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Chronicles of Darkness: The Contagion Chronicle
by P. B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/03/2020 12:32:51

First, know that what is in this book is pretty good, as we’ve come to expect from the Chronicles of Darkness. The low star rating is not about that at all.

The descriptions of the various multi-splat groups that fight the Contagion – divided between the broad categorization of the Sworn and the False – are given well thought out histories and visions, and their various powers, called Vectors, work well and can add great options to any game. The fact that each Sworn faction comes across a little too much like a heroic squad of monsters dedicated to save the world from reality-shaking Contagion does go against some of the themes of various CofD games, but this book does not mandate such an approach. Neither does is depict the False as only nihilistic fanatics, but it's plenty possible to fall into thinking of these two sides in such terms.

Next comes a history of the Contagion and a chapter devoted to running these tales with multiple types of characters from across the CofD titles. This is where the "What's here is good, but..." really showed up. The chapter for the Storyteller fails to give enough guidance on running multi-gameline stories, and the piece I miss most is not the balancing powers or the way various character types would interact. Rather, I would have appreciated more discussion of the themes that each game relies upon, thoughts about how various groups of different types (vampire covenants, fae Courts, hunter Compacts, etc.) can find common ground, maybe ideas to manage how inherently antagonistic supernatural beings' hatred can serve a chronicle. None of this shows up. The chapter almost feels like an afterthought when compared to the word count in the rest of the book.

The entire second half the book is a travelogue of sites where the Contagion has taken hold. These would work better if they’d been offered in more of a modular fashion, allowing a "toolbox" pick-what-you-like approach, but with a little work, that's still an option. However, it's here that the one biggest failing of the book comes to the fore.

Onyx Path Publishing advertised this as a crossover chronicle book, and it is exactly that, but it's not crossover friendly at all. If you are familiar with all of the CofD lines, this book reads pretty well. However, if you are not so well versed – note that at the time of this writing, two of the lines (Mummy: The Curse and Hunter: The Vigil) don’t have Second Edition versions out AND Deviant: The Renegades is still long off – The Contagion Chronicle becomes confusing at best. If the book included a few pages of description on each game line (its themes, what the beings call themselves, how they divide themselves, some words on how their powers work, a brief glossary of common terms), it would make the experience much easier. On a single page, for example, the word "beast" may show up with little to delineate if it refers to a changeling seeming, the inchoate passions of a Kindred, one of the Begotten, or simply an outsider's view of a raging werewolf. Even being fairly familiar with those games, I found myself confused at times.

The Contagion Chronicle is a good book that could have been great with a little more effort. If you want or need some great ideas for crossover stories to tell, definitely buy it. If you are looking for rules and help with running crossovers? Skip this one.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Chronicles of Darkness: The Contagion Chronicle
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10 Fenrilik Monsters
by Alain G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/30/2020 09:15:26

There are some really cool ideas in this book (my favorite being probably the corpse lotus, which is really neat in my opinion, the bow that disappears and leave frostbite on the fingers is really cool too), definitively worth checking out. The primary concern for me is that it could use a little bit of polish (notably in the wording of 5E-related mechanics, which often use an abbreviated tone instead of a more standardized version). The passage from 1 to 2 columns in the middle of the book feels weird as well. There are two points of lore that I feel don't insert well in the Scarred Lands campaign setting, but it is the kind of thing that can be easily adapted by the GM at his/her table.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
10 Fenrilik Monsters
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Canis Minor Monarchies of Mau Community Content Assets
by Zachery N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2020 22:08:30

I write in Word, since this doesn't include a Word template I can't really give an accurate recommendation.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Canis Minor Monarchies of Mau Community Content Assets
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Chicago By Night (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition)
by Phil K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/29/2020 08:05:12

This might be one of the best TTRPG books I've ever read. Attention to detail, theme, character: this is a tremendous labor of love.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chicago By Night (Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition)
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Bizarre Bestiary
by Zachery N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2020 22:30:19

Need more creatures to spice up your Pugmire game? This has them.

If you have already read the description you know this introduces a dozen creatures that you can add to your Pugmire game, ranging from CR one to six, for your players to find. Are you a player and not a guide? Well your character can tell an epic tale of it's harrowing encounter with one of these rare beast next time you are sitting in the tavern telling tales of your past adventures.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bizarre Bestiary
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Digging Up Trouble
by Zachery N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2020 19:09:33

Digging Up Trouble is a nice quick adventure for Pugmire. It is designed for beginning characters and is layed out so that new Guides will have an easy time running this story. The adventure is a great way to get parties who have based prior adventure in the city of Pugmire to Waterdog Port, and works especially well as a way to introduce Pirates of Pugmire to you Realms of Pugmire game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Digging Up Trouble
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Frostlands of Fenrilik: Yenie's Journal
by Alain G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2020 17:38:24

This product expends on Yenie's Journal from the Frostlands of Fenrilik book, and provides a lot of insight on how life on Fenrilik in general works, and how it differs from Ghelspad. It has description and stats for a couple of NPCs, plus new spells and rituals (including create coffee which allows you to open your own local coffee shop). One thing that I was a little bit surprised is that there seems to be no reactions from the people of Fenrilik when they encounter an elf (given the fact that there are no elves on that continent), while I would have expected some surprise or at least curiosity. That's nitpicking, I know :P



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Frostlands of Fenrilik: Yenie's Journal
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Pirates of Pugmire
by Andrea B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2020 13:56:49

Well, after dog and cat it's the propriate time to see new species like parrots!

And then, a pirate story in Pugmire world? What do you want more?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Pirates of Pugmire
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They Came From Beneath the Sea!
by Andrea B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/27/2020 13:54:52

Just have my copy of They Came from Beneath the Sea today! I played this amazing 1950s b-movie game during FabCon On line this summer with Matthew Dawnkins! What can i say more?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
They Came From Beneath the Sea!
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The Strix Chronicle Anthology
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:59:04

the new stories here are nice, but a lot of this stuff is collected from previous vampire the requiem intro fiction. not really necessary unless you're skipping out on pre-2nd ed material entirely



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Strix Chronicle Anthology
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Promethean the Created 2nd Edition
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:55:15

one of those games that i'll never get to run but that is sure is fun to read about. very well made



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Promethean the Created 2nd Edition
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Convention Book: Void Engineers
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:43:09

i'm not a huge fan of how the revised mage avatar storm metaplot really harmed the power and resources of the void engineers, so some of this book doesn't quite work with how i want to portray this faction in the games i run. regardless, this is a book worth reading for the enormous amount of explosive plot hooks that you can easily build an entire chronicle around, especially the iconic threat null that has the potential to change the entire mage cosmology.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Convention Book: Void Engineers
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Convention Book: Syndicate
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:39:20

i hate the syndicate with a passion, so when i say this, i mean it: this book is so good & well-written that it'll make you kinda like the syndicate.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convention Book: Syndicate
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Convention Book: Progenitors
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:37:06

the progenitors are the duct tape & chewing gum holding the technocracy together, and this revised convention book goes a long way into taking them out of their stuffy laboratories and into actually helping sleeper society. also, they love killing vampires; how could anyone call them evil?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convention Book: Progenitors
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Convention Book: N.W.O.
by Yui F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2020 11:33:52

the glorious start to the 2010s run of revised technocracy convention books. the NWO have always been one of my favorite factions in mage, and this adds so much information and plot hooks to run stories with. all of the revised convention books also have great ready-made characters that can really help players get an idea as to how to make an interesting, unique character concept. imo, this is one of the best written mage books out there and i'd consider it mandatory if you want to understand how the technocracy works as an organization



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Convention Book: N.W.O.
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