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V20 Dark Ages Tome of Secrets
by Sean M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/18/2018 05:25:55

I definitely enjoyed it and found it a rather useful pool of ideas and locales, the art as always for this line is more often gorgeous. It is most useful for a Storyteller who wants more information on the daily life of the setting but a player wishing to play something more in sync with the mores of the time will find it very useful too.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Dark Ages Tome of Secrets
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Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
by Sean M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/18/2018 05:20:14

Dreaming is a gorgeous and thick tome that brings the world of Fae to the classic World of Darkness setting. While I personally prefer Changeling the Lost, this is still an excellent read and adds a much more vibrant tone to the normally dour and grim universe of the World of Darkness.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
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Adversaries of the Righteous: Fivefold Masks and Lies
by wallace p. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/17/2018 13:46:15

The character is rad, and feels like they would fit into a lot of campaigns as one of those "wait are they with us or against us?" NPCs. Plus, their mask is a cool artifact and it's nice to have rapiers in the game.

I'm a little baffled to see people who can parse the dense mechanics of Exalted being confused by a little thing like someone using they/them pronouns; the wording of this piece seemed pretty clear to me.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adversaries of the Righteous: Fivefold Masks and Lies
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Adversaries of the Righteous: Fivefold Masks and Lies
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/15/2018 13:21:43

The character is actually quite a good adversary for any group. I also like the addition of the rapier as a new weapon type. The pronouns make it hard to read, but it is a positive adition to the line.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
by Rainer A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/10/2018 11:40:56

I have not written a review in years (my last was for Chaining the Beast for the now long defunct site Ex Libris Nocturnis) but I have to end that today. Since its inception in 1991 Vampire the Masquerade (VtM) has become a phenomena with a richly detailed and insanely complex metaplot, a connected series of story arcs that moved the world and setting forwards, ultimately towards 2004s Gehenna. When Onyx Path was formed and picked up the line for development again in 2012 they faced the delicate challenge of navigating this tangled web in an updated form but with an almost 10 year gap in which there was a void to be filled. This product, Becketts Jyhad Diary, began life as an update to the metaplot but with the arrival of V5 its directive morphed into also being a stepping stone between the old and new editions as well as a V5 'metaplot bible' for the line going forwards. These are all significant development challenges made more significant in combination. Personally a book collecting the metaplot in an accessible form is something I have felt the WoD and especially Vampire has been badly missing since 2nd edition time so I was very excited to be part of the KS that helped design it's content. I'm reviewing this from a copy of the deluxe, but I'm going to focus on content everyone gets. I will say though that OP have delivered what is easily the most beautiful Vampire book ever made in the deluxe, and I have it all on my shelves (V20 Dark Ages is it's rival). The deluxe book feels very satisfying to handle. Zoning out on me and want the point? Ok. Regardless of whatever edition you play, regardless of how much you use the metaplot, and regardless of what your chronicle looks like or whether you are brand new, intermediate or a scarred vet to VtM, this book is hands down the most important book to get beyond the core. You will mine it forever for good ideas, interesting characters, plot hooks, locations, clues and even for comedy. It is not just the best Vampire supplement ever created, it is also the best looking, with the entire art department excelling themselves. Based on previous books I had fears that over 500 pages of text with fonts for different handwriting and reports would look jumbled and pain my eyes, especially when the dimensions of BJDs more compact form were considered, but the visual impact of flicking through it is a devastating example of a mastery of layout on the part of Mike Chaney. Everything is beautifully and thoughtfully presented and requires no effort to enjoy. And there is SO much to enjoy. Perhaps you are sitting on the fence wondering if this book has anything in it for you. It absolutely does. It's crammed with stuff. A brief and woefully inadequate list includes updates on every city or region featured in a By Night book, Baba Yaga, Rasputin, the Giovanni Chronicles, countless canon characters, the Clan Novel series, the independent Clans, Carthage, the thin blooded and the Sabbat Civil War. Refracted throughout all of these sections are strands of the metaplot gathered from all over Vampires publication history, including the Dark Ages lines. Major metaplot threads (many chosen by fans) are put under the spotlight but in the granular details of their exploration other threads from elsewhere in the metaplot are hidden for the discerning eye to uncover like easter eggs. Its an ingenious design and presentation of something that could have been presented very dryly and boringly. This brings me to another point about the design decisions in this book. We not only get a feast of metaplot to gorge on, we get a STORY to frame it in (it always bothered me that fiction in WW rpg books was often underappreciated, as telling a good story is the point). The diary is built to look and feel like a real diary, and so we get the creepy feeling as we read that we are spying on Beckett and globe trotting with him. So the story is engaging on a number of levels, and it's also presented in bite sized portions like a real diary so you can dive into it anywhere and not feel lost in the narrative. It's only loosely a linear story. The real story is in the fractal like emergence of the World of Darkness as seen through undead eyes over the last 25 years. Which, by the way, ignites the imagination into a creative frenzy. It's full of inspirational content but the main point I want to stress here is that i think this makes BJD also the best fiction ever published for the WoD. But this is primarily a book about telling our own stories using this book as a springboard or in game prop, and so the narrative sections are all rounded out by a presentation of that part of the metaplot for gaming or storytelling purposes. These include interesting questions raised by the diary and seeds for chronicles and stories, as well as information on the background of the elements involved. They have no "crunch" for tabletop games as they are written to be useful to LARPers, film makers, or anyone else wanting to tell a story set in the world of Vampire. In summary if you like VtM this is the best gift you could hope to receive. It's truly an outstanding work of art and Onyx Path have surpassed themselves. Standing applause for Matthew Dawkins, Neall Raemonn Price, Eddy Webb, and everyone who contributed, fans included. This is THE book Vampire needed. It cannot be criticised for not covering everything as there was always going to be way too much metaplot to do that, but like all good things it definitely leaves me wanting more.

Wiith all this said, it saddens me that Matthew Dawkins, one of the writers and developers, has had to shut his social media down following his being doxxed by an ex-Onyx Path developer. His contribution here gives me faith that V5 will be what I want it to be, and I feel it'll be a terrible shame if due to some bitter person's actions, he leaves this field.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
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C20 Ready Made Characters
by Christopher G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/09/2018 08:39:47

A fun book that gives a lot of tools to inspire diversity and out of the box thinking for character types. I especailly liked the maps of the different motleys and how to connect characters used throughout the book in different ways to tell different stories. I do wish that this map was more fleshed out and provided some thought into how you could use that sort of connection for player-made characters, but that's just wanting extra that's not already included. I can see dropping many of these characters in as NPCs in an ongoing game or handing them out as characters to run at a convention.

The only negative I have is the lack of explanation about the two character sheets for each character. Its obvious that one is a more advanced version than the other, but without explanation or a calculator, its hard to determine how the advancement was made. It would have been good to include a quick paragraph, or even a sentence of explanation to avoid confusion.

Good stuff and very thought and idea provoking - exactly what one wants in a short character supplement!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
C20 Ready Made Characters
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C20 Ready Made Characters
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2018 19:02:05

It's great to see more representation coming out in games these days.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adversaries of the Righteous: Fivefold Masks and Lies
by Philipp N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/02/2018 16:25:59

The article is very hard and confusing to read with the botched grammar. I thought Fivefold Masks was a group of (five) siblings till "young individual" on page two. I appreciate what you tried to do, but there must be a better solution to this, like gener-neutral pronouns.

On the other hand I might just roll with the five siblings idea ;-)



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Adversaries of the Righteous: Fivefold Masks and Lies
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Edge of Infinity: The Scarred Planes
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/29/2018 22:46:56

Many of the pages in this .pdf are crooked. Still, it's a great book.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Edge of Infinity: The Scarred Planes
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Adversaries of the Righteous: The Broker and Ifraja the Librarian
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2018 22:05:13

I like both of these characters, and think that they are good additions to the collection, but why, oh why do we have to use the plural third person pronoun to refer to a person of indeterminate gender? Its a massacre of the English language!

I did like the new spell and shaping ritual quite a bit. Very cool thematic elements!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adversaries of the Righteous: The Broker and Ifraja the Librarian
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Exalted 3rd Edition
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/16/2018 10:45:40

A dead game. Or rather, an insulting monument to one that they rolled out to profit off of those of us who remember it. This isn't me bagging on the edition. Some things they improved, others they messed up. Hard. (ahemCRAFTahem) This is me bagging on how this game is basically done and dead until they can scrape together the talent to Kickstart a 4th edition. Not that anyone would back it after this debacle. Yeah, they've been trickling out a more robust beastiary (that should have been included to begin with and probably got cut due to page count restrictions), and we'll probably eventually even see the 2 or 3 other books that got written along with the core years back. Eventually. The work's already done, why not profit from it? But make no mistake, the Exalted line is not a going concern for Onyx Path, just a cash cow. Accordingly, I will be boycotting their other products until they get their act together on this one. Which is to say, indefinitely. It's not like roleplaying hasn't moved on while they were sitting around, taking too long to do the same old thing.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
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C20 Ready Made Characters
by Andrzej S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/11/2018 13:31:50

I felt like I was reading a caricature of some social justice RPG made by /pol/. But the fact that the writers were serious about it makes it only worse. I regret every cent put into it.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
C20 Ready Made Characters
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Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
by Keegan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/02/2018 14:20:33

I'll be the first to admit that I didn't like Changeling the Dreaming when I came across it the first time. I decided to be a completionist and picked up the Dreaming 2nd edition a few years ago. The game fell flat as I read it and it didn't help that my first experience with Changelings was the Lost. That said I was skeptical regarding Changeling 20th. I decided to pick it up based on the recommendations of a few people and finally cracked it open and started reading. This game is great, the setting is more coherent, the system felt like something I could really get behind, and I fell in love. I personally can't speak to if this captures the original spirit of Changeling when it first came out (apparently, I didn't get it), but if you weren't a fan of the Dreaming I highly recommend checking this game out. I felt instantly inspired for several games within the first two chapters.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Changeling: The Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
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Exalted 3rd Edition
by Justin L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/01/2018 14:51:31

I really wanted to love this, but found myself filled with regret. I'll start by saying that I have been a massive Exalted fan since first edition. Third edition was just begging for me to purchase it and I went all out with the premium. So, where do I begin...

The good: Beutiful artwork throughout and the quality of the print on the page for Premium is top-notch! Exalted has also fully embraced their anime inspiration, which shows throughout this volume!

The bad: The system feels like it pulled a lot of inspiration from 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons, which I utterly despise. The new system feels bloated and unneccesary, washing away the fond memories of the 1st and 2nd eds. Sometimes, keeping it more simplified is the way to go. The flavor writing throughout is also abysmally bad.

The ugly: Absolutely horrible craftsmanship. My copy arrived at my door completely detached from the spine and held in place by two thin pieces of paper. The book will remain intact for a month tops with this poor quality of construction. For $120, you would think the printer could attach the pages to the spine with some care. That brings up another problem: the book itself is too large. 662 pages crammed into a single volume is not only user-unfriendly, but also very difficult to keep in any decent condition. This should have been two or three volumes, split into smaller books with better construction.

Final thoughts: I wanted to love this.... I really, really did. But all I feel is regret from my light wallet and poor quality product.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Exalted 3rd Edition
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V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
by Keegan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2018 20:09:54

So, I really like how this book is laid out and it really drew me in and sparked some ideas for future games. A large part of this is personal taste, I have always enjoyed sections written in character and enjoy the way this book handles it. Each chapter covers a major meta-plot event with in character transcripts, letters, emails, ect and then followed up with brief overview of the "flashpoint" event, story threads to involve the players, and twists to make sure players could potentially play these events again and it can end up being a completely unique experience.

The last chapter covers how to use metaplot in your chronicles, how much you might want to involve meta-plot, if you want to follow said meta-plot points, and additional suggestions on how to involve players. Which are good for STs who either just throw metaplot in or toss them in as big info dumps (sadly guilty) or avoid them all together because they don't have all the major events (due to the lack of books) or it feels overwhelming.

If you like Vampire, you'll like this book. If you enjoy lore presented in creative ways, you'll like this book. If you don't care for the in-character perspective or just don't want to use the metaplot at all and are dead set against mining these events for ideas, then I guess pass on it. Otherwise grab this book, its spectacular.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
V20 Beckett's Jyhad Diary
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