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Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition $19.99 $13.79
Average Rating:4.4 / 5
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Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
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Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Adriano C. T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/23/2017 11:54:15

I have finally received the physical copy of Werewolf the Forsaken 2nd Edition, and now I feel like it's time for me to give my personal review of this book.

Honestly? I loved it. I loved it in a way I never even expected I would. This book embraced everything that was done right in the first edition and corrected or improved everything that was wrong or somehow lacking. Now, let me say that I've always been a fan of the World of Darkness Werewolf line. In fact, Werewolf the Apocalypse was the first roleplaying book I ever bought, and one of the first roleplaying games I ever played. I'm saying this to show that I have a great deal of affection towards these games. However, despite always enjoying them, there was always something I never quite liked. They were never perfect, in my opinion. Always fun, yes, but never perfect in my opinion. In Werewolf the Apocalypse, it was the tone and the tribes; in the 1st edition of Forsaken, it was again the tribes and some mechanics that were a bit off (such as progression with the gifts and the fact that the werewolves just felt too weak).

But Werewolf the Forsaken 2nd Edition is different. I can say that, for my expectations, it's the best Werewolf game so far. The tone is perfect, the tribes are fascinating and engaging, the lore is introduced in a very creative and immersive way, and it finally reached a beautiful balance between the overpowered Garou from the Apocalypse and the relatively weak Uratha of Forsaken 1st edition. The game also gives the players a lot of reasons to play as a pack and cooperate, which I think is essential for a game like this. Gifts now follow an ingenious non-linear progression, with the exception of the Moon Gifts, and every single one of the werewolf forms comes with its own set of special abilities that make all of them equally useful for different situations.

I could go on and on about many of the improvements, so I'll just finish this review by saying: this book is a great game and a great read. If you're a fan of the World of Darkness style of games and especially if you liked Forsaken 1st Edition, I absolutely recommend it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Chris L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/25/2016 21:10:02

I read Apocalypse and Forsaken 1E, but didn't play either. This game, though, deserved to come down off the shelf and stay off, dammit.

In Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition, you play the ultimate predator. You don't have a sacred mission as in Apocalypse--not really. You're just a killer with a sense of community. That sense of community is omnipresent in both the core book and the first supplement, The Pack, and it comes up organically when roleplaying, which is nice.

Although I didn't have a lot of Werewolf experience, some of my players have, and they've noted with no small amount of pleasure a few differences here. In particular, they've hailed the changes to the Oath of the Moon over previous werewolf codes of honor. The meaning of respect your prey and the low honor the high; the high respect the low can be interpreted in enough ways to effectively be tailored to every group. For example, our ithaeur (shaman, effectively) is a smart-assed Brit that threatens spirits with inconveniences or worse; some groups might call that disrespecting prey, but we think it's fun.

My personal favorite part of the setting is the sheer variety of spiritual resonances. You don't just deal with the spirits of animals, or of objects, or even of emotions. Spirits of cybersecurity usher bit-motes on luminal pilgrimages. Spirits of HIV crowd out and suffocate spirits of excitement at a South African cultural celebration. A spirit of the local college's biology department, bloated with funding, trades essence with spirits of scientific observation to taste their secrets. The spirits of a company's shares swarm over the corporate spirit itself, commanding it in a terrible cacophony. And these ideas are just from the first few sessions!

If you're new to Werewolf, buy this. According to my players, if you're 20-year Werewolf veterans, you should buy it too.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Joshua B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/11/2015 10:05:27

While I own the 1st ed Werewolf: The Forsaken game and some supplements, I never had much chance to play. I did like the basic concept though, so I picked up 2nd ed. with hopes that it would fit my normal roleplaying group. I was not disappointed, the GMC rules make the game crunchier, while still maintaining a focus on narrative play. The focus on the consequences of being a raging monster and apex predator allow for stories of personal horror that fit my storytelling style well.

My main complaint is with the organization and layout. The book is laid out in possibly the most confusing possible way for a reader who is coming in fresh (ie. not being familiar with 1st ed.). The chapter order is bizarre, leading with Auspices makes little sense when you need to establish what the Uratha are and how they fit in the world, which is covered in chapter 2. Jargon is frequently used before it's defined and often in ways where the meaning cannot be derived from context. It was frustrating to have to go back and reread sections of the book that made little sense without the knowledge from later in the book. It feels disorganized and confusing. Which is unfortunate, as the rules themselves are very good if you can piece them together.

The setting material is solid, painting a picture of a world of often malevolent animist-spirits that have to be handled by the Uratha before they get out of hand. The addition of the idigam to the setting is interesting, but takes up a large amount of space for an antagonist that seems geared towards an experienced and jaded W:tF group. The idigam take up 33 pages while the Pure, Spirits, Shartha, Humans and Claimed combined only get 12 pages. This suggests that the idigam are the primary opponent of the Uratha instead of the spirits and claimed that the Tribes chapter says are the most common prey.

Overall, the new edition is an improvement over the previous edition and the book is written to appeal to players who are already familiar with the game and the setting, but players and storytellers who are new to W:tF may struggle with some of the design choices that were made.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Daymond H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/06/2015 01:33:25

While I did enjoy WtF 1st edition, I find that this one really grabs me. It gives it a sort of personal gravitas, makes you really want to read more about the world's premier hunters. Yet it doesn't beat you over the head with backstory. I like how their heritage is revealed in snippets here and there, each time making you want to learn more. The tribe write ups are equally interesting, with the multiple ideas on possible tribe origins and views about chosen prey being particularly interesting.

Mechanically there have been some cool improvement as well. Gifts seem more useful and even powerful than before. Plus you have more freedom in how you choose them(aka, not always having to take them in order). Healing ability is also more powerful, given that werewolves can now heal more bashing damage the higher their primal urge stat is, can spend essence to heal lethal rather than bashing for the turn, and heal all damage each turn in garou form! Combat is streamlined, but still dynamic, and the social maneuvering rules give you a system to add a little importance to social interactions without being overdone or overly complex. There are other things of course, but these were some highlights for me.

Over all, I really enjoyed this edition and I think fans of any editions of this franchise will enjoy it too!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Dakotah P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/31/2015 13:11:04

I was a big fan of the previous edition, but also felt it lacked substance and a bit flimsy. This edition and it's add-ons and changes create a more meaty, juicy game that fans and interested people alike can enjoy.

Also, now I'm hungry.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Christopher H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/24/2015 16:31:56

An excellent update that makes the game far more playable, and takes full advantage of the 2nd edition rules.

A full review can be heard on Darker Days Radio.

http://podcast.darker-days.org/e/darker-days-radio-episode-64/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Tara I. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/02/2015 11:21:15

This new version of Werewolf: the Forsaken is truly heads and tails better than its predecessor. While the lore stays the same for the most part, the Tribes and Auspices have undergone some much needed tweaking both with their histories and with their roles in the pack. The pack means so much now in this game, and the Hunt is where the game is truly centered. Gifts are so much better now (they don't suffer anymore from the 1e problems of super-specific conditions, all over the place Renowns needed in each gift list, nor do they require you anymore to buy up all the earlier gifts in the tree (or pay more to avoid those gifts) in order to get what might be the only thing you want in the tree). Rites are no longer tied to Harmony, and Harmony itself is now way more important as it measures how close you are to the wolf or the man and there are different game effects depending on where you are on that scale that really fit into the theme of being part wolf and part man.

The reason I have always loved Werewolf is because of its co-operative nature. The pack has far more emphasis now - a lot of the mechanics now complement the idea that you are a part of a bigger whole. Working with others is more built in now than it was in the previous version, especially when you bring Conditions into account. Being able to include humans, Wolf-Blooded, spirits, and others into the pack is also a great change. Wolf-Blooded are so much better now through their Tells and their own special abilities, and for the first time I really want to do a Chronicle where everyone starts off as Wolf-Blooded and may or may not make the shift to Werewolf during the game.

I also really love the new Totem building rules. I always found the 1e rules for building totems confusing, but they are much more streamlined in 2e and easier to understand.

I'm giving this game 4 stars out of 5. While mechanically I absolutely love the new edition, I found that the antagonists section did not meet my expectations. I know that it's the Idigam Chronicle, but a lot of page count was used up by the Idigam, an enemy that I can really only see pulling out near the end of a Chronicle for the pack to face off against at that point, even if they may be calling the shots throughout the game. The Pure were pretty much a footnote, as were the spirit claimed and the Hosts. I think the Bale Hounds got a couple of sentences. It will make it really great when OP puts out an antagonists book in the future for them, but for a core book I'd hoped to have more "street-level" enemies included in greater detail in the book than so much page count devoted to "epic-level" enemies. The art also could have been better spread out through some of the sections, though that's a minor quibble.

Overall: I really love this new version - it fixed almost every problem that our group had with the first edition of the game. It's a gorgeous book and well worth the wait!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Don M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/29/2015 12:35:09

At first I wasn't sure what to think of a huge rule change that could make all previos books outdated, but the 2nd edition managed to fix all the tiny issues in the gameline, and it's added rules perfectly bring out all of the things that make a werewolf story awesome! While I wish there was a bit more original artwork, all of the art and stories are great, I spent a lot of time with the book just reading through them.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Raccoon B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/18/2015 21:13:10

Not entirely what I was hoping for. If you REALLY want to play Werewolf, then you need this book, but other than improving the rules from First Edition, it really doesn't do itself justice. The writing isn't the best, and the artwork is, to be brutally honest, not worth the price of color-ink. As for the rules-update though, I'm actually very happy with the rules though, and that's really why you get the book, but I kinda feel like it's pretty expensive for a set of rules in such a cheap package. I wouldn't complain so much, but it was $50 for the PDF and Standard book, making me expect something alot better than what I got. If I had found this book in a store and been able to look inside, I dunno if I'd want to pay $40 for a hard-copy.

  • Writing - There are a few spelling errors, and the way things are laid out is both confusing and repetitive. They repeat things like the origin story multiple times, which is annoying because it makes it harder to get to the meat of what's going on, and I know they cut out the Bale Hounds for time. Granted, I DO like some of the concepts they threw in, and the way they present flavor-text throughout, as it really sets the mood, but I think it could've been done better with the old "Lore, Character, Rules, Antagonists, Storytelling, Appendexes/Sample Settings" format and not this meandering thing which is gonna require me to put post-it notes in the margins. It feels like they were experimenting with a new way of telling the rules through a more artistic, story-driven approach, but it fell a little flat with me. That might just be because I'm used to the older books, so it's not a major concern...

  • Artwork - DO NOT GET THE PREMIUM-COLOR VERSION: it is a waste of money as there is no artwork that warrants it.

In fact, the artwork is actually relatively bad. I mean, the drawings are alot better than some of the fan-supplements (I'm looking at you Dragon, though I found those whimsical doodles to be appropriately quaint for such a whimsical book), but after reading through a friend's copy of the 20th anniversary edition of Apocalypse (which opens with a 20-page comic book and pretty much has a beautifully crafted and inspiring depiction of something being talked about on every other page) and thinking "Wow, I want something like this!", this book was a HUGE letdown. So far, it even lacks the clever stuff like how First edition's Tribe-pages had the human-form in the foreground and the Garou-form watermarked in the background.

Most of the things depicted either seem generic or completely unexplained (there's a particular depiction of what I'm guessing is a pack, but some of them don't even look like anything described in the book), and quality wise, the vast majority of the art I see seems to fall into one of 2 categories: high-quality drawings of unimportant things like the wolf used on the cover which appears several times, or mid-quality depictions of important things which I can find better drawings of on Deviant Art. Most of the mood-setting art is in sepia, which would be fine, but the book was pretty expensive for being 99% uncolored. Come on guys, no red blood, blue skies, and green leaves? You're describing some extremely interesting stuff in what's supposed to be a flagship book, and you couldn't spring for better art?

  • Rules Update - I actually really like the rules update, despite the poor presentation as it throws down more detailed explanation, more options, and alot more potential when working with Werewolves. I'd always felt that there were a few tools missing for Apex-Hunter-Spirits in first-edition, but this one really fills in alot of the gaps. I'm also a fan of stronger and more versatile characters, which this book does, and on that note I really like the new Wolf-Blooded stuff. The decision to make the morality bar Horizontal is a mixed-bag, though overall a good one: there's alot more focus on exactly how a werewolf should maintain a balance between the man-flesh and wolf-spirit and all that stuff, which looks like it's going to make for a really good story about Werewolves being non-human on some level, but it's going to take some clever GMing to keep the whole "wanton destruction wears on the psyche" aspect in, seeing as a character can go on a murder-spree, and all it takes is torching the forest to put them back at perfect-harmony.

The rules ARE a bit more geared to the whole power-fantasy aspect, making werewolves feel noticeably stronger, which means the Storyteller needs to keep focus on the non-physical challenges and the fact that plowing through problems in Garou form has consequences, but it really helps with the visceral nature of the game, especially with the renewed focus on cannibalism, the spirit-world, and animalistic brutality.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Søren H. P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/06/2015 04:11:36

Writing/Editing This book unfortunately suffers from a large number of spelling errors, and there is even two pages who have completely swapped places. There is also many errors that shows that they had a hard time finding out what they wanted for this game. In the beginning and here and there, Lunar is described as the male and the wolf as the female (Father Moon and Mother Wolf). But this changes very quickly and becomes the old lore throughout most of the book. Bale Hounds have also been mentioned two places in the book, but with no description of what exactly this is.

There is also allot of repeating of lore or rules, which takes up valuable space that could have been spend on describing the setting instead, which I feel is missing greatly. These pages that could have been used for setting, have also been used to describe the core rules. I really liked the First Editions way of doing it. Make a smaller, cheaper book with the core rules, which allowed the "real" settings to spend those pages on extra lore, information, rules and artwork.

Setup The setup of the book is very confusing and it very hard to get around since each chapter isn't called something like "Rules" or "Storytelling" or "Character creation". The various aspects of the game is aslo spread out across the whole book. If you want to learn about a specific thing, there isn't a index in the back for easy locating of the subject. Not in one place. Want to learn about a specific thing.

Artwork As usual with the World of Darkness series, most of the artwork is gorgeous and mood setting. However, there is one place where a piece of art is actually covering some of the text.

System Many of the changes from First Edition to Second have made the game allot more complicated to keep track of, which I feel was one of the strength for White Wolf games compared to something like D&D or Pathfinder. One of the things that are complicated, is Harmony and Death Rage. Harmony still goes from 0 – 10. But instead of being a trait about balance, having a higher trait is “bad”, because you become more tied to the physical world the higher up you go, and when you reach 10, you cannot enter the spirit world. Which isn’t a bad idea and I might use a modified version of it, but there is allot of complicated rules with them. Death Rage is now two steps, each with their triggers and rules. "Almost angry" (have to shift into Dalu or Urshul) and "Full Rage" (Gauru).

The best thing in the book, is the changes they have added to the Gifts and rites. Instead of being a list of powers from 1-5, each group has facets which can be purchased as usual, but what really determines how powerful each facet is, is the werewolf’s Renown. Each of the facets is tied to one of the renowns, and when you increase that rating related to a facet, that facets power goes up. And rites are now not tied into Harmony, which no longer forces your itheaur to keep a high harmony.

I could say more about the book, but I figured I should try and keep it short.

Kind Regards Søren H. Pedersen



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Akaki K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/06/2015 02:16:21

the only advantage this book has over the first edition are streamlined rules. There is less art and crossover info is practically eliminated. Game is also made more 'friendly' by eliminating edgy topics and pumping up the garou. There is also a sort of a meta line given with the idigam, which were made in the ultimate monsters. Basically, this far I prefer the first edition.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Justin S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/01/2015 20:16:27

tl;dr - Great game, great book, it has all the rules you need to play and requires no others (though it has a limited number of 'mortal' merits).

I've been a fan of new World of Darkness since the beginning, and while there's been many to challenge it, Werewolf the Forsaken has been my favorite of the games.

Honestly, it had a lot of flaws. It was aimless, mechanically weak, weird, and expensive. But I liked the setting, and the spirit world.

Second edition has not only fixed all the problems but greatly improved on aspects of the game I and other people didn't like. One of the complaints I heard, though didn't necessarily share, about first edition was that you were relegated to being spirit police, and outside of the occasional 'rage' you didn't really get the feel of being a monster, or even a predator.

With second edition, the Wolf Must Hunt. You don't become a werewolf by being bitten by one (though it is possible), you get to tailor your rages, and either fight for a balance between your flesh and spirit sides or just choose a side and throw yourself at it. All the while, the hunt beckons.

A werewolf is born again, having their First Change under one of the five phases of moon that determines their auspice. This is the kind of person they were and how they hunt. From there a tribe is chosen, this is more about your personal beliefs, what you think is important. Werewolves still operate off an age old oath, following the legends left by their progenitor, Father Wolf, but not through being a policeman as much as being a hunter. Some might think spirits offer the greatest threat and challenge, and join the otherworldly Bone Shadows. Another might think man is more of a threat, and risk their necks picking prey from the biomass as an Iron Master. And even another might be a Blood Talon, hunting other werewolves as their sacred prey. A sixth option is available, the Ghost Wolves. They get a lot more support in this version of the game than they did the other, allowing you to be a lone hunter who plays by their own set of rules or a werewolf who struggles to resist a need decided eons ago that still pulses within them.

Werewolves can shift through five forms, representing the five 'iconic' forms seen throughout legends and movies. Each form has a special job for the hunt, and benefits to fulfill that job. The near-human form reminiscent of the Wolfman is designed for the urban hunt, the near-wolf form like the beast from an American Werewolf in London harries and wears down the prey. The gauru form, the hulking half-wolf half-man, is there to put an end to the prey. The human and wolf forms are there to spot and track, but also to blend in, because it is always possible for the hunter to become the hunted. Werewolves are no longer easily trounced by the common man with a gun, the forms are very powerful. But they have to be, because they often fight terrible monsters.

Their powers are divided into gifts and rites. Gifts are further divided into three groups. Moon Gifts are based on your auspice and work on the Storyteller standard of 1-5, increasing in power. Each auspice has one Moon Gift tree available, but it is implied there will be more with further books. Shadow Gifts, gained by performing the Sacred Hunt on spirits or through bargains, are the meat of werewolf powers. They are in groups of five, but all 'relatively' the same level in power. The trick is each is attuned to one of the five kinds of Renown, an in-game thing that notes great deeds a werewolf has committed in regards to Cunning, Glory, Honor, Purity and Wisdom. You are rewarded with gifts when you increase a corresponding Renown, which affects the dice pool or ability of the gift. The gifts are very interesting in design, with all more or less based around tools a werewolf might use for their hunt, but establishing an all around toolbox. Wolf Gifts are those natural to the shapeshifter, they are the cheapest gifts but by no means weak.

Rites operate most similarly to the older system, but they've cut out a lot of expensive 'atmospheric' rites, like a rite of apology, in exchange for more bang for the experience buck. The most significant change is that they can be customized to your character. While each has some basic concepts that need to be met, an atavistic shaman might enact a rite with their pack dancing around a fire, drinking and chanting, while a werewolf who's been around computers their entire life might organize a LAN party. The dice pools reflect this, allowing you to take advantage of your stronger attributes and skills.

To finish up character creation a totem is made, and each character makes a wolf-blooded character and some humans. Packs are no longer just for werewolves anymore, though more often than not the humans are not aware that they are friends with werewolves as much as they are part of a larger social circle. These characters mostly exist so if an individual werewolf is off-scene, their player can still keep occupied. Wolf-Blooded make a major comeback in this edition, with some very intriguing new powers, including a Tell. Tells are sort of like the old superstitious beliefs people had about werewolves, someone born with extra-long fingers or a unibrow, an evil eye or with a furred caul. But these things offer the Wolf-Blooded some power, such as limited shapeshifting into one form or regeneration. Each tell also comes with a drawback, that shapeshift coming when you're angry or the healer being burnt by silver.

I've written a lot, and still haven't covered all of it, but I wanted to touch on one last thing. Enemy. The last edition mentioned the dreaded idigam from the start, but we didn't see any in action until near the end. This book comes with five with about three pages of writing each, detailing them and their minions. They're very unique. You're told in the introduction you could still use those from Night Horrors: Wolfsbane with minimal mechanical differences. In addition, a series of dread powers are introduced, with the suggestion that when Storytellers are building one of the Claimed or Hosts or the new Hive-Claimed, use what you need. The individual enemies detailed are limited, giving you about two for each of the sacred prey. Humans, hosts, werewolves, claimed and spirits.

There was not that much information on the Pure, which was disappointing, and none on the Bale Hounds, which was moreso, but the book is such a fantastic improvement I am more than willing to wait for a similar effort to be made to improve upon them.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/06/2015 20:25:44

As with other NWoD titles, Werewolf is frequently judged in comparison to what came before, and this will be no exception. I largely grew up with the old Werewolf: The Apocalypse game, where the political themes (environmentalism) were much more prevalent and pervasive.

Werewolf: The Forsaken largely irons much of this out, and makes the game more directly about defending a particular territory against weird, invading, animistic spirits. In this regards, it’s actually closer to The Whispering Vault in some respects than it’s mother game. The game is also a lot more concise, focussed and flexible in effect. The previous (1st) edition of the game suffered a little insofar that there was too much fluff text. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but compared to the more emotive concepts involved in Werewolf: the Apocalypse, it felt a bit dry. You were also required to buy another book for the core rules. The second edition is punchier in delivery, with consistent artwork (mostly like the cover - in brown hues), and it’s a complete game in one.

The premise is still slightly compromised insofar that it’s game play requires that you don’t play a raging, force-of-nature, homicidal, solitary beast (as in the movies), but with this understanding it makes for a lot of good campaign play. The book squashes a lot into 320 pages, but is a tad more organised than Vampire: The Requiem while remaining highly compatible for crossovers. In all, an excellent development.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition
Publisher: Onyx Path Publishing
by Edwin M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/06/2015 04:40:24

A massive improvement on a line that always had promise but never quite delivered. The updated rules are excellent, nuanced and carefully considered for their impact and place in the themes and moods of the game. It really feels like werewolves are scary monsters again, whilst retaining the interesting animist themes of the first edition.

The only thing that lets it down are some unclear descriptions in a few places (the gift system in particular, though interesting and very cool, is tricky to get your head around without careful picking over the rules) and a clear lack of space. The book could easily have been half as long again, and would have been all the better for it.

All in all extremely good, but not quite perfect.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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