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Curse of the O'Tolley's Burger
Publisher: White Wolf
by Adrian S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/15/2018 17:42:07

These types of titles represent great investment for any Storyteller, and can easily be used to spawn entire chronicles. The format follows that a story seed is presented, some steps and avenues for exploration and (in some cases) resolutions are suggested, and then relevant statistics are provided for adversaries. In this title, the Pentex subsidiary O'Tolley's appears to be at the centre of an incident involving the Sept and it falls upon the Pack to investigate the sinister goings-on. Overall, the layout is very professional, clear attention to detail, and a strong writing style that demonstrates a great grasp of Werewolf: the Apocalypse. You can tell that the author has put a lot of thought into the logical flow of information, and with a little work, any Storyteller could adapt this to their table. It represents excellent value for money, and I'm keen to check out the rest of the range. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Curse of the O'Tolley's Burger
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Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 17
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/09/2018 21:51:48

As usual, my reviews of 'Wyrd Chronicles' are limited to the 'Through the Breach' module contained within. This installment gives Games Masters 'Smuggler's Run', a great story about a disrupted (and completely illegal) moonshine shipment that sees the Fated despatched to Edge Point and thence into the Bayou to investigate.
This is definitely a high-spirited adventure with plenty of opportunities for laughter and general gremlin hijinks as the Fated scour the Bayou for traces of the distillary only to discover the mayhem at the heart of the moonshne shortage. Throughout this adventure there is plenty of advice on how to expand encounters, and how to develop a much longer story with this as the starting point.
This would be excellent for a group that wants a break from the city to try their hand out in 'nature', or if you are looking for something more darkly humorous than the average game of 'Through the Breach'.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 17
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Eclipse Phase: Scott Fox - Infinite & Indivisible
Publisher: Posthuman Studios LLC
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 05/09/2018 21:39:59

This is seriously incredible. I'm always on the lookout for orchestral music either to use in-game, or as inspiration for writing games. This soundtrack achieves both with hgh production values, crisp audio, and a variation in style and tone that does not feel forced. From 'Eclipse Phase Overture' that mixes an ominous yet epic mood (and gives the sense of dark majesty for a subtley dangerous galaxy), to 'Lagrange Point 1' with it's synth minimalism that slowly builds in strangeness, to the low tension of 'Pandora Gate', and oddly (yet satisfyingly) upbat 'Sunward', the CD does represent a fine range of tracks that are flexible enough to be used in almost any science fiction setting (although I can see uses for some of the tracks in Shadowrun, and World of Darkness games). Definitely worth the cover price, and a great addition to your audio library.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Eclipse Phase: Scott Fox - Infinite & Indivisible
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Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 26
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/14/2018 19:44:33

Whilst the rest of the content in the eZine is always of high quality (I'm still amazed this is a free publication), the module 'The Forgotten' was the main reason for my download. This is probably one of the most complex and challenging modules to run out of any found in 'Wyrd Chronicles'. On the surface, it appears to be a simple investigation into a haunted house, but there is far more at stake. I'd start by suggesting that any potential Fate Master thinks carefully about their group and the themes in this module - it is not for everyone. It does call for some decisions that players might find deeply uncomfortable, and the main antogonist is an excellent example of the horror that lurks in Malifaux beyond the ken of humans.
That said, the module is a mystery first and foremost as the Fated try to find answers to claims of a haunted house, and a family that wants only peeaceful existence. The Fated need to draw on plenty of resources, but fortunately the module provides the Fate Master with the necessary tools to guide the investigation, and provide allies as needed. Aside from the warning about the potential for uncomfortable scenes, the story demonstrates a great grasp of what makes Malifaux a distinct setting. There is depth to the narrative, and the NPCs are well-developed, and provide plenty of role-playing opportunities. The resolution of the story will also lead to greater consequence for the Fated, should this be run as aprt of a campaign.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 26
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Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 25
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/14/2018 19:14:36

This review covers the module in eZine 25 'Rust and Ruin'. This is a fine accompaniment to the module 'The Whispering Affair', as both seem to be of similar ilk on face value. The focus of 'Rust and Ruin' is on the missing daughter of a Guild Sergeant, such a nice young lass who can't have possibly know anything untoward of the sinister side of Malifaux. It is up to the Fated to find news of the missing teenager, and bring her back safely to home. The investigative sections in the module are well-designed, and offer challenge not only in gathering the clues to her location and the circumstances, but there are some politically-motivated decisions to make too. The combat encounters will certainly challenge even the most well-organised group and can be scaled accordingly. Overall, it does provide an excellent view into the seedy underside of Malifaux, and the Fated are given some difficult choices to make at the conlcusion of proceedings. Highly recommended for an evenings' session, and it can easily spawn a multitude of further adventures if the Fate Master wants to expand any of the ideas or 'loose threads' at the end.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 25
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Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 24
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/12/2018 21:51:57

The module 'The Death of Truth' is the focus of the review. Many of the eZine modules tend toward a linear plot, with very straightforward story-lines. This is actually a strength of this series, as they provide flexibility for those groups with plenty of time, or can be run 'as is' with little preparation to fit into smaller timeslots. Also, the plots are highly transferable, and the authors are to be commended for the continuing series - and did I mention that this was in a free publication?

This module provides a lot more character choice than many of the other module sI have reviewed, although it does have enough 'Plan B' options in case players need a nudge, or ideas for their characters to pursue. In short, the module deals with an unlikely request from the Three Kingdoms that will require ingenuity, creativity, and (in part) some luck to pull off. It relies on the players seeking alternatives to violence (although there are a few scuffles ot be had along the way), and out-thinking the machinations of their opponents. It's also one of the rare modules where the characters get to accomplish something 'good' for someone else.

This would be a great module to introduce if you are looking for a change of pace, or a new challenge for your players. It rewards inventiveness and lateral thinking, so if that is appealing to your players, download a copy as soon as you can.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 24
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Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 22
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/12/2018 21:44:22

This issue features the module 'Owner of a Lonely Heart'; this will be focus of the review. As with any of the eZiine modules, this should take the Fated one session to finish. As such, the eZine modules are fantastic sources of adventure for demo sessions, gaming clubs, and even pick-up games.

'Owner of a Lonely Heart' is a Malifaux-themed love story, as the Fated attempt to reunite a smitten gentleman with his paramour. Along the way, the Fated meet a rival for the lady's affections, plenty of ne'er-to-do-wells wishing them harm, and some of the most gruesome murders the city has seen since last Thursday. So - love, battle, a race against rivals, and Things That Should Not Be - a perfect romantic interlude for your 'Through the Breach' chronicle.

The characters are well-written, and easy to portray. They have enough personality that they will provide for memorable encounters, and their clear motivations support character decision-making. The 'twist in the tale' that is provided gives a surprise, and a satisfactory conclusion.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 22
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Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 20
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/12/2018 21:35:13

Whilst the contents of 'Wyrd Chronicles' is always interesting, I'll confine my review to the one section I actively used - the short adventure 'Good Faith'. It's a very straightforward, linear module that will take absolutely no more than one session - in fact, it may even serve as a fine introductory module to 'Through the Breach' as it contains many readily identifiable plot elements and locations that are easy to imagine(at least if you have seen more than one Western).

The job is simple - escort the eye-witness to a crime to the next town in time for his court hearing. Co-operative witness, good pay, clear directions - what could possibly go wrong? The plot progresses from the initial meeting with the Guild in a fairly predictable fashion, but this means there is plenty of leeway for the GM to add in wilderness encounters, extra hooks to future plots, and even allow established NPCs to stand in the role currently taken by others. The simplicity of the module is a strength as it offers a new GM a well-structured story, and has enough flexibility to be tailored and expanded by others. When combined with other source books, the location and encounters could easily be swapped out and the story kept intact. For example, transporting a witness from one side of the Quarantine Zone (using 'Uner Quarantine' for inspiration) would make for a harrowing evening.

Overall, the module is well worth a look.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 20
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Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 18
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/05/2018 22:21:17

The main reason I download the ezine is for the Through the Breach adventures. I've been linking the adventures together for my current group, and they represent an easy, and quick way to prepare a session. In addition, there is enough flexibility in these adventures to customise elements to your home campaign, introduce recurring characters, and even write additional scenes so that the Fated potentially resolve a Step in that session. 'A Night at the Star' was a welcome change to a less action-driven session allowing our resident Performer (and aspiring Showgirl) to shine, in league with our good Doctor. Between the social encounters, and the subsequent surprise entertainment, there was plenty to do, and new contacts to impress. The investigative nature of the session resonated with all of the players, and the write-up of the adventure meant that (with a small amount of pre-session highlighting on my part) the salient points were easy-to-locate and the session ran smoothly.
Overall, the characters are well-presented, the variety introduced by the scenes keeps the story moving without being driven purely by fight-scenes, and the author provides a few ways to alter the adventure to further reinforce the idea that 'Bad Things Happen'. I took one of the alternate routes suggested, and added a sub-plot related to an ongoing story, and managed to easily find two sessions of material. The players thoroughly enjoyed the premise, and I'll be back for more issues of the ezine.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 18
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W20 The Song of Unmaking
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/05/2018 22:09:28

I might be a little biased, but when I see a Werewolf: the Apocalypse novel with Bill Bridges name on the front cover, I expect greatness. His previous work has always been excellent, breathing life into the setting, and showing how Garou culture 'works' on a day-to-day basis. This has served as inspiration for RPG sessions, and I take Mr Bridges novels to be just-as-canon (if not more) than source books. 'Song of Unmaking' does not disappoint in any way. The novel provides a masterful cross-over between Werewolf, and Mage: the Ascension in a manner that positions the cross-purposes of both groups in a logical collision course. Favourite characters such as Albrecht, Mari, and Evan return, and a host of other characters new and old all add their individual responses to the looming threat. The depiction of spirits (two in particualr, I shan't ruin it) shows the sometimes erratic nature of these entitites, and demonstrates that spirits are not always 'easy-access fonts of knowledge' - that sometimes that knowledge is hard-won. In addition, the threat posed by the Wyrm forces is credible and creative, weaving contemporary technology and scientific progress into recongnsable mythos. It is this skillful mesh of science and myth that makes parts of Werewolf so appealing, and it is delivered in a manner that left me very pleased with the overall plot. I would leave only one consideration with the fiction line from Onyx Path, and that is to consider an 'enhanced fiction' line, wherein some of the spirits, talens, and the like are given game-mechanic treatment in an appendix. It would be great to see the fiction line not only enrich the story via these tales, but the game through ready-made items. This is, however, merely a suggestion, as I cannot fault the book. I look forward to my print copy, which will be placed next to my well-worn copy of 'The Silver Crown'.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
W20 The Song of Unmaking
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White Wolf Magazine #39
Publisher: White Wolf
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 03/05/2018 21:57:04

I purchased this issue for a single article that presents a medical reasoning for vampirism in Vampire: the MAsquerade, and this one article alone was worth the cover price. The article outlines 'Schere's Disease' a Tremere-developed illness that acts as a way of strengthening the Masquerade. the premise is that this rare genetic disease mimics many of the commonly 'known' manifestations of vampirism, whilst also exhibiting symptoms that can be shown as the roots of myth and legend. The article also provides methos by which kindred may secure documentation to show that they are Schere's sufferers, and makes reference to legislation that will assist the average Cainite in perpetuating this ruse. The article does show its' age (mostly in the manner in which it points out the difficulties of accessing services after dark - something mitigated to a great extent by online services), but the foundational premise is interesting enough to consider for introduction into your game. Likewise the US has established Rare Disease Centres, and provided financial incentives for research and medicine production allied with rare diseases since this article was published, so this would be well worth investigating. That said, I'd still recommend this article to Storytellers as it has application in Vampire chronicles, and could be used in other settings (such as Werewolf) as a plot device).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
White Wolf Magazine #39
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Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Til Death Do Us Part
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/28/2017 00:25:01

Brilliant. This is the one word to describe not only the premise for the module, but also the execution of the story. I picked this up to serve as a two-session story for my group, and it looks as though it may well turn into three. The Fated were confronted with the initial story hook and once some of the characters overcame their initial shock, resolving the case became motivator for them. It has provided plenty of opportunities for character development, good role-playing, and of course some action and adventure above and below Malifaux City. The NPCs are well-developed, most of the player questions are pre-answered by the authors, and the adversaries are interesting to portray and have a sense of purpose. I'd love to have the opportunity to run this as an intro adventure because it cements the reasons why this is a unique setting, and shows the PCs that what is 'normal' in Malifaux is anything but. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Through the Breach RPG - Penny Dreadful One Shot - Til Death Do Us Part
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Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 23
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/28/2017 00:19:14

The Wyrd Chronicles are a great resource for those playing 'Through the Breach', not just 'Malifaux'. I've been reading these for the one-shots after my group discovered TtB and overall the quality of the one-shot modules has been great. 'Dawn on the Bayou' is a very interesting story that begins with the Fated asked to track down a missing person. What follows is a trek through dangerous terrain and a most unexpected reason behind the catalyst for the Fated's involvement. It is definitely a one-shot, and for my session I did bulk it out a little with a few more encounters and the reason for the Fated to be in the area. Even with three additional encounters (I don't mean 'combat' when I say encounter, either) we finished the module in three hours. Given that I now own 'Into the Bayou', I'd be using some of the content to round the module out if I were to run it again. However, this was a very enjoyable story that challenged the Fated to act in quite different ways to regular TtB scenarios.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 23
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Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 21
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/29/2017 21:49:28

I've mentioned in other reviews that the biggest draw card (pun not intended) for 'Chronicles' is that they feature a free module for 'Through the Breach' and this is the main article I'll review. 'Cold Front' was an easy sell for me, as it features an entire module set on a train. The module opens with the PCs invited aboard the first run of a brand new train for Malifaux City. There is plenty of opportunity for role-playing as they mingle at the station, becoming acquainted with the other passengers with whom they will share this journey, including the management of the railway. Obviously, this idyll will not last, and when disaster strikes the PCs must act quickly to discover the forces at work and possibily thwart them before the lives of everyone onboard are snuffed out. It was an evening well-spent, and the pace of the game was perfect to convey the sense of urgency and danger. I can highly recommend this publication, and have downloaded many of them to select modules for future sessions.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 21
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Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 19
Publisher: Wyrd Miniatures
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/29/2017 21:31:31

I've been picking up these ezines after running 'Through the Breach' for a short while. Each one of the 'Wyrd Chronicles' that I have downloaded has a free one-shot module - how could you possibly turn this down? The module for this title is 'The Whispering Affair' and Fate calls upon the PCs to visit an old friend in desperate need. A time-sensitive and personal problem is presented that will ask the PCs to hastily investigate a crime scene and follow the clues to their murderous conclusion. My group completed the story in one very long session (five and a half hours), but you can easily either trim down the scenes, or flesh them out further, depending on your needs. The module also provides hooks for further contact with the NPCs; this has certainly been the case in my game where one of the PCs has taken an NPC 'under their wing' and explored some very good role-playing opportunities. To be honest, I would have paid for a module like this, so having it as part of the free publication is simply brilliant.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Wyrd Chronicles - Ezine - Issue 19
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