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Strange, Dead Love $9.99
Average Rating:4.0 / 5
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Strange, Dead Love
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Strange, Dead Love
Publisher: White Wolf
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/14/2012 15:35:03
Strange Dead Love is a great little addition to Vampire the Requiem. It acts as a sort of answer and antidote to the high profile vampire media that has focused on the subject of Vampires and love.

Strange Dead Love of course meets the high standards that White Wolf set out to achieve, with new art and excellent writing.

Primarily SDL provides a number of shards that offer different potential stories or chronicles to run. Some may seem obvious, but having such a collection laid out for use is great if you desire to inject into your game stories and themes that focus on romance, love, and how twisted and tragic such things become with Vampires.

These shards not only offer story ideas, but they also offer new game remixes, and so changing the manner in which the game is played (for example one shard is all about show casing the secret politics of the characters in order to make a drama filled game not unlike a soap opera).

Of course there is a chapter on that looks into how to fully replicate the paranormal romance chapter, and in particular, how to accommodate such stories in a group of players, for some of whom such themes are not the focus of their part of the game.

Overall a nice addition if you need to show players how romance is not a boring game theme.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Strange, Dead Love
Publisher: White Wolf
by Roger L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/28/2012 12:20:27
Mit „Strange, Dead Love“ hat White Wolf Ende 2011 ein Quellenbuch zur Umsetzung von „Paranormal Romance“ für „Vampire: The Requiem“ herausgebracht. Eigentlich längst überfällig, denn nicht nur, dass Vampire ohnehin zumeist stark mit Anziehungskraft und Erotik verbunden werden, spätestens seit der Begeisterung für Geschichten wie aus „Twilight“ fragt man sich, warum derlei noch nicht veröffentlicht wurde. Zwar erwähnten bereits etliche Bücher der „Vampire: Die Maskerade“-Reihe romantische Beziehungen und sexuelle Gelüste, doch zugleich galten diese Themen tendenziell als verpönt, denn: Vampire haben keine Gefühle. So simpel die Erklärung, die noch nie so recht mit diversen Geschichten, die in den früheren Quellenbüchern der Maskerade-Reihe zu lesen waren, zusammen passte.

Erscheinungsbild

Erhältlich ist „Strange, Dead Love“ als PDF-Version bei DriveThruRPG. Dort kann man beim Einkauf wählen zwischen der PDF-Publikation allein, einer Softcover-Druckvariante oder einer Kombination aus beidem.

Das Erscheinungsbild des 63 Seiten umfassenden Buches ist das für WoD-Publikationen übliche. Auffallend ist, dass die angebotenen neun Aufhänger von im Schnitt zwei bis drei Seiten Umfang für mögliche Plots direkt aufeinander folgen, also ein neuer Aufhänger nicht auf einer neuen Seite beginnt – beziehungsweise ist das bei den insgesamt neun Aufhängern mal der Fall und mal wiederum nicht.

Die Illustrationen stammen allesamt aus einer Feder, nämlich aus der von Ken Meyer Jr. Sie sind durchweg vollfarbig und über die Qualität lässt sich natürlich streiten. Ich selbst habe von dem Zeichner im Verlauf der Jahre so einige Bilder gesehen, die mir richtig gut gefallen haben, doch dazu zählt in „Strange, Dead Love“ leider kein einziges. Sie wirken sehr grob und ziemlich lieblos. Die für mich beste Zeichnung des Buches ist das Coverbild, das allerdings als einziges von Christopher Shy gezeichnet wurde.

Die har­ten Fakten:

For­mat: pdf oder Print on Demand
Ver­lag: White Wolf 
Erschei­nungs­jahr: 2011
Spra­che: Eng­lisch
ISBN-10: nicht existent
ISBN-13: nicht existent
Bezugs­quelle: Dri­ve­ThruRPG
Preis: 9,99$ (PDF), 16.99$ (PoD), 19,99$ (PDF + PoD)

Inhalt

Als ich mit dem Lesen des Buches begonnen habe, war ich zunächst hellauf begeistert. Ich hatte bereits vorweg ein großes Interesse an diesem Buch, weil ich tatsächlich Charaktere in einer Beziehung spiele, was so einige Probleme aufwirft in Bezug auf das Spiel. Mich hat also brennend interessiert, inwiefern der Quellenband auf solcherlei eingehen würde. Außerdem zeigte sich sehr schnell, dass der Text einen anders als die Zeichnungen sofort in den Bann schlägt. Kurze und knappe Sätze, die viel Spannung und eine gewisse Intensität aufbauen, leiten die meisten Absätze ein. Die sich durch das gesamte Buch ziehende Fortsetzungsgeschichte in mehreren Teilen weiß zu unterhalten, ebenso die jedem der neun bereits erwähnten Plotaufhänger vorangestellte kurze Einleitungsgeschichte.

Los geht es mit allgemeinen Informationen zum Thema, sprich: mit den Möglichkeiten, die „Paranormal Romance“ in einer Runde bieten kann. Welchen Unterschied macht es eigentlich, ob man mit jemandem auf Basis echter Gefühle zusammen ist oder ob man derlei mittels Blutsband oder unter Einsatz von Disziplinen erwirkt? Was bedeutet es für einen Vampir überhaupt, Sex zu haben, und wie genau kann man den mit der orgiastischen Erfahrung des Kusses vergleichen? Auf diese Fragen und ein paar mehr geht das erste Kapitel des Buches ein, ebenso beschreibt es mögliche vorherrschende Stimmungen und Themen, die sehr viel variationsreicher ausfallen, als man zunächst meinen könnte. Soll es eher um Erlösung und Opferbereitschaft gehen, eher um bedingungslose Liebe über alle Zweifel und Grenzen hinweg, die große Liebe an sich oder vielleicht doch eher um Tragik, verfluchte Liebe oder gar Rache? Das sind nur einige Beispiele, die genannt werden, und auch auf mögliche Kombinationen von Charakteren wird eingegangen: Vampire und Vampire, Vampire und Menschen, Ghule, im späteren Verlauf sogar die Kombination aus Vampiren und Werwölfen – und ob es dabei um eine Obsession, um ein Paar, eine Dreiecksbeziehung oder sonst noch was geht, streut weitere Variationsmöglichkeiten ein.

Noch im selben Kapitel beginnt die Begeisterung dann jedoch leider nach und nach zu schwinden, wenn es daran geht, konkreter zu werden. Man könnte einfach einen generell entspannten Umgang mit der Maskerade vorschlagen, heißt es da, oder vielleicht eine Alternative zu Blut ins Spiel bringen und sehen, ob die Beziehung dann noch dieselbe Anziehungskraft besitzt. Vielleicht setzt man auch verfluchte Erbstücke ein, um Dialoge zwischen Vampiren und Menschen zu schaffen und somit Optionen zur Paarfindung möglicherweise, eventuell befragt ein eifersüchtiger Vampir ein Orakel zur Beziehung und erfährt dabei Dinge, die er in der Form nicht erwartete oder wissen wollte. Auch wenn die einzelnen Beispiele mit Liebe zum Detail herausgearbeitet wurden, erscheinen sie doch sehr beliebig und wenig kreativ.

Dass es noch abstruser geht, zeigen dann die nachfolgenden neun Plotaufhänger für eine Geschichte im „Paranormal Romance“-Genre. Die Aufteilung der einzelnen Vorschläge ist dabei noch das Beste: Eine kleine Geschichte gibt einen Einblick ins Thema, danach folgen die Beschreibung der Idee, die vorherrschende Stimmung sowie die Erfordernisse, die das Thema an die teilnehmenden Spielercharaktere stellt, Hinweise zu möglichen Formen von Verbündeten und Gegnern sowie jeweils drei Beispielgeschichten, die man in dieser Umgebung spielen könnte. Zusätzlich enthält jeder dieser thematischen Aufhänger auch noch Tipps für spielmechanische Anpassungen für den jeweiligen Plot. Soweit, so gut.

Vorgeschlagen werden dann Sachen wie der Kampf um das Kind eines in Starre befindlichen alten Vampirs, um die eigene Macht in der Stadt zu erhöhen oder auch eine Geschichte in einer Umgebung, in der ein Prinz Romantik und Sex für illegal erklärt hat, das Spielen in einem alten Anwesen, um das sich so einige Geschichten ranken, etwas rund um Vampiren unterstellte Werwölfe sowie die Option, ein geheimnisvolles Ritual ins Spiel zu bringen, durch das wahre Liebe es erreichen kann, dass der Vampir wieder zu einem Sterblichen wird. Für den einen oder anderen mögen diese und andere Ideen interessant sein, ich selbst finde sie eher uninspiriert bis hin zu … sagen wir mal abwegig.

Doch was soll’s, denn das spannendste Kapitel des Buches steht ja noch aus: Storytelling! Also wie macht man das nun mit diesen Beziehungssachen, gerade innerhalb des Gruppenspiels, wie vermeidet man Langeweile der nicht Beteiligten, ohne dennoch den Beziehungsteil gänzlich außen vor zu lassen, welche besonderen Möglichkeiten gibt es sonst noch so? Tja, das weiß ich leider immer noch nicht. Das Kapitel beginnt erst mal weitschweifig mit Allgemeinplätzen wie dem gemeinsamen Abstimmen (Gruppenvertrag), der Berücksichtigung emotionaler Themen und Beziehungen im Rahmen der Charaktererschaffung sowie unterschiedlichen Zeitrahmen für unterschiedliche Geschichten. Es folgen Ideen wie „Erfahrungspunktevergabe für Genretreue“ und die Auflistung unterschiedlicher Settings zur Umsetzung von „Paranormal Romance“ (falls jemand noch nicht wusste, dass man das nicht nur in der Moderne, sondern auch in der Wildnis oder in viktorianischer Zeit spielen kann).
Erst danach geht es doch noch ans Eingemachte, so glaubt man zumindest, bis dann erhellende Tipps kommen wie, Beziehungsinhalte am besten vornehmlich in 1:1-Sessions auszuspielen – natürlich nicht ohne den Hinweis, doch bitte Inplay und Outplay zu trennen und bei Bedarf ein „Safe Word“ auszumachen, sollte es einem der beiden Beteiligten zu weit gehen. Ungefähr an dem Punkt habe ich mich ein bisschen gefühlt wie im falschen Film, Verzeihung: im falschen Buch. Da hilft dann auch nicht mehr, ein Template für „Heroic Mortals“ als besser geeignetere Partner als normale Menschen einzuführen, zumal es im Kern nicht mehr enthält als ein Pünktchen mehr hier und ein Pünktchen mehr dort auf dem Charakterbogen.

Die im Buch hier und da eingestreuten spielmechanischen Hinweise fand ich fast durchweg überflüssig bis sinnlos. Eine Tugend durch den Namen der wahren Liebe zu ersetzen und Bonuswürfel zu vergeben, wenn man die ehemalige Tugend zu Gunsten der wahren Liebe einsetzt, war da meiner Meinung nach noch die beste Idee. Der Einsatz von Skatkarten, um im favorisierten 1:1-Spiel damit festzulegen, welche Intensität Liebe (Herz), Ressourcen (Karo), Gefahr (Pik) und Kampf (Kreuz) bekommen sollen, ist aus meiner Sicht genauso überflüssig wie der Tipp, sich mit der Spielrunde zusammen Filme anzugucken oder sich Bücher auszuleihen, damit auch alle dieselbe Vision der „Paranormal Romance“-Runde teilen können. Auch letzteres ist keine Idee von mir, sondern eine, die sich ebenfalls im Quellenbuch findet.

Preis-/Leistungsverhältnis

Ich hatte von diesem Buch deutlich mehr erwartet als eine Vielzahl an Anregungen, die eher einem nicht sonderlich reflektierten Brainstorming zu entstammen scheinen, von daher ist dieser Quellenband mit sehr vielen Allgemeinplätzen und Einleitungsgeschichten auf insgesamt 63 Seiten schlicht zu teuer. Wer sich hingegen auch für Kleinigkeiten begeistern kann oder sich noch nie sonderlich mit den vorbeschriebenen Inhalten beschäftigt hat, für den lohnt die Anschaffung durchaus.
Fazit
Das Buch eignet sich vor allem für Leute, die gern romantische und/oder leidenschaftliche Themen in ihrer Gruppe einführen wollen, aber bislang so wirklich gar keine Idee haben, wie sich sowas anstellen ließe. In einem solchen Fall ist die Lektüre durchaus empfehlenswert und der Erzähler wird zu solchen Zwecken auch ordentlich genug an die Hand genommen und mit Inspirationen versorgt. Wer darüber hinaus hofft, weitergehende und speziellere Hinweise sowie rund ausgearbeitete spielmechanische Unterstützung zu bekommen, wird wohl eher enttäuscht sein.

Hinzuweisen wäre noch darauf, dass der Fokus des Buches eindeutig bei Beziehungen zwischen Vampiren und Menschen/Ghulen liegt. Die Beziehung zwischen zwei Vampiren wird deutlich knapper gehalten, alles andere an Crossover-Optionen fällt abgesehen von dem Plotaufhänger mit armen unterdrückten Werwölfen beinahe gänzlich unter den Tisch.
Unsere Bewertung

Erscheinungsbild 2/5 Zeichnungen vollfarbig, aber recht grob; Seitenumbrüche teils unstimmig
Inhalt 3/5 Gut für Einsteiger, wenig hilfreich für andere
Preis-/Leistungsverhältnis 3/5 Abhängig von der erreichten Zielgruppe
Gesamt 3/5

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Strange, Dead Love
Publisher: White Wolf
by Mateusz J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/17/2012 14:52:48
Perfect!

Nice and quite inspiring sourcebook (content-wise) - 4 stars (out of 5)

First color book I ordered in your PoD program and I'm delighted - excelent print quality, way beyond my expectations (actually they were quite low as I already know how awfully b&w books offered in DtRPG PoD look like). Absolutely no banding on pictures, quite good paper and FULL BLEED! Thats how all your PoD books should look. 6 stars (out of 5)

Recommended.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Strange, Dead Love
Publisher: White Wolf
by Robert S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/09/2012 07:58:34
Strange Dead Love is a book for Vampire the Requiem released by White Wolf in the winter of 2012. It is about running a paranormal romance campaign, namely a romantic relationship between a mortal and some supernatural creature, here a vampire. The romantic part includes sex, but it is not limited to sex. It is not porn but occasionally is erotica. Jess Hartley, Monica Valentinelli and Filamena Young wrote Strange Dead Love. It is also one of the first books from White Wolf since the company endured a shake up and staff reduction in 2011. Unfortunately… this is neither a good book, nor a bad book, merely a mediocre book.

Strange Dead Love is organized into four sections, including an introduction, chapter one discussing themes and props, chapter two details shards and chapter three provides storytelling notes.

The introduction is standard fare, though useful as it discusses what appears elsewhere in the book.

Chapter one covers the usual tropes in a Requiem game and a paranormal romance, including the blood bond – or creating additions to vampire blood – redemption, a lover’s triangle and the like.

The middle portion of the book provides nine shards – this is the longest part of the book. Shards is the White Wolf terms for the suggested plots of campaign arcs and while the idea of making these suggestions is good, using the term shard is unnecessary jargon. The shards here do not discuss any endings or middles – they are only set up. Fourth Edition Dungeons and Dragons books also present the plots of suggested campaign arcs in many of their books and here at least WotC out does White Wolf, because the 4E books avoid jargon and include middles and ending in their suggested plot arcs.

Another problem it is tendency to tell people what they could figure out for themselves. The shards here include things like potentially reincarnated lovers meeting, a vague take on Romeo and Juliet and jilted lovers dealing with the collapse of a relationship. These are all fine fodder for a campaign arc, but why do gamers really need a book to tell them these are options? People should be able to figure out these things for themselves.

Chapter three provides advice to storytellers on issues like campaign structure, creating NPCs tailor made for a paranormal romance and providing useful play examples. The material here is good, including the sections on tools for handling pacing and special games involving just a player and the storyteller.

A perennial problem for White Wolf books is a tendency to use 100 words when 25 would suffice. Strange Dead Love suffers from this issue throughout all three chapters. Amusingly chapter three starts with the sentence “Prolific advice has been offered to Storytellers for both the World of Darkness and Vampire: The Requiem.”

Like most White Wolf books, this one includes bits of flash fiction between sections of the book. The interstitial fiction here is good, reading somewhat like the early books in the Anita Blake series, before the books became stupid.

Art, with interior images by Ken Meyer. Jr. and a cover by long-time White Wolf photo-shopper Christopher Shy, in the book is decent, though not remarkable.

Strange Dead Love is a part of White Wolf’s persistent push into the digital world – it is generally available in PDF and only available in hardcopy through print on demand. The PDF version is highly bookmarked, with hyperlinks throughout – including the table of contents – and it is searchable. It does not have an index, but that is forgivable given its organizational strengths.

This books biggest problem is it actually fails to make a real case for including a paranormal romance game in a vampire game. Vampires, as depicted in the Vampire the Requiem game series, are soulless beasts that feed upon people and at best they have good table manners and know how to pretend to have emotions. They typically get people to “love” then with supernatural powers or by using their vampiric blood like heroin carefully doled out to an addict. Strange Deead Love is part of this in name only.

I wanted to like this book but that is not enough. A work must be judged on its own where that it possible, unless the work is a part of a larger whole, at which point it must be judged as a segment of the whole. Strange Dead Love is part of Vampire the Requiem series, which brings certain thematic expectations but the book fails to be a coherent part of the line. It cannot be both a Requiem book and something off doing its own thing. It would have been better as a World of Darkness book. However, that would not have solved the issue of the wordiness or telling the reader things they could figure out for themselves – reducing the page count by even a third would have narrowed the focus and improved the whole work.

Strange Dead Love gets a 10 on a d20 roll. It is a mixed bag, with as many problems as good elements. I can only recommend it to the die-hard fan.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Strange, Dead Love
Publisher: White Wolf
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/07/2012 23:42:06
'Strange, Dead Love' was a product about which I had deeply mixed feelings. On one hand, the whole paranormal romance genre is one whihc I simply can't stand; at least in the over-commercialised, over-published mainstream sense. On the other, the concept of love, and the storytelling opportunities it offers has always had a place at my table. Whilst this is written for vampire: the Requiem, the principles in here could be easily adapted to any game. The last section alone is worth the cover price, but I'll come to that.

Three elements are introduced in the first two chapters to blend into the chronicle as one sees fit. The beauty here is that none of the leemtns are absolutely mutually exclusive and are extremely scalable. The first two which go hand-in-hand (no pun intended) are Themes and Props. The Theme is the over-riding feel of the chronicle and it is possible to bring in elements of many of the themeses across a long-running chronicle. Each Theme presents love in a different perspective, and if communicated to players effectively, allows for the shaping of characters which either align (or more interestingly, reject) that perspective. Even though I had used themes like 'Redemption', 'The One' and 'Against all odds' in other chronicles, there was still something fresh in those entries that has given me new ways of approaching this subject matter. The Props support the executiuon of the story, and range from an examination of the Traditions to physical locations (such as the ubiquitous nightclub). Whilst a lot of these ideas are not new, they are presented with great clarity and they have enough substance to spark the imagination. What I did notice in this section was that each individual Theme or Prop spoke with a distinct voice; I'm not sure if the three authors were allocated different sections but this change of pace made this chapter extremely readable.
On that note, the quality of writing throughout the whole book was very good. It was clear that all of the authors had a great grasp of the genre and were able to distill the very essence (and then twist it to suit the World of Darkness). I didn't feel that the serialised fiction added anything to the product overall, but the rest of the writing was excellent.
The second chapter presents Shards, which are somewhat fleshed-out chronicle starters. There is still some major work to be done to bring these to life, but (as I noted with other products like 'Glimpses of the Unknown') these are well worth reading. The initial spark, basic NPCs and plot are sketched out for the Storyteller and all you would need to add is localised flavour and expand the scenes into a playable format. Normally in these sections I can find some dead wood; but was pleasantly surprised to see that all of the Shards were usable and engaging.

The last chapter is one on Storytelling Advice. It is acknowledged in the opening paragraph that pages have been written on the subject of storytelling already; but I felt that this product deserved some specialised attention. Given the genre, there needs to be a very particular approach to story and character development, a strong buy-in from both the Storyteller and all players and what this chapter calls 'Social Contracts'. I think that any group who approaches this chapter with the intent of an open dialogue between ST and players (if you don't have this already) will find their game stronger for it. Overall, I'd recommend this chapter for anyone wanting to run any game with a romantic theme - not just WoD.

Overall, I think this is an excellent product, supported by a realistic page count, and solid writing. It can be easily read in one sitting, but you will find yourself (as I did) drawn back to re-read sections and ponder how they'll fit into your chronicle.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Strange, Dead Love
Publisher: White Wolf
by Austin C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/16/2012 18:32:36
"The book’s three principle writers, Jess Hartley, Monica Valentinelli, and Filamena Young, have done their homework. The fiction scattered throughout the book is an awfully interesting romance story. We know what is going to happen but the meat of the tale lies in how the characters get there. Badass human meets sexy vampire. Story ensues."

http://dearmisterfantasist.tumblr.com/post/15978282446/b-
ook-review-01-16-2012-strange-dead-love

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Strange, Dead Love
Publisher: White Wolf
by Scott R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/16/2012 05:38:27
A Requiem book covering paranormal romance was inevitable. Vampires as a romantic trope are very hot right now so why wouldn't the folks at White Wolf get irate. "We've been doing this vampire thing for twenty years, son! We got this." That must have been in the pitch meeting somewhere. So why not put their own brand on it and show roleplayers how to do love, lust, sex and romance the new World of Darkness way.

Vampires are inherently sensual creatures no matter where characters plot on the bestial-to-seductive sliding scale. In order to exist they need to get close enough to a mortal to sup on their warm pumping blood. Even if this involves a grab from the shadows type of ambush it is a deeply intimate act, not to mention how Requiem describes the effect of The Kiss on the pleasure centers of both feeder and vessel. Romance may be used cynically as a means of feeding. It can be the thing that keeps a vampire from surrendering his humanity by clinging doggedly to the pursuit of winning hearts as a vital part of his Requiem. A game of courtship might be a stable of city politics. It could arise as a result of your characters Virtue and Vice combination or a blood bond. Or you could be playing a Ghoul who loves her regent with all her crooked heart.

Strange, Dead Love gives guidance on how to use paranormal romance as a narrative device in your games wether a liaison crops up organically and unexpectedly in an existing campaign or if you decide to make relationship drama the centerpiece of the campaign. Requiem tries to hard to be a horror title but urban fantasy is it's real strong point so why not explore subgenera of fantasy? Of great use is the analyses of paranormal romance as a genre including the specifics of narrative structure, stock characters and common themes. Much of this book could be use in any White Wolf title. I could find much utility for the new World of Darkness game that centers on courtly romance, Changeling: the Lost. I know that one of the Forsaken Chronicler's Guide segments centered on romance as pack dynamic and Strange, Dead Love could help you make the most of it.

There is a chapter of Shards, taking a cue from World of Darkness: Mirrors these are campaign kits exploring a different aspect of a vampiric paranormal romance. I particularly liked The Prince's Child which is a scenario where a powerful elder is going to slumber and is ceding Princedom of a powerful city to his delicate childer about whom no one knows many details. Because of his inexperience the childe must choose someone as a steward, a lover and protector who likely will hold much of the real power in the city. This shard hits at the core strengths of Requiem and would make fine use of the social combat rules in Dance Macabre. The shards are all versatile enough to appeal to the wide tastes of the paranormal romance fan but sufficiently blood-drenched for Requiem.

Strange, Dead Love is not what I expected. Before it's release FlamesRising had a author Q&A session. I asked if the book would address the specifics of how Requiem vampires approach romance and intimacy particularly as they age. I mean, vampires Embraced in the last ten years can still remember their human emotions. Do they feel yearnings to experience them again lest they become monsters even if they are just aping the experience? The monsters that are the elders possibly undead for hundreds of years have surely forgotten what an honest to God love affair feels like. Has their experience of lust become tainted by literal bloodlust? I came to this book with these questions wanting to be answered and what Strange, Dead Love does is say "Hey! Those are some interesting points; here is what you can do to make explore those themes in your campaign." I forgot where Requiem and the new World of Darkness was at this stage in it's evolution. This is a toolbox release in the style of Mirrors, not a supplement/sourcebook in the vein of The Gilded Cage. You don't have much concrete "canon" about vampiric love that isn't in the Requiem core book but you've got a lot of props and themes to explore. If that lack of detail is going to upset you then Strange, Dead Love might be a waste of your time.

I would have liked a bit more teeth in the section on social contracts. If you are dealing with gaming involving sex or the implication of sex you've really got to nail down boundaries at the start. There are a lot of gems here, such as in the character creation section. I've been rolling up characters and writing often-elaborate backstories for a long time but never would I have considered my characters sexual and romantic history as anything more than grey area a to fill in as applicable. If you are running a romance-centered game though you've got to take first kisses and lost virginity into account. If you've got crushes and ex-lovers and rivals out there in the city then you've got plot hooks, baby.

Even if romance isn't your thing. Even if you think it's girl stuff. You'd be missing out if you're a Requiem fan and didn't give this a read.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Strange, Dead Love
Publisher: White Wolf
by Simon M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/06/2012 19:55:53
Romance in the Vampire: The Requiem universe was something that needed its own sourcebook. Unfortunately, "Strange, Dead Love" ends up middling in mediocrity. The first two chapters are essentially story seeds with the romance theme tucked in (similar to White Wolf's other recent supplement, "Glimpses", which I enjoyed). These seeds are strong, as is typical with the publisher. Where the book falls flat is the third chapter, which details Storytelling paranormal romance. This was the chapter which made me want to buy the book in the first place, so it is unfortunate that it only receives ten pages.

The size of the chapter might have been alright, if more of it had been useful. The first page discusses the social contract involved in playing the game, and goes exactly as one would expect. The second page dives into character creation, but fails to bring forth notable differences from the standard gothic horror genre we are already used to from Vampire (it could be a great summary for people brand new to WoD, but they aren't the target market). Page 3 is a series of tips and tricks for NPC creation and pacing, all of which could apply to WoD games that don't involve romance (and can also be found in other sourcebooks). Page 4, 5, and 6 involve two-player games of V:tR, with an emphasis on playing with a significant other. Before buying the book, I had run two one-on-one campaigns (one with an SO, the other without), so I was interested what their take on this was. There isn't a lot here that was especially new to me, largely due to my previous experience, but those new to one-on-one gaming might just find this to be the most valuable part of the book.

If you are flipping through this sourcebook without reading everything, it will be easy to miss that Page 7 suddenly gets back into standard gameplay and roleplaying considerations. It is here that the authours put the fruits of their inspiration and offer up questions that can really shape a game featuring paranormal romance (or to supplement the roleplaying in -any- game). The chapter concludes by offering up mechanics for "Heroic Mortals", which, in the context of this book, seem to be a way of making mortal lovers of vampires (think Sookie Stackhouse) interesting to play.

If you are looking for another collection of story seeds, "Strange, Dead Love" is a good value for the price as a collection of romance-themed seeds - you get nearly 50 pages of interesting ideas and shards. In fact, if it was billed as such, I would have given it a higher rating. White Wolf has advertised it as being a sourcebook for implementing romance in your campaign, or centreing a campaign around it, however, and in that aspect it falls short. If you aren't interested in the seeds, give this one a pass - The three or four pages of real, valuable content is not worth the price tag.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Strange, Dead Love
Publisher: White Wolf
by Jose B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/06/2012 14:26:24
White Wolf's long awaited paranormal romance genre RPG book for Vampire the Requiem (although could easily be used for Masquerade). While the book is not all 'sex & romance' per say it does provide rules for how vampires see human and vampire romantic relationships and expands the core rules to incorporate the paranormal romance genre popularized by True Blood, Twilight, Anita Blake and other authors of this subject. This supplement provides 'shards' or romantic themes that a Requiem game could be built around. Greatly enhances the role of romantic relationships in Requiem, whether between vampires and humans or among Kindred, and is indispensable if you plan on running games that focus on deeper forays of human/vampire sexual & romantic relationships. Written by some of my favorite WW's writers. I purchased both the pdf and hardcopy editions and the quality is excellent, the art is evocative and full color, although not from my favorite WW artists. Only wish that this particular supplement were also offered in hardcover format.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Strange, Dead Love
Publisher: White Wolf
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/28/2011 18:42:32
Overall Strange, Dead Love makes perfect sense in the context of the Vampire: the Requiem line, and I feel that many a group would be missing out on a lot if they were to ignore the way that romance subplots fit in a Vampire Chronicle.

While the supplement itself doesn't have a lot in terms of crunch, dealing with a topic like this doesn't need a lot. If anything, the advice in the supplement is vital for people because you can't codify it with a lot of rules to muddy the emotion in the game.

I would recommend Strange, Dead Love to any V:tR Storyteller interested in adding an extra layer of emotional depth to their campaigns, and at a reasonable price.

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This is an excerpt from the full review of from my blog. To read the rest, kindly visit: http://philgamer.wordpress.com/2011/12/29/review-strange-dea-
d-love-for-vampire-the-requiem/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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