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Forsaken Chronicler's Guide
Publisher: White Wolf
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/14/2013 09:32:31
If you are a storyteller for Forsaken this book is for you, absolutely indispensible and contains lots of useful info and setting hacks. Really a great product.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Forsaken Chronicler's Guide
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Mummy: The Curse Player's Book
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/06/2013 12:40:38
In December, Onyx Path, the publishers of the World of Darkness and related table-top games, launched a highly successfuly funded kickstarter for their new role-playing game Mummy the Curse. Icontributed and supported the kickstarter so I got an early PDF version of that book. This is a summary review of the game based only on the core rules (further expansion supplements are planned as tier rewards for the Kickstarter).

Mummy the Curse is a game where you play Immortal and ancient undead creatures from an era prior to the rise of Egypt, roughly 6,000 or so years before recorded history, also referred to as the Nameless Empire. Driven by ancient gods of the Underworld, these immortal beings seek artifacts, destroy unholy monsters, and strive to remember who they once were. Powered by an ancient ritual, the Rite of Return, which reanimates them from death and makes them impossible to permanently destroy, they are the undying servants of the ancient Sorcerer-Priests who made them.

Typicall of Onyx Path’s books, this one begins with some introductory fiction. The material is flavorful and hints strongly at the strengths and weaknesses of mummies. One thing I found interesting was that for the most part the viewpoint character is not a mummy but one of his mortal servants. I think this serves to better highlight the peculiar personality of a mummy who has just woken from its slumber.

As I’ve hinted one of the major themes of the game is the recovery of Memory, which is the template's Morality trait. Mummies, who are many thousands of years old, have lost most of their memories of both their human life and previous periods of activity, which harkens to Vampire the Requiem's Fog of Ages, but more dramatic. Mummies spend most of their existence in a state of death from which they recall nothing. Only when they are summoned by their cult's (or a Sothic Cycle) to perform a task or an intruder disturbs their tomb do these beings Awaken. When they arise, they rise as cadaverous, sometimes mummified remains, of incredible power and almost no vestige of humanity remaining. It is only with time that they recall their human past, and in so doing regain a semblance of their human self's.

So a major focus of the game is the reclaim of its lost humanity and knowledge about who they were. In contrast to other games of the Storyteller system, mummies do not get a prelude, but instead begin as near god-like automatons. They also have Memory codified as a morality trait, one that begins horribly low and can get lower still with further “deaths”. Therefore, players are encouraged to raise their Memory, not only to regain a semblance of their breathing days and make social interaction with mortals easier, but if only to avoid devolving into merciless tools of the Judges of the Underworld.


These 42 Judges have charged mummies with a purpose. All mummies are driven by a purpose and without it they quickly weaken and return to a state of death. Usually this purpose is clear upon a mummy reviving: kill the intruder disturbing the tomb, recover an artifact, or aid the cult who has awakened you. The only time a mummy becomes active without a purpose is the turn of a Sothic cycle. This 1460 year cycle exist to give the game a reason to have multiple mummies all active at the same time. It also cleverly explains why no mummies have been visibly active prior to the release of this game, which is the year 2012.

When a mummy first awakens it is incredibly and god like powerful. In game terms, a mummy's power stat, called Sekhem, begins at 10 unlike other World of Darkness supernaturals who begin at 1. This allows them to boost their Attributes, particularly Strength and Stamina, to superhuman levels in addition to other potent effects. A mummy typically begins in their tomb with their artifacts and easy access to their cult who are charged with protecting them and aiding their work.

As the game progresses their Sekhem decreases reducing them from automatons serving the will of their Judge of cult to supernatural beings with individual agenda's and pursuits, such as fulfilling the functions of their Guild (all Mummies begin with Guild Status 1, which is required to access Guild Affinities).

As with other Storyteller games there is a division of political-social groups (Guilds) and inherent aspects of the character (Decree), a five by five Axis that the mummy fits into. Guilds are the ancient groups of craftsmen that the mummies served in mortal life. Briefly they include the Engravers of Amulets, assistants and secret police of the Nameless Empire; the First Alchemists, workers of potions and the source of the Empire’s wealth; the Inscribers of Texts, scholars and judges; the Shepherds of the Shell, funerary priests who mastered the dead; and the Builders of Effigies, masons and engineers who used monumental architectural to build the Nameless Empire. The guilds give an Affinity, an innate power of the mummy, as well as the ability to handle certain magical artifacts, called Relics, more easily. These represent the typical Archetypes found in many other Storyteller games: priests, soldiers, craftsmen, etc.

Further slots are defined by the Decree, that Defining Pillar of the mummy’s soul which he or she proclaimed before the Judges of the Underworld. In Mummy there are five parts to the soul: Ab, the heart which controls feeling; Ba, the spirit which drives them to do great deeds; Ka, the constant essence of a soul; Ren, the true name of the soul; and Sheut, the shadow that dwells on magic and secrets. This relates to basic Egyptian mythology about the nature of the soul, check Wikipedia :-)

Finally each Mummy picks a Judge who defines their Decree and provides access to Affinity powers and Utterance rituals. There are 42 judges which might seem a bit overwhelming except that most Judges only hear a single type of Decree. The mummy gains another Affinity based on their Judge.

The powers of a Mummy are fairly potent. Affinities cover a range of powers with each Affinity tending to give three or more lesser abilities. These range from being able to interact with ghosts to animal companions to lowering the target number for successes on a die for a certain class of actions.

More potent abilities are Utterances. These potent “words of power” start off weak but their upper levels (powered by mummies with 4 or 5 dots in a Pillar) can cause Biblical destruction. As an example one power allows you to know where you are by looking at the night sky. But with further Pillar expenditures, you can use it call down a meteorite from the sky. At its highest levels, you can use it to learn hidden secrets or call down a swarm of meteors over an large area.

A mummy’s innate abilities are potent as well. As mentioned above they can raise their attributes with Sekhem. As undead, they are resistant to bullets. They also have a potent healing ability that exceeds that of Werewolves. By spending a pot of Pillar they can heal three bashing damage per turn as well as a lethal damage per turn. But more importantly, while healing they can not die. It is impossible to kill them. Only after the healing stops do they finally die.

And dead mummies always come back.

Mummy the Curse has a separate Storyteller section. Since Memory is a strong theme of the game there needs to both be secrets about the setting that the players don’t know and a definite past for them to learn. I’ll be keeping my spoilers to a minimum for this section.

Chapter 1 begins with several pages of exposition by way of a series of letters. I’ve mentioned before how I dislike this. Thankfully this section is fairly brief and does not say much new about the setting. The rest of this chapter then delves into the truth behind what happens when a mummy dies or seeks to break the cycle by reaching Apotheosis.

Chapter 2 of this section discusses the antagonists of the setting. There is little on the hinted sixth guild, the one destroyed while the Nameless Empire still stood. A selection of groups includes some disturbing monsters made from stitched together animals, or Amhkhata, and who haunt twilight looking for relics to feed on.

One type of Lifeless, the Shuanksen, is actually quite similar to mummies (Bane mummies?). These enemies have a serious tie to the darker bits of the mummy back story, things most of them no longer know. They also possess Bane Affinities, cursed affinities with disturbing powers. Other foes include other mummies, mortals, and wayward cults. A sample cult is described: Last Dynasty International, which has become an evil mega-corporation. This details what cults look like at various modes of play (Tier one, two and three, which is introduced in Hunter the Vigil). Finally we get new ghost numina powers, plus the option for playing a ghost as a full character. The new abilities greatly expand a ghost’s capabilities and the character rules would be a great addition for a mixed group of mummies and other “immortals”. As a Wraith the Oblivion fan, this makes me pretty happy.

Chapter 3 details relics, which are artifacts Mummies seek either for their own ends or to take back to the Underworld for their Judges. Many are detailed in this section and can be used as templates for players and storytellers to create their own.

The final section of the book is the Storytellers Handbook, which deals with running the game: building a campaign world, creating a cult for the players, developing antagonists, additional antagonists powers and sample enemies. At the final section of the Storyteller Handbook is a Storyteller Adventure System (SAS) module titled Eve of Judgement. This module also provides details of what a typical Mummy Nome looks like and it details briefly the signature city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.


In conclusion, Mummy the Curse is an excellent game. This game harkens to old Hammer horror style of play and there are clear inspirational links to HP Lovecreaft and the pulp era of the Cthulhu mythos. IN fact, one could easily see the Judges as near cosmic Old Ones, who have little interest in human affairs and use their agents to thwart each other. A solid, solid addition to the World of Darkness and one that will become a clear winner come award season.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mummy: The Curse Player's Book
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Mummy the Curse-Kickstarter Edition
Publisher: White Wolf
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/06/2013 12:38:49
In December, Onyx Path, the publishers of the World of Darkness and related table-top games, launched a highly successfuly funded kickstarter for their new role-playing game Mummy the Curse. Icontributed and supported the kickstarter so I got an early PDF version of that book. This is a summary review of the game based only on the core rules (further expansion supplements are planned as tier rewards for the Kickstarter).

Mummy the Curse is a game where you play Immortal and ancient undead creatures from an era prior to the rise of Egypt, roughly 6,000 or so years before recorded history, also referred to as the Nameless Empire. Driven by ancient gods of the Underworld, these immortal beings seek artifacts, destroy unholy monsters, and strive to remember who they once were. Powered by an ancient ritual, the Rite of Return, which reanimates them from death and makes them impossible to permanently destroy, they are the undying servants of the ancient Sorcerer-Priests who made them.

Typicall of Onyx Path’s books, this one begins with some introductory fiction. The material is flavorful and hints strongly at the strengths and weaknesses of mummies. One thing I found interesting was that for the most part the viewpoint character is not a mummy but one of his mortal servants. I think this serves to better highlight the peculiar personality of a mummy who has just woken from its slumber.

As I’ve hinted one of the major themes of the game is the recovery of Memory, which is the template's Morality trait. Mummies, who are many thousands of years old, have lost most of their memories of both their human life and previous periods of activity, which harkens to Vampire the Requiem's Fog of Ages, but more dramatic. Mummies spend most of their existence in a state of death from which they recall nothing. Only when they are summoned by their cult's (or a Sothic Cycle) to perform a task or an intruder disturbs their tomb do these beings Awaken. When they arise, they rise as cadaverous, sometimes mummified remains, of incredible power and almost no vestige of humanity remaining. It is only with time that they recall their human past, and in so doing regain a semblance of their human self's.

So a major focus of the game is the reclaim of its lost humanity and knowledge about who they were. In contrast to other games of the Storyteller system, mummies do not get a prelude, but instead begin as near god-like automatons. They also have Memory codified as a morality trait, one that begins horribly low and can get lower still with further “deaths”. Therefore, players are encouraged to raise their Memory, not only to regain a semblance of their breathing days and make social interaction with mortals easier, but if only to avoid devolving into merciless tools of the Judges of the Underworld.


These 42 Judges have charged mummies with a purpose. All mummies are driven by a purpose and without it they quickly weaken and return to a state of death. Usually this purpose is clear upon a mummy reviving: kill the intruder disturbing the tomb, recover an artifact, or aid the cult who has awakened you. The only time a mummy becomes active without a purpose is the turn of a Sothic cycle. This 1460 year cycle exist to give the game a reason to have multiple mummies all active at the same time. It also cleverly explains why no mummies have been visibly active prior to the release of this game, which is the year 2012.

When a mummy first awakens it is incredibly and god like powerful. In game terms, a mummy's power stat, called Sekhem, begins at 10 unlike other World of Darkness supernaturals who begin at 1. This allows them to boost their Attributes, particularly Strength and Stamina, to superhuman levels in addition to other potent effects. A mummy typically begins in their tomb with their artifacts and easy access to their cult who are charged with protecting them and aiding their work.

As the game progresses their Sekhem decreases reducing them from automatons serving the will of their Judge of cult to supernatural beings with individual agenda's and pursuits, such as fulfilling the functions of their Guild (all Mummies begin with Guild Status 1, which is required to access Guild Affinities).

As with other Storyteller games there is a division of political-social groups (Guilds) and inherent aspects of the character (Decree), a five by five Axis that the mummy fits into. Guilds are the ancient groups of craftsmen that the mummies served in mortal life. Briefly they include the Engravers of Amulets, assistants and secret police of the Nameless Empire; the First Alchemists, workers of potions and the source of the Empire’s wealth; the Inscribers of Texts, scholars and judges; the Shepherds of the Shell, funerary priests who mastered the dead; and the Builders of Effigies, masons and engineers who used monumental architectural to build the Nameless Empire. The guilds give an Affinity, an innate power of the mummy, as well as the ability to handle certain magical artifacts, called Relics, more easily. These represent the typical Archetypes found in many other Storyteller games: priests, soldiers, craftsmen, etc.

Further slots are defined by the Decree, that Defining Pillar of the mummy’s soul which he or she proclaimed before the Judges of the Underworld. In Mummy there are five parts to the soul: Ab, the heart which controls feeling; Ba, the spirit which drives them to do great deeds; Ka, the constant essence of a soul; Ren, the true name of the soul; and Sheut, the shadow that dwells on magic and secrets. This relates to basic Egyptian mythology about the nature of the soul, check Wikipedia :-)

Finally each Mummy picks a Judge who defines their Decree and provides access to Affinity powers and Utterance rituals. There are 42 judges which might seem a bit overwhelming except that most Judges only hear a single type of Decree. The mummy gains another Affinity based on their Judge.

The powers of a Mummy are fairly potent. Affinities cover a range of powers with each Affinity tending to give three or more lesser abilities. These range from being able to interact with ghosts to animal companions to lowering the target number for successes on a die for a certain class of actions.

More potent abilities are Utterances. These potent “words of power” start off weak but their upper levels (powered by mummies with 4 or 5 dots in a Pillar) can cause Biblical destruction. As an example one power allows you to know where you are by looking at the night sky. But with further Pillar expenditures, you can use it call down a meteorite from the sky. At its highest levels, you can use it to learn hidden secrets or call down a swarm of meteors over an large area.

A mummy’s innate abilities are potent as well. As mentioned above they can raise their attributes with Sekhem. As undead, they are resistant to bullets. They also have a potent healing ability that exceeds that of Werewolves. By spending a pot of Pillar they can heal three bashing damage per turn as well as a lethal damage per turn. But more importantly, while healing they can not die. It is impossible to kill them. Only after the healing stops do they finally die.

And dead mummies always come back.

Mummy the Curse has a separate Storyteller section. Since Memory is a strong theme of the game there needs to both be secrets about the setting that the players don’t know and a definite past for them to learn. I’ll be keeping my spoilers to a minimum for this section.

Chapter 1 begins with several pages of exposition by way of a series of letters. I’ve mentioned before how I dislike this. Thankfully this section is fairly brief and does not say much new about the setting. The rest of this chapter then delves into the truth behind what happens when a mummy dies or seeks to break the cycle by reaching Apotheosis.

Chapter 2 of this section discusses the antagonists of the setting. There is little on the hinted sixth guild, the one destroyed while the Nameless Empire still stood. A selection of groups includes some disturbing monsters made from stitched together animals, or Amhkhata, and who haunt twilight looking for relics to feed on.

One type of Lifeless, the Shuanksen, is actually quite similar to mummies (Bane mummies?). These enemies have a serious tie to the darker bits of the mummy back story, things most of them no longer know. They also possess Bane Affinities, cursed affinities with disturbing powers. Other foes include other mummies, mortals, and wayward cults. A sample cult is described: Last Dynasty International, which has become an evil mega-corporation. This details what cults look like at various modes of play (Tier one, two and three, which is introduced in Hunter the Vigil). Finally we get new ghost numina powers, plus the option for playing a ghost as a full character. The new abilities greatly expand a ghost’s capabilities and the character rules would be a great addition for a mixed group of mummies and other “immortals”. As a Wraith the Oblivion fan, this makes me pretty happy.

Chapter 3 details relics, which are artifacts Mummies seek either for their own ends or to take back to the Underworld for their Judges. Many are detailed in this section and can be used as templates for players and storytellers to create their own.

The final section of the book is the Storytellers Handbook, which deals with running the game: building a campaign world, creating a cult for the players, developing antagonists, additional antagonists powers and sample enemies. At the final section of the Storyteller Handbook is a Storyteller Adventure System (SAS) module titled Eve of Judgement. This module also provides details of what a typical Mummy Nome looks like and it details briefly the signature city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.


In conclusion, Mummy the Curse is an excellent game. This game harkens to old Hammer horror style of play and there are clear inspirational links to HP Lovecreaft and the pulp era of the Cthulhu mythos. IN fact, one could easily see the Judges as near cosmic Old Ones, who have little interest in human affairs and use their agents to thwart each other. A solid, solid addition to the World of Darkness and one that will become a clear winner come award season.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mummy the Curse-Kickstarter Edition
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Guildhalls of the Deathless
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/06/2013 12:01:31
Mummy the Curse has received some criticism due to the vague rules for social interactions between guild mummies. Well this book is the developers response to this. Perhaps it was always meant to be the case that the supplements, similar to Changeling the Lost, will further develop the game. Essentially, this book is to Mummy the Curse what Tome of Mysteries is to Mage the Awakening; the most indispensible supplement to fully realize the game. Here you'll find fully detailed rules for guild membership, what mummies do during periods of their Ascent, roles played by various guilds and story seeds to socialize mummies. Each guild is given exclusive content, detailing purpose, functions, ranks, hierarchies. Additionally, this book offers a wide range of additional Guild Affinities and Guild Utterances unique to the various guilds as well as added Merits, such as the Temple Merit. This book is big, and covers alot of information. For all intents and purposes this is the Players Handbook to Mummy, and like all upcomming Mummy the Curse supplements, is divided into a Players section and Storytellers section (I imagine this will be sold separately to help storytellers preserve the mysteries of their campaigns, and making the pdf's easily affordable). All in all this is the book that has answered alot of questions left vague or unclear in the core book, and comes right at the heels of the beautifully colorful Mummy the Curse Deluxe Kickstarter corebook. I cannot wait to put these new rules into play at my table.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Guildhalls of the Deathless
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Requiem for Rome
Publisher: White Wolf
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/25/2013 11:19:35
I purchased this in preparation for a historical chronicle begining in the late years of the Roman Empire. This book is absolutely amazing in detail, depth and information. It provides specific dates for the history of the Camarilla, as well as a detail chapter on splats from the perspective of this era, including a new Clan: the Julii. Included in this is rules, disciplines and rituals for the time period plus the most evocative and terrifying antagonists of the Kindred: the Strix. This book is more geared to the players in the group and serves as a Players Handbook per se. The companion volume "Fall of the Camarilla" is the full lenght chronicle and ST Handbook. This book really sets the standard for historical gaming in the Vampire Requiem setting and even allows for characters to change the course of Kindred history.

Importante note: You will need the Requiem core and World of Darkness core to use this book.

Here is a quick run-down of each chapter:

Forward: The Deathless City by Kenneth Hite
Very evocative Intro fiction by one of White Wolf luminaries. It felt as if I was being relentlessly run down by a Roman legion--could not put it down. It is a very hard hitting section and I couldn't get those horrible images painted of Rome out of my head. Very appropriate.

Prologue: The developer talks about the reason for making this book, and the importance for the time period in Kindred history.

Introduction: Basic primer on how to use this book, complete with film, movie, and literature references. There is description of theme and mood, as well as a lexicon.

Chapter One: The History of Rome
This chapter does a great job of not being dry and covering (in broad strokes)the key points in the history of Rome from fabled beginnings to the bitter end. There are cross-references within this chapter giving historical context to kindred in Rome. They too, are caught up in the machine of The Great Republic. There is a great sidebar on each page that moves you through the timeline for quick reference.

Interlude I: Additional background info essential to the setting.

Chapter Two: Player's Guide
This section descrives in detail the Camarilla. The Camarilla is a very structured kindred society with three traditions, and four wings. The three traditions are Dominion, Destruction, and Amaranth. The four wings are The Senex (Wing of the Ancients--they make the law for all kindred, Legio Mortuum (the military wing), The Cult of Augurs (the wing of prophets), and The Peregrine Collegia (basically the wing of bastards). As a kindred in Rome you will belong to at least one of these wings if not more--whether you want to or not. The Lancea Sanctum are recognized, nominally, as an independent organization within the Camarilla. All of these wings/organizations function like covenents in Requiem--each vying for a little bigger piece of the pie. The Lancea Sanctum's power base grows with time, starting out on the bottom and rising near the top toward the end of Rome.
Here you will also find the clans with one omission and one addition. The Julii take the place of the Ventrue and function as primary rulers with the majority of them falling within the Senex wings they are the movers and shakers. They are very much like the Ventrue in discipline and weakness.
This chapter also has era specific merits, devotions, and theban sorcery.

Interlude II: Additional historical background information relevant to this time period.

Chapter Three: Rome and Necropolis
The geographic background chapter. Everything from Iconic locations for scenes (these are great visual tools), what it means to be a Roman citizen free or slave, and some really great rules for debate in Elysium which covers getting frustrated and possibly frenzying when you fail in debate--very Roman stuff here. You can actually loose points in merits if you loose on the floor here. Beware the debate!

Interlude III: As above described.

Chapter Four: Storytelling and Antagonist
The monster chapter: The Strix are described. Complete with numerous types of conflict, sample settings that span the breadth of time and space of the Empire. The Strix are a very creepy supernatural creature that looks like a smokey black bird in it's natural spirit form when it isn't possessing a body, which they do to experience the world. These things are not ghosts, or spirits, they are something older, more sinister, darker than anything else I've read about in other books... and they are linked with the Julii.
Index: Very well written and referenced index with no noticeable errors (those pesky See page XX errors, which are not here).

Epilogue: Closing fiction and hisotircal info.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Requiem for Rome
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Reap the Whirlwind
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/03/2013 07:46:15
This is a great quickstart to Vampire the Requiem. Contains the module as well as the introductory rules to expand to Blood & Smoke rules.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Reap the Whirlwind
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World of Darkness: The God-Machine Chronicle
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/03/2013 09:09:04
An excellent expansion of the core new World of Darkness that updates the rules set. Included are new rules for Integrity (Morality) expanded Virtues & Vices, combat (now your damage is added as automatic successes!!) and many others, such as new updated rules for Social Maneuvering (social combat introduced in Danse Macabre). The book itself presents a full chronicle that can be played and a 120 page rules appendix that can be downloaded for free!! The artwork is the standard high quality stuff we come to expect from White Wolf. Overall, very happy with this purchase and cannot wait to try the new rules at my table.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
World of Darkness: The God-Machine Chronicle
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Mummy: The Curse
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/12/2013 08:29:13
Seldom do World of Darkness games come along that break with tradition and give us something completely NEW.
CA Suleiman delivers with this newest entry into the World of Darkness setting. Recently, Onyx Path, the current publishers of the World of Darkness and related games, finished a very successful kickstarter for their new role-playing game Mummy the Curse (funded at over 400%). Now this product is available here after all KS backers received their preview editions a couple of months back (but still waiting for the deluxe printed copy, which is speculated to be stunning!).

Mummy the Curse is a game where you play ancient undead creatures from an era of pre-historic Egypt, called in the book the Nameless Empire. Driven by ancient gods of the Underworld, (such as a pre-Egyptian Osiris, or Azar) they seek artifacts, destroy unholy monsters, and perhaps remember who they once were. Powered by an ancient ritual, the Rite of Return, which reanimates them from death and makes them impossible to permanently destroy, they are servants of the ancient Sorcerer-Priests who made them.

As with most of Onyx Path’s books, this one begins with some introductory fiction (expertly narrated by CAS in a promo you can download on youtube). The fiction is evocative and hints strongly at the strengths and weaknesses of mummies, or the Deathless as the setting refers to them. One thing I found interesting was that for the most part the viewpoint character is not a mummy but one of his mortal servants, the cultists who worship and serve these Deathless.

One of the major themes of the game is the recovery of memory. In fact, Memory is its own stat or Morality Trait. Mummies, being many thousands of years old, have lost most of their memories of both their human life and previous periods of activity. Mummies spend most of their existence in a state of death from which they recall nothing. They become active only when they are summoned by their cult to perform a task or an intruder disturbs their tomb do they awaken. And when they arise they appear as rotting, shambling remains of incredible power and almost no vestige of humanity remaining. It is only with time that they slowly recall their human selves.

Consequently, a major focus of the game is the mummy reclaiming its lost humanity, or Memory, and knowledge about who they were. Unlike other games of the Storytelling System, mummies do not get a prelude. They also have Memory codified as a morality trait, one that begins horribly low and can get lower still with further “deaths”. Thus there is some encouragement for players of mummies to raise their Memory, if only to avoid devolving into merciless tools of the Judges of the Underworld.

These 42 Judges have charged mummies with a purpose. All mummies are driven by a purpose and without it they quickly weaken and return to a state of death. This purpose is clear upon a mummy reviving: kill the intruder, recover an artifact, aid the cult leader who awoken you. The only time a mummy becomes active without a purpose is the turn of a Sothic turn. The Sothic Cycle is a 1460 year cycle, (when the star Sirius flares) and exists to give the game a reason to have multiple mummies all active at the same time. Appropriately, the year 2012 was the next turn in the cycle.

When a mummy first awakens it is incredibly powerful, a literal god of the underworld. In game terms its power stat, called Sekhem, begins at 10. This allows them to boost their attributes, particularly Strength and Stamina, to superhuman levels in addition to other potent effects. They begin in their tomb with their artifacts and easy access to their cult who are charged with protecting them and aiding their work.

As the game progresses however their Sekhem decreases reducing them from horrific monsters to merely tough and magically potent beings who seem human.

As in most Storyteller games there is a division of political groups (Guilds) and inherent aspects of the character (Decree), a five by five array that the mummy fits into. The Guilds are the ancient groups of craftsmen that the mummies served in mortal life. Briefly they include the Engravers of Amulets, assistants and secret police of the Nameless Empire; the First Alchemists, workers of potions and the source of the Empire’s wealth; the Inscribers of Texts, scholars and judges; the Shepherds of the Shell, funerary priests who mastered the dead; and the Builders of Effigies, masons and engineers who used monumental architectural to build the Nameless Empire. The guilds give an Affinity, an innate power of the mummy, as well as the ability to handle certain magical artifacts, called Relics, more easily. All in all the book does a good job of breaking up the standard groupings of spies, warriors, sages, rebels and leaders we have seen in Mage, Vampire, and Werewolf.

The second set of splats are defined by the Decree, that Pillar of the mummy’s soul which she proclaimed before the Judges of the Underworld. According to Mummy there are five parts to the soul: Ab, the heart which controls feeling; Ba, the spirit which drives them to do great deeds; Ka, the constant essence of a soul; Ren, the true name of the soul; and Sheut, the shadow that dwells on magic and secrets. Decree defines the mummy’s strongest Pillar and favored Attributes.

Then one chooses the final splat: chosing one of the 42 Judges the mummy made her decree to. There are 42 of these god-like Judges, which might seem a bit overwhelming except that most Judges only hear a single type of Decree. The mummy gains another Affinity based on their Judge.

The supernatural abilities of a Mummy are fairly powerful. Affinities cover a range of powers with each Affinity tending to give three or more lesser abilities. These range from being able to interact with ghosts to animal companions to lowering the target number for successes on a die for a certain class of actions.

More potent abilities are Utterances, powerful ritual spells. These potent “words of power” start off weak but their upper levels (powered by mummies with 4 or 5 dots in a Pillar) can cause Biblical destruction. As an example one power allows you to know where you are by looking at the night sky. But with further Pillar expenditures, you can use it call down a meteorite from the sky. At its highest levels, you can use it to learn hidden secrets or call down a swarm of meteors over an large area.

A mummy’s innate abilities are potent as well. As mentioned above they can raise their attributes with Sekhem. As undead, they are resistant to bullets. They also have a potent healing ability that exceeds that of Werewolves. By spending a pot of Pillar they can heal three bashing damage per turn as well as a lethal damage per turn. But more importantly, while healing they can not die. It is impossible to kill them. Only after the healing stops do they finally die.

And dead mummies always come back; they are nigh indestructible...

Mummy the Curse has a separate Storyteller Book. Since Memory is a strong theme of the game there needs to both be secrets about the setting that the players don’t know and a definite past for them to learn. I’ll be keeping my spoilers to a minimum for this section.

The first chapter begins with several pages of exposition by way of a series of letters. I’ve mentioned before how I dislike this. Thankfully this section is fairly brief and does not say much new about the setting. The rest of this chapter then delves into the truth behind what happens when a mummy dies or seeks to break the cycle by reaching Apotheosis.

The second chapter of this section discusses the antagonists of the setting. Surprisingly there is little on the hinted sixth guild, the one destroyed while the Nameless Empire still stood. There is however a good deal on the Lifeless. This hodgepodge group includes some disturbing monsters made from stitched together animals and who haunt twilight looking for relics to feed on…or mummies.

One type of Lifeless, the Shuanksen, is actually quite similar to mummies. These foes have a serious tie to the darker bits of the mummy back story, things most of them no longer know. They also possess Bane Affinities, cursed affinities with disturbing powers.

Other foes include other mummies, mortals, and wayward cults. One of the latter, Last Dynasty International, has become an evil corporation. I’m a little saddened that they made no overt tie with this group to the Chieron Group. They would seem to be excellent as division or rival of that Hunter the Vigil conspiracy.

Finally we get new ghost powers, plus the option for playing a ghost as a full character. The new abilities greatly expand a ghost’s capabilities and the character rules would be a great addition for a mixed group of mummies and other “immortals”. As a Wraith the Oblivion fan, this makes me pretty happy.

The third chapter dwells on relics, artifacts Mummies seek either for their own ends or to take back to the Underworld for their Judges. There are many cool cursed items here.

The final Storyteller chapter deals with running the game: how to use the themes and frameworks for the group as a whole. My favorite framework is called the Rotating Pyramid. In this campaign framework, one player plays a mummy and the others play cultists, mortal allies, ghosts bound to the mummy, and the like. The players would rotate who played a mummy each adventure as the mummies cult summon each for different problems.


Finally we get a sample adventure using the SAS system White Wolf has become famous for. It is titled "Eve of Judgement" and introduces alot of the core themes and mechanics of the game to new players. It starts with lots of action as the mummies are awaken by their cults to stop some misinformed drug dealers. Then you jump to investigation to find out who sent these mortals and why. One thing that seems odd to me though is having several mummies hiding in Rio de Janeiro. It seems like there are plenty of other, better places. However the kickstarter did well enough that the city book for Rio will be made so perhaps that book will convince me.

Overall Mummy the Curse is an excellent roleplaying game. It still uses the core World of Darkness Rulebook (bluebook) despite the upcoming rules update in God-Machine Chronicles. It makes more use of the Gothic themes of Hammer Horror than the Mummy the Resurrection (which was always too Geist'y to me). This game returns the Mummy as a vehicle of gothic horror and makes for excellent game play.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mummy: The Curse
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Lords Over the Damned: Ventrue
Publisher: White Wolf
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/29/2013 12:57:17
LotD, the Ventrue Clanbook is a well written, fascinating and full color foray into the lives of the Lords of the Night. This clanbook is in full, breathtaking color and really has set the standard for splat books in any role playing table-top game. The book is written in the manner of personal missives, journals and documents primarily in the first person narrative. The book details history, as well as character concepts, to help a player tailor her Ventrue. The book also includes a very informative rules section that provides added merits and powers that a player can purchase with ST approval. Overall, this books stunning, very well written and incredibly informative on all things Ventrue.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lords Over the Damned: Ventrue
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The Blood
Publisher: White Wolf
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/14/2012 12:38:16
The Blood is a series of essays by 3 of Requiem's most renowned developers, each chapter deconstructs the Kindred curse in exhaustive detail. This expansion for the Storytelling System's Requiem line takes on an aspect of being a player in the Vampire game. The basic conceit of this book is that the drama of personal horror is in the players' hands; the Storyteller is there to lead her players in situations and characters against the backdrop of gothic horror stories.

This book is expanded into three "essays", each written by a different Requiem developer. Each chapter covers a different set of rules from the Vampire: the Requiem core rulebook (character creation, vitae and other mechanics, and the psychology of a Vampire's unlife respectively). The intent is to give the mechanics of the games more emotional depth for a player to work with. If you are going to really play a vampire, how can you start to identify with one?

Chapter 1 is Kindred Characters: This section is probably the most practically useful. It covers each step of character creation, but where the core rulebook covers the "what" of the character's attributes, this chapter digs into the "Why". Why does this character have Social Attributes over Physical? Why does she have a higher Blood Potency than normal? Why did this group of vampires get thrown together?

This section gets past the "dots" on the character sheet. It gives a player a lot more to think about as far as character cohesion and story hooks to give the Storyteller that resonate with the player. Rich stories come from rich backgrounds, and the Kindred Characters chapter gives players plenty of tools to add depth to her character before the first Scene even begins.

Chapter 2 is Properties of the Blood
This chapter deconstructs the essense of the vampire physiognomy. It is an exhaustive and in-depth analysis of the mechanics of the game that the players would use every night: each rule for vitae is described from a story perspective. What is each stage of the Vinculum (enslavement through a blood bond) like? How do different kinds of vampires choose to use it? What does it feel like to use blood to fuel Disciplines or to heal wounds? What about feeding?

This section also covers the non-mechanical aspects of other non-vitae systems like Torpor, Frenzy and Humanity.

More than any other chapter in this book "Properties of the Blood" vividly illustrates how the various rules detailed in the core rulebook can be dramatized in play.

Chapter 3 is Vampire Psychology
This chapter painstakingly details the essense of the Kindred mind, deconstructing rule concepts of the vampire's mindset. This section proves very useful as it gives a Storyteller a list of all of the events to weave into each character's chronicle, and for the player it describes what impacts it could have on her psyche.

This chapter also expands on vampire Disciplines and the psychological impact of each power, dot by dot, with an emphasis on the related Derangements that could develop with inappropriate use. The principal goal of this section is to give the players more options to wring every drop of drama from each game mechanic.

While this book is strictly for the "storyteller" and "method actor" gamer types, it can be used by both. Since my role is strictkly in the "storyteller" camp of gamer, I have found this book indispensible. One of the biggest challenges with any game is dramatizing the game's mechanics in a meaningful and entertaining way. This books is an exciting foray into taking game mechanic concepts and translating them into meaningful story seeds.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Blood
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Vampire: The Requiem
Publisher: White Wolf
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/04/2012 07:32:19
Excellent and worth every penny you dish out. Vampire (both the Masquerade and now the Requiem) have not only revolutionized the roleplaying game industry (the first game where you could play the "monster"), but has become a hallmark of quality production and has won major gaming awards. In order to play this RPG game you also need the Core Mechanics rulebook World of Darkness. Vampire (and subsequently Werewolf and Mage) are the core supernatural games of White Wolf (they are now releasing one time splats such as Promethean and Changeling: the Lost). Definitely of a mature nature, these games will offer you the opportunity to adopt the role of one of the undead.

You get to belong to one of five Great Clans (that define your powers) and join one of five great Covenants (that establish your role in the world of the undead). This is a vast improvement to the 27 clans from Masquerade that were never clearly indistinguishable from each other. The Clans take the iconic archetype of the vampire and make them into playable templates. You can be a sensual Daeva or a lordly Ventrue, a hideous Nosferatu, animalistic Gangrel or a mystical Mekhet. This new game is a must for any who want to experience X-files type investigative horror or tell stories in the World of Darkness. Many currently published supplements further allow you to personalize and add unique traits through the innovative use of "bloodlines" which are variations on the 5 clans. This is not a game of global conspiracies, it is all about personal horror, so dont expect contrived *Meta plot* elements from the Masquerade version. This game has thankfully eliminated those.

Again, this is a game of Gothic Horror, where you experience personal themes, the focus of the story is on what happens to the characters in their own city or domain, not wide and far reaching global conspiracies.

This game is followed by Werewolf the Forsaken and Mage the Awakening. Of the three Vampire the Requiem is considered the flagship game of White Wolf - CCP. It lends itself best for small intimate groups of 2-6 players due to the personal horror aspects of the characters. It also, due to vast improvements in the rules from pervious editions, allows for much better integration and cross over playability with the other supernatural monsters (prometheans, changelings, mages and werewolves). This game is a gem, beautifully illustrated and with highly evocative full color art. Even if you are not a roleplayer it is a unique exploration of the Vampire myth.

There are many game supplements out for this game, however, all you need to play the game is this book and the World of Darkness blue book.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Requiem
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Blood Sorcery
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/18/2012 12:05:55
Blood Sorcery is probably one of the most innovative rule supplements for Requiem to come out in years. This supplement provides rules for turning blood sorcery into a flexible magic system for Requiem. It is written by what I consider to be some of the best talents of White Wolf publishing, Dave Brookshaw and David Hill, to name just a couple. The gem of this book is Chapter 2: Threnodies. This chapter is absolutely genius. It has taken some of Requiems most iconic images, such as the vampire's Beast, and given it teeth (literally). Think blood sorcery ritual merits to boost up vampire Disciplines with sacrificial and somatic components. If this book is any indication of what's up ahead for Vampire: the Requiem in its forthcoming re-design and update (The Strix Chronicles) then Im sold. From a purely aesthetic standpoint the book is beautifully illustrated, the artwork is stunning, full color and with production values I come to expect from White Wolf.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Blood Sorcery
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Victorian Lost
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/07/2012 17:34:25
Here's the thing: I love my world of darkness. Its my favorite game setting, my favorite game system, I have invested $$$, in short, this book is a disturbing trend.
I purchased the book, perused it, thought, "nice effort, B-" then realized, every chapter was more of a 'teaser' than a full fledged chapter. The overall lenght of the book is more along the lines of a 'module' or 'SAS' than a full scope supplement on Changeling in the era of Victoria. I even wanted a sample character sheet in the back, nothing. I wanted more info on the courts, kiths, seemings--but only a few pages. The big disapointment, the book was initially posted on this site at full price: 21.99 for both pdf/softcover FOR AN 87pg SAS?!?!

Fortunately, the price was dropped to a more acceptable $15, otherwise sorry, I would not have purchased this.

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Victorian Lost
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Imperial Mysteries
Publisher: White Wolf
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/04/2012 21:58:06
Nice to finally get rules for archmages. Unfortunate that the book only provides a few pages of actual rules on high level/advanced Arcana and spells. This book is emblematic of the new direction that WW-CCP is giving the new WOD, fewer page count, disappointing recycled artwork and higher price count. The cover alone is reason to discourage new buyers, however, its nice to get at least a modicum of effort given to the Mage gameline.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Imperial Mysteries
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Havens of the Damned
Publisher: White Wolf
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/04/2012 21:52:35
Useful resource for creating havens in either Masquerade or Requiem, however, would have preferred more crunch than fluff. The sample havens, while handy, could have allowed for a more tool box approach.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Havens of the Damned
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