on May 30, 2009
World of Darkness Immortals takes a look at one of the oldest of human endeavors, immortality. The book presents three very different ways in which one may play a character that can achieve immortality, two of which bring with them the slippery slope of madness and one that beggars the question, "Why won't you just die?!?"
The Blood Bathers are degenerates who slaughter dozens, maybe even hundreds, in their quest to escape the icy clutches of the grave. Their morality is at best like a mask they wear, the better to snare you with. It's all about the blood, after all. One dip in the pool isn't enough for them, sooner or later the effects of their last ritual will wear off and they will do whatever it takes to maintain their undying status. This section offers a pos/neg system of building the ritual where all components must add up to 0 in order for the thing to even work, a fairly balanced mechanic, but most STs may not be willing to allow the playing of such an obvious monster.
The second are the Body Thieves. Look into their eyes and suddenly you're looking back into your own. Reminding me of that Denzel Washington movie, Fallen, these guys can hop from body to body, the only drawback being is that they completely excise the former consciousness and therefore have nothing internally to draw on as how to be who they now are. Also, that consciousness is now, maybe, in the body they just left, and wanting theirs back. Of course, there are those thieves that just completely annhilate the consciousness when they move in, effectively killing the person outright. Again, maintaining higher Morality's with these guys is a tough thing to do, if it's even considered to begin with.
And finally, we have the Purified, the immortals most laid out with player characters in mind. They have a resistance trait, Chi, and can even learn powers that help them along their way. Essentially, these guys are spirits possessing their own bodies after they die, and if they die again, they simply wind up in the Shadow until they can regenerate, heal or resurrect themselves. Though, once disembodied--which they can do at will, astrally--they are as vulnerable as mere spirits are. Corpus and Essence, once gone=death. But getting to the point that you've figured out how to actually kill one of these guys may be too late for you anyway.
In the end, this book was a great read. I was skeptical at first when I read the initial blurb about the three types, but they are well thought out and technically all playable as characters, depending on how dark you want your game to be. Only drawback to this book for me was $35 for just over 140 pgs. What's up with that, White Wolf? That's the same price as a core for about a third the material. But, aside from price, if you've been looking for a way to introduce some really nasty, undying and or reoccuring characters, this book is an excellent source.
And hey, who doesn't want to play an immortal?
on June 3, 2009
No, not the sword weilding Immortals who chop off heads all the while chanting: "There can be only one!"
This book covers rules for Immortals from the Blood Bathers such as the Infamous Elizabeth Bathroy, to Body Snatchers, to Purified and a handful of others.
In a way, for those who miss Mummy, this book can fill the gap. Particularly with the Purified. They're the best suited for PCs, extremely difficult to kill, but not impossible.
The others, like the Blood Bathers and Body Snatchers, while rules are presented for creating them, they're best in the hands of ST unless your troupe really wants to be that depraved and finds that level of RP enjoyable.
I'm slightly surprised on the list of movies, that Skeleton Key wasn't listed as inspiration for Voo Doo based Body Snatchers.
Otherwise this book is fairly decent and worth getting. Unlike the other Reviewer, I didn't really notice the price tag, but then, I got this through Amazon with the discount.
on December 15, 2010
I was lucky enough to pick up the Transylvania Chronicles when it was still in print which I consider to be the finest achievement of White Wolf's old World of Darkness. It was the only chronicle where you could hit all the plot points of the oft-maligned metaplot for Vampire: the Masquerade from the formation of the sects leading right on up to the finale of Gehenna. I never got a chance to run it, but often daydreamed about how to make this work for the other game lines. Imagine a Werewolf campaign involving past lives that stretched from Dark Ages right up through Wild West on to Apocalypse; an Mage game from Dark Ages though Sorcerer's Crusade up to Ascension; a Wraith plot with a prologue surrounding Charon's disappearance in Dark Ages cutting to The Great War and on to Ends of Empire; or even a Dark Ages: Inquisitor game run parallel with a Hunter: the Reckoning game? With a little creativity one could use the Dark Ages: Devil's Due sourcebook as a tie-in with Demon: the Fallen.
While toying with this idea of crafting an Epic World of Darkness game with a friend we wondered if this could be accomplished with a more sandbox feel in the new World of Darkness. Surely one could run a Requiem for Rome campaign with a tie in to the modern nights, but why get yourself bogged down to Vampire right away? You could have successive packs following the same totem in Forsaken, or use life-preserving magic to keep a mage alive since Roman Empire. At high enough levels of Glamour and a crafty use of Pledges a Changeling could craft a contract with Death itself. The Soul-Eaters in Geist die multiple times, or you could run multiple characters bonded and serving the unknowable agenda of the same Geist. Then I remembered there was a sourcebook in the "blue book" line that would make this all so much easier, World of Darkness: Immortals!
This supplement provides the best option for this sort of campaign. To be honest I skipped past chapters one and two, since creating a character who achieves immortality through bathing in the blood of innocents or evicting a mortals' soul in a Harlan Ellison's Mephisto in Onyx-type power grab seems unseemly enough to relegate to non-player character status; but the information on The Purified and the one following in rare and unique immortals holds great promise.