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V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
by Matthew S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/21/2018 15:45:20

I was thoroughly delighted with this book. It took me a week to work through it and when done I was looking to see if similiar books are planned for the other lines to bring metaplot forward. The main thing about this book that struck me was the detail that some of the more clan specific plots were moved forward. Frankly it leaves me wanting more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
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Beast Player's Guide
by Maxime L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/16/2018 05:03:38

This is a fantastic book which expands on every aspect in the core game, and makes Beast a much better-rounded game. Absolutely recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Beast Player's Guide
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The Pack
by Yurodivy K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/11/2018 22:35:52

I’d consider Werewolf 2e to be one of the most improved lines from its 1e version ever since I picked up its core book. After having played the game itself, I can confirm that the systems (crunch-heavy as they are) mesh together very well and really help carry the concept of powerful hunters working together to bring down their prey. I was curious to see how this supplement might build on that basis, and it gives some very interesting options for a play group and greater detail on how groups of werewolves work together-- whether it be in packs, protectorates (groups of many packs allied together to protect a single region,) and Lodges (cult-like organizations headed by powerful Totems that focus on one very specific type of prey and cause.)

The most interesting subsystem to be introduced is probably the Pack Experience system. Expanded well beyond the group beats system presented in the core, you’re asked to come up a number of story hooks which give mechanical effects. The first is Pack Touchstones. These are important parts of their territory which they gain a +1 bonus on rolls to defend, and which can be drawn on once per session to give a +2 bonus to a roll relevant to the Touchstone. In addition, the pack itself gets Aspirations like a character, which generate pack beats whenever they are advanced. These typically relate into the reasons the pack was brought together in the first place. Finally, the pack has Complications, which are environmental aspects, people, or groups that make the pack’s job difficult. When Complications...well, complicate things, you get a pack beat.

But what can you do with all these pack beats? Well, there’s several options to choose from. There are new merits called, appropriately enough, Pack Merits which can only be bought with pack beats. These reflect a greater understanding of pack dynamics and pack territory. For example, your werewolf pack might learn over time how to use the features of their territory against their prey, imposing a Condition on them appropriate to the area, like inflicting Shadow Paranoia in a dark, creepy forest. You also may boost the stats of your Totem beyond the limits of the Totem Merit dots. But the final option is something I was surprised was not within the core-- the choice to learn Pack Tactics.

Pack Tactics are specialized teamwork actions which can have a variety of potent effects on prey. There are specific frameworks given for what a Pack Tactic can do. Like Merits, they have a dot rating based on how powerful they are, though they are more expensive at two XP a dot. Pack Tactics are sometimes but not always focused on combat, with options including imposing Conditions, reducing an enemy’s Defense, and so on and so forth. However, they may just as easily give a werewolf a better first impression with a target they need something from, or lower the exceptional success threshold for any skill. If your pack prefers their prey to be more abstract things like “a zoning permit for that building we want to make a Locus” then there’s still plenty here for you. I really appreciate how flexible this system is, I wish it had been a core system but I understand the pains of wordcount.

The next subsystem added are Hunting Natures. These help emphasize the dual natures of werewolves, as they represent whether the pack tends to hunt and think more like a wolf, human, or that desirable middle ground of a true werewolf. Hunting Nature is rolled for during the start of a “lunar cycle” (read: a month, with the anniversary date likely being the formation of the pack) with a dice pool based on the actions of the pack over the course of the past month. Each one comes with its own benefits, so don’t fret if you tip too far over onto one side. They allow you to draw on an extra source of Willpower and affect what kind of Pack Tactics you may learn and use. In addition, Hunting Natures are beat generators. Based on your type of Hunting Nature, actions of one type may be penalized, and if you choose to take that penalty and fail the roll, you gain a beat.

The final bits of crunch come in the form of Lodges. While this had been the thing I was most looking forward to, I was a bit let down by the lack of elaboration on the Tribal Pillars, Lodges which claim a wide membership among one Tribe of the Moon. We only see a full writeup on one, the Lodge of Garm. To be fair to the writers, their names and Lodge Prey are provided, but not much beyond this. However, this is made up for by the Eaters of the Dead being among the five presented Lodges. I loved them so much I made them a full Tribe in my home campaign, though I hope we will see an official update to them as a full Tribe since I am not sure if my attempt at a signature Tribal Gift is especially good.

Lodges have had their stat requirements for joining removed, and what an initiation might consist of is largely left up to the individual GM. They now provide a Lodge Benefit, a small supernatural power related to the nature of the Lodge provided by its Totem, a different Sacred Hunt bonus which is focused on the specific Lodge Prey, a Lodge Aspiration the werewolf adds to her own list of Aspirations, and a Ban, which is the same as the Lodge Totem. Additionally, they open up new Merits which the werewolf may buy. These can represent anything from a cache of arcane knowledge no other werewolves have access to, or an armory of powerful weapons, even up to allowing the adherent access to one of the Totem’s Influences.

I focused on the crunch for this, but the fluff is quite good and gives a better idea of how mixed packs with both humans, werewolves, Wolfbloods, and even spirits or stranger yet supernatural creatures, might function, how they relate to their territory and other packs, and so on and so forth. There’s also some rather good story seeds and new hunting grounds provided that may jog your imagination.

If you plan on running a long-term Werewolf campaign, I strongly recommend this book. The presented material is not likely to come up in a single story-arc campaign and might be more difficult than its bookkeeping is worth if you dislike that sort of thing (I am a bad judge because I love it.) Still, joining a Lodge, forming protectorates, and coming up with Pack Tactics are all good long-term goals to set oneself on, and these are things which will make your game world feel much deeper.



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Pack
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
by Tomas K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/07/2018 18:22:22

Much deeper (and character oriented) than previous versions of Vampire games (be it Masquerade or first edition of Requiem). Touchstone mechanic is great. Also reimagned merits and disciplines works perfectly.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
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V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
by John M. S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/06/2018 07:57:35

This book is a whopping tome, which took me ages to read but believe me when I say it was worth it. Basically 30 short stories about Beckett's exploits, tying up loose ends regarding the Clan Novel Plots as well as Meta Plot developments. Also, very funny much of the time. I did a full review of Beckett's Jyhad Diary on my website and you can read it by clicking the hyperlink



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
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V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
by Lukas A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2018 04:52:00

A very well written book for fans of the Metaplot and Vampire the Masquerade. If you are just starting to catch up, this is probably not the best start. There are a lot of Characters from the other releases in this book and you will have more fun if you already know who they are. I didn't notice a difference in which author wrote which part. They captured Beckett's character/voice very well. The Premium Heavywight printing has a good quality and it arrived in great condition in less than a week after ordering. The pages are kind of matte, which is in my opinion easier to read than some of the V20 products with very glossy (does that make sense?) pages, so you can even take it out to read in the sun on a good day.

Oh by the way, the book is actually lighter than I expected. It's still heavy, but it seems much lighter than my (german) VtM V20 book.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurers, Acrobats, and Acolytes
by Travis L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/03/2018 22:53:44

This collection of pregenerated characters/NPCs is immensely useful for Pugmire guides. Whether looking to populate your campaign with well-designed NPCs, complete with rich backstories, or looking for some pregens to hand out for a pick-up game of Pugmire, this booklet has you covered!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventurers, Acrobats, and Acolytes
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Beast Player's Guide
by Yurodivy K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/30/2018 18:43:27

I’m on the boat of people who actually liked Beast, either in part or because I had checked out during the controversy surrounding it and only got to reading it well after the official print copy had been released. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the Player’s Guide ever since I heard of its development early last year back when I started getting back into tabletop gaming.

It was promised this would open up in the game in entirely new ways. New Families, New Hungers, something called the Cults of the Dark Mother...and it delivered and then some. This book is only 166 pages but it feels so much longer. It is densely packed and there’s very little wasted space (which was one of my complaints with the Beast core.)

Aside from the obvious fancy new powers (there are Merits, Kinship Merits, Atavisms, Nightmares, and different sets of Birthrights) there’s a good number of new mechanics and subsystems introduced to flesh out the game and show the society and mentality of the Begotten better. Communion and Guidance are perhaps the unsung heroes here, being respectively states of closeness to the Dark Mother, giving the Begotten a deeply spiritual bent which I think enhances their culture quite a bit and makes them feel more distinct. Communion is your primary way of getting the newest addition for Beasts, the Obcasus Rites (which function similarly to Ceremonies or werewolf Rites,) while Guidance gives Beasts a way to refresh Willpower when they’ve run out, and is a prerequisite for gaining the Merit that lets you learn Obcasus Rites. The latter is a particularly interesting patch given Beasts tend to need Willpower pretty badly given it’s a secondary way to fuel Atavisms if they’re in an area afflicted with their own Lair Tilt-- but unlike vampires and werewolves, they have no Touchstones as an alternate way to fill up on Willpower.

While most splats get some sort of magic item subsystem to play around with, like Tokens, Talens, Gadgets, and so on and so forth, Beasts get something entirely different and in my opinion way more fun in its place. They can make smaller, more subservient versions of their Horror, called Horrorspawn, to do their bidding. These Horrorspawn can act as a general utility and make feeding rolls a bit easier, at the cost of taking some of your Satiety gain for themselves. Don’t worry, they can make good use of it-- they heal as Beasts and you have the option of giving them one or more of your own Atavisms to use, among another Dread Powers.

The new Families are the Inguma and Talassii, representing, respectively, fears of the other and fears of confinement, while the new Hungers are for Secrets and Transgression. These Hungers give players who might be a little uneasy about the more explicitly violent Hungers of predation and the like a way to play more heroic or comparatively benevolent Beasts (not that it was impossible to before, but both of these in my opinion give frequently thought-of ways to do so.) All of the above subsplat options provide some compelling options for players and are nearly worth the price of entry alone.

Along with the Cult subsystem (which must be bought into with a Merit, albeit one that most Beasts could easily access with its prerequisites of Occult or Politics 2-- you get a free dot of Occult, after all) a new mini-splat is introduced with the Herald. A Herald is a human who leads a Primordial Cult and has been empowered by its Beast leader with a rite giving them access to Advanced and Epic Merits, a Legend and Life rather than Vice and Virtue, and immunity to some of the Beast’s Lair Traits. Furthermore, the Herald will become a Beast should their Cult leader ever undergo Inheritance. Beware, however-- if your Herald undergoes a Breaking Point and gets a dramatic failure, they may become a Hero. Aside from that, Cults may help a Beast with their feeding rolls, help them to build a Legend so they may pave their way to Incarnation, or just be a simple support network for them.

Inheritance as an endgame stage in general has been greatly expanded upon, and new systems have been put into place to make it more practical by giving specific ways to build a Legend and lower the necessary Lair threshold to carry out the Incarnate form of Inheritance. In addition, new forms of Inheritance are introduced. These are the Divergence, the Erasure, and the Inversion. All three are rather messy and morbid, requiring an active decision to pursue on the Beast’s part, and players may find them unpleasant “bad end” scenarios. Of course, this means they’re absolutely perfect for Beast antagonists.

The Primordial Dream is fleshed out in much greater detail, giving rules for finding unclaimed Chambers while within the Dream, how to travel between Lairs that your own Lair is not connected to, what the Hive could look like, and perhaps most intriguing of all, what lies beyond the Mists that surround the Hive. The Day, the Cave, the Bright Dream, and the Mother’s Land are all given rules for finding and exploring (sharp-eyed fans of other games would recognize the Bright Dream as the Temenos and the Mother’s Land as the Anima Mundi.) The one disappointment is few story seeds are offered for the Mother’s Land, but that’s the sort of thing one would expect within a Storyteller’s Guide instead. I do hope we might get one someday even if I feel like Onyx Path will be primarily focusing on their other gamelines for a while.

This isn’t just a book for players. If anything, my biggest complaint is the book is too necessary and brings in things that should have been in the core in the first place, as I am adamantly of the opinion you should be able to run a full game from just the core-- other books are strictly optional. If you plan on running Beast I truly feel like this is a must-have. It’s reignited my passion for the game and the campaign I have been running.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Beast Player's Guide
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Scarred Lands Player's Guide (OGL 5e)
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/29/2018 12:59:25

A very good looking book, but not quite in the same feeling as the third edition setting.

It's very much 'lighter', and the Redeemed races - once favorite enemies are now options for player characters. That's an odd choice, and I'm not terribly fond of it. I get it, more options, but not to my taste.

Rules-wise it seems pretty solid, a ton of information for domains, classes, equipment, spells and rituals. This is the real meat of the book and easily worth the price. Layout and design is all top notch, a ton of fantastic art, it's just a bit of a brighter more hopeful feel than the original and gritty setting. It seems like a lot of effort was made to have this appear like the D&D 5e Player's Handbook and not a unique product by itself.

Some parts are flat out wrong with the setting, the Drendali are not pale skinned elves, but the more traditional jet black-Drow elves. Not sure why the change was made.

I am happy to see Scarred Lands in 5th ed. This is a fantastic supplement for rules, but a lot of the theme and flavor just don't quite hit the mark. The third edition books are still relevant and are great companion pieces to the rules in this book. Make sure to pick up the Ghelspad Gazetteer or Campaign setting. Find them in print if you can, the big maps are fantastic.

I'm curious to see what Onyx Path will do going forward.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Scarred Lands Player's Guide (OGL 5e)
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Fanfare for the Chosen: An Exalted 3rd Edition Music Suite
by Thomas R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/28/2018 11:53:00

I've fallen into the habit of listning to music by Two Steps From Hell when i think of Exalted. Compared to that, this is just tepid.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Fanfare for the Chosen: An Exalted 3rd Edition Music Suite
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C20 Ready Made Characters
by Jordan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/24/2018 20:36:15

The very idea that you have a Changeling character who is a trans trender dictating their preferred pronouns, that you have sample monsters from the Dreaming like the micro aggressions, the Patriarchy, the Gender Binary. I find that so ridiculous and offensive. Is White Wolf hiring SJWs as writers now cuz I have a serious problem with that.

Needless to say, I can think of a few things here that I'll never be using for any Changeling game.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
C20 Ready Made Characters
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Mage: the Awakening 2nd Edition Condition and Numina Cards
by Marcin S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/24/2018 08:39:50

I purchased both pdf and physical cards full of doubts. Unnecessary, as it turned out. The cards are simply great.

The cards arrived in solid cardboard box, that was deliberetly made be resistant to post services. Inside of the package there were cards in a solid plastic box. I wasn't expecting the box but that nice addition that definitely extends the cards' lifetime and make it easier to keep them in one place.

The cards themselves are divided into two decks - Conditions and Numina. Back of the cards look the same, with the sole exception of the deck's name. Colours have good saturation and print quality is very high. I could have some minor complaints about the quality of the logo, which in my opinion could be better, but that's a very minor thing that has completely no impact on usage of the cards.

The cards habe standard poker playing card size (2.5"x3.5"). The quality of the cards themselves is high and absolutely comparable to any regular playing cards you may purchase from regular store. This includes of course a thin layer of plastic cover over cards that extends their lifetime and adds to their resitance. The thickness is also satisfactory and I expect that the cards can last for relatively long time.period even without putting them in cardholders.

To summarize - Mage condition and numina cards are excellent product that makes your life much easier. While they are not necessary to play the game they make it much easier and highly improve the comfort of the game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: the Awakening 2nd Edition Condition and Numina Cards
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V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
by James B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/22/2018 07:04:56

For fans of the original VTM metaplot this is a welcome supplement! The writing is crisp and natural and each chapter provides a number of great plot hooks and furthers the old metaplot in an interesting fashion. Many of the old characters are there but don't feel shoehorned in. Couldn't recommend this title more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
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Onyx Path Publishing Brochure (2017)
by Rob C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/21/2018 14:17:12

I would like to see more definitive timelines and more content. The brochure did not list other, peripheral items such as Night Horrors: Enemy Action as an example.

It did have a listing by game system which I liked.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Onyx Path Publishing Brochure (2017)
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Arms of the Chosen
by Gedeon M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/17/2018 15:59:11

The example artifacts in the book are very fun and interesting. Great to play with or base your own on, I enjoyed them extreamly.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Arms of the Chosen
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