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Trinity Continuum: Æon
by Chazz K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/04/2019 15:41:10

Things I like:

  • Updates the first edition setting to present a more optomistic game for contemporary sensibilities
  • Setting offers multiple sci-fi subgenres and includes global coverage
  • Psi powers are flexible and accessible, even for starting characters
  • Psions get more working together than they can on their own
  • Offers a look into the setting secrets and future development of story hooks

Gripes:

  • No character creation summary
  • Character sheet does not adequetly cover everything you need to record for play

For my complete thoughts on Trinity Continuum: Aeon, you can find my podcast episode here: http://thestorytold.libsyn.com/episode-40-trinity-continuum-on-overview



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Trinity Continuum: Æon
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Arms of the Chosen
by Daryl T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/28/2019 14:28:03

Reviewed version: physical copy

Note: This would be a solid 4 rating if the marketing was updated to be less misleading on book contents.

The Good

  • Artifacts are more flushed out and alive than those included in the E3 core. Rules often utilize coloured box-text helping make long paragraphs and rules easier to read.
  • The lore in the book helps to flush out the world. More general equipment - not just weapons.

The Bad

  • Marketing and description of the book. "Discover the mystical power of the five magical materials and the secrets of creating your own Evocations."
  • This is just not true. There are zero rules included for creating your own evocations - the one thing that makes artifacts different from mundane equipment. There are some slightly enhanced descriptions of the five magical materials but nothing that expands in a very meaningful way upon the core. The way the five materials are described make it possible for a user to create an artifact that does anything they want then pick a material later. The amount of space dedicated to artifact design is limited to 1.3 pages and only amounts to listing the maximum amount of evocations possible.
  • How to design evocations for artifacts is said to be coming in an upcoming sourcebook on Exigents.

The Ugly

  • The art, this was almost in the good category but the stand-out exception of a poorly done cover which matches neither the theme of Exalted nor the quality of most of the internal art helped sink it - the cover design also makes reading the logo (to see the version of Exalted) difficult as the font is small and gold-orange on top of a gold-orange background element. Most of the art is decent to good but there are several pieces that are a bit flat and lifeless - this may be in part due to the flat colours from non-glossy paper. The quality is generally higher than a lot of RPG supplements (notably Exalted 1E). One amusing end note here is the book has an ad for Scion which was a very well rendered piece of artwork beyond anything included in this book.
  • Pointless and confusing lore references. Various eras are referenced for every artifact with no timeline for the reader on the order of the eras, or how available information would be on an artifact from any given era. As written, the lore seems storyteller-only and even then the storyteller has no idea what the world looked like during the era referenced.

Should you Buy?

  • If you want more of the Exalted world: Yes.
  • If you want more already created equipment: Yes.
  • If you want is rules to make your own artifacts: No (that said the ones included can be cannibalized for their evocations).


Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Arms of the Chosen
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Scion Second Edition Book One: Origin (Phone Version)
by Chazz K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/25/2019 15:33:13

Caveats: I received a review copy of the phone PDF. I used the Books app on an iPhone X to work with the PDF. I'm also going to keep my review here to the format and usability of the phone version of Scion Origin. For my complete thoughts about the game, check out my full episode coverage: https://thestorytold.libsyn.com/episode-16-scion-2nd-edition-origin-overview. The short version is that I love Scion 2nd Edition!

I usually use a mix of physical books and my tablet to access RPG books. I find the physical book usually faster to reference during play, but prefer to sit and read with my tablet. I have occasionally downloaded full PDFs onto my phone for quick reference, but it's often a pain to navigate and deal with the zoom. A dedicated phone version of the PDF works to address readabilty and navigation while maintaining the vision of the original project. Overall, the phone version of Scion Oring succeeds at those requirements.

From a layout perspective, the PDF has a single column of text optomized to be a reasonable size on a phone screen. Looking through the content, I found no need to zoom in and move around on the individual plages, which was the biggest pain using a traditional PDF on my phone. The art appears as either half-page or full page images which don't break up the readability of the text. While it doesn't give complete the effect of the original book, I think it's as good as you could get on a phone and the art does look great.

Navigability and reference is the next area to look at for a phone PDF. This PDF has additional links added to the Table of Contents (ToC) which take you to the relevant sections of the book. From each page, there are additional links that can either take you directly to the ToC or back to whatever page you were on previously. This is especially useful because key terms in the text of the rules are links that take you to the relevant pages. This is especially well done for the antagonists. This makes it very quick to look up most information, especially to get to specific powers your characters has.

What are my gripes about this PDF? I have a few. First, I would have like even more in the ToC. Particulary, I would have like a glossary of rules terms that would take you to the right place in the book. For example, as a player, if I want to look up the specify rules for Enhancements, there's no direct link to get there. There's also no index, which could have potentialy served the same purpose. Additionally, the text linking to key terms is a little inconsistent. Some of the links are bold, but not all bold terms are links and not all links are bold, so it's hard to identify when you have a link and when you don't.

Overall, the question that I would need to ask is would I buy this given that I already have the physical and PDF versions of this book? And that's where I'm not 100% sure yet. To truly answer that, I'm going to have to try using this PDF during a game, which is when I think it's going to be most relevant. I mostly like the navigation and the readability is excellent.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Scion Second Edition Book One: Origin (Phone Version)
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Pugmire Core Rulebook Phone PDF
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/25/2019 13:14:08

First of all, if you play this game, you really should have this version of the rules. After all, it's free. But most importantly it's nice to have a rules reference on your phone, and that is laid out for the shape of a phone's screen. I wish every game had one of these.

The table of contents are hyper linked (quick links) to the pages, and at the end they have a bunch of quick links in the index. There are only a few book marks and they link to combat related stuff. It looks like it was either messed up, or it was started, but never finished. It would be nice to have a fully book marked pdf, but that is my only complaint (espceially for a free rulebook pdf).

Great job, and thank you!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pugmire Core Rulebook Phone PDF
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Scion Second Edition Book One: Origin
by Jason P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/20/2019 16:18:20

This book is rediculously poorly written. Half of the story-path system requires pre-knowledge of the ABERRANT one, and even then doesnt translate. Terms are ill defined and often contradictory. The book layout is also horrid since it mandates purchase of HERO to be a complete product. The setting is non-sensensical and requires a total abandonment of reason to accept the small canonical elements that Devs will even acknowledge are wrong and even semi-racist but they don't care because it's "more fun" to pretend that the world will still exist exactly as it is today when Odin and Cyote can appear at any given time to have tea at your local Starbucks and this wouldnt change history at all.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Scion Second Edition Book One: Origin
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Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
by Jacob F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/17/2019 07:34:50

this is the best version of vampire, bar none. it's eloquently written without being obtuse, mature without being edgy, and simple without being reductive. if you want to play a game of vampire, don't get masquerade, don't get requiem 1e, buy this, it's worth the price.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Vampire: The Requiem 2nd Edition
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Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought
by Paul D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2019 12:02:16

Decent art, decent gubbins and decent additions and expansions on Terrestrial Exalted in general over previous editions. Just get past the publishers virtue signalling that seems to pervade all of their products these days. Not everyone in your SAGA has to be transexual, homosexual or even asexual. Adding this nonsense to the world setting detracts from its grandeur as an epic of the PAST, not something stuck with millenial taudry gender politicing. But then, where i'm from women have always been accepted in roleplay groups just as much as men and so needed no special treatment. In fact many of my female roleplaying friends find this sort of nonsense more insulting than I do lol. Aside from that and a few retcons that go unexplained, it's a solid 3 star product. Would be more if OPP could keep what's between their legs out of their games. YMMV.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon-Blooded: What Fire Has Wrought
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Convention Book: Void Engineers
by Charles S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/03/2019 15:17:09

"The Technocracy is wrong." The Void Engineers start out with a strong critical statement. Of course, they don't mean this morally, they mean it in the sense of incorrect. The Technocracy's fears, echoed in every other Revised Convention book, that the Void Engineers might abandon the Union, are baseless. Instead, the Void Engineers are clinging to it, desperately trying to keep things together because only with the Union can they keep Earth safe from entirely new classes of threat.

The Void Engineers were hit hard by the Dimensional Anomaly, and this book delivers on those chases beautifully. From the opening fiction (and the closing) showing a group of Void Engineers (and an Iteration X stowaway) to the text of the book, lots of changes are explored and the Void Engineers will never be the same. It even closes in the last sentences with the last Revised advancement of the meta plot: the Nephandi retaking Mus from the Technocracy, putting in another chapter of the saga started in the Mage 2nd Edition core book's opening fiction.

The book is organized similarly to other Convention books, but it has an extra chapter in it. It starts with a history of the Void Engineers, particularly updated to the present, discussing some of the changes (Existential Threats Directorate instead of DSEATC, etc) and it is the first of the new Convention books to have a jargon section, which makes an excellent reference (rather than having to skim through to find things like rankings and other bold-faced terms like in the others). The Void Engineer takes on the other Conventions and the Traditions are quite different from other Conventions: the Void Engineers value openness and science so they like the Progenitors and hate the New World Order (especially with all the deprocessing that they need to do). They tolerate the Syndicate and worry about Iteration X. Oddly, among the Traditions, the Void Engineers have grown close to the Euthanatos, their fellow fighters against Threat Null. It's also mentioned that working with Etherites against Null is extra effective.

Chapter 2 provides rankings, honors and awards, the requirements to become a Void Engineer, and a discussion of the methodologies. It's well-done, but nothing that isn't the same as the other Convention books, just about the Void Engineers instead of a different Convention.

Chapter 3 is something different. Chapter 4 will contain more standard things (procedures, devices, etc) but Chapter 3 focuses on the Void Engineer Cosmology and what is out there. It even has a map, placing the Horizon at the asteroid belt (and talking about how it has moved over time, and the Void Engineer goal of pushing it further and further out) and a discussion of how to get to virtually any place in the known Universe. Then it hits on four pages just on the Dimensional Anomaly, how it works and how they deal with it, before turning to a discussion of specific places, like the Cop (both old and new), Darkside, and the Void Engineer views of the Shard and Shade Realms. But after that, it hits the big deal: Threat Null. First mentioned in the Syndicate book and alluded to constantly throughout this one as a dire threat that they can't tell the rest of the Union the details of, we find out why at the end of Chapter 3. Threat Null is the Technocratic Union, or at least, the descendants of it that were lost in the Anomaly. Now, mutated and changed by the Void, they've become a sort of metastasized version of themselves, and when they meet Processed Technocrats, they speak with the voice of Control. The biggest mystery left completely unresolved with them, though, is why there are no apparent Void Engineers in Null. Null is probably the most innovative antagonist added to Mage since near the beginning, and I look forward to seeing how it develops as the line comes back to life.

Chapter 4 is back to the Convention book routine, by and large: notable engineers, some legends (which include the narrator of the history in the 1st Edition Void Engineers book, now a known Nephandus) and more information on Station Yemaja which was mentioned several times in Progenitors Revised. Then general advice for STing for Void Engineers and a Voidship crew. Dimensional Science and Void Correspondence are fairly straightforward alternate approaches to spheres. The best thing in this section, though, are the Voidcraft rules. How to build them, how much they cost, what spheres are required, and how Voidcraft Combat works, along with several examples, including the X160 Qui La Machinae, which costs roughly $7.8 billion to build. This high price explains why the Technocracy doesn't have an absolutely massive fleet, and sets up great possibilities for Void Engineer salvage operations: why build a new $7.8 billion ship when you can try to find an old one (if you have a lead) and can fit it up and upgrade it for much less?

Overall, an excellent book and an excellent end to the Revised line as M20 got off the ground. Hopefully, some of these threads will be explored further (M20 mentioned them, but Technocracy: Reloaded could do something, and hopefully if and when it happens, there's M5).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convention Book: Void Engineers
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Convention Book: Syndicate
by Charles S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/31/2019 02:48:05

"Reality is in the black." The Syndicate book opens up as optimistic as the New World Order book did, but the book itself actually sells their optimism. Whether you agree or not with their philosophy, it's absolutely dominant in reality and bringing them power and influence.

This book had some problems that the others lacked (we'll talk about numbers in a minute), and others that they had but less so (such as a need for more editing), but overall it was still an excellent book and necessary for anyone who wants to play Syndicate characters or use them as believable NPCs.

Regarding the Enlightened population and hangers on, the book suggests that Extraordinary Citizens are created by adversity: the economic downtown is what they credit the rise of the Extraordinary Citizen covered in both NWO and Progenitors. They also suggest that the mage population is MUCH higher than other books have indicated, referring to "tens of thousands of Constructs" which, even by generous notions of how many mages there are, would indicate some that have no Enlightened personnel at all.

The tension between the Syndicate and the NWO is a constant throughout the book. From terminology at the very beginning to later when the Syndicate comes out as anti-DRM, pro-net neutrality, anti-surveillance, etc, indicating a focus on bottom-up rather than top-down control. They've even got factions trying to mend the rift between the two Conventions, because a Technocratic Civil War would be an absolute disaster (and at this point, if M5 comes and doesn't bring a Technocratic Civil War, or give a strong reason it didn't happen, I'll be disappointed).

A minor aside: the sidebar "The Jewish Syndicate" on page 26 is a welcome addition. Jewish issues have not been handled well by Mage (or the World of Darkness in general, with one notable exception) and seeing this brought up explicitly was good. It was a small thing, but actually brought up and confronted one of the many issues that show up (I would have preferred also mentioning something about Media Control given the belief that Jews control the media, but it's still better than really all other Mage books).

The "others" section has a lot of meat to it. The discussion of the Traditions indicates that cultural appropriation is a powerful weapon against the Traditions: take their source cultures, commodotize and trivialize. Talking about the Masses, they indicate that they love humanity as it is, not how it "could" be like the other Conventions, and make a solid case for it. And, of course, there's the first mention of "Threat Null."

The book continues to hit standard points and moves on to Methodologies after the basic internal structure. And then, after said standard things, suddenly "The SPD is gone, no one knows what happened, but money keeps showing up." This is another metaplot element I hope is expanded on in the future, with the Werewolf/Mage crossover potential, it'd be almost criminal to ignore it.

The highlight of the remainder is Primal Utility, the third Technocracy alternate sphere. It's damn good, and adds a lot, removing some powers (Prime Weapons) but adding Primal Ventures to the game gives the Syndicate more depth and reduces the distance between game mechanics and setting.

As a closing thought, the Syndicate comes off as far and away the most mystic of the Conventions. In fact, the Syndicate and the Order of Hermes have many things in common. The focus on the power and necessity of a hierarchy, the power of Will (individual for Hermetics, Collective for Syndicate), the love of competition, and the high level of flexibility...just an interesting, though likely unintentional, comparison.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convention Book: Syndicate
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Cavaliers of Mars Core Rulebook
by Alan B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2019 17:49:25

10/30/2019. This is a review of the written text, not actual play. Much of the game looks great on readthrough: the illustrations and layout are beautiful and support the look and feel of a sword and planet swashbuckling adventure.; the task resolution system looks solid; and the setting material is evocative.

Characters are created by distributing a variety of dice, from d6 to d10 among traits in five categories: Motivations, Methods, Origins, Careers, and Relationships. Methods and Motivations are similar to Vincent Baker's In a Wicked Age: For Honor, For Love, For Self and With Cunning, With Force, or With Grace. Task resolution involves gathering dice from the Motivations and Methods, and adding any of the other three that might apply, then rolling and summing the two highest. This is compared to an opposed roll by GM or other character and the highest wins.

A selection of talents elaborate on what kind of abilities the character has.

A minor drawback is the difficulty in finding the rules on weapon damage and the fact that ordinary weapons have almost no variety -- they all do 1 damage.

Another is the index, which seems to have been overlooked by the editor. It is visually confusing because most listings that should be indented as subheadings are not.

The main off-putting element when just reading the rules is understanding how the combat system allows flexibility and growth. The combat system has two important elements: a character's Speed and the Combat Maneuvers.

As far as I can determine, all player characters have a Speed of 3. Each round of combat, the PC allots their three Speed d10 dice to three categories: Strike, Parry, and Stunt. Stunts are movement or maneuvers to create advantage, such as a disarm or corps-a-corps. The GM counts down from 10 and actions are resolved based on the highest die roll. On a particular count, a die allocated to Strike is higher than the opponent's next available Parry die, the strike hits. If it's lower or equal to an opposing parry both dice are set aside and the blow is considered blocked. As far as I can tell Stunts just take effect on their die count.

Because all PCs have a Speed of 3 and Speed cannot be changed through advancement, the sameness seems to reduce variety. The way that increased combat skill shows up is in mastering the many maneuvers. By spending advancement points to master a maneuver, a character gains advantage -- for example, mastering the Parry gives a +2 to Parry dice.

Something about always and only have 3 Speed dice bothers me. I'm not sure if the system of mastering maneuvers will give enough variety to the combat system and growth. I withhold a final opinion until I have a chance to actually play or read a good actual play report.

If you can provide an actual play report of mult-session play for Cavalier, please link to it here.

If my play group takes on this game in the near future, I'll post an update.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Cavaliers of Mars Core Rulebook
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Convention Book: Progenitors
by Charles S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2019 16:10:57

"The Technocracy is sick." stands in stark contrast with the opening optimism of the NWO book that Progenitors comes out on the heels of. While the New World Order is depicted as optimistic but in many ways fundamentally corrupt, the Progenitors own their corruption in this book, though most of the text still downplays it to allow them to appear as heroes despite many of the terrible things that they are doing in their attempts to "heal" the Union.

Shattered by the Dimensional Anomaly, they've had to build themselves a new way of interacting with the world around them and the Union as a whole. The Progenitors, of all Technocratic groups, are experimenting with democracy in their Convention but at the same time, know that old ways die slowly. They're in many ways more self-aware than the NWO, who view their pathologies as triumphs, and instead they see themselves as sacrificing themselves for the good of the Union when they do horrific things.

The history section is solid and well-told, though nothing that readers of previous Mage books haven't seen before. The views on the other Conventions shows that they have diagnosed many of the Union's problems, and see the Technocratic Civil War and the Nephandic Infiltration issues as the two most pressing things (this is backed up by the opening and closing fiction focusing on bringing in Progenitors who have disappeared and using them to help mend rifts between NWO and Syndicate agents). The views of the Traditions, though, are less rosy than those of the NWO: the Progenitors find very little of value in the Traditions, and the growing Applied Sciences movement is in alignment with Iteration X on reinstating the Pogrom. The "other" section is most interesting, because it indicates that the very basics of Vampires and Werewolves is common knowledge within the Convention.

The Progenitors may be experimenting with democracy, but they're still organized like an academic department, with students, research assistants, primary investigators, etc. One of the most interesting parts of Chapter Two are the "micro" Methodologies, expanding the scope of the Progenitors and each of them just demands a proper fleshing out all on their own.

Much of the darkness of the Progenitors is hidden in the Procedures section, Primal Infusions and Primal Nets are described, and they are used to extract Primal Energy from the dying.

The most novel section is "Genegineered Creatures" which have the statistics for and rules for using fully non-human characters created through genetic tampering, such as uplifted dolphins, lizard people and modern dinosaurs. While a bit harder to justify without the Horizon Constructs, these add something truly new for the Progenitors, and there's hints that some of them might be capable of Enlightenment...so when a player asks "Can I play an Awakened Velociraptor" not only are there rules, but also explanations for why it might not be the best character concept (unless, of course, you plan your game to permit them.)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convention Book: Progenitors
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The Cortes Divinas of Maria Lionza
by Kyle N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2019 01:23:51

Every word of this supplement is vibrant with life and passion, painting a glorious picture of the Cortes Divinas and the world they're a part of. This is a Pantheon write-up well worth the cost.

Each individual God is expertly written, conveying their personality and outlooks in ways that will inspire plots, and will surely help inspire many new PCs for your games. The antagonists are well-drafted and will fit any GM's needs, and the Cortes Divinas's PSP is one that will be quite useful for Scions whose adventures touch on close spirit realms.

Definitely cannot recommend enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Cortes Divinas of Maria Lionza
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Creator Reply:
Thank you so much for the rather kind words! I'm glad you enjoy it.
Convention Book: N.W.O.
by Charles S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2019 12:14:11

"The Technocracy is winning" starts the first in the ten-years-delayed completion of the Revised Convention Books, and it sets the tone. (the other three all have similar first lines that may or may not be drastically at odds with this one, but each sets the tone for the book fantastically.)

The overall tone of the book is "We can take humanity to glorious new heights in this era, things we'd never even imagined before." However, there is a pall over the entire book indicating that the New World Order is still in many ways the old organization, and that the rot that was at the core of it is still there (and, in the corners, it sheds a bit of darkness on Iteration X that it's Revised Convention Book didn't show). The opening fiction shows that they're still "processing" superstitionists, but now they're putting them into cyborg bodies against their will and using them as shock troops. This perfectly sets up the general tone of "optimism, but something is wrong here" that the rest of the book portrays.

The history is told through the dissertation (which we must be seeing a short version of, as I've never heard of a history dissertation that would fit into a book like this!) delivered by an up-and-coming member of the NWO. We're told that it's laced with Mind procedures to subtly bring whoever reads it in line with the thoughts expressed and into agreement with its author. Reading between the lines (and sometimes in the text itself), members of the New World Order (and particularly the Ivory Tower) are constantly wondering if their thoughts are their own and to what extent they've been compromised by their fellows, though the text itself hides the natural sense of paranoia that this would engender.

The profiles of other groups focus on how easily they can be converted to the Technocracy (and this focus subtly reinforces the Templar/Cabal of Pure Thought origin theory that is dismissed in the earlier part of the book) and also keep the tension high on the Nephandic Infiltration and the Technocratic Civil War metaplot elements, though neither has any payoff to the current date.

Chapter two is a more standard overview of the ranks within the NWO and the methodologies that make it up, including the new "The Feed" which monitors and manages social media, and are clearly the most underappreciated Technocrats out there, considering the sheer deluge they need to manage. Unfortunately, there is very little real discussion of the Digital Web, which would have been nice, given how much the internet has changed since 1998, when Digital Web 2.0 was released. Perhaps 3.0 will eventually happen.

Chapter three is quite strong, with a section on NWO legends and fronts, how to run and NWO troupe and an example Amalgam. Along with the Procedures and Devices, which are fun, the most interesting part of the chapter is the Data Sphere. Although Dimensional Science has been referred to before, it was only as "Spirit, but science" with the only mechanical effect being different gauntlet ratings. This is the first time that a fundamental alternative to the 9 standard spheres appears (with Primal Utility and Dimensional Science following in other Convention Books). It's different from Correspondence in several ways, and functionally is capable of thing Correspondence can't do (or at least can't easily) and vice versa, making it a legitimate choice whether or not to take it.

This was a strong start to the return to the Revised Convention Book cycle, which acts as a good closer to the Mage: the Ascension Revised line.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convention Book: N.W.O.
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Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
by Jacob F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/28/2019 12:04:36

it's mage, it's phil brucato, what else could you want



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mage: The Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition
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Demon Translation Guide
by Anton G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/20/2019 09:15:00

If you're a die-hard fan of Demon: the Fallen like I am, and practically had a heart attack when you saw that this was getting made, then let my words spare you the coronary: this thing's a bust. What we have here is a valiant, but ultimately slap-dash attempt to construct a translation guide that instead comes across as an incredibly one-sided and imbalanaced. It pains me to write this, as there are some solid things going on in the book, and some neat ideas in play, but Onyx Path simply didn't put in the effort necessary to make this what it needed to be. There is a lot to say, but I'll keep my critique to three main points.

  1. Poor organization: The TG attempts to give fluid rules for porting characters between systems, but unfortunately ends up creating a slurry of information, where Descent info blends together with Fallen info, making it hard to keep the two separarate. In addition, there are some strange redundancies with some things, particularly Merits (Pacts are still listed as a Merit, but that Merit has been replaced by the Thrall Merit, which is itself difficult to find). Further, none of the Lores have explicitly spelled-out dice pools, and attempting to decipher which Attributes and Skills are needed for each is tedious and inefficient. Overall, the book shoud have been organized with greater distinction.

  2. A lot of missing data: the TG covers character conversion and basic powers, but says nothing about some of the most critical systems from the old game, such as empowering Thralls, rituals from the old Player's Guide, or rules for exorcism and the devouring of demons by their peers post mortem. These missing pieces of info make attempting to run D:tF with the new rules incredily frustrating, as players have fewer rescources to give their characters, and STs will be left struggling to help their players complete common demon-related tasks.

  3. The Apocalyptic Powers: possibly the most infurating part of the whole book, instead of going through the Demon Player's Guide and methodically converting each power for the sake of clarity and conciseness, and perhaps altering or trimming some away to keep things clean and efficient, OP instead opted to simply convert some powers and treat the rest as rebranded versions of powers from D:tD. This causes a host of redundancies as well as some bizarre alterations to the designs of some powers that in no way mirrors their orginal function or intent, and can potentially derail a character concept. This is the most egregious sin, for not only does it make porting a character over incredibly messy, but it undermines Fallen in favor of keeping Descent at the fore, and makes it seem as though OP is putting Fallen in the backseat in favor of highlighting Descent.

In conclusion, the Demon Translation Guide is a competent work, and the rule conversions therein are a fitting update for bringing Fallen into the CoD system, but its glaring flaws and poor organization make it difficult to use at best, and an absolute nightmare at worst. I leave here an open statement to the staff at Onyx Path:

Dear Mss. and Messrs.,

I understand that creating works like this is a monumental undertaking, and your efforts must not be overlooked, but if you want to create something that fans will appreciate, and more importantly buy, you must ensure that the necessary effort is put into it. If this means putting more writers on the project, prolonging development, or even making a Kickstarter page for it, then do it, because I guarantee that a legion of loyal patrons and fans like myself are ready and willing to contribute to see the game we love so much be reborn, and you will enjoy both critical praise and financial success in the long-run.

EDIT (October 2019): After some reflection, I feel it necessary to amend that this review came from a place of frustration and disappointment. I stand by what I said (though I was wrong about the Lores, their entries DO include the relevant dice pools), but it's also fair to say I was rather hyperbolic. I still think that the supplement should have been given more attention, but I understand that the book had only one writer, and that OP is still growing as a company. That said, wouldn't mind seeing some updates to this product, if that's possible.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Demon Translation Guide
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