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Falling Scales Chapter One $5.99
Publisher: White Wolf
by Xavier A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2012 00:38:42
Note: This is based from a read-through, not a play-through.

Some things about this I liked quite a bit.

* The villains, while villainous, are also human and understandable

* The plot, in general, remains quite flexible, while still providing logical followups and advancement.

* There is a nice mix of action, investigation and social manipulation.


My biggest problem is in the climax. The cult leader you've been working with decides to be rid of you and does a massive show of power... and the plot assumes you weather it and decide to attack back - "or the story ends." And then the final scene is just "they decide to fight back" (despite going up against a well guarded, well funded, society with legal presence and support). No hints or paths are offered for doing that, and it's even assumed as probable the PCs end up dead / on the run from the law. To me, this seems unsatisfyingly thought through and would be frustrating for players.

Additionally, while providing numerous opportunities for players to die or be subverted, no ideas on how to bring new characters in are offered.

That said, there are obviously all sorts of ways to address these concerns and a flexible ST will do just fine... but it is a real consideration for newer ST.


A few other quibbles: while billed as potentially multi-genre, the story really assumes human characters with little to no previous interaction with the supernatural. It is true, and frequently acknowledged in the text, that characters with power, experience or connections will either find scenes utterly without challenge or simply nonsensical. The introduction of the memetic virus and the manner in which it assisted in raising a particularly well organized, funded and brutal hunter cult rather quickly may have interesting long term effects and ramifications (which seem to be the focus of the upcoming adventures), however.

The memetic virus... I'm unsure about. Maybe they'll develop it into something really cool? As is, all we know about it is that it's basically "the idea that /the supernatural is real/." From exposure it eventually grants you an omni-Unseen Presence ability and eventual immunity to most supernatural powers (as well as conferring immunity to ever gaining a supernatural template). It's contagious and incurable. It's definitely a game changing story element, and one I'm hesitant to introduce... at least before I know where they're going with it. However, you could always give it a slow / limited growth, highlight drawbacks, and figure out some way to be rid of it.


Overall - a lot of solid meat here, good for bringing new characters (and players) into the grim and gritty World of Darkness. However, I'm not sure it's a good adventure for new STs, since there are quirky complications that could trip you up.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Falling Scales Chapter One
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