46 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Mature theme, and now also a mature system,
This review is from: The World of Darkness (Hardcover)
Although most of the old players of the World of Darkness settings might argue that the system is overall unimpotant to the game, my group has always been interested in the game system and its relation with the roleplaying. And I must say, unfortunately, although we always loved the Vampire setting and overall mood of the World of Darkness as a whole, we always felt that the system was not very well thought in some aspects, specially combat and characters balance. Also, it was hard to do certain things in the game, as many times there wasn't enough explanation about important actions in most roleplaying games, like the use of vehicles, social interaction and so on. And thus, we migrated to Gurps (I know, not the best for roleplaying, but still more balanced in terms of system). Three editions of Vampire the Masquerade came out, and they all felt the same.
Now, I find that the new World of Darkness brought, in this first book, a deep concern in game mechanics, as well as with mood and organization of the information available. I couldn't be more pleased.
First off, of course, the changes on the system. Relevant and necessary changes were made, making the game more realistic and controlled. It finally makes some sense! You can add situation modifiers without making it impossible or too easy to perform any task. Combat is more realistic too -- now, if you're any good, you get to actually hit your foes, not only suck because they all got Dex 4 + Dodge 4.
Still about the system, now, unlike the old editions, there IS a core rulebook with all basic system mechanics. Because so far, they always had to repeat themselves in all settings, with pages and pages of rules they should have concentrated in a single book to start with. This grants the system mechanics the space it actually demands, making it possible to suggest rules to, for example, chasing someone in a car, or seducing another character.
The atmosphere of the game is still incredibly well shaped and introduced by some of the best horror/grungy/mistery tales ever written. It's not just more of the same fantasy work anyone could write (and don't get me wrong, I love the medieval fantasy setting). The stories told in this book can actually keep you reading and reading.
So, we got here an effort to make a better system, a good one, though without complicating it -- after all, WoD players don't like to have to memorize hundreds of pointless tables -- and without losing the old breath-taking atmosphere. It's all the game needed all these years, in my opinion.
On a side note, the artwork in this book is some of the best you'll ever see in any book. It's beautiful. I feel this kind of book needs decent art to show exactly how the setting feels, and they took the care here.
Finally, I must say, this book is a must-have. You don't see this mix of atmosphere and game mechanics in most games. If you're a roleplaying gamer, and specially if you're an old WoD player, have a look on it, and try not to fall in love with it.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 18, 2011 9:36:28 PM PDT
Robert Jackson says:
If you can show me any example of the OWoD having "100s of pointless tables", then I'd be interested to know. And if it never had any, then your argument is a straw man.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2011 8:03:12 PM PDT
V. Silva says:
The reviewer pointed out that this incarnation of World of Darkness is more robust than its predecessors but yet it is not as rule heavy as other systems (such as GURPS which is extremely realistic and does have tons of tables and charts depending how you set up the game).
Overall the review is very good.
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