does make the product look a little “cheap”.

Unfortunately, given the age of the original files, this is likely to be the best available to fans of the game. Yes, copies of the original book are still available and some can be found in very good condition, useally the prices demanded are rather high. An anniversary edition is due to be relased sometime in the next 12 months.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Wraith the Oblivion (2nd Edition)
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Dark Ages: Inquisitor
by Flames R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/09/2014 17:53:12
“The Revenge of the Kine” would also be an adequate name for Dark Ages: Inquisitor, where ordinary mortals are called by God himself to serve their fellow man in the vocation of the secret Holy Inquisition. Hold onto your souls kids, we’re entering a medieval world tormented by the get of Satan — from demons to heretics to blood drinking witches, and we are all that stands between man, and his corruption by evil incarnate. We are the men in black. And white. And red. And the rest.

It was a good theory anyway. The horrors perpetrated in the name of God were little better than the Get of Satan is capable of. Torture, murder and mob violence are the staples of the Inquisition, which at its most extreme will stop at nothing to root out the minions of the Adversary. How could a good Christian stand by and let Satan’s minions run freely around God’s Earth? All sin may be absolved, and what is the odd transgression when you are in the practice of saving souls? What choice do you have when the legions of Hell are here, now and stealing the souls of Innocents? Trust in God, and in his Forgiveness.
One of my favorite aspects of this game is that when the Inquisitor’s Conviction for his cause outstrips his faith in God (i.e. Piety- the Inquisitor path) he becomes “Callous”, effectively becoming a killing machine in the name of the Holy Inquisition. The Inquisitor gives in to the dark side of his Nature- his ‘Impulse’. Gone is any empathy for wretched souls tricked or being coerced by Satan, “Kill them all for God will know his own” is the sort of cry that comes to mind when an Inquisitor turns to the dark side of the force.

In service to the Holy Roman Church there are five Holy Orders divided (similarly to high and low Clans) into Monastic and Lay orders. These five orders are under the command of Cardinal Marzone who answers to the Pope, to God and to no one else. He and those under him are charged by the Pope with the Holy task of eradicating Satan’s evil from all of Christendom, while remaining completely unknown of (at this stage) by the common populace, including most of the Church itself. These Orders include Honorable Knight-Monks, Nuns who gain visions from God, A Noble house with a nose for the stench of evil, A broad spy network, and even an Order who actually desires to use the knowledge of Hell against its minions, but often at a terrible cost.

Steeped in ignorance as to the strengths and weaknesses of demons, and being only fragile, God-fearing mortals themselves, the Inquisitors are given mighty Blessings from God which take the form of miracles, and similarly are given Curses for being greedy in seeking power too quickly, or for having imperfect faith. Blessings from God are not bought with experience, rather they are purchased with the Holy Conviction that the Fight engenders within every inquisitor that their cause is just.

Inquisitors, while on an individual basis are not even vaguely as powerful as a Vampire, Werewolf, Mage or Fey, employ the awesome strength of the Flock. This is the one power that all of the mightiest creatures in the world fear, that of those they prey upon (in one way or another) rising up collectively against them, the herd stampeding the predator, so to speak. Inquisitors may be unable to employ unholy methods to gain hellish strength, speed or even the use of hell-spawned magic, but they have the single most powerful organization at their backs, whose members follow, out of blind faith and sheer desperation to save both their lives and souls.
Having mentioned their weaknesses, some Inquisitor Blessings are truly horrific. They may create true sunlight (at a low level), and at higher levels may reflect Unholy Powers back upon the caster (including Potence!), equal the physical statistics of a foe, call down the Wrath of God, or even force ‘demons’ to join in a glorious hymn praising Almighty God, inflicting copious amounts of aggravated damage in the process. For all their anti-magic pretense they seem to be awesomely potent magic-users, to me at least. While not as versatile as a Mage, resilient as a Vampire, or combat munchkiny as a Werewolf they represent the terrifying power of the Flock, and the Flock is not happy.
Inquisitors are God’s bastions of strength among the Flock, having been blessed with several abilities that set them apart from their fellow man, as well as the denizens of Hell. As with Vampires, Inquisitors have Virtues, although these have also been further refined into “Superior Virtues”- Conscience growing into Faith, Self-Control into Wisdom and Courage into Zeal. Superior virtues grant the Inquisitor resistance to unnatural powers like thralldom, memory alteration and fear effects. God has given the Inquisitors four different types of ‘Blessings’ including Orisons, Endowments, Ritae and the Holy Art.

Orisons are the weakest of the blessings, generally performing some minor feat- e.g. turning the Inquisitors blood toxic to Vampires, enhancing ones knowledge, or reducing the need for sleep. Endowments have different facets, which are drawn upon by different Superior Virtues. Holy Ritae include everything from exorcism to creating holy armaments, while the Holy Art is similar to path magic of the Tremere, with three paths representing the three aspects of the Divine Trinity.

‘Well, what the hell do you think about it?’ you are probably asking by now. Well, I quite like Dark Ages: Inquisitor, although I am extremely annoyed that you need Dark Ages: Vampire to be able to run a game, whether you want it or not, because only it contains the core rules. A lot of the book is given to explaining how the inquisition thinks, and rightly so, it is very hard to shift from modern day thinking to such a narrow minded, contradictory and ignorant world view. It is a real culture shock shifting from a Mage or Vampire game to an Inquisitor game as the sheer ignorance of the group. Despite its power, its core concept is ‘If it ain’t us it’s the Devil’s work’ makes for a very interesting, if limiting, game. I love the fiction (there is an awful lot — more than a whole chapter) about Leopold von Murnau and the other hunters, as well as the way that the Inquisition’s view on the supernatural is explained during a story (in a very Tolkienesque manner if you ask me).

All in all, this game embodies (even if it appears otherwise) what all the WoD games historically entailed- “We may not be right, we do not have all the answers, but we are going to give life the best damned shot we can give it. We are going to act in a manner and try and protect our friends and family and ourselves, for our own purposes, enforced upon us by our own circumstances.” This way of thinking is what has led me to love White-Wolf games in the first place- the dissolution of the good vs. evil cliché, and the characters (regardless of what they happen to be) acting simply as life has shaped them to act. The concept of ‘we may not have all the answers, but we’ll give it our best shot’ is a universal one.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Ages: Inquisitor
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Changeling: The Lost
by Flames R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/09/2014 17:51:09
Changeling was the 5th game launched under the “new” version of the World of Darkness from White Wolf Game Studio. It is partially a re-imagining of Changeling: the Dreaming and a chance for White Wolf to explore myth and legend in new ways. This game deviates much more from its predecessor than Vampire: the Requiem does from Vampire: the Masquerade. Sure, there are a few familiar terms in this version of Changeling, but the game is very, very different from the Dreaming.

In Lost, the characters are victims of the True Fae, having been abducted or seduced into service of these other-worldly beings. The Fae often replace the victim with a Fetch (a Fae creation that effectively assumes the role the character would have had in the mortal world). While in Arcadia the characters fill any number of roles for their masters, servants, lovers, slaves, pawns and decorations in the endless imaginations of The Others.
All of the Lost have managed somehow to escape Arcadia and returned to the world of mortals. They find however, that the world has moved on without them and they no longer really fit into their old lives anymore. Not only have usually not been missed (because of the Fetch that replaced them), but they are now not fully human anymore. Their time in the world of the Fae has altered them with magic and left the mark of the fairy world on them in fundamental ways.

Changeling: the Lost offers up a ton of setting information early on. The first chapter is full of rich detail in regards to the Fae, the life of a Changeling as a servant to these inhuman beings and the lives they attempt to lead now that they have escaped. The balance they attempt to hold between their lives as Lost and the world of the mortals around them is a constant struggle. This is an important element throughout the book, even during the mechanics portion of the game. The Changeling specific mortality Trait called Clarity, for example, is literally the Changeling’s ability to perceive the differences between the mundane and the magical (i.e. mortal and fairy). Much of this early setting information is expanded upon later in the book with the Storytelling System mechanics in later chapters.

Creating characters in Changeling takes a little bit of work, but only because there are so many options. Starting out with the Attributes, Skills and Specialties in the core World of Darkness book is the “easy” part, the real fun begins with the Changeling specific elements that are offered.

At first glance the Seasonal Courts, which make up the political aspect of the setting are fairly straightforward. Summer Court are hotheads who have powers over Wrath and the Winter Court are “cold” and sad. This is only at first glance however, as each of the Courts have advantages and disadvantages for membership. There is plenty of information on each of the Courts and I immediately had several story ideas for my next game. Like Vampire: the Requiem, there is an option for characters to strike out on their own and not sign up with one of the courts (or in the case of vampire, not joining a Covenant).
I actually found that it was easier to choose a character’s Seeming than deciding which of the Courts to align with. Basically, a Seeming tells you what kind of fae your character has become. Whether you are a creature of the night like the Darklings or a pretty little member of the Fairest or even a big bad Ogre usually depends on just why you were taken to Arcadia to begin with and what type of life your character had while they were serving the Others. While there are six different types of Seeming, each of them has a handful of Kith options to further customize your character.

Contracts are the supernatural powers the Fae and the Lost use to affect the world around them. There are a lot of them offered in this book. There are the General Contracts that all changelings have access to, there are also Contracts based on the character’s Seeming and Contracts based on specific Seasonal Courts and last, but certainly not least are the Goblin Contracts. Most Contracts work in a fairly basic World of Darkness fashion, there are five levels of power each with a cost, applicable Dice Pool and Roll Results handily laid out for the Player and Storyteller alike to reference. A great addition to this game is the Catch. Catches are neat options for the character to “get out of” paying the cost (usually Glamour and/or Willpower) of using the power. An example would be to have the token of your enemy given freely to the character.

Between the General, Seeming and Seasonal Contracts there are ton of options for players to arm their characters with and I would have been happy with that big list. The strange little Goblin Contracts are a great extra detail that really adds to the game. They are a twist on the concept of Contracts without breaking the system in any way. Instead of a path of similar powers that get more powerful with experience Goblin Contracts are individual boons that come with a cost, they are ranked depending on how powerful they are. One example is Fair entrance, which allows the character to freely enter any door (disabling alarms and/or locks), but the cost is that their own dwelling will face a similar problem when someone attempts to gain access.

There are a ton of new rules for the Storytelling System in the book, but really, no more than in any of the other core books. These new rules cover the Changeling specific elements of the setting such as Pledges, Tokens, Trifles and how to craft them in your game. There are handy side-bars throughout the book with examples and charts to make understanding the new rules easy for everyone. There are plenty of story hooks throughout these sections of the book and clever little additions to the setting. The Stingseed, for example, is a Trifle which adds extra dice penalties to the victim of bullet wound until the damage from the wound is healed. A character willing to go looking for these seeds just might have an adventure or two during the hunt, is the bonus worth the risk?

There is a lot of information offered to the Storyteller in the form of antagonists, story ideas, helpful information about Fetches and more throughout the end of the book. Types of Lost, mortals and True Fae are some of the varied antagonists offered, each with storytelling hints and stats ready to play. Goblin Markets get their own section with plenty of useful information and even a few optional rules to keep things interesting.
As if Seasonal Court, Seeming and Kith were not enough options for your Changeling character, in the first Appendix of the book are Entitlements. Entitlements are Noble Orders within changeling society offering up various advantages to the character for membership in the order. Some of these advantages are supernatural, some are social and of course, there are a few disadvantages as well. There are nine Orders offered in the appendix and handy rules for creating new Orders should the Storyteller and Players wish to do so.

Appendix two is a guidebook to the Freehold of Miami. This is a ready-to-go setting with a short history of the city from the changeling point-of-view, plenty of politics between the Courts and several prominent characters. This is the same setting as the free Changeling: the Lost Demo and creepy/cool Fear-Maker’s Promise which also offer up NPCs and setting details for Storytellers’ to use if they like Miami.

Changeling: the Lost is a very different game than Changeling: the Dreaming. Some of the terminology may be similar but each book explores fairy tales in a different way and offer up very different types of games. Some fans will want to compare the two games, others will look at Lost as something new and original. I’m a fan of both games. Changeling: the Lost is an amazing book, full of great writing and tons of story elements.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Lost
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Dark Ages: Inquisitor
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/09/2014 09:48:02
Da Pacem Domine

A splendid game told from the rich tapestry of the Middle Ages, Dark Ages: Inquisitor is beautifully scanned and even better written. The system is comprehensive for both storyteller characters set in the Dark Ages and even for groups who desire to participate in their own full blown Inquisitor themed Chronicles. I cannot recommend this title enough, both to individual role players, and to groups who wish to explore gripping drama told from a platform of complex and mature themes such as morality, faith, and damnation.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dark Ages: Inquisitor
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Gehenna - The Final Night (Time of Judgment Act 1 of 3)
by Trevor K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2014 13:15:59
Gehenna. The end of everything for the vampires. It had been building for years in the World of Darkness game books and novels. And here we have it.

The novel mostly focuses on Beckett, the Gangrel archeologist/historian/Noddist scholar and that was a sensible choice. He is on a quest for answers and we get to tag along. Many other notable vampires come in to contact with him along the way.

The story does have the scope and feel of an end of the world situation. So that worked for me. Beckett and his search was reasonable and decently depicted. If you're wanting a decent story centered around Gehenna I'd give this a shot. It's not the best Vampire novel I've read but certainly not the worst.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Gehenna - The Final Night (Time of Judgment Act 1 of 3)
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Nightmare on Hill Manor
by Aaron B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/24/2014 12:11:34
a great start off point for new nWOD players leaves just enough out to let story teller add their own stuff to it

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Nightmare on Hill Manor
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Hunter: The Vigil
by Denise R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2014 16:43:58
I LOVE this book! It's a perfect compliment to the nWoD series!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hunter: The Vigil
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